Sunday, June 30, 2013

Grilled Banana Bread Ice Cream Sandwiches

A summer time make-over on an old classic!
The grill can be your best friend when it comes to summertime desserts.
Every thing tastes better grilled or toasted.
Even banana bread!

Store-bought or homemade banana bread, sliced about 1" thick
1 pint of your favorite ice cream
Chopped walnuts

For the sandwiches:  Preheat a gas or charcoal grill on medium high heat.  Place the banana bread slices on the grill and cook until dark grill marks form, about 2-3 minutes.  Flip and cook for an additional 2 minutes.  Allow to cool before making sandwiches. 

Remove the ice cream from the freezer and thaw until spreadable but not melted, about 10 minutes.  Scoop a generous amount of ice cream (about 1 cup) on a slice of grilled banana bread and spread evenly across the surface.

Top with another slice of banana bread, pressing firmly to even out the ice cream.  Roll in chopped walnuts if desired.  Wrap tightly in wax paper or plastic wrap.  Freeze for at least 1 hour.  

. Allow to thaw for a few minutes before serving to soften the bread and the ice cream.
~Adapted from Cooking Channel

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Zucchini Napoleons

Resistance is useless. The zucchini are coming.
It's just the beginning.  Soon we will be overloaded with zucchini and fresh garden tomatoes (which is a good thing).
Something lighter for a delicious lunch or dinner on hot summer nights.
4 cups shredded zucchini (about 2 medium)
1/2 cup grated onion
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 egg
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup cracker crumbs (Cheez-it brand - Four Cheese Italian)
3 Tbsp. canola oil
8 oz. fresh mozzarella, sliced 1/4" thick
1 large tomato, sliced
Fresh basil leaves

Shred zucchini on a box grater, rotating when you come to the seeds.  Grate onion.  Place zucchini and onion in a salad spinner, sprinkle with salt and let stand 30 minutes.
Spin mixture to dry.  Squeeze out any excess liquid.

Whisk together egg, garlic powder, oregano and baking powder.
Stir in zucchini mixture and cracker crumbs.  Scoop batter with 1/3 cup measure onto a baking sheet and press into 8 cakes.

Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in skillet.  Saute cakes in two batches over medium heat until golden, about 4 minutes per side, adding more oil as needed.
Add a mozzarella slice to each cake in the last 2 minutes of sauteing to slightly melt mozzarella.

Assemble Napoleons by layering zucchini cake, a tomato slice, and 2 basil leaves on each.  Top with remaining cake and garnish with basil.
Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil if desired and freshly cracked black pepper.

~Adapted from Cuisine at Home

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Bruschetta Chicken with Zucchini "Pasta"

When you are trying to eat a little more healthy, and are missing some of your favorite foods, sometimes you have to be a little creative.
This zucchini has the look and the bite of pasta.
Since zucchini is a bit bland, it takes on whatever flavors you want to top it with.
This would be great with just marinara or a bolognese sauce!

3 large ripe tomatoes, chopped
15 fresh basil leaves, chiffonade (long strips)
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. Balsamic Vinegar
Sea salt to taste

A few hours in advance prepare brushetta topping to allow flavors to blend.  Combine chopped tomato, basil, garlic, olive oil and vinegar in a small bowl.  Sprinkle with salt to taste.  Chill until ready to serve.

Grilled Chicken Breast

4 chicken breast, or 8 thinly sliced
Juice and zest from one lemon
1 garlic clove, crushed
Mrs. Dash Seasoning (I used Original)
1/4 cup Canola or Olive oil

Combine juice and zest, garlic, oil and seasoning.  Pour over chicken and marinate for at least 30 minutes or overnight.

Zucchini Pasta

2 medium zucchini
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 garlic clove, sliced
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

Prepare zucchini.  I just recently bought this cool spiral vegetable slicer  Turns veggies into pasta!
You can also get a Julienne Peeler that does a great job as well!

Heat olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Add garlic and saute until golden.  Add red pepper flakes and zucchini pasta.  Cook for about 2 minutes or until "pasta" is softened but still al dente.

Arrange "pasta" in a bowl.  Add sliced grilled chicken and a generous serving of bruschetta.
The balsamic vinaigrette combined with the warm zucchini is great summer lunch or dinner.
You won't miss the pasta!

