Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Friendlier Carbonara

Raw eggs kinda ewwww me out . . . I realize that in tradtitional carbonara recipes eggs, cream, bacon and cheese are the main ingredients . . . but for those of who shirk from making carbonara because of 1-the fat content and 2-the whole raw egg factor . . . then this recipe is for you . . . use the lower fat options for an even more health friendly route, or adjust to whatever is floating about in your fridge. We loved this sauce! It would also be a great sauce on a thin crispy pizza crust or if instead of using bacon, or going all bacon, add shrimp, clams or scallops instead. Delish!
Friendlier CarbonaraRecipe by: Emily

5 strips of Bacon, diced (I use the center cut bacon, less fat, more meat, or you can use turkey bacon but may need to add a little extra oil)1 tsp Olive Oil
1 medium Onion, chopped
2-3 Cloves of Garlic, minced
2 Tbsp Flour
1 1/2 Cups Milk (or half and half for an even richer sauce)
1/2 cups Sour Cream (low fat or regular)1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
2 Tbsp Parsley, chopped
Black Pepper

1. Cook the bacon in the olive oil over medium low heat, until it begins to render down, about 5-7 minutes. Add the onions and continue to cook for another 5 minutes, until the onion begins to caramelize.
2. While the onions and bacon cook whisk the sour cream, milk, cheese and 1 tsp of salt and 1 tsp of pepper together, set aside.
3. Add the garlic to the bacon and onions and cook for one minute. Sprinkle the flour over the bacon and onion mixture and cook for another minute.
4. Stir in the milk/cheese/sour cream mixture. Allow to simmer, stirring to prevent burning, until thick. Taste and add additional salt and pepper if needed. Stir in parsely and remove from heat. Serve over pasta with additional parmesan cheese if desired. Enjoy!

add additional milk if you want a thinner sauce

Monday, February 15, 2010

Steak Oscar

I hope that you all had a fabulous Valentines Day! Mine started with breakfast in bed (thank you Toph!) so I would say that I definitely had a good one! In turn I made steak oscar for lunch for my hubby and I. It is one of my favorite steak dishes and I bought some asparagus that was so tender and perfect that I couldn't pass it up.
My hubby is a meat man all the way . . . so as long as he is getting steak he can handle all of the "fluff" on top . . . although I hardly think of crab, asparagus, and hollandaise sauce as fluff. (He also likes his steak very rare . . . hence the very pink look in the pictures).
Steak Oscar
Recipe by: Emily

2 Steaks, I used rib steak ribeyes . . . New York is another favorite cut or you can't go wrong with a fillet
8 Asparagus stalks
4-6 Tbsp Hollandaise Sauce
Crab, canned or lump, (I used one can for 2 servings)
Salt and Pepper
Steak Seasoning
1 Small Clove Garlic, minced
2 tsp Olive Oil
1-2 Tbsp Water

1. Season steaks using salt and pepper or your favorite steak seasoning (we like McCormick). Heat a medium skillet over medium high heat and add a pat of butter to melt, sear steak for 3-5 minutes on each side until cooked to desired pinkness. While steaks cook wash asparagus and trim off the woody stems. Toss cleaned and prepped asparagus with olive oil, garlic, and a light sprinkling of salt and pepper. Remove steaks from heat and cover with foil and allow to rest while cooking asparagus.
2. Lower the heat and wipe out the skillet with a paper towel or wash pan before cooking asparagus. Heat skillet over medium heat and saute asparagus adding a little water if needed to deglaze the pan and aide in cooking. Cook asparagus for 5-8 minutes or just until tender. Top steaks with asparagus stalks and then top asparagus with crab. Spoon Hollandaise sauce over the top and serve. Enjoy!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Cake Pops . . . Valentine Bouquets

I did a little demo at Relief Society the other night about how to make cake pops . . . and since then everyone has been asking me to post about them . . . so I am.

