Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Sweet Potatoes

I love traditional sweet potatoes with the mini marshmallows on top. However, most of my family does not care for them so I made a rather small batch for just me and my father-in-law. This was kind of made up on the spot, but it was pretty good.

Sweet Potatoes
2 regular sized cans of sweet potatoes or 1 large can
1-2 Tbs. brown sugar
1-2 Tbs. butter broken or cup into small pieces
salt and pepper
3/4-1 cup mini marshmallows

Drain off most of the liquid from the sweet potatoes. Dump them in a small casserole dish and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Then sprinkle brown sugar and butter on top. Cook in microwave for about 5 minutes until warm. Top with marshmallows and bake in oven at 350 for 5-10 minutes until marshmallows are melted and toasty. Or bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes then top with marshmallows and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes.

Green Bean Casserole

This is straight off of the side of the can of French Fried Onions. I LOVE those crispy little onions. I saw some recipes out there this year for green bean casserole from scratch without cream of mushroom soup.. But what can I say? I love the classic, straight out of the can with lots of those crispy onions on top. If I'm not careful I will eat the whole can of onions plain.
(image courtesy of americansweets.co.uk)
Green Bean Casserole
3 cans green beans, drained
1 can crispy onions
1 can cream of mushroom soup
3/4 cup milk
1/b tsp. pepper

Mix everything together except the onions. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes, until warmed through. Pour onions on top and bake for an additional 5 minutes.
*Note: I microwaved the casserole for 5-7 minutes then topped with the onions and put it in the oven for the last 5 minutes. This minimized the time in my already cramped oven.
(image courtesy of breakingnewsweek.com)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

These mashed potatoes were totally experimental, but I must say they were delicious! Potatoes are the highlight for me. I usually just toss in a little of this and a little of that, and this wasn't much different. But I think I remember what I added more or less so that this divine creation may be duplicated. Unfortunately the only picture I have is of the entire feast. I'm sure you've seen what mashed potatoes look like. These didn't look  much different, but the flavor was better than most.

Garlic Mashed Potatoes
7-8 lbs. potatoes
1 head garlic
olive oil
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup butter
salt and pepper to taste

Chop off the top of the head of garlic so the tips of the individual cloves are exposed. Place head of garlic on a sheet of foil and drizzle with olive oil. Fold up the sides of the foil and bunch at the top. Put garlic package in the oven with turkey for 45 min-1 hour. While garlic is cooking, peel potatoes and chop into small pieces. Add potatoes to large pot of boiling water that has been salted. Cook potatoes until they are very tender. Once potatoes are done, drain off the water and return the potatoes to the pot. Open your garlic package and squeeze out cloves into a bowl. (You may need to wait a few minutes so the garlic is cool enough to manage.) Mash the garlic with a fork then add to the potatoes. Add the other ingredients and mix with your beaters until they are smooth. Serve with gravy.
This made enough for 6 adults with lots of leftovers.

Herb Roasted Brined Turkey

Let's start out with the star of the meal. Admittedly, I am not a huge fan of turkey. The side dishes are the real stars as far as I'm concerned. Being the traditionalist that I am, though, I refuse to serve anything but turkey on Thanksgiving. That said, I was pleasantly surprised with this turkey. It was moist and delicious. I think I am a convert to the brine. It really wasn't that much more work than usual. This recipe comes from Emeril Legasse. For simplicity's sake I will simply refer you to the food network site for the recipe. Click here for the recipe.

Thanksgiving Report

Are you still stuffed? Because I am. I'm pretty sure I don't need to eat again for a week! This week the plan is to give you the recipes and report on the things we served on our Thanksgiving table this year. While I realize that this may seem silly since none of us will be cooking Thanksgiving dinner for another year, I think many of these recipes may come in handy other times of the year as well. I'm going to shoot for 2 recipes a day so as not to leave anything out.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

I am taking the week off (from blogging, not cooking of course) to be with family. Since I tend to blog about food after I have made it, I will give you a full run down of this week's sights and flavors next week. For now I will send you away with my menu for the big day and links to recipes where available. Happy eating!

