Thursday, February 26, 2015

Ground Turkey Minestrone

I clipped this recipe out of the newspaper years ago. It has yellowed with time and I have no idea whether it is from the San Francisco Chronicle, the Washington Post, or from some other place where we have lived. Needless to say, it's a keeper with my family.

Ground Turkey Minestrone

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium-size onion, diced
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 pound ground turkey
2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans beef broth (I use beef bouillon cubes and water.)
1 (28-ounce) can Italian tomatoes
1 cup macaroni
1 medium-size zucchini, sliced (I often omit this just because I don't have one on hand.)
1 (10-ounce) package frozen mixed vegetables
1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans
1 teaspoon dried leaf oregano
1 teaspoon basil
2 to 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
salt and pepper
freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Heat the oil in a soup pot, add the onion and garlic and saute for 6 to 8 minutes. Add the turkey, breaking it up with a fork; cook until it is no longer pink.

Add the broth and tomatoes, breaking up the tomatoes with a fork. Bring to a boil and add the macaroni. Reduce the heat and simmer until macaroni is almost tender.

Add the zucchini, mixed vegetables, kidney beans, oregano and basil. Stir to mix well, then cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. Serve topped with Parmesan cheese.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Pasta Salad

It's a shame this salad doesn't have a name other than the generic "pasta salad" because it is a good one and perfect for summer. What makes it unique to me is the marinated artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, and the balsamic vinaigrette. I found the recipe here.
Pasta Salad

16 ounces rotini pasta, cooked and drained
3 ounces (large handful) fresh spinach, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
10 ounces grape tomatoes, cut in half
1/2 cup (or more) sun dried tomatoes, chopped
4 ounces feta cheese
3/4 cup mozzarella cheese
14 ounce can of marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
optional: thinly sliced red onion or cucumber chunks (I like adding the cucumber.)

1/2 cup olive oil (I used less.)
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic, chopped
juice of half a lemon
salt and pepper to taste

In a large bowl, add the cooked, drained, and cooled pasta, sun dried tomatoes, grape tomatoes, spinach, basil, artichokes, feta and mozzarella cheese. Mix well.

Mix the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic and lemon juice well and pour over salad.

Toss and chill before serving. Serves about eight.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Asian Cucumber and Carrot Salad

This recipe is so delicious and easy. It reminds me of the light cucumber salads I have eaten at Thai restaurants. I found it on Pinterest, but here is the original link.

Asian Cucumber and Carrot Salad

1 large cucumber, thinly sliced (I use an English cucumber.)
1 large carrot, julienned
1 tablespoon grape seed oil
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame seed oil
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

Combine the cucumbers and carrots in a bowl and set aside.

In another bowl, whisk together the grape seed oil, rice vinegar, sesame seed oil, sugar, and soy sauce.

Toss the cucumbers and carrots with the dressing. Fold in the sesame seeds. Chill for 20 minutes or up to overnight. Serves about 4.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Baby Spinach with Pine Nuts

I've had this recipe for years. It is originally from Southern Living and it's a "keeper" in my home.

Baby Spinach with Pine Nuts

2 (7-ounce) packages baby spinach
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted*

Saute spinach and garlic in hot oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat 5 minutes or until spinach wilts. Stir in salt and pepper; sprinkle with pine nuts. Serve immediately.

*2 tablespoons chopped, toasted pecans or toasted sliced almonds may be substituted.

Makes 4 servings

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Cucumber Salad with Radish and Dill

"It tastes like spring," my daughter said when we gave this salad a try. I wished I had doubled the recipe because it disappeared so quickly. It is originally from Martha Stewart and you can print it here.

Cucumber Salad with Radish and Dill

1 English cucumber or 3 kirby cucumbers, halved lengthwise, seeded, and thinly sliced
4 large radishes (about 6 ounces), thinly sliced
Zest of 1 lemon, plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (1 lemon total)
6 ounces feta cheese, coarsely crumbled (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill, plus more, torn, for garnish
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 garlic clove, crushed with the flat side of a large knife
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil

1. Put cucumber, radishes, and lemon zest in a medium bowl. Add cheese.
2. Make the vinaigrette: Whisk together lemon juice, vinegar, dill, sugar, and garlic in another medium bowl; season with salt and pepper. Whisk until the sugar has dissolved. Whisk in the oil in a slow, steady stream until emulsified.
3. Add vinaigrette to cucumber mixture; toss well. Garnish with dill. Discard garlic clove before serving. Refrigerate salad in an airtight container (or store in a chilled cooler) up to 1 hour.

Serves 4 to 6

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Brussels Sprouts with Shallots

Yes, we do indeed eat and enjoy Brussels sprouts at my house, and this recipe is definitely a keeper. I found it last fall in Good Housekeeping magazine. You can print it here.

