Italian Crescent Casserole

Italian Crescent Casserole.

Italian Crescent Casserole.

By the time Friday rolls around I usually want something fast and easy for dinner, but it still must taste good and be (relatively) healthy.  Frequently it’s pizza that turns up, because I can vary the toppings so we don’t get bored with the same old same old.

Looks like a deep dish pizza.

Looks like a deep dish pizza.

Last Friday I came up with this baked dish that resembles a deep-dish pizza pie.  It uses a package of refrigerated crescent rolls for a crust and is filled with grated cheeses and a ground beef and tomato sauce mixture that tastes like pizza.  The top gets nicely browned and flaky with a sprinkling of cheese and dried basil.  It makes a 9-inch “pie” that can feed 4, but we loved it so much, just two of us ate three quarters of it.  The rest made a quick lunch the next day by rewarming in the oven on low.  This dish served with a tossed green salad is all you need for a complete and satisfying meal.

Add a salad, it's a great meal.

Add a salad, it’s a great meal.

ITALIAN CRESCENT CASSEROLE

Yield:   serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 cup garlic-tomato pasta sauce
  • 1 can refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
  • 1  1/2 cups shredded Italian cheese blend
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil

Directions:

1.   Preheat oven to 375*F.  In a large skillet, cook ground beef till nicely browned.  Drain off fat drippings.   Add pasta sauce.  Heat oven medium heat to warm through.

2.  Separate dough into triangles.  Place in an ungreased 9-inch pie plate with narrow ends extending out over the edge of the pie plate about 3 inches.

Line a pie plate with crescent dough triangles and grate cheese.

Line a pie plate with crescent dough triangles and grate cheese.

3.  Use fingers to press dough together to form a crust.  Sprinkle  1 cup of cheese over the dough.

Put 1 cup cheese in bottom of pie dish.

Put 1 cup cheese in bottom of pie dish.

4.  Spoon meat mixture over the cheese in the pie plate.

Layer cooked beef and sauce on top of cheese.

Layer cooked beef and sauce on top of cheese.

5.  Bring tips of dough over the filling towards the center.

Bring tips of triangles up over meat filling,

Bring tips of triangles up over meat filling,

Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese and the dried basil.

Sprinkle remaining cheese and basil on top of crust.

Sprinkle remaining cheese and basil on top of crust.

6.  Bake at 375*F.  for 15 – 20 minutes

When it comes out of the oven it looks like this.  YUM!

When it comes out of the oven it looks like this. YUM!

We loved this,  Can't wait to make it again,

We loved this, Can’t wait to make it again,

SOURCE:   Real Mom’s Kitchen

Baked Brie Bites

Baked Brie Bites

Baked Brie Bites

Christmas Day was fast approaching and we (my family, who we were visiting, and I) were planning a big meal, so for Christmas Eve. we decided to make a meal out of just appetizers.   We each made a couple, and there was a nice variety.

Awesome !!

Awesome !!

Since appetizers are useful at any time, but especially now with New Year’s Eve coming up, I thought you might be interested in what we had.  The major requirement was that they be pretty simple to prepare and, of course, delicious to eat.

Steamed shrimp with cocktail sauce

Cocktail meatballs in barbecue sauce

Spinach Artichoke Bread*

Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms

Baked Brie Bites*

Hot cider with Honey Liqueur

The starred items were my contributions, so you will find recipes for them here today and tomorrow.

Brie cheese pairs so well with fruit, and this particular mixture of apples, walnuts, bacon and orange is an outstanding combination.  Each one is topped with a cranberry, making them festive and cute.  They can be eaten with your hands and each one is just a bite or two.  These are the perfect option for a snack or to take along to a party.  They will definitely be a crowd pleaser.  Once you taste them, you will be making them time and time again.  Socks optional because they will be blown off!

IMG_6017

BAKED BRIE BITES WITH CRANBERRIES

Yield:   Makes 24 bites

Ingredients:

Get all the ingredients ready.

Get all the ingredients ready.

  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 orange, zested and juice reserved
  • 2.5 oz. pkg. real bacon bits
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup chopped apple
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 3  Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2  8-oz. pkgs. Crescent Rolls
  • cooking spray
  • 8 0z. Brie cheese round
  • dried cranberries

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 375*F.  Coat 2 mini muffin pans with cooking spray.  (or use 1 large pan with 24 cups)

2.  In a small saucepan, melt butter.  Add orange juice, bacon bits, walnuts, apple, cinnamon and 3 tablespoons broan sugar.  Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until sugar has dissolved and apples begin to brown, 3 – 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in orange zest.  Allow this mixture to cool a bit while you prepare the dough and cheese.

