Today, as you know, is Memorial Day – that space in time when we stop to remember and give thanks to all those who have served, are serving or have given their lives in service of our great country. No matter how long or short, their service is remembered for, without it, we would not be enjoying the freedoms we, as Americans are afforded. Freedom is NOT free – it costs and I am grateful for their service this day.
This morning my middle son went outside, then quickly came back in to tell me to quietly go look on our porch. There, sitting in our child/car seat was a bird – specifically, a Vireo. This is a small, finch-sized bird with beautiful yellow-green coloring and bright RED eyes! (actually, this kind is called a Red Eyed Vireo). Why he was on our porch, I have no idea-we have an open area where he probably flew in; my husband gently coaxed him into a bucket and took him outside (we’re not exactly sure if he could fly, he didn’t appear to have a lot of strength). I don’t recall ever seeing one of this particular bird before, but it was nice to see it upclose – sure hope he pulls through.
As to the ‘variety’, that title goes to my ‘creative’ chicken salad concocting. These past few days have been a smorgasborg of foods for our family, ranging from grilled chicken breasts, tacos and BLT’s. Nice foods to have in your fridge as leftovers BUT . . . they need to be used up, too. That brings me to my ‘variety’ – got up today saying to myself: “What are we going to eat for dinner?” I had 3 large cooked chicken breasts, some leftover chopped green pepper & onion (tacos), some celery (just hangin’ in the chiller drawer, needed to be used) and came up with the idea of chicken salad. Well, upon viewing the contents of our Miracle Whip jar and knowing there might be more BLT’s in the very near future, I came up with the idea to ‘modify’ it some. Mixed about a cup of sour cream with about 1 1/2 C. of Miracle Whip, then mixed in about 3 T. Kraft horseradish sauce (for zip), some salt, pepper, garlic powder and minced dill and stirred it all up. Cooked up a 1 lb. box of macaroni and threw it all together – it’s now chillin’ in the fridge for later. (I must admit – it’s pretty tasty!) Also made a small batch of brownies – I very rarely make up sweets for the guys, so I thought perhaps it being a holiday, I’d go for it. Dinner will be a smorgasborg of leftovers. You could have: a BLT, some coleslaw (made that a few days ago), some chicken salad, or tacos! Kinda strange foods to go together, but around here, with 3 guys – it works!
The temperatures are climbing, sun’s out brightly (87 degrees F.) and youngest should just about be finishing up our local Township parade. He’s carrying the high school band banner (it’s what he’s done for 3 years now and loves it). Afterwards the color guard group are going to one of the member’s houses to swim in their lake for the afternoon – typical TEEN-type summer activity (and sounds like fun to me, too). The rest of us are just ‘chillin’ – I’m going to work on ‘the green baby blanket’ again and maybe put in a little more time on the embroidery. A lady from my church gave me two chemo caps she knit using my pattern – that brings the total donated caps to 61 now. (sort of reminds me of when I was doing the Ghana Project afghans – somehow you just get ‘into’ keeping count, sort of a little ‘personal goal’ thing.)
For those of you who might still be looking for recipe inspirations, here you go:
6 C. shredded cabbage
2 C. red or green peppers,
1 1/2 C. thin sliced celery
1 C. onion, thinly sliced
1 C. shredded carrots
1/2 C. vegetable oil
1 1/2 tsp. celery salt
1 tsp. cracked black pepper
1/2 tsp. celery seed
2 T. sugar
3 T. cider vinegar
1 T. dry mustard
Toss vegetables together in large
mixing bowl. Combine remaining
ingredients; pour over vegetables-
toss to mix. Refrigerate several
hours or overnight to blend flavors.
