Monday, October 26, 2009

A summer drink, but really good anytime

Sparkling Raspberry Lemonade
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can frozen raspberry lemonade concentrate
  • 3 cups water
  • 3/4 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can Sprite
  • 1 cup crushed ice
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries, garnish
In a large punch bowl, combine raspberry lemonade concentrate, water and lime juice. Stir in lemon-lime soda and crushed ice. Garnish each glass with a fresh raspberry.

Pretzel Salad

Pretzel Salad
  • 2 cups crushed pretzels
  • 3/4 cup margarine, melted (I halve this)
  • 2 teaspoons white sugar
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese (I use Neufchatel)
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 4 1/2 ounces frozen whipped topping, thawed (I use light)
  • 1 (6 ounce) package strawberry flavored gelatin
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 (10 ounce) packages frozen strawberries
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  2. In a medium bowl, mix crushed pretzels, margarine and sugar.
  3. Press crushed pretzel mixture into the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish, and bake in the preheated oven 8 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  4. Blend together the cream cheese and sugar. Fold in whipped topping and spread evenly over cooled pretzel mixture.
  5. In a medium bowl, dissolve the strawberry flavored gelatin in boiling water. Mix in strawberries and set aside to cool for 15 minutes.
  6. Pour gelatin mixture over cream cheese mixture and refrigerate until set, about 4 hours.
This is always more of a dessert than a salad when we have this, but hey- who doesn't want to justify a dessert under the title of "salad"? The pretzel crust is really good- you wouldn't guess it's pretzels, but it adds a nice sweet/salty combo. I've had this with frozen strawberries and frozen raspberries. Both are great!

Indian Butter Chicken

Indian Butter Chicken
  • 1/2 cup butter, 2 T which are used to saute onion and garlic
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (I used about 1/3 t. garlic powder)
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 1 12 oz. can skim or 2% evaporated milk
  • 1 1/2 c. whole milk (or 2 %)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I used just a sprinkle)
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala (you find this in the spice aisle anywhere)
  • 2-3 chicken breasts, thawed and cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 1 T. curry powder
  1. Melt a few tablespoons of butter in a big skillet over medium heat. Stir in onion and garlic, and cook slowly until the onion is mostly translucent. Add chicken and heat until no longer pink, stirring regularly.
  2. Turn heat to low and add remaining butter to the pan along with the tomato sauce, milks, salt, cayenne pepper, garam masala, and curry powder. Simmer on low until thickened.
  3. Serve over rice with your choice of vegetables. We liked steamed peas and broccoli.
You just don't know what you're missing until you try this! I know people who think they don't like curry in general aren't going to be convinced, but this is an awesome meal. AWESOME. Even the kids like this one, and they aren't really fans of our other Indian dishes. This one is less spicy, unless you add more red pepper, and it it saucy and delicious with rice. The flavors are just so interesting and delectable! Really- give this one a try.

And here's a crock pot version we love just the same, if not more because pre-prep is wonderful!

Slow Cooker Indian Butter Chicken
(adapted from

3 tablespoons butter
4 large skinless, boneless chicken thighs,
cut into bite-sized pieces (I used one breast)
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon curry powder

1 teaspoon garam masala
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste (I used one small can tomato sauce)
1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk
1 cup plain yogurt
salt to taste

1.Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in the onion and garlic. Cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 10 minutes. Stir in the curry powder, garam masala, and tomato paste until no lumps of tomato paste remain. Pour into a slow cooker, and stir in the coconut milk and yogurt. Season to taste with salt.
2.Cook on High 4 to 6 hours, or on Low 6 to 8 hours until the chicken is tender and the sauce has reduced to your desired consistency. Shred chicken and serve.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Ham and Tortilla Roll-Ups

R's family's Ham and Tortilla Roll-Ups
  • 8 tortillas
  • deli ham
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 can green chiles (I always skip)
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/4 c. butter
  • 1/4 c. flour
  • 1/4 t. mustard
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1 dash seasoning salt
  1. Make the white sauce by combining milk, butter, flour, mustard and salts. Stir with whisk and cook over medium heat until thickened, about 10 minutes.
  2. On each tortilla, layer a few slices of ham, then a couple tablespoons of white sauce, and some grated cheese. Roll up and place in greased 13 by 9 pan. Repeat with remaining tortillas.
  3. Cover with any remaining sauce and cheese.
  4. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
This is a recipe that I always enjoy. It's fast, different, and the kids like it too!

Rachel Ray's Sloppy Joes

Rachael Ray's Super Sloppy Joes
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan
  • 1 1/4 pounds ground beef
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon steak seasoning blend, such as McCormick brand Montreal Seasoning
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 small red bell pepper, chopped (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 4 crusty rolls split, toasted, and lightly buttered
  • Garnish: sliced ripe tomatoes, pickles

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add oil and meat to the pan. Spread the meat around the pan and begin to break it up. Combine brown sugar and steak seasoning. Add sugar and spice mixture to the skillet and combine. When the meat has browned, add onion and red peppers to the skillet. Reduce heat to medium and cook onions, peppers, red wine vinegar and Worcestershire sauce with meat for 5 minutes. Add tomato sauce and paste to pan. Stir to combine. Reduce heat to simmer and cook Sloppy Joe mixture 5 minutes longer. Using a large spoon or ice cream scoop, pile sloppy meat onto toasted, buttered bun bottoms and cover with bun tops.

If you don't have a good sloppy joe recipe, this is a good one to have. The Montreal Steak seasoning adds a nice smoky flavor.