Showing posts with label fruit. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fruit. Show all posts

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Green and Gold Grilled Chicken (Green Curry and Pineapple) #10DaysOfTailgate

Welcome to the tailgate!

Here's what everyone brought to the table today...

Crock Pot Mango Hot Wings by Curious Cuisiniere
Cheesy Pulled Pork Egg Rolls by From Gate to Plate
Herbed Deviled Eggs by Culinary Adventures with Camilla

Amaretto Spiced Apple Cider by The Spiffy Cookie

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus by Debbi Does Dinner Healthy

Turducken Meatballs by Miss Laura’s Kitchen
Meaty “Beast Mode” Baked Beans by OnTheMove-In the Galley
Chicken Apple Bratwurst Burgers by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures

Grilled Green Beans, Mushrooms, and Duck Bacon by The Pajama Chef

Ron and I are lovers of any type of curry. I love incorporating it into different dishes and marinates. Normally, I prefer red curry to green, but I wanted to make a play on a green and gold chicken to represent the Packers for the #10DaysofTailgate.  As you know, I am a big fan of grilled pineapple in any dish and I thought it would work perfectly with green curry to create a delicious chicken marinate.  I really loved the sweet and spicy flavors of this chicken and the grilled pineapple is a fantastic addition, as usual. Even if you are not a fan of the green and gold Pack (what are you thinking!), you will love this variation of grilled chicken.

Our tailgating challenge is just at the halfway point and it has been so much fun hearing from all of you and seeing the different recipes other participants are coming up with!  I hope you stay with us the rest of the week and keep looking at what fun and delicious recipes are yet to come! Don't forget to enter the giveaway and visit our sponsors!

Tonight, my friend Emily and her daughter are coming to watch the new Law and Order from Wednesday night. I am so excited! Facebook had been blowing up with all sorts of #savebabybenson posts and I am excited to see what all the hype will lead to (hopefully an awesome premier). 


4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 can coconut milk (I use full fat)
2 1/2 Tbl green curry paste
2 Tbl soy sauce
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1/8 cup olive oil
1 Tbl brown sugar
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 Tbl chopped fresh basil
8 fresh pineapple slices


Combine coconut milk, green curry paste,soy sauce, pineapple juice,oil, brown sugar, garlic, salt, pepper and basil in a resealable plastic bag. Add the chicken to the bag, squeezing out as much air as possible, and seal. Gently toss to coat the chicken in the marinade. Place in the refrigerator and marinade for at least 8 hours.

Preheat grill to medium heat. Grill for about 5-6 minutes per side.  Remove chicken from grill and while it rests quickly grill the pineapple to give it a slight char.

Serve over rice or couscous.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Brown Sugar Apple Basil Muffins

Time for September's Crazy Ingredient Challenge!

The ingredients for this month are apples and basil. I skipped out on August's challenge mainly because I did not get thing together in time to post! This time since we voted to use two ingredients that I absolutely love I couldn't wait to make my recipe.

We are lucky enough to have two apple trees and a pear tree in our backyard and I am always trying to come up with different recipes once apple season arrives. I decided to stay pretty traditional and make muffins because I love apple in breads, and I knew Kellen would love them.

I loved the flavors of the apples with the basil! I am a big fan of strawberry and basil, but apple and basil is providing some serious competition. The basil is very subtle but, adds a light peppery flavor to the muffins which works really well with the brown sugar.

Today we are headed to Lake Geneva for a little R&R and a boat ride with a few of Ron's college friends. We are also headed to an Italian restaurant for dinner! Kellen is hanging with his grandparents this weekend and will be sufficiently spoiled with hugs and tractor rides.

If you are interested in joining our challenge, stop over to Dawn of Spatulas on Parade to say hello and to get more information. 


1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar (+ 3-4 Tbl for topping)
2/3 cup oil
2/3 cup unsweetend applesauce
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tap baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
2 cups diced apples
1/4 cup diced basil


Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and ginger. Set aside. 

In a mixing bowl (you can use stand or hand held), cream sugars, oil, applesauce, vanilla and eggs.  Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet. Finally, gently fold in the apples and the basil. 

Spoon batter into lined cupcake pans. Sprinkle tops lightly with brown sugar. Bake for 30-35 minutes. 

