We have some great cooks in our family.
We like to try new recipes and tweak the old ones.
We're always asking each other, "Can I have your recipe?"
So we created a place to share the recipes that others ask for, the experiments that turn out well or the recipes that we fall back on because they're quick and yummy. Some of these recipes are original, some are gleaned from friends and some are blatantly copied from other sources.
All of them have been tested and found delicious.


Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Bread Salad

(print this recipe)
This is another recipe that Randy and Ellie introduced me to. I love salads, and this one has become my new favorite.
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon minced shallots (I use my handy dandy microplane)
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic (microplane again)
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine the vinegar, mustard, shallots, thyme and garlic in a bowl. Slowly whisk in the oil in a stream until the dressing emulsifies. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.

4 slices french bread, 1 inch thick*
Extra virgin olive oil
24 pitted Kalamata olives
1/2 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
6 ounces boconccini (small mozzarella balls) cut in half
4 cups loosely packed, flavorful salad greens, washed, dred and torn into pieces**
1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (I do cheat sometimes and use the grated Parmesan in a tub)
Preheat your grill (I love grilling)
Brush both sides of the bread with oil. Grill the bread on both sides until golden. Remove from the grill and use a serrated knife to cut the bread into bite-size cubes. Put the bread in a serving bowl with the olives, tomatoes, mozzarella, lettuce and basil. Pour the dressing over the salad and mix well. There should be enough dressing to soak into the bread, but the greens should not be drenched - use a little more or less dressing as needed. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and toss again, lightly.
*I get Trader Joe's Pugliese, slice it into 1 inch slices, wrap it well and put it in the freezer so I always have some ready.
**Use salad greens that have a hardier leaf such as romaine, arugula, spinach or a combination.
Serves 4

Chocolate Ganache Frosting

(print this recipe)
This frosting is like having truffles on top of your cake!

7 1/2 ounces bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup heavy (whipping) cream
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

Melt the chocolate with the cream in a double boiler, over barely simmering water, whisking until smooth. Add the butter and whisk until smooth. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate, covered, for 15 minutes. Beat the frosting with an electric mixer on medium-high speed for about 8 minutes, until thick enough to spread. After you frost your cake or cupcakes, you may need to refrigerate for about an hour till the frosting sets.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Pasta with Barbecued Chicken & Veges

(print this recipe)

Randy and Ellie made this for us for dinner one night. It was so quick and easy, and really delicious! There's a lot of flexibility in this recipe - you can use whatever veges, pasta and dressing that you like (or have on hand) and adjust the amount of ingredients for your family. This is the recipe as they made it for 6 people:

4 or 5 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1 1lb. box Rotini pasta
4 zucchini, sliced in half lengthwise
1 orange or red bell pepper, sliced in half lengthwise, seeds and veins removed
1 medium head broccoli, sliced in half or thirds (depending on how big it is)
1 onion, sliced into about 1/4 inch rings (try to keep the rings together)
1 cup (more or less, depending on your taste) Girard's light champagne salad dressing

Preheat your barbecue.
Brush chicken and veges with olive oil. Salt and pepper chicken.
Cook chicken breasts for about 5 - 7 minutes on each side.
Lay the veges on the bbq and cook them, turning once. The time for the veges varies. The zucchini cooks in only about 5 minutes - the broccoli takes longer. Just keep an eye on them and poke them with a fork once in a while to see if they're getting tender. Try not to over cook them or they get mushy.
Take everything off the bbq as it gets done and set it aside.
Cook the pasta according to the package directions.
Cut the chicken and the veges into chunks, combine with the pasta and pour dressing over the top.
This can be eaten room temp. It's also delicious leftover and cold!
I made this again without the chicken and added barbecued, canned artichoke bottoms- yummy!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Chocolate Caramel Bars

(print this recipe)

This recipe is from my friend Terri who is a fabulous cook. That probably explains her success as a caterer! These are not difficult to make, and they are sooooo decadent!

First Layer
Preheat oven to 350
Cream together:
1 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Press evenly into a 9x13" pan and bake for 20 minutes. Cool.

Second Layer
1 cup butter
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan - bring to a boil and boil for 8 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour evenly over crust.

Third Layer
6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 Tablespoon Crisco
Melt together in a double boiler and pour over second layer - spread evenly

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Thai Pork Lettuce Wraps

(print this recipe)

1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1 tablespoon salad oil
1/2 cup minced shallots
1/4 cup minced fresh ginger
2 Tablespoons chopped garlic
1 pound lean ground pork
1/3 cup fresh lime juice (I cheat and use bottled)
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
1/2 cup chopped roasted peanuts
3-4 tablespoons minced fresh hot chili peppers
2-3 tablespoons soy sauce or fish sauce (I used fish sauce)
2 small heads Butter lettuce (I've also used red leaf lettuce and Romaine, although Romaine is a bit messy)

Fry coconut in dry pan until golden brown, about five minutes. Remove coconut from the pan. Add oil to the pan. Cook the shallots, ginger and garlic until soft, about five minutes. Add the pork and brown well. Remove the fat from the pan. Add the lime juice, mint leaves, peanuts, coconut, chili peppers and the soy or fish sauce. Mix to blend well.

Wash the lettuce and separate the leaves.

Serve warm or room temperature.

Serves about 8-10 for appetizers or 4 for a main course.