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Floating Island Salad Recipe

Floating Island Salad

Floating Island Salad

By: Gigi Howe

The tomatoes are ripening in my garden!  To me, there is nothing much better than a fresh, homegrown tomato.  I had one at lunch today and it was great.  One of my favorite summertime salads is my recipe for today.  Its wonderful with those fresh tomatoes.

I’ve been making this recipe for years and years.  My mom used to make it when I was a kid.  Its really funny because since I knew that I was going to share this recipe today, I decided to look it up in my mom’s old cookbook.  We always called it “Floating Island Salad”.  Much to my surprise, its just called “Floating Salad”.  And another surprise, we changed the recipe around and I think its much better!!  :)  So, since my recipe is different from the original, I will stick with the name we’ve called it over the years.

The original recipe calls for tomatoes, cucumbers, onion and vinegar.  My recipe calls for the same vegetables and sometimes I add red pepper but my recipe also includes olive oil and oregano.  Fresh basil is also nice to include if you have it.  And if you want to give this recipe a little more bang, add some feta cheese right before you serve it!  Its a very refreshing salad!  I hope you enjoy it.

 

Floating Island Salad

Ingredients:

  • Approximately 2 lbs. ripe tomatoes, cut into chunks
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 bell pepper – red is my preference (optional)
  • 1/2 small red onion, sliced thin
  • 1/3 red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (or fresh if available)
  • basil – few leaves, chopped (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1.  Combine all ingredients, mix well.  Cover and refrigerator for at least 1 hour before serving.

Enjoy!!

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Floating Island Salad




Grilled Honey-Orange Ham Recipe

Grilled Honey-Orange Glazed Ham copy

Grilled Honey-Orange Ham

By: Gigi Howe

A few months ago I was juggling too many things in the oven… and I also had a ham to bake.  I’m a believer in that almost everything can be cooked on a grill, so I cooked the ham on our barbeque grill.  Much to my delight, the flavor of the ham was even more delicious when cooking it on the grill.

The key to cooking a ham on the grill is indirect heat.   I cook my ham on foil with the edges folded up.  You could also use an aluminum roasting pan or a regular one.  The foil makes for an easy clean up for me.  You want something to keep all the juices from spilling and when it comes time to baste the ham, keep all that nice baste around the ham rather than all over your grill.  😉

ham cooking

You will cook the ham for a while, then put it on a platter to remove the rind and score the ham.  And if you like the taste of cloves (not everyone does) you will stud the ham with whole cloves.  Then place the ham back on the grill, baste with your honey-orange glaze and let it cook for another 20 mins.

You will basically be following the cooking timetable on the label.  The temperature of your grill should be around 250 – 275.  With smoked hams that are already fully cooked, you will want the temperature of the ham to reach 130.

Grilled Honey-Orange Ham

Ingredients:

  • Fully cooked bone-in ham
  • 10 – 15 whole cloves – optional
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup orange juice

Directions:

1.  Heat grill to approximately 250.  If you don’t have a thermometer on your grill, heat grill and then lower it when you put your ham on the grill.  Set up your grill for indirect grilling. Place your ham cut side down on foil or baking pan on the side of your grill without the flames.
2.  Combine honey, brown sugar and orange juice.  Mix well.
3. During the last 20 mins. of cooking, remove ham from foil.  Discard any drippings.  Remove rind and score ham.  If used, stud ham with whole cloves.  Place ham back on foil or baking pan on its side and apply glaze.  Baste ham frequently until reaching temperature of 130.
4.  Remove ham to platter, tent with foil and let rest for 10 – 15 minutes before carving.

Note:  If you have a spiral ham, your cooking time should be less, otherwise your ham will dry out.
Enjoy!!

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Grilled Honey-Orange Glazed Ham




Broccoli Cheddar Soup Recipe

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

By: Gigi Howe

Why soup in July, you ask?  Well, this recipe just happens to be too delicious not to make.  My friend, Barbara in Florida sent me this recipe.  Its a winner.  I am sure you will enjoy it.

You can puree the soup if you would like it to be smoother, leave it on the chunkier side or puree a portion of the soup so you have the best of both worlds :)  Either way you will have a wonderful soup in less than an hour.

 

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon plus 1/4 cup olive oil (split)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups broth – chicken or vegetable
  • 2 cups milk or half & half
  • 1 lb. broccoli, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 2 carrots – julienned or shredded
  • 8 oz. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • Tabasco sauce – optional
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1.  Saute onion in 1 tablespoon olive oil.  Set aside.
2.  In a large pot whisk 1/4 olive oil and flour over a medium heat for 3 mins.  Whisk in milk and broth.  Mix well and let simmer for 20 mins. on low.
3.  Add in sauteed onions, broccoli and carrots.  Let simmer for 20 – 25 mins until tender.
(Optional – puree soup in blender, pour back in pot and continue with step 4.)
4.  Add in cheese and Tabasco, if used.  Serve once the cheese is melted.

 

Enjoy!!

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Broccoli Cheddar Soup




Blueberry French Toast Recipe

Blueberry French Toast

Blueberry French Toast

By: Gigi Howe

Did I hear someone say yum?!  Oh that was me. 😉  Well, this recipe will make you say yum, especially if you love blueberries. This is similar to another recipe I have shared, Upside-Down French Toast, which is made with apples.  You prepare everything the night before and then bake it in the morning.  Both recipes are great for breakfast, but would also make a nice dinner.  You can serve the blueberry french toast with some maple syrup or if you want to send this recipe up over the top, make the blueberry syrup, which is easy to make.

If you are looking for other blueberry recipes, don’t forget our Blueberry Pound Cake and Crumb-Topped Blueberry Cake recipes, both are delicious!

Blueberry French Toast

Ingredients:

  • 8 cups dry or day old cubed bread (French or Italian work best)
  • (2) 8 oz. packages cream cheese, cubed
  • 1 pint blueberries
  • 12 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup

For the sauce:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1 pint blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Directions:

1.  In a buttered 9×13 baking pan, place 1/2 of the bread cubes.  Sprinkle with blueberries and cream cheese.  Top with remaining bread cubes.
2.  In a large bowl combine eggs, milk, vanilla and syrup, mix well and pour over bread.
3.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
4.  When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350.  Cover dish with foil and bake for 25 mins.  Uncover and bake another 25 – 30 mins until golden brown.  Let sit for 10 mins. before serving.  Serve with maple syrup or blueberry sauce.

For the sauce:

1.  In saucepan combine sugar, water and cornstarch.  Heat to boiling, stir mixture so it doesn’t become lumpy.  Once thickened, add blueberries and let simmer for 8 – 10 mins.   Remove from heat and stir in butter.  Serve with blueberry french toast.

Enjoy!!

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Blueberry French Toast




Bacon & Tomato Pasta Salad Recipe

 Bacon and Tomato Pasta Salad recipe

Bacon & Tomato Pasta Salad

By: Gigi Howe

This macaroni salad is a little different than the norm.  The bacon and tomato make a nice combo with the pasta.  The dressing is on the milder side so nothing in it overpowers the flavors of your main ingredients.  My vegetarian friends will be happy to know that this pasta salad happens tastes delicious even without the bacon!  I would say this is a good recipe all around.

For the batch of this recipe that I made recently, I used yellow cherry tomatoes and a nice big red tomato.  You coarsely chop the tomatoes, slice the celery, chop the onion and crumble the bacon.  Mix it all together with the dressing and you have a unique salad to serve!

Bacon & Tomato Pasta Salad

Ingredients:

– 8 oz. pasta – elbows, mini penne or rotini
– 8 slices of bacon, cooked well, drained and crumbled
– 1 1/2 cups of coarsely chopped tomatoes (you can mix varieties)
– 1/2 cup sliced celery
– 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
– 1/2 – 2/3 cup mayonnaise
– 1/3 cup sour cream
– 2 tablespoons vinegar
– 1 teaspoon dry mustard
– 1/2 teaspoon sugar
– salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Cook pasta according to package directions.  Rinse with cold water to cool.  Drain and place in large bowl.
2.  Add chopped tomatoes, celery, onion and crumbled bacon to pasta.
3. Whisk together mayonnaise, sour cream, vinegar, dry mustard and sugar.  Pour over pasta and mix well.

Enjoy!!

