This dish is a favorite for busy weeknights… definitely a step above macaroni and cheese. I love that I only dirty two dishes when preparing this meal. It can be served as a main dish or a side dish. Add grilled chicken, or serve with rotisserie chicken and you have a more complete meal. The key to preparing this is to ever so slightly under-cook the broccoli and pasta before mixing them with the cream and cheese in the pot. As you mix in the cheese and cream the broccoli and pasta will continue to cook in the heated pot. This is delicious cream version; if you do not have cream use butter. If desired leave out some of the cream to make a lower calorie version of this dish. Serves 8.
Weeknight Broccoli Pasta
- 16 ounces small shell pasta
- 4 broccoli crowns, cut-up
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 cups shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
Bring salted water to a rapid boil in a heavy duty stock pot. Cut the broccoli crowns into 1-2 inch pieces. Add the pasta to the boiling water. When the water returns to a rapid boil dip a metal colander into the boiling water. Place the broccoli in the colander and blanch for one minute. Drain immediately. Continue to cook the pasta. Remove the pot from the stove and drain just before the pasta is cooked al dente. Pour the pasta over the broccoli. After draining put the pasta and broccoli back into the warm pot. Add the cream, Parmesan cheese, garlic salt and salt. Stir gently. Use kitchen scissors to slice the broccoli. Ideally, the broccoli is cut to the same size as the pasta. Serve immediately.
I make the full recipe of this is to be a “one-dish” meal and half the recipe if I am preparing meat to go with the pasta.
Continue reading for more detailed instructions Continue reading
- 3/4 cup milk
- 2 eggs
- 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
Preheat nonstick griddle or frying pan. In a shallow dish whisk together milk and eggs. Add brown sugar and mix until dissolved. Season with vanilla, salt and cinnamon. Generously butter the cooking surface. Dip each slice of bread in the prepared mixture and cook on both sides on medium heat. Serve with butter, powdered sugar, maple syrup, fresh berries or whipped cream.
If possible use homemade white bread. I usually double this recipe so we can eat french toast for a few days. Simply save the leftover french toast in a sealed container and warm each slice for 20 seconds in the microwave. Enjoy. For the pretty shaped loaves please refer to this post.
I love making shaped loaves of bread for my kids. I used to do this all the time when I was in the “toddler phase.” These loaves make the most perfect sized slice of bread for a toddler size sandwich. These also can be used for dainty tea sandwiches at a bridal or baby shower. You could also make impressive hors d’oeuvres with these shaped loaves of bread. All that is needed is a set of canape bread molds.
You can use any bread dough. I use my favorite white bread dough, found here. Simply prepare dough as normal and instead of placing the dough into a bread pan, use the canape bread molds. Before adding the dough coat the molds generously with cooking spray. You could also brush the molds with softened shortening, but I have found cooking spray is the easiest way to keep the bread from sticking to the sides of the pan.
The instructions that come with the molds explains to simply fill the dough 2/3 of the way full. I have found that 310 grams of dough, or about 11 ounces of dough fills the pans completely. After filling the molds with bread dough, close the lids and allow the dough to double, for about an hour, or as long as your recipe details. Once the dough has risen inside the tube it is ready to go in the oven. My loaves cook for 45 minutes at 350 degrees. This again depends on the recipe you are using and your oven. I have found that it takes an extra 15 minutes to cook the bread in the molds rather than cooking them in a bread pan.
If you have bread dough ready to go, this is such a simple way to make beautiful bread. Canape bread molds can be purchased at specialty cooking stores, through pampered chef or via amazon.com. I love new cooking tools!
I threw these together last minute for a family barbecue. It has been so hot, we have no central A/C so this is the first time I have used the oven in weeks. This is based on my favorite oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, except I added three types of chocolate morsels and a bit more flour. I knew I wouldn’t have time to freeze the pieces of dough so a little bit of extra flour helped keep these from spreading in the oven.
Triple Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookies
- 4 sticks of salted butter softened to room temperature, about 65 degrees
- 1 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 4 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 3 1/4 cups bread flour
- 6 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/3 cups semi-sweet chocolate morsels
- 1 1/3 cups bittersweet chocolate morsels
- 1 1/3 cups white chocolate morsels
Beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla, scrape the bowl and continue to mix. In a separate bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt. Now add oats and chocolate; mix well. Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter/sugar/egg mixture.
Using a small ice cream scoop, form the balls of dough and chill them in the freezer or refrigerator for at least 10-15 minutes, up to overnight. Extra pieces of dough can be stored for several weeks in a sealed bag in the freezer. Place dough in the refrigerator. This step is essential if you want nice and chunky cookies. If you don’t care if they spread out, go ahead and bake them now. Place the chilled cookie dough on a silicon baking mat, or parchment paper and bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Turn the trays half way through baking. They are done when small golden brown spots appear on the surface. Transfer cookies to a cooling rack.
