Peaches and Blackberries with Mint and a Honey Lime Drizzle

Peach and blackberriesFor you: a simple fruit salad bowl that highlights the best of summer’s fruit offering. Juicy peaches plus sweet plump blackberries tossed with mint and a light dressing of fresh lime juice and honey.

We can’t get enough of the juicy peaches and nectarines right now. Most of them we eat whole. But this salad is a sweet and summery way to switch things up.

We picked the mint from our garden. Maybe in a few years we will say the same about the blackberries. My mother in law grows blackberries, raspberries, red and black currants in her expansive garden in Essex, CT. We need to get a lesson or two on how to grow all those beauties.

Peach and blackberriesTossing the fruit with this light honey and lime dressing adds a citrusy zing and brings out the fruits’ natural sweetness. And the lime juice keeps the peaches from browning. You can skip the honey if you prefer, but we found it brings the flavors together nicely. This light fruit salad is a refreshing addition to a weekend brunch, served alongside a hearty omelette or egg strata. And can it be any simpler?

Peach and blackberriesPeaches and Blackberries with Mint and a Honey and Lime Drizzle

Serves: 4

Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 ripe peaches, washed and cut into chunks (you can also use nectarines)
  • 1 pint blackberries, washed
  • 2 tbsp mint, chopped
  • Juice of lime
  • 1 tsp honey

Directions:

Combine peaches, blackberries and mint in a medium bowl. In a small bowl, mix lime juice and honey until combined. Drizzle over fruit. Toss and serve,

 

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Dark Chocolate Cherry Truffles

dark chocolate cherry truffles Ever since we took a truffle class at Chocolee Chocolates in Boston’s South End almost two years ago, we’ve fallen in love (literally) with truffles and the truffle making process. And the process is actually quite simple, despite common belief. The hard part is having patience and waiting for the ganache (soft creamy chocolate inside) to set overnight. So, plan ahead when making these truffles, knowing that the ganache needs to set before you can dip and decorate them.

These truffles are so good that you should only make them a few times a year on special occasions. They’re just too good to make more often. We’ve made Irish Cream Truffles for St Patrick’s Day, Lemon Coconut White Chocolate Truffles, Dark Chocolate Peppermint Truffles for Christmas… you get the idea. It’s fun to experiment with different types of chocolate and toppings depending on the season.

Make these bite-sized bits of heaven for special occasions and you/they won’t be forgotten. These are rich and decadent. So one or two max per person is plenty. Everyone will be looking for more. But, alas, they’ll have to wait until next season.

dark chocolate cherry truffles We wanted to make something special for our neighbors last week. Since I’ve been loving and snacking on tons of tart cherries recently, we chopped those up and topped these truffles off with bits of sweet & sour tart cherry. Pairs perfectly with the dark chocolate.

dark chocolate cherry trufflesDark Chocolate Cherry Truffles

Makes: ~30 truffles

Time: 10 minutes + overnight rest + 30 minutes to roll, dip and decorate

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 lb dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1 container dark chocolate (or milk) candy shell, like Dolci Frutta
  • 4 tbsp dried tart cherries, chopped

Directions:

Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Heat light cream over medium heat until lightly steaming, not boiling. Add dark chocolate, remove from heat and stir quickly until combined. Poor chocolate onto wax paper and let cool. Place plastic wrap over baking sheet, letting the wrap touching the chocolate. Refrigerate overnight. Remove chocolate from fridge. Have another baking sheet with wax paper ready. Using a melon baller or teaspoon scrape the chocolate with the tip of the spoon a few times – then form the chocolate into a ball. View more details here. You may need to rinse your hands with cold water if the ganache is melting too much onto your hands. Place onto wax paper. Repeat until the ganache is gone. Heat the dark chocolate shell according to package directions. Drop each truffle into chocolate, coat in chocolate and remove with a fork. Place back onto wax paper and sprinkle with chopped cherries. Repeat until you’ve made all the truffles. Refrigerate until 30 minutes before serving.

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Nectarine & Oat Milkshake

By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by National Dairy Council and the Quaker Oats Center of Excellence and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.

It’s summer time. Which means it’s stone fruit time. And milkshake time. So, let’s indulge in one of these Nectarine and Oat Milkshakes.nectarine and oats milkshakeLow-fat milk + ripe and juicy nectarines + fiber-filled oats + heart-smart walnuts equals a creamy milkshake that will surely satisfy any sweet craving, satisfy hunger AND provide you with essential nutrients.

