Tuscan Asparagus

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This is the asparagus recipe I made for the pasta party.  I actually remade it last night since I didn’t get a picture at the party and it is so good that I had to post it.  I made 1/2 of the recipe in this picture.  For the party, I used 2 big bunches of asparagus.  I don’t think there was any left at the end of the night.

This recipe would be great for Easter or any holiday.

Tuscan Asparagus

Tuscan Asparagus

1 1/2 lbs fresh asparagus, trimmed
1 1/2 cups grape or small cherry tomatoes, cut in half
3 tbsps pine nuts ~ I left off
3 tbsps olive oil, divided
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
1 tsp grated lemon peel

Preheat oven to 400º.

Line a 15×10 baking sheet with foil. Place the asparagus and tomato halves and pine nuts on the foil-lined baking sheet.

Mix 2 tbsps olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper and pour over asparagus and carefully mix to coat all the vegetables.

Bake 15-20 minutes or until asparagus is tender. Drizzle with remaining tbsp of olive oil and lemon juice. Sprinkle Parmesan and lemon peel over the top. Carefully toss to combine.

Makes 8 servings.

Tuscan Asparagus 2

This recipe is part of Pasta Bar Birthday Party.

Source:  Tuscan Asparagus

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Bacon Wrapped Pretzels

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This is one of the appetizers that my daughter made for her birthday party.  She first had them at a museum conference, came home, and found the recipe.

While we were putting these together, we came up with an easier way to make them so the recipe here will reflect that.

The bacon will stick to the pretzel although you have to carefully put them on the rack in your baking sheet.  If it starts to come off, just stick it back on.  It’ll bake up fine.  I did find that if I dipped both sides of the bacon in the sugar/chili powder mixture, it seemed to stick a little better.

Since we followed the recipe for this batch, you will probably need at least 1 1/2 packages of bacon if you plan on making a whole package of pretzel rods.  If you use smaller pretzel twist rods, you won’t need as much and can probably cut the bacon in half.

Bacon Wrapped Pretzels

Bacon Wrapped Pretzels

1 lb bacon ~ you may need up to 2 pkgs depending on what size pretzels you use.
1 pkg. pretzel rods
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 tbsp chili powder

Preheat oven to 350º.

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place a wire rack in the baking sheet and spray with Pam.

In a flat dish, mix the brown sugar and chili powder.

Take one slice of bacon and dip it into the sugar mixture. Wind it around a pretzel rod. Place the pretzel carefully onto the prepared rack.

Bake for 20 minutes or until the bacon is crispy.

Carefully remove from the racks and let cool. We each tried them warm and they are just as good warm!

This recipe is part of Pasta Bar Birthday Party.

Source:  Food.com

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Pasta Bar Birthday Party!

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This past Saturday, we had a pasta bar birthday party for my daughter’s 30th birthday.  It was a fairly easy, inexpensive way to feed lots of people and, best of all, it was delicious!

I have some new recipes to post from the party which I will be doing this week and in this post I’ll tell you how we put it together.

My daughter lives about an hour and a half away.  She bought the perishables and I bought and packed up to her house the produce and a bunch of odds and ends.  I bought buffet pans to keep everything warm after cooking and we used crockpots.  Some things didn’t need to stay warm as well.

For starters we had tortellini with pesto, mushroom, onion, fontina bruschetta, spectacular bruschetta, and bacon wrapped pretzels.

We made 3 types of pasta but found it was too hard to eat spaghetti on your lap so almost all of that was leftover.  The farfalle and penne were gone.  We made sauce with meatballs and plain sauce and alfredo sauce.  Mr. Meat Eater grilled up chicken and sausage which we sliced so each could be added to the plain sauce or the alfredo.  I also sauteed up a big pan of mushrooms.

We had Greek salad and Caesar salad and Tuscan asparagus on the side.  I can’t forget the garlic bread either!

Pasta Bar 1

The starter bar ~ (left to right) tortellini with pesto, mushroom, onion, fontina bruschetta,  spectacular bruschetta, bacon wrapped pretzels.

Party 1

The Alfredo sauce is in the crockpot.  I’m not sure what the glass baking dish has in it ~ one of my daughter’s friends brought it ~ but it was delicious!

Pasta Bar 3

Chicken, sausage (hot and mild), and sauteed mushrooms.

