Last Day of August

Today is the last day of August and also Eat Outside Day. I’ve never been much for eating outside because of the bugs and such. You also have to consider the weather before deciding to eat outside. Here in Southern California it has been over 100 degrees for over a week. The worse part is it is not cooling down much at night. It has been 80 when we get up at 5 or 6 am.  That’s way too hot. If I were to eat outside, I would want to take a cool salad and here is the perfect recipe, Cucumber Honeydew Salad with Feta.

2 Tbsp. Lemon juice
¼ c. olive oil
1 tsp. Honey
¼ tsp. Poppy seeds
1 Honeydew melon, cut into bite-size cubes
1 cucumber, unpeeled & cubed
1/3 c. finely chopped red onion
3 Tbsp. Chopped fresh dill weed

In a large bowl, pour lemon juice. Whisk in olive oil in a slow, steady stream until incorporated. Whisk in honey, ½ teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper and poppy seeds. Add melon, cucumber, onion and dill weed. Toss to combine. Top with feta just before serving.

Advertisements

Herbed Lamb Chops

Today is National Roast Leg of Lamb Day. I do not have a leg of lamb recipe but when I made these Herbed Lamb Chops I discovered that I am not a fan of lamb. However, Mac said this recipe for lamb chops is delicious. Let me know how you like it.

8 lamb chop
Salt & freshly ground pepper
½ Tbsp. Rosemary
½ Tbsp. Dried thyme leaves
1 Tbsp. Butter
1 Tbsp. Oil
4 Tbsp. Fresh lemon juice
Chopped fresh parsley

 

Sprinkle lamb chops with salt and pepper. Press rosemary and thyme into both sides of chops.

Heat butter and oil in heavy skillet. Brown the chops for 1 minutes on each side. Lower heat. Cook, uncovered 5 to 8 minutes until done to your liking. Remove chops to warm platter.

Add lemon juice to skillet along with 2 tablespoons water. Cook, whisking until reduced by half. Pour over chops and sprinkle with fresh parsley. Serve immediately.

Beverage Day

Over the summer we like refreshing and tasty beverages. Today try this great tea drink with a little kick of bourbon for Beverage Day.

 

Peach Tea with Bourbon

10 bags peach flavored tea
20 thin slices ginger
2/3 c. sugar
1 c. bourbon
¼ c. lemon juice
Mint for garnish

 

In medium saucepan, heat 4 cups water to simmering on high. Remove from heat. Add tea; steep 10 minutes. Remove and discard tea bags. Transfer tea to large pitcher. Add 3 cups cold water; refrigerate until cold, about 4 hours.

Meanwhile, in small saucepan, combine ginger, sugar and 2/3 cups water; heat to simmering on medium. Reduce heat to maintain simmer 15 minutes. Strain out and discard ginger. Refrigerate syrup until cold.

Stir cold ginger syrup into tea along with bourbon and lemon juice. Makes about 10 cups. Serve over ice, garnish with mint.

Chicken Nuggets and Creamy Dill Dipping Sauce

Last night I made chicken nuggets for dinner.  I decided to make a dill dipping sauce to go with the nuggets.

Chicken Nuggets
½ c. almond flour
2 tsp. Onion powder
1 tsp. Garlic powder
½ tsp. Salt
½ tsp. Black pepper
1 lb. Boneless skinless chicken
½ c. milk
1 c. chicharrones, crushed

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, onion and garlic powders, salt & pepper. Cut chicken into 2” pieces then toss with flour mixture. Pour milk into a shallow bowl. Dip chicken pieces in milk. Pour chicharrones onto a large plate. Roll chicken in crumbs.

Arrange chicken on baking sheet; spritz with cooking spray. Bake for 20 minutes or until thoroughly cooked.

Creamy Dill
½ c. yogurt
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 tsp. Lemon juice
1 Tbsp. Chopped fresh dill or ¾ tsp. Dried
¼ tsp. Salt
1/8 tsp. Black pepper.

In a small bowl, whisk together ingredients. Chill until serving time.

Eggs Benedict Day

Happy Easter and welcome to Eggs Benedict Day. I found this recipe from Martha Stewart Living and found it to be tasty and unique. Enjoy this as brunch any weekend. (You can half the recipe if there are only 2 of you.)

3 Tbsp. Lemon juice
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 large egg yolks, plus 4 whole eggs
6 Tbsp. Unsalted butter
Salt & pepper
1 Tbsp. White vinegar
1 avocado, halved, pitted, peeled
2 English muffins,split
8 oz. Jumbo lump crab meat
1 tsp. Minced fresh tarragon

Whisk together lemon juice, Dijon, egg yolks and 3 tablespoons water in a heatproof bowl. Brown butter in a saucepan. Very slowly drizzle into lemon mixture, whisking constantly, then season with salt and pepper. Return to saucepan; set aside.

