The Comyn Space

anything but common

‘Single Gal’ Pasta with Sausage and Kale ~ Fast Dinner for One — July 1, 2015

‘Single Gal’ Pasta with Sausage and Kale ~ Fast Dinner for One

single gal pasta with sausage and kale ~

M closes a couple days a week and while I would love to eat pizza rolls every time that happens, that isn’t sustainable. This is one of my favorite ‘single gal dinner’s that comes together very quickly and is relatively healthy.

single gal pasta with sausage and kale ~

You’ll Need:
1 frozen sausage patty
1 scant cup dried pasta
1/2 cup frozen kale or spinach
1/3-1/2 cup prepared marinara

Start the water for the pasta over high heat. Heat a skillet over medium high heat and add a teaspoon of oil. Add the frozen sausage patty and cook, turning frequently to break it into pieces. By this point, it’s usually time to add the pasta to the boiling water. Then add in the frozen kale and marinara sauce. Stir together with the sausage and let cook – warming the kale through. Drain the pasta, reserving a few tablespoons of pasta water. Add the pasta to the sauce and toss to coat. Add the pasta water to the sauce, a few teaspoons at a time, if it needs to be loosen up. Season to taste with ground black pepper or red pepper flakes! Top with parm or your cheese of choice!

Weekend Recap / What We Ate June 22-28 — June 29, 2015

Weekend Recap / What We Ate June 22-28

Friday night, I worked on some sewing projects. I fixed two dresses and made four eye masks. They turned out super cute! Not sure why, but I find myself putting off the smaller sewing projects but it always feels so awesome to get them done! Definitely need to sew more!

Saturday morning I went hiking with a friend and her two kids at Highbanks (gah! still need to write up this park!). We also hit the Nature Center – I have to say, it is super fun to see nature thru a two year’s old eyes. I had a blast ~ hopefully we’ll be able to do it again! Afterwards, I went to my parents house to help remove finishing nails and screws from about 25 linear feet of fence. Saturday night, I met M at the mall and we were going to go to a movie but ended up at Target and then headed home to cook dinner. We ended up playing board games (Ticket to Ride and Forbidden Desert).

Sunday morning we slept in because M was off! Woohoo! M made scrambled eggs and then we headed out to Lowe’s to touch all the fancy appliances and dream of owning a home/redoing a kitchen one day. I also did a little shopping at H&M before our matinee of Avengers: Age of Ultron. I really enjoyed this movie and am glad we saw it on the big screen! We then hit up the grocery store as I’ve started prepping for this upcoming girls weekend. We spent the rest of the evening playing Rivals for Catan and grilling out. There may have come been some cocktail tasting too :) All in all, a very very chill weekend.

the giant of catan

Monday 6/22 – fake out take out wildfire chicken salads
Tuesday 6/23 – homemade pizza
Wednesday 6/24 – M closed, I mooched off my parents :)
Thursday 6/25 – turkey tacos
Friday 6/26 – baked fish with roasted turnips and braised kale
Saturday 6/27 – steak fajitas
Sunday 6/28 – grilled chicken with broccoli and grilled pineapple

Chinese 5 Spice Shortbread Cookie with Candied Orange — June 26, 2015

Chinese 5 Spice Shortbread Cookie with Candied Orange

Another attempt to use up that dang jar of Chinese 5 Spice

chinese 5 spice shortbread cookies  ~

You’ll Need:
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg, separated
1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
zest of two mandarin oranges (about 2 teaspoons)
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Powdered sugar for rolling out the dough
Muscavado sugar for sprinkling on the cookies
roughly 24 slices of candied mandarin oranges (see recipe below)

chinese 5 spice shortbread cookies  ~

In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or with a hand mixer, cream the butter for about 2-3 minutes. Add the sugar and continue creaming another 3-4 minutes. Mix in the egg yolk (reserve the white), five-spice, vanilla, and zest until thoroughly combined. Scrape down the sides as needed while mixing.

Whisk together the flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking powder in a small bowl. With the mixer on low speed, mix the flour into the butter mixture. Scrape down the sides occasionally and mix just until the dough comes together and the flour is incorporated.

Press the dough into a disk and wrap with plastic. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Heat the oven to 325°F and line two baking sheets with parchment.

Dust the work surface with powdered sugar and lay the disk of dough on top. Sprinkle more powdered sugar on top and rub some into the rolling pin. Roll the dough out to about 1/4″ thick. Cut the dough into circles.

Transfer all the cookies to the baking sheets and place them about an inch apart. Brush the surface of the cookies with a thin layer of egg white and place one candied orange in the middle of each cookie.