Thanksgiving Menu 2010
Nancy's cheese ball
Herb-seasoned brined turkey courtesy of Emeril Legasse
Garlic Mashed Potatoes and gravy
Classic Green Bean Casserole
Lion House Rolls
Classic Sweet Potato Casserole
Stove Top Deluxe (yup, from the box with a little something extra added)
Cranberry Sauce
Pumpkin Cheesecake this one's from Paula Deen, but I plan on using a Gingersnap crust
Apple Pie
Mile High Lemon Meringue Pie from America's Test Kitchen, my favorite show!

I might add in a salad. But let's face it, no one goes into Thanksgiving dinner saying "I can't wait for the salad!" So I'll probably ditch it. What are your Thanksgiving favorites?

Friday, November 19, 2010

Chicken Fajitas

Wow! I can't believe I did a whole week without a dessert. I promise there is plenty of holiday baking coming up. These are a staple at our house. Simple, tasty, and Mexican, my favorite! I like to serve them with the Spanish rice in a rice cooker and black or refried beans on Costco's cook n serve tortillas, aka the best tortillas ever!

Chicken Fajitas
1 lb. or so of boneless, skinless chicken cup into bite-sized pieces (I like the tenderloins, and I usually use 5-6)
1 bell pepper sliced (I like it in strips,but you can dice it smaller if you want)
1 small onion, diced
1 packet taco seasoning
warm flour tortillas
sour cream
shredded cheddar cheese

Cook the chicken in a little olive oil in a saute pan. When the chicken is almost done add the onions and bell pepper. Once the onions are translucent and the peppers are cooked add the taco seasoning (I usually use between 1/2 and 3/4 of the packet.) Add about 1/4 cup water to help the seasonings evenly distribute. Cook until water is mostly evaporated. Serve in warm tortillas with a dollop of sour cream and cheese on top.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Apple Cider Pork Chops

So in a moment of weakness I bought a GALLON of apple cider that I thought was on sale. It turned out to not be on sale, I was too lazy to take it back, AND my husband refused to drink any of it. So I was so glad when I remembered seeing this recipe on my cousin's food blog thequeensofthekitchen.blogspot.com . One of her friends submitted it and it saved the day. And pork chops just so happened to be on sale, so I was one happy mama.
Apple Cider Pork Chops
Prepare pork chops by poking holes in them with a fork and season them with garlic salt & pepper. Saute in olive oil or butter until done. Top with caramelized onions (sliced onions sauteed with some salt & sugar until transparent and the color of caramel) and serve with mashed potatoes and apple cider gravy.

3-4 tbsp. butter
3-4 tbsp. flour
2 c. chicken broth
3/4 c. apple cider (the good stuff makes a difference!)
salt/pepper to taste

Create a roux using the butter & flour. Allow to cook 1-2 minutes, or until light brown. Whisk in the broth & cider on med-high heat. Allow to simmer & thicken for about 3 minutes, or until desired thickness. Season with salt and pepper.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Ribs off the grill

Once again we were delighting in the warm weather while we could. This recipe comes once again from Stephanie's Tried and True Recipes. This one was submitted by Logan Hazard, who I believe is Stephanie's cousin on the other side of her family. He says they are the best ever, and I may just have to agree. He gives a recipe for homemade BBQ sauce. I simply used my favorite one from the store, Sweet Baby Ray's.
As a side note, we took a BBQ tour through Kansas City last February (best trip ever!) and my husband said these ribs were as good as the ones we had there. Now if I could just replicate the pulled pork and baked beans we had. Mmmm!

BBQ Ribs
Preheat oven to 300. Brush sauce over entire surface of the rack of ribs. Wrap each rack tightly in aluminum foil and arrange packets on baking sheet with the seam facing up. Bake for 2-2 1/2 hours or until meat on the ribs has pulled back from the cut ends of the bones by about 1/2 inch. When the ribs are just about done, preheat your grill to medium heat. Remove ribs from foil and grill them for about 5 minutes per side until the surface of the ribs is beginning to char. Brush sauce on both sides of the ribs a few minutes before removing them from the grill. Don't brush sauce on too soon or it will burn. Serve with extra sauce on the side.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Cream Cheese Alfredo Sauce

I ended up with a ton of cream cheese when it was on sale a couple of weeks ago. My friend Katie was kind enough to share this recipe with me for cream cheese alfredo sauce. I used the low fat cream cheese and milk instead of half and half so I guess you could consider it "healthy" alfredo. I served it over whole grain shell pasta with grilled chicken and steamed broccoli.

