Skillet Ravioli Lasagna

1 (24 ounce) package frozen or refrigerated cheese ravioli, cook per package instructions, drain, set aside

1 pound lean ground beef or ground turkey (I used turkey)

1 ½ teaspoons dried oregano

½ teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon ground pepper

1 (28 ounce) can no-salt-added crushed tomatoes

¼ cup chopped fresh basil

8 ounces small fresh mozzarella balls, divided

Cook ground beef or turkey in a large oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat until cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes, using the back of a wooden spoon to crumble the meat. Season with oregano, garlic powder, salt and pepper.

Add tomatoes and basil; bring to a simmer. Fold in the cooked ravioli and half of the mozzarella balls.

Scatter the remaining mozzarella balls over the top of the pasta. Carefully transfer the pan to the oven. Broil until the cheese is melted, 2 to 3 minutes. Garnish with a little more chopped basil.

Feta and Roasted Red Pepper Stuffed Chicken Breasts

½ cup crumbled feta cheese
½ cup chopped roasted red bell peppers
½ cup chopped fresh spinach
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 (8 ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Preheat oven to 400°F. Combine feta, roasted red peppers, spinach, olives, basil, parsley and garlic in a medium bowl.
Using a small knife, cut a horizontal slit through the thickest portion of each chicken breast to form a pocket. Stuff each breast pocket with about 1/4 the feta mixture; secure the pockets using wooden toothpicks. Sprinkle the chicken evenly with salt, pepper and paprika.
Heat oil in a large oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Arrange the stuffed breasts, top-sides down, in the pan; cook until golden, about 2 minutes. Carefully flip the chicken; transfer the pan to the oven. Bake 20 to 25 minutes until chicken is cooked through. Drizzle the chicken evenly with lemon juice. Remove the wooden picks from the chicken before serving.

Hot Pastrami Sliders

Hot Pastrami Sliders

12 Hawaiian Sweet Rolls or Dinner Rolls
5 tablespoons Mustard divided
12 slices deli Pastrami
1/2 cup Butter
2 tablespoons Honey
2 tablespoons Poppy Seeds
12 slices Swiss Cheese

In honor of Hot Pastrami Sandwich Day this week!!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter in a pan and whisk in two tablespoons mustard, honey and poppy seeds. Set aside. Slice the rolls in half and place the bottom half in a baking dish. Spread two tablespoons mustard on the bottom half of the dinner rolls and divide pastrami, and swiss cheese evenly all over the rolls. Place the other half on top. Spread the butter mixture generously all over the top of the rolls, making sure to get into the crevices. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Serve!

Winter White Chili

Winter White Chili

1 pound ground sausage (mild Italian)
1 onion (medium, diced)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
16 oz white beans (drained)
14 oz corn (drained)
14 1/2 oz chicken broth
4 oz diced green chilies

In a large saucepan, brown sausage with onion. Stir in cumin and chili powder. Stir in remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until heated through and flavors are blended. Submitted by Lauren Wood from Vinton

New Year’s Eve Champagne Jello Shots

1 ½ cups Champagne
½ cup vodka
1 tbsp. Sugar
4 envelopes Knox gelatin
2 cups Sprite
Edible gold sprinkles, I used Dazzle Dust from Kroger (next to cake decorations)

Add Champagne, vodka, gelatin, and sugar to a medium saucepan.
Heat over medium low heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved and the mixture is almost ready to lightly boil. Remove from the heat, and stir in Sprite. Allow the mix to cool and the carbonation from the soda to disappear completely. Once the foam is gone, pour evenly into 2 oz. plastic cups. Move the cups to the refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours. Before serving, sprinkle Dazzle Dust to the tops of the shots.

For non-alcoholic version: Substitute 2 cups Sparking Cider for Champagne and vodka.

Biscuits and Sausage Gravy Casserole

Biscuits and Sausage Gravy Casserole

FOR THE GRAVY
16 ounces ground pork sausage
1 small yellow onion finely diced
3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 ½ cups whole milk
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
FOR THE CASSEROLE
16.3 ounces refrigerated biscuits 1 standard can
6 large eggs
½ cup milk
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup white cheddar cheese shredded

I made two batches of sausage gravy, one to go in the casserole and one for pouring over individual servings as desired

Butter a 9×13 inch baking dish and set aside. In a large skillet cook the pork sausage and diced onion over medium heat until the sausage has browned. Reduce the heat to medium-low and sprinkle the flour over the sausage. Stir to combine. Slowly add in the 2 ½ cups whole milk, about ¼ cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. When all of the milk has been added stir in the black pepper, garlic powder, and salt. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until warmed through and thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove the gravy from the heat. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Cut the biscuits into pieces and spread them out in the prepared baking dish. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, ½ cup milk, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and black pepper until well-combined. Pour the mixture over the biscuit pieces.
Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the eggs and biscuits and pour the sausage gravy on top.
Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the casserole is cooked through.

