Thursday, August 27, 2009

Leonore's S'mores Bars

My friend, Leonore, first introduced me to these beauties 2 years ago at a Primary Presidency meeting. She created these all on her own, and I kept bugging her for the recipe. She said, "They're like Rice Krispie Treats but you throw a handful of marshmallows and chocolate chips once they're in the pan."

I'm a concrete recipe follower, so such instructions made me a little anxious. Last night, I was brave enough (or desperate enough--Nate and I start P90X on Monday) to make these. I wrote down what I did, but I still think Leonore's are better :)

Leonore's S'more Bars

1/4 c butter or dairy-free margarine
3 1/2 c Golden Grahams
3 1/2 c mini marshmallows
1/2 c chocolate chips

Melt margarine and 3 cups of marshmallows. Add all Golden Grahams and stir until covered.

Put mixture in a greased 8X8 pan. Sprinkle 1/2 c of chocolate chips and remaining marshmallows over the top.

Broil pan for 2-5 minutes to get chocolate melty and marshmallows golden brown.

Cobb Salad

A couple months ago, I couldn't think of what to make for dinner, so I had thawed some chicken breasts and had lettuce. I figured I'd just make some boring salad with chicken in it. I was chatting with a piano lesson mom who said, "The only salad my family will eat is a Cobb salad." I'd never made one at home before, but I do love them! And, they have so much stuff in them that they're quite versatile--leave out the eggs and cheese and it's a delicious "allergen-free" dinner. Leave out the bacon and chicken and it's vegetarian. THE only Cobb salad for me.

Cobb Salad
6-8 servings

1 medium-size head of iceberg lettuce, shredded--I used a head of Romaine
1 large tomato, chopped
1 1/2 c diced, cooked chicken--I grill a pack of chicken tenders with grill seasoning
1 large advocado, peeled and diced
3/4 pound bacon, cooked, drained, and crumbled--I used the whole package when feeding 6 adults
2 hard boiled eggs--I used 4 when feeding 6 adults
4 oz blue cheese, crumbled

Chive Dressing
6 T white wine vinegar
1/2 t salt
1/4 t garlic powder--I did 1/2 t of Adobo seasoning instead of the salt and garlic powder
1/4 t fresh ground pepper
3 T chopped chives
1/2 c vegetable oil--I used olive oil

Place lettuce in large salad bowl. Prepare dressing by combining salt, garlic powder, pepper, chives, and oil in a jar and shaking well. Pour the dressing over the lettuce and toss. Arrange the tomato, chicken, avocado, bacon, and eggs on top of the lettuce. Place crumbled cheese in the center of the salad. Toss at the table.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Easy Salsa

I LOVE homemade salsa and would eat it all the time if I wasn't the one who had to make it. Besides the endless chopping, my other problem with homemade salsa is that it has to be eaten within 3 days for optimal flavor, and it'll almost always go bad by day 5.

There are two women who's recipes I trust implicitly, my aunt, Katie, and my friend, Kirstin. Every time I eat their food I think, "Man, I hope I can do this one day!" And, they're always lovely about sharing their recipes. This summer, I got to try their salsa recipes, and I was thrilled to notice that they were very similar. When I heard that both were made in the food processor, I was sold! Note: the picture above was taken 6 days after the salsa was made. It lasts so long and is a thousand times better than a jar of Pace Picante.

1 large can tomatoes (Aunt Katie recommends petite diced)
1 small can diced green chiles
1 yellow bell pepper
1 small white onion or 1 bunch green onions
1/2 T garlic, crushed I used about 3-4 medium cloves, but I really like garlicky salsa
1 T sugar
1 T salt
1/4 c jarred jalapenos or 1/2 can EL PATO tomato sauce (Kirstin says that you can find this in the mexican aisle, in the YELLOW can, not green. If you want it to be hotter you can add more of this, I never do.)
1/2 bunch cilantro (Aunt Katie says stems and all, just cut a bit above the elastic that holds the bunch together)
1 large lime
In food processor, process onion, pepper, garlic, salt, sugar, lime juice.
Remove 1/2 into large bowl and process remained with jalapenos and cilantro. Add to bowl. I put my kids in charge of processing, so I, uh, didn't bother with separating out 1/2 to preseve the texture. They ground it quite fine before I realized what was going on :)

Add tomatoes to bowl and stir (Aunt Katie and Kirstin have thrown these in the processor, but Aunt Katie points out that if you get petite diced tomatoes, you can put them in after processing. We like our salsa chunky, so we did this).

*Aunt Katie notes if you want the salsa thicker, add a 4 oz can of tomato paste.
*Kirstin recommends letting the salsa refrigerate overnight to let the flavors blend.