Running with kitchen shears.

breakfast, lunch, dinner, cupcakes, tastiness.

Cheap and quick-just like you like it. June 24, 2009

Filed under: food,recipes — Mox. @ 5:52 am
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So I FINALLY got all registered for school for this semester-I’m going to be doing full time (12 credit hours) for Fall 2009, starting in August, and with working full time, it should be interesting. I promise I’ll try my best to not abandon you, oh loyal reader! In the meantime, I’m also going to try to keep cooking tasty meals even though I’m going to be exhausted. This one is definitely one that fits the bill-plus, it’s approximately $1.91 per serving, according to the calculation by Woman’s Day (where this recipe is adapted from).

Bow Ties with Spinach & Cherry Tomatoes

-12 oz bow-tie (farfalle) pasta (I used 16 oz because I couldn’t see the sense in keeping back 4 oz of the box I found, and I knew J would eat it)
-3 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
-1 Tbs minced garlic (about 2 to 3 medium-sized cloves)
-1 (9 or 10 oz) bag spinach, tough stems removed if still attached and leaves torn bite size (in the 9 oz bag I purchased, they were already bite size-not much bigger than baby spinach)
-1/2 tsp each salt and pepper, divided
-1 pt cherry or grape (which I used) tomatoes, halved

1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and transfer to a large bowl; set aside.
2. Meanwhile, heat 1 Tbs of the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add half the garlic; cook 30 seconds. Add half the spinach and 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper; saute 1 minute, or until spinach wilts. Add remaining spinach and cook until wilted.
3. Add remaining 2 Tbs oil and rest of garlic to skillet. Cook 30 seconds. Add tomatoes and remaining 1/4 tsp salt and pepper. Cook 1 to 2 minutes, or until tomatoes release their juices. Add to bowl with pasta. Toss to combine.

This is the way I made it, at least. In the original recipe, after you are done cooking the spinach (after “cook until wilted”), you are supposed to add it to the bowl with the pasta. I did not do this-I left it in there while I was cooking the tomatoes. I also did not “transfer to a large bowl”-I put the pasta back in the emptied pot it had cooked in-what’s the point of dirtying up an extra dish when J won’t care about presentation as long as it tastes good? This was SO delicious and garlicy and tomatoey and really a wonderful summer dish. You should go make it-NOW! Or, you know, later.

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An oldie but a goodie… January 11, 2009

Filed under: recipes — Mox. @ 1:00 pm
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Don’t you hate that phrase? I only use it because this is a recipe that has been stuck to the side of my fridge patiently waiting for me to upload it for quite some time.

Rigatoni and Sausage

-10 oz rigatoni pasta

-salt (kosher preferably, of course)

-olive oil (not extra virgin, for the job it’s doing, regular o.o. works just fine)

-6 chicken pesto or chicken with sun-dried tomato and basil sausages (I used the latter)

-1 c slivered red onion

-1 c slivered yellow bell pepper (or if the price for yellow bell peppers is ungodly where you live, as it is for me, red is just fine-wouldn’t recommend green though as they’re not as sweet)

-2 (14 oz) cans traditional Italian sauce (or just 1 if you prefer your pasta less sauce-y)

-2 (14 1/2 oz) cans diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano

-grated Parmesan cheesefor garnish

1. Preheat an indoor or outdoor grill or preheat oven to 400 degrees F (I used my oven for this part).

2. Cook the pasta in boiling salted water until tender but still firm, according to package directions. Drain and toss with enough olive oil to prevent sticking (it shouldn’t take much at all). This can be made 8 to 10 hours in advance and refrigerated (for those of you who have spare time in the morning to start prepping dinner, I guess?)

3. Grill or roast the sausages on an indoor or outdoor grill for 20 minutes, turning several times. Or roast in the oven for 20 minutes. Cool and refrigerate until ready to assemble the dish (again, if you’re getting dinner ready in the morning. If you’re not, ignore that last bit). Cut into bite-size pieces just before reheating.

4. In a large saute pan coated with a small amount of olive oil, saute the onion and bell pepper with cooked sausage pieces until onions and peppers are just wilted.

5. Add about 1/3 to 1/2 of the sauce and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Transfer to a stockpot, then heat the remaining sauce in the same saute pan and transfer to the stock pot when hot.

6. Place the stockpot over medium heat and add the pasta to heat and combine all the ingredients. Divide into serving bowls, garnish with Parmesan and serve immediately.

Makes 6 servings.

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This recipe is adapted from one that was in the November 8, 2006 Dallas Morning News. It’s a really good basic and a bit rustic pasta dish that doesn’t require making tomato sauce for those of you that are freaked out by making your own or just don’t have the time (I fall into the not-enough-time category most days…one of these days I’m going to make a giant batch). This could be adapted to use Italian sausage-preferably hot-if the home chef so chose.

