Thursday, December 13, 2012

Pasta e Fagioli

Mark made this utter deliciousness for dinner tonight.  It's become one of our favorites, but tonight was the best batch yet!

Pasta e Fagioli
Here's the recipe my hubby used: Pasta e Fagioli.  He used bacon instead of pancetta, and dried rosemary instead of fresh.  Man this was good stuff.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Stuffed Acorn Squash

Stuffed Acorn Squash
Mmmmmm.  This hit the spot.

  • Acorn Squash (1 squash - serves 2)
  • Pork Breakfast Sausage (I used about 3/4lb)
  • Onion, diced (About a 1/4 onion, or maybe 1/2 cup)
  • Celery, diced (I used about 1/2 stalk)
  • Apple, diced (1 apple was plenty)
  • Bread Crumbs or Stale Bread cubes (maybe 1 cup or a little more)
  • Rosemary
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Egg
  • Olive Oil
  • Parmesan for topping (optional)
  1. Slice your Squash in half
  2. Brush with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper, and rosemary
  3. Roast cut side up at 400 for 45 min - 1 hour (Or until you can scoop out the flesh)
  4. Brown the sausage, set aside
  5. Sauté onion and celery until translucent, add apples, sauté until soft
  6. Combine sausage, stale bread, onion/apple mixture with more salt and pepper, rosemary
  7. Scoop out the squash halves and add to the sausage mixture
  8. (This is a good time to taste it and adjust seasoning)
  9. Stir one egg into mixture
  10. (Don't taste it anymore!)
  11. Spoon the mix back into the squash halves
  12. Top with bread crumbs, or grated parmesan cheese
  13. Bake for about 15-20 minutes more

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Asparagus Pasta

I was recently inspired by a friend who mentioned making an asparagus pasta sauce.  I don't actually know what his recipe was, but I decided that I wanted to make an asparagus pasta sauce!  I also recently ate pistachio pesto sauce, so while I was contemplating an asparagus cream sauce, I changed my mind and started thinking along the pesto lines.  I made an asparagus "pesto," tossed it with homemade rigatoni, and served it as a side to grilled sirloin steak.  Great date night.

Asparagus Pasta

  • asparagus 
  • parmesan or romano cheese (grated)
  • pine nuts
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • lemon zest (optional)
  1. Snap the woody ends off the asparagus 
  2. Toss the asparagus with olive oil, salt and pepper, and lemon zest
  3. Roast at 425 for 15-20 minutes
  4. Slice off the asparagus tips and set aside
  5. Combine asparagus stems, pine nuts, and cheese with olive oil and blend in the food processor (I just kind of threw it all in there and probably should have used less nuts and cheese than I did - although it was still pretty darn yummy.  If I did it again, though, I'd probably say the pine nuts and cheese should be in equal amounts, and then more asparagus)
  6. Add more oil or water as needed to reach a paste consistency or thinner
  7. Toss with hot pasta and asparagus tips
  8. And yum.

Saturday, November 10, 2012


I had 1lb of ground beef in my fridge, but nothing tomato-ey of any kind (so any sort of spaghetti sauce was out), nor beans, or cheese, or any good Tex-Mex-y additions.  I was about to settle on making meatloaf, but then, I remembered that I had mushrooms....and half of a container of sour cream.  AND my new pasta press was just begging to make some more noodles.

While I'm sure it would be way better with sliced sirloin, my Hamburger Helper style beef stroganoff turned into a pretty decent weekday dinner.

