bow-tie pasta with ham, peas and cream ( and garden pics) 

I’m not exactly sure when I actually started to make this, but I am completely sure that my family devours it! 

While it’s not exactly low-calorie, you can serve up a smaller portion on a bed of baby spinach or arugula. 

Girl math= adding greens to pasta cancels out the cream and carbs 😁

You can also have this on the table in less than 1/2 hour 😎

I know with just about every recipe I’m all like” dudes and dudettes! You must make this!” 

So why should this post be any different? 

Truth be told, I used this recipe as a template to make my 

gnocchi with lemon ricotta sauce with prosciutto and spring peas

*** note to self…  This must be made this week

I give you 

bow-tie pasta with ham, peas and cream 

  

1 pound bow tie pasta, cooked al dente, drained ( never rinsed reserving 1 cup of cooking liquid for sauce 

1 tablespoon butter 

1tablespoon olive oil 

1/2 in thick cut of ham ( ask at the deli.. They will happily cut it for you ) 

1 shallot, chopped finely 

1 pound frozen peas 

1/2 pound snow peas ( optional… Sometimes they are too pricey..  But I happened to find them on sale this week 

*** optional… 1/2 cup vodka***

1 cup chicken stock (boxed is fine if you don’t have any in your freezer.. Just use low sodium) 

1 Half pint heavy cream 

Pinch of nutmeg 

Sea salt and pepper 

Add butter and olive oil to Dutch oven and turn heat to medium. Chop the ham into small cubes and sauté.  After 4 minutes, add the chopped shallot and stir. 

***. This is where the optional vodka comes in.  Vodka takes whatever flavor it’s mixed with and intensifies it so if you use it in this recipe, it adds another layer of flavor, but I promise you it’s still really good without it*

Using either vodka or chicken stock, deglaze the pan by adding directly to ham/ shallot mixture and scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen bits ( aka.. Flavor) 

If using vodka, reduce by half. Then add remainder of chicken stock.  

Add pasta and let simmer for 5 minutes. 

Add peas and cream and grated nutmeg and pepper

Add reserved cooking liquid a little a a time to get the consistency you are looking for 

Taste for seasoning before adding salt… Some hams are saltier than others 

  

I had some pea tendrils from my garden, so I used them as garnish.. You could also use parsley, or just grab a big spoon and dive right in! Who would I be to judge?  I’ve certainly done that before 😁😁😁

Remember This picture from mothers’day? Well, unfortunately ( or fortunately, depending on how you look at it) we had a few trees that didn’t weather the storm all that well…..  So we’ve spent the last few weekends cleaning up and re arranging plants ( some from out very own yard = FREE!) 

Here’s the same view this afternoon 

 

It’s so much more open! I’m loving it! 

I’ve planted zucchini an cukes and tomatoes in all of that cleared space on the left 

I’ve always wanted an English Cottage garden. By opening up the area, I was able to start one! 

 

  

 

Of course, it doesn’t look like much yet, but I resisted the urge to plant too close in favor of doing it properly 🙂 

Bonus? With the tree cleared on the left I can see the garden from my dining room window! 

 

 

I made some new pillows for my bench 

 

 Transplanted my plants that I started from seed indoors 2 months ago ( my arugula and peas LOVED the snowstorm! ) 

 

  Utilized a hanging basket for my herbs 

 

Planted a couple of urns 

  

 

The four- legged princess approves 😎🐾🐾🐾

Are you planting anything fun this year? Tell me about it! 

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stuffed- caprese-tomatoes

remember when I made  THESE….

well, I had myself one big tomato yesterday the other day that was just this side of being eaten fresh. But it was still edible and had the fixins for caprese salad.

 

and let’s face it, friends, caprese is only as good as the tomatoes.

 

Since I don’e like to throw anything out, I came up with another idea, based on the original recipe from way back when.

 

Stfuffed-Caprese- Tomato

 

start by hollowing out said tomato ( this one tomato was enough to split as a side between 3 of us)  and placing on aluminum foil

 

IMG_0492

 

 

Then rough chop the flesh of the tomato and place in small saucepan with about 1/4 cup heavy cream, 2 garlic cloves, chopped, salt, pepper and a rosemary sprigIMG_0491

bring to a boil, then to a simmer until sauce turns pink & reduces

IMG_0495

add about 1/4 cup of bread crumbs ( I used Panko.. it’s what I had) and stir.  Taste filling and adjust salt & pepper. Remove rosemary.

 

 

Cut up some fresh mozzarella into bite size piecesIMG_0494

start by adding 2-3 pieces of the cheese tot he inside of the tomato , then a layer of filling

IMG_0496repeat alternating until tomato is full.  Wrap tomato up tightly like a Hershey’s kiss.

