Thursday, November 4, 2010

BLT Mac and Cheese


1 pound ziti rigati pasta
Extra-virgin olive oil

6 slices bacon, chopped
2 leeks—trimmed, halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise
2 large cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
3 tablespoons tomato paste
Two 3-ounce bricks cream cheese, cut into pieces
1 1/2 cups shredded asiago, grana padano or parmigiano-reggiano cheese
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered


Preheat the oven to 500°.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta cooking water.

While the pasta is cooking, in a large skillet, heat a drizzle of EVOO over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook until crisp at the edges, 3 to 5 minutes.

Add the leeks and cook until softened, 3 minutes.

Add the garlic and crushed red pepper and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

Stir in the tomato paste for 1 minute.

Stir in the cream cheese until melted. Stir in half of the shredded cheese, then the reserved pasta cooking water.

Add the pasta to the sauce and toss.

Pile into a casserole and top with the tomatoes and remaining shredded cheese.

Bake until browned on top, 7 to 8 minutes.

Butternut Squash Tortellini


20 oz Butternut Squash, cut in 1/2-inch cubes
2 Tbsp thinly sliced Sage, divided (I didn't use any)
1 Tbsp Wegmans Basting Oil (this is just seasoned oil... if no Wegmans, just use olive oil)
Salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, chopped
3 cups Food You Feel Good About Butternut Squash Soup (Trader Joes sells a Butternut Squash soup too - it comes in a carton)
2 pkgs (9 oz each) Italian Classics Goat Cheese Tortelloni (Dairy Dept), cooked 4 min, drained (you can use any refrigerated cheese tortellini)


1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

2. Toss squash, 1 Tbsp sage, oil, salt, pepper, and butter in mixing bowl.

3. Spread mixture in even layer on baking sheet. Roast 15-18 min until golden-brown.

4. Add squash, soup, and remaining Tbsp sage to skillet on MEDIUM; bring to a simmer. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

5. Add pasta; cook 1 min.

Chicken Pot Pie


1 pkg Pillsbury pie crust
diced cooked chicken (from a rotisserie chicken)
1 bag frozen mixed veggies
1 can cream of potato soup (undiluted)
1 can cream of mushroom soup (undiluted)
about 1/2 a can of chicken broth
3/4 tsp garlic powder
3/4 tsp onion powder


Preheat oven to 375

Place one layer of pie crust in bottom of deep dish pie pan

In bowl combine all other ingredients, mix well

Pour into pan with bottom crust

Place top crust on, crimp edges, cut small vent holes in top

Bake at 375 for 45 minutes to 1 hour. If the edges start to brown too quickly cover with foil.

Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Moo Shu Pork Kebabs (see Note below)

2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon seasoned rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
12 ounces boneless pork chops, cut into sixteen 1-inch cubes
16 white mushrooms
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 cups shredded coleslaw mix
4 large flour tortillas

Preheat the broiler.

In a bowl, combine the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, vinegar and sugar. Pour half of the mixture into a second bowl and stir in the cornstarch.

Thread the pork and mushrooms onto 8 skewers. Rub with 1 tablespoon oil and place on a baking sheet. Cook, turning once, for 5 minutes. Brush with the hoisin mixture without cornstarch. Cook, turning once, for 4 minutes.

In a skillet, heat the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil over medium-high heat. Add the coleslaw mix and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the hoisin-cornstarch mixture and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

Serve with the kebabs and tortillas. (We spread more hoisin sauce on the tortillas)

NOTE: Next time I make this, I am going to cut the pork into thin strips and cook the pork and mushrooms as a stir fry, then I plan to add to the cabbage mixture. This will make it more like the restaurant way of serving. We thought the taste was great, but it was a little hard to eat the pork in the cubes!

October Update

Well, even though it is officially no longer, October, I am titling this October in hopes that I can pull together another list for you before Thanksgiving (but don't get your hopes up)!

With so many recipes out there, I really do only add new stuff about about once a week at the most, so it takes awhile to find recipes for you.

