Thursday, April 28, 2011

Tortellini Spinach Bake In Creamy Lemon Sauce


Picture and recipe - curtesy of Our Best Bites

12 ounces Bag Barilla Cheese & Spinach Tortelini (Find Them In The Dry Pasta Isle)
4 ounces Bacon Or Pancetta, (about 4 strips bacon)
3 Cloves Garlic, pressed in garlic press or finely minced
2 Tbs Flour
2 C Milk
¾ tsp Kosher Salt
⅛ tsp Black Pepper
1 ½ tsp Dry Basil
¼ tsp Red Pepper Flakes (½ Tsp Or More If You Like Spicy)
1 medium Lemon
2 C Loosely Packed Fresh Spinach,roughly chopped
¾ C Grated Mozzarella Cheese,divided
¾ C Grated Parmesan Cheese, divided

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Fill a large stock pot with water and bring to a boil. Add tortellini and cook according to package instructions.

Place bacon in a medium sized skillet on the stove-top at medium-high heat. Cook until crisp. Remove bacon from pan with slotted spoon and set on paper towels to drain. Reserve two tablespoons bacon drippings in pan and discard the rest. Add garlic to pan and cook until fragrant and tender, about 1 minute. Add flour to pan and stir with a whisk for about 1 minute. Slowly add milk and continue to stir with whisk until smooth. Add salt, pepper, basil, and red pepper flakes and bring sauce to a simmer.

While sauce is heating, use a microplane grater or a fine-holed cheese grater to zest lemon. Then cut lemon in half and remove juice. Add 2 teaspoons zest and 1 tablespoon lemon juice to sauce. Continue to stir until thickened, 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat.

Drain tortellini and place back in stock pot. Reserve 1 tablespoon of the cooked bacon and add the rest to the pasta mixture. Add spinach, ½ cup mozzarella cheese and ½ cup Parmesan cheese. Add sauce and gently stir to combine. Place pasta mixture in an 8×8 or 9×9 baking dish and top with remaining ¼ cup mozarella and ¼ cup parmesan and also crumbled bacon.

Cover pan with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes, until cheese on top is melted and pasta is bubbly throughout. Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Power Bars


1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
1 ¼ cups Rolled Oats
1 ¼ cups Chopped Toasted Walnuts
½ cup Oat Bran
1 ½ cups Puffed Cereal You Like,pounded into smallish bits
1 cup Dried Cranberries, coarsely chopped
3 Pieces Of Dried Crystallized Ginger,finely chopped
1 cup Brown Rice Syrup
1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
½ tsp Salt

First grease an 8" x 8" baking pan with the oil. In a large bowl, stir together all the dry ingredients. Combine the brown rice syrup and vanilla together into a small bowl. Heat in microwave for 30 seconds or cook on stove in a small pot until slightly warm and a little thinner in texture. Pour onto dry ingredients. Press the mixture into the greased pan. Freeze for about 45 minutes, until hardened. Cut slices as big or small as you like. Store in the fridge.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Peanut Butter and Honey Granola


3 cups Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats
2 cups Shelled Roasted Peanuts
1 cup Hulled Raw Pumpkin Seeds
1 cup Wheat Germ
1 ¼ tsp Kosher Salt
½ tsp Ground Cinnamon
1 tsp Ground Ginger
½ cup Honey
½ cup Packed Dark Brown Sugar
1 cup Natural Peanut Butter, smooth or chunky
1 ½ tsp Vanilla
⅔ cup Vegetable Or Olive Oil
¾ cup Chopped Dried Dates

Heat the oven to 325°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, combine oats, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, wheat germ, salt, cinnamon, and ginger.

In a small saucepan, mix the honey and brown sugar. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly. Turn off the heat and stir in the peanut butter and vanilla until smooth. Pour over the oat mixture. Pour in the oil, and stir thoroughly. The mixture will be chunky and rough.

Spread the oat mixture evenly on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes, stirring twice while baking. Transfer the granola to a large bowl and add the dates, tossing to combine.

