Foodie Friday ~ Cold Weather Lentil Soup

Lentil Soup

1 onion, chopped

1/4 cup olive oil

2 carrots, diced

2 stalks celery, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 (14.5 ounce) can crushed tomatoes

2 cups dry lentils

8 cups water

1/2 cup spinach, rinsed and thinly sliced

2 tablespoons vinegar

salt to taste

ground black pepper to taste

Directions

In a large soup pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, and celery; cook and stir until onion is tender. Stir in garlic, bay leaf, oregano, and basil; cook for 2 minutes.

Stir in lentils, and add water and tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for at least 1 hour. When ready to serve stir in spinach, and cook until it wilts. Stir in vinegar, and season to taste with salt and pepper, and more vinegar if desired.

Foodie Friday ~ Homemade Hummus

hummus

2 cups canned garbanzo beans, drained

1/3 cup tahini

1/4 cup lemon juice

1 teaspoon salt

2 cloves garlic, halved

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 pinch paprika

1 teaspoon minced fresh parsley

Directions

Place the garbanzo beans, tahini, lemon juice, salt and garlic in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Transfer mixture to a serving bowl.

Drizzle olive oil over the garbanzo bean mixture. Sprinkle with paprika and parsley.

Foodie Friday ~ Slowcooker Chili

chili

2 pounds lean ground beef

1 (46 fluid ounce) can tomato juice

1 (29 ounce) can tomato sauce

1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 (15 ounce) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed

1 1/2 cups chopped onion

1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper

1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon white sugar

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

1/4 cup chili powder

Directions

Place ground beef in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until evenly brown. Drain, and crumble.

In a large pot over high heat combine the ground beef, tomato juice, tomato sauce, kidney beans, pinto beans, onions, bell pepper, cayenne pepper, sugar, oregano, ground black pepper, salt, cumin and chili powder. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Simmer for 1 1/2 hours. (Note: If using a slow cooker, set on low, add ingredients, and cook for 8 to 10 hours.)

Foodie Friday ~ The Best Lasagna

Homemade Lasagna

1 pound sweet Italian sausage

3/4 pound lean ground beef

1/2 cup minced onion

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes

2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste

2 (6.5 ounce) cans canned tomato sauce

1/2 cup water

2 tablespoons white sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil leaves

1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1 tablespoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

12 lasagna noodles

16 ounces ricotta cheese

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 pound mozzarella cheese, sliced

3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

In a Dutch oven, cook sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until well browned. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water. Season with sugar, basil, fennel seeds, Italian seasoning, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons parsley. Simmer, covered, for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain noodles, and rinse with cold water. In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese with egg, remaining parsley, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

To assemble, spread 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish. Arrange 6 noodles lengthwise over meat sauce. Spread with one half of the ricotta cheese mixture. Top with a third of mozzarella cheese slices. Spoon 1 1/2 cups meat sauce over mozzarella, and sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers, and top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil: to prevent sticking, either spray foil with cooking spray, or make sure the foil does not touch the cheese.

Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil, and bake an additional 25 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes before serving.

Foodie Friday ~ Delicious Vegetable Lasagna

lasagna

1 (16 ounce) package lasagna noodles

1 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced

3/4 cup chopped green bell pepper

3/4 cup chopped onion

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 (26 ounce) jars pasta sauce

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 (15 ounce) container part-skim ricotta cheese

4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

2 eggs

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

Cook the lasagna noodles in a large pot of boiling water for 10 minutes, or until al dente. Rinse with cold water, and drain.

In a large saucepan, cook and stir mushrooms, green peppers, onion, and garlic in oil. Stir in pasta sauce and basil; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes.

Mix together ricotta, 2 cups mozzarella cheese, and eggs.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread 1 cup tomato sauce into the bottom of a greased 9×13 inch baking dish. Layer 1/2 each, lasagna noodles, ricotta mix, sauce, and Parmesan cheese. Repeat layering, and top with remaining 2 cups mozzarella cheese.

Bake, uncovered, for 40 minutes. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.

Foodie Friday ~ Eggnog Quick Bread

EggnogBread

2 eggs, beaten

1 cup eggnog

2 teaspoons rum flavored extract

1 cup white sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup butter, softened

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottom only of a 9×5-inch loaf pan, or three 3×5-inch loaf pans.

Blend together the eggs, eggnog, rum extract, sugar, vanilla and butter.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Add to eggnog mixture and stir just enough to moisten; pour into prepared pan or pans.

Bake large loaf for 40 to 60 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Breads baked in the smaller pans require 35 to 40 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes, and remove from pan. Cool completely, wrap tightly in plastic wrap or foil, and store in refrigerator.

Foodie Friday ~ Gingerbread Men Cookies

gingerbreadmen

1 cup butter, softened

1 1/2 cups white sugar

1 egg

1 1/2 tablespoons orange zest

2 tablespoons dark corn syrup

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions

Cream the butter and the sugar together. Add the egg and mix well. Mix in the orange peel and dark corn syrup. Add the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, ground cloves and salt, mixing until well combined. Chill dough for at least 2 hours, I like to chill overnight.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease cookie sheets. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough out to 1/4 inch thick. Cut into desired shapes using cookie cutters. Place cookies 1 inch apart on the prepared cookie sheets.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven, until cookies are firm and lightly toasted on the edges.

Foodie Friday ~ Cranberry Orange Loaf

cranberryorangeloaf

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon grated orange zest

1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries

1/2 cup pecans, coarsely chopped

1/4 cup margarine, softened

1 cup white sugar

1 egg

3/4 cup orange juice

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9×5 inch loaf pan. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir in orange zest, cranberries, and pecans. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together margarine, sugar, and egg until smooth. Stir in orange juice. Beat in flour mixture until just moistened. Pour into prepared pan.

Bake for 1 hour in the preheated oven, or until the bread springs back when lightly touched. Let stand 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool. Wrap in plastic when completely cool.

Foodie Friday ~ Leftover Turkey Pot Pie

turkeypotpie

1 recipe pastry for a (10 inch) double crust pie

4 tablespoons butter, divided

1 small onion, minced

2 stalks celery, chopped

2 carrots, diced

3 tablespoons dried parsley

1 teaspoon dried oregano

salt and pepper to taste

2 cubes chicken bouillon

2 cups water

3 potatoes, peeled and cubed

1 1/2 cups cubed cooked turkey

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/2 cup milk

Directions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Roll out bottom pie crust, press into a 10 inch pie pan, and set aside.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat; add the onion, celery, carrots, parsley, oregano, and salt and pepper. Cook and stir until the vegetables are soft. Stir in the bouillon and water. Bring mixture to a boil. Stir in the potatoes, and cook until tender but still firm.

In a medium saucepan, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Stir in the turkey and flour. Add the milk, and heat through. Stir the turkey mixture into the vegetable mixture, and cook until thickened. Cool slightly, then pour mixture into the unbaked pie shell. Roll out the top crust, and place on top of filling. Flute edges, and make 4 slits in the top crust to let out steam.

Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees, and continue baking for 20 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.

Foodie Friday ~ Apple Crumble Pie

AppleCrumbPie

1 (9 inch) deep dish pie crust

5 cups apples – peeled, cored and thinly sliced

1/2 cup white sugar

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/3 cup white sugar

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

6 tablespoons butter

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Arrange apple slices in unbaked pie shell. Mix 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over apples.

Mix 1/3 cup sugar with flour; cut in butter until crumbly. Spoon mixture over apples.

Bake in preheated oven until apples are soft and top is lightly browned, about 40 minutes.