Monday, July 13, 2009

Pasta with Goat Cheese and Mixed Mushrooms

Here is another wonderful dish from the blog: Lisa's Kitchen. She adapted it from a book called Lucy's Kitchen (link below). I've cut and pasted her post on my page, as I followed the recipe exactly and figured it would be just as easy to do it this way. After all, why mess with perfection :D .....OK - ok, and my camera's battery totally died on me so I couldn't get any Pict's.
I will tell you that has a wonderful flavor. Its very rich, creamy and hearty - much like the dishes we ate when in Italy. I served ours with a nice chewy piece of Italian bread and a salad of mixed deep greens w/ a light oil and wine vinegar dressing. ENJOY!

1 ounce (30 grams) of dried porcini mushrooms (or a mixture of shiitake, portabello, porcini and oyster)
1 pound (500 grams) of tube shaped pasta (I used rigatoni)

1/4 cup of butter
1/4 cup of unbleached white flour
2 cups of milk
2 cups of soft goat cheese
salt and freshly cracked black pepper

3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 cup of chopped onion
1 pound 9500 grams) of fresh mixed mushrooms, sliced
2 - 3 jalapeno peppers, finely chopped
1 teaspoon of finely chopped fresh thyme (or a pinch of dried)
1 tablespoon of finely minced garlic
1/4 - 1/2 cup of olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup of finely chopped parsley
juice from one lemon
1 cup of grated Parmesan cheese

Soak the dried mushrooms in 1 cup of hot water for 20 minutes. Strain, reserving the soaking liquid. Squeeze excess liquid from soaked mushrooms and roughly chop.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water for 10 minutes, or until the pasta is
al dente. Drain well and return to the pot.

While the pasta is cooking, prepare the sauce. In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium-heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for about a minute. Pour in the milk and bring to a boil, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for to thicken - approximately 5 minutes. Stir in the goat cheese and season with salt and pepper.

Heat the olive oil in a heavy frying pan or wok over medium-high heat. Add the onions to the pan and stir and fry for 3 - 5 minutes, or until softened. Add the fresh mushrooms, jalapeno peppers and thyme and cook for another 2 minutes or until mushrooms begin to release their liquid.

Next, add the garlic, dried mushrooms and the soaking liquid used for the dried mushrooms to the wok. Bring to a boil and cook for about one minute. Stir in the olives, parsley and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.

Stir the cheese sauce, and mushroom mixture into the cooked noodles along with 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese. Transfer to a large oiled baking dish and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup of Parmesan. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes, or until heated throughout and lightly browned.

Serves 6 - 8.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Homemade Eggnog

I went looking for a homemade eggnog after I found a yummy looking recipe for eggnog and rum french toast, that I wanted to try. Being that its July I find no pre-made eggnog at the store so I started looking on line for one. I found many variations but the one I settled on was posted by a Denise on It had over 60 positive ratings and it sounded really good. I've never made eggnog before so I was a bit skeptical but wow was I impressed with this one. (I added rum for the french toast recipe, and it was really tasty this way too. It was also the way my husband preferred it - lol).
For Homemade Eggnog
(posted by Denise on
NOTE: I cut this recipe in half as I only needed about a cup of it for the french toast and wanted a lil to enjoy without having a lot left over....come the
holidays this year I think
we'll end up double for get-to-gethers)
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 quart milk
  • 1/3 pint heavy whipping cream
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg
  • 1 pinch salt
  1. Beat eggs; mix in condensed milk, vanilla, quart of milk and salt.
  2. Beat the whipping cream until soft peaks form. Fold in to egg and milk mixture and sprinkle with nutmeg. Serve chilled. ***Note: depending on your preference, you can also add rum to taste...or whatever alcohol you like in your nog. Its all a matter of taste preference. Enjoy!!

Eggnog French Toast

So I've been away for awhile and I wish I had my camera handy on many new dishes that we've had and enjoyed, but I'm sad to say this has not been the case. However, I got it out today and I'd like to share a definate noteworthy
recipe..infact there are two (homemade
eggnog and eggnog and rum french toast). And all I gotta say is Oh YUMMMMM were they good!!!!!
Eggnog & Rum French Toast
The other day I came across a
blog called Lisa's Kitchen ( She has some really yummy looking recipes on this, site so do go visit. I've only tried a couple of her dishes so far and they were really good...and this one for Eggnog and Rum French Toast is wonderful!
Being that its July I find no pre-made eggnog at the store so this took me to look for recipes for homemade eggnog on line.I found many variations but the one I settled on was posted by a Denise on It had over 60 positive ratings and it
sounded really good. I've never made eggnog before so I was a bit skeptical but wow was I impressed. I'm posting a combination of Lisa's recipe
with my additions and will provide a link to Denise's recipe for her homemade eggnog as it worked really well with this dish.Click here for the

Both recipes were really quick and easy to make and well worth any effort to make
them! Hope you enjoy them as much my family did. We will defiantly make these again!!!

Eggnog & Rum French Toast

1 cup eggnog (store bought or homemade eggnog)
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons dark rum (or extract if you rather)
ground cinnamon to taste
ground nutmeg to taste
6 thick slices of bread (French, Italian bread, Texas toast etc...) butter
for grasing the pan (or vegetable oil)

Heat a large cast iron frying pan (I used a non-stick skillet) on medium-low heat. Meanwhile, beat the eggnog together with the eggs, rum and spices to taste (I also added 1 to 2 Tab of sweet condensed milk and mix well).

When the pan or skillet is hot, lightly grease the surface with butter or vegetable oil.

Dip each slice of bread through the eggnog mixture and let it soak in slightly. Sprinkly both sides with cinnamon and place in the hot pan. Fry for a few minutes on each side until golden.

Dust the french toast with a light sprinkle of powder sugar and drizzle with maple syrup.