Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Asian Chicken Salad



This recipe calls for chicken legs, but you can bake a skinless chicken breast if you prefer white meat. Spray a pan with nonstick spray. lightly season with salt and pepper, and bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Cut into strips and then proceed with the recipe.

3 chicken legs
Salt as desired
4 oz. each of white cabbage and Chinese cabbage
1 carrot
1 T each of chopped mint and coriander
3 T. peanut kernels

Dressing:
1 red chili
1 clove garlic
2 T. sugar
4 T. lime juice
2 T. soy sauce

Put the chicken legs into boiling, salted water and simmer for about 40 minutes. Drain (the stock can be used for another purpose) leave to cool, and remove the skin and bones.

For the dressing, wash the chili, slit open lengthwise, remove the seeds and the white inner membrane, and dice finely. Peel and press the garlic and add to the diced chili. Mix thoroughly with the sugar and lime juice. Season the dressing with soy sauce.

Wash both kinds of cabbage, dry, and cut into fine strips. Peel the carrot and cut into fine strips. Roast the peanuts in a dry frying pan until golden brown.

Cut the meat into strips and put into a bowl. Add the white cabbage, the Chinese cabbage, carrot, and herbs, Carefully stir in the dressing, and mix well. Scatter the peanuts over the salad and serve.



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Monday, June 28, 2010

Grilled Chicken with Plum Salsa





This grilled chicken recipe turns a simple dish into an elegant meal. The salsa goes well with grilled fish and seafood, also.

2 T. seasoned rice vinegar
1/2 t. salt
1/8 t. coarsely ground black pepper
4 medium skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 pound ripe purple and/or green plums ( 4 medium) chopped
1/4 c. finely chopped red onion
1/4 c. finely chopped yellow pepper
1/4 c. loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
1 jalapeno chile, seeded and finely chopped
mixed baby greens (opt.)

In a pie plate or shallow dish, with a wire whisk or fork, combine vinegar, salt, and black pepper. Spoon half of vinegar mixture into medium bowl. Add chicken breasts to mixture in plate, turning to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 30 min. to marinate, turning occasionally.

Meanwhile, prepare grill and spray grill rack (away from heat source) with nonstick cooking spray. Prepare the plum sauce. Stir plums, red onion, yellow pepper, cilantro, and jalapeno into vinegar mixture left in bowl. Set plum salsa aside.

Place chicken breasts on grill over medium heat; discard marinade in pie plate. Grill chicken, turning once, until chicken loses its pink color throughout, 10-12 min., or until done. (If using a grill pan, spray pan with nonstick cooking spray and heat over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Add chicken breasts and cook, turning once, 10-12 minutes.)

To serve, place chicken on a bed of mixed baby greens if you like, and spoon plum salsa on top.



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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Proper Table Setting

I spend so much time talking about food and recipes. But we've never really moved into how to properly set a dining room table if you are going to have a dinner party. So many of us, including me, have gone casual; the art of setting the table has almost disappeared. If you're in a quandary as to how to set your table, here is a how-to video that will explain it all:


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Saturday, June 26, 2010

Making Tea the Old-Fashioned Way

For the past few years, I've been brewing my tea by placing a mug with water in the microwave and then steeping the bag right in the cup. Recently I realized that I was missing the way I used to do it. First boil the water in the tea kettle, pour the hot water into a pretty teapot, add the bags or loose leaves in a strainer, and then steep. Yes, it's a few more steps, but I love the ritual.
A week or so ago, I ordered this beautiful stainless steel teakettle from the Paula Deen Signature Collection at CSN Stores on line. Beautiful things make me happy, and beautiful it is. I love to shop at CSN. They have everything for the kitchen you can possible imagine, and it was delivered very quickly to my door.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I think I'll brew some chamomile tea, and relax with a good book on the patio.




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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Triscuits Home Farming





I want to tell you about something wonderful. I wasn't sure whether I wanted this post on Thyme for Herbs or An Herbal Bedfellow, so I am going to post it on both. Please forgive me if you are a subscriber to both blogs.


I'm sure you've all tried Triscuits. It's a delicious cracker that is a favorite at my house; we use it at all of our holiday and family gatherings to go with our dips and spreads.


The folks at Triscuits have become interested in Home Farming; they've joined in with Urban Farming, which is a non-profit organization that encourages us to grow our own vegetables and herbs. The goal is for us to learn to grow healthy vegetables, etc, that are not only good for us, but also saves us money, at the same time, not being harmful in any way to the planet. They would like to help fund and create 50 new community-based farms throughout the US.


To aid us in getting a start on this project, Triscuits has set up a helpful web site. Here you can share and gain knowledge from others at the community forum, get advice from experts, follow a crop guide, and find new recipes. You can even
plot your garden on a map with the other gardeners in the country.


To make all of this more fun, Tricuits has placed plantable seed cards in 4 million boxes of Triscuits! You can find Basil Seed cards in Original Triscuits packages, and Dill Seed cards in Reduced Fat Triscuits. Just soak the seed cards for 2-4 hours, place them in a pot filled with soil, and cover with 1/4 in. of dirt. In 10-12 days, you should see some sprouts. It's a fun project for the kids this summer, too.


