Sunday, June 26, 2011

Chicken Pesto Lasagna Rolls

I know what you may be thinking. This dish looks like it might be a lot of work. I thought so too, but it's actually pretty simple. I came across this recipe at Foodie Bride a couple of weeks ago. Since pesto is my new favorite thing, I thought it would be a nice change from traditional lasagna, and a little lighter too. However, I put off making it right away because I thought it would be really time consuming. As it turns out, these lasagna rolls came together much faster than traditional lasagna. If you cook your chicken and shred it before hand, everything else comes together very quickly while your oven is preheating. Also, to shorten the process, I skipped the white sauce from the original recipe and just used more pasta sauce instead. This dish smelled great cooking in the oven and tasted even better once it was on the table. You can serve this with a garden salad and definitely some garlic bread. You'll need the bread to soak up all of the yummy sauce and cheese.

Chicken Pesto Lasagna Rolls 
Adapted from: Foodie Bride

1 cup shredded chicken
1 15 oz container of ricotta cheese (I used low-fat)
1/2 cup homemade or store-bought pesto sauce
6 lasagna noodles, cooked and drained (I used whole-wheat)
1 cup of your favorite pasta sauce, divided
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Place 1/4 cup of pasta sauce in the bottom of an 8x8 pan.
  3. In a bowl, stir together the chicken, ricotta, pesto, salt, and pepper.
  4. Spread 1/3 cup of the ricotta mixture over each lasagna noodle and roll up. Place the roll in the prepared pan. Repeat for the remaining noodles.
  5. Spoon the remaining pasta sauce over the lasagna rolls and top with mozzarella cheese.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes, until hot, bubbly, and the cheese begins to brown.
Makes 6 servings.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Doughnuts for Father's Day

You know you want one. I mean, who doesn't like fried bread covered in sugar? If you say you don't you're lying! And if you aren't lying, then you are definitely missing out. I made these doughnuts for my husband as a Father's Day treat, but they are easy enough to make whenever you have a hankering, albeit a little time consuming. It's a fun treat to make on a weekend when you have a few hours to devote to it. The dough is pretty basic, but you can mix it up with any toppings or fillings you like. I chose to make half of ours a plain sugar glaze and the other half chocolate glazed. My husband brought the extras to work (the recipe makes 2 dozen) and they were a big hit. Now go fry some bread!

Adapted From: Julievr

1 Tbsp. active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1 1/2 cups milk, warmed
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp. salt
5 cups bread flour
1/4 cup butter, softened
canola oil, for cooking
Sugar glaze (recipe below)
Chocolate glaze (recipe below)

1. In a small bowl, stir together the yeast and water and set aside for 5 minutes. (If it doesn’t get foamy, toss it out!) In a large bowl, stir together the milk, sugar and eggs; add the yeast mixture and stir until well combined. Add 2 cups of the flour and the salt and beat until well blended. Add the butter and beat until incorporated.
2. Add the rest of the flour gradually, stirring (or using the dough hook on a stand mixer) until the dough comes together and isn’t too sticky. Continue to beat with the dough hook or turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic. Cover and let sit for an hour, until doubled in size.
3. Roll or pat the dough out and cut into doughnuts or rounds (if you don’t have a doughnut cutter, use a round cutter or glass rim, then another smaller round cutter for the middle). Cover and let sit for a half hour to an hour, until they puff up again. (They’ll rise even more as they cook.)
4. Heat a couple inches of oil in a heavy pot until hot but not smoking (350 degrees if you have a candy thermometer). Gently cook the doughnuts in batches, without crowding, turning as needed until golden on both (or all) sides. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon or tongs and transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. Let cool for 10-15 minutes before glazing.
5. Dip each doughnut in the desired glaze and place on a cooling rack for to let the glaze set for about 15 minutes. Makes about 2 dozen.

Sugar Glaze
Adapted from: Bread and Roses

3 cups confectioners’/icing sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup cold water 

Mix all ingredients together in the bowl with a wisk. Set aside until doughnuts have cooled.

Chocolate Glaze
From: Forgiving Martha

1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons corn syrup
2 - 3 teaspoons hot water

Add all ingredients except water into a bowl and microwave for 1 minute stirring occasionally until melted.
Add water until you have a consistency you like.


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Sausage and Cheese Balls

My goodness have I been a bad blogger lately! It's been almost a month since my last post. I don't have any excuses so I won't bore you with any. Now that I'm back, I will redeem myself with some yummy Sausage and Cheese Balls. You've probably seen this recipe before. I believe the original recipe is from Betty Crocker, but I have made a few adjustments to suit our taste. I had mine for breakfast dipped in syrup, of course, but you could also dip them in bbq sauce, ranch, or whatever you prefer any time of day. This recipe makes a ton, so you can definitely freeze the leftovers to enjoy later.

Sausage and Cheese Balls
Adapted from: Betty Crocker via Pennies on a Platter

3 cups baking mix, such as Bisquick
1 lb. reduced-fat pork sausage
2-4 cups shredded
cheddar cheese 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon parsley flakes

1. Preheat oven to 350˚F.  Using the paddle attachment, mix all ingredients together in the bowl of a stand mixer.  You can use a wooden spoon or your hands if you don't have a mixer. 
2. Roll into 1″ balls and place on a parchment or silicone lined baking sheet.  Bake for 20 minutes, or until browned.  Serve warm with your favorite dipping sauce (optional), such as syrup, ranch, or bbq sauce.
3. To freeze:  Allow the sausage balls to cool completely, then store in a freezer bag for up to 1 month.  When ready to eat, warm on top of a paper towel in the microwave for 30 seconds per 3 sausage balls.  Or, warm in a preheated 350˚F oven for 10 minutes.

Yield: 6-7 dozen