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

 

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

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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.

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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