My version of BAM!

Name my Peas

Peas–not for breakfast anymore! (Photo credit: doolloop)

Yes, I know it is Monday and not Recipe day but on Saturday night I went to a dinner party and this was one of the side dishes and I just loved it, so I asked the hostess with the mostest to send it to me.

 Now be forewarned—it has more than the five requisite ingredients that I usually judge a recipe by ~ but salt, sugar, and pepper are not too exotic, nor are onions and peppers and peas. And who doesn’t love mayo and sour cream? Seriously, this is one good salad, and by adding the nuts you have then ramped it up a bit—adding the Emeril BAM! factor, along with the bacon. (Everything tastes better with bacon.)

 So, without further ado, here is the recipe:

Cold Pea Salad

4 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled

3/4 cup sour cream

1/8 cup mayonnaise

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt 

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 bag (20 oz.) of frozen sweet peas thawed and dried off

1/2 cup diced celery

1/3 cup of diced red onion or green onions

1/4 cup of diced green, red or yellow pepper

1/2 cup of cashews or pecan or walnut halves roughly broken

Method:

Cook the bacon, crumble and set aside.

Beat the sour cream with the mayonnaise to loosen it, adding the sugar, salt and pepper; set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, add the peas, celery, onions and peppers.

Add the sour cream mixture, toss, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Just before serving, toss in the nuts.

Make this and tell me I am a genius for having shared it!

Published in: on July 8, 2013 at 6:11 pm  Comments (26)  
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Krista’s Favourite Macaroni Salad

Jane and I loaded up Mr. Bose and took Bob and...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My niece Krista loves this salad and since she has good taste I asked my sister to send me the recipe which is right up my alley – it is simple and only has a few ingredients. My son Adam and several of his friends devoured it.

So without further ado:

Krista’s Macaroni salad

4 cups uncooked macaroni (I used spiral)

1 cup mayo

1/4 white vinegar

2 tbsp sugar

2 1/2 tablespoons yellow mustard

S & P to taste

Cook macaroni, add onion, celery, grated carrot and red pepper. Mix together mayo, vinegar, sugar, mustard and salt and pepper to taste. Pour over salad ingredients and voila, Krista’s fav macaroni salad.

I love this recipe because you can add what you want–I just used red pepper, onion and radishes as I had no celery and was too lazy to grate carrots!

Bliss is a simple but good recipe. What do you think?

Published in: on June 1, 2013 at 2:26 pm  Comments (22)  
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A Wonderfully Glorious Bean Salad

NCI EatBeansAndOtherLegumesOften

EatBeansAndOtherLegumesOften (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From the title of this post, you may think I am overselling this recipe a bit–after all, just how glorious can a bean salad be?

Well this is one good and well-used recipe passed along by my sister-in-law, Brenda probably 30+ years ago (cannot believe I am old enough to remember back that far). It soon became mine to make for all the family gatherings as: 1. it did not have to be cooked; 2. there was no cooking involved; 3. no burner or oven had to be turned on to make it (are you noting a trend here?)

I have not made it for a few years, and it was resurrected in my memory bank the other day when my sister Peggy asked me for it, as she was making some salads to take to the cottage with her and she could not find hers. So a big thanks to Peg for reminding me of this “politically correct” salad, which not only tastes good, but is darn good for you. (Unlike my ode to bologna sandwiches yesterday).

Bean Salad

You will need:

19 oz tins of green beans, wax beans, kidney beans, lima beans and chick peas

I onion sliced thin

1 green pepper chopped (or red as it has lots of good stuff in it–but I am not going to go all nutritional on you)

Marinate several hours in:

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup salad oil (today I might use olive oil)

1/2 cup wine vinegar

1 tsp. salt

2 tbsp. parsley

pepper (I love when no amount is given–it feels so creative)

1 tbsp. seasoned salt

1/2 tsp. dry mustard

1/2 tsp. tarragon and basil or Italian spices

This is seriously good and easy–and even though it has more than my five ingredient criteria–there is no cooking involved which makes up for the length of the ingredient list.

Enjoy!

My idea of bliss is rediscovering a recipe I have not used in a long time. Do you have one you have forgotten?

