Friday, July 20, 2007

The Perfect Quick Summer Dinner

Again I return to my trusty Bon Appetit. Have I mentioned I love this magazine? Between Bon Appetit, Gourmet and Cooking Light, I will never have to repeat a dish if I don't want to. Pile my cookbook collection on top of that plus the over 100 recipes I have saved on my computer, I won't even be able to try all of them once before I die. At least I don't like shrimp; that saves me from a good handful of recipes.

Tonight I wanted something quick so I could get back to my studying. I have only 3 days remaining before the bar exam and I am definitely feeling crunch time. This was perfect. Very light, lots of grilled vegetables and on the table in less than 30 minutes. The only thing I did differently was use macaroni because I have apparently gone to the pasta well too many times and didn't have any ziti or penne left. Schuncks needs to have another sale. The dish would have been prettier with the penne, but the taste was still there! I also had to use feta because I didn't get to the Italian market before it closed. Darn family businesses closing before 9:00 PM. Don't they know I need ricotta salata?

Penne with Grilled Zucchini, Ricotta Salata, and Mint
From Bon Appetit

2 lbs small zucchini, trimmed and halved lengthwise
Olive oil for brushing
Kosher salt (I pretty much always use the sea salt in my grinder from Trader Joe's for everything, so I don't think the kosher salt is required)
Freshly ground black pepper
2 T balsamic vinegar
1/4 c fresh mint leaves, thinly sliced
2 pinches of dried crushed red pepper
1 lb penne or ziti pasta
3 T olive oil
3/4 c crumbled ricotta salata

Prepare barbecue (medium high heat). Arrange zucchini on rimmed baking sheet; brush all over with oil. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Grill zucchini until tender, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer to work surface; cut crosswise into 1 inch pieces. Place in large serving bowl. Add vinegar, mint, and crushed red pepper; set aside.

Cook pasta in boiling salted water until al dente. Drain. Add pasta to zucchini mixture, then add 3 T olive oil and ricotta salata and toss. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

I served this will grilled asparagus tossed in olive oil, salt and pepper.

Chicken with Tomatillo Salsa

When I renewed my Bon Appetit subscription, they offered me a free gift subscription for anyone I wanted to send one to. I immediately thought of my mother, as she is one of the predominant reasons I love to cook. I come from a family of extremely talented women and one of their many talents is the ability to turn food into an adventure. I will always be grateful that my family dinners were never boring and always different. I still look forward to what new dishes will grace the holiday table. Anyway, I digress.

Every Sunday my husband and I are in town, we go to my parents house for dinner. Since giving my mother the subscription, many of the meals have been pulled from the pages of the latest magazine. Last Sunday was no exception. Usually, my mother chooses a recipe I missed or hadn't dog-eared in my own copy of the magazine, but this time she made a few dishes from "The Green Party" in August's Bon Appetit, a menu I had marked for my next dinner party. It gave me a chance to try a few of the recipes before I subjected others to them.

The tomatillo salsa from one of the dishes (Grilled Park Chops with Tomatillo Salsa) was absolutely fabulous and my mother sent me home with some leftovers. After I polished the salsa off on Monday, I began craving some more. So the salsa made it's way onto my weekly menu. The potato salad also found it's way to my dinner table. It's a very green meal, so it feels healthy, and besides the olive oil and the carbs from the potatoes, it's a very health conscious meal. Not "light", but very healthful.

Chicken with Tomatillo Salsa
Adapted from Bon Appetit

12 tomatillos (1 lb), husked and rinsed
4 garlic cloves, peeled
2 jalapeno chiles
2/3 c finely chopped white onion
2/3 c (lightly packed) chopped fresh cilantro
Salt and pepper to taste
2 chicken breasts, trimmed and sliced
Olive oil

Preheat broiler. Place tomatillos, 4 whole garlic cloves, and jalapenos on rimmed baking sheet. Broil until tender and vegetables are slightly charred, turning occasionally, about 7 minutes for garlic and 8 minutes for tomatillos and jalapenos. Transfer to plate and let stand until cool enough to handle. Stem and seed jalapenos. Place tomatillos, garlic, jalapenos, onion and cilantro in processor. Puree until almost smooth. Season tomatillo salsa with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Heat olive oil in a skillet and cook chicken until no longer pink. Serve chicken with brown rice and top with salsa.

