Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year Appetizers!!

So for New Years this year – we did a bunch of appetizers / crab legs for our “dinner celebration”.  It was yummy – so thought I would post up the apps we had.  Can’t go wrong with apps – had some new ones too!!

Stuffed Mushroom Caps (Thanks Gooder)
I am in LOVE with the stuffed mushroom caps – I made them really spicy, so if you don’t like the kick – then just lower the amount of cayenne.   Also, I only use one package of stems for the chopped up part – otherwise, I think it would be too much shroom J

2 packs mushrooms
1 pack cream cheese
1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
1 ½ tablespoons garlic
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon onion powder

Pull stems of mushrooms out – cut up into small pieces (usually only cut up 1 package).  In fry pan – use 1.5 TBL olive oil, 1.5 TBL garlic, and cut up mushroom pieces (then cool).  Mix cream cheese, 1/4 t cayenne pepper, ¼ onion powder, fried mushrooms all together.  Put those into tops of mushroom caps – then bake at 325 for 20 min or until golden on top.

Pretzel Dip
Another DAM LAKE favorite is the pretzel dip that Miss Leslie always brings up….thought I would introduce it to the family….super tasty and really easy!!

2 – 8oz cream cheese
½ can miller lite (used Coors light – so that works too!)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Packet Hidden valley ranch seasoning

Mix all together and serve with pretzels.

Hot Artichoke Dip
Heidi made the hot artichoke dip – and a nice add on was the chopped tomatoes and green onions….I’ve never done that before – but it was really yummy that way.

1 (14 oz) can artichokes
1c Kraft grated parmesan cheese (green can)
1c mayo
1/8 teaspoon garlic salt
½ teaspoon lemon juice

Drain artichokes.  Place the artichokes into an ovenproof container – mash with a fork to break up the pieces.  Add the cheese, mayo, garlic salt, and the lemon juice.  Stir to blend.

Heat to 350 oven for about 10 minutes or until heated through the center – and there are bubbles around the edges.

Note: overheating will cause the oil to separate from the mayo.  If this happens, remove excess with a paper towel and stir to blend.

Pomegranate THIS!!
Tracy brought the pomegranate appetizer.  The lovely Paulbecks up at the cabin didn’t actually carry the pomegranate seeds (costco does though….) – so she had the lovely annoying / time consuming chore of “de-seeding” the pomegranate.  This works – but just buy the seeds for this dip.

Ingredients :
Pomegranate seeds (used 2 pomegranates for this recipe)
Strawberry cream cheese
Cinnamon thins crackers

Just put down the cream cheese – put seeds over the top – and eat with the cinnamon thins.  Yum yum J

Cheese Queso
So we had this easy cheese dip at Erik’s birthday – so by request, Lori made this for New Years.  Super easy and really yummy!!

Just cut up some Velvetta cheese into little squares – and put in a crock pot…..then dump in a jar of picanta sauce and mix together.  Then just heat until it mixes all together.  Enjoy with some scoops!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Wonderful Walleye & Roasted Eggplant and Tomatoes

So it's ICE FISHING time at the Sodahl household - and Sir Ross has been catching some walleye lunkers this year :)  Figured we would cook some up - so we found this recipe online and thought we would try it out.  It was pretty good -- I'm still looking for the perfect walleye breading though (any ideas ?!)  The eggplant was actually REALLY good (we added feta cheese on top....), however the skin of the eggplant kinda grossed us out after we ate it ...ha ha

Wonderful Walleye
Walleye Fillets
1 bottle Caesar salad dressing
soda crackers, crumbs (I used a meat tenderizer to crush up the crackers)
Parmesan cheese

Marinate fillets in dressing 30 minutes at least.  Mix equal parts of cracker crumbs and Parmesan cheese.  (Check out the lovely Pampered Chef mixing trays - I use these for anything that coats food.  Breadcrumbs on chicken....cracker crumbs on fish.....butter in one / crumbs in the's nice to just go down the row and keep ingredients separate.)  Coat fillets with cracker mixture.  Bake on greased pan 12-15 minutes at 500 degrees.

