Monday, July 20, 2015

My garden salad

"No occupation is so delightful to me as the culture of the earth, and no culture comparable to that of the garden...
But though an old man, I am but a young gardener."
Thomas Jefferson, 1811

Do you have a small plot of earth that you can cultivate and grow vegetables? It has recently become so satisfying to me. I love to dig around, check under leaves and plan meals - what am I gonna do with all those jalapeno peppers???? 

 Above you see lettuce, roasted zucchini, roasted beets and kale chips. All from my tiny garden. 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Nanny's Fruitcake Cookies (Taste of Home)

I just found these Christmas cookies on my camera and the worst part is, I don't seem to have a photo of the completed, baked cookie. That's too bad because they are wonderful. Crispy and chewy and full of fruity flavor. I remember sampling the fruits and nuts while they were soaking in the Triple Sec. YUMMY.

You might recall that I'm in charge of a large Cookie Walk fund raiser and I sold these beautiful cookies there. It's a good way for me to try new recipes and break away from the usual Christmas cut out cookie. 

You can find the recipe in Taste of Home December 2014, or HERE on their website. Thanks to Nanny for her excellent recipe! 

Monday, July 13, 2015

Pasta Salad with Roasted Red Pepper Dressing

Have you ever heard those radio shows where people call in asking for certain recipes? Maybe it's for a particular cake they had at their book club. Or perhaps they're looking for a crock pot recipe using onion soup mix. Scalloped potatoes is always a favorite recipe that is shared on this type of radio show. Cheese, cheese and more cheese! (oh, and canned soup!) 

Another variation of this radio show is a 'copy cat' recipe - you know, Kentucky Fried Chicken, the famous biscuits from Red Lobster, the blooming onions. (OMG-- have you eaten those? DELICIOUS) 

Well, I totally nailed this copy cat recipe and I share it here on my little blog. I'm embarrassed to show you how much I paid for 2 pounds of this salad, but it is so, so good! My version has been veganized and is not quite as salty as the store bought. I also cut back on the mayonnaise. The most recent time I made this salad, I added some cashew Parmesan (recipe HERE) for a little bump in the cheesy flavor and a hit of salt. 

16 ounces penne rigate pasta - cooked more than al dente
1/3 C minced onion
1 C corn
1 C grated cheddar
1 t dried basil

1 T red wine vinegar
1 roasted red pepper
1/2 C mayo or more to taste
1/4 t cayenne pepper or more to taste
1/4 t garlic powder

Cook the pasta till soft, drain, rinse and set aside. Add in the onion, corn, cheese and basil. Whirl the dressing ingredients in a high speed blender, using a spatula to move it all down. Pour over pasta and mix well. Add Parmesan cheese if desired. 

Friday, July 3, 2015

Chunky Portabella Veggie Burgers (from The Kitchen Whisperer)

This recipe was floating around my Facebook page a few months ago. I kept looking at it and looking at it and looking at it.  If you peek HERE at the original photos at TheKitchen Whisperer, you'll see a most gorgeous burger, shiny, grilled to perfection. Who wouldn't want to eat it? I simply had to try them!

My burgers and photos are a bit more dull and flat, but the burger was delectable! I served it with a chickpea salad that had a lime dressing and some rice to which I added the remaining broccoli and some green onions.

I think this burger could be improved by drizzling something great over them.....a roasted tomato dressing? A jalapeno crema? Cilantro pesto?  Another tiny complaint - the recipe was huge! Do you see those 9 gigantic burgers? They did not hold up very well as leftovers.....tasted fine, but turned into a type of 'Portabella/broccoli/black bean casserole.' No worries, we ate them all. Stuffed them in pita bread, rolled them in tortillas, packed them for lunches.

Thanks to The Kitchen Whisperer for an excellent recipe - Go check out the recipe and try these hearty burgers!