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Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts: July 2011

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Week in Review 7/30/11

I can't believe this is the last weekend in July.  August is on Monday.  That means that school starts in less than 3 weeks!  I am excited for school to start again, but at the same time I can't believe summer is almost over!  This week my son had Science Camp in the afternoons, so that was fun.  He got to learn all about Dinosaurs for a week!  A boys dream come true, right?  And we lost our first tooth!  I say we, like I had a part in it.  I am his Mother, I get to claim that accomplishment too, right?  The second one is ready to come out too.  If he would let me touch it, it would be out already it is so loose!

So any big plans for this last July weekend? I think we might finally relax for a weekend!  Novel idea!

Here is what I was up to this week:
Grilled Chicken with Peach BBQ Sauce - this was saucy, sweet, tangy, summery, and delicious!
Blueberry Muffins - a true classic, with a cinnamon crumb topping!
Margarita Cupcakes - your favorite drink in a light, fluffy and moist cupcake!
Pasta Carbonara with Corn and Chiles - a creamy pasta with fresh sweet corn and a little kick!
Homemade Goldfish - your favorite fish cracker made at home - super easy!

Here is what you were up to that caught my eye:
Philly Cheesesteaks by The Farmers Wife - I LOVE Philly Cheesesteaks, I can't wait to try these!
Baby Bears by Kate From Scratch - a homemade of a store bought classic - has my name all over it!
Nutella Avalanche by Daydreamer Desserts - Nutella?  Yeah I want this!
Homemade Ginger Ale and Fresh Berries by Wok in Time - if this isn't a sit on the deck with a BBQ drink, I don't know what is!
Taco Pasta by The Girl Who Ate Everything - can't wait to try this with my family, sounds delicious!

Hope you all have a fantastic weekend!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Homemade Goldfish Crackers

My son is obsessed with cheese crackers.  I mean obsessed.  He could probably live on Goldfish, Cheese Nips, Whales....all of them!  So when I saw Katrina make Homemade Cheese Nips, I was in awe!  I knew I had to do it.  But I don't have the cute pastry cutter she has, so I had to do something else.  Then I saw Miss Anthropist's Kitchen made her own goldfish cracker cutter!  I was all over this!

This recipe is SUPER easy!  I told a friend I was making these, and she laughed at me.  She said please tell me you are joking, and that is just code for you didn't make anything that today. Nope, I made them, and they are easy.  Ok, I will admit the goldfish part gets kind of annoying.  I made a tiny cutter, so it just was time consuming.  But if you cut them in squares like Cheese Nips, you would be done in no time!  With the last bit of dough I got out our new Star Wars Sandwich Cutter and made a giant Tie Fighter and Millennium Falcon! So if you have kids, go make these!!!  My husband has eaten his fair share, so even if you don't have kids try it!

Homemade Goldfish Crackers
Adapted from In Katrina's Kitchen
Printable Recipe

1 cup Flour
4 Tbls Butter, cut into small pieces
8 ounces Sharp Cheddar Cheese, grated
3/4 tsp Salt
2 Tbls cold water

Pulse everything together in the food processor until it resembles coarse sand.

Pulse in water, 1 tablespoon at a time.

Remove, wrap in plastic, and chill for 20 minute.

Roll out dough, and cut into desired shape. You can use a toothpick to make the eyes and smile if desired.  Place on lined cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes, or until crispy. 

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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Pasta Carbonara with Corn and Chiles

This is a great use for those couple extra ears of corn you always have left.  Or maybe that is just me.  You have to buy it by the dozen, and there are 3 of us in my house.  Before it goes bad, it is hard for 3 of us to eat 12 ears of corn.  Especially when one of us has 2 very loose teeth that make biting into an ear of corn virtually impossible.  I am secretly hoping that if I keep feeding him corn, it will actually knock the teeth out.  But he is just too careful, and tries to eat it with his side teeth instead.  Darn smart kids!

This dish was a hit at our house.  I was a little nervous my husband wouldn't like it, but he did, and asked that I make it again.  My 6 year old ate a little, but it was kind of spicy for him.  Next time I will use less jalapeno (I think 1/2 would be just about right) so he can eat it too.

Pasta Carbonara with Corn and Chiles
Adapated from Everyday with Rachael Ray
Printable Recipe

1 lb Egg Noodles
1/3 lb Bacon, diced
4 ears of corn, kernels scrapped (or 2 cups frozen)
1/2 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 Tbls fresh thyme
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 large egg yolks
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

Cook the pasta according to the package directions.  Reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid.

