Showing posts with label bacon. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bacon. Show all posts

Monday, April 8, 2013

Clam Chowder

When I was about twenty-three I took a week long trip to San Francisco.  I immediately fell in love with that glorious part of our country.  The wharf, the trolleys, the funky winding roads, I couldn't get enough.  And of course, one thing I got plenty of, besides truckloads of Ghirardelli chocolate, was lots of creamy clam chowder.  Sitting in an outside cafe, right next to the water and a slab of barking seals, eating fresh clam chowder out of a sour dough bread bowl was about as close to heaven as it's going to get for me!
And while this isn't being eaten out of a homemade sour dough bowl, it's still pretty delicious and definitely reminds me of my blissful week in the Bay Area.  A rich, creamy, chowder chock full of all you love about clam chowder, with less calories.  Bacon, potatoes, lots of clams, and a thick broth, which has a slight and delightful sweetness thanks to the white wine.

For the bread bowl, since I just didn't have it in me to bake me own, I just hollowed out a store bought kaiser roll.  It actually held up very nicely and made the perfect amount to feel warm and satisfied.  My kids also thought being served out of a roll was the coolest thing ever!

Clam Chowder
Adapted from The New Way to Cook Light

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups chopped onion, divided
1/2 cup unoaked chardonnay (I used white wine)
1 (8 oz) bottle clam juice
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon butter
1 slice bacon, chopped
3 cups diced red potato
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/3 cup water
3/4 cup half and half (I used fat-free)
3/4 cup reduced fat milk
2 cans chopped clams
2 tablespoons chopped chives
1 teaspoon chopped thyme

Directions

1.  Combine 1/2 cup onion, wine, and next 2 ingredients (through bay leaf) in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat; bring to a boil.  Cover and cook 2 minutes; strain through a cheesecloth-lined sieve over a bowl, reserving cooking liquid.

2.  Wipe pan clean.  Melt butter in pan.  Add bacon to pan; saute 3 minutes.  Stir in remaining 1 cup onion, potato, celery and red pepper; saute 4 minutes.  Stir in flour; cook 1 minute.  Stir in cooking liquid and 1/3 cup water; bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Stir in clams, half-and-half and milk; cook 1 minute or until heated.  Stir in herbs.


Friday, March 8, 2013

Bacon and Pepperoncini Stuffed Sweet Peppers

Around Superbowl time a friend and I were commiserating about the fact that our disinterest in sports excludes us from all the great sports fare.  So, our Non-Superbowl, Superbowl party was born.  It basically meant all the game food, none of the game.  Score for us!  (Yes, that's right, I'm not a sports fan, but I'm still a real nice gal, honest!)

Don't you love this colorful bouquet of peppers.  I like to consider this my attempt at being responsible, by bringing veggies that haven't been dunked in hot oil.  Instead they've been stuffed with cheese!  I'll admit that I took a small leap of faith making these, I'd never had anything like this, so I had no idea what to expect.  Let me just tell you, these little babies are TASTY!  Sweet crunchy peppers, stuffed with a creamy filling that has a great tangy/smoky combo.  They would make the perfect appetizer for a party, luncheon or baby/bridal shower.  You've got to give these a try.

Bacon and Pepperoncini Stuffed Sweet Peppers
From The Shrinking Kitchen

Ingredients


2 teaspoons olive oil
2 slices turkey bacon, chopped (I used reduced fat center cut bacon)
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
2 green onions, diced
10 pepperoncini peppers, stems removed and roughly chopped
4 ounces light cream cheese
20 mini sweet bell peppers
 
Directions
 
Wash and cut the stems off the mini bell peppers and set aside.  In a non stick skillet, heat the olive oil.  Add the bacon and saute for a few minutes until it starts to crisp.  Throw the green onions and chopped red bell pepper in with the bacon and continue to saute until the peppers are softened.  Scrape the bacon/onion/bell pepper into the bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times.  Add the cream cheese and pepperoncinis to the food processor and pulse till combined. If the mixture is too thick, add a little juice from the pepperoncini jar.  Spoon the cream cheese mixture into a zip top bag.  Snip off a tiny piece of one corner of the bag.  Fill the cavity of each mini pepper with the cream cheese mixture.  Chill the filled peppers until ready to serve, or at least an hour.  (I thought they were even better the next day.)





