Archive | soup and salad

cooking with fresh HERBS

{here are a few of my favorite recipes that include fresh HERBS…yum}
::Grilled Chicken with Herbs::
fresh herbs
EVOO or canola oil
garlic, salt & pepper

Take your favorite cut of chicken (for this I prefer boneless/skin-less breasts) and slather it with oil (ExtraVirginOliveOil), garlic, salt & pepper and fresh herbs.  My favorite combo for this is rosemary, basil and sage…but just use whatever you have on hand…thyme or dill would be great too.  Let the chicken and herbs marinade as long as you can (at least 30 minutes) but no longer than 24 hours.  Grill…indoors on a grill pan or outdoors on a BBQ (being sure to leave the herbs on the chicken when possible).  The herbs will crisp up and add a nice flavor as you eat it.

Serve with your favorite sides or even room temperature next to a huge salad! This is one of my favorite ways to grill chicken & a great left over for wraps or chicken salad the next day! Enjoy!

I talked about this recipe {pictured above} last 4th of July.
I also used it for a baby shower {pictured below} a few years ago. We made it the night before & served it cut up {room temperature} along side of Aunt Ev’s Strawberry Salad & a variety of delicious bread. It was filling & tasty!

::Home-made Croutons::

For these easy and yummy croutons I simply cut up some bread of choice (or whatever I have on hand), toss the bread lightly with EVOO (ExtraVirginOliveOil)and sprinkle with fresh herbs (such as rosemary) and salt & pepper. I bake them on a sheet pan in a 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes or until toasted.If I am making more than one dish in the oven, I actually just pop these in at whatever temperature the oven is already on and adjust the time based on the temp {if it is a lower temp I add time and if it’s a higher temp I set the timer for about 5 minutes and go from there}. You will smell them when they are done!

These are perfect on soups or salads! Good luck not burning them (I’ve done that a few times too)!




I love carrots…don’t you?
These are some old pictures from a few years ago when we harvested our first round of home grown carrots. They are tasty, fresh and flavorful when they are plucked right out of the earth in your own back yard! I seem to eat baby carrots almost daily for their crunch and while they are good… they are not as good as these puppies. If you have not tried them home grown you are missing out!In the spirit of all things carrots: here are a few of my favorite recipes for you to enjoy (home grown or not)!
::Grandma Lil’s Carrot Cake::

1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups oil
4 eggs
2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
2 cups grated, raw carrots
15 oz can crushed pineapple {drained}
1/2 cup raisins {chopped}*
1/2 cup chopped nuts {such as walnuts}*
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together sugar, oil & eggs. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Combine with wet ingredients. Add carrots, pineapple, *raisins & *nuts. Blend. Turn into 3 greased and floured 9 inch layer pans or one 13×9 inch baking pan. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes and cool on wire racks. *nuts and raisins are optional {I usually make it with out them}.
1/2 cup butter {1 stick}
8 oz cream cheese
1 tsp. vanilla
1 pound powdered sugar
*nuts {chopped} & orange rind {grated}
Combine butter, cheese, vanilla & cream well. Add sugar gradually, beating well. *Nuts {chopped} & orange rind {grated} may be added if desired.
Spring is a great time to eat your carrots
{after all…the Easter Bunny sure loves them}!

Soup’s On {and a Potato Leek Soup with a twist}…

I linked up at The Larson Lingo yesterday with one of my favorite recipes: Potato Leek Soup.

I chose this because it’s simple and only has a few ingredients and can be adapted a million different ways {and it was my grandma’s recipe}! See below for how I adapted it into a veggie soup! {P.S. I always enjoy reading The Larson Lingo…so go check it out!}
To make this recipe simply add whatever veggies you have on hand {I added carrots & mushrooms} and follow the steps in the original recipe. Chop your veggies {I don’t even peel my potato’s most of the time}, add to the pan in layers {with or without the bacon/ham}, and add the broth/stock {you can use veggie or chicken broth or stock}. Make sure you season it well as you go! For one more twist you can add fresh garlic for a few minutes before you add the broth/stock if you like garlic {don’t add it first as it can burn}. I did not get a picture of the completed soup {sad} but it was great. I often make this when I have a girlfriend over…I chop and simmer the whole thing while we chat and in no time we are enjoying a warm and yummy soup! Just add your favorite bread, salad or sandwich!

The Blog Days of Summer {4TH OF JULY FUN}!

Here is how we spent our 4th this year!
It was lovely and lazy…my kind of holiday!
And of course I have to talk about the food! We had Summer Shirley’s*, Macho Salad*, Potatoes, Steaks and Herb Crusted Chicken*! Dessert was a mix of berries with angel food cake & whipped cream!

*For my SUMMER SHIRLEY TEMPLE DRINK I just added a splash of grenadine to ginger-ale, along with cherries, blueberries & star shaped ice cubes to make it festive!
*I’ll have to show you how I make my Herb Crusted Chicken sometime soon. As long as you have a BBQ it’s always in season!

*If you have never had this “Macho Salad” you must! I wish I could take credit for the recipe but it comes from the restaurant Bandera! A….MAZE….ING!

orzo pasta summer SALAD

You will love this easy & fun dish.  Serve on an avocado (like the picture above) or on a bed of lettuce or with some chicken or fish…I have even eaten it out of the pan!
First make the orzo according to the packaged directions and allow to cool. Season lightly with salt, pepper & EVOO (extra virgin olive oil).
Dice up whatever veggies and herbs you have on hand and gently mix with the orzo pasta (I used tomatoes, red onion, roasted red peppers and Italian parsley). I think it would be great with basil and diced mozzarella…or corn and black beans, some cumin and fresh bell pepper…or olives, cucumber, artichoke hearts and feta…it would even be great with tuna and celery for a crunchy bite. Go crazy trying new combos!
To serve in an avocado just slice it in half, score the flesh inside and pile the salad on…or just mix cubed avo with the salad and get eating!
Good to the last bite!
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