Monday, January 21, 2013

Caprese Lasagna Roll Ups

I love all things lasagna, in just about any shape or form.  And this version proved to be wonderfully delicious.  I always like finding dinner ideas that don't have meat in them, and I didn't hear any complaints about it at all.

I had to skimp on the basil a bit because when I went outside to get the basil, I found that the frost had gotten it..darn it all!  But it was still quite flavorful, and I loved the homemade marinara that goes with it.

And that broccoli sitting all innocent-like over that is Ina Garten's roasted broccoli.  If you've never tried her version do yourself a favor and do so as soon as possible.  Makes me eat broccoli like I'm popping m&m's...seriously!

Here's the lasagna recipe from Cooking Classy

  • 8 lasagna noodles, uncooked
  • 14 oz freshly shredded, low-moisture part skim Mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 3/4 cup Ricotta cheese
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1/3 cup freshly, finely shredded Parmesan cheese (about 1 1/4 oz)
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 - 4 medium Roma tomatoes, thinly sliced (about 1/6 inch thick slices)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil, plus more for garnish
  • 1 cup marinara sauce, recipe follows
  • Simple Marinara Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic finely minced
  • 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook pasta according to directions listed on package to al dente. Drain pasta (DO NOT rinse with water) and align lasagna noodles in a single layer on a large sheet of parchment or wax paper.
  • For filling, in a large mixing bowl, whisk together ricotta cheese and egg white until well blended. Stir in Parmesan cheese. Mix in 12 oz. of the Mozzarella cheese and season with black pepper to taste (I wouldn't recommend seasoning with salt just because the cheeses already have plenty of salt).
  • Place 1/4 cup of the cheese mixture over each lasagna noodle and spread into an even layer, going from one end of the lasagna to the other. Align 4 thin tomato slices over cheese mixture then sprinkle fresh basil over top. Snugly roll lasagna noodles to opposite end. Spread about 1/4 cup pasta sauce in the bottom of an 11 x 7 inch baking dish. Align lasagna roll ups, seam side down in dish. Top each roll up with about 2 Tbsp of the pasta sauce (covering edges of pasta so they don't dry out while baking). Sprinkle top with remaining 2 oz. shredded Mozzarella. Bake in preheated oven 30 minutes. Remove from oven, plate pasta and garnish with plenty of basil ribbons. Serve warm.
  • Simple Marinara Sauce
  • Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Add onions to hot oil and saute about 3 minutes until soft, adding garlic during last minute of sauteing. Pour in crushed tomatoes and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring mixture just to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and allow sauce to cook for about 25 - 30 minutes (which will allow some of the water in crushed tomatoes to evaporate) while you prepare pasta and lasagna filling (you can freeze or refrigerate left over sauce in a small airtight container for later use, adding fresh basil if desired).

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Skinny Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies

So, I've been having hip pain...quite a bit.  I ignored it/dealt with it for almost a year but finally decided to mention it to the doc.  He suggests I may be carrying a bit too much weight around on my aging joints (no way!).  So it pleases me to find a recipe such as this that brings a big a whole lot of deliciousness with a bit less naughtiness. 

These brownie were SO easy to make, and really delicious.  In fact my daughter set aside 3 pieces to take to school and share with her friends.  I like that there is no flour and no oil in them either.  

Here's the recipe...hope you get the chance to make them.

Skinny Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies (from Sally's Baking Addiction)
  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter 
  • 6 oz. low fat vanilla yogurt 
  • 1/4 cup skim milk (or almond milk)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup sugar (or Splenda)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 8×8 inch pan with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
Place all of the ingredients except for the peanut butter into a blender or food processor.  For easier blending, place the liquid ingredients into the blender first. Blend until mix is smooth and oats are ground up. You will have to stop the blender and scrape down the sides a few times.
Pour batter into prepared baking dish.  Batter will be thin.  Microwave peanut butter for about 30 seconds. Drop melted peanut butter by spoonfuls onto the batter, swirling gently with a knife to create a marbled effect. (Try not to overmix!)
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until brownies begin to pull away from the sides of the pan.  Brownies will be extra fudgy, so be sure to wait until COMPLETELY cooled.
Cut into 12 squares and enjoy!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Irish Lemon Pudding

So, are you tired of winter?  Are you ready for Jack Frost to take a long walk off a short pier?  Then make yourself a big ol' batch of this lemon pudding and pretend that the sun is smiling down on you.
Personally I'm not sick of winter at all. But I'm in Phoenix and I'm tickled it will be 29 tonight!

