Sunday, February 27, 2011

Recipe #96: Roasted Red Pepper and Artichoke Pizza

I am currently eating this delicious concoction as I type, and I've promised to make it again.  SO HEARTY!  And something different for a pizza!  I believe I first saw this recipe through one of the sites I "liked" on Facebook, and thought to look again online when I realized I had all the ingredients on hand already.  This is a slightly modified version of what I found (just added some spices).  I HIGHLY recommend this recipe if you like artichoke dip!


    * 1 can (14 oz.) artichoke hearts, drained, chopped  (I used a 12oz jar)
    * 3/4 cup KRAFT Mayo with Olive Oil Reduced Fat Mayonnaise  (I had regular Mayo)
    * 1/2 cup KRAFT Shredded Parmesan Cheese
    * 1/2 cup KRAFT Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
    * 1 ready-to-use baked pizza crust (12 inch)
    * 1/4 cup chopped drained roasted red peppers  (we used more)
I also added black pepper to the mix, and brushed the crust with olive oil and garlic powder before topping it.


Heat oven to 400ºF.

Combine first 4 ingredients.

Spread onto crust; top with peppers.

Bake 8-10 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Recipe #95: Ground Turkey Paprikash-Goulash

This is a winner from Rachael Ray's Book of 10 (and it's also on Food Network's website, as copied below).  I've made this before, but before I had my blog.  As is typical of her recipe, "serves 4" usually means it serves an army, so we ended up with tons of leftovers.  ...not that we mind!  You can make this recipe a little spicier with diced jalapeno, and I used dried dill and parsley because I didn't have any fresh on hand.


  • 1/2 pound elbow macaroni
  • Salt
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 package, 1 1/3 pounds average weight, ground lean white turkey
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • Black pepper
  • 1 cup chicken stock, available in small 8 ounce paper containers on soup aisle of market
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped dill


Bring a pot of water to boil for pasta. When it comes to a boil, add pasta and salt to season the cooking water. Cook pasta 6 minutes to al dente.
While water comes to a boil and pasta cooks, heat a deep skillet over medium high heat. Add extra-virgin olive oil then butter then ground meat. Break up meat and crumble, 2 to 3 minutes. Add garlic, onions, red bell peppers and seasonings to the turkey. Cook 5 or 6 minutes then add chicken stock and sour cream to the pan. Bring to a bubble and reduce heat to low. Add cooked pasta and stir. Let pasta absorb some sauce, a minute or so. Adjust seasonings and serve. Garnish the prepared dish with chopped parsley and dill.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


I can't wait to cook in my new kitchen.  That's right- we're buying a house, and we should be completely moved in by April 30th.  We get keys March 30th, and we're overlapping with our apartment lease so we can paint and get some new furniture in the house.  We'll be getting some new appliances, including a STOVE that I just can't wait to cook on- my very own brand spanking new, never been used by anybody except me, STOVE!

There's a double sink with a hose faucet and garbage disposal...  We'll probably be getting a side-by-side fridge.  There's a great big pantry!  I'll have a dining room!  So excited to have a kitchen that's mine with appliances we picked out!!

I'll be posting pictures once we've moved in!

Recipe #94: Slow Cooker Stuffed Peppers

Now, not everything I make comes out how I want it to.  This recipe had one problem- green peppers tend to be on the bitter side, especially once cooked, and the slow cooker really brought that out this time.  Next time I try this, I'm going to use red bell peppers or 6-7 cubanelle sweet peppers.  Otherwise, this is a fantastic recipe, and the filling is sooo good and hearty, which is why I think it deserves a blog.


1 package (about 7 ounces) Spanish rice mix (the box kind with a seasoning packet) *see note at end
1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup diced celery (we used more)
1 small onion, chopped
1 egg, beaten
4 medium green bell peppers, halved lengthwise, cored and seeded *I recommend trying other kinds
1 can (28 ounces) whole peeled tomatoes, undrained
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) condensed tomato soup, undiluted
1 cup water (I used chicken broth instead)


Set aside seasoning packet from rice.  Combine beef, rice mix, celery, onion and egg in a large bowl.  Divide meat mixture among pepper halves.

Pour tomatoes with juice into slow cooker.  Arrange filled pepper halves on top of tomatoes.  Combine tomato soup, water/broth and reserved rice mix seasoning packet in a medium bowl.  Pour over peppers.  Cover; cook on LOW 7-8 hours.

*Note:  I couldn't find the Spanish rice mix I wanted, so I used a box of Uncle Ben's rice that had a sundried tomato and basil flavoring, and it was fantastic!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Recipe #93: Beef Tagine with Butternut Squash

I was drooling just from the smell of the seasonings, long before I even started cooking this recipe.  The cinnamon adds a depth of flavor I wish I could describe.  This meal is a little spicy, and definitely sweet, and totally amazing.  So easy to make, and perfect with a side of cous cous (recipe for that included), this is a fantastic way to add something a little different to your repertoire.  This is from the pages of the Jan/Feb issue of Cooking Light (and also online).


