"Food is our common ground, a universal experience." - James Beard

Monday, February 27, 2012

Waldorf Salad

This salad gets its name from its origination at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in NYC and was first published in 1896.  Waldorf Salad is such an easy appetizer to make and take.  My parents make it nearly every year as a side dish for our family's Thanksgiving gathering, but it's perfect for any time of year!

Waldorf Salad
4 Red Delicious Apples, cubed
1 1/2 cups celery, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
Lemon juice

Cube the apples. Toss them in lemon juice to keep them fresh. Mix all of the ingredients together without mayo. Then add mayo to your taste. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Easy Lasagna - from Caroline W.

Riding a horse with Caroline at
Thanksgiving in the late '80s
My cousin, Caroline, sent me this amazing lasagna recipe last year as I was putting together our family cookbook.  Kent loves lasagna, so I'd been looking for a good homemade lasagna recipe (this one's great because you don't have to precook the noodles).  This recipe has so much flavor and makes enough to feed us for a week! 

Easy Lasagna - from Caroline
1 lb ground beef
1/2 lb Italian sausage
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1/2 cup water
1 lg egg
1 (12 oz) container cottage cheese
1 1/2 tsp pepper
8 lasagna noodles, uncooked
1 (10 oz) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
2 cups (8 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Brown beef and sausage, drain.  Stir in spaghetti sauce and water.  Combine egg, cottage cheese, and pepper. Spread 1/2 cup meat sauce in bottom of a 13x9 dish. Top with half each of uncooked noodles, cottage cheese mixture, spinach, meat sauce and mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers.  Cook at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and bake uncovered for 10 minutes.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Smoked Salmon and Veggie Cream Cheese Bagels - from Sally

Sally sent me this recipe from Food Network (Ina Garten) because it reminded her of one of our favorite dishes at Bottletree Bakery in Oxford.  She suggests adding slices of tomatoes, cucumbers, or red onions for some extra flavor and crunch.  At Bottletree, their bagels are also served with capers for extra saltiness.  I will definitely be eating one of these bagels very soon!

Smoked Salmon and Vegetable Cream Cheese Bagels
2 sesame bagels (toast if desired)
Vegetable Cream Cheese, recipe follows
4 slices smoked salmon

Slice the bagels in half horizontally and spread 1 tablespoon of the vegetable cream cheese over the bottom half of each bagel. Arrange 2 slices of smoked salmon over the cream cheese and place the remaining bagel halves on top. Cut the bagels in half crosswise and serve.

Vegetable Cream Cheese:
16 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
2 tablespoons minced scallions, white and green parts
2 tablespoons finely chopped carrot
2 tablespoons finely chopped celery
2 tablespoons finely chopped radish (2 radishes)
2 to 3 pinches kosher salt
1 pinch finely ground black pepper

Place the cream cheese, scallions, carrot, celery, radish, salt, and pepper in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on low speed until blended.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Shrimp and Avocado Salad on Endive Leaves

This is another recipe from my church's Christmas Countdown event.  This was my favorite dish from the event, and I'm excited about trying it soon.  I think this recipe would be perfect for Spring and Summer gatherings.  It has such good flavor - the sesame seeds and scallions give it an Asian feel, so it would be perfect with sushi! 

Shrimp and Avocado Salad on Endive Leaves
(from Martha Stewart Living)  makes 24
20 medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from 3 limes)
2 tablespoons finely chopped scallions (plus more for garnish)
1 jalapeno chile, stem, ribs and seeds removed, finely chopped (2 tablespoons)
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 firm, ripe Hass avocado, pitted and peeled
2 to 3 small Belgian endives
Black sesame seeds, for garnish (optional)


Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add shrimp, and cook until opaque, about 1 minute. Let cool, cut
into 1/4 inch pieces.

Transfer shrimp to a medium bowl. Add lime juice, chopped scallions, jalapeno, and salt. Stir to combine. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.  Just before serving, cut avocado into 1/4 inch cubes, and fold into shrimp mixture. Separate endive leaves, and arrange 24 on a platter. Spoon about 1 teaspoon shrimp salad on each leaf. Garnish with sliced scallions and sesame seeds, if desired.
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