Showing posts with label summer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label summer. Show all posts

1/16/14

Spinach, Chicken and Bowtie Pasta Salad for 100





Salad for 100, anyone?
Last summer, I made this salad three times, in two months, for groups of 100 or more.
Spinach, Chicken and Bowtie Pasta Salad is one of my all-time favorite pasta salad recipes. Here's why:  It sits well at a gathering (no mayo in the dressing). Perfect for weddings, funerals, missionary farewells and homecomings, Girl's Camp, family reunions, church parties and school events.  It's easy to make in large quantities.  Even though it looks summery it can be made year-round. AND last, but not least, everyone loves it.
The original 12-15 serving recipe is posted here . I've had oodles of requests over the years for a large quantity recipe, so I decided it would be best to re-post the recipe with directions to feed 100.
Make sure to read my tips short story (below the recipe) for all of the info you'll ever need (or want) to make pasta salad for the masses.
Happy salad making, my friends.



Got Chicken?

First three layers. 

Starting to look like something I'm interested in eating...

This was taken at Girl's Camp. I think we served 300 with these salads.
It was like the loaves and fishes. Kind of. 




Spinach, Chicken and Bowtie Pasta Salad for 100
A Bountiful Kitchen, adapted from Favorites cookbook
print recipe

Pasta:
5 lbs Bowtie pasta

Salad dressing:
2 2/3 cups vegetable or canola oil
1 1/3 cups Veri Veri Teriyaki Sauce, shaken
2 2/3 cups cider vinegar
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons pepper

Salad ingredients (veggies and fruit) :
4 Costco tubs of Spinach ( 1 lb each)
8- 8 oz cans water chestnuts, drained and chopped into matchstick pieces
6 bunches green onions, chopped
48 oz - (1 large bag) Craisins 
12 cans mandarin oranges, drained well
2 cups sesame seeds, toasted
48 oz honey roasted peanuts or cashews

15 lbs chicken breasts, marinated (ingredients below), cooked, cooled and sliced

Teriyaki marinade for chicken:
6 cups soy sauce
2 cups sugar
1 Tablespoon or about 4 cloves garlic, crushed or chopped
1 Tablespoon pepper

Mix teriyaki marinade for chicken. 
Marinate chicken overnight, or at least 6 hours. Place the chicken in Ziplock bags and mix the marinade in a bowl, then pour into the bags over the chicken. The chicken may be taken directly from the freezer and set in the refrigerator in marinade for up to two days before cooking. 
After the chicken is marinated, place the drained chicken on baking sheets and broil the chicken for about 7-10 minutes (about 2-3 inches from element), or bake at 350 for about 45  minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in the middle.  Cool completely, trim off any fat and cut into slices. Set in refrigerator until ready to assemble salad. The chicken may be cooked up to three days before serving salad.
Discard any leftover marinade, DO NOT use the marinade in the salad dressing. 

Cook the pasta al dente, according to package directions. Drain, rinse quickly with cold water and toss with a tablespoon olive or canola oil  or a little of the Veri Teriyaki sauce and place in refrigerator in covered containers (I use gallon Ziplock bags) until ready to assemble salad. May be cooked up to three days before serving.

Blend the salad dressing ingredients together using large bowl or blender. Mix well. Keep refrigerated until ready to use.

Assembly:
May be done early in the day, or the day before serving.
Using two large containers, layer the ingredients to the salad in the following order (see photos)
Pasta, chicken, spinach, chopped water chestnuts, chopped green onions and Craisins. Make sure the water chestnuts are drained well.
Cover and refrigerate.
When ready to serve, add the following to the top of salad:
Drained mandarin oranges, toasted sesame seeds, honey roasted peanuts.
Mix the prepared salad dressing well, pour about 2 cups onto each container of salad, tossing gently so the mandarin oranges do not break apart. Add more salad dressing, sparingly, as needed.
Serve individually onto plates, or in a salad bowl.
Sprinkle with additional sesame seeds and nuts if desired.

Tips:
-This salad may be prepared in advance. When I'm making salads in large quantities, I usually start the day (or two) ahead with any of the steps that can be done early. Read this recipe carefully for instruction on make ahead.
-If you are serving this with a main dish, say at a barbecue, you may leave out the chicken. Or half the chicken (and marinade).
-This salad is a hearty serving of a main dish salad. It will yield 100 generous lunch size portions of salad. If served with a roll and dessert, it should satisfy most appetites. If you are serving the salad on a buffet, with other salads or sides, this should serve up to 150 as a side dish. 
-For the chicken, I buy Costco 10 lb bags of frozen- boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Usually the Tyson or Foster Farms brands. They are generally trimmed of most fat so the prep work is minimal regarding trimming the chicken. I use the chicken right out of the freezer, no thawing needed.
If you are trying to cut costs, use less chicken. This recipe may be adjusted to serve 100 with 10 lbs of chicken (instead of 15). Cut the teriyaki marinade for the chicken in half as well.
-Teriyaki Sauce for dressing on the salad- I like  Soy-Vay "Veri Veri Teriyaki"  for this recipe. It is highly concentrated, so you will use less than when using another brand. It can usually be purchased at most grocery stores and Walmart or Costco. I've also seen it online at Amazon.  Make sure to shake the bottle before using.
- Purchase Honey Roasted Planters Peanuts at Walmart in large size containers compared to the containers sold at the grocery, they are quite a bit less expensive. I love this recipe made with honey roasted cashews, but they cost quite a bit more than peanuts, so I usually stick with peanuts when making a large quantity.
-Less is more with regard to salad dressing. Use less dressing than you think you need initially. Let it sit for a few minutes and see how much has soaked into the pasta, and how much has settled to the bottom of the serving bowl. Add more dressing if needed. I rarely use all of the dressing.
-Purchase sesame seeds in bulk at the grocery in the health food aisle or in the Asian section of the grocery. The cost is significantly less than if purchased in the spice section.
-Toss the peanuts and the sesame seeds last onto the salad to preserve the crunch of the nuts.

9/18/13

Fresh Corn and Tomato Salad










I originally posted this salad a couple of years ago. It is a perfect side with our Family Favorite Enchiladas or any type of barbecue dish.  Soon, fresh corn and tomatoes will disappear.
Forever.
Thought you needed a little drama in your life.






Fresh Corn and Tomato Salad
A Bountiful Kitchen

6 ears corn or one small bag of frozen corn
3 large fresh tomatoes,  or 1-2 pints of grape or cherry tomatoes
1/2 large sweet onion or about 1 cup chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
two to three sprigs fresh oregano (optional)
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
coarse sea salt
fresh ground pepper

Boil corn in large pot of water for about 7 minutes. Drain and plunge corn into cool water. Cut corn off cob and set aside to cool completely. If using frozen corn, do not thaw. 
Chunk tomatoes and onion. Coarsely chop basil and strip the oregano off stems. Place cooled corn, chopped vegetable and herbs into large bowl. Toss with vinegar and olive oil. Season to taste. Serve chilled or room temperature

8/2/13

It's that time of year...Chocolate Zucchini Cake




On Tuesday, my friend Wendy gave me a couple of zucchini from her garden. I promised to make something yummy with the gift and post it.
The plan: to make something semi-healthy.
What got in the way of the plan: while out for my morning walk the next day, Melinda told me she made some of Laurie's Chocolate Zucchini Cake. So much for the plan.
Here it is. New and improved. Originally posted here (Aug 2010).
With frosting, this time around, for good measure.



Chocolate Zucchini Cake
Adapted a bit from Laurie Cutler by ABK
print recipe

½ cup butter
½ cup vegetable oil
1 ¾ cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 ½ cups flour
6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
½ teaspoon cloves
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups zucchini, grated*
½ cup buttermilk
1 cup chocolate chips
Whipping cream, or frosting (recipe below)

Cream together butter, oil and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla, beat. Add flour, cocoa, cloves, cinnamon, soda and salt and beat for additional 2 minutes. Add grated or blended zucchini and buttermilk. Blend well. Fold in chocolate chips.
Pour into a greased 9 x 13 pan and bake at 325 for 45 minutes (check with a toothpick).
Best when served slightly warm with fresh whipped cream or top with frosting (below).

Frosting:
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon vanilla
dash salt
milk or cream to thin, about 2-3 tablespoons
Beat all ingredients with mixer in bowl until smooth. Frost cake when cooled.

Tips:
-You may also bake in two-9 or 10 inch pie plates.
*This recipe has been altered a bit from the original. The original recipe calls for peeling and seeding the zucchini, I leave the peel on and don't seed. And I usually pulverize the zucchini in a blender with about 1/4 cup of water. The total amount used in the recipe is 2 cups, meaning I place the zucchini in a blender with about 1/4 cup of water and pulverize the zucchini until it looks like baby food. Then I measure out 2 cups. If it turns out to be a little less than 2 cups, no big deal. 1 3/4 is fine! Also, I've increased the cocoa in the cake from 3 tablespoon (original recipe) to 6 tablespoons.

