Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Lent Suppers - Pasta with White Clam Sauce


Last year I made Spaghetti with Red Clam Sauce, and it was a huge hit with the family. From the same magazine article that I cut out that recipe there was a recipe for Pasta with White Clam Sauce. Since we liked the first so well I decided to try the second recipe this year.

The ingredient list is similar and simple: spaghetti, olive oil, garlic, 2 cans chopped clams, white wine, red pepper flakes, parsley and butter.

Start off by cooking your pasta according to package instructions. While that is cooking heat olive oil in a pan and add the smashed garlic cloves. Cook until golden brown.

Add in the clams with their juice, wine, red pepper flakes and pepper to taste. Simmer until the liquid thickens a bit so it will coat the pasta, not just run off. I know it doesn't look too appetizing at this point but trust me that the end product will taste yummy.

Add in the parsley and butter.
Then toss in the pasta. Cook for about a minute and serve warm.
Spaghetti with White Clam Sauce
coarse Salt
1 lb. spaghetti (I used fettuccine)
1/4 c. olive oil
2 garlic cloves, smashed
2 cans (6 1/2 oz each) chopped clams, with their juice
1/4 c. dry white wine
1/4 t. crushed red-pepper flakes
freshly ground pepper
1/4 c. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 T. cold unsalted butter
Bring a large covered pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package instructions until al dente.
Meanwhile, make the sauce: Heat oil in a very large skillet over medium-low heat until hot but not smoking. Add garlic; cook, stirring, until golden, about 5 minutes. Stir in clams with their juice, wine, and red pepper flakes; season with salt and pepper (keep in mind that the clams are already quite salty). Reduce heat, and simmer until sauce is thickened slightly, about 5 minutes.
Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid. Stir pasta, parsley, and butter into sauce in skillet; season with salt and pepper. If sauce doesn't coat pasta evenly, stir in a few tablespoons reserved cooking liquid. Cover; cook 1 minute over medium-low heat. Serve immediately.

Sunday, February 24, 2013


I don't know if it is a fluke or we are on the road to potty training but Gabster has used the potty several times now. The first time I admit I Snap-chatted a picture of her "business" to a few people. Gross, I know. Whether she is trying to mimic her big brother or truly has a desire to use the potty I don't know. I will just be happy when this household is diaper free!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Hanging Groups of Pictures

We had a photographer take family portraits over the Summer. Best decision we ever made! We ordered several canvas prints of our favorite pictures. The problem was hanging them. No matter how we organized the photos on a table we couldn't quite envision how they would look on the wall.  Thanks to my crafting idol Martha Stewart we cut out pieces of paper the size of each picture and then taped them to the wall. When we had the pieces exactly in the arrangement we wanted we simply put a nail right through the paper, slipped the paper off the wall and hung the canvas up.

The process was simple and no extra holes were made in the wall from mistakes!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Lent Suppers - Falafel - Redo

It's Lent again which means veggie meals every Friday. We often eat vegetarian but for some reason I always want a big juicy steak on Friday nights during Lent. Something about me not allowed to eat one makes me want it all the more!

Last year I made falafels with pretty terrible results. This year I decided to retackle the dish but make the falafel homemade instead of from the nasty grocery store mix. I found a recipe in Bon Appetit magazaine and the result was quite the opposite of last years...we loved them! The best part is that they were so simple.

In a food processor add the canned garbanzo beans, chopped onion, flour, garlic powder, pepper, cumin, baking powder and salt. Blend until a lumpy puree forms.
Add in the parsley and blend until incorporated.

Scoop out a tablespoon full of the mixture.

Roll the mixture into a ball between your hands then roll the falafel in flour to coat.
Fry in a pan with vegetable oil. Cook for 1 1/2 minutes.
If golden, flip, and cook for an additional 1 1/2 minutes. Transfer falafel to a paper towel lined plate to drain of excess oil.
We stuffed whole wheat pita pockets with the falafel, lettuce, chopped tomatoes, cucumbers and avocados...scrumptious! Then topped the whole thing off with Goddess salad dressing (My friend Megan introduced this dressing to me and I am addicted! I've found a couple of recipes online and will report the results as soon as I get around to making it!).
I will never ever make falafel from a mix again!
1 15-oz. can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
1/4 c. chopped onion
3 T. flour plus more for dredging
1 heaping t. garlic powder
1/2 t. pepper
1 t. cumin
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
2 T. chopped fresh Italian parsley
vegetable oil (for frying)
Puree canned garbanzo beans, chopped onion, 3 tablespoons flour, garlic powder, pepper, cumin, baking powder, and salt in processor until coarse puree forms. Add chopped Italian parlsey; process just to blend. Generously sprinkle plate with flour. Roll level tablespoonfuls mixture into balls; transfer balls to plate. Roll falafel in flour to coat generously; flatten balls slightly.
Pour enough vegetable oil into heavy large skillet to reach depth of 1/2 inch. Heat oil to 375 degrees. Working in 2 batches, fry flafel patties until deep brown, turning once, about 3 minutes. Transwer patties to paper towels to drain. Serve warm. 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day Plus 1 Year Anniversary!

