One summer day in July, when the humidity and heat were at their peak, a friend of mine hosted a little poolside party and asked us to bring some items. I went looking for inspiration with ingredients I had on-hand, and in the White House Volunteers Cookbook, I found this recipe for Indian Curry Chicken Balls. Since for a previous gathering of this group of folks I had made meatballs of a different sort, I thought it would be fun to continue that trend.
These have a little kick to them, but are a nice small-serving size. The coconut, the chicken and almonds all go together nicely. I made them the night before and then took them for our gathering the next day.
Indian Curry Chicken Balls
4 oz cream cheese
2 Tbsp mayonnaise
1 c chopped cooked chicken
1/2 tsp salt
1 c slivered almonds
2 Tbsp chopped chutney
1 Tbsp curry powder
1/2 c flaked coconut
Beat cheese and mayonnaise until well blended. Add remaining ingredients, except coconut. Mix well. Chill about 1 hour. Shape into 36 balls. Roll each in coconut. Chill 3-4 hours before serving.
Freezes well and keeps well for a day or so. Makes 3 dozen.
One week I found myself in a boozy ice cream trend and kept making one ice cream after another that incorporated some kind of alcohol — pineapple sherbet with rum in it, dark chocolate zin ice cream with red zin, and then this margarita ice cream from the Chicago Tribune’s Leah Eskin. The lime flavor in this ice cream is really strong, and so when it came time to serve it to others (because rarely do I take time to make things fancy for myself), I added some flaked coconut to the top of the ice cream. I’m not sure if it’s because of the alcohol in the ice cream or the humidity in the air, but the ice cream was pretty soft when it came time to scoop it. I was happy to have it be soft, though, after some early attempts were so hard when scooping.
Margarita ice cream
5 or 6 limes
1 cup sugar
2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons orange-juice concentrate
2 tablespoons triple sec
1 tablespoon tequila
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
Finely grate the zest from 2 limes. Halve and juice all the limes; measure out ½ cup juice. Save any additional juice for serving. Whisk sugar into lime juice. Whisk in remaining ingredients. Pour cream mixture into an ice cream maker and churn thick. Pack into a plastic container, cover and freeze firm, 1 or more hours. Scoop into small bowls, or, for effect, margarita glasses rimmed with reserved lime juice and salt.
It’s no surprise that I love cookbooks. I’ve spoken about it a number of different places. I’m taking some delight from a book (noncookbook) that I’m reading where one of the characters has been described as reading cookbooks like other people read the newspaper. Although, I try to read the newspaper as well. That being said, months ago a woman from my church lent me one of her cookbooks, the 75th Anniversary of 600 WMT radio. Well, it’s been sitting in my pile and I have written down a number of different recipes from it. However, I have literally had it for six months and not returned it. I knew I wanted to get it back to her soon, but wanted to bring some treats that had taken longer than I had wanted it to before I gave it back. This recipe from that cookbook looked like a perfect summertime treat for her and her family.
1 stick butter
4 regular size Snickers bars
1 bag marshmallows
1 box Crispix cereal
Melt together the butter and two Snickers bars. Stir in marshmallows and blend well. Remove from heat. Stir in cereal. Toss to coat. Dice remaining two snickers bars and stir pieces into mixture. Press into buttered 9×13 pan. Cool and cut into bars. Freezing candy bars first makes dicing easier
I’m not always a fan of dill. I really like it with dill pickles, or other pickled vegetables, but dill overall is not my favorite. I think this may make me a bad Norwegian. I keep trying, though. So, when I came back upon this recipe in my computer database, I decided to try it this summer. The dill wasn’t overpowering, spread across two pounds of green beans, so I would consider making this again.
Roasted Green Beans with Dill Vinaigrette
2 lbs. Green beans, ends trimmed
3 TB olive oil
2 TB (low-sugar) white wine vinegar
1 ½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
½ teaspoons sugar
½ teaspoons Ground black pepper
2 TB chopped fresh dill
- Preheat oven to 450 F. In 17” by 111/2” roasting pan, combine green beans, 1 TB olive oil, and ½ teaspoon salt; toss until beans are coated w/ oil.
