Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Community Shared Agriculture -- Week 4

With week 4 comes an awful lot of rain in NJ, and that is starting to be seen in our CSA box of this week.  While some crops, such as asparagus and strawberries, were plentiful, others were not as hearty this week.  This weeks box contained many containers of strawberries, several bunches of asparagus, red leaf lettuce, scallions, carrots with their greens, yellow and red tomatoes, spinach, dill, and a mint plant.

One of the things I have been enjoying are the plants that we have received.  It allows me to place them into pots and have an herb garden right by my back door near my kitchen.  This way fresh herbs are only a pinch away.  For those of you who many not be familiar with cooking with fresh herbs, there is nothing better!  So if you get the chance to find your favorite herbs in a local market try some fresh herbs instead of jarred dried ones.  The taste is distinctly different and adds a color and freshness to even the simplest of dishes.

My children and I also went strawberry picking at the farm this week while the strawberries are at the peek of sweetness.  We now have enough strawberries that we will be baking  a pie later today as well as making some jam.  Below is the recipe we plan to use for our jam.  It's simple yet very tastey.  I was given this recipe from a dear friend who had brought a jar of this to my home recently and we just couldn't get enough of it.  I believe she adapted it from an Ina Garten recipe many years ago.

Easy  Strawberry Jam


  1. 3 pints of fresh strawberries
  2. 3 cups of superfine sugar
  3. 2 tablespoons orange-flavored liqueur (we recommend Grand Marnier)
  4. 1/2 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and diced small
  5. 1/2 cup fresh blue berries.


  • Place the strawberries into a colander and since them under cold running water.  Drain and hull the strawberries.  Cut the larger berries in half or quarters and leave the small berries whole.  Place the strawberries in a deep, heavy-bottomed pot such as a heavy dutch oven and toss them with the sugar and Grand Marnier.  
  • Bring the berry mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring often.  Add the apple and blueberries and continue to keep the mixture at a rolling boil, stirring occasionally, until the jam reaches 220 degrees on a candy thermometer.  This takes about 25 to 35 minutes.
  • Skim and discard any foam that rises to the top.  Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature and then store covered in the refrigerator.  It will keep refrigerated for at least 2 weeks.  To keep the jam longer, pack and seal in canning jars. 

It doesn't seem to least more than 2 weeks in my home, so we haven't canned any  yet.  Perhaps this time if we have enough strawberries we can make a now jar and a canned jar or two for future.

I also wanted to share a recipe for using up the greens at the tops of your carrots.  In past years  I always just threw away the greens at the tops of my carrots because I knew we didn't want to eat those.  I was certain of it.  This year I decided to see if there were any yummy uses for these greens as I know they are filled with nutrients that would be beneficial to my family.   One of the women that I see weekly at the farm shared a recipe with me that I plan to try out this week, and thought that you all might want to try it as well if you have carrot greens to use.  enjoy!

Carrot Green, Parsley, and Hazelnut Pesto for Pasta


  1. 3/4 cup hazelnuts
  2. 1/8 cup carrot leaves chopped
  3. 1/8 cup parsley chopped
  4. 1 clove garlic
  5. juice of 1 lemon
  6. 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  7. 1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
  8. sea salt (to taste)


  • Toast the nuts at 325 degrees for a few minutes to bring out their nutty flavor.  In a food processor, puree the nuts, carrot leaves, parsley leaves, lemon juice, and garlic.  Pour in cheese, salt, and olive oil.  Start with 1/4 cup olive oil and blend.   Increase the oil if the pas to is too thick.  Do not put the whole 1/2 cup in at once as it might be too much oil.
  • Cook your pasta anyway you like it, any type that you enjoy.  Toss with the fresh pesto sauce while the pasta is still hot.  

We will be trying this recipe tonight for dinner along with a spinach and strawberry salad from our vegetables in the box.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Summer Time Drink

I live in an area with a lot of wineries. Many of the wineries here make fruit wines such as cherry, peach and pear because we have so many orchards in the area too.  Recently on a trip to visit our favorite winery - they shared a recipe for Cherry Lemonade Wine.

This past weekend, I made burgers, corn on the cob and served some Cherry Lemonade Wine with it. It was delish! So dangerous though because it almost tastes like just a cherry limeade instead of wine.

I halved this recipe for just the 2 of us. But if you have more than 2 people you will need the full recipe. You will go through even this full recipe - quickly.

