Tag Archives: recipe

Beet Smoothie and Why Beets Are Good For You

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I realize that this is a recipe many of you may not be too excited about…but you should be. Because beets are really good for you, and this is a great-tasting way to have them! I’m not super-crazy about beets myself, but I liked this smoothie. Not only does it taste good, but you also reap the many benefits of beets…

  • Beets are know to help prevent and fight against cancer, especially colon cancer–high in fiber, they increase the production of special immune cells that destroy cancer cells in the colon. Betacyanin, the pigment that gives beets their red color, is what helps fight the cancer.
  • Eating beets regularly can lower LDL cholesterol by up to 30 percent.
  • Beets have antiinflammatory benefits because they contain betaine, which can reduce inflammation in joints, bones, the throat, and blood vessels by 20 percent, which is helpful for people with osteoporosis and asthma.
  • Beets contain antioxidants and help your liver produce even more natural antioxidants.
  • Beets contain folic acid, necessary for the production and maintenance of new cells, which is important for pregnant women and anyone who is going through physical healing from an injury.
  • Beets help protect your body against heart disease.
  • Beets help cleanse your blood, your colon, and strengthen your gall bladder and liver.
  • Beets help fight against tumors  and are beneficial in helping people who have blood diseases and leukemia.
Sources: 15 Health Benefits of Beets and Health Benefits of Beets.

Are you a little more interested in trying out this beet smoothie now? Here’s the recipe if you decide to make it…

BEET SMOOTHIE by NancyCreative

Makes 2 servings

  • 1/2 cup vanilla soymilk
  • 1/2 cup orange juice (fresh squeezed is best!)
  • 1/2 cup shredded or finely chopped raw beets
  • 1/2 cup frozen mango chunks
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries or raspberries (or 1/2 cup of each)
  • 1/2 cup fresh pineapple chunks
  • 1 banana
  • 1 to 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (optional)
  • 1 Tablespoon flax seeds

Combine all ingredients in a blender. Puree until smooth and well-blended. Serve immediately.

Do you like beets? What’s your favorite way to make them?

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Cranberry-Raspberry Smoothie

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I’ve been eating way too many sweets these past few weeks! So I just had to have something healthy for breakfast  a few days ago. You know, to sort of balance things out. 😉  The weather had warmed up to an unseasonably balmy 50 degrees, so I thought a smoothie sounded good. I wanted to make one with cranberries, since this is cranberry season, so I came up with this healthy little recipe. It’s a thick, creamy smoothie that also has frozen raspberries, yogurt, honey and a banana in it to help make it nice and thick. It’s not super-sweet, just sweet enough. Drinking this honey-sweetened smoothie helped me from overdoing it on sweets later in the day. Now today was a different story. I probably should have made this smoothie for breakfast again!

This recipe makes 1 large serving (12 to 14 ounces) or 2 smaller servings.

CRANBERRY-RASPBERRY SMOOTHIE

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 cup frozen raspberries
  • 1/2 cup nonfat milk or soymilk
  • 1/2 cup plain, vanilla, or raspberry yogurt (I like to use plain Greek yogurt)
  • 1 Tablespoon honey

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Makes 1 large or 2 small servings. If you want to make this smoothie extra healthy, sprinkle in some flax seed–about 1/2 Tablespoon–before blending mixture. You won’t even be able to taste it, and you’ll get some extra fiber!

Frosty Vanilla Cupcakes

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Who doesn’t love cupcakes? Especially if they’re frosted with rich, swirly buttercream…now that’s pretty hard to resist! If you’ve heard of the famous Magnolia Bakery in New York City, well, this is the recipe for their most popular cupcake. They call it the Vanilla Vanilla–a yummy vanilla cupcake with vanilla buttercream (pink is their most popular-selling frosting color). I found the recipe at FoodNetwork.com. If you’re a cupcake-lover you will want to try this! Or, according to the Food Network site, if you’d rather make a cake, you can divide the batter between two 9″ round cake pans and bake for 30 to 40 minutes. Even though I haven’t tried making the cake version, I would recommend checking the cake at 30 minutes, because when I made the cupcakes, they were done at the lower baking time. They would have been too dry had I let them bake any longer.

