Search This Blog!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Raviolini Pasta Salad

This was my third attempt at making this salad. I originally got the idea from a local Fresh Market that had mini ravioli in a sun-dried tomato oil-based pasta salad. I bought it because it had mini ravioli. That and because most pasta salads you find are mayo based and I don’t do mayo. While BD and I both liked their version, we both agreed there was too much seasoning and needed a little improvement. I’m happy with how this batch turned out because I was about ready to give up. Third times the charm!

Raviolini Pasta Salad
*Serves 6

- 1 9oz package of mini cheese ravioli
- 1 cup chunk cut pepperoni
- 1 cup mushrooms, roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2.25 ounce can black olives, sliced
- 1/4 cup scallions
- ½ cup any color bell pepper, sliced thin
- ½ cup shaved parmesan
- Salt and Pepper

- 1/2 cup Sun Dried Tomatoes (SDT) packed in oil
- 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
- 3 tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar (RWV)
- 1 small garlic clove, skin removed
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 2 tablespoon SDT oil


1- Cook the ravioli according to the package and set aside when done. In a sauté pan, melt butter and sauté mushrooms over medium high heat until lightly browned. About 8 minutes. Set aside to cool. Prep remaining ingredients.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Quick and Easy Lunch Idea

I tend to enjoy foods that are bad for me much more than the ones that are good for me. I’m trying to work on this by telling myself that a little vanilla yogurt with fresh strawberries is waaaaay tastier than a bowl of the bear claw ice cream that BD has in the freezer. (I swear that man cannot go a day without a bowl of ice cream before bed.) This is not an easy sell, but I’m making progress – I think. One area that I have been good about changing my eating habits is between the hours of 9 to 5 on Monday thru Friday. In general I have yogurt for breakfast, a small lunch, and then some sort of fresh fruit or veggie as a midday snack. I’m pretty good at sticking to this routine, and will very rarely cheat and go out to lunch. And this is a good thing because cheating is bad. (Why did I get a déjà vu feeling writing this?)

I will usually eat the same thing for a week or two and then I need to switch to something new. Not too long ago I was on a sandwich kick that I was dangerously close to becoming addicted to because I loved the combination that came together.

I wouldn’t call this a recipe really, more so an idea to share.

Chicken and Sun dried Tomato Hummus Deli Flat
*Serves 1

- 1 Deli flat, any variety
- Few slices of deli quality sliced chicken – or turkey even
- 2 tablespoons of Sun dried Tomato hummus
- Alfalfa sprouts to your liking – I like a lot

1. Assemble sandwich!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A Retro Classic

The “Wedge” Salad is a classic American salad that was popular a couple of decades back. It sort of went by the wayside when Americans became more interested in darker greens such as romaine. You can still find it on some menus, and to me it’s a great and tasty salad because it combines two of my favorite things: bleu cheese and bacon. I find this simple salad to be a great to entertain with, or to serve along a great grilled steak for a simple supper.

Before I get started I need to point out I did not make my own bleu cheese dressing. Bleu cheese dressing is one of those perfect recipes that I’m still perfecting…like the perfect meatball recipe for example.

The “Retro” Wedge Salad

*Serves 4
(Printable Recipe)

- 1 head of Iceberg Lettuce
- 1 large tomato, diced
- 6 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
- ¼ of a large red onion, sliced
- Bleu Cheese crumbles
- Bleu Cheese Dressing

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Arugulamania Dish #2

So here is the second dish or meal that we incorporated the fabulous Arugula Walnut Pesto in. I really just came up with the idea by wanting to use various items that I had on hand at the time up, but boy was it a hit. BD and I literally each took a bite and turned to each other with that complete look of utter satisfaction when you have an idea of how you want something to turn out and it ends up exceeding those expectations. In fact, I looked at him and said: This should be on a menu somewhere. Who knows – maybe it already is!

~ I know this is labeled under vegetarian as well. The reason why is because by just eliminating the steak and doubling up on the Portobello, you can have a great option that would satisfy anyone.
Steak and Portobello Ciabatta Sandwiches

*Serves 2
(Printable recipe)


- 8oz flank or skirt steak, marinated in any steak marinade you choose*
- 1 large Portobello mushroom, stem removed
- ½” thick slice of red onion, not separated
- ¼ cup roasted red peppers, cut into strips
- 4 tablespoons boursin cheese
- 2 tablespoons Arugula Walnut Pesto
- 2 ciabatta rolls
- Veggie or Canola oil
- S&P

*We used A1 Steak House marinade.


1. Allow your flank steak to marinade according to the directions of the marinade you choose. I would recommend at least an hour or two but several hours is best. Take the Portobello and onion, coat with oil and season with salt and pepper.

2. Allow your grill to get very hot. Once grill is well heated, you can grill the Portobello, red onion, and steak. Red onion will take about 6-7 minutes per side; the Portobello will take about 5 minutes per side; and the steak for about three minutes each side. (This will give you a medium-rare to medium steak. I wouldn’t recommend grilling it much past this temperature as flank steak is thin and can easily be overcooked.) I would actually recommend grilling the steak first, removing it from the heat, and allowing it to rest for several minutes while the veggies cook. This will allow the juices in the steak to redistribute – which means a juicier steak for you.

3. Once steak is rested, take a sharp knife and cut across the grain in thin slices. Also slice the Portobello into long slices and separate the onion.

4. Assemble your sandwiches: Cut each ciabatta in half. Spread 1 tablespoon on the pesto on the bottom half and 2 tablespoons of boursin on the top half of each. Then layer your steak, portabellas, roasted red peppers, and red onions. Cut in half and serve.

Thoughts: I’ve actually been dying to makes these again. And I’m still dreaming of the arugula walnut pesto. The ciabatta rolls are really one of my favorite types of bread. They held up really well in relation to this sandwich, which a less sturdy bread wouldn’t be able to. Steak with mushrooms and onions are always a winning combination in my book and this went above and beyond it. This sandwich was favorable and would make an easy summer dinner.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Mashed Potatoes with Caramelized Shallots, Sage, and Pancetta

A while back a friend of mine shared the idea of mashed potatoes with caramelized shallots and sage. I loved the idea of this and thought it would be good, but maybe even better if I added some pancetta to the mix. I decided to make them for a special occasion not too long ago as a side for a Prime Rib roast BD and I did. They really don’t require a whole lot of extra work than regular mashed potatoes and really add an extra nice touch. You could use your own mashed potato recipe, but I’ve included my basic one in this here.

Mashed Potatoes with Caramelized Shallots, Sage, and Pancetta

*Serves 2-4


For mashed potatoes -
- 1.5 pounds of potatoes
- 3 tablespoons of butter
- ½ - ¾ cup heavy cream
- Salt and pepper to taste

The mix-ins -
- 2 quarter inch thick slices of pancetta
- 2 medium or 3 small shallots, sliced thin
- 2 tablespoons of minced fresh sage (if using dried use half the amount)
- A heaping tablespoon of butter

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Is this thing On???

Well its been a little over two months since my last entry… certainly the longest I have gone without posting something. There have been number of things that have contributed to my absence, things that I won’t bore my whole two readers about. Even though I have not been actually blogging, I have been thinking about several changes I have wanted to do here. Again I won’t bore you with a list or go into great details, but I plan on incorporating some new things that I think will be fun. Currently I am fleshing those ideas out a little more but I hope that within the next couple of weeks I can start implementing them.


- Rae

Related Posts with Thumbnails