Fettuccine with Prosciutto and Sage Cream

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(Hmm…  I didn’t actually have a cream in our finished product, but that’s what the original recipe is called so I guess that’s that.)

I adore this recipe.  Almost.  Fettuccine with Prosciutto and Sage Cream is probably perfect as is, if you like Alfredo sauce.  For those of us who despise it: stay tuned to my changes!

Here is the way I tastily cooked this dish…

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups fully cooked chicken strips (or cut up and cook some chicken)
  • 12 oz fresh pre-sliced mushrooms
  • 10 sage leaves
  • 4 slices prosciutto (about 2 oz)
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan
  • 8 oz fettuccine pasta (though next time I’ll swap out for rotini instead)
  • 2/3 cup roasted red peppers
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Italian dressing to taste

Boil water and cook pasta.  Cut prosciutto into long thin strips.  Cut sage leaves into long thin strips.  Chop red peppers.

Preheat large saute pan on medium-high 2-3 minutes.  Heat oil, then add mushrooms; cook 2-3 minutes or until browned.  Add red peppers and chicken strips; heat through.  Reduce heat to medium-low.  Drizzle with 1/4 to 1/2 cup of Italian dressing (I didn’t actually measure this.  I just sort of poured it over until “it looked good.”)  Simmer 3-4 minutes.  Stir in prosciutto and sage.  Then add pasta.  Top with Parmesan.

It’s my opinion that it came out a little salty.  I think the pre-cooked chicken is to blame.  Next time I’ll simply cook up some chicken myself.

Judges’ Ruling:

Mr. M:  “This is like restaurant food!”
Little V:  “I want more noodles.”
Baby D:  (giggled while mashing bits of fettuccine)

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Eggplant and Prosciutto Rollatini

This week at my grocery store, eggplant was on sale.  I don’t have many recipes for eggplant, but I’ve always been intrigued.  And now that I’ve cooked with it a few times I can say that in my master-of-the-kitchen-in-training opinion, eggplant is weird.

But, here are some fun facts on this beloved vegetarian substitute for a variety of meat options:

  1. Eggplant is a fruit.  The seeds are on the inside, y’all.
  2. To take it a step further, it’s classified as a berry.  (Who’d’a thunk?)
  3. It is an excellent source of potassium.

So what did I cook with this over-sized berry?  Eggplant and Prosciutto Rollatini (click here for link on Allrecipes.com)  As with most recipes, I start with something another person created and then make it my own out of necessity (“I surely don’t have that in my kitchen”) or for taste (“Absolutely no way I’m eating that”).  If you look at the original recipe, you’ll see I did change things up a bit.  For both reasons.

Ingredients:

  • 1 eggplant, peeled and cut lengthwise into 1/4″ slices
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 Tbsp Italian blend seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • olive oil
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 10 slices prosciutto
  • 14 ounces Organic Bertolli Olive Oil, Basil, Garlic sauce
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 box of bow tie pasta (Bows are fun. End of story.)

Directions:

  1. Mix bread crumbs, Italian seasoning, and garlic.  (Ooo, just realized how yummy this would be with some grated Parmesan too.) Dip eggplant slices in egg, then coat with bread crumb mix.  Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high.  Fry eggplant on each side until golden-brown.  Remove to a paper rowel lined plate to drain.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  3. Spread a thin layer of ricotta cheese onto each slice of eggplant.  Pace a slice of prosciutto on each.  Roll up tightly and place seam side down in a 9×13 inch baking dish.  Pour pasta sauce over the rolls and top with shredded cheese.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven until cheese is melted and lightly browned.
  5. While eggplant rolls are baking, boil a large pot of lightly salted water and cook pasta.
  6. Serve eggplant and sauce over pasta.

I’d love to make this again.  Without the prosciutto it’s a hearty vegetarian option, especially for anyone who’s looking to lessen the number of meaty meals every week.  (Ding ding ding!  The M’s are doing just that!)

Judges’ ruling?

Mr. M:  “Maybe if I eat it fast, the ricotta won’t make me gag.”
Little V:  “It’s like pizza.”  O.o
Baby D:  “Badadaaa mmmmmmmm (some tongue clicking here) aaaadaaaaaaa.”

(It’s been added to my collection.)

Breakfast Sandwich

An absolute favorite of mine, this is really just a way to jazz up our normal Saturday morning eggs and toast.

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 1-2 Tbsp whipped cream cheese
  • 1 thin slice of Swedish Fontina cheese
  • 2 thin slices of tomato
  • 2 pieces of five grain bread
  • Badia Adobo seasoning
  • garlic pepper

Cook eggs, sunny side up.  Then flip and press with the back of a spatula to burst yolks.  Cook through.  Toast bread.  Spread cream cheese on one slice of toast, then top with fontina cheese.  Put eggs on remaining slice of toast (this lets any oil soak into the bread).  season eggs, then layer with tomato.  Put both halves together and enjoy!

This isn’t the healthiest of all breakfasts, but it certainly covers a number of food groups.  It would be just as tasty with one egg (or a poached egg), I just use both for the extra protein and calories.  You can also swap out the cheese for low-fat options.  After years of eating this sandwich, this is my favorite variety of flavors.  But mix it up and make it your own – that’s the fun in cooking!

Best served with… a cup of your favorite blend of coffee and a side of fresh fruit.

