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Ridiculously Easy Nutella Pots de Creme

Ridiculously Easy Nutella Pots de Creme

By Bellalimento

Have 5 minutes to whip up an amazingly decadent dessert? Of course we do! Make these in the morning or the night before and you’ll be all set (yes they’ll need to set up if you can wait that long to eat them) Best part they’re made in a blender so no whisking until your arm wants to fall off. Pots de creme (is pronounced po-de-krehm) is creamy dreamy and decadent. I liken it to the best pudding I’ve ever had in my life. The only cooking you’ll do is heating the milk and cream together. The heat from the milk mixture will cook the eggs once mixed together so no baking required for this one! Easy peasy.

Nutella Pots de Creme

What you’ll need:

  • 10 ounces semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup Nutella
  • 4 eggs
  • salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

What to do:

1. Into the blender add: chocolate chips, Nutella, eggs, salt. Pulse until combined.

2. Into a small sauce pan heat milk and cream until hot.

3. Slowly stream milk mixture into blender. Pulse until silky smooth.

4. Pour mixture into small jars or ramekins. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or until set.

How-to: Faux Clams and Scallops Using Mushrooms

How-to: Faux Clams and Scallops Using Mushrooms

By Kathypatalsky

Seafood fan or not, these faux versions of two classic seafood recipes – Clam Chowder and Sea Scallops – are enough to make your head turn. This super creamy, smoky bread bowl chowder (which is made from a vegan, dairy-free, cashew cream soup base) is infused with diced mushrooms that resemble tender clams. And that elegant platter of scallops and cucumbers is actually a sneaky platter of sauteed king trumpet (also called king oyster) mushrooms.

These fun faux recipe will please vegetarians – and seafood lover alike. Plus mushrooms are nutrient powerhouses. The healthy mushrooms are low in calories and rich in fiber, iron, potassium, niacin and selenium. Six ounces of the king shrooms contains only 15 calories – and about 2.2 grams of protein! And another perk, mushrooms are cheaper than seafood!..

How-to. The secret to why mushrooms make an excellent faux item for clams and scallops is all in the texture. King mushrooms work well because they have a sturdy thick body – so you can easily chop them into either diced “clams” or round plump “scallops.” The seasoning will depend on how you want your dishes to taste.

* For smoky clams – be sure to add in a splash of liquid smoke.

* Truffle oil or salt is an excellent flavor enhancer to the chowder as well.

* The scallops get even more delicious when you marinate them in liquid. Mushrooms easily absorb flavors – so something salty and slightly sweet will be an excellent way to enhance your dish.

* For classic “bay” flavor you can use Old Bay spices or your own favorite blend of spices – lemon pepper is also nice for the scallops. And you can even go way off the board and flavor your faux dishes with not-so-classic seafood flavors like maple, tamari, chipotle and more.Get the Scallops recipe below!

* To avoid “rubbery” mushroom scallops, make sure you marinate them enough before sauteeing. Salty sweet accents will help tenderize the mushroom. The saute in oil will also perfect the texture and bring if from soft and rubbery to tender on the inside with a crisp and light crust.

* The mushrooms for the clam chowder should be sauteed first before adding to the soup puree. Then once they are immersed in the creamy soup they will further plump up and become tender while retaining all the flavors from the saute process.

* Lastly, when buying your mushrooms, look for extra large varieties – with thick stems – this is especially important when trying to create truly “faux” looking scallops.

King Trumpet Mushroom Vegan Scallops with Cucumbers

vegan, serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 4 wide-stemmed king trumpet/oyster mushrooms, sliced into 3/4″ thick circles
  • 3 tsp safflower oil
  • 2 Tbsp tamari, liquid aminos or soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp liquid smoke (optional)
  • 2 tsp agave, maple or brown rice syrup
  • fine black pepper to taste
  • optional: 1 Tbsp diced shallots
  • 1 cup Persian cucumbers, sliced in different sized stumps – some skinny, some taller
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • pinch pink salt

Directions:

1. Prep for this dish is simple. Simple slice your cucumbers and toss them with some lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Set aside.

2. Slice your mushrooms. I gently rinse mushrooms before cooking with them. Then I paper towel dry them very well. You need your mushrooms to be very dry for them to absorb the flavor of the liquid.

3. Add your mushroom rounds to a bowl and add the tamari, brown rice syrup and pepper – and optional diced shallots. toss well. The mushrooms should absorb much of the liquid and take on a brown marbled color.

4. Add safflower oil to a small skillet – heat over high heat. Wait until oil is hot.

5. Place the mushrooms flat side down in the pan. They should sizzle. Allow to cook for about a minute – do not move them around too much – this will interrupt the sear. Add some fine black pepper over top the mushrooms while they cook – as desired.

6. Flip the mushrooms. You can shake the pan around a bit to disperse the oil and flavors. You can now pour any leftover liquid from the bowl into the pan. try: If you want smoky scallops – add in a few drops of liquid smoke. try: add a tsp splash of white wine for a more complex flavor. Just be careful when adding to pan.

