Thursday, April 15, 2010

Rosemary Roasted Potatoes - NYR - YYYYY

This recipe is from Taste of Home® Simple & Delicious, April 2010

1½ pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
1½ pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
(OR 3 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes)
1 large onion, cut into wedges
2 garlic cloves, minced (or pressed)
3 T. olive oil
4½ tsp. minced fresh rosemary or 1½ tsp. dried rosemary, crushed
1 ½ tsp. Creole seasoning *
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper

In a large bowl, combine potatoes, and onion. Mix together oil, garlic cloves, rosemary, Creole seasoning, salt and pepper. Drizzle on vegetables; toss to coat. Transfer to a greased 10 x 15 x 1 inch baking pan. Bake at 425º for 40 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. 8 servings

* The following spices may be substituted for 1 tsp. Creole seasoning: ¼ tsp. each salt, garlic powder and paprika, and a pinch each of dried thyme, ground cumin and cayenne pepper.

Because I only used sweet potatoes (3 pounds), I mistakenly doubled the Creole seasoning substitute, thinking I was doubling the recipe. This actually only added about 1/3 too much, since the recipe called for 1½ tsp. and this made about 2 tsp.. They tasted fine.

This recipe is from one of the magazines we received in our "Goody Bag" from the 2010 Taste of Home Cooking School." (See Asparagus Tomato Salad blog - April 4, 2010.) It also became part of the Law Family 2010 Easter Dinner. This year we even had ham, although I had been roasting a leg of lamb for the last few years. The entire menu was Spiral Sliced Ham, Rosemary Roasted Potatoes, Harvard Beets, Asparagus and Tomato Salad, Broccoli Salad, Fresh Pineapple Chunks, and Rolls. This did make for an absolutely colorful plate. For dessert each of us had a Chocolate Covered Oreo from Schimpff's Confectionery here in Jeffersonville (

For several years we would go out for Easter Dinner - would you believe to Chi Chi's Mexican Restaurant? This tradition began when we asked our friends, the Skogmans, whose extended family, like ours, was all several states away, if they wanted to go out for Easter. Chi Chi's was one of both families' favorites, so the 4 of us (Gary, Shell, Elizabeth & Richard), the 4 of them (Mark, Linda, Josh & Mary Beth, and a single friend (Wes) all had a fun time that day (and quick service for not many people were there for some odd reason). The next year we decided to do it again, and this time we had a group of 18! The next year, we made an announcement from the pulpit about our Easter Dinner plans and we got a room to ourselves as we had 32 people in attendance at Chi-Chi's. We continued for several years, but in smaller numbers until, unfortunately, the food and service at Chi-Chi's deteriorated so this tradition stopped and Chi-Chi's eventually went out of business. However we treasure the memories of our unusual Easter dinner tradition and the friends that shared in it with us.

I pray all of you have had a blessed Easter. He is Risen! He is Risen, indeed!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Asparagus Tomato Salad - NYR - YYYYY

(This is from the Spring 2010 Taste of Home® Cooking School Spotlight magazine)

1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces *
1 small zucchini, halved and cut into ¼ inch slices *
1 c. grape or cherry tomatoes
¼ c. sliced green onions
¼ c. minced fresh parsley
3 T. olive oil
2 T. red wine vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced (or pressed)
¼ tsp. seasoned salt
¼ tsp. Dijon mustard
¼ c. shredded Parmesan cheese, optional
2 T. sunflower kernels, toasted, optional

Place the asparagus and zucchini in a steamer basket; place in a saucepan over 1 inch of water. Bring to a boil; cover and steam for 2 minutes. Rinse in cold water.

In a large bowl, combine the asparagus, zucchini, tomatoes, onions, and parsley.

In a small bowl, whisk the oil, vinegar, garlic, seasoned salt and mustard. Pour over asparagus mixture and toss to coat. Sprinkle with cheese and sunflower kernels, if desired. 6 servings

* I kept the asparagus tips and stalks separated. I have a microwave steamer, so steamed the stalks for 2 minutes, the tips for 1 minute, and the zucchini slices for one minute. I did rinse all in cold water to stop further cooking.

I also forgot to add the cheese and sunflower kernels and it was still excellent!

If you have leftovers, which I would suggest you refrigerate, remove from refrigerator about 20 minutes before serving since olive oil tends to solidify somewhat when refrigerated.

My girlfriends Lori, Nancy, and Betty all went to the "2010 Taste of Home Cooking School" at the Horseshoe Casino near us in Southern Indiana. (Interesting - this was our first trip to "the Boat" and forget gambling, food was the only draw for us!) It was a fine evening! We got there early enough to get front row seats and even interacted with the Cooking School "teacher." (O.K. so I was the only one with the big enough mouth to do that, but I think she enjoyed it as much as I did!) If you love to cook and if you are familiar with the Taste of Home Magazines and Cookbooks, I would recommend you go to a Cooking School if one comes near you. The demonstrator puts on quite a show as she actually prepares several dishes (our show featured 10, of which this was one). Many local vendors come and participate and have samples (yum) and door prizes to sign up for. They even give out the finished recipes as door prizes. Betty won a beautiful scarf from one of the vendors that were present at the show; I won a ham, no comments please. This was pretty cool, as I had seen a neighbor of mine during the break time and she expressed how much she wanted to win one of the hams. I said, "Eva, if I win one, it's yours!" So I was tickled when they called my name! This recipe was part of our Easter dinner menu. Colorful and delicious!!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Blueberry-Orange Whole Wheat Muffins - NYR - YYYYY

¾ c. all-purpose flour
¾ c. whole wheat flour
¾ c. rolled oats
½ c. packed brown sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
½ tsp. ground cinnamon or ground cardamom
1 egg, lightly beaten
½ c. buttermilk or sour milk*
2 tsp. finely shredded orange or tangerine peel
¼ c. orange or tangerine juice
¼ c. vegetable oil
¾ c. fresh or frozen blueberries
½ c. chopped almonds, pecans or walnuts
Coarse sugar or cinnamon/sugar mix (optional)

1. Lightly coat twelve 2½-inch muffin cups with cooking spray of line the muffin cups with paper bake cups; set aside. In a medium bowl, stir together all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, rolled oats, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon or cardamom. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture, set aside.

2. In a small bowl, mix egg, buttermilk, fruit peel, juice, and oil. (I used orange peel and juice.) Add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture. Using a fork, stir just until moistened (batter should be lumpy and thick). Gently stir in berries and nuts. (I used walnuts and toasted them for 5 minutes @ 400º, then chopped them.)

3. Spoon batter into prepared muffing cups, filling each almost full. Sprinkle tops with coarse sugar or cinnamon/sugar mix, if you like.

4. Bake muffins in a 400º oven for 15 to 18 minutes or until they are golden and a wooden toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool in muffin pans on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove from muffin cups. Serve the muffins warm or at room temperature. Make 12 muffins.

* To make ½ cup sour milk, place 1 ½ teaspoons vinegar or lemon juice in ½ cup milk. Stir to combine.

We helped a friend pack up her apartment of 17 years last weekend and I decided I had to start clearing out some of the "stuff" I have been saving for way too long! First on my list was a stack of magazines I had in the back bedroom that had recipes marked to try. I really meant to not even look at those marked (I have way too many recipe clippings waiting for me to get to them!), but for some reason I had to peek. Several I had marked, in looking at them again, I had to admit I would never try. However, this recipe from Midwest Living, June 2009, still called my name. So I cut it out and this morning I mixed them up and was so glad I did. They are absolutely fabulous! That's why they get a 5 Y "Yummy Rating" of my New Year's Resolution's (NYR)recipes. Enjoy!