Baked Cheesy Ravioli

Sometimes I wish I had a little rat to help me around the kitchen. There are days when I feel so uninspired, when everything I make just turns out wrong. There are other times when I get home from work and my feet hurt so badly, my head feels like it’s full of bricks, and I just want to lay down. On those nights I usually order pizza, or get some other carry in. But what if I had my own little rat to cook for me?

This month the Food ‘n Flix movie is Ratatouille, hosted by The Seventh Level of Boredom.

When I was deciding what to make this month, I knew I could make ratatouille. While I’ve never made the dish before and it would have been an opportune time, to make the dish that the movie is named after, I just felt like it was too predictable. My motivation in determining what food I should make this month required me to think like a rat.

Now, Remy is a pretty high-class little rat. He knows what’s good and he likes it to be perfect. However, if I was a rat, I think I would have more simplistic tastes. I mean, that’s not different from now. I like my food simple, to the point, and quick to make. I have no reason to believe that the rat version of myself would want anything different.

I always think that mice and rats like cheese. Who knows if this is actually true, but this is how I decided what to make. This cheesy baked ravioli was incredibly easy to make. It kind of tasted like lasagna, but was a lot easier to make.

Baked Cheesy Ravioli

Ingredients
2 cups baby spinach
2 1/2 cups cheese ravioli
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups pasta sauce
1 tomato, sliced
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
handful of shredded Parmesan cheese

Directions

1.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

2. Spray a casserole dish with cooking spray. Layer the bottom of the dish with 3/4 of the baby spinach.

3. In a large bowl combine the ravioli, ricotta,  and pasta sauce. Toss with your hands and make sure it’s mixed well.

4. Pour the ravioli into the casserole dish and top with the remaining baby spinach. Top with both the shredded mozzarella and cheddar cheeses. Place the slices of tomatoes on top and then sprinkle with basil, oregano, and Parmesan cheese.

5. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in the oven for 1 hour. After the hour is up put the casserole dish under the broiler, until brown and bubbly.

* serves 2 hearty sized servings

Creamy Chicken and Rice with Eggplant

Eggplant and me usually don’t get along. It wasn’t until this dish that I actually appreciated the flavor and the texture of the purple vegetable that has given me such grief before. I was actually skeptical to try this recipe, just because of my experiences in the past with eggplant where I felt like I was eating a nasty sponge. I guess I like my eggplant really cooked, so it’s really soft and nice.

I found this eggplant recipe in an old cookbook that my mom gave me, Weight Watchers International Cookbook. Considering this is a Weight Watchers cookbook and not necessarily authentic, I am not claiming to know anything about Portuguese food. What I will tell you is this recipe was in the Portugal section of the book. Because of that I searched the internet (or.. allrecipes.com) for a Portuguese entree. Again, I don’t know if it’s authentic at all, but the internet told me and sometimes I half believe the internet.

Regardless of where these dishes originated, both the chicken and the rice paired perfectly together. I would make both of these again.

Creamy Chicken

Ingredients
2 tbsp Brummel&Brown
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
3/4 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup white wine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream

Directions

1. Melt the yogurt spread in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken breasts and cook until browned on both sides. Pour in the chicken stock and white wine. Add the garlic. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Sprinkle flour over the top of everything in the skillet and cover with a lid. Simmer for 40-45 minutes.

2. When the chicken is cooked through, remove to a dish and keep warm. Boil the liquid in the skillet until it’s reduce to 3/4 cups. Whisk the heavy cream into the reduced liquid. Return the chicken to the pan and heat through.

3. Serve the cream sauce over the chicken.

* makes 2 servings
* 418 calories per serving

Eggplant with Rice

Ingredients
2 cups eggplant, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup chicken broth
4 oz onion, chopped
1 cup cooked rice

Directions

1. In a bowl, sprinkle eggplant with salt. Let sit for one hour. Drain off liquid.

2. In a covered skillet, cook onions in 1/4 cup of the bouillon, until tender. Add the eggplant and continue to cook until the eggplant is to your desired softness.

3. Add the rice and the remaining broth. Heat through.

* makes 4 servings
* 82 calories per serving

Pumpkin Pancakes

I’ve been telling my mom how easy pancakes are to make. I’m not a fan of the premade pancake mix, where you add oil, stir a little, and fry the cakes. Rather, I like making my pancakes with flour, buttermilk, and whatever other flavors the specific pancake requires.

In the spirit of fall I made pumpkin pancakes for my family during my visit home this weekend. My dad went to the farmers’ market that morning and came home with a delicious apple butter. The combination of the apple and the butter was divine.

Everyone in my family was so stoked over the pumpkin pancakes that we have decided that on Christmas morning I’ll be making pancakes. They will be a combination of Eggnog Pancakes and Gingerbread Pancakes. I’m sure you’ll hear all about those when they happen, as well as any pancakes in the interim.

