Thursday, February 26, 2009

Quick Sausage and Mushroom Lasagna

Thank you Jaime for this comforting lasagna recipe!

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 8-ounce packages sliced crimini (baby bella) mushrooms
1 large onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
2 tablespoons dried Italian seasoning blend
1 pound hot Italian sausages, casings removed
3 garlic cloves, pressed
1 cup dry red wine
4 2/3 cups marinara sauce (from two 26-ounce jars)
1 9-ounce package no-cook lasagna noodles
1 15-ounce container ricotta cheese
2 8-ounce bags Italian blend grated cheese (4 cups)


Preheat oven to 400°F. Heat oil in heavy large pot over high heat. Add mushrooms, onion, and seasoning blend; sauté until vegetables begin to soften, about 6 minutes. Add sausage and sautéuntil brown and cooked through, breaking up with back of spoon, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and stir 1 minute. Add wine; cook until almost all liquid evaporates, scraping up browned bits, about 2 minutes. Set aside.

Spread 2/3 cup marinara sauce over bottom of 13x9x2-inch baking dish. Place noodles (about 4) over sauce, forming 1 layer (noodles may overlap slightly). Spread 1 cup sauce over noodles. Top with 1/3 of ricotta, then 1 cup grated cheese. Spoon 1/3 of sausage mixture over. Repeat 2 more times with noodles, sauce, ricotta, grated cheese, and sausage mixture. Cover with 4 more noodles. Spoon remaining 1 cup sauce over; sprinkle remaining 1 cup grated cheese over. Cover with foil, tenting in center to prevent cheese from touching foil. Bake lasagna 45 minutes; remove foil. Bake until bubbling at edges and cheese is browned, about 10 minutes longer. Let stand 15 minutes.

Clone of a Cinnabon

These require a bread machine but it is seriously worth getting one, if only to make this AMAZING recipe.

1 cup warm milk (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
2 eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup margarine, melted
4 1/2 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup white sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast
1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt

Place ingredients in the pan of the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select dough cycle; press Start.
After the dough has doubled in size turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, cover and let rest for 10 minutes. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon.
Roll dough into a 16x21 inch rectangle. Spread dough with 1/3 cup butter and sprinkle evenly with sugar/cinnamon mixture. Roll up dough and cut into 12 rolls. Place rolls in a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking pan. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
Bake rolls in preheated oven until golden brown, about 15 minutes. While rolls are baking, beat together cream cheese, 1/4 cup butter, confectioners' sugar, vanilla extract and salt. Spread frosting on warm rolls before serving.

Pan-fried salmon cakes

Got this out of our Cook's Illustrated Best Recipes cookbook.  A fun twist for a salmon dinner.

1 1/4 pound salmon fillet
1 slice high-quality white sandwich bread, crusts removed and white part chopped very fine
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/4 cup finely grated onion
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil PLUS
1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil
1/4 cup plain dried bread crumbs, preferably panko


1. Locate and remove any pin bones from salmon flesh. Using sharp knife, cut flesh off skin, then discard skin. Chop salmon flesh into 1/4 to 1/3-inch pieces and mix with chopped bread, mayonnaise, onion, parsley, salt, and lemon juice in medium bowl. Scoop a generous 1/4-cup portion salmon mixture from bowl and use hands to form into a patty measuring roughly 2-1/2 inches in diameter and 3/4 inch thick; place on parchment-lined baking sheet and repeat with remaining salmon mixture until you have 8 patties. Place patties in freezer until surface moisture has evaporated, about 15 minutes. 

2. Meanwhile, spread flour in pie plate or shallow baking dish. Beat eggs with 1-1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil and 1-1/2 teaspoons water in second pie plate or shallow baking dish, and spread bread crumbs in a third. Dip chilled salmon patties in flour to cover; shake off excess. Transfer to beaten egg and, using slotted spatula, turn to coat; let excess drip off. Transfer to bread crumbs; shake pan to coat patties completely. Return now-breaded patties to baking sheet. 

3. Heat remaining 1/2 cup vegetable oil in large, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering but not smoking, about 3 minutes; add salmon patties and cook until medium golden brown, about 2 minutes. Flip cakes over and continue cooking until medium golden brown on second side, about 2 minutes longer. Transfer cakes to plate lined with paper towels to absorb excess oil on surface, if desired, about 30 seconds, and then serve immediately, with the creamy lemon herb dipping sauce, if you like. 

