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Faux Lasagna Noodle Casserole

May 23, 2018

20180508 Faux Lasagna

We love lasagna but sometimes it feels like a lot of effort to make right. This noodle casserole has all the yummy parts of lasagna (pasta, cheese, sauce) while being a little simpler to put together.

You will need:

  • 12 oz short shaped noodles (works best with farfalle, gemelli, or egg noodles)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1.5 lb ground beef
  • 14 oz crushed tomatoes
  • 2 T garlic powder
  • 2 T onion powder
  • 1 T dried minced onion
  • 1 T oregano
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 c sour cream
  • 16 oz cottage cheese
  • 1 c grated Parmesan
  • 1 small bunch scallions, chopped
  • 3 c shredded cheese (suggest an Italian blend)

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Light grease a 9×9 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large pot of salted water, cook your noodles to al dente according to packaging. Drain and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the onion and beef in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until the beef is crumbled and browned (about 7-10 minutes). Drain off any excess fat from the skillet.
  4. Stir the crushed tomatoes into the beef-onion mixture along with 1 tablespoon of the garlic powder, 1 tablespoon of the onion powder, and 1 tablespoon of the oregano. Season with salt and pepper to taste and allow to simmer 5-10 minutes.
  5. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the sour cream with the cottage cheese, Parmesan, 1 tablespoon of the garlic powder, 1 tablespoon of the onion powder, and scallions. Season with pepper to taste.
  6. Mix the noodles into the sour cream mixture.
  7. Spread half of the noodles in the prepared pan.
  8. Spread half of the beef on top of the noodles.
  9. Spread half of the shredded cheese on top of the noodles.
  10. Repeat with another layer of noodles then beef and finally cheese.
  11. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes.
  12. Remove the foil and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until the cheese on top is melted and slightly golden.
  13. Allow to cool five minutes before serving.

 

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Citrus Cream Cheese Cake

May 18, 2018

Lemon and limes are extra special as the weather moves from winter to spring and summer. They are bright and wonderful additions to your dishes. The cake itself reminds me of a pound cake, and you get lots of citrus sunshine through the glaze in particular.

IMG_0035

You will need:

  • 1 c + 1 T unsalted butter, at room temperature (divided)
  • 8 oz reduced fat cream cheese (or regular), at room temperature
  • 2 c sugar
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • 2 limes, zested and juiced (divided)
  • 2 lemons, zested and juiced (divided)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 c all purpose flour
  • 1 c whole wheat flour
  • 1 3/4 c confectioners’ sugar

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Prepare a Bundt pan or cake pan by greasing with a nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Beat together 1 cup of the butter and the cream cheese until smooth, light and fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs and sugar. Beat until well combined with the butter-cream cheese mixture.
  4. Beat in the vanilla, half of the citrus zests, and a pinch of salt.
  5. Mix in the flours until just combined.
  6. Spread the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick in the center comes out clean, about 45 to 60 minutes.
  7. Allow to cool 10 minutes before removing from the pan.
  8. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar with the remaining of the citrus zests and juices until smooth.
  9. Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter and whisk into the glaze.
  10. Drizzle over the top of the cake until you have as much as makes you and your taste buds happy.
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Instant Pot Cordon Bleu Noodle Casserole

May 10, 2018

D gifted me an Instant Pot this winter, so we’ve been playing around with it at dinner time for the past few months. We are still figuring it out but this dish is one of his new favorites (and our toddler loves it too!). We also enjoy how easy it is to put together, since we have an infant at home these days.

You will need:

  • 3 c unsalted chicken stock
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 T Dijon mustard
  • 1 lb shaped pasta (we’ve tried penne and orecchiette)
  • 8 oz reduced fat cream cheese, cut into large segments
  • 8 oz cubed pancetta
  • 1 lb chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 2 t garlic powder
  • 1 c breadcrumbs
  • 6 oz of shredded Swiss-Gruyere mix
  • 1 c grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 c heavy cream
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

IMG_0013 2

Then you will…

  1. In your Instant Pot, mix together the stock with the garlic and mustard.
  2. Stir in the dry pasta.
  3. Put the cream cheese segments on top of the pasta.
  4. Sprinkle the pancetta on top of the pasta.
  5. Sprinkle the chicken on top of the pancetta.
  6. Close your Instant Pot and cook on manual (or pressure) for 10 minutes.
  7. Allow to rest for 10 minutes after done before doing a quick release.
  8. Meanwhile, warm the olive oil over medium heat in a nonstick skillet.
  9. Mix in the garlic powder and breadcrumbs and toast until golden, about 3-5 minutes. Set aside.
  10. Stir the cheeses and cream into the noodle mixture.
  11. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  12. Serve with a sprinkling of the toasted garlic breadcrumbs on top.

