Friday, October 28, 2011

Harvest Salad - Broccoli, Grape and Pasta Salad

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this new salad recipe.  It is a great twist to the typical broccoli salad.  I made it for a preschool birthday lunch and we loved it.  I finished up the rest when I got home!  :)

Broccoli, Grape and Pasta Salad (adapted from Southern Living)

1 cup chopped pecans
8 oz bow-tie pasta
1 lb fresh broccoli
1 cup light mayonnaise
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup diced red onion
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 tsp salt
2 cups seedless red grapes, halved
8 cooked bacon slices, crumbled ( I used 1 cup precooked crumbled bacon)

Preheat oven to 350.  Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 5 to 7 minutes of until lightly toasted, stirring halfway through;  Prepare pasta according to directions. Meanwhile, cut broccoli florets into small pieces using the tip of a paring knife.  Whisk together mayonnaise, sugar, red onion, vinegar and salt.  Add broccoli, hot cooked pasta and grapes, stirring to coat. Cover and chill at least 3 hours. Stir in pecans and bacon just before serving.

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Monday, October 24, 2011

Secret Recipe Club

This is my third post with The Secret Recipe Club and I am having such fun.  This month I was assigned to visit Mangia.  I so enjoyed Chelsy's blog as she is a Texas gal and so am I.  Chelsy is an avid foodie and she is from a large Italian family.  Chelsy is a much healthier cook than myself.  I had never cooked with many of the ingredients she uses so I thought I would give some a try.  I do hope you will visit Mangia and take a look around. 

As I mentioned, Chelsy uses ingredients that I have heard of but never purchased.  I have always wanted to cook with Agave Nectar so I thought her Almond Coconut Delight Cookies looked wonderful... as I love coconut.  I had also never cooked with almond flour or grapeseed oil. This was an adventure!  Also, I am used to cookie recipes making like 3 dozen cookies but this recipe made only 14 cookies....which is great as we usually eat TOO many.   All went well!  I thought the cookies were very yummy - reminded me of a macaroon.  They weren't as sweet as most cookies I make but still very good.  I did use sweetened coconut.  I thought my girls would turn up their noses as they are used to cookies with butter, eggs, etc.  I was pleasantly surprised -  I got good reviews. 

Again, please visit Chelsy and her fun blog.  I know you will enjoy it.  Mangia!

Almond Coconut Delight Cookies

Makes about 14 cookies

1/4 c. grapeseed oil
1/4 c. agave nectar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/4 c. almond flour
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 c. chopped walnuts
1/2 c. shredded coconut ( I used sweetened coconut... that I had on hand)
1/4 c. golden raisins ( I used Craisins that I had on hand)

1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. Using an electric mixer, combine oil, agave, and vanilla.
3. In a large mixing bowl, combine almond flour, sea salt, baking soda, walnuts, coconut, and golden raisins.
4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix thoroughly.
5. Drop the batter by rounded tablespoons onto a cookie sheet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
6. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown around the edges. Cool on a wire rack and serve.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Sausage Bundt Cake

What a great, new, easy recipe!  When I was in Texas for my reunion, my friend Emily mentioned this Sausage Cake.  She couldn't believe I didn't have this recipe.  She shared with me that when her sweet mom, Jane, was still living.... She would make this every Sunday and then she and Emily's dad would enjoy a piece every morning... all week long.  This recipe was one of her mom's favorites to take to friends... as it is easy to store and easy to re-heat.  Emily's dad still makes a Sausage Cake every week. Emily has made it like 50 times.  She recently made it for her college freshman.  She sliced it, put the individual pieces in ziploc bags so Alex could microwave it for breakfast throughout the week.  How exciting for a college freshman to have such yummy homemade food!

This is also one of those great recipes that you can adjust according to your favorite tastes - use bacon or ham, swiss or havarti, etc. Be creative and enjoy!

Sausage Cake

2 cans of Pillsbury Grands Jr. Biscuits
1 lb breakfast sausage, browned and drained
5 - 6 eggs, slightly beaten
2 - 3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Spray a bundt pan with a cooking spray with flour.  Lay one can of biscuits around the bottom of the pan - slightly overlapping; Top with cooked, drained sausage, then beaten eggs; top with shredded cheese; Top with the other can of biscuits - just slightly overlapping as you go around the bundt pan.  Bake at 350 for 30 minutes; Cook 10 -15 minutes and then run a knife around edge of cake.  Turn out onto a plate. Serve warm with your favorite fruit!

