Apr 13
icon1 rossana | icon2 Cookies, Garden, Salad, Uncategorized, Vegetables | icon4 04 13th, 2013| icon3No Comments »

Do you have a garden in the summer where you grow your own vegetables?  We try to have one every year, but sometimes our crop leaves a lot to be desired! Some years we have such an abundance that I have to give some out to almost anyone who comes to our door! Other years, like last year our garden has produced such a poor crop that I pray that it  will hold out to the beginning of Sept, let alone have any to roast or make into sundried tomatoes.

Over the years, we have changed what we plant depending on how well we did with the crop the year before.  One year we tried corn, the soil seemed fine,but it just wasn’t  nutritionally dense enough I guess, it didn’t even make it to a foot in height!   We were hoping to have a really good crop like we did one year when we were out inVancouver. I remember how lovely it was to be abe to go out to the garden and pick a couple of fresh ears of corn for dinner, and oh was it soo good!

I have always loved fresh, organically grown vegetables, and that is one of the reasons we persevere.  There is also something therapeutic about working the earth and getting it ready for the seedlings and nurturing it along until you get to enjoy ‘the fruit of your labours’. So, even though our romaine wasn’t as good as in previous years, our tomato plants were less than healthy and our basil …well lt’s just say we didn’t get much pesto made, we will still have a garden this year .  My husband is already busy planning it all out!

There is nothing better than being able to walk out to your garden and pick a couple of beautiful sun-warmed tomatoes, and a few leaves of romaine to have for dinner! Can’t wait! ;)

 

Already thinkingof our garden

Some of last year's crop.

Jul 4

Do you get those days where you want something different, nutritious but uncomplicated?  I know I do… a lot! That is where the Kraft Canada Salad Centre comes in! It is really great when we have been running around all day and want something light but nutritious. They have so many great salad recipes on the site, but one of the great things about this page is that you can use their Salad Creator.

 

The Salad Creator is a fun way to make a salad! You choose any one of three categories, and then choose from the list of ingredients they have listed within these categories; they suggest other ingredients that will compliment what you have chosen. So… if you are really craving something, see what else will go with it to make a meal!

 

Voila… you have a great salad to prepare.

 

If you aren’t so adventurous and want to stick to tried and true recipes, they have so many to choose from – whether you are looking for an entrée salad or a nice fruit salad as a light meal.

 

One of my favorites is their Grilled BBQ Chicken Salad. Great for a fast meal after a long day!

 

You can see  the recipe for Grilled BBQ Chicken Salad on the Kraft Canada Site  

Kraft Canada Salad Centre

Image from Kraft Canada Site - Grilled BBQ Chicken Salad

 

There are many more great salad recipes on the site – something for everyone! They also include some great tips along with each recipe as well as  some possible substitutions to let you make it more your own as well.

While you are on the Kraft Canada site take a look at what they offer… FYI, you might need a while!

Next week we launch our weekly summer food chat inspired by Kraft’s Salad Centre!  Wednesday at 1pm #summerfood. 

 

Mar 23

Refreshing Salads

When it starts to warm up and we are all rushing home from various activities, the last thing I want to have to think about is what to make for dinner.  Being able to barbeque is always so convenient and fastand it is also something that everyone loves to have.  I always have homemade burgers done up in the freezer, so I just grab a few  of those and throw them on the barbecue, add a  salad and dinner is ready. Nice, refreshing salads  go along really well with anything!

 

This  is a recipe I have used for years, it is fast and quite good.  You can even adjust lemon etc to your taste.

Tabouleh Salad

 1/2 cup uncooked bulgur wheat

1 c. hot water [approx]

1 lg. tomato

3 green scallions

1 lg. bunch parsley

Juice of 1 sm. lemon

1/4 – 1/2 c. olive oil

 sprinkle of mint

 salt & pepper to taste

Pour enough hot water on the bulgur wheat to cover and let stand approx 15 minutes.  Dice tomatoes, chop scallions and parsley very fine. Mix all together in a large bowl. Add lemon juice, olive oil, salt , pepper and mint. Drain excess water from wheat and add  into the mixture and mix well.  You can serve on lettuce leaves alongside the burgers . Enjoy!

 This is a  gluten free version of Tabouleh                 Easy gluten-free quinoa tabouleh

 

 

 

 

Sep 12
icon1 Jennifer | icon2 Dinner, Fruit, Potluck, Recipes, Salad | icon4 09 12th, 2011| icon3No Comments »

I had this great chicken pasta salad at one of our weekly potlucks this summer, and never got around to making it myself.  But since the temps around here climbed back into the upper 80s again today, I really didn’t feel like heating up the kitchen with dinner, and this worked out nicely.

CHICKEN PASTA SALAD WITH MELON & MINT

2 boneless chicken breasts poached in chicken broth (maybe in cooler temps – we grilled ours tonight)
1 pound bow tie pasta
1 medium ripe cantaloupe or honey dew (honey dew is not my favorite, but we’ve had one sitting on the counter for a week that was purchased in error, so I guess it was serendipity)
1 8oz pkg swiss cheese
1 bottle poppy seed dressing
fresh mint

Cook chicken breast, chill and then shred with two forks.  Cook pasta according to directions – place in ice water bath to stop cooking.  Cube swiss cheese into small, bite-sized chunks.  Cut melon into cubes or use a melon baller.  Mix pasta, chicken, cheese, mint and some dressing – chill for 12-24 hours.  Before serving, add melon and additional dressing to coat.

