Monthly Archives: March 2009

An Open Letter to the Guinness Book of World Records

To Whom it May Concern:

I realize that my humble banana bread here is no way close to being to the largest loaf ever made, however, if you were ever so inclined to include a new record in your collection for the largest banana bread ever made with one measley bunch of bananas and a standard loaf pan, I think I may have a contender right here. This is one massive loaf of breakfast bread. That’s gotta be worth a mention!

Think about it.

Sincerely,
Erin

Okay, so my banana bread is no where close to breaking world records, but I do have to say this is biggest loaf of bread I have ever seen in my life! HA! And pretty darn tasty too. Technically, the recipe made two loaves, but when I realized my loaf pans were larger than the 8×4 inch pans the recipe called for, I ended up just making one larger loaf. I had every intention of making two in my larger pans, but after I finished assembling the first one in the pan, I realized I had no where near enough batter for the second. Oops! So I added what was left in the bowl to the pan and sent it off baking. Holy crap it is giant, but it’s excellent. YUM!

This recipe intrigued me because the batter called for the addition of cream cheese, which I thought would make for a totally moist and tangy bread. It did! And the peanut butter crumb topping is super yummy. If anything it could use a bit more peanut butter. The chocolate in the middle is a yummy surprise too. Overall, a very good bread that I will totally make again. After I obtain the correct size pans, of course.

PEANUT BUTTER BANANA BREAD (Recipe Source: Taste of Home, February/March 2009)

Topping:

  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Batter:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsps. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a small bowl, stir the flour, brown sugar, peanut butter and cinnamon until crumbly, set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream the butter, cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in bananas and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon; stir into creamed mixture until just moinstened.
  3. Divide half of the batter between two greased 8×4 inch loaf pans; sprinkle with half of the topping. Top with chocolate chips. Reapeat layers of batter and topping.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees fpr 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.
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Kitchen Blunders

Kitchen screw-ups are a given. When I screw up in the kitchen, I just kind of shake it off, tell myself that it happens to everyone and then vow to never speak of the incident again. And obviously, it doesn’t get blogged. LOL. So if you read my blog, it looks like I’m some sort of domestic goddess. I promise you that couldn’t be farther from the truth. I just don’t share my failures. Heh.

One of the places I get tripped up in the kitchen is when I’m trying to manipulate a recipe so that it makes more or less than originally called for. Usually, I’m trying to make less. I don’t know why it’s so hard so…it shouldn’t be. I’m just not….great with numbers, as they say. Or, I just forget that I’m halving half way through and continue on normally. Ha! Oops!!

So this recipe for Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream I’m about to share is kind of a screw up, but kind of not. It is, because I tried to halve the recipe and I messed up the ratio of my ingredients and that changed the texture of the final product. It’s not because the flavor combo is AWESOME!! It’s really very delicious. I loved the flavor. Eric did too. I LOVE the graham cracker crust in there. That’s the best part!! But the texture was the slightest bit off. It wasn’t as creamy as some of the other ice creams I’ve made in past. But, of course, that’s not enough to make me NOT stuff my face with it. 🙂

On to the recipe! I spotted this in the Taste of Home cookbook my mom gave me for Christmas. The original recipe called for blueberries, but I subbed strawberries instead because they were on sale this week. 🙂 Reading through it, I didn’t like the way the it suggested to make the ice cream part….just mix together the ice cream ingredients and throw it straight into the freezer? Hmmmm…This didn’t seem right to me. Most of the other ice cream recipes I’ve made calls for cooking the milk/sugar mixture to dissolve the sugar, so I went ahead and did that. Then I chilled it overnight before freezing, per usual.

Where I went wrong was somewhere in the milk to cream ratio which should be two to one, I think. I’m not really sure which one was off. I am the first to call operator error here. I don’t want to blame the recipe, so I am going to include the ingredients for the full recipe below and write the directions in the way in which I prepared it. The full recipe makes about 2 quarts. Which is a helluva lot of ice cream. 🙂

STRAWBERRY CHEESECAKE ICE CREAM (Recipe adapted from: Taste of Home Cookbook)

Makes 2 quarts

ICE CREAM:

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 package (3.4 oz) instant cheesecake pudding mix
  • 1 quart heavy cream
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

STRAWBERRY SAUCE:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 1/4 cups chopped fresh strawberries
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

GRAHAM CRACKER MIXTURE:

  • 2 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 36 squares)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted

Prepare the Ice Cream:

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine milk, sugar and pudding mix. Heat to a simmer until the sugar dissolves, the mixture bubbles a little bit around the edges and thickens, about 5 minutes. Pour into a large bowl and let cool completely, about 1 hour. Whisk in cream and vanilla.
  2. Cover and chill overnight.