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 Bacon and Tomato Pasta Salad recipe




Beet & Mandarin Orange Salad Recipe

Beet salad

Beet & Mandarin Orange Salad

By: Gigi Howe

Meet my latest food obsession.  I used to hate beets, now I can’t have enough of them.  I think it all has to do with how they are prepared.  Lately I’ve made several recipes using beets.  So far the recipe I am posting today is my favorite.  There are other good ones, like with goat cheese or other cheeses, but honestly I just wanted something lighter so I made this recipe.

This recipe is easy to make.  Boil your beets until tender, peel them and then add all the ingredients together.  If you want to make this recipe even easier, you can buy jarred beets.  But one of the benefits of buying fresh beets is the beet greens!  I have always loved beet greens; they are delicious.  Wash them, chop them up and then saute them in some olive oil and garlic.  Or steam them.  Check out the great bunch of greens with the beets I bought.  It would always amaze me when I would see people purchase beets and throw the greens away!
beet greens copy

Back to our recipe.  Like I said, its easy to put together.  I highly recommend using fresh beets.  They are a bit of a mess to clean, once you boil them, let them cool and remove the thin outer skin.  Your fingers will be magenta for a while, but a little lemon juice will easily remove the color.  Slice up the beets, add in the other ingredients and you’re done.  Another tip I have for you to use a large pot to boil your beets.  I’ve used a smaller pot and it boiled over.. not good!  😉

 

Beet and Mandarin Orange Salad

Ingredients:

– 2 – 3 lbs of fresh beets, scrubbed
– 11 oz can of mandarin oranges, drained except for 2 tablespoons of liquid.
– 2 tablespoons olive oil
– 2 tablespoons vinegar
– 1 teaspoon prepared mustard (spicy brown or dijon)
– salt & pepper to taste
– Lemon zest – optional

Directions:

1. In a saucepan simmer beets until fork tender.  Once beets have cooled, peel off the outer skin.  In a bowl, slice beats into bite-size pieces.  Add drained mandarin oranges.
2.  Combine remaining ingredients, mix well and pour over beets and oranges.

Enjoy!!

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Marinated London Broil Recipe

Marinated London Broil

Marinated London Broil

By: Gigi Howe

Father’s Day snuck up on me this year, where did the first half of this year go!?  I was thinking of a recipe to post and I remembered this one.  Its actually called “Father’s Day Filet Mignons”, so I thought it was fitting.  I’ve made this recipe numerous times (not just on Father’s Day!) and always used a london broil, but you could also use beef tenderloin or any type of a boneless steak.  With london broil I always marinate the meat overnight.  By the second day, I add some sliced onions to the mix and they are grilled on foil while the meat is grilling.  There is no reason you couldn’t add in some mushrooms too.  This recipe produces a delicious piece of beef.

Berry Cobbler

Ingredients:

– 1/2 cup soy sauce (I use lower sodium soy sauce)
– 1/3 cup oil (vegetable or cannola)
– 3 – 4 garlic cloves, minced
– 1/2 teaspoon ginger
–  London Broil – approximately 2 lbs.
– 4 – 5 medium onions sliced (optional)

Directions:

1. In a shallow dish combine soy sauce, oil, garlic and ginger.  Add steak and pierce with folk.  Turn meat over to coat with marinade and pierce again.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.
2.  The next morning, turn steak in marinate and add sliced onions if desired.  Turn meat occasionally until time to cook.
3. About 30 mins before serving heat grill.  Cook onions on foil.  Cook meat until desired doneness.  Slice meat into thin slices and serve.

If you are using beef tenderloin, this recipe will be enough for 6 steaks, cut 1 – 1 1/2 inch thick.  You will not need to marinate filet mignon overnight but should marinate at least 4 hours.

Enjoy!!  And Happy Father’s Day!

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Marinated London Broil




Berry Cobbler Recipe

Berry Cobbler

Berry Cobbler

By: Gigi Howe

I love this time of year with all the delicious berries becoming available.  I sometimes wonder how I make it through the winter.  The frozen berries are good, but there is nothing like fresh.  I made this cobbler last weekend.  I used strawberries, blueberries and raspberries. I have to say it was delicious. You can do any combination of berries.  I used one 16 oz. container of strawberries, a pint of blueberries and three six oz. containers of raspberries.  It adds up to about 8 – 10 cups of berries.  If seeds bother you, you might want to limit or omit raspberries from your cobbler.

berry cobbler - berries

 

With this recipe, your topping does not necessarily cover all the fruit.  That’s okay, its the way its supposed to be.  You drop the topping by spoonfuls over the berries.

