Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Cajeta Quesadillas with Fruit Salsa




Cajeta Quesadillas With Fruit Salas
Cinco de Mayo is right around the corner.  It is hard to believe time flies so fast.  Today, I am sharing a recipe I found in Better Homes and Gardens magazine.  It is a fruit quesadilla with Cajeta or Dulce de Leche (which is what I used).  These quesadillas are perfect for an afternoon snack or a light dessert.  Start by making a fruit salsa.  Chop some fresh pineapple and stir in some fresh blackberries, agave nectar, fresh lime juice, and a pinch of salt.  Once the salsa is made, set it aside. Take an 8-inch flour tortilla and spread one side with melted butter and the other with dulce de leche or cajeta. I deviated from the recipe - I spread the whole tortilla with dulce de leche.  The recipe states spread it over half.   Add some sliced bananas over the dulce de leche, fold the tortilla in half and cook in a large nonstick skillet until lightly browned on each side.  Cut the tortilla into wedges (I let mine cool a little so the dulce de leche would not leak out too much).  Top the quesadillas with whipped cream and fruit salsa.  You can drizzle with additional cajeta or dulce de leche.  The recipe calls for using whipping cream, but I cheated and used Ready Whip.  These quesadillas were very tasty.  The sweetness of the dulce de leche was a perfect combination for the fruits.  The blackberries added a nice ever so slight tang to compliment the sweetness.  I love the color of these quesdillas - so bright and festive.

Cajeta Quesadillas With Fruit Salsa
From Better Homes and Gardens

Ingredients:
Fruit Salsa

1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped fresh pineapple
1/2 cup fresh blackberries
2 tablespoons agave nectar or honey
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
Pinch salt
4 (8-inch) flour tortillas
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup cajeta or dulce de leche
1 large banana, sliced
1/2 cup whipping cream
Cajeta or dulce de leche

Directions:


1. For fruit salsa, in a medium bowl combine pineapple, blackberries, agave nectar, lime juice, and salt; set aside.

2. For the quesadillas, lightly brush one side of each tortilla with the butter.  Place the tortillas, butter side down, on cutting board or waxed paper.  Spread 2 tablespoons cajeta or dulce de leche over half of each tortilla.  Top with banana slices.  Fold over tortilla and gently press down.
3. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat for 1 minute.  Cook quesadillas, two at a time, over medium heat for 4 to 6 minutes or until light brown, turning once.  Transfer to cutting board and cut into wedges.
4.  In a small bowl beat whipping cream with an electric mixer on medium speed until stiff peaks form.  To serve, place quesadilla wedges on a serving plate.  Top with whipped cream and fruit salsa.  Drizzle with additional cajeta or dulce de leche.

Make 4 servings










Buttered Tortilla
Spread with dulce de leche
Bananas

















Cooking
Beautiful colors

Friday, April 26, 2013

Cherry Limeade

Cool and Refreshing
My son and I went on a bike ride the other day.  We had a great time, but were thirsty when we got home.  I had made some Cherry Limeade earlier in the day so I poured us a big glass.  It was very refreshing and tasty.  I like to make a simple syrup when I make limeade.  This way the sugar gets dissolved completely.  To make a simple syrup, I take one cup of boiling water and stir in one cup of sugar ( you can use less if you like a tarter limeade) and stir until the water is clear.  Next, I squeeze some fresh lime juice and blend it with one pound of frozen cherries.  I pour the lime and cherry mixture in a large pitcher along with the simple syrup and remaining water.  Stir  the ingredients well and put in the fridge until ready to serve.  This is a  nice refreshing beverage that  has a delightful cherry flavor that is not too tart.  If you like your limeade on the tart side reduce the sugar.


                                    Cherry Limeade

Ingredients:

1 (16 ounce) bag frozen cherries
1 cup freshly squeezed lime  juice
4 cups water
¾ -1 cup sugar depending on  preferred sweetness


Directions:

1. Place cherries and lime juice in a blender and blend until smooth.  Set aside.
Cherries and Lime Juice
Blended
2. Boil 1 cup of water and stir in sugar until sugar is dissolved.
3. In a large pitcher combine the sugar water,  the lime juice and cherry mixture.  Add the remaining 3 cups of water and stir.
4.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.  Serve  over ice.


