Mauve Cabinets and a Bottle of Red

My two passions–Food and books

Baked Egg Caprise June 14, 2012

It’s hard to believe I’ve lived in Indy for 6 months now. It was an adjustment, getting used to living in the city, since I’ve lived in small towns my whole life. But there are so many benefits. I’m close to work, there’s so many great restaurants and bars and breweries here. I’ve made so many new friends I can’t even count them.

Another benefit I have discovered this summer is that the farmer’s markets are much better here too. More people = bigger venues = more vendors. I have not made it downtown yet, as the market is on Wednesdays while I am at work. But the one just north of me is wonderful.

I picked up a couple of tomatoes this weekend. I normally associate tomatoes with late summer, but these looked so good I couldn’t pass them up. I’ve had leftover roast chicken the last three nights, and while it is delicious, I was ready for something new. This was the perfect remedy. I just did one in a custard cup, but you could do this easily in a muffin tin if you are feeding a family or a group! Would be great for breakfast too!


Baked Eggs Caprise
Original Recipe

1 tomato
1 egg
1 basil leaf, torn or cut into pieces
Mozzarella Cheese
Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven to 450.

Cut the top off the tomato, and with a spoon, scoop out some of the insides. Leave plenty of meat on the tomato though!

Place in greased custard cup.

Crack egg into tomato. Top with basil and cheese. Season with salt and pepper.

Bake for 15-20 minutes until whites are set.

Eat! I didn’t do this tonight, but I bet some good quality olive oil would be fantastic drizzled over the top. Or some balsamic? YUMMMMM…


Pasta with Sun Dried Tomatoes and Cannellini Beans March 2, 2011

I love pasta. It’s kind of my “everything but the kitchen sink” type meal. When I’m pushing my budget for my biweekly pay cycle, but have a gourmet craving, it’s so easy to throw whatever I have into a pan and simmer for awhile.

This is one of those great dishes. Sun-dried tomatoes and cannellini beans are two ingredients I stock up on when I have some cash and keep them in the pantry. And when have you ever not known me to have garlic and pasta? I used bowties but I think longer pasta would be great with this, like fettuccine. A splash of lemon juice, if you had it, would brighten things up even more, and play off of the tart tomatoes.

Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Cannellini Beans
Adapted from Amateur Gourmet

4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup sun-dried tomatoes, sliced
1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups pasta

Boil your pasta in salted water.

Pour 1 Tbsp of sun-dried tomato oil into a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic, let cook for 1 minute, until just soft. Add sun-dried tomatoes, cook for another 2 minutes.

Add 1 ladle of pasta water. Simmer until reduced by half.

Stir in beans, a pinch of salt, and another ladle of pasta water. Simmer for 4 minutes.

Add pasta to the sauce and toss together. Serve and relax!


Mushroom and White Bean Ragout December 9, 2010

Can you believe it? I cooked AGAIN last night! I’m on a roll here. Part of it is, I bought too many mushrooms at the store last weekend and needed to use them before they rotted. (I have a really bad habit of buying mushrooms and forgetting about them until it’s too late.)

The other part is that while I’m toning up in most areas, I haven’t seen much of a difference in my weight, especially in my tummy area and it’s frustrating to me. Cooking at home is so much healthier than eating out somewhere. I’ve been using to track my calories and the difference between where I eat is astonishing.

This dish is really simple to make, and fairly rustic on the plate, but man is it delicious! I’ve always been a firm meat eater, and would never have thought of putting beans in a sauce like this. I really enjoyed the flavor and texture though of this, I think cannellini beans will make more appearances in the future.

Mushroom and White Bean Ragout

1 1/2 cups onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
Handful of Fresh thyme and sage (or 1 tsp dried)
1 pint mushrooms, sliced (I used shittake but I think button would work better in this)
1/4 cup white wine
1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
28 oz diced tomatoes
Handful parsley

Heat oil in pan over medium heat. Toss in onions, garlic, and herbs. Cover for 8-10 minutes until soft. (Watch the temp on your garlic, turn it down if it starts to burn.)

