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Posts Tagged ‘cheese’

Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

Last night I went searching through my cookbooks to find something scrumptious to eat for dinner. I found exactly what I was looking for in a Pampered Chef cookbook. Since I haven’t posted any delicious recipes in a bit, it’s time to introduce you to the chicken and broccoli ring.

Special note: Pampered Chef cookbooks have a ton of their own ingredients and products in them that you would be required to buy if you followed the recipe exactly as it is published. Because I’m (sadly) not rich and can’t afford to buy those things, I changed the recipe to fit my needs. Here’s my rendition:

Ingredients:

  • 1 package (8 ounces) refrigerated crescent rolls (I used the reduced fat kind)
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped cooked chicken
  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped cooked broccoli
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (I used a little bit more)
  • 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 2 teaspoons mayonnaise (I used cream cheese instead)
  • 1 small clove garlic, pressed (throw this clove into the mix when you’re cooking the vegetables together)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons slivered almonds

This is the picture from the cookbook. Follow this if you have trouble assembling your ring.

Step 1: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Unroll crescent rolls; separate into eight triangles.

Step 2: Arrange triangles, slightly overlapping, in a circle on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Make sure the wide ends are 3 inches from the edge of the baking sheet. Roll wide ends of dough toward center to create a 3 inch opening. (If this sounds confusing, just look at the picture and follow that.)

Step 3: Combine chicken, broccoli, garlic, bell pepper, cheese, mayo (or cream cheese), and salt. Mix well.

Step 4: Scoop filling evenly over dough in a continuous circle. Bring points of triangles up over filling and tuck under dough at center for form a ring. (Don’t worry, the filling will show a little bit.)

Step 5: Lightly brush dough with egg white and sprinkle the whole ring with almonds. Bake it for 25-30 minutes or until deep golden brown.

When you eat this, you will not be disappointed! It’s like a cheese, chicken, and broccoli explosion.

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Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

I just made this:

IMG_4830

Doesn’t it look delicious? Well, it is. (As I sit here stuffing my mouth with it.) Here’s the recipe…

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 small green bell pepper, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried leaf basil, crumbled
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried leaf oregano, crumbled
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or small clove garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 8 ounces ziti or elbow macaroni, cooked and drained
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese, divided

Step 1: Saute ground beef, onion, and green bell pepper in a large skillet until onion is tender and beef is browned.

Step 2: Drain off excess fat; add tomatoes, tomato sauce, basil, oregano, garlic powder, salt and pepper.

Step 3: Stir well; stir in ziti or elbow macaroni and 1 cup of the cheese; transfer to a casserole dish.

Step 4: Top with the remaining cheese and bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until bubbly.

Serves 6.

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Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

Well, gee. I didn’t know Willie Nelson had his own Sirius satellite radio station. The old timer’s radio spot is called Willie’s Place and you can find all of his favorite music, including his own.

Help Willie Nelson in his campaign to save farms. Photo from 1019rxp.com.

Help Willie Nelson in his campaign to save farms. Photo from 1019rxp.com.

Tomorrow, Willie will be playing all of Farm Aid 2009 in its entirety on the station. The event will kick off at 2 pm, so make sure you’re near your satellite radio (or your friend’s or family member’s). Some of the featured performances will be from Willie himself, along with Neil Young, John Mellencamp, Dave Matthews, and Wilco.

So what is Farm Aid, you may ask. The concert is put on every year to promote awareness for farming communities and local farms. Too many farmers are forced to sell their land or cannot farm during hard times, especially like the hard times we have experienced this year. 

This will be the twenty-fourth concert since the idea was first brought to light in 1985. The concert was originally started by Willie, Neil Young, and John Mellencamp.

Willie Nelson also has his own thoughts on Farm Aid. Give his Farm Aid letter a read.

The Farm Aid website (linked above as “Farm Aid 2009”) also has information on how you can donate, if you’re so inclined to do so. What these musicians are doing is a great thing to help give back to a community that needs help. Without farms, where would we get our delicious fruits and veggies, milk and cheese, hamburgers and hot dogs? (OK, I’m going a little overboard, but you get the point.)

Tune in to Willie’s Place tomorrow at 2pm for a great bunch of performances. It’s all for a good cause!

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Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

As promised, today I will be giving you a review of the Bethel Woods Harvest Festival and Mountain Jam. Now, if only it had been nicer weather! The entire day, it misted rain, which made things a little harder to navigate, but still great. Luckily, everything was under tents.

Well let me start by saying that Bethel Woods is such a beautiful place to go. Even if you’re not going to the Woodstock museum, you can walk the site of the original Woodstock. It’s expansive and you’ll be hiking around the hills of Yasgur’s farm for hours. By the way, the museum costs $13! (But worth every penny, I’m sure.)

It must have taken quite some time to graffiti this Bug! Photo by Kate Langenburg.

It must have taken quite some time to graffiti this Bug! Photo by Kate Langenburg.

The Harvest Festival was very much like a large farmer’s and artisan market. There were displays of handcrafted quilts made by local seamstresses, an auction for some pretty neatly painted tables, and many interesting things to look at. My favorite was a painted VW Bug sitting in the middle of the field.

The tables of farmers was far more than I expected. Here’s a brief list of what was being sold that day: lettuce, cheeses, wine, peppers, apples, pumpkin, apple cider, soups, breads, squash, gourds, candies, sauces, and flowers. There were even some cool looking sugar cookies in the shapes of peace signs. How appropriate.

The farmer’s market portion of the Harvest Festival actually happens every Sunday. Here is a complete list of vendors.

Not only did the Festival have good food. It also had activities, too. There was a fun little corn maze to get lost in, which I definitely had to do. The corn was so tall I felt like I was in the jungle. There were also musician workshops and mini jam sessions for those interested.

