babypuree

from all natural baby food to all yummy table food


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Spring Loving Pasta

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This was absolutely excellent!

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 clove Minced Garlic
1 boneless skinless Chicken breast, cut in bite size pieces
1 Zucchini, cut in chunks
1 Summer Squash, cut in chunks
6 Kalamata Olives, diced
Bowtie Pasta, I used half of a large bag
Sauce, any kind
Shredded Cheese (I used mozzarella), enough to cover top of dish
Basil

Saute garlic in olive oil for 1-2 minutes.
Add chicken (salt and pepper to taste)
Add zucchini and squash (salt and pepper to taste)
Add kalamata olives

Let that cook for a couple of minutes until chicken is mostly cooked through and not letting the vegetables get too soft. I like mine to retain some crispness.

Boil the pasta according to package instructions, but cutting boiling time a minute or two short.

Toss pasta with vegetables
Put in a baking dish
Pour in sauce of your choice. I used about half a jar of the sauce pictured above.
Cover with shredded cheese
Sprinkle basil on top

Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, not letting your cheese get too brown


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Green Chile Chicken Lasagna

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I came across a recipe for Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Stack and it sounded really good, but I had some fresh sheets of lasagna pasta that I needed to use so I made it into lasagna by subbing my noodles for the soft tortillas. It turned out quite tasty.

  • 2 tbs butter
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 2 tbs flour
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 7 oz green enchilada sauce (I used salsa verde from Trader Joe’s)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

 

  • Lasagna noodles (I used 3 full sheets to fit into a 9/13 baking dish)
  • 2-3 cups cooked, shredded, chicken (you could even use canned chicken or a rotisserie chicken to make it easier)
  • 4 oz shredded cheddar cheese
  • 4 oz shredded monterey jack cheese

For topping we mixed the following together: (all optional)

  • Diced tomato
  • Diced avocado
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Juice of 1 lime
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. For the sauce, in a large nonstick skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens and starts to turn translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the onions and stir well. Cook for 1 minute, stirring. Slowly whisk in the chicken broth and milk. As you whisk and the mixture cooks, the flour will get less lumpy around the onions and the mixture will become smooth. Cook over medium heat until the mixture is bubbling and has thickened, about 4-5 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the enchilada sauce (or salsa verde) and sour cream.
  3. To assemble, lightly grease a baking dish. Here’s how it will be assembled: one layer lasagna noodles, sauce, chicken cheese; one layer of lasagna noodles, sauce, chicken, cheese; one layer of lasagna noodles, sauce chicken cheese; one layer lasagna noodles, sauce, chicken, cheese; one layer lasagna noodles, remaining sauce and cheese. (Basically it’s five layers of nearly the same thing except the final layer doesn’t get any chicken.)
  4. Bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes.
  5. Let the lasagna rest for 10 minutes before serving. Cut and garnish with tomatoes, avocado, cilantro and lime wedges, if desired.


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Picadillo – Cuban Style Hash

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Picadillo is Cuban-style hash. It’s ground beef with tomato, green pepper, green olives and plenty of garlic. I love ropa vieja at Havana Rumba, a local Louisville restaurant, and this recipe is pretty similar to that. I love it!

See original recipe at www.icuban.com My version below.

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes 
Yield: 8 servings

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups onion, diced
  • 2 cups green pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil for sautéing
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 teaspoon cumin, ground
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 cup green olives, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt and black pepper (to taste)

*I added 1/2 cup of chopped up mushrooms

Sauté onion, mushroom, and green pepper in olive oil in a large frying pan. Sauté about 5 minutes, until the onion is softened, then add the garlic and ground beef.

Mash the veggies into the sautéing meat and cook until the meat is browned, about 5 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, cumin, cinnamon, and oregano. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes.

Add olives and simmer 5 minutes longer. Salt and pepper to taste.

Serve hot over white rice; include fresh Tostones — Fried Green Plantain for a special treat that will engender the gratitude of small children!

Note: Many cooks like to make picadillo with leftover beef roast, shredded — a great way to use up the meat from Sunday dinner.


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Dinner Party

Outside of Ryan and Beckett’s birthday parties, we do not host much so I was excited for the opportunity to put together an intimate dinner party.