I didn’t take a photo tonight before the gang gobbled the salad down, but here it is from the first time I had it, and I believe that’s cantaloupe in there.  Next time I make it, I’ll opt for cantaloupe as well, but that’s just my personal preference.  The true surprise in this dish is the mint.  When it was first described to me, I was skeptical.  But just like I always tell the kids not to pass judgment on food without trying it, I’m glad that I did, and the blend of flavors has won me over.

Aug 8
icon1 Jennifer | icon2 Barbeque, Desserts, Potluck, Recipes, Salad | icon4 08 8th, 2011| icon3No Comments »

I don’t know why she makes it for Christmas, but my aunt makes Jello/Pretzel Salad every year.  And every year, I make up my mind to add it to my summer potluck rotation.  And every year, I follow the directions to the letter, and every year I fail.  Luckily, Cool Whip hides a multitude of sins.  Here’s my step by step near disaster, complete with pictures!

What you need:

CRUST
2 c. crushed pretzels
2 tbs. sugar
3/4 c. melted butter

Okay, so far, so good.  Mix these three together, and transfer into a 9×13″ glass pan.  Bake at 400 for 10 minutes, and allow to cool completely.

Nice and crust-y!  Next:

FILLING
8 oz. softened cream cheese
9 oz. thawed Cool Whip
1 c. sugar

Blend these three and spread over cooled pretzel crust.

Now, see the pretzels standing all around the edges?  Don’t do this.  I’m telling you, don’t do this.  My recipe told me to, and I think this decorative touch is the source of my constant woes with this dish.  Instead, make sure you spread the cream cheese mixture all the way to the edges so you get a good seal around the layer.  And then let me know if yours turns out better than mine.

JELLO
6 oz. strawberry Jello (this is the big box, and trust me when I tell you, two small boxes do NOT equal 6 oz.–that was a return trip to the grocery store for me)
2 c. hot water
2 c. cold water
20 oz. frozen strawberries

Prepare jello according to package directions, and add strawberries.

Look at that!  They float!

Pour jello over cream cheese mixture and refrigerate overnight.

Okay, here’s where it gets tricky for me.  Every time I add the jello, it seeps under the entire thing and starts bubbling like it’s alive.  The cream cheese mixture sort of fragments and floats, which makes the whole thing look like what comes out of my 8 year old after he ingests too much cottage cheese and fruit punch significantly less appetizing.

Cool Whip to the rescue!  What they don’t know won’t hurt them, right?  (Side note:  I love Cool Whip beyond all reason.  I use it so much, I should purchase stock.)

It may not be pretty, but the Lunch Bunch crew loved it, kids and adults alike!

P.S.–Neither Cool Whip, nor Jello, nor Kraft Foods compensated me in any way for this post.  But if they’d like to, I’m willing to talk;)

 

 

 

 

 

Aug 2
icon1 Jennifer | icon2 Potluck, Salad | icon4 08 2nd, 2011| icon3No Comments »

One of the best things about summer for my family is its easy-going freeform nature.  My kids who played organized sports are through by now, and although we do have regularly occurring events each week, we are generally able to go with the flow, pick up an extra kid here and there, and do what we want.  I love this salad because it has those same characteristics:  throw in what you have, don’t worry about what you don’t, and just go with it!

My must-have ingredients:
Fresh broccoli florets
Grape tomatoes
Red grapes
Almonds

I’ve added on occasion:
Shredded parmesan
Bacon bits
Green peppers

Add your choice of:
Hellman’s Mayonnaise Dressing with Extra Virgin Olive Oil
or
Any sweet Italian dressing
(I prefer the mayonnaise version, but if your salad is going to be sitting out in the heat, the Italian is a better option.)

Toss everything together, and voila!

May 31
icon1 Jennifer | icon2 Desserts, Salad | icon4 05 31st, 2011| icon3No Comments »

It’s a tactic I learned from my aunt when I was a kid and she fooled me with it: re-naming foods to get kids to eat them. I wouldn’t touch tomato soup with a ten-foot pole, but I just loooved her “Cream of Red.” My brother would run ten miles in the opposite direction of anything with tuna, but when Aunt Ronni crumbled some Jays over it and called it “Potato Chip Casserole,” he couldn’t get enough.

With my own kids, broccoli soup has become “Cream of Green” (thanks Aunt R.), and sloppy joes are “Dog Food on a Hamburger Bun” (from my oldest son’s long-ago Clifford obsession). So should it have surprised me when the kids re-named my favorite summer fruit salad “Patrick Mousse” because of its lovely pink Patrick Star hue? I didn’t even blink. And we receive many requests for contributions of Patrick Mousse to summer potlucks. It’s super easy and super yummy:

CHERRY SUMMER WHIP, aka PATRICK MOUSSE

1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 can pineapple chunks
2 cans cherry pie filling (we’ve also used blueberry and raspberry)
1 lg. tub Lite Cool Whip

Combine all ingredients and refrigerate until serving. Can’t get much easier than that, huh?

