Dinner, Pasta, Salads

Pepperoni Pizza Pasta Salad

With Summer slowly coming to a close the rush to make all of those salads you pinned or saw is here. I am not a big fan of mayonasied based salads. I will eat them but prefer to have something that is not slathered in Mayo. I saw this recipe from a favorite blog that I have been following for years The Noble Pig. This salad is right up my alley! Italian Pasta and Italian Dressing. This comes together quickly and taste great.

Ingredients

  • 16 oz dried cheese tortellini pasta
  • 1/2 cup Italian dressing
  • 1 large green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 (5 oz) bag mini pepperoni slices
  • 1 (3.8 oz) can sliced black olives
  • 12 oz fresh mozzarella balls
  • 1 Tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tablespoons finely sliced fresh basil

Directions

Prepare tortellini pasta according to package directions. Once cooked, pour pasta into a colander and rinse with cold water. Once cool transfer to a large bowl and gently toss pasta with Italian dressing. Add bell pepper, Parmesan cheese, pepperoni, olives, mozzarella, red pepper flakes and basil. Toss until all ingredients are fully combined.
Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least six hours. (Before serving, taste and toss with more Italian dressing if you think it needs it.)

Dessert

Chocolate Whiskey Bundt Cake

Chocolate, moist and absolutely delicious!  This is what you will get if you make this cake.  We were having our friends in one night for some wine and dessert.  I looked through the folder of recipes that I wanted to try and found this one.  It has been hanging around for quite some time and i thought what goes better with wine than chocolate.  And in this definitely fit the bill.

The coffee added brings out the flavor of the chocolate and the whiskey adds great flavor.  The recipe said it would taste even better the next day, and it sure did.

Ingredients

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process) plus 3 tablespoons for dusting pan

1 1/2 cups brewed coffee

1/2 cup American whiskey

2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces

2 cups sugar

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

Accompaniment: lightly sweetened whipped cream

Garnish: confectioners sugar for dusting

PREPARATION

  1. Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 325°F. Butter a 10-inch bundt pan well, then dust with 3 tablespoons cocoa powder, knocking out excess.
  2. Heat coffee, whiskey, butter, and remaining cup cocoa powder in a 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, whisking, until butter is melted. Remove from heat, then add sugar and whisk until dissolved, about 1 minute. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and cool 5 minutes.
  3. While chocolate mixture cools, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Whisk together eggs and vanilla in a small bowl, then whisk into cooled chocolate mixture until combined well. Add flour mixture and whisk until just combined (batter will be thin and bubbly). Pour batter into bundt pan and bake until a wooden pick or skewer inserted in center comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes.
  4. Cool cake completely in pan on a rack, about 2 hours. Loosen cake from pan using tip of a dinner knife, then invert rack over pan and turn cake out onto rack.
Chicken, Dinner

Creamy Chicken Enchiladas

I love to make enchiladas. I have a recipe that I found right after were were married for Chicken and Cheese Enchiladas that became a staple for quite some time in our house. We we were forming our dinner club years ago, it was Chicken Enchiladas that I made for the dinner club that first night. When a coworker asked me to be the featured chef in the local Sunday newspaper, it was Chicken Enchilada;s that I made for the photo shoot.

https://diningwithadinergirl.blogspot.com/2016/04/an-oldie-but-goodie-chicken-encilada.html

Fast forward to now. I found this recipe while surfing Facebook and saved the post so when I decided to make it I could easily find it. With Covid, Eric has been working from home so he has really been in charge of dinner more than I have. I decided that this past Saturday night I would be make dinner for the two of us and pulled out my saved post to give it a try. I only needed a few things from the store – tortillas, a 1 lb of chicken breast cutlets and the Adobo Seasoning. The recipe turned out great. It is not really too spicy. The strength of the seasoning will determine the heat of the dish. The Adobo does come in different flavors. I chose the Adobo All Purpose Seasoning Hot! When it was done baking I sprinkled some more over the top before serving.

Ingredients

2 cups shredded, cooked chicken ( I used just over a lb of chicken breast and roasted for 25 minutes)*
8 flour tortillas (taco size)
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup sour cream
1 (4 oz) can diced green chiles
salt & pepper & Adobo seasoning, to taste

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9 x 13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

In a medium-sized bowl, mix together cooked, shredded chicken with one cup of shredded cheese along with salt, pepper and Adobo seasoning. Place chicken mixture into each of the flour tortillas.
Roll them all up and place them in the prepared baking dish.

