June 12, 2012

Hot Pita Bread and Hummus Sandwich

My son loves dipping pita bread into hummus. There have been several times where we have feasted on a lunch of fruit and hummus. My favorite recipe is Extra Easy Hummus on All Recipes. It really is easy and worked out perfect for when I lived in the middle of nowhere far from places that sell tahini.

Rather than make my son eat hummus and pita bread two days in a row, I often make him a hot pita bread "sandwich" to enjoy. His favorite combo so far is hummus, finely chopped fresh spinach, and mozzarella cheese. I melt it in the microwave or oven. Super tasty!

Don't let my son's face fool you, he enjoyed every single morsel with a side of sliced grapes. 

Artichoke and Spinach Lasagna

Original recipe from Treat a Week.

1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
13 oz can artichokes, drained and coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon basil
1 cup heavy whipping cream
15 ounces ricotta
1 small head of broccoli
1 10 ounce package of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes (although I think a regular tomato would be tasty too - I'd just consider using more spices than the recipe calls for)
9 lasagna noodle, cooked to just under al dente
1/2 pound of grated mozzarella

In a large skillet sauté garlic and onions in the olive oil for 2-3 minutes. Add artichokes and sauté for 2 more minutes. Turn off heat and stir in 1/2 cup of the cream and all of the basil.

Wash and chop broccoli head into small pieces. In a blender or food processor combine the broccoli, 1/2 cup cream, spinach, parmesan, egg and salt. If you have room add the ricotta to the mixture, if not mix the ricotta with the pureed in a bowl. Mix in most of the sun dried tomatoes (I did chop these before adding).

Grease the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish. Spread 1/2 cup of the ricotta mixture. Top with 3 lasagna noodles. Cover with 1 cup of the ricotta mixture and half of the artichoke mixture. Sprinkle 1 cup of mozzarella on top. Top with 3 more lasagna noodles, ricotta mixture, artichoke mixture, and cheese. Top with the last of the noodles, ricotta mixture, and 2 cups mozzarella.
Garnish with remaining sun dried tomatoes.

Cover with foil and bake at 375* for 40-45 minutes. Uncover and broil for a couple of minutes to make the top cheese nice and bubbly.

Let sit for a few minutes before serving.

Yep, my child who hates veggies LOVES this lasagna and gobbled it up! 

I even gave him leftovers TWICE and he ate it all every time.

Yeah, I'd say this recipe was a winner.

Simple Green Beans

A recent conversation alerted me that fresh green beans are intimidating to some newer cooks. Don't be scared of them. They can be super delicious with little work from you.

I buy my green beans from the commissary, not exactly a special place. ;) I do hand pick my green beans making sure they're not brown, broken, and wilt-y (it should still easily snap in your hand). Get as many or as few as you want.

Once home I rinse them well and snap off the ends by hand.

I'm often super simple and throw them in my steamer that came with my cookware.

Make sure the water in your comes to a boil (and don't over do it - just an inch will do!). I usually steam for 4-5 minutes. You want them hot, but still crispy.

That's it.

My husband loves it when I mix a small amount of butter with them and add kosher salt and ground black pepper.

No need to make something that's already super tasty more complicated than it needs to be. :)

Breakfast "Pizza"

This is one of our favorite holiday breakfasts. Also fantastic for when company is over.

1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
6 slices of whole wheat sandwich bread
1 1/2 cups milk
4 eggs
1 tablespoon mustard
1 pound of sausage or bacon
Salt and pepper, to taste

Fry meat - in the end you want it crumbled. Lightly grease a 9x13 baking dish. Place bread in bottom of pan.
In a separate bowl whisk together the eggs, milk, mustard, salt, and pepper. Pour over the bread.
Sprinkle the meat over the bread, then sprinkle the cheese.
Bake at 350* for 25-30 minutes.

Baked Potato Soup

Don't mind the fact that it's June, just save the recipe and be happy I'm finally posting it! ;)

This is definitely my favorite baked potato soup ever. It easily serves 6 and is very filling.

12 slices bacon, cooked
2/3 cup butter
2/3 cup all purpose flour
7 cups milk
4 large baked potatoes, no skins and cubed (cooked!*)
4 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese (plus extra for serving)
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper

In a large stock pot melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour until smooth. Gradually stir in milk, whisking constantly until thickened. Don't rush that last step!
Stir in potatoes and onions. Bring to a boil, stir frequently. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
Mix in bacon, cheese, sour cream, salt, and pepper. Once combined and cheese is melted, turn off heat.
Serve with extra cheese on top. Trust me.

*If you're like me and find baking potatoes to be too time consuming, you can peel and cube uncooked potatoes. Boil potatoes for 15-20 minutes and drain.

Squish loved the soup. But thought the end of the bowl was for playing, not eating. ;)