Monday, January 28, 2013

Spicy Pizza Dip

My hubby was looking through my Rachel Ray magazine the other day & came across this recipe.  He immediately showed it to me and said we had to try it.  I'm glad he was so insistent because it was amazing!

And since Super Bowl Sunday is coming up (it's this Sunday everyone!) I figured I'd post it for all you football fans out there to add to your party goodies.  We always have lots of fabulous goodies & food for Super Bowl Sunday, even if we don't watch the game.  We only watch if one of my families teams are playing, which they are not this year.  We've got Broncos and Steelers fans in our home, so I don't know if we'll tune in this year or not.   Are any of our readers huge Ravens or 49er's fans?  Who do you predict will win on Sunday?

You'll all be winners to your family/friends if you make and serve them this!:)

Spicy Pizza Dip
1 large round sour dough, Italian or french bread loaf
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minces or pressed
10 ounces hot Italian sausage
1 jar (16 oz.) pizza sauce
4 ounces mozzarella, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon oregano leaves (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cut out the center of your bread, leaving about a 1 inch border.  Hollow out the bread and make sure to leave about a 1 inch bottom.

Cut the bread you cut out of your loaf into strips.  Place on a large baking sheet and drizzle 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over them.  Toss to coat.  Place the bread bowl along with your bread strips onto a cooking sheet.  Bake until the inside of the bread bowl is toasted, about 5-7 minutes. 

Remove the bread bowl to a platter.  Stir the bread strips around and put back in the oven for another 5 minutes.  Transfer to the platter with the bread bowl.

Increase oven temperature to 450 degrees.

Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add the garlic and sausage.  Cook until browned.  Add the pizza sauce and cook until heated through, about 5 minutes.

Place your bread bowl back onto your baking sheet and pour sauce into it.  Top with the shredded Parmesan cheese and then layer the mozzarella over top so no sauce is visible.  Bake until the cheese is nice and browned, about 10 minutes.  Top with oregano (optional).

Return filled bread bowl back to the platter with the bread strips & serve.

NOTE:  You can absolutely use mild sausage if you'd like.  We used the hot and I was afraid it would be too hot for me, but it was perfect...but the choice is yours!:)

Monday, January 21, 2013

Strawberry Yogurt Bundt Cake

Sorry for the hiatus!  It was just one of those weeks where my family needed me & they took the front seat over the blog.  Hope you can forgive me!:)

But we're back today with a guest post over at Or So She Says.

Go check it out & make it SOON!!  You will love it!

Strawberry Yogurt Bundt Cake

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Ranch Roasted Red Potatoes

School started today for my family.  It's been such a nice break, but it's so great to get back into the swing of things.  Schedules are a good thing! Too many late nights and early mornings (by the kids...not me, I've been sleeping in!) makes for some not-so-much-fun-to-be-around kiddos!:)

 I think I about ate my way into a chocolate coma as well...I did way too much bingeing on sweets.  But the last couple of days I've been craving celery like crazy.  My family thinks that's weird...I think that's my bodies way of counteracting all the crap I've been eating.

These would also do the trick I think.  They are so savory and delicious.  Cook them a little longer to get them nicely browned and crunchy if that's what you like.  We opted for soft, tender potatoes this time, but we like the crunchy ones too.;)  We have another Roasted Red Potatoes recipe that uses an onion soup mix that is also delicious...I really don't know which I like better!

Ranch Roasted Red Potatoes

1/4 cup olive oil
3 Tablespoons or 1 package Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing Mix
2 pounds red potatoes

Wash potatoes well.  Cut into 1 inch pieces.  Place in a large bowl with a lid or a large ziplock baggie.  Drizzle the oil over potatoes and add the ranch dressing mix.  Place lid on bowl (or zip baggie shut) and shake until potatoes are evenly covered.

Transfer potatoes to an ungreased baking pan.  They look so pretty!

Bake at 450 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until they are tender and browned.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Greek Pastitsio

Happy 2013 everyone!  There's so many goals we have for the blog this year, but our #1 goal is to bring you great & fabulous recipes 3 times a week.  That's a big undertaking and will take lots of preparation on our part, but we're determined!  Also, Kyla is going to take a bigger role...she's going to have 2-3 recipes a month that she is in charge of.  I may still have to help her with the blogging side of it, but she's going to be finding, taking pictures and making it pretty much by herself!  She really is a great cook & I'm excited to try some of her stuff (and not have to cook a few times each month!)

Hope you are as excited as we are for this new year!  And with that we'll get on to today's recipe.

Pastitsio just means a casserole layered with pasta, meat and cheeses.  Nothing too fancy about that, although it's really fun to say & it sounds pretty impressive.  But this recipe is more than just pasta, meat and cheeses.  Add the spices and vegetables to it and you've got a wonderful main dish.

(You can make this dish healthier by substituting whole grain penne, using lean ground turkey, light cream cheese, skim milk and part-skim mozzarella...yeah for all of us with that certain new year's resolution that I seem to have EVER SINGLE YEAR!!):)

Greek Pastitsio

1 pound (16 oz.) penne pasta
1 pound ground beef or turkey
1 large onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, pressed
2 tablespoons flour
8 ounces cream cheese (light works well)
2 cups milk (skim is great)
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes, drained
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Cook the penne pasta according to package directions.

While the pasta is cooking brown your beef or turkey with the onion in a large skillet over medium heat.  Season with salt and pepper.  Drain grease from skillet and then add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute. Sprinkle the flour over the meat and then stir to combine.  Break the cream cheese into pieces and add to the meat mixture.  Let it melt and little and stir to combine.  Pour in the milk, nutmeg, and tomatoes.  Stir to combine and then cook over medium heat until simmering.  Let simmer for 5-7 minutes until mixture is slightly thickened.

Stir the pasta into the meat mixture and then pour into a greased 9 x 13 inch pan.  Sprinkle the mozarella cheese over the pasta and place until the broiler for about 3-5 minutes or until cheese is browned.  Watch it really closely or you'll have black cheese!!

Remove from the oven and serve.

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