Friday, February 20, 2009

Chocolate Trifle

I made this trifle for Nisha's pampered chef party (thanks Nisha!) and it was a hit!  Certainly not low-cal, but delicious!  I didn't have a brownie mix (Safeway bagger forgot to put it in my bag- grrrr) so I used this recipe.

1 (19.8 ounce) package brownie mix
1 (3.9 ounce) package instant chocolate pudding mix
1/2 cup water
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 (12 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 (1.5 ounce) bar chocolate candy

Prepare brownie mix according to package directions and cool completely. Cut into 1 inch squares.
In a large bowl, combine pudding mix, water and sweetened condensed milk. Mix until smooth, then fold in 8 ounces whipped topping until no streaks remain.
In a trifle bowl or glass serving dish, place half of the brownies, half of the pudding mixture and half of the 12 ounce container of whipped topping. Repeat layers. Shave chocolate onto top layer for garnish. Refrigerate 8 hours before serving.

Overnight Blueberry French Toast

I made this yummy french toast for Emilie's baby shower.  Good thing we had the shower when we did because it looks like baby Della wants to come early!

12 slices day-old bread
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
1 cup fresh blueberries
12 eggs, beaten
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup maple syrup

1 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup water
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 tablespoon butter

Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish. Spread the cream cheese on the slices of bread and then cut the bread into 1 inch cubes. Arrange 2/3 of the bread cubes in the dish, sprinkle 1 cup blueberries over the cream cheese and top with remaining bread cubes.

In a large bowl, mix the eggs, milk, vanilla extract, and syrup. Pour over the bread cubes. Cover, and refrigerate overnight.

Remove the bread cube mixture from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before baking. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Cover, and bake 30 minutes. Uncover, and continue baking 25 to 30 minutes, until center is firm and surface is lightly browned.

In a medium saucepan, mix the sugar, cornstarch, and water. Bring to a boil. Stirring constantly, cook 3 to 4 minutes. Mix in the remaining 1 cup blueberries. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes, until the blueberries burst. Stir in the butter, and pour over the baked French toast

Frito Pie

This recipe is about as texan as you can get. I have to thank my dad for being a die hard Texan and for my mom making this for us growing up! I made this chili in the crockpot and layered it with cheddar cheese and fritos. Bake at 350 for 15-20 until hot and bubbly.

Italian Cous Cous Casserole

Thanks Angela for this tasty recipe!  This would be a perfect dish to bring to a family in need of a meal (sick family member, new baby, etc)

1 box cous cous (any flavor- we used parmesan)
1 can Italian-style diced tomatoes
1/2 cup onion, diced
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 cup cooked, shredded chicken (this is optional, it's a great vegetarian dish as well)
10oz. fresh spinach
2 Tbsp. water
1/2 cup fresh, shredded Parmesan cheese (also optional)
1/2 - 1 cup monteray jack cheese

Preheat oven to 350.
Cook cous cous as directed. Set aside. (I like to use chicken broth to make the original flavor)
In large skillet, cook onions and garlic in a little oil. After about 3 minutes, add chicken. Cook 2-3 more minutes. Add water and spinach and toss until spinach is wilted and tender, but still green - about 3 more minutes.
In lightly greased square or round baking dish, layer in this order: cous cous, Parm. cheese, tomatoes, spinach/onions/chicken mix, top with Monteray Jack cheese.
Bake at 350 until cheese on top is melted (20-25 minutes).

Jalapeno Popper Pizzas

I love jalapeno poppers and I love pizza.  This is a great combo in my book.

1 pkg (11 oz) refrigerated thin crust pizza crust
4 slices bacon
1 small red bell pepper (about 1/2 cup finely diced)
2 jalapeño peppers
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1 cup corn chips, crushed (about 1/2 cup crushed chips)

Preheat oven to 425°F. Place dough onto Cutting Board (do not unroll dough). Using a sawing motion, slice dough into 24 disks using Utility Knife. Place disks onto Large Bar Pan; press to flatten and seal seams. Bake 11-13 minutes or until golden brown.

Meanwhile, slice bacon into 1/4-in. pieces; cook in (8-in.) Sauté Pan over medium-high heat 8-10 minutes or until crisp. Remove bacon from pan using Slotted Turner; drain on paper towels. Drain pan, leaving 1 tsp drippings in pan. Finely dice bell pepper using Utility Knife. Chop jalapeños using Food Chopper. Add bell pepper and jalapeños to pan; cook over medium heat 2-3 minutes or until tender.