7/30/13

Summer Reading and Layered Seafood Spread



For as long as I can remember, I've loved shrimp cocktail, deep fried shrimp, shrimp in dips, even shrimp sandwiches. Maybe it has something to do with my first memory of reading a "real" book (with chapters). It was summer in the early 70's. A few of our neighbors were commercial fishermen, so a book about a girl working in a seafood processing plant was fitting for a young girl (me) growing up in Bremerton, Washington. I don't recall the name of the book, but the memory of the visuals I had while reading are still clear. The girl in the book was hired to help process crab and shrimp after local fishermen brought in their catch of the day. After her work day was over, she was allowed to eat a bit of leftover shrimp.  I remember wishing I could sit beside the girl on the loading platform of the warehouse and share her can of shrimp. Don't you love how a book can transform you to a different place and time?? Forty years later I recall that vivid description of freshly canned shrimp.
So that's my summer reading/shrimp story. Oh-The shrimp. I've been making this appetizer for years. It's simple and delicious. Great for summer or winter. Relaxed or formal gatherings. Another tried-and-true Pinch of Salt Lake Cookbook recipe.


Layered Seafood Spread
A Pinch of Salt Lake
print recipe

8 oz cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
3 tablespoons sour cream
dash of garlic salt
1 teaspoon Worcestershire
8 oz jar chili sauce or 8 oz homemade chili sauce
1/2 bunch chopped green onions
2 cups crab meat or shrimp (small or large), cooked, deveined and chopped if desired

Combine softened cream cheese, mayo, sour cream, garlic salt and Worcestershire in a medium bowl.
Spread onto a serving platter. The cream cheese mixture should be spread into a 10-12 inch circle. You may also use a pie plate.
Pour the chili sauce on top of the cream cheese mixture, taking care to not mix into the cream cheese. Make sure the seafood is drained well. If you have rinsed the shrimp, blot dry with paper towels to avoid making the dip watery.
Top the cream cheese and chili sauce with green onions and seafood.
Serve with crackers or sliced baguette.

Tips:
-The original recipe says to make this several hour before serving. I have done this but usually wait to top the cream cheese with the rest of ingredients until just before serving. The chili sauce tends to bleed onto the cream cheese mixture if making too far in advance. If you want to make this ahead of time, mix all of the ingredients in the cream cheese layer ahead of time,  spread onto a platter, cover and set in fridge. Rinse the seafood, blot dry and put in a Ziploc bag. Chop the green onions, place in a small Ziploc bag. Just before serving, assemble.

7/13/13

Strawberry Shortcake with Whipped Cream Frosting



As a little girl, I absolutely loved strawberry shortcake. My mom used to serve us those little pre-packaged cakes with sliced strawberries and Cool Whip. You know what I'm talking about, right? There were 6 or 8 cakes to a package. I wished she would buy two packages so I could have one entire package to myself. I knew summer was just around the corner when we had those little cakes in the grocery cart.
A few weeks ago, I made a cake for Brett's (my BIL) bd dinner. I planned to take strawberry shortcake, but wanted to make the cake and whip the cream the night before, so we could just grab the cake and go when it was time to head out the door on Sunday. The wheels started turning and I thought it would be fun to create a strawberry shortcake with frosting, so it could all be prepared ahead of time, and seem more like a cake fit for a celebration. After some alterations to multiple recipes found online, I came up with this yummy twist to an old favorite.
Perfect summer birthday cake.
Love it.



Strawberry Shortcake with Whipped Cream Frosting
A Bountiful Kitchen
print recipe

4 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cup flour, sifted
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place rack in middle of oven.
Grease and lightly flour two-9 inch round cake pans, or grease and line with parchment.
Beat 4 egg whites until stiff in medium bowl, set aside.
Place baking powder, baking soda, salt and flour in a small bowl, mix with fork.
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together for two minutes on medium speed with a mixer. Add one whole egg and vanilla. Beat for an additional two minutes.
Add half of the dry ingredients, mix well. Add 1/2 cup of the buttermilk, mix well. Repeat with both the dry and wet ingredients until all are mixed into the bowl, scraping down sides of the bowl after each addition. Gently fold in the egg whites.
Spoon the mixture evenly into the prepared pans.
Bake on middle rack in oven for about 25-35 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Watch carefully, so cake does not overcook.
Remove pans from oven when done, let sit for five minutes.
Invert onto cooling rack. Let cake cool completely before frosting.
Serves 12-15

Whipped Cream and Cream Cheese Frosting

1- 8 oz  package cream cheese, regular or low fat, room temperature
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond (optional)
2 cups heavy whipping cream, cold

Beat the softened cream cheese and powdered sugar in a mixing bowl. Add vanilla and almond. Mix until smooth. Taste and add 1/4 cup of additional powdered sugar if you like it sweeter.
Slowly add the heavy cream and beat until frosting is light and fluffy.
Frost the cake with Whipped Cream Frosting and top each serving with strawberries.
Store in refrigerator until ready to serve.

Tips:
-This cake did not rise up very much at my altitude (abt 4400 ft.) . I'm going to experiment and will update the post if I am able to get a higher rise next time I bake.
If you are looking for a taller cake, double or 1 1/2 the recipe and make more layers. You'll have to increase the frosting as well to cover the cake. If you double the cake, 1 1/2 times the frosting.




