April 29, 2009

I couldn't help it!

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Have you ever seen something and you know without a doubt, that you have to have it?


That doesn't happen to me often. Where I have to have what I see ASAP! In the last 5 weeks of my recovery this has happened to me twice. The first time was with Giada's Asparagus and Pasta recipe. I had been watching her show on tv and when I saw her dish I knew I had to have it. Unfortunately I had to wait a few days for it because I wasn't able to drive myself to the store yet to get what I needed!

The second time this happened was yesterday. I saw Jessie's post on The Hungry Mouse for her Spicy Mango Lime Salsa with Asian Pear. I immediately knew I was going to make it ASAP....and all I needed to get was the pear and cilantro. I had an appointment so I made a trip to the grocery before coming home and threw the salsa together. Oh me, oh my. If you have any inclination you would like this, then you must make it! You can serve this salsa along side some yummy spicy grilled pork or with some homemade tortilla chips (like I did this afternoon!). You can click on the link here to go to Jessie's recipe for the salsa. Check out her blog while your at it because she has more than just yummy salsa there!

To make homemade tortilla chips:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray. Cut tortillas into 8 chip size wedges. Lay on cookie sheet and spray top of tortillas with cooking spray. Sprinkle with a little salt. Place in oven and bake for 8-9 minutes or until tortillas start to turn brown. Remove from cookie sheet and cool. Store in a sealed bag.

April 27, 2009

Pizza! Pizza!

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Lately pizza has been the buzz. Everyone seems to be making it. I was truly inspired by Aggie of Aggie's Kitchen and by my friend Mike who I have recently been reacquainted with. Aggie recently did a post for Foodbuzz's 24,24,24 and it was all about pizza! Check her post out - she has some amazing toppings for the pizza not to mention a killer beverage!

Of burgers and fries

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Wow, I just looked at my posts for the month of April and I really was slowed down from my surgery! I have my good days and I have my bad days. This morning I have had a lot of aching. I really think the muscle relaxers that I have been taking just aren't working anymore like they were. I try not to take them during the day now that I have been out of surgery for 5 weeks. I have a strong desire to be back to normal and go back to work but it just it taking too long for me. Yeah. I'm impatient!

Last week I didn't have to worry about much cooking and really didn't do any baking except for Nanny's Oatmeal Cookie recipe and a Strawberry Pie (which I may be posting later this week). I didn't have to cook dinner all week because Grumpy has been busy at work and getting home too late to eat dinner. Kind of a good thing since I didn't really have the energy to cook meals anyway.


Saturday we never had a real "cooked" meal. We went to see if we could find a truck for Grumpy and he has decided that he wants a Toyota Tundra! My Chevy man is looking at something not a Chevy! He test drove two trucks and loved them both. We just have to make the money part work before we commit to anything. Story of life isn't it?


Last night I actually decided to "fix" dinner. We had these burgers and sweet potato fries. The ground sirloin burger was just seasoned and grilled. I sauteed some onions and mushrooms to top the burger with. There are several recipes all over the internet for baked sweet potato fries. Just do a search and you will come up with many different versions. I enjoyed them baked but Grumpy wants me to fry them next time (go figure!). I adapted the recipe below to suit our taste.

Oven Baked Spicy Sweet Potato Fries

2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced in long strips
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place sliced potatoes in a large bowl and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil, then sprinkle mixture of cumin, salt and cayenne pepper and toss to coat well. Drizzle some olive oil on baking sheet. Spread potatoes in single layer on sheet. Place in oven and let bake for 15 minutes. Turn fries over and return to oven for another 10 to 15 minutes.

April 23, 2009

A blogging event near and dear!

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Last month, Laura of The Spiced Life, held an event called Grandma's Recipes. Laura decided to host this event because her grandmother (whom she had lost not too long ago) had been on her mind a lot. I immediately knew I would participate in this event because my grandmother is, in a large part, inspiration for my own blog. My grandmother has been gone from my life for a longer period of time, but there isn't a day that goes by that I don't think of her. Today, I live only two miles down the road from her home and only two miles away from where I grew up. So, on a daily basis I am flooded with memories of my youth. Gee, I said that like I was really old or something!


I am very excited to announce that after after a few email exchanges with Laura we have decided to make this a monthly event! However, to open the door for more people to participate, we have decided to change the event to Family Recipes: Memories of Family, Food and Fun. This means the recipe can be your own, your mother, your grandmother, your daughter, your aunt (or male counterparts of all these!) feel free to even include your in-laws! I know I intend to drag Kristina (my DIL) into this if I can!

