Sesame-Miso Cucumber Salad

One of our favorite summer side dishes is a simple cucumber salad with bottled Italian dressing that sometimes includes some tomatoes or onions.  I’d say we probably have this 3-4 nights a week.  But let’s face it, sometimes the same old same old gets boring, right?  Enter this yummy recipe for cucumber salad with some great Asian flavors!  We had this with Sesame Teriyaki Chicken and it made for a great dinner.  The best part is it only took an extra 2 minutes or so to mix up the dressing for this salad, so I’m certain we’ll see this frequently at our dinner table.  Enjoy!

Sesame -Miso Cucumber Salad

1 1/2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted (I forgot these, but will definitely add next time!)
2 tablespoons white miso (soybean paste) or lower-sodium soy sauce (I used soy sauce)
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon hot water
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 teaspoons dark sesame oil
4 cups thinly sliced seeded cucumber

Combine first 7 ingredients in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add cucumber; toss to coat.


Parmesan Orzo

This side dish makes an appearance on our dinner table at least once every couple of weeks, and I realized I didn’t have this on my blog!  I love orzo and am always looking for ways to incorporate it into our dinners.  This comes together in about 20 minutes and is an excellent complement to any main dish.  I cannot remember where I got this recipe…I’ve been making this for at least 5 years now and have it memorized at this point.

Parmesan Orzo

1 cup orzo, uncooked
1 Tbsp butter
1 can chicken brother (14.5 ounces)
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp dried parsley flakes

Melt butter in pan over medium heat.  Add orzo and stir 2-3 minutes to lightly toast.  Add broth; bring to a boil for 1 minute.  Turn heat to low, cover, and cook 15 minutes or until broth is almost absorbed and orzo is soft.  add cheese and parsley; stir.

Enchilada Pie

So, the beginnings of this post have been sitting in my drafts folder since May 19th, and it dawned on me today that I hadn’t actually posted it yet!  Which is a shame, because this is one of the better recipes I’ve made in a long time.  Unfortunately, I don’t have much commentary on this since we ate it almost 2 months ago, but trust me when I say it is absolutely fantastic, and relatively healthy (and tastes even better as leftovers!).  I will be adding this to our meal rotation again here soon!

Cat and Mo’s Enchilada Pie

1 pound lean ground beef
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (10-ounce) can enchilada sauce
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
Kosher salt
1 cup light sour cream
1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 1/2 cups salsa
1 Tbsp pure chile powder
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
3 cups broken tortilla chips (about the size of corn chips)
2 cups grated light cheddar cheese

Preheat the oven to 400.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook the beef, onion, and garlic until the vegetables are soft and the beef is just slightly pink, 6 to 8 minutes.  Add the enchilada sauce and black beans, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes.  Taste adn add salt if you like.

Meanwhile, in a food processor or blender, blend the sour cream, green chiles, cilantro, salsa, chile powder, and cumin until smooth. 

Spoon half of the meat-bean mixture into a 9 x 13 inch pan or large casserole dish.  Top with 1 1/2 cups of the smallest broken chips and 1 cup of the cheese.  Cover the chips and cheese with the remaining meat-bean mixture.  Spoon on the sour cream mixture and gently spread it to cover the meat in an even layer.  Top with the remaining 1 1/2 cups chips and remaining 1 cup cheese.  Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes.  Serve warm.

Source:  Adapted from Cat Cora’s Classics with a Twist, page 151

BWD: Cherry Apple Cobbler


Happy 4th of July!  I hope everyone had as nice a holiday weekend as we did.  We were constantly on the go, but it was so much fun!  This was a great dessert recipe to cap off our long weekend.  The original recipe called for rhubarb, but I couldn’t find it at our store, and we aren’t big fans of it anyway, so I substituted Granny Smith apples for the rhubarb as did many of the other BWD bakers.  I also got to try out my new cherry pitter, which worked so well and made quick work out of preparing the cherries for this cobbler.  Overall this was a delicious cobbler, perfect for summer; however, if I were to make it again, I would omit the ground ginger from the filling.  I’m not a huge fan of the flavor and I felt it was a bit overpowering for me. 

A big thanks to Ryan from The Behr Necessities for picking this yummy cobbler.  To get the recipe, check out her blog here, or you can find it on page 415 of Dorie’s Baking: From My Home to Yours.  You can check out the BWD blogroll to see the numerous variations everyone came up with…they all look delicious!  Next month’s recipe is for Creme Brulee..cannot wait!!