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Baked Oatmeal with Dark Chocolate Chunks and Cacao Nibs Recipe

Baked Oatmeal with Dark Chocolate Chunks and Cacao Nibs Recipe

By Elizabeth Stark

I love to make sure my girls start their day with a wholesome meal, but lately, we’ve slipped into the cereal trap. Don’t get me wrong — cereal is great for busy mornings, but ideally, I’d like to get something more substantial in them for the day. Enter baked oatmeal. Not only can it be made ahead of time, but baked oatmeal reheats beautifully. This recipe features kid-friendly features like sliced bananas and chocolate chunks, plus a little something for the grown-ups in the form of wonderfully crunchy, bittersweet cacao nibs.

To keep things on the healthy side, I’ve cut back on the sugar a bit. If the oats aren’t sweet enough for little palates, try adding a drizzle of honey or maple syrup.

Baked Oatmeal with Dark Chocolate Chunks and Cacao Nibs

Some more interesting posts:

Baked Oatmeal with Blackberries and Ginger

Buttery Crunch Oatmeal Cookies

Apple and Pear Oatmeal with Brown Sugar and Cinnamon

Baked Oatmeal with Chocolate Chunks and Cacao Nibs

serves six to eight

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup rough chopped bittersweet chocolate chunks, or chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup cacao nibs
  • 1/4 cup turbinado sugar, plus 2 tablespoons for the topping
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 large bananas, sliced

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Grease an 8 x 8 inch baking dish and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the oats, baking powder, sea salt, and spices. Fold in the coconut oil.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine the milk and egg. Pour over the oats.
  5. Layer the banana slices on the bottom of the pan and then spoon the oats over them. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of sugar on top.
  6. Bake for 35 – 45 minutes, until the oats have set and the top is a light golden brown. Cool for 10 minutes, slice, and serve. Keep leftovers covered in the refrigerator, and reheat before serving.

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Sausage, Corn, Potato and Cheddar Chowder in a Bread Bowl

Sausage, Corn, Potato and Cheddar Chowder in a Bread Bowl

By JulieVR

One of my favourite meals is a creamy, hearty soup – served in a crusty bread bowl I can tear apart and eat afterwards. It’s easy to do using those large kaiser buns you find in most bakeries – slice off the top and scoop out the innards and you have yourself an edible bowl. Thick chowders are best for serving inside – brothy soups tend to soak through the bowl too quickly. A single sausage adds a ton of flavour to this potato, corn and cheddar soup – it’s a great way to stretch a small quantity of meat to feed the whole family.

Some more interesting posts:

Broccoli Cheddar Chowder

Potato Corn Chowder

Sausage, Corn, Potato and Cheddar Chowder

Ingredients:

  • 1 spicy Italian sausage
  • canola or olive oil, for cooking
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 3 cups chicken broth or water
  • 1-2 potatoes, unpeeled and diced
  • 1 can sweet kernel corn, drained
  • 1 cup milk or 1/2 cup half & half (or to taste)
  • 1 cup grated old cheddar cheese
  • Salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Squeeze the sausage out of its casing into a medium saucepan that has been drizzled with oil and set over medium-high heat. Add the onion and celery and cook, breaking the meat up, until onion is translucent and the sausage is cooked.
  2. Add the flour and cumin and cook, stirring, for another minute. Stir in the broth, add the potatoes and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat, cover, and cook for 8-10 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.
  3. Stir in the corn, and the milk or cream if you’re using it, and allow the chowder to return to a gentle simmer. Don’t let it boil, or the milk may curdle. Add the cheese and stir just until it melts. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serves 4.

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Avocado Tofu Toasts: Healthy Snack!

Avocado Tofu Toasts: Healthy Snack!

By Kathypatalsky

These delicious Avocado Tofu Toasts combine silky sauteed tofu, speckled with spices, buttery avocado and lemon all sitting on top of a crisp tamari rice cracker. Whip up this healthy snack and feel good about all the yummy flavors you get to enjoy! Rich in protein and healthy fats..

Avocado Tofu Toasts

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Cucumber Crackers with Hummus

Baked Green Kale Cashew Cheese

Yoplait Trix Yogurt Dipped Strawberries

Avocado Tofu Toasts

vegan, makes 6 toasts

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 avocado, sliced into strips
  • 6 thin slices of firm tofu, blotted dry
  • 1/2 lemon, sliced into wedges (garnish)
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 6 sesame tamari rice crackers (extra-large variety)

tofu saute:

  • 2-3 pinches salt (to taste)
  • a few dashes of chili powder or chipotle powder
  • 1/2 tsp agave or maple syrup (optional, adds hint of sweetness!)
  • a few dashes fine black pepper
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil for saute pan (safflower oil used)

Directions:

1. Slice avocado and juice 1/2 lemon. Soak avocado in lemon juice while you prepare tofu.

2. Slice tofu and blot with paper towel so that the outside surfaces are nice and dry.

3. Heat a saute pan over high heat. When hot, add oil and sliced tofu. Add spices over top. Cook 1-2 minutes on each side.

4. Add tofu and avocado to rice crackers. Add pepper over top. Add optional Brazil nut garnish for some added nutrients! Serve.

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Homemade Berry Jam Recipe

Homemade Berry Jam Recipe

By Kathypatalsky

Fresh berry season is just around the corner and it is fun and easy to whip up some homemade jam in a variety of berry flavors. Fresh jam can be served on PB&J sandwiches (to make them super special!) over top oatmeal, your favorite yogurt or ice cream. Also delicious served over top pancakes or waffles or simple spread on toast! Get this easy recipe and have homemade jam in a flash. Plus my add-in ideas to give your jam a creative spin!.

Some more interesting posts:

Small Batch Vanilla Bean Strawberry Jam

Marisa's Blueberry Butter in the Slow Cooker

Citrus Raspberry Jam

makes about 1 1/2 cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 large container fresh raspberries (about 1 1/2 – 2 cups) - *Or try strawberries, blackberries or blueberries!
  • 1 cup pure orange juice (not from concentrate)
  • 1 tsp fresh orange zest
  • 1 tsp corn starch (optional – helps thicken the final product)
  • pinch of salt

Directions:

1. Dissolve the optional corn starch in the orange juice. Pour the OJ, zest and the raspberries into a sauce pot over high heat.