I realize that everyone has blogged about them . . . so what is one more blog . . . besides I have yet to see them made into flowers using chocolate molds . . . which is what I did . . . so theres a new idea for ya . . .
I prefer using homemade frosting when making them . . . especially my chocolate fudge recipe . . . 1- because it is SOOOO good 2- because the chocolate chips in the frosting help the balls stay firm and I love the moistness that the sweetened condensed milk adds too!I think the key to making these are 1- DON'T overheat the chocolate 2- Make sure the balls are firm . . . as in nice and frozen!Try some fun flavors! The ladies at RS thought of some great combos . . . loved it! I made carrot cake with cream cheese frosting and chocolate cake with chocolate fudge frosting . . . SOOOO GOOD! 3- not too much frosting . . . you still want a cake texture. Cake Pops

1 Cake mix, make according to directions and cool completely
1 cup -1 1/2 cups Frosting
Sucker Sticks
Candy Melts, Chocolate

Mix a cake mix of your choice according to the directions on the mix and bake. Allow cake to cool completely and crumble with a fork or with clean hands.

Mix cake mix with 1 cup of frosting and then add more frosting as desired or needed to create almost a thick dough consistency that is still "cakey."

Freeze the cake mixture in a lidded container overnight or until very firm. Scoop the cake mixture into balls using a cookie scoops. Roll the balls in your hands to even out the shape and place on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper and then freeze again to make sure that they are very firm.

Melt candy melts according to package directions and then stick a sucker stick into each ball and dip in the melted chocolate. Lightly tap off excess chocolate and sprinkle pop with sprinkles or candy. Allow chocolate to set and enjoy!

More ideas . . .

Add a tablespoon or two of sweetened condensed milk or caramel syrup to the cake mixture to create really moist pops.

Use candy molds to add flowers, butterflys and other shapes to the pops and stick on using melted chocolate.

Make "cake truffles" by leaving out the sucker stick and placing them in mini paper liners instead.

Bake a pan of brownies and use a cookie scoop to make balls when the brownies are still warm. Freeze, and then dip in candy melts or in melted frosting and allow to set up.

For more brilliant ideas visitBakerella's site! She is one talented lady!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Southwest Chicken Salad, with Charred Corn Relish and Crispy Fried Jalapenos

I needed a serious pick me up tonight . . . so I visited the new LDS Youth website . . . and my mood has just blossomed! I love that! (My sweet MIL says that often . . . we love it when she says it.) So on a day when the waters are pretty choppy what better way to get your mind off things and your hands working than making a killer salad!!! I highly recommend it! My husband and I went out to eat the other day and had fried Jalapenos' as an appetizer and loved them . . . so I was eager to try them out on top of a load of southwest salad goodness . . . delish!
Southwest Chicken Salad with Corn Relish and Crispy Fried Jalapenos
Recipe by: Emily
2 Chicken Breasts, bonelss skinless
1/4 cup lime juice
2 Tbsp Oil
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
1/4 tsp Chili Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper

Mix the lime juice, oil, garlic powder, pepper, and salt together. Marinate the chicken breasts in the lime mixture for 1/2 hour and then cook in a medium skillet over medium heat until browned on both sides and cook through. Allow to rest for a few minutes before slicing.

Charred Corn Relish

3 Cups Sweet Corn
1/2 cup Red Onion, diced
1 Cup Black Beans
1 Tbsp Jalapeno, minced
1 Tbsp EVOO
Squeeze of Lime
Small handful of Cilantro, chopped
Fresh Cracked Black Pepper

Heat a medium skillet over medium high heat, add the corn and cook for a few minutes until it barely begins to color. Lower heat to medium and add the diced red onion. Cook until the onion begins to soften and add the minced garlic and jalapeno. Cook for 1 more minute and then remove from heat. Add the oil, lime juice, salt, pepper, and black beans. Mix and serve!

Fried Jalapeno Peppers

2 Jalapenos, sliced 1/4 inch thick (remove seeds if desired but leave membrane intact)
2 Tbsp Cornmeal
2 Tbsp Flour
1/4 tsp Salt
1/2 cup Butter milk

Coat jalapeno slices in buttermilk and allow to sit while you mix the flour, cornmeal and salt together. Individually dredge the jalapeno slices in the flour mixture and lightly shake off excess flour. Fry in oil until lightly browned. Drain on a paper towel, and then pile on top of a salad or dip in ranch dressing and enjoy.

