Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Okay, I l-o-v-e food. I love cooking it, I love eating it and I love it when the work is easy. I got these recipes from Robin Miller (food network) and they are awesome.

I have tried all three recipes. You make three meals out of one recipe, one major TIME SAVER. You make the lasagna filling and you can use the filling for your other two meals of the week or you can freeze the filling and make more lasagna or other pasta dishes through out the months up to 3. If you decide to freeze the filling as a pasta sauce I would recommend changing the beef to Italian sausage. Yum-o

*Cooks note: this amount of filling makes enough for 3 recipes. If you are only making this recipe, the extra sauce can be frozen for up to 3 months. The other recipes (Beef Tacos with Mango-Hot Pepper Salsa) and (Sloppy Joe Sandwich's)

The thing I love most about this Lasagna is that you don’t have to cook the noodles before hand, you just layer with uncooked regular lasagna noodles and cover with tin foil. Another BIG TIME SAVER, I was nervous trying that theory out at first because I always cook the noodles first, but it turned out perfect.

Lasagna Filling*:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 pounds lean ground beef or ground turkey( I use Italian sausage for just pasta’s)
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3 (28-ounce) cans diced tomatoes
1 (14-ounce) can tomato sauce

4 cups ricotta cheese (I like cottage cheese but both ways are good)
8 ounces grated mozzarella cheese (regular or part-skim), divided
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
12 uncooked lasagna noodles
1/4 cup grated Parmesan or Romano
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
For the Lasagna Filling:

Heat the oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and saute 3 minutes, until soft. Add, beef and cook 5 to 7 minutes, until browned all over, breaking up the meat as it cooks. Stir in basil, oregano and red pepper flakes.
Add diced tomatoes and tomato sauce and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and simmer 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

For the Lasagna:
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine ricotta, half of the mozzarella, egg, and black pepper. Mix well.

Pour 1 cup of the meat sauce in the bottom of a 13 by 9-inch lasagna pan. Arrange 4 UNCOOKED lasagna noodles on top of sauce, overlapping noodles slightly to cover the bottom. Spoon half of the cheese mixture over noodles. Top with 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce and 4 more noodles. Top second layer of noodles with remaining cheese mixture, 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce and 4 more noodles. Top noodles with 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce and remaining mozzarella cheese. Top with Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil and bake 45 minutes. Uncover and bake 15 more minutes, until top is golden and bubbly. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing.

Refrigerate or freeze the remaining sauce. Other recipes bellow

Beef Tacos with Mango-Hot Pepper Salsa

2 cups leftover lasagna filling
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 cups diced fresh mango
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
2 tablespoons minced red onion
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Salt and ground black pepper
8 taco shells (soft, hard or you can make your own)
1 cup shredded Romaine lettuce
1 cup grated Cheddar (regular or reduced-fat)
1/2 cup sour cream (regular or reduced-fat)
Spoon lasagna filling into a large skillet and add chili powder and cumin. Bring mixture to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine mango, jalapeno, red onion, cilantro, and lime juice. Season, to taste, with salt and black pepper.
Serve beef mixture with taco shells, lettuce, grated cheese, sour cream, and mango salsa on the side.

Sloppy Joe Sandwiches

1 1/2 cups leftover lasagna filling
1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons dried basil
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 Kaiser rolls, halved
Spoon lasagna filling into a large saucepan. Add corn, green pepper, ketchup, Dijon, chili powder, basil, and cayenne pepper and bring mixture to a simmer. Cook 5 to 7 minutes, until green pepper is soft and mixture is heated through.
Spoon mixture onto rolls and serve hot.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Romano's Macaroni Grill Focaccia Recipe

Romano's Macaroni Grill Focaccia Recipe

This is a "copycat" recipe I found this recipe at CDKitchen.com
1¼ hours 50 min prep
· 9 tablespoons olive oil (divided use)
· 3 cups
unsifted all-purpose flour
· 3/4 cup unsifted
semolina flour
· 1/2 teaspoon
salt (divided)
· 1 1/2 tablespoons
fast-rising active dry yeast
· 1 1/2 cups hot
milk (between 120 and 130 degrees)
· 1 tablespoon
fresh rosemary leaf
Pour a scant tablespoon of the olive oil into a 9"-square cake pan; spread evenly to cover bottom and sides.
Place all-purpose flour, semolina flour, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and all of the yeast in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook.
(The mixing can be done by hand as well.) Blend ingredients on medium speed.
Reduce speed to low and slowly add.
hot milk.
Raise the speed to medium and continue mixing for 5 minutes (knead about 8 to 10 minutes by hand).
Sprinkle bottom of cake pan with a little flour.
Remove dough from bowl and spread out evenly in pan.
Cover with a towel and let rest for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Remove towel.
Brush dough with 1 to 2 tablespoons of the olive oil.
Sprinkle top with additional salt and.
Bake for 20 minutes.
Remove from oven and drizzle with remaining oil.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Recipes of the WEEK!


