Friday, July 16, 2010

Firecracker Ice Pops

This is a fun recipe to do with kids, and is healthy too!  I used raw milk yogurt that I had strained overnight in the refrigerator so that it would be similar to the texture of commercial yogurt.

Source: Everyday Foods

1/2 lb. strawberries, hulled and quartered (1 1/2 c.)
1/4 c. sugar
1/2 lb. blueberries (1 1/2 c.)
1 1/4 c. plain yogurt

In a food processor, puree strawberries with 1 T. sugar. Transfer to a small bowl. In processor, puree blueberries with 1 T. sugar. In another small bowl, whisk together yogurt and 2 T. sugar. Pour the 3 mixtures, alternating, into ten 3-oz. ice-pop molds, making 3 to 5 layers each. With a skewer or think-bladed knife, swirl mixtures together in an up-and-down motion. Insert ice-pop sticks and freeze until solid, 2 1/2 to 3 hours (or up to 1 week).

Sunday, July 11, 2010

White Bean and Tuna Salad

I had just enough fresh spinach left in the fridge from my spring harvest for this recipe - otherwise, I would have had to wait until fall or next spring to try it out.  I didn't have any tuna or green olives on hand (and was determined not to run to the grocery store!), so I substituted some left over roasted fresh chicken breast (yum!) for the tuna and sun-dried tomatoes for the olives.  Delish!

Source:  Everyday Food, May 2010

2 cans (15 oz. each) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
3 T. extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
sea salt
ground pepper
5 oz. fresh baby spinach
1 T. plus 1 t. red-wine vinegar
2 cans (5 oz. each) solid white tuna, drained and broken into chunks
1/4 c. green olives, pitted and roughly chopped
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
2 T. chopped fresh parsley
crusty bread, for serving

In a medium saucepan, combine beans, 2 T. oil and garlic; season with salt and pepper.  Cook over medium-high heat, stirring until beans are warm, about 4 min.; remove pan from heat.  In a large bowl, combine spinach, 1 T. oil and 1 t. vinegar; season with salt and pepper and toss to coat.  Divide spinach among four plates.  Transfer beans to bowl and stir in 1 T. vinegar, tuna, olives, onion and parsley.  Season with salt & pepper.  Top spinach with bean and tuna mixture and serve with bread.

Serves 4.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Roasted Zucchini

I made Roasted Zucchini for supper this evening; even my 7-year old nephew liked it! 

Simply slice zucchini lengthwise into strips, drizzle with olive oil, season with sea salt and pepper, and roast in at 425 degree oven for 10-15 minutes.  Easy!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Salmon Nicoise Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette

(FYI, Nicoise is pronounced "nee-swahs".)
This is a perfect salad for hot summer days and makes wonderful use of new potatoes and fresh green beans.  It's even better when tomatoes are in season.  My dad was kind enough to share some new potatoes from his garden with me; I happily accepted.

Source:  Adapted from Everyday Food magazine
12 oz. red new potatoes
8 oz. green beans, trimmed
2 (8-oz.) skinless salmon fillets
3 hard-cooked eggs
4 plum tomatoes, cut into quarters
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 c. black olives

In medium pot, bring 1/2" water to a boil; potatoes and a pinch of sea salt.  Cover and cook until tender.
Transfer potatoes to a bowl; set aside to cool.  Add green beans to pot of boiling water.  Cover; cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender.  Drain in colander and rinse under cool water; set aside.
Bake salmon in 425 deg. oven until flaky, 12-15 min.  Transfer to a plate; flake with fork and let cool.
While salmon is cooking, peel and quarter eggs.  Quarter potatoes.
Arrange salmon, green beans, potatoes, eggs, tomatoes, and onion on individual beds of lettuce or Swiss chard.  Serve with vinaigrette (recipe below).

Dijon Vinaigrette:
2 T. fresh lemon juice
1 T. Dijon mustard
1/2 t. sea salt
fresh ground pepper
1/4 c. olive oil

In medium bowl, whisk lemon juice, mustard, salt and a pinch of pepper until combined.
Whisking constantly, add the olive oil in a steady stream; whisk until thickened and creamy.  Or, shake all ingredients in a small jar.

Serves 4

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Audrey's Refrigerator Pickles

I used raw apple cider vinegar in place of the white vinegars, which may have been a mistake, but they weren't bad (just not so pretty in the jar - the photo was taken before I added the vinegar mixture).  And, nothing beats the ease of refrigerator pickles! 

