Sunday, March 1, 2009

High On The Hog Macaroni Salad

The line-up: elbow macaroni, I love Barilla brand because they have little ridges in the noodle that holds more sauce. This make a very large amount so be prepared, use a whole 16 ounce box.
I small yellow onion, chopped, and 1 sweet bell pepper, chopped
2 cups of real mayo, not Miracle Whip and 1 can sweetened condensed milk, not evaporated, but like Eagle Brand, SWEETENED CONDENSED.
3/4 cup vinegar, any kind will do, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
Bring about 4 quarts of water to a rolling boil, why rolling, well it sounded good I guess.
Add your macaroni and stir, let it come back to a boil and follow directions to cook the pasta.
In a mixing bowl, add you can of SWEETENED CONDENSED milk.
Then plop in your 2 cups of mayo, real!!! This is millionaire salad, not beggar's snack, okay?
Add in the sugar, salt and pepper.
Pour in 3/4 cup of vinegar, I used cider, but white or rice wine would be good also.
Chop finely the sweet pepper and also the small onion and add to the mix.
Whisk this all together until mixed well and then wait for the macaroni to finish.
Drain the macaroni very well, try to knock off as much water as possible so you don't dilute your dressing. Then pour the dressing over the pasta. You don't have to wait for it to cool, cause this needs plenty of refrigerator time before serving. Mix this together very well, if it appears very runny, don't worry, as the pasta cools and chills it will absorb into the pasta and by serving time it will be nice and creamy.
I have a nice storage box with a tight lid than I dump my into, then put in fridge and chill, best results, overnight, okay results, 3-4 hours, really if you can make it and store it overnight so it will have time to chill really well and the sauce will soak into the pasta.
This was Laura's birthday supper tonight, juicy beef brisket with sauce on a bun, millionaire macaroni salad, chips, fresh fruit plate with strawberries, plums and pears and Jared's favorite, queso dip with hamburger and tortilla chips to dip along with a peanut butter birthday cake. This salad is sweet, but not too sweet, rich, but not too rich and very tasty. It makes a large amount for a gathering. Make a big old vat of this fine 'roni salad for the kin back home, they will feel like they are livin' high on the hog.

Peanut Butter Cake with Peanut Butter Icing

My oldest daughter, Laura asked for a peanut butter cake for her birthday this year. I have never made a peanut butter cake, never. so, I had husband look up a recipe for me on a recipe website and here it is. It was surprisingly easy and very good. Now I will list the line-up if I have flung a craving on you for rich peanut butter cake with icing. Lineup: 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter, 1/2 cup butter, softened.
4 large eggs
1 box butter recipe cake mix
For the icing, powdered sugar, peanut butter, cream cheese and either milk or cream.
In a mixing bowl, put 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter and the 1/2 cup of softened butter, mix until creamy.
While these first ingredients are mixing, grease and flour 2 round cake pans.
Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each one.

After the eggs are beaten in, add the cake mix alternately with the 2/3 cup of water. A little cake mix, blend, then a little water, blend, so on until all ingredients are in, then mix well.
Divide the batter between the 2 greased and floured pans, shake and tap gently to release any air bubbles in the pan. Then pop into a pre-heated 325 degree oven for about 25-30 minutes or until tested done.
Allow cakes to cool for a few minutes before turning them out onto cooling racks. I allowed my to cool completely on the cooling racks and then I double wrapped them with plastic wrap and put them in the freezer overnight, so they would be easier to slice and frost the next day. You would not have to do this, shoot, bake it in a standard rectangle cake pan and cover it with the icing, it would still be good.
This morning, I pulled them from the freezer and sliced each layer into 2, very easy to do with them frozen, they don't crumble, also the cake is unbelievably moist after freezing, this is a secret we discovered from a wedding bakery, they always freeze layers.
To make your icing, soften 1 package of cream cheese and put into mixing bowl.

I then plopped in a couple of tablespoons of peanut butter and started creaming, after they had blended, I starting adding powdered sugar and small amounts of cream to blend the icing into a nice creamy consistency. You know, kinda just wing this, if you need a little, make a little, if you need a lot, make a lot. Just add more sugar and then smooth it with either milk or cream, a dash of vanilla extract is also good. When you get this a nice smooth texture, get ready to Spackle.
Ok, I know mine looks crooked, it kind of was until I adjusted it, this probably wasn't the best choice of picture to show how to build a layer cake, but look at it this way, at least I'm not a brick layer. Start with the first layer, spread on a nice amount of icing and then top it with the next layer and so on. Ice the entire cake, making it as pretty as you like, if your icing seems a little too firm to spread, add a bit more milk and whip again, if the icing seems too runny, just add a little more sugar. It need to be easy to spread and not crumble or tear up the cake. To make my birthday cake more beautiful, I melted some chocolate chips and mixed with some remaining icing to make the drizzle, I also crumbled some Reece's Peanut Butter Cups around the top edge and re-drizzled again. I thought it turned out pretty nice.
TAAA-DAAA I think it looks pretty good, and we all found out how amazingly scrumptious it was.
Happy Birthday, Laura Jolene Danielle Hillhouse O'Quinn!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:)