Monday, December 21, 2009

Holiday Vacation

I'll be back in the New Year with lots of great ideas...but right now I am too busy making things for Christmas to actually be cooking.  ; )
We are eating cereal, grilled cheese sandwiches, and spaghetti for the whole week!

See you on January 4th!
Have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas Treats...and Christmas pounds!

THIS is why I must go to the gym EVERY day:

What isn't on this popcorn??  Everything yummy (and fattening) that you can think of has been poured on this popcorn!  Caramel, marshmallows, chocolate, white chocolate....SO yummy!


These are peanut butter balls dipped in chocolate...yum.

These two treats were given to me from my gym friends.  I believe it is payback for the mint fudge and apple pie slices I  brought them last week! 

When I picked up my kids at the day care, they of course wanted some popcorn "RIGHT NOW" as I'm walking out of the gym, nibbling on my own chunk of popcorn, a guy walks by me (on his way into the gym) and says, "Eating already??"   I assured him that I would be back tomorrow morning at 5 am to work it all off.  And I will be, because after eating both of these today, there is just no other choice!

And not to be left out, my 3rd gym friend gave me this:

She is so hilarious.  She said she HAD to buy it for me...I'm VERY into recycling if you didn't know...actually, my whole family sings this song we learned at the Monterey Bay Aquarium this summer about "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle"...they love it, and I love that my kids are learning to care for the earth.

Hope you are all having a wonderful Christmas season!  I am pretty behind on my projects, so there's going to be some late nights between now and the 25th!!

P.S.   Here's a couple easy and cute projects I've done so far:
Crayon Roll  (I made these for some nephews and my little ones) and
Journal Covers (I made these for my book club--picture is posted here)  I covered composition books which required changing the measurements from the tutorial.  I loved how these turned cute!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Vegetable Tetrazzini

{Meatless Monday}...on Wednesday! ; )

This is a recipe that I got from my sister that was for Chicken Tetrazinni, but I just took out the chicken and added mushrooms.

It's really easy and comes together very quickly.
Here's what you need:

1 small onion, chopped
2-3 small zuchinni, halved and sliced
4-6 large mushrooms, sliced

Saute in skillet with olive oil and salt and pepper until tender

12 oz. spaghetti

2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 cup milk
1/2 c. parmesan cheese
1/2 c. sour cream
1 tsp. seasoned salt
Garlic powder, if desired.

This is the order I do it:
Put the water on to boil.  Slice up vegetables and get them saute-ing in the skillet.  Put in spaghetti noodles to boiling water.  While both of those cook, mix together the sauce.  Here's what you end up with:

When your noodles are done, drain them and then combine with vegetables and sauce (I had to do this in a very large plastic bowl!) and then put in 9X13 and top with a little more parmesan cheese.

Bake at 375* for 25 minutes covered with foil, remove foil and cook for 5 more minutes.  Enjoy!

If you wanted the sauce to be a little more cheesy, you could add 1 cup grated cheddar cheese to the soup mix.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Vegetable Pizza

{Meatless Monday}

This has to be a super quick post...because I still have to finish making 4 more of these composition book covers tonight:

I am up to my earlobes in Christmas I'm really not cooking very much for my family.  But I thought I would put up the quick and easy recipe I made tonight.
When I am low on time, I just make a vegetable pizza with whatever cheese and veggies I happen to have in my fridge.  Tonight we had cheddar, mozzarella, and parmesan with olives, onions, and green peppers (wish we had mushrooms, too!).  I always just use Ragu spaghetti sauce for my sauce.  I didn't even have time to get a before picture, but this is what it looked like after it came out of the oven:

I use this pizza crust is so easy and it always turns out!

So the next time you are running late, just raid your vegetable drawer and see what you come up with!

(I don't know if you can tell in the picture, but I only put the onions and peppers on half...I don't want to mislead anyone into thinking that ALL of my kids eat ALL of the vegetables I cook with! ; )

Monday, November 30, 2009

Penne with Broccoli

{Meatless Monday}

This is another recipe from Martha Stewart Everyday Food.  I was starting to throw it together when I noticed that it was under the heading of "Cooking for One"...oops, definitely not going to work for all 7 of us!  So I quickly made some alterations and it turned out surprisingly well.

