lattice chicken pot pie
Mexican street corn pasta
chicken Ghiveci
creamy chicken tortilla soup, jalapeno jack popovers
butter basted ribeyes, twice baked potatoes, broccoli
brisket tacos, pinto beans
pork souvlaki, naan

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Butternut Squash Ravioli with Spinach Cream Sauce

I love butternut squash ravioli, I like them so much that they were served at our wedding. When I make them, I make a big batch and freeze them for future side dishes. The other night I made steaks and instead of making the usual brown butter sauce for the ravioli, I decided to use more of the infamous cheap spinach to spice these up a bit. Honestly, the initial idea was to make creamed spinach, but inspiration hit the minute the spinach hit the pan!

Butternut Squash Ravioli with Spinach Cream Sauce
printable recipe

Butternut Squash Ravioli, recipe follows
1 tablespoon shallot, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon butter
3 cups baby spinach
1 cup cream
1 cup whole milk

In a large saucepan, heat butter over medium-high heat. Add shallot and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the spinach and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in cream and milk, bring to a simmer and cook until thickened, about 5 to 7 minutes. Toss the ravioli with the sauce and serve.

Butternut Squash Ravioli

9 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons minced shallots
1 cup roasted butternut squash puree
Freshly ground white pepper
3 tablespoons heavy cream
3 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus 2 ounces
Pinch nutmeg
1 recipe pasta dough, rolled out into wide ribbons, about 1/4-inch thick

In a large saute pan, over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter. Add the shallots and saute for 1 minute. Add the squash puree and cook until the mixture is slightly dry, about 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the cream and continue to cook for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in 3 tablespoons cheese and nutmeg, to taste. Season with salt and pepper. Cool completely.

Cut the pasta into 3-inch circles. Place 2 teaspoons of the filling in the center of each pasta circle. Top with another circle and seal. Add the pasta to pot of boiling salted water. Cook until al dente, about 2 to 3 minutes or until the pasta floats and is pale in color.
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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Mozzarella and Spinach Chicken Roulades

These were simply amazing. Not a bit was left on either C or my plate. That is a rare occurence that we both like something so much. These came to be because I still had a ton of the organic baby spinach I got on sale in combination with the 49 cent shredded cheese sale. These were really easy to prepare and they presented beautifully. They will definitely go into our regular dinner rotation.
Mozzarella and Spinach Chicken Roulades
printable recipe

2 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless and tenderized
4 tablespoons grated mozzarella cheese
20 baby spinach leaves
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Olive oil
Salt and pepper
3/4 cups of seasoned breadcrumbs
cooking spray

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Rub the chicken breasts with olive oil and garlic, salt and pepper. Place a layer of spinach and 2 tablespoons of mozzarella on top of each breast. Roll up the chicken breasts. Spray each breast with the cooking spray and roll in the seasoned bread crumbs to coat. Spray each again and place chicken breasts in a greased baking dish. Place them in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes.
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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day

Even though we aren't in town for Valentine's Day, I still thought it would be fun to make some heart cupcakes to share before the holidays. The cream cheese frosting is from the recipe my mom gave me for carrot cake with a minor switch up, I use butter in place of the "Oleo" that the recipe calls for. Can you tell it was a 70s recipe? I made the hearts by placing a small heart cookie cutter and filling it with red sugar, this is best done right after frosting each one so it will stick. And shocker of all shockers, C doesn't like cupcakes, he thinks they are too hard to eat....le sigh.
Chocolate Cupcakes
printable recipe

2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

Heat oven to 350°F. Line muffin cups (2-1/2 inches in diameter) with paper bake cups

Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin).

Fill cups 3/4 full with batter. Bake 25-28 minutes.

Cream Cheese Frosting
printable recipe

½ cup butter, softened
8 ounces of cream cheese, softened
4 cups of confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla

Mix all ingredients until smooth.
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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Thyme Potatoes Au Gratin

I cannot get enough potatoes au gratin. As I kid, I despised them. I refused to eat them and I am not quite sure why. I am always on the lookout for ways to make them and I found this one while I had some extra fresh thyme in our refrigerator. The thyme flavor was amazing in this dish. These are decadently delicious! I used to have to rely on Melissa d'Arabian's potato gratin cups for a weeknight meal in order to have them on the table in time, but now that I am staying home, dinner prep can take hours and it doesn't matter~
Thyme Potatoes Au Gratin
printable recipe
1.5 cups whipping cream
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. butter, softened
2 lb. red potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
2 oz. Parmesan cheese, grated
1 Tbsp. snipped fresh thyme
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
Shaved Parmesan, Italian (flat-leaf) parsley, dried tomato slices (optional)

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. In medium saucepan combine cream and garlic; bring to simmer over medium heat. Simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes, do not boil. Remove from heat.

Generously butter 2-quart baking dish. Layer one-third potato slices. In small bowl combine grated cheese, thyme, 1 teaspoon salt, nutmeg and pepper. Sprinkle one-third cheese mixture; pour one-third hot cream. Repeat layers twice. Cover with foil.

Bake 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours until potatoes are almost tender and liquid mostly absorbed. Uncover; bake 20 to 30 minutes, until liquid is absorbed and potatoes are browned and moist. If dish is broiler-safe, broil 3 to 4 inches from heat for 2 to 3 minutes, until top is crisp and brown. Let stand 10 minutes.
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Sunday, February 7, 2010

Spinach and Bell Pepper Salad

This salad was created entirely based on the great sales on produce at Kroger. For whatever reason, organic baby spinach was $1.79 a pound. This is an amazing deal, especially when you are hosting a party for 12. Red, yellow and orange bell peppers were also on sale for $1 each. This entire salad was made for under $5 for 12 servings, you cannot beat that! Everyone raved about the salad, the sweetness of the peppers contrasted beautifully with the bite from the dijon vinagretter.
Spinach and Bell Pepper Salad
printable recipe

1 pound baby spinach, washed
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
1 orange bell pepper, sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil

1/3 cup white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup olive oil

Preheat oven to 450. Line a large baking sheet with foil. Toss the bell pepper slices with the olive oil, salt and pepper and place a single layer on the baking sheet. Roast for 7 minutes and cool for 10 to 15 minutes.

Combine all dressing ingredients, except oil, in a mini chop processor. Stream the olive oil in to emulsify. Toss dressing with the spinach. Top spinach with the bell pepper slices, serve.
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Thursday, February 4, 2010

Goat Cheese and Tomato Dip

This dip is so simple and can be varied easily. It has been in my recipe file for years and I am not quite sure where it originated from to give them proper credit for it. Some variations I have tried and enjoyed are making the marinara a rosa with a touch of cream, actually making a marinara sauce in place of the tomatoes and brushing the baguette slices with oil and rubbing with garlic. This is always a hit at girly get togethers, if you like goat cheese, then this dip is for you.
Goat Cheese Marinara
printable recipe

1 log of goat cheese
1 can (14.5 ounces) of diced tomatoes
1 French baguette, sliced on the bias

Preheat oven to 425. In a small baking dish, pour the tomatoes into it and nestle the goat cheese log into them. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until goat cheese begins to brown. Serve with baguette slices (toasting optional).
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