Pineapple and Mint Popsicles

Pineapple & Mint Popsicles

Pineapple and Mint Popsicles

For me, dessert in the Summer is a simple equation: copious amounts of fruit + other fabulous ingredients + blend + freeze = cold, fruity heaven. I love the fact that popsicles are a great cool item that doesn’t feel too indulgent and often helps with the heat during Summer.

I also love the fact that these can be made on-the-go, don’t require too much planning and can be modified for many different purposes. I don’t have the exact recipe with quantities for these Pineapple and Mint Popsicles because I made these in a hurry and just taste-tested from the blender until I found the right flavor. But, the main point of this particular post is just here to inspire and celebrate Summer!

As you can see from this blog, I love desserts and have tried a few different recipes that I’ve documented here:

What’s your favorite popsicle recipe?

Cheers!

Halibut with Red Chermoula

Halibut with Red Chermoula

Halibut with Red Chermoula

It wouldn’t be a true Sunday if I wasn’t trying a new recipe at our house and this past weekend was no different. Since our Summer has been so busy with literally every weekend booked with activities (‘yay’ for fun times, not ‘yay’ for productivity), it was nice to have a slow Sunday and have the time to bust out a new recipe (or two!).

Prior to this weekend, I had no idea what Chermoula was; however, after reading about it in the latest issue of Bon Appetit Magazine, I just knew I had to make it. Beyond the fact that I was immediately drawn to this recipe just purely because of the beautiful burst of colors from the tomatoes, I loved the fact that Chermoula uses plenty of paprika and cumin combined with cilantro. The original recipe – Slow Roasted Cod with Red Chermoula – uses cod, but I opted to use halibut. All in all, this recipe provided a great flavor with the spices from the Chermoula, the fish was well cooked through the roasting process and the marinade only amplified the tomatoes for an overall fantastic meal.

Unfortunately I don’t have any photos to document making this recipe, but here are a few facts about Chermoula:

1. It is a marinade used in Algerian, Libyan, Moroccan and Tunisian cooking.

2. It is highly versatile. It is most often used for seafood; however, it can be used for other meat and vegetables.

3. There are many different varieties of Chermoula that use plenty of different spices (my advice would be to pick one based on your spice preference and try it with your favorite seafood!).

Have you ever used Chermoula?

APRICOT, CHERRY AND GRAHAM CRACKER CRUMBLE

Apricot, Cherry and Graham Cracker Crumble

APRICOT, CHERRY AND GRAHAM CRACKER CRUMBLE
While the official first day of Summer is June 21, I already feel like Summer has started with all of this gorgeous warm weather and constant reminders of sweet treats like ice creams, popsicles and fruit-filled desserts. So, with that, I’ve basically declared it Summer already and I’ve made that as the perfect excuse to make a dessert, including this Apricot, Cherry and Graham Cracker Crumble (who am I kidding though – for me dessert is a year round activity!).

I love the apricot and cherries together in this recipe due to the tart flavors. For once, this was a crumble that wasn’t overly sweet and, trust me, it worked!

Here’s how to make this Apricot, Cherry and Graham Cracker Crumble:

Step 1: Halve Apricots and Cherries,
Remove Pits from Fruit and Reserve

MAKING APRICOT, CHERRY AND GRAHAM CRACKER CRUMBLE

MAKING APRICOT, CHERRY AND GRAHAM CRACKER CRUMBLE

Step 2: Combine Fruit with Brown
Sugar, Cornstarch and Vanilla BeanMAKING APRICOT, CHERRY AND GRAHAM CRACKER CRUMBLE
Step 3: Create Crumble by
Combining Butter, Crushed
Graham Crackers, Brown
Sugar and Roasted Almonds

APRICOT, CHERRY AND GRAHAM CRACKER CRUMBLE

Step 4: Place Fruit into Dish; Sprinkle
Crumble Topping on Top

MAKING APRICOT, CHERRY AND GRAHAM CRACKER CRUMBLE

Step 5: Bake and Eat!

APRICOT, CHERRY AND GRAHAM CRACKER CRUMBLE

What’s your favorite type of crumble?

Cheers!

APRICOT, CHERRY AND GRAHAM CRACKER CRUMBLE

SWEET AND SPICY RIBS

Sweet and Spicy Ribs

SWEET AND SPICY RIBS

One of my favorite memories from my younger days was when my parents would take my brother and I to a local barbecue place to eat ribs. As a child, I loved the fact that ribs were messy, could be eaten directly with our hands and didn’t require a knife and fork. Fast forward a few years and I still enjoy eating ribs without utensils. Now, while I probably eat these a bit more carefully in order to avoid too much sauce all over my face, it’s nice to see that some things just haven’t changed.

