Monthly Archives: September 2014

Italian Sausage Hoagies

I really look forward to the fall and football season every year. I love when the weather gets a little cooler and I can throw together a pot of chili or soup on the stove while I watch my team play. This past weekend was the first weekend I’ve actually had since football season started to actual do whatever I wanted and make some food. It has been beautiful and warm the last several days in the Philadelphia area so I haven’t been quite ready to break out the soup recipes. I had a open house at my place on Sunday so I did all of my cooking for the week on Saturday and decided that these Italian Sausage Hoagies would be perfect for watching a little football.

Sweet turkey sausage, red peppers, onions and marinara sauce are combined and piled into hollowed out toasted hoagie rolls. Shredded mozzarella cheese is added and the sandwiches are broiled until the cheese is melted and golden brown. It’s not often that I eat hoagies like this so this was a real treat for me. I even ate my leftovers as open-faced sandwiches which I liked even better. These sandwiches are so easy to make, healthier than your typical sausage hoagie, and perfect for a tailgate or game.

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Preheat broiler to high. Hollow out top halves of rolls. Arrange rolls, cut sides up, on a baking sheet. Broil 1 1/2 minutes or until toasted. Set aside.

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Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage to pan; cook 2 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Add onion and garlic; cook 1 minute. Add marinara, bell pepper, and black pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 6 minutes or until bell pepper is crisp-tender.

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Arrange about 3/4 cup sausage mixture over bottom half of each roll; sprinkle each serving with about 2 tablespoons cheese.

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Place on a baking sheet; broil 2 minutes or until cheese melts. Top with top halves of rolls.

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Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Cooking Light magazine

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Red Quinoa with Spinach and Dried Cherries

I’ve had a minor obsession with dried cherries lately. And by lately, I mean the last year. When I was in Chicago visiting my aunt last year, she offered me a huge bag of some dried cherries that she’d gotten at a farmer’s market (or something like that, I can’t remember!).  The dried cherries she had were so plump and sweet yet tart and I had to physically stop myself from consuming an embarrassing amount. Now, I grab dried cherries often to have on hand to eat with peanuts or in plain Greek yogurt. Or I just pop them as a small snack.  I came across this recipe for Red Quinoa with Spinach and Dried Cherries and figured it would be another way to try these dehydrated gems.

Red quinoa (or red rice as the original recipe calls for) is cooked and combined with onion, ginger and dried cherries. Spinach and fresh orange juice are added for yet even more layers of flavor to this superfood-filled dish. I found the red quinoa at my local Target (I have yet to find red rice) but regular ol’ quinoa or rice will work. The zing of the ginger, the sweetness of the orange, and the mild tartness of the cherries combine for a real melody of flavors. And with the quinoa and spinach, this dish is good for you!

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Prepare the red quinoa according to package directions in a medium saucepan. (Or if using red rice, combine rice and water in a medium pan, cover and bring to a simmer over medium heat; reduce the heat to medium low and cook until the rice is tender, about 45 minutes.)

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Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion; sprinkle with the sugar and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add the ginger and dried cherries; cook, stirring, until the onion is golden brown, about 7 more minutes.

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Stir the prepared quinoa (or rice) into the onion mixture. Add the baby spinach and orange juice and stir until the spinach is just wilted, about 1 minute.

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Season with salt and pepper.

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Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions:

  • Red quinoa

Overall Rating: Like It

Source: Food Network magazine

Oatmeal Pumpkin Spice Cookies

You’ve got to be kidding me with these.

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If you follow me on Instagram, you may have witnessed my shock at the discovery of these pumpkin-spice morsels. Have these been around before and I just didn’t notice? I usually go to the grocery store with a list of things to buy and I’m pretty good at not impulse buying. But these chips? You better believe I scooped them up. The morsels themselves taste like little bites of pumpkin pie so I was pretty happy to find a recipe for Oatmeal Pumpkin Spice Cookies on Nestlé’s website which makes them taste even better.

