First Tuesday Recipes for December

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I am shocked that December is here already. Time goes so fast as the year comes to an end.

Today I’ve got three recipes that I’ve had recently. I went heavy on the savory this month because I figured the last thing you need in December is another dessert recipe. The first recipe is intended as a side dish, but we had larger helpings and made an entire meal out of it. It’s really up to you. The second recipe came from my mother-in-law and is an easy and tasty side dish. And the third recipe, from my dad, is one for the slow cooker, great for busy December days.

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Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Ham and Citrus Aioli

1 ham slice (these are generally larger than ham steaks from the grocery store, but ham steak works, too), cut into bite-sized pieces

1 lb. fresh Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved lengthwise

1 1/2 T. olive oil

salt and pepper

1/4 c. Balsamic vinegar (I use Black Mission fig flavor, but any variety will do)

1 clove garlic, halved

1/4 c. plus 1 T. mayonnaise

1 t. Dijon mustard

1 t. orange zest

1 t. orange juice

1/2 t. lemon zest

1 T. lemon juice

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss ham and Brussels sprouts with olive oil to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Spread sprouts and ham on baking sheet and roast for 40 minutes, stirring once or twice.

Meanwhile, heat Balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly for 10 minutes. You should have a slightly thickened reduction.

On a cutting board, smash garlic halves with the side of a knife. Sprinkle with a bit of salt (about 1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon) and continue smashing garlic to make a paste. Place paste and the remaining ingredients (mayonnaise through lemon juice) in a small bowl. Whisk vigorously and set aside.

When sprouts and ham are done, drizzle with Balsamic reduction and dollop with aioli. Serve immediately.

 

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Corn Pudding

1 can (14 oz.) corn, undrained

1 can (14 oz.) creamed corn

1 stick butter

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 c. sour cream

1 box Jiffy corn muffin mix

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place butter in a greased 9×9″ baking dish and put it in the oven until the butter is melted. Remove the dish from the oven and add remaining ingredients. Mix well and bake for one hour.

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 Tomato-Ground Beef Soup

1 lb. ground beef, crumbled

1/4 t. each pepper, oregano, and basil (I usually use at least 1/2 t. of each of these)

1 med. onion, chopped

3 c. beef broth

1 8-oz. can tomato sauce

1 T. soy sauce

1 c. each sliced carrots and sliced celery

macaroni, cooked according to package directions

grated Parmesan cheese

Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker, stirring to combine. Cook 8-10 hours on low heat. Season with salt as desired. Serve hot over cooked macaroni and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

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Enjoy!

Do you have a recipe you’d like to share? You know what to do–let me know in the comments!

Until next time,

Amy

 

First Tuesday Recipes for September

photo courtesy of stanbalik, pixabay

This year is just flying by! The summer has been busy and the fall promises to be even busier. I’ve got a few recipes for you this month that are good for that transition from summer to fall: filling, but not heavy. There’s a dish that’s great to take to potlucks or get-togethers, a quick meal that’s cooked on the grill, and an easy, cool dessert.

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UFO

2 8-ounce packages cream cheese

2 c. sour cream

onion powder

1 jar salsa, divided

2 c. shredded cheddar cheese, divided

1 bunch scallions, chopped

1 large tomato, diced

1 can black olives, sliced

1 green pepper, chopped

tortilla chips

Cream together cream cheese and sour cream. Spread evenly over 12-inch pizza platter. Sprinkle generously with onion powder. Layer the following ingredients in order:

3/4 jar salsa

1 1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese

scallions

tomato

black olives

green pepper

remaining cheese

dots of remaining salsa

Chill until ready to serve. Serve with tortilla chips.

***

Fig and Your-Choice-of-Cheese Pizza

4 mini flatbreads (I buy the mini naan at the grocery store)

olive oil

1 garlic clove, smashed

1 c. grated mozzarella cheese

1 c. crumbled bleu or goat cheese (or any other kind of cheese you prefer–Asiago is good, too)

8 figs, sliced into sixths

salt and pepper to taste

handful arugula

1/2 c. balsamic vinegar

Heat vinegar in saucepan over medium heat until it bubbles. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to cook until vinegar is thickened and reduced by half. Remove from stove and set aside.

Preheat grill to high. Brush tops and bottoms of flatbread with olive oil. Place flatbreads, top side down, on the grill for about two minutes, long enough to get grill marks. Remove flatbreads from grill.

