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Monthly Archives: July 2012

Acini di Pepe Pasta Salad

My Mom and I watched a show on Food Network about 10 years ago. It was a show where professional chefs taught unexperienced cooks. They made this pasta salad in an episode and we tried to make it as well. Oh my goodness it is good! And very easy to make. We make it multiple times over the summer. It looks pretty and tastes great. It is an easy make ahead salad for a get together or party. I guarantee your family and guests will love it as much as we do.
Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cups acini di pepe pasta
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 1/2 cup finely diced onion
  • 10 basil leaves, torn into large pieces
  • 1 cup crumbled sun dried tomato feta cheese

Directions:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta for about 6 minutes or until tender. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process.
  2. Toss the pasta with the olive oil, red wine vinegar, and salt. Fold in the tomatoes, pine nuts, onion, and basil. Sprinkle with the feta cheese.

Serve at room temperature.

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Posted by on July 31, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Texas Sheet Cake

My Mom used to make a Texas Sheet Cake every year for every birthday in our immediate family. We all loved it! She used to refrigerate it and the frosting would be crisp and chocolatey. Over the years the recipe remained the same, but the results were not as good. Now it seems to come on gooey instead of tender inside and crisp on the outside. I searched the internet for a new recipe and ended up finding one from the pioneer woman. We made it this weekend and it was freaking delicious!

Ingredients for the cake:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons (heaping) unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Ingredients for frosting:

  • 1-3/4 stick butter
  • 4 tablespoons (heaping) unsweetened cocoa
  • 6 Tablespoons whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 pound (minus 1/2 cup) powdered sugar

Directions:

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt.
  2. In a saucepan, melt butter. Add cocoa. Stir together.
  3. Add boiling water, allow mixture to boil for 30 seconds, then turn off heat. Pour over flour mixture, and stir lightly to cool.
  4. In a measuring cup, pour the buttermilk and add beaten eggs, baking soda, and vanilla. Stir buttermilk mixture into butter/chocolate mixture. Pour into sheet cake pan and bake at 350-degrees for 20 minutes.
  5. While cake is baking, make the icing. Melt butter in a saucepan. Add cocoa, stir to combine, then turn off heat. Add the milk, vanilla, and powdered sugar. Stir together, and pour over warm cake.

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Posted by on July 31, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Grilled Balsamic Chicken

This was a quick recipe to make with just a few ingredients. The flavor was mild but the chicken came out incredibly juicey.

Ingredients:
• 2 bone-in chicken breasts
• 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
• 1/4 cup brown sugar
• 1 finely minced garlic clove
• 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
• salt and pepper

Directions:
1. Heat grill. Wash chicken, pat dry and season both sides liberally with salt and pepper.
2. In a bowl whisk balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, garlic, and oregano.
3. Place chicken, skin side down on grill and cook for 12 minutes. Turn over and bast with vinegar mixture every few minutes until chicken is cooked through.

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Posted by on July 18, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Quick and Easy Buttermilk Cake

I always seem to have a little buttermilk leftover from other recipes and I am always trying to find ways to use it up. Tonight I searched around on the internet and found a yummy and easy recipe on about.com. I changed it up a little bit and it came out quite delicious. The batter tasted pretty good on the spoon too. 😉

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2/3 cup sugar plus more for sprinkling
  • 1/4 cup butter at room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat sugar and butter until combined. Scrape down sides and beat in egg and vanilla until thoroughly combined. Add half of the buttermilk and stir to combine. Add half the flour mixture and stir to combine. Repeat with remaining buttermilk and flour mixture.
  3. Scrape batter into a greased 9 x 9 inch baking pan, smooth the top, and sprinkle with sugar. Bake cake until golden and a toothpick or knife inserted into center comes out clean, about 20 minutes.

You could always sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on top if you are feeling spicy. 

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Posted by on July 11, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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BBQ Meatballs

Here I go again, making more Pioneer Woman recipes. This one was a major hit with my husband. Made these meatballs this evening and gave my 6 month old son a bath while they baked in the oven.  The house smelled so good when we walked downstairs. My husband thinks these should be called meatloaf balls.

Ingredients for meatballs:

  • 1-1/2 pound ground beef
  • 3/4 cups oats
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons very finely minced onion
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon salt
  • ground black pepper, to taste

Items needed for browning meatballs:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • vegetable oil

Ingredients for sauce:

  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons worcestershire
  • 6 tablespoons finely minced onion
  • 1 dash hot sauce

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine all meatball ingredients. Roll into medium-small balls and place on a cookie sheet. Place sheet in freezer for five minutes.
  3. After 5 minutes, remove meatballs from freezer and immediately dredge in unseasoned flour.
  4. Brown meatballs in vegetable oil until just brown. Place into a 13 x 9 glass baking dish.
  5. Combine all sauce ingredients. Pour over meatballs and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Serve mashed potatoes.

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Posted by on July 9, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Red Velvet Sheet Cake

Once again I watched Pioneer Woman and found yet another recipe to try. It’s Fourth of July so I thought a red velvet cake with white frosting would be fitting. I thought about sprinkling some blue sprinkles on top but didn’t.

Ingredients for cake:

  • Nonstick baking spray
  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 fluid ounces red food coloring
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 3/4 cup granulated sugar

Directions for cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Thoroughly spray a large (18-by-12-inch) sheet cake pan (or you can use a slightly smaller jelly roll pan) with nonstick baking spray.
  2. Sift together the cake flour and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, stir together the buttermilk, vanilla, baking soda and eggs. Add the vinegar and stir. Set aside.
  4. In a separate small bowl, mix together the cocoa and red food coloring. Set aside.
  5. Cream together the shortening and sugar until fluffy. Alternate adding the flour mixture and the buttermilk/egg mixture until all combined. Pour in the red mixture and beat until combined.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared sheet cake pan. Use a large offset spatula or knife to even out the surface. Bake for 20 minutes. Allow the cake to cool completely before icing.

Frosting Ingredients:

  • 1 cup milk
  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar

Frosting Directions:

  1. Combine the milk and flour in a saucepan over medium heat and whisk constantly until thick. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature. Add the vanilla once cooled.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the cooled milk mixture and beat very well. It may look separated, which means you have to keep beating until fully combined. It should be fluffy and light, similar to whipped cream.

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Posted by on July 4, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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