Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Best Creamy Pasta Salad Ever

It has been above 100 the past few days. Needless to say, I was NOT in the mood to use the oven, yet I was hungry. I visited my friend Martha's website, and combined a few recipes for pasta salad. This salad is a winner.

Recipe Time:

2 Hard boiled eggs*
1 c. Mayo or 1/4 c. Mayo and 3/4 c. Plain yogurt
Lemon juice from 1/2 a lemon
Salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste
Any or all of the following herbs: basil, chives, dill - preferably fresh.
1/2 c. Cherry tomatoes, halved
3 c. Pasta shells or macaroni
A cup-ish of cheese - any kind you have on hand will work (cheddar cubes, ricotta, etc.) but I used feta and LOVED it.

Chop the eggs, and mix with mayo, lemon juice, S&P, garlic powder. Chop and mix in herbs, tomatoes and pasta. Sprinkle with cheese and serve.

Now, this seems like your every day creamy pasta/potato recipe, but the lemon juice and basil, I think, is what really makes this pasta super extra delicious.

*Hard boiling eggs was confusing to me for the longest time. It seems so simple, but there are so many conflicting ways to boil an egg, and I felt like they never turned out okay. But I have now found an idiot proof way to boil eggs: put the eggs in a pot and fill it with cold water. Put it on the stove over high heat. When the water starts boiling (big bubbles), start the timer for 9 minutes. When the 9 minutes is up, run cold water in the pot and after a few minutes, the eggs will be cool enough to peel. Voilá!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Dessert Chips and Salsa

Who knew wonton wrappers were so versatile? Well, Martha Stewart did. She knows everything - or at least those who work for her do. I am not very good at making up recipes from nothing. I have tried that a few times in the past few months, and things always turn out yucky (which is why I haven't posted in a while).

Luckily, I am very good at finding good recipes, and perhaps tweaking them slightly, as necessary. Apparently, this is a skill that not a lot of people have, and this is where I can help my friends.

I found a recipe for this next dish on a random blog, wrote down the ingredients (sans measurements or directions) and then made this super excellent party dish. Back to Martha, while looking for this recipe again, I went on to and found all the things she has done with wonton wrappers. Check them out if you have some left over.

Here is the recipe:

Wonton Chips
As many wonton wrappers as you can cook (these are seriously so good)
2 T Sugar
1 t cinnamon
1 Egg + 1 egg yolk
3 T heavy cream
Sliced almonds

Cut wontons into triangles. Mix eggs and heavy cream. Brush wrappers with egg mixture and place on parchment lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, then the almonds. Bake about 8 minutes until browning and crispy.

Fruit Salsa
Mix together:
Equal parts strawberry and cantaloupe (use a whole cantaloupe), chopped into small pieces
1/2 Jalapeno, seeded, chopped (optional)
1-2 T Agave Nectar (or honey)
Juice from one lime
2 T fresh Basil
1 T fresh Mint

 If you want, you could put other things on the wontons - sesame seeds, add some vanilla to the egg mixture, lime juice and cumin, poppy seeds, sea salt - and use them with whatever kind of salsa you want. The sky's the limit.