Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Viva Panzanella Salad

3/4 pound sourdough bread, cubed (about 8 cups)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2-1/2 pounds tomatoes (about 8 medium), chopped
1 can (15 ounces) white kidney or cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (14 ounces) water-packed artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained and quartered
1 cup thinly sliced roasted sweet red peppers
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
1/3 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/4 cup Greek olives, quartered
3 tablespoons capers, drained

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
3 teaspoons minced fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
1-1/2 teaspoons minced fresh marjoram or 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
1-1/2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano or 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 garlic clove, minced

In a large bowl, toss bread with oil and transfer to a baking sheet. Bake at 450° for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool to room temperature.
In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, beans, artichokes, peppers, basil, onion, olives, capers and bread.
In a small bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients. Drizzle over salad and toss to coat. Serve immediately. Yield: 6 servings.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Patriotic Trifle

1 package (3 ounces) berry blue gelatin
1 package (3 ounces) strawberry gelatin
2 cups boiling water
1 cup cold water
2 cups cold whole milk
2 packages (3.4 ounces each) instant vanilla pudding mix
1 carton (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed, divided
1 pint fresh blueberries
1 quart fresh strawberries, quartered
1 prepared angel food cake (8 to 10 ounces), cut into 1-inch cubes

In two small bowls, combine each gelatin flavor with 1 cup boiling water. Stir 1/2 cup cold water into each. Pour each into an ungreased 9-in. square pan. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until set.
In a large bowl, whisk milk and pudding mixes for 2 minutes. Let stand for 2 minutes or until soft-set. Fold in 2 cups whipped topping.
Set aside 1/4 cup blueberries and 1/2 cup strawberries for garnish. Cut the gelatin into 1-in. cubes. In a 3-qt. trifle bowl or serving dish, layer the strawberry gelatin, half of the cake cubes, the remaining blueberries and half of the pudding mixture.
Top with blue gelatin and remaining cake cubes, strawberries and pudding mixture. Garnish with reserved berries and remaining whipped topping. Serve immediately. Yield: 16-20 servings.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Strawberry Trifle

1-1/2 cups grape juice
1/2 cup sugar, divided
1 quart fresh strawberries, sliced
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 loaves (10-3/4 ounces each) frozen pound cake, thawed
2 cups heavy whipping cream
Additional fresh strawberries

In a large saucepan, combine grape juice and 1/3 cup sugar. Bring to a boil; cook until liquid is reduced to about 1/2 cup. Set saucepan in ice water and stir the mixture for 3 minutes. Stir in strawberries and vanilla.
Meanwhile, cut one cake in half widthwise (save the other half for another use). Cube remaining cake; set aside.
In a small bowl, beat cream until it begins to thicken. Add remaining sugar; beat until soft peaks form.
In a 3-qt. trifle bowl or glass serving bowl, layer a third of the cake cubes, strawberry mixture and whipped topping. Repeat twice. Chill until serving. Garnish with additional strawberries. Yield: 15 servings.

Summer Veggie Salad

1 cup fresh cauliflowerets
1 cup fresh sliced carrots
1 cup sliced red onion
1 cup halved grape tomatoes
1 cup chopped zucchini
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 T. olive oil
1 teaspoon dill weed
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon pepper

In a large bowl, combine the cauliflower, carrots, onion, tomatoes and zucchini. In a small bowl, whisk the remaining ingredients. Pour over vegetables and toss to coat.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Serve with a slotted spoon. Yield: 6 servings.

Melon Feta Salad

Melon and Feta Salad

8 cups melon
(honeydew, cantaloupe,and/or watermelon scooped or cut into bite sized pieces)
1/4 cup red onion (sliced, optional)
1/3 c. crumbled feta
1 tablespoon mint (thinly sliced)
salt and pepper to taste (optional)

Toss ingredients together.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Blueberry Pound Cake

2 cups sugar
1/3 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup (4 ounces) 1/3-less fat cream cheese, softened
3 large eggs
1 large egg white
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups flour, divided
2 cups blueberries (if using frozen berries do not thaw)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (8-ounce) carton lemon yogurt (or vanilla)
1/2 cup powdered sugar
4 teaspoons lemon juice (or milk if using vanilla)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 10-inch tube pan with cooking spray. Set aside.