Cream Cheese Alfredo Sauce
1/2 cup butter
1 package cream cheese
1 cup half and half or whole milk
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
1 Tbs. garlic powder
pepper to taste

Melt butter in medium sauce pan. Cut cream cheese into pieces and add once butter is melted. When butter and cream cheese are mixed well, add milk, parmesan, garlic powder, and pepper. When mixed well and sauce-like, remove from the heat and let stand to thicken. Stir every few minutes until desired consistency. Serve warm over your favorite pasta.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Grilled Salmon

Salmon was on sale a couple of weeks ago and the weather was nice so I decided to try grilling salmon. That was definitely a first for me. This glaze was pretty good. I left out the ginger because I didn't have any, but this was one time I wish I would have made that extra trip to the store. So I am telling you, don't leave out the ginger! This recipe comes from foodnetwork.com courtesy of Bobby Flay.

Salmon with brown sugar and mustard glaze
3 Tbs. brown sugar
1 Tbs. honey
2 Tbs. butter
1/4 cup dijon mustard
2 Tbs. soy sauce
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 Tbs. finely grated ginger
vegetable oil
salt and fresh ground pepper
8 salmon fillets, 6 oz. each
(I used one large piece of salmon from the butcher that I then cut into 4 pieces.)

Melt the brown sugar, honey, and butter in small sauce pan over medium-high heat. Remove from heat and whisk in mustard, soy sauce, olive oil, and ginger. Let cool.

Preheat grill to medium heat. Brush salmon with vegetable oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Place salmon skin side down on the grill. Coat the flesh of the salmon with the glaze. Grill for 6-8 minutes to medium doneness, turn once after 5-6 minutes. Serve with extra glaze on the side.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Refried Beans

To go along with yesterday's Spanish rice, I thought I would recommend my absolute favorite re-fried beans. They come from here and they only cost $3.75 for 2.4 lbs. They come in a can that looks like this:
And when you open the can it looks a little bit like corn flakes. But once you add a little hot water, they are the best re-fried beans I have ever had outside of a really good Mexican restaurant. I like to add a little of this:
some cheese, a little diced onion, all in a big flour tortilla and call it Taco Bell at home. Those of you who knew me in college may recall my weakness for Taco Bell, so being able to make it at home is definitely a good thing!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Spanish Rice in a rice cooker

I love Spanish rice (or orange rice as my brother calls it), but I also love the dump-and-forget-about-it attribute of my rice cooker. So when I found this recipe, I knew it was made for me. This one comes from my cousin Stephanie's Tried and Trus REcipes book again. Thank you to Becca Jones for submitting it. So easy, so delicious. I make it at least twice a month, not surprising if you've noticed my obsession with Mexican food.

Spanish Rice in a rice cooker
1 can diced tomatoes (the ones with the green chilies are good if you want extra flavor)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/4 cup water
1 tsp. chili powder
1 cup long grain rice (NOT instant rice)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup chopped onion
dash of pepper
Toss it all in your rice cooker. Give it a quick stir. Put on the lid and turn on. It's that easy!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Funeral Potatoes

So confession, yesterday's meatloaf recipe was just an excuse to make funeral potatoes. I felt like I couldn't have funeral potatoes as my main dish, so I made meatloaf. This is my absolute favorite way to eat potatoes, except for maybe a really good French fry. I know everyone probably has a way to make funeral potatoes, but this is the way I do it. Such a guilty pleasure for me, more of a temptation than even most desserts.
Funeral Potatoes
10-12 good-sized potatoes (I usually use Russet)
1 can each of cream of chicken soup and cream of mushroom or 2 cans cream of mushroom
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
1/2-3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
bread crumbs (optional)

Boil, peel, and shred the potatoes. I usually use the shredder attachment on my food processor or I have used a cheese grater. While potatoes are boiling, mix the soups, sour cream, and seasonings. Add milk to the consistency you want. (I usually go for a consistency similar to mayonnaise; not too thick, but not too runny.) Stir in shredded potatoes. Spread the whole thing in a 9x13 casserole dish and top with bread crumbs if you'd like. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes or until edges are bubbly. Remove foil the last 10 minutes. You can also make in advance and keep in the refrigerator, but you will need to allow for 60-75 minutes  in the oven if the potatoes are cold.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Mini Meatloaf

I got this recipe from the cooking class I took at BYU. I don't love meatloaf, but when I'm in the mood or have some ground beef I need to use this is my favorite technique because it is quick and I like the caramelized outside of the meatloaf the best and this allows for more surface area and therefore more caramelization.

