Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Bowtie Festival

Who doesn't love going to Carino's and getting their Bowtie Festival Pasta. It's a major favorite here. Well, I found a couple of recipes that tried to duplicate it and I've read them and then done own version. So here it my first Cooking From the Heart recipe post. Enjoy! And be sure to let me know how your version turns out.

Bowtie Festival Pasta
~ Wendy Peatross

Cut two large chicken breasts in half so they are not as thick. Marinate them in 2 T olive oil, 2 T red wine vinegar, italian spices garlic powder and salt and pepper. Cover and marinate about 2 hours. Cook them in a skillet with olive oil until browned. Slice and set aside.

Cook 10 ounces bowtie pasta in boiling salted water.

Heat 2 T butter and 2 T olive oil in a large skillet.
2-3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup roma tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup cooked bacon, diced
salt, pepper and garlic salt to taste
sliced chicken

When onions are cooked add:
1/4 cup milk, or half and half
1/4 cup cheese, grated parmsean or montrey jack will work too

Simmer to reduce the milk and cheese.
15 ounce jar of Alfredo Pasta sauce
cooked bowtie pasta

Combine well and remove from the heat. Let it set to cool for a couple of minutes to thicken. Serve with grated parmesan cheese.

Hot Bacon Cheese Spread

This is a special occasion favorite of ours. I'm sure your family will love it as well. It really does need the onion to give it flavor, so put it in even if you aren't a fan of onions.

Hot Bacon Cheese Spread ~

1 loaf (16 ounces) round bread, unsliced
1/2 pound of bacon, cook till crisp and crumble
8 oz. shredded Colby/Monterey Jack Cheese
4 to 6 ounces grated parmesan cheese
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
1 or 2 cloves garlic minced.

Cut a lengthwise slice from the top of the bread loaf. Take out the center and leave a 1 inch thick shell. cut the unused bread into bite size chunks to use as dippers.

Mix everything else in a bowl and spoon into the bread shell. Put the top back on the bread and place on a cookie sheet.

Bake at 350' for 1 hour. Serve with bread or crackers (I like Wheat thins with this).

If there is any left, you can cover it and put in the fridge. It reheats real well in a microwave.

Homemade Garlic Croutons

If you have a leftover loaf of good Italian Bread don't let it sit so long that you have to throw it out. Take a few minutes and make croutons. The homemade kind are so much better than those that come in a bag. Here are the super simple instructions.

First preheat your oven to 375'.

Melt 1 cube of butter and stir in 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt. Cut your bread into 1/2 to 1 inch cubes.Toss with the seasoned butter and spread out on a Silpat laid out on your baking sheet.Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Stir occasionally and watch closely. Take out and let cool.
These yummy croutons are a good reason to have a salad for lunch.

Focaccia Party Sandwiches

I love party foods! Even if there isn't a party, it is fun to make fancy sandwiches. I made these sandwiches for a Bridal Shower and every one loved them. I am also doing them for a Relief Society Activity next week. I've found there are always occasions where we have to, or get to entertain, and it is always to have fun new recipes to wow guests with, so here is a new one for your recipe box.

This starts off with making a Roasted Red Pepper Dip.

In a food processor, or blender place about 7 oz. roasted red peppers, drained, 1 T chopped basil, (I used oregano, since that was growing in my window garden), and 1 clove of garlic, chopped.
Blend them and add 4 oz. cream cheese. Put in a covered container in the fridge to chill.You can either make your own focaccia bread, or buy a loaf. Slice your loaf horizontally with a bread knife.

Spread the bottom piece with 1/4 cup of Roasted Red Pepper Dip and top with sliced tomatoes.
Add a layer of baby spinach leaves or a spring lettuce mix.
Add a layer of sliced deli turkey or your favorite meat.
Spread the inside of the top bread with more of the Roasted Red Pepper Dip and put on top.
Slice into about 3 inch party sandwiches and serve.Now you are ready to have a party!

Enjoy, Wendy

Happy Cinco de Mayo

I love Mexican food, so you can bet I won't miss a chance to cook up something yummy on Cinco de Mayo. Yesterday I made fresh homemade Salsa and Chicken Chimies. They were so good and will be a regular on our menu now. First, for the Salsa, I chopped up 4 vine-ripe tomatoes, 1/2 red onion, 3 T cilantro, and a couple cloves of garlic.

