Thursday, July 31, 2014

A little lesson....

"When I look out at the people and they look at me and
they're smiling, then I know that I'm loved.
That is the time when I have no worries, no problems."
Etta James

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Pumpkin Pasta Casserole

The perfect fall on a plate dinner - a mix of savory and aromatic, cheesy and delicious while being surprisingly fancy sounding. This is no kidding, one of the easiest, no hassle dinners that is both cheap & filling. The added flavor or pumpkin is a good source of Vitamin A and fiber that actually pulls the flavors together nicely.

 That being said, if you're worried about pumpkin, just know you can't really taste it in this casserole. The addition of the ingredient adds a natural sweetness with a tiny hint of color but the sugar actually offsets the tartness of the tomatoes.  

1 pound of pasta
3/4 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin filling)
3/4 cup chopped tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 1/2 cups of fresh mozzarella
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
2-3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
freshly ground pepper, oregano, thyme, basil, sage leaves rosemary, parsley to taste

Heat your oven to 375°F and oil a 9x13-inch baking dish with olive oil. Set aside.
Bring a pot of water to boil over high heat, and stir about 1 tablespoon of salt with 1 tablespoon olive oil to prevent sticky noodles. Add the pasta, and turn the heat down to medium. Cook for 7 minutes (the golden number for premium al dente texture!) and drain.
Whisk together the ricotta, mozzarella, pureed pumpkin, garlic, and tomato in a large bowl. After that's good and mixed, add your spices.
Then, stir in the pasta and spread mixture evenly in your baking dish. Sprinkle the parmesan cheese over the top and bake uncovered for 30 minutes or until slightly brown on top. Let stand for a few minutes and enjoy the smell! Yum!

* If you are an Italian sausage fan, I would definitely suggest adding that to the recipe. It wasn't in my house at the time but try it out and let me know if it's a favorite!*

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Bubble Tea Recipe: Make your own at home!

I have tried to make boba, or bubble tea, for close to a year with failure. The issue is that most boba teas contain syrup you can only buy in bulk. The best place to find tapioca pearls in my area is Whole Foods and it is a bit pricey but it is worth it and a little lasts a long way!

To make one serving you will need: 1/2 cup of sugar, 1/3 cup of tapioca pearls, 1 cup of black tea, a cup of ice cubes, two tablespoons of milk (I add agave nectar).

 In a small saucepan, bring 2 cups water to a boil. Stir in 1 teaspoon sugar until it dissolves. Toss in the pearl tapioca. Cook for about 20 minutes. Rinse, drain, and refrigerate until chilled.

Pour tea, milk, and sugar into a cocktail shaker. Stir until the sugar has dissolved and the milk is well mixed in. Add the ice cubes, and shake so the whole drink can get cold. Pour into a glass, and add tapioca. 

Have fun with your own unique creations! Enjoy.
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