Have you ever heard of a “Dessert Mash-Up”? If you haven’t, it’s simply a yummy creation of two different desserts combined into one! It’s also the name of a new cookbook that has recipes like Blueberry Muffin Waffles, Pumpkin Cheesecake French Toast, Chocolate Cheesecake Sandwich … Continue reading
Like so many people I know, I’m trying to eat a little healthier during this new year. So when I heard about the new cookbook, Weight Watchers What To Cook Now, I was definitely interested in reviewing it! Not only did I receive a review copy, the publisher, St. Martin’s Press, is also providing a giveaway copy! I’ll tell you a little about the book and share a recipe from it with you, and then be sure to enter the giveaway by leaving a comment–see the end of this post for details on how to win!
This cookbook has more than 300 new recipes and lots of color photos. There’s a wonderful variety of great-sounding recipes to choose from–meals and desserts that your whole family can enjoy. And they look easy to prepare, too. All recipes include nutritional information and the Weight Watcher PointsPlus® values so those of you in Weight Watchers can easily keep track of your points. Even if you’re not in Weight Watches, though, I’m sure these recipes would appeal to any of you who are wanting to eat lighter and healthier.
The book starts out with tips and helpful information on good nutrition, the well-stocked pantry, must-have kitchen tools, food safety, and choosing and preparing fresh fruits and veggies. Then you’ll find recipes organized in the following chapters: Breakfasts and Brunches; Lunches; Appetizers and Snacks; Main Dishes–Beef, Pork, and Lamb; Main Dishes–Poultry; Main Dishes–Seafood; Main Dishes-Vegetarian; 20-Minute Main Dishes; Side Dishes; and Sweets. So there’s lots to choose from! Here are some recipes I’d like to try…
- Coconut-Almond French Toast with Tropical Fruit
- Asian Burgers with Honey-Lime Slaw
- Spinach and Endive Salad with Walnut Vinaigrette
- Italian Beef and Mushroom Meat Loaf
- Brown Sugar-Dijon Glazed Ham with Sweet Potatoes
- Maple-Glazed Grilled Chicken
- Pan-seared Tuna with Citrus-Avocado Salsa
- Warm Mozzarella and Tomato Flatbreads
- Gingery Chicken and Vegetable Stir-Fry
- Garlicky Spinach and Fontina Pizza
- Chocolate Brownie Ice-Cream Sandwiches
For this post, I decided to try the Easy Pantry Minestrone from the Vegetarian section, since I had been wanting to make minestrone this winter. It’s a good, healthy soup with lots of veggies (carrots, onion, celery, zucchini), red beans, and chickpeas. Dried basil also flavors the soup, and you serve it with a teaspoon-size dollop of pre-made refrigerated pesto which also adds nicely to the flavor!
EASY PANTRY MINESTRONE from Weight Watchers What To Cook Now
Makes 6 servings
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 2 carrots, halved lengthwise and sliced
- 1 celery stalk, sliced
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 7 cups reduced-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 (15.5-ounce) can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 (15.5-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup whole wheat macaroni or other small pasta (uncooked)
- 2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
- 1 small zucchini, chopped
- 2 Tablespoons refrigerated basil pesto
Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add carrots, celery, and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 30 seconds.
Add broth, kidney beans, chickpeas, macaroni, and basil and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, 10 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and zucchini and simmer until pasta and vegetables are very tender, 10 minutes longer. Ladle into bowls and top each with 1 teaspoon pesto.
PER SERVING (1 bowl): 307 Cal, 6 g Total Fat, Og Trans Fat, 1 mg Chol, 876 mg Sod, 53 g Carb, 10 g Fib, 14 g Prot, 120 mg Calc.
PointsPlus value: 8
I really like the dollop of pesto–it gives the soup an extra little zing of flavor when you stir it in!
THE GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED! Congratulations to commentor #8, Aline, for winning the book!
Now for the Giveaway…if you’d like to enter to win a copy of Weight Watchers What To Cook Now, leave a comment on this blog post between now and Wednesday, January 22, at 10 p.m. (CST)–the random drawing will be made from the comments on this post only! The winner will be chosen randomly via Random.org and announced on Thursday evening, January 23. Winner will be notified via email (if winner does not respond in 3 days, I’ll do another drawing). Giveaway limited to readers in the Continental U.S. and Canada.
First entry: Leave a comment on this post–it would be great to hear what your favorite healthy dish is!
Bonus entry: If you are a new or existing follower or subscriber, you can leave one extra comment telling me the way (or ways) you are following.
Note: If your comment doesn’t show up right away, it just means I need to click on it to approve it before it’s visible–I do this because of spam comments that sometimes come through!
