In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter and sharing of pleasures. ~ Gibran

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

May Make & Take in the Sun!

 It has been a long 5 months since the Make & Take Gals gathered to share in our shared passion of learning and creating. Lives are changing and we all seem to be on the move into a new phase of life where jobs, reinvention, travel, and weddings are pulling us from the steady hummm of growing families to reengaging with husbands and life in new ways. When we gathered around Jean's table this month, it was sweet and inspiring. Catching up on life events and telling stories of dreams and hopes. Life is on the move for the 4 of us but when we are together, the magic still unfolds in our support and care of each other.

This month Jean hosted a wonderful outdoor lunch on a 70+ degree day here in Portland. We sipped Strawberry Honey Lime Spritzers while the scent of wisteria and lilacs enveloped our gathering. Jean made a stunning Quinoa Salad, Cucumber Salad and nan that had all of us demanding recipes. Each unique and guaranteed bring satisfaction to your family table. She then unveiled her, from scratch and gluten free, Almond Joy Brownies, Buckeye Brownies and Rhubarb Crumble Bars. Sated we made our best effort to wrap up our work on the Ball Jar Candles and darling cards we were making.


Crunchy Cashew Thai Quinoa Salad with Ginger Peanut Dressing {vegan, gluten-free

                          ¾ cup uncooked quinoa
                          1-2 cups shredded red cabbage, depending on how much crunch you like
                          1 red bell pepper, diced
                          ½ red onion, diced
                          1 cup shredded carrots
                          ½ cup chopped cilantro
                          ¼ cup diced green onions
                          ½ cup cashew halves or peanuts (honey-roasted is good)
                          Optional: 1 cup edamame or chickpeas
                          Fresh lime, for a bit of tang
                          For the dressing:
                          ¼ cup all natural peanut butter
                          2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
                          3 tablespoon soy sauce, gluten-free if desired
                          1 tablespoon honey (use agave if vegan)
                          1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
                          1 teaspoon sesame oil
                          1 teaspoon olive oil
                          Water to thin, if necessary
1. To cook quinoa: Rinse quinoa with cold water in mesh strainer. In a medium saucepan, bring 1 ½ cups of water to a boil. Add in quinoa and bring mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and let simmer for 15 minutes or until quinoa has absorbed all of the water. Remove from heat and fluff quinoa with fork; place in large bowl and set aside to cool for about 10 minutes. You should have a little over 2 cups of quinoa.
2. To make dressing: Add peanut butter and honey or agave to a medium microwave safe bowl; heat in microwave for 20 seconds. Add in ginger, soy sauce, vinegar, and both sesame and olive oil and stir until mixture is smooth and creamy. If you want a thinner dressing, simply stir in a teaspoon or two of water or olive oil.
3. Add as much or as little dressing as you’d like to the quinoa. I always start out with a little bit of dressing and usually add more to suit my taste preferences. Alternatively you can save the dressing for later and add when you are ready to eat; however the flavors of the dressing usually soak into the salad so I love adding it to the quinoa first.
4. Next fold in red pepper, onion, cabbage, carrots, and cilantro into the quinoa. Garnish with cashews and green onions. Serve chilled or at room temperature with lime wedges if desired.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1/6th of recipe Calories: 260 Fat: 13.5g Carbohydrates: 27.7g Sugar: 7g Fiber: 4.3g Protein: 8.6g

Sweet and Sour Cucumber Salad

2 English (or regular) cucumbers (1 1/2 pounds total), unpeeled, very thinly sliced
1 tablespoon coarse kosher salt
1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh dill
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Makes 6 to 8 servings.
1.Place cucumber slices in colander. Sprinkle with salt; toss to coat. Let stand 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2.Meanwhile, for dressing, stir vinegar, dill, sugar, and pepper in large bowl until sugar is dissolved.
Drain cucumbers well; pat dry. Add cucumbers to dressing and stir to blend.

Strawberry, Honey & Lime Spritzer

                          Strawberry Honey & Lime Puree
                          1 lb of ripe strawberries, washed and chopped
                          1/4 cup of raw honey
                          Zest from 1 lime
                          Strawberry Honey & Lime Sptrizer
                          1/4 cup Strawberry Honey & Lime Puree (more if you like your drink sweet!)
                          Juice from 1/2 a lime (optional)
                          1.5 ounces of vodka (optional) – I substituted frozen lemonade concentrate
                          Sparkling water
                          Lime wedge to garnish
1.  Wash and chop all of your strawberries, then set them aside in a heatproof bowl.
2.  Measure out your raw honey and add it to a small sauce pan with your lime zest. Heat your honey over low heat until the mixture starts to bubble. Allow it to bubble for 1 to 2 minutes while stirring and then remove it from the heat.
3.  Pour the hot honey and lime syrup over your strawberries and stir together until all of your strawberries are coated. Allow this mixture to sit for at least 20 minutes. Your strawberries will start to absorb the liquid and become soft and syrupy.
4.  Once the strawberries are done, you can add them to a blender. Blend together until a puree forms. This will only take 30 seconds or so.
5.  To assemble your cocktail you will need a glass full of ice, half of a lime and your shot of vodka. You will also need your sparkling water. I simply used water made with my soda stream, but you can use tonic water if that is what you have on hand. Pour your puree into the bottom of the glass over your ice cubes. Now add your shot of vodka. If you like your drink to be a little on the tart side you can add the juice from 1/2 of a lime. Fill the remainder of your glass with sparkling water and stir.
6.  If you are planning on making these non-alcoholic, omit the vodka, but repeat all of the other steps.( I suspect that this would also we very good with a little bit of lemonade in the mix.)
Garnish with a fresh lime wedge and enjoy!

Buckeye Brownies
    Brownies (see recipe below)
    2 c. powdered sugar
    1/2 c. plus 6 T. butter, softened and divided
    8-oz. jar creamy peanut butter
    6-oz. pkg. semi-sweet chocolate chips
Prepare and bake brownie recipe below. Let cool. Mix powdered sugar, 1/2 cup butter and peanut butter. Mix well and spread over cooled brownies. Chill for one hour. Melt together chocolate chips and remaining butter in a saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally. Spread over brownies. Let cool; cut into squares. Makes 2 to 3 dozen.

Almond Joy Brownies
Prepare and bake brownie recipe (below) and allow to cool.    Mix all ingredients for filling except almonds.  Spread on top of cooled brownies.  Chill until coconut is firm.  Melt chocolate chips and butter in a saucepan over low heat.  Allow to cool slightly .  Cut brownies into squares and top with a whole almond.  Cover each brownie with chocolate sauce, allowing it to drip over the sides.  Cool.
Ingredients for filling and Chocolate Sauce:
  5 fl oz sweetened condensed milk
  1 tsp vanilla extract
  1/4 tsp salt
  2 cups powdered sugar
  14 ounces shredded sweetened coconut
  3/4 cup whole toasted almonds
Chocoate Sauce:
  9 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
  9 Tbsp butter

Brownies – modified from Good Housekeeping

4 oz unsweetened chocolate
2 sticks (1 cup) butter
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 cup flour
1 tsp vanilla
½ tsp salt
1 package (12 oz) dark chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350, grease a 9 x 13 pan. In a saucepan over low heat, melt chocolate and butter, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and add sugar.  Let cool slightly.  Add eggs, one at a time, whisking until blended after each egg.   Add flour, vanilla, and salt.  Add in chocolate chips.  Pour into pan, bake 30 minutes.
Thank you Jean for a wonderful reunion!

No comments:

Post a Comment