Saturday, March 9, 2013

Recipe Round Up

I've been holding out on you lately when it comes to recipes. Here are some of the things that have been coming out of our kitchen lately!

Bailey Dinners of Late:

Shut my mouth, this was delicious. I really want to make it again with different cheeses. I think blue would be good and even just some sharp cheddar. Enjoy this with a hot bowl of tomato basil soup. 

 photo 1D1CDDAF-82E0-40A7-BD38-9483BD8C9E3F-1127-000000A20C958B73_zpsf4c28b59.jpg caramelized onion:
2 cups white onion, sliced
2 tbsp butter
1 tsp sugar
1/4-1/2 tsp salt
freshly ground pepper
  1. Heat pan on low flame. Melt butter and add onions, salt, sugar and pepper.
  2. Sweat onions until soft.
  3. Continue cooking for 20-30 minutes or until caramelized.
  4. If some parts are burnt, just add a tablespoon of water, mix and let it evaporate.
  5. Repeat until it is caramelized. set aside.

4 pcs wheat or white bread
2-4 tbsp butter
1/2 cup grated gruyere cheese

  1. Layer one bread, top with 1/4 cup caramelized onions and half the cheese.
  2. Top with another bread. spread butter on both outer sides of the sandwich.
  3. Heat a non stick pan and grill sandwich on both sides until cheese has melted and bread is browned.
  4. Repeat for the other sandwich.

I found this on pinterest and thought it would be a yummy and easy meal to throw together after work and it really was. Instead of using butter, I just drizzled on some olive oil.
 photo 1037BA6E-599F-4FCB-9323-749729C9DEE5-263-0000012D3C2C4AC5_zps9cd44948.jpg
1/2 lb fresh green beans
1/2 lb new potatoes, cut into 4th
3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 package Italian dressing mix
1 stick butter (I used olive oil)

I recommend that instead of pouring it on like instructed, mix up the Italian dressing as per the directions (or just used bottled) and marinate the veggies in it. Pour the rest over the chicken and into the pan. This ensures that the flavor stays on your veggies and not just pools into the bottom of the dish.
Bake for 1 hour at 350.

Book Club Yummies:

Once I saw these babies I knew I had to make them for book club! They are super easy to make--all you need is one bottle of white wine (I used New Age, but I bet Moscato would be amazing as well). Wash grapes and put them into a pitcher. Then pour the wine over them, making sure they are totally submerged. I had to pull mine off of the stem to make them sink. Cover and place in the fridge for 24 hours. Pour out the wine (you can save it and put it back into the bottle--yum) and toss the grapes with some sugar. Then freeze over night. You probably want to pull them out about 20-30 min before serving so they aren't rock hard. Enjoy!!

 photo 9F9651BC-8EF6-4DAA-90BA-F1604CE8FB45-263-0000012D0C55E658_zpsd8c143a0.jpg

  • 1 lb. hot sausage (pork or turkey)
  • 1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese
  • 2 packages crescent rolls
  • Dash salt & ground black pepper
  1. In a saute pan, brown sausage; drain. Add a dash of salt and pepper. Blend in cream cheese until the cream cheese is melted.
  2. Unroll one package of crescent rolls and place on a baking sheet (I used a baking dish just to ensure there were no sausage explosions). With your fingers, gently press the seams together to seal them. Spread the sausage mixture evenly over the crescent roll dough, leaving about a 1/2-inch border along the edges.
  3. Unroll the remaining package of crescent rolls and place on top of the sausage mixture. Press the edges together to seal. Gently press the seams together.
  4. Bake at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until crescent roll dough is golden brown.
  5. Cut into small squares and serve.  (A pizza cutter makes really quick and easy work of the cutting.)
These were so so good. I could have eaten them out of the dish with a fork. I refrained.

 photo CDF195F5-5429-4820-8CD0-C95C2252517A-263-0000012D1D0534EF_zps1dbc564e.jpg
13.2 ounce wheel of Brie
2/3 cup pecans (2.5 ounces), toasted and chopped
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons Kahlua
1-2 sweet apples (like Honeycrisp or Gala)


Preheat oven to 350ยบ F. Using a knife, score a circle around the top edge of the brie (leave 1/4 inch rim). Take a spoon and scrape the white rind off the center circle of the brie (to the inside of the 1/4" rim). Place brie on the center of and oven safe platter.
Mix the pecans, brown sugar, and Kahlua in a small bowl. Carefully place the mixture in then center of the brie and spread to the edges (staying within the 1/4" rim you left). Bake for 8-15 minutes until brown sugar/pecan mixture begins to bubble. Be careful not to overcook (the brie will literally melt and loose its shape if baked too long). You want it nice a warm.
Serve with crackers and apple slices.
HOLY COW was this good! It was almost totally eaten once everyone left and then Forrest made quick work of the left overs (we decided that cheese was not a sweet).

