Saturday, April 30, 2011

Lucia's Famous Brownies

Ok, these are the best brownies that you will ever taste. No joke. My co-worker Lucia makes them for the office and everyone goes crazy for them. The homemade frosting is key. Try them. They do not disappoint.


4 egg
2 C. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 C. (2 sticks) BUTTER (has to be butter), melted
1 C. flour
2/3 C. unsweetened cocoa
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 C. chopped nuts (optional)


Pre heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 pan, set aside. Melt butter, set aside. Beat eggs in a mixing bowl, gradually add sugar. Add vanilla, melted butter. Mix well. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Add to egg mixture. Mix well. Stir in nuts. Pour into prepared pan. Bake 30-35 minutes or until brownies begin to pull away from sides of pan. Cool completely. Leave in pan. Frost with icing. Sprinkle with finely chopped nuts or chocolate sprinkles if desired.


1/3 C. butter
2/3 C. unsweetened cocoa
2 2/3 C. powdered sugar
1/3 C. milk
1 tsp. vanilla


Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa, stirring constantly until smooth. Pour into a mixing bowl. Cool completely. Alternately add powdered sugar with milk. Beat to spreading consistency. Beat in vanilla.

Linked up to Sweets for Saturday
Linked up to A Themed Bakers Sunday

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Shortcut Sausage and Peppers

Sausage and Peppers seems to be a crowd favorite in all of our families and although there aren't very many ingredients and it's fairly easy to make it can get a bit messy and be time consuming.  Nanci came up with this great short cut and I think it tastes just as good!  Nanci uses fresh onions and peppers but recently I decided to try it with frozen onions and frozen tri-colored peppers to see if I can make this even easier to throw together and it was delicious!  I might even go as far to say that it's better than our original recipe...


1 package of Italian sweet sausage
1 - 12 oz bag frozen chopped onions (or one fresh medium onion sliced)
1 - 16 oz bag frozen sliced tri colored peppers (or 3 fresh peppers sliced)
1/4 cup of pasta sauce


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Spray a casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray.   Put onions and peppers into the casserole dish and place the sausage on top.  Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes until the sausage is browned.  Turn the sausage over and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes to brown other side.  Remove from oven and take out sausage and slice into 1/2 inch pieces and place back into the casserole dish with the onions and peppers.  Add the pasta sauce and stir to coat.  Place back in the oven for an additional 20 minutes or until desired doneness ( I like mine well done and browned and caramelized)
Linked to Country Pot Luck

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Coconut Panko Pancakes

Growing up when our Mom made chicken cutlets she ALWAYS combined the leftover breadcrumbs and eggs to make pancakes which she fried in the same pan that was used to make the chicken cutlets.  This was a great way not to waste the leftover breadcrumbs that you always have after breading chicken.  I remember our Grandmother doing this as well.  So when Nanci made coconut chicken recently she used the coconut/panko mixture with the leftover egg and made these delicious pancakes.  They sounded so good that when she was over my house recently we broke out the ingredients and made these just "because".   What a delicious treat.


1 cup flavored panko bread crumbs
1 cup shredded coconut
2 eggs


Mix all ingredients and form into small patties.  Fry in hot oil until browned on both sides.  Drain on paper towels, sprinkle with coarse salt.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Manicotti with Bolognese Sauce

This is my first time making both Manicotti and Bolognese sauce.....and I'm so glad I tried it.  YUM!  It's so nice to have new ideas to add to my family dinners instead of always making spaghetti and meatballs!  The kids really loved it too.  It's a little time consuming but defnitely worth the effort.


Bolognese Sauce:
1 cup of onions, finely chopped ( I used frozen chopped onions)
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound ground beef
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 cup water
1 cup jarred pasta sauce
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 - 1 lb box of Manicotti shells
1 - 16 oz container of Ricotta Cheese
1/4 cup of chopped fresh parsley
1 egg
1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup of parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon of kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon of black pepper


Cook onions and garlic in oil in a 6- to 8-quart heavy pot or large saucepan over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes.   Add beef and cook over moderately high heat, stirring and breaking up lumps, until no longer pink, about 6 minutes. Stir in tomato paste, milk, wine, water, and pasta sauce and gently simmer, covered, until sauce is thickened, 20 - 30 minutes. Add salt and pepper and remove from heat. (Sauce may be made 2 days ahead and cooled, uncovered, before chilling, covered. Frozen, it keeps for 1 month).

