Category Archives: Family Recipes

Cheesy Baked Pasta w/ Sausage & Summer Veggies

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Cheesy Baked Pasta with Sausage and Summer Veggies

Ah, it’s almost the end of Summer and I keep thinking, where has it gone? Along with Summer comes lots of fresh veggies like zucchini, bell peppers, mushrooms and yellow squash that I just can’t get enough of!

Colavita

I recently received a lovely care package from my client Colavita, who sent me some delicious pasta, sauces, olive oils and vinegars to sample, which inspired me to make this Cheesy Baked Pasta with Sausage and Summer Veggies. 

Cheesy Baked Pasta with Sausage and Summer Veggies

It’s a tasty and healthy twist on traditional Baked Ziti, using Colavita Fusilli pasta with sweet Italian sausage and lots of colorful summer veggies like zucchini, squash, bell peppers, mushrooms, onions and garlic. I sautéed everything in Colavita Extra Virgin olive oil with a splash of Colavita Chardonnay White Balsamic vinegar for some extra sweet and tangy flavor.

Cheesy Baked Pasta with Sausage and Summer Veggies

I used their Colavita Tomato Basil sauce mixed in to the pasta and veggies along with fresh oregano and basil. AND it has three (3!!) cheeses: ricotta, parmesan/asiago and mozzarella to make it super creamy and cheesy – all baked into a big pot of bubbly goodness.

Cheesy Baked Pasta with Sausage and Summer Veggies

Look. At. This. Cheesy Baked Pasta Goodness. YUM.

Cheesy Baked Pasta with Sausage and Summer Veggies

It’s the perfect dish for a quick and healthy weeknight dinner – and is great served with a green salad and some crusty Italian bread (dipped in Colavita olive oil and vinegar of course!) Enjoy!

Cheesy Baked Pasta w/ Sausage and Summer Veggies

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 6-8

This is a tasty and healthy twist on traditional Baked Ziti, using Colavita Rotini pasta with Italian Sausage and lots of colorful summer veggies like zucchini, squash, mushrooms, onions and garlic! It also features Colavita Tomato Basil sauce mixed with three cheeses: ricotta, parmesan/asiago and mozzarella to make it super creamy and cheesy baked into a big pot of bubbly goodness. Perfect for a quick weeknight dinner served with a green salad and crusty Italian bread.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Colavita Fusilli pasta, uncooked
  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage, ground
  • 2 tablespoons Colavita Extra Virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon Colavita Chardonnay White Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup yellow squash, chopped
  • 1 cup zucchini, chopped
  • 1 cup mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-16 ounce jar Colavita Tomato Basil sauce
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup Parmesan/Asiago cheese, grated
  • 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt (add more to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (add more to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Instructions

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions (about 9 minutes for al dente), drain.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add one tablespoon of olive oil to the pan. Cook sausage until no longer pink, drain fat and set aside.
  4. Add additional tablespoon of olive oil to the pan, and add squash, zucchini, mushrooms and bell pepper. Saute for 5-7 minutes until soft. Add minced garlic and balsamic vinegar and cook for another minute or two. Add the cooked sausage back into the pan.
  5. Stir in the tomato sauce, 1/2 cup of mozzarella and 1/2 cup of Parmesan/Asiago cheese and reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and cook for another 5 minutes until cheese is melted.
  6. Meanwhile, add the ricotta cheese to a mixing bowl and stir in beaten egg, fresh herbs, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.
  7. Place the cooked pasta in a large pot and add the sausage-veggie-tomato sauce mixture, stirring well. Fold in the ricotta-egg-herbs mixture until thoroughly combined.
  8. Spoon the pasta mixture into an 8x8 square glass or ceramic baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan/Asiago cheese evenly over the top.
  9. Bake at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes until cheese is bubbly and browned.
  10. Let cool for a few minutes, serve hot with a green salad and crusty Italian bread.

Notes

You can also substitute Colavita penne, shells, farfalle or ziti for the fusilli pasta.

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Cheesy Baked Pasta with Sausage and Summer Veggies

Cheesy Baked Pasta with Sausage and Summer Veggies

Colavita has a great line of Italian gourmet food, olive oils, vinegars, pastas,  condiments and other specialty foods, which makes them one of my favorite brands for quality Italian cooking.

Check out their Facebook page, Twitter page, Pinterest and Instagram pages for more great recipes and cooking ideas!

Note: I received complimentary products from Colavita but was not compensated for this post. All photos, copy, recipes and opinions are my own. Please do not share, distribute or use any content without my permission.

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The Most Popular Posts of 2015 :: Happy New Year 2016!

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2015 Happy New Year

So here it is, the last day of the year 2015..oh how time flies, and so much has happened! I’m so thankful for all the wonderful opportunities that have come into my life and the lessons learned along the way.  Here are some of my Top / Most Popular posts from The Artful Gourmet blog this year — and wishing everyone a safe and Happy New Year 2016!

