Sunday, December 29, 2013

Cranberry Sauce

1 (12oz) bag fresh cranberries
2 large oranges
1 cup pure maple syrup

1. Rinse the cranberries under cold water. Zest the oranges.

2. Add the cranberries and zest to a medium saucepan. Squeeze the juice from both oranges into the saucepan. Add the maple syrup and stir it all together.

3. Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, until it’s nice and thick. If the sauce still seems a little thin, just simmer longer until it’s the right consistency.

4. Transfer the sauce to a dish and cover. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Can be made up to 2 days in advance. Store in the fridge.

Makes approximately 3 cups.

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Thursday, December 26, 2013

Chocolate-Dipped Peppermint Shortbread

2.5 cups all purpose flour
6 tbsp sugar
1 cup butter (no substitutions), cold, cut into pieces
1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp peppermint extract, divided
1 cup peppermint bark candy, chopped
1 bag (10oz) bittersweet chocolate chips

1. In a food processor with knife blade attached, pulse flour, salt, and sugar until combined. Add butter and vanilla, and pulse until dough begins to come together. Place dough in a medium bowl. Gently knead in peppermint bark pieces until evenly blended and dough forms a ball.

2. Line a 9x13" baking pan with wax paper. Pat dough into roughly a 9x10" rectangle; freeze 15 minutes. 

3. Preheat oven to 325 with baking rack in top third of oven.

4. Cut dough into three sections, the "long way" and into one-inch "sticks" the "short way." Place sticks 1" apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.

5. Bake cookies 23-26 minutes, rotating once, or until lightly browned on the bottom and just beginning to get a hint of light brown on top. Transfer cookies to wax paper-lined wire rack to cool.

6. Once the cookies have cooled completely, place half the chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave 75 seconds at 70%; stir. Continue heating chocolate chips at 10-15 second intervals, stirring between, until completely melted. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract. Dip each cookie 3/4 of the way in melted chocolate, using a spoon to help coat cookie evenly. Place on a wax-paper lined cookie sheet. Repeat for remaining cookies, melting more chocolate when the first batch is used up.

7. Place cookies in freezer for 15 minutes to harden, moving cookie sheets to refrigerator until the chocolate finishes setting.

8. Once completely hardened, store in tightly covered container, separating layers with wax paper.

Makes approximately 36 cookies.

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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Baked Acorn Squash

1 acorn squash
2 tbsp unsalted butter
pure maple syrup
salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 375 and line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil. Lightly mist foil with cooking spray. Slice off top of squash and cut into quarters. Using a spoon, scoop out and discard seeds and fibers.

2. Place 1/2 tbsp butter inside each squash quarter and drizzle each with maple syrup. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place squash quarters on baking sheet, spaced far enough apart so they don't touch.

3. Bake until squash is tender, 35 to 45 minutes. Serve hot.

Serves 4.

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Late Summer Cherry Goat Cheese Salad

cherries, either fresh and pitted or dried
pears, sliced thinly
goat cheese
mixed nuts
greens
sliced chicken breast (optional)

Combine first five ingredients. Top with chicken, if desired. Serve with Maple Balsamic Dressing.



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Maple Balsamic Dressing

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1.5 tbsp Dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid, shake, and serve atop your favorite salad. Store any remaining dressing in the refrigerator for up to a week.

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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Pickled Beets

3-4 beets (greens should be removed and discarded before storing)
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp dry mustard

1. Trim the stems and any roots from beets and cut into uniform pieces for even cooking. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add beets. Boil for 30 minutes or until beets are fork-tender.

2. Drain beets, rinsing them under cold running water. Using your fingers, slip the peels off the beets. Discard peels and slice beets. Place beets in a bowl and add shallots.

3. Make the vinaigrette by combining the remaining ingredients. (Either whisk together in a bowl or put in a lidded jar and shake to combine.) Add vinaigrette to the beets. Stir well. Serve immediately or allow to marinate for up to a half hour at room temperature.

Note: Beets can be served warm, room temperature or chilled.

Serves 4.

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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies



1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1.5 tsp vanilla extract
2.25 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 375.

2. Using a mixer, cream together butter and sugar. Add the eggs and mix together. Pour in vanilla and mix until combined.

