Sunday, July 24, 2011

Berry delightful

Strawberries are one of my favorite fruits. They're sweet and beautiful. This summer strawberry cake is a great use for them. My whole family and our guests loved it. It's kind of like a cobbler and would be fantastic served with vanilla ice cream. It's a Martha Stewart recipe I got from Smitten Kitchen.


6 Tbsp. softened butter, plus more for greasing pan
1 1/2 c. flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. plus 2 Tbsp. sugar
1 egg
1/2 c. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 lb. strawberries, hulled and halved

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 10-inch pie pan or a 9-inch deep-dish pie pan or a 9-inch springform pan. (A standard 9-inch pie pan is too small.)

In small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. In larger bowl, beat butter with 1 cup sugar. Add egg, milk and vanilla until just combined. Add dry mixture gradually, mixing until just smooth.

Pour into prepared pan. Arrange strawberries, cut side down, on top of batter as closely as possible in a single layer. Sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons sugar over berries. Bake for 10 minutes, then leave pan in oven and reduce heat to 325 degrees. Bake 50 minutes more, or until tester comes out clean. Let cool in pan on rack.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Kids like eating from a stick

This recipe comes from our wonderful neighbor Angie. She said these savory chicken skewers never fail her, so we had to give them a try. We really liked them, and they were very easy to make. The recipe says to soak wooden skewers for an hour before using/grilling, but a lot of people online said that's unnecessary. We soaked ours for a half-hour and they didn't go up in flames. Plan ahead for the marinating time.


1 envelope dry onion soup mix
1/8 c. olive oil
1/8 c. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. peanut butter
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 lb. chicken tenderloins or breast chunks

Place all ingredients in a gallon bag and squish until chicken is well coated. Refrigerate for at least an hour. (I made mine the night before.) Slide chicken onto skewers and grill as desired. I would double the recipe if I were you.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Blueberries are in season

My husband made these blueberry-cornmeal pancakes for breakfast a couple of weekends ago. We really liked them. There's only a hint of cornmeal, but somehow it gives a nice touch. And you can't go wrong with fresh blueberries. The recipe comes from Better Homes and Gardens.


1 c. flour
2 Tbsp. cornmeal
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 beaten egg
1 c. buttermilk or sour milk*
2 Tbsp. cooking oil
1 c. fresh or frozen blueberries

Combine dry ingredients, then make a well in the center of the mixture and set aside. In another bowl, combine egg, milk and oil. Add mixture all at once to dry ingredients and stir until just moistened. Batter should be lumpy. Gently fold in blueberries.

Cook over medium heat on lightly greased griddle or skillet until golden brown. Pancakes are ready to flip when their surfaces are bubbly and their edges are slightly dry.

*Place 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar in measuring cup. Add milk to make 1 cup total liquid. Let stand for 5 minutes before using.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Dip into delicious

We put our garden-fresh spinach to good use in this spinach dip. It makes a nice summer appetizer. It's a popular recipe by the company Knorr, and it's been around for years. My sister called me a minute ago, asking why I had not yet posted the recipe and demanding it. It's really good. So, here you go.


10 oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed*
16 oz. sour cream
1 c. mayonnaise or Miracle Whip
1 packet Knorr vegetable recipe mix**
8 oz. water chestnuts, drained and chopped
3 green onions, chopped

Combine all ingredients and refrigerate at least 2 hours so flavors can mix. Serve as a dip or spread with crackers or french bread.

*I chopped a big salad's worth of fresh spinach from my garden.

**I found this at the store by the dry onion soup mix.