In a medium sauce pan, melt butter. Whisk in flour and let cook and thicken for 1 minute (don’t let it burn). Add chicken broth and whisk until smooth.

Stir in sour cream and green chiles. Be sure not to let the mixture boil.

Take sauce off the heat and pour it over the enchiladas. Top with remaining shredded cheese.
Bake for about 20-25 minutes.

If you’d like, you can turn the broiler on high and broil these for a minute or two until cheese is slightly browned and bubbly

*To roast the chicken breast I drizzled olive oil over and then sprinkled with salt and pepper. Baked them for 20 to 25 minutes. Then shredded with a fork.

Dinner, Pasta, Seafood

Stuffed Rigatoni and Sauce with Shrimp

I saw this recipe in my email one day from The Pioneer Women’s website and thought that it would be a great family dinner.  We always have a bag of shrimp in the freezer and a bag of ravioli so this was a perfect fit to utilize these staples.   The recipe called for a ricotta and spinach ravioli.  I substituted a spinach stuffed rigatoni that we had, had Eric pick up a 28 oz can of tomato sauce and heavy cream.

The end result had great flavor and came together quickly. There  was plenty of sauce left over to possibly use it on another pasta dish.  Serving this with a salad made the perfect dinner. 

Ingredients 

Kosher salt

18 to 20 ounces packaged spinach and ricotta ravioli

3 tablespoons butter 

2 tablespoons olive oil

 1 pound peeled and deveined large shrimp 

3 cloves garlic, pressed 

1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped 

2/3 cup white wine 

Two 14.5-ounce cans tomato sauce

 1 cup heavy cream 

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 

1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus more for garnish

8 fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped, plus more for garnish

Directions
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the ravioli according to the package instructions. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat half of the butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the shrimp and cook on both sides until just starting to turn opaque, 2 minutes per side. Remove to a plate and set aside.

Return the skillet to the heat and add the remaining butter and olive oil. Add the garlic and onions, stir to combine and cook until the onions have softened slightly, about 3 minutes.

Deglaze with the wine, scraping the bottom of the skillet, and simmer until reduced by half, about 45 seconds. Add the tomato sauce, cream and pepper and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low.
Chop the shrimp into bite-size chunks and stir back into the skillet. Add the parsley and basil and stir. Add the ravioli to the sauce and top with more parsley and basil.

Salads, side dish

Santa Fe Salad

I can’t beleive I have never posted this recipe. my daughter asked the other day if I could post this recipe to her Facebook Group for Recipe Share Wednesday. When I went browsing through the blog I did not find it. This is a classic Tills’ summer salad recipe that we have been making for over 25 years.

Back when we had our first house we had a picnic and one of my hubby’s co-workers brought this salad. We immediately asked for the recipe and it has been a summer staple. It goes together in just a few minutes after you cook the brown rice and has very easy ingredients.

Ingredients

2 cups cooked brown rice
1 16oz. can black beans, rinsed
1 17 oz can of whole kernal corn, drained
1/8 cup minced onion (use discretion)
1/4 cup white vinegar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons cnipped cilantro
2 jalapeno peppers, minced
2 teasopoons chili poswer
1 teaspoon salt

Directions

Combine rice, beans, corn and onion. Combine vinegar, oil, cilantro, peppers, chili powder and salt in a small jar with a lid. Pour over rice mixture, toss lightly. Cover and chill 2 to 3 hours for flavors to blend. Stir before serving.

Dessert

Little Lemon Love

I went scouring for a dessert recipe that would be light and refreshing. I also didn’t want a lot of leftovers tempting me for days. One of the blogs I follow is called Dessert for Two, and that is exactly what she showcases – Desserts for Two. This is a quick and easy recipe that satisfied my sweet tooth and one that the family could enjoy. I did double the recipe so that our son could have dessert as well. It was so good he took the remaining one and polished that off as well.

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream (or full-fat yogurt)
  • 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons neutral oil
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

For the glaze:

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1-2 teaspoons lemon juice, as needed

Instructions

  1. First, spray 2 6-ounce ramekins very well with cooking spray, and set them on a mini baking sheet.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and pinch of salt. Set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolk, sour cream (or yogurt), oil, lemon zest, and lemon juice.
  5. Add the dry ingredients in two batches to the wet ingredients, and stir gently to combine.
  6. Divide the mixture between the two ramekins.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  8. While the cakes cool, make the frosting: whisk together all ingredients, adding more lemon juice to thin it out to a pourable consistency.
Dinner

Baked Ziti from The Pioneer Women

This is a repeat recipe originally posted in 2014. It became one of the top read blog post back then. It just made a return visit to our dinner table. It is so cheesy and is good I had to share again.

