Archive for the ‘pasta’ Category

>Around The World Cheese Pasta

>Comfort Food

Quick what just came to mind? Tonight for me it was macaroni and cheese. It’s been FOREVER since I had macaroni and cheese. Warm, melted gooey goodness dripping off a fork.

Oh my!

Today was Monday and ugh what a Monday. Nothing in particular really MADE it an Ugh Monday; it just was. Therefore I wasn’t in the mood to cook. I mean really get down and deep in my kitchen kinda cooking you know what I mean?

I needed something quick and for me that means anything that can be prepped and cooked in an hour or so. When you cook everything from scratch, rarely do I find anything that takes me less than 30 mins. I tried, really I did but well, I haven’t been successful with that yet. I simply can not bring myself to buy pre-prepared food in a bag or a box or a little plastic container that says “Just pour”. I did that and I remember all too well where THAT landed me; Unhappy with food and downright miserable in my kitchen.

And I just don’t have the energy to talk about the ingredients in most of that stuff. Can you say “Mad Science!?” That’s a whole other story and you’re welcome to dive into the whole ugly business in my “Why Butter” page. For tonight I just wanted quick but comforting and sitting at my computer “macaroni and cheese” came to me like a warm blanket wrapping itself around me on a cold night.

Rummaged through the freezer and fridge and there on the shelf were the blocks of cheeses I bought on a whim a few weeks ago. Cheeses from Italy and France, Ireland and Switzerland, Holland and yes even Milwaukee Wisconsin.

I had my muse.

DSC_4871

I’ve always wanted to travel around the world and although I have yet to begin, I think tonight’s dinner comes close…kinda.

Okay, here’s the dealio. If you don’t have a smorgasbord of cheeses on hand or perhaps a little tight in the purse strings, no problem it’s just a very worldly version of your every day Mac & Cheese. Good old Cheddar works just find by itself. You really can’t go wrong (except maybe with some Longaberger, I don’t recommend it).

Mix up any of the cheeses you have and see what you create. Stop by and let me know if you find a perfectly ambrosia combination.

Around The World Cheese Pasta

Ingredients

3 C. Rotini, Penne or other bite size pasta; uncooked
1/2 C. Butter
1/4 C. All-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp Pepper
1/4 tsp Dry mustard
1/4 tsp Paprika
1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 C. Milk
1 C. Heavy cream
1 C. Sharp cheddar cheese, grated.
1/2 C. Swiss cheese
1/2 C. Gruyere cheese
1/2 C. Dubliner cheese
1/4 C. Romano cheese
1/2 C. Panko bread crumbs
2 C. Broccoli florets quartered
1 1/2 C Fresh ham diced to about 1/2 inch

Preparations:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Grate all cheeses and set aside.

3. In small bowl, combine Romano and bread crumbs. Set aside.

4. In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta to al dente.

5. Lightly butter a two quart casserole dish and spread the ham in a layer at the bottom of the dish.

6. In a second layer add the broccoli florets adding more if needed or desired.

7. In separate large sauce pan melt butter over low heat.

8. Whisk in flour, salt, pepper, mustard, cayenne and Worcestershire sauce. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is smooth and bubbly; remove from heat.

9. Stir in milk and heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil for 1 minute or until thickened.  remove from heat.

10. Stir in cheese until melted. The milk may be hot enough to melt the cheese on it’s own. If not add pot back to a low heat stove stirring constantly to avoid clumping or over cooking.

11. Drain macaroni and gently add into cheese sauce. Stir to combine completely.

12. Pour into casserole dish. Bake uncovered until bubbly, about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from oven and rest for five minutes before serving.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

CLICK TO PRINT RECIPE

>Apple and Drunk Shrimp Pasta

>The was a little excitement in the house yesterday. We had a special delivery of our long awaited little one. Just a precious dear thing, wrapped up in a little bundle ready for plenty of attention.

WHAT?? A BABY!!??? Are you crazy? I have three boys and am already 40.

No you silly it’s our iPad 2, white with 64g and Verizon 3G connect.

Do NOT freak me out like that again.

As you know (or at least you do now) I work at home for a medical software company. I’m sure if I look in my contract somewhere in tiny tiny small print it says multi-tasking is a must and all financial compensation relies on said function.

We are growing and growing fast and any given time of day I’m working on several things at once. I can’t complain, I work at home (yes I said that) and have six weeks of paid time off each year since I started. Plus it’s a pretty cool company to work for.