Cooking up the apple mixture.

Cooking up the apple mixture.

3.  Unroll crescent rolls and pinch together seams to create 1 large sheet with each package of dough.

Pinch the seams together to make one square of dough.

Pinch the seams together to make one rectangle of dough.

Cut each rectangle into 12 squares.  Place a square of dough in each muffin cup.

Put a square of dough in each cup and add a piece of brie.

Put a square of dough in each cup and add a piece of brie.

4.  Cut brie into 24 pieces and place in the center of the dough squares.  Top with apple walnut mixture.

Top with some apple mixture.

Top with some apple mixture.

Bring edges of the dough to the center and pinch to create a seal.  Place one dried cranberry in the center of each bite.

Fold each one closed and center a cranberry on top.

Fold each one closed and center a cranberry on top.

5.  Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown.   Serve warm.

IMG_6019

SOURCE:    Happier Holidays Recipe Book

Peach Enchiladas

Peach Enchiladas, an easy, delectable dessert.

Peach Enchiladas, an easy, delectable dessert.

“Extraordinary!  Best dessert you’ve made in a while!”  These were Mr. D’s words when he tasted this dessert.  Holy Moly!   I never imagined this simple little dessert would bring such compliments.

Made from just a few ingredients, some of them convenience items, it goes together quickly and tastes fabulous.  Juicy peaches are wrapped in crescent roll dough,

Wrap each peach quarter in  crescent roll dough.

Wrap each peach quarter in crescent roll dough.

then bathed in a cinnamon syrup and citrus-flavored soft drink.

Pour over peach rolls and bake.

Pour over peach rolls and bake.

Once baked they are brown and bubbly, and oh, sooo good; especially served with a little whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

IMG_4596

Mr. D. is already reminding me that I have to make them again soon.  I know I’m being bossy here, but you must make this dessert ASAP.  Do It.!

PEACH ENCHILADAS

So few ingredients, such big flavor!

So few ingredients, such big flavor!

Yield:   8 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2  (8-oz.) cans refrigerated crescent rolls
  • 4 large fresh, firm, ripe peaches, peeled and quartered
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 1 tsp, ground cinnamon
  • 1  (12-oz.) can citrus-flavored soft drink, such as lemon-lime, or Mountain Dew

1.  Preheat oven to 350*F.  Lightly grease a 13 x 9 – inch baking pan.  Unroll crescent rolls, separate into triangles.  Place 1 peach quarter on wide end of each triangle;  roll up around peaches, starting at the wide end.  Place point sides down in prepared pan.

2.  Melt butter in microwave,  Stir together sugar and cinnamon.  Add to butter and mix well.  Drizzle this mixture over the peach rolls. Pour soft drink over the rolls.

Mix up cinnamon syrup, have citrus soda measured and ready

Mix up cinnamon syrup, have citrus soda measured and ready

3.  Bake at 350*F for  40 – 45 minutes or until golden and bubbly.

After baking, brown and flaky with a cinnamon syrup.

After baking, brown and flaky with a cinnamon syrup.

Note:  Since I made this dessert for 2 of us,  I made only half the recipe.  A serving consists of 2 peach rolls.

Serve with whipped topping, or ice cream.

Serve with whipped topping, or ice cream.

SOURCE:  Southern Living Magazine

Chicken Crescent Ring

Chicken Crescent Ring

Chicken Crescent Ring

I made this recipe just recently for a birthday party where the menu consisted of appetizers, finger sandwiches and desserts.  I’ve had this recipe for a long time and had completely forgotten about it until I read a blog posting over at the Rantings of an Amateur Chef where he describes this sandwich.  I suddenly knew it would be perfect for the birthday party we were going to.  So, thank-you to Pat for his post and for reminding me of this great sandwich idea.

Many years ago I went to a Pampered Chef house party.  The hostess was preparing baked items on a pizza stone, and talking about how useful the stone is in addition to making pizza on it.  I was one of many who purchased the pizza stone that evening.  I’ve used it often and always have success in getting a nice crispy crust on my pizzas, but I don’t think to use it for much else, until I made this sandwich. It is not essential to have a pizza stone, so if you don’t have one don’t worry,  you can use a metal pizza pan just as well.

When you serve this, your guests will be impressed with your creativity, and how delicious the sandwich is.

