Saturday, March 31, 2012

Easter Nest Cookies

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Do you have any special Easter traditions? Growing up, we didn't really have an Easter tradition. We would wake up on Easter Sunday, revel in the awesomeness left by the Easter Bunny and head to church. Once we returned, we were allowed to dig into our bounty and the rest of the day was spent quietly with the family. I can't really remember any Easter desserts my mom would make; maybe it's because I was going through the day on a sugar high daze, LOL. Now that I have kids of my own, I try to make the week before Easter fun. Whether it's making cute and fun Easter Desserts, or colouring eggs; I try to incorporate some family time into our pre celebration week.

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Life Made Delicious made my search for fun Easter treats a snap. Not only do they have an Easter top 10, they also have a great collection of fun and colourful desserts, perfect for the occasion. I decided to go with these cookies, since I had all the ingredients in my pantry. They were a snap to make and Queenie had a blast helping me roll the dough, for the cookies. While she samples all the colours of coconut, I frosted our cookies, after they had cooled. Insisting she needed to taste every colour of jelly bean and Mini Egg, we slowly assembled our nests and commented about how beautifully they had turned out. Not only are these pretty, they are pretty tasty too!

 “Disclosure: I am part of the Life Made Delicious Blogger program and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.”

Easter Nest Cookies
Adapted from Life Made Delicious

1 pouch Betty Crocker* Sugar Cookie Mix
1 tbsp (15 mL) all-purpose flour
1/3 cup (75 mL) butter or margarine, softened
1 egg
1 tub Betty Crocker* Whipped Fluffy White Frosting
1 cup (250 mL) flaked coconut
Food colour
Jelly beans (I also used Mini Eggs) 

Heat oven to 375ºF. In medium bowl, stir cookie mix, flour, butter and egg until dough forms. 

Shape dough into 24 (2-inch) balls. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets. 

Bake 7 to 9 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Cool 1 minute; remove to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 15 minutes. 

Frost cookies. Add coconut to a 1-quart resealable food-storage plastic bag. Add 2 to 3 drops food colour, shaking bag to blend colour. It may be necessary to add 1 to 2 teaspoons water to help disperse the colour evenly or additional food colour until desired colour is reached.

Sprinkle about 1 teaspoon coconut onto each cookie. Top with jelly beans.

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 This post linked to

Sweets for a Saturday
Bake with Bizzy
Feed Your Soul 
Church Supper 
Gallery of Favorites 
Bunny Hop Blog Party
Saturday Dishes

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Maple Dijon Pork Tenderloin

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Don't you love when you can find local products, that cost way less than in the stores? This is the case with the huge bottle of maple syrup I purchased in Montreal. While at one of the popular markets, we ventured outside, only to step into Maple- palooza. Everywhere you looked, there was maple syrup, maple butter, maple taffy. I was so excited to relive some of my fondest childhood memories, by purchasing some maple taffy, straight off of fresh snow. The hot thickened maple syrup is drizzled onto fresh snow and it sets up into a taffy. With the help of a popsicle stick, you scoop and twirl the syrup, to enjoy as a snack. Once I had finished my delectably sinful snack, we perused the large display of maple syrups. We quickly discovered that this local syrup cost 50% less, than what we find in stores, in our area. I quickly grabbed a BIG bottle, to bring home.

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 There are many things I think go well with the maple flavour. One of those would be pork. So, I decided to take my tenderloin and marinate it in a combination of maple syrup and whole grain Dijon mustard. The sweet and savory flavour pairs so nicely with pork. Marinating made the pork so tender and infused it with wonderful flavour. While I decided to oven roast the tenderloin, this would also be perfect on the grill. The boys gobbled this right up and we all enjoyed it best served with my homemade apple sauce.


Maple Dijon Pork Tenderloin
printable version

2- 1lb pork tenderloins
3/4 C maple syrup
juice of half a lime
2 Tbs whole grain Dijon mustard
1 Tbs fresh thyme, chopped
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper

To a small bowl add the maple syrup, lime juice, Dijon, thyme, salt and pepper. Mix well to combine and pour into a large zip top bag. Place tenderloins in zip top bag and seal, squeezing out as much air as possible. Smush the bag, to coat with marinade. Refrigerate for at least 6 to 8 hrs.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place tenderloins in a 9x13 baking dish, along with the marinade. roast in oven for 30-45 minutes (internal temperature should reach 165 degrees), basting with marinade, as it cooks. Remove from baking dish, cover and let rest for 15 minutes, before slicing.