Combine sugar, butter, and cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on medium speed until well-blended (about 5 minutes). Add eggs and egg white one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Place the flour in a small bowl. Remove two tablespoons of flour and toss in a small bowl with blueberries. Combine the baking powder, baking soda, and salt with the remaining flour.

Add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture alternately with the yogurt, beginning and ending with the flour. Fold in the blueberries gently.

Pour the batter into the prepared tube pan. Tap the pan on the counter once or twice to remove any air bubbles. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes (or until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean).

Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan and cool an additional 15 minutes.

Combine the powdered sugar and lemon juice or milk in a small bowl; drizzle over the slightly still warm cake.

Recipe and picture from www.Dinah's-dishes.com

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Tomato "Bruschetta" with Tuna and Cannellini Salad

5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Finely shredded zest of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons chopped chives
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, plus more for garnish
1 can (15 oz.) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 cans (5 oz. each) tuna, water packed,drained and broken into chunks
3 green onions, thinly sliced
4 to 8 thick slices large heirloom tomatoes

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together oil, lemon zest and juice, salt, pepper, and chives. Add parsley leaves, beans, tuna, and onions and stir gently just until coated.
2. Arrange tomato slices on 4 plates and spoon tuna mixture on top, dividing evenly. Top each salad with a few parsley leaves if you like.

Caramel French Toast

1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, cubed
1 tablespoon corn syrup
3 slices white bakery bread (1 inch thick), halved
3 eggs
3/4 cup half-and-half cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt

In a small saucepan, bring the brown sugar, butter and corn syrup to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat. Pour into an 8-in. square baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange bread over caramel.
In a small bowl, whisk the eggs, cream, vanilla, cinnamon and salt; pour over top. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Yield: 2 servings.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Congo Bars

3/4 c. melted butter
1 pound brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 c. flour -- sifted
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 t. salt
1 c. chopped pecans
12 oz. semisweet or milk chocolate chips

Sift together dry ingredients and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine butter and brown sugar. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each. Add vanilla. Add dry ingredients to sugar mixture. Add nuts and chocolate chips. Turn dough into greased 13 X 9 greased pan.
Bake at 350 for 22-25 minutes (watch carefully, DON'T overbake)

Coconut Blondies

10 T. unsalted butter

1 cup dark brown sugar, packed

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 t. salt

1 1/4 cup flour

1 1/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut

1 1/4 cup semisweet or milk chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line and grease an 8×8” baking dish.

In a pan over high heat, heat the butter until it browns and smells nutty. (Keep an eye on it, so it doesn’t burn.) Let the butter cool for a few moments, until just barely warm.

In a large mixing bowl, mix together the browned butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar. With a wooden spoon, mix in the egg, vanilla, and salt. Slowly mix in the flour, coconut, and chocolate chips until blended.

Pour the batter into the greased baking dish, and smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Bake for 25-30 minutes—do not overbake! The center should still be soft. Let the blondies cool before turning them out onto a cutting board and slicing into squares

From the Newlywed Kitchen Cookbook

Coconut Chocolate Pecan Bars


1/4 cup flour

1/3 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup graham cracker crumbs (about 11 whole crackers, crushed)

1/3 cup packed light brown sugar

7 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature


1 1/4 cups sweetened flaked coconut

1/2 cup semi-semi sweet chocolate chips

1/4 cup milk chocolate chips

3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk

1/3 cup chopped pecans


Grease a 9-inch x 9-inch baking pan with butter. Dust with flour and tap out the excess. Preheat the oven to 350 F. degrees.

To make the crust, measure the flour, baking powder, and salt and then sift together into a medium bowl. Stir in the graham cracker crumbs and light brown sugar. Mix well. Cut the butter into a few pieces and mix into the dough with a fork until the dough is crumbly. Continue mixing with your hands until smooth. Spread the dough evenly in a thin layer in the prepared baking pan, pressing down with your hands. Bake for 10 minutes or until the crust is slightly golden. Remove from the oven and set aside. While the crust is cooling, prepare the topping.

