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Friday, June 29, 2012

Teriyaki Turkey Burgers

This time around our recipe swap theme was one of my favorites...burgers (and sandwiches, too).  Frank just isn't a big fan of burgers for dinner at home, or even when we're out.  I mean, don't get me wrong...he'll eat them :) but it would just never be his first choice.  So, I made this for myself for lunch while he was at work.

I was happy to receive a recipe that I hadn't tried before.  Stef from Kickin it in the Kitch submitted it and it was really good!  I had to grill a few extra pieces of pineapple (couldn't resist) but hey, at least I ate it without a bun :)

Thanks for a great recipe, Stef!

Teriyaki Turkey Burgers
slightly adapted from Kickin it in the Kitch

1 cup breadcrumbs
1 can pineapple rings, drained (reserve 1/4 cup liquid)
2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
1 pound lean ground turkey
teriyaki sauce for basting
jalapeno slices

Combine breadcrumbs, juice and soy sauce in a bowl and mix.  Add meat and mix well.  Shape into 4 patties.

Grill for about 10-12 minutes, brushing occasionally with teriyaki sauce.  With a few minutes left, add pineapple to grill and cook for a minute or two on each side.  Baste with sauce if you like.  Plate burger and top with pineapple and jalapeno.

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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Snickers Pie

FACT:  Snickers is one of my absolute favorite candy bars.

FACT:  This pie was a HUGE hit among family/friends.

FACT:  I'm going to have to make 4 or 5 of these next time!

Snickers Pie
slightly adapted from Confessions of a Wannabe Baker

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
5 regular size Snickers bars, or a bag of mini sized ones
1 tub light frozen whipped topping
2 ready made pie crusts (I used graham cracker since that's what I had, but I'm sure chocolate would be even better!)...or, just one, and freeze half the filling for future use
caramel topping

In a large mixing bowl, mix cream cheese, peanut butter and sugar until creamy.  Stir in chopped candy bars.  Gently fold in frozen whipped topping.

Pour into crusts and top with more chopped bars.  Drizzle with caramel topping.  Refrigerate overnight.

You can also freeze one pie in the crust...or, make your own crust, press into a springform pan, and pour all the filling in for one large pie.

Linked to:  Sweets for a Saturday
                  Sweet Treats

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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Pete's Italian Frittata

I'd be lying if I said I was the best frittata maker in the family.  I'm beat out by the men, for sure.  My dad and my brother have been making a kick-ass frittata for as long as I can remember.

Even though it was Father's Day, Pete (a proud dad to my two nephews) was happy to host our family for brunch, with the centerpiece being this deliciousness.  It's hard to tell in the picture, but that is a GIANT pan.  I don't know how many eggs were used, exactly...I'm going to assume it was a dozen.  Scramble them up and season with a bit of salt and pepper, and set aside.

Italian sausage was the meat of choice.  He cut it into bite size pieces and sauteed it in extra virgin olive oil with chopped onions and garlic.  Toss in some sliced mushrooms and saute for a minute, then add some parboiled broccoli rabe.  Season with salt and pepper and cook it all together for a few minutes.

Now it's time for the star of the frittata - the leftover pasta!  It's why they're made in the first place.  Throw in your cooked spaghetti...and if there are no leftovers, don't worry, you can just make some ahead of time and save it for this :)  Season again and mix.

Add the scrambled eggs and move the pan around a bit so everything is covered with egg.  Cook a few minutes to let everything settle in together, but not too much, then add some shredded or grated provolone.  As much as you like.  And we like a lot.

Mix it all together, then place in a 450 degree oven.  Bake for about 10 minutes until the sides have browned, then lower heat to 375 and bake until the frittata is set, about 20 minutes or so (keep an eye on it after 15).  Remove from oven (carefully!) and set aside to cool for about 5 minutes before cutting.

Mangia!  And remember - this is just as delicious at room temp or even cold!

Linked to:  Egg Blog Hop

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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Edamame Hummus

Summer has begun and kids are families are migrating to the nearest body of water to beat the heat.  Whether it's a pool, ocean, lake or a simple sprinkler, kids love it and get to stay cool and burn off lots of energy at the same time.

