Pinterest in Action

I found these lovely little appetizers on Pinterest and made them last weekend for a dinner party. The picture doesn’t show the final product, which was drizzled in olive oil and balsamic reduction, but it does the little beauties justice. In addition to adorable, they are delicious! Little basil leaves wrapped around¬†mozzarella¬†balls and grape tomatoes…bite sized caprese salad!

Oh, and I made the cake plate – more on that in a later post ūüėČ

 

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Love and Cooking

To me, cooking is love. Making a meal for your family is an expression of how much you care for them. So this Valentine’s day, we’re doing dinner in. I’m making of PW’s favorite dinners: marinated flank steak, sauteed mushrooms, twice baked potatoes and cookies that B helps make. I’m hungry just writing it!

See my post on Scottsdale Moms Blog today for the recipes: http://scottsdalemomsblog.com/

And do me a favor and pretend that we are making Valentine’s cookies and not Christmas cookies in Baylor’s pic – k? Sometime’s there’s just not enough time and or cold medicine in a week to stage a holiday appropriate pic!

Little Spheres of Heaven

A family friend brought what looked like little chocolates for dessert to Ali’s baby shower. I had one…and then another…and then another. And it didn’t stop for two days until I had eaten all of the left overs. I stopped counting because I didn’t want to admit how many I had.

Despite the recipe, these really come out more like cake. I’m thinking maybe another try at cake pops in my near future?? Make them. Make them soon. Your mouth will thank me (I don’t want to hear what your butt will have to say).

1 SM BOX CHOC INSTANT JELLO PUDDING
1/2 C COLD MILK
BEAT PUDDING AND MILK WITH WHISK FOR 2 MIN¬† (IT REALLY DIDN’T TAKE THAT LONG)
CRUSH 36 OREO COOKIES FINE (ABOUT 3 CUPS)
ADD PUDDING MIX
SHAPE INTO SMALL 1 INCH BALLS  FREEZE 10 MIN
MELT 12 SQUARES OF SEMI SWEET CHOCK(1 1/2 BOX)
DIP INTO MELTED CHOC AN AND SET ON WAX PAPER   COOL 20 MIN.
MELT 1 SQ WHITE CHOC AND DRIZZEL LITTLE DESIGN ON TOP

 

 

Pasta Fagioli

I am so fortunate to have become good friends with the other two room moms from Baylor’s class. They are incredibly funny, smart and freakishly talented multi taskers. And they like wine so we were a match made in heaven.

We sipped and snacked on Monday night at Postinos. I’m embarrassed to say that it was my first time there (look, I like to ride my bike and I live where I can do that to like 15 great restaurants, why go where I have to drive?!). We all ordered a cup of the Pasta Fagioli with sausage and it was awesome. I googled around and found a great recipe. It’s soup, but very hearty and great for a meal.

My  variations are that I used fresh herbs because I had them, hot Italian sausage (Safeway meat counter), kidney instead of cannaleni beans and I added 3 tablespoons of butter to the final mix, just to give it a little more flavor. I loved this recipe because it was a chop-and-dump-into-pot variety which is my favorite. Be sure to add the Parmigiano on top, it really pulls it all together.

Ingredients

    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1 onions, chopped
    • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
    • 1 carrots, peeled & chopped
    • 1 stalk celery, chopped
    • 1 lb sweet Italian sausage links or 1 lb hot Italian sausage, casing removed and crumbled ( can use turkey sausage)
    • 2 teaspoons dry oregano
    • 1 tablespoon dry basil
    • 1 -2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, to taste
    • 1 1/2 cups canned chopped tomatoes with juice
    • 3 -4 cups vegetable stock or 3 -4 cups chicken stock
    • 1 can progresso cannellini beans
    • 1 cup ditalini or 1 cup small shell pasta
    • 2 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley
    • parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Heat olive oil in a large heavy pot over medium high heat.
  2. Cook onion in oil 2 minutes.
  3. Stir in garlic, celery and carrots and cook for 3 minutes.
  4. Add and brown crumbled sausage.
  5. Add basil, oregano and red pepper.
  6. Toss to coat.
  7. Stir in tomatoes and stock.
  8. Bring to a boil.
  9. Reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes.
  10. If necessary, add an additional cup of stock or water and stir in beans and tiny pasta.
  11. Simmer for 6- 8 minutes or until pasta is tender.
  12. Stir in parsley and serve hot with grated Parmesan cheese.

Recipe credit from:http://www.food.com/recipe/pasta-e-fagioli-italian-soup-with-italian-sausage-38088

Butternut Squash Ravioli

Ok, so I’m into butternut squash right now. It’s just so easy. And tasty and I can buy it at the farmers market and it’s almost impossible to get a bad squash…in other words, I heart butternut squash.

I came up with this recipe after seeing a magazine cover and almost drooling on myself while waiting to check out at the grocery store. I make a rule not to buy stuff like that at the grocery¬†because¬†I think it’s over priced (but then I never buy it at all so really, I save a lot this way). So I took a mental picture and decided to try it out. And the results? Delicious!

And yes, CO, this does count as a recipe because you have to roast the squash.

Ingredients:

1 butternut squash (duh)

1 box of pre-made cheese ravioli (like Bertoli and they are usually in a cold case near the deli)

Fresh spinach

Olive oil

Butter

Salt and pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400.

Slice the squash long ways making two halves. Scoop out the seeds and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Put the squash, insides facing up, on a foil lined try into the oven. Roast for about 40 minutes. Really, it’s hard to let it go too long and it’s better than not enough time. It should be fork tender when ready.

Cook ravioli according to the instructions. When done, place in a tablespoon of butter in a sauce pan and add ravioli to saute. Add in spoonfuls of the cooked squash and stir gently. Add in the basil leaves (diced) and let all the flavors blend together (about 3 minutes). Plate and serve!

The beauty of this dish is that the final product looks way fancier than it has any right to given the amount of effort that goes into the dish. This would be great for a dinner party, especially when there are vegetarian guests.

Butternut Squash Soup

Mmmmhhh….

I love this because it’s so simple. And¬†because¬†it’s a great fall dish!

Ingredients:

1 large butternut squash (or precut squash works well too)

1 large yellow onion

1/2-1 tsp Thyme – preferably fresh but dried is ok

1/2-1 tsp Sage – ditto

Chicken stock

2 tablespoons butter

Salt and pepper

Directions:

Peel, seed and cube the squash into 1 inch(ish) chunks.

Dice onion and saute in butter. Add sage and thyme. Then add in cubed squash and lightly cook adding salt and pepper to taste. Add chicken stock and cover and let simmer for about 20 minutes or until the squash is fork tender.

Transfer mixture to a food processor. Cover food processor with a towel before blending. Again add salt to taste. Ladle in to bowls and serve as an appetizer, soup course or the main meal. I think it would be delicious with fresh bacon crumbles and a blue cheese salad on the side!