i am a lover of cookbooks! All kinds really, but nothing makes me happier than finding a cookbook that helps solve the workday lunch blah! I work full time and I pack my lunch every day as there is no place to eat out at work (remember the middle of the woods thing, wasn’t kidding!)
Usually I end up eating the same thing every day. However this cookbook, “Mason Jar Salads” by Julia Mirabella is chock full of easy, healthy ideas for lunches in cute and stylish mason jars. Who could ask for anything more?
Mason Jar Salads by Julia Mirabella has over 50 recipes with beautiful photographs (I’m a sucker for great photos) that will inspire you to make great tasting lunches with smart layering techniques (dressing in the bottom, who knew?) that you make ahead of time and just grab before you head out the door.
Below is a recipe excerpt from Mason Jar Salads and Photo.
I can easily see not only making these for my lunches but also packing these for the kids lunches too. (not in a mason jar) Mason Jar Salads by Julia Mirabella is available in many bookstores across the country. ISBN: 978-1-61243-289-2 with a MSRP of $16.95
Disclaimer: I received product to facilitate this review. All opinions are my own and yours may vary.
Say what? S’mores in the microwave? Delicious! My son would eat these every night if he could and they are so easy to make!
I love Greek Inspired dishes. I could probably eat olives, cucumbers and feta cheese for every meal! Sometimes I am in the mood for a Mediterranean side dish but not the lettuce. This is a very easy, light and delicious accompaniment to really any meal: chicken, seafood, pork, pasta, etc. All of the items are currently in season at the Farmers Market so it is exceptionally fresh now.
1 cucumber, peeled and diced
1 large tomato, diced
1 handful olives (kalamata, green pitted, whatever you have on hand) diced
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
salt and pepper
Mix all ingredients together and let sit in fridge for flavors to combine. Best used immediately.
Are you a fan of Arnold Palmer? You know, the drink that is half ice tea and half lemonade? I love the combination of the two and decided to create a cake that screams Summer! This cake is pretty dense and would be perfect to bring to a picnic, BBQ, or Potluck dinner. Give this Arnold Palmer cake a try, you won’t be disappointed.
1-1/2 cup water
6 Tea Bags (I used Earl Grey, but any variety will do)
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
5 large eggs
3-1/2 cups flour
3 Tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
1/4 tsp Baking soda
1 Tub Cream Cheese Frosting (I used whipped)
1 tsp Vanilla
1 lemon zested
Juice from 1 lemon
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13×9 pan.
2.Pour the boiling water over the teabags. Cover with plastic wrap and steep for 10 minutes. Take out the tea bags and cool liquid for at least 30 minutes.
3. Cream the butter in a mixer, add the sugars and beat until fluffy.
4. Add the eggs, one at a time. Add the vanilla
5. Add baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
6. Add half the flour and mix, then add half of the tea liquid, continue back and forth with flour/tea until all incorporated.
7. Pour into greased pan and bake 35-40 minutes. Cool completely before frosting.
8. Mix all the ingredients together for the frosting.
Now I know what you are thinking…. Really the best eggplant parmesan recipe ever? Oh yes it is. The secret (don’t tell anyone) is salting the eggplant and leaving them to rest over night. OMG this makes the eggplant soft and delicious and melts in your mouth. I know this recipe takes some time but it is totally worth it!
1- Wash eggpant. Cut into 1/4 inch circles. Lay in a single layer on a clean dishcloth.
2- Sprinkle with Salt. Cover with another clean dishtowel. Let sit overnight. (Yes, this is correct! It is what makes the eggplant tender.)
3- On the next morning. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Set up a breading station. (Beat the two eggs in a bowl and season the eggs how you like them and pour bread crumbs in a separate bowl.)
4- Bread the eggplant. Dip each round in the egg, then the bread crumbs. Place on a single layer on cookie sheets. You do not need to grease your pans.
5- Bake for 15 minutes. Flip the eggplant rounds. Bake for another 15 minutes. Take out of the oven and let cool.
6- Using a 13 x 9 baking dish, start layering your ingredients in the following order.
7- Pour some sauce in the bottom of the dish. Make sure it covers the bottom.
8- Put a layer of eggplant rounds, so that they touch but do not over lap.
9- Cover the rounds with sauce.
10- Cover the sauce with shredded mozzarella.
11- Repeat with the eggplant, sauce, mozzarella until you are at the top of the pan. (usually 3 layers, maybe 2) Be sure to end with a healthy layer of shredded mozzarella cheese! Yum!
12- Cover with tinfoil and place in fridge overnight. (Sooo worth it!)
13- When you a ready to cook the eggplant parmesan, take out of the fridge about an hour before you are ready to cook. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and bake covered for about 60 minutes or until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is melted.
Are you a mustard fan? What kind of mustard do you like? Spicy brown, classic yellow, whole grain, what is your favorite? I love mustard. It is a great low calorie condiment. The best part is that it does not have to be refrigerated if put on a sandwich to bring to the beach, park or picnic. French’s sent me a few bottles of mustard to help promote National Mustard Day!
French’s has a flavor for everyone in your family from Honey and horseradish to Classic Yellow. While most people use mustard as a condiment to a hot dog you can easily combine it with a few ingredients to make other recipes from dressings and marinades to sauces. I love adding Spicy Brown mustard to crabcakes for an awesome flavor update!
Here is a delicious recipe for Potato Salad from French’s, enjoy!
If you have a bumper crop of herbs this summer you can easily dry your own herbs to use in the upcoming months. Here is a very easy way to dry your own herbs in the microwave. These would even make nice gifts if done in sets. For example – Pizza herbs, Salsa herbs, etc.