Thursday, December 31, 2009

Dressed Up Tortellini

I am a big fan of tortellini, but sometimes I feel like there isn't a large variety of things to do with it besides boiling it and adding some type of sauce to it. This brings me to why this recipe is so amazing because it isn't your average tortellini dinner. Whipping cream makes a unique creamy and flavorful sauce for this dish that compliments the other ingredients that accompany the cheese tortellini.

My mom as usual deserves the props for this recipe because she is the one who found it and every time she's cooked it it has received rave reviews. I remember it was served at one of my birthday parties and several family members left that night with the recipe in tow. I recently made it for the first time and it seemed to get the same rave reviews as my mom got when she first started making it years ago. So of course I think it is only fair to share this recipe on here, so that other people can make this award winning dish and even better it is super easy and takes almost no time at all to put together.

Also, the leftovers are just as delicious the next day.

Dressed Up Tortellini

1/2 cup Onion
3 cloves Garlic
1 box Spinach, thawed
1 cup Tomatoes, seeded & cubed
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
1 cup Whipping cream
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
2 9oz packages Cheese tortellini

1. Saute onion and garlic
2. Add the thawed spinach (do not drain the spinach) and heat through
3. Add seeded and cubed tomatoes, salt, and pepper and cook 5 minutes
4. Add the whipping cream and the Parmesan cheese. Cook until mix just comes to a boil.
5. Reduce heat to low and add the tortellini.
6. Cook until the tortellini is heated all the way through

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Creme de Menthe Brownies

I have always loved these brownies and can distinctly remember all the way back to when I was very little at our old house before I had any siblings and watching my mom make them at Christmas time. Now the thing I can't remember so clearly, and I might have to ask my mom, is if I actually liked eating these when I was younger or if I acquired the taste for them as I aged. If the latter is the actual truth then it was the light minty, almost an ice mint, green frosting that I loved the looks of wedged between the two layers of chocolate.

The funny thing is I tell everyone about these brownies and get them all enthused, but then end up only making them for very few people,so I guess the message here is if you get these brownies from me then you are either very lucky or special or hey maybe even both. I think the big factor in me not making them as often or for as many people as I want to is that I have never actually owned the Creme de Menthe that goes into them, my mom does but that does me little good since I no longer live at home. With that being said I decided to finally splurge and buy myself a bottle of Creme de Menthe and yes it must be the green version not the clear kind. Oh and an added bonus is that I can now make "Special" hot chocolate with the Creme de Menthe.

The actual brownie part in this recipe is super moist because chocolate syrup goes into the batter and then after the brownies come out of the oven and cool off they're frosted with the Creme de Menthe frosting and finally chocolate chips are melted and then poured over to make the final layer for these lucious brownies. The final step is to let the brownies chill for a bit (yes you must resist the temptation to dig in) and then you can finally cut yourself a square and indulge in these oh so chocolately and minty brownies.
Creme de Menthe Brownies


1/2 cup Butter
1 cup Sugar
4 Eggs
1 (16 oz) can Chocolate syrup
1 tsp Vanilla
1/2 tsp Salt
1 cup Flour

Mix ingredients together and pour batter into a greased 13x9 pan and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes


1/2 cup Butter
2 cups Powdered sugar
4-6 tsp (I usually use more) Creme de Menthe (the green variety)

Cream the butter and sugar together until smooth and then add the Creme de Menthe. Spread over COOLED brownies.


1 cup Semi-sweet chocolate chips
6 tbs Butter

Melt together over low heat. Let cool slightly and then spread over brownies. Chill 1 hour and then ENJOY!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Restaurant Review: Joey B's on The Hill

You're probably thinking right about now: What another restaurant review, doesn't she cook anymore? The answer is yes I actually cook quite often, it just happens to be that some of my dinners aren't worthy of being posted on here. Yeah they're good and healthy, but way too boring for me to even write about. No worries though I promise that I have 2 very exciting recipes that are soon to make an appearance on here.

Joey B's is a fairly new addition to The Hill and has only be there between 6 months to a year. The owner of this restaurant has some other restaurants located throughout St. Louis though. This place is fairly casual dining and they boast many flat screen TV's to catch all the latest sports on. The restaurant also seems to be very popular as it was pretty busy for a Thursday night.

The first thing I got to try here was the fried pickles. Ok, you're probably yet again seeing another trend here and that would be the fried food trend. What can I say yes I know that deep fried food is
n't the greatest thing for you, but it can be extremely tasty, at least my experiences with it so far have been, and it isn't like I indulge in it everyday; so that leaves me to say you might as well enjoy some things in life. Anyways back to the important thing here the fried pickles. We got a heaping bowl full of these. There must have been at least 20 and there was no way we could get through all of them and still have room for dinner. The pickles where cut into smaller wedges, which made eating them much easier especially when I was imaging a whole pickle being fried to eat. The batter on these were nice and crispy not soggy from the actual pickle and overall these had good flavor. With that being said even though they were very good I couldn't eat a ton of these in one sitting.