Makes 18 muffins. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Grilled Hawaiian Chicken with Coconut Rice

I love finding different grilled chicken recipe for us to try. To me, summer is all about firing up the grill and making all kinds of different marinades.  I am a sucker for anything with grilled pineapple and when this recipe from Laura of Tide & Thyme popped into my reader I put it on my meal plan right away. The recipe called for pineapple juice and I knew that I would have a few chunks of pineapple perfect for grilling. The other thing that immediately drew me to this recipe was making rice with coconut milk. I had never tried this before and thought it sounded like a delicious side to a tropical grilled chicken. I kept close to the original recipe but added a bit of grilled pineapple to our plates.

The recipe was delicious! The flavors of the marinade were not too sweet, but gave the chicken a sweet and salty flavor. The rice was perfect with the chicken. Ron was a little nervous the coconut flavor would be really strong, but it is not at all and gives just the right amount while making the rice rich in texture with a subtle  flavor.  Topped with grilled pineapple- this meal was fantastic!  Kellen was all about mixing the rice with the chicken and pineapple. The little guy is certainly willing try anything these days and his mom loves it (and is crossing her fingers that he keeps it up).  If you are looking for a wonderful summer meal on the grill- give this one a try because you will not be disappointed.

Tonight we are thinking of making a trip to Bay Beach for a little fun on the rides. I can't believe it is almost Labor Day- where did summer go!?


6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts 
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup pineapple juice
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 scallions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp fresh ginger, minced
1 tsp of olive oil
6 fresh pineapple rings

For the coconut rice:
2 Tbsp butter
1 1/2 cup long grain white rice
1 1/2 cup coconut milk
1 1/2 cup water


Combine soy sauce, pineapple juice, water, brown sugar, scallions, garlic, and oil in a resealable plastic bag. Add the chicken to the bag, squeezing out as much air as possible, and seal. Gently toss to coat the chicken in the marinade. Place in the refrigerator and marinade for at least 8 hours.
Preheat grill to medium heat. Grill for about 5-6 minutes per side.  Remove chicken from grill and while it rests quickly grill the pineapple to give it a slight char.

To prepare the rice: melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the rice, and cook for about 3 minutes stirring occasionally. Carefully pour in the coconut milk and water, stir to combine. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, stir once more and re-cover. Reduce heat to low and cook for 18 minutes. Remove lid and fluff rice with fork.

Serve the chicken on a bed of the coconut rice with grilled pineapple.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Grandma Grootenhuis Dutch Apple Pie

Welcome to my first post for What's Baking? The group was formed by fellow members of a cooking board I belong to, and many have participated for a few years. 

I was excited to join after a post was made looking for new members. I am not the best baker, but I enjoy doing different challenges, and was looking for something new after our recipe swaps ended. The challenge is bi-monthly and each have a different theme. I was especially excited because the of the flexibility of the challenge. There are no assigned recipes or posting dates, and that makes for endless possibilities. 

The theme for this month is Heritage Recipes. There was only one recipe that I had my eye on after seeing the theme- my Great Grandmother's dutch apple pie. My father is Dutch and I have been eating Grandma Grootenhuis apple pie since I was a little girl. It is one of my favorite comfort foods (I am actually eating a slice as I write this). No holiday is complete it out warm smells of cinnamon and tart apples spilling from the ovens in my parents kitchen. Now that I am an adult (somedays...ha), I make this apple pie for my family and my husband's family. This pie is such a family favorite my sister requested it before she went into labor with my nephew and, of course, I was happy to bring two over to her.  I actually got the recipe from my Mom when I was married, and she gave me a card index with lots of family recipes. Ron and I are lucky enough to have two Macintosh apple trees in our backyard and that equals TONS of pies in the falls. This recipe is a little early for apple season, but fantastic to have for a quick and easy dessert. I buy my crust from our local bakery, but you could easily make your own if you prefer. 

I am so happy to share this old family recipe with you and I hope you love it as much as we do. 


1 pie crust, (I used a pre-made from our bakery, but you could make our own)
4 large tart apples (example: Macintosh)
2/3 cup granulated sugar, divided
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup all purpose flour


Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees.

Peel and slice apples and arrange in the pie crust in a circular shape. 

In a medium bowl, combine 1/3 cup sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle sugar mixture evenly over the apples. In a separate bowl, cream butter and 1/3 cup sugar.  Add the flour and mix with a fork to create a crumble topping. Spread topping evenly over the apples. 

