Monday, August 29, 2011

Steak and Gorgonzola Pasta

I've been craving something different lately.  A flavor that I don't routinely eat.  It's taken a few days to figure out what it was.  Then I had a dream that I was at Olive Garden and eating their Steak and Gorgonzola Pasta.  That pretty much sealed the deal about what I was going to cook next.  After doing some research and recipe hunting, I came across one that I deemed satisfactory.  Apparently Olive Garden has their recipe on their website for their Alfredo sauce.  I've been wanting to try a homemade Alfredo sauce so this was the time!  I didn't even have to make money online to pay for this meal.  I found a copy cat recipe for what I've been craving at  This is what happened:

Steak and Gorgonzola Pasta
Steak Gorgonzola Alfredo
Serves 4
Cook time 10 minutes (depending on doneness of steak)
Prep time 30 minutes


Marinated steak 2.5 pounds
Pasta uncooked 1 pound
Spinach Gorgonzola sauce 16 fl oz
Gorgonzola cheese 2 tablespoons
Chopped sun dried tomatoes 2 tablespoons
Balsamic glaze 2 tablespoons


1 boneless top sirloin 2.5 pounds
1.5 cups Italian dressing
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1. Cut beef into 1 inch cubes and set aside
2. mix the dressing, rosemary and lemon juice together
3. Add the marinade to the beef toss and let marinate for at least 1 hour.

Spinach Gorgonzola Sauce
16 fl oz Alfredo sauce(see below)
4 cups chopped spinach
½ cup chopped green onion
3 tablespoons Gorgonzola cheese crumbled

1. Heat Alfredo sauce in a large saute pan
2. add onion, spinach and Gorgonzola cheese

To put the dish together:
Grill steak to preferred doneness
Cook 1 pound pasta according to the directions
Place drained pasta in saute pan with heated sauce
Toss pasta with sauce and place on a large platter
Place grilled beef on pasta and sauce
Drizzle with balsamic glaze
Sprinkle remaining Gorgonzola cheese and sun dried tomatoes

Alfredo Sauce
  1. 1 1/2 cup milk
  2. 1 1/2 cup heavy cream
  3. 1/2 cup imported Parmesan cheese, grated
  4. 1/2 cup imported Romano cheese, grated
  5. 6 egg yolks from fresh jumbo eggs
  6. Salt and black pepper to taste


  1. HEAT milk and cream in a heavy bottom saucepan until it begins to simmer. Turn off heat. Slowly whip in cheese, then remove from heat.
  2. PLACE egg yolks in a separate bowl and slowly whip in a portion of the hot milk and cream mixture. Slowly add egg yolk mixture back into remaining cream mixture. Place back on very low heat and continually stir until simmering. Take sauce off heat so it thickens. (This will increase temperature of egg yolks, known as tempering).
  3. SEASON to taste with salt and black pepper. Serve over your favorite pasta.

This was a pretty simple meal to make, actually.  I didn't make the balsamic glaze.  Maybe I will make it for my wife when she gets home.  I was impressed with the basic Alfredo sauce as well.  I can see myself making this many times in the future and adding my own flavors to it.  This meal defiantly hit the spot and my craving has been cured!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Chicken and Cheese Lasagna

I haven't had the time/energy/money to really cook anything worth mentioning in a few days.  I bought the ingredients for this recipe a few days ago, but I just now got around to actually cooking it.  Please forgive me!  I took this recipe from

Chicken and Cheese Lasagna
12 lasagna noodles
1/2 cup butter
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups milk
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups ricotta cheese
2 cups cubed, cooked chicken meat
2 (10 ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese for topping

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain, and rinse with cold water.
  • Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook the onion and garlic in the butter until tender, stirring frequently. Stir in the flour and salt, and simmer until bubbly. Mix in the broth and milk, and boil, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Stir in 2 cups mozzarella cheese and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Season with the basil, oregano, and ground black pepper. Remove from heat, and set aside.
  • Spread 1/3 of the sauce mixture in the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Layer with 1/3 of the noodles, the ricotta, and the chicken. Arrange 1/3 of the noodles over the chicken, and layer with 1/3 of the sauce mixture, spinach, and the remaining 2 cups mozzarella cheese and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. Arrange remaining noodles over cheese, and spread remaining sauce evenly over noodles. Sprinkle with parsley and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.
  • Bake 35 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven.
This turned out to be just what I was looking for!  Leftovers reheated tomorrow for sure.

    Monday, August 15, 2011

    Tater Tot Casserole

    Lately, I haven't really had much of a craving for anything in particular.  That makes deciding what's for dinner pretty difficult.  Especially when the best suggestion my wife can make is "something good."  While searching for things to make, I came across recipes for Tater Tot Casseroles.  Some looked good, some looked bad.  I decided this would make a cheap and wholesome meal.  I went to the grocery store and bought just a couple of things.  Most things I already had on hand.  This is what I threw together:

    Tater Tot Casserole
    1 1/3 pound beef for carne asada(large ground beef)
    1 tsp dried granulated garlic
    1 can spicy chili
    1 white onion, chopped
    1 bag frozen tater tots
    3 cups shredded cheese, your choice
    8 oz sour cream
    1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
    1/2 ts Italian seasonings
    1/2 cup water
    1/4 cup ketchup

    • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease 13x9 baking dish.
    • Cook together in a skillet the beef, onions, and garlic.  Drain well when thoroughly cooked.
    • In a medium sized bowl, mix together the chili, diced tomatoes, ketchup, Italian seasonings, water, and sour cream.
    • Spread the beef mixture along the bottom of a 13x9 greased baking dish.  Top with half of the chili mixture.  Add half of the cheese.  Add frozen tater tots.  Top with other half of chili mixture.  Top with other half of cheese.
    • Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes or until cooked through.
    I used a couple of different blends of cheeses.  Kroger had a sale on shredded cheeses, so I used the Casserole blend, Italian blend, and Pizza blend.  You can use whatever cheese you like.  This casserole reminded me of the simple times while still being a flavorful and delicious dish.

      Saturday, August 13, 2011

      Shrimp and Cheese Grits


      • Fry 3 slices of bacon over medium heat until crisp, reserve bacon.

      • Drain all but 3 tbs. of bacon fat.

      • Increase heat to med-high, To the bacon fat, add 3 tbs. of flour. Stir constantly until you have a medium/dark roux (the color of milk chocolate)

      • To the roux, add 1/2 cup sliced mushroom, 1/4 cup sliced green onion, 2 cloves minced garlic, thinly sliced sun dried tomatoes, salt to taste and fresh ground black pepper. Stir to evenly coat vegetables with the roux. Cook 6-8 minutes.

      • Reduce heat to medium and add 1 cup cooked shrimp (cleaned and deveined). Stir mixture. Cook 3-4 minutes, or until shrimp begins to brown.

      • Thoroughly stir in 1 cup of good quality chicken stock. Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer while you make the cheese grits. The roux should thicken the mixture.

      • Just before serving over cheese grits, squeeze the juice of 1/2 small lemon into shrimp mixture. Garnish with the reserved crumbled bacon and additional green onion.


      • Bring to a boil 1 cup chicken broth, 1 cup milk and 1 1/2 cups water.

      • While constantly stirring, add 3/4 cup old fashioned grits.

      • Reduce heat to low, cover and let simmer for 10-12 minutes or until grits are thickened.

      • Stir in 1 tbs. butter and 1/4 cup manchego cheese.

