Spinach Frittata

Buy a fun heart casserole dish to use for Valentines Day!
Frittatas are easy and simple to make and are delicious for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Vary flavor by adding different cheese and herbs and add as many or as few vegetables as you'd like. It is an easy dish to make for one or twenty, and for entertaining use a mini muffin pan to make mini frittatas.

Here's a simple recipe-(feel free to experiment!):
6 eggs
1 green onion
2 cups spinach, chopped
diced bell peppers (optional)
1/4 c. (swiss, gruyere, chedder, etc)
1-2 TBS cream or milk (cream works better for mini frittatas)
fresh herbs (basil, thyme, etc--optional)
-Place baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet and place in oven. Preheat oven to 450. While oven heating, combine all ingredients and whisk until smooth.
-Remove heated dish from oven, coat with butter or oil spray. Immediately pour egg/vegetable mixture into dish and top with a little cheese. Bake until frittata is puffed up and golden brown 15-20 minutes.


Breakfast Bruschetta

No fancy recipe here, just a picture is enough :)  Top some buttered artisan toast with your favorite scrambled eggs (I like to put in some fresh parsley or chives), and top with fresh cherry tomatoes, ground pepper, and some pecorino romano cheese.  BAM!  You have one delicious, simple and yet FANCY meal!


Tour of Italy Sausage Lasagna (Red, White, and Green Sauces)--Vegetarian Options Included

This picture is from kraftrecipes.com.  Taking a good picture of lasagna is IMPOSSIBLE!  And if I posted a picture of my own, you'd probably never make this amazing recipe!  This Lasagna recipe is unique for the following reasons:

1.  It does NOT use ricotta cheese
2.  You use sausage for the meat
3.  It has a layer of cartelized onions--YUM!
4.  It has THREE kinds of sauce:  Tomato, Alfredo, and Pesto
5.  It FEEDS A LOT.  
7.  BEWARE This recipe is not for the traditional 9x13 pan.  If you do not have a large pan (size noted in recipe) you can make two 9x13 pans.  
8.  You DO NOT have to cook the noodles ahead of time.
9.  It has the secret ingredient...of green spanish olives.  I don't like Spanish olives myself since they are so strong, but don't worry, they are minced and it adds a secret flare that is a must!  I buy the large jar of Spanish Green Olives stuffed with pimento from Costco.

My husband lived in Rome, Italy for quite awhile, so he is the resident "pasta" expert.  I have learned a lot from him.  In Italy they NEVER put ricotta in lasagna.  That is an American-Thing.  We have made variations of this recipe for years, and finally decided to commit to a predictable product.  The recipe is now here for you!  You can really layer in ratios however your want as long as you do FOUR layers of noodles (just the regular ones--not oven ready since they have a weird consistency--and you do NOT cook them ahead of time).  Hopefully this makes sense!

FOR 15.5 x 11.5 x 2.5 Pan
2 large sweet vidalia onions, carmelized w/ 1/4 c. butter and 2 TBS brown sugar
1 15 oz bottle Classico Alfredo
1 c. Costco Basil Pesto
20 green olives, minced
Mozzarella Cheese
1 lb. Jimmy Dean Regular Pork Sausage, cooked and fat drained
1 jar 28-34 oz. Bertolli (or Classico) Organic Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
fresh basil (optional for garnish)

1.  1/3 of red sauce, meat, 1/2 of the olives
2.  Noodles
3.  Pesto, meat, cheese
4.  Noodles
5.  Alfredo sauce, onions
6.  Noodles
7.  1/3 red sauce, cheese, 1/2 of the olives
8.  Noodles
9. 1/3 Red Sauce
10.  Mozzarella (add just last 10 minutes of baking)

Bake 375 for 80 minutes COVERED in foil.  Remove foil, sprinkle with shredded mozzarella and bake uncovered 10 minutes more.  Remove from oven and garnish with fresh basil if desired.

