Sunday, December 7, 2008

Breakfast Casserole

This is a great breakfast to make on a Sunday and have the leftovers for dinner or the next day.

Breakfast Casserole
5 small redskin potatoes
2 zucchini
cooking spray
1 lb turkey sausage
8 eggs
1/2 cup skim milk
1 cup cheddar cheese
salt and pepper

Dice potatoes and zucchini and place in a 9x13 pan coated with cooking spray.
Roast potatoes and zucchini at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, brown sausage in skillet and drain any excess grease.
Whisk together eggs, milk, cheese, salt, and pepper.
Add sausage and egg mixture to the veggies and bake for 40 additional minutes.

Pork Tenderloin with Orange Marmalade Mustard Sauce

Here is another great recipe for pork tenderloin. This came from Dinner for a Year and Beyond

Pork Tenderloin with Orange Marmalade Mustard Sauce
1 1/2 to 2 pounds pork tenderloin
salt and pepper
1 cup orange marmalade preserves
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon soy sauce

Trim silver skin from pork tenderloin and season with salt and pepper.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
In a small saucepan, combine marmalade, vinegar, mustard, and soy sauce.
Cover over medium heat about 2 minutes.
Slice pork tenderloin and drizzle with sauce.

Pumpkin Walnut Baked Brie

I was asked to bring an appetizer for Thanksgiving dinner (yes it has taken me this long to update my blog!). This was my first time having brie. I will make this easy appetizer again. This recipe came from Joelen's blog.

Pumpkin Walnut Baked Brie
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 large round of brie

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Slice brie round if half, horizontally and place in an ovenproof dish.
Combine pumpkin, sugar, and walnuts.
Spread half of pumpkin mixture on top of brie.
Top with the other half of the brie.
Spread the remaining pumpkin mixture on top of brie.
Bake for 5-7 minutes until warmed through.
Serve with crackers or crostini.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Vegetable Soup

I wanted to use up some vegetables from my refrigerator, and it is freezing here in Ohio. This vegetable soup recipe sounded like a good fit. The soup was very flavorful. I used chicken broth instead of vegetable broth, did not add the peas, and used red skin potatoes.

Vegetable Soup
from The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook

2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, minced
2 ribs celery, chopped fine
2 carrots, peeled and chopped fine
2 garlic cloves, minced
5 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
2 medium russet potatoes (1 pound), scrubbed and chopped medium
14.5oz can diced tomatoes, drained
1 cup frozen peas, thawed

Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-low heat until shimmering.
Stir in the onion, celery, carrots, garlic, and 3/4 tsp salt.
Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are very soft, about 20 minutes.
Stir in the broth, potatoes, and tomatoes.
Bring to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.
Off the heat, add the peas.
Let the soup stand for 2 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper to taste before serving.

Braised Beef Short Ribs

I had beef short ribs at a restaurant a month ago, and really wanted to make them at home. The recipe I found was for bone-in ribs, but the ones I bought were boneless. I decreased the amount to liquid and the result was fabulous!!! The sauce alone was so good for dipping bread. I served the ribs with mashed potatoes.

Braised Beef Short Ribs
from The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook

6 lbs bone-in English style short ribs, trimmed
salt and pepper
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 onions, chopped coarse
2 carrots, peeled and chopped coarse
1 rib celery, chopped coarse
9 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp tomato paste
3 cups dry red wine
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 14.5oz can diced tomatoes, drained
1 tsp dried thyme
3 bay leaves
1/2 cup fresh parsley

Adjust oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 300 degrees.
Pat the ribs dry with paper towels, then season with salt and pepper.
Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until just smoking.
Brown half of the ribs, about 10 minutes, then transfer to a large plate.
Pour off all but 1 tbsp of the fat and repeat with the remaining ribs.
Pour off all but 1 tbsp of fat from the pot, and return it to medium heat.
Add the onions, carrots, celery, and 1/4 tsp salt and cook until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes.
Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 15 seconds.
Stir in the flour and tomato paste and cook for 1 minute.
Stir in the wine, scraping up any browned bits.
Stir in the broth, tomatoes, thyme, bay leaves, and browned ribs.
Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook in the oven until the meat is tender, 2&1/2 to 3&1/2 hours.
Transfer the ribs to a large plate and cover with foil to keep warm.
Strain the broth into a large container, let settle for 5 minutes, them skim any fat from the surface using a spoon.
Stir in the parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste before serving.

