Monday, December 31, 2012

Photo Book

Click here to view this photo book larger

You'll love Shutterflys award-winning photo books. Try it today.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Stuffed Pepper Stew

My friend Sandy, who is an excellent cook shared this recipe.  I made it for a cousin who just had a baby and shared some with my dad.  My dad gave it a big thumbs up (haven't heard from the cousins yet....).  I really enjoyed it as well!  I'll be making it again soon.

2 lbs ground meat
1 28 oz. tomato sauce
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained)
2 cups of cooked rice
2 cups chopped green pepper
2 beef bouillon cubes
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp salt
2 tsp pepper

In a large pot brown the meat and then drain.  Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil  Reduce heat, cover & simmer for 30-40 minutes.  Stir regularly.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Mimi's Breakfast Casserole

I always like to make a breakfast casserole to have for Christmas morning.  The one I had been making was a bit complicated.  I ran across this one randomly on the internet.  Not sure who Mimi's is but I liked the casserole.  Very simple to make.  Pretty good.  I'd make it again.
Serves 4

4 slices of bread with crusts removed
2-3 oz. shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
2-3 oz. sharp cheddar cheese
4 eggs, beaten
1 1/4 cup skim milk
1.5 - 2 oz crumbled bacon pieces

Spray a 9X9 baking dish with nonstick spray.  Cover the bottom of the dish with the bread slices
Spread the cheeses evenly over the bread.
Mix the eggs and the milk well.
Pour slowly and evenly over the bread and cheese.
Sprinkle the bacon pieces evenly over the top.
Refrigerate overnight.
In the morning, bake at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes or until cooked through and fluffy.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Appetizer Wreath

The world of Pinterest has sparked my creative interests.  Recognizing with the time I have I must also find creative things that don't require too much time....  So this recipe is perfect for upcoming Christmas Parties.  I usually make a veggie pizza at some point to take somewhere.  This little spin on the veggie pizza was perfect and very festive.

2 (8 oz each) tubes of refrigerated crescent rolls
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tsp dill weed
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 cups chopped fresh broccoli florets
1 cup finely chopped celery
1/2 cup finely chopped sweet red pepper
celery leaves

Remove crescent dough from packaging (do not unroll).  Cut each tube into eight slices (I'd try 10 maybe next time).  Arrange in a circle on an ungreased pizza pan.

Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool for 5 minutes before carefully removing to a serving platter; cool completely.

In a small bowl, beat cream cheese, sour cream, dill and garlic powder until smooth.  Spread over wreath; top with broccoli, celery and red pepper.  Form a bow garnish with celery leaves.
Yield 16 servings.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Candy Cane Kiss Blossoms

I was looking for something fun & different for a cookie exchange.  Candy Cane Kisses - brilliant!  Festive & yummy!  I really liked these cookies and I would definetly make them again.

Candy Cane Kiss Blossoms
Yield 2 1/2 Dozen Cookies
Source Recipe Girl

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/4 cups butter, at room temperature
1 tsp. peppermint extract, optional
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 large egg
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup Candy Cane flavored Hershey Kisses finely chopped
granulated sugar
additional, unwrapped Candy Cane Kisses, about 30


1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Make room in either refrigerator or freezer for your cookie sheet.
2. In large mixer bowl, combine powdered sugar, butter, extracts and egg. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often until creamy (2-3 minutes). In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Add to wet mixture and beat, scraping bowl often until well blended (1-2 minutes). The mixture will be a bit crumbly. Stir in chopped Kisses.
3. Shape dough into 3/4-inch to 1-inch balls; roll in granulated sugar. Place 1-inch apart on cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until set. As soon as they come out of the oven, press a Candy Cane Kiss in the center of each cookie. They'll crack a little around the edges, so just use your fingers to kind of hold the cookie together while you set the kiss inside. Put cookie sheet (with cookies) immediately into the freezer (preferred) or refrigerator so that the Kisses will set quickly. As soon as you press them into the cookie, they will begin to soften... so if you can get them into the freezer then they will keep their Kiss shape.
4. Store in a covered container- at room temperature for up to a week. In the freezer they should be ok for a couple of weeks.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Chicken & Spinach Pasta Bake

I think I found a secret ingredient here... Philadelphia Cooking Creme. It really made this dish. This recipe made LOTS & I loved every bit of the leftovers!

Chicken & Spinach Pasta Bake

2 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 cup finely chopped white onion
1 clove minced garlic
4 cups baby spinach leaves
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken breast
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 cups Philadelphia Cooking Creme - Italian Cheese & Herb
1 lb. bowtie pasta
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9X13 baking dish with non stick cooking spray.

2. Place oil in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium heat. Add onion & cook, stirring until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic & cook, stirring for 1 minute. Stir in spinach leaves, cook, stirring until wilted about 2 minutes. Add chicken salt, pepper and cook until heated through, about three minutes. Add cooking creme, stirring to combine.

3, Cook pasta according to package directions, drain & run under cold water to stop cooking. Add pasta to chicken mixture stirring to combine. Transfer to prepared baking dish and top with cheese. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until cheese is melted. Makes 8 servings.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Spinach & Three-Cheese Calzones

It's been a long time! I wanted to make sure I had this recipe saved because I liked it! It served as a quick dinner & great leftovers for lunch. Anything to get the boys around here to eat spinach!

Spinach and Three-Cheese Calzones
Source: Parenting Magazine

Preheat oven to 425, and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Thaw a 10 oz. package frozen chopped spinach and squeeze out as much water as possible.

In a medium bowl, mix the spinach with 1 cup part-skim ricotta, 1 cup shredded fontina, 1/4 cup grated pecorino cheese, 1/4 tsp. garlic powder, and pepper to taste.

Slice a 13.8 8oz tube refrigerated pizza dough into 6 equal pieces. Shape into balls, and stretch or roll out on a lightly floured surface to roughly 5-inch circles. Arrange 3 circles on each baking sheet.

Divide the spinach mixtures into 6 equal portions, and spread on one side of each circle, leaving a 1/2 inch border, then fold the dough over the filling. Pinch and crimp the edges to seal. Cut a 1 inch vent in each, and bake until golden, about 14 minutes.

Serve with marinara for dipping.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Asian Baby-Back Ribs with Udon Salad

I am trying SO hard to get better at meal planning! This is the 1st entry. I got this recipe from Real Simple Magazine. The ribs turned out really good. The noodles - Ben wasn't crazy about but weren't too bad. I want to keep this recipe around for the ribs!

Asian Baby-Back Ribs with Udon Salad

1/3 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 TBSP rice vinegar
2 TBSP cornstarch
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled & sliced
1/4 to 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
4 lbs. Baby Back ribs, cut into 8 pieces
1 8.8 oz package udon noodles
1 bunch radishes (about 8), halved & sliced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
4 scallions, sliced

In a 4-6 qt slow cooker, mix together the soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, cornstarch, oil, ginger, cayenne. Add the ribs and turn to coat.
(I doubled the sauce & added the other 1/2, 1/2 way through cooking)

Cover and cook until the ribs are tender, on low for 6 to 7 hours or on high for 3 to 4 hours

Twenty minutes before serving, heat broiler. Place the ribs, meaty-side up, on a foil lined baking sheet. Strain the cooking liquid from the slow cooker to a medium bowl. Brush the meaty side of the ribs with half the cooking liquid and broil, basting twice with the pan juices, until shiny and glazed, 3 to 4 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the noodles according to the package directions. Drain and run under cold water to cool. Add the noodles to the bowl of remaining cooking liquid from the slow cooker and toss with the radishes, cilantro, and scallions.