Cherry Lemonade Wine

2 bottles of cherry wine
12 oz can of frozen lemonade (the frozen concentrate)

Combine lemonade and cherry wine. Don't add water - you are using the wine in place of the water. Add ice, orange slices or other fruit such as blueberries.  

We liked that the ice kind of watered it a little bit because it cut some of the tartness.  But if you want the full strength of the lemonade then make ice cubes with the mixture before hand and use those in it.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Community Shared Agriculture - Week 3

It's been so wonderful so far and we are only in week 3.  The weather has been fantastic for growing all sorts of delicious greens, tomatoes, sweet onions, herbs, and berries.  We've had just enough rain in NJ that everything is growing nice and easy and early.  It's making for fantastic boxes for this year's CSA.  We were blessed with another jar of honey from the farm this week, along with more berries, asparagus, onions, tomatoes, red and yellow beets, lots of greens (bib, leaf, spinach, escarole, collards, and argugala), along with carrots, and a basil plant.

With all of last week's delicious produce, my family ate some wonderful healthy foods.  I will share some of those yummy recipes with you at the end of this post.  One of the things I enjoy about the CSA is all the helpful tips for saving produce for future use that the farmer shares with the members of the CSA.  This week is no exception.  This week I learned that one of the best ways, besides pickling, to put up beets for future eating is to scrub, steam, or roast the beets.  Peel them, and cut them into uniform pieces, and then freeze them.  I use my foodsaver to freeze my produce as it lasts longer in the freezer that way, but if you don't own a food saver appliance, just be sure to get out as much air from the freezer bag as possible prior to freezing.  Saving your beets this way allows them to be used in later recipes or salads without them going bad or to waste for not using them timely.  It also helps lock in the nutrients of these delicious vegetables.

I hope you are enjoying all of the produce of the current season.  Remember to eat local as often as possible to help lower your carbon footprint.  

Asparagus and Mushroom Salad

  • 1 pound asparagus
  • 1/2 pound mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley and chives 1 cup arugula
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (to taste)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced or pureed
  • 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 ounce slivered Parmesan

Steam the asparagus for three to five minutes, depending on how thick the stalks are. It should be tender but still have some bite. Rinse with cold water, and drain for a minute on a kitchen towel. Cut into 1-inch lengths. Place in a salad bowl, and toss with the mushrooms, herbs and arugula.
Whisk together the lemon juice, salt and pepper, garlic and olive oil. Toss with the asparagus mixture and the slivered Parmesan, and serve. 

Tuscan Bean and Wilted Arugula Salad (see side note)

  • 3/4 cup dried white kidney beans
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 5 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, divided 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 6 cups trimmed baby arugula 3/4 cup thinly sliced red onion

Sort and wash beans; place in a large bowl. Cover with water to 2 inches above beans; cover and let stand 8 hours or overnight. Drain beans. Place beans in a large saucepan. Cover with water to 3 inches above beans; add bay leaf. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 1 hour and 15 minutes or until tender. Drain beans; discard bay leaf. Place beans in a large bowl; sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Let stand 5 minutes. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon oil; toss gently to coat.
Heat 4 teaspoons of oil in a small nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add garlic; sauté 45 seconds or just until garlic begins to gently brown. Remove from heat; stir in juice. Place arugula in a large bowl; sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add warm bean mixture, garlic
mixture, and onion; toss gently to combine. 

**note**  my family did not enjoy this recipe.  My children were not fans of argula or the white beans.  I think that if you enjoy this type of green and beans you will definitely enjoy this recipe, but for us this is not a keeper.

Recipe adapted from Cooking Light Magazine

Macerated Strawberries in Honey, Vanilla and Orange Liqueur

  • 1 pint strawberries, hulled and sliced 2- 3 T local honey
  • 2 T. orange liqueur
  • 1⁄2 t. vanilla extract

Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour, until a syrup forms. 
**note**  I served this one over freshly baked angel food cake, but it would be equally delicious over frozen ice cream or yogurt, or pound cake.  You also don't need to bake your own, store bought works equally wonderful with this.  You can also serve with some fresh whipped cream for added decadence.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Friday Favorites

Pinterest - If you aren't on Pinterest, well you are missing out on a great place to find tips, tricks, recipes, DIY projects, crafts, fashion, art, and inspiration throughout.  It is where I am finding most of my Friday Favorites now. On the sidebar there is a link to Domestic Servitude's Pinterest boards, please feel free to follow us.

