Published on April 29, 2015, in Main Dishes.

Crockpot Cheese Tortellini

Crockpot Cheese Tortellini

Ingredients

  • 1 (19oz) bag of frozen cheese tortellini
  • 1 small bag of fresh spinach (I used about half of a 5 oz package, but more is better!)
  • 2 (14.5 oz) cans of Italian style diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 block (8 oz) of cream cheese or neufchatel (less fat)
  • 1 lb. of ground sausage or chicken/turkey sausage
  • 4 cups of chicken broth

Instructions

  • Brown the sausage and put all ingredients in crockpot,
  • chunking up the cream cheese.
  • Cook on low for 4-6 hrs.

Serves 4-6

*Keep an eye on your tortellini, it may be done sooner.
*If still soupy, leave lid off for the last half hour or so of cooking.
*For a vegetarian version, omit sausage and use vegetable broth instead.
**If you use neufachtel (1/3 fat of cream cheese) be prepared that it doesn’t melt as well and leaves little curds.

 
Published on April 29, 2015, in Desserts.

Valentine's Day Chocolate Chip Cookies

Valentine’s Day Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. Butter (4 sticks)
  • 1 ½ C. Sugar
  • 2 C Brown Sugar
  • 3 Eggs
  • 2 tsp. Vanilla
  • 6 Cups Flour
  • ½ tsp. Salt (I used salted butter so I left out the salt)
  • 1 ½ tsp. Baking Powder
  • Neon Pink Food Dye (Mine was Rose by Wilton)
  • 1 Bag of Chocolate Chips
  • Valentine’s M&Ms (optional but looks pretty)

Instruction

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar.
  3. Add the eggs and vanilla–mix until combined.
  4. In a separate bowl mix the flower, salt, and baking powder.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the sugar and butter mixture and mix until well
  6. combined.  Add the neon pink food dye until desired color.
  7. Add the chocolate chips and combine well.
  8. Roll into balls or use a cookie scoop and place on a silpat or parchment lined
  9. baking sheet.  Press several M&Ms into the top of each cookie–I used three or
  10. four per cookie.
  11. Bake at 350 for 15-25 minutes.  In my oven 15 minutes was perfect.  Time will vary
  12. with each oven.  You don’t want them to be brown when they are done because it
  13. takes away from the pretty color.  You want them to be barely cooked through in
  14. the middle.  This will keep them chewy and soft.
 
Published on April 29, 2015, in Main Dishes.

Tomato, Roasted Pepper and Arugula Pasta

Tomato, Roasted Pepper and Arugula Pasta

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces, weight Pasta
  • 2 teaspoons Olive Oil, Divided
  • 1 whole Shallot, Minced
  • 1 clove Garlic, Minced
  • 1 cup Grape Tomatoes, Halved
  • ½ cups Roasted Red Peppers, Chopped
  • ¼ cups Fresh Basil, Chopped, Divided
  • 1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
  • ½ teaspoons Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • ½ teaspoons Salt
  • ¼ teaspoons Black Pepper
  • 2 cups Fresh Arugula
  • 2 ounces, weight Fresh Mozzarella Cheese, Diced
  • ¼ cups Parmesan Cheese

Instructions

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions, reserving 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water.
  2. While the pasta cooks, heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the shallot and garlic and cook until soft and fragrant, about 6 minutes. Add the tomatoes, roasted red peppers, half of the basil, smoked paprika, crushed red pepper flakes, salt and pepper and stir to combine. Let the mixture cook for another 5-6 minutes until the tomatoes begin to soften.
  3. Add the arugula to the pan and drizzle the remaining 1 teaspoon olive oil over the arugula. Stir it to combine and cook until the arugula wilts. Turn the heat to low and stir in the mozzarella cheese. Add the cooked pasta and the pasta water and stir until combined. Top with Parmesan cheese.
 
Published on April 29, 2015, in Desserts.