Sunday, November 4, 2012

Chicken Canzanese

We survived! It has undoubtedly been one of the longest weeks of my life, but we're safe and that's what matters. The hurricane hit us around midnight with a screaming loud vengeance. Since my husband was out of town, I spent the night with one little foot under my ribs and one in my face.  My kids were way too scared to go to bed.  I couldn't blame them, the wind made my steel door shake so loudly that you would have thought a heard of aliens were desperately trying to come in.  The power was out that night, and just returned yesterday, six days later.  You never could have told me that the power was going to be out that long.  Luckily, thanks to good neighbors and friends, we all got through it.  My husband made it back safely, and I will never again take heat or light for granted.  My thoughts and prayers to those who lost so much and are still waiting for heat and power.  I hope things return to normal very quickly!

Back to the food...I'm going to just go ahead and say it, this might be the best chicken I have ever had...like, ever.  I'm already a huge fan of dark meat chicken, but add luxurious ingredients like bacon, wine and fresh herbs, and I'm practically floating out of my chair.  I would happily pay good money for something like this at a restaurant.  This is a bit time consuming, but SO worth it.


Chicken Canzanese
From

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 ounces of diced prosciutto or bacon (I used bacon)
2 garlic cloves sliced lengthwise
2 garlic cloves, minced
8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs and/or drumsticks, (trimmed of excess fat and skin)
2 teaspoons flour
2 cups dry white wine
1 cup chicken stock or broth
4 clove buds
1 sprig of fresh rosemary, minced
15 whole fresh sage leaves
2 bay leaves
pinch of red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon juice from 1 lemon
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
kosher salt

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 325℉, with the rack at middle-lower position. Season the chicken lightly with kosher salt, ground black pepper and garlic powder as desired.

In a large skillet (I used my 12" cast iron skillet), heat 1/2 tablespoon olive oil and saute the prosciutto/bacon until fragrant, and add the garlic slices and minced garlic, cooking for just a minute or so until lightly golden. Remove and place in a small bowl and set aside.

In the same skillet without cleaning the pan, add the rest of the olive oil and heat until very hot. Add the chicken pieces, skin side down, and cook without disturbing for about 8 minutes or until golden brown. Flip pieces over and cook another 5 minutes. You may need to do this in batches. Remove the chicken to a plate and set aside.

Remove some of the rendered fat from the pan, leaving about 2 tablespoons. Make a blond roux by adding the flour to the pan, and stirring and scraping with a wooden spoon or spatula until fragrant, about one minute. Add the wine and broth, slowly, stirring to make a smooth, slightly thin sauce, continuing to scrape the bottom until all the browned bits have been scraped up off the bottom of the pan. If the sauce begins to lump, whisk vigorously until it smoothes out. Add in the whole cloves, red pepper flakes, sage leaves, bay leaves, and reserved prosciutto/bacon and garlic.

Add the chicken to the pan in a single layer, skin-side up so it rests above the liquid. Place the skillet uncovered into the preheated oven and bake until chicken is completely tender, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Check on the chicken after about 15 minutes after you place it in the oven - the broth should be barely bubbling. If it is boiling or not bubbling at all, raise or lower your temperature slightly, accordingly.

Remove chicken from pan to a serving platter and tent loosely with foil, leaving the sauce in the skillet. Remove the sage leaves, rosemary stem, cloves and bay leaves and discard. Place skillet over high heat on the stovetop, and bring the sauce to a boil. Cook the sauce until it has reduced and thickened. Turn off the heat and add the lemon juice, butter, and minced rosemary. Pour sauce around chicken, and serve.
Served with rice to soak of that sauce, and sauteed mushrooms, because well, it just seemed appropriate for this dish.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Turkey, Bacon, and Scallion Stuffed Potatoes


Living in the east, people often don't know how to respond when they hear I'm from Idaho.  Sometimes I get the occasional, "oh yeah, I've been to Idaho.  We drove through it on our way to..."  Other times I'll get the loud "Idaho?  Don't you guys live in log cabins and live like pioneers?"  But the most common response is "So, did you eat a lot of potatoes?"

