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Posts tagged “Almonds

New Recipes at SumptuousSpoonfuls.com

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!

Tropical Kiwi Monster Protein Kale Smoothie

Tropical Kiwi Monster Protein Kale Smoothie

Apple Pie Wontons

Apple Pie Wontons

Curried Chicken Salad in Crispy Wonton Cups

Curried Chicken Salad with Grapes in Crispy Wonton Cups

Havarti Cheddar Kale Omelet with Bacon

Havarti Cheddar Kale Omelet with Bacon


Pesto Rosso

Pesto Rosso

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.

Pesto Rosso

Pesto Rosso

Adapted only very slightly from The Foodie Physician. Makes about 1 1/3 cups pesto or 8 servings.
  • 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 …)

Directions:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.)
  3. Add the cheese and pulse just a couple times to mix it in fully.

Pesto Rosso

This recipe was shared at Cast Party WednesdayLifeologia’s Birthday Party Potluck and All my Bloggy Friends.


Fairy Tale Purple Pesto

Purple Pesto

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?

Fairy tale Purple Pesto

Purple Pesto

  • 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.

Fairy Tale Purple Pesto

This recipe was shared at Talent Show Tuesday and Cast Party Wednesday.


Caramel Peach Bread Pudding

Caramel Peach Bread Pudding

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.

Caramel Peach Bread Pudding

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 …

Gratitude

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

Directions:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Fold the fruit into the soaked caramel rolls. Top with almonds and sprinkle with a tablespoon or two of raw (turbinado) sugar.
  4. 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.

Caramel Peach Bread Pudding

This recipe was shared at Foodie Friends Friday, Scrumptious Sunday and Weekend Potluck.


Red, White, & Blueberry Salad

with Goat Cheese, Pinons, and a Honey Ginger Lime Yogurt Dressing

Red, White & Blueberry Salad with Goat Cheese & Toasted Pinons

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.

Red, White & Blueberry Salad with Goat Cheese and Toasted Pinons

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
Fill the bowl most of the way full of mixed greens. Arrange/tuck a bunch of sliced strawberries and fresh whole blueberries amongst the greens, then sprinkle on the nuts and crumbles of goat cheese . Drizzle with the dressing and serve.

Red, White & Blueberry Salad with Goat Cheese and Toasted Pinons

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.

Red, White, and Blueberry Salad with Goat Cheese & Toasted Pinons

By the way, Justine at Full Belly Sisters made a Red, White & Blue Salad too! Go check out her version.

This recipe was shared at Patriotic Potluck, Summer Salad SundaysScrumptious SundaysManic Mondays and Trick or Treat Tuesdays.


Mulberry Rhubarb Baked Oatmeal Crumble

Mulberry Rhubarb Baked Oatmeal Crumble

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

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
For the top:
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons flaked almonds
  • 1/2 Tablespoon or so of raw (Turbinado) sugar
  • 1/2 – 1 cup mulberries (or other berries)

Directions:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Mulberry Rhubarb Baked Oatmeal Crumble

This recipe was shared at It’s a Keeper ThursdayFull Plate ThursdayFit & Fabulous Fridays and Weekend Potluck.


Avocado Artichoke Hummus

Avocado Artichoke Dip from Mia's Domain

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
Blend artichoke hearts, avocado, almonds, beans, onion, garlic, tahini, lemon juice, and parsley, while streaming in oil until you’ve reached the consistency you desire. Season with sea salt and black pepper. Keep refrigerated.
Drizzle extra virgin olive oil on top to serve.

Almond Berry Granola

Almond Berry Granola

I don’t know what it is with me and breakfasts lately … all my posts seem to be about breakfast. Oh well, breakfast is important. What you eat in the morning sets the tone for your day, so you should make it good.

Granola is the perfect breakfast on mornings when you’re in a rush. Have it with fresh berries and milk, or sprinkle some on your yogurt or ice cream. Or just munch on it for a snack throughout the day. Besides, oats are especially good breakfast food. I was just reading about that yesterday.

