Tag Archives: cooking

Penne with creamy pumpkin sauce

So I don’t have a picture for this dinner but you will just have to believe me that you should drop your dinner plans and make this recipe right away.  From Martha Stewart Everyday Food, I bring you Penne with Creamy Pumpkin Sauce.

The pumpkin is perfect for fall (and in case you haven’t heard, the canned pumpkin crisis is over so no more crazy people selling buying it for $7 a can on eBay anymore).  Also it is delicious in this dish to have savory pumpkin flavor rather than sweet like a pie.

Don’t have a rosemary bush in your yard? I feel your pain because mine hardly qualifies as a bush, more like a rosemary stick.  Instead, the BF pulled over the car and convinced me to STEAL ROSEMARY FROM A NEIGHBOR’S YARD.  Seriously I feel guilty for some reason even though their bush was more like a rosemary tree than a rosemary bush.

Oh, and I used cream instead of half-and-half, because that’s what was in my fridge.  And rotini instead of penne….and red wine vinegar instead of white wine vinegar…and I don’t know the exact measurements I used because I’ve sort of given up measuring (except for baking of course).  But a recipe is meant to be a suggestion not a set of rules, no?

Anyway, enjoy! xoxo

Penne with Creamy Pumpkin Sauce

Canned pumpkin puree isn’t only good for pie; here, it becomes a creamy sauce for penne, topped with deliciously crunchy fried rosemary.

Prep: 10 minutes
Total: 30 minutes

Ingredients

Serves 4

  • 12 ounces penne rigate (ridged), or other short pasta
  • Coarse salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pure pumpkin puree
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 tablespoon white-wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes, plus more for garnish (optional)

Directions

  1. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Reserve 2 cups pasta water; drain pasta and set aside.
  2. In pasta pot, heat oil over medium. Add rosemary and fry, stirring, until starting to brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer rosemary to a paper towel, leaving oil in pot.
  3. Carefully (oil is hot and will spatter) add pumpkin puree, garlic, half-and-half, Parmesan, vinegar, red-pepper flakes, and 1 cup reserved pasta water to pot. Stir sauce until heated through, 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Add pasta to sauce, and toss to coat. If sauce is too thick, add some reserved pasta water. Season generously with salt. Serve pasta sprinkled with fried rosemary and, if desired, more red-pepper flakes.

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How to make boba

I wanted to make my own boba tea/tapioca, and went to Fubonn on a whim.  Luckily they actually had an entire section of the pearls and even drink mixes.  If you don’t have an Asian grocery near you, they are available on Ebay.  The boba turned out great! Here’s what you’ll need:

Boba supplies

Tapioca pearls, they had black, white and multicolored at the store.  Of course I got multicolored.  I picked up a honeydew flavor drink mix as well.  And you can’t forget the chunky straws!

tapioca pearls

Boil 10 cups of water, then add in one cup of the pearls.  Give the pearls a gentle stir.  Right away they will rise to the top of the water.  When they do, cover them and boil for 5 minutes more.

tapioca pearls, done

After 5 minutes, take the pearls out and drain them.  Mix them with some simple syrup (1 cup white sugar, 1 cup brown sugar, 2 cups water.  Heat in a pot and remove from heat as soon as it boils.)  I think the simple syrup step is to keep them from sticking together.

Next, in a shaker combine: 2 ounces simple syrup, 2 tbs. drink powder, and 2 tbs. non-dairy creamer (I didn’t have any so I used 2 tbs. milk and it worked perfectly).  Add a few ice cubes and fill to the top with cold water.  Shake to combine, making sure the drink powder dissolves.

Spoon some finished tapiocas into a glass, and pour the liquid over it.

finished boba

And that’s it!  It looks (and tastes) so impressive but is really quite easy.  I will definitely pull this recipe out next time I have friends over.  Enjoy!

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Angelhair Pasta with Bacon, Peas and Shallots

One of my go-to dinner recipes is so simple but yields delicious results.  Want to know the secret? Cook some pasta (Personally, I think angelhair is the most delicious shape); fry up some bacon; remove the bacon but keep the grease; cook some veggies in the bacon grease; add some cream; mix it all together! See how simple? I promise it is so delicious–I’d guess it’s probably the bacon grease… :/

Vegetarians beware: this post contains photos of raw bacon!

Bacon

First, fry some bacon

Cook some shallots in the bacon grease

Add some frozen peas and half-and-half (though I have been known to use heavy cream!)

Once it starts to thicken up, add it to the pasta!

I’ve had good results with all sorts of veggies, like squash and onions instead of peas and shallots.  Every veggie tastes better cooked in bacon grease!

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Recipe: Zucchini and Chicken Salad

When we lived in San Francisco, the BF and I would go out most days to eat (nothing fancy, our neighborhood was filled with taquerias after all).  Our kitchen that we shared with 3 other roommates–not to mention 3 cats–wasn’t the most appetizing place to cook.  Now that we finally have our own place in Portland, I’ve been cooking dinner everyday.  Not only do we save bundles of money, but I also have a great time teaching myself to cook different things.  I’m learning a lot about what is in season when, how to “eyeball” measure ingredients, and even broadening my palate (I never used to like zucchini or asparagus but now eat both on the regular).  On my quest to make different meals, I’ve been cooking a different recipe every night.  This has been going well for about two months now, and most nights I’m very happy with the different meals.  I get a lot of the recipes from Everyday Food Magazine or cookbooks, because they tend to feature just a few cheap ingredients put together in new and creative ways.

Zucchini and Chicken Salad

The salad before the addition of spinach and chicken

This week I’ve made Cashew Chicken, Chicken Tostada Salad, and a couple different Barley Risottos.  Mmmm!  Tonight I made Zucchini and Chicken Salad.  The recipe is available here.  It was deeeelicious!  I was happy to get in three green veggies in one meal.

Zucchini and Chicken Salad

I also made artichoke on the side because they were so cheap at the grocery store.  For a quick dipping sauce I mixed some veganaise (the BF doesn’t really like mayo and it’s one of the small battles that I’ve lost…now it tastes the same as mayo to me) with some wildberry lemon vinegar.  That sounds fancy, but I didn’t have any balsamic!  Just mix the two until they are about the consistency of yogurt.  So good!

I hope to continue this pursuit of cooking knowledge and gain a lifelong skill and appreciation for food.  So far, so good. 🙂

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