Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Pasta Salad Shells

How fun are these little guys?! I was looking for a twist on pasta salad and I ran across the idea of a salad stuffed into a large pasta shell. Instead of using traditional salad components, I used items I like to put into pasta salad. There is no real recipe to this, it is more a concept..but here is what I used:

Inspired by Betty Crocker


large cooked pasta shells
chopped fresh spinach
mini pepperoni
chopped cucumbers
chopped tomatoes
sliced black and green olives
chopped broccoli
shredded Italian blend cheese
Italian salad dressing


Mix together all your ingredients and stuff into pasta shells...that is it!

Some tips: Make sure your filling ingredients are chopped into small pieces. The pasta shells can be cooked ahead and refrigerated. Cook as directed on package; drain, rinse under cold water and drain again. Toss with a teaspoon of vegetable oil. Refrigerate in a tightly covered container or resealable plastic food-storage bag up to 2 to 3 days.

Recipe Rewind: Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Honey Bun Cake

I was craving honey buns and cinnamon rolls and this was the perfect quick fix. Think about making this the next time you are hosting a brunch....or having a craving like myself.

From Allrecipes


1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
3/4 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1 (8 ounce) container sour cream
1 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

2 cups confectioners' sugar
4 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).

In a large mixing bowl, combine cake mix, oil, eggs and sour cream. Stir by hand approximately 50 strokes, or until most large lumps are gone. Pour half of the batter into an ungreased 9x13 inch glass baking dish. Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon, and sprinkle over the batter in the cake pan. Spoon the other half of the batter into the cake pan, covering the brown sugar and cinnamon. Twirl the cake with a butter knife or icing knife until it looks like a honey bun (or whatever design you want to make).

Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Frost cake while it is still fairly hot. Serve warm.

To Make the frosting: In a small bowl, whisk together the confectioner's sugar, milk and vanilla until smooth.

Recipe Rewind: Strawberry and Marshmallow Whoopie Pies

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Poke Cake

So...this post is waaaay behind, I made this for the 4th of July last year. Most people are familiar with jello poke cakes, I simply used one red jello (strawberry) and one blue jello (blue/raspberry) to give it that patriotic look. The original version is for a lemon cake, and I really need to give that one a try soon. This cakes ends up being so moist and full of flavor.

Adapted from Kraft


2 baked round white cake layers (9 inch), cooled
2 cups boiling water
1 package (3 ounces) JELL-O Strawberry
1 package (3 ounces) JELL-O Blue/Raspberry
1 package (3.4 ounces) JELL-O Strawberry Cream Instant Pudding
1 cup cold milk
3 cups thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping


Place cake layers**, top-sides up, in 2 clean 9-inch round pans. Pierce cakes with large fork at 1/2-inch intervals. (**I lined my cake pans with plastic wrap to make it easier to get the cakes out.)

Add 1 cup boiling water to strawberry gelatin mix; stir 2 minutes until completely dissolved. Carefully pour over one cake layer. Add the last cup of boiling water to the blue/raspberry gelatin mix; stir 2 minutes until completely dissolved. Carefully pour over remaining cake layer. Refrigerate 3 hours.

Beat pudding mix and milk in large bowl with whisk 2 min.; stir in COOL WHIP. Dip 1 cake pan in warm water 10 sec.; unmold onto plate. Spread with about 1 cup pudding mixture. Unmold second cake layer; carefully place on first cake layer. Frost top and side of cake with remaining pudding mixture. Refrigerate 1 hour.

Recipe Rewind: Stove Top Mac and Cheese

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Chili Chicken Sandwiches

This is the perfect sandwich when you looking for something comforting when you do not have much time during the week.

From Taste of Home


1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
2 cups cubed cooked chicken
1-1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies
3 tablespoons chopped green onions (I omitted)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
4 hard rolls
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro (I used parsley)
I also mixed in some hot sauce


In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese until fluffy. Stir in the chicken, cheddar cheese, chilies, onions and seasonings.

Cut top fourths off of rolls; carefully hollow out bottoms, leaving 1/4-in. shells (discard removed bread or save for another use). Fill bottom portions with chicken mixture; replace tops.

Place on a baking sheet. Bake at 375° for 5-7 minutes or until golden brown. Sprinkle with cilantro. Yield: 4 servings.

Recipe Rewind: Spicy Bean Salsa and Pierogi and Kielbasa Bake

Monday, January 2, 2012

Ultimate Sriracha Burger

This burger was wonderful. I loved the mix of saltiness from the soy sauce and spiciness from the Sriracha. I actually mixed the meat the night before so the flavor really had time to get in there.

Barely adapted from Oishii


1 1/2 pounds ground chuck
2 tablespoons soy sauce
5 tablespoons Sriracha, divided
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
4 slices thick cut bacon
3/4 cup blue cheese dressing
4 buns
4 thick slices Swiss cheese
1 tomato, sliced
several handfuls of spinach


In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, soy sauce, 2 1/2 tablespoons. of the Sriracha, and the pepper. Be careful not to overmix. Form the mixture into 4 patties, and set aside, on a parchment-lined plate, covered, in the refrigerator.

Preheat a charcoal or gas grill to medium high heat. In a medium frying pan over medium-low heat, cook the bacon, turning as necessary. Once the bacon is cooked through and slightly crispy, remove the slices from the pan, cut each in half crosswise, and drain onto paper towels.

Grill the burgers, turning once, 4 to 41/2 minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer registers 130° to 135°F for medium-rare.

While the burgers are cooking, combine the blue cheese dressing with the remaining 2 1/2 tablespoons Sriracha in a small bowl.

Lightly toast the buns on the grill during the last minute of cooking time.
Assemble the ultimate burger! Spread the blue cheese mixture on both halves of each hamburger bun. Stack a burger patty, slice of swiss cheese, bacon, slice of tomato, and a small handful of spinach between each hamburger bun.

Recipe Rewind: Savory Shortbread and Italian Spinach Spread