Welcome to The Pink Kitchen.....where life is fashionably delicious!!!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Freshly Squeezed

I had some "Pink Kitchen drama" a few weeks ago. My largest stove burner (the one I use all the time) stopped working, which turned me into Little Miss Grumpy Pants. I was almost to the point of going on cooking strike! There wasn't a whole lot of cooking going on for about a week or two. Luckily, the oven still worked just fine so I could still bake. Since then, the stove has been fixed and now everyone's happy again. 

I made this recipe last night and it was so fresh and delicious. As I was juicing the lemons, all I could think of was Yolanda from the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills! Haha!!! (If you watch the show you will know why right away!) If you've never seen the show, Yolanda, David Foster's wife, is obsessed with lemons and has about 5 acres of lemon trees on their property. It's insane! So anyway, I couldn't help but think of her. She may be on to something. This dish would have been boring without the lemons. I'm going to find ways to use lemons more often. They really add so much flavor! And they are great to use as a salt substitute if you have high blood pressure or are on a sodium restriction. Yay lemons!

Roasted Vegetable Pasta with Lemon Cream Sauce


2 containers button mushrooms, thickly sliced
1 bunch asparagus, tough ends removed
1 lb angel hair pasta (I only used approx 3/4 of the box)
2 lemons, juiced and zested (1/4 cup juice, 2 Tbsp zest)
5 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp whole grain mustard (optional)
2 cups half-n-half
2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
4 Tbsp butter
Salt and pepper to taste


1. In a small bowl, combine olive oil, 1/4 cup lemon juice, mustard, and three minced garlic cloves. Stir in approx. 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper.
2. Place asparagus and mushrooms on a large baking pan. Toss with olive oil mixture.

3. Bake vegetables at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, stirring half way through.
4. In the meantime, melt butter in a saucepan with remaining 2 cloves of minced garlic. 
Once butter is melted and garlic begins to 'bubble', add the half-n-half.
5. Simmer over low heat for about 5 minutes until heated through. Do not boil. Remove from heat and stir in parmesan cheese and 2 Tbsp lemon zest. Add salt and pepper to taste.
6. Removed vegetables from oven. Asparagus should be tender, but not soggy.
7. Boil pasta as directed. Drain.
8. Serve vegetables and lemon cream sauce over pasta or toss all together. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Love at First Bite

You know how every once in a while you stumble upon something so delicious, you almost get that "guilty feeling" when you're eating it? You can't shove your fork into your mouth fast enough because it's just THAT good? Sometimes the way flavors blend together just makes your taste buds do a little dance! Take for instance this combination: cheese, potatoes, and kielbasa. Put them together with a creamy sauce and you won't know what to do with yourself! The saltiness and spices of the kielbasa infiltrate the entire dish. And who doesn't love the combination of cheese and potatoes?! Hello!!!! No brainer! This turned out even better than expected and I couldn't wait to share it with everyone. Oh, and by the way, it's a total "man-pleasing meal"......sure to score major points!

Scalloped Potatoes with Kielbasa


1 pound polish kielbasa (smoked sausage), cut into half-moons
3 pounds Yukon gold potatoes (I used about 15 small potatoes)
1/2 an onion, diced
3 Tbsp flour
4 Tbsp butter
1 cup water
1 1/2 cup milk
Salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a large casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray.
2. Peel and boil whole potatoes just until fork tender (they will continue to bake in the oven). Drain and allow to cool.
3. In a large saute pan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add onions and saute until translucent and tender.  Add flour and stir quickly to make a rue. 
4. Immediately at water, whisking while pouring to prevent lumps. Once the mixture is thick and smooth, add the milk and stir. Season with salt and pepper.
5. Slice the potatoes in 1/4-inch-thick slices. Layer half of the potatoes slices evenly over the bottom of casserole dish. Layer all kielbasa slices over the potatoes. Repeat with remaining potatoes.
6. Pour milk/onion mixture evenly over the top of the casserole. Push down any remaining pieces of potato that may be sticking up out of the sauce. 
7. Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Remove foil and top with cheddar cheese. Return to oven for 10 minutes until cheese is melted and casserole is bubbly. Allow to sit for a few minutes, then dig in like your life depends on it!!!

(Note: I highly recommend using Yukon gold potatoes in this. They have a creamier texture so it won't taste quite the same with russet or red potatoes.)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

My Daily Bread

I really don't eat a lot of bread, so it's kind of funny that this is my second post in a row on bread. But I couldn't resist sharing this exciting news!!!

The other day, I conquered one of my biggest baking fears.....BREAD. I've made banana bread and zucchini bread, but never plain white bread. Why was I so scared? Why did it seem so intimidating? I'm happy to say, it went surprisingly well. The worst part was waiting for the dough to rise, but besides that, it couldn't have been any easier. I let my KitchenAid mixer and dough hook attachment do all the work. Now I'm not sure I will ever buy bread from the store again. It's loaded with preservatives and doesn't even taste like real bread. Plus it scares me how it can last over a month without getting moldy. That's just not normal. I've been using fresh slices for my husband's sandwiches all week and he loves it. I can't wait to make another loaf and try different varieties!

Classic Sandwich Bread 


3 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup hot water
1/2 stick butter, melted
1 1/2 Tbsp sugar
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 packet active dry yeast, dissolved in 1 Tbsp warm water


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a large bowl and a loaf pan with cooking spray.
2. Mix together cold milk and hot water. Add the liquid and all other ingredients to a mixing bowl. Mix on slow speed with a dough hook until dough is smooth and supple, about 4 minutes. (If not using a mixer, stir all ingredients together in a bowl then turn out onto a lightly greased surface. Knead dough for 6-8 minutes.)
3. Place dough in greased bowl. Cover with a towel. Allow dough to rise for about 2 hours until about doubled in size. 
4. Transfer dough to a lightly oiled surface and shape into an 8 inch log. Place log gently into greased loaf pan. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and allow dough to rise an additional 60 minutes. Dough should be domed approximately one inch above the edge of the pan. 
5. Bake bread for 35-40 minutes until light golden brown. Bread should pop right out of the pan when tipped over. Test for doneness by tapping on the bottom of the loaf. It should sound hollow. Cool on a wire rack before slicing. Store at room temperature in a plastic bag. 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

It's Ba-na-nas

Sure we've all made banana bread sometime or another. It's a basic. When I stumbled on this recipe I was really excited to switch up my plain old, stand-by recipe. This is more like a "gourmet" version of banana bread. Something you would see in a little bakery boutique in NYC. The best thing is it's really simple to make, but tastes like you slaved over it! The cinnamon sugar mixture placed inside the bread forms a warm, gooey middle and the rest is poured on top to form a crispy, sweet crust. YUM! Talk about comfort food at its best! With the cold weather outside I get a craving for warm, toasty baked goods straight from the oven. Oh, wait......I crave that all year round. Never mind.

Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread (adapted from Lovin' From The Oven)


3 over-ripe bananas
1/3 cup melted butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla bean paste (or 2 tsp vanilla extract)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups flour

For the swirl & topping:

1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a loaf pan and set aside. Stir together sugar and cinnamon mixture and set aside.
2. Peel bananas and place in a large bowl and mash well with a fork. Stir in melted butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla. 
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. 
4. Slowly stir flour mixture into wet ingredients.
5. Pour half of batter into loaf pan. Sprinkle a little more than half of the cinnamon sugar mixture evenly over the batter.
6. Spread remaining batter over top. Sprinkle with remaining cinnamon sugar. 
7. Bake for 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool on a baking rack.