Monday, March 31, 2014

No~Bake Eclair Cake

This is a very easy dessert to make!,,,I have been making a version of this for years and it is one of my family's favorites,,,,I usually layer chocolate pudding between the graham crackers and top with cool whip,,,which is very yummy too!,,,Well here is a new version I tried and it was a big hit also!,,,Here is what I did,,,Enjoy!

1 5.9 oz. Box Instant Vanilla Pudding
8 0z container Cool Whip
3 Cups Milk
graham crackers (about 19)
1 tub chocolate frosting
In a bowl mix pudding and milk until thick.
Fold in cool whip mixing well
set aside
In a 9x13 glass dish layer graham crackers (this doesn't have to look pretty!)
Top graham crackers with 1/2 the pudding mixture
then top with another layer of grahams
add other half of pudding end with a layer of graham crackers
cover with plastic and put in Fridge to set for 30 minutes
Once set take tub of frosting remove lid and foil and microwave for 25 seconds
This will make it easier to pour and spread for your final layer
Cover and refrigerate... overnight is best!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Zucchini Parmesan

One of my husbands most favorite dishes I make would have to be my eggplant parmesan ( I will post soon!)
Well I happened to have some zucchini on hand, which got me to thinking,,,how about trying it with zucchini!!,,,So here is what I did,,,There are no measurements to this so I will tell you what I used and how I assembled it,,,,Enjoy!

Thinly sliced zucchini (washed with skin left on) I used 3
olive oil
marinara sauce (small jar) * see below
Italian bread crumbs
parmesan cheese
shredded mozzarella
In a small casserole dish add some marinara sauce to cover bottom.
Then add the thinly sliced zucchini
Drizzle with olive oil
Then sprinkle with breadcrumbs
 sprinkle with parmesan cheese
next top with mozzarella
add more sauce
then another row of zucchini
repeat with olive oil, breadcrumbs
parmesan, mozzarella and sauce
add another row of the same
ending with the mozzarella topped with sauce
cover with foil and bake for about 45 minutes or until it looks done
and all cheeses are melted
* The sauce I use happens to have my parents picture on it!...I love it for my parmesan recipes
and I even add some to my homemade spaghetti sauce!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Spinach~Ricotta Chicken Roll~Ups

This is a great chicken dish,,,,after rolling I dipped the whole stuffed roll into the egg then breadcrumbs, but I am thinking you could probably bread the chicken first and then add the stuffing and roll up! The choice is yours! Here is what I did!

4 Chicken Breast
3 eggs (divided)
1 Cup Italian Seasoned breadcrumbs
6 T parmesan cheese (divided)
1 Cup frozen spinach (thawed and squeezed)
1 Cup Ricotta cheese
1 Cup shredded mozzarella
2 Cups marinara sauce
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 350
Prepare chicken breast by pounding, to thin out for rolling.
salt and pepper breast
in a bowl beat 2 of the eggs (set aside)
add breadcrumbs 2 T parmesan cheese to another dish (set aside)
mix together spinach, ricotta cheese, 4 T parmesan cheese and 1 egg
add some salt and pepper
place about 2 T of filling onto chicken breast and roll
Take a baking dish and add 1 Cup of sauce in bottom of it
Dip roll into eggs and then breadcrumbs and place in a baking dish
seam side down
once all of the chicken is rolled and in the dish top with the other cup of sauce
cover and bake for 45-60 minutes
once done top with mozzarella and bake until melted!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Stuffed Artichokes

It was always such a treat when my Mom would make Stuffed Artichokes for us!!,,,And now my family feels the same way when I make them!,,Probably because I don't make them very often, and the reason for that is because they can be time consuming to make,,,but they are so worth it because everyone enjoys them so much!,,,So I decided to make and post the recipe!,,,Also,,,my Mom would par boil before cooking, and that does make for a more tender leaf, so that is an option too,,,you would just boil artichokes for about 20 minutes,,,drain and cool before stuffing,,,This would also result in less cooking time,,,Here is what I did,,,Enjoy!

