Monthly Archives: May 2013

Florida Citrus Meringue Pie

Mmmm... lemon meringue pie. If there's ever a time for citrus desserts, it is the springtime. Florida Citrus Meringue Pie is a bright and sunny pie that incorporates both lemon and orange flavors. It's a great combination of sweet-tart, and perfect for all your backyard barbecues and family get-togethers that happen this time of year.  

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  I know what you're thinking... "Meringue??! You expect me to make that from scratch??!" Absolutely! It is not tricky at all - the hardest part is separating the egg whites from the yolks. The mixer does the rest of the work. Get started by blind-baking your pie crust. Because the pie doesn't actually bake in the oven, you have to pre-bake the crust so it's nice and crisp. Line the pie pan with the pastry, and prick with a fork. (Shhh, I won't tell if you use store-bought.) Line it with foil, and fill it with ceramic pie weights or dried beans or rice. This weighs the foil down so the crust won't slide all around. Pop it into the oven for a few minutes; then remove the foil, and continue baking until golden brown.   pie crust While the pie crust is baking, work on the citrus filling. Start off by separating the eggs - 4 egg yolks into a small bowl and 4 egg whites into a mixing bowl. Combine the sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a saucepan; whisk in the orange juice and water. Bring it to a boil and let it bubble away until thick. Make sure to stir it frequently so it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan! After it's bubbled for a few minutes, add a bit of the filling to the bowl of egg yolks, stirring until smooth. Then, add the yolks back to the saucepan with the rest of the filling mixture. This keeps the eggs from scrambling as soon as they hit the filling. Bring it to a boil again; then stir in the lemon juice, butter, and the zest from a lemon and an orange. Set aside.   filling   Now you're ready for the meringue! Add a bit of cream of tartar and vanilla extract to your egg whites from before, and beat on medium speed until foamy. You can use a hand mixer or a stand mixer, whichever you prefer. (Or your good ole' fashioned elbow grease, but it might take awhile!)  

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  Increase the speed to high, and gradually add the sugar just a little bit at a time. Beat until soft glossy peaks form. It is so fun to see the transformation from foamy egg whites to puffy cloud-like whipped egg whites.   IMG_4045   Now you're ready to assemble the pie. Pour the filling into the baked crust, then very carefully spread the meringue over the filling. Swirl the top of the meringue with the back of a spoon if you're feeling fancy.  

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Now, if you have a fancy kitchen torch, here is an excellent opportunity to use it. (So much fun!) Just toast the meringue until it's golden brown. If you don't have a torch, no worries! Simply pop the pie into a 350*F for about 15 minutes until golden brown.   IMG_4048   And then the hardest part - waiting 4+ hours for it to set up! I must admit, I didn't quite wait the entire recommended time. (As you can see the filling oozing out the edge of the pie piece.) No worries, it still tastes just as good. ;)  

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  Not only is this pie a tasty treat, but it's absolutely beautiful to look at.  

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Florida Citrus Meringue Pie

Servings/Yield: 6-8 slices
  • pastry for single-crust pie
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 5 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 4 egg yolks, (save the whites)
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange peel
  • For the meringue
    • 4 egg whites
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
    • ½ cup sugar
Method Preheat oven to 450*F. Transfer pastry to a 9-inch pie plate; flute edge. Line with foil and fill with pie weights (or dried beans or rice). Bake 8-10 minutes until bottom is golden brown. Remove foil and pie weights; bake 5-8 minutes longer until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. For the orange-lemon filling, combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a medium saucepan. Whisk in the water and orange juice; turn heat to medium-high. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat to low; cook and stir 2 minutes longer. Remove from heat. Place egg yolks in a small bowl; whisk a small amount of hot mixture into egg yolks. (This keeps the egg yolks from scrambling when you add them to the pan.) Add the egg yolks back into the saucepan along with the rest of the mixture; bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Cook and stir 2 additional minutes; remove from heat. Stir in lemon juice, butter, grated lemon peel, and grated orange peel. For the meringue, place the egg whites in a large bowl. Beat with a hand mixer or stand mixer with vanilla and cream of tartar on medium speed until foamy. Gradually add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating on high speed after each addition until sugar is dissolved. Continue beating until glossy peaks have formed. Transfer warm filling to prepared crust. Spread meringue over filling, sealing to edge of crust; swirl top with the back of a spoon. If using a kitchen torch, lightly toast the meringue until golden brown. If using the oven, preheat oven to 350*F. Bake 13-16 minutes until meringue is golden brown. Let cool 4 hours before serving. Store leftovers in refrigerator. Source: Taste of Home

