Friday, May 10, 2019

Sweet Pepper Slaw

Here is a fun twist on a cole slaw.  It uses traditional cabbage blend plus sweet bell peppers and a sweet onion.  The dressing is a combination sweet/sour reminiscent of the dressing used for a classic three-bean salad. 


Sweet Pepper Slaw
Serves 8

Ingredients:
7 oz Cabbage, Shredded (I use a 1/2 bag of classic preshred with carrots included)
1 Medium Sweet Onion - diced fine
1/2 Pound Sweet Bell Peppers - diced fine.
2 Tablespoons White Vinegar
2 Tablespoons White Sugar
1 Tablespoon Oil (canola, olive oil . . .your choice)
1/8 Teaspoon of Ground Black Pepper

Note:
1. For the peppers - I used a combination of red, yellow and orange mini bell peppers. 
2. To dice, I actually ran the (cleaned) onion and (cleaned) bell peppers through my food processor.  Use a course chop.

Instructions:
1.  Combine the cabbage, onion and peppers in a large bowl.
2.  Prepare the dressing by mixing together the vinegar, oil, sugar and black pepper in a small bowl.   Whisk until well combined. 
3.  Pour the dressing over the slaw mix and toss until well combined.  Cover and let sit in the fridge for at least an hour to let the cabbage soften and the flavors marry. 

Friday, April 12, 2019

Mint Cookie Bars

These cookie bars are a perfect addition to any dessert buffet or for a sweet treat after dinner.  It is a classic sugar-cookie dough for the base and then minty nonpariels are added into the dough before baking.  And the colors of the non-perils are just sooooooooo pretty and springy!


Mint Cookie Bars
Yields 24 Cookie Bars

Ingredients:
3/4 Cup Unsalted Butter, room temperature
1.5 Cups Granulated Sugar
3 Eggs
2 Teaspoons Vanilla
3 and 3/4 Cups Flour
3/4 Teaspoon Salt
1/4 HEAPING Teaspoon Baking Soda (or 1/4 and 1/8th teaspoon)
2 Cups Mint Nonpariel Candies (small size)

Directions:

1.  Preheat the oven to 375F.

2.  Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy. 

3.  Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. 

4.  Meanwhile, mix the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl. 

5.  Add the vanilla to the creamed mixture and then slowly add the dry ingredients.

6.  Stir in the minty candies.

7.  Press into a greased 9x13 cake pan and bake at 375F for 10-15 minutes.

Friday, April 5, 2019

Creamy Lime Pie

The name of this pie isn't too fancy . . .but the taste is beyond amazing.  If you love lime, you will really enjoy this.  It is different than a key lime pie . . .much creamier and not as zingy, but still crazy delicious.  This has been one of my most requested desserts over the years.


Creamy Lime Pie
Serves 8

Ingredients:
1 Prepared Graham Cracker Pie Crust 
1 Cup Sugar
3 Tablespoons Cornstarch
1 Cup Water
1/3 Cup Lime Juice
2 Egg Yolks, Slightly Beaten
4 Oz. Cream Cheese - softened and cubed
1 Teaspoon Lime Zest
2 Drops Green Food Coloring
1 Cup Whipping Cream - split into 1/2 Cup and 1/2 Cup
1 Heaping Tablespoon of Powdered Sugar
1 Dash of Vanilla Extract

Instructions:
Step 1:  In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar and cornstarch and stir with a whisk;  mix well. Add in water, lime juice, green food coloring and the egg yolks.  Cook over medium heat until mixture boils and thickens, stirring constantly.  Let boil for 1 minute.  Add the cream cheese and lime zest, stirring until the cream cheese is melted and the mixture is smooth.  Let cool to room temp.

Step 2:  In a large bowl, beat 1/2 Cup of whipping cream until soft peaks form.  Fold into the lime mixture.  Then, pour the filling into the graham cracker crust.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.  

Step 3:  In a large bowl, beat the remaining 1/2 Cup of whipping cream until thickened.Then, add the powdered sugar and vanilla to the bowl.  Continue beating until soft peaks form.  Use this to top the pie immediately before serving.

Friday, March 29, 2019

Thai Chicken Pizza

Here is a tasty twist on pizza!  If you have never had sweet Chili Sauce, it is a translucent, reddish-colored sauce that is sweet with a mild hot pepper flavor.  It is not very spicy, but flavorful.  This is what is used for the sauce on this pizza.   Enjoy :)


Thai Chicken Pizza
Serves 3-4

Ingredients:
1 Pre-Made Pizza Crust
1/3 Cup Sweet Chili Sauce*
1 and 1/2 Cups Mozzarella or Pizza Blend Cheese
1-2 Cups Chicken, Cooked and Cubed or Shredded
1/3 Cup Red Onion, Diced
1/3 Cup White Onion, Diced
1/3 Cup Green Onion, Sliced
1/2 Cup Chopped Peanuts
1 Tablespoon Cilantro

Instructions:
Step 1:  Prepare the crust as directed on the label.  If it needs to be pre-baked before adding the toppings, pre-bake it.  If not, move to Step 2.

