Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Spaghetti with Turkey Meatballs


  • 1/4 cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 lb. ground pork sausage
  • 3/4 lb. ground turkey
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • Fresh marjoram leaves, chopped, plus whole
      sprigs for garnish
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Olive oil, as needed
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 large can (35 oz.) plus 1 small can (12 oz.)
      plum tomatoes, chopped, with juices
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 lb. spaghetti


To make the meatballs, in a large bowl, combine the bread crumbs and milk and mix well. Add the sausage, beef, egg, one-third of the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, the shallot, nutmeg, cloves, a good sprinkling of marjoram and 1 garlic clove, minced. Mix briefly with your hands just until the ingredients are well distributed. Season well with salt and pepper. Form the mixture into small balls 1/2 to 1 inch in diameter.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Generously salt the boiling water, add the pasta and cook until al dente (tender but firm to the bite), 7 to 9 minutes. Drain the pasta well and put it in a warmed large, shallow bowl. 

In a large fry pan over medium heat, pour in the olive oil to a depth of 1/4 inch. When it is hot, add the meatballs (in batches, if necessary) and brown well on all sides. Transfer to a paper towel-lined tray to drain.

Discard the oil in the fry pan and wipe out any burned bits. In the pan over medium heat, warm 3 Tbs. olive oil, add the onion and sauté until soft and lightly golden, about 4 minutes. Slice and add the remaining 2 garlic cloves and sauté about 1 minute more. Add the wine and simmer until it is almost completely evaporated. Add the tomatoes and juices. Then add the broth and bay leaf and season with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.
Add a sprinkling of chopped marjoram to the sauce, remove the bay leaf and pour the sauce over the pasta. Drizzle with olive oil and toss gently. Garnish with the marjoram sprigs and serve immediately. Pass the remaining Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese at the table.
Serves 4.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Monkey Munch Recipe

Monkey Munch 

Monkey Munch
9 cups Chex cereal (any variety)
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Stove Method Directions:
Measure cereal into a large bowl & set aside.
Heat chocolate chips, peanut butter and the butter over low heat until melted. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
Pour the melted chocolate mixture over the cereal and stir until evenly coated.
Pour the mix into a 2 gallon ziploc bag and add powdered sugar, seal bag.
Shake bag until everything’s well coated then spread the mix on waxed paper to cool.
Refrigerate in an airtight container.
Microwave Method Directions:
Place the chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter in a microwaveable bowl and melt uncovered on High for 1 minute. Stir.
Microwave for another 30 seconds or until mixture is stirred smooth.
Stir in the vanilla.
Follow the rest of the directions as above in the Stove Method.
You can also find the recipe on the Chex website here.

Egg Foo Yung

 Egg Foo Yung 


8 eggs, beaten
1 cup thinly sliced celery
1 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup bean sprouts
1/2 cup diced fresh mushrooms
1 cup broccoli florets
1 cup grated carrots
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 Tablespoon of Gluten Free low sodium soy sauce
2 cubes chicken bouillon
 1 1/2 cups hot water
 1 1/2 teaspoons white sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce (I use low sodium brand)
6 tablespoons cold water
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch


Beat eggs in a large bowl. Add the celery, onion, bean
sprouts, mushrooms, grated carrots, broccoli florets, soy sauce
salt and pepper. Mix together.

Heat oil in a medium skillet or wok and add the egg mixture
1/2 cup at a time. When all of the mixture is browned, set

To make the sauce: Dissolve the bouillon in the hot water
in a small saucepan; add sugar and soy sauce and blend
well over medium heat. Add cold water and cornstarch and
stir until thick and smooth. Serve with Egg Foo Yung Sauce.

