Peach Dump Cake

I had all of these lovely peaches and wanted to make something sort of homemade without a lot of muss or fuss. This is easy as can be and delicious as can be. You’ll need about 6-8 large peaches — app. 6 cups. I threw it all together and had a yummy dessert using only 4 ingredients. The simplest peach dessert recipe ever. The most difficult part of this recipe was peeling and slicing the peaches.

Enjoy!

Ingredients:

6 cups Fresh Peaches– about 6-8 large peaches — peeled and sliced

1/2 cup sugar —

1 box Vanilla – White or Yellow Cake Mix

1 stick of unsalted butter cut into thin slices

*Vanilla Ice Cream –optional but I wouldn’t serve without it

Directions:

Pre heat oven to 350 degrees

Peel and slice the peaches and place in a medium sized bowl. Toss with sugar.

Pour peaches into a prepared 9×13 baking dish ( spray with cooking spray — I love Bakers Aid for baking but anyone will do. Spread peaches out evenly. Sprinkle cake mix evenly all over the peaches.

Slice the butter into very thin pieces and place the butter over the cake mix, try to cover the entire pan with butter

Bake for 45-50 minutes until bubbly and golden.

Remove from the oven and let it sit for a bit.

Serve with Vanilla ice cream

Unfortunately we were so excited to eat it I didn’t take any good pics this time out but I will next time I make it.

I just have this one photo of it in a dessert dish with ice cream.

Cucumber Avocado Salad

Light and easy — Cucumbers and Avocado Salad with a light lime dressing. This side salad will disappear very quickly and you’ll be wanting more.

I made it without the green onion so feel free to add it or not it was just as yummy without. Just happen to have avocado and cucumber in the house and no green onion .

Ingredients:

2 English Cucumbers — I scoop out seeds and cut into 1/2 moon slices– Slice Cuke in 1/2 — scoop out seeds and slice or any cucumbers you like I just like to take out seeds and cut smaller cukes into smaller pieces — it really doesn’t matter how you slice them up– if I use kirby type cucumbers (as pictured) I cut into smaller pieces — totally up to you– it’s all good

1 large avocado pitted, peeled and cut into chunks or slices whichever you prefer

*1/3 cup green onion , chopped

2 Tbsp. Lime Juice from 1 medium lime

2 Tbsp. Olive Oil

1 tsp. Kosher Salt or Sea Salt

1/8 tsp. black pepper

Directions:

In a medium sized salad type bowl, combine sliced cucumbers , avocado and if you’re adding green onions.

Drizzle with lime juice, olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. I sliced cucumbers and dressing earlier than right before I served it added the avocado so it wouldn’t brown. The lime juice should prevent it from turning brown though.

That’s it and very delicious side salad .

Easy Israeli Salad

This salad is so delicious and fresh and works so well with grilled chicken, fish or really any protein. It’s a perfect accompaniment to a BBQ.

I just love it for lunch or dinner and it’s so easy that anyone can do it. Add in feta cheese, olives, or canned chick peas to add to this wonderful deliciousness.

Whatever and whenever you decide to serve this it will be most wonderful.

Just a word about making ahead… I chopped and diced all the vegetables and put in a bowl and put in the fridge. I juiced my lemon and had it set aside. Right before serving I added olive oil and lemon juice stirred it up well and tasted for salt and pepper.

If you add oil and lemon juice too soon it will be very soggy and I don’t like it that way at all. So just have it all ready to serve and add dressing right before.

Ingredients;

this is what I used feel free to substitute or add in whatever you’d like. ( Canned Chick Peas are also delicious in this) Olives, Scallions, Feta Cheese, whatever you feel like.

1 Large Seedless Cucumber or remove the seeds from a seeded one or just keep the seeds if you don’t care

1 box grape tomatoes halved

1 yellow pepper, diced or an orange one. I used orange and yellow about 1/2 and 1/2

1/2 cup diced red onion

2 Tbsp. Fresh Parsley , chopped

3 Tablespoons Lemon Juice

2-3 Tablespoons Olive Oil– I used 3 but you can start with 2 add the salt and pepper and add for more flavor after

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Directions:

In a large bowl, toss together all the vegetables. Add the lemon juice, olive oil and chopped parsley and mix thoroughly to coat.

Season with Salt and Pepper to your liking. Serve cold or at room temperature. I like it cold but it’s delicious either way.

