Monday, July 27, 2009

More Freezer Meals

I had a couple of packages of Gorton's Grilled Fillets sitting in the freezer and wanted to get creative with them. I thought of making Lasagna Rolls (we have about 6 left over) but discovered that I'd already packed up all of our big pots to cook the noodles in! Whoops! SO I decided to make a sort of mac and cheese with fish instead. We had half a box of Fusilli in the pantry so I used that but any short pasta would work. I'm so glad I made this cuz it was SO easy and SO good! I even had ALL of the ingredients I needed at home! Talk about a clean-out the pantry recipe huh?


Ingredients:

8 oz dry Fusili
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
2 c whole milk
2 Gorton's Fish Fillets
3 c shredded Mozzarella cheese

Prep:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly butter a shallow baking dish. Cook fillets in the microwave according to package directions.

2. In a pot, bring water to a boil. Add salt and pasta. Cook according to package directions, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain pasta and set aside.

3. In the same pot, over medium heat, melt butter. Whisk in flour and cook 3 minutes, whisking constantly. Gradually add milk and bring just to a boil, whisking constantly. Reduce heat and simmer, whisking often, until sauce slightly thickens, 4-5 minutes.

4. Add 2 cups of cheese. Stir until cheese is melted. Remove pan from heat and fold in pasta. Pour into prepared baking dish then sprinkle top with remaining cheese.

5. Bake 15-20 minutes or until cheese is bubble and top begins to brown. Let sit 5 minutes before serving.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Cleaning Out the Freezer featuring TATER TOTS!

I had a craving for Tater Tots a while back so we had about half a bag still sitting in the freezer. I didn't really feel like moving it to our new apartment so I thought I'd use it up. I found this really easy recipe on the Oreida website using just ground beef and a can of Cream of Celery Soup so I thought I'd give it a shot. Not exactly gourmet but it was a decent dinner. I wouldn't really go out and buy a bag of Tater Tots just to make the recipe again though but I'm sure my craving will hit again soon and I'll have half a bag left over. :)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Frank's BBQ Pizza

I brought home a bottle of Frank's RedHot Buffalo Wing Sauce last weekend and right after tasting it, Greg said "This would be REALLY good on BBQ Chicken Pizza!" SO when I discovered an open bottle of BBQ Sauce in the fridge, guess what I made for dinner? This was made on another Boboli pizza crust but this time I used the regular instead of the thin. There's really not that much of a difference, actually. I also used 2 packages of Tyson Roasted Diced Chicken and added sliced mushrooms. SO good! Look at all that cheese!!!

Ingredients:

1 prebaked thin pizza crust shells
1 c BBQ sauce
1 c sliced mushrooms
2 pkg (6 oz each) diced, cooked chicken
1/2 c Frank's RedHot Buffalo Wing Sauce
2 c shredded mozzarella cheese

Prep:

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Place pizza shell on baking sheets. Spread with barbecue sauce and top with mushrooms.

2. Toss chicken with Frank's Sauce. Arrange chicken on top of pizzas. Sprinkle with cheese.

3. Bake for 15 minutes until crust is crispy and cheese melts. Cut into wedges to serve.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Saltine Meatloaf Dinner

It's Meatloaf Time again! I swear this is probably one of the best pictures I've ever taken of my meatloaves. Thanks, of course, to my new glass pan! I found a box of Saltine Crackers in the back of our pantry while packing and there was a recipe for meatloaf printed right on the box so dinner was born! I jazzed it up with some Worcestershire Sauce and Dijon Mustard. And I also tossed in some mushrooms just cuz I had them in the fridge. For the final touch, I topped the whole thing with some shredded cheese right when it came out of the oven. PERFECTION!


Ingredients:

1-1/2 lb ground beef
24 Saltine crackers, crushed to 1 cup
3/4 c ketchup
2 eggs
1 pkg (1.1 oz) onion soup mix
1/2 c sliced mushrooms
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp dijon mustard
1/2 c shredded cheddar cheese

Prep:

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Combine everything except cheese and mix well. Press into a 9x5" loaf pan.

2. Bake for 60 minutes. Top with cheese and let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Old Bay Salmon YUM YUM!

A while ago I received a small sample packet of Old Bay Seasoning and haven't had a chance to try it out. Greg's been asking for more fish so I found this recipe on their website and decided to give it a shot. YUM! It was SO quick and REALLY good! I served the salmon on top of some left over polenta from the weekend, which I pan-fried until a lil bit browned on the edges.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Inspired by Everyday Food + LAMB!

