For someone that hates to be late to anything It seems I am always last to jump on the bandwagon when trying new ingredients in the kitchen. For the first time ever I have tried Quinoa! I tried it in this layered Mason jar salad and now I am a huge fan!
Quinoa, pronounced (keen-wah), is considered to be a whole grain but it actually is not. It’s a seed and it’s gluten-free, cholesterol-free, high in protein, and provides 9 essential amino acids. It is thought to help stave off a number of diseases, reduces the frequency of migraines and reduces the risk of high blood pressure and heart attacks.
I love to keep these layered jar salads in the fridge for quick and easy lunches or those dinners when you have no time to cook. They generally start with the dressing in the bottom of the jar, followed by the hardier ingredients, keeping the lettuce near the top of the jar to keep the salad crisp. This salad will last 3 to 4 days stored in the refrigerator.
Greek Quinoa Layered Jar Salad
- 4 quart Mason jars, with lids
- 1 c. Quinoa
- 2 c. vegetable broth
- 1 tbsp. fresh chopped dill
- ¼ c. diced red onion
- 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tbsp. red wine vinegar
- ¼ tsp. dried oregano
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ⅛ tsp. ground black pepper
- ½ tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 c. grape tomatoes, halved
- ½ hothouse cucumber, chopped
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- ½ c kalamata olives, seeds removed and cut in half
- 5 oz. feta cheese, cubed or crumbled
- 1 head romaine lettuce
- Combine rinsed Quinoa in a saucepan with 2 cups broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer for 15 minutes or until Quinoa has absorbed all of the broth.
- Turn off the heat and place a lid on the pot. Let Quinoa steam for 5 minutes before fluffing with a fork. Stir in chopped dill and red onion. Let cool.
- Whisk the olive oil, vinegar, oregano, salt, pepper, and Dijon until mixed well. Divide evenly between the 4 quart jars. Layer the veggies in the jar starting with the tomatoes, the bell pepper and cucumber.
- Divide the Quinoa among the jars, spooning it in. Top with feta and olives. At this point you can press down the ingredients slightly in the jar.
- Top off each salad with a handful of chopped lettuce. Store in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. Pour the contents into a bowl when you are ready to eat!
Several months ago, while visiting my mom, I attended Wednesday night church with her. One of her good friends, Inell, had taken an Earthquake cake and was kind enough to share the recipe with me. However, months later when I wanted to make the cake I could not find it. This has happened to me more than once! In all honesty, it’s probably in the bottom of a purse somewhere, but for now, I took to the web.
This Earthquake Cake is super moist, extremely easy and crazy delicious! Inell’s cake and the one I made used a chocolate cake mix, however, while searching the web I found several variations including red velvet and pumpkin. I love the coconut, but it is totally optional and works well without it.
- 1 (15.25-oz.) box Chocolate cake mix (I used German chocolate)
- 1 (8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
- ½ c. butter, softened
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 c. powdered sugar
- ½ c. flaked coconut
- 1 c. chopped pecans, lightly toasted
- 1½ c. chocolate chips (milk chocolate or semi-sweet)
- Preheat oven to 350℉. Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
- Sprinkle pecans in the bottom of the dish, set aside.
- Prepare the cake mix as directed on the package. Pour the batter evenly over the pecans, do not stir.
- Using a hand mixer, mix the cream cheese and butter until mixed well. Gradually add the powdered sugar and beat until creamy. Fold in coconut.
- Drop coconut mixture by spoonfuls randomly over the batter. Using a butter knife, lightly swirl through the batter.
- Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top of the cake.
- Bake for 30 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake come out clean.
- Cool to room temperature then serve.
Most of us look forward to vacation. We make reservations and plan for months, even years in advance. However, have you ever noticed how nice it is to come home, whether you have been away days, weeks, or months?
Webster’s says that home is a place where one lives; a residence, the physical structure within which one lives, such as a house or apartment, a dwelling place together with the family or social unit that occupies it; a household. In reality, home means so much more. It is the place we relate to love, family, and special memories.
I don’t even have to be in the driveway. I can see the house in the distance and breathe a sigh of relief. At my age, with a home of my own, there is still something special about going to mama’s house too. I recently visited mama for a few days, and we went on our annual Ellijay apple trip, with a pit stop at the Dawsonville Pool Room for a Bully Burger, yum! This year we had five extra family members join us, which was fun.
