Sunday, June 28, 2015

Meat Sauce for Lasagna and Spaghetti

I make lasagna and spaghetti a couple of times a month.  This is my favorite meat sauce.  I add a pound of hot Italian sausage (and enough water so it can simmer down for 2 or more hours) and otherwise, it is perfect!  This makes enough for one 8" x 8" pan of lasagna and a couple servings of spaghetti. I use half for lasagna and then freeze the other half for spaghetti in the future.

For the lasagna, I use The Pioneer Woman's recipe for the cheese layers and assembly. 


June 14, 2015

We gathered at Mary's for a Mediterranean Meal!


 
 

We started with Spinach Puffs and spinach dip as prepared by Angie and HEB.  I put both eggs in the filling rather than use an egg wash.  I also added lemon zest and juice into the filling as suggested by recipe reviewers.










Mary concocted our Cucumber Basil Lime Gimlet cocktail and it was light and refreshing.  There is something about a cucumber cocktail that makes me feel like I'm at the spa waiting for a massage.  I need to feel that more often!





Our main dish was Mediterranean Style Beef Tips with Tzatziki Sauce.  The beef is marinated with oregano and the yogurt dip was cooling and creamy. 











We prepared the Mediterranean Style Cauliflower together.  This was a delicious way to prepare cauliflower with bright fresh flavors from the basil and tomatoes and a little bit of naughtiness with the Parmesan cheese garnish.





Tonya made a Greek Couscous Salad sans the olives.  I love couscous and this was a way to serve it with crunchy bell peppers and cucumbers.  The feta cheese adds saltiness and bottled salad dressing simplifies the recipe.






We ended our feast with a creamy Vanilla and Almond Fresh Fruit Tart.  These started with frozen pie crusts that taste like homemade when baked and are then filled with a delicious cream and topped with fresh berries.   I could have eaten several of these delicious little pies!

Monday, June 15, 2015

May 3, 2015

We met at Tonya's for a pre-Cinco De Mayo celebration!



We started off with Tonya's Margarita Slushes and Angelica's Seven Layer Dip.  The slushes were delicious and made it way too easy to consume large amounts of tequila!  The seven layer dip was fresh and bright with all the vegetables:  tomato, bell pepper, green onions, avocado and olives.  Very tasty, filling and almost guilt free!


7 Layer Taco Dip

1 (1 ounce) package taco seasoning mix
1 (16 ounce) can refried beans
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (16 ounce) container sour cream
1 (16 ounce) jar salsa
1 large tomato, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 bunch chopped green onions
1 large avocado
1 (6 ounce) can sliced black olives, drained
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

Directions:

1. In a medium bowl, blend the taco seasoning mix and refried beans. Spread the mixture onto a large serving platter.
2. Mix the sour cream and cream cheese in a medium bowl. Spread over the refried beans.
3. Top the layers with salsa. Place a layer of tomato, green bell pepper, green onions and avocado over the salsa, and top with Cheddar cheese. Garnish with black olives


Eat with Chips or favorite vegetable.


Our salad was a unique one called Avocado, Tomato and Cotija Cheese and was perfect for a Cinco de Mayo dinner!  It had a sweet dressing that paired well with the salty cheese and creamy avocado.

Chili and Cheese Rice was a Spanish Rice with a cheesy twist.  It finishes in the oven to melt the cheese and make a slight crust.  

Pinto Beans without jalapenos was our other side dish.  The beans were creamy and perfectly seasoned.





The main dish was Sauteed Potatoes with Chorizo.  Tonya had all the toppings which were displayed in the cutest serving platter.  The pork was served in flour or corn tortillas and these tacos were delicious! The potatoes were perfectly cooked, creamy in the middle with crunchy outsides and the chorizo gave a nice kick.  These would also be excellent with egg as a breakfast taco too.  
























I prepared the desert, and it was a failure.  I used pastry flour instead of cake flour.  Who knew there was a difference?!  NOT ME.  Isn't cake technically pastry?  The icing was nice and I do agree with recipe reviewers that you should add some mango to the cake.  You may also want to follow the reviewers and cut back the sugar.  But for heaven's sake, do not use the wrong flour!!!