Monday, February 10, 2020

Four Cheese Stuffed Shells























I remember the first time I ever made stuffed shells. I was young and I wanted to make something special for a new boyfriend I wanted to impress. I remember seeing the box on the grocery store shelf and thinking, how cool are these?  I can probably stuff these with something!  And then I read the box and learned that this is a traditional Italian recipe that's been around forever. I made the recipe with extra spices and a lot more cheese and they turned out great.  My guest was very impressed. And I was too! 

Four Cheese Stuffed Shells

1 (12 oz.) box uncooked jumbo pasta shells
15 ounce container whole milk ricotta cheese
2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
1 egg
1 (26 oz.) jar Ragu Chunky Tomato, Onion and Mushroom
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped fine

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook pasta shells according to package directions for al dente, about 9 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water.























In a large bowl, combine the ricotta, Parmesan, Romano, 1½ cups of the mozzarella, egg, salt, pepper, and parsley.  Set aside.














Coat the bottom of a baking dish with sauce. Not too deep just about 1/3 cup will be fine.  Fill each shell with the cheese mixture and place open side up, in a single layer, in prepared pan. Pour more sauce over the stuffed shells. I like just a little sauce but you can add as much as you want.













Loosely cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes.
During last 5 minutes of baking, remove foil and sprinkle more Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese on top if desired. Bake 5 more minutes. Serve with crusty Italian bread.













For Crockpot:  Follow the same directions as above. Cover and cook 1 1/2 hours on high or 3 hours on low OR until hot all the way through. 













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Slow Cooked Pot Roast with Potatoes in Onion Gravy























Sometimes you just don’t want all those veggies with your pot roast.  I’m a true meat and potatoes kind of girl and so now and then I like to just make a pot roast with potatoes as my only vegetable….oh and onions…You have to have thick and rich onion gravy to make it the best pot roast you’ve ever tasted!  I decided to try something different with my gravy this time so I used a couple of those little McCormick gravy packets.  I only had the pork gravy and not the beef but I decided to give it a try.  OH MY GOODNESS.  This turned out to the one of the best pot roasts I’ve ever made!

Slow Cooked Pot Roast with Potatoes in Onion Gravy

2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 (4-5 pound) chuck roast
Salt and Pepper
1 large onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
2 cups of beef broth, unsalted or low sodium
1 small bag of new potatoes

Heat the olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Pat the roast dry with paper towels and sprinkle both sides generously with salt and pepper. Carefully place it in the pan and sear it on all sides until golden brown.  Remove from skillet and set aside on a plate.





















Add sliced onion to the skillet and saut√© over medium heat until they are lightly caramelized and golden in color. 

Spray a 4 quart crock pot with cooking spray. Place the seared roast in the pot and place the caramelized onions on top. Add chopped garlic. 


















Pour beef broth over roast.  Set temperature to high, cover and cook for about 4 hours. After four hours, remove the lid and place baby potatoes on top and around roast.  Cover and cook another 90 minutes to 2 hours or until potatoes are tender. Remove the meat and potatoes to a platter and cover with foil.

Gravy

Juices from crockpot
2 packages of McCormick Pork Gravy Mix
¼ cup of water
¼ cup heavy cream
1 small can cream of Onion soup, (undiluted)



Carefully pour the juices from the crock pot into a medium sauce pan.  Add two packs of Pork gravy and stir well.  Add the can of soup, the water and the cream and whisk until smooth. 























Turn the heat to medium high and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to simmer and allow gravy to thicken, stirring occasionally.  Once gravy is thickened, remove from heat and pour over meat and potatoes and serve! 




















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Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Salted Caramel Brownie Bites





















These Salted Caramel Brownies are going to take your brownie game to a whole new level.  Deliciously moist and fudgy brownies topped with ooey gooey melted caramel and chocolate and then sprinkled with chopped pecans.  YUM.

Turtle Brownie Bites

2 cups granulated sugar
½ cup butter
½ cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon instant coffee
4 eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
¾ cups unsweetened cocoa powder
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 2/3 cups chocolate chips, divided
30 soft caramel candies
1 tablespoon milk
¾ cup finely chopped, toasted pecans

Preheat oven to 350° degrees. Line a 12 cup muffin pans with liners or baking cups. 

 



 


















Stir sugar, butter, oil and coffee in a large, heavy saucepan set over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until smooth and thick; remove from heat. Whisk in eggs, one at a time. 









 















Stir flour with cocoa, baking powder and salt in a bowl; stir into egg mixture until smooth. Stir in 1 cup chocolate chips. Divide batter evenly among baking cups. Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out with just a few moist crumbs. Cool completely in pans.