The Pioneer Women’s Baked Ziti is not just your ordinary Ziti. It has ground beef and sausage and tons and tons of cheese. It is a very hearty meal that will please your family.

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, diced
1 pound ground beef
1 pound Italian sausage
Two 14.5-ounce cans tomato sauce or marinara sauce
One 28-ounce can whole tomatoes with juice
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound ziti
1 1/2 pounds mozzarella, grated
One 15-ounce tub whole-milk ricotta
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, plus more for sprinkling
2 eggs

Directions

Heat the olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and onions and saute until starting to soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the ground beef and sausage and cook until browned. Drain off almost all of the fat, leaving a bit behind for flavor and moisture. Add the tomato sauce, tomatoes, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes and some salt and pepper. Stir, bring to a simmer and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove 3 to 4 cups of the cooked sauce to a bowl to cool down.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add some salt. Cook the ziti until not quite al dente.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

In a bowl, mix 2 cups of the grated mozzarella, the ricotta, Parmesan, parsley, eggs and some salt and pepper. Stir together just a couple of times (do not mix completely).

Drain the pasta and rinse under cool water to stop the cooking and cool it down. Pour it into the bowl with the cheese mixture and toss to slightly combine (there should still be large lumps). Add the cooled reserved meat sauce and toss to combine.

Add half the coated pasta to a large casserole dish or lasagna dish. Spoon half of the remaining sauce over the top, then top with half the remaining mozzarella. Repeat with another layer of the coated pasta and the remaining sauce and mozzarella.Bake until bubbling, about 20 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before

Dinner, Seafood

Sesame Shrimp and Greens with Rice

Fresh off the grill

I love nothing better than cooking on the grill. The main reason is that food taste so good when it is grilled, but even better….less kitchen clean up. There is very little pots and pans to deal with which means more time for summer fun.

So this recipe was a big hit. We saw this on The Kitchen with Katie Lee. The ease of the recipe and the flavors were a big draw. Pair this with a light wine and you have a perfect summer dinner.

Ingredients

1/4 cup soy sauce

2 teaspoons honey 

2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil 

1 tablespoon grated ginger 

1 tablespoon rice vinegar 

Pinch crushed red pepper flakes 

2 garlic cloves, grated 

1 pound (16 to 20 count) shrimp, peeled and deveined 

Nonstick cooking spray, for the foil

2 cups cooked white rice 

4 loosely-packed cups baby spinach leaves 

1 cup 1/2-inch diced zucchini 

1 cup sliced sugar snap peas 

Directions

Whisk soy sauce, honey, sesame oil, ginger, rice vinegar, pepper flakes and garlic in a large bowl. Add shrimp and toss to coat. Refrigerate for 20 to 30 minutes. Remove shrimp from marinade and reserve marinade.

Preheat a grill to medium-high heat.

Prepare 4 large sheets of aluminum foil. Spray each with nonstick cooking spray. Scoop 1/2 cup rice into the center of each sheet. Top each with 1 cup spinach, 1/4 cup zucchini and 1/4 cup snap peas. Divide shrimp evenly among the packets. Spoon remaining marinade over each packet. Fold each packet to close (not too tight), leaving the seam side up.

Place packets, seam-side up, on the grill. Cook until shrimp is cooked through, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove and open packets carefully.

Dinner

Penne Arrabiata

OMG! Absolutely delicious! One of the best benefits of working from home is that Eric finds great recipes to try and this one was absolutely delicious!

This was a wonderful and very special dinner. The kiddos were out so we made it a special date night, with great bottle of Stags Leap Chardonnay (I know we should of had a red, but we just got our case yesterday of Chardonnay) and a delicious appetizer of arancini from a local Italian market.

As you might be aware Ina Garten is our absolute favorite chefs. We always wished we lived next door to her. Her Penne Arrabiata is easy, elegant and delicious. You can not go wrong making this.

