Berry Smoothie Popsicles

Berry Smoothie Popsicles

Here is an easy and refreshing treat for those last days of summer.

Berry Smoothie Popsicles

(makes about 12 pops)

3/4 c fresh blueberries

1/2 c fresh raspberries

1/4 c sugar ( add more if you like it sweet)

1 c vanilla yogurt

1 T lemon juice

Add all ingredients to a blender and puree.

Berry Smoothie Popsicles

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Pour into popsicle molds and freeze. Eat and enjoy.

Red White and Blue: Berry Basil Sangria

Red White and Blue: Berry Basil Sangria

This is a light and refreshing sangria that is perfect for summer and the festive colors make it the go to drink for the 4th of July. Want to make a pitcher for the kids, substitute the wine with white grape juice.

1  1.5 liter bottle of Pinot Grigio

1 cup water

1 cup sugar

1/4 c basil

1 c white grape juice

1 c strawberries washed and cut into quarters

1 cup blueberries

1/2 liter club soda

Place Strawberries and blueberries in a large pitcher, cover with 1 cup of wine and place in refrigerator for at least 1 hour- overnight.

Basil Berry Sangria

In a small sauce pan add sugar, water and 4 large basil leaves. bring to a boil and stir until sugar dissolves and then turn off heat and let cool. This is a basil simple syrup. It is great for many mixed drinks. I like it with Gin and tonics.

Basil Simple Syrup

Add 1/2 basil simple syrup (straining the leaves out) the rest of the wine, grape juice, and club soda to the pitcher with the fruit.  Taste and add more simple syrup if needed ( This will depend on your tastes and the sweetness of your wine) Add some more fresh basil leaves. Serve over ice. Garnish with more basil and fruit if desired.

Red White and Blue: Berry Basil Sangria, perfect drink for the 4th of July

Memorial Day Weekend Menu

Looking for some new recipes to celebrate your long weekend. Here are some of my favorites.

Oma's Potato Salad

Oma’s Potato Salad

Red White and Blue Strawberries

Red White and Blue Strawberries

Red, White, and Blue Salad

Red White and Blue Salad

Barbecued Orange and Jalapeno Ribs

Orange and Jalapeno Ribs

Thats What Friends are For: Hedy Goldsmith’s Basil Panna Cotta with Berries

Basil Panna Cotta with Berries

It always happens, you can go for weeks with nothing to do, and then you plan something and there are a million things to do on that same date. My husband and I planned our 20th anniversary trip to Iceland so I could see the Northern Lights, a bucket list item for me. It was a gorgeous, awesome, romantic, fun and adventurous trip. Everything I could ever hope for. But at that same time here in my home town was Food and Wine’s Buick Discovery Tour with my Simon LeBon of chefs Hugh Acheson. What, how could I miss Hughnibrow, the funny judge on my favorite show Top Chef?  Never fear, I have the greatest best friend in the world. She went, she’s not really a foodie but I think she’s converting, and guess what she got me.
Hugh Acheson

Look he even spelled my name right! She gave me all her recipe cards (equivalent of baseball cards for foodies) from the event, including this delicious Basil Panna Cotta from Hedy Goldsmith. I love Panna Cotta and the addition of basil added a fresh and yummy flavor, I would also like to try it with mint some time. I did not make the Strawberry Consomme, we had some delicious fresh berries in the fridge so I just threw those on top, still tasted fantastic. Here is the recipe, the only thing I changed was the vanilla bean, I did not have one so I just added 1tsp of vanilla extract instead. One thousand Thank Yous to Hugh and my Bestie, I think I will frame my recipe card and put it next to my framed Madison Square Garden Duran Duran ticket.

Hedy Goldsmith's Basil Panna Cotta

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Basil Panna Cotta with Berries

Gone Girl Book Club: Crepe-a-Dillas

Gone Girl

This month’s book selection was the suspenseful mystery Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. It was the perfect book for book club, lots to discuss, surprising twists, crazy characters and a unique writing style. I liked it a lot, but I may be biased because it was actually my pick. That also meant that book club was at my house so I had to really bring it with the food. Hmm where to start, how about the beginning, on the day Amy goes missing she is makes crepes for their 5th anniversary breakfast. Crepes are not generally a finger food though and since there is always tons of food at out book clubs, the portion size would be too big. So I thought about it and decided to make my own surprising twist on quesadillas, crepe-a-dillas. Individual triangles of crepe-y goodness, perfect for parties.

Crepe-a-dillas

Crepe-A-Dillas

Filling:

8 0z marscapone cheese

8 oz cream cheese (softened)

1/4 c lemon juice

1 tsp lemon zest

3 T honey

10 crepes (you could make your own, but I used pre made ones found in my produce section of the grocery store, flour tortillas would also work)

Blueberry Balsamic Sauce

1 pint fresh blueberries

1/4 c sugar

2 T balsamic vinegar

1/4 c water

For the filling,  mix all ingredients with a mixer  until incorporated. To make crepe-a-dillas lay one crepe flat, spread thin layer of filling on crepe, fold in half and then cut into wedges with pizza cutter of knife.

Crepe-a-dillasCrepe-a-dillasCrepe-a-dillas

Place on a plate and put wax paper or plastic wrap between layers to prevent sticking, place in refrigerator until ready to use.