I want to shout out a special thanks to Josie (who is Laura's sister) of
1 Kitchen, 2 Dogs and a Girl for creating our logo for us!




Here's how it works:


1. Make a dish that qualifies as described above and write about it.


2. Post it on your blog between now and 12 AM Midnight Saturday May 23 (USA EST)--all submissions must be in English please.


3. Provide a link in your post to this page and this blog.



4. Email me at grumpyshoneybunch AT yahoo DOT com by 12 AM Midnight Saturday May 23 (USA EST) with:

  • the recipe name
  • the URL of the post
  • the URL of your blog
  • your location


5. Please place a copy of the logo on your post if possible.


6. Multiple submissions are welcome, but please only one submission for each type of dish (main dish, appetizer, dessert, etc).


7. New posts only please.


8. Don't worry about photos--I will grab one from your post.






April 22, 2009

Yogurt Brownies

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I apologize for taking so long to blog and let you know who the winners of the giveaway are. I was hit with a cold thanks to Grumpy. I called Grumpy yesterday just to say "I am sooooo sick and it's all your fault!!!" I was looking for sympathy of course. Did I get any? Nope. He just laughs and say's "No, it's all Brian's fault." Yeah. Thanks Brian. For infecting Grumpy who turned around and infected me. I told Grumpy this morning I was going to go to his job and lay a big ole smooch on Brian and re-infect him. He just laughs at me again! I think the man takes some perverse pleasure in me being sick! In any case, this is the reason for my absence for the last few days. Today I am actually feeling better and able to do some things. After the giveaway announcement, I will tell you about those yummy looking brownies at the top of my page!

So, the winners of the Romano Macaroni Grill Giveaway are:

1. The Tangled Noodle who's struggle was finding the "right amount" to make for just two. That is my problem also. However, sometimes Grumpy thinks I haven't made enough. I hate to make waste. Or should I say waist? ;o)

2. Then there is Jenny. Jenny Mac's Lip Smack. It has a cool ring to it doesn't it? However, Jenny put me straight. She, being the teacher that she is ;o) made sure to correct me and let me know it was stuck a "feather" in his cap. ;o) LOL. Thanks Jenny. I hope you enjoy your Mmmmmmmacaroni! BTW, I did know it was a feather, I even played the song I linked to before I published the post....guess I didn't proof well enough. Remember Jenny, I'm recuperating! LOL.

3. Thirdly, we have Rachelle of Mommy! I'm Hungry! I remember those days. Hey, wait. I still have those days......only it's my husband crying he's hungry....and he does the same thing Rachelle mentions - doesn't have any suggestions about what to eat!!. Sigh. What is it with these hungry people who want us to cook so they can eat, but then they can't give us any idea of what they would like? Well, here is hoping Rachelle will be able to satisfy them with the Macaroni Grill....it satisfied Grumpy. For a while anyway. ;o)
Now, on to the brownies! Not too long ago I was contacted by a representative from Stonyfield Farms. Being a yogurt fan, I was very familiar with the product they were offering me free coupons for. It was not easy finding the yogurt in my stores and I was pretty bummed. Before I was offered the coupons, I saw the yogurt often. Then, after receiving them, I couldn't find it anywhere on the shelves!! Last week I see the yogurt made an appearance (however, still not the big containers) so I grabbed a couple of the smaller cups and brought them home knowing one thing I would try would be brownies!


The yogurt worked wonderfully in the recipe which follows:

Yogurt Brownies
1-5.3 oz cup Oikos Organic Greek yogurt
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 Tablespoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
candy coated sunflower seeds
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray a 9x9 baking dish with cooking spray.

Combine the yogurt, sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each, until thoroughly blended.

Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Gradually stir the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture until blended. Stir in the chocolate morsels. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared baking dish. Sprikle with candy coated sesame seeds

Bake in preheated oven until an inserted toothpick comes out clean, 25-30 minutes. Remove, and cool pan on wire rack before cutting.



April 17, 2009

Black and White and another giveaway

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My friend Meg over at Megan's Munchies is having a cool Betty Crocker giveaway. You have until April 19 midnight central time to enter, so hurry over to leave her a comment!
Also, don't forget my giveaway ends today at 7 PM, so if you haven't left a comment for it yet, please do by clicking here!

I have always been fascinated by the Black and White cookies I would see in bakeries, but I never had the urge to make them. Then, while looking for something to make and share with some friends, I came across a Black and White cookie recipe in my Cooking Light cookbook.

