Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Vegetable Carbonara

Today's to-do list included about 7x what I was actually able to get done. So -- when Mr. Chef called to say he was on his way home, I was elated as usual but also realized what time it was and that I hadn't even THOUGHT about dinner. I usually try and time it so that I'm putting it on the table as he walks in. Was it going to happen? Mmm, maybe not today. 

Sometimes you just need a quick throw together meal that is healthy, in budget and fast. This, my friends, is it! This saved me tonight, was delicious and fit the bill for fast.

Vegetable Carbonara

2-3 strips of bacon, diced and cooked (add less or more here, to your liking)
1 1/2 C fresh Broccoli, cut into bite sized pieces
1 C chopped carrots
1 C mushrooms, sliced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 C dry pasta, any shape
3/4 C freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
2 eggs
freshly ground pepper

Cook pasta according to package. DO NOT LET THIS COOL!!! Carbonara is a pasta that needs to be finished immediately following draining the pasta. So, if you would prefer to prep everything else before the pasta so you are ready, great! Do what works for you but just be prepared that the pasta can not sit and wait for any amount of time. The egg won't cook if it does. 

Cook bacon, on low heat to enrich the flavor. Set aside -- LEAVE THE GREASE WITH THE BACON! (Which goes against every natural thing in me!)

Chop and saute peppers and mushrooms, add to bacon. Steam broccoli and carrots until tender, add to other ingredients. Grate Parmesan and add to these ingredients as well.
beat eggs lightly in small bowl. Drain pasta and quickly combine everything, including the egg. Stir constantly until egg is cooked (you can't really see that it's cooked, you can just see that it's not runny anymore), cheese is melted and pasta is thoroughly mixed. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve immediately, Bon Apetite !

*This was a huge success with everyone around this house including the 3 year old and 10 month old! Hopefully it will be with yours too :)

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Veggie Stir Fry

I am a carnivore. I love meat and would eat it for every meal every day. Lately however, meat hasn't really sounded good, like at all. Maybe it's because i'm trying to be healthier, maybe it's because healthy foods sound so refreshing in the summertime, maybe it's because I love veggies...whatever the reason - All i've wanted lately is veggies and barbequed food. So, the other night I was needing dinner in a hurry and had no idea what I was going to make. I had loads of veggies in my fridge so I threw them all together with some spices and had the most delicious stir fry ever. The best part, besides cooking the rice, dinner took like ten minutes! Keep reading for a fast yummy throw-together kindof dinner!

2 C cooked rice, I prefer brown but choose your favorite.
1 White onion, roughly chopped
1 Tbsp garlic, minced
2 C mushrooms, chopped
2 C fresh broccolli, chopped
1 red Bell Pepper, diced
1/2 C Soy sauce
1/8 C Worstershire sauce
1 tsp. garlic
1 sprig fresh rosemary
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook rice according to package directions. 
Roughly chop onion. Sautee onion and garlic in a dash of olive oil for a few minutes until pungent. Add mushrooms, broccoli, peppers, soy sauce, worstershire sauce and spices. Sautee 3-5 minutes until veggies and spices are mixed well. Cover for 3 minutes to steam veggies. Uncover and mix well.
Add rice to veggies, mix well and enjoy!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

3 ingredient PB cookie

So, we must eat cookies. It's basically one of the 10 Commandments. Life without cookies is dull and boring. That's not doctrine, so don't quote me, but it's still true.

My cute neighbor called this afternoon to see if I wanted to pack the girls and head to the park for a picnic, HELLO SUMMERTIME! I of course said yes and started packing up. I had about 30 minutes before we were meeting and decided that any real picnic needed warm cookies. So, I had remembered seeing these online somewhere before and thought I would give it a try.
Peanut butter cookies will never be my first choice. They are usually hard and crunchy and I don't love them. These babies, however, will be repeated again, and again.
so - 15 minutes flat -- I give you, soft, delicious Peanut Butter Cookies, that are worth it!

1 Cup Peanut Butter
1 Cup brown Sugar
1 Egg

Combine all ingredients and form into small balls. Flatten each cookie with a fork to get that must-have peanut butter cookie look. Bake at 350F for 10 minutes.

