Friday, July 03, 2020

Macaroni Salad with Peas and Ham


It’s almost summer! It's the season for picnics, outdoor family gatherings and cookouts. Lots and lots of cookouts!  And it's always a tough decision trying to decide what to take to a cookout, right?  Well, who doesn't love pasta salad?  Let's face it, no barbecue or picnic is complete without a nice chilled macaroni salad. When I think about some of the food that represents summer, this recipe comes to mind.  This is my Mom's Old Fashioned Macaroni Salad with peas and ham.  The memory of this summer classic  makes me smile.

Macaroni Salad with Peas and Ham

1 1/2 cups mayonnaise (I used only Hellmann's or Dukes)

1/2 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons sugar (more or less to taste)
2 cups pre-cooked elbow macaroni, drained well
1 cup ham, cut into small cubes
3/4 cup frozen baby peas
salt and pepper as desired

In a small bowl mix together the mayo, sour cream, Dijon mustard, and sugar. Add salt and pepper to taste. Empty frozen peas into a colander and pour hot water over them to thaw.  Set aside.

In a larger bowl, combine cooked macaroni, ham and thawed peas. Add dressing a little at a time until you have the consistency you like. Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.  

Optional add-ins:

Your favorite cheese, cut in cubes

sliced red onion
fresh dill
boiled eggs, chopped
sweet pickle relish

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Monday, June 22, 2020

Simple Blueberry Turnovers

I woke up this morning to a cloudy day and felt like baking something. That’s what usually happens when the sun isn’t shining down on my morning.  I head to the kitchen to bake. It doesn’t always have to be anything elaborate. Sometimes I can open my pantry or my freezer and see something wonderful that will spark my creative brain. Sometimes, my creation can be so simple I’m embarrassed to call it a recipe! 

Simple Blueberry Turnovers

1 12 ounce bag of frozen blueberries
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon water
1 box (2 sheets) puff pastry
1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water

Short cut:   Open a can of blueberry pie filling!

Heat blueberries, sugar and lemon juice on the stovetop in a medium-sized saucepan on low heat for about ten minutes or until the berries start releasing their juices, stirring frequently.

Once there is a lot of juice, mix the cornstarch and water together and stir into the blueberry mixture. Bring to a gentle boil and simmer for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly until thickened. Allow the filling to cool slightly before filling the pastry.

Whisk the egg and water in a small bowl to create an egg wash. Set aside. Carefully unroll pastry dough onto a lightly floured surface. Cut each sheet into 4 equal sized squares by cutting down the center both ways.  Brush all around the edges of each sheet with egg wash.

Spoon 2 tablespoons of blueberry mixture onto the center of each square and then fold the pastry over by connecting two pointed corners into a triangle shape. Crimp all of the edges together with a fork to seal the filling inside.

Lightly brush the top of each turnover with the beaten egg wash. Cut 2 or 3 small steam vents in the tops of each pastry. Move to a line baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool slightly before adding glaze.


1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-3 tablespoons cream (or whole milk)

Whisk confectioner's sugar, vanilla and cream or milk together until smooth. Drizzle over warm pastries.

Blueberry Turnovers will stay fresh for up to 3 days stored in an airtight container at room temperature. To crisp them up again, place in a toaster oven for a few minutes and they are good as new!

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