Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Kahlua Cake

Simplest and Easiest thing ever and MAN is it delicious!

1 box chocolate cake (baked and cooled in a 9*11 dish)
8 oz chocolate mousse (prepared as directed)
1 lg tub whipped topping
1 pkg English Toffee bits (or 6 smashed Heath Bars)
1 cup Kahlua
wax paper
sealing plastic wrap (I like Saran Cling Wrap)

After cake is baked and completely cooled, pierce cake in many places with a metal skewer or knife point.  Brush 1 cup Kahlua over cake and allow to sit for several hours or cover with saran wrap and let sit overnight.

Cut cake into 1 inch cubes, layer bottom of trifle dish with cake, top with 1/2 mousse then 1/2 whipped topping and 1/2 English Toffee bits.  Repeat layers and cover cake with a non stick topper (wax paper is best) then seal well with a sealing cling wrap so that it is air tight.  Refrigerate for at least 6 hours.  Serve chilled.  Left overs keep beautifully as long as your storage container is air tight.

My first ever Kahlua purchase and the results were just OUTSTANDING!!! Now, what to do with all this left over Kahlua?!?!?

Sunday, May 27, 2012

White Sangria

1.5 liters of dry white wine
1/2 liter of soda water
1/2 liter of Sprite or Diet Sprite (or other citrus soda)
1 bag of frozen berries

Cut peaches and pears into bite-sized pieces. Combine wine, soda water and citrus-flavored soda in a large pitcher. Add peaches, pears and raspberries. Chill sangria before serving.  Freeze some of the fruit to keep your drink chilled longer on hot summer evenings!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Cornbread Salad

I have to admit...I was skeptical on this when I first tried it but WOW - this was a HIT!  Not only was it a great dinner but the left overs held up amazingly well and make a yummy lunch!  I haven't liked a new recipe this much in ages!  You're always being invited to a Summer cook out and need to bring a dish!  This fits the bill wonderfully!   Ya'll HAVE to try this for yourself!!!

1 pan cornbread cooled & cubed
1 package Spring Mix (or lettuce of your choice)
1 pint cherry tomatoes (halved)
2 cans red beans, rinsed and drained
2  cans sweet corn drained
8 oz shredded cheddar cheese ( (I mix sharp and mild cheddar)
1 bunch scallions chopped
2 diced bell peppers (mix and match pepper colors as you like)
1 cup shredded carrots
16 ounces Bacon Ranch Dressing

Layer a large bowl with half each of cubed cornbread, lettuce, and remaining veggies then cheese; spoon half of dressing evenly over top. Repeat layers with remaining ingredients and dressing. Garnish with green onions is optional. Cover and chill at least 2 hours. Before serving toss gently or serve layered.

Play with the veggies, include what you like, omit what you don't like.  The corn and the beans really make this salad wonderful.  The texture is fantastic and it is a very hearty dish.

I did this presentation in pint jars for individual "picnic" size portions!  I am so pleased and have plenty to share tomorrow at the office! 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Unstuffed Peppers with Pan Roasted Squash

It's Monday .... and Man was it a MONDAY!  I had every intention of coming home and making a beautiful presentation of stuffed bell peppers with zucchini and squash k-bobs on the grill...then the aforementioned MONDAY and RAIN...both foiled my enthusiasm and I folded my grand plan.  The thing about having to feed your family is having your ingredients on hand and being forced into plan B is that resourcefulness shows up and becomes your new BFF!

Today's solution was - Unstuffed Peppers and Pan Roasted Squash!  And I must say...dang good in BOTH cases (even if I do say so myself:)!

Unstuffed Peppers is exactly what you would imagine

3 Bell Peppers (washed, seeded and halved)
1 lb ground chuck (browned and drained - ground turkey or chicken is fine if you prefer)
1 box of long grain wild rice (prepared as directed - I microwave mine for 10 minutes)
1 small can tomato sauce*
3 Tbl Worcestershire Sauce
Salt and Pepper to taste

I placed my peppers in the skillet with the lid on for about 5 minutes on each side to start the roasting process.  When they began to cook and become tender, remove them and chop into cubes.  At that point, start your rice in the microwave and add your ground chuck to the skillet, season beef with salt and pepper, then brown and drain.  When the beef is done, add back to skillet, add chopped peppers, add cooked rice, 1/2 cup water, tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce.  Allow mixture to simmer for 10 - 15 minutes on low heat until flavors blend.

* If you like a zippier taste, substitute Rotel Brand tomato sauce for a spicier flavor!

This was all ready in less than half an hour!  It tasted great and would feed four easily.  For us it was one REALLY hungry man, me and two lunches :)

Since my k-bobs were a no go...I tried something I've never done before - I pan roasted sliced squash.  No oil, no breading, nothing...just sliced the yellow squash and zucchini and put it in a non-stick skillet and seasoned it with salt and pepper.  That's it...just let it roast about 4 minutes on each side.  It will brown slightly.  It had a great texture and was so good we were nibbling on it as fast as it came out of the pan!

All I added was a quartered tomato and that plate had every possible pretty color and was a thing to behold!  On the table by 6:00 pm, a relatively healthy dinner with easy clean up.  My Monday is improving by the minute!  Hope yours does too!