Saturday, August 30, 2014

Italian Orzo Salad

I'm not sure how I found this recipe - maybe on Facebook?  But regardless, I'm SO glad I did!!  This is a wonderful salad for summer time and my family has been so excited each time I've made it.  It's a great salad to bring to a BBQ or add a little grilled chicken and veggies and you're all set!

Italian Orzo Salad

6 cups chicken broth
1 package (16 oz) orzo pasta
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. honey
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 cups chopped plum tomatoes
1 cup chopped seeded peeled cucumber
1 cup fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
4 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup fresh baby spinach, chopped
1 3/4 cups (7 oz) crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted

In a large saucepan, bring broth to a boil; add pasta.  Return to a boil and cook until pasta is tender, about 10-12 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the oil, vinegar, lemon juice, honey, salt and pepper.

In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, cucumber, basil, onions and spinach.  Drain pasta, add to tomato mixture.  Drizzle with dressing; toss to coat.

Chill until serving.  Just before serving, stir in cheese and pine nuts.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Bumbleberry Crisp

One of my husband's favorite pies is Bumbleberry Pie and we get it at a farmstand whenever we can but it's not that often.  I saw this recipe yesterday at Delish and decided that I wanted to try it so tonight was the night.  OFF THE CHARTS!!!  This is SOOOOOO good!!!  The only difference was that instead of hazelnuts (didn't have on hand and I didn't want to spend the money for it), I used half pecans and half walnuts (from my freezer) for the topping.  I also think it could have cooked a little longer because a few of the apples still had a little bite to it so next time I'll cook it for an extra 10 minutes.

Bumbleberry Crisp

1 cup hazelnuts, toasted
1 cup all purpose flour
6 Tbsp. butter, cut up
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
2 Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored and chopped
1 lb. strawberries, hulled and sliced
6 oz. blueberries
6 oz. raspberries
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
vanilla ice cream for serving

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Grease a 2 quart baking dish.

2.  Chop hazelnuts.  Transfer to a medium bowl; add flour, butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt.  With hands, mix until combined and small clumps form.

3.  In a large bowl, combine apples, all berries, granulated sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice;  transfer to a prepared dish.  Sprinkle with nut mixture.  Bake 45 minutes or until bubbly and golden.  Serve warm with ice cream if desired.

Ravioli with Apples, Bacon and Spinach

I saw this recipe in the September 2012 issue of Woman's Day and cut it out - but never made it.  I went through my folder of recipes and decided to go ahead and try it.  I'm SO glad I did!!  This turned out wonderful!!  The bag of ravioli I had was 30 oz. so I doubled the rest of the recipe and the 4 of us (hubby, 13 and 11 year olds and me) almost finished it all.  I would definitely recommend doubling it!!

Ravioli with Apples, Bacon and Spinach

16 oz. fresh or frozen cheese ravioli
6 slices bacon
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 crisp, red apple (Braeburn or Gala), quartered and thinly sliced
1 bunch fresh spinach, thick stems discarded
Kosher salt and pepper
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1.  Cook the ravioli according to package directions.

2.  Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crisp, 6-8 minutes.  Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate; break into pieces when cool.

3.  Wipe out the skillet, heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 1-2 minutes.  Add the apple, cook, tossing for 1 minute.

4.  Add the spinach, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper;  cook, tossing until beginning to wilt, 1-2 minutes.  Fold in the lemon juice and bacon.  Serve over ravioli.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Ciara's Mexican Rice

This is named after the mama that I got the recipe from on an online forum years ago.  It's a GREAT side dish and very easy to make - and MUCH healthier than those packets of rice mixes!!!

1 cup rice
3 Tbsp. oil
1 onion, diced small
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. chili powder (heaping)
4 oz. canned tomato sauce
2 1/4 cups water or chicken broth (broth is better)

In a large skillet, brown the rice in oil with the onions and garlic.  Add the remaining ingredients.  Let simmer, covered, over low heat for 25 minutes or until tender.  NO stirring!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Hoisin-Glazed Pork Mu Shu Casserole

I made this a few weeks ago and used too much ginger so decided to try it again tonight since I was craving the flavor.  YUMMY!!!!!!!  Definitely rated a 10 by the fam so this is a super-keeper.  :)  I got it from the little tear-out cookbook in Rachel Ray's magazine.

Hoisin-Glazed Pork Mu Shu Casserole

1 1/4 lb. pork tenderloin, cut into 1" pieces (I cut them into thin slices then cut into thin strips)
1 1/2 tsp. Chinese five-spice powder
12 oz. shitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced (I just used baby bella mushrooms because they were cheaper)
1/2 head savoy cabbage (about 12 oz.) cored and sliced thin
1 piece (2") fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped (I cheated and used the ginger in a tube that I discovered in the produce department)
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup long-grain rice
1 carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
2 cups chicken broth
6 Tbsp. hoisin sauce plus more for serving
thinly sliced scallion for garnish
chopped cilantro for garnish

1.  Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.  Season the pork with the five-spice powder and salt.  Heat a heavy 12-inch covered casserole pan (preferably cast iron) over high heat.  Add 2 Tbsp. oil and the pork.  Cook until the pork is golden-brown on the outside but still rare in the center, 3-5 minutes.  Transfer to a baking sheet.

2.  Reduce the heat to medium, then add the mushrooms and the remaining 2 Tbsp. oil to the pan.  Cook until the mushrooms soften, around 2 minutes.  Add the cabbage, ginger and garlic.  Season with salt and saute until the cabbage begins to wilt, about 2 minutes.  Stir in the rice and carrot then the broth and 3 Tbsp. hoisin sauce; bring to a boil.  Cover and bake until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes.

3.  Remove the pan from the oven.  Preheat the broiler. Toss the pork with the remaining 3 Tbsp. hoisin sauce, nestle the pork into the rice mixture and broil until the pork is glazed, 5-7 minutes.  Sprinkle with scallions and cilantro, serve with more hoisin sauce.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Granny's Apple Cake

This was a cake that my grandmother used to make.  It's simple and yummy - a great cake to make on a whim!!

Granny's Apple Cake

1/2 cup butter, creamed
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
4 medium apples (McIntosh or other tart apple), peeled, cored and sliced
1 cup flour sifted with:
1 tsp. baking poweder
1/4 tsp. salt

Cream butter and sugar until fluffy.  Add one egg at a time and beat well after each addition.  Sift flour, baking powder and salt.  Add to first mixture and beat well.  Spread in buttered square pan (8x8).  Place apples on top and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon.

Bake at 375 for 30 minutes.