Monday, July 26, 2010

Some Good Food Linkage

I have been doing some major cooking and baking lately for different events.  Here are some really tasty recipes from around the blogosphere and Internet.

This is my gift to you today.  

I found this recently on One Perfect Bite, even though it was an older post.  I made it for our Bible school week at church, and it was gone in like two minutes.  I'm not kidding.  

These were my tweaks:

-I made it in two loaf pans because I cannot find the bottom to my springform pan.  In  my house, bottoms of springform pans are kind of like socks--they just disappear.  I lined the loaf pan with plastic wrap, then packed in my ice cream mixture, then I put the crumb topping on top.  When you turn in out, there will be a crust on the bottom. 

-I drizzled it with Peanut Butter-Chocolate Magic Shell, then I sprinkled with toffee bits.
If you've never checked out Mary's food blog, you need to.  I think she is one of the hardest working food bloggers out there.  She is a wonderful writer as well, and I enjoy reading her stories. 

Triple Decker Strawberry Cake from Southern Living.  We all love this in my family.
I make it just like the recipe says to, and it turns out wonderful every time.

Oh my.  Just this past week I clicked on over to The Sweets Life, and I saw this pasta dish, although, in my head, I'm calling it a salad.  I quickly looked at the ingredients list, and I had everything on hand to make it, even the fresh mozzarella, which is something I don't keep around.

I  loved it.  My husband loved it.  My daughter loved it.  Nobody else got to try it because we kind of hogged it all up, but you bet I'll be making it again. 

My tweak:

-I used orzo pasta because I was out of spiral pasta.  This made it more salad-y to me.  I put it in a big bowl and we ate it cold, right out of the fridge.

I don't think I changed anything else.  Don't leave out the walnuts.  They were yummy.

Burned Peach Ice Cream from Alton Brown.

Making homemade peach ice cream is very uncharacteristic of me, because I gravitate toward caramel-peanut butter-chocolate-swirly concoctions, but I had a bag of frozen peaches in my freezer that needed to be used.  

Here are my tweaks:

-I used all brown sugar.

-I used vanilla extract.

-I thawed my 16-ounce bag of peaches and placed them on a baking sheet along with a tablespoon or so of melted butter, and two or so tablespoons of light brown sugar.  I roasted them in the oven at about 400 degrees, stirring them several times until they were quite brown around the edges.

Then I proceeded as directed in the recipe.  

Like I said, fruity ice cream is never my first choice, but I really enjoyed this.

Homemade Granola Bars from Ina Garten.

Loved.  And so did everyone who ate them.

And I don't know what is happening to my taste buds, but I'm really liking dried fruit lately.

Except raisins.  Never.  NEVER, I SAY!  

But dried mango, cranberries, blueberries?  Yes.  Give me more. Except dried blueberries are expensive.  Has anyone noticed that?

So these are my tweaks:

-I used quick-cooking oatmeal instead of old fashioned.

-I substituted dried blueberries and mangoes for the dried fruit in her recipe.

-I may or may not have added in some sunflower seeds.  If I did, I am sure that it was no more than about 1/4 cup.

-I used walnuts instead of almonds.

But besides that, it's practically the same.

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Pico De Gallo

Our tomatoes have been coming in for a few weeks now, and one of my favorite ways to use them is to make pico de gallo.  Nothing says summer more to me than this condiment, and I make batches and batches of it when I'm getting tomatoes fresh off the vine.  Usually it's made with just tomatoes, onion, cilantro, jalapeno, and lime juice, but I add garlic and bell pepper to mine.  I also like a drizzle of olive oil.

Pico de Gallo

4-5 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1-2 jalapenos, seeded and finely chopped
1-2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
About 1/2 cup of chopped, fresh cilantro
The juice of 2-3 limes
About 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Stir the first 7 ingredients together in a large bowl.  Add the juice of the limes and drizzle with
the olive oil.  Season well with salt and
pepper, then stir to evenly coat.  Serve
with tortilla chips.

*All measurements are approximate.  Use as much or as little of any ingredient according
to your own taste.

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Thursday, July 1, 2010

Fourth Of July Strawberries

I have a friend, Beth, who really should have her own food blog, or better yet, her own television show.  She is crazy talented in all things food and craft related, and she posts pictures and ideas all the time on Facebook, where I make note of them for future use.  Last year around this time, she posted a picture of some patriotic strawberries that she had made, and I swiped the picture and put it into my food ideas folder.  I've been waiting all year for the Fourth of July to roll around again so I could make them myself.

Yesterday I was at Sam's, and they had large three pound containers of strawberries for a good price, so I bought some.  Unfortunately, I had to throw out about a pound of them because there was some mold, but I salvaged enough to make a batch of these strawberries. 

I melted one cup of white chocolate chips and one tablespoon of shortening in a metal bowl placed over some simmering water, and stirred until smooth.  I'm sure you could use almond bark or the white melting disks, too.

I washed and dried the strawberries, leaving the leafy tops, and poured blue sugar crystals and blue nonpareils in small bowls. I preferred the taste of the ones dipped in the blue sugar.  Walmart has Great Value brand blue sugar crystals in the baking aisle.

I dipped the strawberries in the white chocolate, then in the sugar or nonpareils, then I placed them on a wax paper lined baking sheet until they hardened.  I also inserted some of the strawberries with lollipop sticks, but I recommend doing this after you have dipped them and they have hardened, because the sticks loosen easily and slip out.  I learned the hard way.

Hope y'all have a fantastic Fourth of July.

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