Monday, February 26, 2007

Pasta, Pasta, Pasta

I could really live on this stuff. There are so many ways to make it taste different and it is so affordable too. :)

Last night I made the Ziti with Ricotta and Vegetables for dinner from my previous post and it was soooooo delish!!!! The entire family loved it. It was so easy anyone can do it.

So tonight, I'm making this with a little salad and a little garlic bread....

Linguine with Two-Olive Marina

2 teaspoons of olive oil
2/3 cup of chopped onion
2 teaspoons minced garlic
3/4 cup of sliced pitted green olives (about 15)
1 (2-1/4 ounce) can of sliced ripe olives, drained
1/4 teaspoon of sugar
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon of dried oregano
1/3 cup of dry white wine
1 (28 ounce) can of crushed tomatoes
1 box of cooked linguine
3/4 cup of parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley

1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute 3 minutes. Stir in garlic and saute 1 minute. Add olives and saute 30 seconds. Stir in sugar, red pepper, black pepper & oregano, cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add wine and cook 30 seconds. Stir in tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes.

2. Cook pasta, serve with sauce and sprinkle with cheese and parsley.

Mangia! :D

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Some new recipes

that I'll be trying very soon. Just thought I'd share....:)

Ziti with Ricotta & Vegetables

Start to Finish: 25 min.

8 ounces dried ziti or penne pasta
2-1/2 cups broccoli florets
1-1/2 cups asparagus or green beans cut into 1-inch pieces
2 large ripe tomatoes
1 cup light ricotta cheese
1/4 cup snipped fresh basil or 1 tablespoon dried basil, crushed
4 teaspoons snipped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
4 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan or Romano cheese

1. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting any oil or salt and adding broccoli and asparagus or green beans the last 3 minutes of cooking; drain.
2. Meanwhile, place a fine strainer over a large bowl. Cut tomatoes in half; squeeze seeds and juice into strainer. With the back of a spoon, press on seeds to extract juice; discard seeds, reserving tomatoes.
3. Add ricotta cheese, basil, thyme, vinegar, oil, garlic, salt, and pepper to tomato juice in bowl; mix well. Chop reserved tomatoes; stir into ricotta mixture. Add hot cooked pasta and vegetables to Toss to combine. Sprinkle each serving with Parmesan cheese; serve immediately. Makes 4 main-dish servings.

Lemon Chicken Lasagna

Prep: 20 minutes Bake: 40 minutes
Nonstick cooking spray
1 16-oz. jar roasted garlic alfredo sauce
1 Tbsp. drained capers
6 no-boil lasagna noodles
1/2 of a 15-oz. container ricotta cheese
6 oz. fontina cheese or mozarella shredded (1 1/2 cups)
1-1/2 tsp. finely shredded lemon peel
1/4 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
1 9-oz. pkg. refrigerated or frozen cooked chicken breast strips (thawed, if frozen)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat a 2-quart square baking dish with cooking spray; set aside. In a saucepan combine alfredo sauce and capers. Bring to boiling over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Spoon 1/3 cup of sauce mixture into prepared dish. Top with 2 lasagna noodles. In a bowl stir together ricotta, 1 cup of the fontina cheese, and 1 teaspoon of the lemon peel. Spoon half the cheese mixture over noodles. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons Parmesan. Top with half the chicken. Spoon half the remaining sauce over chicken layer.
2. Top with 2 more noodles, remaining ricotta mixture, and remaining chicken. Add 2 more noodles, remaining sauce, and sprinkle with remaining fontina and Parmesan.
3. Cover with foil. Bake for 40 minutes. Let stand, covered, on wire rack for 20 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with remaining lemon peel. Makes 6 servings.

