Sunday, May 9, 2010

Strawberry Salad

This is a recipe a very dear friend, my other mother, gave me 8 years ago. Since then, any family gatherings in the warm weather, this is a must have.

1/2 cup oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp salt
pinch of pepper
1/3 cup of sugar
1 clove of garlic
1/4 tsp paprika

Combine above ingredients in a jar with a tight lid. Shake well & set aside until ready to use.

8 cups torn romaine lettuce
2 1/2 cups sliced strawberries
4 oz shredded monterey jack cheese

Before serving, toss salad greens, strawberries, and cheese in a large bowl. Drizzle with dressing and toss again.

Coconut Cream Pie

One thing my Mom loves is Coconut Cream Pie. She isn't much for too many sweets, so I thought I would surprise her this year.  This was a HUGE hit! No leftovers with this pie. This is a very easy and fast recipe.  Not too sweet and very light, this is the perfect ending to a special dinner.

1 refrigerated pie crust
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 cups half & half
4 egg yolks
3 TBSP butter
1 cup sweetened coconut
2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, divided
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup sugar
Garnish:  Toasted coconut

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place pie crust in 9" pie plate and crimp edges. Prick bottom and sides of crust with a fork. Place in oven for 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned.
Combine 1/2 cup sugar and cornstarch in a saucepan.  Whisk together half & half and egg yolks. Slowly whisk the egg mixture into the sugar mixture; bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly. Boil for 1 minute; remove from heat. Stir in butter, coconut, and 1 tsp vanilla. Place plastic wrap directly onto the warm custard so a film will not form. Let stand for 30 minutes.  Remove plastic wrap and spoon custard into cooked pie shell.  Cover and chill for 30 minutes.
Beat whipping cream at high speed until foam forms. Gradually add in 1/3 cup sugar and remaining 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract. Beat until soft peaks form. Spread evenly over filling and sprinkle with toasted coconut.