Sunday, July 31, 2011

Turkey Bell Pasta

Wow. Its been less than 12 hours and I'm already posting up a new recipe. That. Is. Insane. Hahaha, thankfully this is a full on recipe post inspired by the beautiful Mel who made a similar recipe called Farfalle Pasta Vegetable Salad, although my recipe is a bit more of a full on pasta.

Doesn't sound too appetizing, huh? Well I just came up with that name in three seconds, so don't judge. Hahaha, its not as weird as it sounds! Actually, its quite delicious! My sister originally wanted to go get something to eat from Chipotle or something but I suggest the idea of cooking dinner tonight. Not only would it be lighter on our wallet, but it meant I could actually cook and try something new! My sister hesitantly agreed (and this is the girl who had seconds, heh) and off to the grocery store we went. She gave me the honors to cook so I made the meal all by myself! I felt so grown up ^__^
Alright, lets get started with the ingredients. You will need the following:
  • Bow Tie Pasta (or whatever you prefer)
  • A Jar of Tomato Sauce (I like Prego)
  • Ground Turkey (or beef, but Turkey is more lean, thus more healthier)
  • Bell Pepper, Onion, Jalapeno, Tomato's, and Cilantro
  • Seasoning (salt, pepper, sugar, garlic salt, etc)
  • Tabasco (optional)
    P.S. If you're a vegetarian, easily skip the meat part.

    First thing first, get your vegetables ready.

    Cook the mean in a pan/skillet and wait 5-10 minutes for the meat to fully cook.

    The meat contained oil so I just lightly sprayed the pan and allowed the meat to cook in its own juice.

    While the meat is still browning, use the time to cut up all the vegetables.

    After your done chopping, pour the sauce into a pot.

    Go ahead and start seasoning away! I don't have measurements, I just eyeball. Garlic Salt is a must!

    And then add some sugar...

    And some salt...

    And once you're done seasoning add in the cooked meat!

    And using the same skillet we cooked the meat in, pour the vegetables in. You don't have to add any oil, the oil from the meat will help saute the vegetables and give it a kick of flavor.

    While the vegetables are cooking, go ahead and mix the meat with the sauce. If you happened to use too much meat (like I did) pour in one small can of tomato sauce to help even out the texture (Thank goodness I had one left!)

    After letting the veggies cook for a good 3-5 minutes go ahead and pour it into the sauce. In the back I have the pot of bow tie pasta cooking! I used the Barille Farfalle Bow Tie Pasta. My sister loves this kind.

    Add a few drops of Tabasco, but not too much because some people may not like the spice. But if you're just cooking this for yourself, go ahead and pour that stuff in!

    Add a little bit of basil in the mix as the finishing touch...

    Once the pasta noodles are fully cooked (I usually leave mine in for a good 12-15 minutes, I prefer the noodles to be thoroughly cooked) go ahead and strain it out.

    And fin! Go ahead and plate the amount you desire. Add garnishes like fresh basil or... something else. I just seasoned mine with more Tabasco cause I lalalalove it :)

    And that is all for my Turkey Bell Pasta post! I hope you guys enjoyed, its a good meal to cook for the family, not to mention its super delicious! My sister, brother, and I all had seconds! Or maybe we were just extra hungry...

    Either or, I'm very happy with the recipe and I hope you guys try it out when you get a chance. Thank you all so much for reading, have a good one!



Vamped Up PB&J

*Yaaay for my first food post! I have a feeling there's going to be MANY more to come!*

      Lately, I've been feeling really inspired after reading so many food posts from wonderful bloggers like Mel and others. So I decided to hop on the band wagon and make a little "recipe" post as well! Even though my recipe isn't nearly as technical nor amazing as all the other ones, its still something at least. But seriously, mine is super duper easy. I probably shouldn't even be doing a post. But hey, I already took the photo's and I'm taking baby steps. Leave me alone.