Add mushrooms and white wine. Cover for 6 more minutes.

Add beans, tomatoes, and parsley. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes, or until some of the juice has evaporated.

Serve over polenta or some kind of heavy noodle. (I used egg, penne or bowtie would also be good.)

****I’m not at home so I’m not sure where I got this recipe from. I’ll add it later when I have the recipe in front of me. I do have pictures too!


Shrimp and Bacon Pasta April 7, 2010

Filed under: Freezer Meals,Italian,pasta,Quick and Easy,shrimp,tomatoes — hmills96 @ 8:41 pm

The nice thing about working for a plumbing company is whenever I have a drain problem, I have a plethora of guys who are more than happy to help out if I will feed them. The latest culprit was the wookie living in my tub drain. Let’s face it, I have a lot of hair. And when it gets wet, it falls out. J. doesn’t understand that it’s just a fact of life! We have a new young tech who lives on his own, and eats a lot of pizza. I bribed him with some real food in return for a clean tub! I’d say we both were happy tonight 🙂 Thanks bud!

Sorry for the bad picture, I was in a hurry to get it to the table.

Shrimp and Bacon Pasta

Adapted from Taste and Tell

1/2 lb bacon, cut into small pieces
1/2 yellow onion, diced
28 oz can diced tomatoes
salt and pepper
1 lb raw shrimp
4 oz cream cheese, cut into pieces
1 lb pasta

Boil water. Salt, and add pasta.

In large skillet, cook bacon until crisp and brown. Transfer to paper towel lined plate. Pour off most fat (keep about 1/4 cup).

Add onion and cook over medium heat until softened. Stir in tomatoes, then crumble in bacon. Season and simmer about 7 minutes. Add shrimp. Cook 3 more minutes. Stir in cream cheese until melted. Add pasta water if sauce is too thick. Serve over pasta.


Pass the Pasketti! March 10, 2010

Today was a little more relaxed at work today–I think it had something to do with the GORGEOUS weather! We all have spring fever, that’s for sure! While it’s still dark when I get home, the daylight is lasting longer and longer, and because of that I don’t feel near has tired in the evenings. Which is great for you, because when I don’t feel like its bedtime, that means I’m much more likely to cook!

Tonight is a staple that we all grew up with. However, I never liked spaghetti growing up. It was always out of a jar, and while I loved raw tomatoes (hard not to, growing up on a Red Gold farm), I didn’t care much for them cooked or in sauces. Then I learned to make my own. I still use tomatoes from a can most of the time, but I get to choose rest of the ingredients, and I think the flavor is just so much more pronounced. This is a great meal to make when I don’t feel like doing anything elaborate, or when we are trying to stretch the budget at the end of a pay period. I almost always have the ingredients on hand, I tend to buy tomatoes whenever they are on sale, because I know I will use them up quickly.

I will tell you that this recipe varies some, there are no real measurements, just what I have on hand at the time. Also, I leave mine chunky, but you could easily pour it into a blender or food processor and make it smooth if you’d rather have it that way.

Comfort food at its finest!

Haley’s Spaghetti Sauce

1 Tbsp olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 can diced tomatoes (I used Fire Roasted tonight. Yum!)
Dash Worcestershire sauce
Dash Italian salad dressing (shaken first)
1 Tbsp Tomato Paste
Varied dried herbs (or fresh if you have them)
Salt & Pepper

In a small saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for just a minute to soften.

Add tomatoes (I don’t drain them, you want the liquid) and the rest of the ingredients. Stir together and let simmer while your pasta cooks.

One can of tomatoes will make enough sauce for 2 people. If you need more, just add another can of tomatoes and adjust the rest of the ingredients to match! The herbs and seasonings are all up to you. I like thyme, rosemary, oregano, parsley. I had some fresh basil tonight so I threw that in too, but I don’t always. Sometimes I’ll add a few splashes of wine, if I have a bottle opened in the fridge. It just adds a completely new level of flavor.


