Fettuccine Alfredo

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I’ve tried making fettuccine alfredo so many times because seems like an easy dinner. It hasn’t ever turned out very yummy though. So, last week I did some research and read online that the trick to making fettuccine alfredo is to buy a block of parmesan cheese and shred it yourself so I thought I would give it another try. They were correct! This was scrumptious and the whole dinner took around 20 minutes. Let’s just be happy with it being so quick and easy, try not to dwell on how fattening it is ;-)

10 ounces fettuccini pasta
1/2 cup butter
3 cloves minced garlic
1 cup heavy cream
1 egg yolk
2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add fettuccine pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
In a large skillet melt the butter and add the chopped garlic. Cook on low for about 5 minutes, stirring often, making sure not to burn the garlic.
Pour about a 1/4 cup of the heavy cream into a small bowl. Add the egg yolk and beat together; put aside. Pour the remaining cream into the frying pan. Increase the heat to medium-high. As the cream starts to boil, mix rapidly using a whisk. Slowly add the cream/egg mixture. You do not want the egg to curdle. Continue whisking until well blended.
Add 1 cup of the Parmesan cheese and continue to mix the cream. Pour in the remaining Parmesan and the parsley, mix until smooth. Immediately remove from stove. Serve over cooked pasta.

White Hot Chocolate

Monday, October 20, 2008

We've wanted to try white hot chocolate for awhile but when I went looking for recipes they all called for half and half or heavy whipping cream (or both, yikes) and if I am going to make this irresistible drink for my family so close to bedtime I needed it to be less fattening (yes, this coming for the woman who made an entire cake for her family yesterday). I decided I was just going to wing it and try a white hot chocolate recipe using our non-fat skim milk and white chocolate chips. It actually turned out fantastic! It was absolutely delicious! Try it!

1 3/4 cups milk
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
whipped topping
blue sprinkles (because it makes me think of snowflakes, lol)

In a small sauce pan combine 1/4 cup milk and white chocolate chips. Heat over medium heat, whisking until chocolate melts. Stir in remaining milk and heat to warm. Pour into glasses and garnish with whipped topping and sprinkles.

Marshmallow Frosting

Sunday, October 19, 2008

**Update- It's probably the egg whites but this frosting was only good for the first couple hours, so I will not make this again unless I am serving it immediatly.
I love to bake but I wouldn’t consider myself a baker. I pass over any recipe that requires yeast, I always use boxed cake mix, and I refuse to make anything that takes longer than an hour. So it is always a challenge when I go looking for dessert recipes. I saw a recipe for Marshmallow Frosting/7-minute frosting that I couldn’t resist! You have to mix for a good 7-8 minutes but it was easy and SO delicious! It really did taste like fluffy marshmallow cream!

2 large egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Combine frosting ingredients with a pinch of salt in a metal/glass bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water and beat with a handheld electric mixer at high speed until frosting is thick and fluffy, 6 to 7 minutes. Remove bowl from heat and continue to beat until slightly cooled. Mound frosting on top of cake.

Mexican Chicken Corn Chowder

Saturday, October 18, 2008

**December 2008 Update- This recipe deserves an update because Justin is obsessed with it! Per his constant requests I make it once a week, he just loves it! This past week I used pepper jack cheese instead of monterey jack and he liked the extra kick it gave it. Oh, and the optional “serve with crumbled tortilla chips” really needs to be mandatory, don’t forget the chips!
It has been so cold the last couple days, I love it! I woke up extra early so that I could be sneaky and do something Justin wouldn’t approve of so early in the year… watch a Christmas movie! I can’t help it, I am just too excited, lol! So I watched “Christmas with the Kranks” and made this soup for lunch, it was heavenly! After lunch Justin checked the weather and pointed out that we have a chance of flurries on Thursday, yippee!

