Showing posts with label vegetable. Show all posts
Showing posts with label vegetable. Show all posts

5/1/14

Kale, Radish and Roasted Corn Salad with Parmesan Crisps- Mother's Day 2014 Menu




Hi friends.
Today is  the first recipe in our 2014 Mother's Day Menu.
Get excited.
Have you ever been to Red Butte Cafe in SLC?
Last  summer I went to Red Butte for lunch and ordered the salad of the day. The server promised I'd love it. He was right. I'm not usually a raw kale fan. When I asked the server why the kale was so tender he told me the chef actually massages the greens. Uh. What? Massaging the produce? He claimed that massaging the kale leaves breaks down the fibers, therefore producing a more tender leaf in the salad.  I took some notes from my new found friend and server, and was determined to create my own version of this salad at home.
Because the greens are so firm, the salad keeps well in the fridge and it's perfect for make-ahead. You can make this on Saturday and serve it on Mother's Day. Just re-toss, and add a little more dressing if needed, and top with a few Parmesan crisps.
Mom is going to love it.







Kale, Radish and Roasted Corn Salad with Parmesan Crisps
A Bountiful Kitchen

Salad:
5-7 oz kale, washed, dried (I used a little over 1/2 of a 10 oz bag)
1 bunch, or about 5-7 medium sized radishes
1 large ear fresh corn or about 1 1/2 cups frozen corn
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, or more if you would like to have a few extra chips

Dressing:
1 cup canola oil
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1-2 clove of garlic, minced
1-2 teaspoons sugar (to taste)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper

To make the dressing:
Mix all dressing ingredients with a blender or immersion blender. Taste and add more salt, pepper or sugar as needed. Set aside. Note- you will not use all of the dressing on this salad.

To make the salad:
Wash the radishes, trim off the ends, slice thin. 
Cut the corn off of the cob. Spread on a cookie sheet and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Salt and pepper generously. Roast at 450 degrees for 10 minutes. Let cool. 
Place the kale in a medium size bowl and add about 1/3 cup of the dressing. You may use food handlers gloves for the next step. Work the dressing into the salad with your hands (give the kale a good massage :) This takes about 2 minutes.  Add the radishes and corn when you are finished massaging the dressing into the kale. 

To make the Parmesan crisps:
Heat a pan over medium high heat.  Do not grease the pan. Place piles of grated Parmesan cheese on the hot pan or griddle until the cheese melts and begins to brown on the bottom. Flip to the other side and cook until golden on the opposite side. When cooked to light golden brown on both sides, remove and let cool in single layer on a cooling rack or cookie sheet. 

To assemble the salad:
Add more dressing to the kale mixture if needed. Toss. Add Parmesan chips just before serving. 

Serves 8 as a side salad

Tips:
-This is a very simple salad. If you roast the corn while making the Parmesan crisps, you will be able to put this salad together in about 20 minutes (or less).
-The dressing is one of my favorites, it goes well on several different types of salad and would make an excellent dressing for any pasta and vegetable salad. 




4/14/14

Orzo Salad with Fresh Lemon and Chive Dressing





I love Orzo pasta salads. There are so many combination possibilities with Orzo.  In my latest Orzo creation, I chose veggies that I love and paired them with a fresh lemon and chive dressing to feature the flavors of Spring.
I'll be making this for our family Easter dinner next Sunday. Total time to make this salad, less than 30 minutes. If you're looking for something fresh, simple and a little out of the ordinary, it's staring you in the face.
Not me, the salad.