Here's what you need:

12 oz. penne or other short pasta
1 bunch broccoli, cut into small florets
1-2 T olive oil
1 medium red onion, cut into thin slivers (I had to use some regular onion--I only had 1/2 of a red onion)  I wish I would have added MORE onion...they were the yummiest thing!
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup ricotta cheese, room temperature
(I flavored mine with salt, pepper, italian seasoning, and garlic because my husband doesn't care for the bland flavor of ricotta...and I was really happy with how it turned out!)

Boil pasta according to directions.  Add broccoli for last 2 minutes of boiling.  Drain, but reserve 1/2 cup pasta water.
In pot or large skillet, heat oil and add onion and garlic.  Cook until onions are carmelized...dark brown and well cooked.  The recipe said to only saute them for a few minutes...but I think the onions get so flavorful when they are carmelized with olive oil and salt and pepper.
Add pasta water and stir to loosen any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.

Add  pasta and broccoli, and heat through, 5-7 minutes.

Divide into bowls and top with about 2 T ricotta cheese.

The flavored ricotta was really good when I mixed it all through my own bowl.  I really enjoyed the subtle, lighter flavors of this.  We seem to always have pasta with very strong flavored spaghetti or alfredo sauce, and I really enjoyed this for a change.

This was super quick to make and I really enjoyed it.  I served it with this bread (AGAIN)--straight out of the oven.  YUM!! There is nothing like fresh, hot bread to make a meal!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Goat Cheese and Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta

{Meatless Monday}

Another Martha Stewart Everyday Food recipe...I really love this publication.  I NEVER, and I mean NEVER cooked anything out of the Martha Stewart was always so complicated and called for things I had never heard of.  But these are simple and easy and (most of the time) fairly quick.

Before I post the recipe, I have to say that I am the Queen of substitutions...but only because I am the Queen of Forgetfulness!!  Somehow I always seem to forget at least one ingredient for every recipe I plan to make.  (Just ask my neighbors!!  I am actually thrilled when a neighbor calls me to borrow something, because I am ALWAYS calling them! ; )

I actually substituted 2 ingredients in this because I forgot to buy it, and one because I didn't want to pay for actual goat cheese (Chevre), so I opted for the cheaper Feta Cheese.

Here's what you will need:

salt and ground pepper
12 oz rigatoni or penne pasta
1 cup sun-dried tomatoes, thinly sliced (It actually specifies NOT packed in oil, but that's all I could find)
1/4 cup slivered almonds (I had to substitute walnuts)
1 T olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
5 oz. soft goat cheese, more for topping
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley or 2 T dried parsley

Cook pasta according to directions, but add sun-dried tomatoes for last 3 minutes of boiling.  Remove 2 cups pasta water to reserve for later.  Drain remaining liquid and return to pot.

Meanwhile, heat a small skillet and toast almonds 2-4 minutes until lightly browned.  Set aside.

In skillet, heat oil, garlic, and pepper flakes.  Cook for just one minute.  Remove from heat.

Add garlic mixture, reserved pasta water, and crumbled cheese into the pasta pot.  Stir to combine.  Season with salt and pepper.  Serve and top with almonds and additional cheese.

The flavor was really good..even though I cooked the walnuts well past "toasted"!   My husband's only complaint (I asked him what he thought of it, if he liked the flavor, if I should make it again) was that the pasta was overcooked. (Oops...seriously, I need to try to just do one thing at a time when all my kids are home.  Nothing turns out well when I'm trying to do to much! ; )  I completely forgot to set a timer for the noodles and so I just guessed.  And I guess I guessed wrong! 

We had this with the homemade wheat bread I've been making easy and really good.  If you haven't tried it, you should!!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Baked Ravioli and Wheat Bread

 {Meatless Monday}

Another yummy recipe from Martha Stewart Everday Food!  We all loved it and it was really easy to put together.  I just wish I could find frozen ravioli for a little bit cheaper...or I could learn how to make them, but seriously, when would I ever find time for that?

The recipe also says that you could use 1 pound spaghetti instead of the ravioli, which would be so much cheaper, but definitely not as delicious!

So, I COMPLETELY forgot to take a photo of all the ingredients before I started cooking, but here's what you'll need:

2 T olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
salt and ground pepper
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano and thyme (I used 3/4 tsp of each)
1 can (28 oz) whole tomatoes
1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes (I used 1 quart of my own canned tomatoes instead of these 2 cans)
2 pounds store-bought ravioli
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup grated Parmesan

I also added 1/2 cup spaghetti sauce and 1/4 cup ricotta cheese (just to make it a little creamier).

