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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Icebox Cake

This cake is soooooooo yummy and so easy.  I can't believe I haven't posted it yet.  But when I came across this mint version (that we're now dying to try) it reminded me about one of our favorite easy desserts.  The wafers transform into amazing wispy thin cake layers as it sits overnight!  From Smitten Kitchen.

3 cups heavy cream
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 (9-ounce) packages chocolate wafer cookies [or, make your own!]
Unsweetened cocoa (or chocolate shavings)

In a large bowl, beat cream, sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer on high speed until soft peaks form.

On a flat serving plate, arrange 7 cookies side by side in a circle, keeping 1 cookie in the center.

Spread with 1/2 cup whipped cream, making a 7-inch circle. Repeat with remaining cookies and cream, making 11 layers of cookies and ending with a layer of cream (there will be a few cookies left over). Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

To serve, dust top lightly with cocoa powder or chocolate shavings.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Roasted Bacon Wrapped Asparagus

I never used to like asparagus until I roasted it...the bacon bastes it while it cooks making it extra delicious.

30 medium asparagus stalks, trimmed
5 slices peppered bacon, cut in half
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Separate asparagus into bundles of 3 stalks each. Carefully wrap a piece of bacon around each bundle, starting about 1/2 inch from the bottom of the tip; secure with a toothpick. Transfer bundles to a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with oil, and sprinkle with 3/4 teaspoon salt; season with pepper. Roast, flipping halfway through, until asparagus begin to wilt and bacon is brown, 20 to 22 minutes. Adapted from Martha Stewart.

Note: I've never tried it but it seems that you can also make this on the grill. Place bundles on hot grill and cover. Cook 10 to 12 minutes until bacon is crisp and asparagus bundles are tender.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

The cookies honestly don't taste like they are made with 100% whole wheat flour.  They are soft on the inside with just the perfect amount of crispiness around the edges.   And they freeze great--just pull them out when you need some and thaw for 15 minutes.  Makes about 4 dozen cookies.  From Mel's Kitchen Cafe.

1 ¼ cups brown sugar
1 ¼ cups sugar
1 ¼ cups butter
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 ¼ teaspoon baking powder
1 ¼ teaspoon salt
2 ½ cups white wheat flour
2 ½ cups oats (you can use either rolled oats or quick oats)
2 ½ cups semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream butter and sugars together. Beat in eggs and vanilla extract. Stir in dry ingredients and mix well, then stir in chocolate chips. Scoop rounded tablespoonfuls of cookie dough onto greased (or lined) baking sheets. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.  Let cool on pans for an additional two minutes then remove and cool completely on a wire rack.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Crispy Garlic Bread

12 tablespoons butter, softened
4 garlic cloves, very finely minced
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
12 (1-inch) slices Italian or French bread

Using a fork, beat butter, garlic, sugar, salt and pepper in small bowl until combined. Spread butter mixture evenly over both sides of bread.

Freeze the slices on a large baking sheet or plate until firm, about 15 minutes. After they are firm, transfer the slices to a freezer ziploc bag and freeze for up to one month.

To serve, preheat oven to 425 degrees. Arrange bread on rimmed baking sheet and bake until golden brown on the first side, about 7-9 minutes. Flip and bake until golden brown on the second side, 5-7 minutes more. Serve.

Note: To serve the bread immediately instead of freezing, bake buttered bread on rimmed baking sheet at 425 degrees for 7 minutes then flip and bake 4 more minutes on the second side.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Tuxedo Salad

This is a delicious entree salad recipe.  Baldy actually requests it all the time!   He can't get enough of the marinated pasta mixed with some of his favorite salad ingredients (craisins, nuts, spinach).  It makes a very large salad, so you may want to half the recipe or share it.  It's a yummy, portable meal to take-in to someone accompanied with a fresh loaf of bread and fruit.  And most of the work you do ahead of time so dinner comes together very quickly.  From Miquelle Mickelsen.

1 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup Teriyaki Sauce
6 T sugar
2/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 t salt
1/2 t pepper

16 oz bowtie pasta, cooked according to package directions
10 oz baby spinach
6 oz craisins
2 cans (11oz each) mandarin orange segments, drained
3 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
6 oz. honey roasted peanuts
2 cans (8oz) water chestnuts, drained (we usually omit these)
2-3 Teriyaki chicken breasts, cooked and cut into cubes*

Cook the pasta according to package directions.  While its cooking mix the dressing ingredients.  Drain the pasta and pour the dressing over the pasta in a bowl, cover and put in the fridge, the night before (or at least several hours before) serving so that the pasta can soak it up.

Before serving toss all the salad ingredients together.

*Teriyaki Chicken--many people can find pre-cooked teriyaki flavored chicken breasts at Costco in the freezer section.  Just warm them the night before, chop them up, store in the fridge overnight, and add to the salad right before serving.  You can also make your own Teriyaki chicken breasts by marinating them.

Teriyaki Chicken Marinade
2.5 pounds chicken breasts (2 large or 3 smaller)
2/3 cup teriyaki sauce
2T soy sauce
2T sugar
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fresh ginger root,
2 T lemon juice

Marinate chicken at least one hour.  Place chicken and sauce in a square pyrex baking dish.  Bake at 325 degrees turning every 20 minutes for one hour, until internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees or it's fork tender, about an hour.