It’s Been Awhile…

But I promise I am back! Wedding planning kinda got away from me this past week, but we do have our rehearsal dinner venue nailed down, along with our favors and guestbook ordered. Phew, we are under 100 days people!

AND THEN we had some lovely guests this weekend and everything just kind of flew by while we were spending some quality time with them.

AND THEN we got invited to go to a Brewers game last minute on Tuesday night. (With awesome seats I might add!) AND they won! The curse is broken!

Now, I am in hardcore clean out the refrigerator mode. We just seem to have random bits of leftovers everywhere, and nothing is seems to go together. I feel like I am on a constant episode of Chopped.

Anyways, I came up with this one based on the fact that I promised Mr. Cheesehead that I would make him his second favorite meal in the world (Buffalo Shrimp)…only to figure out that we do not have any of our favorite buffalo sauce whatsoever (and I did not have time to make some…I will post my recipe for that soon though). It all worked out though, and I think he likes this one (almost) better than the original!

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And besides, you can never go wrong with pasta.

 

Cheesy Spicy Shrimp Pasta with Cauliflower

1 lb raw peeled and deveined shrimp

1/3 cup olive oil

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 tbsp. brown sugar

2 tsp soy sauce

¼ tsp red pepper flakes

½ tsp chili powder

2 cups of cauliflower

2 cups of pasta

¼ cup parmesan cheese

¼ cup gorgonzola cheese

¼ cup chives, for garnish

In a bowl, mix together olive oil, garlic, brown sugar, soy sauce, red pepper flakes, and chili powder. Once blended toss with shrimp and put in plastic bag. Let marinade for at least 30 minutes. Cut cauliflower into bite sized pieces and steam until cooked but not mushy. Cook pasta according to package directions. While pasta is cooking, dump bag of marinated shrimp into a large skillet. Cook on med/high heat for 1-2 minutes on each side. When the shrimp are finished cooking, add in cauliflower and pasta and turn heat to low. Combine together and add both cheeses. Garnish with the chives. Serve and enjoy!

 

Side Note 1: I adapted this recipe from www.damndelicious.net, which in turn was adapted fromwww.howsweeteats.com (one of my favorite food blogs), how funny!

Side Note 2: I ended up adding the Gorgonzola cheese after I plated, because we have a moldy cheese hater in this household (not naming any names)!

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But seriously, how could you hate any type of cheese?

Ha. Just kidding.

Sort of.

 

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Tuesday Twofer

You know that phrase “Shop until you drop!”? Well, I like to live it sometimes. Not such a good idea when you are trying to save for a wedding/house/future, but whatever. I love shopping.

AND I am so lucky to have an awesome shopping companion, especially one that is willing to hold my purse. Yes, I am talking about my awesome fiancé. (I think I am just going to start calling him Mr. Cheesehead now, because it amuses me.) Anyways, we were doing some bumming this weekend and decided to stop at Trader Joe’s…one of my favorite stores! I love all of their fresh produce, and quick meal options. We have this most favorite type of Chinese Orange Chicken that we stock up on, and no joke, I could eat the entire bag (or just drink the sauce straight up with a straw). Don’t judge me. I promise to think of a recipe to use with that stuff to share with you all in the near future! But anyways, back to Trader Joe’s…one this trip, we decided to splurge and try out this Prosciutto stuffed pasta (Mr. Cheesehead loves bacon and anything remotely close to bacon) and I couldn’t wait to put my own twist on it!

The wonderful thing about splurging every once and a while on a fancy store bought pasta (like this one) is that it gives you so much more flexibility when it comes to creating a sauce to go with it. I was inspired by our GIGANTIC sweet potatoes that are just sitting in their basket all cute-like and decided a roasted sweet potato sauce would be the way to go. This turned out to be pretty much a healthy-ish dinner version of a baked potato, with some pasta thrown in…YUM!

And one quick side note:

If you are more of a plain pasta (aka non-stuffed) type of person, or you just want to throw this with any kind of noodle, vegetable, or even chicken/turkey, you can totally go for it! This sauce would be amazing on pretty much anything in my opinion!

Okay…finally on to the recipe!

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Sweet Potato Cream Sauce with Trader Joe’s Perline Pasta and Prosciutto 

Ingredients:

1 large or 2 small sweet potatoes

2 tbsp. Olive oil

1 cup half and half

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 tbsp. butter

2 tbsp. freshly chopped sage

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Directions:

Now there are two ways to do this first part, baking or microwaving. I decided to microwave mine, mostly because I didn’t have as much time as the baking required.

