Creating memories in the kitchen...One meal at a time.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

BBQ Chicken Pizza

We really like pizza around here. We've tried, this, this and this. My newest attempt was BBQ Chicken Pizza. I've ordered it several times at restaurants but never made it at home.

Basically, you take your traditional tomato pizza sauce and replace it with bbq sauce. Next load it up with grilled chicken, two kinds of cheeses, and top it off with red onion and a sprinkling of cilantro.

Delicious and different, I loved this twist on classic pizza. The bbq sauce and chicken were like peanut butter and jelly. Just made for each other. Mixed with red onion, cilantro, and lots of cheese, this pizza will be a regular on our pizza menu. If you're feeling indulgent, crumble some crispy bacon and add with chicken.

BBQ Chicken Pizza
Adapted from Taste and Tell

1 recipe pizza crust. I used the recipe below

Slow-Rise Pizza Dough
2 1/4 teaspoons yeast
1 1/3 cup water
3 1/2 to 4 cups flour
2 teaspoons salt.

Directions for baking pizza:
Preheat oven to 475 degrees. (If using a pizza stone, let stone heat for at least 30 minutes in the oven before baking pizza.) If baking in a sheet pan, press dough onto sheet pan and top with sauce and toppings. Bake for about 12 minutes (checking often) until crust is browned and cheese is golden and bubbly. If baking on the preheated pizza stone, slide pizza onto stone and bake for about 8 minutes. Makes 2 medium pizzas.

1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, grilled and cut into bite sized pieces
1/4-1/3 cup bbq sauce (I basically spread around an amount that looked good)
1- 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded smoked Gouda or cheddar cheese (I've told both and they're each delicious)
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
2 tsp. finely chopped cilantro

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F.

Roll out pizza dough. Spread bbq sauce evenly over crust. Sprinkle  half the mozzarella and all of the Gouda or cheddar cheese. Top with chicken and onion slices. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese.

  Bake pizza for 10 to 15 minutes or until the crust is lightly brown. Top with cilantro. Makes 1 medium pizza.

Posted by: Sallie
Pin It!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Peanut Butter Cup Caramel Shortbread Bars

Peanut butter cup caramel shortbread bars. Doesn't just the name make you want to start drooling? I'm a sucker for peanut butter cups alone but combining them with caramel and a buttery shortbread crust. Forget it!

These are amazing! Loved them. Make them.
Peanut Butter Cup Caramel Shortbread Bars
Recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour by Our Best Bites

1 c. salted butter at room temperature
1 c. powdered sugar
2 c. all-purpose flour, lightly spooned into measuring cups and leveled with a knife
1 tsp. vanilla
2 c. caramels (1 14-oz. package Kraft caramel or 2 c. homemade caramel)
3 tablespoons cream (see notes above)
3 cups mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (about 1 1/2 11-oz. bags)
Preheat oven to 300. Spray a 9×13″ pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
In a large bowl or the bowl of your mixer, combine the butter, sugar, flour, and vanilla until the mixture comes together. Lightly press the shortbread dough into the pan. Prick with a fork to prevent the crust from bubbling. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until the crust is lightly golden. Remove from oven and run a knife around the edges of the bars. Allow to cool completely.
Combine the caramels and cream in a microwave-safe bowl and heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring each minute, until the mixture is smooth. Spread evenly over the cookie crust, then place the pan in the refrigerator and chill for 30-60 minutes or until the caramel is solid.
In a microwave-safe bowl, heat the unwrapped Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups until melted and smooth, stirring each 45 seconds. Spread over the cooled caramel. Place in refrigerator for 1-2 hours or until the chocolate layer is solid. They can also be placed in the freezer for less time if you’re in a hurry. Cut into squares and serve. Store leftovers in a cool area or the refrigerator to prevent messy disasters.

Posted by: Sallie
Pin It!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Sweet and Sour Glaze

Now that warmer temperatures are approaching, my menu is leaning towards simple, light  dishes I can make quickly.

Pork tenderloin is a crowd pleaser around here and so versatile. There are so many different marinades, sauces and rubs you can use. The sky's the limit. Plus it goes really well with almost any side dish. Roasted veggies, salads, rice or couscous, potatoes ,etc.
My kids love sweet and sour and  pretty much anything with sauce so when I spied this in the Our Best Bites Cookbook it went straight on the menu.