 

Place on grill ( or in oven ) for about 15 minutes.  Remove & let cool. Top with shreds of basil ( I forgot to add it before I took the pic)

Cut into quarters and enjoy!

IMG_0498

you can thank me later 🙂

Cooking in Colorado

yes. friends, I am here confessing to you.. I am in love with white beans.

it’s true. and on my recent trip to Denver I told you about a situation that I go myself into.

you see… I was able to use an entire kitchen to make dinner…except, other that appliances and cookware, I had zero food. I mean nada. zilch. less than nothing.

I did not even have salt or pepper 😦

We had stopped at the whole paycheck store the day before I decided to cook ( to buy apples and kombucha… I’m addicted to the booch.. Lord help me) when I saw a container of cooked white beans.

I kid you not when I tell you that I kept thinking about these beans.

I may have had a dream about them that night.

or not.

but probably.

like yes.. it’s true I dreamt about the dang beans

could I even MAKE this up?

So when Scott suggested that we cook in Sat night rather go out and deal with the crowds.. i was all over it.

Except that we were starting from scratch.

so I put my thinking cap on….. *psst… it’s pink 😉 *

I knew I had to have those white beans. I just had to ..

and white beans marry so well with greens. When I saw local spinach at the store, I knew I was onto something.. But Scott and Ali would want an additional protein… chicken thighs were on sale.. so I added that to the basket. and a lemon. I love lemons. Like maybe too much. I start most days with warm lemon water

I wanted fresh pasta, but at 8.99 a whack, I skipped it in favor of dried linguine.

and the smallest jar of oil that i could find.. which happened to be truffle flavored.. which is ok.. I was going to make it work.

and some light cream.. to round the dish out. and finally, frozen peas.

and since this is how I cook…. ( all willy- nilly, most of the time sans- recipe ) I give you

ingredient-challenged barefootgirl cooks in another kitchen white beans & greens with pan seared chicken thighs in a lemon garlic cream sauce sprinkled with peas.

my fingers just hurt even typing that..

so grocery list…….

cooked white beans

garlic cloves ( 3)

bunch of fresh spinach

a lemon

small jar of oil ( truffle in our case, but any heart healthy oil will do)

chicken thighs ( skinless)

light cream

dried pasta

parmesan cheese shreds

frozen peas

*pick up chicken stock. I’ll explain in a bit*

( I was hoping to find salt and pepper packets so that I didn’t need to buy salt and pepper to then have to throw out, but the register lady ( my hopefully someday job) told me to go to the salad bar and sprinkle s&p into a salad dressing container.

pure.

genius.

I started by draining & rinsing the beans and heating a saute pan with a bit of the oil… adding the beans, season them with salt and pepper, adding 1/ the chopped garlic and smashing a few of the beans.

I then added the rinsed spinach right on top

( don’t worry about the extra water on the spinach, it will help the steaming process).. add the spinach directly on top, cover immediately and remove from heat.

don’t peek.. you sneaky- peeker- you…

next. add oil to another saute pan, season thighs with genius salt and pepper and place thighs in pan, allowing them to brown.

Once browned on one side, using tongs.( not to self and all of you… oxo makes the BEST tongs. I unfortunately did not have those there.. I will be changing that very soon ) anyway.. using the tongs. flip the thighs over and allow to brown on the other side. add the remaining garlic and then I added the cream.

* now here is where I would make a change.. I would use chicken stock here instead, and add the cream at the very end. the cream started to curdle a bit.. it was still really good, but if you use chicken stock now to cook the chicken in.. you will be happy 😉 *

cover the chicken and allow to simmer until chicken is fully cooked.

this is an excellent time to cook the pasta in boiled salted water 🙂

add frozen peas once chicken is cooked.. allow peas to just heat through.

next remove the lid from the bean mixture

isn’t it pretty 🙂

and if you are feeling like it’s a wild and crazy night since you are in another city, mix in a bit of cream

and a squeeze of lemon juice. and just to take it over-the-top

some parm cheese

this.. was my dinner….

and this was theirs..

I topped each with a squeeze of lemon for freshness..

yum 🙂

now when all was said and done.. I added the leftovers to one pot ( cutting up the pasta) and made the base of a soup… all that you would need to do is add a bit of chicken broth and heat for a quick weeknight soup 🙂

going out in the city is nice, but every once in awhile, it is nice to just stay in and enjoy the view and the cooking…. and that is how this family spent our Saturday night. And not one of us would have changed it 🙂

enjoy this recipe.. now that I’m done typing, My tummy is rumbly and I’m on the hunt for the ingredients to make it again..

caio friends 🙂

psst.. if you haven’t read it on facebook.. congrats to Lynn on winning the hand knit socks! remember, mom is offering free shipping on any of her items for the month of Oct with 100% of her proceeds going to ward breast cancer research… thank you to all who have taken advantage of this.. I guarantee you… her fingerless gloves are the best!

oxoxo~shel

banish boring salads

well… maybe not banish but know that there are options out there.

