Saturday, June 30, 2007

Nabisco Graham Cracker Custard Pie

If you remember the recipe printed on the side of the Nabisco box, you might remember the taste of that pie!  It is just delicious!
Nabisco Graham Cracker Custard Pie
Graham Cracker Crust
16 graham crackers, rolled fine
1 teaspoon flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup melted butter
Mix ingredients as for pie crust. Line pie plate with 3/4 of the mixture. Reserve remainder to garnish meringue.
Custard Pie Filling
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
3 beaten egg yolks
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
Blend together sugar and cornstarch. Add beaten egg yolks to 2 cups milk and stir in dry ingredients. Cook in double-boiler stirring until mixture coats spoon. Add vanilla and pour into shell. Cool.
3 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 Tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Beat the egg whites with the salt until stiff. Gradually add 6 tablespoons sugar one tablespoon at a time. Add vanilla and cream of tartar. Spread on top of cooled custard. Sprinkle reserved cracker crumbs over meringue. Bake at 325 just until meringue browns. Serve cold.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Chicken Breasts Scarpariello ..... Scarpariello is the Italian word for shoemaker.

Chicken Breast Scarpariello
Today is Flashback Friday, the day I do an old time favorite from our home when the children were youngsters. We had the house rule that when something different was being served for the first time; "you don't have to eat it but you had to taste it".  All four children were great with the introduction of a new recipe. This dish isn't labor intensive but goes together quickly when all ingredients are prepared and measured before you begin.
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 pound fresh mushrooms
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 cups peeled and cubed potatoes
2 cups peeled and cubed carrots
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons oil
6 chicken breasts
1 garlic clove
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 1/2 cups rich chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon crushed oregano
salt and pepper
3 tablespoons butter
Heat 2 tablespoons butter in skillet and add mushrooms that have been cleaned and trimmed. Cook until golden. Combine juice of 1/2 lemon and crushed red pepper and pour over mushrooms. Reduce the heat and cook the mushrooms in liquid for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool in liquid.
Cook the potatoes in salted boiling water for three minutes. Cook the carrots in salted boiling for five minutes. Drain and dry the vegetables by shaking the pan over the heat. Combine the vegetables and saute them in a skillet with a combination of 3 tablespoons oil and 3 tablespoons butter over moderate heat until they are browned. Remove to a platter and keep warm in oven.
Flatten chicken breasts to 1/4 inch between 2 sheets of wax paper. Dredge the chicken breasts lightly in flour. In the skillet used to brown the vegetables, brown the vegetables, brown the meat over medium heat until they are tender and browned on both sides. Remove the breasts to the platter to keep warm.
Drain all but 2 teaspoons of oil remaining in the skillet, and return the skillet to the heat. Saute 1 crushed garlic clove, add 1/3 cup red wine vinegar and deglaze skillet. Add 1 1/2 cups rich chicken broth and 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano. Cook until reduced by half. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Add the vegetables and meat to the skillet and cook for 5 minutes. Remove the meat and vegetables to a warm serving platter. Add 3 tablespoons butter to the skillet and stir thoroughly. Pour the sauce over the vegetables and chicken breasts and serve immediately.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Creamy Coleslaw.....Yesterday I posted a Sauerkraut Salad. This recipe is an alternative if sauerkraut is not a favorite of yours.

Creamy Coleslaw
1/2 cup light mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons cider vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
coarse salt and ground pepper
1/2 head green cabbage, (1 1/2 pounds) cut lengthwise into thirds and thinly sliced crosswise
2 medium carrots, sliced with a julienne peeler or a vegetable peeler
2 medium scallions, minced
In a medium bowl, combine mayonnaise, vinegar, and sugar; season with salt and pepper. Add cabbage, carrots and scallions; Mix to combine. Let stand at least 15 minutes at room temperature to soften cabbage, or cover and refrigerate up to one day.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Caraway Sauerkraut Salad ..... The perfect salad to go with those grilled Bratwurst.