      Friday, August 12, 2011

      Spinach and Artichoke Dip Calzone

      Pretty much the same idea as my previous pizza post, this just might be another ingenious creation.  A stuffed pizza with one of the most popular appetizer dips, this is surely to win fans from all types of upbringings.
      Spinach and Artichoke Dip Calzone
      Spinach and Artichoke Dip
      Pizza dough
      1 tbs melted butter
      Mozzerella cheese
      Parmesan cheese
      • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line baking pan with foil and lightly spray with cooking spray.
      • Roll out a circle of dough about 8 inches around.  Spread the Spinach and Artichoke Dip over half of the dough, leaving enough room along the edges to seal dough.  Fold over dough and crimp the edges with a fork. 
      • Brush melted butter over top of calzone.  Bake for about 35 minutes in preheated oven.
      • Sprinkle Mozzerella and Parmesan over top of the calzone.
      • Eat the calzone and regret not making two!
      This turned out to be another tasty creation from the Spinach and Artichoke Dip recipe.  What else can you think of the uses this recipe as well?

      Wednesday, August 10, 2011

      Buffalo Chicken Strips

      While browsing the aisles of the grocery store, I saw a Shake and Bake flavor I had never seen before. Buffalo Chicken. I knew I had to try this out because it was a sure fire way to make my wife happy. She loves anything with a “buffalo” flavor, so this was a no brainer. Here is the meal I made:

      Buffalo Chicken Strips
      1 1/2 lbs chicken breasts, cut into strips
      1 package Shake and Bake, Buffalo flavored
      1 package frozen California style vegetables(broccoli, cauliflower, carrots)
      1 package low sodium chicken Rice-a-Roni(a San Francisco treat)
      • Make everything as directed on packages.
      • Top vegetables with your favorite cheese
      • Enjoy!
      Well, this was kind of a slacker recipe, but everything I made was pretty much processed and prepared already. My wife enjoyed the meal so I consider it a success! This is a great dinner if you just don’t have the energy or time to make something creative and delicious.

      Tuesday, August 9, 2011

      Pizza Dough

      Making dough can be tricky if you don't know what you're doing.  It took me several tries to finally get the dough to be how I wanted it to be.  You've just got to keep practising to find out what works for you.  I got my basic recipe from Bread World.  Here is how I do it:

      Pizza Dough
      Makes 1 (14-inch) thick-crust pizza or 2 (12-inch) thin-crust pizzas.

      2-1/2 to 3 cups all-purpose flour 
      1 envelope Fleischmann's® RapidRise Yeast
      3/4 teaspoon salt 
      1/2 ts italian seasonings
      1 cup very warm water (120° to 130°F) 
      2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil 
      Combine 2 cups flour, undissolved yeast, italian seasonings, and salt in a large bowl. Stir very warm water and olive oil into flour mixture. Stir in enough remaining flour to make soft dough. Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 4 to 6 minutes. Cover; let rest on floured surface 10 minutes. Lightly oil 1 (14-inch) or 2 (12-inch) round pizza pan(s).** Sprinkle with cornmeal. Shape dough into smooth ball. Divide and roll dough to fit desired pan(s). Top pizza as desired. For a Thin-Crust Pizza: Add the desired toppings to unrisen dough; OR, for a crispier crust, bake the unrisen dough in a preheated 400oF oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and add desired toppings. Return pizza to oven to finish baking for another 10 to 20 minutes, or until done. If you choose not to parbake, simply bake the completed pizza at 400oF for 20 to 30 minutes or until done. Baking time depends on size and thickness of crust and selected toppings.

      Spinach and Artichoke Dip Pizza

      Well, I don't know how to explain it better than the title says.  This is a pizza that utilizes a previous recipe I posted, Spinach and Artichoke Dip.  It is not much more than making dough and putting the Spinach and Artichoke Dip on top of it.  I didn't even have to spend too much money.  Here is what happened:

      Spinach and Artichoke Dip Pizza
      1 portion thin crust pizza dough
      1 tbs olive oil
      2 tbs Alfredo sauce
      1 cup Spinach and Artichoke Dip
      1 cup Mozzarella cheese

      • Prepare pizza dough as recipe states. 
      • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
      • Spread olive oil over pizza dough.  Bake in oven for 10 minutes.
      • Remove pizza crust from oven.  Spread Alfredo sauce over crust.  Spread Spinach and Artichoke Dip over crust.  Top with Mozzarella cheese.
      • Bake in oven for another 10 minutes or until cheese is starting to brown.
      • Cut into nice serving sizes and enjoy!
      Pretty tasty pizza made here.  It's like the dip is already on a cracker.  I'm not sure it can get more convenient than this if you're searching for a good game time recipe!