Alright! So this is my version of vamping up a PB&J. Of course, nothing can beat the classic American snack, the infamous Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich, but you can still make different versions of it! Its just a fun way to try something new, and if you have kids, this should be a fun little recipe they'll enjoy. So lets get started!
                                           You will need the following:
                             *Bread (I used Oroweat- I prefer wheat bread)
                        *Peanut Butter (I don't know what kind it is- sorry!)
                             *Jelly (Strawberry from Smuckers- classic)
                             *Trail Mix!

     First thing you want to is to do toast the bread. I always do this because I prefer my bread warm :p
     Then you obviously would spread the peanut butter all over. I feel really lame explaining this...

                    And here's the fun part! Pour some of your trail mix all over the peanut butter.

If you're a big PB lover you can go ahead and add a second coat to cover the trail mix, but I was fine with this. The nuts adds a nice crunchy texture and the m&m's and raisins are a nice surprise!
              Then spread the jelly on the other bread... kind of self explanatory... once again I feel lame...

And tada! You are done. With the remaining trail mix just go ahead and snack on those. Add a water or tea, some apple slices (not shown) and watch an episode of White Collar like I did!

Its a quick easy snack, maybe three minutes more than the average PB&J. This is optional, but when I'm done with my sandwich I stick it back in the over for about a minute, that way the m&m's melt and chocolate goodness mixes with the peanut butter.

I hope this post was enjoyable for you all to read! I know this "recipe" is beyond easy and really just self explanatory, but I felt like doing a post and I was making a sandwich and then I started taking pictures and then all of sudden they landed here on my blog. I hope you guys enjoyed nonetheless, can't wait to write another food post! And I promise it'll be more interesting :p

Till next time!


A Random Post

      Right now, I am not only writing a blog post, but am watching Criminal Minds as well. What a wonderful multitask-er am I?! Okay, so maybe its not THAT impressive. Actually, its a little bit less than that since I've already seen this episode... three times. Damn reruns. But its Criminal Minds, which means more T.V time of Shemar Moore and Matthew Gray Gubler. Honestly, who could complain with those beautiful faces? I sure won't, sigh.
 So lately I've been feeling really inspired. I came across Mariannan's blog and although its mainly fashion, seeing how long she's been keeping up her blog is extremely motivational. Not that I don't like fashion, but I'm just really basic with my style, mainly due to the fact I prefer comfort over style any day :P Ohmigosh, an IHOP commercial just came on and now I REALLY want a funnel cake. Okay, sorry for that random interjection. Anyway, back on Mariannan's blog, I think its amazing how dedicated she is not only to fashion but being able to capture her creativity and share it with the rest of the world. Truly inspirational. And she's beyond gorgeous, how is she not a model?!
  As for myself, I haven't been doing much (since Comic-Con at least). I went to a baseball game with my best friend Jacob yesterday, and we got a whole suite (or his boss did) so we had an amazing view of the park and the room had food set out and lots of drinks in the fridge! It was really great, there were plenty of laughs and good times.
   I'm also dreading the fact that its been a week since Comic-Con, I miss it oh so dearly. But on the brighter side, its a week down till Comic-Con 2012! Hahaha, ohh who am I kidding. I'm still really depressed and will most likely stay like this until Comic-Con comes around again. Nerd Life Forever. Only 348 more days to go...
  So my journalism class just released our new online website (yaay for launching another news source in which my own school will never ever read given the fact I never see anyone pick up a newspaper. Yaaay!) and my teacher emailed us asking if we could write a little bio about ourselves. So this is what I wrote:
            Hello Everyone! My name is Caroline and I will be the News Editor for this 2011-2012 year. My main goal is to inform you all with the important events that affect our lives not only as individuals, but students as well. I’m not trying to scare you in thinking that everything I write about will have something to do with more budget cuts, another disaster, or that the world will end in 2012 (it’s not, silly people). I’m just going to give out the facts, with the support of my research, in hopes that you guys will read what is stated and keep it in mind because it very well may relate to you.
          Aside from journalism, I enjoy reading, shopping, attending Comic-Con and musical events, watching quality T.V shows (such as Dexter, Psych, Burn Notice, etc.), and experimenting with makeup and hair styles.
                So thank you all very much for reading my short biography! I will be in room 226 during fourth period (I prefer dark chocolate and my favorite flower are tulips) for those who are curious...
My teacher told us to write something witty, so of course I do! But seriously, I'm not kidding about the dark chocolate...
  Oh, and just to clarify, the sentence about no one reading our paper was a semi joke. Of course there are those wonderful students who read SOMETHING in the paper, but the majority of my fellow students are a bunch of losers who care too little about the society they're living in. I have a lot of pride and dedication to our newspaper, but I'm realistic at the same time. Even if kids don't read our paper (those dumb asses) it never stops us from making the paper the best it can possibly be.
   I really don't have much else to say. I think the next post I'm going to write about is my diet (which isn't really a diet but I'll explain in the post) so stay tuned for that! I'm going to go watch Cold Case now (an amazing show, did they HAVE to cancel it?!) so I hope you guys have a wonderful night/day/morning or whatever you're doing!


