Monday, December 27, 2010

Last Sissy Cooking Day of 2010

This Christmas was awesome! We really enjoyed the day with our family and watching the kids open their gifts. We had and easy dinner at our parents' house - ham, cheesy potatoes and cheesy spinach. Also had super fabulous appetizers that I posted on my facebook page on Christmas day. And there were oodles of cookies and candy that just had to be eaten too! Mix in the wine and I wasn't sure I would ever eat again after that but a couple days past, a good work out in and I was ready to cook today.

So we wanted to make at least one thing that was lite so we made an old favorite, Lemon Pasta with Roasted Shrimp.
* 2 pounds (17 to 21 count) shrimp, peeled and deveined
* Good olive oil
* Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 1 pound angel hair pasta
* 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
* Zest and juice of 2 lemons


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place the shrimp on a sheet pan with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.Toss well, spread them in one layer and roast for 6 to 8 minutes, just until they're pink and cooked through.

Meanwhile, drizzle some olive oil in a large pot of boiling salted water, add the angel hair and cook until al dente, about 3 minutes. Drain the pasta, reserving some of the cooking liquid. Quickly toss the angel hair with the melted butter, 1/4 cup olive oil, the lemon zest, lemon juice, 2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon pepper and about 1/2 cup of the reserved cooking liquid. Add the shrimp and serve hot.

I also wanted to make something a little different so I chose Italian Beef Roulade Steak: Braciole.

1.5 pound beef flank steak
3 c. spaghetti sauce
1/2 onion, sliced
1/2 c. white wine
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 eggs
1 T. fresh basil, chopped
1 tsp. fresh rosemary, minced
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 T. dried parsley
1/2 c. grated Parmesan/Romano cheese
1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 c. breadcrumbs
Spread your filling all over the flank steak. Tightly roll the meat over the filling. Place the roll seam side down and get your kitchen twine ready. This is a necessary step to tie it with the twine. (I didn't have twine so I skipped it and it came out more like a fold over than a roulade!) Place the meat roll, seam side down into a baking dish. Scatter the onion on the bottom, and pour your spaghetti sauce over the roll, and into the dish. Stir the white wine into the sauce. Cover with a double layer of foil, crimping down the edges. Bake at 350 for 3 hours. The meat comes out soo tender and delicious! You could surely play with the stuffing to best fit your taste buds and ingredients on hand.

We had some smoked salmon that we made a pizza with based on a recipe from the box it came in. The smoked salmon was delicious on its own, the pizza recipe needed had sauteed red onions along with some dill, parsley and green onions baked on the crust then topped with the salmon, sour cream and more of the herbs. A good base but needed more love, I think we will stick to cold smoked salmon with cream cheese and capers :)

I had also gotten a gift from my very best co-worker friend, Jenny, that was a jar of Goulash Mix with the recipe to finish it. It was easy and always a favorite for John and the kids so we made that too. The jar contained the macaroni and seasonings. We added the ground beef and tomatoes - easy and perfect for a winter's night dinner!

Since I base my life on "everything in moderation" we also made a Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake. People think cheesecake is so impressive and the truth is it is so easy to make, so why not, plus it can be frozen for another day if that moderation becomes to hard to control :)
2 1/4 pounds cream cheese -- softened
1 1/2 cup sugar
6 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
10 ounces semisweet chocolate -- melted
1 cup peanut butter -- smooth or crunchy


Preheat oven to 300 F. In a large bowl, beat together cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes.

Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla, beat until smooth. Add heavy cream, beat till well blended. Transfer 1/3 of batter to another bowl and set aside. Beat melted chocolate into remaining batter. Pour into crust.

With mixer on medium speed, beat peanut butter into remaining 1/3 batter until thoroughly mixed.

Carefully spoon peanut butter mixture on top of chocolate cheese mixture in pan.

Using the long handle of a wooden spoon, swirl the two flavors together. Bake about 1 hour, or until cheesecake is set around edges and puffed but still jiggles slightly in the center. Let cake cool 2 hours, then refrigerate until well chilled, 8 hours. or overnight. For a crust, use Oreo cookie crumbs.

*** Picture of Cheese Cake coming soon ~ it needs to chill ***

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