Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Broccoli Salad

Tonight we are having BLT's for dinner. With them, we'll have chips, watermelon and this salad. It is a favorite of mine--and that's coming from a non-broccoli eater. Marc first had this salad at a SuperBowl party in Rochester, NY a few years back and begged me to get the recipe and make it. I fell in love with it, too!

Broccoli Salad
(thanks to either Jessica Lee or Jessica Moore!)

2 large bunches broccoli, cut into bite size pieces
1 red onion, chopped small
1 lb. Bacon, cooked and crumbled
1-1 ½ c. sunflower seeds, roasted and salted
1-1 ½ c. craisens

1 c. mayonnaise
1/3 c. (red wine) vinegar
2 c. sugar

Mix all salad ingredients together.
Toss salad with dressing.
Best if refrigerated for a few hours before serving.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Strawberry Spinach Salad

This is a favorite salad of mine. It has a light lemon-poppyseed dressing that is perfect for the summer. An old friend came by for lunch today and so I added some chicken to make it more of a meal. Don't worry too much about exact amounts of the salad ingredients (the only things I measure are the dressing ingredients), just use these salad ingredients in the amount you like--you can't go wrong! YUMMY!

Strawberry Spinach Salad
(I think I got this recipe from a neighbor in Boise, ID or maybe a friend in Rochester, NY--I can't remember!)

1 pkg (6 oz.) baby spinach
¼ small red onion, sliced thin (about ¼ cup)
½ medium cucumber
½ c. sliced strawberries
¼ c. sliced almonds, toasted

½ tsp. Lemon zest
2 Tblspn. lemon juice
2 Tblspn. white wine vinegar
1/3 c. sugar
1 Tblspn. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. Poppy seeds

Whisk dressing ingredients together until well blended and refrigerate until ready to use.

Combine salad ingredients, toss with dressing, sprinkle almonds on top.
Serve immediately.
Serves 8-10.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

French Onion Salisbury Steak

This is SO good. I have made this dish a few times when my parents or my in-laws came into town. They all liked it. I made it today (because I happened to have parsley on hand and didn't know what to do with it) and Marc and I loved it, once again. Definitely worth sharing. Unfortunately, we gobbled this up before I could get a picture of it.

French Onion Salisbury Steak
(Cuisine At Home magazine)

1 ¼ lb. ground chuck
¼ c. fresh minced parsley
2 T. scallions, minced
1 t. kosher salt
½ t. black pepper
2 T. flour
1 T. olive oil
2 c. onions, sliced
1 t. sugar
1 T. garlic, minced
1 T. tomato paste
2 c. beef broth
¼ c. dry red wine (I use cooking wine)
¾ t. kosher salt
½ t. dried thyme leaves
Cheese Toasts (see below)
4 t. minced fresh parsley
4 t. Parmesan cheese, shredded

Combine chuck, parsley, scallions, salt and pepper.
Divide evenly into 4 portions and shape each into ¾ - 1” thick oval patties.
Place 2 T. flour in a shallow dish; dredge each patty in flour.
Reserve 1T. flour.
Heat 1 T. oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat.
Add patties and sauté 3 minutes on each side, or until browned, and then remove from pan.
Add onions and sugar to pan; sauté 5 minutes.
Stir in garlic and tomato paste: sauté 1 minute, or until paste begins to brown.
Sprinkle onions with reserved flour; cook 1 minute.
Stir in broth and wine, then add the salt and thyme.
Return meat to pan and bring soup to boil.
Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer 10 minutes.

Serve steaks on Cheese Toasts with onion soup ladled over.
Garnish with parsley & Parmesan cheese.

Cheese Toasts

4 slices French bread or baguette, cut diagonally, about ½” thick
2 T. butter, softened
½ t. garlic, minced
pinch of paprika
¼ c. Swiss cheese, grated
1 T. Parmesan cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Place bread on baking sheet
Combine butter, garlic and paprika and spread on one side of each slice of bread.
Combine cheeses and sprinkle evenly over butter.
Bake until bread is crisp and cheese is bubbly, about 10-15 minutes.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Breakfast for dinner!

I was able to talk Marc into having breakfast for dinner last night. It was a hit!

Early Riser Oven Omelet
(I have no idea where I got this recipe)

10 egg whites
5 eggs
1 c. milk
¼ t. salt
¼ t. pepper
1 ½ c. cubed ham
1 c. chopped fresh broccoli (or torn fresh spinach)
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1 medium tomato, seeded and chopped
3 T. finely chopped onion

In a bowl, beat the egg whites, eggs, milk, seasoned salt and pepper. Pour into a 10-inch ovenproof skillet coated with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle with the ham, broccoli, cheese, tomato and onion. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until eggs are almost set. Broil 4-6 inches from the heat for 1-2 minutes or until the eggs are set and top is lightly browned.
Serves 6.