Pumpkin Cake

Here is another great recipe from Cathy at Noble Pig
This cake is a great quick fall dessert. It only uses a yellow cake mix and a small can of pumpkin puree. I can eat more cake and not feel as bad because there is no eggs or oil added. I have made this cake twice this week (it really is that good). I have also thought about using cream cheese frosting for the cake.

Pumpkin Cake
1 yellow cake mix
1 15oz can pumpkin puree

1 & 1/2 cup powered sugar
4 tbsp water
3/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Combine cake mix and pumpkin.
Use a hand mixer until incorporated (it will be thick).
Pour into a greased 7x11 or 9x12 pan.
Bake at 350 for 28 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Prepare glaze while cake is baking.
Mix sugar, water, and pumpkin pie spice and stir.
Let the cake rest for 5-10 minutes, then pour the glaze over.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Char Siu-Chinese Barbecued Pork and Singapore Curry Noodles

My favorite take out dish is by far Singapore Curry Noodles. We have a few places around town that make them to our liking. Cate at Fresh From Cate's Kitchen posted about Char Sui which is Chinese barbecued pork and I knew I had to try to make this dish this week. Here is her recipe.

Here is the recipe that I created my dish from

Singapore Fried Rice Noodles
adapted from Fine Cooking Magazine, Nov 2005, pages 64-65

2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced ginger
8 dried or fresh shiitake mushrooms
12 ounces of fine dry rice vermicelli (Wai Wai brand recommended)
2 stalks celery, sliced thin
1 medium yellow onion, sliced thin
4 jalapeno peppers, seeded and sliced thin
1 cup bean sprouts, rinsed and drained
8 green onions, root end trimmed, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 pound char siu (Chinese barbecued pork), cut into matchsticks
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons oyster sauce

For sauce:
3 tablespoons Madras (hot) curry powder
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 cup chicken broth
4 tablespoons soy sauce
4 teaspoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons hot chili paste
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

If using dried shiitake mushrooms, soak them in hot water for half an hour.
Drain, then cut off the stems.
Slice the mushrooms thinly.
Put the rice vermicelli in a large bowl and soak in enough hot water to cover, until the noodles are soft (about 8 to 10 minutes).
Drain noodles and set aside.
Start by heating up 2 tablespoons of oil in a small pan over medium heat.
Add the curry powder, the ginger, and the minced garlic, and saute until fragrant.
Add the chicken broth, soy sauce, sugar, and chili paste.
Stir to combine and then cover and cook for 5 minutes.
Remove pan from heat and set aside.
Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large wok over high heat.
Add in the remaining garlic and ginger, and stir-fry until the garlic starts to become golden.
Add in the celery, onion, pepper, sprouts, green onions, and mushrooms.
Stir-fry for 3 minutes, until the vegetables start to soften.
Set the vegetables aside in a bowl.
Heat the last 2 tablespoons of oil in the wok over high heat.
Add in the shrimp and stir-fry until they start to turn pink on both sides.
Add the char siu and toss to combine.
Add in the noodles and the vegetables.
Pour on the sauce and also add the oyster sauce.
Mix the ingredients thoroughly to coat all the noodles and incorporate all the vegetables.
Serve hot.

