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Posts Tagged ‘Summer Recipes’

Shortcake1

Darigold – the company with all those wonderful dairy products, shared this yummy summer recipe.

Enjoy!

Rosemary Shortcake with Balsamic Strawberries & Honey Cream by Darigold

INGREDIENTS

SHORTCAKE

  • 2-1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons Darigold Unsalted Butter, chilled, cubed
  • 1/4 cup Darigold Sour Cream
  • 3/4 cup Darigold Buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • Darigold Whipping Cream
  • Crystal sugar

BALSAMIC STRAWBERRIES

  • 2 pints fresh strawberries, rinsed, stemmed, halved
  • 1/4 cup aged balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel

HONEY CREAM

  • 1-1/2 cups Darigold Sour Cream
  • 6 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. In a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt then pulse to combine. Add the chilled butter and process just until combined. With the motor running, add sour cream, buttermilk and rosemary, stopping just before the dough forms a ball. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured sur face and gently knead, forming a smooth ball. Do not overwork. Roll the dough out to 3/4-inch thickness. Cut into desired shape using a biscuit cutter or a knife. Arrange the biscuits on the prepared baking sheet; brush the tops with cream and sprinkle lightly with crystal sugar. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until the cakes are golden and firm to the touch. Cool on a rack.

Meanwhile, prepare Balsamic Strawberries: Toss berries with balsamic vinegar, sugar and lemon zest in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.

Prepare Honey Cream: Combine sour cream, honey and lemon juice in a small bowl. Set aside.

When ready to serve, split each shortcake in half and warm slightly. Place the bottom half of shortcake on a dessert plate. Spoon about 1/4 cup of strawberries on the cake and top with 1-2 tablespoons of the Honey Cream. Top with the remaining half of the cake. Serve immediately.

RECIPE YIELD/SERVING SIZE

Makes 8 to 10 servings.

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Juicy steak on barbecue

I’m super-excited today to share some great summer cookout tips from Jack Vogt, Tony Roma’s Pitmaster just in time for the summer barbecue season!

How to prep for an Unforgettable Summer Cookout

 

Before you fire up the grill, you’ve got to get your backyard kitchen aka THE GRILL prepped and ready. Here’s a checklist to get you set for your first summer cookout:

 

  • Grill. If you already own a grill, drag it out of storage and give it a good scrub. Use a stiff wire brush to scrape off the grate and follow the directions in your grill’s instruction manual for cleaning the rest of the grill. If you’re new to the grilling game, check out this list of grills and smokers from AmazingRibs.com to help you find a grill that matches your needs and budget.

 

  • Fuel. If you’re working with a gas grill, you’ll need to fill your propane tank. While you’re there, grab a spare. You never want to get halfway through grilling the perfect prime rib and discover you’re out of gas. If you have a charcoal grill, pick up a bag of charcoal briquettes, a chimney starter and a few pieces of newspaper to get the fire started.

 

  • Grilling tools. Many stores sell BBQ or grill tool sets, but you can also buy each tool separately depending on what you already have at home. The most important tools to have handy are tongs, a spatula, a basting brush and a fork. You may also want to pick up a few metal skewers for kebabs (and everyone’s favorite dessert – s’mores!).

 

  • Instant Read Thermometer. Using a meat thermometer will ensure your meat is properly cooked – no one wants their guests to leave with a stomachache. A thermometer will also help you gauge when to pull the meat off to avoid an overcooked, dry dinner.

 

  • Flashlight or grill light. If you think your summer party will extend past daylight hours, you’ll need some direct lighting on the grill. You can buy a grill light that clips onto the side of the grill so you can work hands free. If you’re using a flashlight, enlist a friend to assist you.

 

Now that you’ve got the grill prepped, here are a few of my tested tips to make this summer’s cookouts the most successful (and delicious) yet!

 

  • Choose the best cut. The best cut (and type) of meat may depend on your budget and the number of people at your party, but these three are my favorites.

Baby back ribs are the most tender cut. While they are one of the pricier options, this cut is sure to please your guests. You can start cooking ribs before your guests arrive and finish them on the grill when you’re ready to eat.

 

Chicken breasts, legs and thighs are all great options if you’re feeding a group. Chicken is less expensive than ribs and it is easy to cook (read: hard to mess up!), so it’s a good choice if you’re a grilling novice.

