Thursday, May 30, 2013

italian stuffed mushrooms {winner!}

Italian Stuffed Mushrooms from Melanie:
via Bon Apetit

2 Tbsp olive oil
24 large (about 2-inch-diameter) mushrooms, stems removed and chopped, caps reserved
1/2 cup chopped fresh fennel bulb
1/4 cup chopped drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup grated Fontina cheese or crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup (packed) chopped fresh basil
1 large egg
Additional olive oil

Preheat oven to 350. Brush 15x10x2 inch glass baking dish with oil. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add chopped mushroom stems, fennel, tomatoes and garlic. Sauté until stems and fennel are tender and beginning to brown, about 12 minutes; transfer to medium bowl. Cool 10 minutes. Mix in cheeses, then basil. Season filling to taste with salt and pepper. Mix in egg. Arrange mushroom caps in prepared dish, cavity side up. Brush mushroom cavities lightly with additional oil. Mound filling in mushroom cavities, pressing to adhere. Bake until mushrooms are tender and filling is heated through, about 25 minutes, and serve. 

tangerine sorbet.

Tangerine Sorbet from Jenn:
via Under the Tuscan Sun

1. Make a sugar syrup from 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar by bringing them to a boil, then simmering for about 5 minutes. 

2. Stir in 1 1/4 cups of fresh tangerine juice, 1 cup water, 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice and the zest of the tangerines you juiced.

3.  Chill thoroughly in the fridge - until cold to the touch. Process in an ice cream machine according to manufacturer's instructions. 

Serves 6.

easy eggplant parmesan.

Easy Eggplant Parmesan from Michelle:

This recipe is not very exact (I got it from a guy J).
1 large eggplant
Mushrooms (sliced)
Spaghetti sauce
Bread crumbs (Italian flavored)
Fresh/dried basil, Oregano, Crushed red pepper flakes
Salt & Pepper
Olive oil
Clean and slice the eggplant in 1/4" to 3/8" slices.  Lightly prepare a cookie sheet with olive oil, then place the eggplant slices on a cookie sheet and drizzle olive oil and salt on top.  Broil the eggplant until you begin to see a light brown color on the eggplant, then flip them over and repeat.  Prepare an 8X8 pan lightly with olive oil, and then start layering your ingredients as follows:

Toasted Eggplant
Bread Crumbs
Top off with as much cheese and bread crumbs as you want

Cover with foil and bake at 350 until it starts to smell good.  Once you start to be able to smell it in the kitchen remov the foil to begin to brown the top (if it's going slower than you want feel free to turn up the oven and keep a close eye on it).

penne with tomato-cream sauce.

Penne With Tomato-Cream Sauce from Heidi:
(jocelyn's recipe)

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 lb italian sausage
1 c. whipping cream
2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes with italian seasoning
16 oz penne

Heat oil in heavy large pan over medium high heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until beginning to soften (3 minutes). Add sausage and saute until no longer pink (5 minutes). Add cream; simmer 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and simmer about 15 minutes. Add cooked penne and toss until evenly coated.

italian minestrone soup.

Italian Minestrone Soup from Randi:

1/2 lb salt pork, diced
1 T olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
5 cups chicken stock
1- 28 oz can tomatoes
1 carrot, sliced
1 rib celery, chopped
1 zucchini, sliced
1 can garbanzo beans, drained
1 can kidney beans, drained
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp oregano
1 cup macaroni, uncooked
parmesan cheese, grated

Saute salt pork in large soup pot until browned. Add oil, onion and garlic; sauté until onion is tender. Add remaining ingredients, except macaroni and parmesan cheese. Simmer for 2-3 hours (or put in crockpot for the day). Add macaroni at the end and cook for about ten minutes until tender. Garnish with parmesan cheese.

*Salt pork, if you haven't ever used it, is by the ham. It's kind of like a solid brick of bacon. I usually have found it under the Hormel brand. It's very fatty so I really trim it but it adds amazing flavor.

italian meatballs.