To Microwave: Scrub and pierce holes in the sweet potatoes using a fork, place on microwave safe plate. Nuke them for 10-12 minutes, on high, until tender, typically only turning once.

To Bake: Scrub and pierce holes in the sweet potatoes, drizzle with olive oil, and wrap in foil. Bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

When finished, allow to cool a bit and carefully cut potatoes in half lengthwise. Scoop out potato ‘guts’ and place in bowl. Set skins aside. Add half and half and olive oil and mash (or blend) together until becomes a creamy sauce. Set aside. Cook pasta based on lower end of package directions, basically taking out a minute before it becomes al dente, unless you want overcooked pasta! Add sweet potato mixture, garlic, butter, and sage and cook on low until well blended. Add in salt and pepper, based on taste. Mix in ½ cup of the cheese and the pasta and stir until all mixed together. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top and serve immediately.

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But wait, there’s more…

Look at this little gem:

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Since I didn’t want to waste the skins of the sweet potatoes after I dumped out their warm yummy filling for the sauce, I decided to quick whip up an appetizer too!

I would just like to preface this next recipe by saying I ended up eating more of these than my actual dinner. Oh well, pasta is always an amazing leftover! These were just so dang tasty. They would also be good with a little dollop of sour cream and some chives, but I mowed them down too soon to think of that (or take a picture).

After you have finished scooping out the potato guts quickly mix the following together and it will happily bake even more yumminess into your dinner:

Ingredients:

Pinch of Salt

Olive oil

1 slice of ham or bacon

1 tbsp BBQ sauce

¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375. Lightly drizzle olive oil and salt onto bottom (skin side) of potatoes and place on pan, skin side down. Combine bacon and BBQ sauce together and spoon into potato skin. Sprinkle cheese on top. Bake for 5-10 minutes depending on size of potato, until cheese gets nice and melty. 

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One more side note: I really wanted to brag about my GIGANTIC sweet potatoes, but since Mr. Cheesehead and I weren’t actually that hungry, I only made about half of the sauce I was planning on, ergo, I will just have to save the mondo-potatoes for next time! Stay tuned!

Moving Northward…Slightly!

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I know I posted about Mexican food the other day, so to spice things up (a tiny bit), I am going to post about Southwestern food today! I know you are all so excited! But seriously, this recipe is too great not to post!

I was inspired by a recipe I found on Yummly, from myrecipes.com, and this, my friends, is what I wanted to use those GIGANTIC burrito shells for!

My fiancé and I made these for dinner on Friday night, and I have to admit it was a lot of fun making them together! We ended up getting making two HUGE pizzas and pretty much ate them for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the rest of the weekend. You think I’m kidding, but I’m really not…

Check out this honker! And yes, that is a full-sized cookie sheet it is sitting on.

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Look at this bean spread…so amazing!!

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And the avocado sauce! I even got the avocado hater in the family to eat it and (maybe possibly) like it a little bit…

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Southwestern Pizza with Avocado Drizzle

Serves: 4    Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

4 tortillas, as big as you can find em!

1 tbsp olive oil

1 can, Rotel tomatoes, drained.

2 cups frozen corn

½ red onion, diced

Cheddar Jack cheese, shredded

1 can chicken

Shredded cheese

2 avocados

½ cup sour cream

1 lime, freshly squeezed

2 tbsp cilantro

For the Spicy Honey Black Bean Spread:

1 can black beans

3 tbsp olive oil

1-2 Chipotle Chilies in Adobo

2 tbsp honey

1 lime, freshly squeezed

½ tsp cumin

Sea salt, to taste

Directions:

Starting with the bean spread, microwave the can of black beans in a microwave safe bowl for 1 minute.  Mash beans with fork until they become paste-like. Add in the remaining ingredients and stir until well blended. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 400°.

Layer two tortillas out on baking sheet or stone. Lightly brush olive oil on top, and then flip over so olive oil side is down. Sprinkle cheese and chicken on top and then place second shell on top of each. Spread bean paste on top of second shells evenly. Heat corn in microwave safe bowl until corn is partially thawed, but not completely cooked. Add corn, red onion and tomatoes on top of the tortillas. Sprinkle lightly with cheddar jack or comparable cheese.

Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is bubbly.

Meanwhile, place peeled avocado and mash until somewhat smooth. Add in sour cream, cilantro, and lime juice and stir until well blended.

Remove pizza from oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Drizzle avocado mixture on top, along with additional sour cream and salsa if desired. Enjoy!

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YUM.