Caramelized Onions and Red Wine Naan Pizzas

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I don’t know what’s wrong with me blogging lately – I just have zero motivation to do it. I’ve also lost a lot of motivation for cooking. I’m hoping to change it up in the New Year, mostly because I like to look back and create this sort of cookbook of recipes I liked enough to eat again. So I think a new year’s resolution is going to be to update this thing like once a week. That shouldn’t be impossible.

This year has just been zipping by. I don’t know where this year went. And also, this holiday season has just snuck up on me. I’m going to my parents’ on Wednesday until Sunday. Then back home to ring in 2016.

This month’s Alphabakes is all about the letter “N.” Caroline and Ros are letting the letter “N” stand for NOEL, so I’m expecting they’ll be receiving a ton of sweet treats baked up specially for the holidays! I veered in a different direction this month.

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Caramelized Onion and Red Wine Naan Pizzas
(original)

Ingredients
2 pieces of pre-made garlic naan
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil, divided
1 onion, sliced
4 oz mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup red wine (I used the rest of the Bogel zinfandel I had drank over the weekend)
2 tbsp parsley, minced
1/2 tbsp rosemary, minced
1 cup mozzarella, shredded
1/4 cup feta
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425.
  2. In a pan, heat 1 tbsp olive oil. Add the onions and cook them over medium-high heat, allowing them to brown. Make sure they do not burn by stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  3. In the pan, heat the remaining 1/2 tbsp of olive oil. Cook the mushrooms for 4 minutes, until the mushrooms are tender.
  4. Pour in the wine, parsley, and rosemary with the mushrooms. Cook until the mushrooms have soaked up the wine. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Place your naan on a baking sheet.
  6. Sprinkle the naan with the mozzarella. Top with the onions. Then top with the mushrooms. Finish by sprinkling feta on top.
  7. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

* serves 2
* This is also being shared with Mix It Up Monday

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Butternut Squash Parmigiana

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I was going to make eggplant parmigiana, but I decided last week mid-week that I wasn’t going to do any grocery shipping and I was going to use the ingredients I had in the house. I had planned to make this eggplant parmigiana, but didn’t have an eggplant . . . so I searched through my fridge and found a butternut squash that was asking for me to use it. I’ve made mini pizzas on butternut squash before, so I figured this was a good choice of foods to make parmigiana with. I really love butternut squash. This meal turned out to be decadent – with the sweetness of the squash mixed with the salty of the tomato sauce . . . YUM!!! I’m going to not go grocery shopping more and force myself to make do with what I have in the house, because this was magical.

Butternut Squash Parmigiana

Ingredients
3 cups crushed tomatoes
2 medium butternut squash
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
1 cup parmesan cheese, grated

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350. Slice the squash into slices 1/3 of an inch thick. Make sure you clean out the center of the squash, disposing of the seeds.

2. Brush the squash slices with olive oil. Place on a baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, or until tender.

3. Raise oven heat to 400. Place the tender squash slices in a casserole dish, layering the bottom of the dish. Spoon the tomato sauce on top, followed by the mozzarella, and then the parmesan.

4. Cover the casserole dish with foil. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes.

5. Cool for 10 minutes before enjoying!

* serves 4
* shared with Tasty Tuesdays

Spaghetti and Bacon Meatballs

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This month’s Food ‘n Flix movie of the month is a double feature: Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs and it’s sequel hosted by Culinary Adventures with Camilla. When I first saw this movie, a few years back, I loved it. My boyfriend and I even adopted the way they kiss.

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Anyway, Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs was originally a child’s book. I never experienced the children’s book though, so the movie has been my sole experience with the story.

The movie is about Flint Lockwood, an aspiring scientist. His newest creation is a machine that can transform water into food. But, it backfires and it begins raining food, meatballs included. Both the first movie and its sequel, both feature a ton of food (and even food monsters!)

 

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I could have been more creative and made something else from the movie, but alas, I chose the meatballs for the movie’s namesake. My boyfriend has the palette of a little boy and loves spaghetti and meatballs. The meatballs I made have hunks of cheese in them, pieces of bacon, and were just all around delicious.

Anyway, you still have time to participate in this month’s movie! Check it out here.

Spaghetti and Bacon Meatballs

Ingredients
4 pieces bacon
1/2 lb ground beef
1/2 tbsp onion powder
1/8 tsp paprika
1/4 cup bread crumbs
2 tsp ground black pepper
3 oz mozzarella, cut into chunks
1 tbsp chicken broth
14 oz marinara sauce
4 oz spaghetti noodles

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place the bacon on the baking sheet. Bake for 8 minutes, until crisp. Set aside and let cool. Cut into pieces.

