Family · Family Favorites · Garden · Gluten Free · Vegan · Vegetarian

Cool sweet, juicy watermelon…seasoned memories

Summer and watermelon go together like Mac and Cheese.

When the weather is scorching hot…
a chilled slice of watermelon hits the spot.

As a kid we would take a half slice of watermelon outside and let the sweet juice run down our chins and arms.  Seedless watermelons were unheard of so a little ‘seed spitting’ was in order, too!  Mom probably had to hose us down before letting us back in the house.

girls eating watermelon

My Mother would always eat watermelon and canteloupe sprinkled with salt.  I prefer my watermelon naked but daughter, Sarah, and her friends introduced me to TAJIN fruit with lime seasoning a few years ago.  From the moment I tried it, I was hooked and it has become  family favorite.  The combination of lime, salt and a little kick with the sweet juicy watermelon is delectable.

I find TAJIN at Walmart and sometimes at the local grocery store in either the fruit section or ethnic foods section.

Give it a try.  I think you’ll be hooked too!

Family · Garden · Gluten Free · New Favorite · Vegan

Easy Summer Quinoa

Summer vegetables and Quinoa is the perfect combination.  This recipe is from Iowa Girl Eats.  I follow her blog and love her recipes! Her blog name, alone, was enough to bring me to her blog…Iowa girls stick together!

I loved this dish and the wonderful summer vegetables.  I substituted roast red peppers for the sundried tomatoes with great results.  I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did!

EASY SUMMER QUINOA

1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 cup quinoa
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large shallot, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
pinch red pepper flakes
2 cups chopped kale
1 small zucchini, chopped
salt & pepper
2 ears sweet corn kernels (about 2 cups)
1/4 cup sundried tomatoes packed in oil, cut into strips (or roasted red peppers or both!)
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 cup peas
1/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
shaved or fresh grated parmesan cheese, for topping

  • Bring scant cup chicken (or vegetable) broth to a boil in a small saucepan. Rinse quinoa very well in a fine mesh sieve under running water (quinoa is coated in a natural, bitter coating that needs to be rinsed off) then add to saucepan, place a lid on top, turn heat down to medium-low, then cook until quinoa is tender and broth is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Set aside.
  • Heat olive oil in a very large skillet over medium heat. Add shallots then sauté until tender, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and red chili pepper flakes then sauté for 30 more seconds, stirring constantly.
  • Turn heat up to medium-high then add kale and zucchini. Season with salt and pepper then sauté for 2 minutes.
  • Add corn and sun-dried tomatoes then sauté for 2 more minutes.

  • Add white wine then scrape up brown bits from bottom of skillet with a wooden spoon. When wine is nearly gone, add peas then stir to combine. Add chicken broth and cooked quinoa then cook until broth is absorbed. Remove skillet from heat then add basil and stir to combine. Taste then add salt and pepper if necessary. Serve topped with freshly shaved or grated parmesan cheese.

Adapted from Iowa Girl Eats

 

Garden · New Favorite · Skinny · Uncategorized

Blueberry Gooseberry Yogurt Smoothie

How many ways are there to use Gooseberries? Not as many as one would think, at least not many that are documented.  I’ve never tried a smoothie with gooseberries until I found this recipe.  I  substituted almond milk for cow’s milk. Very refreshing!

BLUEBERRY GOOSEBERRY YOGURT SMOOTHIE

1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1/2 cup fresh or frozen gooseberries
1/2 of banana, frozen
1/2 cup lowfat vanilla yogurt (I prefer Greek yogurt)
1/2 cup almond milk

  • Put all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.  Enjoy!

Adapted from Sumptuous Spoonfuls

New Favorite

Mixed Green Salad with Fresh Peaches, Avocado and Pecans

A potluck to go to and what to fix?  I had beautiful fresh peaches, greens from my garden and avocados.  Why not a salad mixing these ingredients topped with nuts?  After reviewing several recipes, I combined a few to make this my own and it is now on my favorite summer salads list.  Can’t wait for Colorado peach season later this summer!

MIXED GREEN SALAD WITH FRESH PEACHES, AVOCADO & PECANS

1/2 pound mixed greens
1 cup sliced peaches
1 avocado, diced
1/3 cup chopped pecans

Dressing:

1/4 cup champagne or white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons minced green onions
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
salt and fresh ground black pepper

  • In a blender, combine the vinegar, honey, onions, mustard and garlic.  Puree until smooth, 10-15 seconds.
  • Slowly drizzle the olive oil into the blender until the dressing is smooth.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Refrigerate until ready to use (up to a week).

In a bowl combine the greens, peaches, and avocado.  Drizzle with 1/2 of the dressing. Add more to taste.  Toss the salad and serve immediately.

Adapted from:  Food Network

Family Favorites · New Favorite

Sangria, Mock and Not

Sangria reminds me of summer, tapas, and good times with friends.  It’s refreshing, light, fruity and delicious.  History states that Sangria was first served at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York.  While interesting, I truly expected Sangria to be the drink of Spanish Royalty (or something equally impressive).

Mock Sangria

Nonetheless, it’s delicioso!  This time, I made a mock Sangria (without alcohol) as well as the real deal.  I enjoyed them both.

 

SANGRIA

1.5L of chilled red wine
3 cups prepared lemonade
1 cup orange juice
4 tablespoons brandy
2 cups chilled club soda
sliced oranges, limes, lemons, apples

In a large pitcher, combine the wine, brandy, lemonade, and orange juice.  Add the fruit slices and refrigerate until chilled.

