Saturday, October 16, 2010

September 2010 Meal #12: Shrimp Carbonara

One of my favorite things to eat is SEAFOOD!  I would rather eat seafood than a nice juicy steak.  So it was only fitting that I prepare a meal consisting of shrimp for Meal #12 which was Shrimp Carbonara.  I didn't exactly follow the recipe since it instructed you to blend of of the ingredients into a blender.  I didn't want to bust out the blender only to take it apart to clean it, yeah I know lazy me ;p

I forgot to take a picture of this since it was so YUMMY!  Maybe I'll remember next time as I want to add more seafood to it  like scallops, crab, and such.  Here is the recipe for you to try out.

2 lbs. 41/60 ct. shrimp, peeled and deveined
9 slices bacon, diced
1 tbsp. vegetable oil.
2 onion, diced
2 tbsp. garlic, minced
3 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. white pepper
1/2 cup peas
10 fresh basil leaves, julienned
1-8 oz. pkg. linguine, cooked

Cook bacon and drain, reserving three tbsp. bacon fat in pan,  Saute onions and garlic until cooked, about 5 minutes.  Add heavy cream and simmer until reduced in half.  Add Parmesan cheese, salt and white pepper.  Blend together in a blender for 2 minutes or until pureed.  Cook linguine according to package directions.  In a hot saute pan, cook shrimp in vegetable oil for three minutes.  Add peas, blended carbonara sauce and basil.  Add linguine and toss until coated with sauce.  Serve immediately.

September 2010 Meal #11: Quickie Salisbury Steak

For Meal #11 which was Quickie Salisbury Steak I got it from my local Hawaii cookbooks called "Ohana Style Cookbook".  It's a really easy dish to make and it turned out pretty good.  The only negative thing about it was that I put too much chopped onions (I have a weird love/hate relationship with onions).  Otherwise, I'd use this recipe again using less onions ;p.  Here's the recipe to share.

1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 1/2 lb. hamburger
1/2 dry bread crumbs
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
1/3 cup water

Mix 1/4 cup of cream of mushroom soup and remaining ingredients (except water); mix thoroughly.  Shape into patties and place in a shallow baking dish.  Bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees.  Spoon off fat.

Mix remaining soup and water, pour over meat.  Bake 10 minutes longer.

September 2010 Meal 10: Eggplant Sausage Casserole

Out of my casserole cookbook I found another recipe to try for Meal #10 that was Eggplant Sausage Casserole.  This turned out really good and might make it again sometime.  Here's the recipe for you to try out.

1 pkg. (1 lb.) penne pasta
2 lbs. bulk Italian sausage
1 medium eggplant, peeled and cubed
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 can (28 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp paprika
1 carton (15 oz.) ricotta cheese
4 cups (16 oz.) shredded part-skin mozzarella cheese, divided

Cook pasta according to package directions.  Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook sausage over medium heat until no longer pink; drain.  Set sausage aside.

In the same skillet, saute the eggplant onion and garlic in oil.  Stire in the tomatoes tomato paste, salt, basil and paprika; simmer, partially covered, for 15 minutes.  remove from the heat drain pasta; stir into eggplant mixture.  Add sausage.

Spread half of the sausage mixture in a greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking dish.  Spread with ricotta cheese.  Top with half of the mozzarella cheese and remaining sausage mixture.

Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.  Uncover; sprinkle with remaining cheese.  Baker 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.  Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

September 2010 Meal #9: Chinese Roast Chicken

For Meal #9 that was Chinese Roast Chicken I never got to eat. I defrosted the chicken and nearly forgot about it.  I already had the marinade and decided to prepare it for the baby shower that was being held at our home.  The marinade I used was the NOH Chinese Roast Chicken that looks like this below.

I used chicken thighs and marinaded it for several hours until it was time to BBQ it for the baby shower.  There was an abundance of other good food that I forgot to grab a bite of this chicken.  According to the package directions you can roast or BBQ it.  My husband said that it didn't have much flavor but then again the person in charge of BBQ'g kind of burnt it anyway.  So the next time I use this particular seasoning I'll try the baking method.  Hope it turns out better for someone else. ;o)

I Want Candy!

For the baby shower I mentioned just a bit ago I made some candy favors to giveaway.  I made White Chocolate Pretzels that have a good balance of sweet and salty.  I used to make these back home in Hawaii once in a great while and before I became a SAHM here in Oregon I used to make these as Christmas treats for my co-workers.  Since I hadn't made these in a while I figure what better time than now.  They are really easy to make and inexpensive too.  I used to eyeball the amount of ingredients but found a much better recipe from one of my local Hawaii cookbooks "Local Style: Cooking With A Mainland Flair" that was a Project Graduation 2006 for Moanalua High School.  Here's the recipe and a few pictures of the making process. Enjoy!

