Thursday, September 06, 2012

Creamy Bacon Parmesan Pasta

Just made this sauce on a whim and I want to write it down so I won't forget to make it again.  I served it over medium pasta shells, and it was a hit with everyone in the family! Start to finish, this takes about 15-20 minutes to complete.  Serves 6-8.


  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil or butter, or some mix of the two
  • 1/4 c. chicken broth, then also 1 1/2 c. chicken broth
  • 1/4 - 1/3 c. flour
  • garlic salt
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 10 thick slices of bacon-- the good thick, real stuff, not Oscar Mayer/whatever, chopped against the width/grain (so each piece of bacon in your sauce is roughly 1 inch long, but in thin slices, hope that makes sense-- I stacked the strips of bacon into one tall stack, and sliced down the stack, widthwise)
  • 1 c. heavy cream 
  • 1 1/2 c. whole milk
  • Shaved parmesan/asiago/romano cheese to taste
Heat the oil/butter over med-high heat, with 1/4 c. chicken broth and add the chopped onion.  Lightly salt the onions.  Cook 3 minutes, or longer, until softened w/ good aroma.  (While the onions are sauteeing, put water in your pasta pot and start your water boiling.) Add in the bacon and garlic.  Cook approx. 5-8 minutes, still on med-high heat, until meaty part of bacon has turned bright red and is cooked, but not hardened.  Add in 1/2 tsp. salt, and as much flour as is necessary to soak up the oil/juices into the flour.  This will be similar to a roux, except your meat is already in there.  Make sure you scrape the bottom clean, to get up any flavorful bits and keep it from sticking.  Now, add your remaining chicken broth, stir in, and then add your cream, stirring occasionally.  Add in 1/2 tsp. garlic salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper, and 2 Tbsp. fresh rosemary.  Stir until thickened, then add in the whole milk, and wait for the sauce to thicken again.  (This whole thickening process can take anywhere from 1-3 minutes.)

Serve over the hot pasta of your choice, and use shaved parmesan/asiago/romano generously to garnish the top.  Enjoy!  (We just did!)

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Crock Pot Recipe Round-Up

A few links from around the web that sound like great crock-pot recipes worth trying out:

I need to be more diligent & efficient & put my crock pot to more frequent use!  Hope this gives you ideas too!

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Southwest Soup

This is an easy dump-and-heat soup that tastes great!

  • 1 can pinto beans, drained
  • 1 can stewed tomatoes
  • 1 can corn (drained)
  • 8 oz. tomato sauce
  • 1 can chicken broth
  • 2 cans cooked chicken breast (or 1 lg. cooked chicken breast)
  • chopped onion
  • 1 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh cilantro (if desired)
Mix & simmer.  Add water as desired; salt & pepper to taste.  Tear up flour tortilla in soup bowl; serve soup over tortilla w/ cheese sprinkled on top. 

Slow-Cooked Pulled Pork


  • 2/3 cup Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/2 cup Ketchup
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp yellow mustard
  • 2 Tbsp white vinegar
  • 3 1/2 pound pork shoulder, trimmed & cut into 4 pieces
In a 6-quart crock pot, mix all ingredients except pork.  Once combined, add pork, and turn to coat in sauce.  Cook on low 8-10 hours.  Remove pork and shred w/ two forks.  Return pork to crock pot & stir in sauce.  To serve, spoon 1/2 cup onto a sandwich bun.


Skillet Elbow Pasta

Got this recipe off the side of a De Cecco pasta box, and I don't want to forget to try it:


  • 1 lb. elbow pasta
  • 3 ounces chopped bacon or pancetta
  • 4 Tbsp. butter
  • 4 Tbsp. fresh cream
  • 4 Tbsp. grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 3 Tbsp. chopped onion
  • Salt
Cook the elbow pasta for 5 minutes in boiling salt water.  In a skillet, saute the chopped onion in butter until golden brown.  Combine the tomato paste with a little water in a cup and add to the skillet.  Then pour the drained pasta into the skillet & remove from heat.  Mix, and add the 3 Tbsp of fresh cream.  Sprinkle with parmesan cheese & serve.

Sounds delicious, doesn't it?

Friday, February 03, 2012

Pumpkin Cornbread

This sounds intriguing:

Pumpkin Cornbread (from LLL's Whole Foods for the Whole Family cookbook)

2 tsp oil
1/3 c. honey
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 c. mashed cooked pumpkin
1/4 c. cornmeal
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 c. dry milk powder

Combine oil, honey, eggs and vanilla in bowl. Stir in pumpkin. Combine cornmeal, baking powder, salt and dry milk powder. Add to egg mixture, stirring to moisten. Pour into greased 5x9 inch loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Cool in pan for 15 minutes; invert onto wire rack to cool completely. 6 servings.

Note: Be sure to cook for the entire 40 minutes even if you think the edges are going to be over done. It is extremely moist and needs the cooking time to be done in the middle. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Crock Pot Pork Carnitas & Crock Pot Pinto Beans

Just wanted to share this recipe that has delighted my family twice in the last 10 days--  it's easy as pie & I've altered it to be completely done in the crock pot.

Here's the link to the original:
Simple Carnitas Recipe

Here's how I've adjusted it:

Turn your crock pot on high & put in these ingredients:
  • 3-4 pounds pork shoulder, cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 2 Oranges, peeled & quartered
  • 1-2 Onions, peeled & quartered
  • 1 whole head garlic, peeled & chopped
  • 1/4 cup salt (kosher/sea salt would be better, but table salt works fine for us)
  • 2 Tbsp oregano
  • 1 Tbsp pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
Add hot water until meat is just covered inside crock.  Cook on high for 4 hours, OR cook on high for 1 hour and then reduce to low & cook on low for 6-8 hours.  Use a slotted spoon to remove the pork; reserve juices in crock pot.  The meat is delightfully tender, so simply use 2 forks to shred the meat.

Use for carnitas tacos/burritos, garnishing with cheese, salsa, beans, lettuce, tomatoes; or use as a tender flavorful meat over mashed potatoes; or for BBQ pulled pork sandwiches.  

A great part of doing it this way is that because you removed the pork from the juices, there is a flavorful broth in which to cook your pinto beans.  You can either start right away, or refrigerate the juice overnight and make it the next day.

  • Leftover cooking broth from pork carnitas
  • 1 pound pinto beans, with any bad beans sorted/removed

All you have to do is pour your 1 pound of beans into the reserved juices from the carnitas, then set your crock pot to high for 3-4 hours, and cook on low an additional 2 or more; OR you can cook on low for 7-8 hours.  The beans are amazingly flavorful; just be sure to use a slotted spoon to remove the orange quarters and large onion slices before serving the beans.

These could be used for bean & cheese nachos, as a side item for Mexican food, in chili, or whatever else you want to use them for.  They are so very tasty!