Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Recipe for Easy Peasy Garlic Rolls (just like Palazzio's)

{print this recipe}

I went to a small college in Santa Barbara, California called Westmont College for my bachelor's degree.  It was always a treat to go out for dinner, especially if it was at Palazzio's!  Aaaahhhhhh, Palazzio's had these amazing garlic rolls.  The servers wandered around refilling your plate whenever you were down to the last one.  8 years later, I don't even remember what else they served.  I remember garlic rolls and a self-serve wine bar.

If only I could recreate Palazzio's recipe for garlic rolls...  Real Simple recently posted this recipe for garlic rolls on their Facebook fan page and I thought I would give them a shot.  Not quite Pallazzio's but wow, these are great (with a few tweaks as always)!

My husband and I are huge garlic fans... so unless you love garlic, you may want to cut the number of cloves in... oh, I don't know... half?  I served these garlic rolls with Fusilli with Spicy Pesto.

source: modified from Real Simple
prep time: 5 minutes
cook time: 15 minutes
total time: 20 minutes
makes: 9-12 rolls

1lb. prepared pizza dough, thawed according to package*
8-12 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon dried parsley
kosher salt, to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Lightly grease the cups of a 12-cup muffin tin.
  2. Tear pizza dough into 12 pieces and place in the muffin tin.
  3. Divide all but 3-4 cloves of garlic among the pieces of dough, pressing them into the centers. Drizzle with 1/4 cup olive oil and bake in preheated oven until golden brown, about 15 to 18 minutes.
  4. While dough bakes, heat remaining oil, garlic and parsley over low heat. Do not simmer.
  5. Toss in a bowl with garlic oil; season with salt.
* I bought an 11oz. package of premade pizza dough from Whole Foods and made 9 rolls out of the dough.  I used the same amount of the remaining ingredients.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Magic Cookie Bars Recipe

Another family favorite!  When I told my husband I was going to be making these for a friend of mine, he said "Oh, you mean those things you can't eat just three of?"  Seriously!  When you try these you will see, you just want to keep going back and back and back.  Just one more bite!  I'd never made them before and when I looked up the recipe I had to call my mom and ask, "Is this right?  I mean, it's not this easy right?  No mixing, no stirring, nothing?"  Nothing.  They are that easy.  You can even go without toasting the nuts and coconut if you want to make it even easier - Grammy's original recipe does not call for them to be toasted, but my mom improved on the recipe by bringing out the nuttiness.

source: Grammy (family favorite recipe)
total time: ~35 minutes

1/2 cup butter, melted
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted*
1 cup chocolate chips
1 1/3 cups flaked coconut (sweetened), toasted**
1 (15oz) can sweetened condensed milk

Preheat oven to 325°.

Pour melted butter into a 9x13-inch pan. Add the rest of the ingredients layer by layer: crumbs, nuts, chocolate chips, coconut and milk.

Bake 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Cool 15 minutes before cutting.

Kitchen Tips:
* To toast walnuts, spread nuts in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 5-7 minutes, tossing several times.
** To toast coconut, spread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 2-4 minutes, tossing every 30 seconds until flakes turn golden brown.
1. Freeze remaining coconut in a ziploc freezer bag. Be sure to label with contents and date, and remove as much air as possible from the freezer bag.

Mandarin Tossed Salad

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This recipe has been in my family for as long as I can remember.  It's been a family favorite for ages and is often served at both big family gatherings (holidays and celebrations) as well as "every night" dinners.  When I'm asked to bring a green salad to a friend's house or if I'm bringing dinner to a family who just had a baby, this is the salad I most often bring.  It's so simple and it tastes so good.  You will want to drink the sweet vinaigrette dressing!  Okay, not really - but it's that good!

source: family favorite recipe

1 head lettuce, chopped (or a bag of mixed salad greens)
3-6 green onions, sliced
1 (11oz) can mandarin oranges, drained
avocado, diced
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted

1/3 cup salad oil
3 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
3 Tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
dash of pepper

Prepare dressing and set aside. Mix together lettuce, green onions, mandarin oranges and avocado. Just before serving toss with dressing and almonds.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Recipe for Fusilli with Spicy Pesto

This is not your typical pesto... If you're looking for a basil pesto, this is not your recipe! But wow is it good! The jalapeño and arugula really stand out in this recipe. It's not too spicy but if you're worried about that, just remove the seeds of the jalapeño before chopping it.

source: Giada DiLaurentiis
total time: 34 minutes
makes: 4-6 servings

1 cup chopped walnuts, untoasted
2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1 (2-inch long) jalapeño pepper, stemmed and coarsely chopped (see kitchen tip!)
2 cups grated (4 ounces) Asiago cheese
kosher salt to taste
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 ounces baby spinach
3 ounces arugula
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 pound fusilli pasta
4 ounces Asiago cheese, shaved

  1. In a food processor, combine the walnuts, garlic, jalapeno, cheese, salt and pepper. Process until the mixture is smooth. 
  2. Add the spinach and arugula and process until blended. 
  3. With the machine running, gradually add the olive oil. 
  4. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. 
  5. Drain and reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water. 
  6. Place the cooked pasta and pesto in a large serving bowl. Toss well and thin out the sauce with a little pasta water, if needed.
  7. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Garnish with Asiago cheese shavings and serve. 
  1. Wear gloves and/or wash your hands really well after handling the jalapeños! 
  2. For a milder pesto, remove the seeds from the jalapeño pepper. 
  3. Freeze pesto in silicone ice cube trays. Once frozen, pop them out of the tray and store in a ziploc freezer bag. Thaw, do not heat.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Praline Pull-Apart Bread Recipe

This dessert breakfast is not for the faint of heart!  I served it to my family for Easter and it was such a treat!  You definitely won't find us eating this every day but if you're looking for a special dessert breakfast to serve to your guests, try this one!

source: Southern Living, December 2009
prep time: 15 minutes
total time: 9 hours, 25 minutes
makes: 12 servings

1 cup granulated sugar
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
1 (2lb) package frozen bread roll dough
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup pecans, chopped
3/4 cup whipping cream
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1. In a shallow dish, stir together sugar and 3 teaspoons of cinnamon. Coat each roll in butter, then dredge rolls in sugar mixture. 

Arrange in a lightly greased 10-inch tube pan. Sprinkle with pecans. Cover and chill 8 to 18 hours.

2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Beat whipping cream at high speed with an electric mixer until soft peaks form; stir in brown sugar and remaining 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. Pour mixture over dough. Place pan on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet.

3. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Invert onto a serving plate and drizzle with any remaining glaze from pan.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

April Giveaway Winner!

Sorry for the delay in posting the winner!  I drew a random number Friday night and found our winner:

Congratulations to Melissa, winner of the Le Creuset 12-ounce Petite Casserole dish!  Thank you to all who participated in this giveaway, what a hit!  And thank you to this month's sponsor, CSN Stores.