Yes, Idaho and The Potatoes.  Unfortunately it's our one claim to fame, but it's true.  We love our potatoes.  In fact, certain Visitor Centers throughout the state will offer you a free bag just for stopping by.  Growing up, we often went to a neighbors potato farms to pick off all the potatoes the trucks may have missed, to take home for free.  There were always more than we could pack into boxes, and put in the right climate, they would last forever.  Laugh all you want, but potatoes are awesome.  They fill the belly, are loaded with fiber, and are incredibly versatile.

So, the answer is yes, we did eat a lot of potatoes.
This recipe is for anyone who loves the turkey-bacon combo, which I know I do.  It's usually the only way I make my sandwich, with lots of cheese of course.  You do need to have the time to bake your potatoes before assembling these oozy, flavorful, spuds, but the rest of the assembly is a snap.  We served these as the main course with veggies on the side.  They were a hit!
Turkey, Bacon, and Scallion Stuffed Potatoes
Adapted from Rachel Ray's Big Orange Book

Ingredients

4 big Idaho Potatoes (traitor that I am, I used Yukon Golds, I like their texture a lot better)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
6 strips bacon
1/4 pound deli-sliced smoked turkey breast, chopped
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup chicken stock
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Directions

Preheat the oven to 425.

Scrub the potatoes and prick them each several times with a fork.  Place them on a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with oil, and season with salt and pepper, rolling them around on the sheet to coat them with the oil.  Bake the potatoes until tender, 45 to 60 minutes, depending on the size of the potatoes.  Let the potatoes cool for 5 or 10 minutes, until cool enough to handle, leaving the oven on.

While the potatoes are cooling, heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat with 1 tablespoon of oil.  Add the bacon and cook until crispy golden brown and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side.  Transfer the cooked bacon to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain off any excess grease and cool.  Add the chopped turkey to the same skillet and toss over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes to heat through, then remove from the heat and reserve.  Chop up the cooled bacon.

Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut each one in half length-wise and scoop out the insides into a mixing bowl, leaving a thin layer of flesh intact.  Try not to pierce the skin of the potato.  Add the sour cream, stock, and scallions and about 1/2 cup of the cheddar to the bowl and mash the potatoes; season with the salt and pepper.  Fold the turkey and bacon into the mashed potatoes and mount the filling into the potato skins.  Top with a little extra cheese, a couple of tablespoons per skin.  Return them to the oven for 5 minutes to melt the cheese.  Serve them up with your favorite salad alongside.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Deep Dish Bacon Cheeseburger Deluxe

One food that I don't think I'll ever get enough of is pizza.  How can you not love pizza.  It's protein, carbs, dairy, and veggies (kind of), all melted together to make a glorious slab of happiness.

Also being a fan of bacon cheeseburgers, I was very excited to see pizza and knew it would not be long until I'd be whipping this up.

It meets every expectation of deliciousness, and is quick and fun to make.  I think my favorite part is the whole wheat flour in the crust.  It adds a sweet and soft element to the pizza that I just loved.


Deep Dish Bacon Cheeseburger Deluxe
By

Ingredients

For the crust:
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1-3//4 cups white flour
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 packet rapid rise yeast
1 cup warm water
1 tbsp olive oil
Cornmeal to coat the bottom of pan

For the sauce:
3 tbsp ketchup
1 tbsp mustard
1 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

For the toppings:
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 large left over hamburger, cooked (I just browned and crumbled 1/2 lb ground beef)
4 slices bacon, cooked until crispy and broken into pieces
Lettuce, tomato, pickles, and onion to garnish, if desired

Directions

To make the crust, combine the whole wheat pastry flour and 3/4 cup of white flour with the salt, sugar, and yeast.  Pour the warm water and tablespoon of olive oil over flour mixture and stir to combine.  Mix in remaining 1 cup flour.  Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, adding more flour as needed.  Spray a mixing bowl (I usually use the one I mixed the dough in - I just wash it out first) with cooking spray.  Place dough in bowl and then turn over. Cover with a towel and let rise approximately 45 minutes or until dough doubles in size.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Punch down dough and let rest for 10 minutes.  While dough is resting, make sauce.  Mix together in a small bowl the ketchup, mustard, worchestershire sauce and mayonnaise.

