Pan Fried Artichoke Hearts

Artichoke hearts alone can make me a very happy person! It’s a known fact that they are the best part of the artichoke!! Coat them in breadcrumbs, fry ’em up and serve with a dipping sauce; I’m ready to party!

I always loved these as a kid and I love them as an adult. It is the perfect appetizer for any occasion. I think they are sort of fancy and have always thought of it as a Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve sort of appetizer.

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If you are eyeing my mom’s bread dish like I was, I found some that are similar. Her platter is from years ago!

Large Banana Leaf Platter

Wood Leaf Serving Tray

Pan Fried Artichoke Hearts

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Drain artichokes and pat until completely dry.
  2. In a coating tray, crack the egg in one tray and whisk.
  3. Put the breadcrumbs in a separate tray.
  4. Toss each artichoke heart in the egg and then coat with breadcrumbs.
  5. Put them aside until all are done and you are ready to fry.
  6. In a large skillet put enough oil so that it is about 1 inch high. Heat on medium high heat.
  7. When oil is ready, put several artichoke hearts in the skillet and let them brown.  When they are browned on the one side, turn them over with tongs and let them brown on the other side.
  8. When you remove them, place them on a paper towel lined dish.
  9. When all the artichoke hearts are done put them on a serving platter and serve with a Simple Crushed Tomato Sauce for dipping.

Enjoy!


If you liked this, you will love…

Roasted Peppers with Garlic

Broccoli Rabe

 

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Lasagna Rolls

Lasagna is the perfect dish for any holiday. My mom makes the absolute best lasagna. She made it for every holiday. We all loved it and would enjoy it for weeks later. She’d have leftovers and then a whole tray in the freezer for another night. It is the ultimate comfort meal.

I love lasagna, but I’m not a big fan of making it. It always looks a little messy when I make it. I would prefer to make a tray of stuffed shells, baked ziti or lasagna rolls! It looks better and I like that it has less ricotta cheese.

I love spinach in my lasagna rolls because I love veggies. If I put spinach, I don’t serve meat with it. If I leave the spinach out, I serve it with a side of meatballs or meat sauce. Either way lasagna rolls are delicious and comforting and presents beautifully.

Of course double the recipe for a bigger crowd or to put one tray in the freezer for a later date.

A basic marinara sauce should be made first. You can find the recipe here. 👇🏼

Marinara Sauce

If you decide to leave the spinach out and do meat sauce, you can find the recipe here👇🏼

Meat Sauce

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Lasagna Rolls

Ingredients

  • Marinara sauce
  • 10 oz package of frozen spinach(optional)
  • 1 box of lasagna noodles
  • 32 oz container of ricotta cheese
  • 2/3 cup of grated pecorino romano cheese
  • 1 egg
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350.
  2. Boil a large pot of salted water and cook noodles per directions on box. Drain and set aside to dry.
  3. Put about 1 cup of sauce in the bottom of a baking dish.
  4. In a mixing bowl combine the spinach, ricotta, pecorino, and egg.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Lay the noodles out flat and spread about 2 tablespoons of the ricotta mixture evenly on the noodle.
  7. Roll and place seam side down in baking dish.
  8. Cover with sauce and sprinkle with with some more pecorino Romano cheese.
  9. Cover tightly with foil.
  10. Bake for 45 minutes or until bubbly.

Enjoy!

Other pasta dishes that are perfect to feed a crowd…

Baked Ziti with Sausage

Rigatoni with Roasted Eggplant and Ricotta

Ravioli with Crushed Tomato Sauce

Orecchiette with Sausage, Mushrooms, and Tomatoes

 

Stuffed Mushrooms

This is the item that will never be removed from our Thanksgiving menu. This has been on the Thanksgiving menu in our family for generations. They are amazing. We devour them that day and they are even better leftover. I have to make 50-60 mushrooms for about 8 people! These are also great to serve on Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve. They look fancy and everyone will love them!

