BLT Pasta Salad

Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato, Pasta and wait… Pasta? Yes, Pasta! Meet your new Barbecue, Potluck, family favorite: BLT Pasta salad.

BLT pasta salad

I know what you’re thinking: “Why mess with a classic?” Well, its simple really. See salad is wonderful all on its own. Especially one with homemade ranch dressing. Now, BLT sandwiches have a special place in our hearts too. So we figured; why not have the best of both dishes in one!

 

Did we mention this dish is a cinch to make. You can use any small pasta you like. You can use any ranch dressing you enjoy- although we prefer our house made ranch. You can even substitute the cilantro for parsley. What you can’t do is have just one bite. Seriously, its that good. You will want more. Lots more…

 

Before you can eat, you’ve got to cook. It all starts with cooking your pasta, then rinsing in cool water. Drizzle a little olive oil over the pasta to keep it from sticking. Then, while your pasta is still cooling, cook your bacon till crispy. Keep the rendered fat. Split your cherry tomatoes in half and put in a bowl with your pasta.

BLT Pasta

Now shred some lettuce and finely chop your cilantro. Add these ingredients with the bacon to your pot.

BLT Pasta 2

Already looking good! Now, take your ranch dressing and drizzle over the pasta. Stir to make sure you’ve added enough to lightly coat the pasta. Fold in the mayonnaise to bind the ranch to the pasta. Now chill the pasta for a minimum of 30 minutes. Then enjoy!

BLT Pasta 3

Ingredients: 

2 C. Small Elbow Macaroni

1 Pint Cherry Tomatoes

2 C. Iceberg Lettuce

10 Slices Crumbled Bacon

1/4 C. Ranch Dressing

2 Tbls. Mayonnaise 

3 Tbls. Cilantro 

 

 

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Get Your Smoke On!

With smoked meat! Things are heating up at Roots to Plate; as we put out the best smoked pork loin, chicken and pork butt. Long hours, low temperatures and sensational smoke: yields the most flavorful and tender meat.

Smoked Chicken

Pair this delicious meat with our cantaloupe and cucumber salad ; or add your own recipe worthy side dish.

Smoked Pork Loin

 

Tender, smoky and full of flavor: smoked pork loin, chicken and pork butt is what’s cooking at Roots to Plate.

Cold Cucumber Soup

Summer is here and so comes the time where the idea of running the oven is a nightmare. Crisp cold salads are wonderful but what about soup? Enter: Cucumber Soup. Cold english cucumbers to be exact. This soup has wonderful depth and flavor. On a hot summer day: Cold Cucumber Soup hits the spot!

Cucumber soup 1

Ingredients

2 large English cucumbers. Half roughly chopped, Half finely diced

1 1/2 C. Plain or Honey (If you prefer sweetness) Greek Yogurt

3 Tbsp. Lemon Juice

1 small shallot finely diced

1 garlic glove finely diced

2 Tbsp. Fresh or 1 Tbsp. Dried Tarragon

1/3 C. Fresh Dill or 2Tbsp. Dried Dill

1/4 C. Olive Oil, plus more for topping

1/2 finely diced red onion

Cucumber Soup

Directions:

In a blender combine all of the ingredients except the finely diced cucumber and onion. Puree till smooth. Taste, then add a bit of salt and pepper. Place in airtight container and chill for at least 4 hours or up to 8 hours.

Garnish with finely diced cucumber and finely diced red onion. Drizzle olive oil on top and serve!

Cold Cucumber Soup

 

Cake Batter Doughnuts

Around here weekends call for doughnuts. While I love supporting my local bakeries; there are times when a quick batch of doughnuts are necessary. Say when it’s freezing cold out, you live 20 miles from the nearest bakery, you’re tired, you simply don’t want to leave your house… The reasons why you need doughnuts at home are plenty and varied. Well, I’m here to show you how to have doughnuts in no time! Plus, you can freeze these treats to pull out on another day; when doughnuts are a must!

Cake Batter DoughnutsFirst off let’s talk cake batter. This is really a personal preference. Truly the more basic flavors work best for adding toppings: chocolate, white cake, yellow cake and spice cake. However, I think a carrot cake batter with a coconut topping would be equally delicious!