Because of this, moms are always on the hunt for snacks that are healthy, delicious and easy to pack.  And I'm one of those moms :)  We went to a friend's pool this past weekend and while making my mom's amazing hummus I thought I'd try a different version too, since variety is the spice of life.  At least it is in my life!

This was a big hit and tasted great on pita wedges as well as celery, carrots and red pepper slices.  I love the consistency of it and how easy it is to make.  Throw it in a plastic container and you've got the perfect poolside/beach snack!

Edamame Hummus
slightly adapted from Epicurious

1 bag (12 ounces) frozen shelled edamame (I used refrigerated shelled edamame from Trader Joe's)
3 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons sesame oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

Throw all ingredients in a food processor (if using frozen edamame, thaw first).  Pulse until mixture is the consistency of guacamole, adding a little bit of water at a time if too thick.  Cover and refrigerate until serving.  Serve with pita wedges (toasted or not) and raw veggies.

Linked to: Tastetastic Thursday

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Monday, June 25, 2012

Baked Stuffed Tomatoes with Beef & Mozzarella

Sometimes you end up with an overabundance of something and just aren't quite sure what to do with it.  Such was the case with us recently - Frank came home with a dozen tomatoes on the vine, when we already had half a dozen at home.

Since stuffed peppers don't fly in this house (ahem) I decided to do the next best thing.

Growing up we always had stuffed peppers, and many times the tray would also consist of other stuffed veggies, like eggplant, zucchini, and tomatoes.  Whatever Mom had on had went in the pan.  And it was delicious.

A low carb version certainly never did any harm either.  You won't miss the rice in these.  All beef and cheese, baby.

This is a super adaptable recipe, incase you haven't figured that out yet.  I also love making these with ground lamb and feta, or ground turkey and cheddar.  Whatever floats your boat.

It's easy to "stuff" yourself on these little things!

Come share in the tomato love at the Tomato Love Recipe Exchange, hosted by Gimme Some Oven & Bake Your Day, sponsored this week by Pizza Home Chef. Also visit Recipe for Change to learn more about how to support tomato farmers.

Baked Stuffed Tomatoes with Beef & Mozzarella
10 tomatoes on the vine
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 pound ground beef
2 teaspoons dried oregano
salt and pepper
shredded mozzarella cheese
chopped fresh herb of your choice

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Cut tops off tomatoes and hollow out, removing insides and seeds.  Set aside.

Add oil to a hot pan, followed by onion and garlic.  Add beef, oregano, salt and pepper and cook through.  Drain fat.

Place tomatoes in a baking pan.  Add beef to each one.  Top with mozzarella.  Bake for about 25-30 minutes.  Top with fresh herbs and serve.

Linked to: Tomato Blog Hop

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Friday, June 22, 2012

Lemon-Lime Tea Cakes

I'm so glad I found this recipe.  And I wish I had one right about now.

A dessert for Father's Day brunch?  No problem.  I immediately thought - citrus, mini, light.  Bam.

These were a HUGE hit.  And so easy to make.  Next time I'm definitely making more of the lemon slices, and cutting them into smaller pieces.  They may have been a bigger hit than the cakes ;)

Lemon-Lime Tea Cakes
from Martha Stewart

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature, plus more for pan
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lime zest
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
2 large eggs
1 cup AP flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 lemon (ends cut off) very thinly sliced and seeded

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly butter a 24 cup mini-muffin pan.  In a large bowl, beat 2/3 cup sugar with butter and lemon/lime zests on medium speed until light and fluffy.  Add lemon and lime juices along with eggs and beat to combine.  Turn speed down to low and gradually add salt and flour.  Beat until blended.

Fill each cup with about 1 tablespoon of batter.  Bake until golden around edges, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine 2/3 cup water and 2/3 cup sugar.  Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes.  Add lemon slices and rapidly simmer until peel turns translucent and mixture thickens slightly, about 5 minutes.

Poke holes all over tops of warm cakes in pan.  Drizzle syrup over each cake.  Let cool slightly in pan, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.  Add a bit more syrup and top with lemon slices.

Linked to:  Sweets for a Saturday

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Thursday, June 21, 2012

33rd & Galena Pork and Shrimp

So, the first day of summer REALLY hit us.  Like, close to 100 degrees hit us.  It's too soon for this!  I'm not a fan of extreme heat.  AT ALL.  Our air conditioning is already getting a major workout.