Make the Strawberry Sauce:

  1. In a saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch. Stir in water until smooth. Stire in strawberries and lemon juice, bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered for about 5 minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally.
  2. Cover and chill overnight.

Make Graham Cracker Mixture (I did this in the morning before I froze the ice cream, but you could do it the day before too):

  1. In a bowl, combine cracker crumbs, sugar and cinnamon. Stir in butter. Pat into an ungreased 15 x 10 x 2 inch baking pan. bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned.
  2. Cool completely on wire rack.
  3. Crumb into large chunks

Put it all together:

  1. Stir ice cream mixture and freeze, in batches, in your ice cream maker according to the directions.
  2. Pour about 1/3 of the frozen ice cream into your storage container, then add a layer of graham cracker crumbs and half the strawberry sauce. Top with another third of ice cream and a second layer of graham cracker crumbs and the last of the strawberry sauce. Top off with the last of the ice cream.
  3. Freeze about two hours to harden before serving.

ENJOY! 🙂

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Super Simple Sunday

Sometimes on Sundays I get really ambitious with food. I pull out all the stops and go for the extra labor intensive, takes all day kind of recipe that makes people kind of scratch their heads and say “why in the world would you take all the time to do that when you can buy it premade at the store?” Sometimes on Sundays I like to go crazy.

And then other times….I don’t. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE being in the kitchen but sometimes my couch and blankie are more appealing than making a huge mess in the kitchen and then cleaning it up. Especially when I have a bit of a cold. Today was one of those Sundays. I still wanted a yummy, home cooked, weekend meal for us tonight, but I didn’t really feel like working real hard at it.

Enter one of my absolute favorite easy-peasy stand by recipes. I’m surprised I’ve blogged this long without this making it in here as I make it pretty frequently! Throw it in the crockpot, turn it on and forget about it.

About ten after 5 or so I asked Eric if he was getting hungry yet. He said he could eat anytime. I went into the kitchen, microwaved up a couple of those Minute rice already cooked brown rice cups (LOVE those things….they are just cooked brown rice, nothing added. It’s perfect rice in 60 seconds, I am addicted to those things!) sauteed up some delish fresh peapods (for me. Eric munched on raw carrots instead) thickened up a bit of the cooking liquid in crockpot to make a quick gravy and called it a day. Total time: about 10 minutes. I yelled to Eric my standard dinner’s ready call: “Let’s Eat!” and I think he was genuinely surprised we were sitting down already. He thought he had more time to tinker around. Ha. I love nights like this!

AMAZING SLOW COOKER PORK TENDERLOIN (Recipe adapted from: allrecipes.com)

  • 1 (1 to 2 pound) pork tenderloin
  • 1 (1 ounce) envelope dry onion soup mix
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup red wine
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Place pork tenderloin in a slow cooker with the contents of the soup packet. Pour water, wine, and soy sauce over the top, turning the pork to coat. Carefully spread garlic over the pork, leaving as much on top of the roast during cooking as possible. Sprinkle with pepper, cover, and cook on low setting for 4 to 6 hours. Serve with cooking liquid on the side as au jus.

Cooks Notes:

  • To thicken the cooking liquid, pour into a saucepan and bring to boil. Mix 2 teaspoons of corn starch to 1 tablespoon of water in a small bowl. Add to boiling liquid. Stir and simmer until slightly thickened.
  • If you are adverse to the onion soup mix, you could probably achieve a similar flavor with dried minced onion and salt to taste. 🙂

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Some Beach. . .

My husband’s nickname for me is House Cat. You know, a lazy old cat that is perfectly content staying home all day long and not moving around a whole lot. Yup, that sounds about right. Ha. Well, except for the lazy part. I don’t consider myself a lazy person in general, but I do daydream about being lazy pretty much all the time. I WANT to be lazy, I would LOVE to be lazy….real life just gets in the way most of the time. Stupid real world…. I’m a wanna-be lazy bum. Heh…

Anyway, he gave me said nickname because I’m what you might consider an indoor girl. He LOVES to be outside, he makes up things to do outside just he can be out there, which to me is just downright nutty. I rarely ever get the urge to be outside. I don’t camp or hike or anything like that and I have no desire too. Two reasons: 1. Outside there are bugs. Lots of them. I don’t want them crawling on me or near me, end of story. 2. How many days a year do we get when it really and truly is comfortable to be outside? Here in the Midwest, not nearly enough as far as I’m concerned. There are some days, of course, and I do enjoy those days, but if it’s too hot or too cold (and it don’t take much for me to be too hot or too cold)….I’ll just stay inside, thank you very much.