7/11/13

Cooler Corn for 350



How do you cook corn on the cob for 350?
Here's the recipe/method we used at Girl's Camp last month. 
Best way to cook corn for a crowd. Ever. 





Cooler Corn (for 350)
A Bountiful Kitchen

175 ears of corn, husked and broken in half to yield 350 pieces
boiling water
coolers (we used two 165 Quart coolers they were about 1/2 full of corn, you may use smaller coolers)
About 2 1/2 to 3 hours before serving, start boiling water. We boiled about 40-50 quarts of water per cooler. 
Split the cobs evenly between coolers. 
Pour boiling water into coolers with corn. 
Close lid and don't open for at least 30 minutes, or until time to serve. 

Tips:
-Corn takes about 30 minutes to cook.  Will stay warm in cooler for up to three hours, unless the lid is opened :) 
-Don't worry, the corn will not over cook. 
-We assigned a couple of people to sit on chairs and serve the corn with tongs. We had the servers open the small "door" on the lid of the cooler instead of the large lid; this allowed the water to stay warm until everyone was served. Place a bowl of melted butter with brushes on a table for those who want butter. 
-You may use any amount of corn, follow directions above. Don't fill the cooler more than 3/4 with corn to allow for an adequate amount of hot water to cook the corn. 
-We used most of the corn we cooked, the extra cobs were cut up and used in a Southwest Salad the next evening.




7/9/13

Kash's Red Raspberry Dutch Oven Cobbler



If you are looking for a simple treat for camping, and you're willing to step outside the S'more box, you've come to the right place.
Are you in charge of dessert for your Lake Powell trip or your family reunion?  The possibilities are endless with this basic recipe (see suggestions below).  If it were any more simple it would be take out.
This treat is perfect paired with fresh raspberries and cream, or stacked (Dutch oven talk) with Kash's Black Cherry Chocolate Dutch Oven Cobbler, for your favorite chocoholic.




Red Raspberry Dutch Oven Cobbler
Kash Castleberry
print recipe

one 12-14 inch Dutch Oven
2 cans raspberry pie filling
1 yellow cake mix
oil for cake mix*
fresh raspberries and mint for garnish (optional)

Line the Dutch oven with foil for easy clean up.
Heat briquettes in chimney for 15-30 minutes
While briquettes are heating, place raspberry filling in Dutch oven.
Mix cake according to package directions, omitting eggs and adding extra 1/4 cup water instead. (eggs make the cobbler puff up too much while baking).
Pour cake mix on top of fruit. Place lid on Dutch oven.
Place 7-10 coals below oven, and 16 coals on top of oven lid in a circular fashion.
Bake for about 30-35 minutes for 14 inch or about 35-40 minutes for a 12 inch Dutch oven, checking after about 15 minutes. If desired, rotate lid 1/4 turn to left and Dutch oven 1/4 turn to the right for more even heating.
Serve with cream or ice cream, garnish with fresh raspberries and mint if desired.

Tips:
See this post for more on Dutch oven cooking and heating up briquettes, etc.
*-We were at our cabin when I made this and I forgot to buy oil. So we melted a cube of butter instead of using vegetable oil. It baked up perfectly. Just in case you are worried about not getting enough sat fat in your diet. 
-If baking in an oven at home, I suggest baking in a large cast iron skillet or two 9 inch round cake pans at 350 for about 35-45 minutes, or until cake is done.
-Alternatives to the raspberry/yellow cake combo:
use a chocolate cake mix and raspberries.
lemon cake and lemon filling.
Strawberry cake and cherry filling.
Mix a few mini chocolate chips into the yellow cake mix.
Lay a few broken up Hershey bars on top of the cake after baking and let melt slightly.
Top with fresh raspberries, blueberries and serve with whipped cream for a red, white and blue dessert.
Use a spice cake mix and apple pie filling on the bottom layer.

7/6/13

Kash's Black Cherry Chocolate Dutch Oven Cobbler





We purchased our Dutch ovens about twenty years ago, with the thought in mind we would use the Dutch ovens for cooking in the wilderness.
Grant is a big time: camper/hiker/backpacker/bowhunter/all around guy's guy. Whatever that means. He loves anything that has to do with the out-of-doors. Me, on the other hand...
Well.
Let's just say a couple of days at our cabin fills my quota for getting in touch with nature. That said, once every three or four years, I dust off the Dutch ovens and channel my inner pioneer.

While I was at Stake Girl's Camp last week, my new friend Kash (who I was privileged to work with in the kitchen) provided this recipe and all of the ingredients (right down to the briquettes) for all the Young Women and their leaders at camp. Yikes. That was a lot of work. Thanks Kash.
The recipe was a winner! Everyone loved the gooey, rich, chocolaty-cherry dessert. It takes about two minutes to throw in the Dutch oven and cooks in about 30-40 mins. We made this at our cabin for the Fourth, and everyone loved it. I also made Kash's Red Raspberry Dutch Oven Cobbler, which I'll post next.
Get on your pioneer. You'll love this dessert.