In 2007, Chef Alan Jackson opened what is now L.A.’s favorite modern cafeteria–Lemonade, serving up healthy comfort food Southern California-style. This popular eatery has 10 locations and is still growing. Like me, if you didn’t live in Southern California, you were missing out…until now. Chef Jackson and coauthor JoAnn Cianciulli have come out with The Lemonade Cookbook (hardcover, St. Martin’s Press), filled with 120 unique, easy-to-make, tasty recipes and lots of great full-color photos of many of these dishes.
I received a review copy from the publisher, plus a copy to give away to one of you! See the end of this post for details on how to win this book! I’ll share a little more about it here, along with a recipe I made.
In The Lemonade Cookbook, there are recipes for salads, veggie sides, unique sandwiches, soups and stews, and desserts. Some of the recipes include:
- Fingerling Potatoes with Dill and Lemon-Saffron Vinaigrette
- Heirloom Tomato, Crushed Basil, Fleur de Sel Salad
- Greek-Marinated Chicken with Tzatsiki
- Buttermilk-Baked Chicken
- Citrus-Poached Salmon with Mustard Sauce
- BBQ Brisket
- Turkey with Dried Cranberry and Sage Gravy
- Caesar Club (with Turkey, Ham, and Tomato)
- Egg Salad Sandwich with Bacon and Heirloom Tomato
- Creamed Cauliflower Soup
- Mac ‘N Cheese
- Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Lemon Drop Cupcakes
- Caramel-Butterscotch Pudding
So you see, there’s quite a variety of recipes to try! And there’s even a chapter of recipes featuring their popular lemonade concoctions including Peach Ginger, Pear Basil, Cantaloupe Sage, and Blueberry Mint!
I decided to make one of the veggie salads, Edamame Snap Pea Salad with Sesame Vinaigrette, which was wonderful! I don’t know of many ways to serve edamame, but this is a great one! It’s easy to make and very healthy! It’s a slightly crunchy, tangy salad mix of edamame and sugar snap peas, and has a great Sesame Vinaigrette mixed in. If you aren’t familiar with edamame, it’s another word for green soybeans-it’s best to use non-GMO edamame. Here’s the recipe so you can try it out!
EDAMAME SNAP PEA SALAD WITH SESAME VINAIGRETTE from The Lemonade Cookbook
Makes 4 cups
This lean green edamame and snap pea dish adds just the right crunch, while sesame, shallot, and chive add another level of texture by coating the vegetables. The best part about this dish is it’s so simple to whip up.
- 1/2 pound sugar snap peas (2 cups), ends trimmed
- 2 cups shelled edamame (green soybeans), frozen, thawed, and cooked
- 1 large shallot, minced
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
- 1/2 cup Sesame Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
- 1 Tablespoon black sesame seeds (I just used regular sesame seeds)
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil over high heat. Prepare an ice bath by filling a large bowl halfway with water and adding a tray of ice cubes.
Blanch the snap peas for only about 2 minutes; they become tender very quickly. Using a slotted spoon, remove the snap peas from the water and plunge into the ice bath to “shock” them, i.e., to stop the cooking process and cool them down right away. This procedure also sets the vibrant green color of the peas. Drain the snap peas in a colander.
Put the blanched snap peas in a mixing bowl. Add the edamame, shallot, chives, and vinaigrette, tossing to coat. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds, salt, and pepper, tossing well. Serve chilled.
- 1/2 cup seasoned rice vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 2 Tablespoons sesame oil
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
In a small mixing bowl or mason jar, combine the vinegar, sesame seeds, garlic, mustard, soy sauce, canola and sesame oils; season with pepper. Whisk or shake to blend. Keep any left-over vinaigrette covered in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Makes 1 cup.
Now for the Giveaway…if you’d like to enter to win a copy of The Lemonade Cookbook, leave a comment on this blog post between now and Saturday, November 23, at 11 p.m. (CST)–the random drawing will be made from the comments on this post only! The winner will be chosen randomly via Random.org and announced on Sunday, November 24. Winner will be notified via email (if winner does not respond in 3 days, I’ll do another drawing). Giveaway limited to readers in the Continental U.S. and Canada.
First entry: Leave a comment on this post–it would be great to hear what your favorite kind of side dish is!
Bonus entry: If you are a new or existing follower or subscriber, you can leave one extra comment telling me the way (or ways) you are following.
