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September 26, 2008

Original Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
1 cup chopped nuts

PREHEAT oven to 375° F.

COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

BAKE for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

September 13, 2008

Pasta with Basil Cream Sauce

1 cup pre-made pesto (or use pesto recipe below)
1 pint light cream (or 1 cup heavy cream + 1 cup milk)
1 tsp nutmeg
1 can diced tomatoes
12 oz rotini pasta
mushrooms, chopped (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

PESTO
2 cups fresh basil leaves
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
2 oz pine nuts (or substitute walnuts)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

If making pesto, combine basil and garlic in a food processor. Begin processing, and pour in olive oil in a thin stream. Process for about 40 seconds, or until mixture begins to emulsify. Add pine nuts and Parmesan, then blend for 1 minute.

Start water boiling to cook pasta. Cook pasta according to package directions.

Heat cream in a saucepan over low heat until simmering. Pour 1/2 of the hot cream into the processor with basil pesto, and pulse for 20 seconds to incorporate. Pour mixture back into cream. (Alternatively, use heat-safe immersion blender to mix in pan.) Add tomatoes, nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 5 minutes, or until thickened.

Prep time: 25 minutes

September 5, 2008

Mexican Lasagna

2 cups rice, unprepared
3-4 cups chicken stock (for preparing rice)
4 Roma tomatoes, diced
1 onion, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
1.5 lbs ground beef
24 oz shredded cheese
1 can corn, drained
1 can black beans, drained
1 16-oz jar salsa verde
8 oz enchilada sauce
taco seasoning
butter
flour tortillas
sour cream (optional)
cilantro (optional)

Prepare rice as directed on package, substituting chicken broth for water.

Saute tomatoes, garlic and onion in about 1 Tbsp of butter. Add 3 Tbsp of taco seasoning and stir until combined. Add beans. Mix cooked rice with tomato/garlic/onion mixture and salt to taste. Set aside.

Brown ground beef. Add 3 Tbsp of taco seasoning and 2-3 ounces of water to make taco meat.

Spread half of the jar of salsa verde in the bottom of a large casserole dish. Add a layer of tortillas (it's okay if the tortillas overlap). Spread half of the rice mixture over the tortillas. Add half of the cheese on top of the rice mixture. Add another layer of tortillas. Pour all of the enchilada sauce on top of the tortillas, spreading it evenly. Add all of the ground beef, then pour the drained corn on top of the beef. Next add the remaining rice, then the remaining salsa verde. Add the remaining cheese on top.

Bake at 375° for 25-35 minutes, until cheese is melted and beginning to brown.

Serve with cilantro and sour cream.