Oh well.  At least I'm not the one manning the grill in this crazy weather.  I'll leave that to the man in the house :)

I knew pretty much nothing about Penzey's until about 6 months ago, when I ordered a special gift pack from them which consisted of about 8 spices....for $5.00!  Saying it was a score was an understatement.  

I've yet to be in one of their stores (there are only one or two in my area...it's not very popular around here) but you can tell from their website that there's a lot to choose from.  Everything I've tried so far has been great, including this:

I used 33rd & Galena Chicken and Pork Rub on a pork tenderloin as well as some shrimp.  The pork was grilled and the shrimp was quickly sauteed.  It doesn't get much easier than this, and it was really good!  Salt free, too.

Take my advice and browse their site.  Pick a few blends and go to town...they're great!

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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Multigrain Pancakes

There's never a bad time for pancakes.  That's why it's important to have a wholesome, healthy recipe on hand - it gives you a great excuse to indulge more often.

These were delicious!  You could make the dry part of the batter and store it - triple the recipe and you'll have it on hand for a while.  This way, you have no excuses :)

I used a little butter on my griddle, but nothing went on top of these babies except fresh peaches.  Yum.

Multigrain Pancakes

1 cup plus 2 teaspoons whole wheat flour
1/2 cup uncooked rolled oats
1/2 cup uncooked cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large egg whites
3 tablespoons canola oil
2/3 cup maple syrup, divided
1 3/4 cup skim milk

In a large bowl, combine flour, oats, cornmeal, baking powder and salt.  Mix well, set aside.

In another bowl, beat egg whites until frothy.  Add oil, 1/4 cup syrup and milk.  Mix thoroughly.  Pour into flour mixture and stir until just combined.

Heat griddle and add a dab of butter.  Drop 2 tablespoons of batter per pancake.  Turn once batter is bubbling.  Keep cooked pancakes warm until all are finished.  Serve with fresh fruit on top.

Makes around 25 pancakes.

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Monday, June 18, 2012

Cavatelli & Broccoli

It's only fitting that I talk about a pasta dish today, considering it's Frank's birthday.  Those who know him, as well as my regular readers, know that the man could live on pasta of all shapes and sizes.  No lie.

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to make it without blinking an eye.  I love having a man so easy to please!

If you've got 15 minutes, you've got plenty of time to make this for dinner.  If you've got a big crowd to feed on a tight budget, remember this dish.  If you love pasta, this is a keeper.

Happy Birthday to my partner in crime :)

Cavatelli & Broccoli
1 bag frozen cavatelli
broccoli (fresh is best, but frozen works too)
5 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more reserved
salt and pepper to taste
crushed red pepper
grated pecorino romano cheese

Cook cavatelli according to package instructions.  Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.  Add garlic and crushed red pepper, then broccoli.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Saute until slightly softened.

Drain pasta and add to skillet.  Stir to combine over low heat.  Add more oil if necessary.  Add cheese, plus salt and pepper to taste, and take off heat.  Serve immediately or at room temperature.

Serves 3-4.

Linked to: Tastetastic Thursday

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Friday, June 15, 2012

Corn and Mushrooms with Cilantro

Blogger's Choice Swap is back!  And I was the lucky one in the draw to receive the organizer's blog, aka my friend Sarah's A Taste of Home Cooking.  

There was a lot to choose from, and I almost went with the delicious and well known  Philly Cheesesteak Egg Rolls with Spicy Ketchup.  There's no doubt I'll be trying them out soon.  Yum.

Instead, I went with a side that paired nicely with steak.  We loved this (it was a tad bit spicy for Frank, but he got over it)...even with frozen corn, it tasted fresh and delicious.

I can't wait to try this with fresh corn!  But like I said, don't be afraid to try it with frozen.  The freshness is definitely still there!  Such great flavors in this dish.

Thanks again for organizing the swap, Sarah...and a special thanks for this delicious side!

Corn and Mushrooms with Cilantro
from A Taste of Home Cooking

4 tablespoons butter, divided
12 ounces crimini mushrooms, sliced
3 cups frozen corn (or corn from 5 ears)
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
salt and pepper
1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Heat 2 tablespoons butter over high heat in a large skillet.  Once butter melts and starts to brown, add mushrooms.  Saute until soft.