Mary’s Memo – May 27th

FROM THE COOKBOOK SHELF


In Triple Slow Cooker Entertaining, by Kathy Moore & Roxanne Wyss, there’s a menu for every occasion from a child’s birthday party to Oscar night. Vidalia Onion Dip is suggested for a graduation party. I actually served this dip at the Bryan Chief and except for customers who didn’t like onions or they didn’t agree with them, everyone else gave it an enthusiastic thumbs up. Leftovers can be frozen and reheated in the microwave. You do need a slow cooker with at least high, low and warm settings. Kathy Moore and Roxanne Wyss are leading experts in small appliances and the authors of five cookbooks. Their food consulting firm develops recipes, tests products and generally sets the standard for innovative recipes and food information.

VIDALIA ONION DIP

• Nonstick baking spray
• 2 cups finely chopped Vidalia onions
• 2 cups shredded Swiss cheese (I used Spartan brand shredded Swiss cheese)
• 1-2/3 cups mayonnaise (I used Hellmann’s Light)
• 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt

Spray slow cooker stoneware with baking spray. In medium bowl, stir together onions, cheese, mayonnaise and garlic salt until well combined (at this point mixture can be prepared ahead and refrigerated overnight, then cooked as directed). Spoon into prepared slow cooker. Cover and cook on High for 2 to 3 hours, stirring once every hour, until melted and smooth. Turn to warm setting. Serve with toasted baguette slices or thin wheat crackers (at the Bryan Chief I served with reduced-fat Triscuits).

Source: Triple Slow Cooker Entertaining by Kathy Moore & Roxanne Wyss (Robert Rose Inc. www.robertrose.ca; March 2013; $24.95). Available from Amazon.com or other book store web sites.

LET THE GRILLING SEASON BEGIN!


Cooking on the grill is something I do from Memorial Day weekend until late fall. Spring-like days are few and far between in northwest Ohio and my reason for not removing the grill cover until now. I have a large grill, a gift from daughter Mary Ann five years ago, so I do multiple things on it including fresh vegetables, meats, fish, fruits and I’ve even done some breads. I cook vegetables over the flame but not meats or fish. It takes longer but it’s healthier when the flame doesn’t touch the meat. Since I eat chicken more than any other meat during the year, I try to fix other kinds on the grill such as Chief Smokehouse bratwurst, boneless pork loin, chuck-eye steak and my all-time favorite, flat iron steak. The original recipe called for flank but that’s more expensive than flat iron and grilled properly is every bit as good! My recipe is adapted from one provided by www.Allrecipes.com.

GRILLED MARINATED FLAT IRON STEAK

• 1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
• 3 tablespoons honey
• 2 tablespoons white vinegar
• 1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
• 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
• 1/2 cup canola oil
• 1-1/2 pounds flat iron steak

Whisk together until well blended soy sauce, honey, vinegar, ginger, garlic powder and vegetable oil. Lay steak in a 2-quart oblong glass dish. Pierce both sides of meat with a fork. Pour marinade over steak, then turn and coat the other side. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Assuming that you have a two burner grill, turn heat to high on one side. Brush unheated side of grill before lighting with Grill Pam. Place steak on unheated side, discarding marinade. Cook to desired doneness (pink but not bloody, I hope), turning once. Recipe makes 6 servings.

PICK PURPLE PRODUCE


There’s some truth to the saying, “the darker the berry, the healthier the fruit.” Purple fruit such as blueberries and blackberries and vegetables such as eggplant and purple cauliflower are packed with anthocyanin’s, a type of antioxidant, and other substances that may help fight heart disease, diabetes and some cancers and help prevent agerelated memory loss. They add beautiful color to your plate, too.

Source: Consumer Reports on Health May 2013.

DON’T TEXT AND WALK!


More than one-quarter of pedestrians crossing intersections are distracted by the use of a personal electronic device, a recent study in Injury Prevention found. O f 1,100 people observed at 20 busy intersections in Seattle, 11 percent crossed while listening to music, 7 percent while texting and 8 percent while talking on a phone. People who were texting displayed the riskiest behavior, such as not looking both ways before stepping into the street and crossing too slowly.

Source: U niversity of California at Berkeley Wellness Letter, May 2013.

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Sweet & Hot Baked Beans

Summer is almost upon us! Now that the weather is nice, it's time for cook-outs, graduation parties, and Memorial Day barbecues! One of my favorite dishes to take to a potluck or cook-out is a big ole' pot of baked beans. If you're strapped for time, they're pretty easy to throw together, and who doesn't like baked beans?! Today's recipe is super simple because it uses a slow cooker.  

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  Sweet & Hot Baked Beans are a little different than your traditional baked beans. They've got a touch of sweet from crushed pineapple and a touch of heat from diced green chiles. Perfect combo, in my opinion! The best part? All you have to do is mix everything together in a slow cooker or crock pot, and then let it bubble away until dinner time. First, combine all your ingredients in a large bowl. (Heck, just use the crock pot bowl! One less dish to clean.) White beans, crushed pineapple, onions, brown sugar, ketchup, bacon, molasses, green chiles, vinegar, garlic, and Worcestershire sauce.  

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  Let it bubble away on low about 5-6 hours, and then it's time to eat!  

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  My husband and I loved these. The night I made them, we ate dinner, and then shared a second bowl of [just] baked beans while sitting on our patio... of course fighting over the pieces of bacon. ;) _______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Sweet & Hot Baked Beans

Servings/Yield: 12-16 servings
  • 2 40-oz cans white beans
  • 1 20-oz can crushed pineapple, undrained
  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • ½-1 lb. bacon, cooked & crumbled
  • ½ cup molasses
  • 4-oz can diced green chile peppers
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1-2 tablespoons minced garlic, (or 1 tablespoon garlic powder)
  • 2-3 dashes Worcestershire sauce
Method Combine all ingredients in a 3- or 4-quart slow cooker. Cook, covered, on low 5-6 hours. (Alternately, bake in a 350*F oven for 2-2.5 hours.) Source: Adapted from Taste of Home April/May 2013

Mary’s Memo – May 20th

FROM THE COOKBOOK SHELF


I have as much fascination for how our foods evolved as I have in cookbooks. When both are combined in one book it’s bound to get my seal of approval! As American as Shoofly Pie by food historian William Woys Weaver (University of Pennsylvania Press, May 2013) delves deeply into the history of Pennsylvania Dutch cuisine, tracing the origins of Pennsylvania Dutch food as far back as the first German settlements in America. Weaver’s detailed chapters present a rich and diverse portrait of a living culinary practice, widely varied
among different religious sects and localized communities, rich and poor, rural and urban. As American as Shoofly Pie is accompanied by dozens of recipes, drawn from exacting research, kitchen tested and adapted to modern cooking conventions.

William Woys Weaver is an independent food historian and author of numerous books including Culinary Ephemera: An Illustrated History and Sauerkraut Yankees: Pennsylvania Dutch Foodways. He also directs the Keystone Center for the Study of Regional Foods and Food Tourism and maintains the Roughwood Seed Collection for heirloom food plants. Note: As American as Shoofly Pie is available with free shipping from Amazon.com for $25.51.

If The Cookbook Library by Anne Willan with Mark Cherniavesky and Kyri Claflin (University of California Press, April 2012, $50.00/cloth) isn’t in your local public library, it should be! It brings to life the cooks, writers and books that chronicle the dishes we eat and why. From the opulent banquet halls of the Burgundian dukes to the tables of simple English countrymen and American settlers, Willan explores not just the foods these people ate, but also the religious, economic and political crosscurrents that influenced their meals. The book includes forty of the authors’ favorite recipes from key texts of the 15th to 19th century, all exactingly tested for modern kitchens. This is an invaluable resource for chefs, culinary historians and everyone who loves good food. The cookbook has received the Jane Grigson Award for distinguished scholarship and depth of research from the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) at their 35th annual conference in San Francisco on April 9. Anne Willan, founder of La Varenne Cooking School, is the author of many cookbooks including the James Beard Award winner, Country Cooking of France. Mark Cherniavsky has collected antiquarian cookbooks for more than fifty years. Kyri Claflin is coeditor of Writing Food History: A Global Experience.

 

DID YOU KNOW


An increasing number of calories in the American diet are coming from foods prepared outside the home, such as restaurants, fast food establishments, take-out shops and meals delivered to homes, according to a new report from the USDA. In 1978 about 18% of calories came from such sources, compared to 32% in recent years. That’s a worrisome trend, since the report also found that foods eaten outside the home are higher in saturated fat, sodium and cholesterol and lower in fiber than home-prepared food. For instance, restaurants served up about 2,150 milligrams of sodium per 1,000 calories, compared to 1,370 milligrams per 1,000 calories at home. Source: University of California Berkeley Wellness Letter, May 2013.

