Waldorf Salad with Persimmon and Pear by Taylor Lee

I hope you had as wonderful a Thanksgiving as I did. All four of my grandsons, my middle glorious daughter and my Special Guy were there! The food was fabulous. And a lot of it. Calories in the thousands. But my salad brought a glorious splash of color. One of the boys asked, “What are those orange things?” They were persimmons! Enjoy this fabulous salad. P.S Rather than the dressing they suggested, I drizzled a splash of Balsamic Glaze. Perfect! Recipe courtesy of The Washington Post.

Waldorf Salad

Modern Waldorf Salad with Persimmon and Asian Pear

Bright, textural, satisfying and beautiful, here’s a colorful, composed salad for your next cold-weather gathering. Let the persimmons ripen until soft but not squishy. Use crisp apples with a bright red peel. If Asian pears are unavailable, substitute a ripe but still firm Bosc pear. Mache, also known as “lamb’s lettuce,” is a winter salad green, vegetal and tender. If you can’t find it, use tender young spinach leaves instead. Compose this salad on a pretty platter or toss with dressing and serve in a wide bowl. If mayonnaise is a no-go in your household, swap in full-fat yogurt for a similar dressing.

The dressing can be shaken together 1 day ahead. The nuts can be toasted up to 2 days ahead. Otherwise, the ingredients should be cut up and served within a couple of hours, or the fruit will brown.

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise or full-fat yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cups (2 ounces) mache or torn baby spinach leaves
  • 2 Pink Lady or Fuji apples, cored, halved and sliced 1/8-inch thick
  • 2 Asian pears, cored, halved and sliced 1/8-inch thick
  • 4 Fuyu persimmons, each cut into 8 wedges
  • 2 ruby red grapefruit, peeled, seeded and sectioned
  • 6 red radishes, thinly sliced
  • 4 stalks celery, diced
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup (1 1/2 ounces) pomegranate arils
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) toasted walnuts, roughly chopped (Instead I used Pistachios and Sweet and Spicey Pecans)
Directions:
  1. In a small jar with a lid, combine the mayonnaise, lemon juice and black pepper. Cover and shake until combined.
  2. Place the mache or spinach on a large, wide platter. Arrange the apple, pear, persimmon, grapefruit, radishes and celery on top of the mache. Crumble the feta over the salad and scatter with the pomegranate arils.
  3. Drizzle the dressing over the salad (or serve it on the side) and top with the toasted walnuts. Serve right away.

Now that Thanksgiving is a done deal, it’s time to turn our attention to Christmas! And what better way to dive into the Christmas season than to grab the collection my ABB friends and I wrote to bring in the season. Irresistible Scrooges acknowledges what a challenge Christmas can be–until it isn’t!

Irresistible Scrooges

 

Irresistible Scrooges

My book in the collection is:

Nothing Good Happens After Midnight

Nothing  Good Happens After Midnight 

Prequel: Bah Humbug 

By Taylor Lee

  • The brazen detective crashes the emergency room determined to her question her dying agent.
  • The new head of the ER stops her at the door.
  • Their antagonism aside, the arrogant physician and the brash detective agree.
  • Christmas is the worst holiday of the year.

 

 

Too many tomatoes?

Craving a Flavorful Homemade Salsa? Try This Simple Pineapple and Bell Pepper Recipe

Too many tomatoes? Salsas are a great way to use them. No canning is required for this recipe. Plus, this sweet version will add fresh flavor to dishes any time of year. While many traditional salsa recipes call for onions and hot peppers, you can make a tasty salsa without them. The secret is using a combination of sweet and tart ingredients.

This easy pineapple and red bell pepper salsa comes together quickly with just a few ingredients. It highlights the natural sweetness of ripe tomatoes balanced by the tropical tang of pineapple and the brightness of red bell peppers. A bit of sugar and vinegar round out the flavors.

The end result is a chunky salsa with just the right mix of sweet, sour, and savory. Bright orange tomato pieces contrast with the red bell pepper and yellow pineapple tidbits. It looks as good as it tastes!

Best of all, this versatile salsa can be served with tacos, grilled fish or chicken, as a salad topper, quick dinner, or even as an appetizer with tortilla chips. The flavors complement anything from Tex-Mex dishes to Hawaiian cuisine.

Fresh Tomato Pineapple Salsa
Makes about 3 cups

Ingredients:

– 2 – 2 1/2 cups colorful tomatoes, cored and diced
– 1/2 cup fresh pineapple tidbits (from fresh or store-prepared pineapple spears)
– @1⁄4 red bell pepper, diced
– 3 tablespoon white sugar
– 3 tablespoons your favorite vinegar or mix of vinegars (I use ½ rice, ½ balsamic vinegars)

Instructions:

1. Mix sugar and vinegars in a glass container (I use four-cup Pyrex measuring cup) and microwave for ½ to 1 minute. This makes the sugar go into solution. Stir to combine.
2. Chop pineapple and bell pepper into ½ inch pieces. Add to vinegar/sugar mix.
3. I usually peel the tomatoes before chopping into ½ inch pieces.. This step is optional.
4. For best flavor, let the salsa rest for 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to meld.
5. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to use. The fresh salsa keeps several days chilled.

