Sunday, October 20, 2013

Spicy Sausage Pasta

Well it's been a while. And with good reason - the baby boy I was gestating made an early entrace on August 5th! He was seven weeks ahead of schedule and doing well despite a four week stay in the NICU. I am pretty sure I made this dish and took this photo well before his arrival. However, I have made this dish a few times since he came into this world because it is super quick, tasty, and only gets one pan dirty. The only modifications I make are to omit the salt (it gets enough with the broth, canned tomatoes, cheese and the sausage), and scale back on the cream. This easy recipe is one that is in our rotation.

Recipe from the blog, Kevin & Amanda
Serves 4
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb smoked sausage
  • 1.5 cups diced onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 (10 oz) can Ro-Tel tomatoes and green chiles, Mild
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 8 oz penne pasta
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper, each
  • 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced scallions
  1. Add olive oil to an oven-safe skillet over medium high heat until just smoking. Add sausage and onions and cook until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  2. Add broth, tomatoes, cream, pasta, salt and pepper and stir. Bring to a boil, cover skillet, and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until pasta is tender, about 15 minutes.
  3. Remove skillet from heat and stir in 1/2 cup cheese. Top with remaining cheese and sprinkle with scallions. Broil until cheese is melted, spotty brown, and bubbly.
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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Trader Joe's Cookie Butter Cookies

I've been hearing LOTS of talk about this cookie butter stuff Trader Joe's sells. It's like peanut butter, but it's made with speculoos cookies, basically, cookies that taste like those cookies from Delta Airlines. I bought a jar (obviously) and have piled this stuff on bananas, graham crackers...on a spoon directly into my mouth...It's super creamy, sweet, and a nice spice/cinnamon flavor. Naturally, the next step is to bake the cookie butter into something...a cookie seemed perfect.

These were super simple to pull together. Essentially a very similar recipe to peanut butter cookies made with the requisite butter and sugar. The recipe I found was from The Coterie Blog. Only change I made was to skimp a bit on the sugar, since the cookie butter itself was already pretty sweet.

Recipe makes approximately 2 dozen cookies:
  • 1/2 c. cookie butter
  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 1 1/4 c. flour
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1/2 c. packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a mixing bowl beat butter and speculoos with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add 1/2 cup of the flour, the sugars, egg, baking suda, baking powder, and vanilla. Beat till thoroughly combined. Beat in remaining flour.
  3. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
  4. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 8-9 minutes or till bottoms are lightly browned.
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Sunday, May 12, 2013

Back from a hiatus with a Berry Galette

So, it's been a looooong time since the last blog post. But frankly, things have been busy! Since September, Chris has had his gallbladder removed, we moved from Madison, WI to Seattle, WA, started a new job, undergone IVF treatment, gotten pregnant, bought a house and moved. So, to say we've been a little busy is a slight understatement. I expect that I'll be able to restart the blog for a short while, but all bets are off in late September when we're expecting our first, a baby boy. Couldn't be more excited (and terrified)!

The rental we were in when we first moved to Seattle was pretty sad. Certainly not inspiring. Nor functional. But, this weekend we hosted my mother in law, sister in law, and brother in law in our new house (and awesome kitchen) for a Mediterranean feast of chicken pita sandwiches, steamed artichokes, hummus, tabbouleh, and this delicious berry galette for dessert. 

I love how the pastry dough turned out. I made it with the food processor, which really made the prep super easy, and I think contributed to the flakiness of the crust. I also love how I just kind of plopped the fruit in the center and folded the edges up messily around the pile of berries for "rustic" style if you want to call it that. Original recipe calls for blackberries or blueberries, but those were all sort of expensive at the store, so I added in the strawberries for a more economical choice. I think making this with peaches will be phenomenal as well. 

Here's the original recipe, courtesy of Williams-Sonoma.
For the flaky pastry dough:
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 24 Tbs. (3 sticks) plus 3 Tbs. unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 3/4 cup ice water

  • 4 cups blackberries, blueberries or a mixture
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 Tbs. flour

  1. In a food processor, combine the flour and salt and pulse briefly to mix. Scatter the butter over the top and pulse just until the mixture forms coarse crumbs about the size of peas. Drizzle the ice water over the flour mixture and pulse just until the dough starts to come together.
  2. Transfer the dough to a work surface, divide into 3 equal pieces and press each into a flat disk. Set 1 disk aside and wrap the remaining 2 disks in plastic wrap for future use.
  3. Preheat an oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  4. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and roll out into a 13-inch round. Fold the round in half, transfer to the prepared sheet and unfold the round.
  5. In a bowl, lightly stir together the berries, lemon juice, sugar and flour. Spoon the filling onto the dough, leaving a 2-inch border uncovered around the edge. Fold the edge up and over the filling, forming loose pleats. Bake until the filling is bubbling and the pastry is golden brown, about 25 minutes.
  6. Transfer the galette to a wire rack and let cool slightly. Cut into wedges and serve. Makes one 9-inch galette; makes 3 pastry dough disks total.

 Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Baking, by Lou Seibert Pappas (Oxmoor House, 2006).

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