Monday, April 14, 2014

Sausage spinach & ricotta calzones

Do you ever have weeks where you have a little of this leftover & a little of that leftover?  Stuff that is perfectly good and that you don't want to throw away because groceries are so darn expensive and you don't want to be wasteful .. but you need to find a use for.  I had 1/2 a package of cooked sausage, 1/2 bag of unthawed frozen spinach (I used the rest in soup).  Then I have had a container of ricotta looking for something to do with.  So I was thinking pasta, then I was thinking pizza.  Then it hit me...calzones..  They are easy to make and easy to pick up and eat.

I used full fat ricotta, because I do not like the reduced fat kind. I used half a 15 oz container for this recipe..(which leaves me with more and after making these I had about 3/4 of a cup of the sausage/spinach filling leftover.. I am making Spinach, sausage lasagna with creamy bechemel (white) sauce tomorrow with the leftover ricotta, and sausage filling...yeah, 2 meals with kinda thing :)  

I used Grands biscuits that I rolled out, but you could use refrigerated pizza dough, or the pizza dough the kind in a tube (by the biscuits, just roll it out.  If you used something other than the biscuits you will probably not have any leftover sausage filling left and you will probably use an entire container of ricotta, just double the seasonings and cheese, in the ricotta filling mixture.  Speaking of cheese, I used an Italian blend, which has Mozzarella, Parmesan & provolone in it.  Use what ever cheese you like...

I also brushed these with butter mixed with a little garlic powder & dried parsley when they came out of the oven... Make these today.. Enjoy

Sausage spinach & ricotta calzones

1 package Grand biscuits
1/2 package cooked sausage, crumbled (I used Bob Evans)
1 cup of shredded Italian cheese blend
1 clove garlic,minced
1 onion, finely chopped
1 T butter & olive oil
1/2 package frozen spinach, unthawed and squeezed dry
1/2 t white wine
salt & pepper

In a skillet add butter & olive oil.  Add onion, salt & pepper,over medium heat stirring often until translucent and softened.  Add cooked sausage & the garlic clove stirring until sausage is hot.  Add the wine, and spinach stirring until all the filling is hot and the wine has evaporated. 

Ricotta filling (Mix together)

1/2 of a 15 oz package ricotta
1/4 cup shredded Italian blend cheese
1/4 tsp each garlic & onion powder
1/4 t Italian seasoning
salt & pepper

Garlic butter mixture (Mix together)
1/4 cup Butter,melted
Dried parsley and a dash of garlic powder

Preheat oven to 350.Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray.
On a floured surface roll out the biscuits doing one at a time using a rolling pin until flattened.  Spoon a spoonful of the ricotta, a spoonful of the sausage/spinach mixture and a small sprinkling of cheese,  remembering not to fill them too full or they wont close.

 Lay them on the baking sheet and turn them over to close using a fork to seal the edges.  Continue till all the biscuits are used, making sure that they are not touching.
 Bake for 25-30 minutes (start checking them at 20 minutes) and every 5 minutes after that.  When they are golden remove from the oven, and brush with the garlic butter mixture.  Serve... enjoy

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Ice cream sandwich cake

Oh my gosh!!! I just made my first ice cream sandwich cake, well it's not really made out of cake, but it is the best thing ever!!! I have all my boys requesting this for their birthday's... so it was a hit....and was the star of the show... and super easy to do.... It was basically layering ice cream sandwiches, & holding the layers together with thick hot fudge, then frosting the entire thing with whipped topping and covering the top with candy..who wouldn't love that...

You can use whatever candy you like, and I used frozen whipped topping thawed, and spray whipped cream for the border , but you can just use the frozen whipped topping and skip the spray kind.  It will be just fine.. Also, we love chocolate at our house, you can use any kind of topping that you like, caramel etc.  Also, use whatever magic shell topping you like too..

