Friday, October 22, 2010

Farfalle in a Creamy White Wine Sauce with Brocolli, Plum Tomatos and Bacon

I looked high and low for a cream recipe that didnt involve cheese like an Alfreddo sauce or tomato, and finally just decided to create one myself. Ive also become a big fan of using evaporated milk, especially the lowfat variety, it is very high in vitamin D and doesnt have high fat calories as does whipping cream and half and half.
8 ounces pasta-we used farfalle
3 garlic cloves minced
1/2 onion sliced thin
3 strips of bacon
2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup evaporated milk
8 ounces frozen brocolli thawed
8 ounces cherry tomatoes

boil noodles according to instruction
cook bacon in a pan, when crisp, remove bacon and put it asside, discard all by one teaspoon (approx) of bacon grease.
using same pan add olive oil and heat pan
add onion and garlic and saute on medium until onion is glassy, take care not to burn garlic
add brocolli, bacon and wine, saute 5 minutes
slowly add milk, stirring constanty
add salt and pepper to taste saute 5-10 minutes
add cherry tomtoes for the last minute
when pasta is cooked, drain and keep 1/4 cup of pasta water
add water to sauce
toss pasta and sauce and serve
parm cheese optional

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Salmon served over a bed of Spinach in a Ginger Cream Sauce with mushrooms

This is one of the best tasting sauces I think we made. The ginger and soy combined with the wine and the cream gave the sauce a tangy yet sweet creamy flavor. We served it over salmon, but over dinner tonight, we discussed all the different ways this sauce would be great. Many different kinds of fish-tuna, swardfish, shrimp, chicken, noodles and even vegetables. I used evaporated milk instead of cream and it worked just fine.

1 tablespoon grated ginger
3 garic cloves chopped
3 shallots chopped
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup white wine
1 tablespoon soy sauces
1/2 cup evaporated milk or half and half
1 lb mushrooms button, portabello, shitake

10 oz spinach

4 pieces salmon

salt and pepper

preheat oven to 350
season salmon with salt and pepper and place on a pan and bake 15-20 minutes
heat 2 tablespoons olive olive oil in skillet add garlic and olive oil on low.  When shallots become glassy add soy sauce, wine and ginger, stir and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes, slowly add milk and stir the whole time, 5 more minutes

lower heat to simmer

meanwhile, in two separate sauce pans add 1 tablespoon olive oil to each

add fresh spinach to one pan, cook on low stirring often, add salt and pepper when cooked

add mushrooms to the other pan, saute on medium until cooked, when cooked add to ginger sauce

place equal parts spinach on 4 plates, top each plate with salmon and then add generous heping of ginger cream sauce

serve and I am hoping you like it as much as me

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Stuffed Baked Apples - serve with porkchops!

This title takes on a WHOLE new meaning for me now that the most devistating of fires has taken place in Richland Center, WI where the Oakwood Fruit Farm retail store and cold storage building (and all 40,000 bushel - that's 1,600,000 pounds - of apples in their cold storage burnt to the ground on 10-10-10.  It is the apple orchard that I grew up shopping at - and actually where these apples were bought as my Mom and I and the kids went there on 10-8-10. 
You can see the devistating pictures on their facebook page or at  It's a horrible thing!  Hopefully insurance will assist this family owned fruit farm - and since their trees were not harmed, they will be back next season with a beautiful new facility.  Hopefully they will find ways to incorporate the "small town family feel" into their new facility.  As it always is with these types of family owned business, part of what makes it so amazing and memorable is the people and the history and the silly little things that they have on the wall - and the pictures of the hundred of thousands of kids that have toured their facility over the years!

ANYWAY, on to more positive things, this apple dish is SO AMAZING!  I can't wait to make it, it's something I make at least once per fall, and could probably make about 10 times each fall!  It's got apples, oats, nuts, raisins, cinnamon - all GOOD things for you!  And we love the way it makes the house smell too! 

4 apples - red, green, yellow - with skins ON!

1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup oats
1/4 cup walnut or pecan pieces
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

4 tsp butter
1/2 cup apple juice

Cut into the stem side of the apple.  Remove as much of the stem area as you can WITHOUT CUTTING THRU THE APPLE!  You are creating a cavern, a bowl, a place to put your goodies.  You CANNOT cut through the apple or the goodness will fall out the bottom!  I use a knife to "loosen" the stem, then a grapefruit knife to dig the "ick" out.  (if you do cut through the apple you can cut the apple completely in half and do a similar dish, but with lay the apples on their skin sides down and pile the goodies on top of the apple in the core hole that you created).

