Friday, April 25, 2008

Spinach Fruit Salad

1 bag baby spinach leaves
1 pint strawberries, washed, cored, and sliced
1 large can mandarin oranges, drained
1 large can pineapple tidbits, drained
1 c. blueberries, rinsed and drained
1/2 c. pecan halves or sliced almonds
1 Tbsp. poppyseed dressing

Gently mix all ingredients together in a large bowl and serve.

*Make this an awesome main dish by adding some grilled chicken strips.

If you have a nice glass bowl or trifle bowl, this makes a beautiful presentation.

I made this recipe based on a salad that Panera Bread features in the spring and summer. They use mixed greens, though, and don't take out the hard center veins in the leaves.

Apple Crisp

5-6 large baking apples
1/3 c. water
1 9-oz. pkg. yellow cake mix (Jiffy is the perfect size!)
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1 Tbsp. Pampered Chef® Sweet Cinnamon Sprinkle or ground cinnamon
1/4 c. butter or margarine, melted
1/2 c. chopped pecans or walnuts, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Peel, core, and thinly slice apples. Place in 9X9 baking dish; add water.

In large bowl, combine cake mix, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nuts. Mix well. Add melted butter and mix until crumbly. Sprinkle evenly over apples.

Bake 35-40 minutes or until apples are tender. Serve warm; top with vanilla ice cream if desired.

*If you want to make this for a large crowd, double the recipe and bake in a 9X13 baking dish.

I like to use a variety of apples for the varying tastes and textures, but it's also good with all the same type apples.

This is probably Caleb's favorite dessert. Every time I make it, he tells me it's better than the time before. :o)

Greek Pita Pizzas

This recipe has been modified from the one found in The Pampered Chef's® Stoneware Inspirations cookbook.

I don't measure my ingredients for this. I just use what I like in whatever amounts I want, based on my family members' preferences.

whole wheat pitas
black or kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
feta cheese, crumbled
Roma tomato, seeded and diced
cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
red onion, chopped
dried basil or PC's Greek Rub*
olive oil
Ranch dressing, sour cream, or tzatziki* (Greek cucumber yogurt sauce)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Place pitas on baking stone and slice into fourths; top with olives and feta. Bake 7-9 minutes, until cheese is lightly browned.

In small bowl, combine tomato, cucumber, onion, and seasoning to your taste. Lightly drizzle with olive oil and mix well. Top pitas with mixture and drizzle with dressing, sour cream, or tzatziki, if desired. Serve immediately.

*Since we all like different ingredients on our pitas, I mix up three small bowls according to our preferences. The boys like everything but the onion, Billy likes everything but the tomato, and I like it all. To make the topping come out evenly, I add extra cucumber to the boys' toppings and extra cucumber and onion to Billy's.

We typically use Ranch dressing on ours. I made tzatziki once, but it was complicated, made more than we wanted, and wasn't that great. Now that we have a nearby Greek restaurant where I can buy good tzatziki, I'll do that next time.

If you have toppings left over, refrigerate them and make another pita pizza the next day. I've been known to eat this 2 or 3 times in one week!