Welcome to One Little Corner of the World. I share with you new recipes, some family recipes, and the antics of my kids. Enjoy reading!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Dinner, Shopping for Fun Foods, and Presto Pasta

A couple of weekends ago I went to the Farmer’s Market and the Hill in St. Louis with a friend. My sister-in-law was supposed to go as well, but my nephew was not feeling well, so she stayed home with him. She will go next time, I am sure. I love to go there every once in a while for some great food – I know I have posted about this before. On this trip, I bought fresh basil, prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, gorgonzola, spedini meat, and all kinds of other good stuff.

One of the places we went was Viviano’s – a very neat Italian market on the hill in St. Louis. On Saturdays they have wine tastings and I ended up buying three bottles of wine. Two of them were from Dan Akroyd’s winery. They were very nice wines and I am looking forward to drinking. I am looking forward to my next Saturday on the Hill. It should be a good time.

It was such a nice day that we decided to walk up the street to get a cookie from the bakery. I had a chocolate gooey butter cookie that was melt-in-your-mouth good. I will have to stop there again next time.

I decided to make spedini rolls – I have made them before and a pasta side. While at the farmer’s market in Soulard, I bought some lemon pepper spaghetti. I decided to cook that with my spedini rolls.

Lemon Pepper Pasta

1 lb. lemon pepper spaghetti, cooked per package directions.
¼ lb prosciutto diced
2 handfuls basil hand torn in small pieces
¾ cup fresh mozzarella in small cubes
1 14 oz can artichokes, chopped in small pieces
1 ladle pasta water
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook spaghetti according to package directions – remove from pan with pasta tool or hand strainer. You want some of the pasta water in the serving bowl. Add ingredients except for salt, pepper, and water and combine. Add more pasta water if you want a little sauce; add salt and pepper to taste.

I served this with the spedini rolls I have made before. They have a lot of the same flavors as the pasta, so it is a perfect match. The lemon pepper spaghetti added a nice burst of fresh flavor that combined very well with the basil and mozzarella. It was a nice actually light dinner – provided one didn’t eat too much.

This is my entry for Presto Pasta Nights. This week it is being hosted by Ruth from Once Upon a Feast. I hosted two weeks ago - it's a shared event and lots of fun. Head over there and take a peek!! That is all for now – hope to talk to you soon!! Have a great weekend!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Pulled Pork - Taste and Create

For the second month I am late with Taste and Create. I don’t mean to be. With T-ball, baseball, the end of the year and all that goes on with that, I just can’t keep up. I think I will skip May and jump back in June.

This month I was partnered up with Tara from Eat, be and see. by Teegee. She has a really neat blog with all kinds of cool entries. I was inspired by her entry to clean up and organize her pantry and frig. I am on a mission to do that……as soon as I get caught up with the laundry, which will probably never happen…..at least not for a million years.

I decided to make Crock Pot Pulled Pork. I ran to Tru-Buy to buy a pork butt, and low and behold, they were having a meat sale. I also bought a brisket and a tenderloin. Can’t wait to try those – that will probably happen before I get caught up on the laundry. We have to eat, you know.

The boys were my taste tester and they seemed to really like the pulled pork. I have another version, but this one was very easy and quite tasty. I chose Chibata bread, because it was on sale at the store and took the picture out by the pool – this is my first food picture of the season with a pool background. Anyway, what follows is the recipe as taken from Tara – go and visit her blog! You will have a good time!!!!

Crock Pot Pulled Pork

3 lb pork roast (I get mine from a local farm- no grains in this hog! Organic too.)
1 bottle low carb BBQ sauce (only 3 g carbs per serving!)Some stock (ham stock if you have it), I used chicken.
2 T Liquid smoke
2 Bay leaves
1 T Cumin
1 T Paprika


1. Put roast in crock pot. Add 1/3 cup BBQ sauce over roast. Add liquid smoke, bay, cumin, paprika and stock to cover roast halfway. Add salt if you like it. I added a little beer too, well... because I could! Play around with it!

2. Set on low for about 6-8 hours. Remove roast and let cool until comfortable to handle. Drain liquid from crock pot, reserving about 1/2 cup

3. Cut into palm sized chunks, and commence pulling apart with your hands!

4. Put pork back into crock pot, set on high. Add reserved liquid and enough BBQ sauce to make yummy. I used about 3/4 cup. Add salt and pepper to taste. I added a little liquid smoke too, just to give it a little more smoky flavor. Let heat for about 20 minutes or until hot.

5. Done! Active cooking time: 20 mins!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Monkfish Pasta

This is my entry for Presto Pasta Night, created by Ruth at Once Upon a Feast. Not only am I entering this week, I am also the host; be sure to look at this week’s roundup of PPN 109!!!

