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Monday, May 30, 2011

Banana Pudding with Ginger Snaps

A recipe for 10-12 servings

I like traditional vanilla wafers in this recipe but I love ginger snaps. Give it a try this summer.

2 fresh, whole eggs
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3 cups skim milk
2 tablespoons vanilla flavoring
1 pound ripe banana
3/4 pound gingersnap cookies

In a mixing bowl whisk the eggs, brown sugar, flour and cinnamon together.
In a heavy pot over medium heat scald 3 cups of the milk.
As the milk begins to boil remove from the heat and temper into the egg mixture.
Return the milk and egg mixture to the heat in the heavy pot and bring to a boil stirring constantly.
Pour the mixture into a clean bowl.
Add the vanilla flavoring to the mixture and chill in an ice bath.
In a tureen alternate layers of the custard, bananas, and gingersnap cookies
Chill and serve.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Memorial Day

To you who answered the call of your country and served in its Armed Forces to bring about the total defeat of the enemy, I extend the heartfelt thanks of a grateful Nation. As one of the Nation’s finest, you undertook the most severe task one can be called on to perform. Because you demonstrated the fortitude, resourcefulness and calm judgment necessary to carry out that task, we now look to you for leadership and example in further exalting our country in peace.

Harry Truman
The White House

This letter from President Harry S. Truman was addressed to George T. Yearty, my grandfather. It was sent to him and thousands of other young men and women returning victoriously home following World War 2 as an expression of thanks for their honorable service to our Country.To honor their service this Memorial Day please read and remember.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Balsamic Sirloin Steak Skewers

A recipe for 4-6

1 ½ pounds lean sirloin steak cut into 2 inch cubes
¼ cup olive oil
¾ cup balsamic vinegar
3 cloves of garlic crushed
4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
Bamboo skewers as needed
Balsamic Glaze as needed*

Pat the steak pieces dry and set aside. Meanwhile combine the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic and parsley to make the marinade. Season the marinade as desired with salt and pepper and add the steak pieces to the mixture. Allow at least two hours for marinating the place 4 pieces of the steak to each skewer. Grill or roast to desired doneness. Top with balsamic glaze prior to service.

* Balsamic glaze may be purchased in local markets but is also easy to make. Just place 3 cups of balsamic vinegar with a pinch of sugar in a sauce pan and reduce by two thirds. The remaining glaze should be slightly thick and very flavorful.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Peach Crumb Pie

A recipe for 8-10

*It is almost peach season. To set the mood here is a very easy and delicious (light too) peach crumble pie recipe. If you have a few quarts in the freezer from last year then you are a peach lover.

2 pounds fresh ripe peaches peeled, pitted and cut into one inch chunks
¾ cup apricot jam, warmed
¼ plus 2 tablespoons cup sugar
1 ¼ cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons orange juice
1/3 cup light brown sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold butter sliced
½ cup oats
½ cup sliced almonds

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
Combine the peaches, apricot jam, 2 tablespoons sugar, ¼ cup flour and orange juice in a large bowl and toss then pour into a 9X12 baking dish.

For the topping combine 1 cup flour, ¼ cup sugar, 1/3 cup sugar brown sugar and the salt in a food processor and pulse several times.
Next add in the butter and pulse until the mixture is incorporated.
Transfer the mixture to a bowl and add in the oats and almonds then stir to combine.
Spread the topping over the plum mixture and bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes or until fruit is tender.

Hint-This is not bad with a little ice cream!

Zucchini, Squash and Onion with Fresh Herbs

A recipe for 6-8

2 medium zucchini sliced
3 yellow squash sliced
1 medium onion diced
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
2-3 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
2-3 tablespoons fresh basil shredded

Place the zucchini, squash and onion in a bowl and coat with the olive oil. Season lightly with salt and pepper then either grill or roast until well browned. Meanwhile place the fresh herbs in the same bowl and set aside. When the vegetables are cooked toss in the fresh herb mixture adding additional seasoning as desired.

Pineapple Mango Salsa

A recipe for 6-10 servings

2 cups fresh pineapple diced
1 cup fresh mango diced
½ cup red onion small diced
2 tablespoons red bell pepper diced
1 clove garlic minced
3 tablespoons cilantro chopped
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
½ cup pineapple juice

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and chill. The flavors are best after a night in the fridege. This relish goes really well with grilled seafood and chicken.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Oven Roasted Salmon with Citrus

A recipe for 4 servings

1 lemon sliced
1 lime sliced
4 salmon fillets 4-5 ounces each
Salt and pepper as desired
1 bunch of cilantro
4 slices of sweet Vidalia onion
2 celery stalks
2 cups fresh orange segments
¼ cup fresh tomato salsa

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Meanwhile arrange the lemon and lime slices on a baking dish. Place the salmon fillets on top of the citrus fruits. Season the salmon with salt and pepper and top each with the cilantro, onion and celery. Bake for 20-25minutes until done. When done discard the celery and cilantro and squeeze the remaining juice from the lemon and lime. Serve with the orange segments and a spoonful of salsa.

