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dressing

Fruit Dishes/ Morning Foods/ Salads

Winter Fruit Salad & Spiced Yogurt Dressing

Just in time for a holiday meal.

We had some old friends (Jackie & Ron) visit from Colorado recently and it was so much fun catching up with each other lives. Ron said he still remembers hushpuppies I made them years ago and I told him my hushpuppies were much better these days.

For dinner one night I made some stuffed dates (dates I brought back from Israel) and my Prosciutto and Gruyere PalmiersRedfish Imperial, Fiery Angel Hair Pasta, Grilled Asparagus and for dessert was Julia’s Mixed Berry Clafoutis. 

So, how did it turn out? Well my stuffed dates were probably cooked a little too long, I put too much of the crab topping on the redfish and forgot to give it extra time under the broiler and my clafoutis which was suppose to be part custard/cake really turned out a little more solid than I wanted because I left it to warm in the oven too long. But, good friends are forgiving and they enjoyed the dinner and I kicked myself all night because my dessert wasn’t just right.

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Salads

Basil Pistachio Salad Dressing

Looking for a new salad dressing?

How is your summer going? Ours is going by pretty fast. Daughter/family home for visit for Memorial day weekend, then the next weekend son from Austin came with family/friends, then next weekend daughter back for class reunion, then next weekend picked up two of the grandsons from Austin and this weekend they will swing back through The Woodlands on their way back from beach trip. They have been my guinea pigs for the past few weeks with a few new recipes I’ve been wanting to try out on someone.

Summer is the perfect season for any kind of fresh, crisp, green or pasta salad and who isn’t looking for something healthy and light for lunch/dinner. Add some roasted or grilled chicken or seafood to this salad and you have a very light, not filling dinner.

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Salads

Crunchy Asian Salad with Peanut Dressing

Good with chicken too!

Have you had a big reunion yet for either high school or college? My 50th high school union was last year and this year was my husband’s (yes, I have to admit I was a cougar even before that was even a word referring to marrying a younger man; he’s only 9 months younger though.) and I have to say it was so much fun seeing everyone. Our high school, (in Caruthersville ) back then may have had 500 students total, so it was easy to know just about everyone in the whole school.

I knew almost everyone that walked through the door at the brunch that one of his classmates had at her house (thanks Geneva). How time flies; everyone looked the same, just a little older, grayer and a few more wrinkles than we had in high school. One friend, asked my sister and I if we remember one night after a football game that we were racing one of my husband’s friends when we were going home (my sister was driving I’m sure) and we went air bound off the road and landed in a field. How could we ever forget that; we probably (maybe) never raced anyone again. No one was hurt, just a little shook up. We did a lot of crazy things back then that I’m sure even our kids never heard about.

Before attending the reunion, we drove to Chicago to see our son and his family. We are always cooking up some new recipe and my daughter-in-law, Missy found this recipe on Pinterest. Grandsons Oliver and Charlie helped me make Oreo ice cream twice and their mom made three salads she had found on Pinterest; this was one of them. I liked it so much I decided to post it to the blog incase you didn’t see it on Pinterest.

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Salads

Pasta and Arugula Salad and Herb Dressing

What to do with these ingredients.

With all of these ingredients left over from the weekend I had an idea to use my pasta and arugula in a salad but didn’t know what type of dressing. So I “googled” and believe it or not there were a lot of people that had already beaten me to this salad idea. So I took Food and Wine’s recipe and added a couple of things.

Like I was saying in another post, I always buy too much food when my kids come home, in fact, when anyone comes over. A few weekends ago when my daughter came I had bought some cute pasta to use in a pasta salad and never got around to using it, I also had bought some frozen petite peas that I was going to use to make my pasta pesto saladthat I had made for our garden club luncheon last year. That was the easiest salad ever. But along with those two ingredients I had a whole box of baby arugula and some very pretty colored cherry tomatoes in orange, purple, red and yellow.

