Monday, July 28, 2014

Macaroni and Brie with Crab

I know I am not supposed to relieve stress with food, but desperate times call for desperate measures. My husband (Jacob) and I are about to relocate our entire lives. We are changing schools, cities, and jobs all at once.  Portland is a giant place, much larger than the quiet town of Corvallis that we are used to.  As much as I complain that there isn't a whole lot to do in Corvallis, I am going to miss its beautiful brick buildings and friendly people.

Moving is tough: saying goodbye to friends, getting used to new streets, shops, and people...the unfamiliarity of it is unsettling.

We are moving farther away from my family than ever before, and into city life...which I don't necessarily appreciate.  I can see myself on a small farm in the future, living the simple life, but for now I join the rat race of the city. I know that my life is about to change, so for today comfort food is the answer, maybe tomorrow there will be room for optimism.

Macaroni and Brie with Crab
Servings: 6-8


1 medium onion, diced

3 cloves crushed garlic

5 tablespoons salted butter

1 pound uncooked pasta, macaroni noodles
( I like fresh egg pasta)

1/3 cup flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

2 teaspoons dried dill 

3 cups chicken broth or milk

½ pound Brie cheese, trimmed and chopped
(reserve 8 small wedges for topping, if desired)

½ pound White Cheddar cheese, chopped  

1 pound can claw crab meat
(drained, flaked, and any cartilage removed)

Few sprigs of fresh dill 


1. In large skillet cook garlic and onion in butter over medium-low heat about 15 minutes or until tender and golden brown, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions; drain and return to pot.

2. Add flour, salt, dried dill, and pepper to onion in skillet; stir until combined, about 1 minute. Add milk all at once. Cook and stir until slightly thickened and bubbly. Gradually add chopped cheese; cook over medium-low heat until cheese melts. Stir into pasta. Fold in crab. Transfer to serving dishes, garnish with dill and brie.Bon Appetit!

How do YOU deal with stressful times? Comment below! :)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Chocolate Dunked Bananas Foster Ice Cream Bars

  It has been so hot this summer, especially compared to the normal weather patterns here in the Willamette Valley. To stay cool I have resorted to consuming mostly Popsicles; they are about the only thing that sounds good! Healthy, I know. Because of this, I recently went out and bought Popsicle molds to make my own. I figure this way I can feel less guilty by knowing exactly what each treat contains, and cut down on costs as well.

My husband and I LOVE Disney. Every time we go to Disneyland/World my husband makes sure to snag a frozen banana. I would go so far to say it is his favorite summer time snack. This recipe pays homage to that wonderful Disney tradition. Bon Appetit!

Chocolate Dunked Bananas Foster Bars:
makes about 1 quart of ice cream


For Ice Cream:

6 large bananas
1 tbsp lime juice
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup 100% maple syrup
2 tbsp sea salt caramel sauce
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp rum or rum extract
(add more if you like!)
1 tsp vanilla extract

 For Chocolate Shell:

3/4 cup semi sweet chocolate 
2 tbsp refined coconut oil 
chocolate sprinkles for dipping

Peel and place bananas in freezer and freeze overnight. Remove bananas from freezer and allow to thaw for 45 minutes to 1 hour (makes for MUCH creamier ice cream! TRUST ME). Place bananas in bowl of food processor along with the lime juice. Puree for 10 to 15 seconds. Add maple syrup, caramel,  rum, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg and turn processor on. Slowly pour in the heavy cream. Process until smooth. Add whole milk, mix until well blended. Chill mixture in refrigerator until it reaches 40 degrees. Transfer mixture to an ice cream maker and churn according the manufacturer's instructions (usually 30-45 minutes). Spoon mixture into Popsicle molds and place in the freezer for at least 3 hours, or until frozen solid. Place the remaining mixture  in an airtight container and freeze for 3 to 6 hours before serving (this is if there are left overs, or if just making ice cream). 

About 20 minutes before popsicles are finished freezing, prepare the chocolate shell mixture. Melt 7 oz of chocolate (chocolate chips will do) and add 2 tablespoons refined coconut oil. Mix together well. 
Prepare a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Remove Popsicles from freezer and pop out of molds. Dip each Popsicle in the prepared chocolate. Wait about 30 seconds then place on the parchment. Wrap with plastic and put in freezer until ready to eat!

What is YOUR favorite Disneyland treat?! Comment below :)