crunchy coleslaw

A new take on an old favorite, this coleslaw has been a fave of mine for years–ever since I had it at my friend Denise’s. While I think we have her sister to thank for the recipe, I’m also going to site Food.com for their version (minus the onions).

For those final cook outs this summer, or something a little out of the ordinary–give this a try and let me know how what you think. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 1(16 ounce) package Coleslaw (grated cabbage and carrots)
  • 4 green onions, chopped (I never put these in)
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons  sugar
  • 1 package ramen noodles (beef flavor)
  • 1⁄2cup slivered almonds
  • 1⁄2cup  sunflower seeds

Directions

  1. Toss together cole slaw and green onions.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, sugar, and ramen seasoning packet.
  3. Pour over salad and toss together.
  4. Just before serving, add ramen noodles (broken into small pieces), almonds and sunflower seeds and toss together.

 

strawberry salsa

 

Whether you’re bringing a dish to a summer party or hanging at home on the deck with family, this quick and pretty dish is sure to please. The original recipe is courtesy of one of my favorite kitchen chef’s, The Pioneer Woman, and I only altered it slightly for a recent book club reunion with some girlfriends.

 

Letting the salsa sit overnight allowed all of the ingredients to spend some quality time together so that when it’s served, you get maximum flavor.

Ingredients

  • salt to taste

Directions

Put the strawberries in a bowl along with the onion, bell pepper, and some of the cilantro, reserving some for garnish. Add some salt and the juice of 1 lime. Mix it all together, cover and refrigerate.

Serve with tortilla chips.

buffalo chicken dip

Super Bowl Sunday is upon us! Whether you want to be known as the hostess with the hostess or the guest with the best dish, this is it! (So you can plan accordingly–the chicken is made in a crock pot and then the dip is put in the oven in a baking dish.)

I am a die-hard NY Giants fan! (Yes. Still. Even though our season was embarrassing.) Anyway, since I LOVE football, I would be remiss if I didn’t provide fellow fans a little something to snack on while watching the big-game this Sunday. I’ve made this dip several times and it is always a crowd pleaser. I got it from a co-worker many moons ago and altered it to my own liking. Enjoy!

IMG_1871

Ingredients

  • 3 or 4 whole skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 23 oz. bottle of Frank’s Red Hot Original cayenne pepper sauce
  • 2-8oz. packages of cream cheese softened to room temperature
  • 4 to 8 oz. blue cheese dressing
  • 2 blocks shredded cheese (I shredded 1/2 block of colby/jack and 1/2 block of mild cheddar)
  • 4 tbs. sauce from chicken

Directions

  1. Place chicken in crock pot with wing sauce.
  2. Cook on low temperature for 4-6 hours until chicken is done.
  3. Preheat oven to 350.
  4. Shred chicken with 2 forks.IMG_1873
  5. Add cream cheese and enough blue cheese dressing to obtain desired consistency,IMG_1874 adding up to 4 tbsp. of sauce from chicken for flavor and color.
  6. Top with shredded cheese.
  7. Bake 20-25 minutes until cheese is bubbly.
  8. Serve with Scoops tortilla chips.

IMG_1879tara’s tips: I’ve made this by baking the chicken. I’ve made this with different cheeses. I’ve made this by putting the chicken in a food processor instead of shredding it with a fork. Feel free to explore. You can also use ranch dressing if bleu cheese isn’t your thing.

Recipe Review: Sweet Cornbread

IMG_0520I have loved this cornbread since the first time I had it, years ago. Honestly, you could eat it as a dessert (I do)–it’s just that yummy! I have never doctored the recipe (which is rare for me) because you don’t need to. And I owe it all to my friend Denise–who I think owes it to her sister–thanks! Enjoy! (Oh, and it goes perfectly with the fiesta chicken…)

Ingredients:

  • 3c Bisquick
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 c cornmeal
  • 3/4 c sugar
  • 1 c butter, melted, then cooled
  • 1 1/2 c milk

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a 9×13 pan
  2. Bale at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes

Recipe Roundup: Mashed Potatoes with Kale

kale mashed potatoesWelcome to March! Since it’s still cold here, very cold, and there’s still a lot of snow on the ground–thought I’d kick off the month with some comfort food. And what says yummy comfort better than mashed potatoes?

Giada DeLaurentiis is one of my most fave celebrity chefs–I even went to see her at a personal appearance and got my cookbook signed. Plus, I DVR her show every week. Which is where I discovered this recipe.

I love kale. But the way I have been taught to prepare it–while delicious–is also relatively unimaginative. But this way, this is just delish. And you get your starch and green veggie all in one dish. Enjoy!

Mashed Potatoes with Kale
From Giada DeLaurentiis show, Giada at Home, on The Food Network

Ingredients
Potatoes:
5 large russet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces (about 4 pounds)
2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

Kale:
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
One 12-ounce bunch kale, stemmed and chopped into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth

(Tara’s Tips: I used pre washed and precut kale from a 16oz. bag and just estimated out 12oz. Worked perfectly. I also used red onion because I just like red onion better. And I did not use low-sodium chicken broth, I used the regular stuff.)

Assembly:
1 cup mascarpone cheese, at room temperature (about 8 ounces)*
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3/4 cup grated Parmesan
2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for seasoning

(Tara’s Tips: *Ok, so I thought I had all the ingredients for this recipe and it turns out I didn’t. So instead of mascarpone, I used ricotta because that’s what I had in my frig. Was still yummy and I’d do it again! And it goes without saying that I shredded my own Parmesan cheese. If you don’t know what I’m referring to, see my prior recipe with the pre-shredded cheese rant. (Seriously, with all my substitutions, does this even count as Giada’s recipe anymore???))

Directions
For the potatoes: Combine the potatoes, garlic, salt and butter in a 5-quart saucepan with enough cold water to cover. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain in a colander and remove the garlic cloves. Return the potatoes to the pan and mash the potatoes until smooth using a potato masher.

For the kale: Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, salt and pepper. Cook until translucent, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Add the kale and chicken broth. Cook, stirring occasionally, until wilted, 10 to 12 minutes.

To assemble: Add the kale mixture, mascarpone cheese, chicken broth, butter, Parmesan, salt and pepper to the potatoes. Stir over low heat until smooth and warmed through. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl and serve.