This week’s meal

I’ve been trying very hard lately to stay on a food budget and a good part of that is taking the time to plan my meals. Most of this is so that I don’t just waste tons of money on eating out and I make the best use of the food that I buy. This week is Italian themed. That is, however, a very loose theme.

I made a broccoli salad with dried cranberries, sun flower seeds, onion and bacon tossed in homemade mayo. The mayo did not turn out quite as expected. I think I added the oil into the blender a little too quickly so the emulsification did not quite take.

Then I made a summer pasta salad with bell pepper, tomato, onion, and roasted broccoli tossed in an Italian vinaigrette.

Lastly, I made a creamy tossed pasta with peas and asparagus and some more bacon. The sauce was an experiment that I am happy to say, turned out pretty damn well. So let’s get rolling with recipes!

I got the broccoli salad from here. I followed the recipe pretty exactly. The mayo, however, came from here. Take your time very carefully pouring the oil into the blender. I have learned from this, don’t rush it! What I got tasted just like mayonnaise but did not quite have the right consistency. It was a little watery and prone to separating. 

The Summer Pasta Salad was a great success. I replaced the mushrooms with a second bell pepper and the Roma tomatoes with grape tomatoes cut in halves. Super tasty, even when I left off all the garnish. 

My creamy pasta toss was loosely based on this recipe. I did not have any creme fraiche or heavy cream to make a good thick cream sauce so I thought a good deal about how to proceed. I thought well, something like mayo is creamy like what I am looking for, so I based the sauce on I made on that idea and the idea for Cesar dressing. 

Creamy Pasta Sauce
2 egg yolks
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1-2 cups olive oil
salt and pepper

Place the yolks, lemon juice and salt and pepper into the blender and process for about 30 second or so until the mixture starts to thicken. Then slowly add the olive oil into the blender in a thin stream. The whole mixture will thicken up into a very creamy consistency.

I boiled the pasta (medium shells) and strained them. Then I cut the asparagus into bite sized pieces, tossing all but the tips into boiling water. Next I tossed in a bag of fresh frozen peas. Just before this mixture was tender I tossed the tips into the mix. Finally I strained the veggies and tossed them with the cooked pasta. I poured the creamy sauce I made over this and stirred in some crisply cooked bacon pieces.

Next time, you’ll see a recipe for Parmesan herb snack mix and lemon pepper chicken tenders with roasted potatoes.

FOOD

Creamy pasta toss, broccoli salad, and parmesean herb snack mix.

Back into the swing

So I’ve been out of the food blog game for…. well months and months. A lot has happened in that time. We celebrated the new year, a couple birthdays and a few more holidays. This post has nothing to do with all of the special occasions but is a recipe for just a nice and tasty weeknight meal. 

Pasta in a white wine garlic sauce served with Kielbasa and oven roasted Parmesan green beans. What a mouthful! It was a great meal that ended up lasting us a couple days.

Pasta in white wine garlic sauce with kielbasa and green beans

2 packages of Kielbasa sausages (I wait until they go on sale and then keep them in the freezer until I am ready to use them.)
1 cup of a light white wine
2-3 cloves of garlic minced
1 box of thin spaghetti
1 lb package of green beans
Olive oil
salt and pepper
1-2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Trim all of your green beans into bite sized pieces and place them on a baking sheet. Drizzle with a little bit of olive oil, salt and pepper and your Parmesan cheese. Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes. You should see a little crisping around the edges and the beans are tender.

Slice your sausage into about 1/4 inch thick rounds and pan fry over medium heat until a little crispy on each side.

Meanwhile, boil your pasta according to package directions. When pasta is done, reserve one cup of the pasta water, and then strain the pasta.

Once you have cooked all of your sausage rounds, set them aside. Deglaze the pan you cooked the sausage in with your pasta water and the white wine. Add the minced garlic and stir until all the crispy bits come off the bottom of your pan. When your sauce begins to bubble turn the heat to low and add the strained pasta into the pan. Toss to coat. Add your sausage slices and your roasted green bean pieces and serve!

thegrubhub:

Pasta Carbonara is definitely a feel good food.  This simple, delicious meal’s name is derived from the word carbonaro, which means charcoal burner in Italian.  Word has it that it was a nice filling meal for charcoal workers in Italy.  Works for me.  There are many variations on this dish as well.  If you want to get super authentic, the meat you would use is called Guanciale, which is cured pig jowls.  Because I didn’t have any pig heads laying around, I decided to use a nice thick slab of bacon, pancetta is also acceptable.  Besides that, I tried to stay pretty authentic by not using heavy cream to cheat the silkiness of the sauce.  I’ll explain that later.  For now, here are the few ingredients you’ll need to have to create this incredible dish!!

  • 1 lb. Spaghetti
  • 1/4 lb. Thick Cut Bacon
  • 1 Cup Peas
  • 1 Cup Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 4 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • Olive Oil, Salt, Pepper

I mentioned in past recipes that mise en place is essential.  (Mise en place is French for “everything in place”.)  For this recipe it is the difference between good food or bad.   Timing is absolutely everything here.  So, cut your bacon into 1/2 inch pieces and mince your garlic.  Also, grade your Parmigiano into a mixing bowl and beat your eggs into the cheese.  Make sure there are no clumps at all, it needs to be super smooth!   That wasn’t hard now was it?