1 pound medium cucumbers
3 cloves garlic
1/2 t. black peppercorns
1/2 t. whole mustard seed
1 t. fresh dill weed
1 whole dried bay leaf
2/3 c. brown sugar
6-1/2 T. white distilled vinegar
6-1/2 T. white-wine vinegar
3/4 c. water

Cut cucumbers into spears or slices and place in a 1-quart mason jar.  Add the garlic, peppercorns, mustard seed, dill week, and bay leaf.
Stir together the brown sugar, vinegars, and water.  Pour the vinegar mixture over the cucumbers, add lid and shake the jar well to combine.  Cover and chill.  For fullest flavor, wait at least 24 hours before serving.  (These pickles will keep up to 3 months in the refrigerator.)

Update:  9/5/11
Note:  These are a nice option if you don't want to mess with canning pickles, but keep in mind that they won't have the flavor and texture of traditional canned pickles.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Squash & Pepper Saute

This is so simple, it hardly warrants a recipe!

Simply saute squash, cubanelle peppers and onions in olive oil until tender.  Season with sea salt and pepper.  That's it!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Raspberry Sorbet with Fresh Whipped Cream

Oh my word!!!!  This is absolutely divine, not to mention BEAUTIFUL!  (I didn't even think to take a picture - I was too busy devouring it!)  And, not difficult at all!  I've been missing ice cream and Italian ice, one of my ways of celebrating summer, but more and more I can't bear to put any non-foods in my mouth.  This not only fills that longing, but totally tops anything Turkey Hill or Rita's could offer.  I used some red raspberries that I had left over in the freezer from last summer.  I had picked them at a farm not far from here last July on a gorgeous summer day.  It was such a scenic setting - it looked like it could have been a magazine spread right out of Country Living magazine.  This wonderful sorbet brought back those lovely memories.

Source:  Adapted from Martha Stewart Living magazine, July 2010

1/4 c. water
1/4 c. plus 1 T. sugar
1 12-oz. bag frozen red raspberries or 3 c. fresh raspberries, frozen
1/2 c. heavy cream

Stir together water and 1/4 c. sugar until sugar dissolves.
Pulse raspberries in a food processor until coarsely chopped.  With machine running, pour in sugar-water; pulse until mixture is smooth.  Transfer to an airtight container, and freeze until firm, about 30 min.
Whip cream and remaining 1 T. sugar until soft peaks form.
Scoop sorbet into 4 glasses and top with whipped cream.

Serves 4.

Update:  I served this to my sister last night, and she thought it was sour - maybe I'm so sugar deprived that it was sweet enough for me.  Let me know what you think!
Also, I just tried making this with frozen strawberries that I had picked last year instead of the red raspberries.  The color isn't as striking, but it's still very good.  The red raspberries, though, are my fav!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Broccoli Salad

This is the classic Broccoli Salad that everyone loves.  I tried giving it a healthful tweak by using yogurt in place of the mayo.  I'm not ready to recommend that yet; there's got to be a better option, but I haven't figured it out -  I'll keep working at it!  But, I did substitute sunflower seeds for the bacon which worked nicely. 
My broccoli is continuing to produce sideshoots despite the initial rabbit onslaught, so I'm quite pleased.  :)

Source: Chambersburg BIC Church Cookbook

2 bunches broccoli, chopped (use stems also)
1/2 c. raisins*
1 med. onion, chopped*
12 slices bacon, fried and crumbled*
1 c. mayonnaise
1/2 c. sugar (scant)
2 T. vinegar

Mix dressing and allow to stand 2 hours.  Toss with broccoli, raisins, onion and bacon when ready to serve. 

*My variations:  try substituting craisins in place of raisins, red onion in place of onion, or sunflower seeds in place of the bacon.
Note:  The salad doesn't keep well once the dressing is added, so only add dressing to the amount of salad you plan to eat that day.
Update, 6/4/11
In keeping with my Local/"In Season"/Sustainable Living goals, I've been using dehydrated strawberries in place of the raisins/craisins.  
Tastes great and makes me happy!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Pecan-Crusted Salmon

Photo Credit:  Taste of Home

My first cucumber of the season was destined for this recipe!  I make this recipe a lot in the winter without the sauce, but it's even better served with the sauce in the summer when fresh cucumbers and dill are in season.

Source:  Taste of Home

2 salmon fillets (6 oz. each)
2 T. mayonnaise
1/2 c. finely chopped pecans
1/3 c. seasoned bread crumbs
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese
1 T. minced fresh parsley
1 T. butter, melted

Cucumber sauce:
1/2 c. chopped seeded peeled cucumber
1/2 c. vanilla yogurt
1/2 t. snipped fresh dill or 1/8 t. dill weed
1/8 t. garlic powder

Place salmon skin side down in a greased 11x7x2" baking dish.  Spread 1 T. mayonnaise over each fillet.
In a small bowl, combine the pecans, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, parsley and butter; spoon over salmon.  Bake at 425 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until fish flakes easily with fork.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the cucumber sauce ingredients.  Serve with the salmon.
Yield:  2 servings