Friday, February 25, 2011

Spaghetti Carbonara

Recently I started following a new blog that most of my Uintah Basin friends are always excited about...Better Than Burgers. Yesterday they posted a recipe for Easy Spaghetti Carbonara and since I didn't have anything planned for dinner last night, I decided to give it a try. I love white sauces and Spaghetti Carbonara was served at dinner one night this past summer on our cruise and it was my favorite dinner of the whole cruise!

EASY Spaghetti Carbonara

16 oz. box of spaghetti noodles - cook according to package instructions (I just did enough for 2 people.)
1 lb. cooked bacon (I did 2-3 slices per person.)
2 T. butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 c. heavy cream
7 T. grated parmesan cheese (I added extra cheese to the sauce!)
fresh parsley (optional)
fresh grated parmesan cheese

Cut bacon into small pieces, cook and set aside. In a skillet combine butter and minced garlic. Saute for 2-3 minutes. Add cream and parmesan cheese, stirring constantly with a wire whip until sauce is thick - that will only take a few minutes (I cooked mine for about 5 minutes, but it wasn't really thickening so I turned off the burner and let it sit for about 5 minutes and it thickened up really well). Serve individually on separate plates. Top spaghetti noodles with desired amount of sauce and crumbled bacon, sprinkle a small amount of freshly grated parmesan cheese and parsley on top.

I have to say this is probably the first white sauce that I've made from scratch that I really liked so it will definitely be a recurring menu item at our house. :)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Coeur a la Creme with Raspberry Sauce

I've said it before, but Barefoot Contessa is my favorite show on the Food Network and I just couldn't resist trying her Coeur a la Creme with Raspberry Sauce dessert for Valentine's Day this year. I bought a Coeur a la Creme mold on a few weeks ago so I had it in time and then I bought vanilla beans at Williams Sonoma this past weekend when I was in Provo.

12 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/4 c powdered sugar
2 1/2 c heavy cream
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp grated lemon zest
seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean
2 half-pints fresh raspberries
Raspberry Sauce (recipe below)

Place the cream cheese and powdered sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on high speed for 2 minutes. Scrape down the beater and bowl with a rubber spatula and change the beater for the whisk attachment. With the mixer on low speed, add the heavy cream, vanilla, lemon zest and vanilla bean seeds and then beat on high speed until the mixture is very thick like whipped cream.

Line a large Coeur a la Creme mold with cheesecloth or paper towels so the ends drape over the sides and suspend it over a bowl, making sure that there is space between the bottom of the mold and the bottom of the bowl for any liquid to drain. Pour the cream mixture into the cheesecloth or paper towels, fold the ends over the top and refrigerate overnight.

To serve, discard any liquid, unmold onto a plate, drizzle Raspberry Sauce (recipe below) around the base. Serve with raspberries and extra sauce.

Raspberry Sauce:

1 half-pint fresh raspberries
1/2 c sugar
1/4 c water
1 c seedless raspberry jam

Place raspberries, sugar and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 4 minutes. Pour the cooked raspberries and the jam into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade and process until smooth. Chill.

Absolutely delicious, soft and creamy!

Happy Valentine's Day!

I woke up early this morning so I could make our traditional breakfast of pink pancakes with pink milk for Andrew and I before I had to go to work.

Then I surprised Andrew with his Valentine presents. A Valentine fart card (you'd have to be in his family to understand...) ;), a Valentine iTunes card and his favorite snacks including an "I loaf you" Tillamook cheese homemade gift box!

I had been at my office for about 30 minutes when Andrew pulled up outside and brought in my first Valentine surprise...fudge-dipped, long-stemmed strawberries with the most adorable primitive tag!

A few hours later another surprise arrived...roses! They are gorgeous!

Tonight we're having dinner with Andrew's parents and Brandon & Kim and I'm making a Valentine dessert so stayed tuned!

**Kim made a really nice dinner tonight with the cutest tablescape and we ate by candlelight. She said she took a picture of her table so if she posts it on her blog, I'll add it here. I did take a picture of the place cards she made for everyone though filled with Valentine candy. :)**

**I got pictures from Kim's blog of the Valentine tablescape she did. As you can see, she really went all out!**

BYU Basketball Game

Andrew has been pretty into BYU's basketball team this season so when his boss asked him to buy some tickets for the game this past weekend, Andrew bought some for us and Brandon & Kim at the same time.

The student section with all their white pom-poms in the air.

After the game we had dinner at Los Hermanos and I got to use my gift certificate that I got for Christmas from my brother Doug and SIL Misty.

Afterward we made a stop at Krispy Kreme for heart-shaped doughnuts.

If you bought a dozen doughnuts, you got free valentines. I'm mailing them to my nieces and nephew today so they can take their valentine into Krispy Kreme for a free doughnut. :)

Friday, February 11, 2011

March Tuck Swap

Last night was tuck swap again! Our theme for March was St. Patrick's Day. The one I made is above and the one I came home with is below. I got Sarah's tuck this month and it's so cute with its gathered material clover and "lucky" stitching on both ends. I love it!

