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Tag Archives: Easy Recipes

Fuji Apple Salad Recipe by Leah

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Panera Bread® sells a fabulous Fuji Apple Salad with seasoned chicken breast, crispy apple chips, and an AMAZING apple vinaigrette.  It is sooo good!  I love the combination of crunch with the saltiness of the chicken and nuts, all topped off with the sweet tangy dressing.  When I saw the grocery store selling Panera’s® dressing I may have squealed in delight. I grabbed two bottles just in case it was a one-time thing.  When I got home my thriftiness crept in.  “I can make that.  I love that salad.  What have I been waiting for?”  I tried a few times and have ended up with an apple vinaigrette I love.

My salad is slightly different than Panera’s®.  They use chicken, but I usually leave it out and serve this as a side.  They use apple chips and I use thinly sliced apples.  They use toasted pecans and I use candied.  Either way, this salad is a winner.

 

 

 

 

Fuji Apple Salad

yield: 6 servings

 

INGREDIENTS

dressing

2 Tbsp apple juice concentrate

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1 Tbsp white balsamic vinegar

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup Canola oil

salad

12 cups mixed greens

2 chilled fuji apples, cored and thinly sliced

1/2 cup crumbled Gorgonzola

1/2 medium red onion, quartered and sliced

1 cup grape tomatoes

1/2 cup candied pecans

PREPARATION

  1. Blend all dressing ingredients together and set aside.  You’ll have more dressing than you need.
  2. In a large bowl, gently toss greens with dressing.
  3. Divide among plates and top with remaining ingredients.

Sausage Cheese Balls Recipe by Leah

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These little appetizers are a big hit at parties.  It seems they’ve been around for ages.  So long, in fact, some might consider them old-fashioned, but all that really means is that they’ve stood the test of time.  They’re always among the first things to disappear from the table.  Bonus! They can be frozen before or after baking!

Sausage Cheese Balls

 

 

Sausage Cheese Balls

 

INGREDIENTS

2 cups Bisquick

1 lb ground spicy pork sausage, room temperature

10 oz shredded medium cheddar cheese, room temperature

4 Tbsp water, as needed

spicy mustard, for dipping

 

PREPARATION

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Break ground sausage into chunks.  Mix in the Bisquick, cheese, cheddar and 2 Tbsp water.  I use a stand mixer but it can be done by hand as well.  Continue until the mixture holds together and there are no unincorporated ingredients in the bottom of the bowl.  If the mixture isn’t coming together add more water (or hot sauce) 1 tablespoon at a time.
  3. Shape the mixture into balls, rolling in your hand to smooth.
  4. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray lightly with cooking spray.  Place sausage balls on the pan.  They should not touch.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes.  Use a spatula to transfer the sausage balls to a serving tray and serve with spicy mustard.

Dry Rub Roasted Tri-Tip Recipe by Leah

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Tri-tip is a popular cut of meat in this area, especially at barbecues.  It’s easy to see why.  The cut is full flavored, relatively low in fat content, and all at a comparatively lower cost.  Plus, it’s easy to prepare!  We love to make extra and slice the meat more thinly to make sandwiches.  Just lay the meat on some sourdough, drizzle your favorite barbecue sauce (not too much. You don’t want to overwhelm the flavor of the meat), add a slice of Pepper Jack and you’re all set.

 

Dry Rub Roasted Tri Tip

 

 

Dry Rub Roasted Tri-Tip

yield: 6-8 servings

 

 

INGREDIENTS

1 whole tri-tip (or santa maria cut), about 2 lb

soy sauce

2 Tbsp olive oil

dry rub

1 1/2 Tbsp kosher salt

1 1/2 Tbsp granulated garlic

1 heaping tsp black pepper

1 Tbsp brown sugar

1/4 tsp cayenne

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1 Tbsp cocoa powder

 

PREPARATION

Mix together the dry rub ingredients.  Set aside.  Coat your tri-tip with soy sauce.  Allow it dry a little until sticky.  Then, sprinkle your tri tip with the dry rub, massaging all over.  Wrap the tri tip in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

 

Roasting Method

Remove the tri-tip from the refrigerator 1 hour prior to cooking.  Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.  In a large, heavy oven-proof skillet heat 2 Tablespoons olive oil over high.  Add the tri-tip fat-side down.  Turn the heat to medium-high and sear the roast for about 4 minutes.  Turn the roast so it’s fat-side up and place the skillet in the oven (or transfer to a shallow pan).  Roast 30-40 minutes or until an instant read thermometer registers 130 degrees when inserted into the thickest part of the meat.  Rest roast on a cutting board and tent with foil for 15-20 minutes.  Slice against the grain and serve.

 

Grilling Method

Remove the meat from the refrigerator an hour before cooking.  Prepare charcoal grill or heat a gas grill to high.  Place roast on grill and sear one side well, 6 to 8 minutes, checking for flare-ups.  Turn the roast and sear other side for about the same time.  Then lower gas to medium-high or move the meat to a cooler part of the charcoal grill.  Turn meat again and cook another 8 to 10 minutes.  Flip and cook again.  A 2-pound roast will require about 20 to 25 minutes total cooking time.  The roast is ready when an instant-read thermometer reaches 130 degrees when inserted into the thickest part of the meat.  Rest roast on a cutting board and tent with 15 to 20 minutes.  Slice against the grain and serve.

 

 

NOTES

Tri-Tip roast is shaped like a boomerang, so either cut it in half at the center of the angle, or slice against the grain on one side, turn the roast and slice against the grain on the other side.

