Friday, November 14, 2008

Spinach & Mushroom Manicotti

The recipe of the day doesn't have a picture because the batteries were dead in the camera. But the recipe was very yummy! (I made it w/out was good! Madison & I are babies...)
Madison & I are kind of picky. We do not like raisins, olives, & mushrooms...he doesn't like lettuce on his sandwich, tomatoes or onions. I still put onions in stuff though (shh!) ;-)

Spinach & Mushroom Manicotti
1 box (8 oz) Manicotti
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
6 oz. mushrooms, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 bag (6 oz) FRESH spinach - it makes a huge difference (one time I didn't have fresh spinach, just the frozen kind and it was yucky - but then again, I'm picky)
2 eggs
1 container (15 oz) lowfat ricotta cheese
1/3 cup chopped basil leaves
1 teaspoon salt
1 jar Italian Baking Sauce or Marinara Sauce
1/2 cup fresh Parmesan cheese (I use the part skim shredded Italian Blend cheese)

Preheat oven to 350*F.
Cook Manicotti 7 minutes, drain and rinse in cool water. Set aside.
Meanwhile, heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and garlic; saute 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add spinach and continue cooking for 5 mins. (If you're not doing the mushrooms, add the spinach where they say to add the mushrooms and skip this step). Set aside to cool.
Beat eggs lightly in medium mixing bowl. Stir in ricotta, basil and salt. Stir in mushroom/spinach mixture.
Spread 3/4 cup Italian Baking Sauce/Marinara sauce over borrom of 13x9-inch baking dish. Fill Manicotti with mushroom/spinach mixture; place in dish. (I find it easiest to cheat and split the shells about halfway and paste it back together) - you can't tell after it's baked. Pour remaining sauce evenly over filled shells, sprinkle with cheese. Cover with foil. Bake for 30 minutes. Uncover, continue baking 5-10 mins until cheese is melted. Makes 6 servings.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Apple Pie

This weekend I made an apple pie. Our family is big into making pies. My mom and grandpa used to compete with each other. It's a fun tradition to keep on going. The crust is an old family recipe. The filling is from Betty is SO good and I highly recommend it!

Apple pie crust:
2 cups flour
1 cup shortening
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cold water
sugar to sprinkle on the top

Preheat to 425*F.
I make the crust first. Mix the flour, salt & shortening together. Cut the shortening with a knife.
Mix with KitchenAid mixer or with wooden spoon until little balls form from the shortening, about the size of a pea. Add the cold water, mix in. Divide dough into 2. Sprinkle counter with flour (or use silpat). Flour your rolling pin, and roll dough out into a large circle. I slide a thin spatula underneath the dough to loosen it, and then I place the dough in the pan with my hands. Make filling as directed below, and spoon into shell. Roll out the other ball of dough and place on top. gather the sides and roll them into a neat edge. cut off extra dough to place in ripped areas, if there are any. Get a knife and cut holes into it. I usually cut a design or a "T" for my last name, or "A" for apple. Sprinkle sugar on the top before it goes in the oven. Bake at 425*F for 15 minutes, then turn it down to 375*F for 25-30 more minutes. Enjoy!

Apple pie filling:
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
8 cups peeled & sliced tart apples (8 medium sized apples)
2 T butter (I don't use it, but that's what the recipe calls for)

In large bowl, mix sugar, 1/4 cup flour, the cinnamon, nutmeg and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Stir in apples until well mixed. Spoon into pastry-lined pie plate. Cut butter into small pieces; sprinkle over filling.

Then follow directions on whatever pie crust you are using.
Here's pictures from the pie I made:

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Chicken Tortellini

Yum! This recipe was given to me by my mother-in-law (and I got her permission to blog about it!)

It sounds a little strange, but it is REALLY good. One of the best dishes I have ever had.

Chicken Tortellini

3 cups cooked, chopped chicken breasts
2 peeled, cubed Granny Smith apples
4 minced green onions
1/2 c miracle whip or mayo (I used lowfat)
1 9 ounce package of cheese stuffed tortellini
1 bunch of fresh spinach, washed and torn
1/2 sunflower seeds
1 8 oz. bottle Italian salad dressing

Mix chicken, apples, green onions and miracle whip or mayo and let stand in fridge overnight. Cook cheese tortellini according to package directions. Combine tortellini with chicken mixture, add spinach and sunflower seeds and toss with salad dressing. Enjoy!