- Roast green beans, uncovered, 20 t o30 min., until tender and slightly browned, stirring twice during roasting for even cooking. Meanwhile, prepare vinaigrette; in small bowl, with wire whisk or fork, mix vinegar, mustard, sugar, pepper, and ¼ teaspoon salt.
- Slowly whisk in remaining 2 TB of olive oil; whisk in dill. When beans are done, in large bowl, toss beans w/ vinaigrette. Serve warm or at room temperature.
I am trying to add a few steps to my morning routine, and so having breakfast made for the week has seemed to be a great step to do. And frittatas are an easy way to do this. This recipe came from Real Simple earlier this year and I updated it because I had half a package of bacon left from something else, so I decided to go ahead and add that first, by frying it up before adding the onion.
Kale and Goat Cheese Frittata
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 c chopped yellow onion
4 c chopped curly kale
10 large eggs
1/2 c whole milk
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
4 oz (1 c) goat cheese, crumbled
1 Tbsp fresh dill leaves
Preheat oven to 400 degrees with the rack in the upper third of the oven. Heat the oil in a 10-inch ovenproof nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add the onion; cook, stirring often, until soft and beginning to brown, about 6 minutes. Add the kale; cook, stirring often, until slightly softened, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium.
Whisk together eggs, milk, mustard, salt, and pepper in a large bowl; pour over the vegetables in the skillet. Cook until the edges are just beginning to set, about 1 minute. Top evenly with the cheese. Bake in oven until set, 15 to 20 minutes. Top with fresh dill.
Despite my frequent and weekly posting of ice cream, along with a number of other sweets posted over the past few weeks, I have been trying to cut back on my sugar intake over the last several weeks. As a result, I’ve been looking for some frozen dishes that use less sugar, and this recipe that has a little bit of honey, meets expectations. The recipe came from the Empowered Sustenance website. When I go to take a bite, I have to remember that it isn’t going to be sweet. It’s a bit like when I go to drink hipster water (LaCroix), I need to remember it’s not going to have the sweetness of soda. Similarly, when I go to drink unsweetened iced tea, it’s not going to taste like Crystal Light. But, as long as I go in with this mindset, the sorbet tastes like a great ending to a meal. The rosemary does not come through strongly — it’s a slight undertone to the recipe.
Rosemary Infused Pear Sorbet
4 big pears (or 5 small)
1/2 c water
1/2 Tbsp honey
1 sprig fresh rosemary
Peel and cut the pears into small pieces. Place all the ingredients in a pot over medium-low heat. Boil 10 minutes, or until the pears are soft. Remove from heat and let cool. Remove the rosemary sprig and transfer into a food processor. Blend for 20 seconds or until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and place in the refrigerator to chill.
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for ice cream.
In my last post, I mentioned cutting the sugar habit and looking for things that are not over-the-top sweet, and these bars are the exact opposite of that. But, for me, they were filled with nostalgia. I’m not sure if this happened with other people’s grandparents, but I associate the vanilla (or strawberry or chocolate) wafers so strongly with my mom’s parents. I think they must have always had them around when I was growing up. So, when I saw a bar that called for them in the Minnesota Catholic Daughter Cookbook, it looked intriguing enough to try.
When cutting them up, I decided to cut along the lines of the vanilla wafers. Had I waited and let them saturate a little bit more, I think I could have cut however I wanted to the next day.
Vanilla Wafer Bars
1 pkg vanilla wafers
1 c graham cracker crumbs
3/4 c brown sugar
1/2 c coconut flakes
1/2 c butter
1/2 c milk
Bring crumbs, brown sugar, coconut flakes, butter, milk to a boil. While this is cooling, line the pan with vanilla wafers. Pour filling on wafers, then top with whole wafers. Frost with powdered sugar frosting.