Sweet little Elizabeth, born July 25, 2013 at 7:25pm. If I had the time I would make more baby girl sugar cookies, but we all know that is impossible with a newborn and four other children to take care of. She is a absolute joy in our house. Things will be slowing down here at suzdaily but I plan on enjoying all the time spent with baby Lizzie.
I grew up eating New York style bagels. They are chewy and do not resemble anything you buy at national bagel chains or grocery stores. At a small scale bakery the dough is made on a daily basis and not flown in frozen as is with a bagel chain. The dough has time to develop it’s flavor as it ferments in the refrigerator. When Scott was in graduate school I did find local New York style bagels, but at $1.50 each I could not afford to keep buying them for my family… so I began the search for an authentic recipe. I happened to come across a cookbook that is now out of print, “The Best Bread Ever,” by Charles Van Over. His entire book is dedicated to making breads in the food processor. I tried the bagels and was hooked!
The heavy duty motor of a food processor allows the dense dough to be kneaded. I have tried to make the same recipe in my Bosch mixer, Kitchen aid Mixer and even by hand with poor results. Those mixers are not able to handle a stiff bread dough. In order to keep them moving I had to add more water and the bagels had the texture of a hamburger bun, not a New York style bagel. So if you really want to make bagels at home, invest in a heavy duty Cuisinart food processor. All the measurements are in terms of weight to insure accuracy. The original recipe was scaled down based on a 500 gram batch. I started out with a 10-cup capacity food processor and made the 500 gram recipe for several years before I upgraded to a 14 cup food processor. I also add a bit more brown sugar than the original recipe.
Keep reading for the complete recipe.
My sister-in-law Kristina made this rich and creamy vanilla ice cream for us recently. I would make it again, and use it as a go-to base for ice cream with mix-ins. The original recipe is from the Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker recipe booklet and is a pistachio vanilla. Due to food allergies, we have omit the pistachios. If desired, you could add any mix-in once the ice cream comes together during the last few minutes of mixing. We ate this ice cream topped with chopped macadamia nuts and pistachios since we couldn’t put it in the entire batch. This would also be great with fudge, caramel sauce, dulce de leche – the possibilities are endless.
Creamy Vanilla Ice Cream
- 2½ cups whole milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, or one whole vanilla bean, halved and seeds scraped
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar, divided
- 2 cups heavy cream
- pinch salt
- 6 large egg yolks
- ¼ teaspoon pure almond extract
In a medium saucepan set over medium-low heat, stir together the milk, vanilla extract, or vanilla bean (including the pod), and half of the sugar. Bring the mixture just to a boil. Remove from heat; let mixture steep for 1 to 2 hours so the vanilla flavor is absorbed. After steeping, add the cream and salt and gradually return the mixture just to a boil over medium low heat. When the milk and cream mixture is reheating, combine the yolks and remaining sugar in a medium bowl. Using a hand mixer on low speed or a whisk, beat until mixture is pale and thick. Once the milk and cream mixture has come to a slight boil, whisk about 1∕3 of the hot mixture into the yolk/sugar mixture. Add another 1∕3 of the mixture, then return the combined mixture to the saucepan. Using a wooden spoon, stir the mixture constantly over the low heat until it thickens slightly and coats the back of the spoon. This mixture must NOT boil or the yolks will overcook – the process should only take a few minutes.
Stir in the almond extract. If using vanilla pods, pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer. Discard the vanilla pods. It may also be necessary to strain the mixture if you have any small clumps from previous steps. Bring to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate 1 to 2 hours, or overnight.
Follow manufacturers instructions for the preparation of the ice cream. If using the Cuisinart ice cream maker; pour the mixture into the frozen freezer bowl and let mix until thickened, about 20 minutes. When the ice cream is almost done churning, add any mix-ins through the opening at the top of the ice cream maker. The ice cream will have a soft, creamy texture. If a firmer consistency is desired, transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and place in freezer for about 2 hours. Remove from freezer about 15 minutes before serving.
This recipe was taken from the Ben and Jerry’s ice cream cookbook. My sister-in-law Kristina made it for dessert on Sunday and it was one of the best ice creams I have ever tasted… a delicious Ben & Jerry’s base – homemade!! She used Ghiradelli brand chocolate and caribbean vanilla which help intensify the flavor. The mix-ins (more chocolate, pecan, walnuts & almonds were served as a topping because of my kids’ nut allergies. Kristina stressed the use of whole milk to make a nice creamy ice cream. Now if only I can find my Cuisinart ice cream maker in my mess of boxes I will be making this for my family. Forget the diets!!
