Quick Orzo Salad

Quick Orzo Salad

8 ounces orzo pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/4 cup minced red onion
1/2 cup grape tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Cook orzo according to package directions. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. Stir in olive oil, vinegar, red onion, tomatoes and basil and toss to combine. Season, to taste, with salt and black pepper.

Peach Praline Sundae

Peach Praline Sundae
Made with all the key ingredients of Southern-style peach praline pie, minus the crust, this confection is as sweet as summer itself.
1/4 cup butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Vanilla frozen yogurt
2 to 3 ripe medium peaches, peeled and sliced
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the brown sugar, water, and pecans and gradually bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat and simmer the sauce for 5 minutes, stirring often. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Then transfer the mixture to a small serving bowl and allow it to cool until lukewarm, stirring occasionally (it will thicken in the process). You’ll end up with about 1 cup of sauce, enough for 4 to 6 sundaes.

For each sundae, scoop frozen yogurt into a chilled serving dish and then top it with a few peach slices and a generous drizzling of the praline sauce

Hellooo Summer. (via )

This fish recipe looks delish!

Hellooo Summer. Apparently I missed the memo where we would be diving straight into summer, but unfortunately that seems to be the case as I've been having to walk home in 90-degree weather, and it's not even June yet. So, what better way to deal with it than to go ahead and start cooking more light summery meals? I've been trying to introduce more fish into our diet, although neither of us are particularly fond of it unless fried or thoroughly breaded. I recent … Read More


Four Cheese Florentine Pasta With Chicken (via My Grandparent’s Kitchen)

Four Cheese Florentine Pasta With Chicken Looking for a pasta with a cheese sauce but do not want it smothered in cheese. Then this is the perfect plate for you. There is no way for me to say this is a light dish, but it certainly comes off light if you're used to cheese sauces that typically smother the pasta. Ingredients: 1/2 lb of Spaghetti 1 Medium Onion diced 8 Cloves of Garlic Chopped 3 Tbl of Extra Virgin Olive Oil 1 Cup of chopped Baby Spinach 1/2 cup of chicken stock 1 Tbl of Dr … Read More

via My Grandparent's Kitchen

Greek Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

8 C. – Chicken Broth
1 C. – Orzo Pasta
½ Lb. – Boneless skinless Chicken Breast
3 – Eggs
1/3 C. – Lemon Juice
1 Tbs. – Lemon Zest
2 Tbs. – Parsley
2 Tbs. – Cornstarch
1 C. – Water
Salt & Pepper

In a large soup pot bring the broth to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium low and cook the Orzo uncovered for about 15-20 minutes. While bringing the broth to boil, cut the chicken into cubes and pan fry in EVOO until golden brown. Five minutes before the pasta is done add in the chicken. Place the eggs into a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs while adding the lemon juice and zest, while whisking slowly stir in a ladle of the broth into the egg mixture to temper the eggs. Reduce the broth heat to low and slowly stir in the egg mixture, the soup will thicken slightly but if it is not enough for your liking then thicken more with a little cornstarch and water. Add in the salt & pepper to taste and stir in the parsley. This is a wonderful and refreshing soup to have on a warm evening, serve with some Greek popovers for a awesome dinner.

Pioneer Woman’s Cinnamon Rolls

Pioneer Woman’s Cinnamon Rolls
Added by Ree on September 3, 2009 in Breads, Sweet Rolls

Prep Time 2 Hours
Cook Time 30 Minutes Servings 8 Difficulty Easy

■1 quart Whole Milk
■1 cup Vegetable Oil
■1 cup Sugar
■2 packages Active Dry Yeast, 0.25 Ounce Packets
■8 cups (Plus 1 Cup Extra, Separated) All-purpose Flour
■1 teaspoon (heaping) Baking Powder
■1 teaspoon (scant) Baking Soda
■1 Tablespoon (heaping) Salt
■Plenty Of Melted Butter
■2 cups Sugar
■Generous Sprinkling Of Cinnamon
■1 bag Powdered Sugar
■2 teaspoons Maple Flavoring
■½ cups Milk
■¼ cups Melted Butter
■¼ cups Brewed Coffee
■⅛ teaspoons Salt
Preparation Instructions
Mix the milk, vegetable oil and sugar in a pan. Scald the mixture (heat until just before the boiling point). Turn off heat and leave to cool 45 minutes to 1 hour. When the mixture is lukewarm to warm, but NOT hot, sprinkle in both packages of Active Dry Yeast. Let this sit for a minute. Then add 8 cups of all-purpose flour. Stir mixture together. Cover and let rise for at least an hour.

