Wednesday, April 27, 2011
This year I wanted to add some new designs to my Easter cookies. I bought a carrot shaped cookie cutter and a new egg shape, and as a new design I added a little chick coming out of a broken egg. We celebrated at my parents' house so I put everyone's names on the cookies, we had a great time!
The whole group...
Sunday, April 17, 2011
We love pasta so I'm always looking for new recipes. I got this one from March's issue of Everyday magazine. Rachael Ray actually used Kale which neither Denis nor I care for so I changed it up a little and used spinach instead. It was simple yet tasty, with a little kick! Sometimes after swimming practice at night I don't feel like cooking so this was a fast and yummy meal to throw together fast.
Fusilli with Spinach, Ricotta and Sausage
Adapted from Rachael Ray
Serves 4, generously
1 pound spinach
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 pound sweet or hot Italian bulk sausage
1 pound short or long fusilli pasta or curly spaghetti (look for an imported Italian pasta)
3 to 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 small Italian red cherry chile pepper or 1 fresno chile pepper, seeded and finely chopped
About a 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
A couple of small sprigs rosemary, finely chopped
About 1 1/2 cups fresh sheep's -or cow's milk ricotta cheese
Freshly grated nutmeg
Shaved pecorino-romano cheese
Bring a pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain and return the pasta to the pot, reserving 1 cup of the pasta cooking water.
Once the pasta water is boiling, in a large skillet, drizzle 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the sausage, crumbling the meat, and cook until browned. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a plate. Add the garlic and chile pepper to the skillet and stir for a couple minutes. Stir in the thyme and rosemary.
Whisk the reserved pasta cooking water into the garlic oil. Add spinach and cook until wilted. Add mixture to pasta. Then add the sausage, ricotta and some nutmeg; toss vigorously to coat the pasta. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste. Serve in shallow bowls and top with the pecorino-romano.
Saturday, April 2, 2011
So meatloaf wasn't something I grew up eating a lot of, and honestly it kind of freaks me out. I mean its a "loaf of meat", how is that normal? But I have been trying to be a little more adventurous, and try new things lately. I know meatloaf really isn't something crazy, but I am known to be a little picky about certain foods. I am getting better and I am starting to enjoy new things more and more. So I found this recipe and knowing meatloaf is one of Denis's favorite meals, I decided to make it for us for dinner. It was so good!! It was moist and really flavorful and the best part - low fat. Delicious and low cal, what can be better than that!? I served it with a side of roasted carrots and potatoes tossed with olive oil, salt, pepper, chives and parsley. Very simple meal with tons of flavor.
Cook Yourself Thin
Meatloaves pre-glaze and cooking.
For the meatloaf:
1 slice whole wheat bread
1/2 cup skim milk
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, diced
5-ounce bag baby spinach leaves
1 1/4 pounds ground turkey
2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
For the glaze:
3 tablespoons ketchup
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Grind the bread in a food processor until fine crumbs form. Transfer to a large bowl, and pour milk over crumbs.
3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet, preferably nonstick, over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and golden, about 5 minutes. Add spinach, and stir until just wilted, about 30 seconds. Transfer to the bowl with soaked crumbs. Add the turkey, cheese, egg, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Combine the mixture with your hands until well mixed; it will be quite wet.
4. Pack 1 cup of mixture into a 1-cup dry measuring cup. Invert the cup onto a rimmed baking sheet, gently shaking the cup to release the mixture. Gently pat the mound to smooth its shape. Repeat with remaining mixture. Bake mini meatloaves until cooked through and golden, about 40 minutes.
5. While the meatloaves are cooking make the glaze: in a small bowl combine the ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce. Brush over meatloaves.
Roasted carrots and potatoes.
Friday, April 1, 2011
A few weeks ago my friend Alison had a little get together for St Patrick's Day. She asked me to bring a dessert and I wanted to bring one that was Irish themed. While I was Googling recipes I came across a great blog called Cupcake Rehab. The Blogger not only has a ton of delish cupcake recipes but has other great recipes too. There are a few I plan on trying in the near future. She has a really quirky personality and it comes out in all of her entries and recipes. You should totally check it out.
While I was baking the cupcakes the smell in my kitchen was outstanding! They smelled amazingly sweet, I wanted to dive right into the cupcakes. The recipe was very easy, as well as the icing. I definitely had to add additional Bailey's to make the icing a little smoother to ice though, but that didn't really effect the flavor. Then I added green shamrocks and white sprinkles to jazz them up. Yum!
Bailey's Irish Cream Cupcakes
2/3 cup unsalted butter, at room temp.
2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temp
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups Bailey's Irish Cream
2/3 cup water
2 tablespoons milk
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Insert 24 liners into a cupcake pan.
2. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes with a stand mixer. Add eggs and vanilla and beat well.
3. In a separate bowl, combine the liqueur, water and milk. Mix well.
4. In a third bowl, thoroughly combine flour, baking powder, and salt.
5. Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture, alternating with the liqueur mixture. Beat on medium speed for approximately 2 minutes.
6. Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full and bake for about 25 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly touched. (NOTE: The cupcake liners can be filled a little over the suggested 3/4 full, they don't fluff up as much as expected.)
Bailey's Irish Cream Buttercream Frosting
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons (maybe more) Bailey's Irish Cream
1. Cream the butter on high speed for approximately 3 minutes.
2. Add the bailey's and mix thoroughly. Slowly add the powdered sugar until well blended.
3. If necessary, add more Bailey's to thin or more sugar to thicken it to desired thickness.