If you’ve never made your own granola, just trust me that it’s SO worth it. The house smells heavenly while it’s baking and the result is truly fantastic. Oh so much better than the store-bought stuff. I’m really excited for the mulberries to come in because I think they would be just wonderful with this granola. I see the little baby berries starting on my beloved mulberry tree and I’m almost shivering with excitement. It’s the little things in life …

Almond Berry Granola

Almond Berry Granola

  • 4 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced almonds (or other nuts … I was thinking perhaps 1 cup almonds, 1/2 cup pecans might work even better)
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 3/8 cup basil strawberry sauce (recipe below) or strawberry applesauce
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 – 4 Tablespoons maple syrup (or berry syrup), depending on how sweet you want your granola
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (optional … leave out the salt if you are watching your sodium)
  • 6 oz. dried berries (I wanted to use strawberries, but couldn’t find any dried strawberries at the store. I dried a few strawberries myself, but it wasn’t enough fruit for my granola, so I added dried blueberries, cranberries, and cherries.)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. In a large bowl, mix the oats and nuts. Set aside.
  2. In a separate small bowl, mix the strawberry sauce, honey, syrup and spices. Microwave on high for a minute, stir, and then microwave 30 seconds more until the mixture is good and hot. (Or heat the mixture in a saucepan. Either way will work.)
  3. Pour the hot sweet sticky mixture over the nutty oat mixture in the bowl. Stir it all up until it’s well mixed.
  4. Spread all this wonderful stuff out into a thin layer on a large jellyroll pan (or other big flat baking pan with an edge to it). Set it in the oven and bake for about an hour and 15 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. It should be browned to a lovely brown color and smelling fantastic. You can taste a little sample to see if it’s crunchy enough. If it’s not, bake it a little longer.
  5. Let the granola cool for a bit before stirring in the dried fruit. Store in an airtight container. It will keep for about a month or so. There’s NO way mine is going to last that long …

Basil Strawberry Sauce

  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1 lb strawberries

In a saucepan, mix the sugar and water and heat to boiling. Add the basil leaves and cook about 5 minutes. Strain out the basil (or remove with a slotted spoon). Add the strawberries with the simple syrup in the pan, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until the strawberries are soft. Remove all the strawberry chunks and put it in a blender or food processor, add some of the syrup and puree to make an applesauce-consistency of strawberry sauce. Reserve the rest of the pretty red syrup for using in mojitos or over pancakes.

Almond Berry Granola

This recipe was shared at Tastetastic Thursdays and Weekend Potluck.


Baked Strawberry Rhubarb French Toast for Mom

Strawberry Rhubarb Baked French Toast with Mascarpone Cheese

My mom loves strawberries. I know this because I remember, as a child, she always wanted one of her kids to go to Dairy Queen with her on Mother’s Day to get her free sundae. And she ALWAYS got a strawberry sundae. So I always ALWAYS think of strawberries on Mother’s Day.

My mom doesn’t live anywhere near a DQ anymore. And my dad happened to mention to me last week that they really needed to stay home and plant the garden this weekend. So my daughter and I decided that we should go surprise them with a visit. After dance rehearsal on Saturday, we hopped in the car and drove up there. We arrived a little after 5:00, walked in the house, and it was empty. Heeeeeellloooo? Mom? Dad? Anybody home? No response …but their dog was there … and the front door was open … so I knew they couldn’t be toooo far!

Mom was down on the dock, checking the fishing lines. That’s my mom, always fishing. Or reading. Or gardening. And dad? He had gone off mushroom hunting. Mom tried to call his phone, but she was having trouble. So I called him.

He made it really easy for me NOT to tell him we were there at his house. He mentioned right away he was on his way home and told me about his mushroom hunt and how I would have to call mom on her phone … he asked what I was doing. “Oh, not much,”  I said. We talked for a while … and I managed not to say anything about us visiting … So he was a little surprised when he drove in … hee hee.

Anyway, I made them some thai curry for dinner last night … and then I made this for mom for breakfast today. Because she loves strawberries …  I think Mom really enjoyed it … And then we planted the garden together. It’s been a long time since I have helped with the planting of the garden.

