Cheesy Stuffed Sourdough Loaf

We packed so much into our weekend that it required two blog posts : )  Yesterday I shared Saturday and now it’s on to Sunday Funday!  Yes, I know that today is actually Monday!

Despite a somewhat late Saturday night, I set my alarm to wake up early Sunday morning for 8am yoga.  Two weekends in a row…hooray for me!

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It was so cold (30 degrees) when I woke up that boots and pants were required.

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And hot tea!  I met my mom at the studio with enough time to chat before class.  We were pleasantly surprised that the sub was one of our favorite instructors who led us through a deep physical and emotional practice.  My legs were sore and tired from Saturdays workout, yet my movement felt effortless.  It was an odd sensation but just reinforced how much I LOVE being on my yoga mat, especially when my mom is next to me.  After yoga, we went to Whole Foods for coffee, more chatting, and to purchase the ingredients for my Sunday Funday recipe.

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We had plans with friends of ours for a Sunday lunch.  Every time we hang out with them we have a BLAST!  I was in charge of an appetizer and wanted to try something new but didn’t have tons of time.  I searched through my Sunday Funday Pinterest Board and after some discussion with the BOY decided on this Cheesy Stuffed Sourdough LoafI changed up the recipe a bit and the BOY suggested adding Gardinara, which was a huge success.

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I had the BOY slice the bread while I whipped together the olive oil mixture.  Since we were taking it with us, our plan was to have it all set to go into the oven at our friends house.

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Then we poured the olive oil mix all over the bread.  We stuffed each slit with mozzarella cheese and salami and the BOY stuffed half the bread with his Gardinara.

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We packed it up in a Tuperware for easy transport.  When we arrived, we baked up the bread while we poured cocktails and caught up on life.  The bread baked for a little over 20 minutes and looked amazing when we pulled it out of the oven.

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We dove right in before even letting it cool.  The warm garlic and olive oil were the perfect compliment to the warm, gooey cheese, and crispy bread.  We all raved about how delicious it was, and the BOY took full responsibility for the Gardinara idea.

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We ate almost the entire loaf of sourdough but tried to save room for our filling lunch of ribs and homemade mashed potatoes.  Our friends have two adorable kids who were not napping with all of the excitement of our arrival and food.

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We stayed for hours eating, drinking, coloring, and watching football.  Since they weren’t able to make our wedding, there was much to fill them in on and they bought us a gorgeous congratulations cake from the bakery.  When we arrived home at 6pm, I was so stuffed, I couldn’t even think about food, but filled with happiness from the ease of a fun day spent with friends.  They did send us home with leftovers which I knew we’d be enjoying soon!

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There was nothing healthy about this bread, but everyone agreed it was a definitely make again!

 

What is your favorite Sunday Funday appetizer?

 

Cheesy Stuffed Sourdough Loaf

Adapted from Nancy Creative

Ingredients

  • 1 (1 lb. 8 oz.) round sourdough bread loaf
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/3 to 1/2 lb. (or about 5 to 8 ounces) thinly sliced salami (or your favorite lunch meat)
  • 10 to 12 ounces sliced mozzarella or provolone cheese, or 5 to 6 ounces of each (about 14  slices total)
  • 3/4 to 1 cup Gardinara, well-drained
  • Optional: 1/3 to 1/2 cup sliced olives or any of the following–chopped marinated artichokes, roasted red peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, pesto, sliced mushrooms

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place your loaf on the sheet.

Slice your round loaf of bread vertically into 3/4″ to 1″ thick slices–but do not slice all the way through to the bottom! (You should end up with about 10 or 11 “slices,” giving you 9 or 10 “slits” to stuff with cheese and meat).

In medium bowl, combine olive oil, oregano, pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, and minced garlic, stirring to mix well. Using a pastry brush, brush both sides of all the bread “slices” generously with this olive oil mixture.

In assembly-line fashion, make 14 “piles” with each slice of cheese, topped with a thin slice of deli meat.  Bend each cheese slice “pile” as if you were going to fold it in half, and fit down in between your bread slices. Because several of the end slices are narrower, one “pile” is enough to fill them up. The wider middle slices will require two “piles” stuffed in between them.  Pour in Gardinara generously into slits.

