Thursday, August 30, 2012

Peach Ice Cream

This may, or may not, be the last ice cream recipe I post for this season. Labor Day is quickly approaching, but there's still such beautiful fruit in season. Take advantage of it while you can!

A great way to use delicious peaches is in this wonderful ice cream. This is actually a cross between frozen yogurt and ice cream since Greek yogurt is used. But the name doesn't matter. What counts is how delicious it is to eat. I served this on top of warm fruit crisp at a neighborhood dinner party and it got rave reviews. Savor the summer while you can!

Start by peeling, pitting and chopping the peaches. If you don't know the trick to peeling peaches easily, check out this post. In a medium saucepan, combine the peaches and the water.

Cover the pan and cook the peaches over medium heat for about 10 minutes until the peaches are soft. Be sure to stir once or twice while they're cooking. Remove the pan from the heat, then add the sugar.

Stir well to dissolve the sugar, then let the mixture cool to room temperature.

When cool, pour the peaches and the liquid into a blender or food processor. Add the yogurt, vanilla, lemon juice and half and half.

Puree the mixture until it is smooth. Then pour into a large container (I like using a batter bowl so that it pours easily from there into the ice cream machine later) and refrigerate overnight. When you're ready to process the ice cream, give the batter a good whisking

then pour it into the ice cream maker. When it is soft serve consistency, transfer it into a freezer safe container

and freeze a few hours before serving.

One year ago: Cherry Zucchini Muffins
Two years ago: Blueberry Banana Bread
Three years ago: Hot Fudge Sauce

For more great recipes, check out Full Plate Thursday, Something Swanky, Recipe Box, Thursday's Treasures, Tastetastic Thursday, Foodie Friday, Food on Fridays, Friday Food, Foodtastic Friday, Foodie Friday (#2).

Peach Ice Cream

1 1/3 lbs. ripe peaches, peeled, pitted and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
1 1/4 cups half and half
1/4 tsp. vanilla
A few drops of lemon juice

Combine the peaches and water in a medium saucepan. Cover and cook over medium heat, stirring twice, until the peaches are soft, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, and mix in the sugar, then set aside to cool to room temperature.

Pour the peaches and their juices to a blender or food processor then add the yogurt, half and half, vanilla and lemon juice. Pulse to combine the mixture and puree until smooth. Chill the mixture overnight in the refrigerator.

Whisk the batter then pour into your ice cream maker and freeze until it's a soft-serve consistency. Transfer to a freezer safe bowl and freeze for at least two hours before serving. Makes 1 quart.

Recipe source: adapted from David Lebovitz

Monday, August 27, 2012

Blueberry and Goat Cheese Salad with Honey Pecans

This is one of the most delicious salads I've ever made. Goat cheese, amazing on its own, is lightly fried and then added to a salad tossed in a blueberry enhanced vinaigrette and topped with plump blueberries and sweetened pecans. Oh my.

This is a wonderful way to take advantage of the end of the season blueberries, but I'm already thinking of other adaptations for this salad in other seasons: cranberry, cherry, maybe even apples with a lovely cider vinaigrette. I think there's a lot of fried goat cheese in my future. You could also make this a more substantial salad by adding shredded roasted chicken or grilled shrimp. But as is, it's a great way to expand your meatless repertoire!

Start by preparing the pecans. Put them in a shallow bowl and top with the honey.

Microwave for about 45 seconds, stir, then cook an additional 45 seconds to 1 minute, until the nuts are toasted and fragrant. Immediately remove the nuts to a plate lined with waxed paper.

For the dressing, combine the oil, honey, vinegar

and salt and pepper. (I have a wonderful blueberry balsamic vinegar that I used here. If you don't have a flavored vinegar, don't despair - just use regular balsamic and it will still be delicious!)

Prepare the coatings for the cheese - put the flour, egg and breadcrumbs in separate bowls.

Form the cheese into 8 separate balls and then flatten slightly.

Dip the cheese rounds first in the flour, turning to coat both sides,

then the egg

then the breadcrumbs.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, carefully add the cheese rounds and cook for 1-2 minutes.

Gently flip the cheese over

and cook on the other side for another 1-2 minutes until golden.

Remove the cheese to a paper-towel lined plate.

Place the salad greens in a large bowl and drizzle with the dressing.

Toss the greens, then divide them among the 4 plates. Sprinkle with pecans

and blueberries,

then place the cheese rounds on top of the salads.

Isn't this beautiful? And I promise, it is SOOO yummy!