2 Romaine Lettuce heads, or any salad greens
Tortilla Strips
2 Avocados, chopped
1/2 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1/2 Cup BBQ Sauce
Cilantro/Lime Ranch Dressing, (blend ranch dressing with lime juice, cilantro and jalapeno if desired, taste and adjust ingredient amounts according to taste)

To create the salad pile greens on a plate and top with the corn relish, sprinkle on tortilla strips, cheese, avocado, chicken and fried jalapenos. Drizzle BBQ Sauce and cilantro/lime ranch over the salad and enjoy!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Emma's Pre-Cake . . .

I am making my beautiful cousin Emma's wedding cake in a few months . . . I was also going to make a cake for a baby shower this weekend . . . but the baby is coming earlier than thought . . . so I ended up making a "practice" cake just for fun . . . it is a tidge like the cake for the wedding . . . no worries Emma . . . it is a TIDGE like the final product will be . . . only completely different . . if that makes sense . . .
It has been a long week and I have been working on a power point presentation for a class tomorrow of people from the American Revolution . . . Nathan Hale and Francis Marion are personal favorite revolutionary heroes of mine . . . (along with Jefferson, Washington, Revere, Adams, etc . . .) I remember watching the Walt Disney movie about the "Swamp Fox" as a kid, played by a very young Leslie Nelson. It rocked! . . . still does.
Tomorrow night is girls night out for yours truly and the Southern Posse . . . away from the kids and the men folk . . . you'd think we never do this with how absolutely pumped my girls are to go out! (Given it has been a while . . .) I wish you all a fabulous weekend! Go Colts!
(Great find . . . I buy these scrapbook pages that are plastic and use them as cake liners . . . a cheap and fun addition to cake decor!)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Teriyaki Chicken and Veggies

Um to sum up in one word . . . this Teriyaki Chicken and Veggie dish was DELISH! The hubs and I did a little kicking back with our Teriyaki Chicken Bowls in front of the tube (kind of a treat at our house . . . I am a total sit down at the table and eat properly type of person) and delved in! Loved it!
To kick it up a bit I added a sprinkling of cashews, which went over well with my hubs . . . who eats nuts like they are going out of style. (I highly recommend the wasabi soy almonds to snack on anytime! Favs of ours!) The best part of this dish is, well aside from the fact that it is delish is that it is FAST to make and ueber varsatile! Add whatever veggies you have in your house and enjoy! Next up is getting our Super Bowl menu together . . . (Hey Brandi this might be a good one to try out on Jared . . .) Teriyaki Chicken and Veggies
Recipe by: Emily

2-3 Chicken breast, boneless and skinless, cut into bite size pieces
1 16 oz bag Frozen Veggies, I used the cauli, brocc, carrot mix, but use whatever you want, even a stir fry mix would be great
1 medium Onion, cut into moons or chunks
1 cup Water
1/4 cup Soy Sauce
4 Tbsp plus 2 tsp Brown Sugar
1 Tbsp Honey
2 Cloves Garlic, minced/crushed
1/2 tsp fresh Ginger, minced/crushed
2 Tbsp Cornstarch
2 Tbsp Oil

1. Combine 3/4 cup of water, soy sauce, 4 tablespoons of brown sugar, and honey together and set aside. Combine 1/4 cup of water and cornstarch in a separte bowl and set aside.
2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat, add the onions and cook for about 2-3 minutes until they soften slightly, add the cut up chicken and begin to brown the meat. After 2-3 minutes add 2 teaspoons of brown sugar to the onion/chicken mixture and cook for 2 minutes, add the garlic and ginger and cook until the chicken is no longer pink.
3. Add the frozen vegetables to the chicken and cook for 3 minutes.
4. Add the soy sauce mixture to the pan and cook for 1 minute.
5. Add the cornstarch mixture and remove the pan from the heat. Stir well as the sauce thickens, if you want a thinner sauce add a little more water. Serve over rice. Enjoy!

The idea is to "stir fry it," cooking over a high heat to brown the chicken, adding lots of flavor, and keeping the veggies from turning to mush. If you are using frsh veggies just cook them stir fry style.