Thursday, December 13, 2007

Roasted Pepper & Onion Pasta Bake

We'll call this a 'cleaning out the closet' meal. I had some chicken sausage in the freezer that I wanted to use up, so I put together this dish. It was so good and flavorful.

Roasted Pepper & Onion Pasta Bake

1/2 lb of elbow macaroni
1 green bell pepper, sliced in chunks
1/2 large red bell pepper, sliced in chunks
1 large onion, cut into chunks
4 garlic cloves
Olive oil
3 links chicken sausage w/ fennel
2 1/2 tablespoons Italian style tomato paste
1 14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes, with juice
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 cup parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Combine the peppers and onion in a 9x13 baking dish. Coat the peppers, garlic and onions with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place uncovered baking dish in the oven and roast for 30-40 mins, or until done. Once done, mash the garlic.

Cook the chicken sausage in a pan. Once cooked, slice into half moons.

Cook the macaroni, as directed.

In a large bowl, combine the roasted vegtables, chicken sausage, tomato paste, diced tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes. Once the macaroni is cooked, drain and add to the sausage mixture.

Coat a 9x9 pan with cooking spray. Pour the pasta mixture into the pan.

In a small bowl, mix 1/4 cup of breadcrumbs with 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese. Sprinkle over the top of the pasta mixture. Dot the top with small bits of butter.

Bake until the top is golden brown. About 20-30 mins.

Garlic Roasted Red Potatoes

These made such a great side to some basic chicken we made the other night. We'll definitely make these again!

INGREDIENTS2 pounds red potatoes, quartered
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese (I used 2 tablespoons)

DIRECTIONSPreheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Place potatoes in an 8x8 inch baking dish.
In a small bowl combine melted butter, garlic, salt and lemon juice; pour over potatoes and stir to coat. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese and parsley over potatoes.
Bake, covered, in preheated oven for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes, or until golden brown.

Cookie Baking Extravaganza!

Jen and I got together this past Saturday to whip up some cookies. Everything we made was delish. What's better than making cookies with your best friend? Eating them, of course!

Katie's Cookies! - Chocolate Chip

Chocolate Covered Pretzels

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Beef Stroganoff

This was a super easy dinner and was packed with flavor. I haven't had this in soooo long, so it really hit the spot.

I found this recipe on Allrecipes. My version with changes is below.



1 pound sirloin steak
1 small cooking onion
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
8 ounces beef broth
1/2 teaspoon prepared mustard
1/2 teaspoon worchestershire sauce
1/2 (6 ounce) can sliced mushrooms, drained
3 tablespoons sour cream
3 tablespoons white wine
2 ounces light cream cheese
salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste

Remove any fat from the sirloin and cut into strips. Season with salt and pepper.

In a large skillet over medium heat, coat with cooking spray and brown the beef strips quickly. Remove the beef from the pan. Add the onions and cook slowly for 3 to 5 minutes. Add beef back to pan.

Heat beef broth in a coffee mug in the microwave for 90 seconds. Stir the flour into the mug and mix. Add flour mixture and white wine to the pan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.

Lower the heat and stir in mustard and worchestershire sauce. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 30-45 mins. Be sure to stir often.

Five minutes before serving, stir in the mushrooms, sour cream and cream cheese. Heat briefly. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve over egg noodles.

(Serves 2-3)

Garlic Mashed Red Skin Potatoes

What goes better with steak?? NOTHING!!!

Here's a little recipe I whipped up. The potatoes were soooo good and creamy.

2 pounds red potatoes
3 cloves of fresh garlic
1 tablespoons grated Romano cheese
2 tablespoons sour cream
a splash of skim milk
1/2 a stick of butter
1 teaspoon dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and garlic. Cook until tender but still firm, 35-45 minutes. Drain.

Add in the remainder of the ingredients and mash with a potato masher or electric mixer.

(Serves 4)

Beef Tenderloin With Roasted Shallots

We are such chicken and pork people. We never make steak, ever. I think it's mainly because we don't have a grill. There is nothing like grilled steak..until you have this steak!

Matt LOVED it, and so did I. I totally impressed myself and this really tasted like something you'd get at a fancy restaurant!

The original recipe is from Allrecipes. My altered recipe is below!



3/4 pound shallots, halved lengthwise and peeled
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
3 cups chicken broth
3/4 cup Cabernet Sauvigon
1 1/2 teaspoons tomato paste
4 beef tenderloin filets
1 teaspoon dried thyme
3 slices bacon, diced
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In 9 inch pie pan, toss shallots with oil to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Roast until shallots are deep brown and very tender, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.

In a large saucepan, combine chicken broth and cab. Bring to a boil. Cook over high heat until the volume is reduced by half, about 30 minutes. Whisk in tomato paste. Set aside.

Pat beef dry; sprinkle with thyme, salt and pepper. In a large roasting pan, set over medium heat on the stove top, saute bacon until golden. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels. Add beef to pan (I removed some of the bacon grease); brown on all sides over medium high heat, about 7 minutes.

Transfer pan to oven. Roast beef until meat thermometer inserted into center registers 125 degrees F (50 degrees C) for medium rare, about 25 minutes. Transfer beef to platter. Tent loosely with foil.

Bring broth mixture to a simmer. Mix 1 tablespoon melted butter and flour in small bowl to form smooth paste; whisk into broth mixture, and simmer until sauce thickens. Whisk in remaining butter. Stir in roasted shallots and reserved bacon. Season with salt and pepper.

Return beef to the sauce and simmer for 5-10 mins, then serve!

Chicken Tortilla Soup

I got this recipe from Elly. It was such a great soup. The only change I made was that I garnished it with cilantro. Other than that, I followed her recipe exactly!

Be sure to check out Elly's blog for other great recipes!