Apparently, if I'm going to continue posting cooking stuff, I'm gonna need to get a better camera. I apologize in advance for the crappy pictures.
I decided that since today is Ash Wednesday (which means no meat), tonight was the perfect opportunity to try adjusting the awesome pasta dish I made last week. Stud and I stopped on the way from school and grabbed some groceries, including some sliced mushrooms, which I knew would be the perfect addition to this dish.
Like last time, I started out by sauteing some chopped onions (about a cup) in butter, and seasoning them well with black pepper and salt. After the onions softened a bit, I threw in the mushrooms and some garlic. When the mushrooms started to smell like heaven, I added an 8oz brick of light cream cheese and about a cup of half-and-half. I whisked that around a bit to melt the cheese, and then added around a cup of the boiling pasta water to thin it out a bit. I then mixed in about 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan. These are the awesome fresh English peas I picked up at Sam's the other dayand the pasta.I put the pasta in the boiling water to cook and when there was about 3 minutes left on the timer, I threw in the peas. Look how happy they all are swimming around in the hot tub together. I kept the sauce warm on the stove, on the lowest possible flame. When the timer went off, I used a slotted spoon to get the pasta and peas out, and threw them in the sauce. I gave it all a quick mix, and served it up! Looks yummy, right? After we ate, I grabbed my newest crock-pot (yay!) and sprayed it with some baking spray. Then I gathered a few ingredients to try out a new recipe. The mud cake that I made the other day was FREAKIN' AWESOME! I never even got a chance to take pictures for you cuz Stud and I dug right in!
While I was originally searching for that recipe, I came across another one, that actually had a YouTube video to accompany it. It seemed super easy, but since I was off that day, I figured I had time to make the other one.
This recipe is pretty much out of a box, or two, while the other one is "from scratch." Tonight seemed like a good night to try out the other recipe.
So, here goes. Mix up a box of instant chocolate pudding. Then mix up a box of devil's food cake mix, using all the ingredients listed on the box. Here are my two bowls, all ready to go. Pour the cake mix into the sprayed crock. Next, pour the pudding over the cake mix. Finally, pour a bag of chocolate chips (yes, mine have 'bloomed' but they still taste awesome. They're Ghirardelli!) over the pudding. Yes, seriously, that's it! Could it be any easier? Cover and cook on high for 2 hours. After two hours, it looked like this. Looks pretty good, doesn't it? I had actually tried to take some video of myself scooping it out of the pot, so you could see all the chocolate 'lava' in the pot, but when I played it back, the video was too dark to see anything. But, here it is in our bowls. (And, yes, I WAY over-served us. Those 'things' in the chocolate are butterscotch chips. Apparently, they don't melt the way chocolate chips do. Damn me for always trying to modify recipes!)
And, the finishing touch - vanilla ice cream!!! Ok, now that I have you wiping drool from your chin, I need to give you an honest review. While this recipe was good (I mean, come on!! What could be bad about 3 kinds of chocolate, all hot and gooey, topped with ice cream?!) it was not nearly as good as what I made Monday night. There is definitely a difference between 'out of the box' and 'made from scratch.'
Next time, I'm going to triple the first recipe and make it in the big crock. The first recipe was made in my smaller, 2 1/2 qt. crock. Stud and I each had a healthy serving, and we had leftovers for the next day, which Stud, CSJ and I all shared, a few spoonfuls for each of us. The recipe I made tonight was made in my big 6 1/2 qt. crock. Like I said, it's not bad, and it uses things that I ALWAYS have on hand. I'll probably make it again, like maybe the next time my sister and nieces are over for dinner, but I prefer the first recipe.
Ok, KBL, how was that? I'm starting to give some serious thought to your suggestion of starting a cooking blog. The question is - can I just quit my job so I can devote myself full-time to maintaining my blogs? tee hee!