First, start boiling your seasoned pasta water.  At the same time start heating a deep pan on medium for your sauce.  When your pasta water is boiling, put in your spaghetti, and immediately after, put a swirl of olive oil in your pan and add your bacon.  Here is where the timing comes into play.  Your pasta should take about 8 minutes to cook, so that is the time we have to make this sauce.  Cook the bacon for about 5 minutes, it should be nice and crispy by then.  Add your minced garlic to the sauce pan and stir it around for about 2 minutes, so its nice and soft.  At this point, your spaghetti should be finished, so strain it and add it to your sauce pan along with your peas, mix them around and let everything incorporate for a minute.   Now, remove the pan from the heat and add the egg/cheese mix you prepared earlier, and mix it constantly for another minute.  When you add the egg/cheese mixture, it needs to be off direct heat so the egg does not scramble, at the same time the egg needs the pasta to be super hot so that it does solidify into a nice creamy sauce.  Many people cheat and use heavy cream; no one likes a cheater.

Now serve this deliciousness into a bowl, hit it with from fresh cracked pepper, and you are ready to grub!!  Enjoy!!

ashamedtosay:

Grilled cheddar cheese on marble rye with pears, and apple smoked bacon.
Sooooooooo yummy!

Things I want to eat today.

ashamedtosay:

Grilled cheddar cheese on marble rye with pears, and apple smoked bacon.

Sooooooooo yummy!

Things I want to eat today.

porntastesgood:

Cheese FondueRecipe »here« 

Since I was thinking cheese, would a fondue party for new years be a good idea, or a terrible one?

porntastesgood:

Cheese Fondue
Recipe »here« 

Since I was thinking cheese, would a fondue party for new years be a good idea, or a terrible one?

I love cheese. It is just…. AWESOME. I want all the cheeses.
I am planning on having a new years eve party this year but I can’t quite figure out what I should do. Every party needs a “theme” and I haven’t got on picked out yet. Something where I could put out nice cheese platter would be awesome.
Any ideas/ suggestions? (tell me in my suggestions!)

I love cheese. It is just…. AWESOME. I want all the cheeses.

I am planning on having a new years eve party this year but I can’t quite figure out what I should do. Every party needs a “theme” and I haven’t got on picked out yet. Something where I could put out nice cheese platter would be awesome.

Any ideas/ suggestions? (tell me in my suggestions!)

Tonight

is a night of gluttony. I am going with a bunch of the other lab staff from work to Texas de Brazil. In their words, “Texas de Brazil is an authentic Brazilian-American Churrascaria (steakhouse) that combines the cuisine of Southern Brazil with the generous spirit of Texas.” My first trip to this wonderful restaurant was right after I started working with this group of people. Six months later I’m returning with them to gorge myself on gratuitous amounts of meat and the lavish salad and side bar. Many many pictures with descriptions will be taken to be posted. Be excited!

Beautiful!

Thanksgiving week

So the time for giving thanks has been upon us and for most Americans that means WAY too much food and overindulging in black Friday sales. I was right there with the food all the way, though I made a point to avoid shopping of any kind this week.

Monday found me making a nice hearty batch of chili!
CHILI!!!!

This is the recipe that I used to make this chili. I did not have cumin so I just added more chili powder. It turned out delicious. My boyfriend and I devoured it within two days.

Thursday morning found me making a batch of Creamy Potato Salad with Lemon and Fresh Herbs.

potato salad!

This was whipped up to take with me to “No Turkey Friday” at my cousin’s house. It was a great hit especially since I tweaked the recipe to make it a little more healthy. Instead of mayonnaise I used some Greek yogurt. I also added a splash of lemon juice to the mix and a little bit more celery. It was delicious.

Saturday found me in quite the lazy mood and craving potatoes after the pounds of venison consumed the day before at “No Turkey Friday”. I had seen some recipes for something called a hasselback potato, and potato stacks. So I did some quick slicing to produce this less of potatoes.

potatoes

They got super tasty and were a hot mess of starch and flavor.

And many of you are probably going “wait… I thought that this was about thanksgiving!” and you are right! The only thing is that I didn’t cook thanksgiving dinner myself this year. My mom made dinner and of course, like an idiot, I forgot my camera. I’ll be posting the recipes for THAT meal before the new year though.

jezebelthegreat:

The difference between a nice guy and a kiss-ass: the kiss-ass makes you a fancy breakfast because he wants something; the nice guy got what he wanted way before he made you breakfast.
He made my onion look like a tiny squid. Look at that.

A great day to start the morning! I wish that I could take credit for this wonderful looking breakfast but… Alas! I cannot. I have a bunch of stuff that I need to post, like homemade chili, some hassleback potatoes and potato stacks and homemade potato salad. All these recipes and more will be posted up this week! Expect great food things. :)

jezebelthegreat:

The difference between a nice guy and a kiss-ass: the kiss-ass makes you a fancy breakfast because he wants something; the nice guy got what he wanted way before he made you breakfast.

He made my onion look like a tiny squid. Look at that.

A great day to start the morning! I wish that I could take credit for this wonderful looking breakfast but… Alas! I cannot. I have a bunch of stuff that I need to post, like homemade chili, some hassleback potatoes and potato stacks and homemade potato salad. All these recipes and more will be posted up this week! Expect great food things. :)