For the sauce, add all ingredients to a small sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes or until sauce thickens. Place in small bowl and cover. Cool in the refrigerator.

I also made a Chicken Frito Pie, just like the nice woman brought Nick after his wife disappeared which I will share the recipe to in my next post. We also had members bring manchego cheese, chocolate truffles, chili cheese fritos and casseroles, all thematic for the book.

For decorations I really wanted to have live lobsters in a pot (too mean), so I looked for fake ones but I couldn’t find them. I also wrapped a large box in a blue plastic table cloth from the dollar store ( I couldn’t find plain blue wrapping paper anywhere) for the centerpiece. I had a number 5 candle in my crepe-a-dillas. I also thought it would be fun to make some fun quizzes for book club like the ones Amy wrote for magazines.

Caution tape by the front door would have been a nice touch but I thought of that after book club.

I kept a bowl of red jelly beans close by for our discussions so that they could be throw at people for fun if you disagreed with their thoughts about the book. By the way I am still finding red jelly beans in and under my couch. Gone Girl Book Club

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Blueberry and Basil Salsa

Blueberry and Basil Salsa

Blueberry and Basil Salsa

I love the combination of blueberries and basil, so when I was asked to make salsa for a wine and cheese party, I decided to add a little twist. This salsa is great with goat cheese, brie, blue cheese or even cream cheese, serve over top the cheese on a cracker or bread. This would also be great on chicken or fish.

 Blueberry and Basil Salsa

1 cup fresh blueberries

1/4 c red onion

5 large fresh basil leaves

1 tsp honey

1 tsp lime juice

1/2 tsp salt

Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor and puree until salsa consistency.

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Lemon Curd: The Most Delicious Way to Use Up Egg Yolks.

The other day when I made dark chocolate mousse in the blender I found myself with 6 left over egg yolks, what was I going to do with that? I googled recipes and found one for lemon curd, which was funny because I also had an abundance of lemons. I went ahead and made it, it was super easy, and I was surprised at how delicious it was, I found that I wanted to put it on everything. The recipe I found was on about.com from John Mitzewhich. I will be making this again.

Classic Lemon Curd

  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (about 4-5 lemons)
  • 2 T grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter (1 stick butter), cut into 1/8-in slices
  1. Add 1-inch of water to a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat. In a medium metal bowl whisk the egg yolks and sugar for about 2 minutes until smooth. Whisk in the lemon juice and zest until combined.
  2. Place the mixing bowl on top of saucepan (the bowl should be wide enough to fit on top of the saucepan, but shouldn’t be touching the simmering water). Stir the mixture constantly with a rubber spatula, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl as you stir, until it begins to thicken, and will coat the back of a spoon. This will take approximately 7 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. Whisk in the butter, one slice at a time. Wait until each piece almost disappears before adding the next.

 

We served it on pancakes with blueberries for a sunday breakfast, also try it on scones, muffins, biscuits, pound cake or as a filling for layer cakes.

 

Rum Day and Bratwurst Day, Sort of a Weird Combination…

It’s hard to keep up with all of these holidays. Before I started blogging I was obviously leading a sheltered life. I had no idea all of these celebratory days existed. My waistline and liver were probably better off though. Well not to be left out, today, August 16th is Rum Day and Bratwurst day, I may not recommend having these both in one sitting but hey it’s a holiday, go for it! Click on the links for the recipes.

May I interest you in a fresh Watermelon Daiquiri ?

Or a Bratwurst with Warm Bacon, Pickle and Onion Relish ?

Going for the Gold: Olympic Fruit Tart

Hosting an Olympic themed party, try this cute and festive dessert, you may take home the gold.

Olympic Fruit Tart

2 packages of dry sugar cookie mix

1 80z tub Cool Whip

12 oz cream cheese softened

1 t vanilla extract

2 T sugar

1 cup apple jelly

about 1/2 c each of:

Raspberries, Blackberries, Pineapple, Blueberries, and Green Grapes

Mix up sugar cookie dough according to package directions, spread into a large rectangular cookie sheet sprayed with non stick spray. Cook for about 15 minutes or until cookie is golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool. Flip cookie onto a large flat board or platter (you can leave in pan if desired). To make frosting, combine cool whip, cream cheese, vanilla and sugar in a large bowl, I used my kitchen aid mixer with the paddle attachment, you could use a hand mixer or food processor. Beat about 4 minutes on high or until no longer lumpy. Spread on cooled cookie.

To make olympic rings use a small bowl and make circular indentations onto the frosting.

Use the fruit to make rings, Chop black berries and grapes in half, and pineapple into small pieces

Melt apple jelly in a small sauce pan over med/low heat and brush over tart with a silicone brush.

Put in refrigerator until ready to serve.

Blueberry and Cucumber Salad with Lime and Ginger Dressing

This healthy and  refreshing Summer salad is punched up with a zip of lime. Delicious as a side to any dinner or add grilled chicken to make this the entrée.

2 c fresh spinach washed and torn into bite sized pieces

2 c romaine washed and torn into bite sized pieces

1 c fresh blueberries

1 cucumber  peeled, halved and sliced

1/4 c sliced roasted almonds

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl

Dressing:

Juice of 2 limes, or about 2 T

1/4 c extra virgin olive oil

1 t sugar (or substitute)

1 t minced ginger

Whisk ingredients together in a small bowl, pour over salad, toss together