While the pasta is cooking, over Med-High heat brown the bacon.  Add the corn and lightly brown the edges.  After about 5 minutes add the jalapeno, garlic, and thyme.  Stir for 2 minutes.  Add the parsley and wine.  Simmer on low heat.

In a small bowl beat the eggs.  Slowly add in the reserved cooking liquid to temper them.  Add the pasta and egg yolks to the corn mixture and toss.  Remove from heat, add the cheese and toss vigorously to form a silky sauce, 1 to 2 minutes.

Top with extra cheese and chives if desired.

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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Margarita Cupcakes

I brought these to the family reunion this weekend.  They seemed to go over well.  I left the tequila out of the frosting because lots of little kids would be around, and didn't want to have to monitor who was eating what.  I wanted to be outside having fun!  My 6 year old spent as much time as he could over the weekend.  He was in the water pretty much from 10:30-7:30 on Saturday.  Even then it was tough to get him out!

Here are a couple pictures of him having fun! 

Margarita Cupcakes
Adapted from A Cup Full of Cake
Printable Recipe

1/4 cup margarita mix
1 cup milk
3 egg whites
1/4 cup canola oil
2 tsp tequila
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup sugar
1 1/3 cups flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

In large bowl, mix together margarita mix, milk, egg whites, oil, tequila, vanilla and sugar together. 

In a small bowl mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Add to liquids and stir until just combined.  Divide evenly into 12 muffin tins. 

Bake for 18 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly pressed. 

Turn onto wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

Lime Frosting
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 tbls milk
3 tbls margarita mix
1 tbls tequila (optional)
2 cups powdered sugar
lime zest (optional)

Cream everything together.  Add in more sugar or milk to make the frosting spreadable.   Frost cupcakes and Enjoy!

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Blueberry Muffins

I like muffins.  If you are a normal reader, this comes as no surprise.  For our family reunion my family was in charge of doing breakfast on Sunday.  We planed Heuovos Rancheros, Fruit and Yogurt and Muffins.  I was in charge of bringing the muffins!  I brought quite a few different kinds, but this was a favorite.  Almost all of these were gone!  This was not a new recipe, my son LOVES these.  I use the base of this for my Chocolate Chip Muffins as well.  It is just moist and delicious!  So feel free to change it up any way you want! 

Blueberry Muffins
From Allrecipes
Printable Recipe

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
1 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 cup white sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup butter, cubed
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease muffin cups or line with muffin liners. 

Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, salt and baking powder. Place vegetable oil into a 1 cup measuring cup; add the egg and enough milk to fill the cup. Mix this with flour mixture. Fold in blueberries. Fill muffin cups right to the top, and sprinkle with crumb topping mixture. 

To Make Crumb Topping: Mix together 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour, 1/4 cup butter, and 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon. Mix with fork, and sprinkle over muffins before baking. 

Bake for 16 to 18 minutes in the preheated oven, or until done.

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Monday, July 25, 2011

Grilled Chicken with Peach BBQ Sauce

We had a great time this weekend at my family reunion.  There was lots of time in the water, and it was great visiting with family.  We drove part way there on Friday and got to see some friends we never get to see. Our friend Tony is Vietnamese, and makes fabulous Vietnamese food!  He made us traditional Egg Rolls and Pad Thai for dinner.  It was amazing!  He is not a blogger, but I am hoping I can convince him to do a guest post on our dinner that night! 

This chicken is great too.  I must admit I was skeptical when I saw Gwyneth Paltrow on the cover of Bon Appetit, but she really can cook.  This Peach BBQ sauce is wonderful.  I have never put fruit in my BBQ sauce before, but it was great!  Served with summer Sweet Corn and you have a wonderful dinner! 

Grilled Chicken with Peach BBQ Sauce
From Bon Appetit
Printable Recipe
1 cup chopped peeled fresh peaches (could sub frozen)
1/2 cup ketchup 
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 
2 garlic cloves, minced 
1 1/2 teaspoons adobo sauce from canned chipotle chiles in adobo
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts 
Vegetable oil

Combine first 5 ingredients in a small saucepan. Season lightly with salt and pepper and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low; simmer until peaches are very soft and flavors meld, about 10 minutes.