 

NEW PRODUCE ITEMS AT CHIEF


The produce department has a variety of pre-packaged vegetable mixes, stuffed mushrooms, chopped onions, sliced bell peppers, etc. Shoppers who choose them will pay a little more for the convenience, which is worth it to some. Also new is a bag of miniature sweet peppers, great for grilling season.

 

RECIPE OF THE WEEK


I don’t know about you but main dish salads are especially appealing to me this time of year. Bryan Chief tasters agreed.

STRAWBERRY, ORANGE & ALMOND CHICKEN SALAD

• 8 cups torn romaine lettuce

(about two hearts of romaine will do it)

• 2 cups cut-up rotisserie chicken

• 1 (15-ounce) can mandarin oranges, drained

• 2 cups sliced strawberries

• 1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced

• 1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted*

• 1/2 cup Marzetti Simply Dressed Strawberry Poppyseed Dressing

Toss romaine in large bowl with chicken, oranges, strawberries and onion. Sprinkle with toasted almonds and drizzle with poppyseed dressing. Recipe makes 6 servings. Source: Adapted from www.food.com recipe. *To toast nuts, in a small non-stick skillet over medium high heat, stir nuts until they give off a pleasant aroma, about 3 to 5 minutes. Cool and use in recipe.

 

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Grilled Sausage & Pepper Heroes

It has been quite the week in the Anderson household. We are in the middle of a kitchen remodel, and for someone who spends most of her (non-working, non-sleeping) time in the  kitchen, it's been pretty chaotic to say the least! We spent last weekend ripping out our old cabinets (which were from 1941!) and flooring, and this week the new cabinets have been installed. We're currently waiting on our new countertops to come in, but have rigged up a system with our old countertops on top of the new cabinets. It's livable, but the only bad thing - we have no sink! Doing dishes in the bathroom is only fun for a certain length of time (like about 30 seconds...) So, the objective for dinner each night this week has been to dirty as few dishes as possible. We've been using the grill a lot, which brings me to these delicious Grilled Sausage & Pepper Heroes. These were so delicious! Not only are the Italian sausage links grilled, but the peppers & onions are grilled as well. The grilled peppers & onions are folded into a saucy & sweet garlicky-tomato sauce, which goes on top of the Italian sausage sandwiches. The whole sandwich is then toasted under the broiler with some melty mozzarella, and the combination is quite the treat. Not a dainty sandwich at all!  

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  To get started, preheat the grill to medium. You don't want the heat too hot for the veggies or they will turn to little crispy bits of char. You don't need a fancy veggie basket - just cut the peppers in half and remove the seeds. Slice the onions into thick rings. Brush them with some olive oil and gently place them on the grill. Grill about 8-10 minutes on each side until everything is tender.  

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[caption id="attachment_2681" align="aligncenter" width="448"]IMG_3924 These got a little dark... if that happens, just peel the skin off once you're done grilling them.[/caption]   While the veggies are grilling, heat up your favorite spaghetti sauce on the stove. Bring it to a simmer, and when the veggies are done, slice them up and add them to the sauce.  

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  Once the veggies are done and added to the sauce, grill up your sausages. Chief Smokehouse makes the best Italian sausage (and brats). Seriously, after trying them, I will never choose another brand. (My mom even buys them when she comes to visit to take home with her, and she lives 400 miles away.)  

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  Once the sausages are done, load up your sandwiches. Start by toasting the hoagie rolls under the broiler for a minute or two.  

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  Add a sausage link, then cover it with the sauce and peppers and some thinly sliced mozzarella. (Provolone would be really good, too.) Pop back under the broiler for another 2-3 minutes, until the cheese melts.   [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="458"]IMG_3936 I might have let it broil just a bit too long... those edges are a little crispy.[/caption]

And that's one heck-of-a-sandwich! Whoever said a sandwich couldn't be filling? I enjoyed this recipe much more than I thought I would, since I'm not much of a sausage person. But the combination of sweet peppers & sauce with the melty cheese really pulled everything together.