Potato Salad with Basil Oil
From Bon Appetit

1 c packed whole fresh basil leaves, plus 3 T thinly sliced basil
1/2 c plus 2 T olive oil
2 1/2 T unseasoned rice vinegar
2 T Dijon mustard
1/4 c chopped red onion
2 lbs medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled

Blanch whole basil leaves in boiling water for 1 minute; drain. Run under cold water; drain and squeeze out any excess water. Place basil in kitchen towel and squeeze out water. Transfer basil to processor. Add 1/2 c oil; process until basil is very finely chopped. Transfer to small bowl and season with salt. Whisk vinegar and mustard in small bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in remaining 2 T olive oil. Stir in red onion and 3 T thinly sliced basil. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper. Place potatoes in large saucepan. Add enough water to cover potatoes by 1 inch. Bring to boil, reduce heat to medium, and simmer until tender, about 17 minutes. Drain. Let potatoes stand until just cool enough to handle. Cut into 3/4 inch cubes and place in large bowl. Drizzle dressing over warm potatoes and toss gently to coat. Serve potato salad warm or at room temperature.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Chocolate Caramel Slice

I didn't end up cooking dinner tonight because I didn't get to the grocery store before 8:30 and they didn't have 3 of the key ingredients I needed for my planned dinner. So grilled cheese and soup it was. I did, however, do a little baking. I'm generally much more a cooker, but these days the desire to bake has been pulling my attention from the stove to the oven.

Tonight, I made these Chocolate Caramel Bars from May's Bon Appetit. I intended to make them a long time ago as a treat for my last law school class, but time got in the way. For the past few months, I have had the can of sweetened condensed milk looking at me and tonight was the night I popped that bad boy open.

I REALLY enjoyed these. Too much. I practically camped in front of the refrigerator waiting for the chocolate to set. As soon as they were ready, I cut them and ate one. Then I ate another. Very tasty. The caramel was perfect, which is good because I was a little nervous. I never quite got the caramel up to the suggested temperature, but I was worried about burning it, so I went with looks. Once it was super thick, I went ahead and pulled it off the heat. The caramel making made me appreciate my gas stove even more; the ability to change the heat so quickly and by such small increments made the candy making process a little more doable.
My husband also really liked these. He did, however, say they made him thirsty. They are a tad rich; I'm guessing that's what he meant. He also told me that I should name these Fancy Twix Bars. If the recipe were my own, dear, I'm still not sure that's what I'd name them, but they do taste quite a bit like Twix bars. It's the cookie, chocolate, caramel combo.

Chocolate Caramel Slice
Makes 20-24

1 c all purpose flour
1/4 c packed golden brown sugar
2 t cornstarch
1/4 t salt
1/2 c chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 T ice water
1 large egg yolk
1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 c packed golden brown sugar
6 T unsalted butter, diced
2 T golden syrup or dark corn syrup (I used dark)
1 t vanilla extract
6 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped (I used bittersweet- 61%- and that was definitely a good choice. The caramel is super sweet, so the bitter chocolate helped balance that)
3 T whipping cream
Flaked sea salt
For crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter 11x7x2 inch metal baking pan (I used glass since I didn't have a metal one and I could find one at Target, Crate and Barrel, or Bed, Bath and Beyond). Blend first 4 ingredients in processor. Add butter. Using on/off turns, blend until a coarse meal forms. Add 1 T ice water and egg yolk. Blend until moist clumps form. Press dough onto bottom of pan (my dough was super sticky- this step was a bit of a challenge and I had trouble getting the dough evenly spread); pierce all over with fork. Bake until golden, piercing if crust bubbles, about 20 minutes. Cool completely.
For toppings: Whisk first 5 ingredients in medium saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves, butter melts, and mixture comes to boil. Attach candy thermometer to side of pan. Boil gently until caramel is thick and temperature registers 225 degrees F, whisking constantly, about 6 minutes. Pour caramel evenly over crust; cool 15 minutes to set.
Meanwhile, melt chocolate with cream in microwave in 15 second intervals, stirring occasionally. Spread chocolate over warm caramel; sprinkle with sea salt. Refrigerate until chocolate is set, at least 1 hour.
Cut lengthwise into 4 strips. Cut each strip crosswise into 5 or 6 slices. Transfer to platter (or tummy) and serve.
Store in refrigerator.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Diet Coke Cupcakes

