Thursday, October 14, 2010

Peanutbananafluff Dessert Panini

Ant and I had Panini's one night for dinner and since I had the Panini maker already out, when it came to dessert, I decided to try something new using pantry staples of some of his favorite things...


  •  2 slices of cinnamon raisin bread
  • 1 banana sliced
  • Peanut butter
  • Butter
  • Fluff


  • Spread small slither of butter on one side of each slice, butter side down.
  • Spread peanut butter on one slice and top with sliced banana
  • Spread Fluff on other slice of bread and put that on top of the banana slice to make a sandwich
  • Lay onto Panini maker and shut it for 3-4 minutes until toasted and everything starts to melt
  • slice in half and you have a taste of dessert goodness for your night capper!

Garlic Lemon Shrimp and Orzo

After searching high and low for a yummy quick shrimp orzo recipe, I stumbled across this blog and decided to try it out. This was super quick and super delicious. I always ask Ant where it ranks and he said one of my TOP 5 dishes and one of his favorites, so hence I’m posting  and leading you to check out this blog as some of her dishes make you salvate and want to make everything she has on there!

Garlic Lemon Shrimp and Orzo
serves 6
2 cups orzo, cooked al dente and drained

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups onions, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lemon, juiced and zested--I didn't have a lemon, but used lemon juice from the fridge instead in case you run into similar scenario and don't want to run out to the store!
  • 1 cup white wine---for the white wine, I chose Sutter Home Sauvignon Blanc as that's what I had on hand
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 pounds of shrimp, 21 - 25 count, peeled and deveined
  • 1/3 cup parsley, chopped
  • 2/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

In a large saute pan, heat olive oil. Add onions and cook for about 5 - 6 minutes or until they are soft but not brown. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute.
Add the lemon juice, zest, and wine. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and cook for 2 - 3 minutes to meld the flavors together. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Stir in pat of butter until melted.

Add the shrimp and cook until just cooked through, about 4 - 5 minutes. Toss shrimp and sauce with the orzo, parsley and Parmesan. Serve with extra cheese.

My first Penne a la Vodka

After researching and googling penne vodka recipes after one another and talking to my friends about how to make a yummy vodka sauce, I jumbled everything together and made my own and came out really good. I actually stood at my stove, and said "Wow, I did pretty good!"  hehe..see below for how I made mine. I think next time I'm going to add crab meat to this concoction!

(3) tablespoons of EVOO
(1) Small onion diced
1 (28oz) can of crushed tomatoes
(3) cloves garlic
pinch of red pepper flakes (pends on your spice level)
1 pint heavy cream
1 cup vodka
Penne pasta
Salt and pepper
Grated Parmesan cheese

  1.         Take a medium sauce pan (this sauce makes a lot, so medium size or bigger) and heat oil on medium heat, add onions and sauté for 5-6 minutes until see through, then add garlic for 1-2 minutes
  2.          Add can of crushed tomatoes, add red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to your tasting, and simmer for 15 minutes
  3.          Stir in Vodka and cook 15 minutes more
  4.          Bring large pot of salted water to a boil and add pasta and cook for 8-10 minutes or until al dente; drain; put back in pot
  5.          Stir cream into sauce and cook 10 minutes more
  6.          Pour sauce over pasta to well coat and then serve and top with grated parmesan cheese
I also made a few chicken cutlets just to add for Ant, but that's an entirely different day for posting!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Asian Cuisine with Lauren

This past Friday night, my girlfriend Lauren and I (if you’re a follower, we both made the lasagna in my blog) decided we were going to stay in to watch the Phillies, drink some wine, and cook! Our theme was Asian cuisine since we did Italian the month prior. Our 3 plates to make were Asian Lettuce Wraps, Lo Mein, and Creole shrimp (now we know that Creole shrimp is not Asian, so it was our wild card, so we threw it in there just to have some type of shrimp dish and this looked too delicious to pass up).

We did change some of the ingredients; you'll see ours listed below and then you can see the actual recipe and they called’s totally up to you!

Asian Lettuce Wraps

·         2 teaspoons vegetable oil
·         1 lb chicken tenderloins cut into small cubes
·         2-inch piece ginger, peeled and finely grated – or you can use ginger powder like we did
·         2 scallions, chopped
·         2 cloves garlic, minced
·         2 tablespoons soy sauce
·         1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (this makes it very spicccccy, you may want to half it if you are more on the mild side!)
·         1/4 cup hoisin sauce
·         1/4 cup chopped peanuts
·         Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Creole Shrimp

1 lb. frozen uncooked cleaned large shrimp, thawed
1 Tbsp.  Cajun seasoning
1/4 cup KRAFT Zesty Italian Dressing
2 cloves  garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

I can't seem to locate our Lo Mein recipe at the moment, when I do, I'll add it to this blog...but we cooked a lb of pasta and we seriously could feed an army! 

This is our completed plate, paired with some Vinho Verde and some Yellowtail red wine, e it was yummy, super simple,  and better than take out!


Monday, October 4, 2010

Loaded Baked Potato Soup on a Crisp Autumn Day

Still no oven, but no worries, I've been making good use of all my appliances and kitchen gadgets for meals. Yesterday was a beautiful Fall day and a bit on the chilly side so I looked in the fridge to see what I had and my eyes went to my red potatoes and I thought to whip up a warm comfort food and change up a WW baked potato soup I had tried last year and make it my own..the key to this healthy version of baked potato soup is using milk...

  • 4 (6oz.) red potatoes
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup prechopped onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 and 1/4 cups fat free, lower sodium chicken broth (you can use a 1 can)
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 cups 1%milk (divided)
  • 1/4 cup reduced fat sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3 turkey bacon slices, halved
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 4 teaspoons thinly sliced green onions
  • 1/2 cup croutons
  • 1 tablespoon parsley

1. Pierce potatoes with a fork, microwave on high for 13 minutes; take them out, cut in half, and let them cool.
2. While potatoes cook, heat oil in saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, sautee 3 minutes, add the garlic and add chicken broth. Combine flour and 1/2 cup milk and pour into saucepan. Then add remaining 1 and a 1/2 cups milk. Bring to a boil; stir often. Cook 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in sour cream, salt, and pepper, garlic powder and parsley.
3. Arrange bacon on paper towel on microwave safe plate; microwave on high for 2 minutes until crisp (be careful as it can burn fast). Crumble the bacon and set aside.
4. Back to the potatoes-discard potatoe skins, turn on low and coarsely mash potatoes into soup and taste test. Serve in soup bowls and top with cheese, green onions, crumbled bacon, and a few croutons.

This bowl of soup will turn any Fall afternoon into a warm savory night! Enjoy!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Fall Decorating on a Dime

One night last week I was cooking dinner and realized I needed a little Autumn-ness on my kitchen table as we embraced October 1st so I set out on my lunch break to AC Moore. I bought a large mason jar for a $1 and got some cute fall flowers that were $1 a piece and I was able to mix and match of my choice. When I got home I had some leftover stones from a candle centerpiece I had used earlier in the year and I filled up the mason jar with them, arranged my flowers and placed some cute gords in front of it with a fall scented candle and it matched my green table runner! This inexpensive centerpiece dressed up my kitchen table in no time and was so simple!