Thursday, May 14, 2009

Rambling Thursday...Some Of This & Some Of That ...

Kool-Aid Pickles Recipe

1 jar (46-ounce size) whole regular dill pickles, drained
1 cup granulated sugar
2 cups water
2 packets Unsweetened Cherry Kool-Aid

Drain and discard the juice from the pickle jar. Remove the pickles from the jar and cut each one in half lengthwise. Return the pickles to the jar and set aside. Pickle chips can also be used. In a large measuring cup, combine the sugar, water and Kool-Aid. Mix until the sugar has completely dissolved. Pour enough of the liquid into the pickle jar to cover the pickles. Discard any excess. Cover the jar and refrigerate at least 24 hours. Several days to a week is better. Makes a red colored, sweet, sour, salty pickle treat.

Apple and Spinach Salad
Serves 6

2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
2 Tbsp fresh orange juice
2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp honey
1/4 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
8 cups fresh baby spinach (about 8 ounces)
1 large apple, cored and thinly sliced
1/4 cup (1 ounce) crumbled blue cheese
Combine juices, mustard, honey, salt and pepper in a small bowl and whisk together. Place onions and spinach in a large bowl. Add dressing and toss together. Top with blue cheese.

Fresh Herbs

Looking for healthy, simple ways to take a dish from bland to brilliant? Do what professional chefs do: Use herbs.
Have you ever wondered why everything tastes so exquisite in fine restaurants? If you've talked to anyone in the food industry, you know: lots of butter. (Indeed, I even had a chef confess to me that the dastardly secret to his delicious egg white omelets was heavy cream.)
But there's another tack you can take at home: liberal use of fresh herbs. They add a sprightly complexity that can't be matched by dried, and are perhaps the single most transformative ingredient you can use to make your own cooking taste more like the work of a professional chef.
Growing your own herbs in a kitchen box takes little work other than daily watering; fresh herbs are also available year round in grocery stores, generally for under $2. So make it a policy to have at least one kind in the fridge, and see what a difference they can make in your cooking.

Lucky is the gardener with a thriving basil plant; these emerald-green satiny leaves emit the perfume of summer.

These oniony shoots are a boon to any busy cook. When you don't feel like getting out the cutting board to chop up an onion, snip these crunchy greens into a dish with a pair of scissors.

A somewhat polarizing herb, cilantro is prized in Chinese, Thai, Portuguese and Latin American cooking.

Don't let the delicate fronds fool you: Dill packs a lot of punch and tastes like a cross between celery, parsley and fresh fennel.

Though in the same family as oregano, velvety-leafed marjoram is more mellow, with floral notes as well as hints of sage and thyme.

Anyone who's tasted fresh mint can remember the shock of its bright, herbal pungency.

If you have trouble telling oregano's somewhat fuzzy leaves from marjoram's, that's because they're so closely related.

Parsley deserves a seat of honor in the pantheon of herbs for its ability to freshen almost any dish as well as to boost the flavor of any other herb paired with it.

Fresh rosemary looks, tastes and smells as if it's been stripped from a pine tree, along with some citrusy notes.

These fuzzy, sometimes silvery leaves are beautiful and strongly scented with the high notes of menthol and the low notes of the woods.

With its long, slender, pointy green leaves, tarragon has a lovely, gentle combination of licorice, basil and green-tasting qualities, plus a pleasant lemony-sour aftertaste.

The foundation of many slow-cooked French dishes, thyme tastes deeply herbal and almost meaty.

Need Some Humor?

There was a very self-sufficient blind man, who did a lot of traveling alone. He was making his first trip to Texas and happened to be seated next to a Texan on the flight.
The Texan spent a lot of time telling him how everything is bigger and better in Texas. By the time the blind man had reached his destination, a large resort hotel, he was very excited about being in Texas.
The long trip had worn him out a little so he decided to stop at the bar for a small soda and a light snack before going up to his room to unpack this clothes.
When the waitress set down his drink, it was in a huge mug. "Wow, I had heard everything in Texas is bigger," he told her.
"That's right,"she replied. The blind man ate his snack and finished his drink. After drinking such a large amount, it was only natural his next stop was going to have to be the restroom. He asked the waitress for directions. She told him to turn left at the register and it would be the second door on the right.
He reached the first door and continued down the hall. A few steps later he stumbled slightly and missed the second door altogether and ended up going through the 3rd door instead. Not realizing he had entered the swimming area he walked forward and immediately fell into the swimming pool.
Remembering everything he had heard about things being bigger in Texas, as soon as he had his head above water he started shouting "Don't flush! Don't flush!"


Joyce said...

Dear Sue.... just had to stop quickly to tell you that I just LOVE your blog! I look forward to reading daily~ Happy Weekend to you!

Cynthia Holt Ziemian said...

Yummm...that salad looks delicious... might have to try that one! Can u substitue the Dijon mustard w/something else? I don't have any on hand & Just wondered...the pickles look interesting, too...gonna try those as well!! Oh...and I was out garage saleing today and bought me 3 more old Fire King pie plates...again, thank u for teaching me the art of making pie crust the easy way! (My hips don't thank u though..hahaha)

Debbies Doodle said...

fresh Herbs.
I found that to be soo true. A good friend of mine gave me a variety package of herbs for a gift she grew in her garden..I really thought they would taste just like the spices I have in my cupboard.. The first time I tried them was in Chicken and noodles.. wowowoo what an aroma and snap to the flavor I didn't expect..
debbie doodles