Baked Salmon Puffs “Stella”

 

Salmon Puffs on the Stella Tray

The Oyster Bed STELLA Tray

Salmon Puffs served on a chilled Steak Bed

Salmon Puffs served on a chilled Oyster Bed “Steak” Tray

Salmon Puffs “Stella” Style:

Traditional salmon puffs are routinely fried in hot oil but my recipe gives them a new healthy twist baked in The Oyster Bed “Stella” Tray. The cooked puffs can be served on a chilled Steak Bed as an entrée nestled atop a crisp and fruity salad or served as an appetizer for a crowd. The Sriracha Remoulade is not only a fantastic dipping sauce it makes a wonderful salad dressing; all you need to finish the dish are a few lemon wedges and the company of your mom this Mother’s Day.

As an ambassador for the folks at the Oyster Bed Company I’m eager to create new recipes using their patent pending, multi purpose, multi function cookware. It’s not only beautiful its multi purpose function makes it a stunning vessel for any number of delicious recipes. 

Baked Salmon Puffs with Sriracha Remoulade
Yields 6
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Cook Time
25 min
Cook Time
25 min
For the Topping
  1. 1/2 cup panko crumbs
  2. 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  3. 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
For the Remoulade
  1. 1/2 cup sour cream
  2. 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  3. 1 tablespoon mild pepper ring juice
  4. 2 teaspoon sriracha
  5. 1 clove garlic minced
  6. 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  7. 1 teaspoon hot sauce
For the Salmon
  1. 18 ounces wild caught canned salmon, drained liquid reserved
  2. 2 eggs slightly beaten
  3. 1/3 cup flour
  4. 1 teaspoon hot-sauce
  5. 1 teaspoon pepper
  6. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  7. 1 heaping teaspoon baking powder
  8. 1 teaspoon olive oil
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degree F.
  2. Place the Stella Oyster Tray into the oven and heat until ready to make the puffs
For the Topping
  1. In a small bowl combine Panko crumbs, parmesan cheese and chopped parsley. Stir to combine set aside.
For the Remoulade
  1. Mix all of the ingredients together and cover with plastic wrap until ready to serve
For the Salmon
  1. Drain salmon liquid into a small bowl and reserve for later
  2. mix salmon, eggs, flour, hot-sauce, salt, pepper together in a medium bowl
  3. Measure 1/3 cup reserved liquid, discard the rest. Add baking powder to the liquid and whip until foamy. Add the foam mixture to the salmon mixture and stir to combine
  4. Use oven mitts to remove heated Stella Oyster Tray from oven and brush olive oil lightly into each oyster shaped depression
  5. Spoon even amounts of the salmon mixture into each depression.
  6. Sprinkle about 1 teaspoon topping mix over each and bake in oven for 25 minutes
Notes
  1. Serve with Remoulade, mild pickled pepper rings, and lemon wedges
Adapted from Lynette Glass (Longtime Friend)
Adapted from Lynette Glass (Longtime Friend)
At Home with Rebecka http://athomewithrebecka.com/

Salmon Puffs on the Stella Tray

Baked Salmon Puffs

To learn more about the Oyster Bed Company and their products visit the Waller Brother’s website HERE

 

Happy Mother’s Day




UDON Lettuce Cups with Creamy Peanut Dressing {JSL Foods Blogger Recipe Challenge}

Udon lettuce cups are a light, healthy lunch or dinner. When you’re hungry for restaurant quality flavors but too tired to go out for dinner, make this quick and delicious meal in less than 30 minutes.   

JSL Foods presents… the Blogger Recipe Challenge.  

Udon lettuce cups are a light, healthy lunch or dinner. When you're hungry for restaurant quality flavors but too tired to go out for dinner, make this quick and delicious meal in less than 30 minutes.

When I accepted the Fortune Noodle-Blogger Recipe Challenge, the company offered me a choice of noodles to create an original recipe.  

I tested several recipes during the vetting process for this tasty contest by utilizing several of the unique and delicious Fortune Noodle products. 

I made a Thai Peanut Noodle Salad with Crispy Fried Duck Breast with Fortune Noodle Thai Peanut Rice NoodlesUnfortunately, I forgot to place the product packaging in the photo which I thought would disqualify this recipe for submission. I get so excited about creating recipes, sometimes I forget to adhere to the official rules. 

Fortune Blogger Challenge 2016

Armed with the knowledge that my first recipe was a failed attempt for submission, I decided to shop for Fortune Noodles at my local Safeway store to experiment with a few different flavors. My local Safeway carries three flavors of the UDON noodles as well as, the Yaki Soba stir-fry noodles. I went for the Yaki-Soba noodles and made a Creamy Yaki Soba Salad with a mango, dried cranberries and a mayonnaise based dressing.  Guess what? I forgot the product package in the photo AGAIN, but  at least I captured a cute selfie with my delicious salad! 

FortuneNoodle SaladSelfie1

I used the Original Udon Noodles to make my THIRD and final recipe; UDON Lettuce Cups with Creamy Peanut Dressing, and I finally remembered to put the product packaging in the photo!! Thank goodness!

Udon lettuce cups are the perfect meal when you’re hungry for restaurant quality flavors, but too tired to go out for dinner.

You can make this quick and delicious meal in less than 30 minutes.   

Udon lettuce cups are a light, healthy lunch or dinner. When you're hungry for restaurant quality flavors but too tired to go out for dinner, make this quick and delicious meal in less than 30 minutes.

What’s at stake for 50 blogger contestants?

Two First Place Winners will receive $1000.00 cash prize

Two Second Place Winners $500.00 Cash Prize

Two 3rd Place Winners: $250.00

Fortune Udon Noodles are pre-cooked, fresh refrigerated noodles, restaurant quality noodles that are easy to prepare when cooking soups or stir-fry’s (Yaki-Udon). Fortune Udon Noodles are ready to eat in less than three minutes in four delicious flavors that include Original (soy), Beef, Chicken and Mushroom. Just add protein, vegetables and toppings. Each Fortune Udon Noodle is packaged with a natural flavored dry soup packet and offers consumers a wide range of sought-after health benefits including 100% All Natural Ingredients, Non-GMO, Omega-3 Fortification, Cholesterol-Free and MSG Free.

Want to hear something funny? After reviewing the Official Contest Rules, several times, I can’t find anywhere that they state the product package has to be featured in the photo. Really?

It’s official, I’ve lost my mind keeping track of all my recent contesting and rules. The good news is, now I have three (3) amazing Fortune Noodle Recipes. 

Udon Lettuce Cups with Creamy Peanut Dressing
When you're hungry for restaurant quality flavors but too tired to go out for dinner, make this quick and delicious meal in less than 30 minutes.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
3 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
3 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 package(s) Fortune Original UDON noodles
  2. 1 8 ounce package of cooked chicken breast (I used deli chicken breast)
  3. 1 large head bib or large leaf lettuce
  4. 2 cups packaged Asian Slaw Mix
  5. 1/2 cup carrots, shaved
  6. 1/2 cup red pepper, julienned
  7. 2 hard boiled eggs, grated
  8. 3 tablespoon olive oil
  9. 3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  10. 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  11. 1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger
  12. 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  13. 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  14. 1/2 teaspoon prepared minced garlic
  15. 2 tablespoons honey
  16. 1 Original Flavored Udon season pack
  17. small bunch cilantro
Instructions
  1. Remove noodles from package, keep season pack for dressing
  2. Pour 2 cups water into a microwave safe bowl
  3. Add noodles and microwave on high for 2 minutes
  4. Allow noodles to rest in hot water while making the dressing. Strain noodles right before tossing the salad
  5. Wash lettuce to remove sand. Drain on paper towel to remove excess water. Separate leaves to make cups for the Udon salad
  6. Grate hard boiled eggs. Use one of the lettuce cups to serve the grated eggs
  7. In a large bowl combine, shaved carrots, 2 cups slaw mix, and julienned red pepper, and drained UDON noodles
  8. In a small food processor, blend peanut butter, rice vinegar, olive oil, fresh grated ginger, light soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, prepared minced garlic, the contents of 1 UDON flavor packet, and honey.
  9. Blend until very well combined
  10. Pour dressing over salad and toss
  11. Cut precooked chicken into strips
  12. Assemble the lettuce cups, chicken and grated egg, and cilantro on a large serving tray
  13. Use one large lettuce cup as the bowl for the noodle salad
Notes
  1. To Serve: Fill one lettuce cup with a small amount of noodle salad, top with chicken and enjoy! Garnish with Sriracha sauce, chopped salted peanuts and edible flowers
  2. Salad can be made ahead and refrigerated but best served the same day
At Home with Rebecka http://athomewithrebecka.com/
 

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FOLLOW JSL Foods on Facebook: HERE

For the Official Rules: HERE

 




Celery and Spiced Pork Salad with Watermelon and Creamy Garlic Chili Dressing

Spiced pork salad with celery, watermelon and a creamy garlic chili dressing. This deconstructed spiced pork salad recipe makes the perfect refreshing, light dinner!

