Pasta with Mushroom, White Wine and Cream

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I love cremini mushroom,s and this dish is a new vegetarian fave of mine!  Out of all the produce that I have ever prepared, mushrooms are by far the most rich, meaty and flavorful. Of course, it helps to season and cook them properly; and I have my two favorite methods down! I love sautéing them in olive oil, butter and garlic; and a close second is roasting them with olive oil, salt and pepper. I had to fudge the amounts of ingredients in this recipe because the metric system and standard measurements don’t play well together 😉 When I make it again, I try adding some fresh thyme to cut through some of the richness of the sauce. This recipe yields about four servings, but if you served it as a side dish you could get at least six smaller servings. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Pasta with Mushroom, White Wine and Cream – adapted from Real Italian Foodies

  • 10 ounces dried pasta – pappardelle, fettucine, tagliatelle.
  • 1 TBSP unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 12 ounces cremini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 – 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • grated Parmesan
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste

Directions –

Bring a large pot of water to boil, add salt and pasta – cook until al dente.

In a large, heavy-bottomed saute pan over medium heat, add the butter and olive oil. Once the butter has melted, add your cleaned and sliced mushrooms along with the minced garlic. Cook until the mushrooms begin to turn brown – don’t salt the veg until this happens, about 5-7 minutes. Season the veg with salt and pepper to taste, then pour the white wine into the pan to deglaze. Continue cooking until the wine has evaporated, add your cream and Parmesan cheese, turn the heat to low and simmer until the sauce has thickened.

Drain the pasta and add it to your sauce, mix together and serve with extra Parmesan cheese.

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Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

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So smooth, creamy, decadent, flavorful and satisfying! I love the creaminess of custard-style ice cream over Philadelphia style hands down. The texture and mouth feel of custard based is so much more pleasant than the butter fattiness of Philadelphia. I learned that a couple of years ago when I tried this recipe; and even though my favorite style requires more ingredients and wait time, I promise it’s worth every minute. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream – adapted from The Food Network

  • 5 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup sugar, vanilla sugar if you have it (next time I will use a less – it’s pretty sweet!)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped

Directions –

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Place the half-and-half and the heavy cream into a medium saucepan, over medium heat. Bring the mixture just to a simmer, stirring occasionally, and remove from the heat.

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In a medium mixing bowl whisk the egg yolks until they lighten in color. Gradually add the sugar and whisk to combine.

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Temper the cream mixture into the eggs and sugar by gradually adding small amounts, until about a third of the cream mixture has been added. Pour in the remainder and return the entire mixture to the saucepan and place over low heat. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens slightly and coats the back of a spoon and reaches 170 to 175 degrees F. Pour the mixture into a container and allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Place the mixture into the refrigerator and once it is cool enough not to form condensation on the lid, cover and store for 4 to 8 hours or until the temperature reaches 40 degrees F or below.

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Pour into an ice cream maker and process according to the manufacturer’s directions. This should take approximately 25 to 35 minutes. Serve as is for soft serve or freeze for another 3 to 4 hours to allow the ice cream to harden.

Creamy Tomato Soup

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Quick Post: As a kid, I hated tomato soup…but that was the condensed kind, so I had every right! 😉 Because of that bad experience, I have only recently tried tomato soup again. I was a little obsessed with Panera’s creamy tomato soup and adult grilled cheese, and decided that I needed to recreate that meal at home. This batch makes quite a lot of soup, but it freezes beautifully! My kids loved this and agree that I need to make it again 🙂 Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Creamy Tomato Soup –

  • 2 TBSP olive oil or butter
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 – 28 ounce cans of whole peeled tomatoes (San Marzano or other good quality is best)
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper
  • 1 tsp. raw sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Parmesan cheese, optional

*Special Equipment – immersion blender, food processor or blender

Directions –

1. Heat up oil or butter in a medium stockpot over medium heat. Cook onion and garlic (if using), stirring constantly, until soft and translucent, about 3 minutes.

2. Add tomatoes, their juices, thyme and stock. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.

3. Remove the thyme, and carefully puree the soup. ( I used my immersion blender in the pot, while using the pot lid as a shield 😉 It worked great!).

4. Whisk in cream; season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately with Parmesan if desired.

Macaroni (1870)

This macaroni and cheese is all about the cheese – duh, right? Quality is super important, so splurge  a little and do not use pre-shredded cheese!  This is quicker than other recipes I have tried and it’s great if you have less than a full box of pasta in your pantry (my box weighed 9.9 ounces) and remnant cheeses in your fridge. I used smoked gouda and some other chunk that might have been Emmentaler? Next time I will use a sharp English cheddar, although the kids might not appreciate it. The cheese sauce is much more “soupy” than other recipes that are thickened with a roux, but the longer it sits and cools the thicker it becomes. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Macaroni (1870) – adapted from Kitchen Historic

  • 10 ounces macaroni
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2/3 cup cream
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • cayenne, to taste
  • 8 ounces old cheddar, grated
Directions:

1. Set a large pot of water to boil and cook the macaroni until tender. Strain the water and return the macaroni to the pot.
2. While the macaroni is cooking, mix the milk, flour, and butter in a medium saucepan. Stir until combined and butter has melted.
3. To the sauce, add the cream, mustard, salt, pepper, cayenne, and cheese. Mix together and simmer for ~5 minutes or until thickened.
4. Add finished sauce to macaroni and stir, cooking until evenly heated.

