Thursday, July 30, 2009

CSA Week 4

Here are the fruits and vegetables that we received this week from our CSA.

-Scarlett Nantes and/or Red Core Chantanney Carrots
-Scarlett Queen Red Stem Turnips
-Genovese Basil
-Orion Fennel
-Yellow Haricot Vert
-Jalapeno, Islander (round), and Sheepnose Pimento (long) Peppers
-Summer Squash (Patty Pan, Magda, Zephar, Crooked Neck)

Also not pictured
-baking apples

Apple Crisp

We received some baking apples from our CSA this week. I used this classic recipe from the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook.

Apple Crisp

5 cups sliced and peeled cooking apples
2 to 4 tbsp granulated sugar
1/2 cup regular rolled oats
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Place fruit in a 2 quart baking dish.
Stir in the granulated sugar.
For the topping, mix the oats, brown sugar, flour, and nutmeg in a medium bowl.
Cut in the butter until the mixture looks like course crumbs.
Sprinkle the topping over the fruit.
Bake for 30 minutes or until the fruit is tender and the topping is golden.

Grilled Flank Steak with Corn, Black Bean and Avocado Salad

This is another recipe from the Summer Weekend Wizards cooking group. This was very fast and easy to come together. This was my first time making flank steak, but it will not be my last. The steak was juicy and had great flavor. The salad was a nice contrast with the smooth and creamy avocado. I added an extra jalapeno for some added heat.

Grilled Flank Steak with Corn, Black Bean and Avocado Salad
from Weight Watchers

1 pound lean flank steak
1 medium garlic clove, peeled, and smashed
1 tsp lime juice
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper

1 jalapeno pepper, minced (added 2 peppers)
1 small corn on the cob, cooked, kernels removed
1/2 medium avocado, peeled, pitted, and diced
1 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
4 tsp lime juice
2 tbsp cilantro, minced
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper

  • Preheat grill to medium hot.

  • Score steak on one side by making shallow crisscross slashes with a sharp knife; rub garlic over cut surface of steak. Brush steak with lime juice and season with salt and pepper; set meat aside for 10 minutes to allow meat to absorb flavors.

  • Meanwhile, combine salad ingredients in a medium bowl; stir gently and set aside.

  • Grill steak for 5 minutes on first side; flip and grill until well-browned on outside and medium-rare inside, about 5 to 6 minutes more. Immediately remove steak from grill and set aside on a clean plate for 5 minutes for meat to reabsorb juices. Thinly slice steak across grain and serve with salad. Yields about 3 1/2 ounces of steak and 1/2 cup of salad per serving.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Hamburger Cupcakes and French Fries

I saw this recipe on a few cooking blogs and I just knew I had to make these. Check out this blog
These were a crowd pleaser at 2 cookouts. Kids and adults went nuts for these cute little guys. I used a box mix for the brownies and the cake mix to leave more time for the decorating. The french fries were made from sugar cookie dough.

For the cupcakes:
To begin prepare a brownie mix according to the package directions in a 9x13 pan.
Also prepare a yellow cake mix to make 24 cupcakes.
Use baking cup liners for the cupcakes.
While the brownies and cupcakes cool, prepare the icing.
I used a can of vanilla frosting.
Divide the frosting in three small bowls.
Add red food coloring to one bowl (make extra red if making the french fries), yellow to another, and green to the third.
Place the colored frosting in a small sandwich bag.
Begin the assembly of the cupcakes.
Place a sheet of aluminum foil on the counter to prevent the cupcakes from sticking.
With a small round cookie cutter, cut out 24 circles of the brownies.
Remove the paper baking cups from the cupcakes, and cut each cupcake in half.
Cut off a very small corner of each sandwich bag to make the decorating easier.
On the bottom layer of the cupcake, place a thin amount of the red frosting on the outer edge.
Place a brownie on top, then add a layer of yellow then green frosting to the outer edge.
Then place the top of the cupcake on the frosting.
Slightly wet the top of the cupcake and sprinkle on a couple sesame seeds.

For the french fries:
Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
Roll out the sugar cookie dough onto the sheet in a thin layer.
Bake the dough until it is golden brown (according to the package directions).
When cool, using a pizza cutter cut the dough into different size strips.
Serve with some of the extra red frosting.

