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Tag Archives: Pasta

Dreamy Butternut Squash Mac n Cheese

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I guess technically this is shells and cheese.


Warning:  I think this dish might be the reason I didn’t lose any weight last week.  But I am not going to hold that against it.


Isn’t it beautiful?  2.5 pounds of squash, 6 garlic cloves, sprig of thyme, 2 cups of almond milk, and 2 cups of chicken stock.   Cook the squash until tender.  If you’re lucky enough to have an immersion blender this would be the time to pull it out.

Cook a pound of small pasta and then combine with the puree.


At this point I was pretty sure that I had just made soup with some pasta.


Never underestimate the power of the oven:  cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes at 375.

Top with a mixture of panko, garlic, parsley, and salt.  If you’re using garlic don’t make the mistake I made.  It seems that I always wind up with really strong garlic when it’s not going to be cooked.  Add a touch of Gruyere and put it under the broiler for five or ten minutes.


Even my husband liked this, until I made the mistake of telling him that it was squash.


I should disclose that some salt wouldn’t hurt.

Candice Kumai/Cook Yourself Sexy

Eat Well and Savor.




Spaghetti with Lime and Arugula

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I’m not sure why the sun-dried tomatoes didn’t warrant a mention in that title.


They were clearly the stand-out, in my opinion.  There’s a few capers in there too, but they aren’t really noticeable.


I thought you should know that only two limes were harmed in the making of this pasta.  Mireille Guiliano calls for three, but since you zest two and juice one I think it’s okay to slice the one you zested.


This is a French Women Don’t Get Fat recipe, but I can’t help but think that it would be really good with some goat cheese.  Just saying.

Eat Well and Savor.

Linguine with Shrimp, Scallops, and Chorizo

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Oh, I do love a recipe title that uses the Oxford comma.  Thank you, Brian Boitano.


I also love a recipe that uses 1-1/2 cups of white wine.


That’s pretty much the end of the story.  Just sauté some diced chorizo and shallots in olive oil, then add the wine and simmer until reduced.  Cook the seafood in batches so that you don’t overdo it and then just toss it all together.

If you happen to be a wimp when it comes to spicy you may want to be particular when you pick out your chorizo.  In other words, don’t make the same mistake I made.

Eat Well and Savor.


Fusilli with Spinach

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And Anchovies.


Did you hear me, y’all?  I said anchovies.  I don’t think I’ve ever eaten them before, except in Caesar dressing, of course.  I don’t think that counts, though.  I must say, I was a little disappointed.  Wait, let me explain.  They smelled amazing when they were thrown into the pan while the spinach was wilting.  But, otherwise, they weren’t really noticeable.  Maybe I should have used more than six.  Or maybe I chopped them too small and they disintegrated.  Who knows?  The point is that if you’re afraid to try them out then this is the perfect training-wheels recipe from The French Women Don’t Get Fat Cookbook.


One more thing that you NEED to know:  The pine nuts are cooked in hot olive oil for two minutes and they are perfectly browned and crunchy.

Eat Well and Savor.

Simple Bolognese

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Move along.  Nothing to see here.


This is just an ordinary dish of pasta.  Nothing fancy in this sauce.

Jake asked me what was for dinner tonight.  I told him spaghetti Bolognese.  He said, have we had that before?  That Italian word threw him.  I informed him that it’s just meat sauce.

Actually, this is one of those standard 20 meals that my mom made throughout my childhood.  Of course in today’s version I didn’t have to sit at the table forever and pick out all the onions.   Disclosure:  I’m all for that style of parenting.


Anyway, back to the sauce.  I’m pretty sure my mother’s version didn’t have celery in it.  Again, not criticizing, just saying.


I love this whole stir-the-cheese-right-into-the-pot thing going on here.   As a kid we used American cheese singles and it still sounds good to me.


Is it wrong that I used a Ritz cracker to do my taste test?  If so, it’s probably a big deal that I actually did it twice so I could get the picture.


This recipe is from Giada and Everyday Italian and it doesn’t disappoint.

Eat Well and Savor.

Fettucine Hungry Girlfredo

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This may not reach out and grab you .


But what if I tell you that it’s only 99 calories?

Here’s the miracle ingredient:


This whole bag is only 20 calorie and 2 grams of fiber.  Back in the day that would translate into free WW points.


Even if you’ve never heard of Shirataki, I’m sure you’ve heard of The Laughing Cow.


Make sure you drain the noodles and pat them dry, then just toss them into the pan with a teaspoon of fat-free sour cream and two teaspoons of reduced-fat Parmesan — there’s no way to avoid saying this — from Kraft, you know, the one in the can.  And don’t forget The Laughing Cow.