These cupcakes look really festive, wintry, and Christmasy with the white buttercream and pearly sprinkles I used. You could also tint the frosting green or red if you wanted it to be more colorful for Christmas. The white frosting would work great for New Year’s Eve or Day, too. These cupcakes would also be fun with silver or gold sprinkles. I also thought the white frosting with white pearl sprinkles would be nice for a wedding shower or wedding…so you see, these delicious cupcakes are really versatile!

There is a chance you might need to make extra frosting, depending on how heavily you frost these cupcakes…just wanted to point that out. I frosted some heavy and some not-so-heavy because not everyone likes lots of frosting on their cupcakes (being a frosting-lover, I do find that hard to believe 🙂 ). So, I had enough frosting for my cupcakes. But had I frosted all of them heavily, I think I would have needed to make more frosting.

Enough talk about the cupcakes…here’s the recipe!

MAGNOLIA’S VANILLA CUPCAKE  very slightly adapted from FoodNetwork.com

Makes 24 cupcakes

CUPCAKES

  • 1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake liners.

In small bowl, combine the flours. Set aside.

In large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the dry ingredients in 3 parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated but do not over-beat. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl to make sure the ingredients are well blended. Carefully spoon the batter into cupcake liners, filling them about 3/4 full. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean (Note: mine were done at 20 minutes, so be sure to check your cupcakes then to avoid over-baking!).

Cool the cupcakes in tins for 15 minutes. Remove from the tins and cool completely on a wire rack before icing.

VANILLA BUTTERCREAM

(A note from the bakery: “The vanilla buttercream we use at the bakery is technically not a buttercream but actually an old-fashioned confectioners’ sugar and butter frosting. Be sure to beat the icing for the amount of time called for in the recipe to achieve the desired creamy texture.”)

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 6 to 8 cups confectioners’ sugar (I used 8 cups because I wanted a thicker frosting)
  • 1/2 cup milk (I substituted half and half for the milk)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Place the butter in a large mixing bowl. Add 4 cups of the sugar and then the milk (or half and half) and vanilla. On the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat until smooth and creamy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition (about 2 minutes), until the icing is thick enough to be of good spreading consistency. You may not need to add all of the sugar. If desired, add a few drops of food coloring and mix thoroughly (use and store the icing at room temperature because icing will set if chilled). Icing can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days. NOTE: if you like to frost your cupcakes with lots of frosting, you may want to double the frosting recipe so you have enough!

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The recipe makes 2 dozen cupcakes or one 9″ layer cake. Enjoy trying this out!

Linked to Sweets for a Saturday, Sweet Indulgences Sunday, Foodie Friday.

Maple-Pecan Sweet Potatoes from Vegan Holiday Kitchen

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It’s hard to believe Thanksgiving is coming up so soon! And who doesn’t look forward to eating all that special holiday food? It’s always great when you can find delicious and healthy holiday recipes, which is why I was so interested in reviewing the new cookbook, Vegan Holiday Kitchen.

I’m not a vegan myself, but I do like to eat healthy and enjoy making vegan dishes. Author Nava Atlas has put together a collection of more than 200 tasty-sounding recipes you can whip up for different holidays year-round: Thanksgiving, Christmas, Jewish Holidays, Easter, and Independence Day/Summer Entertaining. There’s also a chapter devoted to Brunches, Appetizers, and Potluck Dinners.

This hardcover book is beautifully designed and has lots of great photography. It would make a wonderful holiday gift–or you may want to add it to your own “wish” list! 🙂

There are so many unique, great-sounding recipes in Vegan Holiday Kitchen. Here’s a few to give you an idea:  Coconut Butternut Squash Soup, Sweet Potato Biscuits, Green Chili Cornbread, Black Bean and Sweet Potato Tortilla Casserole,  Smashed Potatoes with Mushroom Gravy, Cranberry-Carrot Cake with Maple-Cream Cheese Frosting…and these are just from the Thanksgiving recipe section! There’s so much more, you’ll have plenty of delicious recipes to choose from and make throughout the year!

