Saturday, January 21, 2012

Tortellini Spinach Salad with Balsamic Tomato Vinaigrette

A totally yummy salad recipe that can be served as a main dish.

Salad:
20 ounce package refrigerated cheese tortellini
1 (14.5 oz.) can quartered artichokes
1 (9 oz.) bag fresh baby spinach
1 (3 oz.) bag sun dried tomatoes or jar of sun dried tomatoes, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
¼ cup diced red onion

Dressing:
9 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 ½ teaspoons dried oregano
1 ½ tablespoon tomato paste
Salt and pepper to taste (about 1/8 teaspoon each)
3/4 cup olive oil

DIRECTIONS:
Cook tortellini in boiling water until al dente. Drain and toss (carefully so the tortellini don’t break apart) with a teaspoon of olive oil to keep from sticking. Let cool in colander. In a large bowl, toss all the salad ingredients together after the pasta has cooled.

In a blender add all of the dressing ingredients except for the olive oil and process until smooth. Then, while the blender is running, slowly add the olive oil and blend until completely combined. If serving the salad right away, immediately pour the dressing over the salad and toss well (you may not need all the dressing). Serve.

Baked Berry and Banana Oatmeal

We all LOVED this breakfast dish.  It was my first time baking oatmeal and I'm definitely a new convert!

3 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup walnuts or almonds, toasted and chopped
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 cups milk
1 large egg
2 tsp pur vanilla extract
2 ripe bananas, cut into 1/2" slices
1 1/2 cups berries
maple syrup, for drizzling

Preheat oven to 375.  Butter and 8-inch square baking dish.

COmbine the oats, half the nuts, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl.  In another bowl, whisk the milk, egg, half the butter, and vanilla.

Arrange bananas in a single layer on the bottom of the coated baking dish.  Sprinkle with two-thirds of the berries, then cover with the oat mixture.  Slowly drizzle milk mixture over the oats.  Gently tap dish on a work surface to distribute liquid.  Scatter remaining berries and nuts across the top.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the top is nicely golden and the oat mixture has set.  Let cool slightly.  drizzle with remaining melted butter and maple syrup.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Grilled Chicken and Club Sandwich

Photo Credit: Closet Cooking

Man o man.  This recipe needs to be on everybody menu next week.  And take the 50min ahead of time to make the chipotle caramelized onions. Delish!

One sandwich includes:
1 small chicken breast, pounded thin
salt and pepper to taste or your favourite grilled meat seasoning
1 tablespoon mayo
2 leaves lettuce
2 slices tomato
2 slices bacon, cooked
1/2 small avocado, sliced
2 tablespoons chipotle caramelized onions
1 sandwich bun, sliced in half

Directions
Brush your grill with oil and heat it to medium heat.
Season the chicken and grill until cooked, about 5-7 minutes per side.
Assemble the sandwich and enjoy.

Cranberry Spinach Salad

Emilie made this recipe for a recent dinner swap (with the addition of grilled chicken) and we really enjoyed it.  The dressing is fabulous.  You know it's good if the Heavilands repeat a recipe we just had two weeks earlier.

3/4 cup almonds, blanched and slivered
1 pound spinach, rinsed and torn into bite-size pieces
1 cup dried cranberries
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1/2 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons minced onion
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup vegetable oil

In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Cook and stir almonds in butter until lightly toasted. Remove from heat, and let cool.
In a large bowl, combine the spinach with the toasted almonds and cranberries.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the sesame seeds, poppy seeds, sugar, onion, paprika, white wine vinegar, cider vinegar, and vegetable oil. Toss with spinach just before serving.

Monday, January 9, 2012

What a dad...

Mark made this Tow Mater sandwich for James which he might of thought was the coolest thing in the world.  He just used sandwich bread, slices of provolone and frozen peas.

Southwestern Chicken Barley Chili

This recipe tasted similar to this recipe but just a little bit different with the barley.  All four Heavilands devoured it!

1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (16-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup medium barley (not quick cooking)
4 cups water
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
dash cayenne pepper (more or less to taste)
2-3 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds), cut into bite-size pieces
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels

Garnishes: shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, sliced green onions, tortilla chips

DIRECTIONS:
In a large pot (about 6-quarts), combine the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, chicken broth, barley, water, chili powder, cumin, dried oregano and cayenne (if using). Stir well. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat and add the chicken. Stir to combine. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer the chili for 40 minutes, until the barley is tender and chewy and the chicken is no longer pink. Stir occasionally, while it simmers to prevent sticking and to make sure it stays at a steady simmer. After 40 minutes, add the beans and corn. Stir to combine and simmer for five more minutes. Serve the chili with optional garnishes, if desired.

