Thursday, December 3, 2009

Pencil Box Club Christmas Tea

Eight members of the Pencil Box Club spent a great day at Kathleen Z.'s enjoying a traditional English tea created by our hostess.

Kathleen Z. puts the finishing touches on a tea tray of finger sandwiches, scones, and desserts.

Here is Kathleen's recipe for the Oreo cheesecakes shown on the top tier of the tea tray.

Oreo Mini-cheesecakes
12 oreo cookies
2-8 oz pkgs. softened cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
2 tsps shortening
  • Split cookies, keeping filling on one cookie. Line muffin pans with foil bake cups.  Place filling covered cookie in bake cups, filling side up. Set aside.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla till well mixed. Spoon cream cheese mixture into bake cups.
  • Crush remaining cookies and sprinkle over cream cheese mixture. Bake, uncovered, in 325 degrees oven for about 25 minutes or until set. Cool.
  • In a small saucepan, melt choolate pieces with shortening over low heat, stirring frequently. Drizzle over baked cheesecakes. Cover and chilll. Makes 12 single serving cheesecakes.

Mary Lee W. serves steamed chocolate almond pudding

Steamed Chocolate Almond Pudding
3/4 C butter
2-1/4 tsp baking soda
1-1/2 C sugar 
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
5 eggs  
1 tsp salt
3 cups flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa, Dutch preferred, e.g.Droste
1-1/2 cup ground almonds
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tsps vanilla
1 cup dark raisins soaked in 1/2-cup dark rum
  • Set out a stock pot with rack and lid.  Add 6-8 inches of water and set over low heat.
  • Generously oil a 2 1/2-3 quart steamed pudding mold (also the top).  Set aside.
  • In a mixer bowl cream butter and sugar until light. Blend in eggs one at a time.
  • Combine flour, almonds, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cocoa. Mix into batter alternatively with cream and vanilla.
  • Stir in raisins and rum
  • Spoon into prepared mold and cover. Place on rack in pot and bring water to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and steam 1-1 1/2 hours. May take up to 2 hours but take care it doesn't become too dry. Check pan after 1 hour and add water if necessary.
  • Remove pudding from pot and let stand five minutes or so, then run a knife around edge and unmold onto a serving dish. Best when served warm. Pour sauce (below) over pudding like a glaze.
Dark Chocolate Sauce
3/4 cup sugar 
1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup cocoa
pinch of salt
3/4 cup evaporated milk
1 tsp vanilla
  • In a small saucepan combine sugar and water.
  • Blend in the evaporated milk.
  • Add butter and salt.
  • Cook over medium heat until mixture boils and sugar dissolves.  (Stir constantly).
  • Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
  • Transfer to a serving dish or store in a jar in refrigerator and reheat before using.
And some of our club members discussed holiday libations while sipping tea.

Betty L.'s lemonade
12 oz. can frozen lemonade
12 oz. half-and-half cream
12 oz. vodka (or to taste)
Whip in blender until frothy. Serve.

Kathy T.'s bourbon cup
64 oz. pineapple juice
12 oz. can frozen lemonade
12 oz. can frozen limeade
12 oz. bourbon (or to taste)
Mix in 2 one-gallon zippered freezer bags until slushy. Remove from freezer one hour before serving and manipulate bag to mix ingredients. Serve.

Kathy T. and Sally S. wear felt corsages presented to all the guests.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Sandy's favorite Sloppy Joes

Crockpot Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joes are traditionally served on toasted hamburger buns, but it is also good over pasta or even as a condiment for hot dogs. prep time: 10 minutes; cook time: 3 hours
3 pounds ground beef
1 cup onion, finely-diced
1/4 cup finely-diced celery
1/2 green bell pepper, finely-diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 cup ketchup
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
1-1/4 cups water
2 teaspoons beef bouillon granules
1 teaspoon Hungarian sweet paprika
1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
3 Tablespoons cider vinegar
3 Teaspoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • Heat a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add ground beef and brown, stirring to break it up. Drain off any fat and add to the crockpot. 
  • Add onion, celery, bell pepper, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, tomato paste, water, beef bouillon granules, paprika, black pepper, cider vinegar, brown sugar, and dry mustard to the ground beef. Stir until well combined. 
  • Cover. Cook on Low for 6 to 8 hours or High for 3 to 4 hours. 
Yield: about 10 servings

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Autumn Vegetable Soup

Kathleen said: "We're back from Oregon. While we were there, my D-I-L made this delicious Autumn soup that I wanted to pass on. She sprinkled it with fresh grated Parmesan just before serving. A French or sour dough bread makes it even more yummy."

