Saturday, June 23, 2018

Pesto and Ham Sandwiches

If you know me, you know that I like shopping at Costco.  My husband and I were there not long ago and they were sampling these sandwiches.  What a great taste combination! Well, we knew we had company coming so we thought they would be perfect and so easy.    We bought all the ingredients right there and the next day we made up the sandwiches.  They were a big hit and so we made them again for company that stopped by today.  Once again they were shining stars.  I made my Potato Salad and a cold veggie plate to go with them.  The ham I used was the smoked ham chunk that Costco carries.  Enjoy this easy and yummy treat!

                                                   Pesto and Ham Sandwiches

                                                 PESTO AND HAM SANDWICHES

1 loaf Sourdough Baguette
Prepared Pesto (or, you can make your own)
Smoked Ham Chunk, sliced
Brie, with the rind removed

Slice the Baguette nearly all the way open, the long way.  Lay the Baguette open and slather generously on both sides with the Prepared Pesto.  Place the sliced ham on the bottom.  Spread the Brie onto the Ham. Close the Bread and press firmly.  Now, you can slice it and eat.  Or, you can wrap the whole sandwich with plastic wrap and it can go into the fridge.  I have made this several times and it keeps very well for a couple of days.  The pesto soaks into the bread!  Yum!  When you are ready to serve it, I like to slice it on the diagonal and serve smallish sandwiches - it's easier to eat - looks really good and everyone can always have seconds...  or maybe even thirds!

Note:  You can use other meats..  smoked turkey, salami, roast beef etc.
           You can make your own pesto or a yummy Chimichurri Sauce is good (no nuts and no cheese)
           You can skip the cheese (only if you must) or try another soft cheese to suit your taste.
           You can use a good Sweet Baguette instead of Sourdough if you like

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Cranberry 'N' Greek Yogurt Salad

     I know, I know!  A post yesterday and now another...  Well, I just want to get this one out here for anyone who is looking for a new salad recipe.  I was wanting something a little different for our Christmas party and this is what I came up with.  It's so pretty and tasty too!  I hope you give it a try and enjoy it.  Did I mention how pretty it is?

                                         Cranberry ’N’ Greek Yogurt Salad

1   14 ounce can Whole Cranberry Sauce (about 1 1/4 cups)
2 cups Plain Greek Yogurt (or Sour Cream)
2 cups canned Pineapple Tidbits - well drained
2 cups Mini Marshmallows
2 cups Flaked Coconut
1 cup chopped Pecans, toasted for 5 minutes in 350˚ oven, then cooled

Combine all ingredients, except pecans in a large bowl.  Stir well.  Let sit in fridge 4 hours or overnight.  When you are ready to serve salad, place in serving bowl, stir well and sprinkle nuts over the top. Enjoy! 

NOTES:  You can make your own cranberry sauce, if you like, but why?

               You can use sour cream or plain yogurt in place of the Greek

               You can adjust this recipe to fit amounts in cans.  A little more of                   

                     this or that is great - to suit your taste!

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Recycle Christmas Cards and Photos

     I keep saying I am going to start posting again...  well, I guess today is the day to just get back to it.  My husband and I both have new computers so maybe now there won't be so many mistakes - isn't that the way it's supposed to work?  We will see how it goes.

    Today I want to share a little craft project I did for a gift to one of our sons and one I did for myself.  Every year we are given new photos of grandkids, along with new frames.  Also, I have been a crafter for years and my stashes of nearly every imaginable thing has kept some businesses in business.  I have years and years of Christmas cards that I wanted to keep and use for something, some day!  We have photos of memories that we have nearly forgotten.  I saw something that sparked an idea for me.  I hope you like my interpretation...

     This is a cut out Christmas card that I really liked.  The quilted fabric is from one of my stashes.  I used a brown colored pencil around all the edges so the cut card did not show white edges.  A simple glue stick around the edges and a big X on the back stuck the card where I wanted it.  A heavy book on top kept it in place until well dried.  I did not put the glass into the frame because it was already a bit bulky.  Our son and his family seem to like their new decoration.

