Mini Cannoli Bites

Looking for a simple bite-sized dessert to make?! These are quick, easy and simple– I made my Dad a Lemon Meringue Pie for Father’s Day on Sunday with Pillsbury® pie crust and I had one roll of pie crust leftover. First of all, I love love love using Pillsbury®  pie crust because it is so easy and it’s delicious! It also always turns into a perfectly light golden brown crust when it is baked properly. Secondly, there are so many different ways to use pie crust! Check out my Apple Cinnamon Pie Crust Cookie recipe HERE.  There is also nothing wrong with making your pie crust from scratch of course, it just will take a bit more time.

Mini Cannoli Bites

Yield: 12 mini bites

Mini Cannoli Bites

These sweet bites of a creamy cannoli are quick, easy and simple

Ingredients

1 premade pie crust; I use Pillsbury’s®  pie crust

12 oz. whole milk Ricotta Cheese; strained

1/3 cup mascarpone cheese

1/3 cup powdered sugar

1/3 cup mini chocolate chips; plus more for topping

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Unroll the pie crust onto a cutting board or clean flat surface. Use a 2 ½ inch round biscuit cutter (or a cup will work if you don’t have a biscuit cutter) and cut out 12 rounds of pie crust. Place rounds in a mini muffin pan. Use your fingers to press the dough to fit the pan.
  2. Bake for about 10-12 minutes, or until pie cups are a light golden brown. Once baked, let cool for 15  minutes.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix together the ricotta, mascarpone cheese, powdered sugar and mini chocolate chips until combined.
  4. Spoon in ricotta filling into pie cups OR if you want to make them look extra pretty, scoop filling into a zip-lock bag and cut the tip off. Squeeze filling into pie cups and sprinkle mini chocolate chips.
  5.  
http://kathrynskitchenblog.com/2017/06/mini-cannoli-bites/

There are only 5 ingredients to make these bites so you should definitely give them a try. They are not too sweet and you can also top these with fresh diced strawberries. If you like your cannoli filling a little sweeter, add ½ cup of powdered sugar instead of 1/3 cup. The mascarpone cheese is like an Italian cream cheese so it will make your filling extra creamy. You will probably have extra filling so you can either make more pie cups if you have more pie crust, or you can eat the filling as it is for a dessert or sweet snack. Just scoop into a small bowl add chocolate chips and enjoy! It would also count as low-carb too if you ate it this way 😉

 

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Mini Spinach and Ricotta Lasagna Cups

Well….this may be the easiest dinner I have whipped up. I had leftover wonton wrappers from my Baked Crab Rangoon recipe so I used the leftover wrappers to make these little cuties! You can also enjoy these with meat such as ground beef or sausage! Just add it to the ricotta filling and you have yourself a nice wholesome meal.

IMG_4992Pasta Salad close up

Mini Spinach and Ricotta Lasagna Cups

Mini Spinach and Ricotta Lasagna Cups

This is everything you want in a lasagna, except it is in a mini version. Every bite is cheesy and filled with lasagna goodness.

Ingredients

24 wonton wrappers

4 cups of fresh spinach (about 1 bag)

3 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup ricotta

1 cup of fresh marinara sauce

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

2 cloves of fresh garlic; chopped

1 cup of shredded mozarella cheese

5 leaves of fresh sliced basil (to garnish)

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F. In a medium sauce pan sautee spinach by adding olive oil, garlic, and spinach. Sautee until spinach is wilted. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. In a cupcake pan, spray the bottoms with cooking spray, then add wrappers accordingly.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix in the cooked spinach and ricotta. Then add salt and pepper to taste. With teasoon, spoon in about 1 tablespoon of ricotta filling to the wrappers. Then top with about 1 tablespoon of marinara sauce, then sprinkle with mozarella cheese (about another tablespoon). Repeat until you are out of ingridients.
  4. Bake for about 10-15 minutes or until cheese if completely melted and bubbly. Sprinkle with freshly sliced basil and enjoy these cuties! 🙂
http://kathrynskitchenblog.com/2015/06/mini-spinach-and-ricotta-lasagna-cups/

IMG_4983Pasta Salad close up

IMG_4985Pasta Salad close up

IMG_4987Pasta Salad close up

IMG_4988Pasta Salad close up

Ravioli and Sausage Bake

A few of my favorite things in life consists of Italian food..Raviolis is one of them.​ This is extremely easy to make and takes only a few minutes to prepare! I would say if you are in a hurry and want to make something hearty, Italian, and delicious, try this!

IMG_4854Pasta Salad close up

Ravioli and Sausage Bake

Ravioli and Sausage Bake

Creamy ricotta filled raviolis come together with sweet Italian Sausage in this luscious bake. I guarantee you can't just have one bite of this!

Ingredients

1 lb of raviolis (I used ricotta filled Raviolis)

1 pack of Johnsonville Ground Mild Italian Sausage or just simply remove the casings

2 cloves of garlic; minced

1/2 yellow onion; diced

2 tsp olive oil

3 cups of marinara sauce (homemade is always best)

1 cup of shredded mozarella cheese

1/4 cup of parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil; season with salt. Boil raviolis according to directions on package.
  2. In the meantime, bring a large frying pan or skillet to medium heat. Add olive oil, garlic, and onions. Let them sautee for about a minute, then add sausage. Continue to stir the sausage for about 5-7 minutes until it is completely cooked (not pink at all).
  3. Once the pasta is cooked, drain, and place back into pot. Add about half of the tomato sauce and stir until every single ravioi is covered in sauce. Now time to layer (almost like a lasagna)... In a baking dish, add a layer of sauce to the bottom, then a scoop of raviolis, then a large scoop of sausage, then a scoop of mozarrella cheese, parmesan cheese, and repeat until you are out of ingredients. Bake for about 20-25 minutes until the cheese is melted. Enjoy!
http://kathrynskitchenblog.com/2015/04/ravioli-and-sausage-bake/

IMG_4853Pasta Salad close up
IMG_4855Pasta Salad close up

Baked “fried” zucchini bites

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Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs always make anything taste better. These crunchy bites are full of flavor and goodness you won’t even believe they’re fried. I always have too many zucchini laying around in my fridge so this is a great way to use up my leftover ones!

Yield: 4-6 servings

Ingredients:
2 zucchini sliced into 1/4 inch slices
2 eggs; lightly beaten
3/4 cup of whole wheat flour
1/2 cup of italian seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 cup parmesan grated cheese

Steps:
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Slice washed zucchini into 1/4-inch thick rounds. In a medium bowl, toss the zucchini with whole wheat flour.

2. Beat 2 eggs in a bowl and dip each round into the egg mixture.

3. Combine the parmesan cheese and bread crumbs in a separate bowl. Dip each floured round into the mixture, coating it evenly on both sides, pressing the coating on to stick, and place in a single layer on baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray or use a silpat pad.

4. Bake for 20-25 minutes until zuchhini is golden brown. Serve with your favorite dip!

Spinach & Chicken Sausage Stuffed Eggplant

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There is a good chance this may be my new favorite low-carb eggplant dish. I really don’t know what I was thinking when I made this dish except I wanted eggplant for dinner. Roasted eggplant is one of my favorite things to eat, I would even consider it a treat. It is totally easy to make you would never guess that because it is so delicious. You can get real creative on this one and stuff it with anything you wanted…spaghetti, pasta, quinoa, roasted veggies, ground beef..or whatever else you like. Use your imagination–the possibilities are endless!

Yield: 4

Ingredients:
2 eggplants, cleaned and dried
1 tsp salt
5 Tablespoons olive oil
4 chicken or italian sausages, sliced
1/2 cup diced onion
3 garlic cloves, smashed, peeled and minced
2 cups fresh spinach; chopped
1/2 cup italian seasoned breadcrumbs
1 Tablespoon capers, drained and smashed
1 handful of fresh basil; chopped
2 cups of fresh marinara sauce
1 cup mozarella cheese (I used fresh moz)
Sprinkle of parmesan cheese (for the topping)

Steps:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cut off the edges of the eggplant with a sharp knife. Then scoop out the middle of the eggplants. Rub with salt and let stand to sweat. Dice the inside of the eggplant meat that you scooped out. Rub about 2 Tablespoons of olive oil in and around the eggplant and place in oven for 20 minutes.

2. In the meantime..heat 2 Tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan, add the onions, garlic, and sausage. Use a wooden spatula to stir and cook for about 6-7 minutes. Then add 1 more Tablespoon of olive oil and add eggplant meat, spinach, capers, and basil. Cook for another 5 minutes or until sausage and eggplant is cooked completely. Stir in the breadcrumbs and take off heat.

3. Now for the stuffing part..stuff eggplant with cooked eggplant mixture and place in a baking dish. Ladle tomato sauce into the baking dish underneath the eggplant and a little bit on top of each eggplant.

4. Cover baking dish with foil and bake for 35 to 40 minutes at 375 degrees F.

5. Uncover and add sliced mozzarella and parmesan cheese on top each of each eggplant to cover. Bake for another 5 minutes and then broil for another 5 minutes. Serve once cheese is melted..enjoy!
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