Monday, June 27, 2016

Cherry Almond Coffeecake

One of the most frequent questions I get is "when do you have time to bake?" I've always thought that was a funny question, because it really doesn't take that much time. Even this recipe, which has several layers and steps, only took me 20 minutes to put together. That's practically how long it takes my oven to heat up!

Now, granted, I could be doing something like sit ups or squats during that 20 minutes - maybe the people who ask me that question are doing that.

Clearly I'm not.

But seriously, baking really isn't that time-intensive. And it's so worth it on so many levels - you know what's going in your food cause you're making it yourself, it's better for you because you are controlling the ingredients, and it's cheaper than buying bakery-made stuff. If you can get your kids involved, it's even better!

A coffeecake like this one is a wonderful weekend breakfast/brunch idea, and super impressive to share with others. I got the cherry preserves at Trader Joe's but I'm sure they're readily available. And you can even swap out cherries for whatever fruit you like best. I chose to go with the cherry, as that's how this recipe caught my eye. Cherries and almond are two of my favorite flavors so when I found this recipe, I knew I would have to try it. And you should, too!

Find more great stuff at Inspiration Monday, Mix it Up, Create Link Inspire, Clever Chicks, Tasty Tuesday, Fabulous, Show and Share, Hearth and Soul, What's Cooking, Wow Me, Wow Us, Full Plate.

Cherry Almond Coffeecake

2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar, divided
1/2 cup cold butter, cubed
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt (plain or cherry)
2 eggs, divided
1 tsp. almond extract
1 - 8 oz. package low fat cream cheese, softened
1 cup cherry preserves
1/3 cup sliced almonds

In a large bowl, mix flour and 3/4 cup sugar; cut in butter until crumbly. Reserve 1/2 cup crumb mixture for topping. Add baking powder, baking soda and salt to remaining crumb mixture. Stir in sour cream or yogurt, 1 egg and almond extract until blended.

Spread batter onto bottom of a greased 9-in. springform pan. Set aside.

In a small bowl, beat cream cheese and remaining sugar until smooth. Add remaining egg; beat on low speed just until blended. Pour into pan; spoon preserves over top. Sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture and almonds.

Bake at 350 for 50-60 minutes or until top is golden brown. Cool on a wire rack 15 minutes. Loosen sides from pan with a knife; remove rim from pan. Serve warm or cold. Refrigerate leftovers. Makes 12 servings.

Recipe Source: Adapted from Taste of Home

Monday, June 20, 2016

Blueberry Baked French Toast

True confessions: until now, I have never made baked french toast, french toast casserole, overnight french toast, whatever you want to call it. I've pinned several recipes, but just never did anything about it. So when I was assigned to Tara's Multicultural Table for Secret Recipe Club and I found this recipe, it was just the push I needed to actually make this dish.

And I'm so glad I did. We had it for brunch this past weekend, and my family ate the whole thing, and then asked if there was more. It was a huge hit. It's extremely easy to put together and can bake while some of the family is sleeping in. (Someone will have to get up to turn on the oven and put in the dish, but only one person. Maybe you won't draw the shortest straw on that one.)

Tara's recipe used strawberries, but I had a lot of blueberries on hand and so used those instead. I think this would be amazing with any berries, or with any combination. I'm already thinking of other great adjustments, like apples and cranberries, or apples with a caramel syrup, or pumpkin! There's lots of baked french toast in my future.

Be sure to check out all the other great recipes on Tara's blog, too...I am kind of ashamed that I was assigned Tara's Multicultural Table and I chose a decidedly American breakfast... although in my defense, French is in the name. She has a ton of really fascinating recipes from all over the globe. There's lots of inspiration there.

Get yourself some French bread and have a wonderful breakfast!

Find more good ideas at Inspiration Monday, Mix it Up.

Blueberry Baked French Toast

4 eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar + 1 tablespoon, divided
pinch cinnamon
2 tsp. vanilla
6 cups cubed day old French bread (less than a 1 pound loaf)
1 cup blueberries, divided

In a large bowl or batter bowl, combine eggs, milk, cream, 1/4 cup sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla. Whisk until well combined. Fold in the bread and 3/4 cup of blueberries. Pour into a lightly greased 9" round baking dish, cover, and refrigerate 8 hours to overnight.