This update includes:
  • Moo Shu Pork (just like a Chinese restaurant)
  • Chicken Pot Pie (a recipe from my non-cooking sister - so you know this is easy!)
  • Tortellini with Roasted Butter Nut Squash (a Wegmans recipe, so some of you may have trouble finding the ingredients, although I think Trader Joe's would have everything you need)
  • BLT Mac n Cheese
  • great Chocolate Chip Cookies

As always, let me know what you think!


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

"Healthier" Sesame Chicken

5 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce, divided
4 teaspoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons honey
1 1/4 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 3/4-inch chunks
6 teaspoons canola oil
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon grated peeled ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons sugar
3 to 4 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon chili paste


1. Whisk 3 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 teaspoons sesame oil and the honey in a bowl. Toss in the chicken and marinate 20 minutes.

2. Remove the chicken from the marinade using a slotted spoon.

3. Heat 2 teaspoons canola oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken in 2 batches, turning once or twice, until browned, 3 to 5 minutes (add 2 more teaspoons canola oil between batches). Transfer the chicken to a plate and wipe out the skillet.

4. Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons canola oil in the skillet. Add the scallions. Add the ginger and garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute.

5. Whisk the broth, sugar, cornstarch, vinegar, chili paste and the remaining 2 tablespoons soy sauce in a bowl; add to the skillet and cook, stirring, until thickened, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the remaining 2 teaspoons sesame oil.

6..Return the chicken to the skillet with the sauce and heat through. Serve the chicken and snow peas over brown rice, if desired.

Note: I stir fried some broccoli and added it to the sauce with the chicken.

Chicken and Spinach Enchiladas

1 10 oz package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
16 oz jar medium salsa, divided
2 - 10 oz cans enchilada sauce
1 80z block cream cheese (1/3 less fat is ok)
2 1/2 cups shredded or chopped rotisserie chicken
10 flour tortillas
8 oz mexican cheese blend

1. Drain Spinach Well!
2. Stir together 1/4 cup salsa and enchilada sauce, set aside
3. Microwave cream cheese at HIGH 1 minute or until very soft. Add spinach, chicken, remaining salsa and stir until well blended
4. Spoon a heaping 1/3 cup of chicken mixture down center of each tortilla. Roll up and place seam side down in a lightly greased 13x9 pan.
5. Pour enchilada sauce over top, sprinkle with cheese
6. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, let stand 5 minutes before serving

Asian Style Pork (or Chicken) Noodle bowl

Salt and pepper
1 pound whole wheat spaghetti
One 1-inch piece fresh ginger, grated
2 large cloves garlic, grated
About 1/4 cup tamari (dark soy sauce)
About 3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons tomato paste
About 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon hot sauce
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken thigh meat, chicken breast meat or thin-cut boneless pork chops, cut into thin strips
1/4 small cabbage, very thinly shredded
1-2 red bell peppers, thinly sliced or chopped
1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
Toasted sesame seeds, for garnish (optional)

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain.

2. While the pasta is cooking, using a blender or food processor, combine a splash of the boiling water (before you add salt), the ginger, garlic, tamari, honey, tomato paste, vinegar, sesame oil and hot sauce until smooth.

3. Get all of the remaining ingredients ready for a quick stir-fry. In a large skillet, heat the vegetable oil over high heat. Add the chicken or pork and stirfry until browned, about 3 minutes. Add the cabbage and bell pepper and stir-fry for 2 minutes, then add the scallions and ginger sauce and toss for 1 minute.

4. Pour over the drained noodles and top with the sesame seeds.


Kosher salt
12 ounces spaghetti
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
12 ounces sweet Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
6 cloves garlic, sliced
1 small head cauliflower broken into small florets
1 bunch scallions, chopped
1 cup grated pecorino romano or parmesan cheese


1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook as the label directs.

2. Reserve 2 cups cooking water, then drain.

3. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a (very) large skillet over medium-high heat. Crumble the sausage into the skillet and cook, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until lightly browned and no longer pink, 4 to 5 minutes.