Makes 4-6 servings






Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Brown Butter Tortellini With Toasted Garlic and Asparagus

Brown Butter tortellini With toasted Garlic and Asparagus
Need something quick and easy for dinner some night.  Try making some tortellini in brown butter with garlic and asparagus.  This dish is super easy to make and it comes together quickly.  Just start by cooking the pasta according to package directions.  While the pasta is cooking, you make the sauce.  Melt the butter in a large skillet.  Add the asparagus and garlic to the butter.  Season with some salt and pepper.   Cook until the asparagus begins to get tender.  Add some lemon lemon zest and cook until the butter turn a golden brown.  To the asparagus add the cooked pasta with some fresh tarragon and toss.  Dinner is ready to serve.  Top with some grated Parmesan cheese.  Dinner could not be simpler or tastier.  I love the flavors and was pleased with the subtle citrus flavor the lemon zest gave to this pasta dish.  I recommend you give this dish a try.

Brown Butter Tortellini With Toasted Garlic and Asparagus
From Woman's Day


Ingredients:

1 pound cheese tortellini
1 lemon
3 tablespoon unsalted butter
8 ounces thin asparagus, thinly sliced on a diagonal
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Kosher salt and pepper
2 tablespoons fresh tarragon, chopped
Grated Parmesan, for serving

Directions:

1. Cook the tortellini according to package directions.  Drain.
2. Meanwhile, using a vegetable peeler, remove 3 strips of zest from the lemon.  Thinly slice the zest.
3. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the asparagus and garlic, season with 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper and cook, tossing occasionally, until beginning to soften, 2 to 3 minutes.  Increase the heat to medium-high, add the lemon zest and cook, tossing until the butter turns golden brown, about 2 minutes.
4. Toss the asparagus mixture with the tortellini and tarragon.  Serve with Parmesan, if desired.


Serves 4
Cut up Asparagus

Asparagus Cooking in Butter With Lemon Zest and Garlic

Dinner is Served






Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Lemon Lime Bars

Lemon Lime Bars
Lemon  Lime Bars - cousin to the lemon bars.  These bars combine two of my favorite citrus flavors, lemon and lime.  I must say, these bars are delicious.  A nice rich bar with a slight tangy flavor  that is paired with a delicious crust.  The prep time to make these bars is about 35 minutes and 35 minutes baking time.  The base for these bars is a crust made from flour, powdered sugar, cornstarch, salt and butter.  The crust mixture is pressed into the bottom of a 13x9x2-inch baking dish that has been lined with parchment paper.  While the crust is baking in a 350 degree F oven, you start preparing the filling. Eggs which have been lightly beaten are combined with sugar, half-and-half, and flour.  The mixture is divided into two bowls.  In one bowl, you add lemon juice and lemon zest.  In the second bowl, you add lime juice, lime zest, and a drop of green food coloring.  Once the crust has finished baking, you pour the lemon filling over the crust immediately after you take it out of the oven.  This way your lemon layer will set.  After the lemon layer has baked for about 10 minutes or until set,  you pour the lime mixture over the lemon layer.  Bake for an additional 10 minutes or until set.  Remove the bars from the oven and let them cool completely.  When cooled, lift the bars out of the pan and cut.   Sift powdered sugar over the bars followed by  lemon and lime peel.
You are ready to enjoy this fabulous and beautiful bar.  They taste as good as they look.  Enjoy:)


Lemon Lime Bars
From Better Homes and Gardens


Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter, cut up
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/3 cup half-and-half
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon finely shredded lime peel
1/3 cup lime juice
1 drop green food coloring
Thin strips of lemon and lime peel (optional)

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease a 13x9x2-inch baking pan.  Line pan with parchment, pressing the paper onto the bottom and up the sides of the pan; set aside.  For crust, in a large bowl combine the 2 cups flour, powdered sugar, cornstarch, and salt.  Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Press firmly into bottom of prepared pan.  Bake 15 minutes.

