Sunday, February 23, 2014

Pasta with Goat Cheese, Asparagus and Lemon

Pasta with Goat Cheese, Asparagus, and Lemon

I was inspired by this recipe from Bon Appetit.  Their recipe looks great as is, but I only had half of the amount of goat cheese on hand, and no tarragon, so I changed the recipe around a bit to incorporate items that I had and to reduce the fat/ oil content.  This was one of the quickest, easiest, yet still most delicious meals that I've made, and it only used 1 pot.  I think that goat cheese has a super power that turns everything it touches to gold without adding a whole lot of other flavors/ ingredients.  This was even great as leftovers, cold, straight from the fridge, it was so good that I couldn't stop eating it long enough to get the bowl to the microwave to heat it up.

-1 box desired shape of whole wheat pasta
-1 lb asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-2" pieces
-6 oz goat cheese 
-1/2 c vegetable or chicken broth
-1/2 c heavy cream, half and half, or milk
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp pepper
-zest of 1 lemon
-(optional) desired chopped fresh herbs (basil, parsley, tarragon, rosemary...)  (I didn't have any on hand so I didn't add any, but it would be a great touch)

In a medium to large pot, cook pasta in salted water, according to package directions.  3 minutes before the pasta will be done, add the asparagus.  Drain the pasta and asparagus.  Add goat cheese, broth, cream, salt, pepper and zest to the pan over low heat.  Stir until all of the goat cheese is melted and the sauce is well mixed.  Remove from heat.  Stir pasta and asparagus into the sauce and add fresh herbs if using.

Friday, February 21, 2014

39 weeks

Here is what is going on with Elisha according to;

The torrent of words your baby has been hearing since birth is beginning to work its magic, although his understanding of words far outpaces his ability to use them. His babbling has turned to jabber and is probably starting to sound more like real words, phrases, and sentences. Your baby thinks he's saying something, so respond as if he really is!

Your baby still comprehends more from your tone than from your actual words, though. He can understand when he's pleased you, so offer specific praise, such as "You did a great job picking up the rattle." The more you talk to your baby — while preparing dinner, driving, or getting dressed — the more he learns about communication.
Your baby's starting to understand the word "no," though he may not obey it just yet. For example, you can expect him to try to touch something even after you've said not to. It's best to use the word "no" sparingly, and when you do use it, follow it by removing him from the scene of the crime and introducing him to a new activity.

Elisha is doing great!

He has become increasingly mobile over the last few weeks.  Now he easily and quickly crawls around the house.  He pulls up to standing and walks around the room holding onto walls, couches, shelves, tables, and chairs.  He can let go of what he's holding onto and stand without any support.  He has taken a couple of steps here and there not holding onto to anything, but no more than 2 at a time yet, and not all too often. That said, we really think he is going to be walking soon, he is very close.

He now has his 2 center bottom teeth and I'm sure will have some upper ones appearing shortly.

He seems to finally be sleeping through the night all night every night in his crib in the room with Noah.  He still takes 2 other naps a day, about an hour each.

He has started saying mama and dada and knows that those words identify me and Jeremy.

He LOVES to play with his brother.  When Noah is with Jeremy or his mom for a few hours Elisha gets THE biggest grin upon seeing his brother's face or hearing his voice.  Our 2 boys love each other so much.  Noah always wants Elisha in whatever room that he's in and Elisha wouldn't have it any other way.

Here was Noah at 39 weeks.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake

I made this Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake by Paula Deen.  I mean, could anything called "gooey butter cake" not taste good?  I usually shy away from Paula's recipes because they are so unhealthy, this one included, but I've had the plain Gooey Butter Cake when I friend made it and I knew this would be good as well.  The only change that I made was to use reduced fat cream cheese.  In my opinion, the crust on this was just okay, but the filling was great.... the flavor and texture of pumpkin pie, but WAY better (and I'd hope so with a stick of butter and cream cheese in it!).  This would be a great dessert for any fall or Thanksgiving gathering!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Turkey Meatloaf

Turkey Meatloaf

I started off inspired by Ina Garten's Turkey Meatloaf recipe, but then changed all of the amounts of the ingredients and decided to re-write the recipe.  Sometimes I substitute whole/ rolled oats for the bread crumbs in my meatloaf, it sure is a lot more nutritious, or I make my own whole wheat bread crumbs if I have some bread heels lying around.  Sometimes I add garlic and/ or drained canned diced tomatoes, but it is good without it.  Whatever you do, make sure you serve it with mashed potatoes, I don't think you can eat meatloaf without mashed potatoes.

