Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Long time no see!

I hadn't realized how long its been since I've updated my blog! You know what they say..life happens. Between college, volunteering, family friends, its been busy. But I can say that now that I have an apartment of my own, I've been doing a lot of experimenting. Experimenting in the kitchen that is. Figuring out how to cook cheap, and quick. Its been a challenge, but its also been a good learning experience. (If I have the time I will try and post some of the meals that I came up with while I was away.) But for now, with my little sister graduated from high school, we are headed of to Ireland and England for a two week vacation. We are all really excited.

I personally have been wanting to go to Ireland forever. Ask me why, and I couldn't really give you a straight answer, except for that Ireland seems to have its particular allure....green rolling hills, castles, stone walls, and a rich history. I'm sure lots of adventures await us, well, especially when it comes to driving. Never had to drive on the left side of the road before. Should be an experience for sure.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Broccoli Salad

1 cup mayo
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 (16 oz pkg) or one bunch broccoli, chopped
5 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup red onion, chopped
1/4 cup sunflower seeds

Remove broccoli leaves and cut off tough ends of stalks. Wash throughly, cut into small flowerettes and chop stems. Combine broccoli, bacon, raisin, onion, and sunflower seeds in a large bowl. Combine mayo, sugar and red wine vinegar. Add to broccoli mixture, stirring until well coated. Cover and chill.

Makes about 5 cups.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Broccoli Casserole

Serves 12

3 pkg (10 oz each) frozen chopped broccoli, thawed, drained
3/4 lb (12 oz) velveeta cheese, cut into slices
36 ritz crackers, coarsely crushed, divided
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix broccoli, Velveeta and half of the crushed crackers until well blended. Spoon mixture into 2 quart baking dish. Mix remaining crackers and butter; sprinkle over broccoli mixture. Bake 45 mixtures or until heated through.

Strawberry and Spinach Salad

Serves 8-10

1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp paprika
1 Tbsp poppy seeds
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 Tbsp sesame seeds
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 1/2 tsp minced onion
1/2 cup salad oil

Mix all dressing ingredients in a small jar and shake. Dressing may be made ahead of time and stored.

3/4 cup slivered almonds
1 pt strawberries, sliced
2 Tbsp butter
1 lb fresh spinached, torn into bite sized pieces

In a small skillet, saute almonds in melted butter until lightly toasted, then remove and cool. Combine spinach, strawberries, and almonds in a serving bowl. Pour dressing over salad toss and serve immediately.

Hamburger Melt

serves 4

1 1/2 pounds ground beef (pork or veal)
2/3 cup breadcrumbs
1/3 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/3 cup grated pecorino-romano cheese
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 tbsp grated onion
splash of whole milk
1/2 tbsp rubbed or ground sage
fresh nutmeg
salt and pepper
extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
8 deli slices of mild or sharp provolone or swiss cheese
one 15 oz can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
a few leaves fresh basil, torn
a pinch of oregano or marjoram
4 ciabatta rolls or 1/4 large ciabatta loaf, split and warmed or toasted

1. Heat a large cast-iron skillet or griddle pan over med-high heat. In a large bowl, combine the meat mixture, breadcrumbs, parsley, pecorino-romano, egg, garlic, onion, milk and sage; season with nutmeg, salt and lots of pepper. Form the mixture into 4 patties (thinner at the center and thicker at the edges)
2. Drizzle the burgers with the extra virgin olive oil. Place in the hot skillet and cook, turning once every 10 minutes or until both sides are brown and the patty is cooked through. Top each burger with a slice of provolone and tent with foil to melt.
3. While burgers are cooking, in a med saucepan, heat the tomatoes. Stir in the basil and oregano; season with salt and pepper.
4. Place the burgers on the roll bottoms, then top with the sauce and roll tops.

Bruchetta - The Summertime Treat

Ahh bruchetta.... a juicy, crunchy, flavorful blend of summertime goodness. Great lunch, dinner, snack or appetizer.

Prep time: 30 minutes
Yield 14 servings

1 garlic clove, peeled and halved
14 slices French bread (3/4 inch thick)
4 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced
1/4 cup chopped red onion
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp minced fresh basil
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
14 fresh basil leaves

Rub cut side of garlic over one side of each slice of bread. Place bread, garlic, side down, on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 5 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. In a bowl, combine the tomatoes, onion, oil, minced basil, salt and pepper; spoon about 2 tbsp onto each piece of toast. Top each with a basil leaf.

Yields 14 servings

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Specialty Rueben Sandwich

For lunch today I decided to try making something we'd discovered while visiting Boone at the Daily Bread. We'd gone there for lunch after looking at my potential (well not anymore, we signed the lease!) apartment. Located right downtown, we walked there after wandering around a bit. My dad and I have been in there before, and like last time, it was packed! People were waiting outside for them to open even, and luckily, we showed up just as they did and were able to get a seat before it filled up. I ordered the Gobbler, and was so happy with it, I made an attempt at making it for lunch today for my mom and I.

Sauerkraut, canned, fresh or bagged is fine (heated)
Rye bread
Thousand island dressing
Cheddar or swiss cheese
Turkey (from the deli, sliced)

1. Heat the sauerkraut on the stove.
2. Lightly toast bread.
3. Spread dressing on to one slice, add desired amount of turkey, cheese.
4. When sauerkraut is warm enough, add to the sandwich.
Optional: grill to melt the cheese

After lunch, we had to bring outside plants that we'd brought in so our house could be painted. Nothing out of the ordinary, except that the first floor of our house no longer looked like a jungle. Until we watered the geraniums. For the past four or five days, he'd been living in our house, in the pot. He enjoyed getting wet when we watered the plants, but we were just surprised that he didn't get discovered by our two cats after all that time! He's a lucky frog.