Saturday, June 30, 2012

MACARONI GARDEN SALAD

2 cups uncooked macaroni
juice of 1/2 lemon
grated peel of half a lemon
1/2 cup Italian salad dressing
2 cups fresh baby spinach, torn into bite-sized pieces
1 medium cucumber, sliced
approximately a dozen cherry tomatoes, halved
4-6 radishes, sliced
2-3 green onions sliced

Cook the macaroni according to package directions; drain.

Blend the Italian dressing with the lemon peel and the juice of 1/2 lemon.

Combine the spinach, cucumber, tomatoes, radishes, and green onions; toss with the macaroni.  Add the dressing and toss to mix well.  Cover and chill until serving time.


Friday, June 29, 2012

GAZPACHO

What a great recipe for hot summer days!  (Or anytime for that matter!!)

1 1/2 cup toasted bread cubes (can use salad croutons)
4 cups vegetable juice, mix hot and regular for a little zip (ie: V8 juice)
1 green bell pepper seeded, diced
1 cucumber, diced
1 small onion, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tbsp olive or canola oil
2 tbsp vinegar
2 tomatoes, diced
1 to 3 drops hot pepper sauce (depending on taste)
1/4 tsp granulated sugar or Splenda Granulated
salt to taste
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Combine 1 cup of the bread cubes with 2 cups of the juice; set aside.

In blender container combine half the bell pepper, cucumber, onion, garlic, oil, and vinegar; blend until smooth.  Pour into a 2-quart container.

Place the bread cube/juice combo into the blender along with the remaing 2 cups of juice, 1 tomato, hot pepper sauce, sugar, salt, and pepper; blend only until smooth - just a few seconds.  Add this to the other mixture in the 2-quart container.  Chill.

To serve, pour into bowls and pass the remaining ingredients as garnishes with the soup.



Thursday, June 28, 2012

FRUIT SLUSH

3 cups sugar
2 cups water
1 can (12-oz) frozen orange juice
1 can crushed pineapple
6 peaches
1 qt strawberries
6 firm bananas

Cut peaches, strawberries, and bananas into bite-size pieces.

Bring the sugar and water to a boil; boil 1 to 2 minutes; pour over the fruit.
Place in freezer until partially frozen to form slush.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

SUMMER SNOWBALL COOKIES

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup Splenda Granulated*
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 cups biscuit-type baking mix
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 tsp almond extract
powdered sugar for rolling

Blend butter, Splenda, and sugar together until creamy; stir in baking mix, pecans, and extract.

Using level teaspoonsful of dough, shape mixture into balls.  Place balls on an ungreased baking sheet and bake 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned at 375 degrees.  Allow to cool slightly on baking sheet then remove and roll in powdered sugar while still warm.

*May substitute granulated sugar

Yield: 72 cookies

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

SUMMER DREAM STRAWBERRY PIE

Note: This pie goes together quickly but it does need to chill for at least an hour before being cut to serve.

1 (9-inch) Graham cracker pie shell
1 tbsp room temperature water
1 pkg unsweetened strawberry drink mix (ie Kool-Aid)
1 tbsp strawberry ice cream topping
3 pkgs (3-oz each) cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups whipping cream, whipped
2 tbsp hot fudge, warmed for drizzle
fresh strawberrys for garnish, if desired

Combine the water and strawberry drink mix in a small bowl until dissolved completely.  Stir in the ice cream topping.

In a large mixing bowl, beat both cream cheese blocks powdered sugar,vanilla, and the strawberry mixture together until fluffy.  Gently fold in the whipped cream.  Spread the filling into the Graham cracker crust and chill for at least an hour or until set.

To serve, cut pie into 6 to 8 wedges.  Place pie wedge on plate and drizzle with the hot fudge and garnish with a strawberry if desired.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

CREAM CHEESE GUACAMOLE

1 pkg (3-oz) cream cheese, softened
2 ripe avocados, peeled, diced
1 medium tomato, chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp salt
1 tsp chili powder

In a small mixer bowl combine all the ingredients.  Using electric mixer, beat at medium speed for a minute or until well blended.

Serve with Mexican foods and/or tortilla chips.

NOTE:  You may substitute an equal amount of chopped green onion for the chopped onion, if desired.

Yield: 2 cups

Friday, June 22, 2012

BARBECUE BEEF PIZZA

1 (12-inch) pizza crust
1 pkg (12-oz) shredded Cheddar cheese
1 lb cooked shredded barbecued beef
4 slices red onion, separated into rings

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place the crust on an ungreased pizza pan; sprinkle 1 cup of the cheese over crust.

Evenly spread beef over the cheese; lay the onion rings over the beef.

Sprinkle the 2 remaining cups of cheese over the beef and onion. 

Bake pizza at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until lightly browned and heated through.








Thursday, June 21, 2012

MANDARIN ORANGE-SPINACH SALAD

2 cans (10.5-oz each) unsweetened mandarin oranges, drained
2 cups fresh cauliflower florets
1/4 cup chopped bell pepper
2 cups bite-size fresh spinach pieces
1/4 cup French salad dressing

In a salad bowl, toss together the oranges, cauliflower, bell pepper, and spinach; drizzle with the dressing.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

TEX-MEX BLACK BEAN DIP

2 cans (16-oz each) black beans, rinsed, drained, divided
1 cup your favorite salsa, divided
1 tsp canola oil
1 medium onion, chopped fine
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped fine
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp chopped cilantro
2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp salt, optional
1/4 cup finely shredded Mexican-Blend cheese
1 medium tomato chopped
sour cream for garnish, if desired

Using a blender or food processor, process 1 can of the beans with a quarter cup of the salsa.

Heat the canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat; saute onion, red pepper, and garlic until tender.

Add the pureed mixture, cilantro, cumin, salt-if using, remaining beans and salsa; mix together well.  Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 5 minutes or  until heated through, stirring often.

Transfer dip to a shallow serving dish and top with the cheese and tomato.  Garnish with a dollop of sour cream if desired.