Monday, November 23, 2009

Natalie's Penne Pesto Pasta

I may have got the name of the recipe wrong but the memory of this great dish is what is SO important. My sister in law Natalie, who is more like a real sister than the "in-law", made this incredible dish for me one night after I had traveled to someplace exotic for an ADA conference. Somehow always knowing when I am exhausted and need a tad bit of pampering.. Natalie shows up with something great. Now, whenever I make this dish for my kids it is referred to as "Nat's Pasta". They love it. It is a simple dish with a huge impact.  I made this pasta creation for Robbie the very first time I cooked for him. It wasn't the hook that caught him but it definitely helped!  Natalie! I love you like a sister and you are one of my best friends!  Thank you so much for this great pasta. It makes me happy EVERYTIME I MAKE IT!

Nat's Pasta

1 box whole wheat Penne Pasta
1 large (28 oz) can diced tomatoes, drained
1 jar basil pesto
1 large jar artichoke hearts
8 oz parmesean cheese

Boil noodles according to package directions, drain. Add the tomatoes, pesto, artichoke hearts. Mix together. Add the parmesean cheese. Serve warm.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Pumpkin Tiramasu

Here is a twist on an already yummy Italian Dessert!  I am making this for my family on Thanksgiving.

Pumpkin Tiramasu

1 pumpkin bread loaf (on this page at the bottom)
4 tablespoons Hazelnut liqueur or syrup
8 oz strong coffee, divided
2 cups heavy whipping cream
8 oz mascarpone cheese
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon orange juice
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Cut pumpkin loaf into 16 1/2 inch thick slices. Arrange half of the slices in the bottom a 2 quart square baking dish.  Brush cake with 2 tablespoons of hazelnut syrup ( you can use a liqueur).  Pour 4 oz of strong coffee over cake. Set aside.
In large bowl, beat whipping cream with an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form tips. Set aside.
In another large bowl, combine mascarpone cheese, canned pumpkin, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, all spice and ginger, nutmeg, and orange juice.  Beat on medium speed until combined.  Fold in half of whipped cream.  Spread half of the pumpkin mixture over the cake layer in the dish.  Top with the remaining cake slices; brush cake slices with the remaining hazelnut 4 oz of strong coffee over bread.  Spread the remaining pumpkin mixture and the remaing whipped cream over layers in dish (dish will be very full).  Cover and chill for 4 to 24 hours.  Sprinkle with cinnamon to garnish.  Enjoy.

Cinnamon Coffee

This morning I woke up and kissed my husband and said, "I will make the coffee".  I am not a fan of strong flavored coffee but a hint of something is pretty yummy... I left Tulsa and moved to NWA to marry my husband and what I gave up was MECCA. The best coffee store in the world!  Missing MECCA and snickerdoodle coffee, my mouse started to turn on the wheel and I came up with my own version of lightly flavored coffee. Good morning Robbie!


The amount of coffee grounds you like add 2 teaspoons of cinnamon. Brew the coffee...

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Cake Balls

These are tiny balls of yummy goodness! I don't care where you take these little balls of greatness you are going to hit a home run right out of the park! Mix and match flavors and dip in all kinds of chocolate and everyone will beg you for the recipe. Here is one of my all time fav's!

Carrot Cake Balls

1 box carrot cake mix
8 oz lite cream cheese
1 package semi sweet chocoate morsals

Directions:  Bake the cake according to package directions. While the cake is still very warm, crumble it in a large mixing bowl. Add the cream cheese. Mix together by hand. ( no Jill not really with your hands). Set in the refrigerator for about an hour or until cooled completely. Use a melon baller or small scoop and make bite size balls (this makes about 36 balls). Put in freezer for about an hour. Melt your chocolate. Use a toothpick to dip the balls and cool on wax paper until set up. Enjoy.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Denver Casserole

I have modified my favorite casserole in honor of my so/so trip to Denver.. I must say I am convinced Denver hates me. Everytime I travel here or through here... I have terrible experiences: getting stuck overnight in the airport, getting lost walking downtown in the snow and rain, my luggage being lost somewhere between Dallas and Denver... BUT! I am throwing that all out the window and I have taken my all time favorite breakfast casserole recipe and modified it just for Denver!  Here you are Denver your very own breakfast casserole.

Denver Casserole

3 Onion Rolls
8 oz Egg Substitute
3 cups Skim Milk
8 oz shredded Colby Jack cheese
1/4 cup diced Green Peppers
2 cups diced Ham
8 oz cream cheese, cubed
 Spray 9 x 13 pan with non stick cooking spray. Cut onion rolls into cubes and toss into pan. In a bowl mix together egg substitute, milk, cheese, green peppers and ham. Pour ontop of onion rolls cover and set overnight in the refrigerator. The next morning.. Wake up. Make a pot of coffee. When you are ready preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut cream cheese in cubes and poke down in the casserole. Put your yummy dish in the oven and bake for 45 minutes or until set all the way through.  Enjoy.

Vinegrette Dressing

Because everyone loves this dressing and it is SOO simple to make I am going to give it to you.. This is fantastic on salad (of course) but you will love it as a marinade for pork, chicken and even fish!  I am going to give you the single recipe and you can double/triple it as you need to.

Vinegrette Dressing

1 teaspoon Balsamic Vinegar
1 teaspoon White Vinegar
1Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 teaspoon Oregano
2 cloves Garlic, chopped
Black Pepper, just a pinch maybe two
2 teaspoons Spicy Brown Mustard

Whisk all the ingredients in a bowl. Then pour over salad (or whatever you are using it for) and toss or rub.  It is a yummy good one! Enjoy.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

My favorite pumpkin bread

Fall is my favorite time of the year. I love the colors of the leaves and the smell of Friday night football. Chimineas burning pinon wood.. Pumpkins and gourds, costumes and the first time you slip soft mittens on your hands and wrap that perfect scarf in the best fashionable knot around your neck. The best part for me is the food! Banana nut bread, pumpkin muffins, soups and stews, comfort foods that are healthy and yummy! Here is my favorite pumpkin bread.

Pumpkin Bread
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar ( I use splenda )
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon all spice
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 can pumpkin
1/4 cup fat free sour cream
or 1/4 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 large egg, beaten
powdered sugar

Preheat oven 375 degrees. Mix dry ingredients in bowl together. In another bowl, mix eggs, pumpkin, sour cream or yogurt, oil, vanilla and egg. Stir into flour mixture just until moist. At this point you can either make muffins or loaves. It is up to you. Spray the pan of your choice with cooking spray and spoon or pour into pans. For muffins bake 15 -20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. For bread bake for 45 minutes or until done. Sprinkle powdered sugar over top of bread.

Approx per serving: Calories 164, Fat 3.5 g, Protein 3.5 g, Carb 29.7 g, Sodium 269 mg