July 25, 2013

Spotlight on Summer: Won't Heat up the Kitchen

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The last two weeks, I've shared recipes that were cool and creamypicnic fare and quick cooking.  For the series finale, I'm sharing recipes that won't heat up the kitchen.  Click the words in bold to go to the page with the recipe.

Margaret's Morsels | Grilled Peppered Steak

Grilled Peppered Steak:  This is my favorite way to cook steak and the only recipe I have that's cooked on the grill.  The steak is seasoned with a dry rub before grilling.  The dry rub infuses the meat with flavor which intensifies during cooking.      

Margaret's Morsels | Crock-Pot Barbecue Chicken

Barbecue Chicken:  This recipe takes five hours to cook, but it won't heat up the kitchen. The secret is to cook the chicken and barbecue sauce in the crock-pot.

Margaret's Morsels | Crock-Pot Chicken a la King

Chicken a la King:  This crock-pot version takes longer to cook, but it's still easier than the traditional recipe.  The chicken and peas don't have to be cooked; the onion, celery and green pepper don't have to be sauteed; the sauce doesn't have to be cooked and thickened.  If you want to serve it with rice, you'll need to cook it separately, but that doesn't take long and won't heat up the kitchen.

Margaret's Morsels | Crock-Pot French Dip Sandwiches

French Dip Sandwiches:  This crock-pot recipe takes all day to cook, but it's worth the wait!  An advantage to crock-pot cooking is you can use cheaper cuts of meat; they'll get tender during the cooking process.

Margaret's Morsels | Coleslaw

Coleslaw:  Coleslaw is a great warm weather side since it's served cold.  If you want to save time, forget about grating the cabbage and use a package of coleslaw mix instead.

Margaret's Morsels | Pickled Beets

Pickled Beets:  This recipe only uses three ingredients and, since it starts with a can of sliced beets, you don't have to cook or peel beets.  You do have to turn on the stove, but just long enough to dissolve sugar in the vinegar.  The beets are a great summer dish because they're served cold straight from the fridge.

Margaret's Morsels | Microwave Corn-on-the-Cob

Corn-on-the-Cob:  There's no vegetable I look forward to in the summer more than corn!  My mom always cooked fresh corn in a pot of boiling water, but I cook it in the microwave.  Not only is it quicker, the corn retains more flavor than when boiled in a pot of water.  

Margaret's Morsels | Microwave Brownies

Microwave Brownies:  These brownies are great when you want something sweet, but don't want to heat up or spend a lot of time in the kitchen.  The brownies can be cooked and cooled in less time than it takes to make something from a mix!

© Margaret's Morsels

July 18, 2013

Spotlight on Summer: Picnic Fare and Quick Cooking

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Last week, I posted links to previous blogs that contained recipes for cool and creamy foods.  Today, in part two of the series, I'm doing the same thing, but with foods that are good to take on a picnic or can be prepared on busy summer days with very little effort.  Click the words in bold to go to the page with the recipe.

Picnic Fare:

What better way to celebrate summer than with a picnic?  Picnics are fun, but be sure to keep food safety in mind:  keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold!

Margaret's Morsels | Chicken Salad

Chicken Salad:  This has been my favorite chicken salad recipe for over 20 years!  When I take it on picnics, I serve it just like I do at home:  on a plate with croissants on the side.  If you want to use it for sandwiches, keep the chicken salad in the cooler and assemble the sandwiches when you're ready to eat.  This will keep the sandwiches from getting soggy.

Margaret's Morsels | Deviled Eggs

Deviled Eggs:  I like to take chicken salad on a picnic, but my mother liked to take fried chicken.  To accompany the chicken, she always took a batch of deviled eggs.  They're better made the day before so you can pack and go the day of the picnic.  Make sure to leave them in the cooler until you're ready to eat.

Margaret's Morsels | Lillie's Fruit Salad

Fruit Salad:  My grandmother made this simple salad -- apples, bananas, crushed pineapple and orange juice -- for my mom and her siblings; my mom made it for her kids and now I make it for my family.  It's ideal for a picnic because it doesn't contain mayonnaise, sour cream or Cool Whip. Serve it straight from the cooler as a refreshing fruit salad or as dessert.

Margaret's Morsels | Award Winning Peanut Butter Cookies

Peanut Butter Cookies:  No one will ever guess these cookies only use three ingredients.  They bake in just minutes so you can whip up a batch at the spur of the moment.  They're also easy to pack and mess free since they're not frosted.

Margaret's Morsels | Mini Mason Jar Cakes

Mini Mason Jar Cakes:  Mason jars aren't just for canning anymore.  You can use the four ounce jars to make cute desserts -- cakes, cobblers, pies and crisps -- that are wonderful for a picnic or casual get together.  Don't forget to pack spoons!

Margaret's Morsels | Fruit Tea

Fruit Tea:  Soft drinks and Kool-Aid might be easy to pack for a picnic, but they're not as refreshing as an ice cold glass of fruit tea.  This dressed up sweet tea uses lemon juice, pineapple juice and, the secret ingredient, ginger ale!

