Fettuccine Alfredo

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And I’m back. My family came to town last weekend and I lost track of time. I made a pork shoulder I was planning on writing about here but I never got the chance. So that will be coming up later.

I was happy to have my mom and family come stay with me not just because they were finally able to see the new house but it was the first time in 13 years that my mom was able to actually come in to the house. In the past we always had dogs and my mom was allergic.

My nieces are still with me and they are serious carb lovers, so I have been diving into all sorts of noodle recipes here. This week the big hit was fettuccine Alfredo. True story, until this summer, I didn’t eat alfredo. I loved it growing up but I went to a certain chain restaurant with Kris from The Nerdy Chick like 12 years ago and got food poising. I haven’t touched it since. Fast forward to two weeks ago, I made it for everyone in the house and I ate it because I am too lazy to make separate meals. It was so. damn. delicious. I don’t know that I am ready to order it at a restaurant again but I will eat more than one helping of this recipe at home. It was a little sharp for Bee last week so I tweaked it some this week and its even better.

Start to finish this recipe takes about 15 minutes to make so its a great go to when you are short on time.

To begin, cook your noodles according the package instructions. Then set aside in medium sized bowl.

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Over medium-low heat melt one stick of butter in a large pan  and add minced garlic. You only need to cook the garlic until you can start to smell it. Then mix in heavy cream. Stir until sauce is warm. Season with salt and pepper.

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Now, add in 1 3/4 cups of shredded Parmesan cheese. Stir and allow cheese to melt and sauce to thicken. It will take about 7-8 minutes.

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 Finally, add sauce to noodles and toss to coat. Add remaining 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese on toss again.

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Hint: if you want your sauce even thicker you can add small amount of cornstarch before you add the 1 3/4 cup of cheese.

Fettuccine Alfredo

Ingredients

  • 1lb Fettuccine Noodles
  • 3 Cloves Garlic Minced
  • 8TB Butter (1 stick)
  • 1C Heavy Cream
  • 2C Parmesan Cheese shredded
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Cook Noodles according to package and set aside
  2. Melt butter in pan and add minced garlic. Cook garlic until fragrant.
  3. Stir in cream and simmer for 5 minutes until heated through.
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste
  5. Add 1 3/4c Parmesan Cheese and stir continuously until cheese melts and sauce is smooth.
  6. Simmer 7-8 minutes or until sauce thickens.
  7. Pour sauce of noodles and toss to coat.
  8. Sprinkle 1/4c of Parmesan Cheese on top and toss lightly.
http://runningonlaughter.com/2015/07/17/fettuccine-alfredo/

Test Kitchen Takedown: S’mores Icebox Cake

This cake has inspired me to try a whole new series. The test kitchen takedown! Where I will try recipes completely unaltered and tell you how it turns out. Its sort of like a first impressions but with food.

My nieces are staying with me this summer and my younger niece likes to bake. So far she has made muffins (which were not awesome…) and cookies, which were pretty good.  While I was perusing online for more things for her to try I came across a recipe for an icebox cake. Say what! I honestly have never even heard of such thing, I asked my wife if she has ever tried one and she had never heard of it either.

Perhaps you are like me and are wondering what the hell is an icebox cake. Its a cake made out of cookies or crackers with layers of filling, usually whip cream, that you put in the fridge over night. The cookies absorb the liquid from the filling and soften creating a cake like texture. After a quick google search I decided to try the S’Mores Icebox Cake from Completely Delicious.

So now to the rules of the Test Kitchen Takedown. I made this recipe with no alterations. I linked to the recipe above and I will review how it went making it and changes I would make in the future.

Let me start this by saying this cake is delicious without any changes. Also, I apologize for the crappy pics. I made this at 10PM, under bad lighting.

To start you have to make chocolate pudding. I have never made pudding that didn’t come from a box. It supers easy and I will be making it from scratch from now on.  This needs to chill for one hour be sure to plan that in to your cook time. I completely forgot to take a picture of just the pudding but you can see it below.

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Next, you make the filling which is a marshmallow/whip cream combination. Then comes the fun part of assembling the cake. Basically its like make a chocolate-marshmallow lasagna. This is the only part of the recipe I would make changes. I would leave out the mini marshmallows and increase the marshmallow cream to about 2 cups. Everyone in my house agreed that mini mallows created sort of weird texture. Also be generous in your pudding application. I wasn’t and I was sad there wasn’t more the chocolatey flavor in the final product. That is probably completely a user error and not a recipe error. I had leftover pudding and I ate it on leftover graham crackers… don’t judge me.