Happy Valentine’s Day! February 14, 2010

Filed under: Italian,pasta,Quick and Easy,shrimp,tomatoes — hmills96 @ 8:26 pm

This has been a pretty productive weekend. I FINALLY got my office organized and everything put away (we’ve only been living in this house since September). I’ve done two weeks worth of laundry. AND I cooked a meal! Quite an accomplishment for someone who has been up and down and all over the place lately. All and all, it was a very good weekend, and really pretty relaxing. I spent a majority of today in bed watching No Reservations on Netflix. God, that Anthony Bourdain is sexy. Er…um…I mean…did I say that out loud? 

After an afternoon nap when J. got home from work, it was time to make dinner. We’re a little short on funds this week, and we’ve been going out way too much lately, so I really wanted to make something at home. This was a great dish, it was semi-fancy, easy to make, and aside from the shrimp, all of the ingredients are always stocked in my pantry.

Shrimp Fra Diavolo

Adapted from Cooking Light Magazine

8 oz linguine

2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided

3 cloves garlic, minced, divided

1 lb medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

1/2 diced yellow onion

1 tsp crushed red pepper

1/2 tsp dried basil

1/2 tsp dried oregano

2 Tbsp tomato paste

1 Tbsp lemon juice

1 large can whole tomatoes, drained, pulsed in food processor for 15 seconds

1/4 tsp salt

Boil water; salt. Add pasta and cook per package instructions. Drain and keep warm.

Heat 1 Tbsp oil in large nonstick skillet over med. high heat. Add 1 1/2 tsp garlic and the shrimp; cook for 3 minutes or until pink. Remove from pan and keep warm.

Heat the remaining oil to pan; add onion. Saute 5 minutes or until softened (mine didn’t take that long, my pan was too hot). Add remaining garlic, pepper, and herbs; cook 1 minute, stirring. Stir in tomato paste and lemon juice; cook for one minute until darkened. Stir in tomatoes and salt. Cook for 5 minutes until thickened.

Return shrimp to pan; cook just until heated through. Serve over pasta. 

Yield:  4 servings.


This one’s for my cousin… November 9, 2009

Filed under: NaBloWriMo,soup,tomatoes — hmills96 @ 12:28 am

I found out today that my cousin was in a pretty bad accident and has ended up with his jaw wired shut. Poor guy! His mom tells me he’s been pretty miserable–he’s a really active guy, and being cooped up I’m sure has not been kind to him. All he can eat right now is pureed soups, which, unless you are the culinary arteeeest that I am (*rolls eyes*) can be pretty boring. I told Aunt G that I had the perfect recipe for her to fix!

Of course, this recipe is fantastic even for those of us who have full use of our jaws, so definitely try this the next time you feel like a warm bowl of comfort. And try it with grilled cheese–only, instead of the usual Kraft singles, try a grown up grilled cheese with this! There are so many other cheeses out there…explore the gourmet cheese section by your store’s deli section up front. Even Wal-mart has a small one.
Roasted Tomato Soup
2 1/2 pounds fresh tomatoes (use any mix you like, but always use fresh)
6 cloves garlic, peeled
2 small yellow onions, sliced
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt & pepper
1 quart chicken stock
2 bay leaves
4 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
3/4 cup heavy cream
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Wash, core, and halve the tomatoes. Spread the tomatoes, garlic cloves, and onions onto a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 20-30 minutes, until caramelized.
Remove roasted veggies from oven and transfer to a large stock pot. Add 3/4 of stock, bay leaves, and butter. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until liquid has reduced by a 3rd.
Wash and dry basil leaves. Add to the pot. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup until smooth (Or pour soup into regular blender or food processor. Just be careful with hot soup.). Lower heat, add cream and adjust consistency with remaining chicken stock, if necessary. Season to taste with salt and pepper.