Step 2: Assemble the Pizza!  Spread the Sweet Chile Sauce evenly over the crust - leave about 1/4 inch of naked crust on the edges. Sprinkle with cilantro. Top with 1 cup of the cheese.  Then, add the chicken and onions.  Next, sprinkle on the peanuts and top with remaining 1/2 cup of cheese.

Step 4:  Bake according to crust directions on the packaging.

Enjoy!

*Note - we prefer Mae Ploy Sweet Chilli Sauce

Friday, March 22, 2019

Easy Cucumber Salad

People always think salads need to be so complicated all the time.  They don't need to be - really!  Here is a quick and easy yet delicious salad that your whole family can enjoy.


Easy Cucumber Salad
Serves 6

Ingredients:
2 Medium Cucumbers, peeled and sliced
1/2 Red Onion, cleaned and diced medium
2 Large Roma Tomatoes, cleaned and diced
2/3 Cup Italian Salad Dressing (such as Kraft or Newman's)

Instructions:
In a large bowl, combine the cucumbers, red onion and tomatoes.  Add the salad dressing and gently stir until all is combined.  You can serve immediately or cover it and store in the fridge up to a day.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Magic Coconut Custard

I love this recipe from Land O Lakes.  It is so super easy to make!  The original recipe calls for you to place it in a pie pan, I like to make it in a square 9x9 pan . ..it's easier to cut and serve.  And because my family loves coconut, I add a bit of coconut extract to the batter as well.  You can view the original recipe here.  Below is my version.  I have also double this recipe before and baked in a 9x13 pan to serve a crowd on a holiday. 



Magic Coconut Custard
Serves 9

Ingredients:

2 Cups Half & Half
1 Cup Sweetened Flaked Coconut
3/4 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup All-Purpose Flour
3 Tablespoons Butter, Melted
4 Large Eggs
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla
1/2 Teaspoon Coconut Extract

Step 1:  Heat oven to 325°F. Grease and flour 9x9 inch square pan; set aside.

Step 2:  Place half & half in 5-cup blender container; add all remaining ingredients.  Cover and blend at medium speed 1-2 minutes or until well mixed.

Step 3:  Pour egg mixture into prepared pie pan.  Bake 40-50 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.

Step 5:  Serve warm or chilled.  Store in the refrigerator.

Note:  My family enjoys this topped with whipped cream.  Land O Lakes suggests serving it with fresh fruit and a sprinkle of nutmeg.  

Friday, March 8, 2019

Asian-Inspired Turkey Meatloaf

Here is a great recipe for a Asian-Inspired Turkey Meatloaf?  This loaf . . .so moist and delicious with ginger, garlic and onion.  The glaze on top offers a nice little bit of sweet-heat to compliment the meat.  I could easily make this weekly.  Everyone in my family loves this one.  We serve it with a side oriental cabbage slaw, pea pods or green beans.  



Asian-Inspired Turkey Meatloaf
Serves 6

Ingredients:
Loaf:
2 LBS Ground Turkey
4 Cloves of Garlic, Minced
4 Green Onions or Scallions - Cleaned and Sliced Thinly
1 Teaspoon Ground Ginger
3 Tablespoons Low-Sodium Soy Sauce
1 Teaspoon Sesame Oil
2 Large Eggs
1/2 Cup Breadcrumbs

Glaze:
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
2 Tablespoons Ketchup
2 Tablespoons Chile Garlic Paste or Sriracha Sauce
1 Tablespoon Rice Wine Vinegar

Step 1:  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with non-stick spray.  Set aside.

Step 2:  Place the ground turkey in a large bowl along with the prepared green onions, garlic, soy sauce, ginger, sesame oil, eggs and breadcrumbs.  Combine everything together thoroughly. 

Step 3:  Place the meat mixture onto the baking sheet and shape it into a loaf.  I usually go a little wider and thinner than a traditional loaf - but that is up to you!  

Step 4:  Bake the loaf for 30 minutes.  Meanwhile, prepare the glaze.  In a small bowl stir together the brown sugar, ketchup, sriracha or chile garlic paste and rice vinegar.  

Step 5:  After the loaf has baked 30 minutes, remove it from the oven and spoon half of the glaze over the top. Bake for an additional 20 minutes. Add the remaining glaze and bake for another 10-15 minutes.  Check the temp at this point - when fully cooked, a meat thermometer placed in the center of the loaf should read 160 degrees Fahrenheit.  If it is not fully cooked yet - return to the oven for additional baking time.

Allow the loaf to rest for ten minutes before slicing.

FYI:  The glaze is great to toss with pea pods or green beans too.  I often make a double batch and reserve 1/2 for serving with the vegetables.