 

Beef skirt steak may have a bad reputation as a tough cut of meat, but it can be real crowd pleaser when cooked on the grill. Plus, it can be cooked quickly (about four minutes on each side) so you won’t have to worry about keeping hungry guests waiting.

 

  • Marinate to perfection. Marinades are used to enhance the flavors of your chosen meat and your marinade options are almost limitless. Most marinades consist of a fat (like olive oil), an acid (like citrus or wine), and flavoring (herbs and spices), but as always, there are exceptions to this rule. Whether you are making your own marinade or using a prepared one, you’ll want to make sure you give the meat enough time to soak up all the flavor.

 

If you’re working with seafood, a short marinating time is best; an hour or two is plenty of time to infuse seafood with flavor. You can soak hard vegetables anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours and softer vegetables for about 30 minutes. You have more leeway when it comes to meat, which can be marinated anywhere from one hour to overnight (which may be the most convenient if you are planning a party for a lot of people).

 

Keep in mind that the thinner the food is cut, the less time it will need to marinate. Marinades that are high in acid also require less time as the acid breaks down tissue and can toughen the meat if left to soak for an extended period of time.

 

Safety tip: Don’t ever reuse a marinade as it can contain harmful bacteria.

 

  • Seasoning is everything! You may think that since you’ve already marinated your meat, you don’t have to worry about seasoning, but think again! Seasoning with salt and pepper will help bring out the flavors you have infused into the meat. Even if you decide to skip the marinade and go with a dry rub, you still want to make sure you include salt and pepper.
  • Pre-cook meat. Before your guests arrive, heat the meat most of the way so all you have to do is finish on the grill. You can also purchase pre-cooked ribs, pulled pork or chicken at your local supermarket. Easy to prepare and ready to serve in about 15 minutes, they’re the perfect option for entertaining, plus you’ll have more time to socialize and more room on the grill for other dishes.

 

  • Maintain the correct temperature. Cooking your meat to the proper temperature can mean the difference between a juicy steak and a dry one. Use your grill’s lid and vents to help you control the temperature.

 

The difference between using your grill’s lid and leaving it open is like the difference between oven and stovetop cooking. The lid is useful in trapping not only heat, but also smoke and flavor. If you don’t use the lid, you’re only cooking from underneath, which is preferable for thin foods, but not for foods that are more than ¾ inch thick.

 

Basic rule of thumb: If the food is thin or you need to watch its color, leave the lid off. If it’s over an inch thick, close the lid and use a high quality grill thermometer.

 

The key to successful grilling is to remain in control of the heat. It’s also important to remember that the charcoal or wood is not the only fuel- oxygen also plays a role. Grills have an intake vent and an exhaust vent, and by manipulating these vents you can control the temperature. The intake damper brings oxygen to the fire, and the exhaust damper helps the intake vent do this, while also allowing gases to escape.

 

Below are a few recipes to cook on the grill this summer!

Open-faced Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese Sandwich

Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 40 minutes | Total time: 50 minutes

Yield: 8 servings

 Ingredients:

  • 8 slices Texas Toast
  • 4 cups prepared macaroni and cheese, warmed
  • 2large onions, thinly sliced
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 slices Gouda cheese
  • 8 slices sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 pkg. (2 cups) Tony Roma’s BBQ Pulled Pork
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat grill to medium-high, about 400°-450°F, and lightly oil the grate.
  1. Place sliced onions into a 6-inch square piece of tin foil, drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper, to taste. Close foil around onion slices.
  2. Set foil packets on lower rack of a gas grill or directly on top of hot coals on a charcoal grill. Cook for 30-35 minutes. While waiting for the onions to caramelize, heat Tony Roma’s Pulled Pork as per package instructions.
  3. Butter both sides of each slice of toast. Layer each with one slice of cheddar cheese, ¼ cup macaroni and cheese, ¼ cup pulled pork, ¼ cup caramelized onions, and one slice of Gouda cheese.
  4. Working in batches of four, cook the sandwiches until the cheese melts and the bread is golden, about 5 minutes.
  5. Drizzle with barbeque sauce and enjoy!

 

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Happy Labor Day Weekend everyone!

To me, this weekend is the last big hurrah before everyone’s schedules settle back into a routine and fall is upon us.

I don’t know about you, but summer flew by at warp speed and I’m not quite ready for it to end. Although I love the fall season, I’d like to put off its arrival for just a while longer.

