Friday, February 26, 2010

Avacado Hummus

I came across this recipe in my TV Food Network Magazine and had to share. Not only is it festive for St. Patrick's Day but sounds so yummy. I'll be making a batch this weekend but I would use a whole jalapeno instead :)

Puree 2 avocados and 1/2 jalapeno pepper in a food processor. Stir in a 7-ounce tub of hummus, a pinch of salt and a squeeze of lemon juice. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve with celery sticks.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Baked Beans with Turkey

1 (15oz) can of kidney beans, do not drain
1 (15oz) can of cranberry beans
2 (15oz) cans of baked beans
1 lb of ground turkey
1 pkg. of onion soup mix
1 (15oz) can tomato sauce
1 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp. prepared mustard

Brown turkey in a skillet and drain. place ,eat in a 13x9 dish. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Bake at 350 for 1-1 1/2 hours or until brown on top.

* If you are unable to find cranberry beans, you may also use black beans. Serve over your favorite rice!

Minted Peas

1 (10oz) pkg. of frozen peas
1/2 cup radishes, sliced thin
1 Tbsp. mint, finely chopped, about 10 leaves
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

Cook peas according to pkg. directions and drain. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and serve.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Traditional Corn Beef and Cabbage

1 (3-pound) corned beef brisket (uncooked), in brine

16 cups cold water

2 bay leaves

2 teaspoons black peppercorns

4 whole allspice berries

2 whole cloves

1/2 large head green cabbage (about 2 pounds), cut into 8 thick wedges

8 small new potatoes (about 1 1/4 pounds), halved

Freshly ground black pepper

 Whole-grain mustard or HORSERADISH SAUCE, to serve along side

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Place the corned beef in a colander in the sink and rinse well under cold running water.Place the corned beef in a large Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid; add the water, bay leaves, peppercorns, allspice, and cloves. Bring to a boil, uncovered, and skim off any scum that rises to the surface. Cover and transfer pan to the oven, and braise until very tender, about 3 hours and 45 minutes.

Transfer the corned beef to a cutting board and cover tightly with foil to keep warm. Add the cabbage and potatoes to the cooking liquid and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cabbage to a large platter. Slice the corned beef across the grain of the meat into thin slices. Lay the slices over the cabbage and surround it with the potatoes. Ladle some of the hot cooking liquid over the corned beef and season with pepper. Serve immediately with the mustard or horseradish sauce.

* Leftover meat is great for corned beef hash!

Corned Beef and Cabbage Rolls

Here's a new twist for corned beef and cabbage.

Cook 6 Savoy cabbage leaves in boiling water, about 2 minutes. Rinse under cold water and pat dry; slice in half. Mix 1/4 cup each mayonnaise and chopped parsley and/or dill; spread on the cabbage leaves. Cut 2 slices rye bread into strips. Slice 1/2 pound corned beef into strips and toss with a spoonful of whole-grain mustard. Top the cabbage leaves with a few strips each of the bread and corned beef. Roll up and slice in half.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Chicken "Not" Pie

No that's not a typo. It's the name of my new dish which just happens to be chicken pot pie minus the crust. A friend requested some kid friendly dishes and I had just made this the night before. My kids plus Emma's friend who joined us for dinner all loved it. Noah couldn't wait for it to come out of the crock pot with the yummy aromas that filled the house. Then wouldn't you know it, as soon as one sneeks a bite the rest all followed suit. This has to be one of the easiest dishes I have done that everyone really enjoyed. Dan was a little miffed that when he asked if there was anymore I had to say no since I was the one to polish it off for lunch the next day ;) I'd love to hear how your family likes it.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 cans of cream of chicken soup, I used reduced fat
2 cans of cream of celery soup, the kids couldn't recognize any celery in it
1 shallot, VERY finely minced, again to conceal from the kiddos, plus it adds such a nice flavor
1 small bag of frozen peas, I use frozen over canned due to their sweetness and less sodium
garlic salt & pepper to taste
1 lb of egg noodles

