Thursday, December 15, 2011

Abigayle's Famous Transfer Treat Bruschetta

I made this all the time on the mish while my companions and I were anxiously awaiting the transfer phone call. It was a great way to distract yourself from the suspense.
I recently made this again for Matt and my roommates and for Jordan and Danielle & fam, to rave reviews.
I made it with soup, but no one ever remembers the soup, they just talk about the bruschetta, so apparently it's a show stealer. I also talked to dad about it before Thanksgiving and he said he wanted to try it but since I didn't get a chance to make it over Thanksgiving, I thought I'd just slap this on here for whomever would like to be permanently addicted to it for the rest of his or her blissfully tasty life.

2-3 ripe tomatoes, chopped
1/2 a red onion, chopped finely
a bunch of fresh basil, finely chopped
1/2 a red bell pepper, chopped
half a can of mixed olives, minced
half a small bottle of capers
1/3 c butter
fresh minced garlic
italian seasoning
olive oil
balsamic vinegar
1-2 balls of fresh mozzarella
salt and pepper
1-2 loaves high quality, artesian ciabatta bread

Slice the bread, sandwich style
chop all the chopped stuff and mix with capers in a bowl, add salt and pepper and italian seasoning
melt the butter and spread on the bread
take a generous spoonful of minced garlic and spread it on both halves of the bread
Slice the fresh mozzarella about half an inch thick and place it on the bread so that it is spread evenly on the loaf
Scoop the chopped mixture onto the bread. I like it to be heaped up pretty high. 2-4 inches
Drizzle olive oil and balsamic over the top, NOT TOO MUCH
sprinkle with parmesan
Broil on the top rack until the mozzarella is melted and the edges are golden brown
devour. moan. cry. laud effusively. lick your fingers.

p.s. I've never tried this, but I thought it might be fun to add chopped artichoke hearts. If you try it and it's tasty, let me know.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Famous Turkey Meatballs

I swear I have put this recipe on the blog before but Danielle says it's not on here so without further ado, the famous meatballs!

Marinara Sauce

Chop 1 large onion and 3-4 cloves garlic.  Sautee in a sauce pan in 2 Tbsp olive oil.  Sautee until tender.  Add 3/4 cup red wine and deglaze.  Let simmer for about 3 minutes more.  Remove from pan and add to crockpot set to High.  Add to the onions one 32 oz can crushed tomatoes and one 6 oz can tomato paste.  Then add 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper, 1 tsp Basil,  1 tsp organo, and 2 Tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley.  Stir together and put the lid on while you make the meatballs.


1 1/2 pounds regular ground turkey (Not Lean!)
2 eggs
1 cup bread crumbs
4 Tbsp ground or shredded parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp Basil
1 tsp Oregano

Place all in a large mixing bowl and mix lightlywith a fork .  Don't mix with a spoon or hands or it will get to dense and the meatballs won't be as light.  Shape into golf ball sized meatballs and sautee in 3 Tbsp hot olive oil.  Turn meatballs over until all sides are browned.  You will have to do this in batches so they all get browned on all sides and you might have to add more olive oil as you go.  Then transfer meatballs to the sauce in the crockpot.  Gently push the meatballs down so they are all mostly covered with sauce.  Pour extra oil out of pan but leave any browned bits.  Add 1/2 cup more red wine to the pan and simmer about 3 minutes.  Scrape the bottom of the pan to get the browned bits off.  Then pour wine over the top of all the meatballs and cover with the lid.  Turn the heat to low and cook 5-6 hours.  If you forget to plan enough time just keep it on high and cook 3-4 hours.

Honey-Mustard and Bacon Brussel Sprouts

By: Rachel Hall
First trim about 2 pounds brussel sprouts and then in a 9x13 pan toss them all with olive oil until they are completely coated.  Then sprinkle with 1 1/2 tsp sea salt and 1 tsp cracked pepper.  Then put about 1 1/2 Tbsps of chicken broth in the corner of the pan and then about 1 Tbsp seasoned rice wine vinegar over the top.  Toss again.  Then lay 4-6 pieces of bacon over the top of the sprouts.  Place in a preheated oven at 425 degrees.  

