Friday, May 27, 2016

Dyed Red, White and Blue Noodles for a Patriotic Pasta Salad

Let's add a little flair to the summer holiday BBQ and make a Patriotic Pasta Salad with Red, White and Blue Noodles. All it takes is some red and blue food dye and this festive dish will be ready in no time. The key to not having the colors bleed together once the salad is mixed is cooking the pasta in dyed water, then rinsing it in cold water until it runs clear.
I cooked the blue noodles with 10 drops of dye, the red with 20, I like the intensity of the red... 
The colors stayed vibrant and didn't run even after being in the fridge over night. 

  1. For each cup of cooking water use 10-20 drops of food coloring.
  2. Cook pasta per directions on the package or until desired doneness, drain and run under cold water until the water runs clear.
  3. Make your favorite pasta salad recipe and enjoy!
Show your colors and have a happy day:@)

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Thursday, May 26, 2016

Gearing Up for Memorial Day




Whether headed out of town or hanging around the house...
I hope all of your Memorial Day plans are coming together nicely.
Have a happy day:@)

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Stars and Stripes Deviled Eggs

How about jazzing up the backyard BBQ with some Stars and Stripes Deviled Eggs. Instead of dying the whites, this time I colored them with food writing markers, it was easy and fun. You're only limited by your imagination and um, patience:@)
Cut the hard boiled eggs in half and pop the yolks into a bowl, mix up your favorite deviled egg recipe, set aside.
Dab the top of the whites a couple times with a paper towel to dry them a bit.
Gently draw on your designs, occasionally wiping the pen tip with a paper towel.
Fill the centers with the yolk mixture.
Cover and chill until ready to serve.

I used these Wilton Food Writing Pens.
You can find them at the craft stores, Walmart and some supermarkets.
Full Disclosure: After a couple hours the red did begin to turn into more of a hot pink color. 
So these eggs are best served shortly after they've been decorated.
I don't know if the Americolor Pens would keep a true red color longer. 
If they want to send me some, I'll gladly conduct that experiment in the name of science:@)

Another fun option, you could dye the whole egg HERE.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Root Beer Barbecue Sauce

Once again a recipe advertisement in a food magazine caught my eye. This Root Beer BBQ Sauce was really different, we could taste both the root beer and the citrus. It's also more on the tangy rather than sweet side, easy adjusted with more brown sugar if your crew likes things sweeter. And it calls for... no heat. No hot sauce, chipotle, jalapenos... nothing spicy at all. If you're having a BBQ Sauce tasting party this summer (which is a really fun idea BTW:@), I think you'd be happy adding a root beer sauce to the list of things to try.
We added the sauce to pulled pork sandwiches, a very good choice!

Root Beer Barbecue Sauce-from Lea & Perrins ad in June 2016 Food Network Magazine
12 oz root beer
1/2 C ketchup
1/4 C lemon juice
1/4 C orange juice
2 Tblsp barbecue sauce-I used original Sweet Baby Ray's 
2 Tblsp brown sugar
2 Tblsp Worcestershire sauce
1 Tblsp molasses
1/2 tsp ground ginger
~Mix everything in sauce pan, simmer until thick, about 45 minutes. I did let mine cook for about an hour and a half, I wanted it to really stick to the meat.

Try something new and have a happy day:@)

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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Rhubarb Crisp

Every once in a while I just don't feel like making a pie, yep, I just don't. But I didn't want to let fresh rhubarb season pass us by without whipping up a little something and this Rhubarb Crisp was very good! And easy, did I mention easy:@) You can mix in some strawberries or apples or raisins if you'd like, I added an apple. We all really enjoyed this dessert but I will probably add more fruit the next time, at least 1-2 more cups.
Don't hesitate to make this very tasty seasonal treat folks, and if you happen to have some vanilla ice cream in the freezer... 
Well, that would be a beautiful thing too:@)

