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Fancy Tuna Casserole

serves 12

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz organic spinach penne pasta, cooked to al dente
  • spritz of canola cooking spray
  • 2/3 c red peppers, diced
  • 2, 6 oz cans of chunk white tuna in water, drained
  • 3 c marinara
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 t oregano
  • 1/4 t basil
  • kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 2 cups fresh grated provolone staggianato cheese
  • 2 cups panko bread crumbs
  • 3 T unsalted butter, melted

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425.
  2. Spritz a large sauce pan with canola spray. Cook red peppers over medium heat for 5 minutes.
  3. Add tuna and marinara, stir well. Heat on medium high until it starts to bubble.
  4. Turn heat to low, add cream cheese and parmesan cheese. Stir until cheese is completely melted.
  5. Add oregano, basil, salt, and pepper. Mix well.
  6. Add cooked pasta and fold into sauce.
  7. Spread pasta in a 9×13 baking dish. Top with provolone cheese.
  8. In a medium bowl, thoroughly mix butter and panko bread crumbs.
  9. Spread panko bread crumbs over cheese.
  10. Bake 25-35 minutes, or until bread crumbs are golden.

Fake and Bake Potatoes

serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 large, unpeeled russet potatoes, cleaned and cut in 1 1/2″ cubes
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 3 T melted butter
  • 1 t kosher salt
  • 1/4 t fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/4 t dill
  • 1/4 c cooked bacon, chopped (optional)
  • 1 cup fresh grated sharp cheddar cheese (optional)
  • sour cream (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Put potatoes in an 8×8 baking dish.
  3. Pour butter, onions, salt, pepper, dill, and bacon over potatoes and toss.
  4. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
  5. Top with cheese and sour cream.

Quinoa with Red Pepper and Cilantro

serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 2 c quinoa
  • 4 c water
  • ¾ c red pepper, seeded and diced
  • ½ c cilantro, roughly chopped
  • ½ T kosher salt
  • ¼ t fresh ground pepper

Instructions:

  1. Toast quinoa in dry pan over medium heat for 5 minutes.
  2. Add water and bring to a rolling boil, stirring occasionally.
  3. Mix in peppers, cilantro, salt, and pepper.
  4. Turn heat to low. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. Turn heat off, let stand for 3-5 minutes. Fluff with fork and serve.

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies with Hazelnuts

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup, 2T all purpose, unbleached naturally white flour
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1/2 c light brown sugar
  • 6T natural unsweetened cocoa
  • 4T canola oil
  • 3T confectioners sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 t kosher salt
  • 1 c semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 c chopped hazelnuts

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and baking soda and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl beat butter and sugars at medium speed until creamed.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk cocoa, oil, and confectioner sugar until smooth.
  5. Add egg,  salt, and chocolate to the sugar and mix thoroughly on low speed.
  6. Add 1/3 of the flour mix. Using a wooden spoon or silicon spoonula, mix until well blended. Continue until flour mix is gone.
  7. Fold in chocolate chips and nuts, being careful not to overwork the dough.
  8. Drop dough in 1 1/2″ balls on a dark baking sheet about two inches apart. Use two spoons to make each cookie uniform and do not overcrowd the pan. Extra dough can be refrigerated or frozen. 
  9. Bake at 375 for 8 minutes. Let stand on pan for 1 minute before moving to a cooling rack.

Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies with Pecans and a Mocha Drizzle

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup, 2T all purpose, unbleached naturally white flour
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1/2 c light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 t kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 t pure vanilla
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chunks
  • 3/4 coarsly chopped pecans
  • 6T natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 T butter, softened
  • 3/4 c brewed coffee, cooled
  • confectioners sugar to taste

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and baking soda and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl beat butter and sugars at medium speed until creamed.
  4. Add egg,  salt, and vanilla to the sugar and mix thoroughly on low speed.
  5. Add 1/3 of the flour mix. Using a wooden spoon or silicon spoonula, mix until well blended. Continue until flour mix is gone.
  6. Fold in chocolate and nuts, being careful not to overwork the dough.
  7. Drop dough in 1 1/2″ balls on a dark baking sheet about two inches apart. Use two spoons to make each cookie uniform and do not overcrowd the pan. Extra dough can be refrigerated or frozen. 
  8. Bake at 375 for 8 minutes. Let stand on pan for 1 minute before moving to a cooling rack.
  9. While cookies are cooling, whisk cocoa and butter together until well blended.
  10. Whisk in coffee, add confectioners sugar to preferred sweetness.
  11. Pipe mocha drizzle over cooled cookies.

