Monday, September 17, 2012

Antipasto Pasta Salad

I'm not going to lie. I've bookmarked and pinned a heckuva lot of recipes for antipasto pasta salad. Once, at a tailgate party a friend made something similar to this recipe, and I've wanted to make something like it ever since! Now I have and let me tell you-it was totally worth it!

I think I had about 3 small-ish helpings, and Scott did too last night. Then there was still enough left for lunch this morning. It was absolutely amazing both times. The flavors were great, and we can't think of anything that was missing. Possibly artichoke hearts. But I don't think that will make or break the dish.

This is a recipe where I did buy a "boxed" version of something. I've made Betty Crocker's Simply Salad pasta dishes before, and they're fine. I'm glad I used the Caesar version for this recipe, but I don't feel like this is a "must have" to make the recipe. I think they had you use the Caesar version for a little extra texture. Adding croutons and using rotini pasta I think would work just fine.

I would highly recommend using this for your next get-together or pot-luck. It was incredibly easy and absolutely delicious!

Antipasto Pasta Salad
Antipasto Pasta Salad-adapted from Betty Crocker
Total Time 25 Minutes
Serves 6
  • Betty Crocker's Suddenly Salad Caesar pasta salad mix (or rotini pasta & croutons)
  • 1/2 cup Italian dressing
  • 6 ounces torn romain lettuce
  • 6 ounces cubed summer sausage
  • 6 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 4 ounces cheddar jack cheese cubes
  • 1 can sliced ripe olives, drained
Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, and transfer to a large bowl

In addition to the pasta, combine the rest of the ingredients in the bowl. Mix thoroughly. 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Friday Night Baking Adventures

Scott's birthday was on Thursday. Let's just say we were all a little out of it on Friday. Instead of going out and doing anything on Friday night, Scott, our friend Shea, and I just stayed in and watched Act of Valor. Side note-watch this movie! It's absolutely amazing videography and will make you want to hug a member (past or present) of the armed services!

So we were just about to settle in and watch the movie, when Scott looks at me and says "Why don't we have cookies right now?" So I decided to make some since I had almost everything necessary on hand. I made Snickerdooles and Chocolate Chip Cookies. Somehow, something went wrong with the Snickerdooles. They taste okay, but the consistency is all wrong. I know something was wrong even before they went into the oven because I couldn't roll them into balls. It just stuck to my hands! Oh well! The Chocolate Chip Cookies were great--I used half chocolate chip, half peanut butter chips!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffins

When I worked at Perkins, I always remembered the chocolate chocolate chip muffins. I was never a huge fan, but I did want them every once in awhile. I came across this recipe when I just wanted to bake something. I had all the ingredients, so figured, why not? They were a little bit dry, but over all a decent muffin! And it didn't make a ton of muffins! Just 12 regular sized ones-perfect!

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffins
Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffins-Adapted from Cooking Light
Total Time 30 minutes
Makes 12 Muffins

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup wheat flour (you can use all all-purpose flour if desired)
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons confectioner's sugar
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Combine flours, brown sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Make a well in the center of the mixture. Combine water, oil, red wine vinegar, vanilla extract and egg in a bowl, stirring well. Stir chocolate chips into the water mixture. Add water mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until moist.

Place 12 muffin cup liners in muffin cups. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. Bake for 15 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes in pan on a wire rack. Sprinkle confectioner's sugar over tops of cooled muffins.

Chicken Pot Pie

I have made a few pot pie's throughout the course of this blog. Look here, here and here. And I can't say that this one was definitely better than the others, because I remember really liking them. But I can say that this one has instructions for freezing it for up to 3 months. Also, it had the perfect amount of flavor to it!

Chicken Pot Pie
I made this as a homey dinner for Scott and his mom a few weeks ago. Just as delicous as ever!
October 18, 2014

Chicken Pot Pie-adapted from Taste of Home
Total Time 1 hour
Serves 6
  • 2 medium carrort, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 celery rib, diced
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken brother
  • 2 cups cooked chicken, diced
  • 1/4 cup plus 1/2 tablespoon heavy whipping cream, divided
  • 1/2 tablespoon minced parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 package refrigerated pie crust, thawed according to package directions
  • 1 egg
If cooking right away, preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large stock pot, saute the carrots, onion, celery and garlic in butter until tender. Stir in flour until blended; gradually add broth. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in the chicken, 1/4 cup cream, parsley, garlic salt and pepper.

Spoon into ungreased 9-inch pie plates. Roll out pastry to fit top of each plate; place over filling. Trim seal and flute edges. Cut slits in pastry. In a small bowl, whisk egg and remining cream, brush over pastry.