Believe it or not, this not a big fan of the outdoors thing I have going on transfers right on over to being at the beach. GASP! You thought everyone loved the beach, right? Sun, sand, surf…all that stuff. Meh. I can take it or leave it. Laying out on the beach all day long is not my idea of a good time. It’s too hot, there’s no shade, and what’s worse than your everyday yard bugs?? Um, how about creepy, crawly, slinky sea creatures. Blah.

It could just be my lack of beach experience. I have been to the beach a grand total of…..wait for it….TWICE in my entire life. Ta-da! To clarify, I’m talking about the ocean here….not family trips to the lake in Northern Wisconsin or to Lake Michigan, salt water only. The first time I was a kid and we took a day trip on our Disney World vacation to go to the beach. It wasn’t a very nice day that day, so I didn’t get a good feel for what it was like. The second time was on our honeymoon. We stayed on Clearwater Beach for a few days. I wandered out into the Gulf up to my knees right when we got there and an hour later ended up covered in an itchy, red, nasty rash everywhere the water touched me. I realized at that moment I was allergic to nature. I spent the rest of our time there by the pool.

Last week my office held a Beach Day potluck to chase away those winter blues. I had NO CLUE what to bring as I was having trouble coming up with something beachy feeling. Had to be easy, had to be something that could sit out most of the day, and had to make enough to share. I decided something with pineapple would have a beachy feel but I couldn’t find anything that appealed to me in my usual recipe sources.

So then I thought…okay, if I’m going to buy a can of pineapple at the store, who makes it? Dole. Okay, awesome. What grocery store brand name doesn’t have an entire section of their website devoted to recipes that use their fabulous products? So I jumped on there and started surfing (surf…get it, get it??!!) around for something easy and yummy. Elaborate recipes with fancy ingredients have their place but the office potluck is not one of them, as far as I’m concerned. I stumbled across a recipe for Pineapple Butterscotch Bars. I was immediately intrigued. On first glance you might think that doesn’t sound like a great combo but the reviews of the recipe were positive, I knew it would take me literally 10 minutes to get a 13×9 inch pan of these in the oven, and frankly, I was tired of looking. I went for it.

Oh my goodness gracious, YUM!! Wow! Sweet, moist, buttery, fruity….mmmmmmm. I honestly could not believe how good these were. I was so pleasantly surprised. I love when I go in with mediocre expectations of recipe and it turns out being better than I expected. They were a huge hit. “Who made the pineapple things?” “These are so good.” That’s what I heard all day long. Oh, it sends my little heart a-flutter. HA!

A couple notes: The original recipe called for nuts, but I omitted them because I try to avoid bringing things that are common allergens into our office because it’s a public building and you never know who is going to wander in and out. I bet chopped nuts of any kind would be a delicious addition though! Macadamia nuts maybe. I’ll for sure add nuts next time, but they are good without them too.

Also, they are pretty cake-like. If you prefer them to be denser, you could probably decrease the amount of baking powder for a more blondie-like consistency. They are good fluffy though too! 🙂

PINEAPPLE BUTTERSCOTCH BARS (Recipe Source: Dole)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 can (20 oz.) DOLE® Crushed Pineapple, well drained
  • 1 cup (6 oz.) butterscotch chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts, toasted (I omitted)
  • Vegetable cooking spray
  • Powdered sugar, garnish (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in small bowl; set aside.
  2. Beat together butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar in large bowl until creamy.  Add eggs and vanilla; beat until blended.  Stir in crushed pineapple.  Stir in flour mixture, butterscotch chips and nuts until blended.
  3. Pour into 13 x 9-inch baking pan sprayed with vegetable cooking spray.
  4. Bake at 350°F., 40 to 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Dust cooled cake with powdered sugar, if desired.  Cut into squares.

ENJOY! 🙂

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When Life Hands you Lemons. . .

Make Chicken Piccata!

Wait, that’s not the right expression, is it? But if life is handing you lemons and ice cold lemonade just doesn’t seem appropriate quite yet because it’s still SNOWING outside, then maybe chicken piccata is a good second choice.

