Last Day of August

Today is the last day of August and also Eat Outside Day. I’ve never been much for eating outside because of the bugs and such. You also have to consider the weather before deciding to eat outside. Here in Southern California it has been over 100 degrees for over a week. The worse part is it is not cooling down much at night. It has been 80 when we get up at 5 or 6 am.  That’s way too hot. If I were to eat outside, I would want to take a cool salad and here is the perfect recipe, Cucumber Honeydew Salad with Feta.

2 Tbsp. Lemon juice
¼ c. olive oil
1 tsp. Honey
¼ tsp. Poppy seeds
1 Honeydew melon, cut into bite-size cubes
1 cucumber, unpeeled & cubed
1/3 c. finely chopped red onion
3 Tbsp. Chopped fresh dill weed

In a large bowl, pour lemon juice. Whisk in olive oil in a slow, steady stream until incorporated. Whisk in honey, ½ teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper and poppy seeds. Add melon, cucumber, onion and dill weed. Toss to combine. Top with feta just before serving.

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Creamsicle Smoothie

One of my favorite store bought ice creams when I was growing up was the orange creamsicle. I loved the vanilla inside the orange sherbet like shell. Whenever I see anything that sounds like this flavor, I have to try it. Here is a great smoothie recipe for this Creamsicle Day. Enjoy!

1 peeled & frozen navel orange
½ c. orange juice
1 c. plain yogurt
1 Tbsp. Vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. Honey
1 c. ice cubes

Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.

Berry Smoothie

Today being National Pink Day, I will be sharing a Berry Smoothie recipe from redbookmag.com. It is very refreshing and pink in color.  You can use whatever berry (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries) you have in your freezer or find fresh.

16 oz. (2 cups) berries
1 c. plain yogurt
2 c. plain almond milk
1 Tbsp. honey

 

Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.

Iced Tea Day

This is a great twist on the mojito.  Enjoy this Basil & Tea Mojito on National Iced Tea Day.

1 lg. Lime, quartered (approx 4 tbsp. juice)
6 lg. Fresh basil leaves
4 green tea bags
2 c. boiling wate
3 tbsp. honey
1 c. rum
1 c. tonic water or seltzer, chilled

In a glass pitcher, squeeze lime juice and basil leaves. With a wooden spoon, thoroughly crush against side of pitcher, add lime rinds. Let tea bags steep in boiling water for approximately 15 minutes. Stir in honey until it dissolves. Pour honey tea and rum into pitcher and stir. Just before serving add tonic water and pour into ice-filled glasses. Garnish, if desired, with additional basil leaves.

California Strawberry Day

Strawberries are in season so I will be sharing a recipe from Fine Cooking for Spinach Salad with Chicken, Strawberries and Blue Cheese.

2 Tbsp. + 1/3 c. extra-virgin olive oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
Salt & Freshly ground black peppe
½ c. sliced almonds
¼ c. red wine vinegar
2 tsp. Honey
1 med. Shallot
6 oz. Loosely packed baby spinach leaves
8 oz. Strawberries, stemmed & quartered
3 oz crumbles blue cheese

 

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a 12” skillet over medium heat until shimmering hot. Pat the chicken dry and season with 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Cook, turning once, until just cooked through, about 10 minutes total. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and let rest, loosely covered with foil, for 5 minutes.

While the chicken cooks, toast the almonds in a dry 10” skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until evenly brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool.

 

 

In a small bowl, whisk the remaining 1/3 cup olive oil with the vinegar, honey, shallot, ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. In large bowl, combine spinach, strawberries, blue cheese and almonds and toss with enough of the dressing to coat.

 

 

Arrange the salad on a platter or plates. Slice the chicken and arrange on the salad. Drizzle with some of the remaining vinaigrette and serve.

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National Pie Day

I love this Double Peanut Pie. It has the texture an taste similar to a pecan pie. I made a pie crust with coconut flour but you can use your favorite crust. Enjoy!

peanut-pie-49” pie crust
3 lg. Eggs
3/4 c. Honey
½ c. sugar
½ c. creamy peanut butter
½ tsp. Vanilla extract
1 c. salted peanuts, chopped
Whipped cream for garnish

 

About 3 hours before serving or early in the day: Prepare pie crust and make decorative edge. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

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In large bowl, with mixer at medium speed, beat eggs with honey, sugar, peanut butter & vanilla extract until smooth; stir in peanuts.

 

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Place pie plate on oven rack; pour mixture into pie crust.

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Bake pie 55 to 60 minutes until knife inserted 1 inch from edge of pie comes out clean. Cool on wire rack. Garnish with whipped cream.

Happy Christmas Eve!

christmas-eve-title77Christmas Eve is here and it is also Eggnog Day.  Today I will be doing a quick cleanup around the house, prepare my cranberry sauce for tomorrow, make some deviled eggs and enjoy some crackers & cheese ball.  Hopefully my son will swing my today to pick up their presents. I think I will also watch a couple of Christmas movies like White Christmas & National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.  What are your Christmas Eve traditions?  If you enjoy eggnog you should give the following recipe a try.  This recipe will make six 16 oz. servings or you can just half the recipe if there is only 2 or 3 of you. If you are lactose intolerant, substitute the milk & heavy cream with almond milk and coconut cream.  The substitutions are  placed in parenthesis.  I also like my eggnog with a little kick so I add some spiced rum.

ginchnog-8Red sprinkles
1 Tbsp. honey
1 quart whole milk (almond milk)
1 1/2 c. sugar (1 cup erythritol)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cinnamon sticks
1 tsp. grated nutmeg
2 c. heavy cream (14 oz. can coconut cream)
8 large eggs
Green food coloring
6 oz. spiced rum
Whipped cream

ginchnog-9Place the sprinkles on a saucer and the honey on another saucer.Cover the rim of your glasses with the honey & then cover with the sprinkles to create a red rim.ginchnog-12

 

 

 

 

 

 

ginchnog-13In a medium saucepan, combine milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon sticks and nutmeg.  Bring to a boil. Set aside to cool for 15 minutes.

ginchnog-14Whisk heavy cream and eggs in a bowl for one minute.

 

ginchnog-16To temper this mixture so you don’t get scrambled eggs, take half a cup at time of the spiced milk and whisk it into the cream & egg mixture until the remaining milk mixture is completely incorporated.

 

 

ginchnog-18 Return to the saucepan and continue whisking until it is very warm to the touch (but not hot), light frothy and airy, about 5 minutes.

 

 

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Add a few drops of food coloring and the rum.

 

ginchnog-20 Pour into prepared glasses and top with whipped cream.

 

 

Enjoy!

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