Friday, February 17, 2012

Turkey Cranberry Panini Sandwich

Tricks for a successful sandwich include:

1.  Preheat your meat.  Do this by warming it up in a saute pan or microwaving it for a few minutes.

2.  Use cheese on both sides of the sandwich.  This does two things: makes it yummy but also holds your sandwich together so the insides do not slip out.

3.  Use good bread.  We love all multi-grain pieces of bread, dark slices of bread and especially a homemade rustic loaf.

4.  Experiment.  Try new things.  It's fun to be the sandwich king once in a while.

Recipe:  Turkey Cranberry Panini

Layer your sandwich in this order:

honey mustard
green onion
cranberry sauce
honey mustard

Butter both sides and press it baby!

TA-DA…you're done.  Now go be the sandwich king and impress your family!

Meatball Sandwich

Recipe:  Meat-Veggieball Sandwich

(6-8 sandwiches, depending on how many meatballs are used per sandwich)

Preheat oven to 400

1 pound of ground beef/pork or a combination of both
2 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 finely chopped kale
1/3 cup shredded carrots
1/4 cup of diced onion
2 eggs
1/2 tsp of oregano
1/4 tsp of pepper
1/2 tsp of salt

3 cups of your favorite tomato-based sauce- store-bought or made from scratch
Kaiser Buns
Mozzarella or Provolone Cheese

1.  Combine all of the ingredients into a large bowl.

2.   Using a cookie scoop or your hand, create your meatballs and put them onto a cookie sheet or casserole pan.  Use something with a lip to keep the juices from running all over your oven.

3.  Bake meatballs at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.  Remove meatballs from pan and put into a large saute pan.  Add your sauce and simmer for 15 minutes.  While meatballs are simmering in sauce, prepare your buns.  Turn you oven to broil, lay cheese on each opened Kaiser roll and broil until cheese is bubbly and melted.  Remove from oven.

 4.  Serve meatballs on sandwiches or have your guest build their own.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Cheesy Sausage Cups

Wonton wrappers are such an easy way of making appetizers or quick finger foods for dinner.  This past week has been a busy week for our family and I needed to make some things that we could eat and run or grab and go.

With Super Bowl just ending, a lot of people were posting wonton recipes and ideas.  I never clicked through to those recipes because I figured when I decided to make them I would use what I had on hand.

The ingredients, I believe, can definitely be altered based on what you have on hand or what you and your family enjoy.  Now that I have made these, I can think of so many ways of changing the filling and creating tons of new "cups".  Like: taco filling, pizza filling, veggie's, just cheese, etc….see, the list could fill this whole page.

I tried using two different pans.  I used the larger cupcake pan and my small mini muffin tin.  They both worked great.  I noticed with the mini muffin tin, the wonton was more exposed to the heat and this created crispier edges.  The cupcake pan was a larger size (see picture above in my hand) and this would be great for heartier cups or bigger portions.  The wonton wrapper was not altered in either case.

Recipe:  Cheesy Sausage Cups

30-35 wonton wrappers…it depends on how much filling you use and the size
1 lb. of pork sausage, cooked
1/3 cup of green onion, diced
1/3 cup of bell pepper, diced
1 tsp minced garlic
3/4 block of cream cheese
1-1.5 cups of jack cheese, grated
salt and pepper to taste

Let the wonton wrappers sit out and get to room temperature before you start.  They will mold better and not break.

Preheat oven to 400.

Fry up your sausage and add the garlic, bell pepper, and onion.  Cook until bell pepper and onion are soft, 3-5 minutes.

Cube the cream cheese and add to the sausage mixture.  The cream cheese will melt and blend into the mix.  Add your salt and pepper.

At this time you can remove from the heat and start shaping your cups.  The wonton wrappers will need to be tucked a few times in order for them to fit in your desired pan.

The larger cups I put cheese in the bottom and then the filling and topped them with more cheese…really good!  The smaller cups I went ahead and mixed in the cheese and used a cookie scoop to add the filling to the smaller cups.  Still good but not as cheesy.

Bake for 15-20 minutes.  You want to keep an eye on them so that the edges do not burn.  I microwaved a few the next day and they were really good…still crispy edges.

NOTE:  I sprayed one batch with cooking spray and one without.  I did not notice a difference.  They cooked the same for me.  I also did not precook the wonton wrappers.  I tried this with a few and again, it did not make a difference and they turned out crispy and held their shape.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Asparagus Parmesan Soup

It's no secret that we love soup.  I have been making this easy and quick soup for a few years now.  I have tried substituting broccoli instead of asparagus and it does not work, in my opinion.  I keep thinking I want to try carrots, cauliflower or zucchini…one of these days I will give it a try.

A couple of things to note when making this recipe.  If you are going to use a blender, REMEMBER that you never close the lid on a hot liquid.  It will explode and this can be very dangerous.  I usually set my blender speed to low, fill the container about 1/3 full and put a towel over the top…just in case.  Once the liquid has become smooth and creamy, then I increase the speed to high for a few seconds.  This soup will need to be blended in batches. I don't want anyone burned.

This soup is wonderful when served with warm bread.

Recipe:  Asparagus Parmesan Soup

2 bundles of asparagus
2 cups of chicken broth
salt to taste
dash of pepper
1/4 tsp. of garlic powder
1/4 tsp. of onion powder
1/2 cup of cream
1/2 cup of Parmesan Cheese, grated

Steam your asparagus using whatever method you prefer: stovetop or microwave.  In a blender, add a small amount of soft asparagus and chicken broth.  Blend until smooth.  This may take 2 or 3 batches.

Add the blended soup to a medium-sized pot. Add your spices: salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder.  Taste and add more spices depending on your taste buds.

Warm your soup to very hot,  but not boiling.  Add the grated parmesan cheese and stir until cheese is melted.  Add your cream and stir.  Again, bring soup to a temperature of hot (steaming) but not boiling.

Serve immediately.  Store leftovers in the fridge and rewarm to eat again…we don't usually have leftovers.

UPDATE:  3-5-2013--I made this today and did not have chicken broth so I used 2 cups of the water that I used to cook my asparagus.  Instead of steaming them I added them to a microwave-safe bowl with 2 cups of water and cooked for 8 minutes.  I slowly added the hot asparagus water to the blender.  It did require a bit more salt than the original, just taste and add as necessary.

Donut Breakfast Casserole

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