Monday, May 25, 2015

Dinner of the Week: Fettuccine Carbonara

When we have no food in the house yet still want something special for dinner, we make carbonara.  This fettuccine carbonara recipe is one that I've modified from numerous online recipes and I do think it's my favorite version of them all.  It is so good that your whole family will be wanting seconds.  I know everyone's family has their own personal likes and dislikes, so this recipe is also versatile -- if you don't like spice, omit the jalapeno peppers; if you'd prefer more traditional carbonara, omit the tomatoes and add some peas.  Whatever works!

Fettuccine Carbonara

Ingredients: 
- Fettuccine pasta (or whatever you have on hand)
- 3 slices bacon, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed
- 1 jalapeno pepper, diced
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced
- Salt and pepper, to taste

First, fill up a large pot with salted water and it to boil.  Add the pasta and cook it until al dente.  Meanwhile, cook the bacon and pressed garlic in a skillet over medium-high heat. 


As the bacon is frying, add 1/3 cup of pasta water to the skillet and toss in the diced jalapeno.


Once the bacon is cooked to your preferred crispiness, drain the fat from the skillet and add the cooked pasta.  Toss to coat.


Add the chopped tomato to the skillet and stir well.  


Meanwhile, crack three whole eggs and add the parmesan cheese and parsley to it.  Whisk until blended thoroughly.  


Remove the skillet from heat and slowly pour in the egg mixture, stirring constantly for approximately 3 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste.


Sprinkle a little fresh parsley over top and serve immediately.  Enjoy!


I love how easy this recipe is, and how versatile it is to add or omit ingredients based on what you have in the pantry.  You really can't go wrong.  


The carbonara sauce is creamy and pairs great with the spicy jalapeno, crispy bacon, and cool tomatoes.  While rich, it doesn't feel heavy.  


This is one of our favorite go-to recipes for busy weeknights.  I hope it becomes as much of a favorite in your home, as well!



Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Spray Painted Cabinet Knobs

If being a homeowner has taught me anything, it is that you can spray paint everything.


When we bought our home in 2011, we had zero funds for DIY projects, so everything we wanted to update had to be done on the strictest of budgets.  That's when I discovered the magic of spray paint; you just can't beat being able to refinish practically everything with $8 per can (or less).


The cabinetry throughout our kitchen and bathrooms all sported brass hardware, and instead of spending hundreds of dollars to replace them, I decided to simply spray paint them.  Rustoleum has a variety of finishes and styles available, so I chose their oil rubbed bronze spray paint for our bathroom and satin nickel in our kitchen.


Rustoleum's spray paint can be applied to any surface, so no buffing or sanding is required.  Simply remove the cabinet knobs and take them outside.  Then, apply the spray paint approximately 6-12" away from the knobs and sweep back and forth in smooth, quick motions.  It's best to do this in two parts -- apply one light coat on the cabinet hardware and then once dry, apply a second coat.  This helps reduce the amount of drips.



Give the cabinet knobs a few hours to dry and cure.  Once ready, re-install them onto the cabinets, and enjoy the look of your refinished hardware!


Initially, I worried that spray painting our cabinet knobs was going to look tacky and the finish wouldn't hold up with normal wear and tear.  I couldn't be more wrong.  The spray paint covered the surface perfectly, gave the hardware a new feel life, and looks freshly-painted even now, nearly four years later.  Even today, when we actually have the funds to replace our hardware, I don't intend on replacing these because I'm still happy with the way they turned out.


Hope you like them, too!

You may find me linking up at these fantastic parties:

Monday: Boogieboard CottageC-R-A-F-TCraft-O-ManiacDIY Home Sweet Home,  Get Outta My Head PleaseThe Girl CreativeMad in CraftsMaking the World CuterOur Delightful HomePolish the StarsSerendipity and SpiceSew Can DoSkip to My LouThrifty Decor ChickToo Much Time on My HandsTuesday: A Bowl Full of LemonsCherished BlissCoastal CharmConfessions of a Stay at Home MommyDukes and DutchessesFunky Polka Dot GiraffeI'm Topsy TurvyMommy By Day Crafter by NightNap Time CreationsNot Just a HousewifeSugar Bee CraftsTip JunkieToday's Creative BlogWednesday: Adorned from Above, Free Pretty Things for YouGinger Snap CraftsHome Happy HomeIt's Just Called SpicyJAQS StudioLet Birds FlyLife with the Crust Cut OffThe NY Melrose FamilyRae Gun RamblingsThe Sasse LifeSew Much AdoSew WoodsySomeday CraftsSouthern LovelyThe Style SistersThursday: A Creative PrincessA Glimpse InsideCrafty, Scrappy, HappyHouse of HepworthsJust Winging ItMade in a DayThe Shabby Creek CottageSomewhat SimpleFriday: 2805The Answer is ChocolateBacon Time with the Hungry HypoCreation CornerFingerprints on the FridgeThe Grant LifeHappy-Go-LuckyIf It's Not BaroqueJust Us FourMom 4 RealMy Simple Home LifeNot Your Ordinary RecipesOne Artsy MamaThe Rooster and the HenSimply DesigningTatertots and JelloWhipperberryYoung and CraftySaturday: Be Different... Act NormalCandace CreationsFunky Junk InteriorsIt's OverflowingIt's So Very CheriNutmeg PlaceSunday: The Crafty CowgirlEmbellishing Life with Homemade GoodnessFlamingo ToesG*RatedNifty Thrifty Things

