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Peach & Blueberry Crisp

July 30, 2013

Peach & Blueberry CrispPeach & Blueberry Crisp

Peaches and blueberries?  What could be better?  You could serve this dessert with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream or English clotted cream.

INGREDIENTS

8 Ripe Peaches (Sliced)

2 Cups Fresh Blueberries

1 Cup Butter

1 Cup Brown Sugar

1 Cup Old Fashioned Rolled Oats

1 Cup Unbleached Flour

1/2 Cup Chopped Almonds

1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

1/2 Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg

Preheat your oven to 400° F. In a large size baking pan place the sliced peaches.  Add the blueberries to the top of the peaches.  Set aside.  In a medium saucepan melt the butter over a low heat.  When the butter has melted turn off the heat.  Stir in the oats, flour, brown sugar, almonds, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Spread the oat mixture over the top of the blueberries.  Place into the oven for 35 minutes.  Remember that each oven heats differently so check at 30 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let cool.  Serve warm or cold.  I served mine warm with English clotted cream, but you could serve with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream or plain.  Serves 4 to 6

 

Baby Eggplant Salad

July 29, 2013

eggplant 2Baby Eggplant Salad

INGREDIENTS

1 Pound Unpeeled Baby Eggplants

2 Garlic Cloves

1 Teaspoon Ground Paprika

1 Teaspoon Ground Cumin

3 Tablespoons Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

1 Bunch Chopped Fresh Italian Parsley

Fill a large size pot with water and salt.  Cut the eggplants into quarters (lengthwise).  Place the garlic cloves and eggplants into the water and bring to a boil over a high heat.  Boil until the eggplant pieces are tender.  Drain and throw away the garlic.  Place the eggplant pieces into a large size bowl.  Combine with the paprika, cumin, lemon juice, olive oil and chopped parsley.  Mix gently and place into the fridge for 2 to 4 hours.  Remove from the fridge when ready to serve. Serve chilled.  Serves 4

Flank Steak Salad

July 25, 2013

Flank Steak SaladFlank Steak Salad

It’s still hot outside and I am continuing to avoid turning on my oven if I can avoid it.  Here is the perfect summer salad that will definitely leave you feeling satisfied.

INGREDIENTS

3 Ears Fresh Corn (Cooked & Cut From The Cob)

1 Cup Cannellini Beans

1 Large Diced Roasted Red Pepper

2 Cups Green Beans (Blanched & Cut Into 1 Inch Pieces)

1 Cup Grape Tomatoes (Halved Lengthwise)

1/2 Cup Minced Red Onion

1/2 Cup Chopped Olives

1 Diced Yellow Plum

1 Avocado (Cut Into Chunks)

1 Seeded & Minced Jalapeño

10 Basil Leaves

1 1/2 Pounds Marinated Flank Steak

1 Cup Hoisin Sauce (For Marinade)

1 Cup Sriracha Sauce (For Marinade)

Tzatziki Sauce For Dressing

In a medium size bowl combine the hoisin sauce and the sriracha sauce.  Place the flank steak into a large size ziplock bag and pour the hoisin mixture in.  Zip up the bag and give a few gentle shakes to cover all of the flank steak.  Place into the fridge for 4 hours or more.  I like to marinate overnight, but if you’re short on time then 4 hours will work just fine. When you are ready to make the salad remove the flank steak from the fridge and let it rest on the counter while you are assembling the salad.  In a large size bowl toss together the corn, cannellini beans, green beans, tomatoes, onions, avocado, Jalapeño and basil.  Remove the flank steak from the ziplock bag and throw away the bag and the marinade.  On a grill pan grill the flank steak for 4 minutes per side (depending on how rare you like your steak).  Remove the flank steak from the heat and transfer to a plate.  Let rest for 10 minute.  Slice the flank steak and place on top of the salad.  Serve with Tzatziki Sauce as a dressing.  Serves 4

 

Blueberry Cookies

July 23, 2013

Blueberry CookiesBlueberry Cookies

If you’re tired of the same old chocolate chip cookie then give my scrumptious Blueberry Cookies a test run.  I wouldn’t quite put them in the “healthy” category, but close enough.

