Archive | June, 2011

Garlic Alfredo Sauce

23 Jun

The other night I confessed I was feeling quite lazy and didn’t want to make anything too involved for dinner. When I’m feeling lazy I don’t like to cook but I definitely like to eat. Laziness and eating go hand in hand. Actually for me pretty much any emotion or state of mind I am in also involves eating.

I realized we had some yummy Lobster Ravioli in the fridge that I could make and then all I would have to do was whip up a quick sauce. Most normal, reasonable people would choose a light sauce because the lobster will already be quite rich. However I am not a normal, reasonable person. I prefer to try to jam as many calories into a dish as possible. Calories = Flavor. Okay not always but in this case it’s true. I also like to fatten people up. So I went with Alfredo, actually Garlic Alfredo. I’m fairly sure this is very close to my Mom’s recipe but as for most of the things she makes, she doesn’t have a recipe written down anywhere, so I can’t confirm.

I can’t even explain my love for this sauce. Sometimes the simplest ingredients can make the most amazing dishes.

Garlic Alfredo Sauce:
2 Cups Heavy Cream (yes 2 cups)
1/4 Cup Butter
3 Cloves of Garlic, Minced
1/2 Cup Freshly (please!!) Grated Parmesan cheese.
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a medium sized saucepan melt butter over medium heat. Once warmed add the garlic and saute until softened but not brown approx 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add cream and heat until frothy 5-6 minutes. Lower heat to medium low and allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes. Sauce will thicken as it simmers. Right before serving stir in half of the Parmesan until smooth and season with salt and pepper. Serve over the cooked pasta of your choice. Sprinkle the rest of the Parmesan on the pasta when serving.

Normally I just serve this over the fresh Fettucini or Linguine noodles you get in the cooler section of the grocery store, but it was great on the pre-made ravioli as well.

Just try to forget you put all that cream and butter in there and Enjoy!

What I ate last night and a complaint

21 Jun

By the time I got off work last night I was so tired and lazy, I didn’t feel like making dinner at all. For the past week or so I was feeling like my allergies were acting up, but now I’m thinking I must have a cold or something. Thank goodness I remembered I had Lobster Ravioli from TJ’s in the fridge. I ended up making that with a garlic Alfredo sauce (I’m posting the recipe tomorrow.) I also made Garlic bread coated heavily in Parmesan cheese. Woops! Just kind of a rich dinner. Oh and I made a salad cause I am such a health nut like that.

Can I just talk about something for a minute? We don’t have TJ’s (Trader Joe’s) in Canada and that really sucks. The first time I tried something from Trader Joe’s was when my Aunt brought me a gift that included TJ’s Candied Pecans and their Pear and Gorgonzola dressing. YUM. She told me how great TJ’s was and next time I was in down in Washington, I went there. Big mistake. Now I am totally hooked and the nearest one is an hour away (on a good day) if you include border wait time. Grr. It also doesn’t help that prices for groceries in Canada are through the roof. When we go to the US to buy groceries every once in a while, it seems like I am always surprised at how inexpensive the food is compared to buying the same thing in Canada. My house is literally a 10 minute drive from the US border so why such a difference!?

We had gone down to Trader Joe’s last weekend to grab a few things and we ended up with a bunch of snack food, no “real” food other than the Ravioli. So that just great, now I’m snacking and having things like this for dessert.

Glass of cabernet sauvignon and an inappropriate number of peanut butter cups were the perfect dessert to end a long day. 
And then I had some kettle corn.

Chocolate Peanut Butter “Cup”Cakes

19 Jun

My Dad has a major sweet tooth. He isn’t picky about what it is, he pretty much loves any dessert out there. My mom often makes cakes in a 9 x 13 pan, she will set it out on the counter and everyone just helps themselves until it is gone. When she does this, my Dad is known to be found over the sink first thing in the morning, eating a row of cake. Yes a row,  not a slice or a piece, a row. Don’t get me wrong, he is extremely healthy and exercises daily so this extra calorie intake doesn’t seem to be a problem for him.

Getting to my point here, I usually make some type of treat for him for Father’s Day and this year I decided to make him something with his all time favorite candy, Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups! I’ve been on a major cupcake kick lately so I decided to modify my regular vanilla cupcake to make a peanut butter cupcake. Then I pressed some Chocolate Peanut Butter cups right into the batter! Baked ’em up and topped them with a super chocolaty Butter Cream frosting. Make sure to have a glass of milk close by.