Published in: on April 20, 2013 at 7:51 am  Comments (20)  
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Mystery Recipe Saturday

Raspberries

Raspberries (Photo credit: hello pedestrian)

Today I am presenting to you a “found recipe”. As I was looking through a notebook which passes for a recipe book at my house, I found a piece of paper folded into four. Upon opening it, I found a recipe—thus my “found recipe”.

You did not think it would really be any more complicated than that did you—perhaps a mysterious recipe on parchment paper in another language that tells us the secret of the ages; or a recipe for what to drink out of that golden goblet that is the journey end of those trying to find ….

Anyway it is a recipe for a salad dressing. An untitled recipe for a salad dressing which makes it all the more mysterious. So I will name it myself. Drum roll please………….

Raspberry Enchantment

1 finely chopped garlic clove

2 tsp. of raspberry jam

1 ½ tsp. grainy mustard

1 ½ tsp. apple cider vinegar

3 tbsp. of olive oil

There were no instructions, so I assume you measure the ingredients into a container, mix and pour on salad greens (I would choose  mixed baby greens or baby spinach with red onions and slivered almonds and maybe some dried cranberries).

So now, you are prepared for life—a few Saturdays ago I gave you a blueberry dressing and now I have provided you with a raspberry dressing—you are now officially ready for spring!

Published in: on April 6, 2013 at 10:23 am  Comments (52)  
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Blueberry Bliss

List of U.S. state foods

List of U.S. state foods (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I can attest to the fact that this recipe is absolutely outstanding–a friend served it at a dinner party she and her husband hosted last week. Barbequed Steak (even though it was cold as cold can be, Dave braved the outdoors for us), baked potatoes, asparagus and this dressing on a baby spinach salad with roasted walnuts, dried cranberries, blueberries and red onion:

BLUEBERRY SALAD DRESSING
1 cup of blueberries
2/3 cup olive oil
2 tbsp water
2 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp salt
Put all of the ingredients in a blender and mix until smooth. Refridgerate until serving time. This recipe accents a spinach salad well. Use up dressing within a week.
By the way, I brought garlic butter buns–that was my safe contribution. And we were served a chocolate cake celebrating the upcoming birthdays of my husband and I. Within a month of each other we are turning the big 3~0 x 2.
English: Flowers round church door at St John ...

 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But the big news of the night was that Debbie and Dave (our hosts) got married. They have been together for well over a quarter of a century and decided to take the plunge in a private ceremony. They broke the wonderful news to my husband and I, and our other good friends, Lee and Rhonda (who were married the same day a year later than we were) after they had celebrated our birthdays. Talk about humble hosts. I did not notice the flowers in the kitchen from their small but elegant wedding, nor the beautiful ring on her finger, (or Dave’s finger for that matter)–which makes me wonder: what kind of a reporter am I?

Anyway–it was a blissful night of food and friends.
Do you have some blissful moments shared with friends?
Published in: on March 16, 2013 at 12:32 pm  Comments (52)  
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Or Just Eat Quiche

fried perch

fried perch (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have trouble eating. In front of people. I had TMJ years ago, and though I no longer suffer from the annoying clicking, jaw ache, or barely being able to open my mouth (for a while I was eating through a straw, which cannot really be called eating)—I still cannot open my mouth very wide.

Restaurant food is not made for someone who cannot relish their food with big bites. Salads are not cut in bite-size pieces, so I have to take a knife and fork to any salad I order, and I still tend to not be able to get it in my mouth without it: 1. Falling back on my plate;  2. Leaving a smear of dressing on my face; and/or 3. Being stuck with it half in and half out of my mouth, and having to stuff it in with my fingers. None of these would be easy to watch if you are eating with me. And I tell you, it is no fun being a messy eater.

People are kind. They ignore my difficulties and just continue conversing with me even though it is apparent that I cannot seem to feed myself with the proper etiquette.  I really do try to cut things into small pieces, but sometimes I misjudge, and do not realize it until it is too late.

English: Homemade cheeseburger with french fries.

