Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Dessert - Salted Caramel Cheesecake


Mmmmm. Are you drooling yet?? This is probably the richest thing I have made in my life, it is really so decadent. The recipe comes from my favorite Betty Crocker recipe cards magazine that I am always raving about. Seriously, that magazine is so full of good things every time it arrives.

This recipe happens to come from the same issue as the divinely delicious Tie Dye Cupcakes. I will say that it wasn't too awfully difficult to make, however it does take a while to bake and is quite time consuming. If you are preparing this for a party or something, also take that into consideration, since it does require a minimum of 6 hours to chill in the refrigerator.

The recipe is sort of a three-part recipe as well, you start with the graham cracker crust, then make the cheesecake (which is caramel flavored), then you make the caramel topping sauce. You'll also need a springform pan for this one, so be prepared for that! Oh yeah, and by no means is this a healthy recipe!

Salted Caramel Cheesecake

Ingredients:
Crust--
-1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 28 squares)
-1/4 cup packed brown sugar
-1/2 cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wrap the outside of 9-inch springform pan with foil. Spray inside of pan with cooking spray and set aside.
Mix crust ingredients together and press into bottom of the pan.
Bake 8-10 minutes or until set.

Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees, and cool crust for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare cheesecake filling:
Filling--
-3 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
-1 cup brown sugar
-3 eggs
-3/4 cup whipping cream
-1/4 cup caramel-flavored coffee syrup

Beat together cream cheese, brown sugar, and eggs (adding one at a time) until smooth. Add whipping cream and caramel syrup and blend until smooth. Pour into prepared pan and bake at 300 degrees for 1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 20 minutes (until edge of cheesecake is set 2 inches in and slightly jiggles in center).

Turn oven off and open oven door 4 inches (you may want to open some windows, this made our kitchen really hot and the carbon dioxide stuff freaks me out a little). Leave cheesecake in oven (with 4 inch opening) for 30 minutes.

Remove cheesecake from oven, and run a knife or metal spatula around the edge to loosen. Cool on cooling rack at least 30 minutes, then refrigerate 6 hours or overnight.

Prior to serving, prepare the caramel sauce topping:
Caramel topping--
-1/2 cup butter
-1-1/4 cups brown sugar
-2 tablespoons caramel-flavored coffee syrup
-1/2 cup whipping cream
-1-1/2 teaspoons flaked sea salt

In medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add brown sugar and caramel syrup. Heat to boiling, stirring, cook 1 minute, stirring until sugar dissolves. Stir in the cream, then return to boiling. Remove from heat. Cool 10 minutes.

To serve cheesecake: Remove metal ring from springform pan, slice cheesecake, then top each slice with a spoonful of caramel and finish it off with a pinch of flaked sea salt.

Refrigerate to store.

Dinner - Arizona Dreaming Chicken (Throw Together Meal #2)

Matt cooked up this great random meal for us the other night. We were having one of our friends over to hang out, and Matt decided to make a quick meal with some stuff we had hiding in the freezer. It turned out really deliciously.

The snap peas and French fries are nothing special, just frozen foods. Although, Matt did dash a bit of Penzey's Fox Point Seasoning on the fries and it made them taste fantastic!!

We also put another one of our Penzey's seasonings to use: Arizona Dreaming. We received the Arizona Dreaming seasoning for free, thanks to a generous coupon from the Penzeys catalog (If you are not already signed up for the catalog, sign up NOW, you will definitely not regret it.)

That Arizona Dreaming seasoning mix has been creeping up my list of favorites since we got it, and I think that this chicken really sealed the deal. Matt used a basic vegetable oil and seasoned both sides of the chicken with the seasoning. It was a simple meal, but very flavorful and incredibly tasty.

Breakfast - S'mores Pancakes


Matt and I have been really loving to make our own breakfast on days when we both have off. It definitely makes the day start off better, and I adore making breakfast foods, so really, it is just great. (My apologies on the horribly blurry photo, I am not quite sure what occurred there!)

This past weekend, we decided to try a recipe inspired by one from a Bisquick cookbook. It is a very easy way to dress up a basic pancake mix and make it really tasty, almost a good dessert.

We were really happy to have all the fixings for these on hand: graham crackers, marshmallow fluff, and chocolate chips.

To make these, first prepare your graham crackers by crushing them into crumbs. You will probably want a good 3-4 graham crackers for this part.

