Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Three new winners...

**As you can see I have changed the look of the website. If you happen to find anything that does not work right in your browser please feel free to e-mail me with the link on the right hand side. Thanks!

Yesterday we put the solar cover back on the pool since the temperature has started to get chilly at night (if you can call 70 chilly...) and the water was slowly getting colder. I wanted to go for a swim tonight so I took the cover off and put my foot in the first couple inches and it was so warm! It registered around 90 degrees so I jumped in... wow was that a mistake. The bottom temperature was only around 75.. it felt so much colder! No fair!

It is Tuesday again so that means I had to find something to make for the co-workers tomorrow. I wanted to test another cookie recipe I've had set aside so I made sure to get all the ingredients this weekend. I made the dough early this morning so it had plenty of chilling time in the refrigerator to help in shaping. I formed the dough around a single rolo caramel candy and then dipped the tops in granulated sugar before baking. The cookie has a slight crispy edge while the center remains soft. I was afraid that inside filling would burst out and over the cookies but none of them did - not one leak! Yeah!

I could not find any cranberries (fresh or frozen) for the side dish tonight. I guess I could of used dried but I decided to try and substitute tart cherries and I am very glad I did! I think this combination went together very well and would make that change again. I would love to make this how it was originally written just to see the difference when the cranberries are in season this fall. I like how the color from the juice and cherries turned the orzo a light purplish color.

Wild Rice and Cranberry(or cherry!) Salad(CL)
Dinner tonight was a pretty interesting combination. I had some leftover boneless pork in the freezer so I found a recipe in my files that looked tempting. The pork is flavored with a Jerk seasoning (I used Penzey's) and served with a fresh warm pineapple salsa. The chops are very juicy and have quite a spicy kick, but the sweet pineapple salsa has a nice cooling effect and evens everything beautifully.

Skillet Pork and Pineapple Salsa(CL)

Wild Rice and Cranberry Salad

3/4 cup chopped fresh cranberries
1/4 cup cranberry juice cocktail
1 tablespoon sugar
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 cups cooked wild rice (about 1/2 cup uncooked)
1 cup cooked orzo (about 1/2 cup uncooked rice-shaped pasta)
1/2 cup finely chopped yellow bell pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

For the dressing, combine first 4 ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in vinegar, oil, salt, and black pepper. Place in the refrigerator to chill slightly. To prepare salad, combine wild rice and remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Drizzle rice mixture with dressing, tossing to coat.

6 servings
Per serving - Calories 134 - Fat 3.8g - Protein 3.4g - Fiber 1.5g - Carbohydrate 22.9g


  1. Mmm...yummy cookies!

    Caramel and chocolate may be my favorite combo. Must excellent.

  2. Everything looks wonderful - my favorite the rice - love that pink tinge!!

  3. Wow those cookies look so perfect. In fact everything I have seen is enticing especially those peanut butter cups.

  4. Good idea to use Rollos as the centers of the cookies, Joe. And that salad sounds delicious.

  5. We have a rice dish like that every year at the holidays. We use cranberries and it is great, but I will have to talk to my mom about trying the cherries. The pork also looks wonderful. It sounds like a great flavor combo.

  6. Joe, can you be my boyfriend too? :) I want delicious desserts every week... care packages are fine!! LOL

    And that dinner looks fabulous!! Why am I still doing salads with grilled chicken when you have given me such inspiration is beyond me!!

  7. Oh my god, those COOKIES!!!! If only I had some...


  8. Those cookies are SPECTACULAR!!!!! wow!

    Do you know how hard it is to get tart cherries ar fresh or froen cranberries here? ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE!!! *sigh*

  9. It all looks great! I love dry cherries in salad - we have to go that route, because my guy can't eat cranberries. Good thinking!

  10. Everything looks so delicious here!


  11. Did you change your template recently? Or have I just been way out of the loop. It looks great!
    I don't even know where to start..the turkey bolognese is such a great idea I can't believe I've never come up with that...and those cookies? Wow!

  12. those cookies look amazing! that is the best use of a rolo, ever!

  13. Great new design, I like it.

  14. Stephanie - I agree, the combo goes very well together!

    Ruth - I really like how it colored the orzo - pleasant surprise.

    Lushlife - Thanks for visiting!

    Nic - I can't wait to try them with other things inside - it should be pretty versatile.

    Punky - Thanks! I would still like to try with the cranberries but I thought it was very good!

    Chloe - Hee hee! Thanks!

    Robyn - Wish I could send you some, they were all gone after they were brought into work pretty quickly!

    Clare - Thanks! Sorry to hear its hard to get the berries =(

    Dawna - I agree, I love them in salads!

    Paz - Thanks!

    Mona - I did just a couple days ago - Thanks!

    Tanvi - I'm with you - they were so good!

    Gemma - Thanks! I'm having a problem with people viewing in 800x600 and the body of the post is not up top where it should. I'm still working on trying to fix it!

  15. Joe,

    Your pictures look great - the lighting is just right. Looks very professional - great job!