Start with one box of ice cream sandwiches at a time, leaving the other box in the freezer to make sure they stay really frozen and hard. I used classic vanilla ice cream sandwiches, but my husband is requesting the Neapolitan (you know the strawberry, chocolate & vanilla) ones, and we were talking about mint chocolate chip ice cream sandwiches..that would be really good too... make this today & your family will love you.. Enjoy

Ice cream sandwich cake

2 boxes, full size ice cream sandwiches, unwrapped
1 large container cool whip, thawed
2 jars hot fudge ice cream topping ( I used Smuckers)
1 container Magic shell, ice cream topping, (I used hot fudge flavored)
Candy ( I used cut up Twix bars, mini Reese peanut butter cups, and M & M's)
1 can spray whip cream

In a 13 x 9 pan, line it completely with foil, making sure it overhangs the pan.  Unwrap the ice cream sandwiches and line the pan with a single row of sandwiches, cutting ones to fit the edges of the pan.

Scoop the entire contents of one jar of hot fudge and spread into an even layer over the first row of ice cream sandwiches.
Add remaining layer of unwrapped ice cream sandwiches cutting to fit.  Cover pan with foil & place entire pan into the freezer and freeze for at least a couple of hours. After the couple of hours, remove pan from freezer.  I lined a large cutting board with aluminum foil.  Remove the foil that is covering the pan. Place the cutting board over the pan and flip the cake upside down on the cutting board/cake platter. Remove the foil.  Spread the remaining hot fudge over the top layer of the cake.  Frost the entire cake with cool whip topping.
Place cake back in freezer (don't cover) for at least a couple of hours to harden.  When cool whip topping  is hardened and you are almost (within a half hour of being) ready to serve the cake.  Using the spray whipped cream make a decorative border on the top and bottom of the cake. 

Add the chopped candies on top and drizzle with magic shell topping.

 Carefully put the cake back in the freezer for up to a 1/2 hour. Remove from freezer, cut and serve.. Enjoy

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Meatball subs

Who doesn't loved a baked sub...all dripping and oozy with cheese...I do... and add a few meatballs into the mix and I am totally in..... sign me up for this... pronto like :)

I use pizza sauce that has been heated up...but you can use spaghetti sauce too... I have even thought about skipping the pizza sauce and spooning BBQ sauce over it, and then adding cheese... *note to really need to try that :)  anyways... I use an Italian cheese blend which has mozzerella, provolone, & parmesan cheese, but you can use your favorite cheese.  I serve this with crushed red peppers, & banana peppers on the side because I have kids and I don't want to make this too spicy for them.  My husband and I add a little "heat" to our own sandwiches... I use a little extra pizza sauce to dip them in, but it is optional as well.  Make these today..enjoy

Meatball subs

Sub buns
1 lb ground beef ( I use 85/15 )
1/4 onion, minced
1 clove garlic minced,
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 T red wine
2 T half n half
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 T. worchester sauce
Shredded Italian cheese blend
1 jar pizza sauce
**crushed red pepper flakes & pickled banana peppers for serving if desired. 

Seasonings of your choice (I used seasoned salt, pepper, Italian seasoning blend, garlic& onion powder, and dried parsley)

In bowl add ground beef, garlic, bread crumbs, half n half, egg,wine, worchester sauce, parmesan cheese, and seasonings.  With hands mix well.  Roll with hands into golf ball size balls.  Place on greased oven safe baking sheet with rim.  Bake at 350 for 35 minutes turning halfway thru.  Test meatball to make sure no pink remains in the center.  Turn oven to broil, and move oven rack to the top rack in the oven. 
Heat pizza sauce.  Place aluminum foil (for easy cleanup) on baking sheet.  Place sub buns on sheet.  Cut them open (if not done already) not all the way thru but open them up and place baking sheet under broiler.  Broil for a couple of minutes (WATCHING CAREFULLY SO THEY DON'T BURN) until they are browned.  Place cooked meatballs down the bun, and spoon pizza sauce over the meatballs.  Top with shredded cheese and broil for 1-2 minutes till the cheese is melted.  Remove from oven and serve.  Add crushed red pepper or banana peppers if desired. 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Chorizo & eggs

Oh man do I love Chorizo... for those who are going huh?? What's chorizo... it is a spicy Spanish/Mexican sausage flavored with paprika & garlic all kinds of heavenly things...It is a deep red color, much like the color of paprika.  It comes in links, or in plastic tube like containers.  I used pork chorizo but they sell beef as well.  I love it crumbled in quesidillas, or mixed with ground beef and made into tacos, but I also love it mixed with eggs, and made into breakfast burritos... so good.