For my last day off for the year – ok, I do get Memorial day off, but the day I go to school after that only lasts about half an hour, so I don’t feel that really counts. Anyway, for my last day off, I decided to go to Bob’s Seafood Company. It is quite a trek from my house, but it was well worth the trip. While there I purchased Monk fish, which by the way is called “ugly fish” in my food encyclopedia – and it really is. The tail is usually the only part sold to the public. I have also heard it referred to as “poor man’s lobster.” In any event, it is a very good fish and can be prepared almost any way. I also asked about the fresh soft shell crabs. I didn’t know whether or not I was going to be able to cook them that night or not, so the woman behind the counter said I shouldn’t get them if I couldn’t cook them today. She was so nice, though, and gave me four frozen soft shell crabs, so I will able to cook them when I can.

For my Presto Pasta entry, I decided to make a Monk Fish Pasta. It was very good. The fish has a nice firm texture that is very pleasing to the palette. It also has a sweetness that one doesn’t find in many fish. My husband really liked it, and I can’t wait to go back to Bob’s and get some more fish!

Monk Fish Pasta

3 Monk fish filets, cut into bite size pieces
2-3 tblsp good olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
Pinch red pepper flakes
1 tbsp fresh thyme off the stem
1 lb linguini cooked per package directions
1 cup white wine
½ cup chicken stock or seafood stock
Zest and juice of one lemon
1 handful parsley chopped
¾ cup shredded parmesan cheese
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Heat oil in pan to medium high. Cook garlic until softened. Add pepper, lemon zest, and thyme. Add wine and chicken stock, bring to low boil and add fish. Cover a “poach” until fish almost done – should be firm yet flaky. Remove lid to allow liquid to reduce and thicken some. Add lemon juice. While fish is cooking, cook pasta until al dente. Add to fish and sauce, combine. Add parsley and cheese, combine. Add salt and pepper as needed. Serve immediately.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Presenting Presto Pasta 109!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have the privilege of hosting this week's Presto Pasta. This event is the brainchild of Ruth from Once Upon a Feast. All of the dishes look great! I can't wait to try them as pasta is my favorite food group. Thanks to all who submitted. Enjoy reading and prepare to be hungry!!!!!

Abby from Eat the Right Stuff blogged about her Mushroom Leek Lasagna - looks good Abby! What a great first dish for me to blog about for Presto Pasta nights!

TS and JS over at [eatingclub] Vancouver sent some Open Lasagna with Roasted Tomatoes, King Arthur Mushrooms, and Almond Brown Butter - what a wonderful combination! Can't wait to try!!

Ruth, the creator of PPN, sent not one pasta dish, but three - Sweet Potato and Mushroom Lasagna, Spinach Lasagna, and Eggplant Lasagna. These dishes are passover friendly and yummy looking. I am definitely going to try.

Psychgrad from Equal Opportunity Kitchen sent us Pancetta Orcheiette. What a warm and tasty looking dish! Be careful, though, her post has two pastas and information about Adopt a Blogger. Read on!
Ferdzy from Seasonal Ontario Food made some Kasha Varnishkes, a local Eastern Europeon dish. Not only is the picture beautiful, the dish looks fresh and tasty!

My Sweet Kitchen sent over some Beef and Broccoli over Steamed Rice. This dish sounds healthy and wonderful!

I am going to have to try this next pasta - my kids would love it. Baking Delights' Marye sent us An Octopus Garden! How cool is that?

Joanne from Eats Well With Others sent a wonderful dish - Coq au Vin over Egg Noodles. It sounds and looks so good. Another for my list to make!

Restless Chipotle sent over a fan favorite in this house - Shrimp and Pasta Provencal. I am getting all kinds of pasta dishes for my list.

Debbie from Kahakai Kitchen sent a wonderful dish called Thai Chicken and Vegetable Curry Pasta. Looks fresh and spring like - just what we need now!

Becke from Columbus Foodie sent a festive looking Creamy Southwest Chicken Pasta. I am always on the lookout for a cheesy pasta dish!!!

And finally, my entry for this week's roundup - Monkfish Pasta. I found monfish at Bob's Seafood - never seen it for sale before! Yummy pasta!

Thanks for all the wonderful entries!!!! They were fab, and I had a blast hosting this week.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter and Appetizers

We celebrated Easter at my in-laws’ house today. My mother-in-law made bratwursts and pork steaks. She also made a potato dish, deviled eggs, garlic cheese bread, and baked beans. Everything was very good. It is nice to be able to get together with family and just relax. My sister-in-law just had a baby boy, her second, so I had fun reminiscing about babies. He is very, very cute. My two boys got to hold him. They thought that was pretty cool.

I was asked to make an appetizer – and I couldn’t decide between two choices. The first choice was a crab dip with garlic saltines and roasted cherry tomatoes by Tyler Florence and a shrimp and artichoke dip by Paula Deen.

