Saturday, March 30, 2013

Pineapple Cupcakes

This is one of those awesomely easy recipes that seems to good to be true.  Just 2 ingredients: cake mix and crushed pineapple.  That's it! Amazing!

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I saw the recipe for these cupcakes over here at Gina's Skinny Recipes.  I know you must be thinking it's pretty bizarre for KTC to be making anything "skinny," but this was for a coworkers birthday.  A coworker who is quite health conscious, like the kale drinking kind of health conscious.  So I was looking out for him and the 2 other coworkers who are currently dieting.  Aren't I the best?

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For the frosting I used cream cheese, Fluff, and more crushed pineapple (drained this time).  I topped them with some festive Easter sprinkles. Lovely.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Penne with Creamy Parmesan Basil Sauce

This will be part 2 in my Progresso Recipe Starters series.  There will only be 2 parts.  Does that qualify as a series? Well, let's not get bogged down by these minor details. On to the food!

For this dinner I used the creamy parmesan basil cooking sauce for some penne, tomatoes, and arugula.

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I sauteed garlic and olive oil for a bit, then heated the sauce and a 1/2 cup of cream.

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I tossed the tomatoes and arugula in at the end.

So good!  I would definitely recommend these recipe starters and look forward to trying the whole batch of them.  And no this post is not sponsored by Progresso, but I wouldn't say no if they asked....

P.S. I fixed the double posting!  Took me ages, but I finally figured out the simplest solution ever: reset. Amazing.


Sunday, March 24, 2013

Brunch Madness

I can't really take much credit for the items served at our brunch today.  Most of it was mainly prepared by my mother, with some assistance by me.

I'm not going to burden you with recipes.  I'm just going to let you scroll through some amazing photos of the feast we put together.  Do not be alarmed, the sheer mass of food was incredible and possibly a bit overwhelming, but somehow we managed.

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Blueberry french toast

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English muffin strata with sausage and cheese

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Meats of all kinds!

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Brown sugar cinnamon oatmeal with apples and raisins (massive and extremely unattractive batch in a Crock Pot)

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Muffins, bagels, croissants, oh my!

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Yogurt parfaits

Just in case you thought that was a meager amount of food I will mention that several things were not photographed: fruit salad, tomato and scallion frittata, potato and pepper frittata, pecan french toast, and assorted pastries.

Good god we are absolute monsters.






Thursday, March 21, 2013

Vegetable Curry

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I'm sure this recipe will be an insult to all curry makers around the world, but it's tasty and I can't be ashamed of that. Now I'll share a little story about how this recipe came to be....

I have been interested in trying Progresso's new Recipe Starters product since it showed up at the supermarket months ago.  Last week I noticed they were on sale.  I promptly placed 2 cans into my cart.  When I got home I realized I had no idea what to do with these tasty sounding sauces so I perused the Progresso website for ideas.  That is where I discovered the recipe for curry chicken.

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Instead of the chicken, I used spinach, cauliflower, and sweet potatoes.

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I cooked the vegetables first and added them to the sauce when it was ready.

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I served it atop some white rice and wished it was basmati the whole time.

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Sorry for the continued double post, I have no idea how to fix this issue!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Cheesy Baked Orzo with Eggplant

I'm really very sorry it's been almost a week since I last posted.  I had two plans to cook that were thwarted as well as a slight bought of laziness.

But I'm back!

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Dinner tonight was an awesome recipe from Smittten Kitchen, baked orzo with eggplant and mozzarella.  I'll let you all know a few things about how I followed this recipe: no tomato paste, no onion, no fresh oregano, used canned tomatoes instead of fresh.  I was really scared about not cooking the pasta first, it cooks in the vegetable stock in the oven.  I trusted Deb because in all honestly she sure knows how to cook way better than I do.  Of course she didn't let me down.  This dish is incredible.

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Lots of veggie chopping in this recipe, but don't let that turn you off.

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Carrots, tomatoes, and celery cooking while the cooked eggplant hangs out in the background.

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Cheesy goodness.  Only problem? Definitely need to double the recipe next time.  No leftovers = disappointing lunch for me tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Spinach Eggs in a Hashbrown Crust

I love making breakfast for dinner.  It's also a really easy way to make a solid vegetarian meal.

This dish was a fly by the seat of my pants sorta meal.  I knew I wanted to make eggs with a hashbown-esque crust, but couldn't really find a recipe that I loved.