7. Next is the most important part to good scallop mushrooms. You may have seen this technique on cooking shows. With the heat turned to medium-high, tilt the pan so that all the liquid (oil and marinade) dips to one side in a pool. Then using a large tablespoon, gather the liquid and quickly pour it over top the scallops. Do this over and over again and watch as the mushrooms absorb and caramelize with the liquid. This technique helps to cook the mushrooms while also keeping them from drying out in the pan.

8. Flip your mushrooms again – add a sprinkle of fine black pepper – to taste – and turn off heat. Allow them to sit in the pan for a minute or two.

9. Serve hot mushrooms on a plate with the chilled, lemon tossed cucumbers. Add a sprinkle of parsley over top and plenty of black pepper as desired.

Broccoli and Mushroom Vegetable Fried Rice Recipe

Broccoli and Mushroom Vegetable Fried Rice Recipe

By Lindsey Johnson

My family loves Chinese food, but like a lot of people, we often opt for takeout rather than making it at home. It tastes so much better than anything I could make at home…that is except for fried rice.

I make a pretty good vegetable fried rice that rivals the ones I’ve eaten at Chinese restaurants. We usually eat it as a main dish, occasionally with tofu on the side. Loading it up with broccoli and mushrooms makes it into a heartier meal. You can add whatever vegetables you like, but I do like broccoli in it the very most of all. This recipe is vegetarian, but I have also made it with diced leftover ham, shrimp, or chicken. I love vegetable fried rice because it’s a great way for me to use up both leftover rice and veggies in the fridge.

Fried rice is incredibly versatile – add in whatever your family loves most!

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons oil, divided
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup diced carrots
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups broccoli, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 8 ounces sliced mushrooms (any variety)
  • 4 cups cold, leftover rice
  • 1-2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2-3 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • sliced scallions, for garnish (optional)

Instructions:

1. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrots, and celery. Stir frequently and sauté until the vegetables start to turn golden and soften. Add the garlic and cook for another 30-60 seconds, or until fragrant. Transfer to a medium-sized bowl with a slotted spoon and set aside.

2. Add a little more of the oil to the pan. Add the eggs and scramble them. Transfer to another bowl and set aside.

3. If needed, wipe out skillet. Add 1 tablespoon of oil followed by the broccoli and mushrooms. If they are sticking, add a little more oil. Cook until broccoli is barely tender and the mushrooms start to soften and brown. Transfer to the bowl with the other vegetables.

4. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the skillet. Add the cold rice and cook, stirring constantly, turning the rice over so it fries evenly. When it’s heated up and toasting nicely, add the vegetables and scrambled eggs to the pan. Stir well to combine.

5. Drizzle the soy sauce and sesame oil over the fried rice and stir well. Taste and add extra soy sauce or sesame oil, if desired. Sprinkle with the sliced scallions and serve hot.

Yields 4-6 servings

Red White and Blue Nutella Napoleons Recipe

Red White and Blue Nutella Napoleons Recipe

By Bellalimento

I think these would make an absolutely smashing dessert for your Fourth of July celebration. They look like you slaved away in the kitchen for hours but in all actuality they take about 2o minutes to pull together {you could even make your own whipped cream from scratch in the time that it takes for the puff pastry to cook} Of course if you’d like to use ready made whipped cream we won’t tell. Regarding the quantity, one package of Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry will make 6 napoleons so plan according to how many you’d like to make.

Red, White & Blue Nutella Napoleons

What you’ll need: 

{1 box of puff pastry makes 6 napoleons}

  • Pepperidge Farm puff pastry sheets – thawed
  • 3 tablespoons Nutella
  • 8 ounces whipped cream
  • strawberries – sliced
  • blueberries
  • chocolate syrup

What to do:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut each puff pastry sheet into 6 equal squares. Place pastry sheet squares onto rimmed baking sheets that have been sprayed with cooking spray. Bake for approximately 15 minutes OR until golden and flaky.

2. To assemble: Cut each pastry puff square in half horizontally. Spread approximately 1/2 tablespoon of Nutella onto bottom of each puff pastry square. Top with desired amount of whipped cream. Garnish with strawberries and blueberries. Place pastry square on top. Top with a dollop of whipped cream and a drizzle of chocolate syrup. Continue until all are assembled.

Serve immediately.

Brian Boitano's Summer Pasta is Awesome

Brian Boitano's Summer Pasta is Awesome

By TheNaptimeChef

Summer pasta with Artichoke hearts and spinachLast week I was chugging along on the elliptical machine when Brian Boitano came on The Today Show for a quick summer cooking segment. I’ve been enjoying Brian’s Food Network show, What Would Brian Boitano Make?, and was thrilled to see that he can hold his own on live television as well. I know I shouldn’t be surprised, since he is an Olympian and all, but I was really impressed that he a) knows his stuff in the kitchen and b) can trim an artichoke with Al Roker shoving a microphone in his face every two seconds!

I was destined to love this pasta dish from the start, since craving carbs and gym workouts seem to go hand-in-hand for me. As I watched eagerly from my cardio perch, Brian deftly twisted fresh spinach and cherry tomatoes into long strands of pasta slicked with a light butter sauce, serving it topped with a heap of freshly grated cheese. I could tell it was a winner and immediately added it to our dinner rotation.