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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bars

This has been a very busy but exciting volleyball season.  Our oldest is a senior and plays libero on her high school volleyball team.  They are having an amazing season, and we are having such fun.  One thing the girls like to do when they gather is.... EAT.  They love it when I make Monster Bars.  Another two favorites for volleyball tournaments is a Penne Pasta Toss  (which I usually quadruple because they scarf it down) and Fruit Dip with a huge bowl of strawberries.

Well, this last tournament, one of my volleyball mom friends made a new bar, we are SO in love with this new bar recipe.  It is easy, makes a huge amount and it has caramel, chocolate and oatmeal - YUM!  Thank you Margie for this wonderful, new, easy recipe.  Meg, our youngest, said..... "I think I like this better than Monster Bars!"  That is huge - We LOVE Monster Bars!

Again, thanks Margie for sharing!

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Caramel Bars 

1 1/2 c. butter, softened
1 1/2 c. brown sugar
2 c. oatmeal
2 c. flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

1 jar of Mrs. Richardson's caramel sauce
1 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Mix the 6 ingredients to make a dough.  Spread 3/4 of the dough into greased large (17 x 12) jelly roll pan.  Bake 12 minutes at 350 degrees.  

Melt one jar of Mrs. Richardson's Caramel Ice Cream Topping in the microwave according to directions on back of jar.  Spread caramel over baked dough.  Sprinkle with 1 1/2 c. chocolate chips.  Dot balance of remaining dough on top of caramel and chocolate chips.  Bake another 15 minutes.  Allow to cool on a cooling rack for several hours or until bars set up. 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Gayle's InFamous Spaghetti Sauce

Well, I am so sorry for the delay in my posting again.  Just busy, busy!  I was in Texas for my high school reunion this weekend and had SOOOO much fun. Loved seeing all of my old classmates and reminiscing!  Loved it!

This recipe for spaghetti sauce comes from a preschool teacher friend.  I made it the night before I left for TEXAS and my girls loved it. Our preschool staff does a Secret Sister gift exchange during Christmas, and I always have such fun with it.  Gayle had my name this past Christmas.  Knowing that I love recipes and enjoy cooking, Gayle made this darling scrapbook for me with some of her family favorites.  I have so enjoyed it. I plan to still post a few recipes from her nice album over the next months. Gayle is very crafty and a wonderful preschool teacher.

Gayle's spaghetti sauce is easy and yummy. My girls loved it because Gayle puts sugar in her sauce. My hubby doesn't usually like sweet sauce but he enjoyed it as well.  Gayle suggests 1/3 cup sugar.  I only put a 1/4 in when I made it and we still loved it.

Gayle's Infamous Spaghetti Sauce

1 lb hamburger, cooked and drained ( can substitute Italian frozen meatballs)
chopped onion
1 ( 15 oz) can Hunt's tomato sauce
1 ( 6oz) can Hunt's tomato paste plus 1 can water
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 clove minced garlic (or 1 tsp garlic salt or powder)
1/2 tsp basil
1/4 tsp oregano
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 "shakes" Tabasco sauce
1/3 cup sugar (or a little more or less - depending on sweetness level desired)

Brown hamburger and onion, drain.  Add remaining ingredients and simmer for at least one hour.  Serve with favorite pasta. *Best if made the day before

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Saturday, October 1, 2011

Oatmeal Sugar Cookies

What a great new recipe!  I got this recipe a while back from my friend Kathy.  She said they are her daughter's favorites.  I didn't try them right away as I am such a chocolate nut.....I usually want chocolate in my oatmeal cookies.  I decided to to give them a try recently when my mom was here.  I made them for a volleyball tournament.  WE LOVED THEM!  The team loved them.  The cookies have a great texture...soft but crunchy.  I do still think they would be yummy with chocolate chips and/or chopped pecans but they were also perfect as is.  Definitely add this cookie recipe to your collection.

Oatmeal Sugar Cookies

1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup shortening
2 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups oatmeal

Cream sugars with shortening.  Add eggs.  Sift baking powder, soda, salt, cinnamon and flour together.  Combine dry ingredients with creamed mixture.  Stir in oatmeal - Add vanilla.  Form dough into balls the size of walnuts and roll into granulated sugar.  Bake at 350 on a greased cookie sheet until light brown.  Do Not Overbake - cook only about 8 minutes.

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