Friday, August 31, 2012

Broccoli and Pasta with Parmesan Croutons


I used to LOVE croutons. I ate them on their own until they stopped making the kind I liked. I'm not sure why I liked them so much, but I think it just it had something to do with them being made of bread. 

Including this recipe, I can only think of 2 specific times when I have had croutons since then. I'm not that into their crunchiness anymore. 


When I saw this recipe, though, something about croutons + pasta kept me flipping back to look at the photo and the ingredients. It was simple, did not call for many ingredients, and had croutons + pasta. I think my attraction to this recipe was because of the carb duo that I had never read about prior, but that I really wanted to try! 


Although simple, this dish tasted great because of the hard croutons and soft pasta topped with Parmesan. 


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Jim Lahey's Chocolate Chip Cookies

After the first full week in school and not baking since Sunday, I made 4 different kinds of cookies on Friday night. Between all 4 recipes, I made over 100 cookies! I was originally going to just make 2 kinds, but then I wanted to make a 3rd kind, and then I wanted to make a 4th, and then I wanted to make a 5th, but I forced myself to stop because I needed to go to sleep. I think it would be a really good idea to stay up all night baking one night, but that's for another day....

...hopefully sometime in the very near future?

I couldn't decide which one was my favorite because they each had so many great qualities. I liked these because they are a simple, basic cookie, but are thin and soft. It's another chocolate chip cookie recipe, but I've already addressed my previous CCC dilemma. So, this is really only the second successful recipe I have for these classic cookies, and it's a great one! 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Shells

This is another recipe that I made a while ago, but since I still have the photos and the recipe was great, I figured I should post it.

These shells have three main components: the filling, the marinara sauce and the pasta shells. The flavors tasted great together and I really liked the pasta shells. Something about stuffing the filling into the shells was really fun and something that I'll definitely want to try in other recipes.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Honey Lime Strawberries with Vanilla Ice Cream

Fall will be here before long, and with fall comes the end of fresh berry season. Because of this, I am a little sad.

Since strawberries are one of my favorite fruits, the 2 lb. cartons were on sale last weekend, and I kept going back to this recipe because it looked so appealing, I was so happy to taste the lime, cardamom and honey with the these pretty berries.

What better way to serve strawberries?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Make your own Trail Mix

Although I feel a little silly for posting such a basic snack, trail mix is something that I had never thought to make myself before even though it's so simple. This mix that I made is super classic and it doesn't have any interesting or different ingredients, but it's something that takes almost no time to make yourself.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Raisin Granola Balls

Now I know that some people really don't like this, and I don't know about you, but I love baking and cooking at night once it's dark out (and when it's raining, unless the power goes out, but that's for another day).

Some people don't like working in the kitchen at night because there's no natural light but I don't really tell a difference in my photos taken in the day vs. night since they aren't that great at either time of day. Unless I want to take a picture outside of a piece of quiche or some other dinner deal that won't last overnight, I'm fine with it. Also, some don't like to eat late at night but I am so productive at night so if I ever eat when it's dark out I usually stay up even later cleaning or doing something that needs to be completed (the night does wonders for dirty rooms and unfinished assignments; there's usually no noise around and you can focus on the task at hand and get so much stuff accomplished).


Last night wasn't a baking cookies kind of night, but instead a granola kind that involved oats, raisins and peanut butter. I wasn't in the kitchen for long since these are very quick to make, but I still loved the process and the yummy end result. I think the next time I make these I'll try adding some chocolate chips!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Crash Hot New Potatoes

I don't make mashed potatoes too often, and regular baked potatoes can get a little boring, so here is a new potato recipe. 

These are an acceptable substitute for mashed potatoes, and they are so much easier to make. New potatoes are flavorful and the smashed version is such a great and delicious idea. 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Oatmeal Raisin Pancakes

I'll wait an hour for a pie to bake or two hours for dough to rise, but ask me to wait for a pancake to cook on a hot griddle for two minutes and I am in trouble.

