Spaghetti Squash Alfredo / Pancetta and Peas

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Spaghetti Squash Alfredo / Pancetta and Peas

If you have never tried spaghetti squash, you owe it to yourself to try it.  I love it, my husband not so much.

  • 1 medium spaghetti squash (about 3 lbs.)
  • 4 oz. pancetta, diced (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1 small shallot, diced
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of pepper
  • 1 cups frozen peas, thawed
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (about 1 oz.)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley

Halve and seed the spaghetti squash.  The easiest way to cook it is in the microwave.  Place squash cut sides down in a microwave safe baking dish.  Fill the dish with about 1 inch of water.  Microwave on high for about 12 minutes, or until you can easily pierce the squash with a fork.  Cooking time depends on the size of the squash and individual microwaves.  Let cool for about 15 minutes, or until squash is cool enough to handle.

If you would prefer to bake it.  Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Turn squash cut sides down on a baking sheet.  Bake for about 40 minutes until you can easily pierce the squash with a fork.  Let cool for about 15 minutes, or until squash is cool enough to handle. With fork, scrape out the spaghetti like strands and prepare as desired.

Meanwhile, cook pancetta in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 6 minutes.  Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate using a slotted spoon; set aside.  Add the shallot and thyme to the skillet and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in the wine and cook, scraping up any browned bits, until mostly evaporated, about 1 minute. Add the heavy cream, nutmeg, salt and pepper.

Increase the heat to medium high and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the peas and parmesan.  Continue cooking until the sauce is thick and creamy, about 1 more minute.  Remove from the heat.

Scrape squash strands with a fork and add along with the pancetta to the sauce.  Return to medium heat and cook, stirring, until combined, about 1 minute.  Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with parsley.

Makes 4 servings.

“Our surprising God often shows His presence when we least expect Him.”

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Pumpkin Pancakes

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Pumpkin Pancakes

These are so yummy!  This is a really quick and easy recipe to make.  You can heat up your griddle while your batter is resting.

  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (not mix)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, pumpkin, egg, oil and vinegar.  Add rest of ingredients and mix just enough to combine.  Let rest for about 15 minutes.

Heat griddle to 350 degrees or frying pan over medium high heat.  Lightly oil.  (I didn’t).  Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/3 to 1/2 cup for each pancake, depending on the size of pancake you want.

I made 12 (fairly thick) 5-inch pancakes out of this recipe.  If you like thinner pancakes, add a little more milk.

“Fear can paralyze but faith propels us to follow God.”

 

Caramel Apple Pie Cookies

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Caramel Apple Pie Cookies

These cute little cookies are so good!  They were a little messy to make, and a little time consuming, but very much worth it.  Next time I make them, I am going to change a few things.  I will not put so much caramel on and not so much apples on and I think they will be a little easier to work with.

  • 1 package refrigerated pie crusts
  • 1 jar caramel sauce
  • 1 can apple pie filling
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 3 tablespoons cinnamon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour, for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Sprinkle a little flour on a clean work surface or on a piece of parchment paper.  Roll out the dough just a little bit to slightly increase the surface area.

Spread a “thin” film of caramel sauce over the crust.  (I put too much on.)

Chop up the apple pie pieces so they’re smaller.  (I put a knife in the can and chopped them up.)  Spread some of the apple pie mixture over the caramel sauce.  Don’t use quite the whole can.  (I used too much here also.)

Sprinkle a little flour on your clean work surface and again, roll out the dough very slightly.  Use either a pastry cutter or a knife to cut a bunch of strips about 1/2 inch wide.

Using the strips, make a lattice over the top of the pie.

Get out a round cookie cutter and cut out the caramel pie cookies.  I used a 2 3/4-inch cookie cutter, I ended up with 14 cookies.  I didn’t have a 3-inch cookie cutter, but if you use that size, you will end up with 12 cookies.  Use a thin spatula to carefully transfer the cookies over to the non-stick baking sheet.  (I put parchment paper on my baking sheet for easier clean-up.)

Brush a little of the egg across the strips on the cookies.  Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.  Bake for 20 – 25 minutes until golden brown.

And don’t forget to bake up all those luscious leftover scraps, too!  (If you’ve used parchment, it is easy to transfer over on to your baking sheet.)