Bake one sheet of cookies at a time for 18-20 minutes, until the edges start turning golden. Remove from oven and allow the cookies to cool for 10 minutes on the cookie sheet before transferring them to a cooling rack. Repeat with the remaining sheets of cookies.

Eat immediately or store between wax paper in an airtight container.

For the candied oranges:
Slice 3 to 4 mandarian oranges about 1/8 in thick. Bring 3/4 cup water and 1 cup white sugar to a boil. Add oranges and reduce to medium. Let cook for about 10 minutes, stirring to ensure all the oranges are submerged. Take off heat and let stand 10 minutes in the hot liquid before removing to a wire rack over a rimmed cookie sheet to cool completely.

Weekend Recap / What We Ate June 15-22 — June 24, 2015

Weekend Recap / What We Ate June 15-22

Friday night, I went for a nice long walk around Sharon Woods. That paved four mile loop is such an awesome thing as it’s been so rainy here ~ everywhere else is super soggy.

superb moon ~

Saturday was going to be a day of hiking with Lexi the Wonder Dog but it was pouring down the rain all day long so instead, I met my sister for a coffee at our favorite local coffee shop, Crimson Cup. We then did a little shopping at the computer store (her), Marshall’s for luggage (me) and the pet store (both of us). Her other dog, Levi recently had knee surgery so I got to ‘play’ with him, meaning turning him in a circus seal by using treats to convince him to stretch. When M got off, we grabbed drinks and an appetizers at our favorite local pub and then came to try to take a picture of the ‘Superb Moon’. I didn’t know that was a Thing but the power of Google is strong. In case you don’t know either, a Superb Moon is when the Moon, Jupiter (the highest bright light in the above picture, in the middle) and Venus (the larger thing that looks like a star, towards the left) are in a line. Regulas also makes an appearance but it was too cloudy in Columbus to see him. This is a fairly common astrological event – happening about once a year in the western sky.

Sunday was Father’s Day! We slept in and then headed over to Pickerington Ponds for a good long walk. We had intended on hiking but because it was a wetland – all the paths were either paved or crushed gravel to reduce the impact on the wetlands. Totally makes sense but less strenuous! Afterwards, we headed over to my folks house to help seal the pool deck. My mom made steaks for Father’s Day and after dinner, I helped my sister purge her closet. I most certainly enjoyed the process 10 times more than she did :)

Monday 6/15 – at my parents
Tuesday 6/16 – chicken salad salad
Wednesday 6/17 – grilled chicken with braised swiss chard
Thursday 6/18 – vietnamese caramelized pork
Friday 6/19 – pasta with sausage sauce
Saturday 6/20 – Old Bag of Nails
Sunday 6/21 – steaks for Father’s Day at my parents

Weekend Recap / What We Ate June 8-14 — June 18, 2015

Weekend Recap / What We Ate June 8-14

 Ohio sweet corn, on the grill

Friday night we got Mexican and caught up on a very busy week of M closing all week and then packed up for my family reunion the following day. I grilled up a big batch of corn for a corn and tomato salad for the reunion.

2015 Sech Reunion131 2015 Sech Reunion133

Saturday morning, we headed over to my folk’s house to grab Lexi the Wonder Dog and caravan down to the family farm with my sister. My uncle owns the farm that my great grandfather farmed (so – his grandfather). There were about 40 or so of us there for a lunch time potluck. Most of went up to the overlook (some on foot-I had the ticks to prove it and some in a Jeep – smarties!). It was a great day of catching up and remembering I can’t wait to do it again next year! My parents, sister and uncle also camped out. The stars and the fireflies were such a sight to see.

art festival selfies


the lemon shake up, the true barometer of summer

Sunday morning, we were all up with sun and we headed back up north. We unpacked, showered quickly and then headed to the Columbus Arts Festival. It was SO overwhelming! M and I have been to the one in Lakeview in Chicago several times but this was easy three times the size. We did end up purchasing two prints and lots of fair food ~ lemon shake ups for the win! Afterwards, we headed over to my folks to hang out and swim in the pool. It almost felt like two full weekends we were able to pack in so much in just 48 hours! I cannot wait until M is off regularly on Saturday and Sundays!

making s’mores inside since we forgot while camping

Monday 6/8 – gnocchi
Tuesday 6/9 – dinner out with some girlfriends
Wednesday 6/10 – salads
Thursday 6/11 – pizza rolls and oven fries
Friday 6/12 – Rancho Alegre
Saturday 6/13 – family reunion potluck
Sunday 6/14 – pizza

summer’s here — June 12, 2015
Two-bite Cheddar Biscuits — June 11, 2015

Two-bite Cheddar Biscuits

2 bite cheddar biscuits ~

You’ll Need:
2 cups flour
2 1/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
6 tbsp cold butter, cubed into 1/4 to 1/3 in cubes
3/4 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

2 bite cheddar biscuits ~

You’ll: Preheat the oven to 425.