Monday, May 18, 2015

Dinner of the Week: Spicy Shrimp Empanadas

Empanadas are the perfect comfort food to me.  They make for a delicious dinner, a great little snack, and the best appetizer to pass around at summer BBQs.  I concocted this shrimp empanada recipe recently and it's one that I'll make again and again.  This recipe is extremely versatile, for the shrimp can be substituted for any kind of meat (or go vegetarian!) and the spice level can be taken down a notch if you are faint at heart.  But if you love shrimp and hot peppers as much as I do, you will absolutely love this recipe as-is.

Spicy Shrimp Empanadas

Ingredients: 
- 1/2 pound raw, thawed, and peeled shrimp
- 1/2 cup frozen corn
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- 1 jalapeno, diced
- 2 tsp. cumin
- 2 tsp. chili powder
- 2 tsp. coriander powder
- 2 tsp. black pepper
- 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1/2 cup shredded Mexican cheese
- 3/4 package fat free cream cheese
- 1 package refrigerated pie crust dough (for two pies)
- 1 egg

First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the peeled shrimp, frozen corn, diced bell pepper and jalapeno, cumin, chili powder, coriander powder, and black pepper into a large skillet and cook over medium heat for 6-7 minutes, until the shrimp is cooked through.


Remove the skillet from the heat and place the shrimp on a cutting board.  Chop the shrimp into small, bite-sized pieces.


Add the shrimp, bell pepper and corn mixture, cheeses, and cilantro to a mixing bowl.


Blend well using a Kitchenaid stand mixer or a handheld mixer, until the cream cheese coats everything nicely.


Then, roll out the refrigerated pie crust dough onto a lightly-floured countertop.  Use a rolling pin to make it as thin as possible without tearing it.


Use a pint glass to cut out circles in the dough.  Once done, ball up the leftover dough and roll it out again using the rolling pin.  Repeat until both pie crusts are used.


Use a cookie scoop or small spoon to place small dollops of shrimp empanada mixture into the middle of each dough circle.


Wet the tip of your finger with warm water and rub it along the edges of the dough circle.  Fold the circle in half and crimp it using the tines of a fork.


Place each empanada onto a non-stick cookie sheet.  Crack an egg into a small bowl and whisk it well.  Use a basting brush to apply the egg wash to the tops of each empanada so it'll brown nicely in the oven.


Bake the empanadas into the preheated oven for 20-30 minutes, until the tops of the empanadas have browned nicely. Halfway through, pull out the cookie sheets and sprinkle extra shredded cheese over top.


Once done, serve with your favorite salsa and enjoy!


I love the creamy, flaky, and crispy texture of these empanadas. They're perfect paired with salsa, queso, sour cream, or guacamole as your dipping sauce.  


They are tiny, fiery little buggers. The shrimp, corn, and pepper filling is paired wonderfully with oozy and smoky cheeses and spices. These empanadas would be perfect for dinner, appetizers, or for parties.  


Hope you love them as much as we do!


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

House Number Wreath

A few weeks ago, I made a new wreath for our front door, but wanted to do something different -- instead of merely making the wreath, I added our house's number to it to include a little personal touch.  Here's how to make your own!  

First, start with a large oval grapevine wreath.


Our front door is red, so I added two red dahlias to one side of the wreath, alternated with two white peonies for contrast.


My mom also made me a silver bow using two different kinds of ribbon.


Then, I glue-gunned our house's numbers to the opposite side of the wreath.  Similar wooden numbers can be found for $2-3 at any craft store. 


Finally, to add a little pizzazz, I painted the numbers with two coats of a metallic silver craft paint.


All done!  Easy, right?