Pesto Lasagna Pie

Makes 8 to 10 servings
Prep: 50 minutes Bake: 60 minutes
12 dried regular or whole wheat lasagna noodles
1 recipe Lemon-Parsley Pesto (see recipe below) or 1 cup purchased pesto
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 15-ounce container ricotta cheese
1 8-ounce package shredded Italian blend cheese or mozzarella cheese (2 cups)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Nonstick cooking spray
2 cups chopped fresh spinach
1/2 of an 8-ounce package fresh mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 28-ounce can whole Italian-style tomatoes
Fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley leaves (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a 4-quart or larger pot cook noodles according to package directions until just tender. Drain noodles; rinse with cold water. Drain well; set aside.
2. Prepare Lemon-Parsley Pesto; set aside. In a medium bowl stir together egg, ricotta cheese, 1 cup of the shredded Italian blend cheese, salt, and pepper; set aside.
3. To assemble lasagna, lightly coat the inside of a 9-inch springform pan or 13x9x2-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Arrange 4 of the cooked noodles in the bottom of the pan, trimming and overlapping as necessary to cover bottom of pan with 1 layer of noodles. Top with spinach. Spoon half of the ricotta cheese mixture over spinach, spreading evenly. Spoon one-third of the pesto over ricotta layer, spreading evenly. Top with another layer of noodles, trimming to fit. Top with mushrooms. Spread remaining ricotta cheese mixture over mushrooms. Spread half of the remaining pesto over ricotta layer. Top with another layer of noodles and remaining pesto. Drain tomatoes. Slice, quarter, or halve tomatoes and place on top of layers.
4. Place springform pan in a foil-lined shallow baking pan. Bake, covered, for 45 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle with remaining Italian blend cheese. Bake, uncovered, for 15 minutes more or until cheese is melted and lasagna is heated through. Cover and let stand for 20 minutes before serving. Carefully remove sides of pan. Top with parsley leaves. To serve, cut lasagna into wedges. (For 13x9x2-inch pan, bake, covered with foil, in a 375 degrees F oven for 40 minutes; uncover and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake, uncovered, 5 minutes more or until cheese is melted and lasagna is heated through.) Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Lemon-Parsley Pesto: In a food-processor bowl combine 4 cups fresh spinach leaves (about 8 ounces), 1/2 cup fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley, 1/3 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese, 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts or walnuts, 2 cloves garlic quartered, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 teaspoons finely shredded lemon peel, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cover and process until nearly smooth. (If desired, use a blender and add 2 to 4 tablespoons water with the spinach leaves.) Makes about 1 cup.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

My boy

And, not to forget my son....this sweater, a button down and a pair of khakis will be his Easter Sunday uni.

Ok. Now, I'm all shopped out.

BTW, The Children's place is having a 15% percent off sale and flat rate $5.00 shipping. The code is....Sp2E27. Happy Shopping! :)


I simply could *not* resist this dress while I was shopping for her Easter dress. Love the color. :)

Natalie's Easter Dress

is on it's way from The Children's place and I love it. I think it is soooo pretty and not too fancy. So, she can wear it out to dinner and not look like she's in a party dress.. :) Whatcha think? I love the little sweater on top too. Eeeeeeeeeee! :)

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Felt Pouch

Elsie made these darling little felt pouches to hold wallet size photos of her layouts. I thought how fun would it be to do a tropical themed one to hold all my beach layouts. That way I could always be near the beach even during the cold dreary winter months. HeeHee! So FUN! :)

Rubber Ducky You're The One

Does anyone remember that song from Sesame Street? I used to sing it to my kiddos at bathtime everyday. :) My kiddos are too big for Ernie but I still have my niece to sing to. That may be a good thing or a bad thing (if you've ever heard me sing you'd know the answer). LOL!

Well, my sister recently moved into a new house and she has been decorating up a storm. My niece has her very own bathroom complete with a large vanity. It's all decked out in a rubber ducky theme. Too CUTE!

So, while I was browsing the aisles of Michael's, I couldn't resist making this frame for her bathroom. How cute would a bath photo look in here? I hope she likes it. :)

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

I *heart* sketches!!!

I really do! And, Elsie has a whole bunch of new sketches she created on her blog right now. Sooooo FUN! Here is my version of Elsie Sketch #19.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Only 2 Hours Left

You've got 2 hours left to post something at DML and have a chance at winning the grand prize. No layout, no worries. Post a simple recipe in the food court and your name gets entered into the grand prize drawing too. C'mon! Whatcha waiting for?? Good Luck! :)

I did this one in honor of DML's 3rd Anniversary. I used 3 photos, 3 flowers, 3 brads & 3 pieces of patterned paper. :)

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Cyber Crop

We are cropping over at DML. There are tons of fab challenges and loads of SUPER DUPER prizes to be given away. Come join the FUN. Who knows? You may win something. :)

Friday, February 02, 2007

Brownie Build A Bear

Today Natty and her Brownie Troop went to Build A Bear as a reward for their decorate a cookie earnings from Farmers Market. And, they even earned a try it badge too boot. Natalie named hers Cuddles. The little sash and skirt are too CUTE!! The little sash even holds badges. Soooo adorable!! :D