This particular recipe – Sweet and Spicy Ribs – is a definite winner. These ribs are actually baked in the oven for a few hours which causes them to become quite tender and the perfect meat consistency for ‘fall-off-the-bones’ ribs. The next step to slather on the sweet and spicy sauce creates perfect barbecue tasting ribs with a definite hint of heat. Here’s how to make these Sweet and Spicy Ribs:

Step 1: Prepare Spice Mixture

MAKING SWEET AND SPICY RIBS

Step 2: Rub Spice All Over Ribs

MAKING SWEET AND SPICY RIBS

Step 3: Wrap Tightly in Aluminum
Foil and Bake at 325 Degrees
for 2 – 3 Hours

MAKING SWEET AND SPICY RIBS

Step 4: Cut One Edge of Foil and
Drain Liquid; Reserve Liquid;
Unwrap Ribs and Let Rest

MAKING SWEET AND SPICY RIBS

MAKING SWEET AND SPICY RIBS

Step 5: Melt Butter on Stove, Add
Liquid, then Add Apple Cider Vinegar

MAKING SWEET AND SPICY RIBS

Step 6: Add Ribs to Heated Grill,
Baste with Sauce

MAKING SWEET AND SPICY RIBS

Step 7: Cut and Eat!

SWEET AND SPICY RIBS

The sweet and spicy sauce on these ribs caramelizes beautifully on the grill for a perfect addition of smoke while not forgetting the original sauce’s flavors. I’m so happy that grilling season is officially here – these ribs will definitely be added to the docket to make again in addition to many more grilling adventures to come!

Cheers!

SWEET AND SPICY RIBS

MINI BERRY PIES

Mini Berry Pies

MINI BERRY PIES

I feel like I always can find an excuse to make something into a miniature form. And, berry pie, is no exception to that. Now, while I don’t have a specialized mini tin that can house mini pies, I do have a normal cupcake tin. I found that this utensil is still a perfect size to make a packed mini pie filled to the brim with a variety of berries.

Now, I will admit that these require more time and patience to make; however, they are a perfect treat to bring to a get-together or just to have around the house for a small treat. I’d recommend using the same pie process of other pies (just repeated twelve times in a cupcake tin) and I’d also suggest using the crust from this previous blog post and the berry pie filling from this recipe.

Here are a few other tips for mini berry pies:

1. Grease Each Tin Generously: Make sure to grease each tin with extra butter so that each berry pie can easily slide out of the tin after they are baked.

2. Use Plenty of Berries: My personal favorite berry combination is a mixture of blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. Don’t skimp on putting berries into each pastry cup – the more, the better!

3. Add Lemon Juice & Lemon Zest: Make sure to have a fresh lemon on hand to use for the filling. Plus, add a little bit of zest for some extra fragrance at the end.

Have you ever made mini berry pies before?

Cheers!

MINI BERRY PIES

TACOS AL PASTOR

Tacos al Pastor

TACOS AL PASTOR

 

While the rest of the country has been experiencing extreme bouts of cold weather, the Northwest has had a surprising amount of sunshine and dry days (knock on wood that this continues!). This sunshine teaser has tricked my mind to transition to Spring and Summer thoughts of sundresses, grilling, trips to the farmer’s markets and more. One of my favorite Summer foods are tacos due to the fact that they are highly versatile, hot sauce is always included (always) and they are a perfect go-to item for a get-together.

For this weekend, I wanted to make something other than the standard ground beef, cheese, onions and sour cream taco combo. While I’m not knocking that staple (it is delicious), I wanted to try something different. These tacos – Tacos al Pastor – were a perfect hit. Its use of charred pineapple, guajillo peppers and copious amounts of cilantro creates a fiesta of flavors that you’ll still be thinking about the next day.

Here’s how to make this recipe:

Step 1: Gather Ingredients for Tacos;
Chop Pineapple and Onions

MAKING TACOS AL PASTOR

MAKING TACOS AL PASTOR

MAKING TACOS AL PASTOR

MAKING TACOS AL PASTOR

Step 2: Add Pineapple, Onions,
Orange Juice, Guajillo Chile Powder,
Spices, Chipotles and More to
Food Processor; Puree

MAKING TACOS AL PASTOR

Step 3: Add Pureed Mixture to
a Bag with Pork and Marinate

MAKING TACOS AL PASTOR

Step 4: Grill Pork and Pineapple
Slices on Grill, Let Pineapple and
Pork Rest and then Chop; Assemble
into Tacos with Onions, Cilantro,
Avocado and Other Toppings; Eat!

TACOS AL PASTOR

I never thought I’d be cooking with pineapple in March. But now, this recipe has me convinced otherwise. The charred pinapples add a bit of smoke to their sweet taste; however, it helps to elevate these tacos when it’s combined with the guajillo chiles, juicy pork, onions and cilantro. Chop up some limes, invite a few friends over and have a fiesta with these Tacos al Pastor!

Cheers!

TACOS AL PASTOR

ROASTED CHICKEN WITH LEMONS, SWEET POTATOES AND SHALLOTS

Roasted Chicken with Sweet Potatoes, Shallots & Lemons

ROASTED CHICKEN WITH LEMONS, SWEET POTATOES AND SHALLOTS

Traveling for work can take a toll on the body. Unfortunately there isn’t often that much access to fresh foods or options, and especially on the days spent on a plane. After this latest work trip, all I wanted to come home to was a simple dinner and one that I knew what all of the ingredients used were too.

I decided upon just roasting a few items that we had in our fridge and I was so happy with the results. All that was needed for a nice, hearty meal were chicken thighs, sweet potatoes, shallots and a few lemons tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper.

Ta-da! A delightful meal and one that was perfect for some smiles after a cold winter day.

Do you have a similar recipe you like to do in winter?

Cheers!

ROASTED CHICKEN WITH LEMONS, SWEET POTATOES AND SHALLOTS