I added a couple tablespoons of lime juice, and garlic salt, chili powder, cumin, and red pepper flakes to taste. The tasting is the best part. Cover and let sit for a couple of hours for the flavors to blend.
Serve with chips and over your Chicken Chimies.
Cook boneless, skinless chicken breasts. I usually boil mine. When they are cool, shred with forks and add to a pan with a couple tablespoons of butter. Season with garlic salt, pepper, cumin and chili powder. Cook for about 5 minutes.
On a warm flour tortilla put some of the chicken and some cheese. Roll up burrito style and set aside. In a large skillet, heat a tablespoon of oil. Over medium heat add the chimies and cook until lightly browned on all sides. This doesn't take long. Put on a pan in a 300' oven to keep warm until time to serve.
We had ours over a bed of lettuce with the homemade salsa and guacamole. Yes, it did taste as good as it looks.

Homemade Focaccia Bread

This is the bread I like to make for Focaccia Sandwiches. It is really easy and really good too.
You will need two tubes of the refrigerated pizza crust. Spray a rimmed cookie sheet with pan spray and roll out the pizza crust to fill the cookie sheet. Poke little indentations with the end of a wooden spoon. Brush the top lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic powder and Italian seasoning
Bake at 375' for about 12 minutes.
To make the Focaccia Sandwiches, cut the bread into two rectangles. Spread the Roasted Red Pepper Spread over the bottom and layer with turkey, tomatoes, and spinach as desired. (See photos with the Roasted Red Pepper recipe.) Cut the sandwich into 12 little squares. You can secure the sandwich layers with a toothpick if desired.

Vegetable Pizza

This is a recipe I have been getting a lot of requests for lately. So here you go. It makes a perfect addition to a holiday buffet, or just a great little lunch. With the colorful broccoli and tomatoes it even looks like Christmas food. Enjoy!!

Vegetable Pizza
2 (8 ounce) packages refrigerated crescent rolls
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup mayonnaise
1 (1 ounce) package dry Harvest Dill Ranch-style dressing mix
fresh broccoli, chopped
chopped tomatoes
chopped red bell pepper
chopped cauliflower
shredded carrots
shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
Roll out the crescent roll dough onto a 13 x 18 inch baking sheet, and pinch together edges to form the pizza crust.
Bake crust for 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Once finished cooking, remove crust from oven and let cool 15 minutes without removing it from the baking sheet.
In a small mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, mayonnaise, and dry Ranch dressing. Spread the mixture over the cooled crust. Arrange broccoli, tomato, red bell pepper, green onion and Cheddar cheese over the cream cheese layer. Chill for one hour, slice and serve.

Ravioli and Homemade Pasta Sauce

  I was asked to do a demonstration of Homemade Ravioli tonight and while I was at it I figured I would take photos of the process and add the recipe here on my blog.  This is a big family treat and often requested for birthday dinners. Even if you don't make the Ravioli you will have to try the pasta sauce. It is so good and will even dress up store bought pasta.  The full recipes are at the end of the blog and here are the step by step photos.

 These are the tools I use. Pasta machines are really handy to use and not too expensive. Or you can use a rolling pin and a knife. Either one works.
 These are the simple ingredients needed for the dough.
 Add your olive oil to the eggs, then beat them and stir into the flour. Knead into a ball.
 It will be a hard ball, not soft like bread dough. Keep the dough covered or in a plastic bag while you make the filling.

Brown the sausage in a pan and when cool, mix it with the other ingredients for the filling.

Add the cooked and drained spinach.
 Cut your dough ball into 1/4ths and work with one at a time. Run it through the pasta machine set on 1 for a few times to get a smooth rectangle and then start running it through the machine to make it thinner.
 Lay your dough out on the ravioli form of your counter.

