Sunday, December 20, 2009

Crab Pesto

1 envelope dried Pesto mix
8 oz. pasta
1/4 cup sliced black olives
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 pkg (1 lb.) imitation crab meat, cut into bite size pieces
1/2 cup shredded cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix Pesto according to package. Cook pasta until tender. In a large bowl toss pasta, Pesto, olives, mayonnaise and imitation crab meat. Transfer to a baking dish sprayed with non-stick spray. Top with cheese. Bake until cheese melts.

I love Pesto and I love pasta salads but have never tried combining the two. The idea came to me in steps as I started making up my Pesto to go over some spaghetti. I first decided to add the black olives and then added a little mayonnaise to thicken and allow the pesto to stick a little better to the pasta. Then I spotted a package of imitation crab meat. It sounded pretty good so why not? Then I thought about adding the cheese and allowing it to melt. I have a best friend, Dusty, who loves any seafood and any pasta dish so she and her husband were perfect to test this one on. She called me later to tell me that it was perfect just the way it was but her husband Richard decided to spice it up by adding a little garlic and onion powder to his. The only other thing I might try adding would be some French fried onions on top of the cheese while melting. You can also use real crab or shrimp.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Eggnog Truffles

1 lb. white chocolate, divided
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. imitation rum extract
ground nutmeg for sprinkling

Melt 8 oz. (1 1/4 cup) of white chocolate according to directions on the package. Beat cream cheese, sugar, nutmeg and rum extract in a large bowl on medium speed until well blended ans smooth. Add melted chocolate and beat until well mixed. Cover and refrigerate 4 hrs. or until firm.

Shape into 3/4" balls and place on waxed paper lined tray. Melt remaining chocolate. Dip truffles, one at a time into the chocolate. Place on wax paper. Sprinkle with nutmeg. Refrigerate 1 hr. or until chocolate is set. Makes about 2 dozen.

There are times that I do use a recipe to the letter and this is one of those times. I love white chocolate and I also love eggnog so these were perfect. One trick that I did while coating my truffles was to insert a toothpick into each, spooned the chocolate over them and removed the toothpick as I placed them on the wax paper. Also, sprinkle each one with nutmeg as soon as it's coated. Otherwise, the chocolate will start setting and the nutmeg won't stick. These are perfect to make with the kids.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Broccoli Salad

1 head of broccoli florets, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/4 cup red onion, sliced thin
1/4 cup salted cashews, chopped
1/4 cup raisins
2 slices bacon, crisp cooked and crumbled

1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbl. vinegar
2 Tbl. sugar
pepper to taste

Combine broccoli, onion, cashews, raisins and bacon. In a small bowl, whisk all dressing ingredients together until smooth. Pour over salad and toss to coat. Refrigerate at least 2-3 hrs. for flavors to blend. It's even better if made the day before you plan to serve.

Changes - mix 1/2 and 1/2 broccoli and cauliflower. Use almonds or peanuts instead of cashews.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Crock Pot Steak Strips with Dumplins

3/4 lb. boneless round steak cut into 1/2" strips
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 tsp. oil
1 can cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1/2 cup beef broth
4 large mushrooms sliced
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped green peppers
1/4 cup celery

1/2 cup self rising flour
1 egg beaten
3 Tbl. milk
1/4 tsp. parsley

Sprinkle steak with pepper. In a large skillet brown steak in oil over medium high heat. Transfer to crock pot. Combine soup, broth and veggies. Pour over steak. Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours.

For dumplins, in a small bowl combine flour, egg and milk until blended. Drop by Tablespoons onto meat mixture. Sprinkle with parsley. Cover and cook on high for 1 hour. Do not lift the cover while cooking. Serves 2

This is another dish for those of you who wanted meals for 2. And of course, you can double the recipe to feed more. Changes can be in the soup using cream of mushroom or cream of celery instead of chicken. You can also use any lean cut of beef for this dish.