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Showing posts from October, 2008

I Can't Believe I've Never Made Chicken Parmesan Before!?!

This was just too darn easy not to make all the time! It was so good and so easy it's going in to the rotation! Plus, I was totally not prepared to make it (for some reason I forgot about dinner!) so I just made something so insanely basic... next time I'll tweak a little until I find the perfect recipe for us!

Chicken Parmesan for 2

I apologize for the horrible picture - we had a friend stop by as I was finishing up. Thankfully he was just getting his Halloween costume my husband ordered as I would not have made enough for all of us!
Source: Inspired by a Joy of Cooking Recipe - I just used the general concept and then I couldn't find the recipe when I was cooking!
Ingredients
2 boneless/skinless chicken breasts
1/3 cup Italian Seasoned Breadcrumbs (could use plain and then add Italian Herbs)
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
S&P
Olive Oil
1 1/2 cups Marinara Sauce
2 slices Mozzarella Cheese

Directions
- Heat oil in deep skillet over medium heat
- Preheat oven to 375
- Season chick…

Mmmm... Mmmmm... Cannoli's!!

What can I say - I make a mean Cannoli apparently! It's almost a shame how easy these were to make given how fantastic they were to eat!! Plus, when put in mini cannoli shells rather than regular ones they were adorable!

This week was one of my bosses (yes, one of them - I have three essentially) birthdays so in our traditional workplaces fashion around went a card for everyone to sign and someone (typically I!) brought in some baked goods. I typically bring cupcakes because I never know what everyone likes but this time I knew for sure that he likes Cannolis based on random Friday afternoon "I want to go home" email exchanges gone awry!

These were definitely a hit - even for the richness on a Monday morning. Please note that this recipe was originally for Full size cannoli's so I do have a little extra filling...

Mini Chocolate Chip Cannoli's

Source: where ever my mom found the recipe!
Ingredients
1 package mini cannoli shells (12 shells)
15 oz. container Ricotta c…

The Count of Monte Cristo

.... in a sandwich that is! No, this is not a sandwich about revenge, gold or anything like that but I love the book (kinda liked the remake movie and haven't seen the original for some reason) and I knew there was a sandwich so I decided to try it out. Well, this is a fake out Monte Cristo Sandwich as I had to suit it to mine and my husbands liking... plain! It's a sanwich so that's pretty easy to do!

The traditional Monte Cristo Sandwich is sweet and savory but given that my husband would be leary of the combination, I went the more tradtional sandwich route - not sweet! Next time I make these I may make mine in a more tradtional fashion and his just as outlined below because he loved this and asked for it to be in the rotation!

"Monte-Cristo" Sandwich


Makes: 3 sandwiches
Ingredients
6 slices fresh deli ham
6 slices fresh deli turkey
3 slices Swiss cheese
6 slices bread
2 eggs
1-2 tablespoons milk
a pinch of nutmeg
a pinch pepper
salt
(a traditional Monte Cristo sa…

Lasagna Roll-Ups

My husband had been asking for Manicotti.... for some reason I was having the HARDEST time finding the manicotti shells so I bought lasagna noodles instead even though I didn't feel like assembling a lasagna on a weeknight! So, I had a brilliant idea - brown the beef and boil the noodles as soon as I get home, drain and allow to cool while I go for a jog on a brisk fall early evening and then roll up the noodles with meaty and ooey-gooey filling and not burn my fingers!

To be honest, I had never heard of lasanga rolls, nor thought of the idea until about a year ago when a lot of women on the What's Cooking Board of the nest started making them. I had been wanting to try them but I guess I just never got around to it. I mean seriously - this is such a versitile meal - you can use whatever fillings you want and just assemble by rolling and then bake in a casserole dish. These ones were pretty good but next time I'll make more filling - there was just a little too much noodle …

Fudgy Caramel Swirl Brownies

I went to a Family Reunion this weekend and brought a dessert. I've been wanting to make something with caramel but I didn't want to make anything overly caramely so I thought just a simple swirled brownie would do the trick. These were great, but unfortunately no one was really purusing other tables for food so it was just our little group that was eating the brownie and then on top of that, my husband doesn't like brownies. Well, I hope everyone at work likes them this morning!

Fudgy Caramel Swirl Brownies

Adapted from Joy of Cooking (my changes in italics)
Ingredients
½ cup (1 stick) butter
4 oz. unsweetened chocolate
4 eggs, at room temperature
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
OPTIONAL - 1 cup chopped pecans - I omitted
(1 cup melted caramel sauce)

Directions
- Preheat oven to 350
- In a small saucepan, melt together butter and chocolate
- Allow to cool otherwise you’ll end up with dry brownies
- Beat eggs and salt together unti…

Pizza - in a Pot Pie?!

Yes, that's right... Pot Pie Pizza! I've been wanting to make individual pot pies for awhile but unfortunately my husband does not like pot pies (or stews, roasts, anything fall like - boo on him!) But, one day while on Food Network's website I caught out of the corner of my eye the words Pizza Pot Pie but then I lost my wireless connection and I couldn't click the link. I think it was in a list of kid-friendly foods but to be honest, I never really looked for it again. By then I had all I needed to spark my imagination of how wonderful an idea that was and thus was the idea for my Friday night dinner....