Pork tenderloin is marinated in a super simple sauce and then basted during the last few miutes of cooking with the same marinade. How simple is that. Moist, juicy, flavorful. It turned out fantastic. 

Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Sweet and Sour Glaze
Our Best Bites Cookbook

*Plan ahead. The pork needs to marinate for 4-10 hours.*

1-1 /1 lbs. pork tenderloin

For the Glaze:
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup apple jelly
1 1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
3/4 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper

In a small bowl, combine all the marinade ingredients. Reserve 1/4 cup of this marinade and pour the rest over the pork tenderloin in a ziploc bag. Marinate 4-10 hours.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove the pork from the bag and place the tenderloin on a foil lined baking dish. Place in preheated oven and bake until internal temperature of the roast reaches 160 degrees F, about 20-25 minutes, basting with reserved sauce during last 10 minutes of cooking.

Let stand for 5 minutes then slice into 1/2 in pieces. Spoon pan juices over roast before serving.
asting with the reserved marinate during the last 10 minutes of cooking.

Posted by: Sallie
Pin It!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Salad de Maison with Fresh Lemon Dressing and Homemade croutons

I'm usually pretty boring when it comes to dinner salads but when I'm having company or hosting a special event I want something out of the ordinary. I make this salad a lot for those type of occasions and it always gets rave reviews, but it's  nice to have a few different recipes to rotate.(Anyone out there with a fabulous salad recipe? Please share!)

To make a salad look extra fancy I always use hearts of romaine (Hearts are the tender, innermost leaves - more delicate, brighter in color, and milder in flavor than the outer leaves) and then add to it with either baby spinach or a spring mix that includes a mixture of different lettuces like baby Lettuce, Baby Greens, Endive, & Radicchio.

This salad was delicious! The dressing, made from mostly oil with a touch of honey and lemon juice, was really light and fresh. It was the perfect accompaniment to all the different textures from the crunchy toasted almonds, crispy bacon, grated cheeses and homemade croutons! This salad will be going in the tried and true file!

Salad de Maison with Fresh Lemon Dressing
adapted slightly from A Bountiful Kitchen

1 large Heart of Romaine lettuce, cleaned & 1 small container spring mix lettuce
2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes, cut in half
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 cup grated Swiss cheese (I used mozzarella)
1 package center cut bacon, cooked and chopped (or pre-cooked bacon, crisped and chopped)
1 1/2 cup homemade croutons
1 package (4 oz) slivered almonds, toasted

Combine all salad ingredients in a large bowl. Just before serving, toss with about 1/3 cup of the prepared dressing.

Salad de Maison dressing
3/4 cup oil (I used safflower oil but canola or olive oil would be other great choices)
Juice of 1 lemon
2-3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Combine all ingredients, mix well and chill. This is enough for 2 whole salads.
Homemade Croutons

about 1/3 loaf french bread (or whole if you want a lot of croutons)
3 tbsp. melted butter (olive oil would work well too)
garlic salt to taste ( I think I used about 1/2 tsp.)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cut bread into slices and then into 1 in. cubes. Drizzle with melted butter and toss to combine. Sprinkle with garlic salt to taste. Toss again.
Place cubes on cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown, tossing half way through.

Makes approx 3 cups of croutons.

Posted by: Sallie
Pin It!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Toffee Chip Snickerdoodles


It's been awhile since a new cookie recipe has graced our house. I mean with good old chocolate chip, peanut butter, triple chocolate, and oatmeal, one could lead a pretty happy existence.

My family, especially my husband and kids, love snickerdoodles so when I saw this "kicked up" version from recipe girl I had to try it.

They turned out slightly crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. Bursting with morsels of chocolate and crunchy toffee, I think we found a winner!

Toffee Chip Snickerdoodles
Recipe Girl

Yield: About 3 dozen cookies
Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 16 min

An alternative variety for Snickerdoodle and Chocolate Chip Cookie lovers...


