Saturday, March 10, 2012

Blueberry Sauce (paired with Lemon Bars)

So here it is, confession time, while I may be a whiz in the kitchen,
I absolutely suck at baking! 
Whew! Glad that's out in the open... 
I rely on mixes in the "baking" aisle of the grocery store to make the sweet treats at my house. One of my favorite brands is Krusteaz. Today I'm making their lemon bars, but I did make a kick-ass blueberry sauce to go on top of them that I thought I'd share with you guys!

 :: Ingredients :: 
2 cups frozen blueberries, thawed 
1/3 cup powdered sugar  
1/2 tsp lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 
(or just squeeze the juice out of a lemon, that's what I did)
1/4 - 1/2 c. water
4 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 tsp almond extract

:: Directions ::
  Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. 
NOTE: For the water, measure a 1/2 cup of water add half of it to begin with
and if it thickens too quickly as mine did, add more water
until you're happy with the consistency.
Cook 3 minutes over medium to high heat or until thick
and stir constantly or the sauce will harden up.
Remove from heat; cover and chill.

If you make this ahead of time, like I did, you may want to pop several spoonfuls of the topping in the microwave for 20 seconds or so and then dollop on top of the lemon bars.


Thursday, March 8, 2012

Pasta Crab Salad

Here's one of my many recipes that I just throw together
at the last minute and hope for the best!
Now that I have this blog, I have my camera sitting in the kitchen all the time
and I snap away while I'm cooking just in case the ingredients
I randomly throw together turn out to be, well...spectacular.
Lucky for you guys, this one did!

:: Ingredients ::
a handful of cherry tomatoes
fresh spinach leaves
1/4 cup of chopped celery
(1) 8 oz. pkg of frozen edamame
(1) 6 oz. can of lump crab meat
2 cups of cooked penne pasta (or whatever pasta you like)
2 tbsp. pesto
2 tbsp. bleu cheese dressing

:: Directions ::

Start your pasta first, while your pasta is cooking you can do everything else. 
Penne pasta is generally 10 minutes at a medium boil.

Chop your tomatoes lengthwise in half and put them in a large bowl.

Chop celery and put it in the bowl with the tomatoes. 
I usually slice the stalk down the middle and chop into pieces.

Microwave edamame for time instructed, my package was 3 minutes. 
Let it cool and then remove it from the shells into your bowl with tomatoes and celery. (I get my edamame in bulk at Sam's Club, so I always have packages handy for salads or snacks.)

Chop up a big pile of spinach leaves and add it to the bowl with the ingredients above.

Now it's time to add some flavor! Two tablespoons each of pesto and bleu cheese dressing go into the bowl, then mix, coating all your ingredients. I had these packets of salad dressing left over from a vegetable party tray, so I used one of them. (I figured it was roughly 2 tbsp.)

Now drain your crabmeat and add it to the bowl. Add your pasta and fold those two ingredients into the salad. Let it sit about 5 minutes allowing your ingredients to soak in all the pesto and bleu cheese yumminess...then serve.


Thursday, March 1, 2012

Nutella Rice Crispy Treats

I was parent helper today in my daughter's class at school. So last night I was trying to figure out what I could make without having to run to the grocery store. I saw the Rice Crispies cereal box sitting on the shelf that anyone has yet to eat next to the jar of Nutella, and suddenly it all came together. 

:: Ingredients ::
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
1 package (10 oz.) regular marshmallows or 4 cups miniature marshmallows
1 jar of Nutella
6 cups Rice Krispies cereal 
:: Directions :: 
Melt butter in a large saucepan over low heat.  
Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. 

Then add cereal. Stir with a wooden spoon or spatula until well coated.  

Using a sheet of wax paper, evenly press mixture into a 13 x 9-inch pan coated with nonstick cooking spray. Spread Nutella over the top evenly, you won't need the whole jar, but if you're like me you've got in your cupboard anyway.  Refrigerate. The Nutella will not harden unless you do. Take out about an hour before serving and cut into 2-inch squares.