One Pot Pasta Recipe

image

I try to avoid fast-food by using quick kitchen tips and recipes. A drive-thru would be way easier than trying to navigate chopping, preheating and chasing around a 7-month old mouse. So on weeks when my workload is intense, I turn to “one pot meals.” I’m not really a crockpot person, they remind me of old people lol. Don’t ask why and I know they’ve evolved but it’s just not me. If you want a fresh, quick meal (about 15 mins) try this out:

You’ll Need:
1 pkg spaghetti (I used Ronzoni Garden Delight)
6 medium-sized fresh tomatoes, halved (you can chop them smaller, but we’re in a rush here)
3 garlic cloves
1/2 white onion
5 hot cherry peppers (careful, they’re super spicy)
1 zucchini, chopped
Spinach, 2 huge handfuls
Fresh basil, huge handful

MAKE IT:
Place all ingredients in a large pot filled with 5C of water (add chicken broth for more flavor). Bring to a rolling boil. Turn down to medium-high and boil for 10 minutes or until pasta is cooked to your desired texture.

image

Right before I serve it, I drizzle it with my favorite and most used olive oil – Nudo Basil to pump up the flavor!
http://www.nudoadopt.com

Enjoy!! XoXo

Best pizza ever, I’m a bit pizza obsessed!

image

Pizza is not overrated by any means. It’s always love at first sight. Absolute perfection. I could eat it for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert midnight snacks. Incredibly versatile, you can enjoy it at any time of the day in any kind of mood or state drunk, old, young, sad, happy, sober.The individual components make it amazing: toppings, sauce, cheese, texture. For me, it’s all about a wood fired oven. The pizza dough is the most important element. My definition of the perfect pizza:
♡ Thin, crispy crust with subtle air bubbles,  homemade sauce that’s not overly sweet and a sprinkle of cheese. Never greasy (unless you’re having a day where you specifically want a greasy, sloppy pepperoni pizza with crushed pepper than it’s acceptable) never dry. Always made in a brick oven. ♡ Another fab thing about pizza?! Everyone’s definition is different.

image

image

I’ve tried pizza all over and if there were a career out there for free as a professional pizza tester, I would totally get hired as a pizza-ologist. My favorite pizza (above) has been featured on The Food Network and loads of culinary magazines. The picture doesn’t do it justice at all, not even slightly. Taconelli’s in Philadelphia. It’s almost like a soup-Nazi version of a pizza parlour: cash only, no parmesan cheese, no more than 3 toppings, call ahead to order your dough, not open typical hours. Very limited menu. Omg! An Italian place that doesn’t have 500 things on their menu (so unnecessary, there’s no way they keep all that stuff fresh). I love it. The owner is real serious about his art. Their pizza falls into my definition of the perfect pie. I prefer to order the red pie with hot peppers. Pure piping hot, crispy, sexy perfection. I’m so in love with pizza, I even have a few shirts tributing this delicious Italian gift. I would probably even get a pizza tattoo if I had too much wine.

image

image

image

Since everyone at the pizza place asked…I get my amazing pizza shirts from: http:// http://skreened.com/datnewnew/mo-money-mo-pizza?CaitlinCooks
And http:// http://skreened.com/skrobshop/pizza-dreams?CaitlinCooks

RAHUA all natural haircare

image

I’ve seen amazing reviews online for the conditioner that Rahua makes and had to try it out. For some reason it reminded me (at first glance) of the Ojon line from Sephora (I haaaaate the way Ojon smells). Rahua, thank god, is nothing like that at all. A secret oil from the Amazon rainforest (rahua) is strong enough to smooth and soothe the hair’s cuticle…even on damaged hair. The whole product line is ideal for color-treated hair too. My favorite product is the Omega 9 hair mask. A lot of beauty bloggers are calling it “hair insurance.” Loaded with quinoa protein, lavender and eucalyptus, I let it sit in my hair for 15 minutes, wash than just let it air dry in the summer sun.
http://www.rahua.com

Vacation Essentials for new Moms and Babies!

image

Here’s what I’m packing:

1 – Coola tinted moisturizer
http://www.coolasuncare.com

2 – Comotomo bottles, leak-proof, easy to clean, easy for baby to hold, help w/ fussiness, long lasting, durable.
http://comotomo.com but I bought mine from Amazon.

3 – Peter Rabbit Organics, I put these food packs in my daughter’s cooler. She likes the flavors they offer, I love that their easier than carrying around a spoon plus less mess when traveling.
http://www.peterrabbitorganics.com

4 – Mustela face wipes. I’m also bringing their bubble bath wash, after sun spray and regular wipes. I use their face wipes to take off my makeup (the only wipes that don’t make my contacts red and irritated). Saves me a step of packing makeup remover too.
http://www.mustelausa.com

5 – Hampton Sun. This product line has a big range for Mom & baby. I use their sun gel, aloe spray and baby suntan lotion (spf 45, all natural, chemical free…in my video I said barely any chemicals that should be NO…N-O, zip zero chemicals). Tear free and water resistant up to 40 mins. It’s good for anyone in the family with sensitive skin. But my absolute favorite product they sell is the shimmer spray, gives you a sexy sparkle with your tan!
http://www.hamptonsuncare.com

6 – Whole Foods grapefruit spray, real refreshing…if your store doesn’t have it just make some with essential oil, spring water and a mini spray bottle.

7 – A relaxing book. “The Glitter Plan” is my choice. I spent last summer reading Jenny McCarthy’s & Kendra’s Mom books to ease my fears about labor…this year, I chose an inspirational business bio.

