Monthly Archives: October 2014

Ranch BLT Pasta Salad

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Ranch BLT Pasta Salad

Oh.  My.  This is so good!

  • 1/2 pound small ridged elbow macaroni or corkscrew pasta
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 (12-oz.) pkg. thick sliced bacon
  • 1 head romaine lettuce
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup ranch dressing
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 5-6 green onions, chopped, opt.

Cook pasta al dente in liberally salted water per package instructions.   Drain pasta then rinse in cold water.  Drain again, then place pasta in a large mixing bowl.  Don’t let it sit and dry out too much; the pasta should be on the moist side.

Add parsley, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and Dijon mustard to pasta, and stir until well combined.  Let pasta “marinate” in the seasonings for 15-20 minutes, uncovered, at room temperature.  (This allows the pasta to soak up the flavors before adding the mayonnaise mixture.)

While pasta is “marinating,” slice bacon into 1/2-inch ribbons, and cook until crispy; drain, and set aside.

Remove softer, outer leaves from lettuce.  Roughly chop approximately 4 cups from the inner (more crunchy) leaves; set aside.

Whip together mayonnaise, ranch dressing, and vinegar, then add mixture to the cooked pasta, and stir to combine.  Add half the bacon, tomato halves, chopped romaine, and green onions to pasta, and gently stir until all ingredients are thoroughly combined.  Top with remaining half of bacon, and serve immediately.

If not serving this immediately, mix all but the romaine and second half of bacon.  When you’re ready to serve, toss pasta with romaine, then top with remaining half of the bacon.

“God can use ordinary instruments to produce a concert of praise.”

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Quick & Easy Green Beans / Bacon

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Quick & Easy Green Beans / Bacon

This is a recipe that I just threw together at the last minute.  I used canned green beans from my pantry.  It tasted wonderful and so easy to make.

This is the basic recipe for two people, but I could’ve eaten it all.  So adjust your recipe for however many people you are serving.

  • 1 (15-oz.) can green beans, drained
  • 1 thick sliced bacon, diced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

In saucepan, saute bacon until most of the fat is rendered, but not crispy.  Remove bacon and fat from pan and drain on a paper towel.  Add butter and brown sugar to pan and stir until sugar is dissolved.  Add beans to pan and drained bacon.  Cook and stir on low until heated through.

Stir very carefully as the beans will fall apart as they cook.  You may use frozen or fresh beans, if you desire.

“Your witness is only as strong as your character.”

Miss Kay’s Chicken & Dumplings

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Miss Kay’s Chicken & Dumplings

Miss Kay is the matriarch of Duck Dynasty and this recipe is out of her cookbook “Miss Kay’s Duck Commander Kitchen”.  This is so good Art and I couldn’t quit eating it.  The dumplings are so easy to make and just delicious.

Broth & chicken

  • 1 large chicken*
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 can (12-oz.) evaporated milk
  • 1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) butter
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons chicken base (my addition to the recipe)

Dumplings

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
  • 5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 tablespoons butter-flavored vegetable shortening (Crisco)
  • 2 cups buttermilk

In a large stock pot, bring 10 cups of water to a boil.  Add the chicken and season with salt and pepper.  Cover and simmer until tender enough to be pierced with a fork, about 1 hour.

Remove the chicken from the broth and set aside.  Add the milk , butter and chicken base to the broth.  Leave the broth to simmer while you make the dumplings.

In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda.  With a pastry blender, cut in the shortening until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Add the buttermilk a little at a time, stirring until a soft dough forms, about like the consistency of biscuit dough.  Divide the dough into 4 balls.

Sprinkle the counter with flour.  Roll each ball of dough to 1/8 to 1/4-inch thick, adding more flour as needed to prevent it from sticking.  Cut into large squares.  (I made mine like strands and they were too small.)

Return the broth to a boil.  Make sure there is enough in the pot to fill at least half the pot.  If not, add more water.

Drop the dumplings into the boiling broth a handful  at a time.  When they are all in, turn the heat to low, cover the pot, and simmer for 15 minutes.

Turn off the heat.  Put the meat back in the pot and let it sit until hot again.

Makes 8 servings.

* You may use a large squirrel, skinned and cut in half, or a large rabbit instead of the chicken.

“As you journey through the wilderness of temptation, Christ’s victory is yours.”

 

 

Super Simple Sugar Cookies

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Super Simple Sugar Cookies

These are the World’s Best Sugar Cookies”.

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks (1/2 pound) butter, softened
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup granulated sugar, plus more for dipping
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt.  In a large bowl, with the electric mixer, beat the butter, oil, and both sugars until creamy.  Add the eggs and vanilla, beating until well blended.

Gradually add the flour to the butter mixture, beating until well combined.  The dough will be light and fluffy.

Using a cookie scoop, drop onto cookie sheets, spacing the cookies about 2 inches apart.

Dip the bottom of a drinking glass in granulated sugar and press the cookies to 1/4 inch thick.

Bake until the edges are golden brown, 9 to 11 minutes.  Let cool on the sheets for a few minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Makes 5 dozen.

“Your witness is only as strong as your character.”

Easy Rugelach

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Easy Rugelach

  • 2 boxes refrigerated pie dough, (4 rounds)
  • 1/2 cup apricot preserves or orange marmalade, pureed in food processor (or not, if you like lumps)
  • 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup raisins, opt.
  • 1 cup walnuts or pecans, finely chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix both sugars, cinnamon, raisins and nuts together in a bowl.

Working with one round of dough at a time, spread 2 tbsp. of preserves on one round.  Then sprinkle with 1/2 cup of the filling.  Lightly press into the dough.  Cut the circle with a pizza cutter into 12 equal wedges   – cutting into quarters and then each quarter into thirds.

Starting with the wide edge, roll up each wedge.  Place cookies, points tucked under, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Mix egg and milk together for egg wash.

Bruch each cookie with egg wash.  Combine 3 tablespoons sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon and sprinkle on the cookies.  Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until lightly browned.  Remove to a wire rack and let cool.

Repeat with remaining rounds of dough.  You should be able to get 2 dozen cookies on one baking sheet.

Makes 4 dozen cookies.

“We can own up to our wrongs – because we can’t hide them from God anyway.”

 

Red Cake or Cupcakes / Butter Frosting

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Red Velvet Cake / Cupcakes / Butter Frosting

I have been making this cake for years.  My family just loves it.  But it is the frosting that makes this cake. You can make a layer cake, a 9 x 13 cake or cupcakes.  If you make cupcakes, it makes about 18.

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened (must use butter)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa
  • 2 (1-oz.) bottles red food coloring
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 oz. (4 tablespoons) water
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream butter and sugar until fluffy.  Add eggs and beat well.  Make paste of cocoa and food coloring and add to sugar mixture.  Add flour and salt alternately with buttermilk, vanilla and water.  Add baking soda and blend well.  Stir in vinegar gently.  Do not beat!!

Bake in 2 round pans for 30 minutes, a 9 x 13 baking pan for 35 to 40 minutes, and cupcakes for 20 minutes.  Or until toothpick comes out clean.  Cool and frost.

Butter Frosting

  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cups butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Cook flour and milk until thick, stirring constantly.  Cool completely.

Cream butter, sugar and vanilla until fluffy.  Add cooled milk mixture.  Beat at high speed on your mixer for 10 minutes.  Yes, I said 10 minutes.  Frost your cake.

“The cross of Christ is the bridge between God and man.”