Gooey Cookies and Cream Chocolate Cake Bars

Gooey Cookies and Cream Chocolate Cake Bars

Ingredients

  • 1 Devils Food Cake Mix
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
  • 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 14 Oreo Cookies, broken into bite size pieces

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and line a 9×13 inch baking pan with tin foil sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Place cake mix, butter and egg into a large bowl, mixing to combine. Use your hands, it works much quicker :) Press into prepared baking pan. Top with broken pieces of cookies.
  3. Pour sweetened condensed milk over cookies and top with chocolate chips. Bake for 23-25 minutes, until cooked through. Remove from oven.
  4. After 5 minutes of cooling, run a plastic knife around edges to loosen, this makes it much easier to remove from foil.  Let cool completely, remove foil from pan, then cut into squares.  I cut off all of the edges before cutting into squares (makes for neater squares), but do whatever you’d like!!
 
Published on April 28, 2015, in Desserts.

Lemon Crumb Cake

Lemon Crumb Cake

INGREDIENTS:

FOR THE CAKE:

  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup milk

FOR THE FILLING:

  • 1 package (8oz) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 lemon, zested

FOR THE STREUSEL:

  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

FOR THE GLAZE:

  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp milk

DIRECTIONS:

  1. For the cake, grease and flour a 9-inch cake pan. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt on low until combined. Beat in softened butter until crumbly. Add in eggs, vanilla extract, lemon juice and milk. Beat for about 3-4 minutes until light and fluffy. Pour into prepared pan.
  3. For the filling, beat cream cheese with sugar, egg and lemon zest for about 4-5 minutes. Pour over cake layer, being careful to not let it touch the sides of the pan.
  4. In a small bowl, combine streusel ingredients with a fork. Sprinkle over top of cake. Bake in a 325 degree oven for about 38-42 minutes. Cool completely in pan. When cooled, remove from pan and place on a serving plate.
  5. Whisk together the glaze ingredients until smooth. Drizzle over cooled cake. Serve and enjoy!
 
Published on April 28, 2015, in Desserts.

Mini Fruit Pizzas

 

Mini Fruit Pizzas

Ingredients:

Cookie Crust
  1. • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  2. • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  3. • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  4. • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  5. • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
  6. • ½ cup sugar
  7. • 1 egg
  8. • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  9. • 1 tablespoon milk
White Chocolate Cream Cheese filling
  1. • ¼ cup heavy cream
  2. • 1/3 cup white chocolate
  3. • 8oz cream cheese, at room temperature
  4. • ½ cup powdered sugar
  5. • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Topping
  1. • Assorted fruits of your choice (See Shinee’s notes below)

Directions:

  1. 1. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt.
    2. In a mixing bowl with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla extract and continue to beat for another minute or two until well combined. Add half of dry ingredients, then stir in milk, and then remaining half of the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined, scraping the sides. The dough will be soft and slightly sticky. Wrap it into a plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour, or up to 2 days.
    3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, or silicone mat.
    4. On lightly floured surface, roll the chilled dough into 1/8-inches-thick circle. Cut out 2.5-inch circles. Continue to roll the leftover scrapes and cut out the small circles until you run out of the dough.
    5. Place the cookies on the prepared cookie sheets and bake for 10 minutes. (We need to slightly undercook them to get nice and soft “pizza crust”.) Cool completely on wire rack.
    6. While the cookies are cooling, prepare the cream cheese filling. Heat the heavy cream in the microwave for 30 seconds. Place the white chocolate in a small bowl and add the warm cream over it. Let it stand for a minute and stir until chocolate completely melted and the mixture is smooth. (Microwave the mixture for 15 seconds if the chocolate is not completely melted.)
    7. In a mixing bowl with whisk attachment, beat the cream cheese until fluffy. Add powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and white chocolate mixture. Beat for 3-5 minutes, or until the filling is thickened and smooth.
    8. Cut the fruits into thin slices, if needed.
    9. Spread about a tablespoon of cream cheese filling on each cookie with a butter knife. Arrange the fruits on top. That’s it!

You can choose any fruits you have on hand, or you like. For beautiful presentation, choose different colored fruits, such as strawberries, blueberries, kiwis, mango, and more.

 
Published on April 27, 2015, in Breakfast, Sides.

Breakfast Patty Melt

Breakfast Patty Melt

Ingredients

  • 4 Tablespoons Butter, More If Needed
  • 1/2 whole Medium Yellow Onion, Sliced
  • 1/4 pound Breakfast Sausage (Jimmy Dean, JC Potter, Etc)
  • 2 whole Eggs, Beaten
  • 3 slices Cheddar, Swiss, Provolone, Or Other Cheese
  • 2 slices Bread (sourdough, Rye, Whole Wheat, Etc.)

