Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Lasagna Cups


For the sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 large onion
  • 1/2 pound lean ground beef cooked and drained
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 small zucchini, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-6 oz. can tomato paste
  • 1-8 oz. can tomato sauce {+1/2 can water to wash out can}
  • 1-14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • salt & pepper to taste

For the cheese filling:
  • 1-10 oz. tub Philadelphia Italian Herb & Cheese Cooking Cream
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 pound mozzarella cheese, grated & divided
  • 1/3 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 21 lasagne pasta sheets


  1. For the sauce- heat olive oil over medium heat and saute onions, pepper, zucchini and garlic until tender, 5 minutes. Stir in cooked ground beef and tomato paste until well incorporated. Stir in remaining ingredients and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to low and cook 30 minutes or so. {The longer it cooks, the better it will taste!} This will be very thick.
  2. For the cheese filling- stir all ingredients together excluding half of the grated mozzarella cheese. Set aside.
  3. For the pasta- Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Cook pasta sheets 2 minutes less than package directions and drain. Place pasta on greased baking sheet until you are ready for assembly.
  4. For assembly- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 12 jumbo muffin tins with squares of parchment paper. If they don't stay in on their own, that's ok--the pasta will help with that. Line the edges of the muffin tins with 1 pasta sheet per cup. {Pasta sheet will overlap about 2 inches.} Spoon about 1/2 tablespoon of sauce into the bottom of each cup {#1}. Next cut 9 pasta sheets into quarters and press one of these pieces of pasta into the bottom on top of the sauce {#2}. Top pasta sheet with a generous tablespoon of sauce {#3} and then a generous tablespoon of cheese filling {#4}. Repeat this pasta-sauce-cheese layering one more time being sure to press out any air bubbles. Top these lasagna cups off with a 3rd piece of pasta, more sauce and the remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until everything is hot and bubbly. Serve hot.

Bacon Cheeseburger Bombs


  • 1 can (16.3 oz) Pillsbury Grands!
  •  Flaky Layers refrigerated original or buttermilk biscuits
  • 1 lb lean (at least 80%) ground beef, 
  • cooked or 16 frozen (thawed) cooked meatballs
  • 1 block (8 oz) Cheddar cheese, cut into 16 cubes
  • 16 slices bacon Long toothpicks or skewers Canola oil for frying


  1. Separate dough into 8 biscuits. Cut each biscuit in half; press with hands into circle about 3 inches in diameter.
  2. In center of each biscuit round, place 2 tablespoons cooked ground beef (or 1 meatball) and 1 cube of cheese. Wrap dough to completely enclose beef and cheese; pinch seams to seal.
  3. For the Fried Version: Wrap each stuffed “bomb” with 1 bacon slice; gently secure loose bacon with toothpick by inserting it through bacon and halfway into “bomb.” In 3-quart heavy saucepan or deep fryer, heat oil to 350°F. Fry stuffed “bombs” 4 to 5 minutes or until dough is golden brown on all sides. Place on paper towels to cool. Repeat with remaining "bombs". Serve warm with ketchup and mustard, if desired.
  4. For the Baked Version: Heat oven to 400°F. Place bacon on foil-lined cookie sheet with sides. Bake about 8 minutes to partially cook bacon. Wrap each stuffed “bomb” with 1 slice partially cooked bacon slice. Place bacon wrapped dough 2-inches apart on two foil-lined cookie sheets with dough seam side down. Bake 13 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm with ketchup and mustard, if desired.

Sweet Potato Lentil Stew


  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1-1/4 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed (about 3 cups)
  • 1-1/2 cups dried lentils, rinsed
  • 3 medium carrots, cut into chunks
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  1. In a 3-qt. slow cooker, combine the first nine ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours or until vegetables are tender. Stir in cilantro and salt.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Cedar Planked Salmon with Maple Glaze and Mustard Mashed Potatoes


  • 1 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated peeled fresh gingerroot
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • an untreated cedar plank (about 17 by 10 1/2 inches) if desired
  • a 2 1/2-pound center-cut salmon fillet with skin
  • greens from 1 bunch scallions
  • Mustard Mashed Potatoes


