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!

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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.

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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.

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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 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 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.

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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!

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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

 

A Heavy Topic

photo courtesy of pixabay, JuAnnun

For those of you who may not be aware, I’ve been trying to lose weight.

It’s not easy. I’m not following any fancy diet or regimen, just eating less and exercising more. I have been building time into my day for more exercising (being a writer, I have a pretty sedentary job). It’s the “eating less” that gets me. I love to cook and bake, so it’s hard for me to avoid making the desserts I love. But I’m plodding along. Not losing weight quickly, but as they say, slow and steady wins the race. Right?

Right??

So my post today may seem a little counter-intuitive, but what I’m learning is that by keeping track of the calories I consume, I can budget room for small amounts of those things I love (chocolate and cheese, I’m talking to you) and still keep the pounds off.

I’m going to share with you two of my favorite recipes today, both of which still fit into my repertoire as long as I make sure I’m eating healthy (for the most part) and getting daily exercise. One is for a dessert that is pitifully easy and uses ingredients most people have on hand all the time. The other is for a salad that uses mayonnaise, but is so good I just haven’t been able to bring myself to substitute anything else.

Chocolate Pudding Cake

recipe courtesy of my mother

1 c. flour

2 t. baking powder

¼ t. salt

¾ c. sugar

¼ c. plus 2 T. cocoa powder, divided

½ c. milk

2 T. butter, melted

1 c. brown sugar, packed

1 ¾ c. hot water

1 c. chopped nuts (optional)

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and 2 T. cocoa. Stir in milk and butter.

In another bowl, mix brown sugar and remaining ¼ c. cocoa.

Spread flour mixture in 9” square baking dish. Sprinkle with brown sugar mixture.

Pour hot water over entire batter. Do not stir. Bake about 40 minutes.

This is best served warm with ice cream or whipped cream.

 

Greek Chicken Salad

recipe courtesy of my father

2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and chopped

3 c. diced cooked chicken

1 c. crumbled feta cheese

2/3 c. sliced black olives

1 c. mayonnaise

1/2 c. plain yogurt

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 t. oregano

2/3 c. chopped fresh parsley (I use a sprinkle of the dried stuff)

pocket pita bread

Place cucumbers, chicken, feta, and black olives in a large bowl and mix well. In another bowl, combine mayonnaise, yogurt, garlic, oregano, and parsley. Mix well and fold into other ingredients. Chill before serving in pita pockets.

Until next week, everything in moderation!

Amy