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Your Last Minute July 4th Appetizer: Stuffed Italian Salad Shells

Originally posted on Once Upon a Spice:

butchandnellies photo source: butchandnellies

Where’s the marinara?! Where’s the ricotta?! Not in these delectably gorgeous stuffed pasta shells with a twist! Yes, time to think outside the box…pasta box and incorporate “chopped” salad that is. :-) I’ve found these crunchy delectables transport well, so they’re great appetizers for parties, picnics and gatherings. What I noticed most was how quickly they disappeared; one after the other, smile after smile and Mmmm after Oohhh! Amazingly delicious!

Ingredients:

1 (16 ounce) package jumbo pasta shells

4 cups chopped salad mix…I used Dole Summer salad

1⁄2 cup chopped fresh basil

1 cup coarsely chopped cooked chicken

1 cup coarsely chopped tomatoes

3⁄4 cup coarsely chopped cucumber

1/2 cup chopped black olives

1/4 cup garbanzo beans, drained & rinsed

1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

4 ounces Italian hard salami, chopped

1⁄3 cup Italian dressing

Directions:

Cook pasta shells as directed on the package.

Drain and cool…

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Golden Lemony 4th of July Potato Salad Featuring Dijon & Dill

earthfamily

This creamy slightly piquant salad is paired with the rich, sweet, soft texture and pleasant aroma of dill and spicy Dijon; kissed with white wine and seasonings. It makes the perfect traveling or stay at home picnic fare. Alongside fried or barbecued chicken, or anything grilled, you have a complete culinary celebration. Delectable!

Yukon-Gold

Ingredients:

3 pounds small Yukon Gold potatoes (fingerlings are nice but not a necessity)

Kosher salt

1 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup buttermilk

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard

1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice

6 hard-boiled eggs, peeled & chopped course

1/2 cup chopped fresh dill

Freshly ground black pepper

Kosher salt to taste

1/2 cup chopped celery

1/2 cup chopped red onion

Additional fresh dill and lemon slices for garnishing

DSC_0435

Directions:

Place potatoes and 2 tablespoons of salt in a large pot of water. Bring water to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 – 20 minutes, until potatoes are almost tender when pierced with a fork. Drain potatoes in a colander, then place colander with the potatoes over the empty pot and cover with a clean, dry kitchen towel. Allow the potatoes to steam for 15 to 20 minutes.
In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, buttermilk, Dijon mustard, whole grain mustard, dill, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of pepper and lemon juice. Set aside.
When potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them in quarters or in half, depending on their size. Place cut potatoes in a large bowl. While they are still warm, pour enough dressing over them to moisten. Add the celery and red onion, 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Toss well. Gently fold in hard boiled eggs, cover, and refrigerate for a few hours to allow the flavors to blend. Garnish with additional dill and lemon slices before serving. Serve cold or at room temperature.

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Guest Chef Wednesday! Summertime Pasta! Ellie’s Penne with Sun Dried Tomato Pesto

Originally posted on Once Upon a Spice:

ei1c12_penne_pesto.jpg.rend.snigalleryslide

Ellie’s pasta recipe is simple, quick and extremely scrumptious! When we tested it we were so surprised it took less than 15 minutes to prepare! The salty sweetness of the sun-dried tomatoes, pungent fresh garlic and licorice-like, crisp basil provided a combo of flavors that even the kids loved! What an easy, delicious summertime pasta recipe! 15 minutes? Really? Yes!!!

Ingredients

12 ounces penne pasta

1 (8.5-ounce) jar sun-dried tomatoes packed in olive oil

2 garlic cloves

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 cup (packed) fresh basil leaves

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Directions

Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.

Meanwhile, blend sun-dried tomatoes and their oil, garlic, salt and pepper, to taste, and basil in a food processor or blender and blend until…

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Louisiana Cajun Creole Style Red Beans & Rice

Originally posted on Once Upon a Spice:

Best Plated All Pretty in the Plate

While I didn’t grow up in Louisiana I simply love Cajun fare especially red beans and rice. I remember watching Creole Chef Justin Wilson as a teen—‘memba him?? He was a wonderful cooking inspiration and I looked forward to each of his programs with great anticipation. Justin’s Deep- South Cajun style and mannerisms made him one amusing cooking entertainer.

Recently, I had the opportunity to serve this dish to a good Cajun friend of mine. I asked for his honest opinion and critique and his exact words to me were, “Oooo wee dis give me frissons (goose bumps) they’re just like I remember!” I passed the test with flying colors—coulda been beans instead ;-)

This simple Cajun dish is easy to prepare, slightly spicy, very filling and brimming with Creole flavors. Made with Cajun seasonings and andouille sausage. This is a great Sunday dinner served…

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Preserve Your Superb Herbs!

Originally posted on Once Upon a Spice:

Herbs in Bowl

Is your basil bushy? And your oregano out of hand? Yes, we all have wonderful intentions for our herb gardens and get overly zealous and buy every potted herb in sight at the nursery during the onset of summer, but now what? Preserve your herbs! It’s simple quick and tastefully easy! Dig out your ice cube trays and get to freezing! You will have the taste of summertime herbs in the dead of winter and any season.  Not to mention, you’ll feel great that you didn’t waste one little flavorsome leaf.

Herbs Tray Amazing herbs frozen in thyme :-)

The list and combinations are endless. You can chop each herb separately or combine them—your choice. Want Italian? Chop basil, oregano & rosemary. Want Greek? Add some mint to your Italian chop. See where I’m going with this? Chopped garlic and toasted nuts work great in your combos as well. The lists are…

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Preserve Your Superb Herbs!

Originally posted on Once Upon a Spice:

Herbs in Bowl

Is your basil bushy? And your oregano out of hand? Yes, we all have wonderful intentions for our herb gardens and get overly zealous and buy every potted herb in sight at the nursery during the onset of summer, but now what? Preserve your herbs! It’s simple quick and tastefully easy! Dig out your ice cube trays and get to freezing! You will have the taste of summertime herbs in the dead of winter and any season.  Not to mention, you’ll feel great that you didn’t waste one little flavorsome leaf.

Herbs Tray Amazing herbs frozen in thyme :-)

The list and combinations are endless. You can chop each herb separately or combine them—your choice. Want Italian? Chop basil, oregano & rosemary. Want Greek? Add some mint to your Italian chop. See where I’m going with this? Chopped garlic and toasted nuts work great in your combos as well. The lists are…

View original 150 more words

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“Wave to the Printer” by Jackson Stones The future of cooking? PRINT your dinner?

Originally posted on Once Upon a Spice:

3d
“Wave to the Printer”
Jackson Stones
At this very moment in the history of cooking there lurks a strange object that could change the world. 3D printing awaits the unsuspecting in their kitchen. Some have heard of it, most ignore it, whilst purists fear it’s the Devil’s Spawn and will ruin the world of cooking. They once pushed the same negative propaganda with the microwave, a machine we see in most kitchens.
Where we are now with 3D printers is the first stage, that of denial. No serious person wants one and many say how unhealthy and lacking in creativity and flavor the food is. Soon, we will go into the second or experimental stage. This will be generated by self-proclaimed aficionados on trendy TV cooking shows. They’ll flaunt their oh-so-clever modernist approach with their amazing technological prowess. Finally, we will arrive at the last stage; acceptance. It will become…

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