Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Stuffed Pizza Rolls

That's what's for dinner at our house tonight. I've made these once before, and we LOVED them, so it's time for round two.  I got it off of my friends cooking blog, Two Peas and  Pot. I've gotten a few other recipes off that blog, they have some good stuff on there.

Pizza Dough
1 1/2 c. warm water
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. yeast
1/2 tsp. salt
3-4 1/2 c. flour

In a large bowl (the bowl of your mixer, if you have one), combine water, sugar, and yeast. Let stand for 10 minutes or until yeast is bubbly.

Add salt and stir. Add 1 1/2 c. flour and mix well. Gradually add more flour (usually between 3-4 cups, depending on your elevation and your humidity) until dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl and it barely sticks to your finger.

Spray a glass or metal bowl with cooking spray and place dough in the bowl. Cover and allow to rise for 45 minutes or until doubled in bulk.

Remove from bowl and place on a lightly-floured surface. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Roll into a rectangle and cut into 2x2 inch squares with a pizza cutter

Fill each square with whatever pizza toppings you want. I use peperoni and whatever cheese I have on hand, but mozzarella is pretty good.

DON'T put the marinara sauce inside, that will be for dipping after they're baked!

Pull the corners of each pizza dough square into the center, pinch and place into a
greased pie pan seam side down.

Once the pan is full, brush the tops with olive oil or butter and sprinkle with garlic seasoning
Garlic Seasoning

1/4 c. powdered Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1 Tbsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. marjoram
1 tsp. parsley

Bake for 10-15 minutes at 425 degrees or until the tops of the rolls start to turn a golden brown.
Dip in marinara sauce and ENJOY!

Chicken Mole Tacos

Not your mama's tacos. Unless your mama is mexican, I suppose.
Anyway, this is more of an idea than a recipe. It's the most authentic mexican taste I can get in Sweden, even though you can get americanized versions of mexican stuff at the grocery store. Mole tacos taste quite a bit different from a ground beef with packet seasoning and hard shells variety. It's not the same at all.

Do this:
Buy a bottle of Dona Maria Mole Sauce (I think most big american grocery stores have this). Mix about a quarter(ish) cup of the mole sauce with 1 cup chicken broth. Freeze the rest of the sauce divided into similar size portions for later use. Put the chicken and mole sauce and some chopped onions, if you like, in a slow cooker for a few hours. When you are ready for it, it will be soooo tender that when you use a fork to shred it, there isn't much shredding involved - it just falls apart.

1 onion - you don't need the whole thing, but dice some up really small
tomatos - dice em up
avocados - make some guacamole
corn tortillas
favorite taco sauce (although the meat is so good and flavorful, you hardly need it - this from a girl who looooves her sauces)

We like to warm the tortillas up with a little cheese in a pan over the stove top. And I trust that you know what to do from here. The leftovers are great for nachos, burritos, etc.

But you can probably just go to a taco shop for dinner, can't you? I'm so jealous.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Pumpkin Bread

I've tried a lot of pumpkin bread recipes over the years and this one ranks up there as one of the best. It was easy, moist, and flavorful. The girl on the blog I got it from said it was an old family recipe--and you usually can't go wrong with those. A lot of the pumpkin breads I've tried have been too sweet and too cake like and this one was a little less so. The recipe says it makes one loaf, but I made two small loaves (for visiting teaching) and about a dozen or so muffins (I adjusted the cooking time to about 20 minutes for the muffins and 30 for the mini loaves).

Pumpkin Bread

1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 can (8oz) pumpkin
1 3/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/3 cup water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat together sugar and vegetable oil. Add eggs and pumpkin. Combine the remaining dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Add to pumpkin mixture, alternating with water (starting and ending with the dry ingredients). Pour into a well greased loaf pan. Bake for approximately one hour, or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Kate's Best Brownies

Kate's Best Brownies                                           (recipe from Darren Thatcher's wife)
1 small box of chocolate pudding
1 chocolate cake mix
1 pkg chocolate chips
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
Prepare pudding using 1 3/4 cups of milk.  Add dry cake mix.  Fold in chocolate chips & nuts.  Pour into greased & floured cake pan.  Bake @ 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.