I love you so much, Mom. There isn’t anything I can give you, let alone anything I can do for you to thank you for all that you’ve done for me. I feel like this is such a feeble attempt at saying thank you … but I just felt like the best thing I could do as a daughter on Mother’s Day was to just BE with you. That’s the best Mother’s Day gift I could think of. I can’t take you to Dairy Queen for your strawberry sundae anymore. But I CAN make you something wonderful with strawberries …

We ate breakfast on the patio in the sunshine, overlooking the lake. I think it was much better than Dairy Queen. I hope my Mom agrees …

Strawberry Rhubarb Baked French Toast with Almonds & Mascarpone Cheese

Baked Strawberry Rhubarb French Toast

Adapted from “From Valerie’s Kitchen

  • About 4 1/2 cups of bread, cubed (I used my dad’s whole wheat yogurt bread)
  • 4 oz. Mascarpone cheese
  • 2 cups of chopped rhubarb
  • 1 cup of chopped strawberries
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 2 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup chopped almonds
  • Sliced fresh strawberries

Directions:

  1. Spray a 13 x 9 x 2 inch glass or ceramic (non-metal) pan with cooking spray. (The acid in the rhubarb will react with metal, so I like to use glass pans when I’m baking with rhubarb.) Make a layer of bread cubes in the bottom of the pan. Top with the rhubarb and the chopped strawberries, and add dabs of the Mascarpone cheese. Add the rest of the bread cubes.
  2. Mix up the “goop” … in a bowl, whisk the eggs, then add milk, vanilla, almond extract, 3 tablespoons sugar and spices. Whisk till smooth. Pour over the bread cubes in the pan, then gently stir to make sure all the cubes get moist. At this point, you can cover the pan and refrigerate for an hour or several or even overnight. I just let it sit for about 15 minutes, and gently stirred around the cubes again to make sure all the bread cubes got a good soaking. It made a little bit of a mess with the mascarpone, but now we’re going to add the topping so that will make it all pretty again.
  3. About an hour before you’re ready to eat, make the topping by melting the butter. Then in a small bowl, mix the butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and almonds. Sprinkle this all over your french toast bake, then add fresh sliced strawberries to your heart’s content.
  4. Bake at 350 for about 40 – 45 minutes or until the eggs are set. Let the dish set for about 5 minutes after you remove it from the oven, then serve.
Mom got the first piece.

Strawberry Rhubarb Baked French Toast with Mascarpone and Cinnamon Toasted Almonds for my Mom

This recipe was shared at Mom’s Everyday MealsMealtime Monday,  Trick or Treat TuesdaysTotally Tasty TuesdaysDelicious Dish TuesdayCast Party Wednesdays and This Week’s Cravings: Eggs.


My Mom’s Orange, Date & Almond Salad

Mom's Orange, Date & Almond Salad

Juicy oranges, sweet chewy dates, and crunchy toasted almonds on a bed of lovely greens.

When I was in junior high school, I took Latin. Every year, my Latin teacher would have a “Latin dinner” night where everyone was supposed to bring some food that the Romans would have eaten back in the days of the Roman empire. Most people brought things like lasagna or garlic bread … my mom (the dietician) thought we should bring salad. This salad was mom’s idea … I don’t know where she got the inspiration, but even as a young pre-teen girl, I thought it was the tastiest salad ever.

For a dressing, we just drizzled it with olive oil. When I remade it yesterday, I tried topping it with my Honey Lemon Ginger White Wine Vinaigrette. Either way, I think you are going to love this simple salad.

Now as I’m writing this, I’m wondering how it would taste with a few crumbles of goat cheese on there? I bet that would be delicious …

Mom's Orange, Date & Almond Salad

My Mom’s Orange, Date, & Almond Salad

  • Mixed greens
  • Oranges, peeled, sliced horizontally and cut into pieces
  • Dates, chopped
  • Almonds, toasted
  • Olive oil or Honey Lemon Ginger White Wine Vinaigrette

Fill your salad bowl with mixed greens.  Tuck the oranges and dates in amongst the greens, sprinkle with a few toasted almonds. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil or the vinaigrette.

Honey Lemon Ginger White Wine Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • Juice of 1/4 of a lemon
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 2 Tablespoons spicy brown mustard
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped fine
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Mix everything except the olive oil together in a bowl till well mixed. While whisking, slowly pour the olive oil into the dressing in a small stream. Keep whisking until the olive oil is well mixed into the dressing. Refrigerate any leftover dressing in an airtight container.

My Mom's Orange, Date, & Almond Salad

This recipe was shared at Fit & Fabulous Fridays, Everyday Mom’s Meals, Mealtime Mondays, Thursday’s Treasures and Newlyweds Recipe Linky.


