Vegetable Medley

Courtesy of Taste of Home

1 c uncooked medium pasta shells
1 pkg (16 oz) frozen cut green beans
1 Tbsp cornstarch
3/4 c chicken broth
3 Tbsp butter
1 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 dried basil
1/4 garlic powder
1 can (4 1/2 oz) whole mushrooms, drained
1 small tomato, chopped

In a Dutch oven, cook pasta according to package, adding beans during last 5 minutes of cooking time.

Meanwhile, combine cornstarch and broth until smooth and set aside. In a large saucepan, melt butter, add mustard, and seasonings. Gradually stir in broth mixture. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.

Drain pasta and beans;p return to Dutch oven. Add mustard sauce and mushrooms, toss to coat. Stir in tomatos.

Serves 6

Creamy Raspberry Dessert

Courtesy of Taste of Home

1 c chocolate wafer crumbs
2 Tbsp butter, melted
1 can frozen white grape-raspberry juice concentrate, thawed
1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese, cubed
2 Tbsp confectioners' sugar
4 c whipped topping
chocolate curls or grated chocolate (option for garnish)

In a small bowl, combine wafer crumbs and butter. Press onto the bottom of a greased 9-inch springform pan. Refridgerate for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine the concentrate, cream cheese and sugar. Cover and process until smooth. Pour into a large bowl and fold in the whipped topping. Pour over crust. Cover and freeze for 4 hours or until firm. Remove from freezer 10 minutes before slicing - garnish with chocolate shavings before serving.

Italian Cloverleaf Rolls

Courtesy of Taste of Home

1 pkg hot roll mix
2 Tbsp butter, melted
3 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp sesame seeds
3/4 tsp dill weed
3/4 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp garlic salt

Prepare roll mix according to package directions. Divide dough into 36 pieces and shape each into a ball. Place 3 balls in each greased muffin cup. Brush with butter.

Combine the remaining ingredients and sprinkle over top of each muffin cup. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled (about 20 minutes)

Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from pan to a wire rack. Serve warm.

Creamy Pesto Penne with Vegetable Ribbons

Courtesy of Taste of Home

Total time - 30 minutes
4 servings

2 c uncooked penne
1 c frozen, shelled edamame, thawed
4 medium carrots
2 yellow summer squash
1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
2 Tbsp butter, divided
1 garlic clove, minced
3/4 c heavy whipping cream
2 Tbsp prepared pesto
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 c toasted walnuts, chopped

Cook pasta according to package directions, adding edamame during last 5 minutes of cooking. Meanwhile, using a vegetable peeler (or metal cheese slicer), cut carrots and squash into very thin, lengthwise strips.

In a large skillet, saute onion in 1 Tbsp butter until tender. Add vegetables and garlic and saute 2-3 minutes longer until crisp-tender. Stir in cream, pesto, salt and remaining butter. Bring to a gentle boil, cook 3-4 minutes or until sauce is slightly thicken and vegetables are tender.

Drain pasta and edamame; toss with vegetables. Top with walnuts.

Buffalo Chicken Dip

Courtey of Taste of Home

1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese
1 c sour cream
1/2 c hot sauce (Louisanna-style preferred)
3 c shredded chicken

Bake all ingredients at 350 for 20 minutes or until heated through; serve with crackers or celery.

This can also be heated, and kept warm, in a smaller crock pot.


Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese

Courtesy of the Food Network Magazine, April 2010

7 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for the dish
Kosher salt
1 pound elbow macaroni
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup hot sauce
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons dry mustard
2 1/2 cups half-and-half
1 pound yellow sharp cheddar cheese, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 3 1/2 cups)
8 ounces pepper jack cheese, shredded (about 2 cups)
2/3 cup sour cream
1 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil; add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 7 minutes. Drain.

Meanwhile, melt 3 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chicken and garlic and cook 2 minutes, then add 1/2 cup hot sauce and simmer until slightly thickened, about 1 more minute.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the flour and mustard with a wooden spoon until smooth. Whisk in the half-and-half, then add the remaining 1/4 cup hot sauce and stir until thick, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the cheddar and pepper jack cheeses, then whisk in the sour cream until smooth.

Spread half of the macaroni in the prepared baking dish, then top with the chicken mixture and the remaining macaroni. Pour the cheese sauce evenly on top.

Put the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl and microwave until melted. Stir in the panko, blue cheese and parsley. Sprinkle over the macaroni and bake until bubbly, 30 to 40 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.

Perfect French Toast

Courtesy of the Food Network Magazine

Preheat oven to 350

4 eggs
1 1/2 cups of half and half or milk
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp sugar
pinch of salt
6 thick slices of bread
1/2 Tbsp butter plus 4 Tbsp

Mix first 6 ingredients in a shallow bowl. Heat butter in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Working in batches, dip bread in the egg mixture and cook until golden, 2-3 minutes per side, adding more butter as needed. Trasfer to a baking sheet and bake until puffed, about 8-10 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt remaining 4 Tbsp butter in the same skillet until browned, about 5 minutes. Drizzle the French toast with the browned butter and maple syrup.

Tips: Avoid thin sandwich bread. Make sure the skillet is hot so the bread will crisp immediately - a good pan will turn our soggy bread. Resist the urge to press the toast with spatula - this makes for a dense, not fluffy outcome.


Taco Pizza

1 can refrigerated thin pizza crust
1 lb lean (at least 80%) ground beef
1 package taco seasoning mix
1/4 cup water
1 can chopped green chiles, drained - or fresh if you have available
1/4 cup sliced ripe olives, drained
2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend (8 oz)
1 1/2 cups shredded lettuce
1 cup seeded chopped tomato (1 large)
Crushed corn chips, if desired
salsa, if desired

Heat oven to 400°F. Spray or grease 15x10-inch or larger dark or nonstick cookie sheet. Unroll dough on cookie sheet; starting at center, press dough into 15x10-inch rectangle.

In skillet, cook beef, taco seasoning mix and water as directed on package. Spoon evenly on dough. Top with chiles, olives and cheese.

Bake 13 to 16 minutes or until crust is golden brown and cheese is melted. Top with remaining ingredients.

Beachcomber Cookies

Courtesy of Foodnetwork.com & Aida Mollenkamp

Bake 18-20 minutes; yields 4 dozen cookies

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 sticks unsalted butter (1/2 pound), room temperature
1 3/4 cups packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup milk chocolate chips
3/4 cup toasted flaked unsweetened coconut
3/4 cup finely chopped toasted pecans (optional)

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F and arrange a rack in the middle.

Place flour, baking powder salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a medium bowl and whisk to combine; set aside.

Combine butter and sugar in a large bowl and beat over medium speed until mixture resembles wet sand and is airy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time, letting each fully incorporate before adding the next. Add vanilla extract. Reduce speed to low, add flour mixture in 2 parts, and mix until just combined. Add remaining ingredients and mix until evenly combined.

Using a 2-inch scoop (Cookie Scoop), drop dough onto baking sheets, spaced about 1-inch apart. Bake until cookies are puffed, set, and tops and undersides are golden brown, rotating sheets halfway through, about 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven, let cool on sheets 2 minutes, then remove to wire racks to cool completely.
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