Pork Tenderloin with Apple Cider Sauce

Here is another great recipe from Cathy at Noble Pig. Check out her recipes and great pictures.
I served the pork with cheddar garlic smashed potatoes, asparagus, and Poizin wine. The wine came from a trip to California wine country. It is from Armida Winery in the Dry Creek Valley appellation. The bottle itself has a cool skull and cross bones on it. The wine is called "the wine to die for". It is a Zinfandel with a hint of fruitiness and a small kick of tannins. Check out the website

Pork Tenderloin with Apple Cider Sauce
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 lb pork tenderloin
1 cup apple cider
1/2 cup chicken stock (original recipe called for white wine)
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper

Cut the pork into 2 inch medallions and season with salt and pepper.
Heat oil in dutch oven over medium-high heat.
Sear the pork on each side for about 5 minutes or until a nice crust has formed.
Add cider, stock, and vinegar.
Bring to a boil, cover and cook for 5 minutes.
Remove lid and cook for 5 more minutes.
Transfer pork to a plate and tent with aluminum foil to keep warm.
Simmer the liquids until reduced to about 1/2 cup.
The sauce should be thick and syrupy (this will take about 20 minutes).
Spoon sauce over pork and serve.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Grilled Pineapple and Jalapeno Burgers

This recipe came from a food blog I enjoy reading My husband said this was the best burger he has ever had!!! The grilled pineapple added a nice sweetness while the jalapeno added a nice level of spiciness. I also added some Gouda cheese to melt over the burgers! We will be having these again. I have to thank my husband for doing the grilling. It was raining outside and I was just going to cook them inside, but he said he would do the grilling. Men love to grill. I guess they can help out and drink a beer at the same time!!

Grilled Pineapple and Jalapeno Burgers

1 lb ground sirloin
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp dried minced onion
1/4 red onion, grated
salt and pepper
8 slices pineapple, canned
4 jalapenos, slice in half (seeds can be discarded)
4 slices Gouda cheese

Combine beef, Worcestershire sauce, onions, salt, and pepper.
Shape into 4 patties.
Grill burgers on medium high heat for 6 minutes per side.
Melt the cheese over the burgers.
Grill pineapple and jalapenos for about 3-4 minutes.
Assemble burgers with 2 slices of pineapple, and 2 halves of jalapeno.
Add condiments of your choice (We added mayo and lettuce).

Spaghetti Carbonara

I was in need of quick dinner option to make on an evening when I had to work late. This meal can be made in 15 minutes. I had made carbonara before, but made a few adjustments to make the sauce creamier.

Spaghetti Carbonara
1 lb spaghetti
1 clove garlic
1/4 red onion
8 slices turkey bacon
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp black pepper
1 cup Parmesan Reggiano cheese
4 eggs

Cook spaghetti according to package directions.
Finely dice onion and garlic and add to a skillet on medium heat.
Chop bacon and add to onion.
Saute for 5-6 minutes until the bacon is slightly crispy.
In a large bowl combine eggs, cheese, pepper, and milk and whisk until combined.
As soon as the pasta is done, drain and add to the egg mixture.
Stir bacon and onions into the pasta and serve.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Chicken Lettuce Wraps

This is a quick meal that I don't feel guilty about eating. It is flavorful and the lettuce gives this dish a nice bit of crunch.

Chicken Lettuce Wraps
1 lb chicken breast
1 red bell pepper
1/4 red onion
1 jalapeno
2 cloves garlic
2 scallions
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp chili paste
1/4 cup garlic hoisin sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
head iceberg lettuce

Bake chicken breasts in 375 degree oven for about 30 minutes.
Let chicken rest for 5 minutes, and then cut into small dice.
Dice red pepper, onion, garlic, and jalapeno and saute on medium with the red pepper flakes for about 3 minutes (leaving the vegetables still crunchy).
Add chicken and vegetable mixture to mixing bowl and add chili sauce, hoisin, and soy sauce.
Dice the scallion and add to the chicken mixture.
Stir to evenly coat with sauce.
Serve chicken in individual iceberg lettuce leaves.
Place 2 spoonfuls of chicken mixture on lettuce and wrap and eat.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Nothing sounds better to me than a warm bowl of chili on a cool night. Chili is one of my staples when the weather turns cold. It also helps get dinner on the table, since I can make a big batch of it and eat it for 2 to 3 nights. It is a great meal served with cornbread, grilled cheese, or just a peanut butter sandwich. Basically anything you can dunk into the bowl!! I like to cook my chili in the crock pot and let it simmer for a few hours.

