Monthly Archives: April 2013

Parmesan Cream Pasta with Meatballs

Hope everyone had a fun and exciting (or chill and relaxed if you preferred) weekend!

Ours was great! I made this recipe for friends on Friday night.

Saturday we hung out here. Great beers and I suggest the Patty Melt!

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And Sunday we visited the Franklin Main Street Festival. Lots of great vendors and a good turnout. It ended up being beautiful outside after Saturday’s torrential downpours.

I never liked meatballs before I started this blog and now I feel like I make them all the time. They are very versatile.

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This pasta dish is really a treat. It has real cream, lots of Parmesan and any creamy pasta dish deserves mushrooms if you ask me.

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the stars

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green onions and mushroom

i used corkscrew pasta because it screams “fun”

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never a bad move

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this pasta was so creamy!

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it was like the perfect bite every time

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PARMESAN CREAM PASTA WITH MEATBALLS

for the meatballs: 

ingredients: 

1 pound lean ground turkey (93/7)

1/2 a bunch (3) green onions, finely chopped

1 egg

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, plus more for sprinkling

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

20 grinds fresh pepper

1 teaspoon salt

3 ounces of fresh mozzarella, grated

1/2 cup panko seasoned breadcrumbs

1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan

for the pasta:

1/2 bunch green onions, chopped

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 (8) ounce package of mushrooms

2 tablespoons of all purpose flour

2 1/2 cups of chicken broth

2/3 cup heavy cream

salt and pepper

1 pound dried pasta, such as rotini, cooked according to packaged instructions

instructions and directions: 

Combine all ingredients and form into 1-1 1/2 inch meatballs.

Bake on parchment lined cooking sheet for 25-30 minutes or until cooked through.

Meanwhile,  heat oil in a large skillet or saucepan over medium heat. Add 1/2 cup scallions and mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add flour, and cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper. Add broth; cover and simmer 20 minutes.

Add cream, and 1/2 cup Parmesan, and stir until sauce is slightly thickened. Add meatballs and pasta and stir gently to combine.

Top with parsley and Parmesan.

adapted from my recipes

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Corn Tomato Pasta with Shrimp

If you like easy, try this pasta. I think it took 20 minutes.

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This is a very summery pasta that I like to make year round. It’s really light and has good acidity from tomatoes as well as a little sweetness from the corn.

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These ingredients are really too simple

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Any of your favorite corn will do. Fresh, canned or frozen.

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Season those shrimp

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This is my favorite kind of angel hair pasta. It tastes great and it has a little something extra. It’s Barilla Plus, see what I did there? 😉

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Let the shrimp cook

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Toss with parsley

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Wasn’t that fast!?!

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Piled high on angel hair

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Corn, Tomato Pasta with Shrimp 

ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 small onion, finely diced

1 cup corn (canned, frozen or fresh)

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 (14.5) ounce can diced tomatoes

1 pound large white shrimp, peeled and deveined

1/4 cup parsley, chopped

1/2 cup of white wine (optional)

salt

pepper

1 pound angel hair pasta

Parmesan cheese

instructions and directions: 

sprinkle shrimp with salt and pepper. set aside.

over medium heat, heat oil. add onion and cook until softened, about 4-5 minutes.

add garlic and corn and saute until corn is warmed through, about 2 minutes. add wine (if using) and allow most of it to evaporate.

add tomatoes, with their juice. stir to combine. add shrimp and simmer until shrimp are cooked through, about 5 minutes.

toss with parsley and serve over angel hair. garnish with Parmesan.

Healthful Caesar Yogurt Dressing

While I am a fan of traditional Caesar dressing, it is bogged down with egg yolks. Store bought dressing tends to be full of ingredients you can’t pronounce.

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This recipe just replaces the egg yolks with yogurt and I swear I can’t even tell the difference.

To make it extra special, I toast 2 cups of day old bread, like ciabatta, that has been drizzled with olive oil, salt and pepper, for homemade croutons.

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Croutons for the toasting

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The show stoppers

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Whisk them all together

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Crisp romaine lettuce

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Grated Parmesan

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Top with croutons

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bon appetit

CAESAR DRESSING WITH YOGURT

ingredients: 

1/3 cup plain fat-free yogurt

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon anchovy paste (don’t be scared…it’s good)

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 garlic clove, minced

instructions and directions: 

Whisk together all ingredients. Toss with romaine, Parmesan and croutons.

April Weekend Review

Hope your weekend was yummy! Mine was.

Salad and Burger here.

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Breakfast

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Tired puppies

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Happy hour and fish tacos here.

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Summer scarf

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Egg salad while watching the Masters.

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A kid again

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Growler fill up here.

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Mussels

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10 Minute Crostini Appetizer

I mean it! 10 minutes. This simple recipe is really pretty to look at and tastes great! The bread is crunchy, the cheese is creamy, the salami-salty and the pesto adds a bright burst of flavor!