4. Clear a space in the pan, add the garlic and cook until just golden, 2 to 3 minutes.

5. Add the cauliflower and cook until the edges are browned, about 2 minutes.

6. Add 1 cup of the reserved cooking water, cover and reduce the heat to medium. Cook until the cauliflower is tender, about 8 more minutes.

7. Uncover and boil over high heat until the liquid is almost evaporated, about 2 more minutes.

8. Add the spaghetti to the skillet along with the scallions. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt. Toss for a minute or two to wilt the scallions and coat the pasta with the sauce, adding up to 1 cup cooking water, if needed, to loosen.

9. Remove from the heat, sprinkle with the cheese and toss.

Picatta Style Fish with Pasta & Spinach


Salt and pepper
1/2 pound thin egg pasta or angel hair pasta
4 thin tilapia fillets
Old Bay Seasoning
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

4 tablespoons butter
2 large cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped
1/2 cup white wine
2 lemons
1/4 cup drained capers
A handful flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
3/4 pound fresh spinach, cleaned and trimmed


1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving about 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water.

2. Meanwhile, pat the fish dry and season with salt, pepper and a little Old Bay.

3. On a plate, mix the flour and cornstarch. Coat the fish in the flour mixture.

4. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil, over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons butter and let it foam up, then add the fish fillets and cook, turning once, until golden-brown and firm, 4 to 6 minutes.

5. Transfer the fillets to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm. Wipe out the pan and return to the heat. Add 1/2 tablespoon olive oil, and the remaining 2 tablespoons butter to melt.

6. Stir in the garlic for 1 minute, then stir in the wine for another minute. Add 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel and the juice of 1 lemon. Thinly slice the remaining lemon and stir the slices into the sauce, along with the capers and parsley. Spoon the sliced lemons and half of the butter sauce over the fish.

7. Add the reserved pasta water and the pasta to the skillet. Add the remaining butter sauce and season with salt and pepper; toss. Transfer the pasta to a platter. Add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon olive oil, to the skillet. Add the spinach, season with salt, pepper and cook to wilt.

Serve the fish with a little pasta and spinach alongside.

Crispy Fish Sandwiches

4 tablespoons butter, melted
1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning (about a palmful)
1 tablespoon onion powder (about a palmful)
1 tablespoon garlic powder (about a palmful)
4 pieces cod fillet (6 ounces each)
Salt and pepper
Flour, for coating
2 egg whites, beaten
4 sandwich-size english muffins

1. Preheat the oven to 425°°.
2. In a bowl, pour the melted butter over the panko and work it into the crumbs to evenly distribute. Season with the Old Bay, onion powder, garlic powder.
3. Season the cod with salt and pepper, then coat in the flour, then egg whites and then panko mixture.
4. Arrange on a broiler pan or cooling rack placed on a baking sheet. (make sure you do this step).
5. Bake until deeply golden and crisp, about 20 minutes.
6. Serve on toasted english muffins
(We added shredded lettuce, tomato slice, and tartar sauce)

September 2010

Sorry for the long delay in sending you any new recipes, but not too many have been passing the family test lately. I have finally accumulated enough that it made sense to send you out some new things to try.

Hope you enjoy.

This posting includes:

  • Crispy fish sandwich that my girls have requested multiple times
  • Picatta style fish with pasta and spinach
  • Asian style chicken (or pork) noodle bowls
  • Chicken and spinach enchiladas
  • Sesame Chicken (like at a Chinese restaurant, but not fried... a bit of work, but a great result)

Let me know what you think.


Tuesday, July 27, 2010


I am sure by now most of you thought you were never going to hear from me again with new recipes. I promise you I have been looking, but I just haven't come across anything worth passing on. That's the beauty of the site.. I won't give you any recipes that my kids have not given their blessing to.

