July 2008


Hello!

I’ve made some really great (if I do say so myself) meals over the last few weeks. The hot weather (for some reason) makes me want to try new things and stray from my usual go-to recipes.

Without further adieu, here are a few of the more memorable ones.

Enjoy!

FRESH CORN AND SQUASH SOUP

1 tablespoon butter
2 cups chopped onion (about 1 large)
4 cups fresh corn kernels (about 7 ears)
3 cups water
2 cups chopped yellow squash
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Chives

Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add onion to pan; cover and cook 10 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add corn and next 4 ingredients (through pepper); bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes. Cool slightly.

Place half of corn mixture in a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth. Strain corn mixture through a sieve (or strainer) into a large bowl; discard solids. Repeat procedure with remaining corn mixture. Garnish with chives, if desired.

COOL, CREAMY CHOCOLATE BARS

Crust:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (about 5 1/2 ounces)
1/4 cup powdered sugar
6 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup finely chopped pecans, toasted
Cooking spray

Filling:
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup (4 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup (4 ounces) fat-free cream cheese, softened
1 (8-ounce) carton frozen reduced-calorie whipped topping, thawed and divided
3 cups 1% low-fat milk
2 (3.9-ounce) packages chocolate instant pudding mix
Unsweetened cocoa (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 325°.

2. To prepare crust, lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and 1/4 cup sugar in a food processor; pulse 2 times or until combined. Add butter; pulse 10 times or until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in pecans. Firmly press mixture into bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 325° for 20 minutes or until crust is lightly browned. Cool completely.

3. To prepare filling, place 1 cup sugar and cream cheeses in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until fluffy. Fold in half of whipped topping. Spread cream cheese mixture on cooled crust. Cover loosely; refrigerate 1 hour.

4. Combine milk and pudding mix in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed for 2 minutes. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour or until pudding is set. Spread the pudding mixture over cream cheese layer. Spread remaining half of thawed whipped topping over pudding layer. Cover and chill for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with cocoa, if desired. Cut into 15 pieces.

Happy Eating!

Sincerely,

Lauren Kase
Hillman’s Helpings

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1. Preheat oven to 425
2. cut up stale bread into small cubes – place in large bowl
3. douse bread in EVOO and a little bit of garlic powder
4. chop up fresh herbs – I used parsley and thyme (a lot)
5. combine bread and herbs, mixing until the bread is coated with herbs and evoo
6. place on baking sheet lined with aluminum foil
7. bake in oven for 10-15 mins (don’t burn them!)

Enjoy!

This is super simple and flavorful. Brush this glaze onto shrimp skewers. Place glazed-side down onto the grill. Grill 2 minutes. Turn skewers over and brush on more glaze. Grill 2-3 minutes or until done.

Dijon-Garlic Glaze –

whisk together:

3 tbs. dijon mustard
2 tbs honey
2 cloves chopped garlic
1/4 cup fresh lime jiuce

As I’ve said recently, we’ve been grilling a TON lately, so I am trying to break out all these new grilling recipes! I made this one last week.

Grilled Salmon with Roasted Corn Relish

4 Anaheim chiles
Cooking spray
2 shucked ears corn
1 cup diced tomato
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
6 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 teaspoon ground cumin
4 (6-ounce) skinless salmon fillets

Prepare grill.

Place chiles on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 5 minutes on each side or until blackened. Place chiles in a heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag; seal. Let stand 5 minutes. Peel chiles; cut in half lengthwise. Discard seeds and membranes. Cut chiles into 1/4-inch strips.

Place corn on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 10 minutes or until lightly browned, turning occasionally. Cool slightly. Cut kernels from cobs.

Combine chiles, corn, tomato, cilantro, and juice; toss gently. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.

Combine remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and cumin, stirring well. Rub spice mixture evenly over both sides of salmon. Place salmon on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 4 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness. Serve with relish.

We hit up Perry’s in Adams Morgan on Friday night to celebrate a friend’s birthday. We had a reservation for 6 for the roof (in the 90-degree heat) and were seated right away. The crowd is a bit older than the traditional AM crew, with mostly everyone in their early 30s. The roof was packed.

Overall I’d give the service a B and the food a B+.

Service – our waitress was quite pleasant but she kept dissappearing when we were hoping to order! We were enjoying ourselves so it didn’t matter all that much, but it was close to an hour before we even ordered any food! Additionally, we’d ordered some sushi rolls as an appetizer and a few entrees for our main courses. Our entrees happened to come out first and the sushi came later. Becuase of this mix-up, we were given these great lemonade drinks on the house!

Food – I’ve always thought the view from the roof of Perry’s was better than the food. This time, I was pleasantly suprised. The sushi tasted very fresh and my butterfish was only a little overcooked. The dessert they brought out for the birthday girl was this chocolate parfait thing that was great!

All in all, Perry’s is a fun place to go for decent food and a great view – just don’t go when you’re in a hurry…

Hello!

When someone close to your heart passes away, you try to remember every moment you’ve spent with them. You think about the happy times and the sad times, but most of all, you try to focus on what was special about him/her and how they were unique.

Sadly, my grandmother passed away last week. She was a remarkable lady and will always be remembered for her strength, wit and her love of chocolate! Today’s recipe is an ode to Mom-Mom, who loved sweets – especially chocolate.

Enjoy!

CHOCOLATE PIE

2 c. sugar
1 c. flour
5 eggs
3 tbsp. cocoa
5 c. milk, or 1-12 oz. can evaporated milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
5 c. water
2 baked pie crusts (can be found in freezer aisle of the grocery store)

Separate that egg yolks from the egg whites. Do not discard either part of the egg.

Mix sugar and egg yolks with a hand mixer; add flour, cocoa, then milk and vanilla extract.

Cook mixture in double boiler (away from the direct heat), stirring until thickened. Pour into baked pie crusts.

Beat the egg whites with a hand mixer and add 1/2 cup sugar. Spread on top of pies. Place pies in preheated oven (350 degrees) to brown. Keep an eye on the pies – they will brown quickly!

Note: To make a more creamy filling: After mixture has thickened in double boiler, use a hand mixer and mix thoroughly before pouring in pie crust.

Hope you enjoyed reading!

Sincerely,

Lauren Kase
Hillman’s Helpings

I used regular tilapia for this recipe and it came out really well! Its so easy and quick for a summer night.

Enjoy!

Polenta:
4 cups fat-free milk
1 cup quick-cooking polenta
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup (1 1/2 ounces) grated Parmesan cheese

Fish:
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 (6-ounce) tilapia fillets
Cooking spray

To prepare polenta, bring milk to a boil in a medium saucepan; gradually add polenta, stirring constantly with a whisk. Reduce heat, and cook 5 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly; stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt. Remove from heat. Stir in cheese; cover and keep warm.

To prepare the fish, heat a large nonstick grill pan over medium-high heat. Combine oil, paprika, garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper in a bowl, stirring well. Rub fish evenly with oil mixture. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add fish to pan; cook 4 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness.

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