Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Tasty Tuesdays Announcment

Welcome to Tasty Tuesdays!
I've decided to make the Tasty Tuesdays link up a bi-weekly event.  Life has been busy and I'd like to get back to posting about things other than food.  Of course, I love to cook, so you can be sure I'll still be cooking and sharing the recipes when I get a chance.  I'll be hosting the link up the first and third Tuesday of every month.  I'll be back on April 2nd with a new recipe to share.
{ Blueberry Crumb Bars pictured above.  See the recipe here }
Party Rules:
1.  Add a link to the post you are linking up back to this post
2.   Add the Tasty Tuesdays button the the post you are linking up.  You will find the button and code on my sidebar.  Thanks!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Pillows By Dezign Winner

I used random.org to select a winner for the $120 store credit to Pillows By Dezign.
The lucky winner of comment #5 is Jenny of DIY Newlyweds!
Congrats Jenny!  Have fun shopping for new pillows!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Tasty Tuesdays: Orange Ricotta Pancakes with Vanilla Orange Syrup

Welcome to Tasty Tuesdays!
Making pancakes for breakfast on the weekend just seems like the right thing to do, doesn't it?  This recipe is unusual - not much flour and a whole lot of ricotta in it's place.  Prep time took a little longer than your typical pancake recipe, but the unusual flavor and texture of the pancakes made it worth the extra time.
I was planning on using maple syrup, but when I realized I had forgotten to buy it at the grocery store, I decided to improvise and made a homemade syrup instead.
Ingredients for Vanilla Orange Syrup:
- 1-1/2 cup sugar
- 1-1/2 cup water
- 1 orange
- 1-1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons orange juice

To make the syrup:
1.  Add water and sugar to a saucepan.  Heat over medium heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved.
2.  Use a vegetable peeler to peel the orange skin.  Add pieces to saucepan.  Bring to a simmer and stir occasionally.
3. Juice the orange.  Add two tablespoons of juice and vanilla to saucepan. Use a slotted spoon to remove orange skin; discard.
4.  Continue to simmer for 25 minutes or until syrup reaches desired consistency.  Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.  Syrup will thicken while cooling.  Any syrup not used for pancakes can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container.  Bring to room temperature before using.

Ingredients for pancakes:
- 4 Eggs, divided
- 1-1/3 cup ricotta cheese
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 2 Tablespoons orange rind
- 1/2 cup flour
- Dash of salt
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- Berries of your choice, for serving
{ serves 4 }
{ Pancake recipe from the Dash Newspaper insert }
1.  In a medium bowl, beat egg yolks, ricotta, sugar, and orange rind on medium until creamy.  Beat in flour and salt.
2.  In a separate bowl, use a whisk to beat egg white until white and fluffy.  Whisk in
ricotta mixture.
3.  Spoon batter onto a preheated, lightly buttered griddle or fry pan.  When small bubbles appear on surface of pancakes, flip and cook on other side.  Serve pancakes with butter, berries and syrup.

Before you enter your link, take a look at the amazing giveaway I have going on right now.  CLICK HERE to enter.
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 Tuesday button to the post you are linking up.  You will find the button and code on my sidebar.  Thanks!

Friday, March 8, 2013

$120 Pillows By Dezign Giveaway!

Happy Friday, Friends.
I have a wonderful giveaway for you guys - I'm really excited about this one!
Pillows By Dezign is a Home Decor shop located in Grand Rapids, Michigan (my hometown!) offering the most beautiful throw pillows.  Pillows By Dezign creates pillows using gorgeous designer fabrics including Kravet, Duralee, Schumacher, and Osbourne & Little, to name a few.  Each pillow includes your choice of a down or polyester insert and is sewn in the USA. 
Pillows By Dezign offers hundreds of pillows in different sizes that you can purchase directly from their website.  If you aren't able to find exactly what you are looking for, use their custom option to design your very own.  The options are endless.
If you are in West Michigan, be sure to check out Pillows By Dezign, located at 6744 Cascade Rd SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546.

Ready to win a $120 shop credit? 
Here's how to win:
1.  Go visit Pillows By Dezign and leave a comment telling me what your favorite pillow is.  If you do not have a Blogger account, please leave your email address in the comment so I can contact you if you are the winner.
For Additional Entries:
1.  "Like" Pillows By Dezign on Facebook.  Come back and leave a separate comment telling me you liked them.
2.  Follow Pillows By Dezign on Twitter.  Come back and leave a separate comment telling me that you are following them.
3.  Post about this giveaway on Facebook or Twitter.  Come back and leave a separate comment telling me that you posted about it.
I will select a winner at random on Sunday, March 17, 2013.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Tasty Tuesdays: Pappardelle with Mushrooms

Welcome to Tasty Tuesdays!
I'm excited to share this recipe with you - I think it's one of the best pasta dishes I've ever made.  And if you've visited here before, you know how much pasta I cook!  If you like mushrooms, I suggest you make this immediately.  Yum.

I had this locally made basil & garlic pasta in the pantry just waiting for a delicious recipe like this to come along.

I had never cooked with porcini mushrooms before.  You can find them in the grocery store bagged and dry.  In order to cook with with them, you need to soak them in hot water for 30 minutes.  Beware - the smell was really strong! 

Amazing handmade pasta.  For anyone local, the pasta is made by The Local Epicurean, located on Wealthy St.  They sell it there and also at the Fulton Street Farmers Market in the Summer.

{ Recipe adapted from this one found in Cooking Light Magazine }
- 1 cup dried porcini mushrooms (about 1 ounce)
- 2/3 cup boiling water
- 8 ounces uncooked pappardelle pasta or bucatini
- 3 1/4 teaspoons salt, divided
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
- 2 (4-ounce) packages exotic mushroom blend, sliced or coarsely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons dry sherry
- 2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
- 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh sage
- 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper

1.  Rinse porcini thoroughly. Combine porcini and 2/3 cup boiling water in a bowl; cover and let stand 30 minutes. Drain in a sieve over a bowl, reserving 1/4 cup soaking liquid. Chop porcini.
2.  Cook pasta with 1 tablespoon salt in boiling water 10 minutes or until al dente; drain in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid.
3.  Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots, mushroom blend, and garlic; sauté 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in porcini, sherry, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt; cook 1 minute or until the liquid evaporates.
4.  Finely grate cheese. Reduce heat to medium. Stir pasta, 1/4 cup reserved cooking liquid, 1/4 cup reserved porcini soaking liquid, 1/4 cup grated cheese, cream, chopped sage, and pepper into mushroom mixture; toss well to combine. Place about 1 1/4 cups pasta mixture on each of 4 plates; top each serving with about 1 tablespoon remaining cheese. Garnish with sage leaves, if desired.

This was so good!  I absolutely loved it.

I thought this dish tasted like I had ordered it at a very good restaurant.  Don't you love when that happens?  And, it was super easy to make.  Double score.  This one is a definite keeper!
What did you cook this week?
Party Rules:
1.  Add a link to the post you are linking up back to this this post
2.  Add the Tasty Tuesday button to the post you are linking up.  You will find the button & code on my side bar.


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