Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A "Good" Morning!

  Daren got off shift yesterday morning an hour late (he works a 24/48 shift & usually gets off at 8:00) & I was off work so I slept in. (ahhhh) We love breakfast but don't often have the chance to fix a nice one with our work schedules etc so I decided that this would be a good morning for me to spend some time in the kitchen. After digging through my recipe stash I found one that sounded like the perfect solution :) Everything was prepared & ready to eat when hubby got home.
Ham & Cheddar Waffles
  I served them with peppered gravy & homemade hash browns. sooo delicious if I may say so ;) Daren thought that they were pretty tasty too! Fresh fruit would have been wonderful with these also, but I didn't have any on hand. 'Twas great to enjoy a hearty breakfast (well, I guess it was more like brunch) again!

~Ham & Cheddar Waffles~
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp sugar
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 large egg, slightly beaten
4 tbls butter, melted
2 oz. thinly sliced ham, chopped
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Stir milk, eggs and butter into flour mixture just until combined. Add ham and cheese. Pour 3/4 cup of batter onto heated waffle iron & cook until golden brown.

Have a wonderful Wednesday! =)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

{Hors d'oeuvres}

  Since creative and attractive appetizers are one of my favorite things to make/cook/bake; when we got invited to a house concert where everyone was supposed to bring an appetizer you can guess that I was super excited! =) I thought it would be fun to make fresh fruit and cheese kabobs, but I also really wanted to try a new recipe, soooo....I did both and what fun it was!             
::Fruit & Cheese Kabobs::

  Select the fruit and cheese combination to suit your taste; we used strawberries, pineapple and grapes for the fruit and a sharp cheddar, Swiss and Colby Jack for the cheese. I cut up the fruit and cheese and then my hubby put them together. Just a tip for you though if you would ever make these, the less sharp the cheese the better it will work. Daren was getting a little frustrated when the cheddar would crumble as he tried to put it on the skewer... They turned so pretty though and didn't last long at the party. 
  So while they were being put together I was busy chopping, mixing, rolling and baking; trying out the new recipe that I had found for..........................
:: Greek Pinwheels::

  I know they look like they could be time consuming, but really they are not. I wanted them to be served warm so I didn't start making them until about 45 minutes before we needed to be at the party. So yes, it's a fairly speedy recipe :)

Greek Pinwheels
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 tbls beaten egg
3/4 tsp water
1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup marinated artichoke hearts, drained & finely chopped
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 tbls oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained & finely chopped
3 Greek olives, finely chopped
1 tsp Greek seasoning
Unfold puff pastry. Whisk egg & water; brush over pastry. Combine the remaining ingredients.
Spread over pastry to within 1/2" of the edges. Roll up jelly roll style. Cut into 20 slices. Place  on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 425* for 9-11 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. Serve warm.

Blessings to you!

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Spaghetti Carbonara [Take 1]

 Ok, so we tried this dish & thought that it was alright but not great....I made my own alfredo sauce instead of buying it & I think that may have been the problem. The texture wasn't quite what I thought it should be. I'm going to keep this recipe for now until I can try it with store bought sauce & decide whether we like it well enough to keep for future use.

{Spaghetti Carbonara}
1 (16oz) pkg spaghetti
1 (15oz) jar creamy alfredo sauce
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 lb. thinly sliced pancetta*
2 shallots, chopped
2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
Cook pasta al dente & drain, reserving 1/4 cup of pasta water. Return pasta to pot & cover to keep warm. In a bowl whisk together pasta sauce & eggs. Meanwhile in a skillet over med heat brown pancetta until crisp. Reserve drippings. Place on paper towels & coarsely crumble. In the reserved drippings over med high heat cook shallots & garlic for 2-3 min, stirring occasionally. Stir in wine & cook for 1 min. Remove from heat. Return pasta pot to stove top over low heat. Add shallot mixture to warm pasta & lightly toss with tongs. Slowly add pasta sauce mixture, a little at a time, tossing pasta often to prevent eggs from scrambling. Cook for 4-6 min, or until sauce is cooked through & thickened. Add reserved hot pasta water if needed to thin sauce to desired consistency. Add cheese, parsley & pancetta. Cook for 1 min, stirring frequently. Season with salt & pepper to taste if desired. Serve immediately.
* substitute 1/2 lb. pancetta with 1/2 lb. thin sliced bacon. I didn't have quite enough pancetta so I used part bacon.
Until next time,

Friday, March 04, 2011

Blueberries & Bananas

  I love blueberries. They are such a delicious & healthy when I saw a big container of them at the grocery store the other day I just HAD to have them. :) Needless to say I have been enjoying them to the fullest!! Since I was going to work at the greenhouse today I thought I would make something with blueberries to take for our morning break.....I was thinking muffins would be good & I also had some bananas that needed to be used so I went on a search for a recipe I thought would suffice....found one that I thought looked delish & spent my evening baking muffins! :)

~ Banana Blueberry Streusel Muffins ~
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 1/2 cup(3 lg.) mashed ripe bananas
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup blueberries
In a large bowl beat butter & brown sugar until fluffy.
 Add bananas, milk, vanilla & eggs; blend well. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda & salt; stir just until dry ingredients are moistened.
Gently stir in blueberries. Fill greased or papered muffin cups 3/4 full.
Streusel Topping-
3 tbsp flour
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp butter, melted
1/4 cup chopped pecans
Combine all ingredients in a bowl & mix until crumbly.
Sprinkle over batter. Bake at 350* for 18-23 minutes. Cool 3 minutes; remove from muffin cups.
Yield- 18 muffins
They were well received at the greenhouse this morning!  I baked them in a mini tart pan instead of a muffin pan (they came out so cute!) & I also added a little cinnamon to the batter as well.....they don't need to bake as long if you use the tart pan; only about 10-12 minutes. 

The finished yummy!!! =)