from our Meetings

Linda and Beverly’s Arboretum Trip

Some of you asked for recipes Beverly and I used for the box lunches we prepared on our recent trip.   Cheers, Linda

Cheese Filled Tortillas


2 8 oz pkgs light cream cheese

6 oz ripe olives, drained and sliced

1 can (7 oz) chopped green chiles, drained

1 small onion, finely chopped

1/2 jar hot peppadews, drained and chopped (I added this; not in original recipe.)

1 pkg flour tortillas (about 8 tortillas)


Combine cream cheese, olives, chiles, and onion in a large bowl.  Mix well.  Spread about 1/3 C of this mixture to within 1/4 inch of the edges of each tortilla.  Roll tightly.  Cover and chill at least 2 hours or overnight if desired.  Slice off ends and discard.  Cut cylinders into 8 rounds to serve as an appetizer or in half to serve as small sandwiches



Cherry Tomato Salad

2 pounds cherry tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise

1 mild onion,  finely chopped

1 large bunch parsley, chopped

6 T salad oil

3 T red wine vinegar

salt and pepper

sugar to taste


Mix above ingredients and chill.  Serves approximately 10-12.


Cucumber Sandwiches 

1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded, and coarsely grated

8 oz pkg light cream cheese, softened 

1/2 C mayonnaise (I used light mayo)

1 T lemon juice

3 scallions with tops, finely chopped

tabasco sauce, garlic salt, and lemon pepper to taste

Thin sliced Pepperidge Farm bread, white and whole wheat

Wring out excess cucumber juice in a clean paper towel.  Cream cheese with mayo and lemon juice.  Add cucumber and seasonings.  Spread on one side of bread and top with another. Cover with damp paper towel.  Refrigerate several hours before serving.  Remove crusts if desired and cut each sandwich into four triangles.  Makes 18-20 large sandwiches.



Frances’s Coffee Cake

2 sticks butter

2 cups sugar

2 eggs

½ t vanilla

2 cups flour

1 t baking powder

½ t salt

1 cup sour cream

½ cup chopped pecans

3 T cinnamon

4 T brown sugar

3 T sugar


Cream butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla.  Combine flour, baking powder and salt.  Add to mixture.  Fold in sour cream.  Pour ½ mixture into greased and floured bundt pan (my metal pan doesn’t ever work – I need to get a rubber one).  Top with ½ mixture of nuts, etc.  Repeat layers and swirl batter with knife.  Bake at 350 for 50-60 minutes


Forget about the butter and sugar and enjoy! J



Kathi’s Simple 

Ricotta Cheese Leek Tarts

(from Donna Hay's Instant Entertaining)


Preheat oven to 400.  Using frozen puff pasty, roll out to 12 X 18 and cut into 6 X 6 (or smaller) squares. slice one leek thinly and saute in butter.  Add enough butter to the saute to brush onto puff pastry squares before baking.  Mix 1 lb. whole milk (don't substitute) ricotta cheese, one quarter cup parmesan cheese and one egg.   Brush each puff pastry square with butter along the edges.  Spread cheese mixture onto each square (might not use all cheese spread).  Top cheese with sauteed leeks.  Sprinkle with kosher salt, freshly ground pepper and dried thyme leave.  Bake until pastry edges are dark golden brown.  Can be made the previous day and reheated at 400.  Tarts should be solid and able to be picked up to eat.



Sally's Portuguese Kale Soup

(from The Victory Garden Cookbook) 

1 lb of kale
1 lb of potatoes
1 lb of smoked sausage (linguica or chorizo)  I use the lowest saturated fat turkey kielbasa I can find - Hillshire Farms
1 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup carrots
2 tsp chopped garlic
2 T olive oil
2 T butter
2 qt chicken broth or combination of beef and chicken (I have done both and have no preference - the one you had was chick.)
3 lb peeled, seeded and chopped tomatoes (I used fresh for the meeting, but usually use canned whole which I seed and chop -      no real difference)
1 1/2 c cooked kidney beans
Salt and pepper
Strip the leaves from washed kale (no stems!) and cut diagonally into wide slices.  You should end up with 6-8 cups of lightly packed kale.  Wash, peel, and chop potatoes, and keep in cold water.  If using high fat chorizos or other sausage, prick or remove skin, blanch in boiling water for 5 to 10 minutes to release fat.  I skip this step.  Cut sausage into 1/2 inch slices and set aside.  In large soup pot, saute onions, carrots and garlic in oil and butter, cooking until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add potatoes and broth, and simmer, partially covered for 15 to 20 minutes or until potatoes are cooked.  Mash the potatoes against the side of the pot.  Stir in the tomatoes and kidney beans, and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.  Add the kale and sausage, cook 5 to 10 minutes longer and season to taste.   
(If I am short on time, I have put the tomatoes, beans, kale and sausage in together.  It doesn't seem to make a big difference.)
This soup is best if let to sit for a day.