Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Mushroom & Poblano Tostadas

Another mushroom dish since it's a Wednesday night! This was super-fast and yummy. I would definitely make it again... for myself.


Mushroom & Poblano Tostadas
Real Simple, July 2009

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound button mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 poblano pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
kosher salt and black pepper
1 cup corn kernels (cut fresh from 1 ear or frozen)
4 small flour tortillas
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack (4 ounces)
2 cups shredded romaine lettuce
1/2 cup store-bought fresh salsa

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, poblano, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook, tossing occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and the liquid has nearly evaporated, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the corn.

Heat broiler. Brush the tortillas with the remaining oil and place on a baking sheet. Broil until crisp, 1 minute per side. Top with the cheese and broil until melted, about 1 minute. Top with the vegetables, lettuce, and salsa.

Yield: 4 servings

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Cheesy Broccoli Potato Soup

Tonight I made Cheesy Broccoli Potato Soup. Although we've run out of frozen broccoli, so I used frozen cauliflower instead (it was still yummy). This is very simple and tasty.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Tomato Sandwich with Lemony Feta Spread

Today my co-worker and I had a big break in the middle of the day between clients so we had lunch at my house. I made some Tomato Sandwiches with Lemony Feta Spread and it got a good response! Such yummy sandwiches. I love them.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Emeril's Chop House

These are my favorite posts. :)

Tonight we went to Emeril's Chop House in Bethlehem, the town next to ours.


There is a gigantic old, rusty, beautiful steel mill in the center of Bethlehem and for some reason the town decided to convert part of it into a casino. So now the Sands Casino stands as a monstrous, clean, non-rusty center of the steel mill. It's all slots, no tables (yet) and is an incredibly depressing place. But inside it is a new Emeril's restaurant and that is exciting, so it was fun to go there.

For our appetizers, N had the New Orleans-Style Barbecue Shrimp, which was awesome and delicious and exactly what Emeril is known for. G got Charbroiled Oysters on the Half Shell, which he loved but I didn't. I don't think I like oysters. And then I got Crispy Fried Calamari which was wonderful and light. N also got a Caesar salad that I did not try, but she reports it was amazing.

Then for our entrees, G got a petit filet mignon topped with shrimp and a side of butter whipped potatoes. He LOVED it. N got the catch of the day with couscous, veggies, and tomato-citrus vinaigrette and loved that as well. She also got a side of very tasty parmesan asparagus. I got shrimp arrabiata, which was just OK. It wasn't the best, but it was good. Just for fun I got Pennsylvania button mushrooms and they were my favorite of the side dishes.

But... as we find so often at the nice restaurants, the crowning glory is always the dessert.



G got some simple ice cream from the Penn State Creamery, which is known for having the best ice cream on the planet. And t'was the best ice cream indeed! I got milk and cookies. Fresh, warm chocolate chip cookies with some vanilla-flavored milk. Oh my GOD. And to share, we got the house special - Emeril's Banana Cream Pie. He is famous for this pie and it was wonderful. But I'd have to say the cookies were my favorite part of the whole meal!


I don't know if we'd go back. It's depressing to watch people do the slots while eating, and - as seems to be a trend lately - there are TVs in the restaurant which I feels takes away from the eating experience. If the meal is going to cost as much as it does, the restaurant shouldn't feel like an Applebee's. But the food was good. Shoot, I'd go back just for the cookies. Supposedly Emeril is opening up two more restaurants in the Sands (no idea why) and maybe we'll try them out when they open.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Double Chocolate Soufflés with Warm Fudge Sauce

Yes, that's right, I finally made soufflés. I've been wanting to for a long time but it's scary and requires a lot of eggs. Turns out that it's not so hard after all! They really do sink quickly after you remove them from the oven, but that's not so bad. They tasted yummy but were very eggy - I am obviously stupid and didn't take into consideration that 8 egg whites are going to yield an eggy taste (and we all know I don't like when things taste too much like egg unless they are, in fact, eggs). I didn't make the fudge sauce because it just seemed like overkill. It probably is very good, we just didn't need it. I won't make this again probably but I am proud of myself for succeeding at it!


Double Chocolate Soufflés with Warm Fudge Sauce
Cooking Light, April 2006

You can prepare the ingredients ahead, spoon the batter into soufflé dishes, cover, and freeze until you're ready to cook them. They can go straight from the freezer to the oven. Make the sauce ahead, too, and simply warm it before serving. This recipe received our Test Kitchens' highest rating.

Cooking spray
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups fat-free milk
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg yolk
6 large egg whites

1 tablespoon butter
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 cup fat-free milk
1/2 ounce bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Position oven rack to the lowest setting, and remove middle rack. Preheat oven to 425°.

To prepare the soufflés, lightly coat 6 (8-ounce) soufflé dishes with cooking spray. Sprinkle evenly with 2 tablespoons sugar. Set aside.

Combine remaining 1/2 cup sugar, 3 tablespoons flour, 3 tablespoons cocoa, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring with a whisk. Gradually add 1 1/4 cups milk, stirring constantly with a whisk; bring to a boil. Cook 2 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring constantly with a whisk; remove from heat. Add 3 ounces chocolate; stir until smooth. Transfer mixture to a large bowl; cool to room temperature. Stir in vanilla and egg yolk.