Cherry Almond Clafouti

Cherry Almond Clafouti

I’m guest posting over at Lauren Kelly, Nutritionist’s blog today … sharing one of my favorite desserts … but I like to eat it for breakfast. It’s a good thing it’s healthy. It’s a warm, comforting custard-style French dessert. Bonus points if you can pronounce it correctly. (I can’t!)

Pop on over to Lauren’s blog for the recipe and to learn about the health benefits of this delicious dessert.

Cherry Almond Clafouti

This recipe was shared at Fit & Fabulous Fridays, Weekend PotluckStrut your Stuff Saturday and Crazy Sweet Tuesday.


Chinese Chicken Tangerine Salad

Chinese Tangerine Chicken Salad

An Oriental-inspired salad-scape.

Because I was suddenly hungry and my son was making chicken nuggets and there were tangerines sitting in front of me and greens and a beautiful red bell pepper in the fridge. Not to mention a bottle of Oriental vinaigrette already made.

This is kind of a melange of all the oriental salads I’ve tried … tangerines or mandarin oranges are divine in an oriental salad … I was kind of wishing I had some chow mein noodles on hand, or some rice noodles I could fry up, but all I had for oriental-style noodles were Ramen noodles so yes, they went into the salad. Raw, crunchy, right out of the package.

Chinese Tangerine Chicken Salad

Chinese Chicken Tangerine Salad

  • Mixed greens
  • 4 chicken nuggets or leftover cooked chicken, warmed and chopped
  • Chopped onion
  • 2 tangerines
  • Chopped bell pepper
  • Chow mein noodles, crumbled uncooked Ramen noodles, or rice noodles, deep fried till they are crunchy and puffy
  • Toasted almonds (I know, there aren’t any in the picture … I remembered them after the photo shoot!)
  • Oriental vinaigrette salad dressing

Fill the bowl 3/4 of the way with mixed greens. Arrange the other salad ingredients on top and drizzle with the oriental vinaigrette.

Oriental vinaigrette salad dressing

Ingredients:

  • 2 T. soy sauce
  • 1/2 c. rice vinegar (or white vinegar)
  • 2 T. honey
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, chopped fine OR 1/4 t. granulated garlic
  • 1/2 t. ground ginger OR  1 teaspoon of freshly grated ginger
  • About 10 drops of sesame oil
  • 1 T. canola oil
  • 1 T. fish sauce
  • 1 T. chinese mustard

Pour all ingredients into a bottle and shake well to blend the flavors. Refrigerate.

Chinese Chicken Tangerine Salad

By the way, I’m horrible with chopsticks … can you tell from the picture?

This recipe was shared at Old Fashioned Recipe ExchangeNewlyweds Recipe Linky, Cast Party Wednesday,  Midweek FiestaFull Plate Thursday, and Fit & Fabulous Fridays.


Kumquat Prosciutto Salad with Feta & Romano

and a Kumquat Ginger Yogurt Dressing

Kumquat Prosciutto Salad with Almonds, Feta & Romano Cheese

This is an intense salad, with bursts of contrasting flavors all over the place. Smoky salty prosciutto contrasting with the sharp cheese, nutty almonds, onion, and then those kumquats come along and blow your taste buds away. Top it all off with some a tangy sweet kumquat ginger yogurt dressing and oh my your taste buds will start dancing.

Not for the faint of heart … this salad is bold and feisty.

Kumquat Proscuitto Salad with Toasted Almonds, Feta, and Romano Cheese

First make the dressing and let it sit while you mix up the salad …

Kumquat Ginger Yogurt Salad Dressing

This dressing has an intense ginger taste. If you are not a ginger fanatic, or if you are not sure if you are, I would recommend seriously toning down the amount of ginger in the dressing.

  • 1/8 cup plain greek yogurt (nonfat or lowfat)
  • 1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon freshly grated ginger root (if you’re not a ginger fanatic like me, cut it down to 1/2 – 1 teaspoon)
  • 1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of honey
  • 1 tablespoon kumquat syrup (from making candied kumquats … you could substitute orange marmalade)

Mix all ingredients until well blended.

