July 24, 2014

Peachy Lemonade

If you're looking for a refreshing summer drink
 without sugar, look no further. 

Fresh ripe juicy peaches scream summer don't they!?!  They are refreshing even by themselves. This drink combines a slightly tart and pleasingly sweet taste.  The best part is that there are only two ingredients and it has no sugar.  I put it over a whole glass of crushed ice and let it get nice a cold. If you want to make a bunch just multiply as needed.  Yum.

1 sweet ripe peach
8 oz. of Crystal Light Lemonade
crushed ice

Prepare the pitcher of Crystal Light Lemonade and set aside.

Add to blender one peeled and pitted peach.  Add 8 ounces of prepared lemonade and blend. Pour over a whole glass of crushed ice.  If you want a big batch just multiply as needed.  Garnish with mint or a peach slice or both.

July 4, 2014

Herb Roasted Veggies

I know this is such a simple recipe but I'm posting it as a reminder to myself as well as everyone else how delicious roasted vegetables really are. My sister-in-law made them the last time we stayed at their house and I had forgotten how much I liked them. You can really use whatever vegetables you like and well as herbs. I threw some fresh grated parmesan on it when I took it out of the oven.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Ingredients I usually use:
2 large red potatoes
2 carrots
2 zucchini
red onion, finely sliced
8 oz. package sliced mushrooms
1/2 green or red bell pepper
olive oil
chopped fresh basil
sprinkle with dried italian herbs
sprinkle with garlic powder
salt & pepper to taste, or you can serve this on the table
fresh grated parmesan cheese

Slice and dice all veggies to about the same size and put in bowl. Drizzle olive oil,  dry herbs and garlic powder in bowl and toss to coat veggies. Lay on baking sheet and and sprinkle on fresh cut basil. Roast in 400 degree oven 35 to 40 minutes or until they are fork tender and browned the way you want them. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese when finished baking.




June 16, 2014

The Best Vanilla Ice Cream

You'll want this on the Forth Of July.

This is such a simple recipe and yet so good. No eggs, so no cooking first. You can easily dress this ice cream up by adding your favorite chopped fruit, Oreos, or candy at the end of churning.  My personal favorite is always the sweet and salty combo. Let your imagination be your guide.

1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup granulated sugar
pinch salt
2 cups HEAVY cream
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

1. In a medium bowl, whisk to combine the milk, sugar and salt until the sugar is dissolved. Stir in the heavy cream and vanilla. Cover and refrigerate 1 to 2 hours, or overnight.

2. After refrigeration turn on you ice cream maker; pour the mixture into the frozen freezer bowl and let mix until thickened, about 20 minutes depending on your ice cream machine. If adding goodies to your ice cream this is when to add them. The ice cream will have a soft, creamy texture. If a firmer consistency is desired, transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and place in freezer for about 2 hours or longer.  I like to make mine ahead and freeze it. Keeps well.

Makes about 5 cups (ten 1/2 cup servings, but who eats only 1/2 cup?)

**This recipe comes from the Cuisinart booklet that came with my electric ice cream maker.

ONE YEAR AGO: Fresh Cherry Brownies

TWO YEARS AGO: Red White And Blue Salad

May 28, 2014

Strawberry Lime Dressing

Calling All Strawberry Lovers!

This is an easy fix for all you strawberry lovers out there. First I would make the dressing ahead so you can chill it. The colder the better. At least that's how I like it. You can put it on any salad you like. My preference is spinach with any number of fixings like; apples, mango, blueberries, cantaloupe, red onions, feta cheese, candied or regular pecans and of course strawberries. You get the idea, so make it your own. Summer with the warmer weather is just about upon us so go make yourself a wonderful healthy refreshing lunch.

Ingredients for dressing:
1 cup chopped fresh strawberries
1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice (and a little zest if you want)
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons honey
1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds
dash salt

Combine all ingredients except poppy seeds and mix in blender until smooth. Stir in poppy seeds. CHILL IN FRIDGE UNTIL NICE AND COLD.

May 19, 2014

Israeli Salad

I just love a lot of chopped veggies that complement each other in a salad bowl. Fresh with a little bit of crunch. Perfect. This is an Israeli breakfast staple but is also served at other meals and I understand that it is usually chopped in very tiny pieces. Mine is chopped a little larger and I added some garbanzo beans for my version to add a little protein. This would also be great in a pita pocket with feta cheese and some chopped pecans for even more crunch. I would let it sit in the fridge for a half hour to let all the flavors meld together and get a chill, then serve. Fresh, delicious and a little addicting.

1 European cucumber (chopped)
1 pint grape tomatoes (sliced in half)
2 cloves garlic, chopped fine.
1/2 yellow or orange bell pepper (chopped)
handful chopped parsley
handful chopped cilantro
very small handful chopped mint
2 chopped green onions
1 small can garbanzo beans
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2-3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

Prepare all veggies, rinse and drain garbanzo beans and add to bowl. Add olive oil and fresh lemon juice. Chill for at least 1/2 hour.

May 7, 2014

Fresh Fruit Salad W/Poppy Seed Dressing

This would be a great side dish for Mother's Day. We had some with our shrimp scampi on zucchini noodles tonight and I could have easily eaten the whole bowl. It was that good. You can really put any kind of fruit you want in it. I'll list what I used down below but you can pretty much see it in the picture. I will definitely make this again. 

Ingredients for dressing:
1/4 cup plain greek yogurt, I used Chobani yogurt.
3 Tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons fine orange zest
1 Tablespoon orange juice
1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds
Mix until smooth and set aside.

Fruit I choose:
Use 4-6 cups prepared fruit.
Or any other fruit you choose.

Pour dressing over fruit and mix thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Happy Mother's Day.

April 11, 2014

Angel Hair Pasta Salad W/Shrimp

If you are looking for something a little different in the way of a pasta salad this is a very tasty choice with just the right amount of crunch from the toasted almonds. A great salad to take to a get together. I added shrimp and it made a great light meal. If you add a protein or not it is sure to be a crowd pleaser. This recipe is also very easy to cut in half for your family or a smaller group. Refrigerate the leftovers.

1 pound angel hair pasta.
1/2 cup olive oil.
4 cloves garlic, minced.
1 1/2 cups fresh grated parmesan cheese.
4-6 large roma tomatoes, seeded and diced.
Large handful of fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces.
1 - 4 oz. package sliced almonds, lightly toasted (you can do this over medium-low heat in a non-stick skillet).
Coarse salt (I used my sea salt grinder so it was a little more coarse than regular salt).
Shrimp (optional). I love the frozen raw shrimp at Costco. I used seven per person if you are serving as a light meal. Otherwise use your discretion.

1. Boil water for pasta. When water starts boiling, add some salt to the water. Add pasta and cook until al dent, about 4 to 5 minutes. Drain pasta and place in serving bowl.

2. While pasta is boiling, sauté garlic in olive oil until sizzling and very lightly browned (don't burn the garlic or it will taste bitter). Pour garlic and olive oil over warm pasta and toss. Sprinkle a teaspoon or so of coarse salt over the noodles and add 1 cup of the parmesan cheese. Toss again. Let noodles cool slightly.

3. Use the same pan that you used for the garlic and sauté the shrimp, should only take about 3-4 minutes. Set aside for dressing the salad.

4. Lightly brown sliced almonds on medium-low heat in a not stick fry pan. Watch closely so they don't burn.

5. Right before serving, top noodles with diced tomatoes, lightly toasted almonds, torn basil and 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese and sautéed shrimp if using. Very lightly toss, being careful not to let all the toppings go to the bottom.