Heat remaining chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl on MEDIUM (50%) for 40 to 50 seconds; stir until smooth. Heat caramels and milk in another microwave-safe bowl on HIGH (100%), stirring every 30 seconds, for 1 to 2 minutes or until smooth. 





 




















Spread an equal amount of warm caramel onto each cupcake. Then pour melted chocolate over each cupcake and sprinkle with pecans. Let stand until set.









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Sunday, December 22, 2019

Hot Molten Fudge Brownies





















Once you’ve had a fudgy molten brownie, you will wonder why you haven't been eating them all your life! I mean who wouldn’t want to bite into a fudge brownie and have thick, smooth, warm chocolate slowly ooze out?  You’ll wonder why all brownies aren’t made this way. The secret is to take the brownies out of the oven when they don’t seem quite done. They’ll continue to cook and as they cool the fudge centers will stay moist and fudgy.

Hot Molten Fudge Brownies

1 cup all-purpose four
¾ cup cocoa
¾ cup brown sugar
1 1/3 cups sugar
¾ cup plus 1 teaspoon unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1 cup good quality chocolate, chopped into chunks

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Line an 8 x 8 baking pan with parchment paper, allowing the paper to hang over sides to use as handles for lifting out brownies later.






















Place the flour, cocoa, both of the sugars, butter, vanilla and eggs in a large bowl. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, mix batter until smooth. Add the chopped chocolate and continue to stir until smooth. Spread the batter into the baking pan and smooth the top until level.
























Bake for 50-60 minutes until the brownies are set on top. Allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before slicing into squares and serving warm.  Top with vanilla ice cream for a real treat! 



















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Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Quick Turkey Bolognese

























It’s the perfect combination of ingredients that lends itself well to store-bought shortcuts.  Get dinner on the table in 20 minutes or less with this fast, fresh and family-friendly recipe.

Quick Turkey Bolognese

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 pound ground turkey
1 32 ounce jar of Ragu Chunky Tomato, Onion, Garlic Sauce
1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1 pound uncooked spaghetti pasta
Parmesan cheese, for serving (optional) 

Add the olive oil to a large saucepan set over medium-low heat. Once the oil is hot, add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add the ground turkey and using a spatula, break it apart into pieces while it cooks.  I like to leave some bigger chunks for texture.

 

























Once the turkey is fully cooked, add the tomato sauce, dried oregano, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Reduce the heat and simmer the sauce for 10 minutes then taste and season it with additional salt and pepper as needed.






























While the sauce simmers, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook it until al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain the pasta well before serving.

 























Transfer pasta to serving bowl and top with the sauce. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese (optional).  Enjoy with a side salad and some crusty Italian bread!  YUM.










 

















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Tuesday, December 03, 2019

Macaroni and Cheese with Pancetta and Cauliflower
























You will love this easy to make stove top mac and cheese.  If you don’t have pancetta, use bacon or ham. The cauliflower takes on the flavors of both the cheese and ham and adds texture. You'll love the addition. Plus you can say you ate your veggie today!  Tender cauliflower and pasta in a creamy cheese sauce topped with crispy bacon. recipe is easy, cheesy and delicious!

Macaroni and Cheese with Pancetta and Cauliflower

8 oz. pancetta, diced
1 small head of cauliflower, cut into 1/2-inch florets
3 to 6 more tablespoons butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 1/2 cups milk
1 cup shredded fontina, gouda or guyere cheese
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 cup heavy cream (add more cream if too dry)
16 ounce box elbow macaroni, cooked until al dente

In a 4-quart pot over medium heat, cook the pancetta (or diced bacon) until lightly brown and a little crispy, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl. Do not drain fat. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel-lined plate.





























Bring another large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Break down the cauliflower head into small florets and add them to the boiling water. Bring to a boil, then pour off water to only about an inch. Reduce heat to simmer and cover pot allowing it to steam until it can be pierced with a fork but isn't mushy, 5 to 10 minutes. 































Use a slotted spoon to move the cauliflower into a colander. Drain well and return to the warm pot for a few minutes to draw out more moisture. Drain again and set aside.

In the same pot over medium heat, melt the remaining 3 tablespoons butter. Whisk in the flour and cook, stirring frequently, about 3 minutes. 

   















 


Whisk in cream and cook until thickened, about 10 minutes. Add the cheeses, nutmeg, salt and pepper and a bit of cayenne if using stir until well blended. Stir in the pasta, pancetta and cauliflower and mix well.  Serve and enjoy!

 






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