Get a little adventurous at your next cook-out this summer with Grilled Sausage & Pepper Heroes! _______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Grilled Sausage & Pepper Heroes

Servings/Yield: 5 sandwiches
  • 24-oz jar roasted garlic spaghetti sauce
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 1 sweet onion
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 package Chief Smokehouse Italian sausage links, (sweet or hot)
  • 5 hoagie buns
  • 10 thin slices mozzarella cheese
Method Preheat grill to medium heat. Pour spaghetti sauce into a large saucepan and set over low heat to simmer. Prepare veggies for the grill. Cut peppers in half, removing and discarding stems and seeds. Slice onion crosswise into 1/4 inch slices. Brush veggies with olive oil; place directly on grill grates. Grill 8-10 minutes on each side until tender. Set aside. Grill sausages, covered over medium heat for 10-12 minutes until cooked through and edges crisp. While sausages are grilling, slice peppers and onions into small pieces; add to simmering spaghetti sauce and heat through. When sausages are done, preheat the broiler. Place buns, cut sides up, on baking sheet and toast 1-2 minutes under broiler. Remove buns from oven; top each with a sausage, a generous helping of sauce & peppers, and a couple slices mozzarella cheese. Broil 2-3 additional minutes until cheese is melted. Source: Adapted from Taste of Home

Mary’s Memo – May 13th

FROM THE COOKBOOK SHELF


An estimated two million people worldwide live with intolerance to gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. For food loving teenagers and their parents, the challenges of a gluten-free diet can be a nightmare. Now glutenintolerant teens no longer have to go without their favorite treats. Cooking for Your Gluten-Free Teen: Everyday Foods the Whole Family Will Love by Carlyn Berghoff, Sarah Berghof McClure, Dr. Suzanne P. Nelson and Nancy Ross Ryan is an invaluable resource for parents who need to prepare meals with tons of flavor and no trace of gluten. In Cooking for Your Gluten-Free Teen, a smooth transition to a gluten-free lifestyle is told from the perspective of a teenager with a severe gluten allergy, her mother (chef and restaurateur Carlyn Berghoff) as well as a doctor specializing in treating celiac disease. Book also includes adjustments for additional diet restrictions like lactose intolerance and dairy allergies and helpful advice for situations like eating in restaurants, feeling singled out at parties and adjusting to a gluten-free lifestyle without missing out on favorite foods. Source: Carolyn Berghoff, CEO of the Berghoff Catering and Restaurant Group, is already co-author of The Berghoff Family Cookbook and The Berghoff Café Cookbook. Sarah Berghoff McClure is the second daughter of Jim McClure and Carlyn Berghoff McClure. Dr. Nelson, MD, MPH, specializes in pediatric gastroenterology and is Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at The Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL. Nancy Ross Ryan served as the writer for The Berghoff Family Cookbook and The Berghoff Café Cookbook. She is founder of Fresh Food Writing in Chicago and specializes in food writing and recipe development.

MACARONI AND CHEESE


• 1 lb. short brown rice pasta such as macaroni, penne or spirals
• 2 to 3 cups warm Cheese Sauce (recipe follows)

Cook the pasta according to package directions. Remove and reserve 1 cup pasta cooking water. Drain the pasta, but do not rinse. Return pasta to the cooking pot. Stir in the cheese sauce (start with 2 cups), tossing gently with a silicone spatula to coat the pasta. If mixture is too thick, add the reserved pasta water by the 1/4 cup and mix well. Serve warm.

Cheese Sauce
• 1/4 cup (half stick) butter
• 1/2 cup Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour
• 1 teaspoon garlic powder
• 1 teaspoon mustard powder
• 1 teaspoon onion powder
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 4 cups whole milk (regular or lactose-free)
• 2 cups (8-oz) grated aged Cheddar or Gruyere cheese

In a 3-quart saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. In a small bowl, mix together the flour, garlic powder, mustard powder, onion powder and salt. Add to the melted butter and whisk to a smooth paste. Cook for 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat. Pour in the milk all at once. Whisk until the sauce is smooth. Return the pan to the heat and whisk constantly until the sauce thickens and comes to a full boil. Remove from heat. Stir in the cheese in 3 batches, whisking constantly until the cheese melts and the sauce is smooth. You can store unused sauce, covered, in the refrigerator for 4 days. Sauce can also be frozen. Defrost over simmering water before reheating. Source: Cooking for Your Gluten-Free Teen (Andrews McMeel Publishing, $19.99, April 23, 2013).

Margherita Pasta, a side dish with all the flavors of margherita pizza is made into an irresistible pasta dish.


