Indian Curry Chicken Balls

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.

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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.

Crispix Crunchies

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.

Crispix Crunchies

Crispix Crunchies

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

Vanilla Wafer Bar

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

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.

Lemon Bars

I have been overwhelmingly on the sweets train lately.  It’s probably time to cut the sugar habit, but in the meantime, I have been looking for things that are a little more refreshing and less over-the-top sweet.  These lemon bars, from the Strawberry Point Community Cookbook, fit the bill.  I was going to try and update these a little bit more, but I ran out of the surprise ingredient I was going to add.  So, plan lemon bars are what ended up being made.

Every time I make lemon bars, I leave myself wishing I had buttered the pan a little bit more or put down parchment paper on the bottom.  So, that would be my tip to anyone who decides to make this recipe.

Lemon Bars

Lemon Bars

Crust:
2 c flour
1/2 c powdered sugar
1 c margarine

Topping:
4 eggs
2 c sugar
1/3 c lemon juice
1/4 c flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
Sifted powdered sugar

Sift together the 2 c flour and 1/2 c powdered sugar, cut in the margarine, and press into a 9×13 pan.  Bake at 350 degrees until light brown, 20 to 25 minutes.  Remove from oven. Put eggs, 2 c sugar, and lemon juice in a blender and blend until thick and smooth.  Add 1/4 c flour and baking powder and blend until mixed.  Pour over baked crust and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar.  Cut in bars when cool.

Bacon-Wrapped Peaches

This is another recipe I’d put in my “meh” folder.  They were not as savory as I was hoping for.  But, I could also chop this up to a few other issues: the peaches weren’t completely ripened, the grill flared up on the bacon quite quickly.  I think they probably deserve another chance.  From Food and Wine 2015 cookbook, these bacon-wrapped peaches went alongside the brined pork chops I made for a peaches and pig, two ways, themed dinner.  I may decide to give these another shot later this summer, once the peaches are better, but at the moment, these were not something I would quickly endorse.

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Bacon-Wrapped Peaches

6 scallions, white and light green parts only
Vegetable oil, for brushing
Kosher salt
4 large peaches, halved and pitted
16 thin strips of bacon (about 1/2 lb)
16 toothpicks, soaked in water for 30 minutes

Light a gas grill.  Brush the scallions with oil and season lightly with salt.  Grill them over moderate heat, turning, until softened and lightly charred, about 3 minutes total.  Let cool and cut into 3/4 inch lengths.  Leave the grill on.

Fill the peach pit cavities with the scallion pieces and season with salt.  Wrap 2 strips of bacon around each peach half and secure them with toothpicks.

Lightly brush the stuffed peaches with olive oil and grill them cut side down over moderately high heat until lightly charred, 1 to 2 minutes.  Carefully flip the peaches and grill them over moderately low heat, turning occasionally, until they just start to soften and the bacon is crisp at the edges, 7 minutes.  Transfer to a platter and serve.

Spiced Strawberry Rhubarb Swirl Ice Cream

I had gotten some of the end-of-season rhubarb and was discussing this with a friend in early July.  She shared that strawberry rhubarb was her favorite pie, and while I considered for a moment making that, I saw this recipe from the Scoop Adventures cookbook and knew I wanted to put it together.  The spice flavor is nice in it — although it’s important to like how cardamom tastes.  I associate cardamom with my Norwegian roots, as I do rhubarb, and so when I tasted this, I felt like I was celebrating my heritage.

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Spiced Strawberry Rhubarb Swirl Ice Cream

Strawberry Rhubarb Swirl

1 c chopped rhubarb
1 c mashed strawberries
1/2 c sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

Ice Cream Base
1 1/2 c whole milk
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 3/4 c heavy cream
2/3 c sugar
1/4 tsp ground star anise
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt

To make the strawberry rhubarb swirl, combine the rhubarb, strawberries, and sugar in a medium saucepan.  Stir until the berries have begun to macerate, then place over medium-low heat.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the rhubarb and strawberries are broken down, 10 to 15 minutes.  Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the mixture is reduced by half of its original volume, about 10 minutes.  Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature.  Stir in the vanilla.  Cover and chill completely before swirling into the ice cream.

To make the ice cream base, fill a large bowl with ice water.  In a small bowl, combine 2 Tbsp of milk with the cornstarch, whisk, and set aside.  Combine the remaining milk with the heavy cream, sugar, star anise, cardamom, and cinamon in a medium saucepan.  Place over medium heat and bring the milk mixture to a low boil.  Cook until the sugar dissolves, 3 minutes.

Remove the milk mixture from the heat and gradually whisk in the cornstarch mixture.  Return to a boil and cook over moderately high heat until the mixture is slightly thickened, about 1 minute.  Pour into a medium bowl and whisk in the salt.  Set the bowl in the ice water bath to cool, 20 minutes, whisking occasionally.  Cover and refrigerate until well-chilled, at least 4 hours or overnight.

Once chilled, pour the ice cream base into an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions.  Spoon a small layer of strawberry rhubarb swirl into a freezer-safe container and light spoon a layer of ice cream on top.  Continue to alternate layers of fruit swirl and ice cream until the container is full, gently swirling with a spoon (careful not to muddy the ice cream).  Freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.

Peanut Bread

A coworker of mine was moving away and starting graduate school.  I am so excited for her as she begins to enter the field and get a new degree.  I know the next couple years will be really challenging, but I also believe she will do amazing things over the course of the degree and moving forward.  We were at a wedding a few weeks ago and she mentioned she likes peanuts, and it reminded me of this recipe from the Cedar Rapids Women of the Moose Cookbook 1979.  I had never made a peanut-flavored quick bread, but this seemed like a great opportunity to try it out.  She was going to let me know if it wasn’t any good, so hopefully, she liked it and it brought some tastiness while she was packing boxes.

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Peanut Bread

1 3/4 c flour
1/2 c sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 c chopped peanuts
1/2 c creamy peanut butter
3/4 c milk
2 beaten eggs

In a mixing bowl, sift flour, sugar, baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.  Cut in peanut butter until the mixture is crumbly.  Add milk and eggs, stirring until mixture is well-combined.  Stir in peanuts.  Turn batter into well-greased 9x5x3 loaf pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes.