Foodie Blog Roll 2

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Mascarpone Pasta with Spinach and Mushrooms

This mild dish was so hearty and delicious. I am not a vegetarian, but I decided to give this a whirl with out any meat. Normally, I would add chicken to a dish like this, but since Hunter Hann is out of town, hunting.....I can make whatever I want! :) I didn't miss the meat at all. The mushrooms bump up the mass of the dish while the spinach adds lots of nutrients.

Mascarpone Pasta with Spinach and Mushrooms

Mascarpone is a very mild cheese that is often used in sweet or dessert dishes. But is equally yummy in savory dishes.


Mascarpone Pasta with Spinach and Mushrooms
       serves 4
1/2 lb whole wheat elbow macaroni noodles (about 1/2 a box)
8 oz baby bella mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper
4 oz mascarpone cheese
9 oz bag of baby spinach leaves
Chopped sun dried tomatoes for garnish (optional)

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the noodles to al-dente. While the noodles are cooking, over medium heat, sauté the mushrooms until they shrink down a bit. After a few minutes, add the chopped garlic to the mushrooms and cook for about 3 minutes, stirring often.
Drain and rinse the noodles and place them back in the cooking pot. Add the mascarpone cheese and stir until the noodles are covered. Add in salt and pepper and give the noodles a taste. Make seasoning adjustments now. Add in the mushroom-garlic mixture and stir. Lastly, add the spinach, stir, and place the lid back on the pot. Leave the spinach in the pot, string occasionally, until it's slightly wilted. Serve and top with chopped sun dried tomatoes.





For another recipe with mascarpone, try these Crushed Potato and Watercress Cakes. YUM!


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Monday, November 28, 2011

Cranberry, Pecan and Goat Cheese Quinoa

Pin It Quinoa is such a cool grain. You can add it to dishes to stretch a meal or as a yummy and healthy side dish. This dish is served warm, but I have also used it in this Watermelon Feta Quinoa Salad for a cold dish. 

Cranberry, Pecan and Goat Cheese Quinoa

Quinoa is kind of like rice in that you can add all the things you like to pump up the flavor or nutritional value. These are the goodies I chose.


Cranberry, Pecan and Goat Cheese Quinoa
      serves 8
12oz box of quinoa or 1 3/4 C uncooked
4 C reduced sodium chicken stock, or 32 oz box
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 C dried cranberries or cherries
1/2 C chopped pecans
4 oz goat cheese
2 T balsamic vinegar

Follow the instructions on the box to cook the quinoa, but replace water with chicken stock. When all the liquid is cooked out and quinoa is cooked, dump it in a large bowl with the onions, goat cheese, cranberries, pecans and balsamic vinegar. 

Mix it all together and serve warm. 

One of the things I liked most about this dish is the salty and sweet mix of the goat cheese and chicken stock with the dried fruit. This dish also re-heats well and the leftovers are great! The goat cheese binds everything together making this a creamy side dish.

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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Pumpkin Spice Coffee Cake


 The reason I chose to blog this the day before Thanksgiving is because this is for all those who found out they have to bring a last minute Thanksgiving dessert. Don't worry; I've gotchya covered.

This recipe can be made with only 2 ingredients. That's right, just two. If you want to add other spices, feel free. You probably already have them in your kitchen anyway.

Pumpkin Spice Coffee Cake

I got this idea from Jennifer at JaneDeereBlog. She's super awesome! She just took these two things:
....and made a cake out of them! 

You can use several different kinds of cake mix; vanilla, chocolate, spice, carrot, or butter pecan. I choose spice cake because it sounded most like Thanksgiving to me. Carrot might have to be my next try. It is my favorite after all! Jennifer baked her cake in a bunt pan, but I choose to use a 9X13 baking dish and cut them into squares. So easy!

Pumpkin Spice Coffee Cake
      makes 24 pieces
1 box spice cake mix
1 15 oz can pumpkin puree
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
For topping {optional}
2 T sugar + 1/8 tsp pumpkin pie spice + 1/8 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350° and spray 9X13 baking dish with Baker's Joy. In a large bowl, mix together the cake mix, pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice (optional). Mixture will be thick and sticky. Spread mixture into prepared dish. Bake for 15 minutes, remove from oven and sprinkle with part of sugar mixture. Bake for an additional 10 minutes (25 total), remove from oven and immediately sprinkle with remaining sugar topping. Let cool and slice.


