Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Jello Popcorn Balls

1 cup corn syrup, light
1 cup sugar
1 pkg jello (any flavor)
1 cup un-popped corn
1. Pop popcorn in an air popper and set aside.
2.  Combine corn syrup, sugar and jello and boil for 3 minutes.
3.  Pour mixture over popcorn and shape into balls.
Change flavor for different holidays.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Italian Sausage and Spinach Lasagna

5 Italian sausage links, casings removed
1/2 sweet yellow onion, diced
1 pinch of red pepper flakes
5 cloves garlic, minced
20 oz ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/2 cup baby spinach, chopped
2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp fresh nutmeg, grated
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (divided)
2 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded (divided)
4 cups of marinara sauce
Lasagna noodles (no boil)
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2.  In a skillet over medium heat, cook the Italian sausage, making sure to break it up into crumbles.
3. Add the onions and a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes.  Once the meat is brown and the onion is tender, add the garlic and cook for 60 seconds, stirring frequently.
4.  Remove from heat and drain any grease.
5.  In a large bowl, add ricotta, egg, spinach, basil, parsley, oregano, nutmeg, salt and pepper, 1/4 cup or Parmesan cheese, and 1/2 a cup of mozzarella cheese. Combine until mixed thoroughly.
6.  Layer a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with just enough sauce to cover the bottom of the pan.  Lay however many lasagna noodles you need to cover the bottom of the pan.
7.  Spread half of the ricotta mixture on the noodles; add another layer of noodles; spread a but more sauce on top of the noodles followed by the Italian sausage; add another layer of noodles then spread the last half of the ricotta on top.
8.  Finish with a layer of noodles and remaining sauce. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and remaining 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle a bit more dried oregano on top of the cheese.
9.  Baked covered for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until cheese is melted.  Let the lasagna cool for several minutes before slicing and serving.

Pepperoni Pizza Cups

1 tube of refrigerator biscuits
Pizza sauce
Mozzarella cheese, diced or shredded
Pepperoni slices
Parmesan cheese, shredded
Dried basil
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Coat a muffin tin with cooking spray.
2. Cut each biscuit in half then press the dough into the bottom and sides of the muffin tin.  Repeat with the remaining dough.
3.  Spoon sauce into each cup. Place diced (or shredded) mozzarella cheese into the cups followed by a few slices of pepperoni.
4. Finally add a bit more mozzarella if desired, then sprinkle the tops with Parmesan cheese and dried oregano.
5.  Place into the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is melted.  Serve immediately.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Mini Monkey Breads

12 Rhodes Dinner rolls, thawed, but still cold
1 stick of butter, melted
2 tbsp corn syrup
1 1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon

Icing: (I double this)
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tbsp butter, melted
1-2 tbsp milk
1/2 tsp vanilla

1. Cut each diner rolls into 6 equal pieces, In a bowl, combine butter and corn syrup and stir until well mixed.
2.  In another bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon and mix well. Dip each roll piece in the butter mixture and then in the sugar mixture.
3.  Place 6 pieces in each well sprayed cup of a 12 cup muffin tin. Cover with sprayed plastic wrap and let double in size. (Watch them so they don't rise too much.)
4.  Remove wrap and bake at 250 15-20 minutes. Combine icing ingredients and mix well. Drizzle over monkey bread if desired.
5.  Cool at least 5-10 minutes before removing from pan, or they will fall apart.

Old Fashioned Beef Stew

2 lbs beef stew meat, cut into 1 inch cubes
1/2 cup flour
2 tbsp oil
1 bay leaf
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 onion, chopped
2 beef bouillon cubes
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
6 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 cup sliced celery
4 large potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
4 cups water
1. Coat mean with flour; set excess flour aside.  In large skilled heat oil. Brown meat on all sides.
2. In slow cooker, combine browned beef, bay leaf, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, chopped onion, bouillon cubes, pepper, salt, sugar and vegetables.
3.  Pour water over all (almost to the top of the slow cooker.)
4.  Cover and cook on low 8-10 hours.
5. Turn control on high. Thicken with flour left over from coating (about 1/4 cup) dissolved in a small amount of warm water.
6.  Cover and cook on high 10-15 minutes or until slightly thickened.

Banana, Strawberry and Chocolate Chip Muffins

1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
3 overripe bananas
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
10-12 fresh strawberries, diced
1/2 cup chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, then coat a muffin pan with cooking spray.
2.  In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until creamy.  Add the eggs, bananas, and vanilla then continue beating until well combined.
3.  In a separate bowl, combine the flower, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt together. Mix well. Add the flour mixture to the banana mixture and stir until just combined.  Add most of the diced strawberries and most of the chocolate chips, then gently mix them into the batter.
4.  Spoon the batter evenly into each  muffin tin.  Place the remaining strawberries and chocolate chips on top of each muffin.
5.  Place into the oven and bake 18-20 minutes or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
6.  Let the muffins cool on a rack. Slather with butter and enjoy.