Burger with french fries. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Have you ever tried eating a hamburger if you cannot open your mouth very wide? Close to impossible, as they make hamburgers super thick then pile everything but the kitchen sink on it. I usually sort of nibble away at it—but it is frustrating, and darn it, sometimes I am hungry, and want a mouthful. That is when I get into trouble.

I was out for dinner the other night and ordered perch and coleslaw and French fries. A meal made in heaven for someone with my problem. The perch could be cut into my mouth-size pieces, the French fries successfully dunked in ketchup and easily devoured, and the coleslaw was chopped small enough that I did not have trouble eating it. A blissful meal indeed. (See how I worked bliss into this? Clever, eh?)

I guess I should just explain to anyone I lunch or dine with that I have a problem opening my mouth very wide so they will not think that I am a bit of a pig. I think though I should just acclimate myself to the situation, be careful about what I order, and cut my meal into smaller pieces. Or just eat Quiche. (This can get a little old.)

Do you have to make any adjustments to your eating habits so you will not appear to be a messy eater?

 

Published in: on January 22, 2013 at 5:32 pm  Comments (54)  
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~Potlucks are not for the faint of heart~

Potlucks. I love them. I was reminded of the impending holiday season yesterday at my Writers’ Group meeting, where we planned our Christmas potluck for December 14th. I am returning to my comfort zone for my contribution to potlucks and bringing a salad. After reading this post from last year, you will understand:

Fruit and berries in a grocery store, Paris, F...

 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cookbooks are kind of a hobby for me. I love to read about food, about exotic ingredients combined in unusual ways to create magnificence, all the while stirring 1% milk into my macaroni and cheese and warming up meatballs from the frozen section of the grocery store.

I have long made fun of my skills as a cook. I have a friend who calls me on it, saying that she thinks I use my “phantom lack of skills” to ward off any criticism of my cooking. And she is right. I am not a bad cook—my family is not starving, and I can be creative in my own right—but I am not a particularly confident cook. I attended a small get together on Saturday night—a casual dinner party, and having volunteered to bring dessert, I had visions of all kinds of delectables I could make and offer lovingly to my friends. I usually volunteer to make the salad, but in my new quest to “take risks” I offered to bring the grande finale to the dinner instead.

I told my sister of this unusual offer to make dessert and she promptly emailed me an easy and foolproof recipe fora dessert that she was sure would be a hit. She is aware of my skills, so sent something that had very few ingredients, and even fewer steps. I think that part of my problem is that I am a languid (synonym for lazy) cook, as well as a little unsure when it comes to feeding anyone outside my family.

I was determined to try the recipe. I made a list of the ingredients and was all set to buy them and “compose” a homemade dessert. Then I got cold feet. I perused the bakery section of a local grocery store and found a sinful dessert that would be sure to please. I considered putting the caramel chocolate mousse cake {with artistic chocolate curls} on a plate from home to “make it seem” as if I had baked it. But I decided instead to be honest, knowing they would see through my ruse anyway. I presented the cake unapologetically in its original packaging. These were good friends—they would understand. And they did. But they did not know the angst that went into “buying” dessert.

I never judge when people bring “prepared” food to a potluck, as I understand their trepidation. I suffer from it too. To those of you out there who either do not care what people think about your cooking (good for you) or are such good cooks that you have great confidence from years of success, I honour your commitment to “homemade” and enjoy it immensely. There is also a faction out there who is unabashedly unapologetic—as they should be. They bring offerings that may not be “from their hands but from their hearts” and I honour you too. We are all talented in different ways and being made to feel guilty because you do not make your offerings from scratch is just not hospitable.

So, this holiday season, as we all venture out to our potlucks, go with what makes your season bright and not stressful. If “homemade” is not your forte, that is what grocery stores and specialty shops are for.

Salad with Thousand Island Dressing

Salad with Thousand Island Dressing (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A note: my salads are not of the iceberg lettuce with thousand island dressing thrown over them ilk (though this is good and has its place). I go all out with fancy greens, nuts, dried fruit, seeds, cheese, and even, on occasion, have been known to make my own dressing. I take my commitment to bring the salad very seriously.

What do you bring to potlucks? Are you brave–or do you have tried and true recipes?