Kitchen Creations

 

Last week was a pretty busy week, but my roommates and I did a lot of baking and cooking!  Jess made Banana Bread one night and it was so good!  I had it for dinner and breakfast the next day.  I have never made Banana Bread, but it was fun watching her make it.  I hear it is pretty simple, so one of these days I will give it a try!

The next night Alyssa took over in the kitchen and made some really good Turkey Burgers.  She mixed the meat with spinach and goat cheese and added a little seasoning.  We also had some green beans and tomatoes on the side.  To continue on with our week full of kitchen adventures, Nikki and I made dinner the following night.  I rolled pesto and swiss cheese into chicken, added some pepper and baked it.  I kind of came up with this on my own and was a little nervous about the outcome, but it turned out really good!  Nikki made cous cous and added a few things…I can’t remember what, but it was SO good.  Everything was gone after dinner!

The Spinach Goat Cheese Turkey Burgers

Pesto Chicken Roll-Up

Chicken & Cous Cous Dinner

Once again I was out-of-town over the weekend, but was glad to be home.  I had a wedding to go to on Saturday.  One of my sisters best friends got married, whom I have known pretty much my entire life.  She looked beautiful, the wedding was so much fun, and it really was a special night.  Congrats Devin & Spencer!  I also got to spend Mother’s Day with my lovely Mom.  We surprised her with some great gifts and it was nice to spoil her a little bit!  As usual, we had dinner at my Grandparents, but this time we got a little entertainment!  My cousin Annabelle was the center of attention for a while, dancing on the table and making everyone laugh.  She just started walking, but can already dance and twirl!  She is just too cute so I thought I would share!  While she was entertaining us, it brought up some pretty funny memories.  I am not sure if this is an “Italian” thing or not, but all my cousins and I came to a consensus that we all spent a lot of time playing on tables and taking baths in the sink as little kids.  It’s always nice to look back on growing up and have a good laugh!

Wellness Week

For the past two weeks I have been trying to eat healthy, watch my calories, and exercise.  I’ve been walking home from work, and trying to snack healthier at work on fruit (thank you Antonia for the case of Blood Oranges!!).  My family is coming to visit this weekend and in fear of not having enough time to cook dinner on Sunday, I thought I would share a simple recipe with you (this was NOT healthy and was my last indulgence for some time…hopefully)!

Monday, I came home from work stressed, tired, and starving.  I had to weigh myself at work on Tuesday, so I thought I would indulge in my last super unhealthy meal for a while, and maybe be a little heavier for the weigh-in so I could lose more weight.

I didn’t have much to work with, so I decided to make Pasta with Shrimp and Peas in a cream sauce.  This is a pretty easy meal to throw together if you have the ingredients and it does not take more than 20 minutes to make.

I started boiling my pot of water and cooked the shrimp.  For the sauce, I heated up some olive oil and then sautéed the garlic.  Once it started turning translucent, I added heavy whipping cream and skim milk,  the frozen peas, salt and pepper to taste, and a  bouillon cube.  I can’t tell you measurements because when I cook dinner for myself I go off of instinct, and luckily it usually turns out.  I only follow strict recipes when baking because I think baking is an art form and requires certain amounts of ingredients in order to turn out properly.

After the pasta was finished, the sauce had come to a boil and was finished (be sure to not boil to long or over cook because the milk will curdle) I served over linguine and indulged!

Luckily, my roommate Alyssa was eating with me (once again my biggest fan) and made us both a salad.  Good thing…

The sauce was so good I had it again for dinner last night, but this time, I poured it over the leftover Strata from Sunday’s dinner.  Surprisingly, the strata was better than before and tasted great with the sauce!

This is one of my favorite go-to recipes when wanting a quick and delicious dinner, so I hope you try it out and share your thoughts!

Have a great day and Happy St. Patrick’s day 🙂

A True Kitchen Adventure II

A typical cousin dinner would not be the same without some elaborate element, so Gina and Concetta decided to get gorgeous table settings for our dinner from A Classic Party Rental.  Working at a rental company definitely has its perks for our small gatherings!  They were both so much help Saturday night and I am pretty sure my sister’s house would have been burnt down had they not been helping in the kitchen!

Dinner was all in all a success, if you take away the potential grease fire, the chocolate burning, and Gina’s oven somehow catching on fire.  For dinner I made Smashed Red Potatoes, Stuffed Chicken and Grilled Asparagus.  You can find all of these recipes on the my Recipe page.  The potatoes are so easy and are great for dinner parties!

Grilled Asparagus

Ingredients:

Asparagus

Salt and Pepper

Parmesan Cheese

Lightly salt and pepper asparagus.  Add parmesan cheese as desired.  Cook for 10-15 minutes at 450 degrees.

 

Smashed Red Potatoes

Ingredients:

1 bag red potatoes

Chicken Bullion

Whipped butter

Salt and Pepper

Parsley

Optional :

Sour Cream

Cream Cheese

Clean and cut potatoes into fourths or even smaller if needed.  Add to a large pot, cover in water,and add chicken bouillon cubes (about 5 or 6 small cubes or until water is yellow).  Bring potatoes to a boil and cook until red skin starts to fall off.  Drain potatoes, but leave about a measuring cup full of water.  Put back into pot and add butter, salt and pepper.  If potatoes are dry, add more of the bouillon water.  Add salt and pepper to taste and smash with a fork.  For more “mashed” potatoes use a whip.  These potatoes can be made more mashed or left whole but slightly “smashed.”

 

After dinner, we played Things (my favorite game ever) and then an intense game of Cranium.  It was so great being home for the weekend and getting to see my family.  After a very stressful week last week trying to plan this dinner, I am excited to be cooking for non-Italians again, and especially my boyfriend who will be visiting from Vail!!  He is usually always a fan of my cooking, even if it doesn’t turn out, or at least he let’s me believe he is…

From L to R – my soon-to-be brother-in-law Grant, my sister Gina, cousin Tommy, brother Jack, cousin Concetta, Steve (Antonia’s boyfriend), and my cousin Antonia.

Saturday was by far my favorite Kitchen Adventure!  Something I have discovered while learning to become a better cook, it takes a couple of disasters to help you grow in the kitchen!

Uninspired or Nervous?

I am heading home this weekend and am really looking forward to everything I have planned.  I am a very family oriented person, so it is hard for me to believe I have not seen my grandparents since CHRISTMAS!!! I am really excited to be going home for a 90th birthday party on Sunday because I will get to see my entire family, which is always fun!  On Saturday I get to spend the day with my lovely sister.  She is getting married in September so we are going to spend the day planning, registering, and hanging out.  Later that night I have a big dinner planned with my cousins!  I love when we have “family game nights” so when I suggested this fun activity for my visit home, my cousin Antonia suggested I make them dinner for my blog.

I am so excited to make dinner for everyone, but I have run into a sort of “cookers block.”  I CANNOT for the life of me decide on what to make.  I started out with the idea of a “Blood Orange Upside-down Cake” because blood oranges are my favorite, but they are not really in season right now.  Then I wanted to make an edamame risotto, but couldn’t think of anything to make with it.

I am becoming slightly frustrated seeing as how dinner is in two days… I do have an exciting Appetizer/Salad I am going to be attempting.  I came across a recipe for Wonton Caprese Salads.  Seeing as how I love caprese salads, but they are fairly simple to make and I make them all the time, I decided this would be my challenge.  I have never fried ANYTHING in my life.

Stay tuned for all the details on my “Family Affair” Adventures in the kitchen and wish me luck on finding some more inspiration…my nerves are beginning to get the best of me!