Recipes

All posts in the Recipes category

Pasta Roll Ups

Published June 3, 2012 by cookinggamer

One of my favourite things to have is stuffed pastas. Doesn’t matter if it’s manicotti, cannelloni, shells, etc. Anything goes when it comes to these treats. I usually buy these from the grocery stores pre-done because it’s less hassle. Since I am doing that make meals ahead project for my freezer, I decided to look through my cupboards and see what I could find. I found half a box of lasagna noodles sitting there from the last time I made lasagna. I also bought some ricotta on sale at the grocery store the other day. So, why not? Here is my recipe for pasta roll ups. They freeze amazingly well. I used up the last of my roasted chicken alfredo that I froze last time I made roasted chicken leftovers (recipe is in a previous post) but any type of pasta sauce works great in this recipe.

8 pieces of cooked lasagna noodles, cooled (burns if you try to work with it hot :D)

1 cup ricotta

1 onion finely diced

1 tbsp butter

1 tsp garlic salt

1-3 tsp chili flakes (depends on how spicy you want this)

3 cups of pasta sauce

2 cups shredded cheese

In a small frying pan, melt butter and cook onions until softened. Put into a mixing bowl and mix with ricotta, garlic salt and chili flakes. Set aside.

Cut noodles in half and lay flat on working surface.

Divide up ricotta mixture on to pasta and then roll pasta. Place into microwave safe dish seal side down.

Pour pasta sauce over the roll up and top with cheese.

Cover with lid tightly and freeze for up to 6 months.

To serve microwave until internal temperature hit 160F. This is all dependent on if you plan on eating it right away or cooking from frozen. I suggest defrosting it in the fridge over night before microwaving it so it doesn’t take as long.

1 dish down! More to go 😀

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Easy Peasy Sugar Cookies

Published May 28, 2012 by cookinggamer

When we were doing the cookies for the bridal shower this past weekend, I had forgotten where I had put my recipe for sugar cookies. As always, I looked it up on my trusty Ipad. Lo and behold, Martha Stewart to the rescue! This recipe was so easy to make and the best part is the dough is freezable. This makes a great news to me because I made extra dough now that I am home for whenever I have the craving for cookies! 😀

2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup butter room temperature

1 cup granulated sugar

1 lrg egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

In a large bowl cream butter and sugar with a hand mixer until light and fluffly.

Add in egg and vanilla, mix until well mixed.

In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and a salt.

Gradually add dry mix into butter egg mixture. Do this in 3 batches and make sure it is well mixed in before proceeding to next batch.

Roll dough out into a flat disk, cover with saran wrap and refridgerate for 1 hour or freeze in freezer for up to 3 months.

To Bake:with parchmen

Preheat the oven to 350F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Remove dough and let stand for 5-10 minutes.

Roll out dough to 1/8 inch thick between two sheets of floured parchment.

Cut shapes with cookie cutters and using a spatula transfer onto baking sheet.

Bake rotating half way through until edges are golden. 10- 18 minutes depending on the size of the cookies.

Let cool before decorating if desired.

Our cookies turned out perfectly. One of the other bridesmaids brought up some cute pans that we actually pressed the dough into in order to get the unique undering on the cookies. We also found some fun packaging tools to help us out as well to make them extra special for the bride to be! 😀

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Creamy Steak Pasta

Published May 22, 2012 by cookinggamer

Yesterday at 10pm in the evening, I realized that I had forgotten to make my bf his lunch for the next day. Since I am off work for the next 3 weeks while I am waiting to start my new job, I decided it was my girlfriendly duty to make sure the boy eats right and not eat any take out…(cept for the weekend because I’m out of town doing my friend’s bridal shower). So I thought hey I have steak why not make a steak sandwich. But when I went to look for bread… it was all gone… what happens when the bf is addicted to grilled cheeses… *sigh* So what to do? PASTAIFY IT! One of my favourite things to do when I don’t have bread is to make my favourite sandwiches into a nice tossed pasta.

So I am posting the recipe I did yesterday. I used ready made black pepper sauce which you can find usually in the asian food aisle or in the marinades section. If you can’t find it cracked black pepper and a touch of soy sauce also works too!

Serves 2-4

1 fair size steak sliced into strips (I used rib eye for this recipe as it was on sale the other day at the grocery store.)

