Summer favorite

This is one of our absolute favorite summer dinners.  The beef shish kabobs are so good and leftovers will be terrific later in the week.  I got this recipe from a coworker almost 30 years ago.  She and her husband invited me to their home for dinner and served me these beef kabobs.  They were generous enough to share the recipe and I always think of them when I make it.

Shish Kabob

  • 1 1/2 cups olive oil
  • 3/4 cup soy sauce (low sodium)
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 TB dry mustard
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
Combine all ingredients in a bowl or jar.  Marinate sirloin cubes, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes and red onions (quartered).  Skewer and grill.  Serve over rice.

Neighbor party

I know plenty of people who don’t even know their neighbors.  In fact we were at a get together on Friday and someone was talking about a neighbor and describing them as “You know, the lady who never parks in front of her own house.”  It is funny the way we refer to neighbors “the people in the yellow house”, “the ones with the little dog”, “the ones with the overgrown lawn” but often we don’t really meet them.

We are lucky to have wonderful neighbors and we celebrate that by trying to get together at least once a year to have dinner and visit with each other.  The tradition started when we got two great new families in our neighborhood and wanted to welcome them.  We have done it each year since and we always have fun.  This year is a small group as we have some neighbors traveling and others with conflicts but we’ll still have fun.  Annie is bringing an appetizer and  April is bringing a salad and we’re supplying kabobs and rice for dinner and Congo squares for dessert.  (If the idea of hosting a neighborhood gathering intimidates you, these are great potluck opportunities.)

The shish kabobs are one of my favorites – a recipe that I got many years ago from a colleague.  I learned from Facebook that her husband passed away last year and she died this summer.  While we enjoy the meal and celebrate our friends, I’ll drink a toast and say a prayer for Joe and Mary Ann.

Tonight we are blessed with glorious weather.  (The first year we did this it poured in torrents and I have a wonderful picture of 9 little kids jammed onto the couch watching TV.)  Tonight the kids can play outside, we’ll play some fun music and have the Ravens game on in the background.

Shish Kabob

  • 1 1/2 cups olive oil
  • 3/4 cup soy sauce (low sodium)
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 TB dry mustard
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
Combine all ingredients in a bowl or jar.  Marinate sirloin cubes, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes and red onions (quartered).  Skewer and grill.  Serve over rice.
My husband has a binder with recipes that his mother put together for him when he first struck out on his own.  On the first page is the recipe for one of her favorite desserts, Congo squares.  These are similar to tollhouse brownies with a few variations.
Congo Squares
  • 2 3/4 cup flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup butter
  • 1 lb brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 package chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350.  Sift together flour, baking powder and salt.  Melt butter over low heat.  Remove butter from heat and stir in brown sugar.  Beat eggs into butter, sugar mixture one at a time.  Stir in flour mixture and then chocolate chips.  Bake in a 9 x 13 pan for 25 – 30 minutes.   Let cool and cut into squares.

Congo sqaures

Congo sqaures

Labor Day Cookout

We had my parents over for dinner tonight.  We wanted something good and easy.  I opted for shish kabob, rice and salad with the homemade ranch dressing.  (Some of the leftover will be used to marinate chicken for grilling tomorrow night.)  The shish kabob is so good – I was telling Christie last night that I was making it and she said “I could drink that marinade!”  Probably not good as a beverage but awesome as a marinade!  🙂

Shish Kabob

  • 1 1/2 cups olive oil
  • 3/4 cup soy sauce (low sodium)
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 TB dry mustard
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
Combine all ingredients in a bowl or jar.  Marinate sirloin cubes, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes and red onions (quartered).  Skewer and grill.  Serve over rice.

Ranch dressing

  • 3 chopped scallions, white and green part
  • 1/2 cup chopped mixed herbs (I used a combination of basil, chives and dill)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 1/2 TB Dijon mustard
  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 2 chopped garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground pepper
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 low fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk

Combine scallions, herbs, lemon juice, mustard, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper in a food processor and puree until smooth.  Add mayo, yogurt and buttermilk and blend until well mixed.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

I put the dressing on a salad of mache (you could use any greens) with some grated carrot, sliced mushrooms and sliced cucumbers (leftover from last week’s Panzanella salad).  I chopped it up in small bite size bits.

It was so good that I didn’t even have time to take a picture!

Beef kabobs

We’re having a friend over for dinner tonight and I wanted to keep things simple.  Everything is marinating in the fridge – only thing to do will be skewer, grill, cook rice and serve.

Shish Kabob

  • 1 1/2 cups olive oil
  • 3/4 cup soy sauce (low sodium)
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 TB dry mustard
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
Combine all ingredients in a bowl or jar.  Marinate sirloin cubes, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes and red onions (quartered).  Skewer and grill.  Serve over rice.

