Thursday, July 29, 2010

Canteloupe Sorbet

This is such a refreshing dessert for summertime. Especially after a big dinner, it would be a lovely light way to end the meal. Or, if you're having a fancy party, this would be a delicious palate cleanser! Or, if you're like me, you can eat it out of the container with a spoon and not even bother to dirty a bowl.

It takes only a few minutes to throw this together. Just like with the banana sherbet, you start with a simple syrup. Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil,

stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Transfer this syrup to a small bowl and refrigerate until chilled. (Or, if you're in more of a hurry, you can put it in the freezer to speed up the chilling process.)

Once the syrup is chilled, combine the canteloupe and lemon juice in a food processor or blender

and process until smooth. Add the syrup

and blend until combined. Tranfer the pureed mixture to your ice cream freezer

and freeze according to your machine. It took about 25 minutes in my machine. When it's done,

transfer to a freezer safe bowl

and freeze for several hours until firm. Before serving, let stand for a few minutes to thaw slightly.

Get more great summer ideas at Seasonal Sunday, Foodie Friday, Food on Friday and Friday Food.

Canteloupe Sorbet

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
4 cups cubed canteloupe
2 Tbsp. lemon juice

In a small saucepan, bring water and sugar to a boil. Cook and stir until sugar is dissolved. Transfer to a small bowl and refrigerate until chilled.

Place the canteloup, lemon juice and syrup in a food processor or blender; cover and process for 2-3 minutes or until smooth. Pour into an ice cream freezer; freeze according to manufacturer's directions.

Transfer to a freezer-safe bowl and place in freezer until firm.

Makes 1 quart.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Peach and Blackberry Tart

I cut this recipe out of Bon Appetit magazine about a thousand years ago (ok, ten years ago) and have never made it. Until now. And I love it. The combination of juicy peaches and colorful and tart blackberries on a sweet oatmeal cookie crust is just everything you could hope for in a summer dessert. You will have to turn on the oven, but only for a few minutes! This is a beautiful and delicious dessert for a luncheon or a dinner party, and it even makes a great breakfast. (I did have to try it to ensure it passed muster for the blog!)

The oatmeal cookie crust makes this tart delightfully different. Place the cookies in a food processor and pulse until finely ground. If you don't have a food processor, you could put the cookies in a zip top bag and use a rolling pin to crush the cookies. (I used a 12 oz package of oatmeal cookies to get enough crumbs. And, oh yeah, I ate a few first...)

Melt the butter, then add it to the crumbs

and stir until moist clumps form. Spray your tart pan with nonstick spray, then press the dough in evenly over the bottom of the pan and up the sides.

You can start with a fork, but you'll get the best results if you use your fingers too. You'll want to make sure you get the crust up into all the curly edges as that is what creates a nice presentation after you remove the sides of the tart pan.

Bake the crust for 10 minutes just until it is dry. While it's baking, prepare the filling by combining the nectar, cornstarch

and sugar

in a medium saucepan and whisking until it is smooth. Then add the lemon juice and half the peaches

and use a potato masher to mash them until it resembles a coarse puree.

Simmer over medium heat for about 3-5 minutes, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick.

Cool completely, then fold in the remaining peaches.

(My filling is in a pie pan cause I wanted it to cool quickly!) Spread the filling into the crust

and then arrange the blackberries around the top edge.

Cover and refrigerate until cold, at least 6 hours or overnight. Bring to room temperature, and then remove the side of the tart pan. You can usually do this just by holding the pan from the bottom in the palm of your hand, and the "ring" will slip right off.

See how neat those edges look now?

I just can't stop looking at this beautiful tart! You should make one!

Get more inspiration at Tempt my Tummy Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday and Tuesday at the Table, Seasonal Sunday, This Week's Cravings, Ingredient Spotlight, Food on Friday.

Peach and Blackberry Tart with Oatmeal Cookie Crust

2 cups oatmeal cookie crumbs (from crispy cookies, about 30 or 12 oz.)
5 Tbsp. butter, melted
2/3 cup peach or apricot nectar
5 Tbsp. sugar
5 tsp. cornstarch
2 2/3 cups coarsely chopped peeled peaches
1 1/4 tsp. lemon juice
1 1/4 cups large blackberries (about 1/2 pint)

Spray a 10-inch diameter fluted tart pan with cooking spray. Combine the butter and cookie crumbs and stir until moist clumps form. Press the mixture on the bottom and up the sides of the prepared pan. Bake at 375 for 10 minutes or until dry. Cool completely.

For the filling, combine the nectar, cornstarch and sugar in a medium saucepan and whisk until smooth. Add half the peaches and the lemon juice, and mash with a potato masher until it resembles coarse puree. Simmer over medium heat until mixture is thick, stirring constantly, about 3-5 minutes. Cool completely.

Fold in remaining peaches. Spread filling evenly in crust. Arrange blackberries around top edges of tart. Cover and refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight until cold. Bring to room temperature before serving. Remove side of tart pan and cut into 8 wedges.

Serves 8.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Rhubarb Berry Cheesecake Pie

I've been buying so many strawberries that I have to find new ways to use them, and I am never sorry to try a new dessert (especially one that doesn't involve the oven!). This is a beautiful and delicious one, with a wonderful combination of textures and flavors. It does need time to set up, both at the end and between the steps, so plan to make it a day ahead of when you will need to serve it (or want to eat it!).

Start by assembling the cream cheese layer. Combine the softened cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk in a large mixing bowl.

Beat until smooth, then add the lemon juice,


lemon peel and salt and beat well. Pour the filling into the crust (I used a store bought crust this time since I never have graham crackers on hand),

cover, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. While it's chilling, you can make the topping. In a medium saucepan, bring the rhubarb and water to a boil.