Here are a few of my favorite summer salad and dessert recipes, to help prolong the fun!

caprese platedTomato Caprese Salad

 

potato salad finishedChunky Potato Salad

butterfly fruit salad finishedButterfly Fruit Salad

watermelon-saladWatermelon and Feta Salad

 

raspberry pie platedRaspberry Cream Pies

 

orange pie finishedOrange Dream Pie

crisp-in-panRaspberry Crisp

blackberry bar finishedButtery Blackberry Bars

banana ice cream bowl 1Banana Ice Cream

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Happy Labor Day Weekend everyone!

To me, this weekend is the last big hurrah before everyone’s schedules settle back into a routine and fall is upon us.

I don’t know about you, but summer flew by at warp speed and I’m not quite ready for it to end. Although I love the fall season, I’d like to put off its arrival for just a while longer.

Here are a few of my favorite summer salad and dessert recipes, to help prolong the fun!

caprese platedTomato Caprese Salad

 

potato salad finishedChunky Potato Salad

butterfly fruit salad finishedButterfly Fruit Salad

watermelon-saladWatermelon and Feta Salad

 

raspberry pie platedRaspberry Cream Pies

 

orange pie finishedOrange Dream Pie

crisp-in-panRaspberry Crisp

blackberry bar finishedButtery Blackberry Bars

banana ice cream bowl 1Banana Ice Cream

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cherry bruschetta plated

We’ve been blessed with an abundance of big, sweet, delicious cherries in our area recently.

I came home with another bag of them yesterday and then found myself wondering if I could come up with an off-the-beaten path recipe to use a few.

I freely admit this is stretching the definition of bruschetta but if you really wanted, you could serve it on bread.

Regardless, the mixture of the sweet cherries, fresh mint and tangy cheese were a perfect combination! It’s like having a little summer party exploding in your mouth.

And the best part… it took just minutes to make!

Ingredients

Ingredients

Start by pitting your cherries.

Start by pitting your cherries.

Then chop them into small pieces. I halved them and cut each half into about 12 pieces.

Then chop them into small pieces. I halved them and cut each half into about 12 pieces.

Scoop the cherries into a bowl then go to work on the mint. Chiffonade (cut) a few pieces.

Scoop the cherries into a bowl then go to work on the mint. Chiffonade (cut) a few pieces.

Mix the cherries and mint together. (Aren't the colors fabulous?)

Mix the cherries and mint together. (Aren’t the colors fabulous?)

Pour grenadine syrup over the mint - cherry mixture and blend.

Pour grenadine syrup over the mint – cherry mixture and blend.

 

Toast a frozen waffle until it is crunchy.

Toast a frozen waffle until it is crunchy.

Quarter the waffle.

Quarter the waffle.

Top with goat cheese then add the cherry mixture. Serve and enjoy!

Top with goat cheese then add the cherry mixture. Serve and enjoy!

Cherry Mint Bruschetta

1 frozen waffle

2 tbsp. goat cheese

6 large cherries

1 tsp. grenadine syrup

1 tsp. chopped mint

Cherries and mint for garnish, if desired

Pit and chop cherries, scoop into a bowl and mix with mint. If you are using fresh mint, right off the plant, it is strong, so you can cut back the amount to 1/2 tsp. Stir in grenadine syrup and set aside.

Toast the frozen waffle until it is crunchy on the outside. Cut into quarters. Top with a sprinkling of goat cheese then spoon on cherry-mint mix.

Serves two.

Note: You can definitely use a rustic country bread instead of the waffle for a true bruschetta, if you so desire.

She Who Loved the Mix of Flavors and Textures

 

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my-salad

The temps at our house this week have been over the 100 degree mark.

In light of that misery, nothing sounds good to eat except salads and ice cream. (Talk about  balanced diet!).

Here’s one of our favorite salad recipes. It just takes a few minutes to grill the meat so you aren’t left outside melting into a puddle for long.

Flank Steak – can get tough if you don’t cook it quickly.

Ingredients

Season the meat.

Grill over indirect heat.

It takes about two minutes for each side to be done.

Captain Cavedweller’s version of the salad removes any attempt at healthy eating. It isn’t for the faint of heart.