Neapolitan Pizza

The Secrets to Making Neapolitan Pizza like a Master Pizzaiolo –http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2013/08/11/neapolitan-pizza-making-with-the-pros/

Crab Salad

Refreshingly Light Get in My Bikini Salad – http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2012/05/21/refreshingly-light-get-in-my-bikini-crab-salad/

Beef Stroganoff

Beef Stroganoff – http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2011/11/02/classic-comfort-food-beef-stroganoff/

Homemade Rustic Pizzas

Homemade Rustic Pizzas: Chicken, Spinach, Garlic & Sundried Tomato Pizza & Pepperoni, Ham & Sautéed Veggies Pizza – http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2013/10/02/homemade-rustic-pizzas-chicken-spinach-garlic-sundried-tomato-pizza-pepperoni-ham-sauteed-veggie-pizza/

holiday dinner menu

An Intimate Gathering Holiday Dinner Party Menu: http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2010/11/28/an-intimate-gathering-holiday-dinner-party-menu/

Chicken French & Lemon Broccolini

Rochester-Style Chicken French & Lemon Broccolini – http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2013/03/17/rochester-style-chicken-french-lemon-broccolini/

Mario Lopez & Avocados from Mexico

Food Styling for Mario Lopez and Avocados from Mexico – http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2013/12/17/food-styling-mario-lopez-avocados-mexico-nbc-live-bethenny-shows/

pasta fagioli soup

Big Pot O’Goodness: Pasta Fagioli – http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2011/12/11/big-pot-o-goodness-pasta-fagioli/

Truffle-Pancetta-3Cheese-Pasta

Truffled 3-Cheese Pasta with Pancetta and Garlic – http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2011/10/25/crazy-good-truffle-oil-pancetta-three-cheese-pasta/

BDTChowder

Black Dog Tavern’s Quahog Chowderhttp://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2011/09/24/a-taste-of-marthas-vineyard-the-black-dog-taverns-quahog-chowder/

Asparagus-Garlic-3-Cheese Tart

Baby Asparagus, Garlic & Three Cheese Tart – http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2013/11/24/asparagus-three-cheese-tart/

Spicy Cajun Chili
Spicy Cajun Chilihttp://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2013/11/09/spicy-cajun-chili/

Shrimp Scampi Pasta

Shrimp Scampi Pasta with Lemon Butter Sauce – http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2012/05/13/shrimp-scampi-pasta/

Spinach Artichoke Pizza with Cauliflower Crust

Spinach Artichoke Pizza with Cauliflower Crusthttp://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2013/06/03/spinach-artichoke-ricotta-pizza-with-parmesan-garlic-cauliflower-crust/

Recipes Worth Sharing Cookbook

Recipes Worth Sharing: A Collection of Favorite Regional Recipes – http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2012/03/21/recipes-worth-sharing-a-collection-of-favorite-regional-recipes/

Sun Noodle Ramen Lab

Top Ten {Things I Love} :: Spring 2013 – http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2013/04/07/top-ten-things-i-love-spring-2013/

Southern Feast

A Dose of Southern Comfort & Down-Home Recipes – Part 1 – http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2012/05/08/a-dose-of-southern-comfort-down-home-recipes-part-1/

spicy fish tacos and wine

Cool off with some Spicy Fish Tacos & Summer Wine Pairings – http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2012/06/01/cool-off-with-some-spicy-fish-tacos-summer-wine-pairings/

Hope you enjoyed these posts and looking forward to sharing more fun stories with you in the New Year!

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Cheesy Skillet Beef Goulash

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Cheesy Skillet Beef Goulash

 

It’s summer and OH. SO. HOT. And I honestly haven’t really been in the mood to cook  or do anything lately except lie down in the AC or chill on the beach – but a girl’s gotta eat, right?

Cheesy Skillet Beef Goulash

I’ve also been a bit blue because my Dad is in the hospital and having double bypass heart surgery on Monday morning which is a bit scary..and too much to deal with.

Kristen and Dad

So I decided I needed a dose of some comfort food this weekend to cheer me up and bring me a little closer to home with Dad. 🙂

Cheesy Skillet Beef Goulash

I had a few samples of RedPack petite diced tomatoes on hand and thought they would be perfect for a comforting baked pasta dish – something that reminded me of what Mom used to make for us for dinner.

Cheesy Skillet Beef Goulash

So I whipped up a Cheesy Skillet Beef Goulash – made with ground beef, tomatoes, onion, garlic, elbow macaroni and three cheeses – all cooked together in one skillet, then baked into a pot of bubbly, cheesy goodness.

Cheesy Skillet Beef Goulash

Super simple to make and definitely comforting at that. I think I’ll get through the weekend and Dad’s surgery just fine…after I have some of this deliciousness..and maybe a nap in the A/C. 🙂

Kristen and Dad

Cheesy Skillet Beef Goulash

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 6-8

This is a classic cheesy baked pasta dish made with macaroni, ground beef, diced tomatoes, onion and garlic, topped with Parmesan and shredded cheddar cheese.

Ingredients

  • 1 package elbow macaroni
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3-4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1- 28 ounce can RedPack petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup shredded mild cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the macaroni, drain and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, In a large nonstick skillet, add oil and heat until it's shimmering. Add onion, and cook over medium heat until onion is soft, about 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and cook for about 30 seconds.
  3. Add the ground beef and brown until no longer pink, stirring and breaking it up as you cook.
  4. Add the diced tomatoes and tomato sauce to the skillet and stir. Cook the mixture for about 5 minutes or so until heated through.
  5. Stir in the cooked pasta and Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, mixing well. Adjust seasonings to your taste buds accordingly...:)
  6. Top the pasta mixture with both shredded cheeses and bake in the oven for about 10 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  7. Top with additional grated Parmesan cheese if desired and serve hot immediately.