Caraway Sauerkraut Salad
Be German for a day and serve your family an easy and quick to fix meal.
1 tablespoon butter
1 small red onion, halved and sliced thin
1/2 cup water
1 can (14 oz.) sauerkraut, well drained
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
coarse salt and ground pepper
In a medium saucepan, heat butter over a medium heat. Add onion, and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Add sauerkraut, sugar, caraway seeds, and 1/2 cup water; season with salt and pepper. Simmer until sauerkraut is heated through, 3 to 5 minutes; set aside.
Serve with pickles and chips and those delicious grilled bratwurst.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Ricotta And Tomato Toast ..... A Healthy start or luncheon addition to another day adding extra calcium to the diet

Ricotta And Tomato Toast
Tomatoes are such a common ingredient in the European breakfast diet. I remember being served for breakfast what looked like pork and beans, tomatoes and a sausage that I swear was just a hotdog. It was tasty though.
1 thick slice whole-wheat bread, lightly toasted
1/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1/2 small heirloom or beefsteak tomato, sliced
fresh basil leaves
1/4 teaspoon olive oil
coarse salt and ground pepper
Spread bread with ricotta; top with tomato and basil. Drizzle with salt and pepper. Serves 1

Monday, June 25, 2007

Quick and Creamy Pesto with Spinach and Cheese Ravioli .... Prepare dinner tonight quick, easy and delicious!

Quick and Creamy Pesto with 
Spinach and Cheese Ravioli
1 1/4 cups Pesto
1 1/4 cups plain yogurt
Salt and pepper
2 lbs. spinach and cheese ravioli
1 ounce kalamata olives
3 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
Fresh grated Parmesan cheese
Sauce: Mix pesto and yogurt in a bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Let stand for 1 hour at room temperature for flavors to mellow.
Cook ravioli according to package directions, drain and divide among 4 plates.
Spoon room temperature sauce over hot ravioli and top with olives, tomatoes, pine nuts and Parmesan cheese. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Berry Cherry Oatmeal Cookie Bars ..... A wonderful dessert for a summer meal with a scoop of ice cream added or serve plain as a breakfast bar !!!

Berry Cherry Oatmeal Cookie Bars
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 1/4 cup dried blueberries
1 cup dried sour cherries
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
In a small bowl combine the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon: set aside.
In a large bowl, beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract until creamy. Beat in eggs.
Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in oats, dried blueberries, dried cherries and walnuts.
Spread dough in a 13 x 9 inch baking pan. Bake for 22 - 25 minutes, or until bars are light brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Cut into 24 squares. Top with ice cream or enjoy for breakfast. Makes 24 servings.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Oven Carmel Corn ..... Flashback Friday to a favorite at our house, years and years ago. Our children had this as a treat (often)!!!

Oven Carmel Corn
If you have any leftovers, keep it in a container with a tight fitting lid.
6 quarts of popped corn (yellow)
In a 3 qt. pan combine and boil for 3 minutes;
2 cups brown sugar
2 sticks margarine or butter
1/2 cup white Karo
Remove from heat and add:
1 teaspoon salt
*1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon butter flavoring
Stir well and pour over 6 quarts of popped yellow corn. Stir until the popped corn is evenly coated. Bake at 225 degrees for 15 minutes. Stir well after each five minutes to prevent the coating from dropping to the bottom of the pan. You can use two 11 x 17 pans or a large roaster pan. Baking too long makes the coating brittle.
* CAUTION Use a long handle wooden spoon when you add the baking soda as it causes the mixture to froth and sometime spit. don't get burned.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Buttermilk Chicken Caesar Salad .... Unlike traditional Caesar salad, this salad uses no oil in the dressing. Low in calories, BIG on flavor.