Luscious Four-Layer Pumpkin Cake

Being on a major sweet and pumpkin kick at the same time has me craving so many things right now. Tell me this cake doesn't look D.E.L.I.C.I.O.U.S! I think I'm going to attempt to make it for Sunday dinner. John's parents are in town and I've got to impress, ya know? Even if they weren't, I'd still find reason of why I should make this huge cake for just John and I. I'm posting it before I try it, but I have a feeling it would get posted anyway, because I'm sure it's just that delicious.

Luscious Four-Layer Pumpkin Cake (thank you Kraft foods)

1 pkg. (2-layer size) yellow cake mix
1 can  (15 oz.) pumpkin, divided
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup  oil
4 eggs
1-1/2 tsp.  pumpkin pie spice, divided
1 pkg. (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
1 cup  powdered sugar
1 tub (8 oz.) COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, thawed
1/4 cup  caramel ice cream topping
1/4 cup chopped PLANTERS Pecans 

HEAT oven to 350°F.
BEAT cake mix, 1 cup pumpkin, milk, oil, eggs and 1 tsp. spice in large bowl with mixer until well blended. Pour into 2 greased and floured 9-inch round pans.
BAKE 28 to 30 min. or until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 min. Remove from pans to wire racks; cool completely.
BEAT cream cheese in medium bowl with mixer until creamy. Add sugar, remaining pumpkin and spice; mix well. Gently stir in COOL WHIP. Cut each cake layer horizontally in half with serrated knife; stack on serving plate, spreading cream cheese filling between layers. (Do not frost top layer.) Drizzle with caramel topping just before serving; top with nuts. Refrigerate leftovers
Kraft is even wise enough to include:

Kraft Kitchens Tips

Celebrate and enjoy a serving of this indulgent cake on a special occasion.
How to Slice and Stack Cake Layers:
Place 1 of the cooled cake layers on serving plate. Make 2-inch horizontal cut around side of cake, using long serrated knife. Cut all the way through cake layer to make 2 layers. Remove top layer by sliding it onto 9-inch round cardboard circle. Frost cake layer on plate with 1/3 of the COOL WHIP mixture. Slide top half of split cake layer from cardboard circle onto frosted layer on plate. Place the remaining unsplit cake layer on a cutting board. Cut into 2 layers as done for the first layer. Repeat process of transferring cake layers to stacked cake layers on plate using the cardboard circle.
Omit caramel sauce. Microwave 10 KRAFT Caramels and 1 Tbsp. milk in microwaveable bowl on HIGH 2 min. or until caramels begin to melt. Stir until caramels are completely melted. Drizzle over cake just before serving; top with nuts.

Savory Spiral Stuffed Rolls

I know you all think I'm a pessimist sometimes, and I guess I am. But I can't remember the last time I made something that totally lived up to my expectations. I browse food blogs, watch cooking shows on TV from time to time, pour over cookbooks, and find recipes that look so good that I can't wait to try them. I have a fairly long list of recipes that fall into this category (sometime next week I am going to attempt homemade french onion soup which I have always wanted to make but never tried). Anyway, the point I'm trying to make is that a couple weeks ago I found these rolls on this food blog: and have been anxiously waiting to try them. This is partly because the author's description makes them sound so irresistable. Don't get me wrong, they were still good (Brian really liked them, sans broccoli), but just not as good as I was expecting with the way she wrote about them. With my leftover pumpkin from the pumpkin cinnamon buns, I even made the pumpkin bars "Mel" has in her "Best" category. I'm not even going to post that recipe here because they were so disappointing. I am glad I made these though and I recommend them if you have all the ingredients here, a little bit of time, and want something slightly different for dinner. If you want it really healthy, you could probably use fat-free cream cheese, or they might even be good without the cream cheese at all.

