June: School’s Out: Recipe

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​For the past several summers, my kids have enjoyed taste testing. They’ve already asked about it this year, and school isn’t quite finished yet. I would go to the supermarket and pick out three to five new foods to try, usually exotic fruits that they didn’t typically get on a regular basis. I’d only get one of each and cut them into pieces for each of us to have a taste. If we really liked something, we’d go back to the store for more.

This is truly a great summer activity. Try new foods, offer healthy choices, add to our vocabulary, increase kitchen skills, and tick another day off the countdown back to school. At this age, the kids join me about halfway through wanting to return to their friends and schedules.

Not everything will go over well. My son desperately wanted anchovies. We ordered a pizza with two slices only with anchovies. The picture of his face is priceless and still makes me laugh. Just mentioning the word anchovy makes his whole face scrunch up. He did not like them at all.

Here is a list (below the cut) of some of the things we’ve tried, some we’re still thinking about fot this year, and suggestions for your own taste test day.

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May: Flowers, Birds, Dances: Recipe

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I found the most delicious curry chicken salad at The Fresh Market. Unfortunately, The Fresh Market isn’t convenient for me to get to as often as I’d like, so I deconstructed the salad, and devised my own recipe. I share it with you here:

Curry Chicken Salad
Ingredients:

1 cup Mayo

1 TB + 1 tsp. Sweet Curry Powder

Scallions, 1-2 stalks

1 small box Golden Raisins, about 1/4cup

2 TB Mango Chutney

2 1/2tsp. Chopped Pecans

Fresh ground pepper (I did five turns with a pepper mill)

Chicken, cooked, cut into cubes (in the picture that goes with this, the chicken is cut much smaller than I would have liked) – about 2 cups is what I used; with cubed it may come out to more if you’re actually measuring it.

Water chestnuts, drained – about 1/8-1/4cup (I just grabbed a handful and diced them)
Mix 1 cup of Mayonnaise and 1 TB + 1 tsp. Sweet Curry Powder and set aside.

Most of the rest is to taste.

Cut up chicken and put into a separate bowl.

Add diced scallions, chopped water chestnuts, a handful of golden raisins, 2 TB of mango chutney, about 1 tsp. of pepper (put in however much you like for your own tastes), 2 1/2tsp. pecans.

Mix with a fork.

Add in the mayo mixture and mix again, then add more until you have the desired consistency. If it’s too wet, add more chicken or solids like the scallions and water chestnuts, etc. If it’s too dry, add more of the mayo mixture (you should have a little left over.)

March: Blustery, Green, Wet: Recipe

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One of my favorite comfort foods, and perfect for the cold, unpredictable days of March is Sherpherd’s Pie. I have always called it Shepherd’s Pie as has my mother-in-law who is actually from Ireland, but alas over the years I have been informed (many times) that what I make is not Shepherd’s Pie. The last time, in fact, was when I was in Northern Ireland and our cousin, Christine, made this for us one night for tea. Shepherd’s Pie is made from mutton, or sheep. What I make, and what she made for us is better known as Cottage Pie, which is basically the same thing except substituting beef in the place of mutton.

I used to make this with ground beef, but after seeing my mother-in-law in the kitchen, I began to use leftover roast beef, which is traditionally how it is made.

It is a great leftover dish, both made from leftovers and to eat as a leftover, but I’ve yet to have it last more than a meal and a half.

The ingredients I use are:

Leftover roast beef, cut into small chunks or diced. Uniformity is not necessary.

Leftover gravy, 2 TB Worcestershire sauce, 1/4 cup HP sauce (found in the international aisle of your supermarket) or you can use ketchup.

Leftover sliced carrots, peas, anything really. If you have no leftover vegetables, use half a bag of frozen peas and carrots.

Mashed potatoes.

Cover with cheddar cheese and sprinkle with bread crumbs, although the bread crumbs are optional.

Bake for 45 minutes at 350.

Scoop and eat. It goes well with dinner rolls, Yorkshire pudding, salad.

It is delicious and filling.

January: New Year, New Beginnings: Recipe

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This past holiday season I went through all of those pinned posts, saved Tasty videos on Facebook, and thought that I would try one or three new recipes out. As it turned out, between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, I tried out eight new recipes, some from the internet (Facebook and Pinterest) and a couple that I created on my own. Others I combined elements from more than one source.
If I do say so myself, they were phenomenal! I would make almost all of them again.

Even though the New Year’s parties are over, some of us are still eating appetizers for dinner, and the Super Bowl is not that far off. I thought I’d share this first experiment that my family absolutely loved!

I got the idea from a Tasty video for stuffed meatballs as well as my love for Cornish pasties that I developed a taste for on my first trip to England.

I let an 8oz. block of cream cheese soften. (I actually didn’t use a full block; this one had been started but it was mostly all there)

I then added in 1/2 a bag of frozen chopped spinach, 1/2 teaspoon (or your preference) of garlic powder, and 1/4 cup of cheddar cheese (again, use your preferred cheese).

Mix well.

I then took a box of Pillsbury pie crusts and rolled them out one at a time. I used a 1 cup measuring cup to cut the dough into circles, then balled the dough and did it all over again until there was no dough left, only a pile of circles.

I placed a small spoonful of the spinach mixture in each circle, covered it with another circle, pressed it closed with a fork, and brushed them with an egg wash. (Another option is to put less mixture and fold the circle over into a halfmoon shape, sealing and brushing it in the same way. This will give you twice as many hand pies if you’re serving several small items).

Bake at 350° for 10 minutes or until a golden color.

My family couldn’t get enough of them.
Ingredient List

1 box Pillsbury (or preferred brand) pie crusts

1 8oz. brick of cream cheese (I use Philadelphia brand)

1/2 bag of frozen chopped spinach

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1/4 cup cheddar (or preferred) cheese

1 egg (for egg wash)

Follow the directions as outlined above.

Tasty Tuesday – Dinomite’s Fluffy Bites Recipe – Allrecipes.com

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Dinomite’s Fluffy Bites – this recipe was created by my teammate for our GishWhes team, Brave Little Ants last week. The flag in the cupcake is our symbol, designed by another teammate.

The ingredients include kale which is the (un)official food stuff of GishWhes.