 

I’ve only got 4 minutes to save the world… July 6, 2008

Filed under: food,recipes — Mox. @ 5:57 pm
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…or at least the people in my house…from being hungry. For what it is, this recipe’s not too bad. REALLY simple and pretty darn quick.

Chicken Tortellini Supreme
(don’t know who they thought they were fooling with that “Supreme” business)
-9 oz package fresh cheese tortellini of your choice-I went with Spinach-cheese-Yay for green pasta!
-1 small boneless, skinless chicken breast, cooked and chopped or shredded(I did mine on the George Foreman grill, but you could saute if you prefer), or 7 oz pkg Sweet Sue Chunk Chicken
-1 package dry Alfredo sauce mix (I used a garlic Alfredo)
-2 c milk
-1 Tbs olive oil
-1 1/2 c broccoli florets

1. Cook tortellini according to package directions, drain and keep warm.
2. In medium non-stick skillet, heat the olive oil. Add fresh broccoli. Saute 2 to 3 minutes over medium-high heat.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk the milk and Alfredo sauce mix to combine. Add sauce mixture to skillet and stir until thickened. Add in pasta and chicken. Mix together and heat an additional 5 minutes before serving.

This recipe is adapted from a Sweet Sue recipe.

Well, I went ever-so-slightly over my 4 minute limit, but with minimal effort. I know that many people, especially parents, have hardly any time or energy to make dinner after their busy days, so I have absolutely no problem posting simple, but still good, recipes in my blog. If you think this recipe doesn’t belong, please feel free to kiss my right cheek. If your options are serving your family something like this or pizza/drive-thru, PLEASE consider this.
This was enough for dinner for J and I for dinner and lunch the next day.

 

When I was growing up, my parents had a friend named Reuben who shot himself in the foot. June 29, 2008

Filed under: food,recipes — Mox. @ 12:32 pm
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As a youngster I didn’t understand how someone could shoot themselves in the foot. After reading a recent story about a fellow who accidentally shot himself in the stomach while removing his gun from his waistband during a robbery of a residence(he died) and people who shoot themselves in the junk in a similar manner, I’m not surprised at all.

When I was growing up, I had a friend named the Reuben sandwich. My mother makes it a whole different way, a giant sandwich on a loaf of crusty French bread with Provolone but that’s not what we’re getting into here-we haven’t the time…but I’m salivating already.

Reuben Bake

-1 pkg (12 oz) egg noodles
-4 Tbs unsalted butter
-1 (16 oz) can sauerkraut, drained (feel free to drink the juice you sick freak)
-1/2 lb sliced deli corned beef, coarsely chopped
-1/2 c mayonnaise
-1 Tbs ketchup
-2 Tbs diced pickles
-1 Tbs minced onion (or 1 tsp dried minced onion)
-1 large tomato, sliced very thin
-2 c shredded Swiss cheese
-1 c milk
-2 c crushed rye crackers (I used RyKrisp brand, the natural ones)
-1 tsp caraway seeds

1. Heat oven to 350 F. Coat 13x9x2″ baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Cook noodles following package directions. Drain and toss with 2 Tbs of the butter. Place in prepared dish; top with sauerkraut, then corned beef. In a bowl, mix mayonnaise, ketchup, pickle and onion. Spread over corned beef. Top with tomato and cheese.

3. Pour milk evenly over the top. Melt remaining 2 Tbs butter and toss with rye cracker crumbs and caraway seeds; sprinkle over the top. Bake at 350 F. for 45 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes, then serve.

This recipe is adapted from Family Circle.

Next time I make this, I’m going to use Russian dressing instead of ketchup and mayo mixed together, Provolone cheese instead of Swiss (both elements are closer to the way my mom makes her Reuben sammich) and will mix everything together before topping with the rye cracker crumbs. The way this recipe is written you kind of end up with big bland noodle-y parts. I think it would be far better with all the stuff mixed together.

All-in-all, aside from the big bland noodle-y parts, this was a big hit in our 2 person household. Both J and I really liked it and think it has big potential as far as easy, quick prep meals go.

 

Hold the whole wheat, please. June 16, 2008

Filed under: food,Light,recipes — Mox. @ 8:01 pm
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I suppose you can classify whole wheat pasta along side with eggplant-one of those things that I pretty much hated upon encountering it, but may give it a chance again if it gives me a really really good reason to. However, J doesn’t like the stuff, so it may be a while. That being said, I made this dish without whole wheat pasta. Sorry-the last time I tried it it was grainy and weird and corrugated cardboard would have tasted better.

Whole Wheat Penne with Broccoli & Sausage
Total time 25 minutes 4 servings

-12 oz penne pasta (whole wheat if you so choose)
-1 lg bunch broccoli, cut into florets
-12 oz hot Italian turkey sausage
-1 pt grape tomatoes, each cut in half
-1/2 c loosely packed fresh basil, chopped
-1/4 c freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese (or Italian Blend containing Romano)

1. Heat stockpot of salted water to boiling on high. Add pasta and cook as label directs, adding broccoli when 3 minutes of cooking time remain. Reserve 1/2 c cooking water; drain pasta and broccoli (feel free to allow the remaining pasta water to cool and then pour on your lawn or plants).