2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups granulated white sugar, divided
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
2/3 cup chopped Heath bar chocolate toffee


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat mats.
2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. In a separate, small bowl, stir together 1/2 cup of sugar and the cinnamon; set both bowls aside.
3. In a large bowl, use electric mixer to beat butter and remaining 1 1/2 cups sugar until blended together (about 1 minute). Add eggs and vanilla extract; mix until blended (about 1 minute). Add flour mixture and mix just until incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips and toffee pieces.
4. Scoop out a heaping Tablespoonful of dough and use your hands to roll it into a ball. Roll in the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Repeat with remaining dough. Place cookies 3 inches apart on the cookie sheets (I baked 8 at a time and found that was perfect).
5. Bake cookies until edges are golden, centers are still golden and no longer look raw in the middle- about 16 minutes. Cool cookies on baking sheet for at least 5 minutes, then remove to a rack to cool completely.


*If you don't have access to Heath candy bars- you can always use packaged toffee bits or some other kind of toffee candy bar.

Posted by :Sallie
Pin It!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Chicken Fajita Bowls

I know, more Mexican Food. Big shocker huh? I can't help it. Maybe it's some leftover California blood.

When I saw this recipe, I knew just what to use my leftover chicken fajitas for. (These really are the best fajitas, we love them!)Fajita bowls bursting with Spanish rice, moist chicken, juicy peppers, onions, and black beans. We topped ours with avocado, cheese, sour cream, pico and salsa.

 It's a great weeknight meal with simple flavors that come together beautifully. Pretty healthy too. My husband and I both ate this twice and were fighting for the leftovers!  I adapted the recipe to suite our tastes and use the leftovers on hand. We loved it so much, the steak version is on the menu for this week!

Chicken Fajita Bowls
inspired by Favorite Family Recipes

1 recipe chicken fajitas  ( depending on how many you're feeding. I had about half the fajita recipe leftover and it fed my husband and I twice.) or 1 lb. chicken breast, sliced into thin strips,1  can diced green chilies, 2 cloves garlic,1/2  c. chicken broth, 1 pkg. fajita seasoning, divided 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil, 1 onion, thinly sliced,1/2 green bell pepper, thinly sliced, 1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced

this yummy Mexican rice or prepared package of your favorite Spanish rice

1 can black beans (rinsed and drained)

Flour tortillas

grated cheddar or Monterey jack cheese

Toppings- avocado, pico de gallo, sour cream, salsa, etc.

Use leftovers from above chicken fajitas or place chicken strips, chilies, garlic,  broth, and 1 Tbsp. fajita seasoning in a large plastic Ziploc bag. Press all the air out and let marinade for at least 1 hour. Heat vegetable oil in large skillet. Drain some of the marinade (you don't need to drain it all out, you still want most of the chilies in with the chicken) and add chicken to skillet. Stir-fry until cooked through. Stir in remaining fajita mix. Add onion and peppers.  **If you are making your own fajita mix or using leftovers, skip this step and just use your already prepared fajita mixture.**

Prepare desired rice. Add beans and stir together with rice until hot. Prepare bowls by placing a tortilla inside of the bowl. Add rice/bean mixture to bowl. Add chicken and peppers/onions. Top with sliced avocado, cheese and any other garnishes.

Posted by: Sallie

Pin It!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Baked Oatmeal- Splurge and Slender

I think I've mentioned before that oatmeal for breakfast is big around here. Most days I have plain oatmeal topped with some type of fruit and a drizzle of maple syrup or a sprinkling of  brown sugar.

My better half however, is an oatmeal hater. His issues:

1- Both of us are up and running at 5 a.m.. Who wants to be cooking oatmeal at that hour? (I might be a nice wife, but not that nice!)

2- It has to be firm and flaky. No gloppy or slimy oatmeal for him.

3- He much prefers room temperature or cold oatmeal.

The solution?

Baked oatmeal! This Baked Oatmeal  (originally posted on Mel's Kitchen Cafe) mixed with eggs, milk, brown sugar and a few other simple ingredients you probably already have on hand. Firm, flaky and thanks to a healthy dose of brown sugar, more cake-like than oatmeal.

Still, there's one problem. More of a special occasion, serve to company kind of breakfast, this delicious oatmeal felt a little to decadent to be eating on a regular basis. Mel to the rescue again! Thanks to her ongoing commitment to feed her family a more healthful diet, she remade the recipe to cut back the sugar, sub out some oil for applesauce, and still keep the delicious flavor.

