Ciao! My name is Yolanda and I'd like to welcome you to my Blog! I have always had a love for cooking, baking and eating. This blog is mainly a place for me to record and share precious family recipes from those living and deceased as well as delicious recipes that my friends have given me throughout the years.


Sunday, February 26, 2012

Meaty Lasagna Roll Ups

Whenever I have left over homemade Sauce, I love making a hearty Lasagna.  This time I decided to change it up a little bit and make Lasagna Roll Ups.  I found them to be easier to put together than typical Lasagna and easier to serve.  Whether I am making Lasagna, Stuffed Shells, or Manicotti, I always use the same filling mixture which includes Ground Sausage and Ground Beef.  I added the Bell Pepper this time to my normal filling and it was a good addition! 
* 12 Lasagna Sheets (I like the ones with the ruffled edges)
* 3/4 lb of Lean Ground Hamburger Meat
* 1/4 lb of Ground Italian Sausage (I just use one Link and remove the casing) 
* 1 lb of Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese
* 1 Red Bell Pepper (Finely Chopped)
* 1 Small Cooking Onion (Finely Chopped) 
* 1/8-1/4 cup of Freshly Chopped Flat Leaf Parsely
* 2 Cups of Shredded MozzArella Cheese
* 1/4 cup of Grated Parmesan or Pecorino Cheese (I use a blend of both)
* Ground Black Pepper to taste
* 4 Cups of Marinara or Meat Sauce (I use homemade Meat Sauce)
* Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees
* In a large frying pan, cook the Ground Beef, Ground Italian Sausage, Pepper, and Onions until Meat is fully cooked. Set Aside.
* In a medium bowl put, Ricotta, Grated Cheese, 1/4 cup of Mozzarella,  Parsley, cooked Meat Mixture (meat, onion, red pepper), and Ground Black Pepper.  Mix together and set aside.
* Pour Sauce into a medium sauce pan and let simmer on low heat until read to use. 
* Add a tablespoon or 2 of oil to a large pot of boiling salted water. Boil the Lasagna Sheets for about 9 minutes and then drain. Arrange the Lasagna Sheets in a single layer on a baking sheet to prevent them from sticking.
 * Spread 1 cup of the Sauce on the bottom of a 9x13 Baking Sheet. 
* Get work area ready for assembly.
* Spread about 4 tablespoons of ricotta mixture evenly over each Lasagna Sheet. 
* Starting at 1 end, roll each noodle. 

* Lay the lasagna rolls seam side down and place in the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining Lasagna Sheets and ricotta mixture. 
* Pour the remaining Sauce over the top of the Lasagna Rolls and Bake uncovered for 25 minutes.
* Take out of oven and sprinkle remaining Mozzarella Cheese over the top and bake for an extra 10 minutes.

* Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Orange Creamsicle Cake

Here is once again a fabulously delicious recipe from someone I work with, my friend Pat Lilly.  She is always bringing in goodies to share in the faculty room.  Her Creamsicle Cake is one of the best desserts I have ever tasted and not only does it taste just like a Creamsicle ice cream bar, but it is LOWFAT! This is one dessert you do not have to feel guilty eating!
* 1 box of White Cake Mix
* 12 oz of regular or diet Orange Soda
* 2 small boxes of cook and serve Vanilla Pudding (feel free to use sugar free if you want)
* 4 cups of Milk (I used 1% milk, but I would use 2% next time)
* 2 cans of Mandarin Oranges
* 1 Tub of Cool Whip
* The zest of 1 orange to sprinkle on the cake at the end
* Mix dry cake mix with ONLY the 12 oz of Orange Soda and bake as directed on the box in a 9x13 pan. (I baked mine for 28 minutes on 350  and it came out perfect).  When done let completely cool.
~*~Note~*~ Cake does not rise as much as usual.

* While cake is baking, make the cook and serve Vanilla Pudding as directed on the box.
* When pudding is done, let completely cool. (I let mine cool in the fridge)
* Next, drain 2 cans of Mandarin Oranges and slice each one in half lengthwise.

* Spread the Mandarin Orange slices all over the cake.
* Spread the Vanilla Pudding over the top of the oranges.
* Last spread the Cool Whip over the top.
* For an added touch, top with the Zest of an Orange 
* Cover and let it stay in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Secret Ingredient Sweet Potato Pancakes