Kumquat & Prosciutto Salad with Toasted Almonds, Feta, and Romano Cheese

  • Mixed greens
  • Thinly sliced red onions
  • Thin sliced prosciutto
  • Kumquat, thinly sliced
  • Feta cheese crumbles
  • Shards of fresh Romano cheese (slice off very thin slices of the cheese)
  • Toasted almonds

Fill your salad bowl about 3/4 of the way with the greens, then add the rest of the ingredients as you please. Drizzle with the dressing and enjoy the party in your mouth.

Kumquat Prosciutto Salad with Toasted Almonds, Feta, and Romano Cheese

This recipe was shared at It’s a Keeper ThursdaysFit and Fabulous Fridays and Weekend Potluck.


Pan Seared Basil Mushroom Bruschetta with Rosemary Cream

Pan Seared Basil Mushroom Bruschetta with Blue Cheese Rosemary Cream

I am obsessed with little toasts. They are just so beautiful and tasty … just look at these gorgeous little things! I simultaneously want to gobble them up or just sit and gaze at them forever. I feel so torn …

Pan Seared Basil Mushroom Bruschetta with Blue Cheese Rosemary Cream

The Realistic Nutritionist started this obsession when she posted her beautiful pictures of Pan Seared Bruschetta … I just longed to make them from the moment I saw them … and the sad thing was she couldn’t even taste the pretty little toasts because she was sick. I hope she makes them again because while they are lovely to gaze at, they are even better to taste.

Pan Seared Basil Mushroom Bruschetta with Blue Cheese Rosemary Cream

Are you tempted yet?

Pan Seared Basil Mushroom Bruschetta with Rosemary Cream

Adapted from the Realistic Nutritionist. This recipe doesn’t make a lot, so if you are making these for a large party, you want to double or triple the batch. It was just about the right size for a lunch for little me.

  • 8 slices of french bread (whole wheat preferably)
  • Rosemary cream cheese (recipe below)
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese
  • About 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 2 -3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • a small sprig of rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 cup of finely chopped mushrooms
  • Several basil leaves, chopped
  • 3/4 cup tomato, finely chopped
  • Crushed red pepper & sea salt to taste
  • To garnish: toasted almonds and basil flowers and/or leaves

Directions:

  1. Mix up the rosemary cream and set aside.
  2. Heat one tablespoon of oil in a frying pan over medium high heat.
  3. Add onions, garlic, rosemary and mushrooms and cook about 2 -3 minutes.
  4. Add tomatoes and cook until vegetables are soft, about 3 more minutes. Remove from heat and add spices, salt, pepper and basil. Stir until just mixed.
  5. Toast the bread lightly, then spread with rosemary cream. Place the little toasts on a baking sheet and sprinkle a bit of mozzarella on top of each toast. Bake or broil until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  6. Top each toast with a scoop of the mushroom/tomato mixture, then sprinkle with toasted almonds and basil flowers. Serve immediately.

Pan Seared Basil Mushroom Bruschetta with Blue Cheese Rosemary Cream

Once I started eating them, I inhaled them. I should have slowed down and savored them, but I lost all control.

Rosemary Cream

  • 3 ounces of light cream cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons blue cheese (optional … for those that like blue cheese! I do, but I think the flavor would be a little too intense for some)
  • 1 small sprig of fresh rosemary, chopped (about 1/2 teaspoon)

Cream together ingredients until fully blended.

This recipe was shared at Fit & Fabulous FridaysFabulous Friday, Midnight Maniac Meatless Monday, Talent Show Tuesday, Trick or Treat Tuesdays, and Totally Tasty Tuesdays.


Chicken & Tangerine Salad with Honey Ginger Yogurt Dressing

Chicken & Tangerine Salad with Honey Ginger Yogurt Salad Dressing

Sometimes it’s good not to have anything in the fridge to eat. It means I have to get creative if I want to have something good for lunch. I went into the kitchen at lunchtime, starving, completely ravenous, because all I had for breakfast was one of my little cranberry apricot energy balls, which seriously wasn’t enough …

So here I am digging through the fridge. The soup is gone. The ham is mostly gone … but there are two mostly-empty containers of salad greens that need to be used up … okay, then, a salad, but what to put on it? I pulled some chicken nuggets out of the freezer and looked for something to dress this up. In the fruit bowl are some forgotten tangerines … my daughter has me buy these big bags of “cuties” for her … she can eat a whole bag in one or two days, and then she wants more … but eventually she gets tired of them. At that point, there are usually a couple neglected tangerines left. This is one of those times. She has moved on to gala apples, and forgotten the tangerines.