Every week I half the recipe and cut it into squares. I store it in the refrigerator, for my now oatmeal loving husband, who can grab a square and be on his way. He's happy, I'm happy, we're all happy!

Baked Oatmeal  Slender Version
adapted slightly from Mel's Kitchen Cafe

6 cups oatmeal, either quick or old-fashioned
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup applesauce (cinnamon applesauce is delicious)
2 cups milk
4 beaten eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients together and pour into a greased 9X13-inch baking pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve with milk and/or fresh fruit. (Can be halved and baked in a 8x8 or 9x9 pan.)

Baked Oatmeal  Splurge Version
Mel's Kitchen Cafe

6 cups oatmeal (we prefer quick oats)
2 cups brown sugar
1 cup oil
2 cups milk
4 beaten eggs
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients together and pour into a greased 9X13-inch baking pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Top with fresh fruit and milk, if desired. This recipe can easily be halved and baked in an 8X8-inch pan.
Pin It!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Chocolate Mousse Crunch Cake

Pictures from Our Best Bites

This was the other recipe I chose for Mother's Day dessert. Simple, but delicious was my theme! I had seen this recipe several times while browsing through Sara and Kate's blog, but I recently purchased their cookbook (isn't it so cute) and decided to finally try it.

Don't be intimidated by the mousse, cake or ganache. Even though there are three parts to this recipe, each is super simple and takes minimal time. While your cake is baking, make your ganache and mousse. You can even choose to make them on separate days. Just bake your cakes, freeze and defrost when ready to use.

I love lots of different textures in my food and this cake delivered. Moist, chocolate cake, creamy chocolate mousse, crunchy pieces of chocolate covered toffee and silky chocolate ganache. Not for the faint of heart, this is a true chocolate lovers dream.

Chocolate Mousse Crunch Cake
Recipe by Our Best Bites

1 package Duncan Hines Devil’s Food Cake
1 recipe (give or take a little) Chocolate Ganache (see recipe below)
Crushed Heath bars or a bag of chocolate-covered Heath bits
1 tsp. unflavored gelatin
1 Tbsp. cold water
2 Tbsp. boiling water (just heat it in a small bowl in your microwave)
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 c. whipping cream
1 tsp. vanilla
Bake cake according to cake mix instructions in 2 8″ round pans. Allow to cool and set aside. This can be done several days in advance; just freeze the cakes when you’re done.
In a small bowl, combine gelatin and cold water and allow to stand for about 1 minute. While gelatin is softening, bring 2 Tbsp. water to a boil in the microwave. Whisk into the softened gelatin and allow to cool slightly.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine sugar, cocoa powder, whipping cream, and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer until medium-stiff peaks form. Mix in gelatin mixture and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Prepare ganache.
Super Easy Chocolate Ganache
Recipe by Our Best Bites
8 oz. semi-sweet or dark chocolate
8 oz. heavy cream
Combine chocolate and heavy cream in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat for 2 minutes and stir. Heat for an additional 1-2 minutes or until chocolate is fully melted and can be whisked and incorporated into the cream. Be sure and scrape the sides and bottom to make sure you don’t find any globby bits of chocolate when you start working with it.
The ganache will thicken as it cools, so if it’s a little too thin for you, hang tight and it will be ready pretty quickly. When it’s completely cool, it will be thick and fudgy and can be used like frosting. Store in an airtight container. You can reheat it to achieve your desired consistency
With a serrated knife, carefully slice the dome-iest part of each cake layer off so the layers are level. Place one layer on the serving plate and spread about 1/2 of the chocolate mousse over the cake. Sprinkle with Heath bits.
Place second layer on top of Heath bits.
Spoon ganache over the top layer, allowing it to drip down the sides. Sprinkle with additional Heath bits and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Posted by: Sallie
Pin It!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Strawberry Shortcake With Almond Glaze

Picture from The Sister's Cafe

Since my in-laws live about five minutes away, we usually celebrate holidays with them. Our Mother's Day tradition is to go to their house and my Father in Law always barbecues. We were in charge of dessert and I wanted something nice but simple.

Because this recipe uses a cake mix, it really simplifies things. The added sour cream, vanilla pudding  and almond extract make it taste extra special. Topped off with homemade whipped cream, fresh bright strawberries, and a delicious, yet simple, almond glaze, this dessert was a hit! My nephew and one of my brother-in-laws both requested it for their birthday cakes.

*I have been having camera issues which I think are finally resolved so hopefully I'll be snapping my own photos again.*

Strawberry Shortcake with Almond Glaze
adapted slightly from The Sister's Cafe

1 yellow cake mix
1 cup sour cream
4 eggs
1 small instant vanilla pudding mix (3.4 oz. size)
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup water
2 tsp almond extract

Mix all the above ingredients together for a few minutes until well combined.(I followed the mixing directions on the cake mix.)  Pour the batter into 2 round cake pans. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 45-50 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes and then gently remove from pans and allow to cool on a wire rack.

Almond Glaze
2 cups powdered sugar
3 Tb butter, melted
2 tsp almond extract
3-5 Tb milk, if needed (the original recipe called for 1-2 tbsp but I needed quite a bit more. Just thin it out enough to be able to drizzle over the cake.)

Mix the glaze ingredients together while the cake cools. Once semi cooled, prick the cake with a large fork or the back of a wooden spoon. Spoon the glaze over the two round cakes letting it sink in. Save about 1/3 or so of the glaze and set aside.

1 pint whipping cream
3/4- 1 lb. of strawberries, thinly sliced
4 tbsp. sugar (regular or powdered is fine)
1 tsp. vanilla
fresh mint, optional

Whip cream with sugar and vanilla, using a mixer. Wash, dry and slice the strawberries and set aside.

Place one of the glazed cake rounds on a cake stand or large plate. Top with freshly whipped cream and a layer of strawberry slices. Follow with the second cake, more whipped cream and arrange more fresh sliced strawberries on top in a pretty pattern. Next drizzle the more of the almond glaze over the top and down the sides.  Store in fridge until ready to serve. When ready to serve, garnish with mint.  Enjoy!

*Note- Next time I will cut the domed top off the cake layers. The cake looked pretty but with all the delicious whipped cream and strawberries in the middle, the top layer started to slide a little.*

Posted by: Sallie
Pin It!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Cilantro Lime Rice--two ways

Picture from Mel's Kitchen Cafe

If I haven't professed my undying love, devotion, could eat there every day for Cafe Rio, I am doing it now.  My favorites are, well, pretty much everything. My absolute favorite is the grilled chicken salad. I also love, love, love their chicken tortilla soup. Every once in awhile I'll get a craving for that sweet, delicious pork.  Like I said, I like pretty much everything. I have a recipe found here for a yummy version of their pork salad.

While my sister and her cute family were here, we cooked up the pork meat in the crock pot and made pork tacos with the meat. I wanted some rice to go with it and found several recipes for Cilantro Lime Rice. It turned out so yummy that later that week, I tried another version and used it, along with the leftover pork, black beans, cheese, and green enchilada sauce for some smothered pork burritos. Both were equally delicious and are the perfect accompaniment for any Mexican meal.

Favorite Family Recipes
1 c. uncooked rice (long-grain, white rice)
1 tsp. butter or margarine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
1 can (15 oz) chicken broth
1 cup water
1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tsp. sugar
3 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro

In a saucepan combine rice, butter, garlic, 1 tsp. lime, chicken broth and water. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook on low 15-20 minutes, until rice is tender. Remove from heat. In a small bowl combine lime juice, sugar and cilantro. Pour over hot cooked rice and mix in as you fluff the rice.

Cilantro Lime Rice
*Serves 4-6 as a side dish

1 tablespoons butter
1 1/4 cups rice (long grain white rice works best)
2 1/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
juice and zest of 1 large lime
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1/4 teaspoon cumin
In a skillet or medium saucepan, melt the butter and add the rice. stir, letting the rice and butter cook for 1-2 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and cook for 15-16 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Fluff with fork and serve.

Recipe Source: from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

Posted by: Sallie
Pin It!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Creamy Chocolate and Chocolate Almond Pudding

In the continuing theme of using up Easter leftovers, I had a gallon of whole milk that needed to be used. Since my kids are getting a little older they drink 1% and now refuse to even touch whole milk.

This recipe just happened to surface from "the pile" and used ingredients I already had on hand. It was perfect for a family night treat. I was really surprised how easy it was to make and the chocolate flavor was amazing!  The texture was really smooth and creamy. Add some whipped cream and if you're feeling extra generous some chopped up heath bar!