1 lb lean ground beef
1/2 large red onion
2 green bell peppers
2 15oz cans chili beans
2 15oz cans tomatoes with green chilies
1 9oz can green chilies
3 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
1 cup water

Brown beef in skillet until cooked through.
Dice onion and pepper and saute in skillet until tender.
Add beef, onion, and pepper to crock pot.
Add beans, tomatoes, chilies, spices, and water to crock pot.
Heat on high for 3 hours.

Friday, October 24, 2008

A Great Bottle of Wine leads to Surf and Turf Night

A few years ago we purchased a 2002 Domaine Drouhin Pinot Noir from the Willamette Valley in Oregon. 2002 was considered to be one of the all time greatest vintages of Pinot in Oregon. We had been wanting to open this bottle on a special occasion, but it hasn't happened. We looked at some wine vintage charts, and people were saying that the time to drink this wine is now. We were not going to let this bottle sit, so we said any day we opened the bottle it would be a special occasion!!! I suggested filet to my husband and he said "Why don't you just get a couple lobster tails too?" I didn't argue. We had a great lobster tail with garlic butter, Gorgonzola topped filet, baked potatoes, bread, and a fall inspired spinach salad. The wine did not disappoint. It was well worth the wait. It was very balanced, with a nice smooth finish with a hint of tannins.

Fall Inspired Spinach Salad
1 bag washed baby spinach
3 pieces turkey bacon, cooked and chopped
1/2 honeycrisp apple, diced
walnuts, chopped
Gorgonzola cheese
raspberry vinaigrette, purchased

Mix spinach, bacon, apple, walnuts, and cheese in bowl.
Drizzle with vinaigrette.

Lobster Tails with Garlic Butter
2 9oz lobster tails, frozen
3 cloves garlic
1 stick butter

Place frozen lobster tails in cold water and soak for 1 hour to thaw.
Change the water every 20 minutes.
With kitchen shears, cut a large V shape (with the point on the end of the fin) and remove to expose the lobster meat.
Spread the tail open.
Place tails on a broiler pan.
Broil shell side down for 3 minutes.
Flip tails over and broil for 7 more minutes.
Melt butter in small saucepan with 3 cloves of smashed garlic.
Heat until butter melted and the garlic is fragrant.
Remove the garlic, and place the butter in a lobster butter warmed set and drizzle some on the tails.
Light the tea light candle to keep the butter warm.

Grilled Filet Mignon topped with Gorgonzola Cheese
2 10 oz filet mignon steaks
salt, pepper
Gorgonzola cheese

Preheat grill to high heat.
Sprinkle both side of the steaks with salt and pepper.
Sear the steaks for about 5 minutes per side.
Sprinkle the cheese on steaks and place in the oven on broil to melt the cheese for about 1-2 minutes.

Hot Apple Cider with Rum

This is the perfect way to end a long chilly day. A nice mug of warm apple cider with rum. Mmmm!!

Hot Apple Cider with Rum

1 oz rum
6oz apple cider
Pour into to mug.
Microwave for 90 seconds.

Open Faced Cheddar and Turkey Sandwich

I had some leftover Italian bread, lunch meat, and cheese to use up so I made this quick and satisfying lunch.

Open Faced Cheddar and Turkey Sandwich

4 thick slices of Italian bread
4 slices turkey lunch meat
4 slices cheddar
dijon mustard

Heat oven to 400 degrees.
Place bread on cookie sheet.
Spear with mustard and mayonnaise.
Top with turkey and cheese.
Bake for about 4-5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Chicken Quesadillas

Quesadillas are a quick weeknight meal that is quick, easy, and delicious. You can use whatever meat, cheese, veggies, or beans you have leftover in the fridge (corn, black beans, peppers, onion, mushrooms, etc).

Chicken Quesadillas

6 corn tortillas
1 cup shredded chicken
1 cup shredded jack cheese
sour cream, salsa, and avocado for dipping

Heat large skillet on medium.
Place 1 tortilla in a dry skillet.
Let the tortilla warm for about 5 seconds then flip the tortilla over.
Place a thin layer of cheese, chicken, and more cheese on tortilla.
Place second tortilla on cheese.
Heat until the cheese is mostly melted, and the bottom tortilla is browned slightly.
Flip the tortillas over to brown the second side.
Remove from pan and cut into wedges.
Serve with sour cream, salsa, and avocado or guacamole.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


I am now a featured publisher on
Feel free to join me. Meet new friends, and check out some great recipes!!

