Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Ricotta Cheesecake with Chocolate


1 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. dry unseasoned bread crumbs
1 container (15 oz.) ricotta cheese
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp. grated lemon peel
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup finely chopped candied fruit
1 1/2 oz. semisweet chocolate, grated
2 egg whites

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease round pan, 9 x 1 1/2 inches. Mix 1 Tbsp. sugar and the bread crumbs. Coat pan with sugar mixture. Mix cheese, 1/2 cup sugar and the lemon peel in medium bowl. Stir in egg yolks, one at a time. Stir in flour, candied fruit and chocolate. Beat egg whites in medium bowl on high speed until stiff. Fold cheese mixture into egg whites. Pour into pan. Bake about 45 minutes or until set and edge is light brown. Refrigerate until cool. Loosen edge; remove cake from pan. Cover and refrigerate until chilled. Garnish with whipped cream if desired. Makes 8 servings.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Brandy Cheese Ball


4 oz. blue cheese, crumbled & softened
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1/2 to 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
2 Tbsp. brandy or Cognac
1/3 cup sesame seed, toasted

Beat blue cheese, cream cheese, garlic, parsley and brandy in small bowl on low speed until smooth. Cover and refrigerate about 6 hours or until firm. Just before serving, shape cheese mixture into a ball; roll in sesame seed. Arrange fresh watercress around cheese ball if desired. Makes about 1 1/2 cups spread.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Macaroni Ring with Creamed Peas


2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni (8 oz.)
2 cups hot milk
1/4 cup butter
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (8 oz.)
2 cups soft bread crumbs (about 4 slices)
2 eggs, slightly beaten
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
2 Tbsp. finely chopped onion
2 Tbsp. chopped pimiento
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
Creamed peas (recipe below)

Cook macaroni as directed on package; drain. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 10 inch oven-proof ring mold. Mix macaroni and remaining ingredients except Creamed Peas. Pour into mold; place in pan of very hot water (1 inch deep). Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until set. Remove mold from water; let stand 5 minutes. Loosen sides with metal spatula. Unmold ring onto large platter; fill center with Creamed Peas. Makes 8 servings.

Creamed Peas:
2 lb. fresh green peas
2 Tbsp. finely chopped onion
2 Tsp. butter
2 Tbsp. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups milk

Heat 1 inch water (salted if desired) to boiling; add peas. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cook uncovered 5 minutes. Cover and cook 3 to 7 minutes or until tender; drain. Cook and stir onion in margarine in 2 quart saucepan until tender. Stir in flour and salt. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is bubbly; remove from heat. Stir in milk. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute. Stir in peas; heat through.

Dilled Cucumber-Shrimp Spread


1 cup dry curd cottage cheese
1/2 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup plain nonfat yogurt
1 tsp. dried dill weed
1 tsp. lemon juice
Freshly ground pepper
1 cup well-drained shredded seeded cucumber
1 can (4 1/2 oz.) small shrimp, rinsed & drained

Place all ingredients except pepper, cucumber and shrimp in blender or food processor. Cover and blend on high speed about 2 minutes, stopping blender occasionally to scrape sides, or process 30 seconds, until smooth. Spread mixture in shallow plat. Sprinkle with pepper. Top with cucumber and shrimp. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours. Serve with vegetable slices or crackers if desired. Makes about 2 1/4 cups spread.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Pasta Pizza Pie


1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 cup sliced mushroom (about 3 oz.)
Vegetable cooking spray
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup milk
3 1/2 cups cooked tri-color or plain corkscrew-shaped pasta
1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese (4 oz.)
1 1/2 cups traditional Italian sauce or cups Tomato, Basil & Garlic Italian Sauce

Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and mushrooms and cook until tender and almost all liquid is evaporated. Remove from heat. Spray 12" pizza pan with cooking spray. Mix egg, milk, pasta and 1/2 cup cheese. Spread pasta mixture in an even layer on prepared pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Spread pasta sauce over pasta crust. Top with onion mixture. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake for 18 minutes or until cheese is melted and sauce is hot. Let stand 5 minutes. Makes 4 servings