Tomato Time Pasta– perfect Summer Pasta made with fresh tomatoes

photo 2 (3)photo 4 (2)photo 5 (3)Nothing but beautiful tomatoes out there begging to be eaten in a million different ways. Perfect for a “Meatless Monday” dish or any night of the week . There are tons of local tomatoes out there now. At any local farmers market you can pick up pints of these beautiful babies. This is a lovely light pasta.

I had bought 2 pints of those beautiful little cherry tomatoes and right now there are those gorgeous yellow sunburst tomatoes also available.  I wasn’t sure what I would do with them. They varied in size so I knew if I made a sauce some were getting cut and some would stay whole. Nothing ever sounds better than a plate of pasta to me,  nothing.   These beautiful tomatoes are only out for such a limited time you have to get them while the getting is good.  Some of the tomatoes were super small and I left them whole while I halved the larger ones. There are so many variations of this sauce and feel free to improvise. We love it this way. So simple and so delicious.

Follow me on Instagram @cookingwithcandi

Ingredients:

1 lb. spaghetti , any kind of long spaghetti is good for this — sometimes I use bucatini type and sometimes I use thin type long spaghetti– use whatever you’d like

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil plus more as needed

4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced.

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper* we like it spicy so if you don’t want it that spicy cut to 1/4, I actually used 1 whole teaspoon and it packed a lot of kick.

2 pints of cherry tomatoes or little plum tomatoes or you can use about 3 cups of chopped fresh tomatoes of any type. I cut the larger tomatoes in 1/2 and I left the little ones whole.

app. 20 leaves of fresh basil, I just cut them up into small slivers–this is totally optional if your kids don’t like green stuff– but it looks pretty

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste –I used app. 1 teaspoon on tomatoes and added towards the end as needed

freshly grated parmesan at your discretion

Directions:

Cook pasta according to directions on box for al dente. Reserve a cup of pasta water in the event you may need a little more liquid in your sauce. Add 2 tablespoons of salt to cooking water for pasta. The Italians like to say that their pasta water should be like sea water good and salty. After finished cooking pasta — reserve 1 cup of pasta water and set aside before you drain pasta.

Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat add 4 tablespoons of olive oil and garlic, cook until garlic is golden about 2 minutes. Be careful you don’t want to burn this garlic. Add the crushed red pepper now and the tomatoes, and cook over medium heat. I also added some kosher salt (about 1/2 teaspoon to start, you can always add more) and a little freshly ground black pepper. Stir for a while to make sure garlic doesn’t burn and tomatoes start to burst and deflate about 5  minutes and if you think you need a little more olive oil add it now . I let the tomatoes simmer in the pan for about 15 minutes to 1/2 hour for the best consistency. I smashed down stubborn little tomatoes at the end with the back of a wooden spoon. A very low simmer at the end.  Taste for Salt and Pepper. The longer the tomatoes sit in the oil and cook down on a low simmer the better the sauce will be so if you have a little time let it sit.

Once the spaghetti is cooked and you’ve drained it ( remember to reserve a cup of pasta water).  Add it to the pan with tomatoes and over medium-high heat toss the pasta with the tomatoes well. Add the basil . I let everyone add their own cheese at the table.

Remove the pan from the heat and plate it up.

Yum! and even more delicious the next day.

Summer Salad

I made this salad the other night and it came together so beautifully and it was very very tasty if I do say so myself. I made it with grilled chicken and bacon but if you want to keep it vegetarian you can . You can also serve chicken and bacon on the side if you’d like. It’s a yummy chopped up salad with lots of tasty items that I love together. The lemon vinaigrette dressing has a bit of kick but you can easily leave out the crushed red pepper. I used fresh butter lettuce but any lettuce will do .

Enjoy!

*this served 4

Salad Ingredients:

8 slices bacon — I used microwave bacon and cooked for 3 minutes and cooled it off and crumbled it. Of course you can use any type of bacon or omit — up to you

app. 1 pint blueberries

1/2 cup crumbled Feta or Goat Cheese — I hate blue cheese but if you love it use that

1 handful small cut up basil leaves

app. 4 cups farmers market lettuce or any lettuce you like — I used a soft butter lettuce this time–I tore it into small pieces

3 corn on the cobs kernels removed — leave it raw — it’s sweet and delicious

1-2 avocados — depending on the size of your avocados — I used 2 small ones

Grilled Chicken:

I used about 4 chicken breasts — small ones and brushed some olive oil and salt and pepper and a little dried oregano and grilled them on the grill for a few minutes on each side till done and set aside with aluminum till ready to serve salad and then cut up chicken into small pieces.

