Monday, May 30, 2011

After Dinner Thoughts

Another yummy dinner! I used tofu that I had frozen and thawed then drained and pressed to really get the water out. Then I sliced it, brushed the barbecue sauce on both sides and grilled it on the stove top. I grilled the slices for 4 minutes on each side for the first batch. The second batch was grilled three minutes on the first side, then two and a half minutes on the second side. I think I had my heat up just a little too high. The tofu didn't exactly burn, but the first batch was a just a bit crispier than I would have preferred, especially on the second side. But, I also must say the crispiness truly added to the dish - giving a nice texture. For the corn I used a can of Kumar's Gold and White corn that I rinsed before using. I like this corn, it's got a nice crunch to it, so I decided to use it instead of frozen. Everything came together quite nicely. It was really an easy dish to prepare - the hardest thing was washing, drying, and tearing the lettuce.

For dessert we had cupcakes that were left from Emily's graduation party on Saturday. Our friend Dawn made the cake and cupcakes - they were delicious! Dawn makes the best cakes. When she decorated the cupcakes she spelled out LOVE and PEACE and had peace signs on them. They were very cute.

I don't know what will be for dinner next week yet. When I do know, I'll be sure to share the news! Have a great week. Remember with gratitude those who sacrificed and gave their lives in service to our country on this Memorial Day.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Barbecued Tofu and Grilled Corn Salad

I'm off for the next three days and, of course, for Memorial Day Monday - making for just about a week off work. I had planned to put in a raised bed garden this week, but the weather doesn't seem to want to cooperate. I will have a short window of time mid-day today, between thunder storms. Tomorrow may be stormy too. So, we'll see. I'll get done what I can.

With the rain this morning I decided to see what might be on the menu for Sunday dinner this week and I'm thinking BARBECUE! I'm ready - are you? I've probably written before that I subscribe to Vegetarian Times magazine. I signed up for the 28 day Veg boot camp, mostly for the 400 calorie menus and for new recipes. Menus are the hardest thing for me to put together for some reason - I guess because I really don't want to give up the time to sit down and think about it. So, when someone promises to give me menus I'm there!

However, the recipe I'm planning for Sunday dinner did not come from the boot camp menus. Instead, one link led to another and Vegetarian Times has a whole lotta Easy Entertaining Menus (with recipes) that are a goldmine if you ask me!

In perusing these entertaining menus, I picked How to Pack the Perfect Picnic, which honestly makes my mouth water. And, then I'm back to barbecue with the Barbecued Tofu and Grilled Corn Salad recipe. Mmmm, mmmm, mmmm. I can hardly wait! And, it's only 351 calories per serving - what more could you ask for? Well, accompaniments for one (chuckle). Yeah, I don't know what we'll have with it yet, but when I do I'll tell you all about it in the After Dinner post.

Stay safe - those storms have been much too dangerous this year. My heart and thoughts go out to the people in Joplin, Missouri; if you are inclined to help out, the American Red Cross is asking people to stop sending items to Joplin and instead to continue making monetary donations.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

After Dinner Thoughts

MMMMMmmmmm...another winner! This was really easy to make and it tastes quite fresh. I used a bit of fresh basil in the salad. I made cornbread muffins to go along with dinner and they were a nice complement. The only problem with dinner is that there is a LOT left over. Since the black-eyed pea dish doesn't seem like one that would freeze very well, I think we'll be eating it several times this week. Luckily it really is yummy. This would be a great dish to take to a pot luck or summer picnic; there's nothing in it to worry about should it stay out for any length of time. It also would be good with either grated cheese or crumbled feta or goat cheese (although those would certainly up the calorie count). I also made a lovely fresh fruit salad: pineapple, cherries, a plum, green grapes, and blueberries. Loved it!

Have a great week and I'll let you know what's for Sunday dinner once I figure that out.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Black-Eyed Pea Salad

I spent the morning at an outdoor high school graduation today. It was a lovely day with a nice breeze. So, of course, I got a little sunburn. I hadn't thought to put sunscreen on this morning so now I'm suffering. I've been putting aloe on ever since, hopefully the sting will soon go away. The ceremony was quite nice and I got to see my friend Emily graduate! I've known Emily since she was born - she's my best friend's daughter. That doesn't have anything to do with Sunday dinner, but everything to do with a terrific Saturday and I just felt like sharing.

