Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving Dinner - Texas style

*Fully Cooked Mesquite smoked Brisket from HEB (just has to be heated)
*Cajun Roast Rabbit
*Sweet Potato Biscuits
*Macaroni and Cheese
*Herbed Broccoli & Tomatoes
*Smashed Potatoes (requested by Leah)
*Green Salad (spinach and arugula w/ persimmons, maple pecans, and manchego - simple balsalmic vinegar and olive oil dressing)
*Orange Ginger Pecan Cranberry Sauce
*Orange Fluff Salad
*Maple Pumpkin Pie
*Pecan Pie

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Thai Spiced Pumpkin Soup

We tried this lovely recipe from 101 cookbooks this week and I seriously couldn't get enough. The Thai curry and coconut milk show off the pumpkin so well! I happened to have a sugar pie pumpkin from Halloween decorations that was begging to be used so I made the puree for this one - I imagine it would be fine using pumpkin out of the can as well. Roasted pumpkin seeds sprinkled on top added the perfect final touch - a bit of crunchiness to contrast the creaminess of the soup.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Spinach Lasagna

Another of my mom's great recipes - with an added twist. This is the lasagna I grew up eating and loved... after making a batch of stuffed shells one day I decided it would be much easier to adapt this recipe by adding the spinach and fennel seeds. The fennel is what puts this recipe over the top - it adds a wonderful fresh flavor to the dish. You could easily make this vegetarian by leaving the ground beef out of the sauce or replacing it with mushrooms. This recipe makes two lasagnas, so plan accordingly!

Sauté together:
1 lb. ground beef
½ cup chopped onion

Drain fat and add:
2 – 8 oz. cans tomato sauce
2 – 6 oz. cans tomato paste
2 tomato paste cans of water
1 Tbsp. oregano
1 ½ tsp. garlic powder
1 ½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
2 Tbsp. dried parsley

In separate bowl, combine:
2 eggs
24 oz. Cottage cheese
1 Tbsp fennel seeds
2 packed cups fresh spinach, chopped in food processor

In another bowl, combine:
1 lb. Shredded mozzarella cheese
½ c. grated Parmesan cheese

Cook 1 lb. Lasagna noodles according to directions on package.

In each of two 9x13 casserole dishes, layer the following:
1 ½ cups meat sauce
Noodles to cover meat sauce (usually four or five)
½ cottage cheese mixture
¼ mozzarella mixture
Noodles to cover cheese layer
1 ½ cups meat sauce
¼ mozzarella mixture

Lasagnas can be frozen until needed. Defrost in refrigerator before cooking.
Bake at 400° for 30 minutes.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Turkey Meatloaf

As a kid, I seem to remember groaning at the thought of having to eat meatloaf for dinner - so how is it that it has become one of my kids favorite things to eat??? Not that I'm complaining! I love having a standby that I can hide veggies in when necessary - as you will see from the recipe below...

1 lb ground turkey

3/4 cup quick oats

1 egg

1/2 cup tomato sauce

1/2 cup onion, finely chopped

1/2 cup green pepper, finely chopped

1 1/2 cup packed spinach, chopped in food processor

1 cup shredded carrots

1 tsp Italian seasoning

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix well - you may need to use your hands to combine all ingredients evenly. Coat your cooking pan with nonstick cooking spray - we like to use a muffin pan for faster cooking time and portion control. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes (for muffins, a regular loaf pan takes about 1 hour, sometimes longer depending on how many veggies you add as more liquid will have to cook off). Halfway through the cooking time, combine 1/2 cup tomato sauce, 1 tsp sugar, and 1 tsp Italian seasoning and spoon over the top of each meatloaf.