Archive for the ‘Pasta’ Category

Noodles & Company Whole Grain Tuscan Linguine + Giveaway!

Pasta + Healthy. Yes, there is such a thing. At our Noodles & Company tasting a few weeks ago, we tried some of their new menu items, including some of their healthful salads. But if you’re looking for something that won’t break the calorie bank, you have more options that just soup and salad. Their Whole Grain Tuscan Linguine has less than 500 calories per serving.

Here is the EXACT recipe for the Tuscan Linguine they serve in their restaurants. Feel free to add additional vegetables as you wish (like broccoli) for added nutrition.

 

Giveaway!

If you thought restaurant secrets were enough, I have another surprise for you. Noodles & Co. has offered to give 1 lucky She’s on the Run reader 2 vouchers for FREE Noodles/Salad/Soup — whatever you want! All you have to do to enter is leave a comment telling me what you’d order (may I suggest their Japanese Pan Noodles? This is my new fav). I’ll choose a winner on Sunday, April 14, 2013.

Good Luck!

 

Disclaimer: Noodles & Co. gave me 2 vouchers for my review. I was not given the product in exchange for a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Noodles & Company Tasting

If you haven’t been to Noodles & Company in awhile, you may not recognize the place. On Saturday, Brittney invited us to an exclusive VIP tasting. Her husband Ryan won it after putting his business card in the fish bowl (and yes, you can win with those things. I won 10 burritos once from Chipotle — lucky me!). They have TONS of new offerings on their menu, which we happily gobbled up and critiqued.

In college, Brenton and I went to Noodles All. The. Time. My favorite dish was their mushroom stroganoff, which they have now “upgraded” to steak stroganoff. I much prefer just the mushroons, and I’m so sad they changed it! Other than that, everything was delicious.

We started off the night with an array of appetizers, such as edamame, Chinese chop salad, the med salad and cheesy garlic bread (which our table gushed over). The first pasta course was even better.

That plate of goodness on the bottom is one of their new menu items, pulled pork mac and cheese. It sounds so wrong, but it was a definitely one of the top favorites of the night. We also tried the penne rosa with shrimp (middle – Brenton’s favorite). The plate on top is the steak stroganoff.

Ryan kept saying how great the pad thai was, so we requested that as part of “Pasta Round 2.”

I’ve made Asian noodles with peanut sauce before but I’ve never had pad thai (what kind of a food blogger am I!?). I felt like such a rookie asking Ryan what type of noodles they were. “Pad thai noodles,” he said. Um, Duh! I liked the Japanese pan noodles even more (bottom) with Parmesan-crusted chicken. I will definitely be ordering that the next time I visit Noodles.

Brenton and I kept saying how cool the whole event was (even two days later). Noodles & Company is definitely one of my favorite fast food restaurants, and I’m so glad we got to try some of their new (and old) favorites.

Stay tuned for another Noodles post in the next week (and a giveaway!).

Question: If you could have a VIP tasting at any restaurant, which would you choose? Brittney mentioned Panera, which I wholeheartedly agree with….that or Pastiche :)

Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Gnocchi

Today is a 3-cup day. Of coffee, that is. I was glued to the election coverage last night despite my usual 9:30 bedtime. And yes, I’m aware that this confession makes me sound incredibly lame. But as someone who needs 8 hours just to function and who normally wakes up at 5:34 to hit the gym (yes, those extra 4 minutes are very important), I don’t have any other choice.

Although eating enough fruits and veggies and working out are extremely important, sleep counts just as much. Even despite the health benefits, I love sleeping. My parents never had to force me to go to bed s a kid. I happily obliged.

So now I’m yawning through the morning and thinking about the fun activities happening after work tonight. A few of us co-workers, past and present, are meeting to discuss Emily Giffin’s “Where We Belong.”

We’re also ordering Topper’s Pizza, which is one of my favorite takeout pizzas. It’s right up there with Pizza Hut’s Stuffed Crust Pizza, which I haven’t been able to eat in years because Brenton doesn’t like it and there isn’t a Pizza Hut nearby.

Speaking of good food, it seems like we’ve been eating our weight in squash lately. I sill have a bunch of acorn and spaghetti squash to use up because we’ve been chipping away at our butternut squash stash (with Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese, Butternut Squash Chipotle Soup and Roasted Butternut Squash Salad – recipe to come!). Our latest creation is a one-pot meal that uses squash, spinach, goat cheese, bacon and gnocchi.

