Sunday, May 21, 2017

Sweet Pickles

1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
2 unpeeled medium cucumbers, very thinly sliced
1 Tbsp salt

In saucepan, combine the sugar and 1 1/2 cups water.  Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar.  Remove the pan from heat and stir in vinegar.  Transfer the brine to a heatproof bowl and let cool to room temperature.  In colander, toss the sliced cucumbers with the salt.  Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes.  Press down on the cucumbers to release any excess liquid.  Transfer cucumbers to the brine.  Cover and refrigerate 2 hours before eating. 

May keep refrigerated for 1 week.  Or, to can, place cucumbers and brine to within 1/4 inch of rim of mason jar(s).  Add appropriate amount (according to jar size and package directions) of pickle crisp.  Seal and place in water bath for 15 minutes.

Makes 1 quart

Monday, May 15, 2017

Greek Slaw and Chicken Wraps

1 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 1/2 Tbsp canola oil
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp salt
3 cups very thinly sliced green cabbage
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
3 oz feta cheese, crumbled
12 oz cooked shredded chicken
4 large tortillas

Combine first 4 ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring well.  Add cabbage, onions, and cheese; toss well to combine.  Divide chicken evenly among tortillas; spoon about 1/2 cup slaw into each tortilla.  Roll up.

Serves 4

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Orange Dreamsicle Smoothie

10 oz reduced fat vanilla greek yogurt
1 cup ice cubes
1 ripe mango, peeled and cut up
1/2 cup orange juice
1 orange, peeled and segmented
1 tsp vanilla extract

Place all ingredients in a blender.  Process 1 minute or until completely smooth.  Divide mixture into 2 glasses.

Serves. 2

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Chicken and Black Bean Enchiladas

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 cup chopped poblano chile
5 minced garlic cloves
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 cup unsalted chicken stock
1 Tbsp pureed canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
16 oz unsalted chicken stock
3 cups shredded cooked skinless chicken breast
1 can unsalted black beans, rinsed and drained
4 oz shredded cheddar cheese
4 oz shredded shredded mozzarella cheese
16 (6 inch) corn tortillas
1 cup prepared salsa
1/2 cup sour cream
Fresh cilantro

Preheat oven to 350.  Coat a 13x9 baking dish with cooking spray.  Heat oil in skillet over medium heat.  Add onion, poblano, and garlic.  Saute 4 minutes or until onion and poblano are tender.  Stir in chili powder, cumin, and oregano.  Add stock, chipotles, and tomato sauce.  Bring to a gentle simmer; cook 5 minutes or until slightly thickened.  Combine chicken and black beans in a bowl; add half of sauce mixture.  Combine cheese in a bowl.  Add 1/2 cup cheese mixture to chicken mixture.  Toss to combine.  Place 8 tortillas on a microwave safe plate; cover with a slightly damp paper towel.  Microwave on high for 45 seconds or until warm.  Working with 1 tortilla at a time, place tortilla on a flat work surface; spoon 1/4 cup chicken mixture onto 1 end of tortilla.  Roll up.  Repeat procedure with remaining tortillas, heating up second batch of tortillas when first batch is used up.  Arrange enchiladas, seam side down, in prepared dish.  Pour remaining sauce over enchiladas; sprinkle with remaining cheese mixture.  Bake, uncovered, at 350, for 30 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and cheese is melted and golden brown.  Serve enchiladas with salsa, sour cream and cilantro.

Serves 8

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Chicken, Spinach & Mushroom Lasagna

3 cups unsalted chicken stock
1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp butter
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
3 Tbsp minced garlic
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
10 oz sliced mushrooms
16 oz fresh spinach
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
2 oz grated parmesan
12 no boil lasagna noodles
5 oz shredded mozzarella cheese