Now that you have selected your cake batter flavor let’s move on to making the doughnuts themselves. The process starts with a basic non-stick doughnut pan, yielding 6 doughnuts per pan. You will need to lightly grease the pan and preheat your oven to the temperature indicted on your cake batter box.

Next, using your cake batter box which should be a 15.25 oz box: pour into a large bowl half of the boxed cake batter and the following ingredients.

Ingredients: 

1/2 a box of cake batter

1/2 C. Water

1/4 C. Vegetable oil

1 egg whole

1 egg white

Bake until the doughnuts are firm but still have a slight spring to the touch.

Cake Batter Doughnuts

Once the doughnuts have cooled; it’s time to add the toppings.

A simple dusting of powder sugar is one option but let your imagination and taste buds guide you to the doughnut you fancy.

Note: if you intend to freeze the doughnuts do not glaze or add any toppings to the doughnuts.This recipe will yield roughly 10-12 doughnuts with half a box of cake batter.

Chocolate Ganache topping

Using semi sweet chocolate baking chips and a dash of dark chocolate; will yield the most wonderful ganache for topping your doughnuts. Create a double broiler (medium bowl over boiling water), Add chocolate and butter and whisk until smooth.

Dip your doughnuts in the chocolate and then place on parchment paper to dry. At this point in the process, you may add sprinkles to your doughnuts, chopped hazelnuts or any of your favorite toppings. Enjoy!

 

 

Cinnamon Roll Muffins

On their own these two components are great! Together: muffins+cinnamon rolls= heavenly deliciousness!!! Just look at these beauties; hot out of the oven…

Cinnamon roll muffins

I’m getting ahead of myself… First off, these are super simple to make. You’re basically using a boxed cake mix of your choice and a tube of cinnamon rolls. You can dress up your muffin mixture by adding shaved carrots and raisins to make these shall we say, “kinda healthy”? But for now, we will just keep things easy and make the recipe as is.

Cinnamon roll muffins Ingredients:

1/2 box of a 15.25 oz cake mix

12.4 oz tube of cinnamon rolls with icing

1 egg

1/4 cup vegetable oil

2/3 cup water

8 foil wrappers for muffin tin

Muffin tin

 

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Place muffin wrappers in muffin tin. In a medium bowl beat together all ingredients except the cinnamon rolls and icing. (If adding raisins or carrot shreds; gently fold them in at this time. ) Divide this batter evenly between the 8 muffin wrappers. Place in oven and bake for 8 minutes.

Next remove cinnamon rolls from tube and set aside icing. Take muffins out of the oven and place one cinnamon roll on top of each muffin. Place back in the oven and cook for an additional 12 minutes. Once golden brown, remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool. Using a fork drizzle the icing over the cinnamon roll muffins. Now, tell yourself: “I will only eat one of these with my coffee (tea)”. When no one is looking… Have another one. Your secret is safe with me!

Cinnamon roll muffins

Recipe for your Resolution!

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Are you working on that resolution to loose weight? Don’t give up!  Here’s a little motivation for those days when you’re craving carbs but not the calories. Try this “not so chicken sandwich”. This whole meal will only set you back 250 calories!

Recipe:
Half an onion bagel toasted
1 tblsp cream cheese
4 slices of baked rosemary chicken

Salad
1 Persian cucumber sliced
1 tsp olive oil
1 tblsp fat free feta cheese

Eat, enjoy and have no regrets!

Chicken Stock

The countdown to Thanksgiving is here. With so much to do on the holiday; why not do some of the cooking now? At Roots to Plate, fresh chicken stock is always a staple and at Thanksgiving you will need quarts of it! So let’s get cooking..

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Start by gathering your vegetables. A rough chop is all that is needed. Place them in a large pot. The bigger the pot, the bigger your lot of stock.

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Next add your chicken bones. Hopefully, you have saved some bones from previous roasting and frozen them for this special day. Then, cover with water just high enough to cover all of the ingredients. Put the lid on the pot and simmer on low for at least an hour.

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After an hour, strain the broth into a bowl and allow to cool. Once the fat layer has formed on the top of the broth: it is ready to be skimmed.

Slowly remove the fat layer from the stock and discard. At this point, the stock can be refrigerated for up to 4 days. You can also freeze the stock in portions and use at a later date.