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April Recipes

HUMMINGBIRD CUPCAKES

Cup Cakes:

1    Cup Butter (softened) 

2    Cups Sugar

3    Large Eggs (room temp.) 

2    tsp. Vanilla Extract

2    Cups Banana (ripe, mashed)

1/2 Cup Crushed Pineapple (drained) 

3    Cups All-purpose Flour

1    tsp. Baking Soda

1    tsp. Ground Cinnamon

1/2 tsp. Salt

1    Cup Sweetened Shredded Coconut

1    Cup Walnuts (chopped)


Cream Cheese Frosting:

1       Pkg. (8 oz.) Cream Cheese (softened)

1/2    Cup Butter (softened)

3 3/4 Cup Confectioners’ Sugar

1       tsp. Vanilla Extract


Cup Cakes:
 In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. In a small bowl, combine bananas and pineapple.

Combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; add to the creamed mixture alternately with banana mixture, beating well after each addition. Fold in the coconut and walnuts. Fill 24 paper- lined muffin cups about 2/3 full. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

Frosting: In a small bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth and fluffy. Add confectioners’ sugar and vanilla; beat until smooth and well mixed. Frost the cooled cup cakes. 

Makes 24 cup cakes.


SUPREME PASTA SALAD

1    Box (16 oz.) Penne Pasta

5    Cups Assorted Vegetables; 
      Broccoli Florets, Sliced Carrots, Bell Pepper Strips, 
      Cherry Tomato Halves, Red Onion Slices

1    Bottle (8 oz.) Italian or Ranch Salad Dressing 

1/4 Cup McCormick Salad Supreme Seasoning

Cook pasta as directed on box. Rinse under cold water; 
drain well. Place pasta and prepared vegetables in a large
bowl. Add dressing and toss gently to coat. Cover and
refrigerate at least 4 hours. Toss before serving. 

Serves 12


COWBOY PASTA SALAD

1       lb. Mini Pasta Shells (or your favorite)

1       lb. Bacon (diced)

3/4    lb. Lean Ground Beef 

1       tsp. Cumin

         Pinch Red Pepper Flakes

         Salt and Pepper

1       Cup Mayonnaise

1/4    Cup Barbecue Sauce 

2       Tbsp. Spicy Brown Mustard

2       Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce

2 1/2 tsp. Hot Chili Sauce

1       Can (15 oz.) Sweet Corn (drained)

2       Cups Cherry Tomatoes (halved)

1 1/2 Cups Sharp Cheddar Cheese (shredded)

5       Scallions (diced)

Cook pasta according to package directions for al dente. Drain and rinse under cold water. Drizzle with a bit of Olive oil to prevent sticking.

Saute bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crispy, about 10 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Wipe out skillet, leaving a bit of bacon grease. Add the ground beef; cook, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until cooked through and no longer pink, about 3 minutes. Season with the cumin, red pepper flakes and a pinch of salt and pepper. Drain off the fat. Set aside to cool completely.

In an extra large bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, barbecue sauce, mustard, worcestershire sauce and hot chili sauce until combined and smooth. Add in the cooked pasta, bacon, beef, corn, tomatoes, cheese and scallions; toss to combine and coat. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve. Best if eaten the same day. 

Serves 12.

*Note: you can add a can of Black Beans if desired.


SLOW-COOKER

EASTER HAM

1    (7 lb.) Skinless, Bone-in Ham
      (Shank or Butt-end portion) 

1/3 Cup Kraft Original BBQ Sauce

1/3 Cup Brown Sugar (packed)

1/3 Cup Honey

1    Can (14 oz.) Pineapple Tidbits (drained)

2    Tbsp. Cornstarch

2    Tbsp. Water

Place ham in a slow cooker sprayed with cooking spray. 

Mix barbecue sauce, brown sugar and honey in a medium bowl until blended. Stir in pineapple; pour over the ham. Cover with the lid. Cook on low 4 hours or until ham is heated through, turning after 2 hours. Transfer ham to platter, reserving sauce in the slow-cooker. Cover the ham to keep warm. 

Whisk cornstarch and water until blended. Add to reserved sauce; cook, uncovered, for 5 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Serve with the ham.

Tip: For extra zip add 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper to the barbecue sauce mixture before pouring over the ham.

Note: It is not recommended to cook the ham on the high setting of the slow cooker since this dries out the ham. Most hams are already fully cooked, warming them slowly on low produces the best results.


