Tuesday, September 20, 2011

German Potato Salad

The Menu:
German Potato Salad

The Original Recipe:
I decided to make an unoriginal potato salad (compared to our usual consisting of mayonaise) for our bonfire/cookout that we had here over the weekend. This turned out so good. I think I must just love food because I feel that every time I post a recipe I use the words Delicious and Yum. I cannot help it. When it's good, it's good! And this German Potato Salad was delicous and yummy! You just cannot go wrong with these tangy flavors and of couse bacon!


German Potato Salad


Recipe adapted by Our Best Bites from The Big Book of Backyard Cooking

JDTMamma

2 lbs. small baby potatoes (red, Yukon gold, etc.)

6 oz. bacon (about 1/2 of a standard package)

1/2 c. minced onion

4 cloves minced garlic

1/2 c. white wine vinegar

1/2 c. water

2 tsp. Creole mustard (or a mild coarse-grain mustard, not a strong one in the stout little glass jars)

1 Tbsp. sugar

1/4 c. fresh dill or 1 Tbsp. dry dill



Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. While the water is heating, quarter or slice the potatoes. When the water comes to a boil, add the potatoes and cook until you can pierce them with a fork but not to the point where they are mushy or falling apart. Drain the potatoes and run some cold water over them.



While the potatoes are cooking/cooling, cut 6 ounces of bacon into bite-sized pieces. Place the bacon in a cold skillet and then turn the heat up to medium and cook until the bacon is crispy. While the bacon is cooking, whisk together the vinegar, water, sugar, salt, pepper, and mustard. Set aside. Remove the bacon from the skillet with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate, reserving the drippings in the pan.



Add some minced onion and minced garlic and cook until fragrant and the onions are translucent. Add the vinegar/mustard mixture and turn the heat to high. Cook on high for about 3 minutes or until the dressing has reduced by about 1/3. Remove from heat and add the cooked potatoes. Gently toss the potatoes in the dressing and let it stand for about 5 minutes. Add the bacon and dill and gently toss again and then transfer to a serving dish. Garnish with fresh dill sprigs and serve immediately. Serves 6-8

Creamy Spinach Tortallini Skillet

The Menu:
Creamy Spinach Tortallini Skillet


The Original Recipe:
I have had this recipe in my "to try" file for a long time. I decided to try a "Meatless Monday" and it worked out well. I did a few things differently so my way follows after this one. I really want to try and get into making one dish a week with out any meat in it. My family didn't complain either. It's recipes like this that I need to find more of . They really didn't realize there was no meat in it. My 6-yr. old was happy though. He is going through a "no meat" stage for some reason.

Creamy Spinach and Tortillini casserole

Ingredients

1 pkg. Tortellini

2 Tbls. Olive oil

3 cloves Garlic minced

1 Medium onion diced

1 9oz. Pkg. frozen spinach thawed and chopped and drained

1 cup Tomato (diced tomato in a can is fine; do not drain)

2 tsp. Basil

1 cup Whipping cream

1 Chicken bullion cube

¼ cup Grated parmesan or Romano cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

Cook tortellini to desired doneness as directed on package. Drain; keep warm Meanwhile, heat oil in large skillet over medium heat until hot. Add onion and garlic; cook until tender and lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Add chicken bullion cube, spinach, tomato, basil, salt & pepper; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in milk and butter (or 1 cup whipping cream). cook until mixture just comes to a boil. Reduce heat to low and stir in cooked tortellini. Cook an additional 4 or 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Serve with grated cheese on top if desired

Cook's Notes
1 cup whipping cream = ¾ C milk + 1/3 C butter

The Way I Made It My Own:
I think I made it a bit quicker this way using up some ingredients I had in my pantry. I didn't want to make the alfredo since I had some in a jar premade (*gasp!). This came together pretty fast for a nice easy meal. I did have to double a few things. This fed 6 of us nicely. I am not sure what it is about meatless meals, but my family feels they need to eat more just to fill up. Well, with this meal they were full in no time. It is nice and hearty.

Creamy Spinach Torallini Skillet
Ingredients

2 pkgs. Tortellini
2 Tbls. butter
3 cloves Garlic minced
1 Medium onion diced
1 9oz. Pkg. frozen spinach thawed and chopped and drained
2 cups Tomatos, diced (I used pureed that I had frozen from the garden)
2 tsp. Basil
1 Jar Light Alfredo Sauce
salt and pepper to taste

Preparation
Cook tortellini to desired doneness as directed on package. Drain; keep warm Meanwhile, heat butter in large skillet over medium heat until hot. Add onion and garlic; cook until tender and lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Add spinach, tomato, basil, salt & pepper; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add Alfredo Sauce cook until mixture just comes to a boil. Reduce heat to low and stir in cooked tortallinie. Cook an
additional 4 or 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Cracker Barrel Grilled Chicken Tenderloins

The Menu:
Cracker Barrel Grilled Chicken Tenderloins

The Original Recipe:
I saw this recipe on a blog (and I hate to say I cannot find which one!), and I knew I had to try it. There will be a lot of liquid in the pan, but you just have to boil it off and until it starts to glaze the chicken and browns it a bit. This was delicious! I received 10 thumbs up! This will be on my menu to make again. I did have some tenderloins to use. I think using chicken thighs would taste great, too.

Cracker Barrel Grilled Chicken Tenderloins


4 - 5 chicken breasts, cut into pieces or 12 chicken tenderloins

1 - 8 0z bottle Italian Dressing (1 cup)

2 - teaspoons fresh lime juice (I used bottled)

4 - teaspoons honey


Cut each chicken breast into strips or use tenderloins pieces. If using tenderloins cut and remove the white tendon off each end. In a bowl that has a cover or large Ziploc bag add the dressing, lime juice and honey; mix to combine. Add the chicken and mix to coat all the pieces. Marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Braise the tenders in a non-stick pan until golden brown in color, but not dry. Start the stove temperature at medium high to get things going. After it comes to a boil reduce the heat to low-medium and continue cooking. You just want them to simmer until all the liquid has cooked down. You still want a bit of glaze left in the pan. When chicken is done remove and serve.

Cooking time: 40-45 min



Monday, September 19, 2011

Orange Creamsicle Dessert

The Menu:
Orange Creamsicle Dessert


The Original Recipe:
I am not a fan of those fluffy fruity desserts...especially ones that might include cottage cheese and whatever else. My husband on the other hand loves that kind of stuff. I decided to be nice and make something close to what he likes. He not only liked this but he loved it.
AND--this is one of the best desserts I have had that doesn't include chocolate! I live by my own law that if a dessert doesn't include chocolate I don't like it. However, I had to taste test this in order to make sure it tasted ok before serving it. That's what any good chef does, right? I am so glad I am a taste tester! This tastes just like the creamy orange popsicles you get in the store (or from the ice cream man!). I just mixed it all together and didn't layer it. It worked just fine. Yum!


 
Orange Creamsicle Dessert
 1 sm. Jell-O (orange)
 1 cup sour cream
 1 (8 oz.) container Cool Whip
 1 tsp. vanilla
 1 can mandarin oranges, drained well

Mix the Jell-O packet with the sour cream. Add vanilla and mix well. Fold in Cool Whip. Layer fruit and Jell-O mixture in parfait glasses. Chill. Serve cold.