Monday, January 21, 2013

Vegetarian Penne Pasta Salad with Balsamic Reduction

This is so delicious and healthy! It tastes sweet from the balsamic and the vegetables and the saltiness from the fresh mozzarella creates a perfect balance for your taste buds. You can eat this without the guilt. Enjoy!
Vegetarian Penne Pasta Salad with Balsamic Reduction
Ingredients:
1. 3/4 lb whole wheat penne pasta 
2. 1 cup pasta water
3. 1 red bell pepper, sliced
4. 1 red onion, halved and sliced
5. 1/2 lb asparagus, cut into 2 inch pieces
6. 1 zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and cut into 1 inch pieces
7. 1 yellow squash, cut in half lengthwise and cut into 1 inch pieces
8. 4 oz fresh mozzarella, crumbled
9. 1/2 cup good quality balsamic vinegar
10. 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil  
11. Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper 

Directions:
In a large pot, bring water to a boil and season with salt. Cook the penne pasta according to package directions. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water. 
To make the balsamic reduction, in a small saucepan over medium high heat, add the balsamic vinegar. Bring to a boil and then gently simmer until reduced by half.   
In a large saute pan over medium-high heat, add the oil and heat for 30 seconds. Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes, until translucent and slightly browned. Add the red bell pepper, asparagus, zucchini, and squash and continue sautéing for 5-7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat.
When the pasta is done, drain and add to the cooked vegetables. Add the balsamic reduction and as much pasta water you would like to make a "sauce". Scatter mozzarella cheese on top. Serve.   
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Friday, January 18, 2013

Beauty 101: Hair Tutorial

Ok, I thought I was pretty good at curling my hair so I have that tousled "natural" voluminous looking curls, but then I came across this hair tutorial on You Tube. It's a great video! It's a different technique on curling hair with a curling iron. It took a little bit more time to curl my hair, but it was so worth it. I thought my curls came out great. What do you think? By the way, I used an 1 inch curling iron.
I wish everyone a wonderful weekend! 
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Sunday, January 13, 2013

Lemon Chicken with Potato and Green Beans

This is such a simple recipe! I decided to cook everything together in a baking dish, making not only an easy dish to make, but also not a lot of dishes to do afterwards. It came out very flavorful. Enjoy! 
Lemon Chicken with Potato and Green Beans
4 servings
Ingredients:
1. 4 pieces chicken breast, skin and bone in
1. 1 onion, quartered
2. 4 garlic cloves, cut in half
3. 4 red potatoes, cut into 1 inch pieces
4. 1 lb green beans
5. 2 lemons, sliced 
6. 4 tablespoons olive oil
7. 2 tablespoons Herb De Provence
8. kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. 
Rub olive oil in a 9 by 13 in baking dish to lightly coat. Lay the sliced lemons on the bottom of the baking dish. Layer the onion, garlic, and green beans on top of the lemons. Next, lay the potatoes around the vegetables. Sprinkle everything with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of Herb De Provence, salt, and pepper. Next lay the chicken on top. Brush the chicken with the remaining olive oil and Herb De Provence. Sprinkle the chicken liberally with the salt and pepper. Bake in the oven for 50 minutes. Remove the chicken and cover with foil and set aside. Return the vegetables back in the oven till the potatoes are cooked through, about 10 more minutes. Remove and ladle the sauce in the baking dish over the chicken. Serve. 
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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Linguine alla Carbonara

This recipe should be categorized under the once in a while meal. Let's just say this isn't Dr. Oz approved. But, you know what, this is a great dish to eat in the middle of the night with your significant other with a big bowl and 2 folks. :-). Carbonara, an Italian word, translated to English means rich in coal. So some believe this meal came from charcoal workers from the provence of Latium in Italy. Carbonara was considered a peasant dish consisting of simple ingredients such as eggs, Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, pancetta (Italian bacon), and black pepper. No one really knows how the name or sauce originated from, but lets thank whoever it was that came up with the idea. This is my version on the classic Carbonara recipe. Enjoy!
Linguine alla Carbonara 
4 servings

Ingredients
1. 1 lb linguine
2. 2 tablespoon olive oil
3. 6 ounces prosciutto, chopped
4. 1 large shallot, diced
5. 1 garlic clove, minced
6. 1 cup of peas
7. 2 large egg yolks
8. 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
9. 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
10. 1 cup of reserved pasta water
11. freshly ground pepper

Directions:
Whisk eggs, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and cream together. Set aside.  
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the linguine according to package directions. 
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Add the prosciutto and cook until it is crisp, about 3 minutes. Add the rest of the oil into the pan and saute the shallot and garlic until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the peas and linguine and toss together. Remove the pan from the heat and toss the egg mixture in. Stir well to prevent lumps. Thin out the sauce with the reserved pasta water, until it reaches the sauce consistency you like. Taste and season with pepper to your liking.  
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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Shrimp and Sausage Jambalaya

I love cajun and creole food, but living in Arizona, there's a few restaurants that serve really good cajun and creole food. After a couple of attempts at making Jambalaya, I came up with this easy recipe that has tons of flavor. Enjoy!
Shrimp and Sausage Jambalaya
4 servings

Ingredients:
1. 1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2. 14 oz Andouille sausage, diced into 1/2 inch pieces
3. 1 green bell pepper, diced
4. 2 celery, diced
5. 1 onion, diced
6. 3 garlic cloves, minced
7. 1 tablespoon Emeril's Essence Seasoning, divided
8. 1 bay leave
9. 1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
10. 1 cup medium grain rice
11. 2 cups chicken stock
12. 2 tablespoon olive oil, divided

Directions:
In a bowl, season shrimp with 1/2 tablespoon Essence seasoning. In a large saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium high heat and cook the shrimp until pink, about 3-5 minutes. Remove shrimp and set aside. Add sausage and cook until browned. Remove and set aside. Add 1 tablespoon of oil and saute the onion, celery, green bell pepper, and garlic until they are softened. Season with 1 tablespoon of Essence. Stir in the bay leave, tomatoes, rice, chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add the sausage and shrimp back in. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.      
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