Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Spinach Ravioli's

My new favorite pasta. My brother-in-law made a wonderful manicotti at Christmas that was smokey and filled with spinach and mushrooms. I am usually not a manicotti fan so I decided I needed to find a way to re-create this recipe for my taste. I was planning on using just cheese raviolis and adding spinach to the sauce, but I found spinach and cheese filled raviolis. Perfect. My dish doesn't equal his by any means, but I made it easily and we loved it! I plan on making this many times. Hope you enjoy!

1-2 pkgs of refrigerated spinach and cheese raviolis (depending on how many you need, I found them at Sam's Club)
1 big can crushed tomatoes
1/4-1/2 pound double smoked bacon
glug of Cabernet or other red cooking wine
Italian Seasoning and dried basil to taste
1 TBS brown sugar
1 cup shredded mozzarella
Grated Parmesan
Parsley for garnishment, optional

Cook bacon in medium sauce pan until crispy. Remove bacon to plate, pour out most of bacon grease. Add crushed tomatoes, wine, seasonings, sugar and crumbled bacon back to sauce pan. Let simmer until ready to pour over raviolis.

While sauce is simmering, bring a big pot of water to boil. Cook raviolis according to package directions. Drain and place in casserole dish. Top with tomato sauce and coat with cheeses. Bake, uncovered for 20-30 minutes or until cheese is melted. Broil for a minute or so to brown cheese. Sprinkle with parsley for color.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Pretzel Bites

Once again, my friend Kim C. does not let me down. She had recently given me the following 2 recipes. They are party faves and although I did not get them posted for Christmas or New Years, you could make them for a Super Bowl gig.

Pretzel Bites

1 package Rhodes Texas Rolls, thawed (only thaw half bag for small event or lack of pans)
1/2 stick butter, melted
sea salt

Take a thawed roll. Cut it in four equal sections. Place dough bites on greased sheets. I placed five across and five down on large baking sheets. Cover with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray, and let dough rise until double in size. (about 1 hour) Bring a large pot of water to a gentle boil. When dough has risen, plop about 10-15 pieces into the boiling water, tossing gently for about 45-60 seconds. Remove with slotted spoon, and place bites on towels to drain slightly. Move bites to greased baking sheets, and bake at 375 degrees for about 25-35 minutes or until done and golden brown.
Brush bites with melted butter, sprinkle with Kosher or Sea Salt. Serve with Nacho Cheese and watch them disappear.
You can also make Cinnamon and Sugar bites or Garlic Parmesan bites.

Chocolate Rolo Cookies

1 pkg Devil Food cake mix
2 eggs
1/3 cup oil
1 pkg Rolos, unwrapped

Mix cake mix, oil and eggs. Take a small ball of dough and form a ball around Rolo, covering entire Rolo. Place on greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 8 minutes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Cool on wire rack. Yields 2-3 dozen.

The cookies don't really spread much so you can place them pretty close together on cookie sheet and get them done really quickly.