pork canton noodles, salad
crockpot spaghetti and meatballs, romaine with creamy Italian dressing
tomatillo chicken, rice, black beans
brisket, pinto beans, Texas toast
roasted apricot chicken, roast potatoes and carrots
pork tenderloin fajitas, chips and guacamole
crockpot loaded baked potato soup, spinach and apple salad

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

White Chocolate Chip Cookies

White Chocolate Chip Cookies
This cookies are huge, nearly too big for a lunch box, but that didn't deter Miss F from taking one in her lunch every day this week. The recipe is from Ina Garten and the cookies are delicious. I understand why Miss F wanted one every single day. Now that is in Kindergarten, she has a lot more independence at lunch time. Which meant the first week of school she came home with everything healthy in her lunch uneaten. We had a talk about how I she finished her lunch, she could have the treat packed in her lunch. So far, this has worked quite well. So she continues to get lunch box treats. What is your favorite nut-free cookie recipe?
White Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup butter at room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 eggs
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups white chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cream the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the vanilla, then the eggs, 1 at a time, and mix well. Add the cocoa and mix again. Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt and add to the chocolate with the mixer on low speed until just combined. Fold in the white chocolate chips.

Drop the dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, using a 1 3/4-inch ice cream scoop or a rounded tablespoon. Dampen your hands and flatten the dough slightly. Bake for exactly 15 minutes (the cookies will seem underdone). Remove from the oven and let cool slightly on the pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
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Monday, September 15, 2014

Fettucine Alfredo with Quattro Pasta

Fettucine Alfredo with Quattro Pasta
Miss F and C have a favorite dish that can only be enjoyed at Carmine's in Chicago. We call their fettucine alfredo "daddy pasta" and we all love it very much. C forced me to try it on my first ever trip to Chicago years ago, I had never had alfredo sauce before that day. It was so good. The reason: freshly made pasta. I took a pasta cooking class at Quattro at the Four Seasons in Houston, the pasta we made there was better than Carmine's. So I decided to make the pasta at home with alfredo sauce, it was the natural choice. This pasta is amazing and totally worth the work.  The alfredo recipe is adapted from Emeril and the pasta recipe is courtesy of Quattro, in a greatly reduced format.  The original recipe we were sent home with called for 70 egg yolks.
Fettucine Alfredo

1 pound fettucine
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup finely grated parmesan
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Prepare the fettucine per the directions below, drain reserving ¼ cup of the pasta water in the pot it was cooked in.

While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Add heavy cream; bring to a boil. Cook for 5 minutes, until the sauce has thickened slightly.

Return the pasta to the pot it was cooked in, set over medium-high heat along with the reserved cooking liquid. Add the butter-cream mixture and half of the parmesan and toss to combine thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Plate and sprinkle with the remaining parmesan, serve immediately.

Quattro Fresh Pasta

1 1/3 cup flour
2/3 cup semolina flour
10 egg yolks
1 tablespoon olive oil
¾ teaspoon salt

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine all ingredients. Mix at medium speed for 8 to 10 minutes, reaching a smooth consistency. Wrap the dough in double plastic wrap and allow to rest in the refrigerator overnight. Prepare the pasta per your pasta makers directions. Cook in boiling salted water for 2 minutes, drain.
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Friday, September 12, 2014

Panko Pork with Apricot Dipping Sauce

Panko Pork with Apricot Dipping Sauce
This meal was originally supposed to be an apricot pork stir fry.  The birthday dinner for my dad had been postponed and I had a jar of apricot jam I had bought to make his favorite baked brie.  C and I ended up meeting for lunch and we had Thai food, so I wasn't in the mood for a stir fry that evening, neither was he.  So Panko Pork with Apricot Dipping Sauce was born.  We'll call it the sweeter relative of Pork Things.  Miss F devoured hers, but she preferred to dip hers in mustard.  Crazy kid!
Panko Pork with Apricot Dipping Sauce

½ cup apricot jam
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon Sriracha

1 egg
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup Panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
2 boneless center-cut pork chops, pounded to 1/8" thickness
3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided

In a small saucepan, stir together the jam, mustard, soy sauce, vinegar and Sriracha. Heat over medium to bring to a simmer, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Whisk the egg in a medium bowl. Combine Panko, salt, and pepper on a large plate. Dip in egg mixture, then in Panko, pressing to adhere. Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat and cook pork until golden brown and cooked through, about 2 minutes per side, adding 1 tablespoon vegetable oil after turning. Drain on paper towels. Serve the pork with the prepared apricot sauce.
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