Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Lasagna Roll Ups

This is one of the simplest and most satisfying lasagnas of all. Using egg roll wrappers instead of thick lasagna noodles makes it so easy. Meat sauce is made up of ground pork, beef, and lamb, flavored with bell peppers, onions and garlic.  You will have some meat sauce left over; it keeps well in the refrigerator for several days and can also be frozen.  Enjoy!

Prep time: 35 minutes     Baking Time: 1 hour            Servings 8

  • 1 package Egg Roll Wrappers (large 6” x 6”)
  • 1 ½ pounds ground beef, lamb, and pork (about ½ lb. each)
  • 8 oz. Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese
  • ½ cup Cream Cheese, soften
  • 1 ½ cups  grated mozzarella cheese, divided
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 2 cups marinara sauce, divided
  • 1 6 oz. can tomato paste
  • ½ cup of diced bell peppers (red, yellow, green) about ½ bell pepper each
  • 4 garlic cloves, mince
  • ½ cup white onion, diced
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped (hold a little back to topping)
  • 1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning  
  •  Salt and pepper to taste

Step 1 - Preheat oven 375 degrees. You will need an 8" x 8" baking dish, this will make about 8 - 9 servings.

Step 2 - In large skillet over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, add onions, peppers, and garlic, saute until tender.  Then add ground meat, cook until on longer pink, breaking meat up into small pieces, about 5 - 7 minutes.

Step 3 - Add 1 cup of marinara sauce and tomato paste and combine well, then reduce heat to low and simmer for about 5 minutes.  Turn off  and let meat mixture cool.

Step 4 - In a large bowl combine, ricotta, cream cheese, then add fresh parsley, Italian seasoning, 3/4 cup of mozzarella, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese and blend well. Salt and pepper to taste, and then add eggs. Mix well and set cheese mixture aside.

Step 5 - Remove egg roll wrappers from package and place on a damp paper towel so the will not dry out.  Now pour a little of the reserved marinara sauce in the bottom of the baking dish and spread evenly.

Step 6 - For each lasagna roll up, take one wrapper and place about 2 tablespoons of cheese mixture at the end of the wrapper, then add a little meat mixture on top.

Do not over fill, roll the wrap around the filing and place the seam side down in baking dish.  Repeat until you have completed the first layer in your baking dish.  Pour a little marinara sauce over the roll ups, then spread mozzarella and parmesan cheese over the first layer.

Step 7 - Build second layer, laying the roll ups in the opposite direction seam side down, cover with the balance of marinara sauce, cheese and fresh parsley.  Baking dish will hold about 5 roll ups for each layer.  I do not recommend more then two layers.

Step 8 - Cover dish loosely with non-stick aluminum foil, place dish on a baking sheet and place in oven for about 50 minutes, then remove foil and let bake for about 10 minutes uncovered. Then remove from oven and let set for about 15 -20 minutes before serving.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Apple Pie Delight

An apple a day keeps the doctor away, so why not enjoy a slice of this satisfying pie.  An abundance of granny smith apples, slice thin in a thick juicy sauce and a light flaky crust.


·       6 cups green apples, peeled, cored & sliced (about 6 medium apples)
·       1 box refrigerated  9” pie crust (2 per box)
·       1 stick unsalted butter
·       3 tablespoons flour
·       ½ cup white sugar
·       ½ cup brown sugar
·       ¼ cup water
·       ¼ teaspoon salt
·       ½ teaspoon nutmeg
·       ½ teaspoon cinnamon
·       1 teaspoon vanilla
·       1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice


1.    Preheat oven 400 degrees and place (1) pie crust in your 9” pie pan.

2.    In a medium saucepan, add butter and let melt, and then add flour to butter to form a roux / paste.  Once the roux has from then add water, white sugar and brown sugar.  Blend well and bring to boil, then reduce heat and let sauce simmer.

3.    While sauce is simmering, place sliced apples in a mixing bowl and add lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, and salt. Mix well.

4.    Place mixed apples into pie crust and then pour sauce over apples and place second pie crust on top and press edges together to seal the pie.  Then cut slits or shapes in top crust.

5.    Bake pie for about 45 – 55 minutes or until crust is golden brown.  Remove from oven and let cool for about 1 or 2 hours.  Then serve apple pie with your favorite ice cream or cream whipped topping. 

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Blue Cheese and Pimiento Potato Salad

Bottled Blue Cheese dressing sounds like a quick way to give flavor to this salad, but so many bottled dressing are full of preservatives and sodium.  I love cooking with as many fresh ingredients as possible.  So I develop my combination of flavor for this blue cheese potato salad.


  • 3 pounds medium red-skinned potatoes (about 5)
  • ¼ cup Rice Vinegar
  • ½ cup Crema Mexicana, preferably or  you use sour cream
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons hot mustard
  • 4 ounces Crumbled blue cheese
  • 3 hard-boiled eggs, diced
  • ½ cup medium white onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon celery seeds
  • ¼ cup diced pimientos
  • ¼ cup diced jalapeno peppers
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Fill a large pot with about cup of water and add salt.  Then place a steamer basket inside of pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a rapid simmer.  Add potatoes to steamer basket; cover and let steam for about 25 minutes or until tender.  Do not let potatoes over cook.

  1. Remove potatoes and allow cooling, then peeling, slicing potatoes into ¼” thick slices.

  1. While potatoes are cooling, make the dressing.  In a large bowl, combine rice vinegar, Crema, mayonnaise and hot mustard, blend well.  Then add blue cheese and eggs; mix well.

  1. Once potatoes have cooled, to the dressing add onions, celery seeds, pimientos, and jalapeno peppers, then combine potatoes to the dressing a little at a time making sure not to break potatoes or mash them.

  1. Add chopped parsley; hold a little back for garnish.  Salt and pepper to taste; it should not require too much salt due to the blue cheese.  Then place potato salad in refrigerator for about an hour or until you are ready to serve.  Enjoy!!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Herb & Garlic Roasted Rack of Pork with Balsamic Glaze


  • Rack of Pork / Crown Roast – (4 – 5 lbs.)
  • From the Pantry
Ø  Dry Rub
Ø  3 tablespoons Roasted Garlic & Herb seasonings
Ø  2 tablespoons Smoked Paprika
Ø  3 tablespoon dry mustard
Ø  1 teaspoon salt and teaspoon black pepper
Ø  ¼ cup Olive Oil

  • Balsamic Glaze
Ø  1 cup dark brown sugar
Ø  ¼ cup Dijon mustard
Ø  2 teaspoons kosher salt
Ø  ½ cup balsamic vinegar
Ø  ½ teaspoon ground cloves


Preheat oven to 450°F. Line pan with aluminum foil and place roasting rack on top.


  1. Combine roasted garlic & herb seasoning, smoked paprika, dry mustard, salt, pepper, and olive oil; rub mixture over pork.  Then place rack of pork in roasting pan. Roast for about 30 minutes at 450, and then reduce heat to 400°F for about 55 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches about 120°F.
  2.  While pork is roasting, prepare glaze.  Combine in medium sauce pan on low; Dijon mustard, brown sugar, salt, balsamic vinegar and ground cloves.  Simmer for about 8 – 10 minutes or until sauce thickens.  Remove from heat.
  3. Remove pork from oven and brush with glaze and return roast to oven for about 15 -20 minutes or until pork is 145°F. (Use a meat thermometer to determine and ensure doneness.)
  4. Once roasting is complete, transfer roast to cutting board, cover with foil and let stand for about 15 – 20 minutes before slicing.