Cube chicken into bite size pieces and place in crock pot on low. Add all remaining ingredients and keep on low for 4-5 hours. Just before serving boil noodles according to package directions and drain. Scoop noodles into a serving bowl and top with creamy chicken mixture. You can also top with some parmesan or garnish with chives.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Irish Soda Bread Spinach Artichoke Dip

This hot dip recipe works well with Irish soda bread. Here's how you make it:

1 (8 ounces) package of cream cheese, softened
1 package ( 10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained
1 jar (7.5 ounces) marinated artichoke hearts, drained, chopped
1 cup Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
1/3 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated

Spread cream cheese into bottom of 9 inch metal or disposable aluminum pie plate. Set aside. In food processor, mix spinach, artichokes, and mozzarella cheese until creamy and well blended. Pour mixture into pie plate and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 degrees in preheated oven for 20 minutes. Serve on a platter surrounded by cut pieces of Irish Soda Bread. Garnish edge of plate with fresh baby spinach leaves to give a wreath like appearance.
* See earlier Irish Soda Bread recipe :)

Irish Flag Cookies

This is your basic chocolate chip recipe but with a fun twist.

1-1/2 c. all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

3/4 c. granulated sugar

3/4 c. light brown sugar

1 stick butter, softened

2 eggs

2 tsp. vanilla

1 12 oz. pkg. semisweet chocolate chips

prepared white frosting

green and orange food coloring

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease 13 x 9 inch baking pan. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl; set aside.

Beat granulated sugar, brown sugar and butter in a large bowl with electric mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Add flour mixture. Beat at low speed until well blended. Stir in chocolate chips. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove pan to wire rack; cool completely. Cut into 3-1/4 x 1-1/2 inch bars.

Divide frosting into three small bowls. Tint one with green and one with orange. Leave remaining frosting white. Frost individual cookies as shown in photo. Yield: 2 dozen

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Irish Gold Cocktail


2 parts Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey, or brand of your choice.

2 parts ginger ale

1/2 part peach schnapps

splash of orange juice

lime wheel for garnish


Build the whiskey, schnapps and juice in a Collins glass filled with ice.

Top with ginger ale.

Garnish with a lime wheel.

Shepherd's Pie

2 pounds potatoes, such as Russet or Yukon Gold, peeled and cubed

2 tablespoons sour cream

1 large egg yolk

1/2 cup cream

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan

1 3/4 pounds ground beef

1 onion, chopped

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 cup beef broth

3 teaspoons Worcestershire
1/2 cup frozen peas

1 teaspoon sweet paprika

2 tablespoons chopped chives

Boil potatoes in salted water until tender, about 12 minutes and drain. Place potatoes in a large mixing bowl. In a small bowl mix sour cream, egg yolk and cream. Add the cream mixture into potatoes and mash until potatoes are almost smooth.

While potatoes boil, preheat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add oil to hot pan with ground beef.  Season meat with salt and pepper. Brown and crumble meat for 3 or 4 minutes. Add chopped onion to the meat. Cook with meat 5 minutes, stirring frequently. In a second small skillet over medium heat cook butter and flour together 2 minutes. Whisk in broth and Worcestershire sauce. Thicken gravy 1 minute. Add gravy to meat and onions. Stir in peas.

Preheat broiler to high. Fill a small rectangular casserole with meat and vegetable mixture. Spoon potatoes over meat evenly. Top potatoes with paprika and broil 6 to 8 inches from the heat until potatoes are evenly browned. Top casserole dish with chopped chives and serve.
* Normally carrots are in this dish but I'm not a fan. If you wish to add them, do so at the same time with the onion ;)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Guinness and Bailey’s Irish Cream Cupcakes

Boy, there are some clever people out there! Wish I could take credit for this creative cupcake but instead we will just enjoy them this St. Patty's Day!