Rub tops of flatbreads with garlic, then discard garlic. Sprinkle flatbreads with cheese and figs, then sprinkle with salt and pepper and return to grill, bottom sides down. Cook for another two to three minutes, until cheese is melted, and remove from grill. Sprinkle with arugula and drizzle with balsamic reduction.

A variation of fig pizza. I used chopped walnuts instead of arugula. Yum!

***

Chocolate/Pistachio/Lemon Lush (recipe courtesy of my dad)

1 stick butter, melted

1 c. flour

1/4 c. chopped walnuts

1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened

2/3 c. powdered sugar

Large container whipped topping, divided

2 packages instant pudding, your choice of either chocolate, pistachio, or lemon

3 c. milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine butter, flour, and chopped walnuts in a medium bowl. Mix well and press into bottom of 13 x 9″ pan. Bake for 15 minutes. Cool completely.

In another medium bowl, beat cream cheese, powdered sugar, and one-half whipped topping until fluffy. Spread over cooled crust.

In another bowl, mix pudding and milk for two minutes. Spread over creamy layer.

Cover top with remaining whipped topping and chill until ready to serve.

Enjoy!

Until next time,

Amy

 

First Tuesday Recipes for August

The summer is flying by! In my neck of the woods, this is the best time of year for sweet corn, watermelon, peaches, and of course, tomatoes straight from the garden. I love all the fresh produce that’s available in the summertime. It makes for healthy eating this time of year. Today I’ve got three great recipes for you!

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The first one comes from reader Darlene Foster, who tells me that this is a delicious and easy dish that she often shares at barbeques and  potlucks. I can’t wait to try it. She found this Arabian Gulf recipe from Classic Vegetarian Cooking from the Middle East & North Africa by Habeeb Salloum.

Rice Flavored with Cardamom

4 tablespoons butter

1 1/2 cups slivered almonds

1 cup rice, rinsed

1/4 cup raisins or chopped dates

2 1/2 cups water

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom seeds

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

salt to taste

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon cayenne

2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley

 

Melt butter in a frying pan and sauté almonds until they begin to brown

Add rice and stir fry for another 3 minutes.

Stir in remaining ingredients, except parsley, and bring to a boil

Cover and cook over medium low heat for 25 minutes

Turn off heat and allow to steam for 30 minutes

Stir, place on serving platter and garnish with parsley

Serves 6

***

Watermelon Ice

1/3 c. water

1/2 c. sugar

1 3-pound piece chilled watermelon

1 T. fresh lemon juice

In a small saucepan, sinner water with sugar, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Transfer syrup to a bowl set in a larger bowl filled with ice and cold water. Stir syrup until cold. Discard rind from watermelon and cut fruit into 1-inch chunks.

Place watermelon, syrup, and lemon juice in a blender and purée. Pour from blender into a fine sieve over a 9-inch square baking pan. Press hard on the solids, then discard remaining solids.

Cover mixture and freeze until frozen, 6-8 hours, and up to 2 days.

Just before serving, scrape watermelon with a fork to break up crystals and lighten the texture. Serves 6.

***

Zucchini and Tomato Sauté

1/2 t. olive oil

1 c. chopped onion

1 lb. zucchini, sliced about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick

1/2 t. salt

1/8 t. freshly ground black pepper

2 c. cherry tomatoes

1 oz. crumbled feta cheese

2 t. chopped fresh dill

Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté for 3 minutes. Add zucchini and salt and pepper and sauté for 3 minute. Add tomatoes and sauté for 4 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in cheese and dill. Serves 4.

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Many thanks to Darlene for submitting her recipe this month! Please remember that I love to include recipes from readers, so just drop me a note and I’ll put your recipe(s) in a post.

Until next time,

Amy

First Tuesday Recipes for July

The dog days of summer are officially here!

This is normally the time of year for grilling and no-cook dishes, but I invented a sandwich that I want to share with you. It requires actual cooking, but it’s delicious.

Sausage Sandwich Divine

4 long hot peppers

olive oil

salt and pepper

1 pound sweet or hot Italian sausage, cut into 1/2-inch thick rounds

2 large red peppers, seeded and sliced

1 onion, sliced

1 small can mushroom stems and pieces, drained

1 6-oz. can tomato sauce

4 torpedo-style rolls

8 slices Provolone cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cover lipped baking sheet with foil. Place long hots on the foil, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 15-20 minutes. Set aside.

