Wednesday, September 10, 2014

It's 25 Degrees Cooler in Alaska Right Now

During my last week of summer, my family and I went on an Alaskan cruise. I found myself frequently closing my eyes, trying to imprint the feeling of 60 degree weather on my face, knowing that I would be returning to 90+ degree heat in Greenville.

The whole time we were there, my family and I kept marveling at the fact that we were still in the same country we were in just days before in Florida.

The glacier we climbed in Skagway. We had those spiky things on our feet and everything, so it was official.
Our stops included Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan, Victoria, BC, and a trip down Tracy Arm Fjord. We hiked a glacier, went whale watching, drank more than a few pints in Canada, and generally gallivanted around the cruise ship.

Glacier we hiked again. We refilled our water bottles from it :)

 Me + brothers in front of Mendenhall glacier. I couldn't get over how pretty the blue ice was, almost too brilliant to be real.

 More brilliant, too-good-to-be-true colors

 Pretty houses by the docks

Wet, foggy days in Ketchikan are still lovely.
It was So. Much. Fun. I don't get to spend time with my family nearly enough, so a week with my (not-so) baby brothers and parents was so needed. What a great way to end a whirlwind summer. Cheers, Summer 2014, you were really something; now if you could get out of the way and let Autumn through, we're all a little tired of being sweaty all the time.


Monday, September 8, 2014

Sunday Night Dinner for One ((Baked Ravioli))

Hello there! Whew! The first two weeks of school really got away from me...pretty much just focusing on getting used to waking up to an alarm clock again (insert crying/wailing emoji here).

I don't live at home with my parents anymore, but it is still nice to have a warm home-cooked worthy-of-a-Sunday tasting meal every once in a while. I love to cook and don't mind spending some extra time on a meal if it'll make it that much better, but this recipe for baked ravioli is about as easy as it gets!

I only made a few changes to this recipe to make a perfect and comforting meal for one on the last night of the weekend.

 Some of the things you'll need...minus the ravioli. I used spinach and bacon ravioli I got from the farmer's market...yum!

Layers of comfort. As with most situations in life, fresh mozzarella is a must.

 This kitchen timer makes cooking seem that much more adorable. Mine's from Anthropologie and is sold out, but you can find a similar one here.

Of course, Gatsby needed to test the cheese to make sure it was still good to eat.

Baked Ravioli for One (adapted from Tasty Kitchen)

-Frozen Ravioli (one serving; the ones I got from the farmer's market get quite big, so I used four total)
-Fresh Mozzarella
-Jarred Marinara Sauce (I used Trader Joe's Arrabiata)
-Your Choice of Seasonings (I used red pepper flakes, oregano, and basil)

1. Preheat oven to 400. Spray a small pan (I used a loaf pan) with non-stick spray.
2. Spoon enough sauce to cover the bottom of the pan.
3. Layer ravioli, sauce, and bits of mozzarella twice and cover the pan with aluminum foil.
4. Bake covered for 30 minutes and uncovered for 15 minutes. Feel free to broil for a few minutes to get the cheese to brown a bit.
5. If you're like me, dump the whole thing in a bowl and eat it on the couch like a heathen. If you're not like me, place half neatly on a plate and garnish with parsley before enjoying it with a glass of pinot noir at a table like a civilized human being. Go back for seconds, of course.

While this is obviously a great Sunday comfort meal, you can definitely enjoy this as a reward for getting through an especially taxing Monday.