Buttermilk Chicken Caesar Salad
1 1/2 cups low-fat buttermilk
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 garlic clove, passed through a garlic press
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
coarse salt and fresh ground pepper
3 boneless chicken breasts
2 slices multi grain bread
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup light mayonnaise
2 medium heads romaine lettuce, cut into pieces
1/2 small head radicchio thinly sliced
In a medium bowl, combine buttermilk, lemon juice, garlic, and Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper. Place chicken in a resealable bag; reserve 1/2 cup for salad dressing, add remaining buttermilk mixture. Refrigerate chicken in marinade for at least 15 minutes or up to 24 hours.
Heat broiler with rack or use grill. Make croutons. Place bread on prepared baking sheet. Brush both sides with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Broil until toasted about 1 to 2 minutes per side; cut into 1 inch pieces. Reserve baking sheet.
Transfer chicken to baking sheet: discard marinade. Broil until opaque, about 14 to 16 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes; thinly slice crosswise. In a large bowl, stir mayonnaise and reserved buttermilk mixture. Add romaine, radicchio, chicken, and croutons; toss to combine. Serve immediately.
The longer the chicken soaks in the marinade, the lactic acid in the buttermilk makes the chicken tender.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Lemon Pudding Cake ..... The batter separates into a sponge cake layer atop a pudding bottom.

Lemon Pudding Cake
2 eggs separated
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350. Set 6 ramekins (6 oz. each) in a 9 by 13 inch baking pan. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until thick and creamy. Stir in flour,milk, butter, lemon juice, and lemon zest.
In a large clean bowl, whip egg whites and salt until firm (but not dry) peaks form. Stir one quarter of beaten egg whites into egg yolk mixture until blended, then gently fold in remaining egg whites.
Pour batter into ramekins. Pour enough HOT water into the baking pan to come 1 inch up sides of ramekins.
Bake until cake layers are set and tops are lightly golden, about 30 minutes. Remove ramekins from water bath and let cool to room temperature before serving.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Lemony Sauteed Shrimp With Broccoli and Peas ... Another quick meal and always in season!

Lemony Sauteed Shrimp With Broccoli and Peas
4 Tablespoons butter
4 scallions, white part and green parts separated, thinly sliced
1 Tablespoon grated lemon zest
1/2 cup water
5 to 6 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 pound broccoli, cut into small florets, with stalks peeled and sliced
coarse salt and ground pepper
1 pound large frozen raw shrimp, thawed and patted dry
1 package frozen peas (10 ounces)
coarse salt and ground pepper
In a large skillet with a lid, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add white part of scallions, lemon zest, broccoli, and 1/2 cup water: Season with salt and pepper, and toss. Cover and cook until broccoli is bright green and just beginning to soften, about 3 to 4 minutes.
Add shrimp and peas. Cover and cook, tossing occasionally, until shrimp are opaque and peas are tender, 4 to 6 minutes.
Add lemon juice, green part of scallions and remaining butter; season with salt and pepper. Toss gently and serve.
If the shrimp you have are already cooked, thaw, pat dry and add for the last minute and half, just long enough to heat through. Over cooked shrimp become tough and stringy.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Veggie Burgers With Tahini Mayonnaise ..... Trying to cut back on red meat, try this healthy recipe!

Veggie Burgers With Tahini Mayonnaise
1/2 cup medium grind bulgar
coarse salt and ground pepper
1 can pinto beans pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup plain dried bread crumbs
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1 large egg
1 large carrot, coarsely grated
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons tahini (sesame-seed paste)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 whole wheat English muffins, toasted
Tahini mayonnaise (recipe below)
In a medium bowl, mix bulgar with 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt and 1 cup boiling water. Cover bowl, and let set until bulgar is tender (but still slightly chewy) about 30 minutes. Drain in a fine-mesh sieve, pressing to remove liquid.
Place beans in a medium bowl: mash with a potato masher until a coarse paste forms. Add bread crumbs, scallions, egg, carrot, cayenne, tahini, and bulgar. Season with salt and pepper, and mix to combine. Form mixture into 4 patties, each about 1 inch thick.
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-low. Cook patties until browned and firm, 5 to 8 minutes per side. Serve on English muffins with Tahini Mayonnaise and lettuce. Yield: 4 burgers
Tahini Mayonnaise
In a small bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup light mayonnaise, 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon tahini (sesame seed paste); season with coarse salt and ground pepper. Makes about 1/2 cup.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Beef Rouladens ... This recipe was shared by a friend from Germany who is a great cook. The secret is a butcher who will slice the steak thin.

