Thursday, January 10, 2013

Tuscan Pasta with tomato basil cream

This recipe was so quick and easy and delicious! I will definitely be making it again! your favorite cooked pasta- I used penne 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil 4 cloves of garlic, minced 2 cups of skim milk 1 cup of chicken broth 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour 1/2 tsp. salt 1/4 tsp. black pepper 1 cup (6 oz) chopped or julienned sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained 1/2 cup grated low-fat Parmesan cheese 2 Tbsp white wine 2 medium-size fresh tomatoes, chopped OR 1 (14.5 oz) can petite diced tomatoes, full drained 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil Cook pasta according to directions.In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté until golden brown. In a small saucepan, stir together milk, chicken broth,2 Tbsp flour, salt and pepper over low heat until smooth and thick. Stir into garlic and add sun-dried tomatoes. Continue to cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until the sauce is thick. Stir in Parmesan cheese. Allow sauce to thicken up a bit then stir in wine, chopped tomatoes and 1/2 cup chopped basil. Cook over medium-low heat 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Toss with pasta and garnish with Parmesan cheese and chopped basil. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Orzo with Peas

I made this recipe this week because I needed a quick side dish to go with some tilapia. It was quick and really tasty!

1.5 c. dry orzo
1 c. frozen peas
1 small onion, choppped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp butter
1/4 c. chicken stock
(or water with bouillon)
1 c. parmesan
black pepper

Cook Orzo according to package directions, make sure to salt the water after it begins to boil. Drain. In another pan, melt butter and add onion and garlic. Cook until soft (a few minutes) Add peas, cook until peas are soft, Add chicken stock, and orzo. Stir. Remove from heat and add Parmesan and plenty of black pepper. (don't forget the pepper, I thought it made a big difference in the dish)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Mississipi mud pie

I made this recipe for a family gathering last week, and oh my....fabulous! I got it from this great cookbook from the library called "Baked Explorations". This is cookbook I may consider buying, it's great. This is not a throw together dessert, it takes some planning ahead and is best made over the course of two days. in fact, I kept telling my husband while making it. "I hope this is worth it" and it was. It fed our crowd of 8 with plenty of leftover. It's rich and chocolaty and divine! It's full of butter, chocolate, whole milk and if you are on a diet this is not for you! Don't be intimidated by the recipe, it's easy if you make it in steps!

To begin, preheat oven to 300. line 9" springform pan with parchment paper and lightly spray with cooking spray, mix:
Chocolate cookie crust:
35-40 oreos (or any chocolate sandwich cookies) finely crushed
5 tbsp butter, melted

Mix cookie crumbs and butter together and press into the bottom and up the sides of springform pan, leaving about 1/4" between top of the crust and the top of the pan. Place in freezer for about 10 min. Bake the crust in the oven until dry to the touch about 10 min. while cooling make the flourless chocolate cake. Increase oven temp to 350

Flourless Chocolate cake:

4 tbsp unsalted butter
6 oz good quality dark chocolate 60-70% cocao)(i just used Baker's semi-sweet baking chocolate.)
2 tbsp cocoa powder (used in place of espresso powder, which you could use as well)
1/4 c.whole milk (used in place of strong coffee at room temp.)
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp. vanilla
6 large eggs separated, at room temperature
1 c. sugar
Using a double boiler or in microwave, melt the butter and chocolate together (in microwave check every 30 seconds). In a small bowl whisk together cocoa powder, milk, coffee, salt and vanilla. set aside.

In a mixer beat the egg yolks with 1/2 c. sugar until the mixture is light and has almost doubled in volume. Add the chocolate mixture and beat until just combined. Add the cocoa powder mixtures and mix on low until combined. In another bowl, beat the egg whites until foamy, gradually increase the speed to high and add remaining 1/2 c. sugar, beating until soft peaks form. Gently fold egg whites into chocolate batter (about 1c. at a time) Do not rush this process, work gently and do not overmix! Pour the batter onto cookie crust and and bake for 38-42 minutes (make sure you have increased oven temp to 350 as mentioned above) until cake is set but still jiggles slightly. It might not look completely cooked, this normal. let cool. As the cake cools it will deflate in the center and look sunken. Don't worry this is normal! Wrap and refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight.