Brussels Sprouts with Shallots

1 1/4 lb. Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut into halves
1 1/2 Tbsp. butter
1 shallot, finely chopped
salt and pepper
1 tsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
1/2 c. lower-sodium chicken broth
1 Tbsp. snipped fresh chives

1. Heat large covered pot with salted water to boiling on high. Fill large bowl with ice and water. Add Brussels sprouts to pot; cook 5 minutes or until bright green and just tender. (A knife should pierce through core with little resistance.) Drain; transfer to ice water. When cool, drain again. (Brussels sprouts can be covered and refrigerated up to 2 days ahead.)

2. In same large pot, melt half of butter on medium. Add shallot and 1/8 teaspoon salt and cook 2 to 5 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently.

3. Add sugar and vinegar and stir well. Cook until liquid evaporates. Stir in broth, heat to boiling on high, and boil until mixture is almost dry.

4. Reduce heat to medium and stir in remaining margarine, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.  Return drained Brussels sprouts to pot. Cook until heated through, stirring frequently. Transfer to serving dish and top with chives.

Friday, November 23, 2012

King's Arms Tavern Sweet Potatoes

My family insists we have these sweet potatoes every Thanksgiving. Sometimes they may even appear at Christmas time as well. They are the only sweet potatoes that I enjoy. Perhaps it is due to the brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, and nutmeg? Nevertheless, these are fabulous.

This recipe is from The Williamsburg Cookbook given to me by my father. I am quite attached to this book--lots of memories associated with the place and the recipes within its pages. If there is one recipe I am sentimental about, this is it.

King's Arms Tavern Sweet Potatoes

3 pounds sweet potatoes
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed, divided
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk

Preheat the oven to 400˚ F.

Grease a 1 1/2-quart casserole.

Cook the sweet potatoes in boiling salted water until done; drain, peel, and mash them.

Stir in all of the remaining ingredients except 2 tablespoons of sugar.

Turn the mixture into the prepared casserole and sprinkle with the remaining sugar.

Bake at 400˚ F. for 30 minutes.

(8-10 servings)

Friday, October 26, 2012

Barley Burger Stew

I feel so healthy when I eat this stew. I'm sure it is the barley, which I don't eat regularly (unless Grape-Nuts count.)

This recipe is from a cookbook Brian and I received for our wedding (Betty Crocker's Dinner for Two) but over the years I've modified it to serve our current family.

Barley Burger Stew

1 lb. ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
4 1/2 cups tomato juice (I use one extra large can.)
1 cup water
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 cup uncooked barley (I almost always double this amount of barley. I like lots of it.)

In a large saucepan, cook and stir meat and onion until meat is brown and onion is tender. Drain off fat. Stir in remaining ingredients; heat to boiling. Reduce heat; cover and simmer until barley is done and stew is desired consistency, about 1 hour.

Julie's Notes: The cooking time will be greatly reduced if you use quick barley. Follow the label for whichever type of barley you choose. You also may need to add more water depending on desired consistency.

Linking up at Shine Your Light and

  Or so she says   Nap-Time Creations Cast Party Wednesday

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Pasta with Fresh Tomato Sauce

For some reason I was quite surprised that this was an uncooked (raw) tomato sauce, but oh, my goodness, it is fabulous! This is a great way to use up the last of your summer tomatoes. The recipe is from Martha Stewart. You can print it here.

Pasta with Fresh Tomato Sauce

2 1/4 pounds unrefrigerated ripe tomatoes
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon chopped garlic (from 2 garlic cloves)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 pound spaghetti
grated Parmesan cheese, for serving (optional)

Finely chop tomatoes, basil, parsley, and garlic, and mix together with oil (or pulse ingredients, including oil, in a food processor to blend.)

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta, and cook until al dente. Drain pasta, and toss it in a serving bowl with the raw sauce. Serve with cheese.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Spicy Beans with Coconut Milk

I clipped this recipe out of Southern Living years ago. It was submitted by Judy Johnson of Birmingham, Alabama. The coconut milk, lime, and curry paste give it a tangy delicious flavor. You can print the recipe here.

Spicy Beans with Coconut Milk

1 sweet onion, chopped
Vegetable cooking spray (I just use Canola Oil.)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 to 2 tablespoons red curry paste (depending on how spicy you like it)
2 (15-ounce) cans kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (13.5-ounce) can lite coconut milk (I always use regular coconut milk.)
1 teaspoon grated lime rind
2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons sugar
1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
4 cups hot cooked basmati or long grain rice

Toppings: 2 green onions, chopped; 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

Saute chopped onion over medium-high heat 5 minutes; add garlic, and saute 1 minute. Add red curry paste; saute 1 minute. Stir in kidney beans, diced tomatoes, coconut milk, and next 4 ingredients.

Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes. Serve over basmati rice, and sprinkle with topppings, if desired.

Julie's Note: I use Thai Kitchen Red Curry Paste.