One year ago: Chicken BLT Pasta Salad
Two years ago: Bok Choy Chicken Salad
Three years ago: Corn Dip

Get more great ideas at My Meatless Mondays, Mop it up Mondays, Seasonal Inspiration, Mix it up Monday, Melt in Your Mouth Monday, Recipe Sharing Monday, On the Menu Monday, Tasty Tuesday, Tuesday at the Table, Tasty Tuesday (#2), Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, Totally Tasty Tuesdays, Tasteful Tuesday, Tuesday Talent Show, Hearth and Soul, Cast Party Wednesday, What's Cooking Wednesday, Whole Foods Wednesday, Ingredient Spotlight: Blueberries.

Blueberry and Goat Cheese Salad with Honey Pecans

1/2 cup chopped pecans
2 tsp. plus 1 Tbsp. honey, divided
1/3 cup plus 3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
2 Tbsp. blueberry or regular balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/4 cup flour
1 egg, beaten
3/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
8 ounces fresh goat cheese
8 cups spring mix salad greens
1 cup blueberries

In a shallow microwave-safe dish, combine pecans and 2 teaspoons honey; microwave, uncovered, on high for 1-1/2 to 2 minutes or until toasted, stirring twice. Immediately transfer to waxed paper-lined baking sheet to cool.

For dressing, in a small bowl, whisk 1/3 cup oil, vinegar, remaining honey, salt and pepper; set aside.

Place the flour, egg and bread crumbs in separate shallow bowls. Shape cheese into eight balls; flatten slightly. Coat cheese with flour, then dip in egg and coat with bread crumbs.

Heat remaining oil in a large skillet over medium-hight heat. Fry cheese for 1-2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.

Toss greens with the dressing. Divide salad greens among four plates; top with blueberries and cheese. Sprinkle with honey pecans. Yield: 4 servings.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Lemon Raspberry Tart with Poppyseed Crust

I just love making tarts. They are impressive cause they look elegant and fancy, yet are easy to make! And there are limitless combinations. This recipe originally called for blackberries, but I used raspberries since that's what I had (and you know I'm trying to take advantage of them while they're still fresh)!

What I really love about this tart is the poppyseed crust. It adds a nice (tasty and beautiful!) contrast to the tart filling and the sweet raspberries, and who doesn't love a crust dotted with crunchy poppyseeds?

To make the crust, combine the flour, 6 Tbsp. of the sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the cut up butter

and then pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. (If you don't have a food processor, just combine the ingredients in a bowl and use a pastry blender or your fingers to cut in the butter.) Now add the poppy seeds,

and pulse just to mix them in. Remove the crust ingredients to a bowl and add one egg. Mix together with a spatula until the dough comes together in a ball. Chill in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes.

Remove dough from the refrigerator and press into a greased 10-inch ttart pan. Bake for 18-20 minutes, then let cool while you make the filling.

For the filling, combine the remaining sugar and egg, lemon zest, lemon juice,

and yogurt

in a small bowl and whisk together well. Pour into the slightly cooled crust

and bake for 12-15 minutes until center is set. When the tart is cool, arrange the raspberries on top of the custard in a circular pattern.

Isn't it lovely?

See, it's easy! Now make one and impress your family and friends.

One year ago: Caramel Bars
Two years ago: Bok Choy Chicken Salad
Three years ago: Fried Zucchini

Get more great ideas at Full Plate Thursday, Something Swanky, Recipe Box, Tastetastic Thursday, Thursday's Treasures, Foodie Friday, Friday Food, Foodie Friday (#2), Foodtastic Friday.

Lemon Raspberry Tart with Poppyseed Crust

1 1/4 cups flour
8 Tbsp. sugar, divided
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter
2 Tbsp. poppy seeds
2 eggs, divided
1 - 6 oz. container plain Greek yogurt
1/2 tsp. lemon zest
2 1/2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 cup fresh raspberries

For the crust, combine flour, 6 Tbsp. sugar and salt in a food processor or large bowl and mix together. Add butter and poppy seeds, then either pulse or mix until it forms coarse crumbs. Add one egg and mix together with a spatula until the dough comes together in a ball. Chill in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes.

Remove dough from the refrigerator and press evenly into a greased 10-inch tart pan with removable bottom. Cover the edges with tin foil or a pie crust guard and bake at 400 for 18-20 minutes, removing the guard halfway through. Let cool for 10 minutes while you make the filling. Reduce oven heat to 325.

For the filling, combine yogurt, lemon zest, lemon juice, 2 Tbsp. sugar and remaining egg in a small bowl and whisk together well. Pour into slightly cooled crust and bake for 12-15 minutes until center is set and edges slightly jiggle when the pan is moved. Remove and let cool completely. Arrange raspberries on top of the custard in a circular pattern. Serves 8.

Recipe Source: Adapted from Two Foodies and a Pup

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Raspberry Almond Coffeecake

I am really enjoying the end of the berry season. It's about at this time in the summer when I start to crave pumpkin and beef stew and all things fall, but I also want to savor the last days of peaches, raspberries, zucchini, and corn on the cob! Such conflict.

