Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Baked Lemon Pasta

Picture and recipe courtesy of The Pioneer Woman Cooks!
  • 1 pound Thin Spaghetti
  • 4 Tablespoons Salted Butter
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 whole Lemon, Juiced And Zested
  • 2 cups Sour Cream
  • ½ teaspoons Kosher Salt, Or More To Taste
  • Plenty Of Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • Flat-leaf Parsley, Chopped
  • Extra Lemon Juice
Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook spaghetti until al dente.

In a skillet, melt butter with olive oil over LOW HEAT. When butter is melted, add minced garlic. Squeeze lemon juice into the pan. Turn off heat.

Add sour cream and stir mixture together. Add lemon zest and salt. Taste, then add more salt if necessary. Pour mixture over drained spaghetti and stir together, then pour spaghetti into an oven safe dish.

*This is where I added some chicken. The original recipe didn't call for this, but I felt it needed some protein!

Bake, covered, for 15 minutes. Then remove foil and bake for an additional 7 to 10 minutes. (Don’t bake too long or the pasta will dry out.)

When you remove it from the oven, squeeze a little more lemon juice over the top. Top generously with Parmesan cheese, then chopped parsley. Give it a final squeeze of lemon juice at the end.

Serve with crusty French bread and a simple green salad.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Beef and Broccoli

I got this recipe from my friend Lisa! It is super super yummy and actually quite easy! Enjoy!

1 pound top round beef steak
1/4 c soy sauce
2 Tbsp sugar
1/4 c apple juice
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1 cup water
2 c fresh broccoli
4 Tbsp oil
2-3 cloves garlic
2 tsp sesame oil

Cut beef steak into thin strips, set aside. Combine soy sauce, sugar, water, juice, and cornstarch in small bowl and set aside. In large skillet stir fry broccoli with 2 Tbsp oil for about 2-3 minutes. Do not overcook. Set broccoli aside in a dish. Pour remaining oil into skillet and add beef steak and cook until well browned on all sides. Add garlic and cook until fragrant but not more than 1 min. Pour soy sauce mixture over meat and cook until slightly thickened. Stir in sesame oil. Remove from heat. Stir in broccoli serve over rice.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Rainbow Cupcakes

I got this from Family Fun after my friend, Jessica, blogged about doing it with her kiddos! So much fun! Enjoy!

  • White cake mix (we used an 18-1/4-ounce box)
  • Food coloring (red, blue, green, and yellow)
  • Baking cups
  • Whipped cream (optional)
  1. Prepare your favorite white cake mix, then divide the batter evenly among six small bowls. Following the chart below, dye each bowl of batter a rainbow color.

    Purple 9 red and 6 blue drops
    Blue 12 drops
    Green 12 drops
    Yellow 12 drops
    Orange 12 yellow and 4 red drops
    Red 18 drops

  2. Line 16 muffin pan wells with baking cups. Evenly distribute the purple batter among the cups, then the blue, and so on, following the order shown. As you go, gently spread each layer of batter with the back of a spoon to cover the color underneath.

  3. Bake the cupcakes according to your recipe directions. Before serving, remove the paper wrapping, and if you like, top each cupcake with a whipped-cream cloud.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Update 8/2011 - I just finished my 2nd year of making Applesauce, and this year the cooking time was much longer..  In 2010 I used Granny Smith apples and in 2011 I used Gala apples.  So, just note that you may need to adjust the cooking time, depending on what type of apple you are using.

Also, making applesauce is really hard to explain, because it really just depends on your preference of taste and consistency.  So, just have a little faith in yourself and have some fun!

My batches consist of:

14-20 Apples (depending on the apples size) (cored/peeled/sliced)
Approx 4 cups water (just depends on how chunky you like it)
1./2 to 1 cup sugar (How sweet do you want it?)
1 tsp cinnamon

I like my applesauce a little chunky vs pureed. So, if you like it not as chunky then you will just want to add a little bit more water.  Just pay attention to how much you use on your first batch and you'll be able to make adjustments to what you like.

First off, get your jars in the dishwasher early enough that they are clean and hot by the time you need to fill them. My dishwasher has about a 2 hour wash cycle, so I got them loaded and going about 45 minutes before I got started. Also, get your water bath canner filled with water and a small pot to boil the lids in.

Then I used my new Apple Corer/Peeler/Slicer to prepare my apples. If you don't have one of these you can do it by hand, but it will take you forever. I was able to just stick them right in the pot on the stove without having put them in cold water to wait while I finish them all. If you do prepare them by hand then you will want to get a large bowl of cold water along with some fruit fresh to keep the apples from browning while you get them all prepared.

I let the apples boil at at a med-high heat in the 4 cups of water.  The Granny Smith apples boiled much faster.  They only boiled about 30 minutes per batch.  The Gala apples took more like 50 minutes.  The Granny Smith apples broke down much easier.  They were nearly the consistency that I wanted at the end of the 30 minutes.  I barely had to use the potato masher.  The Gala apples were cooked, but it would have taken me forever to get it the Consistency I wanted by hand.  So, I pulled out my food processor!  Just make sure all the apples are soft and cooked before you finished the boiling process!.  Then add the 1/2 cup to 1 cup sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon and mix.

Get your water bath canner water boiling while your apples cook. Also, get the lids in some water boiling in a small sauce pan.

I then filled the jars. It is really nice if you have a canner funnel so the edges of your can don't get messy. I pretty much always just take a rag and wipe of the rim to make sure it is clean though.

I didn't take a picture of them in the water bath canner, but I canned them for about 25 minutes. Allow them to cool and make sure all the lids pop!

Ta-da applesauce! Like I said I got 37 pints out of my box of apples and it is super yummy!