Monday, July 28, 2014

Double Berry Ice Cream Pie

This month is national ice cream month and I knew I had to make ice cream. I love ice cream, but it doesn't love me back. I's not fair! I was browsing through the July/August Eating Well Magazine and came across this easy recipe for ice cream pie. It gave a master recipe and then five different flavor combinations. I would recommend making it only a day before you need the pie and not letting it sit in the freezer for an extended amount of time. I found that a couple days after, it started turning icy.

2 cups coarsely crumbled graham crackers
3 Tbsp canola oil
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt
2 cups blueberries and raspberries, pureed

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Process the graham cracker crumbs in a food processor until they are finely crushed. Add the oil and then process until the oil is combined. Lightly coat a pie pan with nonstick cooking spray and then press down the crumbs with the back of a spoon onto the bottom and sides of a pie pan. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes and then allow to cool completely before adding the filling.

Using a handheld mixer, whip the heavy cream until it starts to thicken. Add in the sugar and whip until stiff peaks form. Fold in the yogurt and pureed berries. Pour the mixture into the cooled crust and then cover with a piece of plastic wrap. Place in the freezer for at least 5 hours. Allow the pie to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes until it has slightly softened before slicing.

Source : Eating Well Magazine, July/August 2014

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Cherry Jalapeno Beef Skewers

We've been doing a lot of grilling lately...the weather has been perfect and most of the time my husband mans the grill. But this time, I took over to make these beef skewers. I was offered the opportunity to review a few products from Gourmet Warehouse. I had never heard of the company before, but one of my food blogger friends told me about them and I was excited to learn I could pick a few products to try out. 

They carry a variety marinades, BBQ sauces and spice rubs/seasonings and are based in Hilton Head. I had a hard time narrowing down my selection, but I chose the mild cherry jalapeno BBQ sauce and honey garlic injectable marinade. Both products were something I had never used before and couldn't wait for them to arrive. 

I immediately knew I was going to inject a roaster with the honey garlic marinade. I don't have pictures for this recipe, but the chicken was so moist and flavorful! I only had a couple hours to let it marinade before I needed to get it in the oven, but in that short amount of time, it was amazing. 

For the BBQ sauce, I knew I wanted to used it to baste a piece of grilled meat. I was looking at the different cuts of beef at my butcher and saw they had top sirloin on sale. They had a few thin sliced pieces - light bulb moment! I could slice it into thin strips and make skewers out of it. The sauce is AMAZING! The combination of cherry and jalapeno is perfect - the sweetness of the cherries is cut with the mild heat of the jalapeno.My husband said "it was the best meal I've had in a long time." I'm not sure if I should be mad at him or not for that comment.  I loved the sauce so much, that we used it on grilled chicken the next night. 

1 lb thin top sirloin, cut into one inch strips (approximately 1/4 inch thick)
Cherry Jalapeno BBQ sauce 
wooden skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes

Skewer the beef and season both sides with salt and pepper. Once your grill is ready, place the skewers on the grill. Allow to cook for 2 minutes and then flip. After you flip, coat the top side with the BBQ sauce. Cook for one minute on the other side and then flip. Coat that side with BBQ sauce and let sit for one minute. Flip two more times so both sides of the beef is basted twice with the sauce. Remove from heat and enjoy! 

If you've never tried Gourmet Warehouse products before, check them out.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Dijon Balsamic Orzo Salad

I'm always looking for different type of salads to bring to picnics and parties. I wanted to try this one because it was different and not something I've made before. I wasn't 100%  sold on it, it's really tangy from the Dijon and balsamic vinegar. It was good, but not sure I would make it again. Neither of the kids like and it ended up making a lot, so after three days of eating it, I was done too. So while this recipe wasn't a hit, I think there's potential and with adjusting some things, I might be able to get make something that we all enjoy.

This is one of the reason that I love food blogging, it gives me an opportunity to try different things and share them. If any of you have suggestions on what you would do to make the dressing of the salad not as tangy, share them! I'm all up for trying it again, but not sure where to start.

1 lb orzo pasta
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 1/2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp water
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1 cucumber, diced
15 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

Cook orzo according to package directions. In a medium bowl, whisk together vinegar, mustard, olive oil, water, oregano, basil, and garlic. Drain orzo and place in a large mixing bowl. Add in the tomatoes, cucumber, and chickpeas. Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and combine. This salad can be enjoyed warm, cold or at room temperature.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Lemon Thins

As you know, cookie recipes are pretty common around here. When I was looking for recipes to review as part of a new cookbook group I joined, I saw this recipe for lemon thins. I liked that they were simple and I had to only pick up a lemon at the store when I went shopping. I was worried that these cookies didn't include a leavening agent, but they turned out pretty good. I prefer a little more substance with cookies, but they were the perfect little snack for the kids. I think if I make them again, I'll bake them a little longer and make sandwich cookies with them...maybe a raspberry filling. Hmm.....

Don't miss your chance to win a copy of Home Made Summer! Click over to my cookbook review to enter!

2 eggs
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp sguar
1 tsp vanilla extract
zest of 1 lemon
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
3/4 cup flour
pinch of salt

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In the bowl of stand mixer, beat together the eggs, sugar and vanilla until the mixture becomes foamy, approximately 5 minutes. Mix in the lemon zest and set aside. In another bowl, beat the softened butter until it becomes whipped and turns lighter in color.