Perfect Turkey Gravy (With Flavor Variations)


2 pkg. Turkey Gravy Mix
1/4 cup flour
3 cups cold water
1 cup turkey pan drippings or turkey broth
1 cup chopped cooked turkey giblets (optional)

Mix Gravy Mix and flour in large saucepan. Gradually stir in water and turkey drippings with wire whisk until smooth. Stir in chopped turkey giblets, if desired. Stirring frequently, cook on medium-high heat until gravy comes to boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer 5 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. (Gravy will continue to thicken upon standing.) Makes 15 (1/4-cup) servings.

Flavor Variations:

Herbed Perfect Turkey Gravy: Prepare as directed. Stir 1/2 teaspoon McCormick® Rubbed Sage or 1/4 teaspoon McCormick® Poultry Seasoning into Gravy Mix.

Hearty Sage Turkey Gravy: Prepare as directed, decreasing water to 2 cups. Stir 1/2 teaspoon McCormick® Rubbed Sage into Gravy Mix. Makes 12 (1/4-cup) servings.

Hearty Herbed Turkey Gravy: Prepare as directed, decreasing water to 2 cups. Stir 1/4 teaspoon McCormick® Poultry Seasoning into Gravy Mix. Makes 12 (1/4-cup) servings.

Apple Sage Turkey Gravy: Prepare as directed, decreasing water to 1 cup and adding 1 cup apple juice. Stir 1 teaspoon McCormick® Rubbed Sage into Gravy Mix. Makes 12 (1/4-cup) servings.

Garlic and White Wine Turkey Gravy: Prepare as directed, decreasing water to 2 cups and adding 1/4 cup white wine. Stir 1/4 teaspoon each McCormick® California Style

Garlic Powder with Parsley and McCormick® Thyme Leaves into Gravy Mix. Makes 12 (1/4-cup) servings.

Mushroom-Onion Turkey Gravy: Melt 1 tablespoon butter in large saucepan on medium heat. Add 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms and 1/4 cup chopped onion; cook and stir 5 minutes or until tender. Mix 2 packages McCormick® Turkey Gravy Mix, 1 1/2 cups cold water and 1 cup turkey drippings. Add to saucepan; mix well. Continue with Step 2 as directed above. Makes 8 (1/4-cup) servings.

Cinnamon-Chipotle Turkey Gravy: Melt 2 tablespoons butter in large saucepan on medium heat. Add 1/4 cup chopped red onion; cook and stir 5 minutes or until tender. Mix 2 packages McCormick® Turkey Gravy Mix, 1/4 cup flour, 1/4 teaspoon each McCormick®

Ground Cinnamon and McCormick® Gourmet Collection® Chipotle Chile Pepper, 2 cups cold water and 1 cup turkey drippings. Add to saucepan; mix well. Continue with Step 2 as directed above. Makes 12 (1/4-cup) servings.

Linguine with Creamy Alfredo Sauce


1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. garlic powder or 2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1 can (14 oz.) chicken broth (1 3/4 cups)
1/3 cup plain yogurt
6 cups hot cooked linguine, cooked without salt
6 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
Chopped fresh parsley

Mix flour, garlic powder and pepper in saucepan. Stir in broth until smooth. Cook and stir until mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat. Stir in yogurt. Toss with pasta and 4 tbsp. cheese. Sprinkle with parsley and remaining cheese. Makes 6 servings.

Chicken Noodle Casserole


1 can (10 3/4 ounces) cream of chicken or cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup milk
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups cubed cooked chicken OR turkey
3 cups cooked medium egg noodles (about 3 cups dry)
Chopped fresh parsley for garnish

In large saucepan mix soup, milk, pepper, cheese, chicken and noodles. Over medium heat, heat through, stirring occasionally. Garnish with parsley.
TIP: For 2 cups cubed cooked chicken, in medium saucepan over medium heat, in 4 cups boiling water, cook 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts or thighs, cubed, 5 min. or until chicken is no longer pink. Makes 4 servings.

