Creamy Pesto Pasta Primavera With Shrimp (BLW Contributor)

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On a recent Rachael Ray Show with guest Emeril Lagasse, they made a pasta primavera with saffron cream featuring one of my favorite vegetables, asparagus. Asparagus is in its seasonal prime right now and looking its glorious best; skinny smooth stalks and tight heads with no signs of flowering or wilting. And if the sight of gorgeous asparagus isn’t enough, Rachael gives it even more sex appeal by cutting it on a bias! The audience swoons…

When I attended public school back in the Jurassic Period, we had enough time in the day to take elective classes in art and music. During the ceramics chapter, my art teacher tasked us with making our favorite food out of clay. Amid an abundance of kiln-fired pizza, popcorn, hot dogs, and hamburgers on display at the end of the week was my realistically sculpted, painted green stalk of asparagus. It turns out I…

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Corn, Bacon and Parmesan Pasta Recipe – Oh, my!

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Oh, hi, I am ready for summer now. What did I miss? Because the first half of this summer was so busy — a manuscript due, a redesign set off into the world, a birthday, and a zillion other bits of happy work/life chaos — I’m in this funny position of looking up for the first time mid-July and realizing that no mysterious person has arrived while I was buried in winter recipe testing and font fine-tunings and filled my freezer with popsicles, put a bowl of heirloom tomatoes on the counter, ready for their caprese closeup [realistically, this doesn’t happen even if I had been paying attention, but let me enjoy this rose-colored Pinterest fantasy just the same] and beach? Hadn’t seen it since May. I have about seven weeks left to catch up, except I know at least five of those will be buried under recipe testing and book edits, which basically means it’s now or never to do all the summer things I haven’t yet. Beach? Check. Swimming? Check. Grilling? Check, check, check. Scheduled 7-hour flight with 4 adults and 5 children to a faraway beach town in the name of vacation? I’m scared but: check! Do everything I can with sweet summer corn while it lasts? Let’s get to work!

Check out the whole recipe via corn, bacon and parmesan pasta — smitten kitchen

Peanut Butter Fudge Brownie Bars Recipe

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Ingredients

  1. 1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine , melted
  2. 1-1/2 cups sugar
  3. 2 eggs
  4. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  5. 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  6. 2/3 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa
  7. 1/4 cup milk
  8. 1-1/4 cups chopped pecans or walnuts , divided
  9. 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
  10. 1-2/3 cups (10-oz. pkg.) REESE’S Peanut Butter Chips
  11. 1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk)
  12. 1/4 cup HERSHEY’S SPECIAL DARK Chocolate Chips or HERSHEY’S Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 13x9x2 baking pan.
  1. Combine melted butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla in large bowl; beat well. Add flour, cocoa and milk; beat until blended. Stir in 1 cup nuts. Pour into prepared pan.
  1. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or just until edges begin to pull away from sides of pan. Cool completely in pan on wire rack.
  1. Melt 1/2 cup butter and peanut butter chips in medium saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly. Add sweetened condensed milk, stirring until smooth; pour over baked layer.
  1. Place chocolate chips in small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at MEDIUM (50%) 45 seconds; stir. If necessary, microwave at MEDIUM an additional 15 seconds at a time, stirring after each heating, just until chips are melted when stirred. Drizzle bars with melted chocolate; sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup nuts. Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm. Cut into bars. Cover; refrigerate leftover bars. Makes about 24 bars.