This is a great book for anyone who loves trying unique recipes and using fresh, healthy ingredients! It would also make a wonderful gift! :)
You’ve probably heard about the bestselling book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, first published back in 2007. Because of its popularity, authors Jeff Hertzberg, M.D. and Zoe Francois have completely revised and updated their original book that revolutionized bread-making. Their new book, The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day was just released on October 22. The publisher, Thomas Dunne Books, sent me a review copy, and I’m happy to say they are providing a copy for me to give away! They will send the giveaway copy directly to the winner, so see the end of the post for details on how to win this book! First, I’ll tell you more about the book and the recipe I made from it.
The New Artisan Bread In Five Minutes a Day is completely revised and updated with forty new full-color images, one hundred black-and-white how-to photos, an expanded “Tips and Techniques” section, a gluten-free chapter, and more than 30 new recipes for homemade breads and sweets, including…
- Gluten-free Cheesy Breadsticks, Pizza, Baguette and Sweeet Brioche
- Beer-Cheese and Crock-Pot Bread
- Pretzel Buns
- Apple-Stuffed French Toast
I decided to try the recipe for Oatmeal Maple Bread–that just sounded so good and healthy! I definitely am a novice bread maker, so I wasn’t sure how it would turn out. I’m happy to say it turned out wonderfully! The bread has a great texture and rises nicely, and pure maple syrup gives it a delicious, slightly sweet taste. This recipe makes 2 loaves. I brought some of the bread in to work for my coworkers to sample and everyone loved it! I hope you get a chance to try the recipe out!
OATMEAL MAPLE BREAD from The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day
Makes two 8 1/2 x 4 1/2″ loaves
A note from the book: This high-fiber loaf is lightly sweetened with maple syrup and tastes great cut into thick slices and then slathered with butter (and marmalade)…. It also makes a great sandwich with smoked turkey and cheese.
- 2 3/4 cups (625 grams) lukewarm water
- 1 Tablespoon (10 grams) Granulated yeast
- 1 to 1 1/2 Tablespoons (17 to 25 grams) Kosher salt
- 3/4 cup, plus 1 Tablespoon (170 grams) Pure Maple Syrup (the 1 Tablespoon is for brushing on top of the loaf right before baking)
- 1/4 cup (55 grams) oil, plus more for greasing the loaf pans (I used olive oil)
- 3/4 cup (55 grams) Wheat bran
- 1 1/2 cups (140 grams) Old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 cup (130 grams) Whole wheat flour or White Whole wheat flour (I used White whole wheat)
- 4 cups (570 grams) All-purpose flour (I used unbleached all-purpose flour)
- Mixing and storing the dough: Mix the yeast and salt with the water, the 3/4 cup maple syrup, and the oil in a 6-quart bowl or a lidded (not airtight) food container.
- Mix in the remaining dry ingredients without kneading, using a spoon or a heavy-duty stand mixer (with paddle). If you’re not using a machine, you may need to use wet hands to incorporate the last bit of flour.
- Cover (not airtight) and allow to rest at room temperature until the dough rises and collapses (or flattens on top), approximately 2 hours.
- The dough can be used immediately after the initial rise, though it is easier to handle when cold. Refrigerate the container of dough and use over the next 7 days.
- On baking day, grease two 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch nonstick loaf pans. Dust the surface of the refrigerated dough with flour and divide dough in half. Dust each dough half with more flour and quickly shape each of them, one at a time, into a ball by stretching the surface of each piece of dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go.
- Elongate each ball of dough to form an oval loaf and place into the prepared pans. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 90 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350˚F. A baking stone is not required, and omitting it shortens the preheat.
- Using a pastry brush, brush the top crusts with the remaining 1 Tablespoon maple syrup (use 1/2 Tablespoon on the top of each loaf).
- Place the loaves on a rack near the center of the oven. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until browned and firm (my baking time was 50 minutes). Smaller or larger loaves will require adjustments in resting and baking time.
- Remove from the pans and allow to cool on a rack before slicing and eating.
I let my loaves cool before slicing one of them and put the other in the freezer for later. But you may not be able to resist eating this bread warm right out of the oven! :)
Now for the Giveaway…if you’d like to enter to win a copy of The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, leave a comment on this blog post between now and Saturday, November 9, at midnight (CST)–the random drawing will be made from the comments on this post only! The winner will be chosen randomly via Random.org and announced on Sunday, November 10. Winner will be notified via email (if winner does not respond in 3 days, I’ll do another drawing). Giveaway limited to readers in the Continental U.S. and Canada.
First entry: Leave a comment on this post–it would be great to hear what your favorite kind of bread is or if you have ever made homemade bread!
Bonus entry: If you are a new or existing follower or subscriber, you can leave one extra comment telling me the way (or ways) you are following.