Italian Meatballs from Ashley:
Recipe from Gianina Bunce

1 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs or crushed seasoned croutons
1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 pound Italian sausage
1 egg
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper (I did 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper)
Parmesan cheese (I used ~ 1/4 cup)
basil and parsley (fresh or dried, 1 tsp dried/1-2T fresh)

* Jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce

Place bread crumbs/crushed croutons, hamburger, sausage, and all other ingredients (except spaghetti sauce) in a larger bowl and mix  well by hand. Form into balls. I make mine somewhere between 1"-2". Place balls onto foil lined 9x13 pan. Pour sauce over meatballs, adding ~1/3 cup of water to the jar at the end to get all of the sauce out. Bake at 400* for 30 min then cover and bake another 20-30 min at 350*. 

* I usually double the recipe and freeze the uncooked meatballs that I am not using that night, leaving me with enough meatballs for 2-3 easy dinners. The frozen meatballs can be put directly into the foil lined pan and covered in sauce. They bake for the same amount of time (closer to 30 min for the second baking). 

best breadsticks ever.

The Best Breadsticks Ever from Shalee:
via The Farm Girl Recipes

3 1/2 cups flour
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp yeast
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup butter
Parmesan cheese
garlic salt
parsley flakes (optional)

1.  Combine water, yeast, and sugar in bowl of a stand mixer that is fitted with a dough hook.  In medium bowl combine flour, and salt.  Once yeast is bubbly add dry ingredients and knead for 2 minutes.  (If dough is super sticky add small amounts of flour until dough stops sticking to sides). Let rise 20 minutes.

2.  While dough is rising, preheat oven to 400°F.  Melt cube of butter, and pour onto cookie sheet (I use a jelly roll size). Sprinkle the butter with garlic salt and Parmesan cheese.

3.  Once dough has risen, roll the dough into a rectangle the size of the cookie sheet, and use a pizza cutter to cut into 12 one inch wide strips. Double the long pieces of dough in half, and twist to form the bread stick.  Roll each bread stick around in the butter in the pan until completely covered. When all bread sticks are arranged in the pan, sprinkle tops with a little more garlic salt and Parmesan cheese. Don't be shy, get 'em good! Add parsley if desired.

4.  Bake for 12-15 minutes or until they start browning.  Remove and enjoy!  This makes 12 large bread sticks, or 18-24 smaller bread sticks.

italian sausage soup with tortellini.

Italian Sausage Soup With Tortellini from Beckie:

1 lb. Italian Sausage
1 cup coarsely chopped onions
2 garlic cloves sliced
5 cups beef broth
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup dry red wine or water
2 cups (4 medium) chopped, seeded, peeled tomatoes
1 cup thinly sliced carrots
1/2 tsp basil leaves
1/2 tsp oregano leaves
1 8oz can tomato sauce
1 1/2 cup sliced zucchini
3 T chopped fresh parsley
8 oz (2 cups) frozen meat or cheese-filled tortellini or very small ravioli
1 medium green pepper, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
grated parmesan cheese

If sausage comes in casing, remove casing. In 5 quart Dutch oven, brown sausage. Remove sausage from Dutch oven; drain, reserving 1 T. drippings in Dutch oven. Saute onions and garlic in reserved drippings until onions are tender. Add beef broth, water, wine, tomatoes, carrots, basil, oregano, tomato sauce and sausage. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered 30 minutes. Skim fat from soup. Stir in zucchini, tortellini, parsley and green pepper. Simmer covered an additional 35-40 minutes or until tortellini are tender. Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top of each serving. 

**Can substitute 2 cups bowtie egg noodles or spiral macaroni. Simmer an extra 20-25 minutes or until tender.

italian cream cake.

Italian Cream Cake from Brittany:

1 cup milk (either 2% or whole) + 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup butter
6 T solid coconut oil (or 1/2 cup shortening)
2 cups sugar
5 eggs with yolks and whites separated
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup coconut, plus more for garnishing
1 cup crushed pecans, plus more for garnishing

Cream Cheese Frosting:
8 ounces low fat cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 lb powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Greast and flour two 9-inch cake pans.
2. Mix together milk and lemon juice and set aside for approximately 5 minutes.
3. With an electric mixer, cream together the butter, coconut oil, sugar, egg yolks and vanilla. Beat well until mixture is smooth and creamy.
4. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour and baking soda and alternately add the flour and milk to the batter beginning and ending with the flour. Mix well after each addition. Fold in the coconut and pecans.
5. In a medium mixing bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer on high until stiff and slowly fold into the cake batter.
6. Divide batter evenly between the prepared cake pans and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
7. Coool for approximately 10 minutes before turning out onto wire racks to cool completely. Frost with cream cheese frosting. Garnish with coconut and pecans.