2. In a large bowl combine the bacon, ground beef, onion powder, paprika, bread crumbs, pepper, mozzarella, and chicken broth together with your hands. Shape the meat into balls (like ping pong balls.) Place on baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees until the meatballs are cooked all the way through (about 10 minutes.)

3. Cook the noodles per the box directions and heat up the marinara.

4. When the meatballs are done, put them in the marinara sauce. Serve on top of spaghetti noodles.

* serves 2

FoodnFlix* Besides Food ‘n Flix, this recipe is being shared with Weekend Cooking

 

 

 

Cheesy Chicken Parmesan (take two)

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I rarely remake dishes and then reblog about them. I mean, I often make recipes that I’ve made and posted about. But I just don’t usually post about them again, because what’s done is done. Right?

But this month, Cooking Around The World traveled to Italy. Whenever I think about Italian food, I think of chicken parmesan, because that’s what I order when I go to any Italian restaurant. Almost a year ago I posted a blog about my Cheesy Chicken Parmesan dish and have yet to find a chicken parmesan dish I prefer more.

GET THE RECIPE HERE

Baked Lasagna Sandwich

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I had no idea studying for the bar exam would be such a soul sucking feat. On days when I have the review class I’m there for at least 4 hours, to come home to 4 hours of homework (at least). The weekends provide me no break. For instance, today, I woke up and did an hour and a half of work, went out for an hour with my mom, did another hour and a half of work, drove from San Francisco to Sacramento with traffic for a total of 2 1/2 hours, and then worked from 6-11. I had no idea studying would be this awful. It’s not that this information was unknown to me, but I think not knowing made it more bearable to graduate. I mean, knowing that I was graduating just to study nearly eight hours a day would have been kind of devastating.

Anyway, bar prep isn’t taking away from my cooking (thought it will from my updating.)

I got this recipe through a swap. It was easy, filling, and kind of reminded me of being a little kid (though I never got these when I was little.)

Baked Lasagna Sandwich

Ingredients
4 hoagie buns
1/2 lb ground beef
1/2 cup spaghetti sauce
1/2 tbsp garlic powder
1/2 tbsp dried basil
1/2 cup ricotta
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup cheddar, shredded
1/2 cup mozzarella, shredded

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350. Make a wide V-shaped cut in the center of each of the buns, cutting down 1-inch from the bottom. Remove the cut out portions and save for another use. Set aside.

2. In a large skillet cook the beef over medium heat, until no longer pink. Drain off any fat. Add the spaghetti sauce, garlic powder, and basil. Cook for  minutes.

3. In a bowl combine the ricotta, Parmesan, half of the cheddar, and half of the mozzarella. Spoon the meat mixture into the buns. Top with the cheese mixture. Place on a baking sheet. Cover loosely with foil and bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes.

4. Uncover. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Return to the oven for 3 minutes, or until the cheese has melted.

* serves 4
* shared with Weekend Cooking

weekend cooking

Roasted Italian Sausage with Potatoes and Mushrooms

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This month at Alphabakes, the letter of the month is I. Caroline and Ros host Alphabakes every month – taking turns of who features it on her blog.

I racked my brain this month for something I could make with an I. I got stuck on Italian sausages, so I decided to take the savory route this month. This dish was super easy to make and had a lot of flavor. It took a while in the oven, but most of that time didn’t include actual labor. I love it when I can let the dish do its own thing while I do mine.

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Roasted Italian Sausage with Potatoes and Mushrooms
(inspiration)

Ingredients
1 garlic clove
1/4 tsp dried rosemary
1/4 tsp dried thyme
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tbsp olive oil
4 medium potatoes, quartered
1 lb sweet Italian sausage, pushed out of the casing
2 onions, cut into chunks
1 lb mushrooms, sliced
4 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 400.

2. Combine herbs, olive oil, salt, and pepper to the potatoes. Toss to mix.

3. Place the sausage and potatoes in a roasting dish. Roast for 30 minutes.

4. Add the onions and mushrooms. Roast for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.

5. Sprinkle with mozzarella and leave in the oven for 5 more minutes.

* serves 6
* Besides Alphabakes, this recipe is being shared with Mix It Up Monday & Mealtime Monday

Tuna Casserole

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This month at Belleau’s Kitchen Dom moved away from cookbooks from the random recipe this month. To pick the Random Recipe this month, Dom instructed us to randomly pick a recipe from our cuttings, memories, and clippings. My mom has a whole stack of recipes scribbled down on pieces of paper, magazine clippings, and the like. But the closest I have to anything of this sort is a recipe box of recipes I made, enjoyed, and wrote down. I have too big of a problem cutting my magazines apart, so I wind up keeping the entire magazines.

