Friday, May 30, 2014

Tortellini Primavera Salad

I took my son (who just graduated from high school Wednesday) to get his wisdom teeth removed today. He recorded himself talking non-stop all the way home and then his sisters took over until he fell asleep. He wasn't as out of it as I thought he would be, but there were some silly moments. By the time I got his prescriptions, got him home and gave him medications and put him into bed, I didn't have much energy for making dinner. I was so glad that I had planned this easy salad.

I just chopped up some veggies, boiled the tortellini and mixed it all together. I left out the peas and thyme. I really like the fresh flavor that the orange peel and fresh basil added. I forgot to buy non-fat plain yogurt, which I was going to substitute for the mayonnaise, but I'll do that next time. This was a filling meal, which I served with a baked potato, and I'll be making it again for sure. You can make it meat-less like I did or add turkey or ham or whatever to it if you'd like.  Thanks to Good Dinner Mom for posting this super recipe.

Tortellini Primavera Salad
8 oz. pkg. refrigerated tortellini
2 c. broccoli florets
1 c. sliced carrots
½ c. chopped green onions
½ c. chopped red bell peppers
½ c. chopped green bell peppers
½ c. fresh baby peas (or thawed from frozen)
¼ c. diced jalapeno pepper (optional)
1 c. mayonnaise
2 t. grated orange peel
2 t. dried basil or 1 T. plus 1 t. fresh basil, chopped
1 t. dried thyme or 2 t. fresh thyme, chopped
1 t. salt
½ t. black pepper
½ c. shredded mozzarella cheese
Cook tortellini according to package directions. Drain well.
Steam broccoli florets and sliced carrots just until tender-crisp. Cool under running water.
Combine tortellini, broccoli, carrots, green onions, bell peppers and jalapeno in a medium bowl. Place in refrigerator while making the dressing.
In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, orange peel, basil, thyme, salt and pepper. Add about ½ of the dressing to the salad ingredients and then taste. Add more as desired (3/4 cup seems perfect for us. If adding chicken, use all the dressing).
Note: You can serve the salad immediately if you must, however, the flavors are bolder if allowed to incorporate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours before serving.
Spoon individual portions of salad on plate and top each portion with shredded mozzarella, or add all the mozzarella into large bowl of the salad, toss and serve family style.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Jersey-Style Hot Dogs

I had never heard of Jersey-Style Hot Dogs before I saw them in a Taste of Home magazine. They have potatoes served on top of the hot dog. We don't eat hot dogs very often at my house, but they are a quick meal so I wanted to put them on our menu. I served them with Homemade J Dawgs Sauce that I really like, even if it wasn't Jersey-style. This was a fun change and gave just a bit of a crunch, which I liked. Easy and flavorful. I made a much smaller batch though since my 3 kids and I would never eat that much.

Jersey-Style Hot Dogs
6 medium Yukon Gold potatoes (about 3 pounds), halved and thinly sliced
3 large sweet red peppers, thinly sliced
3 large onions, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
1/3 c. olive oil
6 garlic cloves, minced
3 t. salt
1-1/2 t. pepper
12 bun-length beef hot dogs
12 hot dog buns, split

In a large bowl, combine potatoes, red peppers and onions. In a small
bowl, mix oil, garlic, salt and pepper; add to potato mixture and
toss to coat.
Transfer to two 13x9-in. disposable foil pans; cover with foil. Place
pans on grill rack over medium heat; cook, covered, 30-35 minutes or
until potatoes are tender. Remove from heat.
Grill hot dogs, covered, over medium heat 7-9 minutes or until heated
through, turning occasionally. Place buns on grill, cut side down;
grill until lightly toasted. Place hot dogs and potato mixture in
buns. Serve with remaining potato mixture. 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Raspberry Sorbet

No added fat, no dairy since it's a sorbet. Yummmmm! Perfect for the warm weather that's coming. I found this at I have to admit that I don't like straining seeds so my 3 kids were wonderful and did that part for me. Start out with 6 cups of raspberries, but you only end up with 1 quart of sorbet. Not a lot, but it's really good.