1 large pepper sliced ( red, yellow, or orange works best)

1 medium onion sliced

3 cup cooked pasta ( I used angel hair because i cooked the quickest and it was late at night)

1/4 cup black pepper sauce

2 cup half and half cream

Heat pan with approximately 1 tbsp of oil and 1 tbsp of butter ( better flavour but can be another tbsp of oil) add peppers and onion. Cook for about 5 minutes or until onions become opaque. Add steaks strips Add black pepper sauce and toss until evenly coated. Added cream and let reduce until thickened usually about half. Add pasta and toss to coat and heat. Serve with garlic bread or some sort of italian bread to soak up all the yummy leftover sauce! 😀

Diablo 3 Cupcakes (aka Strawberry Surprise Cupcakes w/ Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing)

Published May 17, 2012 by cookinggamer

Sorry I haven’t written in a while… the game I have waited for YEARS finally came out. If PC gaming is your thing at all and you haven’t been living under a rock then you would know that the most highly anticipated game, another installment in one of the popular action online rpg ever came out on Tuesday. Diablo 3 is a game that has been at least a decade in the making. It boasts upgrade graphics and a storyline that picks up 20 years after the events that occurred in its predecessor. Now they are saying there is no cow level… oh we will see, Blizzard, we will see!

I won’t lie, the gamer in me, wanted to play all the time. I may have even contemplated playing hooky on Wednesday to stay home and play in my jammies along with my fellow hooky players. But I forged on, I went to work. Another chore I really would love to neglect, is cooking supper. I’m usually super diligent about cooking supper but Tuesday after work, servers were finally up, so I will admit… pizza it was. Yesterday, it was heating up pasta sauce I froze for such an occasion as this along with angel hair pasta. Tonight, bbq burgers with grilled veggies.

But in honour of this glorious game, I named a cupcake I made recently at work after this awesome game. The word Diablo always evoke the colours red and black to me and the diabolically delicious blend of chocolate and strawberries. So this is perfectly fitting in my little world! Hope you guys enjoy it!

Cupcake base:

2 cup sifted flour

1 cup sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup salted butter softened

1/2 cup milk (try to use whole milk, skim milk doesn’t do this recipe justice!)

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

12 frozen whole strawberries

Preheat oven to 375F. Line a muffin pan with 12 cupcake liners. Make sure to grease top and sides of pan well so the cupcakes come out easily. Add in flour half at a time. Add milk and beat until smooth.

Using a hand blender, cream sugar and butter until pale yellow and fluffy. Add in eggs and vanilla. mix well. Batter may look curdled but it’s not.

Divide the batter evenly between the 12 cupcake liners. Drop in the strawberries into the middle of the batter and let the batter cover the strawberries.

Bake in oven for 18 minutes or when toothpick comes out clean from the batter.

Let cool completely before icing.

 

Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing

1/4 cup butter room temperature

8 oz (1pkg) cream cheese

2 1/2 cup icing sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 pkg hot chocolate powder (secret weapon)

3 tbsp -1/8 cup cocoa powder (depends how dark you want the icing)

With hand mixer, beat butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add vanilla extract until smooth.

Slowly add icing sugar and hot chocolate powder mixing as you go.

Add cocoa powder 1 tbsp at a time until right chocolately depth.

Let chill in fridge for 1 hour before using.

I topped mine with a dollop of whipped cream and a fresh strawberry slice.

What is your favourite type of cupcake? What filling would most appeal to you in a cupcake?

Homemade Granola Bars

Published May 12, 2012 by cookinggamer

When I first started dating my boyfriend, he ate a ton of junk food. It made sense at the time to him. He was just 1 dude living with 2 other dudes so take out and chips were the norm to him. If he had a banana that day with his lunch that day it was considered “healthy”. The idea of healthy snacking was him grabbing doritos and salsa because salsa had veggies in it right? When we started living together, I decided it would be a great idea to pack some of these granola bars into his lunch for him so he had a “healthy option”. I mean who doesn’t love chocolate chips right? But everyday when he came home from work, that damn granola bar was the only thing left. One day, I got super fustrated and asked him, “Why do you always eat around the damn granola bar? Aren’t they good?” He then looked at me grabbed the granola bar, opened it and said “You try it then!” So, angrily, I did. Wow… I figured out why he didn’t want to eat it. It was hard and stale. Now I would love to say it’s cause it was sitting in every lunch bag for the pass month so that’s the reasoning, but it was from a new box I just bought the day before hoping a new flavour would change his mind. he then explained to me that because it always tasted like “cardboard” he just figured he won’t eat it. After that, I started researching how to make my own. I went on my very favourite site, the Food Network site and tried out one from there. I still found the recipe too dry. So I decided to make one up. This recipe I am sure someone has made it before I dreamt it up but it is just so nice and moist. They keep a long time and one pan goes quickly at my house.