Beef Rouladens With Gravy
2 slices round steak
Dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste
freshly grated nutmeg
5 slices bacon, fried almost crisp
1 teaspoon fresh parsley or
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1 small onion, diced and sauteed
Have the butcher cut the round steaks as thin as possible without tearing. Lay the steaks on a flat surface. Spread with mustard, sprinkle with freshly grated nutmeg, salt and pepper, parsley, and onion. Cut each steak into four or five sections. Place half of a strip of bacon on each section and roll jelly roll fashion. Tie each roll toward each end with cotton cord. Dredge with flour and place in a skillet with a medium low heat to brown. Be careful not to crowd as the rolls sweat and do not brown as nicely. When well browned move to a platter.
Saute in same skillet, one diced onion, one julienned carrot, and one tomato which has haad the seeds removed, or tomato paste. Keep the heat low as this will burn easily. When the vegetables have been sauteed to the point of doneness. Remove any fat from skillet. Add water to make the gravy stirring up the brown bits from the skillet. Make it a thin gravy as the rouladens will cook in it for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until tender. They will need to be kept on a low heat and turned occasionally.
When the rouladens are browned place in a crock-pot. Make the gravy and pour over the rouldens. Simmer for about three hours. They do not need to be watched.
This recipe freezes well.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Four Peppercorn Sauce ..... This sauce enhances the flavor of any meat. It is absolutely delicious on grilled steak.

Four Peppercorn Sauce
1/2 cup white wine
1 shallot, finely minced
1 tablespoon crushed four peppercorn blend
1 3/4 cups total beef and chicken stock
1/4 cup whipping cream
Crush peppercorns. *I put the peppercorns in a zip-loc bag and crush with the flat side of a meat cleaver.
Add to saucepan, wine, shallot and peppercorns. Bring to a boil and simmer until mixture is reduced and only shallots and peppercorns remain with a very slight amount of liquid.
Add beef and chicken stock. *I add to 1 3/4 cup water one small chicken and beef bullion cube.
Boil and reduce to one cup. Add 1/4 cup whipping cream. Return to heat and cook only until it coats the back of a spoon which is about 3 or 4 minutes. If you prefer the sauce a little thicker, cook just a minute or two longer.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Flashback Friday ... Ice Cream Pie ... Our Family Favorite Birthday Treat

Birthdays at our house were celebrated with the celebrant choosing the dinner menu and inviting one guest for dinner who was not allowed to bring a gift. Their friendship was the gift. Don did not like cake and did a good job convincing our four children that ice cream was a better choice. I enjoyed that too because this is such an easy dessert to put together.
Ice Cream Pie
Crunch Crust
1/2 cup butter, room temp.
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup flour, unsifted
1/2 cup nuts and or coconut
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 gallon ice cream, flavor of choice
Heat oven to 400 degrees.
Mix the crust ingredients together just until combined. Spread in a 13 x 9 1/2" loaf pan. Bake for approximately 15 minutes, only until it is golden. The color turns quickly so watch carefully.
When golden remove from oven and stir with a spoon. Press all but a small amount (used for topping) into a pie dish to form a crust while it is still hot. The amount reserved for topping should be stirred to resemble "crumbles". Allow the "crust" to cool completely. Fill with softened ice cream, the flavor of choice. Top with the "crumbles" and place in freezer until ready to serve.
To soften ice cream, place in refrigerator for half hour.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip ..... You can make one half of the recipe or freeze leftovers. It is as good the second time around.

You know when everyone requests the recipe, it was a crowd pleaser!
Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip
1 10 oz. package fresh baby spinach leaves, rinsed and drained
1 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
1 8 oz. carton sour cream
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
3 oz. Monterrey jack cheese with jalapeno peppers, shredded
3/4 cup shredded Swiss cheese
2 14 oz. cans artichoke hearts, well drained and chopped
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper ( I prefer the pepper roasted)
Toasted Pita Chips
In a food processor, process spinach in small batched until finely chopped. Transfer to a colander set over a bowl and drain. In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, sour cream, garlic powder, and pepper with an electric mixer until well combined. Add 3/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese, the Monterrey jack cheese and the Swiss cheese. Mix until well combined. Stir in chopped spinach, artichoke hearts, and red bell pepper. ( I like the roasted red bell pepper. Color leeches into the dip with the raw red bell pepper). Bake at 350 until it bubbles and the top is slightly golden.
Toasted Pita Chips
Split 5 large Pita rounds in half horizontally. Cut each pita into 6 wedges. Arrange wedges in a single layer on two ungreased baking sheets. Coat pita wedges with non-stick cooking spray. If you like, sprinkle lightly with paprika. Bake at 350 oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until wedges are crisp and golden brown.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Asian Rotisserie Chicken Salad ..... Buy one of those tasty rotisserie chickens at the grocery store and assemble this salad.