2. Meanwhile, thinly slice sausage on the diagonal. In a large nonstick skillet, cook sausage on medium 7 to 8 minutes or until it begins to brown, stirring occasionally. Add tomatoes and cook 5 minutes longer, stirring.

3. Stir pasta, broccoli, and 1/4 c pasta cooking water into sausage mixture in skillet; heat through, adding additional cooking water if needed. Remove from heat; stir in basil and cheese.
This recipe was adapted from a Family Circle magazine recipe.

This past week was “use what’s in the freezer/pantry because we’re broke” week, so there were various substitutions. That’s also another reason for not using whole wheat pasta-didn’t have it. In the place of the hot Italian turkey sausage, we had some turkey brats. I really liked this dish-even J liked it (which surprised me-sometimes he gets weird about pastas without outright sauces). I didn’t feel like a fatass after eating it, either.

As I’ve said before, my skillet is very small. At the point where it tells you to stir everything into the skillet, I stirred it into the stock pot I had used for cooking the pasta. Also, every time that I use just the florets of the broccoli, I trim the stalks/stems and slice them thinly for a marvelous and interesting looking addition to stir fry-the cross sections of the large part of the stem have the most interesting shape.

 

Oh Eggplant, I judged you far too soon. June 9, 2008

Filed under: food,recipes — Mox. @ 6:28 pm
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I …am a bit ashamed of myself. I made my first eggplant dish almost a year ago and swore it off after that odd bitter experience. I was so disappointed-I expected so much better out of such an interesting purple alien vegetable but I just didn’t get it. A couple weeks ago, when I was deciding on meals for the upcoming week, however, I decided to give it a chance to prove its worthiness on my plate. Honestly, if it wasn’t for J begging me to give it one more last chance, I wouldn’t have batted an eyelash while dropping the recipe for Rigatoni with Sauteed Eggplant and Tomatoes into the recycle bin. I do not regret my decision in keeping this-Eggplant, you’re welcome back on the table any time.

– 1 lb dried rigatoni
-3 Tbs olive oil
-1 medium eggplant, cut into 1/2″ cubes
-1/2 tsp kosher salt
-1/2 tsp black pepper (freshly ground if at all possible, there’s just no comparing)
-3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced (but I won’t tell the recipe nazis if you put in 4! Yum)
-1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
-1/2 c grated Parmesan (please not the powder schtuff-if that’s all you have, skip it)

1. Cook the rigatoni according to the package directions. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat (my skillet isn’t anywhere near large enough for these types of dishes, so I use a dutch oven-tee hee dutch oven). Add the eggplant, season with the salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 8 minutes.

2. Add the garlic and tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes begin to soften, 3 to 4 minutes (in my case it took closer to 5). Add the drained rigatoni and toss. Divide among individual bowls and top with the Parmesan.

(this recipe is adapted from one in Real Simple magazine-I love it. Oh how I miss my subscription so.)

I realize I post far too many pasta recipes and really, I’m trying to cut down. I’m considering joining Pasta Eaters Anonymous. I just love pasta, and so does J. Maybe I should remind myself that it’s not so pretty to photograph…maybe that’ll help me forget the delicious wonderful starchiness…mmmmm…

 

Holy calamity! May 6, 2008

I thought I’d try my hand at a recipe+picture+process type post. The recipe for tonight’s dinner is Chicken Penne in Smoky Chili Cream Sauce (from Family Circle), which I altered slightly. It sounded good and the picture looked pretty darn tasty so I thought I’d give it a shot.

Assemble your ingredients.

12 oz + 1 or 2 small handfulls uncooked penne pasta
1.5 Tbs canola oil
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 3/4″ chunks
1/3 c. + a small handfull chopped onion
1 tsp minced garlic (or 3 cloves, I prefer more)
2 c prepared Alfredo sauce
1/4 c chipotle in adobo sauce, very roughly chopped
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp maple syrup
1/4 tsp salt
6 sliced cooked bacon, chopped (or large crumble)

1. Cook penne according to package directions. Drain.
2. While penne is cooking, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat on your super-awesome blacklight stove for about 5 minutes or until cooked through.

Awesome Blacklight Stove

3. Reduce heat to medium. Add onion to the skillet and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds.

Garlic and Onions

Stir in the Alfredo sauce, chipotle, chili powder, maple syrup and salt. Cook over medium-high heat until bubbly.

Smoky Chili Cream Sauce sans chicken

Stir in the chicken.

4. Place the pasta back into the pot and stir in the Alfredo and chicken mixture. Spoon pasta onio a large serving platter and garnish with the bacon.

OMG YUM.

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Oh my creamy Alfredo god. This was freakin’ delicious. I’m shocked by this Family Circle recipe. J is going to love this. Hopefully there will be some left over for lunch but I’m not counting on it.