Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Caramelized-Onion Lasagna with Gorgonzola Sauce

I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas.  We hosted Christmas with both my family and my husband's family.  I just realized now that with all of the hustle and bustle of trying to get the food ready and on the table at the same time, that I didn't take any pics of the dishes! :(  I also realize that as the holidays wind down now, that many people, including myself, are thinking about eating healthier and lighter fare.  However, maybe you can squeeze this dish in before the end of the year! 

A couple of weekends ago we were home making gingerbread houses with the kids.  I had the time so I thought that I'd make this dish, which I've had bookmarked for awhile.  I love caramelized onions and with the added gorgonzola sauce I thought it sounded really good.....and it was! I was surprised at how well the two ingredients paired together.  Now the original recipe calls for fresh zucchini.  I had sent my husband to the grocery store to pick up some ingredients to make the gingerbread houses and also asked him to pick up a zucchini.  He came home with a cucumber though!  Luckily, I had a bag of zucchini/squash in the freezer and defrosted and used that instead. This was definitely a weekend-type meal, where I wasn't concerned with and also had lots of time to make this.  This also isn't a dish that I'd make often, but it was a tasty dinner for my husband and I.  Onions and gorgonzola....not my children's favorite ingredients!  So for them I just cooked up some extra lasagna noodles and served with butter and cheese. 
Caramelized-Onion Lasagna with Gorgonzola Sauce
Recipe slightly adapted from Cooking Light, April 2001

3 tablespoons butter, divided
8 cups thinly sliced onion (about 2 pounds)
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 bag frozen, sliced zucchini and squash, defrosted
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 (12-ounce) cans evaporated fat-free milk
1 1/4 cups (5 ounces) crumbled Gorgonzola or other blue cheese
Cooking spray
12 cooked lasagna noodles

Preheat oven to 375°.

Melt 2 teaspoons butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion, thyme, salt, and pepper; cook 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the wine; cook 2 minutes or until wine evaporates. Spoon into a bowl; cool.

Melt 1 teaspoon butter in pan over medium-high heat. Add half of the zucchini and squash; cook 2 minutes or until crisp-tender. Remove from pan. Add remaining zucchini; cook 2 minutes or until crisp-tender. Set aside.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add flour; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly with a whisk. Gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk. Cook 5 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add Gorgonzola ; stir until cheese melts.

Spread 1/4 cup cheese sauce in the bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange 4 noodles slightly overlapping over cheese sauce; top with half of onion mixture, half of zucchini, and 1 cup cheese sauce. Repeat layers, ending with noodles. Spread the remaining cheese sauce over noodles. Sprinkle with Parmesan. Cover and bake at 375° for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 15 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes.

Mommy & Daddy Rating: 1 1/2 thumbs up.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Glazed Toffee Bonbons

This past weekend we had our annual Supper Club December dinner out and cookie exchange.  We tried a Southern/Carribean restaurant in New Rochelle, NY called Alvin and Sons that was REALLY good!  On the way home, even though we were stuffed from dinner, my husband and I did a mini cookie tasting.  These were the cookies that I ended up making for the exchange. I really like heath bars and thought they looked and sounded good.  They were pretty easy to put together.  I had them completed from start to finish in about an hour.  I wasn't sure that two dozen would be enough (you have to account for mess-ups, taste tests, and I had to leave some for the kids!) so I doubled the recipe.  Of course it made enough that my husband was able to bring some to work the next day.  Unfortunately, I wasn't "wowed" by these cookies like I was hoping.  They aren't bad....and according to my daughter, they're the best cookies that I've ever made!  I just found them a bit too sweet.....which is why I was suprised that my daughter loved them so much since she really doesn't like very sweet things. Luckily, I got a bunch of really tasty cookies from the other supper club members!

Glazed Toffee Bonbons
recipe from Taste and Tell

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 14 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 2 dozen cookies

Toffee filled cookies are topped with caramel icing, white and milk chocolate, and more toffee pieces!