Also, I think it's really hard to make Stroganoff look appetizing.'s the picture anyway:

Beef Stroganoff
I used this recipe for Beef Stroganoff as a starting point, because it was one of the simplest I'd seen, but after browsing through a few other recipes as well, here's what I used and did:

Beef Stroganoff (Hamburger Helper Style)
  • Ground Beef - about 1lb
  • Montreal Steak Seasoning
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • Onion, diced (about 1/3 of a medium yellow onion)
  • Garlic, chopped (2 cloves)
  • Mushrooms, sliced (about 1/2lb)
  • Rosemary
  • Butter
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Sour Cream (about 1 cup)
  • Dijon Mustard (a couple of teaspoons - to taste, really)
  • Pasta Noodles - I used fresh-made Fusilli, but it's usually those big flat egg noodles, right?
  1. I browned the ground beef and seasoned it while in the skillet with Montreal Steak Seasoning, salt and pepper, and little Worcestershire sauce, then set it aside when done.
  2. I sautéed the onions and garlic in a little butter, then added that to the beef.
  3. I sautéed the mushrooms in a little butter, and added some dried rosemary, salt and pepper.
  4. I stirred all of this together with the sour cream, and a couple of spoonfuls of Dijon mustard.
  5. I did thin mine down with just a little water because my sour cream was very thick.
It wasn't anything fancy but it certainly was easy and tasted good.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Creamy Chipotle Chicken Pasta

Check out my new toy.
Pasta Press Attachment for the Mixer.
Better than Play-doh.
Oh my goodness I'm so excited it's not even funny.  Only because I made Rigatoni, though.  If I'd made Fusilli it would be pretty hilarious.

Homemade Rigatoni

Creamy Chipotle Chicken Pasta

So this recipe made use of some leftover deeeelicious Chipotle chicken that Mark had grilled for us.
I just sautéed some onion, garlic, and sweet peppers, made a quick béchamel sauce, mixed it all together with the shredded chicken and pasta, and added a few bleu cheese crumbles on top.

Chipotle Marinade for the Chicken: (from "The Barbecue Bible"):
[This is great on chicken - Mark marinated and grilled tenders, which we most recently ate with rice, and it makes for amazing tacos as well.]
  • 6 Canned chipotle chiles in Adobo sauce with 2T of their juices
  • 5 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 strip orange zest (2")
  • 1 cup fresh sour orange juice (or 3/4 cup orange juice, 1/4 cup lime juice)
  • 1 T tomato paste
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 T red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  1. Combine in a saucepan and bring to a boil
  2. Allow to reduce by half (5-8 minutes)
  3. Blend in a food processor to a smooth paste
Béchamel/White sauce:
  • Butter
  • Flour
  • Milk
  • Salt and Pepper
  1. Melt a few tablespoons of Butter in a saucepan over medium heat
  2. Add in a spoonful of flour, and whisk until it's a golden-brown, smooth paste
  3. Add milk (or cream) and whisk till smooth
  4. Let thicken if needed, or add more liquid if it gets too thick
  5. Salt and Pepper to taste

Monday, October 29, 2012

Warm Sweet Potato Salad

Warm Sweet Potato Salad
This was gooooo-oood.  And it was destiny, I think, because when I found this recipe online I was able to say, "Oooh, got that...have that...yes...can make that, have that."

Here's the rundown:

  • sweet potatoes, roasted with cumin, ginger, and rosemary
  • toasted pumpkin seeds
  • dried cranberries
  • roasted peppers
  • scallions (or just thinly sliced onions)
  • balsamic vinegar
  • mango chutney
  • dijon mustard
  • garlic
  • honey
  • olive oil

Here's the link: Warm Sweet Potato Salad
I did a couple of things differently - but not too much:

  • I used dried rosemary instead of fresh, so I only used about 1.5 tablespoons.
  • I didn't have roasted red pepper, but I did have some of those little sweet peppers, so I just sliced a few and threw those on one end of the pan in which I roasted the potatoes (but took them out earlier than the potatoes, of course).
  • I didn't have mango chutney, but I did have mangoes, so I briefly sautéed those with some onions, butter, a little brown sugar, lime juice (my mango needed more tang), and a pinch of salt....viola!...chutney.
  • And I didn't have scallions, so my plan was to thinly slice some onions, but my chutney turned out plenty onion-y, so I didn't add any more.
  • And the green stuff on top is fresh parsley...just for prettiness.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Chef E

Check out what my nephew learned today at Culinary Camp at the Clinton Center in Little Rock, AR.  Sweet.

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