Thursday, June 30, 2011

Fresh Cucumber Salad

I  made this salad to accompany the dinner I made for our guests 2 weeks ago.  It was light, colorful, and very refreshing.  The recipe is from the July 2011 Cooking Light magazine

 I loved the color combination!

Start by slicing and dicing (here's where a mandolin comes in very handy for the cucumber)

The dressing is made partly from fresh lemons...zested and squeezed

This sauce is added to the cuke mixture... you may want to add a tad of sugar to lightly sweetened (I didn't )

Dig in and enjoy!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Chicken A la John...

The last few nights (and days) we have been working on our deck - getting it ready to stain which we started tonight,  Mr. A offered to do dinner while I worked outside and I'm glad he did or I don't know what we would have had...

The good ole standby - a ready-made chicken and potato salad!!

Now back to work - I'm cracking the whip tonight! ha

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

New Favorite...

My sweet tooth found a new after dinner snack - only 50 calories (the same as 5 junior mints) and chocolately and delicious - so I am sharing with you! 

Monday, June 27, 2011

Red, White, and Blue

The 4th is around the corner and here are a couple ideas for you that I've made over the last couple years.

This first one is easy peasy - take some graham cracker crumbs and place in the bottom of a 5-6oz. glass, put a layer of ready-made cheesecake (the Philadelphia brand in the tub), add your favorite berries, another layer of cheesecake filling, more berries and whipped cream.  You will impress your guests!

The next one was a special request from our daughter Kristina.  Her birthday is near the 4th and she wanted a fresh strawberry pie...   The only change is I put lots more berries on and left them whole.  I topped it off with some puffed pastry stars.  I wonder if I will get a request for it again this year!?

Of course, it wouldn't be the 4th without some tasty beverages.  Sorry, don't recall where I got the recipes but this one is a Blue Hawaiin

And Watermelon Martini's

Last year this display was at the July 1st Twins game....

I am thankful for those men and women who serve in our military....

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Takeout Night!

Hopefully this week will be rain-less so we can stain the deck and paint the railing tops.  We spent most of the day scraping, washing and preparing the deck.  So when it came time for dinner, we opted for Chinese take-out.  Our place of choice of China Star near Target North.  We called, they said 5 minutes and John went and brought it home.  It was delicious!!

Eggroll and Pork Lo Mein for me...

Spicy Shrimp with Garlic sauce for John (though we do share!)

Darn though - they didn't give us fortune cookies

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Chicken with Stuffing

No Name Chicken

Another subpar summer day put me in the mood for some comfort food.  This is typically a "fall/winter" dish but a rainy, cool day was a good excuse to use the oven again!

Very easy to do - take some boneless chicken breasts and put in a baking dish.  I cut the chicken in small pieces.  Take a can of cream of chicken soup and mix with a half can of milk and pour over chicken.

The topping is 2 cups of herb seasoned stuffing (Pepperidge Farm) mixed with 6 tbls. of melted butter and put on top of chicken; bake at 375 for about 30-40 minutes until is lightly browned.  Serve over egg noodles... John was excited for this meal - another one of his favs and 4+ stars!

Oh and rain, rain - please go away!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Diary of a Wimpy Cook

Yep, that is what these are called - at least from my neck in the woods.  Mom made these quite often and I think the recipe is from my dad's side of the family.  Of course the most common name is Sloppy Joes but any way they are called, they are good.


I think the key to these is this chili sauce - I can't find here so I order it.  If you know where I can get it here, do tell!

The meat, green peppers and onions are browned

The chili sauce and ketchup plus a tbl of mustard and some water added and simmer for about 45 minutes

John give this 4+ stars and is one of his favs.
We also had green beans (the kind steamed in the bag) and then added some salt, olive oil and fresh lemon juice...

Wimpies Serves: 4-6 Calories: NA Prep Time to Table: 1 hour
Recipe : Mom G

 -1lb ground beef -green pepper chopped
-1/4 cup chopped onion
 -1 tbl mustard
-1 cup Ketchup
-1 cup chili sauce
-1/2 cup water

1. Brown beef, green peppers and onion
2. Add remaining ingredient, cover and simmer about 45 minutes
3. Serve on hamburger rolls Notes:

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Baked Pasta with Sausage and Tomatoes

Baked Pasta with Sausage and Tomatoes

Well, it wasn't really too cold outside but at this time of year I expect it to be warmer. This coolness combined with the rain today, made it feel like a early spring day.  So with that in mind, it was a good day to use the oven.  I really like this recipe and have made it a few times.  If I served this to you, you would never guess that it is made with turkey sausage.... when the flavors combine, it is fantastic. 

Simple ingredients

Cook the sausage, onions and garlic and then add the tomatoes and tomato paste

When pasta is done combine with the above mixture and layer in a casserole dish with mozzarella and parmesan cheese... bake and 25 minutes later it is ready to eat!  John really likes this and gave it 4 stars!

Side note today:  I felt like I was in a Seinfeld episode... I was leaving work and took the elevator to what I thought was my level and was wandering around for a bit until I remembered I was down 2 levels...  Luckily I was not carrying an air conditioner!

Baked Pasta with Sausage and Tomatoes Serves: 4 Calories: 415 Prep Time to Table: 40 minutes
Recipe : Adapted from Cooking Light

-1/2 lb penne pasta
-1/2 lb hot turkey sausage links
-1 tsp minced bottled garlic
 -1/4 cup chopped onion
-1 tbl tomato paste
-1/4 tsp salt
 -1/4 tsp pepper
-1 can (14.5) petite-diced tomatoes, undrained
-2 tbl chopped fresh basil
- 2 oz. parmesan cheese
-2 oz. shredded fresh mozzarella cheese

1. Cook pasta, drain and set aside
2. Cook crumbled sausage (casings removed), onion, and garlic over medium heat until browned
3. Add tomato paste, tomatoes S&P and bring to boil; cover and cook for 10 minutes – stir occasionally
4. Spray a 2 quart baking dish with PAM.
5. Combine cooked pasta, sausage mixture and basil. Place half in dish, top with half mozzarella and half parmesan – repeat layers
6. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until bubbly Notes: this can be easily doubled for a bigger crowd