Monday, February 27, 2006

Baked Ziti

Ingredients:

1 pound dry ziti pasta
1 pound ground beef or sausage
1 pound cheddar cheese
1 onion, chopped
2 (26 ounce) jars of spaghetti sauce

Sour Cream Mix:
1 cup sour cream
1 cup Ricotto cheese
Italian seasoning
Tony’s

Directions:

1. Preheat over to 350 degrees F
2. Boil ziti for 8 minutes.
3. Brown onions and meat; and then add spaghetti sauce.
4. Butter a 9x13 inch baking dish then layer:
ziti
sour cream mix
meat sauce
ziti
sour cream mix
meat sauce
cheese (top layer)
5. Bake for 30 minutes.

Lemon Pie

Ingredients:

1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
½ cup lemon juice
8 ounces of cool whip
1- 9 inch graham cracker crust

Directions:

1. Combine milk and lemon juice and mix until it is smooth and thick.
2. Fold cool whip in mixture.
3. Spoon into crust and chill until you are ready to serve.

Danielle’s Apple Pie

Ingredients:

1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
6-8 red Delicious Apples (sliced thin)
2 Pillsbury pie crusts (9 inches)

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Combine sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Stir in apples.
3. Lay piecrust into pie pan and dab with milk.
4. Fill crust with apples and put 2 tablespoons of butter on top of the apples.
5. Lay second crust over and pinch the edges. Cut 1 inch slits into the top of the crust.
6. Coat with butter and cover edges with foil.
7. Bake for 50 minutes (after 40 minutes remove foil)

* With the left over piecrust, you can cut out things like hearts (Valentine’s Day) or leaves (Thanksgiving) and put them on top on the pie.

Pecan Crusted Fish

Ingredients:

1 ½ cup flour
2 tablespoons Tony’s
2 teaspoons salt
1 egg
½ cup milk
4 (8 ounce fillets) catfish or tilapia
1 cup pecan pieces
3 tablespoons butter

Topping:
1 lemon cut in thin slices
½ cup white wine
3 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons Tony’s
1 teaspoon hot sauce
½ teaspoon salt

Directions:

1. Place flour in bowl with ½ Tony’s and salt. In another bowl beat eggs and milk with the remaining seasoning. In another bowl place pecans.
2. Roll fish flour then egg and milk. Then dredge one side of fish in pecans and the other side back in flour.
3. Heat 3 tablespoons butter in heavy skillet on medium heat. Place fish pecan side down. Cook 5 minutes until browned. Turn over and brown the other side for 5 minutes.
4. Remove from pan and set aside.
5. Add lemon slices to sauce pan and cook 1 minute. Add wine and cook until reduced by half.
6. Lower fire and stir in batter, seasoning, and hot sauce. Cook until butter melts.
7. Top fish with sauce.

Coconut Curried Chicken

Ingredients:

2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2 –inch cubes
1 teaspoon salt and pepper, or to taste
1 ½ tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons curry powder
½ onion, thinly sliced
1 (14.5 ounce) can stewed, diced tomatoes
1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
3 tablespoons sugar

Directions:

1. Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper.
2. Heat oil and curry powder in a large skillet over medium-high heat for two minutes. Stir in onions and garlic, and cook one minute more. Add chicken, tossing lightly to coat with curry oil. 3. Reduce heat to medium, and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink in center and juices run clear.
4. Pour coconut milk, tomatoes, tomato sauce, and sugar into the pan, and stir to combine. 5. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, approximately 30 to 40 minutes.

Potato Soup

Ingredients:

1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced onion
4 cups peeled and cubed potatoes
3 cubes chicken bouillon
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ teaspoon celery salt
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
½ cup butter
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
1 cup half-and-half

Directions:


1. In a large pot, combine celery, onion, potatoes, bouillon cubes, pepper, celery salt, and parsley. Add enough water so that vegetables are fully submerged, cover and cook until vegetables are tender.
2. In a small skillet, melt butter. Once melted add flour and mix until a paste like consistency is formed. Add milk all at once and stir over low heat until it thickens.
Add milk and flour mixture to the vegetables and stir gently. Add half-and-half and keep warm until serving.