Roasted Eggplant and Tomatoes
                                                  4-8 servings (for 2 people - only need 1 eggplant)
4 Japanese eggplants, halved lengthwise
4 Roma tomatoes, halved lengthwise
6 tablespoons olive oil
4 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 (14 1/2) can diced tomatoes in juice, drained
1/3 cup plain dried bread crumbs

Preheat the over to 450 degrees.  Line a large, heavy baking sheet with foil.  Cut crosshatch marks over the surface of the eggplants.  Arrange the eggplants and the Roma tomatoes cut side up on the prepared baking sheet.  Brush with 2 tablespoons of the oil.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

In a small bowl - whisk 2 tablespoons of the oil, 2 teaspoons of the garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon of oregano to blend.  Stir in the diced tomatoes.  Spoon the mixture over the eggplants.  Sprinkle the topping with salt and pepper.

In another small bowl, stir in the bread crumbs, the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, 2 teaspoon of garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon or oregano to blend.  Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture over the Roma tomatoes.

Bake until the veggies are tender and the bread crumb topping is brown, about 30 minutes.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Beef Stroganoff & Green Beans with Oregano

Back to the Sodahl basics....stroganoff is SUPER easy and yummy....we teamed this up with our favorite green bean dish.  It's not the best "fit" - but both are awesome on their try them out :)  Thanks Rossy for cooking tonight!!
1 lb hamburger
1 onion, chopped
Creamette noodles
Canned mushrooms
Can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup sour cream

Brown hamburger and onions.  While browning hamburger, cook egg noodles.  Drain meat/onions and add cream of mushroom soup, jar of mushrooms, and salt / pepper.  Stir ir over low heat letting it simmer for 10 minutes.  Add cup of sour cream and pour over noodles.

Green Beans with Oregano

1lb green beans
can of mushrooms
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon chopped garlic

Place beans in 1 inch of water.  In 2 quart saucepan - heat to boiling, reduce heat.  Simmer uncovered 6-8 minutes or until crisp / tender.  Drain.

Heat butter, oregano, garlic, and salt in same saucepan over medium heat 1-2 minutes.  Add beans and mushrooms.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Parmesan Chicken with Mustard Sauce

This has three things I LOVE:

1. Ingredients that are always at your house
2. SOOOO easy and quick to make
3. One of my favorite tastes EVER!!

We had this with wild rice and some frozen veggies....can never go wrong with frozen corn, right ??  :)

4 - (4oz) chicken breasts
1 stick butter
3 minced garlic cloves
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
5 tablespoon shredded parmesan cheese
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
2 tablespoon parsley

Dijon-mayo sauce:
1/2 cup mayo
1/8 cup dijon mustard

Melt butter over low-heat.  Add garlic and simmer on low heat 5 minutes.  Blend in mustard, stirring well.  Remove from heat until cool enough to touch, but not solidify.  Whip until mixture thickens.

Mix parsley, breadcrumbs, and parmesan cheese.  Dip the breasts in the butter mixture, coating all surfaces, then in the bread mixture.  Place in a single layer on a shallow pan.  (I use a cookie sheet lined with foil)  Cover and refrigerate several hours to set the breading.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Bake 25-30 minutes until breading is brown.  Serve with shredded parmesan cheese and dijon/mayo suace.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

BLT Bites

So you don't want to eat a sandwich.....but still want that BLT "bite" -- try these!!  :) I just made the cold version of the BLT bites - but there is a different recipe below for warm ones as well. 
BLT Bites
Serves 6 (cold)
These are super cutie and festive for Christmas time - made these for Christmas Eve this year, and they were a hit!! 
12 whole cherry tomatoes
4 oz bacon (cooked and crumbled)
3 tbl miracle whip
4 green onions (chopped)
2 ¼ teas fresh parsley (snipped)

1.      Cut thin slice off top of each tomato
2.      Scoop out and discard pulp (melon baller)
3.      Invert tomato on paper towel and drain
4.      In bowl – combine ingredients and mix well
5.      Spoon into tomato
6.      Refrigerate and serve

Tomato Bites
Serves 4 (warm)
4 tomatoes, halved horizontally
¼ c grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp chopped oregano
¼ tsp salt / pepper
4 tsp EVOO

Preheat oven to 450
Place tomato on cookie sheet cut side up – top with parmesan, oregano and salt and pepper
Drizzle with EVOO and bake until tomatoes tender – about 15 min

Friday, December 24, 2010

Strawberry Romaine Lettuce Salad

So I had to bring a salad for Christmas Eve - so I brought one that has the right colors and is super yummy!  Strawberries are a little expensive at this time of year - so it's probably more of a "summer" salad - but it's sooo good....and everyone loves it :)

1 head romaine lettuce
1 pint strawberries - sliced
1/2 red onion chopped
1/2 lb bacon crumbled

3/4 cup miracle whip lite
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons poppy seeds

Toss salad ingredients together, mix dressing and toss with salad.

