First Tuesday Recipes for July

Photo courtesy of pixabay/alexas_fotos

This post almost didn’t happen because I’ve been having so many problems with my computer, which finally died last Friday. Luckily, my daughter wasn’t using hers this morning (Monday, July 7th), so I borrowed it to write the post.

If you live in a place where it’s anywhere near as hot as in New Jersey (where we’re literally melting in the streets), you’ll appreciate some no-cook/grilling recipes this month. And that’s exactly what I’ve got for you.

Grilled Shrimp

This is a recipe I adapted from Food.Com.

2 lbs. extra large uncooked shrimp (size 21-25), peeled and deveined

2 t. finely minced garlic

1 t. paprika

1 t. Italian seasoning

1 t. basil

1/4 t. black pepper

2 T. olive oil

1 T. lemon juice

1 T. brown sugar

Mix all ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag. Marinate in refrigerator for 20 minutes. While the shrimp is marinating, preheat grill to high. Grill shrimp until pink and charred, about 2-3 minutes per side. Using a grill basket makes grilling the shrimp much easier!!

***

“The Wild Thornberrys'” Watergate Salad

This is from neither “The Wild Thornberrys” nor the Watergate, but it is very similar to the famous salad and that’s what my family calls it.

1 small box pistachio pudding mix

2 8-oz. cans crushed pineapple,  undrained

8-oz. container Cool Whip

8 oz. cottage cheese

1 c. mini marshmallows

In a large bowl, combine pudding mix and pineapple (with juice) until blended. Add Cool Whip, cottage cheese, and mini marshmallows. Stir gently until combined. Spread in a 13 x 9″ baking dish and chill until ready to serve.

***

Greek Sandwich

Sandwich:

8 slices sourdough bread

1/4 t. each salt and pepper

8 slices tomato

1 cucumber, peeled and cut into slices the same thickness as the tomato

3 c. spring greens or other greens of your choice

1/2 small red onion, sliced thinly

2 T. pitted Kalamata olives, chopped

Vinaigrette:

2 T. crumbled feta cheese

2 T. lemon juice

1 T. olive oil

1/2 t. sugar

1/2 t. oregano

1 clove garlic, minced

pinch salt

Have all ingredients ready (mise en place–you’ll be glad you did). Toast bread lightly. While the bread toasts, combine the salt and pepper in a small bowl. Prepare vinaigrette by mixing all ingredients with a whisk until well-combined.

As soon as the bread is golden, divide the tomato slices evenly on four pieces of bread. Sprinkle with half the salt and pepper mixture. Place cucumbers on top of the tomatoes; sprinkle with remaining salt and pepper. Add greens, onion, and olives to the vinaigrette; mix well. Arrange greens mixture over the cucumbers. Top with remaining toast.

Enjoy!

Until next time,

Amy

P.S. I have absolutely no idea why some of the ingredients are highlighted in this post, but it means nothing. Carry on.

 

 

First Tuesday Recipes for June

photo courtesy of Jill Wellington, pixabay

I know it seems like 2020 has lasted for years, but we’re actually only five full months in. Don’t ask me how that happened. I hope you’re all staying safe and being careful.

This month I’m sharing three recipes that are easy to make and generally well-received by everyone (i.e., picky eaters). If you have a recipe (or more than one) that you’d like to share, email me at amymreadeauthor[at]gmail[dot]com and I’ll be happy to include your contribution!

***

Macaroni and Cheese

This one comes courtesy of my father

12 oz. elbow macaroni

6 T. butter

6 T. flour

3 c. milk

12 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, grated

salt and pepper

breadcrumbs

Cook macaroni al dente according to package directions; drain well.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter in a large pan over medium heat (I use the same pan I used to make the macaroni). Add flour and whisk for a full minute. Add milk and continue to whisk sauce until slightly thickened. Add cheese and stir until cheese is melted and sauce is smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Add cooked macaroni and stir until well coated. Pour macaroni and cheese into a greased casserole dish and sprinkle with breadcrumbs to your liking (my family prefers seasoned breadcrumbs). Bake for about 35 minutes or until nice and bubbly.