Place pie on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 30-40 minutes. The top of the pie should be golden brown and sides bubbly.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Tart Cherry Galette

Ahhhhh tart cherry season..... one of my personal favorites. 

Living 45 minutes from Door County has many advantages and one of them is tons of fresh tart cherries in August.  I love a sweet cherries as much as the next person, but they do not hold a candle next to tart cherries. There is something about the flavors of a dessert made with tart cherries that are perfect for late summer- sweetness with a bit of tang. 

I recently made peach and plum galette and knew I wanted to give it a try with tart cherries. I kept the recipe very simple and added a small amount of sugar and cornstarch to the cherries so they would thicken and bubble while baking. 

This dessert was a big hit at our house. Kellen's preferred method is to eat all the cherries and they move to the crust. I think he wants to make sure he gets all the good stuff in boy. I like to serve this with a scoop of vanilla ice cream while it is still warm. 

I have a few more bags of pitted cherries that I am saving in the freezer after the season is over and I can't get my mine of a tart cherry pie or galette. 

Tonight we are relaxing at home and starting up the grill for a new chicken recipe coming your way soon!


1 pie crust (I used a pre-made from our bakery, but you could make our own)
2 1/2 cups pitted tart cherries
2 Tbl granulated sugar
1 Tbl cornstarch
1 egg, beaten with 1 tsp water
2 tsp raw sugar, for sprinkling


Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. 

In a medium bowl, combine cherries, sugar and cornstarch. Set aside. 

Stretch (or roll if you made your own) your pie crust on lightly floured parchment paper.

Place cherries in the center of the crust. Make sure to leave about 2 inches boarder around the outside to fold over. 

Fold the crust edges up and over the cherries (I tucked as I circles the fruit). 

Transfer the parchment to a baking sheet.
Brush dough with egg wash and sprinkle evenly with sugar.

Bake for 45-55 minutes, until the fruit center is bubbly and the crust is golden brown.

Top with ice cream and serve. 

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Peach Liqueur

Time for August Secret Recipe Club

Secret Recipe Club

This month I was assigned Jane's Adventures in Dinner. Jane is a trained chef and teacher who takes beautiful photos of her delectable creations.  When I first received her blog I was hoping to find a recipe using peaches because Georgia peaches were ripe and coming to Wisconsin farmer's markets by the truck load. They were the perfect eat-it-over-the-sink-touch-it-and-it-bruises types of peaches.  Jane does something pretty awesome and celebrates a food each month. Much to my delight there was a month celebrating peaches! I was sooo torn between a few of her peach recipes because they sounded delicious.  I ultimately decided on peach liqueur. This recipe is perfect because it is simple and makes a nice amount of booze. I picked this because my friends that  Ron and I play volleyball with are going camping in mid-July and this will be a perfect companion for us to sip on while we sit by the lake in the sun or under a warm starry sky after dark.  Last year our starry sky went to almost daylight pretty quick if that tell you what type of party it is and why this liqueur will be perfect for the occasion.  This is a little strange to post because I have not sampled the finished product yet because it is getting ready for the party in my basement. However,I took an early taste before putting it downstairs and that was so tasty I can hardly wait to try it. I am thinking it will be perfect with fresh lemonade or with a bit of sparkling water.  I am also going to reserve a bit for a few cocktails at home around our fire pit in the backyard! 

Jane, I owe you an early thanks for making my party by the lake fun in a few weeks!! 


1 quart peaches (sliced and loosely packed into 3 mason jars)
Simple syrup:
2 cups water
2 cups sugar
1¼ cup brandy
1½ cup vodka


Combine sugar and water in a pan and bring to a boil. Turn off heat and let cool. Stir in the brandy and vodka. Pour over fruit to cover and screw on the lids. Let sit in a cool, dark place for 4 weeks before draining and drinking. 

Makes 3x750 ml jars

Friday, July 25, 2014

Blueberry Zucchini Bread

It is no secret that our family loves weekly (or sometimes bi-weekly) trips to the farmer's market.  Our garden got away from us this year due to our two week trip to France and we love that we can still farm fresh produce a few times a week.  This past weekend I pick up some local zucchini and fresh Michigan blueberries.  I really love sauteing zucchini in a bit of olive oil with a sprinkle of sea salt- perfect side.  However, I wanted to try something different with zucchini and when I saw Eva's recipe for zucchini blueberry bread on our cooking board I was sold. One of my favorite breaks is my zucchini banana crumble bread and I was excited to try this recipe.  I also really liked that this recipe omitted any oils and used applesauce instead.  I was able to pull some from our freezer that I made last fall from our apple trees. I also love any excuse to use our homemade vanilla extract. I use a bit of rum in ours and love the flavor. 

