Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Tasty Tuesdays: Sweet Potato & Cheddar Flatbread

Welcome To Tasty Tuesdays!

I made a flat bread last week with an unusual combination of ingredients.  I was inspired by a recipe I have for a flat bread with butternut squash, but had a sweet potato on hand, so I decided to use that instead. 

- pizza dough { I used my favorite recipe, find it right here }
- 1 sweet potato, sliced
- handful of fresh spinach leaves
- 1/4 cup red onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts
- 1 tablespoon green onion, sliced
- 3/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- olive oil
- salt & pepper, to taste

1.  Prepare pizza dough according to recipe instructions.  The one I use needs to be prepared the day before.

2.  Preheat oven to 550 degrees.  See the complete directions for the pizza dough preparation and full baking instructions right here.  Roll out dough according to recipe instructions and top with all ingredients and drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.

Here's the flat bread on a cookie sheet, all ready to be transferred to the hot pizza stone:

3.  Bake 10-11 minutes, or until crust is golden.
Fresh out of the oven:

4.  Slice and enjoy!

I served this for lunch along with a green salad.  One nice thing about making a flat bread is that anything goes.  Just think of all the combinations you could try - the options are endless!

What did you cook this week?

Party Rules:
1.  Add a link in the post you are linking up back to this post
2.  Add the Tasty Tuesday button to the post you are linking up.  You will find the button on my sidebar.  Thanks!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Tasty Tuesdays: Penne with Tomato Pesto & Smoked Mozzarella

Welcome to Tasty Tuesdays!

I'm back with another pasta recipe for you.  I can't help myself - pasta is by far my favorite thing to eat!  This recipe comes from the March 2012 issue of Self magazine.  You can find the original recipe right here.  This is a really easy recipe and would make a great weeknight meal because it doesn't take long to make.  The recipe calls for a food processor, which I don't have, so I used my blender to make the pesto.

- 1/4 cup almonds (I used slivered almonds so that my blender would be able to handle them!)

- 2 cups loosely packed fresh Italian flat leaf parsley
- 12 sun-dried tomato halves
- 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 lb smoked mozzarella, diced
- 1/2 lb whole-wheat penne
- salt & pepper, to taste
- freshly shredded Parmesan, optional

In a small pan over medium heat, toast almonds until golden brown, 5 minutes. In a food processor, pulse almonds, parsley, tomatoes, garlic and oil until slightly chunky. Pour into a bowl; season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add mozzarella; toss to combine. Cook pasta as directed on package; drain and toss immediately with pesto.

Top with shredded Parmesan and garnish with flat leaf parsley.

Serves 4 (According to Self.  If you like pasta, like me, I'd say the serving size is closer to 2.5 -3)

THis tasted great served warm, but I think it would also be a great cold pasta salad recipe for the Summer.
What did you cook this week?
Party Rules:
- Add a link to the post you are linking up back to this post.
OR - Add the Tasty Tuesday button to the post you are linking up.  You will find the button on my sidebar.  Thanks!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Tiptoe Through the Tulips

The city where I work is known for its tulips.  Each year in May, they host a Tulip Festival.  The festival started in 1929 with the planting of 100,000 tulips.  Today, there are 6 million tulips in Holland.  Everywhere you look, you see tulips!

My friend Kelly and I walked around last week to capture some of the tulips with our cameras.  We've had a really warm spring and the tulips are way ahead of schedule.

This grouping of multi-colored tulips was one of my favorite plantings and it right outside of my office.


Of course, these tulips are beautiful too!

The yellow tulips look like they are glowing with the sun shining on them.  So delicate and pretty.

Love the unusual shape of these white tulips.

If you live in Michigan, be be sure to check out Tulip Time!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Tasty Tuesdays: Goat Cheese & Roasted Red Pepper Pasta

Welcome to Tasty Tuesdays!