Yield: 24 cupcakes


For the Guinness chocolate cupcakes:

1 cup stout (Guinness)

16 tbsp. unsalted butter

¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups sugar

1½ tsp. baking soda

¾ tsp. salt

2 large eggs

2/3 cup sour cream

For the Bailey’s ganache filling:

8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

2/3 cup heavy cream

2 tbsp. butter, at room temperature

2 tsp. Bailey’s Irish cream

For the Bailey’s buttercream frosting:

8 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature

3-4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

4-8 tbsp. Bailey’s Irish cream


To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350° F. Line two cupcake pans with paper liners. Combine the stout and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the cocoa powder and whisk until smooth. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the eggs and sour cream to blend. Add the stout-butter mixture and beat just to combine. Mix in the dry ingredients on low speed just until incorporated. Divide the batter evenly between the cupcake liners, filling them about 2/3 to ¾ full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 17 minutes. Allow to cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the ganache filling, place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream in a small saucepan until simmering, then pour it over the chocolate. Let sit for one minute and then whisk until smooth. If the chocolate is not completely melted, place the bowl over a double boiler or give it a very short burst in the microwave (15-20 seconds). Add the butter and Bailey’s and stir until combined.

Set aside to let the ganache cool until it is thick enough to be piped. (You can use the refrigerator to speed the cooling process, but be sure to stir every 10 minutes or so to ensure even cooling.) Meanwhile, cut out a portion from the center of the cupcake using the cone method (a small paring knife works best for this). Once the ganache has reached the correct consistency, transfer it to a piping bag fitted with a wide tip and pipe it into the cupcakes.

To make the frosting, place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Gradually add the powdered sugar until it is all incorporated. Mix in the Bailey’s until smooth. Add more if necessary until the frosting has reached a good consistency for piping or spreading. Frost the cupcakes as desired.

Source: adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Monday, February 15, 2010

By Special Request...Tiramisu!


2-3 cups strong plunger espresso coffee, cooled to room temp

3 tablespoons Tia Maria (or another liqueur, but the coffee flavour is really enhanced)

2 eggs, separated

1/4 cup caster sugar

250 g mascarpone cheese

1 cup cream (anything that will hold the peaks heavy whipping cream works fine as will anything 36% milkfat or hi)

250 g ladyfingers (savoiardi)

cocoa powder, for dusting


Put the egg yolks and sugar in a large bowl.

Beat with electric mixers until the mixture goes pale and thick.

Add mascarpone and beat until combined.

It does not matter if it is marbled slightly.

Whip the cream until stiff peaks hold, and fold gently into the egg mixture.

I use a spatula, but you could use a metal spoon.

Do not beat!

Beat the egg whites to soft peaks in a perfectly clean metal bowl.

If there is any grease, they won't whip properly.

Make sure you rinse and dry your beaters well.

Fold the whites into the cream.

It is very important to retain as much air as possible.

For serving you can use a big dish or individual glasses.

If using a big dish: Put the coffee and liquer in a bowl.

Dip biscuits in coffee one at a time.

Drain well.

Layer in your dish, covering the whole bottom.

Place half of the mascarpone mix on top and spread out.

Repeat with remaining biscuits and mascarpone, finishing with a creamy layer.

Smooth surface.

Dust with cocoa.

Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, but it works quite well if you leave for up to 24 hours.

If using glasses: Break the biscuits up into pieces that will fit your glasses and do the same soaking and layering as before.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Irish Soda Bread

5 cups sifted all-purpose unbleached flour

3/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 pound (1 stick) butter

2 1/2 cups mixed light and dark raisins, soaked in water for 15 to 20 minutes and drained

2 1/2 cups buttermilk

1 large egg, slightly beaten

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter 2 (9 by 5-inch) bread pans.

