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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Pasta Carbonara

This is hands down my most requested recipe when I serve it.  So, I thought it time to bring it to the top of the blog so I can find it easier:)  ALSO..I figure this out because Max wasn't in the mood for this and I was.  You can make this in the same amount of time that it takes to heat up the oven and make a frozen pizza!!  So, it goes in my under 30 minutes to table too!!

Maybe I'll even post a new recipe here and there?  I kinda miss you guys!!

True pasta carbonara doesn't have any vegetables but I think they really add something.  Do I think it's making it a tad healthier??  Nah, I just like the way it tastes but I'll eat this with or without vegetables.  You can also tone down the red pepper flakes as I did the last time I made it for the kids but everything else is a MUST.

Spaghetti Carbonara

3/4 box Thin Spaghetti
1/2 lb of Bacon ~ chopped
3 cloves of garlic ~ minced
1/2 T Red Pepper Flakes
1 Pepper ~ chopped ~ I use a variation of colors to equal one just because I think it's prettier
1/2 lb fresh Asparagus ~ broken into pieces
2 Egg Yolks
1 ladle pasta water
1/2 container Shredded Parmesan Cheese ~ I personally prefer Asiago but I had Parmesan handy and NO you canNOT use the grated green can stuff
Fresh Cracked Pepper

Fill a pasta pot with water and a LOT of salt. The water should taste salty, I'm guessing 2-3 T of salt~I've never measured, sorry.

In a pan, add your bacon, garlic and red pepper flakes. A few cranks of the pepper mill. Cook until bacon is good and crispy and nicely browned. Add peppers and stir around a couple of minutes. You can turn off the heat and wait for the pasta to finish cooking at this point if you need to.

The water is boiling, add your pasta and give a stir. Throw your asparagus into the water and boil for about 2 minutes, should still have a little crunch left. Scoop the asparagus out and throw into pan with bacon and peppers, it stays floating on the top so it's not hard to get out with a slotted spoon. Turn the heat back on the bacon pan.

Your egg yolks are in a bowl, scoop out a ladle of water and pour into yolks. You are whisking the yolks as you add the water because you don't want to end up with cooked eggs.

Your pasta should be done. Drain your pasta but don't rinse. Add pasta to the bacon, toss. Add egg yolks and toss again. Takes about 1/2-1 minute to thicken. Turn off the heat. Add the cheese. Toss again, taste to see if you need some more pepper and serve.

See all the salt in the bottom of the pan.
Here is your bacon, pepper flakes and garlic. I took this photo like this so you can see how much we're talking about. I also put a few cranks of fresh pepper on top of the bacon. It's about layering the flavors with this dish and I like the peppery taste.
Here's your vegetables ready to go.
The cheese, gotta have the cheese. Lots of cheese..yum!
See how crispy the bacon is, add the peppers and give it a stir.

See, told you the asparagus would float on top.

The egg yolks have been whisked with the pasta water and is waiting to finish the dish.
Throw your asparagus in.

Add the pasta, give it a toss. Add the egg yolks, give another toss and cook until thickened.
Add the cheese. Don't be cheap with the cheese. A couple more cranks of fresh cracked pepper.
I sprinkled red pepper flakes on mine since I cut down for the kids but if you don't want spicy.  Dig in!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Oven Pancakes

I started Weight Watchers again.  As in, I'm actually getting my butt to meetings and seeing a few pounds come off.  Grudgingly coming off but the scale does move on occasion.

At any rate, I was not in the mood to cook dinner.  These are a favorite for my kids so I opted to throw these together and remove a little butter and sugar.  Guess what?  The entire recipe is 13 points!  If you made them in the little pans, that's only 3.25 per pan!!

Oven Pancakes
2 T Butter
4 Eggs
3/4 C skim Milk
3/4 C Flour
1 Apples peeled and thinly sliced ~ optional
Handful of berries ~ optional
1/4 T Sugar
1/4 t Cinnamon

Heat oven to 400. Place 1 T of butter in a 9 inch pan, you'll need two pans. Melt butter in heated oven. Remove pans, swirl melted butter, spray edges with cooking spray. Arrange apple slices or berries in bottom of pan.

Mix Eggs and Milk. Add flour. Combine well. Divide batter evenly and pour over fruit.

Mix Cinnamon and Sugar. Sprinkle half the mixture over each pan. Bake 20-25 minutes until puffed and golden brown. Serve immediately with butter and/or syrup.
Here's your ingredients.
I opted to use four 6" pans with 1/2 T of butter per pan so everyone could have their own flavor.
Whisk your wet ingredients. After they are mixed well, dump in flour and salt and whisk again. The batter is pretty runny, not like your typical pancake batter.
Pick your pleasure. We have two plain, one with blueberries and one with apples.
Divide your batter and sprinkle with cinnamon/sugar mixture. I decided after I took the photo to have apples and blueberries and threw a few in..that's why the photo doesn't match;)
Here they are puffed and almost finished in the oven.
Remove from oven, loosen with a spatula and transfer to plate.
Dinner is served! Enjoy!!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Peanut Butter Hearts

You know the peanut butter blossoms that I made at Christmas.  The ones with the Hershey kiss in the middle??  Well, we are going to get funky and put a heart shaped Dove in the middle for Valentine's Day!!  These are such an easy cookie and they are sure to put a smile on someone's face.

