- Brussels Sprout and Avocado Salad with Lemon Dijon Dressing
- Chicken Burgers with Chipotle Guacamole
- Pistachio Encrusted Chicken
- Encrusted Parmesan Artichoke Chicken
- Honey and White Cheddar Apple Bites
- Spider Cakes (Golden Butter Cakes with Peanut Butter Icing)
- Black Bean and Mango Salsa
- Berry Studded Honey Cloud Pancakes
- Shredded Pork and Grilled Pineapple Tacos
- Sassy Tex-Mex Slow Cooker Shredded Pork
- Peanut Chicken Lettuce Wraps
- Biscoff Milkshake
- Grilled Halloumi Cheese and Mango Salad
- Strawberry Vinaigrette Dressing
- Chicken Wrap with Avocado Mayonnaise
Monthly Archives: June 2012
I will admit it. I have always made what I call “the Lazy Lasagna recipe” – layer boiled lasagna noodles, a jar of spaghetti sauce and some cheese layered into a big pan and baked. Then about 2 months ago co-worker had me over for dinner and introduced me to Jamie Oliver’s Lasagne from his Food Revolution cookbook. It was totally delish! I resolved to never be so lazy about lasagna again.
What surprised me about Jamie’s Lasagne was how rich it was. After watching his food revolution show I was expecting something that was skewed a little healthier. What I really liked about his version (besides the taste) was that had a nice healthy dose of veggies mixed in without seeming like a vegetable lasagna. I also really like the texture and taste of the no-boil egg noodles. They really added a nice bite to the dish.
For my take on his recipe I lightened things up a bit by cutting the creme fraiche in half and subbing in some nonfat Greek yogurt, (Trust me, this is a still a really rich lasagna and does not taste at all like a lightened up version of anything.) and made a few other minor tweaks. The results are totally scrumptious.
This is a great recipe to make for company. I like to make the bolognese sauce the day before my event then I can quickly assemble the Bolognese Lasagna and pop it in the oven the day of my event. Give it a try and see if you don’t get rave reviews on this Bolognese Lasagna at your next entertaining event.
Adapted from Jamie Oliver’s Lasagne in Food Revolution
Prep time: 10 minutes - Cooking time: 55 minutes - Serves: 6 -8
- 1 cup of creme fraiche (or substitute thick full fat sour cream)
- 1 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
- 6 oz shredded parmesan cheese
- 1 recipe of bolognese sauce (recipe below)
- 8 oz no boil egg lasagna sheets
- 2 large Roma tomatoes, sliced
- 4-6 basil leaves
Preheat oven to 375 F.
Place 1 cup of creme fraiche, 1 cup nonfat Greek yogurt and 4 oz of parmesan cheese in a small bowl and stir well. Set aside until ready to use.
Spoon a third of the bolognese sauce into the bottom of a overproof lasagna dish.
Place a layer of lasagna sheets over the bolognese sauce. Spoon third of the creme fraiche mixture on top of the lasagna sheets and smooth into a layer. Add 1/3 of the bolognese sauce and spread over the layer.
Repeat the last step two more times so that you add two more layers to your lasagna. Add last layer of noodles and top with remaining creme fraiche mixture. Sprinkle remaining 2 oz or parmesan cheese over top of the creme fraiche mixture.
Add sliced tomatoes and small basil leaves to the top of the lasagna. Drizzle with olive oil. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. After that, remove the foil and bake for 35 more minutes until the lasagna is bubbling and golden. (I recommend placing a baking sheet under the baking dish just incase any bubbles over and drips.)
Remove lasagna from the oven and let sit 5-10 minutes before cutting.
Prep time: 15 minutes - Cooking time: 55 minutes - Serves: 6 -8
- 2 slices of panchetta
- 1 medium onions
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 carrots
- 2 celery stalks
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons of dried oregano
- 1 pound of ground beef, ground pork, ground veal mixture (usually sold as meatloaf mix)
- 2 14 oz. cans of diced tomatoes
- salt and pepper
- fresh basil
- 2 oz shredded parmesan cheese
Finely slice the panchetta. Chop up the onions, garlic, carrots, and celery into small dice. Chop 1 teaspoon of basil stems and set aside.
Preheat a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil, panchetta and dried oregano. Sizzle panchetta for 1 -2 minutes stirring frequently.
Add veggies to the pan with panchetta and stir to incorporate. Saute 7 minutes (stirring frequently) or until veggies are softened and lightly browning around the edges.
Stir in the 1 lb. of ground meat saute for 4-5 minutes, until mostly cooked. Drain fat if needed.
Add canned tomatoes with juices, 1/4 cup water and 1 teaspoon basil stems to the pan. Stir in a good pinch of salt and pepper. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove the bolognese sauce from heat. Add 2 oz of grated Parmesan into the sauce. Tear 4 large basil leaves into pieces and stir into the sauce. Add salt and pepper if needed.
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Oh my goodness, how did it get to be the middle of June all ready?? June means summer and summer means bathing suit season, a fact that sends me into a complete panic every year about this time.
The start of bathing suit season generally means I need to drag my exceedingly pale body into a store to find a new bathing suit. Can someone please explain to me why stores put that awful florescent lighting in the dressing rooms?? To any retailers out there who may be reading this - premier lighting in the dressing rooms means I look better when I look in the mirror while trying on your clothes. If I look better in the mirror when trying on your clothes I am more likely to decide to make them my clothes. Just sayin’….good lighting pays for itself.
