Monday, November 28, 2011

Creamy Pasta with Ham and Roasted Broccoli

I found this recipe from Martha Stewart's Everyday Food ( and thought it sounded yummy.  After reading the comments on the site, I did make a couple modifications, tho.  The lead in page had said you could sub in mushrooms instead of ham to make it vegetarian...I added them with the ham!  I also increased the quantities a little, as I wanted left overs for lunch, and even tho the recipe says it feeds four, it must be four people with no appetite, or who don't like food, as most recipes like this don't feed four people I know.  As it turned out, I fed two adults, a child who loves pasta, and had one container for leftovers.

Here is how I made it:  I bought a pound of broccoli crowns, which I trimmed into flowerettes.  I also had .40 pound mushrooms that I quartered.  I think more mushrooms would have been nice.  Put the broccoli and mushrooms on a baking sheet with olive oil and a little salt and pepper.  Roast at 425* for about 20 minutes, until broccoli is tender and both are getting a little browned.

Meanwhile, put a large pot of salted water on to boil.  Add 8oz fancy egg noodles and cook just until tender...not mushy!  While the water was boiling and noodles cooking, I cut .40 pounds deli ham into small pieces.

Once the noodles were cooked, I drained them into a colander and put the pot back on the stove.  Here is another change I made.  When I was at the store looking at cream cheese, I saw that Philly had what they call Cooking Cremes on sale (they are flavored cream cheese based goodness for casseroles, etc.).  And the savory garlic had a couple with nearing expiration dates that were an extra dollar off.  So I got that instead of plain cream cheese.  Back to the recipe...I added about 2/3 of the container of cooking creme to the pot and stirred it to melting.  I then put everything in the pot -- broccoli, mushrooms, ham, noodles -- and stirred it all together.  I did add a couple tablespoons of hot water into the mix to thin the sauce a little.  Voila!  Everyone liked it and wanted more.  Next time, I will have to increase the quantities a little, so I can also use the whole container of cooking cream.  The original recipe also said you could sub chicken or turkey (deli meat, I assume) for the ham.  I think it would also be good with diced/shredded meat (leftover turkey, anyone?), and even diced pork would be yummy!  I was also thinking it would be good as a casserole with buttered bread crumbs on top...

I just ate my leftovers for lunch, and they were good, too...Now to figure out what is for dinner tonight!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

One of the best parts (ok, maybe the only good part) of having a holiday meal solo is being able to make just your favorite parts. I cooked a turkette (chicken), onion gravy that came out more like onion relish, and stuffing flavored with apple cider as my liquid. It was all very yummy. I want more stuffing, but I am already stuffed. Hahahaha :P

I hope everyone had a great day, and remembered to be thankful for the many blessings in your lives <3

Monday, November 14, 2011

Chicken and mushroom pasta

Tonight's dinner was planned with an eye to using up half a package of Trader Joes ceasar chicken strips. So, I sautéed a package of sliced crimini mushrooms in some butter until soft. Then I tossed in the chicken, broken into bite size pieces. I seasoned it all with salt, pepper and onion powder. I then added about 1/2 to 3/4 cup white wine and let it simmer a bit while I waited for the pasta to finish cooking (chicken broth could be used instead). Once the pasta was done (I used campanelle), I added it to the pan with the mushrooms and chicken. I stirred it all together and added some shredded Parmesan cheese. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed (I added more pepper). It was quite yummy :)

Saturday, November 12, 2011


A friend had a crocheting class at her church this morning. My grandma taught me to crochet a gazillion years ago, but my daughter hadn't learned yet. So I figured this was an opportunity for someone other than me to teach her (I knew we would end up hissing and fuming at each other :P ). I was right. Not only were there several ladies there to teach, but one was left handed like my girl, so some of the potential issues were averted.

My friends goal was for everyone to make a panel to attach together to make a crocheted "quilt" for Warm Up America. Many of the new crocheters didn't get them done yet, but I finished mine (using a shell stitch). I then tried a little yellow "x and o" pattern my friend told me about. I then tried a summer garden granny square I found some time ago online ( I also showed my girl the curlicue my grandma used to make for my hair.

Now all I need to do is get the girl to keep working on it, realizing that the more she practices, the easier it will get! She wants a blanket for her doll...we will see who ends up making that :)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Steak, Brussels sprouts and bleu cheese mashed potatoes

Tonight I made steak...a perennial favorite in this family. The steak wasn't prepared any differently than usual...salt, pepper and broiled. But before I cooked the steaks, I put a bag of frozen Brussels sprouts on a baking sheet with some pam, salt and pepper. I roasted them at 375* for about 25 minutes. Then I pushed them to the far sides of the pan and put the steaks in the middle. I then switched to broil and cooked the steaks until medium rare.

In the mean time, I made instant mashed potatoes with crumbled bleu cheese in them and a little rosemary. They could've used a tad less cheese and a tad more rosemary, but they were good nonetheless.

Now, it will be more budget friendly meals for a few days :)