The key is to get large, fresh, white mushrooms. Sometimes the large ones are hard to find, but keep looking…  It is worth the search.

***You can do all the prep work the day before. Cover tightly in the fridge until ready to bake.***

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Stuffed Mushrooms

Ingredients

  • 50-60 large, white mushrooms
  • 2 cups of Italian seasoned bread crumbs
  • 2 cups of grated pecorino romano cheese
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 big bunch of Italian parsley, rinsed and chopped
  • Olive Oil
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Use a wet paper towel or clean dish cloth to wipe the dirt off of every mushroom. (This is the best way to get the dirt off. If you don’t have the patience for that, you can rinse them in a strainer. But you must dry them immediately since they soak up all the water.)
  2. Remove all the stems of the mushrooms while washing the dirt off. Set aside and finely chop about 1 cup of the stems.
  3. In a large bowl, add the breadcrumbs, cheese, garlic, parsley, mushroom stems and about 5 tablespoons of olive oil. Mix ingredients together. Season with salt and pepper and mix again.
  4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  5. Stuff each mushroom with stuffing mixture.
  6. Place mushrooms on a large baking sheet that is drizzled with olive oil.
  7. Drizzle more olive oil on top of the mushrooms.
  8. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Mushrooms should be brown and tender.


Here are some other great holiday dishes:

Grandma’s Stuffing

Mashed Potatoes

Butternut Squash Soup

 

 

Baked Ziti with Sausage

This recipe is all about me! 😊 When I’m having a “hungry” day and want to eat a comforting meal, this is what I make. It feels like a holiday meal, but I make this all throughout the year. There is usually enough leftover for dinner another night. Don’t let the name fool you. It is not your typical baked ziti with tons of ricotta cheese(not that there’s anything wrong with that!) It’s a vodka sauce, but light. Not too creamy and heavy. Just perfect.

Adapted from Martha Stewart

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Baked Ziti with Sausage

Ingredients

  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 3/4 of a red onion, diced small
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup of vodka
  • 2 cans(28 oz. each) of crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup of heavy cream(you can use half and half to keep it lighter)
  • 1 pound of pasta(I always use Ziti Rigati with the lines to catch the sauce)
  • 10 ounces of baby spinach
  • 12 ounces of chicken sausages(I buy organic chicken and kale and it is yummy, but any Italian sausage will do)
  • 1/4 cup of grated Pecorino Romano

Directions

Sausages:

  1. Preheat oven to bake 425
  2. Bake sausages for about 20 minutes or until brown and cooked completely.
  3. Put aside for now.

Sauce:

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion and cook about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the garlic and remove from the heat.
  4. Add the vodka, then return the skillet to the heat. Cook until almost evaporated. About 1 minute.
  5. Stir in the crushed tomatoes and oregano. Cook on low for about 10 minutes.
  6. Add the cream and cook another 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Pasta:

  1. Meanwhile bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  2. Cook pasta in the boiling water until al dente according to package.
  3. Add spinach and cook until just wilted.
  4. Drain and return pasta and spinach to the pot.

Combine:

  1. Slice the sausage in half and then cut into small pieces about 1/4 inch thick.
  2. Add about 1/2 of the tomato sauce, sausages, and grated cheese. Toss to coat.
  3. Season with salt and pepper and put all contents in a shallow baking dish. Depending on the size of the baking dish you may want to divide it into 2 separate baking dishes. This is great if you want to freeze one for another night or bring it to a friend’s house.

Bake:

  1. Top with a little more sauce and grated cheese.
  2. Bake until browned and edges are crisp, 20 to 30 minutes.

Enjoy!

I love pasta!  If you’re not feeling this dish here are several others that are delicious also!

Sunday Dinner

Orecchiette with Sausage, Mushrooms, and Tomatoes

Ravioli with Crushed Tomato Sauce

Bowties with Broccoli

 

 

Bread, Milk and Eggs!