I used Queso Fresco cheese, which is a Mexican crumbly type cheese, along with Co-Jack cheese but you can use any kind of cheese that you like.  I also serve mine with diced avacados, hot sauce & sour cream, but again it is totally up to you what you put on it. Make these today..... Enjoy...

Chorizo & eggs

1 package of raw pork chorizo, removed from plastic casing
6-8 eggs, beaten with a teaspoonful of water
1 package of flour tortillas
Cheese of your choice (I used Queso Fresco & Co-jack)
1 avocado, peeled & seeded, diced
Sour cream & hot sauce for serving (optional)

In large frying pan over medium high heat add chorizo.  Cook for 5-8 minutes stirring very often until sausage is slightly browned, breaking up sausage and mashing with the back of spoon until done.  Add eggs to the crumbled sausage (do not drain fat off) and stir constantly until eggs are set (they will turn the red color of the sausage).  Cook until done eggs will be soft turn off heat and remove pan from heat .  Spoon into tortillas, top with cheese and diced avocado.  Fold tortillas in half, and serve with sour cream & hot sauce (optional).  Enjoy

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Pistachio cake

Oh my word... the 70's have come back... this is recipe from my childhood that I absolutely love.  This is my mom's recipe for this cake... We have had this cake for as long as I can remember, and is it yummy :)  One of my favorites for sure.. I love pistachio's, and anything pistachio.... so good...everyone that walked into my house today has said, what smells so good..that's the sign of a good cake :)

I used sugar free pudding mix and lite cool whip, but you can certainly use regular.  I also use 7UP pop for the soda cause that's what my mom used, but any kind of lemon lime soda will work.

 I did a couple of changes, because when I saw the recipe it called for an entire cup of oil.  I thought that seems like a lot of oil for one cake, so I cut that down to a 1/2 cup and added a 1/2 cup of water for the other amount, I should of used more 7UP cause I have half a bottle what to do with that.. cocktail time anyone ;)... another change I did,I added almond extract to the frosting to make it more "nutty" flavored... but that is optional.  Also, as you can see in the picture it is nut free on the top, it's cause I forgot and used the chopped pistachios in banana bread and I didn't want to make a special trip to the it is up to you.  I have also used sliced almonds over the top as well, and it is equally delicious.... Make this today and enjoy...

Pistachio cake

1 yellow cake mix
1 small pkg. instant pistachio pudding
1 cup lemon lime soda
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup water
3 eggs

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 13x9 pan with nonstick spray.  Put all ingredients in a large bowl & with electric mixer, mix well for 2 minutes.  Pour batter into pan, place in oven and bake according to the cake mix instructions. Test cake with a toothpick and when it comes out clean remove from oven, and let cool completely.


1 1/2 cups cold milk
1 small pkg instant pistachio pudding
1/4 t almond extract
1 small container cool whip
1/2 cup chopped pistachios ( or sliced almonds)

In bowl place milk, almond extract & pistachio pudding.  Mix with electric mixer on low for a couple of minutes until pudding is slightly thick.  Place in the fridge for a couple of minutes or until pudding is really thick.  With a whisk, whisk together the pudding & cool whip until combined.  Spread frosting over the cake, and sprinkle with the chopped pistachios.  Cover & place in the fridge for about an hour, then serve.  Put a cover over the leftovers and store in the fridge.  Enjoy

Friday, February 21, 2014

Taco ring

I love taco's.....and all things taco... which brings me to this Taco ring... This is a picture of it going into the oven... and we cut into it and served it and I forgot to take an "after" picture...