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Finally after refrigerating all night, the cake is ready to my iced. All that needs to be done is a whip cream frosting. Let me just say that I love whip cream frosting. It’s so easy to make and so delicious that we never buy the store kind anymore.

DSC_0289 Overall, I loved this cake. It’s great for the summer since you don’t need to turn on the oven. I will definitely be making this again with a few changes.

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Avocado and Corn Salad

DSC_0243Adulting is hard ya’ll. Peanut and the wife are sick, I’m still trying to unpack and make sense of the house and all I really want to do is watch Orange is the New Black. After sneaking in snippets here and there, I have finally finished the season. Now I can get back to the real world.

In good news, we are starting to get back in the habit of eating real food. I like the idea of picking up dinner when I’m exhausted but I get so tired of it after about two days. As much as I hate the heat of summer, I love the fresh food that comes with it. I have been seeing variations of this salad float around the internet and decided to try my own take on it. Its full of fresh summer goodness.  It takes about 10 minutes to prepare.

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Make the pasta and set aside to cool. I used the Traders Joe’s Brand Harvest Grain Blend. I love this pasta blend. Then combine all the dressing ingredients. I forgot to take pictures of this step. Sorry guys.

Next chop all left over ingredients – Corn, avocado and onion.

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Finally combine everything in a large bowl and allow time to marinate and meld. It’s that simple and so damn delicious.

 

Avocado and Corn Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 Avocados
  • 2 Ears of Corn - Removed from the Cob
  • 1 1/2 Cups of Small Grain Pasta
  • 1 Small Red Onion
  • Dressing
  • 1/4-1/2 Cup of Cilantro
  • 2 Limes - 1 Tsp of zest and juice from both
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste
  • 2 TB of Olive Oil

Instructions

  1. Prepare pasta according to package directions and allow to cool
  2. Next, prepare the dressing by combining cilantro, lime juice and zest, olive oil, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
  3. Then, combine all the large ingredients - pasta, avocado, corn and onion in a medium sized bowl.
  4. Finally, combine the dressing and main ingredients
  5. Cover and allow to chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour.
http://runningonlaughter.com/2015/06/23/avocado-and-corn-salad/

Zesty Mustard Slaw

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It’s summer, and you know what that means? Cookouts! I am really looking forward to some summer BBQs this year. They’re a great excuse to hang out with good friends and enjoy casual food that doesn’t take hours of preparation. I’m in the midst of planning an event for the 4th of July, so I’ve been thinking a lot about good recipes for a crowd.

Today’s post is my twist on a classic cookout staple: coleslaw. This recipe is for anyone that prefers their slaw mayo-free or with a bit more bite. As with most of my recipes, it uses only a handful of ingredients and requires very little time in the kitchen. I’d rather spend my time drinking a great “porch” wine with friends than spending all night over a stove. Oh….and red cabbage is a nutritional powerhouse. Tasty AND healthy? Yes, please!

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Ingredients:

*5-6 cups shredded red cabbage

*1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

*2 tbsp nutritional yeast (I know, I know…it’s the world’s grossest sounding food, but trust me on this one)

*3 tsp liquid amino acids (you could probably substitute soy sauce if that’s what you’ve got in the house)

*4 tbsp rustic dijon mustard

*1/2 tsp black pepper

Mix the vinegar and spices together and toss the red cabbage in the mixture. That’s it. It’s an easy and healthy addition to your cookout menu.

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Recipe Love, Recipe Dreams and Breakfast Sandwiches

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I’m alive! My world is utter chaos right now. We are not only not unpacked but we finally just finished clearing out the old house. My nieces are staying with me for the summer. Peanut’s napping schedule has become totally random.

We have been eating whatever is quick and easy which unfortunately means kind of crappy. I really wanted to get back in this space and start blogging again. So i’m just going to ease back into this and basically give snap shot of what is going on right now.

Recipe Love:

Nom Nom Paleo Kalua Pig

We have made this recipe twice in the last three weeks. I wish I could of come up with this delicious genius but I am glad someone did. It takes a while to make but it goes in the crockpot so you don’t have babysit it. Make this pork, trust me.