Oatmeal cookie dough is spiced up with cinnamon and nutmeg and kept soft and chewy with the addition of canned pumpkin. The pumpkin spice morsels add even more pumpkin flavor which is irresistible for any pumpkin lover. And even better? There is no egg is this recipe so eat as much dough as you want! They are buttery, soft, spicy and packed with flavor. These cookies taste like little slices of pumpkin pie which are a perfect little Autumn snack.

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Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or foil; lightly grease. Combine flour, oats, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in medium bowl.

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Beat butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar in large mixer bowl until combined. Add pumpkin.

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Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels.

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Drop by rounded tablespoons 2 inches apart onto prepared baking sheets.

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Bake for 12 to 13 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

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Store tightly covered.

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Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: verybestbaking.com

Ginger Teriyaki Sliders

As you may have noticed, I haven’t been posting much the last two weeks because my life is changing and I’ve got a lot of good things going on so I’m stretched a little thin. I intend to keep up with this blog as best as I can so THANK YOU for hanging in with me! Anyway…you guys. These Ginger Teriyaki Sliders. OMG. Please try them.

Ginger, scallions, and mushrooms are chopped in a food processor and added to ground turkey (the recipe uses pork so use whatever you like!). Teriyaki sauce and panko crumbs are added and then formed into little patties and broiled – who knew?! – until perfectly cooked (use a meat thermometer when it comes to turkey and pork to make sure they are fully cooked). A little mixture of mayonnaise, more teriyaki sauce and a pinch of sugar are smeared onto slider buns with sprinkles of scallions, all of which add yet even more flavor. Seriously, I’m embarrassed to tell you that I ate all of these sliders almost in one sitting. Luckily I had two friends over on Saturday and they each had a few but yes, the rest are in my tummy. Embarrassing. But these sliders are insanely ridiculously good.

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Heat broiler. Line a baking pan with foil; coat foil with nonstick cooking spray. Wrap rolls in foil and place in lower part of oven to warm. In a mini chopper, combine mushrooms, 2 of the scallions and the ginger. Pulse until finely chopped.

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Transfer to a medium-size bowl and add pork or turkey, 1/4 cup of the stir-fry sauce and the bread crumbs. Stir to blend. Shape mixture into 12 equal-size patties, a scant 1/4 cup for each. Place patties on prepared baking pan; broil 4 inches from heat for 6 minutes, turning once, until instant-read thermometer registers 160 degrees when inserted into center of burgers.

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Meanwhile, stir together mayonnaise, remaining 1 teaspoon teriyaki stir-fry sauce and the sugar in a small bowl.

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Split rolls and top each with a burger. Spread 1 teaspoon teriyaki mayonnaise on each roll; sprinkle with scallion.

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Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions:

  • Ground turkey
  • Whole wheat panko

Overall Rating: Love it

Source: Family Circle magazine

Cherry Tomato Caprese Salad

Happy Labor Day! I hope you are all enjoying a nice warm day off and the last unofficial hours of summer! This weekend, I went to the Jersey shore for the first time all summer (and last) and had an amazing day at the beach followed by a fun relaxing night on the deck with my friends. Yesterday I enjoyed the a little party at my friend’s house and because I love making food for such get-togethers, I threw together this quick Cherry Tomato Caprese Salad which was perfect on such a hot and sometimes sunny (and sometimes stormy) day.

Cherry tomatoes, mozzarella balls and basil are combined with a simple vinaigrette of white wine vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. So simple. I doubled the recipe for the party and used both red and yellow cherry tomatoes instead of heirloom tomatoes but chopped vine-ripened, grape, or plum tomatoes would work too. Also, use whatever vinegar floats your boat. The white wine vinegar has a nice acidity and subtle flavor but red wine or balsamic vinegar would be great too. I have a flight to Atlanta this afternoon so instead of partying, I’m soaking up the sun on the balcony with a cold iced tea and great book but if you have somewhere fun to be and need a quick dish, this will be a winner no matter where you go!

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Combine vinegar, olive oil, kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper in a medium bowl, stirring well with a whisk.

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Add halved cherry tomatoes, fresh basil leaves, and mozzarella balls.

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Toss to combine.

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Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Cooking Light magazine

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