After rising for at least an hour, add 1 more cup of flour, the baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir mixture together. (At this point, you could cover the dough and put it in the fridge until you need it – overnight or even a day or two, if necessary. Just keep your eye on it and if it starts to overflow out of the pan, just punch it down).

When ready to prepare rolls: Sprinkle rolling surface generously with flour. Take half the dough and form a rough rectangle. Then roll the dough thin, maintaining a general rectangular shape. Drizzle 1/2 to 1 cup melted butter over the dough. Now sprinkle 1 cup of sugar over the butter followed by a generous sprinkling of cinnamon.

Now, starting at the opposite end, begin rolling the dough in a neat line toward you. Keep the roll relatively tight as you go. Next, pinch the seam of the roll to seal it.

Spread 1 tablespoon of melted butter in a seven inch round foil cake or pie pan. Then begin cutting the rolls approximately ¾ to 1 inch thick and laying them in the buttered pans.

Repeat this process with the other half of the dough. Let the rolls rise for 20 to 30 minutes, then bake at 400 degrees (see note below) until light golden brown, about 15 to 18 minutes.

For the frosting, mix together all ingredients listed and stir well until smooth. It should be thick but pourable. Taste and adjust as needed. Generously drizzle over the warm rolls. Go crazy and don’t skimp on the frosting.

Note: My rolls don’t work for me at 400 degrees anymore. I now bake them at 375 degrees

Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Cake:

1 1/2 cups (195 grams) all purpose flour

1 cup (200 grams) granulated white sugar

1/4 cup (25 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-processed), sifted

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup (75 grams) unsalted butter, melted

1 cup (240 ml) warm water

1 tablespoon lemon juice (or vinegar)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Chocolate Frosting:

6 ounces (170 grams) semi-sweet chocolate, chopped

3/4 cup (180 ml) heavy cream (35% butterfat)

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature

Chocolate Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven.

In an ungreased 8 inch (20 cm) square cake pan, stir together the flour, sugar, sifted cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Add the melted butter, water, lemon juice, and vanilla extract. With a fork, mix all the ingredients together until well blended.

Bake in preheated oven for about 35 minutes, or until the cake springs back when lightly pressed and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.

Frosting: Place the chopped chocolate in a medium sized stainless steel bowl. Heat the cream and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring just to a boil. Immediately pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Stir until smooth. Let the ganache sit at room temperature until slightly firm (about one hour) and then beat the ganache until creamy smooth and light. With an offset spatula or knife spread the ganache over the cooled cake.

Serves 8 – 10 people

Pasta Mexicali

Pasta Mexicali Serves 8

8 oz. Penne, Mostaccioli or Rotini, uncooked
1 16-oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 16-oz. can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 11-oz. can yellow corn kernels, drained
1 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup finely diced red bell pepper
1/4-1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley or 2 tbsp. dried parsley
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Prepare pasta according package directions; drain. In a large bowl, combine pasta, beans, corn, onion, bell pepper, cilantro and parsley. In a separate bowl, combine vinegar, Dijon mustard, garlic, cumin, cayenne and black pepper. Slowly whisk oil into vinegar mixture. Add vinegar mixture to pasta and stir well. Serve well chilled

Zucchini Rice Au Gratin

With golden cheese that yields to an abundance of roasted vegetables, this gratin is an ideal side dish, but it really doesn’t need anything more than a green salad to make it a satisfying dinner.


1/3 cup long-grain white rice

1 1/2 pounds zucchini (about 3 medium), sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick

6 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1/2 pounds plum tomatoes, sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick

1 medium onion, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 teaspoon chopped thyme

1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, divided

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Preheat oven to 450°F with racks in upper and lower thirds.

Cook rice according to package instructions.

While rice cooks, toss zucchini with 1 tablespoon oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a shallow baking pan. Toss tomatoes with 1/2 tablespoon oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt in another baking pan.

Roast zucchini in upper third of oven and tomatoes in lower third, turning vegetables once halfway through roasting, until tender and light golden, about 10 minutes for tomatoes; 20 minutes for zucchini. Leave oven on.

Meanwhile, cook onion and garlic with 1/2 teaspoon salt in 2 tablespoons oil in a large heavy skillet, covered, over low heat, stirring occasionally, until very tender, 15 to 20 minutes.

Stir together onion mixture, cooked rice, eggs, thyme, 1/4 cup cheese, 1 tablespoon oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Spread half of rice mixture in a shallow 2-quart baking dish, then top with half of zucchini. Spread remaining rice mixture over zucchini, then top with remaining zucchini. Top with tomatoes and drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons oil, then sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheese.

Bake in upper third of oven until set and golden brown, about 20 minutes.