A few details:




I absolutely love how this wreath turned out, and I have to admit, it's probably my favorite wreath to date.  You can see the numbers well from the road and I feel that they add a special touch to our home.


Hope you love it as much as I do!


Monday, May 11, 2015

Dinner of the Week: Chipotle-Lager Cheese Fry Chorizo Burgers

I'm not a fan of hamburgers (not sure why), but add some chorizo instead of ground chuck, and you have me sold. Evan made these burgers one night last summer and he's been talking about them ever since.  Here's how!

Chipotle-Lager Cheese Fry Chorizo Burgers

Ingredients: 
- 1/2 lbs. ground chorizo sausage
- 1/2 lbs. 20/80 ground beef
- Dried oregano
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/2 bag frozen curly french fries
- Velveeta cheese
- 1 lager beer
- 2 tbs. flour
- 1/2 stick of butter
- Hot sauce, to taste
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder

First, preheat your oven and prepare your frozen french fries accordingly. Then, remove the chorizo sausage from their encasings and place them in a mixing bowl. Add the ground beef, dried oregano, and salt and pepper to the bowl and mix well with your hands.


Form the mixture into hamburger patties, and press your thumb into the middle of each (a trick we learned -- this prevents the middle of the burgers from rising as you grill them). 


Meanwhile, on the stove under medium heat, melt the butter in a saucepan.


Slowly whisk in the flour to thicken it up and create a bit of a roux.


Add smoked paprika, chipotle chili powder, salt, and pepper to the mixture and stir well.


Stir constantly until the mixture thickens even further and begins to bubble.


Add the Velveeta cheese and mix well until it melts.  


Pour in a bottle of your favorite lager beer.  We chose Stella and it tasted great.


Add a dash or three of your favorite hot sauce and stir some more.


Lower the heat to a simmer and stir the cheese mixture occasionally to prevent from burning.


Your french fries should be ready by this point, so remove them from the oven and set aside for later.


Then, fire up the grill and cook the hamburgers accordingly.


Once the burgers are done, fix them up with your favorite toppings (lettuce, tomato), and cap the burger with the french fries and a drizzle of the chipotle-lager cheese sauce.  Enjoy!


We ate the leftover fries on the side with extra cheese poured over top -- they were too good to pass up.


My husband is a burger aficionado and he admitted that this was one of the best burgers he has ever had.  I agree. The chorizo and chipotle cheese sauce pack a punch, but aren't overpowering to the juicy burger. The french fries over top the burger are also a nod to Primanti Bros. sandwiches in Pittsburgh, PA -- they sure know what they're doing.


Hope you love these burgers as much as we do!

You may find me linking up at these fantastic parties:

Monday: Boogieboard CottageC-R-A-F-TCraft-O-ManiacDIY Home Sweet Home,  Get Outta My Head PleaseThe Girl CreativeMad in CraftsMaking the World CuterOur Delightful HomePolish the StarsSerendipity and SpiceSew Can DoSkip to My LouThrifty Decor ChickToo Much Time on My HandsTuesday: A Bowl Full of LemonsCherished BlissCoastal CharmConfessions of a Stay at Home MommyDukes and DutchessesFunky Polka Dot GiraffeI'm Topsy TurvyMommy By Day Crafter by NightNap Time CreationsNot Just a HousewifeSugar Bee CraftsTip JunkieToday's Creative BlogWednesday: Adorned from Above, Free Pretty Things for YouGinger Snap CraftsHome Happy HomeIt's Just Called SpicyJAQS StudioLet Birds FlyLife with the Crust Cut OffThe NY Melrose FamilyRae Gun RamblingsThe Sasse LifeSew Much AdoSew WoodsySomeday CraftsSouthern LovelyThe Style SistersThursday: A Creative PrincessA Glimpse InsideCrafty, Scrappy, HappyHouse of HepworthsJust Winging ItMade in a DayThe Shabby Creek CottageSomewhat SimpleFriday: 2805The Answer is ChocolateBacon Time with the Hungry HypoCreation CornerFingerprints on the FridgeThe Grant LifeHappy-Go-LuckyIf It's Not BaroqueJust Us FourMom 4 RealMy Simple Home LifeNot Your Ordinary RecipesOne Artsy MamaThe Rooster and the HenSimply DesigningTatertots and JelloWhipperberryYoung and CraftySaturday: Be Different... Act NormalCandace CreationsFunky Junk InteriorsIt's OverflowingIt's So Very CheriNutmeg PlaceSunday: The Crafty CowgirlEmbellishing Life with Homemade GoodnessFlamingo ToesG*RatedNifty Thrifty Things

©2012 Blog design by Katelyn Brooke Designs