To save time when making this for my family I skipped the hour designated for roasting hand trimmed artichokes and opted for frozen artichoke hearts instead. It did not take away from the flavor in the least and made my job much easier. The rest of the steps were easy to follow, the dish came together exactly as it did on the show. I paired it with a slice of garlic cheese toast and glass of white wine. This was a great dish for summer nights when you don’t feel like turning on the oven and want to load up on fresh vegetables. In fact, I think this August when I make this I’ll add in some fresh corn and, if there isn’t spinach on hand, some roughly chopped arugula.

Brian Boitano’s Summer Pasta – adapted from The Today Show

Ingredients

  • 1 c. frozen artichoke hearts
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 pint grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 2 handfuls of fresh spinach
  • 1/2 c. vegetable or chicken stock
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 6 basil leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 T. butter
  • 1/4 c. white wine
  • 1/2 lb. linguine
  • 1 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt & Pepper

Directions

  1. Fill a stock pot with water and bring to a boil. Once boiling add a generous pinch of salt.
  2. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat and sauté the chopped garlic and onion until the onion becomes translucent, about 5 minutes. Add in the tomatoes, artichoke hearts, lemon juice, vegetable stock and white wine. Season with a bit of salt and pepper.
  3. At this time, add pasta to the boiling water and cook for about 7 minutes or till al dente.
  4. Let the tomato and wine mixture cook down for 5 minutes. Gently toss, being careful not to stir the artichokes too much as they may break down. If the mixture looks like it is getting too dry, you can add a little more stock. Add the basil and butter to the mixture.
  5. When the pasta is done, drain and put back in the pot. Add tomato mixture to the pot along with the fresh spinach and Parmesan cheese. Mix together, taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Serve in a large bowl or plate. Garnish with a pinch more Parmesan, and a drizzle of olive oil.

Boozy Stout Milkshakes with Bittersweet Hot Fudge

Boozy Stout Milkshakes with Bittersweet Hot Fudge

By Elizabeth Stark

Even if you’re not planning on a big to-do for St. Patrick’s Day, it’s still a great time for some festivity. So this March 17, tuck the kids on bed and then whip up these delightfully bitter stout milkshakes! One sip and you’ll be hooked on the irresistible flavor of vanilla ice cream with frothy stout.

Note that this stout milkshake recipe is made with a strong stout beer, so it’s not appropriate for the under 21 set. If you do want to get the littles in on the fun, try making a non-alcoholic version with a rich chocolate soda! Top milkshakes with whipped cream and a drizzle or two of bittersweet hot fudge, and you’ve got a St. Patrick’s Day to remember. Bottoms up!

Boozy Stout Milkshakes with Bittersweet Hot Fudge

Stout Milkshakes with Bittersweet Hot Fudge

Serves: 2

Prep time: 1 minute

Cook time: 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • for the bittersweet hot fudge
  • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate (60 – 70 percent cacao), rough chopped
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • pinch sea salt
  • for the milkshake
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream (optional)
  • 2 cups vanilla ice cream
  • 12 ounces strong stout beer, such as Guinness or Samuel Smith’s

Instructions

  1. To make the bittersweet hot fudge, heat a double boiler over medium-high heat. Add the chocolate pieces and stir until melted. Turn down heat so that the water is bubbling gently. Stir in the corn syrup and then 1/4 cup heavy cream. When mixture is smooth and shiny, turn heat to low, and prepare milkshakes.
  2. If desired, use a beater or whisk to whip 1/2 cup cream.
  3. Combine the ice cream and stout in the pitcher of your blender, and blend briefly, just until mixture is smooth.
  4. Divide shakes between two chilled glasses. Add a dollop of whipped cream (if using) and a drizzle of hot fudge. Serve immediately.

Vanilla Ice Cream (Without the Custard)

Vanilla Ice Cream (Without the Custard)

By JulieVR

I’m not a kitchen gadget person, but I do adore my ice cream maker. Homemade is far superior to the store-bought kind – without added preservatives or stabilizers, or air whipped in to add volume – and cream is cheaper. The problem, I find, is having to make an eggy custard, strain it, and wait for it to chill before I can transform it into ice cream. Most days I’m not that patient. And so when I discovered a delicious ice cream base can be stirred together in under a minute, and poured directly into the machine to freeze? Sold.

This is classic vanilla, but makes an easy blank canvas you can add most any ingredient to – swirl in mashed or pureed strawberries, chocolate syrup, roasted peaches, a spoonful of sour cream – use your imagination and create new flavours all summer long.

Easy Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Ingredients

  • 2 cups heavy (whipping) cream, chilled
  • 2 cups half & half, chilled
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 fresh vanilla bean, or 2 tsp. real vanilla extract

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the cream, half & half and sugar. Split the vanilla bean with the tip of a sharp knife, scrape out the seeds, and stir them in too. (Or add your vanilla extract.)
  2. Pour into your ice cream machine and freeze according to the manufacturer’s directions. Makes about 2 L.