30 July 2014

Summer Salad with Israeli couscous

My dear friend Candace shared this recipe from the Los Angeles Times with me.  Electronic communication makes it so much easier for us to communicate though we are hundreds of miles apart.  During the hot weather this turned out to be a good choice for a hot day, and even better the next day as left overs.  This will be what accompanies me to potlucks for the rest of the summer!

Russ Parsons, who authored the article in the Times, said that you can interchange the grain using quinoa, farro or barley.  Just adjust the cooking time accordingly.  I learned that Israeli couscous is not really a grain, but a pasta.

Yield:  6 servings
Time:  20 minutes plus cooling time

1 pint cherry tomatoes
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 to 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
1/4 cup of olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 bunch green onions, finely chopped, green part only
1 1/2 cups Israeli couscous
3 cups water
2 Persian cucumbers, cut in half lengthwise and cut into 1/3 to 1/2 inch slices
3 ounces (about 1/2 cup) crumbled feta
2 tablespoons chopped mint
1/3 cup chopped parsley
Fresh Ground Pepper

1. Slice the tomatoes in half lengthwise and place them in a medium mixing bowl.  Add the salt, garlic, jalapeno, olive oil, lemon juice and green onions and stir to combine.  Set aside to let salt draw out the tomato juices.

2. Toast the couscous in a dry medium sauce pan over medium high heat  and cook stirring frequently until it smells nutty,  3 to 5 minutes.  Add 3 cups of water and 1 teaspoon salt and bring to boil.  Reduce heat and cook, partially covered, until the couscous is just tender, but still a little chewy, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain and rinse under cool running water and shake well to remove as much moisture as possible.

3.  While the couscous is still slightly warm, add it to the tomato mixture and toss to coat.  Add the cucumber and set aside to cool completely.

4.  Add the feta, mint, and parsley, just before serving and stir gently to combine.  Add black pepper to taste and stir that in.  Taste again and add more salt or lemon juice if you feel it necessary.

From The Los Angeles Times

Click here for printable recipe

29 July 2014

Strawberry Cream Cheese Bread

I arrived home from my Pacific Northwest Vacation to an abundance of strawberries.  The following day this recipe was in my inbox so I decide it would be a good way to save the strawberries.  I must have been right, it only lasted one day!

I used my glass pan that I make meatloaf in and it overflowed.  Perhaps it's not exactly 9x13.  Next time I'll make 3 little loaves or muffins, rather than clean out my oven after baking.

Yield: 1 loaf



1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 cups strawberries, rinse, dried and chopped


1. Grease and flour a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
2. With electric mixer cream butter, sugar and cream cheese until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time. Mix in vanilla.
3. In separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Blend flour mixture with butter mixture just until blended. Add buttermilk and only stir until just combined; do not over mix.
4. Carefully fold in strawberries. Dough mixture will be thick.
5. Bake in a 350°F oven for 50 to 60 minutes.
From My Baking Addiction

Click here for printable recipe