When ready to serve, add the club soda.  Garnish glass with slice of lime (or other citrus)

MOCK SANGRIA

2 cups orange juice
1 cup white grape juice
1 cup cranberry juice
1 liter bottle lemon-lime carbonated beverage
ice cubes
sliced lemons, oranges, limes

  • In a large pitcher, stir the juices together.  Chill.
  • When ready to serve, add the lemon-lime beverage and stir gently. Fill glasses with ice, then sangria then slices of fruit.  Enjoy!

Mock Sangria adapted from BHG.com

New Favorite · Skinny · Vegan · Vegetarian

Summer Veggie Stir Fry

Recently I went to the Highland Ranch Town Center Farmer’s Market, http://www.denverfarmersmarket.com/locations.htm, a dangerous place to be when you are hungry. My daughter, Megan, and son-in-law, Christian, and I strolled through the market sampling and buying more than we really needed.  However, the wonderful dishes that came from the veggies and fruit were summer delicious! There is nothing in the world like fresh vegetables and fruits.

We bought a squash new to us, a round, globe squash. I asked the vendor how she cooks the squash and one of her suggestions was a Vegetable Stir Fry. I also decided to throw in a chopped Japanese Eggplant.   I tried, I liked, I shared.  Enjoy!

SUMMER VEGGIE STIR FRY

Chopped yellow squash, globe squash, zucchini, eggplant (optional), peppers (bell, Anaheim or whatever you like), onion, garlic, fresh sweet corn, fresh tomatoes, herbs of your choice (I used a blend of thyme, oregano, marjoram, rosemary, and basil), salt & pepper.

Sauté the onions, peppers and garlic in about 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil.  When softened, add the chopped squash, eggplant, peppers and seasoning. When the squash is beginning to soften, add cut cooked fresh sweet corn and 1-2 chopped fresh tomatoes. Continue to cook/stir until all vegetables are cooked to your liking.

I made a large batch and had leftovers for 2 days. It seemed to get better every day, just like a wonderful batch of soup.

Family Favorites · My Roots

Slow Cooked Green Beans…just the way Mom used to make!

Green Beans are a favorite of mine in the summer.  Fresh green beans from the garden are the absolute best.  While other vegetables haven’t fared well in my garden, the green beans did very well.

I crave green beans cooked the way my Mother taught me,  sans the Cast Iron Dutch Oven. Great memories…great flavor.

Slow Cooked Green Beans with Bacon

Fresh green beans, cleaned and snapped
chopped onion (optional)
4 to 6 slices bacon, chopped
garlic salt
2 cups water

  • Sauté bacon and onion in heavy pan/skillet and cook until most of the bacon drippings have cooked out of the bacon. Drain most of the bacon drippings off.
  • Add green beans and about 2 cups water. Cover and cook on very low heat for a couple of hours and season generously with garlic salt.
  • Watch closely and add more water as needed.
New Favorite · Skinny · Vegan · Vegetarian

Cucumber Cup Appetizers

Pinterest is a wonderful invention, giving us instant access to so many wonderful ideas.  One of those ideas that daughter, Sarah, and I chose for one of the wedding appetizers was cucumber cups.  What the heck is a cucumber cup, you say?  Read on….

Wash the cucumber.  Using a potato peeler, peel stripes around the cucumber.  Cut off the round end of the cucumber.  Cut the cucumber into 1″ slices.  Taking a grapefruit spoon or teaspoon, hollow out about 2/3 of the center of the cucumber.

Fill each cucumber cup with the filling of your choice.  Some of the ideas I’ve used include:

  • hummus with a chopped piece of red pepper on top
  • goat cheese with a drizzle of honey and a pecan or walnut on top
  • cream cheese with salmon/lox and a sprig of fresh dill
  • dip…any dip you please

It’s cucumber season, so cut some cups for an easy appetizer that will chill you down after a hot day.

New Favorite · Vegan · Vegetarian

Quinoa Salad with Strawberries and Chicken…love it!

What says summer better than a cool, refreshing salad. I LOVE quinoa and experimenting with different combinations. Today, I decided to combine my affection for chicken salad with fruit and nuts along with the quinoa. Love it!

QUINOA SALAD WITH STRAWBERRIES AND CHICKEN

1 cup quinoa cooked in two cups boiling water for 12 minutes.
sliced strawberries
chopped yellow pepper
2-3 chopped green onions
2 cups chopped, cooked chicken
1 cup chopped pecans
salt
balsamic salad dressing

Family Favorites

BBQ’d Chicken Breasts…marinated, moist and scrumptious

SUMMER = BBQ and it’s time to get this summer started! Several years ago a co-worker shared this recipe, from Creme de Colorado Cookbook, and it has become a summer staple.  The chicken is so moist and flavorful. I liked to marinade for 24 hours, but a minimum of 4-5 hours will do.

Typically I grill several extra chicken breasts to have the next day(s) in salads. So delicious!  Get ready for some yummy chicken for your 4th of July BBQ!

BBQ CHICKEN MARINADE

2 whole frying chickens, cut into pieces (or skinless/boneless breasts)
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1 clove garlic, crushed

  • Mix all marinade ingredients. Pour into large plastic ziplock bag. Add chicken and assure chicken is coated. Marinate 2-4 hours. Can also freeze in marinade to enjoy later.

Recipe from Creme de Colorado Cookbook