DIY Garden Markers - This is an easy but project that would look nice in any garden or make a nice gift

27 Tips for Simple Entertaining - some good tips. I especially enjoyed the tip about getting people out of the house before the party because I tell you that is when I am the most frenzied and I don't want to take my stress out on others.

Blackberry Sage Cooler -  This is a non-alcoholic drink and it sounds like a heavenly drink to have in the summer.

How to Store Produce - a nice list about which fruits or veggies to refrigerate or keep at room temp


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Community Shared Agriculture - Week 2

With the first week of this season's CSA behind me, the girls and I headed to the farm yesterday in the rain.  Farm day at our house is big doings.  The kids look forward all week to feeding all the different animals, climbing hay bales, and sometimes getting to pick their own fruit (depending on what is in season).  We also look forward to whatever goodies await us in the share box.  This week was no exception, except that for the past two weeks the rain has been horrible on pick up day and that has meant we can't do most of our usual farm activities.  Yet with all of the much needed rain beautiful produce abounds.

In this weeks share we were provided lots of yummy greens once again, as well as beets, tomatoes, asparagus, and strawberries.  Asparagus and Strawberries are in abundance right now in New Jersey and there is nothing better in my opinion than freshly cut asparagus and picked same day strawberries.  Both are wonderful additions to a farm box filled with greens and beets.

We were also given a large jar of Clover honey that is simply scrumptious!  The farm raises bees and produces a variety of honey types, but I think Clover honey is one of the best that they sell.  So it was an extra special treat to be given a large jar in our share this week.

I want to talk a little bit this week about raw foods and the importance of having them in our every day diet.  The nutrients and enzymes are often broken down and destroyed in the cooking process of vegetables instead of when we eat them raw.  Raw clean foods give you added energy and help to maintain all of the various body processes.  So try and keep a portion of the foods you eat raw each day and you will start to notice a difference in how you feel.

Last week with the addition of onions and leeks to our share I made a wonderful Fritatta.    One of the things I love about fritattas is that you can serve them for just about any meal.  For breakfast they are simple and easy, for lunch they can be elegant when paired with a fresh salad, and if you hearty up your side dishes they can make a wonderful dinner addition as well.  The best part is that anything goes in a fritatta fairly well so it's a wonderful way to use up left overs of all types.  In order to save time during the week for when I need a quick meal I will often make extra vegetables and set some aside so that at the end of the week I can make a fritatta as one of my meals for my family.  That way its a quick go to meal and most of the prep is already completed.  I hope you enjoy the recipe below:

Leek and Vegetable Fritatta

  •  2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup chopped leeks (white parts only)
  • 1 bunch of asparagus trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 or 3 medium red potatoes peeled and either sliced or diced
  • 1 cup of mushrooms sliced
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1 cup cheese (I used fontina this time but any type of cheese that you enjoy would work)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese


Preheat broiler.  Melt butter in a heavy oven/broiler proof pan (I like using either a cast iron skillet or a nonstick skillet that is safe for oven) over medium heat on your cook top.  Add leeks and sauté 4 to 5 minutes.  Add the other vegetables (if you don't have the vegetables I listed above, you can really use any type that you enjoy).  Sprinkle lightly with salt and sauté until tender.  (about 6 minutes)  Whisk eggs, fontina cheese, salt and pepper into a bowl.  Add egg mixture to skillet; fold in to combine egg mixture with vegetables.  Cook until almost set.  Sprinkle any remaining cheese over the top and put skillet in the oven.  Broil until frittata is puffed and cheese begins to turn golden in color (about 3 minutes).  Let sit for 5 minutes once removed from oven before cutting into wedges and serving.

I am looking forward to sharing some recipes next week with you on the yummy dishes I make using the variety of greens we received this week, as well as the strawberries.  I see a dessert in my future, as well as some fantastic salads or sautéed greens.  So until next week... find a farmers market in your area and pick out some tasty produce and try your hand at eating some raw foods this week.  Happy Eating

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Easy Peasy Corn Squeezy

I'm probably the last person on the internet to learn this little magic trick, but in case I'm not, I'm sharing. And if you all already knew it, why didn't you SHARE IT WITH ME?!