2. Using a wooden spoon, stir the mixture casually until it starts to boil. When it boils, turn the heat down a touch and continue allowing the mixture to simmer uncovered for 15-20 minutes. Stir every so often so the berries don’t stick to the pan.

3. When the mixture is about the consistency of a thick oatmeal, turn off the heat and pour sauce into a separate container to cool. The sauce will thicken significantly as it cools.

Creative Jam add-in’s:

Chopped apples. Adds a rustic texture and sweetness. Plus the pectin in apples helps to naturally thicken jam.

Chamomile buds or tea. Add a hint of chamomile by adding a few whole buds to your simmering jam pot. Or substitute some of the orange juice with strongly brewed tea.

Cayenne. Add a spicy accent.

Cinnamon. Add a warm accent. Pairs well with strawberries

Vanilla. Add a touch of fresh vanilla bean or vanilla extract. Pairs well with blueberries.

Rhubarb. Rhubarb pairs well with strawberries.

Fresh mint. Add chopped mint as the jam is cooling for a unique fresh flavor.

Tip! Agar Agar (a tasteless seaweed) is also a wonderful all natural thickener to use in this recipe. 1/2 tsp dissolved according to package should be about right.

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Guilt Free Turtle Brownies Recipe

Guilt Free Turtle Brownies Recipe

By Angie McGowan

You’ll never guess what I added to these brownies to make them more figure friendly and healthy. Applesauce? No way. Zucchini? nope. What was that? Of course not! It’s avocado. I removed the butter and added one large, over-ripe hass avocado as the fat in these brownies. It doesn’t make them taste funny, or like guacamole either. Just ask my 3 year old, they are good. It makes them even more dense and chewy than before. And as compared to butter it saves over 100 calories per serving, and 13 grams of fat. And if that wasn’t enough good news to convert you, remember avocado fat is the healthy vegetarian monounsaturated fat, as compared to the saturated animal fat in butter. I baked them in a 9 x 13 dish, so they are a nice flat brownie. Then I topped them with lots of roasted walnuts, and instead of unwrapping a gazillion caramels, I used jarred pre-made caramel sauce. It tastes the same, and is so much easier. Add a big scoop of frozen yogurt, and you’ve got one decadent (almost guilt-free) dessert.

Guilt Free Turtle Brownies

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Chocolate Walnut Brownies

Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches

Mexican Cinnamon Brownies

Guilt Free Turtle Brownies

Ingredients

  • 1 large hass avocado, mashed until creamy
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup AP flour
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups roasted walnuts
  • 1 cup caramel sauce (ice cream topping)

Method

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mash up avocado until very creamy and smooth with a potato masher. Add eggs and whisk until well combined. Add vanilla extract, sugars and salt, mix well. Add cocoa powder and flour, mix well. Pour into a 9 x 13 baking dish and bake at 325 degrees for 40 – 45 minutes, or until brownies pass toothpick test.

2. Roast walnuts at 300 degrees for about 10 minutes, or until fragant. Spread nuts over brownies and top with caramel sauce.

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Asparagus Baked in a Paper Bag

Asparagus Baked in a Paper Bag

By Bellalimento

Yes, you read correctly, this asparagus is baked in a brown paper grocery bag. Yep, the large ones you get at the grocery store. I know, what you’re thinking because I must admit I thought my Mom had lost her mind the first time I saw her making this. She must have seen my look of terror and shot me that “wait and see” look. And wait I did, right in front of the oven because I was sure she was going to set our house on fire… guess what, she didn’t.

She’s been making this for years and so have I. It’s always fun to make for company because they have the same look on their faces as I did all those many years ago. I just wink and say “wait and see” .

It couldn’t be simpler. You’ll toss the asparagus in extra virgin olive oil and garlic, season with salt/pepper. You’ll chuck it into the bottom of the grocery bag and add the other ingredients. Fold the bag over itself and then most IMPORTANTLY you simply MUST be sure that you coat the entire bag in canola oil. You’ll want to use canola because it won’t smoke. I’ve found the easiest way to do this is with my hands.

I’m not sure what magic goes on inside that bag but it’s the most tender, perfectly cooked asparagus I’ve ever tasted.

So next time you’re at the grocery, ask for paper instead of plastic ; ) You’ll need it to whip up this scrumptious summer side dish.

More Asparagus Recipe:

Marinated Asparagus with Sesame-Ginger Vinaigrette

Sunflower Asparagus Dip

Asparagus Salad with Sweet Pepper Confetti

Asparagus Baked in a Paper Bag

What you’ll need:

  • 2 bundles asparagus – trimmed
  • 1/2 lemon – sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic – minced
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt/pepper
  • 2 bay leaves

What to do:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Into a large bowl, add: asparagus and garlic. Drizzle enough olive oil to coat asparagus. Season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine.

3. Place asparagus into the bottom of a large brown paper bag. Add lemon slices and bay leaves.

4. Fold paper bag over itself so it lays flat. Place paper bag onto a rimmed cookie sheet.

5. Using your hands or a silicon brush, coat outside of brown paper bag with canola oil, making sure all areas are coated.

6. Bake for approximately 30 minutes. To serve: CAREFULLY {steam will billow out} cut into bag and either serve directly from bag or transfer to a serving dish. Discard bay leaves.

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Guac a Taco: Vegan Taco Stuffed Avocado!

Guac a Taco: Vegan Taco-Stuffed Avocado!

By Kathypatalsky

Serve your chips and guacamole inside an avocado shell with this spicy, bold, flavor-tastic Vegan Taco-Stuffed Avocado. Spicy soy chorizo is heated with melty vegan cheese then piled on top of some easy guacamole. Add some crushed corn taco shells and your guac-a-taco is served.

You can also serve with soft corn or flour tortillas and scoop the filling onto you tortilla.

Vegan sour cream is a nice topper too!

