Thursday, June 30, 2011

Cantaloupe Tomato Salad

I will continue the summer themed recipes with a re-post of my favorite fruit salad! I posted this recipe last year with a couple of recipes that were made for a cooking night with some of Meg's friends. I decided it needed to be highlighted with it's own post. My mom gave me this recipe several years ago. I have wowed people at pot lucks and BBQs with this salad. It is one of J's favorites. I made it last week for the first time in almost a year and he said "oh yay! I love this." This may not be impressive for you, but for a guy that gets a new recipe 2-3 times a week, it is a lot for him to remember a dish. Plus is is sooo easy! I think it is what I am taking to the fourth of July BBQ we are attending this weekend.

Cantaloupe Tomato Salad
1 Cantaloupe
12 cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup basil
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
salt and pepper
Make pretty melon balls! I love balling melon, I don't know why, it is just very very fun!
Slice tomatoes. I usually cut them in half, but these were a little big, so I sliced them in quarters.
Slice the basil, real pretty like..
Mix all ingredients together in a big bowl. 
Allow salad to sit in the fridge for about an hour before serving and all the ingredients will meld together perfectly!
It is pretty too!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Basil Lemonade

Flowers make me happy! I realized a few years back that even most of the prints in my clothing were floral prints. I just LOVE them! So right now I am a very happy girl as I look out my living room window to see this every day. It is the biggest hydrangea bush I have ever seen! I think they are bigger this year.

Some are the size of two human heads! I mean really!?!
So when the girls were over yesterday we decided to take pictures in front of them. Unfortunately the sun was not working in our favor.
Strategizing where to stand, Em wanted to be on the best side for her hair, Meg just wanted the sun out of her eyes!
 Now the sun is my my eyes..
 Hmmm still not good....oh well!
 It's ok, the hydrangeas have the spotlight!

We used lemon zest on the menu at Dream Dinners this month, so I kept taking more and more lemons home! I had about 25 I think! I decided to make lemonade. One of the sweet girls in Jeffrey's family, Marqui, makes basil lemonade and it is always so good, so I tried it out. I was delicious. It cuts the sour of the lemon just enough.
Basil Lemonade
1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
8 leaves of basil
Squeeze lemons...lots and lots of lemons!
Chop basil
Make a basil infused simple syrup. Stir sugar and water with the basil on medium heat.
Keep stirring until mixture clears, then take off heat. Don't bring to a boil.
Allow to cool then strain syrup and mix into 5 1/2 cups of water.

Chill and serve over ice!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Blueberry, Corn Chicken Salad

The 3Bs just left and it was a great night of food! I made them my fried tacos... delicious! Then the dessert...oh the dessert!! It will come to the blog soon but imagine chocolate chip cookies, oreos and brownies merged into one dessert!!! Heavenly!

I loved this chicken salad. It was a recipe that Pioneer Woman posted several weeks ago. I am always looking for good chicken salad recipes because they are so easy to makefor Jeffrey to eat on for several days. Blueberries and corn are so good right now so make it soon!

Blueberry Corn Chicken Salad
5 chicken tenders
salt and pepper
1 tsp olive oil
3 celery stalks, diced
1 ear of corn, sliced off cob
1/4 red onion, diced
1 cup blueberries
3 Tbsp fresh dill
2 Tbsp mayo
2 Tbsp sour cream
2 Tbsp heavy cream
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 cup feta
Season chicken with salt and pepper and drizzle olive oil in bag.
Mince onion and let it sit in cold water for about 5 minutes so that it will not be as strong.
Grill chicken until done.
Mix together mayo, sour cream, cream, feta, sugar and lemon juice.
Season with salt and pepper.

Mix in a big bowl blueberries, onion, celery, dill and corn.
Allow chicken to cool, then chop into rough chunks.
Stir chicken and sauce into veggies. Chill for at least 1 hour before serving.
I loved it in a sandwich!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Parker House Rolls

This is the breakfast I made my hubby to lure him out of bed this morning. Scrambled eggs, blackberries and his creation: Toast spread with half nutella and half peanut butter. 
PS It worked! This morning visited a new church that we were both pleased with. Then he FINALLY rehung the shelf that fell down several months ago and he helped me with dishes even though I told him he didn't have too!  PPS Have I ever mentioned my love language is "acts of service." Thank you for filling my love tank hunny, I love you!

Woo Hoo! I made dinner rolls...and they were good! I love bread, it is my favorite! Most days I would chose a good dinner roll over dessert.
Parker House Rolls

1 packet of yeast
1/2 cup sugar
7 1/2 cups of flour
1 1/2 sticks of butter, plus more for brushing
2 cups of milk
2 large eggs
1 Tbsp kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling
Measure 1/2 cup of water between 110-120 degrees.
Place yeast in the bottom of a bowl.
Then stir in water and whisk in sugar. Allow yeast to bloom for a few minutes.
Melt butter and allow it to cool.
Gently stir 1 cup of flour into yeast mixture.
Set aside.
In the bowl attached to your electric mixer, add cooled butter and room temperature milk.
Place dough hook on the electric mixture and turn it on low. Add the eggs to the mix.

Once blended, add yeast mixture.
Then add salt and slowly add 6 1/2 cups of flour. 
Stop mixing once dough pulls away from the bowl.
Use some softened butter to grease the inside of a big bowl.
Place dough in a bowl.
Top with towel and place in a warm spot for 2 - 2 1/2 hours. It should double in size. I usually turn the oven on low so the bowl will sit on something warm. Though once I made it too hot and the dough fell...don't do that!
Yeah it worked!
This part was WAY easier than I had imagined. Flour your work space and then turn your pour your dough out from the bowl onto the table. Use your hands to shape the dough into a 16 by 8 inch rectangle (i used a ruler).

This was the confusing part. The recipe I had said to cut into 12 strips across and then once in half. I started by cutting down the middle, which doesn't equally give my 12 strips, then I went back and forth trying to decide what do to...that is where I was at this picture. Ultimately I ended up cutting 16 strips across, sorry this picture doesn't reflect that!
Fold each strip of dough in half so the top part slightly overlaps the bottom half, then tuck the overhang underneath. Place on a greased cookie sheet seam-side down.

This recipe made 32 rolls! But you can freeze them and put them straight in the oven from frozen. I sprayed the inside of a gallon bag with PAM before placing the rolls in.
Cook the other 16 on 325 for 18-20 minutes. 

Remove from oven and brush the tops with softened butter. Then sprinkle with a little kosher salt.
I LOVE Bread!!!!