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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Quick Cheese Enchiladas Verde


This is a quick enchilada recipe that relies on several ready to go ingredients.  If you don't want a vegetarian version, chicken or shrimp work well.

1 1/2 c. Cheese-any mixture you like
1 small zucchini, shredded
3/4 c. chopped cilantro
8 corn tortillas
1/3 c. cream cheese with roasted garlic
1 jar green salsa verde
1 medium avocado, sliced
4 green onions, chopped

Heat oven to 350.  Spray a baking dish with cooking spray.  Heat tortillas just to warm in microwave or oven.  Mix together the cheese, zucchini and cilantro.  Spread each tortilla with 2 teaspoons of cream cheese and some of the zucchini mixture.  Roll up and place in baking dish.  Cover tortillas with green salsa verde.  Bake for 25 minutes.  Top with green onions and avocado and serve.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Chocolate Dipped Heart Cookies

This is a re-post of a Valentine treat favorite I love to bake.  Hope you enjoy it!

I bake these every year for my sweetheart on Valentine's Day.  This weekend he was reminding me by telling me he had been thinking about them for the last 2 weeks...anticipating how yummy they are!
So today after work I came home and made a batch for him... love you Jeff:)
2 c. flour
1/2 c. sugar
1 c. butter
4-6 T. cold water
1 t. almond extract or vanilla
1 bag milk chocolate chips

In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, and salt.  Cut in the butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Stir in water and extract until mixture forms a ball.  On a lightly floured surface, roll dough out to a 1/4 " thickness.  Cut with a cookie cutter.  Bake at 350 for 13-15 minutes.  Let cool.

Put the chocolate chips in a bowl.  Microwave 30 seconds.  Stir.  Repeat 2 more times.  Dip 1/2 of each cookie in the chocolate and place on a piece of waxed paper to dry.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Breitenbush Hot Springs Vegetable Lasagna


This lasagna is full of vegetables and is topped with a tomato sauce full of vegetables and flavor.
The ingredient list may seem long, but the result is worth it.

Sauce:
1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 c. jarred red peppers
1 6oz. can tomato paste
2 t. sugar of agave
1 T. olive oil
1/4 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 c. red wine
1 1/2 t.basil
1 t. Italian seasoning
1/2 t. fennel

Cheese Filling:
16 oz. ricotta
2 eggs
1/4 c. Parmesan cheese

pesto

1 box no cook lasagna noodles
1# mushrooms. sliced
2 zucchini, sliced
1 c. spinach
2 T. capers
1 c. mozzarella cheese, shredded

In a large saucepan heat 1 T. olive oil.  Add onion, garlic, and red peppers.  Saute for 5 minutes.  Mix in remaining sauce ingredients.  Simmer 10-15 minuts.

Mix all filling ingredients together well.

Place 1 c. of the sauce in the bottom of a 13 x 9 pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Place 4 noodles on top of the sauce.  Cover the noodles with half of the filling mixture.  Top with 1/2 mushrooms and 1/2 zucchini. Top with 1/2 spinach and then the pesto. Top with another layer of noodles.  Cover with remaining filling mixture. Top with remaining mushrooms and spinach.  Put on one final layer of noodles and top with all the sauce.  Sprinkle with capers.  Cover with foil.  BAke at 350 for one hour.  Uncover and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.  Bake an additional 10-15 minutes.  Cool 30 minutes before serving.

Fluffy Garlic Breadsticks


I am still in search of the ultimate yummy breadstick recipe.  I have to make breadsticks for a school luncheon tomorrow, so today I am trying this recipe.  You could also add Parmesan cheese to the butter when brushing on if you like that.  I found this recipe on the blog, www.comfortkitchen.com.

For the dough:
1 cup + 2 Tablespoons warm water
1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
3 cups bread flour
For brushing:
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Directions:Mix yeast  and water in a large bowl.  Whisk until yeast is dissolved, whisk in sugar and salt.  Slowly mix in melted butter.  Add about 8 c. flour.  Use the last cup of flour for kneading, and rolling out.  Knead about 5 minutes until the dough is smooth.  Roll into a ball and place in a large buttered bowl.  Cover and let rise in a warm place for 1 1/2 hours.

Divide dough into 12 portions. Roll each piece of dough into a 7-inch log. Place dough logs on nonstick baking mat or parchment-lined baking sheets, cover, and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Bake for about 12 minutes, or until golden brown. Meanwhile, combine butter, salt and garlic powder in a small bowl. Remove breadsticks from oven and immediately brush with butter mixture. Serve warm.