1 lb. white chocolate (I use 2-12 oz. packages of chocolate since 1 lb. seems a little dry)
10-ounce low salt, buttered pretzel sticks
2 cups Rice Krispies

Melt chocolate in microwave bowl 6-8 minutes on defrost setting (be careful not to burn; chocolate will still look solid).

Break apart pretzels and mix with Rice Krispies.  Pour melted chocolate over pretzel-cereal mixture.  Mix well, making sure treats are covered well.  Scoop mixture, while chocolate is still hot, into baking (cupcake) cups.  Treats will harden in 10-15 minutes.

Recipe says it makes 2 dozen cups.  This last batch I made was 30 cups, it all depends how much you put into the cupcake cups.  After putting them into the cups I like to add colored sprinkles, it's all up to you what kind you put depending on the occasion that you are giving them for.

2 pkgs. white chocolate

2 cups Rice Krispies

10-ounce Pretzels broken up

White chocolate already heated in the micro...see how it still keeps it shape? Don't worry it's fine, the chips underneath are the ones that were really melted in the process.  When adding them to the cereal and pretzel mixture the rest will melt.

Everything all mixed up.

Ready for consumption.

It's A Baby Shower!

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of throwing a friend's baby shower.  They already have two adorable boys and baby #3 was going to be a SURPRISE!  I've been used to knowing what gender I'm working with when I create baby shower gifts so it makes the process simpler with the specific pink for girls and blue for boys.  Not this time since I had to work with gender neutral colors and I found it to be a little more challenging to keep the color and print selection in the middle.  Nonetheless I like the challenge since it allows me to think more openly and I got to peruse more of the fabric section at Joann's, which by the way made my eyes go O_O in delight LOL.

Since I've been making alot of the onesie cupcakes and washcloth lollipops for recent gifts, I wanted to make another diaper wreath in addition try my hand in making fabric panelled burp cloths, a diaper pouch, and a blanket.  I can't remember where exactly I found the site where I learned how to construct a diaper wreath, all I did was Google "How to make a diaper wreath?" and a plethora of information came up.  I learned how to create the simple to do diaper burp cloths from the blog Chickpea Sewing Studio and she has other great tutorials as well.  Here's the tutorial link.

I also tried my hand in making a diaper clutch and I found a great tutorial on the blog site Diary of a Quilter.  I followed her tutorial exactly with the exception that I added a small handle on the side to attach a clip if wanted.  Here's the tutorial link.

As for the blanket, all I did was get 1-yard of printed flannel, 1-yard of super plush material, and enough satin binding and sewed the two 1-yard pieces with the binding on the edges.  Here are the results of my baby gifts to Baby Boy or Girl that we can't wait to meet.  Oh, also mommy was very happy to receive these very special gifts and the color of the material was perfect since she likes the color brown ^_^

Diaper Clutch

Diaper Burp Cloths

Baby Blanket

Diaper Wreath

Thursday, October 14, 2010

September 2010 Meal #8: Crab Supreme

Meal #8: Crab Supreme was also from my casserole cookbook.  I ended up making double the recipe and it turned out too rich because of the mayonnaise it called for.  I would suggest that you stick to the actual measurements or else it becomes more like a dip rather than an actual dinner meal.

1 small onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup diced green pepper
3 tbsp. butter, divided
1 tbsp. all-purpose flour
3/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 lb. fresh or canned crab meat, drained, flaked, and cartilage removed or 1 cup imitation crab meat, flaked
1/3 cup mayonnaise
Dash hot pepper sauce
2 tbsp. dry bread crumbs
Dask paprika

In a small saucepan saute onion and green pepper in 2 tbsp. butter.  Stir in flour until blended; gradually stir in the milk.  Add chili powder and salt.  Bring to boil; cook and stir for 1 minute or until thickened.  Remove from the hear; stir in the crab, mayonnaise, and hot pepper sauce.

Transfer to a greased shallow 1-qt. baking dish.  Melt the remaining butter and toss with bread crumbs.  Sprinkle over crab mixture.  Bake, uncovered at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until heated through.  Sprinkle with paprika.

September 2010 Meal #7: Spaghetti Goulash

Meal #7: Spaghetti Goulash was found in my supermarket checkout stand cookbook of casseroles.  This turned out alright except that it was a little dry.  I believe I just made too much noodles and not enough sauce.  Hopefully if one of you try it out it will turn out better for you.

