Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Rainbow Jello

My co-worker was giving me a hard time today because I hadn't posted any recipes lately. So I thought I would share my favorite dessert recipe. It's called Rainbow Jello and it is superb! It was a must have at all family gatherings. It sounds like it's a lot of work, but there's a lot of refrigeration time. Here's the recipe:

Rainbow Jello
  • Ingredients:
  • 1 (3 ounce) package lemon flavored gelatin
  • 1 (3 ounce) package lime flavored gelatin
  • 1 (3 ounce) package orange flavored gelatin
  • 1 (3 ounce) package strawberry flavored gelatin
  • 1 (3 ounce) package cherry flavored gelatin
  • 1 (3 ounce) package black cherry flavored gelatin
  • 2 C. sour cream (divided)
  • 6 C. hot water (divided)
  1. In a small bowl (or measuring cup) stir lemon gelatin mix into 1 Cup hot water for 2 minutes or until dissolved.
  2. Pour 1/2 C. of mixture into a 9x13 inch glass dish. Cover and let set in fridge for 20 minutes.
  3. While waiting for first layer to set, add 1/3 C. sour cream to remaining lemon gelatin mixture. Stir until mostly dissolved (there will be a few lumps)
  4. After first layer has set, approximately 20 minutes, pour second mixture on top and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
  5. Repeat steps 1-4 in order with remaining flavors.

Here's a picture:

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Tomato Bread Salad

I think I was watching a cooking show (surprise, surprise) when I saw this guy making a bread salad. I searched the Internet and couldn't find his exact recipe but I found this recipe that came pretty darn close. The only changes I made were to saute the onions until soft, toast the bread a little, and I also added about a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar to the dressing mix.

Boy was it tasty! My husband said it didn't fill him up, but taste wise, it was excellent. It was a great way to get rid of my bread. This was certainly a risky recipe but I'm proud to say it turned out great!

Here are the results:

Tomato Bread Salad

8 cups Italian bread cubes
3 cups chopped tomatoes
1 cup minced fresh basil
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion (I cooked mine until soft)
1/2 cup olive or vegetable oil
2 tablespoons cider or red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 garlic clove, minced

In a large bowl, combine the bread, tomatoes, basil and onion. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients; drizzle over bread mixture. Cover and let stand for 30 minutes before serving.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Barbecued Chinese Chicken Lettuce Wraps

I LOVE CHINESE FOOD! Just so you know. Anyways, the first time I had lettuce wraps was at P.F. Changs and they were dang good. So I began my own quest to make delicious lettuce wraps. The first recipe I tried was this one for Asian Lettuce Wraps. They turned out very good, but unfortunately I do not have a picture, but both me and my husband enjoyed them very much.

Since I had such luck with Rachael Ray's last recipe I tried, I decided to give her a shot again. I made her Barbecued Chinese Chicken Lettuce Wraps. I can't decide if it was the hoisin sauce or the ginger that made it hot, but it was a little too hot for my taste. (Keep in mind that I am a wimp when it comes to spiciness though) It was the very first time I cooked with Shitake mushrooms and that was an experience. They had a very strong flavor before they were cooked that I do not recommend trying, but after they were cooked they taste just OK. Overall, I'm glad I tried the recipe because it was good, it was just not something I'd order again if I went to a restaurant.

Here's the final results:

Here's a better look at the ingredients:
Barbecued Chinese Chicken Lettuce Wraps
2 cups, 4 handfuls, fresh shiitake mushrooms
1 1/3 to 1 1/2 pounds thin cut chicken breast or chicken tenders
2 tablespoons light colored oil, such as vegetable oil or peanut oil
Coarse salt and coarse black pepper
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 inch ginger root, finely chopped or grated, optional
1 orange, zested
1/2 red bell pepper, diced small
1 small tin, 6 to 8 ounces, sliced water chestnuts, drained and chopped
3 scallions, chopped
3 tablespoons hoisin, Chinese barbecue sauce, available on Asian foods aisle of market
1/2 large head iceberg lettuce, core removed, head quartered
Wedges of navel orange -- platter garnish
Remove tough stems from mushrooms and brush with damp towel to clean, Slice mushrooms. Chop chicken into small pieces.
Preheat a large skillet or wok to high.
Add oil to hot pan. Add chicken to the pan and sear meat by stir frying a minute or 2. Add mushrooms and cook another minute or two. Add salt and pepper to season, then garlic and ginger. Cook a minute more. Grate zest into pan, add bell pepper bits, chopped water chestnuts and scallions. Cook another minute, continuing to stir fry mixture. Add hoisin Chinese barbecue sauce and toss to coat the mixture evenly. Transfer the hot chopped barbecued chicken to serving platter and pile the quartered wedges of crisp iceberg lettuce along side. Add wedged oranges to platter to garnish. To eat, pile spoonfuls into lettuce leaves, wrapping lettuce around fillings and squeeze an orange wedge over.

Baked Lemon Pasta

If you haven't heard of The Pioneer Woman, shame on you! Not only does she write an entertaining blog, she has some pretty good recipes on there. I'm always on a quest for a good pasta salad, so when I came across her Baked Lemon Pasta recipe, I knew I had to try it.

Instead of baking it, I took her suggestion for a cold pasta salad and refrigerated it. I actually think loses most of it's flavor when it's cold. I would also recommend using a different pasta if you know you are serving it cold because spaghetti just gets messy cold.

Served cold, I probably wouldn't make it again, but the next day I microwaved it and it was way YUMMY! I imagine that's how it would taste if I baked it like the original recipe said. I'm sure it's not low in fat, but it was good and I'll save the recipe for sure.

Here's the final product:

Easy Mushroom Rice

I am constantly on the lookout for recipes that I can make with ingredients I have in the pantry. I found this recipe for Easy Mushroom Rice while surfing my favorite cooking website I have to admit, I followed the advice of others and substituted cream of mushroom for the french onion soup. It turned out a little dry so I'll have to actually make this recipe as written to give it a worthy review. The rice was not all the way soft and I think that had to do with my substitution.

Here's the final product:

Easy Mushroom Rice
1 cup uncooked long-grain rice
1 (10.5 ounce) can condensed French onion soup
1 (10.5 ounce) can beef broth
1 (4 ounce) can sliced mushrooms, drained
1/4 cup butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Combine rice, onion soup, beef broth, mushrooms and butter in an 8x8 inch casserole dish.
Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) oven for 60 minutes.