Thursday, December 31, 2009

Spinach Manicotti

I bought one of those huge cases of spinach from Costco the other day, and after a few days of trying to eat a spinach salad... I new we would never be able to eat the whole thing before it went bad. So, I tried making my own version of spinach manicotti, and I thought it turned out pretty good. It is made with real, fresh spinach - not frozen like you typically find in stuffed shells. The stuffing is mostly all spinach too, instead of lots of fattening cheeses it is usually made with. If you use a reduced fat ricotta and cottage cheese, you can really cut down on the fat and calories as well. This is a great vegetarian dish that offers a lot of nutrients and protein. And, it tastes great too!

Chicken Tortilla Soup

This soup is SO EASY to make. And it is so good and full of flavor. This is a great base recipe that you could do all kinds of things with. Omit the chicken, and substitute vegetable stock and it would be a great vegetarian meal. Use hot instead of mild enchilada sauce and add in some hot peppers or green chilies to make it spicy. And, of course - there are so many things that you can top this soup with to add even more flavor and variety! Also, this soup will freeze very well - so make a little extra for a busy night!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Green Beans & Eggs

I should try to think of a better name for this recipe. Green beans & eggs just doesn't sound super appetizing - but really, it is! This is an Armenian breakfast food that my husband makes. It may look weird - but it is really so good, and adds a little twist (and nutrition!) to your usual scrambled eggs.

Cracker Toffee

This is one of my favorite desserts. The salty crackers really compliment the sweet toffee and give it a lighter crunch. My mom prefers to make this soft, but I like to make it more hard and crunchy. Either way, you can't really go wrong with butter, sugar and chocolate!

Chicken Tikka Masala

This is a very simple way to cook Indian tikka masala. Just marinade your chicken, combine ingredients, and let your crock pot do the rest! The curry paste that I like to use can be found at almost any grocery store with the Indian foods (usually next to the Asian foods). The brand I use is Patak's Original Medium Tikka Masala Curry Paste with Coriander and Lemon. Don't forget to overload on the fresh cilantro when you serve it. Amazing flavors! Serve this over white or brown rice with Eggplant Curry and Pita Bread - and you've got a complete, delicious, healthy meal!

Eggplant Curry

I tried this Indian recipe for the first time tonight - and we loved it! I got the original recipe from, one of my favorite online recipe sites. I didn't have all of the ingredients listed, so I changed it a bit so that I could make it with what I had. The recipe I wrote out is what I used tonight, and how I think I will always make it. This is also a great vegetarian dish with lots of bold flavors!

Pita Bread

This is Vahe's favorite type of bread I make. He says that it is very similar to Armenian bread. A batch never lasts longer then 24 hours at our house. We love it stuffed with feta, cilantro and tomatoes. It's a great sandwich bread, and it also pairs along great with Indian and Greek foods. After the first rise, I like to roll out each pita, and place it on a piece of lightly floured waxed paper for an easy transfer to the wire cake rack to bake in the oven. The only time I have had this recipe flop is when I overworked the dough after the first rise, trying to roll out the perfect circle. As long as you roll out a flat shape - it will puff just fine, don't worry too much about a perfect and consistent shape. You'll get better with practice! This recipe is also great when made with 1/2 white and 1/2 wheat flour.

White Chocolate & Cranberry Caramel Corn

Addictive. Seriously - this recipe is not for the dieter. You think that you can just eat a couple pieces - but then 10 minutes later, the bowl is almost gone! This is a great base caramel corn recipe - if you aren't a fan of cranberries, top it with whatever sounds good to you, or just make it plain! I've also tried this with peanuts and milk chocolate - but I'm sure there are so many other possibilities.

Gingerbread and Whipped Cream

Winter just doesn't seem right without a little gingerbread! This is a very simple recipe, but really has a great flavor and moist texture. If you don't have applesauce, just substitute it with butter. Using applesauce in place of oil or butter in many recipes is a great way to cut back on the fat content, but still keep the moisture that the recipe needs. I definitely suggest making homemade whipped cream to go along with the gingerbread - it is so much better then store-bought. If you haven't made your own before, try it out - I guarantee you that you won't go back!

Spinach Dip

This is one of my favorite appetizers for a crowd. It tastes very similar to the spinach & artichoke dip at Applebees (that you pay $7 for, for one serving!). Personally, I don't love artichokes, so this base recipe doesn't call for it. But - if you are an artichoke lover, just add some to the dip! Remember to just click on the image to enlarge it or print it out.


The Beginning

I've always wanted to make my own little cookbook of the recipes I use most often. And so - a new project. This year I want to gradually make, photograph, and write down my favorite recipes. I will be posting each recipe that I make as I go, and hopefully this blog will become of use, or inspiration to someone! Even though this is my 2010 project, I've been so excited to start - I've already got a few done! Each page is big enough so that 2 recipes can be printed per page. At the end of the year, I'll assemble the recipes into a book to be printed! Please feel free to print and use these pages for your own personal use. I hope you find some you enjoy!


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