No Slivers Here

February 27, 2009

Easy Meatless Manicotti

Filed under: Italian, Main Dish, Pasta — Tags: — bettylou79 @ 12:58 pm

I think that the commercials for Olive Garden are starting to get to me!  Well, maybe they are inspiring me!   I kept seeing commercials for manicotti or other stuffed pastas and decided that I needed to find a recipe and make my own.  I will admit that I also saw a recipe similar to this one on Everyday Food on PBS, but their manicotti had mushrooms in them so I knew that wasn’t going to fly with my husband.  My challenge was to find a recipe that didn’t contain mushrooms but still looked good.  Of course I went to my trusty stand by for recipes: Cooking Light.  I really liked this recipe but I think it needs some meat.  I could see it being good with ground turkey or some turkey sausage.

I found it quite interesting that in this recipe you don’t boil the pasta and then stuff it.  You stuff them when they are still hard and add water to the pan so they essentially cook or soften while they bake.  I was amazed at how long the recipe called for these to bake.  They did turn out well.  I think I will keep looking for another recipe.  I might have to consult one of my many cookbooks!  Hmm!  Such a novel idea!

You’ll have to pardon the browned cheese in the pictures, but it was delicious.  Enjoy!


Easy Meatless Manicotti

source: Cooking Light


  • 2  cups  (8 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1  (16-ounce) carton fat-free cottage cheese
  • 1  (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed dry
  • 1/4  cup  (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons  dried oregano
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  black pepper
  • 1  (8-ounce) package manicotti (14 shells)
  • 1  (26-ounce) jar fat-free tomato-basil pasta sauce
  • Cooking spray
  • 1  cup  water


Preheat oven to 375°.

Combine 1 1/2 cups mozzarella, cottage cheese, and the next 5 ingredients (through black pepper) in a medium bowl. Spoon about 3 tablespoons cheese mixture into each uncooked manicotti. Pour half of tomato-basil pasta sauce into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange stuffed shells in a single layer over sauce, and top with the remaining sauce. Pour 1 cup water into dish. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella evenly over sauce. Cover tightly with foil. Bake at 375° for 1 hour or until shells are tender. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.


BBQ Sauce

Filed under: Beef, Chicken, Pork — Tags: — bettylou79 @ 12:47 pm

This past weekend I was getting my foodie fix, also known as watching cooking shows on PBS because we don’t have cable, and saw this recipe on Everyday Food on PBS.  I decided to give it a try.  I had chicken legs in my freezer from when they were on sale a few weeks ago and thought that they would be great with barbecue sauce on them and baked in the oven.  I was right, even though they took longer to bake than I had anticipated!  I also tried the sauce on pork chops and it was just as good.  This sauce does have some kick to it, so be warned!  I had to make one modification because I didn’t have 2 cups of ketchup so I used about a cup of tomato sauce.  I still have some sauce in my refrigerator so I’m still deciding what to make next to use some more of it.



Barbecue Sauce

source: Everyday Food on PBS
Makes 3 cups


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon mustard powder
1 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
3 tablespoons light-brown sugar
2 cups ketchup
1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1 tablespoon molasses
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  1. Make Barbecue Sauce: In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in mustard powder and red-pepper flakes; cook 30 seconds.
  2. Reduce heat to medium-low; stir in sugar, ketchup, Worcestershire, vinegar, molasses, and black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 5 to 10 minutes.

February 19, 2009

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Filed under: Bread, Breakfast, Dessert, Holiday — Tags: — bettylou79 @ 1:52 pm

I’m starting to think that my resolution is turning out to be quite easy to keep!  This past weekend when my husband and I were wandering around downtown Seattle we went into Sur La Table and I was drooling over a pasta maker.  I told my husband that once I feel like I have mastered bread I’m going to move on to pasta.  He of course had no objections!  I will need more storage space for all the pasta as it dries or my husband could build me something!  We sampled the bread last night and I intend to try it today, toasted.  I’m sure it will be great!

I was amazed at how long this bread took to make from start to finish.  I’m starting to wonder how bakeries manage to have fresh bread in the mornings.  Coming in to bake before the sun rises is not my idea of fun!

I would love to try this recipe next time and add the raisins.  I wanted to make the bread so badly but I didn’t want to go out and get some of the ingredients I didn’t have (potato flour, dry milk and raisins).  Enjoy!


