Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Forgotten Chess Board

My hubby got me an Alabaster Chess Board for Christmas. I haven't gotten it yet so I forgot about it until yesterday when my friends boyfriend asked if I played chess.

Isn't it beautiful?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Cupcakes and Frosting

I love to bake.

So I made cupcakes, 8 dozen of them.

But uh, I only have 6 dozen left.

The frosting is Smitten Kitchens Swiss Butter cream, when it was done I beat in cream cheese, and then powdered sugar until it was stiff again.

For the chocolate I added some cocoa and melted chocolate chips.

I love Swiss Buttercream, you should try it. Silky smooth and not overwhelmingly sweet.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Skillet Stroganoff

I had a friend on Facebook today post a link for some Stroganoff she was making for dinner. I decided that sounded pretty good and that's what was for dinner at our house too.

I usually don't make this with the hamburger. Just start with step 2 where you add most of the ingredients to the pot with the pasta. After the pasta is cooked but before you stir in the sour cream add a can of drained black beans. Or you can do some of both. This is also a great way to use up leftover pot roast. Just start with the pasta, like with the beans I mentioned above and throw in the cooked shredded pot roast right before you stir in the sour cream.

The hamburger to pasta ratio in this is also pretty even, if you want more pasta in it just make sure that you add more water to compensate for the added pasta.

Come visit me at Chez Cayenne for Presto Pasta Night

1 lb hamburger (OR leftover pot roast)
1 Tbsp. steak seasoning
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 c. water
2 low sodium beef bouillon cubes
2 Tbsp. catchup
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. gravy browning
6 oz. dried pasta
2 Tbsp. brown gravy powder
1 small can mushrooms (optional)
3/4 c. sour cream

Cook hamburger and steak seasoning until no longer pink and cooked throughout. Add the mushroom soup, water, bouillon cubes, catchup, Worcestershire sauce, browning and pasta to skillet and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is tender.

Combine the gravy powder and enough water to make a thin paste, stirring to remove lumps. When the pasta is cooked add the gravy powder to the skillet and cook, stirring until the sauce is pretty thick. Stir in the the sour cream and serve.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

MRE'S and HouseHold6 Cooking Club

I joined a cooking club and it's been pretty fun. HouseHold6 issues a challenge at the beginning of the month and we all cook something up, and then blog about it.

So this months challenge was make something that you think would be good in an MRE (Meal ready to Eat) since those things are rarely know for being tasty

So I have been trying to some up with something new for this challenge, some hearty and nutritious new dish. But I just kept going back to Harira.

Not only is it my husbands favorite dish, its full of good stuff.

For protein we have chick peas, lentils, and in the MRE's I would add some cooked chicken. Right after cooking the onions, and before adding everything else, I would saute some diced chicken in with the onions. Then simmer it all together until the lentils and rice are cooked.

It's also made with brown rice, lots of veggies, and of course some great spices.

Monday, March 14, 2011

New Toothbrush Holder

Yeah, I'm telling everyone about my new toothbrush holder. I'm odd like that.

Besides, I think its nifty.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Spring Pasta Primavera

This is a tasty mix of lots of spring veggies and pasta with a nice creamy, garlicy, cheese sauce on the pasta that is more like a coating, and not at all heavy and saucey like alfredo.

Really any pasta you have on hand will do for this, from rotini to fettucini I just happen to really like the cavatappi in this. Feel free to play around with whatever vegetable you like or have on hand. I just like to make sure that I have at least as many veggies as pasta. If you want to do something a little more formal don't add either the beans or the chicken to the pasta and serve it as a side with a grilled or baked chicken breast on top.

Also Presto Pasta Nights this Friday is being hosted at Maison Cupcake so make sure you head on over and see whatever one else is making.

This makes enough for four servings. Feel free to double it.

8 oz. cavatappi pasta

2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp garlic infused macadamia oil
(Olive oil or more butter will also work)

1 carrot, peeled and sliced
3 green onions, sliced, green part too
3/4 c. frozen pea, thawed
1/2 lb asparagus, cut into 1 inch slices
1/4 yellow bell pepper, cut into small dices

1/2 c. half-an-half
1/4 c. freshly grated parmesan
1 chicken bouillon cube

1 can white kidney beans, drained and rinsed OR
1 - 2 c. cooked shredded chicken

Cook pasta in lightly salted water until al dente. Drain.

Meanwhile heat the butter and macadamia oil in a large skillet. Add the carrots and cook over low heat until mostly softened but still slightly crunchy. Turn the heat to medium, add the onion and saute 30 seconds. Add the asparagus and peas and cook until asparagus is tender.

When the pasta is tender and drained add the bell pepper and then immediately add the pasta. Toss to mix. Stir in the cream and chicken cube. Crush the cube and stir to combine. Stir in the parmesan cheese and stir to combine. Stir until the cheese and cream form a sauce and cling to the pasta.

Stir in the beans or chicken.

Taste and adjust salt and pepper.

Serve immediately.

See that? Macadamia oil infused with garlic. Tasty stuff

It looks saucy but it isn't, trust me.