Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

Spinach-Artichoke Stuffed Shells

April 16, 2009

This recipe was so good and has a good amount of vegetables. In addition to the stuffed shells, i rolled the stuffing inside some chicken cutlets(just cut back how many shells i used). I bet it would be good rolled inside veal or eggplant too. I used all dry herbs,  hopefully I can grow some fresh herbs this summer and make this recipe again using fresh herbs.

Spinach-Artichoke Stuffed Shells by Rachael Ray


  • Salt
  • 20 large pasta shells
  • 1 28-ounce can whole plum tomatoes, preferably San Marzano
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted (i used smart balance spread)
  • 7 to 8 leaves basil, torn
  • Ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
  • 1 10-ounce box chopped frozen spinach, defrosted or 3/4 pound fresh baby spinach, chopped
  • A few grates fresh nutmeg
  • 1 10-ounce box frozen baby or regular artichoke hearts, defrosted and chopped
  • 2 cups ricotta cheese (i used part skim)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon thyme leaves, chopped
  • 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

Yields: 4-5 servings


Preheat oven to 375ºF.

Place a large pot of water over high heat to boil the pasta. When the water reaches a bubble, salt it well, drop the shells in and cook them to al dente according to package directions. Drain the cooked shells and shock them under cold water to stop them from cooking. Reserve.

While the shells are cooking, mash up the tomatoes in the bottom of a casserole dish. Stir in the butter, basil, some salt and pepper into the dish, and set aside.

Place a large skillet over medium-high heat with 2 turns of the pan of EVOO, about 2 tablespoons. Add the garlic to the pan and cook until aromatic and light golden brown, about 1 minute. Add the spinach, and nutmeg to the pan, and cook to heat through.

Transfer the spinach to a large bowl and stir in the artichokes, ricotta, Parmigiano Reggiano, lemon zest, thyme, egg yolk, parsley, some salt and pepper. Fill the reserved pasta shells with the mixture, arranging them on top of the sauce in the casserole dish as you complete them.

Cover the casserole with aluminum foil and transfer to the oven. Bake covered for 20 minutes, then remove the foil and turn the oven up to 425˚F. Continue cooking until the filling is golden brown and bubbly, about 15 minutes more.



Eggplant Raviolini Soup

January 15, 2009

Another wonderful recipe from Rachel Ray.

• 2 tablespoons butter

• 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

• 1 eggplant, half the skin peeled to make stripes and the flesh chopped into 1/4 inch cubes(i peeled off all skin)

• 2 garlic cloves

• salt and pepper

• One 32-ounce container (4 cups) chicken broth

• 1 (32 ounce) can crushed tomatoes

• 1 lb mini ravioli(i used tortellini) 

• 1 cup basil leaves, torn

• grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese, for topping

Directions: In a small soup pot, melt the butter and the olive oil over medium heat. Turn the pan and coat its surface. Add the eggplant and garlic and season with salt and pepper and cook until softened about 5 minutes. Add the chicken broth and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Add the raviolini and cook until tender 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the basil.  Serve the soup in bowls, topped with cheese.

Ranger Cookies (My mother’s recipe)

December 2, 2008

Ranger Cookies

½ cup butter

½ cup margarine

Note: I have used 1 cup of butter or 1 cup of margarine….it does not have to be ½  and ½

1 cup brown sugar

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

2 eggs OR 1 egg and 1/2 c maple syrup

2 cup flour

2 cup oatmeal

1 cup Special K

1 cup raisins (i omit)

Beat butter with an electric mixer on a medium to high spead beat butter for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Beat until combined scraping sides of bowl occasionall. Beat in eggs and mapled sryup(if using). Beat in as much flour as you can and stir in the rest.  Stir in oatmeal, special K and raisins. Drop dough by rounded teaspons 2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 375 degrees  for  7 minutes or until edges are golden. Cool on cooke sheet for one minutes, then cool on a wire wrack.