Fruit Salsa & Cinnamon Chips

I'm not a huge fan of fruit (yeah yeah I know!), but I LOVED this!  We followed the recipe - but you could definitely add blackberries or blue berries - it was so good!!  We cut most of the fruit up - but we left the raspberries as is, and as you mixed it all together they sort of mashed in.  We used a strawberry fruit preserve - but you could for sure play around with that!  Regarding the cinnamon chips - they were difficult to find, but I think on the 4th attempt they were found at Kowalski's.  There is a recipe so you can make them - but buying them would be way easier if you can find them :)  We used 2 bags of chips for about 3/4 of the salsa.

Brought this for xmas eve at the Sodahls - and even though I added a new dish to their "xmas eve app tradition" - it still was a hit!
Makes 10 Servings
2 kiwis, peeled and diced
2 Golden Delicious apples - peeled, cored, and diced
8oz raspberries
1lb strawberries - cut up
2 tablespoon white sugar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
3 tablespoons fruit preserves, any flavor
Cinnamon Pita chips (recipe below)

In large bowl - mix everything together.  Cover and chill in refrigerator for at least 15 minutes.

To make Cinnamon Pita chips:
10 (10 inch) flour tortillas
Butter flavored cooking spray
2 cups cinnamon sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).  Coat one side of each flour tortilla with butter flavored cooking spray. Cut into wedges and arrange in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Sprinkle wedges with desired amount of cinnamon sugar. Spray again with cooking spray.  Bake in the preheated oven 8 to 10 minutes. Repeat with any remaining tortilla wedges. Allow to cool approximately 15 minutes. Serve with chilled fruit mixture.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Broiled Salmon with Garlic, Mustard, and Herbs

So haven't ever made fish before, but thought I would try out this salmon dish.  It turned out really good - the salmon was a little under cooked, but Ross actually liked it better that way.  I will probably broil it a little longer next time - but I got nervous that I was going to burn it, so I followed the directions below.  Since it was just Ross and I - I only did the 2 fillets, and cut the rest of the ingredients in thirds.  Made this with the Sauteed Green Beans with Tomatoes and Basil.

6 servings
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
3/4 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
3/4 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoon dry white wine
nonstick olive oil cooking spray
6 (6-8 oz) salmon fillets
6 lemon wedges

In a small bowl, mix the garlic, both mustard's, rosemary, and thyme.  Mix in the wine and oil.  Set the mustard sauce aside.

Preheat the broiler.  Line a heavy rimmed baking sheet with foil and spray the foil with nonstick spray.  Arrange the salmon fillets on the baking sheet and sprinkle them with salt and pepper.  Broil for 2 minutes.  Spoon the mustard sauce over the fillets.  Continue broiling until the fillets are just cooked through and golden brown, about 5 minutes longer.

Transfer the fillets to plates and serve with the lemon wedges.

Sauteed Green Beans with Tomatoes and Basil

Yup green beans again....and hmmmm yummy!!  AND look at how "Christmasy" this dish is ?!  Totally make it the next time you host Christmas!!
Serves 6
1 1/2 lbs fresh green beans, trimmed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 large shallots, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (14 1/2 oz) can diced tomatoes in juice
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil

Cook the green beans in a large pot of boiling water until just crisp-tender, about 3 minutes.  Drain the beans, then rinse with cold water.  Drain again very well and set the beans aside.

Melt the butter and oil in a heavy large skillet over medium heat.  Add the shallots and garlic and saute until tender, about 2 minutes.  Add the tomatoes and their juices and cook until heated through, about 3 minutes.  Add the beans and cook until the juices evaporate and the beans are almost tender, stirring often, about 10 minutes.  Stir in the wine and basil.  Simmer 2 minutes longer.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Transfer to to a platter or bowl and serve.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

French Farmhouse Garlic Chicken & Grilled Asparagus w/ Sorrel Dressing

So had MRS. Becker over tonight - and totally forgot she didn't like um don't make this for those that don't like chicken :)  BUT it was very tasty....esp if you like the taste of garlic!!  It only takes like 15 minutes from start to finish - so super good meal to make on a busy night!