p.s. For some reason, I'm REALLY craving a chilly dog o.o

Monday, July 25, 2011

San Diego Comic-Con 2011: The Best Four Days Ever.

                I don't even know where to begin. Well, obviously I should start with the first day, huh? Alright, so the first day we had some MAJOR complications. Long story short we couldn’t find any parking in downtown (Comic-Con Attendee 101: Never expect to find parking in downtown during Comic-Con. NEVER) so we had to park at the local mall and have my brother drop us off at the Convention Center… at 3:30 in the morning. So that was quite eventful. Not to mention tiring. But we were finally there and were in a good enough spot in line to be satisfied. So when we headed up to Ballroom 20 4 hours later, we had what you would call prime seating. We were within the first ten rows of the ballroom, which is extraordinary good. Probably the best we’ll ever get if we don’t start getting used to an early schedule.
                Any way. I got to ask Bruce Campbell a question during his panel and although he gave me a humorous yet not very thorough answer, Matt Nix, creator of Burn Notice on USA network gave me a very well formulated answer which I very much appreciated :) And then the Covert Affairs Panel happened and I don’t watch that show so I hardly even followed what they were saying, but finally the Psych panel came out and cracked everybody in the audience up. Their panel is so so so hilarious, I can never get enough of them. 
                After the Psych panel we finally were able to go to the exhibit hall and explore all the booths at Comic Con. Unfortunately, we were so tired that we didn’t do much exploring but instead went to the Marriot hotel, picked up our shirts, and took a nice 5 (alright, maybe twenty. Or thirty. Don’t judge) nap on the couch, since they have a whole living room type lobby filled with Comic-Con attendees. I feel bad that Jacob’s first time at Comic-Con was a tiring one, but there’s always next year! And then I went back with Nick to the Con so he could pick up his badge for the next day and then we went back to the hotel, waited half an hour, and then my brother picked us up. So that pretty much concluded day one at Comic-Con for me. Not very exciting but when you’re in panels all day it’s like you no longer are a part of the outside world (totally over-exaggerating, but you get the point).
The face next to mine explains it all.
                Day 2: Definitely one of my favorite days at Comic-Con ever. I woke up at 8, got ready, and was picked up at nine and headed over to downtown with Nicholas. We took the shuttle from the Sheraton to the convention center, which was kind of a cool experience. And of course it made it 32947102198 times better my shuttle was advertising Dexter :)