Autumn Vegetable Soup
from Fine Cooking magazine

2 tbl. olive oil
3 medium carrots, cut into medium dice
1 large yellow onion, cut into medium dice
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
2 cups 1/2-inch-cubed, peeled butternut squash (about half a 2 pound squash)
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
Pinch cayenne pepper; or more to taste
Kosher salt
1 quart low-salt chicken broth
14.5 oz. can no-salt-added diced tomatoes
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 cups lightly packed, coarsely chopped kale
1 cup low-salt canned chickpeas

  • Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat.
  • Add carrots and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften (about five minutes.
  • Add garlic and cook for one minute more.
  • Add squash, allspice, cayenne, and 1 tsp. salt and stir to combine.
  • Add broth, tomatoes with juice and thyme.
  • Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, cover and simmer ten minutes.
  • Add kale and chickpeas and cook uncovered until squash is tender and kale is wilted, about ten minutes.
  • Discard thyme before serving. Season to taste with more salt and cayenne.

Yields about eight cups. You can refrigerate this soup for three days or freeze for two months. You can substitute other fall vegetables or beans.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Beefy Mushroom Barley Soup

Sally says: "I would recommend that readers check out the Penzeys Spices website. There is a selection called 'recipe archives' which is where I found this. They list recipes by season; holiday recipes are up now. And, you can order a free catalog."

Beefy Mushroom Barley Soup
from Penzey Spices

1 lb. lean beef chuck, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 TB. olive oil
3 medium onions, coarsely chopped
10 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced
3 large carrots, sliced
1/2 cup pearl barley
7 cups beef broth (or 7 cups water plus 2 Tbl. Penzeys BEEF SOUP BASE)
1 cup dry red wine or no salt added tomato juice
1-2 tsp. salt (to taste)
1/2 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1 cup frozen green peas 
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice

  • Heat the olive oil in a stock pot over medium-high heat.
  • Add the beef and sauté until brown. Transfer to paper towels to drain.
  • Add the onions and mushrooms to the pan drippings and cook until the onions are golden.
  • Return the beef to the pot. Stir in the carrots, barley, broth, wine, 1 tsp. salt and PEPPER, and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer, partially covered, until beef and barley are tender, about 45 minutes.
  • Stir in the peas and cook, uncovered, until tender, about 5 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat; stir in the lemon juice, taste and add more salt if desired, and serve.
Prep. time: 20 minutes 
Cooking time: 60 minutes
Serves: 6

Nutritional Information:
Servings 6; Serving Size 2 cups (581g); Calories 320; Calories from fat 70; Total fat 8g; Cholesterol 35mg; Sodium 1030mg; Carbohydrate 28g; Dietary Fiber 6g..

Cranberry Cherry Relish

This old recipe comes from Marylee, who gives this advice: "Fresh cranberries are packed 12 ounces, not one pound, to a bag, so buy two bags, since most recipes call for a pound. Any extra cranberries freeze well."

Cranberry Cherry Relish
1 pound fresh cranberries
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 cup cranberry juice
zest of one orange, finely grated
1 cup dried cherries

  • Pick through the cranberries eliminating damaged fruit, rinse, then drain well.
  • Combine the cranberries, sugar, orange juice, cranberry juice and orange zest in a pan.
  • Place ofver medium heat; boil slowly until the berries pop open, about ten minutes.
  • Remove from heat, skim the foam off the surface with a metal spon, stir in the cherries and let cool to room temperature.
  • Cover and refrigerate. Keeps up to one month.

Serves 12: 203 calories per serving, 52 g carb, 1 g protein

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Thai Pork with Peanut Sauce

Sally said: "This is an easy and delish recipe for the slow cooker from the Not your Mother's Slow Cooker cookbook. I found the recipe but I have to give Tony the credit for cooking it. We used four hours on high rather than eight on low. Turned out fine, very tender and flavorful. You can serve it with jasmine rice or thai noodles. Sliced oranges would be good with it."
Thai Pork with Peanut Sauce
An adaptation of a Cooking Light recipe that was posted on the Internet where it received a five-star rating from home cooks published in Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker.
One 2-pound boneless pork loin, trimmed of fat and cut into four pieces
1 bell pepper, chopped
1/3 cup prepared teriyaki sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup peanut butter
For serving:
1/2 cup green onions (white and green parts)
1/4 cup chopped dry-roasted peanuts
2 limes, cut to make 8-12 wedges
  • Coat the slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Put the pork, chopped bell pepper, teriyaki sauce, rice vinegar, red pepper flakes, and garlic into the cooker. Cover and cook on LOW until pork is tender, 7-9 hours. (Sally cooks for 4 hours.)
  • Remove the pork from the cooker and coarsely chop. Add the peanut butter to the liquid in cooker; stir will to dissolve the peanut butter and blend with the liquid to make the sauce.  Return the pork to the sauce and toss to coat the meat evenly.
  • Serve in shallow bowls over hot jasmine rice, and sprinkle each serving some of the green onions and peanuts. Pass the lime wedges.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Apple Dapple Cake

