Monthly Archives: November 2012

Mini Lasagnas

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I am a Phatty. That’s right P-H-A-T. It stands for pretty hot and temptin’ (for those of you not with-it in the late 90’s/early 2000’s). Me and four of my girlfriends from high school called ourselves the Fab Phat Five. Really we were the fab FAT five, but we didn’t think it was nice to call each other fat, so we went for Phat. We even had shirts made that said “Fab Phat Five” on the front. Even though it’s been ten years since we were all in school together we’ve still remained close. We’ve been through a lot together, and recently we got together to have a baby shower for one of the phatties. She’s not the only pregnant Phatty, but this was the first shower, so it was kind of a big deal. Not all the Phatties were there, but 4 out of 5 ain’t too bad. (and I got to see the 5th a few days later so it was all good)! There were also some honorary Phatties there that made the night pretty special overall. I made these gems for the shower, and I was really pleased with how they turned out. I was able to assemble them the night before the shower and then heat them up before. I also am looking forward to making them again and freezing the individual lasagnas for lunch for myself. I highly recommend these!

Picture instructions first then regular instructions…

Saute some S and P, a cup of chopped onion and 12 ounces of ground turkey in a skillet on medium-high for about 10 minutes.

Add a 14.5 ounce can of crushed tomatoes, 2 teaspoons dried oregano and 2 cloves of minced garlic. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile in a large bowl, mix 1 and a half cups ricotta cheese, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1 teaspoon dried basil, and a pinch of salt and pepper.

Coat a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray and press a small wonton wrapper into each cup.

Divide the ricotta mixture in half and then divide that among the 12 cups. Gently press down the cheese with a spoon.

Spoon in some of the turkey tomato sauce mixture into each cup.

 

Sprinkle some mozzarella cheese on top of the turkey mixture. Then gently press another wonton wrapper on top and repeat by layering the ricotta, turkey and mozzarella.

 

Bake for 10 minutes or until cheese melts. Remove from oven, let cool, remove from tin and enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces raw ground turkey
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms (optional: I opted out!)
  • 14.5 ounce can crushed tomatoes, or tomato sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 teaspoons dried oregano, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 1/2 cups part skim ricotta cheese
  • 24 small square wonton wrappers
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Note on ingredients: In case you don’t know this (I did not), the ricotta cheese can be found in the refrigerated section near the sour cream. Also the wonton wrappers: make sure you get small. They are in the refrigerated section of the produce department. Near the tofu and other organic refrigerated items. You’ll have to look hard, but they’re there.

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the turkey, onions, mushrooms, salt, and pepper. Crumble the meat and saute the mixture about 10 minutes or until the turkey is cooked through. Add the garlic and stir constantly for 30 seconds.
  2. Add the crushed tomatoes and 2 teaspoons of oregano. Bring the pan to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. While turkey/sauce is simmering combine the ricotta, pinch of salt and pepper, the remaining teaspoon of oregano and basil in a large bowl. Stir to mix well.
  4. Coat a 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray. Place 1 wonton wrapper into each of the 12 cups, pressing firmly in the bottom of the cup and up the sides.
  5. Using half of the ricotta mixture, divide it among the 12 muffin cups. Next, using half of the turkey tomato sauce, spoon it evenly over each of the ricotta filled cups. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons of mozzarella.
  6. Gently press another wonton wrapper on top of the mozzarella layer, and repeat step 5.
  7. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the cheese has melted.
  8. Let cool and remove from cups.

My Notes…

I’ve never cooked with ground turkey before, but I really liked it. I feel like you could easily use ground beef or whatever meat you’d like. I could only find 19 ounces of the turkey. So I just browned all of it with the other ingredients. This did cause some leftovers, and the turkey to tomato sauce ratio was not great, but I didn’t mind it. Also the instructions do not say to drain before adding the other ingredients. I would. This would prevent the sauce from becoming a bit diluted. Also I didn’t have any dried basil so I just used Italian seasoning. It was just fine.

Also the leftovers heat up great. I also made a nice mostacholi with the leftover turkey sauce. Really liked the flavor of these. They were fun to assemble and I think everyone (especially me) enjoyed them. Also with the wonton wrappers and turkey these little guys come in under 200 calories a piece!! Eat up my friends.

