Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Pasta and Spinach Salad

I'm being very creative with our  meals these days.

That translates to this:  "Wow!  I really need to go to the grocery store!"

Honestly, who enjoys that job?

Going to the grocery store?

I really don't.

I've been in this position before; where I really need to go, but it's gotten so bad, and we need so much stuff, that I don't really want to go.

So I'm challenging myself:  how creative can I be with what we have!

This won!

On Sunday, driving home from church, I came up with this lunch special!

Because this is based on what you have, or don't have, the amounts and ingredients are only suggestions!
Pasta and Spinach Salad

8 oz pasta, cooked
grape tomatoes
olive oil
salt and pepper
onions, sliced
balsamic vinegar
grilled chicken
Parmesan cheese, fresh grated
balsamic vinaigrette dressing

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Line a small cookie sheet with foil.

Toss grape tomatoes with olive oil and season with salt and pepper and place on the baking sheet.  Roast the tomatoes until they are "popped open" and browned a bit.

In a sauté pan, heat a smidge of butter and a tablespoon or so of olive oil together.  Add the sliced onions and cook over medium heat until golden brown.  Add it 3-5 TBSP, or so, of vinegar and 1-2 TBSP of sugar.  Stir constantly until the vinegar is evaporated and sugar has caramelized on the onions.  Remove from the heat.

In a large bowl, add the spinach, grated cheese, and any left over chicken. 

Drain the pasta well.

Toss the pasta and onions with the salad greens.  Top with the roasted tomatoes and drizzle with your balsamic vinaigrette, if desired.  The eat of the cooked pasta sort of "wilts" the pasta, which we like.  My cherubs love wilted spinach (when it's wilted from heat, not from being old!)

We desired.  This was a delicious lunch!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Party Ham Sandwiches

Image from the internet

Years ago, these were called "Party Ham Sandwiches."

Now, they're called "sliders!"

Some people think they have the market on "new" just because they make it smaller!

Not true!

Regardless of what you call these, we call them "Good!"

My cherubs love these sandwiches.

My Mr. loves them too!

Well, I'm not going to lie -- I love them!

But I love them for other reasons than the rest of my family!

I love them for three reasons:
  1. They're easy to make
  2. They make great lunchbox leftovers
  3. They're rarely duplicated when you take them to a party
Those are reason enough to make them!

If this is a recipe that you remember from long ago, treat yourself to an easy dinner!

If this is new to you, you're going to be thrilled!

Whether you take them to a party or serve them at dinner along with a salad, you will be glad you made them!

Party Ham Sandwiches

1 package of 12 Hawaiian Sweet Rolls
1 pound shaved ham
8 slices of swiss cheese
1 TBSP spicy deli mustard
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup butter
1-2 TBSP poppy seeds
1-2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

Split the rolls in half, horizontally, forming a top and bottom piece

Mix the mayo and mustard together.  Taste to see if you like it -- adjust accordingly.  Spread the mixture on the bottom bread pieces.

Layer the ham then the cheese and place the top of the bread on the cheese.

At this point, if you want to wrap in foil and freeze, you can do that!  Before cooking, thaw and follow the remaining steps!

Melt the butter and add the poppy seeds and Worcestershire sauce together.

Place the sandwiches on a baking sheet with a rim.

Remove the top layer of bread and drizzle about 1/2 of the butter mixture on the cut side of the top piece of bread, allowing it to soak in.

Replace the top bread and drizzle the remaining butter mixture over the top of the rolls, allowing it to run over the edges.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes, or until cheese is melted and ham is hot.  You want the bread to be toasty, but not burnt.

**I usually bake the sandwiches uncovered until the top is golden like I want, then I place a piece of foil over the top of the rolls and allow the ham and cheese to continue to heat.  I want to make sure the insides are nice and hot and gooey!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Homemade Salsa II

For my cherub's 15th family birthday celebration, we did a tailgate party and watched the OU game!

We did a ton of fun tailgate food that was really yummy!

One of the many new recipes I tried for that day was this salsa recipe.

We are salsa hounds!

We love salsa!

I will be making this again, for sure!

I loved how easy it went together and how tasty it was!

Salsa II

1 28 oz can whole tomatoes, well drained
1 (8oz) can of pickled jalapenos and carrots . . .and don't use the carrots (unless you want to!)
1/4 cup onion
1 tsp. garlic salt
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. lime juice

Place all ingredients together in a blender and blend until smooth.

Refrigerate any unused portion . . . like that will happen!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

A New Trinket

Every year, when we go to Red River, New Mexico, we always stop at the same places along the way.

One of our very favorite places to stop is Gladstone, New Mexico.  There's only one thing there:  The Gladstone Mercantile.

It is a stop in the road.

Gladstone Mercantile - Gladstone, NM

Here's their population sign


There used to be a mercantile store and a post office.

They closed the post office!

The mercantile store is still there.

This might surprise you, but it's family owned and operated!

The lady who runs it doesn't live in Gladstone.

But her parents do!

And their neighbors.

That makes 5!

We always stop to go to the bathroom,

buy a package of homemade cookies,

and my mom always buys a years supply of these pot scrubber things.

The have a ton of homemade goodies and canned goods.

The serve lunch to the local ranchers and serve the vacationers who are onto bigger destinations.

Once the post office closed, the mercantile took over the little room for antiques and what-nots.

That's where I found this treasure!
For $3.00, I just had to have it!

It's an antique metal funnel! 

I put it on my quart jars and it makes filling them so much easier!

I love stopping in Gladstone, and I love my new toy!