Thursday, November 28, 2013

Watergate Salad Recipe

Here is a classic recipe worthy of your Thanksgiving table or any festive gathering. Enjoy!

Watergate Salad Recipe

1 package pistachio instant pudding (3 ounces)
1- 9 ounce Cool Whip
1 can crushed pineapple (20 ounces), undrained
2 cups mini marshmallows 
1/4 cup maraschino cherries, drained

1.  Mix dry instant pudding, cool whip, marshmallows, and crushed pineapple. 
2.  Spread into a casserole dish. 
3.  Slice cherries in half. Arrange on top of mixture. 
4.  Chill for at least an hour or overnight. 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Cranberry Parmesan Herb Popcorn Recipe

Thanks to lots of lazy hours perusing the internet, my sons have solved our popcorn dilemma.  They stumbled upon an online catalog that includes entertaining videos which promote each of the company's unique products.  Despite multiple attempts by my youngest to get me to sit down and view a few of these clips, I resisted until he said in his most persuasive voice, "Mom, they sell cooking stuff!" After I relented, I lost at least an hour of my life viewing these corny yet oddly informative ditties.  The company is called Vat 19 and I loved it so much I even agreed to place an order.

Currently on my Vat 19 wishlist is the Butter Bell Crock, the Soup and Cracker Mug Set, and the Double Dish Snack Bowl (might just order this one today).  I have such an extensive wishlist because the first item we ordered, the Microwave Popcorn Popper, has been a huge success in our household.

I have been on a quest for a healthy popcorn popping method ever since my children have been old enough to eat this optimized snack food.  In theory, popcorn is a healthy and satisfying snack that our family can enjoy after school, during play dates, and while we gather to watch a movie.  In reality, however, most of the microwave bags that we buy from the grocery store are expensive and full of chemicals.  I tried a high end popper (it broke), the paper bag method (not always successful), and healthy grocery store options (overpriced).  The Vat 19 popper meets all of our popcorn popping needs, but don't just take my word for it, check out this informative and entertaining video.  Trust me you won't regret it.

Although my eight year old still needs assistance to make popcorn with our Vat 19 popper, my older children can manage it independently.  This summer they have used it to create classic popcorn, Old Bay popcorn, and their version of kettle corn.  My favorite is Cranberry Parmesan Herb Popcorn (recipe following).  I also love that I can use coconut oil to flavor my kernels.  Because the Vat 19 popper is made of glass, I always do the washing which is fine with my kids.

So grab a friend or family member and check out Vat 19.  You will be entertained as you quickly discover the Microwave Popcorn Popper and a plethora of other amazing items.  Once you order and receive  a popper of your very own, make a big bowl of Cranberry Parmesan Herb Popcorn and check out all of the other "curiously awesome" products.

Cranberry Parmesan Herb Popcorn Recipe

1/4 cup dried cranberries (or other dried fruit)
1/4 cup unpopped popcorn kernals
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 Tablespoon coconut oil (or other fat which is solid at room temperature such as butter)
1 teaspoon Italian herb seasoning mix
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt (or more to taste)
a dash of freshly cracked pepper (optional)

1.  Pop the popcorn with the coconut oil or other fat.  If using the Vat 19 popper, place the unpopped kernels in the bottom of the glass decanter and the coconut oil in the silicone lid then microwave for approximately 2 minutes and 45 seconds.
2.  Dump the popped popcorn into a large bowl.  Add dried cranberries, Parmesan cheese, Italian herbs, salt and pepper.  Toss.
3.  Enjoy!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Ham Sliders Recipe

This morning my family and I said good-bye to our fabulous friends who drove from Minnesota to Texas to visit us.  They are dear friends that we have know for 18 years.  When we met, they had one sweet little boy and now we have 8 amazing children between us.  We've vacationed together, shared meals, and had lots of laughs.  Our kids jive, the parental conversations are inspiring and entertaining, and the food we share always tastes better when we are together.

