Broccoli Salad has always been a favorite of mine, a regular staple at a local restaurant, Sweet Tomatoes. During the hot summer months, this is a great side to BBQ, sandwiches, or really anything. I was so excited about making this salad, I forgot to photograph it WITH the dressing. OOPS! That’s why I’m not a professional blogger. I’m just a woman with a passion for good food!
Broccoli Bacon Almond Salad
½ pound bacon
2 heads fresh broccoli
1 small red onion
¾ cup raisins (I used craisins)
¾ cup sliced almonds
1 cup mayonnaise (I used olive oil mayo–also vegan)
½ cup white sugar
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
Place bacon in a deep skillet and cook over medium-high heat until evenly brown, 7 to 10 minutes. Cool and crumble.
Cut the broccoli into bite-sized pieces and cut the onion into thin bite-sized slices. Combine with the bacon, raisins, and almonds and mix well.
To prepare the dressing, mix the mayonnaise, sugar, and vinegar together until smooth. Stir into the salad.
Fresh Peach Ice Cream is a summer dream come true. I’ve made it in the past but never cared for the icy chunks of peach in the ice cream. This recipe appealed to me with the blended peaches, allowing the peach flavor to permeate the ice cream. I added a bit of lemon juice (noted in the recipe below) to add a little citrus kick to the creamy goodness of peach ice cream. I served with fresh raspberries, my favorite combination with peach!
Peach Ice Cream
2 cups chopped peaches (peel removed)
1 1/4 cups sugar (divided)
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
optional: 1/2-1 tsp fresh lemon juice
Mix chopped peaches with 1/2 cup sugar in a medium sized bowl. Allow to set for about 15 minutes so the peach pieces release their juices.
Blend peaches up in a blender or food processor until nice and smooth. (Add 1/4 cup of your whole milk if you need more liquid to blend it up)
In a large bowl combine peach mixture with heavy cream, whole milk, vanilla extract, and remaining 3/4 cup sugar. Set aside.
Get out your freezer bowl and start running your ice cream maker. Pour the peach mixture into the running ice cream maker. And allow to run according to manufactures instructions (Mine is about 25-30 minutes.)
Serve now for soft serve ice cream.
For scoopable ice cream, scoop the peach ice cream into a bread loaf pan and cover with plastic wrap. Place in the freezer for 6 hours up to overnight. Then scoop and serve.
The family Salad Queen title goes to daughter, Sarah, who makes amazing salads. Recently she made this salad for a large family gathering with rave reviews. The salad shown below was made with salad greens vs. arugula. Arugula gives the salad even more punch. You can store the fruit/grain mixture and the dressing separately to make smaller salads over a few days. A great choice for cool summer salads.
Arugula Salad with Strawberries
FOR THE SALAD
2 cups chopped strawberries
2 cups chopped cucumbers
1 cup farro, cooked, then cooled (we use Trader Joe’s Harvest Blend of Pearled Couscous, Orzo, Split Baby Garbanzo Beans & Red Quinoa)
1/ 2 cup pistachios, chopped
1/ 2 cup fresh mint leaves (or basil)
1/ 3 cup ricotta salata, feta, or goat cheese
12 ounces arugula (can substitute other greens)
FOR THE DRESSING
1/ 3 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1 small shallot
1/ 2 orange, juiced
1/ 4 cup fresh mint (or basil)
1/ 2 teaspoon kosher salt
1. In a large bowl, combine strawberries, cucumbers, farro, pistachios, mint, and cheese.
2. Separately, add all the dressing ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Coat all the ingredients in the bowl with the dressing, but don’t add the arugula until you are ready to serve. Once you’ve added the arugula, mix well to incorporate with all the other ingredients and dressing. Enjoy!
A few years ago I have a plethora of fresh apricots, more than I could eat. I looked for an apricot sauce recipe and enjoyed the results. I froze much of the sauce and found it to be just as delicious a few weeks later!