 

Bring 1 inch water and vinegar to a simmer in a nonstick skillet over medium-high. Meanwhile, mash avocado in a bowl; season with salt and pepper. Toast muffins (I used keto bread slices) and spread avocado onto split sides;

top with crab.

Gently crack eggs into simmering water. Simmer until whites are set but yolks are still runny, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate with a slotted spoon, let drain 30 seconds then place atop crab.

Warm Hollandaise over low, whisking constantly (do not let boil), until thickened slightly and heated through, 1 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in tarragon and spoon evenly over eggs. Serve immediately.

Cajun Spiced Turkey & Dirty Rice

I said earlier in the week that I would be sharing the turkey and rice dish I have made for Easter.  Today is the day. Run to the store and pick up these items for a delicious meal. When I made the turkey, I followed the cooking time provided by Good Housekeeping but found that 2 to 3 hours is way too long to roast this turkey.  You will note that I have put to check turkey after an hour and a half for an internal temperature of 145 before covering with foil for the final 30 minutes.  This will keep your turkey from getting overly browned (almost burnt) and

Cajun Spiced Turkey

2 Tbsp. paprika
1 Tbsp. celery salt
1 Tbsp. garlic powder
1 Tbsp. black pepper
2 tsp. onion powder
2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 c. ( 1 stick) butter, melted
12 – 14 lb. turkey
1 med. green pepper, seeded & chopped
1 med. onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, smashed
1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
Remoulade listed below

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Arrange oven rack on lowest position. In medium bowl, combine paprika, celery salt, garlic power, black pepper, onion powder and thyme. Set aside 2 teaspoons spice mixture for remoulade. To mixture in medium bowl, add butter and 1 tablespoon salt; stir to combine.

Remove giblets and neck from cavity of turkey. Pat dry; arrange breast side up in roasting pan. Tuck wings behind turkey. Gently separate skin from breast and around side of turkey. Brush spiced-butter mixture inside turkey, underneath skin and all over outside. Stuff cavity with green pepper, onion, garlic and celery; tie legs together with twine or wire. Sprinkle all over with 1 teaspoon salt. Pour 2 cups water into bottom of pan.  Roast 1 1/2 hours or until inner temperature is 145. The loosely tent turkey with foil . Roast 30 minutes longer or until thermometer inserted into thigh reads 165 degrees F. Remove foil; let stand 20 minutes before carving. Serve turkey with remoulade.

No-Cook Remoulade

 

1/2 c. buttermilk
1/4 c.mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp. finely copped parsley
1 Tbsp. ketchup
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 green onion, finely chopped
2 tsp. reserved spice mixture

 

In medium bowl, whisk all ingredients until combined.  Makes 1 1/4 cups. Can be made up to 1 day ahead. Keep refrigerated until 30 minutes before serving.

Dirty Rice 

1 lb. chicken livers, rinsed
6 oz. bacon, cut in 1/4″ dice
1/2 c. onion, diced
1/2 c. green bell pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic,minced
1 tsp. ground cumin
Salt & pepper to taste
1/2 tsp. Tabasco sauce
1 head cauliflower, riced in food processor
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 1/2 c. chicken broth
2 green onions, thinly sliced
3 Tbsp. chopped parsley

Coarsely chop livers; set aside. In a pot, cook bacon over medium heat until just browned and crispy and the fat is rendered. Add livers; cook, stirring, for 5 minutes.

Add onion, bell pepper, garlic, cumin, Tabasco, salt and pepper; cook for 10 minutes.  Stir in cauliflower and oil; cook 2 minutes, stirring. Add broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 29 minutes or until cauliflower is tender. Stir in scallions and parsley. Serve warm.

NOTES: If you prefer you can use long grain rice instead of cauliflower.  When using rice, you will need to increase the chicken broth to 2 1/2 cups which needs to be absorbed by the rice before serving.  If you like gizzards, use 1/2 pound gizzards and 1/2 pound livers.  To prepare the gizzards, chop them by pulsing your food processor on and off.

Artichoke-Garbonzo Salad

This year I am making  my Artichoke-Garbonzo Salad recipe for National Artichoke Day. If you are on a Ketogenic Diet and keeping your carbs around 20 a day, you can make this recipe without the Garbonzo beans.  You will notice in the ingredient picture that I have marinated artichoke hearts.  If you decide to use the marinated artichoke hearts, drain the marinating oil into a 1/3 cup measuring cup and use in place of the olive oil.

14 oz. Can artichoke hearts
15 oz. Can garbonzos (chick peas), drained
½ med. Red onion, coarsely chopped
¾ c. black olives, halved
¼ c. chopped fresh parsley or 2 Tbsp. Dry
1/3 c. olive oil
2 Tbsp. Lemon juice
½ tsp. Crushed dried red pepper
¼ tsp. Ground cumin
Salt & Pepper to taste

 

 

Drain artichoke hearts. Cut them lengthwise into quarters, then cut quarters crosswise in half. Put them into a glass bowl with drained garbonzos, onion, olives and parsley.

