What’s Cooking

Weekly What’s Cooking with Melissa

July seems to be my month for blueberries. I went to Godfrey’s farm in Sudlersville to pick blueberries on Monday and Wednesday of last week. Wow it was awesome, and I can say that because all my little helpers also thought so! Besides making blueberry jam and freezing a ton, I’ve made many recipes with them. This week I’d like to share with you the easiest blueberry pie I’ve ever made. Hope you like it!

Easy Blueberry Pie
4 1/2 cups blueberries
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
dash of nutmeg
2 tbsp. cornstarch
2 tbsp. cold water
8 oz. whipped topping (optional)
1 prepared pie crust (I use gluten free graham cracker pie shell)

In a saucepan over medium heat, heat blueberries until they start to soften, about 10 minutes. Add brown sugar, lemon juice and spices, cook for 3 minutes. Using a fork, mix the cornstarch with the cold water until smooth. Pour into blueberries on the stove. Stir constantly until mixture becomes thick. Cook for one more minute, remove from heat and cool. Pour or spoon into prepared pie crust and refrigerate for at the least 2 hours. Spread whipped topping over top of pie before serving. Add a few mint leaves for garnish and your pie will look and taste amazing!

Weekly What’s Cooking with Melissa

For so many people the word “snack” means chips, popcorn or cookies, but not fruit or vegetables. I have to admit I’m guilty of that sometimes too. While trying to help my own family eat more fruits and vegetables for snacks, I came up with this recipe for a fruit salad. Hope your family enjoys this week’s recipe!

Fruit Salad with Peanut Butter Dressing

Peanut Butter Dressing

4 heaping tbsp. peanut butter (or sunflower seed butter)

4 tbsp. almond milk (or regular milk)

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

2 tsp. pure maple syrup

Fruit Salad

2 red apples, cored and chopped  into bite size pieces

1 green apple, cored and chopped into bite size pieces

2 cups grapes, small ones or cut large ones in half

1 banana, sliced

1/2 cup golden raisins

Garnish (optional) – 1/2 cup sunflower kernels

 

In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients and set aside. Place apples, grapes, banana slices and golden raisins into a large bowl. Pour dressing over the fruit and toss gently to coat. Sprinkle sunflower kernels over top.  Serve immediately.

 

Weekly What’s Cooking with Melissa Cummins

The summer definitely has me looking for lighter recipes and dinner options. I am not a fan of heating up my kitchen too much. This week’s recipe for Summer Shrimp Couscous is fast, easy and versatile. It’s also great for lunch the next day!

Summer Shrimp Couscous

1 lb. Shrimp, cooked and cut into bite size pieces

1 box couscous

2 tsp. garlic, minced

2/3  cups black olives, chopped

10 grape tomatoes, halved

1 cup cucumbers, peeled and chopped

1/4 cup olive oil

2/3 cup Feta cheese, crumbled

1/2 tsp. black pepper

1/2 tsp. salt

 

Make couscous according to directions on box. In a hot skillet add olive oil, garlic, shrimp, chopped olives, tomatoes, feta cheese, cucumbers, salt and pepper. Toss a few times to coat and slightly warm everything. Place couscous on a serving plate and pour shrimp mixture over top.

*I like to add chopped onions, squash and/or zucchini.

Weekly What’s Cooking with Melissa Cummings

What tastes better on a hot summer day than watermelon. You’ll love to treat your friends to this delicious Watermelon Cake.

Watermelon Cake

1 Watermelon, seedless (about 5 lbs.)

1 8 oz. tub whipped topping, thawed

1/2 cup blueberries, washed and dried

1/2 cup strawberries, washed, dried and sliced

Cut a 2 inch slice of watermelon from each end. While watermelon is on the cutting board, cut rind off the watermelon from top to bottom and discard rind. Pat watermelon dry with paper towels. Place the watermelon, standing up, on a large platter. “Frost” with whipped topping. Place blueberries and strawberries on top. Slice like cutting a cake and serve.

*For added flavor, put coconut flakes around the sides of the watermelon cake.

Weekly What’s Cooking with Melissa Cummins

Wow another holiday to prepare for, July 4th! If you’re looking for good and easy recipes for your Fourth of July cookout, look no further! This week I’d like to share a recipe for Grilled Garlic Buttermilk Chicken.

Grilled Garlic Buttermilk Chicken
1 1/2 cup buttermilk
3 tsp. garlic, minced
1 tbsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. black pepper
5 lbs. chicken, bone in pieces

In a bowl combine the buttermilk, garlic, paprika, salt and pepper. Divide the mixture into 2 gallon size plastic zipper bags. Place the chicken in the bags and marinate the chicken for 2 hours to overnight. Occasionally turn the bags. Once the grill is heated, cook the chicken for 30 to 40 minutes, turning occasionally, making certain the chicken is thoroughly cooked. Discard buttermilk marinade.

Weekly What’s Cooking Recipe with Melissa Cummins

Homemade snacks are always nice to have around for the kids BUT during the summer it’s a must have.  My boys joke that I’m always trying to feed people when they’re friends come over because I always ask them if they want something to eat.  What can I say?  I like to feed people.  Having Trail Mix Treats on hand is a great snack for just those occasions.