Notes

Goes great with a green salad and garlic bread and a crisp white wine like Pinot Grigio or a light fruity red table wine.

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http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2015/08/09/cheesy-skillet-beef-goulash/

 

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Cooking with Color 4 Kids TV Summer Edition + Recipes from Spring Show

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#CookingwithColor4Kids

 

My #CookingwithColor4Kids TV Show Summer Edition is LIVE and what a fun show we have for you…Thanks to all the amazing kids and parents who were on the show and for cooking and sharing all your awesome Summer recipes with us!

CWC_SummerFoods

Lily McGee & Jennifer Hess McGee made us some fresh and healthy Summer Jar Salads

Maxwell Leduc from Canada talks about his favorite Summer dishes to make and how he cooks gluten-free

Ava Llorca makes us fresh Strawberry Shortcake from scratch – her favorite Summer dish

Deborah Berg from Israel makes us a delicious Beet Salad fresh from her garden

Jacob and Cooper Nixon from Charlotte NC make Strawberry Shortcakes and Caprese Salads with fresh fruits and veggies from their Dad Jeff Nixon‘s garden

Jonathan and Nichelle Pace talk about how they make homemade Pancakes and BBQ Chicken

LIVE on our YouTube Channel at – https://youtu.be/MDVf1k-3Eng

BRIC

Also airs on Brooklyn Public Network television tomorrow Sat July 18 at 11:30 am EST in Brooklyn on:
Cablevision channel 67
Time Warner channel 34
RCN channel 82
AND in all 5 boroughs of #NYC on Verizon channel 42

VIEW ONLINE LIVE at BCAT TV Network Channel 1 Sat July 18 at 11:30 am – http://bricartsmedia.org/community-media/watch-brooklyn-public-network

COOKING WITH COLOR 4 KIDS SPRING 2015 SHOW

AND…if you missed our Spring Show from May – you can also watch it online at https://youtu.be/YYVsNgMpZig

I made some fresh and healthy Caprese Salad Skewers, Straw and Hay Pasta with Peas & Pancetta in a light creamy Parmesan Sauce and a delicious Strawberry Rhubarb Eton Mess for dessert! I also had a Guest Chef from our video crew make a big batch of Mediterranean Tabbouleh for us on the show..so good!

HealthCorps Kids

Also check out the video also on our Spring show of the HealthCorps kids from a high school in the Lower East Side, NYC cooking Fish Tacos for Cinco de Mayo – so many healthy and fresh things going on over there!

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Cooking with Color 4 Kids was also just featured in Lodging Magazine this month – read the article online here!

Below are my #recipes from the Spring show..hope you enjoy and Happy Summer!

Caprese Salad

Caprese Salad Skewers

Ingredients
1 container of cherry tomatoes
1 bunch of fresh basil
1 container fresh mozzarella balls
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar or 1 cup for glace
Sea salt
Freshly cracked black pepper

Preparation
Assemble tomatoes, rolled basil leaves and mozzarella balls on medium-sized toothpicks or small wooden skewers.

Drizzle with olive oil, 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper.

To make balsamic glace (a thicker cooked down version of balsamic vinegar), add one cup of balsamic vinegar to a sauce pan over medium heat. Once it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to simmer and cook for about 10-15 minutes until it reduces to a syrupy consistency. Dip a spoon into the vinegar to check for thickness. As it cools the syrup will also thicken.

Drizzle balsamic glace evenly over the caprese skewers and serve immediately.

Makes 12 skewers.

Straw and Hay Pasta

Straw and Hay Pasta 

Ingredients

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
4 scallions
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup frozen baby peas, defrosted
4 ounces (1/2 cup) diced pancetta
2/3 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream or half and half
1/2 pound dry egg fettucine or linguine
1/2 pound dry spinach fettucine or linguine
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish

Preparation

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.

Trim the scallions and slice into thin strips and then crosswise about 3 inches long. Add the scallions to the pan and cook for about 1 to 2 minutes until wilted.

Add the diced pancetta, and cook for about 5 minutes or so until it gets crispy and browned.

Pour in the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the sauce to a simmer and cook until the liquid is reduced by half. Add the heavy cream and continue to simmer another 2-3 minutes.

Stir the pasta into the salted boiling water and let return to a boil, then cook for 9 minutes until al dente (slightly firm and chewy).

Remove the cooked pasta from the water with a slotted spoon and add to the sauce in the skillet, stirring to coat. Cook over high heat until liquid reduces to a creamy sauce.

Remove from the heat and stir in the Parmesan cheese. Garnish with black pepper and freshly chopped parsley, if desired.

Serves 6.

Strawberry Rhubarb Eton Mess

Strawberry Rhubarb Eton Mess

Ingredients

Meringues
2 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon vinegar
1/4 teaspoon corn starch
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Strawberry Rhubarb Compote
1 cup chopped rhubarb
1 cup sliced strawberries
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup sugar or honey
1 teaspoon orange or lemon zest

Whipped Cream
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preparation

Make the Meringues:
Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone mat.

Whisk the eggs with a mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form. Increase speed to medium high and slowly add the sugar, one spoonful at a time. Continue beating until sugar is completely incorporated and the stiff peaks form. Gently fold in the vinegar, cornstarch and vanilla with a spatula.

Spoon the meringue into twelve large dollops on the baking sheet.

Bake for 90 minutes or until the surface of the meringues are dull and they feel dry to the touch. Let the meringues cool for at least an hour or overnight.

Strawberry Rhubarb Compote:
Preheat a sauce pan over medium high heat, and add the rhubarb, strawberries, OJ, sugar and orange or lemon zest.

Bring to a boil and stir occasionally, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 10 minutes until the fruit is soft and starts to fall apart.

Set aside and let cool to room temperature (or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator if making ahead for up to 1 week).

Whipped Cream: (can also use store-bought if you prefer to not make your own)
In a large mixing bowl, whip together the heavy cream, sugar and vanilla with a whisk until soft peaks form.

Assemble the Eton Mess:
Crumble meringues into a large mixing bowl.

Top with spoonfuls of whipped cream and strawberry rhubarb compote in layers and fold until just barely combined.

Divide evenly between six dessert bowls or glasses and serve immediately.

Serves 6.

tabbouleh

Mediterranean Tabbouleh

Ingredients

1/2 cup fine bulgur
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup boiling hot water
2 cups finely chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
2 medium tomatoes, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
1/2 seedless cucumber, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4 inch pieces
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Preparation

Stir together bulgur and 1 tablespoon oil in a heatproof bowl. Pour boiling water over the bulgur, then cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let stand 15 minutes. Drain in a fine mesh colander, pressing on bulgur to remove any excess liquid.
Transfer bulgur to a bowl and toss with all the ingredients, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil, until combined well.
This dish can be served as a side salad or main dish, along with an assortment of grilled meats, pita bread and falafel with hummus.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Download the recipes below as a PDF:

CWCMay2015_CapreseRecipe

CWCMay2015_EtonMessRecipe

CWCMay2015_StrawHayPastaRecipe

CWCMay2015_TabboulehRecipe

#cookingwithcolor #cookingwithkids #kristenhess #theartfulgourmet #artfulgourmet #ediningnews #bric #foodtv #springrecipes #summerrecipes

 

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Seriously Delicious Taco Pizza

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Taco Pizza

I’ve been on a spicy food kick lately. Maybe it’s the pseudo-Spring weather. Or maybe I’m just addicted. I decided to make a fun twist on pizza and make a seriously delicious Taco Pizza. Yes, TACOS. And PIZZA. All baked into a bubbling pile of goodness. This Taco Pizza is the easiest thing to make, and the best tasting thing on the planet. Like a fiesta in your mouth.

Taco Pizza 2

I had a bunch of Pillsbury Crescent Dough in the fridge, as well as a ton of fresh ingredients I wanted to use up. Yes, I could have made Nachos. Or Burritos. Or Enchiladas. Or even a Taco Salad. But why not make a Taco Pizza? It was Friday after all. And Fridays are made for FUN FOOD, arent’ they?

Taco Pizza_OH 2

The crust is super buttery and flaky and a delicious canvas for this Taco Monster creation.

Toppings 1

The pizza is topped with all the goodies you would make tacos with – salsa, ground beef, taco seasoning, black beans and onions,

Toppings 2

with a layer of fresh veggies like black olives, tomatoes, jalapenos; and of course plenty of shredded cheddar cheese.

Taco Pizza 3

Just layer all the goods on the dough, pop it in a 375 degree oven and bake for about 13-16 minutes until the crust is golden and the cheese is melty-ooey-gooey.

Taco Pizza 5

Then, top it with some chopped cilantro, a few dabs of sour cream and some wavy corn chips for extra crunch.

Serious YUM. And perfect for a Friday afternoon. With a margarita or two, of course. 🙂

Seriously Delicious Taco Pizza

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 1-2 slices/squares

A seriously delicious Taco Pizza made with ground beef, tomatoes, jalapenos, olives, black beans and cheese, topped with sour cream, cilantro and crunchy corn chips baked on a crescent dough crust.

Ingredients

  • 2 cans (8 ounce) Pillsbury crescent dough
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 small onion, chopped (or 1 tablespoon minced dried onion)
  • 1 package taco seasoning
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup black beans, rinsed
  • 1 cup chunky salsa
  • 10-12 cherry or plum tomatoes, halved
  • 1 jalapeno, sliced
  • 1/2 cup black olives, sliced
  • 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup wavy corn chips, for garnish
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped, for garnish
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Separate dough into 2 long rectangles and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Press perforations to seal into one large rectangle of dough. Repeat for second pizza.
  3. In a large skillet, saute ground beef, onions and black beans until cooked through and meat is no longer pink. Drain grease, and add taco seasoning and 1/4 cup of water, mix together well and keep warm, covered.
  4. Prep the veggies and pizza topping ingredients.
  5. Layer the dough with the salsa, 1/2 cup for each pizza.
  6. Top dough with the taco beef and bean mixture, olives, tomatoes, jalapenos and shredded cheese on both sheets.
  7. Bake for 13-16 minutes until cheese is bubbly and crust is golden brown.
  8. Garnish pizzas with corn chips, sour cream and fresh cilantro.
  9. Cut each pizza into 6 squares and serve hot.

Notes

You can also substitute shredded chicken, ground chicken or turkey or pulled pork for the ground beef. A regular pizza dough crust can also be used in place of the crescent dough.

http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2015/03/28/seriously-delicious-taco-pizza/

All recipes, photographs, copy and content on this post and website are copyrighted © 2010-2015 by Kristen Hess/The Artful Gourmet. Please do not use, share or distribute this content in any way without expressed permission from me first.

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Top Ten {Things I Love} :: Holiday 2014

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Things I Love-holiday 2014

These are a few of my favorite things…food, wine, cooking tools, home and barware, recipes, cookbooks, etc…just simply places and things I love that I think are notable and worth a big shout out for their awesomeness! And they make great gifts for the holidays as well..Happy Holidays everyone! 

Kitchen in France Cookbook

1. A Kitchen in France: A year of cooking in my farmhouse – cookbook by Mimi Thorisson

This is a gorgeous full color cookbook by Mimi Thorisson of Manger, one of my favorite food bloggers. It’s full of beautiful photos by her husband and lovely recipes from her farmhouse in France. Enough to make you want to quit your job and move there and bake tarts all day long.

Grab a copy on Amazon.com here.

west elm pillows

2. West Elm Velvet, Metallic and Mongolian Lamb Pillows

These beautiful pillows by West Elm are a great gift idea for that person who has everything – a little indulgent, but so pretty and festive for the cold Winter months.

Pick up a few of these beauties online here.

english toffee

3. English Toffee

English Toffee is one of those things I absolutely crave during the holidays! It’s rich, buttery, crunchy and chocolatey and makes the perfect gift, whether you make your own or get some pre-made it’s absolutely delicious and addicting. In fact, I’m planning to make some myself this year for stocking stuffers!

Here’s a great recipe for it on Food.com, or pick up a batch at Williams-Sonoma which comes in a festive holiday tin.

photo: Delicious as it Looks

holiday cocktail party set - Mouth.com

4. Holiday Cocktail Party Collection – Mouth.com

Everyone loves a cocktail party but sometimes it’s more work than  you expect it to be. Mouth.com, a specialty indie food store has a Holiday Cocktail Party set that has all the essentials packaged up by local food producers to get your holiday party in gear. It comes with a variety of cheeses, Ginger Caramels, Old Bay peanuts, Vanilla Pickled Cherries, Sesame Lavish Crackers, Dark Chocolates and more. YUM.

Pick one up online here, and check out their other fun collections while you’re at it!

beaded table linens Neiman Marcus

5. Capiz Shell Beaded Table Linens – Neiman Marcus

Absolutely love these gorgeous Capiz shell beaded table linens by Kim Seybert at Neiman Marcus. It comes in a table runner and placemats with matching napkin rings. Festive enough to feast at Christmas like Queen Victoria. LOVE.

Get them online here.

Il Buco Vita

6. Il Buco Vita 

Il Buco Vita is a hidden gem, above the Il Buco Italian restaurant in NoHo NYC. It’s a showroom full of gorgeous handmade Italian and Mediterranean ceramics, linens, glassware, home furnishings and antiques that will make you swoon.

Visit their store online here and their showroom at 51 Bond Street, NYC

Swedish Meatballs

7. Swedish Meatballs

Swedish Meatballs are one of those appetizer dishes perfect for a holiday cocktail party. My Mom makes them every year for New Years Eve and I just can’t get enough of them. Try this recipe by BBCGoodFood, Bon Appetit or Food & Wine. For a cool twist, try this recipe for Nut-and-Seed Crusted Sausage Meatballs with Mustard Sauce. Totally indulgent and pure YUM.

Caramel Chocolate Tart

8. Dorie Greenspan’s Golden Caramel and Chocolate Tart

I love making tarts during the holidays, especially luscious ones made with caramel and chocolate. Dorie’s has a simple recipe for making a perfect tart dough, and the filling is perfect too, with melted bittersweet chocolate lining the crust with a silky, creamy homemade golden caramel on top. Divine.

Get the recipe here

foodie dice

9. Foodie Dice and Mixology Dice

As foodies, I know we all love to cook. But sometimes we get stuck in a rut and need a boost for some new creative ideas for our cooking. Same goes for cocktails – we drink the same old thing and how fun would it be to toss a few dice and get some fresh ideas for your mixology? Check out the Foodie Dice and Mixology Dice – with just a simple toss, you’ll get suggestions for making your own fab creations with fresh ingredients and combinations of your own.

Get ’em online here.

vintage champagne flutes

10. Vintage Etched Champagne Flutes – Williams Sonoma

What kind of holiday celebration would it be without some bubbly? Get these gorgeous vintage etched champagne flutes from Williams-Sonoma for the party, and while you’re at it, don’t forget to pick up some bubbly to fill them with! If you’re in the mood to splurge, try a vintage 2004 Dom Perignon ($160), or try a Cremant de Bourgogne, a little less expensive than Champagne made in a Brut Rose, but just as tasty and bubbly ($24). Or try some sparkling wine (Blanc de Blancs) as an option- Gloria Ferrer has a great one from Sonoma CA.

 

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Sinfully Good: Pierogi Casserole

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Pierogie Casserole

Today is one of those dreary Fall days where it’s cold and rainy and I’m in need of a little pick me up from some classic comfort food. One that involves BACON. And CHEESE. And PASTA. And all those yummy yums that aren’t that good for you. I was looking through some of my family recipes and this one came up that looked perfect for the mood I’m in today. It’s a sinfully good baked Pierogi casserole that my family used to make around the holidays – I remember sitting around the table with my family devouring this tasty dish with absolutely no shame. It’s not fancy. It’s easy to make. Has layers of flavor from the crispy bacon, earthy mushrooms, creamy sauce and tangy sauerkraut. And it’s so darn GOOD.

Traditional Pierogies are like Polish or Ukrainian Ravioli, made with fresh made dough that is filled with potatoes and cheese, meat or sauerkraut, and usually boiled or sauteed in butter with golden brown fried onions. This recipe takes the main ingredients of Pierogi (butter, mushrooms, sauerkraut, bacon, fried onions, pasta and cheese) and blends them together into a bubbling baked one-pot dish of goodness you’re gonna die for. It’s the ultimate comfort food perfect for a chilly dreary day that will keep you coming back for more…trust me.

Sinfully Good: Pierogi Casserole

Yield: 8

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. spiral pasta or Girelle (little spiral tops)
  • 6-8 strips bacon, fried and crumbled
  • 1 large sweet onion (Vidalia), chopped
  • 1 stick (8 ounces) butter, divided
  • 4 oz. fresh mushrooms, chopped
  • 1-14 ounce package sauerkraut, rinsed well
  • 2 cans Cream of Mushroom soup
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • Fresh ground pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Boil pasta 7-9 minutes and drain, set aside.
  3. In a large saute pan, fry bacon over medium heat about 6-8 minutes until crispy, drain and crumble, set aside.
  4. Sauté onions in same saute pan with 1/2 stick of butter for another 7-8 minutes until soft and translucent. Remove from pan and set aside.
  5. Add the other 1/2 stick of butter and and sauté mushrooms about 8 minutes until tender.
  6. Stir all ingredients together in large mixing bowl, adding soup and 2% milk, sauerkraut, sautéed onions and mushrooms, shredded cheese, and fresh ground pepper to taste.
  7. Pour mixture over cooked pasta into a greased rectangle casserole dish, mix thoroughly and cover with foil.
  8. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 mins.
  9. Remove foil and turn up oven to 500 degrees, bake for another 5-10 minutes until top gets golden brown.
  10. Let cool before serving.
http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2013/10/11/sinfully-good-pierogi-casserole/

Bacon

Fry the bacon until crispy.

Saute Mushrooms

Saute the mushrooms in some butter until soft and golden.

Bacon with Mixture

Mix together crumbled bacon, sauteed mushrooms, sauerkraut, mushroom soup, milk and black pepper, stir.

Mixture

Add the shredded cheese and mix together well. Pour over cooked noodles in the casserole dish and stir it all together.

Pierogie Casserole

Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes at 375. Uncover and bake another 10 minutes on 500 until it gets crispy and golden on top. Let cool.

Devour.

—–

Other recipes you may enjoy:

All Recipes Pierogi Casserole

How Sweet Eats Pierogi Casserole

Kraft Easy Pierogi Casserole

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Homemade Rustic Pizzas: Chicken, Garlic, Spinach & Sundried Tomatoes :: Pepperoni, Ham, & Sauteed Veggies

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Rustic Pizza

Pizza is probably one of my most favorite things on the planet. Seriously. Who can resist that crispy crunchy crust topped with melted gooey cheese and fresh, savory baked toppings? A pizza is a creative endeavor that is only limited to your imagination. The pizza dough is like a blank canvas just waiting for the artist to paint a masterpiece on.

Speaking of dough, you can certainly take a stab at making your own – here is a basic pizza dough recipe that’s easy enough to make. If you don’t want to bother making your own and want to save time, you can use pre-made refrigerated pizza dough from the grocery store (I get mine from Fairway stores, or you can try Pillsbury pizza dough which is inexpensive and easy to use. They even have Artisan, thin and gluten-free crusts now which is kinda cool.)

I made these rustic pizzas the other day in an attempt to use up some fresh veggies, pizza dough and ingredients from my kids cooking show I taped last week – we made all kinds of fun pizza on set but i couldn’t bear to waste the leftovers!

So here’s how easy these babies are to make…I divided the pizza dough and patted out the dough on to pizza pans to make four rustic pizzas – one of them topped with sauteed garlic, spinach, olive oil, savory chicken,  sun dried tomatoes and plenty of mozzarella gooey cheese. The other one I made with sauteed bell peppers in different colors, broccoli, pepperoni, ham, tomato sauce and two gooey cheeses – mozzarella and muenster, great for melting. The trick to a great pizza in my experience is to saute your veggies in some olive oil and garlic BEFORE you put them on the pizza (the chicken too!). This gives them a deeper flavor and keeps them from drying out in the oven when you bake the pizzas. Throw them in a preheated oven on 400 degrees for about 15-17 minutes, let them cool on a baking rack for about 5 minutes, and then top them with some fresh torn basil, some extra parmesan cheese and pepper flakes and you’ve got some serious deliciousness going on.