Makes 12-16 rolls

1 recipe roll dough (that yields about 12 rolls), I used the recipe Mel recommended (the french bread roll recipe)
12 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened
2 cups chopped ham (leftover ham or deli ham works great here)
1 1/2 cups finely chopped broccoli (I only used broccoli on half the rolls b/c Brian hates it)
2 cups shredded cheese (Swiss, Cheddar..options are limitless)
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup finely chopped green onions
Follow the recipe for your roll dough until the dough has risen. Punch down the dough and roll the dough out into a large rectangle about 1/2-inch thick.
In a small bowl, cream together the butter and cream cheese. Spread the rolled out dough with the butter/cream cheese mixture. Top with the ham, broccoli, cheese, Parmesan cheese, and green onions (see the pictures below). Roll the dough up, pinching the seam to seal.
Slice the roll into about 1-inch segments. Place the rolls on a lightly greased baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Let the rolls rise until nearly doubled and then bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, until lightly browned and bubbly.
*Personally, I think the rolls tasted better cool rather than right from the oven. The cream cheese mixture was too gooey and almost made the rolls taste doughy, but after they cooled it didn't have that effect.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Curried corn and shrimp or chicken chowder

Curried Corn and Shrimp / Chicken Chowder
1 can corn or 4 ears of fresh corn
2 T olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
2 tsp. curry powder
1 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
1 can lite coconut milk (15-ounce)
1 quart chidken broth
2 large potatoes, peeled and diced
1 lg. large raw shrimp, remove shells and tails or substitute chicken torn into small pieces
salt and pepper to taste

Cut the kernels from the corn if fresh. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. Add onion and saute' until just starting to brown.
Add curry powder and paprika. Cook, stirring constantly, for another minute. Add coconut milk, chicken broth and potatoes. Bring to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender. Transfer mixture to a blender, and blend until mostly smooth. Return mixture to the pot over medium heat. When chowder returns to a simmer, add shrimp or chicken. Cook until the shrimp turns pink. Add corn kernels and cook until the chowder is just heated. Serve with salt, pepper and hot sauce...I'm not adding the hot sauce.

Mango Nut Quick Coffee Cake

1 Pillsbury Quick Orange Rolls (refrigerator kind)
1/4 c. dried mango or apricot
1/4 c. chopped pecans
1 T. butter
1 c. water

Cook fruit in a small saucepan with water until fruit is softened. Remove from heat. Drain off water. Cut the fruit into tiny pieces while still warm add the butter and with a fork mash into the fruit.
Unroll the 1/2 the sweet rolls half way onto a greased baking sheet. Next unroll the other half of the sweet rolls 1/2 way so that this roll touches the first unrolled dough. Slightly pinch the dough together. Add the fruit and nut mixture on top of the unrolled dough, spreading the mixture evenly over the dough.  Using the strips,  weave the dough making a criss cross pattern pinching the ends to to one another.  Cook according to the package, cover with foil and cook about 4 -5 minutes longer until it looks lightly browned.  Frost with the orange frosting provided.

I was creative on Sunday and came up with this recipe because I don't like mango in my dried fruit mix and picked out all the mango and being prudent, I couldn't throw them away!

Cake Cornbread

Mike doesn't like cornbread but I do and I know Rob does. This is an easy, super moist recipe. It's yummy for a side dish and good for breakfast too.

Cake Cornbread

1 (18.25-ounce) package yellow cake mix
1/3 cup
vegetable oil, if called for in mix
3 large eggs, if called for in mix
1 (15-ounce) package cornbread mix
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C). Grease a 13 x 9-inch baking pan; set aside.
  2. Prepare yellow cake mix according to the package directions. This may require the oil and eggs.
  3. In a separate bowl, prepare cornbread mix according to the package directions. Blend the two batters and pour into baking pan.
  4. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cut into squares to serve.
Makes 12 servings.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Croque Monsieur

For some reason, I've been really into the Barefoot Contessa lately. If you don't know who she is, I guess you don't watch the Food Network like I do. I found a couple of her cookbooks at the library a few weeks ago and have been hooked ever since. The woman is obsessed with Paris and has a recipe book devoted entirely to easy French food you can make at home. As soon as I saw this sandwich, I knew Brian would like it. He loves grilled cheese and this is a gourmet/French version of it--kind of like an inside out grilled cheese. I made these last night (but I cut the recipe in half and it was plenty for the both of us) and it was easy and delicious!

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups hot milk
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch nutmeg
12 ounces Gruyere, grated (5 cups)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
16 slices white sandwich bread, crusts removed (I used Pepperidge Farm sour dough)
Dijon mustard
8 ounces baked Virginia ham, sliced but not paper thin

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Melt the butter over low heat in a small saucepan and add the flour all at once, stirring with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes. Slowly pour the hot milk into the butter–flour mixture and cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce is thickened. Off the heat add the salt, pepper, nutmeg, 1/2 cup grated Gruyere, and the Parmesan and set aside.

To toast the bread, place the slices on 2 baking sheets and bake for 5 minutes. Turn each slice and bake for another 2 minutes, until toasted.

Lightly brush half the toasted breads with mustard, add a slice of ham to each, and sprinkle with half the remaining Gruyere. Top with another piece of toasted bread. Slather the tops with the cheese sauce, sprinkle with the remaining Gruyere, and bake the sandwiches for 5 minutes. Turn on the broiler and broil for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the topping is bubbly and lightly browned. Serve hot.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Pumpkin Cookies

1 can pure pumpkin (15 oz)
1 box spice cake mix
1 bag chocolate chips

Mix, bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes, eat, enjoy!
So easy, so tasty. Seriously, that's it!

Kaddo Bourani (Afghani Pumpkin with Yoghurt and Beef Sauce)

Sorry for posting a link of a recipe that I haven't made yet, but Amy's pumpkin recipe got my pumpkin energy flowing and I have to link to this before I forget it. This seems a lot like the dish we love from Panshir. I'll give it a proper post and review once I've tried it. But it looks really good. I think I'll make some spinach rice to serve it with, just like at Panshir.

For all you PUMPKIN lovers out there (two recipes)

Since it seems all of us (minus Brian) are craving pumpkin these days, here are a couple more recipes to satisfy your craving! I haven't made the pumpkin ravioli yet (I'll save that for a night Brian is at the hospital) but it looked so good I had to share it anyway! If anyone else tries it first, let us know! By the way, both of these recipes are from Cooking Light magazine, just in case anyone is trying to be healthy.
Also, as a follow-up to my butternut squash orzotto recipe, it was divine! I actually made it as a risotto instead of using orzo and I absolutely loved it! Lorena, not to knock the asparagus risotto, but I loved this one even more, so I think you and Rob would also like it a lot.
Pumpkin Streusel Buns
Andrea and I made these this weekend and they were delicious! I used cream cheese frosting instead of the suggested glaze, but I wish I would have just used the glaze because the cream cheese frosting made them almost too sweet!

Yield: 12 servings (serving size: 1 bun)

1 package dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
1/4 cup warm water (100° to 110°)
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1/2 cup Pumpkin Puree (canned pumpkin)
1/2 cup 1% low-fat milk
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Cooking spray
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces

3/4 cup sifted powdered sugar
1 tablespoon hot water
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

To prepare the buns, dissolve yeast in warm water in a large bowl; let stand for 5 minutes. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Add 2 cups flour, pumpkin, and next 5 ingredients (pumpkin through nutmeg); beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes); add enough of the remaining 3/4 cup flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel tacky).

Place the dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, for 45 minutes or until doubled in size. (Press two fingers into the dough. If an indentation remains, the dough has risen enough.)

Combine 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, brown sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal.
Punch dough down; cover and let rest for 5 minutes. Roll the dough into a 12 x 10-inch rectangle on a floured surface. Sprinkle with brown sugar mixture. Roll up the rectangle tightly, starting with a long edge, pressing firmly to eliminate air pockets; pinch seam and ends to seal. Cut roll into 12 (1-inch) slices. Place slices in a 9-inch square baking pan coated with cooking spray. Cover and let rise 25 minutes or until doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 375°.

Bake the rolls at 375° for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 15 minutes in pan on a wire rack.

To prepare the glaze, combine the powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon water, and vanilla extract in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Drizzle glaze over buns. Serve warm.

