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Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving Desserts, Part 1

Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie
Recipe inspired by The Milkman's Wife, with adaptations from Karo Syrup recipe

1 9" pie shell (I used Pillsbury refrigerated pie crusts)
1 cup sugar
1 cup dark corn syrup
8 T unsalted butter
4 eggs
1/4 cup bourbon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour deep dish pie plate and transfer pie crust to prepared dish. In a small saucepan, combine butter, sugar, and corn syrup. Stir constantly until butter is melted and sugar dissolves. Mixture will be a thick syrup. Cool slightly. In a large bowl, beat eggs and add vanilla extract, salt and bourbon. Add 1/4 cup of syrup to egg mixture to temper slightly. Add remaining syrup, mixing well until incorporated. Add chocolate chips and pecans. Pour batter into pie shell and bake for about 1 hour until center of pie is set, it should spring back slightly when tapped. Place a cookie sheet under the pie to prevent any spills from burning on the bottom of your oven.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving Menu

Cider Brined Roast Turkey with Apple Cider Glaze and Gravy
Cranberry Apple Chutney and Jellied Cranberry Sauce
Mashed Potatos
Parmesan Roasted Butternut Squash
Roasted Garlic Green Beans with Bell Peppers and Almonds
Classic White Dinner Rolls and Garlic Knots
Traditional Pumpkin Pie
I'm hoping everything turns out. I've made most of this stuff before so I'm not too worried on an individual dish level, its just getting everything to fit in the oven and come together at the same time. I'll post recipes and pictures later this week!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Cranberry Apple Chutney

A delicious, simple alternative to canned cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving. This also makes an excellent appetizer as a topping for baked brie.

Cranberry Apple Chutney
Adapted from a 2004 issue of Gourmet magazine

1 12 oz. bag of fresh cranberries
2-3 Granny Smith apples
2/3 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup orange juice
3 T butter
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel, core, and dice apples into about 1/2 inch chunks. Toss gently with orange juice, brown sugar, ginger and cloves in a 9x13 pan. Cut the butter into small pieces and dot over the top. Bake for approximately 1 hour, stirring 2-3 times. Add cranberries and continue baking for an additional 20-30 minutes, stir 2-3 times and cook until cranberries have broken down to large chunks. Transfer chutney to a bowl and serve or to heat proof storage container (a large Mason jar works perfectly) and let cool, then refrigerate until ready to use. When you want to serve, reheat in the microwave or serve cold if desired. This can be kept sealed in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Thanksgiving Cookies

I've seen so many beautifully decorated sugar cookies on other blogs using royal icing and I really wanted to try making some myself. I'm taking the Wilton 2 Cake Course right now and we had to make royal icing for class this week and last week so I had plenty of the stuff around so I decided to make fall-inspired cookies to give out at Thanksgiving.

I used the sugar cookie recipe from Annie's Eats and the Wilton royal icing recipe. The sugar cookies don't really rise or spread so you can make true shapes and have a relatively smooth, flat decorating surface.
Sugar Cookies
Adapted from Annie's Eats

1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup powdered sugar
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg

Cream the butter on medium speed for 3-5 minutes until light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar and beat about 1 minute more. Add egg and extracts and beat about 1 more minute until fully incorporated. Add salt and flour and beat until just incorporated. Lay out a sheet of plastic wrap and turn dough out onto the plastic wrap, mold dough into a rounded disc and cover tightly. Refrigerate at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Sprinkle powdered sugar on clean countertop and on rolling pin. Roll out 1/3 of the dough at a time to 1/4 - 1/2" thick. Use cookie cutters to cut into desired shape and re-roll scraps as necessary. Continue to refrigerate unrolled dough while baking cookies if necessary. Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes, cookies should not brown. Yields about 36 cookies depending on size and thickness.
Royal Icing
Recipe from Wilton

