1 refrigerated, folded pie crust (from a 15-ounce package)
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Swiss cheese
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 pound hot Italian sausage, crumbled, cooked, and drained
1 ½ cups heavy cream 3 eggs Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Unfold the pie crust and place in an 8-inch round cake pan, pressing firmly against the pan to form a crust; flute, if desired, and set aside. In a medium bowl, combine the Swiss and Cheddar cheeses. Sprinkle half of the cheese mixture into the pie crust. Top with the crumbled sausage, then sprinkle with the remaining cheese mixture. In a medium bowl, whisk together the cream and the eggs; pour into the crust over the cheese and sausage. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Cut into wedges and serve. Serves 6 to 8.
Note: For a less spicy version, just use a mild sausage or even a turkey sausage.
1 pound store-bought pizza dough
1 pound hot Italian sausage, casing removed (see options below)
1 cup pizza or spaghetti sauce
25 slices pepperoni
1 small green bell pepper, cut into ¼-inch strips
1 small onion, sliced
1 ½ cups (6 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Coat a 12-inch deep-dish pizza or cake pan with nonstick cooking spray. Using your fingertips or the heel of your hand, spread the dough so that it covers the bottom of the pan and comes three quarters of the way up the sides; set aside. In a large skillet, cook the sausage over medium heat for 6 to 8 minutes, or until crumbly and no pink remains, stirring constantly; drain. Spread the sauce over the dough, then top with the sausage, pepperoni, pepper, and onion. Sprinkle with the cheese. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the crust is crisp and brown. Cut and serve. Yields: 6 to 8 slices.
Options: If you prefer a less-spicy pizza, go ahead and use a mild or sweet sausage.
Steak and Pasta
1 package (16 ounces) penne pasta
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 pound boneless beef bottom round, cut into ¼-inch strips
1 large red onion, cut into thin wedges
1 cup mayonnaise
½ cup sour cream
3 tablespoons prepared horseradish, drained
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 cups broccoli florets
4 plum tomatoes, chopped
Cook the pasta according to the package directions; drain, rinse and drain again. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over high heat. Add the beef and onion, and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the beef is browned, stirring occasionally; remove from the heat. In a large bowl, combine the mayonnaise, sour cream, horseradish, salt, black pepper, and the remaining 3 tablespoons oil; mix well. Add the cooked pasta, the beef mixture, broccoli, and tomatoes. Toss until well combined and serve warm. Serves 4 to 6.
Serving tip: Serve this warm or cold -- it's great both ways!
2 packages frozen pancakes (12 pancakes per package)
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 package (8 ounces) mascarpone cheese
2/3 cup confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa
Warm the pancakes according to the package directions. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, mascarpone cheese and confectioners' sugar until well combined. In a small bowl, dissolve the coffee granules in the water, then add to the cheese mixture; mix well. Place 1 pancake on each of 8 plates then dollop each with cheese mixture; repeat the layers two more times, ending with a dollop of the cheese mixture topping each stack. Sprinkle with cocoa and serve immediately.
Don't let this title scare you off! You can't judge a book by its cover. See for yourself!
1 can (21 ounces) blueberry pie filling
1 package (18.25 ounces) yellow cake mix
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup chopped walnuts
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 10-inch Bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray. In a blender, puree the pie filling until smooth. Pour into a large bowl and add the cake mix, eggs, oil, and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed for about 2 minutes. Stir in the walnuts. Pour batter into the Bundt pan and bake for 50 to 55 minutes, until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool slightly, then remove from the pan and continue cooling on a wire rack.
GARNISHING TIP: Top this off with a drizzle of green icing and a few worms... gummy worms, that is! Serves 10 to 12.
1 package (8 ounces) refrigerated crescent rolls
¼ pound dried figs, chopped
1 egg, beaten
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
1 ½ teaspoons milk
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Unroll the crescent rolls and separate into 8 triangles. Cut each triangle in half lengthwise. Spread the chopped figs evenly over each crescent roll half and roll up from the wide end to the small end. Brush the tops with the beaten egg. In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon and sugar; mix well, then sprinkle over the tops of the rolls. Place rolls on an ungreased baking sheet and bake for 12 to 14 minutes, or until golden. In a small bowl, combine the confectioners' sugar and milk; mix well. Drizzle the sugar glaze over the tops of the warm rolls and serve. Yields 16 rolls.
Finishing touch: Why not sprinkle 2 tablespoons of sliced almonds over the tops of the crescent rolls before baking?
Peanut Butter Chocolate Candy
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted
4 cups confectioners' sugar
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips, melted
Coat a 10- by 15-inch rimmed baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients except the chocolate. Spread the mixture over the baking sheet. Spread the melted chocolate evenly over the top. Freeze for 15 minutes, then cut into squares. Serve, or cover and keep chilled until ready to serve. Yields about 4 dozen.
Option: For extra-peanutty flavor, use chunky peanut butter in place of the creamy.
Chocolate Chip Cheesecake
1 package (9 to 11 ounces) chocolate wafer cookies, finely crushed
1 ¼ cups sugar, divided
½ cup (1 stick) butter, melted
3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
1 package (12 ounces) miniature semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine the crushed wafers, ¼ cup sugar, and melted butter; mix well and press into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan to form a crust. Refrigerate while making batter. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, eggs, and remaining 1 cup sugar until smooth. Add the sour cream, vanilla, and salt and continue to beat until well mixed. Stir the chocolate chips into the batter and pour the mixture into the chilled crust. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the batter begins to set. Turn off the oven and allow the cheesecake to sit in the oven for 1 hour with the oven door closed. Allow to cool, then cover and chill overnight before serving. Serves 10 to 12.