Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Pasta Fagioli

A couple of people have asked for this recipe. I got the basic recipe from allrecipes.com, but have modified it a little. Enjoy.

1 lb. ground beef
1/4 cup olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
5 large carrots, cut into chunks
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks
2 cans diced tomatoes
4 cans or 8 cups beef broth
1 Tbsp. parsley
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. oregano
1 can navy beans
1 can kidney beans
1 cup ditalini pasta

Brown meat and drain off excess fat. Add olive oil and vegetables and sautee 2-3 minutes. Add tomatoes, broth and spices. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer at least 1-2 hours. I will usually do this during Adam's nap and let it simmer until dinner, so don't worry about over cooking. About 1/2 hour before you're ready to eat, add beans and pasta. Enjoy!

Homemade Granola Bars

From allrecipes.com

2 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup wheat germ
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup raisins (optional)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup honey
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Generously grease a 9x13 inch baking pan.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, brown sugar, wheat germ, cinnamon, flour, raisins and salt. Make a well in the center, and pour in the honey, egg, oil and vanilla. Mix well using your hands. Pat the mixture evenly into the prepared pan.
  3. Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until the bars begin to turn golden at the edges. Cool for 5 minutes, then cut into bars while still warm. Do not allow the bars to cool completely before cutting, or they will be too hard to cut.
I just baked these yesterday, and they are delicious. They are pretty sugary, almost like a cookie, so next time I will cut down the amount of sugar. I also won't cook them quite as long so they will be chewier. And I'll play around with other dried fruits, nuts, peanut butter, or chocolate (I might try this one first).

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Chocolate Lover's Favorite Mint Brownies (from Dakin Stovall)

2 cups sugar
1 cup butter, softened
4 eggs
4 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
2 1/2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup broken walnuts or pecans (optional)

Mint frosting:
4 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons evaporated milk
2 cups powerdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
Few drops of food coloring

Glaze topping:
6 tablespoons butter
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 teaspoons vanilla

In a large bowl, cream together the sugar and butter for the brownie until fluffy. Beat in eggs until well blended; then add melted chocolate. Mix dry ingredients and add to creamed mixture along with vanilla and nuts. Spread in a greased 9x13 pan and bake at 325 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes, or until no imprint is left when touched. Do not overbake.

Mix mint frosting ingredients until creamy and spread on brownies. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

For glaze, combine butter and chocolate chips in a double boiler; add vanilla and blend thoroughly. Pour gently over the frosting and spread by tipping the pan before the glaze cools; refrigerate.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Greek Pasta Salad


1/2 cup olive oil
1-1/4 teaspoons garlic powder
1-1/4 teaspoons dried oregano
1-1/4 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
2/3 cup red wine vinegar

Combine and mix vigorously until well blended. Set aside.

Cook 16 oz. of your choice of pasta. Drain and let cool.

Add your choice of:

Chopped red pepper
Sliced black olives
Crumbled feta cheese
Chopped red onion
Marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
Fresh mushrooms, sliced
Fresh tomatoes, diced
Chopped cucumber
Can of garbanzo beans, drained

and anything else you can think of that would taste good.

Mix sauce, pasta and everything together and chill for at least 2 hours. This tastes even better the second day.

This is from several different recipes on allrecipes.com

Buttermilk Pie

Very easy and delicious.

1/2 cup margarine, softened
2 cups white sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (9 inch) deep dish pie crust

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C.)
In a large bowl, cream margarine and sugar. Beat in flour and salt. Blend in the eggs. Stir in the buttermilk and vanilla. Pour into pie shell.
Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, then reduce temperature to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) and bake 45 minutes, or until filling is set.

From allrecipes.com