In any case, a few of you have been asking for recipes for things I have brought to various gatherings lately, so in this update we have:

Key Lime Pie
Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars
Blueberry Muffins

and one real bit of food...
Red Thai Curry Shrimp (or Chicken)

My family loves loves loves Thai food and this curry recipe really comes out tasting like a meal from a restaurant. There are a few ingredients that you won't have on hand, but if you like this kind of food, I promise you'll make it more then once.

More to come when there is something to share. I haven't forgotten about you. There are over 100 recipes posted by now, use the search feature and browse back through the old recipes. I'm sure you will find plenty you meant to make but never had the time to.


Thai Red Curry Shrimp (or Chicken)

We love this recipe... comes out just like "Thai Restaurant" food. It's worth buying the ingredients. We've made it 3 times already.

1 1/4 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined (or thinly sliced chicken)
1 (14-ounce) can light coconut milk
1 tablespoon red curry paste
1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
4 teaspoons dark brown sugar
1 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

1 Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add shrimp; sauté 3 minutes or until done. Remove shrimp from pan; keep warm.

2. Spoon coconut cream (the thick part from top of the can) into pan using a slotted spoon. Add curry paste; cook 2 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates, stirring constantly.

3. Stir in remaining coconut milk, fish sauce, and sugar. Reduce heat to medium; simmer 10 minutes or until sauce thickens, stirring frequently.

4. Add bell pepper; toss to coat. Increase heat to medium-high; cook 5 minutes or until crisp-tender. Add shrimp; cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated. Remove from heat; stir in lime juice.

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars


2 rolls Nestle Toll House chocolate chip cookie dough (I tried with Pillsbury and the cookies did not taste nearly as good)
2 8oz packages cream cheese - at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla


1. Grease 9x13 pan and preheat oven to 325
2. Cut and layer one roll of cookie dough to cover bottom of pan
3. Mix filling - cream cheese, sugar, eggs, and vanilla - until well combined
4. Spread over cookie layer
5. Cut and layer 2nd roll of cookie dough on top of cream cheese mixture
6. Bake at 325 for 50 minutes or until brown and "set"

Blueberry Muffins

These are sweet - more like cake, then muffin, but yummy

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 pint fresh blueberries - rinsed, drained and patted dry
2 tablespoons white sugar

1. Position rack in the middle of oven. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray the top of a muffin pan with non-stick coating, and line with paper liners.

2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, 1 1/4 cups sugar and salt until light and fluffy.

3. Beat in the eggs one at a time.

4. Mix together 1 3/4 cup of the flour and baking powder.

5. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk, mixing just until incorporated.

6. Crush 1/4 of the blueberries, and stir into the batter. Mix the rest of the whole blueberries with the remaining 1/4 cup of the flour, and fold into the batter.

7. Scoop into muffin cups. Sprinkle tops lightly with sugar.

8. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until golden brown, and tops spring back when lightly tapped.

Easy Key Lime Pie


4 egg yolks, beaten
2 14oz cans sweetened condensed milk
3/4 cup key lime juice
1 9" graham cracker crust (I buy the one that says 2 extra servings)


1. Preheat oven to 375
2. Combine egg yolks, milk, and lime juice. MIX WELL
3. Pour into crust
4. Bake for 15 minutes. Allow to cool. Refrigerate.


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Oven Chicken Risotto

I haven't tried this yet, it is tonight's dinner.... I read the on-line reviews. Some people suggested using 3 Tbl of butter instead of 2. One person used spinach instead of basil. All said they used more tomatoes then the recipe called for..... so go from here - looks like a really easy recipe!

2 tablespoons butter
2 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 cup uncooked Arborio rice (short-grain)
1/2 small sweet onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups chopped deli-roasted chicken
1 (8-oz.) package fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup shredded fresh basil


1. Preheat oven to 400°. Place butter in a 13- x 9-inch baking dish; bake 5 minutes or until melted. Stir in broth and next 3 ingredients.
2. Bake, covered, at 400° for 35 minutes. Remove from oven. Fluff rice with a fork. Stir in chicken, mozzarella, and tomatoes; sprinkle with shredded basil. Serve immediately.