Place egg whites in a large mixing bowl; beat at high speed with a mixer until stiff peaks form (do not overbeat). Gently fold one-fourth of egg whites into chocolate mixture; gently fold in remaining egg white mixture. Gently spoon mixture into prepared dishes. Sharply tap dishes 2 or 3 times on counter to level. Place dishes on a baking sheet; place baking sheet on the bottom rack of 425° oven. Immediately reduce oven temperature to 350° (do not remove soufflés from oven). Bake 40 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the side of soufflé comes out clean.

To prepare sauce, melt butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add 1/3 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons cocoa, and 1 tablespoon flour; stir well with a whisk. Gradually add 1/2 cup milk, stirring well with a whisk; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute or until slightly thick, stirring constantly with a whisk. Remove from heat; add 1/2 ounce chocolate, stirring until smooth. Serve warm with soufflés.

Yield: 6 servings

Green Pizza

Well, this is kind of a cheater recipe but that's OK. We had a busy busy day so I wanted something easy for dinner (and then I spent a lot of time on dessert, but that was a planned project so it's alright). This is very quick, especially if you are lazy like me and skip the sauteeing of vegetables. I microwaved the broccoli (frozen), chopped it up with kitchen scissors, and threw the arugula on without cooking it first. Still turned out pretty good. It isn't the most thrilling of pizzas but it definitely will be considered for quick weeknight meals.


Green Pizza
Eating Well, Sept./Oct. 2009

1 pound prepared pizza dough
2 cups chopped broccoli florets
1/4 cup water
5 oz arugula, any tough stems removed, chopped
1/2 cup prepared pesto
1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

1. Position oven rack in the lowest position; preheat oven to 450. Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray.

2. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface to about the size of the baking sheet. Bake until puffed and lightly crisped on the bottom, 8 to 10 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, cook broccoli and water in a large skillet over medium-high heat, covered, until the broccoli is crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in arugula and cook, stirring, until wilted, 1 to 2 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Spread pesto evenly over the crust, top with the broccoli mixture and sprinkle with cheese. Bake until crispy and golden and the cheese is melted, 8 to 10 minutes.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Sweet Potato Ravioli with Lemon-Sage Brown Butter Sauce

Tonight we had our favorite recipe for sweet potato ravioli. It's not nearly as hard as it sounds, especially if you just microwave the sweet potato for 10 minutes, and it's absolutely delicious.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Barley, Black Bean, And Corn Burritos

I thought I'd be all clever and start dinner in the crockpot, run it for around 10 hours and then get home at 6-ish to eat. Except I ended up staying late at work and didn't get home until 8! So the food was a little burned. I'm still trying to soak out the crockpot and it's all burned on. But the part that wasn't burned on was DELICIOUS! We decided we should tweak the cooking time (I shouldn't have run it on low for 10 hours, I should have run it for the specified time and then just let it be 'warm' for the final few hours). We would make this again. Probably will since I'm out so late. It was really nice to come home and have dinner ready.


Barley, Black Bean, And Corn Burritos
Cooking Light Slowcooker Cookbook

1 (15-ounce) can black beans -- rinsed and drained
1 (10-ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chiles -- undrained
1 cup uncooked pearl barley
2 cups vegetable broth
3/4 cup frozen whole-kernel corn
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 garlic clove -- minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
18 flour tortillas -- (6 1/2-inch)
1 cup shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese -- PLUS
2 tablespoons shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese -- (4 1/2 ounces total)
9 cups thinly sliced curly leaf lettuce
2 1/4 cups salsa
1 cup fat-free sour cream -- PLUS
2 tablespoons fat-free sour cream

Place first 11 ingredients in a 3- to 4-quart electric slow cooker; stir well. Cover with lid; cook on low-heat setting 4 to 5 hours or until barley is tender. Stir in cilantro.

Heat tortillas according to package directions. Spoon 1/3 cup barley mixture down center of each tortilla; sprinkle each with 1 tablespoon cheese. Roll up. Place 1 cup lettuce on each of 9 plates; top each with 2 burritos. Spoon 1/4 cup salsa and 2 tablespoons sour cream over each serving.

Yield: 9 servings

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Truffled Wild Mushrooms over Whipped White Beans

I found some truffle oil at the grocery store for a relatively low price so of course I picked some up! I didn't puree the bean mixture in a food processor because I am lazy. I used a pre-packaged wild mushroom blend - I think it had shiitake, oyster, and cremini? Not sure. It was very yummy though. I don't know if I would make it again, but I really liked it. You have to REALLY like mushrooms though! And since this was my first time really having truffle oil, I must say, you REALLY have to like mushrooms to appreciate it. It is so strong!


Truffled Wild Mushrooms over Whipped White Beans
Vegetarian Times, April 2007

Truffle oil and earthy wild mushrooms turn a simple ragoût into a sublime main dish. Truffle oil is a worthwhile investment. A few drops can transform roasted vegetables, bean dishes and even a plain ol’ bowl of mashed potatoes.

2 tsp. olive oil, divided
1 medium leek, white and pale green parts chopped (about 1/2 cup)
2 15-oz. cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
2 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 tsp.)
2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
1 lb. wild mushrooms, halved
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tsp. truffle oil

1. Heat 1 tsp. oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add leek and sauté 2 minutes. Stir in beans, broth, garlic and thyme. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer bean mixture to food processor and blend until creamy and smooth. Return to skillet, cover and keep warm.

2. Heat remaining 1 tsp. oil in medium skillet over high heat. Add mushrooms and sauté 8 minutes, or until soft and brown. Season with salt and pepper, and stir in parsley.

