"It's the company, not the cooking, that makes the meal!" ~Perilee 
(Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson)

Monday, July 27, 2009

Jill's Roasted Beet and Apple Salad

No Matter how you slice it this Roasted Beet Salad is Scrumptious!

For my birthday this year Jack took me for a night away. We shared an incredible dinner together at the Pollard in Red Lodge, MT. I ordered a Apple and Beet salad and have been patiently waiting for our garden beets to get big enough for me to try to make a copy cat of the salad. Know it has been so long that I can't remember anything other than it had sweet nuts, apples (tart if you like them), and beets. So I did some online searching and most called for canned beets (so they would be a great in the off season) the dressing varied as much as the salads did so I took bites and pieces of recipes I thought looked like they had something good to please the pallet and came up with this salad. It is wonderful! Don't forget the nuts!! They had the perfect touch to this salad.

For the Nuts: (I always double any type of nut I am roasting and candying so that I have them on hand when I want to make the salad again! If I am lucky they make it that far!)


1 Tbsp brown sugar

2 tsp butter

1/3 cup pecan halves

In small skillet, combine sugar and butter; heat until melted. Stir in pecans; cook over low heat 3 to 4 minutes or until caramel color, stirring frequently. Remove and set aside; cool.

Salad Dressing:

1/4 C Balsamic Vinegar

3 tbs olive oil

1.5 tbs honey

Salt and pepper to taste.

Whisk together balsamic vinegar, honey, olive oil, and Salt & Pepper in a bowl. and set aside. (If you want you can pour some of this over your beets before roasting them. I general roast them plain).


Salad greens of your choosing

Red or Golden delicious apple cored and chopped

3-4 Beets trimmed Roasted, and peeled & dice into bite size pieces.

ROASTED BEETS (Click here for the recipe) or the short and simple of it is: wash and clean the hanging roots off of your fresh beets. Trim off the greens leaving about a 1" stub--this comes in handy when you slip the skins after roasting. I use 3-4 medium beets for this salad. I wrap all four in a foil pocket together and toss them on the grill for 40-50 minutes until fork tender. (This is great the hot days of summer.)

Place beets and apple in lettuce-lined serving dish. Combine oil and vinegar. Just before serving pour dressing over salad; toss gently, add nuts.

I have even added Chicken to make it a complete meal and it turned out great!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Orange Julius

We serve juice as a special occasion treat at our house. On occasion for Sunday or Holiday Brunch, this orange frosty drink is loved by all.

12 oz Frozen Orange Juice
(Use combo juices like orange, banana, strawberry etc. they are yummy too)
2 cups cold water
1/2-3/4 cup sugar (see why we save it for special occasions! ;-))
2 teaspoons Vanilla
1 ripe banana
2-3+ cups crushed ice (Make it as slushy as you prefer! I like more ice. The slushier the better.)

Blend together in all ingredients except ice until blended together well. Then add the ice a cup at a time until frosty. Pour into glasses and enjoy!

Thai Peanutty Chicken

I am so far behind on my blogging (or now I am just ahead ;-) because I have so many pictures and recipes waiting to be uploaded.) I am sure it will take a little while to get back into a routine now that I don't have girls camp and some other volunteer obligations completed. I am trying to get caught up on all of the life duties I put on hold while I dedicated my time to these other obligations. So in attempt to get back in to the blogging world I am posting this simple little recipe and hope you find it enjoyable too.

This is simple and tasty. You will enjoy this if you are in the mood for a little spice and variety in your menu. The picture shows it grilled. I was trying to do something new with the recipe. It works just okay in my opinion. Baking it the chicken has so much more flavor and moisture.

Serves 6 as an appetizer--served on a skewer or 3-4 as a main dish.
8-10 oz Chicken breast or tenders; chopped into bite-size pieces
(or use thin chicken cutlets for Skewers)
3/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup Hoisin sauce (found in the Ethnic section of your grocery store)
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
1 Tablespoon tomato paste (I use ketchup, so I don't have to open a whole can or open a can and freeze the remaining paste so I have it for later.)
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced (I tend to lean to 1 clove)

Preheat broiler. Place chopped chicken in a foil lined baking dish. (For Skewers- Cut chicken into 12 strips; thread onto twelve 8-inch bamboo skewers. Place skewers in prepared pan. )

For the sauce: In a medium saucepan, combine remaining ingredients. Whisk over medium heat until mixture boils. (Set aside 1/2 cup of sauce if making skewers and keep warm. Brush your skewers with the remaining sauce).

Pour all the sauce over chicken; stir until chicken pieces are coated evenly. Broil chicken, turning once, until cooked through 10-12 minutes (skewers 5-6 for thin cutlets).

Serve over white rice and a vegetable side for a tasty meal.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Apricot-Hoisin Pork Chops With Somen

We love to try new recipes--takes the drudgery our of the daily duty of cooking. We liked this Asian tasting pork chop. The Somen noodles were great, but I don't have weekly access to these nice noodles, so I also made angel hair pasta (similar in size and texture) to see how they compared. The angel hair pasta is thicker in consistency (taking 8-10 minutes to cook) which makes them a little more chewy. Somen noodles are extremely soft and take only 2 minutes to cook. We served this with our favorite vegetables of the season.

4 servings (serving size: 1 pork chop, 2 Tablespoons sauce, and 1/2 cup noodles)

4 oz uncooked somen (wheat noodles) or angel hair pasta
1/2 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth (I use regular)
1/2 cup apricot preserves (I used 1/4 cup apricot & 1/4 cup peach jams)
1 Tablespoon hoisin sauce
2 Tablespoons dark sesame oil
4 (4 oz) boneless center-cut loin pork chops (about 1/2 inch thick)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Cook noodles according to package directions.
While noodles cook, combine the broth, preserves, and hoisin in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk.
Heat sesame oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle pork chops with salt and pepper. Add pork to pan; cook 2 minutes on each side or until browned. Add broth mixture; bring to a boil, and cook until sauce is reduced to 1/2 cup (about 8 minutes). Serve over noodles.