Credit: Hersheys

Bacon, Onion and Rye Breard Stuffing Recipe

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INGREDIENTS

  1. One 9-inch-long loaf seeded rye bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
  2. 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  3. 1 large sweet onion, such as Vidalia, halved and thinly sliced
  4. 1 celery rib, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  5. 1 teaspoon chopped sage
  6. 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
  7. 1/2 pound piece of slab bacon, sliced 1/2 inch thick and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  8. 2 1/2 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  9. 1 egg
  10. 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  11. 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Preheat the oven to 375°. Lightly butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toast the rye bread cubes for about 15 minutes, tossing once halfway through, until lightly golden and dry. Transfer the bread to a large bowl.
  • In a skillet, melt the butter. Add the onion and celery; cook over moderate heat until tender, about 10 minutes. Add the sage and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Scrape into the bowl with the bread.
  • Wipe out the skillet. Add the bacon and cook over moderate heat until browned, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to the bowl with the bread. In a medium bowl, whisk the chicken broth with the egg. Pour over the bread mixture and add the kosher salt and pepper. Toss until the bread soaks up the liquid. Scrape into the prepared baking dish and cover with foil. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.

Bake the stuffing for about 30 minutes, until hot throughout. Remove the foil and bake for about 30 minutes longer, until the top is lightly golden. Serve hot or warm.

Credit: Food & Wine

You know what’s good with a Donut? A Cappuccino – Happy Cappuccino Day!!!

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National Cappuccino Day is observed annually on November 8.

Traditionally prepared with espresso, hot milk and steamed-milk foam, a cappuccino is an Italian coffee drink.

The word cappuccino comes from the Capuchin friars and is the diminutive form of cappuccio in Italian, meaning hood or something that covers the head.   This popular coffee beverage got it’s name not from the hood on their habits but from the color of the hooded robes that the friars wore.  (The Capuchin friars is an Order of friars in the Catholic Church, among the chief offshoots of the Franciscans.)

Heart-Cappuccino-In-Cup-Wallpaper

  • In 1945 Achille Gaggia invented the modern espresso machine which further popularized the cappuccino.
  • Mid 1990′s – Cappuccino was made more widely available to North Americans as upscale coffee houses sprang up.
  • Late 1990′s to Early 2000′s – Cappuccinos became popular in the United States concurrent with the boom in the American coffee industry.
  • Start of 21st Century – A modified short-cut version of the cappuccino started being served at fast-food chains.
  • While steaming the milk you must pay close attention to attain the correct ratio of foam, thus making the cappuccino one of the most difficult espresso-based beverages to make properly.
  • A skilled barista may create artistic shapes while he/she is pouring milk on top of the espresso coffee.

Credit: National Calendar Day

Bacon-Wrapped Breadsticks Recipe

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Ingredients

  • 24 bacon strips
  • 2 tubes (11 ounces each) refrigerated breadsticks
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder

Nutritional Facts

1 breadstick equals 189 calories, 12 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 18 mg cholesterol, 425 mg sodium, 13 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 6 g protein.

Directions

  1. Wrap a bacon strip around each breadstick; place on baking sheets. Bake at 375° for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

In a shallow bowl, combine cheese and garlic powder. Roll warm breadsticks in cheese mixture. Yield: 2 dozen.

Photo Credit: Bread, Booze & Bacon

American Beer Day!!! – What’s your favorite Beer? – Types of Beer that are bad for you

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(Credit: iStockphoto/Stratol)

There are more than 2,100 breweries that manufacture beer in the United States. They range in size from industry giants to brew pubs and microbreweries.

  • The U.S. produced 196 million barrels of beer in 2009.
  • The U.S. consumes roughly 20 US gallons of beer per capita annually.
  • In 2008, the United States was ranked sixteenth in the world in per capita consumption, while total consumption was second only to China.
  • Prohibition in the early twentieth century caused nearly all American breweries to close.
  • After prohibition was repealed the industry had consolidated into a small number of large-scale breweries.
  • The majority of the new breweries in the U.S. are small breweries and brewpubs, who, as members of the Brewers Association, are termed “craft breweries” to differentiate them from the larger and older breweries.
  • The most common style of beer produced by the big breweries is American lager.
  • Most of the smaller breweries, which were founded in the 1980′s, produce a range of styles.
  • Beer styles originating in the United States include:
    American pale ale, Pennsylvania porter, American IPA, steam beer, amber ale, cream ale and Cascadian dark ale.