Green Tortilla Soup

I wanted another dish to use up some of the beer can chicken I made, and since it's fall I wanted a fast soup to make on a weeknight. I saw this soup on the Rachael Ray Show. It looked fast, easy, and delicious!!! The soup is "green" from tomatillos. On her show, she said you could use fresh tomatillos or salsa verde. I show salsa verde. Here is a link to the recipe.

I am submitting this recipe to Joelen's blogging event Tasty Tools-Dutch Oven. Here is a link to her great blog with lots of blogging events to enjoy.

Green Tortilla Soup
3 cups chicken stock
1 cup water
15oz can corn
4 corn tortillas, cut into strips
cooking spray
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 lb precooked shredded chicken
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, grated
2 tsp cumin
2 jalapeno chilies, chopped
16oz jar salsa verde
2 cups cilantro, chopped
zest and juice of 2 limes
2 cups shredded jack cheese
1 avocado, chopped

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Place the tortilla strips onto a baking sheet and spray with cooking spray.
Bake strips until crispy for about 8 minutes.
Preheat a dutch oven or large pot on medium-high heat.
Add oil, onion, garlic, and cumin to pot and cook until soft about 3-4 minutes.
Add corn and jalapenos.
Add salsa verde, stock, water, and chicken to pot.
Simmer for 10-15 minutes.
Remove from heat, and add cilantro, lime zest, and lime juice.
To serve place some tortilla strips into bowl, add soup, and top with cheese and avocado.

Beer Can Chicken turned into Enchiladas with Pumpkin Sauce

This week was my week to choose a recipe for our cooking group the Weekend Wizards, and we are following a fall theme this round. I chose to do a savory pumpkin dish. The recipe comes from Everyday Food from the kitchens of Martha Stewart Living's cookbook Great Food Fast. Here is a link to the original recipe.

Whole chickens were on sale at my grocery store this week, so I decided to make 2 beer can chickens and use the chicken in 2 dishes this week. Here is a link to my previous beer can chicken.
I changed to rub on the beer can chicken to 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp garlic, and 1 tsp chili powder.

I made a terrible mess in the kitchen when I was preparing the pumpkin sauce!! I used my food processor to make the sauce (the recipe says to use a blender-guess I didn't read it good enough) and adding 2 & 1/2 cups of water was too much liquid for it too handle. Orange liquid filled my kitchen counter, and onto the floor. After cleaning up, I poured the remains into a BLENDER, added more chili powder, pumpkin, and water.

My husband loved the dish!! I had tried the pumpkin sauce before baking and was sure the dish was going to be a disaster. After cooking the sauce, it really complimented the chicken.

This dish can be assembled up to eight hours ahead of time; refrigerate, covered with plastic wrap, until ready to bake (add a few minutes to the cooking time).

Enchiladas with Pumpkin Sauce

1 whole chicken-about 3-4 lbs (skin removed, and meat shredded)
6 scallions, thinly sliced
coarse salt and fresh ground pepper
15oz can pumpkin puree
4 garlic cloves, peeled
2 jalapeno chilies, quartered
2 tsp chili powder
8 corn tortillas (8")
1 & 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
In a medium bowl, combine the chicken, scallions and season with salt & pepper.
Set mixture aside.
In a blender, puree the pumpkin, garlic, jalapeno, chili powder, 2 & 1/2 cups water, 2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper until smooth.
Pour 1 cup of the sauce into a 9x13 baking dish.
Spoon a mound of the chicken mixture into the center of each tortilla, and roll into a log and place seam side down in the dish.
Pour the remaining sauce on top, and cover with cheese.
Bake until cheese is golden brown, and sauce is bubbling-about 25-30 minutes.
Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Apple Rosemary Pork Tenderloin

Here is another recipe from the Weekend Wizards fall theme meals. This recipe is from I made a few changes, and the pork was so moist and flavorful!!! This recipe is pretty involved for a weeknight meal, but I will save it again for a fall weekend. I served the pork with smashed red skin potatoes.

