Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Fettucini Carbonara

Soooo, I've been away so long that Blogger changed their format and now I'm completely confused. It's like starting over with the blogging thing. I have a bad habit of dropping things that I'm not good at but I'm going to try to persevere and figure this out. Surely I'm that smart, right??

I happened to have a few minutes of  "I need to take a brain break" time today and clicked on my Pioneer Woman bookmark. I love to spend hours catching up on PW's recipes, pictures and random thoughts but haven't had time to do that recently. Luckily for me the most recent post was one for Pasta Carbonara and I just happened to be in need of a dinner plan. I had all the ingredients in the fridge so it must have been destiny.

The first time I saw anything in a Carbonara sauce was on Diners Drive Ins and Dives. I love, love, love seeing all the different foods and places that they feature around the country. Anyway, I was intrigued but the instructions were a little bit too hazy for me to feel comfortable just winging so I didn't attempt it. Then I saw it again on The Best Thing I Ever Ate...and again on Rachel Ray. Then AGAIN today!! I printed the recipe out and went merrily on my way. I did lighten it up a bit by using Half and Half instead of heavy cream but I'm not convinced that it made a big enough difference nutritionally to do it again. It would be thicker with cream so use what you have. I wouldn't recommend using pregrated Parmesan (I'm something of a cheese snob) but it would probably work just fine.

Fettucini Carbonara
Serves 6
Adapted from The Pioneer Woman

12 oz Fettucini
8 slices thick cut bacon, chopped into pieces
1/2 medium onion, diced finely
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 whole eggs
3/4 c. grated Parmesan (grate your own if you can)
3/4 c. half and half or heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste (we like lots of pepper)
2/3 c. green peas

1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
2. While the pasta is cooking, fry the bacon in heavy pan until barely crispy. Don't over cook. Drain on paper towels and set aside. Pour bacon grease from pan and turn heat to med low-ish. Cook onions and garlic until golden brown. Set those aside too.
3. Combine eggs and half and half and mix well. Add Parmesan cheese and salt and pepper. Mix all together and set aside.
4. Microwave peas for 1 minute; just until thawed.
5. Drain pasta (reserve 1 c. pasta water) and put in a large bowl. While pasta is hot, slowly drizzle egg mixture into noodles while stirring constantly. The sauce will start to thicken as the eggs cook and you stir. Halfway through add bacon, onions, and peas. Finish adding the last of the egg mixture and stir until combined.
6. Serve with additional Parmesan (lots)

Cookie Dough Cupcakes

These cupcakes were my contribution to the monthly birthday party at my mom's. I saw some similar on Pinterest but the original pin didn't actually link back to the right place. That's my pet peeve with Pinterest. If you are going to pin something, for heavens sake try to find the original website so that you can actually find the recipe or directions or whatever. There's nothing more annoying than clicking through 37 pins trying to find the original and never getting there. That's when I give up and call it a day. So, if you are going to pin, please, please, please use good pinning etiquette!! (Stepping down off soap box now)

Back to the cupcakes. I used my standard Duncan Hines Devil's Food cake mix with a few tweaks and Toll House break apart cookie dough. I'm lazy like that. :) If you have a fabulous recipe for either a chocolate cake that you love or an awesome chocolate chip cookie by all means, use that if you have time. The frosting was the real star in my opinion anyway. Shocking, I know. Jiggle loves frosting. Stop. The. Presses.

Cookie Dough Cupcakes
24 cupcakes

1 box Duncan Hines Devil's Food cake mix
1 package Toll House cookie dough, frozen (I did roll mine into balls to appear more homemade)
1 1/4 c. buttermilk
1/2 c. oil
3/4 c. sour cream
3 eggs

1. Mix everything together and distribute half of the batter evenly between 24 cupcakes. Put frozen cookie dough in each muffin cup. Cover with remaining batter. 
2. Bake 20 minutes (My oven is wonky so you are going to want to pay attention in case 20 minutes is too long) at 350 degrees. 
3. Let cool on rack.

Cookie Dough Frosting:
1 1/2 cubes softened butter
3/4 c. packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 c. powdered sugar
1 c. all purpose flour
2 T. milk

1. Mix butter, brown sugar, salt, flour and vanilla together. 
2. Add powdered sugar a little bit at a time beating well. Alternate powdered sugar and milk until you reach a good frosting consistency. I always end up adding a little bit more sugar than I think I'm going to need.

Frost cupcakes and garnish with mini chocolate chips and a baby Chips Ahoy. I actually broke the cookies in half so they didn't stick up so far. That made traveling much easier!!