The asparagus is really good - esp with the sauce!  Our grill has like 17 inches on top of it - so I didn't grill this, but just threw in the oven at 350 for 20 minutes - and drizzled some olive oil on top.  Try it - you will like it :)

Last but not least I made mashed potatoes too -- all three were the perfect amount!  ENJOY!!

4 chicken breasts
40 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup dry white wine (I used cooking wine) + 2 tablespoons
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 tablespoon cooking oil
4 teaspoon flour

Rinse chicken, pat dry, and salt/pepper both sides.  On medium-high, heat oil in skillet.  Add chicken and garlic - cook chicken 2-3 minutes on each side.  Slowly add wine, broth, lemon juice, basil, and oregano.  Cover and simmer 6-8 minutes (or until chicken is cooked through).

Combine flour and 2 tablespoons wine in a small bowl - stirring to a slurry consistency.  Add to skillet and blend to a smooth gravy. (Tip: I removed the chicken before adding so it was easier to blend in)

If you want more gravy for potatoes - double the gravy recipe (which is everything but the chicken and garlic)

Grilled Asparagus with Sorrel Dressing

¼ cup plain low fat yogurt
¼ cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
¼ cup finely snipped sorrel or spinach (used spinach but don’t necessarily even need that)
1 green onion, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon lemon-pepper seasoning (optional)
1 pound asparagus spears
2 Tablespoons water

For dressing, in a small bowl combine yogurt, mayonnaise, sorrel, green onion, and, if desired, lemon pepper seasoning.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Fold a 36x18 inch piece of heavy foil in half to make and 18x18 inch square.  Snap off and discard the woody bases from asparagus.  Place asparagus in center of foil.  Fold up edges of foil slightly; drizzle asparagus with water.  Bring up 2 opposite edges of foil; seal with a double fold.  Fold remaining ends to completely enclose the asparagus, leaving space for steam to build.

Grill asparagus on the rack of an uncovered grill directly over medium hot heat about 15 min or until crisp-tender, turning once.  Serve with dressing.

Monday, December 20, 2010


So this isn't new - but it's probably the only "dish" I've perfected :)  We had tacos tonight - which means GUAC!!  I put my perfected recipe down below - along with some suggestions /'s ALMOST as good as Chipotles!

3 avocadoes (peeled, pitted, mashed)
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
1/4 red onion, diced
salt / cayenne pepper      (this is something you can skip if you don't have on hand)
2 tablespoon cilantro       (this is something you can skip too...but it tastes oh so yummy!)
1/2 jalapeno                       (you can skip this too if you want - esp if you don't like the kick)
1 tablespoon garlic
1 limes juice

Mix all together - refridge a bit before serving.  If you have leftovers - throw a little more lime juice in to keep it from turning brown.

Also, while I was making it - I thought it might be very Rachel Ray of me to put some cooking tools on here as well.  During cookbook club - I realized not everyone has been to quite as many Pampered Chef parties as I have, so thought it would be fun to put some of my favorite "go-to" cooking tools.  Pay attention you engaged girls - I would totally register for some of these :)

So the minced garlic - yeah you can't register for that but it's such a lifesaver!  We pretty much have garlic in about everything we instead of having to mince a garlic clove daily - we just went this route.  It works great - and if you like flavor, my only suggestion would be to double the amount it says.

On to the scissors...I for real use this EVERY meal.  If you don't like to touch / cut raw chicken - this is your friend.  I use this to cube/cut any meat....even bacon.  The reason I used it for quac - was for the cilantro.  It's such an easy way to cut up herbs- you just need to put the fresh herbs kinda in a bunch and then just cut away.  It's so awesome - and way faster than actually "cutting" up herbs.