Preheat oven to 425*.  Saute onions and garlic in olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Add thyme/oregano and tomatoes.  Bring to boil, reduce heat, and simmer, breaking up tomatoes with spoon.  Simmer for 15-20 minutes.
Cook ravioli just until they float to the top. (Pasta will cook more in oven). Drain pasta and return to pot.  Toss sauce with pasta.  Pour into large baking dish and sprinkle with cheeses. (I actually mixed a little bit of the mozzarella in with the sauce.)

Bake until golden, 20-25 minutes.


I also made this DELICIOUS and SO EASY!!! Whole Wheat Bread to go with it!


You really should try this bread!  It is the quickest bread recipe I've ever made!

Easy Whole Wheat Bread

3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/3 c. gluten flour
1 1/4 T. yeast
Mix together.....and add:

2 1/2 cups hot water (not scalding...just barely "hot")

Stir and then cover and let rest for 10 minutes.

Then add:
1 T. salt
1/3 cup honey or 1/2 cup sugar
1/3 c. oil
1 1/2 T. lemon juice
Beat one minute.

2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour--Add one cup at a time to make a soft dough.

Preaheat oven for 2-3 minutes to lukewarm.  Turn off.

Turn dough onto oiled countertop and divide into 2 loaves.  Put in greased pans.  Let rise in warm oven for 15 minutes. Do not remove from oven. Turn oven on to 350* and bake for 25-30 minutes.

Try is so yummy!  The gluten flour helps it to have a wonderful texture.  It is kindof pricey...but you don't go through it very fast!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Three Bean Vegetarian Chili

{Meatless Monday}

Last night I decided to go crazy and try out 3 new recipes I've been wanting to make. So we had Three Bean Vegetarian Chili, Cheddar-Corn Spoon Bread, and Oven Baked Onion Rings.

It all turned out very delicious! (well, at least 3 of us thought so ; )

I found the chili recipe online and the two sides are from Martha Stewart's Everyday Food.

Here's what you need for the chili:

oops...and this:

oh, and this:

I think trying to make 3 new recipes, take pictures of everything, and deal with 5 kids in the kitchen with the after-church munchies was just too much! I couldn't keep on top of it all...nothing new there!

2 T olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 large jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped (my jalapeno pepper disappeared in my fridge)
4 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped

Over moderate heat, add oil to a deep pot and combine onion, peppers, and garlic. Saute for 5-7 minutes to soften vegetables. Add and stir to combine:

1 cup vegetable broth
1 32 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 14 oz. can black beans (I like the seasoned variety)
1 14 oz. can dark red kidney beans

Season with:
1 T ground cumin (I used slightly less)
2 T chili powder (I used about 1 1/2 Tbsp.)
1 T hot pepper sauce (I used about 1/2 T)
1 tsp course salt

Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and leave at a low boil for 15 min. (I added this step so that the bell peppers would soften more...otherwise, they'll be crunchy.)

Thicken chili by stirring in...(drumroll please)....

1 15 oz. can vegetarian refried beans

I was surprised by this ingredient...I'd never stirred refried beans into a soup before...but it was delicious. It thickened it up and the soup was very flavorful and absolutely spicy enough for me. I was glad that my fridge had eaten my jalapeno, because I think it would have been too hot for me with it added in!

Top with your choice of green onions, cheese, diced tomatoes, and crushed tortilla chips.

Then I made this really yummy Cheddar-Corn Spoon is like a cornbread, but much softer...almost like cornbread meets a quiche. All my kids really liked it.

Here's what you need:

1 T butter, plus some for greasing dish
2 cups milk (I used one cup buttermilk and 1 cup regular)
1 1/2 cup corn kernels (I used frozen...microwaved them about a minute and got the liquid off)
2/3 cup yellow cornmeal
course salt
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 cup grated cheddar cheese (recipe actually calls for sharp white cheddar)
4 large eggs, separated

In a medium saucepan, combine butter, milk, corn, cornmeal, 1 tsp salt, and cayenne. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring, until mixture is thickened, 3-4 min. Remove from heat and add cheese.
Let cool about 15 minutes and add in egg yolks. Stir to combine. (I forgot this step until just before it went into the oven...hence the bold lettering, just in case you are forgetful like me!)

In a mixing bowl, beat egg whites with a pinch of salt until soft peaks form. Fold gently into cornmeal mixture until combined. Pour into greased dish. Reduce oven heat to 375* and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until it is browned on top, but still a little loose in center.