1. With an electric mixer, beat together the cheese and butter until creamy. Add the sugar and vanilla and continue to beat until smooth and creamy. Frost cakes.

Recipe Inspired by Southern With A Twist


Pizelle from Jocelyn:

6 eggs
3 1/2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 cup margarine, melted and cooled
4 tsp baking powder
2 T vanilla
Pizelle iron

Beat eggs and sugar well. Add margarine and vanilla. Sift flour and baking powder together, mix into batter. Heat pizelle iron and bake.

cpk thai chicken pizza.

CPK Thai Chicken Pizza from Erin:

1 T honey
1 C warm water
2 tsp yeast
3 cups flour
1 tsp salt

3 1/2 T peanut butter
3 T brewed tea
3 T rice vinegar
2 T soy sauce
2 tsp chili oil
1 T ginger, minced
2 tsp honey
1/2 tsp sesame oil
2 T sesame seeds, toasted
1 1/2 T green onions
1/2 lb chicken breast, cut into strips
1 carrot shredded
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
bean sprouts

For Crust: Mix honey, water and yeast. Let stand 5 min. Add dry ingredients and knead 15 minutes. Let rise until doubled, 1 1/2 hours. 

For Pizza: Combine PB and next 7 ingredients in a blender. Process until smooth. Saute chicken strips in olive oil until done (7 min). Coat chicken with 2 T peanut sauce. Set aside in fridge. Punch dough down and divide. Roll into 9" circle. Spread 1/4 cup peanut sauce over surface of dough. Distribute cheese and chicken. Bake 8-10 minutes and sprinkle with carrot and cilantro and bean sprouts.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

rosemary & olive oil pita chips with tuscan white bean dip {Winner!!}

Rosemary & Olive Oil Pita Chips with Tuscan White Bean Dip from Tamara:

  • dried rosemary (not fresh) (I used about 1T)
  • extra virgin olive oil (I used about 1/2 cup) 
  • 15 ounce can of drained and rinsed cannellini beans
  • 1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley
  • 2T fresh lemon juice along with and the grated lemon peel of one lemon
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/3 cup of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
1.  Soak some dried rosemary in a bowl of extra virgin olive oil.  This mixture is used for brushing on the pitas.  Let this soak for at least an hour.  
2.  Blend beans, parsley, lemon juice & grated lemon peel, garlic, salt and pepper (to taste) in food processor.  Drizzle 1/3 cup of olive oil in a constant stream while blending.  Blend until creamy and smooth. 
3.  For the pita chips, buy a bag of fresh pitas.  Cut each pita into long strips - 8 per pita (I used a pizza cutter) Snip the tips off (with kitchen shears) each strip to square them off and separate.  After separation you should have around 16 individual chips then per pita. Brush each strip with the rosemary olive oil mixture on the rough side of the pita, the inner side, place on a baking sheet, sprinkle with kosher salt and bake in a 400F oven for about 7-8 minutes, or until golden brown. Let them cool on a rack.   If you want to make them ahead and store them, place in a cookie tin between sheets of wax paper. They will stay crunchy and delicious for up to 3 weeks!  

peppermint bark.

Peppermint Bark from Lauren:

1 package (7.5 oz.)  peppermint candies/candy canes
1 pound white chocolate (the better the quality, the better it tastes!)
2 cups rice krispies cereal
1/2 cup melted chocolate chips

Crush candies with a rolling pin after placing them in double zip-loc bags and wrapping in a dish towel.  Sift off the powder from the crushed candies saving out the crushed candy chunks.  Melt the white chocolate/bark in a double boiler (or in a metal bowl) over simmering water.  Stir in the rice krispies cereal.  Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray and line with wax paper. Pour and spread the melted bark into baking sheet (with a rim) 1/4 inch.  Sprinkle crushed peppermint on top of the bark and press it into the soft bark using a sheet of wax paper . Cool slightly. Drizzle melted chocolate over the top.  Cool completely.  Break into pieces. 


Gyoza AKA Potstickers from Michelle

½  lb. of ground pork makes about 50 gyoza and the skins usually come in packages of 50, so you can base your amounts off of that. 

