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Friday, February 28, 2014

Moroccan Beef Skewers with Yogurt and Couscous

Provided by: Curtis Stone

43 mins total 25 mins prep
4 servings

For Skewers:
1 pound ground beef
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 1/2 ounces plain breadcrumbs
1 large egg, beaten to blend
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 (12-inch) branches fresh rosemary
Olive oil
1 lemon, cut in half

For Couscous:
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups plain couscous
3 tablespoons olive oil

For Sauce:
1/2 English cucumber
1 cup plain yogurt
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1 lemon

Preheat the barbecue grill or indoor grill pan with medium-high heat.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the beef, garlic, cilantro, parsley, allspice, cumin, and bread crumbs and mix thoroughly with your hands.
Mix in the egg until fully combined and season with salt and pepper.

Divide the meat mixture evenly into 8 sausage-shaped balls.
Remove all of the rosemary leaves from the stems leaving about an inch of the leaves at the top of the stem.
Slide the end of a rosemary skewer into a meatball and gently mold it to keep a sausage shape, packing it tightly with your hand.
The meat should be shaped like a sausage with two flat sides.
Repeat with remaining meat and skewers.

Drizzle a little olive oil over each meat skewer and grill for about 4 minutes per side or until cooked through.
Remove skewers from the grill to a plate and let rest for 3 minutes.

Combine the stock, cilantro, cumin, and salt in a medium saucepan, and bring to a boil over high heat.
Remove the pan from the heat.
Add the couscous and stir to blend.
Cover the pan tightly and let it stand until the liquid is absorbed and the couscous is tender, about 5 minutes.
Fluff the couscous with a fork and mix in the olive oil. Season with pepper to taste and cover to keep warm.

Peel, seed, and cut the cucumber into a small dice.
Mix the yogurt in a small mixing bowl with the cucumber and dill.
Grate the lemon zest and squeeze the lemon juice into the yogurt mixture.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Spoon the couscous evenly onto the center of 4 serving plates.
Place two skewers next to each mound of couscous and top with a dollop of the yogurt sauce.
Squeeze the lemon over the skewers and serve immediately.

Filed under: Pasta, Yogurt, Ground Beef, Mediterranean, Greek, Barbecue and Grilling, Easy, Healthy, Main Dish, Dinner, Cookout

Roasted Acorn Squash Stuffed with Tortellini

Provided by: Tyler Florence

8 servings

2 medium acorn squash (about 1 pound each)
extra-virgin olive oil
kosher salst and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups heavy cream
1 garlic clove crushed
1 sprig thyme
1 cup grated Parmesan
1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 pound cheese tortellini (store bought)
kosher salst and freshly ground black pepper
grated parmesan cheese for topping
fresh sage leaves for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Split the squash in half (cut lengthwise from top end to bottom end) cutting right through the stem so each half has a piece of stem attached. Scrape out the seeds with a spoon and discard. Cut a small piece off the rounded bottom to give it a base to sit on. Place the squash halves cut sides up on a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until tender.

Meanwhile prepare the tortellini mix. Heat a large pot of salted water to cook the tortellini in. In a separate saucepan heat the heavy cream over medium heat with garlic and thyme and reduce until thick and coats the back of a wooden spoon. Add the nutmeg and parmesan then melt over low heat. Cook the tortellini in the boiling water (3-4 minutes for fresh tortellini or follow directions of brand) and then strain and toss into cream mixture. some of the pasta water to thin out sauce if necessary. Season with salt and pepper and then divide amongst cooked squash cups.

Turn the oven up to 400 F.

Sprinkle the tops of squash bowls with grated Parmesan and a fresh sage leave and then bake in the oven for a further 10 minutes until the cheese is melted and golden brown.

Filed under: Pasta, Vegetable, Italian, Vegetarian, Main Dish, Fall, Winter

Chicken Boudine

2 cups cooked egg noodles
2 (10 3/4-ounce) cans cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup dry sherry
4 cups chopped cooked chicken
3 cups grated sharp cheese, your choice, divided
1 (2 1/4-ounce) package slivered almonds, toasted
1/4 cup drained, chopped pimentos
1 (4-ounce) can sliced mushrooms, drained
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, toss together the noodles, soup, broth, and sherry. Add the chicken, 2 cups of the cheese, the almonds, pimento, mushrooms, and salt and pepper, to taste, and toss gentle to combine. Transfer the mixture to a greased 13 by 9 by 2-inch casserole and top with the remaining cup of cheese.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until bubbly.


8 ounces medium to wide egg noodles, linguine or fettuccine
1 cup cottage cheese
1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup grated onion
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Generously butter a 2-quart baking dish.
Cook the noodles until tender but still firm
to bite. Meanwhile, mix the cottage cheese,
garlic, Worcestershire sauce, sour cream, onion,
and hot pepper sauce in a large bowl.
Drain noodles. Add to cottage cheese mixture.
Stir gently. Pour intoprepared pan. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese.
Bake until heated through, about 25 minutes.

Tuscan Squash and Herb Farfalle

Put the pot of water on to boil and prepare the
vegetables and you'll have this restaurant-calibre
pasta dish ready in no time! You'll be so impressed
it's so easily from scratch.

Prep Time 15 mins
Cooking Time 20 - 25 mins
Yields 4 to 6 servings

What You Need
1 tbsp (15 mL) butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 sweet onion, cut in half and sliced
2 tsp (10 mL) dried sage
1/2 tsp (2 mL) dried rosemary, crumbled
1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) hot pepper flakes
Salt and pepper
4 cups (1 L) cubed peeled butternut squash (1 small)
12 oz (375 g) farfalle (bow ties) or other short pasta
3 tbsp (45 mL) all-purpose flour
2 cups (500 mL) Milk
1/2 cup (125 mL) sliced drained roasted red peppers
2 tbsp (30 mL) white wine vinegar
1/2 cup (125 mL) freshly grated parmesan cheese

In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add garlic, onion, sage,
rosemary, hot pepper flakes, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4
tsp pepper; saute for 5 min or until onion is tender.
Stir in squash and 1 cup (250 mL) water. Cover and boil for 10 to 15 min
or until squash is almost tender.

Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to
package directions, until tender but firm. Drain and return to pot.

Whisk flour into Milk and stir into skillet.
Cook, stirring often, for about 5 min or until slightly thickened and squash
is tender. Stir in peppers and vinegar. Add to pasta; toss to coat.
Spoon into bowls and sprinkle with cheese.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Cotton Candy Milkshake

Cotton candy, in liquid form!

Prep Time: 2 min.
Total Time:2 min.
Serves: 2
3 stars ***

3 scoops of vanilla ice cream
2 tablespoons of milk
4 ice cubes (or this cotton candy ice!)
6 big puffs of cotton candy
*optional* 1 teaspoon Duncan Hines cotton candy frosting flavor packet

Combine all ingredient. Taste and add more cotton cany or ice cream until you like it. If it tastes a little too "sugary" add more 1 more tablespoon of milk, a few more scoops of ice cream and more of the flavor packet.

*I really reccomend using the flavor packet, it adds an extra boost of flavor without having a sugar overload.

*Your "puffs" should be a little bigger than a really big guy's hand, you don't have to be exact.

* if your milkshake looks really ugly because you used cheap yellowish ice cream, you can add some food coloring.

Mushroom Ravioli with Oregano Brown-Butter Sauce

40 mins total 30 mins prep

6 servings

This recipe magically transforms run-of-the-mill mushrooms into an elegant pasta course fit for your most discerning guests. Once made, the ravioli can be frozen in a sealable plastic bag and boiled frozen when you are ready to serve.

12 ounces white mushrooms
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves minced
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano
36 frozen wonton or gyoza skins (from a 10-oz package). thawed

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1/4 cup fresh oregano leaves
grated Parmigiano-Reggiano for sprinkling

Pulse mushrooms in food processor until finely chopped. Heat oil in a 10-to 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add garlic and sauté until golden, about 1 minute. Add mushrooms, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and cover skillet. Cook mushrooms covered, 2 minutes, then uncover skillet and continue to cook mushrooms until all the liquid in the pan is evaporated, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in oregano. Let mushroom filling cool to room temperature.

Put 1 wonton wrapper on a lightly floured surface, keeping remaining wrappers in plastic wrap, and mound 1 teaspoon fill in center. Lightly brush edges of wrapper with water and fold wonton half, pressing down around filling to force out air and seal edges well. Transfer ravioli to a dry kitchen towel. Make more ravioli with remaining wrappers and filling in same manner, transferring as formed to towel and turning occasionally to dry slightly.

Cook butter with oregano leaves, 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper over moderate heat until butter begins to brown, about 3 minutes, and immediately remove from heat. Keep oregano butter warm, covered.

Cook ravioli in 2 batches in gently boiling salted water 6 minutes, or until they rise to surface and are tender (do not let water boil vigorously once ravioli have been added).

Carefully trasfer ravioli with a slotted spoon (letting excess cooking liquid drip off) to 6 plates and top with oregano brown-butter sauce. Sprinkle each plate with some grated cheese.

Filed under: Pasta, Vegetable, Vegetarian, Appetizer, Main Dish, Dinner, Lunch

Parsley Almond Pesto with Angel Hair

15 mins total 10 mins prep

6 servings

Who said pesto always has to have basil and pine nuts? Actually, no one did. Here parsley and almonds combine to give the classic herb sauce a fresh facelift.

2 garlic cloves
2 cups flat-leaf parsley leaves (from 1 bunch)
2 cups finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1 cup)
1/3 cup slivered almonds
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound dried capellini pasta

With food processor running, drop in garlic and finely chop. Stop motor and add parsley, cheese, almonds, lemon juice, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, then process until finely chopped. With motor running, add oil, blending until incorporated.

Put pesto in a large bowl. Cook pasta until al dente in a large pot of well-salted boiling water. Reserve 1 cup pasta cooking water. Whisk pasta cooking water into pesto. Drain pasta then add to thinned pesto with salt and pepper to taste and toss well. Serve with additional grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Filed under: Cheese, Pasta, Nut, Italian, Easy, One-Dish, 30 Minute, Quick, Vegetarian, Healthy, Main Dish, Dinner, Lunch

Baked Macaroni, Tomatoes and Cheese

By The Canadian Living Test Kitchen

Before Codi Miles skateboards with the other
boys at lunchtime, the Grade 5 student loves to
open his lunch box and find fruit and leftover
macaroni and cheese. Steaming hot pasta has the
energy from complex carbohydrates that Chodi,
an active 11-year-old, needs - plus the cheese
is a good source of calcium, an essential mineral
crucial for growing children. Double the cheese,
if you like. This recipe is simple to serve for
supper, and leftovers make a great packed lunch
the next day.

Servings: 6 to 8

3 cups (750 mL) whole wheat elbow macaroni (12 oz/375 g)
2 eggs
1/3 cup (75 mL) milk
1 can (19 oz/540 mL) stewed tomatoes
1 can (10 oz/284 mL) tomato soup
1 cup (250 mL) shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup (50 mL) fresh bread crumbs

In large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until tender but firm,
6 to 8 minutes. Drain and return to pot.

In separate bowl, beat eggs with milk. Add to
macaroni; cook stirring, over low heat until no
liquid remains and macaroni is coated, about 3
minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in tomatoes and soup, breaking up
tomatoes with back of spoon.

Spoon half of the macaroni mixture into deep greased 8-cup (2 L)
casserole dish. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup (125 mL) of the cheese; top with
remaining macaroni mixture. Sprinkle with bread crumbs.

Bake, uncovered, in 375F(190C) oven for 25 minutes.
Sprinkle with remaining cheese; bake until melted, about 5 minutes. Let
stand for 5 minutes. (Make-ahead: Let cool for 30 minutes; refrigerate
until cold. Cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.)

One-Pot Macaroni and Cheese

By The Canadian Living Test Kitchen
This quick-to-make meal will really satify.
Serve with crisp celery sticks and radishes.
Servings: 4

2 cups (500 mL) macaroni (8 oz/250 g)
1-1/2 cups (375 mL) thinly sliced carrots
2 cups (500 mL) milk
2 tbsp (25 mL) all-purpose flour
1 tbsp (15 mL) dijon mustard
2 tbsp (25 mL) butter
2 cups (500 mL) shredded cheddar cheese (8 oz/250 g)
4 green onions, chopped
1/4 tsp (1 mL) each salt and pepper

In large pot of boiling salted water, cook macaroni for 5 minutes.
Add carrots; cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until pasta and carrots are
tender but firm. Drain in colander; set aside.

In same saucepan, whisk together milk, flour and
mustard; cook over medium-high heat, whisking,
2 to 3 minutes or until thickened and smooth.
Reduce heat to medium; cook for 1 minute longer.

Stir in pasta mixture and butter; cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes
or until heated through. Stir in cheese and onions; cook for 1 minute
or until cheese melts. Season with salt and pepper.

Pasta with Fresh Tomatoes, Basil, and Onions

1/2 cup olive oil
2 pounds tomatoes, chopped
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound mozzarella, cubed
basil to taste, chopped (start with 3/4 cup or so)
salt to taste
1 pound fettuccini, sea shell, or other pasta

Put the olive oil, tomatoes, onion, mozzarella,
basil, and salt in a bowl and mix together. Let
stand at room temperature an hour or so.

Cook the pasta and drain, then stir into the tomato mixture.

Variation: Use cheddar cheese instead of mozzarella. Add some chopped
parsley and crushed red pepper. Omit the pasta, cut down on the
cheese, and serve it as a tomato salad on the side!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Maple Peanut Butter Chicken Ravioli with Browned Butter

Provided by: Peanut Butter & Co

1 hr 15 mins total 0 mins prep

8 servings

This recipe was created by Kelsey Banfield, of The Naptime Chef, for Peanut Butter and Co.

"This decadent pasta dish pairs. Mighty Maple peanut butter with moist baked chicken. When sealed into ravioli and then cooked the peanut butter and chicken swirl together, making each bite of this meal a meltingly rich treat. I love any kind of pasta, and so does my daughter, so these are particularly popular at our house." -- Kelsey Banfield

2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 3/4 cups Mighty Maple peanut butter (see below), or other peanut butter of your choosing
1 large egg
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 package wonton skins

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Wash and pat dry the chicken breast. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg, 1 cup of the Mighty Maple peanut butter, salt and pepper. Place the chicken breasts in the mixture and turn to coat.

Place chicken in a baking dish and bake for 45-55 minutes until tender and cooked through. Allow the chicken to cool and cut into 1-inch cubes.

Place one wonton skin on a dry surface. Have the remaining 3/4 cup of Mighty Maple peanut butter in front of you and scoop 1 teaspoon of peanut butter onto the wonton. Then, add a cube of chicken on top. Using a slightly moistened finger, wet all four edges of the wonton skin and place a second skin over the chicken to seal in the chicken. Press well all along the outer edges, making sure there are no holes or perforations. Place finished ravioli on a cookie sheet to dry slightly while you prepare remaining ravioli.

Once all ravioli are complete, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the ravioli in batches for 5 at a time, boiling for about 4 minutes or until they float to the surface and the pasta is completely translucent. Remove to a serving bowl.

Meanwhile, in a small skillet over medium heat add the butter. Cook until the butter is slightly foamy and a warm, nutty brown color. Remove from heat.

Serve ravioli hot and top each serving with two spoonfuls of brown butter.

Filed under: Chicken, Pasta, Peanut Butter, American, Skillet, Dinner, Entertaining

Spicy Peanut Butter Chicken Vegetable Stir Fry

Provided by: Peanut Butter and Co

30 mins total 0 mins prep
4 servings

This recipe was created by Hanna Queen, of, for Peanut Butter and Co.

"Stir fry is an awesome, quick dinner. This version is one of my favorites -- full of healthy veggies and served with whole wheat noodles. The peanut sauce is absolutely fiery -- The Heat Is On is one spicy peanut butter! If you aren't a fan of spicy foods, try using Smooth Operator or Crunch Time instead." Hannah Queen

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 bonless, skinless chicken breasts
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup red cabbage, thinly sliced
1 cup broccoli
1 cup snow peas
1/2 cup carrots, sliced
1/4 cup unsalted peanuts
1/2 pound whole wheat spaghetti noodles
1/4 cup The Heat Is On peanut butter (see below), or any peanut butter variety of your choosing
1/3 cup low sodium chicken stock
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar

Whisk hot, but not boiling chicken stock into peanut butter. Add soy sauce, vinegar, sugar and mix.

Prepare noodles according to package directions.

In a nonstick pan, add vegetable oil. Saute chicken over medium-high heat until cooked through. Remove from pan. Add sesame oil and saute garlic until golden. Add vegetables; cook until tender. Return chicken to pan, and stir-fry for 3 minutes.

Toss noodles or veggies and chicken (or both!) in peanut sauce. Sprinkle with peanuts. Enjoy!

Filed under: Chicken, Pasta, Nut, Peanut Butter, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrot, Asian, Stir Fry, One-Dish, 30 Minute, Kid-Friendly, Main Dish, Dinner, Entertaining

Alfredo Rotini

15 ounces ricotta cheese 2 eggs, beaten
2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
pinch black pepper
12 ounces rotini, cooked and drained
28 ounces alfredo sauce

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a medium bowl, combine ricotta cheese, eggs, 1 cup mozzarella cheese, parsley, salt and pepper; stir to mix well.

In another bowl, combine hot cooked pasta and alfredo sauce.

Layer half of pasta mixture in an 11 x 7 inch baking dish.
Evenly layer with cheese mixture and remaining pasta mixture.

Bake, covered, 35 to 40 minutes or until bubbly.

Uncover; top with remaining mozzarella cheese.
Bake 5 minutes or until cheese melts.

Basil Chicken over Angel Hair

Yield: 4 servings

1 (8 oz) package angel hair pasta
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes
2 cups boneless chicken breast halves, cooked and cubed
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook angel hair pasta until
it is al dente, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain, and set aside.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Saute the onions
and garlic. Stir in the tomatoes, chicken, basil,
salt and hot pepper sauce. Reduce heat to medium,
and cover skillet. Simmer for about 5  minutes,
stirring frequently, until mixture is hot and tomatoes are soft.

Toss sauce with hot cooked angel hair pasta to coat.
Serve with Parmesan cheese.

Black-Eyed Peas 'N' Pasta

1 cup chopped green pepper
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped*
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon olive or canola oil
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 (15.5 ounce) can black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
5 cups hot cooked bow tie pasta

In a large skillet, saute green pepper, onion, jalapeno and garlic in oil for 5 minutes or until tender. Add tomatoes; bring to a boil. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Stir in peas, cilantro, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper; simmer 10 minutes longer. Toss with pasta and serve immediately.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Mac & Cheese With Peas & Bacon

Provided by: Tyler Florence

1 hr 20 mins total 0 mins prep
6 servings

1 pound elbow macaroni
Kosher salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 cups warm milk
5 1/2 cups shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
freshly ground black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil
4 slices bacon, cut crosswise into thin strips
1 large onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, smashed
Leaves from 1/4 bunch fresh thyme
2 cups frozen peas, thawed in a colander under cool water

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add 1 pound elbow macaroni and cook until al dente, about 8 to 9 minutes, and drain. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Melt 3 tablespoons unsalted butter in a large deep skillet over medium-high heat. Whisk in 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour and cook for about 1 minute, stirring constantly to keep lumps from forming. Gradually whisk in 4 cups warm whole milk. Whisk vigorously, and continue to cook until the mixture is thick and smooth. Stir in 4 cups shredded sharp white cheddar cheese and continue stirring until the cheese is melted. Season the cheese sauce with salt and pepper, then add cooked macaroni to the pan. Mix well until macaroni is fully coated with the cheese mixture.

Scrape contents of pan into a 3-quart baking dish and sprinkle the top with 1 1/2 cups shredded sharp white cheddar cheese. Bake for 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.

As the Mac and Cheese is baking, heat a 2-count of olive oil in a saute pan. Add 4 slices of bacon, cut crosswise into thin strips, 1 large onion (diced), 2 garlic cloves (smashed), and leaves from 1/4 bunch fresh thyme and cook for about 5 minutes, until onion is softened.

Fold in 2 cups frozen peas (thawed under cool water), and season with salt and pepper.

Remove mac and cheese from the oven. Scatter the top of the mac and cheese with the pea and bacon mixture and serve.

Filed under: Cheese, Pork, Pasta, Dairy, Pea, American, Baking, One-Dish, Kid-Friendly, Main Dish, Dinner, Winter

Mini Pretzel Dogs with Horseradish Dipping Sauce

Ingredients (32 mini pretzel dogs)

For the Pretzel Dough
4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp. Kosher salt
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 Tbs. sugar
1 3/4 tsp. active dry yeast
4 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted

For the Mini Pretzel Dogs
10 cups water
2/3 cup baking soda
16 hot dogs, cut in half
1 large egg, whisked with a dash of water
Kosher salt for sprinkling

For the Horseradish Dipping Sauce
1/2 cup mayo
1/8 cup prepared horseradish
1/8 cup dijon mustard

For the Mini Pretzel Dogs
Add the water, sugar, and yeast to a measuring cup. Allow the yeast to bloom, or for bubbles to form in the cup.

Add the flour, salt, water/yeast mixture, and melted butter to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Mix ingredients together on low speed until a rough ball begins to form. Continue to knead on low speed for another 5 minutes, or until the dough ball turns smooth and pulls away from the walls of the bowl. Transfer the dough to a large lightly oiled bowl. Cover and allow the dough to rest for 45 minutes to an hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 450. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

Divide the dough into 16 equal portions. Then divide each portion in half again so that you have 32 equal portions of dough.

Working with one piece at a time, roll each portion of dough into a 10-12 inch rope. Wrap/coil the rope around one halved hot dog, pinching the ends to seal. Place the hot dog onto the baking sheet. Repeat the process until all hot dogs have been wrapped.

Meanwhile, bring the water and baking soda to a low boil. Then, turn the heat down so that no bubbles are breaking the surface. (bubbles will cause “divets” in your pretzel dog’s surface) Drop 3-4 hot dogs in at a time into the hot water, leaving them for 30 seconds on one side, before flipping them over and leaving them for another 30 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, remove and drain each pretzel dog, returning it to the baking sheet.

Brush the egg wash lightly on all of the pretzel dogs. Immediately sprinkle the top of the pretzel dogs with a bit of Kosher salt.

Once all pretzel dogs have been salted, bake them in the oven for approximately 15 minutes, or until they turn a deep golden brown color. Serve with horseradish dipping sauce.

For the Horseradish Dipping Sauce
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl, ensuring that all ingredients are combined well. Serve immediately or store until ready to serve.

Sweet Potato and Caramelized Onion Shells

Provided by: Taste of Home

50 mins total 40 mins prep
7 servings

Recipe courtesy of Taste of Home magazine, November 2011.

2 large onions, chopped
3 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
21 uncooked jumbo pasta shells
1/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon sherry or apple cider
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 cups mashed sweet potatoes
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1 cup turkey gravy, warmed

1. In a large skillet, saute onions in butter until softened. Add garlic powder and salt. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, stirring occasionally, for 25-30 minutes or until deep golden brown.

2. Meanwhile, cook pasta shells according to package directions. Drain pasta; set aside.

3. Stir the broth, sherry, thyme and pepper into onions. Bring to a boil; cook until liquid is almost evaporated. Remove from the heat. Stir in sweet potatoes and Gorgonzola cheese.

4. Spoon into shells; place in a greased 11-in. x 7-in. baking dish. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Cover and bake at 375° for 10-15 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve with gravy.

Filed under: Pasta, Main Dish, Thanksgiving, Potluck

Bacon and Tomato Pasta‏

2 tablespoons kosher salt
16 ounces spaghetti pasta
1 pound thick-cut bacon or pancetta, chopped
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup red onion, diced
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
3 tablespoons garlic, minced
2 cups Roma tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup red wine
4 tablespoons basil, chiffonade
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a large stock pot, boil 3 quarts of water, when boiling add
2 tablespoons kosher salt and the pasta and cook until the pasta
is al dente.

In a large saute pan over medium heat, add bacon
and saute until bacon is crispy.  Remove
bacon to drain on a paper towel-lined plate and remove 3/4 of the
bacon fat from the pan. Add extra-virgin olive oil, onions, and red
chili flakes. Cook until onions are translucent, add
garlic, cook for 2 minutes then add tomatoes.
Saute for about 5 minutes, then deglaze with wine.

Drain pasta and add to the tomato mixture pan. Add basil and bacon.
Toss with Parmesan, and add salt and pepper, to taste.

Calamari and Sausage‏

6 oz cleaned, sliced calamari
4 oz cooked, sliced sausage (we use Andouillie)
1 T. whole butter
¼ c. chopped tomatoes
¼ c. basil
¼ c. white wine
¼ c. fish stock
¼ c. tomato juice
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 T. chopped garlic
1 c. angel hair pasta (cooked)

1. Saute calamari and sausage in hot pan with extra virgin olive oil.

2. Add butter, tomatoes, basil, garlic, red pepper flakes

3. Add wine, fish stock, tomato juice

4. Simmer until sauce reduces

5. Toss in angel hair and toss until pasta is hot

6. Serve in large bowl

7. Garnish with shaved Parmesan cheese and fin herbs.

Quick Baked Pasta Family Style

2 tb Olive oil
1 lb Ground beef, lean
2 cl Garlic; crushed
1/2 c Half and half
3/4 c Marinara sauce
3/4 lb Penne pasta
1/4 c Parmesan cheese; grated
1 ts Dried oregano
1/2 ts Dried rosemary
Salt and pepper; to taste
1 c Mozzarella cheese; grated Or swiss cheese; for topping

Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil. Heat a large frying pan and add oil, beef and garlic. Saute until the meat is tender and then drain excess fat. Add all remaining ingredients except the Mozzarella cheese and pasta.  Simmer the mixture while pasta cooks until al dente. Drain pasta and mix it with the sauce. Pour all into a 3 quart baking dish and top with the remaining cheese. Bake uncovered at 350F for 25 minutes or until bubbly hot.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Linguini with Chunky Tomato Sauce and Blue Cheese

30 mins total 15 mins prep

4 servings

Blue cheese might seem like an odd addition to a tomato sauce, but it's subtle richness brings balance and depth to the acidic tomatoes.

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 large garlic clove, finely chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 (28-to 32-oz) can whole tomatoes in juice
1 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
1 tespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
1 pound dried linguini
4 ounces crumbled mild blue cheese

Heat oil in a 2 1/2-to 3-qt heavy saucepan over medium heat until it shimmers. Add garlic, rosemary, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and cook, stirring, until garlic is golden, about 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes with their juice, oregano, sugar, and pepper flakes and bring to a boil. Boil sauce, stirring occasionally and breaking up tomatoes until it is slightly thickened, about 15 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat.

Boil pasta in a well-salted water until al dente. Drain pasta then toss with tomato sauce and half of cheese. Season pasta with salt and pepper to taste, then sprinkle remaining cheese over pasta.

Filed under: Cheese, Pasta, Vegetable, Italian, Easy, One-Dish, 30 Minute, Quick, Vegetarian, Main Dish

Tofu and Vegetable Soup with Cellophane Noodles

1 hr 30 mins total 40 mins prep

8 servings

For vegetable stock:
20 large dried black Chinese mushrooms (shiitake)
12 cups boiling-hot water
1 bunch cilantro
4 carrots, coarsely chopped
4 celery ribs, coarsely chopped
2 large leeks, (white and pale green parts only), coarsely chopped
1 (3-inch) piece ginger, chopped

For soup:
3 ounces very thin bean thread noodles (3 small skeins; also known as cellophane, glass, or mung bean noodles)
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons vegetarian oyster sauce
2 tablespoons Chinese rice wine or dry Sherry
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (14- to 18-ounces) package soft tofu (not silken)
4 cups chopped Napa cabbage leaves
2 ounces snow peas, trimmed and halved, diagonally (1 1/2 cups)
1 cup frozen peas, thawed

Soak mushrooms in 10 cups boiling-hot water in a bowl, keeping them submerged with a small plate and turning mushrooms over occasionally, until softened and cool enough to handle, about 30 minutes. Squeeze excess liquid from caps back into bowl and reserve liquid, then cut out the reserve stems form mushrooms. Quarter caps.

Transfer mushroom liquid and stems into a 5-quart large heavy pot and bring to a boil. Trim cilantro sprigs from stems and reserve sprigs for garnish. Add stems to pot with remaining stock ingredients. Gently boil, covered, for 30 minutes, then drain through a fine mesh sieve into a large heatproof bowl, pressing down hard on solids. Discard solids and return broth to pot (you should have 8 cups broth).

Make soup:
Meanwhile, soak noodles in cold water to cover until softened, about 5 minutes, then drain in colander and transfer to a bowl. Coarsely cut into 3-inch lengths with scissors.

Stir in soy sauce, oyster sauce, rice wine, sugar, and salt to broth and season with salt to taste. Add mushroom caps and bring to a simmer.

Rinse and drain tofu, then cut into 3/4-inch cubes. Add cabbage and tofu to broth and simmer 10 minutes, gently stirring occasionally. Add noodles and peas and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are crisp-tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Ladle soup into bowls and serve immediately.

Make ahead: Broth can be made 3 days ahead, chilled, covered or frozen up to 3 months

Filed under: Pasta, Vegetable, Tofu, Cabbage, Mushroom, Pea, Chinese, Vegetarian, Healthy, Vegan, Soup, Winter, Chinese New Year

Pasta with Mahimahi, Tomatoes, and Basil

From Good Housekeeping

Similar to grouper, mahimahi boasts a firm texture and light, sweetly moist meat. Paired with multigrain pasta, this extra lean fish dish is a delicious way to enjoy the benefits of heart-healthy seafood.

Yields: 8 cups
1/2 pound(s) multigrain rotini pasta
2 teaspoon(s) extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon(s) extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound(s) skinless mahimahi, cut into 1-inch chunks
Salt and ground black pepper
2 clove(s) garlic, thinly sliced
3 cup(s) (about 1 1/2 pints) grape tomatoes
1/4 cup(s) dry white wine
1/2 cup(s) firmly packed fresh basil leaves


1. Heat large covered saucepot of salted water to boiling over high heat. Add pasta and cook as label directs.

2. Meanwhile, in deep nonstick 12-inch skillet, heat 2 teaspoons oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add mahimahi; sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper and cook 3 to 4 minutes or just until mahimahi turns opaque in center, gently stirring. Transfer mahimahi to plate; set aside.

3. In same skillet, heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat until hot. Add garlic and cook 1 minute or until golden, stirring constantly. Add tomatoes; cover and cook 4 to 5 minutes or until tomatoes burst, stirring occasionally. Stir in wine, half of basil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper; cook, uncovered, 1 minute to blend flavors.

4. Reserve 1/4 cup pasta cooking water, then drain pasta. Add pasta, reserved cooking water, mahimahi, and remaining basil to tomato mixture in skillet; toss until well combined.

Rigatoni with Cheese and Italian Sausage

At Luca this is prepared in individual dish. For a family-style dinner, double the recipe and prepare it in one large baking dish. Use your favorite marinara recipe or a purchased sauce.

Servings: Makes 4 appetizer servings.

1/2 pound rigatoni
1/4 pound spicy Italian sausage, casing removed
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups prepared marinara sauce
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1/4 cup grated mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon chopped fresh Italian parsley
Extra-virgin olive oil

Cook rigatoni in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain pasta.

Meanwhile, preheat broiler. Cook sausage in heavy large pot over medium-high heat until no longer pink, stirring frequently and breaking up with back of wooden spoon. Add garlic and saute until soft, about 2 minutes. Drain off excess oil and return pot to medium-high heat. Stir in marinara sauce and crushed red pepper, then pasta. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide pasta among four 1 1/4-cup soufflé dishes or custard cups. Sprinkle mozzarella and Parmesan over. Place in broiler until cheese melts and begins to brown, watching closely to prevent burning, about 1 1/2 minutes. Sprinkle rigatoni with parsley, drizzle with olive oil, and serve.

Spicy Sausage Rigatoni

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 25 mins
Ready in: 35 mins
Serves: 4

20 cherry tomatoes on the vine
2 t extra virgin olive oil
2 T extra virgin olive oil
black pepper freshly ground
8 ounces rigatoni pasta
8 ounces spicy salami (preferably Sopressa Vicentina or soppressata)
casing removed salami thinly sliced into half moon pieces
2 cloves garlic minced
1/4 c capers extra fine
1/4 c kalamata olives
1/3 c dry white wine
1/4 c fresh flat leaf parsley coarsely chopped

Preheat the oven to 400 F.
Place the tomatpoes on a small non reactive 
baking sheet and drizzle with 2 teaspoons of oil.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Roast the tomatoes in the oven for about 10 minutes or until they
begin to split.

Remove from oven and set aside.

Cook the rigatoni in a large pot of boiling salted water stirring
often to ensure the rigatoni doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot or
to each other until al dente about 8 minutes.

Meanwhile heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large heavy saut? pan over
medium heat.
Add the salami and cook until light golden in
color about 30 seconds on each side.

Transfer the salami to a plate and reserve.
Return the pan to the heat.

Add the garlic and saut? in the drippings remaining from the salami
until tender about 1 minute.

If the salami does not render enough oil add just enough olive oil to
saute the garlic.

Add the capers and olives to the hot pan and toss.
Add the wine and simmer until reduced by about half
about 3 minutes.
 Add the tomatoes and parsley and toss gently.
Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil.

Remove the pan from the heat.
Strain the rigatoni then toss the rigatoni and salami in the pan with
the sauce.

Season to taste with pepper.

Transfer the pasta to plates spooning any salami and tomato mixture
from the pan over the pasta.

Serve and enjoy.

Source: Curtis Stone

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Argentinean Barbecued Steak

Recipe courtesy Ingrid Hoffmann, 2008

Total Time: 18 min
Prep 15 min
Cook 3 min
Yield: 6 servings Level: Easy

3 pounds skirt steak
3 tablespoons olive oil

Chimichurri Sauce, recipe follows

Preheat your grill to high or preheat a ridged grill pan until very hot.

Rub the steaks with the olive oil and season them with salt. Grill the steaks for 3 to 4 minutes on each side for a medium-rare to medium, or longer for medium-well or well done. Serve with Chimichurri Sauce.

Chimichurri Sauce:
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1/2 lemon)
3/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
3 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano leaves
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1/3 cup olive oil
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper

To make the Chimichurri, place the vinegar, lemon juice, parsley, oregano, and garlic in a blender and puree. With the motor running, add the olive oil, blending until the sauce comes together. Add the red pepper flakes and salt and pepper, to taste.

Place in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 1 day. Serve at room temperature.

Yield: 1 1/2 cups

Lasagna with Mushrooms and Lamb Sausage

Provided by: Food and Wine

1 hr 45 mins total 0 mins prep
8 servings

1/2 pound(s) merguez
3 tablespoon(s) extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 pound(s) oyster mushrooms, stems discarded and large caps halved lengthwise
1 pound(s) shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded and caps thinly sliced
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoon(s) all-purpose flour
3 cup(s) mushroom stock or chicken stock
1/4 cup(s) dry red wine
1/2 pound(s) lasagna noodles, preferably flat see Note
4 cup(s) fresh ricotta cheese
1/2 pound(s) truffled pecorino cheese, coarsely shredded about 3 cups
2 tablespoon(s) unsalted butter, softened plus more for greasing
2 tablespoon(s) freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Parsley leaves, for garnish

1. Heat a large, deep skillet. Add the merguez, cover and cook over moderate heat, turning once, until well browned and cooked through, about 15 minutes. Transfer the merguez to a plate. Let cool and thinly slice.

2. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the skillet. Add the oyster and shittake mushrooms and salt and pepper. Cover and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened and browned, about 15 minutes. Stir in the red onion and the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil, cover and cook, stirring, until the onion is softened, about 7 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the flour. Set the skillet over moderately high heat and gradually stir in the chicken stock and wine until smooth. Simmer, stirring, until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Add the merguez and season with salt and pepper.

3. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the lasagne noodles until just tender, about 3 minutes. Drain the noodles, transfer to a bowl of cold water or let stand for 1 minute. Pat the noodles dry, then toss lightly with olive oil. In a large bowl, blend the ricotta with the pecorino and season with salt and pepper.

4. Preheat the oven to 375°. In a well-buttered 9-by-13-inch, deep ceramic baking dish, arrange 2 to 3 lasagna noodles in a single layer. Spread half of the mushroom mixture over the noodles. Cover with more noodles and dollop half of he cheese mixture on top. Cover with another layer of noodles, pressing gently to spread the cheese in an even layer. Continue layering with the remaining mushroom mixture, noodles and cheese mixture, ending with a layer of noodles. Spread the softened butter on the top and garnish with the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

5. Cover the lasagna with foil and bake for about 40 minutes, until heated through. Uncover and preheat the broiler. Broil the lasagna about 4 inches from the heat until golden brown and crisp on top, about 2 minutes. Let the lasagna rest for 15 minutes. Garnish with parsley leaves, cut into squares and serve.

Filed under: Cheese, Lamb, Pasta, Sausage, Mushroom, Italian, Baking, Entertaining

Zesty Penne, Sausage and Peppers

Provided by: Kraft

1 hr total 30 mins prep
640 calories/serving

3 cups penne pasta
1 lb. Italian sausage
1 green and red pepper
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1 tsp. fennel seed
dash crushed red pepper
4 oz. PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese
1/4 cup KRAFT Shredded Parmesan Cheese

1.Cook pasta as directed on package. 

2. Meanwhile, crumble sausage into large skillet; cook and stir on medium heat 8 min. or until done. Drain. Add peppers; cook and stir 5 min. or until crisp-tender. Stir in next 3 ingredients; cook 5 min. or until heated through.  Add cream cheese; cook 2 min. or until melted, stirring frequently.

3. Drain pasta.  Add to sausage mixture; mix lightly.  Top with Parmesan.

Filed under: Cheese, Pork, Pasta, Sausage, Bell Pepper, Italian, Skillet, Easy, One-Dish, 30 Minute, Quick, Main Dish, Dinner

Baked Pepperoni Rigatoni

6 servings

8 ozs rigatoni pasta
50 slices reduced fat turkey pepperoni
1/2 c fat-free parmesan cheese
1/2 c onions, chopped
1/2 c bell peppers, chopped
1 tbsp basil
2 cloves garlic, minced
26 ozs Homemade Spaghetti Sauce (or your fave)
2 c fat-free mozzarella cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 375. Layer half ingredients in
13 x 9" pan. Repeat layers. Bake for 25 minutes,
or until cheese is melted and lightly browned.

Rigatoni and Shrimp with Garlic Cream Sauce

Servings: 4 Servings
Total Time (median): 0 : 37 Active Time: 0 : 25

8 ounces Rigatoni pasta
8 ounces cooked and peeled shrimp
1 tbl Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 ounces grated onion
4 teaspoons minced garlic (from jar)
2 teaspoons oregano (dry)
1/2 teaspoon Basil (dry)
Salt/pepper --to taste
6 tbl heavy cream
4 tbl butter (1/2 stick)
2 ounces freshly grated Parmesan cheese -- (approx)
1 teaspoon parsley

Put the rigatoni on to boil. Ours was dry and took 12 minutes to al dente. We used frozen shrimp that was cooked and peeled with the tails removed. Defrost shrimp in colander with hot water from faucet and leave in colander.

Sauce: Saute the onions and garlic for about 6 minutes in the olive oil in a large coated frying pan over medium heat. At this point add the cream, basil, oregano, salt and pepper and butter. Cook until the pasta is done and lower heat by half.

Pour the pasta with the hot water into the colander on top of the shrimp in order to heat the shrimp. Drain. Transfer the shrimp and pasta mixture into the pan of sauce and mix. When heated through, start mixing in the freshly grated parmesan cheese, until melted. Transfer to serving dish and add the parsley on top for color. Viola! Add more parmesan and enjoy.

The exact amount of each ingredient is approximate, so use your own judgment. You may also add the salt and pepper (or exclude entirely) after the dish is prepared.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Hungarian Cabbage and Egg Noodles

40 mins total 15 mins prep

6 servings

This Eastern European classic is the ideal comfort food. Don't let the short ingredient list fool you; this simple dish packs lots of flavor into each bite.
2 pounds Savoy cabbage
1 stick unsalted butter
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups water
8 ounces wide egg noodles
2 teaspoons poppy seeds (optional)

Core cabbage, then cut into 2-inch pieces.