Coarse Crumb Mixture for Crust
Crust Mixture Pressed Down in Prepared Pan
2. Meanwhile, in a medium mixing bowl whisk together eggs, granulated sugar, half-and-half, and 3 tablespoon flour; divide equally into two bowls.  To one bowl add lemon peel and lemon juice; to the other bowl add lime peel, lime juice, and green food coloring.   Pour lemon filling over hot crust; bake 10 to 12 minutes or until set.  Carefully pour lime filling over lemon filling; bake 10 to 12 minutes more or until set.  Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.
Lemon Mixture





Lime Mixture















Lemon Mixture Poured Over Hot Crust

Lime Mixture Poured Over Lemon Mixture

3. Use paper to lift uncut bars out of pan.  Cut into bars.  Sift powdered sugar over bars.  Top with lemon and lime peel, if desired.  Refrigerate to store.

Makes 32 bars















Saturday, April 20, 2013

Coconut Tapioca Pudding With Mango and Lime

Coconut Tapioca Pudding With Mango and Lime
Tapioca pudding brings back memories of my childhood.  My mother made Tapioca pudding once a week.  I had my bowl of Tapioca topped with whipped cream and a maraschino cherry.  Delicious.  I found a  recipe for this delicious pudding that had mangoes and lime.  The pudding also had coconut milk in it.  I decided to give it a try.  Instead of using quick tapioca, this recipe called for small pearl tapioca.  As the pudding was cooling, I put plastic flush against the pudding so no skin would form.    The mango and lime combination  was delicious.  I was tempted to eat the fruit and serve the tapioca with whipped cream and a maraschino cherry, but I resisted.  The pudding was delicious e pudding was delicious.  It was a nice and easy dessert to prepare for a week night meal or for company
Small Pearl Tapioca

.



Coconut Tapioca Pudding With Mango and Lime
From Food And Wine

Ingredients:

1/2 cup small pearl tapioca
2 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise and seeds scraped
Kosher  salt
1 (14-ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk
2 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons sugar
2 cups peeled and diced mango
1 tablespoon finely grated lime zest
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

Directions:

1. In a large saucepan, combine the tapioca, whole milk, vanilla bean and seeds and a pinch of salt.  Bring to a simmer over moderate heat and cook whisking occasionally, until the tapioca is translucent and tender, about 20 minutes.  Whisk in the coconut milk.
2. In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar.  Gradually whisk in half of the warm tapioca in a steady stream.  Continue whisking and pour the egg yolk mixture back into the saucepan.  Cook the pudding over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 5 minutes.  Transfer the pudding to a bowl and let cool to room temperature.  Discard the vanilla bean.
3. In a medium bowl, combine the mango, lime zest and juice.  Transfer half to a food processor and puree until smooth.  Stir the puree into the diced mango.  Divide half of the fruit into 4 glasses, top with the tapioca pudding, then top with the remaining fruit.  Cover the puddings and refrigerate for about 2 hours, or until chilled, before serving.

Make Ahead: The assembled puddings can be refrigerated overnight.  Let them stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes before serving.

Makes 4 servings



Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Walnut Milk

Glass of Walnut Milk
I found this recipe for Walnut Milk that sounded interesting.   I have had Almond Milk but never Walnut Milk.  Nut milks are super healthy and very easy to make.  In this recipe, walnuts are soaked in water for at least one hour or overnight.  I soaked mine overnight so they would be easier to grind.
You drain the walnuts and put them in a blender with water, honey or Agave nectar,  vanilla extract, and a pinch of kosher salt.  Blend together until smooth.  You can pour it in a glass or strain with some cheesecloth placed over  a strainer before serving.   Do not throw away the pulp.  You can dry it out.  Set your oven to the lowest temperature. Place the meal on a baking sheet and bake in oven with door ajar until dry.   It takes about 6 to 7 hours. You now have some walnut meal for your baking.
I served the Walnut Milk right after I made it.  The taste was refreshing and quit good.  I stored the rest in the fridge.  The recipe states it will keep for up to 5 days in the fridge.