Next, prepare your pancakes as directed on the box, or according to your recipe (yeah, I admit it. I like using boxed pancake mix.) Make sure you end up with an even number of pancakes in a somewhat even size, as you will be making pancake sandwiches.

Cook the pancakes on the first side, then when you see the bubbles appear, sprinkle in a tablespoon or so of graham cracker crumbs onto the pancake's wet surface, then flip to cook the other side.

Prepare all of the pancakes in this fashion, then stack on a plate for assembly.

Spread 1-2 tablespoons marshmallow fluff on a pancake, top with a tablespoon or so of chocolate chips, then top with another pancake. Repeat process until all pancakes are made into "s'mores".

Enjoy!!

Dinner - Mom's Chicken Pot Pie

My goodness!! Where did the last week GO?! Oh yeah, to working a lot and making lots of delicious things (all the while not updating the blog). Well, you are in for a treat because I am going to fill you in on all the great things we have been eating at our house for the past week. Expect to see several blog posts up in a bit, as well as reviews of some books I have been into lately.

Let's start with a dish I made last weekend (as in LAST last weekend...like a week ago Sunday). Matt went with his mom to visit his brother, so I decided to make a good meal for when he got home on Sunday. I decided on one of our faves here in the Kiefer household, my mom's chicken pot pie.

It is a fairly easy dish to make, but does require some prep to get the veggies and chicken all ready. Let me also note that I am pretty sure I lost the recipe for this dish down the little crack between our kitchen cabinet and the wall. Not cool. However, I do think I can recall most of the recipe, so here goes...


Mom's Chicken Pot Pie

Ingredients:
-1 package pie crusts (you will need 2 crusts, one for the bottom of the pie, the other for the top. Most packaged pie crusts come with 2..alternately, you can make your own, but you really can save time and be lazy here.)
-2 cups cooked, diced chicken (we used 2 chicken breasts)
-2 cans cream of chicken soup
-1 cup frozen peas
-1 cup frozen corn
-3 carrots, cut up into rounds
-1 potato, cooked and diced into cubes or small chunks
-salt and pepper to taste

Place one pie crust in the bottom of a pie plate. Cook up the chicken and cook the potato.

Once the chicken is cooked, dice it up and place in a large bowl. Place the other vegetables (peas/corn are okay frozen, do not worry about cooking them first!!) and the cooked potato into the bowl and stir to combine. Pour the cream of chicken soup over all and stir until all is well combined.

Place the mixture into the prepared pie plate, then cover with the remaining pie crust.
Crimp edges of the pie crusts together, and finish edge as desired (I fluted the edge). Cut several slits in the top of the pot pie to vent.

Bake at 350 degrees for around an hour (?).

(Please feel free to correct this recipe, mom!!)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Night Out - Il Mito's Cooking School

On Saturday, I was invited to the bachelorette party of the future wife of a long time family friend (hi Dawn!!). I love cooking (obviously) and was pretty stoked to see that for Dawn's party, we would be going to Il Mito's Cooking School!

I actually knew of Il Mito as a restaurant, although knew nothing about them having a cooking school. It was quite a pleasant surprise of a place and we all had a really nice evening cooking under the watchful eye of Chef Michael Feker, head chef at the cooking school.

The evening began with Dawn opening up her gifts while we chatted with glasses of wine. The cooking school is actually in its own room, so it was a nice private space. After Dawn was done with gifts, we moved on to the cooking! We were seated at a long bar, on the other side of which Chef Feker began his presentation (there were probably 15-16 of us, so this should tell you how big this bar was!).

Chef Feker started by introducing himself and the courses we would have throughout the evening. The first course was a salad comprised of arugula, watercress, oven-roasted tomatoes, goat cheese medallions (breaded goat cheese patties, mmmmm), roasted beets, and finished with an orange vinaigrette. As Chef Feker plated our salad course, he described the process for creating the course, such as how to make the goat cheese patties, oven-roasted tomatoes, and the basic ratios for a great salad dressing.

I forgot to mention that each of these courses was paired with a different wine! I really liked being able to taste a professional pairing with different types of foods. However, I did (and I think everyone else did also) end up drinking a LOT of wine over the span of the evening, so next time I would probably pass on having wine before starting the courses!

