Monday, May 25, 2009

I am always looking for fast, easy and fresh pasta salads. I love making a big bowl to keep in the fridge for lunches and I love a big bowl in the cooler for road trips. My obsession with pasta salad started with AnnD and her love of "Suddenly Salad".
Please post any favorites that you may have. Here are two of mine . . .

Yummy Pasta Salad #1 (pictured above)

1 box of your favorite pasta
Boil pasta according to package directions, as water begins to boil, add 2-3 cloves of garlic. Save garlic to use later in dressing.

1/2 cucumber diced
1 red bell pepper diced
1 can olives sliced
small chunks of fresh mozarella
handful of fresh chives chopped
handful of fresh basil chopped

juice of 1 lemon
2-3 TBS white wine vinegar
crushed garlic (from pasta water)
1-2 TBS olive oil
salt and fresh pepper to taste

Wisk dressing ingredients well and pour over pasta, veggies and herbs. Toss.

Pasta #2

1 box of angel hair pasta cooked according to package directions

8-9 roma tomatoes
1 can black olives sliced
large handful fresh basil chopped
2 cloves of garlic minced
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
fresh parmesean cheese

soak tomatoes and olives in the vinegar, oil and salt and pepper up to 2 hours. Pour over pasta, toss well and sprinkle with Parmesan. Serve cold.

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Saturday, May 23, 2009

Cooking for One with Katy - Episode #11

It's finally here folks - another episode. I'm looking for more guest cooks - whose in?

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Tortellini and Ham Salad

I love the double pack of fresh cheese tortellini from Costco. We eat them with just pesto and Parmesan, in a yummy shrimp dish ( I will post the recipe later), with browned butter and fresh sage, and last night my Mom made this recipe with a package I had saved in my freezer. We substituted bottle roasted red pepper for the fresh and sadly she couldn't find marinated mushrooms at Days or Costco.

Tortellini and Ham Salad
Family Fun Magazine, 2006

1 (9-ounce) package fresh cheese tortellini
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary or 1/2 teaspoon crushed dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 cups diced ham
1 cup diced red bell pepper
1 (4-ounce) jar marinated mushrooms, drained
1/2 cup chopped black olives
4 scallions (white and pale green parts), chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Grated Parmesan (optional)

1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the tortellini and cook according to the package directions, or just until tender. Drain the water, rinse the tortellini under cold water, and drain it again.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, rosemary, garlic, and sugar. Add the tortellini, ham, bell pepper, mushrooms, olives, and scallions to the dressing and toss to coat. Season the mixture to taste with salt and pepper.

3. Cover the bowl and let the salad stand at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes. Serve with grated Parmesan, if desired. Makes 4 servings

Note: We didn't let it cool longer than it took to throw the ingredients in and it was good without the Parmesan. One package of the tortellini from Costco was enough to roughly double the recipe.

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Barbecued Hamburgers

We had these burgers the other night and I remembered how much I like them. They are a good make-ahead meal if you are feeding a lot of people, or if you just have a few to feed you can freeze the leftovers in portions that are right for your family. They are good with just the BBQ sauce you cook them in or you can dress them up with the usual burger toppings. We had cheese, tomato, pickle, caramelized onion, and some chose to put Ketchup on. I like them on squishy wonder bread type buns, but I like them even better on fancy buns (possibly made with artisan bread dough). Whatever sounds good to you.

Barbecued Hamburgers

Managing Your Meals, Winnifred C. Jardine

1/1/2 pounds lean ground beef

1 egg, slightly beaten

3/4 cup dry bread crumbs or quick-cooking oats

3/4 cup evaporated milk

1 ½ teaspoons salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

3 tablespoons coarsely grated onion

3 tablespoons vinegar

2 tablespoons sugar

1 cup catsup

½ cup water

1/4 teaspoon dry mustard

Combine beef, egg, crumbs, milk, salt, pepper, and 3 tablespoons chopped onion. Shape mixture into 12 patties, allowing 1/4 cup mixture per patty. Brown in hot skillet, using a little oil, if necessary. (Or patties may be quickly browned under the broiler; do not overcook, however.) Combine remaining ingredients in large heavy saucepan; simmer 5 minutes. Put in large heavy saucepan; simmer 5 minutes. Put drained patties carefully into barbecue sauce, making sure sauce is spooned over all of them. Simmer for 30 minutes. Serve each patty in a bun with 1 teaspoon sauce over top. Makes 12 patties.

Note: One advantage of these tasty burgers is that they may be prepared ahead of time, refrigerated, then heated slowly just before serving. You can freeze them too!!

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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Asian Noodle Salad

I had some left over rotisserie chicken in the freezer. I gave it to my Mom and she made Asian Noodle Salad from July 2007 Cooking Light for dinner. It was fresh and good and light tasting. She put in more carrots and water chestnuts than the recipe calls for and used fresh zucchini cut into little squares in place of the green peppers ( I can't eat green peppers when I am pregnant). Since it is a recipe I am planning to make throughout the summer, I thought I would share it with you.

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Monday, May 11, 2009

Molten Chocolate Cake

A month or so ago Spencer and I splurged on dessert and split a Chocolate Lava Cake from Dew (a restaurant in Provo). I have been wanting more ever since. I decided Mother's Day was the day I was going to try this recipe from Epicurious. The cakes turned out really well. I substituted 1 tsp almond extract for the brandy and left the espresso powder out all together. I served them with a very generous dollop of sweetened whip cream on the top. I used the semisweet chocolate chips and it was really good, but next time I think I will use quality bittersweet chocolate for even more chocolate goodness. I hope you had a Happy Mother's Day!!

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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Ancho Chili Fudge Pie for Cinco de Mayo

I made this pie for Spencer's work party yesterday. You can buy Ancho Chilis in the Mexican section of your grocery store. The Ancho Chili brings out the chocolate flavor. It isn't at all spicy--my little girls love it!! It is really good with vanilla ice cream on the side and a sprinkle of cinamon. The recipe is from ZTejas restaurant. We went to ZTejas one year for my birthday and fell in love with this dessert. Luckily the recipe was posted on their web site.

Ancho Chili Fudge Pie

1 9 in. Deep dish prepared pie crust
2 each Eggs
1/2 cup Flour
1/2 cup White sugar
1/2 cup Brown sugar
1 cup Butter (2 sticks)
1/2 cup Pecans
1/2 cup Walnuts
1 cup Chocolate chips
3/4 tsp Ancho Chili Peppers, ground
Ancho peppers are available whole. To grind, soften peppers in water for 3 minutes, drain, grind in blender. Do NOT use chili powder.

Melt butter and chocolate chips together in a microwave proof dish. Stir together and allow to cool. Toast pecans and walnuts (I usually use all pecans) in oven on flat sheet until lightly brown. Beat eggs well. Add white flour, white sugar and brown sugar. Mix until smooth. Add cool butter, mix well.
Mix in nuts. Fold into mixture. Pour into prepared pie crust.
Bake at 325 degrees for 45-55 minutes.
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