- Chinese Salad
- Meatless Monday: Zucchini, Tomato and Cheese Tart
- Mini Strawberry Napoleons
- Maple Chipotle Barbecue Sauce
- Maple Barbecue Rub
- Maple Barbecued Country-Style Ribs
- Getting Sap Happy with Coombs Family Farms
- Meatless Monday: Arugula Salad with Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Scribble Linens Review + Giveaway!
Last week, I took Mommaw's radio for the blind back to the public library. The conversation I had with the library volunteer went something like this: ME: Hi, I need to return this radio for the blind. It was my grandmother's. She passed away a few months ago. VOLUNTEER: Oh, OK. Did she check it out before or after? ME: Before or after she died? VOLUNTEER: Yes. ME: Definitely before … But if you notice any Jackie Collins books missing, you should call me Continue reading: Chinese Salad © 2013 Rebecca Crump. All rights reserved.
So, if you made those Mini Strawberry Napoleons from a few weeks ago, you're probably looking for something to do with that second sheet of frozen puff pastry, before it gets lost behind the ice cream or under that sack of buffalo chicken tenders. Try this ZUCCHINI, TOMATO AND CHEESE TART. You roll out the second puff pastry sheet for an easy pie crust and fill it with sautéed onion, zucchini and tomato, plus three eggs and a few handfuls of grated smoked Gouda. Or Cheddar. Or mozzarella. Because one of the great things about being an adult is getting to choose your own cheese. It's such an easy recipe that if you nail it down now, you can have fun experimenting with it all summer. Add mushrooms, fresh corn, green chiles or diced red bell pepper. Toss in small chunks of ham. Stir in a little cooked bacon or browned sausage. If you want something easy that can work for breakfast or lunch, unlike those buffalo chicken tenders, this one's for you. Continue reading: Meatless Monday: Zucchini, Tomato and Cheese Tart © 2013 Rebecca Crump. All rights reserved.
In Greek mythology, "ambrosia" was the food of the gods – something much too good for mere mortal mouths – but unfortunately, no one ever described exactly what it was. Baklava? Fresh doughnuts? Jalapeño poppers? We'll never know. In the South, AMBROSIA means one thing: fruit salad. Specifically, a fruit salad with orange segments and coconut. Something sweet, juicy and cold that you can serve as a side for any meal. Edna Lewis made hers with a little sugar and cream sherry. Some people add more fruit, like chopped pineapple, bananas, strawberries and grapes. Momma's ambrosia, studded with right red maraschino cherries, has appeared in a small red glass next to each plate for every big family breakfast since Noak parked the ark. It was always a small win if she could get us to eat a few bites of fruit, even glow-in-the-dark fruit, instead of just inhaling smoked sausage and hashbrown casserole. It's never really worked for me (sorry, Mom), but I've always stuck with the same recipe, because we have a history. I never considered that there could be something I'd like better out there Continue reading: Ambrosia © 2013 Rebecca Crump. All rights reserved.
_This post is sponsored by Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry. A few weeks ago, Pepperidge Farm threw down the gauntlet and asked if I wanted to take on their Puffection™ Springtime Entertaining Challenge. And since that gauntlet was made out of puff pastry, I shoved it in my mouth and said yes. _ __ When you say "yes" to hosting a shower or even just bringing dessert to a party, Party Day always seems so blissfully far away. Weeks. Months! All the time in the world to master macarons or practice piping those frosting bluebirds so it doesn't look like our cupcakes are covered in piles of Smurf barf. The problem is, we have other things to do. People to see. Laundry to launder. And we really, really need to catch up on "Game of Thrones." Besides, how hard could it be to squeeze frosting into recognizable a bird shape? Take it from your Aunt Rebecca, it's crazy-hard, y'all. So, boom! The Day of Reckoning arrives, and, since we forgot to master macarons, we do the drive of shame to the nearest grocery, grabbing random boxes of frozen appetizers, a plastic-covered cheese plate and whatever looks OK in the bakery section, silently promising to do better next time and praying that the frozen mini quiches don't come out tasting like day-old grass clumps. Here's a simple-but-pretty party idea for you: MINI STRAWBERRY NAPOLEONS. They're double-decker dessert sandwiches, made with layers of flaky puff pastry, pillowy vanilla filling (a combination of whipped cream and instant vanilla pudding), and as many sliced ripe strawberries as you can pack on without toppling each pastry over. Dust them with confectioners' sugar, add a few mint leaves (if you're feeling fancy), and you've got a dessert worthy of a special occasion. Something that says "Happy birthday!" or "Congratulations!" or "Happy Mother's Day!" instead of "Ooh, sorry about that.” Continue reading: Mini Strawberry Napoleons © 2013 Rebecca Crump. All rights reserved.
