Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Orzo with Peas

My oh my!  Why oh why?  With the end of the school year, everyone and everything gets crammed into a very short period of time: games, tournaments, recitals, wax museums, projects, speeches, graduation, book club… shall I continue?  Do you have others to add to the list?

Orzo is quick to make and yummy to eat, especially in between all these end of school year activities.  This recipe was based on a Spring Pea Orzo in Southern Living however I omitted the green peas.  Since most recipes only use half of the box of orzo, you can make one of these next: Orzo Salad; Orzo with Arugula, Dried Cherries and Ricotta; or Roasted Shrimp with Orzo.

  1. 3 to 4 lemons (1/2 c lemon juice)  
    Orzo with Peas
  2. 8 ounces uncooked orzo pasta
  3. 1/4 cup minced shallot or red onion
  4. 2 T extra virgin olive oil
  5. 1 T Dijon mustard
  6. 1/2 t table salt
  7. 1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
  8. 1 – 1 ½ cup snow peas, blanched and chopped
  9. 1 – 1 ½ cup sugar snap peas, blanched and chopped
  10. 1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
Cut lemons in half; squeeze juice from lemons to equal 1/2 cup.

Prepare pasta according to package directions. Whisk together shallots, olive oil, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper, and lemon juice. Toss together pasta and shallot mixture. Cover with plastic wrap, and chill 1 to 48 hours.

Toss together pasta, snow peas, sugar snap peas, and almonds just before serving.  Add salt, pepper, and additional lemon juice to taste.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Green Bean Salad

Dear Mom,
Happy Mother’s Day! … Thank you for all of your yummy desserts!  You have been PERFECT all year! … Thank you for cooking most of our meals.  Some of them I don’t really like…  Love, Elizabeth

Now that’s gratitude for you – Elizabeth style.  I appreciate her honesty and maybe one of these days, she will like my food other than desserts.  Here’s a Jamie Deen recipe that she didn’t even try.  The rest of us enjoyed it though (which surprised me, I wasn’t anticipating that I would – it includes almost raw vegetables, you know).  I predict it will become a summer salad/picnic staple.  Hope you enjoy it too!

Green Bean Salad

  1. Kosher salt
  2. 1 pound slender green beans (i.e., French green beans), ends trimmed
  3. 1 cup feta cheese crumbles
  4. 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  5. 2 tablespoons chopped red onion
  6. 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  7. 3 tablespoons olive oil
  8. 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  9. 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  10. 1 large clove garlic, minced
  11. Freshly ground black pepper

Boil a large pot of salted water. Add the green beans and cook until tender crisp, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove green beans and place in a bowl of ice water. Drain well, pat dry and place the beans in a large bowl. Combine with the feta cheese, tomatoes and red onions.

Toast the almonds in a small skillet, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove to a plate.

Whisk together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, basil, garlic and some salt and pepper. Pour the dressing over the green beans and sprinkle with the toasted almonds. Let marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour before serving.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Key Lime Pie

I have a dream that one day I will sleep continuously and past 6 am. 

I have a dream that one day I will wake up to the smell of challah French toast and a latte waiting for my arrival.

I have a dream that one day our family will not be divided across football and baseball fields but joined together eating lobster rolls and lemon bundt cakes at a picnic with a cool breeze and no time restrictions.

I have a dream that my three little children will cease any bickering or pestering each other, at least for an hour.

I have a dream that one day I will be able to go to the bathroom without an audience and without interruption.

However, I know that without these three I would not be a mother.  Today would be another Sunday. So my dream today and the future is for laughter and moments shared together and health.

Happy Mother’s Day to all!

Thank you, Linda, for sharing this tart and sweet dessert recipe!

Key Lime Pie
  1. 5 egg yolks, beaten
  2. 1 – 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
  3. ½ c key lime juice
  4. 1 (9 in) prepared graham cracker crust
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F

Combine the egg yolks, sweetened condensed milk and lime juice. Mix well. Pour into unbaked graham cracker shell.

Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Allow to cool. Top with whipped topping and garnish with lime slices or raspberries, if desired.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Corn and Tomato Salsa

Happy Cinco de Mayo!  As if I need any excuse to eat chips and salsa.  But this was a good excuse to try a new salsa recipe.  For other Mexican food favorites, check out Salsa, Tomatillo-Avocado Salsa, Guacamole, Shrimp Ceviche Cocktail, Oven Baked Churros, Mexican Layered Dip, Cheater Pralines, and Queso Compuesto.  

Another tradition on Cinco de Mayo is to dance.  At the 2nd grade fine arts performance last week, Elizabeth, Andrew and their classmates did a lot of singing and dancing.  For the final song, somehow Elizabeth and Andrew managed to line up front row, center (with a favorite girl friend in between) which made it easier for me to video them both simultaneously (and it’s all about me).  Both kids knew the words, the motions, the steps – kicker was, Andrew was about a half step ahead of the beat.  He was having so much fun, he was so into it.  So dance a half beat ahead, sing at the top of your lungs, and enjoy the moment with the unreserved confidence, innocence and sincerity of a 2nd grader. 

Corn and Tomato Salsa

  1. 1 ½ c cherry tomatoes, quartered
  2. 1 c whole kernel corn
  3. ¼ c chopped red onion
  4. 2 T chopped, fresh cilantro
  5. 1 garlic clove, minced
  6. 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
  7. 2 T lime juice
  8. Salt and pepper to taste
  9. Tortilla chips

Stir together the first 7 ingredients (tomatoes through lime juice).  Season with salt and pepper to tase.  Cover and chill until ready to serve (up to 3 hours).  Serve with chips.

Notes: the original recipe uses frozen corn.  You can also cook fresh corn (remove husks and silks from corn, place in a large pot and cover with water, bring to a boil, remove and cool.  Cut kernels (carefully) from the cob or use your Kuhn corn zipper.  My favorite chips for salsa like this is Fritos Scoops.