Thursday, December 30, 2010

Turkey and Spinach Lasagna Roll Ups

Turkey was on sale this week so I decided to make lasagna roll ups.  Don't let the list of ingredients fool you.  Meat, pasta, cheese, sauce.  That is all you need.  I think that the entire prep to eat took less than an hour.

Turkey & Spinach Lasagna Roll Ups:

1 package of ground turkey
1 package of creamed spinach
2 cups tomato sauce
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
8-12 lasagna noodles, cooked until al dente
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion flakes
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper

Heat a skillet with a little bit of olive oil in the bottom.  While it is heating mix the ground turkey and all of the spices together.  Add the turkey to the skillet and brown.

In a bowl, mix together the spinach, 1/2 cup of the tomato sauce, ricotta cheese, and the grated cheese.  Add the ground turkey after it has browned, drain the turkey if needed, and mix together.

Take the cooked lasagna noodles and cut them in half, short ways.  Take one of the noodle halves, spoon the mixture onto it, and roll the noodle around.


Place the rolled noodles into a baking dish that has 1/4 cup of tomato sauce on the bottom. 

When the pan is full top with the rest of the tomato sauce and sprinkle with more shredded cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until the cheese on the top is nice and golden.


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Potatoes au Gratin

When you add cheese to potatoes (and why wouldn't you?) you end up with potatoes au gratin.  This recipe is amazing.  This dish has quickly made it to the top of the potato list.

Potatoes au Gratin:
(Pioneer Woman)

4 whole Russet Potatoes, Scrubbed Clean
2 Tablespoons Butter, Softened
1-½ cup Heavy Cream
½ cups Whole Milk
2 Tablespoons Flour
4 cloves Garlic, Finely Minced
1 teaspoon Salt
Freshly Ground Pepper, to taste
1 cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese, Freshly Grated
8 slices of cooked bacon, crumbled *optional

Preparation Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Smear softened butter all over the bottom of a baking dish.
Slice potatoes, then cut slices into fourths.

In a separate bowl, whisk together cream, milk, flour, minced garlic, salt, and plenty of freshly ground black pepper.

Place 1/3 of the potatoes in the bottom of the baking dish.

Pour 1/3 of the cream mixture over the potatoes.  Repeat this two more times, ending with the cream mixture.

Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 20 minutes, or until potatoes are golden brown and really bubbling. Add grated cheese to the top of the potatoes and bake for 3 to 5 more minutes, until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Allow to stand for a few minutes before serving

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Buffalo Chicken Dip

I don't know where I first found this dip recipe.  I think everyone in my social circle has had this dip at some point in their lives.  It's fantastic and really easy to make.

This has become my go to dish when someone tells me to bring something for a party.

Buffalo Chicken Dip:
(Frank's Red Hot)

1 8-oz package of cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup ranch or blue cheese dressing
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup buffalo sauce
2 cans chicken breast, drained

Mix softened cream cheese, shredded cheese, ranch dressing, and buffalo sauce.

Add 2 drained cans of white chunk chicken, mix it all in, and add more shredded cheese on top.

Stick it in the oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or put it in the crock pot.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Stuffed Peanut Butter Cookies

I love peanut butter cookies.  I also love peanut butter cups.  When my mom was a teacher she would make these for her students.  They are awesome, I'd say that they're in my top 3 for cookies. I think they might be  Mr. T's favorite.

Stuffed Peanut Butter Cookies:
(adapted from Paula Deen)

1 cup peanut butter, creamy or crunchy
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Small peanut butter cups


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a large baking sheet.

In a mixing bowl, combine the peanut butter, 1 cup sugar replacement, the egg, and vanilla, and stir well with a spoon. Roll the dough into balls the size of walnuts. Place the balls on the prepared baking sheet. Take some of the unwrapped peanut butter cups and press one into each cookie ball.