Chicken and Summer Vegetable Tostadas

This was my recipe for our cooking group the Summer Weekend Wizards. My mother-in-law gave us lots of fresh vegetables from her garden, and I knew this was a perfect recipe to use them.

The recipe comes from Cooking Light. You can view the recipe here:
Chicken and Summer Vegetable Tostadas

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Second CSA Pick Up

This is out second pick up from our CSA this summer. This was the first of the fruit share. Here is what we received this week:
-Hakurei Turnips
-Evergreen Hardy Scallions
-French Breakfast Radishes
-English Peas (In Shell) (not pictured)

We also received 3 quarts of strawberries. These are some of the best strawberries that I have ever had. They are so juicy!!!

Lemon Pepper Shrimp Scampi

This recipe is from my summer cooking group. The theme for the summer is light and healthy dishes. I used this dish to throw together a quick dinner for 11 people. This was a very fast meal to put together, and was enjoyed by all. I was in such a hurry that I just looked at the ingredients and didn't measure anything. I also tripled the recipe to make sure we had enough for 11 people. I will post the original recipe even though I improvised.

Lemon Pepper Shrimp Scampi
from Cooking Light

  • 1 cup uncooked orzo
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 7 teaspoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 1/2 pounds peeled and deveined jumbo shrimp
  • 2 teaspoons bottled minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1. Cook orzo according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain. Place orzo in a medium bowl. Stir in parsley and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cover and keep warm.

2. While orzo cooks, melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle shrimp with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add half of shrimp to pan; sauté 2 minutes or until almost done. Transfer shrimp to a plate. Melt 1 teaspoon butter in pan. Add remaining shrimp to pan; sauté 2 minutes or until almost done. Transfer to plate.

3. Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in pan. Add garlic to pan; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Stir in shrimp, juice, and pepper; cook 1 minute or until shrimp are done.

Goat Cheese and Heirloom Tomato Bruschetta

This recipe was adapted from a Rachel Ray recipe that I saw on her talk show. I have slimmed it down by not adding the bacon or avocado. I did add some extra flavor by rubbing the warm bread with some garlic.

Goat Cheese and Heirloom Tomato Bruschetta

1 loaf crusty Italian bread
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic
4 oz goat cheese
2 pints heirloom tomatoes, chopped
1 bunch fresh basil, chopped
salt and pepper

Slice bread into 1 inch thick slices.
Grill bread until slightly charred on each side.
Combine the tomatoes, oil, basil, and a pinch of salt and pepper to a bowl.
When the bread is ready, rub the clove of garlic over the warm bread.
Top the bread with a slather of the goat cheese and the tomato mixture.

Mixed Greens Salad with Goat Cheese, Cranberries, and Bacon

This is a quick salad that combines many ingredients that I like in a salad. It contains fruit, bacon, cheese, and nuts.

Mixed Greens Salad with Goat Cheese, Cranberries, and Bacon

1 bag mixed greens
3 slices turkey bacon
1/2 cup dried cranberries
4 oz goat cheese
1/2 cup diced walnuts

I served this salad with a light balsamic dressing.

Cook bacon according to package directions (I microwaved the bacon for 2 minutes and 30 seconds).
Drain any grease from bacon and dice into small pieces.
Add the greens, bacon, cranberries, crumbled goat cheese, and walnuts to a large bowl.
Drizzle salad with balsamic dressing.

Chimichurri Sauce

I grilled up some delicious steaks and wanted a fresh sauce to lighten up the steaks. This was a quick and easy sauce to throw together in the food processor. It is also a great way to use up any extra herbs. The sauce was also different than any I had had before with the addition of the smoked paprika. This sauce is very versatile. It can be used on fish, chicken, pork, beef, veggies, etc.

Chimichurri Sauce
by Bobby Flay

2 cups packed fresh parsley leaves
2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves
4 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Combine parsley, oregano and garlic in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped.
Add the paprika, vinegar, oil, salt and pepper, and process until smooth.
Scrape into a bowl.
Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.
Can be made 8 hours in advance if tightly covered and refrigerated.
Bring to room temperature before serving.


