Friday, June 06, 2008

Chickpea Pasta with Almonds and Parmesan

Credit to Real Simple magazine (Jan. 08 page 152) for the original recipe:
Serves 4

1 T. olive oil
3 cloves of garlic
7 c. veggie or chicken broth
1/2 t. crushed red pepper flakes
Kosher salt
1 lb. angel hair pasta
1 15.5 oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 c. flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1/4 c. unsalted roasted almonds, chopped
1/2 c. grated Parmesan

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.

Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 mnute. Add the broth, red pepper, and 3/4 t. salt and bring to a boil.

Add the pasta and cook, stirring, until the broth is nearly absorbed and the pasta is al dente, about 6 minutes. Stir in the chickpeas and parsley.
Divide among individual bowls and top with the almonds and Parmesan.

Really though.....

This is what I did. I came home late from a doctor appointment and my Hunny had already fixed dinner. Leftover linguine was in the strainer in the sink and a little pasta sauce in a pot on the stove.

I dumped the leftover linguine in a bowl with about a cup of chicken broth, and 2 T. butter. Sprinkled it with garlic powder, red pepper flakes and salt. Poured some leftover chickpeas on top.
Nuked it till the butter melted and everything was nice and warm. Sprinkled slivered raw almonds on top and grated some fresh Parmesan cheese on it. Took a fork and the bowl into living room to watch hockey with my Hunny. Ate half, and saved the rest for lunch at work.

I love this combination. Super easy, and it was great to use everything I had to dress up some leftovers. Of course I could have thrown all the leftovers away or let the stuff mold in the back of the fridge....not.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Superbowl Fav: Bacon Wrapped Smokies

I got this recipe from another coworker, and its been a hit every time he and I have made it for a party. We are having it tonight while we watch the Super Bowl.

1 package Little Smokies
1 lb. bacon
brown sugar

Cut bacon strips in 3rds. (You may have some left over. Use another package of Smokies or fry up the bacon and use for another recipe.)
Wrap a raw bacon strip around each sausage and secure with a toothpick.
Place in a glass pan.
Sprinkle the brown sugar over all and drizzle the vinegar over it. At this point you can bake or refrigerate a few hours to overnight.
Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. May remove to a small crockpot to keep warm, or eat right away. I have frozen these successfully, both raw and leftovers.

White Bean Chicken Chili

This recipe is from a coworker. He and his daughter have won several chili cookoffs with it.

48 oz. Great northern beans

4 c. cooked chicken breast, shredded

1 T. olive oil

2 medium onions diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 (4 oz.) cans chopped green chilies

2 tsp. Ground cumin

1 ½ tsp. Dried oregano

½ tsp. Cayenne pepper (optional)

6 c. chicken broth

3 c. shredded Monterey Jack cheese

sour cream for garnish

Heat oil in sauce pan. Add onions and sauté until tender. Add garlic, chilies, cumin, oregano, cayenne pepper. Saute 2 min. In large pot boil broth and add beans. Add Chicken to the above mixture. Add 1-2 cups of cheese (don’t boil or cheese will burn on bottom). I use my cast iron dutch oven to simmer slowly for a while before I add the cheese. Makes about 4 quarts.

Use sour cream to garnish.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Cheryl's Best Ever Ham

This recipe is from my boss, Cheryl who brought it in for a department Thanksgiving party.

1 semi boneless ham (I like the ones from Publix--about 8 - 10 lbs.)
1 jar pineapple preserves
1 lb brown sugar

Line a roasting pan with foil, and place the ham in the pan.
(Have the preserves and the brown sugar ready as your hands will get super sticky!)
Spread preserves over the ham, then press brown sugar on top of the preserves.
Cover with foil.
Bake 20 minutes per pound at 350 degrees or until internal temperature is 140 degrees.

I serve with Potatoes Anna, and fresh homemade rolls. Leftovers make wonderful ham biscuits.