Artichoke Dip


1 can artichoke hearts, drained
3/4 cup mayo - use light if you have it
3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste
seasoned bread crumbs (if desired)


Mix everything except bread crumbs in food processor
Pour into small ramekin, top with bread crumbs if using
Bake at 350 for 10 minutes

Serve with tortilla chips or pita bread

Hoisin Glazed Shrimp and Crispy Noodles

One 10-ounce package Chinese-style noodles (Wegmans sells these)
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
One 20-ounce can pineapple chunks, juice reserved (the kind in juice not syrup)
7 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper (I used less)
One 10-ounce bag frozen cut green beans, thawed and patted dry
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 cloves garlic, grated


1. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the noodles according to package directions; drain, then press into a greased 9-inch pie pan. Let cool slightly.

2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, stir together the hoisin, 1/2 cup pineapple juice, 2 tablespoons oil and the crushed red pepper.

3. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 3 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Slide the noodle cake into the pan and cook until deep golden underneath, about 5 minutes. Carefully flip the noodle cake and cook until browned underneath, about 5 minutes.

4. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over high heat. Add the pineapple chunks and green beans and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pineapple is browned and the beans begin to blister, 2 to 3 minutes; transfer to a plate.

5. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, the shrimp and garlic to the pan and cook for 1 minute.

6. Stir in the hoisin mixture and the reserved pineapple and green beans, lower the heat to low and cook until the shrimp are opaque, about 2 - 4 minutes. Spoon the shrimp mixture on top of the crispy noodle cake and serve immediately.

Teryiaki Salmon in Foil Packets


1 lb salmon filet cut into 4 serving size pieces
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/3 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup oil
1 tsp minced ginger
Heavy Duty Foil


1. combine all ingredients (except salmon) in large zip lock bag... mix well

2. Add salmon and marinate up to 3 hours (or so)

3. Tear off 4 pieces of foil about 12" wide each. Fold in half to crease and then unfold.

4. Place a piece of salmon on each piece of foil, pour some of marinade on each packet.... fold to seal well.

5. Line a baking sheet with foil, and place each sealed packet on the foil lined sheet.

6. Bake at 425 20-30 minutes until salmon is cooked to the degree you like it!

Parmesan Fish Sticks

1 (16-ounce) center-cut salmon fillet, about 9 by 4 inches, skinned (I used cod)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 egg whites
1 cup grated Parmesan
1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
Olive oil, for drizzling


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Rinse the salmon fillet and pat dry with paper towels. Cut the fish in half to make 2 fillets each about 4 by 4 1/2-inches in size. Starting on the longest edge, slice the fillets into 1/2-inch pieces. Lay the widest pieces, from the center, cut side down, and slice in half lengthways so all the pieces are equally about 1/2 by 1/2 by 4 1/2-inches in size. (basically cut into sticks!)

Place the flour in a medium bowl and season with the salt and pepper. Place the egg whites in another bowl and beat until frothy, about 30 seconds. Combine the Parmesan and bread crumbs in a third bowl.

Coat the salmon pieces in the seasoned flour and pat to remove any excess flour. Dip the floured salmon in the egg whites and then into the Parmesan mixture, gently pressing the mixture into the fish.

Place the breaded salmon pieces on a liberally oiled baking sheet. Drizzle lightly with the olive oil.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown.

Chicken Zucchini Alfredo

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 zucchini, thinly sliced into half-moons
4 4-ounce thin skinless, boneless chicken breasts (or about 1 lb of tenderloins)
Freshly ground pepper
12 ounces fettuccine
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 cup cold low-fat milk (1%)
1/2 cup evaporated nonfat milk
3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 1 clove garlic and cook 30 seconds. Add the zucchini, cover and cook until tender, stirring, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.

Heat another tablespoon oil in the skillet over medium-high heat. Season the chicken with 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper and cook through, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate. (Instead of this step, I just grilled my chicken)

Cook the pasta in the boiling water as the label directs. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup cooking water; return the pasta to the pot.