Spread a little bit of sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 casserole dish and set aside.

Meanwhile, cook manicotti shells in boiling water according to package directions.  In a small bowl mix ricotta cheese, egg, parsley, mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper and put ricotta mixture in a pastry bag (with no tip) or a heavy duty ziploc bag.   Snip of end of pastry/ziploc bag and carefully squeeze mixture into each manicotti shell to fill (do not overfill)  Each shell should have about 3 tablespoons of ricotta mixture.  Place filled shells in sauced casserole dish and top with the rest of the bolognese sauce. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese on top if desired and bake in 350 degree F. oven for 40 minutes.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Guest Blogger Mondays.....Chicken Piccata by Leslie


About Leslie:  I'm a wife of 5 years and a SAHM of two young children.  I never really get to eat a full meal throughout the day so dinner is always a big deal!  I try and always have a protein, starch and vegetable at dinner time and I have just recently found a new found love for cooking, especially with new recipes...that is why I love Everyday Sisters so much!

 Chicken Piccata
 The dish I am sharing with you today was passed down from my sister shortly after I was married.  It's a favorite in my household and I hope you enjoy it as much as my family does.


1lb.  Chicken Breasts
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 - 1 cup olive oil
1/4 cup marsala wine
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tsp. chopped parsley
1 lemon (optional)


Trim off fat and cut chicken breasts in half so they are no more than 1/2 inch thick. In a plastic bag (or bowl) mix flour, salt, pepper and paprika (I like to add more paprika and less salt).  Place two chicken slices in the bag and coat with flour.  Repeat until all the chicken has been coated.  Heat olive oil in large skillet on medium heat.  Brown chicken for two to three minutes on each side.  They will brown quickly.  Remove from pan and set aside on plate. Wipe skillet clean.  Add marsala wine and lemon juice to pan on medium heat.  When liquid thickens, add back the chicken.  Cut lemon into slices and lay on top of chicken.  Sprinkle with parsley.  Serve immediately and Enjoy!  I paired this dish with steamed broccoli and rice but anything will really compliment it.  .

Friday, April 22, 2011


Charoset is a sweet, dark-colored, chunky paste made of fruits and nuts served primarily during the Passover Seder. Its color and texture are meant to recall the mortar with which the Israelites bonded bricks when they were enslaved in Ancient Egypt The word "charoset" comes from the Hebrew word cheres  "clay." It is quite tasty and can be made many different ways.  When I was little we used only apples, walnuts and sweet red wine to make the charoset...very basic.  Theses days we add a bunch of different dried fruits to jazz it up a bit.  You can used any dried fruit that you like and it would taste fantastic.  


3 apples, chopped
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/2 cup dried cherries, chopped
1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup sweet red wine


Place the apples, cherries, apricots and walnuts into a large bowl. Sprinkle cinnamon over the apples. Stir in the honey, lemon juice and wine. Serve immediately, or refrigerate until serving.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Oven Roasted Red Potatoes

This is a very simple but really delicious easy recipe for oven roasted potatoes.


1 box of Baby Red Potatoes
1 package of onion soup mix
2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Quarter the potatoes and place in a gallon size ziploc bag.  Pour in olive oil and onion soup mix.  Seal bag and toss potatoes around until completely coated.  Pour poatoes onto a greased cookie sheet and bake in the oven for 45 min to 1 hr until potatoes are crispy and brown.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Carrot Souflee

This is a new Passover recipe that I tried this year.  I wanted to make our usual Carrot Souflee but I didn't have all the right ingredients so I found a recipe with the ingredients I did have on hand and of  course tweeked it a bit.  Everyone really loved it, especially my Dad.


1 lb fresh carrots, boiled until soft
3 egg yolks
6 egg whites
1/3 cup of sugar
3 tablespoons matzoh meal
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 stick margarine, melted

3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons margarine, melted
1 cup chopped walnuts (I used sliced almonds)

Place carrots and egg yolks into food processor & puree. Add next 5 ingredients and process until smooth. Whip egg whites in a separate bowl and fold into carrot mixture.  Bake in greased casserole dish at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.  Meanwhile mix brown sugar, melted margarine and chopped nuts in a small bowl and set aside.  After 40 minutes remove souflee from the oven add topping and bake for 5-10 minutes more.

