Laurie's Kitchen

A cooking blog of some of my favorites

Watermelon and Tomato Salad June 3, 2012

I participated in a recipe swap where the theme was summer salads. I made the following salad and it was a hit. It was out at dinner and left out for dessert. It worked well for both courses. The only change I made was using the plain feta and skipping the onion entirely.

Summer Salad

Serves 6 -8 people

Ingredients
1 8oz package of tomato/basil feta cheese crumbled or you can use plain feta cheese if you can’t find it
4 cups of tomatoes cut into chunks (I use different colors / kinds, yellow heirloom, some grape tomatoes, you can use whatever kind you like)
¼ cup of fresh basil shredded
2 cups of watermelon chopped
1 cup of strawberries sliced
1 red onion sliced thin
½ teaspoon salt
3 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp of olive oil

Directions:
1. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar and salt set aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl add tomatoes, cheese, basil, watermelon, strawberries and onion. Gently toss together.
3. Pour vinegar mixture on top of salad and gently toss. Refrigerate for  at least one hour serve cold.

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Tortellini Salad

Filed under: Dinner,Pasta,Recipe Swap,Side Dish,Summer,Vegetarian Optional — laurms15 @ 3:57 pm

1 package of tortellini salad (I use tri-color because its festive)
1 package of spinach washed and chopped in half/thirds just to make it easier to eat.
1/3 cup of parm cheese
2 cups of cherry tomatoes cut in half
1 cup of kalamata olives cut in half
(sometimes I add artichoke hearts if I have them)

Dressing:
Balsamic Vinegar
Tomato Paste
Olive Oil
Basil
Parsley
Oregano
Salt
Pepper
(touch of onion powder/garlic powder to taste if you like)

Cook the pasta then run under cool water or place in the fridge. Combine the other ingredients with the pasta when its cool and pour the dressing over the top.

 

French Dip Sandwiches April 29, 2012

Filed under: Beef,Dinner,Dutch Oven,Lunch,Recipe Swap,Slow Cooker — laurms15 @ 12:40 pm
My recipe for this recipe swap was French Dip Sandwiches. It was slow cooker week and this was one I knew my husband and I would love. I was happy to see that the cook time was 10-12 hours which for us is perfect since we work in the city. This recipe was AMAZING. Both of us enjoyed it so much. I just made a green veggie to eat on the side and served it like that. I didn’t eat much of the bread to keep it a little lower carb but even without the bread it was fantastic. I did make a couple of adjustments to the recipe to make the flavor a little stronger but here is the original http://allrecipes.com/recipe/french-dip-sandwiches/
Prep Time:
10 Min
Cook Time:
12 Hrs
Ready In:
12 Hrs 10 Min
Ingredients
  • 1 (4 pound) boneless beef roast
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 2 beef bouillon cube
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 3 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
  • 3 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3 teaspoon garlic powder
  • French bread

Directions

  1. Remove and discard all visible fat from the roast. Place trimmed roast in a slow cooker. I used an angus beef pot roast so there wasn’t much fat on it and I did leave just a little bit of fat on for flavor.
  2. Combine soy sauce, bouillon, bay leaf, peppercorns, rosemary, thyme, and garlic powder in the slow cooker then add enough water to almost cover roast. Cover, and cook on Low heat for 10 to 12 hours, or until meat is very tender.
  3. Remove meat from broth, reserving broth. Shred meat with a fork, and distribute on bread for sandwiches. Used reserved broth for dipping.

I can’t wait to make this one again for friends!!

 

Three Cheese Garden Pizza April 1, 2012

Filed under: Cheese,Dinner,Pizza,Recipe Swap,Vegetarian Optional — laurms15 @ 7:28 pm

I’ve started up again with my recipe swap ladies and I was excited that this weeks theme was “fast and easy”. Work has been crazy so “fast and easy” is about all I can cook right now. Plus it was meat free and perfect for a Friday during Lent.

I was assigned Three Cheese Garden Pizza from Lauren check out the recipe on her blog here: Lauren’s Kitchen.

This recipe was a hit with my husband and I would absolutely make it again. The other plus to this is that you can vary the veggies based on whats in the fridge and I always love a way to use up veggies at the end of the week!

Ingredients

  • 1 package refrigerated pizza crust
  • 1 small onion, sliced into rings
  • 1 medium zucchini, sliced
  • 2 plum tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 cup asparagus tips
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Lauren’s recipe called for 1 cup of mushrooms, sliced. I skipped that part in favor of asparagus tips because I’m not a fan of mushrooms but you could do both mushrooms and asparagus if you like them both!

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Using lightly floured roller, roll pizza crust into a 14-inch circle on large round stone. Bake crust 7 minutes. Remove from oven; place on cooling rack.

2. Using a mandolin slicer fitted with v-shaped blade, slice onion, zucchini and tomatoes. If you don’t have a slicer just cut them very thinly so they will cook evenly.

3. Using a garlic press, press garlic over crust; spread evenly. Sprinkle mozzarella and cheddar cheeses evenly over crust; top evenly with onion, zucchini, mushrooms and tomatoes. Grate Parmesan cheese over vegetables. Sprinkle with seasoning mix. Bake 15-18 minutes or until crust is golden brown; remove from oven. Cut into wedges.