New York Super Fudge Chunk Ice Cream
- 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup heavy or whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 pinch salt
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped white chocolate
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped semi-sweet chocolate
- 1/4 cup chopped pecan halves
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
- 1/4 cup halved chocolate-covered almonds
If you plan on adding the extra chocolate and nuts to your ice cream mix them in a medium bowl and chill before preparing the ice cream. Melt the unsweetened chocolate in a double boiler over hot water. Whisk in the milk, just a little at a time, and heat, stirring constantly, until smooth. Remove from the heat and allow it to cool.
Whisk the eggs in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in the sugar, a little at a time, then continue whisking until completely blended, about 1 minute more. Add the cream, vanilla, and salt and whisk to blend. Pour the chocolate mixture into the cream mixture and blend. Cover and refrigerate until cold, 1 to 3 hours.
Transfer the cream mixture to an ice cream maker and freeze following the manufacturer’s instructions. If you are adding the nuts and chocolate to the ice cream, carefully pour it in after the ice cream stiffens (about 2 minutes before it is done) then continue freezing until the ice cream is ready. Makes a generous 1 quart batch of ice cream.
Someday I want this ice cream maker!!
This is one of my favorite salad dressings, with half the sugar and half the oil I normally use. Feel free to add more sweetener and more oil to your liking. We are really trying to eat lighter food this summer. A salad can be a great low calorie meal until it is ruined by an onslaught of fatty salad dressing. This can also be used as a glaze, poured over cooked veggies, meat or pasta.
Low Calorie Balsamic Salad Dressing
- 1 Tablespoon dijon mustard (I use Grey Poupon)
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons maple syrup*
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
Place ingredients in a small 8 ounce mason jar. Shake vigorously, then serve. Makes seven ounces total. Store in the refrigerator up to two weeks, shake before serving. *Honey, agave or corn syrup can be used instead of maple syrup. I normally use double the maple syrup and double the olive oil when preparing this dressing, but for now we are looking for a low calorie salad dressing.
Here is the caloric breakdown for this batch of salad dressing: dijon mustard – 15 calories, balsamic vinegar – 120 calories, maple syrup – 100 calories, olive oil – 240 calories – total 475 calories for the entire batch. It makes 7 ounces, or roughly 14 Tablespoons dressing. So one Tablespoon of dressing has about 34 calories. It is pretty strong, so a little goes a long ways. If you are not used to the flavor of straight balsamic vinegar, add more oil and maple syrup to make a milder salad dressing.
… And in case you are curious, the garden salad in the background is made up of 3 cups mixed greens (60 calories), 1 cup raw spinach (7 calories), 2 ounces heirloom tomatoes (15 calories), 2 ounces red peppers (20 calories), 2 ounces cucumbers (10 calories). Total, 112 calories. That’s a good thing – let’s not ruin this lunch with a high calorie salad dressing. I normally add three egg whites (45 calories) or a little bit of low fat lunch meat to make it more filling. Happy dieting. Some really good desserts to come. Looking at this photo makes me crave butter and sugar!!
We are in healthy eating mode… so lots and lots of egg whites is part of that. I love the way an egg white can make a salad suddenly substantial. I needed hard boiled eggs for lunch today but I did not want to heat the kitchen cooking them on the stove top. I had heard about making hard boiled eggs in the pressure cooker but never tried it before. I am so happy with the results. The eggs cooked very quickly and even better, it was SO easy to remove the shells! They peeled right off. The pressure cooking must do something to help release the egg shell! I can’t wait to make dozens of these using the pressure cooker next Easter. I only made 9 eggs, but I am pretty sure 12 would be just fine. I am using one of my favorite kitchen accessories, my Cuisinart Electric Pressure cooker.
Hard Boiled Eggs in the Pressure Cooker
- 1 cup water
- 6-12 large eggs
Place 1 cup of water in the bowl of the pressure cooker. Now use the small wire steamer insert to lift the eggs off the bottom of the pressure cooker. Cook on low pressure for 6 minutes. Allow the pressure to release naturally. Remove the eggs and allow them to cool. Peel and serve.
For soft boiled eggs, follow the same instructions, except reduce cooking time to one minute low pressure with quick pressure release. For medium boiled eggs, the same holds true, except the eggs are cooked three minutes on low pressure with quick release. It may be necessary to run the eggs under to cool water after cooking so they do not over cook.
Here is a great blog post if you want to know more.
The Cuisinart Electric Pressure cooker is definitely one of my all time favorite kitchen tools!