1 lb. powdered sugar
3 T meringue powder
5 1/2 T lukewarm water

Mix all ingredients on low for about 8 minutes, cover mixing bowl with a damp towel to keep icing from drying out. Transfer icing to a small bowl for each desired color. I recommend you use gel food colorings so the color doesn't affect the consistency of the icing. This recipe yields about 3 cups of icing. Use regular strength icing to outline cookies. Let the outline dry for at least 1 hour and then flood the insides. Add water to desired color until the icing pours off a spoon and blends back into the bowl. If you add too much water, just add more powdered sugar until you reach the right consistency. Put thinned icing in a small ziploc and snip off a corner. Fill cookies and use a toothpick or small paint brush to fill in any gaps. Let dry at least 1 hour and add detail with outlining icing as desired.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

French Bread Pizza

In need of a simple, fast weeknight dinner? This is super easy and (slightly) healthier than ordering pizza, but its definitely cheaper, you can definitely make this meal for about $5 total. These also make a great simple appetizer at a football party or last minute gathering, just use a pizza wheel to slice into 1" strips.

French Bread Pizza

1/2 lb. Italian Sausage
1 clove garlic
1 cup marinara or pizza sauce (I actually use a combination of the 2)
1 cup shredded mozzerella or pizza cheese blend
1 tsp Italian seasoning
Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
1 loaf of french bread

Preheat broiler on low. Brown sausage in a skillet, drain any excess fat and leave over low heat. Meanwhile, cut bread in half and hollow out the middle of the bread by cutting in a "V" shape. Make sure to leave bread about a 1/2" thick on all sides. You can use the top and bottom to make pizzas or just use the bottom and use the top for garlic bread. It just depends on how much bread I have (since when I do this, I'm usually using leftovers) and how hungry we are. Peel garlic clove and rub whole clove all over the inside of the bread. Mince garlic clove and add to sausage. Put bread on a baking sheet and place under the broiler for about 5 minutes, just until it starts to crisp up. You don't want to over cook the bread at this point or you will end up with burnt pizza.

Mix marinara/pizza sauce in with cooked sausage. Remove bread from the oven and add meat sauce mixture to the cavity in the bread. Add cheese to the top, sprinkle with Italian seasoning and crushed red pepper flakes and return to the oven for an additional 5-10 minutes until cheese is melted and bread is golden brown.

Make-ahead tip: I usually cook a full pound of Italian sausage and add more sauce to a make a meat sauce for pasta or in the case of this week, lasagna roll-ups later in the week.
Cheesy Garlic Bread with Marinara Sauce

Tops of French bread
1/4 cup mozzerella cheese
1 T butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup marinara sauce
1 T parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Melt butter in a small bowl with minced garlic. Spread the tops of the French bread from your pizza with butter. Top with cheese and sprinkle with Italian seasoning and crushed red pepper flakes. Place on a baking sheet under a broiler on low for 5-10 minutes until cheese is melted and bread is golden brown. Meanwhile mix together marinara sauce, parmesan cheese and garlic powder in a small bowl. Heat in the microwave for about 30 seconds until warm. Serve as dipping sauce.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Weekend in San Diego

Todd and I went to San Diego last weekend. Since he had a work conference that took him to California and I had never been there, we decided to make a little vacation out of it.

We went to Coronado Island and walked on the beach, saw the beautiful Hotel del Coronado (where I want to stay next time we visit). We had dinner at Anthony's Fish Grotto right on the harbor.
We took a tour of the USS Midway, a retired aircraft carrier, which was a pretty eye-opening experience to what the military men and women deal with while protecting our country. I have to say, there is no way I could do it, so I just want to thank all those who do, it's definitely a sacrifice you and your families make and everyone should thank you for it.

We also spent some time in the Gaslamp District, a unique, charming part of San Diego with many local restaurants, bars and pubs. I had to watch the Iowa - Ohio State game and luckily we found another Iowa fan and converted a few other patrons at the Gaslamp Tavern.