3 tablespoons sugar, plus more to taste
½ pound apricots, pitted and cut into chunks
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, bring sugar, 1/2 cup water, and the apricots to a simmer. Cover and cook until apricots are completely tender, about 4 minutes.
Carefully transfer apricot mixture and lemon juice to a food processor and pulse until sauce is blended but still slightly chunky. Taste and add more sugar if you like. Transfer to a serving bowl. Serve warm or chilled.
Simple combination with an explosion of flavors! I first experienced this appetizer (or salad) at a restaurant with my friend, Jan. It was amazing and, yet, so simple. It was easy to replicate at home with four ingredients: watermelon, goat cheese, pecans and balsamic reduction. Done!
Watermelon Goat Cheese Appetizer
Cubed Seedless Watermelon
Crumbled Goat Cheese
Balsamic Reduction (I used purchased balsamic reduction but you can make your own)
Breakast for dinner is a thing. I fondly remember my Mother making pancakes and sausage for dinner on occasion and we loved it. My oldest grandson loves breakfast for any meal and typically requested breakfast for all three meals on his birthday. One day he was at my house and asked for breakfast for dinner and what to make? I found this easy, yet delicious recipe, and we both enjoyed our unusual dinner. Eggs in Hole it is!
Sheet Pan Egg in a Hole
1 dozen eggs (I made 1/4 of a recipe)
12 slices bread
seasoning like fresh-ground salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder
1 bag shredded cheese
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Lay the non-stick silicone baking mat in your large baking sheet and spray the edges of your baking sheet with cooking spray (as the bread and cheese will touch the ends).
Lay your slices of bread on the silicone baking mat and puzzle piece so they fit tight and nicely.
Use the edge of your teaspoon to make a rectangle in the bread, pressing down hard to create a “well” where the egg will lay once cracked. Press down in the well to ensure the bread is as flat as possible, providing the egg as much room as it needs.
Using a small basting brush, spread softened butter on the bread edges that weren’t pressed. The butter adds a wonderful flavor and helps the cheese stay on the bread.
Season your bread all over.
Crack an egg into each well for every piece of bread.
Season lightly over top.
Generously add the shredded cheese to all the buttered parts of the bread.
Bake in the preheated oven on the top rack for 15-20 minutes.
Place the pan on the bottom rack for 5-10 more minutes depending upon how you’d like your egg cooked.
Funfetti Dip is an easy dessert, especially for kids. Who doesn’t love to dunk a Nilla Wafer or animal cracker into a yummy dip. We served this for a baby shower but it would be great for a kids or adult party.
1 box Funfetti cake mix (unprepared)
8 oz cream cheese softened
8 oz cool whip thawed
1/2 cup milk
Sprinkles for topping
Cream together cream cheese and whipped topping until smooth with a hand mixer.
Add cake mix (unprepared) and half of the milk and mix, gradually adding in more milk until desired texture is established.
Top with extra bright colored sprinkles
Serve with Nilla wafers, animal crackers or graham crackers
Chantilly Cake is stunning and this cake was baked by daughter, Megan. Megan is the official family baker, and no one complains!
Moist Yellow Cake
3 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cup sugar
½ cup vegetable oil
½ stick unsalted butter
1 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoon vanilla (or sub 1 tsp almond extract)
1 cup water
1 teaspoon vinegar
(recipe can be halved)
1 stick unsalted butter, room temp
16 oz mascarpone cheese, room temp
8 oz. cream cheese, room temp
2½ – 3 cups confectioner’s sugar
⅛ tsp. salt
1 cup heavy whipping cream (1 half pint)
1 tsp. almond extract, optional
Berry Syrup optional
½ cup water
¼ cup sugar
2 heaping tablespoons of berry jam (I used strawberry)
3 Tablespoons apricot jam
splash of water
If making a 4 layer cake: Using a large bread knife, trace the outside of the cake and then slowly saw back and forth through the cake, making sure the knife is as parallel as possible.