Remove pan from heat; let cool. Pour peach mixture into a blender and purée until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Place half the sauce in a medium bowl; add the chicken and turn to coat. Let marinate at room temperature for 20 minutes, or cover and chill for up to 8 hours, turning occasionally. Cover and refrigerate remaining sauce.

Prepare a grill to medium-high heat.  Grill chicken until browned and almost cooked through, 4-5 minutes per side. Brush on all sides with reserved sauce; grill until glazed and cooked through, 1-2 minutes per side. Slice crosswise. Serve remaining sauce alongside.

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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Week in Review 7/23/11

Another crazy busy week of summer done.  We are in Northern MN this weekend for a family reunion at my extended families cabin.  This has been a summer tradition since before I was born.  Looking forward to family, food, swimming, sun, boating, bonfire...all the good stuff!  I made lots of treats to take with me, so next week will probably be a sweet week for my blog!  Hope you stay cool and have a great weekend!

Here is what I was up to this week:
Spicy Asian Noodles with Chicken - Super easy, fast, delicious dinner!
Homemade Nutella - Chocolate hazelnut spread you can make at home!
Nutella Cupcakes - Chocolate cupcake filled with Nutella and topped with a Nutella Buttercream Frosting!
Nutella Ice Cream - my first guest post!
BLAT's - a small twist on a tradition BLT!

Here is what you were up to that I have bookmarked:
Beer Braised Carnitas by Lindselicious - these just look like Mexican heaven
Cinnamon Blondies by From Cupcakes to Caviar - this looks like the gooey center of a cinnamon roll in bar form!
Barbeque Chicken Burgers from Pass the Sushi - I love chicken burgers, this sounds delicious!
Flourless Chocolate Cake by That Skinny Chick Can Bake - this might be my all time favorite dessert, but I have never made it before!
Margarita Pizza on the Grill by Amy's Cooking Adventures - I can't wait to try this with my fresh tomatoes!

Enjoy your weekend!

Friday, July 22, 2011

BLAT's and Award

BLAT's are one of my favorites in the summer.  It isn't traditional I know.  People think I am strange, and don't know what I am talking about.  But the A is for Avocado!  It goes perfect on a BLT.  But then it really isn't a BLT anymore is it? So I have to call it a BLAT.  Fresh garden tomatoes, buttery avocados, crispy lettuce, salty bacon all on toasted bread....delicious!  Serve with sliced cucumbers from the garden and my new favorite crackers (Cashew Nut Crisps), and you have the perfect lunch!

There isn't really a recipe here, just stack slices of everything on your favorite toasted bread.  Skip the Mayo!  First, it is gross (sorry, personal opinion).  Second, you have creamy avocado...who needs Mayo?  Third, there isn't an M in there is there?  If you want to add Mayo then it would be a BLMAT! 

Now on the Award.  Tina over at Flourtrader passed this great award to me a few weeks ago.  I have been very bad about passing it along, sorry about that.  Tina is a wonderful blogger, with all sorts of great recipes on her site.  Make sure you check her out!! 

Congrats to the following bloggers I am passing this along to!  (You can pass it along to a few of your favorites as well)

Cassie at Bake Your Day
Carloyn at All Day I Dream About Food
Wendy at The Weekend Gourmet
Sawsan at Chef in Disguise
Janet at From Cupcakes to Caviar
Dee at Deelicious Sweets
Laura at A Healthy Jalapeno
Julie at SugarFoot Eats
Erin at The Spiffy Cookie
Valarie at Simple Fare, Fairly Simple

Thanks to everyone who reads my blog!  It really means a lot, and I appreciate each and every one of you!!

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Nutella Ice Cream

I am so excited that today I am doing my first guest post!  Chef in Disguise was seeking help for a last minute vacation she gets to go on.  I was super happy that she was interested in having me do something for her blog.  She has a wonderful site with all sorts of amazing recipes and pictures.  Her food is a great mix of East and West food.  You will definitely come away inspired!

In honor of National Ice Cream Month I used my Homemade Nutella and made Nutella Ice Cream!!  It is creamy and delicious.  And of course it tastes like Nutella! 

Head on over to Chef in Disguise and check out this great treat!

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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Nutella Cupcakes

Yesterday I posted about Homemade Nutella.  It was delicious!  I doubled the recipe, because I knew I wanted to make something really good with it.  I wasn't sure what it would be, but after some careful thought, I decided cupcakes!  I actually had some cake batter in the freezer from back when I made Molten Lava Cake.  Perfect opportunity to use that up!  So I thawed that out, baked some cupcakes, filled them with Nutella, and then topped them with a Nutella Buttercream Frosting. 

