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.