Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Crab Pasta Salad- YUM

Crab Pasta Salad
  • 2 cups uncooked medium shell pasta
  • 1 1/2 cups imitation crabmeat, chopped
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 1/2 cup diced green pepper
  • 1/2 cup quartered cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup creamy Italian salad dressing
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and rinse in cold water. Place in a large bowl. Stir in crab, broccoli, green pepper, tomatoes and onions.
  2. Combining dressing ingredients; pour over salad and toss gently to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 2-4 hours before serving.

I didn't have "Creamy Italian" dressing so I used the following easy recipe to make some. it was great!

 Creamy Italian Dressing
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 small onion
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper


In a blender or food processor, combine mayonnaise, onion, vinegar, and sugar. Season with Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth.

This was a great summer salad!  Even Russell, who professes to hate imitation crab, ate this happily and enjoyed it thoroughly!  I loved this dressing too.  A keeper!  Hurray for quick summer salads on hot days!

Monday, July 12, 2010

I love fudgey brownies

Caramel Sea Salt Brownies

  • 1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter
  • 4 oz unsweetened chocolate, or if using semi-sweet chocolate, decrease sugar by 1/4 cup
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup unbleached flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup caramel sauce (see below for recipe) or use Hershey's caramel syrup, like me! Worked out great!
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, preferably fleur de sel

  1. Preheat oven to 350ยบ. Grease an 8 x 8 square pan. Line with parchment if desired.
  2. Melt butter. Once melted, add chocolate; stir until melted.
  3. With hand or stand mixer, whisk eggs, sugar and vanilla extract together until fluffy and light in color; add chocolate mixture; mix until combined; fold in flour.
  4. Pour half the batter into pan; smooth top; pour half the caramel sauce over mixture; smooth evenly; pour remaining batter over caramel; smooth top again. Drizzle remaining caramel sauce over top, in one continuous zig-zag pattern. Turn pan 90 degrees; with toothpick, drag tip through top caramel and batter layer making same zig-zag pattern.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes, turn pan and bake for 15 minutes more.
  6. Remove from oven and sprinkle sea salt on top. When cool, cut into squares or bars. Enjoy!
**Caramel Sauce**

  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. Pour sugar into heavy skillet and caramelize over low heat; constantly stirring until it has completely melted and is light brown in color.
  2. Remove from heat and very slowly stir in hot water. Don't worry if sugar clumps, it will melt again when you reheat the mixture.
  3. Return the pan to medium heat; stirring to melt sugar clumps. Mixture will begin to boil.
  4. Continue boiling until mixture thickens and the boil isn't as rapid. Remove from heat; add butter, salt and vanilla. Strain if there are remaining sugar clumps.

Yield: 1 cup

I loved these. It's been so long since I've had fudgey brownies. I usually just make the other ones I have here on my blog, the Hershey brownies using cocoa that are more thick and crumby. These are awesome! The salt added just a little contrast of flavor salt-sweet which I liked, but barely noticed. A little sticky, yes. I will try the caramel sauce one day, but I didn't feel like spending time over a hot stove, and caramel syrup rocks. I didn't measure it either, I just poured as much as I thought would be good. You could melt Kraft caramels too if you wanted. A keeper!