Recipe Dreams:

Chocolate Covered Potato Chips – I have been craving both salty and sweet lately. My nieces and I melted some chocolate chips on potato chips. It was ok but I am going to work on taking it up a notch. I will update after we test some things out.

Currently Eating:

I haven’t had the chance to announce here that my wife is pregnant. We are super excited to be adding to our family and it was what spurred us to finally move after 12 years in the townhouse. I have been trying to make sure she eats enough eggs. I have been making these breakfast sandwiches. They take 10 minutes to make and are great to grab and go. You can freeze them and reheat in the microwave and they are not too shabby. Try making a couple on the weekend and reheat during the week.

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1. Toast english muffins

2. Place two pre-cooked sausage patties in the microwave for about 1 min

3. Melt butter in a pan and spread a little butter on the inside of the egg rings. (I like these)

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4. Crack eggs directly into the egg rings.

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5. Once the eggs become opaque, about 5-7 minutes, use a butter knife gently separate egg from the ring by sliding it around the inside. Flip eggs and cook for another 1-2 minutes.

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6. Assemble sandwich and find an adorable helper to eat them with you.

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Lime-Thyme Butter

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At my house, nothing signals the beginning of summer more than a feast of blue crab and boiled corn on the cobb.  It always reminds me of lazy days at the beach, and today I was lucky enough to capture a bit of that magic in my own backyard.

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Now, you might think that fresh summer corn with melted butter couldn’t be improved upon, but you would be wrong.  This easy receipe for Lime-Thyme Butter requires only three ingredients, but really gives your cookout a little something extra.

Ingredients:

  • Desired Amount of Butter, Softened (I used half a stick for this post)
  • Small Bunch of Fresh Thyme to Taste
  • Lime Juice to Taste

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For this recipe, you just mix the lime juice and thyme into the butter and enjoy.  It’s best if you make it ahead of time and let the flavors blend together for an hour or so before serving, but it’s still delicious right away.  You could also go crazy with this concept and try other combos (honey-lavender butter, perhaps?).

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Seriously…..how great is summer?

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Stress-Relieving Bath Salts

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“There must be quite a few things that a hot bath won’t cure, but I don’t know many of them.”
-Sylvia Plath

I could not agree more.  I fully believe in the healing powers of a hot bath.  I love them so much, that I have elevated baths to a full-blown hobby.  If I’m sad, I take a bath.  If I’m happy, I take a bath.  If I’m tired, I take a bath.  You get the picture. I like a hot bath.

At no time is a bath better than when you really need to melt away stress.  These bath salts are perfect after a long day.  They smell amazing, sooth sore muscles, and don’t have the nasty chemicals that many commercial bath products contain.

You’ll need:

1 cup epsom salts

1/2 cup sea salt

10-15 drops of your favorite essential oil (I like lavender)

3-4 drops of food coloring (optional)

Mix all of the ingredients together and store them in a covered container. Trust me, the next time your dog decides to develop enough anxiety to require a Prozac prescription, you’ll be glad you did.  Or maybe that’s just me.

Tostones

DSC_0094Let me start this post by saying I love my son. Let me now follow that by saying the little punk hid my sd card reader so now we have to box.

Moving on. This week we are making tostones. Tostones are fried plantains. You can buy plantains either green or yellow. The green ones are the ones we are using for this recipe. The yellow ones are also delish but much sweeter.

When choosing green plantains make sure they are dark green. The darker the better. In my picture they look a little yellow but there should be no yellow.  Begin by filling a pan with a little bit of oil over medium heat. You want enough oil to come up about half way on your sliced plantain coins.DSC_0071

Then you want to cut off each end and make a slice down the center of the skin. You should slice all the way through the skin but not into the actual plantain. Then peel off the skin.DSC_0077DSC_0076

Next slice the plantain in to roughly 1/2 inch diagonal coins. I say roughly because here in Case No Damns Given my coins are never uniform size. So you do you.

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Once the oil is nice and hot, carefully place the coins in the pan. You only need to leave them for about 1-2 minutes per side. We are not cooking them just softening them.

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After the coins cool a little, we need to smash them. I used a tostenera, which you can pick up at most global super markets. A flat bottom cup works just as well.

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Finally, place the flattened plantain back in to the oil. Cook for about 5 minutes on each side. It should be crispy and golden when it is done then spinkle with a little salt.You can eat them plain, put salsa on them or my personal favorite top them with rice and beans. We have even topped it with rotisserie chicken, jalepeños and cheese and ate them like nachos.

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Tostones

Ingredients

  • 4 Green Plantains
  • Oil for Frying
  • Salt (Optional)

Instructions

  1. Heat a small amount of oil over medium heat
  2. Slice off each end and slice down the center of the skin
  3. Peel off the skin
  4. Slice each plantain into diagonal coins, roughly 1/2 inch.
  5. Place several coins in to the oil. Fry 1-2 minutes each side to soften
  6. Remove from oil and allow the coins to cool for a couple minutes.
  7. Using either a tostonera or a flat bottomed cup; flatten each coin.
  8. Place the flattened plantain back into the oil and fry for about 5 minutes on each side.
  9. Remove from oil and lightly salt
http://runningonlaughter.com/2015/04/30/tostones/

 

Key Lime Pie

DSC_0064Do you ever have one of those days when you ask yourself “how did my life get to this point?” That was me, at 5:30 this morning, when I realized I was out of coffee. What is this life?

Anyways, I don’t know if its the beautiful weather or what but I have been craving Key Lime everything. My first thought was to make key lime ice cream sandwiches. I had this epiphany approximately 48 hours after I donated our ice cream maker because we never used it. When I told my wife about my plan, she gave me side eye so strong it would have made weaker men cry. Thankfully, I have become immune to it and I just pretend I don’t see it. I did realize that it would probably be a bad idea to buy another small appliance when we are in the middle of packing. Of course, by the middle, I mean we donated some stuff in preparation for packing.

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We are prepping to move. We have not moved in 12 years and we have accumulated a lot of crap in that time. Also I remembered how much I hate packing.

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Moving on, I decided to go with key lime pie. This actually worked out since the only things I needed to buy for it are the sweetened condensed milk and graham crackers. In complete honesty I did not use key limes. Those little buggers are expensive. Plus I already had regular limes in my refrigerator.

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The fastest way to make the crust is throw it in the food processor but because Peanut was sleeping, I just smashed the crackers with a meat tenderizer. Both ways work, just make sure it crush them up finely. I will say this recipe is supposed to chill for several hours, preferably overnight. I will also say, ours only chilled for about 3 hours because priorities. It was delicious anyways.

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Key Lime Pie

Key Lime Pie

Ingredients

    Crust
  • 10 Graham Crackers - crushed
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 7 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
  • Filling
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons Grated Lime Zest
  • 2/3 Cup Lime Juice
  • 3 Large Egg Yolks
  • 1 14oz Can Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • Topping
  • 1 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 2 Tables Powdered Sugar

Instructions

  1. Heat Oven to 375 Degrees
  2. Crust
  3. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix to evenly combine
  4. Press the mixture in to a 9in lightly greased pie dish
  5. Place in oven for 10 minutes
  6. Leave the oven on
  7. Filling
  8. Combine Lime Zest and egg yolks in bowl
  9. Mix with an electric beater until thick
  10. Add sweetened condensed milk and beat until thick again
  11. Add lime juice and mix with spoon until just combined
  12. Pour mixture in pie crust
  13. Bake for 10 minutes - you want it to set but not brown
  14. Place on wire rack to cool.
  15. Topping
  16. In mixer combine heavy whipping cream and sugar
  17. Mix until thickened and soft peaks form
  18. When the pie has completely cooled, pipe or spread the topping on top
  19. Refrigerate several hours or overnight.
http://runningonlaughter.com/2015/04/23/key-lime-pie/

Spicy Jicama “Fries”

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We all have those days that really need to be about relaxation and self care. Today has been one of those days. My oldest friend from high school who I hadn’t seen in years came to dinner last night. I was up way past my bedtime, and I knew from the moment I woke up that today would not be a productive day. But like I said…..we all need to indulge in a lazy day once in awhile.

One thing that I don’t want to do on a lazy day is spend all day in the kitchen. So I whipped up this easy recipe in approximately five minutes so that I could go catch up on the new season of “Orphan Black.” Despite the name of this post, I actually don’t think of this recipe as a replacement for fries. I think of it more as a great side for a light meal or a fun addition to a veggie tray.

Cut up the jicama into a french fry shape or any shape you feel like really. Then, sprinkle them with lime juice, chili powder, and cumin. That’s it! I personally think that the spices pair really well with guac, and this crunchy root vegetable is a great source of fiber, vitamin C, and antioxidants. Can you say the same about those boring tortilla chips?

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