Thursday, May 31, 2012

Pasta with Brie Tomato and Zucchini

This recipe for heirloom pasta with brie and basil was in my local paper recently.  Using brie in pasta intrigued me, but I'm not really one for tomatoes in the raw like this recipe calls for.  So here's what I did using this recipe as inspiration.

I chopped up some tomatoes and zucchini and then put them back in the tomato container to take this adorable picture of the two.  Too cute right?  Don't ask why but I was so excited to take this picture.  I then sauteed these guys in a bit of olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. Of course I forgot to take a photo of how lovely the sauce looked in the saute pan, my sincerest apologies, food blogging is not always easy.

I then diced up a pound of brie cheese. Just feast your eyes on that glorious pile of cheese. I also chiffonade-ed some basil to toss in at the end.

The brie melts so nicely making a creamy sauce for the pasta.  If you fee like spending more than $10 on some cheese, this meal is for you.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Berry Ricotta Ice Pops

Who is super psyched that it's ice pop time?  I know I am!  I've had this recipe for ricotta ice pops from My Baking Addiction in my to-make folder for ages.  The original recipe calls for strawberries, but I had some raspberries and blueberries on hand so I decided to just use those instead.

I was also way excited to be able to use my chopper again.  I'm amazed at how often I've used this guy already.

 Here we have the finished ice pop many many hours later:

Sooooo delicious! Now I must go and eat them all so I can make more ice pops.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Spring Risotto

Let me just tell you why I was so excited to cook risotto: you have to constantly stir it.  Whenever I cook I have to use every ounce of self control not to constantly stir, poke, or prod the food.  It was an absolute pleasure to be forced to constantly stir a dish for 30 minutes.

I discovered that most risotto recipes have the same basic ingredients: arborio rice, stock, and a veggie.  Of course I ended up using this recipe from the most serious Italian cooks I could find, the Neelys, to get the rice to liquid proportions and added in asparagus and corn as my veggies.

Here we have the very start of the rice, onion, and wine cooking away.

When all the stock is added I tossed in the asparagus and corn that I had steamed.

In the words of the Kool-Aid guy Ooooooooooooooooo yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Birthday Cake Fudge

My bestest best friend turned 25 this weekend. I had to realize when I sat down to figure out what to make her that there was just no way I was going to be able to top the popcorn cake.  That might never ever be topped.  That will go down in birthday cake history there's just no way around it.

I present to you, funfetti birthday cake fudge! First you melt up white chocolate and sweetened condensed milk.

Then you add in some vanilla and almond extract.  Unfortunately I didn't have any almond extract so I used amaretto.  Hey, who doesn't like some boozy fudge?

Lastly mix in some sprinkles and spread some more sprinkles on the top for good measure.

 So pretty!

Happppppppppppy Birthday Miss Alyss!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Avocado Mac and Cheese

Now, I know there are 2 conflicting thoughts going through your head right now because they were going through mine when I first saw this recipe.  The first thought is "oh wow 2 glorious foods coming together that's going to be amazing."  The second thought is "but.....that might be really freaking weird to eat."  Luckily, my first thought was correct.  This was crazy awesome.

The recipe comes from Two Peas and Their Pod.

I used a Mexican shredded cheese blend to make the cheese sauce.  I hope you appreciated that unattractive photo.  Sorry I failed to photograph the avocado sauce picture, but its essentially guacamole.

In the words of Monteray Jack: Chee-eee-eee-se!

This is some seriously heavy duty filling mac and cheese and I am totally making it again.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mother's Day

Sunday was the perfect day for grilling, pasta salad, sangria, and deck-side dining.  Luckily, I was able to hit up all 3.

For the grill: I made this balsamic marinade with blue cheese (I used Italian seasonings instead of the herbs de provence)

Do not skip out on the blue cheese, it really takes this chicken to the next level.

For the pasta salad: roasted garlic olive and tomato pasta with ricotta yogurt sauce.  I was so excited to make my own roasted garlic. I will mention that it took almost twice as long as the recipe stated, but it was sooooo good in this salad. This recipe will definitely be made again and if I were you I would make it for your next out-door dining experience.

Here's my well balanced plate with my chicken all cheesed up.

For dessert: brownie bundt with coconut-cream cheese filling.  This dessert is super easy because it uses a boxed brownie mix.  I will note that this too took significantly longer than the recipe said it would.

And just to make our Mother's Day meal even more spectacular, baby birds hatched in our birdhouse! We watched the mom and dad fly back and forth all day long trying to feed these 3 hungry mouths. So cute!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Calabacitas Casserole

Apparently it's Mexican week here.  This is in part because of the cilantro supply after Cinco de Mayo.  I've been wanting to cook some polenta for a while now and found this Rachel Ray recipe among my internet polenta exploration.

Calabacitas casserole with polenta and cheese was simple and satisfying. Changes: the yellow squash didn't look too good at the market so I used 3 zucchini, 2 cups of cheese seemed like crazy excess so I just covered the top and saved the rest, no scallions.

All the veggies sauteing in the pan 

Pour the veggies in a 13x9 pan, topped them with Mexican stewed tomatoes and cilantro.

Top the veggie mix with slices of polenta and plenty of cheese.

 All ooey gooey cheesy goodness.

Honestly I think my father and I had 4 portions each so you it was good eats.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Fifth of May o en Espanol, El Cinco de Mayo

I loooooooved that Cinco de Mayo was on a Saturday this year.  It gave me free range to spend the entire day preparing dinner. Honestly is that not your ideal Saturday?

Let us first begin with dessert, tres leches cake!  I used this recipe from Senorita Crocker.  

Here we have all tres of the leches.

Check out this killer action shot taken by my lovely assistant.  I poked the cake with a fork about a 100 times so it could soak up maximum leche.

OK, I wasn't sure what to do in terms of decoration so I half-assed it, get off my back about it alright?

Moving on to dinner!  I used this recipe from Vanilla Sugar for the teriyaki beef tacos with ginger miso slaw.

I chose to marinate the london broil whole just to save my dad from extra grill work.  This marinade was crazy good.  I also whipped up some guacamole with my new chopper, it was all very exciting.

Open wide!

I hope you all had some tasty Mexican food this weekend, if not I have some leftovers...

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Soup Night in May??

I know, it's crazy.  Who would have thought that I'd be eager to whip up some soup in May.  I am so ready for  some pasta salad weather pronto.

For this off the cuff soup I picked up some green veggies at the market: zucchini, spinach, and broccoli.  For whatever reason I was super psyched to dice up the zucchini so you get a photo of it.

One hell of a dice, huh?

Here we have the spice line up.  I was down to one bouillon cube so I went pretty heavy handed on the seasonings.   I also added some minced garlic to the party.

All the veggies into the pot, so dark and ominous!

I added a carton of leftover rice from our Chinese food binge last week and that was that.  It was awesome and I made it up and I ate 3 bowls. Holler.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Manicotti with Creamy Arugula Pesto

I know I've been seriously slacking on this blog lately and I apologize.  I'm going to try and get back into posting at least twice a week.  Notice how I said I'm going to try and not "I promise..."

I finally used the Williams Sonoma gift card that I won at the Christmas bake off (I'm sure you guys have been dying to know what I was going to get with that prize package).  One of the kick ass things I got is this little food processor.

Isn't she the cutest lil thing? 

I used the food processor to make some arugula pesto (arugula, olive oil, garlic, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper).  Then added it to some milk and butter that I had cooking on the stove.

These were pre-made frozen manicotti that I poured the sauce over.

I sprinkled a little extra cheese on top, making a nice slightly crispy crust on top. Delicious!