Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Sausage & Pepper Baked Ziti

1 lb sweet/hot Italian Sausage, casings removed if using links
4 cloves garlic, crushed with press
2 lg peppers; red, green and/or yellow, cut into 1/4" slices
1 jumbo onion (1 lb), cut in half, then cut crosswise into 1/4" slices
1 lb sliced white mushrooms
1 can (28 oz) whole tomatoes in puree
1 can (15 oz) tomato puree
1 lb ziti or penne pasta
1 pkg (8 oz) mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 c. freshly grated Romano cheese

1. In deep skillet, cook sausage on med. heat 10 minutes or until browned. Transfer to medium bowl.
2. In drippings in skillet, cook garlic, peppers, onion and mushrooms, covered 10 minutes. Uncover and cook additional 8 minutes or until vegetables are tender and most of liquid has evaporated. Stir in tomatoes and tomato puree. Heat to boiling on med-high, stirring and breaking up tomatoes with side of spoon. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and cook sauce 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Meanwhile cook pasta according to directions on package, but cook 2 minutes less than recommended.
4. Preheat oven to 400. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta cooking water. Drain pasta. Return pasta and water to pot; stir in tomato sauce and meat. Add mozzarella, toss to combine. Divide mixture evenly between two shallow 2 1/2 qt. baking dishes. (I use one 1 1/2 qt and a aluminum 11x9" pan for the freezer serving.) Sprinkle with Romano.
5. Bake on casserole 20-25 minutes or until top is browned and sauce is bubbling. Let stand 10 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare second casserole for freezing.

**This is a favorite recipe; great to share a serving with someone else, freeze one for later, or bake all for a large crowd.

Chicken Cacciatore

Chicken Cacciatore from Cooking Light

Serve over a bed of spaghetti or other pasta.


4 servings (serving size: about 1 cup chicken mixture, 2 tablespoons cheese, and 1 1/2 teaspoons basil)


  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 cups sliced cremini mushrooms
  • 3/4 cup prechopped bell pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups tomato-basil pasta sauce
  • 1/4 cup dry red wine
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup (about 2 ounces) shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil


1. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chicken evenly with oregano, dried basil, and red pepper. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add chicken to pan; sauté 2 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring frequently. Add mushrooms and bell pepper to pan; sauté 5 minutes. Stir in pasta sauce and wine; bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes. Stir in salt and black pepper. Sprinkle with cheese and fresh basil.

Nutritional Information

Fat:6g (sat 2.7g,mono 1.4g,poly 0.5g)
**Another easy, excellent recipe from Cooking Light!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Apple-Cinnamon Coffeecake

Apple-Cinnamon Coffeecake from Cooking Light

This cake is best served warm. To prepare ahead, cool completely, wrap (still in the pan) in foil, and leave out at room temperature for up to one day, or freeze for up to three months. To reheat thawed cake, unwrap and bake at 250° for 15 to 20 minutes.


12 servings (serving size: 1 piece)


  • Cake:
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (about 6 3/4 ounces)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup 1% low-fat milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup diced peeled Granny Smith apple (about 1 apple)
  • Cooking spray

  • Streusel:
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces


Preheat oven to 350°.

To prepare cake, lightly spoon 1 1/2 cups flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Make a well in center of mixture. Combine milk, melted butter, vanilla, and egg, stirring with a whisk; add to flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Fold in apple. Pour batter into an 8-inch square baking pan coated with cooking spray.

To prepare streusel, combine brown sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon; cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle streusel evenly over batter. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack before serving. Serve warm.

Nutritional Information

Calories:197 (21% from fat)
Fat:4.6g (sat 2.7g,mono 1.2g,poly 0.3g)
**I have made this a couple of times, and it's a wonderful recipe. Normal ingredients, easy to make. Can double in a 13x9 pan. I had a lot of apples from yesterday's trip to the orchard, so I used two very large apples; maybe 3 cups instead of 1.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Texas Caviar

2 cans black-eyed peas (drained)
2 cans (or 1 large can) hominy (drained)
4 roma tomatoes (I use any tomatoes)
1 bunch green onion (diced)
2 jalapenos diced or canned diced jalapenos
1 green pepper
1 red or yellow pepper
2 cloves of garlic
2 pkgs Good Seasons dry Italian salad dressing (mix according to directions- need oil, water, vinegar)

Pour over & chill. Serve with Fritos Scoop chips
When I've made this I cut the recipe in half and still get a good amount.

