Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Pasta Shells with Zucchini

Recipe from: food.com

1 lb jumbo pasta shells
1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
FILLING 1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 onions, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
3 medium zucchini
1 bunch spinach (about 1/2 lb)
1 lb ricotta cheese
1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
2 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley or 1/4 cup basil
SAUCE
1/4 cup unsalted butter or 1/4 cup olive oil
2 onions, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 (28 ounce) cans plum tomatoes, undrained
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 FILLING: Melt butter over medium heat in a large, heavy dutch oven.
2 Add onions& garlic; cook until onions are tender& wilted, stirring occasionally.
3 PREPARE ZUCCHINI: Wash well, taste a bit of the skin from each& peel only if it tastes bitter.
4 Grate& place in a colander in the sink.
5 sprinkle with about 2 tsps of salt& let excess liquid drain for 30 minutes.
6 Rinse with cold water to remove most of the salt& then toss on a clean tea towel (or paper towels) to dry before cooking.
7 Add drained zucchini to dutch oven& cook until any moisture evaporates.
8 PREPARE SPINACH: Wash well& trim off tough stems.
9 Place leaves, with water from washing still clinging to them, in a large pot.
10 Cook for a few minutes or just until leaves have wilted.
11 Let cool, then wring dry in a clean tea towel& chop.
12 Add spinach to the dutch oven and combine thoroughly.
13 Remove from heat& allow the mixture to cool.
14 Drain off excess liquid.
15 Beat eggs in a medium sized bowl; add ricotta& beat until smooth.
16 Add Parmesan and seasonings; mix well.
17 Combine with vegetable mixture in the dutch oven, mix thoroughly; set aside.
18 SAUCE: Melt butter in large, heavy pot; cook onions& garlic until tender and wilted.
19 Add tomatoes, including their liquid, breaking up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon.
20 Cook for 30- 45 minutes or until sauce has thickened.
21 Purée and test for seasonings.
22 Set aside.
23 Pasta: Cook shells in a large pot of salted water, according to package directions until"el dente".
24 Drain well and rinse with cold water to stop cooking and prevent sticking.
25 Using a colander, gently shake shells to drain excess water.
26 Lightly grease a 13 x 9 inch casserole dish.
27 Spoon some of the filling into each shell& arrange, stuffed side up, in the casserole dish.
28 Pour sauce over the shells& sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
29 (If you can only find small shells, just layer them on the bottom of the casserole dish, cover with a layer of filling, a layer of sauce and sprinkle with Parmesan).
30 Bake at 350°F for 40-50 minutes or until heated through and bubbling.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Copycat Applebee's Oriental Chicken Salad

We've enjoyed this salad a couple of times this summer.  I love how light and refreshing it is. The dressing is so good!  I used cabbage from our garden, so I used green cabbage for all the cabbage in the salad.  This made enough for us to eat for 2 meals, but there were no complaints here.



Recipe adapted from: Tastes Better from Scratch

Honey Oriental Dressing

6 Tbsp honey
3 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tsp Dijon Mustard
1/4 tsp sesame oil
For the Chicken

1 egg
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
1 cup cornflake crumbs
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 chicken breasts
oil, for frying
For the Salad

4 cups chopped romaine lettuce
1/2 cup chopped red cabbage
1/2 cup chopped napa cabbage
2 carrot, shredded
2 green onion, chopped
2 Tbsp sliced almonds
Blend together all ingredients for the dressing. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Prepare the salad: Combine the romaine, red cabbage, napa cabbage, carrots, and green onions.

Preheat oil for frying.  In a small bowl beat the egg and milk together. In another bowl combine the flour, cornflake crumbs and salt and pepper.
Cut chicken breast into several long thin strips. Dip the strips in the egg mixture, and then into the flour mixture, coating completely. Add chicken strips to the hot oil and fry for 3-4 minutes or until cooked through and coating is dark golden brown.
Add chicken pieces on top of salad and sprinkle with almonds. Serve with the honey oriental dressing. 

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Skinny version of Wendy'd frosty...

3/4 cup Almond Milk
about 15 ice cubes
1/2 tsp Vanilla
1-2 Tbsp unsweetened Cocoa powder
1/3 of a Banana
Blend.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Kung Pao Chicken


Recipe from:  Favorite Family Recipes

1 lb. chicken, cut into chunks
1/4 c. chicken broth
6 Tbsp. soy sauce
4 tsp. sesame oil, divided
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 small zucchini, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
3 cloves chopped garlic
4 Tbsp. cornstarch, dissolved in 4 tablespoons water
3 heaping Tbsp. chile paste
3 tsp. distilled white vinegar
3 Tbsp. brown sugar
5 green onions, chopped
1-2 handfuls peanuts


In a medium-sized bowl, combine 1 Tbsp. chicken broth, 1 Tbsp. soy sauce, 2 tsp. sesame oil and 1 Tbsp. cornstarch/water mixture and mix together. Add chicken pieces to mixture. Toss to coat. Cover bowl and place in refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet. Add zucchini and peppers and saute for a minute or so (don't let them get too soft or they will become soggy). Add garlic and saute another minute. In a small bowl, combine remaining broth, soy sauce, oil and cornstarch/water mixture. Stir in chili paste, vinegar and sugar. Add sauce mixture to skillet with the sauteed veggies. Add green onion, water chestnuts, peanuts, and red pepper flakes. Heat sauce slowly over medium heat.
Remove chicken from marinade and saute in a medium skillet until meat is white and juices run clear. Add sauteed chicken to sauce and simmer together until sauce thickens. If the sauce is too thick, add a little bit of chicken broth a little at a time until sauce reaches desired thickness.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Homemade Icees


We have enjoyed this homemade version for years.  It is a perfect cool down when it is hot.  Just don't sip it too fast :) 

Recipe from: Mostly Homemade Mom

1 packet Kool Aid (any flavor but cherry is our favorite)
2 cups seltzer or club soda (I use club soda)
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/2 cups ice

Dissolve sugar and kool aid packet in one cup of the club soda, you can do this right in the blender. Add ice and pulse until all ice chunks are gone. Add remaining one cup of club soda and blend. Pour into glasses and serve.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Simple Marinated Chicken


I loved how simple the ingredients were and how fantastic this chicken tasted.  John was also happy with this chicken, it is likely to be appearing for dinners often throughout the summer. 




Recipe from: Mix It Up

1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon oregano

1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup vinegar
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Combine mix with oil and vinegar and add raw chicken.  Marinade chicken at least 2 hours in the fridge a day if possible. 

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Cilantro Lime Guacamole

This guacamole was fantastic for Chili's Tortilla Soup.


Recipe from: Craftaholics Anonymous

2 Ripe Avocados
1/2 fresh Lime
3 Tablespoon Diced Jalapeño pepper, I used ground up Jalapeño powder I made from dried Jalapeños
Pinch of Salt
Pinch of Black Pepper
1/4 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/4Cup Cilantro, chopped {about 1/4 bunch}

Remove the peel and pit from each avocado and place in a medium bowl. Gently mash with a fork, leaving it a little chunky. Squeeze the juice and some pump from one lime onto the avocados. Then sprinkle on salt, black pepper, and garlic powder. Stir well. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Then fold in cilantro and jalapeño peppers. Serve immediately or refrigerate until serving.