We went to Old Town and had a fantastic Mexican dinner at Cafe Coyote and margaritas at a couple of places. I got some great roasted garlic and citrus pressed olive oils in a little shop from a local farm and we wandered through many shops and stopped to listen to a local band for a while.

We happened upon Dog Beach in Ocean Beach and saw a beautiful sunset, surfers, and tons of people playing with their dogs. Such a fun place, our dogs would have loved it. We headed to Ocean Beach originally to find Hodad's, on the recommendation of a local that we met in Old Town who claimed they were the best burgers you could get. Judging by the line out the door to get in the restaurant, we figured they would be worthwhile and they were some excellent burgers. The inside of the restaurant is covered with license plates from all around the U.S.

All in all, it was a great trip to San Diego and such a nice, relaxing weekend.

Cookin' with Coolio: Don Chicken Alfredo

A month or so ago, I volunteered to do a review of Coolio's new cookbook. Those of you who grew up in the 90's will remember Coolio of Gangsta Paradise fame but now he has termed himself "The Ghetto Gourmet". He claims to have been cooking longer than he's been rapping and has published this cookbook to teach people to make "5 star meals at a 1 star price."

This cookbook doesn't read like your typical cookbook. You'll find ingredients measured in dime bags and off-color language throughout. The dishes you'll find include such things at Chicken Lettuce Blunts, Oil My Mussels, Pimp My Shrimp, and Crybaby Chicken. After looking through the book, I decided to make Don Chicken Alfredo. The recipe claimed 15 minutes of prep time and 20 minutes of cooking time but that's a litle on the optimistic side. Although not difficult, there are several pieces to get ready at once. I also cut the recipe in half since its just me and hubs and the recipe says it will serve 6-8 people. We had plenty of leftovers for lunch tomorrow still. I also left out the mushrooms (because I don't like them) and the tomatos (because I didnt have any and thought it seemed wierd). I used mozzerella cheese instead of colby-monterey jack cheese (again because it's what I had on hand). Overall this turned out pretty good - a fairly classic alfredo taste without all the fat of heavy cream. (It's still not health food, but it could be worse.)
Here's the recipe as I made it:

Don Chicken Alfredo
Recipe adapted from Cookin' with Coolio
1/2 pound fettuccine (I used whole wheat)
2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
4 T olive oil, divided
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 medium white onion, diced
2 T flour
1 1/2 cups milk (I used skim)
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup shredded mozzerella cheese
2 T sour cream (I used reduced fat)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

Boil water over high heat for fettuccine. Add salt and cook pasta until al dente (about 6-8 minutes) and drain.

Meanwhile heat a large skillet over medium high heat, add 2 T olive oil and 2 cloves minced garlic. Add chicken and cook until no longer pink (about 7-10 minutes). Remove chicken when finished cooking and cover with foil to keep it hot.
Heat another skillet over medium heat. Add remaining olive oil and minced garlic. Add diced onion and cook until translucent, abou 5-7 minutes. Add flour and stir until well combined, cook about 2 minutes. Slowly pour in the milk and "stir until it's smooth like Barry and creamy like White." Turn off the heat and add the cheeses, stirring until melted. Add sour cream, salt and pepper. Slice chicken into thin strips. Add pasta to the sauce mixture and stir until combined. Add chicken, stir and serve.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Apple Crumb Bars

Recipe inspired by Smitten Kitchen

3 cups All-purpose Flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, cold, cut into pieces
1 large egg
4 apples (I used Granny Smith), peeled and diced into small pieces
1/4 cup brown sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
4 tsp cornstarch
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon, divided
1/4 tsp ground cloves
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray a 9x13 pan with baking spray or butter and flour. In a large bowl, combine flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, 1/2 tsp cinnamon and salt. Combine finely chopped apples in a separate bowl with brown sugar, lemon juice, corn starch, 1 tsp cinnamon and cloves. Stir to combine. Add butter and egg to flour mixture and use a pastry cutter, fork or your hands to combine. Mix until crumbly. Add about half of the crumb mixture to the 9x13 pan and press down firmly to form the bottom crust. Add apple mixture and spread evenly. Top with remaining crumble topping and bake for about 45 minutes until bubbly and lightly browned. When cooled, cut into squares. I was able to get 28 squares.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sweet Potato - Apple Bake

