Monday, July 27, 2009

Summer Corn and Tomato Pasta

from Rachel Ray
4 servings

  • Salt
  • 1 pound bow-tie pasta
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 3 ears fresh corn, kernels cut off
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta until al dente; drain.

  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes are softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the corn, raise the heat slightly and cook until the corn is heated through and golden, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt.

  3. Add the vegetables, butter and basil to the pasta and toss.

Sundried Tomato and Garlic Hummus

1/3 cup water
2 tablespoons of chopped oil-packed sundried tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 garlic cloves
1 15 oz can garbanzo beans, drained

Combine all ingredients in a food processor (I use my magic bullet) and blend until smooth. We love it with carrots and broccoli dipped in it, but pita wedges are great as well!

Springtime Pasta

Makes 8 Servings
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 8 minutes

* 1 pound cavatappi or other corkscrew-shaped pasta
* 1 tablespoon olive oil
* 1-1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into
* 1-inch pieces
* 1 yellow pepper, cored diced
* 1 bunch (1 pound) asparagus, trimmed and cut into
* 2-inch pieces
* 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
* 1 package (5.2 ounces) spreadable herb cheese (such as Boursin)
* 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper

1. Heat a large pot of lightly salted water to boiling. Add pasta and bring back to a boil. Cook 6 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and tilt pan to coat. Add chicken. Cook 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. During last minute of cooking, add yellow pepper to skillet. Remove from heat.

3. Once pasta has cooked for 6 minutes, add asparagus pieces and cook an additional 2 minutes. Scoop out 1/4 cup pasta water, then drain.

4. In a large bowl, toss together hot pasta and asparagus, chicken and pepper, tomatoes, herbed cheese, reserved pasta water, salt and pepper until well blended and cheese is melted.

Cheesy Salsa

2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 avocado, peeled and diced
1 medium tomato, diced
1 can (4 oz) diced green chilis
3 green onions, sliced
½ cup sliced ripe olives
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup Italian salad dressing


1. Combine cheese, avocado, tomato, chilis, onions, olives and cilantro in a large bowl.
2. Add salad dressing, stir to coat.
3. Season to taste with salt and pepper
4. Serve with tortilla chips—ole!

Sesame Ginger Chicken

from Sue Hanson


2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
2 tablespoons honey
½ teaspoon ground ginger
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts


1. In a small bowl combine first 4 ingredients.
2. Pound the chicken into ¼ inch thick
3. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes basting chicken frequently. OR, you can…
4. Grill over medium-hot coals, turning and basting frequently with soy sauce mixture for 8 minutes or until juices run clear.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Vegetarian Enchiladas with homemade sauce

Tonight's dinner attempt is going to be a combination of two different recipes. We'll see how it turns out! I'm going to use the recipe for the interior of the enchilada that I found on line and my friend Jean's recipe for the homemade enchilada sauce. Stay tuned to see how it turned out!

I doubled it to make a huge batch to have some for the freezer, which worked really well.


Black Bean Enchiladas

2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 tsp oil
1 c chopped onion
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 c corn kernels
½ c green bell pepper, diced
1 can (4.5 oz) chopped green chiles, drained
2 tsp ground cumin
1 c shredded Monterey Jack cheese

6 inch corn tortillas--a big stack of them!
salt & pepper to taste


2 tablespoons flour
1 ½ tablespoon chili powder
1 ¼ tablespoon cocoa powder
½ tablespoon sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups water
2 ½ cups tomato sauce (this was 1.5 cans)
3 ounces tomato paste (1/2 a little can)

Directions for filling:

Preheat oven to 350° and lightly grease a 9×13″ baking dish. In a medium sized skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Stir in onion and garlic and sauté until aromatic and onions are softened. Add green peppers (and corn if using frozen), sautéing until softened. Stir in beans, cumin, green chiles & corn (if using fresh). Cook for ~5 minutes until warm; partially mash beans. Remove the pan from the heat, mix in 1/2 cup cheese. Season with salt & pepper as desired.

Spoon some of the black bean mixture down the center of a tortilla. Roll up and place seam side down in baking dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Pour sauce over the tops of the enchiladas. Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove foil, sprinkle with remaining shredded cheese and bake for 10 more minutes until cheese is melted.

Sauce Instructions:

Combine the flour, chili powder, cocoa powder, sugar and salt—set aside.
In a medium sauce pan, add tomato sauce, water, tomato paste. Heat and stir in flour mixture using a wisk. Continue stirring over medium heat while sauce thickens. Simmer 30-45 minutes stirring occasionally.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Vegetarian Enchilladas

from Martha Stewart

2 tablespoons olive oil + a little more for the baking dish
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 can reduced-sodium vegetable broth
coarse salt and ground pepper
12 oz grated pepper jack cheese
1 can black beans, rinsed & drained
10 oz box of frozen, chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 10 oz box frozen corn kernels, thawed
6 scallions, thinly sliced, white and green parts separated
16 6-inch corn tortillas

1. Make sauce: In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium. Add 1 teaspoon cumin, flour, and tomato paste; cook, whisking, 1 minute. Whisk in broth and 3/4 cup water; bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and cook until slightly thickened, 5 to 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and set aside.