Rich and Creamy Tomato Basil Soup
Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

4 tomatoes - peeled, seeded and diced
4 cups tomato juice
14 leaves fresh basil
1 cup heavy whipping cream
½ cup butter
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Place tomatoes and juice in a stock pot over medium heat. Simmer for 30 minutes. Puree the tomato mixture along with the basil leaves, and return the puree to the stock pot.
2. Place the pot over medium heat, and stir in the heavy cream and butter. Season with salt and pepper. Heat, stirring until the butter is melted. Do not boil.

Creamy Cauliflower Soup
Makes 4 (1 ¾-cups) servings

Ingredients:

1 (2-pound) head cauliflower
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, thinly sliced
¼ teaspoon salt
4 cups water
¼ cup sour cream
salt freshly ground black pepper
Directions:

1. Cut cauliflower into florets and slice stems into ¼-inch pieces. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed sauce pan over medium heat. Add onions and cook until softened, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add water, cover, bring to a simmer, and cook until cauliflower is tender, about 15 minutes.
2. Puree vegetables and cooking liquid in a blender or food processor until smooth. Return to sauce pan and whisk in sour cream. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Asparagus Soup with Parmesan Sprinkle
Makes 4 (1 ¼ cup) servings
Ingredients:

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 garlic clove minced
2 ½ pounds asparagus, ends trimmed and cut into 1 1/2 –inch lengths
4 cups chicken broth
4 teaspoons freshly grated parmesan cheese
salt and freshly ground white pepper

Directions:

1. Heat oil over medium heat in a medium saucepan. Add onion, garlic, and asparagus and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions soften, 5 to 7 minutes. Do not brown.
2. Add broth, bring to simmer, and cook until asparagus is just tender, about 10 minutes.
3. Remove from heat and carefully puree with a blender or hand blender. Return to the pan, gently reheat, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve each serving with a sprinkle of parmesan.

Angel Hair Pasta with Garlic Shrimp and Broccoli
Serves 6

Ingredients:

1 (12 ounce) package angel hair pasta
2 1/2 tablespoons butter, divided
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 tablespoons pesto
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 dash Worcestershire sauce
1 dash hot sauce
1/2 (16 ounce) package frozen broccoli florets, thawed
1 pound jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 cloves garlic, minced

Directions:

1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
2. Melt 1.5 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in flour and cook for 2 minutes. Slowly stir in milk and cream; simmer, stirring constantly, until thickened. Stir in pesto, parsley, garlic, Parmesan cheese, 1 teaspoon salt, white pepper, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce. Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer.
3. Meanwhile, place broccoli in a steamer over 1 inch of boiling water, and cover. Cook until tender but still firm, about 2 to 6 minutes. Drain.
4. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet. Saute shrimp, garlic and 1 teaspoon salt for 5 minutes, or until shrimp are pink.
5. In a large bowl, toss pasta, shrimp and broccoli; pour sauce over and serve.

Creamy Italian White Bean Soup
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 (16 ounce) cans white kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 (14 ounce) can chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
2 cups water
1 bunch fresh spinach, rinsed and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Directions:

1. In a large saucepan, heat oil. Cook onion and celery in oil for 5 to 8 minutes, or until tender. Add garlic, and cook for 30 seconds, continually stirring. Stir in beans, chicken broth, pepper, thyme and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and then simmer for 15 minutes.
2. With slotted spoon, remove 2 cups of the bean and vegetable mixture from soup and set aside.
3. In blender at low speed, blend remaining soup in small batches until smooth, (it helps to remove the center piece of the blender lid to allow steam to escape.) Once blended pour soup back into stock pot and stir in reserved beans.
4. Bring to a boil, occasionally stirring. Stir in spinach and cook 1 minute or until spinach is wilted. Stir in lemon juice and remove from heat and serve with fresh grated Parmesan cheese on top.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Food For Thought...

Let's use this as a tool to share our favorite recipes & hints for easy cooking. Here's what I'd love to see here:
  • Meals you love to cook when people come over because everyone raves about it.
  • Stuff your kids will eat - even picky ones!
  • Great party foods.
  • Simple, easy meals.
  • Last minute dinners.
  • Lunch ideas.
  • Ways to make preparing meals easier.
  • Things that you can make double portions of - freeze one, eat one.
  • Leftover makeovers.
  • Cheap dinners (Drew and I find it really interesting to sit and figure out the cost of the dinners that we're cooking...It's amazing to see how much cheaper it is to eat in.)
  • Recipe requests.
  • Weekly menu ideas.