This might just be my new favorite summer drink!! I love red wine, but the fruit gave it that summertime feeling and some added sweetness.

by Emeril Lagasse

1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1 large lemon
1 large orange
1 small apple
1 750ml bottle dry red wine
1/2 cup Grand Marnier (I used Cointreau)

Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook until the sugar dissolves.
Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Thinly slice 1/2 of the lemon and 1/2 of the orange.
Add the lemon and orange slices to a large pitcher.
Juice the other halves of the lemon and orange and add the juice and the rinds to the pitcher.
Core and thinly slice the apple, and add it to the pitcher.
Add wine, Grand Marnier, and the chilled syrup to the pitcher and stir.
Refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours.
Serve straight up or on the rocks with some of the fruit.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

First CSA Vegetable Pick Up

Today we picked up our first CSA share from Wayward Seed Farm. We have chosen to get a vegetable and a fruit share. Here is what came in our first harvest:

-Shunkyo Radishes
-Hakurei Turnips
-Braising Mix
-Evergreen Hardy Scallions
-Kentucky Colonel Mint
-Crispino Lettuce

When we picked up the vegetable we received a few recipes to use the vegetables, and nice tote to carry everything in.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


This was a great pizza that was inspired by a local pizza shop in town.


1 prepared pizza crust (used Boboli)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp dried thyme
salt and pepper
2 tbsp apricot preserves
1 cup cooked chicken, cut into bit size pieces
4 oz goat cheese

Place onions into a large skillet on low to medium heat.
Saute onions for about 30 minutes until they caramelize.
Add thyme, salt, and pepper to the onions.
Place the pizza crust on a pizza pan, and top with the apricot preserves.
Top the pizza with the onion, chicken, and goat cheese.
Bake at 425 degrees for 12 minutes.

Chinese Orange Barbecue Cashew Chicken

I saw this recipe on the Rachael Ray Show. It looked quick, easy, and full of flavor. It was right on the money!!

Chinese Orange Barbecue Cashew Chicken
from Rachael Ray

2 tbsp canola oil
1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast, chopped into bite size pieces
salt and pepper
1 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced (added)
1 onion, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, grated
1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
1 tbsp hot sauce
2 tbsp soy sauce
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
1/4 cup orange marmalade
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup cashews
3 scallions, thinly sliced

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.
Add oil to the pan.
Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
Add the chicken to the pan and stir fry for about 5 minutes, until the chicken is golden brown.
Remove the chicken from the pan.
Add the pepper, onion, garlic, and ginger to the pan and stir fry for 4 minutes.
Mix the hot sauce, soy sauce, hoisin, marmalade, and stock together in a small bowl.
Add the chicken, sauce, and cashews to the pan.
Heat for 2 minutes.
Serve over white rice and garnish with the scallions.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


Here is another great St. Patty's day dinner. This is another recipe for the weekly cooking group that I participate in. This was my first attempt at making corned beef, and it turned out great! The meat was very tender. I used the corned beef to make a Reuben.

Corned Beef
2 lb beef brisket

Place brisket into a Dutch oven.
Sprinkle meat with the seasoning packet provided with the meat.
Cover meat with water.
Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 2 hours (about an hour per lb).
Drain the water.
Let the meat rest for 10 minutes.
Thinly slice the meat against the grain.

2 slices marble rye bread
thousand island dressing
sauerkraut, drained
corned beef
2 slices Swiss cheese

Heat skillet on medium heat.
Butter one side of each slice of bread.
Place the butter side down into the skillet, and spread a thin layer of thousand island dressing on the bread.
Add a thin layer of sauerkraut.
Add 2 slices of corned beef, and top with cheese.
Spread dressing on the second slice of bread and place on meat with the butter side up.
Cook for about 3 minutes per side or until the cheese is melted.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Guinness Beef Stew

With St. Patrick's Day this week, I knew I couldn't go wrong with this beef stew. It has a bottle of Guinness in it!! This recipe was from but I used beef instead of the lamb.

Guinness Beef Stew
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 lb beef for stew
1 sweet onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tbsp flour
salt and pepper
1 bottle Guinness beer
14 oz can beef broth
1 bay leaf
1 tsp rosemary
1 tsp thyme
6 redskin potatoes
4 carrots

Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven.
Add the beef and brown on each side.
Add onions and cook until tender (about 5 minutes).
Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.
Add flour and let the mixture cook for 1 minute.
Add Guinness, beef broth, rosemary, thyme, bay leaf, salt, and pepper.
Bring to a boil, cover and reduce the heat to simmer for 1 & 1/2 hours.
Dice potatoes and carrots and add to the pot.
Bring to a boil, and cook for 30 minutes.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Asian-Style Braised Short Ribs

I have been wanting to make the recipe for quite some time now. It comes from Emeril. These short ribs were awesome!!! The orange zest sprinkled on made the meaty ribs lighter. It really cut through the fat.