 

Spiced pork salad with celery, watermelon and a creamy garlic chili dressing. This deconstructed salad recipe makes the perfect refreshing, light dinner!

California’s weather has been glorious this Spring and has me dreaming of the bounty my garden will produce in just a few short weeks. Thankfully, I don’t have to wait for my garden to mature with fresh garden vegetables and fruits plentiful in my neck of the woods; making fresh and fruity salads a staple year round. 

Here’s a recipe I created last summer for Duda Fresh Farms Recipe Challenge.  The addition of the spiced pork elevates the dish from accompaniment to hearty meal.

I hope you enjoy the deconstructed Celery and Spiced Pork Salad with Watermelon and Creamy Garlic Chili Dressing as much as I do!  

 

Celery and Spiced Pork Salad with Creamy Garlic Chili Dressing
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
15 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
15 min
For the Spiced Pork
  1. 1 pound ground turkey
  2. 1/2 pound ground pork
  3. 1 1/2 tablespoon fresh minced garlic
  4. 1 1/2 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
  5. 1/2 cup panko crumbs
  6. 2 teaspoons dried Chinese Five Spice
  7. 1/2 cup minced scallions
  8. 1 large egg
  9. 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  10. 1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil
For the Celery, Carrots and Watermelon
  1. 1 bunch celery
  2. 4 large carrots
  3. 3 cups cubed watermelon
  4. 1/3 cup sugar
  5. 1 tablespoon salt
  6. 1 cup distilled white vinegar
  7. 2 cups water
  8. 5 slices fresh ginger
  9. 1 teaspoon fish sauce
Balsamic Glaze
  1. 2 tablespoon Hoisin sauce
  2. 2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  3. 1/4 teaspoon caraway seed
Seasoned Salt
  1. 1 tablespoon onion powder
  2. 1 tablespoon garlic salt
  3. 1 teaspoon Chinese Five spice
  4. 1/4 teaspoon ground clove
  5. 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  6. 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  7. For the Garlic Chili Dressing
  8. 1 cup mayonnaise
  9. 2 tablespoon Chili Garlic Sauce (found in Asian food section of local market)
  10. 1 tablespoon lemon juice
Garnish
  1. 2 tablespoon roasted peanuts
  2. 2 Thai chilis
Ground Pork
  1. In a large mixing bowl combine ground meats
  2. Peel ginger and grate, peel garlic and mince, and finely chop scallions
  3. Once this is done, add the ingredients to the meat mixture
  4. Add Chinese Five Spice, panko crumbs, egg, soy sauce, sesame oil to the meat mixture, and mix well, using hands if necessary to distribute spices evenly
  5. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and sauté mixture until golden browned, remove from heat and spoon off liquids, set aside
To make pickling liquid for Celery and Carrots
  1. In a small sauce pan over medium heat, combine sugar, salt, vinegar, water, ginger and fish sauce. Cook until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and refrigerate for 10 minutes
  2. While the tickling liquid is cooling, wash and thinly slice celery. Add celery to a medium bowl and set aside
  3. Wash carrots in cool water and remove butter skin, using a vegetable peeler cut into ribbons. Place cut carrots in a small mixing bowl, set aside.
  4. Once pickling liquid is cooled, spoon 1 cup over carrots, cover and refrigerate until ready to plate
  5. Likewise, add 1 cup liquid to celery as well as, 1/4 teaspoon caraway seeds. Cover and refrigerate until ready to plate
For the Garlic Chili Dressing
  1. Mix ingredients in a small bowl and set aside
For the Spice Mix
  1. Mix ingredients together in a small airtight container. Leftovers can be stored in a dry cool place for later use
To Plate
  1. Cut watermelon into small chunks. Smear about 4 tablespoons garlic dressing onto large salad plate. Arrange celery, carrots, watermelon, and cooked spiced pork mixture into individual lines on plate. Blend Hoisin sauce and balsamic together in a small bowl. Transfer a small amount to a small zip bag, and pipe over watermelon. Sprinkle watermelon with a pinch of seasoned salt. Sprinkle chopped peanuts over pork mixture and toasted sesame seeds over carrots. Add sliced Thai chili and enjoy
Notes
  1. This deconstructed salad comes together once the individual flavors are married together on the plate, creating a superbly flavored dish reminiscent of vietnams Bánh mi. The creamy garlic dressing blended with the pickling liquid on the celery make this dish sing with freshness and authentic Asian flavors.
At Home with Rebecka http://athomewithrebecka.com/
Spiced Pork Salad

 

Celery Salad with Spiced Pork

If you enjoy the spiced pork salad recipe, I bet you will love these, too:

Fresh Strawberry Vinaigrette, Mixed Greens and Tuna Salad

Warm Preserved Lemon Curry Macaroni Salad with Turmeric




Preserved Meyer Lemons Recipe with Exact Measurements

Preserved Meyer lemons are easy to make and delicious in many different food applications, from salads to soups. This recipe will explain how to make preserved Meyer lemons with exact measurements to assure the perfect preserved lemons!
Preserved Meyer Lemons

Preserved Meyer Lemon Recipe

Meyer lemon Cluster

Preserved lemons are a staple in Moroccan and sometime other African cuisines. They are preserved to use in tangines, soups and stews, to impart their mellow lemon flavor.

With an abundance of homegrown Meyer lemons, I set off during the holidays to preserve some for myself however, finding a recipe for preserved Meyer lemons with exact measurements proved to be difficult.

In my search, I found recipes that varied from 1 tablespoon sea salt per lemon, while others called for 1 teaspoon. One heirloom recipe was so vague, I was left wondering what the writer was thinking. The instruction said…just “toss in some salt!” I was frustrated with such a wide measurement variable, concerned the recipe would be either unsafe to consume, or so overly salted, it would be inedible. 

When trying to recreate a recipe for my readers food safety is paramount, especially where food preservation is concerned. I spent several weeks researching a variety of preserved lemon methods before trying my hand at the preserved Meyer lemons recipe. After some trial and error, I finally came up with exact measurements for preserving lemons in a safe way, and that also produce a tasty result. 

I made several batches using different varieties and measurements of sea salt(s) to test for flavor. I also made the addition of spices and hot chili’s to another batch that produced a delicious, spicy-tangy preserved lemon. The different varieties of sea salt didn’t make a difference in flavor however, the darker varieties altered the color of the fruit and juice.

The reward of preserving lemons is well worth the wait.

I’ve used my preserved Meyer lemons in a variety of delicious recipes over the past few months.

