Recipes

9 Pasta Salad Ideas: Perfect for Quick Meals, Picnics and Get Togethers

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by Cassie on April 24, 2014

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With picnic, summer gatherings and parties around the corner, a popular dish side dish often includes a pasta salad selection.  Pasta salads are also an affordable dish to feed many and to share. So we wanted to share 9 great pasta salad ideas with you to help you have an affordable, but tasty and exciting pasta salad change with you!

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Nicoise Pasta Salad Recipe @ Just Us Four Blog

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Creamy Pesto Pasta Salad Recipe @Domestic Superhero

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Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad Recipe @ Snappy Gourmet

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Spice Cauliflower Cold Noodles Recipe @ Super Nummy

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Caprese Pasta Salad Recipe @ Chef In Training

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Tortellini with Radicchio and Peas Recipe @ Mom Colored Glasses

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Pepper Jack Pasta Salad Recipe @The Country Chic Cottage

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Tomato, Spinach, Bacon CousCous Pasta Salad Recipe @ Uncommon Designs Online 

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BLT Pasta Salad Recipe @ Hi It’s Jilly

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Alex & Cassie
 

2-Ingredient Ham Glaze Recipe: Makes it Delicious and Moist

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by Alex on April 18, 2014

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I don’t make ham often as it isn’t my favorite (and so whatever mama likes, mama makes :)).  But my family loves it and there is one way of preparing a ham that I actually really do like!

I learned this from my aunt about 15 years ago.  She hosted Easter dinner and made the ham.  It was the first I actually really enjoyed and so this is how I make my ham now!

You only need 2 ingredients!  How simple is that? I am not only about thrifty, but easy too!

Here’s what you need: 2-parts of ginger ale and 1-part mustard! If you use 1/3 cup mustard, then use 2/3 cup ginger ale, etc.

To make:

  • Make your 2-ingredient marinade
  • Prepare your ham by making diamond slices in the top (make cuts about 1/2 inch into the ham both length-wise and width-wise.  This will create “diamond” shapes in the ham and allow the marinade to seep into the ham so that they ham can cook and soak up the flavors!
  • Then pour your marinade over the ham (it will be thicker) and let is seep into the cuts and cook to package directions.
  • Throughout the cooking process, using a baster, suck up the juices that leaked out and baste it over the top again.  You can also use a spoon for this too if you don’t have a baster.
  • Serve and enjoy the sweet/tart and deliciously unique flavors of your Ham.

We have made this for both small and large family gatherings and everyone loved it and no ham was left over.  The slower the cooking the better as the ham just soaks up the flavors more and more the longer it cooks, plus it just falls apart and is so juicy! This cooking method works well in a crock pot too!

You could even cook pineapple slices and maraschino cherries with your ham for an even more exotic flavor! I don’t do this every time, but when I do, my family loves it that much more!

Here’s a printable recipe!

2-Ingredient Ham Glaze Recipe: Makes it Delicious and Moist
Print

Recipe type: Main Dish
Cuisine: Ham
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 2-parts of ginger ale and 1-part mustard! If you use ⅓ cup mustard, then use ⅔ cup ginger ale, etc.
Instructions
  1. To make:
  2. Make your 2-ingredient marinade
  3. Prepare your ham by making diamond slices in the top (make cuts about ½ inch into the ham both length-wise and width-wise. This will create “diamond” shapes in the ham and allow the marinade to seep into the ham so that they ham can cook and soak up the flavors!
  4. Then pour your marinade over the ham (it will be thicker) and let is seep into the cuts and cook to package directions.
  5. Throughout the cooking process, using a baster, suck up the juices that leaked out and baste it over the top again. You can also use a spoon for this too if you don’t have a baster.
  6. Serve and enjoy the sweet/tart and deliciously unique flavors of your Ham.

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Alex & Cassie
 

8 Cute Easter Treats Ideas and Recipes

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by Cassie on April 14, 2014

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Easter is around the corner and so we thought we would share some final Easter treat ideas with you that are pretty simple and fun to make and eat!

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Sleeping Peeps idea – simply dip the bottoms of these bunnies in white chocolate and use candy circles for the dots for the “blanket” look! More details at the Wilton site HERE.

 

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Rice Krispies treat idea by making them round and topping with Easter themed edible treats on top! More details at the Wilton site HERE.

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Easter egg huntin’ in grass cupcakes.  Quite simple.  Just make cupcakes and then using a piping tool or ziploc bag with a corner cut, pipe the green colored frosting in grass shapes and hide the eggs on top! More details at the Wilton site HERE.

