Archive | July, 2011

Hawaiian Pineapple Pie

25 Jul

Pineapple is so refreshing! Especially in the summertime. This pie is an absolute breeze to make… and since it’s a no-bake pie, the oven never has to come on! I recently made this pie with a group of 2nd and 3rd graders who each made their very own, crust and all!

You can use a pre-made graham cracker crust or simply make your own. Enjoy!

 

Hawaiian Pineapple Pie

Servings: 6-8
Time: 5 min. to make… 2 hrs. to chill
Level: Kid-friendly

1 can crushed pineapple, undrained
1 large box instant vanilla pudding
1 c. sour cream
1 graham cracker pie crust (or make your own, see recipe below)

In a medium sized bowl, mix together crushed pineapple with juice, pudding mix, and sour cream. Pour into pie crust. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. Yum!

Graham Cracker Crust

1 sleeve graham crackers (about 9 long crackers)
1/4 c. sugar
5 tbsp. butter, melted

Finely crush crackers. Add sugar and butter. Press into a pie plate with finger tips. Yum!

Tips
– I put the crackers in a zip loc bag and use the full pineapple can to roll across the bag.

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Flat Out Pizza

21 Jul

No time? No problem! Flat Outs can be used for just about everything…from Berry Turkey Wraps to Pizza! As you probably already know, I love pizza. Any topping, any type.

I made these pizzas from start to finish in a little under 10 minutes and I used the toaster oven so I didn’t have to heat up the house with my oven. Perfect for a busy summer night!

Flat Out Pizza

Servings: 1
Time: 10 minutes
Level: Easy

1 piece of Flat Out bread
pizza sauce
fresh spinach leaves
peppers and onions, frozen
pepperoni
jalapeños
cheese, shredded
crushed red pepper

Top Flat Out with pizza sauce and layer, beginning with spinach, the remaining ingredients.

Toast in the toaster oven, or broil in the regular oven, until cheese is melted. Yum!

Tips
– Add any ingredients you want. Pizzas are a place to play around!

Peanut Butter Noodles

18 Jul

Peanut butter is creamy, nutty, and full of protein. Pair it with a few veggies and some whole wheat or buckwheat pasta and you’ve got yourself a delicious dish that can be served hot or cold. When I make Peanut Butter Noodles, I typically make double (because we LOVE it!) and serve it hot for dinner and cold for lunch.

This dish is very kid friendly, so grab up the munchkins and get cooking!

     

Peanut Butter Noodles

Servings: 2
Time: 15 minutes
Level: Easy

Wheat or buckwheat spaghetti noodles (enough for 2 servings)
1/4 c. all natural peanut butter
2 tbsp. seasoned rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp. low sodium soy sauce
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. curry powder
dash of cayenne
1 tsp. Sriracha (or more if you like it hot)
1/4 c. frozen green peas, thawed
1/4 c. carrots, sliced thin into bite sized pieces

Cook noodles according to packaged directions.  In a small bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, curry, cayenne, and Sriracha. Toss drained noodles, peanut butter mixture, peas, and carrots together.

Yum!

Tips
– Red onion is an optional addition.
– A fast way to thaw your peas is to put them in your colander before you strain your boiled noodles. The boiling water and hot pasta will almost instantly thaw the peas.

Berry Turkey Wraps

16 Jul

This recipe came to me while I was eating breakfast. Once of my favorite quick breakfasts is cream cheese and strawberry jam smeared on a Wasa cracker. Peanut butter and jam is also delicious but cream cheese always tastes like a treat! while I was eating, I had a thought. Jam is really yummy but wouldn’t real strawberry slices be even better? That got my brain on a roll and here we are… Berry Turkey Wraps.

The hubs loved them. He had just come in from mountain biking and was so excited to see a big cold wrap filled with delicious strawberries. I doubled up on his portion of turkey and all was well!

Berry Turkey Wrap

Time: 5 min.
Servings: 2
Level: Easy

2 tbsp. cream cheese, softened
1 tbsp. pecans, chopped finely
4 strawberries, sliced
Deli turkey
2 slices Gouda or Swiss cheese
lettuce
red onion slices, optional
2 flour tortillas or Flat Outs

Mix cream cheese and pecans together. Spread onto tortilla or Flat Out. Top with strawberries, turkey, cheese, and lettuce.

Wrap everything up.

Yum!

Chocolate Chip Cookie HEAVEN…

13 Jul

As you can tell, I hardly ever bake. If I bake, it’s for a purpose or a super random craving. I was reading a few blogs the other day, came across this recipe, and decided I HAD to try it. It calls for brown butter, which, until now, I had never attempted. I always see Giada tossing noodles in brown butter and she always makes it look sooo good! Since I’ve always wanted to try my hand at browning butter, I thought using it as an ingredient in a cookie batter, instead of as the star of a pasta dish, would be my best option. You know, in case I botched it.

As it turns out, browning butter is a cinch! All you do is heat it up and stir until it becomes fragrant and brownish in color.