I decided I was going to make these. Imagine my distress when I found out I couldn't because the jar of applesauce in my fridge was no longer good! Free Smiley Courtesy of www.millan.net So, I next went to Allrecipes.com. I found a cookie recipe there that I decided to follow but I used the icing recipe in the Cooking Light cookbook.

This last Tuesday I had posted FaceBook that I was trying to decide what to make that day when Susie left me a message that I could drop some goodies off for her and Dave asked where his were. They are both local, Susie is only a few miles down the road from me and is married to my dad's cousin (can you believe I never met her before today and I met her because of my blog?!) and Dave works for 99 Hits FM, a country radio station in this area. Since I was going to Potsdam for lunch with my friends from work on Thursday, I decided to drop them both off some goodies....so they were the recipients of some of the black and white cookies! I had messages from both of them when I got home that they enjoyed the cookies! I'm glad you did.

Free Smiley Courtesy of www.millan.netFree Smiley Courtesy of www.millan.netFree Smiley Courtesy of www.millan.netFree Smiley Courtesy of www.millan.netFree Smiley Courtesy of www.millan.net

For the cookie recipe click here. The recipe on AR tells you to bake the cookies at 375 for 20-30 minutes. That is WAY too long. My first batch I put in for 20 minutes and they were too dark. My next batch I put them in for 15 minutes and it was perfect. So, I suggest you watch your cookies as they are baking and don't go into lala land like I did and not pay attention or your first batch will be a bit darker than you want them to be!


The glaze recipes from Cooking Light:
Chocolate Glaze:

3/4 cup confectioner's sugar
2 Tbsp Hershey's Cocoa
2 Tbsp. skim milk
White Glaze:

3/4 cup confectioner's sugar
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 Tbsp. skim milk


April 14, 2009

Potato bread and rolls, some thank yous and reminders!

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I want to start today with a thank you to:

Amanda of Bits and Bites of Everything. Amanda came to visit me yesterday and helped kill my boredom! She came along with some kitchen towels that totally match my curtains (me and my coffee loving curtains!) and a Hungry Girl cookbook. She even took a short walk with me and laughed at my foolishness in talking to the cows that decided to follow us on our walk. Yes, I did say talking to the COWS. lol. When a girl spends 3 weeks at home alone most of the time, you end up talking to the cats AND cows that surround you. Thank you Amanda, I appreciate your friendship so much!

Lime, white chocolate and coconut muffins - Taste & Create Event

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This month for Taste & Create I was paired with Karolcia of For the body and soul blog. Karlocia is a girl after my own heart....a lot of muffins, a lot of white chocolate, and a lot of coconut. As soon as I saw the recipe for Lime, white chocolate and coconut muffins - I knew I would be making it!

At first I was a little worried there wasn't enough sugar, but never fear, the white chocolate adds sweetness to this muffin! I'm also pretty proud of my lime sectioning - I did an awesome job. Too bad I never thought to take a photo! I never realized how easy it was to section a citrus fruit before!

These tasted great. They were sweet enough, had that coconut lime kick and will make Grumpy happy with the white chocolate! I did follow Karolcia's recipe as it was with the exception I wasn't sure what to do with the lime rind. I ended up putting some of it in the batter and some for garnish. Also, in the future, I will not bake at 390 - this was too warm for my oven. I would go with 350 degrees. I baked at 390 for 15 minutes and had to pull them out because they were getting a bit overbrowned.

Thanks again to Nicole of For the Love of Food for hosting Taste & Create. If your interested, take a look at her site and send her the email to join up for May!

April 13, 2009

He stuck a noodle in his cap

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Thank you to those who entered this contest....the winners have been chosen and will be announced shortly!


and called it macaroni
. LOL. Yeah. That is exactly what went through my head when I received the email from my sponsor about Romano's Macaroni Grill Restaurant Favorites. I'm 45 years old and the first thing that comes to my mind is a kids song!

The dinner kits include everything needed to create a high-quality meal in one box including premium ingredients such as such as vine-ripened tomatoes, select cooking wines, specialty herbs and 100% semolina pasta. All you have to do is add one pound of chicken or your choice of proteins such as shrimp or Italian sausage. Varieties of Romano's Macaroni Grill Restaurant Favorites dinner kits include Garlic & Herb Chicken Penne, Creamy Basil Parmesan Chicken & Pasta, Chicken Alfredo with Linguine and Chicken Marsala with Linguine.

