One Pot Pasta

June 27, 2013 § Leave a comment

I’ve probably talked about this before but I am a huge leftover fan. Like, fo real. I rarely make a meal without planning to have a meal for work. In fact, I’ve cooked a whole meal with the sole purpose of having it for leftovers.

I did this with this one pot pasta recipe. I made it at about 3 in the afternoon just so I would have some for work this weekend and ended up eating a whole bowl of pasta in the middle of the day. Second lunch? First dinner? Yep, it was that good.

This is a super simple meal. Solid ingredients that come together to make really tasty, salty pasta with lots of veggies. And you only get your cutting board and one pot dirty. Win-win-win.

You layer your pasta, a can of diced tomatoes and a sweet onion into a pan. Part of the magic of this is that you use broth to cook the noodles instead of water. I used some homemade vegetable broth but you could use chicken broth too. Finally, add the spices. Let it boil and cook until all the liquid evaporates and you’ve got a meal. Feel free to eat it in the middle of the afternoon, or the next day if it lasts.

One Pot Pasta
Ingredients
  • 1 box of whole wheat linguine
  • 1, 15 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 sweet onion, cut into pieces
  • 1 large bunch of basil, ripped into pieces
  • 2 tsp diced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp dried oregano (or fresh if you have it)
  • 1 tsp 21 seasoning salute (from Trader Joes)
  • 4 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 box cherry tomatoes
  • parmesan cheese
To Make
1) In a large pot layer the linguine, diced tomatoes, sweet onion, and basil. Pour over broth. Add spices (garlic, red pepper, oregano, seasoning), salt and pepper, and olive oil.
2) Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. After it boils, cover, reduce to a simmer and let cook another 10-15 minutes. Stir frequently while it simmers. Reduce until just a little bit of liquid is left at the bottom of the pot, to your preference. Towards the end add the cherry tomatoes so they get warm and a little soft.
3) Serve in large bowls, add S&P as it needs and top with parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

Dried Cranberry and White Chocolate Chip Cookies

June 19, 2013 § 2 Comments


Do you know those people in your life that always have delicious food? They can just throw stuff together it seems and it’s awesome? Well, my sister’s sister-in-law is one of those people. I distinctly remember staying at their place once on a road trip through Montana on our way to Glacier (where else?) and having dinner. We picked up pizza from a local favorite, and she threw together the most fantastic salad and had fresh fruit crisps waiting for after. I don’t even love salad that much but hers was so good. And fruit crisp? Perfect. These cookies are great! They’re almost a shortbread type cookie, so soft and chewy and delicious. Just how I love my cookies.
This recipe makes lots of cookies so you can save some dough for later if you want don’t want to make them all. And they don’t spread too far so you can really put a lot on one baking sheet. I highly recommend these.
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup soft butter
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 eggs
  • 4 1/2 c flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup dried cranberries

To Make:

1) Preheat oven to 350* F. In a mixer, cream sugars and butter. Add in vanilla and eggs and mix until light and fluffy.
2) Pour in flour 1 cup at a time until well combined. Add in soda and salt. Finally, stir in the white chocolate chips and dried cranberries until well mixed. If you want to bake later, can be refrigerated for several days.
3) Drop by rounded tablespoons onto baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes until browned on bottom. Let cool on rack for 2 minutes, transfer to rack and let cool there. Enjoy! (Can be stored in airtight container for several days)

Thai Iced Tea

June 12, 2013 § Leave a comment

Happy Wednesday, you guys. Feel depressed it’s hump day? Feel awkward about the term “hump day”? Yeah, me too. Lets move on. Lets move right on to a delicious, sugary drink. First lets acknowledge, I love beverages. All beverages. Coffee? Yep. Tea? Definitely. Lemonade? Limeade? Yes and yes. Fizzy cocktail? For sure. And summer brings out all sorts of possibilities.

One of my often forgotten favorites is Thai Iced Tea. I generally forget about it until I go get Thai food and see it sitting there on the back page. I promptly order one and am super happy I spent the $3 for a sugary, caffeine hit while eating my pad thai.

However, I don’t often get thai food and sometimes remember I like Thai iced tea. Now I can enjoy one at home! WIN!
You can too with a few basic black tea bags, spices and either cream or sweetened condensed milk. After steeping the tea and spices for awhile in boiling water (i.e. an hour until it cools), you just pour it over ice and add your creamy dilutent of choice. (Yeah, I just used a science word)
Side note: did you know that Trader Joes sells sweetened condensed milk in a squeeze bottle?? No more wasting one can for a glass of this stuff.
Anyway, I realize this is not super authentic but it gets the job done and I hope you like it to. If you happen to have a more authentic recipe that doesn’t involve me going to more than 2 grocery stores, give me a shout out.
Thai Iced Tea 
(sort of based on this, this and this)
Ingredients
  • 5 cups water
  • 5 bags black tea
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3-4 whole cloves
  • 2 star anise pods
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp cream or sweet condensed milk
  • Ice
To Make
1) In medium saucepan, bring brown sugar, star anise, cloves and cinnamon to a boil.
2) Remove from heat and let tea bags steep until the whole mixture has cooled to room temperature. Once it’s cooled, remove spices and tea bags.
3) Pour tea over ice, then stir in cream or sweet condensed milk. Enjoy!

Baked Apple Donuts

June 3, 2013 § Leave a comment

When I was a kid I spent the night at my best friend’s house probably once a week. And a lot of weekend mornings I was visiting their dad would run off to Dunkin’ Donuts to pick up a dozen for our breakfast. This was not a tradition my family had and so I just loved it.
It make weekend mornings special. Ever since then my perfect Sunday morning involves fresh donuts from the place down the street (figuratively, not literally). I reserve it for random weekend mornings now but it’s so fun to do.
In order to make to my weekend fantasies come true at home and on weekdays, I splurged on Amazon. This donut pan arrived in that brown box a few days later. I knew I needed to christen the pan with some fantastic donuts and when I saw this recipe for cinnamon sugar coated donuts I knew it was the winner.

These donuts are a light and fluffy baked version of the typical fried variety at the store. And baking them is much less intimidating than frying something, which I have an irrational fear of.

The recipe starts off with simmering dried apples in apple juice to get them really plump and tasty. When added to the batter and baked they’re succulent bites that really make the donuts awesome.

The original recipe recommends using a pastry bag to get the batter spread evenly into the pan but I didn’t want to get something else messy and used a regular spoon and it was just fine. So go on, buy yourself a donut pan and make your weekend (now weekday) dreams come true.

Baked Apple Donuts
makes 12 donuts
Ingredients
  • 1 cup apple juice or cider
  • 3/4 cup dried apples, in bite-sized pieces
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the topping
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
To Make
1) In a small saucepan, bring apple juice and dried apples to a low boil and simmer, uncovered until liquid is all absorbed. Take off heat and let it cool to room temperature.
2) Preheat oven to 325*. Spray a donut pan with non-stick spray. In small bowl, whisk flours, soda, salt and cinnamon. In another, larger bowl whisk together brown sugar, egg, vegetable oil, applesauce and extract.
3) Add flour mixture to larger bowl and stir until combined. Finally, stir in the dried apples.
4) Spoon mixture into donut pan, until the cup is about 3/4 full. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan for a few minutes, then remove and let cool completely on rack.
5) In a bowl combine cinnamon and sugar. Dip donuts in the sugar, covering completely and shake off excess. Store in airtight container, sugar will absorb into donut. They’re best the day of, but good for 2-3 days after. Enjoy!

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