Luckily there are delicious recipes like this coffeecake that really let you take advantage of fresh produce - raspberries in this case. Since raspberries are so fragile, many baking recipes call for frozen berries. But not this cake! Fresh berries are sandwiched between two layers of cake then topped with almonds and a sweet icing. I hope you can find some raspberries so you can make this coffeecake!

Start by putting the raspberries in a small bowl

and sprinkling them with brown sugar.

Set the berries aside and make the cake batter. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a large measuring cup, whisk together the melted butter, egg, raspberry yogurt

and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients

and stir just until combined. Grease an 8 or 9 inch round cake pan, or line it with parchment paper and grease the paper. (I prefer this method so it's easy to remove the cake from the pan. If you're not taking the cake anywhere, feel free to just leave it in the pan!) Spread half of the batter into the pan, then top with all the raspberry/brown sugar mixture.

Carefully spread the remaining batter over the raspberries,

then sprinkle with the almonds.

Bake the cake for 25-30 minutes then put the pan on a wire rack to cool slightly. While the cake cools, combine the powdered sugar, milk and vanilla in a small measuring cup and whisk well. Remove the cake from the pan, then drizzle the icing over the cake.

This is looking good!

Slice the cake into 8 servings, and enjoy the end of summer.

One year ago: Asian Grilled Green Beans
Two years ago: August Pie
Three years ago: Banana Blueberry Coffeecake

Find more great ideas at Tasty Tuesday, Tuesday at the Table, Tasty Tuesday (#2), Tempt my Tummy Tuesday, Totally Tasty Tuesdays, Tasteful Tuesday, Crazy Sweet Tuesday, Tuesday Talent Show, Hearth and Soul, Cast Party Wednesday, What's Cooking Wednesday, Whatcha Whipped Up Wednesday.

Raspberry Almond Coffeecake

1 cup fresh raspberries
3 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/2 cup raspberry yogurt
3 Tbsp. butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp. half and half or milk
1/4 tsp. vanilla

In a small bowl, combine raspberries and brown sugar; set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a small bowl or large measuring cup, whisk the egg, yogurt, butter and vanilla. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.

Spoon half of the batter into a greased and floured 8-in round baking pan. Top with raspberry mixture. Spoon remaining batter over raspberries; sprinkle with almonds.

Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack.

In a small bowl, combine the icing ingredients; drizzle over coffee cake. Serves 8.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Chicken and Mushroom Stuffed Shells

It's another Reveal Day for Secret Recipe Club. This month I was assigned to Carrie's Sweet Life, which was so fun for me, because I had recently started to read Carrie's blog after she was assigned to my blog for SRC a few months ago! Carrie and I both love to cook, and we live in the same part of the same great state. She and her family love pasta, and so I knew any one of her many pasta dishes would be delightful. These stuffed shells did not disappoint!

The combination is so delicious - a creamy mix of chicken, mushrooms, pesto and parmesan bakes in shells that are sitting on a bed of vodka sauce. Yum. I can't wait to make this again!

Start by bringing a large pot of water to a boil, then adding the pasta. Cook for about 10 minutes, or until al dente. (The pasta will cook a little more in the oven.) While the pasta cooks, prepare the filling. Chop up the mushrooms, then add the shredded chicken,

cream cheese, garlic, pesto,

and 1/2 cup of the parmesan.

Stir well and observe the creamy yumminess.

When the pasta is done, drain and rinse. Then pour the sauce into the bottom of a 2 quart baking dish. Fill the shells with the creamy chicken mixture

then place on the sauce.

Look at all the stuffed shells lined up. Love it!

Sprinkle with the remaining parmesan.

Bake for about 30 minutes until the filling is bubbly.

Here's a close up...

Thanks, Carrie, for such a great recipe!

One year ago: Apricot Pistachio Ice Cream
Two years ago: Kung Pao Steak and Vegetables
Three years ago: Fiesta Scramble

Find more great inspiration at Mangia Monday, Mop it Up Monday, Seasonal Inspiration, Mix it Up Monday, Recipe Sharing Monday, Melt in Your Mouth Monday, On the Menu Monday.

Chicken and Mushroom Stuffed Shells

16 jumbo pasta shells
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
3 Tbsp. prepared pesto
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
6-8 mushrooms, cleaned and diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups marinara or vodka sauce

In a large pot over high heat, boil water and prepare pasta shells as directed on package. Cook pasta shells only until al dente. The pasta will finish cooking when the dish is baked. Drain the pasta shells and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients, except the 1/4 cup of cheese for the topping. Fill the pasta shells with the filling and place in a baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of cheese over filled shells.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until shells are bubbling hot and cheese melts. Serves 4.

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