Last (but not least!) is the nifty little tool in black....I use this everytime I make quac / mashed potatoes.  Basically it's just a "spoon" to mash up the avocado - but it works really good!  I also use it with mashed potatoes (once they are soft) - to sort of mix it all together.  I got this at a Pampered Chef party - so if you ever attend what and are panicking about "what you really would use" - if you like either, buy it up!!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Filet Mignon w/ Balsamic Syrup & Roasted Beet Salad

So I might have been jinxed....I hung out with Miss Leslie this weekend, and she said she was waiting for me to post something that didn't turn out OR that I didn't like.....WELL - this was awesome BUT I came away with a blister on my finger and our house smells like burnt sugar....

Got both these recipes from "Giada's Family Dinners" cookbook - enjoy!

Filet Mignon with Balsamic Syrup
Serves 6
1 1/2 cups balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 (5oz) filet mignons
2 oz fresh goat cheese

Boil the balsamic vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, until reduced to 1/3 cup, stirring occasionally, about 18 minutes.  (**so I had this on high heat - and I ended up burning my suggestion : 1. do not touch a hot / boiling sauce :)  2. Get to boiling - then drop heat to medium and stir the whole time until it thickens and is reduced to 1/3 cup)

Meanwhile, preheat the broiler.  Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium high heat.  Sprinkle steaks with salt and pepper.  Cook the steaks to desired doneness - about 3 min per side.  (We actually just grilled the steaks).  Transfer the steaks to a baking sheet - crumble the cheese over the steaks and broil until cheese melts - about 1 minute.  Sprinkle with pepper

Transfer the steak to plate - and drizzle balsamic sauce around the steak.  (We didn't get to this - as I burnt the sauce to a crisp ...but the steak/cheese was really good - so I'll have to try this recipe again and not burn myself next time!

Roasted Beet Arugula Salad with Goat Cheese and Avocado
Serves 6

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons finely chopped shallots (found these by the garlic at EP Rainbow....size of garlic clove)
1 tablespoon honey
1/3 cup olive oil
6 medium beets, peeled, each cut into 6 wedges
6 cups arugula, stems removed (found this in the organic section at EP Rainbow)
1/2 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 avocado, peeled, pitted, and cubed
3 oz crumbled goat cheese

Preheat the oven to 400 - place foil on a baking sheet.  Wash and peel beets.

In a medium bowl, whisk the vinegar, shallots, and honey to blend.  Gradually whisk in the oil - season this with salt and pepper.  Toss the beats with enough dressing to coat.  Place the beet mixture in the center of the foil - top with another piece of foil and crimp the edges of the foil to seal tightly.  Roast the beets until they are tender when pierced with a fork (about 30 minutes).  Uncover the beets and continue roasting until they are slightly caramelized - shaking the pan occasionally, about 25 min.  Set aside to cool.

In a large bowl - toss the arugula, walnuts, and cranberries with enough of the remaining vinaigrette to coat.  Season the salad with salt and pepper.  Arrange beets, avocado, and goat cheese - then serve.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Honey Dijon Pork Tenderloin

Was looking for a fast meal since we had plans tonight - so gotta love the crock pot!!  Just put this in before I left for work - and it was ready to go by the time we came home!  We ate this with garlic mashed potatoes and the carrots (recipe below).  Super easy - YUM!!

Serves 4
1 ½ to 2 lbs pork tenderloin
½ teas salt
¼ teas pepper
1/2c balsamic vinegar
3 Tbl honey
1 Tbl Dijon mustard
½ teas dried leaf thyme
Dash garlic powder

Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper – place in slow cooker

In a small bowl, combine remaining ingredients; pour over pork, turning pork to coat all sides.  Cover and cook on LOW 7-8 hours (HIGH 3.5 – 4hrs).  On my crock pot - it really only took about 6 hours on low.

Makes 2 servings

1 1/2 cup carrots
1 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
2 1/4 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar

Heat oil - saute carrots till tender.  (Make sure to continue to stir - or they will burn...)  Then just stir in vinegar and brown sugar - and serve!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Mexican Stuffed Tomatoes

So Ross claimed the other day that we don't eat enough variety of veggies - since I only really like green beans, squash, asparagus, and corn....SO I decided to try different veggie recipes AND make it a goal to have a veggie with most of our meals.....I'm not a HUGE fan of tomatoes - but this was really really good!!  We made this with chicken and brown rice - and it was super good!!
Serves 4                                  
5 yellow vine-ripe tomatoes
Salt and pepper
2 jarred pimentos, drained and chopped
1/4 red onion, chopped
1/2 small zucchini, 1/4-inch dice
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed in palm of your hand
2 tablespoons, a handful, fresh cilantro or flat-leaf parsley leaves, your choice, chopped
2 tablespoons dried bread crumbs
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Cut the tops off 4 tomatoes and trim a thin slice off the bottoms so that they will sit upright easily. Hollow out the tomatoes with a spoon over garbage bowl or sink. Season tomatoes with salt and pepper. Remove stem of remaining tomato. Seed and chop tomato.