Whisk together the dry ingredients. Using a pastry cutter, knead in the butter. It should look like coarse crumbs or lumpy sand. Mix in buttermilk and cheese, until just combined. With a floured hand, knead the dough together until it holds together.

Turn out on a floured surface and press until it’s about an inch thick. Using a 1 inch biscuit cutter, cut out your biscuits (you should get about two dozen total). Transfer to a baking sheet, pat remaining together and cut more biscuits until you’ve used up the dough.

Bake for about 10 minutes, routing the pans halfway through the cooking time. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Weekend Recap / What We Ate June 1-7 — June 9, 2015

Weekend Recap / What We Ate June 1-7

I was traveling for work this week so no real meal planning happening here. Friday night was deep dish with two of my best girlfriends from college/study abroad. We ended up at the Barn, which was filming some sort of reality show – which was a trip to see. I saw the ‘cast’ standing with their mics under the air dryer, discussing something and dumping their drinks down the sink. Just a little reality in your reality TV!

Saturday, I headed up to Lincoln Square and toured out my favorite bookstore, The Book Cellar for a little while. I then met up with my friend G and her hubby and a bunch of their friends for a late lunch at Big Star, followed by ice cream at Jeni’s. Yes, I did go all the way to Chicago for Jeni’s :) I had a late flight out and M picked my up Saturday night.

Sunday is for donuts! We went to Buckeye Donuts and then walked around Inniswood Gardens Metro Parks before the usual grocery store run. Our building’s pool is finally up and running so we did a few laps and laid out and enjoyed the sunshine.

Monday 6/1 – tacos
Tuesday 6/2 – baked fish with roasted veg
Wednesday 6/3 – Saturday 6/6 – traveling
Sunday 6/7 – daahl bhat (curried lentils, barley and rice)

Weekend Recap / What We Ate 25 – 31 — June 2, 2015

Weekend Recap / What We Ate 25 – 31

Friday night M was really craving some wings so we headed over to Roosters and just hung out / tried to avoid watching the fight on TV. Saturday I headed over to my folks bright and early to help my mom stain boards for part of their new addition. It took nearly all day but it was a good project ~ glad I could help! When M got off work, we grilled out and then headed over to Westerville Mini golf. It was such a blast! They run a lot of specials and I’m sure we’ll be back before the summer is over.

Sunday we went to the Columbus Musuem of Art and then headed to a BBQ with M’s coworkers. It was fun but somehow the weather missed the memo it was the last day of MAY because it in the 50s!

playing with perspective at one of the interactive phone stations (there’s a dock for your phone to take these forced perspective pics – really well done!)

Monday 5/25 – baked fish with green beans and quinoa
Tuesday 5/26 – grilled chicken and corn on the cob
Wednesday 5/27 – homemade pizza
Thursday 5/28 – tortellini with green beans
Friday 5/29 – Roaster’s
Saturday 5/30 – hot dogs with steamed broccoli
Sunday 5/31 – BBQ w/M’s coworkers

What I Read: May ’15 — June 1, 2015

What I Read: May ’15

Beloved by Toni Morrison: I’m slowly trying to close a few gaping holes I’ve got in the American Canon and this is one. I found Morrison’s narrative a bit difficult to follow with the shifting narrators and perspectives but I really fall for Denver. I wish I had read this in high school to have a larger group of people to discuss this with.

Ripper by Isabel Allende: I will always read everything Allende writes but I have to attempt I don’t think this was her best work. I was excited to see her try a new genre but felt her suspense feel a bit short – I could see who the villain was nearly 100 pages before the end. Set in her beloved San Fransicso, Ripper follows a young Amanda, her grandpa and an online cohort dedicated to solving crimes that start to hit a little too close to home.

and because life is too short to read bad books, I put down Summer of the Bear by Bella Pollen this month – it just wasn’t doing it for me.

What I Watched; Paddingon, The Prize Winner of Defiance OH, The BoxTrolls, Finding Neverland, Mad Max: Fury Road, Hot Pursuit, Legally Blonde, Three Kids


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