Spray a 9 x 13 pan with cooking spray.  I use a glass pan, I like how the crust turns out crispy in this dish.  Sprinkle with cornmeal.  Place dough in pan and press the dough out, making sure to have the dough go up the sides of the pan to create the dish effect.

Spread sauce over top of dough.  Layer toppings as follows:  Sprinkle with 1 cup of mozzarella cheese, spread broken up hamburger over top of cheese, sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and then lastly top with cheddar cheese.

Bake in oven approximately 20 minutes or until crust is browned and topping begins to brown lightly. Remove from oven and top with bacon pieces.  Garnish with lettuce, tomato, onion and more bacon if desired.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Club Pasta

 Not near as embarrassing as a wardrobe malfunction, it seems as though I have suffered a pasta malfunction.  You see my friends, what you see before you started as bowtie pasta, but clearly it did not turn out that way.  Does anyone know if dried pasta actually expires?  Is there a date when your pasta will fall to pieces in your boiling pan?  I don't remember buying bowties in 2001, but maybe I did.

Fortunately tastes was not compromised and this still ended up being a delicious dinner.  I posted this recipe For-E-VER (name that movie) ago, and now I'm re-posting it because it's so simple and delicious.  All the great flavors of a club sandwich tossed together in a warm pasta?  You can't beat that with a stick.


Club Pasta

Ingredients

1 tablespoon of oil
4-5 slices of center cut bacon, chopped, cooked and drained
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups of cooked and chopped chicken or turkey breast
8-10 roma or compari tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 cup shredded parmesan, mozzarella, or provolone
1 12 oz box bowtie pasta, cooked according to directions
1/4 cup chopped parsley

Directions

In a large skillet heat oil and add garlic.  Cook for 1-2 minutes and add chopped tomatoes.  Cook for another four to five minutes until tomato skins are softened.  Add pasta, chicken and bacon.  Cook in pan for five-eight minutes until all ingredients are heated through and well combined.  Add cheese and parsley and stir until cheese melts.  Serve immediately.


Monday, September 26, 2011

Bacon-Corn Chowder with Shrimp



Like so many of us, my mind immediately turns to soup when the weather drops. It's understandable, what could be better to warm the belly and soul than warm, brothy goodness. There are so many good soups out there, but when I need extra comfort, I tend to prefer stews or chowders, they're thicker, heartier and sometimes a bit meatier.



This chowder was a total hit in our house. The thickness and sweetness of it comes primarily from the corn, but then you get bit chunks of shrimp as well as smoky bacon. It's a wonderful experience to eat, especially with a crusty hunk of bread. Mmmm, it's enough to brighten any chilly fall day.



Bacon-Corn Chowder with Shrimp
Cooking Light July 2011

Ingredients

6 slices center-cut bacon, chopped
1 cup prechopped onion
1/2 cup prechopped celery
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 garlic clove, minced
4 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels, thawed
2 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
3/4 pound peeled and deveined medium shrimp
1/3 cup half-and-half (I use fat-free)
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt

Directions

1. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add bacon to pan; saute 4 minutes or until the bacon begins to brown. Remove 2 slices bacon. Drain on paper towels. Add onion and next 3 ingredients (through minced garlic) to pan, and saute for 2 minutes. Add corn, and cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add broth; bring to a boil, and cook for 4 minutes.

2. Place 2 cups of corn mixture in a blender. Remove the center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape), and secure lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in the blender lid (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth. Return pureed corn mixture to pan. Stir in shrimp; cook 2 minutes or until shrimp are done. Stir in half-and-half, pepper, and salt. Crumble reserved bacon over soup.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Baked Potato Soup



Sometimes I don't think that the potato gets the credit it deserves. Sure, it's a homely root that grows all over the country, but they're also delicious, velvety and filling. i love their versatility, and I'm convinced that, if needed, we could feel the world with potatoes. I remember growing up we had "potato bars" which was basically a baked potato drowning in as many sides as possible, chili, cheese, beef, sour cream, broccoli, chives, onions, and if mom was in a good mood, Fritos. Insanely satisfying, great for kids and very inexpensive. Ah, the great potato.


When I found this recipe I realized how long it had been since I'd cooked with a tater and quickly got busy. I love this recipe because, since the potato is already dense with a lovely texture, you really don't need to add much to the soup for it to be rich. We piled this with bacon, cheese, and chives and ate like kings, for cheap!

