Sunday, July 27, 2014

BPT Pasta



What the heck is BPT pasta you ask?? Well I was planning to make a BLT pasta with spinach instead of lettuce, so I guess it would have been BST pasta, but when I took the bag of spinach out of my fridge it was totally rotten! I just bought it 2 days ago and it was fine. I was freaking out, no spinach now what?


I had no other greens in my house expect frozen green peas, so that is how I got BPT pasta.  It turned out better than I expected. The sweet peas really paired nicely with the smokey crispy bacon and the salty Parmesan cheese.


I guess if you just improvise, things tend to work out in the end!

What you need,
          
8oz dry pasta noodles (any shape you like, I used macaroni)
6 slices of bacon
2 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1 cup frozen peas
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese,  plus more for serving
Salt and Pepper
¼ cup basil, chopped

In a large pot of salted boiling water cook the pasta according to package directions. Once it is tender drain, saving about ½ cup of the cooking water and set aside.

Meanwhile cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove the bacon from the pan and all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon grease. Chop the bacon into pieces and set aside. Toss in the garlic and cook for 1 minute until fragrant.
Add in the tomatoes and season well with salt and pepper. Cook for 4-5 minutes until the tomatoes begin to soften.
Toss in the frozen peas and the cooked pasta. Stir in the Parmesan cheese and bacon and a little of the pasta water, stir to coat.

Taste the pasta and adjust the seasonings as needed. I used a good amount of salt and pepper. If you wanted a little spice you could toss in a little red pepper flake.

Sprinkle on the basil and serve with a little more cheese!

The peas were great but I am sure spinach would have been awesome too. You could even add zucchini or asparagus, really any green veggie would work.

BLT, BST, BPT, it doesn’t pasta is always great for quick weeknight dinner!

Enjoy!

Jen

Friday, July 25, 2014

Favourite Things Friday Vol 82 – Farberware Hand Grater



This Farberware hand grater is the bomb! Do people still say that?? Sometimes I feel old. Sorry!
Anyway, this grater it is perfect for garlic, ginger and Parmesan cheese.


It is easy to hold and grate at the same time. Plus it rests on the counter with some space under it so you can also grate without holding it.


It is so sharp it grates very everything very easily.  The safety guard is great so you don’t reach into a drawer and grate your finger!


It is so much easier to clean that a garlic press or even a box grater.
I seriously use mine every single day!


The best part is that it costs under $15. Such a great deal for such a great tool!
I would highly recommend adding one to your kitchen gadget collection.

I hope you all have a fabulous weekend!


Jen

Note: the Farberware people don’t have any idea who I am, I just love this grater!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Very Easy Fried Apple Pies



My in house taste tester LOVES apple pie! I am still scared to make my own pie dough (I know I have issues!) so I decided to try something a little easier.


These fried pies are CRAZY good and dangerously easy.  A can of pie filling and some biscuit dough, that is way way too easy.


What you need,

1 can Pillsbury biscuits (12 pack)
1 can apple pie filling (or any flavor you like, cherry is up next for me)
1 cup canola oil
½ cup granulated sugar
1 heaping tsp. ground cinnamon

Let the can of biscuit dough sit on the counter for 10 minutes.
Sprinkle a little flour onto the counter and roll each biscuit out to a 4-5 inch round. Place 2 teaspoons of pie filling in the centre of each dough round. Fold over to make a half moon shape. Crimp the edges of the dough really well with a fork to seal the pies up.

Once the pies are all ready, heat the oil in a pan over medium high heat to 325 degrees.

Fry 3-4 pies at a time. They brown up really quick so watch them close. You want to try to cook them at least 30 seconds per side so that the dough cooks all the way through. Adjust the heat as needed so the pies don’t brown too quickly.

Remove the pies to a wire rack over some paper towel to drain. Continue to fry the pies in batches until they are all cooked.

In a bowl stir together the sugar and cinnamon.
Carefully roll the fried pies around in the sugar until they are well coated. Place the pies back on the rack to cool.


Go ahead and eat one as soon as you can, they are soooooooo good hot‼ They are really good cold too. I warmed up the left overs in the microwave for a few seconds and topped them with a scoop of vanilla ice cream! Now you really have some something‼


These pies got 2 thumbs up from my in house taste tester. They are so perfect! Any pie filling would be fabulous, even your favourite jam would be amazing!

Be warned they are dangerous!

Enjoy!

Jen

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Grilled Chicken and Summer Berry Salad



The berries are so good right now. I have been eating them on everything from cereal to salad!


This salad is the perfect summer dinner. It is fresh and cool, it is salad perfection!


What you need,

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 tsp. olive oil
Salt and Pepper
1 bag of spinach/arugula mix (about 6 cups)
½ cup strawberries sliced
½ cup raspberries
½ cup cucumber, sliced
1/4 cup red onion, sliced very thinly
¼ cup feta cheese, crumbles (you could use goat cheese if you like)
2 tbsp. hemp hearts (optional)

For the vinaigrette,
½ cup olive oil
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tbsp. honey
Salt and Pepper

In a small jar, combine the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, Dijon and honey. Season the vinaigrette with salt and pepper to taste.
Shake the dressing well to combine.

Rub the chicken breasts with the olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Place on a hot grill for 8-10 minutes until well browned and cooked through.
Remove the chicken from the grill and let it rest for 5 minutes before slicing.

In a large bowl combine the spinach and arugula, the strawberries, raspberries, cucumber and feta. Toss the salad with the dressing.
Sprinkle on the hemp hearts and top with the chicken.

You can use any remaining dressing to drizzle over the chicken.


This salad was to die for! If you had some blueberries or blackberries they would be fantastic too. 
I really love summer!

Enjoy!

Jen

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Creamy Cucumber Radish Salad



I decided to make a quick salad to go with my Indiana Pork Tenderloin Sandwiches. Cooking Light magazine was my inspiration for this too!


It is cool and crisp, the perfect summer salad.


What you need,

3 small cucumbers, sliced thinly
½ cup thinly sliced red onion
3 tbsp. cider vinegar
½ cup sour cream
3 tbsp. chopped fresh mint
1 tsp. grated lemon zest
6 radishes, thinly sliced
Salt and Pepper

Spread the cucumber slices in a single layer on a paper towel lined baking sheet, refrigerate for 20 minutes.  In a bowl combine the onion and vinegar and let stand for 20 minutes.

Whisk the sour cream, mint and lemon zest together in a large bowl.

Add the onion mixture to the sour cream mixture and stir to combine.
Stir in the cucumbers and radish then stir to coat.
Season the salad with salt and pepper to taste.

You can serve right away for let the salad stand in the fridge for an hour or so, not much longer or it starts to get to runny.


There you have it, a great side dish for any summer meal. Simple but delicious!

Enjoy!


Jen