Sunday, August 17, 2008

A Few Odds and Ends

I've made a few things recently (and not so recently) that I haven't posted here yet, so I thought I would just post the pictures. If you want a specific recipe, just leave me a comment and I'll post it later.

Phillip helped me make some sugar cookies tonight, so I let him decorate a few:

Yes, that's a niner.

My cookies were not quite a creative, but still cute.

I made this chocolate pie months ago, it was very rich.

This was our breakfast this morning, our attempt at recreating our favorite LePeep dish.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Basic Risotto

Basic Risotto

1 smalled onion diced
2 tbsp butter
4 tbsp olive oil
1 cup arborio (or risotto) rice
1/2 cup white wine
3 lbs chicken stock
1/4 cup parmesean cheese

1. In a saucepan, raise chicken broth to a simmer.

2. In a medium size skillet, brown onion in butter and olive oil. Add rice and toast for 1 minute. Add wine and let reduce.

3. Add chicken broth by the ladleful and let the liquid absorb before adding more, stirring constantly. Continue until all of the broth is absorbed and the rice is cooked through, about 30 minutes.

** You can add anything that you want to this basic recipe. Tonight, we added sauteed broccoli, mushrooms, and prosuitto. Some other ideas are: grilled chicken, sundried tomatos, butternut squash, spinach, asparagus, sausage, peas, whatever suits your fancy!**

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes

Cookie Dough Cupcakes

1 package (18.25 ounces) plain yellow cake mix
1 package (3.4 ounces) vanilla instant pudding mix
1 cup whole milk
1 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 package (1 pound) frozen cookie dough

1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 24 cupcake cups with paper liners. Set the pans aside.

2. Place the cake mix, pudding mix, milk, oil, eggs, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat 2 minutes more, scraping down the sides again if needed. The batter should look well blended. Spoon or scoop a heaping 1/4 cup batter into each lined cupcake cup, filling it two thirds of the way full. (You will get between 22 and 24 cupcakes; remove the empty liners, if any.) Cut the frozen dough pieces in half to make 24 pieces. Place a frozen cookie dough piece on top of each cupcake. Place the pans in the oven.

3. Bake the cupcakes until they are golden and spring back when lightly pressed with your finger, 20 to 24 minutes.

Cookie Dough Frosting

cookie dough:
¼ cup butter, softened
¼ cup brown sugar, plus 2 tbsp
2 tsp water
½ tsp vanilla
½ cup flour
¼ tsp salt
1/3 cup miniature chocolate chips

1 ½ cup heavy whipping cream
8 ozs cream cheese, softened
¾ cup granulated sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla

For the cookie dough, cream the butter and brown sugar in a small bowl. Add water and vanilla and mix well. Add flour and salt and stir to combine. Stir in 1/3 cup Mini Morsels. Wrap the dough in waxed paper and freeze until firm, about 30 minutes. Break dough into 1/4 teaspoon sized chunks and place the chunks on a plate or in a plastic container, separating layers with waxed paper.Store them in the refrigerator until ready to use.

To make the frosting, in a medium bowl beat the whipping cream until stiff peaks form (do not overbeat); set aside. In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar, salt, and vanilla. Beat for 2 minutes until smooth. Fold in the whipped cream. Fold the frozen cookie dough chunks into the frosting and immediately frost the cooled cupcakes.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Double Ricotta Rosa Pasta

This is my first non-cupcake food post. Finally, I'm using this blog for what it was intended. Tonight's dinner was a new creation, and I was pretty pleased. Phillip cleaned his plate quickly (which doens't actually say much, he always does!), even when there wasn't any meat on his plate.

Double Ricotta Rosa Pasta

8oz. rigatoni pasta
15oz. can of tomato sauce
15oz. tub of ricotta cheese
2 tsp salt
1 tsp coarse pepper
1 tsp italian seasoning
2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 lb baked ricotta cheese (I found this in the specialty cheese case)
*can substitute fresh mozzerella
fresh basil
freshly grated parmesean cheese

1. Boil pasta in salted water until almost, but not compleately done.
2. Heat tomato sauce in small saucepan until simmering. Add ricotta cheese until melted. Add salt, pepper, italian seasoning, and red pepper flakes.
3. Place pasta and sauce in a casserole dish. Top with sliced baked ricotta and place under broiler until the cheese is bubbly.
4. Top with basil and parmesean cheese.