Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Cherry Coconut Bars

Here's another great cherry recipe to take advantage of that glorious summer fruit. They come together quite quickly and are SO delicious. Almonds, coconut and cherries on a shortbread crust - perfection!

Start by making the crust: combine the flour, powdered sugar

and butter in a food processor.

Pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. (If you don't have a food processor, you can use a mixer, or you can cut in the butter by hand with a pastry blender or two knives.)

Press the crust mixture into a greased 9 inch pan.

Bake this for 10 minutes. While the crust bakes, you can prepare the filling. You don't even need a mixer for this - just a bowl, whisk and spoon! In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs until lightly beaten. Then add the sugar, flour, baking powder, salt, coconut,


almonds and

almond extract.

Stir well to incorporate all the ingredients and then pour the filling over the crust.

Bake for another 25-30 minutes or until the filling is set.

Let the bars cool completely before you cut them. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator.

One year ago: Blueberry Banana Bread
Two years ago: Teriyaki Chicken

Find more inspiration at Cast Party Wednesday, What's Cooking Wednesday, These Chicks Cooked, Foodie Wednesday, Made it on Monday, What's on your plate?, Let's Do Brunch, Recipes I Can't Wait to Try, It's a Keeper, Full Plate Thursday, Turning the Table Thursday , Sweet Treats Thursday.

Cherry Coconut Bars

1 cup flour
1/2 cup butter
3 Tbsp. powdered sugar
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup flaked coconut
1 cup chopped cherries
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1 teaspoon almond extract

In a food processor, combine the 1 cup flour, powdered sugar and butter. Pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. (Alternatively you can use a mixer.) Press the crust mixture into a greased 9" pan. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, beat eggs with a whisk. Stir in sugar, coconut, 1/4 cup flour, baking powder, salt, cherries, almonds and almond extract. Spread over baked crust.

Bake for another 25-30 minutes. Let cool completely before cutting and store in the refrigerator.

Recipe Source: Chefanies

Monday, August 29, 2011

Cherry Zucchini Muffins

Here's a great way to use some of your garden's abundance of zucchini, along with one of the summer's best fruits! And in a muffin no less - my favorite way to eat breakfast. These get a nice healthy boost from the fruit and vegetable in addition to whole wheat flour. And, as usual, they passed the taste test with my colleagues - a very discerning group of foodies.

Start by grating your zucchini. I like to place it in a sieve or colander and then I try to squeeze out any excess water.

Set that aside and combine the brown sugar, sugar and milk in a large mixing bowl.

Mix on low speed just until combined. Then add the oil, eggs and vanilla and mix again. Now add the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon,

and blend just until the dry ingredients are incorporated. Add the cherries

and the zucchini,

and stir them in until everything is mixed together. Divide the batter among 18 paper-lined muffin cups and then top with turbinado sugar if you want to (I think that gives such a nice finishing touch to muffins!).

Bake for 16-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean, then cool on a wire rack.

These muffins do really well in the freezer, so you'll never be without a healthy, quick breakfast.

One year ago: Bok Choy Chicken Salad
Two years ago: Hot Fudge Sauce

There are more great ideas at Mangia Monday, Mouthwatering Monday, Muffin Monday, Make a Food "E" Friend Monday, Menu Monday, Your Recipe, My Kitchen, Tempt my Tummy Tuesday, Tuesdays at the Table, Tasty Tuesday, Tasty Tuesdays, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, A Little Birdie Told Me, Made from Scratch Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday (#2).

Cherry Zucchini Muffins

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup grated zucchini
1 cup chopped fresh cherries

In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugars and the milk and mix on low speed until combined. Add the oil, eggs, and vanilla and mix until blended. Add the flour, whole wheat flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon and beat on low just until the dry ingredients are incorporated.

Stir in the cherries and zucchini. Divide batter evenly among the 18 paper-lined muffin tins. Bake at 400 for 16-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack. Makes 18 muffins.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Chicken BLT Pasta Salad

This is a fun main dish salad that makes for a nice summer dinner or would be welcome at any barbecue or potluck. Chicken and pasta, and then the BLT ingredients, combine beautifully together for a satisfying meal.

Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling water. While it cooks, put the dressing together. Combine the mayo, vinegar

pepper, basil and 1/2 cup of the parmesan cheese

in a small bowl and stir well. Assemble all the other yummy ingredients: bacon, tomatoes, red onion, green onion and chicken.

When the pasta is done, drain it and transfer it to a large serving bowl. Add the chicken,

the onions,


and tomatoes.

Pour the dressing on the salad

and stir well to completely coat all the ingredients. Finally, add the remaining parmesan.

You'll notice I didn't use lettuce this time. You can add it when you add the tomatoes and chicken or you can serve the pasta salad on a bed of lettuce, if you prefer.

One year ago: Bok Choy Chicken Salad (another great main dish salad!)
Two years ago: Fried Zucchini

Find more great stuff at Cast Party Wednesday, What's Cooking Wednesday, What's on the Menu, What's on your plate?, Foodie Wednesday, These Chicks Cooked, Made it on Monday, Let's Do Brunch, Turning the Table Thursday, It's a Keeper, Full Plate Thursday, Pennywise Platter.

Chicken BLT Pasta Salad

1 pound bowtie pasta (Farfalle)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 pound bacon, diced and cooked crisp
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup chopped red onion
4 green onions, sliced
3 chicken breasts, cooked and chopped
2-3 cups lettuce, chopped
1 cup mayonnaise (light is ok)
2 Tbsp. vinegar
1 tsp. pepper
2 tsp. dried basil
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese

Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water til al dente; drain. Toss with olive oil.

In a medium bowl, combine mayo, vinegar, pepper, basil and 1/2 cup parmesan. Whisk well to combine.

In a large bowl, combine pasta, chicken, bacon, tomatoes, red onion, green onion and lettuce. Pour dressing over and stir well to coat all the ingredients. Add the remaining 1/2 cup parmesan and stir again. Serves 6-8.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Caramel Bars

It's Secret Recipe Club Reveal Day! This month, I was assigned Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker. Kristen has lots of great recipes on her blog, and I bookmarked several more to make in the future. But as soon as I saw this recipe, I knew it was the one I would make.

I absolutely adore all things caramel, and I had a yellow cake mix languishing in my pantry, so the choice was obvious. And it was a great choice. I may have to send Kristen a bill for the stretch pants I will now need to purchase, since I have eaten more than my "fair share," snuck right out of the fridge. I did also bring them to work where my colleagues gave these bars a double thumbs up. So all in all, a great recipe to add to the collection.

Start by combining the butter, sweetened condensed milk

and caramels in a medium saucepan.

(So, already you know this is going to be good. Butter, sweetened condensed milk and caramels????? Sign me up. Oh, I guess I'm already signed up.)

Cook over medium low heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture is smooth.

Then remove from the heat and let it cool. While it's cooling, combine the cake mix, eggs, milk and oil

in a large mixing bowl and beat until well combined. Then stir in the chocolate chips.

Now spread about 3/4 of the cake mixture into a greased cake pan.

Bake the crust for 10 minutes, then cool for another 10. Then top with that amazingly delicious caramel sauce.

Dollop the remaining cake mix over the caramel.

Return the bars to the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the top cake mixture is golden.

Let the bars cool for 15 minutes, then cut them (believe me, you'll want to do this now!) and pop them in the fridge. Let them cool in the fridge for at least an hour (time to go buy some stretch pants!), and refrigerate any leftovers.

Be sure to visit all the other Secret Recipe Club members below.

One year ago: August Pie
Two years ago: Banana Blueberry Coffeecake

Find more great stuff at Mouthwatering Monday, Mangia Monday, Your Recipe, My Kitchen, Make a Food "E" Friend Monday, Tempt my Tummy Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Tuesday at the Table, Totally Tasty Tuesdays, A Little Birdie Told Me, Tasty Tuesday (#2), Tasty Tuesday (#3).

Caramel Bars

1 yellow cake mix
2 eggs
1/3 cup oil
2 Tbsp. milk
1 cup milk chocolate chips
32 caramels (1 - 8 oz. package)
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup butter

In a heavy saucepan, combine the butter, sweetened condensed milk and caramels over medium low heat. Stir until the caramels are melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and let cool.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the cake mix with the eggs and oil. Stir in the chocolate chips. Press three fourths of the mixture into a greased 9x13 pan. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes.