Pasta Bar 4

Greek salad (left), my Mom’s meatballs with sauce (crockpot), Caesar salad.  The asparagus is behind the Greek salad.

Happy Birthday!

This was a fun party to do and I would do it again.  Recipes will be coming this week!

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French Bread Pizza

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This is not really a recipe as such but really just a method on how we make our French bread pizzas.  This is an easy meal to make for lunch or dinner and you can make them with any toppings that you want.

Mr. Meat Eater is pretty traditional in his pizza toppings and I just found out a week or two ago that he doesn’t like green peppers on his pizza.  We have been eating pizza with green peppers on them for 35 years *face palm*!

I know they are called French bread pizzas but I usually use Italian bread.  If I can’t find the Italian bread I want, I use French bread sticks (just smaller loaves).

I have, in the past, frozen these.  Put the completely made but unbaked pizzas on a baking sheet and put in the freezer until frozen.  Then take each pizza, wrap in plastic wrap and carefully put in a large ziplock bag and return to freezer.  Bake at 375º for about 30 minutes or until completely baked and hot.  Note that this baking temperature is different than the one below..

French Bread Pizza

French Bread Pizza

1 loaf of French or Italian bread, cut in half lengthwise
Super Easy Pizza Sauce or jarred sauce
Shredded cheese ~ I use pizza cheese but use your favorites, shredded
Toppings ~ use your favorites

Preheat oven to 400º.

Place bread halves on a baking sheet.

With the bread face up, spoon on some pizza sauce. Don’t use too much or it will be too saucy.

I always put the cheese on next so that the toppings will “stick” as the cheese melts. Save a sprinkle of cheese or two for the very top.

Add your toppings. I usually use pepperoni and mushrooms. The mushrooms I use are canned because I can drain them really well and I don’t have to take the time to saute them.

Sprinkle a bit of leftover cheese over the top.

Bake for 8-10 minutes or until cheese is melted and toppings are heated up.

I cut mine in pieces and serve.

Makes 2-3 servings depending on the size of your bread.  You can make as many pizzas as you need.

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Parmesan Roasted Potatoes

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Oh my gosh!  These are the best potatoes I have had in a long time.  When Mr. Meat Eater tells me he loves the potatoes, you know they are good!  I have made these several times since I found the recipe and they are on my list to be made again.  Please, try them!

I found them on a site called Favorite Family Recipes which I just love.  Check it out!

Parmesan Roasted Potatoes

Parmesan Roasted Potatoes

6 small potatoes, cut in half ~ I used a 1 1/2 lb bag of very small red potatoes
1/4 cup butter
grated Parmesan cheese
garlic powder to taste
your favorite seasonings, optional ~ I used Italian seasoning

Preheat oven to 400º.

Melt the butter and pour into a 9×13 baking pan. I found that a metal pan works better than a glass pan ~ the potatoes get more color. Shake as much Parmesan cheese over the butter in the pan as you like ~ I use quite a bit. Then sprinkle the garlic powder over the cheese and then any other seasonings you might be using.

Place the potatoes cut side down over the top of the butter/cheese/seasonings. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes.  Using time potatoes, watch the time and check the potatoes since they won’t take the whole time to bake.   Don’t let them burn.

Cool for a full 5 minutes before removing from pan or the crust won’t stick to the potatoes.

Serve. Favorite Family Recipes recommends serving with sour cream for dipping.

Makes 4 -5 servings.

Source: Favorite Family Recipes

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Parmesan Chicken Bake

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We like Parmesan chicken and this version is very easy and delicious.  I don’t see why you couldn’t make more of the chicken  if  you needed to using several pans and increasing the ingredient amounts accordingly.

Parmesan Chicken Bake

Parmesan Chicken Bake

1/2 cup butter
1 cup plain breadcrumbs
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper, to taste
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Preheat oven to 350º.

Melt the butter in a bowl and set aside. Mix the bread crumbs, Parmesan, garlic, and salt and pepper on a plate.

Dip chicken into butter, then into crumbs making sure to cover the chicken with the crumbs.

Put the chicken into a 9×13 baking dish and pour any leftover butter over the top.

Bake for 40 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and no pink remains.

Makes 4 servings.

Source:  Adapted from Minnesota Heritage Cookbook

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