This is a great book for bread lovers, so if you’re one, be sure to enter the giveaway! :)
When I think of summer treats, I think of S’mores around a campfire. But when I looked through my review copy of The S’mores Cookbook by Susan Whetzel, I realized that you can enjoy the great taste of S’mores all year round in lots of different ways! This hardcover book is filled with lots of wonderful full-color photos of the many recipes you can make. And the publisher, Adams Media, has offered to send a giveaway copy directly to the winning commentor on this post! See the end of the post for details.
So S’mores are not just for summer anymore…you can make a great S’mores dessert whenever you crave it! And actually, S’mores are not just for dessert anymore, because this book also includes breakfast recipes, too! Some treats from this book that I’d like to try out are:
- S’mores Stuffed French Toast
- S’mores Popovers
- Mini Dark Chocolate S’mores Muffins
- S’mores Coffee Cake
- Dark Chocolate S’mores Pie
- S’mores Mousse Cups
- S’mores Dip
- S’mores Cupcakes
- S’mores Chocolate Chunksters
I decided to make the S’mores Popcorn first because it’s been really hot and humid lately, and I wanted to do a no-bake recipe. Plus, this is a great recipe to give as a food gift, packaged in a cellophane bag–and with Christmas just 4 months away, I’m on the lookout for some tasty and easy food gift ideas! :) It’s really kind of addicting, so you’ll want to either have lots of people help you eat it up or share with your friends! The two kinds of chocolate mixed with the caramel corn and marshmallows make a really rich and yummy treat! It’s also a great snack to make in the fall if you’re having a tailgate party or watching the games at home. Store-bought caramel corn works great in this, or you can use homemade if you like.
When I melted the chocolate, I added just a little bit of coconut oil, about 1 teaspoon per cup, to make the chocolate a little smoother for drizzling. If you do this, the chocolate will take a little longer to dry or set, and it may not package as well since the chocolate will be a little gooier, so it’s definitely an optional thing. If you decide to add some oil when melting the chocolate and if you’ve used an extra large sheet pan to spread your popcorn mix on,* you can put your pan of S’mores popcorn in the fridge, after everything is mixed together, for at least a half hour or until chocolate is set.
Here’s the recipe…
S’MORES POPCORN BAGS from The S’mores Cookbook
Yields: 10 gift bags
Feel free to make your own caramel popcorn for this amazing treat, but store-bought works amazingly well and tends to hold up and look nicer in the gift bags. Either way, it’s a win-win situation!–Susan Whetzel
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted (Note: I used an extra 1/4 cup later in the recipe)
- 1/2 cup crushed graham cracker crumbs
- 8 cups caramel popcorn
- 1/2 cup white chocolate chips, melted
- 2 cups mini marshmallows
- 10 cellophane gift bags
- Ribbon, to tie bags, as needed
Cover the counter with parchment paper (*I lined an extra large sheet pan with parchment paper instead). Drizzle the parchment with melted semisweet chocolate and immediately sprinkle with graham cracker crumbs and popcorn, making as even a layer as possible.
Drizzle the white chocolate over the popcorn; allow to dry. (NOTE: I melted an additional 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips and drizzled this over the popcorn, too, for an extra chocolatey taste). Once chocolate is dry, pour the popcorn from the parchment into a large bowl; add marshmallows.
Divide evenly into cellophane bags, and tie with decorative ribbon.
This makes a great game snack or food gift and it’s so easy to make, so keep it in mind for football season and gift- giving at the holidays!
Now for the Giveaway….if you’d like to enter to win a copy of The S’mores Cookbook, leave a comment on this blog post between now and Sunday, September 1, at midnight (CST)–the random drawing will be made from the comments on this post only! Winner will be chosen ramdomly via Random.org and announced on Monday, September 2. Winner will be notified via email (if winner does not respond in 3 days, I’ll do another drawing). Giveaway is limited to readers in the Continental U.S. and Canada.
First entry: Leave a comment on this post telling me if you make S’mores often or if you’ve made any S’mores-inspired recipes this summer.
Bonus entry: If you are a new or existing follower or subscriber, you can leave one extra comment telling me the way (or ways) you are following!
Don’t worry if your comment doesn’t show up right away–because of spam, I need to approve all the comments before they show up! Hope you all have time to enter, and enjoy your Labor Day Weekend!
Did you know that August 2nd is National Ice Cream Sandwich Day? I just heard about it recently myself. Before I was involved in the food blogging world, I had no idea how many food holidays there were–too many to keep up with! :) But I do love ice cream sandwiches, so I thought I’d share a little about a book that has lots of recipes for the homemade kind, I Scream Sandwich, by Jennie Schacht. There’s a wide variety of ideas for sandwiches made with brownies, bars, cakes, brioche, crusts, gelatos, sorbets, and even dairy-free options…just about any kind of ice cream sandwich you could imagine!
