Monday, August 29, 2011

Create The Good Event

We received another donation to our Create the Good Event today!  Hurray!   The weekly grocery ads came in the mail today and two of the store chains have the "Save $10 if you spend $50" savings event this Thursday.  I have my shopping lists ready.  We'll make the most of the savings offered in each ad.

A huge thank you to Project Excel for your support of our event!  You're helping to do something good for our community to commemorate the tenth anniversary of September 11th.  You're helping to reduce hunger in our neighborhood.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Summer Berry Trifle

This is a pretty and delicious dessert to take to your next picnic or other gathering.

1 cup boiling water
1 pkg (6 oz) Jell-o Strawberry gelatin
Ice cubes
1/2 cup cold water
2 cups mixed fresh berries (raspberries, blueberries, halved strawberries)
1 pkg (8 oz) Cream cheese
1 1/4 cups cold milk, divided
1 pkg (3.4 oz) Jell-o Cheesecake instant pudding
1 tub (8 oz) Cool Whip
1 pkg (12 oz) prepared pound cake (cubed)

Add boiling water to gelatin in large bowl; stir 2 minutes until completely dissolved.  Add enough ice to cold water to measure 1 cup.  Add to gelatin; stir until ice is completely melted.  Let stand 15 minutes or until thickened.  Stir in berries.

Beat cream cheese in large bowl with whisk until creamy.  Gradually beat in 1/4 cup of milk.  Add remaining milk and dry pudding mix; beat 2 minutes.  Stir in Cool Whip.

Place half the cake cubes in trifle bowl; top with half the pudding mixture.  Cover with layers of gelatin mixture (all of it), remaining cake cubes and remaining pudding mixture.

Garnish with strawberries.  Refrigerate 1 hour.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Mini New Potato Bites

15 new potatoes (1 1/2 lbs)
4 oz Philadelphia Cream Cheese (softened)
2 Tbsp sour cream
2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
4 slices bacon (cooked and crumbled)
2 Tbsp chopped fresh chives

Cook potatoes in boiling water in large saucepan 15 minutes or until tender.

Mix cream cheese, sour cream and Parmesan.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

Drain potatoes.  Cool slightly.  Cut in half, then cut small piece from rounded bottom of each.  Place, bottom sides down, on platter.  Top with cream cheese mixture, bacon and chives.

My whole family loves these, and they're easy to make.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Cool Peachy Dessert - Perfect Summertime Dessert

This is a quick and easy refreshing dessert for a hot summer night.
Give it a try today - it's hot outside!

2 cups vanilla ice cream
4 fresh peaches
4 Tbsp raspberry jam (warmed)
1/2 cups Cool Whip
4 Vanilla wafer cookies (crumbled)

Slice four fresh peaches.
Warm 4 Tbsp raspberry jam in microwave in a small bowl.
Place 1/2 cup vanilla ice cream in four serving dishes.
Top with peaches (about 1 peach per dish)
Drizzle with warm jam (about 1 Tbsp)
Top with a scoop of Cool Whip and a crumbled Vanilla Wafer

Some of the Best Hot Wings

3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup Louisiana Hot Sauce
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 tsp paprika
3/4 tsp cayenne pepper
3/4 tsp salt
30 chicken wing pieces
vegetable oil for frying

Combine the flour, paprika, cayenne powder, and salt in a small bowl.  If the wings are frozen, be sure to defrost and dry them.  Put the wings in a large bowl and sprinkle the flour mixture over them, coating each wing evenly.  Put the wings in the refrigerator 60-90 minutes.  This will help the  breading to stick to the wings when fried.

Heat oil in a deep fryer to 375 degrees.  You want just enough oil to cover the wings entirely.

Combine the butter, hot sauce, ground pepper, and garlic powder in a small saucepan over low heat.  Heat until the butter is melted and the ingredients are well-blended.

Put all the wings in the hot oil and fry 10 - 15 minutes (I usually do 8 wings at a time for 13 minutes).  Fry until wings are medium brown.  Remove from the oil to a paper towel to drain.  Don't let them sit too long, because you want to serve them hot.  Quickly put the wings in a large bowl.  Add the hot sauce and stir, coating all of the wings evenly.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Karan's AARP Create the Good Event Update

Today was a great day for our "AARP Create the Good" event. Loomis Bros. Equipment Company was officially our first donor. What a great start they've given us! Thanks also to Dale and Elaine Loomis for a personal donation. Food for Less called to tell me they have a donation waiting, and Russell's Cafe & Bakery in Fenton has offered pastries to provide to our volunteers on Saturday, September 10th. I will meet with Mary at Feed My People tomorrow to discuss the logistics of the event. I'm really feeling enthusiastic about the amount of fresh produce we'll be able to provide to the hungry families in our community. Please spread the word to your friends and family who may be interested in participating in this worthwhile event with a donation of time or money.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Tomato Salad

I don't know about you, but we've had an abundance of tomatoes this year.  There have been plenty to share with the neighbors.  Give this recipe a try if you have an abundance of tomatoes in your kitchen too.