My entire family loved this bread. Kellen adores blueberries and was very excited to see them. He picked up his bread and loudly exclaimed "ah booooburrrrrr".  Please don't grown up because you are too adorable. 

Tonight my entire family is in town for my cousin's wedding on Saturday afternoon. We are heading to my parents house and ordering pizza. I am bringing a roasted beet and goat cheese salad for a side.  I am so excited to see everyone and celebrate! 


2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar; lightly packed
3/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour (you can substitute all purpose)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup shredded zucchini
1 cup fresh blueberries (+ a few extra to sprinkle on top)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease an 8.5 x 4.5 loaf pan.

In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugars. Fold in the zucchini. Gently mix in the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. Gently fold in the blueberries and transfer to the prepared loaf pan. Top with additional blueberries. 

Bake 55-65 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a knife inserted in the center of a loaf comes out clean. Allow bread to cool completely before removing it from the loaf pan. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Peach and Plum Galette

Right now the farmer's market is chucked full of peach from the south. It is one of my favorite things to buy each week because they are such a rarity for us the remainder of the year.  I am always looking for different ways to prepare the peaches and I book marked this recipe from Confessions of a Foodie Bride  because it looked absolutely amazing and easy (as we know this is a must when it comes to me and baking).  The only change I made was to use a little course raw sugar in place of granulated because I love the crunch it gives to dough when baked.  We served this with a scoop of vanilla ice cream over the top, bit I also tried it with a bit of my salted caramel gelato and it was delicious. Kellen gave this a thumbs up as well which is not surprising because he adores peaches.  One of Kellen's new favorite things to do is stand next to the fridge or counter and yell "maaaa peeaacccch maaaa peeeeaaccchhh!!"....... ask and you shall receive my boy. 


3 medium peaches, skin-on and sliced
3 plums, skin-on and sliced
1 pie crust (I used a pre-made from our bakery, but you could make our own)
1 egg whisked with 1 Tbl water
1 1/2 Tbl raw sugar


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Stretch (or roll if you made your own) your pie crust on lightly floured parchment paper.

Arrange the sliced fruit working out from the center in a spiral. Make sure to leave about 2 inches boarder around the outside to fold over. 

Fold the crust edges up and over the fruit (I tucked as I circles the fruit). 

Transfer the parchment to a baking sheet.
Brush dough with egg wash and sprinkle evenly with sugar.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the fruit center is bubbly and the crust is golden brown.

Top with ice cream and serve. 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Easy Cherry Cobbler

I love cherries and all types of cherry desserts. My Grandmother use to make an amazing cherry pie when I was a kid and the flavor memories have never left. While in Door County this weekend for the 4th of July I wanted to put together a dessert for our family. I decided that cherry cobbler was what was for dinner  (er- dessert).  This recipe is super simple and totally delicious. I added a little more lemon juice and a bit of milk for a touch more richness. 

My family also thought it was funny to watch my hands turn a deeper shade of cherry red as I pitted all of the cherries! This is a bit of a mess, but it is completely worth it (and there is a humor factor of those watching you). 

We all loved this dessert and topped our portions with vanilla ice cream to enjoy before we watched the fireworks on Thursday night. Perfect final treat to enjoy a family holiday weekend!

Easy Cherry Cobbler
slightly adapted from: Recipe Girl


5 cups fresh cherries (pitted and left whole)
Juice from one medium lemon
1 cup granulated white sugar
1 cup All Purpose Flour
1 large egg, beaten
1 Tbl whole milk
6 Tbl salted butter, melted


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter an 8x8-inch square baking pan. Place cherries into the dish and sprinkle with fresh lemon juice.

In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar and flour. Using a fork, gently stir in the egg and milk. Keep stirring until  incorporated into the dry ingredients and it's a crumbly mixture.

Crumble the crumbly mixture over the cherries. Drizzle melted butter on top.