Finnish Pancakes
(thanks to my brother-in-law Doug, who served his mission in Finland)

Put a half a stick of butter in a roasting pan in the oven set at 425.
In a blender add: 5 eggs, milk until 3 cups, a wee bit of sugar and salt and 1½ cups flour. Blend and pour into the pan.
Bake for about 20 minutes or until brown.

Serve with syrup, jam, powdered sugar, etc.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Salads (and cakes) from the birthday luncheon

Here are all of the recipes that were served at my friends 40th birthday luncheon.

Chicken Salad on Croissants
(thanks to my sister, Rebecca)

6 cups cubed cooked chicken
2 ¼ cups chopped celery
6 Tbsp. sweet pickle relish
1 ½ cups mayonnaise
1 ½ cups toasted almonds (slivered or sliced)
1 cup sour cream
2 Tbsp. chopped green onions
Salt & Pepper to taste
Choose one: (each gives a unique flavor and are equally delicious)
1 cup sliced stuffed green olives OR 1 cup red seedless grapes sliced in halves
Salad may be put together day before so flavors blend.
Serves 15
(FYI: I made 1 1/2 X the recipe and it made SO SO much! I made about 40 small croissant sandwiches and still had a big bowl of salad leftover)

Potato Salad
(thanks to Juli Miller, who made it and shared the recipe with me--these are her notes, too)

5 lbs. red potatoes (or russet potatoes, peeled)
2 green onions, chopped
1/4 lbs. bacon, cooked and crumbled
4 eggs, hardboiled and crumbled
Now this part, in truth, I just eyeball, so don't be afraid to experiment, but here is what the recipe says:
2 cups mayonnaise (I know I didn't put in all that, probably just a little more than a cup)
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1/4 cup vinegar (I like white wine vinegar)
1/4 cup sugar a dribble of milk :)

In a large saucepan, boil potatoes for about 20 to 25 minutes until potatoes are tender (I look for when the fork easily slides in). Drain water. When cool, cut potatoes into bite-size pieces and cover with a little milk. Add egg, bacon, and green onions. Stir. Add mayo (I would just start with the one cup) and all other ingredients. Stir well until everything is coated. Top with paprika (makes the presentation value score according to my Nana). Refrigerate overnight. Makes 12 servings.

Turkey & Fruit Pasta Salad
(thanks to Tauni McFerson, who made this and got the recipe from

1 cup packaged dried rope macaroni (gemelli) or 1-1/3 cups corkscrew macaroni
(4 ounces) 1-1/2 cups chopped cooked turkey or chicken or fully cooked turkey ham
(8 ounces) 2 green onions, sliced (1/4 cup)
1/3 cup lime or lemon juice
1/4 cup salad oil
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons snipped fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
2 medium nectarines or plums, sliced
1 cup halved fresh strawberries

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain pasta; rinse with cold water. Drain again. In a large mixing bowl combine pasta; turkey, chicken, or turkey ham; and green onions. Toss to mix. For dressing, in a screw-top jar combine lime or lemon juice, oil, honey, and thyme. Cover and shake well. Pour dressing over pasta mixture; toss to coat. Cover and chill for 4 to 24 hours. Just before serving, stir in nectarines or plums and strawberries. Toss to mix. Makes 4 main-dish servings.

(Tauni used chicken, lemon juice, less thyme and omitted the nectarines because they aren't in season)

Greek-style Couscous Salad
(thanks to my friend Veronica Haymore, who lives in Syracuse, NY)

1 box uncooked couscous
1 ½ c. halved and quartered cucumber slices
small container cherry tomatoes, halved
6 oz. feta cheese
1 ½ tsp. Dill weed
¾ c. + Italian dressing

Cook couscous as desired (or according to box directions), omitting salt and butter. Fluff with fork and place in large bowl and cool for about 10 minutes (stirring and separating a few times) Add remaining ingredients, toss lightly. Cover and refrigerate at least one hour to allow flavors to blend. May need to add more dressing before serving.

Caesar-Tortellini Salad
(thanks to Lorraine Dickson for making this salad--she got the recipe from Shauna Hancock)

1 package 3-cheese dry tortellini, cooked and chilled
romaine lettuce
Caesar salad dressing (she likes Cardini's)
Caesar croutons
parmesan cheese
chicken (optional)

Toss all together & enjoy!

Leafy Green Salad
(I just made this up the day of the luncheon)

The ingredients I used were:

combination of Spring Mix lettuce & baby spinach
1 lb. bacon, cooked and crumbled
almost a whole container of sliced mushrooms
handful of dried cherries, blueberries & cranberries (the mix from Costco)
grated Italian cheeses (Asiago, Parmesan, etc.)
sugared almonds

Triple-Layer Carrot Cake

This cake is so good, that is was gone before I could get a picture!
I already posted this on my blog. Here's the link:

Decadent Chocolate Bundt Cake
(I got this recipe from a classmate in nursing school)

1 dark chocolate cake mix
1 small box instant vanilla pudding
1/3 cup milk
1 egg
1 16 oz. sour cream
1 12 oz. bag chocolate chips

Mix all together and pour into a greased and floured bundt pan. **will be much thicker than a traditional cake mix Bake at 350 degrees for 50min.-1 hour. When ready to serve, dust with powdered sugar.

