Posts Tagged ‘American’

GYO: Potato Salad with Peas and Peppers

grow_your_own_logo-2009-bldgThis is one of my favorite potato salads to make – it’s delicious and good for you, and one of the main ingredients came from our own garden: the peas.

Ever since we started a vegetable garden many years ago, we’ve been growing peas. Dan especially likes them – in fact, he’ll eat them raw right out of the garden! But this year, they were especially prolific, so he got some, I got some, and there’s lots more in the freezer for later :-) We planted both snow peas and sugar snap peas this year, and they both did great.

peas-in-garden
Peas in the garden

So to go along with a grilled dinner, I made this potato salad with peas and roasted red peppers, a take on this recipe from Rachael Ray. I changed the dressing for this one, and it was excellent :-)

Potato Salad with Peas and Peppers

2 1/2 pounds white thin skin potatoes, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar

1/2 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 tbsp. snipped chives
1/4 cup chopped parsley, plus 2 tbsp.
Salt and pepper

1 (6-ounce) jar, roasted red peppers, drained and chopped
1 cup frozen sweet peas

Put potatoes into the cold water and bring to a boil, sprinkle with 2 tsp. salt, and boil for 10-12 minutes or until tender; drain. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together mayonnaise, celery, herbs, and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Put drained potatoes into a large bowl and sprinkle with vinegar. Allow to cool for a few minutes, then carefully mix in the dressing. Add the peppers and peas and mix, being careful not to break up potatoes. Chill until ready to serve; garnish with reserved parsley.

potato-pea-salad

This is my contribution to Grow Your Own, the food blogging event that celebrates growing and eating our own food. It was created by Andrea of Andrea’s Recipes and is hosted this month by Zora of gardenopolis.

Grow Your Own: Warm Artichoke Dip

grow_your_own_logo-2009Geeze, how did another week go by already? I guess that’s what happens when you’re working long hours. It’s all good, though.

So, last weekend we had Bill and Barbara over for dinner before we all went to see “The House of Blue Leaves” at the Little Theater of Norfolk. I made roasted duck breast with cherry chutney (from the new President’s Inaugural Luncheon menu) and roasted vegetables, along with twice-baked potatoes. For an appetizer before dinner, I made Warm Artichoke Dip with Scallions and Jalapeño, from the “Great Party Dipscookbook I won a couple of weeks ago, from Andrea’s Recipes. Thanks again, Andrea :-)

We all enjoyed the dip, although I must say, I think combining this recipe with the Ya Ya Sisterhood artichoke dip recipe I made last year would yield even more tasty results. The jalapeño added a nice kick we really liked.

Unfortunately, we didn’t like the play quite so much. It was really strange; at intermission, I said I wouldn’t be unhappy if we left, but the others wanted to stay and see if it got better. It didn’t, and it had a really weird ending. It was billed as a farce, but according to Wikipedia, it’s a black comedy. Well, that makes more sense. Not recommended.

OTOH, if you like artichoke dip, try this one. As I said, it’s not my favorite rendition of this classic, but it might suit your taste buds better.

artichoke-dip-jalapeno

Warm Artichoke Dip with Scallions and Jalapeño

2 scallions, coarsely chopped (I used green onions from the garden)
1 1/2 tsp. pickled jalapeño, coarsely chopped
1 garlic clove, cut into 2-3 pieces
Dash of salt
4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature, cut into several pieces
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
Dash of cayenne pepper
1 14-oz. can artichoke hearts, drained

Preheat the oven to 400*. In a food processor, combine the scallions, jalapeno, garlic and salt. Pulse until the scallions are finely chopped.

Add the cream cheese, all but 1 tbsp. Parmesan cheese, mayonnaise, lemon juice and cayenne. Puree until smooth. Add the artichokes and pulse until coarsely chopped.

Scrape the mixture into a 2-cup gratin or other shallow ovenproof baking dish. Sprinkle the reserved Parmesan cheese over the top. (At this point, thd dip can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 24 hours before baking.)