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 This post linked to

These Chicks Cooked
Bake with Bizzy
Full Plate Thursday
What's Cookin Thursday 
Fit and Fabulous Friday 
Foodie Friday
Friday Favorites
Church Supper

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Balsamic Glazed Salmon

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I know I haven't posted anything since last week. Hubby and I recently celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary, and he decided to surprise me with a 5 day get away. We ended up in Montreal, which made me so happy, because we had both mentioned how we had never been, but would love to go. I couldn't have asked for a better place to go (well except Vegas, LOL) and what made this trip even more special, is that we got to experience it for the first time, together. While in Montreal, we took the time to stop at one of the many markets. There, we found amazing deals on produce, bread, maple syrup, meats. We happened to stop in at a little seafood shop and they had the best deals on fresh Salmon. Montreal, as some of you may know, is right along the St. Lawrence River, so they get access to fresh seafood, right from the ocean. You can bet that the prices are much better than those found here, in  the Toronto area. While drooling over the extensive selection of seafood, we both kept saying how we wished we could bring some home with us. We didn't have a cooler, so we had to make due with eating seafood at the many restaurants in the city.

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 I've only recently started cooking fresh salmon at home. I've always found that it tasted too strong and overwhelming. Then I found a recipe over at my friend Lyndsay's blog- The Kitchen Witch, and it looked so good, that I HAD to make it. I've found that it's all about the balance of flavours, when it comes to salmon. Depending on how you decide to cook the salmon, is how strong the fishy taste will stand out. After making Lyndsay's recipe, I decided to try and find other flavour combinations, that would tame down the strong tasting salmon. I went with a Balsamic glaze, since I like the sweetness, paired with the fish. This turned out beautifully, with a slight sweetness and tartness thanks to the vinegar and Dijon mustard. Everyone went crazy for this version of glazed salmon and you can bet that anytime I can get my hands on reasonably priced salmon, this will be one of my go to recipes.


Balsamic Glazed Salmon
printable version

2/3 C Balsamic vinegar
3 Tbs brown sugar
2 Tbs whole grain Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 green onions, chopped
6- 6oz  salmon fillets, skinned

In a large zip top bag, add the Balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, Dijon, salt and green onions. Mush to combine. Add the salmon to the zip top bag, seal tightly and turn to coat. Place in a shallow dish and refrigerate for 2 hrs, turning after 1 hr.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove salmon fillets from the zip top bag. Place on a rimmed baking sheet and bake in the oven for 15-25 minutes, until the fish flakes easily with a fork. While fish bakes, pour remaining marinade in a small sauce pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until reduced by half and thick.

Once fish is cooked through, brush with glaze and garnish with more green onion (green tops only).

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This post linked to

What Makes you say Mmmmm?
Hearth and Soul
See Ya in the Gumbo
Delicious Dishes
Tasty Tuesday
Fit and Fabulous Friday

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Canadian Cookies and the March Madness Giveaway

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You find friends in the most unexpected places. Which is exactly what happened to me, last Spring. I entered the Real Women of Philadelphia Canada contest and it brought a group of amazing women into my life. Our common thread- cooking. We quickly grew to love each other and feel like long lost friends, through discussions on the RWOP site. Even though the contest has ended, our friendships have not and we've decided to band together, to tackle the foodie world. To introduce everyone to our group, The Canadian Cookies, we've decided to launch a Facebook group. To make things a bit more fun, some of us decided to do a group giveaway, that runs all week long.

Yesterday, Jeanine from The Baking Beauties, started us off with a great introduction and a great giveaway. If you head over to her blog, you'll get the chance to win 2 really great gardening books, great for any suburban gardener.

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Today, is my turn to offer you another great prize. I am going toward the entertaining route, with my prize. With the warm weather right around the corner, we will all be in the entertaining mood. So, I decided to offer a few great prizes that would make any party easier. Here's what you have a chance of winning

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A cute little Cheese Board

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A set of 5 Cheese Markers

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A porcelain Hot Dip Set

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To enter the giveaway, just fill out the Rafflecopter, for a variety of ways to enter. And don't forget to like the Canadian Cookies on Facebook, to stay updated as to where the next giveaway will take place.

Tomorrow, join Cathy at the Hungry Hollow, for a chance to win one of her gorgeous hand sown aprons.

Thursday, join Heather at Buttery Bites Caramels, for a chance to win some of her delicious, smooth and creamy hand made caramels, made the old fashion way, with real ingredients.

