Posts Tagged ‘pesto’
Summer nights are coming to an end. Get ready for cooler temperatures with this hearty slow cooker minestrone soup.
While I like to use my slow cooker year round, now is the time of year when slow cookers typically are used most. Not only has school started for those of you who are students or have kids but the temperatures are starting to decline. As such, the demand for easy weeknight dinners has increased and warm soups/strews are becoming more appealing. I may no longer be a student and do not have kids, but I can still appreciate a comforting soup on a cool night (whenever those decide to get here in TN).
Red Gold was nice enough to send me some of their tomatoes to play around with in my slow cooker. I figured since we are on the verge of summer and fall why not make a soup that takes advantage of the remaining summer produce? This minestrone is almost like the kitchen sink of soups, made with cannellini beans, onion, carrot, celery, zucchini, spinach, rosemary, pesto, and a can of Red Gold’s petite diced tomatoes with garlic and olive oil. Just wait until those aromas smack you in the face upon arriving home after it cooked all day, you’ll want to dive right in there.
I also happen to have a Red Gold Apron to giveaway to one reader. To enter use the Rafflecopter at the end of this post and answer the prompt in the comments section. But wait, there’s more!
Red Gold is hosting a “Red Gold 2-a-day Crock-Pot Give-a-way” running from today September 17 through October 8 on their Facebook page. As the promotion title suggests, they will be giving away two Red Gold branded Crock-Pots every day during for three weeks. Click over to their Facebook page to enter: https://www.facebook.com/RedGold.
One year ago: Pumpkin Spice Pizzas
Oven-fried chicken with prosciutto, arugula and a guiltless pesto-asiago cream sauce aka a lighter version of the popular dish “Chicken Bellagio”.
Yesterday’s interview for an adjunct teaching position went very well. In fact they were quite impressed with me! The down-side is that they may only have one class for me to teach in the upcoming term (which translates to a small paycheck). But they might have more next term which starts in December, so getting my foot in the door now could pay off. I have lots to think about and if you know me at all you are aware of my very pensive mind. Which is a nice way of saying I think too darn much, especially when it involved life decisions.
In an effort to not over-think things let’s soothe the mind, body, and soul with some comfort food that’s been lightened up. I first had Chicken Bellagio at an Italian restaurant in Rochester, NY but apparently it is also a very popular dish at the Cheesecake Factory. Either way, after experiencing it I decided I needed to make a homemade version that is slightly healthier. The chicken is oven-fried and served over whole wheat pasta tossed in a light pesto-asiago cream sauce with prosciutto. Top it off with some fresh arugula and it’s a sight for sore eyes!
One year ago: Jalapeno Cheddar Chicken Burgers with Guacamole
This quick and flavorful dip is perfect for crackers or any of your favorite vegetables. Feta, cream cheese, Greek yogurt, and pesto are blended together and topped with roasted red pepper.
Yesterday was the grand opening ceremony for the new pickleball courts. There was music, hot dogs, cookies, lemonade, ice cream, clowns and a lot of pickleballs flying around. But beforehand I played pickleball on the old courts and actually some tennis too! It had been a very long time since I last played tennis and it was completely disorienting. I felt like a miniature person because pickleball really is a miniature version of tennis – everything felt huge. Tennis courts are much bigger, the net is a little higher, the racket is bigger than a paddle, and tennis balls bounce a lot higher than pickleballs. Of course the worst part was realizing I am no longer as good as I was in highschool and college. Apparently not playing for a few years will have that effect, who knew? I wonder if I can keep up with switching back and forth between the two sports though. May be difficult if only for time constraints.
If you couldn’t tell I am not having a hard time enjoying all this time off post-grad school. I did start working part time at the gym to help pay the bills but otherwise I am still living the retired life. Another perk of this situation is all the opportunities to cook. If I am not cooking dinner for my parents, I am whipping up a dessert or appetizer for their friends who come over for various game-nights. Since healthy options are always welcomed with this crowd I dished out this feta dip served with veggies.
Try out these Caprese salad bagel bites at your next gathering. Mini bagels are stacked with pesto, fresh mozzarella, and a slice of tomato, then baked, and finished off with a drizzle of balsamic glaze.
I recently told you about how I am working on bagel bite ideas for the cafe my friends are opening called Table Top Board Game Cafe (soon to be in West Cleveland, OH). Today I am sharing my second creation – Caprese Salad Bagel Bites. It may not be the most unheard of idea, but it certainly is delicious. I had to make them twice because I ate them too fast before ensuring I got a good photo.
If a leprechaun ordered a pizza, this is what it would look like. Green spinach crust, pesto, mozzarella, goat cheese, and four-leaf clover bell peppers.
St. Patrick’s Day is a whirlwind of corned beef, rainbows, green food, and Guinness. This recipe is no exception from that list, with a green spinach pizza crust, topped with green basil pesto, mozzarella and goat cheese, followed by green and yellow bell peppers cut to look like four-leaf clovers. I actually tried to find green cheese but decided the white was a nice contrast for the appeal factor.