Additional Flavors & Add-Ins:
• Chocolate & PB: ½ cup chocolate chips, after the granola has completely cooled.
• Tropical PB: 1 cup unsweetened coconut, added before baking, plus ½ cup each dried pineapple and banana chips added after baking.
• PB & J: ½ cup dried cranberries and ½ cup raisins added after baking, instead of the dates

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Dinner Rolls

We had these the other night for dinner, and I think they are my favorite rolls now! Suzy-this is one of the best bites recipes that isn't on the blog.

  • 2 c whole milk

  • 1/2 c plus 1 tbs sugar, divided

  • 1/2 c butter

  • 2 tsp salt 2 package (4 1/2 tsp) yeast

  • 2/3 c warm water

  • 8-9 c flour

  • 3 beaten eggs

  • Combine milk, 1/2 cup sugar, butter, and salt in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium heat until butter melts.

  • Remove from heat, allow to cool to luke warm. I usually rub some ice cubes along the side of the pan, or pop the entire pan into the sink full of ice cubes to cool the mixture faster. This step is really important because if the mixture is too hot, it will kill the yeast.

  • While the milk mixture is cooling, disolve the yeast and 1 tbs sugar in warm water. Let stand about 10 minutes. If yeast hasn't bubbled, repeat this step with new yeast.

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine 3 c flour and milk mixture. Beat on low for 30 seconds scraping sides of bowl constantly. Add yeast mixture and beat on high for 3 minutes. Add beaten eggs.

  • Stir in as much of the remaining flour as needed to make a soft dough. This dough should be very soft. It will be coming away from the side of the bowl, but it will stick to your finger when you touch it. Don't worry it will firm up during the rising process.

  • Place bowl in warm place and cover with a towel. Allow to rise 1 hour.

  • Punch down dough, lightly flour your work surface and turn dough out onto surface. Divide in half. Spray two 9X13 inch glass pans with cooking spray. Roll first portion of dough into a rectangle. Cut into 12 equal size pieces. This dough should be very easy to work with, almost like playdough. Shape each piece into a ball and place into prepared pan. Repeat with remaining dough into second pan.

  • Cover with a clean cloth and allow to rise in a warm place for 30 minutes. When dough has 15-20 minutes to go, preheat oven to 375. Bake 15-18 minutes, or until golden brown.

Strawberry Lime Shortcake with Coconut Cream

Pound cake:

1 1/2 c flour

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/8 tsp salt

1/2 c butter, softened

1 c sugar

3 eggs, room temperature

2 tsp vanilla

1/2 c sour cream

Preheat oven to 350. In a small bowl, combine the flour, bakind soda, and salt. Set aside. Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Continue beating and add eggs one at a time. Add the vanilla and sour cream. Slowly add the flour mixture while beating, and beat just until combined.

Pour the batter into a greased 8-inch or 9-inch loaf pan and bake for 50-60 minutes or until skewer comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes and then remove from pan.


4 cups sliced fresh strawberries

1/2 c sugar

4 tablespoons lime juice

3/4 c toasted coconut

Mix sliced strawberries, sugar, and lime juice. Stir well and set aside. Stir occasionally over about 15 minutes. You want the sugar to dissolve and form a light syrup.

Coconut Whipped Cream:

1 c heavy whipping cream

1/2 c powdered sugar

2 tsp coconut extract

1 tsp vanilla

Pour cream into a bowl and beat with an electric mixer for about 1 minutes. Slowly add powdered sugar and both extracts. Continue beating until soft peaks form.

Cinnamon Honey Butter

  • 1 c real butter

  • 2/3 c honey

  • 3/4 c powdered sugar

  • 1-2 tsp cinnamon

1. remove butter fro the refrigerator adn allow to stand on the counter for about 20 minutes.

2. Place the butter in a medium mixing bowl. Add honey and powdered sugar and beat with an electric mixer for about 30 seconds or until everything is light and fluffy. Serve at room temperature.