Red Beans and Rice

Ingredients:

  • 3 c low sodium, free range chicken stock (or homemade if you have it)
  • 1 pork sausage link (we use Chappel Hill)
  • 1# small red beans, soaked and drained
  • 1 c fresh minced onion
  • 3 stalks celery heart with leaves, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 large tomatoes, diced
  • 1 chipotle pepper in mole sauce, minced
  • 1 T worchestershire sauce
  • a few drops of Louisiana hot sauce
  • 1/2 t red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 t chili powder
  • 1/2 t paprika
  • kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in crock pot, stir until mixed well.
  2. Cook on low for 10 hours. Mash some of the beans with a fork to thicken.
  3. Serve over cooked brown rice.

Chicken Pizza

makes two pizzas

Ingredients:

  • 2 premade thin pizza crusts
  • 2 T olive oil
  • oregano
  • basil
  • 8 T marinara sauce 
  • 1 c feta cheese
  • 2 c fresh grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 c cooked chicken breast, 1/2″ cubed or thin sliced
  • chopped, fresh cooked bacon
  • kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven according to instructions on crust package.
  2. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush crusts with olive oil.
  3. Sprinkle basil and oregano on crust.
  4. For a crispy crust, prebake crust for 5 minutes, otherwise skip to step 5.
  5. Spoon 4T of marinara over each crust and use the back of the spoon to spread. Don’t spread over edge of crust.
  6. Spread feta and 1/2 of parmesan cheese over both crusts.
  7. Spread chicken and bacon over both crusts.
  8. Sprinkle remaining parmesan over both crusts and lightly season with salt and pepper.
  9. Bake until parmesan cheese melts.

Citrus Balsamic Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 c good quality aged balsamic vinegar
  • 3 T fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 1/2 c extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 T kosher salt
  • 1/2 t fresh ground black pepper

Instructions:

  1. Pour ingredients into a cruet and shake vigorously.

OR

  1. Whisk olive oil and salt together until well blended.
  2. Slowly add vinegar, then orange juice.
  3. Whisk pepper in.

Fancy Garlic Bread

Ingredients:

  • 1 loaf fresh french bread, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 4 T garlic powder
  • 4T melted butter
  • oregano
  • freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • paprika

Instructions:

  1. Wisk butter and garlic powder together until garlic powder is dissolved.
  2. Using a pastry brush, evenly spread garlic butter over bread.
  3. Lightly sprinkle oregano over bread.
  4. Lightly sprinkle grated parmesan over bread.
  5. Put under broiler until cheese melts.
  6. Dust bread with paprika.

Crock Pot Pork Loin

approximately 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 lb pork loin
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced in 4 slices each
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • rosemary
  • thyme
  • dried mustard
  • salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 1 c cabernet sauvignon
  • 1/2 c free range, low sodium chicken broth
  • 1.5 apples, quartered and cored
  • 2 stalks celery with leaves, quartered
  • 1 small yellow onion, cut in large pieces
  • 1/2 lb baby carrots

Instructions:

  1. Clean silverskin from pork loin.
  2. Using a paring knife make 8, 1/2″ deep slits on the top of the pork loin.
  3. Insert sliced garlic into slits, then pinch slits closed at top.
  4. Sprinkle rosemary, thyme, dried mustard, salt, and fresh ground pepper generously on both sides of the pork.
  5. Pour wine and chicken stock into crock pot.
  6. Put seasoned pork in crock pot.
  7. Place remaining fruit and vegetables  in crock pot both on top of the pork and in the wine/stock mixture.
  8. Lightly sprinkle more rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper (no dried mustard) on top of the meat and vegetables.
  9. Set crock pot to high for 8 hours.
  10. To serve, remove meat and place on platter. Discard celery and apples. Remove carrots and place on platter with meat. Slice meat and ladel cooking juices over meat and carrots or serve juices on the side.

About the Cook



I'm a busy wife and mom who knows the value of a meal that can be prepared quickly. I prefer to cook with whole foods and you will almost never find a prepared food in my recipes or my pantry.

This blog started as a way to recall recipes that I've created and now I am excited to share them with you! Bon Apetit!
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