The chili will thicken considerably upon cooling. Add chicken broth or water as needed to achieve a desirable consistency (especially if reheating the leftovers).

Spicy Pasta Salad with Smoked Gouda

Photo credit: pioneer woman

Another knock-out recipe this week!  Smoked gouda is cheap at Trader Joes.  Make this!

12 ounces, weight Mostaccioli pasta (I let James pick out the pasta and he picked bow ties)
1/2 cup Mayonnaise
1/4 cup Whole Milk
4 Tablespoons White Vinegar
1-1/2 teaspoon Adobo Sauce From Chipotle Peppers (or One Minced Chipotle Pepper)
1/2 teaspoon Salt
Ground Black Pepper To Taste
10 ounces, weight Grape Tomatoes, Halved Lengthwise
1/2 pound Smoked Gouda Cheese, Cut Into Small Cubes
24 whole Basil Leaves (chiffonade)

Preparation Instructions
Cook pasta until done. Drain and rinse in cold water until no longer hot. Set aside.
Mix mayonnaise, milk, vinegar, salt, pepper, and adobo in a small bowl.
In a large bowl, stir together pasta, dressing, halved tomatoes, and cubed Gouda. Taste for seasonings, adding more salt and pepper if needed, and even an extra teaspoons or two of vinegar if necessary. Stir in basil at the end. Refrigerate for a couple of hours before serving.

BBQ Chicken Salad with cilantro dressing

Yum! What a great salad recipe.  The dressing is where the real wow factor is.  I just cooked my chicken in a skillet with 1T olive oil then chopped it up and simmered it with the BBQ sauce for 10min or so.  You could also slow cooker it and then shred it.

3 cups cooked, shredded chicken
2 cups BBQ sauce, storebought or homemade
½ head iceberg lettuce, cored and chopped
2 romaine hearts, chopped
1/2 red onion diced
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 1/2 cups frozen corn, thawed
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, cubed small or shredded
4 ounces Monterey jack cheese, cubed small or shredded

Creamy BBQ Cilantro Lime Dressing:
1 cup mayonnaise, light or regular
1/3 cup milk
1/3 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 to 1/2 cup BBQ sauce

DIRECTIONS:
For the salad, combine the cooked chicken and BBQ sauce in a medium bowl. Refrigerate until ready to use.

In a large bowl, toss together the iceberg lettuce, romaine lettuce, red onion, cilantro, corn, black beans and cheese. Toss the mixed salad with about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the dressing, if desired. Otherwise, you can serve the dressing on the side. Place salad on plates and top with the prepared BBQ chicken and additional dressing.

For the dressing, combine all the ingredients together and whisk (or shake, if using a jar) vigorously to combine. You could also run this through a blender to make it even more smooth. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Cowboy Caviar

Next time you have a party, serve this as an appetizer.  It is sure to be a crowd-pleaser! Or...pull a pregnancy-craving card and serve it as dinner! I might know someone who did that...

Mix the following ingredients and let the avacados marinate for at least thirty minutes:
Juice of one lime
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp Tabasco
2 Tbsp veggie oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp pepper
3/4 tsp salt
3 large (or 4 small) firm avacados, chopped

Combine the rest of the ingredients below and then add the avacados, gently mixing it all together:
1 can white beans
1 can black beans
1 can pinto beans
3 cups frozen corn (I defrosted mine a bit but you don't have to)
1 cup sliced green onions
1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 lb. cherry tomatoes, halved

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Asian Beef Tacos

Another home run recipe from Angela.  Super, super easy to throw into the crockpot.

2-3 pounds beef roast
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup soy sauce
1 head garlic (peeled, but leave cloves intact--approx 10 cloves)
1/2 onion, diced
1 inch fresh ginger root, peeled and grated
2 tablespoons seasoned rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 whole jalapeno, diced

There's no way to make this complicated.  Throw everything into your slow cooker.  If you just can't handle the freedom, add the ingredients in alphabetical order.  Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours.  Shred meat and serve with slaw on warm (or lightly fried) tortillas or rice.