Baked Potato Soup
From Skinnytaste

Ingredients

2 russet potatoes, washed and dried
1 small head of cauliflower, stem removed cut into florets
1 1/2 cups fat free chicken broth
1 1/2 cups 1% reduced-fat milk
salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1/2 cup light sour cream
10 tbsp reduced-fat shredded sharp cheddar cheese
6 tbsp chopped chives, divided
3 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled (you can use turkey bacon if you prefer)

Directions

Pierce potatoes with a fork; microwave on high for 5 minutes turn over and microwave another 3 - 5 minutes, until tender. Or if you prefer to use your oven, bake at 400° for 1 hour or until tender. Cool. Peel potatoes.

Meanwhile, steam cauliflower with water in a large covered pot until tender. Drain and return to pot. On medium heat, add chicken broth, milk, potatoes and bring to a boil. Use an immersion blender to puree until smooth. Add sour cream, half the chives, salt and pepper and cook on low another 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat. Ladle 1 cup soup into each bowl. Top each serving with 2 tbsp cheese, remaining chives, and bacon.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Mini Quiches



I always think about quiche this time of year. Maybe it's the eggs, representing Easter. Maybe it's the bright yellow color representing spring. Either way, I'm not complaining because quiche is awesome!

I made these sweeties for a baby shower. I have a thing about turning food mini and these little quiches are much easier to make then you think. A store bought pie crust helps a lot, just line your mini muffin tins with a cut out piece of pastry, fill and bake! They're the best warm, but also taste great at room temp, making them perfect for say an upcoming Easter Egg hunt, or brunch you have coming up!



Mini Quiches
Adapted from Food.com

Ingredients

2 sheets store-bought pie crust
6 slices bacon, diced
1 onions, finely diced
6 eggs
1 cup cream
1 cup grated cheese, I used sharp cheddar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley (I used fresh)
salt & freshly ground black pepper

Directions

1. Cook the onion and bacon over a low heat until the onion is softened.

2. Allow to cool a little.

3. Mix together with the eggs, cream, cheese, parsley and salt and pepper.

4. Unroll pie pastry, dish with flour and roll with rolling pin until it's increased in size by about a third. Using a cookie cutter or glass, cut 12 circles from each pastry sheet.

5. Use these to line a greased mini muffin pan.

6. Place about 2 teaspoons of the egg and bacon mix in each pastry base.

7. Bake in a moderate oven for about 12 minutes per tray (or until puffed, golden and set).

8. repeat with remaining pastry sheets and mix.



My kids made paper crowns for their little bunnies, they're so dang cute!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Blue Cheese Vinaigrette



It's gorgeous today! The sun is shining, the wind is minimal and I didn't even need a jacket when I went outside. I can't wait for my daughter to get home because as soon as she does, we're packing up and spending the rest of the day at the park. I love days like today!

And on a beautiful spring day, you need a beautiful green salad. I found this salad on Natalie's blog, The Sweets Life. This girl knows her stuff, especially when it comes to beautiful healthy food. As soon as I saw this salad, I knew I had to have it. In my mind, it's perfect for spring because it's got the summery crispness of the leafy lettuce or spinach, but also the winter nostalgia of creamy butternut squash and dried cranberries. Combine that with crispy bacon and an incredible homemade blue cheese vinaigrette, and you have yourself springtime on a plate! Thanks Natalie, I will be enjoying this salad a lot! Check out the recipe here.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Bacon Pierogi Bake



Pierogi is a word that I had never even heard until I was twenty seven and moved to Philly, what had I been missing out on? I see them everywhere now, there's even a delightful take out kitchen close by that sells several different types of pierogi. Sour kraut, loaded baked potato, even Philly cheese steak Pierogi is on their menu. They're delicious, creamy and full of stuf that fill the belly and warms the soul.

For those of you unfamiliar with pierogi, they are a dumpling originating from Eastern Europe (think Russia, Poland etc). They are filled with a variety of different things, but potato seems to be the most common. And then they are usually served with sauteed onions and sour cream, oh, I'm hungry just thinking about them!

