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Showing posts from January, 2011

Cheesy Shrimp Ciabatta

For out last get together I made this delicious Cheesy Shrimp Ciabatta. This is an appetizer that shrimp fans will love. In our family this is one of our most favorite recipes. It's so delicious!

You can go with a baguette instead if you would like bite sized portions, but it is hard to beat a fresh loaf of ciabatta bread. The baguette slices will get much crunchier so if you prefer that mouth feel, you can go with a baguette. A fresh French bread would also work great. Enjoy!

Chicken Pot Pies with Puff Pastry

This recipe is the perfect balance of tastiness and time saving. Utilizing a roaster chicken saves you time without losing any flavor.My mom has been making this recipe for a long time, but I added the puff pastry after seeing it once on tv. Totally delicious, quick and easy. Enjoy!

Steak 'n' Shake Frisco Melts Copycat

If you are lucky enough to have a Steak 'n Shake nearby, you may have tried their delicious Frisco Melt. They are addicting and delicious. If the craving strikes you and you'd like to feed your family for much cheaper than ordering these from the store, try my adapted recipe for Frisco Melts.I love them.

Notes:  As a few comments pointed out, Frisco Melts don't always have onions on them. This varies from location to location. I love caramelized onions so I always add them.

While two patties per sandwich are delicious, for most appetites it is a lot of food. I only use one patty per sandwich. It stretches the meal a little longer anyhow. If you do this, when you add the cheese in step 2, add both slices of cheese to one patty. 

Also, in a pinch I have used only Russian dressing for the frisco sauce. If I had to choose either Thousand Island or Russian, I'd recommend the Russian dressing.

Shrimp Louis Pasta Salad

Today I'm bringing you my favorite pasta salad recipe, Shrimp Louis Pasta Salad. I made this last summer for Jack's first birthday and I absolutely loved it.  It is important to let the finished pasta salad chill for a few hours to let the flavor develop. It really makes a big difference in flavor.

Some reviewers reported that they thought there was too much sauce in this dish, but I thought it was just right. If you have leftovers, the sauce tends to be absorbed even more into the pasta a day after preparing. If this is a worry to you, increase the amount of pasta by just a bit.

Shrimp Louis Pasta Salad
Makes about 8 servings

3 cups spiral shaped pasta, uncooked
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup ranch dressing
1/3 cup seafood cocktail sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper
1 lb medium cooked shrimp, peeled & deveined
1/2 cup chopped fresh tomato, making sure to de-seed it
1/2 cup sliced green onion
1/4 cup chopped sweet red pepper (or …

Lasagna Soup

This delicious and comforting recipe for Lasagna Soup comes from a great website, $5 Dinners. Many thanks to Erin for a tasty and economical dinner recipe. You can find many more on her website. Serve with cheesy garlic bread and a green salad.

My notes: I omitted the bay leaves since I didn't have any on hand. I also used a mix of Italian herbs as a substitute for the oregano and basil.

Lasagna Soup
Makes several servings

1 onion finely diced
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic finely minced
1 lb. ground beef (or Italian sausage, meatballs, etc.)
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried basil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 cups jarred spaghetti sauce
4 cups chicken (or vegetable or beef) stock
2 bay leaves
8 oz pasta (Rotini, Fusilli, Campanelle,Corkscrew)
1 tablespoon fresh parsley
shredded Mozzarella cheese

1. In a large pot, heat olive oil to medium heat and saute onions until golden. Add garlic and let cook for 1 minute, then add meat. Cook t…

Spinach, Bacon, Cream Cheese and Swiss Quiche

Quiche tends to get a bad wrap. Heck, even I wasn't a fan of quiche, until I tried this recipe. Imagine a flavorful, creamy quiche filled with small pockets of cream cheese, bacon and Swiss. To describe it in one word: Heavenly. I have made this recipe, no joke, about 1-2 times a month for the past few months. I think I may be addicted.

Banana Cake Cookies

Time for a five star recipe. Ladies and gents, I give you my adapted recipe for Banana Cake Cookies. They were surely better than any banana bread I've ever made. They are so soft and delicious, they are almost like muffin tops.Completely delicious.

Banana Cake Cookies
Makes 2 - 3 dozen

1/2 cup shortening
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup mashed bananas
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk or semi sweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).

2. Mix shortening and brown sugar, beating well. Add eggs, banana and vanilla. Combine well.

3. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add to creamed mixture; mix just until combined and flour is incorporated. Gently stir in chocolate chips.

4. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls, 2 inches apart onto greased cookie sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes. After letting the cookies rest for a few minutes, remove …

Amish Ground Beef and Noodle Casserole

I made a family favorite the other night, Amish Casserole. I would strongly suggest covering this casserole for at least half of the time it spends in the oven. I found that mine turned out too dry if it wasn't covered. Recently I have enjoyed putting shredded cheddar on top of the casserole, which you can add the last 10 to 20 minutes that it is baking.

I love, love, love this casserole.

My mom made it growing up so it just makes me feel comforted. Enjoy!

Grilled Portobello Sandwiches with Garlic Herbed Mayo

I have a deep love for veggie sandwiches. There is just something so fresh and delicious about a stack of veggies and a cream cheese spread.  I decided to branch out a bit from my go-to veggie sandwich. I loved this recipe featuring a delicious grilled portobello mushroom on a kaiser roll with garlic herbed mayo.

The garlic herb mayonnaise really added a lot to the sandwich, so if you are tempted to skip it to save time, I beg you not to. Ready for the recipe?

Raspberry, Honey & Lavender Freezer Jam

Once you have a handle on making basic jam recipes, the urge to branch out comes creeping in. For a delicious variation on plain raspberry jam, try adding honey and lavender. Besides toasted and buttered bread, it is also great added to cottage cheese, pancakes or waffles.

Raspberry, Honey and Lavender Freezer Jam
Makes Five - 8 oz. Jars

4 cups raspberries
1/2 cup good quality honey (My kind had a bit of honeycomb still in it, yum)
1/2 cup sugar
5 oz. dried lavender (to rehydrate, steep in warm water for a min then drain) or 1-2 Sprigs, fresh lavender
1 packet Fruit Jell - Freezer Jam Pectin
5 jam containers, ready to use (They sell specialty Freezer Jam Jars, I believe by the same manufacturer, with cute purple tops. Look here for example)

1. In a large bowl, crush raspberries until only small pieces remain and mixture is quite liquid. This may take a few minutes.

2. In a small bowl, mix Pectin and sugar together until incorporated. Add to mashed raspberries. Add honey (microwaving if…

Strawberry Freezer Jam

One of my favorite treats ever. So simple but the flavor is amazing. You won’t buy store bought strawberry jam ever again. Ready for the recipe?

Baked Ziti with Sausage and Sour Cream

I have found the perfect baked ziti to match my tastes. It is truly an amazing pasta dish. In the past, I was never big on cottage cheese or ricotta in baked pasta dishes. Who knew sour cream was such a tasty alternative? I highly recommend using sausage instead of ground beef. That is one thing I will not budge on. I believe that an Italian sausage gives greater flavor and texture than ground beef. Okay, ready for the recipe?

World's Easiest Peanut Butter Cookies

Three ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies. They are yummy, they are quick, and they satisfy a peanut butter cookie urge in a pinch. The texture is of course different than traditional peanut butter cookies, since there is no flour.  All in all they were great.

World's Easiest Peanut Butter Cookies
Makes 15 cookies

1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg

1. Stir all ingredients together. Form into balls. Place on baking sheet. Dip a fork in sugar and use it to make the criss cross marks.

2. Bake at 350-f degrees for 8-10 minutes.

Recipe from Bakespace

Lemon Spaghetti

I had read many a good review on the food network about this recipe so I thought I'd give it a shot. It was much better than I had anticipated. I only had one lemon to juice, and it was still very flavorful and delicious.

Lemon Spaghetti 
Makes 6 servings

1 pound spaghetti
2/3 cup olive oil
2/3 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil leaves

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta until it is tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Whisk the lemon juice, oil and Parmesan in a bowl to blend.

2. Drain the pasta and reserve approximately 1 c. of the pasta water. Toss the pasta with the lemon sauce, and pasta water, adding 1/4 c. at a time as needed to moisten. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with lemon zest and chopped basil.

Recipe from the

Cinnamon-Prosciutto Carbonara

If you are looking for a twist on the same ol' pasta dishes, try this delicious recipe for Cinnamon-Prosciutto Carbonara. The cinnamon adds a unique and special flavor that goes so well with pancetta.

Cinnamon-Prosciutto Carbonara
Makes several servings

4 slices bacon, chopped
4 slices pancetta, chopped (I used 6 slices of prosciutto instead)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups whipping cream
1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan
6 large egg yolks
18 ounces fresh fettuccine
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

1. Saute the bacon and pancetta in a heavy large frying pan over medium heat until almost crisp, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle the cinnamon over the bacon and pancetta and saute until the bacon is crisp and golden, about 2 minutes longer. Cool. Whisk in the cream, cheese, and yolks to blend.

2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the fettuccine and cook until it is just tender but still firm to the bite, stirri…