Monday, June 22, 2009

Panzanella Salad

This was also part of my Father's Day Menu :-) Came out amazing. The dressing is nice and light and has a great taste to it!!! Everyone enjoyed this (and I even have leftovers for today)!! Enjoy!!!

Recipe Courtesy of Barefoot Contessa

 3 tablespoons good olive oil
 1 small French bread or boule, cut into 1-inch cubes (6 cups) ( I used the Rosemary and Olive Oil Loaf from Costco - so good!)
 1 teaspoon kosher salt
 2 large, ripe tomatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
 1 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled, seeded, and sliced 1/2-inch thick ( I used a normal cucumber)
 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
 1/2 red onion, cut in 1/2 and thinly sliced
 20 large basil leaves, coarsely chopped
 3 tablespoons capers, drained ( I omitted)

For the vinaigrette:
 1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
 3 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
 1/2 cup good olive oil
 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a large saute pan. Add the bread and salt; cook over low to medium heat, tossing frequently, for 10 minutes,
or until nicely browned. Add more oil as needed.
For the vinaigrette, whisk all the ingredients together.
In a large bowl, mix the tomatoes, cucumber, red pepper, yellow pepper, red onion, basil, and capers. Add the bread cubes
and toss with the vinaigrette. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Serve, or allow the salad to sit for about half an hour for
the flavors to blend.

Frozen Banana Split

This was the dessert that I decided to make for Father's Day. I had asked my father what he wanted for dessert and he told me a Banana Split. So i took it upon myself to find a different recipe for it! By the way.... IT WAS SOOO YUMMY! Just an fyi... the bananas freeze pretty good so its a good idea to take it out of the freezer maybe a 1/2 hr before serving so they soften a little bit.

Recipe courtesy of Paula Deen

 24 (3.5-ounce) ice-cream sandwiches, unwrapped
 6 medium bananas, peeled and thinly sliced
 1 (12.25-ounce) jar hot-fudge sauce
 1 (10-ounce) jar maraschino cherries, drained and finely chopped
 1 (8-ounce) package milk chocolate covered toffee bits, divided (i omitted this)
 1 (12.25-ounce) jar butterscotch ice-cream topping (not a fan of butterscotch so i used caramel)
 1 (8-ounce) container frozen nondairy whipped topping, thawed

Line a 13 by 9-inch baking pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil.

Place half of ice-cream sandwiches evenly over bottom of pan, completely covering bottom,
cutting sandwiches to fit, if necessary. Top evenly with banana slices. Pour hot fudge sauce
over bananas. Top with cherries and 1/2 of the toffee bits ( i omitted) and pour butterscotch (I used Caramel )evenly on
top. Layer with remaining ice cream sandwiches and spread whipped topping over
sandwiches; sprinkle with remaining toffee bits ( I chose to sprinkle with walnuts on 1/2 in case anyone did not like them instead of the toffee bits).

Cover and freeze for at least 4 hours. Remove from pan, using foil handles. Cut into squares
and serve.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Spring Asparagus Risotto!!

I really love Risotto Recipes so i'm always looking for something to new to make with it. I picked up Cooking Light to find some healthier alternatives to my normal recipes. Came across this recipe and decided to give it a try! It was sooooo YUMMY!!! LOVED IT! Hope you enjoy it as well!

Cooking Light - April 2009 Issue

4 Cups (1 inch) slices asparagus, divided
3 Cups Fat Free, Less-Sodium Chicken Broth, divided
1 1/2 Cups Water
1 Tablespoon Butter
2 Cups Chopped Onion (about 1 large)
2 Cups Uncooked Arborio rice or Other Medium-Grain Rice
1/2 Cup Dry White Wine
1 Cup Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese, divided
1/4 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
1 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Place 1 cup asparagus and 1 cup broth in a blender; puree until smooth, combine puree, remaining 2 cups broth, and 1 1/2 cups water in a medium saucepan; bring to a simmer (do not boil). Keep warm over low heat.

Melt butter in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add onion to pan; cook 8 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in rice; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in wine; cook 2 minutes or until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Add 1/2 cup broth mixture; cook 2 minutes or until the liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Add remaining puree mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of broth is absorbed before adding the next (about 30 minutes total). Stir in remaining 3 cups asparagus; cook 2 minutes.

Stir in 3/4 cup cheese, cream, salt and pepper. Transfer risotto to a bowl. Serve with remaining 1/4 cup cheese.

Yield: 8 Servings