Szechwan Green Beans

Szechwan Green Beans

4 Tbsp. Chinese Sesame Oil
2 lbs. fresh green beans, trimmed
8 cloves garlic, minced½ tsp. salt
Crushed red pepper, optional
Yellow, Orange, &/or Red peppers

Place a med/lg. wok or heavy deep skillet over med./high heat.  After a minute, add the sesame oil.  Wait a minute or so and add the green beans.  Turn the heat to high and stir-fry for about 5 min. or until the beans are well seared. Add garlic and salt (and optional crushed red pepper).  Stir fry for several more min. then remove from heat. Serve hot, warm, or at room temp. Makes a great Hors D’oeuvre or side dish. For Fall – sauté yellow, orange and red pepper rings and top the dish. At Christmas, use red pepper rings. Thanks to Dee Dee in Blacksburg for sharing this recipe!

Old Fashioned Beef Stew

Old Fashioned Beef Stew

2-3 lb chuck roast, cut into one inch cubes
1/2 cup flour
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon fresh black pepper
4 carrots chopped
1 medium onion chopped
5 cloves garlic minced
3 tablespoons tomato paste
5 cups beef broth
1/2 cup red wine
3 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
4-5 yukon potatoes
3 fresh rosemary sprigs
3 fresh thyme sprigs
1 -1/2 cup frozen peas
3 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
salt and pepper to taste

In a medium bowl toss beef stew meat with the flour and set aside. Heat a dutch oven or heavy bottom pot on medium-high heat. Working in batches without overcrowding the beef, brown for 3-4 minutes turning the meat halfway through. Remove meat and repeat until all beef is browned. Add the rest of the oil and add carrots and onions, cook for 3-4 minutes then add garlic and tomato paste. Add back in the browned beef and pour in the beef stock, wine, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, and rosemary. Stir and heat on high until it comes to a low boil reduce heat, cover and simmer 1 hour. Add in potatoes, cover, and simmer until potatoes are tender for about 45 minutes. Add in frozen peas, let heat through 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Remove rosemary and thyme stems.  Garnish with fresh chopped parsley and serve!

Creamy Salmon Pasta

1 ½ lbs salmon
1 tbsp honey
1 lemon
1 tsp parsley
1 tsp onion powder
½ tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp red pepper flakes
salt and pepper, to taste
1 lb egg noodles or your favorite pasta, cooked al dente
Creamy Garlic Sauce
2 tbsps Salted Butter
Olive oil
4 cloves garlic, diced
½ onion , diced
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 cup heavy cream
½ tsp smoked paprika
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
Pinch red pepper flakes
½ cup freshly grated parmesan
1 tsp lemon zest

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place salmon on a baking sheet or 9×13 baking dish and make small slits in the salmon. Squeeze ½ lemon juice on top and then add a drizzle of honey. Combine parsley, onion powder, smoked paprika, red pepper flakes in a small bowl. Spoon together and pour on top of salmon. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle olive oil on top and bake for 25 minutes. For crispy top of fish, broil for 5 more minutes.
While salmon is baking, add olive oil and butter to a skillet over medium heat. Add diced onion and saute for 3 minutes and then add garlic and thyme and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes, until fragrant, remove the thyme sprigs.
Reduce heat to low and add heavy cream, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper and red pepper flakes. Cook until slightly thickened and remove from heat, about 5 minutes. Squeeze the other half of the lemon into the sauce and then add grated parmesan and lemon zest and stir. Set aside.
Cook noodles as per package instructions. Drain noodles add them to the garlic sauce. Toss around so that all noodles are coated. Add salmon to the pasta. Garnish with additional red pepper flakes and grated parmesan on top.

Italian Apple Cake

Italian Apple Cake

2 eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup salted butter, melted
½ cup granulated sugar
½ tbsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lemon
2-3 Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced

Preheat the oven to 375F, and line a 10-inch springform pan with parchment paper. Peel and slice the apples, and toss them with the lemon juice to prevent browning. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the melted butter and sugar until creamy and light. Mix in the eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla, and beat until well-incorporated. Finally, stir in the baking powder and flour. Stir in the apple slices, and pour the batter into the prepared pan. There will be almost too many apples for the cake batter, this is normal! Bake for 45-50 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve sprinkled with powdered sugar