Every weekend I enjoy having eggs, waffles, pancakes, or French Toast, since during the weekday I don't have time to make any.  I recently had breakfast with my girl friends at a cute little breakfast house and ordered Sweet Potato Pancakes. They were absolutely delicious! The next weekend I craved sweet potato pancakes.  I went online and did a recipe search.  They all called for pureed or mashed sweet potato and I felt to lazy to go through the trouble to boil potatoes and puree them, so I came up with an idea to use baby food.  I went to the grocery store and in the organic section they had sweet potato baby food.  If you look at the ingredients in the jar, all that is in it is sweet potato! Perfect!     I gave it a try and discovered that baby food works perfectly in my recipe. It may sound gross that I used baby food, but I promise not only did it Make life easier but these pancakes were yummy!
* 2 cups of Bisquick
* 1 egg
* 1/2 cup of sweet potato baby food (I use Organic brand Earth's Best.  The one I bought had the cinnamon in it already, because it was seasonal.  I still added more cinnamon though).
* 1  cup of 2 % or whole milk ( have extra handy in case you need to add more)
* 1 1/4 tsp of Cinnamon (add more or less if you want!)
* 1/2 tsp of Nutmeg (optional)
* Mix the Bisquick, Egg, Sweet Potato Baby Food, Milk and Cinnamon
* Whisk until batter is smooth and set aside
* Pour desired pancake size onto a buttered hot griddle and cook both sides.
* Top with butter and Maple Syrup!
~*~TIP~*~ Save the empty baby food jar! When I am making my husband or I a salad to take to work for lunch, I put the dressing in the jar.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Tastes Like Boston Market Corn Bread

I do not eat fast food, but for some reason I do love Boston Market.  I especially love the mini corn bread loaf they give you with your meal.  I came across a Boston Market Corn Bread "KopyKat" recipe a while ago and decided to take a chance. I am sure glad I did, because to me it tastes just like it and is super moist! It is very good served with Chili or by its self as dessert!
* 2 boxes of Jiffy Corn Bread Mix
* 1 Box of Golden Butter Recipe Yellow Cake Mix
* 5 eggs
* 1 1/3 cups of water
* 2/3 cups of 2% or whole milk
* 1 stick of softened butter
* Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
* In a large mixing bowl whisk, Eggs, Water, and Milk
* Next, add Softened butter, both corn bread mixes, and whole box of cake mix.  Whisk very well.
* Spray a 9x13 inch cake pan and pour corn bread batter into the pan (Feel free to use muffin tins as well if you like)
* Bake for 30-35 minutes


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Mexican Pizza

    We enjoy having Mexican night in our house once a week, whether it is tacos, enchiladas, or Mexican Pizza.  This  pizza is so simple to make! This year we decided to stay in for Valentine's Day, because it is always so crazy going out that night.  For dinner I took the Mexican Pizza recipe and just used my heart shape cookie cutter to make heart shape Mexican Pizzas in honor of Valentine's Day.  Normally I just make a rectangular or circular pizza. 
* 3/4 lb of Ground Beef (I use 90%)
* 1/4 lb of ground sausage (I take one sausage link and just remove the casing from it)
* 1 Taco Seasoning Packet
* 3/4 cups of water
* Shredded Mexican Cheese
1 small onion (finely chopped)
* I can of Original Pillsbury Pizza Crust
* Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees
* In a large frying pan cook ground beef, sausage and onion until meat is fully cooked.
* Add the packet of Taco Seasoning and 3/4 cups of water. Mix well and set aside.
* Lightly flour a large wooden board.
* Open up the can of Pizza Crust  and lay on the floured board.
* Using a large heart shaped Cookie Cutter, cut out as many hearts as you can (I think mine made 10) and lay on a cookie sheet.
I pinched around the edges to form a mini cust
* Put in oven for 12 minutes
* Take out of oven and spread meat mixture on Pizza crusts and shredded cheese.
* let cook for another 7 minutes.
To make regular pizza:
* Open can of pizza crust and lay on a rectangular sheet pan. 
* Let crust cook in oven for about 12 minutes.
* Take out of oven and layer with Meat Mixture and Cheese
* Bake for about another 7 minutes

Monday, February 13, 2012

Hot Cocoa Cookies

      Yesterday we finally had a lot of snow! During our winter months I love to curl up on the couch with a mug of hot cocoa.  What goes perfect with hot cocoa are Hot Cocoa Cookies! These cookies are made with Hot Cocoa Mix and Marshmallows!!! These are the absolutely the most perfect winter treat! 
p.s. Warning! The cookie dough is so good it is dangerous!
*2 sticks of unsalted butter at room temperature
*1 cup sugar
*2/3 cup brown sugar
*2 eggs
*1 teaspoon vanilla
*3 1/4 cups flour
*4 packets Hot Chocolate Mix (I use Swiss Miss Milk Chocolate.  Do not get the one with marshmallows and do not use Sugar Free)
*1 teaspoon salt
*1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 bag of mini marshmallows 
* Cream together butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla
* Add Flour, Hot Cocoa packets, and Baking Soda.
* Mix in the whole bag of mini marshmallows very well
* Cover and refrigerate for an hour. 
* Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
* Scoop even amounts of cookie dough onto a nonstick cookie sheet or parchment paper
* Cook for 9-11 minutes
* Let fully cool before trying to remove from cookie sheet.
~*~NOTE~*~ Because the Marshmallow gets caramelized and sticky, carefully remove from cookie sheet.  The melted marshmallow on the pan does stick. 
Enjoy with a mug of hot cocoa topped with marshmallows!!