Tag Archive: crackers

Soup, Salad and Laundry?

This week we are hopping with Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays (a gluten free gal!), HomesteadSimple and Haute Mom.  I am also getting ready to take this to Strut Your Stuff Saturday with the Six Sisters.  I just love them and their stuff.  You should check them out.  Such a sweet story and a fun blog with lots of great ideas.

I got a call from my son, Andy on Saturday morning.  We had planned to get together over the weekend, but I didn’t know when he might decide to come over.  His call was to ask if he could come for lunch.  Oh, and by the way, could he bring his laundry?  While I am doing his laundry he tells me he needs to go to the outlet mall to get some new jeans.  So off he goes to the mall.  He comes back with new jeans and three new shirts.  He asks me for washing details for his new clothes.  I don’t know why he asks me about those details.  I’m glad he is trying to take care of his new shirts though.

I was glad I had the chicken and fixings for a light salad, and I had the soup made up.  So lunch was a cinch to put together.  He’s been watching his weight so a full cooked meal was not necessary.  Thank goodness, because I was in the middle of mixing up some oatmeal cookies because it was a nice cool morning.  I like to bake cookies on those rare cool summer days like my momma used to do. I got them baked about 4:00PM and it had warmed up some by then.

I have enough soup and salad left over for another meal or two for me.  It should serve 4 easily.  This chicken salad would be great served on some hoagie rolls with sliced tomatoes and leaf lettuce too.   It was soup and salad for us.  It was nice.

Spicy Chicken Salad

  • ¾ * of a rotisserie chicken, diced, bones and skin removed
  • 1 large stalk celery, diced
  • ½ medium cucumber, seeds removed, diced
  • ¼ red onion, diced
  • 3-4 tablespoons Heinz Hot Relish
  • ½ cup chopped pecans, toasted
  • ½ cup mayonnaise, low-fat (if you like your salad a little more moist add more mayo)
  • ¾ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • baby spinach

*I reserved ½ the breast for another meal.  You can use an entire chicken.  Combine the chicken, cucumber, celery, onion, relish, pecans, and mayonnaise.  Adjust the salt and pepper to your taste.  Mix lightly to combine.

Store in an air tight container to chill for at least an hour in the refrigerator.  Serve on a bed of spinach or your favorite salad greens along with a cup of the Summer Squash Soup served hot or cold.

I served Breton Multigrain crackers with the soup and salad to make it a full, cool and easy lunch.

Since I have an abundance of squash from my garden, (I guess you have figured that out by now.) I am in search of any way to use it.  This idea came from a cream soup recipe, which I adapted and made into a clear squash soup.  It is tasty and served warm is a nice addition to a salad.  I’m not to keen on cold soups, but this one might be ok.  I’m going to give it a try.  I think I have finally found a spot to grow German thyme in my garden.  Lots of things are getting that added lemony taste this summer.

Summer Squash Soup with Thyme

  • 3 tablespoons butter or Extra Virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium leek, white and green parts, chopped
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, chopped (about 1 tablespoon)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 pounds mixed summer squash (green or yellow zucchini, crookneck,      pattypan), chopped into medium pieces
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup plain yogurt, low fat or full fat

Heat butter or oil in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat until melted. Add leek and garlic and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until leek and garlic begin to sweat but do not brown, about 5 minutes.

Add summer squash and season to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until squash begins to sweat. (Do not brown.) This should take about 7-10 minutes. Add enough water so the squash is almost, but not fully, covered, about 3 cups. Cover saucepan partially and lower heat to medium-low. Simmer until squash is just tender, about 12 to 15 minutes.

Use a hand blender to blend soup until smooth or blend soup in a blender in two batches. Blend until totally smooth (again, working in batches if using standard blender), about 1 minute. (Strain soup through fine mesh strainer if desired.)  I didn’t do this.  I like a little crunch to my soup.

Let the soup cool at room temperature for one hour, stirring occasionally. Transfer to refrigerator and let cool, stirring occasionally, until well chilled, about 45 minutes.

Check soup and adjust for seasoning, adding more salt, pepper.  At this point it can be served with a drop of Greek yogurt or thyme to taste.

Makes 2 quarts, serving 4 to 6.

Fresh From the Garden Week!

Almost too pretty to eat....ALMOST!

Welcome to our first harvest from the garden and a week’s worth of vegetable recipes.

Almost too pretty to eat….ALMOST!

 

First up, an old family favorite made just for kids that don’t like vegetables.

There is nothing like making a dish that takes you back to good times.  As I was in the garden foraging for squash hidden in between the giant leaves I was thinking about this casserole.  I picked almost three pounds of squash and a pound of peppers this morning.  I weighed it just to be sure.  Amazing!  I plant squash almost every spring.  Sometimes I get beautiful plants and blooms, but never a squash.  This year, for some reason, the plants are huge and are loaded with squash!

Now what to do with it?  I could make zucchini bread, grate it and serve it in place of spaghetti, or chop it and freeze it, but I want a taste of it now.  So I think the Summer Squash Casserole is my best bet.

Amy, my middle child, doesn’t like “squishy feeling” food.  No tomatoes, squash, jello, most fruits….  You get the idea.  So in the summer when the squash was coming on I had to figure out some way to get her to eat some.  (My children weren’t picky eaters.)  So I called this Cracker Casserole and Amy would eat it when she was little.  I bet we can’t fool her any more.

Happy summer gardening and cooking!

Cracker Casserole (with squash) aka Summer Squash Casserole

  • 3 medium yellow squash*, halved length-wise, sliced into half-moons
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium red or green bell pepper, chopped
  • 4-5 stems fresh thyme
  • 1 cup chicken broth, low-sodium, low fat
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup cracker crumbs (I used saltines)
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°. Lightly spray with non-stick spray an 8-inch square baking dish.

Bring the squash, onion, bell pepper, thyme, and broth to a boil in a medium saucepan with a lid.  Add enough water to almost cover the squash.  Season with salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid evaporates a little and the squash is tender, about 10 minutes. Drain in a collender.  At this point I mash the squash a little with a fork.  Transfer back to pan.

Stir in the cream of chicken soup, 2 tablespoons butter, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Spread in the baking dish. Sprinkle with the cracker crumbs and dot with the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. You can dress this up with any cracker crumbs.  You can substitute cheese for the cracker crumbs and butter as a topping. This is a very versatile recipe.  Make it to your taste.  Maybe I’ll skip the carbs and add the cheese for my dish.

Bake until the juices are simmering around the edges and the top is crusty, about 30 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes, then serve hot.

*You can use zucchini squash too.