Vegan Taco

Cilantro Jicama Fiesta Slaw

Cilantro Cashew Cream Smothered Burritos

Guac a Taco

serves 1

Ingredients

  • 1 large avocado, sliced in half
  • 1/4 cup Soy-rizo vegan chorizo (from trader Joe’s – or try another brand)
  • 1 Tbsp vegan cheese shreds
  • 1 Tbsp onion, diced
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1 lime, sliced (for squeezing and garnish)
  • 1 cherry tomato or 1 tsp diced tomato

Directions

1. Add your soy-rizo and cheese to a small cup and microwave on high for thirty seconds. Set aside.

2. Slice avocado and remove pit. Scoop one half of your avocado, plus about 2 Tbsp from the other half. and mash with the onion, lime juice, salt and pepper. Add additional guac ingredients like cilantro and jalapeno if you’d like.

3. Stuff the guac inside the less-scooped half of avocado. Add the cheesy soy-rizo too. Top with tomatoes. Garnish with limes and taco shells or tortilla chips. Serve!

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Guacamole Tomato Boats for Cinco de Mayo

Guacamole Tomato Boats for Cinco de Mayo

By Bellalimento

If you’re looking for a healthy option for your kids for Cinco de Mayo look no further than these refreshing and HEALTHY Guacamole Tomato Boats. Produce for Kids has created some delicious and nutritious Mexican-inspired recipes that parents can feel good about enjoying with their family. They’re based around what else, fresh produce. These are a great way to incorporate more fruits and veggies into our meal planning. So grab your produce and follow the jump for the recipe.

Some more interesting posts:

Classic Creamy Guacamole for Cinco de Mayo

Grilled Fish Tacos with Chipotle Mayonnaise

Rio Grande Nachos

Guacamole Tomato Boats

What you’ll need:

  • 2 medium tomatoes on the vine
  • 8 Tbsp. guacamole (liberal tablespoonfuls)
  • 8 Tbsp. salsa
  • 4 Tbsp. grated cheddar cheese

What to do:

1. Preheat oven to 400° F or turn broiler on High.

2. Wash and dry tomatoes.

3. Slice tomatoes in half, cross section wise, and scoop out the insides, being careful not to puncture/tear the bottom of the tomato half.

4. With open side of tomato facing up, fill with guacamole, then salsa, and garnish with cheddar cheese.

5. Bake/broil until cheese melts, then remove from oven.

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Triple Chocolate Cheesecake Cake Pops Recipe

Triple Chocolate Cheesecake Cake Pops Recipe

By Brooke McLay

While making a batch of Peanut Butter Stuffed Cake Pops, I wasn’t craving peanut butter at all. What I wanted right there, in that moment was cheesecake, and nothing was going to stop until I meted that desire with a nice bite of the real stuff. But, then I realized I wanted chocolate, too. And then I realized I pretty much just wanted the world, so I wrapped the world in a cake pop and made these Triple Chocolate Cheesecake Cake Pops. And suddenly everything was complete.

Some more interesting posts:

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Triple Chocolate Cheesecake Cake Pops

Ingredients:

  • 1 chocolate cake mix, baked according to package directions
  • 1 can premade chocolate frosting
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cups high-quality milk chocolate chips (I like Ghiradelli)
  • 1 cups high-quality white chocolate chips (I like Ghiradelli)
  • 1/4 cup chopped chocolate sprinkles

Directions:

  1. Once the cake is cooled, crumble half of it into a large bowl (cover, wrap, and freeze the other half for later. A full cake makes a LOT of cake pops.)
  2. Add 1/4 cup of frosting to the cake mixture. Use a fork to work the frosting through. Continue adding frosting by the tablespoonful, JUST until the cake mixture starts to stick together. It shouldn’t feel wet at all, but should adhere to itself in a playdoh like texture.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together the cream cheese and powdered sugar.
  4. Take about 1/2 teaspoon of the cream cheese mixture into your hands and roll it into a ball. Take about a tablespoon of cake mixture and press it into a sort of bowl shape. Place the cream cheese ball into the center of the cake ball, then gently close the cake ball around the cream cheese, until it is fully hidden and enclosed inside the cake ball. Roll the cake ball until nicely rounded.
  5. In a small, deep, microwave-safe bowl, heat the white chocolate chips JUST until they are melted (usually about 90 seconds or so). Stir until smooth.
  6. Press the end of a sucker stick into the melted chocolate, then press that end into the center of your cake ball. Take a small spoonful of melted chocolate and carefully smooth it around the bottom half of the stick and cake ball.  Allow the chocolate to harden at room temperature.
  7. Gently dip the cake ball into the melted milk chocolate. Allow any excess chocolate to drizzle back into the bowl before pressing the top of the cake pop into chocolate sprinkles. Turn the cake pop right side up and press the bottom of the sucker stick into a piece of styrofoam. Allow the cake pops to cool upright until ready to serve.
  8. Once chocolate is hardened, serve the cake pops, or cover them and store them in the fridge for up to three days. Enjoy! Pops,

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A Simple Vegetarian Curry Recipe

A Simple Vegetarian Curry Recipe

By JulieVR

The 2013 Oscar nominees were released today – and among them I was happy to see The Life of Pi, one of my favourite books, transformed into film. The story of a 16 year-old Indian boy’s passage to America provides plenty of inspiration for Oscar-themed food, should you be planning an Oscar party, or just if you want to eat something Indian-inspired before going to the movies.

One of the simplest meals to pull together is a curry. This vegetarian version makes use of any number of vegetables – feel free to swap your favourites, whatever is in season or in need of cooking before it wilts in your crisper. Just make sure you start cooking the sturdier ones – like potatoes, squash and root vegetables – first, then add the more fragile ones later.

Some more interesting posts:

Mushroom Spinach Stir Fry

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Unstuffed Vegetarian Peppers

Vegetarian Curry

Adapted from Fine Cooking

Ingredients:

  • canola or other mild vegetable oil or ghee, for cooking
  • 1 large onion, chilled
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger
  • 1 red or yellow pepper, seeded and sliced or chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. curry powder or paste
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • pinch dried red chile flakes
  • 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 small cauliflower, broken into florets (optional)
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cubed, or 2 medium thin-skinned white potatoes
  • 2 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 2 large carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 14 oz. (398 mL) can chickpeas, drained
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • juice of a lime
  • chopped peanuts and/or chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish

Directions:

  1. In a large, heavy skillet, heat a drizzle of oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger; cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the red or yellow pepper and cook for a couple minutes, until starting to brown, then add the curry powder, cumin, and chili powder; stir for 30 seconds to toast the spices. Add the tomato paste and stir until well blended.
  2. Add the coconut milk along with some salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Add the cauliflower, potatoes, tomatoes, and carrots. Return to a simmer, then reduce the heat to medium low, cover, and simmer until the vegetables are tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
  3. Stir in the chickpeas, spinach, lime juice, and zest; cook until the spinach has wilted, about 3 minutes more. Add a squeeze of lime and serve garnished with the cilantro. Serves 4-6.

