Saturday, January 30, 2016

Minestrone Soup


1 small onion, diced
2 carrots, sliced
2 celery stalks, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
8 cups of vegetable stock
2 cans diced tomatoes
(2 tablespoons greek seasonings, optional)
4-5 red potatoes, diced into bite sized pieces
4-5 handfuls of kale, chopped
2-3 cups of small pasta
1 can of cannelloni beans, drained and rinsed
salt and pepper, to season


sauté the onion, carrots and celery with some olive oil.  Add in garlic and cook until fragrant

Add vegetable stock, tomatoes, spices, potatoes, kale, pasta and beans

Simmer 30-40 minutes until pasta and potatoes are soft


Source: Center of the Pie

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Spinach and Tomato Pesto Quesadilla


Uncooked flour tortillas
1-2 roma tomatoes, sliced
Feta cheese, crumbled
Mozzarella, shredded
Fresh baby spinach


Cook the tortillas according to directions.
Spread pesto on one tortilla.
Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over the pesto.
Spread the tomatoes and spinach and sprinkle more mozzarella over the top.  Add feta cheese.

Spread pesto on the other tortilla and place on top.

Return to the pan and cook until the cheese is melted.


Monday, January 25, 2016

Chicken Pasta with Creamy Sun Dried Tomato Sauce


3 garlic cloves, minced

1 small jar of sun-dried tomatoes. You could also use the dried ones found in a bag. 
1 lb chicken breasts
paprika, just a sprinkle
1 cup half and half
1 cup mozzarella, shredded
8 oz penne pasta
1 T of dried basil
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more if you like it spicy!
1/2 cup reserved cooked pasta water, or more


In a large skillet, on high heat, sauté garlic and tomatoes.  You can use olive oil or the oil from the jar of sun dried tomatoes.  Sauté the garlic until it is fragrant. Remove the tomatoes from the pan. 

Sprinkle the chicken with salt and paprika, then add it to the pan.  Cook on each side until cooked through. Remove from heat. 

Cook pasta according to package directions.  Reserve some of the cooked pasta water.  Drain and rinse cooked pasta with cold water. 

Slice tomatoes into small pieces and return to the skillet with chicken. 

Add half and half and cheese.  Bring to a gentle boil. 

Reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring constantly until the cheese melts and the sauce turns creamy and thickens. (you can thin it out with the reserved pasta water in the following steps if it's too thick)

Add the pasta to the skillet and combine. 

Add basil, red pepper flakes and stir. 

Add about 1/2 cup of the cooked pasta water to help thin out the sauce. 

Season the pasta with salt and more pepper flakes, if needed.  Let simmer for a few minutes. 

Source: Julia's Album

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Roast Beef Cheesesteaks

This is a yummy version of the traditional cheeseteak sandwhich that is less messy, but just as delicious!

Roast Beef Cheesesteaks


2 Tablespoons butter
1/4 cup onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1/2 pound sliced roast beef, from deli
1/3 cup beef broth
4-6 ounces cream cheese, softened and cut into cubes
2 containers refrigerated crescent rolls
Swiss cheese, cut into strips


Preheat oven to 375º

In a large skillet, saute onion and pepper over medium heat until soft and the onions are transparent. 

Coarsely chop roast beef and add to onions and peppers.  Stir until the beef is heated through. 

Add beef broth and cream cheese (add the cream cheese a few cubes at a time and add more if you desire more creaminess).  Stir until cheese is melted. 

Lay out the crescent rolls and lay a strip of Swiss cheese in center. 

Scoop about 2 tablespoons of roast beef mixture over the Swiss cheese.  Roll up and pinch the sides of the roll closed. 

Place on an ungreased cookie sheet or baking mat.  Bake for 10-13 minutes or until golden brown. 

Source (with a few tweaks) Favorite Family Recipes

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Baked Eggs

Every morning, by the time I've gotten myself dressed and all three of my kids ready for school, there isn't enough time for me to sit and eat breakfast.  I'm not about to start my day without something in my stomach, so I usually grab a breakfast bar or toast and English muffin that I can eat in the car.  

It gets a little old.  

Then I stumbled across this brilliant idea!  You can BAKE raw eggs in a muffin tin!  They come out looking like little patties.  

Refrigerate them and each morning, pop one in the microwave for 25 seconds and put between an English muffin for an instant breakfast egg sand which!

Baked Eggs


salt/pepper for seasoning
shredded cheese


Spray your muffin tin with cooking spray. Crack one egg in each muffin space (or as many as you'd like to bake), season with some salt and pepper and sprinkle in some cheese.  Stir if desired.

Bake for 15 minutes or s at 350º. 

Place between two toasted English muffins and douse with Tabasco Sauce.  

Eat in the car as you drive to work. 

Monday, January 19, 2015

Bread Sticks

I usually try to keep a box of frozen garlic bread in my freezer for the occasional spaghetti dinner that needs a little something extra.  But recently, for a family dinner, I decided to try my hand at homemade garlic bread sticks.  

I love the recipe because it was so easy and quick!

No more frozen garlic bread for this family!

Bread Sticks


1 1/2 cup warm water
1 tablespoon instant yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
 3 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter, melted
Parmesan cheese, grated


Mix all the ingredients (except the melted butter) in the bowl of your stand mixer.  Knead for three minutes.  Let the dough rest for 10 minutes. 

Heat oven to 375º.

Spread the melted butter onto an 11x17 baking sheet.  

Roll out the dough about 1/4 to 1/2 inch think and cut into strips.  Be careful not to make them too long.  Twist slightly and place about 1/2 inch apart on the baking sheet. 

Sprinkle with garlic salt and some other herbs of your choice (basil or thyme...or something finely crushed) and some grated Parmesan cheese. 

Cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise for about 30 minutes. 

Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Peanut Butter, Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal Bars

Each month, on the second Sunday of the month, my family gets together at my parents how for our monthly "Second Sunday" family dinner.  We decide on a meal and divide out the assignments.  Last month, my assignment was dessert.  Knowing my brother-in-law is a peanut butter fanatic, I stumbled upon this recipe and knew I had to try it out. 

I thought they were even better the next day!

Peanut Butter, Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal Bars

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup oats
8 tablespoons butter, softened
1/3 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 cup peanut butter chips
1 cup chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350º.  Lightly grease a 9x13 baking pan and set aside. 

Mix together the flour, baking soda, salt and oats.  Set aside

In a large bowl (or stand mixer bowl) cream butter, peanut butter, and both sugars with the paddle attachment.  Mix in the vanilla, egg and egg yolk until combined. 

Stir in the dry ingredients, chocolate and peanut butter chips.  Mix until combined. 

Press the batter into the baking pan.  Bake for about 18-20 minutes until lightly browned on the edges.  
*Don't over bake or the bars will be dry!  Set pan aside to cool and let the bars cool in the pan before cutting into squares.