  1. In a small heavy saucepan simmer maple syrup, gingerroot, 3 tablespoons lemon juice, soy sauce, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste until reduced to about 1 cup, about 30 minutes, and let cool. (Maple glaze may be made 2 days ahead and chilled, covered. Bring maple glaze to room temperature before proceeding.)
  2. Preheat oven to 350° F. If using cedar plank, lightly oil and heat in middle of oven 15 minutes; or lightly oil a shallow baking pan large enough to hold salmon.
  3. Arrange scallion greens in one layer on plank or in baking pan to form a bed for fish.
  4. In another small saucepan heat half of glaze over low heat until heated through to use as a sauce. Stir in remaining tablespoon lemon juice. Remove pan from heat and keep sauce warm, covered.
  5. Put salmon, skin side down, on scallion greens and brush with remaining glaze. Season salmon with salt and pepper and roast in middle of oven until just cooked through, about 20 minutes if using baking pan or about 35 if using plank.
  6. Cut salmon crosswise into 6 pieces. On each of 6 plates arrange salmon and scallion greens on a bed of mashed potatoes. Drizzle salmon with warm sauce.

Porterhouse Steak with Seared Cherry Tomatoes


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 (1 1/2-inch-thick) porterhouse steaks (about 1 3/4 pounds each)
  • 4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 4 (1/2-pint) containers mixed cherry tomatoes
  • 6 large thyme sprigs
  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely torn basil leaves


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F with rack in middle.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet (preferably cast-iron) over medium-high heat until it shimmers.
  3. Meanwhile, pat steaks dry and sprinkle with kosher salt and 1 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
  4. Sear steaks 1 at a time, turning once, until well browned, about 10 minutes total per steak. Transfer steaks to a shallow baking pan (do not clean skillet) and cook in oven until an instant-read thermometer inserted in center of steaks registers 120°F for medium-rare, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a platter and let stand 15 minutes.
  5. While steaks stand, pour off oil from skillet. Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil and heat over medium-high heat until it shimmers, then sauté garlic until golden, about 2 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a plate. Add tomatoes and thyme to hot oil (be careful; oil will spatter), then lightly season with salt and pepper and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, just until tomatoes begin to wilt, about 2 minutes. Stir in any meat juices from platter, then scatter basil over tomatoes and spoon over steaks.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes

  • 2-1/2 pounds Ground Beef 
  • 1/2 whole Large Onion, Diced 
  • 1 whole Large Green Bell Pepper, Diced 
  • 5 cloves Garlic, Minced 
  • 1-1/2 cup Ketchup 
  • 1 cup Water 
  • 2 Tbsp Brown Sugar 
  • 2 tsp Chili Powder 
  • 2 TBSP prepared Mustard (I use French's) 
  • 1/4 tsp Red Pepper Flakes 
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce 
  • 1/4 cup Tomato Paste 
  • 1-1/2 tsp Salt 
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
Instructions for Stove Top
  1. Brown and drain ground beef, add in Bell Peppers, Onions and Minced Garlic. 
  2. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. 
  3. Add Ketchup, Water, Brown Sugar, Red Pepper Flakes, Tomato Paste, Salt, and Black Pepper. 
  4. Cook over medium/low heat for 10 minutes or until warmed through. 
  5. Serve on sandwich buns, toasted if desired. 

Instructions  for Slow Cooker
  1. Brown and drain Ground beef. 
  2. Add cooked Ground Beef, Bell Peppers, Onions, Minced Garlic, Ketchup, Water, Brown Sugar, Red Pepper Flakes, Tomato Paste, Salt, and Black Pepper to the slow cooker. 
  3. Cook on low for 4 - 6 hours. 
  4. Serve on Sandwich Buns, Toasted if desired.

Oven Fried Buttermilk Chicken & Gravy

  • 4 Chicken breast, trimmed and pounded to 1/4 inch
  • 2 cups buttermilk, divided
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp Lawry's seasoning salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 family sized can, cream of mushroom soup

Instructions :
  1. Combine flour, Lawry's, and black pepper. 
  2. Dip chicken into 1/2 cup of buttermilk then dredge in flour mixture. 
  3. Melt the butter in a 13x9 glass baking dish then put chicken in the pan. 
  4. Bake at 400 degrees uncovered for 30 minutes. 
  5. Turn chicken over and bake for 15 more minutes. 
  6. Combine 1 1/2 cup of buttermilk with the family sized cream of mushroom soup then turn breast again and pour over chicken and bake for 15 more minutes for a total cooking time of 1 hour. 

This is DELICIOUS served over biscuits, of the canned variety. Enjoy!