Orzo Salad with Asparagus, Tomatoes and Fresh Lemon-Chive Dressing
A Bountiful Kitchen
print recipe

for salad:
1 lb orzo
1 lb fresh asparagus
1 lb grape or cherry tomatoes
1 cup chopped chives, divided (half for dressing, half for garnish)
1 lemon rind, grated fine, using a microplane grater
sliced lemon, for garnish

for dressing:
1 cup canola oil
1/2 cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup fresh chives
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper


Cook the orzo according to package directions, set aside. This may be done up to three days before serving salad.
Wash and snap off the tough ends of the asparagus. Cut into one inch pieces on the diagonal. Place about 1/2 cup of water in a small saucepan. Put the asparagus in the pan, heat until water boils. Cover and cook for one minute. Remove from heat. Asparagus should be bright green. Drain off hot water and pour cool water into the pan. Drain again and place asparagus in the bowl with the cooked orzo. Cut the tomatoes in half and add to the bowl with the orzo and asparagus. Add one half cup of the chopped chives and the grated lemon rind.
In a large measuring cup, Mix all of the dressing ingredients with a whisk,  or place in a blender, or use an immersion blender and pulse until ingredients are blended well.
When ready to assemble, toss all of the salad ingredients. Pour about 3/4 cup of the dressing over the salad. Toss. Let the salad sit a bit before placing in serving bowl or platter.  Just before serving, toss with additional dressing if needed. Garnish with the remaining 1/2 cup of chives and lemon slices.
Serves 12 as a side dish

Tips:
-Try to assemble and serve the salad on the same day. The pasta may be cooked ahead, but the asparagus is best when tossed with the dressing on the same day.
-You will have leftover dressing. Don't be tempted to drown the salad in dressing. Use the leftover dressing on a green salad, or chopped avocado and tomatoes. This dressing would also make a great marinade for grilled chicken.

3/24/14

Panera Copycat Broccoli Cheddar Soup




Have you been to Panera Bread? It's a chain, and even though I'm not a fan of chain restaurants, I love a sandwich and soup from Panera. Maybe it's  because we don't have Panera in Utah?  You always want what you can't have.
I'm not a fan of super thick and cheesy soup. That's why I like Panera's Cheddar Broccoli. It's filling, but not the gloppy-overly-salty-processed-cheese type of soup you find in so many restaurants. Doesn't that sound so appetizing? I looked at several recipes online that claim to duplicate Panera's recipe. Many of those recipes left out  (little, but significant) ingredients, like a bit of mustard, hot pepper sauce, or paprika, which are all listed as ingredients in Panera's soup.  So, I made my own version- a one pot, less than 30 minute recipe.
Just like Panera in your own kitchen.
It's always better home made.
Promise.




Panera Copycat Broccoli Cheddar Soup
A Bountiful Kitchen
print recipe

1/2  cup butter
1 cup onion, chopped
1 cup  chopped carrots ( I used baby carrots)
4 cups chopped broccoli
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
few drops of hot pepper sauce
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups cream or half and half
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
1/4 cup cornstarch, whisked into 1/2 cup cold water or cold broth
2 cups (about 8 oz)  grated sharp cheddar cheese

Melt butter in large stockpot. Add onions and cook until soft, about 4-5 minutes. Add carrots and broccoli cook for additional 3-4 minutes, season with salt, pepper, paprika and hot pepper sauce.  Pour chicken broth and cream into vegetable mixture. Add one teaspoon mustard, whisk until smooth.
Simmer over medium-low heat.
In a small bowl or cup, whisk the cold water or broth together with the cornstarch until smooth. Pour into the stockpot with the vegetable mixture. Whisk until smooth. Add additional salt and pepper to taste. Add cheese and cook just until cheese is melted. Reduce heat until ready to serve.
Serves 4 as a main course

Tips:
-Sharp or extra sharp cheese is best for this recipe.
-If you want to make a heartier soup,  cook a couple of chicken breast halves and shred or chop before adding to the finished soup.


3/14/14

Springtime Salad with White Chocolate Pecan Croutons and Harmon's $250 Gift Card Giveaway!




I'm in love.
With a grocery store.


Last week, I was invited to a blogger event at Harmon's City Creek in downtown Salt Lake City. We were treated to a cooking class taught by Aaron, chef and director of the cooking school in the Harmon's City Creek location.



Aaron taught us how to make a creamy asparagus risotto with topped with duck bacon.  Oh my. We were also served a pork tenderloin, cooked using the Sous Vide method.  The tenderloin was served with a balsamic reduction, wilted baby kale, shaved white asparagus and a piece of french cut purple potato.  Absolutely delicious.
Harmon's cooking school  offers a variety of cooking classes at three locations, covering a wide range of classes, individual tailored small group classes and even private parties.



