Monday, February 11, 2013

INA GARTEN'S SALMON CAKES


I don't know how Ina Garten does it but her recipes are always above and beyond amazing. A friend made these for me a few year ago and I immediately fell in love.  I made some very slight adjustments to her recipe. I added the site link in case you want to check it out for yourself and follow it the way she does it. These are really delicious, if you like salmon definitely give them a try!

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/salmon-cakes-recipe/index.html

INA GARTEN'S SALMON CAKES
-1/2 LB fresh salmon
-Olive oil
-Salt and Pepper
-4 tbs butter
-1 small red onion, diced
-4 celery stalks, diced
-1 small red bell pepper, diced
-1 small yellow bell pepper, diced
-1/4 cup minced flat leaf parsley
-1/4 tbs hot sauce (I use Franks Red Hot)
-1 tbs capers, drained
-1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
-1 1/2 tsp Old Bay
-1 cup plain bread crumbs
-1/2 cup mayonnaise
-2 tsp. Dijon mustard
-2 large eggs, beaten


PRE HEAT THE OVEN TO 350 DEGREES:
  1. Place the salmon down on a baking sheet, skin side down. Brush the fish with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the salmon is cooked. Let the salmon cool.
  2. In a medium frying pan, melt 2 tbs of butter and olive oil.  Add the peppers, capers, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, onion, old bay, celery, parsley salt and pepper. Cook until the vegetables are tender-about 15-20 minutes. Let the vegetables cool.
  3. Flake the salmon into a large bowl, add the breadcrumbs, mayonnaise, mustard and eggs. Add the vegetables and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  4. Form into 10-12 cakes. Melt the remaining 2 tbs of oil and butter in a frying pan. Fry the salmon cakes and drain on paper towels.
  5. Bake them for 15 minutes and serve warm.




Thursday, February 7, 2013

SAUSAGE & PEPPER LASAGNA


 I've never seen this made before so I was interested on how it would come out. I invited some family over for a taste test and everyone loved it! Tastes just like a sausage and pepper sandwich with out the sloppy mess. If you think this sounds as interesting as I did, give it a try, it might suprise you.




SAUSAGE & PEPPER LASAGNA
-1 package Lasagna noodles
-1 lb sausage (sweet or hot)
-2 garlic coves, chopped
-olive oil
-Salt and pepper
-2 green bell peppers (cut into strips)
-2 large onions (cut into strips)
-3 cups home made or jarred tomato sauce
-1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
-1/4 cup ricotta cheese
-1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

DIRECTIONS:
PRE HEAT THE OVEN TO 350 DEGREES
  1. In a medium sauce pan, heat 2 tbs of olive oil. Remove the sausage from its casing and brown it in the oil. Remove the browned sausage and set it aside. Drain the oil drippings from the pan.
  2. In the same pan, add 2 more tbs of oil and saute the peppers, onion, and garlic together. Season with salt and pepper. (about 10-15 minutes)
  3. When the peppers and onion are cooked through, add the sausage back to the pan. Also, add 2 cups of tomato sauce. Stir well and simmer the sauce for 10 minutes.
  4. Cook the lasagna noodles in salted water 2 minutes less than the package suggests. Drain and rinse the noodles under cold water. Pat the noodles dry.
  5. In a 9 x13 inch baking dish-line the bottom with a little tomato sauce and cover with about 4 lasagna noodles. 
  6. Top with half the sausage and pepper mixture. 
  7. Mix the ricotta cheese and Parmesan cheese together. Place dollops on top of the sausage and peppers. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Repeat the noodles, sausage and peppers, and cheese layers until you reach the top-ending in lasagna noodles.
  8. Pour the remaining sauce and cheese on top. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until the lasagna is cooked all the way through. 
  9. Let the lasagna cook for 10 minutes before cutting and serving it. Enjoy!!