This cake is so moist there is no need for oil or eggs. It sets up and is fluffy and light. Pumpkin pie spice is such a staple in the kitchen now, but if you want to make your own, try my Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice recipe. It also makes wonderful gifts! 

Here are some other awesome 2 ingredient pumpkin recipes: 
Pumpkin Cake by Jennifer at JaneDeereBlog
Pumpkin Muffins by Sweet-Verbena
Pumpkin Cake by Big Red Kitchen
Pumpkin Muffins by Pinfluence
Pumpkin Cookies by Cookiesandcups
Pumpkin Muffins by Jackie at Embracingmyblessings

Everyone's doin it. You should too!

By the way, I have NO idea who tried this or blogged this first. But I saw it on Jane Deere first, so I'm giving her the credit. She's a smart lady! :)

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope yall have a safe and wonderful time with family and friends. Hope you have a lot to be thankful for; I sure do!
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Monday, November 21, 2011

Chubby Hubby Cookie Pie

Pin It

I know. There are no words.
I mean, there are a few. Like peanut butter. Chocolate. Caramel. Pretzels. More chocolate. Cookie. Mmm, pie!

Chubby Hubby Cookie Pie

This really isn't my fault. You see, my work was having this pie cook off last week and well, I have never made a pie before. I got scared! All that flour and and butter, scary! My beautiful grandma, Nanny, has a wonderful pie crust recipe that she graciously shared with me but I just haven't made it yet. I'm sure it's not proper food blogger etiquette to say that you are scared of making something, but I am. So I made this instead.


Have you ever had Ben & Jerry's Chubby Hubby Ice Cream before? It has fudge covered peanut butter filled pretzels. With extra peanut butter and chocolate. Yeah. This pie is named after that ice cream. Not my hubby. My hubby's not chubby. He's HOT! See?
(This photo was from a friend's wedding last weekend. Congratulations Zach and Stephanie! xoxo)

So, one awesome thing about this pie is going to the grocery store for all of this stuff and looking at the cashier's face. :) That's right. This is going to be a pie when I'm through. Please don't judge.

Chubby Hubby Cookie Pie
      makes 8 slices
1 Oreo crust
12 oz chocolate chip cookie dough
1 C coarsely chopped pretzels
1 C coarsely chopped Reese's peanut butter cups (regular sized, miniatures, or minis)
25 caramels unwrapped (or 1/2 a 14oz bag)
1 T hot water
1/4 C dark chocolate chips, melted

Preheat oven to 350°. Put dough in a bowl and gently stir in pretzels and Reese's cups. 

Spread dough mixture out into Oreo crust. 

Bake for 18 to 20 minutes.

Let this bad boy cool for about one hour. After an hour, melt the caramels in a microwave safe bowl and drizzle it over the whole pie. 

It should look something like this. 

Place it in the fridge for 15 to 30 minutes until the caramel sets. 
Get excited for the next step....it involves chocolate!

Melt dark chocolate chips, then drizzle over the pie.

It's a beautiful thing. Try not to cry.


Pop it back in the fridge, just until the chocolate sets. Like this.

And that' it. Oh, and you might want to serve this with ice cream. Just a suggestion.

Have you seen my bucket list yet? Well, this was on there, and now it's crossed off! Wooo hooo!!

There are several things you could do to adapt this pie. You could make your a homemade Oreo crust. You could use your favorite cookie dough recipe. Swap out the caramel layer for a peanut butter layer. Bake it in a regular pie crust. So many possibilities. 
This would be a great Thanksgiving pie for those people who don't like traditional pumpkin. It's such a great salty and sweet treat!

Oh, by the way. Don't you think this looks like the perfect pinterest picture? :) Come pin with me!

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Friday, November 18, 2011

Bacon and Hash Brown Skillet Egg White Frittata

Pin It A few weeks ago I posted a lovely garden skillet egg white frittata. It was kind of girly with the basil and peppers, but hey, hubby was out of town. I liked is so much and it was so easy that I wanted to make him a "husband approved" version.

Chris is a meat n potatoes kind of guy. Meat, bacon. Potatoes, hash browns. Check, check. This frittata is just as awesome as the other one. And just as easy.

Bacon and Hash Brown Skillet Egg White Frittata

I started out by cooking up some bacon and chopping it. Next I cooked the hash browns and onions. Then I just threw everything together. All in one skillet. Mmmmmm, breakfast!