***For Vegetarian version, omit sausage and add a layer of shredded carrots, one layer of shredded zucchini, and two layers of swiss chard or spinach or both! (chopped finely).
15.5 x 11.5 x 2.5 Pan


Creamy Tomatillo Ranch Dressing

This is a take off of the delicious Cafe Rio Chain Restaurant's Creamy Tomatillo dressing.  It is delicious!  I make it without tomatillos sometimes too when I don't have any.  It is wonderful on top of this taco salad or this taco salad, quesadillas, etc.

1 ranch dressing packet prepared using pkt. recipe*(see note)
Juice of 1 lime
½-1 bunch of cilantro
2-3 tomatillos (can use 1/3 c. green salsa as a substitute)
1 large clove garlic
freshly ground pepper
1 jalepeno (no seeds)--omit this if you don't like things spicy
-Using a blender, blend all the ingredients until smooth and creamy.  Serve with quesadillas, taco salad, etc.
-*NOTE:  I'm a bit picky when it comes to my ranch...this is best using 1 c. 1% milk and and 1 c. KRAFT mayonnaise (don't use low fat!)


Cilantro Lime Rice

1 c. uncooked jasmine rice
1 tsp lime zest
juice from 1 lime
1/3 c. chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 tsp salt

-Cook Rice according to package directions.  Remove from heat and add zest, lime juice, cilantro, and salt.  Stir to combine.


Baked Chicken Bacon Ranch Taquitos

Picture and recipe from Six Sisters' Stuff.  I made this recipe with my sister many years ago and I am just getting around to posting it!  It is a bit more time intensive than other recipes, but is very tasty!
  • 1 (8 ounce) pkg. cream cheese
  • 12 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 4 cups cooked, shredded chicken
  • 1 (1 ounce) pkt. dry Ranch Dressing mix
  • 2 cups shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
  • 3-4 Tablespoons green onion, chopped
  • 20 (6-inch) flour tortillas
  • Salt, to taste
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Cover a large baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray lightly with cooking spray.
  3. Mix together cream cheese, bacon, chicken, cheese, and green onions. 
  4. Add in about 1/2 of the dry ranch dressing mix, or more if desired. Mix well. 
  5. Spoon 2-3 Tablespoons of the chicken mixture onto each flour tortilla and roll it up.
  6. Place taquitos seam-side down on the baking sheet. Repeat about 20 times or until all the filling is used.
  7. Once finished, spray the tops of the taquitos with nonstick cooking spray and sprinkle with salt.
  8. Place pan in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until edges and tops are golden. 
  9. Let cool slightly and serve with ranch dressing or salsa.


Pie Cooking Class

Here are the other recipes from the pie cooking class 
that are not already posted on my blog.  These will probably
be reposted at future dates with pictures.

Blackberry Tarts  
Makes 24 tarts

1 box Prepared Pie Crust (Pillsbury or Trader Joes)
1 bag frozen blackberries
¾ c. sugar
1 c. sour cream
1 egg
4 TBS flour
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 c. flour
1/3 c. sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ c. butter

1.  Use a biscuit cutter, mason jar lid, or cup to cut pie crust into mini circles.  Place pie crust circles into mini muffin tins and shape to tin (option to put in strips of parchment first, then press in pie crust for easier removal).
2.  Place 3 blackberries in each hole.  Mix other filling ingredients and pour over each of the 24 tarts. 
3.  Bake 425 for 10 minutes.
4.  In separate bowl, cut in butter to topping ingredients.  Crumble over the top of the tarts and bake 10 more minutes at 350.

5.  Cool.
out process.

9” Butter PIE CRUST
1 c. all purpose flour
½ tsp salt
1/3 c. butter (cold)
2 TBS cold water (more if needed)
-Stir flour and salt together.  Cut or grate in cold butter.  Add 2 TBS water.  Mix together with fork, then work to mixture into a ball with your hands.  Work as little as possible!
-Roll out on floured flat surface.  Flour top of dough and rolling pin as needed during rolling out process.