Aside from the fact that this gave me an opportunity to make something "pot-pieish" another great thing about this recipe is that it's still pretty much a pizza so you can use whatever cheeses, toppings, etc. that you want!
Pizza Pot Pies

Inspired by seeing the words on the Food Network Website...
** This recipe is scaled for 2 individual pot-pies using 10 o…

My Go-To Meat Sauce

I always mention my meatsauce in my pasta recipes. I love it. There is just something about it that is so comforting to me and so therefore it is one of my all time comfort foods. Generally I use (gasp) either store bought sauce or my marinara sauce as the base and tweak from there.

People are always asking for pasta recipes so I thought I'd just write up a post with some simple modifications to a basic marinara sauce. Depending on the meal, some tweaks can include: - 1 tablespoon dried Italian Seasoning - 2 Teaspoons Dried Basil - 1 teaspoon dried Rosemary or Thyme - 1 teaspoon sugar (especially when using a lot of herbs) - additional garlic - 1/2 cup to 1 cup cream - 1/2 cup vodka - 1/4 - 1/2 cup red wine (a great use for some of the wine you plan on drinking with dinner!) - 1 pound cooked ground beef - 1/2 pound cooked ground beef and 1/2 pound cooked ground sausage (you can always do turkey instead of other meats but ground turkey is generally so expensive at my grocery store that I rarel…

Simple Marinara Sauce

A lot of times in my blog when I refer to red sauce, marinara sauce, etc. I say you can either use store bought, home made or whatever. I admit it, I use store bought sometimes (at $2 a jar for Ragu when on sale it's always safe to have 1 or 2 in the house just incase!) but when I make my own I make a big pot of it and freeze some in pint size containers for easy thawing and heating. Whenever I make my own I don't use much of a recipe, rather just sight, smell and taste - when I feel like I've been transported back to Nonna and Nonno's kitchen when I was 7 then I'm there! When pressed for a recipe though I think this one from Giada is pretty close, though I make some tweaks. This recipe is the base for so many sauces I play around with!



(the picture is actually of meat sauce because I forgot to take a picture after I started heating the marinara before tweaking!)

Marinara Sauce
Source: Everyday Italian
Ingredients
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely ch…

Cheesy Beer Bread

This is actually the first recipe I've made of Katie's; I can't believe it's taken me this long. Don't get me wrong though - I have about 50 saved in my "to-try" file! Anyway, this weekend my husband and I planned on having some friends over to celebrate the Rams bye-week but things fell through - as I was baking! Oh well, more yummy food for us!

We had a typical football food fare - Chili, Cookie Cake and beer bread. Normally I would have had more but that was all I planned on making and the others were bringing snacks. Since it ended up just being my husband and one of our good friends I neglected the snacks - we had Dorritos if someone really wanted something!

The recipe of Katie's I made was the beer bread and boy was it good! I even ate the end which was a little dry because I think I over cooked a bit, but the flavor was fantastic.

Easy Cheesy Beer Bread

Ingredients
:
2 c. all purpose flour
1 c. whole wheat flour
1/3 c. packed brown sugar
4 1/2 tsp…

Bye-Week Cookie Cake

Happy Bye-Week, Rams! Not that a week off will really help them play better, but at least it's one less week of embarrassment! In honor of a week off, my husband and I planned to have a few friends over to watch real football games and some of the baseball playoffs (especially since the Cubs were swept - yeah baby!) but at the last minute everyone bailed. Well, I had already made most of the food that I planned on making so we ate it anyway and just have a bunch left over.

My husband wanted a cookie cake, shaped like a football. Not knowing if bakeries sell cookie cakes shaped like a football I decided to make my own. Not only because I didn't want to rely on something that may not exist, but mainly because I never get to bake so I'll take any excuse.

This was so easy and super delish! I mean, it's a giant cookie - what's not to like. I tweaked this recipe but next time I make one I'll tweak again by adding more chocolate chips. This recipe is also a great base …

Super Simple Herbed Pork Chops

Wow, these were the easiest pork chops EVER. I wouldn't even want to call this a recipe - basically it's more a long the lines of an "idea". I wanted something simple to go with the White Cheddar Scalloped Potatoes I made, I had pork chops in the freezer and I didn't want anything breaded nor did I want to grill. So, thus came about pork chops coated in a little lemon-herb mixture. I was pleasantly surprised...

Ingredients
- 2 bonesless pork chops
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1-2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- Pepper to season
Directions
- In a small bowl, squeeze lemon juice
- Add herbs
- Stab pork chops with a fork a few times in each side
- Brush lemon-herb mixture on each side of the pork chops and place on a plate, cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 15 minutes or so while you prepare your side dish, wash up dishes, whatever!
- Preheat a skillet (or grill pan) and add pork chops
- Cook until …

White Cheddar Scalloped Potatoes

I don't really have too much to say about the origins of this meal other than I love potatoes (or anything starchy for that matter) and cheese. I am always looking for new ways to cook my starches, add cheese and still satisfy both myself and my husband as we're both picky eaters. I think I decided to make these potatoes as a side dish to some simple pork chops because I saw a recipe card at the grocery store for Gruyere Potatoes Au Gratin and I kind of wanted to try them but I knew my husband wouldn't like the cheese. Well, I lost the recipe card so I just improvised and made White Cheddar Scalloped Potatoes instead, knowing that my husband would get on board with White Cheddar! This recipe is enough for 4 side servings. Anyone have any ideas on what to add to the other half of the potatoes to make a meal for this weekend?!

Anyway, I was really happy with how these turned out, as I've never made scalloped potatoes before.


Ingredients
- 2 large, peeled baking potatoes, c…