Sunday, March 24, 2019

Cream Puff Shells

So easy to whip up, I'm almost afraid to share the recipe :) Filling options are endless! The perfect dessert for special events, book club, or to share at a dinner party!

1/2 cup butter
1 cup water
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1 cup flour
4 eggs (room temp*)

Preheat oven to 375 and line cookie sheets with parchment or a silicone baking mat. Combine butter, water, and sugar in large nonstick saucepan over medium heat stirring frequently. Once it comes to a boil remove from heat and stir in flour. Bring pot back to burner on medium heat and stir constantly for 2 minutes with a spatula or wooden spoon, the dough should start forming a ball. Transfer dough to mixing bowl and let cool for 5 minutes. Turn on stand mixer or hand mixer and beat at low to medium speed adding one egg at a time until each is well blended in. Once all eggs are incorporated continue to beat for 30 seconds or until the dough is smooth and glossy.

Use a small to large cookie scoop to form cream puff shells on parchment or silicone baking mat lined cookie sheet. Make sure each shell is about 2 inches apart. If desired smooth any bumps on the top with a wet finger. Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. If you are cooking two trays, switch halfway through. Turn the oven off and open the door to release the heat and steam. Let the shells dry in the oven with the door closed for an additional 10 minutes. Transfer shells to cooling rack to cool completely. Store in airtight container until ready to serve. Fill with fillings options listed below. Can be spooned into after cutting a hole out of the top or piped in with a pastry bag.

Filling Options:

  • chopped fruit
  • sweetened whipped cream
  • sweetened whipped cream mixed with cocoa powder or crushed freeze dried berries
  • lemon curd

*Quickly get eggs to room temperature by immersing uncracked eggs in a bowl of warm water or cracking the eggs into a bowl and letting them sit for a few minutes.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Zucchini and Tomato Pasta Sauce

I wrote this recipe as result of the fact that Aldi almost always sells zucchini :) It's a great way to incorporate it into a meal and a nice variation from traditional spaghetti sauce. I make it about once a month. Very quick to prep and it can be paired with any kind of pasta!

1 pound bite sized zucchini pieces (from approximately 2 medium)
2 T olive oil
2 T minced garlic
1 - 14.5 oz can Italian style petite diced tomatoes, with juice (or regular variety plus one teaspoon Italian seasoning)
1 - 8 oz can tomato sauce
1 T spaghetti seasoning mix
1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
hot pasta for serving
fresh parmesan for topping

Heat oil to medium low in large frying pan. Add garlic, once it starts to sizzle, stir for one minute. Add the zucchini, turn up to medium heat, and saute stirring frequently for 5 minutes. Add can of tomatoes, tomato sauce, and seasoning mix. Cover, reduce to medium low. Simmer for 5 minutes or until zucchini reaches desired tenderness. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve over hot pasta noodles and garnish with fresh parmesan.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Raw Sweet Potato Sticks - Snack Idea!

The easiest and healthiest way to eat a sweet potato, raw! My friend Leslie introduced me to this idea when she had some at a party. I didn't know you could eat raw sweet potato?!?! Much like a carrot but a lot sweeter :) This is now a favorite healthy snack of mine.

sweet potato, peeled

Using a very sharp knife, cut peeled sweet potato lengthwise into slices and then into sticks. Store in airtight container in the fridge. Will keep for at least a week!

Friday, March 1, 2019

Homestyle Chicken Noodle Soup

Homemade, from scratch, version of Campell's Homestyle Chicken Noodle Soup

2 boxes chicken broth (32 oz)
2-3 stalks celery, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
2/3 cup frozen green peas
8 ounces shredded chicken (from baked split chicken breast)
4 ounces thin soup noodles (can find in Hispanic section)
salt and pepper, to taste

Bring chicken broth to simmer in large stock pot. Cook celery, carrots, and peas, covered, until tender. Add chicken and noodles. Cook covered until noodles reach desired tenderness, should take about 5 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve with bread.