Tuesday, November 16, 2010

From the Kitchen

So many baby posts lately, I know. But how can I help it. He's such a cutie. As I typed that he let out two monster man burps.  At this age that's still pretty darn cute though. But let's mix it up for a change.

Here's what our kitchen has been cooking up.
This first recipe is perfect for the cool weather headed our way (so we dream!) Thanks to my sweet friend Julia who brought it over for a "play date" with her son Teddy. I told her I was dairy free and she was so sweet to even say, "We make it without the cheese anyway." Love her!

Beef and Cannellini Bean Minestrone Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and diced into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1 rib celery, trimmed and diced into 1/4-inch pieces
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces lean (8 percent fat) ground beef
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 4 cups low-sodium beef broth
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan


In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, add the oil and heat over medium heat. Stir in the onion, carrot and celery and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes.

Increase the heat to high and add the ground beef and garlic. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook until the beef is browned and cooked through, about 6 to 7 minutes. 

Stir in the tomato paste and mix to combine. Add the broth, tomatoes, beans, and bay leaf. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the liquid has reduced by half, about 30 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and discard. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with Parmesan.

Warms the body and the soul!
 The next few pics are just food porn from the rice mentioned here. Paired with blackened tilapia and microwavable steamed veggies and you've got a winner!

Interested in your house smelling like an artisan bakery? Remember those homemade rolls? Well now it's time to make your own.  Turns out I didn't take as many step-by-step photos as I thought, but you get the idea. The thought of making my own bread terrified me, but it was super easy!

French Bread Rolls

1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups all-purpose flour
In a large bowl, stir together warm water, yeast, and sugar. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
To the yeast mixture, add the oil, salt, and 2 cups flour. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough has pulled away from the sides of the bowl.(will seem very flour-y) Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl, and turn to coat. Cover with a damp cloth, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
Deflate the dough, and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into 14-16 equal pieces, and form into round balls. 
Place on lightly greased baking sheets at least 2 inches apart. Cover the rolls with a damp cloth (or greased saran wrap), and let rise until doubled in volume, about 40 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
Bake for 12-13 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown.

And finally, the dinner that made Cowboy text me while at CCE with the cheesy line, "Where did you get that recipe? Thebomb.com?" Yes, he went there. But it was so yummy! Sorry no food porn pics. We are having leftovers tonight and I'd take some, but we might be dining on these yummy nuggets sans (love that word!) buns and you can't take a pulled pork sandwich food porn pic without the buns!

Regardless, this next dish was easy and delicious--a knockout combo!

Perfect Pulled Pork

5 lbs. boneless pork butt shoulder (I couldn't find boneless, so bone in worked just fine)
1 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt (come on, now--when in doubt????? Yes, add more!)
1 cup water
soft sandwich buns (Kroger bakery kaiser rolls for the win!)
BBQ sauce

First, let me say that I doubled the spices. What was given did not seem like enough and boy was I right! The doubled cayenne did give it a nice kick, so if you don't like spice, perhaps just double everything else. 
Combine all seasonings in a small bowl and rub evenly over roast. Place meat in a 6 qt. slow cooker. (Crock Pot for the win!) Add water. Cover and cook on LOW (why do recipes always capitalize that?) for 6-8 hours or on HIGH (again with the caps!) for 4-5 hours or until pork is very tender.

Place pork on large cutting board or platter and let rest for 10-15 minutes. Mine fell apart as I was taking it out. So tender! Pull, slice, or chop to serve. Serve in buns with BBQ sauce. (or as leftovers as main meat dish with French fries. Hello dinner tonight.)

Sorry no pics. But this post brought to you by Shrimp is Napping, Inc. 

No comments: