I really enjoy watching Food Network. In fact, that has become my afternoon programming of choice. At 3:00, Paula Deen is on (Paula's Home Cooking); at 3:30, Giada di Laurentiis (Everyday Italian); at 4:00, Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa); at 4:30, Sandra Lee (Semi-Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee); at 5:00 and 5:30, back-to-back episodes of Rachel Ray (30-Minute Meals); etc.
I've actually made a few recipes from these shows, and they've turned out really good. First was Paula Deen's Corn Casserole, which I first tasted at Billy's mom's house. It's quick and easy and really tasty. I love that it uses ingredients you already have on hand. The other corn casserole recipe I use is also great, but it's a little more involved than this one.
The second thing I tried was Sandra Lee's Banana Pudding Bites. What an easy, quick, fun dessert! Billy's mom suggested using a little dab of peanut butter to stick the banana slices to the Nilla Wafers, and the taste was superb! We all loved it, especially Caleb. I think I'm going to have to start keeping Nilla Wafers and vanilla pudding on hand for whenever we have some bananas around. (We always have peanut butter!)
The third thing I made was Giada de Laurentiis' Fried Ravioli. I saw her make this a few weeks ago and was really wanting to try it. I've had fried bow tie pasta from an Italian restaurant my parents like to go to, but I thought the ravioli would be so much tastier, with the melted cheese inside. I had planned to make pizza one night this week and thought the fried ravioli would be a nice complement to it, but since we had pizza Saturday night, I switched to spaghetti and meatballs and garlic bread. The ravioli was a hit! I tasted the first one after I finished cooking them and topping them with freshly grated "Probesan" cheese (as Jacob calls it). Mmmmmmmmm! I immediately had Billy try one. He loved it, too. I put one on each of the boys' plates alongside their other food. Caleb quizzed me about it before trying it, but he loved it. He ate three of them, in addition to two servings of spaghetti and meatballs and one large piece of garlic bread. Jacob tried it, but he didn't like it. We ended up eating half of the two dozen I made, so we've got just enough for leftovers on Thursday night. To reheat the other twelve, I'll just put them on a stone and bake them. That should melt the cheese again and keep the outside crisp.
I decided I want to have a party before long and serve ethnic finger foods: fried ravioli and marina sauce, Tostito's Scoops with black bean and corn salsa (which I saw in the latest Family Fun magazine), mini egg rolls and crab rangoon...