It's magically easy. So easy and so magical I called my MOTHER(*) to share it with her.

It's all about corn on the cob and the horrors of cleaning those millions of silky little threads that are never, ever completely removed and get stuck in between your teeth like corn-flavored floss.

Okay, maybe for most people cleaning corn it isn't a "horror". But here's a little back story that puts my personal horror into perspective.

So, I grew up in a house in the country surrounded by cornfields. I mean that literally. Our driveway was (is, as my parents still live there) a quarter mile long, single car wide dirt lane cut right down the middle of a corn field, that leads to the house sitting on about a half acre of cleared land that is completely circled by corn fields.

Here; I drew a picture to help you visualize:

Walking down to catch the school bus in the early morning darkness became an "experience" after Children of the Corn came out, let me tell you.

The guy who owns the farmland is a personal friend of my parents who also happens to be the guy who sold them the house. Like, they went to grade school together or some such thing. So when Farmer Bob was out working the corn fields, my dad was usually helping or my mom was running out lemonade and other such 1950's stuff.

Because Farmer Bob is a nice guy, and because my parents had more kids than they knew what to do with (nine. NINE.), he always invited my parents to help themselves to as much corn as they wanted, provided they weren't selling it or anything.

So they did help themselves. And we had to help them. Bushels full of corn, folks. Corn every night when it was in season. Corn picked to be canned. Corn picked to be frozen. Corn, corn, corn.

I remember many a hot summer day sitting on the porch shucking corn, with a bucket between my knees to catch the corn husks.

And the threads. The stubborn, stuck on, millions of tiny threads. Pick, pick, pick.

I had blisters. That's not even hyperbole, I swear. I had blisters from shucking corn. (Farmer Bob alternated his corn crop with green beans. Ask me how much I like snapping beans. >:-| )

Anyway! Even though I like the taste of corn, when I moved out on my own, I bet it was years before I touched a corn cob. Hate shucking corn. Hate picking threads off. Hate eating the threads. Hate. Hate. HATE.

But it's so yummy, you know? All smothered in hot, melty butter and sprinkled with salt and pepper. Mmmm. So I've relented over the years and I make corn on the cob sometimes. Once or twice a season, maybe. Plus, Babygirl chows it down like in the cartoons, type-writer style, until she's got little corn kernels all over her cheeks and nose. "MOAR CORN, BEEBAW!" Who can deny that? Not this granny!

So when I read this little tip on Pinterest, I figured since I've literally tried cooking corn on the cob every other way EVAR, why not give it one more go?

I'll tell you how it goes. It. were. beautiful. That's how.

Here's what you do. Make sure you're rested; it's exhausting.

Take an ear of corn and do nothing to it. Nothing. Don't shuck it. Don't open it. Don't cut it. Don't pull off a single thread. Put it in your microwave for 4 minutes(**). That's IT.

Put it in, turn it on, walk away.

Until it beeps and then you gotta walk back, but bring oven mitts. That little bugger is HOT.

Put the steamy ear of corn on a cutting board, take a big knife and saw off the root end (is there an official name for the root end? I don't know.)

Here's the magic part. Ready?

Using your oven mitts, hold the ear of corn up, cut end down, and squeeze. Your steamed to tender-crisp perfection, and PERFECTLY SILK FREE piece of corn on the cob will slide right out the cut end. Perfectly.

I forgot to take pictures, so let me draw you another one:

Perfect corn. Perfectly easy.

I made six ears, it took me about 25 minutes. It'd take me that long, or longer, to shuck, de-thread, and boil six ears.

I was amazed. Inappropriately so, perhaps.

Probably because of the memory of those blisters. ~nods~

(*)She was unimpressed by the way. I mean, of course she was. Not because she already knew of this trick-o-the-trade, but because she's convinced the microwaves radiate your brain. Did you know I grew up in a microwave-less house? I was so deprived. You have no idea.

(**)In my microwave, which is fairly powerful, it took 4 minutes per ear. Less powerful microwaves might take a few more minutes.

Monday, May 14, 2012


We always are trying to do it find ways so that can make our room more soundproof.  We don't have kids or anything but well the houses in our neighborhood are close together. If our neighbor is standing in her yard, there is no doubt she can hear us...well me moaning and screaming during sex. Not like I can go and hand my neighbors some headphones and say "we are having sex tomorrow please be aware there will be lots of screaming and moaning." I guess I could but not sure it would go over well. 