3. Spoon whipped bean mixture into shallow bowls. Top with equal portions of mushrooms. Drizzle each serving with 1/2 tsp. truffle oil, and serve.

Yield: 4 servings

Ginger Tea

I haven't been feeling awesome, so I decided to make this tea. It's super easy. I used a little less ginger than was called for, and a little more honey. It was surprisingly yummy. The rosemary and ginger seem as though they'd be a little savory, but they aren't. It makes for a yummy tea. I'd like to try it with the lemon peel sometime, too. Hopefully not when I'm feeling sick though!

I always have ginger on hand. Not just the powdered kind, but also the actual ginger root. It's fairly inexpensive so you can buy a big knob of it. Then just put it in the freezer until you need it. Use a vegetable peeler to peel the skin off and then cut off however much you need. It will thaw very quickly. It's super-easy.


Ginger Tea
Better Homes & Gardens, February 2009

Soothing and helpful, this tea is good three ways: hot, iced, and as the sparkling fizz, below.

1 cup boiling water
4 1/8-inch slices fresh ginger
1 small sprig fresh rosemary or fresh mint, or 2 strips lemon peel*
1/2 tsp. honey

1. Pour water in cup. Add fresh ginger, rosemary, and honey. Stir to dissolve honey. Steep 5 minutes. Remove ginger and rosemary or, for intense ginger and rosemary flavor, leave in ginger and rosemary while sipping.

2. Iced Ginger Tea: Prepare Ginger Tea; remove ginger and rosemary. Refrigerate, covered, 2 hours. Serve over ice.

3. Sparkling Ginger Fizz: Prepare Iced Ginger Tea using six 1/8-inch slices of fresh ginger. Pour tea in tall ice-filled glass. Pour in calorie-free ginger ale, carbonated water, or sparkling white wine. Makes 1 serving.

*Note: Use only yellow peel; avoid the white pith of the lemon.

Yield: 1 serving

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Praline Apple Bread

Well, this bread is just fantastically delicious. The bread itself isn't overly sweet, so if you're going for a more subtle, savory bread then skip the caramel topping. Otherwise, go for it because it is delicious and sweet. We used some Honeycrisp apples, which are delicious and tart and held up very well to being baked. They're a little more expensive than other apples, but they are also huge and worth it so go ahead and buy them. I am hoping the bread is still good tomorrow because I want to take it with me for lunches this week! I could also see myself making this as a gift for people this winter.


Praline Apple Bread
Better Homes & Gardens via CLBB (hAndyman)

Make-Ahead Tip: Up to 1 day ahead, make, bake, and cool loaf as directed. Cover and store at room temperature.

"Packed with apple flavor and topped with gooey caramel and crunchy pecans this quick bread is an easy make-ahead accompaniment for holiday meals."

1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 carton dairy sour cream -- (8 ounce)
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/4 cups chopped -- peeled tart apples

1. Grease a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan. In a large mixing bowl beat together granulated sugar, sour cream, eggs, and vanilla on low speed of an electric mixer until combined, then beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.

2. Stir together flour, baking powder, soda, and salt; add to sour cream mixture, beating on low speed until combined. Stir in apple and 1/2 cup of the pecans. Turn into prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle with remaining chopped pecans; press lightly into batter.

3. Bake in a 350 degree F. oven for 55 to 60 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. (If necessary, cover loosely with foil the last 10 minutes of baking to prevent over-browning.) Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan combine butter or margarine and brown sugar; cook and stir until mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat and boil gently for 1 minute. Remove bread from pan. Drizzle top with brown sugar mixture; cool.

Yield: 18 servings

Cowboy Cream of Jalapeno Soup

I was excited for this recipe because we love spicy food, but I was pretty disappointed. It wasn't bad at all, it just wasn't special. This may be my fault because I did lighten it a bit - I used a combination of light cream and half-and-half instead of the heavy cream and subbed canola oil for the butter - but I think it was just alright regardless. We wouldn't make this again.


Cowboy Cream of Jalapeno Soup
Chef Grady Spears
Posted on CLBB (Canice)

1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
5 jalapeno peppers, stemmed and seeded
3/4 cup finely chopped red onion (about 1/2 large onion)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 avocado, peeled and diced
2 cups diced tomatoes (about two large tomatoes)
8 cups heavy cream
1 bunch cilantro, stemmed and chopped
Kosher salt to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste

Mince the jalapenos and set aside.

In a large, heavy saucepan, heat the butter over medium heat. Add the jalapeños, onions and garlic and saute, stirring, until the vegetables are soft. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the avocados, tomatoes and cream. Lower the temperature and return the pan to the heat, watching and stirring so the cream does not separate. Bring the soup slowly back to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes to reduce by one third and to blend flavors. Be sure to stir the soup occasionally to prevent sticking or scorching. Season with salt and pepper.

Just before serving stir the chopped cilantro leaves into the soup, reserving some for garnish. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with remaining cilantro.

Best Cornbread In The World

Even though this recipe is made with 2 sticks of butter (sigh), it makes an enormous amount and it is absolutely delicious. We've determined this will be our go-to cornbread recipe for guests or special occasions. I will still make my favorite orange cornbread when appropriate and I'd like to find a good, light cornbread, but this is definitely the top. It is wonderful.


Best Cornbread In The World
CLBB (jilliniowa)

2 cups Bisquick
1/2 tsp. soda
1 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup butter, melted
1 8-oz. can cream-style corn
2 eggs, slightly beaten

Combine first 4 ingredients in bowl. Add buttermilk, melted butter, corn, and eggs; mix well. Batter will be lumpy. Pour into greased 9x13 baking dish. Bake at 350 for 30-40 min. Cool slightly before cutting.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Herbed Garlic Bread

For dinner tonight, I made some delicious Potato-Leek Gratin. I love fall!

To go with it, I tried out this Martha Stewart recipe for garlic bread with a nice loaf of Italian bread from Wegmans. I liked it a lot.


Herbed Garlic Bread
Martha Stewart Living

Different fresh or dried herbs can be used to suit your taste or the time of year.

1/2 cup loosely packed flat-leaf parsley leaves, coarsely chopped
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
1 12-inch-long loaf Italian-style white bread

1. Heat oven to 350°. Whisk together parsley, thyme, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper, and olive oil in a small bowl.

2. Using a bread knife, slice loaf into 12 half-inch pieces, cutting only 3/4 of the way through the loaf so that it stays intact. Brush herb mixture liberally between each slices. Wrap loaf loosely in foil. Heat until warm, about 10 minutes. Serve immediately.

Yield: 4 servings

Friday, September 18, 2009

Curried Sweet Potato and Cheddar Pizza with Pickled Red Onions

Several years ago I went to Veggie Planet for pizza and I got the Veggie Planet cookbook and I've made some of Didi Emmons's recipes before. She's known for her vegetarian pizzas. So tonight I decided to use up some more of the sweet potatoes (I still have MORE, too!) in a unique pizza that sounded a little scary at first. I didn't make my own pizza dough and I used Pillsbury pizza dough instead. I did make the pickled onions and I think the pizza would be just fine without them. The pizza itself is fantastic and delicious. I loved it to pieces. We would definitely make this again.


Curried Sweet Potato and Cheddar Pizza with Pickled Red Onions
Vegetarian Planet (Didi Emmons) as posted on CLBB

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut in 1/2 inch cubes
6 garlic cloves minced
4 Tbsp canola oil
2 tsp garam masala or ground star anise (optional)
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp kosher salt
6 pizza crusts
3 cups grated white cheddar cheese
3/4 cup Pretty Pickled Red Onions (recipe follows)

Preheat oven to 400. In a large bowl, combine the sweet potatoes, garlic, and oil and toss well. Add spices and salt and toss to coat the cubes. Spread cubes in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheets and bake 15 to 20 minutes or until tender. Increase oven temp to 500 degrees.

Put crust on a baking sheet or pizza stone. Distribute sweet potato over the dough. Distribute cheddar among the pizzas. bake until crust is browned in spots, about 10 minutes. Top with Pretty Pickled Red Onions. Serve immediately.

Pretty Pickled Red Onions
makes 1 1/2 cups

1 large red onion, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 cup red wine vinegar

In a small saucepan, combine onion, sugar, and vinegar over medium high heat. Bring to a boil, cover, and remove from heat. let stand 15 minutes. Transfer onions and their liquid into a glass bowl or jar, cover, and refrigerate.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Banana-Cinnamon Waffles

I had to buy several different kinds of flour for this (OK, two - the buckwheat flour and the flaxseed meal) and that's fun because I can pop them in the refrigerator or freezer and have them on hand for interesting baked goods. We liked this a lot. It was very yummy and didn't taste "healthy" (i.e. like cardboard). It was good. We would make this again.


Banana-Cinnamon Waffles
Cooking Light, May 2005

Crown these lightly spiced waffles with cinnamon sugar, sliced bananas, and/or a drizzle of maple syrup. Buckwheat flour adds a somewhat tangy, robust nuttiness.

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup buckwheat flour
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups fat-free milk
3 tablespoons butter, melted
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 large ripe banana, mashed
Cooking spray

Lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flours, flaxseed, and next 4 ingredients (through salt) in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk.

Combine milk, butter, and eggs, stirring with a whisk; add milk mixture to flour mixture, stirring until blended. Fold in mashed banana.

Preheat a waffle iron. Coat iron with cooking spray. Spoon about 1/4 cup batter per 4-inch waffle onto hot waffle iron, spreading batter to edges. Cook 3 to 4 minutes or until steaming stops; repeat procedure with remaining batter.

Yield: 8 servings

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

BLT with Avocado Spread

I will be honest - I didn't get particularly far with this recipe. The avocado ended up being crappy so I couldn't really use it, but I did my best. I definitely would like to make this again and see how well it turns out. From what I could discern, it was very yummy. I loved my meal. It was a very tasty, quick weeknight dinner.

I do not have a picture because I was hungry.
But I did take one when I made it again on December 17, 2009:

BLT with Avocado Spread
Self, February 2004

Up the nutritional ante of the traditional BLT by trading white bread for whole-wheat to add fiber, subbing leaner bacon to shave calories and fat and topping it with romaine lettuce instead of iceberg for a dose of vitamin A. Don't worry — you won't miss the mayo when you taste this zingy avocado spread.

1 extra ripe avocado
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

8 slices turkey bacon (Note: I subbed vegetarian bacon)
8 slices whole-wheat bread
8 leaves romaine lettuce
2 medium tomatoes, cut into 12 slices
1 small red onion, thinly sliced

Combine spread ingredients in a bowl. Mash until smooth and set aside. Prepare bacon as directed on package; drain thoroughly on paper towels. Toast bread. Place 4 slices on 4 plates. Spread an equal amount of avocado spread on each slice. Top each with 1/4 of the bacon, lettuce, tomato, and onion. Cover each with another slice of toast. Cut sandwiches in half and serve immediately.

