Friday, May 20, 2011

Spinach and Artichoke Mac and Cheese

Over Chrismakuh I exchange gifts with the girls in my office, we do secret santa, and this year I lucked out, not only did I get a lot of cute little stuff  I also received Rachel Rays cookbook, Look and Cook. I love it, there are so many great recipes, some that we have already made over and over again because we love them so much!! There are several recipes that we earmarked to make and this is one of them. We love all things Mac and Cheese and also love to experiment with different kinds, and this was one we hadn't made at home yet. So when I saw this easy to make and easy on the eyes recipe, I had to make it. In my version I used canned artichokes only because that was what I had on hand but it tasted great anyway. So once again use what have.... 

Spinach and Artichoke Mac and Cheese 
ever so slightly adapted from :

Items Needed:

Large Stock Pot
Large Saute pan 
Casserole Dish

  • salt
  • 1 lb Penne pasta
  • 2 tbsp EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 med onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped 
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 1/2 c. white wine
  • 2 c. milk
  • Freshly grated nutmeg, about 1/4 teaspoon or to taste
  • 1 10-oz box frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and wrung dry in a kitchen towel
  • 1 can quartered Artichokes, slice in half again if desired 
  • pepper
  • 1 1/2 c. Fontina cheese, shredded , plus additional for sprinkling on top
  • 1 1/2 c. Parmigiano cheese, grated,  plus additional for sprinkling on top 

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil for pasta, salt water and cook pasta to al dente.
  • Meanwhile, place a medium pot over medium-low heat adding 2 tbsp olive oil, and the butter. Add the onion and garlic to the pan and cook the veggies until very soft, about 10 minutes. Then heat the broiler and position rack in the middle of the oven. 
  • Turn the heat up to medium-high and sprinkle the flour into the pan. Cook for about 1 minute then whisk the wine into the pan, cooking for another minute to burn off the alcohol
  • Whisk the milk into the pan and bring up to a bubble. Add the nutmeg, spinach, artichokes, salt and pepper to the sauce and simmer until thickened and vegetables are warmed through, 2-3 minutes more. Add 1 cup of each of the cheeses to the sauce and stir until melted.
  • Toss the prepared sauce with the cooked pasta and transfer to a casserole dish. Sprinkle some more Fontina and Parmigiano over the top and bake until the cheese has melted and the top is golden brown, about 30 minutes.

        Eat and Enjoy!!!!!

        Thursday, May 19, 2011

        Fajita Seasoning Mix

        I love making fajitas and tacos at home and of course would always reach for those already made kits. You know the ones.... shells, seasoning and taco sauce. How easy right? That is until you read or try to read the ingredients list... Half of the words are unpronounceable.. is that a word??  So I looked  up  a recipe and realized that it is so easy to make it at home and it tasted better go figure.... so this has become my go to recipe!!

      • 1 tbsp cornstarch

      • 2 tbsp chili powder

      • 1 tbsp salt

      • 1 tbsp paprika

      • 1 tsp sugar

      • 1/2 tsp onion powder

      • 1/4 tsp garlic powder

      • 1/4 tsp cayenne powder

      • 1/4 tsp cumin

        • Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Pour into small glass or plastic container, seal tightly and store in a cool, dry place.
        • Makes the equivalent of 3 packets of commercial or purchased Fajita Seasoning Mix.

        Tuesday, May 17, 2011

        Crisis Averted!!

        Ok so once again I have been MIA.... this time for good reason... trying to figure out this whole allergy thing. After lots of tests, lots of poking and lots of prodding.. I AM NOT ALLERGIC TO FOOD!! Well that is not to the extent that they thought I was, I am still sensitive to certain foods  and still having some of the same symptoms but am able to control them and not feel like I am dieing.. 

        I have cut beef out of my diet, and have not had any since February, and feel really good about it. I don't miss it and am not lacking in protein, I still eat chicken, fish and shellfish and have a new found love for turkey. Oh and we have joined the Meatless Monday crew and have found some great recipes. It is amazing that once you stop eating something you don't miss it much. I have pretty much been able to substitute a different protein for all my beef favorites!! So now that that's out of the way look for lots for new recipes coming your way!!


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