Cheryl’s Cuisine: July 2022

By Cheryl Radkiewicz

When I think about a “perfect” summer,  for me it includes not turning on the oven.  Yes, I love cooking, but that’s why we have grills.   Thoughts of light summer meals…cool, refreshing and casual…are just a few of my favorite summer memories.

One item I really enjoy is Boursin Cheese.  It’s a soft combination of milk, cream, garlic, parsley, chives, salt and white pepper. The cost is approximately $7 for a 5.2 oz. ball.  New to the company is Boursin Chimichurri Style….Just tried this week and it’s a winner…packs a punch…only a dab needed on a cracker.

I’ve been making homemade Boursin for years…and it goes a long, long way.   You can serve it on crackers, slices of zucchini,  baked potatoes, toast points, etc.  It’s a definite summer treat.

Homemade Boursin Cheese:

2-8 oz. packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. marjoram
1/4 tsp.  dried dill weed
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. basil
1/4 tsp. rosemary

Whip all ingredients with electric beaters.  Store in refrigerator.  Make in advance to merge flavors.


Here are some other quick “cool” ideas for the lazy days of summer!

Peppery Pimento Cheese:

1-1 lb. block sharp Cheddar Cheese, grated
1-4 oz. jar sliced pimentos, undrained
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 tsp. salt
1 or 1 1/2 tsp. black pepper

Mix all ingredients.  Serve on crackers.


Tortilla Dip:

2-4 oz. cans chopped green chiles
2-4 1/2 oz. cans chopped black olives
3 tomatoes, chopped
4 green onions, chopped
2 Tbsp. wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients and mix well.  Serve with tortilla chips.


Romaine, Grapefruit and Avocado Salad:

2 heads romaine lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
2 avocados, sliced
1/4 cup sliced ripe olives
2 cups fresh grapefruit sections

Combine romaine, avocados, grapefruit and olives in large bowl. Add Red Wine Vinaigrette, tossing to coat.  Serve immediately.

Red Wine Vinaigrette:

1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. celery seeds
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 red onion, grated

Whisk all ingredients together.


Best Shrimp Salad:

1-16 oz. pkg. small shell pasta
2 lbs. cooked, frozen salad shrimp, thawed and drained
1 cup chopped celery
6 green onions, chopped
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup Russian salad dressing
2 Tbsp. capers
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. celery seeds
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. Old Bay Seasoning

Cook pasta according to package directions (without adding any oil or salt) until al dente; drain.  Combine shrimp, celery and green onions in bowl and mix well.  Combine mayonnaise, salad dressing, capers, lemon juice, celery seeds, salt, pepper and Old Bay seasoning in a bowl and mix well.  Add mayonnaise mixture to shrimp mixture and toss to coat.  Stir in pasta.  Chill, covered, until serving time. 


Mini Cheese Balls:

2-8 oz. pkgs. cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup minced green onion
1 (2  1/2oz.) pkg. thinly sliced deli ham,  finely chopped
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 cup finely chopped pecans

Mix cream cheese, onion, ham and Worcestershire sauce.  Shape into walnut-size balls.  Roll in chopped nuts.  Refrigerate until serving. Serve on crackers or toothpicks.


And, what’s life without dessert?

Amaretto Cheese Spread:

1-8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup Amaretto liqueur
1-(2 1/2 oz.) pkg. slivered almonds, sauteed in butter

Blend Amaretto into cream cheese. Form a ball and chill until firm. Before serving, cover with almonds and allow to reach room temperature.  Serve with thinly sliced apples and pears.


Cheesecake Bonbons:

1 small store-bought cheesecake
1-12 oz. pkg. milk chocolate chips, melted
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
1 cup white chocolate chips, melted

Cut cheesecake into 24-36 small squares.  Place on parchment-lined baking sheet; freeze 1-2 hours.  Remove frozen bonbons from freezer and dip into melted milk chocolate.  Place back on parchment paper until set.  Once set, drizzle with either semi-sweet or white chocolate, or both.  Once set, may be placed in zip-lock freezer bags.  Will keep frozen for up to 2 months.

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