Tips for Serving Pineapple Tomato Salsa:
– I use different colored tomatoes.
– I prefer red bell peppers but you can use any color. Yellow and orange are sweet, too.
– Mix with cottage cheese for a quick snack or meal
– Pair it with grilled mahi mahi, chicken, or flank steak
– Spoon over tacos for a sweet contrast to savory fillings
– Brighten up a salad by topping it with a heaping spoonful
– Use as a burger topping in place of ketchup
– Dip tortilla chips or vegetables like jicama and cucumber
– Transform basic rice into something special by mixing in a few tablespoons
– Brush onto salmon or halibut before broiling for a flavorful glaze

This salsa really shines when made with juicy in-season tomatoes. Look for tomatoes that are fully ripe but still firm. The pineapple adds moisture, so drain any excess liquid from the tomatoes before dicing. When I get fresh pineapple from the store, pre-cut, I’ll freeze what we don’t eat. It’s easier to cut into tidbits when it’s partially frozen.

For best results, avoid using out-of-season hothouse tomatoes, which tend to be drier and less flavorful. Though if those are your only option, just boost the sugar slightly to compensate.

The possibilities are endless with this easy pineapple and bell pepper salsa. It’s sure to be a hit any time of year. The sweet and tangy flavors make it truly hard to resist!

Discover Danger, Heroes, and Love!

The latest box set from The Authors’ Billboard and Chill Out! Books is UNFORGETTABLE PROTECTORS. Nine of your favorite authors bring new and classic tales of incredible Romantic Suspense to you. Grab your new salsa, a plate of cucumber slices, and indulge!

Wild Blueberry Smoothie #Recipe

Delicious and filling, this blueberry smoothie breakfast keeps me satisfied until lunch. Try it!

Lots of studies have shown that wild grown blueberries are a very healthy fruit choice and one of the most nutritious foods you can buy. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory components of these superfruits have been scientifically connected to heart health, brain health, gut health, cancer prevention, reduced risk of diabetes, and urinary tract health. Wild blueberries have high concentrations of an antioxidant called polyphenols (along with other plant-based foods like dried peppermint, cocoa powder, dark chocolate, black currants, and hazelnuts). Wild blueberries contain 30% less sugar than highbush blueberries. And did you know you can get 25% of the RDA of fiber just by eating 1 cup of of these little beauties? It’s true.

I buy my wild blueberries in the freezer section of my grocery store. Make sure the bag states “Wild Blueberries.” I love having these healthy and nutritious berries on hand whenever I want them.

Wild Blueberry Smoothie  

Blueberry Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup frozen wild blueberries (do not thaw)
  • 3/4 cup vanilla flavored almond milk, unsweetened
  • 1/4 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup organic baby kale or spinach
  • 1 tablespoon black Chia seeds

Place all ingredients in a blender (I have a Ninja Smoothie Maker) and blend until smooth.

Enjoy!

Reclaim My Heart is the story of second chances.

Reclaim My Heart

 

Fluffiest Pie Crust Ever! by @_NancyRadke #Recipe

Here is a recipe for the absolutely fluffiest pie crust ever.

August is blackberry time at our house. The vines are covered with berries, and we pick them as they ripen, usually getting enough for several pies. We make some pies and freeze the rest for berry pies all year long.

Years ago I taught my daughter how to make a pie crust and she tweaked the recipe a little to make it easier to handle. Her pies are raved about and people say they’ve never had a crust that good. She is asked to bring pies to wedding receptions and all gatherings involving food. Because the crust only takes minutes to prepare, she doesn’t mind making them. This recipe looks complicated, but it is just that you need to have things ready before you mix the crust (4 ingredients). Work as fast as you can once you put the crust together.

This crust will not hold. It will get stiff and unworkable if you make it wait. You need to prepare the filling FIRST, so it can be poured immediately into the bottom crust, then the top crust can be rolled out and put on.

  1. Preheat oven
  2. Make filling and set it aside
  3. Set out your rolling pin
  4. Cut off 2 pieces of Waxed paper or parchment paper, a few inches larger than the pie plate. Place these where you will roll out the crust.
  5. Make the crust.
CRUST: Ingredients for a two crust pie,  9 or 10-inch pie plates.
  • 2 1/2 cups white flour, LESS one Tbs of the flour. This makes the crust more pliable.
  • 1 tsp. salt

Mix the flour and salt together, set aside

  • 1/4 cup milk  (rice milk and others work just fine)
  • 3/4 cup oil (any kind but olive)

     Pour oil and milk into one container, but DO NOT MIX

When you are ready to make the crust, pour the milk and oil all at once into the flour mixture. With a fork, stir together as you would biscuits. Avoid over-stirring as this will make it stiff. Leave some flour not stirred in. With your hands, gather dough into two balls, one slightly bigger than the other. The bigger one will be the bottom crust.

Because this crust is so fragile, you will need to roll it between the paper, rather than on a floured board.

  1. Take two pieces of the waxed or parchment paper and put the larger dough ball between them.
  2. Roll out the bottom crust.
  3. Remove the top piece of paper and lay the pie plate upside down on top of the dough. Hold the crust in place as you flip the pie plate and crust over together so that the plate is right side up and the filling drops down inside of it.
  4. Carefully remove the second piece of waxed paper.
  5. Pour in filling.
  6. Repeat for the top crust. Seal the edge, vent the top, and bake.

The more you make this recipe, the faster you will get. Just never stop to answer the phone. Any extra dough left over makes great tarts with jelly filling. Let me know how this turns out for you.

My latest book, The Bend in the Canyon, is now alive and on sale on Amazon. It focuses on the joys of having a family. Be sure to check it out.

Nancy Radke