Garden Vegetable Pie

There are a variety of recipes for pies or tarts using summer vegetables. I find some in my cookbook collection; many more are found online. Some recipes use a crust for the pie, others do not. A combination of eggs and cheese makes the dish set up so that it can e sliced into wedges.  Some would say that makes this a fritttata or crustless quiche, but plain old pie works just fine for me. Almost any assortment of fresh vegetables can be combined but I got great responses last week when I took this zucchini pie to a friend’s home. The entree was roasted pork tenderloin, and guests were asked to bring salad, vegetable, fruit, and dessert. The combination of pork, spinach salad, fruit salad, and this vegetable pie was delicious and hearty. We almost did not need Key Lime Pie for dessert, but it was yummy, too.

Garden Vegetable Pie

4 tablespoons butterhalf

1/2  onion, diced

2 ears sweet corn, kernels removed

2 large zucchini, sliced very thinly (about 4 cup

2 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil

2 teaspoons fresh oregano leaves, chopped

½ teaspoon salt

12 ounces shredded cheese (I used white cheddar)

4 eggs, beaten

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Heat the butter in a large, deep skillet. Add onions and zucchini. While the veggies saute, cut the corn kernels off the cob. Add them to the pan and continue to saute for another 5 minutes.. Remove from heat.

Once the mixture has cooled for a few minutes, stir in basil, oregano, salt, cheese, and the beaten egg. Line a pie pan (9-inch or larger) with parchment paper or spray with cooking spray. Arrange a few zucchini slices so they lay flat and look nice. Top with a little extra cheese, cover with greased foil, and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes to brown the top. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting into slices.

Pasta Caprese

IMG_2752A combination of two of our favorite summer salads, Pasta Caprese is perfect for Sunday lunch after church, for taking to a potluck, or as a side to serve with grilled meats or fish. We make a wide variety of pasta salads using ingredients that are in the pantry or frig. An all time favorite is Caprese made with fresh garden tomatoes, basil, and a slice of whole milk Mozarella. For this bowl of combined flavors, I use canned tomatoes and grated Mozarella, but you could also chop fresh tomatoes and/or use little Mozarella balls to make it even better. This recipe makes a large amount. Can be made ahead.

Caprese Pasta Salad

1 pound tube pasta such as penne or gemelli

1 28 ounce can or box of diced tomatoes, drained (reserve liquid for later use)

2 cups shredded mozarella

fresh basil leaves , shredded (I used a large bunch, but add this to taste)

sea salt and pepper,

1 cup balsamic vinaigrette

Cook pasta to package directions, al dente. Drain past, add to large bowl, and add drained tomatoes, shredded basil, grated cheese, salt and pepper to taste. Toss and add balsamic vinaigrette

Baked Antipasto Ring

IMG_1815There are so many recipes that use crescent roll dough as the ingredient which makes the recipe both quick and delicious. This antipasto ring is simple enough to make for supper on a busy night and just right  for an appetizer for guests. Everyone loves antipasto, and you can stuff this pastry with a variety of antipasto ingredients.

Baked Antipasto Ring

2 cans crescent roll dough (I like to use Immaculate Baking Company’s product

1/2  cup well drained roasted red bell peppers, about 4 pieces

8 slices provolone cheese, halved

1/4 pound sliced peppered salami

1/4 pound prosciutto

1/4 pound sliced deli ham

pickled yellow hot pepper rings

1 sprig fresh rosemary, leaves stripped and chopped

optional:  sliced black or kalamata olives

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Unroll both cans of dough; separate into 8 rectangles. On ungreased 12-inch pizza pan, arrange rectangles in ring so short sides of rectangles form a circle in center. (Dough will overlap and part of the ends will hang over edge of pan. Dough ring should resemble a sun.)

Spread roasted red bell peppers towards center of ring on bottom halves of rectangles. Top with half of the cheese. Layer salami, ham and prosciutto slices over cheese. Arrange pepper rings over top. Sprinkle with olives if desired. Cover with remaining half of cheese.

Bring each dough rectangle hanging over side of pan up over stacked filling, tucking dough under bottom layer of dough to secure it. Repeat around sandwich until entire filling is enclosed. Sprinkle with black peppe and chopped fresh rosemary. Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from oven and let set for 10 minutes before slicing.

Mushroom Stroganoff

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I have made a variety of Beef Stroganoff recipes over the years.  In fact, it is one of the first recipes I remember trying early in my marriage that seemed fancy when I was cooking for guests. I think that although it became popular in the U.S. in the 1950’s, until I made it the first time I had never eaten it before and loved it from first taste. Our family has always loved buttered noodles as a side; we like mushrooms, so I am not sure why I never just left out the meat.  But I tried this recently and it will be my favorite way to make Stroganoff now.  It also has the benefit of being much simpler to prepare and fairly low in calories, if not carbs!

Granmary’s Mushroom Stroganoff

2 Tablespoons butter

1 onion, chopped

2 tbsp  flour

2 cups chicken stock

2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 Tablespoon tomato paste (I keep a tube of tomato paste in the refrigerator for recipes which only need a small amount.)

