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Brain Strain: Friday, July 25

Recent survey finds we actually do *this* one third less than we think we do…
Incorrect guesses: sleep, daydream, chew with mouth open
Correct answer: smile!
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Pizza Pasta

The pizza flavor packs a punch in this pasta dish!

2 cups uncooked spiral pasta
1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 pound bulk Italian sausage
1 small green bell pepper, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
3 oz sliced pepperoni
1 can (14-1/2 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 jar (14 oz) spaghetti sauce
1 jar (4-1/2 oz) sliced mushrooms
1 can (4-1/4 oz) chopped ripe black olives, drained
1 cup (4 oz) shredded part-skim mozzarella

Cook the pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook th ebeef, sausage, green pepper and onion until the meat is no longer pink; drain. Add the pepperoni, tomatoes, spaghetti sauce, mushrooms and olives; cook and stir for 5 minutes.

Drain the pasta; stir into the meat mixture. Heat through. Sprinkle with cheese. Remove from heat; cover and let stand until cheese is melted.

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Chicken Carrot Pilaf

Love that this meal is prepared all in one skillet, less clean-up!!

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
1/4 cup butter, cubed
1-1/2 cups uncooked long grain rice
5 medium carrots, sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1/4 cup chopped sweet red pepper
4 cups chicken broth
2 tbsp minced fresh parsley

In a large skillet, brown chicken in butter until no longer pink. Remove and keep warm. In the same skillet, add the rice carrots, onion, mushrooms and red pepper. Cook and stir until rice is browned and onion is tender.

Stir in broth. Place the chicken over the rice mixture. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until rice is tender. Stir in parsley. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
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Chicken Taco Fettuccine

The flavors come together so nicely in the easily prepared dish!

8 oz uncooked fettuccine
2 cups cubed cooked chicken
1-1/2 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
3 to 4 tsp taco seasoning
2 tbp shredded Parmesan cheese

Cook fettuccine according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook the chicken in oil for 4-5 minutes over medium heat or until heated through (it should already be cooked). Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer.

Whisk in cream and taco seasoning until blended. Cook and stir until heated through (do not boil). Stir in cheese. Drain fettuccine; toss with chicken mixture.
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Brain Strain: Wednesday, July 23rd

In a recent survey from Cosmo, Wednesday is the most popular day to do *this*...what?

Incorrect guess: go out to eat

Correct answer: go on a first date
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Cajun Cabbage

It's a little spicy and a little cheesy too...not your average cabbage dish, that's for sure!

1 pound lean ground beef
1 medium green pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 can (10 oz) diced tomatoes and green chilies
1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
1/2 cup uncooked long grain rice
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp each white, black and cayenne pepper
4 to 6 drops hot pepper sauce (more if you dare!)
1 small head cabbage, chopped
1 cup (4 oz) shredded Colby cheese

In a skillet, cook the beef, green pepper, onion and garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in tomatoes, tomato sauce, rice and seasonings.

Spread into an ungreased 13-in x 9-in baking dish. Top with the cabbage and cheese. Cover and bake at 350 for 65-75 minutes or until the rice is tender.

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Brain Strain: Tuesday July 22nd

According to a recent Match.com survey, 30% of people say they won't ask someone out because of THIS...

Incorrect guesses: facial hair, bad teeth, chewing tobacco, having children, smoking cigarettes

Correct answer: their name!
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Brain Strain: Monday, July 21st

More than 10% of Americans went to one of these over the weekend…

Incorrect: fair, family reunion, beach, fireworks display, amusement park, movie, cookout, wedding, concert, park, campground, shopping mall, saloon, gym, ER, grocery store, farmer's market

Correct answer: A yard/garage sale!!!

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Spinach Manicotti

Nice dish for a Meat-Free Monday!

1 carton (15 oz) fat-free ricotta cheese
2 cups (8 oz) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
1 package (10 oz) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squezzed dry
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
2 cups tomato juice
1 cup chunky salsa
1 can (15 oz) crushed tomatoes
14 uncooked manicotti shells

In a large bowl, combine ricotta, 1-1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, spinach, sour cream, bread crumbs, Italian seasoning, garlic powder and onion powder.

Combine the tomato juice, salsa and crushed tomatoes; spread 1 cup sauce in an ungreased 13-in x 9-in baking dish. Stuff the uncooked manicotti with spinach mixture; arrange over sauce. Pour remaining sauce over manicotti.

Cover and bake at 350 for 55 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake 15 minutes longer or until noodles are tender.
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Bacon and Cheddar Stuffed Burgers

Instead of asking "why stuff a burger with bacon and cheddar?"...ask yourself WHY NOT?!?

1 lb ground beef chuck


In a large bowl combine ground beef, salt, pepper and Worcestershire sauce together. Form the meat into 8 equal portioned patties. Place patties on a plate and cover under refrigeration until ready to use.

In a small bowl, combine cheddar cheese, bacon, barbecue sauce and onion together. To stuff burgers, place a small about of cheese and bacon mixture in the middle of four patties. Cover the filled patties with the plain patties, securing the burgers by crimpling the sides with your fingers. Chill burgers until ready to cook.

Broil, grill or sauté burger until cheese has melted and the meat is cooked well. Place on toasted hamburger buns and top as desired. The filling in these burgers will be VERY hot, be careful when eating.

Image: picknsave.com


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