Beach Recipes

Hi folks! Yes it’s been about two weeks since the last entry and may be another two weeks before we get another.

Here’s the deal: The last week and a half or so I was on vacation. This week I’ve been preparing to go to Denver for the conventions and next week I’ll actually be in Denver! Of course I’ll update you on all the coffee houses and restaurants I go to…although something tells me my schedule will be pretty busy.

So last week at the beach with James’ family we each took a turn cooking dinner. There are two fun recipes that are really easy, beachy and breezy.

The first is a Farro Salad, originated from Whole Foods and cooked by Debbie (James’ mom). It is a great side dish, picnic, lunch or dinner salad.:

1 1/2 cup uncooked farro
3 cups water
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup garlic flavor olive oil (or olive oil with minced garlic)
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
1 cup fresh thawed peas
Large handful fresh basil leaves, sliced
salt and pepper to taste

Farro Salad
Farro Salad

1. Place farro in large bowl and cover with lots of cold water, soak at least 2 hours and up to overnight
2. Drain and transfer to a large sauce pan. Cover with more fresh, cold water, add salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and bring to a simmer until farro is soft but not mushy — about 20 minutes
3. Drain farro in collander and transfer to a large serving bowl
4. Toss warm farrow with 1/4 cup of olive oil and set aside to cool.
5. Stir in tomatoes, cucumber, basil and peas, mix well. Add remaining olive oil, season with salt and pepper and voila! On the table!

Post baking thoughts (although in this case I didn’t really cook, just watched and learned): The recipe also called for olives, but we opted out. And, the longer the grain soaks in the first bowl of water, the less time it takes to cook in the sauce pan.

Now for beach recipe number two. This is a dessert from Blair Gardner, which really comes from her mom Susan. I’m not sure what the official title is, but let’s call it cookie cool whip lasagna!

Second layer of cookies ready to be smothered with cool whip
Second layer of cookies ready to be smothered with cool whip

2 packages (not-chewy) chocolate chip cookies
2 cups milk
2 cannisters light cool whip

1. Pour milk into small bowl and dip cookies into milk, then using 9×13 baking dish, layer cookies in rows along the bottom
2. After bottom layer is completed, cover with cool whip. Repeat 2-3 times ending with whipped cream on top.
3. Crumble about 10 cookies and sprinkle on top
4. Cover with foil and refrigerate at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours

The cookie crumble topping
The cookie crumble topping

Super easy and really good! Tastes like chocolate chip cookie mousse.


Post-baking thoughts: Again, I didn’t bake this, just watched Blair assemble, but I would be interested in using non-fat whipped cream instead of the cool whip.

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