Saturday, June 26, 2010

I Love Olive Pesto Pasta Salad (recipe)

Olive Pesto Pasta Salad
from the Radical Recipes 4 Boys cookbook

This pasta has most of my favorite things in it: garlic, basil, olives, and salami! Add bubble gum and I'd be set...just kidding.

Stuff You Need

For the pesto:
2 ounces of fresh basil (about 1 1/2 cups loosely packed)
2-3 cloves of garlic 
1 tbsp pine nuts
1/3 cup olive oil (I like to use garlic olive oil)
1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives (Greek black olives)
1/2 cup pitted green olives
1 tbsp lemon juice

For the pasta salad:
1 17-ounce bag/13-oz box of bite-sized pasta (rotini, penne, shell)
1 chopped yellow or red bell pepper
1 cup sliced salami
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt, pepper to taste

Equipment You Need

Food processor
Measuring cup
Measuring spoon
Spatula spoon
Large serving bowl
Pot stirring spoon
Colander (big word for the thing you drain the pasta in)
Cutting board

What You Do
1. Add 4 quarts of salted water to a boil on the stove.

2. When water boils, add pasta and cook about 11-13 minutes until "al dente" which means "to the tooth". (No idea how the Italians came up with that, but it means that the pasta is a teeny bit chewy in the middle, not mushy.)

3. Drain the pasta in the colander and add to the large serving bowl. Toss in a tiny bit of olive oil to keep it from sticking together in one big blob as it cools.

4. While pasta is cooling, make the pesto by putting the basil, garlic, pine nuts, and olives in the food processor. Chop for about 30 seconds until things are roughly chopped. Slowly add the olive oil and lemon juice and blend until smooth. Add a bit more olive oil if it is too dry.

5. Chop up the bell pepper into bite-sized pieces and slice the salami into strips.

6. Mix together the pasta and pesto. You can experiment with how much pesto you like...all of it or just some of it. Add the bell peppers, salami strips, and Parmesan cheese and give it a toss. Add salt/pepper to taste.

Serves 4-6-8 depending on how hungry everyone is.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Easiest Non-Chocolate Chip Cookie: Pecan Sandies (recipe)


Stuff You Need
1 cup of butter (2 sticks), room temperature
1/2 cup of sugar
2 tsp. water
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups of flour
1 1/2 cups chopped-up pecans

Equipment You Need
Mixing Bowl
Measuring cups
Measuring spoons
Stirring spatula
Cookie sheet

"Cream" the butter and sugar (which means mix it together until it is smooth). Add the water and vanilla and mix it in completely. Then add the flour and pecans.

Chill the dough for about 3 hours until firm. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Then take a teaspoon and make dough into balls. Put balls on ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Try and let them cool before you eat 'em but I'm warning's tough. These cookies are sooooo goooood!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Obama-style Hawaiian Burgers (recipe)


Makes 6 burgers

Stuff You Need
1 1/2 pounds ground beef or turkey
1/3 cup finely chopped onions
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup pineapple jam
1/3 cup bbq sauce
Hamburger buns

Equipment You Need
Big bowl
Small saucepan
Stirring spoon
Measuring cups and spoons
Cookie sheet to put patties on
Brush to spoon on sauce
Grill spatula
*Grill* (Ask your mom or dad to help with this part.)

Mix together in a big bowl the ground meat, onions, and Worcestershire sauce. Be brave. Use your hands! Form into six patties and put on cookie sheet.


In a saucepan, combine the pineapple jam and bbq sauce. Bring to a boil, stirring the whole time.

Brush the patties with the pineapple/bbq sauce mixture. Put patties on heated grill (ask an adult for help). Grill for about 5 minutes and then turn, brushing the burger with sauce again. Turn again after 5 minutes and brush patties one more time. When burger is done how you like it, remove it from grill and serve on bun or in a lettuce wrap.


For added touch of Hawaii, you can add a slice of grilled pineapple. Personally, I'm not a fan of grilled fruit, but try it. You might like it.