Saturday, December 25, 2010

Italian Beef Sandwiches

Italian Beef Sandwiches

This is a recipe that we have not made in a while - but was one of our favorites - think we will get it back into rotation! You use the slow cooker for this and it is very easy - and delicious.

Ingredients for Beef
- 3-4 lbs Chuck Roast
- 2-3 teaspoons chopped garlic
-Salt and pepper to taste
-1 bottle (16 oz) of Italian Dressing (any brand should work - we did not use fat free, but ‘lite’ could work.

Ingredients for Finishing the Sandwiches -lots of flexibility here!
-1 bell peppers (green)
- 1 red pepper
-slices of provolone cheese for sandwiches
-Rolls or Focaccia bread

1. Spread half the garlic and salt and pepper (to taste) one side of the chuck roast - then place that side in a pan to brown for around 4 minutes per side in a stovetop pan.
2. While the one side is browning, place the remaining garlic and salt & pepper on the un-browned side. Then flip so both sides are browned.
3. When both sides are browned, place the roast in the slow cooker. Then empty the 16oz bottle of Italian dressing over the roast.
4. Set on low and cook for 8-10 hours (this is not fussy - so it can go longer if needed).
5. Before beef is done, slice the peppers (using a thin slicer or mandolin).
6. Remove beef from the slow cooker. Use two forks and break the beef into smaller pieces. Cut the fat off when you find it.
7. When preparing the sandwiches, use rolls or sliced Focaccia bread. Place meat on the bottom, place provolone and a few pieces of peppers on top. Then enjoy!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Chocolate Crinkles

Chocolate Crinkles
Pam's wonderful recipe! A big hit at the holidays.

• ½ cup vegetable oil
• 4 squares (4 oz) unsweetened chocolate (melted - be careful not to burn)
• 2 cups sugar
• 4 eggs
• 2 tsp vanilla extract
• 2 cups flour
• 2 tsp baking powder
• ½ tsp salt
• about 1 cup powdered sugar

1. Mix oil, chocolate & regular sugar
2. Blend in one egg at a time until well mixed
3. add in vanilla
4. mix together flour, baking powder and salt - then stir into oil mixture
5. chill overnight (or freeze for up to 2 weeks)
6. Heat oven to 350 degrees
7. Drop teaspoonfuls of dough into powdered sugar. Roll and make into balls. Place 2” apart on a greased cooking sheet or parchment paper (HINT: put some powdered sugar on your hands to help with this step).
8. Bake for 10-12 minutes

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Corey's Pasta Bake

Corey's Pasta Bake
Adapted from the Hunt's recipe for Spicy Italian Pasta Bake. This is great for family and pot-luck dinners.

Cooking spray
1 12-14oz. box Rotini or penne pasta (NOTE: you can use 80% of the box just fine for this dish)
19 oz. Italian turkey sausage links, casings removed
2 medium Onions (or 1 large yellow), chopped
1 Green pepper, cut into thin strips of around 1 1/2" long
1 pkg (12 oz.) Mushrooms (white), sliced in half
2 tsp Garlic, chopped (or cloves)
2 28 oz cans Crushed tomatoes
1 tsp Basil, dried
1 tsp Oregano, dried
2 tsp Parsley, dried
2 cups Mozzarella cheese, shredded

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray 13"x9" (or larger) baking dish with cooking spray. Prepare pasta according to package directions.
2. Meanwhile, cook sausage in large nonstick skillet (or wok) over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes, breaking apart with spoon to crumble. Add onion, green peppers, mushrooms and garlic. Cook and stir for around 6 minutes or until sausage is no longer pink and vegetables are crisp-tender. Add tomatoes and spices; heat 2 minutes or until bubbling.
3. Add pasta to tomato mixture; stir until pasta is well coated. Spoon half of mixture into baking dish. Top with half of the cheese. Repeat layers once more. Bake 15-17 minutes or until hot.  Let sit for a few minutes before serving.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Simple Roasted Vegetables


This is one of my favorite recipes and I was surprised that I had to posted it yet. It is very simple, can be easily tweaked for taste, and is a great side dish for the holidays. You can play with the recipe and include just about any root vegetable - but make sure you have the Parsnips!

2-3 Sweet Potatoes – peeled and diced (1/2” cubes)
3-4 Large White Potatoes – peeled and diced (1/2” cubes)
4-5 Carrots - peeled and sliced (1/2” wide at the tip and smaller at the wider part)
4-5 Parsnips - peeled and sliced (1/2” wide at the tip and smaller at the wider part)
4 tablespoons Oil (I use extra virgin Olive Oil)
2 teaspoons dried rosemary
1 teaspoon dried and crushed thyme
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees
2. Place cut vegetables in a large roasting pan. You can adjust the amount of veggies to the size of the pan.
3. Coat with oil and mix in the dry spices with the salt and pepper. You can easily adjust the amount to taste.
4. Cook for 1 hour, mixing periodically.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Christmas Orzo Pesto Salad

'Christmas' Orzo Pesto Salad

Great easy pasta salad - I love having it for pot-lucks and picnics.  It travels very well.


2 oz Pine Nuts
1 lb Orzo
1/2 green pepper - diced finely
1 6-7oz jar prepared Pesto (like Delallo)
3-4 roasted red pepper sections
1 tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil


1. Lightly toast pine nuts in a dry pan. Stir often so they do not burn (10-12 minutes over low heat). Set aside and let cool.
2. Cook orzo as directed for "al dente." When fully cooked, drain and rinse with cool water.
3. Dice green peppers (very small) and cut roasted red peppers into thin strips, about 1/4" wide and 1" long. Does not have to be precise.
4. In a large bowl, combine green and red peppers, pesto and toasted pine nuts. Add olive oil to keep moist.
5. Chill for at least 30 minutes and serve.

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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Slow Cooker Corned Beef & Sauerkraut

Slow Cooker Corned Beef & Sauerkraut

Been a while - this is a great dish and just in time for St. Patrick's Day! Super easy and delicious.


1 tablespoon dried minced onions
1 corned beef (average piece - 3 lbs)
2 lbs sauerkraut (canned or jarred) - you might need more with a larger piece of corned beef)


1. Sprinkle the dried onion on the bottom of the slow cooker.
2. Add the corned beef, fat side up.
3. Place the sauerkraut on top of the beef to cover. Include all the liquid from the jar or can.
4. Cook all day long - around 10 hours on low setting.

You could add other veggies, but we have kept it simple.
This is WONDERFUL as sandwiches with rye bread.