I decided to try the Maple-Pecan Sweet Potatoes, because I love the flavor of pure maple syrup and the maple-sweet potato combination just sounded wonderful to me! You may want to try this yourself at Thanksgiving. It’s a great side dish, both yummy and healthy. I love the natural sweetness of the maple syrup baked into those tender sweet potatoes! The recipe says to make this in a shallow 2-quart casserole, but the closest thing I had on hand was my glass pie plate. That worked fine, although I couldn’t quite fit all the potato slices in.

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Here’s the recipe…hope you get a chance to try it over the holidays!

MAPLE-PECAN SWEET POTATOES (Gluten-Free, from Vegan Holiday Kitchen)

  • 4 large or 6 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup Earth Balance or other non-hydrogenated margarine, melted
  • 1/4 cup orange juice, preferably fresh
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
  • Leaves from 2 to 3 sprigs fresh rosemary

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

2. Arrange the sweet potato slices in overlapping rows in an oiled shallow 2-quart casserole. In a small bowl, combine the syrup, margarine, juice, cinnamon, and salt. Pour evenly over the potatoes.

3. Cover with lid or foil and bake, covered, for 25 to 30 minutes, or until readily pierced with a fork but still firm.

4. Scatter the pecans and rosemary leaves over the surface of the sweet potatoes. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes longer, uncovered, or until glazed and golden around the edges. Makes 8 to 10 servings.

What yummy side dishes are you making for Thanksgiving this year?

Cinnamon Streusel Banana Bread

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I almost gave up on making Cinnamon Streusel Banana Bread. I had tried several different recipes that sounded really good, but was disappointed with how they turned out. They were okay, but not nearly as good as I thought they would be. I decided to make one more attempt. I searched again and found this recipe at Canadian Living. I’m not sure why this particular recipe caught my attention, because I’m usually drawn to recipes that have photos–and there wasn’t a photo shown with this one. But for some reason, I decided I needed to try this out, and I am so glad I did!

I changed the recipe a little by doubling the streusel mixture…and then instead of just sprinkling the streusel on top of the bread before baking, I also sprinkled a layer of streusel in the batter itself–and that’s what made it so good! If you decide to try this, you may think, like I first did, that the amount of streusel you’re putting into and on top of this bread is way too much. But when you taste it after it’s done, you’ll be glad you used all that streusel! Some of the streusel on top of the bread will fall off when you remove the loaf from the pan, but there will still be plenty of streusel for you to enjoy.

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So if you’re a streusel-lover, I think you’ll really like this bread. As you can see in the photo above, there’s a yummy layer of streusel in the bread and a substantial amount on top of the loaf. Double the streusel yumminess! This recipe makes one 9×5″ loaf.

CINNAMON STREUSEL BANANA BREAD (adapted from Canadian Living)

  • 1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 3 large)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (I used unbleached flour)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts

Streusel:

  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 Tablespoons cold butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9×5″ loaf pan; set aside.

Prepare the streusel: In small bowl, stir together the brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in walnuts, then set aside.

Batter: In large bowl, beat together bananas, sugar, butter, eggs, and vanilla. In separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; stir into banana mixture. Then stir in walnuts.

Spoon HALF the batter into greased-and-floured loaf pan. Sprinkle batter with HALF of the streusel mixture. Add the rest of the batter over the streusel mixture in the pan, then top with the remaining streusel.

Bake at 350 degrees for 60 to 70 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean (my baking time was 70 minutes). Let loaf cool in pan for 15 minutes, then remove from pan and cool completely.

You can wrap the loaf in plastic wrap and store for up to 2 days, or wrap in foil and freeze for up to a month.

Hope you enjoy this bread as much as I did! Are you a streusel-lover too?

Linked to Foodie Friday, Sweets for a Saturday.