I did not get a picture of my bread when it came out of the oven, but I assure you it looked just like this picture from! ; )

And just to make sure this is the longest blog post's the recipe for the Baked Onion Rings.

1 1/2 cups cornflakes
1/2 cup italian seasoned bread crumbs
1 large egg
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
1/4 cup flour
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
salt and pepper
1 medium sweet onion, such as Vidalia, cut into rings
2 T olive oil

Preheat oven to 450*. Crush cornflakes and combine with bread crumbs. Put on plate.
In a small bowl, whisk together egg, buttermilk, and flour. Season with cayenne and salt and pepper.

Drizzle oil on cookie sheet and place in oven for 2 minutes to heat oil. Remove sheet and tilt to evenly coat with oil.

Dip onions in egg mixture (letting excess drip off) and dredge in cornflake mixture. Place on cookie sheet and bake, turning once, until golden brown, about 16 minutes.

All in all...a very yummy meal. All of these are recipes I will definitely make again!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

IHOP Harvest Grains Pancake/Waffle Mix

This is a recipe that I've been meaning to post...but I don't have any pictures to show you. We went to IHOP with my parents before they went into the MTC and we had these DELICIOUS pancakes. So I came home and found the recipe online and we love it!

It is a mix you will mix it up once and then be able to make MANY batches of pancakes or waffles.
This is how I make them:

9 1/4 cups flour (half white/half wheat)
1 1/8 cup quick oats
3 1/2 cups cornmeal
1 c. wheat germ
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups finely chopped nuts (walnuts/pecans/almonds...I usually mix them)
5 3/4 T baking powder
2 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 3/4 tsp salt
(2 1/3 T dry malt...I've never found this, so I leave it out!)

Store in container until ready to use.

Use 2 cups mix with:
1 3/4 cups buttermilk (I often use regular milk for 1/2 of the amount)
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla
6 T melted butter
1 tsp water

I have made this as pancakes or waffles. If the batter seems too thick, just use a little more milk. These are my kids favorite pancakes...they are so hearty and just plain good!

Especially with buttermilk if regular syrup isn't bad enough!


Monday, November 2, 2009

Minestrone Soup

{Meatless Monday}

I got this recipe from my aunt when she gave me a few bags of her blanched/frozen summer squash. I still have one bag from last year, so I think I'm going to make a few batches of this soup over the next weeks. It was very flavorful and the broth was delicious with fresh bread!

Here's what you'll need:

1/2 med onion chopped
1 heaping tsp. minced garlic
1 T. olive oil
Saute in pot until onion is tender then add:

1 cup chopped carrots
4 stalks celery, chopped
15 oz. kidney beans, do not drain
15 oz. pinto beans, do not drain
1 large can diced/stewed tomatoes (I used one quart of my own bottled tomatoes)
pinch of Thyme
2 pinches oregano
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 cups chicken stock

Bring to low boil. Then put on lowest heat for 2 hours. Stir occasionally. When ready for dinner, heat to boiling and then add:

1 1/2 cups chopped zucchini (I used frozen summer squash my aunt gave me)
2 cups elbow macaroni (I didn't have I used mini bow ties.)

Boil for 10 minutes until pasta and zucchini are tender. Remove from heat and serve with bread.

This can be sped up if you don't have time to let it simmer for 2 hours. You really just need to boil it long enough for the carrots and celery to be soft...maybe 25-30 minutes? But the longer you can let it simmer, the more the flavors will mingle.

I have a favorite roll recipe that I thought I would share with this soup...they would go together perfectly! I put this roll recipe in our ward cookbook and I have been hearing from so many people how much they love them. They are very easy and relatively quick (for yeast bread). I don't have any pictures to share...but try them out and you will love them! I always just make them into little balls, but a friend of mine rolled them into crescents and they were beautiful.
(To make crescents, simply roll dough into a round. Cut long triangles (think pizza slices) and then roll from the flat edge to the point.)

90 minute rolls
1/2 cup very warm water
2 T. yeast
2 T. sugar
Mix in bowl and let sit for 10-15 minutes.

1 cup milk, scalded
2 tsp salt
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
4-5 cups flour

Combine cooled milk, salt, oil, sugar, and eggs in mixer. Add in yeast mixture. Stir in flour one cup at a time and knead lightly. Let rise (covered) in greased bowl for 35-40 minutes until doubled. Form rolls and place on cookie sheet (I dust my sheets with cornmeal). Cover and let rise 20-25 minutes. Bake at 375* for 9-11 minutes.