Remove casserole from refrigerator =lace remaining blueberries evenly over top of casserole.

Bake at 350 until set and top begins to turn golden, 35-45 minutes. During the last 10 minutes in oven, sprinkle the top with remaining 1 tablespoon sugar.

Let sit 10 minutes before slicing and serving. Serves 6-8.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Shrimp Tacos with Mango Salsa and Cilantro Lime Crema

We love tacos at our house. Any fillings, any combos, flour or corn, hard or soft shell - it's all good. Shrimp tacos are one of our favorites. These Chipotle Shrimp Tacos have been my go-to for a long time, but there are so many great shrimp taco recipes and ideas out there that I decided I had to try another variety. This one is GREAT.

I love food that is colorful and this fits the bill. But it also has to be tasty. And it is. I love the combo of flavors AND textures here. Crunchy cabbage, ripe mango, creamy sauce, shrimp with a simple chili powder rub - they all combine to make a GREAT dinner. This recipe is also perfect for summer because it involves having a burner on for precisely one minute. (A few more minutes for the tortillas, too, I guess....but certainly not more than 5 minutes total!)

I hope you enjoy these as much as we do!

There's more great ideas at Inspiration Monday, Mix it Up, Create Link Inspire, Clever Chicks, Tasty Tuesday, Fabulous, Show and Share, Hearth and Soul, What's Cooking, Wow Us, Full Plate, Foodie Friday, Friday Frenzy, Food on Friday.

Shrimp Tacos with Mango Salsa and Cilantro Lime Crema

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 pound large cooked shrimp
chili powder and salt to taste

Mango Salsa:
1 cup mango, finely diced (about 1 medium mango)
1/2 cup red bell pepper, finely diced
1/2 of a jalapeno pepper, minced
juice of 1 lime
1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves, finely chopped

Cilantro Lime Crema:
1 cup sour cream (light is ok)
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
2 tsp. lime juice
1 1/2 tsp. honey
1/4 cup salsa verde

1 cup shredded purple cabbage or regular coleslaw mix
8 corn or flour tortillas

For the shrimp: Heat the olive oil over high heat in a large pan. Season both sides of the shrimp with chili powder and salt to taste. Place the shrimp in a single layer in the pan and saute for one minute.

For the mango salsa: Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, add salt to taste. Cover the bowl and place it in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes, up to 4 hours for the flavors to blend.

For the cilantro sauce: Place all ingredients in the food processor; process until sauce is smooth and creamy. Add salt and pepper to taste.

To serve: Warm the tortillas. Add a spoonful of sauce, a handful of cabbage and place the shrimp on top of the cabbage. Top with mango salsa and serve immediately.

Recipe Source: Adapted from Dinner at the Zoo

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Caramel and White Chocolate Cookies

I love finding a great new cookie recipe. It does limit my wardrobe options, because then I eat way too many of said new cookie, but it's worth it. These cookies have lots of things I love. I find it easy to resist traditional chocolate chip cookies (I can see many of you reacting in horror!) but change those to white chocolate chips and I'm a goner. Add caramel bits, and watch out! These cookies are also studded with oatmeal, and I subbed coconut oil for some of the butter, so there are a few redeeming qualities. And it's those qualities that make me excuse my eating of several of these at a time...

Find more great stuff at Inspiration Monday, Mix it Up, Create Link Inspire, Clever Chicks, Fabulous, Show and Share, Hearth and Soul, What's Cooking, Wow Me, Wow Us, Full Plate.

Caramel and White Chocolate Cookies

1 3/4 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
2 eggs
1 Tbsp. vanilla
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup caramel bits

Combine the sugar, melted butter and coconut oil in a large mixing bowl and beat until smooth. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until combined. Add the flour, oatmeal, baking soda, and salt to the wet ingredients. Stir to combine. Add the chocolate chips and caramel bits. Stir well to make sure they are evenly distributed.

Use a cookie scoop to portion the dough into slightly smaller than golf ball sized rounds and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 325 for 13-14 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 1-2 minutes on the baking sheet. Transfer to a wire cooling rack and cool completely before storing in an airtight container. Makes 3 dozen cookies.

Recipe Source: Adapted from Barefeet in the Kitchen
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