Tag Archives: Recipe

Strawberry Summer Salad

Standard

I decided today it was time to roll up my sleeves and dust off this poor little neglected blog. Life has a way of getting busy when you have four little kids and a crazy summer schedule!

I wanted to share a summer recipe that I have been thoroughly enjoying. But let me tell you an adventure I had a few weeks ago with this very salad.

We had some friends over that we had been meaning to have over for some time. We had made some hamburgers, and I was making potatoes and onions in our iron skillet and throwing together my newest favorite recipe when they arrived. My hubby had cut lettuce from the garden, it had soaked, and I put it through the salad spinner at about 100 miles per hour before I began putting the salad all together.

We were all settled and were enjoying the evening when I noticed something funny-looking in the bite of salad I was about to take. Upon examining the specimen on my fork, I realized I was looking at a giant, caterpillar-like worm happily hanging out on the vein of my salad. This thing was huge-I am sure it was about 10 feet long. And it was bright green. Just like the lettuce.

So I did what any normal, reasonable mom of three boys (who tries to be cool with bugs so her men will be brave) would do. I screamed at the top of my lungs and flung the worm across the table to my husband who was sitting across from me diagonally. As it happened in slow motion, I saw the ginormous worm sailing above all the food with the piece of lettuce flying about him like Superman with a lettuce cape, and I am sure he flashed a grin back at me as he departed.

And so my husband, who has very good reflexes, caught my friend, and there was a moment of silence. And then we all got a good laugh – except for Mr. Worm. He wasn’t laughing when it was all over.

All that is to say a word of caution – lettuce from the garden may contain extra protein. I now run my hand down each piece of lettuce before I serve it. It was that traumatizing

If you are able to get clean, worm-free lettuce together, this salad is unbelievable. Seriously. A sweet friend of mine gave me the recipe that she got out of a church cookbook. (Those are the best!) And now, I make it at least once a week. It’s my new fave.

Without further adieu, I give you…

(Wormless) Strawberry Summer Salad
(Printable Version)IMG_2449

Shake and chill:
1/2 cup canola oil
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 cloves minced garlic
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. salt

Assemble:
A big ole’ bowl of greens
2 ½ cups sliced strawberries
1 cup finely shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
1 cup slivered almonds (I just chop the raw ones I keep in the freezer)

Combine:
Toss dressing with the greens mixture just before serving. Enjoy!

Other serving options: Try blueberries or mandarin oranges instead of the strawberries, or serve it with sliced grilled chicken.

IMG_2454

Three Days of Yummy Food: Granola Bars

Standard

I have tried many different granola bar recipes in an effort to have some nutritious, healthy snacks for my little guy who has hypoglycemia. Most snacks on the shelves are full of preservatives and things I can’t pronounce–plus, snacks are expensive.

After much tweaking, I think I have a granola bar recipe that pleases everyone in our family! They are super filling and keep really well. And they are seriously addicting!

What you need for 15-20 bars:

  • 1 cup peanuts (raw is best)
  • 3/4 cup flax seed (divided)
  • 2 cups quick oats
  • 2/3 cup sunflower seeds (raw is best)
  • 1/2 – 1 cup almonds (raw is best)
  • 4 Tbs butter (not margarine)
  • 1/2 cup (or less) brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2-1 cup chocolate chips

Here is what to do:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Combine the peanuts and 1/4 cup of the flax seed. Process in a food processor with the metal blade for about 30 seconds or so until the mixture is the consistency of brown sugar. (You could also do this in a zip top bag with a mallet or pan. That’s a great way to relieve stress!) Pour into a medium size bowl, and add oats, sunflower seeds, and the rest of the flax seed. Toss quickly to combine and spread into a jelly roll pan or other shallow pan with sides.

3. Toss the almonds into a shallow baking dish. (Make sure you throw plenty in there for snacking as you make these!)

4. Bake both for 10-15 minutes, stirring gently every 5 minutes. Let both cool for about half an hour or so. Pour the contents of both pans back into bowl, and give a little stir.

5. Next, place butter, brown sugar, honey, vanilla, and salt in a saucepan. Heat on medium heat until bubbly.

6. Pour liquid mixture (the glue) into nuts and grains. Stir to combine.

7. Place in a jelly roll pan (I often use the same one I use for the roasting process). You may want to spray the pan lightly with cooking spray to ensure they come out easily, but I have found that isn’t necessary. Press the mixture into the pan. Then, place a piece of waxed paper or parchment paper on top and press down hard all over to ensure they stay together when you cut them.

8. If you want to add chocolate chips, you may want to wait about 2-3 minutes or so for the mixture to cool down. (I didn’t do this for the picture, so it looks a little extra messy!) You will want to sprinkle the chips on top and use the waxed paper again to press everything down and together.

