Lobster in Cream Sauce

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I wanted to make something special for a pre NYE dinner with the hubby. Costco had some pre cooked lobster so I thought I would try it. I did some searching for recipes and was not impressed with anything I found, so I came up with this one on my own.

Ingredients:
12 oz lobster, shrimp or Langostines, cooked
2 tsp canola oil
2 shallots minced
2 TBSP cognac
1 c white wine
1 tsp espelette pepper
1 tsp south African smoked spice from Trader Joe’s or smoked salt
8 oz creme Fraiche
8 oz spaghetti pasta

In a 12 inch skillet heat oil over medium heat, add shallots and cook until softened. Add cognac and cook until absorbed, add wine, pepper, smoke salt and reduce heat to low. Once wine is mostly absorbed, add creme Fraiche, stirring until well combined.

Meantime cook pasta. When pasta is almost done, add the seafood to the sauce to hear through. Using tongs, add the pasta to the sauce and stir to combine.

Serves 2.

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Quinoa Cookies

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I came across this recipe on Jan 2012 issue of Bon Appétit. I made a few adjustments, and I have to say this cookies are pretty tasty, best of all the kiddos love them!

Ingredients
1 1/2 c white whole wheat flour
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey or agave syrup
2 large eggs
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 c cooked quinoa
1 c old-fashioned oats
1 1/2 c dried fruit (I used mixed berry blend from Trader Joes)
1 c nuts

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Whisk flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a medium bowl.

Using an electric mixer, beat butter, both sugars, and honey in a large bowl until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

Add eggs and extracts; beat until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in flour mixture, 1/2 cup at a time.

Stir in quinoa, oats, fruit, and nuts. Spoon dough in 2-tablespoon portions onto prepared sheets, spacing 1″ apart.

Bake cookies until golden, 12–- 15 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack and let cool.

Makes about 2 dozen.

Pho

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This is lazy woman’s Pho. Instead of making my own beef broth, I bought it. This is a great week night dish and even better if you can get the broth simmering a couple hours ahead of time. I also like to add some hot oil or siracha to my bowl to bring on the heat.

Ingredients
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1/2 small onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 3×1″ piece peeled ginger
2 jalapeño thinly sliced
4 dried red peppers
1/4 c fish sauce
4 cups low-salt beef broth
2 whole star anise
1 3″–4″ cinnamon stick
5 cardamon pods, toasted
1 TBSP coriander seeds, toasted
8 ounces mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 lb rice sticks or udon noodles
1 1/4–1/2-pound piece beef eye round, sliced crosswise 1/8″ thick
Bean sprouts, basil leaves, cilantro, shredded carrots and thinly Jalapeño chiles
Lime wedges

Heat oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and ginger. Cook, stirring occasionally, until garlic is golden, 3-4 minutes. Add 1 1/2 cups water, broth, star anise, cardamon, fish sauce, peppers and cinnamon; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer until flavors meld, at least 20 min but up to 2 hours. Add mushrooms; simmer 2 minutes.

Meanwhile, boil rice sticks until tender but still firm to bite. Drain; divide among bowls.

Add beef slices to soup; simmer until just cooked through, about 20 seconds. Using tongs, transfer beef to bowls.

Discard ginger, garlic, star anise, cardamon and cinnamon; ladle broth into bowls.

Garnish with bean sprouts, cilantro, green onions, carrots, basil, and sliced chiles.

Ham and Mushroom Quiche

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While looking for something to do with leftover Christmas ham, I stumbled across a few quiche recipes, and came up with my own. This one is sans crust and a little lighter than most recipes, yet it still packs the flavor. If you don’t have leeks, you can use onions.

Ingredients:
3/4 lb leeks, thinly sliced
8 oz crimini mushrooms, sliced
1 TBSP butter
4 oz ham, diced
3 oz gruyere, grated
3 eggs
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 c creme Fraiche
1/2 c half and half
Fresh herbs, rosemary & thyme, minced

Preheat oven to 350.

In a large sauté pan, melt butter over medium heat, add leeks and mushrooms and saute until softened.

In a 9 inch pie pan, spread mushroom mixture, top with ham and cheese.

In a medium bowl, beat eggs, whisk in creme Fraiche, half & half and spices.

Carefully pour into pie pan. Bake for 1 hour till set. Let rest 10 minutes, cut and serve.

Servings: 6
5 WW PP per serving.

Broccoli Rabe & Chicken Sausage

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This dish is perfect for a cold winter night after a crazy long day! Super easy, healthy, and tasty! I serve it with polenta for the perfect Italian meal.

Ingredients:
1 lb sweet Italian chicken sausage, the raw kind
3 lb broccoli rabe, chopped into 3 inch pieces
4 – 6 cloves garlic, minced
Red chili pepper flakes to taste

In a large pot of boiling water cook the broccoli rabe in batches for 2 – 3 min. Place in a colander to drain. Repeat until all the rabe is cooked.

In a 12 inch skillet, cook the chicken sausage, breaking up into small pieces. When cooked add garlic, cook for 1 minute, add rabe, chilli flakes and stir to incorporate with chicken. Cover and cook for 5 minutes to heat through.

Gingerbread Cookies

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I love using applesauce in place of butter, but with cookies I just can’t get alway with swapping out all the butter. These Gingerbread cookies have all the flavor with half the guilt.

Ingredients:
4 TBSP butter at room temp
3/4 c firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 c unsweetened applesauce
1 egg
1/3 c dark molasses
1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1 1/2 c whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp ground cloves

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter, sugar and applesauce until smooth. Add egg and molasses and mix well. In another large bowl, combine flour, baking soda and spices. Add to sugar and molasses mixture, stirring well. Divide dough in two; cover with plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out dough to 1/4 or 1/8-inch thickness. Cut gingerbread men with a cookie cutter.

Place 1-2 inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes. Add frosting or more decorations when cool.

Makes 40 cookies
2 WW PP per cookie