Yield: 4 servings

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Sweet Potato Risotto

So... tonight's dinner ended up being extremely similar to last night's Risi e Bisi. When I was coordinating our meal plan, somehow I was stupid and put two risottos in a row. I guess I thought the sweet potato version would be slightly different? No idea why. Turns out it's very similar! Which also means it is very tasty. However, we decided we like the version with peas better. I probably won't make this again but it is yummy.


Sweet Potato Risotto
Real Simple, November 2008

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
Kosher salt and black pepper
2 small sweet potatoes (about 1 pound), peeled and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup Arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup grated Parmesan (2 ounces)
2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the sweet potatoes and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes.

Add the rice and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the wine and cook, stirring frequently, until absorbed.

Measure 3 1/2 cups of water. Add 3/4 cup at a time and cook, stirring occasionally and waiting until each addition is absorbed before adding the next. It should take 25 to 30 minutes for all the water to be absorbed.

Stir in the Parmesan and oregano.

Substitution: Any flavorful winter squash can be used in place of the sweet potatoes in this recipe. Try butternut, delicata, or hubbard squash.

Yield: 4 servings

Monday, September 14, 2009

Risi e Bisi

On days when I work forever and things suck and I'm mad at everyone, Rice & Peas (Risi e Bisi) is a lifesaver! Yum yum. I forgot about it and the bottom burned onto the pan a little, and even the burned parts were delicious. This meal is just amazing.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Vegetarian Pad Thai

First off, I changed the layout of my blog again! I like it a lot. It's very cheerful.

Tonight I made Pad Thai. Loooove it. I've been meaning to make it for a couple weeks but I keep having problems - bean sprouts go bad, tamarind expires. Bah! So today I had some nice fresh bean sprouts and I found a big jar of tamarind concentrate and we had some pad thai. Delicious!

The tamarind could not be found at the regular grocery store. Luckily, while we were out this afternoon I noticed a small Indian market attached to an Allstate office. Haha. So we stopped there and I was SO happy! Not only did I find my tamarind, but I found a great place for basmati rice, paneer, bhel puri mix, lentils, rice, spices, everything! Yay! Everyone looked at us weird and kept asking if we were finding what we needed. The area we live in is NOT diverse so I don't think a lot of white people venture in there very often. Isn't that pathetic? I miss DC's diversity a lot. But oh well. Now that we know the Indian market is nearby, I surely will hit it up for all kinds of fun meals.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Pan-Seared Shrimp Po'Boys

I like po'boys and this one is different from other ones I've made because the shrimp is cooked in a pan and not fried. This is a good, solid recipe. If I made it again, I would toast the bread a little though because I like it better when the bread is a little bit toasty. I might make this again.


Pan-Seared Shrimp Po'Boys
Cooking Light, July 2009

Serve a New Orleans classic featuring a homemade five-ingredient tarter sauce made with pantry staples. Using salt-free Cajun seasoning reduces the sodium in this dish without sacrificing any of the flavor. Carrot and cabbage slaw makes for a crunchy side dish.

1/3 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
1 tablespoon chopped shallots
1 teaspoon capers, chopped
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco)
1 pound peeled and deveined large shrimp
1 1/2 teaspoons salt-free Cajun seasoning
2 teaspoons olive oil
4 (2 1/2-ounce) hoagie rolls
1/2 cup shredded romaine lettuce
8 thin tomato slices
4 thin red onion slices

1. Combine first 5 ingredients in a small bowl. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Combine shrimp and Cajun seasoning in a bowl; toss well. Add olive oil to pan, and swirl to coat. Add shrimp to pan; cook 2 minutes on each side or until done.

2. Cut each roll in half horizontally. Top bottom half of each roll with 2 tablespoons lettuce, 2 tomato slices, 1 onion slice, and one quarter of shrimp. Spread top half of each roll with about 2 tablespoons mayonnaise mixture; place on top of sandwich.

Yield: 4 servings

Monster Cookies

Holy moly, just wait til you see this recipe. It makes a ginormous amount of cookies. And I HALVED the recipe. I came up with around 8-9 dozen, and I still had some dough left but I just couldn't handle any more cookies (!!!) so I stopped. These are the ingredients:

You may notice there is no flour. I am still wondering if that's a typo because it seems weird, but there isn't any flour in the recipe. How very strange. It holds together alright though.

As of right now, I have about 16 cookies in a box to go to Annie, a few dozen to take to work, a couple dozen on the counter to eat throughout the week, a big container in the refrigerator, and two containers in the freezer. It's a good thing these cookies taste good because we have more of them than anyone would ever need.

I can't even imagine what would have happened if I'd made the whole recipe. As is, this is what my mixing bowl looked like by the end of it:

Why so many pictures? I was in and out of the kitchen every 10 minutes! I was SO RELIEVED when I put the last pan in the oven:

And then they were done.

Depending on how well they mail and how well-received they are at work, I may consider making these again. Luckily for everyone, they're very yummy! Ok.... ready for this recipe? Prepare yourself!


Monster Cookies
Penzey's One

This is a monster simply because of the huge quantities used to make it, though they are so good they would turn any monsters under the bed into pussycats. If you make the whole batch there'll be plenty for the freezer (you will never be short of a cookie with this as a standby), but the recipe can be cut in half or even quartered for a more normal-sized batch or if you'd like to make them all at once.