Bake your stuffed loaf on the baking sheet at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted. Remove from oven, and serve while warm! You can just pull the slices apart as you’re eating it, or cut them with a knife.

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Guess What Starts Today???

The Tour de France!

I am so excited that I am bouncing on my couch watching the first day of this epic race!

 

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By 9am, I had already been awake for 3 hours, gotten in an intense strength training session with my trainer, picked up pre studying bagels for the BOY, and attempted to go back to sleep.    When that didn’t work, I ate breakfast and then remembered what an exciting day it was and immediately turned the TV on to NBC Sports.  This is Cooper’s first tour in our house and you can see that he was extremely engaged in the action.

 

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After the tour, I drove out to Geneva to do some errands.  I desperately needed to go to the Spice House and am pleased to have a restocked spice cabinet.  After lunch, I found myself napping on the couch with Cooper back on the purple blanket snuggled between my legs.  When I woke up, my brother had called to say that he and his fiancé were in the neighborhood.

 

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I had stopped by the farmer’s market earlier in the day and invited them to come over for shrimp on the barbie with pineapple and mango salsa.

 

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The BOY had reminded me to use our salsa maker before he left for the library…like I was going to chop everything by hand?!  Ha ha!  I used an online recipe as my guide, but didn’t really measure anything out and added in some mango with my pineapple.  I’ve never made a fruit salsa before and I was pleased with how delicious this one turned out!  This could be a fantastic appetizer, and I know that it will be a beautiful topping to our BBQed shrimp.

 

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Our game plan is to serve cilantro rice, shrimp, and salsa for tonight’s dinner…with bubbly and beer of course!  I’m looking forward to spending tonight with my bro and future SIL just 1 week before their exciting wedding day!

 

Ps Just in case you were wondering…dessert is left over Red, White, and Blue Trifle!

 

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Mango and Pineapple Salsa

Based on this recipe from Two Peas & Their Pod

 

Ingredients

2 cups diced fresh pineapple and mango

1 cup diced red pepper

1/4 cup finely chopped red onion

3 tablespoons finely chopped jalapeno pepper, stemmed and seeded

1 clove garlic, minced

Juice of 1 large lime

 

Directions

In a medium bowl, combine pineapple, red pepper, cilantro, red onion, jalapeno, garlic, and lime juice. Stir until well combined. Season with salt, to taste. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

A True Sunday

I am so lucky to have a three day weekend every weekend and rely on the extra time on Monday to get myself prepped for the week ahead.  I often wonder how other people are able to fit in all of their fun, shopping, and household chores into only 2 days?!  After having this schedule for over 5 years, I am spoiled and set in my ways.  The other benefit of a schedule like this is that it allows me some flexibility for time off.  Over the next few months, there are a handful of weeks where I am working Monday and then taking another day during the week (usually Friday) off.  This upcoming week is one of them.  Although I am actually taking Wednesday off and have it jam packed with professional responsibilities followed by dinner with my old coworkers.

 

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I made sure that we had an easy Sunday so that I would have plenty of time to work through my to do list before the start of the week.  The BOY and I slept in until 9am and then I went for a run.  Prior to leaving, the BOY started putzing around out back and to my surprise and excitement decided to clean off his grill. I think seeing all of our neighbors outback grilling last night really motivated him.

 

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Cooper watched on with excitement and I hit the trail for a 5 mile run.  I was slow today (more sore from last night’s yoga than I expected), but loved getting in my first medium distance run of the year.  When I got back, the BOY had run off to Home Depot for grill stuff.  Immediately, I knew that we would be grilling tonight and that from here on out, our meal planning would shift in the direction of the grill.  Hooray!

 

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We spent the afternoon running some errands (man I hate Costco on the weekends!) and came back and got started on meal prep.  For me, this meant throwing this week’s lunch in the crockpot and chopping up fruits and veggies.

 

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For the BOY, this meant marinating tomorrow’s steak and prepping tonight’s dinner, which consisted of grilled feta (photo above) for an appetizer, grilled romaine salad, and seafood medley.  I did find a cookbook recipe that I was planning to make, but we changed our minds while we were grocery shopping.  I’ll be saving it for next week!

 

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Grilled salad became one of our favorite appetizers last summer, but we’ve never made it at home. I picked up a huge bag of lettuce at Costco knowing I could have leftovers for lunch.  We washed the lettuce and the BOY prepped it with olive oil and seasonings.

 

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We’ve also used parmesan cheese in the past which is AMAZING!

 

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Typically, I don’t use dressing with my lettuce…I think that the olive oil and grill add more than enough flavor! 

 

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Especially when you add shaved parmesan cheese!  But you could make your own balsamic or use a store bought dressing.

 

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This salad makes a beautiful appetizer or can be topped with meat (in this case seafood medley) for a delicious and satisfying main course.

 

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In true Sunday night form, we are all tucked into our cozy spots enjoying a movie.  Look who is exhausted from his birthday celebrations : )  I’ve got to go to bed early since tomorrow is an early work day.  Have a great week!

 

 

What is your favorite thing to make on the grill?

How do you spend your Sundays?

 

 

Meal Planning 4/06/14

Sunday: Grilled Romaine (recipe below) with Seafood

 

Monday: MEAT!  Steak for the BOY and Salmon for Me!

 

Tuesday: Grilled Chicken and Veggies

 

Wednesday: Out to Dinner

 

Thursday: Who Knows?

 

Lunch: Crockpot Green Curry Chicken (recipe to come)

 

 

Grilled Romaine with Parmesan Cheese

 

Ingredients

4 long romaine lettuce heads

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

Graded parmesan cheese

Shaved fresh parmesan cheese

 

Directions

Heat grill to 450 degrees.

Wash lettuce and dry it well.  Cover lettuce with olive oil, using your hands to spread it throughout the leaves.

Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese (or any other seasonings that you like…you can get creative with this).

Grill for 8 minutes total, turning every 2 minutes.

Sprinkle with shaved parmesan and top with tomatoes, cucumber, avocado, or dressing.

12 Days of Recipes Begins

Over the next (almost) 2 weeks, I am going to try to give you guys an exciting 12 Days of Recipes.  I say try because I don’t think I have ever done that many recipes in a row on the blog before.…Challenge Accepted!

 

To begin, I thought we’d kick it off with 2 ‘recipes’.  Today was our Somethingth Annual Bears Chili Party.  I was in charge of fruit and decided to make a healthy dessert dip to go with it.

 

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I found this 4th of July treat on Skinny Taste, but I didn’t have any raw sugar.  I discovered that mine was expired during cookie baking yesterday.  Bummer!  This recipe includes low fat cream cheese and Greek yogurt.  Since I didn’t have the sugar, I subbed in some vanilla and agave.

 

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I’m not a huge cheesecake girl, and I wasn’t sure what to think of this dip.  And the group was split as well. Half the people liked the dip as is (which I served with bananas, apples, and Nilla wafers…strawberries aren’t in season), but the other half suggested adding in some more sugar or cinnamon.

 

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I think you should make it and decide for yourself.

But just in case this doesn’t get your mouth watering, I thought I would share my favorite healthy fruit dip!

 

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I started eating this dip years ago and stopped for awhile when I decreased my dairy.  Recently, I met with an RD who recommended increasing my calcium.  I started eating Greek yogurt again and this has been my favorite mid morning snack with apples.

 

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A snack that can also sub in for dessert.  Awesome!

Ok, so day one of 12 Days of Recipes is complete…there are many more delicious things to come!  Mostly cookies after this weekend’s baking bonanza and the rest is to be determined, I guess!

 

 

What is your favorite fruit dip recipe?

What other dips do you make with Greek yogurt?

 

 

Cheesecake Yogurt Dip

From Skinny Taste

 

Ingredients

4 oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened

1 cup fat free Greek yogurt

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 cup raw sugar (or honey or agave)

 

Directions

In a bowl, combine the cream cheese with yogurt, vanilla and sugar. Mix well until sugar dissolves.

Serve with fruit, cookies, or grahams.

 

 

Cinnamon Greek Yogurt Dip

Serves 1

 

Ingredients

1/2 cup Greek Yogurt (I eat 0%)

1-2 tbsp of cinnamon (there should be a lot of cinnamon flavor)

1 tbsp agave (or honey)

 

Directions

Mix all ingredients until well blended and then add more cinnamon or agave to taste.

Eat alone or with apples.

Fall Fiesta Part Dos

Last year, the BOY and I had an end of summer Fiesta BBQ, and it was a BLAST!

So…we decided to do it again this year!

 

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Last night, my girlfriends, their hubby’s, and adorable kids came over for delicious Mexican fajitas, sangria, and a super fun evening!  Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate as dark skies and storms rolled in as our first guests arrived.  I was a little worried since we wouldn’t be able to play outside, and the BOY and I don’t have tons of great kids toys, but luckily Cooper gave us some cred with the 2-4 year old age group.  The kids loved him and his toys, and he did fantastic with all of his new friends.

 

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We BOY braved the rain to grill up some tender meat and chicken fajitas and we decided to roast the veggies in the oven.  The kids began the night with a few servings of blue box mac n cheese : ) 

For the first time, I made a batch of homemade salsa.

 

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A coworker gave me a HUGE bag of tomatoes from her garden, which worked out fabulously!

 

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I followed a recipe I found on My Frugal Adventure.  However, when I added the second batch of ingredients, I automatically hit ON instead of PULSE.

 

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My salsa ended up a little too watery, which was nothing my strainer couldn’t fix!

 

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Ta Da!  My first batch of salsa!

 

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That really was soo easy, I will be making more again soon!

 

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For dessert, I kept with the end of summer theme whipping up a batch of S’mores Bars from Averie Cooks.

 

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I knew these bars looked spectacular and couldn’t wait to try them!

 

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But you do have to let them cool before you slice them!

 

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Or if you want to cut them immediately, place them in the freezer to cool for a few minutes.

 

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To drink, I made a sweet batch of White Wine Sangria.

 

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I just really hope that Cooper does not think he was helping me in the kitchen because I did all of the work!

 

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You can find Averie’s recipe for Soft and Gooey Loaded S’mores Bars on her blog!

This morning, the skies are still dark with booming thunder and bright flashes of lightening.  The BOY and I are thrilled to have a house full of leftovers (including sangria and s’mores bars).

 

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Mexican Breakfast

 

 

Simple Homemade Salsa

From My Frugal Adventure

 

Ingredients

6-8 fresh tomatoes

⅓ sweet onion roughly chopped

bunch of cilantro

1 jalapeno, deseeded and diced

1 lime

salt

3 cloves of garlic

 

Instructions

Roughly chop the tomato and place in a food processor or a blender.

Add the onion and cilantro and garlic.

Give the mixture a quick few chops in your mixer.

Slice one lime and squeeze the juice on top as well as a few pinches of salt and any other spices you want to add.

Add the pepper and blend.

For a chucky salsa you want to just do a few quick pulses in the food processer.

 

 

Thank you friends for an awesome evening!

We are looking forward to Fall Fiesta Part Tres in 2014!

Post-Superbowl Cucumber Tomato Feta Dip

One of the benefits of CrossFit is that you have to sign up a few days in advance.  Why is this so good?  Because it holds me accountable to get to the gym on Monday mornings like this one, when I’d much rather stay in bed.

 

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I did take a quick peak at the website to see that we were doing ‘Tall Paul’ this morning, but I had no idea what that meant!  I brushed off my car for the third morning in a row (thinking again how cool it would be if I had snow shoes) and trekked off to the gym.

 

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Confession…I stayed up a little later than usual last night watching the Superbowl and then Elementary, of course.  We had so much fun at my best friend’s house eating dinner, watching football, and hanging out with her two adorable children. 

 

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The appetizers were unique and delicious!  This Feta Dip was a big hit.  Because the BOY doesn’t like tomatoes, I only added them to half of the dip and didn’t stir everything together.

 

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I used an herb flavored feta, and the addition of Cavendar’s (one of our all time favorite seasonings) was perfect!

 

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We had a very un-football like dinner.

 

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And every single thing was flavorful and satisfying!

 

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It’s amazing how colorful this spread was!  We all dug right into the food, going back for seconds.  I mentioned to the BOY that we should bring in Indian food more often!

 

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The exciting thing is that we even have leftovers for lunch today.  After CrossFit, I refueled with a Green Juice Smoothie (I have been craving this ginger infused drink since last week) and am about to dig into some tasty leftovers.  I know compared to most, I have it easy today with a quiet day at home watching Biggest Loser, doing chores, and prepping for Friday’s trip to Florida!

 

Oh Yea and we are going to Yogurtland!

Yogurtland is having free yogurt and toppings TODAY from 4-7 pm.  We’ll see you in line!

 

 

Did you stay up late last night?

How are you recovering today?

 

 

Cucumber Tomato Feta Dip

Adapted From The Girl Who Ate Everything

 

Ingredients

about 1/3 cup olive oil

1 container of grape tomatoes, diced or quartered

4-5 green onions, sliced thinly

1 small cucumber, diced in small cubes

8 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (see Note)

2-3 teaspoons Cavender’s Greek seasoning

 

Directions

On a large platter drizzle olive oil until you have a thin layer on the entire platter. You may use more or less here depending on your preference.

Add the tomatoes, green onions, cucumber, and feta on top of the olive oil. Sprinkle with the Greek seasoning to taste.

With a spoon carefully combine the ingredients.

Serve with warm sliced baguettes or pita chips for scooping up the dip.

Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms {Revisited}

First up, a ‘I’m sick of being sick’ update…

I saw the doctor today and am beginning round II of antibiotics tonight.  This one is a super big pill and the gold standard in sinus infections, so I am ever hopeful!  It’s been 2 weeks since I’ve gone for a run, and I am in need of some activity.  It appears that the weather will be warming up next week (40 degrees), so I’m hoping to have some exercise posts to share.  Although the doctor suggested not heading out for a run just yet.  Thanks to everyone for your warm wishes…I really appreciate it!

 

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Even though I haven’t worked out in 2 weeks (other than one yoga class), I have had plenty of food to share.  As is our NYE tradition, the BOY and I spent the night working together in the kitchen to create a an incredible dinner!

 

What was on this year’s menu?

 

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Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms

Crab Legs

Lobster Tail

Roasted Broccoli

Grandma’s Brownies

 

The stuffed mushroom recipe comes from Real Simple magazine.  The first time I made it a few years back, I was amazed that such a decadent tasting recipe could come out of my kitchen.  Since then, it has become a New Year’s Eve tradition.

 

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Last year, I used a few large mushrooms, but this year I went back to the original recipe.

 

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I like to add a little extra garlic and parmesan to my mushrooms which enhances the flavors and it makes it difficult to stop eating this mouth watering appetizer.

 

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And any leftovers heat up nicely!

 

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If you’re looking for an easy appetizer for a weeknight meal or to impress your friends at a dinner party, save this recipe for your files!

 

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With the oven hot, we also roasted up some broccoli with olive oil and sea salt

 

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And that sat down to enjoy this special meal!

 

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I definitely won’t be waiting until next year to make these mushrooms again!

 

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Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms

Adapted From Real Simple November 2010

 

Ingredients

24 medium mushrooms (about 1 1⁄2 pounds total)

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for the baking sheet

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 5-ounce package baby spinach, chopped

kosher salt and black pepper

3/4 cup panko bread crumbs

1/2 cup Parmesan, grated (2 ounces)

 

Directions

Heat oven to 375° F. Remove the stems from the mushrooms; finely chop the stems and reserve. Coat a baking sheet with oil. Bake the mushroom caps, stem-side down, until just tender, 10 to 12 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and chopped mushroom stems and cook, stirring, until tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the spinach, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ⅛ teaspoon pepper and cook, tossing, until wilted, 2 to 3 minutes more.

In a bowl, combine the spinach mixture with the bread crumbs and cheese. Spoon into the mushroom caps and bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes.

Store for 1-2 days in an airtight container and reheat in the microwave.