Apple Coleslaw

To kick off summer, what better thing is there than some outside food opportunities and grilling out?  I’ve had this simple twist on coleslaw in my to-make list for months and finally had a chance to make it.  The coleslaw was slightly sweeter than most, but done so in this subtle way.  I used Granny Smith apples, which helped to add some tartness to the coleslaw as well.  I would make this again when wanting to make a little twist on a summer salad.

Apple Coleslaw

Apple Coleslaw
2 cups Cabbage (shredded)
2 Medium apples (cored, diced)
1 can (16 oz.) crushed pineapple, in its own juice,(drained)
3/4 cup mayonnaise
salt and pepper to taste

Combine above ingredients, cover and refrigerate 1 hour or more before serving. 8 servings

Pineapple Black Bean Enchiladas

For the dinner for first years I mentioned earlier, I made honey lime chicken enchiladas, squash enchiladas, and these pineapple black bean enchiladas.  The recipe was a winner in the Pillsbury Bake-Off several years ago and it was especially fun to make it for some students because I made for some students in my first job outside of grad school 11 years ago.  It’s been so great to watch those students succeed and take on new challenges — as I was cooking, I kept thinking about those students and where they are now.

The folks who were at dinner this week had a similar reaction to most people I’ve served them to in the past: “I didn’t expect this to be good, but it is…”  This is another vegetarian recipe, which I also appreciate as a way to cook these easily and have most folks be able to eat them without issue — enhanced if you use corn tortillas, although I’m unsure how to swap out the cheese for something that isn’t using dairy to help bind things together.

pineapple-black-bean-enchiladas

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Pineapple Chocolate Bars

This week our students are all returning to campus and on Monday we will start classes.  You read that right.  We start classes on Labor Day.  Not the day after.  In fact, this is the second campus on which I’ve worked where classes have been regularly held on this particular holiday.  I admit, though, that I have been anticipating the return of students since the start of August.  Actually, since the last week of July.  I had a friend over that week who mentioned casually that it seemed as though I was awake later than normal, and when I talked through why that might be, the only logical conclusion was that the start of the academic year was upon us and my mind has started to be thinking, thinking, thinking.

The other reality of this is that I have not slept well since the end of the academic year when a series of events transpired that led me to visit campus in the middle of the night on more than one occasion.  I found myself driving through campus between 4:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. each day.  I am hopeful we can enter into this year with a refreshed point of view, and am doing what I can to help create some community on-campus.

In early August, our campus participated in Iowa Private College Week, a week when students can travel to various private colleges in Iowa, where each campus holds open houses each morning AND afternoon.  This means that staff, faculty, and alums of campus, have put in long hours of presentations and helping students to know why they should choose our campus.  Which they should.  But, that’s for another time.  I love seeing our folks share great messages with students during this time to highlight how the campus might be a good fit for them.  Ultimately, while I want us to make our class and do all the things that from the business side are important, I also really want us to admit and bring in students who can be successful and thrive.

To thank our staff for their hard work during this week, I decided to bring in some treats to our Admissions staff, reminding them how much we appreciate their work.  I took a look through some cookbooks and came across this intriguing recipe for Pineapple Chocolate Bars in the Catholic Daughters Cookbook.  I’ve been not having dessert, as I recently mentioned, but the folks who ate these indicated they tasted yummy!

Chocolate Pineapple Bars

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Thai Pineapple Fried Rice

A few weeks ago I went to a favorite Thai restaurant and decided to order outside of my usual orders — I went for Pineapple Fried Rice instead of Pad Thai.  The ingredients seemed to be something I could use to cook at home, and so I decided to take a stab at it at home.  I searched the internet for a few different recipes and came across this one at Cookie and Kate and decided to try it out.  I made a few adjustments to cook it for the kids, which didn’t end up going so well, but it was a nice attempt.

Thai Pineapple Fried Rice.jpg

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African Pineapple Peanut Stew

Fall is officially here in Iowa.  And, with the CSA coming to a close, we were getting the last of our kale — and I was getting pretty tired of it.  So, last night I went looking through cookbooks to find something to use up what was left of the kale and swiss chard.  In the Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home cookbook, I was ready to try something else out.  I found African Pineapple Peanut Stew and it combines some unexpected flavors in an intensive and wonderful way.

