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Moving adventures: Strawberry margarita pie

2 May

This is one of my favorite pies, but I cheated more than usual this time, using stuff I had moved from St. Louis. Yes, I had all of this with me.

Strawberry Margarita Pie

1 package graham crackers, crushed
5 teaspoons butter, melted

1 pound frozen strawberries
1/4 cup lime juice
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons tequila
2 tablespoons triple sec
1 container whipped topping

Crush the graham crackers. Mashing them with the bottom of the condensed milk can works pretty well. Combine with the melted butter, and press into the bottom of an 8×8 pan. Refrigerate.

Purée the frozen strawberries and lime juice. Add the condensed milk and booze until the mixture is smooth. Fold in the whipped topping. Pour over the pie crust and refrigerate uncovered for about four hours.

I’ve been known to add an extra tablespoon of tequila and triple sec. Because why not.

Moving adventures: No-bake peach crisp

25 Apr

Moving really is not fun. Moving when you don’t have a place lined up to move in to is less fun. So while I look for that place to move into, 98 percent of everything I own is in storage and I’m camped out at a hotel. (On the plus side: Maid service! Cable! Free wi-fi!)

Complicating this move: I had a freezer full of fruit, veggies and meat. After giving away some of it and borrowing freezer space from a friend in St. Louis, I still ended up with three coolers of fruit, veggies and meat for my trip to Norfolk, Va. All of that (thankfully) fit in the freezer of a standard refrigerator. On the plus side, this cuts down on the grocery and restaurant bills. On the down side, there are only so many days one wants to thaw and eat peaches or green beans. The hotel room has a cooktop; let the experiments begin.

Up first: Let’s use up some of those peaches, and other things I brought with me.

No-Bake Peach Crisp

2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons whiskey
3/4 cup oatmeal

Note: If using fresh peaches, peel and slice three or four of them. I had previously sliced and froze peaches in quart bags; I used almost two of those bags. (I’d eaten a few peaches the night before from one of them.) Also: Every recipe is better with a bit of booze. Leave it out if you must.

Melt the butter in a saucepan or skillet over low heat. (A skillet will help give this more of a “crisp” finish. I only had a saucepan handy.) Add the sugar and spices. Add the peaches and whiskey, stirring frequently until the peaches are soft (not a problem if they’ve been frozen) and coated. (If using frozen peaches, let the peaches simmer for a bit and and the syrup will thicken.) Remove from heat and add the oatmeal. Serve with a little vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

You say tomato; I say there are still 20 left

12 Jul

I have too many tomatoes, so I came up with a tomato salad recipe tonight.

Tomato Salad

3 tomatoes, chopped
2 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
1/4 cup onion
1/2 cup croutons
6 slices of crispy bacon, crumbled
1/4 cup Italian dressing, or 1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar with 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
1/2 cup shredded cheese

Slice, chop, crumble and mix it up.

Now I need to figure out what to do with too many zucchini squashes.

What do you do with 10 pounds of lettuce?

31 May

I came home with lots of fresh-from-the-garden produce last weekend. Here’s what (part of it) turned into. (Bonus: What salad isn’t better with bacon?)

7-layer salad

6 cups lettuce (or lettuce and spinach)
1/3 cup onion
1/3 cup sliced radishes
12 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 cup peas
1 to 1-1/2 cups salad dressing
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar or grated Parmesan cheese

In a large bowl, layer lettuce, onion, radishes, crumbled bacon and peas. Top with salad dressing (I used Caesar dressing, but do whatever you like), spreading it to cover the peas and touch the edge of the bowl. Sprinkle cheese to the top. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate the salad for at least two hours. Toss before serving, if desired.

How to make a Captain America cake

29 Apr

French vanilla cakeWhipped cream frosting

Fresh blueberries
Fresh strawberries

Captain America cake

Start with a round cake. Frost with whipped cream. Add fresh blueberries and strawberries. (The star was made easier thanks to a large cookie cutter. Other options included a gingerbread man, a heart and a tree.) And make sure you’ve got that red/white/red pattern correct from the start — it’ll make things easier, trust me.

This was created in honor of Superhero Sunday — a marathon of the Marvel movies leading up to this week’s release of “The Avengers.”