An easy, healthier alternative to a traditional mashed sweet potato casserole that's simple enough to do as a side dish for a weeknight dinner or you could dress it up for a holiday dinner.
Sweet Potato - Apple Bake
(Serves 4)

1-2 apples, diced in large chunks
2-3 sweet potatos, diced in large chunks
1/4 cup of orange juice
1 T lemon juice
2 T brown sugar
1/2 tsp nutmeg

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and lightly spray an 8x8 pan with cooking spray. Peel and core apples, dice into large bite size peices. Toss gently with lemon juice. Peel sweet potatos and cut in half. Cut each half in half again and slice into rounds approximately 1/2" thick. You want to keep the pieces consistently sized so they cook the same. Add to apples and add brown sugar, orange juice and nutmeg and toss to evenly coat. Bake for approximately 1 hour until potatos are tender. Stir about half way through cook time to keep the top from drying out.

To dress this up, any of the following make great additions: golden raisins, dried cranberries, butternut squash, walnuts or pecans.

Friday, November 13, 2009


I'm in San Diego with my husband for a long weekend and it was a crazy ridiculous couple of weeks at work leading up to going out of town, so despite my goal of blogging daily this month, you won't hear from me until Sunday when I'm back in Kentucky. But I'll get you some good stuff then as next week I start Course 2 of Wilton classes and have tons of good Thanksgiving recipes to post soon.

For now, I'm going to enjoy my vacation for the next couple days!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Chicken Enchiladas with Sour Cream Cheese Sauce

I've been craving enchiladas for a couple weeks and I haven't gotten around to making them. On Monday night, I decided it was time. I had some chicken thawed out and plenty of tortilla shells but then realized I was missing the enchilada sauce. It was already about 7 pm and I didnt want to run to the store, so I just modified my usual enchilada recipe a little. While I still love my original, this created a whole new love. These enchiladas were a perfect blend of spicy, cheesy goodness. (The pictures don't exactly live up to the goodness.)

Chicken Enchiladas with Sour Cream Cheese Sauce
(Serves 4)
2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 jalepeno peppers, seeded and diced
1/2 white onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheddar
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
8 tortillas (I use whole wheat flour tortillas but you can use corn if you prefer)

Cook chicken in a large covered pan with 1" of water over medium-high heat until cooked through (about 10-15 minutes). Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray an 8x8 pan with cooking spray. When chicken is cooked through, drain and remove from pan, use 2 forks to shred it and set aside. Add 1 T of oil to the pan and add garlic and onion. Saute for about 2 minutes and return chicken to pan. Reduce heat to medium-low and add jalepenos and 1/4 cup chicken stock to the pan. Add 1 tsp each of cumin and chili powder and cayenne pepper. Add corn and 1/4 cup shredded cheese, cook until cheese is melted. Warm tortillas on a plate in the microwave for about 15 seconds, covered with a damp paper towel.

Heat a 2nd skillet over medium-low heat and add sour cream. Whisk in remaining chicken stock and remaining cumin and chili powder. Add 1 cup of cheese and whisk until melted. Remove from heat. Add filling to the center of each tortilla, fold in the ends and roll up. Place seam side down in the pan. Fit all the enchiladas in the pan closely together and pour sour cream sauce over the enchiladas. Top with remaining 1/4 cup of cheese. Bake for approximately 20-30 minutes until cheese is bubbly. Serve topped with salsa and guacamole if desired.

