Posts Tagged ‘shallot’
With my dissertation behind me and only 21 days until I graduate and get hooded for my Ph.D. you’d think I would be care-free and excited. Not so much, more like the same old stress and anxious. I am still working on a couple last experiments per reviewers comments on my paper, job hunting, and worrying about what I am going to do if I don’t have a job lined up by the end of January when my lease runs out. With any luck that last item won’t become a reality, but in the meantime it’s a good time for some comfort food.
Stuffed shells are great comfort food. Those big shells hug in their cheesy goodness of a filling while being wrapped up in a warm blanket of sauce. Sounds like the life, doesn’t it? This sauce happens to be extra special because it is a pumpkin alfredo sauce with sage. Now wait, don’t get discouraged thinking you have to make your own alfredo sauce (but you can if you want). This recipe uses a premade jar of alfredo mixed up with pumpkin puree and a couple other flavor additions to create a great fall pasta dish.
One year ago: Individual Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal
Two years ago: Thanksgiving Recipe Roundup
This week I took time off from bench work in the lab to start writing my dissertation, which is also why I have been commenting and tweeting less this week. I have two chapters nearly finished already because they are also two papers I am going to publish soon, but the intro required some serious attention so that’s what I am giving it. Of course that doesn’t stop me from enjoying a good meal during breaks especially when it is something quick and easy like this chicken. Feast your eyes upon this while I go write more jargon about Candida albicans drug resistance.
It’s no secret that I am not a fan of summer weather in Memphis. You know, the season that starts in May and ends in October? Don’t be jealous unless you like 90+ temps, excessive humidity, and sweating at 7 am walking to your car. But for a few short weeks every year we get a small dose of spring. Granted it’s already hitting the high 80s some days so it’s not exactly spring weather, but this is the closest thing to spring I get before the inferno begins. During this time I drive everywhere with my car windows down while blasting music and singing at the top of my lungs (right now it’s Paramore’s new album). I freaking love spring and look forward to moving to a place where it lasts more than 2 weeks.
With the coming of heat waves and high electricity bills keeping it out of my 3rd floor apartment, recipes that require short cook times become more and more appealing. This recipes happens to be the fastest way to cook pizza ever. The prep time for making the dough and toppings is not short, but the actual cooking of the pizza is a whopping 2.5 minutes. Since you’ll end up with an extra ball of dough, throw easier toppings onto it and you will have a second pizza in under 5 minutes!
One year ago: Gnocchi with Roasted Red Pepper Cream Sauce
I am currently battling some sort of cold. I call in sick to work but yesterday was one of those days. I’ve slept over 12 hours the past two days and I’m still not feeling any better today. However, being sick is kind of boring, especially without the internet, so I actually did run into work quick to get some things to work on at home (and to post this).
Sometimes I don’t read ingredient lists properly. I either screw up writing down the correct amount needed or the ingredient itself. Take this recipe for example: I bought orzo instead of arborio rice. So viola I made orzo intead of risotto, and it still tasted great. The fried sage and balsamic drizzle are must haves for this dish. Never thought that fried sage would be so wonderful. They turn into crispy little flavor wonders.
Pass the Cook Book Club returns with round two! This month Kita chose Guy Fieri’s cook book titled Guy Fieri Food: Cookin’ It, Livin’ It, Lovin’ It. From the recipe selection, I decided to make his Asian Fried Quinoa. I’ve used quinoa in many different dishes, so I was excited to see how it would turn out as a substitute in fried rice. Obviously the texture was much different from rice, but the flavors were spot on and the mix of vegetables was wonderful (it was my first experience with baby bok choy as well). This dish was a great healthier alternative to traditional fried rice but it’s not a permanent substitution. Sometimes a girl just needs some rice!
Before I begin, let me preface today’s post by saying I 100% support the motivation of those people who have newly joined a gym and are actually using it and attending group fitness classes. I will always cheer on any person who makes a commitment to their health and well being. That being said…
At the beginning of each new year there is a large influx of new members to gyms everywhere, and the one at which I am a member is no exception. Parking spots have become a little harder to find, but who cares if I have to park further because I’m there to work out, what’s a few extra steps? Upon entering the gym, the cardio and weight lifting areas also have more people utilizing the space, but I purposely joined this gigantic Mecca because even with the influx there are still open machines here and there most of the time. If not there is a short wait.
However, I start to get annoyed when I have to show up at least 30 minutes early to the group fitness classes in order to get in. Thankfully (being a graduate student working in a lab), my schedule is flexible to an extent which allows me to leave a little earlier in order to stake a claim on a bike/mat/etc. But sometimes even getting there 30 minutes ahead of time isn’t enough and that’s when I get really annoyed. When that happens I try to make the best of it and use one of the ellipticals that may be open on the cardio floor instead. But it’s just not the same when no one is in front of you saying “FASTER”, “MORE RESISTANCE”, etc.
