Archives for January 2015

How To Make Pasta FAST!

The other day on Facebook, I ran across this video showing how to make pasta fast by cooking it in a frying pan. I thought it sounded too good to be true, so I tried it. And it worked! I was so excited to find an easier way to make pasta fast and also save time waiting for water to boil. I am so excited that I thought I’d share it with you!

Now you can make pasta in half the time using half the water! This how to make pasta fast tip is definitely one to share! Also includes a pasta salad recipe.

How To Make Pasta Fast!

 

1. Pour the pasta you want to cook into a large pan.

Now you can make pasta in half the time using half the water! This how to make pasta fast tip is definitely one to share! Also includes a pasta salad recipe.

 

2. Add cold water. I put about an in inch and a half of water in. I believe the guy in the video says about a quart. You’ll want to add salt here, too. A lot of salt. It’s the only flavor that the pasta gets.

Now you can make pasta in half the time using half the water! This how to make pasta fast tip is definitely one to share! Also includes a pasta salad recipe.

 

3. Turn on the heat to medium high. It doesn’t take but a couple of minutes for the water to boil, then cook as directed on the pasta’s package.

Now you can make pasta in half the time using half the water! This how to make pasta fast tip is definitely one to share! Also includes a pasta salad recipe.

 

4. Drain, and you’ve got perfectly cooked pasta!

pasta

 

And in the time it normally takes for a big old pot of water to boil, and then for the pasta to cook, I made my favorite salad!

salad

So yes, this trick to make pasta fast really works! I can’t believe I didn’t know this trick before! And if my salad looks yummy, here is the recipe for my Arugula Pasta Salad. My Italian Sausage and Penne Bake is always a hit, as is this Chicken Casserole With Veggies, Pasta, and Cheese. For even more pasta recipes, check out my Pasta board on Pinterest.

Funny Things Only Parents Say

If you really think about it, as parents we say some pretty funny things that people who don’t have kids would think just sound crazy. We utter words that they would never in a million years say. Things that don’t even make sense to people without kids. So I present to you my list of funny things only parents say. I actually said each and every one of these things over the last week. And some of these things wouldn’t even make sense to non-parents. But to those of you with kids, I’ll bet you’ll get a kick out of this. I’m leaving names out to protect the innocent.

Funny Things Only Parents Say
Yes, I actually said each of these things this past week

Sharing My Story About Depression on Mamalode

 

I am very excited…I pitched my depression story to Mamalode, and they accepted it! I am both humbled and honored to have a piece published there, especially such an important one. Please head over and read my story about depression on Mamalode. And if you can relate to it or know someone it may help, I’d love for you to share it with others too!

If you are visiting after reading about my depression on Mamalode, hello and thank you for stopping by!

2_NT_LivingwithDepression_Hauge

I’ve shared my battle with depression here several times. And no matter how hard it is for me to hit “Publish”, I’ve never once regretted doing it. Because someone always comments or reaches out that it helped them…and that is why I share my story.

If you battle depression and would like to share your story on my blog, I’d be happy to give you the opportunity to do it. Just drop me a line at nataliedhoage@gmail.com or leave me a comment.

Thanks again for reading my story about depression on Mamalode. I’m humbled that my words help so many, and also feel privileged to help.

How To Avoid The Flu

I know…that title is kind of funny because it’s almost impossible to avoid getting sick during the winter months! But there are ways to cut down the chances of getting the flu. And I am going to give you some tips that you can use for the kids – and for yourself – on how to avoid the flu.

The CDC recently reported that the flu is reaching epidemic levels a bit earlier than usual this season, and is now widespread in 43 states. Influenza, more commonly known as the flu, makes you feel miserable. The flu viruses live in human respiratory droplets and you can get the virus both through the air and on surfaces that have been touched by people who have the flu. These viruses can live outside the human body for up to 48 hours. Gross! Symptoms include  fever, headache, body ache, fatigue, cough, runny nose and sore throat. 

There are ways that you can avoid the flu! These tips will narrow your chances of getting sick this flu season.

5 Tips To Avoid the Flu

If the flu hasn't made it's way to your house yet, you are lucky! There are ways you can avoid the flu. This post explains what the flu is, symptoms, and how to steer clear of it.

Wash your hands. A lot. And don’t touch anything (only kind of kidding)

When you go to the grocery store, or any store where there are shopping carts, make sure to clean the shopping cart handles with disinfectant wipes before you touch them. This is also true for anything you touch in public places: the gas handle when pumping gas, opening doors, money…just about everything you touch is fair game. Now you can’t run around with wipes or wearing gloves everywhere, but once you are back in the car you can use wipes or antibacterial gel to clean your hands. And when you get home, wash them really good!

