Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Sausage Crescent Rolls

If you've been to any mom's nights with Jenni, you've probably enjoyed this amazing appetizer! She's sharing the recipe with all of us, so here it is:

Yields: 20 Servings


1 pound fresh ground spicy pork sausage
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
2 (8 ounce) packages refrigerated crescent rolls
1 egg white lightly beaten
1 tablespoon poppy seeds

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. In a medium skillet, lightly brown sausage and drain. While sausage is still hot, add cream cheese and stir until cheese is melted and mixture is creamy. Cool completely.
3. Separate crescent rolls and arrange into two rectangles. Form log of sausage mixture lengthwise down center of each rectangle. Fold over the long sides of pastry to cover sausage log. Place on ungreased cookie sheet, seam down. Brush with egg white and sprinkle with poppy seeds.
4. Bake 20 minutes until crust is golden. When completely cooled, slice into one and one-half inch slices.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Quick Creole Shrimp

This is a recipe I adapted to be freezer-friendly. If you want to make it tonight, simply have your shrimp thawed. It is pretty spicy, but to cut down on the spice do not cook in the juices. My kids loved it!

1 lb frozen uncooked cleaned large shrimp
1 tbsp Cajun seasoning
1/4 cup Italian dressing
2 cloves garlic, minced (~2 tsp)
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley (for after you cook)

Combine shrimp, dressing, seasoning, and garlic in a freezer bag. Remove the air, seal, and freeze.

To Cook: Thaw in refrigerator overnight. Heat skillet over medium-high heat. Add ~1 tbsp olive oil and butter. Add shrimp and cook 2-3 minutes until done. Top with parsley, if desired.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Potato Chip Chocolate Toffee

It may sound crazy, but it's oh so good! I got this recipe from the May 2010 issue of Food Network Magazine. It's easy and quick (just allow time for it to cool). The only tricky part is not burning the caramel. Enjoy!

2 sticks unsalted butter, plus more for baking sheet
5 c. potato chips
1 c. sugar
2 t. vanilla extract
2 T. apple cider vinegar or white vinegar
5 oz. bitterweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

1. Line a baking sheet with foil and butter the foil. Set 1 cup potato chips aside.

2. Combine the butter, sugar, vanilla and vinegar in a saucepan until the mixture is light amber and a candy thermometer registers 320 degrees, about 10 min. Remove from the heat and stir in the 4 c. chips, then immediately pour onto the baking sheet and spread in a thin layer. Gently press the reserved 1 c. chips on top of the toffee and let cool.

3. Put about 3/4 of the chocolate in a microwave-safe glass bowl and microwave 30 sec. Stir, then continue to microwave in 30 sec. intervals, stirring between each, until melted. Add the remaining chocolate and stir until smooth.

4. Drizzle the chocolate over the toffee. Set aside to harden, about 30 minutes. Break the toffee into pieces.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Spicy Braised Cabbage

This is a delicious Tanzanian dish and goes well served alongside the coconut rice and kuku ya paka. I usually mix them all together as I'm eating. If it's too spicy, cut down on the amount of cayenne pepper.

1 onion, chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
2 T. butter
1 T. vegetable oil
1 head of cabbage, chopped
1 t. salt
1/2-1 t. curry powder
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/4 t. powdered ginger
1/4 t. cayenne pepper
1 t. paprika

Heat oil and butter over med. high heat until butter is melted. Saute onion, garlic, and cabbage until soft. Season with salt, curry powder, garlic powder, ginger, cayenne pepper, and paprika. Serve with kuku ya paka and coconut rice.

Coconut Rice

This is a simple recipe and goes great with the Kuku Ya Paka, or any curry dish. It adds a sweet and hearty flavor to plain white rice.

2 c. uncooked rice
1 can lite coconut milk

Cook rice according to package directions, using coconut milk and water instead of just the water. Add a couple dashes of salt.

Kuku Ya Paka (Coconut Curry Chicken)

This is a Tanzanian dish and is very yummy! It's got a lot of spice, but it's actually pretty mild. This dish is best served with the Spicy Braised Cabbage and Coconut Rice. Delicious!

1 onion, diced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. chicken, chopped
1 T. vegetable oil
1 can coconut milk
1/2 c. chicken broth
2 fresh tomatoes, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 T. curry
1 t. paprika
1/2 t. ground ginger (optional)
Salt to taste

1. Heat oil in large skillet over med. high heat. Saute onion, garlic, and chicken (seasoned with salt and pepper) until chicken is cooked through.

2. Add broth, tomatoes, and green pepper. Season with curry, paprika, and ginger. Bring to a boil, then let simmer until veggies are soft (about 10 minutes). Add coconut milk and let simmer two more minutes. Salt to taste.

3. Serve over coconut rice with spicy braised cabbage.

Kimchi Bokumbop (Korean Stir-fry)

Looking for something spicy and delicious? This is the dish for you! My friend Tanya gave me the basic outline for this dish, and I figured out some measurements that worked well for us. Feel free to adjust the sauce or change the vegetables. If you don't like kimchi, you might like it hot in this stir-fry, or you can leave it out. The kimchi and gojujang sauce will probably need to be purchased at an Asian market. I go to Saraga by the Kroger's on College Mall in Bloomington. This dish is SO delicious!

3 c. uncooked short-grain rice (I used sushi rice, but you can use any)
1-2 c. Kimchi
1 lb. diced chicken (breasts or thighs)
2 zucchini
1 medium onion
2 cloves mince garlic
1-2 T. gojujang sauce (I added 1 T.)
2 T. sesame oil
1 T. vegetable oil
2 T. soy sauce
1 T. honey

1. Start rice in rice cooker or on the stove according to package directions.

2. Season chicken with salt and pepper and saute in large skillet (I used an electric skillet because this makes a big batch) until cooked through.

3. Add garlic, onions, and zucchini. Cook for about 3 minutes then add kimchi and cook all vegetables until medium soft.

4. Add 2 T. soy sauce, gojujang sauce, 2 T. sesame oil, and 1 T. honey.

4. Add the rice, mix, and serve.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Mediterranean Pasta Toss

I created this pasta dish based on one of my favorite dishes at a local noodle restaurant. It is perfect for the summer with plenty of veggies and a very light sauce. I was surprised that my husband LOVED it as well, especially since it uses fresh tomatoes. I will definitely be making this again!

1 lb. penne pasta
1 T. Olive Oil
1 T. Butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 red onion, cut into loose wedges
1 small pkg. fresh spinach
1 small pkg. (10.5 oz) grape tomatoes, cut in half
1/2 c. white wine
1 tsp. salt (or to taste)
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 small pkg. crumbled feta cheese


1. Boil water and cook pasta according to directions. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over med. high heat. Add oil and butter. Heat until melted, then add the garlic and onion. Cook until onions start to soften, about 5 minutes.

2. Add tomatoes and spinach and cook until spinach cooks down. Add salt (about 1 tsp, or to taste) and black pepper.

3. Add white wine and simmer until sauce cooks down, about 5-10 minutes. Drain pasta and toss with vegetables and sauce.

4. Serve on plates and top with crumbled feta.