Warm Preserved Lemon Curry Macaroni Salad

Warm Macaroni Salad with Preserved lemon

 

Moroccan Chicken

Moroccan Chicken with Preserved Meyer Lemons and Kalamata Olives

How to Make Preserved Meyer Lemons
Preserved lemon recipe with exact measurements
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Ingredients
  1. 1 dozen Meyer lemons (or other variety)
  2. 12 tablespoons sea salt, divided
  3. 1/2 cup fresh squeezed or bottled lemon juice, if necessary
Instructions
  1. 1 quart canning jar(s) with rims and lids
  2. Wash lemons in cool water to remove dirt and impurities
  3. Sterilize jar in boiling water bath for 15 minutes before using.
  4. Slice both the stem and bottom end off lemons. Starting at one end, cut the lemons in half lengthwise, but stop about 1/2 an inch before you reach the bottom. Repeat the cut perpendicularly so you have cut each lemon lengthwise in a "X" formation, but not all the way through; they should still be attached at the bottom, about 1/2 an inch.
  5. If you are using several smaller jars, lemons can be fully quartered
  6. Gently open each lemon with fingers
  7. Spoon in 1/2 tablespoon (2 teaspoons) sea salt for each lemon
  8. Place three or four lemons in the jar and press with muddler to release juices. A wooden spoon can be used for this step
  9. Continue this process until all lemons are salted and juiced
  10. Be sure the fruit is totally covered with their juices. Add more fresh squeezed or bottled lemon juice if necessary
  11. Fill jar to the brim leaving about 1/4 inch head space and seal tightly
  12. Allow jar to rest at room temperature for 2 weeks before using
  13. Lemons will last for up to 1 year if kept in a cool place and can be stored in the refrigerated after resting at room temperature for 2 months.
To use
  1. Remove one or two lemons from the jar depending on what your recipe calls for.
  2. If the juice in the jar gets low, add enough bottled or fresh squeezed lemon juice to cover the fruit. Replace lid and return jar to resting place
  3. Rinse lemon in cool water and remove flesh. Some people use the flesh however, I don't care for the texture
  4. Once the peel is rinsed and flesh has been removed, slice or chop the the peel and use in salads, soups and stews. The peel can also be used in cocktails
Notes
  1. The flavor of preserved lemons enhances over time and can be embellished by adding spices and or hot peppers. I generally make one batch with just salt and another with a combinations of spices. Black peppercorns, whole clove, thai chili, coriander seeds etc.
At Home with Rebecka http://athomewithrebecka.com/
Spices Preserved Lemon

Step 1 in making preserved Meyer lemons

Step 2 in making preserved Meyer lemons

Step 3 in making preserved Meyer lemons

Preserved Meyer lemons and spices

I would love to hear about your experiences making preserved lemons. Please feel free to share!




Healthy Solutions Spice Blends Recipe Challenge 2016-Hawaiian Seared Albacore Poke

Healthy Solutions Spice Blends Recipe Challenge 2016-Hawaiian Seared Albacore Poke. My recipe and video entry for this years challenge. Check out the video to learn more about the product and recipe.

Hawaiian Seared Albacore Poke Salad
Serves 4
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
5 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 1/4 pounds Albacore tuna
  2. 1 package Healthy Choice Sesame Ginger Tuna Blend
  3. 1 teaspoon fresh grated garlic
  4. 1/4 cup minced green onion
  5. 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
  6. 1/4 cup chopped English cucumber
  7. 1/4 cup chopped celery
  8. 1 teaspoon low salt soy sauce
  9. 1/4 cup black sesame seeds
  10. 1 teaspoon white sesame seeds
  11. 1 bunch micro greens, any variety
  12. 2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil, divided
  13. 1/4 cup olive oil for frying
  14. 1 package wonton or dumpling wraps 1/4 cup English cucumber
Wasabi Cream
  1. 1/2 cups sour cream
  2. 1 tablespoon milk
  3. 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  4. 4 tablespoons wasabi paste or powder
Garnish
  1. 2 sheets wakame seaweed
  2. 1/4 cup pickled sushi ginger
  3. 1/4 cup sweet sour peppers
Instructions
  1. Season Tuna with 1 teaspoon olive oil, and pepper
  2. In a medium bowl combine, garlic, green onion, ginger, celery, and cucumber. Too to combine
  3. In a small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon Healthy Solutions Sesame Ginger Tuna Spice Blend with 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil. Set aside
  4. In another small bowl combine black sesame seeds with remaining packet Sesame Ginger Tuna Blend. Set aside
For the Wasabi Cream
  1. Whisk 1/2 cups sour cream, 1 tablespoon milk, 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, 4 tablespoons wasabi paste or powder
  2. Pour into squeeze bottle and set aside until ready to use
  3. In a large skillet, heat 1/4 cup olive oil, fry dumpling/wonton wraps until golden brown. drain on paper towel
  4. In another large skillet, heat 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  5. Sear seasoned tuna 20 seconds each side, remove pan from heat and rest tuna
  6. Preheat oven to broil.
  7. Coat one side of seared tuna with black sesame seed mixture
  8. Broil tuna for 20-30 seconds until top is browned
To Assemble
  1. Slice one tune steak into thin pieces, chop the other and toss chopped pieces in salad bowl.
  2. Place micro greens on crispy dumpling skins, and about 1/4 cup mixed seared sad over the greens. Add one slice of seared tuna to top of salad and garnish with wasabi cream and strips of wakame seaweed
At Home with Rebecka http://athomewithrebecka.com/
Seared Albacore Poke

Seared Albacore Poke




Waldorf Risotto Recipe – #WaldorfSaladRefresh

Waldorf risotto is a delicious side dish recipe, combining the flavors of a classic Waldorf salad with the creaminess of risotto.

Waldorf risotto is a delicious side dish recipe, combining the flavors of a classic Waldorf salad with the creaminess of risotto.

If you love the dreaminess of a classic Waldorf salad, you’re going to die for my remixed version, Waldorf risotto!

The warm, apple infused risotto is the perfect balance to the crispy, tart salad. I finished the dish with a spicy crunch of California candied cayenne walnuts. The flavor combination is out of this world, and I’ve chosen this Waldorf risotto recipe as my submission for this year’s recipe challenge.

Another delicious risotto recipe to try is my Red Beet Risotto

California Walnuts presents, the Waldorf Salad Refresh Recipe Contest. Wish me luck, and enjoy this Waldorf risotto recipe!

#WaldorfSaladRefresh

California Walnuts Recipe Contest image

Waldorf Risotto
Serves 4
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 red crisp apples
  2. 4 large celery stalks
  3. 1 cup mayonnaise, divided
  4. 1 tablespoon plus, 2 teaspoon sugar
  5. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  6. 3 teaspoon lemon juice, divided
  7. 1 cup arborio rice
  8. 4 cups apple cider
  9. 1-2 cups water
  10. 2 teaspoons butter
  11. 1/4 teaspoon olive oil
  12. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  13. 1 cup California walnuts
  14. 1 tablespoon sugar
  15. 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
For the Salad
  1. Slice apples across lengthwise into 1/4 inch rounds, thinly slice each round into match stick lengths, toss in a large mixing bowl with 1 teaspoon lemon juice.
  2. Reserve 1 cup match stick apples, set aside
  3. Thinly slice 3 celery stalks, combine slices with apples
  4. Add 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon sugar to cut apples and celery and toss, cover and refrigerate until ready to use
For the Risotto
  1. Diced the reserved match stick apples, you should have about 4 tablespoons
  2. Dice 1 stalk celery, combine diced apples and celery with a pinch of salt and 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  3. In a medium saucepan, over medium high heat, melt 1 teaspoon butter
  4. Saute diced celery and apples until Al dente, (tender but not soft), remove from pan and set aside
  5. Heat 4 cups apple cider in a saucepan, keep warm
For the Candied Cayenne Walnuts
  1. Add walnuts to non-stick pan, turn heat to medium, sprinkle 1 tablespoon sugar over nuts, allow sugar to melt, When sugar is almost melted or begins to caramelize, stir or toss walnuts to coat evenly. Pour candied walnuts out onto a piece of waxed paper and sprinkle with cayenne pepper, cool and rough chop
For the Risotto
  1. Add 1 teaspoon butter and 1/4 teaspoon olive oil to the same pan the apples were cooked in.
  2. Stir in 1 cup arborio rice, saute for 3-5 minutes stirring occasionally to coat rice kernels
  3. Begin making risotto by adding 1 cup of apple juice at a time to sauteed rice, allow liquid to absorb, and continue adding liquid 1 cup at a time, until all 4 cups are incorporated, this will take about 25 minutes. Risotto should be tender but not mushy, more liquid can be added if the rice is still tough, add 1 cup water until absorbed and test again until desired consistency.
  4. Turn heat off.
  5. Add cooked apples and celery and 1 teaspoon butter to risotto mixture, stir to combine. Finally, add 1/2 cup mayonnaise. Season with additional lemon juice, and salt to taste
To serve
  1. Ladle 1/2 cup risotto portion onto plate, top risotto with prepared Waldorf salad, and sprinkle with candied cayenne walnuts
At Home with Rebecka http://athomewithrebecka.com/
 

 

 

Waldorf Risotto

For a list of all the contest entries, visit Waldorf Salad Refresh Recipe Challenge on PINTEREST




Edible Flower Salad with Basil Balsamic Vinaigrette

Edible flower salad with basil balsamic vinaigrette is a fresh garden salad that is almost too beautiful to eat! This edible flower salad recipe will make a delicious and elegant salad, perfect for brunch, ladies luncheon, or a bridal shower.

