Friday, December 26, 2014

Herbed Potato Gratin

1 1/2 cups (12 fl. oz.) heavy cream
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1/2 tsp chopped fresh sage
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 lb russet potatoes
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
3 cups grated Gruyère cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat an oven to 375. Butter an 11-inch baking dish.

2. In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the cream, garlic, rosemary, thyme, sage and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Bring just to a boil, then remove from the heat and set aside.

4. Peel the potatoes. Using a mandoline or very sharp knife, cut the potatoes into slices about 1/8 inch thick. Gently stir the potato slices into the cream mixture.

5. Arrange one-third of the potato slices, slightly overlapping, on the bottom of the prepared dish. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper, half of the onions and 1 cup of the Gruyère. Repeat, using another one-third of the potato slices, salt and pepper, all the remaining onions, and another 1 cup of the Gruyère. Top with the remaining potatoes and sprinkle with salt and pepper again. Using a large, flat spatula, gently press on the potatoes to compact them. Pour any cream mixture remaining in the saucepan over the potatoes and sprinkle evenly with the remaining 1 cup Gruyère and the Parmesan.

6. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a sharp knife, about 45-60 minutes. Remove the foil and bake until the gratin is golden brown and bubbly, about 20-30 minutes more. Let the gratin rest for 10 minutes, then use a spatula to cut it into squares and serve immediately. Serves 6 to 8.

(adapted from Williams-Sonoma)

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Monday, December 8, 2014

Cheesecake Pumpkin Pie

2 pkg (8oz each) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 (9 inch) graham cracker crust
1/2 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 pinch ground cloves
1 pinch ground nutmeg

1. Preheat oven to 325. In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar and vanilla. Beat until smooth.
Blend in eggs one at a time. Remove 1 cup of batter and spread into bottom of crust; set aside.

2. Add pumpkin, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg to the remaining batter and stir gently until well blended. Carefully spread over the batter in the crust.

3. Bake in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, or until center is almost set (it will jiggle slightly if shaken).

4. Allow to cool, then refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight. Top with whipped cream if desired.

8 servings.

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Sunday, November 16, 2014

Reese's Pieces Blondies

1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 large eggs
1 tbsp vanilla
2 1/8 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup Reese's Pieces
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9x13" pan.

2. In a large bowl, combine butter and brown sugar. Add the peanut butter and stir to combine. Mix in the eggs and vanilla. Stir well.

3. In a seperate bowl, combine all dry ingredients. Stir into the batter.

4. Pour in the Reese's pieces and chocolate chips. Gently mix.

5. Evenly spread batter into greased pan. Bake for 30 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool before cutting.

Makes 16 large bars.

(from Lil' Luna)

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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Macaroni and Cheese

2 cups elbow macaroni
1 pkg Cracker Barrel extra sharp cheese, cubed
4 tbsp butter or margarine
4 tbsp flour
2 cups milk

1. Preheat oven to 350. In saucepan, boil elbow macaroni according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

2. While pasta is cooking, melt butter in a medium saucepan. Turn off heat and add flour slowly, stirring as you add it (should make a paste).

3. Turn heat back on, to medium. Add milk slowly; stir with whisk, until there are no lumps. This will thicken as it heats.

4. Once thickened, add cheese. Stir until melted.

5. Place pasta in a glass casserole dish and add cheese sauce. Stir until pasta is coated. Cover. Bake in oven for 1 hour.

Serve 6-8.

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Chicken Alfredo Lasagna

2 tbsp olive oil
2 large whole boneless chicken breasts cut in half
2 tsp Italian seasoning
salt and pepper to taste
12 lasagna noodles (not the no-boil kind!)
2 cups shredded mozzarella

For the Alfredo Sauce:
1/2 cup butter
1 tbsp flour
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 cups shredded parmesan

1. Preheat oven to 375.

2. Prepare a 9x13" baking dish by lining it with parchment paper.

3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook your pasta according to the instructions. Drain and set aside.

4. While noodles are cooking, wash chicken breasts and blot dry. Sprinkle salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning to both sides.

5. Heat a skillet over medium high heat. Add oil, and then your seasoned chicken. Lightly brown the chicken on both sides to sear it, not cook it through.

6. Place chicken in an oven safe dish and place in preheated oven. Cook for 20 minutes.

7. Meanwhile, heat garlic, butter, salt and pepper in a large saucepan.  Add flour and whisk until smooth. Cook until bubbly and then add whipping cream. Stir constantly until it comes to a boil. Then, add Parmesan and stir continually until thick and creamy.

