rice pilaf with vermicelli

ingredients (serves 4):
1 ounce angel-hair pasta
2 Tbs olive oil
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2/3 cup long-grain white rice
1 can (14.5 ounces) reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped (i just sprinkle some dried parsley since i didn't have any fresh :P)

Hold pasta upright in a medium bowl, and, using kitchen shears, cut into 1/2-inch lengths; set aside.
In a medium saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high. Add onion; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until softened and lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Add rice, pasta, and remaining tablespoon oil. Cook, stirring frequently, until pasta is browned, 3 to 5 minutes.
Add broth, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and let stand 5 minutes. Add parsley, and season with salt and pepper; fluff pilaf with a fork.

courtesy of martha stewart via the food librarian.


strawberry compote

compote is perfect for topping pies and cakes--- in this case, cheesecake (which to me is sort of a piecake). we bought the cheesecake from trader joe's (haha) but made the compote. my goal in the next little while is to make cheesecake from scratch... since i never have.
the compote was yummmmm and super easy. (recipe can be used with other berries too, i'm sure.)ingredients (make 2 cups):
3 pints fresh strawberries, sliced
1 cup sugar
2 Tbs lemon juice (i used lime juice and it was mmm mmm)
---we didn't make this much as our cheesecake wasn't too big... so we sort of halved everything.

In a non-reactive saucepan, over medium heat, combine 2 pints of the strawberries, sugar and juice. Bring the liquid to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the fruit is soft, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool.
In a food processor, fitted with a metal blade, puree the strawberries until smooth. (I'm sure a blender would work too!) Turn into a mixing bowl, and add the remaining sliced strawberries. Mix well.
courtesy of this place


better-than-pretty-much-anything cake

this cake is a definite favorite of the husband and i. it's really simple and just a whole lot of goodness.ingredients for an 8x8 pan:
1 brownie mix (if you have the means, buy it from trader joe's. mmmm)
1/2 can sweetened condensed milk
squeezable caramel
1 8 oz container cool whip
3 skor bars, crushed
bake brownies according to package directions. when brownies are finished and somewhat cooled, poke holes with a knife throughout the brownies.
pour 1/2 can sweetened condensed milk all over the brownies. then squeeze about same amount of caramel over the brownies. i like to let the brownies sit for at least a few hours so it can soak up the liquid a little, but if you're in a rush, no problem.
then spread cool whip over the top of the brownies. i usually put the cool whip in the fridge in advance so it's easy to spread!! finally, add crushed skor bars to top of the cake.
serve. mmmmmmmmmmmmmm

courtesy of my sister, s. we've kind of invented new ways to do this recipe over the years. this is the best so far :)


birthday french toast

these were really good. if i do say so myself ;)
ingredients (serves 2):

6 slices bread
2 eggs
2/3 cup milk
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla extract
we added some strawberries!! mmmm

Beat together egg, milk, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla.
Heat a lightly oiled griddle or skillet over medium-high flame.
Dunk each slice of bread in egg mixture, soaking both sides. Place in pan, and cook on both sides until golden. Serve hot.

courtesy of this place


cafe rio pork salad?

well there is a mexican (tex-mex) restaurant in utah... it started in utah... and it's good. really good. they, the people at cafe rio make the most amazing pulled pork. i quite enjoy it in their pork salad. delish.
ours turned out well. keep in mind--- it's not the same thing. but it's a nice "fix" for those of us who cannot enjoy the real thing on a regular basis.
anyhow. enjoy. ingredients for pork:
5 lbs pork loin
18 oz coca-cola classic
1 cup sugar
1 can (7 oz) chipotle chiles in abodo
1 tsp ground mustard, dry (heaping)
1 tsp garlic, minced

directions for pork:
we slow cooked the pork (2.68 lbs) in water for about 6 hours. we shredded it (very easy) and then put it in the marinade over night. then we slow cooked it a little longer (about 3 hours) and added a lot of salt.
Remove Chilies from the can of adobo sauce. Rinse chilies and can with the coke to get all the sauce. You are using the sauce and not the chilies for this recipe. Discard Chilies or save for another recipe. Put all ingredients except pork in the blender. Blend until smooth. Pour over pork in crock pot. Cook on low for 7-9 hours until it pulls apart easily. After cooking, shred with forks.
recipe found here courtesy of a google search :)

ingredients for dressing:
1 pkg. Ranch dressing mix
3 tomatillos (remove papery skin), rough chop
1 cup mayo
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup (or more) cilantro, rough chop
3 cloves garlic
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp green Tabasco sauce
juice from 1 lime

directions for dressing:
Dump everything in a blender and blend until smooth. Refrigerate in air-tight container (or your entire fridge will smell like garlic and cilantro).

courtesy of this blog. you can also find directions for the chip strips and pico de gallo at the same blog.


patriotic cakelets aka colosseum cakelets

this recipe calls for a special cakelet pan, close to something like this. but you can always use a muffin tin or something similar (the recipe will probably just make more than 12).
happy fourth of july!ingredients (makes 12):
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
16 Tbs (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs
3/4 cups sour cream
plain or chocolate whipped cream or lemon curd for serving
fresh berries for serving

have all ingredients at room temperature.
preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. lightly grease and flour the pan; tap out excess flour.
in a bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. set aside.
in the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the flat beater, beat together the butter, sugar and vanilla on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
add the eggs one at a time beating well after each addition until just blended.
remove the bowl from the mixer. sprinkle half of the flour mixture over the egg mixture and stir until just incorporated.
stir in the sour cream, then sprinkle with the remaining flour mixture and mix until just incorporated.
scoop a heaping 1/3 cup batter into each "well" of the prepared pan. tap the pan on the counter top to even out the batter. bake until a toothpick inserted comes out clean, about 20 minutes. transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes.

serve with whipped cream or lemon curd and fresh berries.

courtesy of the recipe that came with the cakelet pan (williams-sonoma).