Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Spinach-Artichoke Cheesy Tortellini

Spinach-Artichoke Cheesy Tortellini
Recipe from Rachel Ray


1 (10 ounce) box frozen spinach, thawed and drained
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 small onion, grated
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream (I just used milk)
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 (14 ounce) can water-packed artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 cup grated parmesan cheese or romano cheese (I was totally out which I realized AFTER I started the recipe so I just threw in a hand full of mozzarella)
1 lb cheese tortellini(I used half cheese, half spinach and ricotta)
My family must have meat so I threw in a hand full of cooked shrimp at the end.  Chicken would work good too.

Heat a deep skillet over medium heat with the oil and butter.
When butter melts, add garlic and grated onion. Saute for 5 minutes.
Sprinkle the flour into the skillet and cook for 1 minute.
Whisk in the broth, then the cream and bring to a bubble.
Season the sauce with nutmeg and reduce heat to low.
Separate spinach into pieces as you add it to the sauce.
Stir in the artichokes and cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper
Cook the tortellini in salted boiling water according to package directions, about 7 minutes.
Drain and toss with the spinach artichoke sauce.

Inside Out Stuffed Peppers

 Inside Out Stuffed Peppers
(recipe from AllRecipes.com)

1 (19 ounce) package Italian Sausage, cut into 2-inch pieces (I "skinned" mine)(I used about 1 lb)
1 green pepper, sliced
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
1/2 cup frozen corn (I didnt have any so used a can at the last minute, which was way more than it called for)
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
3 cups cooked rice (I used brown rice)

In a nonstick skillet over medium heat, cook sausage and peppers until sausage is browned. Add tomato sauce, corn and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer 15 minutes or until sausage is fully cooked. Serve over hot rice. 

This was good.  Kind of plain, but easy and good.  A sprinkling of cheese would have been good on it too. 

Baked Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Style

Baked Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Style
(recipe from AllRecipes.com)

1 spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
1 onion, chopped
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 (14 ounce) cans stewed tomatoes (I used home canned marinara and left out the spices)
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 cube vegetable bouillon
black pepper to taste
1 (15 ounce) can black olives, chopped
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Spray a baking sheet with a thin layer of cooking spray. Place squash halves cut side down on the baking sheet.  Bake squash 35 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a knife can be easily inserted. Remove from oven, and cool. (I microwaved mine cut side down in a bit of water for about 10 minutes)

Meanwhile, spray a non-stick saucepan with cooking spray. Over medium heat, saute the onion and garlic until golden brown. Stir in tomatoes, basil, bouillon cube, and black pepper. Cook for about 15 minutes, or until you have a medium thick sauce.
Remove squash strands with a fork, reserving the shells. Layer each half with a spoonful of the sauce, a layer of spaghetti squash strands, olives, and mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers until shells are full, or until all of the ingredients are used. Top with Parmesan cheese. 

Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until Parmesan cheese melts. 

Since my family are "meat lovers" I added some cooked Italian sausage to the sauce. 

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Chocolate Zucchini Bread
(recipe from AllRecipes.com)

3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups white sugar
3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups shredded zucchini
1 cup chopped walnuts (I was out of nuts so I left them out)
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
 Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease two 9x5 inch loaf pans.
In large bowl, combine flour, cocoa, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt, mix well. In separate bowl, combine sugar and eggs, beat until well blended. Add oil and vanilla; beat until combined. Stir in zucchini. Add flour mixture; stir just until moistened. Stir in nuts and chocolate chips. Spoon evenly into loaf pans.

Bake in preheated oven for 55 to 60 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove bread from pans; cool completely on wire rack.
I've made chocolate zucchini bread before but this is by far the best recipe I've tried.  

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Carrot Cupcakes

Carrot Cupcakes
I got this from my friend Kendra (Busy Moms=Easy Meals on FB) who said she got it from Food Network.

No picture because they didnt last that long!!

3/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 cup canola oil
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup natural applesauce
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups finely shredded carrots (about 2 medium carrots)
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons finely chopped walnuts (I didnt have any so I threw in some pecans I had)
4 ounces 1/3 fat cream cheese (recommended: Neufchatel) (I just used regular since its what I had)
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest (was out of this too!)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners. I just sprayed my silicon pan with cooking spray, minimal sticking.

Sift together the first 6 ingredients. In a large bowl, whisk the oil, brown sugar and eggs until well combined. Whisk in the applesauce, vanilla and carrots. Add the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Stir in 1/4 cup of the chopped walnuts.

Divide the batter between the muffin cups. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

With an electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese, confectioners' sugar and lemon zest until smooth and creamy. Frost the cooled cupcakes and sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts. The cupcakes should be stored in the refrigerator.  We like icing alot so I doubled the recipe, it wasnt TOO much, just right.