Apple Rosemary Pork Tenderloin
2 tsp dried rosemary
1 & 1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 & 1/2 tsp dried marjoram
salt and pepper to taste
3 lb pork tenderloin (used two 1 & 1/2 lb tenderloins)
12 oz apple cider
3 Granny Smith apples, cored and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 large red onion, cut into 1 inch pieces
5 tbsp brown sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup maple syrup

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Trim silver skin off of both pork tenderloins.
Mix rosemary, thyme, marjoram, salt, and pepper.
Rub herb mixture on pork tenderloins.
Place tenderloins in a roasting pan.
Pour cider in pan.
Place apples and onions on and around tenderloin in pan.
Spoon brown sugar over entire pan evenly.
Roast for about 45 minutes, until the pork reaches 155 degrees with a meat thermometer.
Remove meat from pan and most of the juices, and continue to roast apples and onions another 20 minutes.
In a skillet, place flour, and the juices from the pan.
Stir in maple syrup.
Cook and stir over medium heat until liquid has thickened to desired consistency.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Mushroom-Cheddar Frittata

Here is another recipe from the Weekend Wizards cooking group. The recipe is from Martha Stewart. This was a great weeknight meal. I would make this again, and would switch up some of the vegetables to whatever I have on hand. This could be used as a great breakfast or brunch item.

Mushroom-Cheddar Frittata

10 oz white mushrooms, trimmed and quartered
1/2 lb red new potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 tbsp olive oil
2 shallots, minced (added)
coarse salt and ground pepper
8 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp hot-pepper sauce
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
10 oz broccoli, chopped

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Spray a 9 inch deep-dish pie plate with cooking spray, and add mushrooms, potatoes, shallots, and oil.
Roast for 20 minutes, tossing once.
Meanwhile combine eggs, milk, mustard, hot-pepper sauce, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/8 tsp pepper.
Toss in cheese and broccoli.
Pour egg mixture over potato mixture, and stir.
Bake until puffed and set in the middle, and a paring knife inserted into the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes.

Monday, September 29, 2008


It has been so long since I updated my blog (might have something to do with the fact that I haven't cooked in weeks-no joke). My husband and I went on a great vacation to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico and I haven't felt up to cooking since we returned. Somehow I managed to get sick, but my husband was fine (I must not have drank enough beer!).
I am working evenings this week and on call, so I wanted to have something that my husband could heat up and eat before I got home. A nice big tray of lasagna fit perfectly. I used a recipe on the back of the Barilla no boil noodles.

from Barilla
1 9 oz package no boil Barilla lasagna noodles
2 eggs
15oz ricotta cheese (used part skim)
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (only used 3 cups)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (used Pecorino Romano)
1 lb Italian sausage
2 jars spaghetti sauce

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Spray 9x13 baking pan with cooking spray.
In medium bowl mix eggs, ricotta, Romano, and 1 cup mozzarella cheese.
Brown sausage in skillet until cooked through, and drain any excess grease.
Spread 1 cup of pasta sauce in pan.
Layer 4 uncooked pasta sheets (overlapping if needed), 1/3 ricotta mixture, half of meat, 1 cup mozzarella, and 1 cup sauce.
Layer 4 sheets pasta, 1/3 ricotta mixture, and 1 & 1/2 cup sauce.
Layer 4 more sheets, the remaining ricotta, the remaining meat, and 1 cup of sauce.
Layer 4 more sheets, the remaining sauce, and 1 cup mozzarella.
Cover with foil and bake for 55 minutes.
Remove foil and bake for 10 more minutes.
Let stand 15 minutes before cutting.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Pan Seared Scallops with Green Curry Sauce

I found some huge scallops at Whole Foods, and made this dish on the fly for dinner. We were supposed to have a fancy anniversary dinner, but we went out the night before and had a great meal so we will have the fancy home cooked dinner at another time. We did open a nice bottle of Riesling, and watch the season premiere of Entourage.

