Saturday, July 2, 2016




Reflecting  Independence
by Paula George
June 26, 2006

As Independence Day approaches, many thoughts and memories travel through my
mind and heart.

Thoughts of the freedoms, others have sacrificed home and lives for bringing us
to this point in time.

Families divided, others brought closer as they faced enemies seeking to destroy
these freedoms.

Goodbyes said as loved ones shipped to foreign lands, never to return, yet;
giving their lives to protect their homeland.

Unfortunate the divisions in our own homeland, families divided, others
reunited...infiltrated within by...

Outsiders...taking advantage of our freedoms and government, unwilling to accept
our land according to the laws it was founded upon.

Only taking of the opportunities...unwilling to become an intricate part of the
Independence we have because of lives sacrificed.

Reflections still remain that I have the opportunity to live in "freedom" and I
am a "citizen" of the "Land of Independence".

Refections of those who serve in our military forces...those near and
far...those past and present...those willing to sacrifice home and family to
protect our freedom and homeland..."Reflecting Independence".

ITALIAN TUNA SALAD (Valerie Bertinelli)

3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon capers, chopped
1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 slices jarred sweet and hot cherry peppers, chopped
1 to 3 kalamata or nicoise olives, pitted and chopped
1 hard-boiled egg, chopped
1 7 -ounce jar Italian tuna packed in oil, drained
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

White bread, such as Wonder Bread, crusts removed and quartered, for serving
Sesame crackers, for serving

In a bowl combine the mayo, capers, relish, mustard, peppers, olives, eggs and tuna. Mix to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Serve on the quartered white bread and the sesame crackers.

Four bean salad w/ Honey Dijon Vinaigrette
12 oz. fresh green beans, split lengthwise
8 oz. wax beans, split lengthwise
2 cups frozen edamame
1 can garbanzo beans, drained
1 orange or red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/2 cup champagne vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tsp. coarse salt
1 tsp. coarse ground pepper

Prepare green beans & wax beans. Add edamame & steam in microwave for 3 minutes. Rinse with cold water & drain. Add drained garbanzo beans, chopped pepper & chopped red onion.
Whisk together dressing ingredients. Pour over bean mixture, toss to coat. Let stand 30-40 minutes at room temp, toss again & serve. Refrigerate any salad that is left.

Chicken Salad Casserole

from Ruth Tidwell 

2 cups chicken breasts, cooked and chopped
3 cups cooked rice
1 medium onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
4 boiled eggs, chopped
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 package slivered almonds

1 cup buttered bread crumbs

Combine all ingedients except buttered bread crumbs. Place in a greased 13 x 9 baking dish. Top with buttered bread crumbs. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Remove from fridge 45 minutes before baking. Bake uncovered at 375 degrees for 45 minutes.

Bacon Stuffed Eggs

6 large eggs
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 -3 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1⁄4 teaspoon pepper
4 slices cooked bacon, crumbled

Place eggs in a large sauce pan or Dutch oven. Add enough water to measure at least 1 inch above eggs. Cover and quickly bring to a boil. Remove from heat.Let stand covered in hot water 12 minutes. ( This is always how I boil my eggs, it helps to keep eggs from cracking, and gives a more emven cooking.) Drain. Immediately run cold water over eggs or place them in ice water until cooled completely.
To remove shell ,gently tap each egg all over, and roll between hands to loosen shell; then hold egg under cold running water as you peel shell.
Slice eggs in half lengthwise, and carefully scoop out yolk; mash yolks with a fork. Add cream cheese and next 4 ingredients to yolks, stirring until smooth.Stir bacon, and spoon into egg whites. 

Quinoa Salad

1 cup tri-colored quinoa, uncooked*
1/2 cup sliced celery
1/2 cup toasted walnut pieces or toasted sliced almonds
1 cup small grapes, half them if using large grapes
1/4 cup chopped red onion
6 radishes, sliced thinly (optional)
1 Tbsp.each fresh basil & fresh cilantro or Italian parsley chopped (mint is also a great addition)
Cook the quinoa the night before, chill. Fluff with fork. Add the celery, walnut pieces, grapes, radishes, basil & cilantro.
Season with S&P, toss with dressing.
*Tonight I used a package of pure cooked Seeds of Change Quinoa & Brown Rice w/roasted garlic
Plate on bed of baby spinach.
Can be kept refrigerated 48 hours to maintain good consistency.

For the dressing, whisk together:
⅓ cup freshly squeezed orange
⅓ cup olive oil
¼ teaspoon salt (more to taste)
2-3 tablespoons honey 
Or use this one: 
Honey Dijon Vinaigrette
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp. Honey
1/4 tsp. kosher salt & fresh ground pepper 
2 Tbsp. Red wine vinegar 
1/3 cup EVOO
Whisk together.

   Cannoli Dip

Yield: 8 - 10 servings


15 oz Ricotta cheese, strained*
8 oz Mascarpone cheese
2/3 cup powdered sugar, plus more for dusting if desired
1 cup heavy cream**
1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips (chopped pistachios would also be good)


In a mixing bowl using a spatula, blend together Ricotta and Mascarpone cheese, while pressing mixture along bottom of bowl to smooth mixture. Fold in powdered sugar. In a separate mixing bowl, whip heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Add half of whipped cream to Ricotta mixture and fold until combined, then add remaining half and fold until combined. Fold in chocolate chips, reserving 1 - 2 Tbsp to garnish. Serve topped with remaining chocolate chips, dusted lightly with powdered sugar if desired and serve with graham crackers, strawberries, cannoli chips or fried flour tortilla chips dusted lightly with cinnamon.
*To strain I simply lay the ricotta over several layers of paper towels, then wrap and squeeze to remove excess moisture. You want to remove enough moisture that the Ricotta should hold it's shape pretty well so you may want to do this step twice.
**If you don't want the dip fluffy you can reduce the amount of heavy cream or even omit it (which will give it a texture closer to a traditional cannoli filling). If you do omit it you may want to reduce the powdered sugar by a few Tbsp.

Recipe Source: Cooking Classy

Serve with broken waffle ice cream cones or in mini puff pastry shells.

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