Friday, July 9, 2010

BBQ Chopped Salad With My New Favorite Dressing

My sweet friend, Cathy, made a similar salad at a Little League BBQ and I fell in love! I threw out the taco that was on my plate, and headed back for a second helping. I think people at the BBQ could hear me humming as I took another mouthful. I asked Cathy for the recipe, and since she is a regular reader of my blog, she gladly gave it up. (Thanks, Cathy! I love to hear that people actually read the blog!) 

I made the salad a few nights later, when the weather was warm, because I could not stop thinking about it. My husband loved it and he even had seconds after he said he was terribly full. That is always a good sign! Make it this weekend, and let me know what you think!

BBQ Chopped Salad with Cilantro Dressing

1 head of your favorite lettuce (my favorite is Butter Lettuce, but I also like Red Leaf), chopped
1/2 can garbanzo beans, rinsed, chopped
10 cherry tomatoes, chopped in half
1 avocado, diced
1 ear of corn, roasted and taken off the cob (or you can use canned if you like to cheat)
1 large handful of tortilla chips, good quality
1 8 oz piece of steak, your choice, grilled to medium rare


1 packet of Hidden Valley Ranch Buttermilk Ranch mix

Make the packet of dressing in a large bowl as instructed on back of package. Chop one bunch of cilantro into small slivers. Add to the bowl of dressing and give it a good stir. Place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to come together.

In a large bowl, combine all of the salad fixings. You can add additional items of your choice if you'd like. Perhaps a hard boiled egg, grated Monterey Jack cheese, cucumber or even a bell pepper. Be creative or just clean out your fridge. Once the steak has set for at least 5 minutes, chop it into bite sized pieces and add to the salad. Toss the salad with an appropriate amount of dressing. Not too much though! A little goes a long way. Can be served as a main dish with a side of warm bread, or you can take the meat out and make it as a side dish. That's the best thing about salads, you can do what you want with them, and they are always delicious! 

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Sometimes I dream about chicken....

I got this recipe a few years ago from my Pastor's wife, Carol. She made it for me one night, and I have loved it and dreamed about it ever since. It is really that good! My daughter, who lives in San Francisco, makes this dish whenever she needs to impress someone (her new roomate is the latest person she has "WOWED"). It is a very easy recipe that tastes like a million bucks! (And may or may not have a million calories in it!) Make it tonight and "wow" your family!

Butterfly Chicken (or Wow Your Friends and Family Chicken)

1 stick of butter, melted
1 1/2 cups of flour
salt and pepper
6 chicken breasts, pounded thin
1/2 pint of heavy cream
1 cup sliced mushrooms (optional)
2/3 cup of Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Pour melted butter into a 9 x 13 baking dish. Place the flour in a shallow dish. Season the flour with salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken with the flour. Place the chicken in on the butter in the baking dish. Pour the cream over the chicken. Place the mushrooms over the chicken, if desired*. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese.

Bake for 25 minutes or until bubbling and beginning to brown. Serve over hot rice or noodles, spooning the sauce over the chicken. Don't leave any sauce behind, it is frowned upon!

*Some people don't like mushrooms (they go as far as calling them "fungus"), but I like mushrooms, so I add lots. Let the silly ones pick out the mushrooms!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The BEST Potato Salad EVER!!!

I think I get invited to parties just because of this potato salad. Seriously. I get Evites addressed to my potato salad. I have even heard one person say, "If you don't bring your potato salad, don't bother showing up." I am fun at parties, really. I like to visit, I can tell a funny story and I am nice to small children. Like me for who I am, please, not for what I bring to the party. Although, I must say, I love it when people walk around asking, "Who made this potato salad? It is amazing!!" I like to stand up and shout, "It was me!! Invite me to your next party and I'll bring the potatoes!" Make it, bring to a party, and see for yourself.

Blue Cheese Potato Salad

3 lbs red skinned potatoes, cubed
8 bacon slices, cooked, crumbled
1/2 c. blue cheese
2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
1 T. parsley, chopped
1 T. chives, or 2 T. green onions, chopped
1 c. mayonnaise
2 T. yellow mustard

Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with water. Add a sprinkling of salt. Simmer until potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes. Drain, cool to room temperature. Place potatoes in a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients, stirring to combine. Taste and season with
salt and pepper as desired. Can be served warm or chilled.

I like my salad with more mayo, so adjust according to taste. You can also add more bacon because every loves bacon. Yes, everyone. If they don't, they shouldn't be invited to the party. Enjoy!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Lemony Rice Soup with Ham and Spring Vegetables

I'm hungry. I probably should not blog about food when I am hungry because I can not be held responsible for what I say. I may say something crazy like, "Reece's Peanut Butter Eggs are a great choice for breakfast."