Wednesday, February 6, 2013

WHITE BEAN & TOMATO BRUSCHETTA

WHITE BEAN & TOMATO BRUSCHETTA
-1 large baguette
-1 Garlic clove
-Good olive oil
-1 can small white beans (I use Goya), drained
-2 tbs. red wine vinegar
-2 tbs. balsamic vinegar
-Salt & Pepper
-Red pepper flakes
-4 basil leaves, chopped
-2 garlic cloves, minced
-1/4 red onion, chopped
-6 tomatoes seeded and diced

DIRECTIONS:
Pre heat the oven to 425 degrees
  1. Slice the baguette into 1/2 inch pieces. Brush the top with olive oil and set olive oil side down onto a baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the bread has toasted. 
  2. Cut one garlic clove in half long ways. Remove the baguette pieces from the oven and immediately rub the top with the garlic. Continue until all the pieces are done and set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, add the beans, 4 tbs olive oil, red wine vinegar, Salt, Pepper, and red oinion. Gently mix ingredients together and set aside.
  4. In another small bowl, add the tomatoes, garlic, 4 tbs olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and basil leaves. Gently mix the ingredients together and set it aside.
  5. Serve both toppings with the garlic bread and enjoy!



Friday, February 1, 2013

SPINACH & CHEESE STUFFED CHICKEN




SPINACH & CHEESE STUFFED CHICKEN

-4 thinly sliced chicken breast
-1/2 of a 10oz. package of frozen spinach
-1 tbs. ricotta cheese
-1/2 cup mozzarella cheese-shredded
-2 tbs Parmesan cheese
-2 garlic cloves, chopped
-Olive oil
-2 eggs
-4 tbs milk
-1 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
-Salt, Pepper, Garlic powder
-2 tbs four
-1 cup chicken stock
-4 tooth pics



DIRECTIONS:

Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees
  1. Thaw and drain the spinach as well as possible. In a medium pan, heat a few tbs of olive oil on low and add the garlic. 
  2. Saute the garlic until fragrant and add the spinach. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes. 
  3. In a small bowl, add the spinach, mozzarella cheese, and ricotta cheese. Stir well and set aside.
  4. Season the chicken breast on both sides with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Spread some spinach filling along the chicken breast. Roll the chicken up and secure with a tooth pic.
  5. Add the breadcrumbs to a shallow bowl. Add the eggs and milk to another shallow bowl and whisk them together.
  6. Dip the rolled chicken breast in the egg wash then the bread crumbs. Repeat until they are all coated.
  7. In a medium pan, heat a few tbs of olive oil and fry the chicken breasts until golden on both sides. Add the chicken to a baking dish when done and carefully remove the tooth pics.
  8. In the same pan, add the flour to the oil and whisk for 2 minutes on low heat. Whisk in the chicken stock and bring to a BOIL-make sure to scrape all the bits from the bottom of the pan. Reduce the heat to LOW and cook for 5 minutes. Taste the gravy-add salt and pepper if needed.
  9. Pour the gravy over the chicken and bake for 30 minutes!

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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

SURF & TURF


If you're looking for an easy meal to make your honey, this is it! Surf & turf is best of both worlds and just sounds special. Perfect for Valentines Day coming up. This recipe is so easy and tastes like you spent all day preparing it. Just crack a window searing the steak, it can get smokey!

SURF & TURF
-2 tbs butter (for shrimp)
-1 tbs lemon juice
-1 pack of dry Italian dressing
-1/4-1/2 lb fresh shrimp, deveined tails on
-1 or 2 filet mignon steaks
-1 tbs butter (for filet)
-Olive oil
-Salt & Pepper



FOR THE SURF:
PRE HEAT THE OVEN TO 400 
  1. Melt 2 tbs of butter and lemon juice together and add to a baking dish.
  2. Lay the shrimp on top and sprinkle with the Italian dressing packet.( I usually use a little less than half the packet)
  3. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the shrimp are completely cooked through. 