8. Cut chicken into bite sized pieces.

9. Spread a small amount of the sauce into prepared baking dish. Place a layer of noodles on top of the sauce. Next add a layer of sauce, then a layer of chicken, and finally, top with a layer of mozzarella. Repeat all layers.

10. Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes. Allow to stand for 5 minutes before cutting and serving.

Serves 6-8.

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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Chicken Stir Fry

Stirfry:
20-ounce can pineapple chunks, drained (juice reserved)
1 1/2 to 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more as needed
2 cups broccoli florets
1 cup chopped carrots
1 red pepper, seeded and chopped or sliced
1/4 cup of reserved pineapple juice

Sauce:
1/2 cup reserved pineapple juice
1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon molasses
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 clove garlic finely minced
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger or 1/4 teaspoon dried ginger
2 teaspoons cornstarch

1. Thinly slice the chicken breasts and toss them in a medium bowl with the cornstarch and salt and pepper (about a teaspoon of each). Let the chicken sit for about 10-15 minutes while whisking the sauce and prepping vegetables.

2. For the sauce, combine all the ingredients together in a bowl or liquid measuring cup and whisk until smooth.

3. Heat the oil in a large, 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until rippling and hot. Add half of the chicken to the skillet in a single layer without overlapping and let it cook until nicely browned, about 30-45 seconds. Flip the chicken and let it cook through on the other side, 1-2 minutes. If your chicken is sliced super thin, it won't take long to cook through. Remove the chicken to a plate and repeat with the remaining chicken.

4. Add another teaspoon or so of oil to the pan if needed and heat again until hot and rippling. Add all of the vegetables and pineapple to the hot skillet and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are bright in color and barely tender. Add about 1/4 cup of the reserved pineapple juice to the skillet and cover (you can add water here instead of the juice, if desired). Cook, letting the vegetables steam for 2-3 minutes until crisp-tender (add more liquid, if needed, if it dries up).

5. Add the chicken back to the skillet. Whisk the sauce to recombine and then stir the sauce into the skillet and simmer for 2-3 minutes until slightly thickened. Serve immediately over hot, cooked rice, if desired.

Serves 4.

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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Slow Cooker Italian Ravioli Stew




4 medium carrots, sliced (2 cups)
1 large onion, chopped (1 cup)
2 cans (14.5 oz each) diced tomatoes with Italian-style herbs, undrained
2 cans (14 oz each) chicken broth
2 cans (14 oz each) cannellini beans, drained
2 tbsp fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 package (9 oz) refrigerated cheese-filled ravioli
1/2 lb ground Italian sausage
2-3 handfuls of fresh spinach, rinsed and dried

1. In 3 1/2- to 4-quart slow cooker, mix first five ingredients. Cover; cook on low heat setting about 6 hours or until vegetables are tender.

2. After the six hours is up, brown sausage in a skillet. Increase heat setting to high. Stir in ravioli, sausage, spinach, and basil. Cover and cook 15 minutes longer or until ravioli are tender and heated through.

Serves 6-8.

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Saturday, July 19, 2014

Blueberry Crumb Cake



1/2 stick plus 1 tbsp butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 whole egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2-1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup whole milk
2 cups fresh blueberries

TOPPING
3/4 stick butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Combine flour, baking powder, and a salt. Stir and set aside.

3. Cream butter with sugar. Add egg and mix until combined. Add vanilla and mix. Add flour mixture and milk alternately until totally incorporated. Do not overbeat. Stir in blueberries until evenly distributed.

4. Grease a 9 x 13 inch glass baking dish. Pour in batter.

5. In a separate bowl, combine topping ingredients and cut together using two knives or a pastry cutter. Sprinkle over the top of the cake.

6. Bake cake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until golden brown.

7. Sprinkle with additional sugar and cinnamon, if desired. Cut into squares and serve.

(from Pioneer Woman)

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Monday, May 19, 2014

Chicken Kiev

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
3 tbsp finely chopped fresh chives
3 tsp finely chopped dill
2 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme
salt and freshly ground pepper
6 small skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 2 1/4 pounds)
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
2 cups panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
Vegetable oil, for frying

1. Mix the butter, dill, parsley, chives, thyme, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a bowl. Scoop the mixture onto a piece of plastic wrap or parchment paper and roll into a 1-inch-thick log. Wrap and freeze until firm, at least 3 hours and up to 3 days.

2. Slice the frozen butter into 6 equal pieces. Lay a chicken breast between 2 pieces of plastic wrap or 2 large resealable plastic bags; pound to 1/4 inch thick with a heavy skillet or mallet. Transfer to a clean piece of plastic wrap and season with salt and pepper. Put a piece of herbed butter in the center of the chicken; using the plastic wrap as an aid, tightly roll up the chicken starting at a long side, tucking in the short sides as you go. Tightly wrap the chicken roll in plastic wrap. Repeat with the remaining chicken and butter. Refrigerate the rolls at least 2 hours or overnight.