Edible Flower Salad with Basil Balsamic Vinaigrette

My mother’s garden was the birthplace for all sorts of fresh vegetables and herbs which she used to create many family recipes. It was also the origin of my love for edible flowers. Using herb flowers and other edible petals in cookery during the 1960’s was a benchmark in gourmet eating, setting my mother light years ahead of her contemporaries. After years of sampling flowery, gastronomic delights such as pansies, squash blossoms, spicy nasturtiums, and sweet borage, my youthful palate was introduced to flavor profiles most adults have yet to experience.

Edible Flower Salad – a delight to the senses and taste buds

The consumption of edible flowers also fostered my imagination as a child. With every flowery recipe mom put on the table, I created a fantastic imaginary story resplendent with visions of fairies floating around the dinner table. The imagery of blue and deep red flowers combined with food stuff at an early age, was the fuel for my current food blogging experience.  

One of my moms favorite edible flower dishes was wilted salad. To make the savory salad, she would toss an assortment of colorful flowers with bibb lettuce, spinach, dandelion greens, and served it all up with steaming hot, bacon dressing. One of my favorite dishes to this day!

I still favor a wilted flower salad with hot bacon dressing, however, due to the recent heat wave in California, I decided to use a lighter touch by pairing this edible flower salad with a fresh italian balsamic vinaigrette (see recipe below). 

When eating and gathering edible flowers some precautions are in order.

First and foremost, I’m not a dietician, herbalist or professional doctor of natural medicine. All content on this blog are the author’s personal views and opinions. The information provided is solely for entertainment and does not constitute any legal, medical, or other professional advice. It is not to be taken as fact nor absolute truth and it is not the author’s intention to do harm or to injure others. The author will not be held responsible for advice, tips, techniques, and recommendations used. Readers of this blog are to use it at their own free will and at their own risk.

That being said, here are a few guideline to follow:

  • Asthmatics, if you’re prone to allergic reaction, introduce edible flowers in small amounts to judge the effects
  • Stay away from flowers that have been treated with pesticides, herbicides and insecticides
  • Collect flowers from known sources and refrain from gathering near roadways where car exhaust is present
  • Consume only edible flowers. Follow this link to the Edible Flower Chart
  • Purchasing edible flowers can be difficult, so growing your own is a very easy alternative.

Todays recipe uses borage and nasturtiums; both flowers have distinct flavor profiles and medicinal attributes.

Nasturtiums, range in color from dark red, orange, to bright yellow. The word nasturtiums  literally translates to “nose-twister” or “nose-tweaker”, due to their sharp peppery taste. When eating a nasturtium for the first time, you may note a flavor finish with hints of sweet honey or nectar. Eating flowers is like sampling fine wine, there are layers and layers of flavor.

Medicinal uses: 

Some people take nasturtium in combination with other herbs for urinary tract infections(UTIs), swollen airways, cough, and bronchitis. Nasturtium is sometimes applied directly to the skin in combination with other herbs for mild muscular pain. Nasturtium contains vitamin C and might help fight bacteria, fungi, viruses, and tumors. Source WEBMD

Nasturtium officinale

Borage flowers, Borage flowers have a delicate cucumber-like flavor and are very tender on the teeth. They are star-shaped with five-pointed purple or pink petals, most commonly used in salads, soups and pastries for their superb color and texture.  

Cautions: Borage has been known to have a laxative or diuretic effect, so it’s important to introduce small amounts into your diet.

Borage can also affect lactation and not recommend for mother’s who are breast-feeding.

The leaves are also edible but are covered with a fine silvery hairs. As the plant matures the hairs become bristly but when cooked they are almost non-existent. The leaf, stem are also covered in these fine hairs which contain small traces of silica that may irritate the skin. Wear gloves when harvesting and use leaves from early growth cycle for salads. Added to soups, steamed or lightly sautéed in evoo, borage leaves have a hint of cucumber-like flavor and are similar in texture to cooked spinach.

Borage Flower

Borage leaves, flowers and seeds have medicinal properties used for a wide range of disorders, for skin disorders including eczema, seborrheic dermatitis, and neurodermatitis. It is also used for rheumatoid arthritis (RA), stress,premenstrual syndrome (PMS), diabetes, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), alcoholism, pain and swelling (inflammation), and for preventing heart disease and stroke. Borage flower and leaves are used for fever, cough, and depression. Borage is also used for a hormone problem called adrenal insufficiency, for “bloodpurification,” to increase urine flow, to prevent inflammation of the lungs, as a sedative, and to promote sweating. Borage is also used to increase breast milk production and to treat bronchitis and colds. Borage is applied to the skin for infantile seborrheic dermatitis and is also used in a dressing to soften the skin. Source: WEBMD

It is said that borage gladdens the heart. Taken as a tea borage has been known to elevate mood, help those afflicted with anxiety and sleep disorders. To make tea, steep the leaves and blooms in hot water and drink one cup either hot or cold during periods of moodiness or stressful situations.

I hope you enjoy this edible flower salad recipe!

Edible Flower Salad with Basil Balsamic Vinaigrette
Serves 4
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Prep Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
For the Salad
  1. 1 bunch dandelion greens
  2. 1 bunch frisee lettuce
  3. 2 heads bibb lettuce
  4. 1/2 pint raspberries
  5. 1/2 pint blueberries
  6. 10-12 borage flowers
  7. 10 nasturtium flowers
  8. 1/2 cucumber sliced thinly
For the Dressing
  1. 1/2 cup good olive oil
  2. 1/4 cup champagne vinegar
  3. 1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
  4. 4 tablespoons fresh basil leaves
  5. 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  6. 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary
  7. 1 pinch granulated sugar
For the Dressing
  1. Using a mini food processor, blend all the ingredients until smooth, add pinch sugar, salt and pepper to taste, pulse for a few seconds to combine
  2. Refrigerate until ready to use
For the Salad
  1. Wash and spin dry lettuce, pull into bite size pieces and toss in a large salad bowl
  2. Pinch borage and nasturtium flowers from the plant, shake to dislodge dust, dirt and any little insects that might still be present. Flowers can be rinsed in cold water and drain on paper towels
  3. Add flowers to cleaned greens, toss a handful of raspberries, blueberries and cucumber slices into the bowl right at the last minute, dress the salad and serve
Notes
  1. Grow edible flowers from seed in containers. Start plants in small containers a few weeks before spring, transfer to a large container when the chance of freeze is past. Seeds can also be planted in soil.
At Home with Rebecka http://athomewithrebecka.com/
   Pink Star Flower




Fresh Jicama Carrot and Mango Slaw

Jicama carrot and mango slaw is full of bright flavor and color! This delicious slaw recipe makes the perfect side dish, or add protein to make a complete meal.

jicama carrot and mango slaw salad

After visiting my friend Ann, at anncoojournal.com this week, I was inspired to make this fresh and delicate jicama carrot and mango slaw recipe. Transform the dish into an entree by adding grilled shrimp, fish or chicken. 

I’m helping my friends at Cucumbertown, beta test a cool new app, RecipeCam! Check out my first attempt using the app; it’s really fun once you get the hang of it. They’re still working on more design enhancements, so once I have the correct codes, I’ll add the video right here on the post!

For now you can visit this LINK to see the video. I’ve posted the link below which shows photos of the recipe and how it would appear if downloaded directly from my iPhone. 

