Recipes Mangia Mondays Home

Friday, April 29, 2011

5 favorite friday

hello, dear friends!

i just have one final left.
thank freakin' goodness...
my lil' old brain can't handle much more this semester.
seriously - i've been having a hard time functioning the past few days.
but, the end is in sight!

but, now to turn the attention to things that are more fun...
like my 5 favorites from this past week's

feel free to grab the button
& let people know you were featured!

{i had to include this organizational tip from my co-host, lisa, because it's amazing!}

so, there you have it!

don't forget to check out

until next time,

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

roasted tomatoes stuffed with pesto

hiya, friends!

remember those delicious tomatoes from my easter brunch post?
well, today i'm a-sharin' the recipe!

these tomatoes are oh-my-gosh-good!
& they honestly could not be any easier to make.

roasted tomatoes stuffed with pesto

small tomatoes {however many you want}
olive oil
dried oregano
pesto {homemade or store-bought}
parmesan cheese, grated

1. preheat oven to 425 f.

2. slice tomatoes in half and lay them cut side up. drizzle with olive oil, & sprinkle with salt, pepper, & dried oregano.

3. bake 10 minutes.

4. remove from oven. top with pesto & grated parmesan. return to oven & continue baking 10 minutes or until cheese starts to turn golden brown.

& that's it!
simple & delicious side dish that you must try!

make sure you check out all the amazing blogs i'm linking this post to!

until next time

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

bloggers bake for hope

hi, friends!
only a few more days 'til i'm done with the semester!
whew! :D

in other news,
have you guys heard of


let me tell you a little about it:

Bake for Hope is a week long, nation-wide, 100% volunteer-run, bake sale event happening, the week leading up to Mother's Day. Proceeds donated to local Susan G. Komen for the Cure affiliates.

Bloggers Bake for Hope is a virtual bake sale. Bloggers will donate their time, ingredients, and shipping costs so there are no expenses associated with this virtual bake sale. All proceeds from the bake sale will be sent to the Massachusetts Komen for the Cure.

Jen and Cara, two Boston area food bloggers have teamed up for a project called Bloggers Bake for Hope, a virtual bake sale as part of Bake for Hope. Jen serves up sweets at Beantown Baker, while Cara shares healthy, creative dinners at Cara’s Cravings.

Both Cara and Jen have been successful fundraisers for Susan G. Komen for the Cure in the past. Cara is currently organizing the third annual Bake for Hope at her company’s office site in Marlboro, MA. Last year’s event raised over $2500. Jen has made breast cancer awareness part of her personal mission. In 2004, Jen’s mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Since then, Jen, her sisters, mom, and aunts walk the Race for the Cure every year. Jen and her family have raised thousands of dollars for the various Komen for the Cure affiliates.

Jen and Cara feel a strong connection to the cause, and are avid bloggers with a strong following. Thus, teaming up to host an online bake sale seemed like a fun and natural way to take things to the next level. The virtual bake sale will take place on May 4-6, 2011. Bloggers and bakers from across the country will agree in advance to donate baked goods. Buyers will make virtual pledges on the Bloggers Bake for Hope site, and at the close of the bake sale the highest bidders will be awarded the donated baked goods. They will make their donations via PayPal, and the bakers will then bake and ship their goods. Because the bakers are donating their ingredients, time, and shipping costs, there are no expenses associated with the virtual bake sale. 100% of the proceeds will be donated to the Massachusetts Komen for the Cure. Jen and Cara are challenging their fellow bakers and bloggers to help them raise $2000 through Bloggers Bake for Hope.

that was taken directly from the "about" section of

i've donated a dozen tie-dye cupcakes.
are you donating anything?
you can still sign up to bake until april 30th.
{that's saturday!}
even if you can't donate anything to sell,
make sure you check out the bake sale...
& spread the word so we can raise that $2000 plus some! :D

please, please, please post this in your blog,
on facebook,
on twitter...
email your friends!
whatever it takes!

thanks so much!
until next time,

Monday, April 25, 2011

mangia mondays 7: easter brunch

hello, friends!
welcome to

and i are incredibly happy to host this blog hop every monday.
we love seeing all of the amazing recipes & food posts linked up each week.
not to mention, being introduced to all of your fabulous blogs!