Can be made a day in advance.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Guest Blogger Mondays....Homemade Horseradish by Marni

GUEST BLOGGER of the week 

About Marni: I am married and a stay at home mom.  My daughter Grace is 8 yrs old.  I love to cook and entertain.  I am also an avid scrapbooker.  I have friends over to scrapbook all the time and always make my own appetizers and snacks for my guests.  I love to try new recipes and get new ideas for holiday cooking. 

Homemade Horseradish

I was just married and hosting my first Passover Sedar.  I wanted to make my grandparents proud.  So what was a good little Jewish girl to do?  So, I decided to make homemade horseradish.  Oye!  What was I thinking?! Well, I have to say it went over very well, and I think I made them proud!  :).  Now I am happy to say I have started a new tradition and I am really looking forward to passing it down to my Gracie girl!
Good luck and Happy Passover!
I make enough for the year.  It goes  well in bbq sauce and when making your own shrimp cocktail sauce too. :)

PS If you have a sinus problem well, you will be cleared for that day!  :)

Advisory:  When making, be near a open window! 


2 cups peeled and cubed Fresh horseradish root
1 1/2 cups of white vinegar
2 tablespoons of sugar
dash of salt
dash of white pepper

Put cubed horseradish chunks in the food processor (shredding disc) and shred.
Then after shredded, use the steel blade and pulse until you get the consistency you like.
Remove the horseradish into a bowl then add vinegar and S/P.  Jar and refrigerate.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Orzo with Sauteed Onions and Mushrooms

Super easy side dish with ingredients that I always have on hand.


1 lb orzo pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 package of sliced mushrooms
1 small onion diced

Boil pasta according to package directions.  While pasta is cooking heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet.  Add onion and sautee for a few minutes until starting to brown, add mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes until both onions and mushrooms are caramelized and tender.  Drain orzo and add to skillet with onions and mushroom.  Sitr to combine.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Cherry Cheescake Truffles

Truffle of the Week
Nanci and I used to eat Cherry Cheescake Truffles all the time when I worked at Jebs Candy Store in my teens.  They were irresistable.  So we tried to recreate them.  I think we got pretty close.


1-11 oz bag of Ghiradelli white chocolate chips
1/2 cup Heavy Cream
1 drop of red food coloring
1/4 cup cherry preserves
1/4 cup cream cheese softened
1-11 oz bag of Ghiradelli milk chocolate chips


Place white chocolate chips in a medium glass bowl. Heat cream, in a small saucepan until simmering (but not boiling).  Pour hot cream mixture of white chocolate chips and stir until chocolate is fully melted and smooth. If needed you can put white chocolate mixture in the microwave for 30 seconds to melt completely. Stir in 1 drop of red food coloring, cherry preserves and softened cream cheese until completely combined.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hrs and up to overnight.  Once cherry ganache is set portion out with a small scoop and place on a silpat lined baking sheet.  Mixture will be fairly soft (because of the cream cheese addition) so work quickly.  Once all ganache is portioned out, roll quickly into balls and then place ganache balls in the freezer for 2 hrs to harden.  Melt milk chocolate in the microwave in 30 second incremements stirring inbetween until  fully melted and smooth.  Take ganache balls out of freezer and dip in melted milk chocolate and place back on lined baking sheet.  Once all completed place truffles back in freezer or refrigerator to set.  In the meantime melt 1/4 cup of white chocolate chips in the microwave in 30 second increments until melted and smooth.  Stir in 1 drop of red food coloring until fully incorporated.  Place pink colored chocolate in a small piping bag and snip of a tiny bit of the end.  Decorate the top of the truffles with the pink melted chocolate.


Friday, April 15, 2011

Cinnamon Sugar Fried Wontons

When I got bored of making egg rolls I had a lot of left over egg roll wrappers that I didn't want to go to waste. Both of my kids love those cinnamon twists that you get a Taco Bell so I tried to recreate that with the left over wrappers. They were a big hit. I also came to find out that they are great broken up over a bowl of ice cream :)


wonton wrappers cut into triangles
1/4 cup cinnamon
1/2 cup white or brown sugar
oil for frying


Mix cinnamon and sugar together in a small bowl and set aside. Heat oil over medium heat. Place three to four wonton wrappers in the hot oil watching carefully and turning on each side until golden brown. This will only take about 30 seconds. Remove from oil with a slotted spoon and place on paper toweling. Immediately sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Repeat with all remaining wonton wrappers.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Matzo Brie

I wait all year to be able to make matzo brie for breakfast or for dinner..... or for lunch for that matter. It is a real treat for the kids. This has been something that I have done every year since I can remember. It is an easy recipe and is really very tasty. Very much like french toast (well that is if you made french toast with matzo LOL).