And to end out the week, join Marisa at Tasty Delights. I'm sure she will have a prize worth waiting for!!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Irish Cream Blondies with Raspberry Swirl ~ Perfect for St. Patty's Day!

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St. Patrick's Day, is just around the corner and though I'm not a huge fan of Corned Beef (unless someone else makes it, LOL), I do enjoy a good Colcannon, fried cabbage and Irish Soda Bread. When I think of an Irish dessert, nothing really comes to mind. I mean Ireland isn't really re known for it's desserts, is it? So, when I sat down to think of a super yummy St. Patrick's Day inspired dessert, my thoughts went straight to Irish Cream. My girlfriend Janice, makes the BEST Irish Cream Cheesecake and I wasn't going to even try to out do her, in that category. Having recently read about a drink that included Irish Cream and raspberry liqueur, I decided to go with blondies. What I like about blondies is that the recipe is really just a base, to goodness. You can add a multitude of different ingredients and come away with something different and phenomenal, every time. So, I decided to flavour the blondie batter with Irish Cream and swirl some homemade raspberry jelly throughout.

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As these were baking, I wasn't sure if it would be a success. It seemed to be taking a long time to set in the center and I was worried that the edges would be too brown. It worked out beautifully and though these are very chewy (almost creamy), they are sensational. You get the slight hint of Irish Cream and the soft tartness of the raspberry. These are a little rich, so one piece is enough. Paired with a cold glass of milk, these are the perfect end to a wonderful Irish meal!

Irish Cream Blondies with Raspberry Swirl
printable version

8 Tbs butter, melted
3/4 C brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 C Irish Cream
1 C + 3 Tbs flour
1/2 C white chocolate chips
1/3 C raspberry jelly

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease an 8x8 inch baking pan; set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix the sugar and butter, until well combines. Add in egg, vanilla and Irish Cream, and beat until light and fluffy. Add flour and mix until just combined. Fold in white chocolate and pour batter into prepared pan.

Heat raspberry jelly in the microwave for 30 seconds; stir until smooth. Drizzle over top of the blondie batter and using a butter knife, swirl the jelly into the batter. Bake for 30-45 minutes, until a tooth pick inserted comes out with a few moist crumbs. Cool completely before cutting into bars.

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This post linked to

Bake with Bizzy
Full Plate Thursday
Hearth and Soul
Gallery of Favorites
Foodie Friday
Weekly Round Up

Monday, March 12, 2012

Join the Revolution!

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I am super excited to tell you that I've recently been chosen by Mom Central Canada, to participate in the Finish Revolution! What does that mean? Well it means that I get to share my love for this awesome dishwasher detergent with you. After 2 yrs of frustration with other brands, we switched to Finish and have never looked back!!

I'd also like to share this really fun news with you. Finish Canada will be launching their new Facebook page on March 12, 2012. The best part is that they will also be launching great promotions, for all of you who help make their launch a success, by 'liking' their Facebook page.

Finish Canada will be giving away 50,000 Free Quantum samples starting March 12, while supplies last to Facebook users who “Like” the Finish page. The sample includes 3 units of Finish Quantum, plus a coupon for $2 off the retail price.

 So let's help Finish Canada get off to a good start, head on over and show them some love and if you're tired of having to wash your dishes, before loading them into the dishwasher; then please give Finish Dishwasher Detergent a try. You won't be disappointed!!

“Disclosure: I am part of the Finish Blogger Program by Mom Central. I received compensation as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.”

Meal Plan Monday~ March 12, 2012

Happy Monday!!

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Today is a very special day. It's my 10th wedding Anniversary!! That's right, Hubby and I have been married for 10 years and together for 12 years. So many people were doubtful of our relationship and reaching 10 years makes me so happy. It's almost like saying, "take that" to all the people who thought we were being silly. Hubby is working today, but that is OK, because he's arranged a surprise get away for us next week. Since we never really had a honeymoon, this will be our 10 year honeymoon. I have no clue where we are going and I'm anxiously counting down the days, until next Thursday!!

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I didn't post a meal plan last week. To be honest, I just haven't been into meal planning all that much. I plan meals, but then end up not making them. Either I'm too worn out, by dinner time, or I don't have time or energy to focus on a new recipe/meal. And I can see a big difference in our grocery budget. So, back to planning it is. This week is March Break, so the Mr.B will be home all week. DH works most days, so we'll be sticking close to home. I'll be making a few of our old favourites, hoping to make this time with both kids, more fun. So here is my plan for the week.