Craisins Salad Recipe by Leah

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I learned how to cook from cookbooks.  My mom was a good cook, but when I was a teen she began to get sick and didn’t have much energy to devote to cooking, so our meals became very simple.  We’d typically have a meat and steamed veggies with an occasional Kraft Macaroni and Cheese™ or Hamburger Helper™ thrown in.  What can I say?  I’m a child of the 80’s.  🙂  Towards the end of high school my mom was really too ill to cook, so the responsibilities came to us, her children.  I would heat up the meat and steam the veggies just as she told me to, and then, in time, my interest began to grow.  I started looking in cookbooks and finding things that looked fun to prepare.  Through natural curiosity I began to introduce new foods and new ways of cooking to the family.  I have to be honest, they weren’t always well received, but learning a new skill can be a bumpy road and sometimes things just didn’t taste that good.

One thing I learned early on is that I LOVE salads.  It took some time but I slowly won my parents and siblings over to my “rabbit food”.  This salad is one from my early days of cookbook learning and it has stood the test of time with the dressing being one of my absolute favorites.

 

 

Craisins Salad

INGREDIENTS

Salad

1 head red leaf lettuce

1 head green leaf lettuce

1 head iceberg lettuce

1 (8 oz) package shredded Mozzarella cheese

1 (8 oz) package shredded Parmesan cheese

1 lb bacon, cooked and crumbled

1 (8 oz) package craisins

1 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Dressing

1/2 cup red wine vinegar

1 cup sugar

1/2 onion, chopped

1 1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp mustard

1 cup canola oil

PREPARATION

Salad

Tear red and green leaf lettuce into pieces.  Shred iceberg lettuce.  Toss together with other ingredients just before serving.  Pass dressing over salad.

Dressing

In a blender mix all ingredients, except oil.  Add oil and blend again.

The Grey Stuff© Replica Recipe by Leah

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“Try the grey stuff it’s delicious.  Don’t believe us ask the dishes!”©  Everyone knows that song, right?  It’s from Beauty and the Beast©, a favorite movie!  Disneyland®, of course, took that line from the movie and turned it into a delectable treat.  They serve it over a red velvet cupcake and sitting on a lemon cookie.  We eat it straight out of the bowl.  * This is not an official Disney® recipe but rather a very close replication.  Movie and song lyrics copyrighted by and belong to The Walt Disney Company®.

 

 

Ae

 

 

The Grey Stuff© Replica

INGREDIENTS

1 (3.4 oz) Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix

1 1/2 cups milk

15 Oreo™ cookies

1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip™

2 Tbsp Instant Chocolate Pudding Mix

PREPARATION

  1. In a medium bowl, combine pudding mix and milk.  Whisk well and refrigerate for 10 minutes.
  2. Place Oreos™ in a food processor and blend until they become crumbs.
  3. Mix the crushed cookies in with the pudding mixture and mix well.
  4. Fold in Cool Whip™ and chocolate pudding mix until well combined and refrigerate for one hour before serving.
  5. When ready to serve, place “grey stuff”© in a piping bag and add a dollop to the middle of a plate or bowl, and then pipe a spiral around it.

* This is not an official Disney® recipe but rather a very close replication.  Movie and song lyrics copyrighted by and belong to The Walt Disney Company®.

Guacamole Recipe by Leah

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I can’t remember the first time I ate guacamole.  I’ve loved it longer than I can remember.  If I’m eating at a Mexican restaurant you can bet I’ll be ordering it.  But it’s so much more than a dip for tortilla chips!

It’s delicious in wraps, on a baked potato, with fresh veggies, as a spread in sandwiches, as a dressing in a salad, on a crispy corn tortilla and topped with an egg.  The list goes on and on.  I love guacamole and this is my preferred way to make it.

 

 

Ai

 

 

Guacamole

 

INGREDIENTS

1/4 cup finely chopped white onion, rinsed under cold water

1 medium tomato, diced

2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro**

2 tsp finely chopped jalapeno chile with seeds

1/2 tsp salt

2 ripe Haas avocados, pitted and peeled

1 Tbsp fresh lime juice

PREPARATION

  1. Combine onion, tomato, cilantro, jalapeno and salt in a small bowl.
  2. In a large bowl, coarsely mash the avocados with a fork or potato masher.
  3. Add the onion mixture and lime juice, stir until well mixed.

*Can be made ahead.  Cover and refrigerate up to 4 hours.

**Georgia’s Nerdy Note: As noted in previous recipes, if you are unable to eat cilantro, you can swap parsley for it.  Some people have the same special genes, OR6A2, which cause the person to pick up other scents that others do not detect, causing cilantro to taste like soap.  Parsley is an easy swap, so you don’t miss out!

Blueberry and Feta Salad Recipe by Leah

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My friend, Stephanie, is a caterer and serves this salad frequently.  I only recently had the opportunity to try it and I immediately fell in love.  It’s light, simple, and tasty.

 

 

Af

 

 

Blueberry and Feta Salad

 

INGREDIENTS

dressing

2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

2 Tbsp honey

dash of ground thyme

1/3 cup olive oil

salt and pepper, to taste

salad

almonds

olive oil

kosher salt

butter lettuce, chopped

blueberries

crumbled feta

PREPARATION

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Chop almonds, toss in olive oil and kosher salt, and roast for 7-8 minutes.  Set aside.
  2. Blend dressing ingredients together.
  3. Toss the butter lettuce in the dressing.  Top with almonds, blueberries, and crumbled feta.
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