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Top Chef Stephanie Izard's Sweet Onion Soup

Top Chef Stephanie Izard's Sweet Onion Soup

By Jennifer Savor the Thyme

Are you a fan of Bravo’s Top Chef? Well, I am a big fan of the show and Top Chef Chicago Winner Chef Stephanie Izard so I could not pass up an opportunity to interview her.

But before I give you the link to the video, I begged asked if she would share a recipe with The Family Kitchen and so I present to you: Sweet Onion Soup...

I find that there is nothing more comforting in wintertime than a heart-warming soup and this one will fit the bill.

More Onion Soup Recipe:

French Red Onion Soup

A Classic French Onion Soup

Stephanie Izard recipe – Sweet Onion Soup (serves 6)

Ingredients:

  • 2 sweet onions, peeled, cut in half & sliced thin
  • 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2/3 cup sparkling white wine
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup water
  • Salt to taste

Directions:

  1. Combine sweet onions and olive oil in a cold pot. Put over low heat and let the onions sweat. Salt slightly to prevent onions from caramelizing. Stir occasionally. When the onions have released most of their juices (about 2 hours later) add the sparkling white wine and cook another hour. When all the alcohol is cooked off, remove from heat and blend in a blender and then strain through a fine sieve. Whisk in cream & water, add more salt to taste.
  2. Either chill or serve hot.

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Homemade Healthy: Turkey Barley Chili

Homemade Healthy: Turkey Barley Chili

By JulieVR

I love a bowl of hearty chili in the middle of winter; this version, made with turkey in place of the usual ground beef, is also made with barley – a whole grain that’s particularly high in fiber, yet underused beyond beef and barley soup. The barley soaks up all the flavors of the chili, blending right in while boosting nutrients and fiber. Between the beans and barley, this chili will provide a significant fiber boost while the lean ground turkey provides a healthy dose of protein. It’s simple to stir together and let simmer; double the recipe if you want to freeze a batch for another night.

If you like, serve your chili in individual bread bowls by slicing the top off crusty rolls and pulling out their soft insides; serve the chili topped with grated cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese.

Some more interesting posts:

Turkey and Perfect Gravy

Perfect Winter Turkey Lasagna

Rosemary Garlic Roast Turkey

Turkey Chili with Barley

Ingredients:

  • Canola or olive oil, for cooking
  • 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 1-2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped
  • ¼ cup chili powder
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. dried cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper (white pepper, if you have it)
  • 1 can chicken stock, undiluted
  • 1 28 oz. (798 mL) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 cup salsa, hot or mild (optional)
  • 2 19 oz. (598 mL) cans white kidney or navy beans, drained
  • 1/2 cup pot or pearl barley

Directions:

  1. Low fat sour cream and fresh cilantro, for garnish (optional)
  2. Heat a drizzle of oil in a large, heavy pot set over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for a few minutes, until softened. Add the turkey and jalapenos and cook until the meat is no longer pink. Add the chili powder, oregano, cumin, salt and pepper. Cook for another minute.
  3. Add the chicken stock, tomatoes, salsa, beans and barley and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 45 minutes. By then the barley should be cooked through.
  4. If you want to serve it right away, let it simmer for another 15-20 minutes, then taste and adjust the seasonings. Otherwise, let it cool and then refrigerate overnight; reheat on the stovetop over medium heat after a day or two. Add some extra stock or tomatoes if the barley has absorbed too much liquid and it has become too thick.
  5. Serves 8.

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Turkey Meatball And Hearty Vegetable Soup

Turkey Meatball And Hearty Vegetable Soup

By Macki West

My family’s favorite way to eat turkey is in the form of a meatball. We will have them plain, with sauce or lately as the headliner in a hearty vegetable soup. It’s one of those simple and delicious one-pot meals that makes you long for leftovers and warms your soul on a cold fall day.  My kids even ask for it in their lunch the next day that’s saying a lot coming from my PB & J everyday kids!

Some more interesting posts:

Slow-Cooker Turkey Meatballs

Ultimate Meatball Sub Sandwich

Turkey Meatball

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb lean ground turkey
  • 1/3 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/3 of an onion finely chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ cup milk

Directions:

Mix the ground turkey with the dry ingredients and onion. Combine the wet ingredients in a separate bowl and whisk together, then pour into the ground turkey. Gently stir to combine and form into small balls. Heat olive oil in a dutch oven over medium heat and place the meatballs into the pot. Cook for about 5 minutes, then flip and cook an additional 3 minutes. Remove from pot and set aside. Now it’s time to make your soup.

Hearty Vegetable Soup

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2/3 onion roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 4 cups of chicken broth
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can stewed tomatoes (I puree these with a stick blender)
  • 1 cup of sliced carrots
  • 2 cups thick sliced green and yellow squash/zucchini
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1 tablespoons parsley
  • 10 oz package of cheese tortellini
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • parmesan cheese

Directions:

Heat oil in the dutch oven with the brown bits from the meatballs. Add the onion, garlic, salt and pepper, cook for about 5 minutes until onion is translucent. Add wine to deglaze the pan. Once the bit are off the bottom of the pan, add the broth, wine, tomatoes, water and carrots. Simmer for 30 minutes. Add the zucchini, herbs, tortellini and sugar and simmer for an additional 10 minutes. Then add the meatballs and cook for another 10 minutes and serve with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese.

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Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls with Peanut Sauce

Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls with Peanut Sauce

By JulieVR

Vietnamese rice paper rolls are one of those things that people see and go “hey, I LOVE those!”, and yet it’s the sort of thing they don’t tend to try to actually make.