Mini Meatloaf
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/4-1/2 tsp. salt and pepper each
1 egg
1-2 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup bread crumbs or quick oats (I prefer the bread crumbs)

Mix all the ingredients together with your hands. (I find this is the best way to mix it evenly.) Shape into large golf-ball sized pieces and place in a muffin tin. Make an indentation in the middle of each one (see photo) to allow for even cooking. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes. I usually end up cutting one open to see if it is done. Spread ketchup on the last 5-10 minutes. Serve with your favorite potato dish.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Chicken Tortilla Soup

We had this at an enrichment activity a couple of years ago and the lady who made it gave out the recipe. I finally got around to making it a couple of months ago and wish I would have made it a lot sooner. It is so easy and so good! I made it again last night and it is already gone!

Chicken Tortilla Soup
4 boneless skinless chicken thighs (I used about 2 cups  of the shredded chicken from my roasted chicken last week)
2 cans diced tomatoes or 4 cups diced fresh tomatoes
1/2 frozen diced green chilies or one 4 oz. can diced green chilies
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups chicken broth
1 tsp. cumin
salt to taste (the broth alone may make it salty enough)
4 corn tortillas cut into strips and fried or tortilla chips
2 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup Monterey Jack or cheddar Cheese (I have used both and prefer the Monterey Jack)
1 avocado, peeled, seeded, and chopped

Place chicken in slow-cooker with tomatoes, chilies, onion, garlic, and broth. Cover and cook on high about 3 hours, or until chicken is tender. (If you are using pre-cooked chicken just cook until warm.)
Remove chicken from slow-cooker and shred. Return to cooking liquid and adjust seasonings as needed.
Add more broth if necessary. Simmer for 1 more hour.
Just before serving stir in tortilla chips and cilantro. Top with cheese, avocado, and lime juice.

Friday, November 5, 2010

White Chicken Enchiladas

These were the best chicken enchiladas I have ever had, hands down! They take quite a lot of work, but are so worth it! I am ruined and will never be able to make the "easy" enchiladas again! (You know the ones with the cream of chicken soup and sour cream.) Those ones are good, but I just finished off this pan of enchiladas for lunch and am already mourning the fact that they are gone. I got this recipe from thepioneerwoman.com under her cooking tab.

White Chicken Enchiladas
(these are mostly pioneer woman's words with some of my note thrown in)
  • 2-½ cups Cooked, Shredded Chicken (I used my roasted chicken from yesterday)
  • 2 cups Reserved Broth From Chicken (or store bought)
  • 3 Tablespoons Canola Oil
  • 12 whole Corn Tortillas (I used flour because that's what I had. If you use flour, omit the oil)
  • 1 whole Large Onion, Diced
  • 3 whole 4 Oz Cans Whole Green Chilies, Diced (I used one 7 oz. can)
  • 1 whole Jalapeno, Seeded And Finely Diced (I omitted. I'm sure it's better with, but I simply didn't have a jalapeno.)
  • 1 teaspoon Paprika
  • ½ cups Heavy Cream (I used whole milk for same reason as jalapeno)
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 2 Tablespoons Flour
  • 1 cup Sour Cream
  • 2-½ cups Monterey Jack Cheese, Grated
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • Picante Sauce (optional)
  • Cilantro, Chopped (I omitted because I didn't have any, but only if I did...I guess I will have to make these again. Oh darn!)

