Brown Butter Shells w/ Sausage & Pecorino

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The recipe inspiration here was from Blue Apron – but we did switch it up just a tad, but I feel I should give them appropriate credit. It was yum. This is a quick and easy recipe that tastes like it took longer than it did. Its become a staple in our house, even our little one will eat it! 🙂 Hope you enjoy.

INGREDIENTS:

  • Italian sausage – 1/2 lb already ground or approx 3-4 Italian sausage links (removed from their casings)
  •  1.5 cups fresh peas or can use frozen
  • 1/2 cup Pecorino cheese
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1.5 tbsp dried ground/rubbed sage
  • 1/2 tbsp fresh chopped garlic
  • 8 oz orecchiette or shell pasta

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Heat large pot of water to boiling and cook pasta until al dente
  2. Meanwhile in larger skillet (ensure at least 2. inches deep) heat 4 tbsp of butter (or a bit more if you like) over medium high heat
  3. When butter begins to foam, add in sausage and begin to cook until browned. Breaking up sausage with back of wooden spoon – into little bits.
  4. Add garlic and continue cooking.
  5. When pasta is finished, reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water and strain off the rest. Set aside.
  6. When sausage is almost finished cooking (only a few spots of pink left), add in the sage and cook until sausage is completely cooked through.
  7. Add in peas and the cooked pasta.
  8. Stir together.
  9. Reduce heat to medium/low.
  10. Add in 2 tbsp of pasta water, scraping the bottom of the pan to get up any brown bits. The water should help start to make a sauce.
  11. Add in another 2 tbsp of pasta water and stir.
  12. Add in pecorino cheese, a pinch of salt and a couple of pinches of black pepper.
  13. If the sauce is too thick – add in another tbsp of pasta water at a time, stir in between to ensure you don’t add too much water – you want there to be a coating…but not soupy.
  14. Remove from heat and serve!
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boiling pasta

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cooking Italian sausage

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added sage and garlic

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adding peas

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adding pasta

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adding cheese

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mixing and adding salt/pepper

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LOOK at this FACE. Loving his pasta. 🙂 

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Artichoke Dip Flatbread

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My husband planted us a super awesome garden this year – now our lettuce and spinach runneth over. I was trying to think of ways to use the spinach outside of salads – which we were getting sick of. I mean we aren’t effing rabbits. Then – spinach artichoke dip popped into my head. Great idea…but I always consider that to be an appetizer and didn’t think that ‘dip’ really counted as dinner. So, I took it a smidge further to relieve my ‘we had dip for dinner’ guilt. If you smear it on a flatbread, TA-DA, I now made a pizza. Sounds like much more work than ‘dip’. 🙂  It really was very good and it reheated well the next day. I think this would work as an appetizer or dinner…or leftovers for lunch at the office microwave station.

The other awesome thing here, is if you put all this into a skillet or oven-safe dish, then add a layer of cheese on top, bake for about the same time – and voila! You have spinach artichoke DIP. Then you can toast/cut some naan – or serve with tortilla chips. Two recipes in one. You’re welcome.

Ingredients:

  1. 3/4 cup light mayo (I use olive oil mayo)
  2. 1.5 cups chopped spinach – lightly packed
  3. 1 tbsp minced garlic
  4. 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  5. 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  6. 1 can of quartered artichokes, drained and chopped into smaller bits
  7. 1 tsp black pepper
  8. 1/2 tsp salt
  9. Naan flatbread – can be large or small flatbreads. Room temperature.

Directions:

  • Heat oven to 350 degrees
  • Combine ingredient items 1-8 above in a mixing bowl
  • Mix well until thoroughly combined. Can add more mayo or cheese if its not looking ‘creamy’ or cheesy enough (I just eye-balled it and thought – what does my dip usually look like – and add what I want from there – pretty sure you can’t mess this up)
  • Place the naan(s) on a baking sheet or pizza stone
  • Spread a healthy amount of the mixture on each one, leaving room around the edges for a ‘crust’ – about 3/4 inch
  • Bake in oven for approx 8 or so minutes. A larger flatbread may take about 10 minutes to ensure the middle of the flatbread gets hot.
  • Check at 8 minutes to see that crust is warm and the mixture is hot on top. Leave in oven if it needs more time. Check every 2 minutes.
  • Once almost done, turn the broiler on high and let broil for approx 1 minute- do not leave them in there unattended!
    • Free advice: Never turn your back on the broiler – you stand there or set a timer as a reminder. The Broiler can be your best friend or quite a bitch.
  • Once the tops are a bit golden brown/bubbly from the broiler – remove
  • Let cool for approx 3-4 min, then cut and serve!
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Mixing cheese, garlic, mayo, salt & pepper together

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Adding in spinach – once chopped

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Adding in artichokes once chopped

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Spreading mixture onto the naan/flatbreads

 

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Out of the oven and chopped – ready for dinner!

 

Simply Delicious Egg Salad

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I’ve always been a fan of eggs. Period. All kinds. (well omelets aren’t my jam, but everything else is awesome). When summer rolls around, I don’t know why but I think of egg salad. I used to spend a lot of time at the lake, and you can take a loaf of bread and tupperware container of egg salad – toss it in the cooler – and instant yum on the boat.