I've included an chocolate/almond variation below that I can't wait to try.
Creamy Chocolate Pudding

Cooks Country

Serves 4

1/4cup packed light brown sugar
3tablespoons Dutch-processed cocoa powder (or regular)
3tablespoons cornstarch
1/4teaspoon  salt
2 3/4cups whole milk
1/4cup heavy cream
1cup milk chocolate chips (the recipe testers prefer Hershey's brand for this recipe)
1/2teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Combine brown sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, and salt in large saucepan. Whisk milk and cream into sugar mixture until smooth. Add chocolate chips and bring to simmer, whisking occasionally, over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, whisking constantly, until thickened and large bubbles appear at surface, 2 to 3 minutes. Off heat, stir in vanilla.
2. Transfer pudding to large bowl and place plastic wrap directly on surface of pudding. Refrigerate until completely cool, at least 4 hours. (Pudding can be refrigerated in airtight container for 3 days.) Serve.

Chocolate-Almond Pudding
Serves 4

1/2cup sliced almonds
1/4cup packed light brown sugar
3tablespoons Dutch-processed cocoa powder
3tablespoons cornstarch
1/4teaspoon Salt
2 3/4cups whole milk
1/4cup heavy cream
1cup milk chocolate chips
1/2teaspoon almond extract
1. Place almonds in skillet over medium heat. Stirring often, toast until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Set aside.

2. Combine brown sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, and salt in large saucepan. Whisk milk and cream into sugar mixture until smooth. Add chocolate chips and bring to simmer, whisking occasionally, over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, whisking constantly, until thickened and large bubbles appear at surface, 2 to 3 minutes. Off heat, stir in almond extract.

3. Transfer pudding to large bowl and place plastic wrap directly on surface of pudding. Refrigerate until completely cool, at least 4 hours. (Pudding can be refrigerated in airtight container for 3 days.) Sprinkle with sliced almonds. Serve.

Posted by: Sallie
Pin It!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Baked Ham, Swiss and Fusilli Pasta

Do any of you have Easter ham lurking in your freezer just waiting to be used? I know I do and  I'm on the hunt for creative ways to use it up. Here are a few things I've come up with so far

Ham and Pasta Skillet Dinner- We've had this before and it's delish!

Ham Fried Rice- Haven't tried this one but it looks yummy. Supposedly it's the most requested recipe on Good Things Utah.  Just replace the chicken with ham.

Grilled Ham & Cheese- Who doesn't like grilled cheese?

Ham and Rice Soup- This soup looks so creamy. I wish I had a bowl of it right now.

 I'd love to hear from you if you have any ideas.

This is another recipe I used for  Sunday dinner.  A true comfort meal, this pasta was warm, creamy and delicious. My husband said it reminded him of macaroni and cheeese.  After first asking what it was, then saying she wasn't eating it, my oldest daughter preceeed to have three, yes three helpings!   I'm on my way to putting a dent in that ham! Pair it with a nice green salad, asparagus, and some biscuits or rolls.

Baked Ham, Swiss and Fusilli Pasta

adapted slightly from Southern Food


  • 8 ounces mini fusilli, macaroni, or other small to medium pasta, cooked as directed, drained
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 cup diced onions
  • 8 to 12 ounces cooked diced ham, about 2 cups
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups milk or half-and-half (I used whole milk. I wouldn't go below 2%)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Dash nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces shredded Swiss cheese or Gruyere
  • 2 ounces shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup coarse soft bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter


Cook the pasta as directed on package; drain and rinse. Heat oven to 350°. Grease a 2 to 2 1/2-quart casserole.In a large saucepan or skillet, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add celery and onion and cook until  softened. Add  ham; cook for 1 minute longer. Stir in flour until blended. Add milk, salt, nutmeg, and pepper. Cook, stirring, until thickened. Add the Swiss cheese. Set aside about 1/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese for topping and add the remaining Parmesan to the sauce with the Swiss cheese. Cook, stirring, until cheeses are melted. Add the drained pasta and stir, blending well. Spoon into the prepared casserole.
Combine bread crumbs with melted butter and remaining 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture over the top. Sprinkle over the casserole. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until bubbly and lightly browned.

Posted by: Sallie
Pin It!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...