I was watching Everyday Food at the gym this morning and was totally inspired by this recipe. BUT I also had some lamb loins marinating in the fridge so I decided to substitute them for the shrimp and tomato. I had no idea it was so easy to make polenta from scratch! Now I'll never buy the storemade log ever again! The loins were just simply marinated in some olive oil, minced garlic, dried basil and dried thyme overnight. Then they were broiled for about 10 minutes and still pink inside. SO flavorful! What an incredible Saturday night feast huh? OK now back to packing!

Who Can Resist the Farmer's Market???

We finally got to check out the Farmer's Market at The Metreon and it was pretty awesome! We didn't get to try any of the food there since we already had lunch beforehand but we sure got some samples of the sweet peaches and couldn't resist buying some (well a dozen to be exact)! Now I know why people end up spending so much money at the farmer's market cuz everything tastes SO good and you just can't say "NO!" We also tried a lot of different mustards from another stand and ended up getting 4 different jars. Our favorite was definitely the Curry Mustard! SO good on just about anything! ANYWAY since we now had an abundance of peaches, I decided to bake muffins! SO good! You can seriously taste how juicy and fresh these peaches were in every bite!


Ingredients: (12 muffins)

1-1/2 c all-purpose flour
1/2 c sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c butter melted
1/4 c milk
1 egg
2 medium peaches peeled, diced

Prep:

1. Preheat oven to 400F. Line 12 muffin cups liners.

2. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk together butter, milk, and egg in a separate bowl. Stir milk/egg mixture into the flour mixture and blend just until moistened. Fold in diced peaches.

3. Spoon into muffin cups. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from pan.

Done with my WAFERS!

I had about 10 Vanilla Wafers from making the Tiramisu Cake for my mommy's birthday and since I'm in Clean-Out Pantry Mode, I decided to be creative with them. (Can't waste snackies!) I found this recipe from the Kraft website and decided to give it a shot. I didn't have Bourbon so I substituted carbonated cranberry soda and it turned out SO moist and yummy! I'm definitely happy I didn't toss my Wafers!

Ingredients:

20 Vanilla Wafers (wannabe Nilla), coarsely chopped (about 1 cup)
1 c flour
1 c raisins
1/2 c chopped pecans
1/2 c (1 stick) margarine or butter, softened
1 c granulated sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 c carbonated cranberry juice

Prep:

1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Combine chopped wafers, flour, baking powder, raisins and pecans; set aside.

2. Beat margarine and granulated sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add cranberry juice. Gently stir in reserved wafer mixture.

3. Spread into greased loag pan. Bake 1 hour 15 min or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack 20 min. Remove from pan; cool completely on wire rack.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Who Knew You Could Make Muffins From Pancake Mix?

It was Cookie Friday but unfortunately I completely ran out of flour and forgot to replace it! So what does a resourceful baker do at a time like this? Use PANCAKE MIX of course! (Well, actually Google first and THEN use pancake mix.) I've also been trying to use up this box before we move so it was perfect! I found this recipe from the Krusteaz website and added my own touch. After filling the muffin pan with the mix, I dropped about a tablespoon of Apricot Jam into the middle. It's like a yummy surprise when you bite into the muffins. SO good!

Comfort Food in the Summer cuz it's COLD in SF!

It may be 100 degrees everywhere else but it is COLD in San Francisco! What is UP with that? I guess I can't complain too much since I don't exactly like the heat either but can we at least get over 65 degrees? Since it was cold, I decided to make some comfort food. This was a wonderful Beefy Mexican Rice concoction that I cooked up using things I had in the pantry. It's great as an entree, dip or even burrito filling as Greg found! :)


Ingredients:

3 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 red onion, chopped
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes (I used the kind with green peppers in it)
1 lb ground beef
1 c long-grain rice
2 water
1 tsp paprika
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp garlic salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 c shredded Mexican cheese blend
Tortilla chips and more cheese for serving

Prep:

1. In medium stock pot over medium heat, add oil and onions; saute until translucent. Add the ground beef and cook until meat is browned.

2. Add rice to mixture and cook over low heat for 3 minutes, coating rice with the oils from the pan. Add tomatoes, water and seasonings, bring to a simmer, then cover and cook on low for 20 minutes.