Last night we played cards and Rosemary made us a lovely fall supper of sloppy joes, cheesy potatoes and Greek salad. But the highlight of the evening was her Apple Dapple Cake, original recipe by Darlene Bourdeau,  gleaned from an old Detroit newspaper clipping and saved for just such an autumn occasion.

Apple Dapple Cake
by Darlene Bourdeau

3 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
2 cups sugar
1-1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs, beaten
2 tsp. vanilla
1-1/2 cups nuts, chopped
3 apples, peeled and chopped

  • Mix and pour into greased and floured Bundt pan.
  • Bake 60 minutes at 350-degrees.
  • Frost while hot.

1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup milk
Boil over medium heat 2-1/2 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour over cake.

Note: Robin said her friend substituted rum for milk in the frosting and called it Apple Dapple Rum Cake.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Ginger Pumpkin Pear Soup

Mary Lee W. says this soup is marvelous -- what could be more perfect on a fall afternoon?

Ginger, Pumpkin, Pear Soup
from Genesys Athletic Club

2 tblsp. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup fresh ginger, minced (or one whole root)
3 pears, peels, cored and sliced thin
2-16 oz or 1-28 oz. can pumpkin puree
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
4 cups chicken stock

  • Saute ginger, onion, and pears in olive oil.
  • Stir in pumpkin, seasoning, and stock; bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes.
  • Puree in small batches in blender, or use stick blender in pot to blend smooth.

Makes six servings

Monday, October 5, 2009

Penne Gorgonzola with Chicken

Kathy T.’s comments: This is an easy dish to make.  Its taste is much bigger than the effort required to make it. The next time I make this I will add baby Portabella mushrooms. The original recipe called for 2 cups/8 oz of Gorgonzola cheese. I used 6 oz. of blue cheese and thought it was too much, so I’ve suggested using 4 oz.

Penne Gorgonzola with Chicken -- Adapted from Taste of Home Grand Prize Winning “Timesaver Recipe – 2009"

1 pkg. 16 oz. penne pasta
1 lb.+ boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into ½-in. pieces
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large garlic clove, minced
¼ cup white wine – I used pinot grigio
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup chicken broth
1 cup (4 oz.) crumbled Gorgonzola cheese. I used Maytag blue cheese.
6 to 8 fresh sage leaves, thinly sliced
Salt/pepper to taste
Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Minced, fresh parsley

  • Cook pasta according to package instructions.
  • Meanwhile, in a large skillet, over medium heat, brown chicken in olive oil on all sides.  Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer.  Add wine, stirring to loosen the browned bits from the pan.
  • Add cream and chicken broth; cook until sauce is slightly thickened and chicken is no longer pink inside.  Stir in Gorgonzola (blue) cheese, sage, salt and pepper.  Cook just until the cheese is melted.
  • Drain pasta.  Toss with the sauce.  Sprinkle with Paraigiano-Reggiano cheese and parsley.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Hearty Vegetable Soup

Sally S. suggested this Hearty Vegetable Soup from the 1976 Flint Junior League Cookbook as a perfect lunch on a blustery September day. She said: "This is a very forgiving recipe. I’ve used different combinations of tomatoes, rice or barley, or neither, chicken broth or water. It’s always good. A very hearty soup."

Hearty Vegetable Soup

1 lb. ground beef or turkey
3-1/2 cups diced tomatoes (can use 1/2 pureed tomatoes)
1/2 cup celery, diced  
1-1/2 cups onion, chopped  
2 cups diced potatoes (I use Simply Potatoes from the dairy case.)
1/3 cup rice or barley
2-1/2 to 3-1/2 tsp. salt (I start with 2-1/2.)
3 cups water or chicken broth
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. basil
10-16 oz frozen peas and corn

  • In a large pot, brown ground beef and drain.
  • In same pot, saute celery and onion.
  • Add browned beef and all other ingredients (except peas and corn).
  • Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook one hour, or more.
  • Just before serving add frozen peas and corn and cook for about five minutes.

