Words and Recipes by Carly Terrell

We Welcome You Spring!

I can feel that warm weather coming! Well, it’s Texas, let’s not kid ourselves, heavy rain or even a blizzard may hit tomorrow. However, we will keep with the idea of sunshine, blue bonnets and lake trips which are three of my favorite things! To go along with these favorites of mine, I thought I could share a few of my beloved recipes with you. These are great for the picnics and potlucks, Easter Sunday brunches and outdoor family gatherings. So please let ol’ Mother Nature be as good to us this season and these recipes will be to you!

Pink Lemonade Icebox Pie

  • 1 (9-inch) pre-made graham cracker crust
  • 1 (8oz) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (14oz) can sweetened condensed milk
  • ½ (12oz) can frozen pink lemonade concentrate, slightly thawed
  • 1 ½ cups cool whip (appx ½ of 8oz container)
  • 3-4 drops red food coloring (optional)

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium-high until fluffy. Slowly, beat in the sweetened condensed milk, lemonade concentrate and food coloring (optional) until combined.

Gently fold in the whipped topping and then pour evenly into your pie crust. Freeze for 4-6 hours or overnight.

To serve:  Let thaw for 5 minutes, slice and garnish with extra lemon slices if desired.

Balsamic Strawberry Chicken Quesadilla

  • 2 large chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
  • 6 flour tortillas (regular, spinach, low-carb, whole wheat)
  • 1 pint strawberries, hulled and quartered
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh spinach leaves
  • 1/3 cup pecans, chopped
  • 4 oz goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1 8 oz bottle of Balsamic Reduction (not to be confused with vinegar)
  • 1 Tablespoon Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • Salt & pepper to taste

In a ziplock bag, combine the extra virgin olive oil, a hefty pinch of salt and pepper and ¼ cup of the balsamic reduction with the chicken. Zip up, massage to coat and set aside for 20-30 minutes to marinate.  Grill the chicken until cooked through and the juices run clear; thinly slice.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat with a bit of butter.  On each tortilla, layer an even amount of the cooked chicken, strawberries, basil, spinach leaves, pecans and goat cheese crumbles.  Fold in half and cook each side of the quesadilla until golden brown in color.

To serve:  Slice into wedges with a pizza cutter, sprinkle with a bit more fresh basil and drizzle the balsamic reduction overtop.

Creamy Bacon and Pea Pasta

  • 8 oz penne pasta
  • 6 slices thick cut bacon
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup peas, frozen
  • 1 cup mushrooms
  • ½ cup yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 Tablespoons cream cheese
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ¼  cup parmesan cheese

In a large pan, fry the bacon over medium high heat until it is crisp. Set the bacon aside and remove all but two tablespoons of bacon grease.  Next, add in the mushrooms and onions to the pan and cook until they begin to soften. Add garlic and continue to cook for 1-2 minutes, followed by the chicken stock, milk, and pasta to the same pan.  Bring to a low boil, cooking for 7-10 minutes (covered) or until pasta is al dente. Add the frozen peas to the pasta and gently stir until they have defrosted. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cream cheese and sour cream.  Crumble the crisped bacon overtop and gently fold into the pasta. Salt and pepper to taste. To serve: Sprinkle the shredded Parmesan cheese overtop.

Slow Cooker White Bean & Sausage Soup

  • 4 (15 oz) cans of white cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 (32 oz) cans or boxes of low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 (14.5 oz) cans of Italian style diced tomatoes
  • 3 cups spinach leaves, fresh
  • 2 lbs of hot Italian sausage, casings removed
  • ½ yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste
  • Fresh basil, torn (garnish)
  • Parmesan cheese, shredded (garnish)

In a skillet on your stovetop, over medium heat, brown the Italian sausage with the onion, garlic and a hefty pinch of salt & pepper.  Drain and add the cooked meat mixture to your slow cooker along with the beans, chicken broth, tomatoes, and spinach leaves. Set the slow cooker on HIGH for 3-4/LOW for 5-6 hours.  To serve: Ladle into bowls and top with a bit of the fresh basil and parmesan cheese and serve with warm crusty bread.

Southwest Succotash

 

  • 2 cups cooked/grilled corn, fresh or frozen *Grilled fresh corn is ideal
  • 2 avocados, cut into 1/2 “ cubes
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ cup finely diced red onion
  • 1 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped (optional)

Vinaigrette

  • 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1 fresh lime, plus zest
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper

In large bowl, combine the prepared vegetables and beans.  In small separate bowl, whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients.  Make sure to taste for seasoning (i.e. more salt? pepper? Maybe an added tablespoon of honey or sugar?).  Pour the dressing over corn salad, toss to coat and chill in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours. Serving suggestion:  Plate under grilled chicken or steak with a large glass of cold sweet tea!

Meet Carly Terrell

Meet Carly Terrell

Born in Nebraska and raised in Arizona, Carly Terrell, now a Granbury resident, has been honing her cooking skills since a young child. Given her changes of scenery along the way, she has certainly picked up a thing or two! Carly is also the proud wife of a railroad engineer and mother of two young boys, who keep her quite busy. In her downtime of the hectic railroad life, she has put her foodie efforts into her successful cooking blog of family loved recipes. She has been fortunate enough to have been featured in Taste of Home magazine, Good Housekeeping, Readers Digest and on ABC’s The Chew… but always has plans for more!