Bake  45 minutes or until the top is a nice golden brown and bubbling. Remove from the oven and serve.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Strawberry Basil Shortcake

Time for June's Improv Cooking Challenge! 

The theme for this month was berries and cream.  We love berries in our house and a little cream on top is an extra treat! Needless to say I was excited to come up with something our challenge.  I have been wanting to try making strawberry shortcake for awhile because I never made it before. I was looking for something simple, but tasty since I had not made it before and am still a bit of a cautious baker.  I went to my online cooking board and this Betty Crocker recipe was recommended.  To put my own spin on the recipe I decided that basil was a must. I am a big fan of strawberry and basil together and I thought it would be a perfect twist on this traditional treat. I added basil to the strawberries and to the biscuits. The flavors of strawberry and basil were excellent with the rich cream.  I also added a bit of our homemade vanilla extract to the cream for a little extr

I shared this dessert with my family and we gobbled it down at record speed. I can't wait to make it again!

If you want to join the fun of the Improv Cooking Challenge visit Kristen of Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker for details! 

Next month's theme is popcorn and peanuts- I can't decide if I am thinking of going to towards the ball park, or going towards Thai flavors....decisions decisions....


4 cups strawberries, sliced
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tbl finely chopped fresh basil
2 1/3 cups Original Bisquick mix
1/2 cup milk (I used whole milk)
3 Tbl sugar
3 Tbl butter, melted
1/8 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract


Heat oven to 425°F. 

In large bowl, mix strawberries, 2 Tbl of basil and 1/4 cup sugar and set aside.

In medium bowl, stir Bisquick mix, milk, 3 tablespoons sugar, 1/8 cup basil and the butter until soft dough forms. 

On ungreased cookie sheet, drop dough by 6 spoonfuls. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. 

In small bowl, beat whipping cream and vanilla with electric mixer on high speed until soft peaks form.
Split warm shortcakes; fill and top with strawberries and whipped cream.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Grilled Grapefruit Horseradish Skirt Steak

Time for May Crazy Ingredient Challenge! 

 The theme for this month was wasabi (or horseradish) and grapefruit. Since I have had all things grilling my the brain I went for a steak. Ron and I have really been enjoying grilling skirt steak, and I decided that it would be the perfect carrier to my marinade. When creating the marinade I thought our challenge ingredients hit the nail on the head for the building blocks of a great grilling marinade. I would have never thought to use these two ingredients together, but the combination was delicious. The natural sugars from the grapefruit caramelize nicely and the flavors from the horseradish are mild, but come across perfectly. Ron kept exclaiming how delicious the steak was- we will certainly be making this flavor combo again!

Our hosting has changed hands to Dawn of Spatulas on Parade.  Pop over to her site and say hello, or to get info on how to join this fun challenge. 

Tonight we are headed out for sushi for my sister's birthday. We are going to a place that is relatively new, but rivals my other favorite spot.  Kellen has tried sushi on one other occasion and enjoyed it....I am excited to see if he is still a fan! 


2 lb skirt steak
1 Tbl prepared horseradish
1 1/2 tbl Worcestershire sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 olive oil
2 tbl fresh thyme, chopped 
1/4 tsp salt 
1/4 tsp pepper
2 juice of two grapefruits


Mix horseradish, Worcestershire, garlic, olive oil, thyme, grapefruit juice, salt, pepper in a bowl. Place steaks in a large resealable bag. Pour over skirt steak and let marinate in the refrigerator at least 8 hours or overnight.  Heat grill to high and grill steak 2-3 min minutes per side (I would not recommend cooking skirt steak over medium temperature because it can get chewy).  Remove meat from grill and allow it to rest for a few minutes.  To slice, cut each piece of skirt into a 3 to 4 inch section with the grain. Then, slice each of those sections into thin strips about 1/2- 3/4 inch thick against the grain. Serve immediately. 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Grilled Citrus Basil Chicken

Time for June's Improv Cooking Challenge! 

The theme for this month was lemon and lime. I was excited when I learned we were using these ingredients because I felt there was a lot of room to be creative! 

