Monday, June 28, 2010

Rhubarb Blueberry Muffins

I love rhubarb and was so glad to be the recipient of some from my mother in law's garden bounty!

I adapted this recipe from one I found years ago to make it with all whole grains - so now it's as nutritious as it is delicious!

Start by chopping the rhubarb - I washed it, then cut off the ends.

Then I cut them into chunks and stacked them "standing" in my food processor with the slicing blade attached.

That made quick work of the slicing!

For the batter, cream together the butter and sugar, then blend in the egg and the yogurt.

This recipe originally called for sour cream, but I use Greek yogurt instead - it has great nutritional value including tons of protein! I used blueberry since I had that flavor but you could use plain as well.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, oatmeal,

baking powder and salt. Mix together with a spoon and then add to the batter alternately with the milk.

Fold in the rhubarb,

then the blueberries.

Fill paper-lined muffin cups with the batter and bake for 20-25 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes in the pans before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Get more inspiration at Muffin Monday, Mouthwatering Mondays, Tempt my Tummy Tuesday, Tuesdays at the Table and Tasty Tuesdays, Ingredient Spotlight.

Rhubarb Blueberry Muffins

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1-6 oz. container Greek yogurt (blueberry or plain)
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup quick oats
4 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. salt
2/3 cup milk
2 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)
2 cups chopped rhubarb (fresh or frozen)

Cream together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs and yogurt and mix until well combined. In a small bowl, combine the flour, oats, baking powder and salt. Stir this into the batter alternatively with the milk. Fold in the blueberries and the rhubarb.

Fill paper-lined or greased muffin cups 3/4 full with the batter and bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick tester comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Banana Sherbet

I couldn't resist posting two ice cream recipes in one week. I've had so much fun making these, and it's the perfect summer dessert. No need for an oven; cold and refreshing.

This one is SO easy and quick to pull together - but it requires time to let the simple syrup cool off, and then time to let the sherbet freeze hard in the freezer. So plan ahead! This recipe makes "only" 2 1/2 cups - if you have a cuisinart ice cream freezer you could easily double this recipe and still freeze it all in one batch.

Start by bringing the water and sugar to a boil,

then stir and cook until the sugar is fully dissolved. Set aside to cool completely.(If you want to accelerate the process, you can put the syrup in the fridge or even the freezer for a while.)

Once the syrup is cool, in a blender combine the evaporated milk, orange juice, lemon juice, and bananas

then add the simple syrup.

Puree until smooth. Add the mixture to your ice cream freezer,

and freeze according to its directions. Mine took about 25 minutes. It won't be completely frozen,

so transfer it to a freezer-safe container and freeze for about 4 hours before serving.

Find more great recipes at Foodie Friday, Food on Fridays, Friday Food and the Krazy Kitchen.

Banana Sherbet

1 cup water
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup evaporated milk
1/3 cup orange juice
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 medium bananas, cut into chunks.

In a small saucepan, bring water and sugar to a boil. Cook and stir until sugar is dissolved; set aside to cool completely.

Place the evaporated milk, orange juice, lemon juice and banana in a blender. Add the sugar syrup; cover and process until smooth. Pour into the ice cream freezer and freeze; transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze for 4 hours or until firm. Makes 2 1/2 cups

Monday, June 21, 2010

Strawberry Rhubarb Ice Cream

Just in time for the summer solstice, I give you one of the most delicious homemade ice cream recipes. Of course, it's a little hard to rate homemade ice cream, as I've never met one I didn't like. This one I especially love because 1. it uses rhubarb (technically a vegetable!) and strawberry, 2. I found the recipe in a magazine and saw it was submitted from someone from my hometown!, 3. I was able to sub lower fat ingredients with great results.

If you have an abundance of rhubarb, this is a really fun and different way to use it.

I adapted this recipe quite a bit for my own preference. The original recipe can be found here.

Start by combining the rhubarb and 1/2 cup sugar in a small saucepan.

Add the water, and bring the mixture to a boil.

Reduce the heat; cover and simmer for about 10 minutes or until the rhubarb is tender.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, combine the remaining 3/4 cup sugar and salt and add the milk.

Heat this mixture, stirring constantly, to 175 degrees. It will be foamy and bubbly - if you don't have a candy thermometer, just let it boil hard for a few minutes! It will be fine...

Remove the milk from the heat and add the cream

and the vanilla.

Then transfer to a bowl or large pitcher and refrigerate until completely cool.

Now back to the rhubarb. Once it's tender, remove from the heat and sprinkle the gelatin over the top.

