Tuesday, May 31, 2011
GO-TO SUMMER SALAD (serves 2)
1 head lettuce (I used Romaine)
thinly sliced red onion (to taste)
11 oz can mandarin oranges (I didn't have enough juice from my orange to make the dressing, so I used the mandarin orange juice to make up the difference) and I only used half of the oranges for two salads
6 oz slivered almonds
4-5 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp grated orange peel
1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 Tbsp Good Seasoning Dry Italian Dressing mix
1 cup canola oil (I'll use 3/4 cup next time, this was a bit oily for me)
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
Heat a large non-stick saute pan on medium heat (I used #6 on my smooth-top stove) until hot. Add almond and sugar and stir continuously until sugar melts. I poured mine out on some Reynolds Non-Stick Aluminum Paper (you can use regular aluminum foil, sprayed with cooking spray). Let cool. You will not use all the almonds in this salad for two. Put remaining almonds in a humidity-free container and store in frig or freezer.
Combine salad dressing ingredients.
Toss diced lettuce, onions, oranges, and almonds. Dress with dressing. If using as an entree salad, slice chicken and fan out. Serve as a side salad or entree salad.
Monday, May 30, 2011
I wonder if anyone under the age of 50 really understands Memorial Day. But I primarily think of my father's generation and those who died during WWII (all wars, but this one touched me personally because of Dad). Dad never talked about serving to me, but I know he talked with Paul alot about it. I never knew much about his service, except for what his sister, my Aunt Nane, told me. He served in the South Pacific, was a bombadier, and his plane went down. He was in a hospital for about 6 months and was in pain for the rest of his life. What he saw haunted him. I know that Paul turned to him when he was facing the prospect of battle.
I am grateful to film director Steven Spielberg for bringing the horrors of war and death in his film "Saving Private Ryan." He really gave a true and gripping account of the landing on Normandy to a generation who have become so de-sensitized to war. He showed the emotions of those men as they drifted towards to the shore. For the most part, these were just boys.
And when Jim and I drive around Chattanooga and the different areas where battles in the Civil War were fought, we are so humbled. I can see these young men climbing these hills and mountains with all these trees, so far away from home. And when we drove the Gettysburg Battlefield, you could imagine these boys involved in something they maybe really didn't understand. Away from their families, scared, just trying to survive. On this day, I have to stop and thank all of those men and women who lost their lives in order to make this the incredible country that it is. Isn't it a shame that now we have an embarrassing Commander-in-Chief? What an affront to those who have lost their lives.
I cannot tell you which batch I liked better. But I have to admit the cinnamon chips were a neat addition. In fact, I might try these again and add ground cinnamon to the batter (and the chips if I can find them). You could really get creative with this recipe.
COCONUT OATMEAL CHEWIES (makes about 4 dozen)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 cup flour
1 cup sweetened coconut
1 cup quick oats
Preheat oven to 350. Cream sugars, butter, eggs, and vanilla until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes). Add dry ingredients until combined. Drop by tablespoon (about 20 grams) onto lightly greased or lined (parchment paper or Silpat) baking sheet. Bake for 9-11 minutes until set but not overly browned (bake a few minutes more for a crispier version).
Thursday, May 26, 2011
LINDT TRUFFLE CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES (makes 24 cupcakes, if not overly-stuffed)
1 box devil's food cake mix
1 box instant vanilla pudding (small box)
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup water
1 cup sour cream
Milk Chocolate Lindor truffles by Lindt (the 5.1 oz bag contains 12 truffles....this recipe makes about 24 cupcakes)
Unwrap milk chocolate Lindt truffles and place in a bowl for later use. In a separate bowl, add all ingredients and mix well. Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full (do not overfill or cupcakes will sink when you add the truffles). Bake at 350 for 5 minutes. Remove cupcakes from oven and lightly press the truffle into each partially baked cupcake, pressing the truffle to the bottom of the cupcake tin. Let the cupcakes bake an additional 13 minutes (total baking time of 18 minutes). Cool completely, then frost with cream cheese frosting. Garnish with sprinkles or jimmies if desired.
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
1/2 cup butter
8 oz cream cheese
1/2 tsp vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar
Cream butter and cream cheese together, then add vanilla. Slowly add powdered sugar.
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Sunday, May 22, 2011
4 corn tortillas, warmed
2 (4-5 oz) tilapia filets (J.A's uses grouper, cod, halibut, or haddock) broiled, grilled, or fried
cabbage and shredded carrots (I used cole slaw mix)
1-2 green onions, thinly sliced
chili mayonnaise (1/4 cup mayo, 1 tsp (or to taste) chili-garlic sauce, scant 1 tsp lemon (J.A's drizzles this on top of the tacos, I simply dressed the cole slaw mix with this)
Avocado slices or guacamole
Assemble the tacos however you like. As I said, I spread guacamole on the torts, then added the fish, dressed cole slaw/green onions. I served this with seasoned black beans and rice.
(NOTE: I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I have fixed my spacing problems.....it will look so much better and easier to copy and paste over to a word processing system to be able to print the recipes. If anyone out there can tell me how to insert a link to automatically print recipes from this blog, I'd love your help! But please do keep in mind, I have turned into my mother when it comes to technology!)