(*I won't put the recipes on here, but please note that Chef Feker keeps a list of recipes here. I really want to try some of these, especially the one for pumpkin ravioli (on page 2)!!)

For the second course, Chef Feker broke us up into 4 groups, and he assigned each group their own cooking station, complete with a separate professional gas range for each! (I now want a professional gas stove. Soooo nice.) Each group started to make the recipe for our main course, which was Fire Roasted Chicken and Tomato Risotto. We took turns stirring the risotto and adding the ingredients, and every once in a while Chef Feker came over to see how we were doing, how the dish was coming along, and to give the pan a couple of impressive tosses.

When we were finished cooking up the main course, Chef Feker took them to plate them up and pass out to the various groups. He also made sure to keep a little from each group's skillet to sample! It was really fun to hear what he thought about each group's dish.

Then we moved on to the third (and final) course, dessert! (My favorite.) The chef paired marinated (in balsamic?? I can't recall.) strawberries with a Sicilian Sabayon (pudding-like custard) and topped it all off with one of his Magical Chocolate Cookies. Can I just say that damn Magical Chocolate Cookie was probably one of the best cookies I have ever had?! And you all know how much I loooove cookies.

I really enjoyed our night out at Il Mito, and I would highly recommend it for a date night, birthday, or any other celebration you may have. It was a very unique way to have dinner and wine with friends, and you got to learn a lot in the process!! The cooking school space was really beautifully done, with ample room to cook and move around to see how everyone was doing on their meals.

One more thing which I forgot to mention is that the music selection in this place ROCKS. Quite a variety of song choices, but I heard a nice mix of older soul stuff with some classic stuff thrown in too. This was the first restaurant I have ever been that played the Marlena Shaw classic, "California Soul" (Go ahead and youtube it. You'll thank me.). Really good jams guys, keep it up!!

I am looking forward to trying some of Chef Feker's recipes in my own home, so please look forward to that on the blog soon! Also looking forward to having a meal at Il Mito as the menu looks simply delicious!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Breakfast (if you're bad like me) or Dessert - Baked Doughnuts


My mom did a bad, bad (read: awesome) thing. She has created the monster in our house that will now be known as doughnut-itis.

She got me this wonderful doughnut baking pan I have been wanting oh so bad. It is made by Wilton (I am sure there are other makers of it too), and allows you to bake 6 doughnuts at a time! Very fabulous.

Matt is headed outta town tonight to visit his brother, so I decided what better occasion to try out the doughnut pan?? Sent him away with a solid dozen for snacking on the road.

I used the recipe from the pan's package and decided to try out two styles of topping: chocolate icing, and cinnamon-powdered sugar. The doughnut batter is incredibly easy to make, and also bakes up really nicely. I had to make some minor substitutions to the batter recipe (who keeps buttermilk on hand?? Or cake flour?? Really?), but they baked up really fluffy and they taste pretty good too.

Filling the doughnut pan is kind of a pain, but could have been way worse. Perhaps next time I will put the batter in a bag or something to squeeze it into the pan. Overall, making the doughnuts was a pretty quick process, it took me maybe an hour and a half to make 2 batches. Not bad for a baked item using only one pan!

I have a couple baked doughnut recipes stashed away here, just waiting for the day when I got a doughnut pan! So please look forward to seeing those soon.

(*Side note: How does everyone else spell "doughnut"? I always spelled it "donut", but the blog spell check doesn't like it spelled "donut". Am I alone here?! "Doughnut" looks weird...but I used it anyways.)

Baked Cake Doughnuts

Ingredients:
-2 cups cake flour (sub: 2 cups minus 4 tablespoons)
-3/4 cup sugar
-2 teaspoons baking powder
-1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
-1 teaspoon salt
-3/4 cup buttermilk (sub: 1 tablespoon white vinegar or lemon juice mixed with milk to total 1 cup--only use 3/4 cup, reserve remaining for another purpose, or toss out.)
-2 eggs, lightly beaten
-2 tablespoons butter, melted

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Spray doughnut pan with cooking spray.

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, nutmeg, and salt in large bowl. Add remaining ingredients and mix until just combined.

Fill each doughnut cup about 2/3 full.

Bake 7-9 minutes or until tops of doughnuts are springy. Let cool in pan 4-5 minutes before removing.