3. In a medium bowl, pour flour, baking soda and salt. Mix with a fork until completely combined.

4. Slowly add flour mixture to butter mixture, mixing each time until combined before adding more of the flour mixture.

5. Fold in the chocolate chips with a spatula.

6. Drop dough onto cookie sheets in rounded tablespoonfuls placed about two inches apart.

7. Bake 8-11 minutes (mine took 9-10 minutes), until lightly golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool on cookie sheets for 5 minutes before transferring cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes approximately 3 dozen cookies.

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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Blueberry Muffins

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1.25 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 cups plus 1 tbsp all purpose flour, divided
1/2 cup whole milk
2.75 cups fresh blueberries
sugar in the raw

1. Preheat your oven to 375 and line a muffin tin with 18 paper liners. Rinse berries and allow to drain.

2. In a large bowl beat the softened butter until smooth. Add in the cup of sugar and blend until pale yellow. Add eggs, one at a time and mix well after each egg is added.

3. Next measure and add in the vanilla, baking powder and salt. Mix just until combined.

4. Add in 1 cup of the flour, mix. 1/4 cup of milk, blend. The remaining flour, mix and repeat with the remainder of the milk. Mix on medium speed until the batter is thick and smooth.

5. Toss the blueberries in with a tablespoon of flour and stir. Add the blueberries to the batter and use a rubber spatula to gently fold the blueberries into the batter.

6. Divide the muffin batter among 18 paper liners. Sprinkle with a little bit of sugar in the raw and then bake in a preheated oven for 15-19 minutes, rotating the pan halfway. (My lighter colored muffin tin took an additional 3 minutes beyond the longest bake time.) Muffins are done when they spring back from the touch.

7. Let cool slightly before serving.

Makes 18 muffins.

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Friday, August 9, 2013

Lasagna Soup

2 tsp olive oil
1 lb lean ground beef
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 can (6oz) tomato paste
1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes
5 cups chicken broth
4 oz mini pasta (shape of your choice)
5 oz fresh baby spinach
1/2 tsp salt
ground black pepper
grated Parmesan or shredded mozzarella

1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, in a large pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add ground beef and saute, breaking it up into small pieces with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink. Drain any excess fat from the pot. Add onions and garlic; saute until softened.

3. In a large pot, combine broth, tomatoes in their juice and tomato paste, stirring to combine. Add oregano, Italian seasoning, basil, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper; stir. Bring just to a boil, then reduce heat. Add ground beef mixture. Allow to simmer for 15 minutes.

4. Add pasta to soup. Then add spinach, stirring gently, until spinach has completely wilted.

5. Serve topped with grated Parmesan or shredded mozzarella, whichever you prefer.

Serves 6.

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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Grilled Sweet-and-Sour Meatball Kabobs

1 large bell pepper, cut into 12 pieces OR 6 small sweet peppers, halved
8 thin wedges red onion
12 small fresh whole mushrooms
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
16 frozen cooked meatballs, thawed
3/4 cup sweet-and-sour sauce

1. Heat grill. In large bowl, combine bell pepper, onion and mushrooms. Sprinkle with seasoned salt; toss to coat.

2. Alternately thread meatballs, bell pepper, onion and mushrooms onto four 12 to 14-inch metal skewers.

3. When ready to grill, place kabobs on gas grill over medium heat. Cook 10-15 minutes or until meatballs are thoroughly heated and vegetables are crisp-tender, brushing generously with half of the sweet-and-sour sauce and turning frequently. Serve kabobs with remaining half of sauce for dipping.

Serves 4.

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Monday, July 15, 2013

Macaroni Salad

1.5 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
1⁄3 cup celery, diced
1⁄4 cup shallots, minced
1 tbsp flat-leaf Italian parsley, minced
1⁄2 cup vine-ripened tomato, diced
1⁄2 cup prepared mayonnaise
1/4 cup Miracle Whip dressing
3⁄4 tsp ground mustard
1 1⁄2 tsp sugar
1 1⁄2 tbsp cider vinegar
3 tbsp sour cream
1/2 tsp salt
salt and pepper to taste
chopped hard boiled egg (optional)

1. Cook macaroni according to package directions. Rinse under cool water and allow to drain well.

2. In a large bowl combine the macaroni, celery, onion, parsley and tomato.

3. In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, Miracle Whip, mustard, sugar, vinegar, sour cream and salt. Pour the dressing over the salad and stir to combine.

4. Gently stir in eggs, if desired. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve. Store covered in the refrigerator, for up to 3 days.

Serves 6.

Note: May try adding some thinly sliced radish next time.