Initially,  I was thinking of doing a dessert or a spicy chicken in the crockpot using lemon lime soda for tacos, but I decided that grilling was mandatory because of the beautiful weather are starting to have.  I came up with a very simple marinade and added a bit of fresh basil and garlic. This chicken is absolutely delicious.  The flavors from the lemon, lime, basil and garlic are very prominent and very fresh. We also crumbled a little feta over the top of the chicken and it was perfect with the citrus flavors. I did not want this to be a sweet chicken, but if you wanted to add a little orange juice or agave for sweetness it would work nicely. I also highly recommend marinating as long as possible. I often see recipes that say to marinate 1-8 hours and I always go for the max. To me, longer marinating time = more flavor.  I think this would be delicious wish fish or pork as well. I can't wait to make it again! We served this with roasted potatoes with lemon, oregano and feta (recipe posting soon) and it was the perfect side to complement the chicken. 

If you want to join the fun of the Improv Cooking Challenge visit Kristen of Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker for details! 

Next month's theme is berries and cream....I think I already know what I am going to make! 


1 1/4 lb chicken breasts (4 pieces)
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp lime zest
Juice of 2 lemons
Juice of 2 limes
1 Tbl apple cider vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbl fresh minced basil
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp salt 
1/2 tsp black pepper
Not pictured: Crumbles feta, optional topping


Mix all ingredients besides the chicken in a medium bowl. 

Place chicken in a large ziplock bag and pour in the marinade. Squeeze out the air and seal. Allow chicken to marinate in the fridge for at least 8 hours or overnight.

Heat grill to medium heat. Remove chicken from the bag and discard excess marinade.  Grill chicken about 5-6 minutes per side.

Remove chicken from the grill and allow it to rest for a few minutes before serving.  

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Monte Cristo Roll Ups with Dijon Dipping Sauce

Time for February's Crazy Ingredient Challenge! 

The theme for this month was mustard and strawberry.  When I first heard the ingredients my mind went to barbecue sauce, but then I thought of Monte Cristos.  A Monte Cristo is essentially a french fried ham and cheese sandwich. There are many types of variation, but I decided to do things a little differently and use crescent rolls, strawberry preserves, brie cheese and top it off if a Dijon dipping sauce.  This is a really easy recipe and is a perfect party food.  I love the combination of the savory and sweet- plus the tang from the mustard is fantastic.  If you would like to join the fun of the Crazy Cooking Challenge check out our host's (Jutta) blog Hungry Little Girl for more details! 

While making these I did a little reading on Monte Cristo sandwiches. They are a variation of a croque-monsieur and it seems like that variation was that monte cristos are fried, not grilled. There are also many variation of this sandwich in France. I have a sneaking suspicion that this will be a Kellen favorite when we are in France this spring...  


2 tubes of crescent rolls
16 thin slices of ham 
5 oz spreadable brie cheese
Strawberry Preserves (I use Bonne Maman)
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
2 Tbl mayo
1/2 tsp honey
Powdered Sugar, optional garnish


Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 

Open the crescent rolls and remove two at a time. Use your fingers to pinch the rolls together at the seam to create a rectangle. 

Spread a layer of brie gently over the crescent roll followed by a layer of strawberry preserves.  Place two slices of ham on the crescent and roll it up. Place it seam side down on the prepared baking sheet. 

While baking, prepare the dipping sauce. Stir together mustard, mayo and honey. Set aside. 

Bake 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and allow them to cool for about 10 minutes.  You may slice if desired or serve whole with a side of the mustard dipping sauce.  Dust with powdered sugar if desired. 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Applesauce Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

Time for October's Improv Cooking Challenge! 

The theme for this month was cake and frosting.  I recently made a batch of unsweetened cinnamon applesauce and was hoping to use some of it for a this challenge. I searched around for an applesauce cake and came across this recipe from Gourmet.  The recipe was just what I was looking for and looked to be easily adaptable for using my homemade applesauce. The recipe recommended using a square cake pan, but I opted for my springform and it worked perfectly. I also left the walnuts out of the cake and used them for a crunchy topping.  The frosting was so easy to make it was almost a crime and the flavor was delicious. This cake had all the cravable fall flavors- heavy on spice, dense and moist.  The creamy spiced frosting and perfect crunch and nutty taste from the walnuts made this a delectable treat.  I can't wait to make this again and curl up on a chill fall day with a slice and a warm cup of cider. 

Big thanks to Kristen of Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker for organizing the challenge. If you want to join the fun (next month is cardamom and orange) stop by her blog and join the fun! 