Now in the recipe I did write down “toppings”. I think this is where you can really create how you want the granola bars to taste or what your dietary needs are. Here is a list of some toppings I love using. Mix and match them to find your perfect blend of toppings!

Chocolate chips (rainbow/plain/mint/peanut butter/ whatever!)

Nuts ( try to find any that are slivered or sliced or chopped, same price less work)

dried fruits (cranberries, raisins, apricots, etc if the fruit is larger like apricots chop them up so it’s not a big chunk when you bite into it)

Shredded coconut

Seeds (pumpkin, flax, sunflower, wheat germs)

Ingredients

4 cups rolled oats

2 cups toppings (1 3/4 cups and 1/4 cup set aside)

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 cup flour

1 cup salted butter/margarine

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 lrg eggs

Preheat oven to 375F. Grease a 13×9 long cake pan.

Melt butter, honey and brown sugar over low flame. Once melted add vanilla and set aside.

Toss together oats, flour, 2 3/4 cups toppings and cinnamon. Slowly add in butter mixture mixing with your hands until mixture is sticking together in clumps. Add eggs one at a time mixing thoroughly before adding the next.

Press mixture into cake pan. Sprinkle remaining toppings on top and bake for 30-40 minutes.

Let bars cool for 2 hours before cutting. They do then to break apart easily because they are so moist so be careful with them.

I usually cut them up and wrap them in plastic and keep them at room temperature. Like I said they do go fast in my house and the guys that my bf works with love them too so sometimes I surprise them with that! I love them for late night snacks especially with a nice glass of milk. Can’t get my keyboard dirty with these! 😀

Spicy Potatoes

Published May 12, 2012 by cookinggamer

One of my very favourite side dishes at my house is my spicy potatoes as I call them. Everyone loves spicy food in my house and this recipe takes no longer than 15 minutes to make. I usually make it as a side dish but sometimes if I am craving it, I will make it as a snack. It’s one of those dishes that I always make sure I have the ingredients on hand because they are versatile and don’t take up a lot of space. Hope you guys enjoy it!

Ingredients:

1/2 pkg of frozen hash browns, small cubes or shredded

1 medium sized onion diced

1 tbsp chili flakes

1/8 cup chopped pickled jalapenos

1/2 pkg onion soup mix

2 cloves of garlic smashed and chopped

Heat a pan with 1 tbsp of butter and 1 tbsp of oil. Add chopped onions, garlic, and chili flakes cook until softened. Add frozen hashbrown and cook for 5 minutes add jalepenos and soup mix. Cook until hashbrowns are golden brown and crispy.

Sometimes I’ll add cheese or sour cream to it as something different. If you  don’t like spicy, try it with regular diced sweet peppers and omit the chili flakes.

Smoothie Operator

Published May 9, 2012 by cookinggamer

Every Wednesday at work, I make smoothies for one of our breakfast options. I used to work at this coffee shop back in Vancouver at a skytrain station. I had the pleasure of helping with making up ideas for the menu since it was a brand new coffee shop and the owners were amazingly enthusiastic about any new ideas. One of my favourite ideas that I contributed was smoothies. Now, anywhere I go, there’s a version of smoothies available whether it be fresh fruit or from a mix. Don’t get me wrong, I think it a great idea or I would’ve never suggested it but I find them always overpriced. It’s an amazing way to get fruits and dairy into our system and I love how portable it is. But at what $4 a pop or most places more for a decent sized cup, I’d much rather make them at home! For the same price point, I can make a whole jug of the nutrious goodness right at home in mere minutes! I find if you keep the smoothies in the fridge and don’t mind stirring it before drinking them, I can keep a jug in the fridge for about 3 days. I like sending the bf to work with one so he can have one as he is driving to work and I don’t have to worry about him ordering some breakfast sandwich instead. I would say here’s a recipe for a smoothie but honestly, it’s really up to your imagination to make it up. I could however provide you with a simple formula for it!

1/2 cup yogurt ( I prefer vanilla because it’s nice and sweet)

9 oz of frozen fruit ( i prefer frozen because then I don’t have to add ice to dilute the flavour)

1.5 cup of fruit juice or milk or a combination of both

1-2 tbsp of honey (optional if the fruit is already a super sweet fruit like mangos or apples)

1 banana (optional)

Throw everything in a blender and volia! Fruit smoothie! Enjoy!