August 23, 2011

mediterrean chicken salad

this is a refreshing summer appetizer. it was delicious scooped up with cracked pepper and olive oil triscuits. i got it years ago from a woman at my church.


4 T olive oil
2T plus 2t tarragon vinegar
1 T chopped fresh tarragon
1/2 T lemon juice
1/2 T dijon mustard
1 C diced cooked chicken
1/2 C cooked orzo
1 C halved cherry tomatoes
1 six oz jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained
1/4 C coarsely chopped pitted kalamata olives
1/3 C dried currants or golden raisins
1 1/2 T capers


combine oil, vinegar, tarragon, lemon juice and mustard in a small bowl; whisk to blend and then season to taste with salt and pepper. place chicken in a medium bowl. mix in 1/4 C dressing. rinse orzo under cold water to cool and drain well. transfer orzo to a large bowl and stir in remaining dressing. toss to coat. add chicken mixture and remaining ingredients. season salad to taste with salt and pepper.

caramel popcorn

this was one of my favorite treats growing up. last night was the first time i was able to get the proportions just right, so i thought i'd get it down before i forget.

1/2 C unpopped popcorn, divided
1/4 C oil
1/4 C butter
1 C brown sugar
1/2 light corn syrup
2/3 C sweetened condensed milk
1/2 t vanilla
pop popcorn in two batches. shake to remove unpopped kernels. pour a little over half into an oversized bowl. in a saucepan, combine butter, sugar and syrup. stir well and bring to a boil over medium heat. stir in milk and stir constantly until mixture comes to soft ball stage. stir in vanilla. pour over popcorn and mix, stirring in remaining popcorn until it's covered to your liking.

August 15, 2011


years ago i attended a baby shower and had this refreshing alternative to the typical breakfast casserole. i dug it out the other day to fulfill my assignment to bring something savory to a baby shower. i wish i had dug it out sooner--i had forgotten how tasty it was!


1/2 loaf sourdough bread
3 T melted butter
4oz swiss cheese, grated (i use jarlsberg or emmentaler sometimes)
4oz cheddar cheese, grated
8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
8 eggs
1 1/3 C milk
1/3 C white wine**
2 green onions, chopped
2 T dijon mustard
1/4 t pepper


3/4 C sour cream (i used non-fat)
1/2 C parmesan cheese, freshly grated

crumble or cut bread. line bottom of a 9 x 13 pan with bread and drizzle with melted butter. sprinkle 2 cheeses and bacon over bread. mix eggs, milk, wine, onion, mustard and pepper until foamy. pour over bread. cover with foil and refrigerate over night. let stand one hour before cooking. bake (covered) @ 350 for 35 minutes. spread with sour cream and sprinkle with parmesan cheese on top. bake 10 more minutes uncovered.

**if you'd rather not use alcohol, i used 1 T white wine vinegar and then filled the rest of the 1/3 C with water. my friend, katherine, also alerted me to a non-alcoholic beverage option called "fre" which she has had success with in other recipes. it's found next to wine in most grocery stores.

danish puff

my cute friend debbie has done it again. she brought this delicious pastry to a baby shower. yum, yum!

1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 tablespoons water

Place flour in bowl. Cut in 1/2 cup butter with pastry blender until it looks like small peas. Pour water over flour and mix with a fork. Form dough into 2 balls. Pat each half into 12 x 3 inch strip on a large ungreased cookie sheet. Set aside while preparing the next step.

1/2 cup butter
1 cup water
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon almond extract
3 large eggs

Heat butter and water to a rolling boil in a saucepan. Stir in flour and almond extract. Stir vigorously over low heat about 1 minute or until mixture forms a ball; remove from heat.
Beat in eggs, all at once; continue beating until smooth.Divide in half; spread each half evenly over strips.

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until topping is crisp and golden brown. Cool 30 minutes. Frost with Glaze: 1 to 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar; 2 T. butter softened; 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla and 1 to 2 T warm water. Mix until smooth and spreadable. Top with chopped walnuts or sliced almonds.