Here's the Maple Chipotle Barbecue Sauce for those Maple Barbecued Country-Style Ribs I was telling you about. It does amazing things for pork and chicken, and it only gets better (and more mellow) with time. So, feel free free to make it a day or two before your next cookout. Bonus: I like to mix it with a little mustard and use it as a dip for chicken fingers. Oh, yes. Continue reading: Maple Chipotle Barbecue Sauce © 2013 Rebecca Crump. All rights reserved.
Here's the homemade rub I included with the MAPLE BARBECUED COUNTRY-STYLE RIBS recipe. I'm including it here, too, mainly so I can find it later – and because it's also great on pork chops, chicken, salmon and beef. An all-purpose rub! Let's get to grillin' Continue reading: Maple Barbecue Rub © 2013 Rebecca Crump. All rights reserved.
If you've never had a grilled, boneless country-style rib, it's a lot like a French toast stick made out of pork. A completely edible wedge that's crusty, chewy, sweet and salty. And they're both delicious with maple. If you've ever nudged your bacon into a puddle of maple syrup, you know what I'm talking about. Maple and pork BELONG together. It's a case of opposites attracting. So, it just makes sense that maple also does amazing things for ribs. These MAPLE BARBECUED COUNTRY-STYLE RIBS are dredged in a homemade sweet-and-savory Maple Barbecue Rub, grilled, and served either dry or slicked with a MAPLE CHIPOTLE BARBECUE SAUCE you can simmer on the stove in minutes. (The sauce only gets better with time, so if you're a planner, get it going the night before your cookout, while you're dredging the ribs. Continue reading: Maple Barbecued Country-Style Ribs © 2013 Rebecca Crump. All rights reserved.
I haven't always been a huge maple syrup fan. Last time my nephews spent the night, I picked up a squeeze-bottle of table syrup for our Saturday morning waffles and didn't think twice about it. But, since my trip to Vermont, maple has become way more than just a pancake-soaker to me. Maple is a staple. A sticky, sweet multipurpose elixir that does magical things for salad dressings, breads, marinades, barbecue sauces, desserts, cocktails – it's even good stirred into coffee. Maple has soul. You just can't say that for Mrs. Butterworth's. Anyway, my conversion to True Believer status came after Arnold Coombs, a seventh-generation maple farmer, invited me to come to Vermont and check out the Coombs Family Farms maple operation along with several other bloggers. Arnold's great-great grandfather started selling pure maple syrup in 1840. Later, they added maple sugar, maple candy and pancake mixes. Today, Coombs supplies its 100% organic maple syrup to national brands, like Ben & Jerry’s, Boar’s Head and Stonyfield Farm. I was expecting to see a huge factory. Instead, we started the tour at Arnold's cousin Ted's sugarhouse, a small wood shack tucked in a crescent of shaggy, silvery maples in Guilford, Vermont Continue reading: Getting Sap Happy with Coombs Family Farms © 2013 Rebecca Crump. All rights reserved.
Last month, I went on a blogging trip to Vermont sponsored by Coombs Family Farms (more about that here), and we were treated to an entire maple-themed dinner at the Chesterfield Inn. Maple cocktails. Maple walnut bread. Beef tenderloin with smoked bacon and maple demi-glace. Grilled salmon with maple sugar dry spice rub and cinnamon maple butter. Roasted chicken breast with a bourbon, maple and soy glaze. Maple creme brulée. An embarrassment of maple riches. But do you know what recipe all of us asked for? The salad dressing. This MAPLE BALSAMIC VINAIGRETTE is sweet and tangy, a perfect all-purpose dressing. I first tasted it on the inn's simple green salad, with cherry tomatoes, bacon and thinly sliced red onion, but it works just as deliciously on this ARUGULA AND APPLE SALAD with crumbled goat cheese and curried pecans. And I'm sure it will be incredible drizzled over spinach and ripe strawberries in just a few weeks. Shake it up in a jelly jar, keep it in the fridge, and pour it on everything green Continue reading: Meatless Monday: Arugula Salad with Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette © 2013 Rebecca Crump. All rights reserved.
Scribble Linens, an online shop that makes reversible chalk cloth table linens - things like placements, table runners, table toppers and coasters that have a cute fabric on one side and chalk cloth on the other. So what do you do with them? I wondered the same thing until they sent me a few placemats and a table runner to try out. I mean, if you have kiddos, of course, you can let them doodle on the chalk side while they wait for dinner or sketch where the silverware should go to teach them how to set the table. You could write them a "good morning" message or list how many bites of each thing they should eat before they can get dessert. You could write his or her name on a placemat or draw a shape and let them copy it. Jot down a word of the day. Let them vote on what to have for dinner (e.g. "Do you want spaghetti or chicken tonight? Circle your answer!"). Or play Tic-Tac-Toe or Hangman. Can adults get any use out of these things Continue reading: Scribble Linens Review + Giveaway! © 2013 Rebecca Crump. All rights reserved.