Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Chicken Pasta Salad

4-5 chicken breasts or about 8-10 tenders
1 package Rotini pasta
1/2 cup chopped green onion
1 cup chopped cashews
35-40 grapes
1 can pineapple chunks, drained and halved
2 Fuji apples, cut into pineapple juice
1 cup Miracle Whip
1 cup Mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
3 teaspoons sugar

I decided to make this on the first nice day we had in a while. It's such a refreshing meal, but it doesn't normally last very long. This is one of my favorite things to eat when the weather is nice. You don't have to heat your entire house to cook a meal, it's filling, and, if you take out the mayo and miracle whip, it's kind of good for you.
I use frozen chicken tenders and simmer the chicken with a bit of seasoned salt. Cool about 4 hours, or until room temp.
For best results, refrigerate overnight before serving.

Cheese & Sausage Bundles

I haven't been cooking a whole lot lately, because of work. But what I have been making has been delicious. With this recipe, I dabbled with frying food. They turned out very well and it's very simple. I personally think that the salsa is best the day after it is made. The flavors mix together and it tastes more like a salsa you would buy.

1/4 pound Italian sausage
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
1 can diced green chilies, drained on paper towels
2 Tablespoons finely chopped green onion
40 won-ton wrappers
1 quart vegetable oil, for frying

16 ounce can petite diced tomatoes w/green chilies
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves minced garlic
2 Tablespoons chopped green onion
3 Tablespoons chopped parsley

Prepare the salsa before frying the bundles. This salsa is supposed to be served warm.
I put a rounded teaspoon of filling into the middle of the won-ton, wet 2 edges, and fold over into a triangle. It's the easiest way I have found.
To fry, use a stock pot, Dutch oven, or electric skillet. With the electric skillet, it will heat the oil, tell you when it's ready, and make sure the temperature remains the same throughout cooking.
To reheat any leftover bundles, either fry, bake, or put in the microwave. With the microwave, they get a little chewy, but if you put salsa over the top, it' not so bad.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

A Not So Easter Dinner

One of my friends is coming over this afternoon for dinner and we decided we didn't want the typical ham for our Easter Dinner.  Instead, we'll be having French Dip Sandwiches, Tomato Avocado and Corn Salad with a Honey Lime Dressing, Homemade Mac and Cheese, and Ricotta Pound Cake with Strawberry and Raspberry Topping.  I've made these sandwiches several times and each time I get excited to eat, because they are so good!  They are so simple.  Just throw your pot roast in the crock pot with worchestershire sauce, a little red wine, beef stock and a packet of onion soup mix.  (Even though I don't serve the carrots, I put some in the crock pot and eat them later while I cook.  Those are always my favorite part of pot roast!)  Leave to cook for about 8 hours.  When the roast is done, pull the meat apart and put a generous amount on a roll (I like ciabatta) with your choice of cheese, my favorite is horseradish cheddar.  Put under broiler until cheese is bubbly and beginning to brown.  Serve the sandwiches with the juice left in the crock pot.  Delicious and easy!  The mac and cheese will just be thrown together with whatever ingredients I pull out at the time.  It's not rocket science.  The reason for my post today is to tell you about the pound cake!  I was looking through my fridge last night and was trying to decide what I could make with strawberries and ricotta, because they've been in my fridge for a little bit and needed to get used.  I went on to foodnetwork.com and found a recipe for ricotta pound cake.  Perfect!  I'll make pound cake with strawberries and whipped cream!  Most recipes for pound cake call for all butter, but since this recipe has part skim ricotta, it's practically health food!  Then with the strawberries on top, there's no doubt this food is good for you.  Here is Giada's recipe:


  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, room temperature, plus more to grease the baking pan
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk ricotta cheese (I used part skim)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar, plus 1 tablespoon
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 orange, zested (I didn't have an orange, so I did without and it still turned out delicious!)
  • 2 tablespoons Amaretto
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting
  • 1 pint strawberries, hulled and quartered or 3 oranges, cut into supremes


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 by 5 by 3-inch loaf pan with butter. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir to combine.
Using an electric mixercream together the butter, ricotta, and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. With the machine running, add the eggs 1 at a time. Add the vanilla, orange zest, and Amaretto until combined. Add the dry ingredients, a small amount at a time, until just incorporated. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick comes out clean and the cake is beginning to pull away from the sides of the pan, about 45 to 50 minutes. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Using a mesh sievedust the cooled cake with powdered sugar.
Meanwhile, place the strawberries (or orange supremes) in a small bowl with the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar. Let sit until the juices have pooled around the strawberries.
To serve, slice the cake and serve with a spoonful of strawberries and their juices over the top of the cake.