Chicken Enchiladas on Foodista

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Pumpkin Spice Layer Cake

This cake just tastes like fall should. Its super moist and the frosting is rich and creamy. The coconut and pineapple add such great texture. You have to try this one and it comes together super quick and easy.
Pumpkin Spice Layer Cake
adapted from Epicurious

2 cups AP flour
2 cups sugar
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
3 large eggs
1 cup canola oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups pumpkin puree (unsweetened not pie filling)
1 cup lightly packed sweetened coconut
3/4 cup canned crushed pineapple with juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour 2 8" or 9" cake pans. Mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and spices. Beat eggs with oil and add to dry ingredients. Stir just until combined. Stir together pumpkin, crushed pineapple, vanilla and coconut. Add to cake batter and stir just until combined. Pour batter into pans, distributing evenly. Bake for approximately 35 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool approximately 15 minutes and then remove from pan and transfer to wire rack to finish cooling.

Cream Cheese Frosting
2 packages cream cheese, room temperature
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 T pumpkin puree
1 tsp vanilla extract

Beat cream cheese for approximately 5 minutes until smooth and creamy. Add butter and beat another 3 minutes. Add pumpkin and vanilla and beat until well incorporated about 1 minute. Add powdered sugar and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Level cakes as necessary so they will stack evenly. Place bottom layer on cake plate or serving tray. Spread about 1 cup of frosting on the top and smooth into a thick layer with an offset spatula. Add 2nd layer of cake. Top with about 2 cups of frosting and smooth a thick layer over the top and down the sides of the cake. Dust with cinnamon or decorate as desired.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Chipotle Citrus Swordfish Steaks

I had an almost empty bottle of chipotle citrus marinade in the fridge that I'm not sure why I kept, but I wanted to use on my swordfish steaks so I added my own blend to it to make enought marinade for 2 swordfish steaks (in reality, I probably could have marinated 4 steaks with this amount). I think this marinade would work really on chicken too.

Chipotle Citrus Swordfish Steaks
(Serves 2)

2 swordfish steaks
2 T canola oil
1 small can chipotles in adobo, chopped, sauce reserved
1 lime
1 T olive oil
1 T lemon pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced

(Note: I also added about 2 T of Kroger's Chipotle Citrus marinade to this but its unnecessary as the above ingredients pretty much recreate the marinade.)

Add chipotle peppers and sauce, lime juice, olive oil and garlic to a large ziploc bag. Add steaks and marinate for at least 30 minutes to about an hour. Heat a grill pan over high heat and add canola oil. Heat almost to smoke point. Sprinkle both sides of steaks with lemon pepper and add to pan. Cook for approximately 6 minutes per side. Resist the urge to move the fish too early. You need to give it time to develop good grill marks and cook so it wont stick to the pan. Turn the fish and cook through. If necessary to cook through, reduce heat and continue cooking until done.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Parmesan and Sun Dried Tomato Orzo

A light and easy side dish that takes almost no effort. Its a nice change from rice or a heavy pasta.

Parmesan and Sun Dried Tomato Orzo
(Makes 3 servings)

1 cup orzo
3-4 sun-dried tomato pieces, packed in oil, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 cup fresh baby spinach, chopped
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp olive oil
2 T milk
2 T chicken stock

Boil water for orzo according to package directions. When it comes to a boil, add salt and orzo and cook to al dente. Heat a skillet over medium heat, add olive oil. When hot, add garlic and sun-dried tomatos. Saute for a couple minutes, until orzo is done, drain orzo and return to skillet. Add milk and chicken stock, stirring frequently. Add spinach, parmesan cheese, and red pepper flakes and cook until melted and serve hot.

Saturday, November 7, 2009


Started out at work, even though it was Saturday. I spent the morning in my office and half of the afternoon too. Then I got home to see the last 10 minutes of my team's game that ended their 13 game winning streak. Super day... absolutely fantastic. So I decided we needed to do something fun and get out of the house. I talked the hubs into shopping, because I agreed to shop for a flat screen tv. We've been planning to buy one on Black Friday so we figured we would go out and see some of the models that he's been researching online.

