Kimberly’s Cooking Adventure

My ongoing journey in the kitchen…

Baked Pasta with Sausage, Tomatoes, and Cheese

Jason and I tried this pasta dish for dinner last night. It was excellent!! This was very easy to make and didn’t take too much time. I was unable to find hot turkey Italian sausage, so I used the sweet and added a little bit of spice to it. It was delicious.

Baked Pasta with Sausage, Tomatoes, and Cheese

Ingredients
1 (1-pound) package ziti, uncooked  I used rigatoni
1 pound hot turkey Italian sausage links
1 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp tomato paste
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 (14.5 oz) cans petite-diced tomatoes, undrained
1/4 cup chopped, fresh basil I used dried because that’s all I had
Cooking spray
1 cup shredded fresh mozzarella cheese
1 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese

Preparation
Preheat oven to 350°.  Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain pasta and set aside.

Remove casings from sausage. Cook sausage, onions, and garlic in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until browned, stirring to crumble. Add tomato paste, salt, pepper, and tomatoes, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Combine cooked pasta, sausage mixture, and basil. Place half the pasta mixture in a 4 quart casserole dish coated with cooking spray. Cover with half of mozzarella and half of Parmesan. Repeat layers. Bake for 25 minutes or until bubbly.

Yield: 8 servings

February 14, 2008 Posted by | Cooking Light, Pasta | , , | 4 Comments

Raspberry Cream Cheese Muffins

These were so good!!! My husband at 6 of them last night!! It was all I could do not to grab a spoon out of the drawer and eat the batter. Here’s the recipe!! If you make them, let me know what you think!

Raspberry-Cream Cheese Muffins

Ingredients

2/3 cup (5 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large egg whites
1 large egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350°.Combine cream cheese and butter in a large bowl. Beat with a mixer at high speed until well blended. Add sugar; beat until fluffy. Add vanilla, egg whites, and egg; beat well.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture and buttermilk to cream cheese mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Gently fold in raspberries and walnuts.

Place 24 foil cup liners in muffin cups. Spoon batter evenly into liners. Bake at 350° 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from pans; cool on a wire rack.

Yield

2 dozen (serving size: 1 muffin)

February 14, 2008 Posted by | Baking, Breads, Breakfast, Cooking Light, dessert, fruit, muffins | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Baked Potato Soup

I made the Baked Potato Soup that I found on Cooking Light’s Website.

I wasn’t a huge fan. It needed something. I think part of the problem is that I used skim milk instead of 2%, so it didn’t thicken up as much. I wound up having to add some cornstarch to the soup to get it to thicken up like I wanted it to. It didn’t taste horrible, but definitely lacked something.

Baked Potato Soup

Ingredients
4 baking potatoes (about 2.5 pounds)
2/3 cup all purpose flour
6 cups 2 % reduced fat milk (I used skim milk)
1 cup reduced-fat shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 cup reduced fat sour cream
3/4 cup chopped green onions, divided (I left these out)
6 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled (I used 6 slices of Oscar Mayer Ready to Serve bacon. I crumbeld 3 slices and put into the soup and then crumbled the other 3 and put them on top of the soup.)
Cracked black pepper (Optional)

Preheat oven to 400°.

Pierce potatoes with a fork; bake for 1 hour or until tender. Cool. Peel potatoes; coarsely mash.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Place flour in a large Dutch oven; gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk until blended. Cook over medium heat until thick and bubbly (about 8 minutes). Add mashed potatoes, 3/4 cup cheese, salt, and black pepper, stirring until cheese melts. Remove from heat.

Stir in sour cream and 1/2 cup onions. Cook over low heat 10 minutes or until thoroughly heated (do not boil). Ladle 1 1/2 cups soup into each of 8 bowls. Sprinkle each serving with 1 1/2 tsp cheese, 1 1/2 tsp onion, and about 1 tbsp bacon. Garnish with cracked pepper, if desired.

Serves 8.
WW points: 6 per serving

February 11, 2008 Posted by | Cooking Light, Food, Soups | , , , , | 4 Comments

Triple-Play Cinnamon Rolls

Ok, so I made the cinnamon rolls!!  They were wonderful!  My husband, Jason, ate 3 last night!!  These certainly don’t taste light by any means, which makes them that much more enjoyable.  I figured the WW Points for these and they came out to 4 per roll.

I found this recipe on Cooking Light

Triple Play Cinnamon Rolls

Dough

1 package dry yeast (about 2 1/4 tsp)

1/4 cup warm water (100° – 110°)

1/2 cup warm 1% lowfat milk (100°-110°)

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup butter, softened

1 tsp vanilla extract

3/4 tsp salt

1 large egg, lightly beaten

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided

Filling

3/4 cup raisins (I didn’t use)

2/3 cup packed brown sugar

1 tbsp ground cinnamon

2 tbsp butter, melted

Glaze

1 cup powdered sugar

2 tbsp 1% milk (I used skim)

1/2 tsp vanilla extract (I used 1 tsp and added 1/4 tsp almond extract as well)

To prepare dough, dissolve yeast in warm water in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes.  Add warm milk, sugar, butter, vanilla, salt and egg; stir with a wooden spoon until combined (batter will not be completely smooth).

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife.  Add 3 cups flour to yeast mixture; stir until a soft dough forms.  Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface.  Knead until smooth and elastic (about 8 minutes); add enough of remaining flour, 1 tbsp at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel slightly tacky).

Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray; turn to coat top.  Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, for 1 hour or until doubled in size.  (Press two fingers into dough.  If indentation remains, dough has risen enough.)

To prepare filling, combine raisins, brown sugar, and cinnamon.  Roll dough into a 15 x 10-inch rectangle; brush with 2 tbsp melted butter.  Sprinkle filling over dough, leaving 1/2 inch border.  Beginning with a long side, roll up dough jelly-roll fashion; pinch seam to seal (do not seal ends of roll).  Wrap roll in plastic wrap; chill for 20 minutes.

waiting to rise...

Unwrap roll, and cut inot 20 (1/2-inch) slices.  Arrange slices, cut sides up, 1 inch apart on a jelly roll pan coated with cooking spray.  Cover and let rise in a warm place free from drafts, for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until doubled in size. 

Preheat oven to 350°.

Uncover dough.  Bake for 20 minutes or until rolls are golden brown.

To prepare glaze, combine powdered sugar, milk and vanilla, stirring well with a whisk.  Drizzle over warm rolls. 

February 6, 2008 Posted by | Baking, Breakfast, Cooking Light, Food | , , | 5 Comments

February Recipes

So, I’ve decided to make a list of recipes that I want to try each month and mark them off as I complete them.  I will post pictures and a review of each recipe as well.  I found all of the recipes for February on My Recipes under the Cooking Light search.

My list for February is below.

Triple-Play Cinnamon Rolls

Chicken Cordon Bleu

Hearty Beef and Potato Stew

Biscuit Topped Chicken Pot Pie

Mexican Chicken Casserole

Raspberry Cream Cheese Muffins

Bacon, Gruyere, and Ham Strata

Baked Pasta with Sausage, Tomatoes, & Cheese

Baked Potato Soup

Penne & Chicken Tenderloins with Spiced Tomato Sauce

So, that’s my list.  Please let me know what you think and check back soon for recipe reviews!!  I’m going to make the cinnamon rolls tomorrow night.  🙂  I’m really excited to try new recipes each week. 

February 4, 2008 Posted by | Food | , , , | 1 Comment