Thursday, February 10, 2011

CEiMB - Shrimp Fried Rice

This week's CEiMB recipe, courtesy of Sarah at Sarah's Kitchen Adventures, is Shrimp Fried Rice. Now, I love shrimp and I love fried rice, so I was very excited to try this recipe out. Fried rice isn't difficult, but it does take some planning. It is crucial that the rice you use is not fresh. If you use fresh rice, it comes out wonky and doesn't taste like fried rice at all. Trust me, I've made that mistake before, so this time I cooked my rice the night before I planned on making this dish.

First, I cooked up the ginger, green onions, and shrimp in canola oil.

To that, I added the cabbage. I apparently missed the note to cut the cabbage into three inch pieces, so mine were a tad big. Oops. After the shrimp pinked up, I set all that to the side and heated up some toasted sesame oil in the pan. I then added the cold brown rice and fried it up. I added the shrimp/cabbage mixture to the rice along with some soy sauce.

Terrible picture, but the dish itself turned out very well! My husband asked where the peas and carrots were, so I will add those in next time.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

CEiMB -- Four Cheese Baked Penne

This week's CEiMB recipe, hosted by Lindsey of 71 Cookbooks, is Four Cheese Baked Penne. I was torn about making this recipe. I love pasta and cheese, and especially love the two together in a baked pasta. However, I HATE cottage cheese. The consistency makes me shudder and feel ill. Okay, I'm exaggerating a bit, but I avoid cottage cheese at all costs. But I decided to put on my big girl pants and try it in this recipe. It was a good decision.

While I boiled the pasta, I chopped up my onion and garlic and combined the cheeses. I may or may not have said "Blech, you are so gross looking!" out loud when putting in the cottage cheese, but I got over it. Then it was time to take the pasta out of the pot and put the onions, then garlic, then tomatoes and herbs in. I didn't have rosemary, so I used some Italian seasoning blend. This may have been a bit too much oregano. After the sauce simmered for 10 minutes, back in went the pasta along with the cheese mixture. It was topped off with the remaining mozzarella and some parmesan. I noticed that Kraft shredded cheese is now smaller than 2 cups--they are only 1 3/4 cups now! In protest, I added in an extra 1/2 cup of mozzarella, which made the dish less healthy but eased the pain of paying the same amount for 1/4 cup less cheese.

I didn't snap a lot of pictures since I was focused on getting everything together, but here's a before picture.

And an after pic (but before serving).

I made this recipe on a weeknight, but next time I will save it for a weekend since it is a little time consuming. However, most of that time is waiting time and it's incredibly easy to make. Next time, I will also use fresh parsley or omit it entirely.