12 eggs
1 lb butter, room temperature (4 sticks)
2 lbs brown sugar
4 cups white sugar
1/4 cup vanilla extract
3 lbs crunchy peanut butter (4 1/2 cups)
8 tsp baking soda
18 cups quick cook oats (a 42 oz drum plus 3 more cups!)
1 lb chocolate chips (2 heaped cups)
1 lb M&Ms (2 cups)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl (a really large bowl - we had a 13 quart stainless steel bowl that worked fine), cream together eggs, butter, sugars, and vanilla extract. Mix in the other ingredients by hand to form a stiff dough. Make sure the oats are the quick-cooking variety, as they make the cookies fluffier than regular oats. Bake teaspoons full of dough on a greased cookie sheet for about 10 minutes.

Yield: Billions

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Couscous with Chickpeas, Tomatoes, and Edamame

I decided to try out this recipe for myself and I LOVED it! I will make it again! I have a couple Tupperware containers filled with it now, so we'll see if it passes the lunchbox test tomorrow. I really liked it a lot! Yum yum. Definitely a good weeknight meal, too, since it requires minimal prep work.

Sorry about the crappy picture.

Couscous with Chickpeas, Tomatoes, and Edamame
Cooking Light, March 2003

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup fresh or frozen shelled edamame (soybeans)
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 1/4 cups water, divided
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1 (16-ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup uncooked couscous
2 cups coarsely chopped green onions
1 cup crumbled feta cheese

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add edamame, red pepper, and garlic; cook 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in 1/2 cup water, basil, chickpeas, and tomatoes; simmer 15 minutes. Add 1 3/4 cups water and salt; bring to a boil. Gradually stir in couscous. Remove from heat; cover and let stand 5 minutes. Stir in onions and feta; toss well.

Yield: 5 servings

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Soft Shrimp Tacos with Tropical Salsa

Although this is another Cooking Light recipe, it should be noted that this morning I took the plunge and canceled my subscription. I'm going to get the recipes monthly off the website instead, until I hear that they've brought back their creative and original content. Sucks. I'm going to subscribe to Eating Well and revive my Martha Stewart subscription instead. We had ten good years together, CL, and now I am mad at you.

Tonight's dinner was easy peasy to make, especially since I had some frozen shrimp on hand, but we decided there was really just too much going on. It was very yummy, but there were just so many flavors. I didn't even notice the cheese or green onions. We agreed that it would be better without the salsa, but with green onions still. The shrimp mixture is yummy. This was good but we wouldn't make it again without tweaking it.


Soft Shrimp Tacos with Tropical Salsa
Cooking Light, April 2000

1/4 cup chopped green onions
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon canned chopped green chiles
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 (11-ounce) can mandarin oranges in light syrup, drained
1 (8-ounce) can pineapple tidbits in juice, drained

Cooking spray
1 cup yellow bell pepper strips
1 cup vertically sliced red onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 cup chopped tomato
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
8 (6-inch) flour tortillas
1 1/4 cups (5 ounces) shredded reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese

To prepare the salsa, combine the first 6 ingredients in a bowl. Cover and chill.

To prepare tacos, place a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat until hot. Add bell pepper, onion, and garlic; sauté 2 minutes. Add shrimp, tomato, cumin, and chili powder; sauté 3 minutes or until shrimp are done. Stir in cilantro. Spoon 1/2 cup shrimp mixture over one half of each tortilla, and top with about 3 tablespoons cheese and 2 tablespoons salsa; fold tortillas in half.

Yield: 8 servings

Chipotle Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Had a craving for yams (don't hate), adapted them to a sweet potato recipe (they're mostly interchangable), and found one of the happiest side dishes ever created. I love it! I am going to make this all fall and winter. It is just delicious. Spicy and sweet and tasty!


Chipotle Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Cooking Light, October 2002

2 1/2 pounds cubed peeled sweet potato
1/2 cup half-and-half
3 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 (7-ounce) can chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided

Place potato in a saucepan, and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 15 minutes or until tender.

Drain and return potato to pan. Add half-and-half, butter, and juice; mash to desired consistency. Cook 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring constantly.

Remove 2 chiles from can and chop; reserve remaining chiles and adobo sauce for another use. Stir chopped chiles, brown sugar, salt, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon into potato mixture. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon.

Yield: 8 servings

Monday, September 07, 2009

Lemon-Mascarpone Filled Pancakes

I have a cooking horoscope (Cancer) according to an old magazine: Good Food - Jan. 1987. It was posted online. I love it because I think it's very accurate!

CANCER (June 22 to July 23)
Down-home cookin' is what Cancers like best. Find out what kinds of foods they grew up with. They'll appreciate cozy soups and comforting casseroles. Pass the food around the table in Little House on the Prairie style. Invited to a Cancer's house? These born cooks will provide a good, hearty meal.

Today I tried another recipe for the ebelskiver pan! Last time (banana-filled pancakes) I didn't do a very good job. This time I did a lot better with the flipping and such, so it didn't burn. I didn't use butter; instead I used cooking spray. And they do NOT need any powdered sugar because they're already sweet enough.

These turned out perfectly! And they were VERY yummy. I feel a lot better about the pan and I look forward to trying out the fun fall versions that are filled with cinnamon bun-filling, spiced apples, and all kinds of yummy stuff. I would definitely keep this recipe because it is very good!

See, they aren't burned!!!

