Looking for a fast, easy dinner idea? Or something to bring along to a potluck? Try my Easy Pasta Salad Recipe! It is always a hit. It is very versatile – you can swap in veggies you have on hand or use your favorite italian dressing instead of basalmic and olive oil. What is your favorite pasta salad? Feel free to share!
Easy Pasta Salad Recipe
8oz Rotini Pasta
1/4 cup jar sun dried tomatoes, rinced and sliced
1 cup of cherry or grape tomatoes
1 medium zucchini, sliced in 1/4 inch rounds, then halved
1 can whole black olives
1 can of artichoke hearts, rinsed
3 cloves of garlic, minced
8oz fresh mozzarella cheese balls
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1/4 cup + 1/8 cup olive oil
1/8 cup of basalmic vinegar
1/8 TSP fresh ground pepper
Cajun Style Andouille, sliced in 1/4 inch rounds, pan seared and cooled (optional)
Cook rotini pasta according to directions. Place cherry or grape tomatoes in a bowl and pour hot pasta water over them to blanch. Rinse pasta with cool water and drain. Combine sun dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, zucchini, olives, garlic, parmesan, sausage (optional), and pepper in a large bowl. Toss in pasta and mozzarella. Drain hot water from cherry or grape tomatoes and cover with ice water. Wisk olive oil and basalmic vinegar and drizzle over pasta and veggie mixture. Add cherry or grape tomatoes when they are cool. Refrigerate for 2-4 hours. Serve with crusty bread.
1 cup gold tequila
3/4 cup Triple Sec
3/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
2 tablespoons sugar
6 cups crushed ice
lime wedges for garnish
Stir tequila, triple sec, lime juice, and 2 tablespoons sugar in pitcher. Add ice. Let stand for 10 minutes. Pour into glasses and garnish with lime wedges. (Salt or sugar the glasses if that’s your thing!)
Whenever I have something at a restaurant that I really like, I try to recreate it at home. Recently, I went to Pizzeria Mozza. I loved their thin, bread-like crust and the fresh toppings were amazing. I found a recipe for the dough online and made 4 pizzas with different toppings – fresh mozzarella + basil, goat cheese + mozzarella + sun-dried tomatoes + basil, truffle oil + mozzarella + fresh mozzarella + sage, and plain cheese for my son.
All were delicious, but I think the goat cheese pizza was the favorite among my taste testers. I’m thinking about picking up The Mozza Cookbook so I can try making more of their dishes.
Homemade Pizza Sauce Recipe
Puree ingredients below in a food processor. Top pizza crust as desired. Extra sauce can be frozen and used later.
28oz Can of Whole Peeled Tomatoes
1 tbs Olive Oil
1 tsp Dried Basil
2 Minced Garlic Cloves
1/4 Cup Diced Sweet Onions
Dash of Pepper
2 bottles Cabernet Sauvignon
1 cup orange juice
2 oranges, quartered with peels left on
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp cinnamon
4 cinnamon sticks
4 whole cloves
Mix all ingredients in a crock pot and warm on high for 2 hours. Serve warm in mugs and garnish with cinnamon sticks, if desired. Serves 6-8.
I’ll be honest, I’ve never been a fan of traditional gingerbread. As a kid, I loved decorating gingerbread men and gingerbread houses, but I would never eat them. Something about the texture and density just didn’t appeal to me.
Last week, when my daugher asked if I would make gingerbread cookies, I didn’t exactly run to the kitchen and break out the mixer. I thought I would try something different. The recipe below is what I came up with. They turned out light and airy like a sugar cookie with the flavor and spice of gingerbread. Serve them warm and top with frosting and watch them disappear before your eyes!
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1/4 cup dark molasses
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup white sugar
Cream Cheese Frosting
6 tablespoons of butter
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup cream cheese
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl or mixer, cream together the margarine and 1 cup sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg, then stir in molasses and water. Add baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and salt, then gradually stir in the flour about a half a cup at a time.
Pour the 1/4 cup of white sugar onto a plate. Shape dough into balls (about 3 tablespoons of dough per ball) and roll each ball in sugar, coating all sides. Place the cookies about 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet, and flatten them slightly with your palm.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in preheated oven, being careful not to overcook. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then move them to a wire rack to cool completely. Top with frosting, if desired.
Fried chicken is a family favorite over here. There are so many different ways to coat it. Some of my favorites include instant mashed potato flakes, crushed Ritz crackers, and French’s Fried Onions (separately of course!).
First, I soak the chicken in an egg wash – one egg + 1/4 cup of water + 1/2 tsp of paprika and a dash of fresh pepper. Next, I coat it in flour or bisquick, then dunk the chicken back in the egg wash. Last, I press it into a dish of the crunchy topping. The chicken pictured above got the Ritz cracker treatment.
While you can oven bake or pan fry chicken, there is really no substitute for cooking it in a deep fryer.
What do you like to use for fried chicken coating?