Using half the spinach pizza dough, this recipe makes one medium pizza. If you want to use it all, make a larger pizza or two medium ones but make sure to double your toppings. Or you could make dinner rolls with the other half. How about cheese stuffed spinach dinner rolls?
In other news my pizza stone and peel are just big enough to make a 13-inch pizza (therefore making this one medium pizza). Although I do have a 16-inch pizza pan, I am now in the market for a 16-inch or larger pizza stone and peel. Because pizza stones rock. If you don’t already own one I strongly suggest adding it to your wishlist. Assuming you like to make homemade pizza on a regular basis.
My cat Brady lost his mind upon seeing me yesterday. My parents said they had only caught sparse glimpses of him since they released him into the basement a week ago, but the second I opened the door he came flying. This cat knows the sound of my footsteps, it’s crazy. Now that he knows I’m here he meows at the basement door until I come to hang out, which means many posts will be written down here (this one included) with him purring loudly at my side. Such an attention whore. I just hope he doesn’t meow too long at bedtime or else I’ll end up sleeping down here on an air mattress.
I love having homemade pesto in the freezer. The freshness of homemade basil year round! I actually made and photographed this almost a year ago, which is very evident to me now that I’ve been enjoying a fancy camera and paying more attention to lighting (I’m digging into the bottom of the barrel because I haven’t been in the kitchen with the move). But I digress. These little lasagna stacks are made easy by using wonton wrappers instead of traditional lasagna noodles and you can layer whatever you want between them. I used alternating layers of pesto and sausage marinara.
I’m at it again, mixing Greek yogurt into places where it doesn’t belong. Or maybe I’m just uncovering places where it does belong? This time I made gnocchi and they turned out great! It didn’t hurt that I tossed them in my homemade pesto with crushed red pepper (I have a serious weakness for fresh pesto). But whatever sauce of choice you use, these gnocchi will happily join the party.
In other news, I have submitted my second first author paper to be published! Hopefully this one will go through easier than the first one (which was conditionally accepted with the final revision is to be submitted soon). You cannot PubMed me just yet but I will let you know as promised. Once one of these babies goes to print, it will definitely strengthen my CV for this whole job hunt thing.
Two years ago: Cajun Chicken Alfredo Pizza
It’s official, my cold-resistant Northern-raised skin has grown weak and I am already tired of temperature below 40. It doesn’t help that our office at lab is below 70 every day. I actually put my gloves on (winter gloves, not lab gloves) to work at my desk yesterday. Yet on the other end of the spectrum I still cannot handle high humidity and heat, resulting in a narrower range of tolerable temperatures. Southern California weather is looking mighty appealing.
If the temperatures refuse to keep me warm, them I will just warm myself up from the inside with yummy food. Stephanie and I recently cooked two meals together so that we could have two different kinds of leftovers to eat for lunches or dinners. She made a meatballs with a great pork sausage marinara sauce and I made stuffed shells. Remember the Chicken Pesto Lasagna Rolls? These stuffed shells reminded me of those lasagna rolls stuffed into a different pasta shape, being just as flavorful and comforting.
One year ago: Sugar Cookie Spoons for Hot Cocoa
Did anyone happen to watch the OSU-Michigan and Alabama-Auburn games this weekend? Talk about intense! Rivalry games are always exciting but those two games kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time. Not only did we just barely hold off Michigan to win in the last minute, but Auburn took over Alabama with only 1 second! Guess who’s ranked #2 in the country now!? I’ll give you a hint – I am currently investigating tickets for the National Championship Game. Eeee!!! I am trying not to get ahead of myself as we still have to tackle Michigan State for the Conference Championship this weekend. Excited!! But I digress…
I rarely whip up homemade bread products but lately I’m a human bread machine. Outside of the normal occurrence of pizza dough, in the past few weeks I’ve made gluten-free corn bread muffins, peanut butter cinnamon rolls, Greek yogurt-rosemary rolls, and cranberry-walnut oat bread. Continuing this trend I made a loaf of Italian bread and even braided it so it looked fancy, then took it a step further and made garlic bread out of it. With a little bit of pesto mixed into the garlic mixture, it was as good as it gets. I failed to take a picture of the finished masterpiece, but trust you know what garlic bread looks like!
One year ago: White Chocolate Cranberry Shortbread Cookies
Two years ago: Cauliflower Pizza Crust
Every day is a battle to actually prepare a meal at dinnertime for myself instead of opening a blue box of mac and cheese or swinging by Taco Bell. I am actually impressed by only caving once thus far. Oddly enough I spruced up that blue box by topping it off with some lentil soup and fried okra. That is what happens when you are hungry and rummage through the pantry and freezer for random items. Oddly enough it was quite delicious and I may have to do it again the next time I cave.
But on the days I do manage to cook it is rarely anything that takes more than 30 minutes of preparation. And yes, this recipe today falls into the category. It may look fancy and difficult but the hardest part is slicing the eggplant, unless you’re smart and pull out your mandoline (I own one but always forget). The next hardest part? Not eating the entire pan by yourself in one sitting. The creamy pesto was freaking amazing and I wanted to bathe in it.