Stir together the sifted flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Cut in the butter and mix very thoroughly with your hands until it gets grainy. Stir in raisins. Add the buttermilk and egg to the flour mixture. Stir until well moistened. Shape dough into 2 loaves and place in the pans. Bake for 1 hour. Test with a toothpick for doneness. Cool in the pans for 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Has an Irish ring to it right? You never would have guessed by my last name that I have Irish blood running through these veins. Well, I sure do and we do St. Patty's Day right in this house! I have posted just a few of my "Irish" dishes but there will be plenty more to come. Drinks, appetizers, desserts, you name it! Consider this your official "GREEN" site for your Irish traditions, food and fun. Yes, I do count down to this lucky day and my husband thinks I'm kind of silly with how over board I go. But you know what....he picked me, and I really think he does like how festive I am :) So until my next post and next quote, here you go,

May you always have work for your hands to do.
May your pockets hold always a coin or two.
May the sun shine bright on your windowpane.
May the rainbow be certain to follow each rain.
May the hand of a friend always be near you.
And may God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.

Irish Grilled Cheese!

Dear Rachel Ray,

    Thank you so much for this amazing recipe. As soon as I came across it in my "Everyday" magazine, I knew what I would be serving this St. Patrcik's Day along with our traditional recipes. I know this will be a huge hit with my family and I hope my fellow bloggers too!

With many thanks,

Mash 4 tablespoons softened butter with 2 tablespoons each chopped parsley, scallions and chives. Spread the mixture on 4 slices white bread; top each with sliced Irish cheddar cheese and bread-and-butter pickles. Cover with 4 more bread slices. Spread plain butter on the outside of the sandwiches and fry in a skillet until golden on both sides. Spread the remaining herb butter on the warm sandwiches. Slice into quarters, then press the cut sides in more chopped herbs.


Here's is my favorite Irish dish. A meal in itself and very much comfort food. It strays from your normal mashed potatoes but when you try it, you'll love it!
5 russet potatoes

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1/4 cup whole milk

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

4 large shallots, thinly sliced

1 large leek-halved and thinly sliced

1 bunch kale, stemmed and coarsely chopped

1 head cabbage, cored and coarsely chopped

1/4 teaspoons salt

2/3 cups chopped green onion tops

Cut and steam the potatoes until tender. Return to the still hot pot and add 1/4 cup butter, milk, kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoons pepper. Mash together. Melt the remaining butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add shallots and leeks. Saute until they begin to soften. Add the kale and toss until soft and wilted but still bright green, about 3 minutes. Add the cabbage and toss until tender-crisp, about 8 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and the remaining pepper. Mix the cabbage and mashed potatoes together well. Sprinkle with the green onion slices before serving.

Guinness and Onion Soup

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

5 cloves minced garlic

8 cups thinly sliced onions

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped

1/4 cup sherry vinegar

1 1/2 cups dark beer (recommended: Guinness)

6 cups beef stock

6 slices country bread cut 1/2-inch thick, toasted

1/2 pound Irish Cheddar, sliced thin

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add garlic and cook briefly to release aroma. Add onions, season with salt and cook for about 5 minutes stirring often. Reduce heat to low and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until the onions are golden brown. Add the thyme, vinegar, and beer. Reduce beer by half and add the beef stock. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 more minutes.

Preheat the broiler. Transfer soup to an ovenproof serving dish or individual ovenproof soup bowls. Top with toasted bread slices and sliced Cheddar. Broil until cheese melts and starts to brown slightly. Serve piping hot.

Banana Bread

I had a craving for this last night but I think I will add a twist to it. I'm going to fold in some milk chocolate chips to the batter before baking. This is a great recipe on it's own but I just wanted chocolate for some reason. Should have made it last night instead of the bowl of Frosted Flakes I opted for :)

3 ripe bananas mashed

1 stick of butter

2 cups of flour

1 ¾ cup of sugar

2 large eggs

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

1tsp. vanilla

1 Tbsp milk

Mash bananas with fork in separate bowl. In mixer cream sugar and butter. In a seperate bowl combine all dry ingredients. Add bananas and milk to dry mixture slowly. Pour into loaf pan and sprinkle with sugar on top. Bake at 350 for 1 hour to 70 min.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Cilantro Lime Rice

1 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 cup long grain white rice
2 cups of reduced sodium chicken broth
1/4 tsp. salt
grated lime and juice of 1 med. sized lime
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

Heat oil in a sauce pan over med. heat. Add rice stirring to coat. Then add broth and salt, increase heat to a boil and stir once. Reduce heat to med. low, cover and cook 20 min. Remove from heat and let stand for 10 min. Fluff rice with a fork and stir in lime rinde, juice and cilantro.

My Grandma's Pound Cake

1/2 lb. butter
1 1/4 cups sugar
5 eggs
2 cups of sifted flour, measure before sifting :)
1/8 tsp. mace

Cream butter and sugar until creamy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour gradually and continue to mix well. Add mace and beat well. Grease and flour a bundt pan and bake at 325 for 1hr.-1 hr. 15min. or until tooth pick comes clean.

Broccoli Vinaigrette

1 bunch fresh broccoli
1 small onion, sliced
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. hot sauce
2 Tbsp. dried tarragon
1/4 tsp. ground ginger

Cut broccoli into spears or florets if you prefer. Cook in 1" of water, covered, for 10 min. Drain and place in a shallow glass dish. Cover with the sliced onion. In a small bowl combine lemon juice, vinegar, olive oil, salt, hot sauce, tarragon and ginger. Whisk and pour over the broccoli and onions. Cover and chill for 2-3 hours. Drain just before serving.

Pumpkin Bread

1 1/2 cup and 2 tbsp flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 cup white sugar (+ additional sugar for topping)
1/3 cup water
2 eggs

Grease loaf pan and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together dry ingredients. Add pumpkin, water, oil,& eggs. Beat until well combined, and pour into pan. Sprinkle additional sugar on top of batter. Bake for at least 1 hour, until done in center.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Strawberry Pie

Just in time for Valentine's Day. Here's a strawberry pie for your sweetie pie :)

1 quart of fresh strawberries, sliced
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 Tbsp. corn starch
1 cup water
1 (3 oz. ) pkg. strawberry Jello
3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 baked 9" pastry shell

In a sauce pan combine sugar & cornstarch, stir in water until smooth. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 min. remove from heat and add Jello and lemon juice. Stir until dissolves. Allow to cool to room temp., about 30 min. Add berries and stir gently to coat. Spoon into pastry shell and chill for 3 hours. serve with whipped topping.

Dill Dip

1 cup mayo
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp. grated onion
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. dill

Mix all ingredients togther and serve with cut veggies or as a sandwich spread.

Old-Fashioned Applesauce Raisin Cookies

3/4  cup shortening
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup applesauce
1 egg
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp.  ground cloves
1/2 cup chopped raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 375. Mix together shortening, brown sugar, applesauce, and egg until smooth. In a seperate bowl combine flour, baking soda, salt cinnamon, and cloves. Stir into applesauce mixture. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Top with walnuts and raisins. bake 10-12 min and cool for 5.
Makes 2 dozen cookies.

Shrimp Scampi, from Nane

3 Tbsp. olive oil
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
6 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
3/4 lb. large shrimp, peeled, shelled and deveined
1/3 cup dry white wine
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
3 Tbsp. flat leaf pasrley, chopped
3/4 lb. angel hair pasta

Heat 2 Tbsp. of the oil and 2 Tbsp. of the butter in a large skillet over med. high heat. Add garlic and cook 1 min. Add shrimp and cook for 1 min. each side. Stir in wine, lemon juice, salt and pepper, cook for 2 min. Stir in parsley and remove from heat. While the shrimp is cooking prepare the pasta according to pkg. directions. Reserve 1/2 cup of cooking liquid, then drain. Add pasta to shrimp skillet and toss to coat. Stir in cooking liquid and remaining oil & butter. Stir until butter has melted and serve.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Curried Salmon Pasta Salad

1 cup of dry pasta, shells or elbow
8 oz. cooked, skinned salmon or 7.5 ounce can of red salmon: cut into chucks
1/2 cup red onion, minced
1 cup celery, diced
1 medium red apple, diced
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

3/4 or 6 oz. carton of fat free yogurt
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tsp. fresh lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 Tsp. dijon mustard
1/2 Tsp. salt
Black pepper to taste.

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse in cold water. In a large bowl combine pasta, salmon, onion, celery, apple and walnuts. In a small bowl combine all dressing ingredients. Pour dressing over salad, toss, and serve. Also can be served chilled.

Dijon and Thyme Eye Round Roast

This is a nice roast for company. You can be with your guests while the roast is in the oven and filling the house with a wonderful aroma. The roast is so simple and quick to impress.

2 1/2 lb. eye round roast
3 Tbsp, dijon mustard
1 package of fresh thyme, just leaves
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. black pepper

Preheat oven to 325.Remove thyme leaves from stems by holding the top of a sprig and stripping the leaves downward. Rub dijon, salt and pepper over entire roast. Sprinkle thyme leaves over the top and sides. Place in oven for 20 min. per pound of roast. It usually takes 45 min. for medium rare.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Dan's Favorite Meatloaf

Here it is. Dan's favorite, Ami & Brian's fave, Mo's get the picture. I know meatloaf does not come across as a saught after meal but in our house it's the way to my man's heart. This is his birthday dinner, Father's Day meal and yes sometime's even for Valentine's Day. I know most of you will want to over look this recipe and I'm asking if you would, "Give Meatloaf a Chance!" (Should be a song!) My neighbor back in Tucson who dislikes meatloaf has given a glowing review of my recipe. You never know unless you try it :)

Dan’s Favorite Meatloaf!

2 lbs. of lean ground beef

1 package of onion soup mix

1 egg

3 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce

¼ cup or so of ketchup

¼ cup of bbq sauce

About ¾ cup of Italian bread crumbs

2 tsp. onion powder

2 tsp. garlic salt

Black pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients well and place in a lightly sprayed 13x9.

Cook at 350 for 1 hour

Ravioli with Baby Portabellos

Oh my goodness, this was so rich, creamy, savory, decadent, and yes I could go on. Just about everytime there is an option to order ravioli from a menu I do. It has been a favorite food of mine since I was a child. My dad would tease me each time we were going to have it and say, "We're having snakes, snails and puppy dog tails for dinner!" I know that sounds graphically disgusting but I knew that it was ravioli night! While I do like a good red sauce, my first choice will always be a cream base sauce. I decided to incorporate some of my favorite flavors in this sauce, which I have to say was not so figure friendly :) I splurged and every bite was worth it! Treat yourself soon with this yummy goodness!

2 pks. of Buitoni Four Cheese Ravioli
1 (8 oz.) container of sliced baby portabellos
2 cups of heavy cream
2 shallots, thinly sliced
1 stick of salted butter
1 pkg. of fresh sage, use roughly 6 leaves depending on size and reserve some for garnish
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. black pepper

Cook pasta according to package directions. In a seperate deep skillet melt butter and then add shallots and mushrooms. Saute for 10 min. Add heavy cream, sage, salt and pepper and cook for an additional 10-15 min. or until sauce slightly thickens. Drain the pasta and add to the sauce pan. Toss and garnish with a sprig of sage.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Saints and Colts Potato Skins

TV Food Network Magazine designed a potato topper for each NFL team. Each recipe uses key ingredients, flavors from that teams region. You can find your home team potato skin on their site : I've added the recipes for this year's Super Bowl Teams and think they will make a great addition to your party.

How to Make Classic Potato Skins:
Pierce 4 large russet potatoes with a fork. Bake directly on the oven rack at 350 degrees until tender, about 1 hour. Let cool, then quarter lengthwise and scoop out the flesh, leaving a 1/4-inch shell. Brush both sides with melted butter and season with salt and pepper. Bake, skin-side up, at 450 degrees until crisp, about 15 minutes. Add your favorite team toppings. (For cheesy skins, flip the baked shells over before topping, sprinkle with 1 cup grated cheddar cheese and bake an extra 5 minutes.)