Oh My Word!!  I don't really have words to describe this, it was just AMAZING!!  The frosting was so good!  My 6 year old and I just sat over the bowl of cake balls I scooped out, and dipped them in frosting!  I immediately called my neighbor and made her come over.  She had to sneak in so the kids didn't see that she got one and they didn't :)  My 6 year old is already asking when I can make them again! 

Nutella Cupcakes
Printable Recipe

Adapted from Paula Deen

8 (1 ounce) squares semi-sweet chocolate
10 Tbls butter
1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 eggs
3 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract

I used my normal frosting recipe, and just added Nutella

1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 tsp vanilla
3 Tbls milk
1/4 cup Nutella
1 - 1 1/2 cups powdered Sugar
To make the cake: 
Melt the chocolate and butter together.  You can use a double broiler, or the microwave.  Just get it nice and smooth.  Add the flour and sugar.  It will be very thick. Stir in the eggs, yolks, and vanilla until smooth.  Pour batter into muffin tins.  Will make approx 12 cupcakes. 

Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.  Cool completely. 

To make the frosting:
Mix everything together until it is the consistency of frosting.  You may need to adjust the sugar or milk to get it right. 

Once the cupcakes are cool, use a teaspoon to scoop out the center.  Fill with Nutella.  Top with Nutella Buttercream Frosting. 

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Homemade Nutella

Nutella is the stuff dreams are made of.  Everyone loves it, and we all can find a million things to do with it.  So to start I figured why not make my own instead of buying it.  I still had tons of hazelnuts left, even after making this pie.  I researched a bunch of different recipes.  There are so many out there.  It was hard to decide what to do.  There seemed to be 2 directions - honey as the sweetener or powdered sugar.  Personally, I don't eat Nutella for the health benefits - so I picked powdered sugar!  Seemed like it would be closest to the original that way. 

It is a little richer than store bought.  I roasted the hazelnuts, and they really come through.  It is still the sweet delicious Nutella I love, just more intense.  It was pretty darn easy too.  Just let the food processor work for a few minutes, melt some chocolate, and you are about done.  And there are some yummy things you can do with it too!  Or you can just enjoy it for breakfast on an English Muffin, one of my favorites!  Just wait for the follow up to this post :)  If that isn't a teaser, I don't know what is!

Homemade Nutella
Recipe from Home Cooking Adventure
Printable Recipe

1 cup hazelnuts, roasted
4 tbsp powdered sugar
200 g milk chocolate
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Process nuts in a food processor for about 5 minutes until you get a smooth liquid butter texture. 
Meanwhile melt chocolate over a bain-marie until smooth. Add the melted chocolate, sugar, cocoa powder, oil and vanilla extract to hazelnuts and process until smooth. 
Transfer the spread into a small sauce pan and cook at over low for 5 minutes then place finished hazelnut chocolate spread to an airtight container, let cool then refrigerate. Stir before serving.  

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Monday, July 18, 2011

Spicy Asian Noodles with Chicken

I think that all food bloggers, if not anyone who cooks has their "stack" of recipes they want to try.  It just grows and grows, you can never get through them all.  This recipe was in that stack.  I printed it almost 2 years ago.  It has been on the menu more than once, but then we got busy or just felt like something different, so it never got made.  Finally I put my foot down.  We were having it no matter what.  Really wish I wouldn't have waited so long - it was great!  It will get made again for sure!  It came together really fast, and was super easy!  It may look like a long list of ingredients, but it really is quick and easy! 

Spicy Asian Noodles with Chicken
Adapted from Cooking Light
Printable Recipe

1 Tbl Sesame Oil
1 Tbls fresh ginger, grated
2 garlic cloves, grated
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and chopped  (you could use rotisserie chicken)
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
3 Tbls low- sodium soy sauce
2 Tbls rice vinegar
2 Tbls hoisin sauce
2 tsp sambal oelek (chili paste)
1 (6.75 ounce) package thin rice sticks
Chopped peanuts for garnish

Heat 2 tsp oil in a small skillet, over med-high heat.  Saute the ginger and garlic for about 45 seconds.  Stirring constantly.  Place in a large bowl.  Stir in the remaining 1 tsp oil, chicken and the rest of the ingredients (expect the noodles).