Combine cream cheese, 1/2 cup of the cheddar cheese, peppers and bacon in Classic Batter Bowl; mix well. Divide cream cheese mixture evenly over crusts. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and crushed chips. Bake 4-6 minutes or until cheese is melted and crusts are golden brown. Remove pan from oven to Stackable Cooling Rack. Serve using Mini-Serving Spatula.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Shrimp Po' Boys

This is one of those meals I could eat every day and not get sick of it.  So comforting.  Thanks for the po' boy legacy dad!

6 large raw shrimp for each sandwich, butterflied, shell and tail removed
egg wash (one egg beaten with 2 T water added)
1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. itlaian bread crumbs or panko
veggie oil for frying
Cajun seasoning
Hoagie rolls
Tarter sauce (recipe to follow)

Have everything ready before you cook the shrimp because you want to eat them hot.  So, have your buns toasted, lettuce and tomato cut up, tarter sauce made etc.  After shrimp are butterflied, drege them in flour (shake off excess), dip in egg wash and then coat in panko or bread crumbs.  Heat oil so it is hot when you put the shrimp in.  They cook very fast- 2 min per side.  Once they come out of the hot, sprikle with cajun seasoning and salt while they are hot.  Serve immediately with tarter sauce, lettuce, tomato slices and a hoagie bun.  Here's the recipe for the spicy tarter sauce:

1/2 c. mayo
2 T relish
2 T finely minced or shredded onion
1 t garlic powder
2 dashes Frank's hot sauce

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Slow Cooker Ribs

Thank you Jaime Green for this melt in your mouth, fall off the bone rib recipe. I've never had better ribs.

3 1/2 pound pork loin back ribs (baby backs)
2 garlic cloves finely chopped
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 medium onion sliced
1/2 cup coke
1 1/2 cups bbq sauce of your choice

spray inside of slow cooker. in a small bowl mix garlic, brown sugar, salt, pepper and liquid smoke (if using). Rub mixture into ribs. Cut into 4 inch pieces. Layer ribs and onions in slow cooker. Pour coke over.
Cover and cook on low heat for 8 hours. Remove ribs, drain and discard liquid. Place ribs on med. heat grill. Brush with bbq sauce. Cover grill and cook for 15 minutes. When we cooked this the meat just fell apart so we put it in the broiler for about 5 minutes with the bbq sauce brushed on.

Pasta with Portobello mushrooms and asparagus

This recipe was my request for my Valentine's Day dinner. Mark isn't the hugest mushroom fan so it is a special treat for him to make this for me. The pepper Boursin cheese can be tricky to find (took us 4 stores) but it is usually near the deli with the special cheeses. It has to be the pepper flavor because it makes all the difference in the flavor!

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound portobello mushrooms, stems removed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 (5.2 ounce) package pepper Boursin cheese
3/4 pound uncooked pasta shells
1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed

In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter and heat the olive oil. Cut the mushroom caps in half, and slice 1/4 inch thick. Cook mushrooms in the skillet 8 minutes, or until tender and lightly browned. Season with salt. Stir in the chicken broth and Boursin cheese. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring constantly, until well blended.
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add shell pasta and cook for 5 minutes. Place the asparagus into the pot, and continue cooking 5 minutes, until the pasta is al dente and the asparagus is tender; drain. Toss with the mushroom sauce to serve.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Coca-Cola Cake

This cake is very, very close to being my favorite cake ever.  But still I have to give the award to this cake.  However, it was a huge crowd pleaser!

2 cups sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups small marshmallows
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons cocoa
1 cup Coca-Cola®
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup butter
3 tablespoons cocoa
6 tablespoons Coca-Cola
1 box (16 ounces) confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, sift sugar and flour. Add marsh- mallows. In saucepan, mix butter, oil, cocoa, and Coca-Cola. Bring to a boil and pour over dry ingredients; blend well. Dissolve baking soda in buttermilk just before adding to batter along with eggs and vanilla extract, mixing well. Pour into a well-greased 9-
by-13-inch pan and bake 35 to 45 minutes. Remove from oven and frost immediately.

To make frosting, combine butter, cocoa and Coca-Cola in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and pour over confectioners' sugar, blending well. Add vanilla extract and pecans. Spread over hot cake. When cool, cut into squares and serve.

Nutella Mousse

Any recipe with nutella is 5 stars in my book.  The original recipe called for crushed meringue cookies and toasted hazelnuts, but it is just as good without.