In a bowl, combine chopped tomato, pimentos, onions, zucchini, jalapeno, lemon juice, oregano and cilantro or parsley. Sprinkle bread crumbs evenly over the bowl. Add extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the bowl in a slow stream or about 2 tablespoons. Toss mixture to combine and season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Fill the empty tomatoes with stuffing and serve.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Artichoke and Leek Lasagne

Got this recipe from my cousin Jenn - and she had made some recommendations after she made this, so I went with that.  It was SUPER tasty - only thing is the prep took about an hour to make - and an hour to bake.  However, it was realllllly good and different than your typical "lasagne"  (even Ross liked it - and he says it's not a meal unless it has meat....ha ha)
Serves 8
1/2 lb. dried semolina lasagna noodles (cook at least 12 lasagna noodles)
3 cups ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 Tbs. olive oil
12 baby leeks, including 3 inches of green  portion, or 5 large leeks, including 1 inch of  green, rinsed well and cut into 1/2-inch dice
Fresh  mushrooms
½ yellow onion
Juice of 1 lemon
4 large or 20 baby artichokes (buy artichoke hearts)
1/2 cup water
Fresh spinach leaves (optional)
Teaspoon sage
5 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups heavy whipping cream
3 Tbs. unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
1 lb. whole-milk mozzarella cheese, shredded

Bring a large pot 3/4th full of salted water to a boil over high heat.  Add the noodles and cook until al dente, 8-12 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 ricotta, Parmigiano-Reggiano, salt and pepper, and spinach leaves/sage; set aside.

In a fry pan over medium-low heat, warm the olive oil. Add the leeks, mushroom, and onion and sauté until very soft and lightly golden, about 30 minutes. Transfer to a bowl; set the pan and leeks aside.
Drain the artichokes and add to the fry pan along with the 1/2 cup water and juice of 1 lemon and a large pinch of salt and pepper. Cover and cook over medium heat until the liquid evaporates and the artichokes are tender, about 15 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Transfer to the bowl with the leeks and stir to combine. Set aside.

In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the whipping cream 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 cream. 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. Then add shredded mozzarella. Top with one-third of the leek-artichoke mixture and then with one-third of the sauce. Repeat the layering twice. Sprinkle the mozzarella evenly over the top. Bake until golden and bubbling, 40 to 50 minutes. Let stand for 15 minutes, then cut into squares and serve.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Cookie Season!!

So part of the Ronhovde tradition is baking all our cookies together - and splitting them out between us all.  We had our "bake-off" yesterday, and it was a lot of fun!  Lots of these cookies remind me of "the olden days" - when my mom would get out her cookie dish - and put all the different cookies out.....and she would cover them but we would of course sneak and eat them before the guests arrived....and she would have to refill it!  OR she would run down to the basement fridge to get the PB balls - and they would oddly enough be almost gone....  :) 

It also reminds me of when the Feldmanns would come visit - us girls would play hide-and-seek in the basement and eat up the cookies that just happened to be near our hiding spot!!  That's right mom - I finally admitted where they went!! :)

Anyways - super fun day yesterday!!  These recipes have been passed down generation to generation - so I left some of the "terms" the same as I received them, but tried to explain what that translated to in 2010.  Love you Grandma!!

We even had one Gingerbread Man RUN AWAY!!  "Run, run as fast you can - you can't catch me, I'm the Ronhovde Gingerbread Man!"

Almond Bark Cookies

Melt 1lb almond coating in top of double boiler or heat up in mircowave (put in for 30 seconds, stir, and repeat until totally softened).

1 cup thin pretzel sticks (broken up)
1 cup miniature colored marshmallows
1 cup salted peanuts
1 cup captain crunch cereal
2/3 cup rice krispies

Mix lightly until well coated - then drop by spoonful on waxed paper.  Chill - then store in freezer in plastic bags.