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Thursday, July 4, 2013

Milk Dud Brownies

1 cup butter
2.25 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 tsp salt
1.25 cups cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1.5 cups all-purpose flour
10 oz Milk Duds

1. Preheat the oven to 350. Butter a 9×13" baking dish.

2. In small saucepan over low heat, melt butter completely. Stir in sugar and continue cooking for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. Do not allow sugar mixture to boil.

3.  Pour butter mixture into a large bowl or stand mixer, beat in cocoa powder, eggs, salt, baking powder,  and vanilla extract. Mix until well combined.

4. Stir in the flour and Milk Duds until well combined.

5. Pour into prepared pan and bake for about 30 minutes, until a tester comes out mostly clean. The edges should be set and the center should still look slightly moist, but not uncooked.  Cool on a wire rack.

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Freezer Sweet Corn



20 ears fresh corn, cut off the cob
1 qt hot water
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, cubed
2 tsp salt

1. In a stockpot, combine all ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Transfer to large shallow containers; cool, stirring occasionally.

3. Freeze in resealable plastic freezer bags or freezer containers, allowing headspace for expansion.

Makes 3 quarts.

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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Capellini Pomodoro with Sausage

1 lb ground sausage
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (28oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
3/4 cup water
1/4 tsp black pepper
8 oz angel hair pasta
1 container (8oz) Philadelphia Cream Cheese
1/2 cup of one of the following liquids: chicken broth, heavy whipping cream, or half-and-half
2 tsp Italian herb blend
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp thinly sliced fresh basil

1. Cook sausage in a large skillet over medium heat, 5 minutes or until evenly browned, adding garlic for the last minute.

2.Over low heat, put the 1/2 cup of selected liquid and the cream cheese in a small pot. Allow cream cheese to melt into liquid, gently stirring often. Once melted, stir in the 2 teaspoons of Italian herbs. Remove from heat.

2. Add tomatoes, water and pepper to sausage; stir. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat slightly. Simmer for 6 minutes, stirring halfway through.

3. While sausage and tomatoes are simmering, cook pasta according to package directions.

4. Add cream cheese sauce, Parmesan and basil to sausage mixture. Cook and stir 2-3 minutes, until cooking creme is heated through.

5. Drain pasta and return to pot. Add sausage mixture and mix thoroughly so sauce is evenly distributed.

Serves 6.

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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Fresh Basil Pesto

2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup pine nuts, hazelnuts or walnuts
3-4 medium sized garlic cloves, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tbsp lemon juice or juice from 1/2 a lemon

1. Combine the basil in with the nuts, pulse a few times in a food processor. (If you are using walnuts or hazelnuts instead of pine nuts and they are not already chopped, pulse them a few times first, before adding the basil.) Add the garlic and lemon juice, pulse a few times more.

2. Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on. Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula.

3. Add the grated cheese and pulse again until blended. Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Note: If freezing, do not add the cheese until you've thawed it to use as the cheese does not freeze well.

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Chicken Parmesan

1.50 lb chicken tenders
2 eggs
black pepper
1 sleeve Ritz crackers
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup olive oil, plus more if needed
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 jar tomato sauce
shredded mozzarella cheese


1. Preheat oven to 350 and lightly spray a 9x13 baking dish with baking spray.

2. In a large bag crush up the whole sleeve of crackers into small pieces with your hands and season with the half teaspoon of kosher salt, shaking to combine.

3. In a shallow dish, whisk together the two eggs and black pepper. Dip the chicken breast halves in one at a time coating both sides and drip any excess egg back into the dish.

4. Add the coated chicken into the bag with the crushed crackers, shake to coat pressing the crackers into the chicken and then place on a large plate. Repeat with the remaining chicken until all of the chicken breast halves are coated.

5. In a large 10" non-stick skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Once hot, work in batches adding two of the chicken breast halves at a time and cook for 3 minutes per side.After each batch, remove to a paper towel lined plate, blotting to absorb any excess oil and then arrange in the prepared 9x13 baking dish. Repeat with the remaining chicken.

6. Spoon the sauce over top of the chicken leaving pieces exposed. Evenly sprinkle with the Parmesan and cover with foil. Bake 15 minutes.

7. Remove foil, top with mozzarella and return the dish back into the oven  for 5 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Serves 4.

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Chicken and Wine over Parslied Pasta


1 tsp salt, divided
1/4 tsp plus 1/8 tsp white pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
4.5 tbsp flour, divided
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 lb pasta of choice
4 tbsp unsalted butter, divided
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 tsp minced garlic
8 oz sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1.5 tsp lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley


1. Combine 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp white pepper, cayenne pepper, paprika and 3 tbsp flour in a ziploc bag. Dredge chicken in flour mixture. Set aside.

2. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and return to pot. Toss with 1.5 tbsp butter and chopped parsley. Cover to keep warm.

3. While pasta is cooking, in a large saute pan over medium-high heat, saute chicken in 1.5 tbsp butter, 2-3 minutes each side. Transfer to a plate and cover to keep warm.

4. Working in the same pan, add 1 tbsp butter, 1/4 tsp salt, onions and mushrooms to pan and cook, stirring, 5 minutes, till beginning to brown. Add garlic and saute 30 seconds. Stir in 1.5 tbsp flour, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper. Add wine, let it bubble up, then stir up any brown bits at bottom of pan. Add chicken broth and lemon juice. Cook 3-4 minutes, or till gravy consistency is reached, adding additional broth if needed.

5. Put chicken back in pan, reduce heat, cover and simmer on low for 15-20 minutes, stirring and turning chicken once, until chicken is done.

Serves 4.

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Loaded Potato Soup



2.5 lbs red potatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 package uncooked bacon, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 medium onion, diced
2-3 stalks of celery, sliced
8 cups milk
4 cups water
4 chicken bullion cubes (use a cup of the hot potato water to dissolve, then use the cup of hot water in place of one of the above cups of water)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
3/4 cup salted butter
3/4 cup flour
1/4 bunch freshly chopped parsley
1 cup whipping cream
shredded cheese
crumbled crispy bacon
chopped green onions or chives
sour cream

1. In large pot, boil potatoes in water 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.

2. In a sauté pan, cook bacon until crisp. Drain bacon fat and place on paper towel over plate to drain more.

3. Add onion and celery to bacon pan over medium-high heat until celery is tender, about 5 minutes.

4. In a large stock pot, add milk, water, bullion, salt and pepper. Cook over medium-high heat until mixture is very hot, about 8 minutes, stirring often. Do not let mixture boil. Meanwhile, in small, heavy saucepan melt butter. Add flour and mix well. Cook over medium-low heat until mixture bubbles, stirring 2 to 3 minutes to make a roux.

5. While constantly stirring soup, add roux slowly until soup is thick and creamy, about 4 minutes. Stir in parsley, potatoes, bacon (reserve some for garnish if desired), celery, onions and cream. Simmer until potatoes and bacon are heated through.

6. Serve garnished with sour cream, cheese, bacon bits and green onions/chives, if desired.

Serves 6-8.

Notes: This recipe freezes well. End at Step 5. Garnish after reheating.

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Sunday, April 7, 2013

Cheddar Jack Creamed Spinach

1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp oil
15 oz fresh baby spinach, rinsed
4 oz cream cheese, cubed
1 pkg (6oz) KRAFT "Fresh Take" Cheddar Jack and Bacon Cheese Breadcrumb mix, mixed together

1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray 9" pie plate with cooking spray.

2. Cook onions and garlic in oil in large skillet over medium heat 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add spinach, cook and stir 4 minutes or until just wilted. Drain; return to pan.

3. Add cream cheese and half the breadcrumb mixture to spinach; mix well. Spoon into pie plate. Top with remaining breadcrumb mixture.

4. Bake 10-12 minutes or until heated through and topping is golden brown.

Serves 4-6.

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Friday, April 5, 2013

Broccoli Cheese Stuffed Chicken

2 cups fresh broccoli florets
1 cup fresh pre-sliced baby portabellas
1 pkg (6oz) refrigerated four-cheese and bread crumb mix, divided
1 jar (15oz) Alfredo sauce, divided
1.25 lb boneless chicken cutlets
3 tbsp mayonnaise
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

1. Preheat oven to 375. Chop broccoli and mushrooms into small bite-size pieces. Open bag of bread crumb cheese mix and combine contents until blended.

2. Combine broccoli, mushrooms, 1 cup bread crumb cheese mix and 1 cup Alfredo sauce. Spread remaining sauce in 2-quart baking dish.

3. Coat both sides of chicken with mayonnaise, salt and pepper. Place 1/3 cup broccoli mixture in center of each cutlet, roll chicken around stuffing, and place seam-side down in baking dish. Add remaining broccoli mixture around chicken.

4. Sprinkle remaining bread crumb cheese mix over top of chicken. Bake 25-30 minutes or until chicken is 165 degrees.

Serves 4.