THIS IS GRUMPY APPROVED!!! He told me as he was eating the Creamy Basil Parmesan Chicken & Pasta that it was really good. He even asked me if all the ingredients came in the box - must be it tasted close enough to homemade that he had to ask me that question!

Three (3) of my readers will have a chance to win
the:
"What's For Dinner" gift basket which includes a sample of the Creamy Basil Parmesan Chicken Pasta variety, three coupons for you to try the other varieties the next time you visit your local grocer, a colander, serving spoon and cheese grater.
All you have to do is leave me a comment telling me what is your biggest struggle with preparing dinner for your family? I know for me it is not always knowing what time Grumpy is going to be home for dinner AND making it Grumpy friendly!

Winners will be chosen on Friday, April 17, 2009 by 7 PM EST. When leaving your comment, please make sure to leave me a way to contact you if you are a winner. I am sorry, but you must be in the US to be eligible for this giveaway. You may earn an extra entry by doing the following:

  1. Tweet this giveaway (leave me another comment and let me know you tweeted)
  2. Post the giveaway blogpost on your Facebook (again, leave me a comment and let me know you did this)
Good luck!

April 11, 2009

Nanny's Raised Doughnuts

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Laura, over at The Spiced Life, is holding a Grandma's Recipes Event. Thank you Laura for doing this!! I thought and thought this one over. Most of my grandmother's recipes that I have written down in my own home are her cookies. I decided to call my Aunt Ann and asked her to send me some recipes (as she is in possession of all Grandma's recipes). She sent me a quite a few, but the one I decided to go with was the Raised Doughnuts. Grandma and Grandpa, who after my children were born, became Nanny & Poppy, loved doughnuts. I remember her making doughnuts when I was young, but when I was an adult, I remember them bringing them home from the store more often. I do remember the favorite was a maple glazed doughnut, so I will be recreating that today, along with some other decorated ones!When I think of Nanny, I think of all the time she and I spent together. I was so lucky to get to have a grandmother who loved to have me around as much as I loved to be near her! I remember getting up early when my dad would take off for work, just to go around the corner with dad and go to Grandmas in the morning. I would go back upstairs and curl up and cuddle with Gram for another hour or two and then we would get up and she would make me breakfast. She always gave us what we wanted, and I usually wanted a egg fried in real butter and toast. Go figure. I can't eat eggs now to save my life, but back then I loved them! I remember many times being at Gram's house when she was baking her pies or cookies. There was always something sweet at her house and we always knew where to look to find those sweets. ;o)


Now, the recipe that my aunt scanned and emailed me for Gram's raised doughnuts is pretty sketchy. Fortunately, I grew up around her and mom both making these.....and I basically "knew" what to do.

Raised Doughnuts
Mae Iris Whitton (my lovely Grandmother!)

1 packet yeast
3/4 cup sugar
1-1/4 cups milk
4-1/2 cups flour
3 Tbsp. shortening (I used canola oil)
1 egg
1/4 tsp mace (she had written you could use nutmeg or cinnamon in place, I went with cinnamon)
1/4 tsp. salt

Now, her directions are spotchy, but I want to put it here as she put it. You might get a good chuckle over it!

Dissolve yeast, 1 tbsp. sugar in milk. After it cools add 1/2 cups lour, beat well, let raise 1 hr in warm place.

Well, if your don't know how to bake, your not going to have a clue how to make these and do it right! This is what I did:

I scalded the milk and let cool to just lukewarm. Mix in the packet of yeast and 1 tbsp of sugar. Let sit 5 minutes. Add remaining sugar, oil and egg and mix well. Gradually add flour (and I did only use 4 -1/2 cups!). Turn out onto lightly floured board and knead gently until uniform. Let sit and rise for 1 hour.

After doughnuts rise, roll out to 1/2" thick, cut with doughnut cutter and set aside. Heat oil to temp of 350 degrees. Drop doughnuts into oil. They will sink to the bottom. When they rise to the top, immediately turn over to prevent cracking. Cook doughnuts until browned and drain on a plate covered with a paper towel to absorb and residual grease.


I decided to coat the doughnut holes with cinnamon sugar. Once they are removed from the oil and have sat a couple of minutes, put them in a paper bag with cinnamon sugar mixture and shake to coat.

I also made two types of frosting. I wanted to do maple because it was one of Gram's favorite flavors but I also wanted to decorate with pastel colors for the "spring" effect.


To make the maple frosting, I took a tablespoon of butter and melted it in the microwave. For the maple frosting I added about 2 tbsp maple syrup, 1/2 tsp mapleine, confectioner's sugar and enough milk to thin enough to glaze consistency. I then dipped the tops in the frosting and sat upright on towel lined plates to set.