Coat doughnuts as desired:

Chocolate Glaze
-1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
-1 tablespoon butter
-1 tablespoon corn syrup
-1 teaspoon hot water

Microwave chocolate chips, butter, and corn syrup 30 seconds or so, until slightly melted. Remove from microwave and stir until completely melted. Stir in the hot water until glaze is thick and smooth. Glaze doughnuts as desired (I just dipped the tops Krispy Kreme style).

Cinnamon-Powdered Sugar
-1-2 cups powdered sugar
-1-2 teaspoons cinnamon (adjust to taste)

Mix sugar and cinnamon together in a medium bowl. Dunk the cooled donuts in the mixture and coat with the sugar.

Dinner - Chicken Dumplings (aka Throw Together Meal #1)

Matt and I had no idea what to make for dinner last night. We were also quite lazy and didn't really want to cook, but we had to anyways.

Yesterday, I was bad and went record shopping for 45s and albums (again). So pardon if anything is off in this post. I am currently listening to a gorgeous Mary Wells album from 1963. Awesome.

Alright, well back to the food here. Anyways, the laziness that is record shopping led me to not want to make any sort of dinner. It takes a lot to go through all those bins, and I think I got home with too little energy. And thus, this strange, strange meal was created.

Matt and I picked up a package of frozen dumplings from the Asian food market "Pacific Produce" on S. 27th here in Milwaukee. We have been trying to think of something to pair them with, but dumplings are hard to pair (I think) unless you eat them as an appetizer or something. These particular dumplings were made by a company called Wei-Chuan and are of the "Vegetable and Chicken" variety. The dumplings were actually quite delicious, similar to the quality you would find when dining out (almost similar to gyoza). Not bad for a frozen food!!

We chose to serve the dumplings alongside some boil in the bag rice we got on sale, and some of the green beans we had left from another dinner (wow, I just thought of how strange boil in the bag rice is).

I cooked the green beans in the skillet, adding a bit of olive oil, a tablespoon or so of water, and 2 chopped garlic cloves. I let them cook uncovered a couple minutes, then threw the lid on and let them steam a good 8 minutes, stirring once or twice. I added a sprinkle of that Penzey's Fox Point seasoning we used the other night. They actually turned out quite nicely and I believe we will cook them again like this in the future.

We each added a little sprinkle of Japanese rice seasoning (bad, bad, delicious stuff...complete with dried seaweed, sesame seeds and my current arch-nemesis MSG) to top off our rice.
The meal turned out surprisingly well!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Dessert - Tie Dye Cupcakes


A few weeks ago, I received the new issue of that cooking magazine I mentioned before: the one from Betty Crocker where they send a new cookbook full of recipe-cards all fitting a theme. I generally end up making at least one thing from each issue, and this one was no exception. (In case you're interested, the title of the newest booklet is "Best Cupcakes & Cakes".)

In fact, I was snared immediately by the cover photo of these tie dye cupcakes. They were beautiful, gorgeously colored cupcakes. They reminded me of spring, Easter eggs, and all things bright and cheery. And of course, they are cupcakes so of course they would be yummy.






The cake and frosting are actually from containers, so no real measuring or anything that way. The time consuming part comes in the form of the details of creating the tie dye style cake. To make the cake look as gorgeous as it does, you need to tint 6 bowls of batter, then spoon a bit of each color into each muffin tin.





Then, to frost, you need to tint 3 bowls of frosting and pipe them using an icing bag. Not a big deal, however if you are like me and totally suck at using an icing bag, it becomes a problem. It went well this time, with the exception of getting frosting everywhere!! At least the cupcakes look nice!


These cupcakes also got me thinking about variations for certain events. It would be really cool to try these with colors for different holidays, or even with batters of two different flavors! I am anxious to try more versions of these in the future.




I think the only thing I would do differently with these cupcakes would be to get some higher quality food color. I used the gel food color from the grocery store, but I have a feeling that the food color from a professional baking shop would make the cupcakes way more vibrant.


Tie Dye Cupcakes

Ingredients:
-1 box supermoist white cake mix
-Water, vegetable oil and egg whites called for on cake mix box
-Gel or paste food colors
-2 containers (1 lb each) white or vanilla frosting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line muffin pans with cupcake liners (line 24, but be advised the batch I made yielded only 19).
Make cake mix as directed.