Calamari with Nutty Angel Hair

December 1, 2008

From Every Day with Rachael Ray
December-January 2009


Prep Time: 25 min
Cook Time: 20 min

1. Preheat the oven to 500°. Line 2 large baking sheets with foil and grease each with 1 tablespoon olive oil. In a large, deep skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the almonds and cook, stirring, until toasted, about 3 minutes; transfer to a plate. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and the garlic to the skillet and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the anchovy paste and cook for 1 minute.
2. In a medium bowl, toss the squid with 4 tablespoons olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Pour the breadcrumbs into a large bowl. Working with a handful at a time, coat the squid in the breadcrumbs, opening up the rings to cover well. Spread the squid in a single layer on the prepared baking sheets and sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil on top. Bake until golden and crunchy, 12 minutes; season with salt and pepper.
3. Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the pasta until al dente, about 2 minutes; drain, reserving 2 cups of the pasta water.
4. Stir the reserved pasta water into the anchovy mixture and bring to a boil. Add the pasta and cook, turning with tongs, to heat through. Add the almonds and parsley, toss well and transfer to a large bowl. Surround the pasta with the squid and the lemon wedges for squeezing.






3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil




3/4 cup sliced almonds with skins




4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced




1 tablespoon anchovy paste




1 1/2 pounds small, cleaned squid—cut into 1/3-inch rings, tentacles halved, patted dry





Salt and pepper




2 1/4 cups seasoned breadcrumbs




1/2 pound angel hair pasta




1/2 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley




Lemon wedges, for serving







Jiffy Corn Casserole

November 29, 2008

1 can whole kernel corn, drained
1 can creamed corn
2 eggs, beaten
1 stick butter, melted (or 1/2 c. oil)
1 cup. sour cream
1 box Jiffy corn muffin mix


Mix all ingredients adding the muffin mix last.  Bake in a greased casserole dish or 9″x13″ or 7″x11″ baking dish at 375 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes or until fully cooked in center/lightly brown

Butternut Squash Soup

November 20, 2008

Butternut Squash Soup with Sweet and Spicy Pecans

Tracey Seaman

From Every Day with Rachael Ray
November 2007

Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 1 hr


2 butternut squash (about 4 1/2 pounds), halved lengthwise, seeds removed

4 tablespoons butter, 1 tablespoon melted

Salt and pepper

1 large onion, chopped

   2 ribs celery, chopped

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped

1 teaspoon chili powder

2 cups chicken broth

2 cups milk

 1. Preheat the oven to 400º. Place the squash cut side up on a rimmed baking sheet. Brush with the melted butter and season with salt and pepper. Bake until brown on the edges and fork-tender at the thickest part, about 1 hour.
2. Meanwhile, melt 1 1/2 tablespoons butter in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion and celery, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 6 to 7 minutes.
3. Melt the brown sugar and remaining 1 1/2tablespoons butter in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Add the pecans, chili powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring, until the nuts are toasted, about 5 minutes. Let cool.
4. Scoop the squash flesh from the skins and add to the soup pot. Add the broth and milk and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Using an immersion blender, puree the mixture in the pot, over low heat, until smooth (or transfer in batches to a blender and puree). Serve in bowls, topped with the pecans.


Macaroni and Cheese

October 8, 2008

Mac and Cheese seemed like a great option for dinner tonight, although i didn’t want to make it from a box sooooooooo i made a homemade one. it was totally thrown together with what i had on hand. I didn’t measure so measurements are only guesses, but as always adjust the recipe to your taste.

1/2 a box of small shell pasta

1 teaspoon of butter

3oz of milk

1/4 cup of cheddar cheese cut up into pieces

2 slices of Velveeta cheese

A few sprinklers of parmesan cheese

Onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper to your taste

1 tablespoon of breadcrumbs

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Cook pasta as directed on box.  Meanwhile cut up cheddar cheese and gather other ingredients. Drain pasta and return to pan and place on stove. Keep the burner on the lowest setting. Add in all ingredients to pasta EXCEPT for the breadcrumbs. Put a cover over the saucepan to help the cheese melt. Once the cheese is melted, stir and add a little more milk if needed.  Grease a 9×9 baking dish (or whatever size you would like)* and pour the macaroni mixture into pan. Sprinkle with more parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs. Bake in oven for 10-15 minutes until the top is crunchy, slight brown and the edges bubbling (watch to make sure it doesn’t burn).  I served over some cut up cooked shrimp.