FOR THE TURF:
KEEP THE OVEN AT 400 DEGREES
  1. Take the filet out of the fridge 30 minutes before you plan on cooking it. (Getting the steak to room temp. will help it sear and cook through)
  2.  Generously season the filet on both sides with salt and pepper.
  3. In cast iron skillet, heat a few tbs of olive oil until its very hot. 
  4. Add the steak and sear it for 2-3 minutes on each side. DO NOT TOUCH, POKE, FORK OR MOVE THE STEAK WHILE ITS COOKING
  5. When the steak is done, leave it in the cast iron skillet and add about 1 tbs butter on top.
  6. Bake for 5 minutes-remove the steak from the skillet and let it sit a few minutes.
  7. Serve the steak along side of the shrimp and enjoy!!


Monday, January 28, 2013

CHICKEN TETRAZZINI

My mother used to make this for my family when we were kids. I loved it then and I still love it now. This recipe is a little different from what she used to make but its got the same basics. Pasta and chicken covered in an amazing cream sauce. I'm sure it will be a hit at our house, too!
CHICKEN TETRAZZINI
-1/2 lb spaghetti
-4 chicken breasts
-1 tsp onion powder
-1 tbs garlic powder
-1/2 tsp nutmeg
-6 tbs butter
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp pepper
-2 tbs flour
-1 cup cream
-2/3 cup Parmesan cheese
-1 tbs lemon juice
-1/4 tsp paprika



DIRECTIONS:

  1. Boil the chicken breast in a lot of water until it is cooked completely through. Remove the chicken and keep the stock!!
  2. Cut the chicken into pieces. Sprinkle them with the onion powder, garlic powder and a little salt. Set it aside.
  3. Cook the spaghetti in the chicken stock 2 minutes earlier than the package suggests. Drain and place the spaghetti in a baking dish.
  4. In a medium size skillet, add 3 tbs butter, 1 tbs lemon juice, and 1/2 tsp salt. Heat until the butter is melted. Pour over the spaghetti and toss.
  5. In the same skillet, turn the heat to LOW and add the rest of the butter, four, paprika, pepper and nutmeg. Cook until it thickens and add the cream.
  6. Cook on LOW heat for 2 minutes. Add the chicken strips and toss.
  7. Pour over the spaghetti and top with Parmesan cheese.
  8. Cover and refrigerate over night.
  9. Take the chicken tetrazzini out of the fridge 1 hour before baking in a 400 degree oven for 25 minutes. Serve hot 

Basketball game on the T.V. and dinner on the couch. I've got a happy husband at home this evening!




Wednesday, January 23, 2013

BAKED ZITI TOPPED WITH CHICKEN PARMESAN





This dish definitely has a split personality and I love them both :). This is such a fun way to combine two classic Italian dishes together. I hope it inspires you to to mash up some of your favorites, too :)


BAKED ZITI TOPPED WITH CHICKEN PARMESAN

-1 lb Ziti pasta
-1 lb thinly sliced chicken breast
-1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
-2 eggs
-2 cups homemade or jarred tomato sauce
-1/4 cup Ricotta cheese
-1 tsp dry Parsley
-Parmesan Cheese
-1 cup Mozzarella cheese, shredded
-Salt/pepper/garlic powder
-Olive oil







DIRECTIONS:

PREHEAT THE OVEN TO 350 DEGREES
  1. Cut the chicken breasts into strips. Lightly season them with salt, pepper and garlic powder and set them aside.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs and 2 tbs of water together. In another small bowl add the bread crumbs. Dip the chicken in the egg then bread crumbs until they are all coated.
  3. In a large frying pan, heat a few tbs of olive oil and fry the chicken until golden brown on both sides. Remove the chicken once done and drain on paper towels.
  4. Boil the pasta 2 minutes less that the suggested time on the package. Drain it and return it to the same pot. Add 1 1/2 cups of tomato sauce and stir. (Add more sauce if you want. I like to go heavier on the sauce when baking pasta so it doesn't dry out but its up to you!) Also, stir in about half a cup of mozzarella cheese.
  5. In a small bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, parsley, and about 2 tbs of Parmesan cheese. 
  6. Transfer the pasta to a baking dish. Scoop some of the ricotta mixture up in a small spoon. With the spoon, make little holes in the pasta and place the ricotta cheese. Try to evenly spread the ricotta cheese out throughout the ziti.
  7. Place the chicken evenly on top of the ziti. Cover with the remaining tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake loosely covered in tin foil for 45 minutes. Serve hot


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Monday, January 21, 2013

PASTA WITH RICOTTA & MINI MEATBALLS



I love all things pasta but this is especially good! The half melted cubes of mozzarella mixed with the creamy sauce and meatballs is amazing! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!!

PASTA WITH RICOTTA & MINI MEATBALLS
-1 lb tube pasta-any kind
-1 lb. ground beef, pork and veal combo
-3/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
-1 egg
-1/2 cup mozzarella cheese-cubed
-1/2 cup ricotta cheese
-1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
-2 tbs. fresh parsley-chopped
-1 1/2 cups home made or jarred tomato sauce
-Salt & Pepper
-Garlic & Onion powder

DIRECTIONS:
Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees
  1. In a medium size bowl add  the ground meats, egg and breadcrumbs. Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder-about 1 tsp. each. (I usually do fresh garlic and onion in my meatballs but since these are so small I'm using garlic and onion powder)
  2. Roll the meat into little meatballs. Place on parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 35 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked all the way through.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, fresh parsley, and Parmesan cheese. Lightly season with salt and pepper. 
  4. Boil the pasta as directed. Drain, and return it back to the same pot. Add the ricotta cheese mixture and stir it into the pasta. Then stir in the tomato sauce. (Use more sauce if you like a lot)
  5. Stir in the cubed mozzarella and meatballs. The mozzarella will start to melt in the pasta but stay relatively cubed. (If its straight from the fridge-try to microwave it for 10-15 seconds before adding it to the pasta to give it a head start :) Serve!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER CUPCAKES

This is a Barefood Contessa recipe I recently found online and tried. If you like chocolate and peanut butter you will love these!! Heres the link incase you want to check it out:
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/chocolate-cupcakes-and-peanut-butter-icing-recipe/index.html 

CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER CUPCAKES

  • -12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • -2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • -2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • -2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • -2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • -1 cup buttermilk, shaken, at room temperature
  • -1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature
  • -2 tablespoons brewed coffee
  • -1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • -1 cup good cocoa powder
  • -1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • -1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • optional
  • PEANUT BUTTER ICING:
  • -1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • -1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • -5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • -3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • -1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • -1/3 cup heavy cream
DIRECTIONS:
PREHEAT THE OVEN TO 350 DEGREES

  1. Using a mixer with the paddle attachment-cream the butter and sugars together for about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the eggs one at a time and add the vanilla
  3. In a separate bowl-mix together the sour cream, buttermilk and coffee
  4. In another bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.
  5. Slowly mix in the wet and dry ingredients alternating between the two.
  6. Mix until smooth and spoon into cupcake tins
  7. Bake for 20 minutes.
  8. In the mean time make the icing. Add all the ingredients to a bowl and mix with a mixer until smooth.
  9. Let the cupcakes cool after baking and ice them. Sprinkle the tops with salted peanuts if desired :)  

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

GARLIC SHRIMP WITH FRENCH BREAD

This is a great family style appetizer. I love serving this for friends when were just sitting around relaxing. The sauce that forms while the shrimp are baking is amazing! It goes perfect with the toasted french bread. 
GARLIC SHRIMP WITH FRENCH BREAD
-25 Shrimp-deveined and tails removed
-1/4 cup olive oil
-2 tbs white wine
-1 tbs fresh parsley
-2 garlic cloves, minced
-1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
- Parmesan cheese 
-Red Pepper flakes (as much as you want)
-1/2 stick of butter
-Salt, pepper and garlic powder
-French bread