These cookies are amazing. I really have nothing much to say other than that. They have a toffee flavor that is unmatched in any other chocolate chip cookie I’ve ever made. I baked a few and then I froze the rest of the pre-baked cookies to use another day.

They taunt me. Every time I open the freezer, there they are, calling to me. “Please bake me until I’m ooey and gooey. Couldn’t you go for a tall glass of milk right about now?” No cookie, EVER, has ever had a hold on me like these. If you don’t try them, good for you. Way to stay strong. Because I’m telling you, once you make these cookies, your life will forever be changed, and so might your pant size…

Kari, over at Culinarication, is responsible for  posting this recipe. She got the original recipe from America’s Test Kitchen but she tweaked it a little. Kari, I thank you and I curse you. Thank you for this ridiculously delicious cookie recipe but curse you for making me cookie addicted…

Light Chocolate Chip Cookies

(recipe adapted from America’s Test Kitchen and Kari from Culinarication)

Servings: 18 – 24
Time: 20 minutes
Level: Medium

1 1/4 c. all purpose flour

1/4 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

4 tbsp. unsalted butter

1 large egg

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 c. packed light brown sugar

1/3 c.  chocolate chips

Set your oven rack to the middle position and set the temperature to 350°. Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together, and set aside. Mix the brown sugar, vanilla and egg together in a bowl. Over medium-low heat, melt and brown your butter. When it cools slightly, mix it into the sugar and butter mixture. Stir it until combined, and then let it sit for a few minutes. Repeat 1 or 2 times. Stir in the flour and chocolate chips. Portion the dough into 1-inch balls (a level tablespoon’s worth) and split them between two parchment lined baking sheets. Bake one sheet at a time for 9-11 minutes until centers are set.

Let them set on the sheet for 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool. Store any leftovers, if there are any, in an airtight container. These are best when eaten within a few days. Yum!

Tips
– Freeze the unused dough after portioning it (stick them on a plate for a few hours until hard, then store them in a freezer bag). When the cookie craving strikes, bake as many cookies as you want in a 350° oven for about 15 minutes or so, and then let them set for 5 minutes on the sheet. Fresh cookies, anytime you want them!

 

Grilled Corn with French Onion “Butter”

12 Jul

Grilled corn on the cob is probably my favorite summertime veggie. When the husks burn on the outside of the corn, the kernels practically get a steam bath and become infused with a wonderful smoky flavor. When I grill corn on the cob, I make sure to grill a lot of it! Leftovers can be reinvented into so many delicious dishes… the options are truly endless.

You can cut off the perfectly charred kernels to throw into a salad, use them to make a cold corn soup, (whew… recipe for another day, pure deliciousness!) make a salsa or dip, or even just reheat them with a little salt and butter for an easy side dish on a busy night.

Grilling corn is super easy. There are a lot of theories on how to grill the perfect ear of corn but this one seems to work best for me. Sorry there aren’t any pictures…

First, with kitchen scissors, I trim the silk fibers that are poking out of the top of the ear. Then, I peel off the first entire layer of the husk. After that, I throw the ears on to the grill, set at medium-high heat, for 25-30 minutes, turning every once in a while. Once they come off of the grill, totally black and super messy, I peel back the husk and take off the silk fibers. I guess that’s called shucking?! Ahhhhh-mazing!

Nothing can beat an ear of grilled corn slathered in melted butter and dusted with salt. But for the sake of not boring my family with the same ole’ side dish, just because I love it so much, I started doing some experimenting.

Normally I don’t have French onion dip in the fridge. Chip dip is just something I never buy. I’d rather use Greek yogurt and sour cream to make my own. I like controlling my own flavors and nutritional content when it comes to things like that. But, alas, the 4th of July left us with a tub and I figured I could use it. What was born was truly delicious and I hope you enjoy it.

Grilled Corn with French Onion “Butter”

Servings: 2
Time: 2 minutes
Level: Easy

2 ears of corn, grilled and shucked
2 tbsp. French onion dip (I used Dean’s brand)
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (or more…)
1/2 tsp. lime or lemon juice

Mix dip, cayenne, and juice together. Spread over all sides of the corn. Yum!

Tips
– I bet you could use any dip flavor… dill, ranch, etc.

Carolina Salad

11 Jul

Ooh, the Carolina. My husband requests this salad at least once every two weeks, especially in the hot hot summer. Did you know that it hit over 100° today? Ridiculous. Factor in the sticky humidity that constantly blankets us and you’ve got yourself a sweat box. Good skin? Yes, the dewiest, most gorgeous skin.  But an enjoyable afternoon spent reading outside? I don’t think so.

Hot weather welcomes dinner salads and this one is legit. I made Pretzel and Pecan Encrusted Tilapia not too long ago and I made extra breading for a night just like tonight! The breading saves beautifully in an airtight container. For the recipe, click here.

Dinner salads are an excuse to clean out your produce drawer. Pretty much anything goes… and goes VERY well, so play around!!