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Did I mention it takes 10 minutes?

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Toast the bread

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Spread with ricotta

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Top with salami and drizzle with pesto.

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CROSTINI WITH RICOTTA, SALAMI and PESTO

ingredients: 

1 baguette, cut into 1/2 inch slices

olive oil

20 thin slices salami

ricotta cheese (store bought or homemade)

pesto (store bought or homemade)

freshly ground pepper

sea salt

instructions and directions: 

heat oven to 400 degrees.

lay baguette slices on a parchment lined cookie sheet. drizzle each side with olive oil and lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper. bake for 5 minutes or until bread is crisp. remove from oven and cool 1 minute.

spread desired amount (i used about 2 tablespoons) of ricotta cheese on each slice of bread. fold one piece of salami on each and drizzle with salami.

boom.

At Home Date Night-Scallops

Table for two, please! At the hizz-ouse.

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Don’t be discouraged because it uses three pans. Great meals sometimes require a mess.

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After boiling this in chicken broth and water, I drained it and blended it with salt and cracked red pepper. Add a dash of chicken broth and use a spoon to stir around if needed.

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The trick to getting your scallops to caramelize is washing the scallops and patting them dry really well.

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The other trick is hot butter. For me 1.5 minutes on each side is the perfect time and doesn’t over cook.

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Sauteed spinach adds a burst of color and the shallots deepen the flavor.

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Fancy date night meal, ready in under 30 minutes so you have lots of time for other important date night activities.

Like movies. 😉

DATE NIGHT SCALLOPS

ingredients: 

3 heaping cups cauliflower florets

1 cup raw potato, cubed

3 cups chicken broth, plus a splash

salt

pepper

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

sea scallops (4-5 per person) that have been washed and completely dried

1 (9 ounce) bag fresh spinach

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 shallot, finely sliced

3 tablespoons butter

instructions and directions: 

In a small pot, bring 3 cups of chicken broth and 2 cups of water, to a boil. Add cauliflower and potato and cook until fork tender, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a non stick skillet, over medium low heat. Saute shallot, until soft, 2-3 minutes. Add spinach and saute slowly so that it wilts.

When the cauliflower and potatoes are done, drain and pour veggies in a blender. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, 15 twists of black pepper and the 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes. Blend on high and add a splash of chicken broth if needed. You may have to stir them a little but they should blend and be velvety. Set aside in blender.

Now, heat 3 tablespoons of butter in a large non stick skillet over high heat unitl the butter is hot and melted, but not brown. Sprinkle scallops with salt and pepper. Add scallops to hot butter in pan for 1 and 1/2 minutes. Flip and cook for 1 1/2 minutes more.

Ladle cauliflower puree in a large bowl, top with wilted spinach and scallops.

Slow Cooker BBQ

Even though it was cool and rainy this weekend, we did a lot spring cleaning inside and  yard work outside, to get ready for the warm weather. Surely it is on its way!!  The sun tried to make an appearance but it was short lived.

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To end the weekend on a good foot and to continue my theme of  “Bringing on Spring”, Sunday we made BBQ in the  slow cooker. To me, nothing says warm weather like a BBQ sandwich.

A lot of people make their BBQ with  different cuts of meat but I like using the tenderloin because it is so lean.

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Start off by lightly spraying your crock pot.

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Add tenderloin, sauce and a peach. Yes a peach! You can add whatever spices you like. Salt, pepper, paprika, cayenne etc. Some people may love their BBQ sauce enough and not feel like they need the spices. Salt and pepper are a must.

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You know it’s ready when you can easily break the tenderloin apart like this.  At this point you shred and add more BBQ sauce.

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Pile high on top of a bun. I wrap my buns (hehe-yes I am 7) in a damp cloth or paper towel and then in aluminum foil. Five minutes inside a 350 degree oven and they’re steamed to perfection.

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I top with slaw (this particular day I thought ahead and took some help from Chikfila. Their slaw is good!)

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A side of Alexia onion rings and some roasted okra and you’re done!

SLOW COOKER BBQ

ingredients: 

2-3 pound pork tenderloin

2 cups of your favorite BBQ sauce, divided (plus more for topping sandwich)

1 peach, peeled and cut into large pieces

salt

pepper

spices (anything goes here. pinch of this, pinch of that), optional

instructions and directions: 

Lightly spray inside of the slow cooker insert with cooking spray.

Pour 1/2 cup of the BBQ sauce on the bottom of the slow cooker. Lay tenderloin on top of the BBQ sauce. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Throw in the cut up peach. Top with 1/2 cup of sauce.

Cook on low for 4-5 hours. When tenderloin breaks up easily, begin to shred. Add 1/2 cup of BBQ sauce and cook 1 hour more. Finish shredding, add final 1/2 cup of BBQ sauce and stir to combine.

Serve on warm buns with slaw or your choice of toppings.