Jicama Carrot and Mango Slaw
Serves 6
Adapted recipe from my friend Ann at anncoojournal.com
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Prep Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups shredded jicama
  2. 1 mango
  3. 2 cups shredded carrot
  4. 2 teaspoon fresh mint
  5. 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  6. 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  7. 1/4 cup sugar
  8. 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  9. salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Shred carrot and jicama
  2. Chop mint fine
  3. Peel and cut mango into small cubes
  4. In a mixing bowl combine remaining ingredients, toss to coat
  5. Serve immediately
Notes
  1. Transform this side dish into an entree by adding grilled shrimp, fish or chicken
Adapted from Anncoojournal Quick Salad Recipe
At Home with Rebecka http://athomewithrebecka.com/
Jicama Carrot and Mango Slaw


Cucumbertown Video App RecipeCam




Fresh Strawberry Vinaigrette, Mixed Greens and Tuna Salad

Tuna Salad with Fresh Strawberry Vinaigrette

Crisp mixed greens with creamy tuna salad, make the perfect pair when dressed up with Fresh Strawberry Vinaigrette.  The sweet-tart dressing, and fresh sliced strawberries transform day-old tuna salad into a delightful meal.

Fresh Strawberry Vinaigrette and Tuna Salad
Yields 1
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Prep Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. For the Vinaigrette
  2. 1 cup fresh strawberries
  3. 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  4. 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  5. 1/2 cup olive oil
  6. 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
  7. salt and pepper to taste
  8. For the Tuna Salad
  9. 1 can white tuna, drained and rinsed
  10. 1/2 cup real mayonnaise
  11. 1/4 teaspoon celery seeds
  12. 2 tablespoon chopped celery
  13. 1 tablespoon sweet or spring onion
  14. 1 tablespoon chopped dill pickle
  15. 1/4 teaspoon yellow mustard
  16. 4 -6 cups mixed greens
  17. 2-3 fresh sliced strawberries
Instructions
  1. For the Vinaigrette
  2. Using a small cuisinart food processor, blend all ingredients until emulsified
  3. Set aside until ready to use
  4. For the Tuna
  5. Open can of tuna leaving lid in place
  6. drain can juices into sink, run water over the closed lid allowing water to enter around the edges of the can, press lid tightly closed and drain water, repeat 2-3 times
  7. In a medium mixing bowl, blend all ingredients until well combined
  8. Pour a teaspoon vinaigrette over mixed greens toss to coat lightly
  9. Divide dressed greens equally and place on individual serving dishes
  10. spoon one cup tuna salad over greens, garnish with sliced strawberries and serve with additional vinaigrette
At Home with Rebecka http://athomewithrebecka.com/
Tuna Salad with Fresh Strawberry Vinaigrette

 

Fresh Strawberry Vinaigrette

[plinker]




Low Carbohydrate Recipe: Crust-less Broccoli Swiss Quiche and Simple Spinach Salad

crustlessq1

Quiché was born to be dressed up, or down depending on what goodies might be lurking in your refrigerator that day; bacon, left-over baked chicken, mushroom, assorted cheeses, and veggies, are a few options when making this delicious dish; add a crisp salad with a light lemon dressing, and my tummy is satiated until dinner, no grumblings or cravings and a sure way for me to shed undesired weight.

I’m a true carnivore, so when motivated to lose a few pounds I follow a modified Atkins diet. When I stick to a meal plan rich in protein and green leafy foods, the pounds melt away allowing my body to perform at its best.   

With regret, I have to admit that my body craves carbohydrates,  the more I eat the more my body wants.  A slice of toast in the morning and I’m apt to devour a plethora of starchy foods throughout the day.    I’d like to say that I am able to maintain a strict low carb diet but eventually, I fall off the wagon and gorge myself with those great tasting, but really bad for me carbohydrates.  I have no will power once I’ve started the roller coaster of carb loaded foods; ice cream, donuts, chips, fries and whatever else I can shove in my mouth.

I wish I could view food as fuel; eat like a rabbit and be “that” person who was born, driven to exercise. Unfortunately, I’m too busy doing life, too tired to do what I need to do to keep my body fit, and did I mention, I really love to eat?

Needless to say, I’ve been really battling the bulge this year. No matter how much I hope to get back to the “good old days” of wearing short shorts, and rocking a flat tummy, it’s an uphill battle to eat right and stay fit. 

I’m a fifty-three year old, 5″ foot 3′ inch mother of five, grandmother to two beautiful baby girls; I’m short-waisted, top-heavy, and my ideal weight is 130 pounds. I’m currently tipping the scales at 160 pounds. For my small frame, thirty pounds of excess weight is just too much.  I feel tired, dumpy, and my clothes are gripping me in places I’d prefer not gripped!

Compacting my issues of weight loss, is the inordinate amount of stress that’s related to all of my life’s happenings.

I’ve read a host of health reports that show stress as the leading cause of belly fat, and heart disease.  

“If stress itself is a risk factor for heart disease, it could be because chronic stress exposes your body to unhealthy, persistently elevated levels of stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. Studies also link stress to changes in the way blood clots, which increases the risk of heart attack.”  

Below are some common warning signs and symptoms of stress.

 

Physical signs Dizziness, general aches and pains, grinding teeth, clenched jaws, headaches, indigestion, muscle tension, difficulty sleeping, racing heart, ringing in the ears, stooped posture, sweaty palms, tiredness, exhaustion, trembling, weight gain or loss, upset stomach
Mental signs Constant worry, difficulty making decisions, forgetfulness, inability to concentrate, lack of creativity, loss of sense of humor, poor memory
Emotional signs Anger, anxiety, crying, depression, feeling powerless, frequent mood swings, irritability, loneliness, negative thinking, nervousness, sadness
Behavioral signs Bossiness, compulsive eating, critical attitude of others, explosive actions, frequent job changes, impulsive actions, increased use of alcohol or drugs, withdrawal from relationships or social situations

Source: WebMD

It’s impressive how stress affects our bodies.  

The reasons why low carbohydrate diets work best for my body: “Carbohydrates are sugar as far as your body is concerned; carbs are actually saccharides, di, tri or poly -saccharides and they break down into sugar almost immediately after ingestion. Carbohydrates, once in the body are converted to glucose in the blood stream to be used as quick fuel. An increase of glucose in the blood causes a release of insulin. Insulin is a hormone in the body that has many functions, one of which is to regulate blood sugar by converting the newly arrived sugar in the blood into fat for storage in fat tissue.” Protein Power Plan  by  Michael R. Eades, M.D., and Mary Dan Eades, M.D., are the authors of the New York Times bestseller Protein Power and The Protein Power LifePlan Gram Counter. They practice bariatric (weight loss) medicine in Boulder, Colorado.

If I consume carbohydrates in small portions and eat high protein foods, I crave them less, and I can still maintaining a balanced diet by supplementing the loss of grains with fresh greens, an assortment of veggies and healthful fruits. Proving over the years to work wonders on my waistline. However, I almost always stray back to starchy foods in the winter months, gain at least 10 pounds and feel bloated, sad and look like a chunk mister by spring! 

Recipe: Crust-less Broccoli Swiss Quiché and Simple Spinach Salad

For the Quiché


6 large eggs
2 cups broccoli florets (substitute any 2 cup combination cauliflower, onion, mushrooms etc.)
5 teaspoons butter
1 1/2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
1 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste

For the salad
2 cups mixed spinach and field greens
1 large lemon juiced
zest from lemon
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Toss greens with a few dribbles of mixed lemon juice, zest and olive oil, salt and pepper, about 1 tablespoon

Method

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees
Prepare pie baking dish with 1 teaspoon butter
Roughly chop vegetables, sauté over medium heat in 4 teaspoon butter until wilted, do not over cook (about 5 minutes)
Mix eggs, milk until well combined, add cheese and seasoning pour into baking dish

Bake for 35-40 minutes or until center is firm to the touch

Serves 4
[mpprecipe-recipe:13]
 

Crust-less Quiché accompanied by a simple spinach salad really hits the mark when it comes to a flavorful low carbohydrate meal.  It’s just one of the many recipes I enjoy when my mind is in the right place and I’m taking care of my body and soul!

