Friday, December 28, 2007

What A Great List

Here is a link to the Food Network's 100 recipes in 2007. Wow, I can't wait to start cooking in '08. Enjoy!! :)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Feta Pepper Dip

This has been the other recipe sitting on my desk to share.

8 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup mayonnaise or plain yogurt
1/2 cup pickled peppers (pepperoncini), finely chopped
1/4 cup scallions, sliced
1/2 tsp. lemon zest, minced
Black pepper to taste
Toasted & salted Pita Chips ( I like Stacy's brand)

Blend feta, cream cheese and mayo in a food processor until smooth, scraping down sides a couple of times. Transfer to a mixing bowl.

Fold in peppers, scallions, lemon zest and pepper. Transfer to a serving dish and chill at least 1 hour.

Drizzle dip with EVOO and garnish with pepper. Serve with chips. Recipe also calls to serve with BBQ chips.

Note: You must like the pepperoncini peppers to like this (the green pickled peppers that come with Olive Garden salads and Papa Johns pizza). We love them and really loved this dip. You could substitute other fun medaterranian items in this too (olives, red peppers, etc)--the base is fantastic. It's milk but really has a lot of flavor. make sure the peppers are small enough they don't overpower in a single bite.

This is from Cuisine at Home--my favorite magazine and recipe source!


Easy Beef Stew--yummy too!

1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
2 cups carrots chopped
2 large potatoes, cut in 1/2 inch chunks
1 cup fresh green beans, in bite-sized pieces (or one can)
1 lb. beef stew meat (I like to trim mine of fat and cut into bite sized pieces)
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1 clove garlic, crushed ( i don't use, but for those who love it)
3 cups beef stock
2 Tbsp. light brown sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
pepper to taste

Put everything in the crock pot and stir to combine. Cover and cook on low for 8-9 hours or high for 4-6. (The longer the better). Cook until beef is tender and the potatoes are fork tender. Stir once or twice as it cooks, if possible.

About 30 minutes before serving the stew needs to be thickened. You can do it two different ways:

Method 1: Transfer a ladleful of the broth to a small mixing bowl. Add 3 Tbsp. flour and 2 tsp. tomato paste and whisk until smooth. Stir the mixture into the stew and cook for an additional 1/2 hour.

Method 2: Mix equal parts room temperature softened butter and flour. This is called a Beurre manie'. I generally do 1/4 cup of each and if there is extra you can save it in the fridge wrapped in plastic wrap. Transfer a ladleful of the stew broth into a bowl and whisk in about 2-3 Tbsp. of the beurre manie till dissolved. Stir back into the stew and cook for an additional 1/2 hour. If it needs to be thickened more, you can stir this right into the crock pot if you work with it to make sure it gets dissolved.

I like the butter method better (obviously! who wouldn't, but the other way is a little healthier and I do the other cause Reed doesn't really like tomato). This really is great cause it cooks all day and is so EASY.

Adapted from on old Family Fun recipe.


PS--Jamie, I hope I did this right.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Tortellini Soup


1 pound of turkey sausage
1 yellow onion, chopped*
8 oz bag of Tortellinis
3 (8 oz) can of tomato soup
3 (8 oz) cans of water
2 zucchini, sliced into quarter slices
3 carrots, sliced
1 can of green beans
1 teaspoon of oregano


In a big pot, cook the turkey sausage and the onion until brown. Add the tomato soup, water, the zucchini, carrots, green beans, oregano and tortellini and cook for 20 minutes or until tortellini and vegetables are cooked. Depending on the consistency that you like, you might want to add more water. It'll make the difference between stew or soup.

*If it's a large onion, you only need to use half of the onion.


Thursday, December 6, 2007

Classic Baked Penne Casserole

Makes 4-6 servings


8 ounces of Penne pasta, cooked and drained

1/2 pound ground beef, cooked and drained (add some spices while cooking if desired)

1 26-ounce jar of your favorite pasta sauce (or about 3 cups of your homemade sauce)

2 c. Mozzarella cheese, shredded (you can also add a little parmesan cheese if you have it on hand)

Parsley, dried or fresh and chopped

Salt and Pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together cooked pasta, beef, sauce and 1 c. of the shredded cheese. Place pasta mixture into baking dish and cover with lid or aluminum foil. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Take dish out of the oven and remove cover, top with remaining 1 c. of shredded cheese and sprinkle with parsley. Bake for another 8-10 minutes. This recipe can be double easily and cooked in a 10x13 baking pan.