Dark Chocolate Ice Cream

A recipe for about a half gallon

1 ½ teaspoons unflavored gelatin
1 tablespoons water
3 cups low fat milk
¼ cup dark cocoa powder
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate chopped
3 egg yolks
1 can sweetened condensed milk

Add the gelatin to the water and set aside to dissolve. Next in a saucepan heat 1 ½ cups of the milk with the cocoa powder and chopped chocolate till the mixture is steaming. Combine the egg yolks with the condensed milk and add drop by drop the heated milk mixture to it. Once combined return the mixture to medium heat and continue to cook for 4-5 minutes or until it will coat the back of a wooden spoon. Strain the mixture through a sieve to remove any solids then add the gelatin and stir to dissolve. Finally add the remaining milk and refrigerate for at least 2 hours of overnight. Process in an ice cream maker according to direction.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Greek Pasta Salad with Balsamic Dressing

A recipe for 10-12 servings

1 pound bowtie pasta cooked and chilled
1½ cups balsamic vinegar
½ cup olive oil
1 cup red onion diced
1 cup red bell pepper diced
2 cups grape tomatoes halved
½ cup zucchini slices
½ cup yellow squash slices
3 cloves garlic minced
¼ cup parsley chopped
1 cup feta cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Place all of the chopped veggies in a bowl and add in 1 cup of the balsamic vinegar. Let the mixture marinate for at least an hour or overnight. To complete the dish add in the cooked pasta, parsley and feta cheese then season to taste with salt and pepper. Finish the salad by adding the olive oil and the remaining balsamic vinegar if needed so that the salad will have plenty of dressing and not be too dry.

Smothered Green Beans

A Recipe for 4-6

1 pound fresh green beans snipped
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 large sweet onion, sliced
1/4 cup red bell pepper thinly sliced
½ cup crispy bacon drained and crumbled
½ cup pecans
Salt and pepper to taste

In a pot of boiling water blanch the green beans until bright green but still crispy (about 4 minutes)then remove and reserve. Meanwhile heat the oil in a skillet over high heat and begin to sauté the sliced onion and bell pepper. Next add in the green beans and continue to sauté over high heat. Finish the dish by adding the bacon, pecans and season to taste.

Spicy Chicken Stir-Fry

A recipe for 4-6

1 pound chicken small diced
1 cup prepared stir-fry sauce
¼ cup olive oil
2 fresh carrots peeled and thinly sliced
1 cup broccoli thinly sliced
1 small zucchini thinly sliced
1 small yellow squash thinly sliced
½ cup onion sliced
¼ cup bell pepper chopped
2 cloves garlic crushed
1 pinch crushed red pepper

In a bowl marinate the chicken pieces for 1 hour in ¼ cup of the stir-fry sauce. Heat ¼ cup of the olive oil on a wok or griddle and cook the chicken pieces thoroughly then remove. Next heat the remaining olive oil and cook the carrot, broccoli, zucchini, squash, onion and bell pepper tossing to cook evenly. Next add the garlic and then add back the cooked chicken for another few minutes. Toss the mixture with the remaining stir-fry sauce and serve warm with steamed rice

Vegetable Soup

A recipe for 8-10

2 tablespoons olive oil
11/2 cup onion chopped
¾ cup celery chopped
¾ cup carrot chopped
½ cup bell pepper
4 cloves garlic minced
2 shallots minced
½ cup yellow squash diced
½ cup zucchini diced
1 quart chicken stock
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cups chopped tomatoes
1 can red beans rinsed and drained
2 cups dry ziti pasta
Salt and pepper as needed for taste
1 stalks of fresh thyme

In a large heavy pot heat the olive oil and add the onion, celery, carrot and bell pepper cooking for several minutes until tender. Next add in the garlic and shallot and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Add in the squash and zucchini and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Next add in the chicken stock, tomato paste, chopped tomatoes, red beans and pasta. Finally adjust the seasonings to taste and add in the fresh thyme. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and continue cooking for 20-30 minutes or until the pasta is tender.