Thursday, September 21, 2017

Antipasto salad

My family absolutely loves my take on the traditional antipasto salad. I always have to make large batches to last several days. The biggest benefit is that the portion that sits in the refrigerator longest tastes best, after the flavours have been melding for days. 

Antipasto Salad


8 oz         Tri-colour Rotini
1/2 c       Vegetable Oil
3 Tbs      Red Wine Vinegar
1 clove    Garlic, minced
1 tsp        Basil
1/8 tsp    Red Pepper
1 tsp        Salt
1/4 c       Parmesan
2 c           Broccoli Florets
1/4 lb     Pepperoni, sliced
10           Cherry Tomatoes, halved
1/2 c      Mozzarella, shredded

  • Cook pasta until al dente, Drain
  • In large bowl, stir together oil, vinegar, garlic, basil, pepper and salt
  • Toss with warm macaroni to coat well.
  • Toss with Parmesan.
  • Cover and refrigerate 2 to 3 hours.
  • Add Broccoli, pepperoni and tomatoes; toss well. 
  • Sprinkle with mozzarella and serve.
Serves 6

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Baked Penne with Beef.

The other day we were at the Cream Cheese Festival. While there I bought a cookbook with Philadelphia Cream Cheese recipes.  We weren't able to find any of the cooking creme called for in the recipe so I made a substitute. I also adjusted the amounts of each ingredient. My family loved this! 

Baked Penne with Beef


1 lb                Penne, cooked
2 lbs              Ground Beef
1/2 cup         Onions, chopped
1/2 cup         Green Bell Pepper, chopped
24 oz             Spaghetti Sauce
1 cup             Mozzarella, shredded
2 cups           Cooking Creme
For Cooking Creme:

8 oz               Cream Cheese
1/2 cup         Beef Broth
1 Tbls            Italian Seasoning
3 Tbls           Parmesan, grated

  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Cook Penne, al dente.
  • Brown meat with onions and peppers.
  • Stir in spaghetti sauce, 3/4 cup cooking creme and 1/2 cup mozzarella.
  • Cook and stir 2 to 3 minutes or mozzarella is melted.
  • Add pasta, mix lightly.
  • Spoon into casserole dish, top with remaining cooking creme and mozzarella, and cover. 
  • Bake 15 minutes, uncover, and continue cooking 5 more minutes. 

Tip:  Italian Sausage can be used in place of Ground Beef.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Real Canadian Poutine

Having grown up less than an hour to the Canadian border I spent a lot of my youth treating much of Ontario and Quebec as just another place to go to eat. My parents often would decide to go to Kingston, Ottawa, or Montreal for lunch or dinner, for a drive or to go shopping. Since we were there so often I was eating poutine before it was cool in the States.

Canadian Poutine


4 Tbls        Vegetable Oil
5                Good-sized Potatoes, cut into fries
1 jar           Beef Gravy
2 cups        Cheese Curd (we like it squeaky)

  • Heat oven to 425.
  • Spread potatoes onto baking sheet.
  • Turn potatoes after 20 minutes, bake 15 minutes longer until golden brown.
  • Heat gravy in saucepan.
  • Remove fries from oven and place in 9x13 baking dish.
  • Sprinkle cheese curds over top of fries.
  • Drizzle gravy over top of fries/cheese curd. 
Serve right away.

Crockpot Macaroni and Cheese

I first had this Macaroni and Cheese during a Track & Field event at my son's school. One of the mom's brought some in, and it went fast. She was kind enough to give me the recipe as we were packing up.  I've made it several times for my family and decided to share it here. 

Crockpot Macaroni and Cheese


3 cups           Dry Elbow Macaroni
2 2/3 cups   Half & Half
15 oz             Cheddar Cheese Soup
3 Tbls           Cold Cut Butter
3 cups          Cheese - your choice (In the photo I went international and used 1 cup Gouda                                             and 2 cups Kildery from Kerrygold)

  • Mix Soup and Half & Half until smooth.
  • Add Cheese, Butter and Macaroni.
  • Cover, and cook on low 3 hours.
Serves 6

Antipasto salad

My family absolutely loves my take on the traditional antipasto salad. I always have to make large batches to last several days. The bigges...