Pan Seared Scallops with Green Curry Sauce

8 sea scallops
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 can light coconut milk
2 tbsp green curry paste
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 chili peppers
1 stalk lemongrass
white rice (prepared in rice cooker)

Heat small saucepan on medium heat.
Add curry powder and heat until fragrant.
Add coconut milk, fish sauce, brown sugar, chili peppers, and lemongrass.
Simmer for 5 minutes.
Heat a skillet on medium high.
Add oil and 4 scallops.
Sear for 2 minutes on the first side.
Flip and cook for 3 minutes on the second side.
Repeat with the next 4 scallops.
Plate the rice and drizzle with the curry sauce.
Place scallops on top, and drizzle with more curry sauce.

Fire-Roasted Gazpacho

I have always wanted to make a gazpacho, but for some reason I never have gotten around to it. I saw this on Rachael Ray's talk show and I knew it would be fast, light, and delicious!! My husband used some of the leftovers as salsa.

I am submitting this to the wonderful Joelen's blog event Food Network Chefs. Check out her blog, or even participate in one of her many events!!

Fire-Roasted Gazpacho

1 small red onion
1/4 seedless cucumber
1 jalapeno pepper
1 clove garlic
1 slice bread
a small handful of cilantro
1 lime
28 oz can fire-roasted tomatoes
splash of tomato juice
2 tsp hot sauce
2 roasted red peppers

Dice onion, cucumber, and jalapeno into large chunks and place in food processor.
Grate in garlic.
Cut the crust off of the bread and tear into large chunks and add to food processor.
Add cilantro, juice of 1 lime, tomatoes, and hot sauce.
Drain the liquid from the red peppers and add to processor.
Add pinch of pepper.
Pulse food processor until the gazpacho reaches the consistency you like.

I served the gazpacho in a martini glass.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Pork Stir-fry

I bought a couple pork tenderloins because they were on sale this week. I roasted both of them, then I was going to decide what to do with them. For the first one, I made a pork stir-fry. It turned out ok, but nothing special. Update: after letting it sit the flavors started to really meld together and the dish was good!

Pork Stir-Fry

1 lb pork tenderloin
1/2 cup garlic hoisin sauce
1 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp red chili flakes
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp chili sauce
1 tbsp fresh grated ginger
1 tsp oil
2 tbsp cornstarch, in 1/4 cup cold water
12 oz package stir-fry veggies (carrot, broccoli, snow peas)
Serve with rice

Roast pork tenderloin in oven at 350 degrees for about 18 minutes (you can also skip this step and just stir-fry the pork in the wok).
Combine hoisin, honey, chili flakes, soy sauce, chili sauce, and ginger and stir well.
Add oil to wok.
Add veggies and stir fry for about 2 minutes.
Add sauce to wok and stir-fry for another 3 minutes.
Add cornstarch mixture.
Add diced pork, and stir fry another minute.
Serve with rice.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Grilled Bacon Cheeseburger

I was craving a burger last night. My husband had class late, and I was just relaxing at home in my pajamas. He called to see what I was having for dinner. I was just going to make some simple spaghetti, but instead I ran to the store and grilled out some great burgers!! I lightened up a regular burger by using ground sirloin, turkey bacon, and 1/2 of a slice of 2% milk cheese. These burgers really hit the spot. I served the burgers with some oven roasted red skin potatoes with cumin.

Grilled Bacon Cheeseburger

1 lb ground sirloin
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 small red onion
pinch salt and pepper


4 slices cooked turkey bacon
2% milk cheese singles
mustard, ketchup, and mayo
sliced red onion
sliced roma tomato
4 hamburger buns

Mix sirloin with salt, pepper, and Worchestershire sauce.
Grate in the onion.
Mix and form into 4 patties.
Grill patties on medium high for 6 minutes per side.
Melt a half piece of cheese of each patty and serve with toppings.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Fresh Corn Risotto

I had a few ears of grilled corn leftover and I knew exactly what I wanted to do. I had my eye on Liz's Fresh Corn Risotto from Food and Wine magazine.

The risotto came out great. It was creamy and delicious.

