Archive for Recipes

Heavenly Pasta & The Best Angel Food Cake. Ever.

Trav had a big weekend.  His birthday was on Saturday and then, of course, Father’s Day was yesterday.  He golfed Saturday morning and then he and I went to the Royals game that afternoon and had a great time (even though Trav’s precious Royals got the snot beat out of ’em).

I made a big birthday dinner and it turned out pretty stinkin’ yummy, if I may say so myself.  Once again, Pioneer Woman came through with a FABULOUS recipe that Trav, Arle, and I all loved.  It definitely earned a place on our “Favorite Meals” list.  It’s called “Penne a la Betsy” but I think I’m going to re-name it “Penne a la Heaven.”  It was just that good.  It makes a load, so invite some friends over and impress them with your culinary prowess.

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I wanted to make Trav a big yummy birthday cake and decided to go with my mother’s fabulous Java Angel Food Cake.  I actually just made up that name because I’m pretty sure it was name-less before now.  We’ve always just referred to it as, “You know, that one cake.  The angel food one with the coffee marshmallow icing and the toasted almonds on top?  Yeah, that one.”

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Here’s the how-to:

Bake one boxed angel food cake according to directions (side-note:  I’m usually a from-scratch-kind-a-gal, but for some reason I never go there with angel food cake).

Let the cake cool, then cut into three layers with a serrated knife.

In a non-stick skillet, pour in 1-Cup of strong coffee and 1 large bag of jumbo marshmallows.  Cook on medium-low heat just until the marshmallows are completely melted.

Remove from heat and sit on the counter until completely cool and thick.  Mix in one container of Cool Whip until the coffee mixture is completely incorporated.

Toast one small bag of sliced almonds in a skillet over medium-low heat just until nice and golden brown.

Spread icing over the bottom layer of cake and sprinkle some almonds on top.  Do the same for the second layer.  Put the final layer on and spread the remaining icing all over the cake and sprinkle the remaining almonds on top.

Store in the fridge or serve immediately.  Make sure you slice the servings with a serrated knife or else you’ll destroy your masterpiece.

Bon appetit!

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It’s What’s For Dinner

To celebrate our seven year anniversary, Trav took me on a hot date Friday night.  We started out down on the Plaza for drinks and hors d’ouevres on the patio at McCormick & Schmicks and then went to our favorite KC restaurant, Osteria Il Centro.  The food, drinks, and company were all great.

Even though we had already celebrated, I still wanted to do something special on our actual anniversary day.  I decided that the best thing to do would be to make one of Trav’s all-time favorite meals – Chicken Pesto Tortellini.  Lucky for me, this is one of the easiest meals in my repertoire. 

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Ok, so maybe the pic doesn’t look all that appealing, but it really is yummy.  Even Arle loves it.  If you want to give it a go, here’s the how-to.

1-20 pkg. of cheese filled tortellini cooked according to directions on package (I like the Bertolli 3-cheese tortellini that’s found in the refrigerator aisle)

1-Rotisserie chicken, remove skin and bones then cut chicken into bite-sized pieces

Homemade Pesto:

2 cups fresh basil, packed

2 cloves of fresh garlic

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 tsp. sea salt

1/4 tsp. ground pepper

1/2 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Optional:  1/2 cup toasted pine nuts

Put basil and garlic in a food processor.  Puree and slowly add olive oil.  Put into a bowl and stir in cheese, salt, pepper, and pine nuts. 

Place chicken into a large bowl.  Add the freshly cooked, hot pasta to the chicken.  Pour the pesto over the top and mix together.  Serve it up with a great salad and…VOILA!

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Grill ’em Up

If you’re not in the middle of a monsoon (like we seem to be) and are able to get to your grill this weekend, I strongly suggest whippin’ up this burger recipe from Pioneer Woman.  I don’t know if I will ever again be able to make hamburger patties without tossing in some brown sugar and Tabasco sauce.  It’s magic.  Toss on that blue cheese and wowzers…they are nummylicious!

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Nummylicious

Something fantastic happened in our home last night.

What, you ask? 

Pioneer Woman’s BBQ Meatballs, that’s what. 

Good golly, Miss Molly, oh me, oh my, these things are delish.  Or, as Arle would say, they’re “nummylicious.” 