Rhubarb Crisp-from Taste of Home, originally from Quaker Oats
3/4 C sugar
3 Tbslp cornstarch
3 C sliced rhubarb
2 C sliced apples or strawberries
1 C quick cooking or old fashioned oats
1/2 C brown sugar, packed
1/2 C butter, melted
1/3 C A/P flour
1 tsp cinnamon
vanilla ice cream-optional
  1. Mix sugar and cornstarch in large bowl. Add fruit and gently mix well.
  2. Spoon into 8x8 baking dish. 
  3. Mix oatmeal, brown sugar, butter, flour and cinnamon in small bowl, should resemble coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over fruit.
  4. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until bubbly and fruit is tender.
  5. Serve warm with ice cream if desired.
Have a happy day:@)

Monday, May 16, 2016

Grilled Raspberry Hot Chicken Wings and Chicken Fat Roasted Sweet Potatoes

It is the middle of May and even though it's been a cold and rainy spring here in Philly I just needed to fire up the grill, so I decided to try some Grilled Raspberry Hot Chicken Wings. My sauce was simply equal parts Raspberry Jam and Frank's Hot Sauce, a nice combination of sticky sweet heat:@)

Used my 'mess free, stress free method' of cooking chicken on the grill HERE, I placed it on a disposable aluminum tray. Cooked the drumlettes closer to the direct heat, and wings a little more towards indirect heat since they cook faster. This pic is at the end of the cooking time.

The sweet potatoes were an experiment and didn't turn out bad. I will say the wings didn't give off as much fat as I hoped though and you do need to keep the potatoes at the far end of the heat (or they'll get dark like mine did, but I did still enjoy them:@) Next time I might make enough raspberry hot sauce to slather the sweet potatoes too.

Grilled Raspberry Hot Chicken Wings and Chicken Fat Roasted Sweet Potatoes
  1. Mix raspberry jam and your favorite hot sauce (I used Frank's), approximately 2 Tblsp of each per six wings. Set aside until chicken is done cooking.
  2. Rub wings and sweet potatoes with a little olive oil and sprinkle with S&P.
  3. Spray disposable tray with cooking oil, put chicken and potatoes on tray, add drumlettes to one side and potatoes to the other side, wings in middle. Place tray on heated grill, drumlettes on hotter side of indirect heat, close grill lid, cook for 10 minutes. It should be medium hot.
  4. Move tray over medium-hot flame (drumlettes over hottest part) and cook covered, your grill should be hot enough to hear the meat sizzling. Turn the chicken and potatoes every 10 minutes for approximately 20 minutes or until the juices run clear. Slather wings with raspberry jam/hot sauce the last few minutes of cooking and heat through,
  5. Plate up your dinner, toss tray, smile smugly at your clean grill and love life:@)
Have a smoky, sticky sweet happy day!

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Saturday, May 14, 2016

Pressure Cooker Buttery Lima Beans with Bacon

I love it when my first bite of something makes me say "wow".  These Pressure Cooker Buttery Lima Beans with Bacon have amazing flavor and are truly wow worthy. Creamy beans, bacon, butter, onions and brown sugar... This is a very hearty side dish, and truthfully, I would be happy eating it as my main meal for lunch. Think you don't like lima beans? This might just change your mind:@)
I chose to use four pieces of bacon but amped up the flavor by cooking it using the brown feature in the pressure cooker and subbing the bacon fat for one tablespoon of the butter. You'll notice some liquid in the pan as soon as it's done cooking, but within five minutes it will be absorbed back into the beans, just give them a good stir. Don't hesitate to give this a try folks, it's really good!

Pressure Cooker Buttery Lima Beans with Bacon-adapted from
2/3 C cooked bacon pieces-I used 4 slices of bacon cut into small pieces
2 Tblsp butter-I used 1 Tblsp each bacon fat and butter
1/2 red onion-I used a yellow onion
1/4 C light brown sugar
16 oz bag frozen lima beans
1/2 C water
S&P to taste
  1. Brown bacon in pressure cooker. Remove all but 1 Tblsp of fat.
  2. Add butter and onion, cook about five minutes.
  3. Add brown sugar, mix well. Add water and lima beans.
  4. Cook at high pressure for 8 minutes. Use automatic release.
  5. Add S&P to taste.
Eat well and have a happy day:@)

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