Well we walked into H.H.Gregg, debated between LCD and plasma, Sony and Samsung, tried to figure out what size would work best, etc. Then the sales guy told us about a great deal - an open box special, I talked him into cutting the price even more and knocked a couple hundred more off the price and we became the proud owners of our first giant-size, flat screen, HDTV! (Yeah I know we're a few years behind half the U.S.) For the curious, its a 52" Sony Bravia XBR9 LCD 1080p 240 hz - whatever that means.

By the time we got home, got the old tv moved, new one on the stand, cables hooked up, another trip back to the store to buy an extra HDMI cable, we decided it was time for a quick pizza and rented a movie (since HD won't be added to our cable until they open on Monday) to test out the tv. I'll cook tomorrow... for now you can have a picture of our newest addition.
(just remember its hard to take a picture in the dark of a bright tv when your husband wont turn it off)

Friday, November 6, 2009

Spicy Seasoned Oven Fries

Spicy Seasoned Oven Fries
2 russet potatos
2 T olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Cut potatos in half, then in half again, cut each wedge into approximately 1/2" strips, making all the fries about the same thickness. Pour olive oil over potatos on the pan and sprinkle with spices, toss to coat evenly and spread out into a single layer on the pan. Cook for approximately 30 minutes, flipping about half way.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


Much to the detriment of my abs and hips, I crave sweets on pretty much a daily basis. Whether that comes in the form of cakes, cookies, candy, etc is the part that varies. I always like a little something sweet to finish a meal or as an afternoon snack. Because of this lovely character flaw, I make baked goods frequently but I try to keep as few of them on hand as possible. Sometimes that means sending them to my husbands co-workers, giving them to family or in the case of cookies, freezing most of the dough.

Most cookies can be prepped and frozen and then baked in smaller quantities straight from the freezer. For drop cookies I just go ahead and scoop them out into balls and freeze on the cookie sheets, once they are frozen through, I put them in ziploc bags in small quantities. For cutout cookies, just freeze the dough and thaw in the fridge overnight before rolling out your cookies and baking.

One cookie that freezes perfectly are snickerdoodles. Often overlooked these are a simple cookie without frills like chocolate chunks or butterscotch chips, no raisins or frosting. Just simple cinnamon and sugar but oh so good.


Adapted from Annie's Eats and my great-grandmother
(Yields about 3 dozen cookies)
1 1/2 sticks (12 T) unsalted butter, slightly softened
1/4 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar, plus 3 T
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 T milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 T cinnamon
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare cookie sheets by lining with parchment paper. Cream together shortening, butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, milk and vanilla extract and continue beating until well mixed (about 30 seconds). Add flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. Mix on low just until incorporated.
Mix together cinnamon and remaining sugar in a small bowl, roll dough into small 1" balls and roll into sugar mix. Place on cookie sheet. Using a small, flat-bottomed glass dipped in water and then sugar mix, lightly press each cookie to about 1/2" thick. Bake 8-10 minutes until the tops are crinkled. Let cool for a couple minutes on the cookie sheets and then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Zinfandel Marinara Pasta with Italian Sausage

Completely delicious... if you don't already cook with wine, try it now. This is a really easy recipe but it tastes like you worked really hard. The wine adds so much flavor.

Zinfandel Marinara Pasta with Italian Sausage

1/2 pound Italian sausage (I used turkey)
1 T olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 red pepper, diced
1/4 red onion, diced
1 cup chopped baby spinach
1/4 cup zinfandel or other red wine
3/4 cup traditional marinara sauce (I use Prego Traditional HeartSmart)
2 cups rotini or other short cut pasta (I use Healthy Harvest Whole Wheat)
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Heat water for pasta to boiling, add salt and pasta and cook until al dente. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add Italian Sausage and brown. When cooked through remove from pan. Add olive oil, garlic, onions, and red pepper. Cook until softened and add wine. Simmer until reduced by about half and add marinara. Return sausage to pan. Drain pasta and add to sauce, stir well to thoroughly coat the pasta. Add cheese and herbs and stir.

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