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This one is so cute! Carrot looking chocolate dipped strawberries. Dip strawberries in white chocolate dyed orange and let it dry. Then pipe more chocolate in strips and while it is still wet, sprinkle with orange sprinkles! More details at the Wilton site HERE.

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Pearlized Easter Egg Pops – cake pops shaped like eggs, dipped in white chocolate dyed in pastels. Then pipe white chocolate and spray with pearlized food spray. More details at the Wilton site HERE.

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Chocolate Dipped Peeps! Dip the bottoms of Peeps in chocolate and then in sprinkles! More details at the Wilton site HERE.

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Easily make candy Easter grass cup to hold all kinds of treats or cupcakes! See the basic steps below!

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More details at the Wilton site HERE.

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Finally, we threw this last one in here because if you have a bit of skill, you can pull this one off! It isn’t the easiest, but it is certainly cool! Find out how to do this step by step on the Wilton site HERE.

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(c)2014 Wilton Industries, Inc. Used with permission. www.wilton.com.

Alex & Cassie
 

How to Make Hollandaise Sauce In a Mixer or Blender – Quick, Easy and Tasty Recipe

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by Cassie on April 9, 2014

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There is a very easy, very creamy, very yummy, very quick way to whip up Hollandaise Sauce.  We have Hollandaise sauce a couple of times a month on eggs benedict and on roasted asparagus.  It is a favorite sauce in our house!

I use to do the double broiler thing, which was tedious, time consuming, and finicky!

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Then I heard about someone using their blender to make Hollandaise sauce.  Well, I decided to try it in my Kitchenaid Mixer and it worked like a dream and I have done this ever since…. so I thought it was time to share it with you!

Here’s how to do this in either a blender or a mixer!

What you need:

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 8 TBSP of butter (1/2 cup or whole cube)
  • 1 TBSP lemon or lime juice
  • A couple of dashes of Cayenne Pepper (Tabasco or Frank’s Red Hot works too!)
  • Optional: 1/2 tsp mustard – we don’t use it as we like the other flavors alone, but classic Hollandaise does have it.

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First, put the eggs, lemon juice and Cayenne Pepper (and mustard if using) in the bowl of the mixer or blender.  Blend on medium speed for about 2 minutes.

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While this is blending, melt the butter completely in the microwave or stovetop until hot.  Important: dump the butter into the mixer or blender immediately while it is at it’s hottest.

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Then turn the mixer or blender to high speed and mix/blend for about 4-5 minutes until your Hollandaise is a nice creamy texture!

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Then serve it immediately in your favorite dish, recipe or vegetable…. like Asparagus!

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A couple of notes:

  • You cannot successfully reheat Hollandaise sauce.  It will cause separation and lumpiness.  You can re-blend it and add a bit of hot melted butter, but this is the only way.  So make it moments before you need it.
  • The hot butter and the friction from the machines is enough heat to safely heat the eggs for consumption.  We’ve made this several times and it is heated perfectly this way.

Here’s a printable recipe for you to print and keep in your home binder!

How to Make Hollandaise Sauce In a Mixer or Blender – Quick, Easy and Tasty Recipe
Print

Recipe type: Sauce
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6
Here is a very easy, very creamy, very yummy, very quick way to whip up Hollandaise Sauce
Ingredients
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 8 TBSP of butter (1/2 cup or whole cube)
  • 1 TBSP lemon or lime juice
  • A couple of dashes of Cayenne Pepper (Tabasco or Frank’s Red Hot works too!)
  • Optional: ½ tsp mustard – we don’t use it as we like the other flavors alone, but classic Hollandaise does have it.
Instructions
  1. First, put the eggs, lemon juice and Cayenne Pepper (and mustard if using) in the bowl of the mixer or blender. Blend on medium speed for about 2 minutes.
  2. While this is blending, melt the butter completely in the microwave or stovetop until hot. Important: dump the butter into the mixer or blender immediately while it is at it’s hottest.
  3. Then turn the mixer or blender to high speed and mix/blend for about 4-5 minutes until your Hollandaise is a nice creamy texture!
  4. Then serve it immediately in your favorite dish, recipe or vegetable…. like Asparagus!
Notes
You cannot successfully reheat Hollandaise sauce. It will cause separation and lumpiness. You can re-blend it and add a bit of hot melted butter, but this is the only way. So make it moments before you need it.
• The hot butter and the friction from the machines is enough heat to safely heat the eggs for consumption. We’ve made this several times and it is heated perfectly this way.

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Alex & Cassie
 

Pull-Apart Pizza Bread Recipe (Including Healthier and Gluten-Free Variations)

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by Cassie on April 4, 2014

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Would you like a fun, easy, creative and kid-friendly way to enjoy pizza?