Once you get the hang of it, they really are a snap to stuff and roll. And when you think about it, they’re perfect to make for or bring to a party, as they cater to virtually all dietary requirements – depending on what you stuff them with (and it can be anything you like – thinly sliced red pepper, pea pods, lettuce, crabmeat, shrimp, blanched asparagus, bean sprouts, chives, jicama, mango, shreds of leftover cooked chicken or pork) they’re vegetarian (easily vegan, even), gluten free, egg free, dairy free, low in fat and calories. They travel well, and kids like them as much as grown-ups. They’re well worth learning how to make.

The key is to soak rice papers until they’re pliable, then pat them dry so that they stick to themselves when you roll them up. All the measurements are approximate – you just need enough filling to stuff as many rolls as you want to make.

And make lots of peanut sauce – it’s great to keep in the fridge and toss over cold spaghetti, shrimp, leftover roast pork or chicken, and whatever fresh veg you have on hand – cucumbers, pea pods, asparagus, broccoli slaw...

Some more interesting posts:

Vietnamese Grilled Pork Meatballs

Peanut Pork or Chicken Kebobs

Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls

15 small-medium rice paper wrappers

Ingredients:

Filling:

  • 100 g (3 1/2 oz) thin rice vermicelli noodles (about a handful)
  • 1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and shredded
  • 15 cooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Half cucumber, peeled if necessary and cut into thin sticks
  • Small handful fresh cilantro, mint or thai basil leaves, torn up or left whole
  • 1/4 cup chopped peanuts (optional)

Directions:

  1. To prepare the filling, place noodles in a bowl of boiling water and let stand for about 3 minutes (or as package directs) to soften. Drain well and place in a medium bowl. Add carrot and rice vinegar and toss to combine. Cut the shrimp lengthwise in half.
  2. To assemble the rolls, fill a shallow dish (I use a pie plate) with hot water and lay a clean tea towel over your work surface. Soak one rice paper round at a time in the water for about 10 seconds, until it’s pliable, and lay it on the tea towel. Pat the surface with the edges of the towel to absorb any excess water. Place two shrimp halves (cut side up so you can see the pink through the wrapper), a stick of cucumber and some noodles down the middle of the round. Sprinkle with cilantro and peanuts. Fold over one long side to cover, then fold up both ends. Roll the whole thing up as tightly as you can without tearing the wrapper.

NOTE: If you’re pregnant, make sure to eat the cooked shrimp while still warm.

Peanut Sauce

Use more or less broth to make this sauce as thick or thin as you like. If you like coconut flavor in your peanut sauce, add a teaspoon of coconut extract instead of coconut milk, which is high in saturated fat.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4-1/2 cup light or regular peanut butter
  • 3 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. brown sugar or honey
  • 2 Tbsp. rice vinegar or lime juice
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1-2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil (optional)
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp. curry paste (optional)

Directions:

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a blender or jar and whiz or shake until smooth. Refrigerate until you need it.

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Grapefruit Cardamon Tart: A Delicious and Beautiful Dessert

Grapefruit Cardamon Tart: A Delicious and Beautiful Dessert

By Elizabeth Stark

Grapefruit can be confusing because what does it have to do with grapes? You can stay up nights wondering about that, be tired all day, and let it ruin your life. Or you can accept that it doesn’t make sense and just appreciate the grapefruit for the wonderful things you can make with it–like breakfast in the 80s or this fantastic, fresh grapefruit tart.

The grapefruit curd you make for this is sweet and delicious and the grapefruit slices provide a nice contrast. The crust is buttery and delicate, but not so delicate that it doesn’t hold together well.  As an added bonus, this recipe makes way more curd than you need and the extra is wonderful as a spread on toast for a sweet breakfast treat.

And, just so you know, it’s called grapefruit because of the way the fruits are bunched when they’re on the tree.

Some more interesting posts:

Grapefruit Yogurt Cake

Pink Grapefruit and Mango Salsa

Ruby Red Grapefruit Cupcakes

Grapefruit Cardamon Tart

Ingredients:

for the tart shell

  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 6 tablespoons cold butter
  • 1/4 cup ice water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

for the filling

  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • zest of 1 grapefruit
  • 1/2 cup fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
  • 2 eggs plus 2 yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground cardamon pods
  • dash of salt

Directions:

  1. Combine the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of your food processor, and pulse 3 times to combine. Cut the butter into 1″ chunks, drop in to the food processor and pulse 4 or 5 times until the dough has a sandy texture. Slowly drizzle in the ice water and pulse 3 times, just until combined.  You can also mix the flour by hand, and cut in the butter with a pastry knife or blender, and then mix in the water just until combined.
  2. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface. Form into a round, 6″ disc, wrap the round in plastic, and refrigerate for 30 minutes or longer.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Roll the dough into an 12″ round on a lightly floured surface. Gently fold the dough circle up and press it into a greased tart pan. Fold excess dough into the sides of the tart. Be sure to build up the sides and corners so they are tall and strong.
  4. Chill the tart shell for 15 minutes. Prick the crust all over with a fork. Place the shell on a baking sheet and put in the oven. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the crust is a light golden color. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
  5. In a medium saucepan, heat the butter, zests, and grapefruit juice over medium-low heat. In a separate bowl whisk the eggs, yolks, sugar, cardamom, and salt together. Once the butter and juice mixture is warm and starting to steam, add 3 or so ladlefuls to the egg mixture, stirring constantly. Slowly whisk all of the warm liquid into the yolks to temper, and then pour everything back into the saucepan. Stir over low heat for 7-10 minutes, until warm and slightly frothy. Uncooked egg whites make my mouth itchy, so I tend to push the cooking time.
  6. Put the tart shell on a rimmed cookie sheet and gently ladle in about half of the curd. Pour your leftover curd into a jar and store in the refrigerator. Curd is wonderful on toast! Place 5 thin slices of grapefruit over the top. Bake until the curd is set, 8-12 minutes.
  7. Cool for 20 minutes and serve.  Keep any leftovers well covered in the refrigerator for a few days.