Strawberry Brownies
I found these babies on pinterest (no link, sorry--clearly I did not invent this) and thought they look adorable. Perfect for a baby shower, if you ask me. I wanted to give them a whirl and I'm glad I did because they really got gobbled up quickly!
All you need is:
1 box strawberry cake mix
2 eggs
1/3 cup oil
Mix and press dough into 9x9 inch pan (dough is thick). Bake at 350 for about 18 minutes. Cool completely before cutting.

 photo 8EC1060A-9D30-43A7-86B7-63B4AAB025BB-263-0000012D17D9683B_zpsb5f8e4a7.jpg

For book club I also served a yummy veggie tray and Matt's Dip, which you can find the recipe for here, and cake batter blondies, which you can find here. I also dipped glasses in melted almond bark and rimmed with sprinkles just for fun!

Aren't the adorable??

 photo 042B2DB2-D0F2-496E-8E16-FF27E693A18B-263-0000012D23BF4135_zps93f9f329.jpg

 photo 28C0C30B-3AE3-434F-BB99-AE645B5226E3-263-0000012D31757964_zps5b98306f.jpg

Supper Club, Italian Style

If you haven't noticed, I LOVE our "dinner" club. We have a great group of friends that gets together for dinner and we always have a blast. This month was our month to host and I went with an Italian theme.

1  9 oz package of Three Cheese Tortellini ,(I used Buitoni )cooked to package directions
1 can Medium or Large pitted Black Olives
1 5.75 oz jar Green Olives
2 12 oz containers of marinated mozzarella balls(of course I couldn't find marinated)
15 slices of Salami, cut in half
30 pieces of pepperoni
1 cup Balsamic Vinaigrette Salad Dressing (store bought or homemade)
30 Skewers   How ever many you want to make. I had to cut mine in half
Place the cooked tortellini in a bowl or large gallon freeze bag. Pour the salad dressing over the top and marinade in the fridge for a few hours.
Drain the pasta.
Place one of each item onto the skewer using the pointy side.
Can be made a few hours in advance. Just cover tightly and place in the refrigerator.

 photo D37A658A-11E9-4B2E-8F02-0C4D64298D2F-5666-00000253A4C0C93E_zps15ef525b.jpg

Homemade Bruschetta

 I combined several recipes I found in order to come up with this recipe. I made it the night before and it was delicious! 1 load Italian or French bread (preferably with seasoning on top) 6-7 Roma Tomatoes (these are less runny so you really should stick to Roma) Italian Seasoning Salt Pepper Shredded Parmesan Cheese Crumbled Feta Cheese Olive Oil Cute the tomatoes in small chunks. Mix with seasonings to taste. Mix in cheeses (I just eyeballed it--I like a lot of cheese). Add in olive oil until desired consistency is achieved. (Add olive oil right before you serve so it doesn't get runny). Some like a dryer brushcetta, but I like mine really oily!
For the crostini, slice your bread down the middle and then into halves. I brushed mine with olive oil and baked for 5 minutes at 425.

   photo 0E03F194-53DB-4D1F-AE8B-7B09FB107EF3-5666-00000253BDF3F0F4_zps86bf1596.jpg

 photo C85602BB-4861-441C-BA1C-D76AC4A3AAE3-5666-000002536A05AB66_zps1886e1ad.jpg

Baked Feta
I had this at a restaurant before and then found it in a cookbook. I ended up "cheating" and doing it the easy way!
3 5oz containers of crumbled Feta cheese
1 1/2 jars marinara sauce (I used Garlic and Carmelized onion mixed with half a jar of mushroom)

Stir together in a 9x9 baking dish. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Serve with crostini.

 photo 40B27871-CC66-401A-9AF0-85AE0425DE80-5666-00000253D981B236_zps448e1519.jpg   
This was the easiest thing I made and it was the biggest hit! Go figure!!