Well, give pizza a new spin with this: Pull-Apart Pizza Bread!

It is bursting with the pizza flavors, fun to eat, great for parties, great appetizer, get togethers and pleases everyone!

Here’s what you need:

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  • 1 cup of Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1/2 cup of Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 8oz. package of pepperoni with each slice cut into quarters – tip, stack many slices at once and cut them all at once to save time!
  • 1/3 cup of Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 TBSP of fresh minced garlic or 1/2 tsp. of garlic salt or powder

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  • 1.5 TBSP of Italian Seasoning (or a combo of parsley, oregano, basil)
  • 2 TBSP of Olive Oil

And of course….

  • The CRUST/BREAD/DOUGH!

Ideas for the crust:

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  • Or just buy the premade pizza dough like Pillsbury

Here’s how to make it:

  • Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees
  • Grease a cake pan, bread pan or a bundt pan.  A Bundt pan is a FUN way to make it and you can even put the dipping marinara in the middle.  It’s fun for a party, but really, any of the pans will work!

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  • Make your dough and roll it out and use a pizza cutter to cut it into about 1″ squares. It does not need to be exact, as you can see, I did this part pretty quickly without dwelling on the sizing to exact measurements!

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  • Then roll the pieces into little balls and throw in a bowl!

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  • Then throw the rest of the ingredients in, except the cheddar cheese, and mix by hand to coat it all well and evenly.

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  • Then put the mixture in your pan you intend to use.  Sprinkle the cheddar cheese on top!

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  • Now you are ready to bake it at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until the top is crusty and brown!

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  • Then dump out the bread onto your serving dish. To help it come out with ease, run a butter knife along the edges of the pan to loosen the bread.

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Yummy!

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Are you ready to dig in?

  • Serve warm with a marinara or pizza sauce for dipping!

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Make it quicker:

  • Use canned biscuits and cut each biscuit into 6-8 pieces and roll in the balls.
  • Use mini-pepperoni to avoid cutting it up!

Make it healthier:

  • Use a whole wheat dough from scratch or from cans.
  • Add ground flax seeds in your mixing process.
  • Make it vegetarian.
  • Use a nitrate free meat, even the sausage we show here instead of pepperoni.
  • Use Turkey pepperoni.

Make it gluten-free:

  • Use an all-purpose gluten-free flour to make a dough
  • Use 2 gluten-free pre-made crusts cut up into chunks. Note, it will not really puff up, but 2 crusts gives you the density you need.
Pull-Apart Pizza Bread Recipe (Including Healthier and Gluten-Free Variations)
Print

Recipe type: Appetizer or Main Dish
Cuisine: Finger Food
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 5
Well, give pizza a new spin with this: Pull-Apart Pizza Bread! It is bursting with the pizza flavors, fun to eat, great for parties, great appetizer, get togethers and pleases everyone!
Ingredients
  • 1 cup of Mozzarella Cheese
  • ½ cup of Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 8oz. package of pepperoni with each slice cut into quarters – tip, stack many slices at once and cut them all at once to save time!
  • ⅓ cup of Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 TBSP of fresh minced garlic or ½ tsp. of garlic salt or powder
  • 1.5 TBSP of Italian Seasoning (or a combo of parsley, oregano, basil)
  • 2 TBSP of Olive Oil
  • For the dough: make your own or buy 1 refrigerated pizza dough
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. Grease a cake pan, bread pan or a bundt pan.
  3. Make your dough and roll it out and use a pizza cutter to cut it into about 1″ squares. It does not need to be exact.
  4. Then roll the pieces into little balls and throw in a bowl!
  5. Then throw the rest of the ingredients in, except the cheddar cheese, and mix by hand to coat it all well and evenly.
  6. Then put the mixture in your pan you intend to use. Sprinkle the cheddar cheese on top!
  7. Now you are ready to bake it at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until the top is crusty and brown!
  8. Then dump out the bread onto your serving dish. To help it come out with ease, run a butter knife along the edges of the pan to loosen the bread.
  9. Serve warm with a marinara or pizza sauce for dipping!
Notes
Make it quicker:
Use canned biscuits and cut each biscuit into 6-8 pieces and roll in the balls.
Use mini-pepperoni to avoid cutting it up!
Make it healthier:
Use a whole wheat dough from scratch or from cans.
Add ground flax seeds in your mixing process.
Make it vegetarian.
Use a nitrate free meat, even the sausage we show here instead of pepperoni.
Use Turkey pepperoni.
Make it gluten-free:
Use an all-purpose gluten-free flour to make a dough
Use 2 gluten-free pre-made crusts cut up into chunks. Note, it will not really puff up, but 2 crusts gives you the density you need.

 

Alex & Cassie