Serve this with taco "toppings", whatever you like on your tacos....I serve this with lettuce, tomatoes, chopped onions, salsa /hot sauce & olives..I also serve this with sour cream on the side.  Sometimes I make a black bean & corn salsa dip to serve with it... YUM

Taco ring

1 lb. ground beef
1 package taco seasoning mix
1/3 cup water
2 package, refridgerated crescent rolls
1 1/2 cups mexican shredded cheese

Cook ground beef over medium heat until no longer pink, breaking up to small pieces. Drain any fat off.  Sprinkle in the taco seasoning packet & water and heat till bubbly and mixture is thickened. Let cool for around 10 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375.  Line a large round pizza pan with foil & spray with non stick spray.  Unroll crescent rolls. With the points out and the flat part of each triangle in the center  put a triangle at the 3, 6, 9 & 12  leaving a circle about 3 inches open in the middle.  The put the rest of the triangle overlapping and arranging like a "sun" making sure that the points are facing out to the outside edges of the pan. When all the crescent rolls are used, use your fingertips and in just the edge that is by the open circle part push the crescent rolls together.  Spoon the cooled meat in the along between the edge of the rolls and the points being careful not to get any on the edges of the points because you have to wrap them over and tuck them in.  Spoon using all of the meat.  Sprinkle the cheese carefully along the meat.  Take each point and wrap it towards the center of the empty center part of the ring pushing the point in with your fingers..  Do until all of the points are done.  See picture.  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until ring is golden brown and done.  Remove from oven, slice and serve with assorted toppings.. Enjoy

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Breakfast pizza

I love breakfast pizza... The first time I ever had it was at a Whole Foods store in Ann Arbor, MI... cooked in a stone oven, so good & very flavorful.. awesome...  but it is hard to find it out, and since I don't work in Ann Arbor any longer, and I am no where near a whole foods store.. thinking I have to come up with a recipe on my own....

I added, chopped red onion, cooked crumbled sausage, salami, bacon, & green pepper, but you can add anything you like on pizza, pepperoni, mushrooms, all vegetables anything goes..and I used dried herbs, but you can finely chop fresh..think parsley, basil etc...) next time I am going to try some spinach..YUM.. and to make it easy on myself, I used prepared pizza dough, in a tube.  ( you get this near the canned biscuits)... but you can make your own dough, just adjust the cooking time accordingly... make this for your family soon.. enjoy

Breakfast pizza

1 can refridgerated pizza dough
2 eggs
1 T white wine
1 T half & half
toppings of your choice ( I used red onion & green pepper, diced very small, small sliced salami, cooked sausage crumbled, & bacon bits)
2-3 cups cups shredded cheese, I use co-jack, mozzerella & a small amount of parmesan)
seasonings of your choice ( I used garlic salt & pepper, dried parsley )

For topping the pizza when it comes out of the oven:
2-3 T butter, melted mixed with a sprinkling of garlic salt
Freshly grated parmesan cheese
Red pepper flakes (optional)

Preheat oven to 425.  On a large baking sheet, spray with non stick spray.  Unroll the pizza dough making a rectangle and making a slight lip/edge on the dough (so the eggs won't run off the sides of the dough).  Prick the dough with a fork all over and bake for about 6-7 minutes. When the crust is pre baking with a fork, mix the eggs, wine & half & half.  Add seasonings and beat well with a fork.  When the crust is done pre baking, take the eggs and gently pour over the hot crust, taking a brush and making an even layer of eggs, over the crust being careful that the egg mixture doesn't run over the side of the crust.  Add the toppings, saving the cheese for last.  Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the toppings.  Place in oven and bake for around 6-7 minutes or u ntil the bottom of the crust is golden brown and cheese is melted.  When the pizza is done, carefully slide it onto a big board (I used a big cutting board), brush the edges of the crust with the garlic butter, and sprinkle very lightly with Parmesan.  I serve the red pepper flakes at the table and those that like it a little extra spicy, can add their own.  Enjoy :)