3. Stir in cheese and garnish with chips.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Lovin Me Some Humbles!

I found a new snack from Walgreen's and LOVE it! They're Humbles! They're made from hummus (which I can't seem to get enough of) and tastes REALLY good! The flavor I tried was Feta and Olive Oil but they also come in 2 other flavors and I CANNOT wait to try the Roasted Red Pepper ones. Nutritionally, they're pretty much exactly like Soy Chips or Pop Chips, which I also can't seem to get enough of. These are a good switch up though and they're definitely now part of my snack rotation.

UPDATE: The Roasted Red Pepper ones are REALLY good too!



Sunday, July 12, 2009

It's Fajita Time AGAIN!

Yes we just LOVE making Fajitas at home using TJ ingredients! We LOVE LOVE LOVE all their marinated meats and you really can't get any easier than heat in grill pan and cut into strips! This is the 3rd time we've made these TJ Fajitas now and I swear they taste better every time! Of course, you've GOT to have some grilled veggies on the side too and you really can't beat the prices at TJ either. $1 onions and red bell peppers? Hello $6 Fajitas that are WAY better than Chevy's! (AND cheaper Margaritas too!)

Friday, July 10, 2009

CHEESY Sausage Lasagna Rolls

I had some sausage and pizza sauce left over from making my Boboli Pizza so I decided to make lasagna rolls. (I also had 6 lasagna noodles left in the box for some reason and I'm still in Clean-Out The Pantry mode for the next 2 weeks!) I LOVE making lasagna rolls cuz they're so much fun and always come out looking great! Instead of the traditional Ricotta cheese, I used cream cheese instead cuz that's what I had in the fridge and it was YUM YUM!

Ingredients:

6 lasagna noodles
3 links (12 oz) fresh Italian sausage
1 c pizza sauce
8 oz cream cheese
1/2 c shredded Mozzarella cheese
1/2 c shredded Parmesan cheese

Prep:

1. Preheat oven to at 400°F. Cook noodles according to package directions until al dente.

2. Meanwhile, remove casings and crumble sausage into a medium sauce pan. Cook over medium heat until no longer pink, breaking the meat up with a wooden spoon. Transfer meat to a mixing bowl and add cream cheese. Stir until combined and creamy.

3. Drain noodles. Spread meat sauce over half of each noodle. Carefully roll up noodles and place seam side down in an 8-in square baking dish. Top with sauce and Mozzarella.

4. Bake, uncovered, for 10-15 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top just before serving.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

PIZZA PIZZA: First Time with Boboli

Can you believe I've never tried Boboli pizza crust before? I guess I've always just picked up the Trader Joe's kind. BUT since I had some mushrooms left over in the fridge and decided to make pizza at the last minute, I had to get something quick from Safeway. Greg is NOT a fan of the Pillsbury crust so I tried the Boboli instead. This is the Thin Crust and it turned out REALLY good! It also only requires 10 minutes of baking time, which is a total bonus on a busy weeknight when I have to bake cookies at the same time! This yummy pizza has a thick layer of Trader Joe's pizza sauce, pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms, and topped with LOTS of Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. OMG WAY better than Pizza Hut delivery if I do say so myself.

Cookie Carnival: Giada's Lemon Ricotta Cookies AGAIN!

It's Cookie Carnival time again and we decided to make Giada's Lemon Ricotta Cookies. I've made these before and they were a total hit! This time I baked them according to the recipe directions (15 min) so they came out even softer.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Tis the Season for Mangos!

When I think of Mangos, I think tropical, so summer seems like the prefect season to bake Mango Bread! I found this recipe from the Taste of Home website and decided to give it a go. I was also excited to test out my new glass loaf pan! I decided to switch out all of our non-stick pans after reading about the carcinogen and chemicals used in them. Who needs all that??? These glass pans are also much prettier and you can see all the layers from the side. I can't wait to test out my lasagna pan! :)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

More Clean-Out the Pantry: Mexican Lasagna

In an effort to clean out more of the pantry, I came up with this wonderful Mexican feast! It was so easy and just PERFECT! Layered tortillas with meat and CHEESE? What could possibly be better? I find that all you really need is sour cream on top but feel free to add guac or anything else you'd add to tacos or burritos and it would be YUMMY!


Ingredients:

1 lb ground beef
1 c picante sauce

1 c salsa
1 can (16 oz) refried beans
1 envelope taco seasoning
1 c ricota cheese

4 flour tortillas (10 inches)
2 c shredded Mexican cheese



Prep:

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. In a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in salsa , beans, and taco seasoning; heat through.

