Thursday, January 24, 2013

Worm cake

I can't believe I forgot to post this!
For my son's 6th birthday, he desperately wanted a worm cake. I thought it would be fun to make the cake in the shape of a hill, so I baked it in the large, glass Pampered Chef measuring bowl. It worked beautifully! (Mix as directed on the box and bake at 350 degrees for about an hour.)
After the cake cooled, I frosted it generously with whipped chocolate frosting (store-bought, because why not??) and sprinkled crushed Oreos all over. That part got a little messy. Since the sides were sloped, I had to use my clean hands to pat the crumbs into place.
The gummy worms were the most fun part. They probably would have looked better if I had actually stuck some into the cake sides, but my son liked the look of them crawling all over each other. =)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Tortellini Soup (super easy)

I went to a mom lunch today with some friends and brought the soup.  Since I have been dying to make tortellini soup, but know no one in my house will eat it with me, that's what I made.  I looked at some recipes online, found one I liked, and tweaked it a bit.  It was a huge hit! I think I ate four servings myself...

Here's what I did:
  • Bring 8 cups of chicken broth to a boil.  
  • Add 12 oz. package dried tortellini (I used the three cheese variety from Trader Joe's), reduce heat, and cook until just barely tender (about 12 minutes but you'll want to check because it will cook more with the other ingredients, and overcooked tortellini is kinda gross).  
{ALTERNATIVE METHOD: Use refrigerated or frozen tortellini in only 4 cups of boiling chicken broth. It will cut down the cooking time a little bit.}
  • Add:
    • 1 can of diced tomatoes, undrained
    • 1 can of cannelloni or Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
    • 1 large handful of baby spinach
    • 1 heaping teaspoon of dried basil
    • 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar
    • black pepper to taste (I used about 1/4 teaspoon, I think)
  • Stir thoroughly to combine.
  • Simmer until all ingredients are heated through, spinach is slightly wilted, and tortellini is tender.
  • Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese (optional) and serve.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Pesto and Goat Cheese Pizza

This was dinner tonight, and it was delicious!
I used a whole wheat pita, spread it with about a tablespoon of prepared pesto (I buy mine in the pasta sauce aisle), arranged halved grape tomatoes on top, and sprinkled a generous amount of crumbled goat cheese over everything. Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes (OR broil for roughly 3 minutes) or until the cheese is melty and the edges of the pita are toasted.
If you don't have pitas, you can use flat bread, pizza crust, or even a tortilla. I'd also like to try it with artichoke hearts and sautéed mushrooms.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Favorite Sandwich

With this baby, I have been craving sub-style sandwiches.  My favorites are Quiznos Turkey Bacon Guacamole (no Ranch dressing), Jimmy John's #12 (The Beach) with no mayo, Erbert & Gerbert's Narmer (no mayo), and Potbelly's Mediterranean.  Can you tell I'm a sucker for turkey and avocado??

Tonight, I decided we would make our own sandwiches, Quiznos-style.  Toasted.  I picked up a package of hoagies from Target and we had turkey and chicken to choose from (I only buy Oscar Mayer Deli Fresh now), along with four different kinds of cheeses (cheddar, Colby jack, Swiss, and Havarti), and then pickles and lettuce for add-ons (no one likes tomatoes, besides me, and we were out of bacon).

For my sandwich, however, I borrowed inspiration from a sandwich that Subway only occasionally has: the Chicken Florentine.  The ingredient that makes this sandwich so addictive and yummy is the spinach artichoke spread.  For my copycat sandwich, I simply use my spinach artichoke dip recipe.  It's super easy to make and I usually have the ingredients on hand. 

Making the sandwich is super easy, too.  I ate the whole thing before I thought about taking pictures.  Sorry.  I'm sure you're smart enough to put the sandwich together without visuals. =)

You will need prepared spinach artichoke dip (this can be made ahead of time, refrigerated, and then reheated), your choice of bread, slices of chicken (cold cuts are easiest, but I've also used leftover baked chicken breast), and your choice of sliced cheese (I like really like provolone or Havarti).  That's it.  Oh, and an oven.  We're going to broil it in the oven on a foil-covered baking sheet.
  • First, set your oven to broil.
  • Next, get a hoagie/section of French bread/dinner roll/whatever bread you want, slice it the long way, just like they do at Subway, and open it up so the insides are facing up.  
  • On one side of the open bread (the side that will be the top), spread the dip on generously.  I like it at least 1/2 inch thick.
  • On the other side of the open bread (the side that will be the bottom), stack slices of chicken.  I used 6 for my 6-inch hoagie.
  • Top with sliced cheese.
  • Keep the sandwich open and broil until the cheese is melted and the edges of the bread are toasty.  It only takes a couple minutes, so don't walk away!
  • Close your sandwich and enjoy.  =)
Since I have extra hoagie rolls and dip, I will probably do this again tomorrow. Or maybe for a midnight snack tonight.  Hey, I'm pregnant.  It's allowed.