Thursday, August 27, 2009

Broccoli Bow Tie Pasta Salad

I love this summery salad. The lemon and salt and pepper flavor with the broccoli is delicious. It's light and filling, and the pine nuts and parmesan cheese are the perfect finishing touches. This recipe comes from the Food Network--Paula Deen's show I think--but it's not posted on their website anymore.

8 cups broccoli florets (4 heads)
1/2 pound farfalle (bow tie) pasta
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons good olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 lemon, zested
1/2 teaspoon freshy ground black pepper
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice (1/2 lemon)
1/4 cup toated pignoli (pine) nuts
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

I buy the big bag of fresh broccoli florets from Costco, then chop them up into bite sized pieces. Cook the broccoli for 3 minutes in a large pot of boiling salted water. Remove the broccoli from the water with a slotted spoon or sieve. Place in a large bowl and set aside.

In the same water, cook the bow-tie pasta according to the package directions, about 12 minutes. Drain well and add to the broccoli.

To toast pignolis, place them in a dry saute pan over medium-low heat and cook, tossing often, for about 5 minutes, until light brown. I like to do this first, then use the same pan for the butter and oil.

Heat the butter and oil and cook the garlic and lemon zest over medium-low heat for 1 minute. Off the heat, add 2 teaspoons salt, the pepper, and lemon juice and pour this over the broccoli and pasta. Toss well. Sprinkle on Parmesan cheese, toss once more, and serve.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

No-Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

Sometimes you just need some cookies without all of the mess and cleanup. VoilĂ !

1 cube butter
½ c. milk
2 c. sugar
2 Tbl. cocoa
½ tsp. salt

Cook together in pot and bring to a boil. Then add 1 tsp. vanilla and 3 c. oatmeal. Spoon onto wax paper or foil with a spoon and let cool.

Originally posted 2/21/07 without picture

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Zucchini Cupcakes with Caramel Frosting

I dreamed about these the other night. I guess that's what pregnancy does to you (that, and essentially shut down your recipe blog for extended periods of time). My aunt made these for a party last week and they were heavenly.

3 eggs
1 1/3 c. sugar
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1/2 c. orange juice
1 tsp. almond extract
2 1/2 c. flour
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cloves
1 1/2 c. shredded zucchini

Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Makes exactly 2 dozen cupcakes. You can substitute apple sauce for the oil.

Caramel Frosting:
1 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. butter
1/4 c. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
2 c. powdered sugar

Combine brown sugar, butter, and milk in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Cool to lukewarm. Gradually beat in powdered sugar.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Chicken Bacon Sandwiches

I'm always on the lookout for a new, good sandwich during the summer months. I found this one over at Pioneer Woman and it was a hit with both the kids and the husband, and also my lovely sister with refined taste. Pioneer Woman has about a million pictures to hold your hand every step of the way through this recipe, so if you are making it for the first time, that is the place to go.

boneless, skinless chicken breasts
lemon pepper
peppered bacon
cheese (I used cheddar)
sandwich buns

Cut the peppered bacon in half and cook until crispy. Drain on paper towels. Pound chicken breasts until they are are an even thickness, just for uniform cooking.

Pour off the bacon grease, reserving about a tablespoon for cooking the chicken. Sprinkle each side of the chicken breast generously with lemon pepper, and cook the first side for 4 minutes in about a tablespoon of bacon grease. Flip over, and immediately cover each chicken breast with slices of bacon and a slice of cheese. Cover with a lid. Chicken should be done when cheese is melted to perfection. Serve on sandwich buns.

I loved the hint of tanginess from the lemon pepper, and really, how can you go wrong with cheese and bacon? Pioneer Woman says you can put a squirt of Grey Poupon on the roll if you like. My sister thought it looked like it would be too dry, so she put mayo on hers. I was surprised at how moist the sandwich was without anything on it. I didn't think it needed anything extra.

It was much easier to eat after it was cut in half. :) We'll be making these again soon. This recipe was a keeper in my book.