Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Pumpkin Milkshake for 1



Happy Thanksgiving Eve!

While we are on the cusp of one of my most favorite holidays, I've got a simple, easy, and proportional treat. It's the perfect dessert for 1 person, and best of all, you can use any leftover pumpkin puree you have remaining from making pumpkin pies. I had about 3/4 cup of leftover pumpkin puree, and it ended up being the perfect amount for this milkshake. There's really nothing to this recipe, only 4 ingredients. Pumpkin puree, vanilla ice cream, a tiny amount of pumpkin pie ice, and because I'm a kid at heart, some chocolate sprinkles. 


In fact, because I was just making this for me, I didn't even bother to unearth the blender. I used my smoothie cup and my immersion blender. Perfect for a small amount of liquid and what felt like less cleaning. 



It occurred to me, as I'm sitting here typing, that I could have a blog specifically dedicated to desserts for one. Honestly, most of the desserts I make are desserts for one. The hubby and I aren't exactly dessert people, and I'm almost always more or less focused on what I'm making for dinner. But, later in the evening, I usually am rooting around the kitchen, looking for something sweet. I end up making cookies in mugs in the microwave, mini-cakes to inhale, or something cold and frosty, like milkshakes. In the case of this milkshake, my eyes passed over that container containing a smidge of leftover pumpkin. That was all she wrote. 


Can I tell you how much I'm loving pumpkin this fall? Well, it's a lot. A lot, a lot, a lot. Y'all are going to have to put up with pumpkin recipes well into December. I made Turkey Pumpkin Chili the other night, and it was so good. When I think of pumpkin, I always think of pumpkin pie. Or pumpkin spice lattes. Or this milkshake. Whatever the case, when I think pumpkin, I think of that spicy, sweet flavor. But that's only because we all love to add sugar to pumpkin. My chili had 2 cups of pumpkin puree in it, and let me tell you, it tasted nothing like pumpkin spice! :)

Trust me, when it comes to chili, that's a good thing!


As I mentioned at the beginning of my post, it's the day before Thanksgiving! I, unfortunately, have to pick up a few things at the grocery store. Argh. Not looking forward to that. After I brave the crowds, with their turkey-hazed, wild-eyed craziness, you can bet I'm not leaving the house. I have a Pecan Pie to bake today and Deviled Eggs to make. I've actually never made Deviled Eggs before, so something new for me. I'm a tad nervous about the Pecan Pie, pies are so temperamental. I did pick up a clear pie pan, so there's no chance I'm going to an under-baked crust :) Now all I have to worry about it is making sure the filling is not "soupy". It is supposed to be somewhat overcast today. Which makes me a little nervous of that old wives tale saying you should never bake Pecan Pie on an overcast day. Cross your fingers for me!

I hope everyone has fantastic, safe, and family-filled holiday tomorrow. Happy Thanksgiving Eve!


Ingredients (makes 1 milkshake):

3/4 cup pumpkin puree
2 small scoops vanilla ice cream
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
optional: chocolate sprinkles

Directions:

1. Combine pumpkin, ice cream, and pumpkin pie spice in a blender. Blend until smooth. Pour into a glass and top with chocolate sprinkles, if using. Serve immediately!


If you liked this recipe, you may enjoy these!






Monday, November 24, 2014

Farfalle with Portobellos and Kale


We've all made it to the week of Thanksgiving! You know, that week where we're all constantly daydreaming about turkey, stuffing, cranberries, pumpkin pie... or maybe you're even prepping already. Whatever the case, this is the one week above all others where you probably don't want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Or maybe you don't want to eat heavy this week. Either way, this incredibly simple pasta dish is super fast and also fairly light. It's chock-full of yummy portobello mushrooms and kale. A light dusting of parmesan is all you need to top this dish off. Serve alongside a side salad, and you have a tasty, light dinner. Or serve it alongside your favorite protein for a heartier meal.


You all might already know I'm obsessed with pasta salad. I call it pasta salad, but you might as well call it what it is- cold pasta. This dish is no different. I've been eating the leftovers cold, straight from the fridge. And I'm partial to it! There's something about the texture of cold pasta that draws me in. Like Walkers to the sound of gunfire... 