Cinnamon Swirl Bread

source: seen on Two Fat Als, originally from Cook’s Illustrated

1/2 cup milk
4 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 package dry active yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
1/2 cup warm water
1/3 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra

(filling and glaze)
1/4 cup sugar
5 tsp ground cinnamon
milk for brushing
1 large egg
2 tsp milk

Begin with the dough. Heat milk and butter together in a small saucepan until butter melts. Cool to lukewarm. Meanwhile, sprinkle yeast over warm water in a large bowl. Using a wooden spoon, stir slowly in a circular motion while adding sugar, eggs, salt and lukewarm milk mixture. Continue stirring a bit more quickly, and add 2 cups of flour until mixed thoroughly, then add remaining 1 1/4 cups flour until mixed through. Add more flour if dough seems extremely sticky. Remove dough from bowl, and knead on a floured surface for about 10 minutes, adding more flour as necessary, until dough is smooth and elastic. Place in covered, greased bowl to rise for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, until doubled in size. Once risen, punch dough down once in the center, and let rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, mix cinnamon and sugar together for filling, and grease 9×5 inch loaf pan. Roll dough into an 8×18 inch rectangle, with the 8 inch side facing toward you. Brush milk over dough, and sprinkle cinnamon and sugar over it, leaving a 1/2 inch edge on the side farthest away. Beginning with the side closest to you, roll dough into a log shape, pressing ends together to make sure that it does not become more than 8 inches. Pinch dough ends together to form a tight seam, and push ends of dough toward the center. Pinch outside dough edges together to form a seal. Place the dough seam-side down into the loaf pan, and press down evenly. Let the dough rise more until it is about 1 inch above the edge of the pan (30-60 minutes). Preheat oven to 350, and combine milk with egg. Before baking, brush this mixture over the top of the loaf. Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden brown, and let cool for 45 minutes before serving.

February 18, 2009

Mini Meat Loaves

Filed under: Beef, Italian, Main Dish, Turkey — Tags: — bettylou79 @ 1:07 pm

Boy oh boy!  These are delicious!  My husband was already eating and oohing and ahhing over his meat loaf before I had finished taking pictures.  He said these reminded him of the meatballs that I make but in meatloaf form.  These were so tender and moist.  I will definitely be making this recipe again!  I did make a few changes to the recipe.  I used ground turkey instead of beef and I baked them for about 20 minutes instead of 15 minutes.  When I make these again I will add a few more spices and some garlic.

I found this recipe in my February issue of Better Homes and Gardens magazine.  I’m so glad that I ripped out this one!  This is a great recipe for a week night because it goes together and bakes so quickly.  I paired this with some mashed potatoes with mozarella and broccoli.  I suggest you try this recipe soon!  Sorry about the blurry picture.  All of my pictures turned out blurry!  Argh!



Mini Meat Loaves

source: Better Homes and Gardens


  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup purchased pasta sauce
  • 1/2 cup fine dry bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped if large
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (4 oz.)


1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. In large bowl combine egg, 1/2 cup of the pasta sauce, bread crumbs, 2 tablespoons of the basil, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add beef and 1/2 cup of the cheese; mix well. Divide beef mixture in four equal portions. Shape each portion in a 5-1/2×2-inch oval. Place on 15x10x1-inch baking pan. Spoon on remaining pasta sauce and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake 15 minutes or until internal temperature registers 160 degrees F.

Serves 4.

February 17, 2009

Fettuccine Alfredo

Filed under: Holiday, Italian, Main Dish, Pasta — Tags: — bettylou79 @ 12:34 pm

When I was planning our menu for the week my husband and I decided to stay home for Valentine’s Day dinner but to go out to Seattle during the day.  My husband requested Fettuccine Alfredo with chicken.  I had to hunt a bit but I ended up finally going with my old stand by, Cooking Light.  Cooking Light has yet to fail me!

This recipe came together quite quickly and I love that I had almost all of the ingredients on hand.  The sauce turned out a bit thick when I added the Parmesan cheese, so I thinned it down with a little more milk.  My husband and I loved this recipe and were surprised at how much it tasted like something you would get in a recipe. My husband loved the consistency of the sauce too. We paired this with a fabulous bottle of Barefoot Pinot Grigio.



Fettuccine Alfredo



  • 1  tablespoon  margarine
  • 2  small cloves garlic, minced
  • 1  tablespoon  all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/3  cups  skim milk
  • 2  tablespoons  light process cream cheese
  • 1 1/4  cups  freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 4  cups  hot cooked fettuccine (cooked without salt or fat)
  • 2  teaspoons  chopped fresh parsley
  • Freshly ground pepper


Melt margarine in a saucepan over medium heat. Add minced garlic, and saut 1 minute. Stir in flour. Gradually add skim milk, stirring with a wire whisk until mixture is blended. Cook, stirring constantly, 8 minutes or until mixture is thickened and bubbly.

Stir in cream cheese; cook 2 minutes. Add 1 cup Parmesan cheese, stirring constantly until Parmesan cheese melts.

Pour sauce over hot cooked fettuccine, and toss well to coat. Top fettuccine with remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, chopped parsley, and pepper.

