Archive for August, 2013

Fancify Friday: Add fruit to savory dishes

A kick of sweetness–courtesy of fruit–is just the thing to brighten the flavor of many savory dishes.

Strawberries on burger

My kids were intrigued when we added thinly sliced strawberries to burgers. The verdict? The tangy berries mixed in with the other fixins’ perfectly. We don’t add strawberries all the time–but I like to use what I have on hand to reinvent dishes we have all the time. Which brings me to salad…

Mangos on salad

I usually throw some sort of fruit into our salads–diced apples, peach wedges, sliced mangoes. Again, it’s a matter of using what’s in season (and on your counter) to bring new life to your old-standbys. Plus, cutting up fruit is a great way to get your kids involved in the kitchen prep.

Mangos on salad with oriental dressing

 

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Raspberry picking time

Raspberries in bin It’s that time of year again. Break out the baskets and start picking! We brought home 4 baskets of berries from a nearby farm, Monroe’s Orchard.

Child picking raspberriesSome of our berries didn’t even survive the car ride home, but I’ve already frozen plenty so we can have fresh berries in the winter. Have you been raspberry picking yet?

Children picking raspberries

Raspberries

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Breakfast sliders

Breakfast slidersWe have brinner a lot around my house. Breakfast for dinner works for my busy crew since it’s quick to put together.

 

Ingredients for breakfast sliders:

Mini-buns–I get them in my grocery store’s deli section but Pepperidge Farms has slider buns available, Hawaiian rolls work well, too

Breakfast sausage patties and/or bacon slices–I’m hooked on Costco’s precooked bacon

Eggs–Whisk them and then cook as you would an omelet, removing them from the pan so that you can slice into squares to place on the patties

Cheese–optional, I like mine sans cheese but the kids prefer a thin slice of American cheese to meld the ingredients together

Tomatoes–sliced thin

 

Put ‘em together:

Cut the buns in half and let your kids layer what they want in their mini-sandwiches.

Heat the sliders in the microwave for a few seconds before serving. Option: We like to grill the sausage patties and then put them on the buns so they have more of a smoky flavor.

 

Add ons:

Make it a meal by serving the sliders with fruit salad and tater tots or homemade hashbrowns.

 

Dessert:

Waffle brownies, of course!

 

 

 

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Chocolate chalkboards

This is everything you need to make your chocolate chalkboards.

This is everything you need to make your chocolate chalkboards.

My kids couldn’t wait to try these chocolate chalkboards in this month’s Family Fun magazine.

These edible chalkboards are easy to put together and make for a cool back-to-school craft.

 

Supplies:

Regular-sized chocolate bars (like Hershey’s)

Chewy caramels

Powdered sugar

White sprinkles

Toothpicks

 

Directions:Chocolate chalkboards

  1. Use the toothpick to carve a message in the smooth side of a chocolate bar.
  2. Sprinkle enough powdered sugar on the message to fill the scratches.
  3. Carefully(!) blow the extra powdered sugar from off the chocolate (or rub it off with a napkin).
  4. Mold the caramels into a strip in your fingers. Note: You may need to microwave them at half power for a few seconds in the microwave to soften them.
  5. Press the caramel strips onto the chocolate bar to frame around it.
  6. Add the white sprinkles to look like chalk.
  7. That’s it! Eat once you’ve taken a picture–or during.

 

Hey, who's eating the chocolate chalkboards?

Hey, who’s eating the chocolate chalkboards?

 

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Peach guajillo chili salsa

PeachesFresh peaches are popping up everywhere–including on my fruit tray. Not every peach gets gobbled up in its prime so I like to get a little creative in how I use them. Enter salsa. The sweet flavor and smooth texture of peaches tempers the sometimes bitter undertones of dried chiles in homemade salsa.

 

Whether you have peaches that are starting to go mushy, or you just want to show them off in something new, try this amped up version of DIY salsa. Use it as enchilada sauce, salsa (it’s thinner, more in keeping with the traditional, Mexican variety)–I’m even marinating pork cutlets in it right now to go on the grill tomorrow.

 

Recipe

Prep time: 20 minutes

Servings: around 3 1/2- 4 cups

 

Ingredients

3 ripe peaches

6 dried guajillo chiles

Peachy enchiladas

I used the salsa as an enchilada sauce. You can’t taste the peaches, just the hint of fruity sweetness to balance out the chiles.

9 dried arbol chiles

1/2 onion, cut into large wedges

1 clove garlic

1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes (I used Red Gold Petite Diced with Green Chiles)

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1 lime

1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika or cayenne pepper (optional)

1/2 tablespoon grapeseed or canola oil (optional step)

 

Directions

  1. Prep the dried chiles. On a medium-high heat skillet, toast the chiles until the skins start to look softer and slightly cooked (around 2 minutes, rotating the chile as it heats). Immediately place the chiles into a large bowl of hot water. Add the peaches to the bowl, too.
  2. Optional step: Roast the onions by putting them briefly onto the hot skillet after the chiles. Or, you can just place the onions into the water without toasting.
  3. In a blender, combine the canned tomatoes, onion, garlic, juice from the lime, and cumin.
  4. Remove the chiles from the water. Carefully cut around the tops of the chiles and remove as much of the seeds as possible. Add the chile skins to the other blended ingredients. Blend again.
  5. Remove the skins and pit from the peaches and add them to the blender. Mix until smooth. (You may need to add more water to get your desired consistency.)
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Now for another optional step: To fully meld the flavors of the salsa together it helps to cook it before cooling it to serve. Here’s how it works, bring the oil to medium-high heat in a saucepan, add the salsa (careful–it can splatter), then heat through. That’s it.

 

*Store the extra salsa in the fridge for up to a week.

 

 

 

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Red Gold Tomatoes Giveaway!

Red Gold tomatoesCanned tomatoes make the perfect base for pasta sauces and salsas. But have you ever tried spiking your burgers with extra flavor courtesy of canned tomatoes before throwing them on the grill?

 

Red Gold wants you to give it a try so they’re giving away a grilling care package complete with two aprons (appropriately in red), and a 5 pack of canned tomatoes and barbecue sauce. Interested?

 

Enter the Red Gold Tomatoes Giveaway by leaving a comment below. Want to increase your chances of winning? Share this post with your friends on Facebook for an extra entry.

 

You can also enter Red Gold’s sweepstakes for a chance to get your own Green Egg Ceramic Grill & Smoker.

 

This contest ends Friday, August 9th at midnight, EST so enter today!

 

*The prize package is available to U.S. residents only through Red Gold. As part of the promotion I received a sample of Red Gold tomatoes.

 

 

 

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