Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Baked Lemon Pasta

Baked Lemon Pasta

1 pound thin spaghetti
1/2 stick butter
2 T olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
juice of 1 lemon
zest of 1 lemon
2 cups sour cream
1/2 tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste
plenty of grated Parmesan chdese
flat leaf parsley, chopped
extra lemon juice

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cook spaghetti according to package directions until al dente.

In a skillet, melt butter with olive oil over LOW HEAT. When butter is melted, add minced garlic. Squeeze lemon juice into the pan. Turn off heat.

Add sour cream and stir mixture together. Add lemon zest and salt. Taste, then add more salt if necessary. Pour mixture over drained spaghetti and stir together, then pour spaghetti into oven safe dish.

Bake, covered, for 15 minutes. Then remove foil and bake an additional 7-10 minutes. When you remove it from the oven, squeeze a little more lemon juice over the top. Top generously with Parmesan cheese, then chopped parsley. Give it a final squeeze of lemon juice at the end.

Served with French bread and a simple green salad.

This was a perfect summer dinner--light, refreshing, and easy. Thanks for another great recipe Pioneer Woman!

(Serves 4-6.)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Strawberry Pancake Roll Ups

Strawberry Pancake Roll Ups

1 1/2 quarts fresh strawberries, rinsed and hulled
6 T sugar
2 T lemon juice
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 cup milk
Thinly slice 2 cups strawberries. In a blender or food processer, whirl remaining 1 quart strawberries until smooth. Press through a fine strainer into a bowl, extracting as much liquid as possible with the back of a spoon or a spatula; discard residue. *I skipped ALL of that nonsense and moved onto the next step.* Whisk 1/4 cup sugar and the lemon juice into strawberry puree.

In the blender or food processor, whirl cream cheese and 1/2 cup of the strawberry puree until blended and smooth.
In a bowl, mix flour, baking soda, salt, and remaining 2 T sugar. In another bowl, whisk eggs, buttermilk, and milk just to blend. Whisk milk mixture into flour mixture just until evenly moistened.

Place a nonstick griddle or a 12-inch nonstick frying pan over medium heat (350 degrees); when hot, coat lightly with oil and adjust heat to maintain temperature. Spoon batter in 1/2 cup portions onto griddle and cook until pancakes are browned on the bottom and edges begin to look dry, about 2 minutes; turn with a wide spatula and brown other side, 1 1/2-2 minutes longer. As pancakes are cooked, transfer to baking sheets and keep warm in a 200 degree oven. Coat pan with more oil as necessary to pan to cook remaining pancakes.

Spread each pancake with about 2 T cream cheese mixture and roll up. Set two roll-ups on each plate, top evenly with sliced strawberries, and drizzle with a little strawberry puree; serve with remaining puree.

(4 servings)
(Sunset Magazine, May 2002)

These were fantastic...especially fond of them returning home from the crepes we had in France. Not exactly the same, but wonderful in their own right.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Beef and Asparagus Roll Ups

Beef and Asparagus Roll Ups

1 lb. asparagus
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 pound mixed mushrooms, stemmed
salt and pepper
1 1/2 pound piece center-cut beef (I used flank steak)
6 ounces brie or goat cheese
1/2 T fresh thyme leaves
In large saucepan, add enough salted water to reach a dept of 2 inches; bring to a boil. Add the asparagus and cook until crisp tender, about 3 minutes. Drain and rise with cold water, then pat dry with paper towels.

In nonstick medium skillet, heate 1 T olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook; stirring, until golden, about 2 minutes. Add mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring until tender, about 5 minutes. Cover to keep warm.

Preheat a gril or grill pan to medium-high. Cut beef crosswise into 4 equal portions and pound to 1/3 inch thick. Season with salt and pepper, then spread a quarter of the cheese in the center of each portion, leaving a 3/4 inch border. Divide the thyme and asparagus equally among each portion. Drizzle each with a teaspoon of oilve oil, roll up the meat around the asparagus and secure with toothpicks. Pour the remaining olive oil on a plate and season with salt and pepper. Turn each beef roll in the oil to coat and grill until the cheese is melted, about 10 minutes (for medium rare).

To serve, divide the mushrooms among 4 plates and top with roll up.

(Serves 4.)
(From Every Day with Rachael Ray May 2008)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Spinach Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms and Glazed Butternut Squash

Spinach Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

4 large portobello mushrooms (about 1 lb.), cleaned
1/4 cup Italian dressing, divided
1/4 chopped red pepper (I used orange)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 bags (10 oz. each) fresh spinach
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Twist or cut off stems from mushrooms. Chop stems; set aside. Use a spoon or sharp knife to scrape out the gills from the mushroom caps; discard gils. Brush
1T of the dressing onto rounded sides of mushroom caps; place, rounded sides down, in foil-lined 15x10x1 inch baking pan. (The biggest 13x9 you have!)

Heat remaining 3T dressing in Dutch oven on medium-high heat. Add mushroom stems, red pepper, and garlic; cook and stir 2 minutes. Add spinach. Redumce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer 4 minutes, or until spinach is wilted, stirring after 2 minutes. Spoon evenly over mushroom caps; sprinkle with cheese.
Bake 18-20 minutes or until mushrooms are tender. Turn the oven to broil, then broil 2-3 minutes, or until cheese is golden brown.
Serves 4.
(from Greta, via

Glazed Butternut Squash

3 pounds butternut squash, peeled (can substitute 3 lb. sweet potatoes)
1/2 cup apple cider (can substitute apple juice)
1/4 cup water
2 T butter
1T sugar
1 t. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 cup toasted pecans (I used walnuts)
1 T chopped fresh or 1 tsp. dried sage

Cut squash in half lengthwise; remove and discard seeds. Cut each half into 4 wedges; cut wedges into 2-inch pieces.
Stir together squash, 1/2 cup apple cider, and next 5 ingredients in a 12-inch deep-sided nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer, gently, stirring occasionally, 25 minutes. Uncover and cook 5 minutes or until liquid thickens and squash is tender. Gently stir in pecans and sage until well combined.
Serves 4.
(Southern Living, October 2006)

Monday, May 11, 2009

Filet Mignon, Grilled Vegetables, and 3 Bean Edamame Salad

Grilled Vegetables
Tonight we tried something new--fingerling potatoes. I washed them, sliced them in half lengthwise, and tossed them in olive oil, salt, and pepper. They were great...and they didn't take long to grill--about as long as the summer squash and zucchini did.

3 Bean Edamame Salad

1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 cups frozen shelled edamame
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can blackeyed peas, drained and rinsed
NOT 1/2 cup chopped red onion
2 cups thinly sliced celery (I skipped this one too)
zest & juice from 1 lime
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 cloves finely chopped garlic
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
Heat oil in skillet until hot but not smoking; add cumin and cook, stirring, for about 30 seconds. Pour into large heatproof bowl. Add all remaining ingredients and stir well. Refrigerate until ready to serve. (In my opinion, it tastes better the longer you wait before serving, even overnight.)

My friend Rachael posted this recipe and I tried it the day I read it. It was refreshing and we loved it (even without the onion and celery). My picky father-in-law tried it (I was impressed) and Riley served himself seconds!

Thanks for sharing Rachael!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Mexican Pizza

Mexican Pizza

1 box corn muffin mix (I used Jiffy)
1/4 cup flour
2 T chili powder
1 egg
3 T milk
1 can refried beans
1 can chili without beans
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese
Optional toppings: sliced olives, NOT chopped onion and/or peppers, corn, salsa, chopped cilantro

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish. In bowl, stir together muffin mix, flour, and chili powder. Beat in the egg and milk. Pat into prepared pan with floured hands. *(This was much more of a difficult mess than I expected. Yuck. I used more flour than I thought I don't put it back!)*

Spread the refried beans, then the chili, over the crust. Sprinkle with cheese. Add optional toppings if desired. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until cheese is melted and crust is firm. Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes before cutting into squares.

Makes 12 servings.
(Austin American Statesman via The Miami Herald)

I garnished with avocado slices and chopped tomato. I wanted them to be cold on top, so I added them after baking.

Russ really liked this, though he expected more of a "crust." It was more casserole-ish. Riley gobbled it up (yeah, me!) and I could eat Mexican food every day...and Jiffy corn muffin mix--isn't everything with it fantastic? A hit.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Chicken with Goat Cheese

Chicken with Goat Cheese

4 (4 0z) thinly cut chicken breast fillets
1 T melted butter
2 T olive oil, divided
1 cup crushed herb-seasoned croutons
1 cup coag cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup half and half
NOT 2 T minced chives

Pound chicken breasts to even 1/2-inch thickness. Combine butter and 1 T oil in shallow bowl. Put crushed croutons in pie plate. Dip chicken breasts in butter mixture, then croutons, shaking off excess.

Heat remaining 1 T oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add coated chicken. Cook until brown, about 3 minutes per side. Reduce heat to low. Cook 1-2 additional minutes per side until chicken is tender and no longer pink (170 degrees).

Combine goat cheese, half and half, and NOT chives with electric mixer at medium speed (start out slow so you don't splash it all over the kitchen!). Place each chicken piece on serving plate; top with a tablespoon (or three) of the goat cheese mixture.

Serves 4.

I rinse it, snap it where it breaks, and put into a rectangular baking dish (smaller than a 9x13); cover bottom of pan with water and microwave for about 10 minutes (or to desired doneness). Sprinkle with a little salt and it's delicious.

(Here's the kid version!)