Reduce heat to medium high.  Add corn, remaining butter, cayenne pepper and paprika.  Stir, and continue cooking until corn softens, about 4-5 minutes.  Season to taste with salt and pepper, then remove from heat.  Add cilantro and serve.

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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Quinoa Salad with Veggies

I'm a mess lately.

I'm forgetting things.  I can't keep things in order - even with lists.  I walk into a room and don't remember what I went in for...

I'm too young for this!

One thing's for sure - I'll never forget this "recipe" - or probably even have to refer back to it.  It's that easy.  Perfect for summer.

Quinoa Salad
adapted from food. com

4 cups quinoa, cooked and cooled
veggies of your choice (I used broccoli, cherry tomatoes, scallions and red peppers this time around)
3/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1 to 1 1/2 lemon(s)
salt and pepper to taste

Mix quinoa, seeds and veggies together.  Combine remaining ingredients in a small bowl and mix, then add to quinoa mixture.  Stir to combine, and season to taste.  Serve at room temp or refrigerate.

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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Baileys Ice Cream

The good news is - this ice cream tastes AMAZING.

The bad news is - it's mushy!  It really didn't freeze well at all.  Which doesn't make for a nice picture.  But don't let that stop you from making it.  

I'm guessing the consistency isn't thicker because this is kind of a "short cut" recipe.  And I'm totally oaky with that.  Sooooo good.

Baileys Ice Cream
from Instructables

2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
2 shots Baileys Irish Cream

Combine all ingredients together.  Chill in the fridge for about half an hour.  Freeze according to ice cream maker instructions.  Serve with a little Baileys drizzled on top.

Linked to:  Tastetastic Thursday

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Monday, June 11, 2012

Horseradish Burgers with Havarti

There are very few things I love more than a great burger.  Seriously, I could eat one every day.  All the more reason why, once again, variety is key.

The rain doesn't stop me, either.  I made these beauties on my Griddler and they were just as delicious as grilling them outside.  Do yourself a favor and buy one today if you don't have one already - it's one of my favorite things!  Which reminds me...I still have to get the waffle plates...

It's easy for me to have my burgers "protein style" when they're this yummy.  You won't miss the bun here - promise!

Horseradish Burgers with Havarti
barely adapted from Tyler Florence

2 pounds ground beef
1/4 cup prepared horseradish
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
salt and pepper
sliced havarti cheese
buns (but like I said, you don't need them!)
toppings and condiments of your choice

Put beef in a bowl.  Mix in horseradish and parsley.  Season with salt and pepper.  Handform into 8 patties.  

Grill burgers for about 8 minutes (for medium), then flip.  Add cheese.  Cover for 1 minute so cheese melts.  Serve with favorite condiments and toppings.

Linked to: Cheese Blog Hop

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Thursday, June 7, 2012

Last Day of School!

No recipe today - just me being a proud momma.  Bella's last day of school is today!  They weren't kidding when they said how fast it all goes...

I still can't believe how big she's gotten over the past year.

Before I know it, it'll be September, she'll be turning 4, and she'll be going to school full time!  Whoa.

Her end-of-the-year concert was earlier this week and it was tough to hold the tears back, for sure.  It's amazing how much she's learned since September...including the Pledge of Allegiance! (this photo was from a few months ago)

And deciding which "person in your neighborhood" to dress up as was easy...she followed in RaRa's footsteps and chose to be a teacher.

There were so many fun moments...I could keep going, but instead, we'll forge ahead and work on having a great summer :)  

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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Rotini with Kale, Prosciutto & Ricotta

I feel like I haven't been cooking much lately.  I don't know if it's because I've been busier at work, because I was sick for a while, or because it's approaching summertime and we're out more.  Whatever the case, it just hasn't been happening as much.

All the more reason to motivate myself with quick, easy, and super delicious dishes like this one.

How can you go wrong with this combination?  Crispy prosciutto, hearty kale and creamy ricotta.  Light enough for warm weather, too!  Love it.

