Monday, January 30, 2012

Day 5: Fettucine Alfredo

Today's recipe comes from Italy.

Well, from a friend's Italian grandmother, anyway. The only thing I can say about it is, it beats the daylights out of the stuff that comes in a jar! Like, this Alfredo sauce took the jar stuff (all billion kinds) and went all Chuck Norris on them! Or maybe Bruce Lee, depending on your upbringing.

This sauce is so very creamy! Totally unhealthy (but that makes the best foods)! I'm beginning to think I don't know how to make a health conscious meal... Meh! I'll die happy! (No, not really! I keep my health in mind when I eat! Sheesh!)


1 lb. Fettucine noodles
4 quarts boiling, salted water
1 cup unsalted Plugra butter, softened (Plugra butter is a European-style butter that is higher in fat than ordinary butter. I couldn't find any so I just used regular unsalted butter with a 1/4 cup cooking creme.)
1/3 to 1/2 cup Parmesano Reggiano cheese. (Freshly grated is best, but the brand I picture worked brilliantly!)

I forgot to get a picture of the noodles, but any fettucine noodles will do.

1. Boil water in whatever pan you use to do such a thing.

2. Melt butter over very low heat. (I used a double boiler.) 

(Whisk in creme if you are using regular butter and not European-style.)

3. Whisk in grated Parmesan cheese and continue whisking over a low heat until the cheese melts and the butter/cheese sauce becomes a creamy consistency.

4. Drop fettucine in boiling water. Cook until noodles float to the top of the pot, drain and place in a large pasta bowl.

5. Toss with sauce.

6. Garnish with freshly cracked black pepper and fresh parsley.

I added chicken to mine. I simply baked boneless skinless chicken breasts at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes then finished them up in my wok. Then tossed in with the oh so saucy noodles!

We really loved this meal and I won't ever be buying the jar stuff again!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Day 4: Mom's Meatloaf

This recipe comes from Disney Hollywood Studio's 50's Prime Time Cafe. While I've never personally eaten there, all my foodie friends (especially the ones who live in Orlando) rave about it all the time. Maybe next trip?

Sadly, this is the only pic I can locate of this awesome meatloaf at the moment. Will try for a better one tomorrow, if they leave me a piece to photograph... They eat this too fast!

Disney calls this Mom's Meatloaf, but all I gotta say after trying it is, "My mom never made meatloaf like this!" (Not that Mom's is bad, just not the heaven in a pan that this is! Sorry, Mom!)


2 lb ground beef
1 lb ground pork
4 eggs
1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 cup diced onions
1/4 cup diced green pepper
1/4 cup diced red pepper
2 Tbsp worcestershire sauce
Cracked black pepper to taste
Kosher salt to taste
1/2 cup meatloaf glaze (recipe follows)


Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Dice peppers and onion and set aside for later use. Combine meats and seasonings. Add peppers and onion to meat mixture. (The secret is not to squish the ingredients but fold them together thoroughly.) Place mixture into oiled loaf pan and bake for 1 hour or until the internal temperature is 155 degrees.

While meatloaf is baking, mix the glaze as follows:

Glaze Ingredients:
1/2 cup ketchup
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp worcestershire sauce

Combine all ingredients until smooth.

When meatloaf is ready, brush the glaze over the top and bake another 10 minutes.

Let meatloaf set for 10 more minutes to settle. (Your patience will be rewarded.)

Cut, serve, and take in all the praise that will be coming your way! I serve it with garlic parmesan mashed potatoes. I'll post the recipe for those soon, I promise!

Day 3: Peanut Butter Ball

A few days ago, Karly from Buns In My Oven posted about a peanut butter cheese ball. I was skeptical, to say the least. But several other people were telling me that it was amazing! So I decided to give it a shot.

I gathered the ingredients:

I mixed them together as instructed:

When ready, after letting set in the freezer for an hour and a half, I covered it in milk chocolate and peanut butter chips:

Then put it in a freezer tight container and back into the freezer:

Then, sickness overcame me and I couldn't take this to the get-together I was making it for. But, Jason, my husband, did. (He let it thaw for about 30 minutes before serving.) And, they ate it like it was going out of style... There was none left for me. Which only means I'm gonna be making this again. Real soon!! Everybody raved about it.


8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter (not all-natural)
3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
3/4 cup milk chocolate chips
3/4 cup peanut butter chips
Graham cracker sticks, teddy grahams, apple slices, Nilla wafers, for dipping


1. Beat together the cream cheese, powdered sugar, peanut butter and brown sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer.

2. Spoon onto a large piece of plastic wrap; bring up all four corners and twist tightly to form a ball. (My plastic wrap wasn't cooperating so I wrapped it the best I could and put it into a bowl.)

3. Freeze for 1 hour and 30 minutes or until the cheese ball is firm enough to keep its shape.

4. Place peanut butter and chocolate chips on a plate. Remove the plastic wrap from the ball and roll it into the chips to completely cover, pressing them into the ball if necessary.