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Adorable Banana Split Bites Recipe

Adorable Banana Split Bites Recipe

By Elizabeth Stark

When was the last time you had a banana split? It’s been a while since I’ve indulged in such a decadent dessert. So when I saw these tiny banana split bites on Bakers Royale, I knew I had to make them. More banana than anything, they’re fun little bites that are perfect for a party or just an afternoon surprise. And, they’re a great way to get your banana split fix in a tiny bite!

Scoop a hollow in the center 1 of 4

Scoop a hollow in the center

Add the ice cream 2 of 4

Add the ice cream

Dip in chocolate, add sprinkles 3 of 4

Dip in chocolate, add sprinkles

Garnish with whipped cream and a cherry 4 of 4

Garnish with whipped cream and a cherry

Some more interesting posts:

Homemade Banana Pudding

Grilled Banana Waffle

Easy Maple Cinnamon Banana Dessert

Banana Split Bites (adapted from Bakers Royale)

makes 12 bites

Ingredients:

  • 4 large, firm bananas
  • 4 oz. semi sweet chocolate, rough chopped
  • 1 cup vanilla ice cream (or your ice cream of choice)
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • cherries
  • multi-color sprinkles
  • cherry garnish

Directions:

  1. Cut bananas into 2 1/2″ tall segments (roughly 3 per banana), trim the narrow ends, and leave the skin on. Quickly hollow out a 1/2″ circle in the center of the banana. Add a tiny scoop of ice cream into each hole and put the bananas in the freezer to set for 30 minutes. Note that it’s best to leave the skins on until just before dipping in chocolate. I removed them before adding the ice cream and the bananas browned slightly.
  2. Either in your microwave, or in a double boiler, heat the chocolate until it is melted and smooth. Whip the cream to soft peaks, add the sugar, and then whip to stiff peaks. Set out your sprinkles.
  3. Remove the banana peel, dip the bottom of the banana in the melted chocolate and quickly coat with sprinkles. Set bananas back in the freezer for 5 minutes until the chocolate sets.
  4. Top with whipped cream (I piped mine on using a plastic bag with a small hole in the corner) and a cherry. Serve immediately.

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Simple Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

Simple Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

By Kelsey Banfield

When it comes down to ideas for Mother’s Day sometimes I think the simpler, the better. That is why I totally adore these carrot cake cupcakes. They are always a favorite with the whole family and they are the perfect simple treats for Mom. The best part is that they are totally perfect to make with children. Get your little ones involved mixing the batter, spreading on the frosting and decorating them. They’ll love helping make this simple treat and showing Mom how much they care!

Some more interesting posts:

Carrot Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting and Caramel in a Jar

Carrot-Peach Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

adapted from Ina Garten

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/3 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 cups grated carrots

Frosting:

  • ½ pound cream cheese, softened
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ pound confectioners’ sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line two 12-cup muffin tins and set aside.
  2. In an electric mixer beat the sugar, oil, and vanilla. Then add the eggs one at a time and beat well.
  3. In a separate bowl sift together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Slowly add it to the wet ingredients with the mixer on low until completely incorporated. Stir in the carrots.
  4. Fill the muffin cups ¾ full and bake the cupcakes at 400F for 10 minutes. Then reduce the oven temperature to 350F and bake for an additional 20 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.
  5. To make the frosting, beat the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla, until smooth. Then beat in the sugar until smooth.  Frost the cupcakes once they are completely cooled.

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Simple Buckwheat Crepes: Perfect for Summer Eating

Simple Buckwheat Crepes: Perfect for Summer Eating

By Elizabeth Stark

In the States, crepes are almost always sweet, but in France they’re often savory as well. They’re both excellent, and the beauty of these buckwheat crepes is that they work equally well for either purpose. When we made these this past weekend, we prepared a bunch, had sweet crepes for breakfast, put the rest in the fridge and had savory crepes for lunch.

Crepes can take a while to get the hang of but once you’ve made a few, they’re really no harder than pancakes. Still, if it’s your first time making crepes, count on the first two or three being experiments. Our recipe recommends that you allow the batter to sit overnight, as that lends greater pliability. Don’t expect creperie quality the first few times–just do your best and you’ll get the hang of it.

Having a big stack of pre-made crepes in your fridge or freezer makes for a host of quick lunch options. Simply heat and add mushrooms and Swiss, sauteed greens, or a simple fruit and yogurt filling.

Read More Recipe:

Spinach And Ricotta Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

Classic Buckwheat Crepes (adapted from David Lebovitz)

makes 20 or so crepes

Ingredients:

  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, lightly whisk the eggs. Then whisk in all of the remaining ingredients. Cover bowl and chill overnight.
  2. Set the batter out to come to room temperature for an hour before cooking. Preheat a large 10″ skillet over medium-high heat. Add a small pat of butter and use a paper towel to quickly spread the butter around the pan. Add 1/4 cup of batter and tilt the pan so that the batter spreads into a circle. Cook each side for 1 – 2 minutes, or until golden brown. Unused crepes can easily be stored wrapped in the fridge for a couple of days, or frozen for several months.

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Spiced Banana Quinoa Waffles: Delicious and Nutritious

Spiced Banana Quinoa Waffles: Delicious and Nutritious

By Elizabeth Stark

Spiced banana quinoa waffles are a delicious option for family breakfasts. A unique set of flavors–banana, spice, quinoa and cornmeal–will brighten the mornings of your loved ones. And, while they are a wonderful option for weekend breakfasts, these waffles can be made ahead and frozen for quick weekday breakfasts too.

With a quiet banana flavor and a hint of spice, these waffles are delicious on their own and even better smothered in maple syrup. The corn meal and quinoa make them a little healthier than your average run-of-the-mill waffles and give them a crumbly, delicate texture.

Cook these up and enjoy some quiet time with your loved ones around the breakfast table.

