Caprese Pasta Salad

 

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Caprese Pasta Salad is full of juicy and colorful heirloom tomatoes, Bocconcini mozzarella balls , and freshly hand picked basil. Use your favorite type of noodles for the pasta to make this a fun Summer time salad.

Went to the farmer’s market on Saturday morning before my gym class and picked up these beautiful heirloom tomatoes.

I also got some golden potatoes and made a hash with them which I should have taken a pic of but never did. That was delicious. Maybe next time.

I’ve got heirloom tomatoes growing in my garden, but those won’t be ready until probably Fall. The basil is ready but I noticed something or some tiny critter has been eating them. Don’t know if they’re bugs or rabbits. Stop eating my basil please! I couldn’t wait to make this salad until Fall, so bless those farmer’s markets for allowing me to make this early. If only they sold fresh mozzarella cheese. My farmer’s doesn’t, but maybe yours does?

Today was spent getting rid of clutter. I didn’t know how much kitchen crap I had until today. My closet in the dining room was chuck full of everything so I went through it all and got rid of stuff I’ve never used in a long time. There were lots of magazine cook books, tuperware containers, and jars that were tossed out or will eventually go to the boys ranch. There were a stack of plates in the closet that I never even knew were in there until today. Haven’t used them for a long time, and yes, I collect plates. Some people may collect other things like baseball cards, cds, legos, comic books, or action figures. Me, I collect plates. Pretty plates from all over place, and there’s quite a few of them. I could have a get together of about 40 people and each of them would have a different plate and napkin to go with it. I’m crazy I know.

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Caprese Pasta Salad
 
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 6oz Bowtie Pasta
  • 1 pint of heirloom tomatoes
  • ½ a package of boccini mozzarella balls
  • 6 large basil leaves, cut into strips
  • 2 teaspoons of chopped garlic
  • 2 teaspoons of olive oil
  • salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Cook the pasta for 8 minutes or until the pasta is al dente.
  2. In a bowl combine the the tomatoes, boccicini balls, basil, and salt and pepper.
  3. In a skillet, heat the two teaspoons of olive oil and garlic until fragrant.
  4. Add the olive oil and garlic into the tomato, mozzarella and basil. Then the cooked pasta. Enjoy.

 

Buffalo Chicken Bacon Ranch Pizza

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This pizza is all my favorite ingredients combined into one. Buffalo chicken + bacon + ranch + and pizza!  I didn’t want to use buffalo wing sauce as the pizza sauce, so I used ranch dressing instead.  What a good idea that was, it made the perfect sauce. Buffalo wing sauce would have been way too spicy for me. I like a little heat, but not that much.

I’m not really sure where my love for buffalo chicken anything started. It could be all those nights spent at Buffalo Wild Wings watching hockey games on the tv during college.  The internet just seems to love Buffalo Chicken ANYTHING too. You can’t go wrong. Whenever there’s a buffalo chicken recipe on foodgawker or pinterest, I automatically pin it to try it out for later. If you love all the ingredients listed above I guarantee you will love this pizza. Some tomatoes would be good on this as well. Didn’t think of that until writing this post. Making a mental note for later.

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Buffalo Chicken Bacon Ranch Pizza
 
Ingredients
  • 1 tube of Pillsbury Pizza Crust
  • 1 cup of shredded rotisserie chicken
  • 1 cup of Queso Shredded Cheese or Monterey Jack cheese
  • ½ cup of buffalo wing sauce
  • ½ cup of ranch dressing
  • 3 strips of bacon, cut into small strips
  • 3 green onions, diced
  • Optional Ingredients
  • Tomatoes
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425.
  2. Place the pizza dough onto a cookie sheet or pizza pan.
  3. Spread the ranch dressing around, the pizza but leave enough room for the crust.
  4. In a bowl combine the shredded chicken and buffalo wing sauce.
  5. Layer the cheese on top of the ranch and then the buffalo chicken
  6. Top with the rest of the pizza toppings.
  7. Bake the pizza for 10-12 minutes or until the crust starts turning golden brown.
  8. Garnish the pizza with diced green onions or tomatoes.

