Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Spinach salad

No recipe really needed!  Fresh baby spinach, tomatoes, basil, hard cooked eggs, creamy dressing...dinner!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Turkey burgers with fennel relish

Looking for alternatives to our usual hamburgers, I found this recipe in Hannaford's Fresh magazine for Turkey Burgers with Fennel Relish.  The relish is a really wonderful new take on the usual toppings for burgers!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Antique tableware: table runner

This table runner is so well made that it looks machine made.  By turning it over, I determined that it wasn't.  Fabulous work, huh?  Cut thread work and traditional embroidery.  I need to iron it a bit!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Cassava, or Yucca Root

We tried cassava root at home for the first time, and I learned a few things about prep that I thought I'd pass on.  This is the first time my local market has carried it, so please, all you people who've grown up eating it, don't laugh at me!

Peel it with a sharp knife, and split it down the middle lengthwise to cut out the center core of tough fibers.  If you plan to boil it, but it into fairly small cubes, because we found it takes a LONG time to soften to the point that you can mash it easily.  There are dozens of ways to fix cassava root, but we wanted to just boil, mash, and eat for our first experience.  We liked mostly just tastes starchy, but there is a subtle nuttiness to the flavor, quite different from potatoes. 

Just a warning: don't mess around with eating it raw.  Improperly cooked cassava can have a little bit of a cyanide problem!  But given that it's the 3rd most often ingested form of carbohydrate world-wide, just cook it and don't worry. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Corn and avocado salad

For a delicious and easy summertime salad, cut the kernels off of left over ears of corn, and mix with sliced avocado and cilantro.  Dress with lime juice, olive oil, and salt.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Goat cheese and prosciutto pizza

I love to cook our pizza on the grill during the summer and fall, so even though this amazing recipe for Goat Cheese and Prosciutto Pizza calls for turning on the oven, if you've set aside a few pre-baked pizza shells, you're all set!  I used our thin crust pizza dough recipe and made two smaller crusts with it.   

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Antique cooking gadgets: wooden bowl

My first ever salad bowl.  It had a great patina when I bought it mumble mumble years ago, and it's only improved over more time.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Quinoa tabbouleh with watermelon

I love traditional tabbouleh, with bulgur, mint, and tomatoes, but I decided to try swapping out a few ingredients this time.

Quinoa Tabbouleh with Watermelon

3/4 c quinoa
1-1/2 c water
2-3 scallions, sliced
1/4 to 1/2 a watermelon, cubed
1 c flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Zest and juice of a lemon
1-2 T olive oil
3 oz feta cheese, cubed small

Steam the lightly salted quinoa for about 20 minutes and let it sit for an additional 10 minutes.  Fluff with fork as it cools.

Mix all ingredients, tossing carefully in a large bowl. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Turkey burgers

Ground turkey can be a little bit dry if you're not careful, but in order to be safe, it really needs to be thoroughly cooked.  When making burgers with it, adding some good moist ingredients to the toppings can help a lot.

Turkey Burgers with Red Onions and Avocado

Hamburger bun
Romaine lettuce
Thin slice of tomato
Turkey burger
Sauted red onions mixed with lime juice
Mashed avocado

Build from the bottom up. 

Monday, August 15, 2011

Cream cheese-raspberry brownies

This variation on an already fantastic dessert is just heavenly!  My mind is spinning with all the different flavors of preserves that I could use instead of raspberry.  But the raspberry is just amazing, so we'll definitely be doing that again too.

Mix up a batch of batter for your favorite brownies.  If your recipe makes a 9x13 pan of brownies, then double the recipe below.  For an 8x8 pan, a single recipe as written should be fine.  Here's my personal favorite brownie recipe for the Best Brownies in the Entire World, but that's just my opinion...and the opinion of most of my very intelligent friends ;-)

Cream Cheese - Raspberry Brownies

Filling (for an 8x8 pan; double recipe for a 9x13):
1/3 c (3 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/3 c sugar
2 t flour
1 t vanilla
1 egg white

1/4 c raspberry jam (or other flavor)

Mix the filling ingredients through the egg white together in a large bowl until smooth and well blended.

Prepare your brownie batter and spread about 2/3 of it into a prepared baking pan.  Pour the cream cheese filling over the batter, spreading evenly.  Drop jam by spoonfuls over the filling.  Drop the rest of the batter by spoonfuls over the filling and swirl the two toppings together slightly.  Bake at 350 for about 40 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool on a wire rack. 

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Antique tableware: silk napkins

These don't match the color in our dining room at all, but how can you possibly pass up a set of 12 beauties like these?

Friday, August 12, 2011

Chicken cordon bleu burgers

Poultry burgers, either chicken or turkey, need to be cooked carefully so that they are thoroughly cooked but hopefully not dried out.  Nice moist toppings can help!

Chicken cordon bleu burgers

Burger bun
Romaine lettuce
Roasted red pepper (about 1/4 pepper per burger)
Ground chicken
Sliced baked ham, chopped
Dijon mustard
Sliced Swiss cheese

Build from the bottom up.  Mix the ground chicken with finely chopped ham and about 3 T Dijon mustard per lb of chicken. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Jalapeño popper pizza

This recipe was a prize winner, created by Courtney Aronson Sparks of Maine.  Believe me, it truly is a prize winner!  I modified Courtney's recipe slightly, making my own thin crust pizza dough and baking the crust most of the way first.  I also decided to spread the Neufchatel cheese on as a first layer rather than dropping gobs of it on later.  Finish by baking for about 5 minutes just to melt and merge everything.  Amazing!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Thin mint cake...bake and drool!

Of all the Girl Scout cookies in all the world, my favorites have always been Thin Mints.  Well, I recently found a recipe that I Am Mommy figured out for making a cake that tastes so much like my beloved Thin Mint cookies that I almost cried with joy!  I made one 8" square cake and a dozen cupcakes using her recipe.  The cupcakes took 22 minutes to be perfectly done.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Antique cooking gadgets: meat tenderizer

The low-tech solution to tough meat...don't you love it?  Yes, I do plan to use it.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Broccoli slaw salad

This recipe uses something that I almost never buy: ramen noodles and the little flavor packets that come with them.  My friend Kathy gave me the directions after everyone in her family raved about it during a recent gathering.  It's quick and easy, and all the other ingredients are healthy, so why not?!

The slaw that was available in our produce section was a mixture of mostly broccoli, along with red cabbage and carrots for great color.

Broccoli Slaw Salad

1 large package (or 2 small ones) of broccoli slaw
1 bunch of scallions, sliced
1 c almonds, sliced
1 c sunflower seeds
2 packages of ramen noodles, beef flavored, broken but not cooked

2/3 c vegetable oil
1/2 c sugar
1/3 c cider vinegar
2 flavor packets from the ramen noodles

Mix the slaw through the broken noodles in a large serving bowl.  Mix the oil through the beef flavor packets and pour onto slaw.  Chill. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Pico de gallo revisited

While the summer vegetables are at their peak, I thought we should enjoy some Pico de Gallo.  I cut up the tomatoes and let them drain a bit first this time, so it wasn't quite as juicy as usual.  I also substituted flat leaf parsley for the cilantro since DH and I are not the biggest fans, and it was just for us! 

Monday, August 1, 2011

Apricot chicken

Bake it in the oven or cook it on the grill!  This sauce can be used either way to make very very tasty chicken.

Apricot Chicken Sauce
(enough for 4 chicken breast halves)

1/2 c apricot preserves
2 limes
2 T fresh ginger, grated
1 T soy sauce