Saturday, May 28, 2016

Mom's Macaroni Salad

1 pkg. (1 lb) pkg. macaroni (or shells)
1 1/2 c. mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. mustard
1/4 c. sour cream
2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. kosher salt (or to taste)
ground black pepper (to taste)
1 c. ham steak, cut into small cubes
1 c. cheddar cheese, cut into small cubes
2/3 c. frozen peas, thawed
2-3 carrots, shredded

Optional mix-ins:
cucumber, peeled and diced
dill pickles, chopped
tomato, diced
red bell pepper, diced
celery, chopped

  1. Prepare macaroni to al dente according to package directions. After macaroni is cooked, drain and rinse in cold water. Once macaroni has cooled down, drain well.
  2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine mayonnaise, mustard, sour cream, apple cider vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper.
  3. In a large bowl toss macaroni with ham, cheese, peas, carrots, and other mix-ins.
  4. Fold in mayonnaise mixture until pasta is well coated.
  5. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit overnight.
  6. If the salad seems a little dry after setting up overnight, add some milk a little bit at a time until salad becomes nice and creamy again.
Notes: We enjoyed this pasta salad. More flavorful than others I've had.

Monday, May 16, 2016

South African Bobotie

1 slice white bread
1 cup milk
2 eggs
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp freshly grated ginger
2 Tbsp butter
1 lb ground beef
1 Tbsp curry powder
1 lemon, juiced & zested
1/4 cup raisins, soaked in a little warm water
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1 spoonful mango chutney (apricot jam may be substituted)
salt & pepper

For the topping
milk (from soaking bread)
2 eggs
1/4 tsp turmeric
bay leaves

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Soak the bread in milk. Set it aside. Meanwhile, fry onion, ginger and garlic in butter until softened and beginning to brown.
  3. Continue adding ingredients to the pan — or, treat it like meatloaf: in a large bowl, mix beef, curry, lemon juice, zest, raisins, almonds, chutney, salt, pepper, and the soaked bread (squeeze out and reserve the milk). Add in the cooled onion mixture. Combine well.
  4. Fry mixture in a hot pan, adding butter as needed. Adjust seasonings to taste. 
  5. Once happy with the flavor, prepare the custard. Whisk the eggs into the reserved milk with a bit of turmeric, salt,and pepper. Pour over the meat mixture.
  6. Dot with bay leaves and bake about 20 minutes, or until the egg is set. Let cool for about 15 minutes, then slice and serve with yellow rice.
Notes: Certainly different than most recipes we've tried, but I found it interesting, refreshing, and tasty. The kids didn't care for it as much, probably because we don't often serve them meals that include cooked raisins and almonds and it was different. My great great grandfather was born in South Africa so it is interesting to think that he might have eaten something like this.

Source: Global Table Adventure. (I've enjoyed every recipe we've tried from this cite so far, and they are interesting!) 

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Southwestern Three-Bean and Barley Soup

1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 large stalk celery, diced
1 large carrot, diced
9 cups water
4 cups (32-oz carton) reduced-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
1/2 cup pearl barley
1/3 cup dried black beans
1/3 cup dried great northern beans
1/3 cup dried kidney beans
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp dried oregano
3/4 tsp salt

Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, celery and carrot and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add water, broth, barley, black beans, great northern beans, kidney beans, chili powder, cumin and oregano. Bring to a lively simmer over high heat. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender, 1 3/4 to 2 1/2 hours (adding more water, 1/2 cup at a time, if necessary or desired). Season with salt.

Notes: Lately I've been liking anything southwestern, and this recipe was no different. It was tasty. Brittany soaked the beans overnight because she didn't think they'd be soft enough after only a couple of hours of cooking. Slow-Cooker Variation (from the source): Use 2 cups water (instead of 9 cups) and combine all ingredients in a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker. Cover and cook until the beans are tender, about 4 hours on High or 7 to 8 hours on Low.

Source: Zipongo