As for the main course I had lasagna,which I have been eyeing at every Italian restaura
nt I've eaten at recently. To set the record straight when you order lasagna at Joey B's you don't get a petite lasagana square you get a brick of lasagna well make that more like 2 bricks of lasagna. There was at least 5 layers that made up this lasagna. Each one consisted of a finely ground beef and ricotta cheese mixture along with marinara sauce. The entire thing was then topped off with more marinara and Mozzarella cheese melted on top. There was no way that I could finish this in one sitting and ended up taking home at least 3/4 of it, which meant that I didn't have to cook dinner for 2 nights and I think that is a good deal. I'll leave you here with a picture of the leftovers I took home with me.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Restaurant Review: Mangia & Ted Drewes

You might be starting to see a trend here that I love Italian food and seem to be able to eat it anytime I get the opportunity. Mangia is more of an intimate restaurant that offers the feel of both casual and slightly upper scale dining combined into one.I had some of the best eggplant Parmesan here and you might also be noticing another trend, that I really enjoy eggplant. The eggplant was sliced into thick rounds and unlike most eggplant Parmesans the breading did not become soggy from all the moisture in the eggplant. That right there alone was a huge success to me. In addition, the eggplant Parmesan was served with pasta in a marinara sauce along with broccoli and cauliflower. Yes, that's right you heard me correctly they even served up veggies with this meal. Mm writing this is already making me want this dish again.

My partner in crime had the goat cheese raviolis, which I heard were quite delicious too. As you have probably guessed this restaurant was a success and gets another thumbs up from me.

After this meal it was decided that I had to try Ted Drewes. Ted Drewes is a St. Louis institution and definitely on my St. Louis to-do list. In the summertime swarms of people crowd around the place to get their concretes and by winter the stand becomes a place where you can buy Christmas trees, get warm drinks, and yes still get the famous frozen custard.What makes Ted Drewes so unique is that they don't serve ice cream they serve frozen custard, which is what I would call a richer version of ice cream and very tasty. They are also famous for what is called a concrete. The easiest way to describe it is that it is like a Blizzard from Dairy Queen, except 10 times better, yes definitely 10 times better.I tried the concrete called Cardinal Sin. This consisted of chocolate and cherries mixed into the frozen custard. Mm, so good. My partner in crime had the Dottie which consisted of mint, chocolate, and macadamia nuts mixed into the frozen custard, which I tasted and it was so good that I might have to get it next time. So yes it was probably 40 degrees outside and I won't even get into what the wind chill most likely was, but we stood in line (yes there were many others as crazy as us out for some Ted Drewes) and then ran back to the car to eat it with the heater on and I enjoyed every bit of it.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Spinach & Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken

Having found myself with leftover spinach from my crepe experience I decided to try making stuffed chicken, well it is actually more like rolled chicken but you get the idea. Something about the idea of having chicken filled with warm spinach, garlic, onions, and Mozzarella cheese that oozes out when you cut into it seemed so irresistible to me.

Making this was really simple and can easily be done in a variety of ways. In the past I've eaten variations that included chicken stuffed with prosciutto and Provolone cheese. However, I did forget to take any pictures until I took the chicken out of the oven, so you won't be able to see my step-by-step process for this, so my description will have to suffice.

In order to get a large enough surface to lay out my filling on I had to pound out my chicken flat. Since I do not have a meat mallet I used my trusty hammer, which did an excellent job. I placed the chicken onto my cutting board and covered it with plastic wrap, then I took out my frustrations on the chicken and hit at it. Once I got it to what I thought seemed flat enough I spooned some of my leftover spinach mixture onto the chicken followed by a sprinkle of Mozzarella cheese. Next I rolled the chicken up tightly starting at one end and slowly rolling making sure to keep the filling tightly secured inside of the roll. I then placed the chicken into a baking dish with the flap side down so that the ends will seal together during the cooking process. You can then season the outside of the chicken with what ever you wish. Finally, I baked the chicken at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Restaurant Review: Olympia Kebob House & Taverna

I know that I haven't written anything on here for quite some time, but things have been hectic to say the least. With my first semester of grad school coming to an end along with the prospect of finals ahead of me and not to mention my small computer disaster there hasn't been much free time for me. I promise though that I have a whole bunch of things that I've been accumulating to post on.

I am so happy to say that I have finally had my first experience with Greek food and it was an amazing one to say the least. If you haven't tried it yet you definitely need to at least once in your lifetime. I was taken to the Olympia Kebob House and Taverna, which is touted as one of the best Greek food places in St. Louis. The atmosphere of the restaurant was casual and extremely friendly. The staff was nice and our waiter with the handlebar mustache was very energetic.
The first dish that I got to try here was the Saganoki. Saganoki is fried feta cheese, but what makes this dish so cool is that at your table it has brandy poured over it and then the cheese is lit on fire with a shout of "Opa" from the waiter and to finish it off lemon is squeezed over the cheese. It is hard to actually describe this dish besides saying that it is very good, but hard to consume large quantities of it at one time. An interesting thing to note is that we must have started a trend because once we ordered it everyone else in the restaurant decided it would be a good idea to order it too.

As for my main dish that night I tried the Moussaka. Again I was not disappointed at all by this dish. Moussaka is largely made with sauteed eggplant and has a bechemal sauce. I actually cannot remember now, but there may have been some feta in it too. When this is served to you it looks like a large puff pastry muffin filled with the eggplant mixture. It was very delicious and so big that it was impossible for me to finish.

When I make it back to this restaurant I want to try their Gyros, which I hear are fabulous.