Saturday, July 23, 2011

Strawberry Salad #31

Continuing on with my quest for homemade salad dressing.  This came from

The case:
2 bunches spinach, rinsed and torn into bite-size pieces
4 cups sliced strawberries
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 tablespoon poppy seeds

In a large bowl, toss together the spinach and strawberries.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, sugar, paprika, sesame seeds, and poppy seeds. Pour over the spinach and strawberries, and toss to coat.

This salad was tasty, but not the ultimate strawberry spinach salad.  I added Feta and chopped walnuts which added some great taste and texture.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Hooters Style Hot Wings

These are pretty much my favorite hot wings of all time.  When Michael and I first got married I made a list of all of our favorite foods and set out to try and make them.  One of the first dishes I tried were these.  The original recipe is from All Recipes.  It is still one of the highest rated recipes on the whole site.  I've tweaked it a bit to what I call "The Ultimate Restaurant Style Hot Wings."

Oil for frying
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup hot sauce
10 chicken wings, cut into wing and drum

1/2 cup all purpose flour
dash pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus some to sprinkle over wings

Mix breading ingredients.  Cover wings with breading and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Heat the oil to 375.  Fry wings in batches for 10 minutes.  Make sure to not over crowd pot.

 Heat butter, hot sauce, and garlic powder until combined over low heat.

Drain wings on a paper towel.  Sprinkle salt over hot wings.

 Put wings in another large bowl.  Pour sauce over top and shake bowl to cover.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

What Do You See?

I know I couldn't do this again if I tried, so I had to take a picture and post this.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Kentucky Butter Cake #29 & Vanilla Icing #30

I stumbled upon this recipe on All Recipes the other day.  I'm going to add an icing recipe I've been wanting to try for a while.  

The case:
Cake Recipe:
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 eggs

3/4 cup white sugar
1/3 cup butter
3 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease and flour a 10 inch Bundt pan.
In a large bowl, mix the flour, 2 cups sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Blend in buttermilk, 1 cup of butter, 2 teaspoons of vanilla and 4 eggs. Beat for 3 minutes at medium speed. Pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake in preheated oven for 60 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean. Prick holes in the still warm cake. Slowly pour sauce over cake. Let cake cool before removing from pan.
To Make Butter Sauce: In a saucepan combine the remaining 3/4 cups sugar, 1/3 cup butter, 2 teaspoons vanilla, and the water. Cook over medium heat, until fully melted and combined, but do not boil.

Icing Recipe:
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons milk
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon butter

Melt the butter and add to rest of ingredients. Mix until creamy.

The ruling:
This is one of the most moist cakes I've ever had.  I love that is is made from scratch.  I love the simple flavors.  The icing is a good basic recipe.  I added a little more milk to thin it out and it's still plenty thick.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Strawberry Pretzel Salad#28

One of my favorite sides of all time is strawberry pretzel salad, at least it is when it's good.  If it's mushy, especially the pretzel part, I'm not a fan.  For some reason, I've never tried to make it on my own.  I found this on All Recipes.

The case:
1 1/2 cups crushed pretzels
4 1/2 tablespoons white sugar
3/4 cup butter, melted
1 cup white sugar
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 (6 ounce) package strawberry flavored gelatin
2 cups boiling water
1 (16 ounce) package frozen strawberries

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Mix together the pretzels, 4 1/2 tablespoons sugar and melted butter. Press into the bottom of a 9x13 inch pan. Bake for 10 minutes, or until lightly toasted. Set aside to cool completely.
2. In a medium bowl, beat the sugar and cream cheese until smooth. Fold in whipped topping. Spread evenly over the cooled crust. Refrigerate until set, about 30 minutes.
3. In a medium bowl, stir together the gelatin mix and boiling water. Mix in frozen strawberries, and stir until thawed. Pour over cream cheese mixture in pan. Refrigerate until completely chilled, at least 1 hour.

This strawberry pretzel salad is hands down the best I ever had.  After reading the reviews, I left the strawberry mixture in the bowl and placed it in the fridge for 30 minutes before I constructed the salad.  At first, I thought this was a huge mistake, but everything ended up being perfect.  Each layer was separate and burst with flavor.  The pretzels were still crunchy, the middle perfectly sweet, and the top a punch of strawberry flavor!

Greek Salad Dressing #27

I'm trying to eat healthier.  Yes, I want to lose weight, but more than anything I want to for Ryder.  So, my goal is to eat something healthy at every meal.  One easy way to do that is to always have a side salad.  Even if you're eating pizza, you can make it a little healthier by having a salad with it.  I'm not a big fan of most bottled salad dressings, so I'm on a mission to find an easy one to make at home.  I love Greek dressings, so when I saw this on All Recipes I knew I had to try it, especially since all the ingredients I already have on hand.

The case:
1/4 cup and 2 teaspoons olive oil
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
3/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
1/3 cup and 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

Mix ingredients together.

The ruling:
I used this dressing with a bag of spinach and spring mixture.  I topped it with walnuts and feta as well.  I really liked this dressing.  The tangyness of the vinegar with the salty feta was delicious! I could eat this side salad any night.

Bacon Mac and Cheese #26

This is another delightful dish from Plain Chicken.   It is actually a dish from Emeril.

The case:
Coarse salt
1/2 pound bowtie or elbow macaroni
3 slices bacon, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces (or use a 3oz bag of bacon pieces)
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
3 large eggs
1 can (12 ounces) 2% evaporated milk
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar (6 oz)
1/2 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese (2 oz)
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan

Preheat oven to 475 degrees. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta 6-8 minutes (it will be undercooked). Drain. Meanwhile, heat a small skillet over medium and add bacon. Cook until fat is rendered and bacon is crisp, about 10 minutes.  (OR skip this step and use a bag of bacon pieces) Add garlic and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds. With a slotted spoon, transfer bacon mixture to a medium bowl. Add pasta and stir to combine.

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and evaporated milk. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, cayenne, nutmeg, and cheeses; mix well. Add macaroni mixture and stir well to combine. Transfer to an 8- or 9-inch square baking dish or 2-quart gratin dish. With a spoon, gently spread mixture to form an even layer. Bake just until sauce is bubbling at edges, 12 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.

The ruling:
Love this! It's perfect-  easy and great flavors with ingredients I usually have on hand.  What's not to love?