Ok, so this recipe isn't really a recipe and it certainly isn't gourmet, but the whole concept absolutely blows my mind, so here it is. All you do is add a can of diet soda to a box cake mix. Then you bake. That's it. They turn out so moist and taste just like the full fat/calories version. My cupcakes were only 85 calories each! So I had two. You can frost them however you'd like, but I used whipped cream. It may have upped it to 100 calories, but that is a mighty tasty dessert for not a lot of calories.

I googled Diet Coke cupcakes to make sure all I had to do was add the soda, and I came across a ton of different combinations. Someone added Diet Cherry Coke to a vanilla cake, orange soda to a white cake, 7-up to a white cake, and a ton more. I used a yellow cake mix from Aldi's with a can of Diet Coke. Apparently you can use regular pop, but that would increase the calorie content, though someone on the Internet pointed out that it only adds a few calories more. If you have an aversion to diet sodas, regular should work fine. I will definitely add this to my "so weird, but so good" category in my brain. You should try it!

Pasta al la Linda

Finally! A recipe that is my own. This is sort of my go to meal. I was not feeling the cooking vibe today and am lacking motivation to create my menu for the week. It may have something to do with the pressure of the bar exam looming less than a week away. Cooking tends to be a stress reliever, though, so once I got started in the kitchen, my inspiration returned and I played a little with my original "recipe".

This dish is really simple usually, but I had some extra ingredients to play with and made it slightly more decadent. I was super pleased with my changes and I think this dish is now perfected! I've tried to approximate all the measurements so I can write a recipe, but it's all a guess. I didn't measure anything, so if you make it, go by your own tastes and how it looks.

Linguine and Olives

2 T olive oil
1 T butter
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 small red onion, chopped
1 c white wine
1 T balsamic vinegar
1/2 c chopped black olives
1/2 T chopped pimento
1/2 T (or more) red pepper flakes
1/2 c goat cheese
1 T mascarpone cheese
2 T chopped fresh oregano
1/4 c chopped parsley
chopped cherry tomatoes
8 oz uncooked linguine or other long pasta

Boil large pot of water and cook pasta according to package directions.

Meanwhile, heat oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute onion and garlic until tender. Add white wine, balsamic vingegar, chopped black olives, pimento and red pepper flakes. Reduce slightly. Stir in cheeses until melted. Simmer until pasta is cooked. Stir in fresh herbs and the tomatoes. Add hot pasta along with a little of the cooking liquid to the skillet. Toss to combine. Serve with freshly grated cheese of choice (I use either Parmesan or Romano).

Monday, July 16, 2007

Better than Buffalo Wild Wings

I was browsing the various food blogs I watch through Google Reader and stumbled across a wonderful looking dinner in Mary Ellen's blog. I've been craving spicy, but didn't really want Mexican, so her buffalo chicken bites seemed like a good choice. I was right!

Her recipe was more a technique, so I've turned it into approximated measurements, but I got the idea from her blog. Along with her bites, she served a Blue Cheese Orzo that she found on It was really good! The absolute perfect combination. What goes better with buffalo wings than blue cheese? The dinner was quite tasty.

I changed the orzo a little to my liking, but pretty much stuck to the recipe. I'll comment in the recipe where I deviated.

As a little side note, this recipe ended up adding another cooking related injury to my depressingly expanding list. I've cut myself plenty with my knives when not paying attention and have burned myself on everything from a hot onion to the edge of the oven, but this injury was a new one. As I was sliding my fingers under the lid on the blue cheese crumbles, I managed to slice open not one, not two, but three of my fingers. I told my husband what I did and had him bandage my bleeding fingers, after which he looked at me and said very simply (but accurately!), "Linda, you stupid."