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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Super-Easy Cherry Pie



1 box Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust, softened according to package directions
2 cans (21oz each) cherry pie filling

1. Heat oven to 425. Using a 9" glass pie dish, following package instructions for making a two-crust pie, line the dish with the bottom crust.

2. Spoon filling into crust-lined dish. Top with second crust; seal edges. Cut slits in several places in top crust. Cover edges of crust with aluminum foil to prevent excessive browning while baking.

3. Bake 40-45 minutes, or until crust is golden brown; it is advisable to place a baking sheet on the other rack beneath the pie to catch any juices that overflow, but do NOT place the pie dish directly on the baking sheet. After 20 minutes of baking, remove foil. Cool at least one hour before serving.

Serves 8-10.

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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Brown Sugar Glazed Baby Carrots

1 pound baby carrots
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup butter
1/2 tsp salt

1. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Salt the water (if desired) and add carrots. Boil uncovered 10 minutes or until carrots are preferred tenderness. Drain and set aside.

2. Decrease heat to medium. In same pot, add butter, sugar and salt. Stir constantly, until sugar is dissolved and mixture is bubbly. Be careful not to overcook or glaze will taste scorched. Reduce heat to low.

3. Return carrots to pot. Stir carrots into glaze to coat. Allow carrots to heat through for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and allow to stand for another 5 minutes before serving.

Serves 4.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Marinated Flank Steak

6 scallions, thinly sliced (white and pale green parts only)
1 garlic clove, chopped
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp lime juice
1.5 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp (packed) brown sugar
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
2 lb flank steak
salt

1. Combine first 7 ingredients in a large resealable plastic bag and mix well. Add steak; seal bag, pressing out excess air. Turn steak to coat. Refrigerate overnight, turning bag occasionally.

2. Heat grill to high. Remove steak from bag; wipe off excess marinade. Season both sides with salt. Grill steak until well-browned, about 6 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer to a cutting board and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Slice thinly against the grain.

Serves 4-6.

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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Baked Ziti

3 cups dry ziti
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3/4 lb lean ground beef
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 (26oz) jar marinara sauce
1 (14oz) can chopped tomatoes with garlic and herbs
6 oz fresh spinach, thick stems removed
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
1 (15oz) container ricotta
1/2 cup grated Parmesan, divided
1 cup grated mozzarella

1. Heat oven to 400. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain it and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften, 4 to 5 minutes.

3. Add the beef, salt, and pepper and cook, breaking up the meat with a spoon until it’s no longer pink, 5 to 6 minutes.

4. Pour a thin layer of the sauce in the bottom of a 9x13" baking dish. Toss the pasta with the meat mixture, tomatoes, spinach, basil, ricotta, and 1/4 cup of the Parmesan, stirring to combine.

5. Pour remaining sauce over top of pasta. Sprinkle with the mozzarella and the remaining Parmesan. Bake until the cheese melts, 12 to 15 minutes.

Serves 6.

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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Creamy Chicken Florentine

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size chunks
1 jar (12oz) roasted red peppers, cut into strips
1 tub (10oz) Philadelphia Savory Garlic Cooking Creme
1 pkg (6oz) baby spinach, rinsed
8 oz uncooked bowtie pasta

1. Put pasta on to cook, according to package directions.

2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook chicken over medium-high heat in a some extra virgin olive oil, 10 minutes or until cooked through. (Season the chicken if desired -- I used a little garlic powder and some Italian seasoning blend.)

3. Add roasted red pepper and spinach to skillet. Continue to cook over medium heat, until spinach is wilted and peppers are heated through. Add the cooking creme to the chicken and vegetables, stirring to combine.

4. Reserve a 1/2 cup of pasta water. Drain pasta and return to pot. Add the chicken mixture to the pasta, stirring until sauce is coating pasta. Add pasta water in small amounts to thin the sauce, if desired.

Serves 4.

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Friday, January 25, 2013

Baked Spaghetti

1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped sweet pepper
1 (28oz) can chopped tomatoes (do NOT drain)
1 can chopped tomatoes with green chillies (do NOT drain)
1 (4oz) can  mushroom stems and pieces, drained
1 can sliced black olives, drained
2 tsp oregano
1/2 lb ground beef
1 lb ground Italian sausage
12 oz spaghetti, cooked according to package directions and drained
2 cups shredded cheddar
1 can cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup grated Parmesan

1. In a large skillet, brown beef and sausage. When meat has started to brown, add onion and peppers. Cook until meat is cooked through and vegetables are desired tenderness. Drain. Add tomatoes with their liquid, mushrooms, olives and oregano. Simmer, uncovered, 10-15 minutes.