Lemon Vinaigrette Dressing:

I made salad dressing in my mini chopper — Perfect and easy if no mini chopper just mince garlic by hand and whisk all ingredients together adding olive oil in last slowly.

3 garlic cloves, finely minced

2 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard

1/4 cup Champagne Vinegar

3 Tablespoons fresh Lemon Juice

2 Tablespoons Honey

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt — more to taste — didn’t need it

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

I used my mini chopper and started with the garlic and put all other ingredients and added the olive at the end slowly.

Taste for salt and pepper but it was fine by me.

  • 1/2 teaspoon or more or less crushed red pepper flakes –we like kick and so did our guests so you may or may not want to use this which is fine

In a large salad bowl add in lettuce, chicken , blueberries, cheese, basil leaves, crumbled bacon, avocado and corn. Drizzle with the vinaigrette or serve salad and let your guests dress their own — up to you. Once salad is dressed serve immediately. I

Summer Corn Salad with Feta

IMG_1397

This is a delicious and easy recipe which sometimes gets overlooked because I always make my Fresh Corn Salad but this is a bit different because it has Feta Cheese and some thinly sliced radishes. I suggest you try both of these wonderful recipes — super easy and super delicious for summertime cooking at it’s finest.

You might want to check out my other wonderful corn salad which is titled Fresh Corn Salad it’s a little different and might be more to your liking. I like both just fine and I think you will too! There are so very many variations of corn salad out there and especially in the summer when the corn is so fresh and delicious.

Ingredients:

4 cups of fresh corn ( it’s so amazing in the summer) I actually used 6 ears of corn –boiled it for 3 mins and plunged into an ice bath to stop cooking. I did it the night before because it’s just easier that way

1/3 cup of fresh cilantro chopped–if you don’t like cilantro you can omit it, but it packs a  lots of flavor–just saying…..

3 Tablespoons Lime Juice –I used my juicer because this is a lot of squeezing. Or buy the fresh lime juice in those little green bottles. (see photo) but nothing beats fresh in my book

1- 2 teaspoons of kosher salt, I used 1 . Feta was plenty salty here. You might want to add more, you can taste as you go.

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil–Extra Virgin is the way to go

1 cup thinly sliced radishes — they are amazing this time of year but if you hate them you can substitute with a little red onion or scallion. I love radishes and I love the pop of color and crunch they provide

1 cup cherry tomatoes–sliced in 1/2 or into 1/4’s

1/2 cup crumbled Feta— I used a 6oz. container

Directions:

Cut corn off cobs–I know it’s work but it’s worth it and mix the corn with all ingredients adding cheese last. Yum!!! refrigerate and take out before you’re eating and let sit at room temperature.  I put salad together early in the morning and refrigerated all day. You can make it and serve it right away  but it will be better after flavors marinate a bit.

Enjoy!

A Berry Patriotic Trifle

I made this for the Fourth of July and it was so very pretty and pretty yummy too. I honestly didn’t care how good it tasted because it looked that good! Very easy to make and no baking involved. Perfect for the Fourth or Labor Day or really any old time . Actually this would be lovely made with all blackberries , all strawberries and just serve it any old time if you’re not feeling the Patriotic theme. It’s delicious and an easy solution for dessert for those summer bbq’s.

You’ll need a Trifle Bowl — worth the investment.

Ingredients:

1 store bought angel food cake

For the syrup:

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup water

1/4 tsp. Almond Extract

Whipped Cream Cheese:

2/3 cup sugar

1 lb. Cream cheese , at room temperature

2 cups Heavy Cream, at room temperature

Fruit:

2 pints blueberries

2 pints strawberries, hulled and sliced

Directions:

Heat 1/4 cup sugar, lemon juice , and 1/4 cup water in a saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and stir in the almond extract.

Cut the pre made angel cake into 1 ” slices

Brush both sides of the sliced cake with syrup — I put on a rimmed baking sheet to do this

Cut the slices into 1″ cubes

Beat 2/3 cup sugar and the cream cheese with a mixer with paddle attachment on medium speed until smooth and light. Add the cream and beat on medium-high speed until smooth and the consistency of whipped cream

Arrange half of the cake cubes in the bottom a 13 cup trifle dish. Sprinkle evenly with a layer of blueberries. Dollop half of the cream mixture over the blueberries and gently spread

Top with a layer of strawberries

Layer the remaining cake cubes on top of the strawberries. Then sprinkle with more blueberries

Top with remaining whipped cream and finish with the remaining strawberries and blueberries, arranging them in a decorative pattern. Cover and refrigerate for at least a few hours. Overnight is perfect and what I recommend.