Buffalo Chicken Bites
from Mary Ellen

2 chicken breasts, cut into chunks
1-2 c hot sauce (Frank's Red Hot is what Mary Ellen used, but I used the grocery store brand)
1 c plain breadcrumbs
1 T cayenne pepper (less if you don't like it hot)
1/2 T garlic powder
2 T red pepper flakes (all seasonings can be adjusted for taste)
Place chicken and approximately 1 c of hot sauce in Ziploc baggie. Make sure the chicken is covered with the hot sauce and marinate in the refrigerator for a few hours (I marinated mine for about 20 minutes because I didn't think far enough ahead).
Combine breadcrumbs and seasonings in a bowl or shallow plate. Pour additional hot sauce into another bowl. Dip each chicken chunk into the hot sauce and dredge in the breadcrumb mixture. Place in baking dish. Bake for 15 minutes in 375 degree oven for 15 minutes, turning once halfway and turning the broiler on for the last 2-3 minutes.

Serve with additional hot sauce, if desired.

Caramelized Onion and Blue Cheese Orzo

1 pound uncooked orzo pasta
2 tablespoons butter (I only used 1 T, but they didn't caramelize very well, so next time I'll use it all)
3 tablespoons olive oil (I only used 2 T, but see above)
4 onions, sliced (I used one HUGE red onion, and that seemed like enough)
6 1/2 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
3 1/2 ounces mascarpone cheese
2 cups shredded spinach (I only used 1 c since hubby is not a fan of spinach)
salt and pepper to taste
(I also added pine nuts to the orzo and I really liked the texture it added to the recipe)

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
While pasta is cooking, heat butter and oil in a large skillet over low heat. Cook onion in this mixture until golden brown, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from pan with a spoon and drain on paper towels.
In a large bowl, combine blue cheese, mascarpone and onion and mix well (this is where I mixed in the pine nuts). Toss cheese mixture with spinach and pasta, season with salt and pepper and serve.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

A Lovely Saturday Morning Suprise

While most of the kitchen duties are mine, my husband has decided that he needs his own "specialty" that I am not allowed to make. One of these "specialties" is a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, though I have informed him that something a toddler can make is not a specialty. I am, however, quite fond of his other speciality- weekend pancakes.

Early in our marriage, he became fascinated by pancakes and started tinkering in the kitchen on Saturday and Sunday mornings. He had a few minor disasters, but has since come up with a wonderful "secret" recipe for very tasty pancakes. Using either a box mix or Alton Brown's recipe for pancake mix, he adds orange juice in place of some of the milk. The exact measurements are top secret, either because he doesn't want to share or he doesn't know because it is never the same twice.

This particularly morning I woke up to this fabulous spread on our kitchen table (please excuse the mess; we are still working on the sun room).

As a fun bonus to this morning's pancakes, he added some fresh berries for a lovely presentation. Mine had blueberries:

His had strawberries:

My handsome hubby/chef!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Not a summer dish, but so tasty!

Tonight I decided to make Swedish Meatballs. I found the recipe when I was sorting through a bunch that had no home. I have about 9 pounds of ground beef in my freezer (it was on sale), so I figured this was as good a way as any to use up some meat.

I also had my first baking experience in my new kitchen. I had saved a recipe for Bacon, Cheddar and Green Onion Scones from the What's Cooking board on and decided to try them tonight. I think it was originally a Rachel Ray recipe, but I'm not positive. All my bacon was frozen and I didn't think far enough ahead to get it out, so I just left it out of the scones. I have to say, they were pretty darn good. My baking skills tend to be hit or miss, but this one was definitely a hit. I'll probably make these again.

Swedish Meatballs

1 2/3 c evaporated milk (I used skim)
2/3 c chopped onion
1/4 c fine breadcrumbs
1/2 t salt
1/2 t allspice
dash of pepper
1 lb ground beef
2 t butter
2 beef bouillon cubes
1 c boiling water
1/2 c cold water
2 T flour
1 T lemon juice
chopped parsley
Combine 2/3 c evaporated milk, onion, crumbs, salt, allspice and pepper. Add meat; mix well and chill. Shape mixture into 1 inch balls. In large skillet, brown meatballs in butter. Dissolve bouillon cubes in the boiling water; pour over meatballs and bring to boil over medium heat. Cover; simmer for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, blend together cold water and flour. Remove meatballs from skillet; skim fat from pan juices and reserve juices. Stir 1 c evaporated milk and flour mixture into pan juices in skillet; cook, uncovered, over low heat, stirring until sauce thickens. Return meatballs to skillet. Stir in lemon juice. Remove from heat and stir in chopped parsley. Serve with cooked noodles and sprinkle with more parsley.