DIRECTIONS:
PREHEAT THE OVEN TO 325 DEGREES
  1. Place shrimp in a baking dish. (Make sure its a pretty one because this goes right from the oven to the table) Sprinkle the shrimp with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Also, add the parsley and pepper flakes. 
  2. Pour the olive oil and white wine over the shrimp. Bake, covered for 15 minutes.
  3. Melt the butter and pour it over the shrimp. Sprinkle with some Parmesan cheese and add the bread crumbs. 
  4. Bake uncovered for another 15 minutes.
  5. In the mean time, slice the french bread and place it on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and place in the oven with the shrimp as it bakes to toast the bread.
  6. Serve the shrimp with the toasted french bread!


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

FRENCH ONION SOUP

One of my all time favorite soups! This is a great recipe for it, too. Its easy to follow and tastes amazing! I love that I can make this at home. I bake the bread and cheese separately then add it to the soup. For me, its easier to handle going in and out of the oven. Feel free to add the bread and cheese to the soup and broil it all together if you like!

FRENCH ONION SOUP
-4 onions, sliced
-4 cups beef broth
-1 stick of butter
-1/2 bottle of red wine
-2 Bay leaves
-1 tbs. Thyme
-3 tbs Flour
-Salt and Pepper
-French bead
-Gruyere cheese

DIRECTIONS:
PRE HEAT THE BROILER
  1. In a large pot, melt butter. Add the onions,bay leaves and thyme. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, over MEDIUM LOW HEAT for 25 minutes.
  2. Add the red wine and bring to a BOIL. Reduce heat to LOW and cook until all the wine is absorbed by the onions.
  3. Remove the bay leaves and add the flour. Stir the flour into the onions and cook over MEDIUM LOW heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add the beef stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and continue cooking for another 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Slice bread and place the slices on a baking sheet. Cover each slice of bread with 2 slices of Gruyere cheese. Broil for 2-3 minutes or until the cheese has melted.
  6. Ladle the soup into bowls. Add one slice of the cheese/bread to each bowl. Serve hot!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

CHICKEN FRANCESE

This is such a great chicken francese recipe. Its so easy to follow and fast to make. Perfect for a quick dinner! Serve this with pasta or rice on the side! 
CHICKEN FRANCESE
-4 thinly sliced boneless chicken breast
-3 eggs
-1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano cheese
-1 tbs dry parsley
-1/2 cup flour
-Olive oil
-3/4 cup chicken stock
-2 tbs butter
-2 lemons
-Salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS:
  1. In a shallow bowl beat the eggs and mix in the parsley and grated cheese. In another shallow bowl, add the flour.
  2. Lightly season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Dip the chicken in the flour, then egg mixture, then flour again.
  3. In a medium size skillet-Heat a few tbs of olive oil and fry the chicken until golden brown.
  4. Remove the chicken once browned and keep warm. 
  5. Add the butter and chicken stock to the skillet. Add the juice of one lemon. Cut the other lemon in half and squeeze the lemon juice into the skillet. Slice the remaining half in thin slices and set aside. 
  6. Bring the skillet to a boil for about 5 minutes or until the sauce  thickens. Add the chicken back to the skillet and coat it in the sauce.
  7. Plate the chicken and pour the sauce over to serve!




Wednesday, January 9, 2013

CROCK POT BEEF STROGANOFF



I just love a good crock pot recipe. This is one of my favorite fall/ winter dinners. Its easy, feeds a crowd & makes great leftovers. Its also amazingly delicious. My family loves when I make this meal-especally my brothers. I think its the golden mushroom soup that makes this recipe a keeper. 


