Memories and healthy recipes for your dinner table.

Month: July 2009

Lemon Zucchini Cookies

I love using vegetables and fruit in baking they add a depth of flavor and most importantly vitamins and fiber in an otherwise empty calorie treat. It was brain wracking trying to figure out what the two little zucchini on my counter should be made […]

Making Time for the Family: Weekend Togetherness

For many households the weekend is encumbered with catching up on sleep, yard work, errands, DIY home projects and much needed recreation. As parents we need our time to unwind from a hectic work week. Fitting in time for the family can sometimes be just […]

Peas Au Gratin

It is close to the end of the month and I wanted to use utilize items from the freezer rather than shell out extra cash at the grocery store. I paired this recipe for peas au gratin with barbecue pork chops slathered with my favorite barbecue sauce.

I had a problem with the bread crumbs never soaking up the liquid resulting in a powdery mess underneath a hard layer of cheese. To combat this press the bread crumbs and cheese down into the liquid enough to moisten. You could even mix the cheese and bread crumbs into the creamed peas. Use the left overs to make chicken pot pie.

Source: Adapted from Emeril
1 tsp plus 2 tbsp butter
1 cup minced onions
Freshly ground white pepper
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
4 cups sweet green peas
1/2 cup fine dried bread crumbs
Essence, recipe follows
4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Grease an 8 cup oval gratin dish or baking dish with 1 teaspoon of the butter.

In a large saute pan, over medium heat, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of the butter. Add the onions. Season with salt and pepper. Saute for 2 minutes. Add the flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in the milk and bring to a simmer. Cook for 4 to 6 minutes or until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Add the peas and mix thoroughly.

Pour into the prepared pan. Season the bread crumbs with Essence. Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture over the peas pressing down to moisten. Top with grated cheese. Place in the oven and cook until the peas are bubbly and the top is golden, about 10 to 12 minutes.

Emeril’s ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast):
2 1/2 tbsp paprika
2 tbsp salt
2 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp black pepper
* 1 tbsp onion powder
* 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
* 1 tbsp dried oregano
* 1 tbsp dried thyme

Combine all ingredients thoroughly. Yield: 2/3 cup

Mini Pigs in a Blanket

Talk about blast from the past. I have not eaten a “pig in the blanket” since I was a little girl. The kids were a little skeptical at first, you know the whole something new hurdle. My sister-n-law Roxanne showed us how to make these […]

Sparkling Ginger Sorbet Floats

Summery light sorbet floating in sparkling Ginger Ale. Ooo, it just exudes summertime goodness. The ginger ale we used is Reed’s. It is a refreshing blend of honey, ginger root, pineapple, lemon and lime. This is powerful stuff. Ginger ale Flavored sorbet Use a melon […]

Deviled Eggs

Deviled eggs are as different as the humans making them. I for one am a traditionalist. While shrimp or chipotle deviled eggs sound divine I prefer the basic taste of deviled eggs I have grown up eating at every Easter feast and picnic.

The past few years the project of making deviled eggs has been assigned to me. Every year I panic because I forgot how I made them the year before. This year I remembered to write it down. I used a recipe from Paula Dean as a base. I figure the woman is from the South she should know how to make basic eggs.

Source: Adapted from Paula Dean
12 large eggs, boiled
1/4 cup Mayo
1 tsp Dijon Horseradish
2 tbsp sweet relish
3-4 shakes Tabasco sauce
Salt and Pepper

Slice the eggs lengthwise. Scoop out the yolk and put in a bowl. Set aside the whites. Mash the yolks completely with a fork. Add mayo, mustard, relish, Tabasco, salt and pepper.

Scrap the mixture into a plastic sandwich baggie. Cut one of the corners off. Squeeze the mixture into the hollow of each egg white. Sprinkle lightly with paprika.

**To boil Eggs place eggs in a sauce pan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Turn off heat and let sit 10 minutes. Drain and run under cold water.

Lemon Buttermilk Cake

Think celestial rays of sunshine coursing through the vibrant cover of blue sky. The pure taste of summer. The stringent scent of lemon pops with tart clean refreshment. But, in cake form. I had a blast making this cake. I loved the velvety smooth texture […]

Book Review: Elephant and Piggie Series

I was suckered into joining the Children’s Book of the Month Club last year. What can I say, we love books around here. If there is a major holiday that warrants gifts you can bet the kids are getting a book from us. Doesn’t sound […]

Chicken Spinach Salad with Potatoes and Warm Mustard Dressing

Chicken Spinach with warm mustard dressing

When it is 109 degrees outside the last thing I want to do is stand in the hot kitchen cooking. This week our meals have mostly consisted of dinner salads. They are fast, easy and there is not a lot of clean up.

In this recipe the chicken and potatoes are simmered in a brine giving them flavor without all the extra fat. The dressing may be a little powerful for some tastes. If that is the case your favorite salad dressing could make an excellent substitution.

Source: Adapted from Health
1 pound new potatoes
2 tbsp salt, divided
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp white Dijon mustard
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1/4 tsp pepper
4-6 cups spinach, stems removed
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shaved

Bring potatoes to a boil in a large pot. Add 1 tablespoon salt, reduce heat and simmer 15-18 minutes or until tender. Drain and run under cool water to cool.

Fill a saucepan halfway with water. Bring to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon salt. Add chicken, reduce heat to medium; gently simmer 12-14 minutes or until cooked through. Let rest 15 minutes before shredding.

To make the dressing, whisk together the oil, mustard, vinegar and pepper; set aside.

The Art of Bubbles

During the summer when it is really hot, I have to come up with something enticing to get the kids outside. The car wash has always been an instant hit. It is pretty hard to keep them away from buckets of water overflowing with soap. […]