Friday, August 31, 2012

Chicken Fajita Pasta Salad

We've been having weekly (ish) neighborhood block parties in my backyard this summer so I've been putting together salads on the regular. This salad was thrown together on a night that I actually forgot that the party was taking place and didn't prepare in advance. Then, 30 minutes before people started to arrive I was standing in front of my pantry and refrigerator trying to think of how things I already had would go together. I'd made fajita chicken for a pot luck at work for lunch and there was just enough left over to use for a salad. The rest of the ingredients were staples that I already had.

Overall it was a good salad, maybe not my favorite but still good. If you had some cilantro that would be good in it as well. Avocado would be good too but I never have those just laying around.

Chicken Fajita Pasta Salad
Servings 12-16

1 lb cooked chicken
1 pkg fajita seasoning
1 lb bow tie pasta
1/4 (ish) c. olive oil
6 Roma tomatoes, diced
1 bunch green onions, diced
2 c. corn
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 c. green salsa
1 1/2 c. sharp cheddar cheese

Cook chicken chunks with fajita seasoning, let cool.
Cook pasta according to directions, drain. Toss pasta with olive oil.
Mix chicken, pasta, tomatoes, corn, and beans together. Pour salsa over salad and gently mix.
Just before serving add shredded cheese and stir.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Peach Cupcakes with Spiced Peach Buttercream

Jeff and I went to the farmer's market on Saturday and brought home a half bushel of peaches. We ate a bunch just cut up, made some jam and made these fabulous cupcakes. These were a definite do again. Like maybe this Saturday. The cake had just a hint of peach but anything more would have been overpowering. The frosting was really the star. The brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg pushed the peach flavor into something other than just peach frosting that was AWESOME! Eat with a spoon awesome! I did do a batch using a spice cake mix but the white was received better by all who taste tasted. Just an FYI :)

Peach Cupcakes
2 doz.

1 white cake mix
4 eggs
1/2 c. oil
1/4 c. water
1 box peach Jello
1/2-3/4 c. pureed peaches
1 tsp cinnamon

Mix cake mix with eggs, oil, water and cinnamon. Add Jello and mix well. Add peaches and mix gently together. Fill cupcake liners 1/2 full (1/4 c.). Bake at 350 for 18-21 minutes.

Spiced Peach Buttercream Frosting
(enough to frost 4 doz cupcakes)

3/4 c. softened butter
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 c. pureed peaches
2 lbs powdered sugar

Cream butter, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg together. Alternate adding peaches and powdered sugar until frosting is piping consistency. Add vanilla. If you want to tint the frosting a little bit peach colored add 2 drops yellow and 1 drop of red food coloring.