Asian Rotisserie Chicken Salad
2 cups fresh cilantro leaves and soft stems (I prefer Italian parsley)
1/4 cup fresh lime juice (from 2 limes)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
coarse salt and ground pepper
1 rotisserie chicken (about 2 1/2 pounds), skin and bones removed, meat shredded (about 4 cups)
1/4 medium head red cabbage, cored and thinly sliced crosswise
1 red bell pepper ( ribs and seeds removed) thinly sliced
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 large head romaine lettuce, torn into bite size pieces
1/2 cup cashews
In a blender, combine cilantro or parsley, lime juice, and oil, salt and pepper to taste. Blend until smooth.
In a large bowl, combine chicken, cabbage, bell pepper, and scallions; season with salt and pepper. In another large bowl, toss lettuce with 1/2 cup dressing. Divide among four bowls, and top with chicken mixture. Drizzle all with remaining dressing, and sprinkle with cashews.
Tip for the cook!
For a salad with the best texture, shred chicken instead of cubing it. Holding a fork in each hand with tines down, pull the meat into pieces along the grain.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Chicken Club Salad ... Prepare ingredients and store seperately. At lunchtime assemble and serve.

Chicken Club Salad
6 slices bacon
4 boneless chicken breast halves
coarse salt and ground black pepper
3 Roma tomatoes, quartered lengthwise,seeded and cut into 1/2" pieces
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, sliced crosswise 1/4" thick, plus 1/2 cup celery leaves (optional)
1/2 cup light mayonnaise
1 tablespoon white vinegar
lettuce leaves for serving. I like to use romaine lettuce
Preheat oven to 400. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Lay bacon in a single layer on prepared sheet; bake until it begins to render its fat, about 10 minutes. Turn bacon over, and slide to one side of sheet. Season chicken with salt and pepper, and place on baking sheet. Bake until bacon is browned and crisp and chicken is cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes.
Transfer bacon to a paper towel lined plate, let drain; crumble bacon. Let chicken cool completely. Meanwhile in a large bowl, combine tomatoes, onion, celery, celery leaves(if using), mayonnaise, and vinegar.
Cut chicken into 1/2" chunks, and add to bowl. Season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Serve chicken salad over lettuce leaves, sprinkle with bacon.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Waffled French Toast .... Shave calories from the standard preparation of this breakfast dish.

Waffled French Toast
6 eggs
2 cups half and half (I use milk)
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 Tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
8 slices brioche, each 1 1/4 inch thick
Flavored butters for serving.
Preheat waffle maker. Spray surface with nonstick cooking spray or brush with melted unsalted butter.
In bowl, whisk eggs until frothy. Add half-and-half (I use milk), vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and brown sugar; whisk until blended.
Dip one slice of bread into egg mixture; soak, turning once, 30 seconds per side. Place bread on preheated waffle maker, close lid and cook until golden brown and crisp, about 4 minutes. Keep warm while cooking remaining bread. Serve with flavored butter.
Flavored Butters:
Ginger Peach Butter
1/2 cup softened butter
add 1/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon chopped candied ginger
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup ripe mashed peach
Mix butter until frothy. Add remaining ingredients and
mix well. Refrigerate allowing flavors to develop.
Cinnamon Nutmeg Butter
1/2 cup softened butter
4 teaspoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Beat butter until frothy, add remaining ingredients and refrigerate allowing flavors to develop.
Rum Butter
1/2 cup softened butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
3 Tablespoons dark rum
Beat butter until frothy. Add remaining ingredients and mix. Refrigerate allowing flavors to develop.
Honey Butter
1/2 cup softened butter
1/4 cup honey
Mix and refrigerate. It is ready!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Oriental Salad .... This salad is a great crowd pleaser.

If you have invited company for lunch or are going on a picnic, take along this salad, a nice crusty baguette, and a bottle of chilled Chardonnay wine.
Oriental Salad
2 Tablespoons sugar
3 Tablespoons rice vinegar
1/2 cup salad oil
seasoning packet from chicken or pork ramen noodles
1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Place ingredients in jar and shake well then refrigerate. Do not substitute the sesame oil.
4 chicken breasts, cooked and sliced
4 green onions sliced
2 Tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1 package ramen noodles, crushed
Salad greens of choice
fresh pea pods, trimmed
1 can water chestnuts, sliced
fresh parsley or cilantro
1/2 cup peanuts
1 red pepper, cut in strips
1 yellow pepper, cut in strips
Place ramen noodles in skillet with just enough butter to toast. Stir often. Set aside to cool.
Assemble the salad ingredients and toss with dressing.
This is a complete meal and so refreshing.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Crab Cake Salad ..... A great make ahead dish with the versatility of a salad or appetizer.

Crab Cake Salad
Crab cakes 
1 pound cooked crab meat 
1 egg, lightly beaten 
1 Tablespoon mayonnaise 
1/2 cup panko or white bread crumbs 
4 green onions, white part only, thinly sliced 
1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste 
1/4 teaspoon white pepper plus more to taste Cayenne pepper, to taste (optional) 

1 cup mayonnaise 
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard 
1 1/2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice 
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh dill 

Salad Leaves from 1 head butter lettuce 
6 radishes, cut into matchsticks 

Crab Cakes 
In a bowl, stir together egg, mayonnaise, panko or bread crumbs, green onions, salt, white pepper, and cayenne. Gently toss crab meat with mixture to coat being careful not to break apart crab pieces. Form into 8 patties and refrigerate 2 to 12 hours. 

In electric skillet set at 350, 
4 Tablespoons butter with 
2 Tablespoons olive oil. 

Fry crab cakes until golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels. Serve on bed of lettuce and radishes; pass dressing. Serves 4 

Blend 1 cup mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice, salt, white pepper, and cayenne until smooth. Pulse in dill. Refrigerate dressing.

Friday, June 8, 2007

"Flashback Friday": .... Amish Dishpan Cookies ... You may need a family reunion or space in your freezer.

Amish Dishpan Cookies ... This recipe has one of those memories that always brings a smile. When our son was 8 or 10 he asked for his own recipe of Amish Dishpan Cookies and a gallon of milk for his birthday. He wanted to be able to eat a cookie when he chose and share with his sisters also when he chose. We gave him the full recipe of cookies and a gallon of milk. He was a happy boy!
1 pound butter
2 cups brown sugar
2 cups white sugar
4 eggs
3 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
5 cups quick oats
1 cup raisins or currents
1 cup nuts
1 cup coconut
1 cup chocolate chips
Cream sugar and butter. Add eggs, one at a time, then add vanilla. Add dry ingredients, then oats. Any of the following may be added as you choose, raisins, nuts, coconut, or chocolate chips.
Drop by tablespoon full on prepared cookie sheet. Dip tines of fork in sugar and flatten dough. Bake at 375 for 8 to 10 minutes.
Yield 14 DOZEN cookies.
Note: I found that the dough can be mixed one day and baked the next. Keep in a covered container in refrigerator. This cookie also freezes well.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Spaghetti Carbonara ... This tasty pasta dish was first prepared for us by our oldest daughter's husband who was born and raised in Milan Italy.