Roast for about 20 minutes or until the bacon is almost crisp.  Then take them out of the oven and remove the bacon.  Save it though!  Then in a cup or bowl add about 3-4 Tbsps Dijon mustard and honey.  Stir until smooth and pour over the sprouts.  This may be a little too much sauce so just pour it on until it looks like enough and then toss the sprouts until they are coated.  Lay the bacon back on top (on opposite side) and return to the oven for about 10-15 more minutes or until the very outside skins are browned and crispy looking and they are fork tender.  Remove bacon and let cool.  After it is cooled crumble the bacon over the top of the brussel sprouts and toss and serve.

Note: This recipe is for Thanksgiving and makes a ton so you should half the recipe for a normal dinner.

Parmesan-Roasted Broccoli

This is the broccoli I made at Thanksgiving!  The recipe is from Ina Garten.


  • 4 to 5 pounds broccoli
  • garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
  • Good olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons julienned fresh basil leaves (about 12 leaves)


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Cut the broccoli florets from the thick stalks, leaving an inch or two of stalk attached to the florets, discarding the rest of the stalks. Cut the larger pieces through the base of the head with a small knife, pulling the florets apart. You should have about 8 cups of florets. Place the broccoli florets on a sheet pan large enough to hold them in a single layer. Toss the garlic on the broccoli and drizzle with 5 tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until crisp-tender and the tips of some of the florets are browned.
Remove the broccoli from the oven and immediately toss with 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, the lemon zest, lemon juice, pine nuts, Parmesan, and basil. Serve hot.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Dinner in a Pumpkin

Family, I noticed this beloved recipe wasn't on the blog so here is my version of the original Marilynn creation:

Cut up 2 chicken breast into bite sized chunks.  In a large ziplock bag add 2 Tbsp flour, 1 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, 1 tsp Lawry's seasoned salt. Add chicken to bag and shake until all the pieces are coated.  Set aside.

In a large sauce pan, while you're cooking the veggies and chicken, cook 2 cups brown or wild rice in 4 cups of chicken broth and 1 Tbsp of olive oil. Simmer until fluffy.

Chop up 3 stalks of celery, a box of mushrooms, 1 large onion, 3 cloves garlic.  Sautee all the veggies in about 3 Tbsp olive oil until fork tender.  Add the chicken and cook until it is cooked through and golden.  (If you want it to cook faster, you can take the veggies out, then cook the chicken till it's almost done and then add the veggies back in to finish them both off together.  If you do that, just make sure you add more olive oil to the pan before adding the chicken.)

After chicken is all cooked through, add a little more olive oil and then sprinkle about 3 Tbsp flour over the veggies and make a paste.  Then add 1/2 cup white cooking wine, or if you don't want to use wine, just add 1 1/2 cups chicken broth (if you want to use the wine add 1/2 cup wine and 1 cup chicken broth).  Simmer until the liquid thickens about 5 minutes.  Then remove from heat and toss the veggies, chicken, and rice all together in a large bowl.  Stir in 3/4 cup of sour cream to the mixture.  Season with Lawry's seasoning salt, pepper, garlic salt, onion powder, and poultry seasoning to taste.  The mixture should be creamy and not watery.  If it isn't thick enough, add some more sour cream or some heavy cream.  Place mixture into a cleaned out salt and peppered pumpkin.  

Place pumpkin, with lid on, in the center of a large baking sheet with about 1/2-1 inch of water.  Bake for 2 hours at 350 degrees or until pumpkin is brown.  

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Pumpkin Chocolate chip cookies

I found this recipe online and tried it but it wasn't quite right so I tweaked it a bit and then it was amazing!  I added more spices and I added some wheat flour and a little more flour overall so the consistency would be more cookie like.  Enjoy.

1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup cooked or canned pumpkin
½ cup oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2-1 cup chocolate chips (I used 1 cup but if you don't want them that chocolatey just use 1/2)

In a mixing bowl, beat together sugar, pumpkin, oil, and vanilla. Sift together dry ingredients and add to mixture. Stir until smooth. Blend in chocolate chips. Drop by teaspoonfuls on greased baking sheet. Bake at 350° F for 12–15 minutes. Makes 3–4 dozen.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Mascarpone-Filled Cake with Sherried Berries

I did not make up this recipe but I have made it twice now to rave reviews and it is not very difficult AND it is ...AMAZING, I repeat, AMAZING!

