Jess Finds Balance

My journey to finding a healthy balance with eating, exercise, and life in general

A Restaurant-Worthy Home Cooked Dinner August 22, 2010

Filed under: Food — jessfindsbalance @ 9:28 pm
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This afternoon, Dave and I spent some time cooking up a storm. On our anniversary trip to Portsmouth, New Hampshire, we visited a whole bunch of really cute kitchen stores and picked up this fun find:

Popsicle molds! A few weeks ago, we made Chunky Peach Popsicles and this week decided to make Banana Pudding Pops, a recipe from Eating Well.

First, we mixed 1/2 cup of brown sugar splenda, 2 tbsp. of cornstarch, and a pinch of salt in a saucepan. Then, we added 2 cups of skim milk and brought the mixture to a boil over medium heat, whisking the mixture occasionally.

Then we added 2 tsp. of vanilla. While that was simmering, we processed two large frozen bananas (you could use unfrozen ones, though) in the food processor.

Once the pudding mixture was done, we added about half of it to the food processor and pulsed until smooth.

We added that back to the saucepan with the rest of the pudding mixture and mixed it well.

Then, we poured the mixture into the popsicle molds and put them in the freezer for dessert tonight. The pre-frozen pudding mixture tasted like liquid banana bread!

Our friends Dana and Greg were coming for dinner and we thought up a Spicy Seafood Pasta All’arrabiata. We bought some shrimp and clams from Whole Foods this morning, since the quality of their seafood is superb.

Dana and Greg brought a beautiful and delicious salad that had salad greens, tomatoes, white nectarine, roasted walnuts, and asiago cheese dressed in a cider vinaigrette with chopped shallots. I am waiting on the recipe because it was so amazing!

Dana and Greg:

The uber-amazing salad they brought:

My serving:

The main dish was out of this world! Here’s how we made it:

  1. First, we sauteed five finely chopped garlic cloves and one finally chopped onion in a good amount of olive oil.
  2. Next, we added one can of diced tomatoes (juice and all), some white wine (maybe 1/3 cup?), one 8 oz. can of tomato sauce,  dried oregano, crushed red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, and brought the mixture to a boil. We let it simmer for a few minutes over medium to medium-high heat.
  3. Then we added 2 tbsp. tomato paste, and let it simmer for a few more minutes.
  4. Next, we added the clams (we had 24) and 1/2 pound of shrimp and let it cook, covered, until the shrimp were opaque and the clams were opened, about 5-10 minutes.
  5. We added a little less than one box of angel hair, cooked, to the pan, and let it all cook for a couple minutes to let the pasta absorb some of the juice.
  6. We topped it with some chopped fresh parsley and basil and served, sprinkled with parmesan cheese.

The chef:

Sooooo good!

My serving:

We broke out the banana pudding pops for dessert. I guess we didn’t let them freeze long enough, because the handles came right out! We were crafty and just used spoons instead. They were absolutely delicious, although I think next time we’ll use a bit less brown sugar, since the bananas were so sweet already.

A perfect ending to a perfect meal with great company! Off to cuddle with the hubby…


One Response to “A Restaurant-Worthy Home Cooked Dinner”

  1. […] also broke out the banana pudding pops. I guess that we didn’t let them freeze enough last time, because tonight they managed to […]

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