So the first thing we did was head over to the Gas Lamp where there was a Conan gallery filled with all these art displays of Conan, the comedian. He was also there that day but he came later on so I missed him ): But on the positive side, I did get a neat T-Shirt with Conan as a super hero cartoon on it!
Everything in the galley was hilarious :)
                And then we headed over to the Hilton patio (right next to the convention center) where people were handing out these gold boxes and you get either a free slurpee from 711 or a T Shirt along with a card that you peel to see if you win a WORLD PREMIERE preview to the new upcoming movie, Cowboys and Aliens. I… lost, but I did get a T-Shirt! My friends though won so I was happy for them :) I on the other hand really just wanted the T-Shirt. So finally we head into Comic-Con after an hour delay and immediately go to the line for the meet & greet with David Zayas, who plays Bautista on Dexter. While I was waiting in line with Sarah, I see this woman with short blonde hair walking past me, and something told me she was someone I was familiar with. But I needed a better look to be sure so I told Sarah I’d be back and began to follow this woman walking with her husband (stalker much?) and as soon as I heard her voice I knew it was her. So I tapped her on the shoulder and was completely star-struck. IT WAS KIRSTEN NELSON!! CHIEF VICK FROM PSYCH!! I don’t know if you guys know this, but Psych is one of my all time favorite shows (EVER) so meeting her was so phenomenal. And to top it off, she was a complete sweet heart. I was like, “I love you in Psych, I’ve seen every season twice now and am a huge fan of your show” and she was so shocked and happy and thanked me for my support and introduced me to her husband. And not only did she let me take a picture with her, but she even did a video for my sister saying how she wish she could be there and hopefully next time. She was so concerned that I would lose my spot in line and continuously asked if I was sure it was okay. So. Incredibly. Nice. It was amazing meeting her.
I'm so happy I met SOMEONE from Psych. Such a sweet lady.
Then I went back in line all rattled up that I met a character from one of my favorite TV shows, so it took a while to collect myself. Thankfully, I did it in enough time before I met David Zayas, who was also a very sweet man. He called me “darling” and “love” and when I told him I not only love him Dexter, but also the past episodes he was in in Burn Notice and CSI: Miami. Then he was all like “Wow, you must really like the Miami shows” and asked if I’ve ever been and I said no but its definitely on my to-do list and he told me it was absolutely beautiful. I bet David, I bet.

                I kind of forgot what we did next. I think we roamed around checking out everything that was there, then we went outside across the street to get some free ice cream (it was Ben and Jerry’s! So delicious) and then we walked a little further and had a small lunch consisting of French fries cause I was hungry and craving something salty. The thing I love about Downtown is that everything is so close and is only mere minutes of a quick wak. The bad thing, which applies to every other cities downtown is that it is filthy, polluted with smokers, and conquered by homeless people. Ok, maybe Im over exaggerating once again, but you get the point. There are definitely some downfalls, but its Comic-Con. Everybody looks past those flaws for the four days they’re there.
                Anyway, we headed back to the The Con and went over to the WB booth where the cast of True Blood was going to be, and what do you know, all of them were there! Unfortunately, it was only for the people who had won a raffle and had the wrist bands, and so my friends weren’t able to meet them (they’re HUGE fans of the show) so I felt bad ): But Deborah… something, I forget her last name and who she plays, is Nicks favorite character and he held up his poster he was hoping to get signed and she gave him a thumbs up! It was super cute. And then my sister called me and told me to meet up with her friend Ren in the convention center because he had an extra pass for my sister. So I was walking over to the 2000 section where Ren was, and as soon as I got off the phone with my sister, guess who I see?! Jon Cryer from Two and a Half Men! There was no crowd around him, he was simply just a celebrity attending Comic-Con like the rest of us. But that didn’t stop me from getting a picture with him. And he was nice about it anyway. To be honest though, when I first say him he was taking a picture with an older man and I thought the older guy was the famous one! Maybe an author or something? But I took a better look at Jon and  light bulbs started flashing in my head and the “menmenmenmenmenmenmen” theme song came ringing through my ears. It was great.

           Then I finally got my sister inside the convention, who was completely jealous about how I met Jon Cryer. But its not like I intentionally meant to run into him. Call it fate, or call it pure luck, but I just happen to have a good eye for those on television. And yes, this is hinting at the fact I watch too much T.V. After that long, yet amazing fulfilled day, I headed home early because I had to babysit a family friends son. But I was so happy with everything that happened the second day and was so excited for Saturday :)


         Day Three: I would say this and Friday are at a tie for “Best Comic-Con day”. Waking up and wearing my Dexter T-shirt (as well as my sister), we walked into the Con having a feeling it would be a good day. First thing we did was go to the Conan Gallery to get the newest shirt, and then we entered the Con where we met up with Sarah (our official Comic-Con buddy) who gave Elaine a pass to meet Danny Levito! How exciting. So walked around a bit, I took a picture with Captain America because he was super cute even with a mask on.