Asian-Style Braised Short Ribs
by Emeril Lagasse
from Food Network Favorites cookbook

5 lbs beef short ribs, cut into 4-ounce portions
1 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1 5-inch stalk lemongrass, halved and smashed (omitted)
1 tbsp peeled and minced fresh ginger
1/2 cup light brown sugar
4 cups water
1/2 cup sliced green onions, white parts only
3/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
jasmine rice, for serving
2 tsp finely grated orange zest, for serving
sliced green onion tops, for serving

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a dutch oven, combine the ribs, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, lemongrass, ginger, brown sugar, water, green onion bottoms, crushed red pepper flakes, and 2 tbsp orange juice.
Make sure that the ribs are submerged in the liquid.
Bake the short ribs for about 3 hours.
Remove the short ribs, and cover to keep warm.
Increase the oven temperature to 425 degrees.
Skim the fat from the cooking liquid and discard.
Add the hoisin sauce to the liquid and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
Reduce the liquid until only 1 & 1/4 cups remain.
Strain the liquid through a fine mesh strainer, discarding the solids.
Stir in 2 tbsp orange juice and the lemon juice.
Return the short ribs and the reduced sauce to the dutch oven.
Coat the ribs with the sauce.
Bake for 10 minutes, or until the short ribs are heated through and slightly glazed.
Serve over hot jasmine rice.
Season each portion with the grated orange zest and green onion tops.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Fennel-Pepper Spaghetti

This recipe was my pick for our cooking group. It is a quick meatless meal that can be vegetarian if you use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock. The fennel in the dish made me think of sausage. The dish tasted like sausage, peppers, and onions.

Fennel-Pepper Spaghetti
from the Rachael Ray Show

  • Salt
  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 1/4 cup EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 1 red onion, quartered then sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, quartered lengthwise, seeded and sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, quartered lengthwise, seeded and sliced
  • 1 cubanelle pepper, quartered lengthwise, seeded and sliced
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed or whole tomatoes, such as San Marzano
  • Ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup basil, chopped
  • 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

Yields: 4 servings


Place a large pot of water over high heat to boil the pasta. When the water reaches a boil, add some salt and drop in the pasta. Cook to al dente according to package directions and drain. Return pasta to the pot it was cooked in and reserve.

While the pasta is cooking, place a large skillet over medium-high heat with 4 turns of the pan of EVOO, about 1/4 cup. Add garlic and fennel seeds to the pan while you cut the rest of the vegetables. Add in the onion, peppers and red pepper flakes to the pan and cook until the veggies are tender, 6-7 minutes.

Add the chicken stock and tomatoes to the pan (if using whole tomatoes, break them up using a wooden spoon or potato masher). Bring the sauce up to a bubble, season with salt and pepper and simmer until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the basil and parsley.

Toss the butter and cheese with the cooked pasta, then add the tomato sauce and toss well to combine.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Salsa Chicken & Black Bean Soup

This recipe is from the Weekend Wizards cooking group. The original recipe is to be made in a crock pot. I am afraid to leave mine on when I'm not at home (I had one crack once), so I just made this soup on the stove. This is a great, fast, and flavorful soup. I added some extra spice and some lime juice to give it a nice kick and it was perfect!!
The original recipe can be found here

Salsa Chicken & Black Bean Soup
with my changes

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 lb chicken breast
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 cup red bell pepper, diced
1 cup frozen corn
16oz jar salsa
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tbsp lime juice
1/2 fresh cilantro, chopped
optional toppings:shredded cheddar cheese and tortilla chips

Heat dutch oven on medium heat and add oil and chicken.
Cook about 8 minutes, then flip breast over and cook for another 8 minutes.
Remove chicken from the pan.
Add bell pepper and corn and saute for 3 minutes.
Dice chicken and add back to pan.
Add cumin, red pepper flakes, chicken broth, and salsa.
Simmer for 5 minutes.
Stir in lime juice and cilantro.

