Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Summery Burgers by the Pool

Pie chose cheeseburgers for his Wednesday dinner this week, so we decided to have them by the pool. Boot is not eating beef this week, in the wake of his uncle's death of a heart attack in June, at the age of 58. The men on his dad's side of the family are all very large & don't take care of their health much, so this came as no surprise to me. However, it has been a very sad thing for the kids and attending his funeral and hearing details of the heart attack has given Boot some new thoughts on what he eats. This has not extended to other heart-unfriendly foods like bacon, sausage, and such, but he is thinking about his health. So, I picked up a turkey burger for him. I got Pie a pre-made bacon cheddar burger & blue cheese burgers for us grown folks. I gussied up the blue cheese burgers with a spread made by mixing mayonnaise with chiffonaded fresh basil & minced garlic. We added plum tomato slices to our burgers, too, for a very fresh and summery taste.

I made a light potato salad, as well, which we older people loved.

Spring Potato Salad
1/4 c. light mayonnaise
2 tbsp. sour cream (I am sure reduced-fat would be fine...we just didn't have it on hand)
2 tbsp. 1% milk (again, skim or whole would be fine)
1/2 tsp. dill
A dash of freshly-ground pepper
3/4 c. frozen peas, partially thawed
2 c. diced new potatoes, cooked
1/2 red onion, finely chopped

Mix mayonnaise, sour cream, milk, dill, pepper. Add rest of ingredients & stir to combine well. Cover and chill for at least 1/2 hour.

To accompany this, we had salad & mandarin oranges. Then, when we returned to the apartment, we enjoyed the cookies I'd baked before going to the pool. J thinks they're perfect, especially with a little organic milk. They are very delicate and subtle, perfect for afternoon tea or a gentle accompaniment to homemade vanilla ice cream.

Cocoa Lace Cookies

1/4 c. tub margarine ( I suspect that using real butter will affect the results)
1/3 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. light Karo syrup (or other brand corn syrup)
1/3 c. flour
1 tbsp. cocoa powder
1/2 c. finely-chopped pecans (I used the bagged pecan chips)
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray cookie sheets with baking spray. Melt the margarine in a small saucepan. Add the sugar and Karo. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and add the rest of the ingredients. Drop by teaspoonfuls (I mean bigger!) onto the cookie sheet, no less than 3 inches apart (I really mean this!) and place in oven. Bake 9 minutes. Cool for 2 minutes (no more!) on the cookie sheets. Working very quickly (!) with a spatula, move the cookies gently to wire racks to complete cooling process.

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