Thursday, October 27, 2011

Sweet and Salty Treat

Mini pretzels
Hershey Kisses Hugs (any kind)
Candy Corn

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or foil.
2. Place pretzels on cookie sheet, not touching.
3. Unwrap kisses and place on top of pretzels then place filled cookie sheet in oven.
4. Bake for 3-5 minutes but no longer.  You will know they are ready when the kisses start to get shiny.
5.  Take out of oven and gently place candy corn on top of kisses, pushing down ever so gently.
6.  Cool and then transfer to serving platter or wrap up as gifts.

Dirt Cake

3 1/2 cups milk
2 small pkgs instant French vanilla pudding
1 stick butter, softened to room temperature
1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1 (16 oz) container whipped topping
2 pgks chocolate sandwich cookies (I used oreos)
Chocolate candy rocks (found at Winco)
Assorted gummy worms

1. Whisk the milk and pudding together in a large bowl until smooth.  Let stand for five minutes.
2. In another large bowl, beat the butter and cream cheese together with a hand mixer on medium speed until fluffy.
3.  Beat in the powdered sugar until smooth.  Add the pudding and beat until smooth.  Fold in the whipped topping.
4.  Crush 1 package of cookies so that there are some fine crumbs, but also large pieces.  There needs to be a variety.  Fold this into the pudding mixture until evenly mixed.
5.  Finely crush the other bag of cookies.  In a large clear glass trifle dish, pour about a third of the pudding mixture in the bottom and spread to smooth.
6.  Sprinkle with a later of about a third of the finely crushed cookies.  Stick several of the candy rocks in the cookie layer, especially around the perimeter of the dish where they will be visible.
7.  Top with another third of the pudding mixture on top of the cookie layer, then repeat with another cookie layer and some more candy rocks.  Spread the remaining third of the pudding on top, then with the remaining cookie crumbs.  Place more rocks and gummy worms on top to decorate.  Chill for several hours to overnight before serving.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

White Cheddar Chicken Pasta

1 lb boneless chicken breats, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tbsp fresh thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
1 lb rotini (or other short cut pasta)
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, finely diced
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
8 oz sharp white cheddar cheese, grated
2 cups milk (I also used 2 tbsp heavy cream)
1 tbsp fresh thyme
1 tbsp fresh oregano
Crushed red pepper flakes to taste
Parmesan cheese to taste

1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
2. Mix together mustard, thyme, salt and pepper and sprinkle over chicken pieces.
3.  When pan is hot, add chicken and brown for 3 minutes per side until cooked through.
4.  Remove to a place and cover with foil.
5.  Heat water to boil in a large stock pot for pasta, add salt and pasta and cook and drain according to directions.
6.  Meanwhile, melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
7.  Add flour and whisk to combine.
8.  Add wine, garlic, onions, and mustard. Cook about 5 minutes, until onions are translucent.
9.  Reduce heat to low and slowly add milk, stirring to combine.  Cook about 5-7 minutes more until mixture begins to thicken.
10.  Add cheese and stir to melt.  Add chicken and pasta, toss to incorporate sauce.  Add thyme and oregano and serve topped with crushed red pepper flakes and Parmesan cheese.