Like I said any berries will do , it’s a lovely dessert.

Tomato Time Pasta– perfect Summer Pasta made with fresh tomatoes

photo 2 (3)photo 4 (2)photo 5 (3)Nothing but beautiful tomatoes out there begging to be eaten in a million different ways. Perfect for a “Meatless Monday” dish or any night of the week . There are tons of local tomatoes out there now. At any local farmers market you can pick up pints of these beautiful babies. This is a lovely light pasta.

I had bought 2 pints of those beautiful little cherry tomatoes and right now there are those gorgeous yellow sunburst tomatoes also available.  I wasn’t sure what I would do with them. They varied in size so I knew if I made a sauce some were getting cut and some would stay whole. Nothing ever sounds better than a plate of pasta to me,  nothing.   These beautiful tomatoes are only out for such a limited time you have to get them while the getting is good.  Some of the tomatoes were super small and I left them whole while I halved the larger ones. There are so many variations of this sauce and feel free to improvise. We love it this way. So simple and so delicious.

Follow me on Instagram @cookingwithcandi

Ingredients:

1 lb. spaghetti , I like long thin spaghetti for this but whatever kind you like is good– I used a whole box but you can use however much you’d like

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus more as needed

4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced.

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper* we like it spicy so if you don’t want it that spicy cut to 1/4, I actually used 1 whole teaspoon and it packed a lot of kick.

2 pints of cherry tomatoes or little plum tomatoes or you can use about 3 cups of chopped fresh tomatoes of any type. I cut the larger tomatoes in 1/2 and I left the little ones whole.

app. 20 leaves of fresh basil, I just cut them up into small slivers

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste –I used app. 1 teaspoon on tomatoes and added towards the end as needed

freshly grated parmesan at your discretion

Directions:

Cook pasta according to directions on box for al dente. Reserve a cup of pasta water in the event you may need a little more liquid in your sauce. Add 2 tablespoons of salt to cooking water for pasta. The Italians like to say that their pasta water should be like sea water good and salty. After finished cooking pasta — reserve 1 cup of pasta water and set aside before you drain pasta.

Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat add 4 tablespoons of olive oil and garlic, cook until garlic is golden about 2 minutes. Be careful you don’t want to burn this garlic. Add the crushed red pepper now and the tomatoes, and cook over medium heat. I also added some kosher salt (about 1/2 teaspoon to start, you can always add more) and a little freshly ground black pepper. Stir for a while to make sure garlic doesn’t burn and tomatoes start to burst and deflate about 5  minutes and if you think you need a little more olive oil add it now . I let the tomatoes simmer in the pan for about 15 minutes to 1/2 hour for the best consistency. I smashed down stubborn little tomatoes at the end with the back of a wooden spoon. A very low simmer at the end.  Taste for Salt and Pepper. The longer the tomatoes sit in the oil and cook down on a low simmer the better the sauce will be so if you have a little time let it sit.

Once the spaghetti is cooked and you’ve drained it ( remember to reserve a cup of pasta water).  Add it to the pan with tomatoes and over medium-high heat toss the pasta with the tomatoes well. Add the basil . I let everyone add their own cheese at the table.

Remove the pan from the heat and plate it up.

Yum! and even more delicious the next day.

Watermelon Cucumber Salad–Perfect Summer Salad

This is a most delicious salad and a departure from the usual fare of lettuces etc. Sweet and Savory and very refreshing . Simple to pull together and easy to make. Of course you can substitute or add other items if you’d like such as olives, arugula , basil etc. This is how I did it and we all totally enjoyed it!!! The salad is a rather loose recipe and can be adapted very easily to other ingredients and your own particular tastes.

It really is the perfect Summer Salad. The saltiness of the feta and the sweetness of the watermelon make for a perfect summer salad.

Ingredients:

1 small seedless watermelon, cut into 1″cubes or melon balls.