Who’s idea was it to put the candy in there? It was my idea? That doesn’t sound like me.
Look at that gooey deliciousness!

This recipe makes 12 Large Cupcakes.

Peanut Butter “Cup”cakes:

1/2 cup room temp butter
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
2/3 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup milk
12 Small (not miniature) Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Preheat oven to 350

In an electric mixer cream butter. Add peanut butter and sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Mix in vanilla extract.

In a separate bowl sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.

With the mixer on low, alternate adding the flour mixture and the milk. Mix until combined.

Fill the muffin cups and then press two Peanut Butter Cups into the middle of each. Smooth the batter with a knife to cover the chocolates when you are done.

Bake 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool while on a wire rack.

Super Chocolaty Butter Cream Frosting:

1 cup (two sticks) butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
1/4 cup milk

Cream butter in an electric mixer. With the mixer on low add the cocoa and powdered sugar, alternating with milk. You can control the consistency by adding more or less milk. If you are planning on piping the icing on the cupcakes you would want to keep it thicker but you can thin it if you are spreading it on the cakes.

Make this for the Peanut Butter Cup lover in your life.

Happy Father’s Day to all the great Dads out there!!

Crispy Prawn Tacos

13 Jun

One of my favorite restaurants has an appetizer on the menu that I order almost every time I eat there. I always try to force myself to order something new, but I almost never succeed. It’s very simple. Big, crispy, breaded, prawns with a honey chipotle glaze for dipping. I could eat about 256 in one sitting, but I think the dish comes with five. Which I guess, is a lot more reasonable and a lot less gluttonous. Pfft.

Anyways, (I feel like I’ve been doing this a lot lately) since the first time I tasted these little babies, I couldn’t stop thinking about different ways I could use them. A lot of times I will just whip them up as an appetizer and serve them with a store bought sweet chili sauce for dipping. But yesterday I was craving tacos and got the great idea to make these prawns instead of my normal, spicy ground beef mixture.

They turned out great, super yummy and flavorful and added some much needed crunch to the tacos without having to add any stupid lettuce.

Unfortunately  the recipe is kind of involved the way I made it, but feel free to make yours with whatever toppings you like.

Crispy Prawn Tacos:

1 lb large Prawns
3 Cups Panko Breadcrumbs
1 cup Flour
2 Eggs
2 Tbsp Water
Salt and Pepper
Canola Oil (for Frying)

Pour the Flour into a shallow dish and season with salt and pepper. Beat the eggs and water in another shallow dish. In one last dish add the Panko breadcrumbs. Bread the prawns by first coating in the seasoned flour, then dipping in the egg and lastly coating with the breadcrumbs, press the panko on to each prawn to coat well.

In a heavy bottom pot pour about 2 inches of oil. Heat over medium high heat, it’s ready when you drop in a breadcrumb and it sizzles and bubbles right away. Fry the prawns in small batches, and set aside on a stack of paper towels to absorb excess oil.

While still hot, season with salt to taste.

Microwave your tortillas in a damp tea towel for about 30 seconds. I suggest that you serve yours with Avocado and Corn Salsa and Fresh Pico de Gallo but whatever floats your boat!

Oh yum.

Other yummy toppings would be shredded cabbage, jalapenos, spicy mayo, Sour cream, oh and stupid lettuce I guess.

Panko Prawns in a Taco = Magic.

That is the only math equation I will ever teach you.

Avocado and Corn Salsa

13 Jun

I couldn’t decide what to call this recipe. First I thought Fresh Corn Guacamole but then I decided that could imply this would be a smooth mixture of avocado studded with corn. That’s not right. I also thought that name could imply that this is a “Guacamole” made with corn instead of avocado. That is wrong as well, not to mention would be really weird. I’m not sure where I was going with this…

Please excuse the worst introduction to a recipe ever.

 Excuse my fingernail.

Avocado and Corn Salsa:

2 Cobs worth of Sweet Corn
2 Avocados

1/2 Small Red Onion, Diced
1/2 Jalapeno, Diced (seeds in)
1/4 cup Chopped Cilantro
Juice of one Lime
1 Teaspoon Salt

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.

I made this to go with my Crispy Prawn Tacos but you could also serve with a big bowl of salty taco chips or with any of your favorite Mexican dishes.

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