this week, i'm sharing my easter brunch menu.
everything was spectacular
& the family was quite pleased
{& stuffed!}

easter menu

{click image to enlarge}
i made a pretty, springy, menu in photoshop
& put it in a white frame i got for $1 at target.

see how pretty?

french toast
on french bread & sesame semolina

apple doughnuts with maple glaze & bacon
{recipe can be found here}
the family wanted to try these since they were featured on

roasted tomatoes stuffed with pesto
{everyone LOVED these... recipe to come this week}

fresh fruit salad
{kiwi, clementine's, strawberries, & pineapple}

grapefruit tie-dye cupcakes & lemonade cupcakes

& freshly squeezed blackberry lemonade

boy, oh boy!
no one in our family left hungry!

now it's your turn -
link up those recipes & food posts!

how mangia mondays work:

. add a link to your recipe or food post & visit some others who have linked up before you .

. link back to mangia mondays anywhere on your blog .

. thanks for not linking up to giveaways or items you're selling .

. help spread the word about mangia mondays by sharing this post with others .

until next time,
dowlings, out!

Friday, April 22, 2011

5 favorites friday

hello, sweet readers!

friday could net get here fast enough.
i'm officially in finals mode,
which means next week's postings will probably be as sporadic as this week's.
sorry about that, friends...
but i know you understand.

don't you worry!
i still had time to pick my 5 favorite recipes from this week's

can i just tell you how difficult it was to pick just 5?!
i have at least a dozen of your recipes
{from this past week, alone!}
bookmarked to try ASAP!
thank you so much for sharing every week.

on to my favorites...
feel free to grab the button
& let people know you were featured!

i hope all of you have a wonderful, relaxing easter weekend.

until next time,

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

chipotle mac & cheese

howdy, partners!
you know what i love?
cheese. pasta. bacon. chipotle.
so, of course, i had to combine them for a delicious

chipotle mac & cheese

1 lb elbow macaroni
1/2 C butter
1/2 C all-purpose flour
{about} 1 C milk
2 C shredded cheddar cheese
4 chiptole peppers in adobo, diced
salt & pepper, to taste
3 chicken breasts, cooked & sliced
4 slices of bacon, cooked & chopped
2 tomatoes, diced

1. in a large pot, bring enough water to cook pasta to a boil. cook pasta until barely al dente, about 6 minutes.

2. while the pasta is cooking, in a sauce pan, melt the butter over medium heat. add the flour & whisk to form a roux. when the flour & butter are well-combined, whisk in 3/4 of the milk & let it cook until it just starts to thicken. add the cheese, chipotle peppers, salt & pepper. add more milk to reach the desired consistency of sauce.

3. drain pasta & return to pot. add cheese sauce, chicken, bacon & tomatoes.
{i've also made this with spinach & broccoli... delicious!} stir to combine, & enjoy!

you could also turn this into a 13"x9" baking dish, top with bread crumbs & bake!

the hubs & i like spicy food,
so i may add some of the adobo sauce to the cheese mixture.
if you're unsure of how much spice you can handle, start small with 2 peppers & go from there!

please excuse my sporadic posting for the next week & a half...
the semester is winding down & it's crunch time!

make sure you click here to check out all of the amazing blogs i'm linking this post to!

until next time,
{this picture is "artsy"}

Monday, April 18, 2011

mangia monday 6: top 10 kitchen essentials

hello, readers!

first, i'm sorry that i'm getting this post up late!
i didn't get home until just a few minutes ago
& realized i didn't have anything set up!
second, can you believe that i did not cook an entire thing all weekend?
the hubs & i were busy enjoying the beautiful weather we've been having
& hangin' out with the family!
that brings me to my third point!
instead of having a recipe this week,
i'm going to talk about the top 10 things i think are essential in any kitchen,
why i think so, & where you can get 'em.

welcome to

& i host this blog hop every monday.
we like to share recipes most of the time...
but this week, i'm spicin' it up a little bit.
i encourage you to link up even if you don't have a recipe to share.
how about your top kitchen essentials?
or a review of your favorite restaurant?
how about the ingredients you can't live without?
link up & let us know!