If you're using frozen rhubarb, use only half of the water called for since the rhubarb will give off a lot of water when it cooks. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 7 minutes or until the rhubarb is tender. If you're using frozen, this will only take 3-4 minutes.

While the rhubarb is cooking, sprinkle the gelatin over the remaining water and let stand for 1 minute.

(I used flavored gelatin cause that's what I had. You really should use unflavored; it will work better! --because it will set up better....)

When the rhubarb is tender, drain the rhubarb, then return to the saucepan and add the sugar.

Pour in the gelatin,

then bring this mixture to a boil.

Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice. Transfer to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate until slightly thickened, about 1 hour. Finally, stir in the strawberries,

then spoon the fruit topping over the cheesecake layer.

Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight to set.

Get more inspiration at Cooking Thursday, Foodie Friday, Food on Friday and Friday Food.

Rhubarb Berry Cheesecake Pie

1-8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
1-14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
3 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. grated lemon peel
dash salt
1 9-inch graham cracker crust
2 cups sliced fresh or frozen rhubarb
6 Tbsp. water, divided
1 1/2 tsp. unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp. lemon juice
1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and halved or quartered

In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and milk until smooth. Beat in the lemon juice, vanilla, lemon peel and salt. Pour into crust; cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Meanwhile, in a saucepan, bring rhubarb and 4 Tbsp. water to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered for 10 minutes or until rhubarb is tender. Drain. In a small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over 2 Tbsp. water; let stand for 1 minute. Return rhubarb to the saucepan; stir in gelatin and sugar then bring to a boil.

Remove from the heat and stir in lemon juice. Cover and refrigerate until slightly thickened, about 1 hour, then stir in strawberries. Spoon over pie. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight until set. Serves 8.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Spicy Grilled Pork Tenderloin

Don't let the title scare you - this pork doesn't taste spicy hot - but it does have a lot of spices!

Start by combining all the spices in a small bowl. First, the brown sugar, salt, thyme, onion powder, garlic powder and ground mustard,

then the cumin and oregano,

allspice and pepper. Stir it up well to blend. Place the pork in a shallow dish and then rub the spice mixture over the pork.

Cover the meat and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight. When ready to grill, first make the sauce; in a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, chili powder

and cola. (it's ok to use diet coke!)

Grill the pork, covered, over indirect heat for 25 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 160. Baste occasionally with the sauce. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing.

Get more great ideas at This Week's Cravings, Tempt my Tummy Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday and Tuesday at the Table.

Spicy Grilled Pork Tenderloin

2 Tbsp. brown sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. ground mustard
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 pork tenderloin (1 pound)

1/2 cup cola
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. chili powder

Combine the first 10 ingredients; rub over pork. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.

In a small bowl, combine the sauce ingredients. Grill pork, covered, over indirect medium-hot heat for 25 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 160, basting occasionally with the sauce. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing. Serves 4

Friday, July 16, 2010

Guest Blogger at Food as Art

Beth graciously invited to me be a guest blogger at her site today. Hop on over and see how color can make a difference in how your food looks and tastes!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Chicken and Black Bean Tostadas

I adore my toaster oven, especially in the summer. I avoid using my oven at almost any cost, since it heats up my un-air-conditioned house to a boiling point. So I love that I can still get the same effect using my toaster oven, with no rising thermometer!

These are a delicious, quick meal idea and they re-heat really well for lunches too. I usually just make a few at a time, keeping the topping in the fridge. You can also freeze the topping for future use. You can also adapt this easily to your family's tastes and what you have on hand - if you have some extra bell pepper, throw it in! Avacado slices would be delicious on top of the tostadas too.

For the topping, combine the chicken and rotel

(I crush the rotel in my mini chopper since I don't like chunks!) and stir well to combine. Then drain and rinse the black beans

and add them to the chicken

along with the corn.

Stir it up well, and then toast the tortillas briefly (til they start to turn golden, using the broil setting). This way, they don't get too soggy under the filling. Top the tortillas with the chicken mixture

then sprinkle with cheese.

Return to the toaster oven and broil til the cheese melts. Serve with your favorite toppings like salsa, sour cream, guacamole, lettuce, etc.

There are more recipes at Foodie Friday, Food on Friday and Friday Food.

Chicken and Black Bean Tostadas

2 cups cooked, chopped chicken
1 can rotel
1 can black beans
1 can corn
2 cups shredded mexican cheese
10-12 corn tortillas

Combine chicken, rotel, black beans and corn in a large bowl and stir well to combine. Toast tortillas using broil setting on a toaster oven (or 400 in a regular oven) til golden, then top with chicken mixture. Sprinkle with cheese. Return to the toaster oven and broil until cheese is melted. Serve with salsa, sour cream, guacamole, etc. Makes 10-12 tostadas.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Melon Breeze

This is a fun, fruity drink that would be great as an option alongside the more "usual" lemonades and teas. It has just a few ingredients and comes together quickly; and it is very refreshing!

In a blender (I used my smoothie maker cause it does a better job crushing ice than my blender), combine the chopped cantaloupe, orange juice

pineapple chunks

and ice.

Blend until combined and all the ice is crushed.

Stay cool!

Get more refreshing ideas at Tasty Tuesday, Tuesday at the Table and Tempt my Tummy Tuesday.

Melon Breeze

2 cups chopped ripe cantaloupe
1/2 cup pineapple chunks
1/2 cup orange juice
3 cups ice

In a blender, mix cantaloupe, pineapple chunks, orange juice and ice. Blend well, adding more orange juice or water to thin, if desired. Serve immediately.
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