2. Spread sauce in a greased 13×9-in baking dish. Layer with 2 tortillas, half of the meat mixture and Ricotta cheese.

3. Top with remaining 2 tortillas and meat mixture. Bake for 30 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake 10-15 minutes more or until cheese is melted. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with sour cream, olives, guacamole and tomatoes if desired.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Mixed Fruit Muffins

I'm being REALLY creative here with my pantry items now and these muffins turned out pretty good. I've made Delmonte Peach Muffins before and the Mixed Fruit tastes very similar. I like the variety from the pear and pineapple chunks. I also added some chopped Macadamia nuts for some tropical flair. These muffins taste very light and great now that the weather is getting warmer (well, sort of for SF!). See...cleaning out the pantry can be FUN! :)



Ingredients: (12 muffins)

1 c quick cooking oats
1 c milk
1/3 c brown sugar
1/2 c butter, melted
2 eggs
1-1/3 c all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1-1/2 c or 3 (4 oz) Delmonte Mixed Fruit cans, well drained
1/2 c chopped Macadamia nuts

Prep:

1. Preheat oven to 400F. Grease or line 12 muffin cups.

2. In a large bowl, mix together oats, milk, brown sugar butter and eggs. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking soda and baking powder. Stir flour mixture into eggs mixture, just until moistened. Fold in fruit and nuts. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.

3. Bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.


Saturday, July 4, 2009

Special Dinner for My New FIANCÉ!

Yes you read that correctly...I said Fiancé or as I would like to call him...my Future Hubby (FH)! We got engaged on Friday in Napa after a LONG congested drive up. We went wine tasting at Round Pond and then drove around Lake Hennessey. It was SO romantic and I was totally surprised! I guess you can still get teary-eyed even after 4 and a half years when you finally hear those words.

Anyway, I wanted to make something romantic and gourmet to celebrate our engagement so I bought some HUGE scallops and served them over mushroom risotto. It was such an elegant dish but really simple to make. The scallops were just lightly breaded with seasoned Panko and then pan-fried. Below is the recipe for the mushroom risotto, which was really a lot easier than I thought. The entire meal maybe took about 30 minutes to make and SO totally worth it. I know my FH was impressed! :)

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 c sliced mushrooms
1/3 c chopped onion
1 c rice uncooked
1-1/2 c chicken broth
1/2 c milk
1 c parmesan cheese

Prep:

1. Heat oil in saucepan on medium heat. Add mushrooms and onion. Cook and stir 5 minutes or until tender.

2. Stir in rice, water and broth. Bring to boil; cover. Reduce heat to low and add milk. Simmer 20 minutes or until rice is tender.

3. Stir in cheese right before serving.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Operation Pantry Clean-Out

We're moving! Yes, after almost 2 years of living right across from work and loving the commute, we're finally sick of our HOT and LOUD apartment in the financial district. It's always unbearably hot (even the water!) so we always have to keep the windows open meaning that we hear ALL the street noises ALL night long! Does it sound like I'm complaining here? ANYWAY, so we're moving to SOMA into a REALLY nice apartment complex with an extra bedroom AND an extra bathroom. WOOHOO! I'm so excited and cannot WAIT until Aug 1! Of course, I'm NOT looking forward to packing but hey, you gotta do what you gotta do! It'll be perfect though. *sigh

So yes, back to the dish. It's my version of a Clean-Out the Pantry Meal using some canned tuna and left-over Cannelloni rolls. SO simple and SO yummy! It's kinda like Tuna Lasagna Rolls with the Ricotta Cheese but BETTER and less messy!



Ingredients:

1/2 medium onion, chopped
2 Tbsp butter
2 cans (6 oz each) tuna, drained and flaked
1 can (10-3/4 oz) condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp pepper
9 Cannelloni rolls, cooked al dente and drained
1 c (8 oz) Ricotta Cheese
1/2 c mozzarella cheese
1/4 c grated Parmesan cheese

Prep:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large saucepan, sautĂ© onion in butter until tender. Stir together the tuna, soup, milk, garlic salt, oregano, pepper and Ricotta until combined.

2. Stuff noodles with tuna mixture and place them in a greased baking pan. Top with soup and sprinkle with mozzarealla and parmesan cheese.

3. Bake, uncovered, for 25-30 minutes or until bubbly. Let stand for 10-15 minutes before serving.
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