Aside from getting them at restaurants, you can also get them frozen from grocery stores. But to be honest, I've never been that impressed with the frozen version, and consequently have had a box of them hanging out in my freezer longer then I'd like to admit.

So this recipe came in very handy to dress up the poor neglected pierogi in my freezer, and made them SO delicious. The sauce and cheese coats the already cheesy pierogi and adds so much great flavor. And let us not forget that there is bacon in there too. Need I say more?

Check out the recipe here!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Roasted Brussel Sprouts



It's amazing how certain recipes just stay with you. I read them, then no matter how much time passes, I just can't rest until making it. That's how it was with this brussel sprouts recipe I found over at The Hungry Housewife (a fun and DELICIOUS blog, I highly recommend you go say hi to Leslie). She posted this recipe clear back in January of last year, but when Thanksgiving rolled around, and I wanted to make brussel sprouts, I knew exactly where to go. Oh I'm so glad I did! There aren't too many brussel sprout lovers in my home, but how can you not automatically love anything cooked in bacon, c'mon? It should win just by default.

These are really simple to make, just a quick saute and a roast. But the results yield a brown, caramelized brussel sprout, brimming with smoky bacon flavor. It was easily the yummiest thing on my plate, and was the only dish that got completely eaten. Oh yes, I will be making these again and again. Thanks Leslie!

Roasted Brussel Sprouts
By The Hungry Housewife

Ingredients

1 pound fresh brussel sprouts,washed and trimmed of the rough "bud" on bottom and halved
Olive Oil
2 large shallots, thinly sliced
6 slices bacon, finely chopped
2 Tbsp Butter
Salt and Pepper
Balsamic Glaze

Directions

Preheat oven to 425

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large skillet over medium heat, add bacon and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add the shallots and cook for another 3 minutes. Add Butter , brussels Sprouts, salt and pepper. Toss to coat.

Pour the sprouts onto the baking sheet, roast for 30 minutes, turning once.
Remove from oven and drizzle with the Balsamic Glaze.

After all the pictures I've taken of food, I really shouldn't be surprised!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Roasted Butternut Squash Penne with Bacon, Sage and Balsamic Vinegar



I'll be honest, when I found this recipe, all I could see in the title was BUTTERNUT SQUASH and BACON. Yeah, that's all it took, I'm not a difficult sell when it comes to those ingredients.

This is one of those dishes that just screams fall. With it's earthy sage, tangy and rich balsamic, and of course creamy butternut squash, you'll be savoring nothing but autumn goodness. I don't even need to mention the fact that it also has bacon in it too, do I?


Roasted Butternut Squash Penne with Bacon, Sage and Balsamic Vinegar
By Cuisine and Home

Ingredients

1 lb butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch cubes (might I suggest precut butternut squash at the store, it will save you loads of time, and perhaps a finger)
2 TB olive oil
2 TB balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper
8 oz thick-sliced bacon, diced
8 oz dry penne
2 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
2 TB thinly sliced fresh sage
Balsamic vinegar

Directions

Preheat oven to 450

Toss squash with oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Transfer to a baking sheet and roast until tender and beginning to caramelize, about 15 minutes (stir squash halfway through roasting); set aside.

Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water according to package directions. Drain pasta reserving 1/2-1cup pasta water; set aside.

Cook bacon in a saute pan over medium heat until crisp, about 15 minutes. Transfer bacon to a paper-towel-lined plate; discard drippings. Add garlic to pan, cook 1 minute.

Add roasted squash, pasta, and bacon to garlic, tossing to combine and heat through. Add pasta water, 1/4 cup at a time, until it loosely coats pasta.

Off heat, toss pasta with Parmesan and sage. Garnish each serving with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Zuppa Toscana




Whenever I go to Olive Garden for lunch, I'm always sure to get a bowl of this tasty stuff. Zuppa Toscana, with it's hearty kale and delicious sausage, you really can't go wrong. The only thing better then eating it at a restaurant, is eating it at home donning pajamas and warm fuzzy socks, whilst watching your favorite show. I also love making things like this myself because I can lighten it up without lightening flavor, like using turkey sausage, and fat free half and half. Mmmmm, delicious.