 

Grilled Shrimp Skewers – Bobby Flay

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I made these Grilled Shrimp Skewers from Bobby Flay that were on his Saturday episode and they were fantastic! I didn’t grill them, I roasted the shrimp in the oven to save on time from heating up the grill.  Only 7 minutes at 450 and the shrimp are already done. These shrimp on top of the Greek Orzo Salad is the perfect Summer time meal. They’re both really simple recipes to make. The shrimp are kind of spicy with the garlic chile oil, and the Orzo Salad helps cool your mouth down after the heat. Bobby Flay has some really awesome recipes and now I want to try making different flavored oils like this for marinades and try using different spices. I like that cooking technique.

Let’s talk about the Next Food Network Star. Emma is my favorite by far. Like her appearance and personality. Lenny and Loreal can just go home already. Not really a big fan. I do have to give these people props for doing something crazy like this. If I was asked to go in front of an audience as big as they had to on Saturday’s Show, I would flip out and probably start running home. Could never do that! Presenting in front of a large audience like that is scary and nerve racking. The girl who’s point of view is Coastal Cuisine cooked pork for her dish and that was rather odd. At least add some seafood to your skewers or kabobs,  like these shrimp.  ;)

 

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Grilled Shrimp Skewers - Bobby Flay
 
Ingredients
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon Calabrian chile flakes
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves, plus for garnish
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound extra-large (16 to 20 per pound) shrimp, shelled and deveined, tail-on
Instructions
  1. Special equipment: 10-inch skewers, soaked 30 minutes
  2. Put the olive oil, garlic and chile flakes in a small skillet. Turn the heat to low and let the mixture heat for about 10 minutes; the oil should just barely simmer around the garlic in the last few minutes. Remove from the heat and cool slightly. Transfer to a blender, add the 1 tablespoon oregano and some salt and pepper, and blend until the garlic and oregano are finely chopped. Set aside half of the chile-garlic oil for serving.
  3. Heat the grill to high. Thread the shrimp onto skewers, about 4 or 5 shrimp per skewer, threading so that the skewers goes through the tail and thick end of each shrimp. Brush the shrimp with some of the chile-garlic oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill until lightly golden brown on both sides and opaque, 1 to 1½ minutes per side. Transfer the skewers to a platter and immediately drizzle with some of the reserved chile-garlic oil (not the oil you used for brushing the raw shrimp). Garnish with oregano, and serve with more of the reserved oil

 

Burgers with Applewood Smoked Bacon and Bang Bang Sauce

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For lunch I like to go to the grocery store and usually I’ll get a salad. Hornbacher’s has some pretty awesome egg salad and I’m pretty certain that they put pickle juice in it. It’s so good. They have this egg salad sandwich on top of a pretzel bun and it is to die for. I never knew the store had homemade pretzel buns and homemade pretzel hot dog buns. I freaking seriously love pretzel buns! I was so happy when the lady at the deli counter told me that you could buy these pretzel buns at  the bakery so I automatically got some for some burgers tonight.

There was a little Bang Bang sauce left over from the shrimp that I made last week. Bang Bang sauce on anything will make it twice as good. It’s just mayo, sriracha sauce, and chili sauce. Super easy to throw together in a bowl. On my pretzel bun burgers, I put Applewood smoked bacon, sauce, lettuce, tomatoes, and cheese. Super tasty. It brought the bus to flavor town!

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5.0 from 1 reviews
Grilled Burgers with Applewood Smoked Bacon
 
Ingredients
  • 1 pound of ground beef
  • 2 tsp of garlic
  • 5 dashes of Sriracha Sauce
  • 3 dashes of Worcestershire Sauce
  • 4 pretzel buns
  • 4 slices of Apple Wood Smoked Bacon
  • 1 large tomato, sliced
  • lettuce
  • Bang Bang Sauce (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat Grill
  2. In a bowl combine the ground beef, garlic, Sriracha Sauce, and Worcestershire Sauce. Divide the ground beef evenly into 4 patties.
  3. Grill the burgers until done.
  4. Assemble the burgers. Top the burger with cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and bacon and spread the bang bang sauce on top of the bun. Enjoy!