  • 2  teaspoons  paprika
  • 1  teaspoon  ground cinnamon
  • 3/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/2  teaspoon  ground ginger
  • 1/2  teaspoon  crushed red pepper
  • 1/4  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
  • 1  (1-pound) beef shoulder roast or petite tender roast, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1  tablespoon  olive oil
  • 4  shallots, quartered
  • 4  garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2  cup  fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
  • 1  (14.5-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 3  cups  (1-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash (about 1 pound)
  • 1/4  cup  chopped fresh cilantro  (I omitted this)


1. Combine first 6 ingredients in a medium bowl. Add beef; toss well to coat.
2. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add beef and shallots; cook 4 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Stir in broth and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Cook 5 minutes. Add squash; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until squash is tender. Sprinkle with cilantro.

Serve with Scallion Couscous: Bring 3/4 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth and 1/2 cup water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Gradually stir in 1 cup uncooked couscous. Remove from heat; cover and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff couscous with a fork. Stir in 1/3 cup chopped green onions.  (NOTE:  I didn't have green onions, so I used a comparable amount of fresh chopped chives) Yield: 4 servings.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Recipe #92: Crab and Avocado Salad

Fresh, easy, and seafoody!  Made this for dinner tonight, and it's quite filling.  I was excited to use a new ingredient:  anchovies!  At first, I was going to skip them, but I decided that I'd try them... they get blended into the dressing anyways, just like Caesar dressing.  This recipe is intended to feed four people, and won't make good leftovers (soggy lettuce and croutons- yuck...) so half it if you're only feeding two.  This is from Food Network magazine (and also on their site).

Interesting assortment... but it comes together well!


  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 pound haricots verts or green beans, halved
  • 2/3 cup low-fat plain yogurt  (I used plain Greek yogurt)
  • 3 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh chives
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 3 anchovy fillets, chopped
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 pound lump or claw crabmeat
  • 1 Hass avocado, halved, pitted and diced
  • 3 romaine hearts, chopped  (I used 2)
  • 1 1/2 cups whole-wheat croutons  (I used whatever...)
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved


Bring a saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the haricots verts and cook until crisp-tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain and run under cold water to stop the cooking.
Puree the yogurt, mayonnaise, lemon juice, chives, basil and anchovies in a blender until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
Toss the crabmeat, half of the avocado and about 1 tablespoon of the yogurt dressing in a small bowl. Toss the romaine, croutons, haricots verts and the remaining avocado with the remaining dressing in a large bowl.
Divide the romaine salad among plates, top with the tomatoes and place some of the crab mixture in the center.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Recipe #91: Portobello Parmesan Over Linguine

Who needs to waste time waiting for a table to pay lots of money for a Valentine's Day dinner when you can make something as simple and delicious as this at home!  Usually for VDay we actually go out on the 15th to avoid the crowds and waits, but this year we decided to stay home and try a new recipe to eat by candlelight.  Nick choose this recipe among a few options I gave him, and he also chose the bottle of wine we had to go with it.  Perfect Valentine's for both of us.  Even better:  this recipe is cheap and very simple to make!  I adapted it from one of my cookbooks (I swear some of the measurements were type-os...)


Olive oil
5 portobello caps, sliced
Salt, freshly ground pepper, and oregano to taste
Fresh basil, roughly torn, to taste- about a small hand full
2 cups tomato sauce
Roughly 1 cup shredded mozzarella- more or less to taste
Grated Parmesan cheese
About 1/2lb cooked linguine noodles, tossed in olive oil and ground pepper


In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat.  Add the portobello slices, and season to taste with salt, pepper, and oregano.  Cook for about 3-5 minutes, until mushrooms soften a little, tossing frequently in the oil.  Add the tomato sauce and torn basil leaves, and mix well. Top with mozzarella cheese, cover and let simmer about 5 minutes until heated through.

Serve over the prepared linguine.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Recipe #90: Creamy Kielbasa and Potato Soup

Usually when I have kielbasa or smoked sausage, I either cut it into coins, fry it up and serve it with sauerkraut, or I leave it whole and fry it up, and serve it with sauerkraut in a bun.  This time, I wanted to try something different.  OMG.... this is FANTASTIC (and I've burned my mouth a few times already...)- perfect for a freezing Cleveland dinner-time!  Reminds me somewhat of loaded baked potato soup.  I found this recipe on and highly modified it, so here's my version:


8-10 baby redskin potatoes, skin on, cut into 6-8 pieces each
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 stalk celery, cut down the middle, and then into 1/2 inch pieces
2 carrots, cut down the middle and then into 1/2 inch pieces
1.5c frozen corn or a can of corn
1 (14 ounce) can beef broth
1 (14.5 ounce) can chicken broth
1 cup milk
1 pound kielbasa sausage or smoked sausage, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
2 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed cream of chicken soup/cream of potato
ground black pepper to taste
parsley, oregano, bay leaf to taste
1 cup shredded cheddar, plus more for topping


In a large pot over medium heat, combine potatoes, onion, celery, beef broth, chicken broth, seasonings, and milk. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender, 15 minutes. Stir in sausage and condensed soup and continue to simmer until heated though (about 10 minutes or so) and slightly thickened. Season with pepper. Serve hot, topped with shredded cheese.