Scones are one of my favorite foods. With apples galore, I adapted my blueberry scone recipe to make these fabulous scones. With cinnamon, nutmeg and loads of apples, these scones are precisely what a crisp fall morning breakfast should be!
Spiced Apple Scones
- 2 c. all-purpose flour
- ⅓ c. packed brown sugar
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1 stick unsalted butter, frozen, and grated with a cheese grater
- ½ c. whipping cream
- 1 lg. egg
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1½ to 2 c. peeled and diced apples (I used a combination of Granny Smith and Braeburn)
- Spiced Glaze:
- 1 c. confectioners' sugar
- ½ tsp. cinnamon
- pinch nutmeg
- ¼ c. whipping cream, use more if the consistency is too thick for dipping
- Glaze for piping:
- 1 c. powdered sugar
- 2 to 3 tbsp. whipping cream (you want this stiff enough to pipe onto scones without it running, as mine did)
- For the scones:
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Place the butter in the freezer for about 30 to 45 minutes. Remove from freezer and shred, using a cheese grater. Return the shredded butter to the freezer until you are ready to use.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the whipping cream, egg, and vanilla.
- Add the frozen shredded butter to the flour mixture and toss with fingers to coat with flour.
- Stir in the egg mixture just to combine. Transfer dough to a well-floured board and dust top with additional flour. Working quickly, knead the dough a few times. Flatten the dough, using your fingers, into a 12" x 12" square. Sprinkle with apples and lightly press them into the dough.
- Fold ⅓ of the dough over, then the other ⅓ over the top of that piece (fold like you would a letter). Press the ends together and shape, if needed into, a 12" x 4" rectangle.
- Cut crosswise in the middle, then again in the middle of each piece. You should have four even squares. Cut each square diagonally into two triangles. Place on prepared pan.
- Bake 15 to 20 minutes in preheated oven. Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes.
- For glazes: In the meantime mix up the glaze mixtures. Brush the spiced glaze onto each scone using a pastry brush. Cool for a few minutes.
- Spoon white glaze into a ziptop bag. Snip off a small section of the corner of the bag. Pipe the glaze on top of each spiced glazed scone.
- Allow glaze to air dry at room temperature then serve.
Wikipedia describes a potluck as a gathering where each guest contributes a different and unique dish of food, often homemade, to be shared. We all like to prepare a dish that is going to wow the crowd. Some of my favorite recipes came from potluck dinners.
I recently made this fantastic Peanut Butter Chocolate Delight for a potluck at our church. This four-layered dessert comes together in very little time. The bottom layer is made with crushed Oreos, topped with a cream cheese and peanut butter layer, then chocolate pudding, and Whipped Topping. With the chopped Reese’s peanut butter cups on top, this will be everyone’s favorite on the dessert table at your next potluck!
Peanut Butter Chocolate Delight
- 36 Oreo cookies
- ⅓ c. butter, melted
- Peanut Butter Layer:
- 8-oz. cream cheese, softened
- 1 c. creamy peanut butter
- 1 c. powdered sugar
- ¼ c. milk
- 1½ c. whipped topping
- Chocolate Layer:
- 2 (4-serving size) boxes instant chocolate pudding
- 2¾ c. milk
- Whipped Topping
- Chopped mini Reece's Peanut Butter Cups
- For crust: Place Oreos in the bowl of a food processor and process until finely crushed. Add melted butter and pulse until blended. Pour mixture into the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch dish and place in the refrigerator.
- For the peanut butter layer: Beat cream cheese and peanut butter with a mixer until fluffy. Add powdered sugar and blend until smooth. Gently fold in whipped topping.
- Gently spread peanut butter mixture over the crust. Place in refrigerator while you prepare the pudding.
- Chocolate Layer: In a bowl whisk both boxes of pudding mixture with milk until smooth. Pour over the peanut butter layer and gently spread. Place in the refrigerator for about 5 minutes.
- Top with whipped topping and sprinkle with chopped Reece's peanut butter cups.
- Refrigerate 3 to 4 hours before serving.