Saturday, February 10, 2018

Oatmeal Squash Cookies


Our school has a garden and a wonderful trio of women who are working with our classes helping them grow their vegetables and try new foods.  This recipe was a recent hit with the kids and got them trying the vegetable of the month: squash.
Makes about 4 dozen.
Preheat oven to 350

        2 cups flour
1         1/3 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1         ¼ tsp baking powder
2         tsp cinnamon
1         tsp ginger
        1 tsp salt
      1 c. softened butter
       1 cup brown sugar
       1 cup white sugar
       1 egg
       1 tsp vanilla
      1 ½ cups squash puree ( cut squash in half, scoop out seeds, put face down  on greased baking sheet, bake at 375 until  soft)

Cream butter and sugar in one bowl. Add egg and vanilla to the butter and sugar.  Combine dry ingredients in another bowl. Add ½ of flour mixture to creamed butter mixture and stir. Add ¾ cups of squash puree to mixture and stir. Add the rest of the flour , stir and then add another ¾ cup of squash puree. Drop by spoon on to baking sheets (either lined with parchment paper or greased) and bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until edges just beginning to brown.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Balsamic Pear Vinagrette Spinach Salad


This is a tasty fall/winter salad that just brings some nice healthy ingredients to the table in the midst of wishing for summer's bounty to come back.  I found the salad dressing recipe on the blog: tinykitchen.org.  If you haven't checked it out..I highly recommend it.

Salad Dressing:  In a blender mix:
1/2 cup olive oil
2 TBSP red wine vinegar
2 TBSP white balsamic vinegar
2 tsp honey (or pure maple syrup)
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp minced garlic
1 TBSP lemon
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup, chopped ripe pear pieces


In a bowl combine:
4 c. spinach
1/2 chopped pear
1 c. chopped pecans
4 T. feta or other cheese of your choice

add dressing as wanted to individual portions

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Panera Bread's Broccoli Cheese Soup


This winter soup has become my Sunday favorite dinner to make.  By making it on Sunday, we have lots of leftovers for lunch during the week.  When it is cold and rainy for days on end, a bowl of warm soup is a bowl of comfort.  I tweaked this recipe a bit when I made it by substituting smoked gouda cheese, and served it up in a toasted bread bowl..shall we all say yum?

  • 2 cups broccoli florets, chopped fine
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup of sharp cheddar cheese, plus extra for topping [freshly grated]
  • 1 heaping cup of regular gouda cheese [freshly grated]
  • 1 cup fresh carrots, grated
  • 1small white onion, finely chopped
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup half and half 
  • 3 Tbsp all purpose flour
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp dried basil
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • dash of ground black pepper, to taste 
Put broth, broccoli, bay leaf and carrots in a large pan and bring to a boil.  Simmer for 15 minutes.  In a dutch oven melt butter, add garlic and onion and saute for 2-3 minutes.  Stir in flour and then the broccoli broth and vegetables.  Slowly stir in milk and half and half. Using a blender or hand emersion blender, blend soup until almost smooth.  Stir in spices.  Remove bay leaf.  Stir in cheeses a handful at a time, slowly melting.  Serve in a bread bowl or with toasted bread cubes on top.

Almond Butter Bars with Chocolate Topping



These bars are a take off of a traditional peanut butter bar.  The almond bars give it a nice nutty taste and the chocolate topping adds just the needed touch for delicious.

1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. almond butter
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 c. flour
1 c. oatmeal
1/2 t. baking soda
1 t. vanilla
1 egg
2 c. chocolate chips

In a mixing bowl cream butter, almond butter, sugar and brown sugar until creamy and light.
Add in egg and vanilla, mix until well blended.  Add flour, baking soda and salt.  Mix well.
Add in oatmeal.

Spray a 13 x9 or 11 x 8 inch pan with cooking spray.  (If you use the bigger size pan the bars will just be thinner.)   Put dough in pan and spread to cover bottom of pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.  Sprinkle chocolate chips on top.  Place in oven for a minute just to melt.  Spread on top.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Grown up Macaroni and Cheese



Restaurants have begun offering all different kinds of classic macaroni and cheese.  This recipe combines chicken, bacon, spinach and tomatoes for a great new twist.  If you want to get really adventuresome you could substitute crab for the chicken.   Comfort food for adults!

  • 1 1/2 cups dried multigrain or regular elbow macaroni (6 ounces)
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 12 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 5.3 ounce package light semisoft cheese with garlic and herb
  • 1 2/3 cups milk or cream
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese (3 ounces)
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
  •  
  • Cook macaroni in a saucepan of boiling water just until al dente...about 10 minutes.  In a skillet sprayed with cooking spray, saute the chicken and onion until chicken is not longer pink.  Add semisoft cheese, stir around until it sort of melts into the chicken and onions.  Add milk and flour.  Stir until it thickens.  Add the cheddar cheese and stir until it is melted.  Stir in spinach and tomatoes.    If you want to make this more like traditional mac and cheese, place in a greased casserole dish and cover with bread crumbs that have been mixed with a little melted butter.  Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Jackpot Crustless Quiche


I recently discovered a delightful food blog, tinykitchen.org.  This blogger makes wholesome, helathy meals in a very tiny kitchen.  I tried my first tiny kitchen recipe tonight and just had to pass it on.

