Tag Archives: fruit

Straw-Melon Soup and Re-post of Chicken & Dumplings

During the first warm day of the year I decided to break out one of my favorite summertime recipes for a kids’ cooking class.  We whipped up some Straw-Melon Soup and the kids devoured it!  It tastes like Summer.  Sip some summer for yourself.    Also, I’m re-posting the Chicken & Dumplings recipe because I found a typo!  Use this one instead.

Straw-Melon Soup

From: Renea Myers

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups watermelon pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups strawberries, trimmed and sliced in half
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • zest of one lime
  • juice 1/2 lime
  • 1/8 cup honey
  • 10 oz. vanilla yogurt (or any flavor you prefer)

Directions:

  1. Puree all the ingredients (I used an immersion blender).  
  2. Strain into a bowl, using fine mesh strainer to remove seeds and pulp from soup.  Chill.  
  3. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream on top.

Southern Chicken and Dumplings

From: Renea Myers

Ingredients:

  •  2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ cup shortening
  • 2/3-3/4 cup ice cold water
  • 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked
    and chopped
  • 3 cans (14-16 oz) chicken broth
  • 3 Tbsp. chicken bouillon granules
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • ¼ tsp. poultry seasoning
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 1/4 cups water
  • 4 hard cooked boiled eggs (optional)

Directions:

  1. To make dumplings-  in a medium bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt.  
  2. Using fingers or a pastry tool, cut in shortening until it is the size of peas.  Slowly sprinkle in water and work lightly into the flour until a soft dough forms.  You may not need all the water.  Knead a couple of times on a floured surface until there are no “flour spots” and dough is mostly smooth.  Roll out to 1/8″ and cut into 1 1/2″ x 3″ strips.  Set aside.
  3. In a large sauce pot, add chicken broth, bouillon, pepper, poultry seasoning, butter and water.  Bring to a slow boil.  
  4. Drop dumplings into boiling liquid, one at a time. Stir gently and simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes until dumplings are tender.  Add a little water if consistency is too thick.
  5. Stir in cooked chicken and eggs, if using. Season to taste.  Serves 6.

Kids get excited about Nature’s Skittles Fruit Salad

Here’s a fun way to get your kids excited about fruit!  Examine a little packet of Skittles candy and get the kids to help you find fruit to match the colors. The honey citrus dressing makes it extra special and yummy.

Nature’s Skittles Fruit Salad

From: Renea Myers

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups kiwi, sliced
  • 2 cups strawberries, sliced
  • 1 cup blackberries, halved
  • 1 cup blueberries, whole
  • 2 cups canned mandarin oranges, drained
  • 1/8 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/8 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/8 cup orange juice
  • 1/8 cup plus 2 Tbsp. honey
  • Lime zest (optional)
  • Chopped Mint (optional)

Directions:

  1. Combine fruit. 
  2. Whisk together dressing ingredients.  
  3. Toss fruit in dressing and serve chilled.   

Kid-friendly Waldorf-ish Salad

I made this dish during one of my kids’ cooking classes last week.  I was surprised at how many of the adults liked it too!  Apparently not everyone is a fan of the mayo in a Waldorf Salad.  Try this one with your kids.  They loved the sunflower seed kernels sprinkled on top. Easy peezy and healthy!

Apple Pear Waldorf-ish Salad

From: Renea Myers

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup red apples (1/2” dice)
  • 1 cup diced pears (1/2” dice)
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup seedless green grapes (halved)
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 8 oz. Greek vanilla yogurt
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts or sunflower seeds for sprinkling on top- optional

Directions:

  1. Place diced pears and apples in orange juice for a few minutes while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.  This keeps them from turning brown.  
  2. Drain apples and pears before mixing salad.  
  3. Mix all ingredients together and chill.  

Pineapple Salsa is Addictive

I have finally given up on scrounging through the cabinets looking for something to scoop up my pineapple salsa.  Let’s face it, I’m really just looking for an excuse to eat it.  I finally found the perfect dipper.  A BIG SPOON!  Now I shamelessly sit down with the whole bowl and the spoon and eat it like cereal.  I can’t get enough of the sweet-salty freshness.  Oh yeah…. it’s a great accompaniment to pork, chicken and salads.  I like that you can get these fresh ingredients year-round. Here’s the stupid-easy recipe.  TIP: To peel a pineapple, cut off the top and bottom first and then sit it on a cutting board on its flat bottom.  With a sharp knife, peel the outside skin from top to bottom, following the curve of the pineapple. Be sure to cut just behind the dark “eyes” of the pineapple.  You don’t want that in your salsa.   Slice into quarters and remove the tough core pieces before dicing into bite-size pieces.

PINEAPPLE SALSA

From: Renea Myers

Ingredients:

  • 1 small pineapple, cored and diced (or about 3 cups)
  • ½ medium red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro, rough chopped
  • ¼ cup red onion, diced
  • 1 small jalapeno, seeded and diced
  • 2 tsp.- 1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • sea salt to taste

Directions:

  1. Mix together pineapple, pepper, cilantro, onion and jalapeño. 
  2. Add lime juice ½ Tbsp. at first and taste for tartness.   Add more if needed. Some fresh pineapples are sweeter than others. 
  3. Add sea salt to taste. 
  4. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.

Straw-Melon Soup makes yummy use of leftover fruit

One of the most valuable things I’ve learned in culinary school is how to creatively use up leftover or extra food.  It’s really cool to open the door of my fridge and behold all those little containers of miscellaneous food from a few days ago and AHA!  I have an idea for something that will totally re-make the ingredients.

I bought a lot of fruit on sale last week and we have enjoyed having it as summer snacks and lunch add-ons.  But… today I realized I had a pretty big bowl of watermelon balls and a container of organic strawberries that needed a quick rescue.  Thinking back on some “use up” ideas from school, I decided to make a cold fruit soup.  WOW was it good!  Delicious and refreshing on this 90 degree day.  It tastes like strawberries and watermelon in the same perfect moment.  You could serve in a bowl with whipped cream, freeze into a popsicle or make a smoothie.  We pretty much finished it off with a spoon before it could be transformed into anything else.  You could change the ingredients in this soup to your taste or whatever leftover items are lurking in your fridge.

Strawmelon soup

Straw-Melon Soup

From: Renea Myers

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups watermelon pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups strawberries, trimmed and sliced in half
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • zest of one lime
  • juice 1/2 lime
  • 1/8 cup honey
  • 10 oz. vanilla yogurt (or any flavor you prefer)

Directions:

  1. Puree all the ingredients (I used an immersion blender).  
  2. Strain into a bowl, using fine mesh strainer to remove seeds and pulp from soup.  Chill.  
  3. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream on top.