Muffuletta Potato Skins (New Orleans Saints)

Toppings: Assorted sliced Italian deli meats, provolone, olive salad and sliced pepperoncini

Fried Pork Potato Skins ( Indianapolis Colts)

Toppings: Mayonnaise mixed with mustard and hot sauce, sliced fried pork cutlets, chopped tomato and diced red onion

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Hawkeye Wings

Here in Iowa college football is a way of life. Since we don't have an NFL team we truly back our Hawkeyes, and well there are a few other teams one could follow but we don't care too much about them ;) Dan and I were adopted into the Hawkeye Black & GOLD when we first arrived here in Iowa. We are lucky enough to have found such great friends right off the bat and even better yet, true football fans! There are bus trips to the games, parties, and just all around good times supporting our team. I've made these wings, which I now deem them, "Hawkeye Wings" for these get togethers and would like to share the recipe with you. So no matter what team you cheer for, these wings will be a great snack at any game.

2 lbs. chicken wings
1 jar of Archer Farms Ginger Orange Grilling Sauce, found at my favorite place: TARGET!
1 cup of orange juice, any brand
2 Tbsp. honey
2 Tbsp. of crushed red pepper
2 tsp. cayenne pepper
8-10 dashes of hot sauce
1 tsp. salt

Place the chicken and all above ingredients in a large bowl and let marinade in the frige for at least 1 hour. Set grill to low setting and grill approx. 45min. to 1 hr. turning frequently and basting often. You can always adjust the hot sauce and pepper to your heat level. Hope these will make it to your next party!

Lunch Box Tortellini

1 (9 oz.) package of fresh or frozen tortellini
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. fresh thyme, minced
1/2 tsp. sugar
1 1/4 cups of grape tomatoes, halved
1/3 cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped
3 oz. deli smoked turkey, torn ino bite size pieces
1/4 of red onion, sliced thin
2 oz. of fresh feta cheese, you could also use shaved parmesan if you prefer
Black pepper to taste

Cook tortellini according to pkg. directions, drain and rinse in cold water. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Whisk togther oil, lemon juice, thyme, sugar and pepper in a small bowl. Pour over pasta and toss well. Add tomatoes, olives, turkey, onion, cheese and additional black pepper. Serve chilled or at room temp.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

White Chocolate Pizza

I saw this yesterday morning on the Today Show and thought it would make an excellent Valentine's Day treat. I thought I would bake some with my kiddos since it's a very kid friendly recipe.

Buy refrigerated pizza dough from your baker or use canned pizza dough.
1 bag of white chocolate chips
1 bag of mini marshmallows
1 bag of shredded coconut

Spread store bought pizza dough into a "medium" sized pizza. Place on a pizza stone or cookie sheet. Spread chocolate chips over entire pizza leaving edges free for the crust. Then cover the chips with marshmallows followed by coconut. Bake at 400 degrees until the marshmallows slighty brown, a few minutes should do the trick. I would just keep my eye on it. I only saw the video demo and the chef did not say how long to bake. I plan on making this for both a Super Bowl dessert and a Valentine's Day treat as well.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Italian Wedding Soup

1/2 pound extra-lean ground turkey
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons dry bread crumbs
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
5 3/4 cups chicken broth, low sodium so you can adjust the salt level
2 cups thinly sliced escarole
1/2 cup uncooked orzo pasta, cooked seperately
1/3 cup finely chopped carrot
2 teaspoons of sea salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon black pepper

In medium bowl, combine meat, egg, bread crumbs, cheese, basil, oregano, onion powder; shape into 3/4 inch balls.

In large saucepan, heat broth to boiling; stir in escarole, chopped carrot, meatballs, salt and pepper. Return to boil, then reduce heat to medium. Cook at slow boil for 20-25 minutes, or until meat is cooked through. Add cooked pasta.Contine to cook for 10 min.Stir frequently to prevent sticking.