Maple Glazed Baby Carrots

Maple Glazed Baby Carrots -- A Pinch of Joy
Maple Glazed Baby Carrots -- A Pinch of Joy

They are really good, my sister Vee said, when telling me about the glazed carrots she’d made. That was a couple of years ago and I’ve had the recipe in my “let’s try this” stack ever since. Last time we visited her family, she made Maple Glazed Carrots with Pecans. And she was right – again! They are good! But let’s just keep that between us okay – she doesn’t need to go gettin’ the big head!

I’ve gotten lazy and grab a package of frozen vegetables to microwave instead of cooking the real deal. This recipe starts with baby carrots – no need to peel and slice. Put a cup or so of water in a medium pan, add carrots, cover and bring to boil. Steam/boil until carrots are crisp tender when pierced with a fork. That only takes about 15 minutes. So easy, it was not worth the fussin’ on my part –. The glaze is simple.   The predominate flavor is the maple as the dressing just enhances it without competing or changing it. Glaze the carrots, add nuts and you have an impressive dish. That is really, really good.

Back to the “big head”  — I worked for a season in a children’s program with an elderly volunteer who was a gifted teacher. She could explain complex things so simply anyone could get it, keep the room organized and things moving. But she was old school and did not believe in praising children because, she said, they would get the “big head”. They were told, rather sternly I thought, what they needed to do to improve. We worked with her gifts and others praised the effort and all was well. But I’m so glad not everyone thinks praise gives people the “big head”!  We all need an “atta girl”. Vee, here is yours! And thanks for sharing!

Maple Glazed Baby Carrots
 
An impressive dish for holidays and guests -- or just the family. Impressive and delicious!
Serves: 8 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 pounds baby carrots
  • ¼ cup light catalina dressing
  • ¼ cup maple flavored syrup
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped pecans
Instructions
  1. Put water in medium pan, add carrots and cover. Cook 12 –14 minutes or until tender, then drain.
  2. Mix dressing and syrup, stirring frequently, until glaze is thickened.
  3. Add carrots and butter. Stir until butter is melted and carrots are covered with glaze.
  4. Add pecans and stir to distribute.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ½ cup


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Hot German Potato Salad

Hot German Potato Salad -- A Pinch of Joy
Hot German Potato Salad -- A Pinch of Joy

Donna was a guest at one of the two luncheons that took place on our deck last week. They were casual affairs of the potluck sort with the guests bringing a salad or dessert. Donna brought a classic hot German potato salad and was gracious enough to share the recipe she’d gotten from her sister in law via Better Homes and Garden cookbook. Donna said she’d used her mother’s recipe without the spices, until she tasted this combination of flavors. Finding out the recipe was easy to make was a bonus! German potato salad is traditionally served hot and will be perfect for the coming fall weather. Time tested and stamped approved!!!

 The peel will slip off the boiled potatoes easily.  You can rub off the peel by using a clean dish towel.  Hold the potato with the towel in one hand and rub off the peeling with the other — somewhat similar to drying a cup.  Or hold the potato on a cutting board with a fork and gently tease off the peel with the tip of a knife.  Stir the cooked potatoes into the dressing gently to avoid breaking them.   I would also tip the skillet to make the dressing run to one side and spoon it over the potatoes to lessen the amount of stirring necessary to coat the potatoes.

This week is Donna’s birthday. Here are wishes for a wonderful celebration day and the beginning of a fabulous new decade!!!

Donna also shared this recipe for Spinach Salad with Lemon Garlic Dressing a couple of years ago. 

Hot German Potato Salad
 
A tangy, yet slightly sweet potato dish with bacon and onions! Delicious with brats or burgers, a hit at potlucks and just for the family at home.
Serves: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 ¼ pounds potatoes
  • 4 slices bacon
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 1 Tablespoon flour
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon dry mustard
  • ½ teaspoon celery seeds
  • ⅛ to ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ⅔ cup water
  • ¼ c vinegar
  • Snipped fresh parsley
Instructions
  1. Cover potatoes with water and boil potatoes until tender about 15-20 minutes.
  2. Drain and somewhat cool to touch. Peel and slice into ¼ inch slices.
Dressing
  1. While boiling potatoes, cook bacon till crisp in medium sized skillet. Remove bacon and reserve 2 Tablespoons of bacon grease in skillet.
  2. Add onion to drippings, cook on medium heat till tender. Set aside until potatoes are peeled and sliced.
  3. Stir in flour sugar, salt celery seeds, dry mustard, and pepper until mixed well.
  4. Stir in water and vinegar. Cook over medium heat, stirring until thickened and bubbly.
  5. Gently stir in potatoes & bacon crumbles. Cook, stirring gently 1 or 2 min till heated through.
  6. Transfer to serving bowl & sprinkle with fresh parsley

Layered Taco Salad

Layered Taco Salad -- A Pinch of Joy
Layered Taco Salad -- A Pinch of Joy

Most layered salads recipes are aimed at groups and served in large glass bowls.  Yet layered salads are an easy make ahead for the evening meal  — in a smaller quantity.  This one makes four servings of about 1 and ¼ cups for a meal.  Or if you serve it with a meat dish it will serve 6 with ¾ cup sized portions.  For this size salad, a glass 8×8 pan is the perfect size.  I have a vintage covered refrigerator dish that works great! 

Use any sturdy lettuce or lettuce mix as the base – iceberg, romaine,etc. A 12 ounce package seems to be the norm, but a 16 ounce package will also work with the proportions above.  Feel free to up the amount of taco seasoning for more kick.  1 teaspoon is very mild, 2 teaspoons is medium and 1 tablespoon (3 teaspoons) makes the flavor pop!   Wait till the last minute to add the tortilla chips so they stay crunchy.  Wheels and Bytes like to have extra chips to moosh on their plates as a foundation to top with the salad.  Avacado is optional, but if you choose to use it, add it at the last minute as well so it doesn’t turn brown.  My personal feeling is that anything that smooth and silky should have a superb chocolate flavor so why bother just to end up with  the disappointing avocado non-flavor.  :-)

Layered Taco Salad
 
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp taco seasoning mix
  • 1 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 12 ounce package lettuce
  • ½ cup sliced onion
  • 1 cup Mexican style shredded cheese
  • ½ cup grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 cup broken tortilla chips
  • Optional: avocado
Instructions
  1. Mix mayo, sour cream and taco seasoning mix and set aside
  2. Layer lettuce, onion, beans, tomatoes and cheese in 8x8 glass container
  3. Spread dressing mixture over salad.
  4. Cover and refrigerate at least two hours or overnight.
  5. Crush tortilla chips and sprinkle over the top of the salad just before serving.
  6. Optional, dice avocado and add to top of salad before serving.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1¼ cup

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