Monday, October 1, 2012
Sunday, September 30, 2012
Saturday, September 29, 2012
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
1 small to medium head cabbage, core stem and trim off outer leaves
2 trimmed and peeled carrots
Transfer above to large mixing bowl and add:
½ cup raisins
optional: one cooking (tart) apple with peel, such as Grannie Smith, Cortland or MacIntosh,
cored and cut into small pieces
½ C vegetable oil
¼ C red wine vinegar
1 TLBS sugar or 2 packets Splenda
2 tsp horseradish (4 tsp if you want to really taste the horseradish)
1 tsp brown mustard
1/8 tsp celery salt
salt and pepper
In a medium bowl stir all ingredients with a wisp until thoroughly mixed. Add to coleslaw ingredients. Stir together until coleslaw ingredients are saturated with dressing. Chill in refrigerator for about an hour before serving.
Serving suggestions: This is a great side dish to seafood and perhaps a baked potato.. It adds contrast - acidity, sweetness, and crunchiness to the unique flavors and soft textures of fish or other seafood.
FOODNOTES: Coleslaw is one of those things that most of us are willing to purchase in the deli section of the grocery store rather than go to the bother and mess of making it at home. My husband had asked me many times over the years to make coleslaw from scratch. I insisted that it was too much work and not worth the effort. One morning when I was feeling inspired to make up a bunch of salads and other dishes that we could eat that day, with enough for a couple meals during the week or food we could freeze and heat up later, I decided to buy a head of cabbage for homemade coleslaw. From other dishes, such as potato salad, I knew that oil and vinegar could replace the cholesterol laden, creamy mayonnaise dressing that is most common to pre-made coleslaws, so I made an oil and vinegar based dressing with the flavors that I thought were basic to coleslaw and that would enhance a plain head of cabbage.
This did take a little time to prepare and I did have shreds of cabbage and carrot peels to clean up, but it was fun and exciting to see how this would end up and it was definitely worth the effort. I was amazed at how the cabbage, when shredded in the food processor, seemed to shrink down to a very small amount of coleslaw, even with the added ingredients. After sampling a heaping tablespoon full once it was prepared I then proceeded to eat (I don't want to admit how much), let's just a lot more of it before it found its way to the refrigerator. We did enjoy it during the week. In fact, the very last serving was consumed ten days later, still as crisp and delicious as that first spoonful.
I estimated the total time it took to make the coleslaw was about a half hour. For the amount it made, which is a lot more than I would ever purchase, this saved me approximately 75% of the cost of purchasing ready-made coleslaw and it tastes so much better than the bought kind. Compared to the heavy mayonnaise-based coleslaws this recipe possesses a light, more delicate flavor due to the simple oil and vinegar dressing. There is always such a sense of satisfaction in making my own and this sense is heightened when it is shared with others who appreciate my efforts and tell me what they think about it. If you decide to make this I'm certain your experience will be similar to mine. I, at least, hope so!
Sunday, June 26, 2011
Ingredients: Shopping/garden list
3-4 scallions (green onion)
1 fresh sweet pepper, seeded
1 small hot pepper (optional)
½ head (Boston red leaf) lettuce
Guacamole – see recipe
4-6 oz. sour cream
4-6 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
or tofu “cheese”
½ can black olives, whole or sliced (pitted)
black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can refried beans
6 -8 oz canned or fresh corn (optional)
optional: white chicken meat,
lean ground beef,
or soy protein crumbles,
such as “Smart Ground”
(soy will require a TLBS cooking oil)
Coarsely chop scallions, peppers, and tomatoes. Tear lettuce into bite-size pieces. Refrigerate in zip lock baggies, plastic storage containers, or in small, covered serving dishes. Prepare salsa and guacamole according to recipe.
When ready to serve prepare meat or soy protein by cooking in skillet with cooking oil. If using ground beef add taco seasoning according to directions on packet. I have not tried adding taco seasoning to chicken or crumbled tofu.
Place each ingredient; guacamole, sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese or tofu “cheese”, pitted black olives, black beans, heated refried beans, and corn into small serving containers. Heat refried beans, covered, in microwave for a couple of minutes and don't forget the hot sauce. I serve it in the bottle.
My experience eating Mexican food such as this has been that the meat or protein portion goes on the taco or burrito first, followed by vegetables, then topped with guacamole, salsa, sour cream and finally shredded cheese, but I don't thing there is really a wrong way to layer the food. It is probably layered this way for easier handling. It all tastes great.
Serving Suggestions: Serve buffet style with Citrus Fruit Punch (see recipe) or Dos Equis. This is a simple enough meal, but it does take time to prepare, however, it can serve a lot of people by increasing the amounts, and it makes great leftovers for another evening meal. For dessert, try cut up“ papaya, mango, banana and pineapple OR “Flan” really rounds out an evening of Mexican fare.