so, here we go:
kristin's top 10 kitchen essentials
the most important thing is a good knife.
i absolutely adore my wusthof 8" cook's knife,
but it's becoming more & more common to replace the cook's (or chef's) knife
with a santoku.
it's important to look for forged, high carbon steel knives if you want a good quality.
the wusthof knives are easy for me to handle,
they aren't too heavy,
they're well-balanced,
& the grip is comfortable to me.
before investing in expensive knives,
go & handle them - making sure they are comfortable for you!
i don't know what i would do without my
this piece of equipment is so versatile -
you can get an attachment to do just about anything:
make ice cream, grind meat, roll out pasta -
they're incredible.
a thermometer is crucial in the kitchen.
i like the digital kitchen thermometer because it gives me a fast, accurate reading.
they are hard, have a longer lifespan than regular maple cutting boards,
& are more resistant to bacteria.
they are not dishwasher safe,
but i much prefer cutting on a wooden board than plastic.
it's easier on my knife, too. :)
a dutch or french oven is a great tool.
don't think that you have to get an expensive le creuset -
my brother in law is extremely happy with his martha stewart brand dutch oven.
you can do so much in these pots:
braise, fry, make soups / stews... soooo much!

comes in really handy when you like the fresh taste of lemon,
finely grated garlic, fresh nutmeg or cinnamon, etc.
the micro blades are super sharp & work really well.
the george foreman grill is SO convenient.
it allows us to grill indoors... how great is that?
with the removable plates, clean up is a breeze
& we can have great grilled foods all year long. :D

a super-cute apron always makes cooking fun...
& stylish!
anthropologie has the cutest aprons - they are very well-made & last a long time, too!
the stainless-steel skimmer is a neat tool.
you can use it to strain pasta / ravioli,
remove fried items from oil, scoop things out of hot water, etc.
it's a really great, multi-purpose tool!
stainless-steel tongs are a necessity.
they make flipping, lifting, turning & handling food so much easier.
getting a pair that has a lock is great for storage, too!

so, there you have it!

now it's your turn to link up!

how mangia mondays work:

. add a link to your recipe or food post & visit some others who have linked up before you .

. link back to mangia mondays anywhere on your blog .

. thanks for not linking up to giveaways or items you're selling .

. help spread the word about mangia mondays by sharing this post with others .

until next time,
dowlings, out!

Friday, April 15, 2011

5 favorites friday

hiya, friends!

all i can say is TGIF! :D
i'll be even happier in 2 weeks when the semester is over!

as you know,
i feature my 5 favorite recipes every friday
from the current week's mangia monday!

feel free to grab the button
& let people know you were featured!

here we go:

i don't know about you,
but i would really like that cool tv from willy wonka & the chocolate factory.
you know the one i'm talking about...
where you can reach right in & pull out a candy bar?
but, i would like the computer version...
& would like to pull these foods out.
make sense?

make sure you click here

until next time,

we have a winner!

hello, there!
i'm so happy to announce the winner of the giveaway!
i selected the winner using the number generator from

congratulations, comment number five:
i've sent you an email!
as a reminder,
this is what you've won:

food network magazine's great easy meals cookbook
& a $25 giftcard!


until next time,

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

buttermilk wheat bread

hello, sweet readers!

the minute i saw this recipe for
i knew i *had* to give it a try.

...& i have to tell you...
i was not disappointed!

this bread is so soft
& tastes like a really good, expensive, store-bought loaf...
but it's not! :D
the hubs & i even took snowhite's advice
& made some killer grilled cheese sandwiches.
they were amazing.

buttermilk wheat bread

1 1/4 C buttermilk
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 C honey
1 Tbs butter
1/4 C dry milk
1 1/2 C bread flour
1 1/2 C whole wheat flour
2 1/4 tsp yeast

1. combine ingredients in your bread maker according to manufacturer's directions.

2. set to "dough" cycle & allow the bread to knead & complete the cycle. check the dough as it starts kneading; both snowhite & i needed to add a bit more flour to the dough.

3. when the cycle is complete, remove the bread dough from the bread machine & shape into a loaf. place in a lightly greased loaf pan. cover & allow to rise for about 1 hour, or until doubled.

4. bake at 325 f for 30-40 minutes, or until the bread is nicely brown & it sounds hollow when tapped.
*i had to bake mine for about 60 minutes*

5. remove the loaf from the pan & cool on a wire rack.

