Mandarin Pasta Spinach Salad with Teriyaki Dressing

Mandarin Pasta Spinach Salad with mandarin oranges, dried cranberries, pine nuts, cilantro and a light teriyaki dressing.  It’s a truly unique combination of ingredients that absolutely works to make a healthy and light, yet filling pasta salad.  It’s quick and easy and the only chopping required is for the cilantro.

Thank you, Carolyn M., for sharing this recipe!

Salad Ingredients:

8 ozs bow tie pasta

4 cups spinach leaves

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/3 cup pine nuts

1 small can mandarin oranges, drained

1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro

Dressing Ingredients:

1/3 cup teriyaki sauce (use the thinner version that resembles the consistency of soy sauce)

1/3 cup rice vinegar

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. onion powder

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1 T. sugar

1/2 cup canola or olive oil

Cook pasta according to package instructions, rinse, and let cool completely.

Mix all of the dressing ingredients in a jar.  Cover and shake well.  Chill in the refrigerator.

Combine all of the salad ingredients in a large, covered bowl and store in the refrigerator.

When it’s potluck time, toss the salad with the dressing and serve!

 

 

 

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National Key Lime Pie Day!

Key Lime Pie3

What?!?!  It’s National Key Lime Pie Day!  Celebrate the day by making this fantastic Key Lime Pie recipe, courtesy of Jamie G.

Ingredients:

2/3 cups slivered almonds, sliced

1 cup graham cracker crumbs

1/4 cup white sugar

1 pinch of salt

1/4 cup butter, melted

4 egg yolks

14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk

1/2 cup key lime or regular lime juice

3/4 cup heavy cream

1/2 tsp. grated lime zest

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Pulse almonds in a food processor until finely ground.  Combine the almonds with the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and salt.  Pour in the melted butter and mix until evenly moistened.  Press into a 9 inch pie plate.

Bake crust in oven until golden brown, approximately 10 to 13 minutes.

While the crust is baking, beat the egg yolks in a bowl with the condensed milk, cream, and lime zest.  Whisk in the lime juice a little at a time to thicken the custard.  When the crust is finished baking, pour the custard into the pie crust and return to the oven.  Bake for 15 minutes to help the custard begin to set.

Cool to room temperature on a wire rack before covering loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

German Chocolate Cupcakes

I always prefer cupcakes to cakes and these German Chocolate Cupcakes are no exception.  There’s a much better ratio of coconut pecan topping to cake.   And you get bonus chocolate frosting on the top!  This recipe is for one batch of 24 cupcakes, but there was enough topping leftover for at least another 12 cupcakes.

Ingredients:

1 batch of chocolate cake mix (I used a box mix!)

1 jar of chocolate frosting

4 egg yolks

12 ozs. evaporated milk

1 1/2 cups sugar

3/4 cup butter

2 cups shredded coconut

1 cup chopped pecans.

Bake the cupcakes in liners, according to the instructions.  Let cool completely.

To make the filling, whisk the egg yolks, milk, and vanilla in a medium sauce pan.  Add the sugar and butter.  Continue whisking over medium heat for about 10 minutes or until the mixture is thick.  Remove from heat and stir in the coconut and pecans.  Let cool.

Pipe frosting around the outer edge of each cupcake.  Add the coconut filling to the center.

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until potluck time!

Hawaiian Pineapple Bars

 

I’m loving these Hawaiian Pineapple Bars!  They are really easy to make and a fun change from the usual bar recipes.  The pineapple gives them a perfectly chewy edge with a soft center.

Tenaiya found this recipe on the Lost American Recipes website and sent it to me.  It originated in a compilation cookbook by the “Maui Extension Homemakers Council.”

Ingredients:

2 cups granulated sugar

1/2 cup butter, melted

4 eggs

20 oz. can crushed pineapple, well drained

1 cup chopped walnuts, optional

1 1/2 cups flour

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

In a mixing bowl, combine the butter and sugar.  Add the eggs and mix well.  In a separate bowl, mix the flour, salt, and baking soda.

Add the flour mixture to the butter/sugar mixture and mix well.   Add the pineapple and optional walnuts and stir until well-combined.

Pour batter into a greased 9 x 11 pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let bars cool completely.  Cut into squares and store in an airtight container until potluck time!

Pineapple Upside Down Cupcakes

I was feeling like a non-chocolate potluck dessert (a very rare occasion!) and Pineapple Upside Down Cake sounded really good.  I’ve never made it before and I thought cupcakes would be even better.  (I tend to prefer cupcakes over cakes because the ratio of toppings to cake is much more evenly distributed.)  Found this recipe for Pineapple Upside Down Cupcakes on the Betty Crocker website.  The brown sugar butter glaze caramelizes the tops and the pineapple perfectly to make these cupcakes sweet and luscious!

Ingredients:

1 box yellow cake mix (I used Betty Crocker’s Extra Moist Yellow Cake and highly recommend it!)

1/2 cup vegetable oil

3 eggs

20 oz. can of sliced pineapple, drained and reserve the juice

1/3 cup butter, melted

2/3 cup packed brown sugar

12 maraschino cherries, cut in half

24 baking cups

Spray the baking cups really well with non-stick cooking spray.

Drain the pineapple slices and set the juice aside.  Cut the pineapple rings into four pieces each.  Cut the maraschino cherries in half.

On low speed for 30 seconds, mix the cake mix, oil, eggs, and pineapple juice.  Continue mixing on medium speed for two minutes.