Today is the one-year anniversary of this blog...yay! I can't believe that a) it's been an entire year and b) I've managed to fairly consistently post for an entire year! We'll see if we can keep the momentum up for another year.

Today also happens to be Valentine's Day. Happy Valentine's Day! Growing up this was one of my least favorite holidays. As my parents owned restaurants, this meant I had to work as it is one of the busiest days of the year. Not so much fun. Needless to say, to me, Valentine's Day has been severely overrated. It still is, sort of. Now that the kiddos are here, however, it's an excuse to do some lovey heart-centric crafts. This year we made these adorable Hershey Kiss mice. They are simple and very kid-friendly. Here's how:

Supplies list:

Hershey Kisses
Small google-eyes
Yellow construction paper, cut into cheese wedge-shapes
Pink construction paper, cut into hearts and small feet
Yarn, cut into 2" segments for the tails
Double-stick tape
Glue (e.g., Elmer's)

To start, pull out the cute little flags from the Hershey Kisses. You don't need to pull them all the way out, just tear off what is visible. Next, using the double stick tape, sandwich a heart between the bottoms of two kisses (sadly my pictures from here on out were super blurry).

Put a piece of double stick tape down on the center of a "cheese" then affix two feet on top. Behind the feet add another piece of tape and adhere the mouse body to the cheese. With a small piece of tap, attach a tail to the back tip of a Kiss. To the front add two dabs of glue and stick on the eyes.

We added the note "Mice to know you" onto the wedges. This is one mouse I don't mind having in the house!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Happy Chinese New Year!

Wishing you and your family a very Happy Chinese New Year! I hope your day is filled with family and good food!

Rice Pot Mama

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Baked Pumpkin Donut Holes

I love donuts but not the calories that come with them. These delectable little morsels fill that donut craving but are baked and healthier without sacrificing any flavor.

Baked Pumpkin Donut Holes


For the Donuts:
1 3/4 c. flour
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. nutmeg
1/2 t. allspice
1/8 t. cloves
1/3 c. canola oil
1/2 c. light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 t. vanilla extract
3/4 c. plain pumpkin (not pie kind)
1/2 c. milk

For the Coating:
5 T. unsalted butter, melted
2/3 c. sugar
2 T. cinnamon


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 24-cup mini muffin tin with baking spray and set aside

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves. Whisk in the oil, brown sugar, egg, vanilla, pumpkin and milk until just combined.

Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

While the muffins bake, melt butter in one bowl and combine sugar and cinnamon in another bowl. Remove muffins from oven and cool for 2 minutes. Dip each muffin in melted butter, then roll in cinnamon sugar to coat. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Note: The muffins don't keep very well so eat them all up the day you make them!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Panini Heaven

My sis got us a panini press for Christmas. I love paninis but was a bit skeptical about the machine...I mean, I have a pan and that works, right?

Wrong. This machine makes a simple sandwich oh so fabulous-O! Above is a caprese sandwich I put together for lunch; pesto, fresh tomatoes and ooey gooey mozzarella. I am definitely a panini press convert!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

What Kiddos Say

Since Nate could form sentences I have been keeping a pad of paper on our refrigerator to write down the funny things he says. Here is a taste of my favorites:
  • 09/14/2011 - After singing him a lullaby "Nate's heart happy"
  • 10/05/2011 - "Father, Son, Holy Spirit. Yum. Yum. Pasta in the mouth."
  • 10/16/2011 - "Gabby came out of Mommy's tummy. Good job, Gabby, good job!"
  • 11/23/2011 - "My eyebrows are starting to connect."
  • 04/07/2012 - I told Nate that tomorrow we get to dress up to go to church for Easter, he responds "What costume is Nate going to wear?"
  • 04/25/2012 - "When I grow big I get to do dishes and carry Gabs. That's cool."
  • 05/07/2012 - "Nate's back is furry. One day when Nate gets big Nate's front will be furry too!"
  • 07/22/2012 - "Daddy your a white monster and I'm a pirate." When asked why dad is a white monster: "The tops of your feet and legs are white."
  • 08/18/2012 - "I went one #2"
  • 09/17/2012 - "Nonni (grandma in Italian), your necklace is lovely."
  • 10/19/2012 - "I'm the prince of princesses."
  • 01/08/2013 - Nate has an accident, when I go to clean it up he whispers to Christina,"You have to say 'accidents happen' so that they are happy. If you don't they get mad!"
  • 01/1/2013 - "I'm cuddly like a bear. Furry too.