-1 Tbsp olive oil
-1 onion, diced
-1 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp pepper
-1/2 tsp dried thyme
-2 tsp tomato paste
-1/2 c chicken broth
-1/4 c worcestershire sauce
-2 eggs
-3/4 c bread crumbs
-2.5 lbs lean ground turkey
-3/4 c ketchup

In a skillet, over medium heat, saute onion, salt, pepper, and thyme in olive oil until the onion has softened (about 10 minutes).  Remove from heat and add tomato paste, chicken broth, and worcestershire sauce, stirring until well mixed.  Allow mixture to cool.  In a large bowl beat the 2 eggs with a fork.  Stir in the cooled onion/ tomato pasta mixture.  Stir in the bread crumbs and ground turkey.  Mix until well incorporated.  Shape meat mixture into a loaf and place on a greased baking sheet.  Bake at 325 for an hour to an hour and a half, or 160 degrees when tested with a meat thermometer.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Sullivan Street Bread

This is yet another recipe from the book Bread & Wine by Shauna Niequist.  This bread was really good, and is really easy, as long as you plan ahead for the 12 hour rise time.  I'm certainly not an expert, but I have successfully made a good amount of bread and dough recipes and found this dough VERY sticky.  So sticky in fact, that I was sure I had left out some of the flour.  But I proceeded as is, and it produced wonderful results.

-3 cups all-purpose flour
-1/4 tsp yeast
-1 1/4 tsp salt
-1 1/2 c water
-Olive Oil (about 1 tblsp, for coating)
-Extra flour, wheat bran or cornmeal (about 2 tblsp, for dusting)

-2 med mixing bowls
-6 to 8 quart pot with lid (Pyrex glass, La Creuset cast iron or ceramic)
-Wooden spoon
-Plastic wrap
-2 or 3 cotton dish towels (not terry cloth)

Mix all of the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Add water and incorporate with a wooden spoon or spatula for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Lightly coat the inside of a second medium bowl with olive oil and place the dough in the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rest 12 hours at room temperature (approx. 65 to 72 degrees).

After 12 (or more) hours, remove the dough from the bowl and fold once or twice. Let the dough rest 15 minutes in the bowl or on the work surface.

Next, shape the dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; place the dough seamside down on the towel and dust with flour. Cover the dough with a cotton towel and let rise 1 to 2 hours at room temperature until more than doubled in size.

Preheat oven 450 to 500 degrees. Place the pot in the oven at least 30 minutes prior to baking to preheat. Once the dough has more than doubled in volume, remove the pot from the oven and place the dough in the pot seamside up. Cover with the lid and bake 30 minutes. Then remove the lid and bake 15 to 30 minutes uncovered, until the loaf is nicely browned.

Cool on a wire rack.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

"Caesar" Salad

Here is yet another recipe that I have LOVED from the book Bread & Wine.  This is now one of my favorite salads.  As described in the book, it's not a traditional caesar in that it doesn't have anchovies and/ or egg yolk.  It's more of a marriage of a caesar and vinaigrette.  I happen to love caesar and vinaigrette, and the combination of the two is genius!  Plus it keeps much longer than a traditional caesar and is safe for pregnant women to consume.

The only changes that I made were regarding the croutons... I always use cubed whole wheat sandwich bread (and the end pieces) to make croutons.  I also didn't use oil on the croutons, and was a lot more generous with the parmesan on the croutons.

Brannon's Caesar Salad
 Shauna Niequist, Bread and Wine

2 hearts of romaine, washed and dried and torn into bite-size pieces
2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
(croutons and dressing from below)

1 garlic clove
1/4 c white vinegar
1/4 c olive oil
1 tsp Dijon mustard
A few dashes of Tabasco, to taste
Juice of half a lemon
1 tblsp grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp sugar

Chop garlic clove in a food processor, then add remaining ingredients and blend together. Or chop a garlic clove, drop it into the bottom of an old pickle jar or jelly jar, add everything else, and shake like crazy.

4 c bread cubes
1 Tbsp oilive oil
1 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and then toss the frozen bread cubes with olive oil, salt, pepper and grated Parm. Bake until crispy and golden, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Toss the romaine lettuce with croutons, grated Parm and dressing.