You know how when you got to a restaurant and some of the fancier salads look sooo good… but you have a hard  time shelling out 13 bucks for a salad..

yeah  me too.  Here’s the thing.. you can make these at home!!  Now I know some of you are like, “duh? is she going to seriously walk us through salad making 101?”

yes. Because I have a few friends whose diets have changed and they need to add more fruits and veggies into their diet & want to show the amazing amount options that are out there. If you already know all of this.. I apologize…. just scroll to the bottom to help answer a question about my next giveaway.

WHOA!!! wait.. YOU!… get back up here.. I’m not done yet.

We’ll start with making a dressing….  yes.. making it is super simple.. and there are 17,000 combinations that you can create… just use a basic formula and add the flavors that you like!

you will need

1~ an acid.. either vinegar, lemon or lime juice, wine….  1/8 cup

2~ an oil…. olive oil, canola oil, sesame oil.. coconut oil ( my new FAVORITE! ) 1/4 cup

3~mustard… again… SO many flavors out there… play with it! 1 tsp

4~ honey.. or maple syrup ( the real stuff) or agave…. 1 tsp

5~ (optional) herbs.. fresh or dried… or sesame seeds, or crushed garlic….. 1/2-1 tsp.. depending on how strong you would like ( always start with less then add more)

6~ sea salt and pepper…..  I have a slight salt obsession as well…..  we’ll chat about this later 🙂 remind me if I forget.

simply add everything to a small ball jars

   put the top on the jar and shake….

you just made dressing 🙂

trust me.. you can’t get that out of a bottle…. anywhere.

I don’t like overly dressed salads, so I usually use about a tablespoon per salad.. if you like more, then add more… I mix it with whichever greens I am using so that they are coated, then place in serving bowl… top with toppings…

like the quiche ‘recipe’  ( are you starting to get my method of cooking… it’s always a formula, then playing with ingredients… because I am a firm believer in  play!  <—- please read this post, it’s one of my favorites 🙂

so.. you will want

1~ green of choice… baby spinach, arugula, mesclun, romaine, butter lettuce..

2~ dressing of choice

3~ ( optional.. ) protein of choice… ( chicken, beans, salmon, beef, tofu, edamame.)

4~ other veggies.. just pile them on!

5~ (optional ) cheese

6~ (optional) something for crunch.. croutons, sunflower seeds, pepitas, sliver almonds

7~ (optional) dried cranberries or apricots or mandarin orange wedges

and  you, my dear have just made a killer salad worthy of any restaurant.

here’s your 13 buckaroos back 🙂

This salad  has

baby spinach

basic vinaigrette

topped with edamame ( I used trader Joe’s ).. about 1/2 cup

black beans .. about 1/4 cup

1/4 avocado, chopped

1/4 cup cranberry goat cheese ( if you are vegan, by choice or m=by force, eliminate it…  the avocado give the same mouthfeel… and you probably wont miss it)

1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes

finish with sea salt and pepper..

I ate this for lunch yesterday and it kept me full all afternoon!  ( and peeps ask me all the time where I get my protein from 🙂  )

so be brave…. look beyond iceburg, cukes and tomatoes ( not that there is anything with it, it’s the only way I can get my kids to eat a salad, so I still make it… ) and have fun!!!!

NEEEEXXXXTTT…

I have fallen in LOVE with Greek Yogurt. Have you tried it yet? I buy the non fat plain and it tastes just like sour cream. I sub it out for sour cream all the time.  It is also a perfect base to make granola parfait but also… to make some ‘creamy’ sauces!  like this

Chipotle cream sauce

I used about 1/2 the can of peppers.. if you like it more mild, use less

about a cup of the Greek Yogurt

half a lime

I put them all in the magic bullet looking thing and blended

if you don’t have one of these babies, you could use a blender, just keep scraping down the sides.. or use a food processor.

that’s it folks… does it get simpler than that? I think not.

The girls had this on their tacos last night & I topped my tostada with it.

the girls’ taco filling is made with lean ground chicken, then when I add the taco seasoning ( only half the package… it’s so loaded with sodium.. a little goes a long way.. you also can make your own, considerably knocking the sodium down, but I had it so I used it) and when I add the water I add a can of refried beans. They blend in perfectly… it stretches the filling and boosts the protein 🙂 I’ve been doing this for years..

