Saturday, July 18, 2009

Favorite Fruit Smoothie

1 cup fresh/frozen strawberries
1 sm/med banana
1/2 cup (more or less) chocolate soy milk

Puree in blender and enjoy!

NOTES:I like to use frozen strawberries so it's slushy and I don't have to add ice. This is from Bob Green's Best Life Diet; it's apparantly Oprah's favorite! I also do this with any combination of strawberries and raspberries and/or blueberries; cherries instead of strawberries or sometimes throw in apricot. The proportions are about a good size single serving.

Mustard Pickles

I had never heard of, let alone tasted, mustard pickles until I was in college. I had a roommate from Canada who brought these with her, along with dilly beans and ketchup chips after she would visit home. I begged her to get the recipe from her mother and thankfully she obliged but it stayed tucked in my recipe file for years until I had a garden of my own and grew my own cucumbers. I love this relish. It's great on tuna sandwiches or hamburgers.

4 quarts small (pickling) cucumbers (about 5 lbs.)
2 quarts onions (1-2 bags of regular size)
2 quarts cabbage (about 1 head)
1 red pepper
1 green pepper

Shred vegetables or chop very small and put in large kettle.

12 cups sugar
4 tsp. celery seed
4 Tbsp. salt
6 tsp. turmeric
8 Tbsp. dry mustard

Add 2 quarts vinegar to the ingredients above.

Add the sauce to the vegetables and cook approximately 1 hour until vegetables are cooked.

Make a paste using 2 cups flour and 1-2 Tbsp. sugar. Add a cup of hot vegetables to flour mixture and mix well then pour into the whole batch and cook 1-2 minutes or until thickened.

Ladle into hot canning jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space; place lids and rings and process in hot water canner for 10 minutes.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Greek Tostadas

Tostadas: (recipes for each to follow)
Pita crisps
Grilled Greek Chicken, chopped
Chopped Greek Salad
Kalamata Olives

To assemble tostadas, lay out each pita crisp. Top with chopped chicken, Chopped Greek Salad and Kalamata oilves. Serve with Rice Pilaf, if desired.

Pita Crisps:
6 whole, prepared pitas (or make your own pitas)
4-5 Tbsp. olive oil
1-2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1-2 Tbsp. greek seasoning

Turn on broiler in oven. Lay out pitas on a cookie sheet. Combine olive oil, lemon juice and greek seasoning in a small bowl. With pastry brush, brush oil mixture liberally on top of each pita. Place under broiler for about 3 minutes, watching carefully! Take out when golden (they go from golden to burnt really quickly so don't walk away).

Greek Chicken:
1-1 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinnless chicken breasts (or chicken tenders)
olive oil
Greek seasoning (your favorite)

Preheat outdoor grill. Trim fat from chicken breasts and cut into strips (or just use chicken tenders which are already cut). Slide each piece onto a skewer and line up on a large plate or in a baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with Greek seasoning. Flip and do the same on the other side. Place skewers on grill and cook on medium-low 3-4 minutes on each side. Remove to a plate and let rest 5 minutes.

Chopped Greek Salad:
2 cups roma tomatoes, cubed
1 cup cucumber, peeled and cubed
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
2 Tbsp. fresh mint leaves
basic vinagrette or greed salad dressing

In medium salad bowl, put chopped tomatoes and cucumbers and crumble feta cheese on top. Chiffonade the mint leaves and gently mix in with a basic vinagrette or Greek salad dressing.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Chocolate Chocolate Chip cookies

2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 sticks butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 cups chocolate chips (or 2 Hershey's chocolate bars, chopped)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl stir together flour, salt, and baking soda. In a mixer cream together butter and both sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs, vanilla and cocoa; mix until incorporated. Gradually stir flour mixture into butter mixture and mix until combined. Stir chocolate chips and stir to distribute evenly.

For cookies: Drop dough by tablespoonfuls onto greased baking sheets and bake about 9minutes. Cool on a baking rack.

For bars: Pat dough into a greased 9 inch square baking pan and bake 20 to 25 minutes. Cut into squares when cooled.

NOTES:Recipe adapted from Food Network's Cathy Lowe. These cookies are sooo delicious. I'm a totaly chocoholic and these hit the spot.
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