Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Pasta and Feta Cheese Casserole

Ted and I are currently on a "eat less red meat" (among other things) kick, and I found this recipe here, used fat free, milk and yogurt, and it still was sooo creamy and comforting. I hope you enjoy!

  • 1/2 pound shell pasta
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 2 - 3 fresh green chillies or jalapeƱos
  • 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste (I didnt have. so I used 1/2 cup spaghetti sauce)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
  • 12 oz Feta cheese, crumbled (I didnt quite use it all)
  • 1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and havled
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

  • Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling water to al denteaccording to package instructions. Rinse, drain, and set aside.
  • Heat the butter in a large saucepan. When it is hot, add the onion, garlic and peppers. Cook and stir for a few minutes. Next, add the flour and cook for a few minutes more.
  • Add the milk and yogurt, tomato paste, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often.
  • Add the cooked pasta to the sauce, along with the Feta cheese, 1/4 cup of the Parmesan, the olives, fresh herbs and oregano. Stir to combine and transfer the mixture to a 9 × 13 baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of Parmesan over the top of the casserole. Bake in a preheated 350° oven for about 25 to 30 minutes or until the casserole is hot and the top is browned and bubbling.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Peanut Butter/Graham Cracker Dessert

1 1/2 C graham cracker crumbs
1 lb (3 1/2 C) powdered sugar
1 1/2 C creamy peanut butter
1 C (2 sticks) real butter, melted
1 12oz bag chocolate chips (milk, semi-sweet, or dark, you pick!)
2 tsp shortening

In a large mixing bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, powdered sugar and peanut butter and butter and beat until combined. Press into a parchment (or waxed paper or foil) lined 9×13 pan.Place chocolate chips and shortening in a microwave safe bowl and heat in 30 second intervals, stirring after each one, until melted and smooth. Pour chocolate over peanut butter mixture and spread out evenly. Place pan in the fridge just until chocolate is set and then cut into bars. Tip: If the bars chill until the chocolate is too hard to easily cut, use a sharp knife and score the cuts first, then gently cut through. Can be stored in the fridge or at room temp. They will stay firmer if stored in the fridge.

*Tip: Love this tip from one you! Instead of adding shortening to the chocolate topping, add a scoop of peanut butter. That will prevent the top from getting solid and it will taste yummy!

Chocolate Chip Cookies

This recipe just might give The World's Best Chocolate Chip Cookie a run for it's money, depending on the type of cookie you like.  You must underbake these.  They won't look done when you pull them out of the oven, but as they sit, they set.

Cream together:
1 cup Crisco
¾ cup sugar
¾ brown sugar

add 2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla

switch beaters from whisk to 3 prongs

add 2 1/4  cup flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda

add chocolate chips

Bake at 350 for 8 minutes.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Frog Eye Salad


1/2 box (1 cup) frog eye noodles (Acini Pepe)
Cook according to package directions and rinse with cold water

1 small package vanilla pudding
3/4 cup milk
Mix pudding and milk together and set aside

2 15 oz. cans pineapple tidbits drained
2 10 oz. cans mandarin oranges drained
2 8 oz. cool whip

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.  Add shredded coconut and marshmallows to taste.  Stir and refrigerate.