Dom, you should do a random food magazine round up one month, because I have a ton of those.

Since I don’t really have any clippings, I went the “memory” route. I closed my eyes and pulled a recipe out of my bright red recipe box. I have no idea where this recipe came from, but I’d made it in the past and oh my god, so easy. For the minimal amount of effort this dish takes to make, it tastes delicious.

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Tuna Casserole

Ingredients
2 cups dry pasta
1 can tuna, drained
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup mozzarella, shredded
bread crumbs, as needed

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Boil water in a pot. Add the pasta and cook until al dente and drain. Mix the tuna, cream of mushroom soup, and cheese in with the pasta. Pour into a casserole dish and cover with bread crumbs as desired. Bake for 15 minutes.

* serves 2
* Besides Random Recipes, this dish has been shared with Tried and True Recipe Party, Weekend Cooking, & Strut Your Stuff Saturday

Eggplant Parmesan

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I know I say this every time I post a recipe that uses eggplant: I really don’t like eggplant. But I have this tendency when I don’t like certain foods to keep making them in different ways. I figure that it isn’t always the actual food I dislike, but the preparation of the food. The eggplant parmesan was a great way to eat eggplant. It didn’t even taste like eggplant. I first breaded and fried it and then baked it.

In retrospect though I should have served it with something else. I had just made the eggplant, but it would have been good with pasta or even some garlic bread.

I loved the fresh basil. I love basil anyway, but for some reason it tasted even better than usual.

Eggplant Parmesan
(source)

Ingredients
1/2 eggplant, cut into 4 slices
1 15-oz can whole tomatoes
1 clove garlic, peeled
a glug of olive oil
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1 eggs, beaten
6 oz mozzarella, sliced
1/4 cup basil leaves, chopped

Directions

1. 2 hours before you’re ready to start cooking, place the eggplant in a colander. Sprinkle the eggplant with salt. Set over a sink and let sit for 2 hours.

2. Once the 2 hours are passed, press the eggplant slices with a paper towel to remove the excess moisture.

3. In a food processor combine the tomatoes, garlic, and the glug of olive oil. Process until well combined and chopped. Season with pepper. Set aside.

4. In a shallow dish combine the flour and breadcrumbs. In another shall dish beat the egg. Dip each slice of eggplant in the egg and then dredge in the breadcrumb mixture.

5. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil. Once hot, add the eggplant slices. Fry until golden brown. Flip and fry the other side until golden brown.

6.  Preheat the oven to 350. Add 1/2 cup of tomato sauce to the bottom of a casserole dish. Place 2 slices of eggplant in the casserole dish. Use 1/2 of the mozzarella to layer the eggplant. Place the basil on top of the mozzarella. Layer another slice of eggplant onto each stack. Cover with the remaining sauce and then the remaining cheese.

7. Bake for 30 minutes and allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving.

* serves 2
* shared with Foodie Friends Friday, Weekend Potluck, Foodie Friday, and Foodie Friday

Baked Orzo with Kale and Cheese

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Finding new ways to incorporate my veggies into my stomach has been interesting. I’m trying to include at least one veggie into my dinners. This is something I always intend to do, but have been slacking at considerably. I’m such a meat and potatoes girl. A pizza and ice cream girl. I like carbs and I like sweets and I like junk food. It’s a struggle to get my head into thinking otherwise. But I started this new year with a bang and so far have been pretty successful.

This was a smitten kitchen recipe which I slightly altered to make it work with the ingredients I had.

Baked Orzo with Kale and Cheese
(inspiration)

Ingredients
2 tbsp olive oil
1 celery stalk, diced
1/2 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 oz uncooked orzo
1/2 tsp tomato paste
3/4 cup vegetable broth
1/2 tsp lemon zest
2 oz shredded mozzarella
3/4 oz grated Parmesan
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1/2 head kale, sliced into thin ribbons
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

1. Preheat your oven to 350. Heat a large pan over medium heat. Add the olive oil and saute the celery for 3 minutes. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 5 more minutes.  Stir in the orzo and tomato paste and cook for 2 more minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the mozzarella, Parmesan, tomatoes, kale, lemon zest, vegetable broth, and salt and pepper. Stir well to combine.

