Sun Gold Tomato Pesto

There is so much yes going on in this photo!

Sun Gold Tomato Pesto

 

This is truly summer in a bowl.

Tomatoes are at their peak right now. My husband went to the Amish auction this past week and brought home the most beautiful little tomatoes ever. Two pints of Sun Gold tomatoes and 3 pints of deep red/maroon tomatoes that I have never seen. Both types were unbelievably sweet. The first thing I did was make a BLT for lunch, but I wanted to do something different with these tomatoes. I thought long and hard before settling on the idea of making a tomato pesto with the Sun Gold variety.

Boy am I glad I did.

Wow! This pesto has such a bright flavor. It’s sweet, but the garlic helps cut the sweetness just a little. I can honestly say that I have never had anything quite like it. I was going to save my other pint of Sun Gold’s for something else, but after tasting this pesto I decided to make another batch. If you like traditional pesto, you will love this. If you’re a pesto hater, I urge you to give this one a try, it might just turn you into a believer.

You can freeze this pesto. Either in cubes like my Parsley Walnut Pesto or in a zip top baggie.

This pesto is fantastic on pizza, pasta, or served as bruschetta.

 

Sun Gold Tomato Pesto

  • 2 C Sun Gold tomatoes
  • 1/2 C Pine nuts
  • 1/2 C Basil, packed tight
  • 1 or 2 Cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 1/4 C Olive oil
  • 1/2 C Parmesan

Directions

  1. Place all ingredients into a food processor and blend on high until smooth and everything is completely combined. Feel free to taste and add more Parmesan and garlic if you would like. Serve over pasta, use as a pizza sauce, spoon onto toasted bread.

Ricotta Gnudi

Check out these little balls of love!

Gnudi

Let me formally introduce you.

This is Gnudi. Pronounced “nudey”. Let the jokes roll. In fact, spell check keeps trying to change it to “nudity”.

Have you ever had gnudi? Have you ever heard of it?

Gnudi are Gnocchi’s ricotta cousin. They’re like soft little ricotta dumplings. They are also ten times easier to make from scratch compared to gnocchi.

I can pretty much guarantee that most of the people you know have never made gnudi or heard of it. You will be the coolest person ever if you serve this to people and tell them you made it from scratch. Just don’t tell them how simple it is.

Ok, so you’re going to combine the ingredients and stir it until you have a sticky dough. Then you roll the dough into balls and roll through flour. Refrigerate for about 45 minutes to firm the balls up. Then you will boil them until they pop up out of the water. You can then eat them with any sauce or a flavored butter. You can also take it one step further and fry them after boiling…which is what I did. Simple, right?

Ricotta Gnudi

After you boil the gnudi, taste them and decide whether you like them as is. Honestly, I was quite content just boiling them, but my husband preferred them fried. And I must admit, the fried gnudi looked much more appealing in photo’s.

The taste and texture of these are amazing. When you boil them, the outside is kind of like gnocchi in texture, but then you cut the ball in half with your fork and the inside is soft and gooey cheese. It’s like eating the inside of ravioli. If you fry your gnudi it will have a crispy crust on the outside and it will be nice and soft on the inside

Ricotta Gnudi AccidentallyDomesticated

 

Ricotta Gnudi

  • 2 C Ricotta
  • 1/2 C Parmesan
  • 1/2 C Flour, plus more for rolling
  • Scant 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 3 Egg yolks
  • Pinch of nutmeg

Directions

  1. In a large bowl combine ricotta, Parmesan, flour, salt, egg yolks, and nutmeg. Stir until well combined.
  2. Pour flour on to a plate and begin rolling balls of ricotta mixture. After each ball is formed, roll through flour, and place on a plate. Once all of the dough has been rolled, place your plate of gnudi in the refrigerator for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  3. Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil. Carefully drop gnudi into pot, a few at a time. You will have to cook these in batches. The gnudi will sink and pop up to the surface when they are cooked. Carefully scoop them out of the water with a slotted spoon and transfer to a colander. Repeat until all gnudi are cooked.
  4. If you are going to fry them, heat a large non stick skillet over medium-high heat, add 1 Tbsp. oil and gently pan fry gnudi, about 2-3 minutes on each side, or until each side is golden brown.