Jalapeno Cheddar Herb Scones

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A few weeks ago I made some Pumpkin Scones and was so happy with the way they turned out, I decided to try another scone recipe. This time I chose a savory recipe. I was inspired by the delicious savory scones that my local health food store makes. When I saw this recipe for Jalapeno Cheddar Herb Scones, I thought it would be a good one to try. I just made a few small changes and really liked the way these scones turned out! They’re cheesy (with cheddar cheese in the batter and some Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top) and very savory, flavored with green onion, finely chopped jalapeno, and sun-dried tomatoes. So I give these scones a “thumbs up!” You can make them for breakfast or serve them at lunch or dinner with soup or chili. If you like savory things, I am very sure you will like these! This recipe makes 8 good-sized scone wedges.

JALAPENO CHEDDAR HERB SCONES by NancyCreative, adapted from Buttercream Barbie

Makes 8 scones

  • 2 cups unbleached flour
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon dry mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), cold and cut into tablespoon-sized slices or thinner
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar Cheese (or 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar and 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese)
  • 2/3 cup frozen, fresh, or canned corn
  • 1 green onion, finely chopped (chop up both the white onion part and the green stem
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons finely chopped jalapeno, no seeds
  • 2 to 3 Tablespoons finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 to 3  Tablespoons shredded or freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for sprinkling on top (or use the same amount of shredded sharp Cheddar cheese)
  • Parchment paper, for lining your baking sheet

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine all dry ingredients in large bowl. Cut in butter slices until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In small bowl, beat buttermilk with egg. Add egg mixture to flour mixture. Toss mixture a few times with a fork to blend, then add in the cheese and other remaining ingredients (except for the 2-3 Tablespoons of cheese to be sprinkled on top) . Mix until dough sticks together enough to be rolled out or patted down.

On a floured surface, roll or pat down dough to 3/4″ thickness in the shape of a circle (your circle will be about 10″). Cut into 8 wedges. Place scone wedges on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and sprinkle tops with Parmesan (or Cheddar) cheese. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until golden brown (my baking time was 17 minutes). Note: If you use Cheddar cheese to sprinkle on top, you can add that to the scones the last 5 minutes of baking if you prefer).

These are what the scones look like before you bake them (I forgot to sprinkle the cheese on before I took this picture!)…

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These are the scones fresh out of the oven…

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Let the scones cool slightly before serving. Makes 8 deliciously savory scones! 🙂

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As I mentioned, shredded Cheddar cheese can be substituted for the Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top…or sprinkle on a little of both!

Home Sweet Home and Kiwi-Cantaloupe Fruit Salad

My friend Lorinda is a very talented photographer. She came over to my new apartment for the first time a few days ago and happened to have her camera with her. She took some pictures and showed them to me later…I was really impressed with the beautiful job she did!

Photos by Lorinda Gray

I thought I’d share some of these wonderful photos with you. Lorinda has such a great eye for detail and captured objects that I look at every day in such a fresh, appealing way! She has a blog called Ragamuffin Creative, where she has lots of striking photography, so be sure to check it out!

Photos by Lorinda Gray

As you can tell from some of these pictures, I love hydrangeas! The dried ones you see in these photos were given to me from my talented artist friend Eileen. She has a beautiful hydrangea bush in her front yard.

The chair in the top right photo was rescued from my mother’s basement. It originally belonged to my grandparents and had become very worn and tattered over the years. I had the chair reupholstered and put some wood rejuvenator on the wood trim, so now it’s as good as new! I wish I had taken a “before” picture of it so you could see how dramatic the transformation was!

Another photo shows my little collection of birdhouses that are displayed on a ledge, and in the photo below it to the left, a bird votive holder rests on some antique books. Decorative birds and birdhouses just seem to make a room feel more light and airy!

Next to the bird votive holder, you’ll see a picture of my “magazine rack.” It’s actually an old shutter I bought at a flea market. It just leans against the wall and is perfect for hanging and displaying magazines!

I also have a collection of glass bottles that are displayed on top of a cabinet, along with more dried hydrangeas. It’s always nice having these bottles on hand–they make great flower vases, too!

Well, if you’re not really into decorating, you’re probably wondering where the recipe is in this post! 🙂 Okay, here it is…a really easy, delicious fruit salad. Lorinda took this picture of it, too…

KIWI-CANTALOUPE FRUIT SALAD

  • 4 Kiwi Fruit, peeled and sliced (each Kiwi will yield about 5 slices)
  • Half of a cantaloupe, seeded and cut into bite-size chunks (if you want more cantaloupe in the salad, use the whole thing)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can Mandarin oranges
  • 3/4 cup fresh blueberries, blackberries, or raspberries (optional)
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup juice from the Mandarin orange can

Place sliced kiwi fruit and chunks of cantaloupe in medium-size bowl. Add Mandarin oranges, drained, from can–be sure to set aside 1/4 to 1/3 cup of the juice from the can. Add berries if desired. Pour juice from the Mandarin orange can over the fruit in the bowl and toss with the fruit, evenly distributing the different fruits in the salad. This recipe makes 4-8 servings, depending on how much cantaloupe you use, and it makes a great addition to any breakfast or brunch!

Sonoma Pasta Salad from The New Sonoma Cookbook

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When I heard The New Sonoma Cookbook (Sterling Publishers) would be published this month, I was looking forward to the opportunity to review it. The cookbook was said to have “more than 200 new ways to celebrate the wholesome, sun-drenched flavors of Northern California, all while slimming down and boosting energy.”  That sounded really good to me!

Author Dr. Connie Guttersen, RD, PhD, a nutrition instructor at the world-famous Culinary Institute of America, offers a wide range of healthy good-for-you recipes in this cookbook. And many look very easy to prepare. Everything from breakfast and lunch items to dinner and dessert…even some recipes for the holidays! There are also helpful cooking tips at the beginning of the book, along with a checklist of items to include in your pantry.

Some of the recipes I want to try from The New Sonoma Cookbook include the Tomato and Basil Frittata, Crustless Feta and Cheddar Quiche, Tuscan Tomato and Bread Soup, Curried Chicken Wrap, Thai Roast Beef Lettuce Rolls, Pan-Seared Salmon, Spice-Roasted Almonds, Mini Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecakes, and Ricotta Mousse with Berries…just to name a few! 🙂

The Sonoma Pasta Salad also sounded great and that’s what I decided to make first. It has lots of colorful veggies mixed with healthy multigrain pasta and a dash of balsamic vinegar for a slightly-sweet, slightly-tart flavor. And it’s topped with some chunks of fresh mozzarella cheese…yum! I hope you get a chance to try this because it’s very tasty! It doesn’t take long to make, either…about 35 minutes from start to finish. This recipe makes 4 servings.

SONOMA PASTA SALAD from The New Sonoma Cookbook

  • 4 quarts water
  • 1 Tablespoon kosher salt
  • 12 ounces fresh green beans or 3 cups frozen whole green beans
  • 8 ounces dried multigrain penne (such as Barilla Plus)
  • 1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 large red and/or yellow bell peppers, seeded and cut into bite-size strips
  • 1 Tablespoon bottled minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices (or you can use julienne cut sun-dried tomatoes, which is what I used–and since I love sun-dried tomatoes, I actually doubled the amount and used 1/2 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, flat-leaf parsley, and/or oregano, chopped
  • 3 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cut up
  • Fresh basil leaves (optional)

1. If using fresh green beans: Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil in a saucepan. Add 1 Tablespoon salt; then add fresh green beans. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain beans; place immediately in ice water to stop the cooking process. Once cool, drain well and set aside.

2. In a large Dutch oven, combine 2 quarts water and 1 Tablespoon kosher salt; bring to boiling. Add pasta. Cook according to pasta package directions, adding frozen green beans (if using) for the last 2 minutes of cooking time. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water.