***

Pizza Stromboli

1 loaf frozen bread dough, thawed

2 eggs, separated

1 T. grated Parmesan cheese

1 T. olive oil

1 t. dried parsley

1 t. dried oregano

1/2 t. garlic powder

1/8 t. pepper

8 oz. pepperoni slices

2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese

4 oz. mushrooms, sliced, either cooked or canned

a handful of sliced pepperoncini

1 sm. red or green pepper, diced

other fillings of your choice

1 can pizza sauce, warmed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a greased baking sheet, roll out bread dough into a 15 x 10″ rectangle.

In a small bowl, combine 2 egg yolks, Parmesan cheese, oil, parsley, oregano, garlic powder, and pepper. Brush over dough, using all of mixture.

Layer pepperoni, mozzarella cheese, and other filling ingredients (everything but the pizza sauce) on dough. Roll up from one of the long sides. Pinch seam and tuck ends under loaf.

Beat egg whites with a fork. Brush egg whites onto loaf.

Bake immediately for 35 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with pizza sauce.

***

Frozen Creamy Fruit Pops

1 1/4 c. frozen raspberries

1 1/4 c. frozen strawberries

1/4 c. honey

1 T. lemon juice

dash salt

7 oz. plain Greek yogurt

2 T. buttermilk

Place first 5 ingredients in a food processor. Process until smooth.

In a large bowl, combine yogurt and buttermilk; stir until well-combined. Pour fruit mixture into yogurt mixture and stir gently until mixed. Divide mixture among 10 2-oz. pop molds. Top with the pop mold bases or make your own: put a foil lid on each pop and insert craft stick into yogurt mixture until it’s poking out about 1 1/2 in. Freeze completely.

Enjoy!

Until next time,

Amy

P.S. I almost forgot! Cape Menace: A Cape May Historical Mystery is out! Thanks to everyone who preordered and if you didn’t, you can get your copy here: https://books2read.com/u/mv5ao6. You can order a paperback from Amazon, too!

First Tuesday Recipes for May

One of the things I’ve been reading about is that people are cooking more during this pandemic. The grocery store shelves bear this out, at least in the baking aisle: there’s no yeast, no cake mix, and limited flour and sugar. At our local store, there has been a limit on the number of eggs one can buy, too. Is it any wonder that images of baked goods look even better than usual right now?

This month I’m focusing on things you can make mostly without baking ingredients. Hopefully these recipes have ingredients that are easier to find at the moment. I’ve got a hearty salad, a soup that even the kids will eat, and a chicken noodle casserole.

***

Avocado Salad

with thanks to my aunt!

Salad:

1 ripe avocado, sliced

1 small can Mandarin oranges

1 handful black olives, sliced

1/2 small red onion, sliced

Dressing:

1 T. white wine vinegar

4 T. vegetable oil

1/2 t. Dijon mustard

pinch salt and pepper

Place salad ingredients in large bowl. Whisk dressing ingredients; pour over salad and toss gently to coat. Serves 2.

***

Broccoli Cheese Soup

with thanks to my mom!

1 10-oz. pkg. frozen chopped broccoli

1 can cream of mushroom soup*

1 soup can milk

4″ Velveeta cheese, cubed

Cook broccoli according to package directions and drain well.

In a medium saucepan, whisk soup and milk. Heat slowly over low heat and add cubes of cheese. Stir until cheese is melted. If necessary, add a little more milk to thin the soup. Add broccoli and cook, stirring, until heated through.  Serves 4.

***

Jeanne’s Noodle Casserole

2 c. egg noodles, cooked in salted water according to package directions

1/2 – 1 c. cooked chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces

1 c. frozen peas

1/2 c. sliced mushrooms

1 can cream of chicken soup*

1/2 soup can milk

Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine cooked noodles, chicken, peas, and mushrooms.

In a small bowl, whisk soup and milk. If the mixture is thicker than heavy cream, add a little more milk to thin it. Pour soup mixture over noodle mixture and mix to coat well.

