Monday, February 28, 2011

Champagne Risotto

Like I said in a past post my husband and I did not make a big deal about Valentine’s Day this year just because we had just gotten back from Hawaii. So I made a Red Velvet Cake and some champagne risotto. I usually try to make something very special for dinner but was just tired and wanted to relax. I wanted to make sure that I made something I knew I had the ingredients for. I always try to keep some champagne in the house in case I have a bad day at work or I just need a little pick me up.
This was a very easy recipe to make and both my husband and I love risotto so I knew that it would soon become one of our favorite dishes. I really like how the champagne gives the sauce a little bit of bite at the end. I added some roasted asparagus and mushrooms to give the rice a more roasted taste and I think it balanced out the flavors really well. Below is the recipe I adopted and some pictures.
These are the mushrooms and asparagus before I roasted them in the oven.

The finished product. It was so good I think I will be making it again very soon.

3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
12 asparagus spears, cut diagonally into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons butter, divided
3/4 cup Arborio rice or medium-grain white rice
1/2 cup Champagne
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan

1/4 teaspoon salt

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Red velvet cake

Valentines Day was on the Monday after my husband and I got back from Hawaii, so I did not want to make a huge deal out of the day. We had such a wonderful time in Hawaii I just wanted to have a low key night at home. So I made some champagne risotto (please see upcoming post) and red velvet cake.

Now as we all know from my other posts it has been very hard for me to make a cake from scratch. I don’t know what my problem is if I over mix the batter or don’t sift the flour enough but my cakes always seem to come out dry. EXECPT for this time, the cake turned out great. I think that is has something to do with my oven. I keep the baking temperature the same but cut the time down and it turned out perfect and very moist. I made cream cheese frosting of the top and it was the best cake I have even made from scratch. Not to mention I was able to use the heart shaped cake pans that my father-in-law gave to me.

The cake before it is baked. Have to say it is hard to frost a cake when it is in a shape like this.

Aview of both the cakes before they were baked. Please excuse my dirty stove did not have time to clean it before I took the pictues.

A look at my layers of the cake. Like I said it was hard to frost the cake because of the shape but it was DELISH!!!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Cheese Pinwheels

I know that the holiday season is over and so is football season so this blog is probably a little late but I wanted to share this with everyone. It is extremely simple appetizer to make and is always a crowd pleaser.
You will need cream cheese, parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese and Pillsbury pizza dough.
Roll out the dough to your desired thickness; I usually make mine pretty thin because we will be rolling it up like a jelly roll. Make sure that you bring the cream cheese up to room temperature and mix with the mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese. There are no precise measurements it just all depends on how cheesy you are feeling that day (haha).

Spread the mixture over the pizza dough and make sure that you leave some room around the ends. If you place the mixture too close to the edge it will ooze out when you begin to roll. Once the mixture is spread on the pizza dough start with one end and roll and roll to the other, when you are done it should look like a jellyroll. With the seam side down cut the roll in smaller pieces, the cuts should look like pinwheels. Place the pieces on a baking sheet with parchment paper and sprinkle with some shuddered mozzarella cheese . Place in the oven at 350 for 30 min. until they puff up. Serve them hot but they are also great cold just heated up in the microwave for 30 seconds.

Side view.

Front view

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Italian Wedding Soup

Sorry like I said before in my last post I have been crazy busy at work, traveling to Hawaii and being sick with the flu. However , the good thing is I have a lot of great blogs that I can’t wait to post.

Last weekend was cold and rainy the perfect soup weather. My fall back soup is always French Onion soup, but I wanted to try something different. With the New Year I wanted to make sure that I made something that had lots of veggies but with tons of flavor.

I came across a recipe for Italian Wedding Soup that used turkey and chicken to make the meatballs which are baked and the soup is full of celery and carrots.

For the meatballs:
3/4 pound ground chicken
1/2 pound spicy turkey sausage, casings removed
2/3 cup Italian flavored bread crumbs
2 teaspoons minced garlic
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for serving
3 tablespoons milk
1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the broth I used store bought chicken broth. I have not roasted a chicken in awhile so had to use store bought. Watch out on the salt you add the store bought chicken broth is loaded with sodium, so you want to make sure you don’t over salt. People on top chef go home all the time for over salting.

For the soup:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup minced yellow onion
1 cup diced carrots (3 carrots)
3/4 cup diced celery (2 stalks)
10 cups homemade chicken stock
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup small pasta such as elbows
12 ounces baby spinach, washed

Make sure that to add the spinach in the soup at the end. This is the best soup and it is something that I can’t wait to make again. One mistake I did make was I add more pasta then the recipe called for and the next day the pasta absorbed all the broth so it was more like a stew. I won’t make that mistake again.

The mix for the meatballs. You want to make sure not to over mix.

The meatballs when they first come out of the oven

Carrots, celery and onions simmering in the pot.

The finished soup. Like I said next time I will not add so much pasta.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Still here

Hi everyone! I wanted to write a quick post and let you know I am still posting just ran into some delays.

It just has been a crazy couple of weeks. I had the flu, had to travel for work and currently, I am in Hawaii. I do have some great posts planned so don't give up on my yet. Again sorry for the delay.