Monday, July 28, 2014

BLT Tortellini Salad

This is a delicious and quick pasta salad we all really enjoy! -Kristin

1 19 ounce bag frozen cheese tortellini
1 cup torn, fresh spinach
1 cup yellow cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup red cherry tomatoes, halved
3 or more strips of bacon cooked and chopped
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 Tablespoon Ranch seasoning
2 cloves garlic

  • Cook pasta according to package and let cool.
  • Mix in the tomatoes and bacon with the pasta.
  • Make dressing by whisking together the yogurt, buttermilk, ranch seasoning and garlic.
  • Mix dressing into pasta mixture.

Old Fashioned Banana Pudding

This is a classic recipe for the Vanilla Wafer banana pudding.  We like it with the meringue topping.  The picture is this recipe doubled.  -Kristin

3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/4 t. salt
3 cups milk
3 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 Tablespoons butter
8 ounce Vanilla Wafers divided
4 very ripe bananas, sliced

Meringue Topping:

3 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tarter
1/4 cup sugar

  • In a saucepan whisk together the sugar, flour and salt.
  • Whisk in the milk
  • Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly.
  • Reduce heat to low; cook and stir 2 minutes longer.
  • Remove from heat.
  • In a small bowl, whisk the eggs.
  • Whisk in a small amount of hot mixture into the eggs and then return all to pan whisking constantly.
  • Bring to a gentle boil; cook and stir 2 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and butter.
  • Let it cool at least 15 minutes.
  • In an ungreased 8 inch square baking dish, layer half of the wafers, half of banana slices and half of the pudding.  Repeat layers.
  • To make Meringue topping:  Beat the egg whites with the cream of tarter until soft peaks form. Then add sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.  Put meringue on top of pudding.
  • Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until meringue is lightly browned.
  • Serve warm or cooled.

Creamy Spinach & Sausage Pasta

This is a recipe I adapted from Budget Bytes.   It is spicy so if you don't like that much spice consider doing one can of diced tomatoes with green chillies and one diced tomatoes.   My family loves this meal.

8 oz. smoked sausage
2 T. olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes w/ green chillies
4 cups chicken broth
16 oz. egg noodles (or other pasta)
6 cups fresh spinach
2 cups shredded Monterrey jack cheese
2 green onions, (opt.)

  • Thinly slice the sausage and add to large skillet with the olive oil.
  • Saute until nicely browned. (about 5-7 minutes)  Drain off excess fat.
  • Add onion to skillet and saute till softened.
  • Add the tomatoes and chicken broth.  Stir to combine and dissolve any browned bits on the bottom of skillet.
  • At this point transfer to large pot (unless your skillet is really large) and add the uncooked pasta and make sure it is all submerged under the liquid.  Place a lid on and allow the mixture to come to a boil.  Once it reaches a boil, turn the heat down to low and let simmer until pasta is tender.  Stir once and awhile to make sure pasta is not sticking to the bottom of pan.
  • When pasta is at desired tenderness add the spinach one cup at a time and stir until wilted.
  • Sprinkle the shredded cheese on top and stir in if desired.  
  • Top with green onions and serve.