Spread caramel sauce over crust. Top with spoonfuls of remaining cake mixture. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 15 minutes, cut into small squares and then refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. Refrigerate leftovers. Makes 30 bars.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Asian Grilled Green Beans

Since there are surely a few grilling weeks left in this season (even here in the Northern Midwest) I wanted to bring you another recipe repeat. These green beans will liven up your dinner table with a little kick and lots of great flavor. Pair them with any kind of meat, and feel your taste buds sing!

For the full step by step, visit the original post.

One year ago: Kung Pao Steak with Vegetables
Two years ago: Fiesta Scramble

There are more great recipes at Foodie Friday, Food on Fridays, Friday Food, Friday Potluck, Fresh Food Friday.

Asian Grilled Green Beans

1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. sesame oil
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 1/2 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed
1 medium red onion, halved and thinly sliced
8 medium fresh mushrooms, quartered, or 1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms

In a small bowl, combine sugar, oil, soy sauce, garlic and red pepper flakes. Whisk well to combine. In a large bowl, combine the beans, onions and mushrooms. Pour the sauce over the vegetables and stir well to coat.

Place half of the vegetables on a double thickness of heavy duty foil (about 18 inches square), fold foil around vegetables and seal tightly. Repeat with other half of vegetables.

Grill, covered, for 18-20 minutes or until beans are tender. Open packages carefully to let steam escape.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Apricot Pistachio Ice Cream

This is one of the best homemade ice creams EVER. I loved it. I hosted a little homemade ice cream social at work and served this along with cherry cheesecake frozen yogurt and pineapple sorbet. All three were declared winners!

If you like pistachios or apricots, or just amazingly delicious ice cream, you must try this. I especially like that it remains super scoop-able even when frozen hard.
The wine keeps it soft enough to scoop. That means you can "sneak" a spoonful here and there without waiting for it to soften. Not that I would know anything about that.

Start by combining the wine

and the chopped apricots

in a small saucepan. Heat this mixture and then let it simmer for 5 minutes.

Cover the pan and remove it from the heat,

then let it sit for an hour. In a blender jar, combine the half and half,


a few drops of lemon juice, and the apricot mixture.

Puree until smooth (although there will be some nice apricot pieces) then refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight. In the fridge this will thicken up quite nicely, so don't become alarmed! Pour the mixture into the ice cream freezer

and process. While it churns, chop up the pistachios.

I just love how beautiful pistachios are! In the last few minutes of churning, add the pistachios.

Yum, I can hardly wait!

Transfer the ice cream to a freezer safe bowl that has a cover, and freeze for several hours til it becomes more firm. It will still scoop beautifully. While it freezes, you can go to the store to buy elastic pants.

One year ago: Feta Zucchini Pancakes
Two years ago: Honey Garlic Pork Chops

There are more great ideas at What's Cooking Wednesday, Cast Party Wednesday, Foodie Wednesday, These Chicks Cooked, Made it on Monday, What's on the Menu, It's a Keeper, Full Plate Thursday, Turning the Table Thursday, Recipe Swap Thursday , Sweet Treats Thursday, Fat Camp Friday, Sweet Tooth Friday, Sweets for a Saturday, So Sweet Sundays.

Apricot Pistachio Ice Cream

5 ounces dried apricots, chopped
3/4 cup white wine
2/3 cup sugar
2 cups half-and-half
A few drops of lemon juice
1/2 cup shelled pistachios, chopped

In a small saucepan, combine the apricot pieces and wine. Simmer for 5 minutes. Cover, remove from the heat, and let stand for 1 hour.

In a blender, combine the apricot and wine mixture, sugar, half-and-half and lemon juice and puree until smooth.

Refrigerate the mixture for at least 8 hours, then pour it into an ice cream maker and process til soft serve stage. During the last few minutes of churning, add the chopped pistachio nuts. Transfer to a covered freezer-safe bowl to freeze more completely.

Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker
Powered by Blogger.