Mix together the coconut, both chocolate chips, and the condensed milk with a spoon. Add the pecans, if desired. Spread the mixture evenly over the baked crust.

Bake for 20 minutes or until the top is well-set and light brown. Watch carefully at the end of baking time and do not let the top become too bubbly or dark. Remove from the oven and let cool on a rack for 2 hours or until chocolate chips are no longer soft. Cut just before serving. Makes 12-16 bars

Peanut Butter Blondies

1 c. butter
1 c. peanut butter
1 c. sugar
1 c. brown sugar
3 eggs
2 1/2 c. AP flour
1 t. soda
2 t. vanilla
1/4 t. salt.
2 c. chocolate chips (optional)

Mix dry ingredients together and set aside. Mix together butter, peanut butter, white and brown sugars and eggs. Add in dry ingredients. Mix in vanilla. Stir in chocolate chips.

Spread into greased 15 X 10 jelly roll pan. Bake at 325 for 25 minutes.


Boil these together for one minute:
6 T. butter
6 T. milk
1 1/2 c. Sugar

Remove from heat.
1 t. vanilla
1/2 c. chocolate chips
Spread over warm blondies.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Coconut Cream Pie

1 baked pie shell
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons flour
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 1/2 cups milk
3 egg yolks (reserve the whites for the meringue)
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup coconut
1 teaspoon vanilla

Cook sugar, flour, cornstarch, salt and milk in a 2 quart bowl on high in the microwave for 4 minutes. Stir. Cook 4 minutes longer. Stir again. Temper the egg yolks with a small amount of the milk mixture then add the tempered eggs, butter, vanilla, and coconut to the bowl. Stir to combine everything. Microwave for 2 minutes. Stir. Microwave for an additional 2 minutes. Stir. (If it is not thick enough microwave again until desired consistency.) Pour into baked pie shell.

Basic Meringue:
3 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

Combine egg whites (preferably at room temperature), vanilla, and cream of tartar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat until foamy. Gradually add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form and sugar dissolves. Spread meringue over hot pie filling, carefully making sure the meringue goes to the edge to seal the pie and prevent shrinkage. Sprinkle a small amount of coconut on top of meringue. Bake at 400degrees for 5 minutes, or until golden. Let cool a little before serving. Refrigerate any leftovers.

Pie Crust:
1 1/3 cups flour
1/4 cup cold unsalted butter, diced
1/4 cup shortening
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons ice water

Place flour, butter, shortening and salt in a large bowl and using your fingertips, blend until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add water and mix with your fingertips or a large fork just until the dough comes together. Turn the dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap, shaping the dough into a disk. Wrap up the disk in the plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to rest for 15-30 minutes before rolling out. After the rest time is over. Roll the disk out on a well floured board until the desired size. Fold the dough over in half and then in half again to transport to the pie plate without tearing. Unfold and shape as desired. If pre-baking the crust be sure to go around the crust’s bottoms and sides and pierce with a fork to eliminate bubbles while baking. Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

This recipe is from www.dinahs-dishes.com
Looks wonderful!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Turtle Cheesecake

24 OREO Cookies, finely crushed (about 2 cups)
6 Tbsp. butter, melted
1 pkg. (14 oz.)caramels
1/2 cup milk
1 cup chopped pecans
3 pkg. (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. vanilla
3 eggs
2 squares semi-sweet chocolate

Preheat oven to 325°F.

MIX crumbs and butter; press onto bottom and 2 inches up side of 9-inch springform pan.

MICROWAVE caramels and milk in small microwaveable bowl on HIGH 3 min. or until caramels are completely melted, stirring after each minute. Stir in nuts; pour half into crust. Refrigerate 10 min. Refrigerate remaining caramel mixture for later use.

BEAT cream cheese, sugar and vanilla with mixer until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each just until blended. Pour over caramel layer in crust.

BAKE 1 hour 5 min. to 1 hour 10 min. or until center is almost set. Run knife around rim of pan to loosen cake; cool before removing rim. Refrigerate 4 hours.