I am so sorry about the long hiatus! I have been living in exam/quiz/practical world for the past few weeks. Busy life as a PA student! Fortunately I know that the day I become a certified PA and see my 1st patient the countless hours of studying will be worth it! I have been lucky to make some really great friends and am so fortunate to have a husband that supports me completely. He even has become a frequent dishwasher and laundry folder. I couldn’t ask for a better husband:)
Anyhow, a few weeks ago I promised a to die for Pasta Carbonara recipe and I’m finally going to deliver! This was the first time I used pancetta in place of bacon in my recipe and it was really delicious. If bacon is all you have on hand, you can’t go wrong! What is more comforting than a pasta dish with eggs, cheese, and bacon? mmm, it may be time for me to make it again!
- 1 lb pasta
- 4 oz diced pancetta
- 8 oz of finely shredded parmesan cheese
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 – 3/4 cup milk
- 1/2 medium onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tbs of fresh parsley
- Lots of fresh cracked black pepper Read the rest of this entry
Matt and I were watching the Best thing I’ve Ever Made: Comfort Food and when Sunny Anderson’s recipe came on for Spicy Mac & Cheese. Matt decided he wanted to help me make it and that he wanted it right away. Matt doesn’t spend too much time in the kitchen, so when he says he wants to help out I usually let him and try to supervise only and not take over (which can sometimes be a challenge for me in the kitchen). He even was responsible for making the list for the grocery and I let him do all the choosing when it came to the cheeses. He did a great job because (with just a tiny help from me) it came out delicious! So this recipe for sure is boy tested and wife approved! You should give it a try too:)
The original recipe called for something like 2 cups of heavy cream and I immediately nixed that idea. I told him there was PLENTY of cheese in the recipe and that it will taste just as great with 2% milk. I also told him that we could use Panko breadcrumbs for the top in place of making our own since we didn’t have any day old bread. At first he wasn’t too keen on that idea but after some explaining about fabulous breadcrumbs coming from day old bread he agreed that panko would be a better option too. I absolutely love a crunchy crust on Mac & Cheese and think that Panko has so far given me the best results! The top was perfectly brown and ridiculously crunchy! Oh, and don’t be too worried–the spiciness isn’t in a hot burn your mouth kind of way! It’s a much different heat from the dry mustard and the pepperjack cheese. A really delicious kind of heat.
Recipe adapted from Sunny Anderson’s Spicy Mac & Cheese
- 1 box elbow pasta, cooked until almost al dente
- 8 ounces Cheddar, 1/2 cubed, 1/2 shredded
- 8 ounces Colby cheese, cubed
- 8 ounces Monterey pepper jack cheese, cubed
- 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- 4 tablespoons sour cream
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1 1/2 cups milk–I used 2% and it came out great
- 1/4 cup finely grated onions
- Panko Bread crumbs
- Cooking spray
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We are back in Philly and I couldn’t be happier! It’s nice to travel but nothing beats coming home:) Anyhow, I wanted to share one of my favorite dishes growing up, stuffed shells! The first time I ever made them for Matt he had never had them before. He was pleasantly surprised with how delicious they were and requested them often. He even made me serve them to his Mom and Grandmother the first time they ate dinner at our place. Luckily for me, they are a fantastic and tasty…and a never fail recipe. The great thing about them is that the can be prepared in advance and can be thrown in the oven and forgotten about for an hour and come out perfectly gooey and delectable. Plus these are one of the few leftovers I actually will eat. Believe it or not, I actually think that they taste better the next day and I am typically so anti-leftover (it’s a terrible habit!).
The true funny story that accompanies these stuffed shells is that Matt had no idea I actually made them! He was under the impression–for the several times I made them–that I had bought them from the store already prepared! He was nearly shocked to come into the kitchen one night and to see me actually stuffing each individual shell. I couldn’t decide if I was offended or flattered that he thought my shells were pre made! We laugh about it every time I make them for dinner now.
This recipe is super versatile and can be made with whatever your favorite ingredients are. I typically use ground turkey as my filler but sausage, ground beef, or even pepperoni would be fantastic. I hope you give them a try and enjoy them as much as we do!
- 1 box Jumbo Shells
- 1 Jar of Pasta Sauce
- 1 lb of ground meat of your choice
- 1 15 oz container of Ricotta Cheese
- 1/4 c chopped red pepper
- 1/4 c chopped sweet onion
- 2-4 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese--I use mozzarella
- 1 Egg
- Fresh Basil–about 1 tbs chopped
- 2 tsp of Herbs de Provence (never heard of it? packed with savory, thyme, sage, basil among a lot of other delicious things!)
- Salt & fresh cracked black pepper
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I absolutely love avocados! They honestly may be one of my favorite things to eat. I thought it was crazy when I discovered this paring that I didn’t think of it sooner. It may seem a little weird at first but trust me it is so delicious. The avocado really helps to make Mac & Cheese even more creamy—I never thought that was possible! It’s definitely buttery and smooth but probably a dish I wouldn’t make on the regular since it is so rich.
You can really taste the avocado though…next time I may even omit the cheese sauce and just eat avocado pasta. Matt liked it but was craving a crunch to go along with it. I agree that it was in need of a salty crunch–maybe pancetta crumbles or garlic bread.
- 10 ounces dry elbow macaroni–I used the Barilla Carrots & Squash–the pasta offers 1 full serving of veggies per serving. Bonus.
- 2 cloves garlic–use your micro planer to grate the garlic right into your food processor
- 2 avocados, peeled and pitted
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice–I used lemon because it’s what I had on hand ( it’s important to use because it prevents the avocado from browning)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup milk
- 2 cups shredded Pepper Jack cheese–or your favorite–we like the spiciness that Pepper Jack offers
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Reserved avocado chunks–to throw in at the end for garnish
- The original recipe calls for fresh Cilantro–1/3 cup–but I omitted it because Matt doesn’t like Cilantro. I also added a small pinch of cayenne pepper to the avocado mixture.
Ever since I made homemade sun dried tomato pesto for my BLT recipe redo, I have been craving it like you wouldn’t believe. Not only is the pesto easy to make but it is super tasty and hearty. Matt loves to eat pasta and would eat it as often as I cook it, but I’m not a huge pasta fan myself. However, since he’s been traveling all week I wanted to throw something together for a quick, healthy lunch. I have recently reorganized my pantry and have found that we somehow acquire an overabundance of half filled pasta boxes. In order to free up so much needed space, I have started to cut the name of the pasta and cooking time off the box and store them in individual plastic bags. It has freed up a lot of space and I can’t believe that I didn’t think of it sooner!
I hope you enjoy the pesto as much as I do! I’m sure I will be coming up with more recipes in the near future to feature my new favorite ingredient!
- Sun dried tomatoes
- Olive oil
- Dried basil
- Fresh Garlic
- Parmesan cheese
- Salt & pepper
- Your favorite pasta–I used Cellentani
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