I really liked the crab dip. Not only did it look pretty, it was nice because everyone got to choose what they wanted on their crackers. The crab did was light and had a very fresh taste. It called for chives, but I was out so I just substituted green onions. The crackers were diffeent. Adding parsley, butter and garlic to the crackers added so much to the entire appetizer. I will have to try that with some other appetizers I have. The roasted tomatoes were a great touch. I am using the leftovers for some pasta this week. Can't wait!!

The shrimp and artichoke dip was good as well. I didn’t take a picture because I didn’t think it was pretty. The recipe called for mushrooms – I should have sautéed them first, because they released a ton of liquid, causing the dip to become a little runny. The flavor, though, was great. The sherry came through and blended extremely well with the shrimp and the mushrooms. If I make it again I will definitely cook the mushrooms first to release the juices from them as the dip doesn’t need any more liquid.

Family is so important. We are blessed to have such a nice family to celebrate the holidays with. I couldn’t have better in-laws if I tried. I feel fortunate every day.

Talk to you all soon – be back with more food ideas later!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Presto Pasta 109!!!!!

I am excited this week to be a guest host for Presto Pasta Nights!! This is an event that I have often participated in. Ruth at Once Upon a Feast created this event - or party as Ben at What's Cooking called it. In any event, the party is at my blog this week and I am inviting everyone to send in a Presto Pasta post. Click here for how to enter, and here if you want to host PPN. Send your entries to sprange (at) hometel (.) com by Thursday to be posted. Hope to see you!!!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Banana Bread

It is rainy and cold today. I don’t think spring is ever going to really get here. The boys and I are off today. They have been playing the Wii and their DS’s. i wanted to get rid of weeds today, but I am not going to do that in the rain.

Instead, I was cleaning the kitchen, and was getting ready to throw out bananas. I decided to make banana bread and not waste perfectly overripe bananas. The first recipe I looked at called for Bisquick, but I chose a basic recipe with flour, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. It is an easy recipe, ready to modify and change to suit any tastes.

My oldest gave it a 9.5 out of 10, and my littlest gave it a 13.5.

Banana Bread

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
¾ tsp salt
½ tsp baking soda
1 ½ cups mashed very ripe bananas – about three bananas
¼ cup milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup butter – softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Evenly grease 9 by 5 metal loaf pan. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. In small bowl, combine bananas, milk and vanilla.

In a large bowl, with mixer at medium speed, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Reduce speed to low; alternately add flour mixture and banana mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture, occasionally scraping bowl with rubber spatula. Beat just until blended.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake until toothpick inserted in center until it comes out clean, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Cool in pan on wire rack 10 minutes; remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack. Makes 1 loaf.

The picture of the banana bread was taken by my oldest one. They are both getting good at taking pictures of food!! Until next time – more food and stories!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Taste and Create - Better Late Than Never

This entry has taken so long for me to cook and post this month, and I apologize for that. I have known for a while what I was going to make for this month’s Taste and Create – dreamed up by Nicole over at For the Love of Food.

This month, I was paired with Melissa from Schweet ‘n Savory. She is a high school junior with a love of food. Since I am a teacher, I had a blast looking at her blog. My entry this month, though, isn’t exactly from her blog. She had a post about her brother, who started his own blog called Terrible, Tolerable or Tasty. She spoke so nicely about this blog post of her brother’s, I chose to make his Buffalo Mac and Cheese. Not only did he rate it as tasty, so did my husband and me. It was really, really, good, and I will definitely make it again.

While I changed it up a bit, I feel that the integrity of the dish remains the same. Go check out both blogs! They are both great. I wonder if any of my students could start a food blog…..hmmmm.

Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese

16oz. penne rigate (any macaroni pasta will do)
3 "young chicken" thighs
1 cup mozzarella cheese (shredded) I used a combination of cheddar and monetary jack.
1 cup cheddar cheese (shredded)
1/4 cup buffalo sauce

1. Place the chicken thighs in a cooking pot of water, and cook on high heat for about 40 minutes. I roasted in a 450 degree oven with olive oil, salt, pepper, and Cajun seasoning.

2. While the chicken is cooking place the pasta in a cooking pot of water and cook it for 25 minutes, or until it is soft

3. When the pasta is done, add both cups of cheese. The pasta should still be hot enough to melt the cheese. If not, you may need to cook it on low heat to mix the cheese in. I left a little of the salted pasta water in the pan to help mix the cheese.

4. Pre-heat the oven to 350

5. When the chicken is done, pull it apart, and put it in a glass oven dish and add the buffalo sauce. If you like spicy food, you might want to add a little more sauce than the ingredients suggest.

6. Put the chicken in the oven and bake it at 350 for 8-10 minutes.

7. When the chicken is done baking, mix it in with the macaroni and cheese and enjoy. I added green onions as a garnish.

Like I said, it was really good! Try it; add your own twist. I knew high school kids could cook! I want to add that the picture was taken by my littlest one – I think he did a great job!!!