Potato Chip Potatoes


6 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3/4 cup crushed potato chips, divided
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 Tbsp. butter, melted
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

In a large bowl, combine the potatoes, 1/2 cup of potato chips, onion, butter, salt and pepper; toss to combine. Transfer to a greased shallow 2-qt. baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining potato chips. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Yield: 6-8 servings.

Marshmallow Truffles


1 pkg. (12 oz.) semi-sweet chocolate chunks, melted
1 pkg. (10 oz.) marshmallows
2/3 cup pecans, chopped

Melt chocolate as directed on package. Dip marshmallows, one at a time, in chocolate, turning to evenly coat each marshmallow. Gently shake off excess chocolate. Place marshmallows, in single layer, on sheets of wax paper. Sprinkle each with about 1 tsp. of the pecans. Let stand at room temperature 1-1/2 to 2 hours or until chocolate is set. Store in airtight container at room temperature. Makes 20 servings.

Crunchy Chicken with Ham Sauce


1 can (10 3/4 oz.) cream of chicken soup
3/4 cup milk
6 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 cups herb seasoned stuffing, crushed
2 Tbsp. butter or margarine
1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1/3 cup chopped cooked ham
6 cups hot cooked noodles

Mix 1/3 cup soup and 1/4 cup milk. Lightly coat chicken with flour. Dip into soup mixture. Coat with crushed stuffing. Place chicken on baking sheet. Drizzle with butter. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until done. Mix remaining soup, remaining milk, cheese and ham in saucepan. Heat until cheese melts. Serve with chicken and noodles. Makes 6 servings.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Pan Sauteed Chicken with Vegetables & Herbs


1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
1/8 tsp. paprika
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
4 bone-in chicken breast halves 2 tbsp. olive oil
2 small red onions, cut into quarters
1 lb. new potato, cut into quarters
8 oz. fresh whole baby carrots (about 16), green tops trimmed to 1-inch
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
3 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. chopped fresh oregano leaves
1 tbsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves

Heat the oven to 350°F. Combine the black pepper, paprika and flour in a small bowl. Coat the chicken with the flour mixture. Heat the oil in a 12-inch oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until it's well browned on all sides. Remove the chicken from the skillet. Add the onions and potatoes to the skillet and cook for 5 minutes. Add the carrots, stock, lemon juice and oregano and heat to a boil. Return the chicken to the skillet. Cover the skillet. Bake at 350°F. for 20 minutes. Uncover the skillet and bake for 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender. Sprinkle with the thyme. Makes 4 servings.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Tomato Mac 'n' Cheese


1 can (10 3/4 oz.) condensed cheddar cheese soup
1 cup traditional Italian Sauce
1/3 cup milk
4 cups cooked elbow pasta
Grated Parmesan cheese

Mix soup, pasta sauce, milk and pasta in saucepan. Heat through. Serve with cheese. Makes 5 servings.

Fettuccine Al Fresco


1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1/2 cup diced cooked ham (optional)
1 medium onion, chopped
1/8 tsp. garlic powder OR 1 clove garlic, minced
1 jar (1 lb. 10 oz.) mushroom Italian Sauce (3 cups)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley OR 1 tbsp. dried parsley flakes
6 cups hot cooked fettuccine OR spaghetti
Grated Parmesan cheese

Heat oil in saucepan. Add ham, onion and garlic powder and cook until onion is tender. Add pasta sauce and parsley. Heat through. Serve over fettuccine. Serve with cheese. Makes 4 servings.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Alfredo Seafood Casserole


4 cups uncooked mini lasagna (mafalda) noodles (8 oz)
2 cups fresh broccoli florets
1 jar (1 lb) Alfredo pasta sauce
1/2 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 lb cooked deveined peeled medium shrimp, thawed if frozen, tail shells removed
1 container (8 oz) refrigerated pasteurized crab-meat, drained, cut up
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon butter or margarine, melted
1/4 cup Italian style bread crumbs

Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 11x7-inch (2-quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray. Cook pasta as directed on package, adding broccoli for the last 2 minutes of cooking. Drain pasta and broccoli. In large bowl, mix Alfredo sauce, milk and pepper. Stir in shrimp, crabmeat, parsley and 2 tablespoons of the cheese. Add pasta and broccoli; toss gently to mix well. Spoon into baking dish. Cover baking dish with foil. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until hot in center. Meanwhile, in small bowl, mix remaining 2 tablespoons cheese, the butter and bread crumbs. Sprinkle crumb mixture over casserole. Bake 10 to 15 minutes longer or until top is light golden brown. Makes 6 servings.

Lemon Pepper Chicken Saute


1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1 1/4 teaspoons McCormick® Lemon & Pepper Seasoning Salt
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup baby carrots, quartered lengthwise
1/3 cup sliced green onion
3/4 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon flour
1/4 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon McCormick® Parsley Flakes

Season both sides of chicken with lemon & pepper. Melt butter in large skillet on medium heat. Add chicken; cook 6 to 7 minutes per side or until cooked through. Remove chicken to serving platter; keep warm. Add carrots and onions to skillet; cook and stir 2 minutes. Whisk broth and flour. Pour over vegetables; bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer 2 minutes. Stir in sour cream and parsley; simmer 2 minutes. Spoon over chicken. Makes 4 servings.

Italian Marinated Chicken


1 3/4 cups chicken broth (Regular, Natural Goodness or Certified Organic)
1 tbsp. canned diced tomatoes, drained
1 tsp. grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning, crushed
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
6 skinless, boneless chicken breasts halves

Stir the broth, tomatoes, cheese, Italian seasoning and garlic powder in a shallow nonmetallic dish or a resealable plastic bag. Add the chicken and turn to coat. Cover the dish or seal the bag and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Lightly oil the grill rack and heat the grill to medium. Remove the chicken from the broth mixture. Grill the chicken for 15 minutes or until its cooked through, turning it over once halfway through cooking and brushing often with the broth mixture. Discard the remaining broth mixture. Makes 6 servings.

Irish Cream Cake


1 cup chopped pecans
1 pkg. (18.5 oz.) yellow cake mix
1 pkg. (4-serving-size) instant vanilla pudding
4 eggs
1/2 cup water, divided
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup Irish cream liqueur, divided
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup sugar

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Coat a Bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle the chopped pecans evenly over the bottom of the pan. In a large bowl, combine the cake and pudding mixes, eggs, 1/4 cup water, the vegetable oil, and 3/4 cup liqueur. Beat with an electric mixer on high for 5 minutes. Pour the batter over the nuts in the pan. Bake for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool for 5 minutes in the pan. In a medium saucepan, combine the butter, sugar, and remaining 1/4 cup water over medium heat. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally; remove mixture from the heat and stir in the remaining 1/4 cup liqueur. With a fork, prick holes in the top of the cake and pour the glaze over the cake. After the glaze soaks into the cake, invert the cake onto a serving platter and pour any remaining glaze from the pan over the cake. Let cool completely then cover lightly until ready to serve.

Scary Spiderweb Cupcakes


1 box devil's food cake mix
Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on cake mix box
1 container creamy vanilla frosting
3 drops red food color
4 to 5 drops yellow food color
1 tube (0.68 ounce) black decorating gel
48 large black gumdrops

Heat oven to 350 degrees (325 degrees for dark or nonstick pans). Make and cool cupcakes as directed on box for 24 cupcakes. Tint frosting with red and yellow food colors to make orange frosting. Spread frosting over tops of cupcakes. Squeeze circles of decorating gel on each cupcake; pull knife through gel from center outward to make web. To make each spider, roll cut 1 gumdrop and cutout 8 strips for legs; place another gumdrop co top. Place spider on cupcake. Store loosely covered at room temperature. Makes 24 cupcakes.

Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake


25 ginger snaps, finely crushed (about 1-1/2 cups)
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
4 pkg. (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar, divided
1 tsp. vanilla
4 eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
Dash ground cloves

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix ginger snap crumbs, pecans and butter; press firmly onto bottom and 1 inch up side of 9-inch springform pan. Beat cream cheese, 3/4 cup of the sugar and the vanilla with electric mixer until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition just until blended. Remove 1-1/2 cups of the batter; place in small bowl. Stir remaining 1/4 cup sugar, the pumpkin and spices into remaining batter. Spoon half of the pumpkin batter into crust; top with spoonfuls of half of the reserved plain batter. Repeat layers. Cut through batters with knife several times for marble effect. Bake 55 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool completely. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. Cut into 16 slices. Store leftover cheesecake in refrigerator.

Impossibly Easy Cheesecake


3/4 cup milk
2 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup Bisquick
2 pkg. (8 oz. each) cream cheese, cut into about 1/2-inch cubes and softened

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9-inch pie plate. Place milk, vanilla, eggs, sugar and the Bisquick mix in blender. Cover and blend on high speed 15 seconds. Add cream cheese. Blend 2 minutes longer. Pour into pie plate. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean; cool. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Cover and refrigerate any remaining cheesecake.

Topping: If desired, make topping and spread over top of completely cooled cheesecake. Stir together 1 cup sour cream, 2 Tbsp. sugar and 2 tsp. vanilla. Serve with fruit.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

20-Minute Herbed Chicken


1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about 1 lb.)
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) cream of chicken with herbs soup
1/2 cup milk
Broth Simmered Rice

Heat the oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook for 10 minutes or until well browned on both sides. Stir the soup and milk in the skillet and heat to a boil. Reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for 5 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Serve the chicken and sauce with the Broth Simmered Rice. Makes 4 servings.

Recipe Tips:
Broth Simmered Rice: Heat 1 can (10 1/2 ounces) chicken broth and 1 cup water in a 3-quart saucepan over medium-high heat to a boil. Stir in 2 cups uncooked white rice. Cover the saucepan and remove from the heat. Let stand for 5 minutes.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Garlic Shrimp & Pasta


2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 3/4 cups Swanson® Chicken Stock
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or 1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 pound fresh medium shrimp, shelled and deveined
4 cups hot cooked thin spaghetti, cooked without salt

Heat the cornstarch, stock, garlic, parsley, lemon juice and red pepper in a 3-quart saucepan over medium heat to a boil. Cook and stir until the mixture boils and thickens.
Add the shrimp to the saucepan. Cook for 5 minutes or until the shrimp is cooked through. Toss the shrimp mixture with the spaghetti. Makes 4 servings.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Mini Muttballs and Ditalini (To share with your dogs)

6 cups chicken broth
3/4 lb. ground beef, pork and veal mixture
2 large eggs
1/3 cup chopped shredded carrots
1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for sprinkling
1/3 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 clove garlic, mashed into a paste with a little salt, optional
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 lb. ditalini pasta

In a large, deep skillet or saucepan, bring the broth to a boil, then salt it and lower to a simmer. Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the ground meat, eggs, carrots, cheese, bread crumbs, parsley and garlic paste, if using; season with pepper. Form into 1-inch balls. Drop the meatballs into the broth and simmer until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Stir in the pasta and cook until al dente, 6 to 7 minutes. Let cool before serving to your pooch! Season the people's portions with salt and pepper and sprinkle with more Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Crunchy Ranch Tuna Pasta


1 pkg. Tuna Helper creamy Parmesan
2 1/2 cups hot water
1/2 cup milk
1 can (6 oz.) tuna, drained
1/2 cup creamy ranch dressing
1/2 cup sour cream
1 can (2.8 oz.) French-fried onions

Stir together uncooked Pasta, Sauce Mix, hot water, milk and tuna in 10-inch skillet over high heat. Heat to boiling, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until pasta is tender. Stir in dressing and sour cream; sprinkle with Topping and onions. Makes 5 servings.

