This month we have an extra Potluck with an interesting twist – No Cook Challenge!!  It is so hot in so many places that not having to turn the oven on is a definite plus.

The easy way would be a salad of some kind.  Or maybe some Cerviche.  But we are not fans of that and we eat lots of salad so I really wanted something different.  What about a dessert?  It’s not often I make something that doesn’t need baking or cooking of some kind so when I found these NO COOKING lemon bars  from Past Chef Ellie Krieger it was obvious what I was going to make.  And it was easy.

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Mom used to make lemon ice box PIES all the time.  So did my grandmother but I just haven’t done one in years.

Lots of lemon flavor in these.  More than I expected.  And super easy to make so I guess they will be making a regular appearance in this house.

Fat free condensed milk.  Low fat Cream cheese. Not much guilt here.  Too bad they don’t make a low fat low sugar condensed milk.  Ah, well, someday….

I did have one problem.  I never could get them to ‘harden’ where they could be sliced easily.  They just didn’t gel all the way.  I may have used too little gelatin but I’m not sure.  They were still tasty. Lots of flavor.

The recipe is from Ellie’s So Easy on page 238.  But I also found it on FoodTV.

For more No – Cook dishes visit I Heart Cooking Clubs.

 

This week’s theme, thanks to Kayte, is Salads.  Now, salad can mean just about anything – pasta, green, potato, fruit – so this was a wide open category.

We eat lots of green salads so I wanted something different.

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Pasta tossed with celery, maters, carrots, and red cabbage (I left out the red onion) with a dressing made with Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, and red cider vinegar.  The dressing was a lot like the one I used to use for my broccoli pasta salad but not sweet.  This would also be good with some sunflower seeds thrown in.  Or some squash, zucchini, shrooms.

I liked the salad.  But I would like it more if the dressing was sweeter.

The recipe is from Ellie’s Comfort Food Fix page 250.

For more salads visit Eating with Ellie – Savvy Salads.  If you want to join us just cook something from Ellie in the theme, blog, and comment.  Easy Peasy.  We’d love to have you.

It has been a while since I have participated in Bundt Bakers. Mostly because we had cut down severely on sweet treats. But I have learned to bake with less sugar now and am looking forward to baking again.

This month’s theme was APPLES which is great since apple season is starting in some places.  We eat a lot of apples usually one a day so making this particular bundt just adds more fruit to the diet.  Of course it IS in the form of cake…..

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I adapted a recipe from Bundt Classics and it turned out to be very tasty.  Especially after I drizzled it with caramel sauce….

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There are TWO layers of cinnamon apples in the cake.  With streusel.

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For the Cake:

      3 cups all purpose flour

{I subbed in 1 1/2 cups of WWF for some of the AP flour}

      2 cups sugar

{I subbed 1 cup Splenda for 1 cup sugar}

      1 cup vegetable oil

 

      1/2 cup water

 

      1 tablespoon baking powder

 

      2 teaspoons vanilla

 

      1/2 teaspoon salt

 

      4 eggs

 

      4 cups peeled, thinly sliced

 

      apples

 

    1 Tbl cinnamon, or to taste

Heat oven to 325°. Grease and flour a 10 or 12 cup Bundt” Pan.If using a 10 cup pan, fill 3/4 full and make 3 to 4 cupcakes with the remaining batter.

Mix 1 tbl of cinnamon with the apples and set aside. You can use cinnamon to taste if you would rather.

In a small bowl, stir together all streusel ingredients; set aside.

      3/4 cup backed brown sugar

 

      1 cup flour

 

      1 cup rolled oats

 

    1 stick melted butter

In a large mixing bowl, mix all cake ingredients except apples. Mix 2 minutes on medium speed.

Spoon 1/3 of the batter into prepared pan. Place 1/2  of the apple slices over batter; sprinkle with 1/2 of the streusel. Spoon another third of the batter over the streusel; top with remaining apples and streusel. Gently spoon remaining batter on top.

Bake at 325° for 75 to 85 {mine only took about 70 minutes} minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan. Remove from pan; cool completely on rack. Drizzle with caramel.. 16 servings. Bundt Classics. Page 24.

If you are using the WWF sub the cake may be a little ‘coarser’ than usual. Just saying. And more than 70 minutes will make it dry.

But the Hubs and The Boy loved it. I was thinking it would be perfect with some nice cinnamon/vanilla ice cream on top. Or maybe some chopped pecans in the streusel. But that’s just me…..