I check to see if they are done every couple of seconds, which causes them to cook slower, and I flip them too early because I am paranoid they are going to burn if they cook any longer.

On the other end of the spectrum, I go off and do something else so they have the opportunity to cook uninterrupted, I come back, and they're burnt.

So, pancakes are a little bit of a struggle for me to make because of how impatient I am when I just have to stand and wait until they bubble on the top and are golden brown on the bottom. 

With this batch, I was pretty patient (kind of) because I was excited about them, and they actually turned out better than a lot of the pancakes I have made in the past.

They were golden, cooked through and have a great texture. I didn't even bother with many of them while they were cooking. Success!

Since these pancakes are not very sweet on their own, you can (and most definitely should) add maple syrup because it helps sweeten the pancakes. Sometimes pancakes are overly sweet on their own and once you add maple syrup it's sugar overload but you can add maple syrup to these without having to worry about the sugar bar being too high.

And, they're totally acceptable for dinner.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Strawberry Spinach Salad

This recipe and photos are from so long ago, and I'm not sure why I never posted it, but I thought it was about time since it was such a great dish.

I'm pretty sure I made this late December, and I remember making this and taking the photos, but somewhere in the last eight months it slipped my mind and I never thought about sharing it. Usually, when I make something I really enjoy I want to share it right away, but sometimes things slip and do not get the attention they deserve in a timely manner.

Better late than never!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Fresh Cherry Tart

Tarts are one item that I wish I made more often. I love pressing the crust into the pan, the shape that the pan creates, and how nice they look once they are all finished. 

Also, at least with this tart, the only part you have to bake into the oven is the crust! I'm not sure why, but I really like when pies or tarts only call for the crust to be baked.

After you make and bake the crust, you fill it with a whipped cream and cream cheese filling topped with cherries. These 3 components complimented each other so nicely, and I cannot wait to make this again!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Chicken Caprese Burgers


I've already posted recipes for caprese grilled cheese as well as caprese bagel paninis, but this recipe with mozzarella, tomato, and pesto is another one worth sharing. Unlike the other recipes, this one has chicken. It adds an additional flavor to the sandwich and isn't dry or bland. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Brown Butter Strawberry Banana Bread

Basic banana with no other special frills or additions tastes great, but banana bread with brown butter and strawberries is terrific! 

After traveling away from the great banana bread by making peanut butter banana bread as well as chocolate chocolate chip banana bread and having them turn out dry with a strange texture I was not expecting this loaf to turn out tasting delicious just because the previous variations of banana bread had not turned out quite the way I expected. However, this quick bread was so flavorful and tasty. I loved the addition of the strawberries and the brown butter made it excellent. 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Rigatoni with Marinara and Ricotta

This pasta may not be very unique or different with it's simple tomato marinara, but it's definitely unique from some other tomato pastas in that it is tasty and flavorful. The tomato chunks along with the rigatoni and Parmesan create one of those simple flavors that tastes great when you don't want to eat a super funky, offbeat item for dinner. It is composed of just a few key ingredients. 

The only component about this pasta I would change is the basil amount. I would definitely add more, but it's still great with only a little (or even none) of the basil. 

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Simple Banana Ice Cream

This really isn't a traditional ice cream with eggs or cream because it only has one ingredient: bananas! The smooth and creamy texture that the bananas create resembles ice cream so well and is a quick and easy shortcut to make "ice cream".

I had 5 ripe bananas, so I made banana bread, but I still had these 2 1/2 left. I wanted to try something new, so I made this recipe because you don't need a specific amount of ripe bananas; you can just use however many you have. I was surprised by how well this turned out, because I did not think that just pureeing bananas would create such a great product.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Spinach Pie

I feel like I'm always making something that involves crust and spinach, but here is yet another great recipe that combines these two elements. 

I thought that this would be exactly like a quiche, but it really did fit under the pie category because of it's heavier filling. It was delicious! 


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