Sunday, July 27, 2014

Retro Pineapple and Cream Cheese Congealed Lime Salad with Toasted Pecans

Congealed salads are back, and Southerners love their gelatin salads!  One of my favorite dishes at a Southern cafeteria is a creamy congealed salad...somewhat like a dessert, but served as a side dish, you know we Southerners like our sweets, y'all!

Cool and creamy with a little crunch, this pineapple salad is perfect for summer and very versatile.  Traditionally, it would be served as a side; however, with its beautiful layers, it would make a stunning presentation as an appetizer and served as a spread with buttery crackers.  Also, it would make a wonderful light dessert served with a dollop of homemade whipped cream. 

                                           However You Serve It...
                                              They'll Love It!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Light and Refreshing Orange Salad Enhanced with Pomegranate and Tossed with Toasted Pecans

Add a little zing to your entrees with this super easy, light and zesty side salad.  This salad is made with a savory spring mix and tossed with juicy, bright orange slices, tangy pomegranate dried cranberries, and crunchy toasted pecan halves.  A sprinkling of shaved Parmesan cheese adds a surprise piquancy and the orange flavor is intensified with a scattering of orange zest.  A drizzling of raspberry-pomegranate dressing perfectly completes the salad.

Delightfully refreshing, this salad is an ideal accompaniment to your summer meals.  Add chicken or turkey for a complete light lunch or dinner.  Also, this dish especially complements spicy entrees.  It was a big hit at our Fourth get-together, and I know you'll enjoy enjoy it as much as we did...make it for your next take-along! 

                                          Bright, Light and Refreshing...
                                               Just What I Want!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Delectable Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffles with Enticing Coatings

Apparently I'm on a bite-size confection roll, literally!  When I recently picked up a jar of dark chocolate peanut butter, I didn't know what I'd make with it; but, for sure, I knew that it would be something for my peanut butter-loving son-in-law!  After a few ideas, I elected to develop a truffle recipe to give him for Father's Day.  Well, those empty paper cups, which occurred in a short amount of time, were a true testament that he loved these melt-in-your-mouth treats!

You know that I will experiment with a variety of options when developing some of my recipes.  I chose to enhance these confections with complementary coatings of cocoa, powdered sugar, crushed kettle jalapeno and regular potato chips and chopped peanuts.   I'm not sure if I have a favorite embellishment for this candy (unless, it's the crushed salted potato chips)...they're all scrumptious!  The jalapeno potato chip coating will provide just a slight surprise bite of heat; and the regular kettle potato chip coating will offer a delightful, more salty crunch to the truffles.

To make the candy sticky for better adherence of the peanut and potato chip coatings, the truffles will need to be first rolled in a mixture of cocoa powder and kosher sea salt and allowed to rest for at least 4 hours or overnight.  Salt is not added to those rolled only in cocoa powder or powdered sugar.

Though these delicious truffles make an elegant presentation, they are actually made using a simple technique and humble ingredients.  Therefore, they make a great recipe project for children; so get those little hands going and let them do the rolling!
                                                Embellished with...
                                                Enticing Coatings...

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Decadent Chocolate-Banana Bonbons with A Variety of Coatings ~ How-To Tips and Tricks!

These decadent chocolate-dipped banana bites with crunchy coatings make a fun treat or a marvelous party bonbon.  I've offered a variety of suggested coatings; however, you can be creative with your own coatings.  My favorite coating, of the ones I've tried, was the crushed cashews!

A recently diagnosed low potassium level prompted me to give it a boost with bananas.  All that other fruit I'd been eating, along with those horse-sized potassium pills, were just not enough!  Since I find eating bananas, outside of baked goods, not very appealing, I thought chocolate-dipped banana slices would be encouraging.  These chocolate-banana bonbons are encouraging all right...but so decadent, I can only eat one or two at a time.  Guess I'll save these as a treat and just eat bananas on my cereal, which is my second choice.

This chocolate-dipping and coating method should work well with whole strawberries also.

                                             Decadent Decisions...
                                      Which One Should I Try First?

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Craving Crunchy Orange Chicken ~ Crowned with Crispy Green Onions and Toasted Almonds ~Asian Inspired

Do you ever have a craving for orange Panda Express'?  I love their orange chicken; so when I originally found this recipe on the internet, I was excited to make it.  Though I wouldn't say this is exactly like Panda Express' orange chicken (as the original recipe suggested), this Asian-inspired chicken is sure to satisfy your craving with its crunchy tempura-like batter, true orange flavor and crispy green onion and toasted almond toppings.  With this recipe, you can enjoy orange chicken takeout at home by taking it right out of your own oven with easily accessible ingredients.

Panda Express' orange chicken does have a little more heat than I like, so I adjusted the amount of red pepper flakes from the original recipe.  Of course, if you prefer more heat, you can add more red pepper flakes, or you can just omit the red pepper flakes altogether.  Like I generally do, I made quite a few changes to the original recipes...including increasing the orange flavor with the addition of navel orange pieces.  I preferred the more obvious flavor of navel orange pieces over mandarin orange segments.

As I typically do, I've tried to eliminate any guess work and be as thorough as possible with the directions.  I often say that I write a recipe as though my daughter were standing beside me.          

                                                 It's Take Out...
                                       I Took It Out Of The Oven!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Pepper Jack Cheese Hamburger Skillet Pie with Triple Cheddar Cheese and Jalapeno Cornbread Topping

Not your typical hamburger pie, this one is crowned with a cozy cornbread topping that has a moist interior with a crunchy top.  The triple Cheddar cheese and jalapeno cornbread topping perfectly complements the slightly peppery ground beef base.

Though this dish isn't extremely peppery; if you have any family members who are a little pepper-skittish, of course you can omit the jalapenos from the cornbread topping and substitute the pepper jack cheese with Cheddar or Colby Jack cheese.

You and yours will enjoy this hamburger skillet pie as a satisfying and comforting weeknight meal.  I've also provided directions for using the topping recipe for an 8" or 10" skillet of just cornbread.

                                             It's Kinda Like A...
                                     Hamburger Skillet Pot Pie!