Chocolate Angel Pie

2 Egg Whites                                                                         ½ cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans
1/8 tsp. Salt                                                                           1 bar (4 oz.) Baker’s German Sweet Chocolate
1/8 tsp. cream of tartar                                                       3 T. water
½ cup sugar                                                                          1 tsp. vanilla
½ tsp. vanilla                                                                         1 cup whipping cream

Meringue Pie Shell:  Beat egg whites with salt and cream of tartar until foamy.  Add sugar, 2 Tbsp. at a time, beating well after each addition.  Continue beating to very stiff peaks.  Fold in ½ tsp. vanilla and nuts.  Spoon into a lightly greased (with crisco) 8-inch pie pan to form a nest-like shell; build sides up 1/2” above the edge of the pan.  Bake in a slow oven (300 degrees) for 50-55 minutes.  Cool.

Chocolate Cream Mixture:  Stir chocolate in the water over low heat until melted.  Cool until thickened.  Add 1 tsp. vanilla.  Whip cream and fold into chocolate mixture.  Pile filling into meringue shell.  Chill 2 hours.  Serves 6-8 people. You can garnish with shaved chocolate if desired.

NOTE:  Meringue will get soggy if you let the chocolate filling sit in it overnight---so DO NOT make this in advance.  You could make the meringue in advance and let it sit, then add the chocolate filling as noted in recipe just a few hours before serving.

9" pie pan:  For a 9" pie pan 1 1/2 times the chocolate filling recipe.

Apple Pie

Pastry for 9-inch two pie crust                                            ½ tsp. cinnamon
4 to 5 cups tart apples, peeled, cored, and sliced              1/8 tsp. salt
¼ cup water                                                                          1 T. lemon juice
1 cup sugar                                                                            2 T. butter
1 to 2 T. flour

Steam or simmer apples gently in ¼ cup water until they wilt and begin to become transparent.  (This is only a partial cooking so that apples will cook thoroughly in the pie.  Do not steam for too long.)  Combine the sugar and other dry ingredients.  Mix well.  Spread half over the pastry-lined pie pan.  Drain apples and save juice.  Put the apples into the pie shell.  Add ¼ cup from cooking liquid.  Sprinkle with remaining sugar mixture.  Sprinkle pie filling with lemon juice and dot with butter.  Roll, fit, and seal top crust.  Brush with milk and sprinkle with course sugar, if desired.  Bake on lower shelf of oven at 425 degrees for 30-40 minutes, or until nicely browned.  *Taken from Lion House Recipes. 

Note:  Apple pie is only as good as the apples it is made with.  Tart, juicy apples are desirable, and some judgment is necessary as to amounts of sugar and thickening when sweeter, less juicy apples are used.  Remember to cover pastry edge with foil strip to prevent over browning and fruit seepage. 

Grammy’s Stir and Roll Pie Crust

2 cups unsifted flour                                                                                    2/3 cup vegetable oil
½ tsp. salt                                                                                          1/3 cup cold water
½ tsp. baking powder

Stir together in a bowl the flour, salt, and baking powder.  Add oil and water.  Stir until gathered with a fork.  Do not overstir.  Roll out and bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes.  Yield:  1 double pie crust or 2 single pie crusts for an 8 inch pan. 

Easy Dutch Apple Pie

1 ½ cup flour                                                                                    ½ cup oil
1 ½ tsp. sugar                                                                                   2 Tbsp. cold milk
1 tsp. salt

5 cups apples, sliced                                                                         ½ tsp. nutmeg
½ cup sugar                                                                                      ½ tsp. cinnamon
2 T. flour                                                                                            1 to 2 Tbsp. lemon juice

½ Cup flour                                                                                       ½ cup butter (firm)
½ Cup sugar

Mix everything and press into the bottom of a pie pan.  If it looks too oily, add more flour.

Add lemon juice to apples, toss then put in refrigerator.  Mix dry ingredients and add to apples.  Toss together and pile on top of crust.

Mix flour and sugar.  Cut butter into flour and sugar.  Sprinkle on top of apples.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour or until topping starts to brown and apples soften.