Archive for June, 2012

Tuna Cheese Buns

Tuna Cheese Buns is probably not the most appetizing name for this sandwich but that’s what they’ve always been called in my family. They are basically a tuna melt that is not open-faced but sandwiched in a bun. My mom made them, her mom made them, and I have to double check but I think the recipe came one generation up from her! I recently lost my copy of the recipe and googled it to see if I could find it online. To my surprise there were several sites with the exact recipe! So this is still floating around out there from other people’s grandmother’s, I guess.

What I like best about this meal is that it’s very easy  and can be made way in advance. You mix up the tuna with a few other ingredients and spread it onto hamburger buns. Then you wrap the whole thing up in foil and keep in the fridge til you’re ready to bake them. Fresh out of the oven, the cheese has melted and they are really gooey and yummy. They are absolutely perfect with pickles and potato chips on the side. I love to make this for company coming because they are ready to go in the fridge and are a very homey meal. IF, and this is very important, your guests like tuna. Because some folks don’t. I actually don’t love it very often but I do like this recipe. So anyways, be sure to check and see if they eat tuna, and if they do, you’ll love having this in your pocket.

My only change to the recipe is that we use cheddar and not American cheese, and we don’t add the olives.


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If I haven’t lost you already with that title…I PROMISE this is more delicious than it sounds! My aunt made this salad last week at a family birthday party and everyone loved it. I made it last night for dinner guests and it was a hit again. It makes a ton and keeps well so you can put it together in advance and leave it out for a while. The key to making these very healthy ingredients taste so yummy is that they are VERY finely diced. The recipe calls for small slices but my aunt used the food processor, as did I, and it not only makes quick work of reducing a massive piles of greens to a bowl, but really breaks down all the rougher parts of these raw veggies to something quite chewable. The dressing with garlic, olive oil and mustard is tangy enough to wake this up and sweet enough to keep it yummy. It’s also a very affordable salad because kale is so cheap – yesterday I got a pound and a half for $1.50!!

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This is the best new recipe I’ve made in months! Just in time for summer barbeques, but equally great for cold weather months since it’s made in the slow cooker, this one is a real keeper!

The brisket is simply thrown in the slow cooker with a few spices and a bottle of Dr. Pepper. However…I couldn’t find Dr. Pepper the day I wanted to make this (Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods are our usual rotation of grocery stores because they are the ones we can walk to) so I used a root beer instead. I am sure the Dr. Pepper is really good but the root beer made such a deeply flavorful, sweet sauce that I will probably do it that way every time!

The mango salsa takes a bit of time to make because of the chopping and various steps. But even according to my husband, it’s totally worth it. As he said, it made the meal. The good news is that you could absolutely do it up to several days in advance and that will take almost all of the time-consuming preparation out of this meal, if you’re serving for company. I would double the sauce next time, as we had a lot of leftover brisket and not as much sauce.

Making the individual quesadillas with the brie took a little bit of time but as long as you don’t have too big a party it should be ok. I used a light brie to spare a few calories and you’d never know the difference.

Serve this alongside a great margarita and some chips and guacamole and you’ll be a very popular hostess this summer!

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Y’all – this is a PERFECT brunch dish! We love to have big brunches with our group of friends, where everyone brings a dish. What’s really great about this recipe is that it adds all the hearty, savory side of breakfast and lunch. The onions give the whole dish an amazing flavor, the ham provides your meat (in a much easier way than dealing with frying bacon or sausages) and the green onion adds a nice tang.

Of course this is one of Ina’s recipes. She made it on an episode where she was doing everything on the grill. I wanted to put this in the oven to roast and get it out of the way, so I put everything on a sheet pan. I turned the potatoes a couple times during roasting. They never got really brown and crispy like they did on the show, but the flavor was still out of this world. For ease of preparation, I’d do that again. And also we don’t have a grill.

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I made these lemon cookies, as a last-minute addition, for a wedding shower this weekend, and they were cleaned completely off the plate! I was a little surprised, because I didn’t know if they were really THAT good or just ok. When I added them to the menu I’d figured they were nice and summery for a bbq and anyone who didn’t like coconut on the cupcakes (poor souls) could enjoy them. But I was really blown away by the response! Since they are so popular I thought I’d throw them up here too.

I double the recipe because it makes a rather small batch. The first time I made these, I didn’t quite double the lemon zest and juice and they definitely were not as lemony as I wanted. The second time I added the full amount and they were, as stated, pretty good. I might like even a little more next time…maybe a little more zest to not add more liquid but get a lot more flavor.

The texture is really chewy with a crackly top that comes from the powdered sugar dusting before baking. These have frozen BEAUTIFULLY – put the fully cooled cookies in a ziplock and they come out of the freezer like new.

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