Friday, July 16, 2010

Linguini with Sweet Peppers

A light, delicate pasta dish.  Pairs well with chicken, white fish or beef or serve by itself for a vegetarian meal.
Serves 4
  • 1 lb. Linguini
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 1 Yellow Bell Pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 4 cloves Garlic, finely chopped
  • 4 tbsp Fresh Basil, chopped
  • 3 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
  • Salt & Pepper
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and set aside.
  2. Preheat skillet over medium heat; saute peppers in oil until they are crisp tender.
  3. Add garlic and basil, cook 1 minute longer.
  4. Add the pasta and parmesan to the pan, toss well with vegetables.
  5. Add salt and gresh ground pepper to taste, drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil and serve.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Mint Surprise Cookies

A mint-chocolate grasshopper cookie wrapped in a sugar cookie.  A real crowd pleasure for kids and adults by Lacey Johnston.
Makes about 20 cookies.
  • 2/3 cup Butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup Sugar
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1 Egg, room temperature
  • 1 tbsp Milk
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 2 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 20 Grasshopper Cookies
  1. Preheat oven to 375* degrees F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium-high speed for 30 seconds.
  3. Add sugar, salt and baking powder, mix till combined.
  4. Beat in egg, milk and vanilla till combined.
  5. Beat in flour, slowly in 4 parts, mixing till combined between each addition.
  6. Divide the dough in half, cover and chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  7. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough 1/8" thick.
  8. Cut into rounds slightly larger than the grasshopper cookies.
  9. Place one grasshopper cookie between two sugar cookie rounds, pinch edges to seal in cookie.
  10. Place 1" apart on ungreased cookie sheet, bake for 7 - 8 minutes or until golden.
  11. Transfer to wire rack and let cool completely.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Mexican 10 Layer Dip

A cool, refreshing summer picnic treat, just don't forget the tortilla chips.  Great for BBQ or mexican night by Lacey Johnston.
Serves 10 - 20
  • 8 oz. Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1 tbsp Taco Seasoning
  • 1 jar Mild Salsa (I prefer Newman's Own)
  • 1 cup Black Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup Green Onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Cheddar Cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup Jack Cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup Iceburg Lettuce, shredded
  • 2 tbsp Black Olives, sliced
  • 1 jar Salsa Con Queso (I prefer Tostitos)
  • 1 1/2 cups Sour Cream
  • 2 tbsp Tomatoes, diced
  • 1 tbsp Green Chilies, diced
  • 2 Bags Tortilla Chips
  1. In a small bowl, beat cream cheese, sour cream and taco seasoning until well blended and creamy.
  2. Spread onto the bottom of a pie plate or square casserole dish.
  3. Layer salsa, con queso, black beans, cheese, green onions, lettuce, olives, tomatoes, chilies (in that order).
  4. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.
  5. Serve with tortilla chips for dipping.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Chocolate Cake

A moist, super fluffy classic chocolate cake by Better Homes & Gardens.  Pairs well with The Best White Frosting (as shown).
Serves 12 - 16
  • 3/4 cup Butter, softened
  • 3 Eggs
  • 2 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 3/4 cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 3/4 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • 2 tsp Vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups Milk
  1. Allow butter and eggs to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.  Meanwhile, lightly grease two 8" round cake pans and then dust with flour to prevent sticking.  Preheat oven to 350* degrees F.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt; set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds.  Gradually add sugar, about 1/4 cup at a time, beating on medium speed until well combined (3 - 4 minutes). Scrape sides of bowl and beat for an additional 2 minutes.
  4. Add eggs, 1 at a time to butter mixture, beating after each addition.
  5. Alternately, add flour mixture and milk to butter mixture, beating on low speed after each addition, just till combined.  Beat on medium to high speed for 20 seconds more.
  6. Spread batter evenly into prepared pans, tap pans on counter to remove air bubbles.
  7. Bake for 35 - 40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Cook cake layers in pans for 15 minutes.
  9. Remove from pans and let cool completely on wire racks before frosting.

The Best White Frosting

A creamy, ultra white frosting that isn't too sweet by Lacey Johnston. Makes about 3 cups (frosts two 8" or 9" cake layers)
  • 1 cup Shortening
  • 4 tbsp Butter, softened
  • 2 tsp Vanilla
  • 16 oz. Powdered Sugar
  • 6 tbsp Milk
  1. In a large mixing bowl, beat shortening, butter and vanilla with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds.
  2. Add half the powdered sugar and 4 tbsp milk, beat till combined on medium speed.
  3. Add remaining powdered sugar and more milk as needed to reach spreading consistency. 

Friday, July 2, 2010

Lacey's Meatloaf

A moist, classic meatloaf prepared with the traditional ketchup glaze.  Can also be made with a mixed sweet pepper relish (as shown above) by Lacey Johnston.
Serves 6 - 8.
  • 1 lb. Ground Beef (10% fat)
  • 1/2 lb. Ground Pork
  • 5 Crimini Mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 Eggs
  • 3/4 cup Milk
  • 2 slices of Bread, cut into small cubes
  • 1/2 White Onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves Garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp Fresh Parsley, chopped
  • 1 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1/8 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Dried Basil
  • 1/4 tsp Dried Oregano
  • 1/4 cup Ketchup
  • 2 tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp Mustard Powder
  1. Preheat oven to 350* degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine eggs and milk, beat slightly with a fork.
  3. Add bread crumbs, mushroom, onion, parsley, salt, oregano, basil, pepper and meat. Mix well with hands till well combined.
  4. Lightly pat mixture into an 8 x 4 x 2" bread loaf pan.
  5. Bake for 1 hour or until internal temperature reaches 160* degrees F.
  6. Meanwhile, mix ketchup, mustard and brown sugar in a small bowl, set aside.
  7. When 30 minutes of cook time remains, spoon off excess fat and glaze with 3/4 of ketchup mix.
  8. When the loaf reaches 160* degrees, add remaining glaze and cook another 10 minutes.
  9. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
Cooks Note: To prepare with mixed sweet pepper relish, do not prepare ketchup glaze.  Slow cook over medium-low heat in 2 tbsp oil, 1 Red Bell Pepper, 1 Yellow Bell Pepper and 1 Yellow Onion cut into small cubes.  When vegetables are very tender and meatloaf reaches 160* degrees F, top meatloaf and let cook another 10 minutes.