Friday, June 21, 2019

Strawberry Crumb Bars



This recipe is just as delicious as it is easy!  I made this for Father's Day and everyone LOVED it!  It's the perfect summertime dessert!  It uses only fresh strawberries for the filling but when it bakes the strawberries bake into a jam consistency making this dessert sweet and gooey and perfect!  You can definitely substitute other berries such as blueberries, raspberries or blackberries if you prefer.  I'm exited to make this again maybe next time trying mixed berries, YUM!



Ingredients:

1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups flour
1 cup cold butter
1 egg, beaten
4 cups fresh strawberries, chopped
1/2 cup sugar
4 teaspoons corn starch

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 375 F.   Line a 9x14 baking dish with parchment paper (this make for easy removal and quick clean up) . In a large bowl whisk together sugar, baking powder, salt and flour.  Cut cold butter into the flour mixture using 2 knives until pieces are pea sized.  Stir in the egg to form a chunky dough.  Pat down half of the dough mixture into the baking dish and reserve the other half as a topping for your crumb bars.  In another bowl combine the chopped strawberries, sugar and cornstarch and then spread the strawberry mixture on top of the dough in the pan.  Crumble the remaining mixture of the top of the strawberry layer evenly.  Bake 45-55 minutes util slightly browned.  Let cool completely before cutting and serving.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Spring Time Rainbow Cookies




Rainbow Cookies have always been a favorite of my family.  I wanted to make them with a Spring Twist so here are my version of Rainbow Cookies in pretty Spring colors!  Really anything goes!  For Valentine's Day it would look so pretty in shades of Pink and Red, 4th of July - Red, White and Blue!  Here for Springtime I choose, Pink, Teal and Lime Green.  This recipe is a little labor intensive but I promise you, it's worth it!  It' a crowd pleaser!

Ingredients:

8 ounces almond paste
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs, separated
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup seedless raspberry jam
1/4 cup apricot preserves
3/4 Cup chocolate chips
1 teaspoon coconut oil

Preparation:

Preheat the over to 350 degrees F.   Spray three 13" x 9" x 2"  pans with cooking spray. Line each pan with parchment paper and coat the paper with cooking spray.
In a large bowl add almond paste. Use a fork to break it up into small crumbs.  Using a hand mixer  combine almond paste, butter and sugar and mix until fluffy.  Next, add the egg yokes and beat until incorporated.  Now add the flour and use a wooden spoon to stir until well combined. 
In separate bowl beat the egg whites on high speed until stiff peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the almond batter until thoroughly blended.
Separate the cookie batter into 3 small bowls and a different food color to each bowl and mix until desired color is achieved. 
Add each of the three colored batters into one of the prepared pans, using the spatula to spread the batter to the edges. Bake at 350 degree F and rotate pans halfway through the bake time so that they bake evenly. until the edges are golden, about 12 to 14 minutes. Let cool in the pans for about 5 minutes, then invert onto cooling racks and allow to cool completely.
To Assemble:
Place one layer on a large cutting board or a large inverted baking sheet lined with parchment or wax paper. Spread the raspberry jam evenly over the top. Place the 2nd layer on top and spread with the apricot preserves. . Top with the last cake layer. Cover with plastic wrap and place a heavy cutting board on top to weight it down. If you don't have a large heavy cutting board you can put another sheet pan on top an weight down with cans. Refrigerate overnight.
The next day, melt the chocolate chips and coconut oil together in a microwaveable bowl. Spread the chocolate on top of the cooled cake and let it dry slightly. Trim the rim of the cake with a serrated knife to make clean edges. Cut the cake into strips and then cut each strip into squares. 


Saturday, April 20, 2019

Passover Granola



Happy Passover!

This recipe is nothing short of delicious.  I was given this recipe from a new friend that I met recently playing Mah Jongg.   It's made with Matzoh Farfel and lots of yummy dried fruit and nuts.  My friend Caryn, who already made some for her family was so sweet to drop off a whole bag of mixed dried fruit so I can test this recipe.  Thank you Caryn!  I hope you try it too because it really is amazing.  If you don't have Matzoh Farfel, you can just take sheets of Matzah and place in a large Ziplock bag and crush the using a rolling pin.



Ingredients:

1 1/2 Cups Matzoh Farfel
1 Cup Almonds, Coarsely chopped
1/4 Cup (1/2 stick) Butter
2 Tablespoons Honey
1/3 Cup Brown Sugar
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1 Cup Mixed Dried Fruit ( I used Apricots, Prunes, Figs and Apples)



Preparation:

Preheat Oven to 325 F.  Spread Farfel on a lightly greased cookie sheet.  Bake for 10-20 minutes, tossing several times until it's very lightly toasted (watch carefully)

Meanwhile in a 2-quart saucepan, combine butter, brown sugar, honey and salt.  Bring to a simmer for a few minutes, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat.  Place the Farfel, Nuts and Dried Fruit in a large bowl and drizzle the Brown Sugar/Honey mixture over  top.  Toss until Farfel, Nuts and Dried fruit is coasted well.

Spread mixture back on to cookie sheet and bake in a 350 F oven for another 10-20 minutes stirring frequently to prevent burning, until Granola is golden brown.

Remove from oven and let cool.  Once Granola is cool you can store in an air tight container to store or just take a handful and Enjoy!



Monday, April 15, 2019

Raspberry- Blackberry Crisp




 My son Jack loves when I make apple or berry anything. This past weekend he requested a raspberry-blackberry crisp. He even went to the grocery store to pick out the fresh berries himself. $20 later (he's not much of a bargain hunter) I was making him dessert. I'm not a fan of using oats in my crisps, so this recipe is a simple flour, butter, sugar topping. The filling is the perfect amount of sweet and tangy and the fresh berries are so much more flavorful than using the frozen kind. 