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened applesauce (I used my homemade unsweetened cinnamon applesauce)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts (optional)
  • Frosting:
  • 5 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon


Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Butter an 8- or 9-inch square cake pan (I used a spring form round cake pan with no problems).

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices.
Beat butter, brown sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixer at high speed until pale and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in applesauce. At low speed, mix in flour mixture until just combined.
Spread batter evenly in pan and bake until golden-brown and a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Cool in pan 15 minutes. Remove cake from the pan or spring form (you could leave it in and cut from the pan if you wish). 

Beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla with an electric mixer at high speed until fluffy. Sift confectioners sugar and cinnamon over cream cheese mixture, then beat at medium speed until incorporated.
Spread frosting over top of cooled cake. Top with walnuts. 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Banana Blueberry Muffins

Ahhhh...berry season.  One of my personal favorites along with apple season. I love baking/cooking with seasonal and fresh products. I was very excited when I found a large box of freshly picked blueberries at one of the farm stands on my way home from work. Ron, unfortunately, is not a fan of berries, but that just means there is more for me!  I was having a few girlfriends and kids over and I knew that these muffins would be a perfect snack. The recipe very easy and the flavors of the muffins are delicious. The recipe does not result in an overly sweet and some of the kids were hoping for a little bit more of a sugary treat. However, the adults thought flavors were delicious. 

This week Ron and I had to lower Kellen's mattress because he is starting to pull himself up *sniff*.  My baby is getting to be such a little boy.  Kellen has also started liking different finger foods. He loves cantaloupe and peas. It makes me so happy to see him starting to enjoy and explore the flavors of whole foods. People will often ask about Kellen eating solids and the truth is I never have wanted to push it because he was so hesitant when we first tried a few. It makes me happy that our hands-off approach and allowing him to lead has worked for the best.  Baby food making was/is something very exciting to me (maybe next time!), but Kellen does not like purees and prefers to feed himself. I wonder if this will be a clue as to his personality in the future? 


3 large ripe bananas
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/3 cup melted butter
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups flour


Mash bananas in a large mixing bowl. Add sugar and egg. Add butter and blueberries.

Combine dry ingredients and gently stir into banana mixture.

Pour into 12 well-greased muffin cups (or use liners).

Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes

Friday, July 26, 2013

Recipe Swap: Hawaiian Burger

Time for July's WC Recipe Swap!

The theme for this month's swap is grilling/cookout. I submitted my recipe for chipotle ranch burgers and received Nichole of Cookaholic Wife's recipe, Hawaiian Burgers.  As I have said many times before, Ron and I love making new and different burgers. I am usually not "team mayo" on a burger, but the chipotle mayo on this sandwich is awesome! It is delicious with the sweetness from the pineapple and smokiness of the bacon. We opted for muenster cheese on our burgers and left the lettuce, tomato, ect off the burgers. Another great thing was the herbs mixed in with the burger meat. This is the first year we have done a garden and chives and parsley were freshly picked. Maybe it is that we grew it ourselves or just in our heads, but the flavors of the herbs were fantastic. 

Speaking of gardening.... ours has been doing pretty well! I lost our cilantro and am planning on replanting this weekend. Question for gardeners- I felt like mine did not get very leafy and got a lot of flowers. I have heard that I should have trimmed it more. Any advice on caring and growing cilantro?  Aside from the cilantro, the rest of the garden is doing well and we have already gotten a bunch of cherry tomatoes!

Thank you Nichole of a delicious recipe and thanks to Sarah for hosting our swap!



1 lb. lean ground beef
1 egg
1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced
2 tbsp. fresh chives, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tbsp. oregano1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
salt and pepper

1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
1 tsp. adobo sauce
pinch of salt and pepper 

8 slices bacon, cooked
4 slices Munster cheese
4 slices fresh pineapple
4 burger buns 


 Prepare the burger patties by combining all of the ingredients together in a bowl and then form into 4 evenly sized patties. Preheat a grill to high heat. Prepare the mayonnaise by placing the chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, extra sauce, salt and mayo into a food processor. Mix till smooth (you could also do this by mincing the peppers by hand). Grill the burgers for 4-5 minutes on each side or until cooked through. Top with the cheese cheese and allow cheese to melt.  Transfer burgers to a plate. Place the pineapple on the grill for 1-2 minutes per side. Spread the mayonnaise on both sides of the burger bun. Place burgers on buns. Top with bacon and serve.