8 – Best bathing suit for new Moms…drum roll please..Miraclesuit. I have the Magicsuit in Yvonne but there are endless options, it was sooooo hard to pick!!!
http://www.miraclesuit.com

9 – Yarok Feed Your Sunshine hair oil. Hair oils are one of the hottest trends right now. And a great way to give yourself a spa experience without dropping spa $$$. I massage a bit into my hair than lay out in the sun to unwind. I posted these before but you can buy them easily on Amazon.

10 – Cool on the Go an A/C on the Go…don’t laugh, I think it’s an awesome idea!! If the baby is fussy, give them a little A/C action and a cool bottle.
http://www.coolonthego.com

Extra stuff I didn’t mention in the video:
Chia seeds, I add these to water bottles. I like the green tea & chia individual packs from Whole Foods the best.
Motrin – this is always in my purse
Babyganics hand sanitizer
100-calorie almond and walnut packs
Dried strawberries, to avoid eating twizzlers, dots, sourpatch kids and all the airport candy I love

The video for thisof course can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/caitlincooks

Xoxoxo

Healthier Sloppy Joe’s with Cook Simple Meals

image

I love cooking every night after work, it’s the way I relax! But…my baby started to crawl like a maniac. I never wanted to be the Mom that complains or cuts out old routines but here it is…cooking every day from scratch is getting hard to do. I ordered takeout a few times last week and both my health and wallet regret it! I never use frozen or pre-packaged foods b/c they’re typically processed, loaded with sodium/God knows what and…taste like absolute garbage! Just saying! Going through the organic section of my grocery store, I noticed something different that caught my eye…these Cook Simple meals that contain healthy (not processed), simple ingredients. I tried it out and…my family loved it!! The only thing I had to buy in addition was ground chicken (I used that instead of turkey) so it’s not greasy like ground beef, tomato paste (had it in the pantry already), a bit of Worcester sauce (had it already) and buns, garnishes (see above). The results?! Flavorful, a kick of spice, protein and vitamin packed. Next time I’ll use whole-wheat buns.

image

Cook Simple Meals

Yarok – Healthy, all-natural hair oils

image

I’m trying to get my hair back to a healthy state again. It’s taking forever to grow and the summer weather/pool chemicals aren’t helping. I read a magazine article about salons using hair oils and decided to research some products. “Yarok” means green in Hebrew and they make these awesome oils I started to use. Organic, vegan, all natural and they don’t test on animals!

image

Feed Your Sunshine is one of my beach bag essentials. I put it on before heading into the pool to protect from chlorine damage plus the sun. It also helps protect against hair damage from stress and combats dryness.

image

Feed Your Youth is an anti-aging scalp serum blend of yarrow and avocado oils. At least 1x/week, I apply 3 droppers of this, massage into my hair than wrap my hair in a towel and take a bath. I’ve noticed a difference in my dry, highlighted hair. I’m also going to start taking prenatals again too..that combined with the oils will definitely make a big difference.

http://www.yarokhair.com

Jamie Oliver’s Modern Greek Salad with Feta Parcels

image

I watch Jamie Oliver every Saturday morning when I’m drinking coffee and getting ready for the day. I love that he always incorporates so much color into his dishes and utilizes healthy ingredients with minimal effort. I have an obsession with Greek food, especially feta (what kind of person on this earth, doesn’t like feta…psssh…) ;-) so I had to make this recipe. I was out of olives and only had red tomatoes so as you can see above, I made my own version. If it saves you money and a trip to the store…improvise and clean up your pantry items. Recipes are like art. There’s an original, than you can get inspired by that and create your own. Jamie’s original recipe is below but have fun twisting it up!

image

Ingredients:
Parcels 
1 x 400g tin of chickpeas
100g feta cheese
100g baby Spinach
1 lemon
Tsp sweet smoked paprika
4 large sheets off filo pastry (froma270gpack)
Olive oil

Salad 
1 cucumber
1 small red onion
Mixed bunch of fresh coriander and mint
20g blanched almonds
1 handful of black olives (stone in)
650g mixed ripe tomatoes
1 romaine lettuce
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 

To serve
Fat free natural yoghurt 
Runny honey 

Ingredients out
· Oven at 220C/425F/gas7
· Food processor (bowl blade, thick slicer & fine slicer)
· Oven proof medium frying pan, medium heat
· Medium frying pan, medium heat

Start cooking
· Drain and add the chickpeas to the processor along with the feta ,spinach, lemon zest and paprika ,then blitz until combined

Fold a large sheet of filo pastry in half, dollop ¼ of the mixture into the centre ,push your thumb into the middle to make a space for the filling to expand as it cooks, then bring the sides up and very loosely pinch into a parcel

· Repeat to make 4 parcels 

· Add to the oven proof pan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and fry for a couple of minutes to crisp up the bottom, then bake in the oven until beautifully golden and crisp 

· Swap to the thick slicer in the processor 

· Scratch a fork down the length of the cucumber all the way round, then run it through the processor 

· Swap to the fine slicer and run through the peeled onion 

· Tip the veg into a bowl, season with salt, squeeze over the juice of the zested lemon and scrunch to mix 

· Finely chop and scatter over most of the top leafy half of the coriander and mint 

· Put the almonds and olives into the empty pan with 1 tablespoon of oliveoil 

· Thickly slice the tomatoes and arrange nicely on a large platter 

· Slice the lettuce 1 cm thick and add to the platter ,then sprinkle over the cucumber and onion, drizzle with the extra virgin olive oil and spoon over the contents from the pan

Jamie’s 15-Minute Meals is published by Michael Joseph, Penguin 
Recipes © Jamie Oliver 2012 jamieoliver.com

Jamie Oliver