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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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piña colada chicken and a giveaway!

you know why I love writing here, because you have no idea if I’m sitting in my pajamas noshing on some leftover amazeballs chicken, or whether I’m dressed up writing this from the library. 

I’m sure if you had to guess, you’d get it right 😉

When I wrote Coconut crusted chicken with grilled pineapple salsa last week, I was going to call it piña colada chicken. 

But then I had a thought… A deep  thought. 

In order for it to be called piña colada chicken..  It had a very necessary ingredient…  

  Hellz. Yea. 

I’ve been chomping at the bit all weekend ( Kentucky derby pun completely  intended) to share this with you! 

Pull out your flip flops and sunglasses and tiki torches…  We are taking a trip to the carribean, my friends! 

piña colada chicken 

1 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless 

1 tablespoon  jerk seasoning 

1 tablespoon coconut oil 

3/4 cup pineapple. ( mine was fresh, canned is fine, just dry it ) 

1 can coconut milk

1 ‘nip’ bottle of white rum 

1/4-1/2 cup Chicken stock

  

  

Start by sprinkling salt and pepper on each side of chicken, then rub  both sides of chicken with seasoning.  Let sit for 10 minutes. 

Heat oil over medium heat until melted. Add chicken and sauté on each side for about 5 minutes. Add pineapple and cook another 5 minutes.  Using tongs, remove chicken , turn off heat and add rum. Turn heat baby on and using a wooden spoon, scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.  Once it starts to boil, add coconut milk and stir.  Return chicken to pan.  Stir in chicken stock 1/4 cup at a time, making sure it doesn’t get too soupy .

Reduce heat to low and cover for 1/2 hour. 

Test sauce for seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed. 

Serve over a bed of greens, with sauce generously spooned atop! 

  

 

  

  

I wanted to make my Cilantro coconut rice but I was out of rice.  Say whaaaat? I’m slacking..

So I used whole wheat coucous in it’s place.  It worked! 

So mosey on down and send your friends a postcard from your tropical dinner! 

I bought an extra bottle of the jerk seasoning to giveaway to one of you! All you need to do is comment either here in the comments, share this post with your friends, or like and comment on My Facebook page

That’s it!  I’ll chose a winner at random on Saturday night at 5 pm mountain time. 

Good luck! And as always, thanks for reading. I pour my heart out here sometimes and it’s nice to know you are reading!  😎

Ciao bellas! 

spinach fennel salad with blood orange and herbed gouda

spring has sprung! And with spring, we have spring veggies popping up everywhere! 

( my local farmers’ market starts up again this Saturday and I’m giddy with excitement! ) 

Today’s dish is a combo of sweet and savory, crunchy and tart. 

Spinach fennel salad with blood orange and herbed Gouda 

1 fennel bulb

1 small blood orange 

Small handful of pecans 

Small block of Gouda cheese ( I found one with cinnamon notes, use what you like ) , chopped 

Handful of baby spinach 

Extra virgin olive oil ( for the dressing ) 

  

Start by cutting top of of fennel bulb, reserving some frawns for garnish.  Cut bulb in half, remove outer tough leaves and cut a V in the base to remove tough bulb 

 

Slice thinly. 

Using a grater, grate some on the orange zest and place in small jar for dressing.  Juice half of the orange into the same jar. Add equal amount of olive oil, sea salt and pepper.  Place top on jar and set aside until ready to serve. 

Toast pecans in dry skillet over medium heat, watching carefully so that they don’t burn. When cool enough to handle, roughly chop and set aside.

Peek skin off of remaining blood orange half and separate into sections. 

Start by adding spinach to a serving bowl and surround the edges woth the slivered fennel. 

Scatter orange wedges, cheese, and nuts on top. Sprinkle frawns on top. 

  

When ready to serve, shake dressing in jar, drizzle atop salad and toss to serve! 

I’m looking forward to many fun salads this season ! 

  

More salad recipes

Sweet pea salad with goat cheese 

 Strawberry- balsamic chicken salad

Roasted beet and goat cheese salad

Prosciutto cantelope salad with mint  

lentil love

I expressed a few weeks back about how much I truly enjoy LENTILS.
The bonus is that they are so GOOD for you! .. back in my previous life of being a cosmetologist, I had a client who was in her mid to late 50’s and looked AMAZING. Simply Amazing. I asked her how she did it… she told me that she ate a lot of lentils.. I know this sounds silly, but I swear to you , this is true.

I don’t think that I had really eaten lentils except for maybe in soup? They are readily available in just about every grocery store, there are many different kinds, they are quick and easy to make and if you live near a Trader Joe’s ( field trip there for me tomorrow… suggestion on what I should get??) you can buy already cooked lentil in the refrigerator section at Tj’s.

could it be easier? I think not.

My sweet, daughter in law, Amanda ( and future nurse:) *congratulations on Nursing School acceptance!* Started changing her diet earlier this year and has discovered a whole bunch of new foods in the process ( and also lost over 30 pounds in the process!) One of the companies that she discovered was Laurel Hill.

I bought a bag and….. I’m hooked. ( I found these at Whole foods) And as silly as this little recipe is, I feel the need to share this with you because I eat it 3-4 times a week. True love, I tell ya… true love ❤

[amd-zlrecipe-recipe:3]

* side note…after an embaressing weight gain I am going to be re joining weight watchers… as soon as I do I will figure out the point plus info for this recipe and come back and edit it for those who are interested*

I have been using coconut oil for about a year now. This is some good stuff. Coconut oils had gotten a bad rap for many years, but researchers are finding that it has amazing health benefits

It can be a little pricey ( around 10 buck a jar) but it lasts a long time and I swear.. it’s worth every penny… I use it to cook my eggs & fry my tofu. If i had a must -have 20 item list in my kitchen, this would be on there 🙂

If you are new to lentils, I urge you to try them 🙂

don’t they look purty on my beans and grains shelf?

xooxox

~shel

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