Green Pea, Ham and Cheese Salad

pea and ham salad.jpg


16 oz. frozen peas
3 stalks celery, chopped small
6 oz. medium cheddar cheese, cut into small cubes
1 8 oz. pkg cubed ham
1/2 red pepper, cut into strips and chopped into small pieces
1 green onion, chopped finely, or 2T red onion


3/4 C. Mayonnaise
1/2 C. Sour Cream
2T Milk or cream
1 pkg. Ranch Dressing mix (not the buttermilk version)
1/2 t  pepper
1 t honey
1 T fresh basil, chopped finely


Thaw peas. (No need to cook because they'll be served cold. I usually thaw them in a bowl under warm water, then drain well.) Cut vegetables and combine with peas in a large mixing bowl. Mix dressing ingredients with a whisk and pour over vegetables. Mix well. Check seasonings to taste. Refrigerate for one hour before serving. 

Parmesan and Rosemary Crackers


From Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics

1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter
4 oz. freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 1 cup)
1/2 t. kosher salt
1 t. thyme or rosemary, chopped finely
1/2 t. freshly ground pepper
1 1/4 C all-purpose flour

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter for 1 minute. With the mixer on low speed, add the Parmesan, thyme or rosemary, salt and pepper and combine. With the mixer still on low, add the flour and combine until the mixture is in large crumbles, about 1 minute. If the dough is dry, add 1 teaspoon water. 

Dump the dough onto a floured board, press it into a ball, and roll int0 a 9 inch log. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 4 days.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut the log into 1/8 inch slices with a small, sharp knife and place them on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper or a Silpat baking mat. Bake for 22 minutes until very lightly browned. Rotate the pan once during baking. Cool and serve at room temperature. Makes about two dozen. These crackers make a great gift if you can keep from eating them all yourself.

Pecan and maple praline bacon


1 package bacon, (not thick sliced bacon)
1/2 C maple syrup
12 oz. pecans, chopped fine (Trader Joe's chopped pecans save some chopping time.)
6 T Turbinado or brown sugar

Chop pecans finely. Add sugar and mix well. Pour into a pie plate. This makes enough topping for about 25 strips of bacon.

Place a strip of bacon on a cutting board and baste with maple syrup. Lay the bacon, maple syrup side down, in the pie pan and press to adhere nuts and sugar.

Place on rack or parchment paper on cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for ten minutes. Turn cookie sheet, and bake for ten more minutes until slightly brown and bacon is cooked thoroughly. Remove with tongs to a paper towel to drain slightly. Cool and serve. Strips can be cut into halves or thirds if desired, or to create more servings. 


From the kitchen of Moonlight Garden Circle member Nancy Summers

8 hour salad

1 head lettuce, shredded
1/2 lb. or 12 slices bacon, crumbled
1 small head cauliflower, broken
1 box frozen peas, (frozen, not defrosted)
1 sweet onion (purple)
1 cup mayo (I use Hellman's) with 2 tablespoons sugar, mixed together
Parmesan cheese, sprinkled on top of all, (a lot)

Layer items in order of list.  Spread mayo mixture over all and top with Parmesan cheese. Cover with tin foil.  Let set in refrigerator for 8 hours (or so).
That's it.  Toss before serving.  Enjoy.
Any questions, just let me know

From the kitchen of Moonlight Garden Circle member Lauren Sasser.

Butternut Squash Salad

1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into small dice
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and cut into small dice
1 T olive oil
1 C quinoa
1 1/2 C water
1/3 C dried cranberries
1/3 C red or green onion, chopped
3 T toasted almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds or pine nuts
salt and pepper

For salad dressing

1/4 C olive oil
juice from one lime, or 1/4 C white balsamic vinegar
1 t. honey
1 t Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
salt and pepper


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss the squash in a bowl with olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Arrange on a baking sheet in a single layer. Roast for 20-25 minutes until squash is lightly browned, turning with a spatula half way. Set aside to cool.

While the squash is roasting, rinse quinoa under cold water until water runs clear. Place quinoa and 1 1/2 C water in a sauce pan. Bring to boil and cook, partially covered until liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Set aside to cool.

To assemble the salad, combine the quinoa, squash, cranberries, onion and nuts or seeds in a large bowl. Add the vinaigrette and mix until combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Chill in the refrigerator for a couple of hours and serve

Balsamic Vinaigrette

Whisk all ingredients in a small bowl until combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Note: The cilantro in the photograph is for decorative purposes; there is no cilantro in the salad.

Served at the Moonlight Garden Circle meeting in January, 2017 by member Nancy Summers.