3. Preheat the oven to 350 and set a wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet. Put the flour in a shallow dish. Whisk the eggs and mustard in another shallow dish. Put the panko in a third dish. Unwrap the chicken rolls and generously season with salt and pepper. One at a time, dredge the chicken rolls in the flour, then dip in the egg mixture and roll in the panko to coat.

4. Heat 1/2 inch of vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Fry the chicken rolls in 2 batches, turning, until golden, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to the prepared rack and bake until cooked through, about 10 minutes.

Serves 6.

(adapted from Food Network Magazine)

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Monday, May 12, 2014

Chicken-Mozzarella Pasta



3/4 pound penne or rigatoni pasta
2 tbsp olive oil, plus more for drizzling
2 whole boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
salt and pepper
1 whole medium onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jar (25oz) marinara sauce
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp minced fresh parsley
8 oz fresh mozzarella, cut into medium cubes
1/4 cup Parmesan shavings, plus more for serving
12 whole basil leaves (chiffonade)

1. Cook pasta according to package directions.

2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken pieces in a single layer and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Allow to cook without stirring for 2 minutes, or until golden. Stir chicken around to brown on all sides. Remove to a plate.

3. In the same skillet over medium-high heat, add the onions and garlic and stir immediately to start cooking. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are deep golden.

4. Reduce the heat to low and pour in the marinara sauce, red pepper flakes, and the water. Stir until the onions and garlic are mixed in, then add the chicken back into the pan. Add the parsley, stir to combine, then allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 7-8 minutes.

5. Make sure the sauce is bubbly and very hot, then gently stir in the mozzarella. Let it sit, undisturbed, for 2 to 3 minutes, until you can see that the mozzarella is very soft.

6. Drain the pasta and pour it onto a platter. Drizzle with a little olive oil. Immediately sprinkle on 1/4 cup Parmesan shavings (or grated Parmesan.) Pour on the sauce, sprinkle with extra Parmesan and the chiffonade of Basil, and serve immediately!

* NOTE: The mozzarella should be very soft but should still be in visible chunks rather than distributed throughout the sauce. It's better for the chunks to be on the firm side than the falling-apart side! You can always heat it a little more to get the cheese to the consistency you want.

Serves 4.

(adapted from Pioneer Woman)

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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Garlic Parmesan Orzo



1 cup uncooked orzo pasta
3 tbsp butter
2 tsp minced garlic
1/3 cup grated Parmesan
2 tbsp milk
1/4 tsp salt
ground black pepper to taste
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain. Set aside.

2. In the same pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until lightly browned, being careful not to burn it.

3. Return pasta to pot with garlic and butter. Add remaining ingredients and stir well to combine.

Serves 4.

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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Buttery Garlic Green Beans


1 lb fresh green beans, trimmed
3 tbsp butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
salt to taste

1. Place green beans in a large skillet. Cover with water. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until beans are preferred tenderness.

2. Drain beans. Put butter in the skillet and return beans, stirring until butter is melted and beans are well coated.

3. Add garlic to the beans, stirring 2-3 minutes until garlic is fragrant. Salt to taste before serving.

Serves 4-6.

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Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Citrus



3 lbs sweet potatoes, washed, peeled, cut into 1" chunks
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp orange zest
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
salt and pepper

1. Steam sweet potatoes until very tender.

2. With electric mixer, mix in milk, orange zest, orange juice and cayenne pepper, until well blended. Salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 8-10.

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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Pasta Pinwheels

extra virgin olive oil
8 dried lasagna noodles
5oz baby spinach, washed
1 container (15oz) ricotta
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan
1/4 tsp pepper
1 jar marinara sauce
4 sticks string cheese, halved crosswise

1. Preheat oven to 400. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water and add a splash of olive oil. Put lasagna noodles into the pot. Cook according to package directions; do NOT overcook! Drain, then rinse with cold water, being careful not to tear the noodles. Transfer noodles to a large bowl of cold water until ready to use.

2. Rinse out the pot, and 1" of water and bring to a boil. Add spinach and cook, stirring, until wilted, 1-2 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Using your hands, squeeze all the liquid from the spinach.

3. Pulse the spinach, ricotta, egg, Parmesan, and pepper in a food processor to blend. Transfer mixture to a medium bowl.

4. Grease a 9" square baking dish. Spread about half the sauce in the dish.

5. Place 4 noodles on a work surface and spread each with spinach-ricotta mixture. Place a piece of string cheese horizontally across one end of the noodle. Roll up the noodle around the cheese.