Here are a few ways to help eliminate some of the sound....
1. Trees - Trees and bushes planted around your property can create a natural sound proof barrier.  Even just planting some in front of your windows help sound proof.   It helps absorb the sound coming into your house as well as out.  

2. Make MORE noise -  such as tv or music. Or better yet have a fountain or white noise machine.  Also are you worried about your tv and music making too much noise?  Make sure they are off the flloor - speakers on the floor vibrate and spread the noise. If they are sitting on top of something it helps absorb some of the vibrations and sound. 

3. Doors - Get solid wood doors as the sound waves won't travel through those as much as they do through the hollow ones.  Also place weatherstripping around the doors leading outside.

4. Electrical Outlets - When electrical outlets are inserted into wall spaces they usually have big gaps around them that are covered by the outlet cover. So remove your outlet covers, fill in the space around the electrical outlet with acoustical caulk, and then replace the cover after it has set. 

5. Holes and Cracks - Like the electrical outlets there are lots of other holes and cracks in walls.  Check around windows and doors, pipes and wires, heat vents, and light switches.  You can fill any the cracks with an appropriate filler like insulation, foam or acoustical or silicon caulk.  To find holes and cracks turn out your lights and see where light flows into the room and those are your spots where noise escapes. 

Of course there are some more expensive and serious ways to sound proofing a room such as using double drywall with a special glue between the pieces that helps absorb noise. Or insulating or using mass-loaded vinyl.   Just make sure you research before putting lots of money and time into soundproofing. 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Friday Favorites

Not Just an Egg Salad - this egg salad has eggs, walnuts, broccolini, grapes, apple, asparagus, and sprouts in it with a curry dressing. The whole blog is really good - vegetarian recipes.

Mango Citrus Body Butter - homemade - it is a review of a book on DIY natural beauty products and then a recipe for the body butter

Still Tasty - a shelf life guide

3 Budget DIY Countertops - shows examples of painting, concrete and butcher block and links to blogs that did these methods

10 Ways to Organize Your Fridge -  has a picture gallery of different ways to organize your fridge

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Community Shared Agriculture - Week One

My family and I were counting down the days until our first CSA box of the season and it's finally here. In a previous post awhile back Domestic Servitude: Community Supported Agriculture I discussed what a CSA was and why I liked it so much. I am so thankful that we have such an abundance of great farms to choose from in our area for wonderful produce that is locally grown (most organic or pesticide free) all season long. While I still have to purchase from the grocery store or other produce stores items not grown in our area, with the start of our CSA share 3 years ago we have also learn to eat more of what is grown local and in the season it is grown.

That's the interesting thing about produce and the way most people eat today.  Since grocery stores carry a variety of items from a variety of locations many families never realize that strawberries have an actual season and aren't grown year round in your community. The same with summer squash, mangoes, and the list goes on. While it is certainly wonderful to be able to get our favorite items year round, I have found it equally wonderful to learn to enjoy the season of the produce and eat as much locally grown fresh items as possible. It leaves less of a carbon footprint, and is healthier and more often than not less expensive, than the other options. So with all of that, our CSA started this week. And what a joy it was to see such an abundance of greens (red leaf, green leaf, spinach, arugula, flat leaf parsley,radish greens, and a variety of herbs). Additionally in this weeks share was the first pick of strawberries grown at the farm, candy onions, scallions, radishes, vine ripened tomatoes, fresh cut asparagus, and leeks.

One of the joys and challenges of not knowing each week until pick up day (for us that's a Tuesday afternoon) what will be in our share that week is finding recipes to use up all of the items, or knowing which will keep if I freeze them or jar them. This early in the season the box is filled with primarily greens as that is what grows best in early spring in New Jersey. So our meals focus more on salads of varying kinds.

Last night since I already had dinner planned prior to picking up our share, the only addition to our dinner was some fresh asparagus from the box. My favorite way to enjoy asparagus that is fresh is simply to steam it and use a little bit of herbed butter on it. I always keep herbed butter in my refrigerator as it has a variety of uses and keeps for a long time. It's also super easy to make your own herbed butter using whatever herbs you enjoy most. In this case my herbed butter was a garlic and parsley butter. However, you can also roast your asparagus, or stir fry your asparagus, or even steam it and use it in a salad the next day. It's a very versatile vegetable even though it does have a strong flavor and some would say its an acquired taste to enjoy it (my girls would definitely say that - as they aren't fans of asparagus! That just leaves more of this wonderful vegetable for Himself and I to enjoy)

Tonight's dinner, and most of the dinners this week however, will focus on making greens the main thing on the plate. tonight will be a pan seared scallops over wilted spinach with fresh orange and garlic dressing. Since that alone won't be enough of a meal for Himself, I will also bake some fresh bread to go with that salad.

