Mushroom & Thyme Pasta with Lemon Butter

I love snow.  It makes me giddy with excitement and I love waking up to see the ground covered in a soft, white mantle.  Snow days filled with an abundance of hot chocolate and a favorite book are some of my favorite days.  However, I must admit that even this Winter enthusiast is growing a bit tired of being snowbound.  I do not like when the weather bosses me around.  

As I have been recently reminded, I am not in control of the universe and so I am trying to take these snowbound days and enjoy the moments I have at home.  Hint: Pasta helps.

Mushroom & Thyme Pasta with Lemon Butter {Pedantic Foodie}

My snow day meal is simple yet satisfying.  If you have spent any time around this blog you know about my affinity for pasta.  Pasta is my comfort food and this particular pasta dish is especially comforting on a brisk, wintry day.

Mushroom & Thyme Pasta with Lemon Butter {Pedantic Foodie}

This pasta begins with pancetta, cooked to a crisp.  Pancetta is basically Italian bacon.  It’s salty, full of flavor, and it is the perfect foundation for our simple sauce.  

Mushrooms provide, a deep meaty element to our dish.  I cooked the mushrooms in the residual fat leftover from the pancetta, because fat is delicious.  

Mushroom & Thyme Pasta with Lemon Butter {Pedantic Foodie}

Orecchiette is one of my favorite pastas, I love how its little pockets grasp onto sauce. 

Mushroom & Thyme Pasta with Lemon Butter {Pedantic Foodie}

I topped my pasta with a simple lemon butter.  Adding the lemon butter just before serving preserves the brightness of the lemon which will help to cut through the fat from the pancetta. 

Mushroom & Thyme Pasta with Lemon Butter {Pedantic Foodie}

You should definitely eat this dish while sitting in your favorite corner of your home and watching the snow fall.  

Of course you could be civilized and eat at an actual table, but where is the fun in that?  

Mushroom & Thyme Pasta with Lemon Butter {Pedantic Foodie}

Maybe snow days aren't so bad after all...

Mushroom & Thyme Pasta with Lemon Butter {Pedantic Foodie}

I am going to eat some more pasta and try very hard to stop slipping on all this ice.  Happy Winter!  

Sincerely, 

   Pedantic Foodie


Mushroom & Thyme Pasta with Lemon Butter 

serves 2 

for the lemon butter

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter 
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon zest 

In a small bowl, use an electric mixture to beat butter until light and fluffy.  Add lemon zest and set aside. 

for the pasta

  • 1/2 cup pancetta 
  • 10 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced thinly
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, leaves removed from stems
  • 1 teaspoon salt + extra for pasta water
  • 1/2 pound Orecchiette
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream 

In a medium sauté pan, cook pancetta over medium heat until crisp.  Remove pancetta and set aside, leaving the fat in the pan.  Add mushrooms, salt, and thyme to the fat and cook until the mushrooms are golden brown, about 7-10 minutes.  

Meanwhile, bring 8 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan and salt liberally.  Add pasta to the boiling water and cook for 10-12 minutes, until al dente.  Remove from heat and drain thoroughly.  

When the mushrooms are cooked, add butter, white wine, heavy cream, and 2/3 of cooked pancetta to the pan.  Stir gently to form a sauce.  Add pasta to the pan and cook for 1-2 minutes to allow the sauce to tighten up.  

Top with remaining pancetta and lemon butter.  Serve immediately.  Enjoy!  

Black Cherry Almond Muffins with Cinnamon Streusel Topping

Here is the thing about muffins, they can be deceptive.  I will not take a muffin from just anyone.  Sometimes even the loveliest of muffins can conceal a spongey, flavorless interior.  In my mind, muffins should be moist, cakey, and lightly sweetened - it’s not a cupcake.

Black Cherry Almond Muffins with Cinnamon Streusel Topping {Pedantic Foodie}

I had cherries on my mind the other day when I was trying to contrive some new recipes.  Unfortunately, the cherry season is still far out of sight, but thankfully, that does not mean that we cannot satisfy our stone fruit cravings.

Frozen cherries came to my rescue and these lovely, cherry-studded muffins were born.

Black Cherry Almond Muffins with Cinnamon Streusel Topping {Pedantic Foodie}

Let’s get started!  These muffins get their cake-like texture from the creaming method.  Soft butter is whipped and beaten with sugar until it is light and fluffy.  This gives our muffins a firm, cakey texture that will hold up to our sweet black cherries. 