There are also helpful ice cream sandwich-making tips in the first chapter, Sandwich Secrets. And in the second chapter, Jennie writes about Essential Equipment, Ingredients, and Building Block Recipes. The rest of the book is filled with yummy full-color photos and ice cream sandwich recipes like:
- Inside-Out Carrot Cake (Cream Cheese Ice Cream on Carrot Cake Cookies)
- Key Lime Pie (Key Lime Ice Cream on Sugar Cookies)
- S’mores (Fudge Ripple Ice Cream on Graham Crackers with Toasted Marshmallows)
- Apricot Croissan’wich (Apricot Sorbet on a Croissant)
And then there’s the Banana Split ice cream sandwich (pictured above), made with assorted ice creams and toppings on a hot dog bun with Caramelized Bananas. I didn’t have time to try this recipe out myself, but it sounded like such a fun one that I thought I’d share it with you! And you can use either homemade ingredients or store-bought to make these.
BANANA SPLIT ICE CREAM SANDWICH from I Scream Sandwich!
Makes 6 sandwiches
“…Part sandwich, part sundae, it’s a great way to use up bits of leftover ice cream and sauces, all while maintaining a semblance of health (bananas! berry sauce! fruit and nut garnish!). I’ve even used soft honey-whole wheat buns in place of the brioche and they perfectly soaked up all the melty ice cream and sauces…For a banana split party, line up the buns, sugar-crusted bananas, ice cream with small scoops, bowls of sauce, and any additional toppings, and let everyone make their own.” – Jennie Schacht
ASSORTED ICE CREAMS AND TOPPINGS
- 3 or more flavors of ice cream or gelato (homemade or store-bought), enough to make 18 small scoops in total (1 to 2 Tablespoons per scoop)
- 3 or more sauces (homemade or store-bought), such as Salty Carmel Swirl (page 156), Fudge Ripple (page 156), and Berry Ribbon (page 159)
- Any additional toppings you desire, such as fresh berries, chopped toasted nuts, marshmallows, whipped cream, or candied cherries
HOT DOG BUNS
There’s a recipe for homemade Brioche Buns in the book, but you can also use 6 soft, good-quality bakery or store-bought hot dog buns.
- 3 bananas, peeled and split lengthwise
- 2 to 4 Tablespoons granulated sugar
Lay out the bananas cut-side up on a flat flameproof surface and sprinkle each half evenly with 1 to 2 teaspoons of sugar. Holding a kitchen torch 1 to 2 inches from the surface, move the flame slowly and steadily over the bananas until the sugar melts and then browns, 1 to 2 minutes. Alternatively, broil the sugared bananas on a baking sheet as close as possible to the heating element, watching closely until the sugar is melted and golden brown, 2 minutes or longer, depending on your broiler.
Split and open the buns, leaving them hinged on one side. Remove some of the soft insides from both sides of the bun to form a well.
For each sandwich, place a bun on a plate and lay a caramelized banana against the top half of the open bun. Place 3 small scoops of slightly softened ice cream on the bottom half, up against the seam. Top each scoop with a spoonful of sauce, warmed if desired, and any additional toppings you wish. Press gently to close the bun, and serve immediately.
Doesn’t that sound like a great cool summer treat? Do you like ice cream sandwiches, and have you ever made homemade ones?
Recipe/photo reprinted with permission from Stewart, Tabori & Chang. All rights reserved.
Spanakopita is one of my favorite appetizers. I have always loved these bites of cheesy spinach filling and flaky phyllo crust. But I’ve never tried making them. So, when I received a review copy of 175 Best Mini Pie Recipes: Sweet to Savory and discovered a recipe for them in the book, I knew it was time to give it a try! I’m really glad I did–they were really good! I’m sharing the recipe with you later in this post. But first I’ll tell you more about the book, because there are all sorts of mini pie recipes in it…and I have a giveaway copy you can enter to win, too! See the end of the post for the giveaway details!
175 Best Mini Pie Recipes (softcover), by chef and food writer Julie Anne Hession, has all kinds of wonderful sweet and savory recipes. Here are just a few…Blackberry Sugarplum Cornmeal Pies, Raspberry Nectarine Gallettes, Caramel Apple Hand Pies, Brown Butter Custard Pear Tarts, Southern Banana Pudding Pies, Carrot Cake Pies with Cream Cheese Crust, Chocolate Cappuccino Pocket Pies, Pesto Chicken Hand Pies, Pork Empanadas with Salsa Verde, Mini Cheese and Sausage Calzones, Croque Madame Breakfast Cups, Minestrone Pot Pies…and lots of other tasty treats for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert. The book also includes helpful tips in the chapters on Creating Perfect Mini Pies and Working with Dough. So if you’re new to pie-making, you’ll find this book helpful and easy to understand. And if you’re an experienced pie maker, you’ll enjoy the wide variety and creative recipes to choose from!
