Archive for the ‘Dinner’ Category
Happy New Year’s Eve! As I’m switching my planner to 2013, it seems like I was shopping for a 2012 planner at Target just yesterday. This year seemed to move at lightening speed — with a new nephew, new jobs, new friends, new gym, new home projects and a whole lot more. Yes, 2012 was an awesome year, but I feel strangely optimistic that 2013 will be even better :)
Since the countdown is happening tonight, I thought I would do my own. Here are my Top 12 Recipes of 2012.
#12) Coffee Rum Chata
#9) Tamale Pie
#1) Shrimp and Grits
Question: What is your favorite recipe from 2012? Links welcome!
It’s been way too long since my last Thursday Things post. I have a ton of good post and reviews to share, but today I just need to rant (in a good way!).
What I’m eating for dinner:
Laurie posted this recipe for Spaghetti Squash and Sautéed Vegetables a few days ago, and with a ton of squash on our hands, I couldn’t wait to make this. Like most of my cooking, I used her recipe as a guide and made it my own using what I had on hand. I made more of an Italian version that features olives, Italian spices and Parmesan cheese.
Italian Spaghetti Squash and Sautéed Vegetables
Inspired by Laurie
1 spaghetti squash
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 zucchini, sliced
1 10-ounce bag frozen, chopped spinach, thawed
1 large tomato, diced
1/3 cup sliced olives
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 -2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
Salt and pepper, to taste
Cut the spaghetti squash in half, and put in a pot of water. Bring the water to a boil, and continue boiling the spaghetti squash for 15 minutes. While the squash is boiling, add the olive oil and zucchini to a large pot and sauté for about 7 minutes, or until lightly brown. Add the diced tomatoes, spinach, olives and spices and continue cooking. Remove the spaghetti squash from the water (tongs work well for this), and with a fork, scrape the sides of the squash into the skillet with the other vegetables. Finally, add the cheese, and mix until all the ingredients are combined and heated through.
What I’m eating for breakfast:
Chobani is, by far, my favorite brand of Greek yogurt so I’ll try pretty much anything they make. However, as someone who despises anything pineapple flavored (I LOVE fresh pineapple though), I was skeptical to try their 2% Pineapple yogurt. I have to say though, this is my favorite of their line. It’s so fresh and fruity without tasting artificial at all. YUM!
What I’m coveting:
This blouse…and just about anything from The Limited. This is my favorite clothing store and about 50% of my closet is from here. But whatever they’re showing on their website now is especially calling to me. The tunics…the sheath dresses…the coats. Swoon.
What new gadget I just love:
As someone who brings lunch to work 90% of the time, I know how hard it is to cart salad dressing. Either you bring a full bottle or make a mess trying to fit it into a small Pyrex container. So I was thrilled when I saw this Dressing-2-Go Container from Stonewall Kitchen. At only $4.95, I know I’ll be getting a lot use out of this. Now if I only I had fresh veggies in the house to make a salad :)
Question: Tell me, what’s your favorite clothing store? Chobani flavor? Gadget?
You know you are addicted to social media when you are gone for just a few short days and the whole world seems to have changed. Not to mention I have no idea what my favorite bloggers have been up to (I’ll catch up over the weekend — I promise!).
I started my new job on Monday and between that, workout sessions with my favorite personal trainer, and getting ready for the holidays, I have been a little overwhelmed to say the least. Speaking of which, thank you all SO SO much for your kind words on Thursday’s post. You make it so easy for me to spill my heart out and share my crazy life with the world.
Since I have been so pressed for time, I’ve been making shortcuts to prepare for the Thanksgiving weekend. Instead of making Libby’s Pumpkin Roll like I originally planned, I decided to freeze unbaked pumpkin pies like I did last year (learn how to freeze homemade pumpkin pie in part 1 and part 2 of these blog posts). I also made and froze oatmeal raisin cookies a la King Arthur Flour to bring to our festivities as well.