     This is a photo of a dear friend who has worked as a professional Santa for years.  This frame came from our local dollar store.  The quilted fabric is from my stash.  I used my simple glue stick around the edges and a big X across the back, I used a heavy book to help it dry in place and put the glass back on this one.  The 'Noel' is cut from an old card and glued on the outside of the glass.  I added the red bow and now, Santa hangs on my wall for all Christmas's to come.

     I hope you enjoy my little craft project and the instructions make sense to you...  sometimes it's not easy to give instructions, when you know what you mean!

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Chunky Choco Chip Cookies

   I have decided, after all these years, that I really like cookies!  They are portable yum!  I have made them for our boys, our grandkids, our friends and especially for my husband, John.  I like to keep a good supply in the freezer.  We travel with them because they make a quick and easy snack between meals.    A little bag of them scores me lots of extra points with the neighbors too...  This is my version of a recipe I have seen in the past and I hope it is in the future of many of you, my friends.  Enjoy!

                               Chunky Choco Chip Cookies

1 Cup Blanched Slivered Almonds
1 Cup Craisins, Raisins or other dried fruit chunks
1 Cup Chocolate Chip Chunks
12 oz. Semisweet Chocolate Chips
2 Cups Rolled Oats
2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 Pound (that’s 2 cubes) Unsalted Butter, at room temp.
1 Cup packed Brown Sugar
1 Cup Granulated Sugar
2 Eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract

Toast the Almonds in a small saute pan, over medium-low heat, stirring constantly for about 5 to 10 minutes.  Just until they begin to turn brown and have a nutty aroma.  Be careful, they burn quickly!  Cool completely.

In a large bowl, combine the Craisins, Chocolate Chip Chunks, Chocolate Chips and Oats.  Set aside.

Sift together the Flour, Baking Powder, Baking Soda and Salt.  Set aside

In a large mixing bowl, beat the Unsalted Butter until light and creamy.  Add Sugars and beat until fluffy, about 4 minutes.  Add the Eggs and Vanilla and beat until well combined, about 1 minute.  Add the Dry Ingredients to the mixture and beat at low speed until well combined -  less than a minute.  Add the Chocolate Chip Chunks, Chocolate Chips, Craisins, and Blanched Slivered Almonds.  Using a sturdy wooden spoon, mix well by hand, until everything is incorporated.  Use a 1-Tablespoon scoop to measure out cookies onto parchment paper lined cookie sheets, leaving about 2” space between cookies.  Bake for 12 - 14 minutes at 350˚, or until cookies have set and are slightly flattened and light brown.  Cool on sheets 2 minutes, then transfer to racks to cool completely.  Makes 6 dozen cookies.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Brown Rice and Beans

    My husband, John, and I were recently vacationing in Oregon.  We stopped into a little cafe for an early dinner.  We both ordered a dish that seemed to be very popular with the locals.  Well, it was simple, inexpensive and tasted wonderful.  After we returned home I recreated this dish as close as we could remember it and now it is a favorite of ours.  It's so simple it's almost scary but very tasty.  You can use leftover rice if you have it and, of course, you can use any kind of rice you prefer.  I like to make my rice early in the day and just put the rice and beans on the plate and warm them in the microwave when we are ready to eat.  Then you layer the other ingredients on top and enjoy. You could add any meat to this dish but you don't really need it.  Let me know what you think!

                                          BROWN RICE AND BEANS

2 servings:

1/2 cup Brown Rice
1  15 ounce can Black Beans, rinsed
1/2 cup Sour Cream   (mixed with juice of 1/4 fresh lime)
1 Lime, cut into wedges
1 Green Onion, chopped
1/4 cup Cilantro, rough chopped
1 Avocado, sliced
Prepared Salsa of your choice (I use Kirkland Brand from Costco)

For Rice:
1 1/4 cups Water
1/2 cup Brown Rice

Bring Water to boil in a heavy saucepan.  Stir in Brown Rice.  Cover saucepan and reduce heat to simmer.  Cook for about 45 minutes or until all the water is absorbed.  Fluff lightly with a fork.