Combine oats, sugar, nuts, raisins, and spices in a bowl.  Mix well, then put these things into the "caverns" that you made in the apples. Pack the stuff in pretty tight so that it all fits - it's ok if it sort of rests on top of the apple.

Place the apples, goodies side up, in a baking dish.  Pour the apple juice along side the apples.  Put a tsp of butter on top of the goodies.

Put in a hot oven - anywhere from 350 to 450 degrees if you are baking something else - just adjust the time accordingly.  Bake until the apples are really soft - about 40 minutes at 400 degrees. (Less time if you've halved the apples and have them laying down).   Remove from oven and allow to cool at least 30 minutes before serving.  Awesome with a scoop of ice cream, but the ice cream isn't necessary...

This makes a great kid breakfast too!

Green Chili!

Oh, this is so good.  I made it for the first time about a year ago and froze extras in 1 cup containers - then I hid them from Joe so I could have it!  Is that bad?  Don't tell him :-)  Really, I do love this chicken based chili and have been waiting a long time to share it with you.

I know you will find this hard to believe, but really, I did find Hominy in a 28 ounce can AT ALDI a few weeks back!  I hope you were able to find it too!  It was only like 90 cents or something, which makes me EVEN HAPPIER!  I do hope you enjoy this soup/chili as much as I do!

8 cups chicken broth
1 onionk finely chopped
2 lbs chicken breast (approx)
2 cans green chilies
6 cloves minced garlic
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 tsp ground cumin (or more :-) )
1 28 ounce can white hominy, drained

1 cup Aldi's fresh salsa - or a cup of diced tomatoes
1/2 cup sour cream

in a large pot, combine chicken broth, onion and chicken breasts.  Heat to boiling over high heat - reduce heat to low and simmer until the chicken is no longer pink - about 20 minutes (this is called poaching!).  Remove chicken from broth with a couple forks or something - you're saving the juice!  Set the breasts aside to cool.

Add chilies, garlic, cilantro, cumin, and hominy.  Heat over low heat - simmering for a while!

when the chicken is cool, shred it by pulling two forks across the meat.  Add the meat back to the broth and simmer for about 40 minutes longer.

Spoon a portion of soup/chili into a bowl - a portion is about 1 1/4 cups.  Top with 2 Tbsp salsa or diced tomatoes and 1 Tbsp sour cream.

If you want some add'l carbs, serve a corn or flour tortilla alongside.  you can also make "chips" of the tortilla and dip them.  

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Harvest Salad

This type of salad goes by so many names, or salads with this name can imply so many things however you want to look at it... tonight we're going with a salad similar to one we've had before, but with apples in it.  It's the kind of salad that you find in many restaurants from Panera to the fanciest of eateries. 
1 package field greens or salad mix
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 large apple, sliced
1/2 cup bleu cheese
1/4 cups chopped pecans or walnuts
1/2 lb chicken, cooked, cut into strips (precooked would work nicely)

2 Tbsp Raspberry Jam
1 Tbsp Raspberry Balsamic Vinegar
1 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
1 1/2 Tbsp Sunflower oil (substitute with all canola oil if this is not in your pantry already)
1 1/2 Tbsp Canola oil
Stir together, pepper and/or salt to taste

Divide lettuce equally into four salad plates.  place strips of chicken intersperced with strips of apple in a circular pattern around the edges of the plate.  top with cheese, cranberries and nuts.
Drizzle dressing on top of salad and serve with crusty bread if desired.

Taffy Apple Pancakes

I love making these for the kids (I also love the Finding Nemo plate this is served upon!) - and since apples are typically so plentiful and relatively inexpensive these are something I can make at any time of the year.  Taffy Apple Pancakes add apples and fun to breakfast while adding some fruit fiber and healthy fat/protein to the typical pancake. Depending on how much caramel versus how much syrup you use you may be saving on sugar and calories.  Regardless, you're uping the fun a great deal by calling these Taffy Apple Pancakes!

2 cups complete pancake mix
1 cup apple juice
1 regular sized apple, diced into small pieces


2 cups regular pancake mix
1 egg
1 cup apple juice
1 tbsp oil
1 regular sized apple, diced into small pieces

caramel ice cream topping
chopped peanuts

mix (but don't overmix) pancake flour thru diced apple.  Let sit for about 3 minutes before pouring onto hot griddle over med-low heat.  flip once after all of the bubbles pop.
remove from pan, wait 30 seconds or more, top with 1 tablespoon or so of caramel then 1 tablespoon or so of peanuts.  Serve immediately!  Enjoy!