Pumpkin Pancakes

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups flour
1/3 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ginger
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 cup pureed pumpkin
3/4 cup milk
1/4 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 egg – however you want to make that work, I separated half of an egg with my hands

Directions

1. In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients. In the center create a well.

2. Mix the milk and vinegar together and let sit for about 5 minutes.

3. In the well of the dry ingredients pour in the pumpkin, soured milk, and egg. Stir the batter well to combine and to make sure there are not any dry portions of the mixture.

4. In a greased griddle spoon 1/4 cup portions of pancake. When the pancakes start bubbling on the surface, flip and cook until golden brown on both sides.

* makes about 12 pancakes

Spiced Apple Coffee Cake

Here’s a random factoid about me: When I’m stressed I bake. This is a habit I developed during undergrad. Back then it worked out really well. I lived in this huge house that had seven of us in it. Half of the housemates were boys. I could bake something during a moment of stress, eat one piece of whatever it was I made, and then not have to worry about shoving the rest of the treat in my face. The boys that I lived with loved when I was stressed because it meant they could guarantee snacks. Sometimes I’d even come into the kitchen, feeling overwhelmed, and there’d be a cookbook already opened to a page of what someone in the house was desiring.

Like I said, it worked well for everyone. I graduated from college without going into a sugar coma.

Law school however is proving differently. Despite losing a great deal of weight, I am having a harder time resisting my goodies. I don’t want to feed them all to my boyfriend, because well.. He doesn’t really need them. I have contemplated bringing them in to work, but I don’t know why that hasn’t actually happened yet.

Anyway, one thing I’ve found is that if I bake something solely for breakfast and eat it only for breakfast, things are a little more in control.
This apple cake was absolutely delicious. I made it last all week by having a piece for breakfast. Despite it not getting eaten in the course of 24 hours, it stayed surprisingly moist.

My landlord has since brought me fresh pears over and this weekend I’m going to make a pear version of this cake. I’m also making brownies, but that’s a different story.

Spiced Apple Coffee Cake

INGREDIENTS

for the cake..
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp kosher salt
3 apples, peeled, cored, and cut into cubes
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp ground cinnamon
8 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs

for the glaze..
3/4 cup powdered sugar
3 tbsp sweetened condensed milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp water

DIRECTIONS
1. In a medium bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

2. In another bowl combine the apples, the vinegar, the brown sugar, cardamom, and cinnamon. Toss to combine and set aside.

3. In a bowl of a stand mixer beat the butter, cream cheese, and sugar until creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time scraping down the sides of the bowl regularly. Add the flour in three additions and beat until smooth. Using a rubber spatula fold the apples into the batter. Spoon the batter into a springform pan that has been sprayed with Pam.

4. Bake in an oven set to 350 for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes.

5. In a small bowl combine the ingredients for the glaze. Combine.

6. Remove the sides of the pan and place the cake on a wire rack with wax paper underneath. Drizzle the glaze on top of the cake and allow to cool to room temperature.

Stuffed Chicken

On myfitnesspal.com I am part of a group called RECIPE SWAP. Every week on RECIPE SWAP two members from the group share a dish for everyone else in the group to make. The idea is so that people can share recipes and try new foods. So far I’ve found a lot of yummy recipes from being in this group. I don’t think there’s anything I’ve made so far that I was unhappy with.

Every time I’ve made a recipe from RECIPE SWAP I’ve found myself having to substitute things for other things to be cost effective. For instance, this stuffed chicken recipe called for Sun Dried Tomato Pesto. Since I didn’t have that product, but I did have regular pesto, I opted to use the ingredient I had instead of buying something else. Also, the original recipe called for goat cheese. Goat cheese isn’t something I normally have on hand, but I did have feta in the fridge, so I opted for feta instead.

I served this meal with green beans. I’m not going to share the green been recipe because it wasn’t my favorite recipe of all time. I’ve definitely had green beans prepared tastier. It also would have been nice to have it paired with a piece of bread from a crusty loaf, but that didn’t happen for this meal. Maybe next time!

Stuffed Chicken

Ingredients
2 tbsp basil pesto
1/2 tsp olive oil
2 tbsp crumbled feta cheese
1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken breast (2 breasts)

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 375. Make a long incision along the length of each breast to create a pocket. Pound the chicken to flatten it.

2. Combine the pesto and feta cheese in a small bowl. Spread a portion of the mixture into the pocket of the chicken. Fold the chicken closed and place it in a baking dish. Repeat for each breast. With the leftover pesto, spread over the top of the chicken breasts.

3. Drizzle the olive oil over the chicken and bake for 40 minutes.

* serves 2
* 234 calories per serving
* This recipe was inspired by the dish sweetiepie31612 shared on RECIPE SWAP.

Shrimp in Jalapeno Lemon Cream Sauce

This is my first food post here on the new home of The Law Student’s Cookbook. One of the things about being a law student is the necessity of ease. My life is so hectic and crazy, that sometimes I just need things to be simple. While blogger has done me good for the length of me using it, I found that wordpress is definitely more customizable. And this customization is so easily accomplished. Literally, it’s as simple as pushing a few buttons instead of having to understand some sort of coding that I used to know, but has been replaced in my head with information about evidence, wills and trusts, and capital punishment law. None of that is very useful to running a blog that looks the way I want it to.