Alternate adding the butter and flour into the egg mixture in small batches. Once the butter and flour have been completely mixed in, then stir in the pinch of salt. Drop small teaspoons of batter onto the prepared baking sheet about 2 inches apart.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until the edges begin to brown. The original recipe calls for only a 5 minute baking time, but my cookies were still soft and jiggly after 5 minutes. Allow the cookies to cool on the pan for a few minutes and then transfer to a wire cooling rack to completely cool.

Source: Home Made Summer Cookbook by Yvette van Boven 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Cookbook Review: Homemade Summer + Giveaway

I joined a new blogging group and we're planning a review of a cookbook each month. I'm excited for a chance to try different recipes from cookbooks that I may not have found on my own.

The first cookbook we're reviewing is Home Made Summer by Yvette van Boven. This is the third cookbook for van Boven and features recipes for spring and summer. There's step-by-step instructions and beautiful, hand-drawn artwork throughout the book. There are recipes for every meal of the day from breakfast to brunch and desserts, plus drinks!

I had a hard time narrowing down the recipes I wanted to review from the book, there were so many I wanted to make. I decided on two for this review, lemon thins and ultimate puffy pancakes. There's at least two others I want to try, but I ran out of time...I'll get to them eventually!

Lemon Thins: I was a little worried when I started making these, because there is no leavening in them, but they turned out good. I like a little more depth to my cookies, but for the kids, they enjoyed these simple lemon cookies.

The Ultimate "Puffy" Pancakes: I really enjoyed these pancakes and the recipe makes a lot...especially since I make them a little larger than silver-dollar sized. They were puffy, but I was hoping they would be a little thicker. The recipe calls for a warm milk-butter mixture and I think that definitely helped to make these pancakes puffy. 

To top things off, you have a chance to win your own copy of the Home Made Summer cookbook! Enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Ultimate Puffy Pancakes

I'm always looking for recipes for breakfast. I rarely make pancakes, because my kids prefer waffles, but these were great for a Sunday morning. These pancakes are very similar to buttermilk pancakes, but instead of using cold buttermilk, you make a warm milk-butter mixture.

The texture of these pancakes were really good and while they weren't as puffy as I hoped, they were light and fluffy...exactly what you want in pancake. I served them with raspberries and little drizzle of maple syrup. The recipe made around 30 silver-dollar sized pancakes - perfect sized for my kids! I froze the leftover ones and they were perfect for a quick breakfast during the week.

2 cups flour
pinch of salt
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp baking powder
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
7 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 1/2 cups milk
2 eggs, beaten 

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, salt,  baking powder and sugar. Set aside. In a small saucepan, heat the butter and milk over medium heat until the butter melts. Once the butter has melted, remove from the stove and stir in the teaspoon of vanilla extract. 

Combine the warm butter-milk mixture with the dry ingredients with a whisk until there are no more lumps. Stir in the beaten eggs and mix together. 

Melt a teaspoon of butter on a griddle/skillet over medium heat. Pour a ladle of batter into pan and cook for 3 minutes until small bubbles start to form and then pop. Flip over and cook on the other side for an additional minute. Continue making pancakes with the remaining batter. Serve with your favorite toppings - fruit, syrup, more butter, powdered sugar, peanut butter....I could go on and on! 

Source: Home Made Summer Cookbook by Yvette van Boven

Monday, July 14, 2014

Madeleines - The Secret Recipe Club

It's reveal day for The Secret Recipe Club! This month my assignment was Smells Like Brownies. When I saw the assignment email, I was so excited. I've been following Melissa's blog for awhile and always love everything that she posts, so I knew it would be a hard time picking a recipe. I knew I wanted to make a dessert, I mean how could I not especially with the name of Melissa's blog! She's a mommy to a toddler and I'm jealous that she has the time to spend working on complicated recipes during the week.

So after scouring Melissa's blog, I decided on a recipe for Madeleines. My sister-in-law bought me a Madeleine pan for Christmas a couple years ago but I hadn't used it yet, so it was about time! I knew this recipe would take a little time chilling in the fridge, so I made the batter one more before I started working. I work from home, so after I dropped Madeline and Cooper off at daycare, I whipped together the batter before I started working and then baked up the cookies after dinner that night. It worked out perfectly. I substituted lime for lemons - they didn't look that great in the store and I needed limes for another recipe. They were really good and I loved the texture of them. The lime was just what they needed and I can't wait to try them with lemon zest the next time I make Madeleines. 

1/2 cup sugar
zest of a lime
2 eggs, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup flour
3/4 tsp  baking powder
pinch of salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled

In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, rub together the sugar and lime zest until the sugar is fragrant. Add the eggs and whisk on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes until the mixture turns pale and thick. Beat in the vanilla extract. 

Gently fold in the dry ingredients into the egg mixture and then fold in the melted and cooled butter. Make sure the butter is fully incorporated, but take care not to overmix the batter. Press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface of the batter to keep a skin from forming. Place in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours or up to 2 days. 

When you're ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly spray a madeleine pan with non-stick cooking spray. Spoon the batter evenly into the two indents. The batter will spread, so there's no need to spread it prior to baking. Bake for 11 to 12 minutes or until the cookies are golden brown and spring back when lightly pressed on. Remove the cookies from the pan by gently tapping the edge of the pan on the counter. Serve the Madeleines at room temperature or slightly warm with a cup of coffee or tea.