Assemble on your dinner plates….  Rice, Black beans, drizzle with Sour Cream mixture.  Sprinkle Green Onion and Cilantro over the top.  Lay 1/2 of the sliced Avocado on top and put a nice dollop of Salsa on top of that.  Serve with remaining Lime slices to juice over everything as you like.  I serve this with the Rice and Beans warm.  The rest is cold.  

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Lemon Bars

If you love the tanginess of fresh lemons, this recipe is for you.  I love the buttery crust and the way the luscious lemon filling forms like magic.  The wonderful thing about these bars is that they do freeze.  Just leave the powdered sugar off until you take them out of the freezer and are ready to serve them.  You will love how easy these are to make.  Enjoy...


                                              Lemon Bars  

2 cubes (1/2 pound) Unsalted Butter - at room temperature
1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
2 cups Flour
1/8 teaspoon Salt

With your mixer, cream together the Butter and Sugar until light yellow in color.  Add the Four and Salt and mix - just until combined.  Gather the dough into a ball.  Press Dough into the bottom of a 9”x13”x2” baking pan. Bake the crust for 15 to 20 minutes at 350˚ - until slightly browned.  Cool on wire rack.  

6 Extra Large Eggs - at room temperature
3 cups Granulated Sugar
2 Tablespoons Grated Lemon Zest
1 cup Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice (3 or 4 Large Lemons)
1 cup Flour
 Powdered (Confectioners) Sugar - for dusting after baked

Whisk together the Eggs, Sugar, Lemon Zest, Lemon Juice and Flour.  Pour this mixture over the baked crust.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes at 350˚ - until the filling is set.  Allow to cool to room temperature.  Cut into bars or triangles.  Dust with Powdered sugar.

If you want to freeze these bars, I suggest leaving the Powdered Sugar off until you remove them from the freezer and are ready to serve them.  

Monday, October 12, 2015

Pineapple Cheesecake Bites

     Are you looking for a yummy cheesecake bar cookie for a special occasion or just an everyday and easy cookie?  Well, I think these fit the bill!  Just be sure you get them covered and into the fridge or into the freezer.  They will disappear fast, they are that yummy.  Enjoy this new recipe from Grammy's kitchen.


                                                   PINEAPPLE CHEESECAKE BITES

2 cups Flour
1/2 cup Sugar
1 cup cold Unsalted Butter (that’s 2 cubes or 1/2 pound)
1/8 teaspoon Salt
With your Mixer, combine the Flour, Sugar, Butter and Salt.  Mix until it all comes together into a dough.  Press dough into the bottom of a 9”x13”x2” baking pan (I use my Pyrex baking dish).  Bake the crust in 350˚ oven for 15 to 20 minutes - until crust begins to turn golden brown around the edges.  Cool slightly.

16 ounces Cream Cheese - at room temperature
1/2 cup Sugar
1/4 cup Milk
2 x-large Eggs
2 teaspoons Vanilla
16 - 20 ounce can Crushed Pineapple (well drained)
Cream together the Cream Cheese and Sugar.  Add in the Milk, Eggs, Vanilla and Crushed Pineapple. Spread mixture over the baked crust.

2 cups Flaked Coconut
2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, melted
Combine Coconut and Butter in small bowl.  Sprinkle over Pineapple Filling.  Bake in 350˚ oven for 15 - 20 minutes or just until the coconut begins to brown slightly.  Cool and cut into desired size bars.  I like a small bite size (that’s about 1 1/2” square) and serving them in cupcake papers make a nice presentation.  These do freeze nicely!