1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 bars (1.4 oz. each) chocolate covered English toffee candy, finely chopped

1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2-3 tablespoons milk
1 1/3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk chocolate chips
1/3 cup white chocolate chips

Heat the oven to 325F. In a large bowl, beat 1/2 cup butter, 1/2 cup brown sugar, the vanilla and the egg with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. On low speed, beat in the flour, baking soda and salt. Reserve 1/3 of the toffee pieces for garnish. Stir remaining chopped candy into the dough. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. On ungreased cookie sheets, place balls 1 inch apart.

Bake 11 to 14 minutes or until edges start to brown and tops of cookies feel set when tapped. Place cooling racks on waxed paper. Immediately remove cookies from cookie sheets to cooling racks.

Meanwhile, in a 1-quart saucepan, heat 1/4 cup butter, 1/2 cup brown sugar and 2 tablespoons of the milk over medium-low heat , stirring frequently, until mixture just comes to a boil and sugar is dissolved. Stir in powdered sugar; beat with a wire whisk if necessary to remove lumps. Immediately dip tops of cookies into glaze or spread on top of cookies. (Cookies don’t need to be completely cooled, just firm and set.) Place on rack; let stand about 10 minutes until glaze is set. If glaze starts to set in saucepan, reheat over medium-low heat and beat with a wire whisk.

Place chocolate chips and vanilla chips in separate small microwaveable bowls. Microwave each on high for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds until melted and smooth. Using the tip of a spoon, drizzle each flavor generously over cookies. Alternately, place the chips in a zip top bag, microwave until melted, and then cut off the corner and drizzle over cookies. Sprinkle with remaining candy. Refrigerate 20 minutes to set quickly.

Family Rating:1 thumb up.

This recipe is shared at:
Creative Thursday @ Michelle's Tasty Creations
Full Plate Thursday @ Miz Helen's Country Cottage
Showcase Your Talent Thursday @ What's Cooking, Love?

Monday, December 17, 2012

Might Have Missed Monday: Libby's Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins

Here's a muffin recipe that I made last November that we enjoyed a lot. 

I saw this recipe, which was originally for a bread and decided to make muffins instead. I halved the recipe, only making 12 muffins. I prefer to make muffins because I can freeze some and they make for a quick, easy breakfast on a busy morning. I also used dried cranberries instead of fresh. Next time, I would definitely try to use fresh cranberries. The dried cranberries that I used had an overly sweet taste.

Libby's Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins
recipe adapted from: Very Best Baking

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 (15 ounce) can LIBBY'S® 100% Pure Pumpkin
2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup orange juice
1/2 cup dried cranberries

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour 12 muffin pan or use liners.

2.Combine flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Combine sugar, pumpkin, eggs, vegetable oil and orange juice in large mixer bowl; beat until just blended. Add pumpkin mixture to flour mixture; stir just until moistened. Fold in cranberries. Spoon batter into muffin pan.

3.Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely

Family Rating: 2 thumbs up!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Might Have Missed Monday: Potato and Blue Cheese Gratin

These potatoes are AMAZING! They are so simple to make but so good that I had to share them on "Might Have Missed Monday."  I posted this recipe last November.  However, I have made these numerous times.  They are a great side with steak and the kids love them (minus the blue cheese for my daughter.)

Potato and Blue Cheese Gratin
Gourmet, December 2005

Tender, rich, and browned on top, this easy potato gratin gets loads of flavor from a very minimal amount of blue cheese that is added at the last minute.

1 1/2 lb medium yellow-fleshed potatoes
1 cup heavy cream
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese (1 oz)

Put oven rack in upper third of oven and preheat oven to 425°F.

Peel potatoes and slice 1/8 inch thick, then toss with cream, garlic, salt, and pepper in skillet. Cover with foil and roast until potatoes are very tender, about 25 minutes. Remove from oven and preheat broiler. Remove foil and sprinkle potatoes with cheese. Broil until top is browned, 2 to 3 minutes.

