May 20, 2017

Mom's Macaroni Salad

I originally posted this recipe back in 2012 and it was long overdue for some updated pics.  With Memorial Day coming up and a lot of you will probably be having a BBQ, I figured it was the perfect time to re-share my favorite ever pasta salad with you.

I am a Miracle Whip fan all the way, but if you prefer Mayonnaise, you can use that in place of the Miracle Whip.  Do not be scared of the tiny shrimp that the recipe calls for.  This does not taste fishy at all.  Trust me, I would not eat this as a kid or as an adult if it tasted fishy (Sorry - I'm not a fish fan).    
Here is my original post: 

I am so NOT a pasta salad person, except for THIS pasta salad (and one other one).  I can easily pass by them at any lunch or barbeque without thinking twice.  I don't know why, but they have never been my thing.

However, this macaroni salad is my FAVORITE.  I grew up eating it and I still look forward to the few times a year when my Mom makes it.  She makes it on Easter and any other time we barbeque.   
I decided that I needed to learn how to make it.  Of course she has the recipe memorized and doesn't need to measure anything, but I made her sit down and write me a recipe with measurements.    

I tried it last Sunday and it turned out very yummy,  just like Mom's.  This was the first and only pasta salad I have ever made.  So, that's good news for you guys, because you can make this and have it turn out great on your first attempt.

Mom's Macaroni Salad
from: Sharon H.
(Printable Recipe)

1 (16 oz.) pkg. salad roni (Ditalini)(about 3 cups)
1-2 cans tiny shrimp, rinsed and drained
1 c. celery, chopped
1/2 c. onion, finely chopped, opt.
    or scant 1/4 c. dried onions that have been hydrated in water
4 large boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
paprika, for garnish

2 c. Miracle Whip
2 tsp. sugar
1 Tbl. lemon juice
1 tsp. yellow mustard

Cook noodles according to package directions.  When done, drain and rinse.  (Rinsing them will help prevent the noodles from sticking together in clumps).  Allow to cool and dry completely.  Meanwhile, combine dressing ingredients.  Taste and adjust, if needed.  When noodles are cool and dry, add the tiny shrimp, celery, onion and chopped eggs.  Add the dressing and fold together until everything is completely coated.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.  Sprinkle with paprika before serving.    

May 13, 2017

Creamy Chicken Noodle Casserole

Can you believe it's almost Summer and in a few more weeks, school will be out?  May can be such a busy month, especially if your kids/teens are trying to get caught up in all their classes before the end of the school year.

This casserole is perfect for those busy nights.  There is very little hands-on time needed.  Other than boiling the noodles and cutting up some cooked chicken, you pretty much just throw everything together in a large bowl, stir until combined and bake.
This casserole is quickly becoming one of my go-to recipes.  Not only is it extremely easy to throw together, but it makes a bunch and the leftovers are great to have on hand during the week.  Isn't that why we all love casseroles . . . they are easy to make and they feed a bunch of people.

The noodles really are what make this casserole extra-special.  I highly recommend following the recipe and using the frozen grandma noodles.  There are several brands available, so if you can't find the one I suggest, others will work too.  They taste WAY better than regular dry store-bought pasta.
Seriously, the flavors and textures of this casserole are spot on. Soft and slightly chewy noodles, tender chicken, crisp vegetables, creamy and cheesy sauce and a buttery cracker topping.  My whole family loves this and I'm sure it will become one of your new go-to dinners.

You might also like:

Creamy Chicken Noodle Casserole
From: Jenn@eatcakefordinner
(Printable Recipe)

1 (24 oz.) pkg. Frozen Homestyle Egg Noodles (I like Reames)
2 c. cooked and cubed chicken breasts
1 (12 oz.) pkg. frozen peas and carrots
1 (15.25 oz.) can corn, drained
1 (10.5 oz.) can cream of chicken soup
1 c. milk
1 c. sour cream
1 Tbl. dried onion flakes
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. garlic powder
salt and pepper, to taste
3/4 c. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 sleeve Ritz crackers
1/2 Tbl. unsalted butter, melted
1/3 c. grated Parmesan cheese, opt.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the frozen noodles; boil until tender, this should only take 5-7 minutes (always taste a noodle before you drain them to make sure they are the texture you prefer).  Right before you drain the noodles, add the package of frozen peas and corn, this will thaw them quickly.  Drain the noodles and vegetables.

Pour back into the empty pot (or into a large bowl) and add the cooked chicken, canned corn, cream of chicken soup, milk, sour cream, dried onion flakes, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, pepper and grated Cheddar cheese.  Stir together until well combined.  Pour into a greased 9x13-inch baking dish and spread out evenly.  Cover tightly with foil and bake for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, add the Ritz crackers to a zip-top bag and crush until small crumbs.  Add the melted butter and grated Parmesan cheese to the zip-top bag and toss together until everything is coated in butter.  Remove casserole from oven and remove foil.  Sprinkle cracker mixture over casserole, return to oven and bake for 10 more minutes.  Serves 8.


