Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Bacon, Lettuce, & Tomato Bucatini

Hi friends and family! Thought I'd share a yummy recipe I tried successfully this week. I made a few alterations, which I'll share, as well.

Bacon, Lettuce, & Tomato Bucatini
with garlic bread crumbs
Makes 2 servings
Time: about 45 minutes

For the Garlic Bread Crumbs -
***I honestly didn't make these - just added garlic to the pasta sauce mixture, and added regular store-bought Italian seasoned bread crumbs at the end***

1 clove garlic
1 cup Italian bread cubes
1 tsp olive oil
Salt to taste

For the Pasta -
2 strips bacon, diced
1 cup halved grape tomatoes
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 cup thinly sliced leeks (my first time cooking with them and LOVED them)
1/4 cup dry white wine (I had red so red is what I used)
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 tsp red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
4 oz. dry bucatini (I used thin spaghetti)
1 cup fresh spinach leaves
1/4 tsp minced fresh thyme (I used dry)

Bring a pot of salted walter to a boil for the pasta.
Mince garlic for the bread crumbs in a food processor. Add cubed bread and process until coarse. Heat oil in a nonstick skillet over medium; add bread crumbs and toast until golden, 3-4 minutes, stirring often. Season with salt; set aside.

Cook bacon for the pasta in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper-towel lined plate. Pour off all but 1 Tbsp. drippings. Carmelize tomatoes and sugar in drippings over medium heat. Cook until tomatoes begin to brown, 5 minutes. Add leeks; saute until wilted, 3-4 minutes.

Deglaze skillet with wine; simmer until liquid is nearly evaporated. Add broth, vinegar, and pepper flakes. Simmer until liquid is reduced by a third, about 5 minutes.

Cook bucatini or spaghetti in boiling water according to package directions. Add the spinach, thyme, and cooked bacon to the tomato mixture. Transfer cooked pasta from cooking water to the skillet using tongs. Toss to coat; season with salt. Divide pasta among plates and sprinkle with bread crumbs.



Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Champagne & Cupcakes Girl's Night

Hi loves! For those of you requesting photos, sorry it has taken me so long to do this. A few weekends ago, I hosted a Champagne and Cupcakes themed girl's night for a fun group of girl friends. I provided the (homemade) cupcakes and mini quiche, my BFF Kristy provided amazing Spinach and Artichoke dip and Cucumber Humus, and everyone brought a bottle of wine or champagne. It was a night filled with fun, music, rock band, and...calories. I could go on and on about how fun it was to plan, but I'd rather just show you some pictures. Oh, and for the cupcakes, I chose to bake Pina Colada (my fave), Vanilla, and Chocolate Velvet. I'd be glad to share the recipes if needed. Enjoy :)