Harmon's is a home grown business, started by Jake and Irene Harmon on the corner of 330 South and Main in SLC.  Harmon's humble beginning in 1932 has grown to 16 stores and over 3,000 associates. Their focus on customer service and fresh, quality products has made Harmon's, in my opinion, the best of the best in Utah.


Original Harmons Market Spot








What started at The Market Spot over 80 years ago has flourished under family ownership. Do you wonder why some businesses fold overnight, while others have long term staying power? After spending the afternoon at Harmon's I can tell you why they have not only survived, but thrived.  Customers are #1 at Harmon's.
Bob Harmon (grandson of Jake and Irene) spent over three hours with us, in the cooking class, and then gave us a department-by-department tour of his store. Bob shared his enthusiasm for everything in the store from the house-made guac to the cookies in the bakery.




It tastes as good as it looks.
















I knew Harmon's had the best in-store bakery in the state, but didn't know each and every one of their cookie, cakes and pastries are baked in house.  Everything, right down to the frosting on the cookies are made in-store, with fresh ingredients. That sugar cookie pictured above was one buttery piece of heaven. I may have eaten two of the four I brought home.


Man can live by bread alone. 

The artisan breads are phenomenal. If you love bread like I do, Harmon's is the grocery store for you. Not only do they sell whole loaves, but half loaves and single slices of bread. Oh, happy day!
Sometimes, I sneak in and get a couple of slices of my favorite breads, including sugared challah and a bowl of soup to take home for lunch.  This is the White Chocolate Pecan artisan bread, it's making a guest appearance in my salad today :)

Harmon's famous White Chocolate Pecan Bread












The produce is local when available, and always the highest quality. I recently purchased a 4 lb bag of Harmon's oranges from Brandt Farms in Reedley, CA. The oranges are packed for Harmon's and shipped immediately, which guarantees the freshest product for Harmon's customers.



  I compared a Harmon's orange to one from a warehouse store I had at home, and the Harmon's orange won the sweetness and juiciness test hands down.



Bob's Kabobs


Are you tired of reading about my love affair with Harmon's?  Don't answer that question.
Last chapter.
Meat.
Harmon's is the only grocery in the state to offer only Prime and Choice beef, the two highes grades on the USDA grading scale. Hormones? You won't find them in any of the meats or poultry sold in Harmon's meat cases. A while back I was looking for Italian sausage without additives. Could not find it.
Anywhere.
Except Harmon's.
I purchase a few kabobs for a quick dinner last week. Threw them under the broiler, (because I was too much of a sissy to go outside and grill in the snow). Outstanding.  Even the leftovers were tender, juicy and full of flavor. The quality? = to that of a high end steak house, with a much smaller price tag, $4 for a 8 oz kabob.




Have you worked up an appetite after reading my epistle on Harmon's??
I've got a special dish for you. With Spring approaching I decided to use a few fresh ingredients I found on my most recent trip to  (you guessed it)  Harmon's.  One vegetable in particular, white asparagus, was especially interesting to me. Chef Aaron served it raw and thinly sliced with our lunch.  You can steam it, or serve it raw.  I love it both ways.  It adds a nice white healthy splash to the salad instead of somewhat predictable white grated cheese.


The frosting on the cake (or salad) in this case, are the sugared croutons. They are made from the White Chocolate Pecan Artisan bread found at Harmon's bakery.  They take the place of the commonly used sugared nuts in a sweet and savory salad. I know they're going to be your new favorite. Try this out for your next gathering. It's the perfect salad for your upcoming Easter brunch or the wedding shower you're hosting. Fresh, simple and unique.





If you've been thinking about checking out Harmon's enter this giveaway using the rafflecopter code below. You could win $250 to spend on your next visit to Harmon's!
Good luck :)





you may want to slurp up any leftovers...