Bake for 12 minutes, remove from the oven, and cool slightly before removing from pan.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

When I was a kid my mom would make oatmeal chocolate chip cookies for catering events.  Most of the time my sister and I would be able to snag a couple of cookies.  When my mom was making them for something fancy she would melt milk and white chocolate to drizzle over the top.  Who can say no to that?!

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies:
(Quaker Oats)

1/2  cup (1 stick) plus 6 tablespoons butter, softened
3/4  cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2  cup granulated sugar
2  eggs
1  teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2  cups all-purpose flour
1  teaspoon baking soda
1  teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2  teaspoon salt (optional)
3  cups Quaker® Oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)
1  cup chocolate chips


Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, beat butter and sugars on medium speed of electric mixer until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Add combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; mix well.

Add oats and chocolate chips.  Mix well.

Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to wire rack.

Cool completely. Store tightly covered.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Pecan Pie

Pecan pie is one of the dishes that reminds me of my grandma.  It was always her job to make the pecan pie and she always added more pecans than the recipe called for.  After all, it's pecan pie, not goo pie.

This is pretty close to the traditional Karo syrup recipe for pie.  There are ways to change it up to fit your needs but if you want to make a classic pecan pie, start here.

Pecan Pie:(adapted from Karo Syrup)

1 cup dark corn syrup
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups (6 ounces) pecans
1 (9-inch) unbaked pie crust **
I'm using a store bought pie crust.  It's easy and taste better than mine.**

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Mix corn syrup, eggs, sugar, butter and vanilla using a spoon. 

Stir in pecans. Pour filling into pie crust.


Bake on center rack of oven for 60 to 70 minutes. Cool for 2 hours on wire rack before serving.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Meyer Lemon Cranberry Sauce

I love cranberry sauce. My grandma made it fresh every year for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Canned cranberry sauce was a 4-letter word in our house.  I have found out that a lot of people get overwhelmed with it and just resort back to the stuff in a can.  I promise that this is beyond easy and will take almost no time, better yet... it'll sit in the fridge fine so there is no problem with making it ahead of time.

I'm using meyer lemons in this version.  They were on sale at the grocery store and I decided to go for it.  My mom usually makes it with orange juice and zest.  My grandma left out the citrus all together.  Go nuts, try new things.

Meyer Lemon Cranberry Sauce:
(adapted from my Grandma)

1 bag fresh cranberries
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
Juice from 1 Meyer Lemon
Zest from 1 Meyer lemon

In a saucepan add sugar and water.  Boil until the sugar has dissolved.  Add the lemon juice and zest.  Add cranberries and let them boil until the skins have popped.

Let them come back down to room temperature then place in an air tight container and place in fridge to finish cooling.

See?  Cranberry sauce is easy and takes almost no time.  There's no reason to get all freaked out about it.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Thumbprint Cookies

Thumbprint cookies are perfect for a holiday cookie exchange.  They're small and something a little different.

Thumbprint Cookies:
(adapted from Ina Garten)

1 cup of butter (2 sticks or 8 ounces), room temperature
1/2 cup of sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
2 cups of flour
1 cup of chopped nuts or coconut (optional)
3/4 cup of blackberry or strawberry jam
Parchment paper


Cream the butter and sugar on high speed for about 3 minutes.

Separate the eggs. Add the yolks and vanilla extract to the butter mixture. If using nuts place the egg whites in a shallow dish on the side and whisk them until bubbly and frothy (the egg whites will be used to keep the nuts on the cookies).

Add the flour and salt. Mix until just combined. Place the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes and preheat the oven to 350F.

Roll the dough into balls about 1 inch in diameter. Place the balls on parchment lined cookie sheets.

Press down with your thumb to make a small well in the center of the cookie. Do not press too hard or the cookie will fall apart. Fill with 1/2 teaspoon of jam.

Bake for 12-15 minutes or until slightly firm. Allow to cool for a few minutes on the cookie sheet to firm up before moving them to a wire rack to finish cooling.

I rolled some of the cookies in coconut before I put them in the oven.  Just give them a little bit of an egg wash before you put the coconut on them so it sticks.