Easy Protein Shake

I’ve been on the hunt for fast protein sources lately.  With my gigantic 8 month old still nursing and my seeming inability to pay attention to my own health during our recent move, I’ve come into some health problems.  A friend of mine reminded me that “protein protein protein” will solve the majority of my problems.  After a big face palm and a “duh,” I got to work.  The following is a recipe for a shake with 21g of protein (yes, 21!!!):

  • 2 Tbsp of peanut butter
  • 8 oz of whole milk (or more to taste)
  • 1 Carnation Breakfast Essentials packet in Milk Chocolate
  • 1 banana
  • Blend until smooth and enjoy!

Smoothies – Because I Don’t Have Time to Eat

Okay, so that title is a bit misleading. But running around after my toddler and infant leave my hands full and time limited when it comes to eating right.  One tasty and easy way to get my fruit is making a smoothie every day.  I’ve found it fastest to start with a frozen fruit, then add a banana and some juice.  Here are my favorites:

Açaí Berry Smoothie:

click here for nutrition info source

  • 1 Smoothie Pack
  • 1 small banana
  • 8 oz V8 Fusion (Cranberry Blackberry is my favorite!)

The best part of using V8 Fusion is that it’s a serving of fruit and of vegetables (the more important of the two) in addition to the açaí puree and banana.  That’s three servings of fruit and one of vegetables in one cup!  The açaí is USDA Organic (hooray) so that makes up for the price tag ($7.99/pack of four at my grocery store) and it’s a superfood.  I still haven’t found these in bulk, but I’ll definitely buy a box if I do.  Because it’s already pureed before frozen, it’s the easiest to work with for those non-VitaMix blenders!

By the way, The PROPER pronunciation for Acai is “Ah-Sigh-EE.”

Strawberry Banana Smoothie:

click here for nutrition

  • 1 single serve cup sliced strawberries
  • 1 small banana
  • 8 oz Dole 100% Juice Paradise Blend

This is the more affordable of the two recipes, but the less nutrient packed.  I can, however, buy frozen fruit cups in bulk and therefore see myself using a variety of these more often.  I’ve also seen these cups in blueberries or pineapples.  And while Dole makes a multitude of frozen fruit options, I like the cups because they are pre-measured and sliced.  I do feel a bit guilty for the environment though, so I may look out for a bagged variety that will blend quickly.

Next step:  Find a way to blend in spinach/kale/romaine.  Do you make smoothies?  Feel free to share your favorite recipe below!

Homemade Lattes – Pumpkin Spice

I love a great cup of coffee.  It’s even better when it comes with the satisfaction of having made it myself.  And it’s better still when I can enjoy it on my patio while watching my kiddos play in the morning sunshine.  So I’ve been on the lookout for great recipes that will let me make my morning cup o’ joe with a little added flavor.

Fall means pumpkins and pumpkins mean the lovely pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks.  Last year I managed to find a recipe for syrup I can add to my own coffee.  This year, I went to the link and found it broken.  After drying my eyes, I began a massive search for a recipe that seemed familiar.

The how-to I recall was somewhere between Julie’s from SavvyEats and Foodiebride’s from JasonAndShawnda.  I remember the actual recipe I used calling for cheesecloth.  I also know it looked like a thinned out version of SavvyEat’s original syrup and that it had the same problem of settling at the bottom.  So in some unconventional ways I changed it up a bit to meet my “needs.” And yes, I have pumpkin spice latte needs.  Don’t you?

Alison M’s Pumpkin Spice Syrup

1 c. water
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. ground nutmeg

But wait…where’s the pumpkin?  My recipe doesn’t call for any.  Gasp! I find that it worked without the pumpkin and I’ve never had any complaints about the flavor.  When I make these hot cups of delicious for guests, they can’t tell the difference.  So I save myself the trouble of using only 2 Tbsp of pureed pumpkin (or 3 Tbsp, or 1/3 c. which are the amounts I’ve found in other recipes if you’d like to add it to yours) and wasting the rest.  Plus, what’s the point of a recipe you love that doesn’t have your own flair?  Moving on.

Begin by putting the sugar into your coffee pot.  Then pour the water into the back of your coffee maker.  Line the basket with a paper filter, then add the remaining ingredients to the filter. And run the machine.  Unconventional yes, but this eliminates the mess of using cheesecloth and prevents the syrup from settling later on.  When the machine has finished “brewing” your syrup, swirl it around in the pot until the sugar has dissolved.  The remaining liquid in the filter can be discarded.  Then simply pour your syrup into an empty glass container and allow it to cool.  Store in the refrigerator.

Reduce Reuse Recycle.

Now having your festively fall beverage is simple, cost effective, and customizable.  To make your latte:

  1. Brew your coffee using whatever beans you prefer.  Make it a touch stronger than if you were brewing for plain coffee.
  2. Heat a small amount of milk (I have a preference for using whole milk), then froth.  I own an Aerolatte (the best Mother’s Day gift I have gotten and probably impossible to top) which happens to be recommended by GHRI.  If I had to change one thing, it would be easier to clean.  (The frothing end is like a spring.)
  3. Add your coffee.
  4. Pour in a little syrup.  I recommend trying it with 1 Tbsp.
  5. Add sugar and milk if desired.

It only takes a small amount of milk to get the froth you need.


Enjoy!

*If you happen to like the pumpkin spice but aren’t much of a coffee drinker, check out this yummy looking recipe for homemade chai.  On my list of things to try!