Meanwhile, whisk the flour and low-fat milk in a bowl.

Place the remaining 1 clove garlic and 1 tablespoon oil in the skillet and cook over medium-high heat, 30 seconds.

Add the flour-milk mixture and bring to a boil, stirring. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring, 2 minutes.

Add the evaporated milk, 1/2 teaspoon salt and the cheese; stir to melt, 1 minute.
Cut the chicken into strips. Toss with the pasta, sauce, zucchini, adding the reserved pasta water to loosen (a little at a time, as needed).


OK, I know I haven't posted any recipes in a really (really) long time, but I haven't come across much that was worth sharing. Anyhow, I finally have some free time... it's raining and I am avoiding cleaning my house, so I thought I'd send out a few recipes for you to try.

This posting includes:

  • Chicken Zucchini Alfredo - just as tasty as restaurant Alfredo sauce, but with no butter & no cream

  • Parmesan Coated Fish Sticks

  • Teriyaki Salmon - this got Allison who hates salmon to actully eat it and enjoy it!

  • Hoisin Glazed Shrimp over Crispy Noodles

  • Artichoke Dip - easy & quick to bring to a party

  • Oven Chicken Risotto - making this tonight, so it's "untested"

Friday, January 29, 2010

January Post #2

Here are 4 more recipes to get you through this never-ending winter.... the first three are very quick and simple to make. The soup takes a bit longer, but it was very yummy and worth the effort. I included a link to the original recipe for the turnovers... I think a picture helps to see what this turns out like.


Linguine with Shrimp & Leeks
Beef & Sweet Potato Turnovers (easy to make ahead and my kids REALLY loved these)
Sausage & Ravioli Lasagne (again... very easy and very tasty)
Toasted Orzo Chicken Soup

Linguine with Leeks & Shrimp

1 pound large shrimp, shelled and deveined
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
2 cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Salt and black pepper
1 pound fresh linguine
4 leeks—trimmed, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise and washed
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/3 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley (optional)

1. In a bowl, toss the shrimp with 2 tablespoons olive oil, the lemon peel, garlic and crushed red pepper; season with salt and black pepper.

2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 5 minutes.

3. While the pasta is cooking, in a large skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, over medium-high heat. Add the leeks, season with salt and black pepper and cook until wilted, about 5 minutes.

4. Push the leeks to the side of the pan, add the shrimp to the skillet and cook until pink and firm.

5. Pour in the wine and stir, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.

6. Add the pasta to the skillet; season with salt and black pepper. Add the parsley (if using) and toss.

Beef & Sweet Potato Turnovers

Everyone loved these... here's a link to a picture so you can see how good they come out. 5 stars according to my girls!


1/2 pound ground beef

2 cloves chopped garlic

1 SMALL sweet potato, grated

2 cups baby spinach

2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed, and rolled out a bit

1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese

Brown ½ pound ground beef with 2 cloves chopped garlic. Stir in 1 grated sweet potato and 2 cups baby spinach; season with salt and pepper.
Cut 2 sheets frozen puff pastry (thawed) in half. Divide the beef and 1½ cups grated Cheddar among the 4 pieces of dough; seal the edges.
Bake at 375° F until golden, 25 to 30 minutes.

Sausage & Ravioli Lasagne

1/2 pound ground Italian sausage
1 (24-oz.) jar tomato-and-basil pasta sauce
1 (6-oz.) package fresh baby spinach, thoroughly washed
1/2 cup refrigerated pesto sauce
1 (25-oz.) package frozen cheese-filled ravioli (do not thaw)
1 cup (4 oz.) shredded Italian six-cheese blend


1. Preheat oven to 375°. Cook Italian sausage in a skillet over medium heat, stirring often, 10 minutes or until sausage crumbles and is no longer pink; drain well. Stir pasta sauce into sausage.
2. Chop spinach, and toss with pesto in a bowl.
3. Spoon one-third of sausage mixture (about 1/2 cup) into a lightly greased 11- x 7-inch baking dish. Top with half of spinach mixture. Arrange half of ravioli in a single layer over spinach mixture. Repeat layers once. Top with remaining sausage mixture.
4. Bake at 375° for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with shredded cheese, and bake 5 to 8 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