For cake:
2 cups sifted cake flour (not self-rising; sift before measuring)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 cup well-shaken buttermilk

For berries:
1/2 cup Fino (dry) Sherry
1/2 cup sugar
4 cups mixed berries, cut if large
The juice of a 1/4 lemon
2 Tbsp of juice of your choice (I used mango/peach/orange)
A couple shakes of cinnamon

For cream:
8 ounces mascarpone (1 cup)
1 cup chilled heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar Garnish:
confectioners sugar print a shopping list for this recipe

Make cake:Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Butter a 9-inch round cake pan (2 inches deep). Line bottom with a round of parchment paper, then butter parchment.
Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. With mixer at low speed, beat in buttermilk until just combined. Add flour mixture in 3 batches, mixing after each addition until just combined.
Spread batter in cake pan, smoothing top. Rap pan on counter several times to eliminate air bubbles.
Bake until golden and a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack 10 minutes. Run a knife around edge of cake to loosen, then invert onto a plate. Discard paper and reinvert cake onto rack to cool completely.

Macerate berries: Bring Sherry, juice, cinnamon and sugar to a boil in a small heavy saucepan, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Put berries in a bowl and pour hot syrup over them, gently tossing to coat. Let stand 15 minutes.

Make cream and assemble cake: Beat mascarpone and cream with sugar in a large bowl using cleaned beaters until mixture just holds stiff peaks.
Halve cake horizontally with a long serrated knife. Carefully remove top half and reserve. Put bottom half on a plate, then spread evenly with all of cream and replace top half. Serve with berries.

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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Butternut Squash and pear soup

This is a Marilynn original that she emailed to me but you all need this one so here you go!

1 lb. butternut squash about 10 ounce peeled and seeded
1 large yam
2 cups vegetable broth
1 and ½ cups water
1 stick cinnamon opt.
¾ tsp. salt
2 TB butter
2 med. Onions
3 large Anjou or Bartlett pears
1/3 cup white wine
¼ cup half and half
White pepper to taste
Simmer the squash and yam in vegetable broth with water, cinnamon, salt until tender about 40 min. Discard cinn. Stick. Optional. Just add some cinnamon as an alternative.
Melt the butter and cook chopped onions till carmelized. Add peeled cjopped pears, add to onions.  Cook five minutes stirring often.  Add wine.  Add the pear to the soup and puree.  Add the cream and s and p to taste.  Do not boil.  Incredible!  Thin with a little more cream if desired.  

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Roasted Tomato and Spinach Pasta

I made this up for dinner tonight and we all loved it!  It is really easy and fast too which makes it even better.

1 1/2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes
2 large handfulls of fresh spinach
l medium-large onion chopped
about 6 mushrooms chopped, I used a combo of white and cremini
5 cloves garlic minced smalll
1/4 cup feta cheese
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp rosemary
1/2 tsp thyme
2-3 splashes balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
1 box wheat rotini pasta

So first you just dump the tomatoes onto a jelly roll pan and drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper.  Heat the oven to 400 and roast for about 20 minutes while you are doing everything else.

Boil the water.

Add 2 Tbsp olive oil to a sautee pan and add chopped onions.  Stir occasionally for about 2-3 minutes.  Add mushrooms and garlic and continue cooking till slightly browned.  Stir in the rosemary and thyme and salt and pepper.

Cook the pasta.

Add the spinach and stir until wilted.  At this point pull the tomatoes out of the oven and pour all the juices, tomatoes, and oil into the sautee pan(the tomatoes skins should have burst and become slightly browned by this point, if not, wait a little longer).  Stir all to combine.  The tomatoes will pretty much fall apart.  Turn stove to low and let combine while pasta finishes cooking.

Drain pasta and add to the sautee pan.  Stir to coat and then add salt and pepper to taste and the two kinds of cheese.  Right before serving pour 2-3 quick glugs of balsamic vinegar across the top and stir to combine.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Apple Pecan salad

Here is another recent creation that I took to a luncheon where people asked for the recipe so I wrote it down so here it is:

Mixed greens
1 granny smith apple cut into chunks
1/2 cup craisins
1 green onion sliced thin
3/4 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup brown sugar
pinch of sea salt
1/2 cup feta cheese

In a small skillet over medium heat add brown sugar to pan and let melt.  Stir occasionally to make sure it doesn't burn.  Once it is completely melted, add the pecans and remove from heat.  Quickly stir them till all the pecans are coated and then sprinkle with sea salt.  Transfer to parchment paper and let cool completely.  Chop clumps up into small clusters and serve over the salad.  

for the dressing:
1 cup olive oil
1/2 cup orange champagne vinager (I buy this at Trader Joe's so if you can't get it just substitute half champagne or white wine vinegar and half orange juice)
1 Tbsp dijon mustard
1 tsp honey or more to taste
salt and pepper

Mix all ingredients together except for olive oil.  When they are mixed well, whisk in the olive oil.  Pour over above ingredients and serve immediately.