MARGHERITA PASTA


• 1-1/2 cups dried penne pasta
• 1/4 cup Land O'Lakes Butter with Olive Oil and Sea Salt
• 2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
• 2 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped
• 1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
• 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain; return to saucepan. Keep warm. Meanwhile, melt Butter with Olive Oil & Sea Salt in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until sizzling. Add garlic; cook 30 seconds or until softened. Add tomatoes and basil; continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until heated through (1 to 2 minutes). Add pasta and Parmesan cheese, stir until combined. Serve immediately. Recipe makes 4 (1-cup) servings. Source: Land O'Lakes.


GLUTEN FREE-FOR-ALL


Gluten-free diets are in vogue, pitched as a healthy way to eat and a way to lose weight. More than 8,000 gluten-free foods are found on Amazon.com; sales of such products soared to $28 billion last year. If you have a medical need to avoid gluten, do so; otherwise, a healthy diet is one that is rich in whole grains, including whole wheat. If you’ve gone gluten-free and feel better, it’s likely because you’ve cut out a lot of refined carbs and other junk foods, not because you’ve eliminated gluten. Source: University of California at Berkeley Wellness Letter, May 2013.

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Spring Pea & Asparagus Pizza

My favorite food is pizza, hands-down. While I do love a good slice of pepperoni, most of the time, I look for something a little more unique. Actually, the stranger the pizza sounds, the more likely I am to love it. [Case in point: Butternut Squash & Bacon PizzaThai Chicken Pizzaand Strawberry Balsamic Bacon Pizza.] A few months ago, I picked up some goat cheese and have been pretty much obsessed with it ever since. Goat cheese quesadillas, goat cheese pasta, goat cheese & turkey sandwiches, goat cheese on salads. So, when I saw this recipe for Spring Pea & Asparagus Pizza (with GOAT CHEESE!), I knew it would be a keeper.   IMG_3690   And I was absolutely right. This pizza is so fresh-tasting, it is just perfect for spring. Instead of the traditional pizza sauce, it starts with a garlicky pesto. Then, it's topped with a freshly sauteed mix of asparagus and peas. And then the cheese - mozzarella and goat cheese. The best thing about goat cheese on pizza is the texture. You get the crispy crust mixed with the warm and slightly soft goat cheese with that perfect amount of tang. Yum. Start with the vegetable saute. Saute a minced shallot in a bit of butter, and then add freshly diced asparagus, and then peas. Drizzle with a little bit of honey, and it's ready to go. You will most likely not use all the veggies on the pizza, but they make a great leftover side dish or salad add-on.   IMG_3689   To make up your pizza, spread a bit of pesto sauce over a prepared pizza crust. Top with a thin layer of mozzarella (to glue the toppings down). Then, add as many or as little veggies as you want. Then, the rest of the mozzarella and dollops of goat cheese.   PicMonkey Collage   Pop it into the oven until the cheese is melted and the crust is brown. Delish!   IMG_3692   _______________________________________________________________________________________________________ Spring Pea & Asparagus Pizza Servings/Yield: One pizza
  • For the veggies
    • 1 bunch fresh asparagus, diced
    • cups frozen peas
    • 2 tablespoons butter
    • 1 shallot, minced
    • 1 tablespoon honey
  • For the pizza
    • 1 prepared pizza crust
    • 2-4 tablespoons pesto sauce
    • 1 cup freshly shredded mozzarella cheese
    • veggies, (from above)
    • 4-oz goat cheese
Method To prepare veggies, melt the butter in a saucepan over medium high heat. Add shallot; cook 1-2 minutes until soft and fragrant. Add asparagus to pan, and cook, stirring occasionally until cooked through and slightly golden on the outside. Add peas to pan; cook until warmed through. Drizzle honey over the top; mix until evenly distributed. To prepare the pizza, preheat the oven to 425*F. Spread the pesto sauce over the prepared crust. Top with a thin layer of mozzarella cheese; then scatter the veggies over the top. (You will most likely not use all the veggies. Save these for leftovers!) Top with the remaining mozzarella cheese, and dollop the goat cheese all over the top. Bake in preheated oven 10-15 minutes, until cheese is melted and golden and crust is crispy. Source: adapted from Pinch of Yum

