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Dried Tomato-Basil Pesto

16 Jan

1/4 cup dried tomatoes in oil

2 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves

1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted

1/2 cup olive oil

3 large garlic cloves

1/8 tsp salt


Drain tomatoes well, pressing between paper towels. Process all ingredients in a food processor until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides. Store in refrigerate up to 5 days.

Makes 1 cup


Poblano Cilantro Pesto

16 Jan

4 poblano peppers

3/4 cup fresh parmesan cheese, grated

1/2 cup fresh cilantro

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

3/4 cup olive oil

3 garlic cloves

3 TBSP fresh lime juice

1 tsp salt


Turn oven to Broil

Place peppers on a foil lined baking sheet. Broil 5 inches from heat about 5 minutes on each side until blistered. Place peppers in a zip loc freezer bag; seal and let stand 10 minutes. Peel peppers; remove and discard seeds.

Process peppers and remaining ingredients in a food processor until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides. Store in refrigerator up to 1 week.


Makes 1-3/4 cups



Italian Macaroni and Cheese

16 Jan

1 ( 8 oz) package large elbow macaroni

1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs, divided

1 (10 oz) block Colby-Jack cheese, shredded

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

3/4 cup ( 3 oz) grated parmesan cheese

6 large eggs, lightly beaten

4 cups milk

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

TomatoBasil Topping


Preheat oven to 350

Prepare macaroni according to package directions; drain and set aside. Coat a 13 x 9 baking dish with cooking spray. Sprinkle bottom with 1/4 cup bread crumbs. Layer one third of macaroni, one third of cheeses and one-third remaining bread crumbs in baking dish. Repeat layers twice, ending with bread crumbs. Whisk together eggs and next 3 ingredients; pour evenly over layered mixture. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes. Sprinkle with Tomato-Basil Topping.

Tomato-Basil Topping:

4 large plum tomatoes, deeded and diced

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

3 TBSP fresh basil, chopped

Stir all ingredients together


Serves 8 to 10

Jumbo Cheese and Onion Muffins

7 Jan

These large flavorful muffins are great served with hot tomato soup or savory pot roast.

2 cups all-purpose flour

3 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp pepper

1-1/4 cups milk

1/4 cup butter, melted

1 egg

1/4 cup chopped green onion

1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1/4 cup grated Romano cheese

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Heat oven to 400

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder and pepper. In another bowl, combine milk, butter, and egg; stir into dry ingredients just until moist. Fold in onions and cheeses.

Fill muffin cups 2/3 full; Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 5 minutes before removing from pan.

Yield:  6 Muffins

Peasant Stew

7 Jan

1-1/2 cups beef broth

2 celery ribs, chopped

2 large carrots, sliced

1 medium onion, chopped

1 can (46 oz) V8 juice

1 can (14 oz) Italian diced tomatoes, undrained

2 cans ( 6 oz each) Italian tomato paste

1 TBSP dried oregano

1-1/2 tsp black pepper

1 tsp garlic powder

3/4 pound ground sausage

3/4 cup dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

3/4 great northern beans, rinsed and drained

1 cup shell pasta, cooked and drained

Shredded Parmesan Cheese

In a large Dutch oven; combine broth, celery, carrots and onions. bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 7 to 10 minutes or until vegetables are crisp tender. Stir in V8 juice, tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, pepper and garlic powder. Cover and simmer 40 to 45 minutes.

In a skillet, cook sausage over medium heat until no longer pink; Drain. Cook pasta according to package directions Add meat and beans to soup; cover and simmer 30 minutes. Remove from heat; add cooked pasta. Ladle into serving bowls and top with cheese.

Pasta Milano

6 Jan

4 chicken breast

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 ( 36 oz) package farfalle pasta

4 tablespoons butter

1 ½ cups sun-dried tomatoes

1 pound button mushrooms, sliced

1 quart heavy cream

1 tablespoon roasted garlic

½ teaspoon black pepper

2 teaspoons salt

1 cup fresh parmesan cheese, grated

Wash and dry chicken. Mix garlic powder, salt and pepper, sprinkle on both sides of chicken. Cook chicken on stove top grill or in large skillet until juices run clear. Set aside. Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile saute mushrooms and tomatoes in butter until soft. Place heavy cream, roasted garlic, salt, pepper and cheese in food processor and puree.

Place cream mixture in large saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Lower heat and simmer 15 minutes or until thickened. Mix in mushrooms and tomatoes then add to cooked pasta. Slice chicken and place on top of pasta. Garnish with parsley and parmesan cheese.

Serves 4

Spinach and Artichoke Dip

6 Jan

1 -141/2 ounce can artichoke hearts, drained and sliced

Juice of 1 lemon

1 teaspoon salt

16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

8 ounces mascarpone cheese, room temperature

2 tablespoons flour, sifted

1 cup parmesan cheese, grated

¼ teaspoon thyme leaves

¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper

1 garlic clove, minced

5 green onions, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

6 ounces fresh spinach, chopped

Pre heat oven to 325

Mix cream cheese and mascarpone in mixing bowl on low-speed. Mix all other ingredients by hand into cheese. Coat a large oven proof dish with cooking spray and add mixture. Bake at 325 for 25 minutes. Sprinkle top with extra parmesan cheese. Serve hot with crusty bread

Serves 4

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