Still Catching Up...

I wish I could devote more time to blogging these days, but the best I can do is to post when I can.

Stay tuned...

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Adventures in Cooking - Grilling, plus dessert

With summer finally here we have another option when cooking dinner - the grill... at least when it decides not to rain. We have gotten a little more creative lately, trying a few new recipes which were quite good.

Spinach Salad with Grilled Ham and Peaches
from Everyday with Rachael Ray, August 2009

* Two 1-inch-thick slices crusty bread (I used 2 hot dog rolls)
* 1 pound boneless ham steak
* 3 peaches, halved
* 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
* 3/4 pound baby spinach

1. Preheat a grill to medium-high. Brush the bread, ham and peaches with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange on the grill and cook, turning once, until the bread is slightly charred and the peaches are softened, about 5 minutes, and the ham is slightly charred, about 8 minutes. Let cool.
2. Thinly slice the ham, cut the peaches into thick wedges and cut the bread into large cubes.
3. In a large salad bowl, combine the spinach, ham and peaches. Top with the croutons and your favorite dressing (the magazine had a dressing recipe, but it was easier to use what we had in the fridge).

Onion-basil grilled vegetables
modified from Taste of Home "Fun Food" issue
We made this to use some CSA veggies we had on hand and some corn I picked up at a local stand. The original recipe had potatoes and green & red peppers (and used the whole soup packet).
* 3 medium ears of corn, cut in half
* 1 cup carrots, baby sized or cut up into 2" pieces
* 1 bunch scallions
* 1/2 envelope onion soup mix
* 1 T basil
* 1 T olive oil
* 1/4 t pepper
* 1 T butter

1. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except butter. Toss to coat. Place on double thickness of heavy duty foil. Dot with butter. Fold foil around vegetable mixture and seal tightly.
2. Grill, covered, over medium heat for 25-30 minutes, turning once.

Note: I didn't actually do the grilling myself, but I did find the recipes and prepare the ingredients :)

Mini Cherry Pies
from Everyday with Rachael Ray, August 2009
These came out awesome. I've never made my own pie filling before, but this was delicious. I'll definitely do it again --- magazine had all kinds of different fruit fillings.

* 1 1/2 pounds cherries, stemmed and pitted
* 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
* 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
* 1 tablespoon cornstarch
* 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
* Keebler mini-crusts
* Whipped Cream

1. In a large bowl, toss the fruit with the sugar, lemon juice and corn starch.
2. In a heavy, medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the fruit mixture and bring to a boil, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Lower the heat and simmer, stirring often, until thickened, about 10 minutes. Let cool.
3. Spoon into crusts and serve with whipped cream.

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