Spread a layer of the berry syrup on top of the first layer of cake (this should be the rough, cut side if making a 4 layer cake)
Pipe or spread a thin layer of icing on top of the berry syrup.
Evenly distribute sliced berries on top of the icing layer.
Place the second layer of cake on top, and so on. Do not put any berry syrup on the very top layer of the cake, because the frosting is too difficult to spread and your cake will look too crumby.
Roughly spread the frosting all over the cake to create a crumb coating. I like to refrigerate or freeze my cake for 10 minutes before proceeding. Ice the rest of the cake and garnish with fresh berries.
Glaze the berries with simple syrup or apricot glaze (microwave for about 15 seconds, or until thin and pourable) and refrigerate until serving.
This incredibly moist cake paired with the sinful, yet not too sweet, mascarpone frosting will send you straight to cake heaven. (If you would like a lighter and fluffier frosting, use 2 cups of heavy whipping cream instead of 1, and only 8 oz of mascarpone cheese) This frosting recipe makes enough for two cakes, so if not doubling the cake recipe, cut the frosting ingredients by half.
Raspberry Crumble Bars are so delicious and easy. Daughter, Megan, introduced me to this great recipe and it hits the mark with my love of raspberries and a crunchy oatmeal base. For some reason, the childhood saying of ‘yummy, yummy in my tummy’ comes to mind.
Raspberry Crumble Bars
two 12-ounce bags of frozen raspberries (see notes)
1/2 cup granulated sugar (more depending on tartness of your berries)
2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch
juice of one lemon
3 cups rolled oats
3 cups flour
2 cups brown sugar (loosely packed)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 cups melted butter (I prefer salted)
1/2 teaspoon salt
Prep Raspberries: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place raspberries in a large colander. Run warm water over them for a minute, and then let the liquid drain out for about an hour until softened and thoroughly drained (see notes). Mix raspberries with sugar, flour, cornstarch, and lemon juice.
Soft Delicious Crust: Mix the oats, flour, sugar, baking powder, butter, and salt together into a crumble-like mixture. Press two thirds of the crumble into the bottom of a 9×13 pan lined with parchment paper. Bake for 10 minutes.
Bake: Arrange the raspberry layer on top of the baked bottom layer. Sprinkle with remaining crumble. Bake for another 25-30 minutes.
Finish: Remove from oven. They will need a little time to set up into “bar” formation, so chill them for a few hours to get them really solid. Orrrr… cut into it right away and eat it like a soft fruit crisp! You should be able to remove them from the pan easily by pulling up on the edges of the parchment paper.
Chocolate Crinkles were a favorite cookie of my childhood. Through the years I made them for my kids as well. Now the grandkids can enjoy them and help, especially rolling the dough in the two sugars. We made our cookies bite size and they were perfect. Little bites of chocolate perfection and…bonus…dairy free!
Chocolate Crinkles (Dairy Free)
1 cups all-purpose flour (130 grams)
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (65 grams)
1/2 cups brown sugar, packed (165 grams)
¼ cup white sugar (50 grams)
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup oil (60 milliliters)
2 teaspoon vanilla sugar or 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/2 cup white sugar (100 grams)
1/2 cup powdered sugar (65 grams)
Whisk together flour, cocoa, brown sugar, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a mixing bowl.
Add eggs, vegetable oil, and vanilla. Mix using your hands. At first it will seem like there isn’t enough liquids and like the mixture is dry and grainy. This is fine. Keep mixing until you see the mixture develop into dough.
Roll the dough into about 1 inch or 2.5 centimeters size balls.
Roll each ball first in the granulated sugar. Then roll each ball generously in powdered sugar.
Place the balls on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Add more powdered sugar on top of the balls.
Preheat the oven to 325°F or 160°C . Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes before moving them to a cooling rack.