Spring Salad

I’m really itching for the weather to warm up, so maybe if I put this recipe down, it will help old man winter move on his way:

Italian Spinach Salad

4 cups fresh baby spinach

2 medium tomatoes, quartered

8 large fresh mushrooms, sliced (I left these out)

2 hard-cooked eggs, quartered

1/2 cup real bacon bits (try 1/4 cup if you’re worried about your diet)

1 small red onion, sliced and separated into rings

3 tablespoons snipped fresh dill (I used 4!)

1-1/2 cups Italian salad dressing

1 teaspoon sugar

1/3 cup seasoned croutons (I used a full cup)

On eight salad plates, arrange the spinach, tomatoes, mushrooms, eggs, bacon, onion and dill if desired

In a small saucepan, cook the salad dressing and sugar over low heat until sugar is dissolved.  Drizzle over the salads; sprinkle with the croutons.  Serve immediately.

Leftover Ham

I made a ham the other night but had a lot of leftovers.  Try this recipe to help you make those extra slabs of meat disappear.

Ham Griddle Cakes

1 cup all-purpose flour

1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder

2 eggs

3/4 cup milk (use skim – I found it tastes better)

1 cup ground fully cooked ham

Pancake syrup

In a large bowl, combine flour and baking powder.  In another bowl, beat the eggs and milk.  Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.  Fold in ham.  Pour the batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto a lightly greased hot griddle.  Turn when pancakes begin to brown on the edges; cook until second side is golden.  Serve with syrup.

Yield: 8 pancakes.

As for the syrup, I recommend Mrs. Buttersworth.  It goes perfectly with the flavor from the ham (mine still had some pineapple flavor in it).  Enjoy :)

Fruity Recipe Ahead

Fluffy Pink Fruit Salad

1 jar (10 0z) maraschino cherries

1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened

2 cups heavy whipping cream, whipped (I used Light Cool-whip since I was trying to save some calories)

1 can (20 oz) pineapple tidbits, drained

1 can (15 1/4 oz) fruit cocktail, drained

1 can (15 oz) sliced peached, drained and diced

6 medium firm bananas, sliced

3 cups pastel miniature marshmallows

Drain cherries, reserving 1/3 cup juice (save the remaining juice for another use). cut cherries in half; set aside. In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and reserved cherry juice until smooth. Fold in whipped cream. Fold in cherries, pineapples, fruit cocktail, peaches, bananas and marshmallows. Transfer to a serving bowl. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Yield: 18-22 servings. Woohoo!

Yummy and Healthy Quick Bread

This is by far the best use of Blueberries ever come up with!

2/3 cut butter, softened

1-1/4 cups sugar blend for baking

2 eggs

4 egg whites

1-1/2 teaspoons lemon juice

3 cups all-purpose flour

3-3/4 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup fat-free milk

2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries (I used 3 cups and it was well worth it)

1 cup canned unsweetened crushed pineapple, drained

1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (totally optional)

1/2 cup flaked coconut (I left this out since I’m not a big fan)

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar blend.  Add the eggs, egg whites and lemon juice; mix well.  combine the flour, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk.  Fold in the blueberries, pineapple, pecans and coconut.

Transfer to two 8 x 4 x 2 loaf pans coated with spooking spray.  Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes (around 53 seemed to be perfect for mine, but I like mine soft) or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.  Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.  Yields: 2 loaves.

With the extra cup of blueberries, each piece is so rich that you can really extend the time that these loafs will stick around.  They’re pretty healthy too.  I highly recommend them.