Read More Recipe:

Sour Cream Blueberry Waffles

Whole Wheat Lemon Yogurt Waffles

Brown Sugar Cornmeal Waffles with Fresh Raspberry Syrup

Maple Cornbread Waffles

Spiced Banana Quinoa Waffles

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup fine cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup quinoa flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 2 ripe bananas (plus more for garnish)
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup milk

Directions:

  1. Preheat your waffle iron. In a small saucepan, melt the stick of butter over medium-low heat and set aside.
  2. Place the egg whites in the bowl of your mixer and beat on high, until the egg whites form stiff peaks. Gently scoop the egg whites out into another bowl. In a small bowl, mash the bananas with a fork, and then whisk in the sugar, eggs yolks, melted butter and milk. Set aside. Next, combine the remaining dry ingredients, flour, cornmeal, quinoa flour, baking powder, salt, and ginger in the bowl of your mixer. When the dry ingredients are combined, fold in the wet, mixing just until combined. Finally, gently fold in the egg whites with a spoon.
  3. Heat the oven to 200 degrees and place a large platter inside. Spoon 1/3 cup per waffle onto your iron, and cook until the waffle is golden brown. Remove the finished waffles to  the oven to warm. Continue until all of the waffles are cooked.
  4. Serve with soft butter, banana slices and warm maple syrup.

If you’d like to make this as a complete gluten-free recipe, try substituting the all-purpose flour for a gluten-free variety such as Bob’s Red Mill brand all-purpose gluten-free flour and let us know how it works out!

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Easy Salted Chocolate Caramel Sauce Recipe

Easy Salted Chocolate Caramel Sauce Recipe

By Kathypatalsky

My Salted Chocolate Caramel Sauce reminds me of hot fudge – but with an extra sticky-sweet, buttery edge to the flavor. This caramel sauce will have your ice cream sundae swooning. It’s perfect drizzled over sundaes, parfaits or over-top a milkshake. Easy to make! You’ll feel like Willy Wonka with this velvety chocolate bliss simmering away on your stove. It may even smell like Wonka’s chocolate factory too. You can make this sauce dairy-free or traditional – your call. Oh my yum…

Deliciously Dairy-Free Caramel. Usually caramel sauce is loaded with butter, cream, milk and more. But it’s very easy to cut back on the saturated fat in your caramel sauce simply by subbing in plant-based, dairy-free ingredients. You’ll be treating your family to a healthier dessert,  while keeping all of that sweet caramel flavor.

Or you can use traditional ingredients if you’d prefer!

I drizzled this sauce over a peanut butter cake and it was ah-mazing!! So many uses for homemade caramel sauce. Especially when it has a chocolate edge.

Texture Tip! Instead of melting in chocolate chips or using cocoa powder – i used hot fudge sauce to add the “chocolate” to this recipe. I did this because the chips – when hardened would turn my sauce into ‘fudge’ – and the cocoa was just a bit to powdery for the texture I was going for. I found that the fudge sauce combines with my homemade caramel recipe worked perfectly! So incredibly silky smooth.

Read More Recipe:

Gluten Free Salted Caramel Pumpkin Bars

Ooey-Gooey Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies

Salted Chocolate Caramel Sauce

vegan, makes about 2 cups

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup soy milk (milk)
  • 1 stick of vegan buttery spread (butter)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp corn starch (you could also use arrowroot powder)
  • 1/4 cup dairy-free fudge sauce (I used Santa Cruz brand)
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • dash of cinnamon

Directions:

1. Add cold milk to a small sauce pot. Add in corn starch and stir until dissolved.

2. Turn on the heat and add in the butter and sugar. Continue stirring over medium heat until the butter and sugar has dissolves/melted into the mixture. Keep stirring.

3. Bring the mixture to a boil – and keep stirring until it starts to thicken. Fold in the cinnamon, salt and vanilla – lastly, add in the chocolate fudge sauce. Stir for another minute and remove from heat.

4. Pour into a bowl and place in the fridge. The sauce should harden to a nice ‘caramel’ consistency in about 20-30 minutes. Pour into smaller bowls and place in freezer for even faster cooling. You’ll notice that in about an hour the sauce will get very thick. If you need to ‘loosen’ the consistency before serving – simply place in microwave for a few seconds to ‘ungel’ the texture.

5. Serve! Over ice cream cakes and more.

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Salted Caramel Pecan Turtles Recipe

Salted Caramel Pecan Turtles Recipe

By Kelsey Banfield

Teacher Appreciation Day is coming up (on May 5), so there’s no better time to get in the kitchen to make a sweet treat for the valued educators in your little ones’ lives! My daughter is a big fan of her teachers, so she wanted to get in on making the gift to thank them. These turtles were the perfect craft … cute, easy for little hands to make, and even easier to eat!

The best thing about this recipe is that it’s no-bake, which means no chance of burnt hands or oven-related accidents. Other than melting the chocolate and caramel - an easy kitchen task for a child to do under parental supervision - there is no other heat involved. Everything is layered together on a lined cookie sheet, dusted with fine sea salt, and set in the fridge.

While the treats are chilling, you can get creative with bags, papers, and boxes to package and present them. My kids and I like to use cute striped bags, kitchen twine, and pretty labels to wrap our foodie gifts. A simple thank you and fun sticker is all that’s needed to make them special for Teacher Appreciation Day.

With a project so easy and a recipe so tasty, you’ve got to get in the kitchen and make them for the teachers in your life!

Some more interesting posts:

Maple Bacon Caramel Corn

Salted Caramel Apple Pie Tacos

Salted Caramel Pecan Turtles

Makes: 25 turtles

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces roasted pecan halves
  • 1 cup caramels, unwrapped (about 5 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 16 ounces semisweet chocolate (not chocolate chips), finely chopped
  • fine sea salt

Directions:

1. Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Place the pecans in stars using groups of 4.

2. In a small saucepan, melt the caramel, cream, and salt over medium-low heat, stirring until smooth.

3. Remove from the heat and dollop the caramel on the top center of each “pecan star.” They don’t have to be perfect circles, but they should be enough to bind the pecans. Let the caramel cool at room temperature for 20 minutes to set.

