So, I was reading Big Mama's blog and she is calling for summer recipes! Oh how I love summer, but oh how I hate the heat.
I often wonder how I survived the summer at camp all those years without A/C. Now that I'm walking in the 3-Day, I need to train in the heat to get a "well-rounded experience."
Thank God for those pick up vans during the 3-day!
So, Big Mama--and all of you other bloggy people who are looking for something different for your dinner table, here you go!
AWESOME PASTA SALAD
4 chicken breasts--cooked and cut into cubes
1 box of pasta (rotini or penne) boiled, drained and rinsed in cool water
1 bunch of fresh spinach--washed & cut into strips
1 pint of grape tomatoes--washed
1 small red onion--diced
1 yellow pepper--diced
1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar
2 T of dijon or spicy mustard
2T of honey
2T of dried basil or Italian seasoning
1/4 cup of olive oil
combine dressing ingredients, whisk in olive oil until well combined.
Toss all ingredients into a large bowl and toss well. Add dressing a little at a time until everything is well coated. Serve!
Can be kept in the 'fridge for 4 days.
One great thing about this pasta salad is you can add whatever you want to the mix! Don't like spinach--don't add it. Vegetarian? Skip the chicken. It's pretty easy to make and well liked by all.
Summer heat + oven on in the house = A/C running full blast and a high electric bill.
But this is great...so maybe for a cooler summer day?
12 (6 inch) flour tortilla
1 1/2 lbs ground beef (I use ground turkey)
2 tablespoons taco seasoning mix
1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt
1 (14 1/2 ounce) can diced tomatoes with chilis
2 (8 ounce) cans tomato sauce
16 ounces cottage cheese, pureed
1 large egg, beaten
2 cups shredded colby-monterey jack cheese, divided
Cut each tortilla into 2 or 3 pieces; set aside.
Brown ground meat in a large skillet until crumbly; drain fat. Add seasonings, tomatoes, tomato sauce to the skillet; stir and bring to a boil; reduce heat and cook for 5 minutes.
Combine cottage cheese, egg, and 1 1/3 cups of the shredded cheese in a separate bowl.
In a lightly greased 9x13" baking pan, spread (in layers) half of the meat mixture, then half of the tortilla pieces, and then half of the cheese mixture; repeat the layers, ending with cheese mixture; sprinkle remaining 2/3 cup shredded cheese.
Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 20-30 minutes or until hot and bubbly around edges; remove from oven and let stand 5-10 minutes before cutting into serving portions.
OATMEAL COOKIE PANCAKES
This, by far is my favorite breakfast--that we often eat for dinner! Thank you Rachel Ray!
1 cup old fashioned oats
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 ounces, 1/4 cup, chopped walnuts
3/4 cup sour cream
3/4 cup whole milk (we use what we have on hand, which is usually 1%)
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 really ripe bananas, mashed up
3/4 cup raisins
1/2 stick butter plus 1/4 cup, melted (plus additional for buttering skillet)
Maple syrup or honey, for drizzling
Here's a great tip: if you cannot find really ripe bananas, just nuke them in the microwave for about 15 seconds and they will become super soft for mashing.
Mix dry ingredients, the first 7, in a bowl. In a another bowl, mix the wet ingredients, the next 4. Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry until just combined, then fold in the mashed up bananas and the raisins. Stir in the melted butter.
Heat a griddle over medium heat and brush with additional melted butter. Cook pancakes, each about 1/3 cup, until bubbles form on the top, then turn. Cakes will cook in about 2 minutes on each side. Keep pancakes tented with foil as they come off the griddle to keep them hot.
Serve with drizzled honey or maple syrup over the top.
And finally, a favorite in our house:
BBQ CHICKEN PIZZA
Again...who wants to heat up the oven. But you can actually do this on the BBQ grill! Use one of those Boboli crusts in the grocery pizza fixin' aisle.
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into small pieces
Salt and pepper to taste
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons barbecue sauce, divided
1 (10-ounce) can prepared pizza crust or Boboli crust
1 cup shredded Gouda cheese
1 cup shredded part skim Mozzarella cheese
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
2 green onions, (scallions), sliced
Instructions **EDITED** (would help if I wrote the directions for a grill, not a stove, huh!?)
Preheat your grill. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and cook on grill until done. Remove, cut into strips and put into a bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons barbecue sauce. Spread pizza crust with remaining ¾ cup sauce. Sprinkle evenly with Gouda, Mozzarella, red onion slices, chicken and green onions.
Brush your grill with a little non-stick spray and lay pizza on top. Close lid on grill and heat through until cheese melts.
There you go bloggers. Enjoy!