4 pieces of matzo
3 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup milk or soy milk
1/2 teaspoon salt


Break up matzo into a large bowl and add cool water to cover. Let soak approx 5- 10 minutes to soften matzo. Drain in a colander and return to the bowl. Add the beaten eggs and milk. Season with salt. Melt a tablespoon of butter in a frying pan. Pour matzo egg mixture into the pan and spread out and pat down, Allow the mixture to brown on the bottom then flip to brown the opposite side ( it is a good idea to split the mixture into quarters and flip each individual quarter instead of trying to flip the entire thing at once). When browned on both sides remove from heat and sprinkle sugar over the top or pour maple syrup over. Enjoy.

Moo Shu Chicken Egg Rolls

I have always wanted to tackle the egg roll. After last night, I now know why I never have. LOL What a mess!!! It was fun to try and they actually came out really delicious but it was a lot of work and a lot of cleaning. I think if I had a fry daddy or something like that it would have been easier than using a boiling pot of oil. Either way, I am happy that I took the challenge. The pay off was the fact that the kids both loved them.


8-10 egg roll wrappers
3/4 -1 pound chicken cutlets, sliced into thin strips
1 small onion, chopped
1 package of sliced mushrooms
1 T. crushed garlic
1/2 bag of broccoli slaw mix (or regular cole slaw mix)
1/2 cup of soy sauce
1/2 cup of hoisin sauce
1/4 cup of mustard (any kind)
4 T. oil


For filling:

Mix soy sauce, mustard and hoisin sauce together in a medium bowl. Toss chicken strips with the sauce mixture and set aside (you could also do this in advance and leave in the refrigerator to marinate). On medium high heat, saute onion and mushrooms in 1/2 the oil until very tender. Add garlic and broccoli mix and continue to cook down until soft. Remove from pan. Add more oil and cook chicken strips through. Add back the veggie mixture to the chicken and continue to cook until the liquid reduces. Remove from heat to cool enough to handle.

Assembling egg rolls:

On clean. dry work surface, place approx 2-3 tablespoons (more if your wrapper is larger) of mixture on one side of the egg roll wrapper leaving a 1/2 border around the sides of the wrapper. Roll wrapper around mixture, folding in the sides. At the end, wet your index finger and rub along all the sides of the wrapper in order to seal the ends well. Repeat until all of the filling or the wrappers are gone.

Here is another way to roll an egg roll:
On a clean work surface, orient a wrapper so that a corner points toward you. Place 2-3 tablespoons (more if your wrapper is larger)of filling near the corner closest to you. Fold that corner over the filling and then fold the sides over toward the center. Roll the rest up toward the far corner. Wash the edges of the far corner with the beaten egg white and gently seal the egg roll. Repeat until all of the filling or the wrappers are gone.

Heat oil on medium heat. Fry egg rolls two at a time. DO NOT WALK AWAY!!! These will fry up quickly. Fry until golden brown on all sides. Place on paper toweling to drain.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Cheesy Stuffed Meatballs

These meatballs are no joke. We grew up on this particular meatball recipe and we all still use it today (well, not Susan since she now has a kosher home). My mom never stuffed the meatballs with cheese so this was a little twist on the original. I served it recently at a Sunday dinner and everyone loved them. I think it is a must try.