Walnut Milk
From Better Homes and Gardens

Ingredients:

1 cup walnut halves, rinsed (4 oz)
1 tablespoon honey or agave nectar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch of kosher salt

Directions:

1. Place walnuts in a medium bowl and fill with enough water to cover by 1 inch.  Cover and set aside. Soak at room temperature at least 1 hour or up to 12 hours for easy blending.
2. Drain walnuts; rinse thoroughly.  In a blender combine walnuts, 3 cups water, honey, vanilla, and salt; blend on low until very smooth, at least 2 minutes.  Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Note: After blending, if you want a smoother milk, strain with cheesecloth placed over a strainer.

Ready for Blending

Blending


Glass of Walnut Milk



Walnut Meal




Monday, April 15, 2013

Broccoli Salad Roulades

Broccoli Salad Roulades
The other day for lunch I made myself Broccoli Salad Roulades.  With spring here and summer just around the corner, these roulades sounded perfect for a healthy, slimming lunch. The roulades are loaded with healthy veggies and other goodies. You mix chopped broccoli florets, chopped red bell pepper, grated carrots, dried cherries ( I used dried cranberries) diced purple onion, and bacon together.  You then pour some White Balsamic dressing over the mixture and stir until well combined.  Get two flour tortillas and divide the mixture evenly.  Roll and wrap in plastic wrap for 30 minutes to 2 hours.  Remove from the fridge and slice using a serrated knife.  The roulades are  very colorful.  I loved the taste - healthy veggies with a bit of bacon and the tartness of cranberries held together by a tasty balsamic dressing.  I sliced up the second tortilla for my kids as a snack and they thought they were good:)  Three cheers!


Broccoli Salad Roulades
From Teatime Magazine


Ingredients:

2 cups finely chopped broccoli florets
1/4 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup coarsely grated carrot
1/4 cup finely crumbled cooked bacon
2 tablespoons finely chopped dried cherries
1 tablespoon finely diced purple onion
1 recipe White Balsamic Dressing (recipe follows)
2 large flour tortillas

Directions:

1. In a medium bowl, combine broccoli, pepper, carrot, bacon, cherries, onion, and White Balsamic Dressing, stirring well.  Set aside.
Yummy  Goodies
Tossed in White Balsamic Dressing
2. Lay tortillas on a work surface.  Divide broccoli salad evenly between tortillas, spreading over surface and leaving a 1-inch border.  Roll tortillas up firmly into cylinders, enclosing salad.  Wrap each firmly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.












3. Remove plastic wrap.  Using a serrated knife, slice roulades into 1-inch slices.
4. Serve immediately.

Yield: 14 (1-inch) slices

White Balsamic Dressing

Ingredients:

1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions:

1. In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper, whisking well.
2. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator until cold, at least 2 hours and up to a day.

Yield: 1/2 cup






Beautiful Color






Friday, April 12, 2013

Tortilla-Crusted Chicken Tenders With Southwestern Dipping Sauce

Tortilla-Crusted Chicken Tenders With Southwestern Dipping Sauce
Tortilla-Crusted Chicken Tenders With Southwestern Dipping Sauce found their way on my dinner table the other night.  They were yummy.  The chicken was moist, tender and had a crispy crust.  The Southwestern Ranch Dipping Sauce added a wonderful flavor to the chicken and was the perfect condiment.  This recipe is great for using up broken taco shells. If you like you can use corn tortillas.  I like the extra crispiness the taco shells gave the chicken. The chicken tenders are first coated in and egg and milk mixture.  They are then coated in mixture of ground tortilla chips, (or corn tortillas) flour, cumin and salt.
Note: The recipe instructs you to coat  the chicken tenders all at once in the egg mixture and the crumb mixture.  I did the pieces individually.   I felt they were coated better.    They are then fried  until they have a crispy golden brown exterior.  They are served with a tasty dipping sauce.  To make this sauce, you combine mayonnaise,  buttermilk,  fresh cilantro,  red taco sauce, (I used mild)  lime juice, salt, oregano (I used Mexican Oregano), garlic powder, and cumin powder. If you want you can make the sauce one day ahead.



