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Quick And Easy Meals for The Holidays




This easy lasagna soup recipe has all of the delicious flavors of homemade lasagna without all the work! The perfect weeknight dinner that's made in one pot!


Prep Time: 20 minsCook Time: 20 minsTotal Time: 40 mins

Serves:6 

Ingredients: 1 Tablespoon olive oil1 cup chopped onion2 teaspoons minced garlic1/2 pound mild Turkey Italian sausage without the casings

1/2 pound of ground turkey32 ounce container chicken stock1 can 15 ounces petite diced tomatoes with juice 

1/2 jar of Rao’s Handmade Marinara Sauce

1 teaspoon ground oregano

1 Tablespoon of Porterhouse Seasoning 

½ teaspoon Italian seasoning for the meat 

½ teaspoon Italian seasoning for the cheese mixture  

2-3 Tablespoons freshly chopped basil, more to taste8 uncooked lasagna noodles, broken into bite-sized pieces

or 2 cups fusilli pasta,½ cup grated parmesan cheese1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, optional

8 oz of Ricotta Cheese


Instructions:

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-heat. Add in the onion and cook for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for an additional minute. Add in the mild turkey sausage and ground Turkey (break up with a wooden spoon) and cook until browned. 


Add in chicken stock, tomatoes and Rao’s Marinara.  Add the fresh herbs and seasoning, stir until combined.  Cook for 30 minutes on medium heat. 


Next, boil the Lasagna noodles in a separate pan of boiling water as directed on the package for 8-10 minutes, or until the noodles are tender.  Drain Noodles when done and rinse with water to make sure they do not stick together.


In a separate bowl, mix together the mozzarella, parmesan cheese, ricotta cheese and add the Italian seasoning. Mix well and set aside. 


Lastly, ladle soup mixture into the soup bowls add the noodles, add a scoop of the cheese mixture and add a little bit more of the soup mixture and sprinkle a small amount of parmesan cheese. 


Serve immediately and enjoy!!!



Mushroom, Celery Salad 

Prep Time: 5 mins

Serves 4 lucky people


INGREDIENTS:

12 fresh mushrooms sliced

4 large celery sticks sliced

1/2 cup of diced apples

1/4 a cup of parmesan cheese

Dressing:  

2 tablespoons Tuscan Herb Blend olive oil.  (If you don’t have flavored olive oil, just use a good olive oil.

2 Tablespoons fresh lemon 

2 Tablespoons Lemon olive oil

1 Tablespoon of Sicilian lemon white balsamic 

1 Tablespoon of Cranberry Pear White Balsamic 

1 teaspoon Porterhouse seasoning salt


DIRECTIONS:

  1. Thinly slice the mushrooms and celery.  Toss them into a large mixing bowl.  

  2. Slice and then slice 1/2 of an apple.  Next slice the 1/2 apple and combine with the  mushrooms and celery in a salad bowl.

  3. Mix olive oils, balsamic, lemon juice, salt, seasoning  and mix. 

  4. Optional (2 Tablespoons of Pomegranate Seeds, for a pop of color and taste)

  5. Just before you are ready to serve, pour dressing over mushroom, celery, and apples. Sprinkle on the parmesan cheese and serve.  For an added touch, as you are preparing this delicious dish, place your salad plates and forks in your freezer so they are really cold.  Once you are ready to serve, take out your plates from the freezer, place your mushroom salad on the plates along with their cold fork, your guests will be impressed!

Serve immediately and enjoy!



Oven Roasted Asparagus with Onions And Pine Nuts    

Serves 6

5 minute prep time and 10 minutes cooking time


Cooking Utensils:

1 metal of glass cooking pan (about 6x 9), 1 glass pyrex measuring cup, knife, cutting board


Ingredients: 

1 onion, 1/2 a cup of pine nuts or any other kind of nuts you prefer, 1/2 teaspoon of seasoning salt,1/2 cup of olive oil, (flavored olive oil is delicious, especially, buttered flavor) and 1 bunch of asparagus, (30 pieces of asparagus will give each person 5 pieces.)   


Instructions: 

Take 1 onion and cut it in half.  Place 1 half down on the cutting sheet and slice into long thin slices and do the same with the other half.  Pull the slices apart and place them into the glass pyrex cup.  Pour in 1/2 cup of olive oil of your choice.  Place in the microwave for 5 minutes.  While that is cooking, wash off the asparagus and cut off the ends, about 1/3, that will leave about 2/3 's of the asparagus.  Place in a cooking pan and when the onions are finished cooking in the microwave, pour them onto the asparagus. Sprinkle and salt on top of the cooked onions and then pour on the pine nuts.   