I topped mine with pepper and some fancy salt.  It’s also begging for some freshly steamed broccoli or maybe some artichoke hearts.

Obviously this is a Hungry Girl hit.  She devotes chapters to Shirataki in her books.  This one specifically is from Hungry Girl to the Max.


Sunday Summary

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Monday:  I didn’t have a job today, which is the perfect way to start the week.  Around noon I decided to do a little work.  Well, actually I was going to google something while watching Live with Kelly.  That’s about the time I realized the Internet was down.  After spending 40 minutes trying to mess with my laptop I realized the cable was out too.  I spent another 40 minutes or so dealing with Charter’s automated system, which didn’t help me; a female agent, who couldn’t help me and scheduled a tech appointment for 3-5; and a male agent literally in the Philippines.  At 5:00 Charter called to say the tech would be 30 minutes late.  When I called at 6:10 Charter said the tech was on the way.  When I called around 7:00, and spent 45 minutes on hold, the agent told me they weren’t coming.  No kidding.

No cable?  No problem.  I watched Victor/Victoria on DVD.  I can’t believe I’ve lived my whole life without seeing it.

Tuesday:  I had a job today that lasted an hour and there was a bowl of mini candy bars on the conference room table.   That is a win-win in my book.

The supports for my garden came today.  It’s my own little version of modern art.


I also spotted a couple of itty-bitty lemons on my lemon tree.


Wednesday:  I was off again today.  I managed to score this pot from Macy’s for 75 bucks.  It was on sale from $185 and I had a $20 coupon.


And I made Macaroni Alfredo with Pumpkin and Kale from Better Homes and Gardens’ Eat Well Lose Weight magazine.


Thursday:  I was off again today!  But this time it’s because I had a dentist appointment, not fun.

The frame I ordered from Amazon came today.  For a year now I’ve been staring at two big screws in the wall above my mantle.  I’ve been wanting to get some real art, but it’s just not in the budget.  Recently I watched the African Queen on Netflix.  I remember seeing it as a kid on a CBS matinée and loving it.   Katherine Hepburn’s character is tenacious and headstrong and I’m convinced she influenced me.  When I saw the poster for 9 bucks on Amazon I thought it was the perfect solution.  Of course Michael’s doesn’t carry poster frames so I had to place one more order.


I made a Salted Caramel Chocolate Cake Mug from Lisa Lillien’s new book:  Hungry Girl 200 Under 200 Just Desserts.  Man, that’s a mouthful.


Friday:  I had a little job this morning and was home by noon.  I was feeling pretty unmotivated, but after an infusion of espresso, via my homemade latte, I managed to make some kale chips.


I tossed my torn up bunch of kale with olive oil and sea salt and baked them in a 275 degree oven for 20 minutes, stirring once.  If your name happens to be Mandy and you have a dehydrator at home you should totally make some of these, and then serve them with that tofu spread.  Just saying.


I also made some Snickers-licious Cupcakes from Hungry Girl’s new book.  Can you tell I’m on a little HG bender.

Saturday:  I made Cherry Cream Cheese.


Just combine 1/2 cup of softened cream cheese with 1/4 cup of chopped cherries, 1.5 teaspoons of confectioners’ sugar, and a pinch of allspice.  It was my plan to put this on a bagel.  And when I say bagel I mean one of those 110 calorie bagel thins.  I’m pretty sure I haven’t had a real bagel since the ’90s.  Anyway, this was amazing on the graham cracker.  As usual, as simple as it is, I didn’t come up with it on my own.  I yanked a whole page of cherry recipes out of Eating Well’s May/June 2010 issue, so stay tuned.

I met Marnie for coffee today at Whole Foods and picked up some figs to make this Prosciutto and Fig Crostata.


It tastes better than it looks.  Again, so simple, and not my idea.  I pulled it out of Country Living.  It’s just a Pillsbury pie crust with a layer of cream cheese and then topped with a mixture of figs pureed with lemon juice, garlic, salt, and thyme.  Add a layer of prosciutto and bake at 425 for 15 minutes.

I feel the need to report that both Marnie and I had the Honeyed Latte at WF.  I am hooked.

Sunday:  Last but not least, I made Brandied Cherries today.


Somewhere along the way I picked up Edible DIY by Lucy Baker.  So far I’ve made Spicy Marinated Artichokes and Lemon Salt with Fennel and Red Pepper Flakes.  Both of those were a hit, but the cherries have to be refrigerated for a week before I can deliver a verdict.  For the record, I have no idea what I’m going to do with all of these brandied cherries, but LB says you can drink the brandy afterwards, so at least that’s covered.

Eat Well and Savor.