Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Baked Tortellini

This is a recipe that I make from time to time. It doesn't take a lot of prep and it is a whole lot better than throwing plain noodles on a plate with boring sauce.

Baked Tortellini
Serves: 4-6

1. Get some water boiling on the stove and preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. Mince up about a stick to a stick and a half of pepperoni (about 4 ounces), a handful of onion, and a handful of red & green peppers. I didn't really measure (see picture).
3. When water is boiling, cook a +/- 19 ounce bag of frozen cheese tortellini according to the directions (about 3 minutes). Drain the pasta when done but.....
4. Put the same pot back on the hot burner and toss in the onion, peppers, pepperoni and add a clove or more of minced garlic. Cook for a couple minutes to soften up the veggies.
5. Still in the same pot, dump the pasta back in and pour in 3/4 of a jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce (We like Prego roasted red pepper & garlic). Then stir in a big handful of shredded mozzarella or italian cheese blend.
6. Dump the mixture into a 9x9 baking pan. Pour the remaining sauce over top and cover generously with more shredded cheese. Sprinkle some pinches of italian seasoning over top.
7. Bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes. Don't forget to pop in your favorite garlic bread!
8. Make sure you let this cool for a couple minutes otherwise you will have a sloppy hot mess when you try and serve it. Or the lava hot sauce will burn your mouth!!!! =)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Garlic Cheese Dip

Well we needed something to go with the awesome pretzel crackers that Matt's mom brought over, so I whipped this up. It was pretty good!

Garlic Cheese Dip
Serves: A family

1. In a medium bowl, mix together:
-1 block softened cream cheese (regular, light, or fat free)
-1 packet Good Seasonings Salad Dressing mix in the Garlic Cheese flavor (similar to this, usually found by the croutons at the store)
-3-4 Tablespoons of tomato sauce (this is not spaghetti sauce!)
-1 Tablespoon (or more) dried italian seasonings

2. Serve with pretzels, crackers, probably even veggies. Make sure to keep it cool.

Grilling Madness!

Alright so I know I haven't updated in awhile but I am coming back in style! Matt's parents, sister, and her husband all came down to our house to go to a Tiger's game on Saturday. We knew we didn't want a huge meal, but still wanted to grill and have some snacks. This is what I came up with (below). Then served it with a boxed pasta salad (our favorite.... Betty Crocker Suddenly Salad in "classic" flavor). It was delicious and easy. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. (By the way, the Tiger's won 5 to 3)

Grilling Tip

Exhibit A

Ok I have no idea who ever invented the "let's put everything alternating on one skewer because it looks pretty".... but they are an idiot. I am sure many of you know this already but it is much better to group your foods (veggies, potatoes, meats) on seperate skewers so that you can ensure everything cooks properly and isn't under or overdone. Yes it is possible that some meats (like shrimp) will grill at the same rate as some veggies, but it is much easier to cook it all seperately. Avoid the temptation of the beautiful alternating skewers!! Save yourself...!!!!!!

Chicken Skewers

Mmm I love chicken on the grill! This is just from stuff I always have laying around the house. This is marinated, so plan ahead!
Chicken Skewers
Serves: 4

1. In a large ziploc bag, dump about 1/3 bottle of your favorite italian dressing, about 1/4 cup of soy sauce, about 1/4 cup of worcestershire sauce (yes more soy sauce), 1 clove minced garlic, and about 6 dashes of cayenne pepper (or more if you are like me).
2. Toss in 4 thinly sliced chicken breasts cut into about 4 pieces each. It is ok if they seem large, they will be folded over on the skewer... I am lazy and I like the Tyson 'trimmed and ready' chicken. Marinate for a couple of hours. It is not a good idea to do it for a long time because the chicken is thin and will actually start to 'cook' in the marinade and will make it kinda tough. So this isn't an overnighter.
3. Take a hunk of chicken and fold in half and place on the skewer. Repeat as necessary with gaps for proper cooking.
4. Grill on a 350 degree/ medium heat grill for about 8 minutes. Yay chicken!

Potato Skewers

How can any meal be complete without potatoes!? This was pretty easy and they turned out great! Another recipe I just made up. I marinated these, so plan ahead before you grill.

Potato Skewers
Serves: 4-6

1. Wash and cut in half (or quarter if they are larger) about 10 small (about golf ball sized) redskin potatoes.

2. In a large ziploc bag, pour in a couple tablespoons of vegetable oil, a tablespoon of white vinegar, a palmful of dried dill weed, a half palmful of dried thyme, and some salt and pepper. Toss in the potatos and marinate for a couple hours before grilling.

3. Remove from the bag and place on skewers with a little gap in between.

4. Grill on a 350 degree/ medium heat grill for about 15 minutes. Mmmm potatoes.

Veggie Skewers

This isn't really a recipe but I guess I will include it.

Veggie Skewers
Serves: 4-6

1. Wash a red pepper and green pepper and cut into 1"x1" hunks.

2. Cut a vidalia onion into hunks, I try and leave the layers together for easier and more stable skewering.

3. Place on skewers with gaps in between for proper cooking.

4. Drizzle with olive oil, salt & pepper to taste.

5. Grill on a 350 degree/ medium heat grill for about 8-10 minutes.

Grilled Apple Pie

Ok so this isn't really pie... but it is an easy dessert or side dish when you are grilling! I made this up while the other stuff was grilling and it was delicious.... just like apple pie filling, my fave.

Grilled Apple Pie
Serves: 4

1. Wash a large granny smith apple and cut into 8 slices. Then cut each slice into 3 pieces so you get nice bite sized hunks. Skin stays on!