 

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Cinnamon Brown Sugar Cookie Bars

May 4, 2018

These will not last long in your house. They have a gooey center and smell amazing while baking. Hope you enjoy them as much as we did! If you want extra cinnamon goodness, sprinkle some cinnamon sugar on top as well.

You will need:

  • 1/2 c unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 c brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 t vanilla extract
  • 1 T + 1 t ground cinnamon
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1/4 t baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 3/4 c all purpose flour

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8×8 baking pan with foil and grease with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the melted butter with the brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla.
  3. Mix in the cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and a pinch of salt.
  4. Mix in the flour until combined.
  5. Spread in the prepared baking pan.
  6. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the center is no longer jiggly.
  7. Allow to cool and set for at least 10 minutes before removing from the pan.
  8. Finish cooling on a wire rack.

IMG_0335

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Parmesan Chicken with Zucchini

April 17, 2018

20180312 Parmesan Chicken 02We LOVED this dinner. It was so juicy and flavorful, and it was on the table in very little time. It was a perfect option for a weeknight dinner.

You will need:

  • 1 lb chicken breast (cut to half thickness) or tenders
  • 4 T unsalted butter
  • 1/2 c Panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 c plus 2 T finely grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1/4 c all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 t pepper
  • 1/2 t garlic powder
  • 2 medium zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and then into 1/2-inch thick, half-moon slices
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

Then you will…

  1. Melt the butter and pour onto a plate or shallow dish.
  2. In another shallow dish/plate, combine the Panko with 1/2 cup of the Parmesan, the flour, the pepper, and garlic powder.
  3. In a large nonstick skillet, heat a few tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat.
  4. Dredge the chicken in the melted butter and then coat the chicken in the Panko-Parmesan mixture.
  5. Cook the chicken in the skillet, about 4 minutes per side, until it is crispy and cooked through.
  6. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set aside on a plate.
  7. Add the zucchini and minced garlic to the hot skillet (add a touch more olive oil if needed).
  8. Saute, scraping up the browned chicken bits, about 4 minutes or until tender. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of Parmesan and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Serve the chicken alongside the zucchini.
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Crispy Parmesan Baked Potatoes

April 9, 2018

This is another very simply recipe that requires little prep work. The Parmesan makes a crispy crust on the potatoes, which is so delicious. We should have had leftovers, but we kept grabbing extras as we were cleaning up from dinner!

You will need:

  • 1/2 c finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 t garlic powder
  • 1/2 t onion powder
  • 1/2 t paprika
  • 1/2 t dried oregano
  • 1/2 t pepper
  • 1 1/2 lb baby red-skinned potatoes
  • Olive oil

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Pour just enough olive oil in a 9×13 baking dish to coat the bottom.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the cheese with the garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, oregano and pepper.
  3. Sprinkle the cheese mixture along the bottom of the prepared baking dish until evenly coated.
  4. Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise.
  5. Place the potatoes, cut side down, on top of the cheese mixture.
  6. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.
  7. Remove from oven and use a knife to gently cut through the cheese and separate the potatoes.
  8. Allow to cool at least 5 minutes before serving.

20180312 Crispy Parmesan Potatoes

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Nutella Twist Bread

April 3, 2018

20180318 Nutella Bread 04This is a sweet treat that looks it takes a lot of skill. However, it comes together very quickly, and the secret to its pretty braided look is having layers that you twist.

You will need:

  • 2 1/4 t (1 packet) quick rise yeast
  • 1 c warm water
  • 2 1/2 c all-purpose flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 T sugar
  • 1 t ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 c Nutella

Then you will…

  1. In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in the water and allow to bloom for 5-10 minutes.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour with the salt, sugar and cinnamon.
  3. Stir in the yeast-water mixture until combined.
  4. Lightly dust a clean counter with flour.
  5. Turn the dough out and knead for 10 minutes, or until smooth.
  6. Lightly oil a large mixing bowl.
  7. Place the dough in the prepared bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a damp cloth.
  8. Allow to rise in a warm place for an hour, or until doubled in size.
  9. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  10. Lightly dust a clean counter with flour.
  11. Roll out the dough into a large rectangle, roughly 12 x 15 inches big.
  12. Spread the Nutella on the dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edges of the dough.
  13. Working from the long side, roll the dough tightly.
  14. Roll so seam side is down on the counter.
  15. Starting about 3/4 inch from one end, gently slice the dough down the middle (top to bottom along the remaining length).
  16. Twist the two sides around each other, keeping the cut side facing up.
  17. Place the nutella bread on the parchment-lined baking sheet.
  18. Allow to rise another 20 minutes in a warm place.
  19. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  20. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the bread is turning lightly golden and is baked through (should sound hollow when tapped on the bottom).
  21. Allow to cool at least 15 minutes before serving.

20180318 Nutella Bread 01

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