Vanilla Bean Coffee Creamer

Quick Post: It’s not too sweet,  perfectly creamy and it has the floral, fruity flavor of real vanilla bean. It’s classic and simple but also rich and indulgent. After adding quite a bit of this to my coffee, I add a little vanilla sugar for some extra sweetness. It makes about 3 cups of creamer and lasts up to two weeks in the fridge, so it’s good to share with your friends. I gave a jar to my neighbor because it was her birthday and she loved it. Who doesn’t appreciate food gifts? 😉 Now that teacher appreciation week is coming up, this would be a new favorite for them I’m sure! Thanks for reading, enjoy 🙂

Homemade Coffee Creamer – adapted from Piece of Cake

  • 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 1/2 cups milk, half-and-half, or heavy cream
  • 1 whole vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • Pinch of salt

In a small saucepan, combine all the ingredients. Set the pot over medium heat and slowly heat the mixture until it is hot and steaming, but not simmering. Cover the pot and let steep for 15 minutes. Strain into a jar or another container with a tight-fitting lid. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Shrimp Fettuccine Alfredo

Quick Post: Yet another new recipe find thanks to Pinterest! I love meals that are restaurant quality at a fraction of the cost, especially when there are no fancy ingredients required. My family loves shrimp as you can see from past posts, and this is another dinner to go in the rotation. It’s definitely not something I would make all that often, though! Butter, heavy cream and lots of cheese, plus carbs? Yes, please! I had a partial stick of butter with 5 tablespoons left and I used a combination of half and half and heavy cream. I know I probably didn’t save many calories and fat, but it was the thought that counts, right? 😉 Thanks for reading, enjoy!
Shrimp Fettuccine Alfredo – adapted from The Candid Appetite
    • 1 pound dried or fresh Fettuccine
    • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 1 shallot, minced
    • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
    • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper
    • 1 1/2 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined
    • 1 cup heavy cream
    • 1 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
    • kosher salt, to taste
    • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    • Fresh Basil, sliced

Directions –

Cook the fettuccine in a pot of rapidly boiling salted water until al dente. Drain in a colander, reserving 1 cup of the pasta cooking liquid.

While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a medium pan over medium-high heat. Add shallots, garlic and pepper flakes and saute until tender. Add the shrimp, in a single layer and allow to cook on the first side for 3-4 minutes. Or until the edges turn pink. Give them a flip and continue to cook for 1-2 minutes. Once cooked transfer to a platter or plate, and allow to rest while you finish the sauce. Add heavy cream to the pan and bring to a boil. Cook until sauce has reduced slightly, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Return the pasta to the pot it was cooked in, set over medium-high heat along with some of the reserved cooking liquid. Add the butter-cream mixture, half of the Parmesan, the cooked shrimp and toss to combine thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Sprinkle with remaining parmesan, and basil. Serve immediately. Enjoy.

French Toast

I have a great go-to recipe for french toast, but I decided to try something different to go along with the Challah bread I made. This one is an Alton Brown recipe that seemed kinda boring, but I didn’t want the custard to overshadow the homemade Challah bread. I love cinnamon in my custard and this has none, and it doesn’t even call for vanilla! I dried out the sliced pieces of Challah in the oven for about 5 minutes at 350 degrees so they would soak up even more custard. This recipe also has two separate cooking steps that is supposed to ensure crunchy outside and creamy inside texture.

Verdict: Eh…next time, I’ll go with my “recipe doctoring” instincts and add the cinnamon and vanilla – maybe even a little fresh nutmeg. The plain Challah was flat too, but when toasted the flavors were turned up a notch. I will make a richer Challah next time. No worries! I love trying out new recipes anyway 🙂 Thanks for reading, enjoy!

French Toast – adapted from Food Network

  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons honey, warmed in microwave for 20 seconds
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 (1/2-inch) slices day-old or stale country loaf, brioche or challah bread
  • 4 tablespoons butter

Directions

In medium size mixing bowl, whisk together the half-and-half, eggs, honey, and salt. You may do this the night before. When ready to cook, pour custard mixture into a pie pan and set aside.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Dip bread into mixture, allow to soak for 30 seconds on each side, and then remove to a cooling rack that is sitting in a sheet pan, and allow to sit for 1 to 2 minutes.

Over medium-low heat, melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a 10-inch nonstick saute pan. Place 2 slices of bread at a time into the pan and cook until golden brown, approximately 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove from pan and place on rack in oven for 5 minutes. Repeat with all 8 slices. Serve immediately with maple syrup, whipped cream or fruit.

Hot Fudge Sauce

Quick Post: The husband requested hot fudge…I obliged:) We used it to top off the already decadent fudge brownie/vanilla ice cream goodness. Make this at your own risk! Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Hot Fudge Sauce – adapted from Christina Marsigliese

  • 1/3 cup whipping cream
  • 2 TBSP light corn syrup
  • 2 TBSP sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Directions –

1. In a 2 quart, heavy bottomed sauce pan combine all ingredients – minus the chocolate, over medium low heat. Bring it to a simmer and stir in chocolate until completely melted and smooth. Increase heat to medium and bring mixture to a boil. Cook, stirring constantly until a thick syrup like consistency, about 3-5 minutes. Remove pot from heat and pour into a glass jar or bowl and let cool for about 1 minute. Serve immediately or cool completely, stirring every so often. Seal the lid on the jar or store in an air tight container and keep refrigerated for up to 2 to 3 weeks. Rewarm over a double boiler or place jar in a pot with hot water coming a few inches up the sides of the jar until warmed through, adding a few teaspoons of water to thin it out as needed.