Sauteed Chicken, Garlic, Spinach & Sundried Tomato Pizza

Chicken, Spinach, Garlic and Sundried Tomato Pizza

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 2-4

This is a tasty and healthy pizza made with sauteed garlic and spinach, red pepper flakes, sauteed chicken breast, sundried tomatoes and Parmesan and Mozzarella cheese.

Ingredients

  • 1 package refrigerated pizza dough (or handmade)
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 package fresh spinach, chopped
  • 6-8 thin chicken cutlets, cut into 1" chunks
  • 1 tablespoon seasoned salt or poultry seasoning
  • Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup sundried tomatoes, julienned (thin strips)
  • 1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Divide pizza dough in half and shape into two oval or rectangular pizzas on a greased pizza pan.
  3. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese on to the base of each pizza dough.
  4. Heat an additional tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat in a large saute pan and saute minced garlic and red pepper flakes for about a minute.
  5. Add chopped spinach and stir. Saute together for another 3-4 minutes until spinach starts to wilt.
  6. Remove spinach garlic mixture from pan and set aside in a mixing bowl.
  7. Heat additional 2 tablespoons olive oil in the same pan, add seasonings and saute the chicken for approximately 8 minutes until golden brown. Remove pan from heat.
  8. Top pizza crusts with spinach-pepper-garlic mixture, sundried tomatoes and sauteed chicken (divided into equal portions for both pizzas).
  9. Top both pizzas with shredded mozzarella cheese and place pizza pan in oven.
  10. Bake for 15-17 minutes until cheese starts to get bubbly and golden brown.
http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2013/10/02/homemade-rustic-pizzas-chicken-spinach-garlic-sundried-tomato-pizza-pepperoni-ham-sauteed-veggie-pizza/

Pepperoni, Ham & Sauteed Veggie Pizza

Pepperoni, Ham, & Sauteed Veggie Pizza

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 2-4

This is a healthy and hearty version of classic pizza made with sauteed garlic, bell peppers and broccoli with diced ham and pepperoni topped with gooey mozzarella and muenster cheese.

Ingredients

  • 1 package refrigerated pizza dough (or handmade)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup orange bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup yellow pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup broccoli florets, chopped
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup tomato sauce or puree
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/4 cup pepperoni, chopped
  • 1/4 cup ham, chopped
  • 1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup Muenster cheese, torn into pieces
  • 1 tablespoon garlic salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Divide pizza dough in half and shape into two oval or rectangular pizzas on a greased pizza pan.
  3. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large saute pan and saute minced garlic for about a minute.
  4. Add diced bell peppers, chopped broccoli, salt and pepper and stir. Saute together for 5-7 minutes until vegetables get tender and soft.
  5. Remove pan from heat.
  6. In a small mixing bowl, mix together tomato sauce, tomato paste, Italian seasoning and garlic salt to make tomato sauce for pizzas.
  7. Top pizza crusts with tomato sauce, pepperoni, ham and sauteed vegetables (divided into equal portions for both pizzas).
  8. Top both pizzas with shredded mozzarella and muenster cheeses, sprinkle with garlic salt and place pizza pan in oven.
  9. Bake for 15-17 minutes until cheese starts to get bubbly and golden brown.
http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2013/10/02/homemade-rustic-pizzas-chicken-spinach-garlic-sundried-tomato-pizza-pepperoni-ham-sauteed-veggie-pizza/

***Stay tuned for my new cooking show – Cooking with Color 4 Kids© airs live on Oct 26th at 9:30 am EST on cable TV in NYC!!

Cooking with Color 4 Kids© by Kristen Hess

Channels: Time Warner 34/ Cablevision 67/ RCN 82/ Verizon 42 and the Internet: Channel 1
BCAT TV Network cablecasts in all five boroughs of NYC on Verizon FIOS cable.

If you don’t live in NYC and want to watch the show live online on 10/26, please use this link and watch Channel 1:
http://bricartsmedia.org/community-media/watch-brooklyn-public-network

CLICK HERE TO SEE ALL THE PHOTOS FROM THE PILOT TV COOKING SHOW TAPING

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Cooking with Color 4 Kids© – a new live interactive cooking program launched at Madiba Restaurant in Brooklyn NY

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Kristen Hess, The Artful Gourmet

Cooking with Color 4 Kids by Kristen Hess

This past week on June 27, Kristen launched a new cooking program for kids called Cooking with Color 4 Kids © with eDiningNews at Madiba Restaurant in Brooklyn. This interactive, hands-on cooking class is designed for the whole family, as Kristen teaches kids and parents how to cook colorful, healthy recipes through the color palette, ripe with fruits and vegetables and fresh, natural ingredients.

Food Color Wheel
Food Color Wheel

The class began with an introduction to the color wheel and the various benefits of eating colorful fruits and vegetables in the spectrum. Kristen had the kids name some of their favorite Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue and Violet foods and discussed ways to add more color into your cooking. Instead of just making a cheese pizza, add some spinach and fresh tomatoes or basil. Make your Macaroni and Cheese healthier by adding some broccoli to it. Perhaps these photos will inspire you to explore home grown veggies or to learn how to grow your own food.

Madiba Restaurant, Brooklyn NY
Madiba Restaurant, Brooklyn NY

Lots of fun colorful ideas were exchanged as the kids got ready to start making some of their own colorful recipes from the South African Restaurant Madiba in Brooklyn.

Students making South African Pap Cornmeal with Monkey Gland Sauce and Tomato Onion Gravy
Students making South African Pap Cornmeal with Monkey Gland Sauce and Tomato Onion Gravy
Kristen with students and parents after Cooking with Color 4 Kids class at Madiba Restaurant
Kristen with students and parents after Cooking with Color 4 Kids class at Madiba Restaurant
Kristen with students and parents after Cooking with Color 4 Kids class at Madiba Restaurant
Kristen with students and parents after Cooking with Color 4 Kids class at Madiba Restaurant
Students and parents after Cooking with Color 4 Kids class at Madiba Restaurant
Students and parents after Cooking with Color 4 Kids class at Madiba Restaurant

On the cooking program menu were South African specialties such as: South African Pap Cornmeal with Tomato-Onion Gravy and Monkey Gland Sauce made with apricots, red wine, tomato and raisins, Sweet Corn and Pumpkin Salad, Pumpkin Fritters, Shebeen Salad with house wild greens, papaya, mango, summer berries, avocado, and nuts, and Rooibos Tea.

South African Pap Cornmeal with Tomato Onion Gravy

South African Chakalaka
South African Chakalaka
South African Monkey Gland Sauce
South African Monkey Gland Sauce
Shebeen Salad with Wild Greens, Papaya, Mango, Berries, Avocado and Nuts
Shebeen Salad with Wild Greens, Papaya, Mango, Berries, Avocado and Nuts
Pumpkin Fritters
Pumpkin Fritters
Pumpkin and Corn Salad
Pumpkin and Corn Salad
Rooibos Tea
Rooibos Tea

The class was videotaped live on Livestream by eDiningNews, and the video is featured online and also below for those who missed the class. All in all, it was a fun, interactive class that the kids and parents loved. And most of all a rewarding experience for me as I got to teach kids how to cook and eat healthy by adding colorful fruits and vegetables to their everyday cooking.

Stay tuned for more class locations and dates as the cooking program grows around NYC!

More fun photos from the event!

[easyrotator]erc_82_1375747351[/easyrotator]

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Mushroom, Ham and Cheese Strata: Best Brunch Casserole. EVER.

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Mushroom, Ham and Cheese Strata
Mushroom, Ham and Cheese Strata

I love waking up in the morning to the smell of fresh brewed coffee and breakfast cooking in the kitchen. This is a delicious brunch casserole that’s perfect for the holidays and feeding a crowd. It’s filled with delicious sauteed ham, onions, baby bella mushrooms, garlic and dill, over a thin layer of torn whole grain bread (I use low carb bread and only 4-5 slices instead of a whole loaf of bread, and you can actually skip the bread all together if you want it to be more of a frittata), then topped with lots of gooey cheddar cheese. Bake the casserole until its light and puffy, let cool and then serve cut into squares with a green salad or fruit salad and whole grain toast. If you want to switch up the herbs, try Herbs de Provence or Fines Herbes instead. Experiment with different cheeses or meats if you like too (Brie, Monterey Jack, Bacon or Sausage), or spice it up with some red pepper flakes or a dash of Tabasco.What’s great is you can reheat it easily and have some yummy brunch/breakfast for a couple of days if you’re only cooking for a few people. Delish!

Mushroom, Ham and Cheese Strata: Best Brunch Casserole. EVER.

Recipe Type: Breakfast, Brunch
Cuisine: American
Author: Kristen Hess
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 8
This is a super easy and quick brunch casserole that’s perfect for the holidays. It’s filled with delicious sauteed ham, onions, baby bellas, garlic and dill topped with lots of gooey cheddar cheese. Make it a meal with a green salad or fruit salad and whole grain toast.
Ingredients
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons of milk
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 4-5 slices of whole grain bread
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, chopped (or 1/2 teaspoon powder)
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 cups of cubed ham
  • 2 cups of baby bella mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dill
  • 2 cups of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat a medium saute pan over medium heat.
  2. Tear bread into medium size pieces and layer in the bottom of a 9″ x 13″ greased casserole dish.
  3. Whisk together eggs, milk and cream of mushroom soup in a large mixing bowl.
  4. Saute onions, garlic, ham, mushrooms and dill until soft and tender about 5-7 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Layer the ham, mushroom and onion mixture over the bread in casserole dish.
  6. Top with egg mixture evenly.
  7. Sprinkle shredded cheese over the top in an even layer.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes until strata is puffy and cooked through.
  9. Let cool for 5 minutes, cut into squares for serving.

Recipe adapted from Taste and See, Calvary Chapel Finger Lakes.

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