INGREDIENTS

2 1/4 Cups Unbleached Flour

1 Teaspoon Baking Soda

1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1 Cup Softened Butter

3/4 Cup Sugar

2 Large Eggs

3/4 Cup Packed Brown Sugar

1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract

2 Cups Dried Blueberries

Preheat your oven to 375º F.  In a small size bowl combine the flour, baking soda and kosher salt.  In a large size bowl beat together the butter, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract.  Add the eggs one at a time.  Beat well after adding each egg.  Slowly beat in the flour mixture.  Stir in the blueberries.  Drop by teaspoonful onto parchment paper line baking sheets.  Place into the oven and bake for 9 to 11 minutes.  Remember every oven heats differently and if you like your cookies soft then you may want to take them out just a bit early as they will continue to cook for a bit after leaving the oven.  Remove from the oven and let cool for 4 minutes on the baking sheet.  Remove from the baking sheet and transfer them to wire racks and let cool completely.  Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

Kentucky Benedictine

July 17, 2013

Kentucky BenedictineKentucky Benedictine

I love this Southern spread made popular by Louisville’s Benedict’s restaurateur, Jennie Carter Benedict, who opened her restaurant in 1893.  It can be used as a dip or for a sandwich and is perfect for either an afternoon tea or a light meal.

INGREDIENTS

1 Large Cucumber

8 Ounces Softened Cream Cheese

4 Tablespoons Grated Onion or 2 Minced Green Onions

1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1 Tablespoon Mayonnaise

Remove the cucumber skin and then grate it into a medium size bowl. Drain the cucumber and onion juice (unless using minced green onions).  Add the cream cheese, grated onion, kosher salt and mayonnaise.  Beat with a hand mixer on medium until all of the ingredients are combined.  Place plastic wrap over the bowl and put into the fridge for 2 to 3 hours.  If you are using for a vegetable dip then thin it out with a bit of sour cream.  Makes about 1 1/2 Cups

Honeydew Melon Gazpacho

July 16, 2013

Honeydew MelonHoneydew Melon Gazpacho

This cold soup is extremely refreshing.  The sweet honeydew mixes well with garden fresh cucumbers and onions for a sweetened spin on the traditional tomato gazpacho.  Oh and by the way, it’s super easy to make too!

INGREDIENTS

3 Tablespoons Minced Red Onions

3 Tablespoons Sherry Vinegar

1 Large Honeydew Melon (About 8 Cups)

1 Large Peeled & Seeded Cucumber

1/4 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

Put the minced onions into a small size bowl and add the sherry vinegar.  Let the onions soak for 20 minutes.  Peel and seed the honeydew.  Cut the honeydew into 1 inch cubes and place into a medium size bowl.  Chop the cucumber and place into the honeydew bowl.  Put the onions with the vinegar, honeydew, cucumber and kosher salt into a food processor or a blender.  Pulse until pureed.  Pour into a large size bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Place in the fridge for 2 to 4 hours until the gazpacho is completely chilled.  Remove from the fridge when ready to serve and ladle into individual bowls.  Serves 4

Oatmeal Cherry Cookies

July 15, 2013

Oatmeal Cherry Cookies 2Oatmeal Cherry Cookies

Over the weekend I was in the mood for oatmeal cookies.  I looked all over my pantry for the box of raisins that I could have sworn was in there, but couldn’t locate them.  BUT I did see a container filled with dried cherries. The jury is in and I must admit that I like oatmeal cookies better with cherries.  Just sayin’.

INGREDIENTS

1/2 Cup Softened Butter

3/4 Cup Packed Brown Sugar

1/2 Cup Sugar

2 Eggs

1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

1 1/2 Cups Unbleached Flour

1 Teaspoon Baking Soda

1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

3 Cups Old Fashioned Oats

1 Cup Dried Cherries

Preheat your oven to 350º F.  In a large size bowl, beat the butter, sugar and brown sugar on a medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy.  Add the eggs and vanilla extract.  Beat well.  In a separate medium size bowl combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and kosher salt.  Mix well Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture.  Mix well.  Add the oats and dried cherries and mix well.  Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet.  Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown.  Cool for 1 minute on the baking sheet and then remove to a wire rack.  Cool completely.  Repeat until you have baked all of the cookies.  Makes about 4 dozen.

Bastille Day Roast Pork

July 14, 2013

Bastille Day Roast PorkBastille Day 2

This spice mixture rubbed onto the pork is a classic French combination of warm spices called Quatre-Épices which literally means four spices.  Once the pork begins roasting, the aroma of the Quatre-Épices will fill your kitchen and make you dream of being in France.