Cravings

This recipe is one that I really crave in summer and we haven’t made it yet this season.  It’s also a great one for a Sunday night because you have to make the marinade ahead and let everything soak.  So I can soak in the sun at the pool while my beef cubes and veggies are soaking in their marinade!  My husband has been craving corn and we’re repeating the skillet corn that we enjoyed so much.   I’m making extra so we have leftovers for later in the week.

Shish Kabob

  • 1 1/2 cups olive oil
  • 3/4 cup soy sauce (low sodium)
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 TB dry mustard
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
Combine all ingredients in a bowl or jar.  Marinate sirloin cubes, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes and red onions (quartered).  Skewer and grill.  Serve over rice.
Skillet Corn
  • 4 – 6 ears of corn, kernels cut from the cob
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 orange bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 2 TB butter
  • minced fresh herbs of your choice (I used basil, parsley and chives from the garden)

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Add onion and saute until soft, about 5 minutes.  Add pepper and cook an additional 2 minutes.  Add butter and corn and cook, stirring occasionally for 8 – 10 minutes.  Add salt, pepper and minced herbs.  Serve hot.

Shish Kabob

I got email from a friend this week suggesting that we get together tonight.  We considered going out but didn’t want to leave our daughter with a sitter.  We invited them to our house – they are bringing salad and we’ll have grilled shish kabob with rice.  It’s pretty healthy and always delicious.  I made the marinade this morning and the meat and veggies have been soaking all day.

Shish Kabob

  • 1 1/2 cups olive oil
  • 3/4 cup soy sauce (low sodium)
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 TB dry mustard
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
Combine all ingredients in a bowl or jar.  Marinate sirloin cubes, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes and red onions (quartered).  Skewer and grill.  Serve over rice.

More easy entertaining

Friends invited us to play paddle tennis tonight and then have dinner.  They suggested that we go out but I don’t like to get babysitters on Friday nights when my daughter has been in school all week.  A sitter will watch her while we play paddle and then we’ll come back to our house for dinner.  Having company on a Friday night when you’ve worked all week is doable if you keep it simple and go with make ahead recipes.

That means when we come back to the house, we’ll munch on my crabbie appetizers from the basement freezer with a glass of wine.  Dinner is shish kabob over rice – I made the marinade last night and marinated the beef overnight.  I’ll throw the vegetables in with the remaining marinade this morning.  Dessert is mocha mousse – it’s sort of a cheater’s version of chocolate mousse, easy and delicious.  I made that last night also since it needs to freeze overnight.  I made a double batch – Christie and I are having a Thai cooking extravaganza on Saturday and trying out our newest lessons for our husbands.  We’re making shrimp cakes, two kinds of spring rolls and curried fish custard.  Mocha mousse is certainly not an authentic Thai dessert but it’s always good.

Shish Kabob

  • 1 1/2 cups olive oil
  • 3/4 cup soy sauce (low sodium)
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 TB dry mustard
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
Combine all ingredients in a bowl or jar.  Marinate sirloin cubes, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes and red onions (quartered).  Skewer and grill.  Serve over rice.
Mocha Mousse
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 1/2 tsp instant coffee
  • 6 oz semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream, whipped to stiff peaks
Combine sugar, water and coffee in a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat.  Boil for 2 minutes.  Put chocolate chips in a blender and add sugar syrup.  Blend for 10 seconds.  Add eggs and blend for 1 minute.  Fold into whipped cream and freeze, at least overnight.  Serve.

Shish Kabob and Two berry buckle

We’re having friends over for dinner tonight.  This shish kabob is great for entertaining – I made the marinade last night and marinated the meat overnight and the vegetables today.  We’ll serve with rice.  I also made one of my favorite summer desserts – a buckle with blueberries and raspberries.  They are bringing an appetizer so I can sit back and relax and enjoy being with my family and friends.

Shish Kabob

  • 1 1/2 cups olive oil
  • 3/4 cup soy sauce (low sodium)
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 TB dry mustard
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
Combine all ingredients in a bowl or jar.  Marinate sirloin cubes, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes and red onions (quartered).  Skewer and grill.  Serve over rice.
Two berry buckle
  • 1 1/2 sticks softened butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 tsp alt
  • 1 pt blueberries (rinsed and checked for stems)
  • 1 pt raspberries (rinsed and patted dry)
Crumb topping
  • 1/2 stick cold butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
  • zest from 1 lemon
Preheat oven to 375.  Grease a 10 or 11 inch gratin dish.
Combine butter, sugar and vanilla in an electric mixer.  Add eggs one at  time and beat.  Add flour, baking powder and salt and mix until blended.  Fold in fruit carefully and put batter into greased gratin.
Using a pastry cutter or two knives, combine all ingredients until coarsely crumbled.  Spread evenly over batter.
Bake about 45 minutes until golden brown and set.  Cool on a wire rack and serve (ice cream optional!)