Menu:

  • Sangria, Red Wine, Sparkling Water
  • Chips with Guacamole, White Queso, Salsa
  • Pretzel Bread
  • Braised Beef
  • Rack of Lamb
  • Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus
  • Tortellini Pasta Salad
  • Derby Pie Bars and Lemon Bars

*Recipes at Bottom

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Sangria:

Made the good old fashioned Hooters way

  • Fill pitcher with ice
  • 1 bottle of red wine
  • Fill up the rest of the way with equal parts Sprite and Mountain Dew and a splash of Pink Lemonade for fun
  • 2 tbs sugar
  • Squeeze in juice of 1/2 lime, 1/2 lemon, 1/2 orange
  • Slice remaining halves of fruit and add to pitcher to make it pretty and stir

Guacamole:

  • 2 tbs finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tsp finely chopped yellow onions
  • 2 tsp minced jalapeno or serrano chilies
  • salt
  • 2 large ripe avocadoes, peeled and seeded
  • 2 tbs finely chopped plum tomato (1 small tomato)
  • 2 tsp fresh squeezed lime juice

The pretzel bread is from Trader Joe’s and it is delicious. All I did was stick it in an oven at 35o degrees for a few minutes to warm it up.

Braised Beef Roast:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ree-drummond/braised-beef-brisket.html

I followed the recipe above and edited it to fit the right amount of meat that I had purchased.

Roasted Rack of Lamb:

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/roasted-rack-of-lamb/

Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus:

  • Asparagus
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Lemon Juice
  • Garlic
  • Prosciutto

Toss one bunch of asparagus in olive oil, salt, pepper, a small amount of lemon juice, and minced garlic. This should be just enough to be lightly coated.

Bake in oven at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.

Let the asparagus cool completely and then wrap in slices of prosciutto.

Tortellini Pasta Salad:

  • Peas
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1/2 lb of Tortellini
  • 1 cup of cubed Salami
  • 1 cup of Shredded Carrots
  • 1/2 cup of chopped Roasted Red Peppers
  • 1/3 cup of Olive Oil
  • 2 tbs White Wine Vinegar
  • 1 shallot minced

Boil the tortellini according to package instructions. I used a prosciutto filled tortellini, but you could use whatever you like.

Drain tortellini and add cubed salami, shredded carrots, peas, and chopped roasted red pepper.

Mix olive oil, white wine vinegar, minced shallot, and salt and pepper in separate mixing bowl.

Toss the salad in your dressing and let it chill in the refrigerator for about 3 hours.

Derby Pie Bars: 

These are amazing!

http://www.thekitchn.com/entertaining-recipe-derby-pie-145686

And there you have it! A dinner party in the books.


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Chicken Fettuccine

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This recipe is supposed to taste similar to the Knorr Pasta Sides, but homemade and much better.

You will need:

  • 8 oz fettuccine
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 1 carrot, minced
  • 1 celery stalk, minced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tbs flour
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp parsley
  • chicken

I seasoned some boneless, skinless chicken breasts with salt, pepper, and Lawry’s before slicing it up to put on top of my fettuccine. You could easily leave this off if you just want a side dish.

Break the fettuccine noodles and cook according to package instructions.

Melt butter in a sauce pan or skillet and add the carrots, celery, and shallot. Season that with some salt and pepper. Let these vegetables cook for a few minutes on medium heat.

Add flour and stir. Add chicken broth and stir. Add milk and stir.

Continue to cook on low until it thickens. Add in parsley and any additional salt and pepper, to taste.

Drain fettuccine and add to your sauce and stir.

Voila! Easy enough :)


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Parmesan Lemon Smashed Potatoes

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This is a Weight Watchers recipe. Each large serving is only 5 points!

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs of fingerling potatoes or any small potato
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley, minced
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil on the stove and let simmer until potatoes are cooked through, about 15 min.
  3. Drain potatoes and pat dry.
  4. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and mist with nonfat cooking spray. Evenly place all potatoes onto baking sheet, and then using the flat end of a meat mallet, or the bottom of a cup, gently smash each potato.
  5. Lightly mist potatoes with an olive oil mister, and then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in oven and roast for about 20-30 minutes, using tongs to flip them over once about halfway through.
  6. While potatoes are cooking, combine lemon zest, parsley, garlic, and Parmesan in a small bowl.
  7. When potatoes are done cooking, toss them in a large bowl with the lemon and Parmesan mixture. Serve immediately.
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