Saturday, August 23, 2008

Veggie/Black Bean Fajitas

1 can black beans
1/2 tsp lime juice
1/2 tsp cumin
pinch of salt
Pinch chopped cilantro

Combine all ingredients in saucepan and simmer until warmed through.

1/2 cup sliced bell pepper
1/3 cup sliced yellow onion
1/2 cup each sliced zucchini and yellow squash
non-stick cooking spray

Saute until soft and slightly brown

Cheddar cheese
Chopped tomato
Sour Cream
Lime juice

Combine sour cream with lime juice and cilantro. Pile everything on a tortilla.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Pepper-Chicken Noodle Toss

1 pkg. noodle of your choice
1/4 C (or less) olive or vegetable oil
2-4 chicken breasts, cut into strips
1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into strips
1 green bell pepper, cut into strips
1 onion, cut into chunks
2 C fresh mushrooms, sliced
herb seasoning, to taste
grated parmesan cheese, to taste

Make noodles according to package. In a large skillet, heat oil; add chicken, peppers, onion, mushrooms and seasoning. Cook and stir over medium heat until chicken is cooked through (about 8-10 minutes). Add cooked noodles and parmesan cheese. Toss to coat noodles. Serve!

Applesauce Muffins

1 C applesauce (I like using cinnamon applesauce)
3/4 C brown sugar
1/2 C oil
1 3/4 C flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/2 C raisins (optional, personally I like it best without them)

Combine applesauce, brown sugar and oil in a bowl. Mix well. Mix the dry ingredients in another bowl. Add the raisins if desired and stir in the applesauce mixture. Blend well. Fill muffin tins about 2/3 full. Bake at 350 for 20-35 minutes.

Summer Dessert, Italian Style

Don't be turned off by the strangeness of it; this is what Italians eat in the summer for dessert (because you wouldn't want tiramisu if it was that hot and humid, either).

Sliced, chilled fresh fruit (my favorites are melons, berries or stone fruits like peaches, nectarines and plums)
Balsamic vinegar

Make sure the fruit is really cold before you start. Drizzle with a teensy bit of balsamic vinegar. Let it marinate for a few minutes. Enjoy!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Chocolate Churchmouse Cake

I have no idea where this cake gets its name, but sure is delicious.

1 box chocolate cake
1 large box chocolate pudding
3/4 cup oil
3/4 cup water
4 eggs
approx. 1/2 container sour cream.
6 oz. chocolate chips

Mix ingredients. Pour into a floured bunt pan. Bake for 60 min. at 350 degrees.

Hint: When baking this cake (or really, any other baked goods) use room-temperature eggs for a lighter, fluffier result. Also, this can be made with a yellow cake mix and vanilla pudding.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Ragu (the real kind)

Yeah, I guess you can use the sauce from the can, but if you want real ragu the way an Italian grandma makes it (or at least, the way my Italian grandma made it) try this recipe:

Saute about 3 tablespoons finely chopped onion in about 2 tablespoons olive oil until onions are translucent

Add 1 10oz can crushed tomatoes in puree and 1 10oz can petite diced tomatoes (or you can use whole canned tomatoes, crush them yourself and pull out the tough spots, like Grandma did, but I prefer shortcuts). Also add 1-2 tablespoons of burgundy (cooking wine is ok, the good stuff is better). Bring to a boil then turn to low and simmer for at least 30 minutes, stirring often so it doesn't burn.

Add 1-1/2 teaspoons each of basil and oregano. Add 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Stir, simmer for about 30 minutes, then adjust seasonings if needed. Turn off the heat and let the sauce sit for as long as you want (the longer, the better - just give the flavors time to "get happy" together) then reheat and serve with your favorite pasta!

(All these measurements are approximate. Italians don't believe in measuring anything except baked goods, so adjust according to taste.)