Baked Salmon with Herb Butter


Baked Salmon with Herb Butter, Rice and Green
Beans with Slivered Almonds

Baked Salmon À La Mon Ami
  • salmon
  • roasted garlic herb compound butter (or butter)
  • olive oil
  • dried herbs (oregano, rosemary)
  • salt/pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Rinse the filet of salmon with cold water and pat the salmon dry.
  3. Rub both sides of the salmon with olive oil.
  4. Season with salt, pepper and any dried herbs according to your taste preferences.
  5. Coat the top of the salmon with a compound butter.
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes depending on the thickness of the salmon.
  7. Serve immediately.

Broccoli with Pasta and Cheese

Broccoli with Pasta and Cheese 
note: since this recipe calls for milk
its best for children 12 months and older

My boys are such picky eaters and its so frustrating when it 
comes to getting them to eat broccoli which is
the best veggie they could ever consume. So 
I made them this recipe and THEY ATE IT! Whoohoo!
Try this one out and let me know if they eat their
broccoli today =D its a very tasty lunch.

Broccoli florets, cut into smaller pieces
Small penne or farfalle pasta
Cheese Sauce:
1 1/2 tbsp sweet butter
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
3/4 cup organic whole milk
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated ( I use more like 1 cup of cheese)

Steam the broccoli for 10-12 minutes in a steamer. Cook the 
pasta according to the instructions on the package, then
drain. Meanwhile, make the cheese sauce. Met
the butter in a small, heavy-bottomed pan over
a low heat. Gradually add the flour, beating well to form
a smooth paste. Cook for 30 seconds, stirring continuously. 
Add the milk. a little at a time, whisking well to prevent any
lumps from forming, then stir in the oregano. Simmer for
2 minutes until smooth and creamy, then mix in the
cheese. Add the steamed broccoli and pasta to 
the cheese sauce and stir well. Finely chop or mash the mixture.

BQ Ribs with Rice


BQ Ribs with Rice and the
side dish is Green beans with
slivered almonds

We are going to give ourselves a little break since
its a Monday =D The BQ ribs are from Costco
already made...you just need to cook
it up and its oh so yummo!! 25 minutes
in the oven and you have some delish
BQ ribs! Here is the recipe for the
green beans with almonds


  • Coarse salt, to taste
  • 2 lb. slender green beans, trimmed
  • 1/2 cup slivered blanched almonds
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 4 shallots, thinly sliced
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


Fill a large pot three-fourths full of lightly salted water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the green beans and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain in a colander, rinse with cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Set aside. (The beans can be prepared up to this point 1 day in advance, covered tightly and refrigerated until ready to use.)

In a large fry pan over medium heat, toast the almonds, stirring continuously, until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

In the same pan over medium heat, melt the butter with the olive oil. Add the shallots and sauté until translucent and beginning to brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Increase the heat to medium-high and stir in the beans. Sauté, stirring continuously, until heated through and beginning to brown, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the parsley and almonds. Transfer to a warmed serving bowl and serve immediately.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Turkey Lasagna Cups


• 1/2 lb Ground Turkey 
• 1 small onion, chopped 
• 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms 
• 1/2 can diced Tomatos 
• 1 cup Tomato Sauce 
• 1.5 cups Cottage Cheese 
• 1 cup Frozen Spinach {which has been thawed} 
• 2 cups Mozza Cheese, shredded 
• 24 small square Wonton Wrappers 
• Oregano, Garlic Powder, Salt, Pepper to taste 

• Preheat oven to 375ºF
• Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the turkey, onions, mushrooms and seasonings. Simmer until cooked
• Add crushed tomatoes and sauce, bring the pan to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside
• In a large bowl, combine the Cottage Cheese and Spinach. Stir to mix well. Set aside.
• Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray. Place 1 wonton wrapper into each of the 12 cups, pressing firmly in the bottom of the cup and up the sides

  • • Spoon in Cottage Cheese mixture, using about half for the 12 muffin cups
  • • Spoon in half of the beef/turkey and tomato sauce mixture, again using about half.
  • • Sprinkle with mozzarella
  • • Gently press another wonton wrapper on top of the mozzarella layer
  • • Repeat the process by distributing the remaining Cottage Cheese, then the remaining tomato sauce/meat mixture, and finally the rest of the shredded mozzarella