Here’s the recipe for Spanakopita…no need to make any dough for this, since it calls for purchased phyllo dough. If you haven’t ever used phyllo sheets in a recipe, you may find it a little tricky to work with because they are so thin and delicate…but after folding a few spanakopitas, you’ll get the hang of it! :)
SPANAKOPITA from 175 Best Mini Pie Recipes
Makes 24 Triangles
When people think of Greek food, spanakopita is likely one of the first dishes that come to mind. Serve these crisp spinach and feta phyllo pies as a flavorful vegetarian appetizer at parties–they will quickly disappear!–Julie Ann Hession
- 1 Tablespoon (15 mL) unsalted butter
- 1 Tablespoon (15 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
- 12 ounces (375 g) fresh baby spinach
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped green onions
- 2 Tablespoons (30 mL) chopped parsley
- 1 Tablespoon (15 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1/4 teaspoon (1 mL) ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon (5 mL) salt
- 1/2 teaspoon (2mL) freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup (250 mL) crumbled feta cheese
- 24 sheets phyllo dough, thawed
- 3/4 cup (175 mL) unsalted butter, melted
Preheat oven to 375˚F (190˚C), positioning racks in upper and lower thirds. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
1. Filling: In a large skillet, melt butter with olive oil over medium heat. Add spinach and cook, stirring, until wilted, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool for 15 minutes.
2. Squeeze excess liquid from spinach, then transfer to a cutting board. Chop coarsely and place in a large bowl. Add green onions, parsley, lemon juice, egg, nutmeg, salt, and pepper; stir to blend. Add feta and toss to blend.
3. Place one sheet of phyllo on clean work surface, short side facing you. Working quickly, brush with melted butter and fold in half lengthwise. Brush again with butter.
4. Spoon 1 heaping Tablespoon (20 mL) spinach filling onto bottom left side of strip, leaving about a 1-inch (2.5 cm) border at the bottom. Fold bottom left corner over the filling to form a triangle, then continue to fold triangles up the strip of phyllo to the top as if you were folding a flag. Brush top of triangle with butter, pressing end to seal. Place triangle, seam side down, on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining phyllo and filling, making 24 triangles.
5. Bake in preheated oven at 375˚F for 18 to 20 minutes, switching positions of baking sheets halfway through, until phyllo is deep golden brown and crisp. Cool slightly and serve warm.
Tip: The key to making perfectly crisp spanakopita is to ensure that excess liquid is removed from the spinach before filling. If your filling begins to produce liquid while you are still constructing the triangles, remove it by straining or by pressing the spoonful against the side of the bowl before placing on the pastry. This will make the difference between soggy and spectacular bits.
Make Ahead: Spanakopita can be assembled and frozen for up to five days. Freeze pies for 30 minutes on baking sheets, then seal in zip-top bags. Bake from frozen as directed.
GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED
Congratulations to commentor #18, Marie, for winning the book!
Now for the Giveaway…if you’d like to enter to win a copy of 175 Best Mini Pie Recipes, leave a comment on this blog post between now and Saturday, June 1, at midnight (CST)–the random drawing will be made from the comments on this post only! The winner will be chosen randomly via Random.org and announced on Sunday, June 2. Winner will be notified via email (if winner does not respond in 3 days, I’ll do another drawing). Giveaway limited to readers in the Continental U.S. and Canada.
First entry: Leave a comment on this post telling me what your favorite kind of pie is.
Can’t wait to hear what kind of pies you all like! :)
Have you served any desserts in jars yet? I’ve seen some great ideas on Pinterest and in several magazines, so when I heard about 150 Best Desserts in a Jar, I was happy to review it and discover a whole collection of yummy recipes, from rich and decadent to light and healthy. Author Andrea Jourdan has developed quite an array of recipes that sound easy and delicious–puddings, cobblers, pies, cakes, trifles, parfaits…just about any kind of dessert you can think of! And you can creatively present them in attractive jars…antique jars, canning jars, or just uniquely-shaped jars you’ve kept…I’m always saving jars from jams, relishes, and other items because they’re just too pretty to discard!