Trail Mix Treats
1 10 oz. bag of marshmallows
4 tbsp. unsalted butter (I use Earth Balance)
7 c. cinnamon cereal, like Cinnamon Pebbles
1/2 c. nuts (peanuts, almonds, walnut pieces, etc.) Slightly chopped
1/4 c. golden raisins
1/4 c. dried cranberries
1/4 c. sunflower seeds
1/2 c. mini chocolate chips or candies like mini M & M’s
In a large pot, melt the butter, then add the marshmallows.  Stir occasionally until marshmallows melt completely.  Remove from heat.
Add the cereal, chopped nuts, raisins, cranberries, sunflower seeds and stir completely.  Wait just a minute or so to let the marshmallow mixture cool down then mix in chocolate chips or candies.
Use a greased 1/4 cup measuring cup to scoop mounds of the trail mix treat mixture into greased cups of a muffin pan.  With buttered fingers, press mixture together a bit to help them take shape and stick together better.
*You can use another cereal such as Chex or Cheerios.
**1/4 c. of shredded coconut can be added also.

What’s Cooking Weekly Recipe with Melissa Cummins

Sometimes it’s hard to face fixing an entire dinner in the heat of summer.  When it’s that hot I like to find cool summer salads to fix.  This week’s summer salad is a light and cool salad on it’s own or added as a side to grilled chicken or fish.

Summer Avocado Salad
1 1/2 c. corn (canned or cooked corn on the cob)
1 c. cucumbers, chopped
1/2 c. red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 c. green bell pepper, chopped
1/4 c. red onion, diced
1 c. grape tomatoes, halved
3 avocados, chopped (If they are large 2 may work)

Dressing:
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. lime juice
1 tbsp. honey
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tbsp. cilantro, fresh and chopped

If using canned corn, drain.  If using corn on the cob, cut the cooked corn off of the cob.  Place the corn in the bowl.

Place the cucumbers, bell peppers, onion and grape tomatoes in the bowl and mix.  Add the avocados.

In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients.  Pour desired amount of dressing over the salad and toss to coat.

Serve immediately and enjoy!

Weekly What’s Cooking with Melissa Cummins

Our whole family loves asparagus, and it is now out in abundance. I like to cook it frequently so it’s important to find different recipes. This week’s recipe for Asparagus Casserole can be made lower fat and even dairy free and gluten free like I prepare it.

Asparagus Casserole

6-8 slices of bread (gluten free bread works well)

4 eggs, beaten

2 cups milk (lowfat and unsweetened almond milk also work well)

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. black pepper

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. onion powder

2 cups asparagus, cooked and cut into about 2 inch pieces

2 tbsp. onion, minced

6 slices Swiss cheese (optional)

2 cups shredded cheese (I use almond milk shredded cheese)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13 inch casserole dish. Line the casserole dish with the bread. If using Swiss cheese, place the cheese on top of the bread. Mix the eggs, milk, spices and minced onion. Pour over bread and cheese. Bake for 15 minutes, then add asparagus. Sprinkle cheddar cheese over top and bake for another 10-15 minutes.

*This can be served as a side dish or by adding 1-1/2 cups cooked chopped chicken or ham it can also be served as a main dish.

Weekly What’s Cooking with Melissa Cummins

I’m so happy rhubarb is now in season. My plants aren’t ready, but I was blessed to be given a lot. I was able to freeze some and cook some. This week’s recipe is for Strawberry Rhubarb Tapioca Pudding. It can be eaten as is, with fresh strawberries, over cake or on pancakes.

Strawberry Rhubarb Tapioca Pudding
4 cups water
4 cups rhubarb
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup fine tapioca
3/4 cup strawberry Jello (I buy powdered Jello in bulk)

In a large pot bring to a boil the water, rhubarb, sugar and tapioca. Add the Jello and simmer until the rhubarb falls apart and the pudding thickens. Cool and refrigerate overnight. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Weekly What’s Cooking with Melissa Recipe

Memorial Day cookouts are coming up, and time may run out for you to make elaborate recipes. If that happens, one of this week’s recipes… grilled potatoes and tomatoes. Have a wonderful and safe holiday weekend!

 

Grilled Red Potatoes

1-2 lbs. small red potatoes

2 or 4 tbsp. water

2 or 4 tsp. extra virgin olive oil

3 or 6 tbsp. Italian dressing

3 or 5 tbsp. grated parmesan cheese

1/2 tsp. black pepper

1 tsp. minced garlic

2-3 tbsp. chopped parsley (optional)

 

Heat grill. Place potatoes on middle of large piece of foil. Drizzle with water, oil and Italian dressing. Sprinkle on minced garlic and black pepper. Fold foil to make a packet and grill for 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Sprinkle on parmesan cheese and parsley.  Serve hot.

*If you like onions with your potatoes, sprinkle 1/4 cup of chopped onions over the potatoes before closing your foil packet.

 

Grilled Tomatoes

4 tomatoes, medium to large

1/3 cup Italian or balsamic dressing

1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese

1/2 tsp. black pepper

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

 

Heat grill. Place tomatoes cut side up on middle of foil. Drizzle with dressing and sprinkle parmesan cheese and spices on top. Fold foil to make a packet. Grill for 15 minutes or until tomatoes are softened.