So I settled on chicken and tangerines, and then started wondering what shall I dress this baby with? Scrounged some more and found a partly-emptied container of greek yogurt … yes! that’s it! yogurt and some freshly grated ginger … perfect.

Oh yes. Perfect.

Chicken & Tangerine Salad with Honey Ginger Yogurt Salad Dressing

Chicken and Tangerine Salad with Honey Ginger Yogurt Dressing

  • Mixed Salad Greens
  • Sliced Red Onions
  • Tangerines, peeled, separated, and chopped into chunks
  • Chicken nuggets or other cooked chicken, heated and chopped into chunks
  • Toasted almonds (yes, toast them … they are SO much better toasted!)
  • A bit of fresh dill for garnish

First make the dressing and let it set to mix the flavors while you prepare the salad.

Fill the salad bowl 3/4 full with the organic greens, and sprinkle with remaining ingredients as you please. Drizzle with the Honey Ginger Yogurt Dressing … or go ahead and DOUSE it with it if you so desire because this salad dressing is SO good for you.

Honey Ginger Yogurt Salad Dressing

There is no fat in this dressing (unless there is fat in your greek yogurt) and it has all kinds of goodness for your body. This is like the healthiest dressing EVAH, and I can’t believe it only has 5 ingredients. I never make things with only 5 ingredients!

I need to warn you: I really love ginger. I love the spicy heat of it. So I used a LOT of it in the dressing and I loved the intensity of it with the sweet tangerines and the crunchy chicken and the toasted almonds. If you are not a ginger fanatic, or if you are not sure if you are, I would recommend seriously toning down the amount of ginger in the dressing.

  • 1/8 cup plain greek yogurt (nonfat or lowfat)
  • 1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon freshly grated ginger root (if you’re not a ginger fanatic like me, cut it down to 1/2 – 1 teaspoon)
  • 1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of honey

Mix all ingredients until well blended. The dressing will not be smooth because of all that yummy ginger root in there. It’s okay. Chunky dressing is a good thing sometimes.

Chicken & Tangerine Salad with Honey Ginger Yogurt Dressing

This salad was featured by Bon Appetit Magazine.

This recipe was shared on Foodie FridaysKatherine Martinelli’s DIY blog hopTotally Tasty TuesdaysKM’s Honey Bloghop and Gooseberry Patch Inexpensive Recipes.


Cookie Bloghop: Chocolate Graham Toffee Crunch

Chocolate Graham Toffee Crunch

I’m making food gifts for the holidays. This one isn’t healthy but it tastes really really really good. Like addictively, dangerously good.

If you make this, this is what I recommend: take a test piece or two or three, then put it in an airtight tin right away as soon as it’s done. Hide it away to keep yourself and your family members from eating it all. Give only small bits to people for gifts. Not too much … you wouldn’t want to be held responsible for any crazy candy-binges. By all means, do NOT tell them where you found the recipe, or how easy it was to make.

Oh please don’t make this if you or your intended recipient is trying to lose weight or has diabetes or a heart condition. We should all indulge occasionally, but you may have a hard time controlling yourself around this toffee. It is SO good. It doesn’t help that I’m a toffee fanatic and we always have toffee at Christmastime.

There. You have been warned.

Chocolate Graham Toffee Crunch

Chocolate Graham Toffee Crunch

Recipe from Hot Pink Apron who adapted it from David Lebowitz.com and Smitten Kitchen.com

  • About 20 chocolate graham crackers
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • 1 cup firmly-packed light brown sugar
  • big pinch of sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (or chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate)
  • Chopped almonds and/or pecans