I felt so safe <3
  And then as we were walking we saw LL Cool J walking (secured with security guards, sadly) to the CBS booth to do a signing for NCIS LA. I was seriously three feet away from him. Sighh. And then my sister came across the Xbox stage where people could play the newest Just Dance game and so Sarah walked over three booths down so she can get more information for her meet and greet with Ryan… I forgot his last name too. But he plays Jason in True Blood! Her brother got her the ticket. So we kind of just waited around there and while we were waiting there were these cute guys in like, a yellow suit (looked more like a rain coat but whatever) who were sort of just guarding the area. And one of them asked me if I could back up, but he said it kind of jokingly, but then he was like “No, seriously. You need to back up. But I won’t go all crazy on you like the other people.” And then he shot me this adorable smile so of course I had to say “Oh yeah?” And I stepped forward as he backed up, and then we kind of just went back and forth on that and he was like, “I don’t think you could handle me” and he took off his hat as if he was ready to battle it out with me and immediately I replied, “Alright Sarah, I’ll be over there.” It was really funny and cute, who knew there would be cute guys to flirt with at Comic-Con? (I did, actually. You guys probably thought that was so stupid.) Then when I came back, the OTHER guy in the yellow suit and his friend were passing out randomly these invitations to a special screening of Ryan’s new movie and the guy looked at me and I was like “Is there any way I could get one?” Battering my lashes and giving him my biggest smile (not really) and he was like, “I don’t know, what do you think?” to his other friend, and basically they were both teasing me but finally he was like, “Alright, I think you should get one too.” So I guess it worked. Ha.


I wish I had gone! Arghhh
                After Sarah met the gorgeous Ryan Kwanten, we went upstairs in hopes of winning a raffle to meet Marc Ecko and getting a Dexter shirt. I just wanted the Dexter shirt, but meeting Marc Ecko was a bonus (I’ve met him before), and guess what?! I won one- after the fifth try. But thankfully everyone else in my group got one too. So we all headed downstairs and got to meet Marc Ecko and he signed our Dexter shirts and took pictures with us.

Yaay! Another Dexter T-Shirt to add to my collection :)
            Before we got to meet Marc Ecko though, my sister and Sarah got to meet Danny Levito and while they were meeting him I met Robert Lasardo! Even though he’s tatted up beyond belief and has that really intense, hard core, criminal look to him, he was one of the nicest people I met all day. He was so incredibly nice, it was unreal. For those of you who don’t know, he plays a criminal in nearly every show that has to do with crime. And you know I love my crime shows <3
He was so nice
Unfortunately I did not go because I THOUGHT I was babysitting again that night when it turns out she had to cancel on me… but it’s okay. Because my sister spotted out Lucas Till (who I don’t care for so I didn't really want a picture) but we started following him for a good minute or two when finally we ended up at the Nickelodeon booth where the Power Rangers were signing autographs. I don’t watch the show (since I AM 16…) but I was snapping pictures from a distance because, come on, the guys were HOT. So as Im snapping away, the green ranger (the cutest one) looks up and points at my camera. I swear my finger nearly stopped working but luckily I was able to push my finger on the shutter button and forever capture that amazing pose.

Honestly, how cute is he?!
            Bahahaha, I crack myself up. Anyway, as soon as they were done, they began walking off to the side to get ready for their panel and I hurried over to the green ranger and asked if I could take a picture with him :) He was so sweet and as soon as he put his arm around me, my heart quite literally melted. I always referred to him as the sexy green ranger but I just figured out no more than fifteen minutes ago his name is Hector David Jr. What a stud Hector is…

                Oh! I forgot to add, when I was walking in the 3000 section with my friends, I spotted out Nicholas Brendan, who plays Garcia’s boyfriend on one of my favorite shows of all time, Criminal Minds! I was so excited when he let me take a picture with him, and he was so so so sweet.               