 




When life gets crazy, cook and “Eat Simple” ~ Curried Egg Salad with Toasted Baguette and Butter Bean, Tuna Noodle Panzanella

IMG_8446edited

Curried Egg Salad with Toasted Baguette

With life bearing down on me the past few months, I’ve been overwhelmed, unable to get into the kitchen to cook anything other than simple meals for my family.  As a result, my blog has suffered with a lack of new recipe submission, beautiful food photos, and personal correspondence with my loyal readers.  

Recently returning to the comforts of home, home cooked meals, clean laundry, and the nurture of family, two of my older children have come back to the nest.   In need of some time with mom, and dad, and time to gather themselves before moving on to bigger and brighter things, we’ve welcomed them back into the fold.   We’re happy to lend a hand in their time of need, because we love them, and this is what families do however, their presence has made it pertinent for me to adjust my grocery budget.

When life deals us crises after crises, health issues and or family traumas, my suggestion is to cook and  “Eat Simple”!  

I love eggs!  They are my favorite superfood; simple but versatile, inexpensive, and delicious used in a variety of recipes.  

My recipe for Curried Egg Salad with Toasted Baguette, grew out of my love of traditional egg salad sandwiches.  The creamy, rich mixture of mayonnaise, sweet pickle relish, a touch of yellow mustard, smeared on a crusty slice of french bread, is one of my favorite soul-satisfying comfort foods.  I’m truly, a comfort eater!  

Showing off their versatility, protein rich eggs can be transformed into an entirely new recipe with only a few additional spices or ingredients.   Adding the warm exotic flavor of Curry spices to ordinary egg salad, turns an old standby recipe into a new and delightful treat!  If you like curry spice and love eggs, you might like my recipe for Divinely Devilish Deviled Eggs,  also made with curry spice.

Recipe

6 hard boiled eggs (how to cook the perfect boiled egg)

3/4 cup real mayonnaise

1/4 teaspoon dried mustard

1/2 teaspoon curry powder

salt and pepper to taste

1 toasted french baguette or prefered bread

Method

  • Cook and chop hard boiled eggs
  • In a medium mixing bowl, blend together remaining ingredients
  • chill for 20 minutes, serve with baguette
  • optional: serve with crackers, soft bread, in celery or leaf lettuce cups

 

IMG_8546edited

Butter Bean, Tuna Noodle Panzanella

For this dish, I utilized ingredients found in my under stocked pantry; day old bagels, canned tuna fish, onions, pickles, butter beans, and a couple cups of cooked pasta, transformed these basic staple foods into this delightful summer salad.  Optional ingredients include, a handful of tomatoes, apples, olives, sweet peppers, pignoli nuts. Traditionally, Panzanella was based on onions, not tomatoes, until the 20th century.Modern panzanella is generally made of stale bread soaked in water and squeezed dry, tomatoes,olive oilvinegarsalt, and pepperOnions and basil are often added. Other ingredients—lettuceolivesmozarellawhite winecapersanchoviescelerycarrotsred winered onioncucumbertunaparsleyboiled eggsmintbell pepperslemon juice, and garlic— are sometimes used, but Florentine traditionalists disapprove of them. Source Wikipedia

Recipe

1 day old bagel, cut into chunks

4  tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon Lawry’s garlic or sea salt

2 cups cooked pasta

1/4 medium sweet onion chopped

1/2 medium crisp apple, chopped

1 14 ounce can butter beans, rinsed and drained

2 spears dill pickle, chopped

1/4 cup pickle juice

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1/4 cup real mayonnaise

1/2 teaspoon dried basil or 2 tablespoons freshly chopped

1/2 teaspoon Lawry’s garlic salt

1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

Method: for toasted bagel 

  • cut bagel crosswise into thin slices,
  • cut slices into small cubes
  • sprinkle with salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt, and 2  tablespoons olive oil
  • toss ingredients together
  • place seasoned bagel cubes on a cookie sheet, toast in a 400 degree oven for 10 minutes, turning every 3-4 minutes until golden brown
  • set aside

Method:  for salad

In a medium bowl mix together,

  • 2  tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic or sea salt
  • blend together next 11 ingredients
  • add toasted bagel chunks
  • stir to combine, test for seasoning and add more if desired.  Serve

IMG_8562edited

 

My life is really crazy right now but I know it will get back to normal before too long, and just in time for the next crisis, and or real life event.  When life gets crazy, cook and eat simple!  See you all very soon with another yummy recipe!

 

IMG_8456edited




Endive Avocado and Papaya-Summer Fresh Salad

Endive Avocado and Papaya-Summer Fresh Salad

I came across this recipe, years ago while hosting a Salad Brunch for the new ladies in our neighborhood. Each women was asked to bring a favorite salad while I provided a non alcoholic sparkling punch and mimosas as our liquid libations.   I served Lemon Bars for dessert, accompanied by coffee and a varieties of hot and cold teas to round out the meal.

As the years have past, I can’t seem to remember all the details from the party. I do however, remember this particular salad and I’m pretty sure the woman who brought it was named Laurie. Unfortunately, I can’t promise I have her name right!

I loved the flavor combinations of this delicious salad and I certainly wasn’t willing to miss the opportunity to have recipe. I begged her for the recipe on the spot, writing feverishly what she remembered on a napkin. This fresh and tasty salad has graced many luncheon tables, holiday and family meals since that time.

I’ve altered the recipe somewhat but the flavors remain as I remember.  The creamy texture of the avocado is balanced perfectly by the sweet pungent flavor of the papaya. The peppery bite from the papaya seeds and crispness of the endive make every mouthful a delight. The salad is also complimented by the warm rich flavor of toasted macadamia nuts! 

Recipe Serves 4

1 ripe Hawaiian papaya or 2 Brazilian papaya (about 1 pound)
2 ripe Haas avocados
2 tablespoons chopped green onion, green part only
2 cups  sliced endive
1/2 cup toasted crushed macadamia nuts

Papaya Seed Dressing

2 tablespoons fresh papaya seeds
1/3 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 cup grape seed oil
1/4 teaspoon dry yellow mustard
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
3 tablespoons chopped Maui onion

Method

  • cut papaya in half and remove seeds, reserve 2 tablespoons seeds
  • in a food processor or blender, combine all dressing ingredients and papaya seeds, process on high until seeds resemble cracked black pepper
  • peel papaya and cut flesh into cubes.  Peel avocado and cut into cubes. Slice endive crosswise removing root end, discard end.  Chop green onions.
  • add 1/4 cup dressing and toss ingredients together in a large bowl.  Serve remaining dressing on the side
  • toast macadamia nuts for a few seconds in a dry heavy bottom skillet, watch closely so not to burn.  Place toasted nuts in a zip lock bag and lightly pound with a mallet until coarse.  Garnish salad with nuts, serve.

A few special notes about the recipe:

I’ve tried adjusting the amount of papaya seeds and find that using more than 2 tablespoons adds a bitter taste to the salad, less than 2 tablespoons and the delightful peppery flavors are lost.

Also, the delicate nature of the ingredients makes this dish one that needs prepared right before serving.  If you plan to take the recipe to an outing be sure to separate all the ingredients into plastic containers and toss together right before the meal.

ENJOY!




Acorn Squash Slaw…YUM!

 
Raw Acorn Squash SAlw
 
 
Acorn Squash Slaw
 
This past week I had the pleasure of dining with my mother at the Mount Vernon Country Club in Golden Colorado.  The Country Club has been around for decades and serves one of the finest brunch buffets is in the Denver area. Our brunch was laden with hot and cold dishes, most of which I enjoyed however, one particular bowl on the salad table caught my eye. 
 
The salad was so visually appealing with its bright orange shredded “something” served in a large silver bowl, dotted with dark cherry craisins.  The look of it made my mouth water with anticipation.  
 
I asked myself if this slaw could be shredded papaya?  The color was right but the texture was all wrong.  The shreds had a crisp crunch and delicate flavor that I couldn’t distinguish.  I have a pretty good palate but was stumped after eating my first helping!  I finally gave up guessing and asked the wait person for the ingredients.  She told me that the shreds were made from Acorn Squash and dressed with a light vinaigrette.  I was really surprised I was eating raw acorn squash, it was delicious! 
 