A few months ago Lewaina, a gal in our group, issued a Primitive Doll Challenge. We were to make a doll using only spent clothing and trims and then bring our doll to this month's swap to show her off and tell how we made her. I made my doll the week after Christmas when my grandma was here visiting from Tacoma, WA. My grandma brought me some different fabrics to use and we used a few things my mom had as well to make my doll, but the best part was working on her with my grandma. I don't think I've done a sewing project with my grandma since I was pretty young and I had so much fun talking and spending quality time with her. I only get to see my grandma about once a year and I love her so much.

Since the Primitive Doll Challenge was issued during tuck swap, I decided my doll should have her own tuck so I made her a mini pineapple tuck with its own rusted bell and safety pin.

I had such fun last night seeing all the other dolls made by the ladies in my group. These women are all so talented!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Early Valentine's Day Presents

When I came home for lunch today, I walked in the door to find these waiting for me. Andrew said they were early Valentine's Day presents. He is so sweet and he knows how much I love damask-like anything! I love you, Honey!

Damask apron and pot holder mitt

Monday, February 7, 2011

Super Bowl 2011

For the big game this year we got together at Andrew's parents house along with Brandon & Kim, Josh & Savannah and Alicia.

Here were our contributions to the big feast that we always have to go along with the big game:

My traditional Spinach & Artichoke Dip, but I tried a new recipe this year and I think it was even better!

Super Bowl tortilla chips I got from Bountiful Baskets with some guacamole on the side.

Fresh-Squeezed Lemonade using the lemons I got in my Bountiful Basket 2 weeks ago.

Super Bowl cupcakes that Andrew and I found for dessert at the store. After you ate the cupcake, you got to wear the Super Bowl ring on top. :)

Andrew and I were rooting for the Packers to win the Super Bowl this year and were so excited when they actually pulled it off!

Bountiful Basket - February 5, 2011

On Saturday I went with Savannah to pick up her Bountiful Basket for this month. Here's the list of my half of this week's bounty:
  • 1 cantaloupe
  • 3 Fuji apples
  • 2 stalks broccoli
  • 1 bundle spinach
  • 6 Bosc pears
  • 2 bananas
  • 1/2 pint strawberries
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 8 red potatoes
  • 1/2 head celery
Savannah and I also shared a few add-ons this week: 9 Grain Bread - we got 5 loaves for $10, Italian Olive Oil Bread - we got 5 round loaves for $10 and a tortilla chip pack – we got 3 pounds total in three different colors: green, yellow and black (think Super Bowl!) pre-cut for frying or baking for $4.50.

Friday, February 4, 2011

February Book Club

We skipped getting together for book club in January because a few of us hadn't had a chance to read the book because of the holidays, but last night we picked up right where we left off. Savannah chose this month's book, "The Highwayman of Tanglewood" by Marcia Lynn McClure.

Faris gasped as a gloved hand of a sudden covered her mouth from behind "Be still. The Highwayman of Tanglewood owns ya now." Faris' he whispered, "Do not struggle. I'll not harm ya, lass Come away with me, sweet Faris," the highwayman whispered. "What say ye?" "I say, who are you, highwayman?" Faris breathed...All romantic thoughts of knights riding to win the fair lady were driven from her mind. A rogue's manner was vastly more delightful! "Aye! But that ye should know, sweet Faris," the highwayman whispered. "I know you not, sir," Faris said in a whisper. "Surely I would remember such a shape of a man." "Indeed, would ya, lass?" he asked. "I would, sir," she answered "'Tis well ya know who I am, fair Faris," he whispered, kissing her neck again. "I am the Highwayman of Tanglewood" A chambermaid in the house of Tremeshton, Faris Shayhan well knew torment, despair and trepidation. To Faris it seemed the future stretched long and desolate before her-bleak and as dark as a lonesome midnight path. Still, the moon oft casts hopeful luminosity to light one's way. So it was that Lady Maranda Rockrimmon cast hope upon Faris-set Faris upon a different path-a path of happiness, serenity and love. Faris abandoned the tainted air of Tremeshton in favor of the amethyst sunsets of Loch Loland Castle and her new mistress Lady Rockrimmon. Further, it was on the very night of her emancipation that Faris first met the man of her dreams-the man of every woman's dreams-the rogue Highwayman of Tanglewood. Dressed in black and astride his mighty steed, the brave, heroic and dashing rogue Highwayman of Tanglewood stole Faris' heart as easily as he stole her kiss. Yet, the Highwayman of Tanglewood was encircled in mystery-mystery as thick and as secretive as time itself. Could Faris truly own the heart of a man so entirely enveloped in twilight shadows and dangerous secrets?

Marcia Lynn McClure is Savannah's favorite author. She has every one of her books and has even met her!

Savannah hosted a dinner at her house for us all last night. While we talked about the book we had The Great White Chili, Breadsticks Jenga and Lemonade Pie for dessert. YUM! Savannah had also made each of us a bookmark to use when reading our book club books, but we got to choose our own ribbon and thread it through. Until next month!