Monday, August 26, 2013

One pot Tortellini dinner

1 bag of frozen tortellini
1 lb. Italian sausage (fried and crumbled)
 1 small bag of fresh spinach
2 cans of Italian style diced tomatoes
1 box (4 cups) chicken broth
1 clove garlic, minced
8 oz. cream cheese softened and diced
salt and pepper to taste
Garnish with parmesan or asiago cheese if desired.

This recipe was re-printed and originally said to put all ingredients in a crockpot for 5 hours on low.
I'm pretty sure some of the ingredients wouldn't hold up well in the crockpot for that long so I have revised it as follows:

In a large pan fry the Italian sausage. Drain all grease. Add tomatoes, chicken broth, garlic and cream cheese. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Add tortellini and spinach. Cover and cook on low for another 10 minutes or so.

This is one of those recipes you can doctor to your own taste. I would be including some fresh basil, red pepper flakes and asiago cheese to add a little zip or changing the cheese to shredded Swiss cheese.  Let me know how it turns out for you.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

Cheesecake Filling:
3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar, plus 2 tablespoons, divided
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, combine flour and brown sugar. Cut in butter with a pastry blender (or 2 forks) until mixture is crumbly. Press evenly into a 9x13 baking pan lined with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Bake 15 minutes or until lightly browned.

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese with 3/4 cup sugar in an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth. Then add eggs, 1 at a time, and vanilla. Stir to combine. Pour over warm crust.

In a small bowl, stir together chopped apples, remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Spoon evenly over cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle evenly with Streusel topping. Bake 40-45 minutes, or until filling is set. Drizzle with caramel topping and let cool. Serve cold and enjoy!

Streusel Topping:
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients. I like to really combine it by using my clean hands to thoroughly combine the butter into the mixture.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

How to clean your cookie sheets--Kitchen "Miracle" Cleaner! You put about 1/4 cup of baking soda in a small glass bowl and squirt in hydrogen peroxide until it makes a nice paste.
Then you rub it on the offending dirt/stain/grease...whatever! You can usually just use your fingers...but you can also use a small sponge as well.
Let it sit for a couple of hours or even overnight to work.

Outbacks Bloomin' Onion & Sauce

1/3 cup cornstarch
1 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons garlic, minced
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
24 ounces beer
4 vidalia onions

Seasoned flour:
2 cups flour
4 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne

Outback Dipping Sauce:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons ketchup
2 teaspoons creamed horseradish
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
1 dash black pepper
1 dash cayenne

1. for the seasoned flour-combine flour, paprika, garlic powder, pepper and cayenne-mix well.
2. For the Dipping sauce - Blend everything together well and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.
3. For the batter -Mix cornstarch, flour and seasonings until well blended.
4. Add beer and mix well.
5. Cut about 3/4 inch off top of onion and peel.
6. Cut into onion 12-16 vertical wedges but do not cut through bottom root end.
7. Remove about 1 inch of petals from center of onion (You can place the cut onions in cold water for a few hours to help "open" them up -- just make sure that you drain them well).
8. Dip in seasoned flour and gently shake to remove excess.
9. Separate petals to coat thoroughly with batter.
10. Gently place in a fryer basket and deep fry at 375-400 for 1 1/2 minutes.
11. Turn over and fry 1 1/2 minutes more or until golden brown.
12. Drain on paper towels.
13. Place onion upright in a shallow bowl and remove center core with a circular cutter or apple corer.
14. Serve hot with dipping sauce.