4 Artichokes
2 Cups Italian breadcrumbs
1 cup Parmesan cheese
2 t granulated garlic salt
salt and pepper
olive oil
2 cups water
Prepare artichokes by cutting off stems so they sit flat
Slice the top off and then trim the sharp tip from each petal (scissors work best)
Then place each artichoke upside down in a bowl of water, set aside.
Combine breadcrumbs, cheese, garlic salt and salt and pepper in a bowl, drizzle
with about 4 T of olive oil and mix well.
Take an artichoke and squeeze water out and dry them with a towel
Place in a bowl and start stuffing by stretching leaves out, stuff mixture into leaves
filling openings as much as you can, once each artichoke is stuffed, place in a Dutch oven
or large pot,,,,,pour 2 cups of water in bottom, drizzle each one with olive oil and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Cover and bring to boil, then turn to low and simmer, (checking to make sure there is always water in the pot) for 1 hour to 1 hour and 30 minutes or until leaves are tender.
****If you like, these can also be baked in the oven, in covered pot,,, with water in bottom of pot also, making sure water doesn't evaporate, (just replace if it does)
The goal here is to steam stuffed artichokes until tender!****

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Un~Stuffed Cabbage Roll Soup

I love cabbage rolls!,,,,But they can be very time consuming to make, Here is a very easy way to get the taste of cabbage rolls without all of the work!,,,This is pretty much a one pot recipe with the exception of the rice which I cooked seperately,,,I used the boil in bag rice, I also used a little sugar, because the sauce in cabbage rolls is usually on the sweet side.,If you were to take a cabbage roll slice it all up in your plate before eating,,,this is what you would end up with!  And if you wanted to make this recipe Un~Stuffed Green Peppers, just switch out the cabbage for green peppers,,,I would use about 5 diced!...Here is what I did,,,Enjoy!

2 T olive oil
1 medium onion (diced)
1 pound ground sirloin
2- cans 14 1/2 oz  petite diced tomatoes
1 15 0z can tomato sauce + 1/2 can water
1 T sugar
 salt and pepper
1 small head cabbage (chopped)
1 bag success rice - cooked
Saute onion in olive oil about 5 minutes add ground sirloin, cook until no longer pink.
add all of the tomatoes, sauce and water, ...add sugar and salt and pepper
Stir and then add cabbage,,,cover and cook on medium heat stirring occasionally until cabbage is cooked
(about 25 minutes)
You can then add cooked rice mix together and recover and simmer on low about
10 minutes
The longer you simmer the thicker it will get
You can garnish servings with parmesan cheese if you like!

Monday, March 17, 2014

One Pot Wonder Tomato/Spinach Pasta

Ok,,,Let me start by saying that I have been seeing a lot of these recipes for one pot pasta, and I must say I was very skeptical about it being any good!! So of course I had to try it!,,,And let me tell you I was pleasantly surprised!,,,,and then I started thinking about the endless possibilities to what you can add to this!,,,,I added frozen spinach this time, but next time I think I will add some diced zucchini or frozen peas!!,,,Well here is what I did,,you can be creative with this too,,,,Enjoy!
12 oz Spaghetti (dry)
1 medium onion (sliced)
2 Cups frozen cut spinach (thawed and squeezed)
1- 15 0z can petite diced tomatoes (with juices)
4 Cups chicken broth or stock
1 t dry oregano
2 t dry basil
3 cloves garlic (minced)
salt and pepper
pinch of crushed red pepper
parmesan cheese (for garnish)
Here is everything I put in the pot!
Note,,,If using the box of Barilla Plus like shown,,,use 1 more cup of chicken broth
(this box is 14 1/2 ounces)
Add all ingredients to a Dutch Oven or large pot, push pasta in or break if you have to,,,,Cover and
bring to boil,,,,after it comes to boil stir together to mix ingredients
turn heat to low and simmer covered for 10 minutes,,,,stirring every couple of minutes
until liquid is absorbed,,,about 20 or so minutes
here it is finished,,,top with parmesan cheese and enjoy!!
***The next time I made this I added frozen peas!,,,It was amazing!***

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Crock Pot Corned Beef & Cabbage

Last year I started cooking my corned beef in the crock pot.....I would usually just boil the heck out of it, and then cook all of the veggies separate....So needless to say it was a lot easier to do in the slow cooker, and I really like the way it turned out!!....Here is what I did....Enjoy!