These pancakes took me fifteen minutes to whip up and they are so yummy!

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 Tbsp granulated sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup buttermilk (you can you regular milk, but buttermilk taste better)

3 Tbsp unsalted butter melted

5 oz fresh blueberries (I used frozen)

Sift the flour, sugar, backing powder, and salt together into a large bowl and make a well in the center.

Beat the buttermilk, butter and egg together in a separate small bowl, then pour the mixture into the well in the dry ingredients. Beat the dry into the liquid gradually drawing them in from the sides until a smooth batter is formed. Gently stir in the blueberries. flip after 1-2 minutes on each side. Homemade pancakes made easy!!

Peanut butter Bars

For those of you who love peanut butter and chocolate this is for you it a winner. I got this recipe from sisters' cafe and its yum.o.o.! You can either make them with a layer of melted chocolate and peanut butter frosting or just do chocolate frosting. I tried them with the chocolate frosting this time around! I also add more cocoa powder to the frosting!

Peanut Butter Bars
3/4 c butter
3/4 c sugar
3/4 c brown sugar
3/4 c peanut butter
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 c flour
1 1/2 c oats

Cream together the butter and sugars. Add peanut butter, eggs, and vanilla and beat until smooth. Add dry ingredients and mix the oats until a firm dough is made. Grease a cookie sheet and spread mixture in the pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden.

Chocolate Butter Frosting
1/2 c butter
3 1/2 tsp cocoa
6 Tb milk
1 tsp vanilla

Boil together, remove from heat and add powdered sugar until desired consistency.
*If you are doing the PB frosting, sprinkle a bag of milk chocolate chips over the peanut butter bars after they come out of the oven. Once they are melted, spread evenly. Cool completely then spread on PB frosting.

Peanut Butter Frosting
1/2 c butter
1/2 c peanut butter
2/3 c powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 Tb milk

BEST Carrot Cake EVER!

I make this Carrot Cake with three layers but it is yummy in any shape!

Preparation: 35 minutes
Baking time: 50 minutes

Carrot Cake

2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cooking oil (I use vegetable oil)
1/2 tsp salt
4 eggs
2 cups flour
2tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
3 cups shredded carrots
1/2 cup raisins (opt..I leave them out)
1/2 cup chopped walnut(I leave those out too lol)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix sugar oil and salt together, add eggs, mixing in one at a time ad remaining dry ingredients plus carrots, nuts and raisins. Pour into greased and floured tub pan and bake for 45 minutes.

Cream Cheese Frosting

Oh my goodness, this is a simple and yummy recipe and only took 15 minutes in my mixer. Make sure you start with room temperature or softened butter and cream cheese. It will make your life a million times easier. If you are wanting sweeter tasting cream cheese frosting add an extra 1 cup of sifted confectioners sugar. I also doubled the vanilla extract for a more intense flavor.

2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter until creamy. Mix in the vanilla, then gradually stir in the confectioners' sugar. Store in the refrigerator after use.

Honey Lime Enchiladas

I was not able to taste these Enchilada's because I'm on my cleanse, but Jason said they were yummy. We love Mexican food and I'm big on Enchilada's. I'm going to try another recipe for it next month. I got this recipe from kitchen cafe!

6 tablespoons honey

5 tablespoons lime juice (1 large lime)

1 tablespoons chili powder

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder1 pound chicken, cooked and shredded (I used 5 small chicken breasts)

8-10 flour tortillas ( I used uncooked tortillas. You can find them by the cheeses at the supermarket and they are so fresh they taste homemade with out all the work, took me ten minutes to make them)

1 pound monterey jack cheese, shredded

16 ounces green enchilada sauce

1 cup heavy cream

Mix the first four ingredients and toss with shredded chicken. Let it marinate for at least 1/2 hour. Pour about 1/2 cup enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 9X13 baking pan. Fill flour tortillas with chicken and shredded cheese, saving about 1 cup of cheese to sprinkle on top of enchiladas. Mix the remaining enchilada sauce with the cream and leftover marinade( I didn't have leftover marinade). Pour sauce on top of the enchiladas and sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes until brown and crispy on top.