16 ounces sliced baby Bella mushrooms

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (I use Penzey’s French Thyme)

sea salt and black pepper to taste

2 Tablespoons white wine or sherry

2 Tablespoons sour cream

8 ounces uncooked thick, yolkless egg noodles:

Optional:  parsley and shaved Parmesan for topping
Bring a pot of water to boil, add 2 teaspoons salt, then add noodles.  Cook according to package directions, minus a minute or two.  Under-cooking them allows for adding to the sauce to finish cooking. Drain noodles in colander and set aside until sauce is ready.

While heating water and cooking noodles, in  a large saucier or skillet, melt butter and add onions. . Cook 2 – 3 minutes, then add flour, stirring with a wooden spoon for about 30 seconds. Then gradually add chicken stock, Worcestershire sauce, and tomato paste, stirring to keep mixture smooth as it begins to thicken. Keep stirring and add mushrooms, thyme, salt and pepper. Stir continuously, simmering for at least 5 minutes or until thickened and bubbling.

Add flour; stir with a wooden spoon for 30 seconds. Gradually add broth, Worcestershire, mushrooms, thyme, salt and pepper. Stir and cook 4-5 minutes or until thickened and bubbly, stirring constantly.  Add wine or sherry, stir, and continue cooking for 3 minutes longer. Remove from heat and stir in sour cream and noodles. Garnish with parsley and shaved Parmesan if desired.

Mediterranean Baked Squash

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A trip to a local Farmers’ Market recently yielded some beautiful late season summer squash – yellow crook-neck and deep green zucchini. By adding the yellow, red, and purple peppers plus herbs from our garden, this easy to bake dish is full of flavor as well as color. It is a ratatouille style dish but does not include eggplant. I made it twice last week, once for our table, and once to take to a choir potluck supper. It was well received at both places!

Mediterranean Baked Squash

2 large yellow squash, sliced in thin rounds

2 large zucchini, sliced in thin rounds

2 cups crushed tomatoes

1 Tablespoon olive oil, plus additional for drizzling on top

1 yellow onion, chopped

1 red pepper, sliced

1 purple or green pepper, sliced

1 yellow pepper, sliced

4 garlic cloves, minced

fresh basil, chopped

fresh or dried thyme

sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper

a piece of parchment paper cut to fit inside of baking dish top

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Spray baking dish with cooking spray. Spread crushed tomatoes over bottom of dish.  Add olive oil, onions, and garlic and stir to blend.  Layer squash and peppers with alternating colors, starting at edges of the dish and working toward center, overlapping slightly.  Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and cracker pepper, basil and thyme.

Place parchment paper cut to fit inside baking dish on top of vegetables and bake for 40 minutes or until vegetables are tender but not mushy. Remove parchment and serve.

 

 

 

 

 

Red Velvet Peppermint Cake

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My daughter-in-law Kristen baked this cake last week and brought it when she and our son came to dinner at our house. She is pregnant, and any day now they will be bringing their baby Nora to our house instead of cake!  Pregnancies are well known for food cravings, and she had been craving this cake, which she first ate when my friend Joyce brought it here for a Solstice gathering several years ago.  The cake was a huge hit that evening, as it was again.  It is a beautiful cake, billed in 1998 Southern Living magazine as their “most show-stopping dessert ever.”  It appears in several sites online and Kristen made it by the book!   It is a lovely thing to look at it, and delicious to sample. I rarely post recipes here that I have not made myself or helped to make, but this is a special cake, baked at a special time!  Kristen, thank you!

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Red Velvet Peppermint Cake

  • 1 (18.25-ounce) package white cake mix
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 1/3 cups buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 (9-ounce) package yellow cake mix
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons liquid red food coloring
  • 1 teaspoon cider vinegar

Peppermint Cream Cheese Frosting, recipe follows

Peppermint Candy Canes for garnish

Beat first 4 ingredients according to cake mix package directions.

Beat yellow cake mix and next 6 ingredients according to package directions. Spoon red batter alternately with white batter into 3 greased and floured 9-inch round pans. Swirl batter gently with a knife.

Bake at 350° for 22 to 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove from pans; cool on wire racks.

Spread Peppermint Cream Cheese Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake.  Garnish with crushed candy canes.

Peppermint Cream Cheese Frosting

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened

1 cup butter or margarine, softened\

1 (2-pound) package powdered sugar

2 teaspoons peppermint extract

Beat cream cheese and butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating at low speed until smooth. Add extract, beating until blended.

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Tangy Cole Slaw

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This cabbage and carrot slaw is my favorite for its crisp sweet and sour  taste and the fact that it can be kept in the refrigerator for up to a week, ready to serve as a side with fish, grilled hot dogs, or barbecue.  We like it piled on top of pulled pork that has been stacked on whole wheat buns.  Recipe for the pulled pork coming soon!