The first time I had this dish I was amazed that spaghetti was prepared without a tomato sauce. Since then I have learned that very little pasta is prepared with a tomato sauce in Italy. My very favorite pasta is Pasta Troife which is made with a troife pasta, potatoes, green beans, and then dressed with a pesto sauce made with olive oil, pine nuts, salt, and basil leaves. Our children have taught me sooo much.
Spaghetti Carbonara
1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, loosely packed
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 pound thin cut diced bacon or pancetta
2 cloves garlic
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup dry white wine or 1/2 cup water from pasta
1 Tablespoon salt
1 pound spaghetti
2 eggs
3 oz. Parmesan cheese
Beat eggs lightly, add 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese to eggs, beat lightly to mix. Finely chop parsley and add to eggs. Add pepper and beat to mix. Side aside.
Dice bacon or pancetta. Fry bacon or pancetta in frying pan until almost crisp. Remove bacon or pancetta from fry pan and pour off fat. Peel and chop garlic, set aside. Heat olive oil in a small fry pan, add garlic and meat. Stir occasionally until fragrant, about one minute. Add wine or salted water from the cooking pasta and cook until liquid is reduced by about 1/2. Remove from heat and set aside.
Cook pasta according to directions in salted water, just until al dente.
The next steps move fast. Ingredients must prepared in the order given.
Pour the cooked pasta in a roomy bowl and add the egg mixture. Toss thoroughly. Coat pasta with the egg mixture. (The heat of the spaghetti cooks the eggs.) Pour bacon or pancetta mixture on top of pasta, toss to combine thoroughly. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Summer Salad of Mini Cucumbers, Tomatoes, and Bell Peppers. A Cool Dish For Those HOT Summer days!

Summer Salad of Mini Cucumbers, Tomatoes, and Bell Peppers
3 mini cucumbers
4 tomatoes quartered
1/2 each, yellow and orange bell pepper, finely diced
2 green onions, including firm greens
12 Kalmata olives, halved and pitted plus more for garnish
1/2 of a 15 oz. can garbanzo beans, drained
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped dill
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
finely grated peel of one lemon
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
In a roomy bowl, combine cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, green onions and halved olives. Put garbanzo beans in a small bowl and cover with water, gently swish around with fingers to loosen any skins. Pour off water and any loose skins, gently shake to dry and add to the salad. Toss with 1/4 teaspoon salt and plenty of pepper to taste.
To prepare vinaigrette, place herbs, grated lemon peel and juice, and a few pinches of salt in a bowl. Whisk in olive oil.
Pour the vinagrette over salad and toss gently with a wide rubber spatula. Taste for salt. Transfer to a serving bowl. Garnish with olives, and unless you are serving the salad with a meat or fish or chicken dish, add any optional garnishes to turn the salad into a complete meal.
To hold the salad more than 30 minutes before serving, toss the cucumbers with 1/2 teaspoon salt and place in colander to drain for 30 minutes before adding to the salad. This draws the water out and keeps them nice and crisp.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Grilled Portabella Mushrooms. Look like a Gourmet Cook with the slightest ease.

This recipe is adaptable to any number of people and depends on sizes rather than amounts. Sizes vary in mushrooms and squash. I allow one Portabella Mushroom per person. The smaller Portabell Mushrooms are more tender and more flavorful. Pick a fresh mushroom which can be determined by looking at the underside. If the edges still have portions of membranes appearing that the mushroom has just opened ... you have a fresh one. Older Portabello mushrooms have a strong flavor.
Grilled Portobella Mushrooms
1 portabella mushroom per person
zucchini squash, sliced very thin
salt and pepper
Basil leaves, finely chopped
Parmesan cheese
Slice zucchini squash into thin slices or rounds. Place in colondar and sprinkle with salt to dehydrate the vegetable. Toss to lightly coat and place in sink while excess moisture drains. Allow 30 minutes. I use the smaller zucchini that are not "seedy".
Remove the dark gills from the underside of the mushrooms. They are bitter tasting. Careful not to break the edges of the mushroom. Add olive oil to the underside of the mushrooms and let mushrooms set on baking sheet while the mushrooms drain.
After 30 minutes rinse the zucchine with water to remove excess salt. Allow to drain of excess water.
Place small amount of olive oil in frying pan and saute scallions and garlic. Add rinsed zucchini and saute just to soften (not cook). Edges slightly curl.
Remove from heat add chopped basil leaves and place in portabella mushrooms. Add grated Parmesan cheese to top and grill. Can also be placed under broiler.