8 eggs
3/4 c. half and half, or cream
1 c. grated Cheddar cheese
1 green onion, chopped
1/2 c. grated carrot
2-3 handfuls of spinach
5 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

Mix eggs and cream well.  Stir in remaining ingredients.  Spray a pie plate with baking spray.  Pour the egg mixture into the pan.  Bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes or until set.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Lasagna Stuffed Peppers


This is another great recipe if you are cutting carbohydrates, or just wanting to eat less calories.  You can make it a vegetarian recipe, as is, or add meat if you want to.  Either way it is great.

4 red peppers
2 c. or 1 jar marinara sauce
1 container ricotta cheese
1 1/2 c. mozzarella cheese
1/2 c. parmesan cheese

Cut peppers in half lengthwise.  Cut out seeds and core.  Place cut side up in a baking dish and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.  put 2 T. of sauce, then 2 T. ricotta, and another 2 T. sauce in each pepper half.  Bake at 400 degrees for another 12 minutes.  Top each pepper with 1 T. parmesan cheese and 2 T. mozzarella cheese.  Bake until cheese melts.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Olive Garden Breadsticks


This is one of those copycat recipes that tries to imitate a restaurant recipe.  They are basted with butter garlic spread for flavor.

  • 1 (1/4 ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 4 14 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fine salt
  •  
  • MIx yeast and 13/4 c. water.  Let sit 5 minutes. Add sugar, salt, and butter.  MIx well. Mix in flour.  It will be a sticky dough.  Knead for 3-5 minutes.  Shape into a 2 foot long log. Cut into 16 pieces.  Roll each piece into a log about 7" long.  Cover and let rise in a warm place for 45 minutes.
  • TOPPING
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 12 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 18-14 teaspoon garlic powder
  •  
  •  
  •  MIx topping ingredients.  Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.  Brush with topping.

Butternut Squash Soup


This is simple delicious and nutritious soup ..great with just a piece of grilled foccacia or a roll.

1 TBSP butter
1 medium sweet onion, chopped small
2 garlic cloves, finely minced/chopped
1 + 1/4 tsp salt (used separately)
1 butternut squash,  cut into cubes
 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth, low sodium
1 TBSP olive oil
1 c. heavy cream

Heat oven to 350.  Place cubes on a baking sheet, sprinkle with a small amount of olive oil and salt and pepper.  Roast for 45 minutes.  In a large saucepan, melt butter add garlic and onion.  Saute until soft and tender.  In a food processor, or blender or with a hand blender
mix squash and onion and garlic.  Blend with  vegetable broth until smooth.  Pour into saucepan and add cream then heat.

Monday, January 22, 2018

No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake Pie


The name says it all...if you are a fan of peanut butter and chocolate and cheesecake...this dessert is for you.  It is one of those easy just whip it up pies that come together easily with simple ingredients.  If you cannot buy an oreo cookie crust you could always make a chocolate cookie or graham cracker crust yourself.

  • 1 ready-to-use Oreo crumb crust
  • 1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 carton (8 oz) Cool Whip, thawed
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 4 tablespoons powdered sugar, divided
Beat together cream cheese and sugar until sugar is well mixed in.  Beat in sour cream and vanilla.  Divide into two bowls.  In one bowl mix in peanut butter, then half the cool whip.  In the other bowl mix in the cocoa, powdered sugar, then the other half of cool whip.  Spread peanut butter part onto the pie crust.  Top with chocolate batter.  Cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours.

You can decorate this pie with whipped cream around the edges if desired (before serving.)

Easy Italian Tiramisu


This is one of my sweetheart's favorite desserts.  I am able to get the ladyfingers at my local supermarket.  It is a delicious treat for anyone who loves coffee.  I was able to get the recipe from the blog, Recipe Tin Eats.

  • 3 eggs , yolks and whites separated
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 8 oz / 250g mascarpone 
  • 1 1/4 cups hot espresso coffee
  • 2 tbsp (or more!) of  Kahlua
  • 6.5 oz / 200g (24 - 30) lady fingers 
  • Cocoa , for dusting
Instructions
  1. Beat yolks and sugar in stand mixer on medium high for 12 minutes or until white and thick.
  2. Add vanilla and mascarpone, beat until just combined. Transfer mixture to a bowl, set aside.
  3. Clean bowl and whisk. Beat egg whites until stiff.
  4. Fold 1/3 of the yolk mixture into the egg whites. Then gradually fold the remaining yolk mixture in and mix until just combined.
  5. Mix coffee and liquor together. Quickly dip biscuits in and line the bottom of a 8”/20cm square dish.
  6. Spread over half the cream, then top with another layer of coffee dipped biscuits.
  7. Spread with remaining cream.
  8. Cover, refrigerate for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight
  9. Dust with cocoa powder just before serving - either before you cut or after placing onto serving plates.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Veggistrone


Many of my coworkers are losing weight on the Keto or Paleo diets.  Basically no carbohydrates.  This is a great soup for those trying to cut backs on carbohydratess or just trying to increase a daily intake of vegetables.

