German Cheddar and Beer Fondue

Saturday, August 21, 2010

1 sack, 10 ounces, 2 1/2 cups, shredded sharp Cheddar, available on dairy aisle
1/4 to 1/3 pound, 4 to 6 ounces, Gruyere, shredded
1 rounded tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 cup German lager beer
2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
A few drops hot sauce
A few drops Worcestershire sauce

For Serving:
1 1/2 pounds cubed or thick sliced and browned wursts: knock, brat or brot,
1 package mini party franks (recommended: Boars Head)
1 head cauliflower, separated into florets
1 small jar mini Gherkin pickles, drained
1 small jar pickled onions, available on vegetable aisle
1 small, round loaf rye, pumpernickel or sour dough bread, cubed

Combine cheeses in a bowl with flour. Add beer to a small pot and bring up to a bubble over medium heat. Reduce the heat to simmer and add cheese in handfuls. Stir constantly, melting the cheese in batches. Stir in a figure-eight pattern with wooden spoon. When the cheese has been incorporated fully, stir in the mustard, hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Transfer fondue to warm fondue pot.

In a large skillet, bring 2-inches of water to a boil and blanch the cauliflower for 2 to 3 minutes, drain and arrange around the fondue pot.

In the same pan, bring the cooking water back to a boil and add the mini franks and sliced wursts. Cook, uncovered until all the liquid has evaporated. Add 1 tablespoon butter to the pan to crisp the casings. Pile wursts and dogs near fondue. Complete the dipping selections with dishes of pickles, onions and cubed bread.

{recipe and image via Food Network}

Chocolate Fondue

6 tablespoons heavy cream
7 ounces premium semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 pound cake, cut into bite-size pieces
Assorted fresh fruit, strawberries, sliced banana, pineapple chunks, orange segments and sliced pears

Bring cream to a simmer in heavy medium saucepan. Add chocolate; whisk until melted. Remove from heat. Pour fondue into a bowl; place bowl on a platter. Ring platter with pound cake and fruit. Serve fondue with skewers.

*I wanted a sweeter version so I added a little vanilla extract and powdered sugar to taste*

{recipe via Food Network and image via}

Lemony Tortellini with Peas and Prosciutto

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Prep: 10 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Serves 4

Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 1/2 pounds frozen cheese tortellini
1 package (10 ounces) frozen peas
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest, plus 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook tortellini until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water. Add peas to pot; drain pasta mixture, and set aside.

In the same pot, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat; add prosciutto and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, until browned, 2 to 4 minutes.

Add pasta mixture, pasta water, 1 tablespoon oil, and lemon zest and juice; toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper.

{recipe and image via Martha Stewart}

No-Bake Chocolate and Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars

Makes 2 dozen

Vegetable oil cooking spray
9 ounces chocolate wafers (about 40 wafers), finely ground (2 cups)
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
5 ounces (1 stick plus 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup chunky peanut butter
3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
10 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted
1 1/2 ounces milk chocolate, melted

Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Line with parchment, leaving a 2-inch overhang on the 2 long sides.

Combine wafers, oats, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat, then add chunky peanut butter and 3/4 cup smooth peanut butter, whisking until well combined. Add peanut butter mixture to wafer mixture, stirring until combined. Transfer to baking dish, and use the bottom of a measuring cup or an offset spatula to firmly press mixture into an even layer. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Pour melted semisweet chocolate over chilled mixture and, using an offset spatula, spread into a thin layer that covers the entire surface. Refrigerate until hardened, at least 15 minutes.

Heat remaining 3 tablespoons smooth peanut butter in a small saucepan until runny. Drizzle peanut butter over chilled chocolate. Drizzle melted milk chocolate over peanut butter. Refrigerate until hardened, about 15 minutes.

Use parchment to lift out chilled block of bars. Run a sharp knife under hot water, dry well, and cut into 24 squares, wiping knife between cuts. Let bars stand at room temperature for 10 minutes before serving. (Sliced bars can be refrigerated for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 1 month.)