1 pkg. (16 oz.) thin spaghetti, broken in half
3/4 lb. ground beef
3/4 lb. bulk pork sausage
1 medium green pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cane (14-1/2 oz. each) diced tomatoes
1 bottle (12 oz.) chili sauce
1 can (8 oz.) mushrooms stems and pieces, drained
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 cup (4 oz.) shredded cheddar cheese, divided

Cook spaghetti according to package directions; drain.  In a large skillet, cook the beef, sausage, green pepper, and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain.  Add the tomatoes; cover and simmer for 45 minutes.

Remove from heat; stir in the chili sauce, mushrooms, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, and spaghetti.

Transfer to a greases 4-qt. baking dish or two greased 2-qt. baking dishes.  Sprinkle wit cheese.  Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until heated through.

September 2010 Meal #6: Baby Back Ribs

I didn't prepare Meal #6: Baby Back Ribs, my husband did.  In the early part of summer we went to our local Saturday farmer's market at the Hillsboro Saturday Market and found a vendor that sold BBQ sauce.  This vendor was called Bette Jo's and they had several of their sauces out for sample.  The one in particular that we enjoyed was the Sweet Heat BBQ Sauce and that just enough heat for me to tolerate since I'm a wimp in hot spices.  It was $6.00 for a 12 fl. oz. bottle and we were willing to try it out for the upcoming summer bbq season. 

So that had to be early or mid May I am assuming when we purchased the BBQ sauce.  Fast forward to the beginning of September when we finally ended up using that bottle of sauce and slathering it on a rack of pork ribs.  I really don't know what took so long for us to bust open that bottle but when we finally did that rack of ribs was sure yummy.

My husband doesn't do anything special  to prepare pork ribs.  He just simply seasons the rack and bakes it in the oven and the sauce is slathered all over it and adds more if needed.  Unfortunately I don't have a picture to prove how yummy this turned out, but just imagine a nice rack of yummy bbq sauced pork goodness ;p.  Also, I won't provide a recipe for this either since it was basically sauce slathered over meat and baked at 400 degrees for one hour.

However, please do check them out at the farmer's market and on their site!

September 2010 Meal #5: Chicken Masala & Roti Chapati

Wow it's been a LONG time since I've actually updated since I'm still on Meal #5: Chicken Masala & Roti Chapati.  I'll make this quick and simple and just post the recipe without too much extra commentary since there's lots to catch up on.

The Masala sauce I found at our local Costco so I really don't know if it's available at other locations as well.  It's pretty much a Indian curry sauce and they come in different kinds of varieties flavors and spices.  I bought I think a 32 oz. container and basically added chicken and vegetables and served over hot basmati rice.  I also got the Roti Chapati bread from Costco, it was the closest thing to naan bread that I found.  They were uncooked flattened dough that looked like tortillas, all I had to do was warm them up in a frying pan until it was cooked on both sides.  Used them to dip into the Masala sauce and it's slightly sweet taste accompanied the curry well.

3 lbs. boneless/skinless chicken thigh, cut up into pieces
2 tbsp. garlic, minced
1 cup onion, chopped
32 oz. Masala sauce
2 cups white mushrooms, sliced
1 small bag of frozen peas and diced carrots
salt & pepper

Brown chicken and garlic with some oil till cooked through.  Add onions and cook til soft.  Add Masala sauce, mushrooms, and frozen peas and carrots.  Mix thoroughly and let simmer.  Cook until frozen veggies are heated through and tender.  Serve over hot basmati rice or rice of your preference.

It's Been Nearly A Month...

It's been nearly a month since I've last blogged and that was just for a giveaway I tried to win for.  Lots has happened since then and I have lots to blog about.  Been caught up with planning a baby shower for some dear friends and I got to create a few new things for their baby, which I'll get to post eventually.  I have been keeping up with the most recent meal plan but haven't had the chance to post the recipes/meals.  There aren't much pics of them since my hubbys DSLR is gone on the blink and is in the shop as we speak.  I tried to take some pics with my regular p/s camera and phone camera when I could remember, but of course the quality isn't as great.  I don't even remember where I last left off on the menu, but eh I'll do what I can do in updating it.  As for October's Menu Plan, I'll just continue to work through September's Menu Plan until I run out of meals and create one for November.

During my little hiatus me and my lil booger got to go to Denver, CO for the very first time.  My brother accepted a transfer position from Maui to Denver, so I went there to help him settle in.  There are a few pics that I took of places we went but I missed out taking pics of the Bronco's Stadium and where The Rockie's play at.  I'm pretty sure this won't be the last time we'll be going to Denver to visit my brother, so there's always going to be more picture opportunities.

So enough of me blabbing on, I'll get to work on updating some posts with some recipes and I'm sure some of you have been jonesing for ;o)