Shrimp Scampi

This is the best shrimp scampi I have ever eaten, better than any restaurant. The secret ingredient is Dijon mustard, which I don't normally have a taste for, but it's fantastic in it.

1 c. butter
2 T. prepared Dijon mustard
1 T. lemon juice
1 T. chopped garlic
1 T. chopped fresh parsley or 1 t. dried parsley
2 lbs medium raw shrimp, shelled, deveined, with tails attached

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine everything but the shrimp, and remove when the butter is melted.
Put shrimp in a shallow baking dish, and pour the butter mixture over the shrimp.
Bake for 12 - 15 minutes or until the shrimp are pink and opaque.

I serve this with linguine noodles and a leafy green salad, but Carraba's Italian Restaurant also serves it as an appetizer with toasty bread. Just an idea for something special or fancy. I usually use a package of precooked shrimp from Aldi when making this, only I bake it just till the shrimp are warmed through. Shrimp gets a nasty rubbery texture when overcooked.

6 servings

Potatoes Anna (5 star recipe)

This is a very simple, elegant way to serve potatoes, it is very easy but takes an hour and 15 minutes to bake. We like them with steaks, meatloaf, or even pork chops. Its easy to double or triple for guests.

4 T. butter
1 t. salt
3 large potatoes, peeled (about 4 cups)

1. In a small saucepan over low heat, melt butter with salt. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2. With knife, or mandoline, slice potatoes about 1/8th inch thick.

3. Grease an 8" pie pan (I use a quiche plate), arrange potatoes slices around the pan and in the middle, in an overlapping pattern. Drizzle butter mixture over the top.

4. Cover tightly with foil, bake 20 minutes.

5. Uncover and bake about 55 minutes or until potatoes are very tender and crusty. ( I like them to be golden brown). Remove from oven and let stand at room temperature for 5 minutes. You can unmold it onto a plate and serve in wedges, but we usually just spoon it out of the quiche pan and eat it that way.

4 servings

--from The Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook, 1980 edition.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thanksgiving Menu

Thanksgiving this year is at my house and we are having 10 or 11 guests. I try to plan ahead so I don't get too stressed out.

Our Menu:
Maple Glazed Turkey (a la Martha Stewart)
Baked Ham
Mashed Potatoes and Turkey Gravy
Apple, Pecan, & Cranberry Stuffing (Kraft Foods magazine)
Sweet Potato Souffle
Green Bean Casserole
Glazed Carrots
Cranberry Mousse (Kraft Foods magazine)
Fruit Salad
Green Salad
Wheat Rolls, with butter and jam
For Dessert:
Carrot Cake
Pumpkin Pie
Blackberry Cheesecake (new recipe)
Iced Tea
Water with lemon

The Plan: Mary Ann is making wheat rolls and carrot cake ahead, and assembling her green bean casserole and sweet potato souffle when she arrives at our house.

I am making the pies, the cheesecake, cranberry mousse, and the fruit salad on Wednesday evening. The turkey will start his cola bath tonight in a big stockpot in the fridge and be ready to bake on Wednesday morning, along with the ham. That leaves the stuffing which is done on top of the stove, glazed carrots which will be made early in the morning and nuked before eating, a green salad and a pitcher of iced tea. The mashed potatoes are in the freezer and will be thawed on Wednesday evening (hat tip to a Large Family Logistics newsletter).

I have the tablecloth washed, the dishes, glasses, and flatware ready. I will try to get that set up in the morning. Mary Ann is bringing some more items for the centerpieces. I will try to remember to take pictures and update the blog on Thanksgiving Day.

I have a little more cleaning to get done, and we will be ready. I would love to hear about your menu and tips.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Kathryn's Dinner Menu for October

This month I am doing a shopping fast. My freezer and cupboards are so full and I need to clean cupboards and defrost the freezer at the end of the month. Hopefully, eating some of my stock will make it easier. The only things I plan to buy are milk, yogurt and fresh fruit. We will see how it goes, but I don't expect any major issues. We are even planning on holding off the monthly Sam's Club run until the first weekend in November. I will be doing progress checks on my regular blog.

