#FantasticalFoodFight: Peaches & Cream

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I’ve declared that I will be taking a break from blogging for a bit. So what am I doing just a couple weeks later with a brand new blog post?!

Well, I also stated that Sew You Think You Can Cook wouldn’t disappear either. I have a couple of fun blog link-up events in the near future, yet. It’s looking like one, maybe two, per month throughout the summer months.

Hopefully I’ll be back a little less sporadically come the start of the school year in September. Sew You Think You Can Cook just might have a slightly new vibe come then.

My fun post for June is the one you’re reading right now – today’s Fantastical Food Fight! The task? Peaches & Cream. The requirement? A dish that involves both peaches and cream.

Originally I was thinking an ice cream.

I’m sorry to burst that bubble, but as fate had it, my husband requested some sort of French toast with our Farmer’s Market peaches for breakfast over Memorial Day weekend.

Perfect!

This French toast is quite simply. Eggs + milk (or cream!) + bread. What makes this dish pop are the caramelized peaches you put on top of that French toast. A dollop of whipped cream doesn’t hurt anything, either.

Peaches & Cream French Toast

Ingredients:

  • 6-8 slices bread
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/2 C milk or cream
  • 3/4 C sugar
  • 1/2 C water
  • 5 tbsp butter
  • 2-3 peaches, sliced or chopped
  • cinnamon sugar, for serving
  • whipped cream, for serving

Steps:

  1. Whisk together the eggs and milk/cream in a shallow bowl.
  2. Preheat griddle or a large pan over medium heat.
  3. Dip bread in the egg mixture, coating both sides. Cook on greased griddle until golden on both sides.
  4. In a small pan over medium-high heat, combine sugar and water. Once the sugar is dissolved do not mix. Allow mixture to caramelize 8-10 minutes. Melt in the butter. Add the chopped peaches and cook 3-4 minutes. Pour over French toast.
  5. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and serve with whipped cream.

*This recipe is adapted from Dina at http://simplyhomecooked.com/caramelized-peach-french-toast/*

Peaches & Cream French Toast for #FantasticalFoodFight from Sew You Think You Can Cook

To check out the other Fantastical Peaches & Cream recipes click here:

If you would like to join our Fantastical Food Fight, you can learn more on our informational page.

Lemon Ricotta Pasta with Sausage

Up until I discovered this pasta recipe, I never knew what to do with leftover ricotta cheese. I actually wasn’t quite sure if I even cared for ricotta outside of ravioli filling and lasagna layers. This quick recipe has changed how I feel about ricotta! I will be more open to other uses of ricotta. I now never worry about if the container I bought is too big because if I can’t find something else to do with it, I can make this pasta. Something I have done four times already (once without the meat, too!)

IMG_2976I chose to use veggie fusilli pasta in an effort to “sneak” veggies into my son’s mouth. (I know it doesn’t yield the best photographs.) He has loved this pasta each and every time. He now doesn’t discriminate against certain colored pasta, but the first time we enjoyed this dish he picked his way around the green spinach noodles. I also added Italian sausage as I knew my husband wouldn’t consider this a real meal. Feel free to omit the sausage (increase the garlic to 1 tbsp and saute very quickly in the oil. Add the entire garlicky oil mix to the ricotta sauce) if you prefer and make this a great side dish.

Lemon Ricotta Pasta with Sausage

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 links Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 lb fusilli pasta
  • 1 C ricotta cheese
  • 1 C heavy cream
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • juice of 1 lemon

Steps:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and keep warm.
  2. In a small skillet, brown the sausage over medium-high heat, breaking it up as it cooks. When the sausage is almost cooked through, add the garlic and saute another minute or two. Remove from heat and set aside, draining any extra fat if needed.
  3. In a bowl whisk together ricotta, cream, lemon zest, lemon juice, and season to taste with S+P.
  4. In a large bowl toss together pasta, sausage, and ricotta sauce.

*This recipe is adapted from Cooking from the Farmers’ Market*

Lemon Ricotta Pasta with Sausage | Sew You Think You Can Cook

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

Homemade Irish Cream Liqueur

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Yesterday I shared an alcohol free beverage option in my Pot ‘O Gold Punch. Today, it’s all about the adults.

