Sunday, January 29, 2012


1 lb lasagna noodles
5 cups tomato sauce
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
½ cup parmesan cheese
1 lb ricotta cheese
1 egg
2 tablespoons parsley
Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Once the water has boiled, add salt and the lasagna noodles.  They take about 10-12 minutes to cook.  Stir them every so often so they do not stick together.  Once they are finished cooking, strain in a colander and allow to cool for 5 minutes.  Then separate the noodles and lay them over the sides of the colander so they do not get stuck together.  Be careful, steam gets trapped in between the noodles and will release when you separate them. 
I usually make a homemade sauce, but if you want you can use a store bought.  Heat it up for a few minutes in a saucepan beforehand.  In a large bowl mix together the ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, and mozzarella cheese.  Then add the egg and parsley.
In a 13 x 9 inch baking dish, pour a little sauce in the bottom of the pan.  Then layer 3 noodles across the bottom of the dish.  Take a few teaspoonfuls on each individual lasagna noodle.  Spread it across so the entire noodle is covered.  Then spoon sauce over the top of the cheese layer.  On the next layer, use 5 noodles and lay them in the opposite direction of the first layer.  You can cut off the extra and use that on future layers.  For the last layer, leave 3 noodles for the top.  Lay them on the previous layer and just pour sauce on top of that without any of the cheese mixture.  Sprinkle with a little bit of parmesan cheese.  Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 40- 45 minutes.  Serve and enjoy!

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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Chocolate Chip Scones

2 c. unsifted flour
3 tbsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. buttermilk or milk
1 lg. egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chip

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.
Grease baking sheet. In large bowl combine flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Cut in butter with pastry cutter or a fork until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
In small bowl combine milk, egg and vanilla. Add to dry ingredients and stir until combined.  Then add in the chocolate chips.  Dough will be sticky and elastic.  Using a large tablespoons, drop spoonfulls onto the baking sheet. Bake for 13-15 minutes until golden brown. Serve warm and enjoy!

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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Carmelized Onion and Bleu Cheese Crostini

2 large onions
1 garlic clove
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 loaf of italian or french bread
1/2 cup diced pancetta
1/2 slivered almonds, toasted
2 tablespoons fresh parsley
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
4 ounces bleu cheese

Heat a large skillet on medium heat. Put the slivered almonds in for about 3 minutes or until they are toasted.  Then remove them and set them aside. 

Cook the pancetta for about 7-8 minutes or until it browns up.  Take the pancetta out with a slotted spoon, leaving the grease in the pan. 

Sprinkle in a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes.  Then add a chopped garlic clove.  Thinnly slice the two large onions and put into the pan.  Cook for 20-25 minutes on low heat, stirring occasionally until the onions turn golden colored.
While the onions carmelize, get the other ingredients ready.  Slice the bread thinnly on an angle and toast in a 350 degree for about 6 minutes.  Keep checking it in intervals of 2 minutes because ovens may vary. 

Now add the balsamic vinegar to the pan and stir.  Add back the pancetta.  Then stir in the chopped parsley. 

Once the bread it toasted, put the bread on a platter.  Then sprinkle with a few bleu cheese crumbles or a very thin slice of bleu cheese.  Top with a little of the onion and pancetta mixture.  Then sprinkle the top with a few toasted almonds.  Enjoy!

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Chocolate Mousse Cake

I made this cake for my mom's birthday and it was such a big hit!

2/3 cup butter, softened
1-2/3 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup baking cocoa
1-1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1-1/3 cups milk

Preheath oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beating until smooth after each addition.

Pour batter into 2 greased 9 inch round baking pans. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until cake tests done.

Chocolate Mousse:
3 oz unsweetened chocolate
1/3 c. water
3/4 c. sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
3 egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla
2 c. heavy cream
In saucepan, place chocolate and water. Stir over low heat until blended. Add sugar and salt. Simmer 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. In a bowl, beat egg yolks; stir in the chocolate mixture (stir constantly). Add vanilla and cool to room temperature. Beat heavy cream in a large bowl. With rubber spatula, fold in chocolate mixture gently. Chill while cake finishes baking.
Chocolate Frosting:
2 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
     6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
     6 tablespoons butter
     5 tablespoons evaporated milk
     1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium bowl, sift together the confectioners' sugar and cocoa, and set aside.

In a large bowl, cream butter until smooth, then gradually beat in sugar mixture alternately with evaporated milk. Blend in vanilla. Beat until light and fluffy. If necessary, adjust consistency with more milk or sugar.

Once cake has cooled completely, put one layer on a cake plate.  Fill with the chocolate mousse.  Then put the other layer on top and frost with the chocolate frosting. Refrigerate for a half hour.  Enjoy!

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