Monday, November 23, 2009

Pasta with Pumpkin Cream Sauce

So apparently Libby's, the super huge canned pumpkin company, had a bad year this year due to droughts. Thus, they expect a shortage in pumpkin this year, and once they're out, they're out until the next crop in 2010. Eh, I've still seen pumpkin can or two hanging out with their friends at the grocery store, so I'm not too horribly worried about it yet. Who knows, we'll see how it looks comes Christmas time.

However, should you find yourself opening a large can of the delicious orange stuff only to use part of it (ooooh such as to make some amazing pumpkin whoopie pies), here's a good answer for the leftovers.

Pasta with a Pumpkin Cream Sauce
From: Macaroni and Cheesecake

1 pound long skinny pasta, such as spaghetti, fettucine, or linguine
1 medium vidalia onion, minced
3 medium cloves garlic
2 sprigs sage leaves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 cup canned unsweetened pumpkin puree
3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup fat free half & half
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot of to a boil over medium-high heat. Add sald and pour in the pasta and cook according to package directions.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic; cook for 3 minutes, stirring, until they have softened. Stir in the pumpkin puree, chicken broth, half & half, and 1/2 of the sage. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until the sauce is slightly thickened. Season with salt and pepper to taste; keep warm on the lowest setting.

Drain the pasta and add to the sauce, then add 2 tablespoons of the cheese and mix well. Serve and sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of cheese and the remaining sage.

Well, I was expecting a little stronger pumpkin flavor, but I think Stephanie describes it best as an alfredo sauce with a hint of pumpkin. Overall I was pleasantly surprised with this dish, being originally a little skeptical about the pumpkin. (Adam even liked it.)

It's a fairly easy dish to throw together and perfect for fall. Not to mention great for finishing up those pumpkin leftovers.

Nutrition Facts
Amount per serving
Calories 241Calories from fat 61
% Daily Value
Total Fat 6.7g10%
Saturated Fat 2.7g14%
Cholesterol 52mg17%
Sodium 93mg4%
Total Carbs 37.1g12%
Dietary Fiber 2.4g9%
Sugars 1.4g
Protein 8.8g
Vitamin A 78%Vitamin C 6%
Calcium 12%Iron 19%

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Bacon Mac

If you have been following this blog, you probably know that I'm always on the hunt for THE mac and cheese recipe. It has to be ridiculously cheesey, gooey, and bacon never hurts. I could go either baked or straight off the stovetop, although a little panko on the top is always nice to switch up the texture.

Well, lo and behold, Cooking Light decided to produce a version of mac n chee which included bacon. Okay, got my attention. It was missing the panko, but it did include hot sauce. Okay, fair enough trade. Let's try it.

Bacon Mac
Adapted From: Cooking Light, September 2009

3-1/4 teaspoons salt, divided
12 ounces small- or medium-sized, fun pasta
4 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1-1/2 cups milk, divided
2 cups finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3-4 slices peppered bacon, cooked and crumbled
Cooking spray

Preheat broiler.

Bring 6 quarts water and 1 tablespoon salt to a boil. Add pasta; cook 8 minutes or until al dente; drain.

Combine flour and 1/2 cup milk in a saucepan over medium heat. Gradually add 1 cup milk; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; let stand 4 minutes or until it cools to 155°. Stir in 1 1/2 cups cheese. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt, onions, hot sauce, pepper, and bacon; stir. Add pasta; toss. Spoon into a 2-quart broiler-safe dish coated with cooking spray; top with 1/2 cup cheese. Broil 7 minutes.

Well, I can't say that it's my absolutley favorite mac and chee recipe, but it did turn out pretty good. It did have bacon in it though, which makes everything good, so... it gets my vote!

Nutrition Facts
Amount per serving
Calories 458Calories from fat 180
% Daily Value
Total Fat 20.0g31%
Saturated Fat 10.6g53%
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 58mg19%
Sodium 1763mg73%
Total Carbs 46.3g15%
Dietary Fiber 2.2g9%
Sugars 3.7g
Protein 23.6g
Vitamin A 10%Vitamin C 2%
Calcium 34%Iron 17%

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Sweet & Spicy Pork Tenderloin

I swear I can't win. As soon as I get this blog all nice and caught up, life takes over and I get so very far behind again. *Sigh* I have been completely swamped as of late with papers and homework which hasn't left a lot of time for other things.

Since I have a little bit of a break from all the chaos today, I figured it was time to catch up. And this pork tenderloin is a great way to do it. A couple months ago, I posted this pork tenderloin recipe, which was fantastic, so I decided to give another recipe a shot.

I have to say, pork tenderloin has definitely changed the way I think about pork. It used to be slow-cooked porkchops swimming in some gravy (not really my favorite, thankyouverymuch), but now I realize just how juicy and tender pork can really be. Yum.

Anyhoo, about this recipe. Delicious, of course. Now I'm going to have problems deciding which one I'm going to make...

Sweet and Spicy Pork Tenderloin
From: Macaroni and Cheesecake

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon ground chipotle chile pepper
1 pork tenderloin (1 1/4 pounds), trimmed of visible fat
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons hot-pepper sauce

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

In a small bowl, combine the cumin, cinnamon, salt, black pepper, allspice, garlic powder, and chipotle pepper. Rub the pork tenderloin evenly with the olive oil. Then rub evenly with the spice mixture until coated. Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the honey, garlic, and hot-pepper sauce. Whisk to mix. Set aside.

Set a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Place the pork in the pan. Cook for 1 minute per side, or until browned on all sides. Transfer to the prepared pan. With a basting brush, evenly coat the pork tenderloin with the reserved honey mixture.

Roast the tenderloin in the oven for 15 to 17 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted in the center reaches 160°F and the juices run clear. Remove from the oven. Cover the pork loosely with aluminum foil. Let stand for 10 minutes. Transfer the pork to a cutting board. Holding a knife at a 45° angle, cut into thin slices.

Serves: 4

Nice and juicy and tender, what more could you ask for? The honey definitely balances out the spices quite nicely, definitely letting this pork live up to it's "sweet and spicy" name.


Nutrition Facts
Amount per serving
Calories 251Calories from fat 56
% Daily Value
Total Fat 6.2g10%
Saturated Fat 1.9g9%
Trans Fat 0.1g
Cholesterol 103mg34%
Sodium 378mg16%
Total Carbs 10.0g3%
Sugars 8.7g
Protein 37.4g
Vitamin A 0%Vitamin C 1%
Calcium 2%Iron 11%

Sunday, November 8, 2009

I'm still here...

I promise I haven't disappeared. Okay, well maybe I have, but only because I've been buried under piles of journal articles and other school related items. And honestly, there hasn't really been a lot new happening in my kitchen as of late. Class from 4:30-7:10 four days a week (plus a 1/2 hr drive each way) has really been killing the whole making dinner thing. So we've pretty much been sticking to our tried and true recipes... at least on the nights that we actually cook.

I think I do have a recipe or two hiding out that I have yet to post... that is when I get a breather from trying to finish up a big paper I'm working on. In the meantime, I figured I'd give you a couple pictures of a cake my sister and I made for her husband as he's getting ready to be deployed to Louisiana for training, and then Afghanistan for a total of 9 months! Guess they need doctors over there, too... :(


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