Roma Egg Sandwich

Happy Monday!

Did that sound convincing? Did it make me sound like a chipper morning person? Because I’m totally not.

Roma Egg Sandwich AccidentallyDomesticated

Did you do anything exciting or fun this past weekend?

I’m happy to announce that Homegoods has started to put out their Halloween decor and I could not be more excited! I do have to say that I have been very well behaved, much to my husband’s delight! I have actually put things back on the shelf and told myself that if i’m not absolutely in love with it, I don’t really need it. I’m pretty proud of myself. My husband says that he’s proud, but he’s really just sighing a big sigh of relief. My Halloween addiction takes over the entire house and it gets bigger and bigger every year…it’s awesome!

Has anyone else been watching “I am Cait”? I’m pretty intrigued by it. I always did like Bruce, and I like her as Caitlyn. She seems like a good person with a big heart. I really wish that the Kardashian girls could just stay on their own dumb show though. I’m tired of seeing them make appearances on Caitlyn’s show, I feel like my brain cells are slowly dying whenever one of them opens their mouth. Last night I was irritated with Khloe during her sit down with Caitlyn. I have never liked Khloe, she seems like a nasty girl with a bad attitude about everything. Ugh. Whatever.

What about “The Astronaut Wives Club”? I am obsessed with that show. Gus’s death and funeral crushed me. Sooo sad. I know we’re getting close to the finale and I’m totally bummed out. Netflix has ruined my ability to wait for a new season to come out!

Ok, enough of my Monday morning rambling. Lets get down to these sandwiches. I made these for dinner a few weeks ago and they were fantastic. Totally hit the spot and they were easy peasy to prepare. For this sandwich you will need some good sturdy bread, like ciabatta. For the pesto mayo, you can prepare your own pesto or use store bought. And you can either fry your prosciutto or leave it alone. If you have never cooked prosciutto you might want to fry one piece just like you would bacon and taste it before you decide to do all of it that way. When it gets cooked it becomes extremely salty and the flavor and texture are very different. You have been warned.

Roma Egg Sandwich

Basically this is the fancy version of the egg and bacon sandwich we all know and love. But it’s just as simple to prepare.

Roma Egg Sandwich

  • 2 Roma tomatoes, sliced
  • 1/4 C Mayonnaise
  • 1  1/2 Tbsp. Pesto
  • 6 Slices prosciutto
  • 4 Eggs
  • 2 Mini/individual loaves ciabatta bread
  • Parmesan, grated
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 Tbsp. White wine vinegar
  • Olive oil

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 300º. Lightly brush the cut sides of bread with olive oil and lightly toast in oven. About 6-8 minutes.
  2. Mix mayonnaise with pesto and stir well to combine. Set aside.
  3. In a large skillet heat a little olive oil over medium-high heat. Fry prosciutto until crisp. About 2 minutes. Remove and drain on paper towels. Add tomato slices to pan and cook, turning once, until browned on both sides. About 4 minutes.
  4. Bring a large skillet of salted water to a simmer over medium heat; add vinegar. Crack eggs into small ramekins and gently slip the eggs into the water. Turn burner off and cover skillet with a lid, cook for about 4 minutes. Remove eggs using a slotted spoon.
  5. To assemble sandwiches; spread pesto mayo on each cut slice of bread, lay prosciutto down on bottom halves, top with tomato slices, then the eggs, sprinkle eggs with a little Parmesan, replace tops of bread to complete the sandwich.

*If you have never poached eggs, don’t be intimidated. It’s quite easy. There are plenty of tutorials and videos all over the internet.

Penne with Sausage, Mascarpone, and Sweet Peas

Are you done with creamy pasta recipes yet?

Penne with Sausage, Peas, and Mascarpone

I’m not.

