Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Early Birthday Tangerine Cheesecake with Chocolate and Oreo Cookie Crust from Dad

Early Birthday Manderine Cheesecake with Chocolate Ganache and Oreo Cookie Crust

My darling dad and I are both in our element when in the kitchen and enjoy getting creative, must be where I get it from!
He was sweet enough to use his food smarts and put together this cheesecake as an early birthday present, delivered right to my door and all...thanks dad!

This manderine-infused cheesecake has a silky and firm filling, baked in an oreo cookie crust and is topped with a semi sweet chocolate ganache then garnished with manderine slices and zest rinds...Happy Birthday to me, cha cha cha!!!

New Year's Simple and Satisfying Tuesday Afternoon Sandwich

Oven Roasted Chicken, Avocado, Tomato Hazelnut Bread Sandwich with Pepperoncini Cream Cheese

Here's my attempt at following through with one of those many new year's resolutions and put together a light, healthful and tasty lunch!

Serves: 1
Prep: 5 minutes

1 slice of hazelnut bread
2 T. low fat cream cheese
1 T. pepperoncini, sliced
1/2 small avocado, sliced
2 slices tomato
2 slices oven roasted chicken

Cut piece of bread in half and smear one half with cream cheese and add pepperoncini. Layer avocado slices on the other half, top that with tomato slices then chicken.

Place two halves together to make a sandwich and enjoy!

Raley's Italian Wedding Soup Reinvented

Raley's Italian Wedding Soup My Way

During these cold winter months I find it a very easy excuse to load up on those hot soups in your local grocery stores. With this recipe I took inspiration from an Italian Wedding Soup at my local Raley's grocery store. The family loved it!

Serves: 4-6
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 35 minutes

1 T. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 large carrots, peeled and diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch kale, stemmed and chopped
1 bay leaf
1/2 c. dry white wine
2 c. chicken broth
6 c. water
1/2 t. red pepper flake
salt and pepper, to taste
1 lb. Italian sausage
1 egg
1/3 c. bread crumbs
1/2 lb. acini di pepe pasta
1/2 c. parmesan cheese, freshly grated
1/4 c. Italian parsley, minced

Heat oil over medium in a large pot and add onions. Cook until slightly tender and pale yellow about 5 to 7 minutes. Add carrots and cook another 5 to 7 minutes before stirring in garlic, kale and bay leaf.

Deglaze pot with white wine and let cook until almost gone about 3 to 5 minutes. Add broth, water, red pepper flake, salt and pepper to taste then bring to low a boil.

In a mixing bowl combine Italian sausage, egg and bread crumbs then using your hands mixing well and shape into small meatballs about the size of a ping pong ball.

Begin dropping the meatballs into the simmering broth and cook until they float to the top and all the flavors meld about 10 to 15 minutes.

In the meantime bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil and add pasta. Cook until al dente about 10 minutes then drain.

Serve soup by spooning pasta into the bottom of a bowl, next ladle in the soup, sprinkle with parmesan cheese and garnish with parsley.

What To Do With Left Over Chicken Picatta and Pasta

Left Over Chicken Picatta and Balsamic Poached Egg with Crispy Pasta

Pairing a soft poached egg with a crispy pasta cake makes for such a perfect meal that can be served morning, afternoon or in the middle of the night!

Serves: 2
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes

1 T. olive oil
2 c. angel hair pasta, cooked
1/2 c. canned artichokes hearts, chopped
2 T. capers
1 pinch salt and pepper, to taste
1 left over small chicken breasts cooked with white wine and lemon juice
2 eggs, poached
1 T. balsamic vinegar
2 T. parmesan cheese, freshly grated
1 T. Italian parsley, minced

Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium high. In a mixing bowl combine cooked pasta, artichoke hearts, capers, salt and pepper. Toss to mix evenly and add to skillet. Spread pasta out into a circle and cook until slightly golden about 10 minutes per side.

In the meantime reheat chicken breasts in toaster oven or microwave until warmed through.

Bring a medium pot of water with a bit of vinegar to a gentle boil. Add eggs and using a slotted spoon keep their form and poach until the white is cooked and the yolk is still runny about 2 to 3 minutes.

Assemble plate by dividing the pasta and chicken between the two plates, place poached egg and drizzle with balsamic. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and garnish with parsley.
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