I topped each bowl with cheese and crushed blue tortilla chips.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Curried Crab Cakes

This was a prefect meal for Ash Wednesday. It was light and quick to put together. The curry gave the crab cakes a nice little kick. I served the crab cakes on a bed of field greens drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and lime juice. I got this recipe from Running with Tweezers

Curried Crab Cakes-with my changes
1 egg
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp. mild Madras curry
1 tbsp. hot Madras curry
2 scallions, chopped
1 cup red bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup red onion, chopped
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 pound crab meat, jumbo lump
Salt and pepper

Mix above ingredients except crab and bread crumbs.
Gently add in crab and bread crumbs.
Form mixture into patties, and place on a greased baking sheet.
Bake at 375 degrees for about 13-15 minutes.

Roasted Brussel Sprouts

I have been seeing brussel sprout recipes lately, and was curious what they tasted like. I had always heard stories of how terrible they tasted. These were delicious!! This recipe comes from A cookie a day
I added 4 slices of turkey bacon after removing the brussel sprouts from the pan.

Shallot and Balsamic Roasted Brussel Sprouts

16 oz brussel sprouts
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic
3 tbsp olive oil
salt/pepper to taste
2 shallots, chopped
4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary (used dried)
4 slices turkey bacon

Preheat oven to 425.

Combine brussel sprouts, onion, garlic, shallots and 3 tbsp olive oil.
Season with salt and pepper and spread out on a greased cookie sheet.
Roast 25-30 minutes until tender.
Combined balsamic vinegar and fresh rosemary in a small bowl, when brussel sprouts are done roasting pour vinegar over brussel sprouts.
Serve immediately.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Tilapia and Spinach with Hoisin Sauce

This is a quick and healthy way to give fish lots of flavor. Any mild fish can be used for this dish. We were trying to find ways to incorporate spinach into as many meals as possible and this was a great addition to this dish. I didn't cook the spinach at all for this dish so it was still nice and crisp.

Tilapia and Spinach with Hoisin Sauce
4 tilapia fillets (ours were frozen)
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 tbsp fresh grated ginger
1 tbsp red chili flakes
1 tbsp honey
2 tsp rice wine vinegar
2 scallions
2 cups fresh spinach
steamed white rice

Place frozen fish fillets in a George Foreman grill for 8 minutes (feel free to cook fish any way-on a grill, bake in the oven, or saute in a pan).
Add hoisin, soy, ginger, chili flakes, honey, and vinegar to a small sauce pan on medium heat.
Dice the scallion and add half to the sauce and reserve the other half.
Simmer sauce until warm and slightly thickens about 5 minutes.
To assemble dish, place steamed rice on plate with a generous handful of fresh spinach, 2 tilapia fillets, drizzle with the sauce, and sprinkle some scallion on top.

Chicken Jalfrezi

I hate Sandra Lee from the food network (think tablescapes, matching kitchen decorations and her clothing to the food for some elaborate theme). She has a program that uses store bought ingredients and she adds something to make them more special. I had to post this recipe because it is something that I can throw together quickly for a weeknight meal when I am craving Indian food (which is almost anytime).

Chicken Jalfrezi
1 tbsp oil
1 lb chicken breast
1 green bell pepper
2 roma tomatoes
2 scallions ( I normally use 1/2 of a large red onion)
1 15oz jar Patak's Jalfrezi cooking sauce
pinch of cumin
pinch of coriander
pinch of tumeric
pinch of garlic powder
5-6 red chilies (we like things spicy)
salt and pepper
steamed white rice

Heat large skillet or wok on medium heat.
Dice chicken into bite size chunks and season with salt and pepper.
Add oil and chicken to the pan and cook for 5 minutes.
Dice green pepper, tomato, and onion and add to the pan.
Cook for 3-4 more minutes.
Add cooking sauce, spices, and chilies to pan.
Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
Serve with steamed white rice.

Macaroni and Cheese

Mac and cheese is one of my favorite comfort foods!! Every winter I make macaroni and cheese at least twice to get us through the cold dreary climate in Ohio. This is a quick stove top mac and cheese that goes into the oven for about 15 minutes for a nice crust on top.