2 lbs of fresh tomatoes (diced)
1 cup red onion (thinly sliced)
1/2 cup of fresh mozzarella cheese (diced)
1/2 cup of your favorite Italian salad dressing
2 Tbsp fresh Basil (chopped)
2 Tbsp fresh Parsley (chopped)

Combine all ingredients.  Chill for about 1 hour.  Serve.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Ranch Salad Dressing

15 Saltine crackers
2 cups minced parsley flakes
1/2 cup minced onion flakes
2 Tbsp dill weed
1/4 cup onion salt
1/4 cup garlic salt
1/4 cup onion powder
1/4 cup garlic powder

Put crackers through blender on high speed until powdered.  Add parley, minced onions and dill weed.  Blend again until powdered.  Dump into bowl.  Stir in onion salt, garlic salt, onion powder, and garlic powder.  Store in an airtight container.

To make salad dressing:
Combine 1 Tbsp of mix, 1 cup of mayonnaise, and 1 cup of buttermilk.

This will make 42 one Tbsp servings.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

I've Been Selected to Host an AARP Create The Good House Party

I'm reaching out to all of my blog friends to ask you to participate in my AARP Create the Good House Party. A couple of months ago I submitted an idea for a "party" to be held the weekend of September 11th.  This "party" isn't really a party, it's a community event.  It's my plan to contact local businesses to solicit donations to purchase fresh produce.  We'll then work with a local food pantry to distribute the produce to families who are in need of food.  The food pantries are a good source of boxed and canned food, but the produce is certainly not fresh.  I'll do the leg work to solicit donations, but I'm asking you to offer your time on Saturday, September 10th beginning at 1:00 pm to help distribute the food - and possibly some other items.  (I had an offer of blankets tonight.  Most donations will not be turned down.)

Please contact me via e-mail if you're able to donate your time, money or items for this event, or if you have a suggestion of who I might contact to request a donation.  I'm hoping for an event that will bring welcome relief to those in need, and a sense of satisfaction to those who participate.  AARP has committed to providing a goody package for the event to help make it a success.  Won't you help too?  It's a great way to give back and make our country a better place.  Let's help make the USA a country that makes sure her citizens don't go hungry.

Contact me at

Monday, August 8, 2011

Oriental Chicken Salad

3 Tbsp honey
1 1/2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup Miracle Whip
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/8 tsp sesame oil

1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup corn flake crumbs
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast half
oil for frying

3 cups chopped romaine lettuce
1 cup red cabbage
1 cup Napa cabbage
1/2 carrot, julienned or shredded
1 green onion, chopped
1 Tbsp sliced almonds
1/3 cup chow mein noodles

This is a dinner salad and this recipe is for one serving - yes ONE SERVING.

Prepare dressing ingredients by mixing in a small bowl.  Refrigerate while preparing salad.

Cut the chicken breast into strips.  In a bowl, beat egg with milk.  In another bowl, combine flour with corn flake crumbs, salt and pepper.

Preheat oil over medium heat.

Dip individual chicken pieces in egg mixture and then roll in the flour mixture.  Fry chicken until browned, drain and set aside.

Prepare salad by tossing the chopped romaine with the chopped red cabbage, Napa cabbage, and carrots.  Sprinkle sliced green onion on top of the lettuce.  Sprinkle almonds over the salad, then the chow mein noodles.  Cut the chicken into small chunks.  Place the chicken onto the salad forming a pile in the middle.  Serve with salad dressing on the side.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Two Potato Salad

This is a wonderful recipe is you're looking for a way to change up classic potato salad.  It's colorful AND flavorful.  Try it for your next family get-together.

1 1/2 lbs sweet potatoes (peeled)
1 1/2 lbs red potatoes (no need to peel, but you may if you like)
1/3 cup sweet  vinegar and oil salad dressing
4 hard-cooked eggs (chopped)
3/4 cup diced celery
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1 cup Miracle Whip
1/2 cup sour cream
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Cut potatoes into 3/4" cubes.  Place in large saucepan; add enough water to cover potatoes by 1".  Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat and simmer until tender, about 8 minutes.  Drain well.  Place potatoes in large bowl; pour dressing over top and toss until well mixed.  Let stand for 30 minutes.  Add eggs, celery, and green onion to potatoes.  In small bowl, stir together remaining ingredients.  Add to potato mixture; gently toss until well mixed.  Cover and chill.

Emma Is Officially a L'Ecole Culinaire Student

Wow!  My little girl is going to culinary school.  Hurray!!  We visited the campus of L'Ecole Culinaire months ago and were so impressed by the program.  Emma knew she wanted to go to school there.  Tonight we finalized all of the financial details, and she was measured for her jackets, pants and shoes.  Classes will begin October 10th, and she can't wait!  She literally was doing the "Happy Dance" in the car all the way home.  It was wonderful to see her so excited.  Maybe she'll be able to teach her mom a kitchen trick or two.

Monday, August 1, 2011

My Favorite Food - Corn On The Cob!!!

You don't have to ask me twice . . . my favorite food is corn on the cob.  Growing up in a very rural area, we had access to the freshest sweet corn all summer long.  Now, I just have to settle for the best corn that shows up in the grocery store.  Dierbergs had locally grown corn right now and I've been buying lots of it!

Fresh corn contains a healthy dose of B-vitamins.  Look for cobs with bright white and yellow kernels.  My first choice is white corn with small kernels, but that's often hard to find.  Look for corn with bright green husks and light yellow silk.  When you pull back the husk, the kernels should be plump and shiny.  Avoid corn with shriveled husks and dark or slimy silk.   Be sure to use your corn within 2 days of purchase, and store it uncovered in the refrigerator.

I like to put my corn on the cob into a pot of salted boiling water and boil for 10 minutes.  Serve it with butter and salt.  Mmmmm Good!!!