{recipe and image via Martha Stewart}

Spinach-and-Brie Chicken with Tomato Orzo

Friday, August 6, 2010

Prep: 20 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
Serves 4

Coarse salt and ground pepper
8 thin chicken cutlets (1 1/2 pounds total)
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 package (10 ounces) frozen leaf spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
4 ounces Brie cheese, cut into 8 slices
1 cup orzo
2 plum tomatoes, cored and chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Set a large saucepan of salted water to boil. Heat broiler, with rack set 4 inches from heat. Place chicken on a large rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Dividing evenly, spread one side of each cutlet with mustard; top with spinach, then cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Starting at short end, roll chicken up tightly, and arrange, seam side down, on sheet.

Season rolled chicken with salt and pepper. Broil, without turning, until tops are lightly browned and chicken is cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook orzo in boiling water until al dente. Drain well; return to pot. Add tomatoes, parsley, butter, and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper, and toss to combine. Serve stuffed chicken with orzo.

{recipe and image via Martha Stewart}

Spicy Orecchiette with Broccoli

Prep: 30 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Serves 4

Coarse salt and ground pepper
12 ounces orecchiette or other short pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
1 head broccoli (about 1 pound), cut into bite-size florets, stalks peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 cup grated Parmesan

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water; drain pasta and return to pot.

While pasta is cooking, heat oil in a large skillet over medium. Add garlic and red-pepper flakes; cook, stirring occasionally, until garlic is golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Add broccoli and 1/2 cup water; season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook until broccoli begins to soften, about 8 minutes. Uncover and continue to cook until water has evaporated and broccoli is crisp-tender, 1 to 2 minutes more.

To pasta in pot, add broccoli mixture, Parmesan (reserving some for later), and enough pasta water to create a thin sauce that coats pasta. Serve sprinkled with remaining Parmesan.

{recipe and image via Martha Stewart}

Pepper Jack, Chicken, and Peach Quesadillas

Total: 30 minutes
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 quesadilla and 2 tablespoons sauce)

1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon fresh lime juice
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
4 (8-inch) flour tortillas
3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese with jalapeño peppers
1 cup chopped skinless, boneless rotisserie chicken breast
1 cup thinly sliced peeled firm ripe peaches
4 teaspoons chopped fresh cilantro
Cooking spray

Combine honey and lime juice in a small bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Stir sour cream into honey mixture; cover and chill until ready to serve.

Place tortillas flat on a work surface. Sprinkle 3 tablespoons cheese over half of each tortilla; top each tortilla with 1/4 cup chicken, 1/4 cup peaches, and 1 teaspoon cilantro. Fold tortillas in half.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Place 2 quesadillas in the pan, and top quesadillas with a cast-iron or other heavy skillet. Cook 1 1/2 minutes on each side or until tortillas are crisp and lightly browned (leave cast-iron skillet on quesadillas as they cook). Remove quesadillas from pan; set aside, and keep warm. Repeat procedure with the remaining quesadillas. Cut each quesadilla into wedges. Serve with sauce.

{recipe and image via Cooking Light}

Stovetop Mac and Cheese

This sauce appears thin at first but will thicken after it's tossed with the pasta. To reheat, add a little whole milk to restore the creamy consistency.

Prep: 45 minutes
Total: 55 minutes
Serves 6

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
Coarse salt
4 cups whole milk
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3/4 pound small shell pasta or elbow macaroni
4 cups coarsely grated sharp yellow cheddar (3/4 pound)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium; add onion and cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Add flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring frequently, until mixture is pale golden, has a slightly nutty aroma, and is the texture of cooked oatmeal, about 5 minutes.

Whisking constantly, pour in 2 cups milk; add 2 more cups milk and cayenne and whisk until smooth. Cook mixture, stirring constantly along bottom of pan, until boiling, 6 to 7 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens and does not feel grainy when a small amount is rubbed between two fingers, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente; drain thoroughly and return to pot. Remove sauce from heat and let cool 10 minutes. Quickly whisk in cheese, mustard, and Worcestershire. Pour cheese sauce over pasta and stir to coat.

{recipe and image via Martha Stewart}

Carrot-Cake Cookies

Makes 18


2 ounces bar cream cheese, room temperature
2 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg yolk
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup packed, finely grated, peeled carrots
1/3 cup dried currants

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Make filling: With an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add sugar and lemon juice; beat until combined. Cover; chill until firm, at least 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, make cookies: In a large bowl, whisk together butter, sugars, and egg yolk. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, ginger, and salt. Add flour mixture to butter mixture; stir until combined. Mix in oats, carrots, and currants.
Drop dough by level tablespoons, 2 inches apart, onto prepared baking sheets. Flatten with the palm of your hand. Bake until edges are crisp, rotating baking sheets halfway through, 15 to 18 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool.
Turn half the cookies over, bottom side up; dollop each with about 1 teaspoon chilled cream-cheese filling. Top with remaining cookies, pressing gently to spread filling to edges. Serve immediately.

