Sunday, July 5, 2015

Weekend Round-Up and The World According to Bella

Some of the Week's Best
"In the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed; it must be achieved." 
Franklin D. Roosevelt

Seasonal Plate (Food Column) Holiday Brunch Cooking 

Sausage With Wild Rice Breakfast Casserole 
Cook's Notes: This hearty brunch dish loaded with sausage, potatoes, wild rice and cheesy goodness welcomes your guests to a holiday gathering. It can be assembled the night before making it easy to bake the next day. As a time saver make the wild rice and sausage ahead and chop peppers, onions and garlic. Cover and refrigerate until next day. The recipe serves 8-10.

  • 4 cups diced red potatoes, 1 inch cubes
  • 2-1/2 cups cooked wild rice
  • 3 cups cooked sweet Italian Sausage, drained, and crumbled (about 1-1/2 lbs.) 
  • 2 TB. olive oil
  • 2/3 cup each red and green peppers, diced
  • 1-1/2 cups sweet onions, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced 
  • 2 tsp. parsley flakes
  • 2 tsp. Italian herbs
  • 8 large eggs 
  • 1/2 cup 2% milk
  • 1 tsp. dry mustard
  • 3 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese, divided
  • Bring water to a boil, add potatoes and cook 12 minutes until fork tender but not mushy, drain.
  • Heat oil in a large skillet. Sauté diced peppers and onions about 3 minutes. Add in garlic, sauté 1 minute longer. Add in cooked potatoes, cooked sausage, spices, wild rice and 1-1/2 cup of cheese. Mix well and cook for 1 minute longer. 
  • Use a blender and combine eggs. dry mustard and milk. 
  • Grease a 13 x 9 pan. Place the sausage/potato mixture on bottom of pan. Pour egg/milk mixture evenly over sausage mixture. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.  cheese. 
  • Bake dish uncovered at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until eggs are set. Let rest 5 minutes before cutting. 

Balsamic Grilled Cherries with Blueberries and Mixed Greens
Recipe adapted from

  • 2 cups cherries pitted and halved or substitute frozen pitted dark cherries
  • 2 TB. prepared Lite Balsamic Dressing or 1-2 TB. black cherry balsamic vinegar
  • 3/4 cup prepackaged candied walnuts or pecans
  • 8-10 cups mixed salad greens
  • 1 cup red onion, diced
  • 1 pint blueberries, rinsed and patted dry on a paper towel
  • 2 cups sliced cucumbers
  • 4 ounces crumbled goat cheese
  • Prepared Lite Balsamic Dressing to finish off the salad or make your own balsamic dressing
  • Preheat grill to medium heat. Place the pitted cherries in a bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of balsamic dressing or 1-2 TB. black cherry balsamic vinegar to cherries and toss well. Place cherries on a grill pan or tray, grill until tender, about 5 minutes. Use a spatula to occasionally turn cherries. 
  • Cherries can be roasted in oven at 400 degrees for 8 minutes on a parchment lined rimmed sheet.
  • Place roasted cherries on a paper towel. In a large bowl, add greens, grilled/roasted cherries, blueberries, goat cheese, red onion, sliced cucumbers and candied walnuts. Drizzle with prepared balsamic dressing and serve immediately.
Miss America Cherry Pie
Cook’s Notes: Graham cracker crust with a cream cheese filling topped with a fresh cherry sauce is a festive finish to the meal. Recipe adapted from Food Network Magazine July/August 2015
For The Crust
3 cups finely crushed graham crackers-about 20 full sheets
1 tsp. Saigon cinnamon or ¾ tsp. regular cinnamon
2 TB. sugar
1 stick of butter, melted
For The Filling

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 8 oz. softened cream cheese
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 TB. Amaretto or 1/2 tsp. almond extract
  • 3 cups fresh pitted cherries
  • 1/3-1/2 cup sugar-depends on the tartness of the cherries 
  • 2 TB. cornstarch
  • 1 TB. orange juice
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract 
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all crust ingredients in a bowl. Press into a 9-inch pie pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  • Beat cream until soft peaks are formed, add in cream cheese and confectioners sugar. Beat until smooth. Add in 1 TB. Amaretto or 1/2 tsp. almond extract. Mix and set aside. 
  • In a saucepan bring cherries, granulated sugar, cornstarch, orange juice and 1/2 tsp. almond extract to a simmer over medium low heat. Cook, stirring constantly until thickened about 8 minutes. Remove from stove and cool completely. 
  • To the cooled crust add cream filling and top with cherry filling. Sprinkle with almonds. 
How to Remove Residue From Jar Labels
Are you ready to have your socks rocked off? I am not even kidding. This is one of the the best ways to remove labels from jars and containers without leaving that annoying adhesive residue behind!
All you need is

  • Baking Soda 
  • Vegetable Oil 
That’s it!! VOILA! Mix equal parts of the two to form a runny paste.
Once I removed the paper part of the label, I mixed up my magic paste. I applied a thick layer of it to the jar smearing all over the gluey sticky part.
I let it sit on there about 10 minutes or so. I took a paper towel and then wiped away the paste from the jar. All the adhesive that was left on the jar was now wiping away with my paste mixture! I gave the jar a good wash with soap to get rid of the oil residue and I was left with this crystal clear jar! 
The World According to Bella
I Love A Parade
I was first on board. I did not want to miss our annual 4th of July Lake Boat Parade. Some of Mrs. S's family were visiting and decorated the boat. I was super excited because my twin came to spend the weekend with us. Meet Mulligan. Can you tell which one is him?
 Mrs. S gave us different scarves to tell us apart. I got the one with stars.
 I was worried Mr.C wouldn't stay on course so I stayed up front to keep him on track.
I was on my best behavior which means I didn't do my usual barking. We made a full circle of the lake. I counted 30 boats in the parade. Check it out.

Everyone on shore was real friendly as we passed by doing our "princess  and paw wave." 
Boating can be hard work. But I think I did pretty good keeping Mr.C  on course. Hc looked pretty happy afterwards  
and Mulligan and me got a swim in 
and then it was time for some synchronized (Mrs. S helped me with the word) napping. 
All and all my day was great. How was yours?


  1. Sausage With Wild Rice Breakfast Casserole... ::swoon::!!! Gotta try that one :) Love the label removing idea too. We use empty jars for crafts and this little tip will come in handy!


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