Kash's Black Cherry Chocolate Dutch Oven Cobbler
Kash Castleberry
print recipe

one 12-14 inch dutch oven
2 cans cherry pie filling
1 box Devils Food Cake
1-12 oz can Black Cherry Soda ( I used Shasta)
1-12 oz bag chocolate chips, semi sweet or milk
heavy duty foil (optional)

About 1/2 hour before cooking:
Heat briquettes in chimney for 15-30 minutes until briquettes turn white. Directions here.
Line the dutch oven with heavy duty foil*. Spray foil lightly with cooking spray.
Spoon cherry pie filling into foil lined pan. Sprinkle dry cake mix evenly on top of fruit.
Pour Black Cherry Soda over dry cake mix. Mix gently with fork so the soda doesn't mix too deep into the cherry layer. Don't worry about mixing too much, the moisture will even out during baking.
Place the dutch oven lid on.
Place 7-10 coals below the oven, and 16 coals on top of the oven in a circular fashion.
Bake 25-35 minutes for a 14 inch oven and 30-40 for a 12 inch oven.
Check after about 15 minutes. When cake is done, remove from heat and sprinkle with chocolate chips. Place lid back on and allow chocolate to melt.  Serve warm with cream or ice cream.
Serves 15-18.

Tips:
-Dutch Oven purists will probably frown upon the use of foil to line the pan. I say easier is better while camping. You may make this dessert without lining the pan, but be prepared to clean up a sticky mess off the bottom of the pan :)
-I suggest preparing this dish before dinner. After the cobbler is done cooking, remove from heat.  It will keep warm for at least a couple of hours with the lid on.
-When we first started Dutch oven cooking, we (I use the term "we" loosely) thought if 10 coals on the bottom were good, 20 were better. Not so. If the recipe calls for 10 on the bottom and 16 on the top, follow the recipe suggestion. Or you'll have blackened cobbler.
-When baking in a Dutch oven, more of the coals should be on top (or on the lid) of the oven to prevent burning the bottom of the dish.
-Briquettes vs other brands-  Kash only likes to use Kingsford. I agree. We have experimented with other brands, Kingsford is best.

5/28/13

BBQ Chicken Salad with Creamy BBQ Cilantro Lime Dressing





Memorial Day weekend kicks off the start to Summer. Summer. Summer.
It's been a long Spring here in Utah. One of those keep 4 blankets,boots,hat,gloves,scarf and portable heater at all times in your car for the baseball game seasons. So glad it is finally warming up.
Summer means salads. I've been looking for an excuse to try out this recipe I Pinned a while back.
Verdict? Loved it. My new favorite.
I think there is a similar salad at CPK? This salad comes from the blog Erin's Food Files. She adapted the recipe from Mel at Mel's Kitchen Cafe, but added her own twist, by throwing in some roasted sweet potatoes and succotash (a dish consisting of corn and any type of beans cooked together).
Hello Summer. So glad you're almost here.





BBQ Chicken Salad with Creamy BBQ Cilantro Lime Dressing
Adapted from Erins Food Files and Mel's Kitchen

Chicken* early in the day, or day before prepare chicken in marinade:
4 chicken breast halves, any fat trimmed off
3/4 cup of barbecue sauce to marinate chicken

Salad:
1 large head romaine
12 cups lettuce Spring Mix or Spinach (about 1/2 of a Costco box of Spring Mix)
2 sweet potatoes, baked or grilled on bbq  just until soft
olive oil for brushing on sweet potatoes

Succotash:
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
juice of 2 limes
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
2-15 oz cans black beans, drained & rinsed ( I like S&W brand regular or organic)
3 cups corn, frozen
1 teaspoon each sea salt & pepper

Dressing:
1 1/3 cup mayonnaise, light or regular, I used light Best Foods
2/3 cup buttermilk, sour cream, or nonfat greek yogurt, I used light sour cream
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
4 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
few generous dashes fresh ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 cup BBQ sauce (you may use either home made or bottled) and additional for drizzling on salad
2-3 tablespoons milk, if needed for thinning dressing

The day before serving salad or early in the day:

Chicken:
Marinate chicken in BBQ sauce at least 6 hours. I like to use a large Ziplock bag. After marinating, preheat grill, and cook chicken until done.  Barbecue the chicken on low heat for about 8-9 minutes per side, depending on thickness of meat. Remove from heat, check for doneness. If cooked through, let rest for about 5-10 minutes. Slice after cooled.

Succotash:
Combine first 5 ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Add beans & corn, season with salt & pepper. Store in refrigerator until ready to use.