It also freezes and defrosts well, so you can make double the amount and have it in the freezer for a super quick dinner…. If you need to cook for one, make a batch and freeze it into individual portions…  again.. quick dinner for one

*if you have dinner for one, please do me a favor and do it by candle light.. you are special and should have a nice dining experience.. if you want you can face time me and we can eat dinner together 😉 *

My filling was chopped mushrooms, sautéed  in oil, then  I mashed some back beans and lime juice in, seasoned with sea salt, cumin & chile powder

I placed it on a small flour tortilla that I heated in my cast iron skillet ( I CANNOT say enough how much I love  cast Iron to cook with)

top with cheese ( if vegan, try the daiya cheese shreds.. it’s very good, melts and stretches like cheese and can be frozen.. It is on the pricey side ( $5 a bag) but it does freeze, and I just pull out what I need when I need it )

the I added avocado.. fresh salsa.. Chipotle cream sauce and some plain Greek yogurt..  YUM!  ( and sooooooo easy )

As far as the rest of the chipotle peppers ( I’ve never had a recipe that I’ve used the whole can ) I take a freezer bag & label it… place in a jar

then press out the air & seal

Whenever I need some for a recipe, or a burst of flavor, I just break a piece off! No waste here.. yo!

so now that I’ve made you hungry… I have a question for all of you.

I have a fun company that has offered for me to give away one of their products.  I have the choice…

1~ 1 big gift for one lucky recipient…

OR

2~ 10 small gifts ( of the same item) so that TEN of you can win….

so whatcha all think? 1 big winner or 10 smaller ones???

smooches friends!!  oxooxo

quick and easy quiche

quiche scared me.  for years. for real.

I don’t know why I was so scared to make it, but it was so intimidating ..  but lets be real… it’s eggs, and cheese and cream and crust. could it get simpler?

no.

PLUS.. it’s like when you make pizza  you can have fun disquzing your leftovers  I mean… being creative with ingredients 🙂 

And you can have it on the table in under an hour

AND  you can have it for breakfast, brunch, lunch, linner, dinner, snack. 3 am munchies  ( who am I to judge? ) whatever your little heart desires…

 

Mine is based off of this recipe.

 

I have  loosely included the ingredients, because each and every time that I make it I make it different. Use what you like.. just follow the base of the recipe & you’ll be good to go 🙂

 

quick and easy quiche

1 pie crust un-baked ( I use the Pillsbury roll out brand near the dinner rolls)

1/2 cup of cheese of your choice ( I used goat cheese with dried cranberries)

1/2 cup of another cheese of your choice ( I used feta)

1/2 cup to a cup of veggies of you choice ( I used baby spinach & diced onion)

1/4 cup bacon, ham, sausage… whatever you have ( omit if vegetarian) <– I did that

1 cup heavy cream or light cream ( both work, heavy cream just makes it richer) I had heavy cream.. now I have a quiche baby.. If I don’t judge your 3 am munchies then you can’t judge my quiche baby. I called it.
First so I win 🙂

fresh herbs.. chives, parsley, thyme.. whatever floats your boat.. if you don’t have fresh use a smaller amount fo dried, but rub it between your fingertips to release the scent. ( I used fresh parsley and chives)

 

local friends, I have fresh (organic chives, mint and rhubarb up the whazzooo if ever you want some.. let me know )

Sea salt and pepper ( I used sea salt and pepper 😉

 

 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Roll out pie crust, place in pie plate and crimp edges really pretty for the camera. ( oh wait, maybe that’s just my house) just crimp. ( unless you want to take a picture and send it to me… that could make me smile 🙂

sprinkle cheese on the prepared pie crust.

 

In a bowl, beat eggs lightly, add cream. herbs veggies and meat. lightly mix together. Season with salt and pepper.

Pour mixture into prepared pie crust..  finish with an extra grating of pepper.

Bake at 400 for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 for 35-40 minutes or until quiche is set and lightly browned.

 

Kiss your pup a lot while it’s baking.. because that is way more fun than cleaning the kitchen 😉

Let sit a bit before cutting.

( the cooler it is the easier it is to cut)

I love to serve it with a light salad with lemon dressing & parm cheese.

 

( did you know that I love cheese? like so much that I named my car after cheese? true story. I’ll tell you about it sometime)

 

so you know what an awesome food blogger I am? Tian and I ate the whole quiche before I realized that I forgot to take a picture of the finished quiche.

yep…. I’m classy like that.