FOODNOTES: I find it fun to make when a few friends come over and pitch in to help cut up vegees or open cans of olives and corn niblets. I use small pudding bowls, soup bowls and an old Lady Susan that has three curved serving containers with room for a small bowl in the middle. I serve the cut-up vegetables in one of the curved dishes and fill the other two with olives and cheese, etc.
I think this makes a great summer evening meal to share with family or friends. There is something for everyone. The list of suggested ingredients serves mainly as a reference for shopping for Mexican foods. There are so many variations and choices and I seem to forget something unless I have my list with me at the grocery store. I hope my list helps anyone who loves Mexican food. I love having a full array of choices and toppings when making Tacos. Enjoy!
©Wilma Carolyn Johnson Short
Serves 15 – 20 as a side dish
1 lb Orzo Pasta
3 quarts boiling water
2 tsp Adobe salt or regular salt
In a large pot boil water. Add salt and pasta. Reduce heat to medium. Cover and allow to boil for 10 minutes. Rinse and drain in colander. Place Pasta in a mixing bowl.
1/3 C vegetable oil
3 TBLS red wine vinegar
1 TLBS parsley flakes
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
Mix together. Stir into pasta while it is still warm. It will absorb the flavors more thoroughly before it has cooled.
1 small jar artichoke hearts, drained and cut into small pieces
½ medium red onion, chopped
1 small green pepper, chopped
5-6 slices roasted red pepper, cut into small pieces
½ can pitted whole or sliced black olives, drained
½ jar green olives with pimento, drained
1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 15 oz can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 C grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
approximately 2 dozen cherry tomatoes, halved
Add artichokes, onion, peppers, olives, beans and grated cheese to the Orzo/oil and vinegar mixture. Toss. Gently stir in halved tomatoes. Cover and cool a few hours or overnight in refrigerator before serving. This allows the salad to marinate in the dressing. Serve cold.
FOODNOTES: I saw a ready-made orzo salad several years ago in a grocery store deli. The price per pound made me think I could make it for much less. I know it had vegetables in it, although I don't remember exactly what. I thought of what ingredients would go well in an orzo salad. The above is merely a suggestion. I've also had it with eggplant, spinach leaves and feta cheese. Certainly, there are many wonderful ingredients that could be substituted; asparagus, snap peas, radishes, celery, corn, grated carrots, zucchini or summer squash. The ingredients in this recipe represent all six food groups: protein, starch, vegetable, fruit (tomato is technically in the fruit family), dairy, and fats (a scant amount, at that).
I first made this salad, as above, with the dressing, but with only vegetables. Later, the addition of beans and shredded cheese sounded yummy to me. I got daring and made this for my church's Rally Day, which takes place in early September each year. The children register for Sunday School and then the entire congregation has a picnic out behind the church.
One year, before we had picnic there was an activity for the children, They dipped their hands in fabric paint, then made hand prints on a large white cloth (they washed their hands before the picnic!). This colorful cloth then became a part of our sanctuary, adorning the alter in the front of the church as lovely reminder that children are a special part of God's family. I love to see the little ones taking an important part like this and growing up feeling a special place in our church family, just as I did.
I have fond memories of church school picnics from my childhood. These memories play a big part in how I view summer picnics and potluck suppers. I like to think BIG when I plan for a get together with friends or family.
Many of us bring salads to the Rally Day picnic. Hot dogs and hamburgers sizzle on the grill. It is a fun time for both young and old. It's that time of year when the shadows are noticeably longer midday and the days begin to grow shorter. Sometimes there is a hint of cool fall breezes, but other days are tinged with a hot summer sun beating down on our heads. Children have just returned to school. Many of us have recently left leisurely summer beach days, sailing, or vacations in the coolness of the mountains to return to our former lives, the routines that help define who we are. It is this time of year that I know I will see more of my friends. We will share many good times together over food and drink. I can't think of a better way to start the new season than with an all-church family picnic.
As I write this I am reflecting on the wedding I attended today, June 26, 2011. I also made this salad for this wedding reception. It was a congregational event:. A wedding reception potluck dinner! and it was a first for me. The food was simply wonderful, made up of homemade dishes, of course. It lent an air of nostalgia - an old-fashioned summer wedding, eons before there were caterers. Life was simpler then. It was refreshing to go to a wedding where everyone had a special role in the food preparation. It was downright down home. I would love to see more wedding receptions take place in the church parlor “catered” by friends and family who lovingly prepare one of their tried and true favorite family dishes for the wedding feast. Food certainly has a way of uniting people.