Dressing:
Combine all the ingredients together and whisk (or shake, if using a jar) vigorously to combine. I used a blender and pulsed the ingredients.

Assembly:
Place lettuce on platter or large bowl. Layer on top of lettuce with black bean & corn succotash, sweet potatoes, and chicken. Drizzle with additional BBQ sauce, followed by the Creamy BBQ Cilantro Lime Dressing.

Tips:
-Great dish for make-ahead. I made the entire salad the night before and bagged all of the ingredients separately. Then in the afternoon, took to a luncheon and assembled it in just a few minutes.
-You may use any combo of ingredients for the succotash. It would be delicious with red or yellow peppers, chopped onion (red, yellow or white) or tomatoes. I added  small grape tomatoes and loved the color and flavor.
-This serves about 20 as a side dish, and is easily halved.
-I like to make my own bbq sauce (recipe found here), but didn't have any on hand, so I used 'Sweet Baby Rays" bottled sauce in this dressing, and for the marinade.
-For the sweet potatoes, I wrapped the potatoes in foil and grilled them on my bbq (350 degrees) for about an hour. After they were softened, I cut them into about 3/4 inch slices, brushed both sides with olive oil and grilled them just until they were cooked a bit more and had grill marks on the outside of the potatoes.
You can eliminate the step of wrapping in foil and baking the potatoes. Simply place the peeled, sliced potato onto a greased baking sheet and bake or broil until softened. Or grill pieces on the bbq grill.
After the potatoes are cooked, gently chop.
-If you are a cheese lover, grate some cheese on top - Monterrey Jack would work well. I don't think this salad needs cheese, there are lots of flavors in the salad, and with the creamy dressing, I think cheese is a little overkill. Just my two cents :)

5/7/13

Lobster and Shells



If you want to splurge on Mom for Mother's Day, try this salad from Ina Garten, aka the Barefoot Contessa.  Ina says it's important to use small shells in this salad so the corn kernels can get stuck inside of the shells. These things are important. Yes, they are. 
If you are as anxious for summer to get here as I am, you'll love this recipe. It tastes like a bite of summer in a salad. 






Lobster and Shells

Kosher salt
olive oil
1 pound small pasta shells, such as Ronzoni
Kernels from 8 ears of corn (about 6 cups) cooked, or about 1 1/2 small bags frozen corn*
12 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
2 yellow or orange or red bell peppers, seeded and small-diced
2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
2 pounds cooked fresh lobster meat, medium-diced, about 2 medium size lobster tails
1 1/2 cups Best Foods or Hellman's mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream, regular or light*
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2-4 lemons, depending on how juicy)
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4-1/2 cup minced fresh dill*

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add 2 tablespoons of salt and some olive oil. Add the pasta and cook it for 8 to 10 minutes, until al dente.  Drain the pasta pour into a large mixing bowl.  Add the frozen corn. Add the scallions, diced pepper, tomatoes, and lobster, tossing gently to combine. Allow to cool slightly.

In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice, 4 teaspoons salt, and 2 teaspoons pepper until smooth. Pour over the pasta and mix well to bind the ingredients. Stir in the dill. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for up to 6 hours to allow the flavors to develop. Check the seasonings and serve chilled or at room temperature.

Tips:
-*Fresh corn is always best. Cook the cobs of corn for about 4 minutes in a pot of boiling water. Cut the corn off the cob and let cool before adding to the salad.  If fresh is unavailable, use frozen corn, unthawed. The corn will thaw in the salad and help keep the rest of the salad ingredients cool.
-*Sour Cream-I used regular sour cream, but thought the dressing was a bit heavy. This salad could use a little lightening up, next time I make it I will use light sour cream.
-If you make this ahead of time and set in the fridge, you may need to thin the dressing a bit  by whisking in a tablespoon or two of milk. 
-Fresh dill- If at all possible, use fresh dill. If fresh is not available, 1 tablespoon of dried dill will work. 


Here's the link to Amazon and Ina's "How Easy is That?" cookbook. It's the perfect Mother's Day gift. 



9/5/12

Mango-Peach Tango





Hooray, our plums are finally ripe!  I found this recipe in the August Southern Living Magazine and thought it would be a perfect way to use up some of our fruit. We served it with Honey Lime Enchiladas.
Everyone at dinner agreed- it's a keeper.




Mango-Peach Tango
Southern Living Magazine, August 2012
print recipe

1/4 cup fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon seeded and minced jalapeño pepper
2 mangoes, peeled and chopped
3 large peaches, peeled and chopped
3 cups chopped plums
1-2 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
1-2 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro

Stir together first 3 ingredients in a large bowl until sugar dissolves.
Add mangoes and next 4 ingredients, tossing to coat.
Cover and chill 2 to 6 hours.