Carolina Salad

Servings: 2
Time: 10 minutes
Level: Easy

1 chicken breast
1/3 – 1/2 c. pretzel and pecan breading
1 tbsp. coconut oil (canola or vegetable oil would also work… coconut is just better for you and pan fries wonderfully)
The following list is what I used in my salad tonight. You can use whatever you have!
lettuce
spinach leaves
radishes
carrots
purple onion
grapes (strawberries or nectarines work well, too)
broccoli
cashews
cheese, shredded
bacon, cooked and crumbled
croutons
salad dressing of your choice

Dry chicken breast and dice into bite sized pieces. In a shallow dish or plate, pour breading and press chicken pieces into the breading to coat.

In a pan over medium heat, melt coconut oil. Once melted and heated to temperature, add chicken and cook 1-2 minutes per side, or until no longer pink in the middle.

Fill large bowls or deep plates with lettuce and other ingredients. Top with chicken. Yum!

Tips
– Make your own croutons… Slice a piece of bread into cubes, top with a little butter, garlic, and Italian seasoning. Place under the broiler for 2-3 minutes, until golden brown. Yum!
– No egg bath is needed to coat the chicken. The breading will stick to the bare chicken and holds up nicely in the pan since it is fried for such a short period of time. Why add the calories if they aren’t really needed?

Simple Sabroso Salsa

7 Jul

Sabroso means tasty in Spanish… I’m not sure if I used it in the right context or not, but hey, I only have a minor in the language so I’m not expected to know, right?

This salsa is called Sabroso Salsa because it is simply that, a tasty sauce… especially the next day, once all of the flavors sit and have a chance to mingle with each other.

If you have any leftover grilled corn, use it! If not, no worries! Canned corn will do just fine.

I served this salsa with tortilla chips but it would also be delicious served on crackers or bite sized baguette slices topped a little avocado and cheese. Appetizers, anyone?

Don’t forget to check the tips section for 2 great ideas for using up leftovers!

Simple Sabroso Salsa

Time: 5 minutes
Servings: A lot! It made about 3 -4 cups of salsa.
Level: Easy

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can whole kernel corn, drained and rinsed
1 can Rotel, drained
1 tbsp. jalapeños, diced
2 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. lime juice

Mix all ingredients together and let sit in the fridge until ready to serve. Yum!

Tips
– Play with the spices. You can add as little or as much of each as you’d like!
– I spooned leftover salsa over grilled chicken for dinner the next day. Yum!
– Another idea for leftovers!!!! I used the rest of the leftover salsa to make a simple pasta dish. I heated the salsa in the microwave and mixed it with cooked, drained pasta shell noodles and leftover shredded chicken. It was so yummy!!

What the French, Toast?

5 Jul

Breakfast is the BEST! You’ve always heard that you should start your day off right… but honestly, who has the time? Grabbing a bowl of cereal or snagging a granola bar out of the pantry on our way out the door probably happens way too often around here.

But after a WONDERFUL trip to see Alissa, my best friend, well, make that almost sister… in case you didn’t know, I now have an easy and super quick recipe for breakfast that will definitely be making a frequent appearance in my kitchen.

This French toast recipe takes about 5 minutes, at the most, to prepare and it bakes in the oven for 15 minutes. That is just enough time to go back, get dressed, and put on make-up. Can’t argue with that!

I’m not quite sure if the measurements are exactly like Alissa’s amazing recipe but the outcome was very similar. Yum!

Alissa’s Fabulous French Toast

Servings: 2
Time: 20 minutes
Level: Easy

1 egg
2 egg whites
2 tbsp. milk
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. vanilla
4 slices whole wheat bread

Preheat oven to 350°. In a shallow dish, whisk egg, egg whites, milk, cinnamon, and vanilla together. Dip bread in egg mixture until soaked.

Place bread on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes, turning once.

Serve with butter and warmed syrup. Yum!

Tips
– You can use all egg whites to make it healthier.
– Try sugar free syrup or even flavored syrup for a twist!
– Top with toasted pecans for a nutty addition.
– Sprinkle more cinnamon on top of the bread before you bake it if you loooove cinnamon like I do!

Grilled Turkey and Cheese on Cinnamon Raisin Bread

1 Jul

I’ll be the first to admit it… this doesn’t sound good. But please don’t let that keep you from trying this sandwich. It is SOOOO yummy! Trust me on this one.

The sweet bread and tangy mustard works so well with nice thick slices of ooey gooey provolone cheese. Just thinking about this sweet and savory combo is making me hungry again. What’s with me this week and sweet and savory dishes?

This sandwich is great for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner. Yum!

Grilled Turkey and Cheese on Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Servings: 1
Time: 5 minutes
Level: Easy

2 slices cinnamon raisin bread
1/2 tbsp. spicy brown mustard
3-4 slices deli turkey (mesquite or peppered turkey also works)
1-2 slices provolone cheese
butter

Spread one slice of bread with mustard. Top with turkey, provolone, and second slice of bread. Butter the outsides of the bread and grill, over medium heat, until golden brown. Yum!

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