Last week in our Apples of Gold class I shared a meatless menu. The benefit of a menu without meat is, of course, that it’s so cost effective. It also suits those guests that might be vegetarian. I am a meat lover, but I really enjoy this menu. It’s filling and you really don’t know you’re missing anything!
I’ve shared the Black Bean Cakes here before. Have you tried them? I was surprised how really good they are. They’re packed with ingredients that give it great flavor. If you haven’t tried them yet, you need to get this on your menu! I added a couple new salads that were a great accompaniment and then we ended the meal with a Southern Living cake – Strawberry lemonade. Wow! Is that a keeper!
Our lesson was about Loving Our Children, so I wanted to decorate the tables in a way that would be appropriate for entertaining children. I set out board games for part of the centerpiece, then added flowers that coordinated with the games. If you’re having game night at your house, why not use the game to set the stage for the meal?
1 large cucumber
1 tsp coarse sea salt
1 Tbsp light sour cream
1 tsp finely chopped onion
1 tsp fresh dill, chopped
1 tsp vinegar
1 tsp sugar
Peel your cucumber – or you can leave the peel on if you want – slice cucumber into fairly thin slices. Place into a colander and sprinkle with coarse sea salt. Set on something to catch the water that drains off, and set aside.
Mix together sour cream, onion, dill, vinegar, and sugar. Cover and place in fridge.
Let cucumbers drain and dressing chill for at least an hour, up to 2 hours.
Before serving, rinse cucumbers under running water briefly. Pat dry with paper towel.
Toss dressing with cucumbers and serve.
Greek Pasta Salad
2 9oz pkgs cheese ravioli, cooked and drained
2 bunches asparagus, cooked and cut into 1″ pieces
1 cup green onion, chopped
1 yellow squash, finely chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
4 oz. Feta Cheese
4 oz. semi-hard cheese (such as Gruyere), grated
1 small can sliced black olives
6 diced tomatoes
Cook ravioli and drain. Mix all ingredients together, season with salt and pepper ot taste. Chill. Serves 8-10 (or more!)
2 1/2 cups coarsely chopped fresh strawberries
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1. Process strawberries in a blender until smooth; press through a wire-mesh strainer into a 3-qt. saucepan, using back of a spoon to squeeze out juice; discard pulp. Stir in sugar.
2. Whisk together lemon juice and cornstarch; gradually whisk into strawberry mixture. Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat, and cook, whisking constantly, 1 minute. Remove from heat. Place plastic wrap directly on warm jam; chill 2 hours or until cold. Refrigerate in an airtight container up to 1 week.
1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup sugar, divided
2/3 cup chopped fresh strawberries
1 drop pink food coloring gel (optional)
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1. Beat cream cheese and 1/3 cup sugar with an electric mixer until smooth; add strawberries and food coloring (if desired); beat until blended.
2. Beat cream and juice at medium speed until foamy; increase speed to medium-high, and slowly add remaining 1/3 cup sugar, beating until stiff peaks form. Fold half of cream mixture into cheese mixture; fold in remaining cream mixture. Use immediately.
I hope you’ll incorporate one or more of these recipes into your menu this week. Stop back and tell me how you like them! I believe all the apples members enjoyed this meal. It’s perfect for entertaining and the great thing is that so much can be done the day before. You’ll look like a perfect hostess all calm and collected!
Thanks for stopping by my country kitchen,
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