faux foodie


Trader Joe’s Spaghetti Squash Carbonara
July 11, 2014, 3:30 am
Filed under: main course, Sunday, weeknight

From http://www.traderjoes.com/recipes/recipe.asp?rid=171
We enjoyed this, though next time I might change up the sauce.

1/2 large TJ’s Spaghetti Squash
3 slices TJ’s Applewood Smoked Bacon, cut into moderate-sized bits
1 clove TJ’s Garlic, minced
1/2 cup TJ’s Light Cream Cheese, cubed
3/4 cup TJ’s Fresh English Peas
3/4 cup TJ’s Milk
1/3 cup TJ’s Grated Parmesan Reggiano Cheese
Cook the squash: Use a sharp knife to cut squash in half lengthwise. Use a large table spoon to scrape out the seeds and string. Season with salt and pepper, place cut side up in a microwave safe dish and add about an inch of water to the bottom of the dish. Cover dish with cling wrap and microwave on high for 8-10 minutes. Allow to cool enough to handle before unwrapping. Use a table fork to scrape squash from top to bottom to separate flesh into strands of “spaghetti.” Prepare Sauce: Cook bacon in large skillet until crisp. Remove from skillet with slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel. Pour off bacon drippings. Add garlic to pan and sauté until opaque, about 1 minute. Add milk, cream cheese and peas; simmer over very low heat until cream cheese is melted and mixture is well blended and heated through. Add more milk if too thick. Add squash and bacon; toss to coat. Sprinkle on Parmesan cheese and serve right away. Serves: 4
Cooking Time: 30 – 40 Minutes



Pasta al Pomodoro
June 18, 2014, 2:43 am
Filed under: Company, favorites, main course, pasta, Sunday, weeknight

From Bon Appetit. Delightful!

INGREDIENTS
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
1 28 oz. can peeled tomatoes, puréed in a food processor
Kosher salt
3 large fresh basil sprigs
12 oz. bucatini or spaghetti
2 Tbsp. cubed unsalted butter
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan

PREPARATION
Heat extra-virgin olive oil in a 12″ skillet over medium-low heat. Add minced onion and cook, stirring, until soft, about 12 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 2-4 minutes. Add crushed red pepper flakes; cook for 1 minute more. Increase heat to medium, add puréed tomatoes and season lightly with kosher salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens slightly and the flavors meld, about 20 minutes. Remove pan from heat, stir in basil sprigs, and set aside.
Meanwhile, bring water to a boil in a 5-qt. pot. Season with salt; add spaghetti or bucatini and cook, stirring occasionally, until about 2 minutes before tender. Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup pasta cooking water.
Discard basil and heat skillet over high heat. Stir in reserved pasta water to loosen sauce; bring to a boil. Add pasta and cook, stirring, until sauce coats pasta and pasta is al dente, about 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat; add butter and cheese; toss until cheese melts. Transfer to warm bowls; serve with more cheese, if desired.



Chicken, Spinach, Mushroom Lasagna
February 5, 2014, 1:55 am
Filed under: chicken, Company, main course, Make'n'freeze, pasta, Sunday

Adapted from an Emeril recipe. Tasty!

Ingredients

  • 1 lb button mushrooms (thinly sliced)
  • 1  yellow onion (finely chopped)
  • 3 tbsps minced garlic
  • 2 zucchini
  • 2 jars alfredo sauce (I used Paul Newman)
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 lb spinach (stemmed washed blanched and roughly chopped, or frozen)
  • 1 cup parmesan (grated)
  • 2 tbsps olive oil
  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 lb lasagna noodles
  • seasonings to taste

Preparation

    • Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring often until the mushrooms are browned and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the onions and garlic to the pan and saute until soft and translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add spinach and zucchini. Saute and set aside.
    • Set a large, 12-inch saute pan over medium heat and add the olive oil. Season and sear the chicken, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and cooked through, about 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool and set aside. When cool, cut into bite size pieces.
    • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
    • Mix alfredo with white wine.
    • Coat a 9 by 13 by 3-inch casserole with olive oil, and spread about 1/2 cup of the alfredo sauce on the bottom of the dish. Lay 3 sheets of pasta across the bottom of the dish and spread 3/4 cup of the  sauce over the pasta. Sprinkle 1/2 of the chicken over the  sauce, then sprinkle with 1/2 of the veggie mix, and 1/4 cup of the Parmesan. Lay another 3 sheets of pasta over the chicken. Repeat with the remaining sauce, chicken, Parmesan, veggies, and pasta, ending with a layer of pasta covered with alfredo sauce. Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan over the sauce. Place the casserole on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake, uncovered, until bubbly and well browned, about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 20 minutes before serving.