  • • Bake for about 10 minutes, or until the cheese has melted
  • • Let the cups cool for 5 minutes then remove them from the pan, and serve!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Taco Stuffed Turkey Shells Recipe

1lb ground turkey
1 package taco seasoning
1 4 once package cream cheese
12 large pasta shells
1 cup salsa
1 cup taco sauce
1 cup cheddar cheese (shredded)
1 cup Monterrey jack cheese (shredded)
1 ½ cups tortilla chips (crushed)
3 green onions (chopped)
1 cup sour cream 

Step 1: In a fry pan cook ground turkey and add taco seasoning and prepare according to package directions. Add cream cheese cover and simmer until cheese is melted. Blend well. Set aside and allow to fully cool. While burger is cooking cook the pasta shells, drain and toss well with butter.
Step 2: Pour salsa in the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch baking dish.
Step 3: Stuff each shell with the meat mixture. Place the stuffed shells in the baking dish and cover the tops of the shells with taco sauce.
Step 4: Cover and bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Step 5: After 30 minutes, uncover, and sprinkle crushed chips and shredded cheddar and Monterrey jack cheeses on top. Cook for about 15 more minutes. Serve with sour cream, additional salsa

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Lentils and Red Beans in a Creamy Tomato Sauce (Dal Makhani)


2 cups Black Beans
1/2 cup Red Kidney Beans
2 tablespoons Split Bengal Gram Lentils

1/2 onion, chopped
1 green cardamom
2 green chili pepper
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1.5 tablespoons butter or ghee or canola oil
4-5 cups warm water (more or less)
2 cups whole milk (or 3/4 cup cream)
3 cups Makhani Masala  Butter Based Tomato Cream Sauce (without the Cream) 
*you can freeze this sauce as well =D
Makhani Masala is the very aromatic butter based tomato cream sauce seasoned with spices and herbs – the base gravy for most of the tomato based creamy dishes in the Indian restaurants. The word ”makhani” comes form “makhan” which means butter. The origin of this sauce is in the northern regions of India (Punjab). Traditionally fresh butter and cream were used to cook this basic sauce.  If you do not want to indulge the butter/ghee may be replaced with cooking oil
 ( I usually use Canola)

Ingredients: (yields about 3 cups)

1/4 cup ginger paste
3tablespoon garlic paste
2 inch stick of cinnamon
2 black cardamoms
2 small green cardamoms
1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds (This is a MUST and I found this at Whole Foods Grocery Store)
1 tablespoon kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves; Available in Indian Groceries or online)
5 cups pureed fresh tomato (or about 1/2 the amount of tomato paste) 
1 teaspoon red chili powder (optional)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
Salt to taste
3 hot green peppers slit (optional)
1/4 cup melted butter or canola oil or ghee (clarified butter...I found this in Whole Foods Grocery Store)

1/2 cup heavy cream/whipping cream (leave this out with this dish)
1/2 cup milk (leave this out with this dish)


Heat butter/ghee/oil & add cinnamon, cardamoms and fenugreek seeds.
Once the seeds start to sizzle, add ginger garlic paste, salt, chili powder and stir and fry till fat (butter) separates, and starts to form small bubbles.
Add tomato paste, green chili, cinnamon powder and kasuri methi ( dried fenugreek leaves) Mix the tomato paste with double the amount of water to make it like a puree of use Tomato Puree).

Cook/simmer and reduce the tomato sauce, till done. (you will know which the fat/ and the spice mix/masala leaves the sides of the pan and the oil separates and you will definitely smell it!). Make sure to cover the pan as the sauce will bubble and splatter.

(At this stage the sauce can be frozen for later use. If you are cooking anything with the sauce right away, go ahead and add the cream and milk.)