Pour into greased 1 1/2-qt. casserole dish. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Bake for one hour.

***

*If you prefer not to use canned soup (which is high in sodium) or if it is not available, the following mixture works well as a substitute. I use it all the time. You’ll still need to add the milk called for in the main recipe.

1 T. butter

3 T. flour

1/2 c. low-sodium chicken broth

1/2 c. milk

pepper

handful sautéed mushrooms, if recipe calls for cream of mushroom soup

Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in flour and whisk until smooth and bubbly. I’ve found it necessary sometimes to add a little more butter. Remove from heat.

Add chicken broth and milk, a little at a time, stirring until mixture is smooth.

Heat mixture over medium heat and bring to a gentle boil. Cook until mixture is slightly thickened, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add pepper to taste.

***

Enjoy!

Until next time,

Amy

 

First Tuesday Recipes for April

I hope all of you are doing well and staying mentally and physically healthy as we find ourselves in this unprecedented worldwide pandemic.

Since my work is pretty solitary and I work from home, I think I’ve had an easier time adjusting to the temporary new normal. But for lots of people, this is uncomfortable and strange. It helps if you stick with a routine and get outdoors for some fresh air if you can. It also helps to turn off the television! You’re better able to focus and stay positive if you don’t have the news media in your face all the time telling you how horrible life has become.

If you get my newsletter, in early March I provided subscribers with a list of places to find free things to do while they’re isolating in the house. They ranged from virtual tours of world-famous museums to listening to the archived Berlin Philharmonic concerts. If you don’t get my newsletter, you can sign up here and I’ll send you the latest one.

At our house, we’ve been doing a lot of fun “cooking.” We’ve made pickles, gelato, rice pudding, and some other fun foods. I’ve also been writing and staying busy on social media every day, just like I do all the time.

And I’ve been learning Greek! It’s slow going, but I’m enjoying it. If you visit https://www.duolingo.com, you can choose from a huge list of languages to learn and it’s all free!

This month I’ve chosen to share three recipes that can be made with simple ingredients that many of us have on hand, since visits to the grocery store are fewer and farther between. I hope you enjoy them. If you have any go-to meals that are easy and don’t call for many ingredients, please share in the comments!

 

Broccoli Casserole

2 10-oz. pkgs. frozen chopped broccoli, thawed and drained
1/2 can cream of celery or cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
3 T. chopped onion
3 T. mayo
3 T. butter, melted
2 eggs, beaten
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 t. pepper
crushed Ritz crackers (or Townhouse, Club, etc.)
extra butter, cold
Mix first eight ingredients (through pepper) in a large mixing bowl.  Spread in a greased 8×8′ casserole dish and sprinkle generously with crushed crackers.  Dot with small pats of cold butter.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 30-35 minutes.
Lemon Squares
Recipes for lemon squares are everywhere, but I thought I’d share my favorite one with you.
Crust:
1 c. flour
1/4 c. powdered sugar
1/2 c. butter, chilled
Filling:
2 eggs
1 c. sugar
2 T. flour
1/2 t. baking powder
1 1/2 t. grated lemon peel
2 T. lemon juice
Topping:
powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine filling ingredients until crumbly. Pat into the bottom of an 8 x 8″ square baking dish. Bake for 15 minutes.
While crust is baking, prepare filling. Beat eggs and sugar until light yellow. Add remaining ingredients and beat well. Pour over hot crust. Bake 18-25 minutes or until lightly golden brown.
When cool, dust with powdered sugar and cut into squares.
Poppy Seed Bread
This recipe makes two loaves: one for now, one to freeze for later.
Bread:
3 c. flour
1 1/2 t. salt
1 1/2 t. baking powder
2 1/4 c. sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 c. milk
1 1/8 c. vegetable oil
1 1/2 T. poppy seeds
1 1/2 t. vanilla
1 1/2 t. almond extract
Glaze:
1 c. powdered sugar
1-2 t. water
1-2 t. almond extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two loaf pans.
Combine all bread ingredients and mix well with an electric mixer. Divide batter evenly between the two pans. Bake for about an hour or until the loaves test done. Mix the glaze ingredients until you have the consistency you desire and glaze the loaves while they are still warm
Enjoy!
Until next time,
Amy
P.S. Sorry about the spacing in this post. WordPress was being uncooperative when I wrote it.

