Wednesday, March 01, 2017

My Incredible Lasagna Roll Ups























The less time it takes me to make dinner the better. Especially lasagna! Who doesn’t love it but who wants to take all that time to make all those layers?   Rather than making a big pan of lasagna, these are perfect for dinner size portions.  I use a blend of three cheeses (Ricotta, Mozzarella, and Parmesan). Add some garlic bread and a side salad and you’ve got a delicious quick meal!   

My Incredible Lasagna Roll Ups
​​
1 pound ground beef
12 lasagna noodles 
1/2 cup onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (28 ounce) jar Ragu Chunky Tomato, Garlic, Onion Sauce
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded, divided
1 (15 ounce) container ricotta cheese
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper, divided

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook lasagna noodles according to directions on package. Once cooked, lay them out in a single layer on wax paper.























In a skillet over medium heat, saut√© the onion and garlic until tender and transparent.  Add the ground beef and season with salt and pepper to taste. After browning, drain the beef.  Add pasta sauce, tomato sauce, oregano and basil. Lower the heat to med-low and cook for 30 minutes covered.

Combine 1 cup of the mozzarella, 1/4 cup of the Parmesan and all of the ricotta cheese in a medium bowl. Add the egg, parsley, salt and pepper, then mix until all ingredients are combined. 























In a 9 x 13 inch baking pan, spread 1 cup of the meat sauce or just enough sauce to cover the bottom of the pan. Lay out a lasagna noodles and spoon about 1/4 cup of the cheese mixture down the middle of each noodle. Top with a little of the  meat sauce. 























Roll the lasagna noodles and place them seam side down in the pan.  Finish by topping with remaining meat sauce and sprinkle the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese on top. Cover with non-stick aluminum foil.























Bake covered in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for 15 minutes, or until lightly browned and cheese is bubbly. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.






















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Saturday, February 18, 2017

Southern Biscuits and Gravy























I’m from Maryland but when it comes to food, I am a true southern girl through and through. My Mom was born in Kentucky and raised in Tennessee and all I ever knew was her southern cooking growing up. You can’t claim to be southern if you don’t know this next recipe. I am crazy about Gravy and Biscuits and make them all the time.

Southern Gravy and Biscuits

Milk Gravy

1/4 cup bacon drippings
1/4 cup all-purpose flour2 cups milk, room temperature
Salt and pepper to taste

I like to fry up some bacon for a side dish so I can use the drippings.  Once you fry it or bake it, remove the bacon to a plate.  What you have in the skillet then will be the base for your gravy.




















Using the same frying pan that you cooked your bacon in, add flour to the drippings and whisk until it begins to turn a light brown. Gradually add the milk, stirring constantly, and cook until the gravy is smooth and thick.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.




















Buttermilk Biscuits


2 cups all-purpose flour 
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup very cold butter, cut into small chunks about the size of sugar cubes
1 cup very cold buttermilk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Toss the butter chunks into the flour mixture.   Using a fork or pastry cutter, mash the butter chunks into quarter-sized pieces.  
Mix the cold buttermilk into the flour/butter mixture, tossing briskly with a fork to evenly distribute the buttermilk so no dry bits of flour are visible.  The dough will be sticky but should clear the sides of the bowl.



















Scrape the biscuit mixture out onto a lightly-floured work surface and gather, with floured hands, into a ball.  Roll the dough into a rectangle about 1/4-inch thick.  Fold into thirds and rotate dough 90 degrees, dusting work surface with flour.  Roll out to about 1-inch thick. 

Using a 3-inch biscuit cutter, press down on the cutter, but do not turn or twist, dipping the cutter or glass into the flour after each cut.  Place biscuits onto an ungreased baking sheet, close together.  Bake approximately 15 to 20 minutes, without opening the oven door, until the biscuits have risen and the tops are golden brown.  Remove from oven and split or cut the biscuits in half and top with the prepared hot Milk Gravy. Serve warm.

Biscuits Making Hints and Tips:
For tender and flaky biscuits, make sure the butter is as cold as you can get it. I keep mine in the freezer.  Try to use your hands as little as possible. Excess handling causes tough biscuits.  

Always bake biscuits on cookie sheets or pans without sides.  The heat will circulate more evenly than on pans with sides.  Remove from oven and immediately remove from baking sheet.












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Tuesday, February 07, 2017

THE WELCOME HOME MAGAZINE!


Want to find some wonderful recipes for Valentine's Day?  I have put some of my best in the Welcome Home Online Magazine! That's right. I have included some of my best mouth watering recipes in this issue so that you can make them for that special person. 