Springtime Salad with White Chocolate Pecan Croutons and Fresh Strawberry Dressing
A Bountiful Kitchen
print recipe

croutons:
3 thick slices (3/4 inch thick) White Chocolate Pecan Bread (about 4 cups)*
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons sugar, divided
coarse salt

dressing:
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/2 canola oil
1 cup fresh strawberries, washed and cut in half
3-4 tablespoons honey or sugar, to taste
dash salt
pepper to taste

salad:
8-12 oz mixed greens, spinach, baby kale, etc.
3 green onions, sliced
4-5 asparagus spears, tough ends snapped off, sliced thin* (optional) or green asparagus may be used
16 oz sliced strawberries (1 cup to be used for dressing)
2 cups fresh blackberries or blueberries

prepare croutons:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place rack on top third of oven . Cut bread into cubes. Use all parts of bread, do not remove crust. Place bread cubes on cookie sheet or jelly roll pan. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with one tablespoon of sugar. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden browned. Remove from oven and let cool.

Prepare salad dressing:
Place all ingredients in blender, blend until smooth. Set in refrigerator until ready to serve salad.
May be made a day ahead. Stir before serving.

Prepare salad:
Place all greens on a platter or in a salad bowl. Arrange fruits and vegetables on top of the greens.  Refrigerate until ready to serve. Place the croutons on the salad just before serving.  Serve with fresh strawberry dressing.
Serves 8-10 as a side salad

Tips:
-If this bread is not available, you may substitute any type of bread to make the sweet croutons. i suggest using  raisin bread or other artisan bread.
-The white asparagus may be steamed lightly, then cooled quickly in a ice water bath. Place the asparagus in between paper towels to remove excess water and sprinkle lightly with salt. The asparagus
may also be served raw. Wash well and drain, slice thin on an angle.




2/5/14

Slow Cooker Chicken and Wild Rice Soup




Sometimes, I get funny little texts or emails or phone calls from friends about cooking.
My friend Jo sent me this text a few days before Christmas:

Dear Si
I need new
soup recipes. Please.
Help soon.

A month and a half later, I'm coming to her rescue. 
Good thing she didn't fall into quicksand.

Dear Jo
Here is a
recipe I made.
just for you.
Sorry not soon.
But it is
so good.






Slow Cooker Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
A Bountiful Kitchen
print recipe

3-4 chicken breast halves (about 2 cups, after cooking)
2- 14.5 oz cans chicken broth
1 teaspoon each- salt and pepper

1 cup water
8 oz fresh mushrooms, sliced
2 stalks or about 1 cup chopped celery
2 medium to large carrots, sliced thin
1- 6 oz box- Long Grain and Wild Rice

1 cup parsley, loosely packed, chopped
1/2 cup cream or half and half

Place chicken in slow cooker with 2 cans chicken broth. Generously salt and pepper. Place lid on slow cooker and cook for 2 hours on high.
Remove chicken, chop and set aside, leaving broth in slow cooker.
Add one cup water to slow cooker.
Replace lid, leave temperature on high.
Add chopped mushrooms, celery, carrots and box of wild rice mix and flavor packet.
Replace lid and cook for another 30-45 minutes on high or until rice is done.
Add chicken, chopped parsley and 1/2 cup half and half or cream to ingredients in slow cooker. Replace lid and cook an additional 10-15 minutes, or until heated through.
Garnish with additional parsley, if desired.
Serve while hot.
About 6 servings.

Tips:
-I doubled this so we had enough for dinner, and some to give to a family with a new baby. I know, I should have taken some to Jo  : o
-I used Uncle Ben's Wild Rice mix. You may use any brand available that is approximately 6-8 oz.
-This recipe may be made either in a slow cooker, or on the stove top.
If stove top:
Cook the chicken in broth for about 20 minutes boiling on high heat. Remove chicken and chop. Set aside.
Follow directions above, except, cook the rice in the broth and additional cup of water according to package directions, adding the mushrooms, celery, and carrots as well.
-If the soup seems a little thick, you may add more water, broth or cream.
-This soup may be made with any combination of added vegetables.
Additional suggestions: water chestnuts, onion, corn, peas.