Making Irish Cream Liquor at home is simple, quick, and easy. And better yet, actually tastes like the real thing. Although my mom thought it was a tad weaker than the stuff in the bottle.

You can enjoy this liquor straight out of a glass with ice, over ice cream, or use it in a new favorite dessert. The latter is a teaser for a recipe coming at you next week, so stay tuned!

This recipe makes 3 C and will keep up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.

Homemade Irish Cream Liquor

Ingredients:

  • 1 C heavy cream
  • 1 tsp instant espresso powder
  • 1/2 tsp cocoa powder
  • 3/4 C whiskey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 can (14oz) sweetened condensed milk

Steps:

  1. Whisk together 1 tbsp heavy cream with the espresso and cocoa powders until smooth. Whisk in remaining ingredients. Store in an air tight container up to two weeks in the fridge.

*This recipe is adapted from Cory at http://www.saveur.com/article/recipes/homemade-irish-cream*

Homemade Baileys | Sew You Think You Can Cook

To get your creative juices flowing, I’ve assembled a round-up of some fun ways to use your homemade liquor:

Bailey’s Bundt Cake

Bailey’s Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream

Bailey’s Chocolate Mousse

Bailey’s Chocolate Pudding

Bailey’s Cocktail Poptails

Bailey’s Irish Coffee Caramels

Spiced Bailey’s Ice Cream Floats

Bacon and Corn Stuffed Shells

The pantry and fridge in our home has been pretty empty since Thanksgiving. Before the holiday the only food items on the shopping list were those required for my Thanksgiving contributions. And for the cookies that needed to be made as soon as we returned. I provided 107 cookies for a Cookie Drive for the local unaccompanied airmen who will be spending the holidays without their families. The cookies were due on the 3rd so December 1st and 2nd was Operation Cookie in my kitchen. Don’t worry, you’ll be seeing the recipes later this month!

I’ve also been slowed down with a wonderful December cold – which I have unfortunately passed on to my 5 month old. He’s taking it like a champ though and it’s not slowing him down.

And to top it all off my car’s check engine light came on before Thanksgiving and is finally awaiting its “doctor appointment”. Which means I have no means of going to the grocery store. I don’t think Sparrow appreciates the cold.

So I found myself brainstorming what I could possibly do with whatever I had in the fridge. I had some bacon, I had my staple of corn in the freezer, and I always have onions, there was some ricotta cheese left over from the twice baked sweet potatoes, and I had plenty of heavy cream. I also thought I had some jumbo pasta shells so that’s the direction I went. I still had to have Stuart hit the grocery store for a couple finishing ingredients (like more jumbo pasta shells, 7 wasn’t going to cut it, and Parmesan cheese) along with groceries for the rest of the week.

recipe 1

This recipe, I am proud to say, is a Lauren original. And one that turned out quite well, if I say so myself! Loaded with cheese and cream it doesn’t exactly fit on a diet plan, but it’s a wonderful comfort food dish. This filling would also be great in ravioli for a quicker meal. Serve these shells with a side salad for a complete meal. The filling stuffed 14 shells perfectly, and we had 2 left over. So I’d say it feeds 2-3.

An Original Recipe

Bacon and Corn Stuffed Shells

Ingredients:

  • 4 strips center cut bacon, chopped
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 C chicken stock (or white wine if you have it)
  • 1 1/3 C heavy cream
  • 14 jumbo pasta shells
  • 1 C whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 C frozen corn, thawed
  • 1/4 C + 1/3 C shredded Parmesan cheese, divided use
  • 1 egg, beaten

Steps:

  1. Cook bacon in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. When crispy, remove to a paper towel lined plate. Saute onion in bacon grease until translucent. Season with S+P. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 60 seconds. Deglaze the pan with chicken stock (or wine), scrapping up delicious brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring to a bubble and let reduce, about 3 minutes. Slowly add in the heavy cream, whisking. Reduce the heat and let simmer 7-10 minutes, until reduced. Stir occasionally to prevent from burning.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  3. Cook pasta shells according to package directions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  4. Prepare the filling: In a bowl combine ricotta, corn, 1/4 C Parmesan cheese, and cooked bacon. Season to taste with S+P. Stir in 1 egg.
  5. Spoon a thin layer of sauce in the bottom of a casserole dish. Spoon the filling into the shells when cool enough to handle and place in the casserole dish. Top shells with sauce, reserving 1/2 C for serving and/or leftovers.
  6. Bake shells for 20 minutes. Top with remaining Paremsan and bake another 5 minutes, until cheese is melted.

shells 2

Creamy Chorizo Pasta

L&K visit

Before we left Florida, my brother and his fiance came to visit so they could meet my little man when he was 3 weeks old. My brother used to have a fear of holding babies. The man (can I just say that’s weird to say, he’s my little brother!) that came over showed no fear, had no hesitation, and had no intention of ever putting his nephew down. I was sure that as soon as Wesley started to cry he’d be hastily handed back to me, instead Louie walked around, bounced him, talked to him, and climbed up and down the stairs. He’s a natural!

When you’re about to move the last thing you want to do is make a big grocery trip. Our last couple weeks’ dinners in Florida where comprised of whatever we could scrounge up at the house and eating out. Because we had company, I wanted whatever I made to not only use what I had in the fridge, but also be delicious. The Creamy Chorizo Pasta dish that resulted was a hit by all.

An Original Recipe

Creamy Chorizo Pasta

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb spaghetti
  • 1/2 lb Mexican chorizo
  • 3 shallots, diced
  • 2 C chopped fresh tomatoes
  • 3/4 C heavy cream

Steps:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet over medium high heat brown chorizo, breaking up into bits. Add the shallots and cook until softened. Add the tomatoes and their juices. Toss gently.
  3. Strain any fat, if desired, before adding in the heavy cream. Let sauce come to a boil, reduce heat to medium low and let thicken to desired consistency. Add the cooked spaghetti and coat in the sauce.

Creamy Chorizo Pasta

Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta

It’s no secret that I love pasta. And cream based sauces are my absolute favorite.

There is a restaurant in Auburn, Brick Oven Pizza, that we’d always go to when parents were in town. And while their pizzas and calzones are fantastic (I love their crust), it’s their Cajun Chicken Pasta that I always order.

Now that I’m living in Ohio (with a newborn) trips to Auburn are going to be very few and far between. So when I saw this recipe on Pinterest, it looked exactly like Brick Oven’s pasta dish that I love so much. It was immediately pinned and finally prepared. I switched out the pasta shape to penne and added mushrooms and parmesan cheese.

I have intentions of making a few more Auburn favorites in the coming year. War Eagle!

Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp onion powder
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed
  • 8 oz penne pasta
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 4 oz mushrooms, diced
  • 2 C half-and-half
  • 1 C heavy cream
  • 2/3 C shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 3 scallions, sliced

Steps:

  1. In a small bowl, combine paprika, garlic powder, oregano, thyme, salt, pepper, onion powder, and cayenne. (Alternatively, you can use Cajun seasoning.)
  2. Season chicken with half of the spice mix from Step 1 and S+P.
  3. In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Brown chicken. When cooked through, remove and set aside.
  4. In the same pot, add more olive oil if needed. Saute bell peppers, onion, and mushroom. Season with the remaining spice mix from Step 1 and S+P. Cook until vegetables are tender. (Note: if you’d like a little spice to your pasta add a little extra cayenne pepper at this step.)
  5. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  6. Add half-and-half and heavy cream to the vegetables. Bring to a boil and add in the parmesan cheese.
  7. In a small bowl whisk together the cornstarch and water. Pour into the cream sauce. Reduce to a simmer and allow to cook until thickened. Add cooked chicken and pasta to the sauce and toss. Stir in the scallions. Garnish with additional Cajun seasoning if desired.

*This recipe is modified from Annie at http://www.annies-eats.com/2009/07/10/louisiana-chicken-pasta/*

Cajun Chicken Pasta