Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Asian Turkey Salad; A Quick and Cool dinner for summer

What could be a better dinner on a hot and humid July night than a loaded salad? It's full of great vegetables, a tangy dressing, and leftover turkey breast. The original recipe which came from Everyday Food used a rotisserie chicken but I had grilled a turkey breast yesterday so we used some of the leftovers instead of chicken. It was quick, cool and delicious.


Serves 4

* 2 cups fresh cilantro leaves and soft stems
* 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 red cabbage (8 ounces), 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


1. Make dressing: In a blender, combine cilantro, lime juice, and oil; season with salt and pepper. Blend until smooth.
2. 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.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Is anything better than gooey chocolate brownies?

I'm not sure there is, especially if you add a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a big glass of milk. I love gooey brownies where some people prefer a more cake like brownie. This recipe makes a gooey brownie if you make sure not to over cook them.


1 cup sugar
2 eggs, slightly beaten
6 T melted butter
3/4 cup self rising flour
3 T cocoa
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup chopped nut (pecans or walnuts)

Sift sugar, flour and cocoa together. Add eggs, butter, vanilla and mix with a spoon. Add chopped nuts. Pour into a greased 8x8 inch pan and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

I always double the recipe because really, an 8x8 pan is never enough. If you double it, bake in a 9x13 and adjust your cooking time. But remember, don't over cook it because they are wonderful when gooey.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Rustic peach tart

Remember my love for peaches? I still had a few and wanted to make something else with them. I started to make a peach cobbler, but decided to make a peach tart instead. The recipe I used called it rustic because the pie crust didn't have to be perfect when you pulled the sides up. I call mine rustic because it made such a mess. The syrupy juice ran all over the place. I don't know if it's because I didn't use enough flour or if the peaches were just that juicy. It didn't matter. It was delicious. We were scooping up the syrup with our fingers once it cooled so it would not go to waste.


Parchment paper
Vegetable cooking spray
1 1/2 pounds peaches, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup peach preserves
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 (15-oz.) package refrigerated piecrusts
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 large egg
1 tablespoon sugar

1. Line baking sheet with parchment paper; coat parchment paper with cooking spray.

2. Preheat oven to 350°. Stir together peaches and next 3 ingredients in a large bowl. Let stand 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Unroll piecrust on prepared baking sheet. Roll into a 12-inch circle.

4. Drain peach mixture, reserving liquid. Toss peach in flour.

5. Mound peaches in center of piecrust, leaving a 3-inch border. Fold piecrust border up and over peaches, pleating as you go, leaving an opening about 5 inches wide in center.

6. Stir together egg and 1 Tbsp. water. Brush piecrust with egg mixture, and sprinkle with 1 Tbsp. sugar.

7. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until filling is bubbly and crust is golden. Carefully transfer tart on parchment paper to a wire rack; cool 20 minutes.

8. Meanwhile, bring reserved peach liquid to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Boil 1 to 2 minutes or until slightly thickened. Let cool slightly. Brush or drizzle 1 to 2 Tbsp. hot peach liquid over exposed fruit in center of tart. Serve immediately with remaining peach syrup.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Tex -Mex Turkey Burgers! YUM!

My friend was telling me about a recipe for
Tex-Mex turkey burgers
in this month's Everyday Food. She sent me the recipe but it wasn't what I was thinking when I thought Tex-Mex. I was thinking of something a little spicier than chili powder and pepper jack.

I had some ground turkey in the freezer so I was determined to come up with a recipe for a tex-mex burger. I finally settled on adding chipotles in adobo, garlic, onion, cilantro, and lime with my turkey. It turned out wonderful. Hubby and my mom both loved them and so did I. We had them on lightly toasted ciabatta rolls with avocado and fresh sliced tomatoes. This will be a new staple on our table.


2 pounds ground turkey
2-4 chipotles in adobo, depending on how much heat you like
3 garlic cloves
1 med onion
1 bunch cilantro
1 tablespoon lime juice

Mix everything but the turkey in the food processor so it is chopped finely. Mix in the turkey and patty out burgers. I got 10 out of mine.

Grill until done. They are juicy and delicious.

We had them with grilled yellow squash and a sweet potato mash. The sweetness of the sweet potato mash was a great counter to the spicy of the burger.