Family Rating: two thumbs up! The kids loved these!

This recipe is shared at:
Mangia Mondays @ Delightfully Dowling
Manic Monday Party @ Bobbi's Kozy Kitchen
The Bulletin Board @ Mrs. Happy Homemaker

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Nutella Drop Biscuits

We love nutella.  A weekly breakfast for the kids is usually nutella on a bagel.  When I saw this recipe I knew I had to try it.  It sounded like something that could be served for breakfast and I'm always looking for new breakfast recipes.  These ended up being a perfect breakfast treat!  They are not too sweet, since it's a biscuit with hints of nutella swirls.  We all loved these and enjoyed them a lot.  It was a different and tasty way to use nutella!

Nutella Drop Biscuits
recipe from Two Peas and Their Pod

2 1/4 cups all-purpose Gold Medal flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup Nutella

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Mix in cold butter with your fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add buttermilk and stir with a spatula until just combined. With a knife, gently swirl the Nutella into the biscuit dough.

3. Drop round spoonfuls of dough, about three tablespoons, onto prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle biscuits with sea salt, if desired. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until tops are slightly golden brown. Remove from oven, let cool to room temperature and serve.

Family Rating: 2 thumbs up!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Cake Batter Bars

I know a few days ago I posted Cake Batter Rice Krispy Treats.  Well I had some funfetti cake mix left over and Kim from Lovin' From the Oven, where I found the Rice Krispy Treat recipe also had this recipe there.  What a perfect way to use up the rest of the leftover cake mix.  These bars were sooo good!  They were really moist and chewy and easy to make.  To help myself not eat the whole batch I'd cut myself one large square in around lunchtime and every time I'd want some I'd cut a little sliver off of that one square.  It helped to make that one square last almost all day!  Since I'm not a huge chocolate lover these were right up my alley.  I will totally be making these again soon!

Cake Batter Bars
Lovin' From the Oven

1 1/4 cup funfetti cake mix
3/4 cup AP flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup butter, melted and slightly cooled
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
5 heaping tablespoons sprinkles of your choice (I used stars)

1.Preheat oven to 350F. Grease an 8 x 8 inch pan.

2.Cream both sugars, butter, vanilla, egg, and egg yolk.

3.Gradually mix in flour, cake mix, and baking soda until just mixed. Stir in sprinkles.

4.Spread batter evenly into greased pan.

5.Bake for 30-35 minutes until top is lightly browned and middle still jiggles slightly. Cool completely before cutting.

Family Rating: 2 thumbs up.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Sausage Broccoli Rabe Risotto

My husband and I enjoy risotto but it's a time-consuming dish (and not in the takes a while in the oven....I mean active, stirring, cooking time).  I had torn this recipe out of Food Network magazine back when I still had a subscription and have been meaning to make it for awhile.  I recently bought some sausage and with the cold weather, risotto sounded really good.  The grocery store didn't have broccolini, which was what the original recipe called for, so I substituted broccoli rabe.  I was a little skeptical of this recipe because it cooks in a Dutch Oven with little stirring involved.  I have previously tried making risotto in a slow cooker with little luck.  I figured the constant stirring was key.  However, we were pleasantly surprised at how good this turned out!  The flavors were really good.  Even leftover this was super tasty.  I'm not a huge fan of leftovers, but ended up eating this for lunch two days in a row.  This is definitely worth repeating!

Sausage Broccoli Rabe Risotto
recipe adapted from, courtesy of Food Network Magazine

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 bunch broccoli rabe, roughly chopped (about 8 ounces)
12 ounces sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
1 cup arborio rice
1 clove garlic, minced
1/3 cup dry white wine
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 cup grated parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a Dutch oven or ovenproof pot over high heat. Add the broccoli rabe and stir-fry until just tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate using a slotted spoon. Add the sausage, onion and carrot to the pot and cook, breaking up the meat, until browned, about 5 more minutes. Add the rice and garlic and cook, stirring, 1 more minute.