Divide batter into 6 bowls (I think the ratio is about 1/2 cup plus a tablespoon or two per bowl), then tint the separate batters the following colors: purple, blue, green, yellow, orange, and red.

Working in rainbow order, spoon 1 teaspoon of the first color into each cup. Repeat with additional colors, layering but not mixing the colors. Each cup will end up about 1/2 full.

Bake 15-20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes then remove to cooling rack and cool completely.

Divide frosting into 3 bowls and tint one red, one yellow, and one blue. Spoon each color into an icing bag fitted with a small star tip, one spoonful at a time and alternating colors around the bag. Squeeze bag into a bowl until frosting comes out tri-colored. Apply frosting in a swirl fashion to tops of cupcakes, and enjoy!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Dinner - Chicken and Bows


This recipe comes from another Taste of Home cookbook that I got from the library, titled "Dinner on a Dime". It is full of inexpensive and fairly quick meals. I thought the name of this was too cute (why I am not sure...) and the ingredients all sounded delicious, so we decided to give it a try.

The recipe was pretty good in composition, however it was sadly quite bland, even though it seemed to contain tons flavorful ingredients! We ended up doctoring up the finished product with (another great Penzey's spice) Fox Point Seasoning. If you wanted to make this recipe, I'd recommend spicing it up with your favorite chicken seasoning or Italian seasoning.

There were some good parts to this recipe. It took us about 40 minutes to make, from start to finish, so it was fairly quick. The ingredients also were pretty good, since we seemed to have most of them on hand. We used up the bow tie pasta from our pantry, as well as a partial leftover bag of frozen peas, so it helped us to get rid of some food we needed to use up. The recipe also makes a good amount, so there is plenty left over for a couple more lunches and dinners.

Chicken and Bows

Ingredients:
-1 package (16 ounces) bow tie pasta
-2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips (we only used 2 chicken breasts, so we can have chicken left for our other recipes this week.)
-1 cup chopped sweet red pepper
-1/4 cup butter, cubed
-2 cans (10-3/4 ounces each) condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
-2 cups frozen peas
-1- 1/2 cups milk
-1 teaspoon garlic powder
-1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt
-1/4 teaspoon pepper
-2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to package.
Cook chicken and red pepper in butter over med heat for 5-6 minutes, or until chicken is cooked.
Drain pasta and set aside.

Use pasta cooking pot (post-draining) and combine: chicken/red pepper mixture, soup, peas, milk, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 1-2 minutes or until heated.
Stir in Parmesan, then add pasta to the chicken mixture. Stir to coat.

Recipe says it makes enough for 12 servings. I'd probably say it is closer to 8 generous servings. The recipe recommends freezing half to eat later, so feel free to do that!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Dinner - Pork Carnita Nachos


Tonight our home was filled with guilty pleasures of all sorts. We decided to make these nachos in the slow cooker (nachos are one of my all-time favorite guilty pleasures), and we decided to eat them in front of the TV (on which Matt decided to play one of his favorite guilty pleasures, The Jersey Shore).

The nachos turned out delicious, super close in flavor to the nachos we like to get at our favorite Mexican restaurant, Riviera Maya here in Bay View. I can also say that The Jersey Shore turned out alright too, ending with a proper catfight among the girls. (Yes, I cannot believe I got sucked into watching that stupid show.)

To create the delicious nachos, a pork shoulder is prepared and seasoned, then slow cooked for 6-8 hours. The meat was tender, perfectly flavored, and a great pairing with salty tortilla chips. It would also be pretty delicious in a taco or burrito, similar to the shredded meats used at the chains Qdoba and Chipotle.

It was also a fairly simple meal to make, with minimal prep (such as browning the pork and chopping ingredients), and it was easy to assemble into the slow cooker in the morning before we left for work. The recipe is also quite versatile, as most of the ingredients are added to the nachos, so you can customize each plate to the diner's taste! We really enjoyed this recipe and I know we will be making it again often!!

Pork Carnita Nachos

Ingredients:
-1 onion, sliced
-2 tablespoons chopped canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (**We'll be making another recipe with these soon, also check my friend Heather's blog here as she just made something with them too! Otherwise freeze the rest of the can for another use.)
-2 to 3 pound boned pork butt or shoulder
-4 garlic cloves, slivered
-Salt & pepper
-1 tablespoon vegetable oil

For serving:
-Tortilla chips
-Toppings: fresh queso or Chihuahua cheese, salsa, jalapenos, tomatoes, lettuce, sour cream, olives, etc...