The book is divided into two parts: Warm and Comforting (crumbles, cobblers, puddings, bread puddings, custards, cakes, and souffles) and From the Fridge (fruity and/or creamy desserts, gelatins, trifles, tiramisu, chilled cakes, sweet soups, parfaits, and frothy desserts). I thought the Marble Chocolate Cake with Coffee Cream Sauce, Warm Salted Caramel Pudding, Blackberry Bread Pudding, Pear and Almond Crumble, Brownie Frozen Delight, and Banana Cream Pie Crunch all sounded wonderful. But I decided to try one of the healthier recipes, the Mango Parfait, because I was craving a healthy dessert…and this really hit the spot! Mangos are sweetened with a little sugar and paired with creamy Greek vanilla yogurt for a great-tasting treat. It’s really cool and refreshing, so you’ll have to try this out soon!
MANGO PARFAIT from 150 Best Desserts in a Jar
One of the most popular exotic fruits, the mango here brings its tangy flavor to a perfect companion–yogurt. This is my family’s favorite healthy treat after lunch.–Andrea Jourdan
Makes 4 servings
- 3 mangos, peeled and sliced, divided
- 2 Tablespoons (30 ml) granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon (2 ml) ground cardamom
- 2 cups (500 ml) Greek-style vanilla yogurt
Mangos: In food processor fitted with the metal blade, puree the flesh of 2 mangos with the sugar.
Place remaining mango slices in a bowl. Sprinkle with cardamom and mix gently. Set aside.
Assembly: Spoon approximately 2 Tablespoons (30 ml) mango puree into the bottom of each jar. Cover with 1/4 cup (60 ml) vanilla yogurt. Repeat. When ready to serve, garnish with reserved mango slices.
Tips: For a sweeter treat, add 1 Tablespoon (15 ml) maple syrup to the top of each jar. Mango and maple syrup are a great match. Use any leftover mango puree to make a smoothie.
You could also sprinkle some granola cereal on top of these parfaits–that would make a nice garnish. I was having a little trouble slicing my mangos–most of my slices didn’t look that great–so I cut most of my mangos into chunks and that worked fine, too.
Hope this inspires you to make some desserts in jars–it’s easy and fun!
Remember Sunday Dinner? Just hearing the words can take you back–perhaps to a well-loved dining room in your grandparents’ house, where a stately oak table is laid with lace and hand-painted china. The table overflows with its Sunday bounty…bowls of steaming, garden-fresh vegetables, crocks of sweet butter and homemade jam, and the succulent Sunday roast, juicy and brown. Incomparable aromas fill the house, laden with the promise of freshly baked, light-as-a-feather biscuits or warm-from-the-oven peach cobbler. –Russell Cronkhite
So begins the book, Return to Sunday Dinner: The Simple Delight of Family, Friends, and Food by renowned chef Russell Cronkhite. It brings back memories of what was once an American institution–the Sunday meal that so many looked forward to each week…a time set apart to slow down, savor, and enjoy wonderful food and the family and friends gathered around to share it with. This hardcover cookbook, with lots of colorful photos, invites you to revisit that tradition with a special collection of recipes, menu plans, and helpful time-saving tips. After reading the first paragraph of my review copy, I was definitely inspired!
You’ll find classic Sunday dinner recipes like Slow-Cooked Beef Brisket, Amish Potato Rolls, Golden Mushroom and Onion Soup, Garlic-Herb Mashed Potatoes, Herb-Roasted Chicken, Heartland Raisin-Buttermilk Pie, Creamed Peas and Pearl Onions, Swedish-Style Meatballs with Sour Cream Gravy, Savory Turkey and Vegetable Pot Pie, Twice-Baked Sweet Potato Casserole, and Coconut Cream Cake. There are so many recipes I want to try from this!
I decided to try the Buttered Brussels Sprouts with Parsley and Chives first because I hadn’t made Brussels Sprouts in awhile, and I really do like them. I usually steam them, but they sounded so good made this way, with a buttery herb sauce, and they really were!
BUTTERED BRUSSELS SPROUTS WITH PARSLEY AND CHIVES from Return to Sunday Dinner
Makes 8 servings
Tender baby Brussels sprouts are the best choice when available, so look for nice small ones that are deep green with tight firm leaves.
- 2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
- 6 Tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter
- Salt to taste
- 1 Tablespoon fresh snipped chives
- 1/2 Tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
First, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Drop the Brussels sprouts into the water and cook them until they are bright green and tender, about 8 minutes. Drain the sprouts thoroughly.
Second, melt the butter in a small skillet over low heat; when the butter begins to bubble, add in the sprouts and season to taste with salt. Cover the skillet with a tight-fitting lid and steam for 3 to 4 minutes. Just before serving, toss in the chives and parsley.
After I spooned the brussels sprouts into this cute little Pyrex serving bowl that a sweet friend had given me (thank you, Donna! :) ), I sprinkled on a few more fresh chopped chives since I had a little extra. If you’re the kind of person who likes to add more toppings to your veggies, I think shredded Parmesan or Cheddar cheese would be great on these, and even bacon bits or crumbled bacon.
