Monthly Archives: January 2018

Apple, Walnut and Stilton Cheese Salad

Just about a week and a half ago, we were having some seriously cold winter weather. Like zero degrees. That is way too cold for me! And apparently for lots of other people, because no one wanted to get out in that weather. We were kind of all hibernating during that deep freeze. And then, much to everyone’s delight, the weather gradually started warming up. Things slowly came back to life. It felt like the frozen world was beginning to thaw. And as that happened, I started craving a good salad.

And right about this time, I received my review copy of a new cookbook called Fresh Tastes by Lee Clayton Roper. It actually has a great photo of a salad on the cover! So I knew then that I would be picking out a salad recipe to try from this book. There are much more than salad recipes, though–there are over 170 recipes for everything from appetizers and breakfast foods to main dishes, vegetarian dishes, and desserts, all made with fresh ingredients (hence the name, Fresh Tastes) and easy to prepare. There’s lots of very nice full-color photography of many of the dishes, too. Had I not wanted to make a salad so badly, I might have tried the Green Chile Canapés, Cinnamon Loaf, Chicken Pot Pie, Cajun Meatloaf, Vegetable Curry, or Blueberry Peach Custard Pie. But I was set on a salad, so I’ll have to try those another time! Here’s the recipe if you’d like to try it yourself:

APPLE, WALNUT AND STILTON CHEESE SALAD from Fresh Tastes

Makes 6 servings

  • 1/4 cup raspberry balsamic vinegar (or substitute raspberry vinegar with 1-2 Tbsp. honey–if you can’t find raspberry vinegar, just substitute a raspberry or raspberry-walnut vinaigrette for the vinegar, lemon juice, and oil)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup walnut oil (or substitute olive oil)
  • Salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 10 ounces mixed baby greens (spinach, arugula, lettuce)
  • 2 large Gala or other red apples, unpeeled, cored and chopped
  • 1 cup (6 ounces) chopped walnuts, lightly toasted
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups (6 to 8 ounces) Stilton cheese, crumbled (or substitute Gorgonzola or other forms of blue cheese)

In a medium glass jar with fitted lid, whisk together the vinegar, lemon juice and oil until well blended and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and set aside (you can skip these steps if you’re using a raspberry-walnut vinaigrette).

In a large bowl, toss together mixed greens, chopped apple, walnuts and cheese. Just before serving, toss with just enough dressing to coat the lettuce (you may have some dressing left over). Season to taste with salt and pepper.

This is a great winter salad, and the chopped apples, walnuts, and Stilton cheese go really well together. Do you have a favorite winter salad recipe?

Sharing at Inspire Me MondayHappiness is HomemadeMeal Plan Monday, Fiesta FridayThursday Favorite ThingsFull Plate Thursday.

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Cheesy Corn Casserole

Not long ago, I posted a yummy “comfort food”-type side dish called Easy Corn Casserole. It’s really good and very easy to make. Being a cheese-lover, I thought I’d try making another version with some sharp cheddar cheese and a little chopped green onion added in–and I loved the result! So I just had to share it with you! When you want something warm and cheesy, this is just the comforting kind of side dish you’ll want. It would be great served with a bowl of hot chili!

CHEESY CORN CASSEROLE by NancyC

Makes a 9×9″ pan

  • 1 (15.25-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 (14.75-ounce) can cream style corn
  • 1 (8.5-ounce) box corn muffin mix (I used Jiffy)
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream, light sour cream, or plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
  • Optional: 1/3 cup finely chopped green onion

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease a 9×9″ casserole dish or pan; set aside.

In large bowl, stir the two cans of corn and corn muffin mix. Add eggs, sour cream and melted butter, stirring everything together well, then stir in 1 cup of the shredded Cheddar cheese (and the optional chopped green onion, if you want to add a little savory flavor).

Pour this mixture into the 9×9″ pan and bake at 350˚F for 45 minutes or until set and golden. Remove from oven and top with the remaining Cheddar cheese. Return to oven for an additional 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Serve warm.