African Pineapple Peanut Stew.jpg

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Pizza on the Grill

sausage pizzaAs I’ve mentioned in my last few posts, I have a roommate, Minda, who recently moved in.  Last Friday night we got together with our friends Nancy and Kara for a little women’s gathering.  We discussed intentional living environments, the value of empowering women, the trials and tribulations of working on campus and deciding to leave.  It was a motivational and wonderful experience.  And, of course, we ate good food.

Earlier in the week Minda and I had been talking about wanting to make pizza.  Between that and having one of my mom’s friends ask if I had ever made cauliflower crust pizza, we decided to make a couple of pizzas and try things out.  One of the members of the group is gluten intolerant, and we all try to mostly eat real foods, so this was a good chance to explore a little bit outside of our regular thoughts on pizza and try some different recipes out.

cauliflower crust pizzaThe first recipe we decided to try was the cauliflower crust pizza.  It was a bit of a fail.  In part, it was a fail not in taste, so I think there is a future for it.  I had looked up several different cauliflower crust recipes and decided to go with one lacking flour.  After exploring these options, I decided on the recipe from Eat. Drink. Smile.  I think this recipe was a fail in large part because I tried to make it work on the grill.  The crust seemed to just need some more time to cook and a more regular cooking environment than one in which I was constantly opening and closing the grill lid due to our other pizza being cooked.  I plan to try the crust again in the oven, and making sure to grease the foil really well or cook it directly on the pan.  We used the toppings described on this Budget Bytes  and the flavor of everything was really good.  The sauce is pretty rich, so know that if you decide to try this white sauce, but overall, I think I just need to tweak the recipe and my cooking methods some.  We only put mushrooms on half of it, but it tasted great!

chebe pizza crust mixThe second crust we used was a store-bought mix called chebe gluten free pizza crust..  These pizzas turned out delicious.  We began by splitting it into two crusts and cooking them on the grill.  We topped it with this organic pizza sauce, added Italian sausage and red pepper, and fresh basil, along with some cheese.  I could have eaten the whole pizza myself.  I would definitely repeat this process and maybe take the toppings from the other pizza on this crust.

grilled fruitFor dessert, we grilled peaches and pineapple, which was a nice sweet treat to end the meal.  I wish this week would continue to be less humid so I felt like we could be out on the porch again more frequently, but it doesn’t seem to be happening, so we’ll have to ignore that for now.  Maybe in the evenings when it cools off.

At this moment, Kara has left our little town and is preparing to go off and work on her doctoral degree.  But, Nancy came for dinner again on Friday.  We made a taco salad.  More recipes coming in the near future 🙂

Pineapple Oatmeal Cookies

A few weeks ago I wanted to make some cookies and was exploring different options to make.  I’m in the process of planning this year’s Rett syndrome fundraiser and was looking through some cookbooks.  I decided to explore the family cookbook and was different options for recipes and came across one from Sister Francois, my great-aunt.  I only remember meeting Sister Francois a couple of times.  However, her skills as a fantastic baker continue to live on in both family lore and reality.  In looking at the family tree in the beginning of the book, it appears she passed away when I was about 7 years old.  I remember when I was younger going to visit Sister Francois and everyone sharing stories about her baking skills.  There are several cookie, cake, and bar recipes in the cookbook which originate from her.  I also know that at one point when I went to see her I came home and decided I would become a nun, because at my young age, I believed that one had to be nun to bake like she did.  For several reasons, I have begun to know that this is not the case and decided not to become a nun.  However, this doesn’t stop me from trying her recipes every once in awhile.

On this occasion, I decided to go with Pineapple Oatmeal Cookies.  It sounded like a different kind of cookie recipe.  But as I’ve continued to look through old church cookbooks, I’ve found a lot of recipes for Pineapple Oatmeal cookies.  I’m still guessing that most people have not made them, or at least not made them recently.  Nonetheless, here’s the recipe:

Pineapple Oatmeal Cookies.jpg

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