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Showing posts from March, 2010

Beef, Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Shells

Stuffed Shells are a recipe that while time consuming, always rewarding to eat.  I love to make stuffed pastas on the weekends and freeze them to heat up later, or for within a few days when I know I'll be busy.  Plus, they're PERFECT for new parents, an injured friend, new neighbors, etc.  
I personally like meat in my stuffed pastas, but there are so many great stuffed shells recipes out there that cheese pastas would be fantastic as well for a make-ahead meal.  You just can't go wrong with comfort food that's ready to go!

Beef, Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Shells Ingredients: 1/2 a 12-ounce package of jumbo pasta shells 1 Tablespoon olive oil 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion 1 lb ground meat of choice (I had beef but turkey sausage would be awesome - the original recipe calls for sweet Italian sausage) 1 tablespoon minced garlic 1 large egg 1 15-oz. container Ricotta Cheese 5 oz. fresh spinach 1 cup grated Parmesan Cheese 1 teaspoon dried basil 1/4 cup unseasoned breadcrumbs 1/4 teaspo…

Chicken Parmesan Panini

In my opinion, when you want a quick but satisfying meal, grilling up some panini are the way to go.  There are some foods that are just comforting and a hot sandwich is definitely one of them.  PLUS, as I often mention, I LOVE when I can vary my favorite types of foods up.
I love panini sandwiches, and I love Chicken Parmesan so I'm surprised I haven't made Chicken Parm Paninis more often.  This is a *little* more time consuming than most paninis I make, however the results are totally worth it.  And, I stress a little because it's still not too much more time consuming in all honesty.

Chicken Parmesan Panini Ingredients: 2 B/S Chicken Breasts 3/4 cup flour 1 cup Italian Seasoned Breadcrumbs 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese 2 eggs 2 Tablespoons water S&P to taste Olive Oil to coat pan 4 slices Mozzarella, or favorite cheese 1 cup tomato sauce 1 loaf Italian Bread, or favorite bread for Panini sandwiches, cut in to 4 segments and split for sandwiches Fresh basil, thinly chopped 
Directions: But…

Lemon Thyme Chicken

I'm always looking for new ways to make chicken, especially to change out flavors with the seasons.  I saw this recipe and immediately knew I wanted to try it.  This is one of my favorite methods of cooking chicken - it's so quick and easy and always provides a lot of flavor - plus, it's so easy to modify to what you have in your fridge/pantry or whatever flavors you're looking for.  I love lemon flavors so I didn't really modify the recipe too much - the only modification is that the original recipe called for butter to be added to the sauce at the end however honestly I just forgot but this was still fantastic.  Next time I make this (and there will be PLENTY of next times) I may add some butter to the sauce to add some richness, but if I'm watching the fat a little more than normal that week I'll make just as outlined below. 

Lemon Thyme Chicken
Printer Friendly Recipe

Ingredients:
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt and pepper
3/4 cup flour
1 tbsp. …

DIY Spring Wreath

In addition to cooking and baking, I enjoy paper crafting and have therfore decided that I should start sharing some of my projects here as well.  One of my favorite non-food web-Sites to stalk is Paper Source.  I have an obsession with stationery and paper.  Most of the crafting I partake in are paper crafts, such as homemade cards, invitations, etc. 
One day while poking around on Paper Source I saw this ADORABLE wreath kit and thought it would be a fun project to work on one weekend. 
$19.95 from Paper Source


maximum of $5.00 in supplies from Michaels - gotta love 40% off coupons!
With the right tools it's easy to make your own paper wreath.  I should point out that I used tools from my mom, aunts and grandma's "scrapping room" since I don't have the room to store anything like this, however if you have all of the tools this can be super cheap too!
Supplies Needed: Decorative Paper* in coordinating designs and colors Die-Cut Machine (such as a Sizzix) Die Cut Form

Oven Baked Fries

Now that it's Spring you'll want to break out your grills and enjoy the warming air, longer days and fresh scents and flavors of the season.  A meal, in my opinion, that is synonymous with spring is a big juicy burger and side of fries (and an ice cold beer, perhaps?!)  The whole thing just makes me want to open the windows and watch a baseball game (Go Cards!!)

I recently posted the perfect hamburger, and to help add to the perfect spring meal add these oven baked fries on the side.  Pair with an ice cold beer, or lemonade and sigh... ah, hello Spring!

Oven Baked Fries
Ingredients:
3 russet potatoes (about 24 oz. total), peeled and cut lengthwise into even sized wedges
5 tbsp. vegetable, canola or peanut oil, divided
¾ tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 475˚ F. Place the potato wedges in a large mixing bowl. Cover with hot water; soak for 10-30 minutes. Put 4 tablespoons of the oil onto a he…

The Perfect Hamburger

I'm a winter person, however once the spring season starts approaching I get so excited because I love the fresh flavors and the smell of grills in the neighborhood and fresh cut grass.  Ah, and rain too - I love the smell of rain this time of year.  With the start of Spring tomorrow I can't wait to break out our trusty grill (after learning how to check the propane levels) and start firing up some burgers, grilled chicken, fruits, veggies and pizzas! 