This is a delicious pasta recipe with a flavorful roasted red pepper and goat cheese sauce.  I pinned the recipe a few weeks ago and couldn't wait to make it.  The original recipe was created by Lauren of Lauren's Latest.   The sauce in the original recipe is created with an immersion blender.  I don't have one - so I adapted the recipe to work with a blender.  Of course, a food processor would also work.

- 2 red bell peppers

- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small to medium onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup half & half
- 4 oz. package goat cheese
- 1/2 Parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 can artichoke hearts
-1 teaspoon Italian seasonings
- 1/2 lb. linguine or spaghetti, cooked according to package instructions
- 1/3 cup reserved pasta water
- salt & pepper
- Italian flat leaf parsley, for garnish

1.  Heat oven to 500 degrees.  Wash peppers and cut in half, lengthwise.  Place cut side down on foil lined baking sheet.  Place in oven and roast for 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and wrap peppers in foil and cool.

2.  Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package instructions.

3.  When peppers have cooled, peel {this is really easy, the skins should just peel right off. }.  Rough chop peppers and place in blender with 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  Blend until smooth.  Set aside.

4.  Saute onions and garlic in remaining olive oil until tender.  Add goat cheese, red pepper mixture, artichoke hearts, Parmesan cheese, seasonings, salt and pepper to taste, and reserved pasta water.  Stir until smooth.  
5.  Add sauce to pasta and stir until combined.  Garnish with Italian flat leaf parsley and serve immediately.
I thought this was delicious,  The sauce had a sweet, delicate flavor and was very good.

What did you cook this week?

Party Rules:
1.  Include a link in the post you are linking up back to this post
2.  Add the Tasty Tuesdays button to the post you are linking up.  Thanks!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Tasty Tuesdays: Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Parsley Lemon Pesto

Welcome to Tasty Tuesdays!

I have a delicious side dish to share with you today.  Actually, I think it would be great for lunch too, maybe along with a salad. 

{ Recipe from the March 2012 issue of Whole Living Magazine }

- 4 sweet potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1-inch wedges
- 7 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 cups fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1/4 teaspoon chopped garlic (about 1 small clove)
- 1/2 cup raw walnuts, toasted
- Grated zest of 1 lemon, plus 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

{ I cut the recipe in half }

1.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss sweet potatoes with 1 tablespoon oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roast, turning once, until golden and tender, 23 to 25 minutes. Let cool slightly.

2.  Meanwhile, pulse parsley, garlic, walnuts, zest, and lemon juice in a food processor {or blender; that's what I used} until coarsely chopped. Drizzle remaining 6 tablespoons oil and process until combined. Season with salt and pepper.

One word for you:  Delicious!  I loved this dish.  I may or may not have eaten the entire plate myself.  Sweet potatoes are good for you, right?

What did you cook this week?

{ Party Rules }
1.  Add a link to the post you are linking up back to this post.
2.  Add the Tasty Tuesdays button to the post you are linking up.  You will find the button on my sidebar.  Thanks!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Spring Break in the Desert & A Winner

I had a great vacation in Arizona a few weeks ago.  My Dad spends half of the year there, and my sister and I usually go out to visit a few times.  In March, we plan our visit around our brother's Spring Break.  We always have a good time with him!

We don't do much when we are out there.  We like to relax, enjoy the sun, and swim.  We spend most days looking at this:

My Dad's grapefruit trees were blooming like crazy and the smell perfumed the whole area by the pool.  What a beutiful scent.

Dad & I played a round of golf.  I didn't beat Dad, but did beat his two friends who we played with.  Not bad for my first round of 2012!

A few photos before heading out to dinner at Flemings. 

Me with Baby Sister.  We were in a great mood because our Spartans had just beat OSU in the Big 10 Championship game.  We gave up pool time to watch the game.  Nothing usually trumps pool time!

Me with Dad:

My sister with our Grandpa.  He's 91!

So many interesting plants to photograph:

Heading out to watch MSU play in their first game of the NCAA tournament.

It was another great trip to the desert!

And now, on to the winner of the giveaway from Modern Fabric Studio. 

Congrats to Rachel of The Traveling Spoon!


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