In a Dutch oven, cover bottom of pan with olive oil and heat over medium-high. Add sausage, red peppers, and onion. Cook until sausage and vegetables are cooked through, stirring often.

Preheat the broiler.

Slice long hots lengthwise and crosswise, then add them to the sausage mixture along with the mushrooms and about half the can of sauce (save the rest of the sauce for another use, or use more of it with the sandwiches, if you’d like).

Cook mixture until heated through.

While the mixture is cooking, split the rolls and place them under the broiler for a couple minutes, until they’re just turning golden. Watch the rolls carefully!

When the rolls are lightly golden, remove them from the oven. Using a slotted spoon, place about 1/4 of the sausage mixture down each roll. Cover mixture with two slices of Provolone and put the sandwiches, open-faced, under the broiler. Broil for just a minute or two, or until the cheese has melted. Serve hot.

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Here’s a nice, cool one that’s good to take to July 4th and other summer parties and potlucks. This salad goes by lots of names and it’s pretty popular.

Carolyn’s Salad

1 box pistachio instant pudding

2 8-oz. cans crushed pineapple, undrained

1 8-oz. container whipped topping (I use Cool Whip)

8 oz. cottage cheese

1 c. miniature marshmallows

Combine pudding mix and pineapple in a medium bowl. Stir until well blended.

Combine remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Stir until well blended. Add pistachio mixture to whipped topping mixture and stir until everything is blended. Place in a 13×9″ pan and chill.

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And another cool salad for hot summer days. Pair this with grilled chicken or other light main course.

Almond-Raspberry Salad

8 c. Romaine lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces

1 c. fresh raspberries

1/2 c. sliced almonds, toasted

1/2 c. seedless raspberry jam

1/4 c. apple cider vinegar

1/4 c. honey

2 T. plus 2 t. canola oil

In a large salad bowl, gently toss the lettuce, raspberries, and almonds. In a blender, combine the remaining ingredients; process until smooth.

Pour over salad and toss gently until coated; alternatively, serve salad and pass dressing.

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Enjoy!

I’m always looking for recipes from other people. If you care to share a favorite recipe, send it along and I’ll put it in a post.

Until next time,

Amy

First Tuesday Recipes for June

I’m writing this on a perfect June day, with the windows open and the temperatures in the high 60s. And, as usual, my thoughts are turning toward dinner.

I’m sharing three dinner recipes with you this month: a vegetarian dish, a grilled pork tenderloin, and a big salad.

* * *

Red Thai Veggie Curry

1 T. coconut oil (olive oil can be substituted)

small onion, chopped

1 T. fresh ginger, grated

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 red pepper, sliced

1 green pepper, sliced

2 carrots, thinly sliced

1 zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced

2 T. Thai red curry paste

1 can (14 oz.) regular coconut milk

1/2 c. water

1/2 T. brown sugar

1 T. soy sauce

1 T. rice vinegar

sliced fresh basil

Melt coconut oil over medium heat and add onion. Cook until soft, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add ginger and garlic and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly.

Add peppers, carrots, and zucchini; cook for about 5 minutes. Add curry paste and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add coconut milk, water, and sugar. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Do not boil. Reduce heat to low and cook until vegetables are cooked to your preference.

Remove curry from heat and stir in soy sauce and vinegar. Serve over rice and garnish with basil.

* * *

Grilled Pork Tenderloin

1/2 c. frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed

6 T. soy sauce

4 T. toasted sesame oil

2 T. fresh grated ginger

1 pkg. pork tenderloin (1-2 pounds)

In a large gallon-sized zip-top bag, combine all ingredients. Squish it around to coat the pork and refrigerate for 6-24 hours, turning occasionally if possible.

Preheat grill to medium-high and discard marinade. Grill tenderloins over indirect heat for 20-35 minutes or until thermometer inserted into thickest part of tenderloins reaches 145 degrees F. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

* * *

Greek Salad

Salad:

1 head Romaine lettuce, cut into bite-sized pieces

4 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped

1 large cucumber, seeded, peeled, and chopped

1 medium red onion

1 yellow pepper, sliced and cut into bite-sized pieces

1/2 c. Kalamata olives, halved

3/4 c. feta cheese

salami, thinly sliced, optional

Dressing:

6 T. olive oil

2 T. red wine vinegar

1 T. fresh lemon juice

1 t. dried oregano

2 t. fresh parsley, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

salt and pepper to taste

Combine all salad ingredients in a large bowl. If you want a heartier dinner, add the salami (coarsely chopped deli ham is also a good choice).