1 Corned Beef w/ seasoning packet (mine was 3 1/2 pounds)
12-14 small redskin potatoes (washed and scrubbed)
6 carrots (cut into chunks)
1 head cabbage (cleaned and wedged)
2 Cups chicken broth
Preheat your crockpot to High
(turn to Low after everything is added)
clean potatoes and add to bottom of crockpot ,,,I used enough to cover bottom
then add chunked carrots
pour chicken broth over vegetables and the lay the corned beef
on top with the seasoning packet poured on top
Cook on Low 9-10 Hours or High 6-7 Hours (I have cooked oh high before for 8 hours and it was fine)
then add cabbage wedges the last 2 hours of cooking
When done, transfer everything to a large platter slice corned beef against the grain and enjoy!
(this fed 6 people and we could have fed 2 more!)
The last time I made Corned Beef in the Crock Pot I bought a brand I really like (below)
It stated it was supreme trimmed and flat cut...I highly suggest this cut if you can find it....It was a great texture and not stringy or tough
I cooked it on high for 3 hours and then turned to low the rest of the time about 6-7 hours
When done I cut against the grain and this is what it looked like
Also it did not come with a spice packet so I added Pickling spice on top...
I also just put a layer of whole carrots on the bottom of pot and laid the corned beef on top. I cooked the rest of the veggies separately
Here is what it looked like

Friday, March 14, 2014

Spaghetti Squash w/Tomato Sauce

Back in the day I used to make Spaghetti Squash totally different,,,,,I would cook in a bath of water,,,and then add butter and brown sugar when done (which is still good) , But I really like this new way I prepared it, The hardest thing about this recipe is cutting the Squash!!,,,Which has a very tough skin, so be sure to use a sharp knife and be very careful cutting!,,,,I also made a quick tomato sauce to top the Squash with, and I served it right out of the shell! This was a big hit with my daughter! Here is what I did, Enjoy!!

1 Spaghetti Squash
olive oil
salt and pepper
2 T olive oil
2 cloves garlic (minced)
1- 14 1/2 oz can Petite Diced Tomatoes w/juices
3 Basil leaves (finely chopped)
1 T sugar
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, drizzle with olive oil.
Cut squash in half lengthwise and remove seeds with a spoon,
drizzle inside of squash with olive oil and salt and pepper
Place squash flesh side down on baking sheet
and bake for 45 minutes.
Meanwhile for sauce
in a small saucepan add olive oil and minced garlic
cook on low for about 30 seconds (do not burn)
add tomatoes (whole can), basil, sugar and salt and pepper
raise heat and bring to a boil stirring
lower heat and simmer 15 - 20 minutes
stirring occasionally
 Once Squash is done turn over and with a fork start at top and drag fork to shred the flesh
add sauce and mix together
Serve and Enjoy!
You can garnish with parmesan cheese if you like!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Skinnier Fettuccine Alfredo

Here is a skinnier version of Fettuccine Alfredo,,,,usually when you make Alfredo sauce heavy whipping cream is used ,,,,which can be high in fat and calories,,,,,,,This sauce uses 2% milk,,,but you could also use skim milk if you wanted to and I used 1/3 less fat cream cheese,,,,I also used gluten free flour, but regular is fine too!...Here is what I did, Enjoy!!

8-10 oz Fettuccine
2 T butter
2 T Flour
2 cloves garlic (minced)
1 1/4 Cups 2% Milk
2 oz cream cheese
1/4 Cup parmesan cheese
2 T chopped parsley
salt and pepper
1/4 t garlic powder
Boil pasta until done as directed,,,,,meanwhile start sauce by melting butter,,,once melted add flour
cooking about 1 minute while whisking,,,,stir in minced garlic then add milk still whisking add cream cheese and parmesan cheese,,,whisk until thick,,, add salt pepper and garlic powder,,,and then the parsley while stirring (if sauce looks too thick you can add a little more milk),,,add cooked pasta to a serving
 dish and pour sauce over it and toss,,,you can garnish  with more parmesan cheese

Oatmeal Cupcakes

This is a great recipe for Breakfast on the Go!!!,,,,,They are also gluten free,,,,a lot of the recipes for these out there don't include the brown sugar or cinnamon,,,,I really think it needed those 2 items included in this recipe, so that is what I did!,,, You can keep these in the fridge and even pop them in the microwave for a few seconds before eating!,,,You could also add ground flax meal or chia seeds if you like,,,,,Enjoy!