Sprinkle the cinnamon over and let gelatin and cinnamon stand for 1 minute, then stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Stir in the marshmallows (this is a fun addition!).

Refrigerate this mixture until completely chilled. When the cream and the rhubarb mixture are both cold, remove from the fridge. Add the chopped strawberries to the rhubarb mixture.

Then combine the fruit and the cream in a large measuring cup

so you can pour it into the ice cream freezer.

Freeze the mixture until it is well frozen, but will likely still be soft. Trasfer to a large bowl and freeze an additional 2-3 hours for "hard" ice cream consistency. I especially love that this recipe scoops out easily even after being frozen hard.

Welcome, summer!

Get more inspiration at the Krazy Kitchen, Mouthwatering Mondays, Tuesdays at the Table, Tempt my Tummy Tuesday , Me and My Sweets and Tasty Tuesday.

Strawberry Rhubarb Ice Cream

2 cups diced fresh or frozen rhubarb, thawed if frozen
1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
1/2 cup water
1 packet unflavored gelatin
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup miniature marshmallows
1 cup chopped fresh strawberries
1 cup milk (2% or fattier)
1/4 tsp salt
2 1/4 cups half and half (I used low fat 1/2 and 1/2 with good results!)
1 tsp. vanilla

In a small saucepan, bring rhubarb, 1/2 cup sugar and water to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until rhubarb is tender. Remove from the heat; sprinkle with gelatin and cinnamon and let stand one minute. Stir until gelatin is completely dissolved. Cool to room temperature; stir in marshmallows. Refrigerate until cold.

In a large saucepan, heat the milk, salt and remaining sugar to 175 degrees. Remove from heat; stir in cream and vanilla. Refrigerate until chilled.

Add the chopped strawberries to the rhuubarb mixture, and combine the fruit and cream in a large measuring cup. Pour into the ice cream freezer and freeze until desired consistency. Transfer to a freezer safe bowl and place in freezer for additional 2-3 hours until completely hard. Makes 6 cups.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Cherry Chicken Salad

I love things with cherries. Or cherries by themselves. And dried cherries are especially yummy, so I was intrigued when I found this recipe. The original recipe calls for serving the chicken salad on croissants. I'm trying to make healthy choices (ahem) so I served it on wheat rolls. It would also be delicious on a bed of baby spinach or other micro greens, and I'm sure it would be fabulous on croissants! So you have lots of options. Know what else would be good? This salad spooned into a canteloupe half - the possibilities are virtually endless.

You can leave the dried cherries whole if you want; I chopped them up slightly so that there would be more of them distributed through the salad.

Then chop up the green onions and celery.

For the dressing, combine the mayo and buttermilk in small bowl,

and season with salt and pepper.

To assemble the salad, in a large bowl, combine the chicken, celery, onions, cherries and the dressing, and stir well to coat.

Right before serving, add the chopped apples.

Stir well again, then spoon mixture onto buns or greens to serve.

Find more goodness at Cooking Thursday, Food on Friday, Foodie Friday, and Friday Food.

Cherry Chicken Salad

2 1/2 cups cubed cooked chicken breast
2/3 cup dried cherries
1/3 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1/2 cup chopped tart apple
1/2 cup mayonnaise (light is ok)
4 tsp. buttermilk
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
6 wheat rolls or croissants, split OR salad greens

In a large bowl, combine the chicken, cherries, celery and onion. In a small measuring cup or bowl, combine mayo, milk, salt and pepper. Add dressing to chicken mixture and stir well to coat. Right before serving, add chopped apple and stir again. Serve on rolls or salad greens. Serves 6.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Blueberry Ice Cream Tart

It's summertime! Time to make freezer pies! I love frozen strawberry pie, peanut butter banana cream pie and frosty coffee pie, but I'm always looking to expand my dessert repertoire! I have an abundance of blueberries in the freezer, so it was time to try this one. Some "freezer" or "no bake" desserts require you to still bake a crust. In the summer, when I try to use my oven as infrequently as possible, even baking a crust qualifies it as a "bake" dessert to me! I love that this recipe doesn't involve the oven AT ALL. It does have several steps that involve chilling, and the finished tart needs to freeze for several hours, so do plan ahead.

To make the crust, combine the vanilla wafer crumbs, the melted butter,

and cinnamon.

Stir well to moisten all the crumbs, then pat the crust mixture into a springform pan.

Put the crust in the refrigerator to chill for at least one hour.

While the crust chills, you still have work to do! In a medium saucepan, combine the water (be sure to use less if you're using frozen berries) and blueberries. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 3 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the sugar and cornstarch.