2. Make filling: In a large bowl, combine 2 cups cheese, beans, spinach, corn, scallion whites, and remaining 1 teaspoon cumin; season with salt and pepper.

3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly oil two 8-inch square baking dishes; set aside. Stack tortillas, and wrap in damp paper towels; microwave on high for 1 minute. Or stack and wrap in aluminum foil, and heat in oven for 5 to 10 minutes. Top each tortilla with a heaping 1/3 cup of filling; roll up tightly and arrange, seam side down, in prepared baking dishes.

Dividing evenly, sprinkle enchiladas with remaining 1 cup cheese, and top with sauce. Bake, uncovered, until hot and bubbly, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool 5 minutes; serve garnished with scallion greens.

**To prepare for freezer,
Prepare enchiladas through step 3; top with cheese, and cover baking dishes with plastic wrap and then aluminum foil. Place sauce in an airtight container. Freeze enchiladas and sauce for up to 2 months.

To bake from frozen: Thaw sauce in refrigerator overnight (or microwave on high 2 minutes, stirring once halfway through). Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove foil and plastic wrap from baking dishes, and pour sauce over enchiladas; cover with foil. Bake 30 minutes; remove foil, and bake until bubbly, about 15 minutes more. Cool 5 minutes before serving.

Chicken Kebabs with Grilled corn and tomato salad

1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2 inch pieces
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
2 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper
4 ears corn, husks removed
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
2 scallions, chopped
1 teaspoon orange zest
8 6-inch skewers, soaked in water

Heat grill to medium high heat.
In a bowl, toss the chicken, garlic, thyme, 1 tablespoon of oil and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Thread the chicken onto the skewers.

Grill the chicken and corn, turning occasionally until the chicken in cooked through and the corn is charred--7 to 10 minutes for both.

In a bowl, toss tomatoes, scallions, orange zest, the remaining tablespoon olive oil, 3/4 teaspoon sald, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Serve with chicken and corn.

Gazpacho Salsa

2 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 small yellow bell pepper, diced
1 Kirby cucumber, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon each Kosher salt and black pepper
dippers (crostini, veggies, pita chips)

In a medium bowl combine tomatoes, bell pepper, cucumber, onion, vinegar, oil, and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Serve with the dippers.

Mint Chip Ice Cream Pie

8 oz chopped semisweet chocolate, melted.
4 cups crisped rice cereal (like Rice Krispies)
2 pints mint chip ice cream, slightly softened

In a large bowl, combine the chocolate and cereal until the cereal is completely coated. Transfer to a 9 inch springfoam pan. Press the mixture into the bottom and 1 inch up the sides of the pan. Freeze until firm, 5-10 minutes.

Spread ice cream in the prepared crust and freeze, covered, until firm, for at least 2 hours and up to 3 days.

Peach and Raspberry Parfait

2 peaches, cut into 2 1/2 inch pieces
1 1/2 cups raspberries
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 pint vanilla ice cream

In a large bowl, combine the peaches raspberries, sugar and lemon juice and let it sit, tossing once, for 20 minutes.

Scoop ice cream into bowls and top with the fruit mixture.

Ice Cream Snowballs

Really, who doesn't think these look amazing??!

1 pint vanilla ice cream
2 cups toppings (toasted slice almonds, shredded coconut, crushed ice cream cones, chopped toffee candy bars, chopped Oreos etc--use your imaginations!)

Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. Scoop ice cream into 8 balls. Place on the sheet and freeze until firm--about 9 minutes.

Place desired toppings in separate shallow bolws. Roll ice cream in toppings, pressing gently to help them adhere. Serve immediately or freeze, loosely covered, for up to 3 days.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Broccoli Salad

1 bunch finely chopped broccoli
2 slices of red onion, finely chopped
6 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled--drain the fat as much as possible
1/2 cup sunflower seeds, raw
1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup light mayo
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon vinegar (I used red wine vinegar since I was out of regular vinegar and it worked great!)

Combine the first bunch of ingredients in a bowl. Mix dressing with salad 2 hours before serving. Refrigerate. Stir before serving.

Beef and Vegetable Stew for the Crockpot

1 pound stew meat cut into bite sized pieces
2 cubed potatoes
1 large onion chopped
1 clove garlic
2 large carrots sliced
1/2 cup green beans cut up
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
2 14 oz cans beef broth

Combine all ingredients in a crock pot. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
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