Saturday, July 28, 2012

Fantastic Broccoli Salad

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This is Midwestern fare at it’s finest.  The kind of recipe you would eat at a potluck dinner or a church social, it’s just wonderful and so easy.  This is a keeper, a recipe you will make again and again.

2 heads of raw broccoli
1 onion, diced
8 ounces grated cheddar cheese (I grate my own from a block, it’s fresher tasting)
1/2 lb. cooked, crispy diced bacon (I use more, sometimes a pound of cooked bacon)

Dressing:

1 cup Mayonnaise
scant 1/2 cup Splenda
2 tablespoons white vinegar

Cut the broccoli into florets, using only a little bit of the stem, you don’t want the woody stalk.  I separate mine into small, bite size pieces.  Then stir in the onion, cheese and cooled, cooked bacon.
Whisk the mayonnaise, Splenda and vinegar until smooth and pour over the salad ingredients.  The salad softens as it marinades, this is plenty of dressing.  Don’t add salt or pepper, it doesn’t need it, the bacon gives it the salty flavor.

Cover and refrigerate for a few hours, overnight if possible.  You will love this recipe, it’s so good.

~ Jan

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Monday, July 23, 2012

This was a Delicious Ham & Veggie Frittita

 

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It was fast, easy to prepare and so yummy.  I use a Bullet Blender to blend my eggs and milk, I think it makes the eggs fluffier.

First, preheat the oven to 375 degrees

I sauteed the potato separately, as I’m eating low carb, and hubby isn’t, so I prepared his potato and only put it on half of the frittata.  Worked for us ;o)

I sliced a large potato thinly, added a bit of salt and pepper and sauteed it in a 12” iron skillet in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil until tender.  I put on a lid, it took about 10-12 minutes.

Then I removed the potato and and to the skillet I added a bit more olive oil. a small diced onion, half of a chopped green pepper, half of a zucchini cut into small dice, a handful of sliced fresh mushrooms, and a slice of ham, diced.

I sauteed this until veggies were tender, added a clove of minced garlic (I always add garlic at the end of cooking time as it burns easily), let that cook for a minute, then I added a large handful of fresh spinach, put on the lid, took it off the heat and let it sit for the spinach to wilt.

Meanwhile, I cracked 9 eggs into my bullet blender, added salt and pepper, and a couple of tablespoons of half and half and blended it.

Then to the skillet with the wilted veggies, I sprinkled on a cup of sharp cheddar cheese, then I poured on the egg mixture, and finally I put the sliced potatoes on hubby’s half of the frittita.

Into the preheated oven for about 10-15 minutes.  Just open the oven door and jiggle the skillet handle, and when the mixture quits jiggling, it’s set and ready to eat.

This is good leftover, also good at room temperature.  You can vary the fillings, add cooked bacon or sausage, green chiles, fresh asparagus or a diced tomato, it’s so versatile and so easy, just add fruit and/or salad for a quick summer meal.  Cooking it in the oven makes it simple, too.

And it’s fluffy, the Bullet Blender, remember.  Awesome little machine!  Sorry about the picture quality, I’m an amateur, not a professional.  Sometimes I take good pictures, sometimes not, this was one of the nots.  ;o)

bon-appetit-leaf

Land O’ Lakes Butter with Olive Oil and Sea Salt

If Pioneer Woman approves of it, I’m on it!

Hope they are paying her the big bucks for the commercials, too.  Go Ree!!!

And here are some of her recipes…

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Wonderful Raspberry Lemon Muffins with Lemon Glaze

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This recipe is from Williams Sonoma, but I tweaked it by adding a lemon glaze and more lemon to the batter.  You will love these muffins, they’re light, lemony, and yummy!

Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg – I omitted this
2 eggs
2/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 cup milk
6 Tbs. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 Tbs. finely grated lemon zest
I added the juice of a lemon to the batter, as well as the zest
1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries

Directions:
Prepare the muffin pan
Preheat an oven to 425°F. Line 12 standard muffin cups with paper liners. (I didn’t have liners, I just sprayed the muffin tins with Pam, it worked fine

Mix the batter
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg.

In another bowl, whisk together the eggs and brown sugar until blended. Whisk in the milk, butter and lemon zest. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and, using a rubber spatula, stir until just evenly moistened. Gently fold in the raspberries until just evenly distributed.

Bake the muffins
Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling them three-fourths full. Bake until the muffins are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, 15 to 18 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes, then turn the muffins out onto the rack. Let cool briefly and serve. Makes 12 muffins.

Note:  I filled the muffin tins almost full, and used 12 tins.  It worked great filling the tins completely, they crowned nicely and didn’t run over the edges.

Lemon Glaze

1 cup of sifted confectioner’s sugar
1 Tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
Lemon zest from the rind
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 Tablespoon milk

Put all ingredients in food processor and process until thin consistency.  You want to spoon this on the muffins while they are warm, and let it run down the sides.  You may have to adjust, adding a bit more milk if your glaze is too thick.

I put the muffins on a cookie drying rack that sits on paper towel, so that the excess just runs off.

These are such good muffins, perfect for a summer breakfast with fresh fruit.

bon-appetit-leaf

The Best White Wine Sangria, so easy, too…

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We made this for July 4th, and it was absolutely yummy.  Let it sit overnight, the flavors mellow, it’s totally light, refreshing and really simple to make.

3 bottles of Pinot Grigio
6 ounces of frozen lemonade concentrate, undiluted
6 ounces of frozen orange juice, undiluted
Orange Slices
Strawberries, Sliced
Peaches Sliced

That’s it, how easy is this?  Just stir together in a large container, refrigerate overnight and enjoy.

And since everybody likes a different sweetness to their drinks, this was tart, so we just added a packet of two of Splenda to our glasses instead of adding sugar to the entire batch.

It was just perfect….

~ jan

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Maxine’s Sweet Potato Salad

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There is a little deli lunch place in Indiana, Maxine’s, and they have the most wonderful sweet potato salad.  It is so unusual, it’s so yummy, and great for fall.

I don’t have their recipe, however, this was in the local newspaper, and it’s “supposedly” a good copycat.

Definitely a “must try” at my house.

Baked Sweet-Potato Salad with Vanilla-Maple Vinaigrette

4 large sweet potatoes
8 slices of double-smoked bacon
1 medium bell pepper, diced
2/3 cup celery,diced
4 to 5 green onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
1/2 cup beer nuts, lightly crushed
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped


Vanilla-Maple Vinaigrette

2 tablespoons hot water
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
3 tablespoons champgne vinegar or white wine vinegar
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
Preheat gill to medium high

Place sweet potatoes on the upper shelf of preheated grill and close lid. Roast for 45 to 60 minutes, or longer, depending on size, until just cooked and tender but not mushy when pierced with a wooden skewer. Let cool slightly too handle, peel, and cut into bite-sized pieces, 1 to 11/2-inch chunks. Cool Completely.

Grill bacon slices until crispy, remove from the grill and dice in 1/2 to 3/4-inches

In a large bowl, combine sweet potato, red pepper, celery, green onions,beer nuts, parley, rosemary and thyme. Toss well and set aside.

Vinaigrette:

Place vanilla bean and seeds in a bowl with hot water. Let sit 10 to 20 minutes.

Whisk together the syrup, vinegar, shallot and mustard. While continually whisking, drizzle in the oil to form an emulsion. Whisk in the vanilla mixture.

Pour the vinaigrette over te sweet potato salad and mix well to coat. Serve immediately.