Toasted Orzo Chicken Soup

One 32-ounce container (4 cups) chicken stock
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast pieces or tenders
2 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup orzo pasta
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small zucchini, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1/2 small red bell pepper, finely chopped
2 shallots or 1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
1 cup frozen peas
1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel

1. In a medium pot, bring the chicken stock and chicken to a simmer. Lower the heat and poach the chicken for 12 minutes.

2. Heat a dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat. Add the butter to melt. Add the orzo and cook, stirring, until deeply toasted, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

3. Add the olive oil, to the dutch oven. Add the zucchini, carrot, bell pepper, shallots and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, 7 to 8 minutes. Return the orzo to the pot.

4. Remove the chicken from the stock. Skim and discard the fat from the stock; transfer the stock to the dutch oven.

5. Chop, dice or shred the chicken and add to the soup with 2 cups water.

6. Bring the soup to a boil and cook until the orzo is just tender, 5 minutes. Add the peas during the last minute of cooking. Turn off the heat; stir in the parsley and lemon peel. Serve immediately.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Cheesy Zucchini & Red Onion Flatbread

Nonstick vegetable oil spray
1 10-ounce tube refrigerated pizza dough
3/4 cup garlic-and-herb cheese spread (such as Alouette), divided
3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, divided
3 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley, divided
1 small red onion
1 7- to 8-inch-long zucchini (yellow or green), cut crosswise into 1/8-inch-thick rounds, divided
Olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper; spray with nonstick spray. Unroll dough onto parchment.

2. Spread half of herb cheese over 1 long half of dough, leaving 1/2-inch plain border. Sprinkle with half of Parmesan and 2 tablespoons parsley.

3. Using parchment as aid, fold plain half of dough over filled half (do not seal edges).

4. Spread remaining herb cheese over top; sprinkle with remaining Parmesan.

5. Remove enough outer layers of onion to yield 2-inch-diameter core; cut into 1/8-inch-thick rounds. Arrange 1 row of zucchini down 1 long side of dough. Arrange onion rounds in row alongside zucchini. Arrange 1 more row of zucchini alongside onion.

6. Brush vegetables with oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake bread until puffed and deep brown at edges, about 24 minutes. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon parsley.

A picture might help when figuring out how to fold this and arrange veggies:

January Recipes

This month's posting (Yes, I think it will just be monthly from now on. I can't possibly keep making 5 new things each week) gives you a good variety to start off the year.

  • Spinach - Artichoke Dip... you can use this for a SuperBowl Party!
  • Cheesy Zucchini and Red Onion Flatbread... I served this New Year's Eve as an appetizer, also could work for Super Bowl
  • Easy Homemade Biscuits .. my family declared these much better then Bisquick
  • Two-Bean Chicken Chili
  • Healthy Salmon with Citrus Glaze
  • Lamb Gyros (don't tell your kids what's in them and they will enjoy, mine did)
  • Artichoke, Spinach, & Tomato Pizza

Salmon with Citrus Glaze

1 pound salmon filet
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons lemon zest (I didn't have a lemon, so I used an orange)
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt (I used 1 tsp)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (I used 1/4 tsp)


1. Combine sugar, zest, salt, and pepper and mix well.

2. Evenly spread the mixture onto the salmon and allow to sit for 45 minutes, at room temperature.

3. Position a rack in the oven 3 inches from the broiler. Line a half sheet pan with aluminum foil and place the salmon on the pan

**4. Turn the oven on to the high broiler setting for 2 minutes. After 2 minutes, place the salmon into the oven and broil for 6 to 8 minutes or until the thickest part of the fish reaches an internal temperature of 131 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. Remove the salmon from the oven and allow to rest, uncovered, for 8 to 10 minutes. Serve immediately

**NOTE: These are the cooking directions as written on food network... The fish wasn't cooked enough for me following these directions, so I cooked it longer... maybe if I had let it rest (like the recipe said, which I didn't, it would have finished cooking... you'll have to experiment. It tasted great, I just had to cook it longer!

