Saturday, April 30, 2011

Pizza Pasta

This recipe was contributed by Tori Cox via Sarah McKenna.

Our friend Jessica calls this "the ultimate college recipe."  Translation: The easiest recipe in the world.  I agree wholeheartedly.  So easy and my little boy LOVES it!

Pizza Pasta

1 lb. penne noodles, cooked and drained
Pepperoni  (I used the minis, but Tori uses the big ones and cuts them up.)
A jar of your favorite store-bought pasta sauce (I use Classico brand.)
Shredded mozzarella cheese  (As much as you'd like.  I like a LOT.)

Boil noodles.  Drain and return to pot.  Dump jar of sauce and pepperonis into the pot and stir.  Dump the mixture into a greased casserole dish.  Top with shredded mozzarella cheese.  Bake at about 325 until warm and the cheese is melted.  (30 mins?)  We put foil over the top for the first 20 minutes so the cheese wouldn't get too crusty.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Mom's Healthy Chicken

This recipe was contributed by Rachel Nielson

This is a staple in the Westover home!  It's a favorite for summer BBQs and parties.

1.  Combine:

1/2 c. packed brown sugar
6 T. olive oil
4 T. apple cider vinegar
3 medium garlic cloves
3 T. grainy mustard (like Guldens)
4 T. lemon juice
1 1/2 t. salt

2.  Marinate chicken overnight or all day.  (This is enough marinade for A LOT of chicken.  My recipe says 16 pieces/breasts!  I usually half this.  I am wondering if I could make the marinade, only use some of it, and then store the rest in my fridge.  I wonder how long it would last?)

3.  Grill chicken on the BBQ.  (I've also cooked the chicken on a skillet on the stove.  I'm sure it would work to bake it as well.)

Serve with rice pilaf.  Delicious!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts

This recipe was contributed by Sarah McKenna.  This is the ultimate party food.  So decadent.  YUM!

Bacon-Wrapped Water Chestnuts

Whole Water Chestnuts
(They come in a can in the Asian food aisle.  There were about 15 each in the cans that I bought.)
(1/2 slice per water chestnut)
Soy Sauce

Drain water chestnuts and soak in soy sauce for at least 30 minutes.  Cut bacon slices in half.  Wrap each water chestnut in half of a slice of bacon and use a toothpick to secure.  Lay them on a cookie sheet.  (Cover the cookie sheet with aluminum foil if you'd like to avoid a horrible clean up job.)  Broil until they look crispy.  Remove from oven.  Carefully flip them all over.  (Use the toothpicks.)  Broil again until the second side also looks crispy.  Serve.


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Caramel Corn

This recipe was contributed by Sarah McKenna.  It is my Granny's recipe.  It is an easy and cheap way to bring something special to a party.  The final steps are a lot easier with two people!  Yum!

Caramel Corn

2/3 cups unpopped kernels of popcorn

2 sticks butter
1 1/3 cups sugar
1/2 cup Light (White) Karo syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla

Pop the popcorn.  Our popcorn popper can only handle 1/3 cup of the kernels at one time.  Combine butter, sugar, Karo, and vanilla in a sauce pan.  Bring to a boil and let boil 1 1/2 minutes, stirring all the time.  (THIS IS WHERE YOU NEED TWO PEOPLE.)  Pour the caramel mixture over the popcorn and stir together.  Ball on wax paper and let dry out.  Make a day ahead when possible to avoid super-stickiness.


Saturday, April 9, 2011

Molten Lava Chocolate Cakes...yum yum yummer

This recipe was contributed by Rachel Nielson.

These molten lava cakes are so delicious and so easy that I am tempted to make them all the time.  It's possible that I made them twice last week.  You can bake them in ramekins, custard cups, or even just ceramic bowls.

2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup powdered sugar
2 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
6 Tbsp flour

Preheat oven to 425.  Butter four custard cups.  Place on baking sheet.  Microwave chocolate chips and butter in large bowl until butter is melted.  Stir until the chocolate is completely melted.  Stir in powdered sugar until well blended.  Whisk in eggs and egg yolks.  Stir in flour.  Divide batter between cups.

Bake 13-14 minutes or until sides are firm but centers are soft (and runny and gooey).  Let stand 1 minute.  Run knife around cakes to loosen.  Invert cooks into dishes.  Serve with vanilla ice cream!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Cowboy Caviar

This recipe was contributed by Sarah McKenna.  I got it from my friends Mark and Christie Weaver.  They call it "Shrapnel," but that sounds a little scary, so we'll stick with Cowboy Caviar for now.  :)

Be sure to read the tips below the ingredient list, because it makes a big difference when you make an effort not to let it get soggy!

Cowboy Caviar

1 can corn
1 can white beans (or navy beans)
1 can black beans
1 red pepper
1-2 roma tomatoes
1-2 avocados
Kraft Zesty Italian Dressing (it’s gotta be Zesty)

Rinse and drain the cans of corn and beans very well. I rinse them and then actually put them in the salad spinner. It keeps the shrapnel from getting all runny. (We don't have a salad spinner, so we rinse them well in a colander and then leave them there to dry for 5-10 minutes.)  Chop up the tomatoes, pepper, and avocado into bite-size pieces. Combine everything but the dressing in you serving bowl. Then add the dressing to taste. Start with maybe 1/3 cup. Enjoy.