Travis totally wanted to make out with me the moment he walked in the door and smelled the yumminess wafting through the air.  He really got excited when he found out mashed potatoes were also on the menu.  Potatoes don’t get a lot of action around here, because carbs are NOT my friend, but I do cave every now and then for the sake of my spud-lovin’ husband. 

Anyway, the meatballs were a hit all around.  I loved them.  Trav loved them.  Arle loved them. 

I whipped them and the sauce up while Arle was down for her nap.  I put them in the fridge, but waited to pour the sauce over them until just before I threw ’em in the oven last night.  Then I boiled and mashed the tators.  For our veggie, I blanched some fresh green beans, then sauteed them with some olive oil, butter, garlic, tarragon, salt and pepper. 

I was in the mood for comfort food and, believe me, I was definitely comforted with each and every bite. 

Meatballs

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Servin’ Up Some Hash

I have a slight  major case of writer’s block this morning.  It probably has something to do with the fact that my house is a wreck and our small group is meeting here tonight. 

Clean, clean, I must. 

On days like this, I usually take the easy way out and give you a recipe to try out.  It’s been awhile since I’ve posted one, so here ya go.  One of the staple dishes at our house is Rachael Ray’s Ham & Spinach Hash.  I’m not a huge Rachael fan, but in the words of my dear sweet daughter, this dish is “alicious!”  Translation = “delicious!”

This is a great dish to make for brunch or dinner.  It’s an easy one to substitute ingredients for, according to what you have on hand.  Any kind of potato or onion works.  Dried thyme is great in it.  I don’t put basil in when I don’t have the fresh stuff on hand. I rarely do the fried egg part, because Trav doesn’t really care for them all that much. 

Give it a try, it’s always a crowd pleaser in our house.  Even Arle goes to town on it.

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Bon Appetit!

chickenCooking is something I’ve enjoyed since I was a child.  Actually, I enjoyed baking more than cooking, but as a child I thought it was all the same.  Travis and I have been married almost seven years and one thing I learned quickly after tying the knot, was that I really didn’t know as much about “cooking” as I thought.  I could follow a recipe just fine, but when it comes to, what I call, free-style cooking like my mom, aunts, and grandmother do, I was clueless.  They are all fantastic cooks and seem to just be able to come up with meals out of nowhere.  AND they just happen to have all of the ingredients ready and waiting in the fridge and pantry.  I’m convinced they have some sort of super-power gene that I did not inherit. 

I had a breakthrough last night, though. 

I purchased one of those fantastic rotisserie chickens at the grocery store yesterday.  I was going to make one of Giada’s (Food Network Giada, of course.  Yeah, we’re on a first name basis.) dishes that called for one of these chickens.  After I was finished removing all the meat, I was about to throw away the bones and skin when I remembered something I recently heard or read or maybe totally made up in this crazy head of mine…you can use the carcass (sounds sick, I know) from these chickens to make your own homemade chicken broth.  I’ve made homemade broth a bajillion times before, but always with a raw cut up chicken.  I was under the impression you had to have the meat in order to make broth.  Au contraire, mon frere!  Not so!  Evidently, broth is all about the bones. 

Of course, I called my mother first to make sure I wasn’t delusional.  She said you can absolutely do this, there just wouldn’t be as much fat in the broth.  Even better!  I always skim the fat off my broth anyway, so this seemed perfect. 

Into the stockpot, the bones and skin went.  Then I added the following that just happen to be in my kitchen, longing to be used before they went bad.

5 peeled carrots

6 celery stalks

1 onion, quartered

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 Tbs. sea salt

1 Tsp. pepper

I boiled it for just over an hour and it was delicious!  Now, I’ll have homemade broth in the freezer the next time I have a chicken noodle soup craving.  Maybe I’m the last woman on the face of earth to find out about this easy-breezy concoction, but I don’t care.  At this moment, I feel so domestic.  Never again will I allow one of these precious skeletons go to waste.  From my kitchen, to yours…Bon appetit!

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Recipe O’ The Week

We hosted our church small group’s Christmas party last night and I tried out a new recipe that was quite a hit.  It’s Paula Deen’s Hot Spinach Artichoke Dip and can be found here on the Food Network website.  I added a dash of cayenne pepper and white pepper for some extra kick and only used one can of artichokes (like the reviews suggested).  I also mixed it up in the morning and let it sit in the fridge all day so the flavors could blend.  Because of this, I had to leave it in the oven longer (about an hour) and stirred it after the first 30 minutes.  Give it a try…YUMMY!

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