This visit started with Easter dinner that included ham, macaroni and cheese, pretzel salad, deviled eggs, roasted asparagus, garlicky green beans, and King's Hawaiin rolls.  As I was digging in the fridge for our second meal together, our friends' oldest son, who has loved ham since we introduced it to him in his highchair, remembered a hot ham on Hawaiin roll sandwich that his aunt in Chicago had made.  Doing a bit of searching on the internet and perusing of my pantry lead us to the conclusion that we could make a pan of these type of sandwiches to add to our feast of leftovers.

Fit the rolls into the pan as tightly as possible.  Place ham on top of each.  
One of my kids likes just cheese, so I always make a few of those.
Add cheese on top; Swiss, Monterrey Jack, even American.
For added flavor, brush inside of bun tops with butter mixture.

Sprinkle with poppy seeds and refrigerate for up to 48 hours.

The sandwiches that we created were warm, toasty, and flavorful.  With 3 hungry teenagers as part of our crowd, the sandwiches didn't last long. The cheese got melty and gooey while the poppy seeds and Worcestershire sauce accentuated the taste of the ham.  Yum!  These Ham Sliders are going on my "Make for Party" list and will always remind me of our good times with our BFFF's (Best Family Friends Forever).

Ham Sliders Recipe

1 package of King's Hawaiin Rolls or other small dinner rolls (I use Mini Sub Rolls)
1/2 pound of ham (from the deli or leftover from you Easter dinner:)
6-8 slices of Swiss or Provolone cheese
4 Tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder or Garlic Salt
1 teaspoon Poppy seeds

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix melted butter, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic powder.  
  3. Split rolls and place on a baking sheet.
  4. Top each roll with ham and cheese.
  5. Place tops of rolls on sandwiches.
  6. Using a pastry brush, generously slather each sandwich with the melted butter mixture.
  7. Sprinkle poppy seeds on top of sandwiches.
  8. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or cover with foil and back for 20 minutes or until rolls are toasty and cheese is melted.  Add a few minutes if sandwiches are chilled

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Roasted Cabbage Recipe

In November my husband learned about The Hunter Gatherer Diet from a group of his co-workers.  Wanting to loose some mid-life weight he started following this eating plan by changing his diet to meat, some fruit, and lots of vegetables.  At the time, I chose to watch from the sidelines as he converted from toast to eggs in the morning and went from a bit of meat with some rice or pasta to a slab of meat surrounded by steamed vegetables in the evening.

After preparing and ingesting as many holiday goodies as I wished and spending hours on Pinterest  doing some research on this new way of eating, I decided to join him in what I found was also referred to as a Paleolithic Diet. On my Paleo journey I lost some weight (especially around my middle), got rid of my usual joint and back pain, and discovered that vegetables can be much more than a microwaved bag of broccoli.  I have come to enjoy steaming, roasting, and grilling brussel sprouts, turnips, kale, and more.

I have always been a fan of cabbage, but I usually had it boiled and served along side corned beef or ham.  Now I use this recipe to roast it.  It is quick enough for a weeknight and very tasty.  This recipe comes from my old friend Martha Stewart and was published way before people were throwing around the term Paleo.  I love how the cabbage caramelizes and sweetens in the oven.  It is perfect when served alongside a grilled pork chop or chicken breast.  You don't have to be Paleo or a Hunter Gather to enjoy this recipe for Roasted Cabbage.

Roasted Cabbage Recipe

3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 medium head green cabbage, rised and dried, outer leaves removed
Kosher Salt and Cracked Pepper
1 teaspoon fennel seeds

  1. Cut cabbage into 1-inch-thick rounds.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Brushed a rimmed baking sheet with 1 tablespoon olive oil.
  4. Place cabbage rounds in a single layer on the prepared sheet pan.
  5. Brush the cabbage rounds with the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil.
  6. Season with salt and pepper.  Sprinkle with fennel seeds.
  7. Roast until cabbage is tender and edges are golden brown, 35-45 minutes.