Posts from November 2013

Chocolate Chess Pie

My son got to pick the pie for surprise he's going with his favorite, chocolate.  That's my boy!!!

1 (unbaked) 9-in pie crust/pastry shell
 1/4 cup butter
1-1/2 oz unsweetened chocolate
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 tbsp flour
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup whole milk
2 eggs
1 heaping tsp vanilla extract

Melt butter with chocolate.  In a large mixing bowl, combine chocolate and butter mixture with sugar, flour, salt, milk, eggs and vanilla; beat with an electric mixer for 5-6 minutes.  Pour filling into prepared pie crust and bake at 350 for 35-45 minutes, until set. 

Image:  Wikimedia Commons
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Nacho Mac-N-Cheese

A nice dish that has nothing to do with turkey or dressing or cranberry sauce...

3 cups uncooked spiral pasta
1 pound lean ground beef
2 cups chopped sweet red peppers
1/4 cup butter, cubed
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 envelope taco seasoning
1/2 tsp pepper
2-1/2 cups milk
2 cups (8 oz) shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
1 cup coarsely crushed tortilla chips

Cook pasta according to package directions.  Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven, cook beef and red peppers over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain.

Stir in the butter, flour, taco seasoning and pepper until blended.  Gradually stir in the milk.  Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes until thickened.  Remove from the heat.  Stir in the cheese and corn until cheese is melted.

Drain pasta; add to beef mixture and stir to coat.  Sprinkle with tortilla chips.

Image : Wikimedia Commons
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Turkey Veggie Soup

Keep this recipe in mind when you are looking for something to do with leftover turkey!

6 cups turkey (or chicken) broth
3 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
2 medium onions, chopped
2 cans (15 oz each) cream-style corn
2 cans (8-1/2 oz each) lima beans, drained
1 to 2 cups chopped cooked turkey
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large stockpot, combine the broth, potatoes, carrots, celery and onions.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. 

Add the corn, lima beans, turkey, chili powder, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper.  Cover and simmer 10 minutes. 

Image:  Wikimedia Commons
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Pepperoni Macaroni

It's fun to say and delicious to eat!  Plus, you can put it together ahead of time and bake it right before serving. 

2-1/2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
1 pound bulk Italian sausage
1 large onion, chopped
1 can (15 oz) pizza sauce
1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
1/3 cup milk
1 package (3-1/2 oz) sliced pepperoni, halved
1 jar (4-1/2 oz) sliced mushrooms, drained
1 can (2-1/4 oz) sliced ripe olives, drained
1 cup (4 oz) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

Cook macaroni according to package directions.  Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook sausage and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain.  Drain macaroni.

In a large bowl, combine the pizza sauce, tomato sauce and milk.  Stir in sausage mixture, macaroni, pepperoni, mushrooms and olives.

Transfer to a greased 13-in. x 9-inch baking dish.  Cover and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.  Uncover; sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.  Bake 10-15 minutes longer or until heated through and cheese is melted.

Image: Wikimedia Commons
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Lemon Garlic Penne with Crab

Sounds fancy, tastes delicious and is incredibly easy to throw together on a weeknight!

2 cups uncooked penne pasta
5 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup butter, cubed
2 tbsp olive oil
1 can (14-1/2 oz) chicken broth
2 cans (6 oz each) lump crabmeat, drained
3 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
Lemon wedges

Cook the pasta according to package directions.  Meanwhile, in large skillet, cook and stir garlic in butter and oil over medium heat for 2 minutes or until garlic is golden ( do not brown).  Add the broth, crab and lemon juice.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 12-15 minutes or until sauce is reduced by half.

Drain pasta; toss with crab sauce and 1/4 cup parsley.  Garnish with lemon wedges and remaining parsley.

Image: Wikimedia Commons
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Zucchini Bean Soup

Fast and filling, your family will love this soup!  Add a crusty loaf of warm bread and butter to really set it off.

1 medium zucchini, julienned
1/2 cup finely chopped, onion
1 medium carrot, halved and thinly sliced
1 tbsp butter
2 cans (14-1/2 oz each) chicken broth
1 cup tomato or vegetable juice
1/2 cup uncooked elbow macaroni
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 can (15 oz) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup frozen corn

In a large saucepan, saute zucchini, onion and carrot in butter until tender.  Add broth and tomato juice.  Bring to a boil; stir in macaroni and cayenne.  Cook for 10 minutes or until macaroni is tender.  Stir in the beans and corn; heat through.
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Lasagna in a bun

What fun these are for kids!  They love to help make them and they love to eat them too.  (Large recipe here; serves 8.)

8 submarine/hoagie buns
1 pound lean ground beef
1 cup spaghetti sauce
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup (4 oz) shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1 cup (4 oz) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided

Make a 2-inch V-shaped cut in the center of each bun to within 1 inch of the bottom.  Remove cut portion; discard (or set aside for another use).

In a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain.  Add the spaghetti sauce, garlic powder and Italian seasoning.  Cook 4-5 minutes or until heated through.

Meanwhile, combine the ricotta, Parmesan cheese and half of the cheddar and mozzarella cheeses.  Spoon meat sauce into buns; top with cheese mixture.  Place on a baking sheet, cover loosely with foil.

Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.  Uncover; sprinkle with remaining cheddar and mozzarella.  Return to the oven for 2-3 minutes or until the cheeses are melted.

Image:  Wikimedia Commons
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Spinach Salmon Bundles

All kinds of awesomeness, wrapped up and baked to perfection!  And so easy to throw together...

2 tubes refrigerated crescent rolls
4 salmon fillets (6 oz each)
1/4 tsp each salt and pepper
1/3 cup garlic-herb cheese spread (I use the Alouette brand)
1 package (10 oz) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

Unroll crescent dough and separate into four rectangles; seal perforations.  Place a salmon fillet in the center of each rectangle; sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Spoon cheese spread over each; top with spinach.  Fold dough over filling and pinch edges to seal.

Place on an ungreased baking sheet.  Bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.  Serve immediately.

Image: Wikimedia Commons
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Chicken Caesar Pasta

Great dish for a busy weeknight!

3 quarts water
2-1/2 cups uncooked tricolor spiral pasta
1-1/2 cups cut fresh asparagus (1-inch pieces)
1-1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tsp olive oil
2 large tomatoes, chopped
2/3 cup Caesar vinaigrette
3 green onions, choppws
3 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

Bring the water to a boil in a Dutch oven.  Add pasta.  Return to a boil; cook for 4 minutes.  Add asparagus; cook 6-8 minutes longer or until pasta and asparagus are tender.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute chicken in oil until no longer pink.  Remove from heat.

Drain pasta mixture; return to the pan.  Add the chicken, tomatoes and vinaigrette.  Cook over low heat until heated through.  Sprinkle with onions and Parmesan cheese.

Image: Wikimedia Commons
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It's cold enough now for a delicious batch of this spicy, hearty chili! 

1 pound lean ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
10 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups chopped green peppers
1-1/2 cups chopped sweet red peppers
1-1/2 cups chopped celery
3 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
3 cans (14-1/2 oz each) petite diced tomatoes, undrained
2 cans (16 oz each) kidney beans
1 can (28 oz) tomato sauce
1 can (12 oz) tomato paste
1 cup water
1/2 cup light beer (drink the remainder! haha!)
3 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

In a Dutch oven or large saucepan, cook the beef, onion and garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain.  Stir in the peppers, celery and jalapenos.  Cook and stir for about 8 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender.

Stir in the remaining ingredients.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. 

Image:  Wikimedia Commons
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