For the Almond flavored glaze I basically did the same thing except I only used 1 Tbsp butter, confectioner's sugar, 1 tsp. almond extract and milk. I don't have measurements for the confectioner's sugar or milk. I usually just dump in enough sugar and milk until it comes to the consistency I want for glazing or frosting.

April 09, 2009

Lime, coconut, bananas and Zesty!

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Bananas. The fruit you like to get over ripe. The fruit you love to bake in your cakes, cookies and breads! Limes. I love them! I love the smell of a lime. Coconut. Well, it just plain goes with lime! Rum, well, when you have limes and coconut, doesn't adding rum make sense?


My bananas needed to be used....and they needed to be used fast! I had found a recipe for Coconut Banana Bread with Lime Glaze in an old Cooking Light magazine. Today turned out to be the day to bake! :o) The bread turned out awesome. The lime glaze, well, that just puts the bread over the top. If you like these flavors, then take some of those bananas you have that are getting overripe and start baking this bread. You won't regret it!


Before I give you the recipe, I have a few things I need to mention. First of all, a big THANK YOU to everyone who supported me during my surgery and healing! I'm really feeling great now. I don't have permission to go back to work yet, that will be a few more weeks. However everyday just seems to be a better day.

I want to thank Linda, of the Weekend Cook (and her mom also). Linda sent me a get well card along with a cute towel with honeybees and hives (how appropriate Linda!) and her mom sent me a get well card. I received a card from Sabrina of Superfluous and I had already mention my friend Marthe of Culinary Delights who sent me a card from Holland.

My friend Rhonda at work sent me a plant and my department (I'm sure Sue did the work!) sent me a bouquet of flowers along with a great get well card that really made me smile thanks to Stefan's mention of me coming back as "perfect" as if I weren't already. ;o) Ha ha. I miss my co-workers and the students and will be happy when I can go back and be with them at work!

Thank you so much for making me feel special! I've been having fun playing FB Scrabble with my friend Barbara of Barbara Bakes, Roberta (an old HS friend) Karen (my Cooking forum friend) and Grumpy! Thanks for keeping my mind active these last few days!!I also want to mention that my friend Cory over at ZestyCook is having a giveaway. Cory is launching a clothing line of t-shirts and aprons where all the profits go to a food bank. In celebration of his launch, Cory is giving away 2 T-shirts and 2 aprons. Head on over to his site to sign up for his giveaway, or do what I did this morning, and buy yourself one! I have a red apron heading my way soon and I can't wait to get it! I wish Cory luck with this venture. I think it is an awesome thing he is doing.

Coconut Banana Bread with Lime Glaze
Cooking Light Magazine

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 bananas)
1/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt
3 tablespoons dark rum
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup flaked sweetened coconut
Cooking spray
1 tablespoon flaked sweetened coconut
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime or lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350°.

Lightly spoon the flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt, stirring with a whisk to combine.

Place granulated sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 1 minute). Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add banana, yogurt, rum, and vanilla; beat until blended. Add flour mixture; beat at low speed just until moist. Stir in 1/2 cup coconut. Spoon batter into a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray; sprinkle with 1 tablespoon coconut. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack; remove from pan. Combine powdered sugar and juice, stirring with a whisk; drizzle over warm bread. Cool bread completely on wire rack.

Serving size: 16 slices
1 slice equals:
Calories: 193
Fat: 4.6g
Fiber: 1.1g
Sodium: 179mg

WW Points: 4

April 08, 2009

Happy Birthday Mom!

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Today is my mommy's birthday. Yesterday she and dad came over to the house and I fed them leftovers (what a treat. lol) and I went to the effort to make her a "Sugar on Snow" cake. The cake was not photogenic so I did not take a picture....but I will make it again and will post it in the future. I also gave her a quilting pattern book for potholders, a new BH&G cookbook (since her old one - and I do mean old) is coming all apart, and a minature pecan pie plate. She was tickled :o)

If I had been feeling better it would have been a more extravagant dinner for her, but I'm still healing. I'll still be off work a few more weeks, but have been given permission to pick my activity up which makes me very happy!

In any case, I want to wish my mommy a very happy birthday. I love you mom and will see you again soon! XOXO

April 07, 2009

Banana cream pie gone trifling....a TWD post

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Since I really hate missing my TWD, I found a way to still participate that was quick and easy! Amy of Sing for your Supper chose the Banana Cream Pie on pages 342 and 343 of Dorie's Baking: From my home to yours cookbook.