Tips:
-I made this immediately before serving, chilling for 2-6 hours is not necessary, but allows flavors to blend.
-You may slice or chop the fruit, I preferred it chopped.

9/3/12

Fresh Peach and Blackberry Slaw



You know all of those jokes about zucchini showing up on your porch while you are sleeping? At my home, it's usually peaches, or tomatoes or other various fruits and veggies. The zucchini usually comes via the back fence from my friend Chris, who keeps me in zucchini in the warm summer months.  My friend Marsha gave me some of her absolutely delicious white peaches a while ago. I can't get over how wonderful they taste. In my next life, I am going to be a farmer. Or at least own a peach tree.   Last week, the Tingey's gave me some of their peaches and cabbage. Oh-so-good.  Remember that year I thought instead of canning, I could just make loads of peach desserts? Remember how I thought I could just make Perfect Peach Crumble for everyone so I could get out of canning peaches?
Hello Einstein.
Flash of brilliance stupidity.



Making enough Perfect Peach Crumble to use up a bushel of peaches? Not a good idea. 


In the next day or two, I'm going to can peaches. I am. I will not just talk about it. I will do it. I will.  I think I've talked myself into it.
Last week, I was in the cooking (or for this recipe, chopping) mode, and made several recipes using up the fresh fruit and veggies that found their way into my kitchen. I was playing nurse to Jake, who got his wisdom teeth out. Needless to say, he ate a lot of peach shakes.
This slaw recipe is perfect if you have some fresh cabbage, peaches and blackberries around. I liked the crunch of the cabbage with the soft peaches and blackberries. Tangy and sweet, crunchy and soft.  Lots of interesting textures and flavors. Great summer side dish.
Not that it's summer anymore. Tomorrow is the first day of school.
Yikes.


Is this the most beautiful cabbage you have ever seen? I thought so.



Fresh Peach and Blackberry Slaw
adapted from BHG

1/4 cup vinegar, white balsamic or cider vinegar
1/4 cup olive or canola oil
4 tablespoons brown sugar
pinch of salt
1 small head of cabbage, washed cored and sliced or shredded
3 white or yellow peaches, or a mixture of both
1/2 pint blackberries
2 oz crumbled blue cheese, optional
snipped fresh chives, bail and or tarragon

Make the dressing:
Whisk together the vinegar, olive or canola oil, brown sugar and salt. Pour over the cabbage. Toss well.
Add the peaches, blackberries and blue cheese, if using. Gently fold together. Place in serving bowl or platter, top with snipped fresh herbs.

Tips:
-I found half of the dressing was more than enough for this amount of cabbage. Toss the salad with half of the dressing and put the other half in a bowl and pass alongside the salad.
-Reviewers on the BHG site recommended using a broccoli slaw, purchased at the grocery. Sounds like a good combo if you don't have fresh cabbage available.
-You don't need to worry about the peaches going brown in this salad the vinegar will prevent that from happening. Remember to keep the salad cool.

9/1/12

Black Bean and Corn Salsa





It's the last weekend of summer. I know, summer is not officially over until September 22nd  (Melinda reminded me of this on our morning walk), but it feels like it's over when the kids go back to school.
With the end of summer, comes the end of local fruits and veggies. It was a hot summer here, and the peach crop came on unusually early. Tomatoes have been plentiful. Local corn has been amazing. I've been eating lots of these:



Yum.

I cooked like a crazy person last week. I tried to keep up with the fresh peaches, tomatoes and corn on my counter before they attracted my personal favorite, fruit flies. What is it about fruit flies??  I have a serious hate relationship with fruit flies and moths. I'll spare you a crazy rant about both :) 
I've been making this Black Bean and Corn Salsa for years. The recipe originally came from a cookbook in my collection. It's simple and can be made anytime of the year, from summer to the dead of winter. In September, it's a crime to use anything but fresh tomatoes and fresh corn. If you haven't ever made black bean salsa, this is the recipe for you. It's foolproof and absolutely delicious. Enjoy your last weekend of summer! 
Next week, two more early harvest recipes: Fresh Peach and Blackberry Slaw  and Mango-Peach Tango. 




Black Bean and Corn Salsa

15 oz can black beans, rinsed with cold water and drained ( I like S&W brand best)
2-3 ears corn, cooked and cut off cob, or half of one small bag of frozen corn, about 1 cup
1/2 bunch chopped cilantro, about 1 cup
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
1/2-3/4 cup chopped red or purple onion
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 fresh medium size tomatoes, chunked or 1/2 can of *Rotel (pureed if desired)
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix gently with a large spoon. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours if possible. Serve with tortilla chips or as a side dish with enchiladas or other Mexican dishes. 

Tips:
-If you want to make a large amount, this recipe is really easy to double. I often spoon half of the salsa into a mason jar, top it with a screw on lid and share with a friend
-*Rotel is a mixture of tomatoes, spices and green chilies.  