Lemon-Mascarpone Filled Pancakes

These pancakes contain a luxurious filling of sweet-tart Meyer lemon curd blended with mascarpone, a soft fresh Italian cheese made from cream.

1/4 cup mascarpone cheese
1/4 cup Meyer lemon curd
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 Tbs. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
Zest of 1/2 lemon
3 eggs, separated
1 3/4 cups buttermilk
7 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
Confectioners' sugar for dusting

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat together the mascarpone and lemon curd until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Cover the filling and refrigerate until ready to use.

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, granulated sugar, salt and lemon zest. In a small bowl, lightly whisk the egg yolks, then whisk in the buttermilk. Whisk the yolk mixture into the flour mixture until well combined; the batter will be lumpy.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on high speed until stiff but not dry peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, gently stir the egg whites into the batter in 2 additions.

Put 1/2 tsp. butter in each well of a filled-pancake pan. Set over medium heat and heat until the butter begins to bubble. Pour 1 Tbs. batter into each well. Put 1/2 tsp. lemon-mascarpone filling into the center of each pancake and top with 1 Tbs. batter. Cook until the bottoms are golden and crispy, 3 to 5 minutes. Using 2 skewers, flip the pancakes over and cook until golden and crispy, about 3 minutes more. Transfer the pancakes to a plate. Repeat with the remaining batter.

Dust the pancakes with confectioners' sugar and serve warm. Makes about 40.

Yield: 40

Double Chocolate Bakeshop Muffins

Whenever I bake things, I often make way too many for the two of us. Cookies go stale, muffins go stale, pie gets soggy. We enjoy them as long as we can though. But I got a cookbook awhile ago - Small Batch Baking. It's great for making like, four muffins or six cookies or whatever. Small amounts of baked goods. Today I made a recipe that technically makes two jumbo muffins, but I only have a regular pan so I made four regular muffins. They are VERY good. They aren't overly sweet but are delicious. I would make them again in a larger batch!


Double Chocolate Bakeshop Muffins
Small Batch Baking

When you have to have chocolate in the morning, these are the perfect fix. The melted butter in the batter helps to make them rich and cake-like in flavor and texture, but they are not cupcake-sweet. If you eat them warm, the chocolate chips will be soft and gooey, for double the chocolate pleasure. Perfect with a glass of cold milk or a cup of hot cappuccino.

Unsalted butter, at room temperature, for greasing the muffin cups
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 tablespoons buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 medium egg
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Pan required:
1 jumbo muffin pan (3/4-cup capacity)

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease only the bottoms of 2 muffin cups; then rub a little of the butter around the rim of each cup. (This will help them to form a rounded top.) Set the muffin pan aside.

Place the melted butter, buttermilk, vanilla, and egg in a small bowl and whisk to blend. Set the mixture aside.

Place a large fine-mesh sieve over a medium bowl. Place the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, and salt in the sieve, and sift the ingredients into the bowl. Toss in the chocolate chips. Add the buttermilk mixture all at once and stir just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, dividing it evenly between them; they should be about three-quarters full. Fill the empty muffin cups halfway with water to prevent them from scorching.

Bake the muffins until a toothpick inserted into the center of one comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes.

Remove the muffin pan from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes. Carefully pour the water out of the empty muffin cups. Turn the muffins out of the cups and let them cool, upright, on the wire rack for at least 10 minutes before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature. (They are best eaten the day they are baked but will keep for up to 1 day in a plastic bag at room temperature.)

Note: To make regular-size muffins, grease the bottoms and rims of 4 standard muffin cups. Spoon the batter into the cups, and bake as directed until a toothpick inserted in the center of one comes out clean, 15 to 18 minutes.

Yield: 2 jumbo muffins or 4 standard muffins

Cocoa Slices

I made these cookies for my friend Annie. I used to bake things and bring them to her while we were still in grad school, especially when she was pregnant. But now I have moved and she is demanding food be mailed to her. I have been waiting for the weather to be cooler so I could mail things without worrying about them melting or being crappy. So I picked out this recipe since the note mentions it is good as a gift (and thus potentially good to mail). And I'm sure they would mail just fine, except they are not very good at all. They're weird and taste like flour and just aren't good. They require more water than is written in the recipe or else it is impossible to mix everything in. To its credit, the recipe does make exactly 24 cookies. Not a make-again, and I'm sorry, Annie!!

I've usually had good luck with Cooking Light recipes, but lately I've become very disenchanted with their magazine. I hate the new layout, I'm finding myself being more frequently disappointed with recipes, and the magazine has no interesting articles anymore. I'm thinking about canceling and just getting the recipes off the website. That makes me sad.

Oh and PS the cookies look like poo. They actually do look like poo.


Cocoa Slices
Cooking Light, 12/07

For gift-giving, package these cookies in a holiday tin lined with parchment paper. Make an extra batch of dough for yourself. It can be made ahead and kept refrigerated until you're ready for fresh-baked goodies.

1 1/4 cups plus 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour (about 6 2/3 ounces)
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chilled butter, cut into small pieces
1/3 cup ice water
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups and measuring spoons; level with a knife. Combine flour and the next 4 ingredients (through salt) in a medium bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Combine 1/3 cup ice water and vanilla; drizzle over flour mixture, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with a fork until moist. Place dough on plastic wrap; shape dough into a 12-inch log. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap; chill at least 1 hour or until dough is firm.

Preheat oven to 350°.