Pumpkins, gourds, and veggies, oh my! Photo by Kate Langenburg.

Pumpkins, gourds, and veggies, oh my! Photo by Kate Langenburg.

The shuttle bus ran from the Harvest Festival area up to the museum. The ride along the way was great! Our groovy bus driver pointed out famous Woodstock spots, like the skinny dipping pond and the area where the original stage once was.

Thank goodness for those tents — the bluegrass bands that played needed the cover to perform. They managed to grab the attention of many festival-goers, and some even sat out in the rain to watch them play. Unfortunately, the audience seating was not under a tent, so some people were deterred from the music.

To wrap this up, I highly recommed checkout out the Farmer’s Market next Sunday. You’ll be so glad you did because of all the wonderful fruits and vegetables you’ll come home with. Also, do the museum, too. Any Woodstock fan would be highly stoked, maaaan.

 

 

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Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

Yummy little veggies. Photo by Kate Langenburg.

Yummy little veggies. Photo by Kate Langenburg.

As of late, I have been getting into making a lot of cold mediterranean salads. I must admit, I like the feta cheese! But every time I open a new container of feta cheese, there lurks another wonderful recipe on the back of the lid.

Last week, I decided to make a special kind of green bean salad from the back of one of my feta cheese lids, so I went down to the local farmer’s market and picked up a few pounds of the locally grown veggie.

After reading a little bit about how I was going to make this salad, I got to work. I recommed using the basil and tomato flavored feta cheese for this one. Here’s my recipe for green beans and feta cheese with dill:

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds fresh green beans
  • 1/2 cup italian dressing
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill

Step 1: Cook beans in water seven minutes or until tender and crisp. Drain. Rinse with cold water

Step 2: Toss beans with dressing, cheese, onions, and dill in a large bowl.

Step 3: Refrigerate for several hours until chilled. (You can serve this immediately, but I don’t think it tastes as good as it does when you let it sit in the fridge for a while.)

After making this great concoction, I fed it to my room mate, family members, and I ate a whole bunch, too. This recipe is easy, and a must have for anyone who likes dolled up green beans.

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Mine is the anti-tomato version. It's still delicious! Photo by Kate Langenburg.

Mine is the anti-tomato version. It's still delicious! Photo by Kate Langenburg.

Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

As some of you may know, family gatherings are a great opportunity to bring different kinds of foods for everyone to enjoy. Well, as luck would have it, I recently had one of those kinds of family gatherings, at which I tasted the best pasta salad I’ve ever had.

I would like to introduce you to Mediterranean Pasta Salad, courtesy of Norma. In a span of about two hours, the huge bowl she had made completely disappeared, and the reserve stock in the fridge was eaten later that night!

The greatest thing about this dish is its versatility. As Norma herself said it, she never follows a recipe and she always puts her spin on it. That, my food loving friends, is highly recommended with this pasta salad. You can throw in new veggies, take out what you don’t want, or even include some other form of dressing other than the oil and vinegar suggested.

Ingredients:

  • 1 (8 ounce) package of spiral or curly noodles, cooked and drained
  • 3 ounces feta cheese, diced into 1/2 or 3/4 inch pieces
  • 3 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 medium sized cucumber, peeled, seeded, halved and thickly sliced
  • 1/2 cup pitted ripe olives, halved
  • 1/3 cup walnut pieces
  • 2 tbsp finely sliced red onions, optional
  • 2 tsp minced fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tbsp vinegar
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Step 1: Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Toss gently until well mixed.

Step 2: Refrigerate several hours before serving. That’s it!

If I were you, I’d double the recipe. It makes a smaller amount, so if you like to keep eating leftover pasta salad all week like me, doubling is the way to go. This stuff goes great with a sandwich and transports easily for lunches on the go!

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Kate Langenburg/A &E Groove

I know, the title to this blog post has a really weird name. It’s okay. Just because it’s new doesn’t mean that it has to be completely alien and strange. Give this yummy HungryGirl recipe a shot, then make your decision.

Ingredients:

  • 1 package House Foods Tofu Shirataki Fettucine Shaped Noodle Substitute
  • 1/2 cup small broccoli florets
  • 1/2 cup red pepper chunks
  • 1/2 cup large zucchini chunks
  • 1 wedge Laughing Cow Light Original Swiss cheese
  • 1 tbsp. fat-free sour cream
  • 2 tsp. reduced fat grated parmesan style topping
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • Optional: garlic powder, chili powder (I STRONGLY recommend the garlic powder)
Yum! Deliciousness. Photo from hungrygirl.com.

Yum! Deliciousness. Photo from hungrygirl.com.

Step 1: Place all the veggies in a medium sized microwave-safe bowl with 2 tbsp. water. Cover bowl and microwave for 2-3 minutes until the veggies are fully steamed. Then drain the water and set aside.

Step 2: Drain and rinse noodles well. Dry the noodles thoroughly, using a paper towel to soak up any excess moisture. Then slice up the noodles a bit to make for easier eating! 

Step 3: Place the noodles in a microwave safe bowl and top it all off with the cheese, sour cream, and parmesan topping. Microwave for one minute.

Step 4: Take it out, stir, then microwave for another minute. Mix in the veggies and season well with salt and pepper. Add the garlic powder!

Might I add that you don’t have to stick to just the veggies in this recipe. I added different kinds and even took out the zucchini the last time I made this. (I’m not much of a zucchini fan.)

Also, I have to say a quick word about tofu shirataki noodles — they don’t really taste like pasta. I just want to get that out there. Don’t expect it to taste like a homecooked italian fettucine meal. It does taste very good, but it has a little different flavor and texture happening. It’s good in a different kind of way.

However, the entire recipe is only about 150 calories…and you don’t have to share. It makes one serving and is very filling. Bon appetit!

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