Add heavy cream and milk. Boil/simmer for about 10 minutes.

After the sauce is done, proceed to cook whatever dish you have decided.

The masala/sauce can be frozen in airtight containers for quite a few months. BUT if you want to freeze it, DO NOT add the cream and the milk. Add the cream and the milk when you want to use it to prepare the final dish.


Soak the lentils/beans (black Beans, kidney beans and Split Bengal Gram lentils or called 
 (chana dal) over night. Wash them well and drain.

In a deep, thick bottomed pot/dutch oven heat the butter/oil/ghee. Add the cardamom, cumin seeds and the slit hot green chili peppers. When the seeds sizzle, add the onions and cook at medium heat till they are clear and soft. Add all of the drained lentils/beans, and salt; toss them together with the oil/ghee/butter and the spices and cook for about 5 minutes at medium to high heat.

Stir in the Makhani Masala/butter based tomato cream sauce we made, toss everything together to be well combined; all the lentils/beans should be well coated with this sauce and simmer at medium heat for about 10 minutes while stirring once in a while.

Add the warm water to the pot, stir and cover; simmer at low heat till the beans are tender. This might take a couple of hours. For a quicker version use the pressure cooker to cook as I always do.

After the lentils/beans are tender, mash some of them with the back of a big spoon. Stir everything together in the pot. It should be thicker than a regular soup, but not dry and clumpy. The consistency should be such that it easily coats a big spoon and yet can be poured out. If there is too much water left, keep on simmering till this consistency is reached. If it gets too dry, add some more warm water and keep simmering. Cook for about 10 minutes after you have reached the right consistency.

Stir in the milk/cream in the pot and lower the heat, cover and cook for another 15 minutes.

Serve hot with Naan or Roti (or any Indian flat bread). Top with more butter/ghee/cream if you want.

Artichoke Lasagna

1/2 lb. lasagna noodles
2 cups cottage or ricotta cheese
1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Jar of marinated artichokes (purchased at Costco)

1/2 cup water
5 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups milk
3 Tbs. unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Italian seasoning, to taste
1/2 lb. mozzarella cheese, shredded


Bring a large pot three-fourths full of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the noodles and cook until al dente, 8 to 12 minutes. 

Drain, immerse in cold water to cool and drain again. Lay the noodles on a baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap.

In a small bowl, stir together the cottage cheese or if you are using ricotta, Parmigiano-Reggiano, salt and pepper; set aside. 

In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the milk to just below a boil. In another saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Stir the flour into the butter and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the hot milk. Set over medium-low heat and cook, stirring, until thick and smooth, 3 to 4 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Remove the sauce from the heat.

Position a rack in the upper third of an oven and preheat to 375°F. Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with olive oil. 

Cover the bottom of the prepared dish with a layer of the noodles. 

Spoon one-third of the ricotta mixture over the noodles. Top with artichokes and then with one-third of the sauce. Repeat the layering twice. Sprinkle the mozzarella and Parmesan cheese evenly over the top. 

Bake until golden and bubbling, 40 to 50 minutes. Let stand for 15 minutes, then cut into squares and serve. 

Monday, January 30, 2012

Spicy Bean Burritos

These were so yummy even though they are meatless =D
I got this recipe from right here: Kitchen Simplicity

Don’t throw out the extra chipotles! Put them in a freezer bag and pop them in the freezer. When you need some for a recipe, chop off as much as needed and thaw to use.
Bean Filling

2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon minced chipotle in adobo sauce
1 teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon salt
dash cayenne pepper
1/3 cup chicken broth
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15 oz.) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
6 tablespoons salsa
To Serve
shredded cheese
diced tomatoes
chopped lettuce
chopped green onions
sour cream

Cook garlic in a small amount of oil just until fragrant (30-60 seconds). Add spices, broth and beans. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in salsa.
Spoon bean filling into tortillas, top with cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, green onions and sour cream to serve.