2 cups whipping cream
2 round tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup hazelnut chocolate spread, such as Nutella brand
1/2 pint raspberries or strawberries

Beat the whipping cream and sugar until it forms soft peaks. Place the hazelnut chocolate spread in a medium bowl. Warm the spread in the microwave until loosened and smooth – test after 40 seconds on high. Stir and repeat, if necessary, until loose.
Divide the berries evenly among the dessert cups. Fold a small amount of whipped cream into the hazelnut chocolate spread mixture until well combined. Fold in the remaining whipped cream. Divide the completed mixture among the cups.

Beef n Bean Burrito Burgers

Burger + Burrito = Scrumptious.

1 lb. ground beef
15 oz. can black beans, rinsed
1/2 c. leftover rice (white or brown), cold
1 T grill seasoning
1 T chili powder
1 1/2 t cumin
1 T veggie oil
rolls or pita pockets
guacamole (make your own or buy ready-made)

1. In a large bowl combine the first 6 ingredients.  Form into 4 or 5 patties.  In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the patties and cook, turning once for 12 minutes.

2. Top burgers with guacamole, lettuce, and tomato.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Enchiladas with Pumpkin Sauce

You HAVE to make these.  I promise they don't taste like pumpkin and I promise you will love them.  One of the gals at my MOPS table is a nutritionist and gave us this recipe but Angela is the one who convinced me to try it.  

½ rotisserie chicken, skin removed, meat shredded 
6 scallions, thinly sliced
1 can black beans (or 1 ½ cups cooked)
Sea salt
Fresh ground pepper
2 cups pumpkin puree (or 1 15oz. can)
4 garlic cloves, peeled
1 jalapeno chile, quartered (remove ribs and seeds for less heat, if desired)
1 tsp. chili powder
8 corn tortillas (6-inch)
1 ½ cup (6 ounces) grated sharp white cheddar cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 425F.  In a medium bowl, combine the chicken, beans and scallions.  Season generously with salt and pepper; set aside.
2. In a blender, puree the pumpkin, garlic, jalapeno, chili powder, 2 ½ cups water, 2 teaspoons salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper until smooth (hold the top firmly as the blender will be quite full).  Pour 1 cup of the sauce in the bottom of an 8-inch square (or other shallow 2-quart) baking dish.
3. (If you are bad like me, first lightly fry the tortillas in veggie oil so they are soft and pliable) Lay the tortillas on a work surface; mound the chicken mixture on half of each tortillas, dividing evenly.  Roll up each tortillas into a tight log; place seam side down over the sauce in the baking dish.
4. Pour the remaining sauce on top; sprinkle with the cheese.  Place the dish on a baking sheet; bake until the cheese is golden and the sauce is bubbling; 25-30 minutes.  Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Rosemary and Carmelized Onion Quiche

I tried out a new whole-wheat crust recipe and it bombed so use your own recipe or buy a ready-made crust.  I filled it with this:

4 eggs, beaten
1 T chopped fresh rosemary
1 onion, carmelized (cook with 2T oil on low heat for 20-30min or until golden color)
1/4 c. heavy cream
4 slices of swiss cheese (that's what I had in my fridge but I bet goat cheese would be better)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Ham Salad

Emilie and Bethany told me awhile ago that they liked this Rachael Ray recipe but it didn't sound appetizing at the time. I'm so glad I tried it though. It was very tasty!

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, grated
1/4 cup EVOO - Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 sprigs tarragon, leaves removed and chopped
Salt and ground black pepper
1 bunch asparagus, woody ends discarded, thinly sliced on an angle
1 pound deli-sliced French ham, cut into very thin strips
1/2 pound deli-sliced Swiss cheese, cut into very thin strips
A loaf of crusty bread


In a medium-size bowl, whisk together Dijon, vinegar and garlic. Add the EVOO in a steady stream while whisking then add tarragon, salt and pepper to make the dressing.

Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl and toss well to coat.

Serve over lettuce with crackers or crusty bread alongside

Magic Bars

Mark and I used to love getting these bars from the student union at U of A.  I know they do not exactly fit into our low-carb diet but we had signed up for dessert for our Bible study and I can't miss out on the opportunity to try a new recipe.

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup chopped walnuts
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup butterscotch chips
1 1/2 cups flaked coconut
1 1/3 cups sweetened condensed milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
In a 9 x 13 inch pan pour in melted margarine. Sprinkle the graham cracker crumbs evenly over the margarine. Next place the chopped nuts over the crumbs, and spread the chocolate and butterscotch chips over the nuts. Add the coconut over all, and pour the milk evenly over the top.
Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until lightly brown on top. Cool at least 20 minutes then cut into desired sized bars.


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