Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Tale of Two Favorites!

So one of my favorite sandwiches is a good old BLT. If you don't know what BLT stands for I feel sorry for you and you really should Google it haha. But I said 2 favorites didn't I! The second is mac and cheese and no not from a blue box or even the yellow box.  

Rachael Ray has this amazing way of turning almost any great food into a mac and cheese dish can you guess this one??

Creamy BLT mac and cheese!! But in the one L doesn't stand for lettuce because who really wants lettuce in their mac and cheese?? 

B- Bacon
L- Leeks
T- Tomato (paste)

Creamy Blt mac and cheese
(small changes from Racheal Ray)

1 pound of your favorite noodle for mac and cheese\
Extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO), for drizzling
slices bacon, chopped
leeks--trimmed, halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise
large cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
tablespoons tomato paste
ounces cream cheese, cut into pieces
1 1/2 cups shredded parmigiano-reggiano cheese

Note: After you chop your leeks let them sit in a bowl of water. Swish them around a couple times, then let them sit and let all the dirt fall to the bottom, and scoop out onto a towel and dry. 

~Preheat the oven to 500 degrees . Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta cooking water 

~While the pasta is working, in a large skillet, heat a drizzle of EVOO over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook until crisp at the edges, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the leeks and cook until softened, 3 minutes. 
Add the garlic and crushed red pepper and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in the tomato paste for 1 minute. Stir in the cream cheese until melted. Stir in half of the shredded cheese, then the reserved pasta cooking water.

~Add the pasta to the sauce and toss. Pile into a casserole and top with the remaining shredded cheese. Bake until browned on top, 7 to 8 minutes. 

What would also be really good with this is some bread crumbs on top if you want a little extra crunch and to bring in one more part of the sandwich.

Enjoy with a light yummy salad!
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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Grapefruit Poppy Seed Loaf

That's right GRAPEFRUIT. You know that very large thing that looks part orange part lemon and you are supposed to enjoy that sourish taste they call healthy...I personally cant eat them my parents do. But once dad adds sugar and mom salt (yes salt) I some how don't think its healthy anymore.

This is just one more way to make it not healthy but enjoy it oh so much! I have made it for my bosses they died and went to Heaven and told me they don't like grapefruit but it was gone by lunch time...

This recipe is from Rachel Ray Magazine oh two or three years ago I think. 

What you need:

5 large eggs, at room temperature
3tablespoons poppy seeds
The zest of one grapefruit (about 2 tablespoons)
1/2 cup grapefruit juice (one good size fruit should do the trick)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter at room temperature.
2 cups sifted cake flour
2 cups confectioners' sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Grease and flour a 5-by-9 inch loaf pan. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper. 

In a medium bowl ( not your mixer bowl) whisk together the eggs, poppy seeds, grapefruit zest and vanilla.

In a small bowl whisk together 1/3 cup of the granulated sugar and 1/4 cup grapefruit juice. Set aside and let dissolve while baking the loaf.

Using an electric mixer, beat butter on medium speed until creamy, about 30 seconds. Gradually beat in the remaining 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar and the salt on high speed  until light and fluffy. About 3 to 5 minutes. Add the egg mixture 2 tablespoons at a time. Make sure to scrape down the sides during the above process. Poor into a prepared loaf pan. 

You cant really see it in the pic. but this is a very pretty yellow batter with little dark speckles! 

Bake until a toothpick inserted to the center comes out clean. About 60-70 minutes. 

Transfer the pan to a cooling rack placed over a sheet of parchment paper or I like my flexible cutting board. Poke the loaf with a skewer ( I used a a chopstick). Brush the loaf with the sugar and grapefruit juice blend and cool for 10 min.  I left some and drizzled it over after I removed it from the pan too!

Run a knife along the sides the pan to loosed and invert on to the rack. Brush more of the sugar mixture on the bottom. Turn right side up and cool for about an hour. Whisk together the cofectioners' sugar and the remaining 1/4 cup  juice and drizzle over the loaf. 

Yours will have a thicker icing if you don't spill some of the juice and can me more of it haha. 


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