Sunday, July 24, 2011

Banana Nut Choco Pops

Photo shown on this blog.

Cut bananas in half and push a popsicle stick into each one.  Melt chocolate in double boiler (I used a large Hershey dark chocolate bar - about 6 oz. which was enough to coat 12 banana halves).  Drizzle chocolate over each banana and coat with finely chopped almonds or walnuts, using a spoon to cover the chocolate.  Place on a plate, lined with wax paper, so the chocolate and nuts don't stick to the plate. Freeze and enjoy these mostly healthy popsicles!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Spinach Quiche

This recipe is from my sister-in-law, Linda Walker, and my aunt, Sherlyn Kohr, both in Pennsylvania.

1 pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed (or broccoli)
2 shallots or 1 Tbsp. onion

2 Tbsp. butter
3/4 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. ground pepper
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
4 eggs
1 1/4 cup heavy cream (or Half and Half)
1/4 - 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

Prepare all the ingredients and pour into a pie crust.
Bake at 375 degrees for 35 - 40 minutes.

Note: You may want to use half a pkg. of spinach per pie, as I prefer.  Or make two pies at once and freeze one.  Quiche freezes very well either baked or unbaked.
  It's as easy as pie!

Hash Brown Breakfast Casserole

6-8 servings

1 (2#) pkg. frozen hash brown potatoes, thawed
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 (4 oz.) pkg. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 (4 oz.) pkg. shredded Swiss cheese
1 (6 oz.) can ham (or equivalent), optional
2 eggs
1/4 tsp. seasoned salt
1 Tbsp. minced red peppers

Blot thawed potatoes with paper towels to remove excess moisture.  Press potatoes into a greased 10" quiche dish to form crust.  Spread butter over the top.  Bake at 425 degrees for 25 minutes.  Fill crust with layers of cheeses and ham.  Combine remaining ingredients.  Beat well and pour over the cheese and ham.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until a knife comes out clean.

Notes: This casserole can be prepared the night before and baked in the morning.  It's great for taking along (frozen) on vacations or for baking on Christmas morning!

When I make this recipe, I use a 9 x 13" baking pan and increase two ingredients, using 4 eggs and 1/2 tsp. of seasoned salt.  It also takes a little longer to bake this way.  Just be sure not to overbake it.

If you have leftovers, you can microwave just one serving on a plate for a quick high protein breakfast in the morning.

Sweet and Sour Salad Dressing

Thanks to my sister-in-law, Linda Walker, in Pennsylvania, for this wonderful-tasting salad dressing!

2 cup olive oil
1 cup vinegar
1 cup sugar (I use stevia to taste instead of sugar)
2 tsp. garlic salt
2 tsp. celery salt
2 tsp. salt

This dressing is delicious with only the above ingredients, but if you want even more flavor, you can also add:

2 tsp. dill weed
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 Tbsp. chopped ginger 

     (comes in a jar in the produce department of grocery store)
1/4 cup additional vinegar

Mix well and store at room temperature.
Shake before using.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Variations of Mac 'N' Cheese

Submitted by Tammy Lackey in Virginia - Used by permission
My friend Hannah posted something about macaroni and cheese as her Facebook status. An interesting discussion ensued there during which a fellow named Jeremy (NC) said he “mixes it with two cans of Bush's baked beans and add one pound of hamburger his special's the poor man's delight," which prompted me to post this status:

“How do my Facebook friends like to doctor up a box of mac ‘n’ cheese?” I got the ball rolling with the first two ideas:

Make mac ‘n’ cheese according to directions, then . . .
  • Stir in one can of condensed cream of celery soup and 2 cans of tuna drained. We call it “Stove Top Tuna Casserole.”
  • Stir in one can of Italian diced tomatoes and one pound of lean ground beef already browned. We call it “Cheesy Beefy Slop."
Here were the responses:
  • Add spaghetti sauce until your heart’s content. We call it “Glop." – Shanna, VA
  • Add cut up hard boiled eggs, peas, a little bit of onion, a tablespoon of relish (or chopped up dill pickle), mayo, and a dash of paprika, salt and pepper, and have a yummy macaroni salad. The cheesy part makes it extra good and creamy. Shelby, VA
  • Add taco meat and salsa. Top with a few tortilla chips. Talitha, AZ
  • Mix in sliced pepperoni and shredded cheese, dump in a well-greased baking dish and bake. Jessica, VA
  • When the kids were little and money was tight I made a box of mac and cheese, added a can or box (frozen) of mixed vegetables, 1 lb. browned ground beef, garlic powder and they loved it. Went a long way in those days.. Kathy,  VA
A couple others added mac ‘n’ cheese ideas that didn’t start with a box!
  • I made mine from scratch. I put in milk, light butter, 3 cheeses, fresh basil, garlic, ham, black pepper and ancho chili. YUM!!! Hannah, VA
  • Cook up high fiber whole wheat pasta and dump a can of Campbells condensed Nacho Cheese soup mixed with half a can of milk over it. Add a can of peas, cut up turkey kielbasa, a cup of fat free shredded cheddar and bake. Judy,  VA
  • When our children were young I made Mac and Cheese with a jar of Ragu Pizza sauce, ground beef, mixed this together, put in a casserole dish and put shredded mozzarella cheese on top. Put in 350 degree oven and bake until cheese melts. Yummy! - Sharon, VA

Salmon Burgers

2 small cloves garlic
sea salt

1 1/2 cups Duke's mayonnaise - has
great flavor and it contains no sugar as most other brands do
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh chives
or garlic chives
2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh dill

1 1/2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1/8 tsp. cayenne
Freshly ground black pepper

5 whole wheat hamburger buns
(reserving half of one bun for in salmon burger mixture)
1 lb.(approx. 2 cups)  skinless salmon fillets, boneless, preferably wild
rather than farm raised
4 Tbsp. (1/4 cup/ half of a stick)) unsalted butter

Chop and mash the garlic to a paste. In a small bowl combine garlic paste with salt, mayonnaise, chives, dill, mustard, lemon juice.

Using a food processor, pulsate half of one bun into breadcrumbs. Set aside the other half for a snack later. Pulse the salmon until coarsely chopped ( about 5 pulses), then put the salmon into a medium bowl and stir in 3/4 cup of paste, the reserved breadcrumbs, 1/4 tsp. salt, and 1/8 tsp. pepper. Shape into four patties, about one inch thick.

Heat 2 Tbsp. of the butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. When the butter is melted and hot, add the patties and fry until firm, crisp and golden brown - about 3 to 5 minutes on each side.

Brush the remaining 2 Tbsp. butter (melted) on the inside of the four split buns.  Insert an oven rack about 6 inches from the broiler and heat the broiler on high. Put the buns on a baking sheet, butter side up, and toast under the broiler until light golden brown - 1 to 2 minutes - watching carefully.  Serve the burgers on the buns, spread with the remaining paste.