I only discovered gnocchi about 2 years ago and it’s one of my favorite things to make. Gnocchi with White Beans was one of the best meals I made last year.

 

I love how versatile gnocchi is. It plays well with so many ingredients, whether it be tomatoes or cheese. When I have more time, I’d love to make this stuff from scratch a la Carol or Brigitt.

 

Question: What are your favorite things to do with squash? Links welcome!

And don’t forget! You still have until Monday, November 12 to enter my Pasta Shoppe Giveaway! I’m giving away 3 holiday gift sets so get those entries in!

The Pasta Shoppe Giveaway!

I am a sucker for cute things — whether it’s swimming puppies, buttons or babies. There is a reason why I never liked plain old mac and cheese. For some reason, the Rugrats or Spongebob shapes always tasted better.

Speaking of pasta, and pasta shapes in particular, there is a company that is so cute that I couldn’t help shouting it from the rooftops.

I recently discovered The Pasta Shoppe through a fundraising effort at my work (you can learn more about their fundraising program here). No matter what you are into or what hobbies you have, there is a pasta just for you.

Their Girlfriend Pasta is one of my favorites. It has tiny purses, shoes and cell phones. How cute is that!? I immediately thought of my BFF Hillary and how she would love this. If only they would have added a tube of chapstick, it would be like revisiting high school all over again.

So I was beyond thrilled when the Pasta Shoppe sent me a bag of goodies. Included was a package of their Spinach Basil Garlic Angel Hair Pasta, Dog Lovers Pasta, Gobble Gobble Pasta, Wisconsin Badgers Pasta and Wintertime Chili.

I thought it was really sweet that The Pasta Shoppe gave me pastas that meshed with my life – like the Dog Lovers for Oliver and Wisconsin Badgers because I live in Wisconsin. I definitely feel that giving someone a personal gift like this would make them feel just as special.

To test out our pasta, I used this recipe for Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese with the Gobble Gobble pasta, which seemed fitting because Thanksgiving is only a few weeks away.

As you can see, the pasta was every bit as delicious as it looks.

To use my other pastas, I will definitely make a pasta salad so I can see the shapes more (like my Cleaning Out The Fridge Pasta Salad or in a chicken noodle or minestrone soup).

Giveaway!

Since the folks at The Pasta Shoppe are into spreading the love, they are giving 3 She’s on the Run readers a holiday gift box of pastas!* To enter, visit The Pasta Shoppe’s website and let me know which pasta you’d most want to try.

For an extra entry ***Make sure you leave an extra comment telling me you have done any of the following:

2. Tweet about the giveaway: @Shesontherun has an awesome pasta Giveaway! http://shesontherun.com/?p=3123

3. Follow me on Twitter @Shesontherun

4. Follow The Pasta Shoppe on Facebook and leave a comment on their page saying She’s on the Run sent you!

5. Follow me on Facebook

6. Follow me on Pinterest

That’s 6 chances to enter! I’ll be choosing 3 WINNERS on Monday, November 12, 2012. Good luck!

* Open to U.S. Residents Only

Disclaimer: The Pasta Shoppe  has given me this product to review. I was not given the product in exchange for a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Happy Father’s Day!

To all the dads out there, happy Father’s Day! I had an article about children who followed in their dad’s culinary footsteps published in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel today to celebrate the holiday. On the cover is Michael Engel and his three sons of Pastiche in Bay View. (You can read their story here). For the entire five sections, visit JSOnline’s Food section.

I know I’ve been slightly MIA for most of the week. I was actually in Minneapolis Wednesday and Thursday for work. I’d love to get back up there to visit and see the city more – especially St. Louis Park (I saw they had a Lululemon and I pretty much squealed).

Last night, my mom, sister and baby Tristan came over for dinner. Me and my sis left for a bit to see “What to Expect When You’re Expecting.” I LOVED it! I’m so embarrassed to admit, but I actually cried about 3 times during the movie. I wasn’t expecting so many emotional parts.

When we got home, we made homemade pizzas (the sourdough pizza crust is our go-to recipe from King Arthur flour). Toppings included pepperoni (it said Wisconsin Quality on the package, but it was actually manufactured in Kansas!), green peppers, onions, kalamata olives, Mozzarella cheese and Asiago. On the side, we dolled up a Suddenly Salad pasta salad with peas, kalamata olives and bacon bits. The meal deserved a gold star for sure.