Tangy Cole Slaw

For Slaw:

2 packages of grated cabbage and carrot slaw

OR

1 head cabbage

4 carrots

PLUS

1 green or red bell pepper

1/2 cup sugar

Dressing:

2 Tablespoons sugar

1 cup vinegar

3/4 cup salad oil

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1 tablespoon salt

2 teaspoons celery seed

If you are using the prepared salad mix, place in large bowl.  If you are making your own, chop cabbage, pepper, and grate carrots, then place in large bowl. Sprinkle 1/2 cup sugar over top.

Make dressing by putting sugar, vinegar, oil, mustard, salt and celery seed in a small pan. Heat until just boiling and sugar is dissolved. Pour over cabbage, but do not stir until ready to serve.  Cover, and place in refrigerator for several hours or overnight.  You can vary the ingredients by adding onions and/or jalapeno peppers, as well as changing the amounts of vinegar and sugar.  We like ours very tangy, but the recipe which I adapted this used 1 cup of sugar sprinkled over the vegetables.  That recipe was found in The Texas Experience cookbook from The Richardson Woman’s Club, given to me by my dear friend Sondra Skaggs for Christmas in 1984.

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Chorizo and Black Bean Chili

LastofFeb 040Homemade chili is comfort food.  Our bunch really likes cornbread and chili, and chili  corn chips, and cheese with a sprinkle of onions is also a favored meal on cold nights.  Now we have a new favorite competing for top recipe.  Chorizo and black beans add a new taste twist that keeps people coming back for seconds. This is also a healthier version than many I have previously used.  I like to make my own chorizo, but you should be able to find prepared chorizo in your supermarket. The following is adapted from recipes at http://www.muirglen.com

Black Bean and Chorizo Chili

Makes 8 servings

1 pound bulk chorizo sausage

1 large onion, chopped

1 large green bell pepper, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 28 oz. can fire roasted tomatoes or regular diced tomatoes. (I like Muir Glen organic fire roasted tomatoes)  undrained
1 cup water
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained, rinsed
1 tablespoon chopped chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Crumbled white Mexican cheese , or shredded Monterey Jack

Brown sausage in large pan or Dutch oven. Add onion, bell pepper and garlic; cook until vegetables are crisp-tender.

Stir in tomatoes, water, beans, chiles, chili powder and cumin. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat, and simmer uncovered about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened. Serve with cheese and fresh chopped cilantro.

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I have made this in my slow cooker by browning sausage, then layering in other ingredients and cooking on high for 3 hours.

 

Oriental Beef

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I often refer to the ways when I was growing up my family made more than one meal out of a dish or created something new and tasty out of leftovers.  Not only did we use leftovers, but we were very good at stretching a meal to feed extras if needed.  I took those ideas with me when I was a young wife and mother, and enjoyed searching out new recipes that worked like that. Oriental Beef is one of those dishes I liked to make when our 3 boys suddenly multiplied to 6 or 7 at the table, and enjoyed the fact they liked to ask their friends to stay for supper. I just added some more rice and sprouts, adjusting seasoning accordingly.

The recipe was originally given to me by Marjorie Saltzgiver when we were students in nursing school.  I was in my early twenties.  She was in her 40’s and had returned to school after she had a large family.  She was the best student of us all, and a mentor for me.  She is now deceased, but remember her every time I cook…

 Oriental Beef

1 cup of uncooked rice, or more according to your preference.

Steam the rice while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

1 1/2 pounds ground beef

2 cups chopped celery

1 cup chopped onion

1 package frozen green peas

1/4 cup soy sauce

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

2 Tablespoons cornstarch

1 can bean sprouts ( I use fresh sprouts when I have them)

2 teaspoons Wyler’s beef bouillon powder

chow mein noodles, toasted

Brown meat, add celery and onions.  Cook only until shiny, add cooked rice and soy sauce.

Mix cornstarch in 2 cups of water and add along with bean sprouts.  When thickened, add peas and remove from heat.  Sprinkle with toasted chow mein noodles over each serving.

Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Salted Caramel Sauce

Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Salted Caramel Sauce

12 slices cinnamon-raisin bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 8 cups)

the newer caramel apple or pumpkin swirl breads work well, too!

4 eggs

1 cup milk

1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin

1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

2/3  cup  Pecan halves, or chopped if you prefer

PREHEAT oven to 350°F. Place bread cubes in greased 13×9-inch baking dish.

Beat eggs, milk, pumpkin, brown sugar and vanilla with wire whisk or electric mixer until blended. Pour evenly over bread; sprinkle with pecans.

BAKE 45 min. or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Serve warm topped with Salted Caramel Sauce.

Salted Caramel Sauce

  • 4 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 cup Brown Sugar, Packed
  • 1/2 cup Half-and-half
  • Pinch Of  Sea Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla

Mix butter, brown sugar, half & half, and salt in  a small heavy pan over medium low heat. Cook, stirring,until mixture thickens. . Add vanilla and cook another minute to thicken further. Remove from heat,cool slightly, and pour sauce into a jar. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.  This is wonderful on ice cream, apple slices, pound cake, or drizzled on plain cheese cake!  Can be reheated in microwave and served in a small pitcher for guests to pour their own.