6. cool completely {resist temptations!} before slicing. the bread is much too soft to slice before then!

i don't know if i will ever buy a loaf of bread again.
this was quite simple to make,
it's really delicious,
the quality is amazing,
& did i mention it tastes delicious?
because it does.

& there are only a couple more days to enter the giveaway!
the new foodnetwork magazine cookbook
& a $25 giftcard!

until next time,

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

company pot roast


about a month ago, i signed up to participate in a cookbook review through
the facebook fans voted on which cookbook they would like to review
& it was a tie between:


now, you all know the love i have for the bfc!
i immediately chose to review the
company pot roast...
& boy, am i glad i did!

company pot roast

1 (4-6 lb.) prime boneless beef chuck roast, tied
kosher salt & freshly ground pepper
all-purpose flour
good olive oil
2 C chopped carrots (4 carrots)
2 C chopped yellow onions (2 onions)
2 C chopped celery (4 stalks)
2 C chopped leeks, white & light green parts (2-4 leeks)
5 lg garlic cloves, peeled & crushed
2 C good red wine, such as burgundy
2 Tbs cognac or brandy
1 (28 oz) can whole plum tomatoes in puree
1 C chicken stock, preferably homemade
1 chicken bouillon cube
3 branches fresh thyme
2 branches fresh rosemary
1 Tbs unsalted butter, at room temperature

1. preheat the oven to 325 f.

2. pat the beef dry with a paper towel. season the roast all over with 1 Tbs salt & 1 1/2 tsp pepper. dredge the whole roast in flour, including the ends.

3. in a large dutch oven, heat 2 Tbs olive oil over medium heat. add the roast & sear for 4-5 minutes, until nicely browned. turn & sear the other side & then turn & sear the ends. this should take 4-5 minutes for each side. remove the roast to a large plate.

4. add 2 Tbs olive oil to the dutch oven. add the carrots, onions, celery, leeks, garlic, 1 Tbs salt & 1 1/2 tsp pepper & cook over medium heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender but not browned. add the wine & cognac & bring to a boil. add the tomatoes, chicken stock, bouillon cube, 2 tsp salt & 1 tsp pepper. tie the thyme & rosemary together with kitchen string & add to the pot. put the roast back into the pot, bring to a boil, & cover.

5. place in the oven for 2 1/2 hours, until the meat is for tender or about 160 f internally. turn the heat down to 250 f after about an hour to keep the sauce at a simmer.

6. remove the roast to a cutting board. remove the herb bundle & discard. skim off as much fat as possible from the sauce. transfer half the sauce & vegetables to a blender or a food processor fitted with the steel blade & puree until smooth. pour the puree back into the pot, place on the stovetop over low heat, & return the sauce to a simmer. place 2 Tbs flour & the butter in a small bowl & mash them together with a fork. stir into the sauce & simmer for 2 minutes, stirring until thickened. taste for seasonings.

7. remove the strings from the roast, & slice the meat. serve warm with the sauce spooned over it.

the company pot roast is outta' this world!
the flavors are so rich & inviting...
it's a classic, homestyle favorite, but really is fit for serving to company.

it's definitely a keeper!

here are the minor changes i made & would make in the future:

white onions instead of yellow
didn't add leeks
added 6 sliced baby portabella mushrooms
used fresh minced garlic instead of crushed
the red wine was a cabernet sauvignon
brandy instead of cognac
2 (14.5 oz) cans of diced tomatoes instead of 1 (28 oz) can of whole plum tomatoes in puree
chicken stock was store-bought
no bouillon cube

the recipe says to skim the fat at the end, but with all of the vegetables, i found it near impossible, thus making the sauce a little bit oily. next time, i won't add any more oil to the pan after cooking the meat. there was plenty left over to cook the vegetables.

there was a lot of salt... definitely season the meat & the vegetables, but that additional 2 tsp of salt you put in with the cognac can be left out until you taste for seasoning at the end.


overall, this was an amazing meal.
i made traditional mashed potatoes to go with it...
& can't wait to make it again & serve to guests!

thanks to it's a keeper for this wonderful idea & opportunity!
i can't wait to read all of the reviews!

& there's just a couple more days to enter the giveaway!
the new foodnetwork magazine cookbook
& a $25 giftcard!

until next time,