Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Memorial Day Weekend Recipies

We went over to my in-laws for grilled hamburgers for Memorial Day last week so I made salads to help out my MIL.

Pea Salad
via southernbellejm

2 pounds frozen peas
7 strips of bacon
1/4 cup purple onion, diced
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup shredded cheddar
1/2 cup mayo
salt, pepper, and a pinch of sugar

Bake bacon at 400º for 10 to 15 minutes until crispy. Let the bacon cool and then chop it. Cook peas according to directions and rinse to cool. Combine all ingredients.

The original recipe calls for dubbed cheese but I am always have frozen shredded cheese on hand since we buy it in bulk so that is what I used.

Orzo Pasta Salad
inspired by Jen Smith and Carly/College Prep's Prep Talk

1/2 lb orzo cooked in chicken or vegetable broth (not necessary)
2 c. cut tomatoes
1 package (about 6 oz) feta cheese cubed or crumbled
1/2 c. toasted pine nuts*
1 c. chopped fresh basil (or up to 1T dry added in with the dressing)
1 c. chopped red onion
1 can sliced olives (greek or black or whatever)*
1 can rinsed and drained chickpeas (1/2 cup dried equals the amount in a can once cooked)*
1 can artichoke hearts chopped*

1 T oregano
salt and pepper to taste
4 cloves of garlic or 1/2 t garlic powder
1/4 c. red wine vinegar
2 T lemon juice
2 t honey or sugar
1/2 c. olive oil

Mix up dressing in a container that seals well and shake. Cook pasta according to directions then cool. Combine salad ingredients, add dressing, and chill.

The ingredients with asterisks are ones that I only include some times. I think I've also tried putting in bits of cucumber. When I make this recipe ahead of time I usually wait to add the tomatoes until right before it is served because the tomatoes will get mushy in the dressing but this doesn't seem to happen if you you use grape tomatoes but where we are grape tomatoes are way more expensive than regular ones. As you can see in the picture I didn't have enough orzo so I mixed macaroni and orzo.

Cheese Straws
via Carolina Brunette and Charleston Receipts
1/4 pound (1 stick) butter, softened
1 pound (about 4 c. grated) cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1-1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup milk if needed

Cream the butter. Mix in the grated cheese. Mix in the other ingredients. Roll the batter into straws and place on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350º for 20 minutes.

These ended up tasting great (the went fast so I didn't get a picture). But I wasn't impressed with my results since the wikipedia article on cheese straws specifically says they're made with "butter, flour, salt, cheddar cheese and cayenne pepper." The batter I made seemed to dry to come together so I didn't add as much flour as in the original recipe and I added milk. Next time I will grate the cheese myself and I will try some of the other suggestions and maybe one of the other suggested recipes from Southern Living Magazine.

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