Friday, February 19, 2010

The BEST Cole Slaw you will EVER eat!

No, really!  Now, I like cole slaw and all, but this made me LOVE it.  I made 2 batches of this and we ate it all within a week.  It was so good that we were still snacking on it at 8:00pm!!  This is an adapted recipe from Food Network for “Broccoli Cole Slaw.”



-2 bags Ramen Noodles in Oriental flavor (you can use whatever you have on hand, but this flavor tastes the best in this recipe)

-1/2 stick of butter

-1 bag (12 oz) cole slaw in the bagged salad section of the supermarket


-1/2 cup canola (or vegetable) oil

-1/4 cup brown sugar

-1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

-1 Ramen Noodle seasoning packet


Put the Ramen noodles in a bag and crush them with a rolling pin while melting butter in a large skillet over low/medium heat (you want them to be in small chunks).  Add the crushed noodles and sauté, stirring occasionally.  You can take them off the heat just before they start to brown. 


Meanwhile, whisk together all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl.  Place the shredded cole slaw into bowl and toss with noodles and salad dressing.  Refrigerate several hours before eating.


So good!  This will be great in the summer.  I just happened to make it on the day we got 13” of snow but it was tasty with some BBQ Beef Quesadillas (recipe to come soon).


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Acorn Squash 101

I LOVE Acorn Squash.  I thought more people ate it and enjoyed it as much as we did until the lady at the grocery store quizzed me about how to cook it and what it tasted like.  So I thought I would do a quick little lesson on how to cook and really enjoy Acorn Squash.  It has a long cooking time, but is easy to prepare and perfect for any time of year!

Step 1:


Choose your acorn squash.  We generally eat one half per adult.  I usually buy 2 and cook them all one night so we can just microwave the leftovers the second night.  Cut your squash in half, starting at the bottom end with a large kitchen knife.  The top is usually pretty tough to cut through, so if you start at the bottom and get most of the way through you can finish pulling it apart by hand.

Step 2:  Spoon all the “guts” out of your squash.  It should be nice and clean like the bottom picture when you are done.



Step 3: Place your squash cut side down in a lightly greased pan (can be glass or metal, doesn’t matter).  Cook at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Then turn them over and cook another 20 minutes.


Step 4: While squash is cooking, have your “assistant” take out EVERY piece of Tupperware that you own.  This is very important.


Step 5: Remove from oven and top as you wish.  You can use butter, maple syrup, brown sugar, etc. (these have butter melting in them already – YUM!)


And now a montage of brown sugary goodness!



(This is usually how I serve it.  I start to mush up the inside with my fork to get it started.  As you eat it, you’ll scrape the flesh from the inside of the rind and top with more brown sugar as you like!)

Saturday, February 6, 2010

White Cheddar Mac & Cheese


What is better than a big pan of Mac & Cheese?  I love this recipe because it also has peas and ham in it so you get a little veggie with it too.  White Cheddar is pretty rich so this meal lasts several nights.  I found this recipe in Southern Living Magazine.

Note: I can NEVER find White Cheddar cheese already shredded.  The “Cabot” blocks in the picture below are the only ones I can find at the store.  I buy two 8oz packages and shred it by hand.  If you do this, set the cheese out to come to room temperature about 15-20 minutes before you shred it.  Makes it MUCH easier to shred!



-1 pound Farfalle pasta

-2 Tbsp unsalted butter

-2 Tbsp flour

-2 cups milk

-1/2 tsp salt

-1/4 tsp black pepper

-1/4 tsp ground nutmeg *see note below*

-1 pound white cheddar cheese, shredded (about 4 cups)

-1 package (10 oz) frozen peas, thawed

-1/2 pound finely diced smoked ham

1.  Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Coat a 9x13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.  Cook pasta in lightly salted water following package directions, about 12 minutes.  Drain.

2.  While pasta is cooking, melt butter in a medium-sized, heavy-bottomed saucepan (not nonstick) over medium heat.  Stir in flour until well blended; cook 1 minute.  Whisk in 1 cup of milk and cook, whisking continuously, until smooth.  Whisk in remaining 1 cup milk and continue to cook, whisking until thickened and smooth, about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat; stir in salt, pepper and nutmeg (**I do not have nutmeg in the house, so I use Pumpkin Pie Spice.  You can’t really taste any of it in the final dish anyway so you can omit it completely if you want to**).  Whisk in 2 cups of the cheese until smooth.

3.  In a large bowl, mix together the pasta, cheese sauce and 1 cup of the remaining cheese.  Stir in the the peas and ham.  Pour into prepared baking dish.  Scatter remaining 1 cup cheese evenly over the top.DSC_0254

--I don’t have the patience (or memory) to thaw my peas beforehand, so I put my frozen peas in a glass measuring cup and fill with water.  Break them up with your fingers a little bit and let them sit in the water for a couple minuets.  They will thaw out enough for the recipe!--


4.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until bubbly.  Remove from oven; allow to cool 10 minutes.  May be served warm or at room temperature.


We added some Rosemary Focaccia – yum!


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Parking Lot Cookies

So I’m not sure where the name came from or even where the recipe came from, but these cookies are DELICIOUS!  They are quick and easy and can be made mostly from what you have in your pantry.  I made them because my husband has been on a Rice Krispie Treat kick and after making 4 batches of them in a week and a half, I needed something else to do with the Rice Krispies! 


-1 c shortening

-1 c white sugar

-1 c brown sugar

-2 eggs, beaten

-1 tsp vanilla

-2 c flour

-1 tsp baking soda

-1/2 tsp baking powder

-2 c oatmeal

-2 c Rice Krispies

-1 c chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix both sugars well, removing all lumps.  Add shortening, baking soda, baking powder, vanilla and beaten eggs.  Mix well.  Mix in flour.  Mix in chocolate chips.  Mix in oatmeal (starting to get thick – may want to start mixing it by hand).  Mix in Rice Krispies.  Roll up into teaspoon sized balls and mash with fork.  Place on bottom rack in oven and bake about 8 minutes or until bottoms of cookies start to brown.  Move to top rack for another 3 minutes or until lightly brown.  Cool.




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