Browsing Category "Food"
28 Mar
2013
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Gnocchi with Shrimp, Asparagus, and Pesto

I’m back with one last Lenten meal for you. This one is another healthier-than-fish-fry kind of meal courtesy of Cooking Light. I love that this recipe uses asparagus that’s in season (unless you live somewhere that just had another 14 inches of snow like I did) and has some of that delicious gnocchi I cannot get enough of lately.

gnocchi and shrimp

This meal only takes about 10 minutes to cook and there aren’t many dishes so you can use your Friday night for something other than dinner. Do any of you do a blackout night on Friday? I’ve tried stepping away from the computer and phone for those nights to just devote to some couple time or some reading. It’s easier some nights than others (if the husband is gaming it’s hard for me to stay offline too) but I made it through 3 books last weekend and got back on track for my Goodreads goal.

Have a good Easter to you all! I’ll be back next week with some color inspiration.

Gnocchi with Shrimp, Asparagus, and Pesto

Ingredients

  • 1 lb asparagus
  • 1 pound peeled and deveined large shrimp
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 (16-ounce) package gnocchi
  • 1/2 cup pesto

Instructions

  1. Chop asparagus into 1 inch pieces. Heat up a skillet.
  2. Bring 2 quarts water to a boil in large pot. Add gnocchi and boil for 2-3 minutes until the gnocchi rises to the surface. Strain.
  3. While the gnocchi is cooking, saute the asparagus in the skillet for 4 minutes. Add the shrimp and saute for another minute. Mix in the gnocchi and the 1/2 cup of pesto and cook for another 3 minutes until done.
http://www.thehyperhouse.com/2013/03/gnocchi-with-shrimp-asparagus-and-pesto/

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19 Mar
2013
Posted in: Food
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Salmon with Cheese Ravioli

If you’re like me you’re 2 Fridays away from the end of Lent and are maybe a little sick of all that fried fish. Don’t get me wrong, I love seafood and love fish fry (St. Ferdinand in Florissant has the best in STL if you were wondering) but this is the time of year I’m usually just about done with the same meal over and over again.

DSC04961

As a lighter alternative, salmon and cheese ravioli seems a good change. You can throw in a fresh lemon and some fresh spinach to really embrace the spring produce coming into season. This recipe takes only about 20-30 minutes so it’s weeknight friendly so it’s perfect for a Friday or any other night.

DSC04960

Salmon with Cheese Ravioli

Ingredients

  • 1-8 oz package refrigerated four cheese ravioli
  • 1 lemon
  • 2-6 oz frozen salmon fillets, thawed
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1-6 oz package baby spinach
  • 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tablespoon butter

Instructions

  1. Cut lemon in half. Make a thin slice from each side and reserve.
  2. Spray a glass pan with aluminum foil. Place salmon in pan and drizzle one half of the lemon over both pieces of salmon. Top each filet with a slice of lemon and 1/2 tablespoon pat of butter. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes until flakey.
  3. While salmon is baking, boil water and cook the ravioli until it floats to the top. Drain.
  4. About 5 minutes before the ravioli and salmon are done, heat olive oil in a pan. Saute the spinach and garlic in the pan and squeeze the remaining lemon half on top.
  5. Serve with salmon on top of spinach and the ravioli on the side.
http://www.thehyperhouse.com/2013/03/salmon-with-cheese-ravioli/

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14 Mar
2013
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Thin Mint Bark

The best thing about March has to be Thin Mints. It can’t be the weather (high was supposed to be 60 and I saw snow) and it can’t be the days off work (that would be 0) so it has to be the Thin Mints. Last year I celebrated with an alcoholic overture to the cookie but this year I made a chocolate bark.

thinmint

The key ingredients here were 2 bags of dark cocoa melts, 1 bag of green candy melts, 1 cup of mini pretzels, 3 Thin Mints, and some sprinkles.

thin mint bark

Place a single layer of pretzels in a pan lined with wax paper. Melt your chocolate in 30 second intervals until smooth when stirred. Repeat this process with the candy melts. Pour the chocolate on either end of the pan and pour the candy melts into the center of the pan. Swirl the chocolate and candy melts into a pattern. Toss on crumbled Thin Mints and sprinkles. Place the pan in the fridge for about 20 minutes before breaking apart the candy bark and enjoy!

