Seriously, Spaghetti alle Vongole!

This dish was so fun to make and turned out so beautifully, I can’t stop smiling about it. This would be great to serve fora dinner party! Don’t forget the bread!

I seriously cannot believe I made this dish! To me, there is something so beautiful about simple food. Basically this dish is clams in a white sauce with tomatoes over pasta. It doesn’t get more basic. I adore the way seafood looks, especially clams and mussels, and this dish is a wizz-bang-show-stopper! I mean, just look at the colors! I loved every part of making this meal and I certainly plan on doing it again!

We started at the fish market. I am a clam virgin so I relied on the fish monger to explain them to me. Turns out, clams are not cheap, so he suggested we buy just the meat to get more bang for our money. I wanted the real deal, so we bought both. I can’t imagine making this dish without the clams in their shells; it’s half the fun!

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As soon as we got home, I put them in a bowl of cold water, sprinkled in some semolina, and let them sit in the refrigerator until dinner. Supposedly, the semolina makes the clams open up and spit out any sand they might be holding onto. (Black pepper works as well.)

Step one of this dish was to prepare my ingredients. I sliced half of my tomatoes and left the other half whole; chopped my parsley; then I smashed my garlic and prepared my pasta and set it aside. (They say to wait until the last minute to chop the parsley so it is as fresh as possible. I’ll do that next time. I was nervous about making this dish so I wanted everything prepared ahead.)

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When I was ready, I heated my olive oil to medium, and then added in the garlic and red pepper flakes. This cooked until fragrant (oh and it was a beautiful aroma!) about two minutes.

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Then came the tomatoes. (Isn’t this pretty? I loved the colors!) The point here is to blister them in the oil. It takes about five minutes.

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Here is a silly video of the tomatoes blistering:

Next comes the wine! I used a Sauvignon Blanc. They say to only cook with a wine you would drink so I followed the rules to the letter. This was left to come up to a boil. (Took about a minute.)

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The clams go in next! Then the pot gets covered for two minutes in order to steam them. (I swear to you, I’m feeling giddy typing this out. I had some much fun doing this!)

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I was a little bit uncertain about when to add the extra clam meat, so I opted to wait until I could see the clams starting to open. I was really afraid of over-cooking them. No one wants to bite into a rubber clam!

Here they have started to open up, so this is the point where I dropped in the other clam meat.

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This is another silly video that captures my giddiness!

Finally, it’s time to add in the pasta. We used angel hair pasta, which is our favorite. The recipe calls for spaghetti or linguine, but I ignored that part. The important part was not to cook the pasta all the way through because it continues to cook in the sauce. Thankfully, I managed to get it right.

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Lastly, the fresh parsley goes in, the heat goes off and then the cheese goes on.

Voila! How gorgeous is this!!!

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Ingredients:
Kosher salt
12 ounces spaghetti or linguine (we used angel hair pasta)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for finishing
8 cloves garlic, smashed
1/4 teaspoon crushed hot pepper flakes
8 ounces very small cherry tomatoes, roughly crushed with your hands, or regular cherry tomatoes, halved (I sliced half of the tomatoes in half and left the other whole & I didn’t crush them.)
1 cup dry white wine (I used Kendall Jackson Sauvignon Blanc)
48 tiny clams such as cockles or vongole (We used 24 clams & a pound of frozen clam meat, thawed)
1 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley, plus more for serving
1/2 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving
3 tablespoons unsalted butter

Directions:
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a generous amount of salt (salty like the sea!) and the pasta and stir to separate. Cook until a few minutes shy of al dente, then drain.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant and sizzling, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the pepper flakes and tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes are slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and bring to a boil for 1 minute. Add the clams and cover for 2 to 3 minutes. Uncover and cook, stirring, until the clams open. Discard unopened clams.

Add the pasta to the skillet along with the parsley, cheese and butter. Cook, tossing and stirring and drizzling with olive oil, until the pasta is cooked through and the sauce is silky and thickened. Serve drizzled with oil and sprinkled with cheese and parsley.

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: If you don’t serve this with a loaf of crusty bread, you will seriously regret it!

How do I know this? We forgot and seriously regretted it! The sauce is divine and crusty bread would have been perfect for sopping it up!

Easy Chicken Enchiladas

One of my favorite recipes for feeding a crowd is enchiladas. They are simple, inexpensive, easy to make and they’re delicious. I have made them so many times I don’t even follow a recipe any more. These things are so forgiving, you can put anything in them. They are great to make when you want to make space in the fridge, which is how these happened. I had some onions and peppers I needed to use, so poof: enchiladas!

One of my favorite recipes for feeding a crowd is enchiladas. They are simple, inexpensive, easy to make and they’re delicious. I have made them so many times I don’t even follow a recipe any more. These things are so forgiving, you can put anything in them. They are great to make when you want to make space in the fridge, which is how these happened. I had some onions and peppers I needed to use, so poof: enchiladas!

One of my favorite gifts to give are gifts of food. So we make a bunch of pans of these at least once per month and deliver them to friends and neighbors door-to-door. So fun and ALWAYS appreciated!

