Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Weekend Kitchen: Beef, Bacon & Mushroom Ragu

Now that fall is upon us and the weather has turned chilly (at least here in Michigan), I have been craving hearty, comfort foods.  This ragu made for a perfect Sunday dinner on a chilly day.  Recipe adapted from the September 2014 issue of Rachel Ray Magazine.

2 tablespoons EVOO                        
1/4 pound lean bacon or pancetta, chopped                        
1/4 pound cremini or portabella mushrooms, chopped                        
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme                        
1 bay leaf
1 pound ground beef                        
1 medium onion, minced                        
2 - 3 large garlic cloves, minced
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cups beef stock
1 pound pasta (I used orecchiette)                      
2 tablespoons butter
Freshly grated Parmesan

I used my Le Creuset Dutch oven for the first time to make this dish - I loved cooking with it!

1.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
2.  In a deep skillet or large saucepan, heat the EVOO over medium-high. Add the bacon and cook until the fat melts, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms, thyme and bay leaf. Cook until the mushrooms brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the ground beef and cook, breaking up into small pieces with a spoon, until browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the onion and garlic; season with salt and pepper.
3.  Partially cover the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the tomato paste and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the stock, then reduce the heat to low and let the ragu simmer while the pasta cooks.
4.  Salt the water and cook the pasta until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water. Add the pasta and the cooking water back to the hot pot. Toss with half the ragu and the butter; season. Serve the pasta in shallow bowls topped with the remaining sauce and cheese.

Try this dish for dinner on a chilly fall day - You'll love it!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Minted Giveaway Winner!

Thanks to everyone who stopped by and entered the giveaway.  I used random.org to select a winner.  Comment #11 is the lucky winner of the $150 credit to Minted!
Congrats AshleyI hope you have fun deciding how to use your $150!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Pumpkin Spice Latte: Homemade & All Natural

It's Fall y'all.  That means it time to start enjoying all things pumpkin, right?  I really enjoy pumpkin spice lattes but have never been a huge fan of the Starbucks version { Especially after this article came out.  Yuck! }.  So, I was happy to see this recipe in the October 2014 issue of Good Housekeeping Magazine.  This recipe is simple, delicious, and best of all, you know exactly what is going into it!

- 2 cups sugar
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- coffee
- organic milk, warmed
- whipped cream, if desired
- cinnamon, if desired

1.  In a sauce pan, combine sugar, water, pumpkin, cinnamon sticks, vanilla, and pumpkin pie spice.  Stir until ingredients are combined.  Simmer over medium low heat, stirring occasionally, for 10-12 minutes.

2.  Remove from heat.  Strain twice.  Syrup may be kept for up to a month in the refrigerator.

3.  Add desired amount of milk to coffee cup, add 1-2 tablespoons of pumpkin syrup, add coffee and stir.  If desired, top with whipped cream and cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice.  Enjoy!



I've linked this post to DIY by Design: Fall into Fall Party

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

$150 Minted Giveaway!

Happy Wednesday, friends.  I'm excited to offer this giveaway to you today.  Minted is generously offering one 33 Shades of Green reader a $150 credit! 

I was really excited when I was contacted by Minted, wondering if I would like to review one of their gorgeous Limited Edition Art Prints.  They offer so many beautiful prints!  I've always known Minted for their cards ,and wasn't even aware of the large selection of art prints. Wow, did I ever have a hard time deciding!  There are literally hundreds of options.

I finally settled on this beautiful print from Emily Jeffords.  I have been a fan of hers since coming across her work on Instagram last year.  Her work is stunning! 

I selected the size I wanted along with the type of frame (the prints are available framed or unframed).  A few days later, my package arrived from Minted.  I liked that the print was framed, and all ready to go!

I am displaying the print on built in bookshelves located in our second story hallway.  I think it's right at home here next to two vases of driftwood.  Have I mentioned that I have become a bit of a driftwood collector since moving to the beach?  I can't seem to take a walk on the beach without coming home with handfuls of driftwood!

Even though the print is not of the beach, it somehow reminds me of all the beautiful clouds and storms we see here rolling in over the water.

Driftwood love :)

$150 Minted Credit Giveaway:
To enter:  Leave a comment on this post.  If you do not have an account, please select the 'Anonymous' option.  Please make sure to leave your email address in your comment so that I will be able to contact you if you are the winner.  One person will receive a $150 credit to Minted.  A winner will be selected by random on Saturday, October 18, 2014.

In the meantime, visit Minted and check out their beautiful cards and art prints for yourself!

* Minted provided this print to me in exchange for this post.  All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Weekend Kitchen: Fresh Corn & Ricotta Pasta

I've had an odd craving for sweet corn this summer - I can't seem to get enough and every recipe I see on Pinterest that has corn in it gets pinned immediately.  I saved this recipe from the Every Day with Rachel Ray Magazine.  See the original recipe here

- 1 pound pasta (Original recipe called for shells but I used the beautiful pasta pictured above)
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 4 ears fresh corn
- 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 15 ounce container of ricotta
- Fresh basil, for garnish

1.  Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to the package directions; drain. Return the pasta to the pot and toss with 2 tbsp. of olive oil.

2.  While the pasta is cooking, heat a large cast-iron or other heavy skillet over medium-high. Slice the kernels from the cobs and cook in the dry skillet, stirring occasionally, until browned in spots, about 4 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and add the onion, garlic and 2 tbsp. olive oil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens, about 2 minutes; season with salt and pepper.

3.  Toss the pasta with the corn mixture. Divide among plates and top with ricotta and basil. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt & pepper to taste.

(Serves 4)

This pasta recipe was so easy to prepare.  Prep was super simple, too. I liked the flavors - especially with the dollop of ricotta on top.  It was the prefect addition to the flavors of the corn and onions. If you like corn, I recommend it!


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