Sunday, May 29, 2011

Penne with Mushrooms

It has been hard to get motivated to cook
dinner lately. I feel like we are running
in and out. Come home, try to exercise -
if it isn't 90 degrees, run to a meeting,
and dinner just doesn't seem to fit right


I had three beautiful portabello mushrooms
in the refrigerator that I really wanted
to use so I came up with this pasta dish.

2 shallots
3 portabello mushrooms
fresh oregano
1/2 cup marsala
1/2 to 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil

1/2 cup pasta water

I diced the shallots and cooked them in olive oil for
a few minutes. Then I sliced the mushrooms and cooked
them in the oil with the shallots for about 5 minutes.
I added the marsala to the pan and cooked the mushrooms
and shallots for about 3 more minutes on high.
I chopped the fresh oregano and added about 1/4 cup
to the mushroom mixture. You can add a little less
oregano but I really like it.

While cooking the mushrooms I boiled the penne
in water with a pinch of salt.

Drain the pasta, reserving about 1/2 cup of the
pasta water.
Add the pasta back into the pan. Then add the
mushroom mixture and cheese to the pasta.
Stir until all the pasta and mushrooms get
combined. Add a little of the pasta water
until you have the consistency you like.

And here is the final product - Yum!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Millionaire's Shortbread Bars

You'll make a lot of friends at a party or
barbeque if you make this recipe.
There are many different variations of
Millionaire's Shortbread.
After reading through several of them
I decided to pick my favorite parts from
each of the recipes and make the bars
using the ingredients listed below.

Millionaire's Shortbread

2 sticks butter, cut into small pieces
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt

Caramel Layer:
2 (14-ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons of brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter

Chocolate Topping:
6 oz. semi sweet chocolate
4 oz. dark chocolate



Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Butter 2 (8-inch) square nonstick pans and coat with flour, tapping off excess. Place the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse once. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles peas. Press the shortbread mixture into prepared pans and bake until golden brown around the edges, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.

Caramel Layer:

In a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the condensed milk and 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of brown sugar. Slowly bring the mixture to a boil, stirring continuously. Continue stirring over the heat until mixture becomes thick and amber in color, about 15 minutes. Pour the caramel over the cooked shortbread and spread. Allow the caramel to cool. You can place the pans in the
refrigerator for a few minutes to help the cooling process.

Chocolate Topping:

In a glass bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, melt the two different types of chocolate. Once chocolate has melted, pour it over the cooled caramel layer.

If you want to add a topping now is the time, while the chocolate is still warm.

I topped half of my bars with toasted coconut.

Then cool the bars at room temperature for about 10 minutes, and then place in the refrigerator to cool completely, allowing chocolate to slightly harden but not get hard. Cut into 2-inch squares and serve. You can keep them at room temperature or if you like the bars cooler you can keep them in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve them.

Trust me, these will be a big hit!!!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Greek Style Chicken Kabobs

I love that the temperature dropped
this weekend and instead of being 87 degrees
it is only about 64 degrees outside.
How absolutely delightful!!!

I am getting ready to grill
some Greek Style Chicken Kabobs.

I marinated the chicken in:
1/2 cup greek yogurt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons dill
lemon zest
salt and pepper

If you have a grill ~ that is the way to go. If not, you can stick the
kabobs in the oven and broil them.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Pasta with Lemon, Basil and Smoked Salmon

This is a delicious, elegant recipe
that makes you feel like you are eating
out at a fine restaurant.

My husband made this recipe
and it was so delightful!
We loved the flavors and he said that
he would definately make it again
because it is fairly easy to make.

Simple Cream Pasta with Lemon and Basil
with Spinach and Smoked Salmon

(adapted from a Donna Hay recipe)

14 oz. tagliatelle or spaghetti
1 cup heavy cream
*1 tbs butter
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon rind
2 tablespoons lemon juice
* 3/4 cup finley grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup roughly choppped basil leaves
3 1/2 oz baby spinach leaves * we used Swiss Chard*
3 1/2 oz chopped, smoked salmon

cracked black pepper
grated parmesan, to serve

Add cream, butter,lemon rind, lemon juice together in pan.
Heat. Add parmesan, basil and pepper.
Let cook a few minutes so flavors can combine.
Place a pot of salted water on stove. Bring to a boil.
Cook pasta until al dente.
Drain pasta.
Add cream sauce over pasta.
Add the spinach ( or Swiss Chard)
and Smoked Salmon and toss to combine.

Serve with cheese and a pinch of pepper.