I have a weakness for “cute” pastas. This particular one was a trottole pasta (looks like spinning tops (that’s a toy if you didn’t know what a “top” was)) and who could resist Orechetti (little ears), or little O’s, ABC’s, coral shapes and I’ve even bought Maple leaf shaped pasta when we visited Canada, and of course I have bought Texas shaped pasta.

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Food Stories/ Salads

Sweet Corn Salad with Buttermilk Dressing

And the corn is raw.

I subscribe to a lot of blogs and occasionally come across a recipe that I can’t wait to try but this recipe had to wait until those sweet ears of corn made their appearance at the summer farmer’s markets. Then I would know they were fresh picked.

When we were traveling by car to Chicago last summer we saw fields of corn along the way. Seeing row after row of corn always bring back memories of living in Iowa and the corn festivals where you knew you were going to get the best, sweetest, corn on earth. These road trips to Chicago, seeing masses of yellow ears always makes me want to jump out and grab a few, but, of course, I never do. I can’t run that fast.

As we are already several weeks into summer and looking for those great side dishes to go with your grilled meats, lets don’t forget about all that sweet fresh corn that is starting to show up in our produce sections. Corn dishes make a great side dish with any summer meal whether it is served hot, cold or room temperature.

It’s funny how recipe evolve into newer, healthier versions of what we use to prepare or just a version of something you imagined in your head. I have always wanted to try a raw corn salad so what better recipe to use to try it out on. Food52 suggest passing the dressing but I opted to stir some of the dressing into the salad.  You can see the picture below with the buttermilk dressing perched on top. I don’t think it blends as well with the salad and besides then you have to stir it once it’s on your plate. We did pass extra dressing incase someone wanted more.

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Salads

Bitter Greens with Yuzu Dressing

Greens for feast day. Bitter, but oh so good.

Hawaiian Feast Day — An all day rain did not dampen our Hawaiian get together. Rigging up a method for cooking our pig and organized chaos in the kitchen ended about 11 p.m. and all the food, drinks, and wine being enjoyed by all.

We Americans seem to always want to put our salad at the beginning of the meal or even right along with the main course. If you are like me, and I love salad, I tend to fill up on that course before the main event even makes its appearance. In Europe salad is often served after dinner and is a refreshing finish to the meal before dessert arrives. (I will not be turning down dessert in France)

This is a simple looking salad that had a pleasing punch of flavor and definitely did it’s job as a bridge between courses.

A salad does not have to have a hundred ingredients to be delicious and this recipe proves just that. Don’t get me wrong, I like lots of ingredients in a salad, but this salad was perfect for this meal.

We were looking for a palate cleanings salad and my friend Peggy’s nephew, Pal, came up with this recipe he was going to make. He ended up having dog problems and had to return to Austin and missed our feast. But, we did not miss his salad because his Aunt had all the fixings and recipe to produce this wonderful salad. This salad will freshen your tastebuds and leave you wanting more of what’s to come next to your table.

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Side dish/ Vegetables

Grilled Vegetables with Balsamic Dressing

Can be prepared ahead of time and just waiting for your guests.

Whatever you are planning for your Memorial Day celebration, these vegetables are easy to make and will be a hit at your party.

I loved grilled vegetables mainly because I don’t have to cook them. Usually, anything grilled falls on my husband. For this recipe though, I decided to do them on my cast iron grill top inside because sometimes my husband tends to over grill vegetables leaving them charred and burned.

I did make a cool discovery doing these vegetables. I used my waffle cutter to cut my vegetables. So when I put the vegetables on the flat top grill, the waffle cut of the vegetables left marks on them like they had been done over a grill.

For some reason every time I make grilled vegetables (and I posted some roasted root vegetables back in the fall) I can never get a good picture of them. They taste wonderful but do not photograph well. I’m thinking if you see a beautiful picture of roasted or grilled vegetables in a magazine, the photographer must have waved his magic wand and created some magical setting that took a great picture of a heap of grilled vegetables. Maybe a little torching, painting with oils, I don’t know but I want to eat mine, not just look at them.