6. Cut each pinwheel in half crosswise (so it maintains it round shape, with one "smooth" cut side and one "ruffled" edge) with a serrated knife. Arrange pinwheels, cut side down, in the baking dish. Repeat entire process with remaining 4 noodles.

7. Cover the dish tightly with foil. Bake until sauce is bubbling and the spinach-ricotta mixture is firm, about 45 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes.

8. Warm the remaining sauce in a small saucepan over medium heat.Spoon some sauce onto each plate and top with pinwheels. Serve with additional grated Parmesan, if desired.

Notes: If you prefer to have some meat in the dish as well, I have browned up a half pound of Italian sausage until it is crumbly and cooked through, then drained it and added it in between the pinwheels in the baking dish, before baking.

Serves 4.

(adapted from "Everyday With Rachael Ray," JAN/FEB 2014 issue)

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Saturday, March 8, 2014

Creamy Honey Mustard

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup mustard
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste (black or cayenne, personal preference)

1. Mix all ingredients with a whisk, until well combined.

2. Keeps for one week, refrigerated.


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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Meatball Tortellini Soup

8 oz ground beef
1/4 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for topping
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, divided
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 clove garlic, grated
salt and pepper
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 stalks celery, diced
6 cups chicken stock
1.5 cups water
1 (9oz) package refrigerated cheese tortellini
4-5oz baby spinach

1. Combine beef, Parmesan, 1 tablespoon of the parsley, egg, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste in a medium bowl; mix with your hands until just combined. Form into 1-inch meatballs; set aside.

2. Heat olive oil in medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add meatballs and cook, turning, until golden, 3-4 minutes; remove to a plate. Add carrots and celery to the skillet; cook, stirring, until just beginning to soften, about 5 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, put broth in a large pot, add water, and bring to a boil. Add carrots and celery to broth; return to boil for 3-4 minutes. Add meatballs to broth, along with remaining parsley and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Simmer until meatballs are just cooked through, 2-3 minutes.

4. Add tortellini to pot and cook 4-5 minutes. Add spinach, stirring, until wilted.

5. Serve topped with additional Parmesan, salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 4.

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Sunday, February 23, 2014

Bay Scallops and Parmesan Angel Hair

12 oz angel hair
6 tbsp flour
1 tsp salt
1.5-2 lbs bay scallops, rinsed
4 tbsp olive oil, divided
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp coarsely cracked black pepper
1/3 cup whipping cream
1.25 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
6 oz baby spinach, rinsed and patted dry
lemon juice
additional pepper and Parmesan (optional)

1. Cook angel hair according to package directions. Reserve 1.5 cups of cooking water, before draining pasta and setting aside.

2. While pasta cooks, combine flour and salt in a small bowl. Toss scallops in flour mixture and set aside.

3. In the pasta pot, heat 2 tbsp of the olive oil and the butter over medium heat. When butter is melted and beginning to bubble, add pepper. Cook and stir 1 minute. Carefully add about 3/4 cup reserved pasta water (mixture may steam) and bring to a boil. Add pasta, whipping cream and grated Parmesan. Cook and stir until cheese is melted and pasta is coated. Remove from heat, cover and keep warm.

4. In a large skillet, heat remaining 2 tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat. Add half the scallops and cook for 2 minutes per side or until opaque and firm. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining scallops, adding a bit more olive oil if necessary. Set scallops aside.

5. Add spinach to skillet, cook and toss about 1 minute or until just wilted.

6. To serve, arrange scallops and spinach over a bed of angel hair, with lemon juice, and additional pepper and grated Parmesan, if desired.

Serves 4-6.

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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Turkey Marinade Injection

1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup water
6 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp salt
4 tsp garlic powder
4 tsp onion powder
2 tsp ground bay leaves
2 tsp ground thyme
2 tsp ground sage
2 tsp ground black pepper

1. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan.

2. Simmer 5 minutes. Allow to cool before injecting into turkey.

Makes 2 cups.

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Monday, January 20, 2014

Creamy Pesto Chicken and Rice

1 bag boil-in-a-bag rice
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup frozen peas
4 oz sliced mushrooms
2 cups cooked chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 pkg (8oz) cream cheese
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup pesto
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, minced
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
fresh ground black pepper to taste

1. Prepare rice according to package directions. Set aside.

2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Saute onions, garlic and mushrooms until tender. Stir in peas and chicken.

3. Add cream cheese; stir until melted. Stir in broth, cream, pesto, parsley and Parmesan; mix well.

4. Once everything is heated through, remove from heat. Fold in rice. Season with black pepper to taste.

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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