First Tuesday Recipes for March

I hope I’m not speaking prematurely, but spring seems to be in the air! As I write this it’s supposed to be almost 60 degrees this afternoon and it’s beautiful and sunny out.

My thoughts are turning to spring meals. I’ve got two desserts and a decadent soup for you this month—and they feature lemons, strawberries, and asparagus. It doesn’t get much more spring-y than that!

***

Asparagus Soup with Parmesan Custards

For the custards:

2 1/2 oz. Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated

1 c. heavy cream

1/2 c. milk

1/2 c. whole large eggs

2 lg. egg yolks

1/8 t. salt

pepper

For the soup:

1 lg. leek, white and pale green parts only, finely chopped

1/2 c. shallot, finely chopped

1/2 t. salt

pepper

1 t. unsalted butter

2 1/2 lb. asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-in. pieces

3 1/2 c. low-sodium chicken broth

1 1/2 c. water

1/4 c. heavy cream

For this recipe, you’ll need 6 2-inch ramekins. If you don’t have them, you can order them from Amazon here. I have a set of them and I use them often for dips, garnishes at the table, etc.

 

Make the custards:

Butter ramekins and set aside.

In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, bring cheese, cream, and milk just to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and steep for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Pour steeped cream through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl, pressing lightly on the cheese solids. Discard cheese solids. Whisk together eggs, egg yolks, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Add steeped cream in a thin stream, whisking until smooth. Divide among ramekins.

Place ramekins in a baking dish and fill dish with a hot water bath about halfway up the sides of the ramekins. I use a kettle to boil the water while the cream steeps so the water is hot and ready to pour into the baking dish when the ramekins go in.

Bake in center of oven for 40-45 minutes or until centers of custards are completely set. Transfer ramekins with tongs to a cooling rack and cool for five minutes. Do not cool longer than five minutes. Run a knife around the ramekin to loosen the custard, place a soup bowl over the ramekin, and invert so the custard is in the soup bowl.

While the cream steeps and the custards bake, make the soup:

Wash the chopped leeks in a bowl of cold water and drain well. Pat dry. Melt butter in a heavy saucepan over medium-low heat. Add leeks, shallots, salt, and pepper; cook until leeks are softened, about 3 minutes. Add asparagus, broth, and water; simmer, covered, until asparagus is just tender, about 10-12 minutes. After 2-4 minutes, remove 6 asparagus tips, cut each in half, and reserve for garnish.

Use an immersion blender to purée soup or purée in batches using a blender. Transfer soup to a large bowl and wipe out saucepan. Pour soup through a sieve into the saucepan; discard any solids. Stir in cream, season with salt and pepper to taste, and cook over medium-low heat until hot.

Ladle soup over custards, garnish with reserved asparagus tips and extra shaved cheese, if desired. Serve hot.

 

***

Lemon Chiffon Crunch

1 1/2 c. graham cracker crumbs

1/3 c. light brown sugar

1/2 t. cinnamon

1/3 c. melted butter

1 3-oz. pkg. lemon Jell-O

3/4 c. boiling water

1/2 c. sugar

Juice and peel of one lemon peel, zested and chopped

12 oz. evaporated milk

 

Combine first four ingredients; mix until crumbly. Reserve 3 T. crumb mixture; press remaining crumb mixture into the bottom of a buttered 9-inch square pan; chill.

Dissolve Jell-O in boiling water; add sugar, lemon juice, and peel. Chill to consistency of unbeaten egg whites. Ten minutes later, pour evaporated milk into a freezer tray and freeze until ice crystals form around the edges. Turn into chilled bowl; whip until stiff. Fold whipped evaporated milk into Jell-O mixture. Spoon into pan on top of crumb layer. Sprinkle top with reserved crumbs. Chill until set.