This should be enough to snap me out of my mini-rut :)

Rotini with Kale, Prosciutto & Ricotta
slightly adapted from Wit + Delight

1 pound rotini (or whatever pasta you like)
5 slices prosciutto (estimate), chopped
1 bunch kale, ends trimmed, rinsed thoroughly
1 lemon
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup ricotta cheese
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
5 garlic cloves, chopped
salt and pepper

Cook pasta according to package directions.  Meanwhile, saute prosciutto in some of the oil in a pan until crispy.  Set aside.

Chop kale and add to pan that prosciutto was in with garlic and a little more oil.  Cook until wilted, then squeeze half the lemon on top.

Reserve about 3/4 cup of pasta water before draining.  Add pasta and prosciutto to pan with kale, then ricotta.  Slowly add pasta water until dish reaches desired consistency.  Finish off with remaining half of lemon, red pepper, and salt and pepper to taste.  Toss and serve.

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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookie Pretzel Bars

Both sweet AND salty have always been my thing.  I'm amazed by the people who can answer this question so emphatically - "are you a sweets person or a salty person?"  "Oh, DEFINITELY sweets.  I don't crave salt at all."

Nope, not me.  Totally depends on the day...or even time of day...

So, desserts like this can really come in handy for someone like me.

There are few things in life better than a chocolate covered pretzel, don't you think?  Well then, you'll love these as much as I did.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Pretzel Bars
slightly adapted from Two Peas & Their Pod

2 cups AP flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks butter, softened
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
one 12 ounce bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups mini pretzels, coarsely chopped (use a large Ziploc and pound away - so easy!)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Coat a 9x13 pan with cooking spray.

Whisk flour, baking soda and salt together in a bowl.  Set aside.  Beat butter and sugars together in a mixing bowl on medium speed until light and fluffy.  Beat in eggs and vanilla.  Turn speed to low and beat dry ingredients in until just combined.  Stir in chocolate chips and pretzels.

Spread batter evenly in pan.  Press down with spatula.  Bake for 30 minutes, until golden brown.  Remove from oven even if center is still gooey - they will set.  Let cool completely.

Loosen bars from pan all around sides with a knife.  Cut in bars and serve.

Linked to: Tastetastic Thursday
                   Sweets for a Saturday

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Monday, June 4, 2012

Quinoa Pilaf (Secret Recipe Club)

Another month has gone by - time once again for my Secret Recipe Club post!  This month's assignment was a great blog called Kitchen Trial & Error.  Kate's recipes were a lot of fun to browse, and I found myself having a hard time choosing between several.  

I came very close to baking these delicious bars but instead, opted for a healthy side dish to have with fish for dinner.  I made this very early in the month and since then, we've had quinoa three more times.  It's becoming a favorite in this house! 

This dish couldn't be any easier.  It's a great substitute for the usual rice.  Full of protein and fiber, yet nice and light - perfect for summer!


Check out Kate's blog for some great recipes...there are certainly plenty to choose from!

Quinoa Pilaf
slightly adapted from Kitchen Trial & Error

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons onion, finely chopped 
1 cup quinoa
2 cups chicken stock

Heat stock to a boil and keep warm.  Meanwhile, heat butter in a saucepan over medium low heat.  Add onion and saute until soft, about 3-4 minutes.

Rinse and drain quinoa, then add to saucepan with onion and stir until toasted, about 3 minutes.  Stir in stock and season with salt.  Turn heat to low, cover and cook for about 17 minutes.

Fluff with a fork before serving.  Top with chopped scallions, if desired.

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Friday, June 1, 2012

London Broil with Balsamic Marinade

When london broil is on sale, we stock up.  There's just no reason not to when there are so many different ways to prepare it, various marinades, etc.  It screams summer and, well, today is June 1st...(I can't believe it's already June...)

I love all the different flavors in this one - and it uses ingredients that I'm sure the majority of you already have at home.  Perfect!

London Broil with Balsamic Marinade

1 pound London Broil (approximate weight)
1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
1/2 cup red onion, chopped
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
6 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
salt and pepper

Place meat in a large ziploc bag.  Whisk together all other ingredients, then pour into the bag.  Mix around to evenly distribute.  Refrigerate for around 24 hours, turning occasionally.

Heat grill to high.  Grill meat for about 5 minutes, then flip and reduce heat to medium high.  Cook for about another 5 minutes.

Remove from heat, and let rest for around 5-10 minutes before slicing.

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