My personal chef at work

Ingredients

2/3 cup good olive oil

1 cup whole peeled garlic cloves (24 cloves) 

2 (28-ounce) cans whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes 

2 teaspoons whole fennel seeds, chopped 

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes 

1/3 cup dry red wine, such as Chianti 

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup julienned fresh basil leaves, plus extra for serving 

1 pound dry penne rigate, such as DeCecco 

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving 

Directions

In a medium (10-inch) pot or Dutch oven, such as Le Creuset, warm the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, tossing occasionally, until the garlic has softened and is lightly browned.

Meanwhile, drain the tomatoes, place them in a food processor fitted with the steel blade, and pulse until they’re roughly chopped. With a slotted spoon, transfer the garlic to the food processor and pulse again to chop the garlic. Pour the tomato mixture into the pot with the olive oil, add the fennel, red pepper flakes, red wine, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 teaspoon black pepper. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir in the basil, taste for seasonings (it will be very spicy!), and keep warm over very low heat.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a full boil. Add 2 tablespoons kosher salt and the penne and cook according to the directions of the package.

Two minutes before the pasta is al dente, using a wire or spider strainer, lift the pasta out of the boiling water and add it to the sauce, along with 1/4 cup of the pasta water. Simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, until the pasta is al dente. Spoon the pasta into low shallow bowls, sprinkle with extra basil and Parmesan cheese, and serve hot.

Dinner, Pork

Pork Braciole

Well, while we have been sheltering in place during this Covid 19/Corona Virus outbreak, hubby has been cooking up a storm. I am not complaining, I like to cook too and have been trying some new items and satisfying the request from the kids for some old favorites- (Pancetta wrapped pork tenderloin with carmelized lemons for you know who). Eric likes to find new recipes and enjoys sharing them with us. It gives him something to do when the weather does not cooperate to work outside around the yard.

So, he found this recipe on Food Network one Saturday and Bam, it was on the table the next night. Very flavorful and easy to make. We used a Rao marinana souce to take it over the top.

Ingredients

1/2 cup breadcrumbs

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese 

2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley 

1 teaspoon lemon zest 

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt 

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes 

1/4 cup olive oil

Two 1 1/2-pound pork tenderloins, butterflied and lightly pounded 

6 slices provolone cheese 

1/2 cup dry white wine 

One 25-ounce jar marinara sauce

Directions

 In a small bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs, Parmesan, parsley, lemon zest, 1/2 teaspoon salt, red pepper flakes and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Lay the tenderloins open and flat on a board in front of you. Season each loin evenly all over with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Lay 3 slices of provolone on each loin. Divide the breadcrumb mixture over the provolone. Roll the loins back up into their original shape and tie in 4 spots with kitchen twine.

Heat a medium straight-sided skillet over medium-high heat. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil to the skillet. Sear the pork tenderloins until evenly golden brown all the way around, about 3 minutes per side. Remove to a plate to rest. Deglaze the skillet with the white wine and add the marinara sauce. Nestle the pork back in the sauce. Cover the skillet and simmer until the pork is just cooked through and registers 145 degrees F on an instead-read thermometer, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to rest uncovered for 10 minutes before slicing and serving with the sauce.

Cookies, Dessert

Ooey Gooey Butter Cookies

Yummy!

If you know me very well you know one of my favorite Paula Deen recipes is her Ooey Gooey Butter Cake. It is soooooo good especially when you heat it up. It is one of our son’s favorite dessert and a family pleaser.

Then I found a recipe for Ooey Gooey Butter Cookies. How could I go wrong. I had to make them, even if it was one week after making Paula’s recipe.

They are so good and already portion size when you make them as cookies. I think I have to make these again real soon..

Thank you to blogger I Am Baker! Great way to get my Paula Deen Fix in.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup salted butter, softened
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1-1/2 cups  granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-1/4 cups  all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, for rolling cookie dough in

How to…

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. 
  • In a large bowl using a hand-held mixer, beat butter, cream cheese and granulated sugar until blended. 
  • Add in egg and vanilla. 
  • Add in flour, baking powder, and 1/2 cup confectioners sugar. With the mixer on low, gradually beat into creamed mixture. 
  • Using a 2-tablespoon cookie scoop, scoop dough and then roll in confectioners’ sugar. Place approximately 6 dough balls on parchment paper-lined baking sheets.
  • Bake until they no longer appear wet on top, 8-11 minutes. After about 5 minutes, place on wire racks to cool.