Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Parmesan Orzo

Generally speaking I am not one to create recipes.  I like to find a recipe and adapt it to suit my taste and my family.  On Saturday I was planning to serve pork tenderloin (marinated in the Korean Chicken marinade), some sort of rice and veggies as a side dish.  Suddenly the day was gone and supper needed to be served.  With no time to cook rice (we are brown ricers around here) I pulled some orzo out and boiled it while scanning my head to see what I could add to it to make it taste good...  A few minutes later Parmesan Orzo was born.

I was very impressed with the taste of this dish.  I was even more impressed with Sam and Gabriel's reaction...  They GOBBLED it up!  Score!

Parmesan Orzo
  • 1 cup orzo pasta (uncooked)
  • 2-3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • milk or cream or half and half
1.  Boil the pasta as usual.
2.  While draining the pasta melt the butter in the cooking pot.
3.  Add pasta back in and stir to coat with butter.
4.  Sprinkle with parmesan (add more if needed).
5.  Pour in some milk (start with 1/4 cup) and stir.  Keep adding milk until a creamy sauce is made.  Leave on warm burner to heat.
6.  Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.

The recipe is open for play.  I didn't measure as I was cooking, so definitely taste as you are going along.  You could add some parsley for color or go crazy and saute some onions and garlic.  I needed something quick so I just stuck to the basics.

The boys ate this too fast to take a picture of!  I'll re-post with a picture once I make it again.

-C :)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Chocolate Zucchini Muffins (Cupcakes)

These are likely my all time favorite muffin recipe.  They are super moist, super chocolatey and super good.  Lately I have been taking one to work, popping it in the microwave to make it all warm and gooey and enjoying it during my coffee break at work.  That means that in the last 9 days I have eaten 9 muffins, no wonder my scrub pants are getting tight!  (That also means in the last 9 days I have worked 9 shifts in a row.  I kind of think I deserved the muffins!)

This recipe comes from a cookbook created by the church I grew up in.  I love cookbooks like that.  You know everyone who put the recipes in and can pretty much guarantee that the recipes will be good (as long as you make the ones put in by the good cooks)!

Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
  • 2 1/2 cups flour (I use 1 1/2 cups white, 1 cup whole wheat)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped nuts
  • 3/4 cup oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups grated zucchini (fresh or frozen)
1.  Combine all the dry ingredients including the chocolate chips and nuts.
2.  Mix wet ingredients together.  Combine with dry ingredients.
3.  Stir in zucchini.
4.  Place in 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes.

I hope that you enjoy these as much as I do.  If there is one recipe that I have made over and over, it would be this one!  Mom always gives me big overgrown zucchini so that I can grate it up and freeze it for the winter.

- Carla :)