In a small bowl, whisk dressing ingredients. Just before serving, pour over salad and toss gently to coat.

Enjoy!

Until next time,

Amy

First Tuesday Recipes for May

Has anyone else noticed how quickly 2019 is going? It’s already May! The weather here in New Jersey is getting warmer and the frost-free date is upon us. It’s time for a few recipes to use springtime produce! In this post, as I’ve done a couple times in the past, I’ll post links to recipes I’ve enjoyed rather than writing out my own. Click on the title of the recipe to link to the original.

Asparagus and Goat Cheese QuicheThis recipe is one I found in Southern Living Magazine and two of my children, both of whom hate asparagus and leeks, loved it. I did have some trouble with the filling overflowing the crust, so next time I would make it in a pie plate or a springform pan rather than a tart pan.

Strawberry, Kiwi, and Spinach Salad. This salad is perfect for a light meal. If you prefer to have it with a larger meal, it’s great with pork!

Cold Sesame Noodles with Crunchy Vegetables. This is a great dish if you’re looking for something meatless (which, as I look at the recipes I’ve given you, seems to be a theme this month) and filling. Change up the vegetables you use so it’s different every time! I use peanut butter in this recipe instead of tahini or another nut butter, but I bet those substitutions would be good, too. Spaghetti works just fine in this recipe, so don’t go nuts looking for Chinese egg noodles. And one more thing: I don’t use the hot sauce/Tabasco, but I put it on the table to pass in case someone else wants it.

Let me know if you try any of these! And please remember that I love to have submissions from readers, so don’t hesitate to send me any recipes you’d like to share.

Enjoy!

Until next time,

Amy

 

 

First Tuesday Recipes for April

Monte Cristo sandwich

Spring is finally here! I intended to share recipes this month starring strawberries and asparagus and lemons, but then I got looking through my recipe files and these are the ones that caught my eye. I’ve got three main dishes for you this month–two with chicken, one with beef. I hope you’ll try them and let me know what you think.

Chicken-Rice Salad with Cashews

My sister gave me this recipe years ago and everyone likes it.

3 c. chicken, cooked and diced

1/2 c. celery, diced

2 green onions, sliced thinly

2 c. cooked brown rice

1/2 c. mayo

1/2 c. plain yogurt

1 T. lemon juice

1 t. honey

1 t. salt

cashews

Combine chicken, celery, and rice in a large bowl. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, yogurt, lemon juice, honey, and salt. Mix well.

Pour dressing over chicken and toss lightly to coat. Cover; chill for two hours before serving. Add the desired amount of cashews just before serving. Delicious on naan or over salad greens.

 

Monte Cristo Sandwiches

8 slices thick white bread

8 slices deli chicken

8 slices deli ham

4 slices Swiss cheese

2 large eggs

1/2 c. milk

dash salt and pepper

powdered sugar

cherry preserves

Preheat griddle to medium-high.

On each of four slices of bread, layer two slices of chicken, two slices of ham, and one slice of cheese. Top with second piece of bread.

In a shallow bowl mix the egg, milk, and salt and pepper. Holding the sandwiches carefully, dip each in the batter and place them on griddle. Lower heat to medium.

Cook sandwiches until golden brown and cheese is melted. Before serving, lightly sprinkle each sandwich with about a teaspoon of powdered sugar. Serve hot with cherry preserves.

 

Pepper Steak

1 – 1 1/2 pounds sirloin steak, cut into narrow strips

2 T. oil

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 t. salt

1/4 t. pepper

1/4 c. soy sauce

1 t. sugar

1 c. bean sprouts (optional)

10 oz. sliced fresh mushrooms (optional)

1 c. canned tomatoes, coarsely chopped

2 green peppers, cut into strips

1 T. cornstarch

2 T. cold water

In a large skillet, brown steak in oil. Combine with garlic, salt, pepper, soy sauce, and sugar in crock pot. Cook on low 6-8 hours. Switch crock pot to high, add sprouts/mushrooms, tomatoes, and peppers. Dissolve cornstarch in water and stir into pot. Cook 25 minutes longer. Note: you may want to add more time to cook the vegetables if you like them soft.

Serve over rice or egg noodles.

Enjoy! And remember, please send in your own recipes to share!

Until next time,

Amy