web analytics

Tag Archive for giada de laurentiis

My new addiction

NJTO125X125

Off topic from my typical posts, but this seemed to be something I should write before heading off to bed. We just finished watching the season finale of Season 7 of Food Network Star. I had never watched the show before. I have always enjoyed Food Network, but in the past year my love has grown more. When I spent some time unemployed last Summer, it was an easy default when there seemed to be nothing on. Now, with what seems to be little time for anything electronic (tv, internet, etc), Food Network is a safe bet for me when I have a few minutes to relax. There will almost always be something on that I can quickly enjoy without too much thought.

One of the shows that I have really enjoyed is Chopped. It’s a staple of Food Network nighttime. I joke that our bedroom TV can only be on channel 664. I can easily turn on whatever food show is on and fall asleep with visions of sugarplums dancing in my head. Being the new mom, I am constantly heading to bed before PTB. He can’t fall asleep with the TV on. He came up one night, got so into an episode of Chopped, that he recorded it. A food show we could share? Could it be? With most shows on Summer break, we set up Chopped to record every episode. It has kept us entertained after putting Little B to bed many nights. But this post isn’t about Chopped. Our newfound love of Chopped led us to getting sucked into a repeat of the 3rd episode of Food Network Star. Completely. Sucked. In.

PTB called it. He knew from that episode that Jeff was going to win. I was close! I thought Vic. I quickly changed my tune after a few episodes. We’ve been rooting for Jeff for quite a while. I wouldn’t be heartbroken if Susie got her own show. She’s the Mexican Giada, and I am a big fan of Italian Giada’s. What does Jeff “the Sandwich King” Mauro winning mean?

1. More sandwiches in this house, and I am not a sandwich kind of person

2. Another food show we will be DVRing

3. Another food show we will be DVRing and watching TOGETHER!

I think this might be the first real reality show I got WAY into. I could be wrong though. Maybe it is my lack of time in the kitchen that is drawing me so much to Food Network lately. Either way, I really enjoyed it.

Jeff’s show will premiere next Sunday August 21st at 11:30am Eastern. Give the Sandwich King a chance.

Roasted Vegetable & Pasta Bake

pastabake_4221
Oh my!  Mother’s Day weekend was exhausting for me.  I needed a few extra days to recover this year, so I apologize for the lack of posting earlier this week.  On the bright side, most of Mother’s Day brunch was an absolute hit and I can’t wait to post some of the recipes.  Some others however, need some tweaking before they are presented for your consumption 🙂

Since I haven’t even imported my pictures yet (I told you I needed a break), I thought I would post a recipe that had been inspiration to the Mother’s Day main dish.  I first made this dish last summer during “Family Beach Week”.  We are each responsible for at least one meal, and I thought this would be a great dish for two reasons:

1.  It is a big family, I needed something I could make into a big dish and easily double.

2. I grew up on a meat & potatoes farm diet, I thought a vegetarian dish would be funny

Wondering the results of that night?

1.  It was perfect because we were able to keep mushrooms out of one pan, keeping me happy.

2.  My dad stating partway through his first serving, “It could use some meat”.

So, it was successful.  Maybe if I make it again this year at the beach I will add some meat to satisfy everyone.  But really the versatility of this dish is one of the things that make it so great.  If you want more/different vegetables, feel free. If you want some meatiness, feel free.  Otherwise, I tried to follow Giada De Laurentiis’ recipe pretty closely, although mine is still not as pretty.  

What You Need
Step One

3 zucchinis
2 summer squash
2 red bell peppers
1 large yellow onion
1/4 cup olive oil
1 Tbsp Herbs de Provence
Salt & Pepper
Step Two
1 lb penne pasta
Step Three
3 cups marinara sauce
1 cup grated fontina
1/2 cup grated mozzarella
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
Step Four
1/3 cup grated Parmesan
2 Tbsp butter, cut into small pieces

Preheat your oven to 450F.  And get your pasta water started.  Cut the zucchini and squash into 1 inch chunks, and the onion and pepper into 1″ strips.

In a large bowl toss all step one ingredients together.  When cooking the pasta, only cook for about 6-7 minutes.  You want it to be undercooked since you will be baking it later.

Spread vegetables into a foil lined baking dish.  Roast in the oven for about 15-20 minutes until tender.

Once the pasta & veggies are done, combine with all step three ingredients.

Spread into a large baking dish.  Top with remaining parmesan and dot butter pieces around the top.

Bake for 25 minutes until golden brown and crispy.

Serve and enjoy!

