Monday, February 22, 2010

My Take on Chicken Gargonzola Pasta



It's pretty easy and oh so tasty. The flavor of the sharp Gorgonzola mixed with the flavors of prosciutto, asparagus, and cream makes for a lovely dish.

Ingredients:
2-3 grilled and diced chicken breasts
1 cup asparagus tips
1/2 cup diced prosciutto
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup grated Gorgonzola cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 stick of butter
salt and pepper to taste
1 box of Penne pasta cooked al dente

Directions:
Melt butter in saucepan. Add cream and hit to just boil adding Parmesan and Gorgonzola cheese just to a boil stirring constantly to avoid burning. Grill Chicken and boil pasta 8 minutes adding asparagus for the last 4 minutes. Drain and add sauce to pasta. Add prosciutto and grilled chicken. Serve and enjoy the goodness.





What is that drink in the background? Well that was sparkling cider, with thawed frozen raspberries, and topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. It was a hit! Thanks for stopping!

Monday, February 15, 2010

I HEART vanilla bean cheesecake bars!



How does one humble wife let their dear husband know how much they love them? By vanilla bean cheesecake bars of course! I can't take all the credit. I wanted to make vanilla cheesecake, but I wanted it to be easy and in a large pan so I could use my heart-shaped cookie cutter. Thanks to Baking Bites I found just what I needed. I made a few adjustments and they really truly won the love of my husband and I.

Vanilla Cheesecake Bars

Ingredients (crust):
1/3 cup Sugar
1 1/2 cups Flour
1/2 cup Butter
1/2 cup Crushed Pecans (this is my addition because I had some)
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Vanilla extract ( vanilla sugar would of been better, but I was doing it inexpensively)

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking pan (or used the Baker’s Edge).
Begin by making the crust. In a large bowl, cream together sugar and butter, until smooth and fluffy. Working at a low speed, gradually beat in flour, pecans ,and salt until mixture is crumbly. Press evenly into prepared pan and bake for 15-17 minutes. While crust is baking prepare filling.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of half and half or light cream
2 (8oz.) pkgs of cream cheese
3 large eggs room temperature
1/2 vanilla bean or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract. ( I went to purchase vanilla bean and decided it was too pricey)
1 Tablespoon all purpose flour.

Directions:
Combine sugar, half & half and cream cheese in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth. Add in eggs one at a time, waiting until each in incorporated before adding the next. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the mixture (or add extract) and add the flour. Pulse until smooth.
Pour the filling over the hot crust when it has finished baking. Return pan to oven and bake for 23-26 minutes, until the filling is set (baking time should be reduced slightly if using a 9×13-inch, as the filling will be slightly thinner) and not jiggly.
Cool completely before slicing (don’t be alarmed if the cheesecake appears to deflate somewhat as it cools), or refrigerate until ready to serve.
Makes 20-24 bars.
Once cooled I used my heart-shaped cookie cutter and topped with whipped cream, bananas, and strawberries.










It never hurts to show the neighbors some love and give them a slice too! I almost hoped they weren't home so there was more for me. My thighs thank them for being home.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Pork Chops for dessert




Ok not really for dessert, but maybe. My husband brought this tasty idea home from the fire station.


Ingredients:

4-5 pork chops
1/2 cup brown sugar
Olive oil
cayenne pepper to taste

Directions:
Fire up your grill. While that is warming up take olive oil and rub a little into each pork chop. Next sprinkle and rub in brown sugar into each chop. Following brown sugar, sprinkle cayenne pepper on the same side as brown sugar and place the pork chops face down on the grill. Rub all the same ingredients onto the side facing up and cook to your desired doneness. Serve and enjoy! The brown sugar melts and creates a wonderful little sugary crunch with a little bit of a bite from the cayenne pepper. Yum!







Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Divine Creation of Food

This post is inspired from a lesson at church. Did you know that a lot of foods are shaped like the body part they are good for? How crazy is that?! Let me give you some examples:


Walnut-
It is shaped like a brain in every way! It has a line that runs down the middle and has the bumps and curves like you would imagine a brain to appear. What is it good for? Among many benefits they are really good for brain function, mainly improving cognitive function.

Tomatoes-
When cut the tomato resembles the heart perfectly with four chambers,the color red, and the shape. Tomatoes are an excellent source of niacin, potassium, vitamin B6, and folate. These nutrients help reduce the risk of heart disease.

Sweet Potatoes-
Sweet potatoes are shaped like a pancreas and therefore help the pancreas by releasing sugars into the bloodstream gradually. This helps eliminate stress on the organs and regulating blood-sugar levels.

Carrots-
When sliced, carrots look just like the eye. Under a microscope you would be able to see tiny little veins branching out from the center. Carrots are rich in beta carotene which the body converts to vitamin A. Vitamin A as we all know is great for maintaining the health of the cells within the corneas.

Melons-
My personal favorite. You guessed it! These are great for the melons, our melons that is! Citrus fruits and melons are rich in vitamin C. Vitamin C helps in preventing breast cancer. Isn't that amazing?!

The list goes on and on. I hope this helps you appreciate your food more and the almighty who made it! Isn't it fascinating?!