1 lb. ground beef
1 C. seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 C. parmesan cheese
1 T. parsley
1 clove garlic
1/2 C. milk
2 eggs
salt and pepper
mozzarella cheese cut into small chunks


Combine all ingredients. Roll into balls and one at a time, flatten ball in your hand. Place a piece of cheese in center of flattened ball. Form ball around cheese and roll tight. Place in a baking dish and brown in the oven for approximately 45 minutes (cook times will vary depending on the size of your meatballs. I made very large meatballs). Remove from oven when cooked through and add to marinara sauce.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Tomato Souflee Pie

This was a first time trial at this recipe and as Nanci and I discovered, it will be a staple in our recipe repertoire for the many years to come.  Wow this was good!  Not to mention how beautiful it looks with the bright red tomatoes, yellow custard filling and green specks of chives throughout the pie.  The texture comes out light and creamy, like a custard.  It was a nice departure from the everyday quiche we usually make.  Nanci and I taste tested this pie at our monthly scrap-booking get together with friends this past Sunday.  It was very well received.  We all went back for a second "taste". 


1 frozen pie shell
4 eggs
1 cup of milk
3 ripe plum tomatoes
1/4 cup of chives, roughly chopped
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese
salt and pepper


Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Beat eggs and milk together in large bowl.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add chives and cheese, mix.  Pour into a prepared pie shell.  Slice tomatoes and arrange in concentric circles around the pie to make a pretty design.  Bake at 425 for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 and bake for 30 minutes longer until set.   Serve warm.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Guest Blogger Mondays.....Pork Chops in a Sweet Chili and Onion Sauce by Sharon

GUEST BLOGGER of the week
About Sharon: When I was a child and long before the Food Network, I would watch public TV channels trying to mimicJacques Pepin or Julia Childs meals. My passion for food developed because I am very sensitive toprocessed foods. I'm currently not working so I spend lots of time cooking and testing recipes for my husband, Brian, and three kids.

Pork Chops in a Sweet Chili and Onion Sauce

This is a Rachel Ray recipe that I love.  I usually make it with pork chops but the sauce works well with chicken too! 

4 - 1 1/2 inch thick boneless center cut pork chops
1 large red or white onion, finely sliced
1 heaping tablespoon chili powder
1/2 tablespoon of ground cumin
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 cups of chicken stock or broth
2 tablespoons of butter


Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Preheat a large skillet over medium -high heat with EVOO. Season the pork chops with salt and pepper.  Place pork chops in the skillet and sear for about 2 minutes on each side to caramelize.  Transfer chops to a rimmed cookie sheet and place in the oven to finish off, 7 or 8 minutes, until the meat is firm to the touch but not tough.  Remove from the oven and let the chops rest, covered with a piece of foil, for a few minutes. 

While chops bake, return the skillet to the heat and add more EVOO, onions, chili powder, cumin,  garlic, brown sugar, salt and pepper (to taste).  Cook the mixture, stirring frequently, for 2 to 3 minutes.  Add the chicken stock and simmer until reduced by half.  Once reduced , turn off the heat and whisk in the cold butter.   Transfer chops back into sauce and serve immediately. 

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Banana Crunch Cupcakes

I wanted to make banana crumble cupcakes but I didn't feel like going to the trouble to make a crumble mixture so I used some crushed up Frosted Flakes instead. 
I got the same sweet crunch with a lot less hassle.


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I used 1 cup white flour and 1/2 cup whole wheat flour)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large ripe bananas, mashed
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 cup crushed Frosted Flakes cereal


In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients. Combine bananas, sugar, egg and butter; mix well. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full. Crush Frosted Flakes and sprinkle over muffins. Bake at 375 degrees F for 18-20 minutes or until muffins test done. Cool in pan 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack.

Linked to Sweets for Saturday
Linked to Muffin Mondays
Linked to Melt in your Mouth Mondays

Friday, April 8, 2011

Quinoa Spaghetti, Edamame and Peas in Cashew Cream Sauce

This was my first attempt at a totally vegan meal. I have to say, it was really delicious. It was fun to make something different and creative. Who knew that cashews could make an amazing cream sauce for pasta? Add sauteed onions, edamame and peas and it was a great, totally filling meal. Only tip that I learned making this is to add the cream sauce to the sauteed onions at the last minute and then immediately toss the pasta with the sauce. I had to let the onion cashew mixture sit for about 10 minutes while I left to pick up Jack from Hebrew school and the sauce thickened, very fast.  Still amazingly delish though. 

This came from Lisa Dawn's blog Lisa's Project: Vegan. Thanks Lisa Dawn for a great new dinner idea!!


