Sunday, January 13, 2013

Fettuccine Alfredo with Veggies

This recipe was the second one I tried from the 365 days of 30 minute meals. I substituted zucchini in for the asparagus and did not include any brussels sprouts like the original recipe called for. If I were to make this again I would add a little more milk because there was not enough Alfredo sauce to cover all of the pasta. Over all, I would say this was an easy meal to make, but the girls did not like it.

Grade: C+

8 oz dried fettuccine
1/2 cup dried tomatoes (not oil-packed)
4 Tbs of butter
1 Tbs olive oil
1 zucchini
1 1/2 cups broccoli florets
8 fresh mushrooms, sliced
2 Tbs all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups milk
1/2 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese

1. Cook pasta according to package directions, adding dried tomatoes for the last 2 minutes of cooking; drain. Return to saucepan; keep warm.
2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet heat 1 Tbs of the butter and the olive oil over medium heat. Add zucchini, mushrooms, and broccoli florets. Cook about 8 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring frequently. Remove vegetables from skillet; set aside.
3. In the same skillet heat remaining 3 Tbs butter over medium heat until melted. Stir in flour. Cook and stir for 1 minute. Stir in 1 1/4 cups milk. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Stir in 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. Gently stir in cooked pasta and vegetables. If necessary, stir in additional milk to reach desired consistency. Sprinkle with lemon peel and additional Parmesan cheese.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Chicken Pot Pie (30 minute)

     I bought myself a new cookbook with a gift card I got from my parents for Christmas. I was going to get a fancy cookbook, but when I looked through it I could not imagine anyone besides myself eating anything from it, so I decided on Better Homes and Gardens: 365 30-minute meals. Of course it is my goal to try all meals in 2013, but we all know that has about as much chance of happening as the congress unanimously voting on any bill!
     Emily was having a rough day, so I had her look through the cookbook with me and she got to pick out the dinner. After what felt like the 100th instant NO!, she finally picked out the chicken pot pie (I think she heard pie and she thought that was going to be great). And yes you read that correctly- a 30-minute chicken pot pie.
     For the amount of time, it tasted not too bad. I would rather take the time to make an actual pot pie than this shortcut version, but it could be worse. Lucy and Sarah liked it, but Emily and Anna had to have the threat in not having the "brownie-type" dessert to finish their small portion.

Grade: B-

1/2 of a 15-oz package (1 crust) rolled refrigerated unbaked pie crust
1 10.75 oz can condensed cream of onion soup
2 cups low fat milk
1 8-oz package reduced-fat cream cheese
1/2 cup water
1 tsp dried sage, crushed
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
3 cups chopped cooked chicken
1 16-oz package frozen vegetables
1 cup instant white rice

1) Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Let pie crust stand at room temperature for 15 minutes as directed on package. Unroll pie crust onto a large baking sheet. Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut pie crust into strips 1/2 to 1 inch wide. Separate strips slightly. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden.

2) Meanwhile, for filling, in a 4-qt Dutch oven combine soup, milk, cream cheese, the water, sage, and pepper. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until cream cheese melts. Stir in chicken, vegetables, and rice. Bring to boiling, stirring frequently; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, about 10 minutes or until vegetables and rice are tender, stirring occasionally.

3)Transfer filling to a serving dish. Top with pastry strips.

Just like everything else Anna does, she is trying to talk her way out of doing something. 
Emily is not enjoying the dinner she picked out to make!

Not a good  picture, but Lucy did the best!
Sarah ate it better the second night!

Pumpkin Spice Bread

     Well, at the start of Thanksgiving season I was sure I was going to make a lot of Pumpkin things. As it would turn out, I would only end up making two pumpkin rolls and had plenty of canned pumpkin left over in my pantry. I knew I could make pumpkin bread, but I wanted to see if there was any other breads to make with the pumpkin I had. While looking through the Taste of Home's Baking Book, I stumbled on the Pumpkin Spice Bread recipe. I had made it in the past and remembered how much not only myself, but other people enjoyed it.
     I would highly recommend making this quick bread. There are a decent amount of ingredients involved in making the bread, but it is worth it. Also, this makes enough batter for two loaves of bread, so it is well worth the time. One for our house and one for a friends.

Grade: A

3 c sugar
1 c vegetable oil
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 can (15 oz) solid-pack pumpkin
3-1/2 c all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 c water

1) In a large bowl, combine the sugar, oil and eggs. Add pumpkin and mix well. Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, cloves and allspice; add to the pumpkin mixture alternately with water, beating well after each addition.
2) Pour into two greased 9-in x 5-in x 3-in loaf pans Bake at 350 degrees for 60-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.