Bacon, Cheddar and Green Onion Scones

3 c. flour
1 T baking powder
1 t salt
1 T black pepper
1 stick unsalted butter, chilled, cut into small cubes
1 1/2 c grated cheddar
4 green onions, sliced
10 slices bacon, chopped into 1 inch pieces
3/4 - 1 1/2 c buttermilk
1 large egg
2 t water
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a mixer, combine flour, baking powder, salt and black pepper on low speed. With mixer running gradually add cubes of butter until the dough is crumbly and studded with pea sized bits of flour and butter. Add grated cheese and mix until just blended. Add green onions, bacon and 3/4 c buttermilk to flour and cheese mixture. Mix by hand. If dough is too dry to hold together, use remaining buttermilk, adding 1 T at a time, until dough is pliable and can be formed into a ball. Stir as lightly and as little as possible. Remove dough to a lightly floured surface. Pat dough into a ball. Using a well-floured rolling pin, flatten dough into a circle about 8 inches wide and 1/2 inch thick. Cut dough into 8-10 equal wedges depending on size scone you prefer. Whisk egg and water in a small mixing bowl. Brush each wedge with egg wash. Place on lined baking sheet and bake 18-20 minutes or until golden brown and no longer sticky in the middle.
**My notes: As I said before, I omitted the bacon because I didn't have any available. I also used 1 c of buttermilk. I would also recommend cutting it into 10 wedges because the 8 wedges were huge. I had to bake mine for 22 minutes, but I'm still getting used to the heat settings on this stove, so that may have had something to do with it.**

My kitchen is finally done!

After being in the house for nearly a month now, I have finally finished setting up my kitchen. Because I am proud of it, seeing as it is my first, and the whole reason I started this blog was because I have a new kitchen, I am posting a few pictures to show it off. Yay!
This is the view from the doorway from the living room. It's a galley kitchen, so this is as wide as it gets! The door at the end leads into a sun room, but that room is not finished, nor is there electricity, so no pictures tonight!

This is the view from the other end, by the sun room. I love the cubbies up top. I put my KitchenAid mixer and food processor up there so I have more room on my counter tops.

And now for my favorite part. A gas stove! With a hood! I was so afraid I'd have to settle for an electric stove, but this house had a gas stove. I feel in love with the house when I saw the gas range.

And that's my kitchen. Where all the magic happens.

No pasta tonight.

My mother-in-law sent us home with a few green peppers and I decided to try my hand at stuffed peppers. I got a great recipe for stuffed peppers from Elly (who's blog is fabulous!) and worked from there. I made a few changes to work with what I had, but the recipe is pretty much hers.

I would definitely make this again. I had quite a bit of filling left over since my peppers were pretty small (they were out of mother-in-law's garden), but it turned out ok. I ended up eating it while the peppers baked. All of it. With a spoon. Out of the pan. It was really good.

Baking them was a little bit of a challenge since I didn't have peppers that could stand on their own. I had the ingenious idea to pop the stems out of the lid and use them as a sort of stand by putting the peppers into the hole and having them stand up. Good idea in theory, but I failed to take into account the fact the peppers soften as they bake, so all of them fell. No worries. I just scooped any spilled filling back in after backing and ate a little more off the pan (don't judge- the filling was great!).

I tried to take a few pictures but my camera had other ideas, so there is only one that isn't all black with purple lines running horizontally across. It will have to be good enough.