Chicken Rice Casserole


6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (1 1/2 lbs.)
1 Tbsp. canola oil
3/4 cup chopped sweet red pepper
3/4 cup chopped green pepper
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped fresh mushrooms
1 garlic clove, minced
2 cups uncooked instant brown rice
2 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups frozen corn, thawed
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
2 Tbsp. minced parsley

In a large skillet, brown chicken in oil for 4 minutes on each side. Remove and keep warm. In the same skillet, saute peppers, onion, mushrooms and garlic until tender. Stir in the rice, broth, corn, salt and pepper; bring to a boil. Transfer to an 11-in. x 7-in. x 2-in. baking dish coated with cooking spray. Top with chicken. Cover and bake at 350° for 20 minutes. Uncover; bake 5 minutes longer or until chicken juices run clear. Sprinkle with almonds and parsley. Makes 8 servings.

Zeus' Favorite Macaroni and Cheese


2 cups macaroni pasta
2 Tbsp. olive oil
3 cloves garlic peeled and minced
1/2 cup chopped roasted red bell peppers
1 tsp. crushed dried oregano
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
2 cups prepared Alfredo sauce
1 pkg. (10-oz.) frozen chopped spinach thawed and well-drained
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare macaroni according to package directions; rinse with cold water and drain. Heat oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; add garlic and sauté until golden, about 1 minute. Add peppers, oregano, salt and pepper, and sauté for 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add Alfredo sauce, reduce heat and simmer 5 more minutes. Combine cooked macaroni, sauce, spinach and feta cheese; mix well to coat. Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly and browned on top. Serve warm. Makes 6 servings.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Cheesy Beef & Veggie Pasta


3 cups farfalle (bow-tie pasta), uncooked
1 lb. lean ground beef
2 carrots, sliced
4 green onions, chopped
2 cups milk
1 cup frozen peas
1 /4 lb. (4 oz.) Velveeta, cut into 1 /2-inch cubes
1 cup shredded cheddar & Monterey Jack cheese

Cook pasta as directed on package. Meanwhile, brown meat in large deep skillet on medium-high heat; drain. Add carrots and onions to skillet; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain pasta. Add to meat mixture in skillet along with the milk, peas and Velveeta; stir. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook 5 minutes or until Velveeta is melted and mixture is heated through, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with the shredded cheese.

Power Pooch Smoothies (For the Dog)


1 (8 oz.) container plain yogurt
1 cup blackberries or raspberries or 5 large, hulled strawberries
1 mango, sliced
1 very ripe banana
1 Tbsp. honey
1 cup ice water

Process all ingredients in a blender at high speed until smooth. Pour pooch smoothies into small bowls and freeze. Remove from the freezer, set on the floor and let your pooch lick the treat. Makes 4 servings.

Cheesy Meatballs and Vegetables


1 1/2 cups uncooked regular long-grain white rice
3 cups water
1 pkg. (16 oz) frozen cooked meatballs
2/3 cup half-and-half
2 boxes (10 oz each) frozen broccoli, cauliflower, carrots & cheese flavored sauce

Cook rice in water as directed on package. Meanwhile, in 12-inch skillet, place frozen meatballs. Cover; cook over medium-high heat 4 minutes, stirring once. Stir in half-and-half, scraping skillet to remove any browned bits of meat. Add blocks of frozen vegetables and sauce, placing vegetable sides down. Cover; cook 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables and meatballs are hot. Serve over rice. Makes 6 servings.

Mac and Cheese Variations


1 box Kraft Mac and Cheese prepared to specification. Add in...

1/4 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced (opt.)
1/2 can of Spam, cubed

5 strips of bacon, minced or 1/2 cup bacon bits
1 1 tomato, cubed

1 small bag or 2 cups potato chips, crushed
1 can tuna, drained

4-6 oz chicken, cubed
2 oz green onion, diced
1 lemon juice to taste (opt.)

4-6 oz ground beef, browned
1/4 small onion, chopped
1 taco mix (opt.)

Mix the box of Mac and Cheese together as the instructions...um...instruct. Then take any of the combos of ingredients and mix those in with the noodles and whatnot.