I made this spicy noodle salad with the Herb-grilled Chicken Breasts, Thai Style, and the Watermelon & Arugula Salad a few weeks ago for the bridge ladies.  A few of you asked for the recipe so here it is girls.  Bon Appetit and may the cards be with you!

Spicy Sesame Noodle, Green Bean, and Carrot Salad Recipe at Epicurious.com.

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A refreshing summer salad that is spicy with arugula and sweet with watermelon.  Ina is right…”how easy is that?”

Watermelon and Arugula Salad Recipe : Ina Garten : Recipes : Food Network.

Going “green” is a popular theme today and in our house Herb-Grilled Chicken Breast, Thai Style is called “Green Chicken”.  I agree with the sentiment, “Go Green”!  Marinate this herb-enhanced chicken the night before and serve it with Spicy Sesame Noodle, Green Bean and Carrot Salad.  A second side dish of Water Melon & Arugula Salad is a nice compliment too.

Herb-Grilled Chicken Breasts, Thai Style Recipe at Epicurious.com.

I just can’t make this salad often enough!  It’s fresh, vegetarian and full of flavor.  It’s a side dish that goes with meat, poultry or seafood but can stand alone too.  The do-ahead tip here is to roast the vegetables ahead and kept them in the refrigerator until you are ready to put the salad together.  Keep an eye on the veggies while roasting so as not to burn them.  Also, I agree with the recipe,  use chunk feta not crumbled.  Noelle has been known to impress guests with her cooking skills by serving this dish.  You got skills, Noelle!  😉

Orzo with Roasted Vegetables Recipe : Ina Garten : Recipes : Food Network.

This was my “go-to” summer dessert this year.  I made it several times for dinner parties and had quite a few requests for the recipe.  The tangy lemon curd, creamy cool ice cream and sweet & nutty crust make this dessert a favorite.  I love the do-ahead aspect of this sweet treat especially if it is for guests.  Make the lemon curd 2 days ahead and the pie 1 day ahead.  Don’t worry if you don’t have a torch (although I did enlist a dinner guest to help me torch the pie!) because the oven works too.  If I’m not serving chocolate for dessert (what?) this is an impressive option!

Lemon Meringue Ice Cream Pie in Toasted Pecan Crust Recipe at Epicurious.com.

Cream Cheese Pie

October 9, 2012

This recipe is an oldie but goodie that I got many years ago from one of my bridge friends.  It soon became a family favorite especially with Blake.  I think Blake has made this pie enough times to have memorized the recipe and is able to replicate it at any time including while on a family vacation!

Cream Cheese Pie

1-8oz cream cheese (softened)

1-14 oz can sweetened condensed milk

1/2 cup real lemon juice concentrate

1-teaspoon vanilla

1  1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

1/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup butter (softened)

Preheat oven 350 degrees.   Mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter with fork.  Press into buttered 9-inch glass pie dish.  Bake for about 8.  Cool completely.

Using mixer combine cream cheese and condensed milk.  Stir in lemon juice and vanilla.  Pour filling into cooled crust and refrigerate.  Did I get this right, Blake!

PS
If desired, you can top pie with canned blueberry or cherry pie filling.

If you’re thinking about going retro with the standard onion dip and chips, try this updated version using blue cheese and shallots (they look like small brown onions, don’t be shy, just ask the produce person if you aren’t sure).  When Bret was a new, return resident to Dallas, invited to an old friend’s barbecue, he needed an appetizer to share.  He put this together and reported that it was a hit.  This simple dish can be made ahead and I can guarantee you won’t be able to stop at just one chip.  Try the Hawaiian or kettle chips, they’re addicting!

Blue Cheese and Caramelized Shallot Dip Recipe at Epicurious.com.