Melt butter in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat until foam subsides. Cook onion and garlic in butter with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add cabbage and water, then cover skillet and cook until cabbage is very tender, about 15 minutes.

Cook pasta in a large pot of well-salted boiling water. Drain pasta then top with cabbage mixture and sprinkle with poppy seeds, if using.

Filed under: Pasta, Vegetable, Eastern European, Skillet, Easy, One-Dish, Quick, Vegetarian, Healthy, Main Dish, Side Dish, Dinner

Orzo Salad with Tomatoes, Feta, and Basil Vinaigrette

28 mins total 20 mins prep

4 servings

For the vinaigrette:
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup basil, thinly sliced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the salad:
2 cups cooked orzo pasta
12 grape tomatoes, cut in half
2 cups baby spinach leaves
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
2 tablespoons fresh flat leaf parsley, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, for garnish

Make the vinaigrette: Whisk the vinegar, shallot, and garlic in a medium bowl to blend. Slowly drizzle in the oil while whisking until fully incorporated. Stir in the basil and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Make the salad: Toss the pasta, tomatoes, spinach, feta cheese, nuts, and parsley in a large bowl with enough vinaigrette to coat. Season the salad to taste with salt and pepper.

Mound the salad on a large serving platter and sprinkle with the chives.

Filed under: Pasta, Salad

Simple Veggie Bars

These are SO Easy and are a delicious variation of veggies and dip! Must try!

2 (8 oz.) tubes Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
12 oz. cream cheese softened
1 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. ranch dressing mix dry
1 cup cauliflower finely chopped, I use my food processor
1 cup broccoli finely chopped, I use my food processor
1/2 cup grated carrots
8 oz. grated colby cheese optional

Spread rolls onto 8x15 inch jelly roll pan. Bake at 375 degrees F for 11-13 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool completely.
Mix softened cream cheese, mayonnaise and Ranch dressing mix in a medium bowl until combine.
Spread cream cheese mixture over cooled crust.
Sprinkle veggies evenly over top.
Next sprinkle grated cheese over top if desired.
Refrigerate until set. Cut into bars and serve.

Italian Pasta Stew

1 Tbl. Olive oil 
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
4 new red potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 1/2" slices
1 large carrot, cut into 1/2" slices
2 cans (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes with roasted garlic
1 cup water
1 cup uncooked rotini
1 pkg. Italian Sausage, sliced into 1/4" rounds
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Heat oil in large saucepan. Add onion and cook 2-3 minutes. Add potatoes and carrot, cook 1 minute. Add tomatoes, water and rotini; bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook 5 minutes. Add sausage and continue to cook an additional 5-8 minutes or until pasta and vegetables are tender and stew is slightly thickened. Top each serving with cheese.

6 servings

Macaroni Grill Ravioli Di Gamberi Recipe

1 pound flour
4 eggs
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon salt

***Shrimp Stuffing***
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 pound shrimp, cleaned and devined
2 leeks, white portion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 pound ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped fine
1/2 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped fine

***Lemon Butter Sauce***
2 1/2 cups butter
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 tablespoon garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon saffron
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 pound cooked shrimp

Pasta: Place the flour in a mound on a clean, dry surface. Form a well or hole in the center of the flour. Beak eggs into the center of the flour and add the oil, water, and salt. Use your hands to mix the ingredients together and slowly mix in the flour. Knead until well mixed. Cover with a clean towel, and let it rest for 30 minutes. Cut the dough into quarters. Begin to pass the dough through a pasta machine and continue to run it through until the dough is smooth. Run the dough through the thinnest setting to form 4 sheets of dough.

Shrimp Filling: Place olive oil and butter in a saute pan. Warm. Add shrimp, leeks, salt, and pepper. Cook for 4 minutes. Remove 1/2 of shrimp and set aside.

In a bowl combine ricotta cheese, egg, cream, basil and thyme, and mix together. Combine cooled shrimp mixture and leek mixture.

Filling the Ravioli: Brush each sheet of pasta with beaten egg. Place 1 tablespoon mounds of shrimp/leek mixture 3 inches apart along 1 side of pasta. Fold the pasta over to form pockets. Gently press an indentation into the dough between the mounds of shrimp/leek mixture. Cut the ravioli into pieces along these lines.

Lemon Butter Sauce: Melt butter in a saute pan. Add garlic, saffron, and pepper. Saute for 2 minutes. Add white wine and cookfor 1 minute. Add lemon juice and cream. Cook until well mixed. Add cooked shrimp and cook for 1 minute.

White Bean Ravioli with Brown Butter and Caper Sauce

courtesy Sandra Lee, 2007
Show: Semi-Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee
Episode: Restaurant Remakes - Bobby and Mario

Difficulty: Intermediate
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Yield: 6 servings

For the ravioli:
1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans
1 egg
3 tablespoons balsamic vinaigrette
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 teaspoons Italian seasoning (recommended: McCormick)
24 wonton wrappers (recommended: Dynasty)

For the sauce:
1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
2 tablespoons capers
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning (recommended: McCormick)
1 tablespoon freshly minced parsley leaves
Freshly grated Parmesan, for serving

For the ravioli:
In a blender, puree together the beans, egg, vinaigrette, cheese, and Italian seasoning; set aside.

Working in batches, so the wrappers don't dry out, lay out 6 to 8 wonton wrappers. Place 1/2 tablespoon of bean mixture in the center of each. Moisten 2 connecting edges of the wonton wrapper with your finger dipped in water.

Fold wrapper in half to form a triangle. Press edges together to seal. Repeat with remaining wonton wrappers and filling.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a low boil.

For the sauce:
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook until it begins to brown and have a nutty aroma. Turn off heat and stir in capers and Italian seasoning.

Working in batches, cook ravioli in boiling salted water until just tender, about 3 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer ravioli to hot butter sauce. Add parsley to pan. Use a spoon to coat ravioli with sauce. Transfer to plates and add salt.

Serve immediately garnished with grated Parmesan