I mean we’re friends, right? And if you’re one of the people who come back and read my ramblings twice a week, I’m just going to assume that you and I have very similar tastes and you totally get me. Soooo another pasta dish that is full of some type of creamy cheese and loads of Parmesan should make you giddy with excitement, right? Yep, you get me!

Oh, and there are tons of peas in there too. So obviously this is a healthy dish. Hey, whatever helps you sleep at night.

Ok, but for real, the peas totally cut down on the rich cheese flavor and they add a refreshing flavor that really pairs well with the cheese and sausage.

Wanna know a secret?

I don’t even really like peas! I like sugar snap peas, but regular old peas as a side dish? No. Canned peas? Gross. Peas in chicken pot pie? Fine, but not too many. Peas don’t disgust me, unless they’re canned and in that case they are yucktastic in my book. But peas don’t excite me and I certainly don’t want to pass a big bowl of them around the dinner table. But in this dish I love them so much, they are sweet and bursting with flavor.

We have already gone over my quirks. We all know i’m a weirdo. Lets just add this to the books and move on, I’m sure there will be something else weird to divulge about myself next week!

Penne with Mascarpone, Sausage, and Parmesan Peas

 

Penne with Sausage, Mascarpone, and Sweet Peas

  • 1 lb. Sweet Italian sausage, bulk/ground
  • 1 pkg. Alexia frozen Parmesan peas
  • 8 oz. Mascarpone cheese
  • 3/4 C Chicken stock
  • 1  1/4 C Heavy cream
  • 1  1/4 C Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 C Sweet onion
  • 1 pkg. Penne pasta
  • 1 tsp. Olive oil
  1. Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  2. Heat a dutch oven over medium-high heat and cook sausage until browned and no longer pink, about 10-12 minutes. Crumble sausage while cooking. Drain excess oil off and transfer sausage to a small bowl.
  3. In same dutch oven, heat 1 tsp. olive oil over medium-high heat and add onion. Saute for 5-6 minutes. Add heavy cream and boil for 5 minutes. Add chicken stock and continue boiling, stirring periodically, until sauce thickens, about 5-6 more minutes.
  4. Add sausage back to sauce, stir in mascarpone, and peas. Add noodles and Parmesan, and stir until combined. Serve immediately.

Breakfast Mac and Cheese

This is a game changer.

Breakfast Mac and Cheese

Creamy mac and cheese, loaded with sausage, baked and then topped with a runny fried egg!

Oh, and do you know what the crunchy topping is?

Guess!

Breakfast Mac & Cheese

It’s not Panko.

It’s better!

Crushed, crunchy fried onions! Yesssss!

The last time I posted a mac and cheese recipe I said that it would be the first of many, and this mac doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface! The wheels are turning now. I have so many ideas planned out for some funky mac and cheese recipes.

But lets talk about this one. Breakfast mac. Seriously, let that sink in for a minute. My husband was a little weirded out by the egg. He put his on the side of his plate and just ate his macaroni. After a few minutes he asked how the egg was on top of the noodles. I told him it was delicious. I glanced over and saw him cautiously dip a few noodles into the yolk, then the look of satisfaction passed over his face, and I watched as he slid his egg right over by his noodles so he could eat them together. So if the egg on top weirds you out, you just go right ahead and put it on the side until you become more comfortable with the idea. And I promise you, after one bite of the macaroni with the egg, you will be a believer! You might even go make yourself a second egg like I did. The eggs are NOT optional with this dish. The onion crumbs are the other thing that are not optional. They add a great flavor to the macaroni and take it to a whole new level.

This mac and cheese is fantastic, your whole family will love it. Hubby and I have been eating the leftovers all weekend. I probably should have thrown the leftovers in the trash. I just knew they would be too addictive to stay away from! We’re going to have to roll ourselves out of the house today. But in all seriousness, make this asap. Life is too short to never experience breakfast mac!