{recipe and image via Martha Stewart}

Blackberry-Almond Shortbread Squares

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Makes 12 squares

10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pan
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 cup whole blanched almonds (2 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar, plus more for dusting
1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
1 pound blackberries (about 4 cups)
1 orange zest , freshly grated

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Line with parchment; butter lining. Dust with flour; tap out excess. Arrange nuts in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until golden, 15 minutes; let cool. Grind in a food processor until fine.
Whisk together flour, nuts, salt, and cinnamon in a medium bowl; set aside. Put 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar and the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in almond extract. Add flour mixture in 2 batches; mix until a crumbly dough forms.
Press all but 1 cup dough onto bottom of pan. Toss berries with zest; scatter over dough. Sprinkle with remaining tablespoon sugar; crumble reserved dough on top. Bake until golden, about 30 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack. Cut into 12 squares; dust with sugar.

{recipe and image via Martha Stewart}

Favorite Turkey Burger

Serves 4

1 1/2 pounds ground turkey (93 percent lean)
1/2 cup finely grated Gruyere cheese
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup dried breadcrumbs
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
Coarse salt and ground pepper

Heat grill to high. In a medium bowl, use a fork to gently combine ground turkey with Gruyere, scallions, breadcrumbs, mustard, and garlic; season generously with salt and pepper. Gently form mixture into four 1-inch-thick patties.
Lightly oil grill. Place patties on hottest part of grill; sear until browned, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Move patties to cooler part of grill; continue grilling until cooked through, 5 to 10 minutes per side.

{recipe and image via Martha Stewart}

Penne with Two Tomatoes and Mozzarella

Serves 4

6 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
Coarse salt and ground pepper
12 ounces penne rigate
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, sliced
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1/4 cup snipped chives

Place cheese in freezer. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water; drain pasta and set aside.
In pasta pot, heat oil over medium-high. Add cherry tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, and pasta water. Cook until cherry tomatoes soften, 2 to 4 minutes.
Add pasta, chilled cheese, and chives to pot, season with salt and pepper, and toss to combine.

{recipe and image via Martha Stewart}

Chicken-Orzo Salad with Goat Cheese

Leftover salad is also good the next day for lunch; stir in a handful of arugula to add a fresh touch, if you have extra on hand. Serve with pita wedges.

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 1/3 cups salad and 1 tablespoon cheese)

1 1/4 cups uncooked orzo (rice-shaped pasta)
3 cups chopped grilled chicken breast strips (such as Tyson)
1 1/2 cups trimmed arugula
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup prechopped red onion
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon extravirgin olive oil
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
6 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) crumbled goat cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain well.

Combine pasta, chicken, and the next 6 ingredients (through oregano) in a large bowl; toss well.

Combine vinegar, oil, salt, and black pepper in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Drizzle vinegar mixture over pasta mixture; toss well to coat. Sprinkle with cheese.

{recipe and image via Cooking Light}

Fresh-Peach Drop Cookies

Monday, August 2, 2010

Makes about 4 dozen

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus 2 tablespoons
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large ripe peaches, peeled, pitted, and cut into 1/4-inch dice (about 1 3/4 cups)
1/3 cup peach jam or preserves
2 tablespoons fine sanding sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375. Whisk together flour, salt, and baking soda.
Beat butter and granulated sugar with a mixer on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Reduce speed to low. Beat in egg and vanilla. Add flour mixture, and beat until just combined. Add peaches and jam, and beat until just combined.
Using a 1 1/2-inch ice cream scoop or a tablespoon, drop dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment, spacing about 2 inches apart. (If not baking all of the cookies at once, refrigerate dough between batches; dough can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 days.) Combine sanding sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle each cookie with 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon-sugar mixture.
Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until golden brown and just set, 11 to 13 minutes. Let cool on sheets for 5 minutes, and then transfer cookies to wire racks to cool completely.