Anyway, I am sure many of you have leftover ham from Easter. Unless you are like my son, and have three huge servings for dinner. This recipe is from Epicurious, and I make each spring and I adore it. My husband likes it with a salad, and I love the leftovers for lunch the following day.

Lemony Rice Soup with Spring Vegetables

3 Tbsp butter
1 c. thinly sliced leeks (white and light green parts only)
4 c. low salt chicken broth
1/4 c. long grain white rice
10 asparagus stalks, trimmed and cut to 1/2 inch pieces
1 c. diced ham
1 1/2 tsp. (or more) fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. grated lemon peel

1. Melt butter in large sauce pan over medium heat. Add leeks; saute 3 minutes. Add broth and rice; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until rice is almost tender, about 15 minutes. Add water or more broth if you like it with more liquid.
2. Add asparagus; cover and simmer until the rice and asparagus are tender, about 4 minutes. Mix in ham, lemon juice and peel. Simmer 2 minutes to blend flavors. Season with salt, pepper and more lemon juice if desired.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Sloppy Janes

Yes, I typed that right. Sloppy Jane. Not Joe. These are better than Sloppy Joes, I promise. There are a few recipes in my collection that I go back to over and over. I love these. Comfort food at it's best. When I was a kid, my dad made Sloppy Joes from a packet of seasoning. I did not like them. At all. I would make myself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for dinner on Sloppy Joe night and my family would call me crazy and weird. Do you feel sorry for me? Thanks. Anyway, back to 2010. I get excited when I declare it Sloppy Jane night. Make it this week and let me know what you think.

Sloppy Janes

1 ½ lb. hamburger

1 lrg. onion, chopped fine

½ green pepper, chopped fine

1 T. brown sugar

2 tsp. red wine vinegar

2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

1 ½ tsp. minced garlic

1 lrg. can (15 oz.) tomato sauce

1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste

salt and pepper to taste

Hamburger Buns

Butter or margarine

Combine beef, onion, and green pepper in a large skillet coated with 1 tsp. vegetable oil. Brown until cooked through. In a seperate bowl, combine brown sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, tomato sauce and paste. Add the tomato mixture to the meat, lower heat to a simmer. Cooked until warmed through and well combined. Add salt and pepper to taste. Butter the buns on both sides and broil until lightly browned. This is important because it helps the buns to stand up to the meat and not go all soggy on you. Enjoy!

Leave me a comment, please and let me know what types of recipes you would like to see on this blog. Healthy? Vegetarian? Yummy Gooey Desserts? Simple Appetizers? I would love love love some feedback, please. Don't make me beg.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Easy Cheesy Ravioli

Ever had one of those afternoons when you have no idea what's for dinner? Sometimes I need an easy recipe that I can prepare at a moment's notice. This one fit the bill and it was delicious! My husband had seconds, and would have gone for thirds if I had let him. Feel free to add peas if you like them, which I don't.

Creamy Ravioli and Pesto Gratin

16 to 18 oz. fresh or frozen ravioli
1 c. heavy cream
1/4 c. pesto
1/4 c. Parmesan cheese

Prepare ravioli as directed. While ravioli boils, mix cream and pesto in large bowl. When ravioli is al dente, drain and add to cream mixture. Gently toss. Transfer to a shallow 2 quart baking dish and sprinkle with 1/4 c. Parmesan cheese. Bake at 375 degrees until brown and bubbling, 25 to 30 minutes.

Serves 4

This recipe is from the February 2010 issue of Real Simple Magazine.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Death By Chocolate

Do you love chocolate? Do you love it when guests at a party swoon over the dessert you made? Then this recipe is for you! And just in time for Valentine's Day! If you make this for your sweetie, I promise, he will be yours forever.

The original recipe for this came from Kristi R. who call this "Brayden's Chocolate Dessert" because her son loves this dessert that much. She makes it with pound cake, I make it with brownies, and I am sure they are both equally delicious!

Death By Chocolate (or "Kristy's Chocolate Dessert")

1 batch of brownies, made as directed
1 lrg pkg of chocolate pudding, made as directed
1 tub Cool Whip
1 C. Toffee Bits

After the brownies have cooled, and you have most likely eaten one, chop them into bite size cubes. Layer half of the brownies into a triffle dish or other clear bowl. Next, layer half the pudding on top of the brownies, leveling the top as you spread. Then layer half the Cool Whip over the pudding, followed by half the toffee bits. Repeat with another layer of each ingredient, finishing with the toffee bits.

Leave me a comment, letting me know what you are making your sweetie for Valentines dessert.
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