In preparation of spring I've been experimenting with burger recipes on my indoor grill trying to find the perfect recipe.  In my opinion, the perfect burger is one that can be adapted with a few subtle changes to the basic recipe because let's face it - sometimes you want it a little spicier, a little more earthy, etc.  I love to add flavorful herbs and spices to a burger to compliment the rest of the meal, or to just add a kick!


The Perfect Hamburger
Ingredients:

1 lb. ground chuck or ground lean beef
2 Tbs. finely cho…

Chicken Cordon Bleu

Chicken Cordon Bleu is one of my favorite foods ever.  I make a lot of variations of it as well, which you will see in some upcoming posts, however for now I wanted to start with the original - basic Chicken Cordon Bleu.  Many people may feel that Chicken Cordon Bleu is difficult to make, but with this recipe it is very easy and relatively quick.  I love that it only takes a few minutes to prep before going in the oven for about 30 minutes giving you time to put together some side dishes to serve along with it. 


Chicken Cordon Bleu
Printer-Friendly Recipe
Ingreidents:
1/4 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
5 teaspoons butter, melted
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 teaspoon paprika
4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dried Herbs de Provence
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 thin slices prosciutto (about 2 ounces)
1/4 cup (1 ounce) shredded part-skim mo…

Guinness Cupcakes and Baileys Irish Buttercream

St. Patrick's Day is just around the corner, and I'm not gonna lie, I don't really eat too many traditional Irish foods (Corned Beef and Cabbage - not a fan!) While I do have some Irish blood in me I like to celebrate somewhat, plus it's a fun holiday to celebrate with some fun with friends and green beer, I figured the best way to celebrate was with baked goods!  I've seen a lot of blogs with Irish Car Bomb* Cupcake, which sounded fantastic, but just a little too rich for my taste since chocolate is not always my favorite, so I'm combined a few recipes I found to create my own.  I took this Guinness Cupcake recipe with the Bailey's buttercream used in the Irish Car Bomb cupcakes and the comination of the two was fantastic.  I could have used the cupcake recipe that everyone else used from Smitten Kitchen and just not filled with the whiskey ganache, however to be honest I liked that the Nook & Pantry recipe used a full bottle of Guinness, rather than j…

Beef Stew

I love comfort food; there's no doubt about that.  However, with making great comfort food, you find yourself either using old family recipes or trying out a bunch until you find the recipe that is perfectly comforting for you and your family.
I love a good beef stew - always have, always will.  My favorite "classic" comfort foods are typically stews, roasts with lots of carrots and potatoes, chicken and dumplings, pot pies, etc... In my opinion slow cooked and in lots of flavorful juices is one of the best ways to eat carrots as I'm normally not a huge fan (unless they're cooked in somekind of sweet, sugary substance but that kind of defeats the whole "eating veggies" thing!)  Ever since I made this recipe from Williams-Sonoma I've loved it, however I decided to tweak it some to suit it more to what I wanted that night.  There wasn't a lot of variation made, however those adaptations made me LOVE, LOVE this recipe.

NEW Favorite Beef Stew
Ingredien…

Peanut Butter Cookies

It's official - I have a crush on Annie from Annie's Eats.  I've never made a recipe from her blog that I didn't fall in love with.  As expected, these Peanut Butter cookies were as delicious as her photo indicated.   There is just something about cookies, peanut butter most specifically, that comforts me.  And with the addition of honey - just blow my mind WOW!


Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies

Ingredients:
3 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup sugar
1½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
¼ cup vegetable shortening
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup honey
2 large eggs
Sugar, for rolling the cookies

Directions:
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt; whisk together and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the shortening, butter, peanut butter and honey. Mix in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. With the mix…

Pizza Sauce

Not too long ago I posted about this amazing pizza crust I found, and now I've also found a great pizza sauce, as I mentioned was next on my list.  A few days after I made this pizza my husband was telling me about a recipe he saw in our local newspaper, the St. Louis Post Dispatch.  Maybe someday I'll play around with the crust in the recipe, but I do pretty much feel that my new favorite crust will be a favorite for a LONG time, however I did try out the sauce, not to be disappointed.  Combine this sauce with the linked crust and you've found yourself a great base for an amazing pizza.  The sauce is about 5 ingredients and one step, you can't get much simpler than that!  No more excuses for delivery or frozen anymore! Pizza Sauce
Ingredients:
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 tablespoons dried oregano

Directions:
Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl and set aside until ready to u…

Baked Ziti

We've been watching a lot of The Sopranos lately, via the wonders of Netflix, and it always makes me want some Baked Ziti.  I've made baked pastas before, but never a ziti, so I decided to give it a shot.  (The ironic thing is that I ended up making it on the day that we ended up watching the finale, so kinda fitting in a dorky way!)  Anyway, I had kinda thought to just wing it, but then I saw this recipe in Annie's Eats and figured I'd just use this as Annie never steers anyone wrong.  Well, I'm not gonna lie - I totally spaced when I was grocery shopping and got ricotta instead of cottage cheese.  The day I planned on making it I was reading through the comments about Ricotta vs. Cottage Cheese and I debated stopping at the store to pick up some cottage cheese but I ended up out of time so I just went with the ricotta.  The adaption of Ricotta over Cottage Cheese was still great, though I will one day try the original version. 
Baked Ziti

Ingredients:
1 lb. part-s…