1/16/14

Spinach, Chicken and Bowtie Pasta Salad for 100





Salad for 100, anyone?
Last summer, I made this salad three times, in two months, for groups of 100 or more.
Spinach, Chicken and Bowtie Pasta Salad is one of my all-time favorite pasta salad recipes. Here's why:  It sits well at a gathering (no mayo in the dressing). Perfect for weddings, funerals, missionary farewells and homecomings, Girl's Camp, family reunions, church parties and school events.  It's easy to make in large quantities.  Even though it looks summery it can be made year-round. AND last, but not least, everyone loves it.
The original 12-15 serving recipe is posted here . I've had oodles of requests over the years for a large quantity recipe, so I decided it would be best to re-post the recipe with directions to feed 100.
Make sure to read my tips short story (below the recipe) for all of the info you'll ever need (or want) to make pasta salad for the masses.
Happy salad making, my friends.



Got Chicken?

First three layers. 

Starting to look like something I'm interested in eating...

This was taken at Girl's Camp. I think we served 300 with these salads.
It was like the loaves and fishes. Kind of. 




Spinach, Chicken and Bowtie Pasta Salad for 100
A Bountiful Kitchen, adapted from Favorites cookbook
print recipe

Pasta:
5 lbs Bowtie pasta

Salad dressing:
2 2/3 cups vegetable or canola oil
1 1/3 cups Veri Veri Teriyaki Sauce, shaken
2 2/3 cups cider vinegar
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons pepper

Salad ingredients (veggies and fruit) :
4 Costco tubs of Spinach ( 1 lb each)
8- 8 oz cans water chestnuts, drained and chopped into matchstick pieces
6 bunches green onions, chopped
48 oz - (1 large bag) Craisins 
12 cans mandarin oranges, drained well
2 cups sesame seeds, toasted
48 oz honey roasted peanuts or cashews

15 lbs chicken breasts, marinated (ingredients below), cooked, cooled and sliced

Teriyaki marinade for chicken:
6 cups soy sauce
2 cups sugar
1 Tablespoon or about 4 cloves garlic, crushed or chopped
1 Tablespoon pepper

Mix teriyaki marinade for chicken. 
Marinate chicken overnight, or at least 6 hours. Place the chicken in Ziplock bags and mix the marinade in a bowl, then pour into the bags over the chicken. The chicken may be taken directly from the freezer and set in the refrigerator in marinade for up to two days before cooking. 
After the chicken is marinated, place the drained chicken on baking sheets and broil the chicken for about 7-10 minutes (about 2-3 inches from element), or bake at 350 for about 45  minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in the middle.  Cool completely, trim off any fat and cut into slices. Set in refrigerator until ready to assemble salad. The chicken may be cooked up to three days before serving salad.
Discard any leftover marinade, DO NOT use the marinade in the salad dressing. 

Cook the pasta al dente, according to package directions. Drain, rinse quickly with cold water and toss with a tablespoon olive or canola oil  or a little of the Veri Teriyaki sauce and place in refrigerator in covered containers (I use gallon Ziplock bags) until ready to assemble salad. May be cooked up to three days before serving.

Blend the salad dressing ingredients together using large bowl or blender. Mix well. Keep refrigerated until ready to use.

Assembly:
May be done early in the day, or the day before serving.
Using two large containers, layer the ingredients to the salad in the following order (see photos)
Pasta, chicken, spinach, chopped water chestnuts, chopped green onions and Craisins. Make sure the water chestnuts are drained well.
Cover and refrigerate.
When ready to serve, add the following to the top of salad:
Drained mandarin oranges, toasted sesame seeds, honey roasted peanuts.
Mix the prepared salad dressing well, pour about 2 cups onto each container of salad, tossing gently so the mandarin oranges do not break apart. Add more salad dressing, sparingly, as needed.
Serve individually onto plates, or in a salad bowl.
Sprinkle with additional sesame seeds and nuts if desired.

