Kale & Portobello Mushrooms (RR)

We received a bunch of kale with our CSA order this week and were dumbfounded as what to do with it. Thankfully I found this Rachel Ray recipe on foodtv.com and gave it a shot. We loved it & hope we get it again. If you've never had it, it's similar to collard greens. It was the first thing we polished off with dinner tonight! It probably took 25-30 min to prepare including washing and chopping the kale.

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 portobello mushroom caps, sliced
1 1/4 pounds kale, stemmed & chopped
salt & pepper
freshly grated nutmeg, to taste, about 1/4 teaspoon
1/2 cup dry Italian red wine (we used trader joe's cabernet sauvignon)

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat with extra-virgin olive oil. When the oil is hot, add mushrooms and cook until dark and tender. Add kale and turn with tongs to wilt. Season the mixture of mushrooms and greens with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Add wine and deglaze the pan. Reduce heat to low and cook greens 5 minutes longer then serve.


Vegetables with Farfalle and Cream Sauce (Adapted from All Recipes)

Zucchini was one of the vegetables that we got from our CSA last week and I was searching for a good pasta recipe to use it in. I found one (Zucchini with Farfalle on Allrecipes.com and changed it up to really reflect what I was looking for. It turned out to be very good, next time I just need to use even more vegetables. This recipe is very versatile and you can use whatever vegetables you are itching for! I wrote up the recipe to reflect the changes I will make for the next time (adding another zucchini, red pepper, entire package of mushrooms and a smaller onion). As usual, we also had Publix Greenwise Mediterranean pork sausage.

Servings: 4 main courses or 7-8 sides
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 large zucchini, chopped
2 yellow squash, chopped
1 package of baby bella mushrooms, chopped
1 red pepper
1 medium vidalia onion 
1 clove garlic, minced
2/3 cup heavy cream
1 16oz package farfalle (or your choice pasta)
salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper
1/4c parmesan cheese

1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add vegetables and saute quickly so that the vegetables are still crispy not overcooked. Remove and set aside.
2. Add onion and saute until slightly transparent, add garlic and saute until golden (but not burnt). Stir in cream, increase heat and boil until sauce is reduced by one third.
3. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain.
4. Add pasta, vegetables, parmesan cheese and salt and pepper to the cream sauce. Toss thoroughly until heated through. Serve immediately with optional additional grated parmesan cheese.

Quick Meat Sauce (MS Everyday Food)

We are big macaroni eaters (mostly because of my Italian heritage and my husband is glad he married into it) and enjoy having homemade gravy. I like to make my Mom's recipe and freeze the leftovers in batches and my husband also likes having Giada's around as well. Well, we were all out of both and didn't have the time required to make our favorite homemade sauces. Luckily, I stumbled on this recipe and we decided to give it a shot! It was yummy and took just the right amount of time for a weeknight dinner. The recipe also calls for using the sauce with fresh fettuccine- we had fresh raviolis from the DeKalb Farmer's Market and Publix Greenwise Italian pork sausage which you see pictured. 

Serves 4
Prep time: about 10 minutes
Total time: about 25 minutes
coarse salt and ground pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 pound ground pork
1/2 pound ground beef chuck (we used a leaner cut)
1 cup dry white wine
1 can (28oz) whole peeled tomatoes in juice, chopped
1/2 teapsoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Add onion and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion softens, 3 to 4 minutes. Add pork and beef; cook, breaking meat up with a spoon, until no longer pink, 2 to 3 minutes. Add wine; cook until evaporated, about 7 minutes. Add tomatoes, oregano and red-pepper flakes; cook until sauce is slightly thickened, 2 to 3 minutes.

Double-Chocolate Brownie Cookies (Martha Stewart Baking Handbook)

I made these cookies just to see how they compared to the yummy brownies also from Martha Stewart. The name is true- they are very brownie-esque and just eating one cookie will fill the chocolate craving you had. Enjoy! I used Ghiardelli chocolate and did not use any nuts in my version. 

Makes about 30: Like brownies, these cookies are dense and fudgy beneath their crackly exteriors. Use your favorite nuts in place of the walnuts, or omit them altogether. They dough can be shaped into balls and refrigerated for up to two days or frozen for up to three weeks; freeze on a baking sheet until firm, then transfer to a resealable plastic bag.

9 oz semisweet chocolate chopped into 1/4 inch chunks 
3 oz unsweetened chocolate- coarsely chopped
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (about 3 oz) chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat the oven to 375F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. In a heatproof bowl set over (but not touching) simmering water, melt 5 oz semisweet chocolate, the unsweetened chocolate, and the butter. Stir until smooth. Set mixture aside to cool slightly, about 5 minutes.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat chocolate mixture and sugar on medium speed until well combined, about 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add eggs, and mix until completely combined. Beat in vanilla. Add the flour and salt, and beat until just incorporated. Stir in remaining 4 oz semisweet chocolate and the nuts (if using).

Shape 2 tablespoons of dough at a time into 1 1/2 inch balls and place about 1 1/2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until edges are set and centers are still a bit soft, 9 to 11 minutes. Transfer parchment and cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Cookies can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.