Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Tortellini Salad

This is THE.BEST.EVER!  It is adapted from one of my favorite cookbooks, Food for Thought from the Junior League of Birmingham. I'll tell you a single batch is not enough.  It's great for luncheons and can also stand alone as a meal.  I've been known to scoop out some breakfast too.

8-oz. Julienne sundried tomatoes, packed in oil, undrained
2/3 c. olive oil
2T. fresh lemon juice
1T. minced garlic
2t. fresh ground pepper
1/2 t. salt
8-oz. can marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
4-oz. cashews
32 oz. cheese filled tortellini, cooked and drained

Drain tomatoes, reserving 3 T. of oil.
In a large bowl, combine reserved oil, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and salt and pepper. Stir in tomatoes, artichokes, and cashews. Add tortellini, gently tossing to combine. Let pasta sit several hours before serving.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Buffalo Chicken Salad

This is a great salad for when you are craving wings, but want to eat healthy.
1 package of boneless, skinless chicken tenders
1/2 c. buffalo wing sauce

Mixed salad greens
sliced celery
sliced carrots
Ranch dressing

For Buffalo Tenders,
Place chicken in bowl.  Cover with wing sauce, and stir to evenly coat.  Let marinate for 30 minutes or so. Lay tenders on baking sheet and Bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes until chicken is cooked through.

For Salad
Arrange of bed of salad greens.  Sprinkle with celery and carrots.  Chop 3-4 chicken tenders and place on salad greens.  Top with Ranch Dressing.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Frosted Strawberry Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
1 8 oz package cream cheese, softened
2 cups  sugar
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup fresh strawberries, finely chopped

1 Tbsp butter, softened
1 1/2 t. strawberry jello powder
1/4 cup strawberries
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups powdered sugar

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and cream cheese and sugar until well combined.  Add eggs, one at a time and continue mixing.  Add in flour and baking powder and then vanilla.  Fold in chopped strawberries.  Chill dough for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350.  Place rounded tablespoons of dough on baking sheet.  Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes.  Let set on pan 3 minutes and then remove to cooling rack to cool completely.  

While cookies are cooling, prepare frosting.  In medium mixing bowl beat together  1 Tbsp butter, softened,1 1/2 t. strawberry jello powder, 1/4 cup strawberries, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract,3 cups powdered sugar and enough milk to make it spreading consistency.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Mini Muffulettas

We have a great Mardi Gras parade that started a few years ago. The parade has grown and turned into a fun event for our city. We're so lucky to have a town that is open to new traditions and helps build them up. In honor of mardi gras, I was thinking of a few New Orleans/Cajun faves to share this week!

Olive Salad
10-oz. jar pimiento stuffed green olives, drained and finely chopped
2 4-1/4 oz.cans chopped black olives
2T. balsamic vinegar
1T. red wine vinegar
1T. olive oil
3 garlic cloves
1 t. dried basil
1 t. dried oregano

Mix all; set aside.

6 crusty french rolls, split
1/2 lb. sliced salami
1/4 lb. sliced provolone cheese
1/2 lb. sliced ham
1/4 lb. sliced mozzarella cheese

Hollow out rolls leaving 3/4" shell. Spread olive salad on top and bottom of rolls.  On roll bottoms, layer salami,provolone, ham and mozzarella.  Replace tops. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap.  Chill overnight.  Cut into wedges and secure with toothpicks.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

BBQ Shrimp and French Bread

This title is very deceptive.  The shrimp does not involve a grill, BBQ or anything else that makes you think BBQ.  However, it is delish!!  I've been seeing versions on pinterest and have been dying to try it.  However, it seemed like something you needed to save for a special occasion.  It's definitely rich and buttery!  It also seems like you needs side dishes - you don't.  We served with a salad and that was plenty.  This makes 2 entrĂ©e servings or 4 appetizer servings. 

1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 c. worchestershire sauce
2 T. fresh lemon juice
2 t. fresh ground pepper
2 t. Cajun seasoning
1 t. minced garlic
2 sticks of butter, diced
1/2 bunch of green onions, thinly sliced
1 loaf of crusty French bread

In large skillet, mix together worchestershire, lemon juice, pepper, Cajun seasoning and garlic.  Heat over medium heat and add shrimp.  Cook shrimp 1 minute per side until pink.  Add in butter, stirring to combine.  Remove from heat immediately once butter is melted so the shrimp will stop cooking.  Divide shrimp and sauce and sprinkle with diced green onions.  Serve with slices of bread.  You will definitely want to soak up the sauce with the bread! 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Crock Pot Lemon Basil Chicken

1 package of boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 lb. carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
1 c. chicken broth
juice of 2 lemons
1 t. dried basil
lemon pepper
salt, optional

Place carrots on bottom of crock  pot. Place chicken on top of carrots.  Sprinkle generously with lemon pepper.  In small bowl, mix together broth, lemon juice and basil.  Pour into crock pot.  Turn crock pot on high for 3-4 hours.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

You're "Kool" Valentine! - a Kool Aid Valentine for Children

A super simple inexpensive Valentine perfect for those later elementary ages where it gets harder to find appropriate Valentines!

Take Kool Aid Bursts bottles and add a simple "You're Kool" tag!!  Kool Aid Bursts are $1/ 6pack at our grocery store!  Can't beat that deal!