So cute!
               And then after that, my sister and her friend wanted to try to find Zachary Levi at his even, Nerd HQ which was only three blocks away from the convention center. Basically, Nerd HQ is an alternative event for Comic-Con for those who were unable to attend created and hosted by Zachary Levi. As soon as we got the Nerd HQ, Zachary was taking the last couple pictures and as soon as got to him and asked for a picture, he took my hands in his (I swear this happened) and looked me straight in the eye, telling me “I am so sorry. I really have to go, but I will be here tonight and all day tomorrow. I promise you then I will take a picture with you, I’m so sorry.” And I was so mesmerized by not only his incredibly good looks, but the sincerity in his eyes. He was genuinely sorry.  And at that point, I didn’t care about the fact I could hardly hear him (he had lost his voice, poor thing) or that I was being kindly rejected. And everyone told me I looked so sad, but really, I was just so incredibly mesmerized. And then I said, “That’s okay, but would it be okay if I gave you a hug?” And he said, “Of course you can have a hug.” And he embraced me and my sister for a good 6 or 7 seconds, and I felt like I could die right there. Then I told him I loved him (definitely a Caroline thing) and he looked at all of us and said, “I love you guys *so* much, thank you for understanding.”  And then he gracefully left, leaving us to swoon in the memory of him holding me so close and securing my hands in his, just to give me that extra assurance. I was in a purse state of bliss. So the Nerd HQ basically had a bunch of TV’s set up where people can play video games and there was also a photo booth where you could take photos. So my sister and I took a few and the guy that was managing it all was so cool and I tell you, he had the most flawless skin I have ever seen. But anyway, he was so cool that I felt a need to get a picture with him. And then he suggest that the three of us take a picture in the photo booth together :) So we did just that.
So adorable :)

       Day four: The last day. So bitter-sweet. So my sister and I took Zachary’s promise seriously. We were determined to get a picture with him. So we made a stop to get roses for him, and then we headed over to Nerd HQ and stayed there for the next 8 hours. YES. EIGHT HOURS! There’s not much to talk about for Sunday, but my sister, I, and friends just waited and waited for Zachary Levi to come downstairs from his panel. After waiting five hours, TADA, there he was looking more adorable than ever. My sister and I immediately rushed up to him with the roses which he was shocked about, but when he accepted them he immediately stuck them in his face taking deep long breaths. Then he said, “Wow, those smell amazing.” It was the cutest thing ever. And then he thanked us and told us how much he appreciates his support. AND THEN. He laid a hand on my shoulder and held it there for at least a good minute or two, telling us how happy he is about the support and success Nerd HQ has received and that he did this all for the community. He was so incredibly humble and down-to-earth, something I really really admire about him. And then he was interviewed for and we were standing right behind him so I’m sure we’ll be in the video. So after he was done with the interview, he told everyone (his voice nearly hanging on by a thread, such a trooper) surrounding him (and putting his hand on my shoulder once again) that he had to go upstairs for the Jared Padalecki panel but he’d try to come back downstairs to take pictures with everyone, and if he didn’t then he was so incredibly sorry and if we were to ever see him in LA or SD than his time was all ours. So he waved goodbye and headed upstairs, and during that time portion Sarah and I headed over to The Con which for a good thirty minutes. We didn’t do much, but I did come across Nicholas Brendan again. He was sitting at his autograph table and I decided to go over there (after getting over major nerves and contemplating if I should go up to him or not) and I told him how much I enjoyed meeting him at Comic Con this year and that I hope he had a good time. And then he gave me a huge hug and thanked me, asking if I had a good time and I said yes, and that he was actually one of my favorite people I’ve met at the Con thus far. After saying one last good bye Sarah and I headed back to Nerds HQ where twenty minutes after we arrived, Zachary came back down and promised us he would take a picture with all of us, and sure enough, he kept his word. So incredibly sweet and when I asked him for one last hug, I got it.

One of the nicest guys I have ever met <3
              And this concludes my San Diego Comic-Con 2011 experience. It was an amazing time for me and I couldn’t be happier and more grateful for everything I got to do and everyone I got to meet. I look forward to attending Comic-Con 2012, but for now, I’ll continue to look back on these past four wonderful days in hopes that next year will be just as good, if not better.