Make sure you head over to OrgJunkie.com, for more great meal plans for the week.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Apple Dump Cake

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The other day, as I was cleaning out our cold store room/ pantry, I found a few things I had totally forgotten I had bought. I try to organize and clean out the pantry, at least once a month, but I hadn't taken the time in a while. Thankfully most of the stuff I found were canned goods, but I did find a 5 lb bag of apples, that weren't in the greatest shape. Since I already have a few jars of apple sauce, left over from this past fall, I decided to use the apples in a dessert. It was getting late and I had to start dinner, so I wanted something simple and fast. I quickly peeled and chopped the apples and sauteed them in some butter, brown sugar and spices. I had also found a yellow cake mix, so I decided to use that for our dessert as well. Dump cakes can't be easier. As the title indicates, you just dump everything in the pan and there you have it. Just one little stir, once the butter is melted and you're set to go.

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The smell of this baking was intoxicating. Even the kids commented on how great it smelled, LOL. I let it cool slightly, as we ate dinner and decided to serve it with some creamy vanilla ice cream. The slightly warm cake, melted the ice cream and just coated everything in sweet creaminess. The cake was very moist and infused with apple flavour and spices. The kids practically inhaled their servings and Hubby was VERY happy that there was some left over, the next evening. He was able to have a piece, after a long day at work. He normally isn't a big cake fan, but he raved about this one. I'm super excited to have found a super easy, but super sensational dessert recipe!!

Apple Dump Cake
printable version

3 C gala apples, peeled and chopped (about 8-10)
3 Tbs butter
1/4 C brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
juice of half a lemon
1 pkg Golden Yellow Cake mix
3/4 C ginger ale
1/4 C butter, cut into small cubes
vanilla ice cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large saute pan, melt butter over medium heat. Once the butter starts to bubble, add in the apples. Toss to coat with the butter and sprinkle with brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Stir well to combine and melt the sugar. Add in the vanilla and the juice of half a lemon; stir to combine. Reduce heat to medium low and cook, stirring occasionally, until apples are tender; about 5 minutes.

Spray a 9x13 inch baking pan with non stick spray. Place the cooked apples into the baking pan and sprinkle evenly with cake mix. Pour ginger ale over the cake mix and dot the entire thing with the butter. Bake for 20-30 minutes. *IMPORTANT* After the first five minutes take the pan out and stir the mixture so that the liquid gets evenly distributed throughout the cake. If not the top will burn.

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This post linked to

Sweets for a Saturday
Bake with Bizzy
Sweet Indulgences Sunday
Church Supper

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Turkey- Red Pepper and Provolone Panini

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If you're like me, you like to switch it up at lunch time. For about a week, I was following a 1500 calorie meal plan. After that week of only having 3 different options for lunch, I decided I'd rather eat healthy, than be miserable. Though I have favourite breakfast, lunch and dinner options, I like to mix it up a bit. After all, variety is the spice of life; right? I don't eat bread very often, but there are some days, when a sandwich just hits the spot. Some of my favourite sandwiches are usually toasted in the oven, so that the ooey cheese can melt. So, paninis, to me are the perfect sandwich. They're like a cross between grilled cheese and sandwiches; so who on earth wouldn't love them?

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We are not proud owners of a panini press. Thankfully watching Rachael Ray for many years, has paid off. I've seen her make paninis with 2 skillets, adding the second skillet to the top and adding weight, to lightly press the sandwich down. This method works really well, so you don't need fancy gadgets to make a great lunch. I went with flavours that I love and I thought would compliment each other well. Lean turkey, creamy avocado, sweet red pepper and roasted garlic and a bit of tart Provolone make these sandwiches out of this world. So, what to you do, to keep lunch exciting?

Turkey- Red Pepper and Provolone Panini

2 Ciabatta rolls, each sliced in half horizontally
8 thin slices of deli style turkey breast
1 avocado, cut in half; pit and skin removed
1/4 C mayonnaise
4 cloves of roasted garlic
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbs butter, softened
1/2 of a red pepper, thinly sliced
4 slices Provolone cheese, from the deli counter
fresh cracked pepper

In a small bowl, mash the avocado with the mayonnaise until well combined; set aside. In a second small bowl, mash the roasted garlic with the butter and balsamic vinegar until well combined; set aside.

Spread 2 pieces of bread with the avocado mayonnaise. Spread remaining 2 pieces of bread with roast garlic butter. On the bottom halves of the bread pieces, lay one slice of cheese. Top with 4 slices of turkey, red pepper strips and a second slice of cheese. Top with top pieces of bread.