Zuppa Toscana
Adapted From Allrecipes

Ingredients

1 pound bulk mild Italian sausage
1 1/4 teaspoons crushed red pepper
flakes
4 slices bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 large onion, diced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
5 (13.75 ounce) cans chicken broth
6 potato, thinly sliced
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 bunch fresh kale, tough stems
removed

Directions

1. Cook the Italian sausage and red pepper flakes in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat until crumbly, browned, and no longer pink, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.

2. Cook the bacon in the same Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp, about 10 minutes. Drain, leaving a few tablespoons of drippings with the bacon in the bottom of the Dutch oven. Stir in the onions and garlic; cook until onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.

3. Pour the chicken broth into the Dutch oven with the bacon and onion mixture; bring to a boil over high heat. Add the potatoes and kale, and boil until fork tender, about 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the heavy cream and the cooked sausage; heat through.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Cobb Salad Pizza



You'll have to forgive the pictures on this post. Sometimes pictures are done in haste. Sometimes you're just too hungry to worry about plating, lighting and aesthetics. Sometimes when you have a beautiful warm salad, tossed with chicken, bacon, avocado, blue cheese, cherry tomatoes and a homemade vinaigrette, soaking into a freshly baked pizza crust, you don't want to be bothered. You just want to eat it.


I suggest you do the same.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

BLT Salad

Happy Wednesday! I told myself that I would give ourselves a week to recover from our month of travel, but this week is just going by too fast! We've definitely been enjoying laying around watching cartoons. I finally watched Anastasia with my five year old daughter. Do you guys remember that cartoon from the 90's? I may had been in HS when it came out, but I still loved it! It's fun to enjoy those kinds of things with your kids.


This isn't exactly the most groundbreaking salad in the world, most of you have probably had some sort of variation of this before. I still had to post it because my sister and I probably ate this salad about ten times while she stayed the month with me. It's a wonderful summer salad, healthy, but still so flavorful. I got the idea from Cooking Light, which comes with a recipe for a vinaigrette, but in all honesty I just preferred a bottled balsamic or red wine vinaigrette. It's quicker and just as good. My favorite part about the salad was the crusty bread that soaked up all that dressing. It's like biting into little flavor nuggets!

BLT Salad
Adapted from Cooking Light
(Makes 1 salad)

Ingredients

1 serving size of spring lettuce mix
2 slices center cut bacon, cooked crispy and chopped
1/2 cup diced tomatoes
1/4 cup Gorgonzola or feta cheese
1/2 cup ciabatta bread, diced and broiled in oven until crispy and lightly brown
2 tablespoons of preferred vinaigrette
1/4 cup diced avocado (optional)

Directions

Toss all ingredients together, let sit for about five minutes for flavors to combine. Crack open cold beverage of choice and enjoy!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A Night of Meat (and Potatoes)


(I'm the short one with glasses!)

A few Saturdays ago I ran a 5K with a few of my friends. It's become a bit of a tradition that we started last year, and hopefully with every year my time will improve. The weather could not have been more beautiful and we had a great time, there's nothing like starting your day then with a good run. I can see how people get addicted to this running business.

So after the race, we did what any good food lover would do, cooked about ten pounds of ribs and ate them with our friends!


Ah ribs, truly God's gift to the carnivore. Is there a more succulent meat on this earth?

Ribs are surprisingly easy to prepare. The trick is just giving them enough time to cook low and slow. Whether you rub, sauce, or grill is up to you!

But what I really want to talk about are these bacon smashed potatoes. I had found a recipe in my Taste of Home magazine, glanced over it, misunderstood it, and now I like my version better! You can use red or russet potatoes (I like red). Boil them until they are tender enough to smash. Put them in a casserole pan.

And them smash the crap out of them.

I then drenched them in Italian Dressing, then sprinkled a generous helping of chopped crispy bacon, chopped parsley and shredded cheddar cheese. Bake them uncovered at 400 for about fifteen minutes, or until potatoes are heated through and cheese is melted or bubbly. These will disappear fast, I guarantee it!


I also served my all time favorite baked beans ala Paula Deen. Packed with things like crushed pineapple, molasses and french onions, these could practically pass for a dessert. Check out the recipe here.


The pictures might not be so great, but as evident by the big plate of bones, everyone was left completely satisfied! A very fun day (and night) indeed.
 
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