Monday, June 23, 2008

7 Layer Salad Recipe - Great for Summer Picnics

A 7 Layer Salad is a great summer time side dish. It's one of those salads that can be prepared well ahead of an event or picnic, and easily carried along. For a beautiful presentation, use a glass serving bowl to show off the layers.

Where I come from, the Seven Layer Salad is a must at most family and holiday get togethers. Try it for your Fourth of July Picnic or Barbecue. Here's the recipe:


6 cups chopped iceberg lettuce
salt and pepper
6 hard-cooked eggs, sliced
2 cups frozen peas, thawed
8 to 16 ounces bacon, crisp-cooked, drained, and crumbled
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded mild Cheddar cheese or crumbled Blue cheese
1 cup mayonnaise
1 to 2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup sliced green onion with tops


Put 3 cups of the iceberg lettuce in bottom of large glass bowl; sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Layer egg slices over lettuce in bowl and sprinkle with more salt and pepper. Continue to layer the remaining ingredients in this order: peas, remaining lettuce, crumbled bacon, and shredded cheese, along with light sprinklings of salt and pepper. Combine the mayonnaise and sugar; spread evenly over top, spreading to edge of bowl to cover entire salad.

Cover and chill 24 hours or overnight. Garnish with green onion and a little paprika. Toss just before serving.

This salad serves 12 to 15.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

What's Fresh in Your Area?

Did you know that cucumbers are at peak season this month in Alaska?

Using the freshest produce possible will always give you the best and tastiest results. So, buy fresh, seasonal produce in your area of the country. But, what is at peak season in what months for your state? put together a sensational seasonal map that shows not only what is at peak season for each state by month, but also how to use those fresh ingredients, with recipes and great tips. Take a look and make a note of what to buy now.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Rosa Mexicano - Miami

One of my favorite New York City restaurants now has a location in Miami! I spent many a Sunday brunch and enjoyable dinners at each of the 3 Rosa Mexicano locations in NYC, and I've missed that great Mexican food.

I've tried the restaurant, located at Mary Brickell Village, a couple of times now, and it did not disappoint.

We always start with the Guacamole en Molcajete - made tableside from fresh avocado, jalapeno, tomato, onion and cilantro, and served with warm corn tortillas, tortilla chips, salsa pasilla de Oaxaca and salsa de tomatillo y habanero. Yummy!

On our last visit I had the Arrachera con Camarones - Grilled skirt steak and jumbo shrimp stewed in a roasted tomato-chipotle sauce and topped with queso fresco. It was quite spicy, lots of heat, but delicious. My husband enjoyed the Tablones - 18 oz. of grilled boneless beef short ribs served with a mestiza sauce (tomatillo-tomato-chipotle) and rajas (show-cooked Mexican peppers). All washed down with a couple of Coronas.

For dessert, we had the Tres Leches Cake.

Whether I'm in New York, D.C. or Miami, Rosa Mexicano does not disappoint. I highly recommend this fabulous Mexican restaurant.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Sometimes You Can't Improvise

My friends came over on Monday for an impromtu dinner, and I decided to make a quick and easy dessert that I saw in Food and Wine Magazine (May 2008) - Coconut Pavlovas with Tropical Fruit.

I didn't realize that I had no cream of tartar on the shelf, and it was getting much to late to run back out to the grocery store. Hastily I searched the Internet for a substitute for cream of tartar - although several sites out there suggested that white vinegar or lemon juice in an equal amount is a good substitute, I assure you it didn't work. There obviously is no substitute for cream of tartar.

Cream of tartar helps to stablize egg whites, when you are whipping them up for a meringue, or other uses. In this case, I needed a stable meringue to shape the Pavlovas into a nice cup to hold the fruit. Instead, I ended up with blobs of the egg white mixture that were not very nice looking in the end.

While my meringues were very tasty, and I highly recommend the recipe, make sure that you have the correct ingredients for your recipes before you begin cooking - especially when you are baking!