Monday, December 14, 2009

Julie & Julia

So the hubby is out of town and I get to do all the things I used to when I was single, watch a girlie movie, eat bread and cheese for dinner and bake up some Babka. Well I'm lying about the last part, I've never made babka before, but I am trying to tonight. I am watching Julie and Julia, which I had wanted to see in the theatre but never got the chance to, I loved it! I was worried about the movie not being as good as the book, but I was wrong. I really enjoyed it and would love to watch it again.

Anyways, back to the food. Most of the time this is how I end up making something brand new that I've never even heard about before. Someone mentions something they once had, then the whole office wants to know about it and we google. Then someone always asks me to try it out and bring it in. This is what happened today and this is why I am now waiting for yeast to bloom... :)

More on this Babka tomorrow.......

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Barefoot Bloggers - Croissant Bread Pudding

So this is my very first Barefoot Bloggers Post!!! :) I decided to get involved as a way to ensure that I keep this blog up! In addition Ina is one of my favorite chefs and I always want to try out her recipes, so it was a win-win!

My husband and I have never been huge fans of bread pudding so I cut down the original recipe so that I we wouldn't have a ton of this left over. I also didn't have any raisins but I had a HUGE Costco size bag of dried cranberries that I decided to use. I also added some chocolate to mine and white chocolate to my husbands. I swear he is constantly going to cupboard to steal some white chocolate chips and since it is our 2 month anniversary I decided to be nice and include some! :) Another change I made was that I did these in individual ramekins so that I could easily customize them with the different chocolates.

The flavor was wonderful, but next time I think that I would add some orange zest to the custard to give it something different. If you like bread pudding this is one that you should try!

Cranberry Croissant Bread Pudding

2 whole eggs
3 egg yolks
2.5 cups of half & half
3/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 croissants, slice in cubes
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup chocolate chips (I mixed white and milk chocolate)

Preheat to 350 degrees.

Whisk together eggs, half & half, sugar, & vanilla. Layer the croissants into ramekins, making sure the cranberries and chocolate chips are dispersed between the layers. Fill the ramekin with the custard mixture and let sit 10 minutes, pushing down slightly.

Place the ramekins in a large baking dish and fill with an inch of water. Cover with foil, cut some steam holes in the foil. Bake covered for 45 minutes, uncover and bake for 30 additional minutes. Make sure the custard is set and it is puffed.

Let cool for a few minutes, and serve warm or room temperature.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Nutella & Banana Wontons

I love Nutella! I am always trying new recipes for it, spreading it on toast, eating it straight from the jar.....

I had a banana that was about to get too ripe and decided to mix it into a delicious dessert! I added a dollop of nutella to each wonton wrapper and then added some chopped up banana. Some them got white chocolate chips for the hubby. I fried them up in some veggie oil and drained on a paper towel.


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Roasted Tomato and Shrimp Orzo

I love just throwing some ingredients together into a pasta for a quick meal. I made these delicious oven roasted tomatoes last night and had to get them into some pasta. I don't even like tomatoes, my dad used to try and pay me to eat them, maybe he just needed to roast them first, because I was eating these right out of the pan.

Roasted Tomato and Shrimp Orzo

1 cup cooked orzo pasta, cooked in salty water
1/2 cup asparagus, chopped in 1 inch pieces
3/4 pound peeled shrimp, with tail removed
1 minced clove of garlic
1/2 cup oven roasted tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped kalamata olives
Juice of one lemon
Crumbled Feta Cheese

Heat olive oil in pan, I used a couple of turns around the pan. Add asparagus and cook 4 minutes, season with pepper. Add shrimp and cook about 3 minutes before you stir the pan. Add the garlic, tomatoes and olives, cook 3-4 minutes longer. Add lemon juice and orzo pasta, stir to coat everything with the lemon juice, you can add some pasta water if it seems too dry. Season with pepper, the olives are salty so you don't need to add any more salt. Place pasta on the plate and top with crumbled feta cheese.

Serve immediately with some bread.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Oven Roasted Tomatoes

So tonight was a leftover night - just a big yummy salad with leftover soyaki chicken, goat cheese, baby lettuce, tomatoes for the hubby and raspberry vinaigrette. I only had about a cup of cute little grape tomatoes left from the Thanksgiving platter so I decided to make some oven roasted tomatoes. I've never made them before but have seen them on the Food Network, after some internet searching I realized that there didn't seem to be one specific way to do them, so I just decided to improvise. I cut the tomatoes in half drizzled with olive oil, salt and pepper, and two cloves of garlic. I roasted them at 225 degrees for 1 1/2 hours.

Once I took them out I stored them in the fridge with a little olive oil. I will be using it them tomorrow for an orzo, shrimp and asparagus pasta. Yummy!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Ben & Jerry's Pumpkin Ice Cream

They say that ice cream sales go up in the winter, not sure they are but that's what my mother in law told me the other when we sitting outside of Golden Spoon bundled up in our coats! This isn't exactly the case in our house where my husband hasn't met a quart of Ben and Jerry's that he hasn't liked - and devoured in one sitting! Pumpkin is one of my favorite flavors year round so when I saw this recipe for Pumpkin Ice Cream I knew that I would be making it soon.

Ben & Jerry's Pumpkin Ice Cream
Makes 1 Quart

2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup milk
1 cup pureed pumpkin
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
(I added about a 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon because I always feel like you can't have enough!)

Whisk the eggs until light and fluffy, about two minutes. Gradually whisk in the sugar until completely blended. Add in cream and milk and whisk.

Put about 1/2 of the milk mixture into a bowl and whisk in the pumpkin and spices. Add back to the pumpkin and mix until combined. Transfer to ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions. This filled up my ice cream maker almost to overflowing which meant I needed to run it a little longer.

I also added some mini chocolate chips to half of the ice cream just to try it out and loved it!

I made this today and it totally made me forget the 2 1/2 hours at the Dentist!