Serves 4 – 6

Thursday, September 17, 2009

1970s retro beef and noodle casserole

Sally insisted on this recipe, although I think she was pulling my leg when she said she liked its retro appeal.

Beef and Noodle Casserole

8 oz. package dried noodles
2-1/2 lbs. ground beef
salt and pepper to taste
1 tblsp. chili powder (or to taste)
1 large Valencia onion, chopped (about one cup)
10 oz. can Campbell's condensed tomato soup
1/2 cup Heinze Chili Sauce (or to taste)
1 lb. package Mexican Style Velveeta cheese product, cut in 1/2-inch dice
2-3 tblsp. butter
1 cup breadcrumbs

  • Boil water and cook noodles according to package directions.
  • Meanwhile, brown ground beef in large skillet. Season with salt, pepper, and chili powder to taste.
  • Add chopped onion to skillet and sweat onions with beef until onions are transparent.
  • Simmer beef on low heat until the noodles are cooked and drained.
  • Drain noodles and put in very large bowl. Add beef and onions from skillet and stir slightly. Add condensed tomato soup. Stir in Velveeta.
  • Add butter to empty skillet; melt.
  • Stir in breadcrumbs; set aside.
  • Transfer contents of bowl to lightly greased 9 x 12-inch baking pan.
  • Sprinkle breadcrumbs over top of casserole.
  • Bake 60-minutes at 350-degrees, or until bubbly and breadcrumbs are lightly toasted.

Serves 8-10

Cocoa Snowflakes

Alisa is excited to make a guest appearance on the Pencil Box Club with the yummy chocolate cookies she brought to a recent pot-luck picnic.

Cocoa Snowflakes (Penzeys Spices)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
5 tblsp. butter
6 tblsp. cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs, extra large
1 cup finely chopped nuts, optional
1/2 cup powdered sugar. for rolling cookies in

In a medium bowl, sift flour, baking powder and salt, set aside. In a small heavy saucepan, melt butter over low heat, add cocoa powder, blend well with a fork or small wisk until smooth. Remove pan from heat, stir in sugar until combined. Transfer to a large mixing bowl, add vanilla extract, then eggs one at a time, stirring well after each addition.  Add flour mixture and nuts if desired, mix well. Cover the dough with plastic wrap, refrigerate until chilled (at least 2 hours).  Preheat oven to 400-degrees. Roll dough into 3/4-inch balls and roll in powdered sugar. Place the sugar-coated balls onto a greased cookie sheet, 2 inches apart. Bake for 8 minutes at 400-degrees, let cool a minute then remove from pan. Store in an airtight container to maintain the shoft and chewy texture of these cookies. If you'd like a crisper cookie, cook a minute longer. 
Yield:  40-60 cookies

My notes:  When I make this, it doesn't make 40 cookies.  I always double the recipe.  You can easily make this right in the saucepan or bowl you melted the butter in.  You also need way more than 1/2 cup powdered sugar. AJT

Thank you from Rex, from Lili & Acacia, and from LESA

Rex drew a backpack on his thank-you card.

Recently, the Pencil Box Club received a thank you from LESA Backpacks for Kids Committee Chairperson Jean Garratt. Jean said:
The LESA Backpacks for Kids Committee would like to acknowledge and thank you for your support of our school supplies initiative for 2009/10. Your efforts on behalf of children and families in the county will help children begin the school year with the necessary supplies for successful learning. Thanks to your generosity the 2009/10 "Backpacks for Kids" project is once again on its way to being a success.
Inside the envelope were two hand-made, thank-you cards -- one from Lili and Acacia, and one from Rex (above). Rex's thank you included a beautiful drawing of the backpack he carried to school.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Mennonite open-faced peach pie

This easy peach pie was the highlight of Robin's fabulous buffet today. She discovered the recipe while traveling in Mennonite country.

Mennonite open-faced peach pie 

7 fresh peaches, cut in half and pitted
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/4 c water, or peach juice
2 tblsp. butter
2 tblsp. lemon juice
9-inch diameter unbaked pie crust

Combine sugar, butter and flour to make crumbs. Sprinkle half of this mixture in the bottom of an unbaked pie crust. Place peach halves with cut side up in pie shell. Cover with remaining crumb mixture. Add fruit juices or water if needed. Bake at 375-degrees for 40-45 minutes. May be served with whipped cream. Makes 1 9-inch pie.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Mary Lee's Retro Lemon-curd Ambrosia Fruit Salad

Mary Lee created this recipe from girlhood memories.

