1 tablespoon baking powder
Sunday, May 31, 2009
1 tablespoon baking powder
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Tortellini Salad, but not
2 bags frozen cheese tortellini or 1 pound pasta (campanelle)
Cook pasta according to directions. Drain and rinse with cold water.
Toss pasta in a large bowl with olives, peppers, and artichokes. Toss with dressing and Parmesan cheese. Cover and chill for 1-4 hours. Add mozzarella, gently combine, and add more dressing if necessary. Chill until ready to serve.
Monday, May 25, 2009
Smoky Grilled Red Potato Salad
about 2 pounds red potatoes
Thickly slice scrubbed potatoes and quarter each slice. Toss in a bowl and lightly coat with olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste and gently mix to combine.
Combine mayo, barbecue sauce, and salt and pepper in a large bowl; set aside.
Heat the grill to medium-high. Lay potatoes on a piece of non-stick foil and place directly on the grill. Cook for about 15 minutes, turning potatoes so that they cook evenly on both sides. You will know they are finished when they look golden-brown and crispy.
Transfer potatoes to the large bowl with mayo mixture. Gently toss until combined. Once the potatoes have cooled a little bit (so that cheese doesn't melt), add green onions, bacon bits, and cheese; mix again.
Chill for at least 4 hours before serving.
Saturday, May 23, 2009
This menu has a few add-ons that work if you are cooking for a bigger crowd. I love that almost everything can be prepped in advance, and the hard work is done by the grillmaster, who can also have an enjoyable time with a glass of beer (Chuck) or lemonade (me, for now!) in his or her hand. Stay tuned for the recipes!
- Hummus with pita chips
- Tomato and garlic bruschetta with crostini
- Option: Chicken poppers with honey mustard sauce
- Grilled porterhouse steaks with mustard-peppercorn rub
- Greek orzo salad with grilled shrimp and mustard-dill vinaigrette
- Marinated grilled zucchini and eggplant ribbons
- Option: Tomato and goat cheese stacks with pesto
- Strawberry shortcakes with whipped cream
- Option: Cookie dough truffles
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Both Chuck and I loved this pizza. Between the crispy tortillas and the homemade taco seasoning, and the fresh tomatoes and green onions on the top, this is a complete and satisfying meal. It really was delicious, and half of a pizza was plenty for me with a salad for dinner!
1 1/3 pound package ground turkey (or ground beef)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat and cook the ground turkey until brown, drain. Return to the heat and add the taco seasoning and water. Continue to cook for several minutes, until cooked through, stirring often.
Spray both sides of each tortilla with cooking spray and place directly on the middle rack of your oven (I could fit 3 at a time). Bake for about 6 minutes, turning halfway through, until golden brown and crispy. Watch carefully so they do not burn. Remove to a baking sheet and turn the oven to 400 degrees F.
Microwave the refried beans for 30-60 seconds, or until spreadable.
Lay 3 tortillas out on baking sheets; top each with 1/3 of the beans, 1/3 of the turkey mixture, and 1/4 cup cheese. Top with another tortilla and lightly press down.
Top the second tortillas each with 1/4 cup taco sauce. Layer with 1/2 cup diced tomatoes, 1/4 cup cheese, and 1 tablespoon green onions.
Bake for 5-10 minutes or until cheese is melted. Cut into wedges and top with sour cream and/or salsa if desired.
1/2 tablespoon chili powder
Combine all ingredients.
I love the idea of cooking the tortillas directly on the oven rack - it makes them so crispy!
This past weekend I had another lovely get-together with my friends Lauren, Brooke, and Sarah. It was originally supposed to be at my house but then Brooke, pregnant with triplets, was put on bed rest a few weeks ago and we all decided to go to her instead! It was another great afternoon, filled with lots of talking and eating (well, why not, with 4 pregnant women!). I hope to see them all again very soon.
And if you can spare any thoughts and prayers for Brooke, her husband Joe, and the babies, please do. Her pregnancy thus far has not been pleasant, but she has faced it all with a tremendously positive attitude and a smile. You can follow along with her story here:
- Chicken, Eggplant, and Portobello Mushroom Foccacia Sandwiches by Brooke
- Tri-Colore Orzo by me
- Corn, Avocado and Tomato Salad by Sarah
- Ice Cream Brownie Cupcakes by Lauren
Can't wait for the next one, ladies!
**Note: My camera was horribly out of focus the whole day, so this is the one shot that actually looked halfway decent. Just head to Sarah's and Lauren's blogs to see pics of their dishes!
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
I love the lime taste in the dressing and I used olive oil instead of the vegetable oil that Jenny suggested since I prefer that taste in a dressing. If you are making this ahead of time, add the avocado right before serving or else it may turn brown. Enjoy this summer salad!
from Jenny :)
Makes about 4 side dish servings
10 ounces frozen corn, thawed completely
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 avocado, diced
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon good quality olive oil
kosher salt and coarse ground black pepper, to taste
Combine corn, tomatoes, scallions in large bowl. Whisk together lime juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper and pour over vegetables. Chill for 1-4 hours.
When ready to serve, add gently fold in avocado and allow salad to come to room temperature. Season again with salt and pepper if needed.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
If you are a regular reader of my blog, you probably can tell by now that I love appetizers. Any and all kinds. But my favorite might have to be the warm, cheesy dip. It's usually easy to prepare, hard to mess it up, and serves a lot of people!
This dip was delicious, and although I made some changes to the original, I really recommend you check out the original site. Priscilla bakes hers in a bread bowl, which I think is a great idea; I just didn't get to the store to buy one. Even if you make it in a regular dish like I did though, it is very good, with lots of nice cheesey, bacon-y flavor!
Warm Bacon Cheese Dip
adapted from Priscilla Bakes
Makes about 6-8 servings
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) sour cream
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 (4 ounce) package REAL Bacon Bits
1/2 cup chopped green onions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese with a hand-held mixer until fluffy. Add the sour cream, shredded cheese, and Worcestershire sauce and stir until combined. Stir in the bacon and green onions.
Spread into a 1 1/2 quart baking dish and bake for 30 minutes, or until dip is bubbly and turning golden brown on the edges. Serve with crackers, bread, and/or veggies.
Saturday, May 16, 2009
This post is for my dad since this past weekend he asked me about the lack of meat dishes on my blog lately, like pork and beef. Well, between my aversion to certain types of food in the first trimester to Chuck's high cholesterol, I guess I haven't really been basing my meals around meat lately. But I remembered I had a pork tenderloin in the freezer and asked around on my cooking board for a yummy way to prepare it.
Dry Rubbed Pork Tenderloin
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
I think the major problem I had was that the cake was too heavy for itself. I did use a 9.5 inch bundt cake pan rather than a 10 inch one, so maybe the batter wasn't spread out enough; but essentially, I think it was just too much CAKE for a bundt pan. Between cooling it on the wire rack, glazing it with the powdered sugar, and moving it onto the cake plate, it broke in several places:
All in all though, the cake got rave reviews (but how can you not with three sticks of butter?!). The moist chocolatey cake paired with the raspberry jam and the chocolate chips made an excellent, rich dessert that pairs well with a tall glass of cold milk!
**Note: I have had this recipe saved in my file for quite some time, pre-blog, so I have no clue where it came from. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if this is yours!
3 cups flour
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 10-inch bundt pan.
In large bowl of a stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, on medium speed. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each one. Add vanilla and mix.
Add flour mixture and milk in alternating batches (1/3 flour, 1/2 milk, 1/3 flour, 1/2 milk, 1/3 flour). Mix just until combined. Gently fold in chocolate chips with rubber spatula.
Spread 1/2 of the batter in the prepared pan. Heat raspberry preserves for 15 seconds in the microwave. Spoon over top of the batter in the pan. Spread the remaining batter over the preserves.
Bake for 60 to 75 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
Remove from over and let cool in pan for 15 -20 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the cake and turn on to a cooling rack. Let cool completely, then drizzle glaze over top.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Saturday, May 9, 2009
Baked Orzo with Shrimp, Tomato Sauce, and Feta
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
pinch of dried hot red pepper flakes (or more to your taste!)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup dry white wine or chicken broth
1/2 can (28- to 32-oz) crushed tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 pound large shrimp (about 18), shelled and deveined
8 ounces orzo
1/2 pound feta, patted dry and crumbled (1 1/2 cups)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Coat an 8 x 8 baking dish with cooking spray or olive oil.
Heat 1/2 tablespoon oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes and cook until onion is softened, about 3 minutes. Add wine and boil until reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and salt, then reduce heat and simmer briskly, stirring frequently, until slightly thickened, about 8 minutes. Stir shrimp into sauce and simmer, stirring occasionally, until shrimp are just cooked through, about 3 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add orzo and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Reserve 1/4 cup cooking water, then drain orzo VERY carefully (a fine-mesh sieve helps). Return orzo to pot and toss with remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil.
Add orzo into sauce with shrimp and mix gently. Add reserved cooking water as needed (I only use about 2 tablespoons). Season with salt and pepper if necessary.
Spoon half of pasta into prepared baking dish, then sprinkle with half of feta. Top with remaining pasta and feta, then bake in middle of oven, uncovered, until cheese is slightly melted and pasta is heated through, 10 to 15 minutes.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
A few notes about the amounts of certain ingredients: When I saw that this called for 1 1/2 onions for only 4 servings, I did a double take and only bought one. How could you possibly eat that many onions in one serving?! Well, I was wrong - the caramelization process combined with the honey makes them so sweet and delicious you hardly know you are eating an onion. When I assembled the quesadillas, I definitely wished I had more.
Soooo...you're going to make these tonight, right? I served them with Sauteed Corn and Black Bean Salad and a green salad.
Texas Chicken Quesadillas
2 tablespoons oil (I used olive oil)
Heat one tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and saute until they just become golden and begin to get soft. Turn heat to medium and continue cooking until they caramelize (about 20-30 minutes). Mix in the honey and stir until it is golden brown. Remove and set aside.
Place the remaining oil (if necessary)in the same skillet and add the chicken and BBQ sauce. Cook until heated through.
Lay out 4 tortillas. Divide the chicken, onions and cheese evenly onto each tortilla, top with another tortilla and cook in your quesadilla maker about 5 minutes. Alternatively, you can cook them in the oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
Monday, May 4, 2009
So here it is. Maria uses cinnamon chips in hers but I couldn't find them in my sub-par grocery store so I decided to use butterscotch chips instead. They added a nice touch to the already moist, dense banana cake that resulted from this great recipe. The cinnamon-sugar topping really adds a nice touch too, so don't skip that!
3 very ripe bananas
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup cinnamon or butterscotch chips
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Coat an 8 x 8 baking dish with cooking spray (preferably with flour in it).
In a medium mixing bowl, mash the bananas well with a fork or potato masher. Add in the eggs and vanilla and mix until combined. Gently fold in the sugar.
Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and cinnamon in a small mixing bowl. Add to the banana mixture and mix until combined. Add 3/4 cup of the cinnamon chips, and stir briefly. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and set aside.
In a small bowl, stir together the topping ingredients. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the batter in the pan, and top with the remaining 1/4 cup chips.
Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for at least 15 minutes before serving.
Sunday, May 3, 2009
As usual when I am making my own creation, all ingredient amounts are approximate, so feel free to add more or less of any ingredient. Enjoy!
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic, saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add onion, saute until just beginning to turn golden, 2-3 minutes. Turn heat to medium and add zucchini, season with salt and pepper. Continue to saute until onion and zucchini are cooked through, 3-5 minutes more. Add vodka sauce and diced tomatoes with juices, heat through.
Meanwhile, bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add penne, cook until al dente, about 10 minutes. During the last 3 minutes of cooking, add shrimp to pasta pot. Drain pasta and shrimp.
Add pasta and shrimp to zucchini and sauce mixture. Add ricotta and gently mix all until combined. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese to taste.