Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Pasta Para Uno: Carbonara

When my chef is unavailable or out of town (as he is currently), I am forced to cook for myself. I use the word "forced" in jest--sort of. I love to cook, but since dinner has been ready when I get home from work for nearly a year, I am a little rusty (and a little bit spoiled).

One of my go-to meals when I am dining solo is Pasta Carbonara. Bacon? Eggs? Pasta? Buonissima! My favorite everyday pasta is linguine, so I made Linguine Carbonara. It's quick, easy, and luxurious--a perfect dinner for one!

All you do throw some noodles in boiling water and while they cook, beat an egg, cheese, fresh ground pepper, and a smidge of cream together (I used fat-free half and half since it was all we had on hand, and it worked fine). Toss with the pasta and some crumbled bacon (even though the recipe calls for pancetta) and you'll be in the best company ever.

The next time you're in need of a quick and tasty meal, go for some Carbonara. This recipe from Giada will hit the spot!

Happy Searching!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Pigs in a Blanket for Pigskin Season

If I had to pick a favorite season, I would have to choose summer. My husband's favorite season? Football season.

Truthfully, I don't get nearly as excited about the sport itself but the snacks that come along with it are reason enough for me to rally! Although we like to try out fancy recipes and nouveau cuisine, we also love a tried-and-true classic.

I couldn't remember the last time we made Pigs in a Blanket, so we broke out the weenies and crescent rolls and went to town!

In an effort to refrain from being totally gluttonous, I used Turkey Lil' Smokies and reduced fat crescent rolls. But cutting calories did not cut the deliciousness--they were so yummy! Of course, if you made the full fat version and had a side-by-side tasting, you would definitely notice a difference (the reduced fat rolls are less buttery and flaky, but still good).

And...they were easy peasy. I just kept the dough in tact (I pinched any seams together that were coming apart after popping open the can), brushed it with a little honey mustard (adds flavor and keeps the pigs moist) and cut strips slightly narrower than the weenies. Then I wrapped 'em, baked 'em seam side down @ 350 for 10-15 minutes and voila! A classic! Tasty Pigs in a Blanket. Haven't tried them in a while either? You should!

Happy Searching,

Friday, September 10, 2010

Who Put the Dip in the Dip Da Dip Da Dip?

During one of our Saturday Smorgasports, we felt like having a dip of some sort. Ryan found a recipe from one of our newer cookbooks that looked promising. It can be risky to venture into unknown culinary territory, but it often pays off.  This recipe definitely did--it was not only delicious, but super easy (which is exactly what we love)! 

The next time you have to take an hors d'oeuvres dish somewhere or feel like trying a new dip just because, whip this up, courtesy of The Deen Brothers! It's great with pretzels, potato chips, and bread.

Happy Searching!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Melon Heaven

At the end of July, we took a mini-road trip up to Oklahoma to visit Ryan's family. After catching up with everyone (and getting some good Oklahoma eats), we took the scenic route back to avoid traffic and mix up the drive.

One of the greatest things about the back roads in this section of the country (aside from some hilarious photo ops) is the produce. In the summertime, there are roadside stands outside of every town offering their prized watermelons and cantaloupes. We bought one of each from a friendly fella and moseyed on our way.

I have to say that melons from the supermarket don't even come close to these...these were incredible. We sliced them up and savored their juicy goodness, summer dripping off of each bite. Even though they were good on their own, my favorite way to eat cantaloupe--especially really good cantaloupe--is on top of really good vanilla ice cream. 

Holy smokes, I almost forgot how much I love this. It's unbelievably simple, but unbelievably good. If you are a cantaloupe fan, this is a must-try. You'll thank me later.  

Stay tuned for more melon posts...we had lots to consume and enjoyed trying out some new recipes! 

Happy Searching,

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Buffalo Chicken Sliders

Well, it's been a long time, my friends! My apologies for the long hiatus...I've had a few irons in the fire. Running my own classroom of seven- and eight-year olds for the very first time plus a mild case of pneumonia have required my full attention these past few weeks. Fun, overwhelming, and exhausting pretty much sum up the experience. Even though I've been busy, though, it doesn't mean I haven't been eating deliciously (thank you, Ryan)!

A few weeks back, the chef himself was craving some hot wings (which are some of my favorite pub-grub items as well). Without a good wing joint nearby, he improvised and ended up creating my new favorite treats: Buffalo Chicken Sliders.

They seemed to be fairly simple to put together:  Cut the chicken breasts to fit the slider buns, bread them (flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs), and toss them in a mixture of melted butter and Louisana hot sauce (Ryan basically followed the recipe on the bottle).

Place them on toasted slider buns (we found these little gems at our regular grocery store and they're awesome). Add a dollop of homemade blue cheese dressing (recipe below), some lettuce and diced red onion and you are in business--Scrumptious Buffalo Business! Served along side some roasted potatoes and a cucumber tomato salad, these sliders are so tasty--they'll become your new fave, too. Give 'em a try!

Best Blue Cheese Dressing
Equal parts mayo & sour cream
Blue cheese crumbles (as many or few as you like)
Chopped chives 
Squeeze of lemon

Mix all together. Dressing is thick--add milk to thin out if using for salad.

Happy Searching!
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