Grumpy likes banana pudding parfaits. So, I grabbed the Nilla Wafers and made the pudding. Layered the pudding, wafers, and sliced bananas, then refrigerated the pudding. Instead of mixing the heavy cream topping (which I am sure is delish!) I used Cool Whip for the topping. I also used only 1% milk in the recipe instead of the whole milk it calls for. We have to eat as low fat here as possible. Free Smiley Courtesy of www.millan.net

For the recipe, please check out Amy's blog post. To see how other TWD bakers fared, please check out our blogroll!

April 06, 2009

Craving pasta?

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Last week, I was the perfect patient and followed Dr's orders to rest! During that time, Food Network was on pretty much constantly. One show I caught was Giada's Everyday Italian show. It was A Pasta for all Seasons....and two of her dishes in particular really appealed to me. So much so, that I made sure to have ingredients here to try one of them this weekend! Another show that has had some really yummy food is Guy's Big Bite. I have bookmarked a few of his recipes I want to try also!


I love dishes that call for fresh vegetables and incorporating it with pasta. Whats so great about this kind of recipe is that you can also include a protein like shrimp or chicken in this dish also (for those out there who, like Grumpy, think you can't have a main meal without some kind of meat!)


I made a couple different changes to the recipe. Instead of chicken broth, I used better than bouillon vegetable broth. Then, instead of Parmesan cheese, I used grated asiago cheese (freshly grated) as that was what I had on hand. I had the basil, but in my hunger I forgot to add it. (rolling my eyes here). lol Yeah, my appetite has started to come back. But at least I'm wanting fresh and healthy foods right now. ;o)






Penne with Asparagus and Cherry Tomatoes
Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis, 2008

Ingredients

8 ounces penne pasta
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1- 1/2 pounds thin asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups (about 9 ounces) cherry tomatoes
1 cup shelled fresh peas
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken stock
1 cup grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain the pasta, reserving about 1/2 cup of the pasta water.

In a large saute pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the asparagus, season with the salt and pepper, and cook for 3 minutes until slightly soft. Add the cherry tomatoes and peas. Cook for 2 minutes. Pour the chicken stock into the pan and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cook until the tomatoes start to burst and the stock is reduced by half, about 3 minutes.

Transfer the asparagus mixture to a large serving bowl. Add the cooked pasta and 1/2 of the Parmesan. Toss well, adding reserved pasta water, if needed, to loosen the pasta. Garnish with the remaining Parmesan and chopped basil.

April 05, 2009

Do you have the million dollar recipe?

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The 44th Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest is open for entries and looking for the next $1 million recipe... all it takes is one simple idea!


Below is a message from BlogSpark that you may be interested in!


At the 43rd Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest in 2008, Carolyn Gurtz walked away with the million-dollar grand prize for her Double-Delight
Peanut Butter Cookies! This wife, mother and grandmother with a passion for baking was introduced to cooking at age seven and she hasn't stopped since then. One contest judge stated that Carolyn's recipe was "a new twist on an old classic." Other judges called out its simplicity and approachability and described it as a delightful taste that combines two classic cookies - a snickerdoodle and a peanut butter cookie.

Anna Ginsberg, a stay-at-home mom who you might know from her blog, Cookie Madness, earned the $1 million prize for her Baked Chicken and Spinach Stuffing in the 42nd Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest. At the 2004 competition, the 41st Contest, former librarian Suzanne Conrad wrote her own page in history by capturing the top prize with her Oats 'n Honey Granola Pie recipe. Inspired by pecan pie, Conrad adapted a family-favorite pie and caught the judges' attention with its wonderful flavor and simple preparation.

All it takes is one easy and delicious recipe idea, so we hope you let your readers, friends and family know that it's time to get creative in the kitchen for their chance at a million! One hundred finalists will win a trip to the finals, April 11 - 13, 2010, at the Waldorf-Astoria Orlando and Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek hotel in Florida. Pillsbury is looking for original recipes that taste and look delicious, are easy to prepare and that families across America will love to eat. There are four recipe categories - Breakfast & Brunches, Entertaining Appetizers, Dinner Made Easy and Sweet Treats. Entries are being accepted online between now and April 20th, 2009, at www.bakeoff.com. You'll also find contest details, including eligible products, prizes and the official rules, at the web site. Check out this video featuring former grand prize winner Carolyn Gurtz and hear from the Pillsbury Bake-Off® Kitchens Manager too!
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