The magazine has nearly 800 never seen before recipes for breakfast, lunch, brunch, dinner and of course those decadent sweets for your sweet Valentine.  

It's through subscription only so you won't find these recipes any place else. Where else can you find nearly 800 of my exclusive recipes for only $2.00 a month.
















And as a bonus, you will be added to the Facebook Fan club for subscribers only. Here you will find even more recipes as well as some new kitchen ideas and wonderful short cuts.

If you haven't subscribed yet, you can simply click on this link and you will have the magazine within minutes. All of the recipes will be there...all 773 of them! Click on this link to subscribe today!



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Friday, January 27, 2017

Frozen Chocolate Mousse Bombe






















This is one of those recipes I make for special occasions. It is my show stopper when I walk into the room and I love to hear all the ooohhs and aaaahhs.  It is the perfect cake for Christmas with a few berries around the outside or the perfect Valentines day dessert with some hearts sprinkled on top.  It’s really not hard to make and you’re guest will love it.

Frozen Chocolate Mousse Bombe

Cake:

1 stick unsalted butter
8 oz Ghirardelli chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 9" cake pan with parchment and grease the bottom and sides with a bit of butter. Set aside.

Melt the chocolate and the butter in a glass bowl in the microwave in 20 second increments, stirring at each break until everything is smooth. Set aside.

Place the eggs, yolk and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted whisk on high until light in color and slightly thickened (about 5 min). Using a rubber spatula fold in the chocolate and butter mixture just until it's incorporated. Try not to mix too much or you'll lose the volume you just whipped into it. 

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, spread evenly and bake for about 25 min, or until a toothpick in the center comes up clean. Cool completely at room temp before removing from the pan. Set aside. 
 
Mousse

8 oz Ghirardelli chocolate (divided), coarsely chopped
1/4 cup freshly brewed coffee
1/4 cup honey
4 tablespoons sugar
3 egg whites
2 cups heavy cream

Melt 5 oz of the chocolate in a glass bowl in the microwave at 20 second intervals , stirring at each stop until it's smooth. Set aside. 

Combine coffee, honey, and 2 tablespoons of the sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, about 5 min. While the syrup is cooking combine the egg whites and the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar in a bowl of a mixer and when the syrup is almost ready, start whipping the egg whites on high and whip until soft peaks form, about 1 minute.

Your syrup should be ready now, so lower the speed to low and slowly add it to the egg whites. Then turn up the speed to high and whip until very thick (about 4 min).  Carefully fold in the melted chocolate. 

In a separate bowl whisk the heavy cream on medium-high until stiff peaks form, then fold that into the chocolate meringue until it's uniform. Keep in the fridge until needed.  Melt the remaining 3 oz chocolate the same way as before, let it cool a bit and transfer to a large bowl. Add 2 cups of the chocolate mousse. Fold with a rubber spatula until combined.

Lightly spray the inside of a 9 inch large bowl with non-stick and line with plastic wrap, making sure to leave lots of wrap hanging over the sides. Spoon the chocolate mousse into the bowl and use an offset spatula to make sure it's spread evenly and that there are no air bubbles.























Top with the cake and press down a bit to make sure there are no air bubbles or gaps trapped in between. Cover the top with the ends of the plastic wrap, adding more if needed and put in the freezer. It will need to chill at least 6 hours, preferably overnight.

When you are ready to assemble the bombe, place a cooling rack on a baking sheet.   Lay a 9 inch round parchment paper on rack. Remove the bowl from the freezer, unfold the plastic wrap from the bottom and flip onto  the paper. If the dome doesn't pop right out of the bowl, soak a towel in hot water, wrap it around the bottom and sides of the bowl and hold it there for a few seconds, then try to unmold again.  You may need to tug gently at the plastic wrap to help it along.

Glaze:

8 oz  Ghirardelli chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
salted caramel sauce, optional

Place the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl. Heat the heavy cream, honey, and butter in a small saucepan over medium high heat and stir to combine.  Stir constantly so that milk doesn’t boil over. When you see small bubbles start to form around the edges take it off the heat and pour over the chocolate in your bowl. Let it stand for a minute and then stir with a whisk until smooth. 


Pour the glaze over the bombe, letting excess drip down onto the baking sheet. Transfer to a plate and drizzle with salted caramel sauce if desired.  Return it to the freezer to set for 30 minutes. 

Store the bombe in the freezer, but take it out 20 min or so before serving to let it soften a bit, otherwise it will be really hard to cut. Enjoy!






















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