“The prayer of the feeblest saint…is a terror to Satan”

 

 

 

Shrimp Scampi Mac and Cheese

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Shrimp Scampi Mac and Cheese

This was soooo good!  I love shrimp scampi and I love mac and cheese.  This is just a little twist on the two.  You could definitely taste a little spice in it from the red pepper flakes, which I liked.  But if you don’t want any spice, leave out the red pepper flakes.

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (I used 2 teaspoons dried.)
  • 1 pound medium pasta shells
  • 2 1/2 cups half and half
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 8 oz. shredded Italian cheese blend (about 2 cups)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled, deveined and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a small skillet over medium heat until foamy but not brown.  Stir in the panko, 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes and a pinch of salt and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the panko is golden brown, about 5 minutes.  Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley; set aside.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add the pasta and cook according to the package instructions.  Strain, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water.  Set aside.

Heat the half and half in a large saucepan over medium heat until it just comes to a simmer.  Continue simmering until the half and half is reduced to 2 cups, about 5 minutes.  Add the cream cheese and cook, stirring, until melted.  Whisk in the Italian cheese blend until all the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth.  Turn off the heat and keep warm.

Meanwhile, melt the remaining 4 tablespoons butter in a large saute pan over medium heat.  Stir in the garlic and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes.  Pour in the wine and reduce until the alcohol smell is no longer present and the sauce is a nice golden color, about 2 minutes.  Stir in the shrimp and lemon zest and cook, stirring, until the shrimp are pink and just cooked through, about 2 minutes; sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and set aside.

Add the pasta and shrimp mixture to the cheese sauce and stir to combine.  Stir in some of the reserved pasta water to thin the sauce, if needed.  Season to taste with salt, if needed.  Spoon the hot mac and cheese into bowls and sprinkle with the parsley panko.

Makes 4 – 6 servings.

“God is everywhere, is available every time, and listens always.”

 

 

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

I took this to the senior center last week and everyone just loved it.

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups canned pumpkin
  • 1 1/2 cups canola oil
  • 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

In a large bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, salt and baking soda.  In another bowl, beat eggs, sugar, pumpkin and oil. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.  Fold in chocolate chips.

Pour into two greased 8 x 4-inch loaf pans.  Bake at 350 degrees for 60 – 70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.

(I sprayed the bottom of my pans and then put a piece of parchment paper in the bottom, and then I sprayed them again.  The bread came right out of the pan without any problems.)

Yield:  2 loaves

“The God of the cosmos cares for us intimately.”

 

Quick Meatloaf Chili

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Quick Meatloaf Chili

Normally, I don’t have any leftover meatloaf, but because I had made a larger than normal recipe, I had leftovers.  I decided to try this with it and it was really delicious.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 – 2 jalapeno peppers, minced (I used jarred jalapenos)
  • 2 – 3 cups crumbled leftover meatloaf
  • 2 (14-oz.) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 ( 8-oz.) can tomato sauce
  • 2/3 cup beef broth
  • 2 (15-oz.) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add onion and garlic; cook and stir for 5 minutes.  Add jalapeno pepper; cook and stir for 3 minutes.

Add meatloaf, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, beef broth, black beans, chili powder, cumin, Tabasco, and salt and pepper to taste.  Bring to a simmer; reduce heat to low and simmer for 25 – 35 minutes until slightly thickened.  Serve immediately with sour cream, Parmesan cheese, and more jalapenos.

(I thought this was going to be pretty spicy, but it really wasn’t.)

Serves 6.

“We can speak to the Lord as a friend.”

 

Chicken Pot Pie

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Chicken Pot Pie

This is a very quick and easy chicken pot pie made from scratch.  Delicious!

  • 1 lb. skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cubed
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  • 1/2 cup sliced celery
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 2/3 cup whole milk
  • 2 (9-inch) unbaked pie crusts

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a saucepan, combine chicken, carrots, peas and celery.  Add water to cover and boil for 15 minutes.  Remove from heat, drain and set aside.

In the saucepan over medium heat, cook onions in butter until soft and translucent.  Stir in flour, salt, pepper and celery seed. Slowly stir in chicken broth and milk.  Simmer over medium-low heat until thick.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Place the chicken mixture in bottom pie crust.  Pour hot liquid mixture over. Cover with top crust, seal edges, and cut away excess dough.  Make several small slits in the top to allow steam to escape.

Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Serves 4 to 6.

“No deed is small when done for Christ.”