Place on baking sheet, and cook in over for 45 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

To freeze, cover in tin foil and seal in large ziploc bag for up to 3 months. To use, remove from freezer 30 minutes before baking. Cover edges of crust loosely with foil; place on a baking sheet. Bake at 425 degrees for 30 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees; remove foil. Bake 55-60 minutes longer or until golden brown.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Green Bean Casserole

When I told Scott I was making Green Bean Casserole, all he could say is "I only like it if it's covered in creamyness and soup like." Even though we overcooked this, it was definitely worth it! It was exactly what we were looking for! And, I bet, if you only cook it for the 4-4-1/2 hours it recommends, it would be even better than what we had! Try it!

Green Bean Casserole-Adapted from Southern Living
Total Time 4 1/2 hours
Serves 10
  • 2 (16-ounce) packages frozen green beans, thawed
  • 1 jar Alfredo sauce
  • 1 can diced water chestnuts
  • 8 ounces fresh mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/2 sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 (6 ounce) can French fried onions, divided
Stir together first seven ingredients and half of the French fried onions in a lightly greased 5 quart slow cooker.

Cover and cook on low 4 1/2 hours, or until bubbly. Sprinkle remaining French friend onions over top of cooked casserole.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

New England Clam Chowder

I love clam chowder, but I don't think I've ever made it before. My dad and brother have a great recipe that I have yet to try. I should've taken their advice and doubled the amount of clams in the recipe. This recipe was great but needed just a bit more meat to it! I've changed the amount in my directions below. Now that fall is here, this is a great, simple soup to keep you warm!

New England Clam Chowder
New England Clam Chowder-Adapted from Taste of Home
Total Time: 30 Minutes
Serves 5

  • 4 thick cut bacon slices, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 3 small potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 bottle (8 ounces) clam juice
  • 3 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 4 cans chopped clams, undrained
In a large stock pot, cook bacon until crisp. Remove to paper towel and set aside. Saute celery and onion in the drippings until tender. Add garlic, cook 1 minute longer. Stir in the potatoes, water, clam juice, bouillon, pepper and thyme. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to simmer uncovered for 15-20 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.

In a small bowl, combine flour and 1 cup half and half until smooth. Gradually stir into soup. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until thickened.

Stir in clams and remaining half and half; heat through, but do not boil. Sprinkle bacon over the top when served.

Chicken Waldorf Salad

I've never had a waldorf salad before and was kind of worried about this recipe. The ingredients for the dressing were a little scary looking at them by themselves. However, I thought the flavors were excellent! Scott wasn't a huge fan because it was "so hard to eat" with all the little pieces. Next time, I'm going to try them in pita pockets instead of just a salad! You could make this with rotisserie chicken from the supermarket if you don't feel like cooking some nights too!

Chicken Waldorf Salad
Chicken Waldorf Salad-Adapted from Taste of Home
Total Time: 1 hour
Serves 4

  • 1/4 cup fat-free sour cream
  • 1/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 tesapoon lemon-pepper seasoning
  • 2 cups cubed cooked chicken
  • 2 celery ribs, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 large apple, diced
  • 2/3 cup chopped walnuts,
  • 4 Boston lettuce leaves
  • Pita pockets, optional
In a small bowl, whisk together first seven ingredients.

In a large bowl, combine the chicken, celery, and cranberries. Pour dressing over the top and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Just before serving, stir in apple and walnuts. Serve on lettuce leaves

Sweet and Sour Chicken

When I normally think of sweet and sour chicken, it's that super breaded chicken from the Chinese take-out place. This recipe was so much better than that! There is no breading (a little bit of flour to thicken it), and the flavors were awesome! Serve it with some sticky rice an you're all set! I just recently figured out the PERFECT measurements for my rice cooker to get that perfect rice!

I also have to say that I am in love with Rachael Ray Magazine. Every single recipe I've ever made from it has been awesome!

Sweet and Sour Chicken
Sweet and Sour Chicken-adapted from Every Day with Rachael Ray
Total Time: 30 Minutes
Serves 4

  • 1 can pineapple chunks, drained, 1/2 cup juice reserved
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 4 teaspoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 1/4 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Cooked white rice
In a small bowl, combine the pineapple juice, vinegar, soy sauce, 2 teaspoons flour, ketchup and ginger. In another bowl, toss the chicken with the remaining 2 teaspoons flour, salt and pepper.

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook, turning occasionally, until browned. Add the bell pepper and cook, stirring, about 2 minutes until crisp-tender. Stir in the pineapple chunks. 

Whisk the pineapple juice mixture into the chicken mixture, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened and the chicken is cooked through. Serve with rice.


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