On the grill with the squash:

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Butterscotch Cream Cheese Swirl Brownies

This recipe comes from the Magnolia Bakery Cookbook: Old-Fashioned Recipes From New York's Sweetest Bakery . The Magnolia Bakery is famed for starting the cupcake craze and for appearing in Sex and the City.

These brownies are delicious, just like ever other Magnolia Bakery recipe I've tried. They were a good choice because my husband loves butterscotch better than chocolate. I made these treats with him in mind. Plus the recipe was easy. That makes them even better.

Makes 24 (3-inch) brownies

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 /2 teaspoon salt
2 cups butterscotch chips
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 12x18-inch jellyroll pan.

In a medium-size bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add egg and beat well. Add flour and beat until incorporated. Set aside.

In a medium-size saucepan over low heat, melt butterscotch chips and the butter, stirring occasionally until smooth. Remove from heat and beat in brown sugar until well blended. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.

Beat eggs one at a time into the butterscotch mixture. Add vanilla extract. Add dry ingredients, beating until well combined. Stir in walnuts. Pour the batter into prepared pan.

Drop the cream cheese mixture by teaspoonsful over the batter. Using a small knife, swirl the cream cheese mixture by teaspoonsful over the batter. Using a small knife, swirl the cream cheese into the batter, forming a decorative pattern.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center of pan comes out with moist crumbs attached. Do not overbake. Allow to cool to room temperature, or overnight, before cutting and serving.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Grilled Turkey and what to do with the leftovers

We have a Holland Grill. Yes it is a gas grill and we love it. I have always had trouble with charcoal so for me to use the grill, gas it is. Plus this one is so easy, you can regulate the temperature and it cooks without a lot of watching. As the Holland grill company says, "if you're lookin' you ain't cookin'."

I have a few turkeys in the freezer so we decided to cook one up to make room in there. Cooking it on the grill all I had to do was clean the turkey, rub with olive oil and poultry seasoning. I put it on the grill and two hours later it was brown, juicy and delicious.

To go with the turkey, we had dirty rice, green beans and cranberry chutney I had made and frozen in the fall.

A recipe for the leftovers:

The next night we didn't want another plate of leftover turkey because leftovers were packed in lunch boxes. To change up the leftovers, I made a turkey casserole. I got this recipe from my aunt who makes it with chicken. It's very good with turkey too.

Ritz Cracker Chicken Casserole

1 chicken cooked and torn into pieces (or 3-5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
8 oz. sour cream
2 sleeves Ritz crackers
1½ sticks margarine, melted
3 T poppy seeds (or just sprinkle until desired covering)

Mix together soups and sour cream.

Crush crackers and combine with melted margarine.

Layer ingredients in the following order in a 9x13 baking pan:
1. chicken
2. soup and sour cream mixture
3. crackers
4. poppy seeds

Bake at 350o for 20-25 minutes.

Monday, July 14, 2008

30 Minute Meal: Strawberry Cream Crepes

You can make crepes and have the meal on the table in 30 minutes. Crepes are easier than you think, especially these. Everything in this recipe is something you probably have on hand all the time except maybe the strawberry glaze but it is easy to find in any store.

Crepes are very thin and similar to pancakes. Get your pan medium hot and butter it well. Pour in the batter and cook until it is dry. It will be much easier to flip when it is dry. Double your crepe batter and it will make a dozen crepes. The first one will probably not turn out, my first one never does.

These are delicious and can be made for breakfast, brunch or even dinner. Serve with your favorite breakfast meat and enjoy.

• 1/2 cup biscuit/baking mix
• 1 egg
• 1/2 cup milk
• 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
• Softened butter
• 2 packages (3 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
• 1/4 cup sour cream
• 2 tablespoons sugar
• 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1 package (10 ounces) frozen sweetened sliced strawberries, thawed and drained
• 1/2 cup strawberry glaze
For crepes, in a bowl, whisk biscuit mix, egg, milk and vanilla. Grease an 8-in. nonstick skillet with a small amount of softened butter; pour 2 tablespoons batter into center of skillet.
Lift and tilt pan to coat bottom evenly. Cook until top appears dry; turn and cook 15-20 seconds longer. Remove to a wire rack. Repeat with remaining batter, adding butter to skillet as needed.
In a small mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, sour cream, sugar and cinnamon until smooth. Spoon 2 rounded tablespoonfuls down the center of each crepe; roll up.
In a microwave-safe bowl, combine strawberries and glaze. Cover and microwave on high for 1-2 minutes or until heated through. Serve over crepes. Yield: 4 servings.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Salami Pasta Salad, perfect for a hot night

You know when you see a recipe and you just know it's something you need to make? This is one of those recipes. It was in the July/August 2008 Simple and Delicious magazine. I first saw it on one of our 100+ degree days. I knew it would be a great summer time dinner. It's something you can make without even turning on your stove or grill.