Quick Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Filed under: Cookies, Dessert, Holiday — Tags: — bettylou79 @ 12:04 pm

You will notice that the picture below isn’t just of frosting but actually the sugar cookies that the frosting is gracing too!  I got the recipe for the sugar cookies from my 5k running buddy and friend from high school.  I had to beg for the recipe and she made me promise her my first born (no plans for any of those anytime soon!).  I promised my first born or that I would name him/her after her.  I will however give you her blog address to look at her other yummy things!  Here is her blog with pictures of her cookies.

This frosting recipe was great and came together quickly, even though I was nervous at first.  I also got to use my new small spreader from Pampered Chef.  It made frosting the cookies a dream!  I’m going to have an online/catalog party next month and I will definitely get the larger spreader too.  Here is what my spreader looks like:

spreaderMy only problem with the frosting was that now I have about 3/4 of a cup left over!  Hmm!  What to do!  I’ve thought of making cupcakes.  We’ll see what I decide on!  Eating it straight out of the bowl also sounds tempting too!  Here are my cookies.  Don’t mind the tacky paper plates!  I was sending them with my husband to work. Enjoy!


Quick Vanilla Buttercream Frosting



  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons whipping cream


In a standing mixer fitted with a whisk, mix together sugar and butter. Mix on low speed until well blended and then increase speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes.

Add vanilla and cream and continue to beat on medium speed for 1 minute more, adding more cream if needed for spreading consistency.

Parker’s Split Pea Soup

Filed under: Main Dish, Soup, Vegetables — Tags: — bettylou79 @ 6:45 am

Another successful Barefoot Contessa recipe!  As soon as I saw this recipe in my new cookbook I knew I would have to try it.  My husband and I both love Split Pea soup.  There is often a race in our house to see who can take a can of it to work for lunch first!  This soup turned out delicious.   I will warn you that the recipe that I made out of the cookbook does make a lot. We put a large amount in the freezer for dinner  later on in the month or even next month.  I also put this into sevearl containers for us to take to work for lunches and for dinners.  I did make a few changes and didn’t add as much pepper as it calls for and I also pureed the soup because we like our smooth.

I will spare you a picture because I will assume that you know what Split Pea Soup looks like and I will also assume that you know it doesn’t photograph nicely!


Parker’s Split Pea Soup

source: Ina Garten’s The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook and Food Network


  • 1 cup chopped yellow onions
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/8 cup good olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups medium-diced carrots (3 to 4 carrots)
  • 1 cup medium-diced red boiling potatoes, unpeeled (3 small)
  • 1 pound dried split green peas
  • 8 cups chicken stock or water


In a 4-quart stockpot on medium heat, saute the onions and garlic with the olive oil, oregano, salt, and pepper until the onions are translucent, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the carrots, potatoes, 1/2 pound of split peas, and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then simmer uncovered for 40 minutes. Skim off the foam while cooking. Add the remaining split peas and continue to simmer for another 40 minutes, or until all the peas are soft. Stir frequently to keep the solids from burning on the bottom. Taste for salt and pepper. Serve hot.

February 5, 2009

Classic Sandwich Bread

Filed under: Bread — Tags: — bettylou79 @ 1:53 pm

When I made my resolution to learn to how to make bread and also to not be scared of the process I actually came up with a list of different kinds of bread that I wanted to try.  So far I’ve made French Bread, Garlic Knots and now Classic Sandwich Bread.  I bet you’re dying to know what else was on that list but I’ll keep it to myself for now!

In an effort to save some money (aren’t we all trying to do that!!) I decided to try my hand at sandwich bread.  I deemed this bread quite successful!  I couldn’t blog about it without testing it first, even if it is 9:00 at night and I’m going to bed in an hour our so!  I sampled the bread with some butter and that was all.  It was delicious, quite honestly I was doing a little dance as I ate it!  Does anyone else do that?  I can’t wait for my husband to sample the bread when he gets home from work!  My favorite part of the bread was the crust.  It was crunchy and didn’t have that almost burnt taste that some store bought bread has.  I wish that this bread would have made more than one loaf so I could freeze it but I’ll probably just double the recipe next time.

I found this recipe on the King Arthur Flour website.  That is becoming my go to site for good bread recipes!  I also checked out 4 cookbooks from the Library and 2 of them are King Arthur Flour cookbooks.  I can’t wait to dive into them!

On a side note, those of you who are staying away from bread baking because you don’t have a stand mixer should give bread making a try!  I don’t have a stand mixer either (sad!!) but I do have a hand mixer with dough hook attachments (they look like cork screw curly Q’s).  That attachment has worked just fine.  I can knead by hand with the best of them!  Good luck!



