“Appy Hour” Pear and Boursin Cheese

IMG_2332I’m always on the look out for fun new apps to try when we have people over. The problem with having a big tray of appetizers out to nibble on before dinner is I usually end up filling up on the snacks and I’m not hungry for dinner! I mean who can resist a cheese and charcuterie board?! This app is much lighter and slightly healthier then a basket of bread and crackers and you won’t fill up before you sit down for the meal. This would be perfect before Easter brunch or dinner this weekend! IMG_2333Added bonus, this appetizer is gluten free and I am always trying to think of yummy apps that are gluten free! One of my favorites are these smoked salmon and cucumber rounds with Boursin cheese (they are always a big hit!) So it turns out I might have a slight obsession with Boursin Cheese and this appetizer is proof of that! Find some delicious ripe pears at the store and serve them along side this cheese, its heaven on Earth!

Ingredients:

  • 3 ripe pears
  • 1 container Garlic and Fine Herb Boursin Cheese

Directions:

  1. Wash, core and slice the pears (leave the skin on). Remove Boursin from its foil and place on a platter with the pears around it.
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Red & White Lasagna

IMG_1899Anyone who doesn’t like lasagna has something wrong with them. Sorry I’m not sorry! How could you NOT love cheesy pasta with veggies and meat? And It is the easiest, most delicious meal that feeds a crowd! What makes this recipe even more amazing (and not healthy at all..) the whole lasagna is topped with Alfredo sauce!

Yup, I went there! Well I can’t lie, I got this recipe from the back of a Prince lasagna box 10 years ago… shhhh don’t tell! Over the years I have put a few personal twists on the recipe and now its my favorite go to when I’m having a lot of people over or just want something quick and easy for the week- the leftovers are even better!  Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 12 Lasagna noodles
  • 1 (15-ounce) container Ricotta cheese
  • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
  • 2 cups (8-ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 pound bulk Italian sausage or ground beef, cooked and drained (optional)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 8 oz mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 (26-ounce) jar Sweet Basil Marinara pasta sauce
  • 1 (16-ounce) jar Alfredo pasta sauce
  • Chopped fresh parsley
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven 350 degrees. Cook Lasagna according to package directions; drain.
  2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a medium skillet and saute onions and mushrooms until tender, set aside. In another medium skillet cook sausage until brown, drain and set aside.
  3. In large bowl, combine ricotta cheese, spinach, mozzarella cheese, 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese and eggs; mix well.
  4. In a 15×9-inch baking dish, spread 1 cup marinara sauce. Layer 4 Lasagna noodles over sauce. Top with half cheese mixture, 1 cup marinara sauce and all the cooked sausage and onion/mushroom mixture.
  5. Layer 4 more Lasagna noodles, remaining cheese mixture and remaining marinara sauce. Top with 4 remaining Lasagna noodles. Spread Alfredo sauce evenly on top; sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley.
  6. Cover and bake 40 minutes. Uncover, bake and addition 15 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting. Serving 10-12.

Wedge Fries with Sour Cream & Sweet Chili Sauce

IMG_2102Back in my college days (which seems like yesterday but was actually almost 6 years ago now!) I was lucky enough to spend a semester abroad in New Zealand. I was hoping to spend my semester over there sight seeing and experiencing my first “endless winter.” I went down in July during our summer, which is actually New Zealand’s Winter and had intended to train and ski race while I was there (here’s a picture of me and Jake in Queenstown while I was abroad… we were just babies!)DSC_0342 I wanted to be ready when I returned to the States in November for my up coming season on the Bates Ski Team. Sadly, I blew out my knee just months before leaving for New Zealand and my plans of training while abroad when down the drain. My plans for eating my way through the country were shaping up very nicely however!

I tried all the traditional cuisine, beer, wine etc. I ate spicy sausages on white bread outside an All Blacks rugby game (not my favorite) but very traditional! One of my absolute favorite snacks were potato wedges served with sour cream and sweet chili sauce. The combination is a classic New Zealand staple and they serve it a many local bars and pubs. I know it sounds like a bizarre combination but I promise you, once you try it you’ll be totally addicted!

Ingredients:

  • 4 large potatoes, washed and sliced in to wedges
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup sour cream and 1/2 cup sweet chili sauce for dipping.

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and spread the sliced potatoes evenly on the baking sheet.
  2. Drizzle the olive oil, salt and paprika over the potatoes and toss to coat evenly. Place the potatoes in the oven for 25-30 minutes tossing frequently so the potatoes don’t stick to the baking sheet.
  3. Cook until the potatoes are brown and crisp. Remove from the oven and serve with a bowl of sour cream and a bowl of sweet chili sauce.

 

Russian Borscht

IMG_1199RBWhile the east coast was getting slammed with snow and cold weather over the last few weeks, we have been enjoying spring in Park City… Until Sunday! All of the sudden the cold weather and snow came roaring back and winter is here once again. Most people think of classic borscht as the bright red beet borscht however this recipe is a quite different. IMG_1195This borscht is still packed with lots of delicious vegetables but has a rich buttery flavor instead of the more vinegary base of beet borscht. Extra bonus… this recipe wont stain your clothing and pots like beet borscht! Don’t be fooled by this seemly light vegetable soup, it is very very filling! The base of the soup is potato and carrots which makes it a little more substantial then you’d think! Enjoy! IMG_2083Ingredients:

  • 5 large potatoes, peeled and cut into 1′ pieces
  • 5 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1 large sweet onion
  • 1 small green cabbage, coarsely chopped
  • 5 celery stalks, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1/3 bunch of parsley, chopped
  • 2 14.5oz cans petite diced tomatoes
  • 3 cups of chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
  • 1 teaspoon salt and pepper (plus more to taste)
  • Sour cream for garnish (optional)

Directions:

  1. Add potatoes and carrots to a large stock pot and add enough water to cover the vegetables completely. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes and carrots are very tender.
  2. Using a hand held potato masher, mash the carrots and potato into small pieces creating thicker potato based water.
  3. Meanwhile in another large pot melt the butter. Saute the onion, cabbage, celery, garlic, and parsley until the cabbage has wilted and the vegetables are tender.
  4. Add the cabbage mixture to the pot with the potatoes and carrots, then add the chicken stock and petite diced tomatoes.
  5. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat and simmer for 30minutes.
  6. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and crusty bread!