Food is so primal, so essential a part of our lives, often the mere sharing of recipes with strangers turns them into good friends.

- Jasmine Heiler

Thursday, June 28, 2012

News From The Kitchen

I'm planning an entire menu for the Olympics.
A new tradition started in my kitchen to celebrate the Olympics.  In 2004 they were held in Athens, Greece.  I decided to prepare the food of Greece to celebrate.  We have always enjoyed The Games in my home.  It started with Spanakopita and Baklava and now eight years later, a full menu from Tea Sandwiches to Bubble and Squeak to English Summer Pudding to celebrate the food of Great Britain.
After the Opening Ceremonies on July 27th I'll start posting all the recipes I tried and how they worked out.

My next bit of news is my new exploration into the world of canning and preserving.  I got a starter kit from The Ball Corp. along with their cookbook.  Their prices are very reasonable and the site is full of information and products for just about every need.  I'm waiting until more fresh veggies and come into season.  The berries should be at a peak in about a week or two.  I have a favorite stand I go to for farm fresh products.  I can't wait to dive into this project.  Watch out friends and family! You'll be getting preserves and pickles for Christmas.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Shrimp with Spicy Asian Peanut Dipping Sauce

Like many of my appetizer recipes, this could be eaten as a light main dish.  The only difference would be in serving.  Five or six shrimp per plate with a dipping sauce bowl would be perfect.


2 medium limes
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
2 teaspoons Asian garlic chile paste (like Tuong Ot Toi Viet-Nam)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint, more for sprinkling
1 lb. poached, grilled, or steamed shrimp (16 to 20 per lb.), peeled, with tails left on


1. Grate 1/2 tsp. zest from one of the limes and then juice both limes. In a food processor, blend the lime zest and 1/4 cup juice with the peanut butter, chile paste, and 1/4 cup cold water.
2.Add more lime juice and chile paste to taste, plus 1 or 2 more Tbs. water as needed to loosen the mixture to a thin dipping sauce consistency.
3. Transfer the sauce to a medium bowl and stir in the mint. Sprinkle the sauce with additional mint and serve with the shrimp.


I haven't worked on the modifications yet, but I think this recipe will need some.  Personally, I thought that the sauce was too hot, and I like spicy food.  I tried to put some more lime in along with the water to dull the heat, but it didn't work. I did try the sauce again after it sat in the refrigerator for a day.  The flavors had melded nicely, but it was still hot.
Servings: 6

My Rating: ☆☆☆

The original recipe is from

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Fruited Chicken Pasta Salad

I learned that the addition of grapes to cold chicken really added a summer flavor a few years ago.  This recipe includes more fruit, is very quick and easy, and can be a nice cool lunch or supper in the summertime.  I've already made it twice this season.  It's a big hit in my household.


2 cups uncooked bow tie pasta
2 cups cubed cooked chicken
1 can (11 ounces) mandarin oranges, drained
1 cup halved green grapes
1/2 cup ranch salad dressing


1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the chicken, mandarin oranges and grapes. Drain and rinse pasta with cold water; add to chicken mixture. Drizzle with salad dressing; toss to coat.
3. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

Servings: 6


There was one modification I considered, that was sliced almonds to add a crunch.  I haven't tried it yet because I think it may take something away from the cool fruit flavors.

My Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆

The original recipe is from Taste of Home

Sunday, June 3, 2012

A Cool Dessert - Seafoam Salad

The warmer and warmer it gets here, the more I want to make and try cooler and easier recipes.  Nothing beats this for a cool mix of summer flavors.


1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
2 (15 ounce) cans pear halves
1 (3 ounce) package lime flavored gelatin mix
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons milk


1. In a small saucepan, heat 1 cup reserved pear juice to boiling. Pour over lime gelatin in a small bowl; stir until dissolved. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese with milk until smooth. Blend in gelatin mixture. Chill in the refrigerator until partially thickened, about 20 to 30 minutes.

3. In a small bowl, mash pears until smooth. Fold pears and whipped topping into gelatin mixture. Pour into a mold. Chill until set, about 2 to 3 hours.

4. Dip mold in warm water for approximately 5 seconds.
Invert onto a serving plate


As you can see I decided to use individual bundt pans rather than one mold.  Of course it doesn't have to be molded at all, once set just stir to break it up into a sea foam ocean.

My Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆


The original recipe is from Allrecipes

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