Friday, July 1, 2011

Off for a few days

Well, I missed posting yesterday, due to my son's t-ball game, & now will be off, without internet access until Monday.  I hope everyone has a fun & safe 4th of July!  I will return on the 5th - until then, enjoy all the great picnic & barbecue foods!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Pasta with a garlic butter sauce

When it's summer time, the last thing you want to do is heat up your kitchen for any length of time.  That's why today's dish is perfect.  It's quick and simple, but an awesome side-dish for almost any meal.  Here's what you need:

1 box of Mini Penne pasta (or other sturdy but short cook-time pasta)
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons dried onion
1/2 stick unsalted butter (reserving 2 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon chicken bouillon granules
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed*
1/4 teaspoon dried fennel seed, crushed*
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes*
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Lawry's seasoning salt & coarse ground black pepper to taste

Bring pot of water to boil, and add a pinch of the crushed rosemary, fennel & red pepper flakes, as well as the chicken bouillon granules.  Add pasta & cook 1 minute less than the minimum cooking time.  Meanwhile, melt butter, except for reserved amount, in deep saute pan.  (I prefer a cast-iron dutch oven.)  Add garlic, dried onion, crushed rosemary, fennel & red pepper flakes.  Saute over low heat.  When timer goes off for pasta, take 2 cups of the pasta water and add to your butter & garlic mixture, turning up to medium-high heat.  Drain pasta & add into saute pan, which should now be boiling.  Cook, stirring frequently, until the pasta absorbs most of the water & sauce, about 2 minutes.  Turn heat down to low, and add reserved butter, parmesan, Lawry's & black pepper.  Stir well, until butter has melted, and tightened the sauce.  Taste & adjust seasonings if necessary.  Enjoy!

*Note:  If you have a mortar & pestle, it is the best way to crush these ingredients.  If not, you can grind in a mini food chopper or put in the palm of your hand & crush with your thumb.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

So, this is the beginning.....

of what I hope will be a beautiful friendship.  Okay, okay, so a little corny, I admit, but give me a break, this is my first blog.
   Well, that aside, what I hope to accomplish with this blog is to put out a daily recipe.  Sometimes easy & quick-fixes, others might be more involved, depending on what I'm in the mood to cook.  I'll also throw out some cooking-related tips, tricks & suggestions, as I think of them.  And, lastly, I hope to encourage others to share their recipes, tips & comments about prior postings.
   Today's dish is all about summer, as well as a quick and easy dessert:  Rhubarb Custard Cake.  So, simple, but a light and wonderful treat that will have you wishing for rhubarb year-round!

Here's what you need:
1 cup of rhubarb*
1/4 cup sugar
1 yellow or white cake mix (and the ingredients needed to make the cake)
1 cup heavy cream

Preheat the oven according to cake mix directions.  Toss rhubarb with the sugar, and spread evenly in a 9 x 13 greased, cake pan.  Mix cake according to package directions.  Spread over the rhubarb.  Pour cream over the top of cake mixture, but DO NOT STIR.  Bake according to the directions, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of cake comes out clean.  Let cake cool before serving.  All of the cream will have sunk to the bottom, causing a yummy rhubarb custard!  Top with whipped cream, either fresh or store-bought.  Enjoy!  And, don't forget to refrigerate all leftovers!

*For an added twist of taste, you can substitute some of the rhubarb with strawberries, peaches, apples - let your taste buds wander!