3 ripe bananas mashed
3 Cups quick oats (I used Bob's Red Mill gluten free)
2 eggs (beaten)
1 Cup Almond milk
1 T baking powder
1 t vanilla
1 t cinnamon
1/2 Cup brown sugar
4 T mini chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350
In a large bowl mash bananas with a fork....add oats and the rest of the ingredients
and mix well
line a muffin tin with cupcake liners and spray lightly with cooking spray
fill muffin tins with batter and bake for 25 minutes

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Salad w/Fresh Strawberry Vinaigrette

This is a great fresh strawberry salad dressing,,,so easy to make,,,you can add it to your favorite greens that you enjoy,,,but I will share with you how I use it!,,,I made this in my Nutri-Bullet,,,you could also use a blender,,,Here is what I do... Enjoy!!

I used Romaine lettuce (chopped thinly)
toasted pine nuts
fresh strawberries (sliced)
garbanzo beans
(goat cheese would be great on here,,,if I had some!)
8 large strawberries (halved)
1/4 Cup olive oil
3 T white balsamic vinegar
1 T diced shallot
1 T sugar or honey
salt and pepper
add all ingredients to bullet or blender and blend until smooth

Friday, March 7, 2014

Carrot~Cabbage Slaw

I recently went to a vegan restaurant that just opened in my area (it was fabulous by the way)!!
and along with the mushroom burger I ordered came this slaw,,,I asked the gal what was in it and she told me,,,purple cabbage, carrots and vegan mayonnaise,,,,well I didn't have any vegan mayo when I made this so I added greek yogurt, and it I think it turned out great!,,,so if you have vegan mayo you can add that or do what I did and use Greek yogurt,,,,I also added celery salt for some flavor,,,Here is what I did,,,Enjoy!!

2 cups Julianne Carrots ( I used organic pre shredded)
2 cups shredded purple cabbage
1/2 Cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 t celery salt
salt and pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients together...cover and refrigerate

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Ricotta Frittata w/ sausage and arugula

I recently returned from vacation with friends,,,,and while there my friend Brian made this recipe for everyone for breakfast,,,and it was a big hit!!,,,,This would be a great dish to make if you need to make breakfast or brunch for guests.....or why not make this for dinner!,,,,here is what he did,,,,Enjoy!!

1 pint cherry tomatoes
2 T olive oil
1 T balsamic vinegar
2 t fresh thyme or 1/4 t dry
salt and pepper
3 T butter
4 Italian sausage links (out of casing)
10 eggs
1 C shredded mozzarella
1/4 C grated parmesan cheese
2 C chopped baby arugula
1/4 C chopped parsley
salt and pepper
12 oz fresh ricotta
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
In a saucepan add tomatoes olive oil vinegar and thyme...cook on medium heat until
tomatoes are soft and able to mash with fork,,,,,then simmer  and stir set aside,,,this will go atop the frittata
start browning sausage (squeezed out of casing) in frying pan until cooked,,,drain and set aside
place ricotta in a bowl and season with salt and pepper
set aside
add eggs to bowl and whisk until fluffy,,,add sausage, mozzarella and parmesan cheese,,,also
add arugula and parsley,,and the salt and pepper
add butter to a 10 inch nonstick skillet
add egg mixture...cook until eggs set on bottom and sides of pan
transfer pan to oven (if handle is plastic, wrap in foil)
Bake until eggs are cooked 20-25 minutes
once done loosen sides with rubber spatula
and flip frittata onto a platter
Top with ricotta mixture
and then the tomato mixture
Cut like a pie,,,serve and Enjoy!