Ok so after the ordeal of shopping for a bathing suit under florescent lights last week, I decided I need to go extra healthy for lunch. I started with a delightful glass of crisp chardonnay (because everyone looks better when I am having a lovely glass of wine) and a beautiful salad for lunch.
I took a few creative liberties with a recipe for Salad with Peaches and Pomegranate-Molasses Vinaigrette from the June issue of More magazine. I ended up with Pomegranate Vinaigrette over Pecan and Peach Salad. A few sips and bites later, I went from being crazy girl in the Dillard’s dressing room to a “lady who lunches”. Ah, perspective!!
Pomegranate Vinaigrette over Pecan and Peach Salad
Total prep time: 7 minutes – Makes: 3-4 servings
- Pomegranate Vinaigrette Dressing (recipe below)
- baby arugula
- green leave lettuce
- 2-3 peaches, sliced
- 4 oz goat cheese, crumbled
- 1/2 cup toasted pecans
Portion arugula, leaf lettuce, sliced peaches, crumbled goat cheese and pecans into serving dishes. Top with Pomegranate Vinaigrette Dressing and serve.
Pomegranate Vinaigrette Dressing
Total prep time: 12 minutes – Makes: 1/2 cup
- 1/2 cup 100% pure pomegranate juice
- 1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
- 1 teaspoon whole grain mustard
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- garlic salt and pepper
Place 1/2 pomegranate juice into a small sauce pan and place on medium-high heat. Simmer until reduced by half (about 10-12 minutes).
Pour reduced pomegranate juice into a small mixing bowl. Add Dijon mustard, whole grain mustard, balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Whisk very well until full incorporated. Season dressing with garlic salt and pepper. Whisk again. Serve and enjoy!
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Julia Child once said “A party without cake is just a meeting”. So I am wondering if I bring cupcakes to our next meeting at work will my coworkers will think it is a party? I think maybe if I brought these these little beauties they might at least be fooled into some celebratory giddiness.
I made Deep Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Icing and Chocolate Peanut Butter Drizzle for my son’s birthday. The recipe is 100% taken straight from Sky High Irresistible Triple Layer Cakes by Alisa Huntsman and Peter Wynne. (This book totally rocks for cake recipes!!) The only change I made to the recipe was to make cupcakes instead of a giant cake.
Oh my goodness these cupcakes were a little slice of heaven! The flavors melded together into a perfect symphony of peanut butter and chocolaty deliciousness. And if you microwave one for a few seconds to warm it up before you eat it, then you move beyond deliciousness somewhere close to ecstasy.
Two days after making cupcakes I took the extras into work. I had to get them out of the house because I seriously had no will power at all against these chocolaty bits of goodness. They insistently called to me even after I confined them to the refrigerator.
I felt a twinge of guilt as I set the cupcakes on the counter at work with a big sign inviting everyone to enjoy. Several coworkers are participating in our work version of the Biggest Loser Competition. Normally very supportive of their efforts with healthy recipe ideas and invitations to join me at the gym, however I decided at this point it was choice between risking their waistlines or mine so….. I promise to bring in a big fruit salad next week to share and atone for my sin. Enjoy!
Deep Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Cream Icing and Chocolate Peanut Butter Drizzle
Makes about 32 cupcakes
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 1/2 cups sugar
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup canola oil
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 1/2 cup water
- 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
- 2 large eggs
- Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Icing (recipe below)
- Chocolate Peanut Drizzle
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped peanut brittle
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Place cupcake liners in muffin tins.
Sift flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt into a large bowl. Whisk together until well combined. Add oil and sour cream and whisk again. Gradually add water and use electric mixer to blend. Blend in vinegar and vanilla. Blend in eggs until well blended. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides. Blend again if necessary to make sure batter is well mixed.
Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to portion batter into prepared cupcake cups.
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until full cooked. Remove cooked cupcakes from oven and set aside to cool.
Once cupcakes are completely cooled, frost with Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Icing. Drizzle Chocolate Peanut drizzle over the icing. Let icing cool. Finish cupcakes by sprinkling with coarsely chopped peanut drizzle.
Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Icing
- 10 oz cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 (4 oz) stick unsalted butter, room temperature\5 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 2/3 cup smooth peanut butter*
Place cream cheese and butter into a large bowl. Use an electric hand mixer to beat them together until light and fluffy. Add confectioners sugar 1 cup at a time, blending thoroughly after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Blend on medium speed for 3-4 minutes. until mixture is light and fluffy. Finally add the peanut butter and blend until thoroughly mixed.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Drizzle
- 8 ounces of semisweet chocolate chips
- 3 tablespoons smooth peanut butter*
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 1/2 cup half and half
Place chocolate, peanut butter and corn syrup into a double boiler**. Bring water in the double boiler to a simmer. Whisk often until chocolate is melted and ingredients are fully combined.
Remove from heat. Whisk in half and half. Use while mixture is still warm.
*Note: this is one of the few times you will see me recommend against all natural. Regular hydrogenated peanut butter works better than all natural peanut butter in this recipe because the oil won’t separate out.
**If you don’t have a double boiler you can use a bowl set over a pot of water. The bowl should be wide enough so that does not go all the way down in the pot. The water should not touch the bottom of the bowl while you are melting the chocolate.
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