Friday, April 8, 2011

Petite Lasagnas

Petite Lasagnas

Can you tell that I have a new cupcake pan I've been dying to use? Its silicone! Inspiring enough for even me, the silent sister in this blog duo, to write about it.

I made these lasagnas for Jake tonight. He really liked them. The great thing about these is that it only took me 15 minutes to throw together and can be doubled, tripled, halved, and changed like crazy.

I made six lasagnas using the following recipe:
1/4 cup ricotta
1 egg
1 clove garlic
2 tsp basil, divided
1/2 cup pasta sauce
1/2 lb ground turkey
1/2 white onion, chopped
Shredded mozzarella cheese
12 small round won ton wrappers

In a pan cook the turkey, onion, 1 tsp. basil, salt, pepper, and clove of garlic.
In a bowl mix the ricotta, egg, remaining basil, salt and pepper.
Line cupcake pan with won ton wrappers. Fill with meat, a spoonful of pasta sauce, and a sprinkle of cheese. Top with another won ton wrapper. Spoon the ricotta mixture on top of the wrapper, top with another spoonful of pasta sauce and another sprinkle of cheese. Bake for 20 minutes.

We each ate two and were pretty full. Jake liked that he didn't have to get a sloppy slice out of a pan and I liked that the wrappers tasted just like noodles.

I see this recipe as more of a guideline than directions. It would be fun to fit in another layer, make my own tomato sauce, or try a different shape of wrappers. On an lazy day a canned meat sauce could be used instead of cooking the meat filling. I think I am going to try to adapt this to make a veggie lasagna... It has endless possibilities!

Rainbow Cupcakes

Since it is my spring break I thought I would try out a few recipes. These rainbow cupcakes are on the lighter side of cupcakes, since the recipe doesn't call for eggs or oil. I made these two days ago and just took a picture of the remaining ones.

This recipe is pretty simple:

1 box white cake mix
1 can of clear soda (sprite, ginger ale, anything you can see through. I used sprite)
food coloring

Mix together and divide into several bowls. I spooned out equal parts into 5 bowls. I used food coloring to die each bowl a different color--purple, red, blue, green, and yellow. If you have more colors you want to use then you can divide it up even more. I wish I would have done a bowl of orange batter as well.
Put one spoonful of each color into the cupcake liners. It will look a lot like playdough. I was able to fill 24 cupcake liners ( my spoonfuls were very small).

Bake 15 minutes.
It will still look a lot like playdough.
I frosted mine with rainbow chip. Super fun!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Crispy chicken salad

Crispy chicken -- where do you get crispy chicken?

1) I wouldn't say no to a store bought breaded chicken patty
2) breaded chicken fingers
or 3) the homemade route -- take 4 thawed, boneless skinless chicken breasts, dip in melted stick of butter, bread with crushed corn flakes and bake @350 for 45 minutes in a sprayed baking dish.

okay, so you get 2 or three servings of chicken... and continue.

Crispy chicken
1 English cucumber, seeded and sliced finely
1/2 red onion, finely diced
1 cup grape tomatoes
3/4 cup crispy french fried onions (just like the kind on green bean casserole)
2 stalks of romaine lettuce, washed and cut to bite size leaves

serve with peppercorn ranch dressing.


Finally, a homemade salad dressing that I would take to a luncheon if given the opportunity.

2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1/2 tsp ground salt
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tsp honey
2 tsp dried oregano

mix ingredients in a small bowl until thoroughly combined

add 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, whisk in until dressing is thick and yummy.

Salad ideas?

1 bosc pear
1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/4 cup toasted walnuts
1/2 finely chopped red onion

kalamata olives
feta cheese

stuffed mushrooms

I love stuffed mushrooms, and more than that, I love easy stuffed mushrooms. This particular recipe is vegetarian friendly, no meat means less cooking! (please refer to my previous rant about eggplant) Stuffed Mushrooms are mostly viewed as a hearty, rich appetizer, but these ones are a little lighter and still delicious.

18 mushroom caps (baby bellas {portabellas} are best, but white or button mushrooms are great too)

1 box stuffing mix (I like chicken)- prepared according to package directions
1 small white onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
stems from your mushrooms, chopped to same size.
1 tbsp olive oil

1/2 cup chicken stock reserved.

1/2 cup mozzerella cheese, shredded, parmesean would do wonders too.

In a large sautee pan, cook onion, pepper, and mushrooms in the olive oil. Cook on medium heat for 3-5 minutes, or unitl onion is translucent. Mix in stuffing, be sure that your mixture is moist, if not add chicken stock.

spoon 2 tablespoons of stuffing into each mushroom cap, you can cook these in muffin tins, or in a cake pan, or on a half baking sheet, whatever you please.
Top with 1 tsp of cheese.
Bake at 350 for 12 - 15 minutes. Mushrooms should be dark and soft.