I usually crave comfort food like this corn casserole in colder weather, and we’ve definitely been having our share of that this winter! What kind of comfort food have you been making lately?

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My Word for 2018

Instead of making New Year’s Resolutions this year, I’m picking a word that will be “my one word” to focus on during the year. There’s actually a book called My One Word and a website, too–MyOneWord.org. This is not a new book–it was first published in 2012. But it’s new to me. I’ve not read the book, but I’ve browsed the website and I like the idea of having “one word” to focus on instead of a list of resolutions that I probably won’t keep!

Here’s part of a description of the book and the “one word” concept you can find over at AmazonThe concept of “My One Word” is simple. Lose the long list of resolutions―all your sweeping promises to change―and do something about one thing this year instead of nothing about everything. Choose just one word that represents what you most hope God will do in you, and focus on it for an entire year. This single act will force clarity and concentrate your efforts. As you focus on your word over an extended period of time, you position yourself for God to form your character at a deep, sustainable level. Growth and change will result.

Over at MyOneWord.org, there are 3 steps to help you choose your word, which I’m condensing and editing a little here:

  • STEP 1: Determine the kind of person you want to become. Go beyond simply being healthier and wealthier. What’s going on in your heart and soul? How is God speaking to you and what do you need to focus on to become the person that God has created you to be?
  • STEP 2: Identify the characteristics of that person. Is that person gentle or generous? What are the qualities of the person you want to become–the qualities you’re sensing God wants you to grow in?
  • STEP 3: Pick a word. Just one word that stands out the most to you. Commit to this one word for the year–it will provide you with a lens to see the changes you need to make as well as help you see whether or not change is actually happening. Staying focused on your word will help you move in the right direction and see God working in your life.

You can visit MyOneWord.org, to see words other people have chosen for themselves to focus on during the year. That may help get you started.

So what is my word for 2018?

Yes, SIMPLIFY–this word has been on my mind and heart for a few months now, but I’ve never really fully focused on it. I want to simplify my life so I’m not distracted by unimportant things. I want a more uncluttered life so I can focus on what is most important and hear God speak more clearly.

Do you have a word you’ve chosen for 2018? If you haven’t yet, it’s not too late! Please share what your word is in the comments below–I’d love to hear!

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Tomato Carrot Soup with Basil

Soup is such a great thing to eat on a cold winter day. Like this Tomato Carrot Soup with Basil. Although, I have to admit, it’s also good in the summer made with fresh tomatoes. But during the winter you can use canned diced tomatoes and I think it tastes just as good.

I’ve been having lots of soup lately, because it is cold and because I’ve been getting over a nasty bout of bronchitis, which I had over most of the holidays. I was disappointed at not being able to post more holiday recipes, but just didn’t have much energy to cook or do much else!

So I thought this would be a good time to post a soup recipe–most people love a good bowl of soup in the winter and this is so good for you. It has a good variety of veggies in it–carrots, celery and onion–all blended to a smooth consistency. Garlic and basil also add to the flavor. It makes a great meal with some crusty bread. Or serve it before a main course for dinner.

TOMATO CARROT SOUP WITH BASIL by NancyC

Makes about 4 servings

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 medium carrots, shredded
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup water
  •  2 pounds fresh tomatoes, seeded and diced (or 2 [14.5-ounce] cans diced tomatoes)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil or 2 Tablespoons dried basil, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar

In large saucepan, cook carrots, celery, onion, and garlic, in olive oil, covered, over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add half of the tomatoes and cook an additional 5 minutes.

Transfer mixture, in 2 batches, to a blender or food processor and add 1/2 cup water to each batch. Cover and blend until smooth, then return mixture to saucepan.

Stir in the salt, half of the basil, and the remaining tomatoes. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Stir in the remaining basil and balsamic vinegar and heat an additional 5 minutes. Serve immediately.

If you are a fan of tomato soup, you’ll want to try this sometime! I love trying out new versions of tomato soup. Do you have a favorite tomato soup recipe?

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