 

Breakfast Mac and Cheese

  • 3 C Whole milk
  • 1 stick Unsalted butter
  • 1/2 C Flour
  • 2 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 3 C Extra sharp cheddar cheese
  • 16 oz. Elbow noodles
  • 1/2 C Fried onions, crushed
  • 1 lb. Ground breakfast sausage
  • Eggs

Directions

  1. Cook noodles according to package directions, until just a tad undercooked. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet over mdium-high heat, cook sausage until crumbled and no longer pink. Drain off any grease and set aside.
  3. Heat milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until hot, but not boiling.
  4. In a medium sauce pan melt butter over medium heat. Once melted add flour and whisk to combine until smooth. Remove from heat and slowly whisk in milk, about 1 cup at a time. Make sure you are whisking constantly and vigorously the entire time to avoid any lumps. Once all milk has been added, put back on the burner and whisk over medium heat until sauce thickens. Dip a spoon in, if it coats the spoon without running off the sauce is thick enough. Add salt and cheese. Whisk until well combined. If your sauce becomes too thick, add a little milk 1 tsp. at a time until it loosens a little bit.
  5. Add sausage to cheese sauce and stir well. Add noodles and stir until well coated.
  6. Pour macaroni into a 13×9 casserole dish and sprinkle with crushed fried onions. Feel free to add more crushed onions if you would like.
  7. Bake at 350º for 10-15 minutes or until sauce is thick and bubbly.
  8. Serve immediately with fried eggs on top.

Creamy Ricotta Cavatappi

 

Have you ever seen anything so creamy?

Ricotta Pasta- Accidentally Domesticated

 

I have had a love affair going on with ricotta for as long as I can remember. My grandma used to make the best lasagna and I can remember scraping bits of ricotta out from under the noodles to eat all by itself. I have tried every name brand ricotta that my grocery store carries and I have to say that the store brand and Sargento are neck and neck for me at the moment.

But

There’s always a but!

Recently I went to a local grocery store that is known for fresh fruits and veggies, herbal supplements, and other stuff that’s good for you. It was a health food store long before Whole Foods or hipsters ever existed! So anyway, I was in the store looking around and I came across a tub of homemade ricotta. They make it in the store and it’s fresh ricotta. REAL ricotta! If you have never had homemade ricotta, I urge you to seek it out or make your own. Good Lord you will not be disappointed. It is so incredibly creamy, with a fresh milk flavor, and very little grainy texture. This stuff is seriously smooth, so smooth that homemade ricotta is like the George Clooney of ricottas!

So, lets combine a super creamy ricotta with garlic, parmesan, and a little half and half and smother some noodles in it. You feel me? Cool, cool.

Lets do this!

Ricotta Pasta

Creamy Ricotta Cavatappi

  • 2 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp. Olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 2 C  Ricotta
  • 1/2 C + 2 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese, shredded/grated
  • 1/2 C Half and half
  • 16 oz. Cavatappi noodles

Directions

  1. Cook noodles according to package instructions, drain and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes, until soft and fragrant, but not burnt.
  3. Reduce heat to medium and add ricotta, half and half, and salt and whisk until completely combined.
  4. Add Parmesan and continue whisking until cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth. Cook for 1-2 more minutes until sauce thickens a bit.
  5. Combine noodles and sauce, toss to combine and serve with extra Parmesan cheese.

Parsley Walnut Pesto

Parsley Walnut Pesto

Summer is my least favorite season.

I know, I know, you think I’m nuts.

I love the really mild summer days. You know, when it’s barely 70º F and there is a beautiful breeze. If summer was like that, It would be my 2nd favorite season. But it doesn’t! Most summers here are disgustingly hot with a side of gross humidity.

There are a couple of things that I love about summer though. So while it’s not necessarily my favorite season, there are some things that make me look forward to it.

Like, local ice cream stands being open, farmers markets, Amish country produce auctions, annnnd MY GARDEN!

My garden makes me ridiculously happy. I typically have to wait until May to begin planting, but by July my garden is exploding with herbs and veggies. This year I have eggplant (we’ll see if they actually grow), zucchini (epic fail, sigh), tomatoes (green zebras, heirloom, sweet 100’s, & San Marzano), tomatillos (these are going nuts), dill, thyme, oregano, basil (5 varieties), sage, parsley, raspberries, blueberries, orange mint, mint, tarragon, pineapple sage, and stevia.

