Monday, May 26, 2014

rigatoni with grilled peppers and onions

This salad was SOOOO GOOD!  I am even more disappointed now that we couldn't go to a BBQ with friends this evening because one of my kids has strep throat because this would've been a good dish to share.  I can't enjoy a meal without my protein so I threw some grilled chicken into mine and I had a complete meal with this dish.  The one other disappointing thing was that as I cleaned up the kitchen after dinner I noticed the basil sitting with the fresh fruit.  I FORGOT THE BASIL!  Dang.  I'll add it to the leftovers.

rigatoni with grilled peppers and onions (Cassie Craves got it from Real Simple) 
2 medium red onions, sliced into rings (I simply halved mine)
2 large sweet bell peppers, cut into quarters
olive oil
kosher salt and pepper
12 ounces (4 to 5 cups) rigatoni
1 bunch spinach, stems trimmed, or one 5-ounce package
1 cup grated Parmesan
3/4 cup basil leaves, thinly sliced 

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Heat a grill or grill pan to medium-high.  In a large bowl, toss the onions, bell peppers, oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.  Grill, turning occasionally, until tender, 8 to 10 minutes.  Transfer to a cutting board and cut into bite-sized pieces.
Cook the pasta according to the package directions.  Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water, drain the pasta and return the pasta to the pot.  Add the grilled vegetables, spinach, the reserved pasta water and 3/4 cup of the Parmesan to the pasta and toss to combine.  Top with the basil and the remaining Parmesan before serving

firecracker cake

My oldest and I made this cake together and we can't wait to slice into it tonight.  Can you see the bottom layer is blue followed by white then red?  It's going to be pretty and festive!  We have some yummy food planned for dinner tonight and this cake will top it all off.  Happy Memorial Day!  A special thank you to everyone who has ever fought in any way to protect my country's freedom and for everyone who will continue to do so.  God Bless America!

firecracker cake (Spiced)
1 box Betty Crocker SuperMoise white cake mix
water, vegetable oil and egg whites called for on cake mix box
red food coloring
blue food coloring
1 container white icing (or make your own but be sure to add a little lemon extract!)
red, white and blue sprinkles

Heat oven to 325 degrees.  Generously grease a 12-cup fluted tube cake pan.  Make cake batter as directed on box.  Pour 1 cup of the batter into a small bowl; stir in red food color until well mixed.  Pour another cup of the batter into a separate bowl; stir in blue food coloring until well mixed.
Pour red cake batter into bottom of pan.  Carefully pour remaining white batter over red batter in pan.  Carefully pour blue batter over white batter.
Bake as directed on box or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean.  Cool cake 5 minutes.  Turn pan upside down onto a cake plate.  Cool cake completely, about 30 minutes.
When cake is cool, divide frosting evenly into 3 bowls.  Add food coloring into bowls so you have red, white and blue icing.  Snip one corner on 3 different zip-lock baggies.  Pour each color icing into a baggie.  Drizzle the food coloring onto the cake.  We used each color then went over the cake with each color again.  Sprinkle with sprinkles.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

food on a stick

My second oldest daughter came home from school yesterday super excited about a couple of books she got at her school library- a cookbook for "cooking school" and an art book for "art class"- classes that she teaches her younger sister and younger brother.  By the time I got into the kitchen she had everyone in aprons, the food was spread out and every child had an assignment.  The only thing she wanted me to do was to get a cutting board down for her- nothing else.  These little goodies are delightful and it was crazy to me that we had every ingredient on hand. The only thing I wasn't impressed about was the name given to this delectable little appetizer.  Food on a stick?

food on a stick (cookbook:  Better Homes and Gardens Snack Attack!)
cutting board
sharp knife
measuring cups
twelve bamboo skewers
serving plaste
plastic wrap

6 ounces sliced salami
6 ounces mozzarella or provolone cheese (we used pepper jack- we love it!)
1/2 cups cantaloupe and/or honeydew melon
1 cup purchased large pitted herbed green olives
3/4 cup cherry tomatoes

On the cutting board use the knife to slice salami and cube the cheese.  Use the mellon baller to ball the cantaloupe or a sharp knife to cut it into chunks.
On six of the bamboo skewers alternately thread salami, cheese, and melon balls.  On the other six skewers thread salami, cheese, olives and cherry tomatoes.  Place on a serving plate.  Cover with plastic wrap and chill up to 2 hours before serving.