Cashew Cream Sauce
1 cup raw cashews
1 extra virgin olive oil
1 water
1 tsp salt
1 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp fresh lemon juice

1 small onion
1/2 bag frozen peas
1/2 bag frozen edamame
4 cups (cooked) quinoa spaghetti


Boil pasta in well salted water. When it is almost done, add the frozen peas and edamame so they can thaw in the boiling water. While this is happening, put the cashews into the blender and process them until fine. Then add oil, water, salt, nutmeg and lemon juice and process.

In the meantime, saute an onion in a other pan until translucent. It only takes a few minutes. Pour the cashew cream sauce over the onions. Drain the pasta, peas and edamame and add into the pan and toss around so all of the pasta is coated with sauce.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Tomato Tartlets

Ellen and I will be catering a baby shower in May so we have been testing recipes to see what will work best. I came up with this tomato tarlet appetizer that is so easy and so delicious.  This is going to make a perfect, light appetizer for the party.


mini phyllo cups
cherry tomatoes
blue cheese crumbles
shredded mozzerella cheese
fresh cracked black pepper


Cut tomatoes in half and place 2 halves in each phyllo cup.  Sprinkle with black pepper.  Add a teaspoon of blue cheese crumbles over the tomatoes and then sprinkle shredded cheese over the top.  Bake in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes or until cheese is golden and bubbly.  Serve warm. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Orecchiette with roasted butternut squash, cauliflower and almonds

I recreated a meal that Ellen had when she went out for dinner with her husband to a new restaurant last week. The combination sounded great and since I love roasted veggies (especially butternut squash and cauliflower) I couldn't wait to try this out. My kids loved it. I made a ton of veggies....way more than I needed for the pasta so the amounts in the recipe can vary. You certainly don't need to use as much as is stated in the ingredients. I liked having extra for snacking on while I was in the kitchen cooking. This can easily become a vegan meal by substituting the pasta with any vegan pasta like brown rice or quinoa varieties


20 oz of butternut squash peeled and cut into chunks
1 head of cauliflower cut into florets
12 oz orecchiette (can use brown rice or quinoa pasta too)
1 cup of prepared pesto
1/2 cup sliced almonds
a few tablespoons of olive oil
salt, pepper


Toss squash and cauliflower with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place on two separate baking sheets and put in a 400 degree oven for approximately 35-45 minutes or until brown and caramelized. Toast sliced almonds in dry pan on the stove top just until light brown and fragrant (do not walk away from the pan, almonds brown quickly) Boil pasta according to package directions and toss with prepared pesto. Place caulifower and squash over pasta and sprinkle with toasted almonds.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Portabello Mushrooms and Yellow Squash with Breadcrumbs and Parmesan

I got this yummy side dish recipe from my friend Maria.  She makes it with zucchini and yellow squash.  I love mushrooms so I usually add those too and sometimes leave the squash out all together.  So simple and delicious.


1 package of sliced portabello mushrooms
1 large yellow squash sliced into rounds
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/3 cup flavored bread crumbs
salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  In a large bowl add mushrooms and sliced yellow squash, olive oil, parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs and salt and pepper to taste.  Toss to coated evenly.  Spread veggies on a lined baking sheet and bake for about 45 minutes or until veggies are tender and breadcrumbs are brown and crisp.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Guest Blogger Mondays....Vegan Recipes by Lisa Dawn


 Lisa Dawn
check out Lisa's Project. Vegan

About Lisa Dawn:  I am a vegan mom and wife and I love to cook. I became vegan over four years ago for several reasons - the health and welfare of the animals, myself, and that of the world. My husband has been vegan since he was a teenager and together we are raising our son vegan. It is a challenge to do so in this world but it makes it that much more fun to be creative and to cook delicious meals that people really enjoy. Everyone who joins us for a meal leaves fully satisfied and with a handful of recipes!

Vegan Stuffed Shells
My cashew ricotta cheese is outstanding and I use it in a lot of dishes. But nothing beats stuffed shells! You can vary the filling (e.g., you can use butternut squash or just plain cashew ricotta). My family loves it! It is not as hard as you think to make this and it is very satisfying!