This is one of those things that my mom made us for breakfast, lunch or dinner when we were kids. And I do the same. My kids are still on holiday vacation and I am literally cooking from morning to night.  I’m getting tired of it, and I can’t keep my fridge and pantry stocked enough!  But I always have bread, milk and eggs!

I keep sliced bread from Publix in the freezer all the time. I use the Italian sliced bread for my kids. But you can substitute a healthier bread or even something like Challah bread! That’s really good  And this takes 10 minutes.

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French Toast

Ingredients

  • sliced bread(3 slices)
  • eggs(2 eggs)
  • half and half, milk, or almond milk

Directions

  1. Put a little butter in a pan and heat on low to medium heat.
  2. Crack two eggs in a bowl.
  3. Add a drop of half and half(or milk or almond milk) and whiskThat is all I add.  Some people might prefer to add in a little sugar or vanilla at this point, but we like it simple just like this.
  4. Place bread in egg mixture and coat both sides. You don’t want to drench it, just coat it and let the extra egg drip off.
  5. Put it in the pan and brown both sides. It should be brown and a little crisp on the outside.  You don’t want soggy french toast.

I usually top it with powdered sugar and a little syrup. And I serve it with a side of fruit.

A few years back I changed the syrup I was using due to the caramel color. I will never go back to the other kind. This syrup (Log Cabin all natural table syrup) is tasty and way healthier. My kids love it and we don’t even like the taste of the other kind with all the added crap.

 

Pretzel Bark

I had some items in the pantry and was itching to make a quick holiday treat. I had vanilla flavored almond bark and thought what is easier than that? Really nothing. It’s so fun and such a nice treat to give to others around the holidays. We made it with some hot cocoa and enjoyed it on our visit to a holiday light show.

While taste testing our holiday bark, we realized that in every bite we wanted pretzels. The salty crunch with the bite of the sweet was so yummy. We picked each piece apart to get a bite with pretzel. So the recipe below will be the adjusted to how we like it, full of pretzels! It’s an easier version of the chocolate covered pretzel! Keep in mind, you can add anything you’d like that you have in your pantry. Almonds, chocolate chips, sprinkles, etc…

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Pretzel Bark

Ingredients

  • 1 package of vanilla flavored almond bark
  • 1 bag of salted pretzels 🥨

Directions

  1. Line a baking sheet with wax paper.
  2. Put a good amount of pretzels in a sealed storage bag. Smash the pretzels with a wooden spoon to get little pieces.
  3. Spread a layer of the crushed pretzels onto the wax paper.
  4. Heat the almond bark in a saucepan over low heat until it is melted.
  5. Pour the melted almond bark over the layer of pretzels.
  6. Pour another layer of crushed pretzels over the melted almond bark.
  7. Store in the fridge until the almond bark is hardened.
  8. Break off pieces and enjoy!


Some other sweet treats…

“Crowd Pleasing” Rice Pudding

Annie’s Crumb Cake

Cinnamon Whipped Cream

Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup

I make this for me and my husband. It is so healthy and comforting and smells delicious when it’s slow cooking. It’s a perfect meal served with a loaf of crusty bread. This is a great opportunity to use the leftover ham from Thanksgiving. If I don’t use ham, I’ll add small potatoes instead. Either way, it tastes delicious. As it slow cooks all the little bits of ham fall off the bone.

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Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 bag of dried green split peas, rinsed
  • 4 carrots peeled and chopped
  • 4 stalks of celery peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 of an onion chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • A handful of chopped Italian parsley
  •  1 bay leaf
  • 1 ham hock OR ham pieces diced OR 5 small potatoes diced
  • 4 cups of low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups of water
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Place all the ingredients in your slow cooker in the order they are listed.
  2. Cook on high for 3 hours.
  3. Carefully remove and discard the bone. Stir.
  4. Place on high for one more hour.

Enjoy!

If you enjoyed this recipe, you”ll love…

Shhh.. it’s a secret

Slow Cooker Blizzard Soup