Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Broccoli Salad

here's a variation on a traditional broccoli salad
5-6 cups broccoli florets
1/2 cup cooked bacon, crumbled
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted (about 8 minutes at 300, stirring once)
1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
1 cup frozen peas, thawed, or fresh
1/2 cup raisins (which I didn't add, but it just tastes better with them)

1 cup plain yogurt (or mayo. I'm not a huge mayo fan, but I found out it does taste better with it. I tried making my own for the first time. I need to try again :)
The yogurt is the healthier way to go)
2 Tbsp. vinegar
1/4 cup honey

Combine broccoli, bacon, almonds, onion, peas, and raisins. In a separate bowl whisk together remaining ingredients. Add to salad and chill before serving.

serves 4-6

Friday, May 20, 2011

Strawberry Watermelon Smoothie

A refreshing drink perfect for a Memorial Day barbecue or for any outdoor occasion

Blend together in a blender until smooth:
3 c. frozen strawberries
3 c. watermelon, cubed and frozen
1/2 c. vanilla yogurt (or plain plus 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract)
1/2 c. cream
1/4 c. lemon or orange juice
sweetener if desired (I added just a little agave nectar)

serves 4

Friday, May 13, 2011

Steamed Artichoke

frost kissed but still just as tasty

1. Pull off any smaller leaves towards base and on the stem, cut excess stem, leaving up to one inch. You can also trim the top and the tips of the leaves, but I think this is more for looks.
2. Fill large pot with a few inches of water (for more flavor you can add a garlic clove, bay leaf, and lemon slice) and insert steaming basket. Add artichokes, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and cook 25-45 minutes or until outer leaves can be easily pulled off.
3. Serve with a dipping sauce. I like a lemon and garlic butter sauce or a mayo, sour cream, and parmesan sauce.

For first time artichoke eaters I found some very helpful instructions. Don't be intimidated, they are a lot of fun to eat. Our 3 year absolutely loves them, probably because she has a blast pulling off leaves and dipping them.

1. Pull off outer petals, one at a time.
artichoke-5.jpg artichoke-4.jpg
2. Dip white fleshy end in melted butter or sauce. Tightly grip the other end of the petal. Place in mouth, dip side down, and pull through teeth to remove soft, pulpy, delicious portion of the petal. Discard remaining petal.
artichoke-10.jpg artichoke-11.jpg
Continue until all of the petals are removed.
artichoke-6.jpg artichoke-7.jpg
3. With a knife or spoon, scrape out and discard the inedible fuzzy part (called the "choke") covering the artichoke heart. The remaining bottom of the artichoke is the heart. Cut into pieces and dip into sauce to eat.
artichoke-8.jpg artichoke-9.jpg

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Roasted Potatoes

A great side dish for any time of the year

potatoes (I like red or yukon gold)
salt (preferably coarse sea salt) and pepper to taste
 1/4 c.+ olive oil
herbs (dried or fresh)

1. Preheat oven to 450. Cube potatoes and boil for 3 minutes. Drain well. 
2. Spread out in a single layer in a roasting pan. Drizzle generously with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and herbs (if using fresh sprinkle during the last 5 minutes of roasting). Toss everything together until evenly coated.
3. Roast for about 25 minutes or until golden and crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.