I know I promised I would post the recipes here every time I post a new recipe on my blog’s new home … but it’s getting away from me … so much to do with the transfer of domains and all the other things going on in my life … I did export and import all of the email subscribers from here over to there … are you getting emails from my new blog? If not, please go add your email address on my new blog: www.SumptuousSpoonfuls.com … seriously, please, go now! I don’t want to lose you.
Okay, now let’s talk new recipes … here’s what’s new on my blog: click on the pic or the title to see the recipe … I hope you’ll visit me at my new site!
When Sonali at The Foodie Physician posted this Pesto Rosso, I was immediately taken with it. Suddenly I wanted nothing but to make her lovely red pesto. With all the fresh garden tomatoes in my kitchen at the time, I couldn’t bring myself to go buy sundried tomatoes to make this, so I decided to try oven-drying some of them. It worked! I got some really lovely oven-dried tomatoes out of it. I didn’t pack them in oil, though. I just stuck them in a bag and put them in the fridge. They softened up a bit in the fridge, but much to my joy, they had the same lovely sundried tomato taste. So I used them in the pesto rosso and it turned out just as wonderful as I had imagined.
If you want to try oven-drying your tomatoes, here is the post from Love the secret ingredient on how to “sun” dry your tomatoes in the oven. She says it takes 5-6 hours, but it took my tomatoes about 9 hours to dry. I think it really depends on your oven.
Here are some suggestions from Sonali at The Foodie Physician on how to use this marvelous tomato-based pesto:
- Mix with a little pasta water and toss with hot pasta. Top with shredded Parmesan. Instant dinner!
- Spread it on hot or cold sandwiches- anything from turkey sandwiches to grilled cheese
- Top grilled chicken breasts, fish or other meats with it
- Mix it with a little ricotta or goat cheese and use it as a stuffing for chicken breasts or pork chops (or lasagna!)
- Add flavor to vegetarian or egg dishes- try stirring a spoonful into sautéed vegetables or a frittata
- Mix it with Greek yogurt to make a healthy dip for vegetables or chips
- Spread it on garlic bread for an extra hit of flavor
- Use it onto homemade pizza dough as an alternative to tomato sauce
- Spread it on toasted country bread and top it off with some arugula and shavings of Parmigiano Reggiano for a healthy snack (actually, it’s great on bread all by itself!)
I think it would also be marvelous to stir a spoonful or two into an Italian soup, or use a spoonful as a beautiful & tasty garnish on top of a thick, creamy soup.
- 1/3 cup sliced almonds
- 1/2 cup sundried tomatoes
- 1 – 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Several fresh basil leaves
- A sprig of fresh rosemary
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 5 ounces small tomatoes (cherry or grape would work well … I had some tiny romas from mom’s garden that seemed perfect)
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup grated Asiago cheese (Sonali recommends Parmigiano Reggiano, but I had Asiago on hand …)
- Place the almonds, sundried tomatoes, garlic, red pepper flakes, and herbs in a handi chopper or food processor. Pulse several times until everything is finely chopped.
- Add the balsamic vinegar, tomatoes, and olive oil and process until the tomatoes are finely chopped. (Sonali says to add the olive oil in a steady stream while the processor is on … my handi chopper doesn’t allow for that.)
- Add the cheese and pulse just a couple times to mix it in fully.
My mother grows both green and purple basil every year. This year she gave me a purple basil plant. Mine grew to about 6 inches tall, enough to snip off a couple leaves or sprigs here and there to season a dish. Her basil plant grew to the size of a bush.
If you don’t trim basil plants, they will go to seed and die, having finished their purpose in life. If you trim them, they grow bigger. I went out to trim Mom’s basil plants for her and came in with quite enough basil to make pesto. So I put it in a bag, stuck it in my cooler, brought it home and decided to make purple pesto.
In my box of goodies from the garden, I also had some of these pretty purple Fairy tale eggplant, and since it IS purple, I thought that would be lovely in the pesto. As I was blending up the pesto, it was a bit too thick, so I was looking for a liquid to thin it so that I didn’t have to add too much oil (I want my pesto to be lower in fat too!) and wouldn’t ruin the color. It just so happens I had a bottle of red wine sitting there, so I added a bit of wine too.
I’m freezing my purple pesto for safe keeping. I have plans in my mind to make purple pizzas and purple pasta, purple pesto salad dressings and purple pesto potatoes.
Have I mentioned that my favorite color is purple?
- 6 cups of purple basil leaves
- 1/3 cup pinons (pine nuts)
- 1/3 cup almonds
- 1 cup shredded asiago cheese
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 5 cloves of garlic, peeled
- 1 small fairy tale eggplant, roasted (or 1/2 cup of a larger eggplant)
- 1/3 cup dry red wine
Slice the eggplant lengthwise, set it on a baking sheet and roast it in the oven (or toaster oven) at 350 for about 10 minutes or until it’s tender. Cut it up into chunks and measure it. You should have about 1/2 cup of eggplant.