Tex-Mex chicken salad

I made this up for a mexican themed play group lunch today.  Everyone loved it and several people asked for the recipe which forced me to come home and write it down so here it is.  It tastes very similar to cafe rio salad.  Enjoy!

Tex-mex chicken salad
By Rachel Hall

Beans and corn
Add one can of black beans mostly drained and 1 cup of frozen corn to a saucepan.  Bring to a boil.  Add 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp smoked paprika, juice of 1 half of a lime, and 1/8 tsp garlic powder.  Mix well and turn down the heat.  Let simmer for about 5 minutes over low heat stirring occasionally.  Then remove from heat and let cool to room temperature

Tortilla strips
Heat two cups of canola oil in a deep soup pot with a thick bottom.  Cut 6 corn tortillas into thin strips.  Add the strips in three batches and turn frequently till they are lightly brown and crisp.  Remove and lay on a cookie sheet covered with paper towels(2-3).  Sprinkle with sea salt.  Place in 300 degree oven for 3-5 minutes till crisp.  Then remove and let cool completely.  Let the oil cool completely and reserve for later.

Cut one whole stalk of Romaine lettuce into thin strips.  Wash and drain.  Lay in large bowl.  Top with Cooled beans and corn mixture.  Then sprinkle 3 Chopped green onions over the beans.  Then add two diced avacados.  Then about ten grape tomatoes halved over the avacados.  Next add 1/4-1/2 cup shredded monterey jack cheese.  Then shred the breast meat off of a rotisserie chicken and place chicken chunks over the cheese.  Sprinkle with 1/4 cup loosely packed chopped cilantro leaves and tortilla strips.  Then toss all with cilantro-lime dressing.

Cilantro-Lime dressing
1 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves
1/2 cup of the fry oil(canola)
1 large clove garlic
juice of 2 small limes
about 1/4 cup seasoned rice wine vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
Blend together all ingredients in a blender or food processor.  

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Asian Cabbage Salad

My friend made this salad at a luncheon the other day and I couldn't stop eating it.  The recipe is from Our Best

1 14 oz bag coleslaw mix
1 rib celery, sliced
1/2 cucumber, sliced
1 small handful sugar snap peas (about 20 baby ones)
1/2 red bell pepper, sliced
1/4 of a small red onion, thinly sliced
1 T toasted sesame seeds*
1/3 C slivered or sliced almonds, toasted*
Optional: 1 1/2 C cooked, shredded or diced chicken

2 T canola oil
2 T cider vinegar
1/4 C seasoned rice wine vinegar
2 T sugar (or equivalent of sugar substitute)
1 t kosher salt
2 t soy sauce
1/4 t garlic powder, or one small garlic clove, minced
1/4 t black pepper
1/2 t sesame oil

* To toast almonds or sesame seeds, place them (not together, do one thing at a time!) in a dry skillet over medium heat. Turn constantly until golden brown. Let cool before using.

Begin by making dressing. Combine all ingredients in a sealed jar and shake shake shake. Store in the fridge until ready to use. You can definitely do this part a few days ahead of time.

Baked spinach artichoke dip

I made up this recipe based off of Costco's yummy spinach artichoke dip.

1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
3/4 cup mayonnaise
3/4 cup sour cream
1 14 ounce can artichoke hearts
1 box frozen spinach 
2 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp white pepper

Thaw the frozen spinach and squeeze to remove all water.  In a food processor add spinach, artichoke hearts, and garlic cloves.  Pulse till well combined and roughly chopped.  Make sure the chunks are pretty small. 
In a large bowl mix sour cream, mayonnaise, parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper together until well combined.  
Add spinach mixture into the cream mixture.  (Scrape sides to get all the bits).  Stir until well combined.  Add more Salt and pepper to taste.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes or until edges start to brown.  Serve with bread or chips.
Makes about 3 cups of dip.