Whew!

The Japanese beetles and slugs killed off my huge zucchini plants this year. I really should just scrap the zucchini. Everyone else grows so much of it that it’s so easy to get a hold of at a very good price.

But the herbs, oh my goodness, my herbs! They are growing like crazy. The sage, thyme, and oregano come back every year. I just let them die off and I leave them, by the spring they start turning green again, it’s awesome. I have to plant parsley and basil every year, but they grow like weeds. I’m harvesting a lot of basil, sage, and oregano now, to dry it in my dehydrator, and then I’ll do a huge batch of basil pesto towards September when I harvest the leaves again.  My parsley has really taken off this year, to the point that last night I was worried that I might waste it. There is nothing worse than wasting what you have grown. So I sat down to jot down some ideas for the parsley. So get ready for a couple more Parsley related posts before the summer is over.

Guys, parsley isn’t just for garnishing a dish. Oh no, it lends itself beautifully to a bright pesto that has a peppery bite. If you have never had parsley pesto, you’re missing out. It’s a nice change from the usual basil pesto, it’s not as sweet and it has a deep pepper flavor that is absolutely delicious. I feel like the Parmesan and walnuts really shine through when using parsley vs. basil. I made a batch of this pesto last night, spooned it into silicone ice cube trays, and froze it overnight. This morning I popped the pesto cubes out and put them in a freezer bag. I will use these all fall and winter long. When I want a quick lunch or dinner I just grab a few cubes and throw them into a saucepan, heat over low heat, and throw my cooked pasta in, tossing to coat.

Parsley Pesto

Parsley Walnut Pesto

  • 2 C Parsley, stemmed and packed
  • 1 C Walnuts
  • 3/4 C Parmesan
  • 1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 2/3 C Olive oil
  • 3 Large garlic cloves, minced

Directions

  1. Add parsley, walnuts, Parmesan, salt, and garlic to a food processor. Turn on high and let it run for about 30 seconds. Begin adding olive oil very slowly until it is all incorporated.
  2. Serve immediately or spoon into an ice cube tray and freeze to use at a later date.

* I like my pesto to be on the smooth side. If you like a chunky pesto, pulse your ingredients a few times until it just starts to come together, and then add your olive oil until you get your desired consistency.

Mongolian Beef

Mongolian Beef

It’s Friday!

Finally!

I want to do a happy dance!

This week has been really slow for me and I have no idea why. Nothing out of the ordinary and nothing major happened. It has just drug by. Slowly. Like a herd of turtles stampeding through molasses.

But, it’s finally Friday. I don’t know about you, but typically by Friday I want an easy recipe that comes together quickly so I can just relax and do nothing at all.

I recently found a copy of an old Chinese cookbook my mom has and I have been in the mood for Chinese food ever since. Actually, obsessing would probably be a better description.

So, lets combine my hankering for Chinese with my need for a quick and easy, but super delicious meal! Bam! You get my Mongolian beef! This dish is a snap to make and it is so flavorful. My grocery store has sticky rice in the frozen section and it’s a lifesaver. We eat it all the time. I always have a few boxes on hand for meals like this. If you want to go searching for it, the brand is InnovAsian.

Mongolian Beef AccidentallyDomesticated

Mongolian Beef

  • 1 lb. Flank steak, cut in strips against the grain
  • 1/2 tsp. Fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 4 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. Sherry
  • 3 tsp. Vegetable oil
  • 1/2 C Soy sauce, 1/4 C regular soy and 1/4 C low sodium soy combined
  • 1/4 C Water
  • 1/4 C + 1 Tbsp. Brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. Rice vinegar
  • 1/2 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. Cornstarch, separated
  • 1/2 C Green onion, chopped
  • 1 Egg white

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, combine egg white, 1/2 Tbsp. cornstarch, and steak strips. Toss with your hands to combine. Let sit for 10 minutes.
  2. In a medium saucepan, mix together sherry, soy sauce, water, brown sugar, rice vinegar, and remaining 1 tsp. cornstarch. Bring to a boil and allow to simmer, about 3-4 minutes, or until thickened slightly.
  3. In a wok, heat 2 tsp. oil over medium-high heat until oil shimmers. Add steak and saute until steak is seared, but not fully cooked in the center, about 2-3 minutes. Remove and set aside to drain on a paper towel lined plate.
  4. Over medium-high heat, heat remaining 1 tsp. oil in wok and saute garlic and ginger, about 1 minute. Add beef and sauce mixture to the wok and stir to combine. Turn heat up to high and stir frequently for about 2 more minutes, or until sauce has thickened considerably. Serve over rice with green onions.