I saw this treasure while perusing Pinterest, and added it to my to do list.  Since my friend gave me 2 lemons on Sunday, I knew it was meant to be.  It has a very simple ingredient list, and I have no idea why it's "Irish".  There is no whisky or leprechauns in it.  

Here is the recipe found at The Baker Upstairs.  She doubles her recipe and puts it in a springform pan so it will be pretty.  I'm way too lazy for that, so I just put it in a casserole dish.

2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs, separated
1/2 cup flour
2 lemons, zested and juiced
1 1/4 cups milk

Preheat oven to 350. Cream the butter and sugar well. Add the egg yolks one by one, then add the flour. Add the lemon zest and juice, followed by the milk, and mix well. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff. Fold gently into the lemon mixture until incorporated. Pour into a 8-9 inch pie pan or cake pan. Bake for 40 minutes, or until very lightly browned and set. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve warm with freshly whipped cream.

BTW...I made myself a Facebook page.  I have no idea what I'm doing there. Come join me if you like :)

Monday, January 7, 2013

Chocolate Chip Brownie Chunk Cookies

My husband made these delicious little morsels.  It started when he saw the recipe for Pioneer
Woman's Brownie Bites.  But they didn't turn out quite as pretty as he fact they sort of fell apart.  
But since he's someone who hates waste, he turned a flop into something fantastic. 

Inspired by the recipe found at Picky Palate, he made these delicious cookies that had just the right amount of sweetness and chewy texture.  Perfect with a big glass of ice cold milk.  

Here's the recipe:
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup chocolate chips
2 cups cubed prepared brownies
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with parchment or silpat liner.
2. Place butter and sugars into the bowl of a stand or electric mixer, beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla, beating until well combined.
3. Place flour, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl, mixing to combine. Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients along with chocolate chips and brownie chunks until just combined.
4. Using a medium cookie scoop, scoop dough onto prepared baking sheet about 1-inch apart. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes until cooked through. Let cool for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.
Makes 3 dozen cookies

Friday, January 4, 2013

Bacon and Cream Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms

I made these stuffed mushrooms for my son for our Christmas dinner.  He's the mushroom-lovingest kid I know.  I like that they use part of the stems as the stuffing, and also that you can make the filling ahead of time and save it for when you're ready.  

I found the recipe at a site called Mountain Mama Cooks.  

Here's the recipe for you.

8 oz bacon
1/2 cup finely minced sweet onion
1 clove garlic, minced
16 oz white button mushrooms
4 oz cream cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper
1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Using scissors or a sharp knife, cut raw bacon into small pieces. In
a large saute pan, over medium heat, cook bacon until nice and crispy. While bacon is cooking,
remove mushroom stems from caps and chop stems into small pieces. When bacon is done,
remove from pan and set aside; reserve 2 tablespoons of bacon grease and pour the rest from
pan. Saute onion until soft about 5 minutes, scraping up any brown bits on bottom of pan. Add
chopped mushrooms stems and garlic and cook a few minutes longer. Reduce heat to low. Add
cream cheese and parmesan cheese and stir until cheeses are melted. Add reserved chopped
bacon and season to taste with salt and pepper. (Mixture can be made, cooled, and stored,
covered, in the fridge for up to two days.) Remove mixture from heat and stuff each mushroom cap
generously with mixture. Bake at 350F for about 20 minutes or until mushrooms are soft and filling
is nice and hot.

I've linked these mushrooms up to Weekend Potluck.  Go check it out, I've seen lots of yummy stuff there already.