Sorry, the hubby and I've been binging on "The Walking Dead". What can I say? :) 

If you do have leftovers after making this dish, my advice is to try it cold. You might like it. You might even love it.


As for serving it the first time, it is a hot dish. The kale and mushrooms are braised in a yummy butter-garlic-white wine sauce before combining everything with fresh cooked pasta. I used farfalle, but as I was making this, it occurred to me that this dish would also probably be a hit with orecchiette.  I think you could even sub in a curly pasta like rotini if you were so inclined. I just so happen to love those little bowties.


Without taking too much from a future "pie" post, I did manage to complete my pumpkin pie yesterday. My second batch of dough rolled out with only a few minor problems. Problems I have since researched and I think I can correct before I make my Pecan Pie for Thanksgiving. As I mentioned yesterday, I have plenty of "don't!"s to share with everyone. Soon!

Yesterday, the hubby and I attended our niece's very first cheerleading competition. Her team ended up getting 1st place in their division which means they get to move on to the state competition! She's only 6, which I think is pretty darn cool. If she keeps up with this, she's going to be very, very good by the time she reaches high school. The whole experience took me back to high school dance team. I only wish I'd started dancing when I was 6. I didn't start dancing until I made the dance team my sophomore year of high school. I can't imagine how much better I would have been if I'd started early. So I'm proud of her! I really hope she sticks with it, I realized yesterday I kind of miss going to these competitions. 

Well, I have a busy day on tap, sooooo.... Adios!

Have a great Monday everyone!


Ingredients (makes 4 generous portions):

8 ounces dried farfalle pasta
3 tbsp unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 cups portobello mushrooms, chopped (you could sub another type of mushroom!)
4 cups kale, chopped
1 tsp fresh thyme
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh cracked pepper
garnish: shredded parmesan cheese

Directions:

1. Prepare pasta- cook pasta according to directions. Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water. Drain pasta, and set aside. 
2. Heat butter in a large skillet over medium heat. When warm, add garlic. Sauté 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until garlic has begun to toast. Add wine to the pan. Allow wine to reduce to about half (2-3 minutes). 
3. Add mushrooms and spinach to the pan. Sauté until vegetables have begun to soften, about 5-6 minutes. Add pasta, thyme, salt, and pepper to the pan. Toss to combine. If pasta is too thick or seems too dry, add as much of reserved pasta water as desired. 
4. Divide pasta into bowls, and top with parmesan cheese. Serve immediately. 

Recipe adapted from Recipe.com.
If you enjoyed this recipe, you may enjoy these pasta dishes-







Sunday, November 23, 2014

Lately: November 2014



Happy Sunday from two warm and cuddly Chihuahuas! This is truly how these guys like to enjoy the weekends. Curled up in their favorite spots. Happy as little furry clams :)

I thought I would squeeze in a little weekend post here. I've been overflowing with food ideas lately, and haven't been thinking much about the in-between. But I do have a life outside that wonderful kitchen of mine. I read books in between batches of cookies. Scatter bird seed while concoctions are chilling. Or roasting. Or cooling. I run to get my creative juices flowing. I kind of wish there was an invention to dictate what goes on in my brain while I'm running, because I write some of my best stuff as my feet pound the pavement. A new techie idea perhaps? C'mon, doesn't anyone from Apple read my blog? Hehe. 

Anyhoo, it's been a great weekend thus far. The hubby actually had a 3 day weekend of Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. We don't get these traditional weekends very often! We took full advantage last night by getting together with one of our couple friends. We watched the first half of the Oregon game (Go Ducks!) and sipped margaritas before heading out for Mexican food. There may have been a tad too much tequila last night, but eh, life is short. I'm currently hard at work on pie crust, my first batch yesterday having been a dud. Rest assured, by the time this pie is completed, I'll have lots of "don't's"! I made a new batch of dough that chilled overnight, so I'm soldiering forward today. Fingers crossed. 

