Sunday, February 28, 2010

Easy Roasted Broccoli

So, the bottom line is...I need to eat more vegetables. It's not that I don't like vegetables, it's  just I never think to buy any at the grocery store unless I am making a recipe that calls for specific produce. I decided to stock up tonight at the grocery store and put myself to a 'don't let it spoil' challenge. You can of course find many recipes for roasted broccoli but I always just stick with what I know.

Zandria's Roasted Broccoli

2 cups of broccoli
olive oil for drizzling
fresh lemon juice from 1 lemon
2 cloves of garlic, minced
salt to taste
pepper to taste
parmigiano reggiano

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place broccoli and garlic on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Toss broccoli and garlic with olive oil until evenly coated. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and parmigiano reggiano  to taste and roast in oven for 20-25 minutes.

Herbed Baked Goat Cheese Salad

First of all, sorry for the shadow in the picture. I have never been good with a camera.

As you know, I am a fan of America's Test Kitchen. If you don't watch it, you should. It is awesome and full of great ideas and recipes. I have recently spotted their magazines when checking out at the grocery store and I simply can not resist.  I found this recipe in the "best of" addition and I have been wanting to make it for a while. It's very easy but you just have to plan ahead since preparing the cheese will take you 3 hours.

Herbed Baked Goat Cheese Salad
Courtsey of The Best of America's Test Kitchen 

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
1 small shallot, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
1/8 teaspoon of salt

1 1/2 cups pecans
12 ounces goat cheese, softened
2 tablespoons fresh chopped chives
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
2 large eggs
12 cups hearty salad greens (i used spring mix)
vegetable oil spray


For the vinaigrette, combime all ingredients in a jar, seal lid and shake until combined


Pulse pecans in a food processor until finely chopped. Transfer to bowl. Add cheese, chives, and thyme to the food processor and process until smooth ( i chopped the herbs in the food processor then added the cheese). Refrigerate the cheese mixture in a covered bowl until firm, at least 1 hour or up to 2 days.

Using your hands, take 2 tablespoons of the chilled cheese mixture at a time and roll into twelve 1 1/2 inch balls. Beat eggs in a medium bowl. One at a time, dip the balls in the egg, allow the excess to run off, then roll them in the nuts, pressing gently to adhere. Place the balls 2 inches apart on a baking sheet. Press the balls into 2 inch disks with a greased measuring cup. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze until completely firm, at least 2 hours or up to 1 week.

Heat the oven to 475 degrees. Remove the plastic and spray the cheese lightly with the vegetable oil spray. Bake until the nuts are golden brown and the cheese is warmed through, 7-10 minutes.  Toss the greens with the vinaigrette and serve the warm cheese rounds over the dressed salad.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Fusilli with Spinach and Tomato

I know what you thinking. This dish may not look like much...but it is full of flavor! Christian and I normally don't celebrate Valentine's Day but I decided at the last minute that I wanted to make him dinner. Due to the recent snowpocalypse and my last minute dinner idea, I knew my options were going to be limited. I decided pasta would be a good choice for many reasons. a) it's fast  b)fewer indgredients increases my chances of having a successful grocery trip c) i love pasta and  d) it's not a romantic meal so it technically doesn't count as a celebration. The entire meal took about 15 minutes and was absolutely delicious. I plan to make this again and again...especially on weeknights.

Fusilli with Spinach and Tomato
Courtesy of Giada

1 pound fusilli pasta

1/4 cup olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 (9-ounce) bag fresh spinach, roughly chopped
8 ounces (1/2 pint) cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup (about 3 1/2-ounces) grated Asiago
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid.

Meanwhile, warm olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the spinach and tomatoes and cook until the spinach wilts, about 2 more minutes. Add the cooked pasta and toss. Add the cheeses, salt, pepper, and the pasta cooking liquid and stir to combine.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Pumpkin Pecan Pie

Yep, you read it right...pumpkin pecan pie!  I couldn't decide what I wanted to make because both of these are Thanksgiving staples. So, I decided to look for a recipe for a hybrid of the two. On the good side, everyone seemed to enjoy it. On the bad side, I did not enjoy it as much as I expected. Since others enjoyed it so much, I decided to post the recipe.  If you decide to try it out,  let me know what you think!

Pumpkin Pecan Pie
Courtesey of Several Recipes on the Internet

3 eggs, divided
1 cup canned solid pack pumpkin
1 cup sugar, divided
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
dash of salt
2/3 cup light or dark corn syrup
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped pecans
1 frozen pie crust*

*thaw pie crust as directed on the package
Preheat oven to 350°.

In small bowl, combine one egg, pumpkin, 1/3 cup sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt. Spread in pie crust.

In medium bowl, beat remaining two eggs slightly. Stir in corn syrup and remaining 2/3 cup sugar, the butter and vanilla; stir until well blended. Stir in pecans. Carefully spoon over pumpkin mixture.

Bake 60 minutes or until filling is set around edge. Cool pie completely on wire rack.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Garlic and Sun-Dried Tomato Corn Muffins

I made these corn muffins for a New Years Eve party my friend hosted. She mentioned they were going to serve Italian soup so I thought these would be a perfect addition. Since I thought to make these at the  last minute, I was very happy they were incredibly easy to make. As they baked in the oven the smell literally permeated the entire apartment and I could not wait to try them out. I have to admit I tried a few before I took them to the party!  Everyone at the party raved about how good they were so needless to say they were a hit.

Garlic and Sun-Dried Tomato Corn Muffins
Courtesy of Giada's Kitchen

2 (8 1/2-ounce) packages Jiffy corn muffin mix

2 cups frozen whole kernel corn, thawed

3 garlic cloves, minced

2/3 cup diced sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil ( 8-ounce jar)

2/3 cup buttermilk

2/3 cup sour cream

2 large eggs

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease 2 muffin tins.

In a large bowl combine the muffin mix, corn, garlic, and sun-dried tomatoes. Stir to combine. In a small bowl whisk together the buttermilk, sour cream, and eggs until well blended. Add the buttermilk mixture to the muffin mix. Stir to combine. Spoon the mix into the muffin tins, filling up the cups about halfway. Bake until golden brown on top, about 15 minutes.