Is this what Patrick would look like if he lost a battle with my Magic Bullet? You decide!

Jul 24

Today Is a beautiful day! So I am headed to one of my favorite places with my two favorite little friends! An outing to the lake with my boys sounds just about right! But what to bring for lunch??????

In my search to spice up the picnic basket I came across some really great articles & recipes that should help you have an amazing picnic of your own.

In my Basket

  • Juice boxes for the kids
  • Club sandwiches
  • Pretzels
  • Wheat Crackers
  • Cream Cheese
  • My sisters home made canned Bruichito
  • Spring Water for me
  • Grapes
  • Napkins & Baby Wipes
  • Blanky
  • Portable radio
  • Favorite Books
  • Ball & Glove

Mix all these together with the ones you love and enjoy! I try to keep it simple and focus more energy on the time and the people than the meal. I found after many failed attempts to create the perfect picnic scene that the best days will unfold with little planning on your part. AS long as there is a little something for everyone and a fun activity help them work up their appetite you can ensure a wonderful picnic!

From Some Others Baskets

 

Michael Smith

Courtesy of
Michael Smith
Chef at Home

On Next

Monday, July 26, 10:00AM/7:00AM et/pt

Asian Chicken Salad From The Food Network Canada

Asian Chicken Salad Wrapped in Rice Paper

Ingredients

The Dressing

  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • Dash hot sauce
  • Dash sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter

The Salad

  • 1 small bundle of rice vermicelli noodles
  • 2 cooked chicken breasts, shredded
  • 1 cup snow peas, thinly sliced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and shredded
  • 1 bunch cilantro, leaves picked
  • 4 large rice paper wrappers, soaked until soft

 

Directions

The Dressing

  1. Whisk the dressing ingredients together until they form a smooth dressing.

The Salad

  1. Cover the noodles with boiling water.
  2. Soak until noodles are softened. Drain noodles well.
  3. Place shredded chicken into a large bowl, add noodles, peas, carrot and cilantro leaves.
  4. Add dressing and toss well.
  5. Place a softened rice paper wrapper onto a kitchen towel and blot dry.
  6. Carefully transfer it to a flat work surface and place a large spoonful of the chicken salad at the edge closest to you.
  7. Fold edge over the filling, and then fold in the two ends.
  8. Continue to roll up, securing loose edges so that it is sealed. Repeat for other three rolls.

NY Times 101 Picnic Dishes

I copied a few for you but check the link for all the rest! There were tons

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/02/dining/02mini.html?_r=1

 

1 BEET SALAD Peel beets and grate them (a food processor will keep the juice contained). Add pistachios or hazelnuts; dress with orange zest and juice, and olive oil. Add bits of goat cheese and chopped parsley.

2 PESTO CHICKEN ROLLS Season and grill chicken cutlets. Brush lavash or any other wrap-type bread with pesto; layer with the chicken, sun-dried tomatoes and arugula; roll up and cut on the bias.

3 CURRIED EGG SALAD Make egg salad with hard-cooked eggs, mayo, curry powder, Dijon mustard, fresh lime juice, salt, pepper, cilantro, red onion and, if you like, diced apple.

4 TOMATOES AND PEACHES Toss together sliced seeded tomatoes and peaches, along with thinly sliced red onion and chopped cilantro or rosemary. Dress at the last minute with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

5 ROAST BEEF AND BLUE Start with whole-grain rolls. Smear blue cheese on one side and prepared horseradish on the other. Add red onion and thin-sliced roast beef, pork or lamb. Pack! lettuce and tomato on the side. Potato chips are mandatory.

So whether you are headed to the high country or the beach I hope you have a wonderful day and you enjoy the people & your food as much as I do!

 Picnic Blessings

Feb 23
icon1 Kayla | icon2 Dinner, Recipes, Salad | icon4 02 23rd, 2009| icon31 Comment »

I just have to share this Classic Caesar Salad recipe with you. It is said this is the original recipe, and there is nothing better than the original.

1 large head romaine lettuce, torn into bite size pieces
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 cups French bread, cubed
2 large cloves garlic, peeled
8 anchovy fillets
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dry mustard
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
2 coddled eggs – see how to coddle eggs below
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup shaved or shredded Parmesan cheese

Fry bread cubes in some of the olive oil, as needed. Toss until crispy and golden. Set aside to drain on paper towels.

Crush the garlic cloves and salt into a paste in a large wooden salad bowl, using the back of a wooden salad serving spoon.

Add the anchovies and do the same. Add the Worcestershire sauce, dry mustard, lemon juice and pepper. Whisk in the remaining oil until thoroughly combined.

Add the grated Parmesan cheese and whisk again until combined.

Add the shredded lettuce and toss thoroughly. Add the coddled eggs and toss until the lettuce is coated with the egg. Top with shaved or shredded Parmesan cheese. Serve

Serves 4-6

Recipe Source: Cooking Nook