The busy, hectic wonderful days of summer sometimes leave us looking for easy and tasty recipes that will provide a quick but good tasting meal. Here are a few summer treats. You can make a hot meal, fresh made pimento cheese sandwiches, breakfast, tea or dessert and each one will add a nice touch to your summer. These recipes are called “comfort foods.” Try one or two of them.
Tasty Stuffed Turkey Roll-ups
1 package stuffing mix ( I use Stove Top Chicken flavored.)
½ (one half) pound of roast turkey breast, thick cut slices ( 8 slices)
1 jar prepared turkey gravy
Prepare stuffing mix as per package directions. Set aside. Take the turkey slices, one at a time and place 2-3 tablespoons of the prepared stuffing mix at the beginning end of the slice. Roll up gently to make sure not to tear the turkey. Place the finished roll in a glass baking dish. Continue preparing rolls and place near each other in the dish leaving a space between rolls. Pour 2-3 tablespoons of turkey gravy over each one, cover and microwave for 2 minutes or more until heated through. Serve with mashed potatoes, rice or noodles, a vegetable and some cranberry sauce.
Helpful Hint: I use the real turkey breast, but you may use the processed turkey breast also, and chicken works well.
Summer Stuffed Eggs with Salsa
Makes 12 half eggs
6 large eggs
2-3 tablespoons salsa (I used medium flavor.)
2-3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
Cilantro leaves for garnish
Hard boil, washed eggs. Place eggs in a saucepan and cover eggs with cold water. Cover saucepan and bring to a low boil. Remove immediately from heat and let stand covered for 15 to 20 minutes. Drain eggs, then cover in ice water. Let stand until cooled about 30 minutes. Carefully remove egg shells. Slice eggs in half from top to bottom. Remove egg yolks with a teaspoon and in a small bowl with a fork mash them. Add and mix in salsa, mayonnaise and chopped cilantro. With a teaspoon carefully stuff mixture into egg whites and place on a serving plate. Refrigerate and garnish with pieces of fresh cilantro.
Fruit and Herb Ice Cubes for Iced Tea
Add a new zip or flavor to this summer’s iced tea by adding these flavorful cubes which are made in advance and are ready in your freezer whenever you need them. Turn them out of the ice cube trays and store in freezer sealable containers, label with name of fruit.
1 kiwi (for garnish)
1 fresh peach
½ (one half) cup fresh strawberries
Sugar or honey
All these fruits or just one or a combination of fruits may be made to have the flavor you desire.
Cut up fruit into small pieces and mix together with a little bit of water, about ½ (one half) cup or so to form a liquid, add 1 teaspoon of lemon or lime juice for more flavor. Taste mixture to see if it’s too tart, if so, add some sugar or honey until desired taste. Pour mixture into ice cube trays and freeze. Serve cubes with a glass or pitcher of iced tea, lemonade or seltzer using these cubes as the ice cubes. Add kiwi slices as a garnish.
Helpful Hint: You can freeze cranberry juice into cubes for a nice refreshing treat to a glass of water, seltzer or even soda.
Strawberry/Raspberry Frozen Treat
1 ½ (one and one half) pints or 3 cups fresh strawberries rinsed, hulled and patted dry with a paper towel
1 cup fresh raspberries, rinsed and patted dry
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Sliced fresh strawberries for garnish
Gently rinse strawberries in cool water, hull then place on paper towels and pat dry. Rinse raspberries and pat dry. In a blender or food processor puree 4 cups of berries (reserving some whole strawberries for garnish) and sugar. Reserve ½ (one half) cup puree for garnish and refrigerate in a small covered bowl. Set aside the puree in a bowl. In another bowl whip 1 cup heavy cream and vanilla until soft peaks form then with a spatula gently fold into berry puree until slightly mixed. Line a bread loaf pan with plastic wrap, pour mixture evenly into pan and cover with plastic wrap. Freeze until firm about 3 hours. Serve frozen with reserved ½ (one half) cup berry puree poured over the top and garnish with sliced fresh strawberries.
Cheese Tortellini Salad with Chicken
1 cup dried cheese tortellini, prepared according to package directions, about 4 cups cooked pasta
1 ½ (one and one half) – 2 cups cooked chicken, cut into small pieces
1 small Vidalia onion, chopped
½ (one half) cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
¼ (one fourth) cup black olives, sliced in half
1 cup Italian salad dressing
½ (one half) cup shredded Parmesan cheese
¼ (one fourth) cup fresh parsley, chopped
Cook tortellini according to package directions. Drain, rinse in cold water and cool, set aside. In a bowl combine together onion, Italian salad dressing, Parmesan cheese and chicken. Add tortellini and fresh parsley and toss together until mixed well. Chill for 2-3 hours.
Helpful Hint: You may use flash-cooked shrimp instead of chicken.
Hope Cusick has won awards at the North Carolina Strawberry Festival in 2012; The North Carolina Blueberry Festival, winning first place for her Blueberry Cheese Danish Pastry in 2012, and placing on her blueberry spinach salad and dressing; and has won various other contest awards for her blueberry cheesecake, breads, cookies, brownies and jams. She resides in Hampstead.