I hope everyone is having a relaxing weekend so far. I've got a few pictures to share of what we've been up to lately-


Haloti curled up in the hubby's sweatshirt. If you leave clothing on the furniture, the Chihuahuas will find it. 


The affair continues. It's been going on for almost 4 years now. We are venturing into common-law marriage territory at this point. 



My beautiful new FoodSaver! It arrived last week and I am so thankful! I literally squealed with joy when the UPS guy left it at my house. Thank you Mom and Dad! There was no hesitation- Out went the old FoodSaver, and in its place went the new. Immediately after getting the new machine set up, I sat down to write my totally overdue big-box store grocery list. 


Ah, the fruits of my labor. I picked up loads of chicken, ciabatta rolls, and bacon in bulk to freeze at aforementioned big-box store. And what did I do as soon as I got home? Vacuumed-sealed it into 2-person portions. I cannot say it enough, I LOVE that machine. I cannot live without it. Love it. 

So, I've been using FoodSavers for 8 years now. I do have a common-law marriage with my FoodSaver! :)


I think this poor little dude flew into either the side of the house, or the living room window. I heard a soft thud, but not the hard thud that usually kills these kids. I went outside and looked on the ground, and didn't find anything. However, when I went to empty my compost buckets, I found him sitting on our large composters. And he didn't move. He did let me pick him up, though. I was having the hubby set up a nesting box on the front porch for him to recover in when he decided he'd rested enough, and he took off. 


I'm just glad he ended up being ok :)



The snow everyone was so worried about getting around our parts. Can you even see this dusting? Not especially. 


Contrary to popular belief, not everything I cook winds up on the blog. Sometimes the recipes are too awful. Sometimes, the recipes are too good, like this Garlic, Lemon, and Fresh Herb Stuffed Chicken.  This bird never made it onto the blog because the hubby and I devoured it. I mean, we really scarfed this one down. All before I took an after photograph. Oh well. A similar recipe may make it onto the blog someday. That is, if I can keep my hands off of it long enough. 


Cheese enchiladas that never made it on the blog. I'm still playing with my chile gravy recipe, and I don't get to play very often. The gravy on these ended up being too heavy, too thick, and too salty. The hubby is not the biggest enchilada lover, so I only get a shot at this one every couple of months. I hope I perfect this recipe in 2015, though. That will be one of my New Year's resolutions.


Asian Roasted Asparagus. What can I say? Also scarfed down without many pictures.


Broccoli and Chard Garlic Spaghetti. This recipe may still make it onto the blog, however I wasn't 100% satisfied with the pictures. It was delicious, don't get me wrong. It might take a repeat making with new pictures for me to publish it, though.


The hubby and I's favorite tequila we brought back from Mexico. I love this stuff! We broke it open last night for Oregon's last home game of the season. It must have been a good luck charm, because the Duck's pulled out the win! The hubby and I were happy campers. We were told by an employee at duty-free in the Cancun Airport that they only sell this tequila in Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York City. He tried to talk us into buying a more expensive tequila that they only sell in Mexico, but we quickly informed him we didn't live anywhere near any big city and this was the bottle we wanted. I highly recommend trying this tequila if you ever see it anywhere. It makes the BEST margaritas.


Cue to the internet razing. Nickelback snuck a brand-new album out on Monday with absolutely no publicity. I had no idea they were even working on a new album. Some fan I am, right? Anyway, once I discovered their new album, I snapped it up. I've been listening to it on repeat. For days. Multiple times a day. I love running to this album. Most of the album has a really funky beat running though it and combined with Chad's voice, well, I've been tearing down miles. Well maybe not tearing them down, I did take a month off running. And lost a ton during that month. I really don't care that everyone hates Nickelback, I'm definitely not a person who follows the crowd anymore. That's one thing I love about getting older- the sheer inability to really care what other people think of your Nickelback addiction :) #iamunashamed


Here's my lazy morning. Finishing off one of my library books while loving my morning coffee. And pretty soon, I'll be rolling out my 2nd batch of pie crust dough. Oh man, oh man, I hope it's not crumbly!

I hope you all are having a lovely weekend! Ciao!

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