Shortly before serving, bake for about 20 minutes, until the dip is slightly browned on top and bubbly hot. Let cool slightly before serving.

I served this with toasted baguette slices. Crisp raw veggies, baked pita chips or crackers would also make good dippers.

This is my entry in “Grow Your Own,” the twice-monthly food blogging event that celebrates growing our own food. It was started by Andrea of Andrea’s Recipes.

National Meatloaf Appreciation Day

I celebrated the first really cool day of fall with one of our favorite cold-weather meals: meatloaf with mashed potatoes and gravy. I was also inspired by the food blogging event “National Meatloaf Appreciation Day.”

My meatloaf is a pretty traditional one – it’s from the Betty Crocker cookbook I was given by my mom when I got my first apartment in college. The only change I made is that I use 1 lb. of ground beef and 1/2 lb. of ground pork instead of 1-1/2 lbs. of ground beef.

This time, I put chili sauce on top instead of catsup. I still put catsup on my meatloaf after it’s sliced; Dan likes his with the gravy. We love it as is and since there are only two of us, we usually get to enjoy it for several days :-)

I was sure I had all the ingredients I needed, but sure enough, one was missing – bread crumbs. Yeah, I could make my own, but it has to bake for an hour and a half already, so Dan went to the little store up the street. We almost ended up with Italian-flavored bread crumbs – would have been an interesting twist, I guess – but then he found the plain ones (shopping by cell phone, don’tcha know), so we used those. (When I want Italian-flavored bread crumbs, I want to season them myself with my own herbs from the garden.)

Anyway, it came out just a fabulous as we remembered – moist but firm and just delicious. I also made mashed potatoes and green beans with diced tomatoes and garlic – a real stick-to-your-ribs dinner.

Meatloaf

Betty Crocker Meatloaf

1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 pound ground pork
1 cup milk
1 cup bread crumbs
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage leaves or 1/4 teaspoon dried sage leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 garlic clove, finely chopped or 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1 egg
3 slices bread, torn into small pieces
1 small onion, chopped (1/4 cup)
1/2 cup catsup, chili sauce or barbecue sauce

Heat oven to 350°F. Mix all ingredients except ketchup. Spread mixture in ungreased loaf pan, 8 1/2×4 1/2×2 1/2 or 9x5x3 inches, or shape into 9×5-inch loaf in ungreased rectangular pan, 13x9x2 inches. Spread catsup over top. Bake uncovered 1 1/2 hours.

Cool way to sample a lot of cuisines

I’m still going to dinner with friends almost every Wednesday evening, and this summer has been especially fun, because Ghent, the neighborhood in Norfolk where I work, has been the site of a Taste of Ghent event.

Every Wednesday during the summer, a group of restaurants has offered a fixed-price, three-course meal for $18. There is one or more appetizers to choose from, usually two main courses, and a dessert. So far, for me, the most memorable was at The New Belmont: a house salad; tempura-fried lobster tail with raspberry cream; and chocolate mousse. It was perfectly prepared and just delicious. Can’t beat that for $18.

Last week, we went to Amalfi, an Italian place, for another very good meal. I had a house salad with Italian dressing, chicken breast stuffed with spinach and fontina, and a cannoli dessert; Barbara and Liz both ordered salmon, which they thoroughly enjoyed. Barbara got the tiramisu and Liz ordered a Napoleon. We shared the desserts. Yummy!

Catching up on dinners: No Frill Grill

I’ve been remiss in posting about my weekly dinners with friends. Last week, we went to the No Frill Grill. During the entire month of April, they’re having a special where, for every appetizer and dessert ordered, they will donate $1 to the Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters.

So I went with four friends and we ordered five appetizers and two desserts. It was great, we all got plenty to eat, and did some good for the children’s hospital. The No Frill Grill is always a good value, but especially so this month. Dig in!

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