Carrie’s Marinated Cucumbers

When I married Morgan last year, I was welcomed into a ginormous family…seriously large! He is one of 6…His mother is one of 15…and he’s got 64 first cousins on that side alone. But, I digress. One of the most special parts about being a Strobel is gaining five new sisters! Carrie, Morgan’s brother Daniel’s wife, brought these refreshing cucs to last year’s Memorial Day BBQ. Thankfully she shared the recipe with me and I seriously make them all.the.time!

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All the siblings and spouses, except Amelia and Bob, on NYE 2013

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Sometimes I even switch up the herbs. I have used ginger instead of dill and green onions instead of red. Every time they have been tasty!

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Now, I can’t wait to make them with cucumbers grown in our garden. I picked the first one the other day.

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Olive Oil Herb Dipping Sauce from My Baking Addiction

Mangia! Mangia! One of the best parts about going out to a decadent Italian meal is the bread and olive oil dipping sauce that comes before any of the courses. Forget an app! I have been known to eat so much that I have had to get a doggie bag for my actual entree. When Morgan hosted a study group last month, I decided to make My Baking Addiction’s Extra Virgin Olive Oil Herb Dip. I did omit the rosemary (since I was out) and used garlic powder instead of fresh (because I was lazy). Even with those changes, it was heaven and tasted just like a restaurant’s! Grab some chewy Italian bread and serve this before your next family spaghetti supper!

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Arugula and Spinach Salad with Goat Cheese, Almonds, Onions, Basil, Prosciutto, and Summer Fruit

I love a good salad and experimenting with ingredients. So when my husband brought home a dozen peaches and four pints of blackberries, I knew I want to incorporate them into my savory, salad concoctions.

1/2 a bag of baby spinach
1/2 a tub of baby arugula
4 oz goat cheese, crumbled
1/4 of a red onion or one shallot, finely sliced
1/4 cup sliced almonds
2-4 Tbsp chiffonade basil
3 thin slices of prosciutto, torn into small pieces
2 peaches, sliced or 1/2 pint of blackberries

Layer the salad as the ingredients are listed.

No salad is complete without a tangy vinaigrette!

Red Wine Vinaigrette
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp dijon mustard
1/4 red wine vinegar
1/4 olive oil

Whisk all ingredients together. I like an acidic vinaigrette…feel free to adjust the oil. Pour on and toss with the salad.

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You could even make it a meal by serving with a protein.

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Scottie-inspired French Toast

I made this breakfast for my sister, Jenny, on her birthday week way back at the beginning of June. It instantly brought back memories of growing up and our dad, Scott. Whenever our mom was out of town when we were little (which wasn’t that often), our dad would make us French toast for breakfast. We would shop for Barbies and even watch “American Gladiators” at International Market while we ate Thai food for dinner. These were very special treats. I am deeply grateful for these vivid memories that fill me with warmth like this yummy breakfast!

6 eggs
1/4 cup milk
Splash vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon sugar
8-10 pieces of white bread
Butter for cooking
Powdered sugar and/or syrup to finish

In a Pyrex pan, mix the eggs, milk, vanilla, and cin sug. Turn the stove on medium heat. Put a pad of butter in a frying pan and let the pan warm up. Soak a piece of bread on the mixture. Pick up the bread, gently drip, and place in the frying pan. Cook the bread for about two minutes on each side or until light to medium brown. I put the toast on a plate in the microwave (not turned on) to keep it warm. You could also put them on a cookie sheet in a warm oven. You will want to add a pad of butter periodically as you cook. Finish Scottie’s French toast with a dusting of powdered sugar, a drizzle of syrup, or both!!!

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Asian Pork Meatballs, Coconut Milk Rice, and Hibachi Veggies

Like I wrote in my last post…yesterday was my sister’s bday. Before we dug into that yummy dump cake, Jenny requested these Asian meatballs I made for our family’s Holiday Balls Party many years ago. I had to do some research as I no longer had the recipe. I found inspiration and the DELISH dipping sauce recipe from Rachael Ray’s recipe. I gleaned some meatball ingredients from an Epicurious recipe.. I decided to serve the meatballs with white rice and some sautéed veggies (I got the idea for the hibachi veggies from Pinterest, but the pin didn’t work).

Asian Pork Meatballs
2 lbs ground pork
2 eggs
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
5 green onions, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1/4 cilantro, chopped
1 1/2 inch ginger, grated
1 can water chestnuts, finely chopped
1 tsp garlic powder
6 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
(I would normally add finely chopped jalapeño, but my nieces and mom don’t do spicy)

Spicy Lime Dipping Sauce
It is a MUST poured over these meatballs and Rachael does it best!

Coconut Milk Rice
2 cups jasmine rice
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup light coconut milk
1 tsp sea salt (might use a little more if you aren’t making the dipping sauce)

Bring the water and coconut milk to a rolling boil. Stir in the rice and cover. Turn the burning to low. Let cook for 15 min. Remove from heat and let sit on a trivet for 5 min. Fluff with a fork.

Hibachi Veggies
2 onions, chopped
3 zucchinis, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
2 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1-2 tsp sesame seeds
4 Tbsp butter
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

On medium heat, melt 2 Tbsp of butter. Sauté the onions for about 10 min. Add the zucchini, bell pepper, and the rest of the butter. Cook for 10 min. Splash in the soy and salt/pepper. Sprinkle the sesame seeds on top.

These recipes serve 6.

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Cherry Dump Cake

Yesterday was my sister Jenny’s 34th birthday! Her husband is in WA climbing Mt. Rainer…so I got to make her dinner and dessert (thanks to my mom for brining the dessert ingredients).

Dump cakes are great in a pinch. You can keep all of the ingredients on hand (you might already have them) and throw them together when surprise company arrives, or if it is your sis’s requested bday surprise. There are TONS of dump cake recipes out there, but I personally LOVE the cherry and blueberry varieties. You can sub any fruit you’d like in this recipe to shake things up!

2 cans cherry pie filling
1 box yellow cake mix
1 stick butter

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Pour the pie filling in a Pyrex. Over the top of the pie filling, shake about 3/4 of the cake mix. Cut the butter into about 16 slices and arrange on top of the cake mix. Bake for about 30 min, turn, and bake for about 20 min or until the top is brown and the pie filling is bubbling. Serve with vanilla ice cream and celebrate!

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Parmesan and Garlic Green Beans

I love roasting all veggies! Not only is it easy (you can put them in the oven, stir a few times, and they do their own thing), but it gives the veggies great flavor. I made these green beans to take to a friend with a marinated pork tenderloin and herb/olive oil couscous, but they could be served with any protein and are super kid friendly.

2 Tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bag of frozen green beans, defrosted
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a Pyrex, combine all of the ingredients, except the Parmesan. Bake uncovered for 25 min. Stir. Cover with tin foil and bake for another 5-10 min. Remove from oven, stir, sprinkle on the parm, and recover with the tin foil so the cheese melts. Enjoy the cheesy, garlicky goodness!!!

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