Saturday, May 16, 2009

On Hiatus

Well, I'm sorry to announce that "...and a cookie for dessert" will be taking a rather lengthy hiatus. I've been put on bedrest, most likely until the babies arrive, and then I think I'm going to have my hands full for awhile after that. I hope to be able to return at some point though, as I really do love this blog!! But thank you to everyone who's been reading all this time and hopefully, I'll be back!!

In the meantime, if you're curious to see what's going on with me in baby land, check out my baby blog -

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Cake Batter Ice Cream

Now that the weather is finally getting warmer I decided it was time to break out my ice cream maker. I knew that Lauren had been using her ice cream maker all through the winter so she had an arsenal of great recipes for me to choose from. I bookmarked several, but decided to give this cake batter ice cream a whirl first since Joe is a big fan of cake batter ice cream. Like Lauren I used Funfetti cake mix, but heeding her warning about the sprinkles dissolving I added more sprinkles to my ice cream at the very end, just to make it more colorful. This ice cream is SO delicious! And the ice cream came out perfect - creamy and rich and the perfect consistency. In fact, I think it's the best ice cream I've ever made! I highly recommend this!

Cake Batter Ice Cream

1 cup whole milk, well chilled
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 cups heavy cream, well chilled
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup Funfetti cake mix

In a medium bowl, whisk the milk and granulated sugar until the sugar is dissolved.

Stir in the heavy cream and vanilla.

Stir in cake mix, making sure there are no lumps.

Pour mixture into the freezer bowl of your ice cream maker and let mix until it has thickened (about 25-30 minutes).

Remove ice cream from freezer bowl and place into a separate container.

Place freezer bowl and the ice cream into the freezer to further harden.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Weeknight Paella

Another winner from my friend Colleen! Joe and I love paella. In fact, Joe loves basically any combination of proteins and rice. This paella uses shrimp and sausage and comes together with the help of some Mexican rice mix and peas. It's incredibly delicious and is perfect for a weeknight, just as Colleen described. I did not have any chorizo so I used turkey sausage and it was still fantastic! I look forward to having this again soon!

Weeknight Paella

2/3 cups yellow rice (Goya)
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small shallot, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 pound large shrimp, shelled and deveined
1/2 pound chorizo, sliced
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons chicken broth
1 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1/3 cup frozen peas

Heat olive oil in large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add rice and cook until it begins to toast, about 1-2 minutes.

Add shallot and garlic and continue to saute until garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add shrimp, chorizo, and broth. Cover pan tightly and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for 18 minutes.

Remove lid, add parsley and peas and cook until heated through. Continue cooking uncovered until all liquid is absorbed.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Famous "Ben-chiladas"

I've heard a lot about these enchiladas on the What's Cooking board - a creation of the awesome Annie. I was inspired to make it though when I saw it on Lauren's blog and she posted that her husband Pat liked them. I had been unsure but Joe and Pat often have similar tastes so hearing that Pat enjoyed it was a good sign. And it was - Joe LOVED this! He raved about it the entire time he was eating it. Plus it was super quick and simple to put together. I made it even simpler by using Perdue pre-cooked Southwestern chicken strips - all I had to do was take the chicken from the package and put it right into the tortillas. I will definitely make this again!

Annie's Ben-chiladas

1 package Perdue Southwestern pre-cooked chicken strips
8 oz. reduced fat sour cream
8 oz. Ranch salad dressing
flour tortillas
jar of salsa
shredded Mexican cheese

In a large mixing bowl, combine half of the sour cream and half of the Ranch dressing. In a small bowl, combine the rest of the sour cream and Ranch dressing. Stir both until well combined. Add the chicken to the large mixing bowl. Mix well with sauce.

Preheat the oven to 375°. Grease a 9 x 13″ pan (and possibly another, smaller pan if needed). Take one tortilla and top with a little less than 1 tbsp. of the sauce from the small bowl. Spread over the tortilla in an even layer. Add some of the chicken mixture to the center of the tortilla. Top with salsa to taste. Sprinkle with shredded cheese, to taste. Roll up tortilla and place, seam side down, in the prepared baking dish. Repeat with remaining ingredients (I only made 4 large enchiladas but you can make as many as you need by increasing the amount of ingredients.)

Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes (30 for a crispier tortilla). Allow to cool a few minutes before serving.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Lemon Pepper Shrimp Scampi

Another winner from the My Recipes Dinner Tonight emails that I received. John had offered to cook for us and I had a bag of shrimp in my freezer so I forwarded this recipe to him. It sounded quick and easy - and delicious - and it was! I love orzo and this dish was creamy and buttery and just plain good!

Lemon Pepper Shrimp Scampi

1 cup uncooked orzo
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
7 teaspoons unsalted butter, divided
1 1/2 pounds peeled and deveined jumbo shrimp
2 teaspoons bottled minced garlic
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Cook orzo according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain. Place orzo in a medium bowl. Stir in parsley and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cover and keep warm.

While orzo cooks, melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle shrimp with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add half of shrimp to pan; sauté 2 minutes or until almost done. Transfer shrimp to a plate. Melt 1 teaspoon butter in pan. Add remaining shrimp to pan; sauté 2 minutes or until almost done. Transfer to plate.

Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in pan. Add garlic to pan; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Stir in shrimp, juice, and pepper; cook 1 minute or until shrimp are done.