Pumpkin Ravioli

1 1/4 cups canned pumpkin
2 tablespoons dry breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons fresh grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh sage
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
30 round wonton wrappers
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Cooking spray
1 cup fat-free milk
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
3 tablespoons chopped hazelnuts, toasted (optional)

Spoon pumpkin onto several layers of heavy-duty paper towels, and spread to 1/2-inch thickness. Cover with additional paper towels; let stand 5 minutes. Scrape into a medium bowl using a rubber spatula. Stir in breadcrumbs, Parmesan, salt, minced sage, pepper, and nutmeg.
Working with 1 wonton wrapper at a time (cover remaining wrappers with a damp towel to keep from drying), spoon 2 teaspoons pumpkin mixture into the center of wrapper. Brush edges of wrapper with water and fold in half, pressing edges firmly with fingers to form a half-moon. Place on a large baking sheet sprinkled with cornstarch. Repeat procedure with remaining wonton wrappers and pumpkin mixture.

Fill a large Dutch oven with water; bring to a simmer. Add half of ravioli to pan (cover remaining ravioli with a damp towel to keep from drying). Cook 4 minutes or until done (do not boil), stirring gently. Remove ravioli with a slotted spoon; lightly coat with cooking spray, and keep warm. Repeat procedure with remaining ravioli. (*You can assemble the ravioli a day ahead, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate. The ravioli will float when they are perfectly cooked.)

Combine milk and flour in a saucepan, stirring with a whisk. Bring to a boil; cook for 1 minute or until thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add butter, stirring until butter melts. Gently stir in Gorgonzola.

Place 5 ravioli in each of 6 shallow bowls, and drizzle each serving with 3 tablespoons Gorgonzola mixture. Sprinkle each serving with 1 1/2 teaspoons hazelnuts. Serve immediately.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Pumpkin Cannelloni with Sage Brown-Butter Sauce

I don't know what it is, but everything pumpkin sounds good to me lately. I think it's due to my drought of Panshire that's making me crave pumpkin dishes. So, in an effort to satisfy my craving, I've been researching fresh pumpkin dishes. I tried this one out last night, and it was pretty good. Good enough I'm eating it again for lunch today.

Amy's notes: I don't know how you can tell if a pumpkin is ripe, but makes sure it's just that, ripe. I feel like the dish would have had more of a pumpkin favor had I had a ripe pumpkin, and not one that had some green skin that I found after peeling it. Have you ever peeled a pumpkin before? I hadn't. I haven't even cooked with an actual pumpkin before either. Also, I think it would be really good if you added some pure pumpkin (canned) to the pumpkin mixture, just to ensure you get a delectable pumpkin flavor in every bite.John's a good sport in letting me be adventurous with my cooking and letting me try new dishes, even ones without meat. Maybe some Italian sausage would be good mixed in?

  • 1 1/2 pound(s) pumpkin, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon(s) extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 3 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup(s) ricotta
  • 1/2 cup(s) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon(s) finely chopped fresh sage, plus 4 large whole leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) freshly ground pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1 package(s) (8-ounce) oven-ready lasagna sheets
  • 6 tablespoon(s) unsalted butter
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Place pumpkin, along with 3/4 cup water, in a large skillet over medium heat. Cover and steam until tender, 20 minutes. Remove to a medium bowl and mash until smooth.
  3. Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil in a small skillet and sauté garlic until golden. Transfer garlic to a mortar and pestle, then crush to a paste. Stir cheeses, chopped sage, salt, pepper, and garlic paste into mashed pumpkin. Set aside.
  4. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook lasagna sheets until tender, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate and drizzle with olive oil to prevent pasta from sticking together. Reserve 1/4 cup pasta water.
  5. Liberally brush a medium baking dish with oil. Place a lasagna sheet on a clean work surface. Add 4 tablespoons pumpkin mixture to center of lasagna, roll into a cannelloni tube, then transfer to prepared baking dish. Repeat with remaining sheets.
  6. Pour reserved pasta water over lasagna and cover tightly with foil. Bake until heated through and pasta is tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Cook butter and sage leaves in small skillet over medium-high heat until golden-brown. Drizzle over pumpkin cannelloni and serve immediately. Amy's Notes: make sure you don't burn the butter and sage leaves while trying to brown. I accidentally did that, but it still tasted alright.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Crockpot Chicken Vegetable Lasagna

Rob and I both love this! Oh, Smalls did too. I used a lot less salt for his sake.
It's pretty simple if you have access to things like packaged pre-cooked chicken, frozen diced onions, etc. I love that you don't have to pre-cook the lasagna noodles. And I love love love crockpot meals.