2. In a small bowl, melt about 2 tablespoons of butter. In another small bowl, mix about 3 tablespoons of light brown sugar, 1 tablespoon white sugar, and a few dashes of nutmeg. Coat each hunk of apple in the butter then into the sugar mixture.

3. Place hunks of apple on skewers. Sprinkle with cinnamon (to taste... I like lots).
4. Grill on the upper rack of a 350 degree/ medium heat grill for about 6 minutes. Enjoy.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Slows BBQ Detroit

Ok so I have been extremely busy and had my sister in town and many parties to go to last week and this week so I will have nothing to blog about. Then the fabulous Monica (my big fat mediterranean food blog) suggested restaurant reviews!!!

So apparently many people knew about this place and neglected to tell me. Slows in Detroit (by old Tiger Stadium) is amazing. The food was great and reasonably priced, the service excellent, the atmosphere really cool... but there is a long line out the door! Matt had the pulled pork, cornbread and mac&cheese... I am not much of a meat eater and had the Charles Bronson salad and mac&cheese. All of it was amazing, super filling, and we had leftovers!

Rules for going to Slows:
1. Expect to wait in line unless you can sit at the very nice bar.
2. Check out the bathrooms (because they are cool)
3. Get the mac & cheese... seriously.
4. Recommend it to a friend.

So overall score: 10!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Use It Up Pizza

This is one of those things that I make when I don't feel like cooking something difficult and I have a bunch of odds & ends in my fridge. These ingredients are staples in our house.

Use It Up Pizza
Serves: 2

You Need:
1 package crescent rolls (garlic flavor work great too!)
6-7 deli slices of ham, diced
6-7 deli slices of turkey, diced
Diced red pepper
Diced green pepper
Diced red onion
Shredded Colby Jack Cheese
Veggie cream cheese (softened)
Italian dressing

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (or whatever it says on a crescent roll package.
2. On a baking sheet, roll out the crescent rolls into a rectangle and press the seams together.
3. Take about 3 tablespoons of veggie cream cheese and spread it thinly onto the rolls. Drizzle a little italian dressing around and spread it out.
4. Top with handfuls of shredded cheese, the meats, and the peppers.
5. Pop into the oven for about 8 minutes. Remove and top with the red onions. Put back in the oven for another 3-5 minutes until golden brown.
6. Cut into 6 slices and serve. Yummy and quick!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Thank you!

Well for a little while I was losing faith that anyone was even reading this thing.... but now several people have contacted me to say thank you for the recipe. It totally makes my day and I am very flattered that not only are you reading this, you are "borrowing" a recipe and enjoying it!

Woo hoo! Lovestonom is a success! I will try to keep it up. It is too darn hot in my kitchen to cook (no A/C) so I will do my best.

Thanks for reading =)

Friday, August 1, 2008

Hot Mess Chicken

Sorry, I got a little fancy with this one. But almost all of the things in this recipe I have around the house (besides the basil). It is a a little messy to put together and the pan is a little messy when you are done... but it is worth it! I served it with some Green Giant Shopeg White Corn in Butter Sauce (frozen) and some blueberries and grapes.

Hot Mess Chicken
Serves: However many you can fit on the pan

-Large skinless boneless chicken breast
-Thick sliced bacon
-Red Onion
-Fresh Leaf Basil
-Small can petite diced tomatoes
-Provolone Cheese

1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Yup.
2. Get a baking sheet that has edges and line it with foil (easier clean up!). Then take a rack from your toaster oven and put that on top of the foil so there is a gap. Or if you wanna be all 'top chef'... just use a broiler pan =)
3. Take a chicken breast and put it between some plastic wrap and pound it with a meat mallet. Or a big can of beans will work! Not too thin... maybe like an even half inch. Or if you wanna get crazy and skip the next step... pound it out into a really big flat piece that is about a quarter inch thick.
4. If you stuck with the half inch option, take a knife and slit the chicken open (parallel with the countertop) and open it like a book. Don't cut it all the way open.
5. Lay in some provolone, a handful of diced red onion, a couple spoonfuls of tomato, and a few leaves of basil.
6. Fold up the chicken. Now lay out 3-4 slices of thick sliced bacon and put the chicken in the middle. Wrap the ends of bacon up over the chicken and overlap them. Secure with a toothpick. Try and cover most of the open seam to keep the goodies in.
7. Place on the rack or broiler pan. I like to pour some italian dressing all over it, but that's up to you. Put in the oven for about 30-35 minutes. The bacon should be pretty crisped and the chicken cooked thru. Yummm.


Now these make a regular appearance at our house! So easy and suprisingly super yummy! I usually serve these with a side of fries or in this case Schwan's Quik tater rounds (tater tots). Do not skip the pickles on this one.... they make the sandwich!

Serves: 1 sammich per person, ingredients are for 1 portion

-Super sub bun (I like Aunt Millie's)
-3 slices deli turkey lunch meat
-3 slices deli ham lunch meat
-1 1/2 slices provolone
-3-4 dill pickle slices (I like Vlasic Pickle Ovals!)
-Yellow Mustard
-Italian dressing
-Olive Oil

1. Preheat a skillet to medium heat (whatever you would do grilled cheese on).
2. In a small bowl, mix about a tablespoon of mayo with about a tablespoon and a half of italian dressing. Open up a sub bun and slather the mixture on both sides. Add slices of meat, cheese, pickles, and mustard.
3. Close up bun and take a brush or paper towel and brush one side of the bun with olive oil.
4. Put sammich oil side down on the skillet. Brush the other side with oil. Take a heavy metal pan and put on top of the sammich and press down to flatten. Leave the pan there on top (like a grill press). Or buy one of these.
5. Cook for about 3-4 minutes each side. When you flip it, do the same thing with pressing the pan. It will flatten the sammich some and make it nice and crispy. Tada!