4 c. chicken or vegetable broth
1 c. sliced celery
1 c. sliced carrots
1 c. broccoli florets
1 c. sugar snap peas
1 c. sliced red peppers
2 c. fresh spinach
1 can canneloni beans, drained
1 t. oregano
1 t. basil

Put all ingredients except spinach in a large saucepan or dutch oven.  Bring to a simmer.  Simmer 20 minutes.  Add spinach.Simmer until spinach wilts.  To jazz this up serve with a T. of pesto on top.  It can also be sprinkled with a little parmesan cheese.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Red Robin Teriyaki Banzai Burgers


Yummy burgers with the taste of teriyaki and grilled pineapple.  Mix up a tropical drink and pretend you are somewhere warm and sunny.

Teriyaki marinade:
1 3/4 c. water
1 c. soy sauce
1 c. brown sugar
1/2 t. onion powder
1/2 t. garlic powder
Simmer all ingredients in a saucepan for 30 minutes.  Cool.
For the burgers:
1# ground beef
1 c. bread crumbs
1 egg
Mix well, form into 4 patties.
Put enough of the teriyaki in a plastic container-enough to cover the bottom.  Place burger patties on top of the teriyaki sauce.  Pour more sauce on top.  Refrigerate for 4-24 hours.  Grill burgers.
Also grill:
pineapple rings that have been basted with more teriyaki.  Place a burger on a hamburger bun and top with a pineapple slice, sliced tomato and chopped lettuce.  Put a little mayonnaise on the top bun and cover the burger.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Crazy Delicious Beef Stew for the Instapot or Pressure Cooker


This stew has a lot of ingredients..but that equals lots of flavor.  This recipe takes a total of about 45 minutes in the pressure cooker from start to finish..but it is well worth the wait.
  • 1 pounds beef stew meat
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 medium onion, cut into large chunks
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar or red wine
  • 4 medium potatoes,  chopped into chunks
  • 2 c. fresh green beans
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into thick pieces
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1/2 star anise 
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 cups beef broth, homemade or low sodium 
  •  
  • Put instapot on saute, add several T. olive oil in.  Mix flour and stew meat together and add to pot.  Brown meat for about 5 minutes.  Add remaining ingredients.  Put on manual cook for 30 minutes.  Allow pressure to release on its own-about 15 minutes.  Mix 2 T. cornstarch into sauce and saute until thickened. 

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Greek Chicken Roulade with Rice


These are delicious chicken breasts stuffed with french bread crumbs, sundired tomatoes and kalamata olives.  The rice side dish continues these flavors with the addition of feta cheese.  It is a great dinner.  You could make the breasts, slice them and serve with a green greek salad if you want to skip the carbs in the rice.

For the chicken:

2 bonelesss, skinless chicken breasts
2 slices french bread
3 T. oil packed sun dried tomatoes
12 kalamata olives
1 t. dried oregano

Between 2 sheets of waxed paper, place the chicken breasts.  Using a meat mallet or rolling pin, pound the breasts flat.  In a food processor place the french bread, broken into pieces, olives, tomatoes and oregano.  Pulse until mixed well and bread becomes crumbs.
Put the crumb mixture on the top of the flattened breasts and roll up.  Secure with toothpicks or cooking twine.  Place in a baking pan and bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

For the rice:
In a large saucepan put
2 c. water
1 c. rice
2 T. sundried tomatoes
Cook for 20-40 minutes (depending on the type of rice you have chosen.)  After the rice is done mix in 12 sliced kalamata olives and 3 T. feta cheese.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Buckeye Bread


Peanut butter and chocolate..yum..plus the moistness of a few bananas and you have a delicious bread that would be tasty anytime of day!

For the peanut butter filling mix together:
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 c. peanut butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 c. sugar
For the bread mix together:
  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 1/2 c. butter, melted
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 c. flour
  • 1/4 c. cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 c. chocolate chips
  • Pinch kosher salt
Line a loaf pan with parchment paper and then spray with cooking spray.  Put half the chocolate bread mixture into the pan.  Top with all the peanut butter filling.  Then put the remaining half of chocolate mixture into the pan on top of the peanut butter layer.  Bake at 350 for 65-75 minutes.