BundtBakers

#BundtBakers is a group of Bundt loving bakers who get together once a month to bake Bundts with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on the BundtBakers home page.

The other white meat.  Lean.  Tasty.  But we were getting tired of BBQ chops or frying the pork chops.  Then I came across this recipe from Donna Hay.

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These are NOT chops but they are pork.  I had several pieces of deboned pork in the freezer so I used those instead.  Worked just as well and no bones.

The pork chops are flattened, dredged in flour, “egged” and pressed into bread crumbs mixed with Parmesan and thyme.

These were super crunchy and delicious. Since they were flattened it only took about 10 minutes to bake them.  The pork recipe also includes a cabbage slaw recipe but I was out of cabbage.  Next time….

The recipe is from Donna’s Website – Crunchy pork cutlet.

Join us at Wednesdays with Donna Hay.  The themes are on our website – WWDH

This month’s chef of the month is Diana Henry.  When we were cooking with her starting  October 2014 (for the next 6 months) I didn’t get to do many of her recipes.  I saw lots of yummy dishes through the other members of IHCC.  One of them was this dish which looks so tasty.

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Spaghetti with Bacon, Egg, and Smoked Cheese.

This would be a great brunch dish.  A warm gooey egg drizzling down over spaghetti tossed with bacon and cheese.  It was comforting.  It was full of flavor.  It was delicious.  I understand how it got rave reviews from the members who made it.  I will definitely make it again.  The egg mixed with the melty cheese and crunchy bacon. 

The only change I would make would be to use less pasta.  2 ounces was really way too much for a single serving.  I didn’t realize it until I saw all that goodness piled on the plate and I knew I could not eat all of it.

    6 oz spaghetti
    3 tbsp olive oil
    4 oz bacon
    2 large eggs
    salt and pepper
    2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    1 tbsp coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (use about 1/2 cup chopped cilantro)
    2 oz smoked cheese, grated {I used Smoked Gruyere.}

Cook the spaghetti until al dente. Drain and set aside.
Heat 1 tbsp of the olive oil {I actually didn’t use this for the bacon}in a large frying pan and cook the bacon until crispu and brown. Set aside.
Fry the eggs sunny side up. {If you used the rest of the olive oil, which I didn’t spoon the warm oil up over the top of the eggs to cook the yolks.} Season with salt and pepper.
Drain the pasta and put into the saucepan. Add the extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Add in the bacon and parsley and toss.
Divide between two plates, sprinkle on the cheese, and top each serving with a fried egg. Serve immediately.

The recipe is from Henry’s Cook Simple:  Effortless Cooking Every Day.  You can find it HERE.  You should try this one.

For more from Diana Henry visit I Heart Cooking Clubs .

I like a good omelette.  Filled with ‘shrooms, ham, cheese.  Maybe a little basil.  I usually put all the goodies INSIDE the eggs.  But this dish from Ellie has everything – ham, cheese, ‘shroom, cheese, basil, and pesto – OUTSIDE the egg.  In fact it’s all stuffed INSIDE the mushroom.

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Grilled portobello benedict

I honestly didn’t like it at first.  But after a couple of bites it kind of grew on me.  Not enough to make it again like this, but it was rather tasty for breakfast.  I can definitely see all this in an omelette.

The ham added substance, the basil a touch of lightness and the pesto a burst of flavor. All laid out on a grilled portobello.

The recipe is on page 49 of Ellie Krieger’s so easy.  You can also find the recipe on FoodTV.

More eggs on EGGS-ACTLY!

If you would like to join us every Thursday the weekly themes are on Eating With Ellie.  Just find a recipe, cook, blog, and leave us a comment.  We’d love to have you

Is pasta comfort food for you?  Is it something you crave periodically?  Nothing else will do but you really want to watch how many carbs you eat.  Or you need more veggies.

Then this dish is for YOU!

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simple zucchini

Speghetti (I used low carb) tossed with sauteed zuchinni (with crushed garlic and red pepper).  Topped with shave Parmesan it was the perfect low-carb veggie lunch.

It was refreshing and light AND  it was super quick to make.  Always a plus.

The recipe is a short order from Donna’s off the shelf: cooking from the pantry on page 30.

More pasta on Wednesdays with Donna Hay.

Want to join us cooking with Donna Hay.  Just cook from any of her books/website, blog, and leave a comment each week.  The themes are on the WWDH webpage.

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