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Reese’s Knockoffs

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Last week I was on a crafting binge at Jo-Ann’s (see previous post). Saturdays at my Jo-Ann’s are out of control. It’s hard to find parking and the line to check-out is always ridiculous. I blame Pinterest. I hate having to wait in line to check-out. Not because I’m impatient, but because I’m the worst impulse buyer ever. The faster I get out of a store, the less likely I am to buy things I don’t need right at the check-out. This trip was no different. First I saw the 20-ounce Diet Cokes glistening in all their chilled glory in the fridge case. Well, my mouth was feeling a little dry after walking around, so I had to grab one of those. Then as I move up a few paces in line I see them. The Reese’s Holiday Trees. Here was my thought process when I saw these beauts: It’s barely November! Trees already. Reese’s should make a PB Turkey. I’d buy it. I shouldn’t buy that tree. I definitely don’t need it. I’m sure it’s a ridiculously high amount of calories.  This Diet Coke will be treat enough… (more waiting in line. Not moving further away from the Reese’s). Well it will be a while until I eat dinner, I guess 1 tree will not hurt. Okay. Doing it. So the tree got in my basket. I finally get up to the register and even the cashier was feeling it! He scans the tree, looks longingly at it and goes “Holidays are the best times to buy Reese’s because they’re fresh. I think I’m going to have to get one of these for lunch.” Oh kindred spirit! I hope he didn’t see my eyes light up too much. It was practically validation that yes, I should be eating that tree. He’s now officially my go-to checkout guy at Jo-Ann’s. I loaded up my car, unwrapped my tree and savored every bite. I was still reeling in the delight of the tree at Kroger when I remembered that we had a staff pitch-in this week and I signed up to bring a dessert. So a quick Pinterest search on my Blackberry revealed a recipe that the author swore tasted like store-bought peanut-butter cups. Could it be? So I had to try myself. I got the few ingredients and triumphantly headed home.

I made these PB bars last night, and let me just say that they are the easiest things I’ve made lately and the tastiest. They do taste just like store-bought, and better because they are fresh. I’m so thankful that I had to make them for a staff gathering so other people will eat them and I will not be eating the entire plate myself. Sooooo good. Highly recommend making these. You will not be disappointed.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of butter, melted
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Mix melted butter, graham cracker crumbs, peanut butter and sugar together in medium bowl. You can use a mixer on low speed or a wooden spoon.
  2. Spread mixture evenly into a small square or rectangular pan. (I used an 8.5 x 6.5 pan)
  3. Melt the chocolate chips using your method of choice. (Mine is the microwave).
  4. Spread evenly over the PB mixture.
  5. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before cutting and serving.

My Notes

The recipe above is modified a bit from the recipe I found on the internet. Mainly because I didn’t have a cup of PB, so I halved the recipe. So you could easily double this recipe and use a 9×13 pan. (Which is what the original recommended). I would definitely do this if you’re feeding a crowd. Also they can be a bit tricky to cut at first. And you end up with little chocolate shavings everywhere, so just be prepared for that mess when you start to cut up the bars. Also I used store-bought graham cracker crumbs, which are ah-mazing. I highly recommend these for any recipe that calls for them. Sooo much easier than crushing your own (or dirtying a food processor/blender). You could also chill the PB for a bit before pouring on the melted chocolate. I think this would make a nicer separation if you’re going for a pretty-looking bar. If you like PB and Chocolate, these are a must make!!

Back home again in Indiana

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And now for something completely different…

I’ve not blogged in a while, but I’ve been pretty busy. Between grading papers and wedding planning, it’s been a little hectic. Also my maid of honor introduced me to Pinterest. I’d heard of it, and had seen it before, but I was reluctant to get on because I knew I’d get sucked in and it would take over. As expected it did. I found so many things I want to make. So I might start putting more artsy-fartsy things on here as well. Starting today. My goal was to make some string art. The website I found suggested using wood and nails. That sounded a little too intense so I tried with canvas and pins. This did not work at all. So I decided to just do some painting instead. It was a pretty simple easy craft, and totally could be replicated with any state. I used some paint that I had left over, but if you want it to be more professional you could use a better paint for canvas.

 

The idea here is that my heart’s in Indianapolis. I love this idea especially because I’ll be moving away from Indy soon and I like the thought of hanging this in my new place. I also made one as a gift for my friend who’s also moving away, but put the heart over Bloomington because she went to school there and she loves IU. I also think painting it black and white would look good. I might even make a black and yellow Pennsylvania one for my brother who’s a huge Steelers fan. Black outline, yellow heart over Pittsburgh. So many possibilities. And so easy you should do it too!!

 

 

 

Supplies

Supplies

 

  • Canvas
  • Sharpie Paint Pen
  • Paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Cut out of your favorite state
  • Pin

 

 

 

Trace the state on the canvas using the paint pen.

 

Ta-Da!

Put a pushpin through the city where you’re going to paint your heart. That way you will have a small pin prick that will also be geographically correct for you paint your heart. I chose Indianapolis.

 

Start painting around your state outline

Finished project!!