Nuts About Granola Product Review

This morning before my 6-mile run, I tried out my Nuts About Granola sample. They have a ton of flavors, but I was happy to receive their Peanut Butter Granola to try. It may go without saying, but this granola tastes homemade (and has a similar texture to my Apple Butter Granola). I’ve tried other commercial brands and some flavors just taste…off. This stuff tastes like I made it myself, fresh, simple, tasty.

I also love the very distinct peanut butter flavor. I can see myself sprinkling it over waffles or pancakes (in addition to yogurt). As far as ingredients go, everything is natural: whole oats, peanuts, brown sugar, honey, natural peanut butter, canola oil, organic wheat bran, cinnamon and natural sea salt. You can buy Nuts About Granola products at these locations or online.

Disclaimer: Nuts About Granola has given me this product to review. I was not given the product in exchange for a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Questions: How did you celebrate Father’s Day?

What’s the last great movie you saw? Besides “What to Expect,” Brenton and I saw “In Time” with Justin Timberlake. I saw it got some flack, but we really liked it.

Recycling Candles

Is it just me, or is anyone else pinching themselves that it’s April? With five weeks of work at my new job under my belt, getting adventurous in the kitchen has pretty much taken a back seat (besides the homemade pasta we made, featured in this DIY for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel).

Honestly, last night we had a Boca burger and tater tots (a revival of my college days). Tonight I actually felt like I had a real meal – a cheese steak sandwich from our local Ferch’s Malt Shoppe. My sister got sweet potato fries with her chicken wrap and I was astounded that they served them with a side of marshmallow creme (has anyone ever seen this before!?).

Speaking of things I like (marshmallows), here’s something else I love (candles). Awhile back, I recycled my coveted Yankee Candles into one custom-made creation. This is best and easiest craft project I’ve ever stumbled upon.

First, save all your empty jars. Collect at least 3-4 before attempting to make another candle.

Next, place a wick (I got mine at Michael’s) in a glass container – this is just a leftover canning jar. Tie the wick around a pencil to keep it upright.

 

Next, place  about an inch of water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Keep your old candle in the water until the wax melts.

 

Pour the wax into your new jar. But make sure you let the wax cool before you add another layer (which will keep the colors from mixing). And ta da – a brand new candle!

 

Question: What do you like recycling? My friends and I recycle clothes all the time during our clothing swaps. A super fun way to spend a night and add to your wardrobe.

Happy Anniversary, She’s on the Run!

Although it seems like just yesterday that She’s on the Run came to be, one whole year has gone by (I can’t even believe it).

But when I look at my first post, it reminds me how much has changed.

I’ve moved, switched jobs and have been through more life experiences than I’d care to admit (such as being hit by a tough economy firsthand). I’ve also had my share of good times and discovered a new passion. Take this blog for example. It combines my two great loves: cooking and writing. And it’s great to look back at all my culinary accomplishments this past year (and laugh at the ones that haven’t gone so well).

To celebrate, I’m compiling my favorite recipes.

Cookie Dough Truffles
For those of you who make chocolate chip cookies just to sneak bits of the dough, these tiny treats are for you.


Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

The most delicious way to cook with butternut squash.

Taffy Apple Salad
I’ve easily made this salad a dozen times (including a tasty batch last week). The combination of apples, pineapple and marshmallows puts me over the moon.

Potato Carrot Zucchini Pancakes
A unique twist on traditional potato pancakes.


Tater Tot Casserole

This may not be the best looking dish of the bunch, but it’s definitely the most comforting.

Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins
Shaped like a muffin but with the flavor of a doughnut…make these for a truly special breakfast.

Rhubarb Crisp
My preferred way to use up Summer’s fresh rhubarb.

Gnocchi with White Beans
This dish is easy and impressive – definitely worthy of serving to company.

My Birthday Cake
So what if I didn’t exactly make this? The carrot cake from Simma’s is the best I’ve ever had. in. my. life.

Happy Birthday, She’s on the Run! Here’s to many more!

Cheers,
Alysha

Welcome to She's on the Run! I'm Alysha, a copywriter and food writer living in Milwaukee. I live to run, write and explore wonderful food - this blog is how I find balance while constantly being on the run. Feel free to reach me at Alysha@shesontherun.com with any questions or comments.
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