Joan’s Cottage Cheese Pineapple Lime Salad Mold


by Deborah Taylor-Hough


This Sunday is Easter, and in honor of my mom, I’m sharing her special holiday recipe.  Mom’s holiday salad mold lives on in the family, and my dad still prepares it every year for our family’s Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners.  If there’s not at least a small scoop of this on my plate, it just doesn’t quite feel like a holiday meal.  It’s been in the family for at least 50 years.  A real blast from the past.  :-)

This recipe’s official name is “Pacific Lime Mold.”  Why Pacific?  Maybe because there was pineapple added to it?  It was created around the time period when Hawaii became a state, so maybe it was a nod to the islands?  I remember that I just called it “Mom’s Jello Thing.”  Other people in the family called it Joan’s Jello.

I suspect a lot of families had something similar appear on their family dinner tables back in the heyday of Jello recipes and aspics.  I sometimes think our moms and grandmoms all used the very same recipe booklets from the major food manufacturers.  Everyone seemed to make the same perennial goodies —  things like Green Bean Casserole with Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup, for example.

So without further ado, here’s the recipe for Mom’s jello thing.

Joan’s Cottage Cheese Pineapple Lime Salad Mold

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 small package lime flavored Jello
  • 1  9-oz can crushed pineapple (reserving juice)
  • 1 cup creamy cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise (or salad dressing)
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts (or pecans)

Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl, dissolve jello in boiling water, and stir in juice from pineapple.
  2. Chill in refrigerator until slightly thickened.
  3. Remove from refrigerator and beat until frothy.
  4. Fold in remaining ingredients.
  5. Pour into serving bowl or festive gelatin mold.
  6. Chill until set.
  7. Serve cold.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Deborah Taylor-Hough is the mother of three grown and nearly grown kids still at home, a full-time college student, a displaced homemaker trying to make ends meet on a limited budget, and the author of several older (but still in print) books including the popular Frozen Assets cookbook series.  You can visit Debi online at:  http://www.SimpleMom.com


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Debi’s Confetti Salad

Gluten-free.  Meat-free.  Cheese-free.  I even made ours sugar-free.  Sounds like there’s nothing in it but air, doesn’t it?  Nothing but yummy deliciousness, that is!

Debi’s Confetti Salad

  • 3 cups cooked rice, cooled (your choice of white, basmati or brown)
  • 1 can (16-oz) red kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 can (16-oz) black beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 can (16-oz) corn (drained)
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 1 small or half a large green or red pepper (finely diced)
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro (if available)

Dressing

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
  • 1 Tbsp sugar (or your choice of sweetener)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander (optional)
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Place first set of ingredients into a large mixing bowl.  In a separate smaller bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients.  Pour over salad in large bowl.  Toss to coat.  Serve immediately.  Enjoy!

This goes together really fast once the rice is made.  And if you have leftover rice from a previous meal, so much the better (and faster!).  This is an easy dish to play around with … add a can of garbanzos … chop up a cucumber … use different beans … add a little freshly squeezed lime juice.  Maybe some diced avocado!  Yum … I’m getting hungry again.


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Debi’s Evolving Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Personally, I find a lunch consisting of a warm grilled cheese sandwich and a hot bowl of tomato soup to be one of the all-time great comfort foods that exists.  Brings back warm, fuzzy memories of both my mom and my grandma. Continue reading

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A Secret to a Relaxed Holiday Dinner

Can you imagine a relaxed Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner without needing to actually cook a turkey on the big day? You’d be able to enjoy the festivities as much as your friends and family!

Believe it or not, it’s possible to roast your turkey ahead of time and store the cooked meat in the freezer to reheat and serve on the big day. If this sounds a bit too much like eating leftovers, let me assure you that by following these simple freezing and reheating instructions, you’ll have moist, delicious turkey — and not one of your guests will suspect you didn’t spend the entire holiday slaving away in the kitchen keeping watch over a hot oven. Continue reading

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Got Budget Woes? Simple Grocery Savings Ideas


by Deborah Taylor-Hough


Groceries are one of the few flexible items in a family budget, but it can sometimes be challenging to find creative ways to save on regular family food costs. The following are some simple tips for reducing your grocery expenses. If you’re an old pro at frugal living, some of these may be old hat, but I’m amazed at how many people still find these types of tips helpful.

  1. Plan ahead. Whether you’re cooking your meals ahead of time to store in the freezer, or just planning your menu and shopping lists in advance, it helps to know what you’re going to eat, and when. With fewer last minute food-related decisions, this also helps keep your family away from developing a first-name relationship with the pizza delivery guy! (And your own home cooking is probably a lot healthier than the pizza guy’s wares, anyway.) Continue reading

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Debi’s Favorite Easter Recipe: Make-Ahead Chicken Packets


by Deborah Taylor-Hough


It was truly a sad day in our house when three of the four of us could no longer eat this particular meal. This recipe had become my go-to meal for Easter brunch — they’re actually quite elegant looking and they taste heavenly.

But sadly, now I’m the only person in our immediate family who can eat this anymore. I think I might make up a batch of them just for myself, however. It’s also a great way to use up leftover roasted chicken. :-)

Serve this with steamed asparagus and a fresh tossed salad. Yum! Continue reading

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Mix-and-Match Skillet Meals


by Deborah Taylor-Hough


The following recipe is one I prepare regularly to use up leftovers or clear out the cupboards. I keep a copy of this taped to the inside of my pantry door at all times.

This recipe is adapted from my book, Mix-n-Match Recipes (now out-of-print). I’m always amazed at the meals I can create from these simple, basic formulas. I also save money by choosing ingredients I have on hand. Sometimes I even surprise myself with a delicious nearly-gourmet combination or two!

Also an excellent way to use up leftover turkey or ham from your holiday dinners.  :-) Continue reading

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Debi’s Baked Ziti


by Deborah Taylor-Hough


This is one of those recipes my family can never get enough. I remember my youngest daughter when she was about three, holding out her plate with a huge smile and asking in a sweet little voice, “More yummy noodles, Mommy?” Always a pleasure when the kiddos enjoy an easy meal the grown-up folks love, too. Continue reading

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It’s National Frozen Foods Month! Come celebrate with me!

To celebrate National Frozen Foods Month, I’m going to be posting at least one freezer-related article, link, resource, or tip everyday throughout March on my Facebook Fan Page. Just “like” the page while you’re there so you’ll get the latest daily updates.

Click here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Simple-Mom/203857025823

Be sure to tell your freezer-cooking, convenience-loving, and money-saving friends!

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Debi’s Hacienda Breakfast Sandwich

In a hurry for breakfast but have a few minutes to scramble an egg? With no more effort, you can make this simple breakfast sandwich (or substitute the English Muffin for a corn tortilla for a gluten-free burrito option).

This recipe is for a single serving, but simply multiply each ingredient by the number of people you’re feeding. It doesn’t take much longer to scramble one egg for yourself or four for the family.

And making a breakfast sandwich at home is so much cheaper than buying one on the way to work at the local drive-thru.  Tastes better, too.

Enjoy!  :-D Continue reading

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