Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Apricot Wine Spritzer
Your favorite wine glass
Your favorite white wine (I used Riesling. . .I think Pinot Grigio would also be nice!)
Plain mineral water (Perrier, Mendota Springs, Apolinaris, etc)
Take your wine glass, fill halfway with ice, and then apricot nectar so it fills half of the glass. Add your wine (1/4 of the rest of the glass) and mineral water (1/4 of the rest of the glass). OILA! That's it - SO SIMPLE it's ridiculous! ENJOY!! STAY COOL!!!!
Monday, July 18, 2011
Please note: I make my basil pesto "dry" so I can freeze it or put it in the fridge (it will last almost one week-the basil might discolor but this will happen when it is frozen as well. . .this does not take away from the taste or the appeal whatsoever!). I add the olive oil as I use the basil pesto "paste"- do not freeze the pesto with the olive oil already mixed in!
I think this is a great way to have a "sauce" ready for a quick mid-week meal and it stores well in the freezer!
Jen's Basil Pesto
Bunches o' Basil, triple-washed, stems and all! (I have found that if you don't grow your own basil, Asian stores sell bulk basil and some of the Asian growers/stands at the Madison Farmer's Market - Downtown also sell basil by large bags full) - enough to fill the bowl of a large food processor - DO NOT pack the basil in the bowl, though!
2-2/12 cups raw pignoli nuts (pine nuts) - you can also use raw walnuts, which I love as well
6-8 cloves garlic, peeled
8 oz grated Parmesan cheese - deli grated Parmesan is a good choice, or you can use already grated cheese found in the pasta sauce section of your grocer store, no worries!
*I do not add any salt as the Parmesan cheese has enough of a salty taste
Place all of these items in your food processor and chop until well incorporated and mixed together. The mixture will resemble bread crumbs when it is the right consistency - crumbly, somewhat dry. If you want to add more basil at this point, you sure can. I know some people like a really green pesto . . .so . . .feel free to add more after the first batch of ingredients has been combined!
This makes a large batch of basil pesto! I spoon this dry mixture into approx (7) small round Gladware containers and place in my freezer until ready to use (the individual serving size, like what you would put an individual serving of salad dressing in). You can unthaw the night before in your refrigerator. Add olive oil to reach the consistency that you enjoy to make a lovely sauce for pasta - just toss with your al dente noodles in bowl and it's ready to eat . . .top with more Parmesan. I also use pesto as a bruschetta topping, topped with freshly grated Parmesan and chopped tomatoes. Bueno appetito!
Monday, July 11, 2011
Friday, July 8, 2011
This is such an easy, foolproof recipe! I hope you'll give it a try!
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Ok, yes, it's actually Wednesday instead of Tuesday. . .but here's a fun way to change up Taco Tuesday . . .with a
. . .PASTA!
I am posting the recipe according to how I made it. . .with my tweaks included. A few other suggestions are at the end of the recipe!
(I did 1.5x the recipe as I have a hungry family sometimes!)
1 lb ground beef/ground turkey/ground chicken
8 oz dry pasta noodles
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
(1) 14 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
1 can chili beans (or black beans or pinto beans), drained, but reserve 1/2 of the liquid for the sauce (I don't like to discard if I don't have to - seasoning is in the sauce if you're using chili beans!)
4 T taco seasoning
3 oz. cream cheese, cubed (can use "light" cream cheese, aka Neuchatel cheese)
1/2 c. sour cream (can use "light" sour cream)
salt and pepper to taste
Garnish options: 1/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese, two chopped scallions, a few T. fresh, chopped cilantro, 1-2 T. of fresh, chopped jalenpenos (depending on how spicy you'd like it!)
Bring to boil a large pot of water for the noodles. Cook pasta according to package directions. When al dente, drain. . .reserve 1/2 c. of the pasta water. Set both aside.
In the meantime, in a large skillet, cook the ground meat over medium high heat until it is no longer pink. A few minutes before the meat is cooked through, add the chopped onion and garlic (here you can add chopped green or red peppers - amount in options below). Cook until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Add in diced tomatoes (drained), beans (drained) and taco seasoning (and another other additions, like in options list below) and let simmer over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Stir in cream cheese cubes, sour cream, reserved liquid from can of beans, and reserved pasta water, allowing cream cheese and sour cream to melt and incorporate into a sauce. Once this happens, add in the cooked pasta. Season with salt and pepper to taste, lightly "tossing" ingredients together, simmering over medium low heat 3-5minutes to reduce the sauce a bit. Sprinkle with garnishes. . .serve! MMMMMMM Enjoy!
Options: You can totally make this a vegetarian option by omitting the meat and adding more veggies. . .frozen kernel corn for example. . .chopped red or green peppers (1/4 cup approx, add when you add onions and garlic) . . .The options could be endless! :)