{recipe and image via Martha Stewart}

Crustless Broccoli-Cheddar Quiches

Makes 4

Butter, for ramekins
Coarse salt
1 package (10 ounces) frozen broccoli florets
6 large eggs
1/2 cup half-and-half
Ground pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese (3 ounces)
Crusty bread and mixed salad (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter four 8-ounce ramekins (or a 9-inch pie dish); set aside. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add broccoli; cook 1 minute. Drain well; transfer to a cutting board, and blot dry with paper towels. Chop coarsely.
In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, half-and-half, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and nutmeg. Stir in broccoli and cheese.
Place ramekins on a rimmed baking sheet. Ladle broccoli mixture into ramekins, dividing evenly. Bake until golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes. Serve with crusty bread and a mixed-green salad, if desired.

{recipe and image via Martha Stewart}

Artichoke Frittata

Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: About 30 minutes
Serves: 2

3 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel), softened
1 garlic clove, pressed
1/8 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
4 eggs
1 jar (6 ounces) marinated artichoke hearts, drained and finely chopped
2 tablespoons snipped fresh basil, divided
2 tablespoons grated fresh Parmesan cheese
Roasted red pepper sauce (optional)

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Place cream cheese, garlic and black pepper in small batter bowl; whisk until smooth. Whisk in eggs one at a time. Stir in artichokes and 1 tablespoon of the basil.

Heat (8-inch) sauté pan over medium heat until hot. Lightly spray with vegetable oil. Add egg mixture; cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Place pan in oven; bake 12-14 minutes until egg mixture is set in center. Remove from oven; sprinkle with cheese and remaining 1 tablespoon basil. Using small nylon turner, cut frittata into wedges. Serve with roasted red pepper sauce, if desired.

Roasted Red Pepper Sauce: Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in (1.5-qt) saucepan over medium heat until hot. Add 2 tablespoons chopped onion; cook and stir until softened, about 3 minutes. Add 1 large roasted red bell pepper, chopped, 1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste, 1 1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar and 2 tablespoons water. Transfer mixture to blender container or food processor. Cover; blend until smooth. Return sauce to saucepan; heat over low heat until hot.

{recipe and image via the nest}

Grilled Flour Tortillas with Goat Cheese, Peruvian Olives, and Roasted Red and Yellow Peppers

Serves: 4

4 burrito-size (10- or 12-inch) flour tortillas, trimmed into squares
4 tablespoons (one for each tortilla) crumbled goat cheese
4 tablespoons (one for each tortilla) roasted red and yellow peppers
1 small bunch baby arugula
2 tablespoons Peruvian Olive, Cilantro, and Thyme Tapenade

Light a fire in a charcoal or gas grill. Set up your square tortillas on a clean work surface. Spread one tablespoon of the crumbled goat cheese on each tortilla. Spread a layer of the roasted peppers on top. Place, open faced, on the grill until the grill lines appear on the bottom, just about 1 minute. Add enough baby arugula to make a layer on top and top that with a dollop (1½ teaspoons) of tapenade on each tortilla. Fold into a triangle, cut into two smaller triangles, plate, and serve immediately.

{recipe and image via the nest}

Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

3/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 cup canola oil
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup natural applesauce
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups finely shredded carrots (about 2 medium carrots)
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons finely chopped walnuts
4 ounces 1/3 fat cream cheese (recommended: Neufchatel)
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.

Sift together the first 6 ingredients. In a large bowl, whisk the oil, brown sugar and eggs until well combined. Whisk in the applesauce, vanilla and carrots. Add the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Stir in 1/4 cup of the chopped walnuts.

Divide the batter between the muffin cups. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

With an electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese, confectioners' sugar and lemon zest until smooth and creamy. Frost the cooled cupcakes and sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts. The cupcakes should be stored in the refrigerator.

{recipe and image via food network}

Whole-Wheat Pancakes with Strawberry Sauce

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup lowfat buttermilk
1/2 cup nonfat milk
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Strawberry sauce, recipe follows
Confectioners' sugar, optional

Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (flour through salt). In another medium bowl, beat together the eggs, nonfat milk, buttermilk, honey and vanilla.

