Thursday, June 18, 2015

Arugula Pesto Pasta with Homemade Pesto Sauce

I love a quick and easy weeknight meal. And this one is pretty much a regular in my house. I originally found this recipe for Arugula Pesto Pasta from an old Trader Joe's cookbook. Don't you just love Trader Joe's?! I'm still bitter that there isn't one close by me, but don't even get me started on that. As soon as I run into one I promise I'm buying up the whole store. Any who...This is such a forgiving meal I've made it with different types of pasta shells, sausage brands, and even store bought pesto. After I learned how to make pesto I'll never buy it again. Nothing beats a good fresh homemade pesto sauce.

Pesto Sauce:

3 cups Fresh Basil (or fresh spinach/parsley) Note: I've used half basil/parsley or spinach/parsley and it's still good.
1/2 cup toasted Pine Nuts (or slivered almonds/walnuts)
1/2 fresh grated Parmesan Cheese
1 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3-4 cloves of garlic
Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Combine all ingredients in food processor or blender and blend until well combined.

What's good about pesto is you could freeze it in ice cube trays and use at a later date. Pesto is excellent on grilled meat, pizza, bruschetta just about anything to add flavor. 

Arugula Pesto Pasta:

12 oz (1/2 bag or box) Pasta (any type of pasta shell will do)
1 (16 oz) pkg. of Chicken or Turkey Sausage (any fully cooked brand sausage)
3-4 heaping Tbsp. Pesto Sauce
3.5 oz (1/2 bag) Arugula
Fresh Grated Parmesan Cheese

  • Cook pasta according to package directions. 
  • While pasta is cooking slice the sausage and pan-fry in lightly oiled pan till browned. 
  • Once pasta is cooked drain. Add cooked pasta into pan that sausage was cooked in. 
  • Add pesto sauce until pasta is well coated then add arugula. The heat from the pasta will slightly wilt the arugula. 
  • Toss all ingredients until well combined and serve with fresh Parmesan Cheese.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Kentucky Derby Bunco Party

I recently hosted my first ever Bunco Party!!! I was super excited. I love hosting gatherings at my house and decorating. Since my bunco party was held in May I decided on a Kentucky Derby theme. I found on Hostess with the Mostess site a ton of Kentucky Derby printables and for FREE (Ya girl likes free) downloaded a few that I liked and had them printed at The UPS Store for only $5.00.

Banner from Target Clearance section for $2.50

Horses from toy section at the Dollar Store add a coat of spray paint and Voila!

I also made a few placemats. Bought the fabric from Hobby Lobby for about $6.95 a yard.  I followed this tutorial here for my placemats. Super easy to make.

My Derby Fascinator headband. Like my model? ;) Totally forgot to take a picture of my self with it on, but it turned out really cute. Followed this tutorial. Bought all my supplies from Hobby Lobby as well. I love that place. 

And now onto the good stuff.... FOOD :) 
I made Mini Hot Browns, Sweet Tea and White Wine Julep. Everyone else brought a dish to share.
Mini Hot Browns
Sweet Tea
Wine Julep in the makings

Hot Brown Recipe:

Mornay Sauce:

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
Pinch of ground pepper
Pinch of nutmeg
1/2 cup grated swiss cheese

Kentucky Hot Brown Bites:

1 can refrigerated crescent rolls
1 cup finely chopped turkey
1 cup mornay sauce
2 slices bacon, chopped
1 tomato, diced
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Mornay Sauce:
Melt butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in flour, and cook, stirring constantly, about 1 minute. (Do not let mixture brown.) Add milk, whisking constantly. Bring to a low boil, and cook, stirring constantly, about 2 minutes more. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Remove from heat, and stir in cheese.  Allow to cool slightly.

Bites:Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a small bowl combine finely chopped turkey and mornay sauce.
Lightly spray a mini muffin pan with non stick cooking spray.
Unroll crescent rolls and press dough into one large rectangle. Cut rectangle into 12 squares. Press dough squares into muffin cups and shape up around the edges.
Fill each muffin cup with some of the turkey mixture. Top each bite with some diced tomato, bacon and parmesan cheese.
Bake 13-15 minutes or until lightly browned 

Overall I'd say it was a success. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and that's all the matters. Thanks for stopping by :)