CROCK POT BEEF STROGANOFF

-2 lbs beef stew meat
-2 cans Campbell's golden mushroom soup 
-1 onion, chopped
-3 tbs. Worcestershire sauce
-1/2 cup water
-1 (8oz) pack cream cheese
-1 tbs each of Salt and Pepper
-1 bag of egg noodles 


DIRECTIONS:
  1. Add the soup cans, onion, Worcestershire sauce and water to the crock pot. Mix the ingredients well.
  2. Season the meat with salt and pepper and add it to the crock pot.
  3. Set the crock pot to 8 hours. When theres a half hour left of cooking time-cube up the cream cheese and add it to the crock pot. Add the salt and pepper at this time, too. 
  4. Serve over egg noodles.



Thanks for viewing! Hope you enjoy this recipe. For more quick recipes and food ideas, follow Aldente Diva on instagram!



(Follower Pic: Thank you for sending in this picture, Sarah M. -so glad you and your family enjoyed this!!)






Tuesday, January 8, 2013

MUSTARD & BREADCRUMB CRUSTED SALMON


This is such a easy salmon recipe with so much flavor! I used Dijon mustard this time because that's what I had but ground mustard would work also. Serve this over a salad or with any side!


MUSTARD & BREADCRUMB CRUSTED SALMON
-2 Salmon fillets
-2-3 tbs. Dijon mustard
-1 tbs butter
-1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
-Salt and pepper





DIRECTIONS:
PRE HEAT THE OVEN TO 400 DEGREES
  1. Lay the salmon skin side down on a baking sheet. Lightly season the fillets with salt and pepper.
  2. Spread about 1 tbs of mustard on top of each fillet. (Make the layer as think or as thin as you want. If you really like mustard, add a little more!)
  3. In a small bowl, melt butter in the microwave. Stir in the bread crumbs and spoon it on top of the salmon. It will stick to the mustard really well!
  4. Bake for 15 minutes and serve warm.

Monday, January 7, 2013

PENNE PASTA WITH CHICKEN & PINK SAUCE

 This is one big bowl of Italian comfort food. Great for these cold winter nights. I used bacon in this recipe because it is what I had. You could surely use pancettta (Italian bacon) instead. Try it next pasta night!
BOW TIE PASTA WITH CHICKEN AND PINK SAUCE
-Penne pasta
-2 cups home made or jarred tomato sauce
-1 cup cream
-4 strips of bacon, cut into small cubes
-1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
-4-5 chicken tenderloins
-flour
-Salt, pepper, garlic powder
-Olive oil

DIRECTIONS:
  1. In a medium size sauce pan, cook the bacon cubes until crispy. Drain the fat.
  2. Add the tomato sauce cook over MEDIUM heat for about 5 minutes or until the sauce is warm.
  3. Add the cream and Parmesan cheese-stir well. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. (If it starts to boil tun the heat down)
  4. Turn the heat to a SIMMER while you make the chicken. (give the sauce a stir every once an a while.)
  5. Cut the tenderloins into about 1/2 inch strips. Season them with salt, pepper and garlic powder. 
  6. Dust the chicken with flour. 
  7. Heat about 2 tbs olive oil in a medium size frying pan and add the chicken. Cook until the chicken is browned and then drain it on paper towels.
  8. Stir the chicken into the pink sauce-season with salt and pepper as desired. 
  9. Serve over bow tie pasta!





Sunday, January 6, 2013

SPINACH & ARTICHOKE DIP


There are a lot of spinach and artichoke dips out there to choose from. This in one of my absolute favorites! Its so creamy and cheesy with just the right amount of spinach and artichokes. I love serving this for parties-its always a hit! Give it a try at your next get together!
SPINACH & ARTICHOKE DIP
-1 (10oz) package frozen spinach-thawed and drained
-1 (15oz) can artichoke hearts-drained and roughly chopped
-2 cups Parmesan cheese
-2/3 cup sour cream
-1 (8oz) cream cheese-room temp
-1/c cup mozzarella cheese (and some to sprinkle on top)
-1/3 cup mayo
-2 tsp garlic cloves-minced
-1 tsp garlic powder
-Salt and Pepper

