Archive for February, 2013

February 28th, 2013

Pasta with Cilantro-Peanut Pesto

I usually know my tastes pretty well. I can look at a recipe and know whether or not it would be something that I would like or not. However, when I saw this recipe I thought “This will probably be alright, I should try it”. However, I was really wrong with this one. It was better than alright, I loved it. I demolished just about all of it by myself for lunch one day. It is SO SUPER simple as well!

And don’t be afraid of all that cilantro. Cilantro is a funny thing, either you like it or you don’t. There aren’t a whole lot of people on the fence with cilantro. And because cilantro’s stems are tender and mild in flavor you can go ahead and throw them in the food processor as well, saving time!

Pasta with Cilantro-Peanut Pesto

Ingredients:

1 bunch cilantro {stems included}, 1/4 cup leaves reserved for serving
1 clove garlic
3/4-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
zest and juice from 1 lime
1 teaspoon light-brown sugar
1/3 cup roasted peanuts, plus additional chopped peanuts for garnish
2 to 4 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
12 ounces thin spaghetti or linguine, cooked according to package instructions

Directions:

In a food processor, combine cilantro, garlic, ginger, vegetable and sesame oils, red-pepper flakes, lime zest and juice, brown sugar, and 1/3 cup peanuts. Pulse until a coarse paste forms. Season with soy sauce and pulse to combine. In a large bowl, toss pesto with pasta. Sprinkle additional chopped peanuts and reserved cilantro leaves over top.

*Recipe adapted from Everyday Food, June 2012

 

 

February 27th, 2013

St. Patrick’s Day Lucky Lunch Box Printables


{True confession}  I’m not really Irish . . . but I do love holidays and the chance to do something special for family and friends. Sometimes it’s small and simple little extras that keeps things fun. I’ve never been one to go “all out” for St. Patrick’s Day- just some green pancakes or a “little something” tucked in a lunch box.

Today, I’ve got a “little something” for each of you.  Here’s your chance to do your own ”little something” without a lot of fuss!  We’ve created a fun collection of tags and printables for your family lunch boxes.   All you have to do is print them out to attach a little fun  and create some magic on St. Paddy’s Day!  You can use one, or use them all, we just hope they bring lots of hugs and smiles your way!

 

St. Patrick’s Day Lucky Lunchbox Printable Collection

 

First,  send a Kiss for Luck in a lunch box or your husband’s pocket:

 

 

 

How easy to add a note to a granola bar – Lucky to Have You!

 

I’m Over the Rainbow for You works especially well with Skittles:

 

A cute Lucky Straw Banner will definitely add some fun:

 

There are also a couple other Lucky tags you can add to bring a touch of magic to anything in your Lunch Box!

 

We hope you have a magical and fun St. Patrick’s Day!  Download the St. Patrick’s Day Lucky Lunch Box Printable Collection HERE (link updated 2/14)


 

In case you forgot, we might also love this Lucky Charm Tag and Snack Bag Topper from last year~ just add to Lucky Charm Cereal {easy!}

 


February 26th, 2013

Muffin Fries with Peanut Butter Yogurt Dip

Who doesn’t love muffins? My family loves the jumbo muffins from the wholesale stores, that contain a million grams of fat. But here is a simple way to serve muffins in a whole new light.  These would be great for a breakfast or brunch, or an after school snack.  They are a huge hit at my house, hope they will be at yours too.  Of course, you can use homemade or store-bought muffins.

Muffin Fries

4 jumbo muffins, any flavor {Blueberry and Almond Poppyseed pictured above}

3 Tbls. butter, melted

sea salt or sugar {depends on your preference}

 

Peanut Butter Yogurt Dip

3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt

2 Tbls. honey

2 Tbls. peanut butter

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

With a serrated knife, cut muffins into 1/2 inch thick slices, then cut each muffin slice across the other way into 1/2 inch “fries”.  Arrange the muffin fries on the prepared baking sheet.

With a pastry brush, brush the tops of the muffin fries with the melted butter.  Lightly sprinkle with sea salt or sugar if you like things a little sweeter.

Bake 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown.

Meanwhile, prepare the dip.  In a bowl, whisk together yogurt, honey and peanut butter.  Store, covered, in the refrigerator for up to a week.

The muffin fries are best served warm, with the dip.  Makes about 40 fries.

 *Recipe slightly adapted from a Costco Cookbook.

 

 

 

February 25th, 2013

Pistachio Bread


Did you know, tomorrow,  February 26,  is National Pistachio Day?  Why not go a little “nuts” {pun intended} and plan a celebration or just bake a loaf of this yummy Pistachio Bread Recipe in honor of the day!  Here’s a couple of fun facts worthy of celebrating:

*  Pistachios are sometimes called the skinny nut because they are right at the top of the lowest fat nuts.

*  Pistachio’s open hull is unique- in the Middle East they are called “smiling nuts” and in China they are called “happy nuts”.

If you don’t plan to join the celebration, you  can enjoy this delicious Pistachio Bread Recipe any day of the week- its beautiful green color makes it fun for parties, showers, and gift giving {think Christmas} and how fun would it be for St. Patrick’s Day which is right around the corner. . .

 

Pistachio Bread Recipe

Ingredients

1 white cake mix
2 small boxes (3 oz) Pistachio Instant Pudding
1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
1/2 cup water
3 large eggs
1 cup sour cream

Cinnamon Struessel
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup pistachios, finely chopped (optional)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine all ingredients except the cinnamon struessel with electric mixer until smooth (mixture is some-what thick).  Pour half of  the batter into 2 greased loaf pans.  Sprinkle half of the cinnamon struessel on top the batter.  Add remaining batter to pans.  Sprinkle with remaining struessel mix.  Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Cool on wire rack for 5- 10 minutes and remove from pans.

You might also like:

Pistachio Cran Cookies
Glazed Coconut Bread
Double Chocolate Loaf

 


February 22nd, 2013

Champagne Vinaigrette

I know it has been a long sleepless night for so many wondering how Mr. C got along with his new sled.  Okay, maybe not but I thought I would let you know that it was a huge success.  He claimed it to be the fastest sled he has ever been on.  I think this picture says it all.  And not only did Mr. C love his sled but he found it to so much more fun to ride it with his little sister.  That right there just warms my heart. :)

I thought since I tempted your will power with Double Chocolate Loaf yesterday, I would give you a promised recipe. If you remember a few weeks ago I posted this Crispy Pasta Cakes with Red Pepper and Mozzarella Salad. And if you also remember I promised to post this amazing dressing that pairs perfectly with that salad. Well, life happens and things don’t always go as planned, but now I am making good on my promise and so here it is…

Champagne Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

2 cloves garlic
1 Tbls. kosher salt
1/4 cup champagne vinegar
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 cup olive oil

Directions:

Using the back of a knife make a paste with the garlic and kosher salt.  {Keep working it, the salt will soften the garlic.}  Whisk together the champagne vinegar and Dijon mustard.  Add the garlic paste to the vinegar along with the black pepper.  Slowly add the olive oil whisking as you pour.  Refrigerate until ready to use.  Shake before pouring.

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