Asian Slaw:
4 cups shredded cabbage
1 cup shredded carrots
1 small red onion, finely chopped
pinch of salt and pepper
1 1/2 Tbsp rice vinegar
1⁄4 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 - 1 tsp sriracha
1/2 tsp sugar

Toss cabbage, carrots, and onion.  Season with salt and pepper.

Whisk together vinegar, mayonnaise, sesame oil, sriracha, and sugar until smooth. Taste; add more salt if needed.  Pour dressing over vegetables and mix to combine.

Huevos Rancheros

Last year Mark and I spent a night away together at Suncadia and spoiled ourselves with a room service breakfast.  I ordered Huevos Rancheros and have been craving it since.  I asked Mark if he'd find a recipe and make them for me one night.  He combined a few different recipes to come up with this fabulous concoction.  I HIGHLY recommend making these soon!

Black Beans:
4 cups canned black beans (rinse and drain them)
1 diced onion
1 diced bell pepper
1 diced jalapeno pepper
1 minced garlic clove
¾ can chicken broth
1 Tbsp olive oil

In a heavy pan, heat oil over medium heat.  Add onions, bell peppers, jalapeƱo, and garlic.  Cook about 2-3 minutes.  Add beans and chicken broth.  Simmer until heated throughout. 

Salsa Fresca:
Next make a quick salsa fresca with diced tomatoes, some red onion, a minced jalapeno, salt and a good squeeze or two of lime juice. If you’re the cilantro type, you can mix that in as well.  (A good pico de gallo from the store will work as well.)

Huevos Rancheros:
6 inch corn tortillas
Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Eggs
Vegetable oil
Avocado (if desired)

First you heat a 6-inch corn tortilla in an oiled pan.  When it is golden brown underneath, flip it over. (Don’t worry, you’ll brown it a bit more in a moment.)  Sprikle some shredded cheddar over the browned side and let it melt a bit. I like to make a hole in the middle with the cheese, so that the egg stays centered in the tortilla.  Break a single egg over the melting cheese.  Don’t worry if it rolls over the edges, that’s all part of the tasty mess of it. Season it with salt and pepper.  When the white is about halfway set (i.e., the edges and some of the egg on the tortilla), flip the whole thing over. For me, this is when the mess always strikes as the yolk is just itching to run off the spatula as I flip it.  Cook it for a few minutes on the other side, flip it back onto a plate and you’re done. Top with the black beans, salsa fresca and avocado. 

Monday, January 2, 2012

Panettone Bread Pudding with Amaretto Sauce

Last year Mark and I ate a delicious dinner at the Boat Street Cafe.  A friend of Mark's suggested we order the amaretto bread pudding for dessert.  Bread pudding is certainly not a dessert I would chose on my own.  I'm more prone to order a warm chocolate cake.  However, this bread pudding was out. of. this. world.  Amazing!  I've been dreaming about it since and was excited to find this recipe to try out.  It was also fantastic!  Panettone bread is only around at Christmas time but I think it would be just as delicious made with a loaf of raisin bread.  Also, if you live in the Seattle area, come over and borrow 1/4 c. of Amaretto.  I've got plenty to go around!

Sauce:
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup whole milk
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup amaretto liqueur
2 teaspoons cornstarch

Bread Pudding:
1 (1-pound) loaf panettone bread, crusts trimmed, bread cut into 1-inch cubes
8 large eggs
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
2 1/2 cups whole milk
1 1/4 cups sugar

Directions
To make the sauce: Bring the cream, milk, and sugar to a boil in a heavy small saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently. In a small bowl, mix the amaretto and cornstarch to blend and then whisk into the cream mixture. Simmer over medium-low heat until the sauce thickens, stirring constantly, about 2 minutes. Set aside and keep warm. (The amaretto sauce can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Rewarm before serving.)

To make the bread pudding: Lightly butter a 13 by 9 by 2-inch baking dish. Arrange the bread cubes in the prepared dish. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, cream, milk, and sugar to blend. Pour the custard over the bread cubes, and press the bread cubes gently to submerge. Let stand for 30 minutes, occasionally pressing the bread cubes into the custard mixture. (Recipe can be prepared up to this point 2 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Bake until the pudding puffs and is set in the center, about 45 minutes. Cool slightly. Spoon the bread pudding into bowls, drizzle with the warm amaretto sauce, and serve.

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