I feel like i'm cheating because they are so easy. Added bonus -- no flour, no white sugar and no butter! Hello diet food! ok, I won't go that far but it is nice having something sweet without all the butter, flour and sugar.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

No Knead Artisan Bread

You know those meals where a delicious warm loaf of bread would just finish it off. Dang those stores for making bread in the morning (or night before) and not RIGHT at dinner time! We don't have time to slave over the stove making bread like our great grandmas! Right?! We've got soccer and dance and homework and dinner and work and facebook and instagram and twitter and kids and dogs and shopping and....seriously though -- not everyday is a "let's make artisan bread" kindof day, right? Well good news! This artisan bread can be made the day before (about 5 minutes to throw it together) and then baked 30 minutes before dinner and you will look like supermom, or dad.

I recently participated in BYU Women's Conference with a sharing station on Recipes. THIS bread graced my table. It was so much fun and I met so many incredible women. For those of you who may not be familiar with Women's Conference it is a two day event at Brigham Young University where women from all over the world gather and listen to speakers, on all subjects, do service, listen to inspiring music (Friday nights concert was a blast!) and just take a few days to let go of reality and allow themselves to be uplifted. It is associated with my church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and it is spiritual but anyone and everyone are invited. I participated in the sharing station portion. There are booths on loads of different subjects where those who are in charge of the booth do all the work for you and you get to come, get ideas, and go implement them into your lives. All the handouts will be available to anyone and everyone in a few weeks here. Go check it out. It's amazing! This event is so much fun and if you have never been, schedule it now for next year. It is held at BYU in Provo UT and is just for women. Let me know if you want to learn more.
Here I am with my cute Mom in our booth

And here is the booth in all it's glory! If you look closely you can see the bread on the right. MMM!!!

So, onto the recipe. This is the fastest bread you will ever make BUT IT HAS TO RISE FOR 8-24 HOURS (the longer the better is my guess but mine was a ten-hour loaf and it was delicious!) so plan for the rising. Otherwise, 10 minutes hands on - if that!

3 C all-purpose flour
1 3/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. instant or rapid rise yeast
3 C cool tap water

Before anything else, remember that this recipe is extremely forgiving! If it rises an hour short, it'll be delicious, an hour too long, it'll be delicious. Don't stress and have fun with this recipe.
Combine all ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon(or anything else that you love, I prefer the wooden spoon) until smooth. Don't over-stir but make sure it's all blended. Let rise in a large mixing bowl for 10-24 hours (easiest if you make the night before, just before bed, and it'll be ready for dinner the next day).
Preheat your oven to 450F. Once the oven is preheated, put an empty dutch-oven (min. 3 quarts, preferably 5-6 quarts) with the lid inside the oven for 30 minutes. The pan you cook the bread in needs to be hot to make the crust. Also, the lid needs to fit tightly to create a steam oven inside the pan.
*note: If you don't have a dutch oven or other heavy pan -- here is a list of pans from "Simply So Good" that will also work:
Old camping dutch oven
A crockpot insert.  If the knob on the lid is plastic, it must be removed or it will melt)

Glass Pyrex dish with a lid
A heat proof bowl with aluminum foil to cover
Stainless steel pot with lid
Clay bakers with lids or foil
Pampered Chef clay bakers
Pizza stone with a stainless steel bowl to cover the dough

While your pan is pre-heating flour a work surface with a TON of flour. This dough is sticky and we want to make it pretty and smooth without sticking to everything within a 5 foot radius. So, flour your counter, a bread board, whatever - and flour your hands. Dump the dough onto the floured surface (scrape the bowl) and form into a ball. Don't knead it, air bubbles are good. Form the dough until it is smooth then transfer, CAREFULLY, into the hot pan - DO NOT OIL THE PAN! The oven is way too hot for that and there will be smoke alarms going off everywhere if you do! Place the lid on tightly and bake for 30 minutes.
Remove lid and bake an additional 7-15 minutes until perfectly browned.

Cool if you must, I usually must not because i'm obsessed with warm bread but either way, enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by!