INGREDIENTS

1 Trimmed Boneless Pork Loin Roast

1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

1/2 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper

1/8 Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg

1/8 Teaspoon Ground Cloves

1/3 Cup Dry White Wine

2/3 Cup Chicken Broth

Preheat your oven to 350º F.  Pat your pork dry with paper towels.  In a small size bowl combine the kosher salt, cinnamon, pepper, nutmeg and cloves.  Mix well and then rub the spice mixture all over the pork.  Put the pork roast onto a rack that fits into a roasting pan.  The smaller the roasting pan the better.  Place into the oven and roast for about 1 hour.  The center should read 155º F when you insert a meat thermometer.  Remove from the oven and transfer to a warm serving platter.  Let stand for 15 minutes.  This will set the juices and the meat will continue to cook a bit more and should reach 160º F.  Letting it stand makes it easier to slice as well.  While the pork roast is resting place the roasting pan over a burner and turn the heat up to a high heat.  Add the white wine.  Bring to a boil and stir until the browned bits are loosened from the bottom of the pan.  Add the chicken broth and let boil for another 2 minutes.  Stir constantly.  Remove from the heat and skim off the fat.  Pour the pan juices into a gravy boat or pitcher and serve along with the pork roast.  You may want to also serve this dish with applesauce.  Serves 6

I’ll bet you counted more than four spices in that ingredient line-up didn’t you?  Here is a bit about Quatre-Épices:

Quatre-Épices or “Four Spices” usually includes four or five spices and are commonly used in French cuisine. In many French households the combination of spices are mixed in advance and kept on hand.  This is a great idea as it gives the spice combination a chance to really meld together.

Bastille Day 3

Bastille Day Pain Française

July 13, 2013

French BreadBastille Day Pain Française

Tuna sandwiches à la française!  The best way to make this very large sandwich is to make it a day in advance.  This allows the delicious juices to soak into the French bread.  Make sure to use olive oil packed tuna instead of tuna packed in water.

INGREDIENTS

1 Large Loaf of French Bread (Round or Long)

2 Garlic Cloves Cut in Half

1/4 Cup Olive Oil

3 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar

1/4 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1/4 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

3 Medium Sliced Ripe Tomatoes

1/2 Cup Fresh Basil

1 Tablespoon Fresh Mint

6 Ounces Canned Tuna Packed in Olive Oil

1/3 Cup Pitted & Chopped Kalamata Olives

2 Chopped Green Onions

1 Tablespoon Capers

1 Large Hard Boiled Egg Sliced

Cut your bread in half horizontally.  Take out some of the soft center from each half to make about a one inch shell.  Rub the inside of the bread halves with the garlic.  In a small sized measuring cup mix together the olive oil, vinegar, kosher salt and pepper.  Drizzle 1/4 of the olive oil mixture onto both halves of the garlic rubbed bread.  On the bottom half of the bread place 1/3 of the tomato slices.  Drizzle about half of the remaining oil mixture onto the tomato slices.  Next top with half of the basil and all of the mint.  Set aside.  Drain the tuna.  In a small size bowl flake the tuna.  Add the olives, green onions and capers.  Spoon the tuna mixture over the tomato and herbs.  Place the egg slices on top.  Put the remaining tomato slices and basil on top of the egg slices.  Drizzle with the remaining olive oil mixture.  Place the top half of the bread on top all of this deliciousness.  Wrap this large sandwich tightly with either foil or plastic wrap. Put in the fridge for at least 5 hours or overnight.  Remove from the fridge when ready to serve and cut into 4 separate sandwiches.  Makes 4 main dish servings.

Pain Francais

Greek Style Eggplant Dip

July 11, 2013

EggplantGreek Style Eggplant Dip

This dip is super healthy and goes perfectly with raw vegetables, crackers or whole grain pita wedges.

INGREDIENTS

1 Large Eggplant

3 Thinly Sliced Garlic Cloves

14 Ounces Silken Tofu

3 Tablespoons Fresh Lemon Juice

1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

Preheat your oven to 350º F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise.  Cut slits in the flesh side of the eggplant halves and insert the garlic slices.  Put the eggplant cut-side down on the baking sheet and then prick the eggplant all over with a fork.  Place in the oven and bake for 45 minutes.  You will want the eggplant to be soft and collapsed.  Remove from the oven and then when the eggplant is cool enough to handle scoop out the pulp and put it into a food processor or blender.  Throw away the skin.  Add the tofu, lemon juice and kosher salt.  Puree until nice and smooth.  Serve immediately.  Makes about 2 1/2 cups.

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