Macaroni and Cheese
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour
3 cups skim milk, heated
6 oz mild shredded cheddar cheese
6 oz sharp shredded cheddar cheese
4 oz 6 cheese Italian blend (mozz, provolone, Asiago, Fontina, & Romano)
16 oz elbow macaroni
pinch of cayenne pepper
pinch of nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions.
Heat oil and butter in dutch oven until melted.
Stir in flour and let cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
Heat the milk until warm.
Whisk the milk into the flour mixture.
Bring milk to a boil and cook for 4-5 minutes until sauce thickens.
Add cayenne pepper, nutmeg, salt and pepper.
Add cheddar cheeses, and Italian cheese mixture until melted.
Drain the pasta well, and add to the cheese sauce.
Pour macaroni into a 9x13 baking dish, and sprinkle with bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes until the top gets slightly brown.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Penne with Chicken, Artichokes, and Peppers

This is a pasta dish that I used to make all the time, but I had forgotten about it. It is quick and easy for a weeknight and makes great leftover for lunch the next day.

Penne with Chicken, Artichokes, and Peppers

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast
1 lb penne noodles
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 red onion
3 cloves garlic
14oz can artichokes hearts
12oz jar roasted red peppers
1 & 1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Heat 1 tbsp oil in skillet on medium high.
Dice chicken into 1 inch chunks and saute for about 5 minutes and set aside.
Cook pasta according to package directions and drain.
Heat 1 tbsp oil in same skillet.
Dice onion and mince garlic and add to skillet.
Saute for 3-4 minutes.
Drain red peppers, dice and add to skillet.
Saute for 1 minute.
Add chicken broth to skillet and cook for 2 minutes.
Add pasta, chicken, salt, and pepper and cook for 2 more minutes.
Remove from heat and add cheese.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

New Year's-Reuben Loaf and Salad with Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing

We had a few friends over for New Year's Eve. It started out as a disaster when the garbage disposal broke and we had water leaking all over the kitchen, I burned my fingertips getting something from the oven, and the smoke alarm went off. It was a good thing we had lots of good food, friends, and drinks to make the evening enjoyable. The next recipes are from Adam and Jessica who brought these great dishes to our party.

Reuben Loaf
from Adam and Jessica

( 60 minute meal in a loaf ) Makes 1 Loaf

4 cups all-purpose flour ( I use bread flour )
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 packages fleishmann's rapid rise yeast
1 1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons margarine
3 packages lean cooked beef ( corned ) I use Budding Brand Beef packs
12oz. sliced swiss cheese
1-1/2 Cup sauerkraut, well drained
1/4 cup thousand island dressing
1 egg white , beaten (for brushing top before baking)
1 tablespoon caraway seed

Set aside 1 cup flour, mix remaining flour, sugar, salt and yeast well. Heat water and margarine to 125 to 130 degrees F: stir into flour mixture. Mix in enough reserved flour to make a soft dough. ( I mix by Hand ). Knead 4 minutes.

On a greased baking sheet, roll dough to 14x12 inches. Spread thousand island dressing in the center third area of the dough. Layer beef, cheese, sauerkraut on top of dressing area. Make diagonal cuts from filling to dough edges @ inch intervals along sides of filling. Bring strips from opposite sides of filling across the top of the loaf together: twist and place ends at an angle across filling cover

Place large shallow pan on counter: half fill with boiling water. place baking sheet over pan: Let dough rise 15 minutes.

Brush loaf with beaten egg white. Sprinkle with caraway seeds. Bake at 375 degrees F for 25 minutes. Serve warm. Refrigerate leftovers; reheat to serve.

Salad with Lemon Poppy seed Dressing
by Adam and Jessica

field greens
honey pecans

1 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/3 cup honey
2 Tbs Mustard or Dijon
1 Tbs Chopped Onions
1/2 Lemon Squeezed
3 Tbs Poppy Seeds
Salt and Pepper

In a blender, pour the Red wine vinegar, honey, Dijon, onions, lemon juice and blend. Then add olive oil and blending a little at a time until it is emulsified. Add poppy seeds and blend one more time.

Taste and season with more lemon or honey or poppy seeds if needed, and refrigerate.

I usually make a double batch for a large salad serving more than 5-6 people.

Spicy Roasted Chickpeas

This recipe came from Noble Pig
These chickpeas are a great flavorful snack. A great alternative to potato chips!

Spicy Roasted Chickpeas
2 15 oz can chickpeas
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp chili powder
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
lime wedges

Rinse chickpeas in a colander and drain well.
Combine chickpeas, oil, salt, and pepper.
Place on a foil lined baking sheet.
Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes (shaking the pan twice while baking).
Remove chickpeas from oven and sprinkle with the chili powder and cayenne pepper.
Bake for another 5 minutes.
Serve with lime wedges to squeeze over the chickpeas.