Preheat a medium skillet over medium low heat. Add a drizzle of olive oil and place in 1 sandwich. Place a smaller skillet on top of the sandwich and place a weight into the top skillet (a large 30 oz can of tomatoes works well); gently press down. Cook sandwich for 3-5 minutes, until the bread crisps up and starts to brown slightly. Carefully flip the sandwich over, cooking for another 3-5 minutes, until cheese is melted, bread is crisp and slightly browned. Repeat with second sandwich.

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This post linked to

Hearth and Soul
These Chicks Cooked
Full Plate Thursday
Fit and Fabulous Fridays
Friday Favorites
Foodie Friday

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Chocolate- Strawberry Stuffed French Toast

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One thing I don't really like about winter in Canada (other than the snow), is that by the time the berries from our neighbours down South get here, they're about to go bad. I can't tell you how many times I've bought berries, only to come to use them, a few days later, only to find half of them moldy, or too ripe to serve to the kids. That was the case this past weekend. I bought strawberries and most of them were squishy and I knew the kids wouldn't eat them. So, decided to use them in a way, that no one would know they were about to turn.

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I don't think I've made stuffed French Toast for the kids, since Queenie was born. She's not a big French Toast fan, so I figured why go through the hassle of whining, during breakfast. Since she was set on cereal, I decided to treat Mr.B and I to something special. I trimmed by berries, threw them on the food processor and quickly zapped them into a chunky sauce, with a bit of sugar. I made my own strawberry cream cheese, by mixing the two. Nobody can resist Nutella, so I slathered one side of the bread with that, just for good measure. These were beyond sinful!! Mr.B and I gobbled them up in no time flat. The tart cream cheese ensured that the filling wasn't too sweet, and everything was creamy, oozy and luscious. This would make an amazing breakfast in bed, for someone you love (Mother's Day and Father's Day aren't too far away), or a great show stopping addition to any Sunday Brunch!! (Note: I did let these sit and cool for 10 minutes, to get the results in the photo. The warm filling is much oozier, LOL)

Chocolate-Strawberry Stuffed French Toast

1/2 C strawberries
1 Tbs sugar
6 oz light cream cheese (3/4 of a brick), softened
Nutella
4 eggs
1/4 C milk
1 Tbs sugar
a pinch of salt
1/8 tsp cinnamon
12 slices whole wheat bread
cooking spray
powdered sugar
6 strawberries

In a food processor, blend strawberries and sugar, until berries are finely chopped. In a small bowl, mix the berries and cream cheese, until smooth and well combined. Set aside.

In a shallow dish ( I use a deep dish pie plate), whisk together the egg, sugar, salt and cinnamon, (this will help incorporate the cinnamon and it won't be floating on top of the custard). Whisk in milk, until thoroughly combined. Set aside.

Lay the 12 slices of bread out on a clean surface. Spread 6 of the slices with a generous amount of Nutella. Spread the remaining slices with the strawberry cream cheese mixture. Carefully place a Nutella slice of bread, onto the cream cheese slice; making sure the filling are inside the sandwiched bread. Dip the sandwiched bread, into the egg mixture on both sides and place in a non-stick skillet, preheated over medium low heat and coated with cooking spray. Cook for 3-5 minutes on the first side; until the bread is a nice golden colour. Carefully flip and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes. Let cool slightly, dust with powdered sugar and garnish with additional fresh berries.

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This post linked to

What Makes you Say: Mmmmm
See Ya in the Gumbo
Delicious Dishes
Tasty Tuesday

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Ganache Filled Peanut Butter Cupcakes

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This past Thursday was National Peanut Butter Lover's Day. If there's one thing we are in this house, it's peanut butter lovers. The kids eat it on just about everything; sandwiches, pancakes, waffles, apple slices. One of my favourite snacks is peanut butter with apple slices and I've recently started spreading some peanut butter on graham crackers, or rice cakes; to curb that mid day hunger. And who could resist an amazing peanut butter and chocolate dessert??

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Finding inspiration for my Peanut Butter Lover's Day treat was quite easy. Since it was Hubby's day off, I wanted to make something he would love. His favourite sweet treat is Reese Peanut Butter Cups, so I wanted to pair peanut butter with chocolate. A chocolate ganache filled cupcake seemed perfect, and would let us enjoy the best of both worlds. These cupcakes are super easy, all you need to remember is not to put too much ganache filling into the cupcakes. I made that mistake and it overwhelmed the peanut butter taste. The kids loved these, as they do any cupcake and Hubby loved the combination of flavours.