Of course, you can serve this cobbler with ice cream.. oh yum.

Berry Cobbler

Ingredients:

– 8 – 10 cups of mixed berries
– 2 tablespoons lemon juice
– 1 cup brown sugar
– 3 tablespoons cornstarch
– 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Topping:
– 3/4 cup flour
– 3/4 cup quick-cooking oats
– 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
– 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
– 1/4 teaspoon salt
– 3 tablespoons butter or margarine
– 1/3 – 1/2 cup milk

Directions:

1. Wash and clean berries.  Slice strawberries, if using. Combine berries with lemon juice and place in a 9×15 baking dish sprayed with a non stick cooking spray.
2.  Combine brown sugar, cornstarch and cinnamon.  Mix in with berries.
3. Combine flour, oats, granulated sugar, baking power and salt in a small bowl.  Cut in butter.  Stir in enough milk to moisten.  Drop by tablespoonfuls over berries.
4. Bake at 350 for about 50 mins. until topping is golden brown and the fruit juices are bubbly.

Enjoy!!

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Berry Cobbler




Strawberry Sorbet Recipe

Strawberry Sorbet

Strawberry Sorbet

By: Gigi Howe

This recipe is so refreshing and its simple to make. Now that the strawberries are coming into season its a great time to make this dessert.

Everything goes into a blender or food processor and then you freeze it. If you have an ice cream maker, that will work best, but if not don’t worry you can still make this recipe without a hitch. Since strawberries will vary on their sweetness, you will have to sample your pureed mixture and adjust the sweetness to your liking.

Strawberry Sorbet

Ingredients:

– 1 lb. container of strawberries
– 3 – 6 tablespoons honey (adjust amount if needed)
– Juice of 1/2 lemon or lime

Directions:

1. Hull and clean strawberries. Place all ingredients in food processor or blender and puree. Taste to adjust sweetness.
2. Optional step (if you don’t like seeds) – Strain pureed mix through a fine sieve to separate and discard seeds.
3. Place mixture in an ice cream maker and follow manufacturer’s instructions.
If you do not have an ice cream maker, place the mixture in a tightly covered container. Place in freezer for 30 mins. Take it out, stir and mix it well. Place in freezer for another 30 mins. and it should be ready to serve. If you want to serve it at a later time, remove from freezer about 10 mins. prior to serving.

Enjoy!!

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Strawberry Sorbet




Marinated Italian Chicken Recipe

Marinated Italian Chicken Recipe

Marinated Italian Chicken Recipe

By: Gigi Howe

I look through a LOT of recipes each week, especially for our meal planning posts.  I’m always looking for new ways to prepare chicken.  Believe me, there are a lot of chicken recipes out there!  But one recipe I can’t find is one that my mother used to make quite often.  Its simple and tasty.  How can you go wrong!

We always called it “Italian Chicken” and usually had it on Sundays along with some type of pasta and a salad.   I’ve always used chicken with the bone, but I imagine that boneless chicken would work well too.  Basically you marinate the chicken in oil, lemon juice, garlic and herbs, it doesn’t have to marinate for very long.  Then cook it and baste it.  You can grill the chicken or cook it in the oven if you don’t have a grill.

Marinated Italian Chicken

Ingredients:

– 1 1/2 – 2 lbs. chicken (with bones)
– juice of 1/2 lemon – about 3 tablespoons
– 1/4 cup oil – olive oil is my preference
– 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
– 2 – 4 garlic cloves, minced
– 4-5 basil leaves, chopped (optional)
– 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano (optional)
– salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

1.  Mix lemon juice, oil, parsley, garlic, optional herbs, salt and pepper in a large bowl.  Combine well.  Place chicken in bowl and toss to coat.  Let marinate for a least 1 hour.  Turn chicken in bowl occasionally.

2. Grill chicken as you normally would until done.  Or cook in 350 oven until fully cooked.  Baste chicken with marinade during the first half of the cooking time.  (Cooking times will vary depending upon the pieces of chicken you are making.)

 

Enjoy!!

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Marinated Italian Chicken Recipe




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