Tortilla-Crusted Chicken Tenders With Southwestern Dipping Sauce
From Recipe Girl

Ingredients:

1/4 cup mayonnaise (for the sauce)
1/4 cup buttermilk (for the sauce)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (for the sauce)
2 teaspoons red taco sauce (for the sauce)
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice (for the sauce)
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder (for the sauce)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt (for the sauce)
1/8 teaspoon dried oregano (for the sauce)
1/8 teaspoon cumin powder (for the sauce)
4 taco shells or 4 taco-size corn tortillas
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon milk
1 1/2 pounds chicken tenders
1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil

Instructions:

1. Whisk together the sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate the sauce until serving time (the sauce may be prepared up to 1 day ahead).
2. To prepare the chicken, tear the tortillas into pieces (or break up the taco shells) and add them to a food processor.  Process until the tortillas turn into fine crumbs.
3. Transfer the tortilla crumbs to a bowl and mix them with the flour, cumin and salt.  In a second bowl, whisk together the egg whites and milk.
4. Dip the chicken tenders into the egg white mixture, then into the crumb mixture to coat. (Tip: Place the crumb mixture into a large zippered baggie.  Coat the chicken strips all at once in the egg mixture, then drop the strips into the baggie, shaking off any excess egg as you go.  Give the bag a few shakes and all of the chicken strips will be coated and ready for frying.)
5. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat.  Add the chicken strip to the skillet and cook until the chicken has a crispy golden exterior and is cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes on each side.  Serve immediately with the sauce.

Makes 4 servings

Dipping Sauce


Crumbs in Zip Lock Bag


Ready for Frying

Frying

Yummy and Soo Easy

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Corn Casserole

Corn Casserole
For my son's Blue and Gold celebration I was assigned a veggie dish.  I decided to make a recipe from Paula Deen - Corn Casserole. It has a nice sweet taste with a slightly crunch texture.  It is delicious.  Not only is this recipe easy to make, it is a favorite at pot lucks.   This dish takes five ingredients, a can of whole kernel corn, a can of cream-style corn, a box of corn muffin mix, sour cream, melted butter, and shredded Cheddar cheese.  In a large mixing bowl, you add the whole corn, cream-style corn, muffin mix sour cream and the melted butter. Stir until it is well mixed.  Pour the mixture into a greased 9x13 - inch baking dish.  You bake for about 45 minutes or until the top is golden brown.  Remove the casserole from the oven and sprinkle the Cheddar cheese over the top.  Return it to the oven until the cheese has melted.  Let it sit for 5 minutes and you are ready it is ready to serve.  



Corn Casserole
From Paula Deen

Ingredients:
1 (15 1/4-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 (14 3/4-ounce) can cream-style corn
1 (8-ounce) package corn muffin mix (recommended: Jiffy)
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1 to 1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In a large bowl, stir together the 2 cans of corn, corn muffin mix, sour cream, and melted butter.  Pour into a greased 9x13-inch casserole dish.  Bake for 45 minutes, or until golden brown.  Remove from oven and top with Cheddar.  Return to oven for 5 to 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted.  Let stand for at least 5 minutes and then serve warm.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.
Ingredients in Bowl
Mixed well


Poured in Baking Dish


Out of Oven Ready for Cheese
Ready to Eat

Monday, April 8, 2013

Giant Chocolate Chip Cookie

Giant Chocolate Chip Cookie
Sunday was my youngest son's Blue and Gold Ceremony.  The Blue and gold ceremony is the highlight of the Cub Scout year.  Some boys leave to go  to Boy Scouts while the one's that stay in Cub Scouts go up a level.  This year, the boys and their fathers made the desserts for us to enjoy. No help from any female was allowed.   Tim and his dad made a giant  decorated chocolate chip cookie.  They purchased some pre made cookie dough from Costco and pressed it into a baking sheet.  They baked the cookie for about 20 minutes.  After it cooled, they decorated it to be an outdoor scene.  It was fun to watch them decorate the giant cookie.
Cooling

















I must say, the boys and their dads in our Pack did a wonderful job on the desserts.  Here are some photos of our desserts.