Add the wine to the pot and cook until evaporated, about 2 minutes. Add the chicken broth, tomatoes and 1 cup water; cover and bring to a boil. Transfer the pot to the oven and bake until the rice is tender, about 15 minutes.

Remove the pot from the oven. (Don't worry if the risotto seems wet; it will thicken when you add the cheese.) Vigorously stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and the cheese until creamy, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the broccoli rabe and divide among bowls.

Family Rating: 2 thumbs up!

This post is shared at:
Tasty Tuesdays @ 33 Shades of Green
Show Me What You Got Tuesdays @ Our Delightful Home
Totally Tasty Tuesdays @ Mandy's Recipe Box

Monday, December 3, 2012

Might Have Missed Monday: Cannoli French Toast

I have recently started re-posting some of our family's favorite recipes from the past year, in case you "might have missed" them.  I had posted this November 11, 2011.  Our family, especially the kids, love breakfast-for-dinner.  It allows me to make some of the casseroles and breakfast type foods that require too much time and effort for me to make in the mornings.  To me, the best part of a cannoli is the inside, so I enjoyed this too!  It's almost too good to be dinner......more like dessert!  This was definitely a winner for us all!  As I'm writing this I'm thinking I may have to make this again for us soon!
Cannoli French Toast
EveryDay With Rachael Ray, October 2010

1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 cup ricotta cheese
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
12 slices sandwich bread

1.Sift 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar into a small bowl, then stir in 1 cup ricotta cheese. In a medium bowl, beat together 2 eggs and 1/2 cup milk. Trim the crusts off 12 slices sandwich bread and, using a rolling pin, roll out the bread to flatten. Add 1 tablespoon of the sweetened ricotta to each slice, fold over and pinch the edges together. (The edges will seal during cooking.) In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil over medium heat. Working in 3 batches, dip the stuffed bread slices in the egg mixture and transfer to the skillet. Cook, turning once, until puffed and golden, about 3 minutes. Dust with more confectioners’ sugar before serving.

Family Rating: 2 Thumbs Up!

This post is shared at:
Manic Monday @ Bobbi's Kozy Kitchen
The Bulletin Board @ Mrs. Happy Homemaker
Mangia Mondays @ Delightfully Dowling

Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Weekend Chef: Indian Rice Pudding

For our Indian themed supper club my husband decided to make Indian Rice Pudding.  When he did a search for Indian desserts this was by far the most popular.  We've eaten this plenty of times at the local Indian Buffet.  But I have to say that this isn't my most favorite dessert.  If I'm going to eat rice pudding, I have to admit that I like it plain, without the spice and in this case, pistachios.  This did get me to visit the local Middle Eastern store to buy some rose water.  While the recipe is easy enough, like my recipe for Saag Paneer, the cooking time does not account for the constant stirring of the milk to bring it to a boil which took forever!  Everyone at supper club seemed to enjoy I think it's my own biased opinion (and blog!) that's giving this 1 1/2 thumbs up versus the 2 that my husband would like to give it!

Indian Rice Pudding
recipe from, courtesy of Aarti Sequeira

1/2 cup basmati rice
6 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon rosewater, or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons minced unsalted pistachios or almonds, plus extra for garnish

In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, bring the rice, milk, and cardamom to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly with a heat-safe spoonula to help keep the milk from burning.

Reduce the heat so that the milk is gently simmering and cook for 45 to 50 minutes, stirring often. The rice should be tender and the milk will have reduced by half, giving a porridge-like consistency.

Add the sugar, rosewater or vanilla, and pistachios. Stir and turn off the heat. Serve either warm or chilled, garnished with extra pistachios. Goes well with fresh fruit too.

Family Rating: 1 1/2 thumbs up.