Thursday, April 28, 2011

creamy taco mac

Creamy Taco Mac
adapted from Annie's Eats

1¼ lbs. ground turkey
  8oz. dry pasta shapes (I used a whole 16 oz box)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (14 oz.) can diced tomatoes, drained
3 oz. cream cheese
½ cup sour cream
Salt and pepper
Shredded cheddar cheese (optional)

Bring a large pot of water to boil.  Cook pasta according to the package directions.  Drain, reserving ½ cup of pasta water.  Set aside.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet or sauté pan, cook the ground turkey over medium-high heat until no longer pink.  A few minutes before the turkey is cooked through, add the chopped onion to the skillet.  Once the turkey is cooked through, mix in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Mix in the diced tomatoes and taco seasoning and let simmer over medium heat for about 5 minutes.  Stir in the cooked pasta, cream cheese, sour cream and reserved pasta water, and continue stirring until the cream cheese is melted and the sauce is well blended.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Simmer over medium-low heat 3-5 minutes to reduce the sauce a bit.  Remove from the heat and top with shredded cheddar cheese, if desired.

**my notes...this was delicious, fast, and easy. A staple in our house! Leftovers are just as good too!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Corn Chowder

Please forgive my poor photography skills, I'll work on it :) But believe me when I tell you that this was yummy and easy to make (two of my favorite things!).

Corn Chowder
"Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book"

6 ears fresh corn or 3 cups frozen whole kernel corn
1/2 c. chopped onion (I used dried onion since the man is anti-onion texture)
1/2 c. chopped sweet green pepper (I skipped this)
1 tbl cooking oil
1 14 ounce can chicken broth
1 c cubed, peeled potato
4 tsp all-pupose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 c milk
3 slices bacon, crisp cooked, drained and crumbled
2 tbl snipped fresh parsley


1. If using fresh corn, use a sharp knife to cut the kernels off the cobs, set aside.

2. In a large saucepan cook onion and sweet pepper in hot oil until the onion is tender but not brown. (I skipped this step and moved right into the chicken broth. I added the dried onion at the same time I added the corn). Stir in the chicken broth and potato. Bring to boiling: reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 10 min. Stir in corn. COok, covered, about 10 min or until potato and corn are tender, stirring occasionally.

3. In a small bowl combine flour, salt, and pepper. Stir milk into flour mixture; add to corn minture in saucepan. Cook and stir until slightly thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for 1 min more. Add bacon; heat through. If desired, garnish each serving with parsley.


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

salted caramel cupcakes

 I made these the other week-oh my! they were soo delish. That frosting is amazing, and then you add in caramel sauce? yup. It's all over. mmmm....

Salted Caramel Cupcakes
from Our Best Bites

1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 c. firmly packed dark brown sugar (dark brown sugar is REALLY important!)
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. butter, softened
2 large eggs at room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. milk

Sara's Perfect Cupcake Frosting
About 1/2 c. caramel sauce
12 Werther's soft caramels
Dipping chocolate (just a wee bit), made with bittersweet or dark chocolate; I used 4 oz. of chocolate with 1 tsp. canola oil and had plenty leftover
Kosher or sea salt

I didn't do the chocolate dipped caramels on top cause I forgot to buy them, but it was still delicious.

Preheat oven to 350. Using 18 cupcake liners, line muffin tins. I used paper liners, but I think foil would be a better choice.
In another bowl (preferably the bowl of an electric mixer), combine sugars and butter together on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until combined. Add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the milk in 1 additions, beating on low speed until just combined; scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups, filling about 2/3 full. Bake 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean. Allow cupcakes to cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes and then transfer the cupcakes to the wire rack and allow to cool completely.

Prepare dipping chocolate. Dip the ugly side of the caramel into the chocolate, about halfway down the caramel. Place chocolate-side-up on a plate and then allow to harden. 
Prepare Sara's Perfect Cupcake Frosting. Very gently mix the caramel sauce or buttermilk syrup into the frosting--you want there to be swirls of caramel visible. Add a little more if you want--this is an art, not science here!After you've frosted the cupcakes, top each cupcake with a chocolate-dipped caramel and then sprinkle with a VERY scant sprinkling of Kosher or sea salt--it's just a little garnish and a really enhances the flavors of the cupcake.