Cook noodles according to the package directions.  Drain and rinse.  Cut into smaller pieces.  Add the noodles to the chicken mixture.  Toss well to coat.  Serve with a few peanuts sprinkled on top.

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Saturday, July 16, 2011

Week in Review 7/16/11

Another week of summer is gone :(  At least we made it to the pool this week, that is a plus.  It is hard getting back from vacation though...the laundry, the grocery shopping, the work, the cleaning, just getting back into your normal routine.  But I think we are back!

I have some great recipes lined up for you next week, that I can't wait to share. And I have an award I need to recognize and pass on.  I have been procrastinating too long on posting it.  In the meantime I have a great lineup for you below!

Here is a picture from our trip.  The amount of snow was just crazy!  This was a crazy area we had to walk over on the trail (yes that is water under there)!

What I was up to this week:
Strawberry Raspberry Jelly - Great combination of berries for a thick jelly!
Creamy Avocado Pasta - My new favorite pasta!  Creamy, healthy, and super easy!
Chocolate Hazelnut Pie - What is better than chocolate and hazelnuts?

What you were up to that caught my eye:
Iced Marshmallow Hot Chocolate by Baking Serendipity - this just sounds so fun and yummy!
Sweet and Spicy Braised Short Ribs by Four Pointe Foodie - love ribs, these just sound delicious!
Candy Shop Ice Cream Cake by Family Spice - This is just so cool, I want my birthday to be next week!
English Muffins by Elinluv's Sweet Delights - I LOVE english muffins, who knew you could make your own?
Herb Spaetzel with Shallot Thyme Butter by The Weekend Gourmet - I want this tonight, sounds wonderful!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Chocolate Hazelnut Pie

Remember back when I made Pistachio Ice Cream?  I promised more recipes with the goodies that Oh! Nuts had sent me.  Well I think it is time to share this delicious pie that I made with the Hazelnuts and Almond Flour.  This recipe was adapted from Giada.  I love her, we are on a first name basis :)  Anyway, I saw her make this years ago, and printed the recipe right away. I have just never had Hazelnuts around to try making it.  So that was first on my list when OH! Nuts contacted me.

I didn't really have a reason to make this when I did, so we called our neighbors over at 3:00 in the afternoon for dessert.  It was a hit.  My friend absolutely loves hazelnuts, she could probably live off Nutella alone.  So I thought of her right away when I made this.  So glad they liked it!

Note - the original recipe uses all purpose flour, I just wanted to try my almond flour.

Chocolate Hazelnut Pie
Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis
Printable Recipe

8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup hazelnuts toasted
1/4 cup almond flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup hot water
4 eggs
1 stick butter, cut into 3/4-inch pieces, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Whipped Cream:
1 cup heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 teaspoons vanilla

Preheat to 350 degrees F.

Put 1/2 of the chocolate chips, hazelnuts, and flour in the food processor. Pulse until the hazelnuts are coarsely chopped. Pour the nut mixture into a small bowl and set aside.

Combine remaining chocolate chips and sugar in the food processor. Blend until the mixture is finely ground. With the machine running, gradually add the hot water until the chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Add the eggs, butter, vanilla. Pulse until mixture is blended.

Return the hazelnut mixture to the food processor and pulse to incorporate. Pour the mixture into a buttered and floured 9-inch pie dish. Bake for 35 minutes. Cool for 1 hour in a cooling rack.  Refrigerate for 2 hours. Allow the pie to return to room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.

While the pie is cooling you can make the cream.  In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream until it forms soft peaks. Add the powdered sugar, and vanilla. Continue to beat until cream holds stiff peaks.

Serve each slice with a dollop of Whipped Cream!

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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Creamy Avocado Pasta

I think I found a new favorite pasta recipe!  I saw this mentioned somewhere, and was intrigued.  I had to think about it for awhile though, I was a little nervous.  I mean, I LOVE avocado's, but the idea of that as my pasta sauce made me a little nervous.  What would it taste like?  Would I like it?  Would my husband actually eat it?  Well, it was amazing, and I can't wait to make it again!  It was so easy too!  You have to boil noodles, but aside from that, no cooking required!  And to top it off, it is healthy!!!  Use a fortified pasta, and you have protein, fiber, and everything all in one tasty meal!

