Monday, February 6, 2012

Bow Tie Pasta Salad


 6 chicken breasts, cooked and cut into bite-sized pieces 
1 16 oz. pkg of bow tie pasta, cooked and cooled 
1 can pineapple tidbits 
1 6 oz package of Craisins
 2 cups celery, finely chopped 
1 small green onions, chopped 
1 cup red grapes, cut in half
 2 cans mandarin oranges 
1 12 oz. can salted cashews

Dressing: 1 16 oz. cole slaw dressing 
1 cup mayo

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Red Velvet Bundt Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

4 eggs
1 1/2 c. brown sugar 
1/2 c. olive oil
1 package instant chocolate pudding
1 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. baking powder (double if baking at low altitude) 
2/3 c. cocoa powder
1 1/2 c. flour 
1 c. sour cream
½ c. water
1 c. mini chocolate chips
2 tsp. red gel food coloring 

In a large bowl, beat together eggs, brown sugar, and olive oil, and instant pudding mix, creaming until very well mixed. Add salt, baking powder, cocoa powder, and flour. Beat just until incorporated. Add sour cream and water, and beat again just until incorporated. Fold in mini chocolate chips, then scoop batter into a bundt pan which has been generously greased and floured (use cocoa powder, instead of flour, for a nice chocolatey finish to the outside of your cake). Bake in an oven preheated to 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes, or just until the center part of the cake ring springs back to the touch. Watch your cake closely! You don’t want to overcook it! Once cooked, wait for the cake to cool to the touch before turning it out onto a cooling rack. Allow to cool, then cover tightly in plastic wrap and store in the fridge overnight before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting
2 sticks butter
8 oz. cream cheese
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Seeds from ½ a vanilla bean, scraped
¼ tsp. almond flavoring
1-2 Tbsp. milk
In a large bowl, beat together butter and cream cheese until very light and fluffy. Slowly add powdered sugar until well mixed. Add vanilla bean seeds and almond flavoring. Tip in a Tablespoon or two of milk, if needed to make frosting piping consistency (soft but not drippy). Spoon into a large plastic zip-top bag. Snip a 1-inch hole in the corner of the bag and pipe giant frosting petals onto cooled cake. Enjoy!