My repertoire or recipes using acorn squash has been limited. I’ve prepared them baked with brown sugar and butter or pan-fried with sea salt and sage, but I’ve never tried acorn squash raw.
 
One of the best things about buffets is that you get to go back for seconds, I found myself going back for thirds.  I’ve tried to recreate the recipe with relatively good success.  I used green acorn squash for my recreation of the recipe but found the color a bit more pale than the restaurant version.  My dressing turned out a bit more tangy but suited my taste perfectly. 
 
Acorn Squash Slaw
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Ingredients
  1. 1 large acorn squash (any variety squash)
  2. 2 tablespoons scallions, white part only
  3. 3/4 cups rice vinegar
  4. 1/2 cup water
  5. 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  6. 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  7. 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  8. 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  9. 1 cup craisins
Instructions
  1. Cut acorn squash in half and remove seeds, remove green skin with a vegetable peeler, from stem to stem, cut into thirds or fourths, this way the shreds will be a little longer and texture less like coleslaw.
  2. Using a food processor, using the shredder attachment, process pieces in batches, place shreds in a large mixing bowl sprinkle with 1 tablespoon lemon juice, reserving the other 1/2 tablespoon for the dressing.
  3. Vinaigrette
  4. Using a food processor blend together scallions, vinegar, water, 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice, olive oil, and sugars until emulsified, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Pour dressing over shredded squash, add craisins and toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes before serving.
Notes
  1. I plan to experiment with the recipe using different varieties of squash to determine which has the best flavor. This year my holiday table will be dressed with this beautiful and delicious side dish!
At Home with Rebecka http://athomewithrebecka.com/
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 



Pineapple Mango Mojitos, Caprese Salad and Jumbo Burger

Backyard BBQ
Pineapple Mango Mojitos, Caprese Salad and Jumbo Burger
 
Finally, summer has arrived and we have the pleasure of dinning alfresco on our back patio.  It’s such a treat to sit in the outdoors, experience the smells of the pine trees and the rustle of the Aspen leaves while taking in the fresh mountain air. 
 
To beat the heat in the kitchen we’ve been grilling just about anything that moves. Delicious and simple fare that hits the spot every time!
 
Caprese salad is one of the easiest dishes to prepare and the flavor is always fresh and satisfying.  This recipe benefited from my ability to round up some pretty yummy tomatoes this week.  The past few years it’s been difficult to find vine ripe tomatoes in the grocer, honestly, it’s been close to impossible! The green house variety generally have no taste and there’s nothing worse than eating a tomato that lacks in flavor. 
 
I recently purchased a bedding plant with tomatoes already on the vine in hopes of a tiny harvest this summer.  However, the deer that visit our yard daily may hinder that end.  
 
I used the freshest mozzarella I could find in the market but forgot to buy fresh basil.  I used dried instead.  Gasp!! It was a huge disappointment luckily, the salad didn’t suffer too much dispute the lack of fresh basil.  However, I assure you… I’ll be buying a basil plant on my next trip to the garden store to go with my other fresh kitchen herbs.
 
3-5 vine ripe tomatoes
1 pound fresh mozzarella
1 bunch fresh basil
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
 
slice tomatoes and cheese, alternate slices of tomato and cheese and top each with a fresh basil leaf, drizzle with olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper to taste.

Pineapple Mojito

 
I decided to try a new recipe for my Mojitos and added grilled pineapple mixed with fresh mango.  The smokey, caramelized pineapple was a delightful edition but the pulp kept getting stuck in my teeth causing me to get annoyed and taking away from the pleasure of the experience.  Next time I’ll strain my puree before I mix it into my drink.
 
4 1/2 slices fresh pineapple, roasted
1 fresh mango
1 bunch mint leaves
juice 1 lime
1 cup simple syrup
6 ounces Brazilian Cachaca or Tequila
16 ounces soda water
bucket of ice
 
makes 4-6 ounce servings
 
Roast pineapple on hot grill until caramelized, cut in quarters, reserve 4 quarters for garnish, purée remaining pineapple, mint and juice of 1 lime. strain through a fine sieve
 
add 1/4 cup simple syrup to short highball glass, 3-5 mint leaves and muddle with the back of a spoon, add 1/4 cup purée mixture and ice, add Cachaca or tequila and cover with soda water, stir to combine.
 
Basic Burger

I used 90% grass feed beef and hand formed my hamburger patties.  Make sure to press a dent into the middle of the pattiesbefore grilling to get an evenly cooked burger. 

Mix ground beef with a little sea salt, fresh ground black pepper, 2 teaspoons fresh thyme and 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce, top cooked burgers with Saga blue cheese crumbles and Maui onions then finished off with a fresh-baked Kaiser roll. 




Fresh and Fruity Orzo Pasta

I’m almost to the end of the Real Women of Philadelphia Video Host Challenge.  This week I posted this yummy side dish recipe for week 7 of the challenge, Fresh and Fruity Orzo Pasta Salad. Next week I’ll be entering a dish in the Entree category and the final week I’ll be submitting in the Dessert category…whew! 

This is the most rigorous food challenges I’ve entered thus far.  I’d  never have guessed that I’d be so thoroughly entrenched in the food competition world when I started food blogging just a year ago.

Over the coarse of 8 weeks I’ve learned a great deal about making and producing my own videos.  The journey hasn’t been easy!  I call it “on the job training”.  I’ve learned computer editing techniques while producing my videos. I felt like pulling out all my hair most of the time.  There are no words to express the devastation one feels after pushing the wrong button and losing a whole video file. Sheer despair!  Not to mention, navigating the video upload process on YouTube at 2:00 am! Nasty business!   I’ve shed a few tears and said more than a few bad words in the process, maybe more than a few.  I’ve wanted to throw in the towel on several occasions but I just keep on keeping on, in hopes of winning the big prize at the end of the competition.

The RWOP community is filled with extremely talented ladies, which means the possibility of being chosen is becoming slimmer by the minute.  There are only 6 finalist slots left!!   I had better bring my A game!!  

Being chosen as one of the final 16 competitors, traveling to Savannah to meet Paula Deen, and having the opportunity to hang out with all the women and men I’ve met on the site, would be pretty terrific! The $25 thousand dollar contract wouldn’t be to shabby either!

OK, enough gibber jabber…..on with the show!

This Fresh and Fruity Orzo Pasta Salad is a the perfect accompaniment to any summer dinning experience. The creamy texture of the Original Flavor Cooking Creme blended with fresh fruit and veggies, this dish will steal the show! Try pairing this delicious side dish with grilled salmon and roasted veggies! YUM!

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Total time: 30 minutes |
  • Servings: 6
  • 1/2 cup(s) of Orzo Pasta
  • 2 ripe papaya
  • 1 2 oz pkg. roasted macadamia nuts
  • 2 tbsp. of green onion
  • 1/4 cup(s) of Papadew peppers or pimentos
  • 1/2 cup(s) of Kraft Original Flavor Cooking Creme
  • 3 tbsp. of papaya seeds
  • 1/3 cup(s) of rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup(s) of extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp. of Maui onion
  • 2 tbsp. of brown sugar
  • 1 lemon Juiced
  • 2 Hass avocados
Steps
  1. Cook orzo pasta in boiling water for 18-20 minutes until tender, rinse with cold water, set aside
  2. Dressing: in an electric blender, mix together Maui onion, rice vinegar, papaya seeds, Kraft Original Flavor Cooking Creme, brown sugar, olive oil, dry mustard and lemon juice until papaya seeds resemble coarse ground pepper, season with salt and pepper to taste
  3. roughly cube papaya, avocado, green onion and Peppadew peppers (substitute pimento or red bell pepper if you can’t find Peppadew/Pappadew peppers), mix together in a large bowl, dress with 1/2 cup vinaigrette and toss in roasted macadamia nuts, pasta salad can be served immediately or covered and chilled prior to service, salt and pepper to taste; after chilling, add more dressing if the salad looks dry.