Unless noted, we eat yogurt, and cereals for breakfast, and leftovers for lunch.

1---Bacon, Peach Coffeecake (Brunch) Ham and Potato Quiche (Dinner)
2---Calzones, Pear/Strawberry Jello
3---Sloppy Joes, Cornbread, Peaches
4---Subs (Care Group)
5---Sausage and Potatoes, Salad
6---Pot Roast and Veggies
7---Pancakes (brunch), Jello and Hot Pockets (Dinner)
8---Loaded Garlic Bread, Fruit Smoothies, Leftovers
9---Baked Ziti, Corn, Breadsticks, Salad
10--Pulled Pork BBQ
11--Frozen Pizza (care group)
12--Baked Potato Bar w/ Hamburger, Salad
13--Poor Man's Steak, Cauliflower
14--Fruit Smoothies (Brunch), eat out (trip to NC for apples)
15--Lasagna, Salad, Rolls
16--Meatloaf, Glazed Carrots
17--Beef Stew, Veggie biscuits
18--Pizza Joes (care group)
19--Potato Soup, Cornbread
21--eat out (church yard sale), leftovers, (dinner)
22--Fruit Smoothies (breakfast), Cooks Choice (dinner)
23--BBQ Meatballs, Asparagus, Rice
25--Mac n Cheese w/ Hot dogs (care group--we have snacks)
26--Smothered Chicken Breasts, Veggie
27--Baked Ziti, Salad
28--Waffles (brunch), BBQ Ribs
29--Monte Cristo's (brunch), Loaded Garlic Bread, Fruit Smoothies (dinner)
30--Spaghetti, Salad
31--Ravioli, Salad

For more menus, check out Menu Plan Monday over at one of my new favorite blogs, I'm An Organizing Junkie! Thanks Laura for hosting!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Frugal Friday: Cheap Italian Sausage

My husband loves Italian sausage on his pizza! Its just so expensive. Well, here is a way to save a couple of dollars. Use a 1 lb roll of Mild Sausage. Crumble it up and add 1 1/2 t. fennel, 1/4 t. garlic powder, some Italian seasoning and a sprinkling of dill weed. I would mix this up in my Bosch mixer using the kneading hook or you can use your hands to mix in the seasonings. Fry like you normally would and drain off the grease. This makes a wonderful addition to pizza or spaghetti. My local grocery has had the 1 lb rolls on sale recently for a dollar each, and I stocked up on them and have enough to last quite a while.

Check out our blog here, and check out more Frugal Friday tips at Biblical Womanhood!

Previous Frugal Friday Tips:
Yes, We have No Bananas

Hat tip to my coworker Mike!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Frugal Fridays: Yes, we have no bananas!

We love bananas so much here at our house that we buy bunches of them every week. I buy them green, they get to a very tasty yellow, and then the skins start getting bigger and bigger brown spots. Instead of wasting fruit, I like to take those very ripe bananas, peel and place in a ziploc bag. They reside in the freezer, ready for banana bread, banana oat pancakes, banana pound cake, or my current favorite---Banana Berry Smoothies!

Combine in blender:
2 frozen bananas, peeled and chunked
1 carton of yogurt, (we like strawberry)
A cup or so Triple Berry Blend frozen fruit (from Aldi--its blackberries, raspberries, & blueberries)
A cup or so frozen strawberries
1 t. vanilla
Pinch of stevia or 1/4 c. sugar
Milk (I use whole milk)

Blend all together, adding enough milk to make it a drinkable consistancy and enjoy! I For a special treat, they look very pretty with a swirl of whipped cream on top and an little paper umbrella!

Makes a blenderful!

Check out more Frugal Friday tips at Biblical Womanhood! Thanks, Crystal!