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14 Jan
2013
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Chicken Soup for the Sickness

gnocchi soup

My new year did not start off quite as planned. I spent New Year’s Eve at work, then at a lovely gathering at a friend’s house. By the time I made it home from her house I had a fever and chills. I managed to get some awful cold (though thankfully not the flu) but I’m still recovering. I’ve got some medicine helping me fight this thing now but I don’t think I’ve had this many illnesses in years. I hope it’s just a fluke!

gnocchi soup ingredients

When I get sick, I always like soup. This soup I’m featuring today is so much better than the Ramen I tend to grab from the store. This is a copycat recipe you can find almost anywhere  based on the Chicken and Gnocchi Soup at Olive Garden. I’m not a huge Olive Garden fan (blasphemy in my Midwest city) but I do like to make a big pot of this at home. It has so much goodness in one pot: chicken, fresh veggies, gnocchi, garlic, and cheese.

gnocchi soup pot

Chicken Gnocchi Soup

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 10 bowls

Serving Size: 1 bowl

Ingredients

  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 cup onion, finely diced
  • 4 Tablespoons flour
  • 1 quart half and half
  • 1 pound potato gnocchi
  • 1 cup carrots, finely diced
  • 1 cup chicken breasts, cooked and diced
  • 1-14 ounce can chicken broth
  • 1 cup fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon parsley
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheeses

Instructions

  1. Heat the butter in a dutch oven over medium heat. When melted, saute the garlic and onion until the onion is translucent.
  2. Add the flour and stir until the flour has browned and a roux is formed. Let it cook another minute, then add the half and half stirring until fully incorporated.
  3. Let the cream mix thicken while you boil the gnocchi in a separate pot. Strain the gnocchi after it is fully cooked and set aside as you prepare the rest of the soup.
  4. Once your cream mixture is warmed and has thickened, add in your carrots and chicken. Slowly stir in the chicken broth. Let the soup thicken again and add the gnocchi, spinach, and parsley.
  5. Serve your soup hot and topped with some fresh pepper or fresh grated Parmesan cheese.
http://www.thehyperhouse.com/2013/01/chicken-soup-for-the-sickness/

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16 Dec
2012
Posted in: Food
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Cake Mix Crinkles

It’s time again for another cookie recipe. This one happens to have just 5 ingredients thanks to starting with a cake mix.

chocolate crinkle cookies

These chocolate fudge crinkles are a new recipe in my house but they went over so well I wanted to share them. I used a Betty Crocker chocolate fudge cake mix but I think this would go over great with the other cake mix flavors like strawberry or even yellow cake mix for a gooey butter-like cookie.

 powdered sugar cookies

The secret to these cookies is to make them quite big before rolling them in powdered sugar. Don’t be tempted to make a ton of cookies since these get the best rise and crinkled effect if you just make 1 cookie sheet of cookies from this recipe. The double rolling in powdered sugar also makes sure the final cookie gets the maximum color contrast for that snow-dusted cookie effect. These cookies are very rich so make sure to eat them with some milk!

Cake Mix Crinkles

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 1 dozen cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 box chocolate fudge cake mix
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. Stir together the cake mix, oil, water and eggs until it forms a very thick dough. Chill in fridge for 20 minutes to an hour.
  2. Remove dough from fridge and quickly scoop into 1-inch balls. After shaping each ball, roll it in powdered sugar and let it rest on a cookie sheet.
  3. Once all the balls have been shaped, roll each ball in powdered sugar for a second time.
  4. Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees. The centers of the cookies should be slightly gooey. Cool for 5 minutes on the pan before removing to a wire rack until completely cooled.
http://www.thehyperhouse.com/2012/12/cake-mix-crinkles/

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28 Nov
2012
Posted in: Food
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The Chewy

I’ve noticed people seem to have a lot of peculiarities about their chocolate chip cookies. Some people like thick chewy ones, others want a crunchier bite. Some people add in ingredients like peanut butter or pumpkin to the batch and some like it straight off the bag.

This recipe appeals to the first crowd. The Chewy is a chocolate chip recipe with a fluffy dough that rises thanks to some instant vanilla pudding in the batter. It’s a very cake-like cookie which should come as no surprise since so many cakes have pudding in them as well. The mix of white and brown sugar also leads to a very soft cookie.

This cookie is all about the texture. It’s also great for freezing. I made this at the same time I made my M&M cookies and I froze 4 dozen of these cookies and 3 dozen of those cookies. I may have sampled some in the meantime and I promise you I gobbled them up all too willingly.

Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 6 dozen

Serving Size: 1 cookie

Ingredients

  • 2 cups butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 (3.4 ounce) packs instant vanilla pudding
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 20 ounces milk chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Cream together the butter, sugars, and pudding mix. Beat in the eggs and vanilla.
  2. Combine the flour and baking soda. While stirring, add the dry ingredients gradually to the wet ingredients.
  3. Mix in the chocolate chips.
  4. Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes.
http://www.thehyperhouse.com/2012/11/the-chewy/

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26 Nov
2012
Posted in: Food, Home Renovation, Life
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4-Day Weekend

Who doesn’t love a 4-day weekend? This one was much needed. I started my new job the day after waking up at 3:30 AM and getting to bed at 12 AM and I was still behind on sleep 2 weeks later. I know, some people say sleep debts aren’t real but tell that to my lazy butt.

turkey trot

I say that but in reality I had a very busy weekend. I woke up early Thursday morning and drove 30 minutes to head to a Turkey Trot. My husband and I ran our first 5K run together! I had trained but switching jobs to something with a longer commute + the end of daylight savings time really cut into the hours I could run in a day. The race was hard, lots of hills in a mall parking area but in the end I finished and ran the whole way. My husband stayed by my side (even though he’s a much faster runner) and I shaved over 4 minutes off my previous best.

5k route

After the run I cleaned up a bit and then headed to Thanksgiving lunch with my in-laws. She had turkey, dinner rolls, sausage stuffing, cranberry sauce, and mashed potatoes. My sisters-in-law each made desserts and I brought a very empty stomach. I definitely didn’t leave with an empty one though. I didn’t take pictures because I was devouring but I did want to share my mother-in-law’s pretty centerpiece.

fall centerpiece

After a filling lunch, Dan and I then headed over to my parents’ house. Luckily our house is about 10 minutes away from each of their houses and they live about 10 minutes away from each other. Unluckily that did not allow a lot of time to digest. We had a deep-fried turkey that my dad fried, my mom tried out my sweet potato recipe, there were at least 2 casseroles, a jello salad (a true must), and a Thanksgiving miracle occurred when my baby brother tried and liked my cornbread dressing. We ate on my great great grandma’s china that my mom was just given.

thanksgiving day

That was all in one day!

The rest of my weekend was spent on a project I highly regret starting. Remember: when your husband says “Do you want to start on the fireplace or just put up the Christmas tree?” choose wisely. I was desperate to start on a makeover of the ugliest fireplace ever. I did not realize I would be dealing with moving furniture, flying debris, dust, 3 extra loads of laundry, eating on my bed, buying new tools, and realizing public enemy #1 is my former homeowner.

fireplace horrors

Has your past homeowner ever done anything to deserve a public shaming? Uncle Albert sure does. Letting someone set tile in concrete and using concrete as a grout is the.worst.idea.ever. There are not enough evers in a Taylor Swift song to cover the amount of worst idea evers in this situation.

I know this sounds like a busy weekend but I promise you I slept in till 10 AM, ate chili dogs, and watched The Walking Dead. I also caught up on giving my puppy some extra loving and I did not do a bit of shopping all weekend. It was bliss! I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving with your families, friends, or just yourselves. I’d love to hear about how you do Thanksgiving your style.

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9 Nov
2012
Posted in: Food
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Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes

I love sweet potatoes. The biggest issue I have on Thanksgiving Day is which way to serve them. Since the menu already called for mashed potatoes, I knew I wanted to go a different route for the sweet potatoes. When I saw a recipe for Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes from Lauren’s Latest, I knew this was the dish for me.

twice baked sweet potatoes

This recipe is really good, with a buttery cinnamon filling not to mention a brown sugar and walnut streusel on top. Just one half is a perfect sweet dish for your plate. Head over to Lauren’s post to learn all her little tips on how to make these sweet potatoes out of this world.

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Yield: 5 halves

Serving Size: 1 half

Ingredients

    For the Sweet Potatoes:
  • 3 large sweet potatoes
  • 4 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • For the Streusel:
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons packed brown sugar

Instructions

    For the Sweet Potatoes:
  1. Prick sweet potatoes with a fork or knife and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until soft. You can also microwave the sweet potatoes on high for 13-15 minutes as well.
  2. Once sweet potatoes are cooked, slice in half and scoop out the centers into a bowl leaving a 1/4 inch border of sweet potato with the skin. Mix in brown sugar, butter, salt and cinnamon until smooth. Using a large tipped pastry bag, pipe filling back into sweet potato shells. {Or spoon it back in.}
  3. For the Struesel:
  4. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients for streusel and mix together until butter starts to warm and ingredients start sticking together. Top the filled sweet potatoes with the streusel and bake 20-30 minutes. Serve warm.
http://www.thehyperhouse.com/2012/11/twice-baked-sweet-potatoes/