Now get out there and grow your own garden, and at harvest time, I'd appreciate an invitation to dinner.





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Monday, June 14, 2010

Vegetarian Tortilla Pie




Here's another easy to make Mexican meal to add to your party. The filling is no-cook, so you just heat the prepared tortilla in the oven! Easy as Mexican Pie!

1 jar (12 oz.) medium salsa
1 can (8 oz.) no-salt added tomato sauce
1 can (15-16 oz.) no-salt added black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can ( 15 1/4 oz) no-salt added whole-kernel corn, drained
1/2 c. packed fresh cilantro leaves
4 (10 in.) low-fat flour tortillas
6 ounces reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese, shredded ( 1 1/2 c.)
reduced-fat sour cream (opt)

1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Spray 15 1/2" by 10 1/2" jelly-roll pan nonstick cooking spray.

2. In a small bowl, mix salsa and tomato sauce. In medium bowl, mix black beans, corn, and cilantro.

3. Place 1 tortilla in prepared jelly-roll pan, Spread one-third of salsa mixture over tortilla. Top with one-third of bean mixture and one-third of cheese. Repeat layering 2 more times, ending with last tortilla.

4. Bake pie until cheese melts and filing is heated through - 10-12 minutes. Serve with reduced fat sour cream, if you like.


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Sunday, June 13, 2010

Steak and Pepper Fajitas





Looking for an easy dinner party idea? Fajitas are always fun. Place the meat and condiments in separate dishes and let your guests make their own. Add a nice margarita or maybe a mojito and your gathering will be a success. This is also a fun idea for a family meal with the kids (without the drinks, of course.)


1 beef top round steak, 1 in. thick (3/4 lb.) well trimmed

1 bottle ( 8 oz.) medium-hot chunky salsa

1 T. light corn-oil spread (56% to 60% fat)

1 medium red onion, thinly sliced

1 medium green pepper, thinly sliced

1 medium red pepper, thinly sliced

2 T. chopped fresh cilantro leaves

8 (6 inch) low-fat flour tortillas, warmed as label directs

1 container fat-free sour cream

8 oz. fat-free Cheddar cheese, shredded

chili peppers, lime wedges, and cilantro sprigs for garnish


1. Preheat broiler. Place steak on rack in broiling pan; spread 1/4 c. salsa on top.

Place pan on broiler at closest position to source of heat; broil steak 8 minutes.

Turn steak over and spread 1/4 c. salsa on top.

Broil 8 minutes longer for medium-rare or until desired doneness.


2. Meanwhile, in nonstick 12-in. skillet, melt corn-oil spread over medium-high heat.

Add red onion, green pepper, and red pepper.

Cook until vegetables are tender-crisp.

Stir in chopped cilantro.

Spoon mixtures into servings bowls.


3. To serve, place steak on cutting board. holding knife almost parallel to cutting surface.

Slice steak crosswise into thin slices.

Serve sliced steak with pepper mixture, tortillas, sour cream, shredded cheese, and remaining salsa.

Garnish with chile peppers, lime wedges, and cilantro.


YIELD: 4 servings






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Friday, June 11, 2010

Tarragon Turkey & Pasta






The first day of summer is only a week away, so we generally think about grilling out but have you thought about the Crock Pot? Usually, the Crock Pot brings up images of winter stews, soups, and pot roasts simmering away on a cold winter day. But if you have a busy schedule like I do, some days, firing up the grill is almost too much to handle.
I'm getting ready to move, and the decisions on what to keep and what to throw out are almost overwhelming. My latest tough decision is should I sell or keep the antique oak bed and matching vanity and if so, does that mean the highboy has to go, too? I love it all but the next house will be smaller than this one and there's just no room.
After spending a full day of going through closets, drawers,and boxes in the attic, I just don't feel like making supper. That's when I'm glad I had started the Crock Pot in the morning.
Here is a light pasta dish I'm sure you'll enjoy. Pour a glass of white wine and take your meal out on the patio to enjoy in the fresh spring air. Now that's a plan for a busy moving day.

1 1/2 to 2 pounds turkey tenderloins
1/2 c. thinly sliced celery
1/4 c. thinly sliced green onions
4 T. minced fresh tarragon, divided
1/4 c. dry white wine
1 t. salt
1 t. black pepper
1/2 c. plain yogurt
2 T. minced fresh Italian parsley
2 T. lemon juice
1 1/2 T. cornstarch
2 T. water
4 c. pasta of your choice, cooked al denté

1. Combine turkey celery, green onions, 2 T. tarragon, wine, salt, and pepper in the Crock Pot. Mix thoroughly. Cover; cook on LOW for 6-8 hours or on HIGH for 3 1/2-4 hours or until turkey is no longer pink.

2. Remove the turkey from the stoneware and cut it into 1/2 in.-thick medallions. Turn the Crock Pot to High. Add the yogurt, remaining 2 T. tarragon, parsley, and lemon juice to the juices in the stoneware.

3. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and water. Add the mixture to the stoneware and cook until the juices thicken. Serve the turkey medallions over the pasta with the tarragon sauce.

YIELD: 4 servings





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