5. Place the ball on a serving dish; cover and freeze for 2 hours or until almost firm. (Can be made ahead. If frozen overnight, thaw at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes before serving.) Serve with graham cracker sticks, teddy grahams, Nilla wafers, or apple slices for dipping or spreading. (I used regular honey graham crackers with mine.)

Friday, January 27, 2012

Day 2: Cinderella's Stuffed French Toast

Doesn't even need syrup!

Once upon a time, there lived a short, humble farm girl. She had some simple ingredients:

She was pondering what to do with these, when an evil witch cast a spell that cut all Danish into quarters:

She was down-hearted because now she didn't have Danish to take to the ball. So, she had no choice but to make a batter, fry them in oil, and coat them in cinnamon and sugar!

The prince was so amazed at the richness of these, he married her and they lived happily ever after, eating! The end!

Seriously, these French toast bites are really amazing and really not-good-for-you! (I mean, the ingredients include Danish!) The caloric intake alone should be enough to stop me from eating these, but the sinful taste far outshines the guilt I feel after they're all gone!

The recipe comes from Cinderella's Royal Table in the Magic Kingdom. I never ate at the castle, but when a friend of mine sent me the recipe, I HAD to try them and I am so glad I did!

Cinderella's Stuffed French Toast


3 whole eggs
2 cups milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons baking powder
6 tablespoons sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 quart frying oil
6 each cheese Danish, cut into quarters


Mix eggs, milk and vanilla together and set aside.

Sift baking powder, sugar and flour together and add to the egg mixture. Allow to stand for 10 minutes.

Bring oil to 375 degrees.

Dip Danish in egg batter and place in fryer until golden brown on one side. Turn over and brown the other side.

Roll in cinnamon and sugar and serve.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Pineapple Casserole

So, last June, the Indiana Chi Alpha staff converged on a retreat in Southern Indiana. The name of the place escapes me at the moment, but the food we had there was unlike any camp food I had ever experienced! It was amazing! More like a fancy buffet meal than camp, really.

The second night there, the cafeteria lady manning the buffet table was really pushing this odd looking salad/casserole looking dish. I asked what it was and she simply said, "You have to try it!" My immediate response, as most people would respond, was "But, what is it?" This went on for about a minute and I took a serving of it (mostly to just appease her) and placed it next to my plate until I had finished the rest of my dish.

The reason I waited was the look of the thing. I mean, it really wasn't that appealing in looks and it appeared to have cheese mixed with pineapple. I know, a really odd combo!

However, all my doubts were erased when I gathered up enough courage to at least simply put a bite of the stuff in my mouth! It was amazing! So savory! Just the right balance of tangy and sweet with a light crunchy crumble topping.

I know the ingredients list is a little off-putting, but if you simply try this, it will all make sense. Your taste buds WILL thank you! I promise!

 Pineapple Casserole:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups grated sharp cheddar
  • 2 (20-ounce) cans pineapple chunks, drained, and 6 tablespoons pineapple juice reserved
  •      (I omit the reserved juice because it always turns out too runny with)
  • 1 cup cracker crumbs (recommended: Ritz)
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted, plus extra for greasing pan
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease a medium-size casserole dish with butter.
In a large bowl, stir together the sugar and flour. Gradually stir in the cheese. Add the drained pineapple chunks, and stir until ingredients are well combined. Pour the mixture into the prepared casserole dish.

In another medium bowl, combine the cracker crumbs, melted butter, and reserved pineapple juice, stirring with a rubber spatula until evenly blended. Spread crumb mixture on top of pineapple mixture.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown.

I was making this for a ladies get-together at our church so I doubled it. Frankly, since my family has tried this, I can't not double this recipe even when it's just my husband, our kid and myself eating it. It's that good!

Hopefully, the picture taking will improve over the course of the year. These were taken with my Droid phone because my husband was charging the Nikon. Also, learning staging is on the agenda! :^D

It Begins...

The end of April 2009 my friend Kasey started a 365 photo blog inspired by her cousin's 365 photo blog.

I mention that because it inspired me to do the same, just not a photo blog. (There most likely will be photos, just the photos won't be the central thing.) Only I have a really really really bad procrastination problem. (Like, REALLY. Waiting two years to decide type procrastination!) Not just procrastination, but a real anxiety issue that is interlaced with fear and worthlessness. What did I have to offer? Who really would want anything to do with that if I did, indeed, have something to share every day for a year?

Turns out, I've been asked to post the recipes for the foods that I keep posting pics of on Facebook. Hmm, I figured, why not? I can probably do that pretty well. I can also keep up with that pretty well since it is something I absolutely love!

The point of all this is to teach me to deal with the lack of self-worth, fear and general feeling that I have nothing to offer the world! Join me, won't you, on this journey of... well, I don't really know what to call it, so let's go with faith. We can all use a bit more of that.

Finally, I know my grammar isn't always the best. I hope it won't be too distracting from what I'm trying to accomplish here. Thanks for reading!