DIRECTIONS:
PRE HEAT THE OVEN TO 375 DEGREES
  1. In a large bowl add all the ingredients except for the spinach and artichokes and mix well.
  2. Gently stir in the spinach and artichokes. 
  3. Sprinkle some mozzarella cheese on top. 
  4. Bake for 25 minutes or until bubbly. Serve with crackers



Thursday, January 3, 2013

ROASTED GAME HENS IN GRAVY

This is the juiciest, most flavorful roasted game hen recipe ever! I love serving these for either a crowd or a small dinner party. Everyone gets there own little portion, they're perfect. I got the idea to cut them in half after seeing it served this way at a restaurant. It really does make it look a little extra yummy :). Make sure to serve them with a big side of mashed potatoes or rice to soak up all that good gravy!
ROASTED GAME HENS IN GRAVY
-2 Cornish game hens
-1/4 cup white wine
-1/4 cup chicken stock
-2 tbs. butter
-Salt and pepper
-1 tsp. Rosemary
-4 lemon wedges
-2 garlic cloves, minced
-Olive oil

DIRECTIONS:
PRE HEAT THE OVEN TO 425 DEGREES
  1. Melt 2 tbs of butter and add the rosemary and garlic. Lift the skin of the hens and pour the butter, herbs and garlic into it. Drizzle skin of the hens with olive oil and generously season with salt and pepper. Season the cavity with salt and pepper also and place 2 lemon wedges inside each.
  2. Place the hens on a baking rack and cook for 30 minutes. (if you do not have a rack, place the chicken right on the baking sheet.
  3. In a small bowl, combine white wine, chicken stock and 2 tbs olive oil. Remove the hens from the rack and place them on the baking sheet. Pour the white wine mixture oven the hens. Reduce the oven heat to 350. Bake the hens for an additional 30 minutes, basting every 10 minutes.
  4. Once the hens are done, remove them from the baking sheet-pouring out any juices and lemons onto the pan. Tent them under tin foil to keep warm while you make the gravy.
  5. Remove the lemons and pour the rest of the pan drippings into a small sauce pan. Boil until the sauce thickens making a gravy (about 3 minutes).
  6. Using a large sharp kitchen knife-Cut the hens down the spine in half. Place them on a serving platter and pour the gravy on top. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

GARLIC & PARMESAN FRIES

Tell me you don't want to reach right through the screen and grab one of these fries! Oh they are heaven. Steaming them in the microwave before frying is the trick. They are crispy on the outside and perfectly cooked on the inside with just enough garlic and Parmesan to make them taste out of this world. Serve them with a side of ketchup or marinara sauce! 
GARLIC & PARMESAN FRIES
-3 large potatoes peeled
-2 garlic cloves-minced
-1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
-Canola Oil
-Salt and pepper
-3 tbs. butter
- 1 tbs. parsley



DIRECTIONS:
  1. Cut potatoes into 1/4 inch thick strips and place them in a large bowl. Drizzle the potatoes with canola oil and tightly cover with plastic wrap. Steam them in the microwave for 4 minutes.
  2. In a large pot add about 2-3 inches of oil. Heat over MEDIUM HIGH heat. Once the oil is hot enough, add the potatoes.
  3. Let the potatoes fry in the oil. Occasionally stir them to make sure they're browning evenly. 
  4. Remove the potatoes once they are golden brown (about 7 minutes). Drain them on a paper towel lined baking sheet and immediately season with salt and a little pepper.
  5. In the same bowl used to steam the potatoes, add the butter and garlic. 
  6. Microwave for 1 minute or until the butter melts. Return the fries to the bowl and toss them in the butter and garlic.
  7. Add the parsley and Parmesan and toss again. Serve hot!