Comment from poster:
“This recipe can be taken to
outings and not worry about
keeping it cool; it even
gets better as it sits”
Grilled Pita Breads 4 pita breads 2 tsp. fresh rosemary 2 T. olive oil 1/3 C. coarsely crumbled feta cheese 2/3 C. coarsely chopped mushrooms 1 T. fresh oregano Place large piece of foil on grill rack. Crush rosemary into the oil. Place pitas on foil, brush liberally with rosemary oil, top with cheese, mushrooms & oregano. Grill on low heat with cover down until cheese melts. Cut into sections, like pizza. (recipe: carolsrecipes77- Marys Recipe Exchange) ---------------------- BLT Pasta Salad 8 oz. dry penne pasta, uncooked 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, drained 1/3 C. mayonnaise 1/4 tsp. garlic salt 1 (6 oz) pkg. refrigerated diced oven roasted chicken breast 10 slices fully cooked bacon, heated & chopped 2 C. baby spinach leaves, coarsely chopped Cook pasta accordg. to pkg. directions; drain & rinse under cold water until cool. Stir together drained tomatoes, mayonnaise & garlic salt in large bowl. Add pasta, chicken & bacon; toss to combine. Add spinach & gently toss. Serve immediately. Serves 6 (1 1/3 C. each) (recipe: readyseteat) ------------------------- Sauteed Zucchini & Tomatoes 1 T. cooking oil 4 small zucchini, sliced 1 (14.5 oz) can stewed tomatoes, undrained 1/4 tsp. salt 1/8 tsp. ground black pepper Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add zucchini; cook 7 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add undrained tomatoes, salt & pepper. Break up tomatoes with spoon; cook 2 minutes more or until hot. Serves 4 (3/4 C. each) (recipe: readyseteat) -------------------- Pan Roasted Corn 1 T. cooking oil 1 (16 oz) frozen whole kernel corn 1/2 tsp. chili powder 1/4 tsp. salt Heat oil in large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add corn, cook 10-12 minutes or until corn starts to brown, stirring occasionally. Stir in chili powder, salt & pepper. Serves 4 (1/2 C. each) (recipe: readyseteat) ----------------- Bacon Stuffed Eggs 12 large eggs 4 slices bacon, cooked & crumbled 1 (3 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened 1/4 C. mayonnaise 2 tsp. prepared horseradish 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce 1/2 tsp. pepper (chopped chives - garnish, if desired) Place eggs in a large saucepan, add water to depth of 3 inches. Bring to boil, cover & remove from heat. Let stand 15 minutes. Drain & fill saucepan with cold water & ice. Tap each egg firmly on the counter until cracks form all over the shell. Peel under cold running water. Slice eggs in half lengthwise; carefully remove yolks. Mash yolks with mayonnaise in bowl; add bacon & next 5 ingredients; stir well. Spoon yolk mixture into egg whites. Garnish, if desired. Makes 24 servings. (recipe: RDJ 05/10/12) ------------------------ Oreo Mint Chocolate Chip Freeze 26 Oreo cookies, crushed (2 crushed Oreos - set aside) 1/3 C. butter, softened 1/2 gallon mint chocolate chip ice cream 1 small jar fudge topping 1 container Cool Whip Mix 26 cookies & butter together; pat into 9 x 13 pan. Spread ice cream onto cookie mixture. Spread top with fudge topping, then Cool Whip. Sprinkle the 2 crushed oreo's on top of Cool Whip. Freeze 2 hours. Serves 8 (recipe: Victoria-justapinch.com) --------------------- Tuscan Vegetable Potato Salad 2 lb. small new potatoes, quartered (about 6 C.) 1/4 C. water 1/2 lb. green beans, cut into 2 inch pieces 1/2 lb. carrots, diagonally sliced 1 small red onion, cut into wedges 1 C. Italian dressing Place potatoes & water in 3 quart microwavable casserole dish; cover. Microwave on High 10 minutes. Add remaining vegetables, microwave 10-12 minutes or until vegetables are tender; drain. Toss vegetables & dressing. Refrigerate several hours or overnight. Serves 8 (recipe: Kraft foods) --------------------- Orange BBQ Chicken & Grilled Vegetables 1/2 C. (Kraft) barbecue sauce 1/2 tsp. orange zest 2 T. fresh orange juice 4 small boneless skinless chicken breast halves (1 lb.) 1 zucchini, cut lengthwise in half 1 yellow squash, cut lengthwise in half 1 red pepper, cut into quarters 1/4 C. zesty Italian dressing Heat grill to medium heat. Mix bbq sauce, zest & orange juice until well blended. Grill chicken 6 minutes, turning after 3 minutes. Brush with half of sauce. Add vegetables to grill; cook chicken & vegetables 9-12 minutes or until chicken is done (165 degrees F.) and vegetables are crisp-tender, turning occasionally & brushing chicken with remaining sauce & vegetables with dressing. Serves 4 (recipe: Kraft foods) ---------------------- Creamy Mediterranean Spread (appetizer) 1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened 1 (7 oz) jar roasted red peppers, drained & chopped 1 (4 oz) pkg. crumbled Feta cheese 1/2 C. chopped kalamata olives (about 40) 1/4 C. balsamic vinaigrette dressing* 2 T. chopped fresh parsley Spread cream cheese onto bottom of a pie plate. Combine remaining ingredients; spoon over cream cheese. Serve with crackers. Makes 3 C. or 24 (2 T.) servings *substitute Greek vinaigrette dressing, if desired (recipe: Kraft foods)
Grilled Curry Chicken Breasts w/Spinach Rice 1 C. white rice 2 1/2 C. baby spinach 1 tsp. salt 1/4 tsp. pepper 1/2 tsp. ground cumin 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves 2 T. canola oil 1 tsp. curry powder Preheat grill. Cook rice accordg to pkg. directions; fluff with a fork. Stir in spinach, 1/2 tsp. salt, pepper & cumin. Cook until warm. Coat chicken on both sides with oil. Mix curry powder & 1/2 tsp salt in a small bowl; rib into chicken. Grill chicken over medium with lid closed for 10 minutes, turning once, or until cooked through. Serve with rice. Serves 4 (recipe: newspaper flyer) ========================== Enjoy your holiday and give thanks for our freedoms. Hugs; Pammie