Do you make special Sunday dinners when you have time? What’s your favorite Sunday dinner dish?
If you’re interested in learning more about eating healthy, Clean Food is a great place to start! Written by cookbook author, nutritionist, and clean food advocate Terry Walters, this updated and revised edition is a helpful guide to “eating clean.” I received a review copy from the publisher, Sterling Epicure, and also a copy to give away! I’ll tell you a little about the book and share a recipe, and you can see the end of the post for details on the giveaway.
Clean food, simply put, is naturally grown and minimally processed. Walters explains in the book that the more processed your food is, the more you lose out on natural nutrients. So it’s important to eat seasonal, unprocessed, organic, and locally-grown foods.
The book starts off with several chapters that include helpful tips on eating clean, and then the recipes, more than 230, are divided seasonally for Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter. This helps you take advantage of using fresh, seasonal ingredients all year long. There are lots of full color photos of many of the recipes throughout the book, too.
Some of the great-sounding recipes include Artichokes, Fennel and Olives over Penne, Banana Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies, Honeydew Cucumber Soup, Lemon Berry Cream Pie, Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burritos with Cashew Cheese, and Wholegrain Pancakes.
I thought I’d try the Olive Tapenade because I love olives and have bought olive tapenade many times, but never made it myself. It’s delicious and very easy to make, so I think I’ll make my own from now on!
OLIVE TAPENADE from Clean Food
Makes 1 1/4 cups
I often prepare this tapenade for company and serve it with Garlic Crostini as an appetizer or as an accompaniment to a pasta dinner. But I enjoy it even more the next day spread on toasted sourdough bread in a roasted vegetable or portobello mushroom sandwich.–Terry Walters
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 1/2 cups kalamata olives, pitted
- 1 cup oil-cured black Greek olives, pitted
- 2 generous Tablespoons capers
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice, plus more if desired
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Extra virgin olive oil, as needed
With food processor running, drop in garlic and mince. Turn processor off, add olives, capers, thyme, parsley, lemon juice, and pepper to taste. Process until smooth, scraping down sides as needed. Add olive oil a little at a time to achieve the desired consistency. Adjust flavor with more lemon juice and transfer to bowl. Store in airtight container in refrigerator or freezer.
I wanted my olive tapenade to be thick, so I didn’t add any extra lemon juice and just used about 1 Tablespoon of olive oil. But you can make it as thick or thin as you like. My tapenade was also a little on the chunky side because the food processor setting on my blender wasn’t working that great…if you have a good food processor, your tapenade will be a lot smoother! The tapenade tasted really good on my crusty loaf of bread and I want to try it on a roasted vegetable sandwich sometime like Walters recommends!
I like making recipes that taste great and are good for you! If you do, too, here’s how you can have a chance to win a copy of this book…
GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED And the winner is…comment #22, Rachel. Congratulations!
The Giveaway: If you’d like to enter to win a copy of Clean Food, leave a comment on this blog post between now and Friday, March 8, at midnight (CST)–the random drawing will be made from the comments on this post only! The winner will be chosen randomly via Random.org and announced on Saturday, March 9. Winner will be notified via email (if winner does not respond in 3 days, I’ll do another drawing).
First entry: Leave a comment on this post telling me telling me what your favorite fruit or veggie is.
The giveaway is open to residents of the continental U.S. and Canada.
I hope you get a chance to try the Olive Tapenade! I’m a big olive fan…do you like olives too?
Originally being from the midwest, I didn’t get my first taste of Southern food until I was in my mid-twenties. And I’ve been a fan of it ever since! There’s something about Southern cooking that is so comforting and inviting. … Continue reading
My Coca-Cola Cake, cut while still warm… I’ve found a lot of great recipes from Southern Living magazine through the years, so I was looking forward to reviewing their new cookbook, Southern Living Home Cooking Basics: A Complete Illustrated Guide to Southern … Continue reading
If indulging in British delicacies from another era sounds good to you, then you’ll need to check out The Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook, inspired by the popular Emmy Award-winning series. I recently received a review copy from the publisher and … Continue reading
When I was asked if I’d like to review Hello Cupcake! by the publisher, I just couldn’t say no because I love cupcakes and cupcake cookbooks! Written by cookbook author and food stylist Leila Lindholm, the book is filled to the brim … Continue reading
If you enjoy making your own ice cream, or would like to start, you’d probably love the recently-published book The Ultimate Guide to Homemade Ice Cream: Over 300 Gelatos, Sorbets, Cakes, & More. Written by master chef Jan Hedh, this … Continue reading