3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add pepper strips; cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; cook for 30 seconds more. Add dried tomatoes, basil, and the drained green beans and pasta. Cook, tossing frequently, until heated through. Stir in balsamic vinegar and enough of the reserved pasta liquid to moisten pasta to desired consistency (I only added about a Tablespoon). Season to taste with additional kosher salt and black pepper. Top with cheese. If desired, garnish with fresh basil.

Variations:

  • Use leftover cooked green beans or broccoli.
  • Replace green beans with spinach.

Recipe reprinted with permission from Sterling Publishers.

This is a great dish for lunch or dinner…or make it for dinner and have leftovers for lunch! 🙂

Zesty Watermelon Salsa

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Watermelon is one of my favorite things to eat in the summer–so I just had to post a watermelon recipe before the season ends! I saw this recipe at CountryLiving.com, and I knew right away I wanted to try it. The juicy, sweet watermelon gets a lively kick when it’s mixed with the jalapeno peppers, cilantro, red onion, and juice of fresh limes. Yum! It’s great served with your favorite tortilla chips. I think you’ll enjoy this unique combination of sweet, spicy, and savory flavors. This recipe makes 8 servings, and each 1/2 cup serving is only about 23 calories. Enjoy!

ZESTY WATERMELON SALSA slightly adapted from Country Living

  • 3 cups finely diced seedless watermelon
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Tortilla chips (for serving)

Combine all ingredients, except salt, in a medium-size bowl. Then season with 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon salt, if desired. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Linked to Foodie Friday.

Moving and Hot Ham and Cheese Rolls

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I’ve been busy moving these past few weeks, which is why I haven’t been posting much. My little house sold much sooner than I expected (one week, in fact!), so I had to find a rental place really quick! Now I’m in the process of unpacking…I’m not sure which is worse–packing things up, moving them, or unpacking them! I still have more unpacking to do, but the stacks and stacks of boxes are getting smaller…so things should be back to normal in the next few weeks.

Because of the move, I haven’t been cooking much. But a friend of mine, Brian, brought some Hot Ham and Cheese Rolls to work that his wife Elizabeth made and they were so good I asked him if I could share the recipe on my blog. They’re made with frozen bread dough, which cuts down on prep time, and they’re perfect for serving at breakfast or brunch. Brian took some great pictures of these rolls, too, to give you an idea of what they look like. Serve them right out of the oven while the rolls are warm and the cheese is melty, and you won’t be able to stop at just one!

ELIZABETH’S HOT HAM AND CHEESE ROLLS

  • 1 Loaf of frozen bread dough (purchased from the Freezer section of  your grocery store)
  • Ranch dressing
  • 1/4 to 1/2 pound chopped deli ham
  • 4 oz. (or 1/2 of an 8-ounce package) of shredded Parmesan cheese

The night before, place one loaf of frozen bread dough in a glass 9 x 13″ baking dish that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.  Cover loosely with  plastic wrap that has also been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.  Place in refrigerator overnight or allow to thaw for a couple of hours on counter.

In the morning, take the dough out of the refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes.  On a lightly-floured surface, gently roll or press dough loaf out into a rectangle shape (about the size of an 11 x 15″ jelly roll pan). Making these are similar to making cinnamon rolls: spread  a light coating of Ranch dressing all over the dough (just as you would spread the butter for cinnamon rolls), then sprinkle the chopped ham over the dressing and then sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over everything.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, if desired.  You can add garlic salt, too.

Starting with the long side, roll up dough and toppings jelly roll–style (Elizabeth rolls hers about 2 1/2 times). Then pinch to seal the edges all along the length of roll.  Slice into 1-inch slices.  Place rolls, cut side down, in your 9 x 13” glass baking dish that has been sprayed with non-stick spray.  Cover with a towel and let rolls rise for about 30 minutes.  Then bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 17 minutes or until lightly browned.  Makes about 15 to 16 rolls.

Elizabeth adds, “It’s so easy to just go ahead and do two loaves at the same time.  Roll both rolls out, then spread Ranch dressing on both, etc.  Same amount of work for double the rolls!”

Thanks, Elizabeth and Brian, for sharing this yummy recipe!