Crock Pot Chicken Vegetable Lasagna
2 (10.5oz) cans condensed reduced-fat cream of chicken
1 pkg frozen chopped spinach (10oz) thawed, drained and squeezed
1 (9oz) package diced cooked chicken
1 (8oz) carton reduced fat sour cream
1 cup 1% milk
1/2 cup (2oz) Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup chopped onion (time-saver: buy frozen diced onions)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
9 uncooked lasagna noodles
Cooking Spray
1 cup shredded part skim mozzarella

Lorena's notes: I like to add chopped broccoli or cauliflower as well. And up the amount of spinach. 

1. Combine first 10 ingredients in large bowl and stir well.
2. Coat CP with spray and place 3 uncooked lasagna noodles in bottom of cooker. Break noodles in half as necessary to fit. Spread 1/3 spinach mixture over noodles; sprinkle with 1/3 cup mozzarella. Layer 3 more noodles, half REMAINING spinach mixture, and 1/3 cup mozzarella. Top with remaining noodles and spinach. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
3. Cover with lid; cook on high 1 hour and reduce to low 5 hours or until done.
Lorena's notes: In my CP that cook time is too long. Tonight I cooked it on high for 2.5 hours and it was good. 

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Baked Stuffed Pumpkin

Since it's pumpkin season and all, and I'm not in DC to go eat my favorite pumpkin dish ever. Or, maybe my most favorite meal ever. Ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever, (We've been on a Brian Reagan kick for some reason). I found this recipe, and I think it looks fun. I just like the idea of having a meal inside a pumpkin. How cute! Wouldn't that be so cute for a dinner party? Too much work yes, but I'd say it'd get an A+ for presentation. Maybe John will be daring and let me attempt to make it.

Charles Schiller
4 once's sweet italian sausage
1/2 c. chopped onion
1 (1 1/2 pound) pumpkin, peeled, seeded, and cut into 3/4 inch pieces
1/2 c. chopped Granny Smith apples
1/4 c. white wine
1 c Israeli couscous, cooked (i'm sure any kind would work)
1/4 c dried cranberries
1 tbs extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp fresh thyme
1 tsp fresh oregano, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
4 small (1 pound) pumpkins, hollowed out


  1. Make the stuffing: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Decase and crumble the sausage meat and place it in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook the sausage until it is almost done -- about 8 minutes. Remove the sausage from the pan, increase heat to medium, and add the onion and 2 cups of the chopped pumpkin. Sauté until the pumpkin begins to soften -- 5 to 7 minutes. Add the chopped apple and sausage and sauté for 3 minutes. Add the wine, cook for 2 minutes, remove from heat, and set aside. Combine the couscous, dried cranberries, olive oil, thyme, oregano, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Add meat mixture to the bowl and toss to combine.
  2. Bake the pumpkins: Evenly fill the hollowed-out pumpkins with the stuffing mixture and place the pumpkins in a shallow baking dish. Cover the dish with aluminum foil, bake for 25 minutes, remove the foil, and bake for 10 more minutes. Serve immediately.

Amish Cinnamon Rolls with Caramel Froting

If any of you read the Pioneer Woman Tasty Kitchen blog, you may have already seen this. My sister in-law made these the other day, and they sounded divine, and look it, too.

Prep Time: 3 Hours
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Difficulty: Intermediate
Servings: 24

For the rolls

  • 2 teaspoons Plus 2/3 Cup Sugar, Divided
  • 1 cup Warm Water
  • 2 packages Yeast, 0.75 Ounce Packets
  • 4 whole Eggs Beaten
  • ⅔ cups Melted Margarine
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 cup Homemade Mashed Potatoes
  • 6 cups Bread Flour, Preferably Thesco (Which I Buy At A Bulk Food Store)
  • _____
  • 1 cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Cinnamon
  • 6 Tablespoons Melted Butter
  • _____
  • 1 stick Butter
  • 1 cup Brown Sugar
  • ¼ teaspoons Salt
  • ¼ cups Milk
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 2-½ cups Powdered Sugar