Check out which Types of Beers you should avoid: 8 BEERS THAT YOU SHOULD STOP DRINKING IMMEDIATELY!!!

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Credit: National Calendar

The Simpsons: No Tv and No Beer

Happy Pasta Day!!! – Loaded Chicken Carbonara

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LOADED CHICKEN CARBONARA

Ingredients

6 slices bacon, chopped

1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

  • 
salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 
3 cloves garlic
  • 
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 
1/2 cup white wine
  • 
1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
  • 
3 large eggs
  • 
1 gallon water
  • 
1 pound spaghetti
  • 
2 cups frozen peas

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  • PREP
   20 mins
  • COOK
   45 mins
  • READY IN  
1 hr 10 mins

Directions

  • Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp, about 10 minutes. Remove bacon from skillet with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Drain fat from skillet, reserving 2 tablespoons of the bacon drippings.
  • Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon bacon drippings in the skillet over medium heat. Cook chicken breast halves in the bacon drippings until no longer pink in the center and the juices run clear, about 5 minutes per side. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 165 degrees F (74 degrees C). Transfer to cutting board and tent with foil. Rest chicken for 5 minutes before slicing; set aside.
  • Heat remaining tablespoon bacon drippings in skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Cook and stir garlic and ground black pepper in skillet until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Pour wine into skillet; cook at a simmer until thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
  • Whisk Parmesan cheese and eggs together in a bowl. Slowly stream wine mixture into the Parmesan mixture while whisking continually.
  • Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Cook spaghetti in the boiling water, stirring occasionally until cooked through but firm to the bite, about 12 minutes. Remove 1/2 cup of the water from the pot for later use.

Put the peas in a large colander. Drain the pasta in the colander with the peas. Return drained pasta and peas to the pot. Stir bacon, chicken, and wine mixture into the spaghetti. Thin sauce with reserved pasta water as desired.

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Happy National Corned Beef Hash Day!!! – Homestyle Corned Beef Hash

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HOMESTYLE CORNED BEEF HASH

Ingredients

  • 1 pound potatoes (russet or red), scrubbed and diced into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 small green pepper, seeds and ribs removed, diced
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 pound or more cooked corned beef, cut into 1/2-inch cubes or shredded (about 2-3 cups)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

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Directions

  • Boil the potatoes in boiling water for 5 minutes, until just tender. Drain.
  • In a large non-stick skillet, add the oil and butter and finish the potatoes in the pan over medium heat, about 4 minutes. Add the onion, peppers and garlic and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add corned beef and seasonings to taste, turning hash, until browned and crisp, about 10 minutes.

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Beer Hawk Craft Beer

Happy National Cheeseburger day!!!

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America’s favorite sandwich is honored on September 18th with a slice of cheese.  It’s National Cheeseburger day!

There are many theories to the beginning of the cheeseburger dating back to the 1920s.  One story suggests that Lionel Sternberger is reputed to have invented the cheeseburger in 1926 while working at his father’s Pasadena, California sandwich shop, The Rite Spot.  During an experiment, he dropped a slice of American cheese on a sizzling hamburger.

There are other claims of the invention of the cheeseburger:

  • A cheeseburger appeared on a 1928 menu at O’Dell’s, a Los Angeles restaurant, which listed a cheeseburger, smothered with chili, for 25 cents.
  • Kaelin’s Restaurant – Louisville, Kentucky says it invented the cheeseburger in 1934.
  • Denver, Colorado – 1935 – A trademark for the name “cheeseburger” was awarded to Louis Ballast of the Humpty Dumpty Drive-In.
  • According to its archives, Gus Belt, founder of Steak n’ Shake, applied for a trademark on the word “cheeseburger” in the 1930s.

Credit: National Calendar

Family Guy – Ordering a Cheeseburger

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