In a blender or food processor, blend up all the ingredients until you have a fine puree. Whatever you are not going to use immediately, freeze in small containers or ice cube trays.
Use this purple pesto just like you would any other pesto: mix with some pasta water and toss with pasta, spread it on pizza or sandwiches or little toasts.
Do you want to hear the story of the refrigerator and the caramel rolls, how I gained a great appreciation for towels, teflon tape and good neighbors … and how this bread pudding came to be?
It all started when my sister and her husband came to visit. The ice machine in my refrigerator has been broken for some time. We’ve been making do with ice cube trays, which was a little frustrating at times because we’d be spilling water on the floor and sometimes it was kinda hard to get the ice cubes out of the tray, but it wasn’t a terribly big deal to us. However, ice is important to my sister. She mentioned to her husband that perhaps he ought to fix the ice maker in my refrigerator. So he set out to do that. We pulled the refrigerator out of his spot, he started cleaning and investigating and finding all sorts of strange things in the grate and around the back of the fridge, some from the previous owner of the house even. He figured out what was wrong, but then he needed a part to fix it. He started calling all the local repair shops and nobody had the right part.
So we ordered the part online, he put the fridge back together and we pushed it back into place. No big deal, right? Except now the water dispenser in the door (which didn’t work before he started) was leaking. We put a cup under it and went about our business. A few days later after my sis and her husband were gone, it started leaking faster. Like the cup would be full in an hour! You can’t really fit a bucket under there, and the part wasn’t here yet, so my kids and I rigged up a system with a piece of an old hose, some duck tape and a bucket. Then you could actually go to sleep at night and let the thing drip. It was ugly and awkward, but it worked. Then the part finally arrived, but it was days before I could get to fixing it.
Now, I’m not a fix-it kind of person. Anytime I have to do a fix-it project I get terribly nervous, but I got my son to help me move the fridge, we shut the water off, and we set to work to put this new part in. It was going pretty good, I got the part in, tightened it up, but left the fridge out so I could observe it for a while after we turned the water on. It was dripping. Oh dear. I tried tightening it. It dripped faster. I got more towels and turned the water off. My son tried tightening it. No luck. He went downstairs all frustrated and I sat down and cried. Then I started looking for the phone number for the plumber. But then it dawned on me that my neighbor might be able to help. He was outside working on his van when I ventured over there … sure, he would look at it. He told his son to grab the teflon tape and the two of them came over to look at my fridge. It wasn’t even 15 minutes before they’d fixed it. No leak! YAY! And the ice maker works! No water will come out of the dispenser that was leaking like crazy before, but I’m okay with that.
I felt a moment of great gratitude for good neighbors, towels, and teflon tape.
The next morning I woke up determined to do something nice for my neighbor. I set about making some freshly baked peach caramel rolls, sure that that would be the perfect treat for him and his family on a Sunday morning. But when I finished the rolls, my neighbors were nowhere to be found. They weren’t around all day, in fact, and by the next morning, the peach caramel rolls that had looked so delicious the day before didn’t look so appetizing. They still tasted good if you warmed them up first, but they weren’t very pretty and I was NOT going to give my neighbor an ugly treat.
So I made the caramel rolls into bread pudding. I dare say, this bread pudding was even better than the rolls and it made for lovely breakfasts for me for several days … and even served as breakfast over the weekend at my parents’ place. This is the view from the dock at my parents’ place …
Caramel Peach Bread Pudding
Maybe you don’t have a big plate of caramel rolls sitting around, so I’ll give you two variations of the recipe here: one made with old caramel rolls, and another similar bread pudding made with bread and peaches.
- 6 cups of old caramel rolls, cut into 1-inch chunks (it’s ok if they are a little stale or dry)
- 2 cups milk
- 5 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 cups peaches, peeled, pitted and chopped (if you’re using my peach caramel rolls, cut the amount of added fruit to 2 1/2 cups)
- Sliced almonds & raw sugar, for the top
- Spray a casserole dish with cooking spray. Put the chopped caramel rolls in the casserole dish. Pour the milk over the rolls and let the cubes bask in their milk bath for about 15 minutes, tossing gently every once in a while to give all the rolls a chance to soak.
- In a bowl, whisk the eggs till they are a little fluffy, then add the vanilla, nutmeg and salt and whisk till everything is well blended. Mix the peaches into the egg mixture.
- Fold the fruit into the soaked caramel rolls. Top with almonds and sprinkle with a tablespoon or two of raw (turbinado) sugar.
- Bake at 350 degrees F. for about an hour or until the pudding is set.
Variation using bread: Substitute 6 cups of bread cubes for the caramel rolls. You can use any kind of bread … I think whole wheat adds a nice texture. Add 1 cup of brown sugar + 2 Tablespoons melted butter to the egg mixture.
with Goat Cheese, Pinons, and a Honey Ginger Lime Yogurt Dressing
My foodie friend Justine over at Full Belly Sisters has been making red, white and blue foods like crazy lately … which got me thinking … I need to make a red, white and blue salad! It’s been in my head for a week, waiting to come to life. I’m so glad I finally took time to make it today (even though my son was upset with me for making something for myself since we had agreed to go out for lunch today … hey, it’s just a salad!)