Raspberry Sorbet
1 c. granulated sugar
1 c. water
6 c. raspberries (about 1 3/4 pounds), thawed if frozen
1 t. freshly squeezed lemon juice

Heat the sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly. (Alternatively, place the sugar and water in a container with a tightfitting lid. Shake vigorously for 3 minutes. Let rest for about 1 minute. Shake again until all the sugar has dissolved, about 30 seconds more.)
Place the raspberries and lemon juice in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade attachment and process until smooth, about 1 minute. Set a fine-mesh strainer over a medium bowl and strain the mixture, pressing down on the solids and scraping the inside of the strainer with a rubber spatula until mostly seeds remain (you should have about 2 1/3 cups raspberry purée); discard the solids. Whisk the sugar syrup into the raspberry purée. Cover and refrigerate until cold, at least 1 hour.
Whisk the raspberry mixture to recombine. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer to a container with a tightfitting lid and place in the freezer until completely frozen, at least 3 hours. Let sit at room temperature to soften for a few minutes before serving. The sorbet will keep for up to 1 month.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Homemade Coconut Lime Sugar Scrub

This homemade sugar scrub is so easy and super fast! And it exfoliates and leaves your skin soft just like the sugar scrubs I've bought before. I don't think I'll be buying any ever again, and I think I'll start whipping some of this up and giving it as gifts. The recipe below will give you 2 small Mason jars. I doubled it and made this larger jar for me and a small jar for my girls.

Coconut oil is actually semi-solid at room temperature and there is no need to melt it to mix this up. It blends easily. I found this recipe at My Frugal Adventures, where Charlene mentions that you can add more sugar if you'd like more exfoliation. I plan on trying other scents too.

Homemade Coconut Lime Sugar Scrub
¼ c. coconut oil
1 c. sugar
2 large limes or 3 small limes (3-4 T. lime juice)
3 T. lime zest
Using a grater or microplane, grate 3 tablespoons of lime zest from the lime. Once you have your lime zest, cut the lime in half and juice it for 3-4 tablespoons of lime juice. In a medium size bowl, combine the coconut oil, sugar, lime juice and lime zest and mix well.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

French Onion Chicken Sandwich

Maybe because it's almost summer, I have been wanting to make lots of sandwiches and salads, like picnic food. I found this sandwich recipe at Foxes Love Lemons. I changed a few things. First, I marinated the chicken in buttermilk for tender chicken. Then I seasoned the chicken with salt and pepper before grilling. I also mixed up ranch dressing and balsamic vinegar and spread that on the toasted buns and I also added tomatoes. Great recipe even if it was chilly and rainy when I grilled.

French Onion Chicken Sandwich
1 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 large white onion, thinly sliced
1 t. granulated sugar
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved crosswise and pounded to 1-inch thickness, if necessary
Nonstick cooking spray
4 slices Swiss cheese
4 hamburger buns
2 c. baby spinach
In large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and sugar; cook 25 minutes or until onions are deeply caramelized, stirring frequently. This step can be done up to 3 days in advance. Re-warm onions in microwave or in a small pan on grill before proceeding.
Preheat grill for direct grilling over medium-high heat. Spray chicken with nonstick spray. Transfer chicken to hot grill rack; cover and cook 10 minutes or until chicken loses its pink color throughout and internal temperature reaches 160°, turning once.
Place cheese slices on chicken pieces. Cover and cook 1 to 2 minutes or until cheese is melted and golden brown. Build sandwiches using hamburger buns, spinach, chicken and caramelized onions.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Strange Family

No, I'm not talking about my family....this time.
Band members Matthew Orr, Jacob Hall, Jared Price Garret Williams, and Chris White make up Strange Family, the final band for me to post of the 3 that will be playing at the FREE Provo Rooftop Concert Series tomorrow, May 2. I’ve never heard them in person, but like their sound from the 2 videos I found online.

I searched online and even their own Facebook page and website  are very lacking on info about the band so I can’t share much with you. Their music sounds like Bon Iver, Band of Horses, and Fleet Foxes. The Daily Herald’s The Ticket claims “Rootsy southern rock mixed with subtle ambient vibes is Strange Family’s specialty.”


Utah Local: Rico Cocina y Tequila Bar

I wanted to find somewhere different to have dinner with my children, but it had to have food that all of them would eat. It's not easy ...