Stir into the blueberry mixture, then cook and stir until thickened and bubbly.

Continue to cook and stir for 2 more minutes. Stir in the cinnamon, then transfer to a bowl and cover. Refrigerate until the blueberries are completely cool.

Scoop the ice cream into a cold bowl (I just put a mixing bowl in the freezer for 1/2hour) and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes so it starts to soften.

When the ice cream is soft and the bluberries are cool, stir up the ice cream so that it's smooth, then add the blueberry mixture.

Stir to incorporate - isn't that a lovely color?

Pour the ice cream into the prepared crust,

cover with foil and freeze for several hours or overnight. When you're ready to serve, remove the sides of the pan,

let thaw slightly (about 15 minutes) and cut into wedges to serve.

There are more recipes at This Week's Cravings, Mouthwatering Monday, Tempt my Tummy Tuesday, Tuesday at the Table and Tasty Tuesdays.

Blueberry Ice Cream Tart

1/3 cup melted butter
1 1/2 cups crushed vanilla wafers (about 33 cookies)
1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 cup water
2 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)
2 Tbsp. sugar
4 tsp. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 quart vanilla ice cream

For the crust, combine butter, cookies and cinnamon in a large bowl and toss to mix well. Press crumb mixture evenly onto bottom and 1-inch up sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Chill for 1 hour or until firm.

While the crust chills, combine water and blueberries in a small saucepan. (If using frozen berries, reduce the water to 1/4 cup.) Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer uncovered for 3 minutes.

In a small bowl, stir together the sugar and cornstarch; stir into blueberry mixture. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly, then cook and stir 2 minutes more. Stir in cinnamon. Turn into bowl and cool; cover and chill completely.

Place vanilla ice cream in a chilled bowl in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes or just until softened. Carefully fold in chilled bluberry mixture. Spread ice cream into prepared crust.

Cover and freeze for several hours or overnight. Remove sides of pan and cut into wedges to serve. Serves 8 to 10.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Buckeye Brownies

Oh. my. This is heaven in a brownie. We all already know what a great combo chocolate and peanut butter make - and in this recipe that great combo is made even better because of the textures. There's the chewy brownie, a creamy peanut butter layer and a decadent chocolate glaze. Trust me, it's best to make these when they can be shared, othewise your waistline might disappear!

I adapted this recipe from one I found in the newspaper quite awhile ago. It called for a homemade brownie layer in a 9x9 pan. If you ask me, nothing beats a boxed brownie mix, and also, if I'm going to make such a wonderful dessert, I'm going to make it in a 9x13 pan! (Plus I was taking it to a luncheon so I needed extra!)

I don't have any pictures demonstrating the brownie making - cause I know you can follow the directions on the box. Allow the brownies to cool completely, then assemble the filling. In a small mixing bowl, combine the butter, peanut butter and powdered sugar.

Add the milk, but start with just 3 Tbsp. You can add more as it beats to get it to the right consistency.

Now beat this on medium until well combined, adding more milk until the filling reaches spreadable consistency.

Spoon the filling over the brownie layer,

then spread it evenly.

Cover the pan and refrigerate until the peanut butter layer is firm.

For the glaze, combine the chocolate chips and butter in a small saucepan.

Heat over low heat, stirring constantly, until the chocolate is melted. Spread over the peanut butter layer.

If you're artistic, you could do some sort of chocolate drizzle, but I chose just to spread it evenly over the top. Refrigerate until firm, then cut into squares. I like these best stored in the fridge so that they are cool when served, but it wouldn't hurt them to be out of the fridge - they'll just get more gooey!

Need more chocolate? Visit would you like Chocolate with that? Get more inspiration at Cooking Thursday , the Krazy Kitchen, Foodie Friday, Friday Food and Food on Fridays.

Buckeye Brownies

1 brownie mix, for a 9x13 pan
2 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1/4 cup water
2 cups powdered sugar
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup butter, softened
3-5 Tbsp. milk
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 Tbsp. butter

For the brownies, combine the brownie mix, eggs, oil and water in a large mixing bowl and stir with a wooden spoon until well mixed. Pour into a greased 9x13 pan and bake according to package directions, about 25 minutes at 350. Cool completely.

For the filling, beat together the powdered sugar, peanut butter, butter and 3 Tbsp. milk using an electric mixer. Add more milk if needed to achieve a spreading consistency. Spread the filling over the brownie layer and refrigerate until firm.

For the glaze, melt the chocolate chips and butter in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly. Spread over peanut butter layer, or drizzle. Refrigerate until firm. Makes 3 dozen.
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