And if you use a fabric shopping-cart cover to protect your little ones from touching shopping carts, know that germs can survive longer in fabric than on the cart’s plastic handle. Make sure to wash the cover regularly. 

Beware of the playground

Not just the park, but any place the kids play. I read somewhere that jungle gyms are more germ-infested than public bathrooms. Blech! While yucky to think about, it makes sense; bathrooms are cleaned regularly but playground equipment is never cleaned.

Teach your children not to touch their mouths, noses, or eyes at the playground. Easier said than done, I know. Before leaving the park, make sure to use antibacterial hand gel on everybody’s hands and to wash them thoroughly when you get home.

Avoid sickos

If you know somebody is sick, try to avoid being around them. Impossible for the kids at school, but you gotta do what you can at home. And remember, people are most contagious when they are running a fever. So if your little one has a fever, try to keep him or her away from other kids.

Teach the kids how to cough and sneeze 

Teach your kids to sneeze and cough into the crook of their arm instead of just coughing or sneezing into the hands or the air. If your kids have runny noses, use tissues to clean up and then wash hands.

Get a flu vaccine

You can easily avoid the flu simply by getting a flu shot. While they aren’t 100% effective, they are definitely a big help in narrowing your chances of getting the flu.

If the flu hasn't made it's way to your house yet, you are lucky! There are ways you can avoid the flu. This post explains what the flu is, symptoms, and how to steer clear of it.

Okay, now let’s say that the kids get the flu. How do you care for them? First off, make sure to follow safe and proper dosing of over the counter medicines. I have 10 tips for to help here. ALWAYS read the drug facts label and never give oral cough/cold meds to kids under the age of four. Give them lots of love and snuggles, and chicken soup. For more tips and tricks for dealing with sick kids, I love these tips from real moms.

For more information on how to avoid the flu, symptoms, and what to do if you get the flu, you can read all about it at OTCSafety.org.

How do you avoid the flu during the cold and flu season?

Disclaimer: I’m being compensated as an OTCSafety Blogger, though all thoughts, opinions, and suggestions expressed here are my own. Keep up-to-date on OTCSafety information by visiting the OTCSafety website  and by following them on Pinterest.

Jungle gym image via Flickr: Cosmic Kitty

Pesto Salad Dressing (Copycat Recipe for Old Spaghetti Factory’s Creamy Pesto Dressing)

Not gonna lie…this salad dressing is A-MAZ-ING. Once again, I’m sharing one of my sister Angie’s recipes. What can I say? The girl can cook. This recipe is for pesto salad dressing, and it’s a copycat recipe of Old Spaghetti Factory’s Creamy Pesto Dressing. I think this recipe actually is better than the original!

If you are looking for an amazing pesto salad dressing recipe, you've just found it! This recipe is a copycat recipe for Old Spaghetti Factory's Creamy Pesto Dressing. It's easy to make, versatile, and delicious!

This pesto salad dressing is simple to make, can be made far in advance, and will stay good in the fridge for more than a week. Not that you’ll have any of this pesto salad dressing left, but if you did, it would keep.

Pesto Salad Dressing

(Copycat Recipe for Old Spaghetti Factory’s Creamy Pesto Dressing)

Foodie Friday: Pesto Salad Dressing (Copycat Recipe for Old Spaghetti Factory's Creamy Pesto Dressing)
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Recipe Image

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 4 tablespoons grated Romano cheese
  • 2 tablespoons crushed dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 clove garlic, minced

Instructions

  1. Whisk together oil and mayonnaise. Add buttermilk, cheese, basil, salt & garlic. Mix thoroughly. Cover and let flavors combine overnight in refrigerator.
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http://mommyofamonster.com/pesto-salad-dressing/

Almost too easy to make right?! And this pesto salad dressing can be served with more than just a salad. Use it as a sandwich spread (I’ve got some more yummy sandwich spreads here). Use it as a dip for chips or nuggets. Mix it in to chicken or egg salad in place of the mayo. Spread it on a hamburger bun. It’s super versatile and it’s so good that you’ll want to eat it with everything!

If you are looking for an amazing pesto salad dressing recipe, you've just found it! This recipe is a copycat recipe for Old Spaghetti Factory's Creamy Pesto Dressing. It's easy to make, versatile, and delicious!

If this pesto salad dressing sounds yummy, you should see some of Angie’s other recipes! You can find more of Angie’s recipes here and more sandwich, soup, and salad recipes here. Want even more salad recipes? Check out my board Salads on Pinterest.

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Would you like to get a recipe featured at Mommy of a Monster? Find how how to do it here.