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Showing posts from June 5, 2011

Cilantro Hummus with a Zip

This recipe is for my daughter, Kaitlynn.  I have to openly confess to all that if you would have asked me about a year ago, if I liked hummus, I would have been polite and told you it was "alright".  When I think back on it, and using my own slide rule, I must have had some bad hummus in the past, cause it was never something I craved.  Along came Kaitlynn.  She moved back home for awhile and when she did, she brought with her a collection of food tastes that I must admit were not because of my sphere of influence.   Goat cheese and hummus were (and still are) on the top of her list.  She would come home from the grocery store with all kinds of uniquely flavored hummus and I quietly thought to myself, "that makes sense, add some flavor to the stuff, cause alone it tastes pretty nasty".   I never tried it.  UNTIL, I was at a friends house the other night for dinner.  She had come home from house hunting in Florida and brought with her a hummus recipe that their hos…

Pasta Chicken Salad

I have a sister-in-law that in the summer has five salads that she makes, one for each night of the week. She serves the salad with a chunk of fresh bread and cool lemonade.   This is one of those five salads and is very good on a hot summer night!

2 pounds of pasta (bow-tie, seashell, or smaller pasta noodle)
2-4 ribs of celery, diced
1 c seedless red grapes, rinsed and cut in half
1-2 cans mandarin oranges, drained well
4 green onions, sliced fine
2-3 c of seasoned cooked chicken, cooled
1 c of cashew halves
1 bottle of T Marzetti or Kraft Coleslaw dressing
1 c mayonnaise

Cook pasta until done.  Drain and rinse in cold water.  Cool complete.

In a large mixing bowl add cooked pasta, celery, grapes, oranges, green onion, and chicken.  Mix well.

In small bowl combine coleslaw dressing and mayonnaise.  Mix thoroughly, until smooth and creamy.

Add the dressing mix to the chicken/pasta mix.  Do not add all at once, but add half and then continue adding until desired consistency/taste is …

Morels - Repost to Archive

Morel season.  A friend called me up the other night and asked if I wanted a bucket of Morels.  I quickly said yes.  I have fond memories of escaping the house to the woods across the street and hunting for morels for my mother.  The forests near my childhood home were full of Elm and Ash trees and in the spring, she would send us out for a hunt.  (I don’t know if that is because she really wanted the mushrooms or if she wanted us out of the house?).  We would come home with a few buckets full of the mushrooms and she would fry them up.    My husband has similar memories of eating the great wild mushrooms also as a child.  For those of you in and near Wisconsin, this last weekend was Morel Mushroom Festival in Muscoda WI, the morel capital of Wisconsin.
Now my friend wanted to know how to cook them and I thought, what a great idea for the What is… for this week.   Here is the Midwest (where one half of the Plucky Housewives resides), morels are plentiful.   I am not one to try and red…

Strawberries and Strawberries...

When I was first married, I went to a fathering for women in our neighborhood.  It was a brunch, so everyone brought something to niddble on.  For dessert, this recipe was served.  It is a great dessert if you need to feed a lot of people, or you can reduce the recipe in half to just feed your smaller family.   You will love it.  I have used frozen strawberries and fresh ones.  Of course, the fresh ones are to die for, but the frozen ones are a snap to use.  You get to decide which one you want.  Its all yummy!

1 pkg Danish Dessert (you can find this in the same area as the jello)
1-2 pkg fresh strawberries (or 1-2 pkg frozen strawberries).  How much you use depends on how strong a flavor you want.
1 white cake mix
1 pkg (8 oz) of cream cheese
1 c of whipped topping (regular whip cream does not work as well with this recipe)

Make the Danish Dessert sauce according to the pie glaze directions on the package.  Add the berries at the last few minutes if you want to cook the fruit.  You c…
Asparagus:  Yes, we all know its a spring vegetable, it can be cultivated or found growing wild, but did you know it was once classified in the same family as a lily?  AND that its considered a flowering perennial?  For all you vintage cookbook aficionados, did you know that there is a recipe for asparagus in the oldest book of recipes:  De re coquinaria Book III by Apicius - 3rd century.  They were mad about it in ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome, but it lost its favor during the European conquests until Louis XIV took a hankering to it and built some special greenhouses!!
Asparagus is low in calories, low sodium and it a super source of vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium and zinc, let alone a good source of dietary fiber!  In fact, this special little stalk is loaded with almost all the most important vitamins and minerals, so you really cant go wrong.
For additional nutritional data, click here.  
For you gardeners, here's some growing tidbits!
While my husband and I were in England, I h…

Pie Birds (a repost to archive)

About 10 years ago, I received a present from my mother-in-law.  It was a beautiful red (wonderful color) pie dish with this ceramic bird in a plastic box.  The plate I was thrilled with, but the BIRD?  Why was this bird in the pie dish.  It was cute, but so are a lot other things!  I used the pie plate a lot, but put the bird away.  Then, one day, I was reading in one of my favorite magazine, Country Living, and saw that there were people out there actually collecting pie birds!  I remembered receiving a pie bird and quickly looked through my kitchen gadgets and found it.  I made an apple pie with the bird in the middle and it came out fun and delicious.
What the pie does is it gives the pie (a double crust fruit pie) an outlet for the steam to escape, thus making it so your pie filling stays in the pie and not all over your oven!!
Take your pie crust and cover the bottom of the pie dish.  Center the pie bird in the pie plate, on top of the crust.   Place the filling into the pie and a…

Potato Pancakes (Latkes)

I love potato pancakes. My mother made the best potato pancakes and when I lived in New York in the early to mid 80s, I refined by potato pancake making abilities! My children (especially one daughter in particular) could love and could live off potato pancakes. My husband now loves potato pancakes. So here, try our potato pancakes!

You can eat them alone, or with a meat (they go well with a brisket or a pork chop (for those that eat pork). They are good for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!

8 medium Idaho potatoes, peeled
1 sweet (Vidalia) onion
Lemon juice
1 c flour
1 c half and half (whole milk can be substituted)
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 T baking powder (or matzo added to the flour)
2 T melted butter
Salt and pepper to taste

Grate potatoes using a food processor or the large-hole side of a hand grater. Chop onion into a size similar to the grated potato. Combine onion and potatoes. Sprinkle with lemon juice and let drain. Mix flour, half and half, eggs baking powder toge…