CINNAMON BAKED PEARS

4    Pears (ripe) 

1/2 Cup Butter (melted)

1    Tbsp. Cinnamon Sugar  

1    Cup Old-fashioned Rolled Oats

1/2 Cup Almonds or Pecans (finely chopped) 

1/3  Cup Brown Sugar

1     tsp. Ground Cinnamon

       Salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Halve pears and scoop out the seeds and some of the center to fit the oatmeal crumble. Brush insides of pears with 2 tablespoons of the melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. In a medium bowl, combine oats, almonds, brown sugar, cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Pour in remaining butter and combine until fully coated. Spoon into pear halves. Bake until pears are soft, 35 to 40 minutes. 

Serve warm, topped with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream if desired. Makes 8 servings.

Note: These pears would look beautiful arranged around your Easter Ham. An added drizzle of a bit of the pineapple sauce from the ham would also be very tasty!


FIERY

SHRIMP DIABLO

1    lb. Shrimp (peeled, deveined) 

3/4 tsp. Salt (divided)

1/4 tsp. Black Pepper

1/2 tsp. Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

2    Tbsp. Olive Oil

1    Tbsp. Garlic (minced) 

1    Tbsp. Jalapeno (minced)  

1    Cup Onion (diced 1/4 inch) 

1/4 tsp. Dried Oregano

1/4 tsp. Dried Thyme

1/2 Cup Green Pepper (diced 1/4 inch)

1/4 Cup Tequila or Dry White Wine

1/2 Cup Vegetable Stock (unsalted)

14  oz. Can Whole Tomatoes (diced 1/2 inch, juice reserved)

1    tsp. Parsley (chopped)

Combine shrimp with 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.

Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat add 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add garlic, jalapeno, onion, oregano and thyme. Stir and cook until onions are tender and garlic is fragrant but not browned, about 2 minutes.

Add shrimp to the pan in one layer, turn heat up to medium. Cook for 2 minutes, not moving shrimp.

Flip shrimp over and cook until just cooked through, about 1 minute. Transfer to a clean bowl. Add green pepper and saute for 1 minute. Turn heat up to medium-high, add in tequila, vegetable stock, diced tomato, tomato juice and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer and allow tomato mixture to reduce until slightly thickened and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 8 to 10 minutes. 

Turn heat down to low and add in the cooked shrimp. Stir and cook until shrimp is warm through, 1 to 2 minutes. Garnish with fresh parsley. Serve immediately. 

Serves 4.


AMISH
BAKED OATMEAL

4    Eggs 

1    Cup Sugar

2    tsp. Baking Powder

1/2 tsp. Salt

1    Tbsp. Cinnamon

2    tsp. Vanilla Extract 

2    Cups Milk

1    Stick Unsalted Butter (8 tbsp.)

6    Cups Quick Oats

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9x13 inch non-stick baking dish. (just rub the end of a stick of butter all over the sides and bottom of the pan)

Place the 1 stick of butter in a microwave safe bowl and melt it in the microwave. Be careful, it melts fast. Whisk eggs in a large bowl. Add sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and vanilla and mix until smooth. Add the milk and melted butter to the egg  mixture and mix until combined. Add the oats to the egg mixture and stir until combined.

Transfer the oatmeal mixture to the baking dish and smooth the top with the back of a spoon. (at this point you can either refrigerate it over night and bake in the morning or bake immediately) Place in the preheated oven and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until fully set. Remove from the oven, cut into squares and serve warm. Serves 12.



BBQ CHICKEN BREASTS

1    Cup Ketchup

1/4 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar  

1/4 Cup Brown Sugar (packed)   

1    Tbsp. Molasses

1    Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce

1    tsp. Ground Mustard

1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder

1/4 tsp. Onion Powder

1/4 tsp. Ground Black Pepper

4    Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast Halves

2    Tbsp. Fresh Parsley (chopped)

Preheat grill to medium high heat. Whisk together ketchup, vinegar, brown sugar, molasses, Worcestershire, mustard, garlic powder, onion powder, pepper and 1/4 cup water. Reserve 1/3 cup and set aside.

Combine ketchup mixture and chicken in a gallon size zip-lock bag or a large bowl; marinate for at least 1 hour to overnight, turning the bag occasionally. Drain the chicken from the marinade. 

Place a sheet of Reynolds Wrap non-stick foil on the grill grate and poke holes in it with a grilling fork, for drainage (non-stick side up). Place chicken on foil and cook, flipping once and basting with reserved 1/3 cup of marinade until cooked through, about 10 to 12 minutes per side. Serve immediately, garnish with fresh parsley if desired. Serves 4.