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Monday, April 29, 2013

Mediterranean Chicken Pasta Salad

This salad can be used as a side or as a main dish.  If you choose to add the chicken it will make a fresh and delicious entree, and the leftovers still taste great the next day.  Using fresh spices or herbs if possible makes a world of difference!

Ingredients

Pasta Salad:
1 rotisserie chicken, shredded (if making a main dish)
1 lb. penne pasta
1 tomato
1 cucumber
green onions
feta cheese

Dressing:
2 T. basil, chopped
4 tsp. oregano
10 tsp. red wine vinegar
6 T. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
sea salt and pepper (to taste)
pinch of sugar

Directions

Cook pasta until al dente (cooked as to be firm, but not hard).  Drain and put in large bowl.
Slice green onions and cut tomato and cucumber into small cubes.  Cut as many vegetables as desired.  Toss with pasta.  
Toss feta cheese with pasta/veggies to taste.  
Add shredded chicken and mix all together.

In separate bowl/dressing container, mix together dressing ingredients.  

When ready to serve, toss salad with dressing until coated.  Serve chilled.


Happy munching!
  

Friday, April 26, 2013

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies


This recipe was tested by one of our Chief Culinary Consultants, and it was dubbed "the best cookie I have ever eaten!"
We are thankful to his sister for sharing the recipe, and we encourage you to try these and see what you think.  If you like chocolate, then you are sure to love these little bites of rich chocolate delight.

Ingredients

1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. baking soda
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
1 egg
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 Tbsp. milk
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
6 oz. (1 cup) semisweet chocolate chips (we used Hershey Dark Chocolate)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine flour and baking soda and set aside.
Cream butter.  Add vanilla and sugars and beat until fluffy.
Beat in egg.
At low speed, beat in cocoa and milk.
Mix in dry ingredients just until blended.  
Stir in nuts (if using) and chocolate chips.
Drop rounded tablespoonfuls onto nonstick baking sheets.
Bake for 12-13 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool slightly before removing from baking sheet.
Makes 3 dozen.

Here is a cute packaging idea:  Use clear, cellophane bags and red and white stripped twine to wrap up the cookies.  Print a label, cut it out with patterned or straight-edge scissors, and send or give the packaged cookies to someone to brighten their day!




Happy munching!

 

Five Bean Bake

This is a delicious and simple side dish for cookouts and barbeques.  Our family has enjoyed it as a summer staple for years!

Ingredients

1/2 lb. bacon
2 med onions, chopped
1/4 cup vinegar
1 can kidney beans, butter beans, pinto beans, northern beans (drained), pork and beans
garlic
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. mustard

Directions

In large skillet, brown bacon, garlic, and onion.  Add brown sugar, vinegar, and mustard.  Cook for 10 minutes.  Stir in beans.  Transfer to large baking dish and bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour.

Happy munching!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Homemade Guacamole

 
Remember when we posted our Chicken Enchilada recipe and mentioned how yummy it would be with homemade guacamole?  Well this is the recipe we were referring to.  If you take the time to make this green sauce to go on your enchiladas, tacos, quesadillas, or simply to use as a dip, you will not be sorry.  Muy fresh, muy simple, muy bueno.

Ingredients

4-6 ripened avocados, depending on size
4-6 tomatillo (found in produce section)
1/4-1/3 onion
2 garlic cloves, chopped or minced
salt (to taste)
cilantro (to taste)
lime juice (~1 lime)
serrano or jalapeno pepper

Directions

Mash avocados in small bowl.
Place the rest of the ingredients in a food processor or blender.
Add avocado and process or blend all ingredients together.
Depending on your preference, adjust the ingredients to get the taste you want. 

Make 4-6 servings.

Happy munching! 

Snickerdoodles

Funny name, but a seriously good cookie.  Everywhere we have taken these they have been a hit.  Because these are quick and easy to make, they have been our "go-to" cookies for years!

Ingredients

1/2 cup butter, softened
1-1/2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla
 2 large eggs
2-3/4 cups flour

1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

 2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Directions

Preheat oven to 400°F.
Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl.
Add eggs and vanilla.  Mix thoroughly.
Combine flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl.
Blend dry ingredients into butter mixture until dough forms.
Mix 2 tablespoons sugar and 2 teaspoons cinnamon in a small bowl.
Shape the dough into 1-inch balls and roll the balls in the cinnamon-sugar mixture.
Place on greased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.  
Gently use the bottom of a glass to flatten the balls out until about 1/2 inch thick.
Bake for 8-10 minutes or until lightly golden brown and firm on the edges.
Let the cookies cool on the pan for a few minutes and then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

Happy munching!


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Asian Chicken Kebabs



We have been absent for a few weeks, but we are back and ready to share some fresh and delicious new recipes!  As the weather gets warmer, most people start searching for salad recipes and new things to put on the grill.  These Asian Chicken Kebabs are perfect for grilling on a warm evening and then enjoying with family around a table outside as the sun goes down.  However you choose to eat them, they will be savory and a favorite of Thai food lovers!

Ingredients

1/4 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons honey
1-2 teaspoons hot sauce
1 tablespoon grated ginger root
2 cloves garlic, crushed

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cubed
1 large green bell pepper, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 red onion, cut into wedges
1 large red bell pepper, cut into 2-inch pieces

Wooden skewers

Directions

In a small microwave-safe bowl, combine soy sauce, oil, honey, hot sauce, ginger root, and garlic.  Heat in microwave on medium for 1 minute, then stir.  Heat again for 30 seconds, watching closely so it doesn't boil.  Set aside.
Thread the chicken, green bell pepper, onion, and red bell pepper pieces onto skewers alternately.
Place skewers in a shallow baking dish and cover with marinade.  Cover dish and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. 
Prepare barbeque (medium-high heat).  Discard marinade and grill Asian Chicken Kebabs until chicken is just cooked through, turning occasionally, about 9-12 minutes.

Optional:  Can make another batch of marinade and serve kebabs over mixed greens with the extra batch of marinade as dressing.


Happy munching!