Creamy Avocado Pasta
Adapted from Oh She Glows
Printable Recipe

1 large Avocado, pitted
1 lime, juiced + zest to garnish
2 cloves, minced
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 cup Fresh Basil
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 servings/6 oz of your choice of pasta
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Cook your pasta according to the package directions.

 To make the sauce place the garlic cloves, lime juice, and olive oil into a food processor. Process until smooth. Add in the avocado, basil, and salt. Process until smooth and creamy.

Pour sauce over pasta and toss until fully combined. Garnish with lime zest and black pepper. Enjoy!
Note: Because of the avocado this does not reheat well.

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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Strawberry Raspberry Jelly

We made it home from vacation!  It is a really long drive from Salt Lake City, Utah to Iowa.  But I can now say that I have driven every inch of Interstate 80 across Wyoming and Nebraska in less than 12 hours.  My 6 year old does awesome in the car, or we wouldn't be able to travel the way we do.  So now I am doing laundry, figuring out meals so I can go grocery shopping, and playing catch up!  Makes you want to turn around and go on vacation again! 

Good thing I have another strawberry recipe to share with you!  I don't even have any milk in the house, so cooking is not happening right now.  But it will tomorrow, after I have gone to the store. 

This jelly is a combination of raspberries I had on hand that needed to get used, and our fresh Strawberries.  I used A Spicy Perspective's recipe as a guide.  She was making a chipotle version, and I was making a sweet version, but it worked!  I didn't have any lemon, so I used lime as my citrus.  Now...I think I used a little too much.  But lime does work very well, it gives it just a hint of something different. 

Strawberry Raspberry Jelly
Adapted from A Spicy Perspective
Printable Recipe

1 pound strawberries
1 pint raspberries
1 large juicy lime, zested and juiced - I would skip the zest next time
3 cups sugar
¼ tsp. salt

Slightly mash the berries, leaving some chunks.  You want a total of 3 cups of berries. In a saucepan combine the lime zest, lime juice, sugar and salt over medium heat. Stir the mixture until the sugar dissolves.

Bring to a low boil. Simmer for 10 minutes.

Then, check the gel consistency by placing a small amount on a frozen surface. Run your fingers through it. If it separates and is not runny, remove the jam from heat. If it is still runny, simmer another 5-10 minutes and check again. The jelly could take 10-40 minutes to gel properly.

You can freeze or follow proper canning instructions for storage.   It made about 4 6 ounce jars.

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Monday, July 11, 2011

Surviving Vacation!

I hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July, and a great weekend.  We are still on our trip out West.  We ended up extending our trip by a few days to drive into Utah.  I should have lined up another guest post for everyone, but instead I will show you some highlights from our trip!

The first full day in Colorado we rented bikes and road 16 miles from Vail Pass to Frisco.  We stopped in Copper Mountain, and took the chairlift to the top.  There was so much snow still around!  We had so much fun biking in the morning, we decided to go out again and ride the 18 mile trail from Frisco to Breckenridge and back in the afternoon!

 I had a great friend move to the Breckenridge area last year.  We were able to spend some time with them on the 4th.  Here are her boys, and mine waiting for fireworks to start.  The boys had so much fun playing together again!

In Breckenridge we went on a mine tour!  It was pretty interesting, and we even got to pan for gold afterwards!  Of course we didn't get any.  But here is a picture of my son getting to "blow up" something in the mine.

Then I somehow got sick!  Blah!  Not fun on vacation to have food poisoning.  We had to drive through the mountains to our next destination.  I stayed in the car most of the day, but husband and son went to see Adam's Falls at Grand Lake.

Rocky Mountain National Park has to be one of our favorite parts of the country.  We didn't get to spend much time there this trip, but we did do one great hike.  We went to 3 lakes, and 1 falls for a round trip 5 mile hike.  The last lake on the hike is called Emerald Lake, but my 6 year old nick named it Emeril Lagasse Lake!

A trip to Estes Park would not be complete without Go Karts! 

Then we headed even further west to go to Salt Lake City, Utah.  On the way we stopped at Fossil Butte National Monument in Wyoming.  It was pretty cool.  

Today in Salt Lake City we went to see a cave.  You had to hike a very strenuous 1.5 miles up to get to the cave.  But we made it in record time!  The trail was complete with a few tunnels and everything!



Having a great trip.  We strat the long drive home tomorrow afternoon.  So hopefully Wednesday afternoon I will have a new post ready for you!