 

***

Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie

Crust:

3 c. flour

2 1/2 t. sugar

3/4 t. salt

2/3 c. chilled shortening, cut into pieces

1 1/4 sticks chilled butter, cut into pieces

10 T. ice water

Filling:

3 1/2 c. rhubarb, trimmed and sliced 1/2-inch thick

16 oz. strawberries, hulled and halved (for very large berries, cut into quarters)

1/2 c. light brown sugar, packed

1/2 c. sugar

1/4 c. cornstarch

1 t. ground cinnamon

1/4 t. salt

Egg wash:

1 lg. egg yolk

1 t. water

 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Combine flour, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Add shortening and butter and mix with a fork or pastry knife until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add ice water, 1 T. at a time, until dough comes together in a ball. Divide dough into two disks and chill. When chilled, roll out disks into two circles. Place one circle into the bottom of a 9-inch pie plate.

Mix filling ingredients in a large bowl. Allow to sit for about 10 minutes. Spoon filling into pie crust. Roll out second disk of dough and place on top of the pie. Trim edges. Whisk egg yolk and water; brush over top of pie.

Place pie on baking sheet and cook in 400-degree oven for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, lower oven temperature to 350 degrees and cook pie for another hour and 25 minutes. Cover crust with foil if it is browning too fast.

 

Remember that readers are always invited to share recipes. Just email them to me at amymreadeauthor[at]gmail[dot]com and I’ll put them in a future post.

Enjoy!

 

Until next time,

Amy

First Tuesday Recipes and a New Release!

Contrary to what the thermometer is telling us today in South Jersey, it’s still winter out there. With that in mind, I’ve got three comforting winter dishes for you this month. And in keeping with my New Year’s resolution to have more plant-based meals in 2020, the recipes I’m sharing are vegetarian.

***

Barley Vegetable Soup

2 T. olive oil

1 med. onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 carrots, diced

1 stalk celery, sliced thinly

1 can (28 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained

1 c. pearled barley

1/2 t. each dried basil, oregano, and thyme

6 c. vegetable broth

1 potato (I use white, but you can use sweet), diced into bite-sized pieces

1/2 c. frozen green beans

1/2 c. canned corn

1/2 c. frozen peas

salt and pepper to taste

In a large stock pot over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add onion and garlic and cook until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add carrots, celery, tomatoes, barley, basil, oregano, thyme, and broth to the stock pot. Cover and bring to a boil. Simmer, covered, over medium-low heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Once barley is softened, add potato. Simmer for 10 more minutes, or until potato is tender. If using sweet potato, you will probably need to simmer for longer.

Add green beans, corn, and peas; stir to combine and heat for another 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

***

 Veggie Frittata

2 1/2 c. broccoli florets, trimmed to bite-sized pieces if necessary

1/4 c. roasted red peppers, cut into small strips and patted dry

1/4 c. artichoke hearts, chopped and patted dry

8 eggs

1/4 c. 2% milk

2 t. Dijon mustard

1/2 t. salt

1/8 t. pepper

1/2 c. grated Romano cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Fill a large saucepan with 1 inch of water. Place broccoli florets in a steamer basket over the water and bring water to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer; cover; steam 4-6 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain broccoli and pat dry.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, mustard, salt, pepper, and cheese until blended. Add red pepper strips and artichoke hearts. Mix well.

Spray an ovenproof nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium heat until hot. Pour egg mixture into the skillet and heat over medium-low heat until edges are set, about 5 minutes.

Transfer skillet to oven and bake until eggs are set and no visible liquid eggs remain, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven; allow to sit for 5 minutes before slicing into wedges and serving.

This is really good with salsa.

***

Greek Yogurt Panna Cotta

(I have shared a Greek Yogurt Panna Cotta before—here—but this one is different and just as good)

1 1/2 t. unflavored gelatin

1 T. plus 1 1/2 t. water

1 c. milk

1/3 c. sugar

1 c. buttermilk

1 c. whole milk Greek yogurt

honey for drizzling

In a small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over the water and let sit until softened, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, bring milk and sugar to a simmer in a small saucepan, stirring until sugar is dissolved, about a minute. Remove from heat and stir in gelatin until it is dissolved. Occasionally I have to put the saucepan back on a low burner, stirring constantly, in order to dissolve the gelatin.

