Monday, August 31, 2009

August 30,2009 at Mary's!

In the rush of Sunday, I forgot my camera! And so did Tonya! So the pictures this month are from the INTERNET.

This month's theme was copy cat recipes from restaurants. Mmmmm!

Appetizer (Janet): Delicious steak with tomatoes, basil and a blue cheese dressing on froccia from a steak house.

Salad (Tonya): Carrabba's house salad. Very good!

Sides (Carol): The best cooked carrots I have ever had (with maple syrup, rosemary and butter) and crisp green beans with lemon and butter.

Brennan's Maple-Glazed Carrots with Rosemary

Yields 4 servings
3 qts. water
1/2 T salt
1 lb baby carrots, peeled
2 T unsalted butter
6 T maple syrup
2 t finely chopped fresh rosemary
salt and white pepper to taste

Bring water and salt to a boil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.Add carrots and blanch about 4 - 6 minutes, drain and reserve. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add maple syrup and rosemary.Simmer about 1 minute. Add reserved carrots and saute until hot. Seasonwith salt and white pepper, serve immediately.

Bread (Teresa): Red Lobster's cheddar biscuit, sans all the greasiness!

Main (Mary): Red Lobster's tilapia. Really nice and crispy!

This Italian inspired dish features fresh tilapia baked with a delicious coating of fresh Parmesan cheese, butter and Parmesan crème.

Serves 4


4 ea 5-6 oz Tilapia Fillets
Non-stick Cooking Spray
½ lb. Linguini, cooked

Parmesan Crust:

½ cup Panko Bread Crumbs*
½ cup Parmesan Cheese, pre-shredded

Parmesan Base:

½ cup Parmesan Cheese, pre-shredded
1 Tbsp. Parsley, dried
10 oz Prepared Refrigerated Alfredo Sauce

Parmesan Cream Sauce:

2 Tbsp. Fresh Basil, Chopped
¼ cup Chablis or Chardonnay Wine, optional
¼ cup Half and Half


Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a 9X13 baking dish with Non-stick Cooking Spray. Place the 4 Tilapia fillets in the dish and set aside. In a small bowl, mix the Panko bread crumbs and ½ cup Parmesan cheese to make the crust for the topping. Set aside.

To assemble the Parmesan Base, place ½ cup Parmesan cheese, 1 Tbsp. parsley and the prepared Alfredo sauce in a medium bowl and stir well. Remove ½ cup of the mixture (reserving the rest to make the Parmesan Cream Sauce) and brush onto the 4 pieces of Tilapia, making a thick, even covering on the fish.

Evenly sprinkle the Parmesan Crust on top of the fish. Bake on the top shelf of the oven for 15-20 minutes or until fish reaches 140-150 degrees and the crust is golden brown.

Meanwhile while the fish is baking, make the Parmesan Cream sauce. Place the remaining Parmesan Base in a medium sauce pan, add the fresh Basil, Wine, and Half and Half and heat over medium heat until the sauce is simmering, stirring often. Toss the Parmesan Cream Sauce and the Linguini together and serve with the Parmesan Crusted Tilapia. Sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese if desired.

Dessert (Angie): Chili's White Chocolate Molten Lava Cake

I made it by preparing a boxed yellow cake mix (I used the butter recipe kind) in cupcakes. When the cupcakes were cooled, I sliced them in half and spooned some melted white chocolate bark in the middle. I put the tops back on and put some chocolate bark on the top too and then in the fridge to harden. For the side, I made a simple strawberry sauce with strawberries, corn starch and sugar, heated, then mashed.

To serve: heat the cupcakes about 30 second to a minute to melt the chocolate, spoon strawberry sauce around the plate and a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top (or not!).

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Casserole, Cake, Cookies - the 3 Cs

Two weeks ago, on a Sunday, I made Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookies. I ate 3 before they were even cool, so I quickly realized I needed to take the offensive and get the cookies OUT OF MY HOUSE. I took them to work and passed them out to my friends. Apparently they were really good because 1 coworker keeps sending me emails reminding me how good those cookies were. I added 1 cup of chocolate chips to this recipe and it also suggested adding 1/2 cup toasted walnuts and 1/2 cup of pecans but I was out of nuts.

Last week I made Strawberry Streusel Cheesecake. It was easy and looked really pretty but I was not blown away by it. I think it was the strawberry pie filing... next time I think I will either use fresh strawberries or make my own sauce.

I also made Hearty Tex-Mex Squash Chicken casserole, which I got years ago from my sister but never made it, and invited my parents over for dinner. They helped me out by taking home some left overs and all of the cheesecake leftovers. Perpetual diet intact.

Hearty Tex-Mex Squash Chicken Casserole

Makes 8 generous servings

1 10 oz package frozen spinach, thawed
3 medium sized yellow squash, thinly sliced
1 large green bell pepper cut in ½ inch pieces
1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 tbs oil
3 cups cooked, shredded chicken (deli rotisserie works great)
12 corn tortillas cut in 1 inch pieces
1 can cream of celery soup
1 8 oz jar sour cream (I use light)
1 8 oz jar of mild picante sauce
1 4.5 oz can chopped green chilies, undrained
1 1.4 oz envelope fajita seasoning
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided

Drain spinach well, set aside

Sauté squash, bell pepper and onion in oil in a skillet over medium high heat until tender, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat.

Stir in spinach, chicken and remaining ingredients including 1 ½ cup cheese. Spoon in to lightly greased 13 x 9 inch baking dish.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Spring remaining ½ cup cheese after removing from oven.