Chocolate Pudding
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. dark unsweetened cocoa powder (I used ghiradelli sweetened cocoa and used less sugar)
1/4 c. cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
4 large egg yolks
2 1/2 c. whole milk
3 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tsp vanilla
3 oz. dark chocolate

In a medium saucepan whisk together sugar, cocoa powder, cornstarch and salt. Add the egg yolks and whisk until combined. The mixture will look like thick paste. Slowly pour in milk, whisking constantly. In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the mixture to a boil, whisking constantly. Boil for 30 seconds, remove from heat and transfer to mixing bowl, add butter, vanilla and chocolate. Whisk until combined. Continue to stir for a few more minutes to cool the mixture slightly. Press a piece of plastic wrap over surface of pudding to prevent skin from forming and chill. After pudding is chilled enough, layer it on top of flourless cake. Top with whipped cream. (real stuff is the best...) refrigerate until ready to serve

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Cinnamon sugar muffins

I haven't made these muffins in ages, but I had a hankering for some, so I whipped some up. I had forgotten how yummy these are! I've heard these called several different names, french muffins, doughnut muffins...but growing up they were simply, cinnamon sugar muffins (cause that's what they are!)

3 c. flour
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 tbs + 1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2/ tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmet
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 c. butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
2 large eggs
1 c. milk
1/3 c. heavy cream (you could substitute milk for this)

For topping:
1/4 c. butter, melted
1 c. sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350. Use muffins cups or not...however you like to serve your muffins. :) Cream the butter and sugar. Beat in eggs until mixed thoroughly. In another bowl mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmet. In another bowl Combine the vanilla, milk and cream. (The recipe has you mix in a little of the flour mixture, a little of the milk mixture...and keep alternating. To be honest I cream the butter and sugars/eggs and then mix in the rest) Fill muffin tins 2/3 full and bake for 23 minutes. To finish, dip muffin in melted butter, then dip in cinnamon and sugar mixture.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Cinnamon roasted almonds

I've been having some "tummy" trouble lately and in an effort to figure out the cause, I decided to cut out gluten products for a while. (luckily not the issue) During that time I was searching for a snack that would fill me up, but was gluten free. These almonds are now my new addiction. I love them and they are so easy. I found this recipe on "for the love of cooking."
1 lb unsalted almonds
1 egg white
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/3 c. brown sugar
1/3 c. white sugar
1/2 tsp salt
preheat oven to 275. Line baking sheet with a silpat mat. Whisk the egg white and vaniklla until nice and foamy. Add the almonds and toss. In a separate bowl mix together sugars, cinnamon and salt. Pour sugar mixture onto the almonds and toss to coat evenly. Pour onto the baking sheet, spread evenly and place in oven. Roast for 20 minutes, then "stir" or mix the almonds and roast for another 20 minutes. Let them cool and enjoy!

Lindt truffle chocolate cupcakes

I found this recipe on "the sister's cafe" blog, one of my favorite cooking blogs. She raved about these cupcakes and she was right, they are amazing. So amazing that I finally started asking my children TO eat them so that I wouldn't. Imagine "Claire, will you please eat a cupcake for mommy?" I'm sure they thought I was crazy! I will not be making these again unless we have company's just too dangerous. I did make some changes that I will note, but either way i'm sure they are amazing.
1 box devils food cake (I just used milk chocolate)
1 box instant vanilla pudding (small box..I didn't have vanilla, so used chocolate)
4 eggs
1/2 c. oil
1/2c. water
1 c. sour cream
milk chocolate lindor truffles by Lindt (appx. 24)
Unwrap truffles and set aside. In bowl add all other ingredients and mix well. Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full. Bake at 350. After 5 minutes, lightly press a lindt truffle into each partially baked cupcake. let the cupcakes bake an additional 13 minutes (total of 18 minutes) Cool completely, then frost. (I only had 8 truffles left in the cupboard, so the other cupcakes had chocolate chips mixed in, my picture above is a chocolate chip cupcake)
Cream cheese Frosting
1/2 c. butter
8 oz. cream cheese
1/2 tsp vanilla
3 c. powdered sugar

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Crab fondue-so yummy!

I'm not a huge seafood fan, but I had this fondue at a bookclub years ago and it was so good I could have eaten the whole pot myself.. I got the recipe from my friend Trish and made it again for a family get-together. It was as good as I remembered! My favorite thing to eat it with is chunks of bread. Just make sure you don't use wimpy, fall apart bread. You'll need some crusty bread (french bread would work just fine). It is not low calorie, which is why I decided NOT to scarf down the whole pot myself!
4 tbsp unsalted butter
1/4c. minced shallots
2 c. heavy cream
8 oz. brie, rind removed
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
1 lb lump crab meat (I used 8oz because that's all I had, it was still great)
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
in a saucepan, Cook shallots in butter until softened. Add cream, brie, salt and pepper. When brie is melted add in crab meat and parsley, cook for a few minutes and then transfer to fondue pot. I was worried when the fondue seemed a bit thin when I poured it into the fondue pot, but it thickened up after about 30 maybe plan ahead so you have a few extra minutes to let it thicken?