Chicken Veracruzano

This entree is pretty healthy--no creams, sauces, etc. Just chicken and sauted veggies. Very good, light & healthy. I served it atop couscous and omitted the olives.

Chicken Veracruzano
(Everyday Food--I think it was the last issue, but I can't find the recipe online)

1 Tblspn. olive oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 6 oz. each)
coarse salt and ground pepper
1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1/3 cup pitted green olives, halved
1 Tblspn. fresh lime juice
1/4 cup packed fresh cilantro

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-low.
Season chicken with salt and pepper, and cook until golden and cooked through, 30-35 minutes, turning once.
Transfer to a plate; cover loosely with aluminum foil and set aside (reserve skillet).
Raise heat to medium; place onion in skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5-7 minutes.
Add tomatoes and olives; cook until tomatoes release their juice, 1-2 minutes.
Remove from heat, and stir in lime juice and cilantro.
Season with salt and pepper.
Serve on top of chicken.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Green Beans and Feta with Dill

Green Beans and Feta with Dill
( -- it's the feta cheese brand -- I got the recipe off the packaging)

2 lb. fresh green beans, trimmed
1/2 cup prepared GOOD SEASONS Italian Salad Dressing
1/4 cup ATHENOS Traditional Feta Cheese
1/4 cup chopped red onions
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill

COOK beans in boiling water 7 min. or until crisp-tender. Drain; rinse with cold water.PLACE beans in large bowl. Add remaining ingredients; toss to coat.SERVE immediately. Or cover and refrigerate several hours or until chilled.

**I cut the recipe in half for our little family and it was perfect. I just ate the leftovers for lunch and it was really good cold as well**

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Spinach and Brie Chicken with Tomato Orzo

Spinach and Brie Chicken with Tomato Orzo
(Everyday Food, May 2008)

Coarse salt and ground pepper
8 thin chicken cutlets (1 1/2 pounds total)
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 package (10 ounces) frozen leaf spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
4 ounces Brie cheese, cut into 8 slices
1 cup orzo
2 plum tomatoes, cored and chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Set a large saucepan of salted water to boil. Heat broiler, with rack set 4 inches from heat. Place chicken on a large rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Dividing evenly, spread one side of each cutlet with mustard; top with spinach, then cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Starting at short end, roll chicken up tightly, and arrange, seam side down, on sheet.
Season rolled chicken with salt and pepper. Broil, without turning, until tops are lightly browned and chicken is cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook orzo in boiling water until al dente. Drain well; return to pot. Add tomatoes, parsley, butter, and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper, and toss to combine. Serve stuffed chicken with orzo.

Grilled Banana Sundaes

Years ago we had these for dessert at a friends house in Idaho. Last night we brought all the fixin's to a friends house while we caught up on old times (we hadn't seen them in 9 years and they moved right here to Cedar Park!! Small world!) These sundaes are a great twist on the classic Banana Split.

Grilled Banana Sundae
(thanks to Tiffany Ririe, in Boise, ID)

3 large, firm bananas
1 Tblspn. melted butter
2 tsp. Orange juice
½ c. caramel (ice cream topping)
¼ tsp. Cinnamon
vanilla ice cream
toasted coconut
toasted almonds, sliced

Cut bananas in half lengthwise and crosswise.
Stir butter and 1 tsp. OJ together and brush onto bananas.
Place bananas on grill rack for 2 minutes, turn and cook another 2 minutes.
Combine caramel and 1tsp. OJ in a pan—stir continually until boiling, then stir in cinnamon.
Drop in bananas and stir to coat.
Serve with ice cream and top with toasted coconut and almonds.

I usually just lay the bananas in the bottom of the bowl, top with ice cream, drizzle with caramel and sprinkle with almonds/coconut mixture. YUMMY!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Bacon Wrapped Chicken

This is an old fall-back, and one of Addison's favorite dinners. I love it because it only calls for 3 ingredients which I usually have on hand, always turns out well, and presents well. It is great for company--easy to figure out portions and it looks pretty on the plate. Like a little chicken package.

Bacon Wrapped Chicken

(thanks to Tiffany Ririe, a neighbor in Boise, ID who brought this dinner to me when Addison was born)

Chicken breasts, pounded thin
“Onion & Chive” cream cheese

Spread thin breast with cream cheese
Roll up chicken breast
Wrap 1-2 pieces of raw bacon around chicken
Secure with toothpick
Bake at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes, or until done.Turn on broil for the last few minutes so bacon becomes crispy