Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Chicken and Artichokes

On this unseasonable day, Joan dipped into one of her tried-and-true cookbooks - 500 Fast & Fabulous Five Star 5 Ingredient Recipes. She found this meal, which has been previously blogged. This meal can be quickly prepared and it will make your mouth water.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Seafood Lasagna

According to Mr. Food, nobody ever said that lasagna had to be made with ground beef or even spinach. Thus, on this blustery day (sustained winds of 25 to 40 mph), Joan combined pasta shells with shrimp and crab.

1 pound uncooked medium-sized pasta shells
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded Swiss cheese
1 can (141/2 ounces) stewed tomatoes
12 ounces medium-sized shrimp, cooked, peeled, and deveined
1 package (10 ounces) imitation crab meat, flaked

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Cook the shells according to the package directions; drain and set aside in a large bowl. In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat and slowly add the flour, stirring until the flour is well blended. Add the milk gradually and stir until blended. Add the salt and pepper and stir the sauce constantly until thickened. Add the cheese and stir until melted. Pour the cheese sauce and remaining ingredients over the shells; mix well. Pour into a 9" X 13" baking dish that has been coated with nonstick vegetable spray and bake for 30 minutes until hot and bubbly.

8 to 10 servings

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Trifle Trio!

While wrapping Ben and Jen’s wedding gifts, Joan slipped in this trio of trifle recipes along with these three.

Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle

Two 14-ounce packages gingerbread mix
One 5.1-ounce package cook-and-serve vanilla pudding mix
One 30-ounce can pumpkin pie filling
1/2 Cup packed brown sugar
1/3 teaspoon ground cardamom or cinnamon
One 12-ounce carton Cool Whip
1/2 cup gingersnaps (optional)

Bake the gingerbread according to the package directions; cool completely. Meanwhile, prepare the pudding and set aside to cool. Stir the pumpkin pie filling, sugar, and cardamom into the pudding.

Crumble one batch of gingerbread into the bottom of a large, pretty bowl. Pour 1/2 the pudding mixture over the gingerbread, then add a layer of Cool Whip. Repeat with the remaining gingerbread, pudding, and Cool Whip. Sprinkle the top with crushed gingersnaps if desired. Refrigerate overnight. Can be layered in a punch bowl.

Serves 20

All American Trifle

Patriotically delicious!

1 (12-ounce) prepared pound cakes
2 pints strawberries
2 pints blueberries
1 (28-ounce) jar strawberry glaze
1/2 cup mini-chocolate chips, divided
1 (16- to 24-ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed

Cut pound cake into approximately 1-inch cubes. Rinse and dry berries. Put glaze in medium-size bowl; slice strawberries into glaze and stir gently to combine. Save one really nice looking berry to decorate top.

In clear glass trifle dish, put a layer of strawberries, just enough to cover bottom of dish. Add 1/3 of cake pieces (push down slightly), a layer of whipped topping, layer of blueberries, and another layer of strawberries. Then sprinkle with about half the mini-chips (reserve 2 tablespoons to decorate top). Repeat layers, packing slightly. Repeat again if you have room. Finish off top with whipped topping to cover. Add reserved strawberry and sprinkle reserved chips around outside edge. You can even drizzle some of the glaze (without strawberries) on the top. Serves a large group.

Colossal Carmel Apple Trifle

A very impressive dessert. Delicious and pretty, too!

1 (18 1/4-ounce) yellow cake mix
3/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted, divided
1 (21-ounce) can apple pie filling, divided
2 (8-ounce) cartons frozen whipped topping, thawed, divided
4 cups cold milk
2 (3.4-ounce) packages vanilla instant pudding mix
1/2 teaspoon apple pie spice, or 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and a little nutmeg
1 (8-ounce) jar caramel ice cream topping, divided

Prepare and bake cake according to package directions, using 2 (8-inch) round pans. Cool cake in pans 8 minutes, then remove to wire racks and cool completely. In a large bowl, whisk milk, pudding, and apple pie spice for 2 minutes. Let stand for 2 minutes.

Cut one cake layer, if necessary, to fit in bottom of punch bowl or large glass bowl. Poke holes in cake with a straw; gradually pour 1/3 caramel over cake. Sprinkle 1/3 pecans on, then 1/2 pudding. Spoon 1/2 can pie filling over pudding; spread with 1 carton topping. Top with remaining cake, then repeat layers. After second carton of topping, drizzle with remaining caramel and sprinkle with remaining pecans. Refrigerate until serving.