Snow Day Cooking: Pasta with Lentils

Today it’s another snowy day, something that is unusual in my part of the world.   We get snow a bit in the winter, but I’ve never seen this much or had it last for this long.  I cook differently in cold weather than I do in the summer and today decided to make one of my favorite winter-weather recipes for lunch:  Pasta with lentils.  This is easy, fairly quick, and always warms me up. It’s also made out of ingredients that I pretty much always have on hand.

Here’s the recipe:

Pasta with Lentils 

1/3 cup lentils 

2 -1/3 cups water

3 Tbsp olive oil

1 onion (chopped)

2  carrots (diced- usually 1-1/2 to 2 cups worth)

1 tsp. Italian seasoning

1 tsp. salt

½ tsp. black pepper

½ cup orzo pasta (measured dry, before cooking)

 

Bring water and lentils to a boil.  Cover and reduce heat to a simmer.  Cook for 15 minutes. 

While lentils are cooking, cut up onion and carrot.  Heat olive oil over medium heat and add onions.  Cook for a few minutes and add carrots, stirring occasionally (and actually, I usually start cooking the onions while I’m cutting up the carrots).  When lentils are done cooking, add them and all of the cooking water to the onions and carrots.  

Rinse out the lentil pan and fill with water to cook pasta. When water is boiling, add pasta, reduce heat a bit and cook for 10 minutes.

While waiting for the pasta water to boil, add Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper to lentil mixture.  Reduce heat to low while pasta is cooking. 

Drain pasta and add to lentil mixture.  Cook together for a couple of minutes.  This makes about 4 servings.  

I usually serve this with grated cheese, but it’s good without it, too.  It also reheats well.  This is one of my very favorite winter lunches.  

Advertisements

Snow Day Paper Crafting

I love all sorts of star shapes, and a few days ago, I saw a pattern for some large paper stars on another blog.  They are similar to some stars that I’ve seen in a local shop, and I’ve always intended to try to make some to hang in my front window.  Someday, I’m still going to, but today I decided to make a smaller version of them.  

First, I found the original pattern here:

http://thisrecycledlife.wordpress.com/2008/12/17/decorating-for-the-season/

After downloading the pdf, I decided that I’d like to start with making a smaller version.  There are lots of ways to reduce patterns, but in this case, I used a setting on my printer.  By choosing “properties” and then “paper” I was able to choose an option that says “9 in 1” that will prints nine pages in miniature form on one page.    This basically makes a 1/9 size pattern.  There are also other options, such as “1 in 2” and “1 in 4” that reduce page sizes as well.  I’m sure that other printers offer similar options.  I printed this on cardstock, which made a great pattern for tracing onto my paper.  

The paper I used for this project was some that I’d purchased  with a larger project in mind.  Unfortunately, my cat helped make it unusable for my original purpose by running across it with muddy feet, so now I am just working around the muddy spots and using it for smaller projects :).  For gluing this, I used YES! paste, which I really like for a lot of paper carfting.  It stays where it’s put, is workable for a longer time than some other glues, but also holds well as soon as you stick it together.  A tub of this will last for a very, very long time- I’ve had mine for a few years, I think.  I applied it with a smallish paint brush.  Here’s a picture of  it if you haven’t seen it before- it’s a very useful glue to keep around:

yespaste1

 

And finally, here is my finished product:

Rather than tying it together as the pattern mentioned, I just glued all of it together.  I also cut out a spiral from the paper I used to glue on the center because I like spirals and I thought it needed a little something else in the middle.  For hanging, I poked a hole in one of the star’s rays with a needle and threaded ribbon through.  I love my new ornament!.