In fact, did you know that 99% of Americans do not meet the daily whole grain recommendations and 85% don’t meet the daily dairy recommendation? Honestly, I don’t think I meet them either.  That means, most of us are missing out on important nutrients like calcium, vitamin D, potassium and fiber – all found in this powerful and nutrient dense Nectarine and Oat Milkshake.

milkshake 3

A little bit about oats: Oats are a great way to get whole grains and fiber. Whether instant, old fashioned or steel cut, these cuts of oats are all 100% whole grain. This recipe uses instant oats, which I use for any smoothie. They add an earthy flavor and give the milkshake an even creamier texture. When making oatmeal, I much prefer steel cut. And Adrian prefer’s the convenience of instant, which he has every morning with a heaping tablespoon of peanut butter.

A little bit about dairy: Milk, yogurt and cheese provide many important nutrients that American’s diets are falling short on, including calcium and Vitamin D. Dairy foods also provide protein, which helps satisfy hunger and helps keeps you full. This recipe uses low-fat milk, but you could also use Greek yogurt and then add enough milk to get the desired consistency.

nectarine and oats milkshake

 

Indulge in this milkshake for breakfast or a snack.

Nectarine and Oat Milkshake

Serves: 2

  • 1 cup low-fat milk
  • 4 tbsp instant oats
  • ¼ cup walnuts, chopped
  • 2 nectarines, sliced (slightly frozen, if desired)
  • 2 tsp chia seeds
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 cup ice

Directions: Combine all ingredients into a blender. Pulse until blended and smooth. If it’s a hot day, freeze the nectarines for just a few minutes so the milkshake is extra cold. Enjoy!

If you too love the powerful combination of oats and dairy, check out these other creative combos by Recipe ReDuxers:

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Quinoa, tomato and feta salad

quinoa tomatoes and feta This is one of our favorite summer salads. We’ve been patiently awaiting the ripening of our garden tomatoes so that we could make it again this summer (just not the same with out of season tomatoes). We have six grape tomato plants this year, that my mother in law started from seeds, of all different varieties (pink tiger, jelly bean, sunshine and more).  The tomtoms, as we call them, have been coming in like crazy over the past two weeks. How lucky are we?

tomatoesThe longer pinkish ones are the pink tigers. The pink tiger plant itself is straggly and not so pretty, but boy is the fruit good.

We’ve been picking the ripe tomatoes each day so we get them before the birds do. The darn birds have gotten a hold of about a dozen of them and they leave just a tiny bit of fruit left so you know they’ve been there. We’ve been lucky that no other animals have been nibbling, especially the bunnies. Bunnies, including  adorable baby bunnies abound now on the Cape. We caught an adolescent bunny on camera yesterday. Cute little thing.

bunnyAnyhow, back to this quinoa salad. It takes advantage of all the fresh flavors of summer and combines protein and fiber packed quinoa with garden fresh tomatoes, cilantro, scallions and feta plus a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and rice vinegar. This is one of those salads that you make, taste test and say wow. This is really good. Like I’d like to eat this every day good. And it gets even better after an hour or so in the fridge.

You can really use any combination of summer veggies and fresh herbs here. We’ve also used those marinated mini mozzarella balls – you know the ones I am talking about? They’re usually sold in the cheese section of the grocery store and are typically marinated in olive oil with herbs. They’re so creamy and just amazing. Slice those minis in half and toss with this salad instead of feta and it’s just as good as this one.

When cooking grains, I always make extra to keep in the fridge for the week which comes in handy for lunches and quick dinner time side dishes.  We did that for the quinoa here.

quinoa tomatoes and feta Here’s how to make this simple salad that’s perfect as a summer side dish or light lunch.

Quinoa, Tomato and Feta Salad

  • 2 cups quinoa, rinsed and cooked according to directions (we used multi colored here; use whatever you have on hand)
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch cilantro, washed and chopped
  • ½ cup feta, crumbled
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Rice vinegar
  • Salt and pepper

Cook quinoa according to directions. Let cool. Combine veggies, herbs and feta and drizzle with olive oil and rice vinegar. Seasons with salt and pepper to taste. Let sit a few hours or overnight for best flavor. Serve and savor.

 

 

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