Mary’s Memo – May 5th

FROM THE COOKBOOK SHELF


If I didn’t receive review copies of cookbooks this Mary’s Memo feature would not exist. That said, I do break down and buy a cookbook if I see one with recipes that jump from the pages saying “try me!” Actually daughter Mary Beth called this week’s cookbook to my attention when we stopped near Mount Airy, North Carolina, on our way home from Hilton Head. First printing of The Best of Mayberry by Mrs. Betty C. Lyerly, was in May 1996 and my copy was the 13th printing in 2011. How many times a cookbook is reprinted is also a sign of its popularity. The Best of Mayberry includes 616 recipes from Duke Power Company home economists from 1957 to 1996. Publisher Lyerly has taken the holiday booklets of these professionals and compiled them into The Best of Mayberry, mythical name of Mount Airy, NC, and hometown of Andy Griffith. The cookbook is an extraordinary treasure of homespun recipes to make everyday a festive occasion. Price of an autographed copy of The Best of Mayberry is $24.95 plus $4.50 for postage and handling. To order send check payable to "The Best of Mayberry" to: Mrs. Betty C. Lyerly, 125 Taylor Street, Mount Airy, NC 27030.

Naturally, I’ve chosen one of Lyerly’s “Eat til it ouches you” recipes, Chicken Tetrazzini. Since I love any kind of olives, the small jar of stuffed small olives was a new ingredient in tetrazzini, at least to me. Note: When making this recipe I’ll use the meat from a rotisserie chicken rather than stew a hen, also fat-free canned chicken broth (Swanson), reduced-fat cheese and Campbell’s Healthy Choice Cream of Mushroom soup instead of regular that still has MSG.


CHICKEN TETRAZZINI


• 1 large hen, boiled and cooked in broth
• 1 cup chopped celery
• 1 cup chopped onion
• 2 to 3 tablespoons butter
• 2 cups chicken broth
• 1 can cream of mushroom soup
• 1/2 lb. thin spaghetti, cooked and drained
• 1 small jar bottled stuffed olives, sliced
• 1/2 lb. sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 1/2 cup slivered almonds (optional)
• 1/2 cup buttered bread crumbs

Remove chicken from bones and cut in bite-size pieces. Sauté celery and onions in butter until transparent, but not brown.
Stir in chicken broth, mushroom soup, spaghetti, chicken, olives and cheese. Season to taste and spread in buttered shallow baking dish. Sprinkle top with nuts and buttered crumbs. Bake in preheated 350ºF oven for 20 to 30 minutes. Recipe makes 8 to 10 servings. It freezes well. Source: The Best of Mayberry published by Betty C. Lyerly.


ACTIVE LIFESTYLE AS BENEFICIAL AS STRUCTURED EXERCISE


Small increments of daily activities, even of one to two minute duration, can lead to positive health outcomes, such as preventing high blood pressure, high cholesterol and metabolic syndrome. A study of more than 6,000 U.S. adults showed that 43 percent of those who participated in short bouts of exercise met the recommended physical activities guidelines of 30 minutes a day; conversely, less than 10 percent of participants in more structured, longer exercise sessions met the minimum guidelines, according to the study. It’s the difference between a leaf blower instead of a rake, said study co-author Brad Cardinal, professor of exercise science at Oregon State University. “Making physical activity a way of life is more cost-effective than an expensive gym membership. You may be more likely to stick with it, and over the long term, you’ll be healthier, more mobile and just feel better all around.” The study was published in the Jan-Feb. 2013 issue of the American Journal of Health Promotion. Source: DukeMedicine, April 2013


EASY DOES IT


No recipe is easier to make than this one from Betty Crocker. Originally it was made with leftover Thanksgiving turkey but make it year-round as I did with leftover rotisserie chicken.


WILD RICE AND TURKEY (OR CHICKEN) CASSEROLE


• 2 cups cut-up cooked turkey or chicken
• 2-1/4 cups boiling water
• 1/3 cup skim milk
• 4 medium green onions, sliced (1/4 cup)
• 1 can condensed 98% fat-free cream of mushroom soup (Campbell's Healthy Request)
• 1 package (6 oz) original-flavor long grain and wild rice mix

Heat oven to 350ºF. In ungreased 2-quart casserole, mix all ingredients, including seasoning packet from rice mix. Cover casserole. Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until rice is tender. Uncover; bake 10 minutes longer or until liquid is absorbed. If desired, sprinkle with additional chopped green onion. Recipe makes 6 (180 calorie) servings. Source: Betty Crocker recipe.

 

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