Bring stock to a boil.  Add chicken; reduce heat and simmer 18-20 minutes or until chicken is done.  Remove chicken from pan; reserve stock.  When cool enough to handle, shred with 2 forks.  Heat a large skillet over over medium high heat.  Add oil and 1 Tbsp butter; swirl to coat.  Add chopped onion, garlic, 1/2 tsp salt, thyme, pepper and mushrooms; saute 8 minutes.  Stir in spinach, a little at a time, allowing time for each addition to wilt before adding more.  Remove pan from heat; stir in chicken.  Preheat oven to 375.  Coat 13x9 pan with non stick cooking spray.  Combine milk, flour and nutmeg, stirring with a whisk until smooth.  Bring reserved stock to a boil over medium high heat.  Add 1 Tbsp butter to stock.  Gradually add milk mixture to stock, stirring constantly with a whisk.  Stir in remaining 1 tsp salt.  Cook 5 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally.  Remove pan from heat; stir in Parmesan cheese.  Pour 3/4 cup sauce into bottom of baking pan.  Top with 4 noodles, 1 1/2 cups chicken mixture, 1 1/2 cups sauce, and 2 oz Mozzarella making sure noodles are covered with sauce.  Repeat layers, ending with noodles, sauce and mozzarella.  Cover loosely with foil.  Bake at 375 for 30 minutes.  Uncover and bake at 375 for 15 minutes or until browned and bubbly.  Let stand 5 minutes before serving. 

Serves 12

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Oatmeal Raisin Bars

1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp plus 1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp cinnamon
3 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups sour cream
2 cups raisins
Crumb Mix:
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 3/4 cup quick cooking oats
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup cold butter

In saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch and cinnamon.  Stir in eggs, sour cream and raisins.  Cook and stir for 8-10 minutes.  Set aside to cool slightly.  In bowl, combine flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda and salt.  Cut in butter until crumbly.  Firmly press 3 1/2 cups of crumb mixture into a greased 13x9.  Spread with warm raisin filling.  Sprinkle with rest of crumb mix.  Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.

Serves 24

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Chicken and Vegetable Stir Fry

1 1/2 pounds chicken, cut into cubes
3 Tbsp Italian dressing
12 oz broccoli florets
1 red bell pepper, cut into chunks
1 yellow squash, cut into thin slices
6 oz Velveeta, cubed
2 Tbsp milk

In skillet, cook chicken in dressing.  Once fully cooked, add vegetables.  Stir and reduce heat.  Cover and simmer 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender.  Mix Velveeta and milk in another bowl.  Microwave 1-3 minutes, or until fully melted.  Top chicken mix with Velveeta sauce.

Serves 4

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Cowboy Salad

8 oz  fully cooked ham, cubed
3 ripe tomatoes, chunked
1 small can corn kernels, drained
4 oz pepper jack cheese, cut into small cubes
1/3 cup thin red onion wedges
1/2 cup light ranch dressing
3 Tbsp dried parsley
1 small head boston lettuce, chopped
2/3 cup smoked almonds

Toss ham, tomatoes, corn, cheese, onion, ranch and parsley in a large bowl.  Mix to coat.  Separate lettuce onto places and top with ham mixture.  Sprinkle with almonds.

Serves 5

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Ham and Potato Soup

3 1/2 cups peeled and diced potatoes (1 3/4 pounds)
1/3 cup diced celery
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
3/4 cup diced cooked ham
3 1/4 cups water
3 chicken bouillon cubes
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
5 Tbsp butter
5 Tbsp flour
2 cups milk

Combine potatoes, celery, onion, ham and water in a stockpot.  Bring to a boil, then cook over medium heat until potatoes are tender, about 10-15 minutes.  Stir in the chicken bouillon cubes, salt, and pepper.  In a separate saucepan, melt butter.  Whisk in flour with a fork and cook, stirring constantly, until thick, about 1 minute.  Stir in milk slowly, so as not to allow lumps to form, until all the milk has been added.  Continue stirring over medium low heat until thick, about 4-5 minutes.  Stir milk mixture into stockpot and cook soup until heated through.  Serve immediately. 

Makes 8 cups

Peanut Butter Bars

1/2 cup cream peanut butter
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp
1 cup chopped peanuts, plus more for garnish

Frosting:
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Heat oven to 350.  Line 13x9 pan with foil.  Generously coat with nonstick cooking spray.  In bowl, beat peanut butter and butter.  Beat in sugar until well blended.  Beat in eggs and vanilla.  Stir in flour, baking powder and salt.  Add peanuts (mixture with be stiff).  Press batter evenly into prepared pan.  Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until bar pulls away from sides of pan.  Let cool completely in pan on wire rack. 

Frosting:  In bowl, beat together peanut butter, butter and powdered sugar until smooth and fluffy.  Spread over top of cooled bar.  Sprinkle with chopped peanuts.  Cut into 36 rectangles.

Serves 36