Creme Fraiche Fast Pasta
January 14, 2014, 10:02 pm
Filed under: Company, favorites, main course, pasta, Sunday, weeknight

We made this for the Golden Globes and both loved it. DELISH!

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb pasta
  • 1 cup creme fraiche or sour cream
  • 3 lemons, juiced and zested
  • 10 oz spinach
  • 2 containers mushrooms
  • parmesan cheese to taste

Directions:

Stir fry mushrooms in a bit of oil and wine or vinegar until cooked fully. Set aside. Cook pasta until al dente. Meanwhile, stir in lemon juice and zest into creme fraiche (sour cream would work) and set aside. When pasta is done, reserve 1/2 cup cooking liquid and drain. Return pasta to pot. Add lemon mixture, spinach, parmesan, and mushrooms. Combine, whisking in reserved liquid if necessary. Season with salt and pepper to taste, top with parmesan.



Alana’s Christmas Fiesta Dip
December 30, 2013, 3:56 am
Filed under: appetizer, Company, snack, Sunday

Ingredients:

2 boxes of cream cheese (8 oz I think?)

1 roasted red pepper, diced

1 can corn

1 small can green chilies

1 small can black olives

1 can beans (I used navy beans)

1 pack ranch seasoning

 

Mix all ingredients together, serve chilled with pretzels or crackers. Loved this!



Cheesy Spinach and Tomato Quiche
November 10, 2013, 9:40 pm
Filed under: breakfast, Health, main course, Sunday, weeknight

Our friend made this for us–it is delightful. Tastes delicious but also healthy. I plan to make several and freeze them.

Ingredients

3 cups tightly packed fresh baby spinach
8 whole eggs
¼ cups shredded parmesan cheese
½ cups cubed cheddar cheese
3 roma tomatoes, washed and cut into thin rounds
¼ cups milk
1 whole russet potato, peeled and sliced into very thin rounds (if your potatoes are small, you may need two)
½ tsp pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tsp Italian seasoning

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 375.
  2. Spray a 9-inch pie plate with nonstick spray.  Layer the potato rounds on the bottom and sides of the pan – note that you probably won’t fill in every crack with potato and that’s OK.  Bake the potatoes in the oven for about 10 minutes until they start to look a little translucent; set aside while you finish the rest of the prep.
  3. In a large bowl whisk together the eggs and milk until smooth.  Add in the seasonings and whisk until well-combined.  When the potatoes are done par-baking layer the spinach on top of the potatoes and the cheese on top of the spinach.
  4. Gently pour the egg mixture over the top, being sure to redistribute the cheese as needed to make it all even.  Layer the tomatoes on top of the egg mixture.
  5. Bake at 375 for 30-40 minutes until the middle is no longer jiggly.  Sprinkle with the parmesan cheese and broil just until the cheese on top is brown and bubbly.  Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.  Devour!


Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings
October 11, 2013, 2:27 am
Filed under: chicken, favorites, main course, Soup, Sunday
Ingredients
Soup
  • 4 cloves garlic 
  • 2 medium yellow onions 
  • 6 ribs celery 
  • 1 lb (3-4) carrots 
  • 4 large (3/4 lb.) chicken breast 
  • 2 whole bay leaf 
  • 2 tsp basil 
  • 2 tsp dried thyme 
  • freshly cracked pepper 
  • 4 cups water $0.00
  • salt (plus more to taste)
Dumplings
  • I just follow the recipe on the Bisquick box 😉 
Instructions
  1. Mince the garlic, dice the onion, and slice the carrots and celery into small pieces. Add the garlic, onion, carrot, celery, bay leaf, basil, thyme, chicken breast, water, and some freshly cracked pepper to a slow cooker. Stir to combine and then cook on high for four hours or low for eight hours.
  2. After cooking , remove the chicken and shred the chicken. Return it to the pot. 
  3. Allow the soup to continue to cook on high while you mix the dumpling batter. 
  4. Remove the lid from the slow cooker and drop the dumpling batter into the soup by the heaping spoonful. Return the lid to the slow cooker and allow the dumplings to steam for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes they should have fluffed and expanded from the heat. Serve hot.

My favorite shortcut is to use three bags of the mirepoix soup starter from the freezer section (cut up onion, celery, and carrot). Such a fast and easy dinner! 

20131010-202833.jpg