Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Bacon-Ranch Pasta Salad

I seem to be on a recipe kick. I guess it's because summer is the time of get-togethers.  I made the cake (posted Sunday) and this salad for a BBQ at church. This salad is really super simple.  Amounts are approximate- you can adjust everything to your crowd.

Bacon- Ranch Pasta Salad

1 pkg. pasta
(I used rotini because that's what I had on hand.)
1 pkg. bacon-chopped into small pieces
(Or be industrious and fry your own.)
2 c. shredded cheese
2c. ranch dressing (approx.)*
optional ingredients:
diced onion
sliced black olives
diced tomatoes
diced bell pepper

*I make my own ranch, but your favorite from a bottle will work also.

Prepare pasta according to package directions, drain, and rinse with cold water.  When pasta is completely cool (and completely drained) combine with bacon and cheese. Add optional ingredients if desired.  DO NOT add dressing until you are ready to serve!  This is important.  If you add the dressing too early, you come up with a solid lump (and it's pretty icky).  You can adjust the amount of dressing to your taste.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Peaches and Cream Cake

This started out as a recipe I found on Pinterest, but (as usual), I had to play around with it.  As it turns out, this is a really delicious cake- and it isn't heavy.  Best of all- it's easy!!

Peaches and Cream Cake

1 box cake mix- either yellow or white*
1 box vanilla instant pudding mix
3 eggs (yes, I said 3)
1 c. milk
1/3 c. oil
1 15 oz. can peaches in heavy syrup (Make sure they're sliced, or you will have to slice them)
2 pints heavy cream
2 tsp. sugar (You can add more if you wish.)
2 tsp. almond flavoring

*The Pinterest version called for white cake mix. Hello?! If you put 3 eggs in that thing, honey, it's gonna be yellow, OK?

Mix the cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, milk and oil with electric mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes.  Pour into 2 greased and floured cake pans.
It will be super thick.  I added a little extra milk and it was still thick. I finally said OK, whatever, and poured it in the pans.

Bake at 350 degrees about 35 minutes.  (Just do the toothpick check- if it's clean, it's done.)

Cool on racks until COMPLETELY COOL. The cream icing has to stay cold- so make sure that cake is completely cool.

Meanwhile, mix the cream, sugar, and flavoring.  I added more sugar and a tad more flavoring before I got it to my liking.  Pinterest said mix until "semi stiff" but I wasn't impressed with that. I let it get a little thicker.  I used the "whip cream" setting on my mixer. (Duh!)
This needs to be stored in the fridge until you are ready to put it on the cake.  It needs to stay COLD.

(Pinterest called for half this much icing. PPHHHTTT!! I'm a southern girl...come on...)

Drain the peaches.  Layer cream icing on the first layer and arrange the peaches in a circular pattern (Or just throw 'em on- nobody will ever know!)

Add the next layer of cake and slather on the cream!  Arrange the remaining peaches on the top in a pretty circle. :o)

Keep this cake COLD until serving.  If it gets too warm the icing turns to...well, let's just say it isn't pretty...

Hope you love this as much as I did.  My cousin Terry said he'd like to taste it with fresh peaches. Hmmmm......

Happy eating.
Beth :)