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Featured Recipes:

Friday Night Spinach and Artichoke Dip

recipe_artichoke_dip.jpg

Yield
10 servings
Preparation time
10 minutes
Cooking time
35 minutes
Total time
45 minutes
Ingredients
8 ounces 1/3 less fat cream cheese (softened)
1 10-ounce jar Alfredo-style pasta sauce
4 garlic cloves (minced)
1⁄4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
10 ounces frozen chopped spinach (thawed and drained)
1 14-ounce can artichoke hearts (drained and chopped)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cehese
1⁄3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 F.

In a large bowl, thoroughly mix together cream cheese, Alfredo sauce, garlic, red pepper flakes, spinach, and artichoke hearts, then mix in mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.

Cover with foil and bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until melted and bubbly.

Remove foil and continue baking another 5 to 10 minutes to brown the cheese on top.

Serve warm with tortilla chips, baguette, crackers, or cut-up raw vegetables.

Notes

Per serving: 236 calories, 12 grams fat (7.5 grams saturated fat), 34 milligrams cholesterol, 1,779 milligrams sodium, 18.5 grams total carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 11 grams protein.

Dessert Menu Crème Brûlée

recipe_creme_brulee.jpg

Yield
6 servings
Preparation time
30 minutes
Cooking time
40 minutes
Passive Time
2 hours
Total time
3 hours, 10 minutes
Ingredients
2 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
5 egg yolks
1⁄2 cup granulated sugar (divided)
Instructions

Pour cream and vanilla into a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Slowly bring to a simmer, stirring every few minutes for 10 to 15 minutes. Cream will be steaming but not boiling and vanilla will be fragrant. Remove from heat.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together egg yolks and half of the sugar (1/4 cup) until pale yellow and thick. With whisk in hand, very slowly begin adding cream to yolk mixture, whisking constantly. (If added too quickly, eggs will cook.) Continue until cream is fully incorporated.

Preheat oven to 325 F. Divide custard into 6 ramekins, about 3/4 full. (Any shallow, oven-safe dish can be used, or use one large dish, such as a pie pan.) Place ramekins in a tall roasting pan or casserole dish. Slowly add enough hot water to the bottom of the pan until it comes about halfway up the sides of the ramekins, making sure they don’t begin to float.

Bake until barely set (top will have a thin film but underneath it will jiggle a little bit), about 20 to 40 minutes, depending on the depth of the dishes.

Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for 2 hours. Sprinkle about 2 teaspoons of sugar on top of each custard and caramelize with a kitchen torch (or under the broil setting in the oven), being careful not to burn.

Serve immediately.

Notes

Per serving: 247 calories, 19 grams fat (11 grams saturated fat), 230 milligrams cholesterol, 22 milligrams sodium, 18 grams total carbohydrates, 0 grams fiber, 3 grams protein.

Anchovy-Free Caesar Salad

recipe_caesar_salad.jpg

Yield
8 servings
Preparation time
20 minutes
Cooking time
10 minutes
Total time
30 minutes
Ingredients
4 cups cubed French baguette
1⁄3 cup grated Parmesan cheese (divided)
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
1⁄4 teaspoon pepper
3⁄4 cup olive oil (divided)
1⁄4 cup fresh lemon juice
15 green olives (plus 1 tablespoon olive juice)
15 capers
2 garlic cloves (minced)
1 tablespoon basil
2 large heads romaine lettuce (washed and chopped into large pieces)
1⁄4 cup Parmesan cheese (shredded or shaved)
Instructions

Heat oven to 375 F.

In a large bowl, toss cubed bread with 1 tablespoon of the grated Parmesan, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and 3 tablespoons of the olive oil. Spread evenly onto a baking sheet and bake 10 to 15 minutes, until golden brown.

With a blender or food processor, thoroughly blend remaining grated Parmesan and olive oil, lemon juice, olives and juice, capers, garlic, and basil. Taste and adjust ingredients as needed. If dressing is too thick, add a few tablespoons water. Refrigerate. Makes about 1 cup of dressing.

When ready to serve, toss lettuce in dressing, then top with croutons and shredded/shaved Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately. Makes 8 side salads.

Notes

Per serving: 215 calories, 21 grams fat (4 grams saturated fat), 5 milligrams cholesterol, 597 grams sodium, 5.5 grams total carbohydrates, 1 gram fiber, 3 grams protein.

Classic Italian Bruschetta

recipe_bruschetta.jpg

Yield
4 servings
Preparation time
30 minutes
Cooking time
10 minutes
Total time
40 minutes
Ingredients
1 wide loaf Italian bread
10 roma tomatoes
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (divided)
3 peeled garlic cloves (one cut in half, two minced)
3⁄4 teaspoon salt (divided)
1⁄2 teaspoon black pepper (divided)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  handful of basil leaves (no stems)
Instructions

Note: Bread can be toasted in the oven or grilled.

Leaving the skin on, cut each tomato in half. Using your fingers or a spoon, remove and discard the seeds and excess liquid. Chop tomatoes into quarter-inch chunks. In a medium bowl, lightly toss tomatoes, 1 tablespoon olive oil, minced garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and balsamic vinegar. Refrigerate.

Preheat oven to 450 F. Cut the Italian loaf into ½-inch-thick slices. Lightly brush both sides with remaining olive oil. Lay each slice flat on a cookie sheet. Rub garlic halves across the top of the bread and sprinkle tops with remaining salt and pepper. Bake until lightly browned, about 5 minutes per side.

Stack basil leaves on top of each other, roll up like a cigar, then thinly slice with a sharp knife. Add basil to tomato mixture right before serving.

Top bread with tomatoes; serve immediately.

Notes

Per serving: 187 calories, 11 grams fat (2 grams saturated fat), 0 milligrams cholesterol, 532 grams sodium, 20 grams total carbohydrates, 4 grams fiber, 4 grams protein.