Cashew Ricotta
1 lb cashews (soaked overnight)
fresh lemon juice

Stuffed Shells
1 box shells (to make it gluten free, use rice pasta shells)
1 small bag frozen spinach
garlic powder
1 jar of tomato sauce (or make your own)


Cashew Ricotta
Soak cashews overnight. In the morning, drain them and then place 1 cup at a time into the in the food processor. Process the nuts until fine and then add 3/4 cup of water, a pinch of salt, a pinch of nutmeg, and a dash of lemon juice. Process and then place in strainer (with very small mesh) over a bowl to drain excess water. Repeat until you finish all of the cashews. Let this strain for a few hours. The top might get slightly hard but don't worry, just mix it back in. When it seems like all the excess water has drained out, place in a container and use it when ready.

Stuffed Shells
Preheat oven to 350. Boil up shells according to package directions. Use lots of salt in the water to season the pasta. While they are boiling, place frozen spinach in small pot with a little water and set on a high flame to defrost quickly or do this ahead of time. Either way, make sure you drain all of the water out. Mix the spinach with the cashew ricotta. Add some garlic powder and mix. Taste it and decide if you want any more seasoning, e.g., salt and pepper.

Coat the bottom of a baking dish with tomato sauce. When the shells are done, carefully strain them. Assemble your shells by stuffing them with the mixture and placing them into the baking dish. Pour tomato sauce in between and around the shells. Place in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes so they are thoroughly heated through.

(Winter Pasta)
Roasted Butternut Squash and Spinach
over Quinoa Spaghetti
Technically, it is already spring but today was coooold! So tonight I made my Winter Pasta one more time. If you can find a good butternut squash, make it this week!


1 medium butternut squash, peeled and diced
olive oil
s and p
3 small shallots
white wine
earth balance
fresh spinach
quinoa spaghetti


Preheat oven to 450. Peel and dice up a butternut squash. Drizzle with olive oil, s and p, toss it around and coat the squash evenly. Place on a cookie sheet and roast for about 20 to 25 minutes until you see it browning. Check on it at the 15 minute are toss it around a little.

Chop up the walnuts and put them on another baking sheet and roast them for about 10 minutes or so (you can do this toward the end of the time the squash is in the oven.)

Slice up the shallots and put in a sauce pan (with sides) and cover with white wine. Let it come to a boil and simmer it until it reduces a little but still have liquid. Put in a chunk of earth balance and let it melt in. Then add the spinach and let it cook down.

In the meantime, boil up the pasta. When it is all ready, toss the pasta into the sauce and top with butternut squash and walnuts.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Individual Chocolate Ooze Cakes

I love this recipe. It comes out perfect every time. It is so simple to make. DO NOT use self rising flour. If you do, your cake will not ooze ( I made that mistake before). The best part about this recipe is that you can make the batter ahead of time and put it in the refrigerator until you are ready for dessert. Just pop them in the oven about 30 minutes before you are planning to have dessert and you will have a perfectly warm, oozy cake.


Butter for ramekins (any individual size baking dish)
3/4 C. semisweet choc. chips
1 stick of butter
2 large eggs
1/2 C. sugar
3 tablespoons flour


Place baking sheet in preheated 400 degree oven. Butter 4 ramekins.
In microwave melt together butter and chocolate. Set aside to cool. Mix eggs, sugar and flour. Add chocolate mixture. pour into ramekins and place on baking sheet. Bake for 20 min. Let cool 10 min. before eating

Linked up with A Themed Bakers Sunday

Friday, April 1, 2011

Chicken Quesadillas

This recipe is a great way to use left over chicken. I have now made this twice. Once I used grilled chicken and last night I used left over chicken parmigiana to make these quesadillas. Both times it came out great. I know you are thinking that left over Italian food would not work but, why not? It is just chicken with tomato sauce and cheese, basically two of the ingredients in quesadillas. The important thing is choosing the right salsa to mix up with the sliced left over chicken. I used a yummy black bean and corn salsa I found in the market. This recipe is a great fast and easy go-to dinner when I am pressed for time.


left over chicken, sliced
1 jar of corn and black bean salsa (or any kind that you like)
low fat shredded Mexican cheese blend
1 avocado sliced
whole wheat flour tortillas


Mix sliced chicken with the salsa. Place a whole wheat tortilla in a dry non stick frying pan on medium-high heat. Sprinkle shredded cheese on tortilla. Place the chicken/salsa combo over cheese, then sliced avocado and more cheese. Place another tortilla on top. Flip when cheese is beginning to melt and tortilla is golden brown. Brown on other side, then remove from pan, slice into quarters and enjoy.