2. Transfer the mixture to a baking dish. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 20 more minutes.

* serves 2
* shared with Mix It Up Monday & Mealtime Monday 

Slow Cooker Coq Au Vin Two Ways

This month at Food ‘n Flix we’re watching the movie Julie & Julia. The movie is about a blogger, Julie Powell, who blogs for one year, making each one of Julia Child’s recipes from the famous cookbook The Art of French Cooking.

When this movie first came out I saw it with my mom in theaters. We both loved it so much that I bought her Julia Child’s cookbook for Christmas. For Mother’s Day she requested from my brother and me that we make her Boeuf Bourguignon. It was time consuming when we made it, but at least we didn’t have the same disaster Julie did when she made it. That was the first Julia Child recipe I made. It was yummy, but a lot of her recipes are far too time consuming for my typical day-to-day cooking.

(Meryl Streep plays an excellent Julia Child.)

For my recipe this month I had planned to make something with Hollandaise sauce. But the night I was making the dinner, it just flopped. The sauce was butter. I wasn’t about to pour melted butter onto a dish if it wasn’t at least sauce. So I left the sauce off and had my asparagus plain. I went back to the drawing board.

I was googling around looking at Julia Child recipes to make and I somehow stumbled upon this slow cooker recipe. This was the solution for the time consuming French food! Make it in a slow cooker! I use my slow cooker every Monday and I cook enough food to get at least two meals out of it – sometimes I get more. And actually, even though I’m presenting this dish as Coq Au Vin two ways, I actually still have more in the fridge that I’m probably going to make a sandwich out of tomorrow for lunch. But anyway, I decided to skip all the Julia Child’s technique and use the slow cooker instead.

Coming home from class yesterday to my house smelling like delicious, delicious chicken. And the flavors in my mouth were even more than I had hoped for. The dish was great. It was definitely more work for a slow cooker meal than I usually put in, but that had a great impact on the flavor of the dish.

This rendition of a Julia Child’s dish was perfect. I’m sure Julia wouldn’t exactly be proud of me tossing things in a slow cooker and walking away . . . But hey, sometimes we gotta do what we gotta do to get yummy food. And I switched the cognac for marsala, but it’s just because I couldn’t justify buying cognac when I don’t really drink ever.

I’ll break down the recipes like this: First I’ll post the crock pot recipe for the chicken. Then I’ll breakdown each dish into it’s own mini-recipe using the slow cooked chicken. And shoot – I know Julia Child would not be happy with this pasta bake coq au vin, but I had class until 8:15! I’m looking for simplicity!

The entire recipe makes 6 servings. Each mini-recipe makes 2 servings.

Slow Cooker Coq Au Vin

Ingredients
6 chicken thighs
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
salt and pepper, to taste
3 tbsp olive oil
4 slices bacon, cut into pieces
1 onion, sliced
1/2 lb mushrooms, sliced
1 cup red wine
1/4 cup marsala wine
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried oregano
1 bay leaf

Directions

1. In a large ziplock bag, combine the flour, salt, pepper, and chicken. Shake the bag to coat the chicken with flour.

2. In a skillet heat 2 tbsp of olive oil. Add the chicken and cook for about 3 minutes on each side, allowing to brown. Stir the remainder of the flour from the bag into the skillet. Remove the browned chicken and any juice and place in the slow cooker.

3. In the same skillet, heat the remaining olive oil. Saute the bacon, mushrooms, and onions for about 4 minutes, until they begin to soften. Drain any excess fat from the skillet and add the mushrooms, onions, and bacon to the slow cooker.

4. Mix together the wines, tomato paste, garlic, thyme, oregano, and bay leaf into the slow cooker. Cook on low for 8 hours.

DAY 1: Coq Au Vin and Mashed Potatoes

Ingredients
1/3 coq au vin
4 red potatoes, scrubbed and cubed
2 tbsp half&half
3 tbsp margarine
salt to taste

Directions

1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the potatoes and cook 20 minutes or until tender. Drain.

2. Add the half&half, margarine, and salt. Mash the potatoes.

3. Serve the chicken over potatoes.

DAY 2: Coq Au Vin Pasta Bake

Ingredients
1/3 coq au vin
6 oz pasta
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese

Directions

1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain.

2. Pull the chicken off the bone and tear into pieces. Stir in the chicken and some of the sauce into the pasta and half the cheese.

3. Top with the remaining cheese.

4. Bake in an oven preheated to 350 for 20 minutes.

* Made for Food ‘n Flix hosted by La Cocina de Leslie (learn about joining this month’s movie watching here!)
* Also being shared with Delicious Dishes, Tuesdays at the Table,  Tasty Tuesdays, Tasteful Tuesdays, Recipe Box, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, & Wednesday Extravaganza