 

and since it’s almost FALL  ( my very favoritest time of the year..I come to life in the fall).. I enjoyed one of these while staring at my four-legged bundle o joy.

This might just be my favorite  pumpkin ale.. I love what the box states…

off centered ales for off centered people.

 

it’s like they knew me when they brewed this 🙂

 

Remember, there is still time to enter for the 1803 wax melter give away contest consider sharing with your friends.. it will make me happy and if they win then it will make them happy 🙂 

t-48 hours until the race….. I must be crazy…

 

xoxoxox~shel

 

simple addition

hiya!

4 things~

THIS

plus

THIS

plus

THIS

 

equals

 

happy birthday, Ali  I love you very much & am very proud of you!

it’s here!!!

FALL is here!!  finally 🙂  For this sweater lovin’, apple picking, boot addicted, hayride & PUMPKIN fanatic…. my time of year has arrived!!!

and what better way than with soup.  That was last years’ recipe.( click on the word soup to get to that recipe)  And although very tasty.. I was in the mood for something a little sweeter… A little bit of research & I found Williams-Sonoma cream of butternut and apple soup! a perfect recipe for me to start with

  • Ingredients….from Williams-Sonoma website
  • 3 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 Bermuda onion, chopped
  • 1 butternut squash, about 3 lb.,
    peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 4 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and
    chopped
  • 4 pinches of Spanish saffron threads, about
    1 tsp.
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
( yes, chef, i know that i did not use Granny Smith apples…. I didn’t have them 😦

Directions:

In a large soup pot over medium heat, melt the butter. When the butter is foamy, add the onion and sauté, stirring occasionally, until tender and translucent, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the squash and stock, bring to a boil and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the squash is tender when pierced with a fork, about 20 minutes.
I basically followed the recipe , the only change that I made was that didn’t have heavy cream ( I had used it when I made parsnip puree the night before & forgot to grab more) ( yum, BTW!) .. so I made the soup up until that point, then swirled a bit of milk at the end right in the bowl & garnished with some rubbed sage….
it’s as warm and fuzzy as my favorite boots 🙂
sianara summer!  it’s been real 🙂

oh. yum.

Ok.. who here shops at wholesale cubs? I do sometimes but usually only for certain things. Not everything in bulk is a better deal.

So while I was en route to pick up my Chobani (love this stuff) I was star-struck when I saw this

I do love all things Italian and I ❤ my garden and veggies so I stopped to look at it & guess what?  It is another book that the recipes are grouped by seasons! What a wonderful way to use the foods that are local & fresh 🙂

I went back and forth on whether I could justify buying it, after all , I just bought THIS earlier this week , but in the end, I just couldn’t leave it behind.

After buying the book ( no self-control here) I sat int he parking lot & flipped through it & one recipe stood out as absolutleyhastobemadetonight. But… I needed cream.

But who goes into a wholesale club & just comes out with cream? (ignoring the fact that I just came out with yogurt, lemons & a cookbook) So I did what anyone else would do, I bought a keg of EVOO as well, because it’s also time to make some pesto.

Quite typical of me I barely ever follow directions, so this was my take on the recipe

Tomato Gratin

4 round tomatoes, halved , scooped and seeded ( I sliced a bit off the bottom so that the stood flat in the baking dish)~ scooped centers chopped

3/4 cup heavy cream ( maybe just a bit more for soaking the bread)

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

3 plum tomatoes, finely diced

olive oil

a few slices on day old bread ( I used a rustic Rosemary bread that I bought at the Farmers’ market last week)

Chives, chopped, sea salt & pepper.

Preheat oven to 350

After halving the tomatoes, drain them on a paper towel while preparing filling.

Pour cream, chopped tomatoes &  chopped garlic to a small pan & heat over medium heat for about 10 minutes.  Sauce should turn pink & tomatoes should begin to break down. Season with salt & pepper and allow sauce to cool.

While tomatoes are cooking/cooling, tear bread into small pieces, add remaining garlic & cover with cream, pressing down so that all the bread is covered.

Let soak for about 5 minutes.

In a bowl, mix cream mixture, bread crumbs,and chopped tomato centers. Test for salt & pepper.

Place tomatoes in olive oil lined baking dish and divide filling between tomatoes.

Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or so, until the the filling form a light crust.

sprinkle with chopped chives & serve.

over. the. top.  so darn yummy!!!!!!

You need to make these. so they have heavy cream..

so what.

Just do it… all the cool kids are 🙂

 

do it!

do it!

do it! 

(then invite me over, because I would like to eat this again)

on another note.. the barefoot garden survived the Earthquake yesterday

ok.. maybe one little causuality….

ciao bellas!

 

 

 

 

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