CHICKEN CRESCENT RING

SERVINGS:   about 16

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 can chicken, broken up  ( about 1 cup )
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
  • 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon green onions, sliced
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, sliced vertically into wedges
  • 1 medium red pepper
  • 2 cups lettuce, shredded
  •  2 rolls, refrigerated crescent rolls

1.  Preheat oven to 375*F.  Lightly grease a pizza pan or stone,

2.  Mix mayonnaise, mustard, parsley, and sliced green onion.   Set aside.

Make the dressing with mayo, mustard, parsley and green onions.

Make the dressing with mayo, mustard, parsley and green onions.

3.  Mix chicken, bacon, 3/4 cup cheese and 1/3 cup mayonnaise mixture.

Mix together, chicken, bacon and shredded cheese.

Mix together, chicken, bacon and shredded cheese.

4.  Unroll crescent dough, separating into triangles.  Arrange in a circle, overlapping wide ends in and points hanging out over the edge.  Leave a  5 – 6 inch circle empty in the center.  ( see picture )

Lay out triangles in a circle with wide ends toward the middle, and points out.

Lay out triangles in a circle with wide ends toward the middle, and points out.

5.  Spoon chicken salad onto rolls at the wide ends.

Spoon chicken salad onto wide ends of triangles.

Spoon chicken salad onto wide ends of triangles.

Wrap the points over and tuck underneath.

Wrap points over and tuck under.

Wrap points over and tuck under.

6.  Slice tomatoes into wedges and tuck one piece into each open space in the ring.

Tomato wedges tucked into each open space.

Tomato wedges tucked into each open space.

7.  Bake 20 – 25 minutes.  Just before end of baking time, sprinkle remaining cheese on top and allow to melt.  Remove from oven to cool slightly.

8.  To serve:  Cut top off red pepper, remove ribs and seeds.  Spoon in remainder of dressing.  Place pepper in center of ring, and garnish around pepper with shredded lettuce.  Cut into servings so that each one has a piece of tomato.

Serve with red pepper in the center and garnished with shredded lettuce.

Serve with red pepper in the center and garnished with shredded lettuce.

I must apologize for the poor quality of the pictures of the finished dish.  In my hurrying I forgot to bring my camera, and so these pictures were taken by someone else with their  camera and then sent to me via e-mail.  I think you can still get the idea of how attractive this is to serve, however.

SOURCE:   Pampered Chef,   via The Ranting Chef.com

Bacon Cheddar Pinwheels

Bacon Cheddar Pinwheels.

Bacon Cheddar Pinwheels.

Yes, it was Super Sunday, and no we didn’t watch the game, go to a party, or cheer for any particular team, but I did use game day as an excuse to make some foods associated with game watching.  I guess I’m more interested in food than football!  Anyway, I made these easy little pinwheels that we enjoyed for lunch with some fresh fruit.  Then I went on to make a chicken quesedilla casserole for dinner.  I’ll be telling you about that in a few days. so stay tuned.

These easy to hold little pinwheels make a great appetizer, combining two flavor favorites; bacon and cheddar cheese, wrapped into crescent roll dough.  You can eat them with your fingers, no utensils required, while in the other hand you hold your favorite beverage.  A neat party food, I think.  One that guys will like–at least my husband did.  In fact, he asked me to make them after seeing them in a picture.  Turns out he was on the right track with that suggestion.  I liked them very much too.

BACON CHEDDAR PINWHEELS

Just a few ingredients, you probably have on hand.

Just a few ingredients, you probably have on hand.

Yield:   Makes 12 – 16, depending on how thick you cut them.

  • 1 roll refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
  • 2 Tablespoons ranch dressing
  • 1/4 cup cooked bacon pieces,  4 slices bacon, crisply cooked and crumbled
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions

1.  Preheat oven to 350* F.  Spray baking sheet with non-stick spray or line with parchment paper.

2.  Unroll the crescent roll dough;  pressing each section into a 12 x 4 inch rectangle,  firmly pressing the perforations to seal.

3.  Spread 1 Tablespoon dressing over each dough rectangle to the edges.  Sprinkle each with bacon, cheddar cheese, and onions.

Layer on the fillings, then roll up.

Layer on the fillings, then roll up.

4.  Starting at one short side, roll up each rectangle;  press edge to seal.  With serrated knife, cut each roll into 6-8 slices;  place cut side down on prepared baking sheet.

Slice, then bake.

Slice, then bake.

5.  Bake 12 – 17 minutes or until edges are deep golden brown.  Immediately remove from baking sheet.  Serve warm.

Served warm with fruit for a light lunch.

Served warm with fruit for a light lunch.

Bacon Cheddar Pinwheels

Bacon Cheddar Pinwheels, a neat little appetizer.

SOURCE:   Pillsbury Baking