Not that life has been handing me lemons lately or anything. Far from it. The weather is the only lemon I can think of right now. If I had to pick my absolute LEAST favorite month of the entire year, I think March might be it. It is so dreary and damp. It’s cold and it still snows. And if it’s warmed up enough to melt the snow all that’s left behind is a dull, gray, slushy mess. The grass is gray, the trees are gray, the sky is gray. Hell, even the CARS are gray! Ugh. I HATE it. At least in January and February, you are knee-deep in winter and any terrible, cold, snowy weather is expected and you just deal. This is the Midwest after all….nothing about January or February is going to change anytime soon. But then in creeps March, and you get that tiny glimmer of hope that maybe it’s finally over, that spring may finally be here. You even get a couple of those teaser days where it warms up a bit….and then KA-POW! Winter comes back in full force. March is depressing that way. FINALLY in April, you can start seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, baseball season starts, the sun comes out a bit more, toward the end the sturdier trees start to bud a bit, but I always have a tough time getting through March. It just can’t come in like a lion and out like a lamb (an angry, mean lamb that head butts you) fast enough.

Seriously, the people that loathe and complain about winter in the Midwest as much as I do have long since left to make new lives in the Sun Belt somewhere. I’m the only chump that sticks around. Ha. I’ll never leave either, that’s what makes all this bellyaching a complete and total waste of time. Oh well…

ANYWAY, since I’m still in warm winter comfort food mode, I decided to try a super easy recipe for Chicken Piccata I spotted on allrecipes.com, mostly because I already had everything on hand. I’ve said it before, but I love all things lemon. A long time ago, I knew someone who peeled lemons and ate them like oranges. Can you imagine? YOWZA! Now, I don’t love them THAT much, but putting them in just about everything I can think of is probably the next closest thing.

This came out totally delicious. The sauce was so light and flavorful and the chicken was extra juicy. Mmmmm. I made some changes to the original recipe, which are reflected below. I swapped out veggie oil for olive oil (although I kept the butter…live a little on a Sunday night, right?) and doubled the amount of lemon juice and white wine so it would be more saucy. I also added capers because you just can’t do chicken piccata without ‘em as far as I’m concerned. I made pasta the night before (which was a total flop, by the way. Boo!) so I served it up over cooked brown rice instead. Added a salad and some whole grain bread and called it a day. YUM! Eric gobbled it up. Except for the capers, of course, which were pushed off to the side into a neat little pile and then tossed in the trash. Heh. Why am I not surprised?

CHICKEN PICCATA (Recipe Adapted from Allrecipes.com)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/2 cup dried bread crumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon jarred capers, drained
  • 2 lemons – cut into wedges, for garnish (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Flatten chicken to 1/4 inch thickness between plastic wrap or waxed paper. Mix egg and water. Mix bread crumbs, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Coat chicken with flour, dip into egg mixture and coat with bread crumb mixture.
  2. Heat butter or margarine and oil in 12 inch skillet over medium heat. Cook chicken for 8 to 10 minutes, turning once, until juice is no longer pink when centers of thickest pieces are cut. Remove chicken from skillet using tongs; keep warm.
  3. Stir lemon juice, wine and capers into drippings in skillet. Heat to boiling; pour over chicken. Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley, and serve with lemon wedges for garnish.

ENJOY! 🙂

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Retro Fab!

One of my favorite things to do when I go back home to my mom and dad’s is to raid all the old newspaper clippings and handwritten recipe cards my mom has collected over the years. It’s fun to see how recipes have changed (and remained the same, for that matter) as the years have passed. Some of the things in there are things we still enjoy today, some are things I haven’t had in years, and some I don’t think I’ve ever had. The handwritten recipe card is a dying art form. I wish I had the discipline to bring it back. Alas, I’m going to collect recipes in my blog instead. How new millennium of me. 🙂

The last time I was home I stumbled across a real blast from the past that I knew I had to try again – My grandma’s potato chip cookies!! My grandma always seemed to have these around and I always enjoyed them. They are crisp but tender, sweet and salty and totally yummy. I think they are kind of a love it or hate it kind of thing so I encourage you to try them if you are curious!

I changed the recipe to accommodate what I had on hand and I decided to mix in some mini chocolate chips. My grandma usually topped hers with a candied dried cherry, a whole pecan or walnut or sprinkles, but I thought chocolate in every bite would be a nice addition.

As with most handwritten recipes, the directions are pretty sparse, so I went ahead and wrote out how I went about making these.  They turned out great! Eric really enjoyed them and they brought back lots of great memories for me too.