Tips:
-This salad may be prepared in advance. When I'm making salads in large quantities, I usually start the day (or two) ahead with any of the steps that can be done early. Read this recipe carefully for instruction on make ahead.
-If you are serving this with a main dish, say at a barbecue, you may leave out the chicken. Or half the chicken (and marinade).
-This salad is a hearty serving of a main dish salad. It will yield 100 generous lunch size portions of salad. If served with a roll and dessert, it should satisfy most appetites. If you are serving the salad on a buffet, with other salads or sides, this should serve up to 150 as a side dish. 
-For the chicken, I buy Costco 10 lb bags of frozen- boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Usually the Tyson or Foster Farms brands. They are generally trimmed of most fat so the prep work is minimal regarding trimming the chicken. I use the chicken right out of the freezer, no thawing needed.
If you are trying to cut costs, use less chicken. This recipe may be adjusted to serve 100 with 10 lbs of chicken (instead of 15). Cut the teriyaki marinade for the chicken in half as well.
-Teriyaki Sauce for dressing on the salad- I like  Soy-Vay "Veri Veri Teriyaki"  for this recipe. It is highly concentrated, so you will use less than when using another brand. It can usually be purchased at most grocery stores and Walmart or Costco. I've also seen it online at Amazon.  Make sure to shake the bottle before using.
- Purchase Honey Roasted Planters Peanuts at Walmart in large size containers compared to the containers sold at the grocery, they are quite a bit less expensive. I love this recipe made with honey roasted cashews, but they cost quite a bit more than peanuts, so I usually stick with peanuts when making a large quantity.
-Less is more with regard to salad dressing. Use less dressing than you think you need initially. Let it sit for a few minutes and see how much has soaked into the pasta, and how much has settled to the bottom of the serving bowl. Add more dressing if needed. I rarely use all of the dressing.
-Purchase sesame seeds in bulk at the grocery in the health food aisle or in the Asian section of the grocery. The cost is significantly less than if purchased in the spice section.
-Toss the peanuts and the sesame seeds last onto the salad to preserve the crunch of the nuts.

11/21/13

Harvest Salad with Buttermilk Sage Dressing



Tuesday night I made a salad for a creative group of crafters and bloggers who attended
"Spark Your Holidays Soiree" put on by Margie Romney -Aslett (Justagirl) and hosted by Jamie Soucy.  I didn't stay for the festivities, but heard the ladies who attended had a fabulous time! I was amazed at Jamie's  gorgeous fully decorated Christmas house and the work Margie put into assembling craft kits. It was all so festive, that I may have to sign up next time they have an event and try my hand at creating outside of the kitchen...



I wanted to share a salad that was savory and a reflection of the season. I started with greens and decided on three main ingredients for toppings: roasted butternut squash, pomegranates and avocados. Keeping the dressing harvest-style, I topped the salad with pumpkin seeds and made a basic buttermilk dressing and added fresh sage. It was simple, fresh and a bit out of the ordinary.
This dish is perfect for your holiday table, not your mother's ho-hum green salad, and also a change from the fruit-candied nut-cheese salad we see at  almost every holiday gathering.
One week till Thanksgiving!
So excited.




Harvest Salad with Buttermilk Sage Dressing 
A Bountiful Kitchen
print recipe

Salad:
8-10 cups Romaine Lettuce, chopped
8-10 cups spinach (preferably baby spinach)
3 cups butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
1 ripe and slightly firm avocado
1 large pomegranate, seeded or about 1 - 1 1/2 cups of seeds
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds (green type, roasted, salted)

Buttermilk Sage Dressing:
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup mayo ( light is ok, but regular is better)
5-7 fresh sage leaves, chopped
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth or place ingredients in container and shake or use an immersion blender. The dressing will keep for a week refrigerated.

To assemble salad:
About 1 hour before assembling salad-
Preheat oven to 450 convection, or 500 bake. Move rack to middle of oven.
Place butternut squash on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with coarse salt and pepper. Drizzle with about 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil. Roast just until squash begins to turn color and get a nice brown edge. This usually takes about 15 minutes on convection or 20 in a regular bake setting. Watch closely so it does not burn.
Remove from oven and let cool completely.
Place greens on a  large platter or  bowl.
Top with cooled roasted squash, chunked avocado and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds.
When ready to serve, sprinkle generously with pumpkin seeds.
Serve with dressing on the side.
Serves about 20+ as a side dish.