      Saturday, August 6, 2011

      Beef Stir Fry with Rice

      Since having moved, I hadn't used my wok in the new place.  I bought the wok for about five dollars at a thrift store.  I had to put a little bit of tender, loving care into getting it back into a good condition to use without worrying.  It has paid off greatly!  I had a dream that I was using it the night before and that just got me going.  I went to the local grocery store and found some beef that was already cut into strips for a cheap price. 

      Beef Stir Fry with Rice
      12 oz beef strips
      1 tsp garlic salt
      1 package frozen vegetable stir fry mix
      1 tsp dried minced garlic
      1 tsp dried minced onion
      2 tbls wok oil(vegetable oil will work too)
      1 tbls soy sauce
      2 tbls water
      1 tbls corn starch
      1 cup rice
      2 cups cold water

      • Add rice and 2 cups cold water into medium saucepan.  Heat until starting to boil.  Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 20 minutes.
      • Season beef strips with garlic salt.
      • Mix together the cornstarch, water, and soy sauce.  Set aside.
      • Heat wok over high heat.  Add half of the wok oil(or vegetable oil).  Add beef and cook until browned.  This will not take long.  Remove beef from wok.
      • Add the other half of oil to wok.  Add the vegetable mix and cook for about 5 to 7 minutes.  Add beef to vegetables.
      • Add the cornstarch mixture and stir until hot and thick.
      • Serve over rice.
      The best thing about stir fry is that it is quick to cook.  The possibilities are pretty much endless.  When I originally planned to make some stir fry, I thought I had some other sauces.  Turns out they didn't survive the move.  Oh well this turned out pretty well.  There were no leftovers!

      White Chicken Chili

      1 pkg. McCormick White Chicken Chili mix
      1 tbsp. olive oil
      1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
      1 can white beans, undrained
      1 can rotel tomatoes, undrained

      1. Heat oil in large skillet on medium heat. Add chicken; cook and stir 3 to 5 minutes or until no longer pink.
      2. Stir in seasoning mix, beans, and tomatoes. Bring to boil; cover. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve with toppings, if desired.

      Topping options: shredded cheese, sliced avocado, chopped cilantro, or sour cream.

      I used great northern beans in this recipe and topped it off with cheese and sour cream. Enjoy!

      Thursday, August 4, 2011

      Cheez and Chikn Queso Dill Ya

      Tonight for supper I had a cheese and chicken quesadilla.  But I made it in ebonics.  It was delish.

      Cheez and Chikn Queso Dill Ya
      Cooken chicken
      Monterey jack cheese
      1 burrito sized tortilla
      Sour cream
      • Spray skillet with cooking spray when heated to medium heat.
      • Add tortilla to the skillet.  Spread thin layer of salsa over tortilla.  Add cheese and chicken.  When cheese is starting to melt, fold over the tortilla.  Cook until browned and flip.  Cook until that side is browned.
      • Remove and cut into sections.
      • Eat that cheesey sheesy fo heesy my beezy!
      Well thats all I've got for now. 

      Tuesday, August 2, 2011

      Eating Challenges and City Tours

      Eating Challenges and City Tours

      Guest post written by Sidney Owens

      When you read the description of Man V. Food it sounds too bizarre to be a show that could be fun to watch yet somehow it is a show that I look forward to every week. Adam Richman is the host and each episode is part travelogue and part eating challenge. He is an enthusiastic guide as he visits both famous restaurants and highly recommended destinations. It is hard not to get caught up in his descriptions of the delicious dishes he is sampling and I have to fight the urge sometimes to run out and stuff my face at a similar establishment in my own city. I get this show on The Travel Channel on my satellite service from HD direct tv service so the guides to each cities food is a key element.