*might be tasty in small individual dishes

Amanda’s Panzone on the Grill

August 18, 2008

I came up with this recipe by seeing a few different recipes with similar ingredients and making my own. You can really put whatever ingredients you choose into your panzone but below is what we tried. 

For each Panzone:

  • 1/4 lb of pizza dough
  • Flour
  • Corn Meal
  • Tomatoes(i used one medium and a few cherry tomatoes) sliced
  • Fresh mozzarella cheese
  • Basil(i used a little fresh and a little dried)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • A few slices of pepperoni
  • A sprinkle of Parmesan cheese
  • Oil Olive
  • Cooking Spray
  • Marinara sauce for dipping

Make 1/4lb dough into a ball. Put some flour on it and roll it out until thin on a floured surface. Place on a surface with some cornmeal (so it doesnt stick).  On 1/2 of one side of the dough layer tomatoes, then cheeses, basil, salt, peppper, pepperoni and then top with another layer of more tomatoes. Pull the empty side of the dough over and seal edges. Brush the outside of the dough with olive oil and some cooking spray. Place on a hot grill until dough it cooked.  Let the panzone cool for a couple of minutes, the tomatoes and cheese will be HOT. Dip in marinara sauce if you wish.

Dessert Nachos

August 8, 2008

I learned of this recipe at a Pampered Chef Party.  The amounts can be altered based on how many you are making it for.  I also omit some ingredients. Add in other favorite items too, anyway this is made will come out delicious!

Make Cinnamon Chips.

Brush flour tortillas with water (using olive gives them a better flavor) using pastry brush.  Sprinkle generously with a cinnamon/sugar mixture   Cut into triangles using Pizza Cutter.  Place on baking stone or cookie sheet and bake @ 400 until lightly browned.)
Place cooled Cinnamon Chips on a platter.

Scoop vanilla ice cream (light ice cream or frozen yogurt is excellent) onto cinnamon chips

Garnish with sliced strawberries & sliced bananas

Chop nuts with Food Chopper, sprinkle on top. 

Drizzle Caramel and Chocolate sauce on top.                           

Place dollops of whipped cream all over “nachos”  and grate chocolate bar over entire platter using a Cheese Grater

Crab Bites

August 4, 2008

I believe my mom and/or grandmother makes these or used to make them, but as a kid i never ate them. Anyways this past christmas my cousin made them and they were SO good.

Notes: i didnt use tomatoes or green onions for garnish. i used canned lump crab but i might use the fresh stuff next time. I also made them up, cut them, put them on a cookie sheet and froze them. then transfered to a zip lock bag to store in the freezer. when i was ready to cook them, put them on baking dish or cookie sheet and cook(might need a minute or two longer)


 6 English muffins split

1 roll (6 ounces) garlic cheese, or a small jar (5 ounces) of Old English Cheese Spread, room temperature

3 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon mayonnaise

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, if not using garlic cheese

1 teaspoon freshly chopped parsley

1 can (6 to 7 ounces) crabmeat, drained, flaked

sliced green onions and tomatoes for garnish, if desired

PREPARATION: Heat oven to 350°. Arrange split muffins, cut side up, on a baking pan lined with foil. In a medium bowl, mash the garlic cheese or cheese spread with butter, mayonnaise, onion powder, garlic powder, if using, and parsley. Stir in the crabmeat. Spread evenly over the split muffins. Bake for 10 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. Cut into quarters and serve warm, garnished with green onions and diced tomatoes, if desired. Makes 48 crab bites.