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These started by sauteing some onion & red pepper. I always season with  S&P, cumin, and that mexican spice mix we all have!
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Next I season my chicken tenders with S&P, cumin, smoky paprika, garlic, and chili powder, then cook it in my cast iron pan.
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Shred the cooked chicken with two forks.
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Add the chicken to the onions, pour in a can or two of prepared enchilada sauce & a can of drained black beans (because black beans are high in fiber and we love them!) Sometimes I sneak in some fresh spinach or kale. It’s still delicious!
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Don’t forget the shredded cheddar cheese and some adobo sauce for some heat.
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Now the fun part. Start rolling.
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Coat the bottom of the pan with sauce and then fill it up!
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Fill up the pan!
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Top with some more sauce!
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Add some more cheese and cilantro!
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Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes.
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Serve with fresh cilantro, sour cream, avocado slices and whatever else your heart desires!

Enjoy!

Day 3 of the 3 Day Quote Challenge!

Challenge accepted and completed as of this posting. What a fun thing to do.

Two days ago I was nominated by my new friend and super blogger Tarnished Soul to do the 3 Day Quote Challenge. I posted the rules yesterday and the day before so in the interest of not boring people to death, I will not repeat it!

Today I nominate these three super cool (and VERY creative) bloggers:

Jaealeta from Aleta’s Attic

The Mouse from Live 2 Eat Eat 2 Live

Jess from Mom Vs. Jess

Today’s Quotes:

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risky

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Bonus:

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In keeping with my tradition of pulling cards for everything I post, here are the ones I’ve drawn for this page. If they speak to you, they are meant for you!

From The Angels:

divine-guidance Divine Guidance: If you could see yourself as spirit sees you, there would be no doubt about the importance of this life. You would understand why it’s so vital that you wake up fully and walk the Earth like the Divine being you truly are. Your angels are inspiring you make your best efforts to create a life worthy of remembering. You know the potency of using your next present moments to masterfully create a new way of being.

Being able to make miracles happen is fundamentally a result of how you choose to align yourself, how you choose to use your mind, and how much faith you have in being able to use it to affect your physical world.

You have teachers, observers, and divine guidance available at any time. This world is your arena for growth and learning with the specific purpose of serving and evolving into higher levels of love. There is a higher power working in the universe beyond mere cause and effect. Pay close attention God and the angels are trying to speak to you.

spiritual-growth Spiritual Growth: Integrate spirituality to a higher degree in your daily live! Enjoy the process!

You are seeking a higher connection a renewed connection with the Divine and you wish you could immerse yourself read, study, learn, or meditate take it all in at once. The exhilaration of moving up to a higher level of consciousness is challenging slow down and enjoy the process.

Trust that the same Power that brought you to your spiritual path will also take care of everything for you.

meditation Meditation: When we meditate, we begin to feel the touch of our spirit we sense our vibration increasing in an internal, eternal, melding of self with our soul. Meditation is very important you are encouraged to practicing it often.

A quiet mind hears the voice of the angels more easily. The more you relax your mind, the easier it is for you to hear the answer.

Open our heart and mind, this abundant love has no boundaries.

Day 2 of the 3 Day Quote Challenge

Yesterday I was nominated to participate in a three day quote challenge. I love a good challenge and I love quotes so this is a complete NO-brainer for me.

The rules are posted on yesterday’s entry but in a nutshell, I will post three quotes for three days and tag three other bloggers to do the same each day. (If you are tagged, you have to include a link back to my blog.) Oh and I promised to link to the person who tagged me: Tarnished Soul

Today I’ve listed some of my favorite Bible quotes:

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I nominate the following (and remember, if you are not interested in doing this, it’s not an issue. This is all in fun!):

Oneanna65

Empress2inspire

Simply About Love


 

And because I’m a good sport, I pulled these cards to attach here. If they speak to you, they are meant for you!

freedom Freedom: The angels guide you to freely express your true thoughts and feelings with love.

You may feel trapped right now by life conditions. By drawing this card, the angels ask you to realize that you are the only jail keeper that ever surfaces in your own life. Whenever you realize that you have the power to be free, freedom follows. Everything that you do in your life is by choice, and you are free to choose again. Even prisoners are free to choose their thoughts so that they feel peace and happiness under any conditions.

The next time you begin a sentence with the words, “I have to ______,” please stop. Ask God and the angels to show you some alternatives. They will either help you complete the task from a loving mind-set so that you don’t feel trapped, or they will guide you to do something else that you will love.

self-acceptance Self-Acceptance: You are a perfect child of God, and every part of you is wonderful. Your angels guide you to let go of negative self-judgments and to enjoy being you!

“You are much too hard on yourself,” your angels say to you through this card. Although you enjoy having high standards, it’s important to view yourself through loving eyes. Berating yourself only makes your spirit sink. Self-improvement comes from a positive mind-set.

See yourself through your angels’ eyes, and you will see someone who is a perfect and holy child of God. Although you have made mistakes in the past, there is nothing that you could have ever said, thought, or done that would change God’s love for you. The angels see past your surface mistakes; they see the beating heart of God’s love within you. They love you unconditionally, and they ask you to love yourself in the same way!

new-beginnings New Beginnings: A clean slate is presented to you as you now encounter fresh opportunities and novel experiences.

Embrace the new in your life, including new opportunities, people, and projects. The angels know that change can be frightening, and they surround you now with loving energy. Call upon them whenever you feel afraid of facing novel situations. They will boost your confidence and energy so that you can enjoy your new beginnings.

Sometimes we cling to old routines because they are familiar. By drawing this card, the angels ask you to be open to new approaches to life. Perhaps they will teach you a new way of looking at situations. Or maybe they will call on you to learn a new skill. Whatever the new beginning is for you, allow yourself to be stretched by the fresh circumstances. We learn about ourselves through new experiences.