Quick Cooking:

Life tends to move a little slower in the summer.  The weather is warmer, days are longer and there's more to do outside.  Who wants to be stuck inside cooking?  These recipes let you put dinner on the table without having to do a lot of work or get the kitchen too hot.

Margaret's Morsels | Sauteed Pork Chops

Sauteed Pork Chops:  You won't heat up the kitchen when you cook these pork chops.  They cook in just 11 minutes!  The only thing you need other than the ingredients is a skillet with a lid.

Margaret's Morsels | Easy Pork Chops and Apples

Easy Pork Chops and Apples:  This dish is as easy as they come.  You don't even have to brown the pork chops or cut and peel the apples.  Cook a vegetable separately and you've got a meal that's very easy to prepare.  

Margaret's Morsels | Hamburger Macaroni Casserole

Hamburger Macaroni Casserole:  A reader once described this dish as homemade Hamburger Helper, but better.  The macaroni doesn't even have to be cooked separately.  Everything is cooked in the same pan and, from start to finish, takes less than 45 minutes to cook.

Margaret's Morsels | Marinated Baked Chicken

Marinated Baked Chicken:  This dish takes very little work, but you do need to plan ahead since the chicken has to be marinated overnight.  The marinade is super easy to mix up:  you use equal parts of Italian salad dressing and soy sauce.  The recipe can easily be doubled or, if necessary, halved.

Margaret's Morsels | Broccoli with Lemon

Broccoli with Lemon:  This recipe starts with fresh steamed broccoli.  If you don't have time to steam the broccoli, microwave a package of fresh broccoli florets that's sold in a microwave-safe bag.  You can mix up the rest of the ingredients while the broccoli is in the microwave.

Margaret's Morsels | Potato Salad

Potato Salad:  You might not think of this dish as quick, but it can be when you don't have to peel, cut and boil potatoes.  Ore-Ida Steam 'n Mash cut Russet potatoes -- which cook in only 10 minutes in the microwave -- can be substituted for fresh potatoes.  No one will ever taste the difference.

Check back next week for this series finale:  foods that won't heat up the kitchen.

© Margaret's Morsels

July 11, 2013

Spotlight on Summer: Cool and Creamy

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A lot of you are new to Margaret's Morsels.  To help introduce you to the site, I thought I'd compile a list of summertime recipes from previous blogs. The list isn't all inclusive, but includes some of my favorites from five different categories.  To make it manageable, I'm making this a three part series.  Today's recipes are foods that are cool and creamy.  Click the words in bold to go to the page with the recipe. 

Margaret's Morsels | Easy Peanut Butter Chip Pie

Easy Peanut Butter Chip Pie:  This is the recipe that launched Margaret's Morsels.  The pie gets its wonderful flavor from peanut butter chips.  My son came up with the idea of adding Magic Shell topping for a delicious chocolate/peanut butter combination.  No matter how you top it, it's a cool and refreshing dessert on a hot summer day.

Margaret's Morsels | Peanut Butter Fudge

Peanut Butter Fudge:  Here's another recipe that uses peanut butter chips, but it also uses peanut butter.  This fudge doesn't require any cooking, unless you count melting ingredients in the microwave as cooking! Since the fudge is stored in the refrigerator, it makes a cool summertime treat.

Margaret's Morsels | Quick and Easy Lemon Bars

Quick and Easy Lemon Bars:  This recipe has been in Margaret's Morsels top 10 since it was first posted in 2011.  These are the only lemon bars I've ever made that turn out perfect each and every time.  Storing them in the refrigerator not only keeps them cold, but enhances the flavor.

Margaret's Morsels | Lemonade Pie

Lemonade Pie:  This is another lemon recipe posted in 2011 that currently ranks as the sixth most popular recipe on Margaret's Morsels.  The only appliance you need to make this pie is a hand mixer!

Margaret's Morsels | Chocolate Dream Pie

Chocolate Dream Pie:  This is a chocolate lover's dream recipe.  The pie only uses four ingredients and half of them are chocolate!  Just like the lemonade pie, the only appliance you need is a hand mixer. 

Margaret's Morsels | Banana Cream Supreme

Banana Cream Supreme:  This isn't a pudding and not quite a pie; it's the best of both!  This no bake dessert is assembled in a spring-form pan with a layer of bananas between the filling.  Although it's delicious in the summer, my teenage son thinks it's also good in the fall, winter and spring!

Margaret's Morsels | Cherry Pie Filling Salad

Cherry Pie Filling Salad:  This first time I ever saw this recipe, I thought it wouldn't be any good.  Boy, was I wrong!  Not only is it delicious, it's versatile and can be served from the refrigerator or freezer as either a side or dessert.

Margaret's Morsels | Vanilla Ice Cream

Vanilla Ice Cream:  This is the recipe my mom used to make.  To this day, I think it's the best vanilla ice cream ever!  The only change I've made to the recipe is to replace the raw eggs with egg substitute.

