Sunday, January 31, 2010

Pasta Primavera

Tonight's dinner was Pasta Primavera from the Pioneer Woman   . This is a great recipe to use up lots of fresh and frozen veggies. I used a combination of onions,garlic carrots, broccoli and peas. I only had dried basil so that is what I used. The result was a great veggie pasta. I can't wait to try it with the original ingredients and fresh basil YUM !!! This was surprisingly easy  and very tasty even with the substitutions I made . Experiment with the veggies you have on hand.
Pasta Primavera  (printable version)
  • 1 pound Pasta (I Like Penne)
  • 1 cup Bite-sized Broccoli Pieces (up To 1 1/2 Cups)
  • ½ whole Onion Diced Finely
  • 3 cloves To 4 Cloves Garlic, Chopped Finely
  • 2 whole Medium To Large Carrots, Sliced On The Bias (diagonally)
  • 2 whole Medium Zucchini, Sliced On The Bias (diagonally)
  • 1 container (about 5 Oz.) White Button Or Baby Porcini Mushrooms, Roughly Sliced
  • 1 whole Medium Yellow Squash (optional)
  • 1 whole Red Bell Pepper, Sliced Into Strips
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup Whipping (heavy) Cream
  • 1 cup Half-and-half
  • 5 leaves Basil (or More To Taste), Plus Extra For Garnish
  • ½ cups Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • ½ cups Frozen Peas

Preparation Instructions

First, prep the vegetables. Chop the broccoli into bite-sized pieces, about 1 to 1 ½ cups worth. Dice half a yellow onion. Chop 3 to 4 cloves of garlic. Slice carrots on the bias (diagonally), and do the same for the zucchini and yellow squash. Roughly slice the mushrooms and slice the red pepper (seeded) into strips.
Heat 2 tablespoons butter with 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion and garlic together and cook for a minute or two, until they start to turn translucent. Then throw in the broccoli. Stir, and add in the carrots. Stir it around, and PLEASE, PLEASE cook it for only a minute, tops. Transfer the mixture to a plate. Add in the red pepper strips. Stir them around for a minute or so, then transfer them to the plate.
Add pasta to slightly salted boiling water and cook to al dente.
Add a tablespoon of butter to the skillet. Add squash and zucchini, cook for less than a minute, then transfer to plate. Cook mushrooms for a minute or two (add salt to taste), and again transfer to the plate.

To make the sauce, pour ½ cup chicken broth into the skillet). Add ½ cup additionalchicken broth, a tablespoon of butter and scrape the bottom of the skillet to pull up the flavor left behind by the veggie cooking. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes until the liquid starts to thicken.

Add 1 cup whipping cream and 1 cup half-and-half. Measure out ½ cup grated Parmesan; add to the skillet. Add salt and pepper to taste. Chiffonade 5 to 6 fresh basil leaves and add that to the sauce; stir.

Dump veggies and mushrooms into the sauce along with ½ cup frozen peas right out of the freezer. Add pasta al dente and stir. If the sauce seems a little thick, or if there doesn’t seem to be enough sauce, add a good splash of chicken broth and a little more half-and-half. Top with more Parmesan, salt, pepper, and basil to taste.

Waffles of Insane Greatness

This will definitely be my new favorite waffle recipe. It is easy to make and I usually have all the ingredients on hand. This recipe produces a light and fluffy waffle on the inside with a slightly crunchy crust on the outside. PERFECT in my opinion. My kids were kind of bummed that I didn't make more .

Waffle of Insane Greatness

(Printable Version)    Recipe courtesy Aretha Frankensteins and the Food Network

Serves:4 servings


  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup whole milk or buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Butter and syrup, for serving


In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; mix well. Add the milk, vegetable oil, egg, sugar and vanilla and mix well. Let the batter sit for 30 minutes.
Preheat a waffle iron. Do not use non-stick spray on the waffle iron; the oil in the batter will allow the waffle to release easily. Follow the directions on your waffle iron to cook the waffles. Serve immediately with butter and syrup.
This recipe was provided by professional chefs and has been scaled down from a bulk recipe provided by a restaurant. The Food Network Kitchens chefs have not tested this recipe, in the proportions indicated, and therefore, we cannot make any representation as to the results.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Super Veggie Bean Burritos

Yet another great recipe from Melanie at My Kitchen Cafe. This is a GREAT recipe that my whole family enjoyed. I made a double batch and froze half of it. The flavors are perfect. It is also a great pantry type meal using a mix of canned and fresh items. The recipe calls for Pinto Beans but I think black beans would work well . Enjoy~
Bean Burritos (from My Kitchen Cafe )
(Printable Version)
*Note from Melanie : On several occasions, I've added leftover shredded pork to the bean filling for delicious results.

1 cup brown or white rice (or 2 cups already cooked rice)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 jalapeno, seeds and membrane removed, finely diced (can substitute 1 can of green chiles)
1 teaspoon cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cans (15 oz. each) pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups water
1 (10 oz) package frozen corn or 1 can whole kernel corn, drained
6 green onions, white and green parts finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder

16 burrito-sized (10-inch) flour tortillas
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Cook rice; set aside. Meanwhile, heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, jalapeno and cumin; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are softened and golden, being careful not to let the garlic burn. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring for 1 minute.

Add one can of beans and mash gently in the pan (a potato masher or fork works great here). Add the second can of beans and the water and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 10-12 minutes, being careful not to let the mixture stick to the bottom of the pot. Add corn; cook to heat through, 2-3 minutes. Stir in onion and garlic powders. Remove from heat; stir in green onions and cooked rice.

Heat tortillas in microwave for about 30-45 seconds or until all are warmed through.

Fill each tortilla with about 2/3 cup bean and rice mixture and 1/4 cup cheese on one side of tortilla. Fold, and hold in sides. Starting from filled end, holding sides in as you work, tightly roll into a bundle. Place on a baking sheet, seam side down, and prepare remaining burritos.

Serve warm immediately, with salsa and sour cream if desired -- or, to freeze for later consumption, put the baking sheet of burritos into the freezer for at least 30 minutes, or until very cold so that they don't come apart in the wrapping process. Remove them from the freezer and wrap each burrito individually in plastic wrap and place all the wrapped burritos in a freezer-safe resealable bag and freeze up to three months.

To reheat from frozen:
Remove plastic wrap from the burrito. Poke holes in the top several times with a fork. Microwave on high for two minutes. Gently poke a few more holes in the burrito and microwave for another minute. Be careful as the burrito will be piping hot!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Bacon Cheddar Quiche

Bacon Cheddar Quiche......(Printable Version) 

Quiche is a dish perfect for any meal of the day. A deep-dish pie shell filled with the delicious ingredients including savory bacon, cheddar cheese and evaporated milk.

Contrary to popular belief, real men do eat quiche . . .

Estimated Times
Preparation Time: 20 mins
Cooking Time: 45 mins
Cooling Time: 10 mins cooling

Servings: 89

1 unbaked 9-inch (4-cup volume) deep-dish pie shell  (I used this one)
1 cup (4 oz.) shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
1 cup finely dice, cooked Bacon

2 green onions, sliced
1 can (12 fl. oz.)  Evaporated Milk
3 large eggs
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

PREHEAT oven to 350° F.

SPRINKLE 1/2 cup cheese, bacon and green onions into pie shell. Whisk together evaporated milk, eggs, flour, salt and black pepper in large bowl. Pour mixture into pie shell; sprinkle with remaining cheese.

BAKE for 45 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes before serving.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Lemon Blueberry Muffins

 I made these tasty muffins today . They hit the spot. I especially loved the lemon/berry flavor, they were a great addition to our Sunday breakfast and baked up nicely in the NEW KITCHEN.  
I am nearly unpacked and ready to start cooking .

Grandma's Blueberry Lemon Muffins

2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
zest of one lemon
1 egg
1 cup milk
1/2 cup shortening (or butter*)
1 cup frozen blueberries

Topping (this makes extra - you can try cutting it down if you want):
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 Tb lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar

Mix dry ingredients and set aside. Beat eggs, milk and shortening. Stir in blueberries. Add dry ingredients and stir gently to combine. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Combine butter and lemon juice. While the muffins are still warm, dip the tops in the butter and lemon juice, then dip in sugar. Makes 12 muffins.
*I substitute butter because I love the taste! It works great either way.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Hamburger Stew

Hamburger Stew 

·         2 pounds ground beef
·         2 medium onions, chopped
·         4 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) diced tomatoes
·         6 medium carrots, thinly sliced
·         3 celery ribs, thinly sliced
·         4 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
·         2 cups water
·         1 to 2 tablespoons salt
·         1 to 2 teaspoons pepper
  • In a Dutch oven, cook beef and onions over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Add the tomatoes, carrots, celery, potatoes, water, salt and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
  • Uncover; simmer 20-30 minutes longer or until thickened. Freeze in 3-cup portions for up to 3 months.
  • To use frozen stew: Thaw in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Transfer to a saucepan; add  1 cup of water for every 3 cups of frozen stew. Cook until hot and bubbly. Yield: about 5 batches (15 cups total).

    To use frozen stew: Thaw in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Transfer to a saucepan; add water. Cook until hot and bubbly.