    Green Pea Soup, Blueberry Scones and Mixed Green Salad with Fresh Peach Vinaigrette-Reunion Lunch with my BFF Kathie

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    Green Pea Soup, Blueberry Scones and Mixed Green Salad with Fresh Peach Vinaigrette

    Reunion Lunch with my BFF Kathie

    I’ve had a good chuckle over the years listening to my two daughter’s talk about having a Best Friend for Life, you know the kind they call a “BFF”,  but after my recent reunion lunch with my long time friend Kathie, I had to take a step back and look at the possibility that I too, might just have a BFF.

    I believe that there are very few “true friends” in our lifetime but the few we have, we cherish with all of our hearts.   If I had to define a BFF, that person would be the kind of friend that after being apart for years you pick your friendship right where you left off.  Six days, six weeks, six months or even six years; no matter how long it’s been since the last time you were together, it seems as if no time has passed; never missing a beat. Kathie is that kind of friend!!

    I met Kathie when our children were in preschool together.  It seems like ions ago that our children were that young.  Kathie’s oldest is now attending college, my oldest is married, and has blessed our family with two beautiful daughters.  How time flies!!

    I haven’t seen Kathie since we moved to Florida five years ago and now that I’ve been back in Colorado for several months, I knew we were long over due for a visit.

    I invited Kathie to my home for a reunion lunch excited to catch up on the past five years and share some much-needed girl time.  Sharing great food and great conversation with a great friend is the perfect trifecta!

    I made lunch and Kathie brought dessert.  Lucky for me, Kathie is a Manager for Dove Chocolate Discoveries! Her business is going great and I had the pleasure of tasting one of her personal creations, Cabernet Mousse Delights with Cabernet Raspberry fudge sauce. Yum!  Don’t worry, I’ve included her recipe here too!


     

    ~Reunion Lunch Menu~

    Blueberry Scones

    recipe from the kitchen of LivLife 

    Green Pea and Cilantro Soup

    from the kitchen of my dear friend Karen Baldwin

    Mixed Greens Salad with Fresh Peach Vinaigrette
    from the kitchen of At Home With Rebecka
    Cabernet Mousse Delights 
    from the kitchen of Kathie S

    @ www.Dove-Chocolate-Discoveries.com/sites/Kathie

    Strawberry Italian Sodas
    From the kitchen of At Home with Rebecka

     

    Green Pea and Cilantro Soup

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       Recipe

    4 tablespoons butter
    1 cup chopped onion
    1 whole green chili pepper seeded and chopped
    3 cups frozen green peas
    4 cups chicken stock
    2 table fresh cilantro chopped
    salt and pepper to taste

    Method

    Melt butter over low heat and sweat onion, garlic and chili for 3-4 minutes, add peas and cover with stock. Bring to a boil and simmer for 7-8 minutes, add freshly chopped cilantro and purée in blender or food processor till creamy, reheat if needed. Season with salt and pepper adding just a pinch of sugar to enhance the flavor. Serve with a swirl of softly whipped cream and a few fresh cilantro leaves.
    serves 6

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    Lemon Blueberry Scones: livlifetoo.blogspot.com
    Image by LivLife
    Lemon Blueberry Scones
    recipe from LivLife
     
    2 cups unbleached flour, plus more for rolling berries
    1 tablespoon baking powder
    1 teaspoon salt
    ⅓ cup sugar
    1 Tb lemon zest
    ¼ cup unsalted butter, chilled and cut in chunks
    ¾ cup buttermilk or cream
    1 egg
    1 cup fresh blueberries (substitute frozen… do not thaw)
    milk for brushing (optional)
    raw sugar for sprinkling (optional)

    Method:

    Preheat oven to 400º F.

    In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and lemon zest; mix thoroughly.  Cut in butter using 2 forks, a pastry blender or your fingers. The butter pieces should be coated with flour and resemble crumbs.

    In another bowl, mix the buttermilk and the egg together, and then add to the flour mixture. Mix just until partially incorporated, do no overwork the dough.

    Toss the blueberries in flour to coat, this will help prevent the fruit from sinking to the bottom of the scone when baked. Fold the blueberries into batter, being careful not to bruise.  Pour sticky dough out onto a well floured surface.  Pat to a ¾ inch height and cut with a pizza cutter into desired triangles or squares.  Place on a non stick baking mat or a baking sheet sprayed lightly with cooking spray.  If desired, brush the tops of the scones with milk and sprinkle with raw sugar.

    Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until brown.

    Optional: Add lemon glaze for a sweeter version, cool before applying lemon glaze.

    Sadly…this is my ugly duckling version…however, all was not lost!  I whipped up a big bowl of sweet whipped cream and we ate our fill!

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    Fresh Peach Vinaigrette
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    Recipe
    1/4 cup rice vinegar
    1/4 cup olive oil
    1/8 teaspoon sea salt
    1 tablespoon honey
    1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
    1 teaspoon green onion chopped white part only
    1/2 juice from 1/2 lime
    1 small ripe peach peeled and stone removed
    Method:Mix together first seven ingredients in a mason jar, cover with lid add shake until honey dissolves,  peel and pit  fresh peach, cut peach into small pieces and place into a small food processor, pour vinaigrette over peaches and blend until smooth.  Toss greens lightly with dressing.  Add fresh sliced tomato wedges for added color and flavor. Fresh Peach Vinaigrette
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    Sorry, no photo of the salad…we ate it all before I remembered to take a photo..
    Strawberry Italian Sodas
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    Recipe

    4 tablespoons strawberry syrup, I substitute a batch of strawberry jam I canned earlier this month.  The jam didn’t jell correctly but it was a great addition to the sodas.  It tasted amazing with the addition the chunky fruit floating about the glass.

    1 8 ounce glass 3/4 filled with crushed ice
    1 bottle Soda Water
    1 bottle Tonic Water
    mint leaves
    1 1/2 pint Half and Half optional to make Italian Cream Soda

    Method:
    Fill glass with crushed ice leaving about 1/4 inch head space, add strawberry syrup, fill 1/2 of the glass with soda water, next 1/2 with tonic water, garnish with mint and serve.  For Cream Soda add in 1/4’s and fill the last 1/4 with half and half.  Enjoy

    Cabernet Mousse Delights
    1st best Dove desserts

    Ingredients:

    1-packet Dove Chocolate Discoveries Chocolate Mousse Mix

    2-bars (4 oz.) Dove Chocolate Discoveries Chef Series Dark Chocolate

    3/4-cup Heavy whipping cream

    1-package Sugar Free Shortbread Cookies

    Dove Chocolate Discoveries Cabernet Raspberry Fudge Sauce

    Cocoa powder or Dark Sipping Chocolate powder

    Mousse:

    ~Break the dark chocolate into pieces and melt in the microwave at high power in 20-30 second intervals. Stir between each interval and continue until the chocolate JUST melts. Let it cool slightly at room temperature.

    ~Pour whipping cream into a medium mixing bowl along with the Mousse Mix and whip the cream on medium to high-speed to light peaks. With a spatula or spoon mix in the melted dark chocolate until fully blended. Be sure chocolate is not too hot when mixing with the whipped cream as the chocolate might form small “flecks” in your mousse.

    Cookies:

    Spoon mousse into a pastry bag with a star tip and pipe the mousse onto each cookie, refrigerate until mousse has set up. Just before serving, drizzle each cookie with the Cabernet Raspberry fudge sauce, add a small dab of whipped cream to the top and sprinkle with cocoa powder to taste.

    Add some SWEETNESS to your day…host a chocolate tasting party!
    Chocolatiers wanted…business is SWEET! No Experience necessary!
    Kathie Scrimgeour
    Manager
    Dove Chocolate Discoveries™
    www.Dove-Chocolate-Discoveries.com/sites/Kathie

    “The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, nor the kindly smile, nor the joy of companionship; it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when he discovers that someone else believes in him and is willing to trust him with friendship.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson
    This recipe is linked to: Come join Soup-a-Palooza at TidyMom and Dine and Dish sponsored by Bush’s Beans, Hip Hostess, Pillsbury and Westminster Crackersin your blog post.