Heat 2 tablespoons canola oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Fry tortillas for no longer than 20 seconds, just to soften (do not allow to become crisp.) Place tortillas on a large towel or stack of paper towels to drain.
Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in separate skillet over medium heat. Add onions and jalapenos and saute for 1 minute, just to start the cooking process. Add chicken, half of the green chilies, and 1/2 teaspoon paprika. Stir together. Add 1/2 cup chicken broth and stir. Add cream and stir, allowing mixture to bubble and get hot. Turn off heat and set aside.

In a separate large skillet, melt butter and sprinkle in flour. Whisk together and cook over medium heat for one minute. Pour in 1 1/2 cups chicken broth. Whisk together and cook for another minute or two. Stir in the other half of the chilies. Reduce heat, then stir in sour cream. Add 1 1/2 cups grated cheese and stir to melt. Add 1/2 teaspoon paprika. Check seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed.

To assemble, spoon chicken mixture on top of tortillas, one by one. Top with plenty of cheese and roll up. Place seam side down in a 9 x 13 casserole dish.
Pour cheese mixture all over the top of the tortillas. Top with extra cheese if you’d like, then bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Sprinkle generously with chopped cilantro.
Serve with picante sauce, if desired.
Faint. Repeat as needed.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Roasted Chicken

I know that this is pretty basic, but until recently I had never roasted a chicken! If I knew how easy it is, I would have done it a lot sooner. I love to serve this as a main course with potatoes and veggies or just shred it up and use the chicken for lots of yummy recipes that call for pre-cooked chicken. That's what I did this time, and I'm so glad I did. It makes cooking dinner so much easier to already have the chicken cooked and ready to go!
(Those black spots are the pepper, not burning. If you don't like the way they look, leave out the pepper. I choose flavor over beauty.)

Roasted Chicken
Start with a thawed whole chicken

Preheat oven to 400
Take out any neck and any gizzard parts
Rinse chicken inside and out and pat dry
Rub skin with butter
Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper (I used lemon pepper)
Cook in roasting pan (or 9x13 cake pan) for 75-90 minutes or until meat thermometer reads 165 in thickest part. Mine was about 4.5 lbs and took about 85 minutes.
*This is a very basic recipe. Feel free to jazz it up with the herbs and spices of your choice. I've even cooked it with a sliced lemon and onion stuffed in the cavity. I find that when I'm planning to use the chicken in other dishes, simple is best!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Pan Pizza

I saw this on America's Test Kitchen (love that show!) a couple of weeks ago and had to try it. While I love my pizza recipe I typically use, I also love a good pan pizza. I also learned a trick to get the pepperoni to be crispy around the edges that I plan on using from here on out, pan pizza or not.

Pan Pizza 
1/2 cup olive oil  
3/4 cup skim milk plus 2 additional tablespoons, warmed to 110 degrees 
2 teaspoons sugar  
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour , plus extra for counter 
1 package instant yeast  
1/2 teaspoon table salt
pizza sauce (I always use jarred spaghetti sauce)
mozzerella cheese

1. To make the dough: Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 200 degrees. When oven reaches 200 degrees, turn it off. Lightly grease large bowl with cooking spray. Coat each of two 9-inch cake pans with 3 tablespoons oil.
2. Mix milk, sugar, and remaining 2 tablespoons oil in measuring cup. Mix flour, yeast, and salt in standing mixer fitted with dough hook. Turn machine to low and slowly add milk mixture. After dough comes together, increase speed to medium-low and mix until dough is shiny and smooth, about 5 minutes. Turn dough onto lightly floured counter, gently shape into ball, and place in greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in warm oven until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
3. To shape and top the dough: Transfer dough to lightly floured counter, divide in half, and lightly roll each half into ball. Working with 1 dough ball at a time, roll and shape dough into 9 1/2-inch round and press into oiled pan. Cover with plastic wrap and set in warm spot (not in oven) until puffy and slightly risen, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, heat oven to 400 degrees.
4. While dough rises, put half of pepperoni in single layer on microwave-safe plate lined with 2 paper towels. Cover with 2 more paper towels and microwave on high for 30 seconds. Discard towels and set pepperoni aside; repeat with new paper towels and remaining pepperoni. (Genius, right?)
5. Remove plastic wrap from dough. Ladle 2/3 cup sauce on each round, leaving 1/2-inch border around edges. Sprinkle each with 1 1/2 cups cheese and top with pepperoni. Bake until cheese is melted and pepperoni is browning around edges, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven; let pizzas rest in pans for 1 minute. Using spatula, transfer pizzas to cutting board and cut each into 8 wedges. Serve.