Anyway – this dish was very tasty. I have never made a spicy cream sauce before and I never would have considered mixing all these flavors together before. It came out better than I had expected, to be honest.

Shrimp in Jalapeno Lemon Cream Sauce

Ingredients
2 lbs peeled and deveined shrimp
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp Brummel&Brown yogurt spread
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 green onions, finely diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped fine
1 tbsp honey
1/3 cup chicken broth
3/4 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1. Place the shrimp in a bowl and season with salt and pepper.

2. Heat a skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil and 1 tbsp of the yogurt spread.

3. Cook the shrimp until they are no longer translucent, about 3 minutes. Remove the shrimp and set aside.

4. Add the green onions and garlic and cook for one minute. Add the lemon juice, jalapeno, and honey and stir for another minute. Add the chicken stock to deglaze the pan. Allow the liquid to reduce for a couple of minutes until thick.

5. Place the cream in a cup and combine with 3 tbsp of the hot liquid. Stir well. Pour the cream mixture into the skillet with the rest of the liquid. Allow the cream to a come to a foam. Add 1 tbsp of the Brummel&Brown spread. Add the shrimp and any juice from the plate back in with the sauce. Stir to coat and heat for about a minute.

6. Serve over noodles or rice.

* serves 4
* 474 calories per serving
* the noodles (or rice) are not included in the calorie calculation

The Law Student’s Cookbook Has Found A New Home

The Law Student’s Cookbook has moved out of its Blogspot location and now resides here on WordPress, because I have come to learn that I like the layout of the site more.

All the recipes from the original home of the Law Student’s Cookbook will remain there, but they will be archived in this post.

BAKED GOODS
Hot Dog Crescent Rolls
Lemon Verbena Cinnamon Rolls
Peanut Butter Cheesecake with Caramelized Bananas
Pistachio Cake
Zucchini Carrot Bread

BEANS
Bean Salad
Black Bean and Corn Salad 
Roasted Sweet Potato, Shrimp, and Black Bean Salad

BEEF
Beef and Broccoli
Ground Beef Tostadas
Red Onion Steak Sandwich
Shepherd’s Pie 

BREAKFAST
Chocolate Chip Pancakes
Coconut Pancakes 
Cottage Cheese Fruit Bowl
Lemon Verbena Cinnamon Rolls
Mixed Berry Pancakes
Pound Cake French Toast
Spinach, Mushroom, and Goetta Scramble
Sweet Potato Smoothie 

CHICKEN
BBQ Chicken Sandwich
Cajun Chicken Pasta
Cantonese Chicken Bok Choy Stir-Fry
Chicken Coconut Soup
Chicken Empanadas 
Chicken Tikka Masala
Curried Chicken on Toasted Pita
Lemon-Lime Chicken Broil
Spicy Chicken Spaghetti
Spicy Peanut Butter Chicken over Rice
Thai Breaded Chicken Fillets
White Chili

ICE CREAM
Strawberry-Buttermilk Gelato 

PASTA
Cajun Chicken Pasta
Cheesy Turkey Penne
Hoisin Noodles with Turkey and Green Beans
Mushroom Pasta Salad
Shrimp Shells
Spicy Chicken Spaghetti 
Vegetable Lasagna
Vegetable Lo Mein 

PORK
Beer Pork Chops with Mushrooms
Gingered Pork Chops in Orange Juice
Pork Chops with Bourbon Mushroom Sauce

POTATO
Ground Turkey with Potatoes and Peas
Orange Mashed Potatoes
Potato Salad
Shepherd’s Pie

RICE
Mexican Sour Cream Rice
Spanish Rice
Vegetable Biryani  

SANDWICHES
BBQ Chicken Sandwich
Grilled Mozzarella “BST”
Red Onion Steak Sandwich

SEAFOOD
Baked Shrimp with Feta
Citrus Shrimp with Vegetable Slaw
Curried Swai
Honey Lime Fish Tacos with Tomatillo Sauce
Lemon Pepper Shrimp Scampi
Mustard Crusted Tilapia
Paprika Roasted Salmon
Roasted Sweet Potato, Black Bean, and Shrimp Salad
Shrimp Shells
Tilapia Tostadas with Roasted Corn Relish

SOUP
Chicken Coconut Soup 

TURKEY
Cheesy Turkey Penne
Curried Turkey Burgers
Ground Turkey with Potatoes and Peas
Hoisin Noodles with Turkey and Green Beans
Turkey Mini Meatloaves

VEGETABLES
Black Bean and Corn Salad
Curried Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Green Bean Casserole
Grilled Asparagus Salad
Roasted Root Veggies
Sauteed Garlic Asparagus
Spicy Green Beans
Stir-Fried Mushrooms and Corn
Sweet Potato Roti
Sweet Potato Tacos
Wilted Spinach