4. In a microwave-proof bowl melt the chocolate in the microwave until it can be stirred smoothly.

5. Dollop the chocolate on top of the caramel and sprinkle each with a small dusting of sea salt.

6. Slide the baking sheet into the refrigerator to chill for at least 4 hours, or up to one day. Remove and package!

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Fun and Festive: Chocolate Salami

Fun and Festive: Chocolate Salami

By JulieVR

How much fun is this? It’s a sweet chocolate confection, served pate-style with a knife for serving yourself, ideal alongside cheese platters and other nibbles, so long as people recognize it as dessert! Although it closely resembles the real thing, chocolate salami is is a kind of giant truffle studded with crumbled cookies, nuts and dried fruit, so that when you slice it it looks like processed meat. Traditional Italian versions call for egg yolks and grappa – I didn’t take it quite so seriously. Mine is chocolate, butter and cream, with toasted hazelnuts, golden raisins and Digestive Biscuits crumbled in. I’m thinking it would be a fun alternative to cookies for an exchange or for gift-giving – easy to wrap and give away. And it makes a great conversation piece.

Use your imagination when it comes to cookies, nuts and fruit to add – come up with your own combination. Next time I’ll chop and crumble more finely, for the sake of aesthetics. This is one mighty coarse-textured salami.

More Chocolate Recipe:

Pear and Chocolate Tart

Mini Chocolate Naked Cake

Homemade Vitatop Chocolate Muffins Tops

Chocolate Salami

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. dark or semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 1 cup hazelnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
  • 5 Digestive biscuits, roughly chopped
  • 3/4 cup golden raisins
  • icing sugar, for rolling

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, melt the chocolate, butter and cream in the microwave or over simmering water. Stir until melted and smooth. Stir in the hazelnuts, Digestive biscuits and raisins. Chill in the fridge for about an hour, or until cool enough to shape but not yet firm.
  2. Scrape the mixture out onto a piece of plastic wrap and shape into a log (or two, if you want to make smaller ones). Wrap in the plastic wrap and return to the fridge for several hours, until firm. Take it out and dust it generously all over with icing sugar (you can do this by dumping some icing sugar on the countertop and rolling the log around in it). When you’re ready to serve it, take it out of the fridge for half an hour or so to make it easier to slice.
  3. Makes 1 large or two small salamis.

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Cutest Summer Dessert, Ever: Fruit Kebab Cookies

Fruit Kebab Cookies

By Vickie Liu

Orange you glad it’s summer? I am a major fruit addict, especially when the weather warms up. Therefore, it was inevitable I would make some berry cute cookies disguised as fruit. These Fruit Kebab Cookies are pear-fect for summer dessert tables, or any sweet occasion. While they might take a little longer to decorate, the effort will be worthwhile, leaving guests s-peach-less and pining for more!

Fruit Kebab Cookies

Makes: 16-18 kebabs (5 cookies each)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • Royal icing (in different colors or dyed with gel food coloring)
  • Supplies: skewers or thin cookie sticks (oven-safe), zip-top bags, toothpicks

Directions:

  1. If using skewers, soak in water for approximately 30 minutes before baking.
  2. Beat butter and powdered sugar with an electric mixer until light and creamy. Add egg and vanilla extract and mix until combined, then add flour and mix on low until dough forms and starts pulling away from the bowl.
  3. Divide dough into 2 evenly sized discs and cover with cling wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 F, and line baking trays with parchment paper. Roll out dough to approximately 1/3 to 1/2 inch thick, and cut out fruit shapes between 1 1/2 and 2 1/2-inches long, using various cookie cutters and techniques: strawberry: small cookie cutter | watermelon wedge: large circle cut in quarters | orange slice: medium circle cut in half | kiwi wedge: small circle cut in half | pineapple cubes: square
  5. Take skewers or cookie sticks, and gently insert into the cookies, one by one, spaced out by about 3/4 inch. If the dough slightly cracks, you can patch them up at the back with excess cookie dough.
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or when edges begin to brown. Make sure to keep an eye on them!
  7. Using various colors of royal icing, decorate to resemble chosen fruit. Place colored royal icing into zip-top bags, and secure top with a rubber band. Cut a small hole at the corner of the bags as your piping tip. Outline each fruit with icing before filling in the center. (This will stop the icing from running off the cookies if it’s on the runnier side.) You may need to use a toothpick to smooth out the icing, from the center towards the outline.
  8. When the base color is complete, pipe in the details before the icing starts to set for a more uniform look. For more intricate details, use a zip-top bag with an even smaller opening. If you are pressed for time, you can always show less detail, and let the vibrant colors do the work!

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Avocado Egg Salad Sandwich Recipe

Avocado Egg Salad Sandwich Recipe

By Elizabeth Stark

Egg salad is a classic so it’s hard to imagine a recipe that could dramatically change the egg salad game. But one has! Forget the mayo-laden recipes of the past - your post-Easter leftover eggs are getting a refresh.

From face masks to a superior cooking oil, there’s not much the avocado can’t do, so it doesn’t come as a surprise that it’s an egg salad revelation too. Using an avocado instead of mayo gives your egg salad the same creaminess with buttery flavor and healthy fats. Avocado effortlessly transforms a guilty pleasure into a vibrant, wholesome addition to sandwiches, crackers, and salads. This recipe keeps things tangy and bright - the shallot and parsley are a nod to a traditional egg salad and add a little zip to the flavor, while lemon juice and za’atar lend complexity and depth. The result is a fresh, delicious recipe that you’ll want to put on everything!

A few notes: this Avocado Egg Salad will keep covered in the fridge for several hours, but because the avocados eventually turn brown, it doesn’t last as long as the mayo-version. The recipe below includes za’atar - a spice blend of dried herbs, sesame seeds, and salt that can be purchased in most specialty stores. Za’atar lends a wonderful savory quality and sets off the unique ingredient profile wonderfully, but if you prefer it can be left off.

Once you have the basic recipe down, experimentation is welcome. I’ve tried the recipe with a hint of Dijon and a mix of fresh herbs, all to fantastic results!

Some more interesting posts:

Bacon And Egg Spinach Salad

How to Make Perfect Poached Eggs Every Time

Avocado Egg Salad

Makes: 2 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 large avocado, halved and pitted
  • 2 hard boiled eggs, peeled and diced
  • 2 tablespoons shallot, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon za’ atar (optional)
  • Sea salt, to taste

Directions

  1. With a spoon, scoop avocado flesh into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Mash with a fork. Fold in egg, shallot, parsley, lemon juice, and olive oil. Add za’atar and sea salt to taste.
  2. Serve on lightly toasted bread with lettuce and carrot ribbons, atop salad greens, or with your favorite dippable.

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