Preheat a large nonstick griddle or skillet over a medium-low flame. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, mixing only enough to combine them. The batter will be somewhat lumpy. Use a 1/3 cup measuring cup pour the batter onto the griddle or skillet. Flip the pancake when the top is bubbling and it is golden brown on the bottom. Then cook until the other side is golden brown. Hold on an oven proof plate in the oven until the entire batch is ready. When all the pancakes are ready, cut them into heart shapes with a heart shaped cookie cutter. Ladle about 1/3 cup of the strawberry sauce onto each plate, place pancakes on top and sprinkle with confectioners' sugar, if using.

Strawberry Sauce:

16 ounces strawberries, fresh or frozen (unsweetened, thawed)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons maple syrup
Puree strawberries in to a chunky puree. Heat them in a small saucepan over a low flame, until they are just warm. Stir in lemon juice and maple syrup.

Yield: 4 servings, serving size about 1/3 cup

{recipe and image via food network}

Penne with Roasted Tomatoes, Garlic, and White Beans

3 large tomatoes, cut into wedges
4 cloves garlic, unpeeled
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1(15 ounce) can cannellini beans
1/2 pound penne pasta
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, torn
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Slice each tomato into 8 wedges and discard the seeds. Put the tomato wedges and garlic into a 9 by 13-inch roasting pan. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and a few turns of pepper. Roast in the oven, uncovered, for 40 minutes.

Drain the beans into a large colander in the sink. Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package. Drain the pasta into the colander containing the beans, so the hot pasta water will warm the beans. Return drained pasta and beans to the pasta pot.

When the tomatoes are done, pick out the garlic cloves, squeeze the garlic out of the skin into a small bowl and mash with a fork. Pour the roasted tomatoes into the pasta pot, add the garlic, the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil, the basil and additional salt and pepper, to taste. Toss to combine. Serve topped with the Parmesan.

{recipe and image via food network}

Breakfast Cookies

3/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup (1 small jar) strained carrot baby food
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup bran cereal flakes
1/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup walnut pieces, lightly toasted in a dry skillet for 2 minutes, until fragrant and chopped

Place rack in center of oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Whisk together flours, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a medium-sized bowl. Combine butter, oil and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix on high speed, scraping down sides if necessary, until sugars have dissolved and mixture is light in color, about 1 minute. Add egg, carrot puree and vanilla and beat an additional 30 seconds. Add flour mixture and beat an additional 30 seconds. Add oats, flakes, raisins and walnuts and mix over low speed just until incorporated. Dough will be slightly sticky and less cohesive than traditional cookie dough. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper. Using between 3 to 4 tablespoons of batter, form a ball and place on cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining batter, leaving about 3 inches between cookies. Wet hands and use palm of hand to flatten cookies until about 1/4-inch thick. Bake for 12 minutes, until cookies are fragrant but still soft. Let cookies cool slightly, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

{recipe and image via food network}

Lemon Icebox Bars

14 whole-grain graham cracker squares (7 full sheets)
2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
Cooking spray

1 (8-ounce) package 1/3 less-fat cream cheese, softened at room temperature
1 (14-ounce) can fat-free sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup pasteurized egg product (such as egg beaters)
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons powdered gelatin
3 tablespoons boiling water

Make Crust:
Place graham crackers in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until crumbs are formed. Add butter, brown sugar and salt and pulse to incorporate, until crumbs resemble wet sand. Coat an 8-inch square pan with cooking spray and pack crumbs firmly into the bottom of it. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Make the filling:
In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, condensed milk and pasteurized egg product and beat on high with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add lemon zest and juice and beat until fully incorporated, another 30 seconds. In a small bowl, combine the gelatin and boiling water and whisk until gelatin is entirely dissolved; let cool 2 to 3 minutes. Stir the gelatin into the cream cheese-lemon mixture until well incorporated. Pour the filling over the crust. Refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight, until filling is firm. Slice into 2-inch squares using a chilled knife coated with cooking spray.

{recipe and image via food network}

Almond Blueberry Cookies

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
1/4 to 1/3 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 teaspoons lemon zest, about 1 lemon
1/2 cup chopped almonds, toasted
1 cup frozen blueberries, thawed and drained

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt.

In another medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar using a hand mixer. Add egg and beat to incorporate. Add milk, almond extract, and lemon zest.

Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Fold in the almonds, then the blueberries. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Using two small spoons, dollop mix onto cookie sheets. Bake until golden brown around the edges, about 15 minutes.

Cool the cookies on a wire rack.

{recipe and image via food network}