**This was a friend's recipe that I LOVED and just received. It's a lot more work than the previous Texas Caviar, but it's super!

Crock Pot Roast Beef and Sauce

2-4 pound roast (any kind)
1 pkg Lipton onion soup mix
2 jars Heinz beef gravy
1 pkg fresh mushrooms
1/2 cup Italian dressing (in the bottle)

Place roast in crock pot. Mix other ingredients and pour over roast. Stir. Add enough water so the roast is just covered with sauce. (about 1 cup) Cook on high for 8-10 hours.
Serve over egg noodles or rice.

**I have done this many ways; over egg noodles, with mashed potatoes, or this time I peeled and chopped four potatoes and six large carrots and added to crock pot with 2-3 hours left.

Portobella Mushroom Fajitas

2 large portobella mushrooms, stems removed
1 lb chicken
1 pack flour or sun-dried tomato tortillas (about 12)
1 small white onion, minced
1 1/2 Tbsp Penzeys Fajita seasoning
1 cup mixed (red, yellow, green) bell peppers, sliced into strips
1 15 oz can corn, drained
1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup grated white cheddar cheese (I used Mexican blend)
1 cup garden fresh cherry tomatoes, halved
sour cream
salsa/hot sauce

Dice mushrooms into 1/2" cubes, cover and cook on medium heat, about 3 minutes. Add onion, fajita seasoning and bell peppers. Saute approximately 15-20 minutes or until mushroom cubes are reduced in size and are soft. In a separate pan, warm corn and beans together. Warm tortillas. Assemble the fajitas and top with cheese and tomatoes as desired.

Serves: 4-6

**The original recipe called for 4 mushrooms and no chicken. It doesn't seem like there would be enough for 4-6 servings without the meat.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


2 bags Rhodes frozen dinner rolls, or 5-7 loaves bread
3 1/2 lbs beef
32 oz. bag sauerkraut
16 oz. cheddar cheese

1. While thawing dough, brown hamburger. Drain off grease. Add sauerkraut.
2. Roll out each roll. Fill with spoonful of hamburger mixture, then pinch of cheddar cheese.
3. Fold dough over and pinch together, closing each roll. Arrange on baking sheet.
4. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes.

**Another traditional family recipe. This recipe made 72 bieruck; place in ziplock freezer bags with paper towels in between each layer and freeze.

Petal Rolls

5 loaves frozen dough (Rhodes)
2 c. brown sugar
1 c. white sugar
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1 lb. butter, melted
1 c. chopped walnuts

1. Mix sugars and cinnamon together.
2. Thaw bread dough. Cut each loaf into 8-10 pieces. Roll out each piece (like snakes).
3. Roll in butter, then into sugar mixture. Roll in chopped nuts.
5. Using either an 8" pie plate or foil pie plates, arrange in circles, starting in the center.
6. Let set and raise for 1 hour. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

*Grandma's recipe, that is a fall/holiday tradition in our household. My mom used to make 20-30 every year; on Christmas morning we would have petal rolls while we opened Christmas presents. She would give some to family, neighbors and freeze the rest.
Don't use margarine.

Fresh Corn and Chicken Chowder

12 oz skinless, boneless chicken breasts
4 ears of sweet corn
32 oz. reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 small green pepper (1/2 cup)
1 cup milk (don't use fat free)
1 1/4 c. instant potatoes (I used 1 potato-shredded)
salt and pepper
ground red pepper

1. In dutch oven, combine chicken, corn and broth. Cover, bring to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat. Simmer 12 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Remove chicken and corn to cutting board.
2. Add 1/2 sweet pepper to broth. Stir in milk and potato. Shred chicken using two forks. Return chicken to pot. Using kitchen towel to hold hot corn, cut kernels from cobs. Place corn in dutch oven; heat through. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle each serving with sweet pepper and crushed red pepper.

**My grandmother just cooked this while she was visiting; what a great, fast, easy recipe that was great for a cool fall day!