2 chicken breasts
1 clove garlic, minced
3 tablespoons butter
1 cube chicken bouillon
1 cup hot water
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
2 cups half-and-half cream
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
2 (14.75 ounce) can cream-style corn
1 (4 ounce) can diced green chiles
1 dash hot pepper sauce
Crushed Tortilla Chips (Optional)

Bake and shred the chicken breasts. In a pot dissolve the bouillon in hot water. Stir in the shredded chicken, garlic, butter, and cumin. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in cream, cheese, corn, chilies, and hot pepper sauce. Cook, stirring frequently, until the cheese is melted. Serve and garnish with crushed tortilla chips (optional).

Stuffed Shells Florentine

Friday, October 17, 2008

This recipe is from Mary (easily the nicest person I know). I asked Mary for one of her favorite recipes, but Mary doesn’t eat meat and my boys don’t eat vegetables so this was quite a feat! She gave me this stuffed shells recipe and everyone loved it! Even Justin (who is the King of disliking veggies) said we would have to make it again soon! I made 2 changes from her original recipe which I have noted below, but I think following her recipe exactly would have been delicious!

1/2 cup chopped onion (I omitted the onion)
2 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1- 8 oz package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
1- 16 oz container lowfat cottage cheese (I used ricotta instead of cottage)
24 Jumbo pasta shells
1 package shredded mozzarella cheese
1- 15 oz jar spaghetti sauce or homemade

Cook shells according to the directions. Meanwhile, in large saucepan, over medium-high heat, sauté onion, garlic, Italian seasoning, pepper and olive oil. Mix in the spinach and cook until heated.
Remove from heat; stir in cottage/ricotta cheese and ¾ the shredded cheese.
Spoon into Cooked Shells.
Spread 1/2 cup spaghetti sauce in bottom of 13X9 inch pan; arrange shells over sauce. Top with remaining sauce and cover. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Sprinkle some remaining cheese over the top.

Delicious Macaroni Salad

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Those recipe exchange emails made their rounds last week, I got at least 5 and gave my usual two favorite pasta salad recipes. I got a couple responses back from friends who asked why my favorite salad’s weren’t on my blog. So here’s my favorite macaroni salad that I got from a neighbor when we first moved to Gardner 7 years ago. The veggies are all shredded so not only is this salad delicious but it is very quick and easy!

2 (16oz) boxes of shell macaroni (2 lbs of macaroni total)
1 small onion, shredded
1 green pepper, shredded
1 carrot, shredded
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup white vinegar
2 cups salad dressing mayonnaise (Miracle Whip)
1/2 cup sugar

Cook, drain, and rinse macaroni. In a large bowl shred the onion, green pepper, carrot. Mix in the sweetened condenses milk, vinegar, mayonnaise, and sugar. Finally add the macaroni noodles, stir, and refrigerate (over night is best).

Cheesy Corn

Saturday, October 11, 2008

We went to a wedding celebration BBQ this weekend and were asked to bring a side and dessert. The dessert was easy, we made the ever popular Whoopie Pies. Justin wanted to bring his favorite side, Cheesy Corn (which can be found in some midwest BBQ joints). We found a knock off recipe a couple years back and it’s been Justin’s favorite side dish ever since!

2 tablespoons butter/margarine
4 teaspoons all purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder (Very little, don’t over do it!)
3/4 cup milk
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese
1 (3oz) pkg cream cheese, cubed
1 (32oz) pkg frozen whole kernel corn, thawed
3oz diced ham

In a large saucepan, melt margarine/butter. Stir in the flour and garlic powder and stir to make the roux paste. Add the milk and stir constantly over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Stir in cheese (sharp cheddar and cream cheese) and cook until melted. Stir in corn and ham and transfer mixture to a 2 quart casserole dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Cheddar Bacon Potato Soup

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

I have made many potato soups and burnt at least half of them! Usually you make the roux from flour and butter, add the milk, and then stir… and keep stirring for an hour until it thickens. Well, chasing after two wild and crazy boys doesn’t provide me the opportunity to stand at my stove and stir for an hour. So like I said before, I burn just about anything that involves a roux and milk! So when Justin picked this recipe out I was so excited to try it because it didn’t require the roux and milk, whoopee! It tasted just as good as any other potato soups I’ve made but it was SO much easier! We all already decided that we are having this for dinner again next week.