Tips:
-I doubled this salad for a group of 50-60 women. I used 3 heads of Costco regular (not mini) Romaine heads, 1/2 box of baby organic Spinach and 1 container of pre-cut butternut squash. I also used about 1 1/2 containers of pre-seeded pom seeds also purchased at Costco.
-For buttermilk dressings, I like to purchase Winder Dairy buttermilk. It is a bit thicker than other brands and whips up nicely in dressings. My second choice is Meadow Gold. Both brands found in Utah.

11/8/13

Grandma's Corn Pudding



Corn. So ordinary.
How to dress it up for the holiday? Make it yours.
For years I've wanted to help the corn, make it feel a little less naked at Thanksgiving. But it's always an afterthought. Throw the corn into a pot and cook while we ask a blessing on the feast.
It always seems a little out of place to me. The plain yellow kernels sitting in the bowl, while every other dish was given so much care and preparation. This year I'm dispensing with the bowl and serving corn pudding. It's a little sweet. A little salty. A smooth bit of cream-corn goodness in a beautiful little circle on your plate. Yes, you can bake and serve it straight from the dish. I opted for cutting into circle shapes, which dressed it up a bit more.
And, you know, we all want the corn to feel dressed at the table.


Grandma's Corn Pudding
Adapted slightly from Allrecipes.com
print recipe

1/2 cup milk
4 tablespoons cornstarch
5 eggs
1/3 cup butter, melted
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 cups frozen corn or 1 (15.25 ounce) can whole kernel corn
2 (14.75 ounce) cans cream-style corn
1 teaspoon salt
garnish with chopped green onions

Preheat oven to 400 Degrees. Grease a 2 quart casserole dish.
In a large bowl, whisk cornstarch into cold milk until smooth and no lumps appear.
Add eggs and beat until eggs are incorporated. Add melted butter and sugar, stir in corn, creamed corn and salt. Blend well. Pour mixture into prepared casserole dish.
Bake for 1 hour or until golden on top and set. Garnish as desired.
Serves 8-10

Tips:
-I baked in a 9x13 glass pan, then waited for the dish to cool a bit (about 10 minutes). After cooling a few minutes, I cut the pudding into circles using a biscuit cutter. I cut the circles as close together as possible to eliminate any waste. If you want, you can just serve it in the dish. Or bake it in ramekins or custard cups, greased and filled about 1-1 1/2 inch full. Place the ramekins on a cookie sheet and check after about 40-45 minutes. 
-If using frozen corn, do not thaw before adding to dish.
-This dish may be made ahead and re-heated. 

10/29/13

Slow Cooker Tomato Basil Soup





Every year on Halloween, it was a trick to get the kids to eat real food before going out in the neighborhood to collect treats. My rules on Halloween (besides stay in the neighborhood, don't run, say "thank you" after screaming trick or treat and don't eat the candy till we inspect it) were:
1. Eat dinner before you go out. 
2. Eat a few pieces of candy that night, then put the stash away until the next day. There was a limit on how much candy you could eat each day, something like 3-5 pieces.

Then I grew a new brain, and came up with the new Foster Family Halloween standard:
1. Eat a bowl of home made chicken noodle soup and buttermilk scones before going out. Invite your friends over to eat with you. Amazing how your kids will actually eat dinner if their friends are with them, and they're eating something they love. 
2. Eat the candy you gathered that night ASAP, therefore alleviating your mother the hassle of policing how much candy you eat every day for the following month. The bulk of treats were usually gone in a day or two. 
If you're looking for an easy fix for dinner on Halloween, try this recipe. I Pinned it a while back, made it and loved it. After you take the blender to the ingredients, the kids will never know they are eating something healthy.
Happy Halloween!