For the rolls, mix together 2 teaspoons sugar, warm water, and the yeast. Let stand for 5 minutes.
Mix together the rest of the roll ingredients in a large bowl and add the yeast mixture gently. Cover dough and let rise until double in size. (This usually takes around 2 hours.)
While the dough is rising, make the filling. In a small dish mix together the brown sugar and cinnamon. Once it’s finished rising, roll out dough in a rectangular shape to about 1/4 inch thickness. Spread with the melted butter and the brown sugar and cinnamon mixture. Roll up and cut into 1-inch slices. Place slices approximately 1 inch apart on a baking sheet greased with melted margarine. Let rise for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes or until golden brown.
While the rolls are baking, go ahead and make the caramel frosting. Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat. Blend in the brown sugar and salt. Cook on low for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add milk. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Let cool and then add the powdered sugar.
Spread a thin layer on the rolls once they have cooled off.
If you like a lot of icing or have a really big sweet tooth you might want to make 1-1/2 batches of the icing to make sure that you have plenty.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Chicken and Dumplings

Lorena's notes: One of the best comfort foods ever. And especially filling for a soup. My own little changes to suit what I had on hand: I used a Betty Crocker biscuit mix (Three cheese and Garlic), substituted cauliflower for the celery, substituted Greek Seasoning for the poultry seasoning, and used cream of chicken for half of the broth. I also cheated and used canned chicken and Rob was none the wiser - he was singing its praises. 

Not too hard to make, but the 15 min prep time as listed in the recipe is a cold-hearted-lie, Rachel Ray.

Recipe by Rachel Ray

  • Prep Time:
  • 15 min
  • Cook Time:
  • 25 min
  • Serves:
  • 4 servings
  • from
  • Ingredients

    • 1 1/2 pounds chicken breast tenders
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 turn of the pan
    • 2 tablespoons butter
    • 1 russet potato, peeled and diced
    • 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced or thinly sliced
    • 1 medium onion, chopped
    • 1 rib celery, diced
    • 1 bay leaf, fresh or dried
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning, 1/3 palm full
    • 2 tablespoons flour, a handful
    • 1 quart chicken broth or stock, canned or paper container, preferred brand Kitchen Basics
    • 1 small box biscuit mix(preferred brand Jiffy Mix)
    • 1/2 cup warm water
    • Handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped
    • 1 cup frozen green peas


    Dice tenders into bite size pieces and set aside. Wash hands.
    Place a large pot on stove over medium high heat. Add oil, butter, vegetables and bay leaf and cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Season mixture with salt, pepper and poultry seasoning. Add flour to the pan and cook 2 minutes. Stir broth or stock to the pot and bring to a boil. Add chicken to the broth and stir.
    Place biscuit mix in a bowl. Combine with 1/2 cup warm water and parsley. Drop tablespoonfuls of prepared mix into the pot, spacing dumplings evenly. Cover pot tightly and reduce heat to medium low. Steam dumplings 8 to 10 minutes. Remove cover and stir chicken and dumplings to thicken sauce a bit. Stir peas into the pan, remove chicken and dumplings from heat and serve in shallow bowls.

    Butternut Squash Risotto (or Orzotto)

    This is pretty similar to the one Lorena just posted but I thought it sounded really good since it's butternut squash season! Maybe I shouldn't post a recipe I haven't tried yet, but I'll try it soon and let you know!

    Butternut Squash Orzotto

    Yield: 4-6 servings

    2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    2 cups butternut squash, peeled, seeded & cut into 1/2 inch pieces (about 1 lb.)
    1 small onion, diced
    1 garlic clove
    1 ½ cups orzo
    ½ cup dry white wine (may substitute with chicken broth)
    3 cups chicken broth (low sodium)
    ¼ cup heavy cream
    1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped
    salt and cracked black pepper to taste

    In a heavy-bottomed medium sauce pan, heat the olive oil. Add the butternut squash and sauté for 4 minutes until just starting to soften. Add onion and garlic and sauté for an additional 2 minutes until fragrant and translucent. Add the orzo and continue cooking for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the wine and cook until absorbed.

    Gradually add the chicken broth, stirring frequently. Bring to a simmer and cover; cook for 8-10 minutes until liquid is almost absorbed and orzo is tender. Remove from heat.
    Stir in heavy cream, Parmesan, and fresh sage. Season with salt and pepper and serve.