Mary Lee's Retro Lemon-curd Ambrosia Fruit Salad
16 oz. can mandarin oranges
2 ripe kiwi, peeled and cubed
2 cups seedless green grapes, halved
2 cups Howell melon, Honey Rock melon, or cantelope; cubed
1 cup mini-marshmallows
1/3 cup coconut, toasted
12 oz. container of Cool Whip Light
8 oz. jar of lemon curd (available in jam and jelly section of grocery or specialty stores like Harry & David)
Toast coconut spread in sheet pan in 350-degree oven until lightly toasted. Cool. Mix fruit, coconut, and mini-marshmallows in a large bowl. Combine Cool Whip and lemon curd. Toss with fruit. Refrigerate until well chilled.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Tomato Tart

Last Monday at the monthly bridge luncheon, Mary Lee served her luscious Tomato Tart with her original toasted coconut-laced Ambrosia Salad. Here's the tart recipe:

Tomato Tart
1 pie crust, baked*
2 large ripe tomatoes, sliced
1 cup Kalamata olives, chopped
1/2 cup Monteray Jack cheese, shredded
1 cup Cheddar cheese, shredded
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup half -n- half cream **
2 tblsp. parsley, chopped

Bake pie shell according to package directions. Sprinkle green onions, olives and Jack cheese in baked pie shell. Top with tomatoes. Whisk together eggs, Cheddar cheese, and half 'n' half. Pour over vegetables. Bake at 375-degrees for 30 minutes. Let stand 30 minutes and sprinkle with parsley.

* I use Pillsbury pie crusts in the red box from the refrigerated section of the grocery store.
** I use Land o' Lakes fat-free half 'n' half.
Note: I have added other herbs: rosemary, basil, thyme, and also used other cheeses. All turned out great. M.Lee

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Great news! 1873 backpacks collected

The Livingston Educational Service Agency assembled 1873 backpacks filled with school supplies for its eighth “Backpacks for Kids” project. This is an increase over the 1200 backpacks filled last year. The great response from donors will allow LESA to host another backpack distribution tonight (Wednesday) from 6-8 p.m. at LESA, 1425 W. Grand River Avenue, Howell, MI. LESA distributed 930 backpacks at their first distribution date last week, and today more students in grades K-12 can take advantage of "Backpacks for Kids" available to all families who welcome assistance with back-to-school expenses. Extra backpacks will be distributed year round through LACASA and OLSHA. For more information, call LESA at 517-546-6833.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Pumpkin Bars

Sally S. served these Pumpkin Bars with her watermelon salad. The recipe is a favorite that she got from her sister's mother-in-law, Jessie C. Sally said, "This is so moist and delicious that you don’t need to frost it, but if you want to (the frosting recipe is below)." 

Pumpkin Bars
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil
2 eggs
1 cup flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup pumpkin
1/2 cup chopped nuts—or more *
  • Preheat oven to 350-degrees
  • Put all ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir.
  • Pour mixture into a greased 9x13 glass pan.
  • Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.
  • Cool and cut

one stick margarine (or butter) softened
1/2 tspn vanilla
1 Tbl. cream
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
Spread frosting on cooled bars
Sprinkle with more chopped nuts *

Arugula & watermelon salad

Sally S. says this salad from nutrition expert Jean Carper is easy and delicious and we can all vouch for the delicious part! Lucky us, Sally is widening our greenery horizons -- this was my first experience with peppery arugula. Wonderful! I can never hear the word "arugula" without remembering Steve Martin in My Blue Heaven saying, "Arugula! It's a VEG-A-TA-BULL."

Arugula and Watermelon Salad (Jean Carper)
1 package arugula (Kroger’s carries it pre-packaged, one pkg will serve six)
2-3 cups watermelon chunks
4 – 6 oz. goat cheese
1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • Rinse and dry arugula. Chill
  • Cut up about 2-3 cups of watermelon. Set aside until ready to put salad together.
  • Bring 1 cup of balsamic vinegar to boil, boil gently about five minutes until reduced by half, should be syrupy.
  • When ready to serve mix together the arugula and watermelon chunks in a large bowl.
  • Pour 2-3 tablespoons of vinegar reduction over salad. Add crumbled goat cheese on top. (If the vinegar is poured over the goat cheese, it turns brown—not so appetizing, so put cheese on top.
  • Pass extra vinegar in a small pitcher when serving salad.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Mrs. Z's Egg Salad Sandwiches