*Note: I do not have a stand mixer so I simply mixed in the flour with my hand mixer and a wooden spoon then kneaded the dough for about 10 minutes.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Best Sugar Cookies

This recipe comes straight from Mel's Kitchen Cafe. My mom always says that a sugar cookie is either pretty or it tastes good, but it can't be both. I am out to prove her wrong (sorry mom!) I love that it is light and soft and flavorful and they keep their shape. I think this will be my go-to sugar cookie recipe from now on. With three sticks of butter, lemon zest, and almond extract how could you go wrong? Mel recommends using a whipped cream cheese frosting, but I like to keep it simple with just a basic powdered sugar frosting. I know Halloween is past, but as you get ready for holiday baking, stock this one away.

(these are Mel's words off of melskitchencafe.com )
My Favorite Sugar Cookies

*Note: the baking temperature for this recipe may seem high but I believe it is one of the keys to success. The cookies still remain soft and light because they bake for such a short time (and they keep their shape really well!).
*Makes 2-3 dozen sugar cookies (about 2-3 inch size)
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, softened to cool room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 tablespoon lemon zest (from about 1 lemon)
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars for 3-4 minutes, until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add vanilla extract, almond extract and lemon zest; mix. Add two cups flour, baking powder and salt. Mix. Add remaining flour and mix just until flour is incorporated and the dough is smooth and soft.
The dough can be wrapped in plastic wrap and kept in the refrigerator for up to a week or it can be rolled out right away. Dust a counter with powdered sugar or flour and roll the dough to desired thickness (I prefer my cookies on the thick side so I roll my dough out to about 1/4-inch, maybe even slightly thicker than that). Cut the dough into shapes. Place the cookies on a lined or lightly greased baking sheet. Bake for 7-8 minutes. The cookies won’t appear browned on top (or on bottom) when they are done baking so don’t let them overbake! I find 7 1/2 minutes is about perfect but if they are even lightly browned on bottom, I decrease the time by 30 seconds. I like them super soft with not even a hint of browned edges or bottom. This way they literally melt in my mouth.
Cool the cookies completely on a wire rack before frosting. The baked cookies (unfrosted) can be stored in a tupperware or ziploc bag in the freezer for up to a month. I also often freeze 1/2 of the sugar cookie dough when I don’t have time or don’t want to roll it out and cut shapes. I wrap the dough in plastic wrap and then stick it in a freezer-safe ziploc bag and freeze it for up to a month. I take it out the night before I want to roll it out and store it in the refrigerator to thaw (for about 12-15 hours). About 30 minutes before I want to use it, I let it sit on the counter to soften a bit and then I roll it out and cut out the cookies.
Recipe Source: method adapted slightly from Good Things Catered

Monday, November 1, 2010


This is a family classic that my dad picked up during his mission in Italy. I love it, my husband loves it, my brothers love it, my in-laws love it. I pretty much don't know anyone who doesn't love it, so I figured it was time to share it with you.
(picture courtesy of calabriataste.com)
1 lb. spaghetti or spaghettini (I prefer the latter)
1 lb. bacon
1 egg, lightly whisked
parmesan cheese
freshly ground pepper
1/4-1/2 cup half and half or whole milk (optional)

Put a large pot of salted water onto boil. On boiling, add the pasta. While waiting for the water to boil, cut the bacon into small pieces and cook to a crisp. Once pasta is cooked (do NOT overcook) drain and immediately return to the pot. Stir in one whisked egg until it coats the pasta. The heat of the pasta will cook the egg. Then stir in 1/4-1/2 cup parmesan cheese (I lean towards 1/2) until melted. At this point you can add in milk or half and half if you so choose. Toss in bacon and about 1-2 tsp. of the bacon grease (this step is very important). Finally top with lots of freshly ground pepper. Enjoy!

*Note: I grew up eating this dish without the added milk. I love it that way, but sometimes I like it a little richer. Don't feel like you have to add the milk, it is great without it.