Monday, April 25, 2011

Hello Again... I've Missed You

I've been away for a while... but not from the internet. Just from writing. I have been lurking. Many of you have seen my comments on your blogs... and many more of you have not seen me hanging around and enjoying your words and stories. I've started a new business (which I will tell you more about in later posts) and lost my day job (tax season is over so working in that field has it's limitations). I re-watched the entire series of Sex and the City. I've read a few books. I've cooked some yummy food. All in all, I've been doing, being, and living. Just not writing. This bothers me because writing is something that I want to do, and someday would like to make a living out of. I hope to be writing much more in the near future. In the mean time I have a few of my favorite recipes to share with you.

Magic Chocolate Ice Cream (Taken from Cook's Country Magazine)
This is made completely without an ice cream maker and comes out perfect!

1 teaspoon instant coffee or espresso powder
1 tablespoon hot water
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch salt
1 1/4 cups cold heavy cream

Step 1 - Melt Chocolate Base
Combine coffee (or espresso) powder and hot water in small bowl. Let stand until coffee dissolves, about 5 minutes. Microwave chocolate, sweetened condensed milk, and coffee mixture in bowl, stirring every 10 seconds, until chocolate is melted, about 1 minute. Stir in vanilla and salt. Let cool.

Step 2 - Mix and Freeze
With electric mixer on medium-high speed, whip cream to soft peaks, about 2 minutes. Whisk one-third of whipped cream into chocolate mixture. Fold remaining whipped cream into chocolate mixture until incorporated. Freeze in airtight container until firm, at least 6 hours or up to 2 weeks. Serve.

If you plan to store the ice cream for more than a few days, place plastic wrap directly on its surface before freezing.

BLT Pasta

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 slices hearty white sandwich bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
12 slices bacon, chopped
1 onion, chopped fine
1 garlic clove, minced
salt and pepper
1 pound orecchiette (or other small pasta)
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 (5-ounce) bag baby arugula (baby spinach works well if you arugula is not available)
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Bring 4 quarts water to boil in large pot. Melt butter in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add bread and cook, stirring frequently, until golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to bowl and wipe out skillet.

2. Cook bacon in empty skillet over medium-high heat until crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer bacon to paper towel-lined place and pour off all about 2 tablespoons fat. Cook onion in bacon fat until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

3. Add pasta and 1 tablespoon salt to boiling water and cook until al dente. Reserve 1 1/2 cups cooking water. Drain pasta and return to pot. Stir in tomatoes, arugula, Parmesan, bacon, onion mixture, and 1 cup reserved pasta water (adding additional water as needed). Season with salt and pepper and top with croutons. Serve

Friday, April 1, 2011

Fabulous Freebie for you to Download

Remember my Forgiveness workbook? Well my dear friend Irish Goddess has borrowed that concept to make for you a Goddess Workbook for the month of April. The focus she is trying to bring to her blog, and to your life, is that you are fabulous, and you need to know it! This is a charming little download that I love and I know you will too! Hop on over to Irish Goddess and have a fabulous day! :)