Baked Ziti

Ingredients

  • 1 (1-pound) package uncooked ziti (short tube-shaped pasta)
  • 1 pound hot turkey Italian sausage links
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 (14.5-ounce) cans petite-diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°.

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain the pasta, and set aside.

Remove casings from sausage. Cook sausage, onion, and garlic in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until browned, stirring to crumble. Add the tomato paste, salt, pepper, and tomatoes, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Combine cooked pasta, sausage mixture, and basil. Place half of the pasta mixture in a 4-quart casserole coated with cooking spray. Top with half of mozzarella and half of Parmesan. Repeat layers. Bake at 350°F for 25 minutes or until bubbly.

Pretzel Sparklers

Ingredients

  • 2 dozen pretzel rods
  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • red white and blue sprinkles

Directions

Place 4 ounces chopped semisweet chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir occasionally until melted; remove from heat. Using a pastry brush, coat the upper third of each pretzel rod in chocolate. Cover with sprinkles; stand pretzels upright in a glass. Place in the refrigerator until firm, about 5 minutes.

Red White and Blue Star Cookies

Ingredients

  • 5 cups cake flour (not self-rising), plus more for dusting surfaces
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 12 ounces (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract 
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream, plus more for brushing
  • 3/4 cup raspberry jam
  • 3/4 cup blueberry jam
  • 2 tablespoons sanding sugar (red, white and blue if you can find it)

Directions

Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Cream butter and granulated sugar, with a mixer on medium speed, until pale and fluffy. Beat in yolks and vanilla until well combined. Add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with cream and beating well after each addition. Shape dough into 4 disks, wrap each in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours (or up to 3 days).

On floured parchment, roll 1 disk of dough into a 1/8-inch-thick rectangle. Repeat with remaining disks. Stack sheets of dough and parchment, and refrigerate for 1 hour or freeze for 30 minutes.

Spread raspberry jam on 1 sheet of dough, blueberry jam on another. Top each with a plain sheet of dough. Refrigerate for 1 hour or freeze for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut out cookies using a 2 1/2-inch star-shaped cutter, and space 1 inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Brush with cream, and sprinkle with sanding sugar. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or freeze for 15 minutes.

Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until golden, 16 to 20 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks, and let cool completely. If desired, bake dough scraps.

Arlene’s Cranberry Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 cans whole cranberries
  • 1 large can pineapple chunks, drained
  • 2 cups purple grapes cut in half and seeded
  • 2 cups walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 2 oranges
  • 3 packages raspberry gelatin

Directions

Blend 1 can cranberries in blender until smooth and heats to boiling and mix in gelatin.  When completely dissolved cool.  Cut up pineapple chuncks in small pieces and use 2 cups.  Mix together with graphes and nuts.  Cut up 2 large oranges, seed, put in blender and blend until orange rind is very small.  Mix all ingredients together with rest of cranberries.  Put in individual or ring mold.  Refrigerate for 24 hours.  Serves 12 individual or 1 large mold.

Coleman’s Favorite Chocolate Pie

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon cocoa
  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • 1 ounce semi or bitter sweet chocolate
  • 2 cups half and half, divided
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

Directions

Whisk together sugar, cocoa and warm water.  Stirring constantly, bring to a boil at medium low/low.  Stir in chocolate and 1 3/4 cups half and half.  Mix together cornstarch and 1/4 cup half and half, then stir in.  Cook over medium/low  heat, stirring constantly until thickened.  Reduce to low and stir 1 minute more.  Take off heat and stir in vanilla.  Pour into prebaked pie crust and cover with saran wrap immediately.

Roast Chicken with Garbanzo Beans, Tomatoes, and Paprika

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 cup plan yogurt or Greek yogurt
  • 4 chicken breast halves with bones
  • 1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans, drained
  • 1 12-ounce container cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided

Directions

Preheat oven to 450. 

Mix first 5 ingredients in medium bowl.  Pour 1 teaspoon spiced oil mixture into small bowl; whisk in yogurt and set aside for sauce.  Place chicken on large rimmed baking sheet.  Rub 2 tablespoons spiced oil mixture over chicken.  Add beans, tomatoes, and 1/2 cup cilantro to remaining spiced oil mixture; toss to coat.  Pour bean mixutre around chicken.  Sprinkle everything generously with salt and pepper. 

Roast until chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes.  Sprinkle with 1/2 cup cilantro.  Transfer chicken to plates.  Spoon bean mixture over.  Serve with yogurt sauce.

Nick’s Sweet Potato Fries

Ingredients

  • 1 sweet potato
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon parsley
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • honey

Directions

Preheat oven to 425.

Cut sweet potato into strips.  Put into gallon ziploc bag.  Add olive oil and toss.  Mix herbs.  Add to ziploc bag and toss. 

Place on baking sheet.  Bake for 15 minutes, turn and bake 15 minutes more. 

Remove from oven and drizzle honey on the fries.

Herbed Potato Salad

Ingredients

  • 3  pounds  Yukon gold potatoes
  • 1  cup  dry white wine
  • 3  tablespoons  white wine vinegar
  • 2  tablespoons  extravirgin olive oil
  • 1  tablespoon  whole-grain Dijon mustard
  • 3/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 3/4  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
  • 2  garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2  cup  thinly sliced chives
  • 2  tablespoons  chopped fresh parsley
  • 1  teaspoon  chopped fresh tarragon

Directions

Place potatoes into a large saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until tender. Drain, and cool for 10 minutes. Slice each potato in half lengthwise. Cut each half crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Place potato slices in a large bowl.

Place wine in a small saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a boil. Cook until reduced to 1/2 cup (about 6 minutes). Transfer wine to a bowl. Add vinegar, olive oil, Dijon mustard, salt, black pepper, and minced garlic; stir with a whisk until well combined. Drizzle wine mixture over potatoes; sprinkle with chives, parsley, and tarragon. Toss gently to combine. Serve salad warm or chilled.

Mom’s Tri Tip Marinade

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds tri tip steak
  • 3/4 cup shiraz
  • 2/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons worchestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons dijon

Directions

Combine ingredients and refrigerate for 1-8 hours.  BBQ until done.  Slice and serve.

Serve with Herbed Potato Salad.

Best Chicken Enchiladas

Ingredients

Sauce

  • 1 28-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 7-ounce can chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Filling

  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 1/2 cup monterey jack cheese, grated
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 10-15 medium white corn tortillas
  • lots of vegetable oil

Directions

Blend tomato sauce, onion, garlic, chipotle, cumin, coriander, salt and broth in blend until smooth.  NOTE: if doubling the recipe only make one batch of sauce at a time or the blender will overflow.  Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Add tomato mixture, bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until mixture is reduced to 3 1/2 cups, 8 to 10 minutes. 

Boil chicken until done.  Shred.  Mix chicken, cheese, onion and cilantro in a medium bowl. 

Heat vegetable oil in a fry pan.  Dip each tortilla in the oil for 3 seconds a side.  Then dip each side in the sauce.  Place 1/4 cup of the chicken mixture in the tortilla and roll.  Place seam side down in a 9×13 dish (or two 9×9 dishes) that has been coated with cooking spray.  Repeat until pan is full.  Pour remaining sauce over the top and cover with some more grated cheese. 

To serve immediately: Bake uncovered at 350 for 15 minutes.

To freeze: Cover with foil and freeze.  Bake covered at 350 for 30 minutes straight from the freezer.  Uncover and continue baking until cheese has melted, about 5 minutes.