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.  Line a rimmed baking sheet (approximately 11 x 17″, 28 x 42cm) completely with foil, making sure the foil goes up and over the edges. Cover the foil with a sheet of parchment paper. (I had trouble with the paper sticking to the toffee. I would recommend foregoing the paper and foil altogether and just generously spraying or buttering the baking sheet. If you have a silicone baking mat, use that instead. In fact, I’m thinking about getting myself one just for making this!)
  2. Line the bottom of the sheet with your graham crackers, breaking extra pieces as necessary to fill in any spaces.  Do your best to create a solid blanket of crackers across the baking sheet.
  3. In a large (3-4 quart) heavy duty saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar together, and cook over medium heat, stirring, until the butter is melted and the mixture is beginning to boil.  Boil for 3 minutes, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat, add the salt and vanilla, and pour over graham crackers evenly, spreading with a heatproof spatula if needed.
  4. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. As it bakes, it will bubble up but make sure it’s not burning every once in a while. If it is in spots, remove from oven and reduce the heat to 325F (160C), then replace the pan.
  5. Remove from oven and immediately cover with chocolate chips. Let stand 5 minutes, then spread with an offset spatula.  At this point, you can add any toppings you so desire.
  6. Let cool completely, then break into pieces and store in an airtight container until ready to serve. It should keep well for about one week.

Chocolate Graham Toffee Crunch

This recipe was shared at Totally Tasty TuesdaysMidnight Maniac Meatless Mondays,  Frugal Days, Sustainable WaysGooseberry Patch Baking up Memories!Wonka Wednesdays, the Newlyweds Recipe Linky and the #Cookielove Bloghop.

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Cranberry Nut Crunch Popcorn

Cranberry Nut Crunch Popcorn

I love making food gifts for the holidays and since popcorn, nuts and berries are three of my favorite foods, it just seems natural to combine them into something gift-able.

I think I might keep this one for myself, though. It’s so yummy.

Cranberry Nut Crunch Popcorn

Cranberry Nut Crunch Popcorn

  • 10 – 12 cups of popped plain popcorn
  • 2 cups of nuts (I used 1 cup of almonds, 1 cup of walnuts)
  • 1/2 t. cinnamon
  • 1/2 t. nutmeg
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar
  • 1/4 c. cranberry-apple juice concentrate
  • 2 T. vegetable oil
  • 1/2 T. ginger sugar (This is from my candied ginger recipe … if you don’t have any ginger sugar, just use 1/4 t. ginger in its place)
  • 1 cup dried cranberries (Craisins … I found some that are sweetened with pomegranate juice! Isn’t that cool?)

Directions:

  1. Pop the popcorn and mix it with the nuts. Lay the popcorn/nut mixture on a large flat pan and set aside.
  2. Mix the spices, sugar, juice concentrate and oil in a small bowl till the brown sugar is dissolved and everything is well mixed.
  3. With a spoon, drizzle the spice/juice mixture over the popcorn and nuts.
  4. Bake at 300 degrees F. for 45 minutes to an hour or so, stirring every 15 minutes, until the popcorn and nuts are crunchy, not soggy.
  5. Stir in 1 cup of dried cranberries. I am thinking some chunks of candied ginger or pretzels would also be good in the mix.
  6. Store in an airtight container, like a jar or a pretty tin.

Cranberry Nut Crunch Popcorn

This recipe was shared at Totally Tasty Tuesdays, Midnight Maniac Meatless Mondays, Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways, the Newlyweds Recipe LinkyWonka Wednesdays, and EveryDay Mom’s Meals.


Pumpkin Pie Chai Tea Bread

an almost wordless Wednesday post …

Pumpkin Pie Chai QuickBread

Pumpkin Pie Chai Tea Bread

I named this bread pumpkin pie chai tea bread because it has a very moist, dense texture almost like pumpkin pie, with the spices of chai tea and a hint of orange. A cup of Pumpkin Spice Chai Tea Latte would be just perfect with this tasty bread.

Adapted from Health Magazine

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 t. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/4 cup 1% reduced fat milk
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup pumpkin purée
For the top:
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cinnamon roasted almonds
  • 1 tablespoon raw (turbinado) sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Coat a 9- x 5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.
  2. Combine all dry ingredients (through allspice) in a large bowl.
  3. Whisk eggs, egg white, milk, juice, oil, and pumpkin in a medium bowl until thoroughly blended.
  4. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring until just blended. Spread batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle almonds and raw sugar on top.
  5. Bake the bread until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (60 to 65 minutes). Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before cutting, then take out of the pan and allow to cool further on a baking rack.
Pumpkin Pie Chai Tea Bread

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