Black Cherry Almond Muffins with Cinnamon Streusel Topping {Pedantic Foodie}

Have you ever experienced the disappointment of a berry-studded muffin where all the berries have fallen to the bottom?  It's annoying, but thankfully, it is also very easy to avoid.  Tossing your fruit in a bit of flour before adding it to the batter will keep the fruit from falling to the bottom.  Problem solved!

Black Cherry Almond Muffins with Cinnamon Streusel Topping {Pedantic Foodie}

A muffin that has some sort of topping instantly gains my attention.  For this recipe, I made a simple cinnamon streusel by working a bit of softened butter into cinnamon, oats, flour and sugar.  The streusel adds a bit of extra sweetness and a nice textural element to our muffins.

Black Cherry Almond Muffins with Cinnamon Streusel Topping {Pedantic Foodie}

Batter is scooped into a lined muffin pan and flowers are admired.  If you are anything like me, your iPhone is probably covered in flour by now and you have managed to get muffin batter on your jeans, just go with it.  

Black Cherry Almond Muffins with Cinnamon Streusel Topping {Pedantic Foodie}

In my younger days, I would often ask my mother for butter for my muffin and she would usually say something like, "There is already butter inside the muffins."  To which I would reply, "Okay, that's great, now may I have some more butter please?"

Black Cherry Almond Muffins with Cinnamon Streusel Topping {Pedantic Foodie}

I am grown now and I make my own muffins with butter on the inside and on the outside.  No shame. 

Black Cherry Almond Muffins with Cinnamon Streusel Topping {Pedantic Foodie}

I hope you are all having a wonderful week.  I am currently enjoying a snow storm and drinking obscene amounts of chai.  Happy baking!

Sincerely, 

   Pedantic Foodie

 


Black Cherry Almond Muffins with Cinnamon Streusel Topping

makes 12 / recipe adapted from Culinary Institute of America’s Baking at Home 

for the streusel topping 

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup old fashioned whole oats
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar

Combine oats, flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl.  Use a fork to work in butter, forming a rough crumble.

for the muffins 

  • 2 cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided use
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder 
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen black cherries 
  • 1/3 cup chopped unsalted almonds

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a muffin pan with muffin cup liners.  

In a medium bowl, sift to combine baking powder, salt, nutmeg and 2 cups all-purpose flour.  Set aside. In a separate bowl whisk to combine milk, vanilla, and egg.  

In a large bowl, use a hand-mixer to beat butter on high speed for one minute.  Add sugars and beat for 3-5 minutes or until light and fluffy. Slowly incorporate milk and flour mixtures in small increments, alternating between the two while mixing on low speed. 

In a separate bowl, toss frozen cherries in 2 tablespoons flour.  Fold almonds and coated cherries into the muffin batter, making sure to distribute them evenly.  

Use a spoon or spring-loaded disher to divide batter among the muffin cups.  

Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with about a tablespoon of streusel mixture.  Press down slightly to ensure that the streusel sticks to the top of the muffin.  

Bake for 25 minutes or until the tops are deep golden brown.  Serve warm or at room temperature.  Enjoy!

Happy Valentine's Day {Part II}

I have been a full grown lady for a few years now and I have learned a lot of things.  I have learned that if I stress about messing something up, I definitely will.  I have learned that tears will happen and that there is no shame in turning to a sweet friend or a wonderful mama when things get tough.  I have learned that people will leave and life will change, and dwelling on the sadness of these things distracts from enjoying the wonderful thing that is the present.  I have also learned a lot about love.  How I should love myself and how I should love others.  Love comes from seeing the beauty in what is flawed, and every single one of us is flawed.  Loving yourself is one of the hardest things to do but if you can learn to love yourself, just as you were created, you can love others better. 

Happy Valentine's Day {Pedantic Foodie}

I have by no means mastered any of these things, but I am learning, and I have grown to love the people in my life in a sweeter way than I ever could before.  

 

“Unless you love someone, nothing else makes sense.” e.e. cummings 

 

If you need some last-minute inspiration here are a few Valentine-appropriate recipes...

Remember these Chocolate Cream Scones?  These scones come together quickly and are irresistible when paired with a bit of raspberry jam.   

These Red Velvet Moon Pies look absolutely heavenly.  They are most definitely on my list of things to bake in the near future.  

These Cocoa-Dusted Vanilla Rose Meringues are so unique and perfect for this holiday.  They are sweet and floral with just the right amount of chocolate.  

 

I hope you all spend this wonderful day with someone you love.  Bake together, read together, or simply enjoy each other's company.  Happy Valentine's Day.  

Sincerely, 

   Pedantic Foodie