Tuesday, July 4, 2006

Favorite Summertime Recipes

I am not known for adventurous eating, or superb culinary skills, or even passable food prep kitchen capabilities, but I want to share two of my favorite recipes that I make quite willingly. These are written up as I make them, which cuts out as much food prep and grocery shopping savvy as possible, while still making it better for you than McDonalds. The frugal, kitchen-smart and gourmet-types can make it more complicated if you wish

First up is a fantastic salad-as-main-course that was originally inspired by a SuperTarget ad on the radio.

Katy's Yummy Target Salad for Dinner

Materials:
  • Bag of lettuce*, 1/4 to 1/2 of a bag per person, I usually use 1/3 for myself as a meal
  • grape tomatos** I use 8 per person
  • mozzerella cheese, cut into bite-size chunks*** use lots if it is the only protein or about the same amount as you have chicken
  • Italian dressing, I like Kraft Light done Right Zesty Italian
  • Chicken, preferably rotisserie from the store, or breast cooked at home****, cut up or pulled off the carcass into bite size pieces, one breast per person
Tools:
  • knife
  • cutting board
  • large bowl or plate
  • smaller bowls if you are making this for more than one person
  • George Foreman grill, if you are cooking the chicken yourself
Tasks:
  1. Cook chicken, if you need to do this step, get it started, then prep everything else and your chicken will be done
  2. Open bag of lettuce, check for freshness and fill tossing bowl or cover plate
  3. Rinse tomatos, cut up if you like them smaller
  4. Put tomatos in with the lettuce
  5. Cut up cheese, put on top of the tomatos and lettuce
  6. Cut up chicken, if you cooked it yourself, or pull the meat off the bone if it is a rotisserie chicken.
  7. Put chicken on top of cheese, tomatos and lettuce.
  8. Add salad dressing to taste.
  9. Toss if you feel the need. Be warned that everything is heavier than lettuce, so I find it preferable to make this salad up directly on the serving plate (fairly spread out) and skip the tossing. I have tossed this salad, and it works, but all the good stuff falls to the bottom.
  10. Eat!
*I like romaine-heavy mixes, preferably bought when they are buy-1-get-one-free at the store (which also means you have to eat a lot of salad quickly, since they don't put the freshest bags on sale)
**any tomatos will do, if you cut them up into bite size pieces. I discovered the yummy, bite-sized grape tomato on the original ad recipe, and I prefer them to all other tomatos I've tried in salads. If you cut them in half, they go farther and take up less fork space.
***original recipe calls for the mini balls of cheese, cut into half or quarters. I find that 8 oz balls of "fresh" mozz that are packed tight in thick plastic (so no cheese juice to spill) also bought b1g1free taste good, are less expensive and taste just as good
****I just got a George Foreman grill, and you guessed it, individually wrapped, frozen, prewashed, boneless, skinless chicken breasts are buy-1-get-1-free in gigantic boxes that will last me the rest of the summer.

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Its not the 4th of July without Lemonade Ice Cream Pie. My mom will only make it once a year, and she says that it is because we wouldn't appreciate it as much if she made it all the time. She might be right, but I appreciate her chocolate chip cookies, chicken with pasta, banana goop and scrambled eggs, and she makes those all more than once a year. (thank goodness!) Due to that whole growing up, being an adult thing, I have spent very few 4th's with my Mom, so I've learned to make my own pie. This recipe is written to fill two store-bought pie crusts, as that's how I have to make it. WIC must only pay for full-size cans of lemonade concentrate or something because I have yet to see a city grocery store that carries the small cans, which is what is called for in the original recipe. Last year, I tried to make one pie by using half of the can of concentrate, but that is tough (not to mention sticky) to measure, and it is easier to just make two pies. The single pie was not lemon-y enough, so I made two pies later on in the summer, to demonstrate to my roommate how it was supposed to taste.

Mom's Lemonade Ice Cream Pie

Materials:
  • 2 graham cracker pie crusts (you could make your own, but that is not something that I'm inclined to do in the summer, and then you need to turn on the oven. On a hot day? I don't think so)
  • 16 oz Cool Whip (Lite or Regular, it doesn't matter. A regular size container is 8 oz)
  • 1 box (half gallon) vanilla ice cream
  • 12 oz frozen Minute Maid lemonade concentrate (don't get the store brand. trust me on this one. All your flavor comes from the lemonade, so don't cheap out here)
Tools:
  • Freezer
  • Counter (for thawing and mixing)
  • Rubber spatula (versus a metal spatula aka pancake turner if you are a home ec teacher) (don't use the spoon-spatula combos that they make in nice blue silicone these days. You want one that is flat and has a good combination of flexibility and strength. The spoons have too much scoop and not enough spread)
  • electric mixer
  • Your biggest mixing bowl. This gets sticky and has a lot of volume. Too big is not possible.
  • Large spoon
Tasks:
  1. Thaw the ice cream until it is soft. Thaw it some more. If you get impatient, and try to mix everything together when it isn't soft, you'll burn out your mixer. Ask my mom how I know this.
  2. Put the Cool Whip in the fridge while the ice cream is thawing. Then put it on the counter.
  3. Thaw the lemonade on the counter while you get everything else ready.
  4. Find all the mixer parts, assemble them and clear off some counter space near the outlet.
  5. Unwrap the pie crust, being sure to save the liner that becomes a lid.
  6. Scoop out about half the ice cream and half the Cool Whip into the mixing bowl. Mix these together with the electric mixer.
  7. Add the lemonade concentrate and the rest of the ice cream and Cool Whip. Mix everything together. Taste the filling. Isn't it divine?
  8. Resist eating the filling plain.
  9. Fill both pie crusts evenly, smooth the top with the spatula
  10. Using the liners as lids, cover the pies and put them in the freezer for a few hours.
  11. Lick all the bowls, beaters, spoons and spatulas. Enjoy the filling. Resist eating the very soft pie now.
  12. When the pies are frozen, cut into pieces and eat!
Enjoy this tangy sweet summer treat! I intended to eat both of these things today, as a meal, but I realized that I don't have a mixer and I'm short a package of Cool Whip. So my pie will have to wait until later this week.

Happy Independence Day!

1 comment:

erin/pinkerbell said...

wow that sounds good. I mgith have to try it this week.