June 6, 2013

Ella’s Kitchen

Welcome to June! We are almost half way through 2013. Does that seem possible? So gear up for summer cooking: quick and easy, gourmet style, indoor or outdoor… it is all possible in June. Make sure you visit the Farmer’s Markets that we have here in the QCA. There will be fresh, often local produce in abundance. You will have a chance to talk to the growers.


[Ella can be contacted at ellaweeza@yahoo.com or Ella – 50+ Lifestyles, 804 W Lombard Street, Davenport, IA, 52804]
Good and Gooey Dip

6-8 slices of bacon, diced and cooked crispy
2 8-oz packages of cream cheese, soft
1 cup of mayonnaise
4-6 jalapeno’s, chopped and deseeded. The seeds will make it fiery hot.
1 cup of cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/4 cup diced green onion
1 cup of crushed crackers ( I used Ritz)
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 stick of butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350.
Combine all of the ingredients into a medium bowl. Stir well. Transfer to an oven-proof dish. The size of the dish depends on how thick the dip is. The thicker the dip the longer it may need to warm up.
Combine the topping ingredients and sprinkle all over the top of the dip. Bake the dip for 20-30 minutes or until
bubbly. Serve warm.
Use tortilla chips, corn chips or crackers.

Pecan Squares

1 can (8 oz) refrigerated crescent rolls
3/4 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
2 Tbsp butter or margarine, melted
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg, beaten

Heat oven to 350°F. Unroll dough and press in bottom and 1/2 inch up sides of a 9×13-inch pan. Firmly press perforations to seal. Bake 8 minutes. Meanwhile, in medium bowl, mix remaining ingredients. Pour filling over partially baked crust. Bake 18 to 22 minutes longer or until golden brown. Cool completely, about 1 hour, and cut into bars.

Refreshing Water Made at Home

So many bottled waters are infused with various flavorings but lack the nutrients. Make your own flavored water at home! Here is a recipe that I made, but you can make up your own. This recipe is for an 8 oz water bottle. I tripled the recipe and put in a pitcher.

1/4 grapefruit
1 tangerine or mandarin orange
2 parsley sprigs
2 cilantro sprigs

Thoroughly wash the ingredients. Cut up or slice grapefruit and orange. May include the peel. Place ingredients in the water bottle or pitcher, fill with water, cap and refrigerate.

If you cannot have grapefruit due to medication reaction, use a navel orange, some lemon or limes. You can use mint leaves instead of parsley or cilantro. Try some with strawberries, cucumbers and kiwi fruit.

The longer it sits, the better it tastes. You can eat them as well but they are intended as flavoring and still work, so that is a
personal choice. I munched on the pieces that floated when I poured a glass. The Vitamin C turns fat into fuel,

Cleaning Fruits and Vegetables

Wash your fruits and vegetables with vinegar. Fill sink or a wash basin 1/ 2 to 3/4 full of water. Add about 3/4 to 1 cup of vinegar. Add the items to be washed. Let them sit for at least 10 minutes. The water will be dirty, and fruit will sparkle with no wax, or dirty film. This is great for berries too, as it keeps them from molding. Do this with strawberries, and they last for weeks! I did it with bananas the other day. There were some webs at the juncture of the bunch of bananas and I wanted to make sure I was not bringing in any unwanted pests. It worked great and the bananas lasted about two days longer than I had expected them to. I also did this with a bunch of parsley and a bunch of cilantro. Both looked a little wilted. After their bath, they looked fresh and crisp.