Here's what I did.  First up, shred a bunch of potatoes and an onion with the cheese grater.  Brown up the onions in the pan with some olive oil, then toss in the potatoes and season with salt and pepper.  Then I patted this mixture flat and even to make the crust.

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For the egg layer I scrambled up 8 eggs, chopped spinach, parmesan cheese, some milk, salt and pepper.  I cooked it on the stove top for a few minutes and the finished it up in the broiler.

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I served this up with some English muffins and really wished I had a nice piece of fruit to go with it as well.

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I must say, for a totally impromptu meal, this was a great success.  Make it for dinner, make it for breakfast, you decide.  The hardest part is peeling the potatoes and really, is that so hard?


Friday, March 8, 2013

Better Than Anything Cake

Now let me start out by saying I cannot wholeheartedly state that this cake is better than anything.  I'm sure we could all find a list of things that are better than this cake, but let's not get bogged down by titles here. This cake is damn good.

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The original recipe can be found here, I did a bit of tweeking, but no drastic changes were made.

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What makes it so spectacular?  You take a wonderful chocolate cake, poke a bunch of holes in it, and then drench it with caramel and sweetened condensed milk.  Then I topped it all off with home-made whipped cream and mini chocolate chips.

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I made this for a co-workers' birthday and it was a major hit.  Now let's bake another cake, poke some holes in it, and figure out some other fun stuff to pour into those holes!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Mashed Potato Pizza

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You might be thinking this is some bizarro food that I created on a whim, but you would be wrong.  I have been hearing about a glorious mashed potato pizza in New Haven for ages now.  Seeing that I never had the chance to eat said pizza, I decided it was time to create my own.

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The mashed potatoes were made with garlic, butter, milk, sour cream, and fresh parsley.  I topped the potatoes with marbled sharp cheddar cheese.

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I was pleased to notice the sun staying out longer, making for more pleasant dinner photos.  Sadly, by the time the pizza was finished cooking the lighting was not as perfect.

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This pizza was a huge success!  Next time I will definitely put some bacon atop the potatoes...there will certainly be a next time.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

The Melting Pot

I apologize for making you kids wait an extra day for a post, but unfortunately I was hit with a bout of a stomach bug that had me down for the count yesterday.  I won't get into too many details about it, but it was not fun.  Now that that's over, time to eat!

Some of you might recall that I won 100 big ones for photo of the year.  I used this money the only way I know how, feasting!   I had an awesome meal at the Melting Pot and I'm going to re-live the entire experience for you right now.

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This was our first course, yea fyi we had a 4 course meal tonight.  We got the Wisconsin trio which was a mix of Fontina, Butterk√§se and buttermilk bleu cheeses with white wine, scallions and a hint of sherry annnnnnnnnnnnd it was delicious!  The cheese course comes with 3 kinds of bread, apples, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and apples.

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Sorry for that awful photo, really should have turned the flash on.  This was course number two, salad time.  I got the California which had mixed baby salad greens, Roma tomatoes, candied pecans and Gorgonzola cheese with raspberry black walnut vinaigrette.  It was tasty enough and also not totally necessary in the grand scheme of the meal.

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On to the main course!  I got the land and sea combo which was chicken, shrimp, and filet mignon.  We chose the seasoned court bouillon cooking method.  The main course comes with sides of potatoes, broccoli, and mushrooms.  They also serve up six different dipping sauces....six!!!

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And the grand finale..... chocolate and peanut butter fondue!  OOOOOOOOOOOOhhh the gloriousness of  chocolate and peanut butter fondue mere words cannot describe.  Now be amazed at the dippers included in the dessert portion: cheesecake, brownies, red velvet cake, rice krispie treats, graham cracker and Oreo covered marshmallows, strawberries, and bananas!

Dessert was a clear winner for me, but the whole meal and experience itself was great.  This was definitely an extravagant meal, in terms of money.  The four courses takes about 2 and a half hours total so as your evening entertainment I thought it was well worth the money.  We were asked on more than one occasion what we were celebrating, which was nothing, so they definitely know that their restaurant is not something people would frequent often (despite the fact that the people in the booth next to use said they have been "hundreds of times" at 13 different locations).

All in all The Melting Pot comes highly recommended by KTC.  It's a fun night out and some seriously tasty food.  Although it's a pricey affair I felt that the experience was worth the money.