Anyway like I said in the beginning, I could never be mad at anyone who is trying to do the same thing as me. So hop on that spin bike and afterwards, make these awesome stuffed shells for dinner! Cause that’s what I would do . Serves with roasted brussels sprouts.
One year ago: Peanut Butter Fudge Brownie Bricks
Other than pumpkin, I think butternut squash may be my favorite type of squash. But for some reason I only think to cook with it during the winter and the same with pumpkin during the fall. To solve this problem, I decided to buy more butternut squash than I needed for this recipe, and saved the remaining peeled and cubed pieces in my freezer. Muwahaha! Now to just remember it is there to use later. That may be the bigger problem because if you saw how stuffed my freezer was year-round, you’d understand. “How long has that homemade ice cream been in here?? And what flavor is it? ::sniff::” Seriously happened. Also discovered frozen boxes of Girl Scout cookies the other day. How do you forget about those? Oh yea, they were blocked by the 10 packages of butter I stocked up on when it went on sale. Serious food blogger problems in my fridge.
But I digress, let’s focus on unfrozen food such as this pasta. The butternut squash is pureed to function as the sauce itself, and what a fantastic idea! It’s complimented very nicely with the spicy sausage and the winter-ific sage. And don’t forget the spinach to finish off this healthy meal. But I decided to curb that a little by serving it with pull apart garlic bread. Mmm garlicky carbs.
And a Happy Birthday shout-out to my big brother!! Happy 33rd!
One year ago: Blizzard Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Cookies
Even though I am super pumped that the holidays are upon us, I cannot believe how fast they crept up. Like Kita of Pass the Sushi, I had a bunch of other fall-ish/Thanksgiving recipes I wanted to make and share with you before Thursday next week, but guess I’ll have to stow them away until next year. Although I definitely have covered sweet potatoes this season, I haven’t posted any butternut squash recipes and only a few pumpkin.
To make up for the imbalance I have a yummy pumpkin alfredo for you. It’s even good for you! The best thing about making alfredo guiltless is actually the lack of leftover heavy cream in my fridge. Every time a recipe calls for heavy cream I end up with half a carton that ends up going bad before I find reason to use it again. I always say I am going to whip up homemade butter and freeze it, but it never happens. Luckily I always have milk and cream cheese, and those are two ingredients I cannot keep enough of stocked.
One year ago: Butternut Squash Lasagna
After admiring many recipes on myassigned blog for the Secret Recipe Club this month, Bewitching Kitchen, I chose this recipe because it uses Meyer lemons since I had yet to try them for myself. However, that task remains to be completed. I am not convinced they exist since they are impossible to find where I live. I’ve been told that they are typically only available in the January/February months, but that did not stop me in my unsuccessful hunt of every grocery store in Memphis. Therefore, this dish was made with just regular lemons. One day, Meyer lemon, you will be mine.
But as luck would have it, this dish was quite wonderful with just a common lemon. I am not sure what it would’ve tasted like otherwise, but the lemon flavor along with the zucchini and ricotta were perfect together. And as Sally suggested, I was not shy with my addition of freshly ground pepper. In case you didn’t know lemon and pepper get along great.
I picked up Brady from the vet yesterday and was none too pleased to be stuffed back into his cat carrier, but upon his release back home he was happy as a clam! I was sent home with two weeks worth of antibiotics and hopefully it will be smooth sailing after that. Definitely do not like that I will be leaving town again soon, but he will have a good cat-sitter who has been given advanced approval to take him to the vet at the first sign of any new flare-ups. But for now, hooray happy kitty! Totally enjoyed reading on the couch with him snuggled up next to me again last night.
Now that all is well let’s talk about dinner. I am guilty of being subscribed to several cooking magazines, yet rarely do I cook from them. I will fold over pages and drool over everything in sight but for some reason I easily forget even the most tantalizing images. I have this problem with many of the amazing cookbooks I own as well. Although while we are at it, I probably only ever make a fraction of the number of recipes I bookmark online. Alas.
Thankfully for me, I managed to make this stir-fry from a recent issue of Cooking Light. This meal satisfies the taste buds with all the great flavors going on. A spicy basil sauce coats the chicken which is served with sautéed snow peas and peppers and brown rice with sesame seeds. But if you are looking to cut back on time, you can use instant brown rice and some steamed vegetables instead. The chicken holds the spotlight anyway.