Monday, October 26, 2009


{Meatless Monday}

This is a meal I have been making for over a decade. Back when we were in married student housing at BYU, a neighbor of mine made these. She didn't really have a recipe and over the years I have made these probably twenty different ways. One thing I have learned...the more veggies, the better!

I will try to give you an approximate recipe of what I did. (Though I literally just throw together whatever I have, but here we go...)

This is what I used to make the calzones. Mozzarella cheese really is wonderful for these, but it just hasn't gone on a great sale lately, so I don't have any! ; )

2 small cartons of cottage cheese (one large would also be of my cartons had been opened by "Casper" and was only 2/3 full.
2 cups shredded cheese
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
1 can olives
1/2 bell pepper
2 cups spinach
4-5 mushrooms
I also use garlic powder, onion powder, and salt and pepper...but they didn't make it in the picture.

(For some reason, I have a LOT of photos for this recipe...but still only about a third of what the Pioneer Woman takes for each recipe... ; )

I just chopped up all the vegetables. Everyone in my family likes spinach and olives, so I went ahead and mixed those two into the cheese mixture. Then I sauteed the mushrooms and peppers to add into a few of the calzones for the adults.

This is the cottage cheese, cheddar (or mozzarella), parmesan, olives, and spinach. Then I just sprinkle on some garlic powder, onion powder, and salt and pepper to taste.

I was in a hurry when I was making these, so I opted to use my pizza crust recipe instead of my regular bread recipe.
Take a small hunk of dough and roll it out into an oval-ish shape. Put about 1/2 cup of cheese mixture into center of dough.

Then I did this for me and my husband:

Then, just fold the dough over the filling and roll the edge to close. Try to seal them fairly well all around the edge...otherwise a lot ends up leaking out while they bake.

This is how many I got using the amounts I listed above and a double recipe of my pizza dough.
There were 3 large ones and 6 medium ones. I always sprinkle corn meal on my pans (instead of greasing) when I make bread, rolls, etc.

Bake at 350* for approximately 25-30 minutes until they are golden brown.

Serve with warm spaghetti sauce over the top ( I always use Ragu...the chunkier the better) and you can also garnish with fresh parmesan. My husband took this last photo for me (I was leaving to book club!) and he ALWAYS garnishes with a sprig of his fresh parsley out of the garden.

Try these out and let me know how you like them. They are super easy and have always been so matter what I throw into them!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Jumbo Stuffed Shells

{Meatless Monday}

This is actually my manicotti recipe that I just baked in the jumbo shells...mostly because the shells had 50% more pasta for the same price as the manicotti. ; )

15 oz. ricotta cheese
16 oz. cottage cheese (you could use all ricotta cheese if desired)
2 cups shredded cheese, mozzarella and monterey jack would be great...I only had cheddar.
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
3 T. chopped parsley
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
3 cups spaghetti sauce
1/2 cup water

Mix together everything but the sauce and water. Stuff into cooked jumbo shells. Combine sauce and water. Cover bottom of 9X13 pan with a layer of sauce (about 1/2 cup) and place filled shells in pan. (I ended up having to place some on top of the first layer.)

Cover with remaining sauce and top with more parmesan, if desired. Cover and bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes, removing foil for the last 5-8 minutes.

This is not a great picture, but I had company waiting to eat... ; )

It was really yummy...but I wish that I had put chopped spinach and sauteed mushrooms in the cheese mix. I think that would have added alot. I will definitely do that next time!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Spinach Quiche

{Meatless Monday}

This is another recipe that I basically just throw together...especially tonight since I had a piano recital at my house (for FHE) and we sat down to dinner 30 minutes before everyone was to arrive!

I love to make these as individual quiches. I have these small pie pans that I got years ago that the kids think are so fun. I think I got them at Walmart...but I can't say that I've seen them recently. I LOVE to make individual apple pies in them...they are so cute.

Here's what you will need:

And here's the recipe:

6 eggs
2 cups milk or cream (I always just use milk, but it is really yummy with some whipping cream)
1/3 cup finely chopped green onion (you can use regular onion also)
1 cup chopped spinach, fresh or frozen
1 cup shredded cheese
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp ground red pepper
You could always add mushrooms or peppers, too.

