Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Scenes from my pantry: Italian Bean Ramen

My youngest son departed for the college this year.  His exodus left us with an empty nest and ramen noodles.   A case of ramen noodles tucked into the trunk of his car now seems like overkill, and we are left with at least half of case of chicken flavored ramen noodles.  This may be destiny as we experience the waves of college expenses.  

Who knew the internet was filled with recipe ideas using packages of ramen noodles (Of course, minus the flavor packet).  I came across this very easy recipe with a twist on fast minestrone soup which is perfect for a weeknight meal or a work lunch box.  

This is proof you can create a healthy and satisfying meal from a package of ramen noodles.



Italian Bean Ramen
Serves 4
Recipe from allrecipes

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
3/4 teaspoon salt
5 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
1-1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh or 1-1/12 teaspoons dried rosemary
3 medium carrots, sliced
2 large celery stalks, diced
1 medium boiling potato, died
4 cups water
1 (15.5 ounce) can cannelloni beans, drained and rinsed
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 (3-ounce) packages ramen noodles, coarsely broken in package (flavor packet discarded)
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
6 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:
1.  Heat oil in a large, heavy pot over medium heat.  Cook onion with salt, covered, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.  Add garlic and rosemary and cook, stirring, 1 minute.  Add carrots, celery, potato, and water and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until carrots are tender, about 15 minutes.

2.  Puree 1/2 cup of beans with 1 cup of soup broth in a blender.  Add to soup along with remaining cup of beans and diced tomatoes and bring to a boil.  Add ramen stirring occasionally, until just tender about 3 minutes.  Stir in parsley.

3.  Sprinkle 1 tablespoon Parmesan over each serving of soup.

Enjoy!

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Savoring the Season: Cranberry Lemon Muffins


The holiday season brings an abundance of Meyer lemons from my backyard tree and fresh leftover cranberries from Thanksgiving's relish that adorns the table every year.  Cranberries and lemons are a natural flavor pairing and each year, I find a way to combine them.

This year, the simplicity of muffins bring a burst of lemons and cranberries in every bite to leisurely enjoy at breakfast or anytime of the day.




Cranberry Lemon Muffins
Makes 12 muffins
Adapted from Everyday dishes



Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Zest of one lemon
2 cups fresh cranberries

Directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a muffin tin with liners. Set aside.

2.  Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl.  Add eggs, milk, vanilla, butter and lemon juice until combined.  

3.  Fold in lemon zest and cranberries until well distributed in batter. Scoop batter into muffin liners until 3/4 full.

4.  Bake 20-25 minutes until toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Remove muffins and allow to cool.

 Enjoy!



Monday, December 5, 2016

Festive Fizz Cocktail


It's the holidays! A wonderful and most Booziest time of year. And to make your spirits brighter here is a festive fun cocktail you can whip up with just a few simple ingredients and a couple of really hard shakes.



Festive Fizz Cocktail
Serves 2
Recipe from all recipes


Ingredients:

Holiday Simple Syrup

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cinnamon stick
1 (3-inch) rosemary sprig

For Cocktail

1 egg white (If you are concerned about consuming raw egg use 2 tablespoons pasteurized liquid egg whites, such as Egg Beaters).

1/4 cup white rum
1-1/2 tablespoons Holiday Simple Syrup
6 to 8 ounces sparkling rose wine

Directions:

Make Syrup:

1.  Stir together sugar and water in a small saucepan.  Bring to a simmer over low heat.  Remove from heat and add cinnamon and rosemary.  Cover and steep 1 hour.
Note: This makes more syrup than needed: use leftovers in iced tea or another cocktail.  Leftover syrup will keep chilled in an airtight container up to 1 month.

2.  Discard cinnamon and rosemary.  Spoon 1-1/2 tablespoons syrup into a small bowl and refrigerate until cold, about 10 minutes.

Make Cocktail:

3.  Put egg white, rum, and chilled syrup in a shaker.  Cover and shake hard 15 seconds.  Add ice to shaker and shake hard until chilled and frothy, 30 to 45 seconds.

4.  Strain into 2 coupe glasses.  Top each with 3 to 4 ounces wine.  Garnish with a pinch of ground cinnamon and fresh rosemary.  Serve immediately.