Stuffed Peppers

4-6 bell peppers
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 lb ground beef
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c cooked rice
1/2 c chicken broth
1/2 c to 3/4 c chunky salsa
2-3 t cumin
2-3 t chili powder
salt and pepper to taste
3/4 c shredded Mexican cheese

Cut the tops of the peppers and remove the core and seeds. Spray the peppers and a jelly-roll pan with cooking spray. In a large skillet, brown the beef, onions and garlic until the beef is no longer pink and the onions are translucent. Stir in rice, chicken broth, salsa and seasonings. Cook until warmed through and most of the liquid absorbed. Remove from heat and stir in cheese. Spoon into peppers and bake in a 375 degree oven for 30 minutes. While waiting for peppers to cook, eat any remaining filling with a spoon. Out of the pan. It tastes better that way.

For a side, I steamed some broccoli and added some goat cheese, pine nuts and balsamic vinegar.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Another Day, Another Pasta

Call me the carb girl. Pasta is easy, so pasta it has been the last few weeks. This one, however, was a little different. I got the recipe from July's Bon Appetit, but had to make a few adjustments. While Tuesday night it was a fresh tomato type pasta, tonight we went Asian. Pretty good, but it felt like it was missing something. Perhaps the ingredients I didn't have. I did really like the sweetness of the balsamic vinegar paired with the hot chili oil. Very good.

I didn't have green onions or sesame oil, so I left the onion out and substituted 1 1/2 T rice wine vinegar and 1 1/2 T olive oil for the sesame oil. Not really the same, but the rice vinegar helped the Asian flavors and the olive oil provided the oil. I also just used regular basil instead of Thai basil. I didn't feel like hunting for it when I have a regular basil plant in my garden.

Spicy Sesame Noodles with Chopped Peanuts and Thai Basil

1 T peanut oil (I used olive oil- probably should've used my canola oil)
2 T minced peeled fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 T Asian sesame oil
2 T soy sauce
2 T balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 T sugar
1 T (or more- I'd used more next time) hot chili oil
1 1/2 t salt
1 lb fresh Chinese egg noodles or fresh angel hair pasta
12 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 c coarsely chopped roasted peanuts
1/4 c thinly sliced fresh Thai basil leaves

Heat peanut oil in small skillet over medium heat. Add ginger and garlic; saute 1 minute. Transfer to large bowl. Add next 6 ingredients; whisk to blend. Place noodles in sieve over sink. Separate noodles with fingers and shake to remove excess starch. Cook in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, stirring occasionally. Drain and rinse under cold water until cool. Drain thoroughly and transfer to bowl with sauce. Add sliced green onions and toss to coat noodles. Let stand at room temp until noodles have absorbed dressing, tossing occasionally, about 1 hour. Stir in peanuts and Thai basil; toss again. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve at room temp.

Serves 4-6

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Our first "real" meal

I finally have my kitchen set up enough to cook something other than spaghetti with meat sauce and what was the first meal? Spaghetti. It was, however, a little fancier than spaghetti with jarred sauce (a move-in staple). I even got to use my food processor. I got the recipe from the July Cooking Light and really enjoyed it! It was super light and didn't heat up my tiny kitchen more than it needed to be on a 90 degree day in St. Louis.

Cherry Tomato Spaghetti with Toasted Pine Nuts

2 (1 oz) slices sandwich bread
1 1/2 T olive oil, divided
1 t garlic powder, divided
3 c cherry tomatoes
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
8 oz uncooked spaghetti
1/4 c chopped fresh basil
3 T pine nuts, toasted
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper

Place bread in a food processor; pulse 10 times or until coarse crumbs measure 1 c. Add 1 1/2 t oil and 1/2 t garlic powder. Pulse to combine.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add breadcrumb mixture to pan; cook 2 minutes or until lightly toasted. Remove from pan and set aside.

Heat 1 t oil in pan. Add tomatoes to pan; cook 3 minutes or until tomatoes begin to wrinkle. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 t garlic powder and garlic; cook 30 seconds. Cover; reduce heat to low.

Cook past according to the package directions, omitting salt and fat. Add pasta, remaining 2 t oil, basil, pine nuts, salt and pepper to tomato mixture, stirring to combine. Toss pasta with breadcrumbs. Serve and enjoy!

Yields 4 (2-cup) servings.

Welcome to my kitchen!

Well, I've jumped on the blog bandwagon and created my own blog. If anything, I think this will mostly just serve as a convenient way to track my recipes and share them with family, but maybe someone else will find this useful. Let the adventure begin...