©Wilma Carolyn Johnson Short
Thursday, June 23, 2011
1 can salmon – drain, remove any residual skin and bones
½ C bread crumbs or 2 slices bread, crumbled
½ stalk celery, finely chopped
1 medium thick slice from a large Vidalia or sweet onion, finely chopped
1 egg (with or without yolk), beaten
¼ tsp freshly ground pepper
1 tsp freshly chopped parsley
1-2 TLBS cooking oil
Break up and mash the salmon with fork. Add bread crumbs, celery, onion, egg, pepper and parsley.
using a fork. Let sit covered in refrigerator for about 20 minutes (makes handling easier).
Heat iron skillet over high heat. Roll mixture into 2-inch balls or hand press into 3 or 4 inch patties. Add cooking oil to hot skillet. Reduce heat to medium-high. Place croquettes in pan. Cover with spatter guard. Lower heat slightly if necessary. High heat allows croquettes to brown up which gives them a crunchy texture. Turn salmon balls so they brown on all sides or turn patties over and brown on other side. Approximately 10 minutes on each side. Drain on several layers of paper towels. Sprinkle lightly with a flavored salt, such a celery salt, onion salt, or Adobo salt.
Serve hot with fresh lemon quarters, tartar sauce, or a favorite hot sauce.
FOODNOTES: I first made this while “camping” in Hew Hampshire when my brother was up to visit. It was a complete experiment, but it was a success. My brother went gaga over the croquettes and wanted the recipe. Finally, I have organized it into something easy to follow and make. This makes an impressive main dish or it can be served in the 2 inch ball size as an appetizer.
©Wilma Carolyn Johnson Short
½ - ¾ C olive oil (enough to coat chicken
Juice of 4 lemons
4-5 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp rosemary, broken in small pieces
1 tsp fresh ground pepper
Mix olive oil, lemon juice, crushed garlic cloves and spices in a bowl. Add chicken legs. Turn each leg so that it is covered with on all sides with mixture. Place in a baking pan. Pour any remaining mixture over the chicken legs. Cover. Bake at 275 for 4 to 5 hours.
FOODNOTES: I have had this served as part of a dinner with friends in Chicago, but I have found this to be a real party pleaser. Chicken legs have a lot of meat on them and are much easier to handle than chicken wings. They are a wonderful compliment to a buffet with salads, pasta, and the like. I prefer baking them in the oven than to using a crock pot because the meat tends to stay on the bone and the “dry” baking enhances their texture and taste, whereas in a crock pot the liquid tends to become watery from the chicken juices as it combines with the oil and lemon. The ingredients and spices are baked into them when slow-baked in the oven.
These make great leftovers for a hot summer evening when no one feels like turning the oven on. As a dinner they are good with rice and a toss salad.
©Wilma Carolyn Johnson Short
Monday, May 9, 2011
wonderful friend - outstanding soprano
1 1/2 C unsweetened butter, softened
2 C sugar
1 tsp baking soda
2 T Lbs ground cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cloves
4 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp red pepper
1 tsp salt
½ C dark molasses
4 C unbleached white flour
Optional: a half cup of coarse (colored) sugar for coating the cookies.
In an electric mixer, mix butter and sugar until blended. Add baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, red pepper, and salt. Mix until blended. In a separate bowl, beat eggs until smooth. Add and mix the molasses into the eggs. Add egg and molasses to the mixer. Beat until smooth. Slowly beat in the flour. When cookie dough is smooth and consistently blended, cover with wax paper or plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator for several hours. Dough must be hard and firm in order to roll into balls.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. If coating with sugar, place the coarse sugar in a bowl. Shape dough into 1” balls. Roll dough balls in sugar. Place each ball at least 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake in preheated oven about 8 - 10 minutes or until tops are crackled and cookies are slightly browned. Using a metal spatula place cookies on cooling rack. Yields approximately 100 cookies.
FOODNOTES: I first made this batch of spicy gingersnaps for my friend's nephew and family as a housewarming gift commissioned by Blythe. They recently moved into my neighborhood. Based on the Swedish recipe for Pepparkorker which literally means Pepper Cookie, I thought why not add a scant amount of red pepper to the recipe. I also believe that ginger should stand out since they are Ginger Cookies. This recipe calls for molasses and sugar, which is less expensive than brown sugar.
I recently read a humorous book wherein one of the characters states that she has made diet cookies that do not have butter, sugar, eggs, or flour. I would not like to taste one of those. I've had sugarless cookies and was not impressed. I've had flourless cookies made with some kind of substitute – that made me think I was munching shredded paper, and I've had cookies without eggs. Lace cookies call for only butter, sugar and flour. If cookies are made without butter, certainly they must have cooking oil in them. I don't believe in substituting the basic good ingredients that make cookies cookies.
Welcome to the neighborhood – Jeff, Alicia, Lauren, Max, Will, Franny, Alec, and Harry! Your Aunt Blythe sure does love you.
©Wilma Carolyn Johnson Short