Unwrap a bag of Dove Hearts so they are ready to go.

1/2 C Butter softened
1 Egg
1/2 C Peanut Butter
1/2 C Sugar
1/2 C Brown Sugar

Cream together. And then add...

1 1/2 C Flour
1/4 t Salt
3/4 t Baking Soda
1/2 t Baking Powder

Roll into small balls about the size of a medium gum ball. That is bigger than the ones that cost a penny and smaller than the quarter size. Basically you are going to have a bite size cookie when it cooks.

Roll in sugar. Put on pan and bake at 375 for about 7 minutes until bottom is lightly browned.

Immediately put on waxed paper and immediately push a Dove Heart in the center. You are not going to be able to move these for at least two hours because the heart will soften a bit. They need to completely cool before you package these.

These freeze well

Monday, December 29, 2014

The Enchanted Life of Adam Hope


This was my pick for book club this year.  I picked it because someone recommended it.  I liked it, most in the book club liked it too.  It's a tad bizarre but that made for an interesting discussion:)

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas

I got a little teary waiting in line for this photo.  I've always told my kids that they'll be doing this until they leave for college.  Well, I guess I realized that this is the 2nd to last photo of Max with Santa.  Claire said it's gonna be kind of creepy for her to do it alone, I'll cross that bridge when I get there I guess.  Two more years!!  Where the heck has the time gone?!  What happened to my babies?

Oops, sorry I got a little off track.

This post was to simply wish you a lovely day!  
Merry Christmas from our house to yours!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Christmas Crack

I really don't like the name of this sweet treat but it's what it's called on literally hundreds of blogs and I can't remember which one I found it on first.  It was ALL over FB last year and Tina called me and said she had this summer yummy bar "thing" and wondered if I could re-create it.  She couldn't really remember what was in it, that wasn't helpful;)   She knew that she had just never had it so since I had never made this, I gave it a go.  It wasn't it but it was yummy.

Ingredients
  • 50 saltine crackers (approx.)
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 1 cup soft brown sugar
  • 2 cups chocolate chips
  • 1 cup M&M's
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 325°.
  2. 9x13 jelly roll pan. Spray with cooking spray and then line pan with saltine crackers.
  3. Place butter and sugar in a medium sized pot over low medium/low heat. Stir until butter is melted. Once butter is melted, bring to a boil for exactly 3 minutes. Stir constantly.
  4. Once it's nice and bubbly, remove pan from heat and pour evenly over saltine crackers. Spread mixture with a knife... however it doesn't have to be perfect. Try to move fast during this part so the toffee doesn't harden.
  5. Place pan in oven and bake for 7-8 minutes. The mixture will spread evenly over the crackers as it bakes.
  6. Remove pan from oven and then sprinkle the chocolate chips on top of the toffee while it's still hot. Let the chocolate chips melt for a few minutes and then spread all over the toffee with a spatula. Sprinkle M&M's on top and then place in the fridge for 30 minutes. Once chocolate has hardened break pieces off the foil and store for up to two weeks in an container.
I didn't count my crackers as you can see and didn't have enough saltines but these other ones filled in fine.

There's the toffee goodness getting started.
Pour over the crackers.  Be careful putting into the oven because I spilled a little on my hand and it didn't feel great.
Sprinkle with chocolate chips.  I used half milk, half semi-sweet.

Melts fairly quick.  Spread with a spatula.  Throw some mini m&ms on top.
Break into pieces.  YUMMY



Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Date Cookies

When I was growing up, my Mom would take me to the local bakery and we'd get Date Cookies. They were her favorite and became one of mine. The bakery closed and the ones my Grandma used to make for her when she was little, well Grandma couldn't remember the recipe. I searched and searched for a recipe that she thought was similar and she said this one works. I hope you enjoy them.

1/2 C Butter
2 Eggs
1 C Sugar
2 T Milk
1 t Vanilla
2 1/2 C Flour
1/4 t Baking Soda
1/2 t Salt

Mix the wet, add the dry until combined. Put some flour on your counter and roll the dough to about 1/4 inch thick. I use a circle cutter because I like to fold them over and make little pockets like the ones from the bakery but I've made them without folding and they were just as good so it's your choice.

3/4 C Dates chopped
3/4 C Raisins chopped
1/2 C Sugar
1/2 C Water
2 T Lemon Juice

Heat all together over low heat until thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool. The smaller you chop the dates and raisins the quicker it will thicken but I've gotten lazy over the years and barely chop and it's all good.

Put a dollop of dates in the middle of the dough and fold over. Press the edges together so the dates don't seep out. Bake at 400 for about 10 minutes. Bottom should be light brown. Makes about 3 dozen.
Dates in the pot
Thickened
Cut out circles
Fill and fold over
Done