Caesar Salad & Pasta Primavera

I am so happy and beyond excited to be able to share my “Guest Blogger” with you today.  I’m going to have to do the typing for her because, well, she’s 5 1/2 and this would take all day.  My youngest foodie D wanted to take a cooking class that was being offered through her school, and I couldn’t think of any reason to say No.  I mean, my little angel girl loves cooking, like her mommy?!?!!  She has always been my little foodie, ready and willing to try anything.  She absolutely adores food and as soon as she finishes one meal, she is already thinking about the next.  On Sunday she was making cookies and I caught her talking lovingly to her dough.  Does it get any better?  I think it just might!  Yesterday was her first day of her cooking class and she came home buzzing with excitement from her class.  They got to eat their food in class, but she also brought a plate home to share with the family.  We all raised our hands in agreement that her food was “super yummy!”  I am pleased to share with you her results.

Caesar Salad

Ingredients:

3 medium heads romaine lettuce; chilled, dry, and crisp
1/3 cup garlic olive oil
2-3 Tbs wine vinegar
1 lemon – halved
2 One Minute coddled eggs
Salt to taste
Dash Worchester sauce
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
6 Tbs grated Parmesan cheese (can add more)
1 cup Caesar croutons

Preparation:

Bring a sauce pan of water to boil.  Gently add eggs and turn heat to low, set timer for 2 minutes.  Remove eggs with slotted spoon or wire mesh strainer.  Cool in cold water and set aside.

Into a chilled salad bowl, break romaine leaves into 2 inch widths.  Drizzle with garlic olive oil and vinegar.  Squeeze juice from lemon over the top.  Break coddled eggs over lettuce, toss many times to ensure everything is thoroughly mixed.  Season with salt, pepper, and Worchester sauce.  Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.  Toss six or seven times until dressing is well combined and every leaf is coated.  Add croutons.  Serve immediately.

Pasta Primavera

Ingredients:

1 lb Italian style spaghetti
1 cup thinly sliced zucchini
1 ½ cup snow peas (can use frozen)
1 cup baby peas (can use frozen)
6 asparagus sliced in 1″ pieces
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 (16 oz) can peeled tomatoes, drained and chopped
3 Tbs olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley (can sub 1/8 cup if using dried)
2 tsp minced garlic
½ cup freshly grated parmesan
¹⁄³ cup butter
1 cup heavy cream (can sub low-fat milk)
¹⁄³ cup fresh, chopped basil

Preparation:

Cook pasta in large pot boiling water.

Briefly cook the green vegetables and mushrooms in water (or steam).  When crisp tender, refresh by running under cold water.  In large frying pan heated to medium, sauté tomatoes and parsley in olive oil.  Add all of the vegetables and simmer until heated through.

Add cooked pasta, cheese, cream, butter, and basil.  Toss to coat.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve hot, with chilled Caesar salad.

Wine Pairing Suggestions:

Fume Blanc
Grüner Veltliner
Muscadet
Sauvignon Blanc

Both recipes serve 6

Caesar Salad & Pasta Primavera

Caesar Salad & Pasta Primavera


Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken

Everyone likes a “sure thing”, right?  Well, this is my “sure thing.”  This is what I make when I have no idea what is going to be for dinner the next day.  Since it’s in the slow cooker, there does have to be a little thought, but not much.  It uses ingredients I always have on hand and comes together so quickly.  Put the chicken in the slow cooker, mix the sauce ingredients, dump that in over the chicken.  Set the slow cooker and . . .  wait for it . . . GO!  Go do what you need to do.  Go spend time with the family.  Go get a pumpkin spice latte  🙂   Go to lunch with your friends.  Or, my personal favorite, Go buy a new pair of shoes. 

Ingredients:

12 boneless skinless chicken thighs (about 3 lbs)
3/4 cup of sugar
3/4 cup soy sauce
6 Tbs cider vinegar
3/4 tsp ground ginger
3/4 tsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp pepper
4 1/2 tsp cornstarch
4 1/2 tsp cold water

Preparation:

Place chicken in a 4 qt slow cooker.  In a large bowl, combine sugar, soy sauce, cider vinegar, ginger, garlic, and pepper.  Pour over chicken.  Cover and cook on low 4 – 5 hours, or until chicken is tender.  Remove chicken to a serving platter, keep warm. Skim fat from cooking liquid. Place liquid in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Combine cornstarch and water until smooth. Gradually stir into liquid and stir until sauce is thickened.  Serve with chicken over rice.

Wine Pairing Suggestions:

Gewürztraminer
Grüner Veltliner
Riesling

Serves 6
Prep time: 10 minutes; Cook time: 4 hours

*Derived from Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen