October 8, 2013

Fabulous Fall Pasta and Tomato Toss

Last week when my sister Kim came up to celebrate Grace's 11th birthday, she brought with her a huge bag of tomatoes which was the last of what she grew in her garden this year. There is nothing I love more than fresh tomatoes but you have to use them up quick or you will find yourself sharing your kitchen with a whole bunch of fruit flies. Anyhow we had spaghetti and meatballs for Grace's birthday dinner and needless to say I made WAY more pasta than we could have possibly consumed, so the balance of what we didn't eat went right into the frig. NOW WHAT IS A GIRL TO DO??? I have about a pound of leftover cooked pasta with all these gorgeous tomatoes, plenty of garlic, a cupboard full of white beans which I love, and some shrimp in the freezer. So I began putting these ingredients together and came up with this pasta dish which can be served as an entree...OR and as a lovely appetizer!


3-4 T. extra virgin olive oil
2 large cloves of garlic minced
3-4 whole ripe tomatoes diced
Small white beans, I used about a cup
1/4 cup fresh parsley plus some for garnish
8-10 large white shrimp shelled and deveined ( you can also cut them in half if you prefer)
Leftover cooked spaghetti about 2 cups (whole wheat works fine...that us what I typically use)
Shredded Parmesan cheese, about 1/4 cup
Some crushed red pepper to your liking (optional)
Fresh cracked black pepper and sea salt to season

Heat olive oil in medium sized pan and add the garlic, let simmer on low to medium heat just until garlic is soft and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, parsley and beans and saute for another two minutes. Add the spaghetti and heat then toss in the shrimp and heat through until they turn light pink. Remove from heat and season the crushed red pepper, black pepper and sea salt. Sprinkle with shredded Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately. 

Serve with a crusty bread and a glass of Pinot Grigio.
Enjoy and

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October 7, 2013

Frighteningly Yummy Halloween Bark

Who doesn't love the combination of salty and sweet? This bark has salty pretzels and peanuts mixed with milk chocolate M $ M's and crumbled Oreo cookie, all nestled in a white chocolate! 

This is fun to make with the kids too!

And the method to making this tasty treat could not be more simple.

Ingredient amounts..
24 ounces of white chocolate or Almond Bark. Both can be found at you local Walmart.
1 cup coarsely chopped pretzels
10 coarsely chopped Oreo cookies
1 cup dry roasted peanuts
1 cup of M & M's, with the blue and green ones sorted out

In a 15 X 10 inch jelly roll pan place a sheet of aluminum foil and then coat it with cooking spray.

Place the white chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. If using the almond bark, make sure you have broken the squares apart for even melting. Place in the microwave and cook it on high for one minute. Check the chocolate to make sure it is getting soft. Place back in microwave and cook for 15 seconds, stir and then return to the microwave and repeat until the chocolate is completely melted. Spread chocolate evenly on the prepared jelly roll pan. Sprinkle the nuts, candy, cookie and pretzel on the top of the melted chocolate and gently press them in. 

Let set for one hour or refrigerate for about 20 minutes.  Break the bark into pieces and store in a plastic bag.


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