Place the pan into the oven and bake at 350 degrees for about 7 to 10 minutes so the asparagus is still crunchy.  This is super easy, so delicious and will complement most main dishes.  


Serve immediately and enjoy!!!



Cream Brûlée for 2

Prep time: 10 minute prep and 50 minutes to cook


Utensils:  

Whisk, mixing bowl, 2 ramekins, 1 measuring cup, Pyrex baking dish, kitchen torch.

  • Eggs: 3 egg yolks from 3 large eggs. Reserve the egg whites for another use.

  • Heavy Whipping Cream: 1 cup of ‘heavy’ whipping cream, or else it’s not thick enough. 

  • Granulated Sugar: 1/4 of a cup of sugar is needed for the custard, plus about 2 tablespoons of extra sugar needed for sprinkling on top to caramelize with the kitchen torch.  You can also use a vanilla sugar to caramelize the custard.

  • Vanilla Extract. You can use one teaspoon of vanilla extract, or the seeds of 1/2 a vanilla bean. If you have vanilla bean paste, use 1/2 teaspoon.


Directions:

  1. Have all ingredients ready to make your creme brûlée for 2: Remember, the eggs (should be at room temperature), heavy whipping cream, sugar and your choice of vanilla. Preheat the oven to 350-degrees, and ensure you have one oven rack in the center position.

  2. Combine the egg yolks, 1/4 cup of the sugar and vanilla in a glass bowl.

  3. Whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and vanilla.

  4. Next, add the heavy whipping cream. 

  5. Whisk very well, but be careful not to whip too much air into the mixture with the whisk. Just stir vigorously by hand while keeping the whisk submerged in the liquid. Don’t move the whisk up and down, or you’ll add too much air. Similarly, do not use an electric mixer to make creme brûlée for 2.

  6. Divide the mixture between two, 6 ounce ramekins.

  7. Next, place the ramekins inside a glass dish, and pour hot water into the dish until it reaches 1/2″ up the sides of the ramekins. In an 8 or 9-inch dish, this is about 2 cups of hot water. You can heat the water in the microwave or boil it in a kettle before using.

  8. Bake the creme brûlée for 2 for 50-60 minutes, and known that the only the center should be slightly jiggly when it’s ready to be removed from the oven. Remove the pan from the oven, and let the custards cool completely while still in the water bath. Once cool, remove each ramekin, wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours (or up to 2 days ahead of time).

  9. After removing the Creme Brûlée from the refrigerator, sprinkle the 2 teaspoons of sugar over the ramekins (one teaspoon on each custard), and then use a kitchen torch to melt and caramelize it until crisp and golden brown. Serve immediately.

Troubleshooting and Tips:

How to tell when creme brûlée is done:


Creme brûlée is a custard that is cooked low and slow in a water bath over nearly an hour. The way to ensure it’s done and ready to be removed from the oven is to slightly shake the pan. Only the very center of the creme brûlée should jiggle. If the whole surface of the custard jiggles, it needs more time. Typically, if you have an older oven or a gas/ propane oven, this recipe needs 60 minutes of bake time. If you have a newer oven, 50 minutes is just right.


Which sugar to use for creme brûlée?


Granulated sugar is what this creme brûlée for 2 recipe requires, for both the custard and the crisp burnt topping.


How to make creme brûlée without a torch in the oven:

If you lack a kitchen torch, you can still make creme brûlée in the oven! Only do this right before you’re ready to serve: move a rack to the highest position in the oven. Place the ramekins on the rack. Turn the broiler on as high as it goes, and do not walk away from the oven. Keep an eye on it as the broiler melts and caramelizes the sugar. Creme brûlée is excellent when made this way in the oven, but note that the custard will be slightly warmer at serving time. 


The reason we use a kitchen torch is because it quickly cooks the sugar on top and allows the custard beneath to stay cool. 


Why is my creme brûlée runny and not set?


Because it wasn’t cooked long enough. Before removing it from the oven, give the pan a quick shake. Only the very center of the creme brûlée should slightly jiggle. Also, ensure you let the custards cool completely in the water bath. Do not remove them while warm or still hot.  Enjoy!!!


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