Prepare pie crust. (Tip for a flaky pie crust from Martha Stewart: reduce your shortening by two tablespoons and add 3-4 T of sliced COLD butter. Try works!) Sprinkle onion, spinach and cheese in bottom of crust. Beat eggs, milk, and seasonings together. Pour into crust.
Here are the official baking instructions in my recipe book: Bake uncovered at 425 for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 300. Bake until center in cooked, about 30 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes.
I normally just throw it in there at about 375. The large pie pan takes 50-60 minutes and that's why I love my small ones because they are done in about 30 minutes. I've even baked these in muffin tins before and those took 18-20 minutes. Just cook it until a knife comes out clean from the center.

Serve with salsa and enjoy! Tonight we ate these with some Mexican Cornbread that my aunt had made and shared with us. Yum!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Lotsa Green Lasagna

{Meatless Monday}

I've been wanting to try a vegetarian lasagna for some time now. I found this one online and thought it sounded pretty good. I've made one before with zucchini instead of the noodles and that went over like a ton of bricks! ; )

I was pleasantly surprised by the taste of this one. It was very good and had a nice mixture of vegetables and cheeses. I meant to put in mushrooms (because we both love them so much), but I totally forgot to throw them in the saute.

This was a VERY hard recipe to follow...pretty confusing, actually, so I'm going to try to simplify a little bit!

This is what you will need:

12 lasagna noodles, cooked according to directions on box

1 T. olive oil
1 1/4 cups chopped broccoli
1 cup diced carrots
1/2 cup scallions (I used Green Onions)
1 1/2 garlic cloves, minced

Saute all vegetables in olive oil and set aside.

4 T flour
1 1/4 cup skim milk
1/3 cup fresh Parmesan cheese
1/4-1/2 tsp pepper
8 oz frozen spinach

In small saucepan, whip flour and milk together to make white sauce (you can start with the traditional butter and flour if you'd like). Remove from heat when thick and add parmesan, pepper and spinach. Set aside.

1 cup low fat cottage cheese
1/2 cup low fat mozzarella cheese, shredded (I only had Colby Jack)
1/4 cup low fat goat cheese (I didn't have any, so I omitted this)

Mix the final 3 cheeses together.

So now you have 3 mixtures: the veggies, the spinach sauce, and the cheeses.

Start with a little spinach sauce on the bottom of your 9X13 pan then layer like this:
3 noodles
1/3 spinach sauce
1/3 veggies
1/4 cheese mixture
(I ended up just mixing these all around and spreading them evenly over the noodles...they certainly don't stay in distinct layers!)

Repeat that order 2 more times.

Top with remaining 3 noodles
Spread remaining 1/4 cheese sauce over the top layer of noodles. If it seems like there won't be enough, just add a little more cottage cheese and some milk to make it go farther.

Bake at 375* for 30-35 minutes. This is what mine looked like when it came out:

And this is how pretty and yummy it looked when I served it up:
(Well, I guess it only looks yummy if you love I'm sure at least one of my kids wouldn't describe it as yummy looking ; )

You can see mine only had 3 layers of noodles and it was not thick enough, so I've changed the recipe a little bit and made it have more layers.


Monday, September 28, 2009

Tortellini Spinach Soup

{Meatless Monday}

This is a very simple, very quick soup to make. I found this recipe is a magazine sometime last year. I did not expect my husband to like it (he normally doesn't care for brothy soups), but he loves it and so do I! I think that it tastes even yummier since it only takes about 12 min. to put on the table! I served it with slices of plain french bread...I didn't even have time to put garlic butter on it and heat it up. But the bread was just perfect for soaking up the broth and I think I will always serve it that way now.

Note: This recipe is not strictly vegetarian--but it is meatless. I haven't completely changed over to vegetable broths...but I am sure you could just use vegetable broth instead of the beef broth.

Here's what you will need:

And here's the SUPER simple recipe:

2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T butter
Saute 3 minutes until golden brown.

2 cans beef broth (I use 3 c. water with 2 beef bouillon cubes)
8 oz. frozen tortellini or ravioli
Add and boil 8 minutes.
Another note: One time I did make this with store-bought broth, and it turned out too salty. That's why I only use 2 cubes to the 3 cups of water. So if you are buying broth, I might try the low sodium for at least one of the cans.

1 can (14.5 oz) seasoned stewed tomatoes (I used my own bottled tomatoes
2 cups fresh spinach, chopped, if desired (I just put mine in whole)
Add and simmer for 5 min. more.

Grated Parmesan

Ladle into bowls and top with fresh parmesan. Serve with bread.

I love dinners that take 15 minutes to be on the table...that's often about all the time I have between soccer games and music lessons, etc.

Hope you like it!