Preparation Instructions

Heat a non-stick skillet over low heat and melt 2 tablespoons of the butter. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 to 20 minutes, until onions are soft and slightly caramelized. Remove them to a plate and set them aside.

Form the sausage into a thin patty about the width of the bread you’re using. Add it to the same skillet and increase the heat to medium. Cook the patty on both sides until fully cooked through, about 5 minutes. Remove to a plate and set aside. Wipe the skillet clean with a paper towel.

Pour in the beaten eggs and cook, forming them into a rough circle as they set up. Flip to finish cooking on the other side.

Assemble the patty melt: bread, cheese, patty, eggs, cheese, onions, cheese, bread. Melt the remaining butter in a clean skillet over low heat. Place the sandwich in the skillet and cook low and slow for a good 8 to 10 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the bread is deliciously crisp. Add more butter to the skillet if the bread needs it (you don’t want the bread to be dry!)

Slice in half and serve.

 
Published on April 27, 2015, in Desserts.

Chocolate cake

 

Chocolate cake

Ingredients

  • 3 oz unsweetened baking chocolate
  • 2 cups flour – cake or all purpose
  • one stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted softened butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups milk

Instructions

  1. Break off pieces until you end up with three ounces and then roughly chop it.
  2. Pop it in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time, stirring between each go in the microwave. Keep doing this until it’s smooth. Set this aside to cool down while we get going on the cake batter!
  3. In a large bowl, beat the butter until it’s nice and creamy. Add in the sugar and beat for a couple of minutes, or until it’s soft and turning a lighter yellow.
  4. At that point, add in your egg yolks and mix until well combined.
  5. Once the butter and sugar have been mixed, pour in the melted baking chocolate and vanilla.
  6. Mix for a minute or so, scraping down the bowl occasionally to make sure everything is combined.
  7. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a bowl and mix with a fork.
  8. Alternate adding the flour mix and milk to the batter, mixing well in between.
  9. Take your two egg whites and whisk them until they form soft peaks.
  10. Pour and smooth an equal amount of batter in both cake pans.
  11. Bake them in a 350 F oven for 30 minutes.
 

Crescent Pepperoni Roll-ups

Crescent Pepperoni Roll-ups

Ingredients

  • 1 (8 ounce) package refrigerated crescent roll dough
  • 4 cheese sticks, halved
  • 1 (3.5 ounce) package sliced pepperoni
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasonings
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 Tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Take each triangle of crencent roll dough and place about 6 pepperoni on the bottom of the triangle. Place half of a cheese stick on top and roll up. Place seam side down on a cookie sheet and bake for 10-14 minutes or until golden brown.
  3. While rolls are cooking, combine the melted butter, Italian seasonings, garlic powder and Parmesan cheese in a small bowl.
  4. When rolls are done remove from the oven and brush with the garlic butter glaze. Serve with marinara or ranch for dipping.
 
Published on April 26, 2015, in Main Dishes.

Chicken Marsala

Chicken Marsala

Ingredients

  • 1¼ lb. chicken cutlets, pounded until ¼” thick (about 8)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • ⅓ cup plus 1 tbsp. flour
  • 5 tbsp. olive oil
  • 5 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 8 oz. white button mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp. minced shallots
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ⅓ cup dry Marsala wine
  • ⅓ cup chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp. finely chopped parsley, for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Season chicken with salt and pepper and dredge in ⅓ cup flour. Heat 2 tbsp. oil and 1 tbsp. butter in a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add chicken, and cook, turning once, until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate, and set aside. Add 2 tbsp. oil and 1 tbsp. butter, and then add mushrooms; cook until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Transfer to plate with chicken, and set aside.
  2. Heat remaining oil in skillet, and then add shallots and garlic; cook, stirring, until soft, about 1 minute. Stir in remaining 1 tbsp. flour; cook for 2 minutes. Add Marsala and stock; cook, stirring and scraping bottom of pan until slightly thick, about 2 minutes. Return chicken and mushrooms to skillet, and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in remaining butter. Season with salt and pepper; garnish with parsley, if you like.