9. Wait another 15-30 minutes and cut into bars. We always store them together in a container, but you could individually wrap them for easy grab-on-the-go portability.

***As a side note, these are more of the chewy granola bar consistency. If you want them slightly more crunchy, reverse the amounts of the brown sugar and the honey, and don’t process the peanuts for quite as long.

I hope you love this recipe as much as we do!

Three Days of Yummy Food: Rosemary Chicken

Standard

I go through spurts. Some days I enjoy spending time in the kitchen, and some days I simply don’t have the time to slave over a stove for hours. This is a recipe I made up once when I felt ambitious but was limited on time. It has only a few ingredients, and is quick to put together. It is also easy to jazz up, or to increase the number of servings!

What you need for 4 servings:

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 4 bulbs (yes, bulbs) of garlic
  • 5 sprigs of rosemary, divided
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper

And the recipe…

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Oil a rectangular baking dish.

2. Cut bulbs of garlic in half horizontally. To do this, leave all skin intact, place the garlic on a cutting board on its side, and slice so that you have the top and bottom of the garlic still intact. Place them cut side up in the baking dish.

3. Drizzle the cut side of the garlic generously with olive oil, and place a sprig of rosemary on top.

4. Place a chicken breast on top of each rosemary sprig. Drizzle chicken breasts with olive oil. Chop remaining sprig of rosemary. Sprinkle each chicken breast with chopped rosemary and salt & pepper.

5. Bake at 4oo degrees for about 45 minutes, or until appropriate temperature is reached.

I serve this with smashed potatoes and a green veggie, and it makes for a healthy meal that has a short prep time. My boys get excited when I make this because they love eating the roasted garlic with the chicken. Hope you like it as much as we do!

Three Days of Yummy Food: A Panini

Standard

As part of a three day series of some of my favorite go-to recipes, I wanted to share a favorite panini recipe that was invented by a family member known for making up delicious-ness! It is super simple – and can easily be “jazzed up” and tailored to individual tastes!

What you need for 6 sandwiches:

  • 1-1 1/2 block of cream cheese (8-12 oz), softened
  • 1-1 1/2 lb turkey (I use sundried tomato turkey available at our deli)
  • 1 oz sundried tomatoes
  • 2-6 garlic cloves
  • loaf of bread
  • olive oil

And the recipe…

1. Put cream cheese into a medium bowl. Mince the garlic cloves into the bowl. (The more garlic you add, the spicier it will be and the worse your garlic breath. I use six – I love garlic!)

2. Chop the sundried tomatoes. I do this by putting them into a small glass measuring cup and cutting them with scissors. Add to cream cheese. Stir to combine.

3. Slice loaf of bread into 12 pieces. Spread each slice with the cream cheese mixture.

4. Place into a skillet with a little olive oil brushed on the backs of the slices. Place turkey on top. Top with other slice of bread, with cream cheese and olive oil on each of its sides.

5. Cook for 3-5 minutes per side on medium heat. I have a grill pan, so I use that. But it would be absolutely fine to use a regular skillet. You can use another skillet to set on top of the sandwiches to make them more pressed.

And – in just a matter of about 10-15 minutes from start to finish you have an easy, yummy sandwich! I would love to know how you make yours unique!

The Skillet Cookie

Standard

One of my friends describes it as an oasis. I have to concur, especially after a hard day with busy kids. But let me add a disclaimer. Reading further may enlarge your hips and thighs.

One snow day a friend and I (we were teachers in a former life) decided to try to copy an idea that can be found at several restaurants. We wanted to make a cookie in a skillet and throw ice cream on top. Hot cookie, cold melty ice cream. Yum.

We seriously spent a couple of hours trying to make it work well. It was not as easy as one might guess. Spread the cookie dough? Leave it in a lump? On the stovetop? In the oven? Finally, we cracked the code. Perfect.

So I give you the (non) original idea for the “skillet cookie,” as we affectionately call it. Seriously. I have never met someone who does not love this!

First, you want to make some cookie dough according to the Nestle Toll House chocolate chips recipe. We generally make a whole batch and leave it in the fridge because we literally eat these three times a week! But a half batch would make about three of these, and each skillet is enough for two people!

Image

Then you want to spread the dough out in an *oven safe pan,* like a small iron skillet or a nonstick that is heat safe for 400 degrees or more.

Bake at 375 for about 12-15 minutes, depending on your cookie-doneness liking. Throw on some ice cream, grab two spoons, and do a happy dance! *Be sure, though, to put a pot holder on both the handle of the skillet and underneath!