Prepare the pork by browning it on all sides in the vegetable oil. Make slits all over pork with a knife and insert garlic into the slits. Once pork is browned, wrap in foil and refrigerate overnight. Pour 1/2 cup water into pan to loosen particles from roast and reserve liquid for slow cooker.

When ready to cook, combine onion, chipotle peppers, and 1/4 cup water in 5 quart slow cooker. Place pork in slow cooker, and pour reserved liquid over. Season with salt and pepper (I also used some of the incredible Arizona Dreaming seasoning from Penzey's - amazing!!).

Cover and cook on low 8 hours or high 6 hours.

Let roast cool and shred with two forks. Return to cooker and stir to combine.

Serve over tortilla chips with desired toppings.

(From "Southern Living Slow-Cooker Quick Fixes")

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Dinner - Couscous with Dried Fruit & Feta


Tonight we had a interesting meal that combined sweet flavors with savory. I came across this recipe in an issue of Rachael Ray magazine, in the "Take Five" section, which uses 5 ingredients to create a meal. We also cooked up some chicken to serve with this meal.

I have been a huge fan of couscous since my parents would make it when I was younger. It's quite delicious and a great lighter alternative to pasta or rice. I also have a love of feta cheese, something that I liked a lot even as a picky-eating child. The ingredients of this meal are all things I like (well, except scallions!), but what really made me want to try it was the combination of salty and sweet.

The recipe did not disappoint and would also be tasty as a cold side dish in the summertime, instead of a pasta or potato salad. It was super easy to make, with the only real "work" the chopping of the apricots and cooking of the couscous. It was quite quick as well, clocking in at about 20 minutes from start to finish. Once the water has boiled for cooking the couscous, the rest of the meal comes together in no time!

I would love to try this recipe with other dried fruits, perhaps cherries, blueberries, heck maybe even dried pineapple or mango!! If you try this out, let me know how you like it!

Couscous with Dried Fruit & Feta

Ingredients:
-Two (5.6 ounce) packages garlic-flavored couscous (we used plain couscous from our pantry with garlic powder sprinkled in)
-1 cup dried cranberries or golden raisins (we used cranberries)
-1 cup dried apricots, chopped
-1/2 cup chopped scallions (we screwed up and used up all our scallions on the last recipe we made... so we omitted the scallions)
-1 cup feta cheese, crumbled

Make couscous according to the package.
Place in a large bowl and stir in remaining ingredients.

It's that easy! It also makes enough for 4-6 servings, depending on serving size!
We cooked up a couple chicken breasts to serve with the couscous, but you can omit that, or serve it with another meat or vegetables of your choice.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Lunch - Thai Chicken Slaw


I've been really into Asian-style slaw lately. My friend Kat had a really good slaw when we were over once, and her slaw led me to love the Asian slaw at Cafe Lulu (something I have missed lately due to not going there).

Asian slaw has the perfect combination of textures and flavors, and really tricks your taste buds. I say this only because I generally hate slaws and salads (the sole exception being the delicious, Tuscan Harvest salad from Joey Buona's - hardly a salad at all, considering it tastes like sugary deliciousness, and of course the above mentioned Asian slaw).

While flipping through a back issue of Taste of Home magazine looking for the best recipes to clip for my file, I came across a recipe that put a nice twist on the Asian slaws I was familar with. It combined the flavors from sesame-ginger salad dressing with Thai peanut sauce for a sweet and spicy taste.

We bought the ingredients for the slaw, and Matt ended up making this over the weekend. It is a really delicious and quick recipe, something that would be perfect for a picnic!

Thai Chicken Slaw

Ingredients:
-1 pkg. (16 oz.) coleslaw mix
-1/3 cup sesame-ginger salad dressing
-2 cups cubed cooked chicken
-1/2 cup Thai peanut sauce
-1 medium sweet red pepper, chopped to thin strips
-1/2 cup chow mein noodles
-2 green onions, chopped

In large bowl, combine coleslaw mix with salad dressing.
In separate bowl, combine chicken with peanut sauce.
Place coleslaw mix onto serving plates, top with chicken.
Top the salad with red pepper, chow mein noodles, and onions.
Serve immediately.