Margaret's Morsels | Peach Ice Cream

Peach Ice Cream:  This peach ice cream isn't vanilla ice cream with chopped up peaches.  It uses fresh peaches and canned peach nectar. Peaches peak in July and August so this is a great time to make this ice cream.

Margaret's Morsels | Orange Peach Soup

Orange Peach Soup:  Here's another recipe that uses fresh peaches. This chilled peach soup can be served for brunch, lunch or even supper. It makes a great first course, especially when the meal that follows is light.

Margaret's Morsels | Lime Jello Salad

Lime Jello Salad:  This has been a family favorite since a friend gave me the recipe over 20 years ago.  If you don't like lime, you can substitute other flavors of jello and fruit.

Margaret's Morsels | Fruity Orange Gelatin

Fruity Orange Gelatin:  If you prefer jello that jiggles, give this salad a try. Unlike congealed salads made with red jello, there's no mistaking the flavor of this salad.  It only uses five ingredients and three of them are orange!

Margaret's Morsels | Cherry Gelatin Fruit Salad

Cherry Gelatin Fruit Salad:  Here's another jello recipe that jiggles.  This is my most requested congealed salad recipe.  No one will ever guess it only uses four ingredients and all of them are sugar-free!

Margaret's Morsels | Sour Cream Cherry Cheesecake

Sour Cream Cherry Cheesecake:  The kitchen won't get hot when you make this cheesecake.  The crust is the only thing that needs to be baked and that only takes 10 minutes!  The rest of the cheesecake is made by doctoring up a package of cheesecake mix.  I use cherry pie filling on top, but you can use your favorite flavor.

Check back next week for part two of the series.

© Margaret's Morsels

July 3, 2013

Luscious Layers

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Margaret's Morsels | Strawberry Delight Cake

I've been on the road a lot the last few years.  One advantage to all this traveling is I have the opportunity to read newspaper food sections from other cities.  In fact, it was on a trip a few years ago that I acquired the recipe I'm sharing today.  I don't remember which city I was in, but I do remember coming home after the trip, buying the ingredients and making the recipe.  It's been a family favorite ever since.

Strawberry Delight Cake is a delicious summertime dessert.  It's refreshing, easy to make and there's no baking involved!  The recipe calls for sugar-free ingredients, but you can substitute ingredients with sugar or use a combination of the two.  It's pretty to layer the ingredients in a clear glass bowl or, if you have enough of them, mini trifle bowls.

The recipe starts with a store bought angel food cake.  You can substitute pound cake, but angel food cake is lighter and airier since the only fat it uses is stiffly beaten egg whites.  I use a white angel food cake, but you can use strawberry if you can find one.

To make the layers equal, cut the cake in half vertically.

Margaret's Morsels | Strawberry Delight Cake

If you want to use a knife to cut the cake into cubes, slice each cake half into vertical pieces

Margaret's Morsels | Strawberry Delight Cake

and then cut them into cubes.

Margaret's Morsels | Strawberry Delight Cake

Or, just tear the cake into cubes with your fingers.

Margaret's Morsels | Strawberry Delight Cake

Once the cake has been cubed, put half the cake cubes in the bottom of a glass bowl.

Margaret's Morsels | Strawberry Delight Cake

Mix a box of vanilla pudding with milk according to the package directions.

Margaret's Morsels | Strawberry Delight Cake

Pour the pudding mixture over the bottom layer of cake cubes.

Margaret's Morsels | Strawberry Delight Cake

Put the remaining cake cubes over the layer of pudding.

Margaret's Morsels | Strawberry Delight Cake

Combine a package of frozen strawberries with a container of strawberry glaze.  If you use frozen whole strawberries, slice or halve them before combining with the glaze.  This is easier to do if the strawberries are partially frozen.  You can substitute fresh strawberries, but slice them before mixing them with the glaze. 

Margaret's Morsels | Strawberry Delight Cake

Pour the strawberry mixture over the top layer of cake cubes, spreading to cover completely.

Margaret's Morsels | Strawberry Delight Cake

Cover the bowl and refrigerate several hours or overnight before serving.  When you're ready to serve it, scoop the dessert into bowls and, if desired, top with whipped cream.

Margaret's Morsels | Strawberry Delight Cake

I always think about this recipe when I'm traveling because another great recipe might be in the next newspaper food section I read!

Strawberry Delight Cake
8 to 10 Servings
1 sugar-free white or strawberry angel food cake, cut into cubes
1 (1 oz.) pkg. sugar-free instant vanilla pudding mix
2 cups milk
1 (16 oz.) pkg. no sugar added frozen strawberries (or fresh strawberries)
1 (12.75 to 15 oz.) container sugar-free strawberry glaze
whipped cream (optional)

Spread half the cake cubes in the bottom of a 2-quart glass bowl.  Mix pudding and milk according to package directions; pour over bottom layer of cake cubes to completely cover.  Spread remaining cake cubes over pudding layer.  Halve or slice strawberries (easier to do if partially frozen); fold together with strawberry glaze.  Spread over top layer of cake cubes to completely cover.  Refrigerate several hours or overnight.  Spoon into serving bowls and top with whipped cream, if desired.

© Margaret's Morsels