The greens will only last about 4 to 5 days at the most, so we always try and use those first from our box. If you get any type of lettuce or other greens from a farm be sure to clean the leaves extra well as generally they are only surface rinsed before the farmer gives/sells them to you. So there is a lot of grit and grime left behind. I find that I use my salad spinner more in the months of May, June, and July than any other months of the year as that seems to be the months when we receive the most greens in our share. The candy onions,radishes, and scallions will stay up to a month if you store them in a paper bag and keep in a cool place (or in the vegetable crisper). We cook with a fair amount of onions, especially sweet ones such as candy onions, quite often. When I am not cooking with them, I tend to sauté them and freeze the sautéed items to save at a later time to use in soup stock, or other recipes that may call for onion as a starting point. It's a great way to put up the items for later use. I sauté them and either put them into ice cube trays with a little bit of water so that they can freeze into cubes, or I freeze them in a freezer bag (I love my food saver appliance). Both ways are great at saving items in a fresh state and locking in all that yummy flavor goodness.

Each week of the CSA I am going to be posting about what is in our share and provide some recipes, tips, and other information about the various items. I hope you enjoy these installments. With that I leave you with a few tips and recipes this week.  I would love any feedback, or comments you wish to share about experiences you have with your gardens, CSAs, farms, vegetables, or any recipes you wish to share.  I look forward to this exchange.

How to care for Cilantro:

  1. Snip the bottoms off of the stems
  2. make sure the leaves are completely dry and do not rinse them until you are about to use them (as they stay fresh longer unwashed)
  3. fill a jar or water glass partially with water and place the stem ends of the herbs in the water in the jar
  4. Cilantro loves cool temperatures and should be stored in the refrigerator.  Cover the leaves with plastic in the refrigerator.
  5. Change the water every 2 to 3 days.  The herbs should last up to 10 days this way.
Cilantro Chicken Salad
  • 2 cups chopped cooked chicken (this is a great way to use that left over chicken from a prior meal)
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 2 tablespoons slivered almonds
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro leaf
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • salt, to taste
  1. In a large bowl, combine chopped cooked chicken, onion, celery, almonds, and cilantro
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together mayo, sugar, soy sauce, pepper, and salt (if needed)
  3. Pour dressing over salad mixture and toss well to evenly mix
  4. Chill before serving
  5. Serve over a bed of mixed greens, or on a hearty roll such as multi grain, brown bread, or potato roll.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Tacos a New Way

We really enjoy eating Mexican or Tex-Mex type food here. So I always keep my eye out for new ways to do something we normally eat - like tacos.  I found this recipe all over Pinterest but I used the recipe on Plain Chicken for Taco Cupcakes.

Taco Cups

1 lb ground beef or turkey
1 packet taco seasoning 
2/3 cup water
1 can black beans, drained
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
36 wonton wrappers
your favorite taco toppings - salsa, cheese, sour cream, lettuce, tomatoes, etc
cooking spray

Preheat oven to 375.

Brown the meat in a skillet and drain off fat. Return the meat to the skillet; add the taco seasoning, water and black beans.  Mix and simmer for 7-10 minutes, until water is absorbed.

Spray 18 regular muffin pan cups with cooking spray.  Place one wonton wrapper in each muffin cup.  Divide half of the taco meat between muffin cups.  Sprinkle half of the cheese over the cupcakes.  Repeat layers - wonton, taco meat and cheese.  Bake at 375 for 20 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly and wontons are golden brown.  Top with your favorite taco toppings.

* I actually made 20 so I don't think I filled them all quite as full as maybe I should have but they all were still very full.

* I find that wontons wrappers can dry out quickly so I did 6 at a time. I put 6 muffin tins with the bottom layer of wontons, filled them meat mixture and then added the next wonton layer topping with the meat layer and cheese. Then moved on to the next 6 so that the wontons wouldn't dry out.  

click on the title of the post and then click the print button


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