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Sunday, May 15, 2011
Saturday, May 14, 2011
GREEK CHICKEN PASTA (Serves 3-4)
Saute in EVOO or olive oil cooking spray:
1 tsp minced garlic
1/4 cup red onion
6-8 oz bite-sized chicken, cook about 5 minutes or until chicken is cooked
7 oz marinated artichoke hearts, chopped
1/4 cup feta
1 small chopped tomato (or about 12 grape tomatoes, halved, or sun dried tomatoes)
1 1/2 Tbsp freshly-chopped parsley
1 T lemon juice
1 tsp oregano
chopped Kalamata or oil-cured olives, to taste
cook for 2-3 minutes, add
6-8 oz cooked pasta, I use penne or bow-tie
Season with S&P. Garnish with lemon wedges.
Thursday, May 12, 2011
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
OK, let me first say that the traditional German Chocolate Cake is never frosted all the way around, but in between layers. But, I'm not a good baker and I have a 50/50 chance of my layers coming out nicely from the pans. So the frosting is my camouflage to cover up the clumps of cake left in the pan. And generally, in an attempt to lower fat/calories (is this even possible with a German Chocolate Cake?) I usually just use half of the icing. Not in this one. I use it all. Every little bit and just keep my fingers crossed that there's even enough to cover the flaws.
GERMAN CHOCOLATE CAKE
1 1/3 cup flaked sweetened dried coconut
Sunday, May 8, 2011
The roads off of East Brainerd Road were opened the other day. These photos are off of Cherokee Valley Road, just two miles from us. We saw this same devastation in several other areas, from Ringgold through Apison. And there is so much more. Everyone always thought the mountains and ridges would protect us. I lived a mile from an F5 path in Oklahoma 15 years ago and never saw anything like this.
Saturday, May 7, 2011
PENNE GORGONZOLA CHICKEN
3 chicken breasts
1 lb penne pasta
1/2 cup butter
1 pt heavy cream
4 oz gorgonzola, crumbled
1/4 c shredded parmesan
1/2 tsp nutmeg
Season chicken with S&P and grill. Slice into thin strips. Bring water to a boil and add pasta. While pasta is cooking, make the sauce.
Melt butter in saucepan, heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Simmer 1 minute being careful not to let the butter burn. Slowly add cream and heat to a low boil to reduce, stirring constantly. Boil for 3 minutes. Reduce heat, add gorgonzola, parmesan, and nutmeg. Stir until melted. Serve sauce over noodles and top with chicken.
Thursday, May 5, 2011
But back to today. I recently ran across a recipe for pretty much the same thing. I had some leftover holiday Hershey Kiss flavors and thought this would be a good way to use them up (I used Irish Creme and Mint Truffle). This original recipe calls for using the Milk Chocolate Kisses. I think whatever flavor you use, you will make those who get these treats quite happy. This recipe made about 4 dozen treats for me.
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 2/3 cup flour
1/4 cup cocoa
1 cup finely chopped pecans
About 48 Hershey's Kisses (your choice of flavors)
Beat butter, granulated sugar and vanilla in a large bowl until creamy. Sitr together flour and cocoa; gradually add to butter mixture, beating until blended. Add pecans; beat until well blended. Refrigerate dough about 1 hour or until firm enough to handle.
Heat oven to 375. Remove wrappers from chocolates. Mold a scant tablespoon of dough around each chocolate, covering completely. Roll in your hands to make a ball. Place on ungreased (I use parchment paper, you can use a Silpat). Bake 10-12 minutes or until set. Cool about 1 minute. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. Roll in powdered sugar.
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
WOW! This stuff is good! When I first made the white sauce, I thought I would need to adjust the worcestershire and seasonings.....it tasted a bit off just by itself. But then I baked it in the casserole and YUMMMM!!!! The recipe I'm listing below says it serves 6-8. I cut it in half and Jim and I ate the entire thing and wanted for more! I'll make the entire recipe next go around! These would be some good leftovers!!!
POTATOES WITH HAM AND CHEESE (serves 6-8)
4 cups diced potatoes (I did a small dice, maybe 1/4" or less)
2 cups chopped green onions
5 Tbsp butter
5 Tbsp flour
2 1/2 cups milk (I used skim)
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp prepared yellow mustard
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp paprika
2 Tbsp chopped pimiento
2 cups shredded cheddar
2 cups diced ham (I did a small dice here, too, 1/4" or less)
1/2 cup plain soft bread crumbs
3-4 Tbsp butter, cut in small pieces
In a saucepan, cook potatoes and onions together in lightly salted water until tender, 12-15 minutes. Drain. To make white sauce melt 5 Tbsp butter in a medium saucepan. Add flour, stirring until blended. Cook, stirring, and gradually stir in milk. Add Worcestershire sauce, mustard, salt, pepper, paprika, and pimiento. Cook, stirring, until thick. Place half of the cooked potatoes and onions in a larged buttered 3 quart baking dish. Cover potatoes with half of the cheese. Spread all of the ham on the cheese. Cover with remaining potatoes.
Pour the cooked seasoned white sauce over all. Sprinkle remaining cheese over top. (This next step I omitted.) Sprinkle with bread crumbs and then dot with butter. Bake in preheated 350 oven until cheese is melted, about 10-15 minutes.
Monday, May 2, 2011
Again, incredibly we had no damage in our subdivision, we didn't even lose electricity. Oddly enough, we lost our telephone, television, and internet on Friday and it just came back today. Looking just a mile from us as we drive down the road, we simply cannot believe our luck. But our hearts are broken for those whose lives were so tragically changed. It will be years before the area returns to its former pristine beauty. But, just as in Oklahoma City 16 years ago, the outpouring of American generosity will simply melt your heart. The people of this country can always be counted on.