In a medium bowl, whisk the buttermilk and the yogurt. Whisk in the warm milk mixture until smooth. Pour mixture into 6 (4 oz.) ramekins and cover with plastic wrap. Chill 3-4 hours. To serve, drizzle with honey.

Enjoy!

Remember, you’re invited to to submit recipes for my First Tuesday posts! Email me at amymreadeauthor[at]gmail[dot]com.

***

And don’t forget that today is Release Day for Be My Valencrime! Click here to order your copy today! Many thanks to everyone who has already ordered the paperback and preordered the ebook! ❤

Until next time,

Amy

 

First Tuesday Recipes of 2020!

Happy New Year! Welcome to another installment of my monthly First Tuesday Recipes series. This month we’re going international. I’ve got an Eastern European comfort food, a French-inspired entrée, and a German side dish.

Let’s get cooking!

***

Chicken Babka

For the dough:

1 1/4 c. flour

1/4 t. salt

1 t. baking powder

1/2 c. solid Crisco (do NOT use butter)

1 egg, beaten

3 T. milk

For the filling:

2 c. cooked chicken breast, chopped

1/2 c. chopped celery

1 T. chopped parsley

1/2 t. salt

1 can cream of chicken soup, undiluted and divided (do not substitute another cream soup)

chicken broth

Prepare dough: sift dry ingredients in a large bowl. Cut in Crisco with two knives until pieces are pea-sized. In a small bowl, combine egg and milk; add to dry ingredients. Toss with a fork until dough holds together. With floured hands, pat dough into a ball. Chill overnight.

Prepare filling: in a large bowl combine chicken, celery, parsley, salt, and 1/2 c. soup.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Assemble: on a floured surface, roll out dough into 16″ by 17″ rectangle. Spread with filling. Roll up lengthwise. Shape roll into a ring and place in a greased 9″ pie pan. Bake 40-45 minutes or until golden.

While babka bakes, in a small saucepan combine remaining soup and chicken broth to make a gravy. The amount of broth you use will depend on how thick you like your gravy. Simmer until heated through. Slice babka and serve with gravy.

***

Chicken Monte Cristo

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1/4 tsp. black pepper

3 slices deli ham

3 slices Swiss cheese

2 egg whites, lightly beaten

1/2 c. seasoned breadcrumbs

Cooking spray

Cherry preserves

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Flatten chicken to a thickness of 1/4 inch. Sprinkle each chicken breast with black pepper. Cut each slice of ham and each slice of cheese in half. Place one piece of ham and one piece of cheese on top of each chicken breast. Roll up each breast lengthwise, tuck ends under, and secure with a toothpick.

Dip each chicken roll in egg white, then dredge in breadcrumbs.

Spray baking sheet with cooking spray and place the chicken on the sheet. Bake for 25 minutes or until chicken juices run clear.

Serve with cherry preserves.

***

German Potato Salad

6 medium potatoes

6 slices bacon

1/2 c. chopped onion

2 T. flour

2 T. sugar

1 t. salt

1 t. celery seed (key ingredient–no substitutions)

dash pepper

1 c. water

1/2 c. vinegar

2 hard-boiled eggs, sliced

Cook potatoes until tender. Drain well and slice. Cook bacon until crisp, reserving 1/4 c. drippings. Crumble bacon and set aside.

Cook onion in drippings until tender. Stir in flour, sugar, salt, celery seed, and pepper. Add water and vinegar. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 1-2 minutes more; fold in bacon and potato slices. Heat through, tossing lightly. Add egg slices; toss lightly just to mix.

Enjoy!

As always, if you have a recipe you’d like to share, please email me at amymreadeauthor@gmail.com and I’ll be happy to include it in a future post!

Until next time,

Amy

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.

***

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.

 

***

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.

***

 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.

***

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.

***

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