Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Olive Garden Salad

This tastes just like the real deal. So fresh and flavorful!

Salad Dressing:
½ c. mayonnaise
1/3 c. white vinegar
1 tsp vegetable oil
2 Tb. corn syrup
2 Tb. Parmesan cheese
2 Tb. Romano cheese
¼ tsp garlic salt – or one clove garlic, minced
½ tsp Italian seasoning
½ tsp parsley flakes
1 Tb. lemon juice
1 large head romaine lettuce
slices red onion
black olives
2-4 banana peppers
2 small tomatoes, quartered
½ c. croutons
freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Mix all dressing ingredients in a blender until well mixed. If this is a little too tart for your own personal tastes, add a little extra sugar.
Chill one salad bowl in freezer for at least 30 minutes. Put lettuce in bowl. Place on top of lettuce red onions, black olives, banana peppers, tomatoes, and croutons. Add some freshly grated Parmesan cheese if you like, and add plenty of Salad Dressing on top.

basil pesto bread

this is a perfect snack for a summer afternoon, and delicious to serve before or with any italian meal. you can make and use you own pesto with the recipe i posted. see that recipe here.
cut up slices of french bread. spread a layer of pesto sauce on one side of each piece of bread. on top of that add slices of fresh tomato. sprinkle on shredded mozzarella cheese. finish it with fresh cracked pepper. place in oven on broil until cheese is melted. enjoy!

pesto sauce

i love pesto! use this with the basil from your garden at the end of the summer and freeze in freezer bags for the winter. this recipe also calls for walnuts instead of pine nuts which most traditional pesto recipes use. walnuts are easier to find and less expensive.

mix together in food processor or blender:
3 cups fresh basil leaves
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
3 cloves of garlic
1/3 cup parmesan cheese

while processing slowly pour in 1 cup extra virgin olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste.(it needs quite a bit). pour over noodles of your choice. it really doesn't take that much pesto to coat your noodles, so add a little at a time. freeze any leftovers for a later time.

italian stuffed shells

this looks messy, and it is, but you will love this! its like a ravioli but much more flavorful and satisfying.
1 box jumbo shells
spaghetti sauce of your choice
1 lrg container of cottage cheese
1/2 C. powdered parmesan cheese
2 eggs
1 Tbls. dried parsley
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
cook shells until tender. drain and set aside. mix all ingredients, except shells and spaghetti sauce, in the blender or food processor. fill each shell with cheese mixture. place stuffed shells in a deep baking pan. once all shells are stuffed and in the pan, pour spaghetti sauce over the shells until all shells are covered and there is some sauce in the bottom of the pan. sprinkle shredded mozzarella cheese over shells. bake for 30 min. at 350 degrees.

Crockpot Southwestern Chicken

another crockpot meal?? you betch ya! this is very filling and good!

1 small bag frozen corn
1 can black beans
2-3 large frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 16-oz jar medium salsa
shredded cheddar cheese
tortilla chips
sour cream
chopped cilantro
diced avocado
Pour bag of frozen corn in bottom of crockpot. Place frozen chicken breasts on top of corn and cover with rinsed and drained black beans and jar of medium salsa. Cook on high for 1 hour, and then on low for 4 hours. Shred chicken with forks. Serve with tortilla chips and add toppings to individual servings.**It is very important that you use MEDIUM salsa in this. Mild simply isn't flavorful enough. Be sure to serve with tortilla chips, and not tortillas. The salty crunchy chips make this so good!

lemon dreams

these are so dainty and sweet. perfect for a little girls tea party or for a shower. or just to make and enjoy on a sunday afternoon.

1 C butter (softened)
1/3 C powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 2/3 C flour
2/3 C sugar
1 ½ tsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. grated lemon peel
¼ tsp. salt
1 egg (beaten)
1 Tbsp.lemon juice
2 Tbsp. water
1 Tbsp. butter
1 ½ - 2 C powdered sugar (sift first)
Cream butter, powdered sugar, & vanilla. Add flour & mix till smooth. Chill for at least 30 minutes. Roll out with powdered sugar about 1/4” thick.Cut out with 1 ½” cookie cutter. Bake at 350 degrees for12-14 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool.
For filling:Combine sugar, cornstarch, lemon peel, & salt. Stir in water,egg, lemon juice, and butter. Simmer for2 minutes. Cool. Add powdered sugar. Put a spoonful of filling on one cookie and top with another cookie. Dust with powdered sugar. Makes approx. 1 ½ dozen

sweet and spicy pork combo- crock pot

another easy and yummy meal for those busy days.

1 pork tenderloin
1 bottle chili sauce (12 oz)
1 can jellied cranberry sauce
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
Place pork in slow cooker. Mix chili sauce, cranberry sauce and sugar in a separate bowl. Pour over pork. cover and cook on high 4-5 hrs. then low 3-4 hrs. Serve with rice.

baked asparagus with balsamic butter sauce

i love asparagus and i love balsamic vinegar!
1 bunch fresh asparagus
cooking spray
salt and pepper to taste
2 T. butter
1 T. soy sauce
1 tsp. Balsamic vinegar
preheat oven to 400 degrees. snap ends off of washed asparagus and place on baking sheet. coat with cooking spray( just a light spray will do) and season with salt and pepper. bake for 12 min or until tender. melt the butter in a sauce pan or in the micro. stir in soy sauce and balsamic. pour over baked asparagus and serve.

Yummy Crockpot Chicken

you seriously have to give this one a try. it is so easy and very tasty. i love to make this one on sundays. it is a recipe from my Aunt Julie, she is an amazing cook, so trust me on this one!

2 Pkg. cream cheese
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 pkg. zesty italian dressing (can be found by all the salad dressings. its in a seasoning packet.)
5-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts

Mix sauce in separate bowl with hand mixer until all cream cheese is blended, (you might want to soften the cream cheese in the micro first). pour over chicken in crock pot. cook on high 4-6 hours or low 8-10 hours. serve over rice or egg noodles. mmmmm!

strawberry lemonade ice pops

Strawberry Lemonade Ice Pops
1 can frozen lemonade concentrate (i used pink lemonade and it was a little bit tart, but o so good)
3 cups cold water (you may want to add a little more water, with 3 cups it tends to be a little bit strong. you can experiment and do what ever you like best)
1 pkg.(16 oz) frozen sliced strawberries
In a lrg. pitcher, stir together the lemonade concentrate and water. Place strawberries into the container of a blender, and puree until smooth. Pour in some of the lemonade if necessary to facilitate blending. Stir strawberry puree into the lemonade. Pour into molds, and freeze until firm, about 4 hrs.

i used dixie cups, of course you could use the store bought plastic molds. i cut our wax paper, and poked popcicle sticks in the middle. the sticks had a hard time staying up straight. when i made them the second time i used foil wrap and that worked out perfect. cling wrap didnt work so well either. when they were done, i just peeled off the cup.
you can make these with all differant fruit and juice combos.
i have tried orange juice with bananas and pinapple. you could also do limeade juice with strawberries. any combo is yum a dum!