 

 

 

In small bowl whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, red pepper and cumin. Pout this over artichoke mixture, toss well to mis all ingredients, cover and refrigerate for several hours. Toss again before serving.

Super Bowl LI

super-bowl-li-falcons-patriots

Super Bowl LI is on February 5th at HRG Stadium in Houston Texas. The 2 teams are The New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons. It appears that Lady Gaga will be performing at half time and Luke Bryan will be singing the National Anthem.

Yesterday I posted a cracker recipe and on January 30th I posted a pizza appetizer recipe.  Today I made a Olive Goat Cheese Dip that’s really easy and quick to make.

olive-goat-cheese-dip-2

 

1/2 c. green olives, pitted
8 oz. plain goat cheese
1/2 c. plain Greek yogurt
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 small clove garlic,  minced

 

In food processor pulse olives until roughly chopped; set aside half of the mixture. To remaining olives in food processor, add goat cheese, yogurt, lemon juice, olive oil, and garlic. Process about 1 1/2 minutes or until extremely smooth, scraping down sides as necessary.

Transfer to a serving bowl and top with reserved olives. Refrigerate until ready to serve.olive-goat-cheese-dip-3

 

NATIONAL WATERMELON DAY

I really enjoy watermelon so today is a great day.  I actually have a quarter of a watermelon in my fridge today.  I will cut it up and take it with us when we get in our truck for a snack.
Here is a recipe for a Watermelon Slushie that serves 6.  Hope you enjoy!

watermelon slushie

 

2 c. seedless watermelon, cubed (add’l for garnish)
1/3 c. light Agave Nectar
¼ c. lemon juice
2 c. fresh strawberries, quartered (add’l for garnish
3-4 c. ice cubes

 

In a blender, add watermelon, agave nectar & lemon juice. Cover and process on high speed for one minute. Add strawberries and process on high for an additional minute. Add ice cubes, one at a time, processing on high for 1 to 2 minutes after each addition of ice, until ice mix is completely chopped and drink is slushy. Garnish with watermelon and strawberry slices. Serve immediately.

NOTE: You can add 2 cups of rum to give this drink a kick. Before adding the ice, pour half of the watermelon & strawberry mixture into a pitcher. Add 1 cup of rum to blender then follow instructions to add ice. When this batch is done, repeat and make the second half.

 

 

watermelon face*  Watermelon is the perfect fruit to enjoy on August 3rd.  It is also National Watermelon Day. Enjoyed by many, it is a favorite at summertime events such as picnics and fairs.  Watermelon is 92% water, which is why it is so refreshing.

Watermelon is a vine-like flowering plant originally from southern Africa. Its fruit, which is also called watermelon, is a special kind referred to by botanists as a pepo, a berry which has a thick rind (exocarp) and fleshy center (mesocarp and endocarp). Pepos are derived from an inferior ovary and are characteristic of the Cucurbitaceae. The watermelon fruit, loosely considered a type of melon – although not in the genus Cucumis – has a smooth exterior rind (usually green with dark green stripes or yellow spots) and a juicy, sweet interior flesh (usually deep red to pink, but sometimes orange, yellow, or white).

The fruit was likely first cultivated for its ability to hold plentiful water in a desert landscape, especially since the wild melon was bitter or tasteless.  Seeds and art found in tombs of Pharaohs are substantial evidence of the watermelon’s value. Cultivation and breeding brought out the better qualities of sweet and tender fruit we enjoy today.

Watermelons can grow enormous, and you will find competitions across the country which award prizes each year for the largest one.  The Guinness Book of World Records states that the heaviest watermelon weighed 262 pounds. To learn more refreshing watermelon facts, check out www.watermelon.org.

 

 

*   http://www.nationaldaycalendar.com/national-watermelon-day-august-3/

Wedge Salad

I know this type of salad has been out for several years.  With summer here, it is always good to have a hearty and refreshing salad. Make sure to use the dressing recipe as it definitely enhances the whole flavor of the salad.

Wedge Salad

Salad Ingredients:
1 head iceberg lettuce, cut into quarters
3 Roma tomatoes, diced
2/3 c. blue cheese, crumbled
1 ½ c. crumbled bacon
2 sliced green onions
Sea salt & ground black pepper, to taste

Dressing Ingredients:
½ c. mayonnaise
1 ½ tbsp. Minced onion
1 tsp. Minced garlic
½ c. sour cream
½ c. Greek yogurt
2 tsp. Lemon juice
1 tsp. Red wine vinegar
¼ c. blue cheese, crumbled
¼ c. chopped fresh dill or 2 tsp. Dry

Mix dressing ingredients together and refrigerate for at least an hour prior to serving.

Place each lettuce quarter on a plate. Pour dressing over the top of each wedge. Top with tomatoes, blue cheese, bacon and green onions. Add salt & pepper to taste.