Mandarin Pasta Salad

It’s a rare occassion at our home to discuss who should get to eat the leftovers the next day.  But this delicious salad always merits such a talk.  We actually sat down and talked about the leftovers for several minutes – thankfully, I won (using Henry as leverage), and was able to eat up this yummy salad the next day!  This is another great non-dairy option, and if you omit the chicken, it can be vegetarian too!  I tried this for the first time at a pampered chef party, thanks Bites! (  Sorry no picture folks, we gobbled this up before I pulled out the camera. 

Dressing, mix:
1 tsp. fresh ginger root
1 garlic clove, minced
1/3 cup rice vinegar
¼ cup orange juice
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 envelope Lipton Recipe Secrets Onion Soup Mix
2 teaspoons sugar

8 ounces bow tie pasta, cooked, drained and cooled
½ cucumber, chopped
½ cup red bell pepper, chopped
½ cup red onion, chopped
6 ounces fresh baby spinach leaves
1 can (11 ounces) mandarin oranges, drained
2 cups cooked chicken breast, cubed
½ cup sliced almonds

Mix the dressing ingredients well and chill. When ready to serve, toss chilled salad ingredients with dressing, sprinkle on almonds and serve!

PI Day Pie


I love my husband. He loves math. And we both REALLY love pie. So,
to celebrate March 14th (yes, that’s 3.14) – aka PI day – I made a
lemon meringue pie. I’ve been wary of making a meringue pie again,
after mine collapsed at easter and destroyed my coconut cream pie
(read: cut into pie at table, melty meringue and mushy coconut
spilled out, EW). Just about a year later, I have gathered up the
courage to make another meringue topped pie. This one is from the New
Best Recipe Cookbook and was great! Meringue stayed in tact, and all
was delicious! FYI – did you know the yellow color of the pie is not
from lemons, but from the egg yolks? that’s right, it’s a “healthy”
pie. 😉

Lemon Filling:

1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/8 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups cold water
6 large egg yolks
1 tbsp grated lemon zest
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 tbsp butter


1 tbsp cornstarch
1/3 cup cold water
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 cup sugar
4 large egg whites
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Pie Crust


For the Filling: Mix the sugar, cornstarch, salt, and water in a
large nonreactive saucepan. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium
heat, whisking occasionally at the beginning of the process and more
frequently as the mixture beings to thicken. When the mixture starts
to simmer and turns translucent, whisk in the egg yolks, two at at
ime. Whisk in the zest, then the lemon juice, and finally the butter.
Bring the mixture to a good simmer, whisking constantly. Remove from
the heat; place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the filling to
keep it hot and prevent a skin from forming.

For the Meringue: Mix the cornstartch with the water in a small
saucepan; bring to a simmer, whisking occasionally at the beginning
and more frequently as the mixture thickens. When the mixture starts
to simmer and turns translucent, remove form the heat.

Adjust the oven to 325. Mix the cream of tartar and sugar together.
Beat the egg whites and vanilla until frothy. Beat in the sugar
mixture, 1 tbsp at a time, until the sugar is incorporated and the
mixture forms soft peaks. Add the cornstarch mixture, 1 tbsp at a
time; continue to beat the meringue to stiff peaks. Remove the
plastic wrap from the lemon filling and return to very low heat during
for about a minute. This will ensure that the filling is hot.

Pour the hot filling into the pie shell. Using a rubber spatula,
immediately distribute the meringue evenly around the edge and then
the center of the pie to keep it from sinnking into the filling –
anchoring it to the edges. Use the back of a spoon to create peaks
all over the meringue. Bake the pie until the meringue is golden
brown, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool to room
tempature. Serve the same day.

Ginger Steak Salad


Heads up low carb or non dairy folks!  Here is a very yummy way make salad a hearty meal!  Even Henry loved it – I think it was the first vegetables I’ve seen him knowingly eat in months.  This recipe is from the Pioneer Woman – check her out, she’s pretty funny and has good pictures!  Andrew’s suggestion was to add more things to the salad – I bet feta would be delicious.


Steak Ginger Salad 


2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
1 Tablespoon Sherry
2 cloves Garlic, Minced
2 teaspoons Brown Sugar
1 whole Rib-eye, Strip, Or Sirloin Steak
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
2 Tablespoons White Sugar
1 Tablespoon Lime Juice
2 cloves Garlic, Finely Diced
1 Tablespoon Fresh Ginger, Minced
½ whole Jalapeno, Seeded And Diced
2 whole Green Onions
8 ounces, weight Salad Greens (baby Lettuce, Endive, Radiccio, Etc.)


Preparation Instructions
Combine steak marinade ingredients in a Ziploc bag. Mix and place steak into bag. Marinate for 30 minutes to 2 hours.
Combine salad dressing ingredients and slice green onion.
When steak is finished marinating, add 2 tablespoons olive oil to a hot skillet. Cook steak about 1 1/2 minutes per side, or until medium rare. Remove from skillet and keep on a plate, allowing to cool slightly.
Toss salad greens in 3/4 of the salad dressing. Place steak on cutting board and slice thinly, then pour juices from the plate over the top. Mound tossed salad on a platter, then place sliced steak on top of salad. Pour remaining salad dressing over the top. Sprinkle green onions over the salad, and add cherry tomatoes if that makes your skirt fly up.