8/20/12

Fresh Strawberry-Jello Cake with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting & Giveaway!






Guess what this week is? A Bountiful Kitchen's four year blogiversary.  Whoohoo.
Time to celebrate!  What says celebration better than cake, ice cream and presents?
Let's have a little giveaway. How about a couple of cookbooks -one from me, one from Tilly (mook) and gift certificates for ice cream and yogurt, also from our favorite, Tillamook! Here's the deal...


Two cookbooks:

 This one's from me. 


Guess who donated this one? 




Three of these, any flavor...



Twelve of these, any flavor and variety (light, regular)





The recipe- I made this yummy Strawberry cake a few weeks ago, by request for a family wedding celebration. It's really simple, and uses fresh strawberries in the cake and the frosting. Great for a summer celebration or a girl birthday. Or a Blogiversary ;)

The giveaway- Leave a comment, let me know- what's your favorite cake? Check back on Friday. I'll post the winner (one winner, chosen by Random Counter) and another celebration cake, made with Tillamook ice cream.  You're going to love it.



PS- I was not paid for this post, or given free products. The opinions stated are my own.






Fresh Strawberry-Jello Cake with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting
A Bountiful Kitchen, adapted (quite a bit)  from Paula Deen

1 (18.25-ounce) box white cake mix*
1/4 cup flour
1  small (3-ounce) box strawberry-flavored instant gelatin
8-9 oz fresh strawberries (weight after trimming tops off) about 1 small basket, crushed or blended
4 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup water 
1 teaspoon vanilla
Strawberry cream cheese frosting, recipe follows

Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened (make sure this is room temperature)
about 2-3 fresh strawberries, cleaned and trimmed, chopped
5 cups powdered sugar 
dash of salt
small amount of milk or cream to thin the frosting if needed
sliced or whole strawberries, for garnish, optional


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 (9-inch) round cake pans with parchment paper, grease pans.

In a large bowl, combine cake mix, flour and gelatin. Add pureed strawberries, eggs, oil, water and vanilla; beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Pour into prepared pans, and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, cool completely on wire racks.

Fresh Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting:
In a large bowl, beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Beat in chopped strawberries.  Gradually add powdered sugar and dash of salt, beating until smooth. Thin with milk or cream if needed.

Spread frosting in between layers and on top and sides of cake. Garnish with fresh strawberries, if desired.
Tips:
-This recipe was tweaked according to several suggestions by reviewers on the Food Network site. 
-*I used a Betty Crocker Cake mix. The suggested cake mix weight in the original recipe is 18.25 oz. However, I found only generic (store) brands in this size of cake mix. I opted to use a popular name brand instead. I also used Jello brand gelatin. 
-The cake will have a bright pink/red color. 

7/19/12

Limeade Slush





Last night my friends Mel and Jo put on a party for 60 ladies in our neighborhood. They served Southwest Salad with Cilantro Honey Lime Dressing, Chicken Taquitos, chips and salsa to go with the Mexican Fiesta theme. 
We read Mexican sayings/quotes: 
La suerte no es como la preñez, que dura nueve meses 
translated-
Luck is not like pregnancy which lasts for nine months

Um, ok. 
Put flowers in our hair. Is this a Mexican tradition? We had a long conversation about this. 
Broke a pinata, filled with (of course) Chicklets. Laughed and visited until the sun went down. 
For dessert they made Mexican Wedding Cookies (Cooks Illustrated version) which were absolutely delicious. And a chocolate cinnamon chile cookie. Yum. To top it all off we had a refreshing lime slush. 
Making slush is really simple. Throw all of the ingredients together, freeze, and a few hours later scoop it into cups and top with a little soda. You're going to love this . 
Ole. 





Limeade Slush
Jo Cash
print recipe


1-12 oz can of frozen limeade, mixed up according to directions
3 cups sugar
8 cups water (in addition to the water you will add to the limeade concentrate)
Juice of 5 limes (about 1/2 to 3/4 cup)
2 drops green food coloring


10-12 oz cups, about 30
1- 2 litre bottle 7-Up


The day before serving:
Mix first 5 ingredients together in large container. Stir until all sugar is dissolved. 
Freeze overnight or until completely solid. 
Take mixture out of freezer about 1/2 hour before serving and set on counter to thaw slightly. 
When ready to serve, use a large serving spoon to scrape the frozen mixture into cups. 
Fill with frozen limeade to top of cup.  Slowly pour in soda until cup is filled. 
Makes about 30  10-12 oz servings. 
Tips:
-A deep container works best for serving purposes (easier to scrape out frozen juice). A shallow pan (9x13) will freeze faster. You will need 2-3 9x13 pans. 
-I've also had this slush with diet grapefruit soda in place of the 7-UP.