Are you ready for a full post, because I sure am ready to deliver one. This week’s been busy too, but I’m definitely catching up little by little. There’s a lot going on lately, so let’s catch up with that first.
For a limited time, Starbucks is having a Sweet Receipt program. (Similar to, but not to be confused with their treat receipt program.) If you buy something in the morning, you can bring in your receipt after 2 PM and receive a bakery treat for $1. I know everybody’s excited about the Pumpkin Spice Latte, but it’s still plenty hot in TX. I might just have to get myself a cool and frosty frappe. 🙂
Also coming up is National Talk Like a Pirate Day. As usual, Krispy Kreme is offering a free donut for those who come in talking like a pirate or wearing an eye patch OR a free dozen glazed donuts if you come in decked out like a pirate.
For recipes today, I wanted to share what I made to celebrate my brother and sister-in-law’s birthdays. Their birthdays are less than a week apart, so we decided to have them over for dinner and desserts (1 for each). We actually had it on my SIL’s birthday, so I let her choose the theme. She went with Italian which was a delicious choice. We started with bruschetta which is just toasted bread that’s been drizzled with olive oil and topped with an incredible mixture of tomatoes, garlic, and parmesan. We just made it at the table and devoured all that we could hold. Then we moved on to the main dish: a decadent pasta topped with pancetta, corn, egg yolks, and grated cheese. This take on pasta carbonara was rich and insanely delicious. It’s also pretty easy to make, which is always a bonus when you’re having people over.
Pasta Carbonara with Corn and Chiles (from the June 2011 issue of Everyday with Rachael Ray)
1 lb. egg tagliatelle (I couldn’t find any, so I just used regular fettuccine.)
3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/4-1/3 lb. finely diced pancetta (This time, I just used a few slices of bacon.)
1 1/2-2 c. thawed frozen corn
2 seeded, finely chopped fresno peppers (Let’s pause for a small rant. Rachael Ray uses these peppers all the time. I’ve only ever seen them in our Walmart, which is strange since HEB’s produce section is better. The one time I needed to buy them for a recipe – Walmart didn’t have them!!! 😛 So I used 1/2 of a finely diced jalapeno instead. Rant over.)
6 cloves finely chopped garlic
2 tbsp. chopped thyme
1/2 c. finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/2 c. chicken broth
3 egg yolks (P.S. This is where I got the egg whites for last week’s meringues.)
1/2 c. grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/2 c. grated Pecorino-Romano
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook the pasta til al dente. Reserve 1 c. of the cooking water and drain the pasta.
2. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta and brown, about 3 minutes. Add the corn and let cook, stirring, til the edges are lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the peppers, garlic, and thyme; stir and cook for 2 minutes. Add the parsley and broth and simmer on low.
3. In a small bowl, beat the pasta water into the egg yolks to temper them. (When I made this, it seemed like –between the broth and the cup of pasta water– there was way too much liquid to simmer off. Next time, I’ll temper the eggs with 1/2 c. of the pasta water, then save the other 1/2 c. in case you need to loosen up the sauce.)
4. Add the pasta and yolk sauce to the pan with the corn mix and toss. Remove the pan from the heat, add a handful of each cheese, and toss vigorously to form a sauce, 1-2 minutes. Serve in shallow bowls and top with the remaining cheese and some chives.
And of course it wouldn’t be a birthday without dessert. I made him his favorite: Boston Cream Pie. As usual, my SIL gave me free reign as long as it was red velvet. This year, I decided to make a red velvet ice cream. This one was a cinch to make (no ice cream maker necessary) but you’d never know that from the flavor. It was rich, creamy, and super decadent!! There’s really nothing else to say except go make this right now.
Red Velvet Cheesecake Ice Cream (from the Something Swanky blog)
1 15 1/4 oz. box red velvet cake mix (plus whatever ingredients it calls for to make the cake)
1 14 1/2 oz. can sweetened, condensed milk
8 oz. softened cool whip
8 oz. softened cream cheese
1/4 c. softened butter
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla
1. Mix and bake the cake according to the package directions. Let cool completely.
2. In a large bowl, beat together the sweetened, condensed milk, cool whip, cream cheese, butter, lemon juice, and vanilla til smooth.
3. Crumble 1/2 of the cake into the ice cream mixture, leaving it in decent sized chunks. (You can use the rest of the cake however you like.) Gently fold the cake into the ice cream mixture.
4. Pour the ice cream mix into a freezer-safe container. Seal and freeze overnight.
So, what kind of meal and dessert would you choose for your birthday? I’ll share mine soon.