Artichoke, Tomato & Spinach Pizza


5 Tbl olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 Tbl chopped Flat Leaf Parsley
salt & pepper
1 lb pizza dough
2 cups shredded mozzarella
5 Tbl grated parmesan cheese
1 can artichoke hearts, drained, quartered
1/2 pint grape tomatoes, halved
2 cups baby spinach, chopped


1. Position a rack in lower part of ove, place an inverted baking sheet face down and preheat to 500 degrees

2. In large bowl, combine oil, garlic, & parsley. Add salt & peper

3. Stretch dough to fit a parchment paper lined baking sheet.

4. Spread 3 Tbl of garlic mixture on top, leaving a 1/2 border. Then sprinkle with mozzarella and 2 Tbl of parmesan cheese

5. Toss artichokes, tomatoes, & spinach with remaining garlic mixture and arrange on top of cheese.

6. Sprinkle with remaining 3 Tbl parm cheese on top.

7. Place baking sheet on top of inverted baking sheet in preheated ove and bake until crust is crisp, about 18-20 minutes

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Macaroni & Cheese


1/2 pound elbow macaroni
4 tablespoons butter
2 eggs
6 ounces evaporated milk
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Fresh black pepper
3/4 teaspoon dry mustard
10 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded


In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta to al dente and drain. Return to the pot and melt in the butter. Toss to coat.
Whisk together the eggs, milk, salt, pepper, and mustard.

Stir into the pasta and add the cheese.

Over low heat continue to stir for 3 minutes or until creamy.

Lamb Gyros


1 pound ground lamb
1/4 cup golden raisins, chopped
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
kosher salt and pepper
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 large egg, beaten
1 bunch scallions (white and light green parts), sliced
4 pieces flat bread
1/2 cup Greek yogurt (Use Fage brand, 2% style)


1. Place an oven rack in the second-highest position and heat broiler.

2. Combine the lamb, raisins, cinnamon, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, the bread crumbs, egg, and three-quarters of the scallions in a large bowl.

3. Shape the mixture into golf ball-size meatballs and place on a foil-lined baking sheet.

4. Broil, turning once, until cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes total.

5. Divide the flat bread among individual plates and top with the meatballs, yogurt, and the remaining scallions.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Two Bean Chicken Chili

1 medium green zucchini, coarsely chopped
15 oz can black beans, drained & rinsed
15 oz can kidney beans, drained & rinsed
8 oz can corn, drained
2 - 14.5 oz cans low sodium chicken broth
16 oz thick & chunky mild salsa
8 oz can tomato sauce
3 cups shredded cooked chicken (I use a rotisserie chicken)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 - 2 Tbl. chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin

Combine it all! Simmer about 30 minutes (or longer). Serve with shredded cheddar cheese.

Artichoke & Spinach Dip

1 10-ounce box frozen cut or chopped spinach, thawed
1 12-ounce jar artichoke hearts, drained and roughly chopped
1/2 cup whipped cream cheese
3/4 cup sour cream
1 cup grated Cheddar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
pita chips, tortilla chips, or sliced French bread


Heat oven to 400° F.

Squeeze the spinach between paper towels to remove excess moisture.

In a medium bowl, combine the spinach, artichokes, cream cheese, sour cream, and Cheddar. Season with the salt and pepper.

Scrape the mixture into a small oven-safe baking dish.

Bake until lightly golden and heated through, about 15 minutes.

Serve warm with the chips or bread

Easy Biscuits

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup shortening
1 cup milk

**handful of shredded cheddar (optional)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Lightly grease a baking sheet.
In a bowl mix the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cut in the shortening until the mixture has only pea sized lumps. Add milk (and cheddar if using) and mix until dry mixture is absorbed.

Drop dough by heaping spoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, until golden brown.