1 lb. ground pork
An equal amount of finely shredded cabbage to the pork
2 cloves of garlic
An equal amount of freshly grated ginger to the garlic
4 green onions, chopped
Lots of fresh ground black pepper
Soy sauce
Sesame oil
Gyoza skins (or small wonton skins)

Mix all the ingredients.  Place about small amount (1-2 teaspoons) on each skin.  Wet one half of edges with water and seal the other half to it. Once they are all assembled, cook them in batches by heating a little oil in a frying pan and frying on each side.  Then put a little bit of water in the lid of the pan, pour it into the pan and cover it to steam them for a couple of minutes.  Serve with Ponzu (bottled citrus soy sauce -- on Asian aisle) and chili oil.  

rice krispie brownies.

Rice Krispie Brownies from Beckie:
(Evelyn Johnson's Title)

1 c. sugar
1 c. light corn syrup
heat above on stove just until mix comes to a boil. Stir in:
1 c. peanut butter
6 c. Rice Krispies

Mix together - press into greased 9x13' pan. 
Melt 1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips and 1 c. butterscotch chips and stir together -- pour over rice krispies.  Allow topping to set.  Cut into squares.

marcia's bundt cake.

Marcia's Bundt Cake from Jenni:
  • Yellow Cake Mix
  • 1 large pkg Vanilla Pudding
  • 1 Tbs Imitation Butter Flavoring
  • 3/4 cup oil
  • 3/4 cup OJ
  • 4 eggs

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 Tbs both Sugar and Cinnamon
Mix wet ingredients and dry ingredients separately and then add them together. Beat until mixed and pour 1/2 into a greased bundt pan.  Sprinkle the 1 Tbs of Sugar and Cinnamon mixture on top and then add the rest of the cake mixture.  

Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes.  Add any frosting that you like...I think Cream Cheese is the best.  But, I don't have an awesome recipe for that, so I'll let you all use your own!!  :)

german chocolate cupcakes.

German Chocolate Cupcakes from Jenn:
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon espresso powder
  • ½ cup milk
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup boiling water
  1. Preheat oven to 325º F.
  2. Place cupcake liners in muffin tin. Spray lightly with cooking spray.
  3. Add flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt and espresso powder to a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk through to combine or, using your paddle attachment, stir through flour mixture until combined well.
  4. Add milk, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla to flour mixture and mix together on medium speed until well combined. Reduce speed and carefully add boiling water to the cake batter. Beat on high speed for about 1 minute to add air to the batter.
  5. Evenly distribute cake batter. Each cupcake liner should be about ¾ths full.
  6. Place in the oven and bake 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  7. Remove from the oven and allow the cupcakes to cool completely.
Caramel frosting
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup evaporated milk
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar
2 Tbsp. chopped pecans, toasted
2 Tbsp. flaked sweetened coconut, toasted
Melt butter in medium saucepan over med. heat. Add brown sugar, cook 3 minutes, whisking constantly. Add milk and cook 3 minutes, whisking constantly. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Whisk until smooth. while frosting is warm, frost each cupcake and sprinkle with pecans and coconut. 


Biscotti from Brittany:


3 eggs
1/2 c butter + 1 T
3 & 2/3 c flour
1/2 t baking soda1 t baking powder
1 t salt
1 T anise seed
1 & 1/2 t vanilla
1& 1/3 c sugar
1 c chopped nuts (of your choice)
1 c chopped dried fruit (of you choice)
12 ounces of chocolate chips

Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl and set aside. Put 2 whole eggs and 1 yoke in a bowl. Put egg white aside. Add butter, vanilla, and sugar to eggs. Mix until smooth. Add dry ingredients. Mix until moist. Divide dough in half. Mold each half into a 3 x 15 log. place on parchment lined cookie sheet. Brush with beaten egg white. Sprinkle with course sugar. Bake at 350 for 25 min. Cool for 15 min. Carefully remove each log to cutting surface and slice diagonally along log. Set each piece upright on cookie sheet and bake at 275 for 45 min. If desired , melt chocolate chips (white or milk) and drizzle.

You can always change up the nuts, fruit and kinds of chocolate. Make them with what you like. I have used chocolate covered cherries, cranberries and pistachios, chocolate covered pomegranate, and others.