Creamy Mushroom Pasta

Today I harvested the Oyster mushrooms! They were beautiful and I was so excited to cook them up. Here is what I did and some pictures along the way:

Freshly harvested mushrooms!

Creamy Mushroom Pasta

1 lb fresh pasta

2 cup Oyster mushrooms, chopped

8 oz buttom mushrooms, chopped

0.25 oz dried porcini mushrooms, re-hydrated then rinsed and chopped

3 Tbs butter

1 large clove garlic, minced or pressed

salt and pepper

2 Tbs dry white wine

1/4 cup chopped parsley plus more for sprinkling

1 cup cream

Parmesan cheese

Melt the butter in a large skillet when foamy add the garlic and stir a few time, then add the mushrooms. Saute until starting to wilt then add several grinds of pepper and some salt as well as the parsley and white wine. Saute for about 10 minutes then add the cream. Cook until slightly reduced, about 10 more minutes. Then taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.

Cook pasta, drain then add to sauce and toss well to coat. Serve with additional parsley and grated Parmesan.

Sushi is an easy thing to make for a packed lunch, if you have the right tools. I love my simple rice cooker, it does all the work! Then I toss the hot rice with seasoned vinegar (recipe to follow) and then I use this clever little sushi press I found and voila! instant love from my kids :)
For the sushi rice cook 1.5 cups of rice in 2 cups of water. In a large bowl mix 1/4 cup rice vinegar with 2 Tbs sugar and 1/2 tsp salt, stir until dissolved. Mix the hot rice into this seasoned vinegar. Stir to cool then use to mold your sushi. Wrap the sushi in Nori or sesame seeds or whatever you like. I put avocado and surimi inside but you can add almost anything!

Sushi is an easy thing to make for a packed lunch, if you have the right tools. I love my simple rice cooker, it does all the work! Then I toss the hot rice with seasoned vinegar (recipe to follow) and then I use this clever little sushi press I found and voila! instant love from my kids :)

For the sushi rice cook 1.5 cups of rice in 2 cups of water. In a large bowl mix 1/4 cup rice vinegar with 2 Tbs sugar and 1/2 tsp salt, stir until dissolved. Mix the hot rice into this seasoned vinegar. Stir to cool then use to mold your sushi. Wrap the sushi in Nori or sesame seeds or whatever you like. I put avocado and surimi inside but you can add almost anything!

So excited to be growing our own Oyster Mushrooms! I bought this incredible Fungipail from Motown Mushrooms at the CT Flower Show a few weeks ago. Looks like they are almost ready to harvest! Should be able to get three or four rounds out of the pail and then we can order a different variety of mushrooms for our second batch. Looking forward to some delicious Mushroom Pasta in the near future, stay tuned!

Alfredo!

One of my son’s ordered Alfredo when we were on a skiing trip in December. He has been talking of it ever since so I finally got the hint and served it for dinner. No only was it easy, it was a great hit and there are so many ways you can embellish it. I does seem like a lot of butter, but it is worth the splurge. Enjoy!

Easy Alfredo

(adapted from The New York Times Cookbook)

I lb. pasta (you could go traditional an serve Fettuccine, but feel free to use what you like, we did it with bowties)

1/4 lb butter but in 8 parts

pepper

1 cup half-and-half (or just improvise as I did with cream and milk)

1/4 pound grated parmesan (this made me want a better grater!)

optional embellishments: bacon bits (or real bacon, or even prosciutto), peas, broccoli, spinach, etc.

Cook the pasta in salted boiling water. Drain and put back in the pan over low heat. Add the butter and grind a bunch of pepper over the pasta. Add the half-and-half and allow to heat up, stirring until it is mostly absorbed. Add the cheese and stir until well coated.

I served mine like this with the add-ons on the table so the kids could choose how to spruce it up.

Super Easy Fried Rice

Sometime you have leftover rice and it makes great Fried Rice, but sometime you want Fried Rice and there is no cooked rice to be found. This happened to me last night. So, though I am really ALL done with winter, I was grateful for the chilly weather as it sped up the process of drying out my just cooked rice!

Super Easy Fried Rice

1.5 cups dried rice, cooked (either day old from left-overs or cook it, then spread it out on a baking sheet and cool rapidly- in the freezer, or like I did last night, outside in frigid cold winter weather!)

1 onion, diced

2 eggs, beaten

1 Tbs oil for frying

tofu, in small cubes, fried until lightly browned

vegetables (use what you like, frozen is great here, corn, peas, carrots, etc, just take the chill off by dunking in warm water- also good is diced red pepper)

2-3 Tbs soy sauce

1 Tbs sesame oil

salt and pepper

green onions, sliced into thin rings

Fry your tofu (or cook some meat) first, then set aside.

In a wok, or large skillet, heat oil and fry onion until translucent. Add eggs and stir until well cooked. Add cooked/cooled rice. Stir and continue to cook until the edges of the rice start to brown. Add tofu and season with soy sauce, sesame oil and salt and pepper. Stir well then add green onions and serve. Yum!

Happy Thanksgivakuh and Gobble Tov!

I’ve been awful about posting recently. Busy lives means I spend more time cooking rather than writing about it! Today I am in my race to crank out pies and sides to make my mother’s prep less stressful. And also (selfishly) because I refuse to eat store bought pie!

To make matters more interesting, this year, for a once in a lifetime treat, we have the concurrence of Thanksgiving and Hanukkah! So of course one of my sides will have to be latkes. I think Sweet Potato Latkes are most appropriate and so I am cooking up a batch now. To take them with me and make reheating easier I am stacking them in a loaf pan and will reheat them in the oven along with the stuffing and squash.

Yes, squash- seems everything I am cooking today is orange! I am roasting Butternut Squash with shallots and thyme. Yum! Just cube the squash, toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, 1 tsp of sugar and some fresh or dried thyme and roast at 450F for about 25-30 minutes, turning once during the cooking.

Also of course, my favorite Pumpkin Pie, no dairy and delicious! And Apple Pie for my son, it is by far his favorite!

Here’s the recipe for the latkes:

Sweet Potato Latkes (from Faye Levy’s 1,000 Jewish Recipes)

1.5 lbs sweet potaotes, peeled

1 medium onion

2 large eggs

3/4 tsp salt

pepper

5 Tbs all purpose flour

oil for frying

Grate sweet potatoes and onion in a food processor with a coarse grating blade. Tranfer to a large bowl and combine with eggs, salt, pepper and flour. (this will seem dry at first but will come together nicely)

Heat oil in a heavy skillet and fry a large spoonful of mix at a time, pressing it flat after putting it in the pan. Fry until golden brown (carefeul they can burn more easily than potato latkes). Drain on paper towels.

Enjoy! And have a Happy Holiday enjoying food with your family and friends!

Peach Ice Cream

We picked peaches and nectarines this weekend and decided that peach ice cream should be on the menu. I like my mom’s super simple recipe, it is pure peach deliciousness!

Peach Ice Cream

2 /12 cups peach pulp

2 1/2-3 cups cream

pinch of salt

3/4-1 cup sugar

Sweeten the pulp to taste. Combine remaining ingredients and freeze in an ice cream maker (we use the refreeze-able base that goes onto my kitchen aid mixer). Enjoy!

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