Serves: 6-8  Cost: ~$4/serving (6 servings)

::vegetarian:: Spicy Baked Mac + Cheese

mac4345
I will admit… as much as I love food, when it comes to mac+cheese, I prefer the Kraft blue box.  I HATE Velveeta, and usually I am not crazy about “real” macaroni and cheese.  PTB loves mac+cheese…so for the birthday  week, I was willing to venture into something new.  Especially when I found a recipe that isn’t cheddar based.  I based my version of this Spicy macaroni on a Giada Everyday Italian recipe, but of course, had to change it up a little bit!  There is a lot going on with this meal…so if you can get a helper – I would recommend it.

What You Need:
Step One

1lb elbow macaroni
Step Two
2 Tbsp olive oil
Large Shallot, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
Step Three
can of diced tomatoes
10oz frozen spinach, thawed & drained
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
Step Four
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesean (1/3 cup more later)
1/4 cup grated Romano (1/3 cup more later)
butter
Step Five
12oz fresh mozzarella cut into 1/4″ cubes

Cook macaroni to package directions, undercooking slightly since it will continue to cook in the oven.  Also – get your oven heated to 350 F.  The key to making this recipe easy is multitasking.  While your water is heating, get all your step two ingredients chopped up.  Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the shallot and garlic and cook for bout 2-3 minutes.  Add all step three ingredients.

While everything is heating, mix together step four ingredients (except your reserved cheeses).

Butter a large baking dish, and then coat with half the cheese & bread crumb mixture.

Once the noodles are cooked and the veggies are heated, mix them together with the remaining cheese mixture and the cubed mozzarella.

Spread evenly in the baking dish.

Top with remaining cheeses and dot with butter.  Bake for 30-40 minutes….

…until the cheese is golden brown on top.

Serve and Enjoy!!  🙂 /

Serves: 6  Cost:

::brinner:: Veggie Stuffed Pancakes

NJTO_pancake3838

Last weeks poll winner for a vegetarian meal was the Veggie Stuffed Pancakes by Giada De Laurentiis.  Since it is so hearty, it makes for a perfect brinner dish!  Not much else would be needed since it is quite filling.  I did not modify the recipe much, but I will go through everything step-by-step.  This is a great recipe to make with someone as there are many things that can be done simultaneously to save time.  Biggest time saver….have someone chop the vegetables while the other makes the pancakes.  Don’t forget to take your spinach out the night before to thaw!

What You Need
non-stick skillet
350 F oven
baking dish
Pancake Mix (and associated ingredients)
1 Medium Onion
2 Carrots, peeled and chopped
1 clove of garlic
1 lb frozen spinach, thawed and drained
handful of basil leaves, chopped
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
8 oz container mascarpone cheese
1 cup mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup whole milk

To start, follow package directions to make 5-6″ pancakes.  I used a 1/3 cup measure to size all my pancakes evenly.  This made 8 pancakes which fit into the pan perfectly!

Chop carrots, onion, and garlic.

Heat olive oil in skillet over medium heat and add your veggies.  Saute until softened (~5 min).

While the vegetables are cooking, add chopped tomatoes to spinach and salt and pepper lightly.  Mix in the cooked veggies.

Add basil, container of mascarpone, and half the Parmesan.

Mix in thoroughly until you have a nice creamy mixture.

You will use about half the mixture to fill your pancakes.  Step-by-step…Pancake on working surface, couple spoonfuls placed in the middle, top with mozzarella cheese, fold, place in greased baking dish with the fold down.

With the remaining mixture blend with your whole milk.  (Perfect use for the Bamix!)

Pour mixture over pancakes, top with the remaining Parmesan.  Bake in 350 F oven for 30 minutes (cheese should be melted).

Serve hot and enjoy!

Serves: 4    Cost:  ~$3/serving

::you pick:: Everyday Vegetarian

NJTO_facebook

rr0215

We eat a lot of chicken in our house.  It really is just a way to eat up a ton of herbs, spices, and crazy flavors.  Plus, it is really really hard to mess it up.  Although – if you ask our neighbor…he may tell you we have had to air our apartment out due to chicken incidents…  Sometimes I feel a little light on veggies, and an episode of Giada’s Everyday Italian last summer got me really excited about some vegetarian dishes.  So here it is.  I narrowed down the 100’s of choices available to four.  Vote for which one we should try that you would like to see on Not Just Take Out!

Update: This poll is closed!  Since it was a tie, we’ll go with my pick!  The Veggie Stuffed Pancakes.  Be sure to vote on the ::you pick:: for this week!

all images courtesy FoodNetwork.com