POTATO CHIP COOKIES (Recipe Source: Grandma Evelyn)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 sticks margarine, softened
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened (I used all unsalted butter instead of the margarine because that’s what I had on hand, but you could probably go either way)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 cup crushed potato chips (I used kettle chips for extra crunch!)
  • 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Cream together the margarine/butter, sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer until light and fluffly. Mix in flour and beat until combined. Fold in potato chips and chocolate chips if using.
  3. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten cookies slightly with the bottom of a glass (spray with cooking spray, if needed). Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until the edges turn golden brown. Transfer to wire racks to cool.

Makes about 3 dozen.

ENJOY! 🙂

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California Dreaming?

More like California Begging-for-Mercy!!

What in the world am I talking about? Ha…. Read on, my friends!!

Anybody that’s ever had the pleasure of living crammed into tight quarters with hundreds of strangers in a college dorm probably has some not so fond memories of the dining hall. Lucky for us down at the U of IL, the gag-inducing, horrible, completely and totally inedible meal only appeared about once a week. And for those days there was always cereal….or the the make your waffle or nachos bar….or the ever popular pizza bagel which involved nothing more than a plain bagel (left out all day since breakfast, of course, for that special day old taste) and trip through the condiment line where it could be loaded with sauce, cheese and veggies and then nuked in the microwave for a minute. Bam. Pizza bagel.

Now, there was one menu item that didn’t make us moan and groan and grumble and reach for those bagels that had been sitting out all day. In fact, it actually made us look forward to heading down for dinner — creamy, cheesy, delicious California Medley soup. Mmmmmm….

California Medley was essentially broccoli cheese soup, except that in addition to broccoli it was also loaded with cauliflower and carrots. So.freakin.good.

So where does the begging for mercy part come in? Well, my dear friends, it turns out that California Medley harbored a deep, dark, dirty little secret. Oooooo. It was a really hard secret to keep too, since at least a few dozen of us shared the same….facilities. For that very reason I know for a fact it wasn’t just me who was inflicted, but California Medley TORE YOU UP. Sorry for the TMI but DAMN! Must be the leathal combination of heavy cream, cheese, and gut busting veggies like broccoli, cauliflower and carrots, but about 45 minutes after consuming the deadly delcious concotion you were going to need a potty break. Bad. HA!! California Medley left the entire floor begging for mercy, cursing the dining hall for inflicting such pain on innocent bystanders.

I decided after a semester or so that the deliciousness of California Medley was just not worth the side effects. I had to give it up for good. But I always glanced longingly at the bowls gracing the trays of other brave souls and silently wished I could sneak a taste. I never forgot how good it was.

I decided to see what I could come up with that was reminiscent of the soup’s yumminess without the very unfortunate side effects. I wanted it be something quick that I could throw together after work and hopefully convince Eric to try. He’s not a big soup guy. I decided to stick with the veggie trio of broccoli, cauliflower and carrots, bulk it up with a little whole wheat pasta and toss the entire thing in a cheese sauce that had a lowfat milk base instead of heavy cream. The result — California Medley Pasta Toss! A yummy, meatless meal loaded with cheese and veggies. Of course, it didn’t hold a candle to that delicious UIUC dining hall soup, but it was pretty good. Brought back a lot of good (and bad, I guess) memories. And, I am happy to report, we were completely void of any….emergencies. LOL.

CALIFORNIA MEDLEY PASTA TOSS (Recipe inspiration: the fabulous dorm dining of UIUC and this Rachael Ray recipe from foodnetwork.com)

Sorry about the terrible photo…I was starving by the time it was ready to eat!! I can’t wait for Daylight Savings this weekend! I am willing to sacrifice an hour of sleep for the greater good of my food pics!! Ugh!

  • 1 lb. of whole wheat rotini pasta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 cup fresh broccoli florets, chopped
  • 1 cup cauliflower florets, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 cups milk (I used 1%)
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 3 cups of shredded sharp yellow cheddar
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Heat olive oil in a small skillet, add onion and cook about 5 minutes, add garlic and cook 1 minute more. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Add pasta to salted boiling water and cook until about three quarters of the way done. Add veggies for the last quarter of cooking time. Drain and return to pot.
  3. While the pasta and veggies cook, melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add flour, cayanne and paprika and whisk until well blended. Cook until the mixture bubbles. Add milk and broth, and turn up the heat to bring the mixture to a boil. Cook and stir until thickened, about 5 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and add cheese, stirring until melted. Add mustard, onion/garlic mixture and parsley, and stir to combine. Sesaon liberally with salt and pepper. Pour sauce over pasta and veggies, toss to combine. Serve!

ENJOY! 🙂

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