Yesterday Kathleen Z. treated us to her mother-in-law's egg salad sandwiches on croissants -- a very nice variation on the standard egg salad. This is how she makes it (amounts are suggestions only and can be varied to taste). Kathleen made hers with chicken and it was very, very good.
Egg salad with tuna or chicken
Hard boiled eggs, chopped (5 or 6)
Chicken or tuna, chopped or minced (canned, 6-8 oz.)
Apple, diced (one apple)
Celery, diced (about 1/2 cup or so)
mayonaise (1/3 cup or to taste)
salt & pepper

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Summer Herb Pasta

Betty L. also served us this delicious pasta salad from Good Housekeeping magazine -- perfect for a hot August afternoon.

Summer Herb Pasta (Good Housekeeping)

16 oz. corkscrew pasta
1 cup ricotta
1/4 cup feta
1/2 tsp. lemon peel, grated
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
4 plum tomatoes
  • Cook pasta in salted water. Drain pasta, saving 1/3 cup cooking water. Return pasta to pot.
  • Combine ricotta, feta, lemon peel, salt and pepper.
  • Stir 1/3 cup pasta cooking water into ricotta mixture.
  • Toss mixture with pasta.
  • Stir in herbs and chopped tomatoes.
Serves 4

Roasted Shrimp and Orzo

Betty L. served this yummy Roasted Shrimp and Orzo at our August get-together. She is a big fan of Ina Garten. This recipe is from Garten's Barefoot Contessa at Home cookbook.
Roasted Shrimp and Orzo (Barefoot Contessa at Home)

1/2 cup olive oil + 1 tbl. olive oil, + enough to drizzle over shrimp
3/4 lb. orzo (rice shaped pasta)
Kosher salt and fresh-ground black pepper
1/2 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
2 lbs. peeled and deveined shrimp (16-18 count per pound)
1 cup scallion, minced
1 cup fresh dill, chopped
1 cup fresh flat leaved parsley, chopped
1 cucumber, seeded and diced
1/2 cup red onion, diced
12 oz. feta, large diced
  • Preheat oven to 400-degrees.
  • Cook orzo al dente in water with 1 tbl. salt and dash of olive oil for 9-11 minutes. Drain.
  • Whisk lemon juice, 1/2 cup olive oil 2 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. pepper. Pour over hot pasta in bowl and stir.
  • Put shrimp on sheet pan, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss and roast 5-6 minutes until cooked.
  • Add shrimp to orzo. Add scallions, dill, parsley, cucumber, onion, 2 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. pepper. Toss. Add feta and stir easy.
  • Allow flavors to blend at room temperature for one hour, or refrigerate overnight. Serve at room temperature.
Serves 6

Monday, August 10, 2009

Tuna/Chicken and White Bean Salad

Kathy T. made this delicious salad with chicken, but we thought tuna would be a great choice, too.

Tuna/Chicken & White Bean Salad (Southern Living Magazine)

½ cup olive oil
¼ cup red wine vinegar
1 sweet onion, diced
2 tablespoons chopped, fresh parsley
2 tablespoons chopped, fresh basil
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon garlic salt
¾ teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 (15 ½ ounce) cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 (12 ounce) can of solid white tuna in spring water, drained and broken into chunks
OR 1 can of chicken (I bought chicken breasts and seasoned and cooked them. KT)
Bib lettuce leaves
Tomato wedges or grape tomatoes, halved (optional)

Whisk together the first 9 ingredients. Add the beans and tuna (or chicken) tossing gently. Cover and chill for 2 hours. Serve on lettuce with tomato, if desired.

3 to 4 servings

Chocolate Mousse

Kathy T. served this yummy mousse one sunny summer afternoon.

Chocolate Mousse (Southern Living Magazine)

1 (12 ounce) package semisweet chocolate chips
2-1/2 cups whipping cream, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon rum
Garnishes: whipped cream and grated chocolate

Microwave chocolate morsels and ½ cup of cream in a small glass bowl at HIGH for 1 ½ minutes or until melted, stirring twice. Stir in vanilla and rum, blending well. Cool for 5 minutes.

Beat remaining 2 cups of cream at medium speed with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Fold this whipped cream into the chocolate mixture. Pipe or spoon the mousse into a large serving bowl or dessert dishes. Garnish with additional whipped cream and grated chocolate if desired. Chill 2 hours or over night.

Makes 6 to 8 servings