Taco Pasta

 

 

 

Taco. Pasta. OMG.

Taco Pasta

Lets file this away under the “way late to this party” category.

Lets also file this under “one of my new favorite meals that I will eat every day for 4 days after until the leftovers are all gone. Cold or hot!”

Okay, so I have seen the taco pasta pictures on Pinterest before and I have to be honest, it just never appealed to me. It looked pretty basic, bland, and kind of gross to me. Crazy, I know.

Everyone seems to have their own version of this dish, the majority of them being noodles, cream cheese, and taco mix. I’m all for easy meals, but that’s just a little too basic for me. I needed to add a few extra elements. Whoever came up with the original idea for taco pasta, while I had to put my own spin on it, my hat is off to you! This is so flipping good. Your family will devour it, I promise.

Taco Pasta- Accidentally Domesticated

Taco Pasta

  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 pkg Mccormick taco seasoning
  • 1 can tomatoes with green chilies (do not drain)
  • 16 oz. pasta, shells
  • 6 oz. whipped cream cheese
  • 1/2 C sour cream
  • 1/4 C cilantro, minced
  • 2 tsp. olive oil

Directions

  1. In a large pan with high sides, brown ground beef over medium-high heat. Drain excess fat and transfer beef to a bowl. Set aside.
  2. In same pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat, saute onion until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and saute 2 minutes more.
  3. Meanwhile, cook noodles until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  4. Add ground beef to onion/garlic mixture and stir to combine. Add tomatoes w/chilies and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Add cream cheese, taco seasoning, and sour cream. Stir well until everything is combined.
  5. Add cooked noodles and cilantro, toss to coat the noodles well. Serve with shredded Mexican cheese.

Grilled Lobster with Garlic Herb Butter

Hellllooooo summer!

This.

Grilled Lobster with Herb Butter

THIS is summer food in my eyes!

My local grocery store had a sale on live lobsters the other day and I happily scooped a few up. Good for me. Bad for the lobsters.

Of course my husband wanted me to make lobster bisque. And don’t get me wrong, I love a good bisque. I was totally down for bisque. Except I needed to eat lobster meat straight from the shell, doused in butter! So, I parboiled the lobsters and then froze one to use at a later time in a bisque. The other one? Ooohhhh man, the other one. I’m getting hungry just thinking about how delicious it was. I split that sucker straight down the middle, brushed an herb butter all over the meat, and grilled it.

I might have actually licked the shells when we were all done.

Yeah, not my finest moment.

I regret nothing.

 

Grilled Lobster with Herb Butter

  • 1  Live lobster (1 to 1 1/2 lb.)
  • 1 Stick butter
  • 2 Tbsp. Parsley, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. Chives, chopped
  • 4 Cloves garlic, minced

Directions

  1. Bring a deep pot of water to a rolling boil. Plunge lobster in head first. Boil for about 4-5 minutes, then transfer lobster to a large bowl of ice water to immediately stop the cooking process.
  2. Pull the claws off and then split the lobster straight down the middle with a large knife or cleaver. Using the tip of the knife, carefully puncture a hole or two in the claws.
  3. Combine melted butter, parsley, chives, and garlic in a bowl and set aside with a grill brush.
  4. Heat a grill over medium-high heat and lightly oil the grates. Brush lobster all over with butter and place flesh side down and cook for 4 minutes. Flip, baste with more butter, and cook for another 4 minutes. Do this with the claws as well. Remove from the grill and enjoy.