Happy herbs

I needed something to help me keep track of everything for work, the clients, meetings, you name it.

Through trial and error and some major crash and burns I’ve found a few programs and functions that have helped me along the way. One of them is a fantastic program called “NoteBook” by a company called Circus Ponies – you have to love that!

I wont get into how amazing this thing is and how its like having a document folder, paper notebook, voice memo recorder, to do list secretary all in one place. What I can tell you is it has revolutionized the way I work and helped me find more time to take on more tasks. Hmmmm did I just say that was a good thing?

Furthermore CircusPonies should be paying me royalties for as many people Ive turned on to this.

Hello Adam Developer are you listening?

Anyway a few months back I saw the Notebook developers were coming out with a full fledged iPad app of the program that would allow me to synch my notes between my MAC and iPad without losing any of the functions I love about the MAC version. That was stipulated of course on the fact I HAD both.

At that time I did not … Yet.

Did I mention it’s only for Apple products? I don’t think I did. Sorry PC’s.

I knew then and there I was going to get an iPad if only for this program but I wanted too wait until the new iPad was released and of course the Notebook app as well.

So I waited and waited and finally all the planets aligned (which translated means the Notebook app was published, the iPad was released and I had the money to pay for it). Put my order in wait two weeks and viola it arrived on my doorstep yesterday courtesy of the Boys in Blue. (FedEx) Or do they really wear a shade of dark purple? May an indigo or violet.

Not only did Notebook synch like a charm and work amazing but I found some super cool other apps that were not available on my iPhone. (yes I am a total Apple convert. More a MACaholic I think and no I don’t want therapy thank you)

For example the app I’m writing this entire blog post from with drop and drag photo integration – Blogsy. Just fun and easy to use although it’s pretty new and I’m finding has some quirks to work out. 

Then there is a web browser that looks, acts and feels just like Firefox – Terra

The most uber awesomest app so far (next to Notebook of course) – Air Display.

This unassuming little program turns my iPad into a separate monitor for my MAC where I can drop and drag programs running on my laptop back and forth between the two screens. Talk about genius! Sure the whole dual monitor thing has been around forever but to have it avail on the iPad where it’s not taking up so much desk space and has it’s own spectacular use to it – genius! Practical and genius!!

The whole house was giddy (as silly as it seems considering it’s only a piece of technology) with it’s ultimate total coolness in a cute sleek little thing.

So it called for a party. (of sorts – or perhaps just an excuse to eat something super creamy & buttery. But then I never need an excuse to do that).

Something about vodka pasta called to me….but I didn’t have vodka, and I wanted shrimp too. Digging through my pantry I found rum and vermouth and it gave me an idea. Consulted the shrimp – they were all in.

Party time!

Boy were they smashed!

I understand their excitement but I think they took it a little too far.

It was no use trying to sober the little party animals up, they were good and cooked!

And let me tell you… Sooo delicious 🙂

Drunk Shrimp Pasta



Ingredients:

6 oz linguine or pasta of choice
3/4 lb. peeled and deveined uncooked shrimp
4 medium tomatoes mini diced and juices reserved
OR
1 14oz can petite diced tomatoes (if you do not have the fresh herbs buy a can of Italian seasoned tomatoes)
1/8 cup fresh basil chopped
2 Tbs fresh sage chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley chopped
2 Tbs fresh oregano chopped
3-4 large garlic cloves chopped but not minced
4 Tbs real butter
3 Tbs vermouth
3 Tbs rum
3 Tbs heavy cream
1 medium onion coarsely chopped
3 basil leaves coarsely chopped
Salt & Pepper to taste

Preparations:

1. Pour tomato, 1/3 of the garlic, parsley, sage, basil, oregano into a small bowl and season with salt and pepper. Let sit for a minimum of 20 minutes to infuse flavors.

2. Cook pasta to package directions. Drain and mix with 1-2 tablespoons of butter or olive oil to prevent sticking.

3. In a large skillet or Dutch oven melt 2 Tbs butter. Add shrimp and saute until just beginning to pink up.
4. Add onion and sauté for two minutes on medium heat or just until soft but not brown. Add garlic and cook another 2 minutes.

5. Add tomato mixture and cook 7 minutes until reduced slightly. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

6. Pour in rum and vermouth and cook another 5-7 minutes until aroma of alcohol subsides and incorporates into sauce.

7. Add remaining butter and cream. Cook until thickened about 3-5 minutes.

8. Combine sauce and pasta, mix well. Serve.

CLICK TO PRINT RECIPE