Easy Recipes

In case you’ve wondered, I don’t spend all my time writing. I still like to experiment in the kitchen with new dishes. Here are two recipes I’ve made recently that have fairly quick preparation. Enjoy! (And next time, I’ll have to remember to take photos!)

QUICK TURKEY CURRY

1 cup diced green pepper
½ cup diced celery
½ large sweet onion, diced
4 green onions, sliced
2 Tbsp canola oil
1-2 package(s) Perdue short cuts cooked turkey breast or 1-2 cup(s) cubed leftover turkey
1 can sliced water chestnuts, drained
2 oz package slivered almonds
4 Tbsp all-purpose flour
½ tsp curry powder
½ tsp paprika
¼ tsp dried basil
16 oz low sodium chicken broth
1 small jar pimentos, drained
Cooked rice, 4 servings.

In a large skillet, sauté the green pepper, celery, and onions in oil until wilted. Stir in the turkey, water chestnuts, and almonds. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the flour, curry powder, paprika and basil into the broth until blended. Stir into the skillet mixture and add pimentos. Cover and simmer until heated through. Serve over rice. Yields 4-6 servings. Tip: You can buy two 8 oz packages of pre-chopped green peppers, celery, and onions at the grocery store as a substitute for the green pepper and celery if you want a faster prep time.

EASY CHOCOLATE CAKE

1 package (18-1/4 oz) Devil’s Food cake mix
½ cup baking cocoa
2 egg whites
1 egg
1-1/3 cup water
8 oz low fat plain yogurt
2 tsp powdered 10X sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine egg whites, egg, water, and yogurt. In a large mixing bowl, blend cake mix and cocoa. Beating at low speed, add liquid mixture to dry ingredients. Blend well. Pour into a 10 cup fluted tube baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake for 35 minutes and test for doneness with toothpick. Cool on wire rack before turning cake out onto a plate. Dust with powdered sugar and serve.

For more great recipes, check out the Recipes Page on my website!

Tips for Entertaining

How do you entertain for a crowd? It’s best to be well organized and to do as much ahead of time as you can. Here are a few tips to get you started:

· Determine your guest list
· Decide upon a party theme
· Send invitations

On Memorial Day weekend, we had some writer friends over. Counting our family members, we had about 16 people total. I wrote the menu after we sent out email invitations.

MEMORIAL DAY MENU

Appetizers: Spinach Artichoke Dip, *Eggplant Appetizer, Lobster Spread, *Swedish Meatballs, *Stuffed Mushrooms, Cheese Cubes, Crackers, Chips

Buffet Dinner: Sliced turkey, corn beef, and turkey pastrami platter from TooJay’s, Potato Salad, Cole Slaw, *Corn Barley Salad, Chicken Greek Pasta Salad, Tuna Salad, Sliced Rye and Challah Breads, Olives & Pickles, Veggie Platter

Desserts: Carrot Cake, Oatmeal Chocolate Cranberry Bars, *Wine Cake, Fruit Salad

Recipes for the starred items can be found on my Website.

Stuffed Mushrooms

Stuffed Mushrooms

Barley Corn Salad

Barley Corn Salad

Wine Cake

Wine Cake

· Choose your menu
· Make a grocery list
· Shop for non-perishables

A few days before the event,
· Take out your serving platters and utensils
· Label each serving dish with the intended item
· Set the table(s), including centerpieces, the day before
· Put out candles and do last minute cleaning
· Decide upon background music, if any

Food Labels

Labeling the Dishes for Easy Filling

Labeling the serving dishes saves time so I can spoon out the food quickly into predetermined platters and bowls. You also won’t have to go hunting at the last minute for those extra serving plates.

· Prepare foods the day before the event when possible. Otherwise, get an early start the event day so you’ll have plenty of time to rest up, shower, and get dressed.
· When guests arrive, offer them a drink and point out where they can get food. Introduce guests to each other. Then relax and enjoy yourself!

Writers

Allison Chase, Cynthia Thomason, Zelda Benjamin, Sharon Hartley (seated), Karen Kendall, Nancy Cohen, Lynn Byer