Ingredients:

Filling: 
3 C. Raspberries
2 C. Blackberries
1/3 C. Sugar
1/4 C. Flour
1 T. Cornstarch
1 T. Lemon Juice

Crisp Topping: 
1 C. Flour
1/2 C. Brown Sugar
1/2 T. Cinnamon
1/4 tsp. Salt
1 Stick of Butter, softened

Preparation: 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toss berries with sugar, flour, cornstarch and lemon juice. Place mixture in a greased 9x9 baking dish. Make the crisp topping next by cutting softened butter into the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. I like to use my hands to combine the crumb topping ingredients. Combine until mixture is moist and crumbly. Place crumb topping on top of fruit mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. let cool for 20 minutes before serving.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Salmon Pasta


Susan came to visit me in my new home in Southern California in October and we made this pasta dish together one night for dinner.  It's her son, Aaron's favorite and now is a favorite of my kids too.  I love this recipe because it's the best use of left over grilled salmon from the night before and it's an awesome one pan meal!

Ingredients:

1/2 lb Pasta any type, cooked aldente
2 filets (1/2 lb) of cooked salmon, grilled, baked or poached
1 Small Onion chopped
1 Jar of Pasta Sauce
1/4 cup cream cheese
Fresh Parsley, chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon Red pepper flakes
1/3 cup frozen peas (optional)


Preparation:

Saute onion in 2 tablespoons of olive oil for 1-2 minutes until soft.  Add 1 jar of pasta sauce to pan to warm through.  Melt cream cheese into sauce.  Add red pepper flakes and salt and pepper to taste.  Once cream cheese is fully combined you can flake the salmon into the sauce and stir to incorporate.  If you would like to add green peas this is the time to add those in.  Heat sauce over med heat for about 3-5 minutes until hot.  

Pour cooked pasta into a large bowl or platter and pour sauce over top.  Sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley and serve immediately.  



Sunday, March 24, 2019

WHAT’S FOR SUNDAY BRUNCH? Raspberry Stuffed French Toast w/ Frosted Cereal Crust



I made this as a trial recipe yesterday thinking I would have to tweak it a few times. My husband ate my trial in about 1 minute and left nothing over.  I guess no tweaking needed.  Super delicious!  Sweet, tart, creamy and crunchy all in one bite!  This recipe is a little time consuming but really yummy for a special breakfast treat!  I hope you’ll give it a try. 

Ingredients:

2 Eggs
1/2 Cup Milk
Frosted Cereal, crushed
Sliced Bread (any type)
1/2 Cup Frozen Raspberries, thawed and mashed (plus a few whole for garnish)
1/2 Cup Cream Cheese
1/4 Cup Powdered Sugar (plus extra for dusting)
3-4 Tablespoons Butter for frying

Preparation:

In a flat. shallow bowl whisk eggs and milk, set aside.  Place Frosted Cereal in a Ziplock bag, seal and crush using a rolling pin.  Pour crushed cereal into another flat, shallow bowl, set aside.

Combine mashed raspberries, cream cheese and powdered sugar.  Mix until fully incorporated.

Spread raspberry mixture on one slice of bread and top with second slice of bread.  Take "sandwich" and soak in egg mixture, turning to get both sides wet.  Then place in crush cereal to coat completely.  Flip and coat 2nd side in crushed cereal.

In a large frying pan over medium heat melt 1-2 tablespoons of butter.  Add stuffed french toast and fry for about 2 minutes making sure to brown but not burn your french toast.  This will go very quickly and the frosted cereal can burn easily so do not walk away.  Once browned on one side, add a little more butter and flip to brown 2nd side of bread.

Transfer to plate, sprinkle with a few whole raspberries and a dusting of powered sugar and serve immediately.


Saturday, March 23, 2019

Stuffed Pepper Casserole



A spin on the traditional Stuffed Peppers.  My kids have been begging me to make Stuffed Peppers for them all week.  I only had 2 green peppers in the house so I decided to tweak my recipe a bit and make this into a casserole!  It was a huge hit, no leftovers anywhere to be found.

Ingredients:

2 peppers (any color) chopped
1/2 lb  cooked brown rice
1 lb ground beef
1/2 chopped onion
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon of ground ginger
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup water
1-6 oz can of tomato paste
1/2 can (6-8 oz) jellied cranberry sauce
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese
3/4 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese


Preparation:

In a large skillet brown ground beef until cooked through.  Drain oil and set meat aside.  Wipe out the skillet.  Heat oil in skillet and add onion, garlic, ginger sauté for one minute.  Add beef back in and combine with onion mixture.  Add tomato paste, water soy sauce and cranberry sauce and stir and cook for about 10 minutes until cranberry sauce is melted and evenly combined.  (If mixture is too thick, add a little more water).

Now to assemble the casserole:

Grease a 9x9 or similar size baking dish about 9x9 with non stick cooking spray.  Add raw chopped pepper at the bottom of the dish.

Next layer your brown rice.  I used the frozen brown rice from Trader Joes.  This makes it so easy.  Just open the frozen rice and dump in!

Now you can add your meat/sauce mixture on top of the rice.

Cover the casserole with aluminum foil and place in a preheated 375 degree oven for 30-40 minutes.
Remove from oven, uncover and sprinkle on parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese.  Place back in the oven uncovered for 10-15 min until cheese is melted and browned.  (I took mine a little too far and my cheese is too dark, next time I won't get distracted LOL)