Fresh Corn Risotto

6 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
1 bay leaf
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, very finely chopped
1 1/2 cups arborio rice (12 ounces)
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup white corn kernels (from 2 ears)
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
Salt and freshly ground pepper

In a medium saucepan, bring the chicken stock to a boil with the bay leaf.
Keep the stock warm over very low heat.
In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil.
Add the onion and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until softened, about 2 minutes.
Add the rice and cook, stirring until opaque, about 3 minutes.
Add the white wine and cook, stirring, until completely absorbed, about 1 minute.
Add 1 cup of the warm stock and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until nearly absorbed.
Continue adding the stock 1 cup at a time and stirring until it is absorbed between additions.
After about half of the stock has been added, stir in the corn, then add the remaining stock.
The rice is done when it's al dente and creamy, about 25 minutes total.
Stir in the cheese and butter; season with salt and pepper.
Discard the bay leaf and serve.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Winner of book giveaway

I am now the proud winner of Secret Ingredients: The New Yorker Book Of Food And Drink edited by David Remnick. I won the book from Cathy from Noble Pig. She had a book giveaway for her birthday!! Visit her great blog about great food and wine.

Spaghetti Carbonara

This week it as my turn to pick a recipe for my cooking group. I have always wanted to make spaghetti carbonara. I have enjoyed it in restaurants, but have always been afraid of making it at home for some reason. I chose a recipe from the "bible of Italian cooking". The cookbook is The Silver Spoon. It is such a great reference for cooking Italian dishes. The carbonara turned out great. It was a quick and easy weeknight meal. I served it with grilled chicken.

Spaghetti Carbonara
from The Silver Spoon
Serves 4

2 tbsp butter
1/2 cup pancetta, diced
1 clove garlic
12 oz spaghetti
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
1/2 cup romano cheese, freshly grated
salt and pepper
1/4 cup pasta cooking water

Melt the butter in a pan, add the pancetta and garlic and cook until the garlic turns brown.
Remove and discard the garlic.
Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in a large pan of salted boiling water until al dente, then drain and add to the pancetta.
Remove the pan from the heat, pour in the eggs, add half the cheese and salt and pepper.
Mix well so that the egg coats the pasta.
Add the remaining cheese and 1/4 cup pasta cooking water, and mix again and serve.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Steak Diane Dinner Party

My brother in law and sister in law came over for a dinner party. We all had a tough week (some of us worse than others). We had a lot of great food. Some was premade. Here are the recipes for what I made.

Shrimp Cocktail
Gouda cheese and crackers
Spinach dip and crackers
Smashed Garlic Cheddar Potatoes
Grilled Corn
Steak Diane
Chateau Gravat Medoc bordeaux 2005
Frappuccino Martinis
Angel food cake with berries and whipped cream
Strawberry Shortcake Cheesecake

Smashed Garlic Cheddar Potatoes
2 lbs red skin potatoes
3 cloves garlic, smashed
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
3/4 cup milk (more or less for desired consistency)
salt and pepper

Dice potatoes into 1 inch chunks.
Boil potatoes and garlic for 20 minutes until fork tender.
Drain potatoes and add cheese, milk, salt and pepper.
Mash with potato masher until mostly smooth.

Grilled Corn
6 ears corn
salt and pepper

Remove husks and silks from corn and pat dry.
Grill on medium high for about 8 minutes (turning every 2 minutes).
Drizzle with butter and salt and pepper.

Steak Diane
Inspired by Paula Dean, but with much less butter
3 tbsp butter
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
2 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup diced red onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 of lemon
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
pinch salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3 tbsp fresh parsley leaves
4 ribeye steaks

Add butter and oil to pan.
Add mushrooms, onion, garlic, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper to pan.
Cook until mushrooms are tender (about 7 minutes).
Stir in chopped parsley.
Salt and pepper the steaks.
Grill steaks on medium high heat for about 4 minutes per side.
Drizzle sauce or steaks.

Frappuccino Martini's
9 1/2 oz bottle Starbucks frapaccuccino coffee drink
1 1/2 oz Absolut vodka
chocolate syrup

Drizzle martini glass with chocolate syrup.
In a cocktail shaker, mix coffee and vodka.
Shake and pour into martini glass.