Tired of Scrambling to Throw Together a Last-Minute Salad?

April 27, 2008

This 24-four-hour wonder is more than a great time-saver—it’s always a big hit with family and friends.

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Twenty-Four-Hour Salad

April 27, 2008

This is one salad you have to make the day before … which frees you up for all kinds of dinner-party fun. SAM

1 head iceberg lettuce, shredded
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
2 cups stemmed and chopped fresh spinach
1 (10-ounce) package frozen green peas, thawed
2 cups mayonnaise
Sea salt and Freshly ground pepper to taste
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup cooked and crumbled bacon

Lightly grease a 9 x 13 x 2-inch cake pan. In the pan, layer the lettuce, celery, bell pepper, onion, spinach, and peas. Do not stir. Spread the mayonnaise over the salad, then the salt, pepper, Parmesan, and bacon. Cover tightly and chill in the fridge for 24 hours. Cut into squares to serve.
Makes 16 servings.


Blond Brownies

April 17, 2008

No chocolate? That’s right. With these ‘blondies,’ you may never crave chocolate again! SAM

1/4 cup butter
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped pecans or English walnuts

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour an 8-inch square pan. In a saucepan, melt the butter. Add the sugar, egg, and vanilla. In a medium bowl, mix the flour baking powder, and salt and add to the egg mixture. Add the pecans. Spread into the pan and bake for 30 minutes. Cool slightly in the pan before cutting into squares.
Makes 16 brownies.


Easy Spinach Casserole

April 10, 2008


The only caveat with this recipe is to wring the spinach dry. If you thaw it slightly in a microwave, wringing out the water is easy. SAM

1 (10-ounce) package frozen, chopped spinach, thawed and wrung dry by hand
1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, melted and divided
1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Paprika

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a small casserole dish. In a medium bowl, combine the spinach, cream cheese, 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs, 2 tablespoons butter, salt, and pepper. Spoon into the casserole dish and sprinkle with the remaining breadcrumbs, paprika, and remaining butter. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes.
Makes 2 servings.


Real Lemon Pie

April 5, 2008

Just because it’s easy doesn’t mean it’s not great! And, yes, you use the whole lemon, rind and all. SAM

3 eggs
1 large lemon, unpeeled, seeded, and quartered
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Dash of salt
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 9-inch prepared pastry shell,, unbaked

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a blender or food processor, combine the eggs, lemon, sugar, lemon juice, vanilla extract, and salt. Process until smooth. Add the butter and process 5 seconds longer. Pour into the prepared pastry shell and bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Serve with vanilla ice cream.
Makes 8 servings.

Adapted from Emily’s cookbook All-American Comfort Food.


Layered Dinner Salad

April 2, 2008
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A great do-ahead recipe is a cook’s best friend. SAM

PS Substitute ham or turkey for the chicken, if you like. Shrimp would also be good.

1 cup uncooked macaroni
4 carrots, pared and finely shredded
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon honey
4 cups shredded romaine lettuce
1 (10-ounce) package tiny frozen green peas, thawed but uncooked
1 medium red onion, cut into very thin rings
1 cup diced celery
1/2 pound roast chicken, diced
1/2 cup shredded Swiss or Jarlsberg cheese
1 1/3 cups mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons snipped fresh dill
2 tablespoons capers
Freshly ground pepper to taste
2 hard-cooked eggs, crumbled

Cook the macaroni until al dente, according to the instructions on the package. Drain. In a small bowl, combine the carrots, lemon juice, and honey. In a 3-quart bowl, layer the lettuce, macaroni, carrots, peas, onion, celery, turkey, and cheese. In another bowl combine the mayonnaise, mustard, dill, capers, pepper, and egg. Mound the mayonnaise mixture in the center of the salad, cover tightly, and chill for at least 2 hours. Just before serving, toss well.
Makes 8 to 10 servings.