Since I won’t be blogging until after the holiday, I want to leave you with my favorite dish as of lately. It combines two of my favorite foods: peanut butter and tomatoes. Now hear me out on this one…
I clipped this recipe for tomato and peanut butter soup simply based on the fact that I had some Hot Pepper Better’n Peanut Butter lying around and didn’t know what else to do with it.
As it turned out, spicy peanut butter is the perfect ingredient for soup (and Thai foods, like noodles with spicy peanut sauce). Add a slice of homemade bread and you have a meal perfect for fall or winter. And especially after all that turkey, stuffing and pie, you’ll be craving lighter meals. And in this case, you definitely won’t be skimping on flavor.
Tomato and Peanut Soup
Adapted from Food Network Magazine
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes
4 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1/3 cup spicy peanut butter (such as Hot Pepper Better’n Peanut Butter )
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and celery and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and spices and cook, stirring, 2 minutes more.
Add the tomatoes, chicken broth and brown sugar. Whisk in the peanut butter until incorporated. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn off the heat and puree with an immersion blender. Add salt and pepper, to taste, if desired.
Ladle into bowls and serve.
Question: What are you up to for Thanksgiving? What’s your favorite part of the meal? For me, I love the stuffing. Homemade, I could eat that stuff by the bowlful. I also love pumpkin pie with Cool Whip :)
Today is a 3-cup day. Of coffee, that is. I was glued to the election coverage last night despite my usual 9:30 bedtime. And yes, I’m aware that this confession makes me sound incredibly lame. But as someone who needs 8 hours just to function and who normally wakes up at 5:34 to hit the gym (yes, those extra 4 minutes are very important), I don’t have any other choice.
Although eating enough fruits and veggies and working out are extremely important, sleep counts just as much. Even despite the health benefits, I love sleeping. My parents never had to force me to go to bed s a kid. I happily obliged.
So now I’m yawning through the morning and thinking about the fun activities happening after work tonight. A few of us co-workers, past and present, are meeting to discuss Emily Giffin’s “Where We Belong.”
We’re also ordering Topper’s Pizza, which is one of my favorite takeout pizzas. It’s right up there with Pizza Hut’s Stuffed Crust Pizza, which I haven’t been able to eat in years because Brenton doesn’t like it and there isn’t a Pizza Hut nearby.
Speaking of good food, it seems like we’ve been eating our weight in squash lately. I sill have a bunch of acorn and spaghetti squash to use up because we’ve been chipping away at our butternut squash stash (with Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese, Butternut Squash Chipotle Soup and Roasted Butternut Squash Salad – recipe to come!). Our latest creation is a one-pot meal that uses squash, spinach, goat cheese, bacon and gnocchi.
I only discovered gnocchi about 2 years ago and it’s one of my favorite things to make. Gnocchi with White Beans was one of the best meals I made last year.
Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Gnocchi
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into small cubes
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
3 cups spinach
1 17.5-ounce package potato gnocchi
4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
4 cooked bacon strips, crumbled
1. Melt two tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the squash and cook, stirring until soft, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes and salt, to taste. Continue cooking for 2 minutes more.
2. Add the chicken broth to the skillet. When it starts to simmer, stir in the spinach, gnocchi and bacon, stirring to coat. Cover and cook until the gnocchi are just tender, about 5 minutes. Uncover and stir in the goat cheese. Once the goat cheese is melted, turn off the heat. Serve hot.
Question: What are your favorite things to do with squash? Links welcome!
And don’t forget! You still have until Monday, November 12 to enter my Pasta Shoppe Giveaway! I’m giving away 3 holiday gift sets so get those entries in!
As I was trolling though my recipe section, I began to notice something. I use pumpkin, a lot. From breakfast to desserts and dinner, nearly every one of my food categories contains a dish with pumpkin. Since it’s fall and canned pumpkin is everywhere, what better time to do my first recipe roundup?
Question: Do you like cooking with pumpkin? What do you like to make? Links welcome!
It may be almost November, but tank top weather is still here in Wisconsin (at least until tonight). Even my wedge sandals have made an appearance (despite my naked toes peeking out sans a toenail or two – thank you half marathon training). Here’s what has been going on lately:
1. Don’t forget to enter my giveaway for a Primula Half Moon Teapot gift set! You have until Monday, Oct. 29 to enter (make sure to head on over to the original post). By the way, I’ve loved hearing about all your favorite gifts. Keep those stories coming!
2. My Pampered Chef party is being extended.
You now have until Sunday to order in case you forgot. For info on how to order, see this post.
3. I can’t wait for tonight. I DVR’d Nashville, which I finally get to watch. Has anyone else been sucked in? I knew I would love it when I saw the commercials months ago. Also, Brenton is making Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese for dinner.
Even better? I don’t have to do a thing. Because I will be making…
4. Halloween Cake Balls!
Tonight, making cake balls for our creative department outing tomorrow (a pig roast, mini-bowling and a good amount of drinking—this is advertising after all). Remember these Homemade Funfetti Cake Balls I made for Hillary’s birthday? Well I am going easy this time. Yellow cake mix, Pillsbury Halloween frosting, chocolate Almond Bark…and these cute little sprinkles for a finishing touch.
Question: What’s the funnest work outing you’ve ever been on? What did you do?
This week has been flying by. Tomorrow Brenton and I get to go on a Milwaukee Food Tour – The Pizza Bus Tour! I have to admit, my Milwaukee pizza knowledge doesn’t extend much beyond Ian’s, Topper’s, Crisp and Transfer. I’ve taken the Wauwatosa Tour and the Bloody Mary Brunch Tour before and they both were fabulous. I can’t wait to see where we head tomorrow. The only question is what to wear. I was thinking about wearing a new blouse from BCBG, but knowing me, I will most definitely get pizza sauce on it…and probably some wine!
On Wednesday, and article I’ve been working on for a few weeks was finally published. As a nut butter lover, I wanted to devote a whole cover story to the stuff, including flavored peanut butters, health butters and more. My favorite part though was the recipe testing. I made a Thai Noodle Dish with Spicy Peanut Sauce that was too good for words. I also interviewed Julie from PB Fingers on her favorite ways to use the stuff (and she even gave me her Almond Butter Granola recipe to share with Milwaukee Journal Sentinel readers). You can check out the digital version plus the recipes I included on JSOnline.com.
For some reason, I think Oliver is wayyy cuter in person. The photos don’t do him justice!
On the culinary side of life, we’ve been eating pretty darn good lately. In a household of two, anything we make tends to last us a few meals. We made this Japanese eggplant parmesan with homemade tomato sauce a few days ago, and we ate it for three nights in a row. When it comes to eating a dish this good, I did not mind at all.
Brigitt (whose blog I completely LOVE, btw), created this slow-cooker pasta sauce, which I used as the base of my Japanese eggplant parmesan. It is my go-to recipe, and I’ve made it a handful of times (which is a lot for me!). Instead of frying the eggplant, you bake it in the oven. Per Brigitt’s suggestion, I used the tomatoes I froze last year. I thawed them slightly, which worked out perfectly (I just broke up the tomatoes further after an hour and then we took an immersion blender to the sauce when it finished cooking). Of course, you can substitute regular eggplant. I happen to love Japanese eggplant — it’s probably the fun, bright purple color.
Japanese Eggplant Parmesan
3 Japanese eggplant, sliced one-inch thick
2 eggs, beaten
3 cups Italian seasoned bread crumbs
6 cups slow cooker pasta sauce (can substitute any pasta sauce)
3 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
Slice the eggplant (throwing away the ends). Sprinkle lightly with salt and let it sweat for 30 minutes. Pat try with a paper towel.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Dip eggplant slices in egg, then in bread crumbs. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 7 minutes on each side.
In a 9×13-inch baking dish, spread 3 cups of pasta sauce on the bottom. Place a layer of eggplant slices in the sauce. Sprinkle with half the mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. Spread remaining sauce over eggplant and sprinkle with remaining cheeses. Sprinkle Italian seasoning on top. Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes, or until golden brown. Enjoy!
Question: What dishes do you tend to make over and over? Do you think your pet looks cuter in person? I feel like I’m completely alone on this one, so I’d love to know if you guys feel the same way!