2. Preheat oven to 350. Place half of the cooked spaghetti in a greased 9x13" baking dish. Top with half of meat and vegetable mixture. Sprinkle with 1 cup shredded cheddar. Repeat layers.

3. Mix soup with water (you can add more water if you'd like a thinner consistency), stirring until smooth. Pour over ingredients in baking dish. Sprinkle with Parmesan.

4. Bake, covered, for 35-40 minutes. Uncover and cook for another 10 minutes.

Serves 6-8.

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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Three-Envelope Roast

2 cups water
1 envelope dry Italian salad dressing mix
1 envelope dry ranch salad dressing mix
1 envelope dry brown gravy mix
1.5 lb beef roast
1/2 onion, chopped
4 stalks of celery, chopped
5-6 carrots, chopped
8 small red potatoes, skins left on, halved

1. Put water in a medium bowl. Add all three envelope contents to the water. Mix until blended completely.

2. Put roast into slow cooker. Pour water mixture over roast. Add vegetables.

3. Cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours.

Serves 4-6.

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Friday, January 11, 2013

Turkey Pot Pie Soup

1 tsp dried rosemary, crushed
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp butter, divided
4 oz sliced mushrooms
1/4 cup flour
3 cups turkey stock
1/2 cup half-and-half
2 cups cooked turkey, in bite-sized pieces
3/4 cup pearl onions
1.5 cups frozen veggies (peas, carrots, corn and/or green beans)
ground black pepper to taste
rolls, biscuits, dumplings (some sort of bread product of your preference to fill the role of "the crust")

1. Mix rosemary, thyme and garlic powder in a small bowl. Heat 1/2 tablespoon of butter in large saucepan on medium heat. Add mushrooms and seasoning mixture; cook and stir for 3 minutes. Remove mushrooms from saucepan; set aside.

2. Melt remaining butter in same saucepan over medium heat, stirring to release any browned bits from bottom of saucepan. Sprinkle with flour; cook and stir with a whisk 3-4 minutes, until flour is lightly browned (it will stick to the back of a spoon and have the consistency of wet sand).

3. Remove saucepan from heat. Gradually stir in stock and half-and-half, stirring with a whisk until well-blended; it is important to add liquid gradually, even just a spoonful at a time, and to stir constantly to prevent lumps of unmixed flour.

4. Return to heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low; simmer for 10 minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally. Add turkey, vegetables, mushrooms, and ground black pepper, and simmer over medium-low heat for 8 minutes or until heated through, stirring occasionally.

5. Serve hot with warm bread on the side.

Serves 4.

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Roasted Parmesan Green Beans

12 oz fresh green beans, rinsed, trimmed and patted dry
2 tsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp minced garlic
shredded Parmesan

1. Preheat oven to 425 with rack in lower third of oven. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. lay green beans on baking sheet and drizzle with oil. Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Add minced garlic and toss until evenly coated.

2. Spread beans on baking sheet, being sure that they are all lying flat. Roast 10 minutes. Shake pan or toss beans with tongs. Return to oven for an additional 5 minutes.

3. Remove pan from oven and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Serves 4.

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Friday, January 4, 2013

Balsamic-Glazed Brussels Sprouts

1 lb fresh Brussels sprouts
1/2 lb bacon strips, cut into 1/2" pieces
half of a medium onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp stone-ground mustard
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp salt
1/3 cup soft bread crumbs

1. Cut an X in the core of each sprout. Place in a large saucepan; add 1 inch of water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 8-10 minutes, or until crisp-tender.

2. Meanwhile, cook bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crisp.Using a slotted spoon, remove to paper towels. Drain, reserving 2 tablespoons of drippings. Saute onion in drippings until tender.

3. Stir in vinegar, mustard, garlic powder, salt, bacon and Brussels sprouts; cook for 2-3 minutes longer.

4. Transfer into a broiler-safe dish. Sprinkle with bread crumbs. Broil 4-6 inches from heat for 2-3 minutes or until bread crumbs are golden brown.

Serves 4.

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About This Blog

I find recipes everywhere. Online. In magazines. In cookbooks. On the back of boxes. After a while, it got difficult to remember where I found (or stashed) a particular recipe when I wanted to make it a second time. With the goal of wrangling them all in one coherent location that was easy to find and navigate--along with multiple requests from friends for this recipe or that one--this blog was born.

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