Peanut Butter Balls

2 cup powdered sugar
2 cup crushed graham crackers
2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup softened butter
1 lb dipping chocolate (herseys bars softened)
Paraffin (kinda looks like wax...finely grate)

Mix together except chocolate - form ball in bowl - chill for 1 hour.  Make into 1 inch balls and chill in freezer for 1 more hour.

Melt chocolate and dip each ball on it - place on a buttered foil cookie sheet and chill.

Gingerbread Men

1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup dark molasses
1/4 cup water
2 1/2 cup flour
1/8 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon soda
1/4 teaspoon ginger, nutmeg, and salt

Cream shortening and sugar.  Blend in molasses, water, flour, salt, soda, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice.  Cover - chill for 2 hours.

Heat oven to 375.  Roll dough 1/4 inch thick - cut with cutouts - and place on ungreased baking sheet.  Place in eyes - and then bake 10 to 12 minutes.  Immediately remove from baking sheet - and trim with icing.

Christmas Wreaths

1/2 cup butter
30 large marshmallows
3 1/2 cup corn flakes
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon green food color

Melt butter and marshmallows in double boiler (or microwave every 30 seconds and stir).  Add color, vanilla, and corn flakes.  Blend while warm - drop on ungreased cookie sheet and shape into wreaths (while dipping fingers in cool water).  Decorate with candy.
Nut Goodie Bars

Large package chocolate chips
Large package butterscotch chips
1 cup peanut butter
6 oz peanuts
1 package miniature marshmallows

Butter jelly roll pan - pour nuts and marshmallows in pan.  Melt the choc chips, butterscotch chips, and peanut butter.  Pour melted mixture over the peanuts and marshmallows (stir it in so it all sticks better and y ou don't lose the peanuts).

Crisp White Sugar Cookies - from Grandma Green
2 cups flour & 1/2 teaspoon soda : sift 3 times
1/2 cup butter - work into flour till well blended.
2 eggs beaten, 1 cup sugar, 1/2 teaspoon flavoring: mix and add to flour mixture

Roll thin and bake in 350 degree oven

Unbaked Chocolate Balls - from Grandma Green

Heat 2 packages of chocolate chips (or 1 large) and 1 can Borden's milk for 5 minutes.
17 crushed graham crackers
Vanilla and 1 tablespoon butter

Pour in pan and cool.  Then roll in small balls and in powdered sugar.

Pink and Green Bon-Bons - from Grandma Green

1/2 cup spry (crisco)
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 egg well beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups sifted flour
1/2 teaspoon soda
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar (white powder)

Cream sugar and shortening.  Add eggs and extract - beat well.  Add dry ingredients.  Divide the dough and add redn / green food coloring.  Roll in balls and put on greased cookie sheet-  and bake slow at 350 degrees.

Fruity Santas
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
½ cup marshmallow cream
12 large fresh strawberries
12 fresh pineapple chunks or canned pineapple chunks (about 1 inch pieces)
12 frilled toothpicks
24 miniature semisweet chocolate chips
12 white fudge covered Oreos

In medium bowl, beat cream cheese and marshmallow cream together with a mixer on high speed until fluffy.

Place cream cheese mixture in decorating bag fitted with a #16 star tip.

Cut each strawberry in ½ crosswise.  Place a chunk of pineapple in center and secure with toothpick – repeat until done.

Press chocolate chips into pineapple for eyes – pipe cream cheese around top and bottom part of strawberry to form fur around the hat, then pipe cream cheese around pineapple to form Santa’s beard.

Refrigerate (no more than 2 hours).  Serve on white cream covered Oreos of a white cookie of your choice.

Pretzel Treats
1 bag pretzel Rings
2 bags Hershey’s Hugs
1 bag holiday M&Ms
Parchment Paper

Preheat oven to 250.  Place pretzels rings on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Put one Hershey hug in the center of the pretzel ring.  Bake 2 – 3 min.  Watch carefully.  The hugs should begin to melt down, but will not be fully melted.  Remove from oven and lightly press one M&M in the middle of the hug.  Do not remove from cookie sheet until fully hardened.  It works best to put them in the refrigerator for a bit.