Classic Sandwich Bread

source: King Arthur Flour


3 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour*
1/2 cup milk (skim, 1%, 2% or whole, your choice)**
1/2 to 2/3 cup hot water, enough to make a soft, smooth dough**
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) melted butter, margarine or vegetable oil
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 packet active dry yeast dissolved in 1 tablespoon warm water OR 2 teaspoons instant yeast

*For added whole-grain goodness, substitute great-tasting King Arthur 100% White Whole Wheat Flour for up to half of the all-purpose flour in this recipe.

**Mix the cold-from-the-refrigerator milk with 1/2 cup of the hot-from-the-tap water to make a lukewarm combination.

Mixing: In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients and stir till the dough starts to leave the sides of the bowl. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased surface, oil your hands, and knead it for 6 to 8 minutes, or until it begins to become smooth and supple. (You may also knead this dough in an electric mixer or food processor, or in a bread machine set to the dough or manual cycle). Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover the bowl, and allow the dough to rise till puffy though not necessarily doubled in bulk, about 60 minutes, depending on the warmth of your kitchen.

Shaping: Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled work surface, and shape it into an 8-inch log. Place the log in a lightly greased 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan, cover the pan loosely with lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow the bread to rise for about 60 minutes, until it’s domed about 1 inch above the edge of the pan. A finger pressed into the dough should leave a mark that rebounds slowly.

Baking: Bake the bread in a preheated 350°F oven for about 35 minutes, until it’s light golden brown. Test it for doneness by removing it from the pan and thumping it on the bottom (it should sound hollow), or by measuring its interior temperature with an instant-read thermometer (it should register 190°F at the center of the loaf). Remove the bread from the oven, and cool it on a wire rack before slicing. Store the bread in a plastic bag at room temperature. Yield: 1 loaf.


February 3, 2009

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip

Filed under: Appetizers, Dessert, Holiday — Tags: — bettylou79 @ 1:12 pm

Goodness!  I’m noticing a trend!  The last few posts have been about chocolate.  I must like chocolate or something!

This is actually the 2nd time that I’ve made this dip.  The first time I made it to bring to a party after a Cougar football game.   It was very well received especially by the women their!  I think this dip would be perfect to bring to either a bridal or a baby shower.

I brought this dip to the Super Bowl party that my husband and I attended this weekend.  I seem to have a tough time going to a party or gathering and not bringing something.  I guess it could always be worse!  I’ve heard some people call certain dips that are super addictive, Crack Dip.  I think this might just be one of them! I spotted this dip on The Nest a few years ago when I was just discovering food blogs.  I don’t remember where I first found it though!

This recipe comes together very easily.  So easily that I bought the ingredients on our way to the party and made the dip at the party!  Thanks for letting me dirty up your kitchen Brooke!  I alwasy love recipes that include ingredients that are easy to find and are decent in price!  This recipe is both of those things!  I brought graham cracker sticks to dip, but I have also tried it with Nilla wafers.  Both were great!  I don’t have a picture because I forgot to grab the camera!  There are pletny of pictures of this recipe out there!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip




  1. In a small saucepan, melt the butter with the brown sugar over medium heat. Stir continuously, until the brown sugar dissolves. (You can also do this in the microwave but watch it closely. The butter/sugar mixture will boil over fast. Stir every 30 seconds or so.)
  2. Remove from heat, whisk in the vanilla and set aside to cool.
  3. Beat the cream cheese and confectioner’s sugar for 1 minute.
  4. Slowly beat in the cooled butter mixture and beat again for another minute.
  5. Stir in the chocolate chips and nuts, if using.
  6. Pour into a serving bowl and refrigerate.
  7. Garnish with additional chocolate chips or nuts, if you choose.

Amano Chocolate Winner

Filed under: Dessert, Scooper Hero — Tags: , — bettylou79 @ 12:53 pm

I’m a Blake Makes Sooper Hero as noted by the badge on the side of the blog.  Blake of Blake Makes frequently has give-aways on his blog and invites his Sooper Heroes to enter to win the fabulous items, sample them and the blog about them.  The latest treat that I won was a bar of dark chocolate from Amano Artisan Chocolate to sample.  I love dark chocolate!  I often savor it or maybe the word I’m looking for is horde, as my husband might say!  It takes me forever to get through a bar of chocolate or other chocolate items for that matter!

I used this chocolate to make the Hot Chocolate Fudge Cakes that I posted about below.  Of course I couldn’t just chop up the chocolate and toss it into the mixing bowl without sampling some.  My husband helped me too!  We both loved how bitter the chocolate tasted.  It added a nice bit to the Hot Chocolate Fudge Cakes.  I know that my husband and I will be looking to buy this chocolate very soon!

Call me crazy but I loved the colors on the label.  It almost reminds me of how some people buy wine, by the pretty labels.  I would definitely by this chocolate because of the pretty label!  Please go enjoy some chocolate!


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