2 tablespoons butter
6 peeled and diced potatoes (around 2 1/2 cups worth)
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup half and half
1/2 cup chopped bacon
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt

In a large pot melt the butter. Stir in the potatoes and broth, bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat and simmer 15 to 20 minutes, until potatoes are tender. That’s right… you can actually leave the stove for 20 minutes and go enjoy yourself!!

Use a potato masher to break up some of the chunks of potatoes. I wouldn’t suggest using a mixer because you don’t want a complete puree, you want some puree and some chunks. Stir in half and half, cheese, bacon, salt, and pepper; bring to a low boil and cook for 5 minutes (you will have to stir this time, sorry).

This soup did seem a bit thin the night I made it, but I’ve always thought potato soups taste better the second day. So I put it straight in my fridge and when I warmed it the next evening it was very thick and delicious!

Chicken and Noodle Casserole

Monday, October 6, 2008

This is another recipe I prepare the night before and just cook before serving. This may be the lamest thing I’ve ever said but… it took me a good 8-10 years to master the casserole. The trick is that you need the meat to noodle ratio to match. Too much noodle and it makes you feel like you are eating a side dish. This is a cheap easy casserole that is perfect for a weeknight!

3 large chicken breasts
6-8 ounces egg noodles (3/4 of a NoYoke Egg Noodles Package)
1 (10.75 ounce) can cream of chicken and mushroom soup
1 (10.75 ounce) can cream of chicken soup
1 cup sour cream
1 cup crumbled crackers (3/4 of a row of Saltine Crackers)
1/2 cup butter

Generously salt and pepper your chicken and place it in a glass pan covered with foil. Cook at 350 degrees for approximately 30 minutes (or until it’s cooked all the way through). With a fork, knife, fingers, whatever you prefer shred the chicken. Leave all the chicken juice in the pan, it’s yummylicious

Bring a pot of water to boiling and boil the egg noodles for 3-4 minutes. Don’t worry, they will cook a little more in the casserole pan!

In a separate bowl, mix together the chicken and mushroom soup, chicken soup, and sour cream. Stir together cream soup mixture with the chicken. Gently stir in the egg noodles and transfer to a 9x13 baking dish.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan, and remove from heat. Stir in crumbled crackers and top casserole with the buttery crackers.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, until heated through and browned on top. If your like me and prepared everything the night before and the casserole has been sitting in your fridge all day then tack on another 15-20 minutes of cooking time ;-)

I don’t want to cook tomorrow/ Overnight Chicken Marinade

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Hey, it was called
“Unbelievable Chicken” on Allrecipes.com
so for lack of a better name this is what I call it, deal with it! This chicken is another one of those hard to explain flavors. I would say it resembles a General Tso’s Chicken. It is sweet with a hint of tangy ;-)

4 chicken breasts
1/4 cup cider vinegar
3 tablespoons mustard
3 minced cloves garlic
1 lime, juiced
1/2 lemon, juiced
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
6 tablespoons olive oil

In a large bowl, mix the cider vinegar, mustard, garlic, lime juice, lemon juice, brown sugar, salt, and pepper. Whisk in the olive oil. Just to prepare you the smell of the vinegar will really put you off, it completely fills my kitchen and disgusts me. You can’t taste it in the end product though. Cut the chicken into strips or chucks and place in the mixture. Cover, and marinate 8 hours, or overnight. I cook my chicken stovetop on high heat but I bet it’s delicious grilled!

Andrew’s Minty Brownies

Saturday, October 4, 2008

I would have called these “Dawn’s Minty Brownies” because I got the recipe from one of my awesome co-workers Dawn, but Andrew insisted. These brownies were made entirely by Andrew and they are delicious!

A box of brownie mix (and the eggs, oil, etc. to make it)
A box of Ande's Mints (mint flavored chocolates)

Mix the brownies according to the directions. Pour half the batter into your pan. Place the Ande’s mints all over the top of the batter (you can see Andrew doing this in the picture). Then pour the other half of the batter in the pan. Make sure the brownie batter completely covers up the Ande’s mints. Cook the brownies according to the directions on the package and enjoy!