~Adapted from Everyday Paleo
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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps #DASH

On Monday I started the DASH Diet Plan.  I'm not going to call it a diet, but more of a healthy way of eating.  I've had high blood pressure for a few years.
Over the last month I was feeling dizzy and finally went to the doc.  My BP was 150/84 - while on medication!
The main focus of the diet is to cut out all sugar, salt and starch (for the first two weeks). No bread, no pasta, no wine.....WHAAAAAA!
So don't cringe, I'll be posting healthier recipes that can be adjusted to your liking!
You don't have to eliminate salt entirely - just in moderation.  Let's face it, some things just need a little salt.
This is the second recipe I have made from the cookbook with some adjustments.
These wraps have lots of crunch with a little spicy kick.  
Great for lunch or dinner!
2 Tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp. ketchup
2 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
1 pkg. Stevia sweetner
1/2 tsp. sesame oil
3 Tbsp. canola oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsps. minced fresh ginger
3 scallions, chopped roughly
1 cup chopped mushroom (about 6)
1/2 cup water chestnuts, diced
1 package broccoli slaw
1 lb. boneless, cooked chicken breast, diced
1 Tbsp. chili garlic sauce
8-10 inner leaves chilled iceberg lettuce
Fresh cilantro leaves
Roasted cashews, chopped

Combine the soy sauce, ketchup, vinegar, Stevia and sesame oil in a small bowl and mix together until the sugar dissolves.

Heat 1 Tbsp. of the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the garlic and ginger, cook until fragrant.  Add mushrooms, onions and water chestnuts.  Stir in broccoli slaw.  Add a little more oil if necessary.  Cook until vegetables are tender but still crisp.  Stir in chopped chicken, reserved sauce and cook until chicken is heated through.

Spoon the filling into each of the lettuce cups.  Top with cilantro and chopped cashews.
~Adapted from The Dash Diet

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

French Toast Roll-ups

This is a fun way to serve stuffed french toast.
You can fill these with just about anything!
I'm thinking these could also be a dessert!

6 slices white or wheat bread
Nutella, Strawberry Cream Cheese or any preserves
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

To Prepare

Trim the crust from the bread.  Flatten the slices slightly with a rolling pin.

In the center of each bread slice, add about 1 teaspooon of the filling of your choice.

I made half with Raspberry Jam and half with Strawberry Cream Cheese

Roll the bread like a cigar.  In a bowl mix the egg and the milk; whisk until well combined.  On a small plate mix the sugar and cinnamon.

Set a skillet over medium heat.  Add unsalted butter.  Soak the bread rolls in the milk mixture until fully coated.  Add them to the hot pan and cook the rolls until they are golden brown on all sides.  Roll in sugar/cinnamon mixture.  Serve hot.

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Sunday, June 2, 2013

Strawberries with Cannoli Cream #SundaySupper

Summer Berry RecipesWe have an unbelievable amount of recipes for summer berries this week!
Finally, the warm weather is upon us!  Planting in our gardens, going to the farmer's markets and enjoying what is just the beginning of all good things summer!

I'm looking forward to making pickles, jams and of course, my simple pleasure - the first tomato sandwich from the garden!  My recipe for Strawberries with Cannoli Cream was given to me by a co-worker when my kids were in grade school.  You can make it as a parfait with crushed Amaretti cookies, serve it as a cool dip, or just with strawberries in small dessert cups.  There are over 45 recipes today! - who needs a cookbook?  Enjoy!

Breakfast & Brunch

Sweet & Savory Berry Recipes

Jams, Jelly, Sauces & More


Cocktails, Drinks & Smoothies

Party Planning

Strawberries with Cannoli Cream

Cannoli Cream

1 cup Ricotta Cheese
1/4 cup confectioner's sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp orange liqueur (optional)
Pinch of cinnamon
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup mini chocolate chips plus more for garnish
Candied Orange Peel

4 cups fresh strawberries, washed, hulled and chopped
Wonton Wrappers
Canola oil
Confectioner's sugar

Place ricotta, confectioner's sugar, vanilla. cinnamon and liqueur in a food processor and process until smooth.

In a medium bowl, whip cream to soft peaks.  Fold in ricotta mixture and chocolate chips.
Chill until ready to serve.

In a medium skillet, heat 1/4 cup oil until shimmering.
Cut wontons in half to make triangles.
Fry about 30 seconds on each side until lightly browned.
Transfer to paper towel.

When cool, sprinkle with confectioner's sugar.

Fill dessert cups halfway with chopped strawberries.
Top with cannoli cream and garnish with chocolate chips and candied orange peel.
Serve with "cannoli" chips.
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