I don't know about you, but I really, really like black-eyed peas! I came across this recipe for Summer Black-Eyed Pea Salad and just knew that's what I need to make for Sunday dinner.

I receive Alanna Kellogg's A Veggie Venture in my email, this recipe was sent back in April, but I'm just now getting around to making it. She often has intriguing recipes and this one just made my mouth water. I'll let you know how it turns out!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

After Dinner Thoughts

"You definitely have to make that again, soon," said Mom about tonight's dinner. It was easy, quick, and yummy!

For the frittata I used one bunch of asparagus that I peeled and cut into bite size. Mom had read somewhere that peeling asparagus helps to keep it tender; you don't peel all of it, just the lower stalk. I used a small jar of marinated quartered artichoke hearts that I chopped a bit more. I also chopped one yellow pepper. I sprayed a non-stick skillet with Pam and sauted the vegetables for about 5 minutes. I beat 7 eggs and poured them over the vegetables and cooked on the stove top for approximately 3 minutes. Then put it all in the oven (400) for just over 10 minutes. I shook the skillet back and forth to loosen the frittata and "poured" it onto a plate to serve it. When served, I grated some sea salt cheddar cheese on top. OMG - this was delectable!

I also made Green Bean Medley, which we have had many times before. This time, however, I omitted the mushrooms. I cut the ends from some fresh green beans and cut them into bite sizes. Then I cut 2 carrots into matchsticks and cut a couple of slices of onion that I then cut in half. I steamed these vegetables for about 12 minutes over a low boil. I then took the steamer out of the pot, drained the water, put the vegetables back in the pot and added 1/2 teaspoon of seasoned salt and about 1/4 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper. YUM!

And, finally, I had cut up a pineapple and some strawberries earlier in the day. I added some fresh blackberries and dinner was complete! Truly delicious! I know I've discussed the pineapple wedger from Pampered Chef before on this blog and I must repeat that this tool is one of the best kitchen tool investments I've ever made. I would very rarely purchase fresh pineapple in the past because of the difficulty cutting it. Well, those days are over - with the pineapple wedger, cutting up fresh pineapple is a snap. And, honestly, I don't think there is anything more flavorful than fresh pineapple.

And, then there was dessert. I had made a punchbowl cake Thursday evening for my bunco group Friday night. There was a bit still leftover. So, while it wasn't pretty it was still tasty. The recipe I have for punchbowl cake is basically assembly - there's no cooking involved, just putting several ingredients together and letting it meld overnight. I got this recipe from one of the church ladies that was serving lunch after a funeral I attended a few weeks ago. I went up to the ladies and asked who made the cake and when she identified herself, I asked for the recipe; she said people ask for that recipe all the time. So, here it is...

Punchbowl Cake
1 angel food cake, torn into bite size pieces
1 can crushed pineapple
2 pints frozen strawberries, thawed
2 medium bananas, sliced
2 cans Thank You vanilla pudding
1 small container cool whip
1/2 cup pecan chips

Assemble in a big bowl in the following order:
half of the cake pieces
half of the crushed pineapple
half of the thawed strawberries
slices from one banana
1 can of pudding
other half of the cake pieces
other half of the crushed pineapple
other half of the thawed strawberries
slices from other banana
other can of pudding

Put cool whip on top over all, sprinkle pecan pieces over all. Let sit in refrigerator overnight. This would also be good with some chocolate syrup on top - kind of like a banana split.

That's it - that's what we had for dinner tonight and every one of us really enjoyed it. No telling what's for dinner next week. When I figure it out, I let you know.

Saturday, May 14, 2011


When having my hair cut the other day, Karen, my hairdresser, showed me the following recipe from one of the magazines in the shop. It sounds just perfect for dinner tomorrow. I'll let you know how it turns out!

Dinner Frittata
In an oven-safe skillet, toss asparagus, drained artichoke hearts, and chopped yellow pepper. Cook and stir until heated through. Pour 6 beaten eggs over the veggies and cook for 3 minutes. Pop in a 400 degree oven for 10 minutes. Serve topped with grated Parmesan cheese.

Sounds like a terrific recipe for a rainy Sunday.