 

Vegetarian Shepards Pie March 18, 2011

Filed under: Dinner,Fall,Recipe Swap,Vegetarian Optional,Winter — laurms15 @ 3:37 pm
This week’s recipe swap was vegetarian dishes. Mine came from Megan (trpdmosgrl) and it was a hit. My husband is a big fan of regular shepards pie so I was glad to be able to give him this one during lent. He was able to enjoy a hearty dish without the meat!
Vegetarian Shepards Pie
Recipe Courtesy of Aida Mollencamp
Ingredients
1 1/2 cups low-sodium mushroom broth
1/3 cup dry red wine
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
3/4 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, and cut into large dice
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 pounds cremini mushrooms, stemmed and quartered
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
3 medium celery stalks, finely chopped
5 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 medium celery root, peeled and small dice
3 medium carrots, peeled and small dice
2 medium parsnips, peeled and small dice
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage leaves
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
2/3 cup whole milk
Directions
In a medium bowl, whisk together broth, wine, tomato paste, and flour until evenly combined and smooth. Stir in dried mushrooms and set aside to reconstitute, at least 30 minutes. Strainmushrooms before using, reserving liquid.
Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with heavily salted water by 2 inches. Bring potatoes to a boil and cook until fork tender, about 20 to 30 minutes.
Heat the oven on broil and place a rack in the upper third. Meanwhile, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a 3 to 4-quart Dutch oven (or oven-ready saucepan) over medium-high heat. When it foams, add half the mushrooms and cook, stirring rarely, until mushrooms are browned, about 5 minutes. Remove mushrooms from pan, season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and set aside. Repeat to cook off remaining mushrooms.
Return pan to stove over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of the butter, onion, celery, and garlic, and cook until softened and golden, about 2 minutes. Add celery root, carrot, parsnip, andherbs, and season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook until browned and softened, about 6 minutes.
Add wine mixture to pan and deglaze by stirring and scraping up any browned bits. Let cook until simmering and slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Stir in reserved mushrooms and any juices that have accumulated and simmer until slightly thickened, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat and reserve in pan.
When potatoes are ready, drain well. Return to pan and mash until uniformly smooth. Fold in remaining 2 tablespoons butter and milk, and season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper. If necessary, keep warm over low heat.
Dot potatoes over vegetable mixture and spread to edges of pan to cover completely. Rough up the surface of the potatoes so there are bits that will get browned and crunchy. Bake until top is golden, about 15 to 20 minutes. Serve
 

Italian Pasta

Filed under: Dinner,Pasta,Recipe Swap,Side Dish,Summer,Vegetarian Optional — laurms15 @ 3:34 pm

This is the recipe that I contributed to this weeks vegetarian swap. Its my go-to dish and if I’m missing an ingredient its ok I just use what I have. Also I will add balsamic to make it a great cold pasta salad.

(1) Box of pasta – I use whole wheat for health or tri color because it looks nice
(1) Jar of Roasted Red Peppers
(1) Jar of Artichoke Hearts
(1) Jar of sun dried tomatoes
(1) Jar of pitted kalamata olives
**Broccoli or asparagus – optional
Fresh Parsley or Basil (I’ve used both depending on whats in the house)
Olive Oil – may not be necessary
Parmesan Cheese – to taste I usually use a lot

This is my go to veggie pasta (and it also makes a great COLD pasta salad) Its very quick and I always have a jar of each of these things in the house.

I cut up all of the veggies while the pasta is cooking then mix them all together in a bowl. Sometimes I add a little olive oil or sometimes I use the oil from one of the jars I find that has more flavor. Then on top I sprinkle the basil or parsley and the parmesan cheese.
**If I have broccoli or asparagus in the house I will saute them and add one of them in as well just to get in some more greens.

 

Homer’s Corn Thing AKA Corn Casserole March 8, 2011

Filed under: Caserole,Dinner,Recipe Swap,Side Dish — laurms15 @ 3:48 pm

This week’s recipe swap theme was sides. I got mine from joeyzlovieg – AKA Jamie.

Homer’s Corn Thing – AKA: Corn Casserole

Ingredients:
1 Pkg of Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix
1 Can of cream corn
1 Can of whole kernel corn, drained
1 stick of butter, melted
2 eggs, already beaten
1 8oz container of sour cream

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray Pam in an 8×8 Pyrex dish (you can also uses a 13×9, but I would probably cook it at 350 instead). Add all ingredients together and mix. Pour into greased Pyrex. Cook at 375 for 50 minutes – an hour, or until golden and firm… Let it cool and settle for at least 10 minutes. Slice into small portions and enjoy!

When I saw the title I was a little worried….what a name. However Jamie kindly included a little background on her dish which was nice! “Background:I first had this while having dinner at my FIL’s house… Joe made pork spare ribs with sauerkraut, and his dad made his famous “Corn Thing” as a side… It was to die for! Eventually I asked for the recipe, and he gave it to me willingly… His nickname was Homer – hence the title for the dish! I hope you enjoy!”

I cooked the recipe as listed and didn’t change anything. I thought it was quite tasty and a great compliment to my pulled pork and I can see it being popular at BBQ’s. Because this is a starchy dish I used it as such and added a green veggie to my meal. It was too big for just my husband and I so next time I’ll have to be sure to make it when there is more then just the two of us.