Besides being just the right colors for the 4th of July, it’s got just the right mix of sweet, creamy, tangy and crunchy to make a super-delicious salad. Tangy goat cheese pairs so well with berries, sweet onions kick up the flavor just slightly, the pinons add a soft crunch and a slight sweet nutty flavor, and the lime and ginger yogurt dressing takes it over the top.
And you know what else? Before eating this salad, I felt tired and run down. But AFTER eating this delectable salad, my body felt so refreshed, revived, ready to go! Besides, all those gorgeous colors are a feast for the eyes …
Red, White & Blueberry Salad
with Goat Cheese, Pinons, and a Honey Ginger Lime Yogurt Dressing
- Mixed Greens
- Fresh Strawberries, washed and sliced
- Fresh Sweet Blueberries, washed
- Sweet onion, sliced and roughly chopped
- Pinon nuts and/or almond slices, lightly toasted
- Goat cheese crumbles
- Honey Ginger Lime Yogurt Salad Dressing (recipe below0
Honey Ginger Lime Yogurt Salad Dressing
- 1/2 cup fat-free plain yogurt
- 4 teaspoons of honey
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- Juice of 1/2 lime
In a small bowl, whisk all of the ingredients together until they are well mixed. Keep any leftover dressing in a covered container in the fridge.
By the way, Justine at Full Belly Sisters made a Red, White & Blue Salad too! Go check out her version.
Is this baked oatmeal breakfast or dessert? I styled it like a dessert, with a pouf of whipped cream on top because it TASTES like a decadent fruity dessert, a lovely warm fruity crumble with a crunchy topping and a fruity sauce on the bottom. But really (if you skip the whipped cream) it is a quite healthy breakfast full of fruit, fiber, and protein. I love breakfasts like that.
This is something I’ve been meaning to try ever since Ann at The Fountain Avenue Kitchen posted her Strawberries & Cream Baked Oatmeal. When I met mom and dad for lunch last Sunday, they brought me some rhubarb. To me, that seemed like the perfect opportunity to try out this “baked oatmeal thing”. After trying this delicacy, I may never go back to eating regular oatmeal again …
Mulberry Rhubarb Baked Oatmeal Crumble
Adapted from Nutmegs, seven
- 3 cups rhubarb, cut into 1-inch lengths
- 4 Tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup (100g) old fashioned oats (not instant oats)
- 1/3 cup (30g) almonds, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup (60g) brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup (250ml) milk
- 1 large egg white
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons melted butter
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons flaked almonds
- 1/2 Tablespoon or so of raw (Turbinado) sugar
- 1/2 – 1 cup mulberries (or other berries)
- Pre-heat the oven to 375 F. Spray a small casserole dish or 8×8 inch square baking dish with cooking spray. Scatter the rhubarb over the bottom and toss with the sugar and vanilla.
- In a small mixing bowl, mix together the oats, chopped almonds, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the melted butter, milk, egg white and almond extract.
- Sprinkle your oat mixture over the rhubarb evenly, then pour the milk mixture over the oats as evenly as you can. Sprinkle with mulberries, raw sugar and 1 1/2 Tablespoons of flaked almonds.
- Bake for 40 minutes or until the dish has set and turned a lovely brown and crunchy on top. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.
If you want to serve it for dessert, serve in wedges with a little dollop of whipped cream. Or just scoop it out in warm spoonfuls into a bowl for breakfast with your coffee or tea in the morning.
Hello my dear visitors! I am so excited about my guest blogger today … Mia from Mia’s Domain has agreed to share one of her precious recipes. Mia ‘s recipes truly inspire me. I can’t remember a single post of hers that I didn’t absolutely LOVE … she leaves me drooling just about every time! In fact, Ally and I are arguing over who gets to go live in Mia’s spare room. If you’re not familiar with Mia’s Domain, go visit her beautiful blog or look her up on facebook or Pinterest and you will see what I mean.
Mia sent over this beautiful recipe for Avocado Artichoke Hummus! I love hummus! I am really wishing I had some of this to munch on today …
I hope you’ve enjoyed my guest bloggers this week. I’m having so much fun seeing what they have to share, I’m wondering if I should come back? … just kidding. I’ll be back in my own kitchen very soon!
In the meantime, enjoy this lovely recipe from my sweet friend Mia.
Avocado Artichoke Hummus
- 1 cup baby artichoke hearts in olive oil
- 1 cup avocado
- 1 cup raw almonds
- 1 cup cooked pinto beans
- 4 tablespoons tahini
- 1 garlic cloves, crushed
- Handful fresh Italian parsley
- 1/2 white onion, chopped
- 1 lemon, juiced
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Sea salt and black pepper