      The show the always closes with a visit to a restaurant that has a standing eating challenge. In past episodes Adam has attempted to eat giant burgers, burritos and steaks. In other restaurants it could be consuming fiery hot chicken wings or a race to eat raw oysters in an allotted amount of time. Like I said earlier it may sound strange to love this show but he is infectious and funny as he struggles to meet the weekly challenge.

      Pizza, Corn, and a Cookie

      By special request, on today's menu is Pizza, Corn, and a Cookie.  Nothing reminds me of school lunch like this classic meal.  Mmm mmm good...better bring some extra money so you can get another slice!  Maybe next time we'll have mexican pizza!

      Pizza, Corn, and a Cookie
      1 pizza of your choice
      1 can of corn
      cookie of your choice

      • Cook pizza according to package.
      • Cook corn on stove or microwave
      • Put cookies on your plate
      I bought a Donato's bran pizza from the deli in my local grocery store because it was half off today.  That's the reason this special recipe came up today.  Thanks for the support!

      Monday, August 1, 2011

      Beef Stroganoff


      1 pkg. McCormick beef stroganoff sauce mix
      1 lb. ground beef (90% lean or better)
      1 c. water
      1 family size can cream of mushroom soup
      1 c. sour cream

      I used Campbell's cream of mushroom soup and Daisy light sour cream

      1. Brown ground beef in a large skillet.
      2. Stir in sauce mix, water, and cream of mushroom soup
      3. Bring to a boil; cover. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in sour cream. Serve over rice or noodles.

      By adding the cream of mushroom soup the stroganoff becomes nice and creamy. It also helps to thicken up the sauce. You can tweak this recipe by adding 2 tbsp. white wine and 1 (8 oz.) pkg. of fresh sliced mushrooms.

      I served my beef stroganoff with wide egg noodles and my husband was one happy camper :)

      Chicken and Bean Stew

      I was at the grocery store on the day that the sale of the whole chickens ended...I had to buy one more.  It has been a while since I broke out my dutch oven, so I thought I would make something so I utilize that.  I cut up my chicken and stuck it in a simple brine.  I scavenged through my cabinets to see what I had.  This is what I had to throw together:

      Chicken and Bean Stew
      1 cut up chicken, brined
      1 cup chicken broth
      1 can diced tomatoes
      1 can great northern beans
      1 can white kidney beans
      1 can red kidney beans
      1 bag stew blend frozen vegetables(potatoes, onions, carrots, celery)

      • Preheat dutch oven over medium-medium high heat.  Add vegetable oil to coat bottom.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
      • After chicken pieces have brined for several hours, pat dry with paper towel.  Add to hot oil and cook only until browned.  This will probably have to be done in two different batches.  (Chicken will not be cooked all the way through.  Cooking will finish while in the oven.)
      • After chicken is finished browning, remove from dutch oven.  Add the chicken broth to the dutch oven and stir until the fond(little dark bits stuck to the bottom of the pan, also know as flavor bits) comes free, about 1 minute.  Add the vegetables.  Cook for 4 to 5 minutes.
      • Add the tomatoes and the beans, with the juices that they are canned with, and stir until mixed.  Add the chicken pieces and make sure they are submersed in the liquid.  Bring to a boil.
      • When the boil happens, put the top on the dutch oven and place in oven that is heated to 350 degrees.  Cook for about an hour, or until the chicken is nice and tender.
      I served this over rice.  I suppose you could serve this with noodles, if you'd like.  The rice soaked up the yummy liquid and just made it wonderful.  I did have to add some salt and other incendiaries(of course, hopefully you've read some of my other posts and it's no shock to you) to my serving.