May 9, 2017

Cinnamon Butterflake Rolls

Do you love cinnamon rolls, but hate all the work preparing them?  Well, these Cinnamon Butterflake Rolls are made for you :)  They are a cinch to throw together and taste incredible.

Warm, cinnamon sugar rolls, that pull apart into soft flakey layers and are smothered in a sweet vanilla glaze, doesn't get much better than that.  Totally mouthwatering.  I make shortcut butterflake rolls all the time and this cinnamon version is right up there with my favorite orange version and garlic parmesan version.  

Let me show you how easy these are to make . . .
First, get all of your ingredients ready.  You will need thawed Rhodes Rolls, brown sugar, cinnamon, melted butter, powdered sugar, vanilla and milk (not pictured).
Combine two thawed rolls and form into a ball.  Or, you could always use Rhodes Texas-Size Rolls and you will only need one roll each.  Take your clean kitchen scissors and cut four or five slits in each roll, cutting almost all the way to the bottom.
Then, combine melted butter, brown sugar and cinnamon.  It will form a thick paste.  Using your hands, rub the cinnamon paste over each roll, making sure to get into every single slit.  I have tried using a brush for this, but it really is easiest and fastest if you use your hands.  Place cinnamon sugar coated rolls into a greased muffin tin.  

Cover lightly with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with cooking spray and allow rolls to rise until doubled.  Remove plastic wrap, bake and then brush with vanilla icing.  That's it.   
I am sharing this mouthwatering recipe over at Rhodes Blog today.  Click HERE to get this delicious RECIPE.

This post is sponsored by Rhodes Bread.  I have always been a fan of Rhodes Rolls and all opinions expressed herein are my own.  Thanks for allowing me to work with the brands that I love.  


May 6, 2017

Spumoni Cake

Have you ever had Spumoni Ice Cream?  There is an Italian Restaurant close to me that serves it for dessert.  It comes with your meal, so everyone gets, it no matter what.  It's a combination of chocolate, cherry and pistachio ice cream and it's delicious.  The perfect sweet ending to a heavy pasta meal.  

I decided to replicate the same flavors into a cake.  

I wanted to make this as simple as possible, so I made my, go-to, shortcut cake recipe, divided it between three bowls and then added different flavorings to each bowl.  Super easy.  
With each slice you get chocolate, cherry and pistachio cake.  Not only is it pretty, but it's so yummy.  The cake is extremely moist, so I decided to top it with just a thin layer of simple buttercream frosting.  The cake really is so good on it's own, you could eat it without frosting (yes, me, the frosting lover really just said that).  I was originally planning to top it with pistachio frosting, but that turned out really grainy.  It might have been because I used generic pudding mix and I have never had good results with this particular brand.  

Anyway, I re-made the frosting and left out the pudding mix and it was way better.  There is so much going on with the cake, that a basic frosting is just right.  BUT, if you want to leave off the frosting, a dusting of powdered sugar would be a good choice. Garnish with a maraschino cherry and serve.     

Spumoni Cake
From: Jenn@eatcakefordinner
(Printable Recipe)

1 (16.25 oz.) box white cake mix
1 (3.4 oz.) box vanilla instant pudding mix
4 large eggs
3/4 c. water
3/4 c. canola or vegetable oil
1 c. sour cream or plain greek yogurt
2 tsp. almond extract, divided
7-8 drops red food coloring
1/4 c. chopped maraschino cherries, drained
6 drops green food coloring
3 Tbl. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. vanilla

Buttercream Frosting
12 Tbl. unsalted butter, room temperature
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 c. powdered sugar
1 Tbl. milk, plus more if needed
a few drops green food coloring, opt.
maraschino cherries with the stems, for garnish, opt.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, combine dry cake mix, dry pudding mix, eggs, water, oil and sour cream or greek yogurt.  Mix together until smooth and creamy.  Divide cake batter evenly between three bowls.  To one of the bowls, stir in 1 teaspoon almond extract, red food coloring and chopped maraschino cherries; set aside.  To the second bowl, stir in the remaining 1 teaspoon almond extract and green food coloring; set aside.  To the third bowl, stir in the cocoa powder and vanilla.

Drop spoonfuls of cake batter into a greased 9x13-inch cake pan, rotating flavors.  You want spoonfuls of each flavor throughout the entire pan.  Tap cake pan on counter a few times to flatten out the batter, do not swirl.  Bake in preheated oven for 30-33 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool completely and top with frosting.

For the Buttercream: In a large bowl, combine butter, salt, almond extract and vanilla extract and mix together until smooth and creamy.  Add one cup of powdered sugar and mix until combined.  Add remaining powdered sugar, one cup at a time, adding a little milk as needed until frosting is smooth and creamy and reaches desired consistency.  Mix in green food coloring, if adding.  Spread over cooled cake and garnish with maraschino cherries, if desired.