It just warmed up here in KC, and due to being pregnant I am missing my eggs benedict, runny fried or poached eggs, and all that eggy delicousness. I am excited to have my 2nd child – but man this time around giving up all those fun foods is WEARING on me. So I was really really CRAVING eggs, and egg salad popped in my head. So I made it. Cheap, Easy, Fast, Delicious…boom.

I’ll toast bread and smear some egg salad on it, take the salad to work with some crackers, or eat it plain (yes, yes I will). If you like deviled eggs or egg salad – you’ll love this recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 7 eggs
  • 1 tbsp dried dill
  • 1 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
  • 2 stalks celery – chopped into very small dice
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup mustard
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • salt
  • pepper

Directions:

  1. Place eggs in a pot of cool water
  2. Place on stove and bring to boil.
  3. Once you see rolling bubbles, put on timer for 8 minutes.
  4. When timer goes off,  remove from heat immediately and dump out the hot water/boiling water. Immediately run cold water over eggs. I usually run the cold water for about 30 – 45 seconds to ensure eggs have reduced significantly in temperature.
  5. Let sit in cold water for just a few minutes – you can get your celery and parsley chopped now.
  6. Peel eggs
  7. Chop eggs in half
  8. Place flat side down and then chop lengthwise and then crosswise – small dice
  9. Place chopped eggs into mixing bowl
  10. Add in chopped celery
  11. Add in dill and parsley
  12. Add in mayo and mustard
  13. Add 2 pinches of salt and 2 pinches of pepper
  14. With spatula, fold all ingredients together carefully
  15. Taste – add more of whatever ingredient you think it needs more of. I usually like more mayo and salt. Just follow your tastebuds!
  16. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours – to get really cold and let flavors meld.
  17. Enjoy!
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boiling eggs

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soaking in cold water

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ingredients (minus lemon)

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eggs ready for chopping!

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cutting eggs lengthwise first

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cutting eggs crosswise now

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added celery to eggs

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all ingredients in bowl – ready to mix

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all ingredients folded together

 

Salad w/ Chicken,Asparagus & Potato

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I get tired of the same old salads. We have a great garden full of fresh salad fixins – lettuce, spinach, herbs, tomatoes, etc. (thank you husband), but I don’t just want lettuce/carrots/tomatoes/cucumbers over and over – that shiz gets OLD. I go to restaurants and always see yummy salad combinations, so I tried to think of ways to make a healthy salad with some new ingredients. Pretty easy process here and quite yummy. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • Lettuce mix of your preference
  • 1.5 cup small potatoes – cut into halves. You can use red potatoes and just cut them into quarters
  • One medium sized chicken breast
  • 1 tsp sage
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Approx 10 stalks of asparagus – ends removed and chopped into 2 inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella or parmesan cheese – your choice!
  • 3 tablespoons EVOO
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1/2 cup Lemon Rosemary Salad Dressing

Directions

  1. Place chicken in tupperware container, lid off.
  2. Sprinkle chicken breast w/ salt and pepper. Add in 1 tbsp EVOO and rosemary, sage and garlic powder. Put lid on and shake well to coat chicken. Let marinate at least 1 hour.
  3. Before beginning rest of process, remove chicken from fridge and let warm up a bit, will cook faster if not ice cold from fridge
  4. Heat oven to 400 degrees
  5. Turn on grill (for chicken)
  6. In  bowl mix 1 tbsp EVOO and chopped asparagus, Add a small pinch of salt and pepper. Lay onto foil lined baking sheet.
  7. Repeat step 3, but this time do this with the potatoes and put on separate foil lined baking sheet.
  8. Put asparagus and potato trays into oven for 10 minutes.
  9. Cook your chicken on the grill. You can cook in a pan on stove top, but I prefer the grill. Usually takes about 10 min (5 min each side) on a hot grill.
  10. When oven timer goes off, test asparagus with fork. Should be easy to pierce with fork but not mushy at all. Usually asparagus are good at 10 minutes but continue to cook to your liking. I usually test one out to see how I like the texture. Snack! If asparagus done – pull from oven. Set aside.
  11. Turn potatoes and place back in oven for 5 more minutes. At end of 5 min test potatoes, should be soft, if not put in for 3 more minutes at a time to ensure you don’t over cook them. When potatoes are done, pull from oven. Set aside.
  12. To assemble salad, use large mixing bowl (can use same one used to toss veggies in olive oil).
  13. Place lettuce mix in bowl, add asparagus, add potatoes. Add 1/4 cup dressing and toss to coat. Add more dressing as you wish.
  14. Place salad mix into bowls for serving
  15. Slice chicken and place chicken on top of lettuce.
  16. Sprinkle with cheese.
  17. Serve!
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Lettuce and herbs from my garden

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chicken marinating

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asparagus and potatoes roasting in oven

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mixing all salad ingredients (step 13)

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salads topped with chicken and cheese!