So I hope you will try this recipe even though the pictures don’t do justice to the recipe.

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Entree/ Poultry

White Balsamic Chicken with Tarragon

Delicious recipe even with the rosemary substitute.

When I buy nice balsamic and olive oils from specialty stores I tend to hoard them. I will use them for salad dressings but don’t ever want to waste them on just any ordinary recipe I might be preparing.

So when I saw this White Balsamic Chicken Thigh recipe on milkstreet.com site I knew I was going to have to let go of some of my “stash” and give this recipe a try. I had no tarragon growing and if I did it would have been dead from one of our recent freezes we’ve had here in our little part of Texas. I don’t normally plant or even buy tarragon because I don’t care for the pungent, licorice-like taste. So, good thing I had some rosemary that survived the freeze and I used that as a substitute.

My HUB is always up to trying out new recipes. What choice does he have though; here in Round Top nothing is opened Monday-Wednesday anyway so anything i make on those days i have a captive audience with him for trying a new dish or two. He liked the results of this dish which I will be making again even though I will have to give up some of my precious white balsamic vinegar.

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Salads/ Side dish

Field Pea Salad with Tomatoes and Feta

Love those field peas!

How time flies. It’s been a few weeks since I’ve posted anything and that is because I’ve been baking/cooking at our son and DIL’s Lollitop Sweet Shop and now opened Round Top Brewing. I usually go in Thursday-Sunday and bake at sweet shop and help with breakfast tacos/biscuit sandwiches etc and when done walk a few steps and UP 20 steps to upstairs kitchen at the brewery. Both or fun but I have to say the “food” part of the brewery is my favorite. It’s nice to work with Paul on his ideas and creations and I do not mind one bit taking directions from him and doing things his way.

I’m always looking for new salad or cold side dishes to prepare because it takes the pressure off of having everything hot and ready to go at dinner time.

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Entree/ Pork/ Salads

Grilled Pork and Peach Salad

Southern Living recipe with some tweaking.

I have always loved Southern Living’s recipes. Back in the 70’s I submitted and had accepted about 5 recipes for the SL magazine. For having a recipe published in the magazine I received the yearly annual SL cookbook and also 50 recipe cards with “my recipe that appeared in SL magazine”.  I actually still have a few of those cards somewhere in boxes in storage.

When I first saw this recipe and made it I could still buy good “cling free” peaches. This salad would be just as delicious for a Fall dinner using roasted apples. Pork and apples make the perfect combo.

The recipe begged (I think) for some charred corn and definitely some avocado. Wished I’d had some cilantro and I would have given it a good sprinkling. The bread slices are so crusty and oily and when it mixes with the greens and pork make for the perfect bite of food.

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Salads

Georgia Cracker Salad

Thanks Paula!

Ever wonder what the saying Georgia Cracker meant? Well, I saw Paula Deen, during one of her quarantine shows, make this Georgia Cracker salad so I decided I had to find out where the salad got it’s name.

Georgia Cracker refers to the original American pioneer settlers of the Province of Georgia. The Georgia ranchers would drive their cattle down into the flatlands of central Florida to graze in the winter and would stop where the citrus groves began. In order to get the cattle’s attention they became very accomplished at cracking a bullwhip. There are a few other explanations but they aren’t as interesting.

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Salads

Roasted Pear and Raspberry Salad

The colors of Christmas.

There is nothing better than getting together with a bunch of friends and having dinner. Recently during such a dinner I made my Chicken in Phyllo (see index) which I have been making about 35 years. It’s an impressive dish but doesn’t take long to make and the results are beautiful. Layers of phyllo stuffed with chicken, celery, onion and a little nutmeg all rolled up into a bundle and covered with a Lemon Veloute Sauce is the perfect entree for your friends. I did practically everything a couple of days early so day of my party I just lounged around and watched a bunch of Hallmark Christmas movies.

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