Sunday, August 25, 2013

Susie's Salsa (Revisited)

How are the plants in your garden doing this summer?  Ours are growing like mad, producing lots of tomatoes and tons of jalapenos!   What else to do with that combination but make salsa.  My favorite salsa is one shared by a friend of ours a few years ago.  It's become my go to salsa recipe.  If you like a super hot salsa, this probably isn't the one for you.  Susie's salsa is only mildly hot with a hint of sweetness.

I first shared Susie's Salsa on my blog in 2009.  Last week, I made a big batch but didn't have time to photograph, so I am revisiting my post from 2009.

Susie's Salsa

5 green tomatoes (I used 10 tomatillos), chopped
10 red tomatoes (I used romas), peeled and chopped
4 jalapeno peppers, chopped and seeds removed
2 cubes of beef boullion (I used 2 tablespoons of beef gravy mix)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
3 medium sweet onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 cup vinegar
1/2 cup brown sugar
12 oz. tomato paste

Mix everything, except the tomato paste in a large saucepan. Cook 1/2 hour over medium heat. Remove from the stove and stir in the tomato paste.

Makes 5 - 6 pints.

I froze this in freezer containers so we can enjoy the fresh taste of salsa when it's snowy and cold outside.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Roasted Kale and Arugula Salad

One of my favorite things about our CSA is the veggies we get to try.  We've had kale twice this year.  I am slow getting on the kale bandwagon but it's my new favorite veggie.   I love that it's so good for you.  A couple of weeks ago, I had kale and arugula in the fridge.  Surely there's something I can make that uses them both?  A quick google search returned this salad.  I didn't have any parsnips but I did have a cucumber.  Not at all similar but a good crunchy addition.  (The cucumber is the white blob in the picture.)  I had a little leftover roasted kale for  lunch the next day.  Roasted, crispy kale is delicious.  A wonderful healthy substitution for chips.  Next spring, we'll be planting kale, so we can try more new recipes and have this delicious green more often.


½ lb kale leaves (about 1lb if purchasing them on the full stem)
3 TBL extra-virgin olive oil
¼ TSP ground black pepper
¼ TSP kosher salt
half of a medium parsnip, cut into a small dice
half of a spicy red pepper (optional), seeded with membrane removed
small handful of baby arugula
6 TBL extra-virgin olive oil
3 TBL rice vinegar
2 TSP light soy sauce
3 TSP sugar
1 TSP toasted sesame oil
2 TSP honey
dash kosher salt
dash ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roughly chop kale leaves into 2-3 inch pieces. In a large bowl, evenly mix kale, olive oil, kosher salt and black pepper. Spread the kale out in one layer in 2 large baking sheets/pan. Roast kale until its crispy and dark around the edges of the leaves, about 15 minutes. Set cook kale aside.
To make vinaigrette, combine the olive oil, vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil and honey in a bowl. Whisk until thick and emulsified. Salt and pepper to taste.
Add parsnip, red pepper and arugula in vinaigrette bowl. Toss until completely coated. Set aside.
As you are serving salad lightly toss the cooked kale with the vinaigrette mixture. NOTE: Do not do this step ahead. The vinaigrette will moisten the kale and you will lose the crispy texture. On that note, don’t over mix the kale and vinaigrette – as to not over saturate the crisp kale with liquid.
Serves 2.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Lemon Pie Bars - Secret Recipe Club

 Three weeks since my last post?  Seriously where have I been?  Week one, we were in Seattle visiting with my son and his girlfriend.  What an amazing city!  I will post a few pics, sooner or later.  The second week we were gearing up for Summer Fun Days in our neighborhood.  We live in the BEST neighborhood ever, great friends and truly wonderful neighbors.  Along with 20 or so couples, we hosted a party for 100+.  If I was a more organized blogger, like a lot of you, I'd have posted pictures!   Last week was Summer Fun Days week and we were helping with Kids Night, the Duck Race and last night's Dinner / Dance. 

I am thrilled to have my first post in three weeks be Secret Recipe Club, it's always my favorite week of the month in blog land.  Each month when I receive my recipe assignment for SRC, I can't wait to visit the blog!  I browse the recipes, read about the blogger and spend time deciding what recipe to choose.  Normally it's the recipe that draws me in.  Initially this month, it was the recipe for Lemon Pie Bars that I found interesting but it was the cookbook the recipe is from that sealed the deal.  The recipe comes from The Back in the Day Bakery cookbook.  Just recently, my best friends of 30 plus years and I were discussing when can we say "back in the day"?  Ever since then,  I find myself running across this phase being used in lots of different ways.  These Lemon Pie Bars come from a blogger I follow,  A Spoonful of Thyme.  She takes beautiful photographs and posts delicious recipes.

Looking for a quick and easy summer dessert, give this recipe a try.  The color is vibrant and the flavors tart and lemony!  

Lemon Pie Bars
Recipe Courtesy of A Spoonful of Thyme
For the crust
3 cups graham cracker crumbs
12 Tbsp (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
2 Tbsp sugar

For the filling
1 cup heavy cream
2 tsp grated lemon zest
1 cup fresh lemon juice
Two 14 oz cans sweetened condensed milk
6 large egg yolks

Fresh whipped cream

Position a rack in the middle of  the oven and preheat the oven  to 350° F.  Grease a 9 X 13 inch baking dish and line with parchment, allowing the ends of the paper to hand over two opposite edges of the pan.  (I also greased the parchment paper when it was in the dish.)

To make the crust:  In a medium bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, butter,  and sugar and blend with a fork until the crumbs are evenly moistened.  Press the graham cracker mixture firmly and evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan.  Use a piece of parchment to press on the crust with the palm  of your hands to make sure it is completely level.

Bake the crust for about 8 minutes, until lightly golden.  Let cool completely before adding the filling. Turn the oven temperature down to 325° F.

To make the filling:  In a large bowl, whisk together the heavy cream, lemon zest, lemon juice, sweetened condensed milk,  and egg yolks.  Pour the filling over the cooled crust.

Place the baking pan   inside a larger baking pan and pour enough hot water  into the larger  pan  to come halfway up the sides of the smaller pan.  Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the filling is puffed at the edges and no longer jiggles in the center when the pan is tapped.  Remove the pan from the water  bath and set it on a rack to cool for 1 hour, then refrigerate until cold.

Cut the bars into squares and serve chilled, with the whipped cream.  The bars will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.