Slow Cooker Tomato Basil Soup
adapted from Big Girls Small Kitchen
print recipe

3 tablespoons olive oil
3 large carrots, scrubbed or 2 cups baby carrots
2 medium sweet onions, diced
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon salt
3 28-ounce cans whole peeled tomatoes
1 quart chicken (or vegetable) broth
10 basil leaves, fresh, plus a few more for garnish
Fresh grated Parmesan for garnish
Slow cooker:
Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 5-7 hours, until flavors are blended and vegetables are soft. Allow the soup to cool slightly.  using an immersion blender, blend the soup until smooth. Or puree in batches in a blender. Serve immediately, or keep on low until ready to eat.
Stove-top version:
Combine all ingredients in a heavy lidded pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then turn heat down to low, and simmer, covered, for about 2 hours, until flavors are blended and vegetables are soft. Allow the soup to cool slightly. Then puree as instructed above. Garnish with fresh basil and Parmesan cheese.

Tips:
If you like a creamier version, omit about 1 cup of the chicken broth and add milk or half and half.

9/27/13

Butternut Squash Soup with Bacon




Fall = temperatures dropping, leaves turning, FOOTBALL. Oh, that game last weekend. GO UTES!! 
And then there's soup. There's something therapeutic about simmering soup on a cool day. Does the fact that I made soup twice in the past week mean I need therapy? I'll have to think about that...
I found this recipe for Butternut Squash soup in Martha Stewart Magazine's October Issue.




It's a simple dish to make, and if you pair it with a good roll and salad and you've got a filling meal for a cool evening. Are you thinking, that's great for me. But how will I get the husband/kids/males in my house to eat it?  One word.
Bacon.



The recipe calls for cooking a slice of bacon and laying it across the cup or bowl before serving. Brilliant.
Bacon has magical powers. I cooked a few slices and they almost all disappeared before I served dinner.  Throw bacon on anything, and guys will love it.
Bacon makes everything better.







Butternut Squash Soup
Martha Stewart Magazine, Oct 2013
print recipe

6 slices bacon, cut in half crosswise
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 sweet onion, such as Vidalia or Walla Walla, coarsely chopped (about 3 cups)
2 1⁄2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, halved, seeded, and cut into 1-inch pieces (about 6 cups)
3 sprigs thyme
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 3⁄4 cups chicken broth
1 3⁄4 cups water

Cook bacon over medium heat in large pot, flipping once, until brown and crisp, about 15 minutes. Drain on paper towels; discard fat from pot but do not wipe clean.
Melt butter in pot over medium heat. Cook onion, stirring occasionally, until softened and golden, about 15 minutes. Add squash, thyme, 1 tablespoon salt, broth, and water; increase heat to high and bring
to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until squash is tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Discard thyme.
Working in batches, purée soup in a blender until very smooth. Return soup to pot and season with salt and pepper; cover to keep warm or reheat if necessary. Divide among heatproof glasses and garnish each glass with bacon. I opted to lay the bacon right on top of the soup with a few seeds I toasted and salted from the squash.
Bacon and soup can be made up to 3 days ahead, cooled completely, and stored in refrigerator in separate containers. Recrisp bacon on a baking sheet in a pre- heated 300 ̊ oven, about 10 minutes, while reheating soup over low heat.
Serves 10-12

Tips:
-I used my immersion blender and pureed the soup right in the pot. One pot cooking, hooray!





9/18/13

Fresh Corn and Tomato Salad










I originally posted this salad a couple of years ago. It is a perfect side with our Family Favorite Enchiladas or any type of barbecue dish.  Soon, fresh corn and tomatoes will disappear.
Forever.
Thought you needed a little drama in your life.






Fresh Corn and Tomato Salad
A Bountiful Kitchen

6 ears corn or one small bag of frozen corn
3 large fresh tomatoes,  or 1-2 pints of grape or cherry tomatoes
1/2 large sweet onion or about 1 cup chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
two to three sprigs fresh oregano (optional)
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
coarse sea salt
fresh ground pepper

Boil corn in large pot of water for about 7 minutes. Drain and plunge corn into cool water. Cut corn off cob and set aside to cool completely. If using frozen corn, do not thaw. 
Chunk tomatoes and onion. Coarsely chop basil and strip the oregano off stems. Place cooled corn, chopped vegetable and herbs into large bowl. Toss with vinegar and olive oil. Season to taste. Serve chilled or room temperature