Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Not Your Average Potato Salad

  • 1 1/2 pounds slender green beans, trimmed, halved crosswise
  • 3 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
  • 2 large red potatoes, diced
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • 9 ounces canned tuna packed in oil, drained

Cook the green beans in a large pot of boiling water until crisp-tender, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes. Using a mesh strainer, transfer the green beans to a large bowl of ice water to cool completely. Drain the green beans and pat dry with a towel. Add 2 teaspoons of salt to the same cooking liquid and bring the liquid to a simmer. Add the potatoes to the simmering liquid and cook until they are just tender but still hold their shape, about 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer the potatoes to the ice water to cool completely. Drain the potatoes and pat dry with a towel.

In a small bowl, whisk the lemon juice, garlic, oil, oregano, 1 teaspoon salt and 3/4 teaspoon pepper. Place the tomatoes, basil and parsley in a large serving bowl. Add the tuna and toss gently to combine. Add the green beans and potatoes and gently combine. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat.

Words to the Wise
This is a great spring/summer salad. I love the hardiness that the potatoes add. I opted not to use the tuna. And to make things even more easy, I just used Kraft's Honey Dion Vinaigrette dressing about 4 tablespoons.

This recipe was written by Giada de Laurentiis.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Honey Ricotta Cheesecake

* 8 ounces purchased biscotti
* 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
* 1 (12-ounce) container fresh whole milk ricotta, drained
* 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
* 3/4 cup sugar
* 1/4 cup orange blossom or clover honey
* 1 tablespoon orange zest
* 4 large eggs

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Wrap the outside of a 9-inch springform pan with 2 3/4-inch-high sides with 2 layers of heavy-duty foil. Finely grind the biscotti in a food processor. Add the melted butter and process until the crumbs are moistened. Press the crumb mixture over the bottom (not the sides) of the prepared pan. Bake until the crust is golden, about 15 minutes. Cool the crust completely on a cooling rack.

Blend the ricotta in a clean food processor until smooth. Add the cream cheese and sugar and blend well, stopping the machine occasionally and scraping down the sides of the work bowl. Blend in the honey and orange zest. Add the eggs and pulse just until blended.

Pour the cheese mixture over the crust in the pan. Place the springform pan in a large roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the springform pan. Bake until the cheesecake is golden and the center of the cake moves slightly when the pan is gently shaken, about 1 hour and 5 minutes (the cake will become firm when it is cold).

Transfer the cake to a rack and cool 1 hour. Refrigerate until the cheesecake is cold, at least 8 hours and up to 2 days. Cut the cake into wedges and serve.

Words to the Wise
I love this cheesecake recipe. It is just so light and fluffy that its like a cloud on your plate. For the crust, I have used graham crackers or Nilla Wafers in place of the biscotti because sometime biscotti is difficult to find and expensive. I have also used lemon and orange zest just to brighten the cake up more. Top this with a few fresh berries and you have the perfect summer dessert.

This recipe is by Giada de Laurentiis.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Inside Out Cheeseburgers

  • Pre-made Ground Beef Patties
  • 2 oz Cheese of Your Choice
Place cheese in the center of one patty and then take a second patty and place it on top of the first patty. Press edges firmly together around patties. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle with a little olive oil.

Cook on a grill until done or internal temp reached 175 degrees. Place on a bun with all the fixin' and serve. Enjoy your gooey cheesy surprise in the first bite.

Words to the Wise
These are super easy to make and very fun to eat. They are sure to be a hit at your next cook-out.
I saw this on a show on the Travel Channel while the host was visiting Minnesota. Here this burger is called the Jucy Lucy.

Mixed Fruit Baked Oatmeal

3 cups Quick Cooking Oats
1 cup Brown Sugar
2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
2 Eggs
1 Cup Plain Yogurt
1/2 cup Butter, melted
1 small Apple, chopped
1/2 cup Frozen Mixed Berries, thawed
1/2 cup Apricots

  • Mix all the wet ingredients together.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir.
  • Once combined, add the fruit and mix all together
  • Pour into a Greased 8 inch baking dish
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 45 minutes
This Recipe originally found here.

Words to the Wise
This is an awesome breakfast dish. Just warm some up every morning and you are good to go. Its like having a big oatmeal cookie for breakfast. I will so be making this again and again.