1 shallot finely chopped

1 chunk of Feta Cheese– I like to cut my feta cubed but crumbled could work as well. Feta is usually a greek style cheese made with sheep’s milk and goat’s milk. I prefer a block even though I know crumbled is more convenient. The block is usually sold in a brine and that will keep the feta moist and crumbles tend to be dryer. They all taste good though so buy what you prefer. I often buy Bulgarian Feta which is rather firm and cuts and crumbles easily. Look for it. Also French Feta sometimes–check out the assortment in the cheese section of your market. And of course Greek Feta is probably the most preferred. Salty and tangy the way feta should be. Cut or Crumble your choice.

4 Tbsp. Torn Fresh Mint — more for garnish –I love Mint but some people really don’t you can substitute Basil or nothing if you’d lke

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

3 persian cucumbers — I buy the small ones and cut into small cubes

1/4 red onion sliced thinly

1/3 cup Pistachio Nuts — I chop them gently — obviously no shells –you can omit this all together if you don’t like them for a nut free salad

 

Vinaigrette:

4 Tablespoons Olive Oil

3 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar

3 small cloves Garlic–finely chopped

1 shallot, finely chopped

1 Teaspoon dried oregano

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

In a small bowl whisk together all the vinaigrette ingredients and season to taste with salt and pepper.

 

Directions:

Combine the watermelon,1 finely chopped shallot, and mint in a large bowl with the 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil . Season with Salt and Pepper to taste and toss to combine. Transfer to fridge and let marinate for at least 1 hour and up to 3 hours.

Remove from fridge and add the cubed feta, cucumbers, red onion slices and pistachios. Toss to combine. I transferred to a serving platter , drizzled with the vinaigrette and served with extra pistachios and extra mint. 

You’ll want to use a slotted spoon for serving.

 

 

 

Cold Noodles with Sesame Sauce –Perfect Summer Pasta

FullSizeRenderThis is one of my old tried and true recipes and also one of our family’s all time favorites.  Perfect for a large get together and totally tasty. There are a lot of ingredients but it is very easy to put together and it’s always a hit! I made the sauce a day ahead which I highly recommend doing, it gives flavors a chance to really come together.  I had all the ingredients in the house and day of I will cook the noodles and mix together. If making sauce ahead of time — take it out of refrigerator and let the sauce sit at room temperature before mixing with noodles. I used 1 teaspoon of cayenne, but because I wasn’t sure of everyone’s taste buds for hot and spicy I left out the chili oil. If you want it spicier you can always add some hot chili oil, or more cayenne pepper.  You can actually make the sauce a few days ahead of time. Enjoy this oldie but goodie. I have played around with the recipe a lot, and have found these ingredients work the best for me. I also like to put a little fresh cilantro on the side for those who love it ( like me) and don’t leave out the chopped peanuts they give it that extra yummy crunch. Enjoy!

Ingredients: 

1 lb. linguine or spaghetti ( or you can use Chinese egg noodles)

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

7 tablespoons Peanut Butter ( creamy ) by the way I always use the low-fat one, it’s perfectly fine

2/3 cup warm water

6 tablespoons soy sauce ( use low sodium)

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

2 tablespoons sesame oil

1/2 to 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper, or more to specific taste

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh garlic

3 to 4 scallions , finely chopped

*1 sliced cucumber, peeled, seeded, and julienned (optional) but tasty and crunchy

*fresh cilantro chopped (optional)

*sprinkle of chopped peanuts ( optional) but extra added crunch if you have them on hand

*dash of hot chili oil ( to taste) I usually just throw in a dash of this.

Directions:

In a small mixing bowl, using a fork or a small wire whisk, beat the peanut butter together with the water until it is smooth. Add the soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, cayenne pepper, sugar, and salt. Beat till smooth. If you’re adding hot chili oil this is when you would add that.

Add the chopped garlic, and stir well. Because I was using it the next day, I left out scallions till I cooked pasta .

Cook pasta according to directions. Drain immediately and rinse under cold water, until noodles are cooled down sufficiently. Place noodles in a large bowl, drizzle with the 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil and toss well. Refrigerate noodles until you are ready to serve. About an hour or so before I am ready to serve, I pour sauce over noodles and mix well. Make sure sauce has been left out at room temperature for a while till it’s not too cold.  Add the scallions and cucumbers and mix well. Right before serving you can sprinkle the cilantro and chopped peanuts if you like. I pour about 2/3 of the sauce over noodles and mix well, adding more sauce as I feel necessary. I definitely didn’t use all of the sauce that I made, add slowly and taste as you go along.  Right before serving I usually add some more sauce, but leave it out at room temperature. This is a deadly go to leftover the next day.