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8 Nov
2012
Posted in: Food
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Cornbread Dressing

I’m not really a dressing or stuffing person, much to my mom’s disappointment. I just was never much a fan of the taste or texture. This dressing is different. It starts with cornbread and buttermilk biscuits (Jiffy and from a can are just fine or you can use your favorite recipe) to add a more solid texture. (If you want a really firm dressing, try making croutons out of the crumbs instead of just letting the breads go stale.) I also cut back on the amount of broth compared to most stuffing recipes so it is just moistened. The eggs in it work to bind the whole thing together too.

cornbread dressing

For a look at how this can be prepped in advance, check out my Thanksgiving Day timeline. Since there are only 2 people in my household, I split this dish in half and only cooked the first half for my meal. The other half was packed away in a foil tin uncooked. When I’m ready to eat that part, I’ll thaw it completely and bake at 400 for 25-30 minutes.

The best part of this recipe isn’t the wonderful texture or even how easy it is to freeze. I really just love the taste. Using a sweet cornbread allows for a mix of sweet and savory. It’s the perfect match for the crockpot turkey.

Cornbread Dressing

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 6 cups cornbread crumbs (about 8 muffins)--try this recipe
  • 3 cups buttermilk biscuit crumbs (about 4 biscuits)
  • 4 oz butter
  • 2 cups onion, chopped
  • 2 cups celery, chopped
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup turkey drippings
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh sage
  • 1 teaspoon marjoram
  • 1/2 teaspoon basil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 eggs

Instructions

  1. Prepare the cornbread and biscuits a few days in advance. Let them sit in the open so they go stale. On Thanksgiving Day, crumble the biscuits and cornbread in a large bowl.
  2. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat and add in the onion and celery. Cook until tender.
  3. Add the vegetables into the crumbs and stir till combines. Stir in the broth and drippings, then add the seasonings and beaten eggs.
  4. Bake in a casserole dish for 25 minutes at 400 degrees.
http://www.thehyperhouse.com/2012/11/cornbread-dressing/

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7 Nov
2012
Posted in: Food
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Buttermilk Pumpkin Cake

buttermilk pumpkin bundt cake

Most people seem to think pie is the perfect Thanksgiving dessert but when it comes to pumpkin, I tend to think the flavor is best featured in a cake. Yes, that may be blasphemy to you but if you’re ever going to give it a shot, this is the cake to do it with.

pumpkin bundt cake

This cake starts in a bundt cake pan (mine is cathedral shaped because why not?) and there’s no need for a heavy frosting, just a glaze. The original Gourmet recipe called for solely a buttermilk glaze but I got a little crazy and added in some maple flavor.

buttermilk pumpkin cake

Since this is a bundt cake, it’s easy to see where to cut the cake and it’s a gorgeous piece to serve. I topped my cake with some crushed pecans and my slice got a sprinkle of coconut too. You can easily make this cake up to 3 days before your big Thanksgiving meal so it works great with my Thanksgiving cooking timeline.

Buttermilk Pumpkin Cake

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 16 slices

Serving Size: 1 slice

I found this recipe via Gourmet Magazine's 2005 Thanksgiving edition. I've made a few changes (specifically doubling spices and adding a maple glaze) but the cake itself is a warm spicy flavor perfect for Thanksgiving dinner.

Ingredients

    For the cake:
  • 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups canned solid-pack pumpkin (less than a 15-ounce can; not pie filling)
  • 3/4 cup well-shaken buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • For the Glaze:
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon well-shaken buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon maple extract
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Instructions

    For the Cake:
  1. Grease a bundt cake pan generously and set aside.
  2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, and salt in a bowl. Stir together pumpkin, buttermilk, and vanilla in another bowl.
  3. Beat butter and sugar in a mixer on medium until pale and fluffy. Add in eggs and beat 1 minute. Reduce speed to low and add flour and pumpkin mixtures alternately in batches, beginning and ending with flour mixture and mixing until batter is just smooth.
  4. Spoon batter into pan and bake at 350 for 50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool cake in pan on a rack 15 minutes, then invert rack over cake and reinvert cake onto rack. Cool 10 minutes more.
  5. For the glaze:
  6. While cake is cooling, whisk together buttermilk, maple extract and powdered sugar until smooth. Drizzle icing over warm cake, then cool cake completely. Icing will harden slightly.
http://www.thehyperhouse.com/2012/11/buttermilk-pumpkin-cake/

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