6 Cheese Lasagna with Veggies and Cream Sauce
Ok THIS was amazing. I was really afraid to serve it because I had never made it before but I needed a veggie option because I wasn't eating meat for Lent that day (I left out the pancetta but OMG how amazing would it have been?). It was perfect and you almost felt like it was healthy because of all the veggies. Almost!
 • Summer Basil-Cream Sauce (recipe below)
12 lasagna noodles, cooked according to package instructions
4 cups, packed, baby spinach leaves
2½ cups ricotta cheese
1½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1¾ cup shredded Italian four-cheese blend
12 ounces asparagus, thin spears, cut into bite sized pieces and blanched
8 ounces pancetta, small dice, cooked until crisp (bacon can be substituted)
• Pinch salt
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
2 tablespoons fresh chopped basil for garnish
-Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and line a baking sheet with foil to place the lasagna pan onto to avoid dripping.
-Using a 12 ½” x 9 ½” (roughly) baking dish, add about 1 cup of the Basil Cream sauce to the bottom of the dish as a coating, and then add 4 of the cooked lasagna noodles over top of the sauce; next, add 1 cup of the Basil Cream sauce to the noodles, and spread out with the back of a spoon or a spatula to coat evenly; next, add 2 cups of the baby spinach leaves in a nice, even layer, and then 1 ¼ cup of the ricotta cheese, in small, even dollops over top; next, evenly add ½ cup of the mozzarella cheese and ¼ cup of the four-cheese blend, and then about half of your blanched, bite-size asparagus pieces and about ¼ cup of the crisp pancetta; sprinkle on a pinch of the salt to give the vegetables a little extra flavor, being careful not to add too much; next, repeat the layering process by adding another 4 cooked lasagna noodles over this, and press down gently to compact it a little bit; add another 1 cup of the Basil Cream sauce and spread out evenly, and add the remaining 2 cups of the baby spinach leaves, evenly; add the remaining 1 ¼ cup ricotta cheese in small, even dollops, then another ½ cup of the mozzarella cheese and ¼ cup of the four-cheese blend, then the remainder of the asparagus pieces and another ¼ cup of the crisp pancetta (reserve about 1 tablespoon of pancetta for garnish), and again, a little pinch of salt over the vegetables; finally, add the 4 remaining cooked lasagna noodles over top, pressing down again to compact the lasagna, and add 1 cup of the Basil Cream sauce, smoothing over evenly again; add the remaining ½ cup mozzarella cheese and remaining 1 ¼ cup four-cheese blend evenly, and finish by sprinkling the teaspoon of Italian seasoning over the cheese; trim off any over-hanging pieces of lasagna noodles to create a clean edges
-Place the baking dish with the lasagna onto the foil-lined baking sheet and into the oven to bake, uncovered, for about 30 minutes, or until golden-brown on top and bubbly; remove from oven, allow to cool for a few minutes before serving.
To Serve:
-Cut equal servings of the lasagna and place onto plates; drizzle over top some of the remaining warm Basil Cream sauce, and sprinkle on a few bits of the remaining crisp pancetta and also some of the fresh, chopped basil leaves.
Summer Basil Cream Sauce ingredients:
8 cups low-fat milk
1 tablespoon all-natural, low-sodium chicken base
4 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press
2 teaspoons salt
1teaspoon Italian seasoning
¼ teaspoon black pepper
4 ounces unsalted butter
4 ounces all-purpose flour (about ½ cup plus 3 tablespoons)
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup, packed, fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
-Add the milk to a medium-large pot and set over medium heat; add the chicken base, the garlic, the salt, the Italian seasoning and the black pepper to the milk and whisk to incorporate, and allow the milk to slowly come to the simmer, being careful not to let it boil over—stay close by; once it starts to simmer, turn off the heat.
-In another medium-large pot set over medium-low heat, add the butter and allow it to melt; once melted, add the flour and stir together to create a “roux” or thickener; cook this roux for about 1-2 minutes to cook out the “raw” flour taste, then slowly add the hot milk to this roux, whisking continuously all the time to prevent lumps from forming; once all milk has been added, whisk until you’re sure there are no lumps and the cream sauce is smooth; allow the cream sauce to very gently simmer, uncovered, for about 5-10 minutes to thicken a bit, whisking occasionally; after that time, turn the heat off from under the cream sauce, and whisk in the Parmesan, the lemon zest and juice and the chopped basil leaves; stir well to incorporate, and check/adjust the salt level, if needed; allow to cool slightly before using for the lasagna, or make a day ahead and keep in fridge until you’re ready to make the lasagna, at which time it can be reheated.

I also made Mrs. Bailey's Lasagna recipe so there would be a more regular, meaty lasagna option. We also had salad with red wine vinegar dressing, bread with olive oil and spices for dipping, and Tiramisu for dessert (I ordered it from a restaurant! Yay for easy!)


  1. mmm...I'm going to have to try some of these recipes

  2. mm that grilled cheese looks awesome and so does that baked brie! i obviously really like cheese haha. also i tagged you in my five things post! hope you're having a good weekend!!


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment! I read each and every one of them and they always make me smile!

Blogging tips