In a separate bowl, combine the butter and brown sugar.  Put 1 1/2 tsp. of butter mixture into each baking cup.  Add a maraschino cherry in the center (round side down) and then add two pineapple slices on top of the cherry.  Lastly, add 1/4 cup of batter on top of everything.

Bake the cupcakes in the oven at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let cool for 5 minutes.  Flip the cupcakes upside down on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Carefully remove the baking cup liners

Serve warm or at room temperature.  You’re ready for potluck time!

Memorial Day Potluck Recipes!

  

   

I can’t believe that it’s time to kick off BBQ season again!  We have our top recipe picks for your Memorial Day weekend potlucks with everything from savory dips, healthy and not-so healthy salads, delicious sides, grilled dishes, and of course, desserts!:

APPETIZERS:

Bruschetta Lentil Dip

Buffalo Chicken Dip

Chili Cream Cheese Dip

Chili Sauce and Cream Cheese Appetizer

Feta-Stuffed Watermelon Blocks

Layer Bean Dip

Pizza Dip

Salsa Dip

Soy Chorizo Fundido

FROM THE GRILL:

Bacon Wrapped Cream Cheese Stuffed Peppers

Grilled Corn Salad

Mexican Hot Dogs

Portobello Burgers

Tom’s BBQ Tri Tip

DESSERTS:

Brownies with Peanut Butter Frosting and Salted Peanuts

Chocolate Caramel Cake

Classic Lemon Bars

Deep Dark Chocolate Cookies

Grandma’s Chocolate Eclair Cake

Ice Cream Cake

Ice Cream Sandwiches

Key Lime Pie

Lime Pecan Bars

Mini Lemon Tarts

Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Cake

Ridiculously Easy Coconut Cream Bars

Strawberry Dream Cake

SALADS:

Beet Salad

Broccoli Salad 

Cilantro Corn Salad

Edamame Salad

Greek Pasta Salad

Hawaiian Plate Lunch Mac Salad

Jamie’s Famous Pasta Salad

Multi-Bean Salad

Pea Slaw

Refreshing Watermelon Salad

Simple, Fresh, and Sweet Salad

Spinach Cranberry Salad

Tarragon Potato Salad

Thai Peanut Slaw

Watermelon Cilantro Salad

SIDES:

Baked Beans with Bacon

Baked Corn Casserole

Cheesy Garlic Bread

Potato Casserole

Twice Baked Potatoes with Soy Chorizo

* Let us know what you think of this post by giving us a star rating below!

Cinco de Mayo Potluck Recipes!

baked-corn-casserole  Watermelon Salad with Cilantro  layer-bean-dip

Margarita Sorbet Taco Salad Chipotle Bean Chili

I can’t believe it’s almost Cinco de Mayo!  This is one of my favorite occasions to host or attend a potluck.  Many of these recipes are very simple to make and there are excellent flavor combinations in each recipe. We’ve added some new ones this year including Watermelon Cilantro Salad and Layer Bean Dip!

Any of these recipes are delicious and would be perfect for your Cinco de Mayo potluck:

Baked Corn Casserole

Cannellini Bean Chili

Chicken Tortilla Dish

Cilantro Corn Salad

Layer Bean Dip

Grilled Corn Salad

Margarita Sorbet

Mexican Hot Dogs

Mexican Hot Fudge Sundaes

Quick and Easy Refried Beans

Salsa Dip

Soy Chorizo Fundido

Taco Salad

Twice Baked Potatoes with Soy Chorizo

Vegetarian Tamale Casserole

Watermelon Cilantro Salad

* Like what you see?  Let us know what you think by giving us a star rating below!

Greek Orzo Salad

Greek Orzo Salad is a fresh and healthy, yet filling, potluck dish that really goes a long way!  The oil from the olives and artichoke hearts combine with the lemon juice to make a nice, light dressing that complements the orzo and veggies without being too overbearing.

Ingredients:

6 to 8 ozs. of orzo, cooked according to directions

1 jar of pitted kalamata or black olives, drained and chopped

1 jar of artichoke hearts in oil, drained and chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 english cucumber, peeled and chopped

1 red onion, chopped

8 ozs. firm feta, drained and cubed

Fresh lemon juice, to taste

Salt, to taste

Pepper, to taste

Olive oil, to taste

Combine all of the above ingredients in a large bowl.  You may not need to use the olive oil as the oil from the olives and artichokes, combined with lemon juice, are usually enough.

Cover and store in the fridge until potluck time!  Can be made a day ahead of time.

National Coffee Cake Day!

Today is National Coffee Cake Day and we have two fabulous coffee cake recipes.  Click on the links below to get the recipes!

Crumb Cake

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

National Caramel Popcorn Day!

It’s National Caramel Popcorn Day!

I love caramel popcorn and Brandy’s recipe is one of the best caramel corns I have ever tried! The recipe is very easy and this caramel corn is extremely addicting. So, you should make at least two or three batches (made separately; don’t double or triple the recipe) for a larger crowd.

Ingredients:
8 cups popped corn

1 cup pecans, optional

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup butter

1/4 cup light corn syrup

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 tsp. baking soda

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Remove ALL kernels from the popcorn and place the popped corn and optional nuts in a large bowl.

Cook brown sugar, butter, and light corn syrup in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it boils. Reduce heat to medium low and cook for 5 minutes, without stirring.

Remove from heat and add vanilla and baking soda. Stir until combined. Pour caramel over the popcorn and stir to coat.

Bake for 30 minutes on a cookie sheet, stirring after 15 minutes.

Pour onto wax paper until cooled completely. Store in an airtight container, and hide it from yourself, until potluck time!