This is also a recipe that can be easily adapted. Just think of what you love on your favorite sub sandwich and toss it in there. You could change out the meats for a different taste. I think next time we'll do it as a club with turkey, ham, and bacon to replace the salami and pepperoni. Maybe even add in some avocado.

I picked up my salami, pepperoni and provolone at the deli counter. Get them to slice it thick (I asked for number 8 on the meat and 5 on the cheese) This gets the meat and cheese thick enough so you can cube it.


* 2 cups uncooked small pasta shells
* 3/4 cup chopped green pepper
* 3/4 cup chopped fresh tomatoes
* 1/2 cup chopped pepperoni
* 1/2 cup cubed hard salami
* 1/2 cup whole ripe olives, quartered
* 2 ounces provolone cheese, cubed
* 1/3 cup chopped onion
* 1/3 cup vegetable oil
* 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
* 2 tablespoons sugar
* 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
* 1-1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
* 1/2 teaspoon pepper

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and rinse in cold water. Place in a large bowl; add the green pepper, tomatoes, pepperoni, salami, olives, cheese and onion.
In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the dressing ingredients; shake well. Pour over pasta mixture; toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate until serving. Yield: 9 servings.

I used a pound of pasta, a half pound each of salami and pepperoni. I doubled the dressing also. I left out the peppers because I didn't have any on hand but added diced cucumber (I love cucumbers on my sandwiches from Subway) Next time I think I'm going to add some banana peppers because it's just like a sub sandwich changing the bread for pasta.

If you need a quick cool dinner for a hot and humid night, this is perfect. Add some rolls and fruit and you have a perfect summer meal.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Salmon with Peach Salsa

It's the most wonderful time of the year. I love peaches. The fresh peaches of summer, the flavor, the scent, even the way the fuzzy skin feels. I just love everything about it. They are so good and since they are in season, they are inexpensive. I had five pounds of peaches so I tried to figure out what to do with them other than eat them whole.

I had some salmon filets to cook and I knew they would go on the grill. I started thinking how I could incorporate peaches in to a salmon meal. Peach Salsa! Perfect idea. Thanks to my garden and herbs,I had jalapenos and cilantro already. I still had vidaila onions left and I always keep limes. I knew then the salsa was meant to be.

For the salmon, I rubbed a little olive oil on and then sprinkled with a citrus seasoning blend. I grilled it until it was medium well and topped it with the salsa. It was delicious. We paired it with a pasta salad and steamed sugar snap peas.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Simple and Delicious: Banana Split Pie

Banana splits scream summer. This is another quick and easy recipe. For a crowd it is easier to make this pie than to have a banana split bar. It is much less mess and the addition of the graham cracker crust gives it another texture banana splits don't usually have.

Step 1: Pour chocolate sauce (I used hot fudge) in the bottom of a graham cracker crust and freeze.

Step 2: Slice bananas and sprinkle with lemon juice so they don't turn brown. Add bananas over chocolate sauce.

Step 3: Top with pineapple sauce and maple walnuts.

Step 4: Add ice cream. I used a 5 quart container of chocvanstraw (neopolitan) ice cream. I allowed the ice cream to get a bit soft, took it out of the container and sliced it off. It was just the right size to cover the toppings.

Step 5: Top with whipped topping and freeze.

Step 6: When you are ready to serve, allow it to sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes. Slice and serve. You can add more chocolate sauce, walnuts, and maraschino cherries if you'd like. Caramel sauce would also be delicious.

This recipe idea came from the July/August 2008 Simple and Delicious magazine.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Crash Hot Potatoes

These are so simple and delicious. I found this recipe at The Pioneer Woman. She has easy and great tasting recipes on her site. This recipe is so simple, I could not believe I'd never thought of it before. My grandmother taught me to save leftover boiled potatoes and make hash browns out of them but I'd never thought to boil potatoes just to make them crispy. I promise this is not going to be the only time we have these potatoes. Make more than you think you will need. We were fighting over the last of the crispy bits on the platter. Thanks Ree!

I've made these with both red and white potatoes. We prefer white potatoes.