 Add the filling. Put water on the dough between the filling to ensure a good seal.
 Cut with a knife or use a rolling pin to seal the ravioli.
At this point, you can refrigerate the ravioli, or freeze and bag to cook later.
 Let's begin the best sauce you've ever tasted.
 Brown the meats in a large pot. Season with salt and pepper as desired.
 Add 2 quarts of good quality crushed tomatoes.
 Cover and simmer for an hour.
 Add the tomato paste and basil and oregano if desired and simmer for another hour.
 You may need to add a cup of water at this point. Cook your ravioli from either fresh or frozen in a pot of boiling water. It should just take 3 to 4 minutes if fresh and a few more minutes frozen.  Serve with pasta sauce and top with grated cheese.

Pasta Dough

2 cups flour
2 eggs

1 tablespoon olive oil                                           
½ teaspoon salt

¼ cup water

Mix ingredients and knead until dough is hard in consistency. Cut dough into 1/4ths. Keep the rest of the dough covered while you work. Use a pasta machine or rolling pin to roll the dough into thin sheets. This can be cut into thin noodles or used to make ravioli.

Ravioli Filling

1 pound pork sausage                                           
15 ounces ricotta cheese

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese                          
1 tablespoon chopped parsley

¾ cup chopped frozen spinach

Fry sausage until well browned. Drain. Thaw and drain spinach. Mix all ingredients and add salt and pepper to taste.

Homemade Pasta Sauce

1 pound ground beef                                             
1 pound pork sausage

2 quart cans crushed tomatoes                         
1 small can tomato paste

Chopped parsley – optional                                 
Chopped basil – optional

Fry meats until well browned. Add canned tomatoes and cover pan. Cook meat and tomatoes slowly for one hour. Add tomato paste, parsley, basil and salt to suit taste.  Allow to boil slowly for another hour. This will make the sauce thick and ready to serve.

Jennifer Jangles

Do you want a fun new sewing project? 
Visit  Jennifer Jangles website  and you'll find lots of cute
things.  I can't wait to share what I'm working on.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

New Spring Charts ~

I'm so excited about these three new charts that released this spring at the Nashville Needlework Market. 

First of all there is SPRING FRILLS.  It is a set of three smalls.  Spring is 62 by 27 stitches, Bloomin' Spring is 50 by 27 stitches, and the Wreath is 43 by 43.  I stitched them on 32 count Cornsilk Linen from weeks Dye Works.  They are stitched with 2 ply of Sampler Threads from The Gentle Art over 2 threads of the linen.  The colors I used are Grape Leaf 7028, Crystal Lake 7075, Honey Dew 7087, Flax 1150, Old Brick 0320, Faded Rose 7090, and Cameo Pink 0730.
This is LOVE IS KIND. Love is Patient is 76 by 32 stitches and Faith Hope Charity is 68 by 67.  I stitched it on 32 count Baby's Breath Linen from Weeks Dye Works.  I stitched it with 2 ply of Classic Colorworks  threads and The Gentle Art threads over 2 linen threads.   Classic Colorworks threads are Straw Hat, St. Bernard, Chopped Chives, Cherry Tomato, Rose Petal, and Sampler Threads Honey Dew 7087 from The Gentle Art.

And there is EASTER BLESSINGS.  It has a fun small with eggs and bunnies, and a framed piece with a more formal, traditional design. Easter Blessings is 54 by 54 stitches. Eggs and Bunnies is 35 by 51 stitches.  They are stitched over 2 threads on 32 count Baby's Breath Linen from Weeks Dye Works with 2 ply of these Classic Colorworks threads.  Argyle Socks, Lemon Grass, Strawberry Parfait, Sea Shelley, Rain Shower, and Queen Bee.

Check with your Local Needlework Shop to place your order.  Shop owners can contact me at madebywendy @ gmail .com to order.

Happy Stitching,  Wendy

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Nashville Needlework Market 2016

The Nashville Needlework Market is just two short weeks away and I have everything shipped off and ready for the shoppers.  I had to decide last fall about going to market and with my ankle surgery it was just the best decision to stay home this year.  I am back to walking and driving myself but it took awhile and I still feel this was the best decision, but I will miss meeting shop owners and other designers. But my new designs will be there. Hoffman Distributing will have all of my charts. And Norden Crafts will have all of the charts plus the models.  Here are the  previews.

Quaker Blues

For my Sister

Let Your Heart Sing

Welcome Spring Accessories

Welcome Spring Box