Flank Steak Salad

1-2 flank steaks per person

lettuce (whatever kind you like best is fine – yes I was lazy and used bagged lettuce)

tomatoes (sliced)

cucumber (sliced)

sliced black olives (again, lazy and used pre-sliced)

shredded colby-jack cheese (pre-shredded – lazy and yes, there is a trend developing here)

salt

pepper

Mrs. Dash (or whatever meat seasoning you like)

Flank steaks are thin cuts of meat that cook really fast. Season them with salt, pepper and whatever seasoning you like best. Get creative – CC usually does which is why I ask for half-seasoning on my meat!

Grill the flank steak for just a few minutes. CC put these on a hot grill with indirect heat. It took just shy of two minutes per side for them to be done to perfection.

Once the meat is done, let it rest a few minutes before slicing. I made long, thin strips of meat and CC whacked his into bite-sized submission.

Layer lettuce, tomato slices, olives and cucumbers in a dish or bowl. If you want the cucumbers to look fancy, peel and then run a fork’s tines down the outside of it all around. It creates a nice pattern when they are sliced.

Place the meat on top and then finish with a sprinkle of cheese. I added Feta cheese crumbles to my salad and it was tasty. CC added croutons, sunflower seeds and almost everything except the kitchen sink to his salad. My point would be, add whatever tastes good to you.

Stay Cool!

She Who Loves A Good Salad for Dinner

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Rootbeer Cupcakes finished

The other day I discovered a bottle of root beer in the fridge and debated drinking it or doing something fun with it.

I’m glad I went with something fun. These cupcakes (particularly the frosting) are super yummy and just scream “summertime!”

Staring with a cake mix, they are easy to make and the frosting can be whipped together in a jiffy!

Ingredients

Ingredients

Mix everything together, saving the addition of the root beer for last. I loved the way it bubbled up in the bowl.

Mix everything together, saving the addition of the root beer for last. I loved the way it bubbled up in the bowl.

Pour into paper-lined muffin cups and bake at 350 degrees until the tops bounce back when touched (about 15 minutes or so).

Pour into paper-lined muffin cups and bake at 350 degrees until the tops bounce back when touched (about 15 minutes or so).

Remove from pan and cool completely.

Remove from pan and cool completely.

While the cupcakes are cooling, mix up your frosting. You'll need some vanilla (and you can use canned frosting for this or make your own. If you make your own, use  1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, 1/4 cup butter, 2 tbsp. milk and 1 tsp. vanilla. Blend together and set aside.

While the cupcakes are cooling, mix up your frosting. You’ll need some vanilla (and you can use canned frosting for this or make your own. If you make your own, use 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, 1/4 cup butter, 2 tbsp. milk and 1 tsp. vanilla. Blend together and set aside.

Here are the ingredients for the root beer frosting.

Here are the ingredients for the root beer frosting.

The root beer concentrate gives it the chocolatey color.

The root beer concentrate gives it the chocolatey color.

If you like root beer, the smell of the frosting will make your mouth water in anxious anticipation.

If you like root beer, the smell of the frosting will make your mouth water in anxious anticipation.

 

To get a root beer float affect on the cupcake, mix the vanilla and root beer frosting.

To get a root beer float affect on the cupcake, mix the vanilla and root beer frosting.

 

I just swirled it on. Swirling was very tasty.

I just swirled it on. Swirling was very tasty.

Root Beer Cupcakes

1 white or vanilla cake mix

3 eggs

1/3 cup oil

1 1/4 cups root beer

2 tbsp. root beer concentrate

Vanilla Frosting (optional)

Root Beer Frosting

Root Beer Frosting

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1/4 cup butter (softened)

1 tbsp. root beer concentrate

1/4 cup root beer

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, mix cake mix, eggs, root beer concentrate and root beer until smooth. Pour into paper-lined muffin cups and bake until tops bounce back when touched (about 15-18 minutes).

Remove from oven and cool completely.

Mix together the root beer frosting ingredients.

For a simple vanilla frosting, mix 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar with 1/4 cup softened butter, 2 tbsp. milk and 1 tsp. vanilla extract.

If you want to give the cupcakes more of a root beer float flavor, mix the vanilla and root beer frosting together. You can also just use the root beer. If you do that, double the frosting ingredients so you’ll have enough.

Try to keep from snitching as you frost the cupcakes because the root beer frosting is amazingly delicious. Even Captain Cavedweller raved about how good it was – and that is saying something.

For an added pop of color and fun, insert a paper straw before serving.

Note – you can find root beer concentrate in the flavoring section of most grocery stores (look near the vanilla extract).

She Who Will Make These Again

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