Bacon and Hash Brown Skillet Egg White Frittata
       serves 6
4 slices bacon (I used turkey), cooked drained and chopped
1/2 yellow onion, diced and cooked
1 C hash browns, cooked
1 1/2 C egg whites
Salt and pepper
1 T chopped thyme
1/4 C shredded cheddar

Preheat oven to 325° and rub the bottom and sides of skillet with vegetable oil. Once everything is cooked, add bacon, onions and hash browns to skillet and toss together. Add salt, pepper and thyme to egg whites and pour over skillet. Sprinkle cheese on top and place in oven. 

Bake for 25 minutes or until egg whites are completely set. Remove from oven let cool slightly. Slice into 6 pieces.

So what do you think? Easy peasy? This would make a lovely dish for brunch or a holiday breakfast. Oh, and the leftovers are great too! 

Girls, even though this is a husband approved dish, I still loved it! A girl's gotta eat, right?!

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Open Faced Cranberry White Cheddar and Turkey Skillet Sandwich

This sandwich is very product specific. Have you ever seen cranberry white cheddar cheese before? Neither had I. I was at Whole Foods a week ago getting cheese for some amazing grits, and I stumbled across this.


I thought I would get my self in the Thanksgiving mood by making a very lazy Thanksgiving-ish sandwich. The cheese is great by itself too. There is just a hint of cranberry flavor and it's not over powering.
 
Open Faced Cranberry White Cheddar and Turkey Skillet Sandwich

I have been using my cast iron skillet a lot lately. I love that you can easily transfer it from the stove top to the oven. For that reason, I used it for this sandwich. 

Open Faced Cranberry White Cheddar and Turkey Skillet Sandwich
        makes 1
1 piece whole wheat or whole grain bread
Light butter
1 thick slice cranberry white cheddar
Sliced or shaved turkey breast

Heat a skillet to medium heat and butter both sides of the bread. When the skillet is hot, place the bread in the skillet and get the cheese and turkey ready. 

Once the bottom of the bread is golden brown, flip it over and add the turkey, then the cheese. Place the skillet in the oven under low broil until the cheese is melty and slightly browning. Remove from oven and serve. 

The underneath side of the bread will be golden brown. 

And the sandwich will be cheesey heaven! This sandwich would also be awesome with leftover Thanksgiving turkey!

Mmmmmm. I love lazy Thanksgiving-ish sandwiches!

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Monday, November 14, 2011

Cheesy Bacon Grits and Skillet Pork Chops

Last week, Chris and I ate good. I mean really good! My mother, the English major, would say that we ate well. But frankly, she's not here. And she didn't try these grits!

Cheesy Bacon Grits and Skillet Pork Chops

I'm not sure what's come over me lately, but this health promotions major hasn't put anything in the Healthy Kitchen tab in a while. Nope, this Cowgirl has really had a hankerin' for cheesy, hearty food. Don't believe me? Well maybe you missed last week's Cauliflower Gruyere Gratin post.

This meal was equally delicious. A few weeks ago, when my parents-in-law were in Birmingham, they picked up this awesome cheese from Whole Foods. It's Red Leicester, The Red One brand. 

Move over, smoked Gouda! There's a new favorite cheese in town! I would say it is similar in flavor to cheddar, and even though the packaging says it's mild in flavor, to me, there is nothing mild about this cheese. It's full of flavor and oh, so good. Anyways, we ate a block of that in about 1 day, so I had to get another block just for these mean, cheesy girts. 

Cheesy Bacon Grits and Skillet Pork Chops
     serves 4
4 oz bacon
4 C whole milk
1/2 tsp salt
1 C 5-minute grits
1 C shredded Red Leicester cheese
4 pork loin chops
Salt and pepper

Cook bacon in a cast iron skillet or pan. Remove from pan and place on paper towels to drain and cool. Chop into pieces. Drain majority of the fat from skillet, but leave some drippings to cook the pork in.
Sprinkle pork chops with salt and pepper and place two at a time in skillet on medium high heat. Cook on both sides, until cooked through. 

Meanwhile, pour milk into a sauce pot over medium high heat and bring to a boil. Add the salt and grits and whisk frequently. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the grits are soft. Take grits off the heat and stir in the cheese until melted. Stir in the bacon.

Serve grits hot, alone or over pork chops.

I liked the pork, but I could eat a whole mess of the grits by themselves!  They are fluffy and creamy and they would be a great side for lots of dishes. For the small amount of bacon in these, the flavor really comes through. And I already told you how I feel about that cheese. This is a winner, for sure!

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