Unwrap dough log. Cut dough log into 24 (1/2-inch-thick) slices; place slices 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes or until cookies are set. Cool cookies on pans 5 minutes. Remove cookies from pans, and cool completely on wire racks.

Yield: 2 dozen

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Labor Day Weekend

This weekend we went to Connecticut to visit our families and ended up spending a large portion of the time eating. A timeline!

1. Dinner at Southwest Cafe in Ridgefield with my mother-in-law.

2. Sushi (after dinner) at Mannen in Ridgefield with Tim and Bruhn. Ate my first sea urchin. Will never do that again for the rest of my life.

3. My dad bought us some Kinder Happy Hippos (MY FAVORITE) when he went to London for business.

4. Went to a barbecue this afternoon at Gibby's dad's family's house. Had a ton of delicious food.

5. Came back to my parents' house for a barbecue for dinner. Ate tons of food. And fudge.

Here is a picture of my mushroom burger I made at my parents' house for dinner:

Tomorrow I should resume with regular recipes... I have the day off so that means I'll be baking something tomorrow!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Raspberry-Rhubarb Pie

Ever since I saw this recipe in Cooking Light, I knew I had to try it. I just didn't have an opportunity. I finally made it last night!!! I loved it! It is very tart. I would add more sugar. The topping is really yummy and I didn't use all of it but I wish I had. If you want it to be more solid, let it rest overnight. Last night it was not cutting in cohesive slices, but this morning it's had time to solidify. I like this pie. I'm taking it for lunch today.


Raspberry-Rhubarb Pie
Cooking Light, June 2009

Refrigerated pie dough makes preparing this tasty dessert a snap. Cornstarch and tapioca ensure a velvety filling by thickening the fruit juices.

2 tablespoons uncooked quick-cooking tapioca
4 1/2 cups fresh raspberries (about 24 ounces)
3 1/2 cups chopped fresh rhubarb (about 6 stalks)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 tablespoons crème de cassis (black currant–flavored liqueur)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 (15-ounce) package refrigerated pie dough (such as Pillsbury)
Cooking spray
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sliced almonds
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/8 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. Place tapioca in a spice or coffee grinder; process until finely ground. Combine tapioca, raspberries, and next 5 ingredients (through 1/8 teaspoon salt) in a bowl; toss well. Let raspberry mixture stand 10 minutes; stir to combine.

3. Roll 1 (9-inch) dough portion into an 11-inch circle. Fit dough into a 9-inch pie plate coated with cooking spray, draping excess dough over edges. Spoon raspberry mixture and any remaining liquid into dough. Fold edges under; flute. Bake at 350° for 40 minutes.

4. While pie bakes, place flour and remaining ingredients in a food processor; pulse 10 times or until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

5. Increase the oven temperature to 375°.

6. Sprinkle topping evenly over pie. Bake at 375° for 15 minutes or until topping is golden brown and filling is thick and bubbly. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Yield: 12 servings

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Marilyn's Greek Salad

I love Greek salad, and I usually use this recipe from Cook's Illustrated. I wanted some Greek salad without all the steps of marinating onions and making my own dressing. A classmate of mine gave me her recipe for a simple Greek salad a couple years ago, so I made that for my dinner.

It is VERY yummy and very quick to put together. I love the hearts of palm but not everyone does. It would have been nice with some red onion but I didn't have one. I liked this a lot and would easily make it again on a weeknight when I am alone and don't feel like doing much.

I am baking a pie right now though so I guess I'm not as lazy as I say I am. Hah! I'll post that recipe eventually. It's still baking.


Marilyn's Greek Salad
From Marilyn in my cross-cultural class

To make it you buy any kind of lettuce that you like. I used mixed greens-Mix it with 1-2 cubed gourmet cucumbers. Add 1 carton of cherry tomatoes or 2 sliced tomatoes, 1-2 sliced red peppers, cut in half black olives if you like olives, 2 cartons of feta cheese (1 mixed in and 1 sprinkled on top-it comes lite too), and cut up hearts of palm (comes in a jar). By the way, you can add in any veggies that you like. I brought lite greek salad dressing. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Tortellini Veggie Fest

I was supposed to make a yummy meal involving couscous and edamame, but when I went to the pantry I made a shocking discovery: no couscous?! I finally ran out?! I've had such a huge stockpile of grains and beans from my former boss, I kind of thought I'd always have couscous. Nope! Still tons of cornmeal and barley and quinoa, but no couscous. So instead I made this, which I'd planned to make Thursday.

It was meh. Nothing special. I used some tomatoes that my partner at work gave me from her garden, which was lovely. But the recipe itself was just eh. I wouldn't make it again.


Tortellini Veggie Fest
Vegetarian Times

1 16-oz. pkg. refrigerated prepared cheese tortellini
2 Tbs. olive oil
4 green onions, white and light green parts chopped (1/2 cup)
2 large cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)
2 carrots, chopped (1 cup)
5 button mushrooms, sliced (1 cup)
1 7-oz. bag baby spinach
1/4 cup white wine
1 pt. cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1 15-oz. can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese, optional

1. Cook tortellini according to package directions. Drain, and set aside.

2. Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add green onions and garlic, and sauté 2 minutes. Add carrots and mushrooms, and cook 3 minutes more. Stir in spinach and wine, and cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until spinach wilts.

3. Stir in tomatoes, beans, and Italian seasoning, and cook 3 to 4 minutes, or until heated through. Fold in tortellini. Divide among serving plates, and top with grated Pecorino Romano cheese, if using.

Yield: 6 servings