Ganache Filled Peanut Butter Cupcakes
printable version

1 box white cake mix
2/3 C peanut butter
2 eggs
1 1/2- 2 C buttermilk

For Ganache:
4 oz dark chocolate, chopped
1/4 C cream
2 Tbs powdered sugar

For Frosting:
1/4 C butter
any remaining ganache filling
3 C powdered sugar
2-3 Tbs buttermilk
Confetti decorations

For Ganache: Place dark chocolate, cream and 2 Tbs of powdered sugar into a microwave safe bowl. Cook for 1 minute, stirring after 30 seconds. Whisk until smooth. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, until set.

For Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tin with paper liners. In a large bowl mix together the peanut butter and egg. Add in the cake mix and 1 1/2C buttermilk. Whisk until smooth, adding more buttermilk if needed. Fill each liner 2/3 full. Place a tsp of ganache filling on top of the batter, of each cupcake. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until cupcakes spring back, when lightly touched. Remove from cupcake tins and cool completely.

For Frosting: In a bowl cream together the butter and any remaining ganache filling. Add in powdered sugar, 1 C at a time, beating until smooth after each addition. Add in buttermilk and beat for 3 minutes. Frost cooled cupcakes and sprinkle with confetti decorations.

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This post linked to

Baking with Bizzy
Sweets for a Saturday
Church Supper
Sweet Indulgences Sunday

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Broccoli-Bacon Lasagna Roll Ups

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Do you love lasagna as much as I do? Those layers of pasta, sauce and cheese. How could you resists?? Even though I love lasagna, I don't really like serving it. Getting that first piece out of the pan is close to impossible and I am way too impatient to let it sit for 15 minutes, before cutting in a devouring it. So imagine a perfect little bundle of lasagna, that doesn't look like a heap of noodles when you place it. That's exactly what these roll ups are. You have the goodness of lasagna and it looks beautiful on the plate. Way more photogenic than regular lasagna.

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You could pretty much make these anyway you like. Stuff them with your favourite cheese, veggies, meats. This time I went with broccoli and bacon. Two of the kids favourite foods. Now, I was taking a major gamble here. The kids do not like lasagna. They'll pick at the noodles and leave the rest behind. I though maybe if I changed up the filling a bit, I'd be able to get them to eat more of it. It worked for Mr.B, who wolfed his down in no time flat and requested seconds. Queenie was still leery about the whole ricotta cheese thing. Somehow she has turned into someone who doesn't like cheese (which is almost unheard of in this house). I love that one of these is the perfect serving for me. Paired with a nice tossed salad and some garlic bread, this dinner is a winner!!!

Broccoli- Bacon Lasagna Roll Ups
printable version

10 lasagna noodles
1/2 lbs thick cut bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 small onion
2 C broccoli, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
16 oz low fat ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/4 C Parmesan cheese
1 C sharp Cheddar cheese
1/4 tsp basil
1/4 tsp oregano
salt and pepper
8 slices Provolone cheese (from deli)

For the Sauce:
1 can crushed tomatoes (35 oz)
¼ cup of olive oil
1 small onion, minced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 tsp dried basil
½ tsp of dried oregano
salt and pepper to season
a pinch of sugar

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook noodles to al dente; about 5-7 minutes. Drain and lay flat on a clean cutting board.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a sauce pan, heat 1/4 C olive oil; over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until onion is translucent; about 2-3 minutes. Add in crushed tomatoes, basil, oregano, salt, pepper and sugar. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer while assembling the roll ups.

In a skillet, heat 2 Tbs olive oil, over medium heat. Add onion, broccoli and garlic and cook until onion is translucent and broccoli is bright green in colour. Remove from heat and cool slightly.

In a bowl, combine ricotta, egg, Parmesan, Cheddar, basil, oregano a pinch of salt and pepper, cooled broccoli mixture and three quarters of the cooked bacon. Separate filling among the cooked lasagna noodles, spreading evenly and leaving a 1/4 inch edge at one of the narrow ends (this will help if the filling shifts while rolling). Starting at the opposite narrow end, roll up noodles and filling, jelly roll style. Repeat with all noodles.

Coat bottom of a 9x13 inch casserole dish with a few ladles of marinara sauce. Place lasagna rolls, seam side down, into the casserole dish. Top with remaining sauce, top with Provolone slices and sprinkle with remaining bacon. Cover with foil and bake for 50 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes, until cheese is bubbly.

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This post linked to

Full Plate Thursday
These Chicks Cooked
Friday Favorites
Foodie Friday