Friday, May 29, 2015

Strawberry Caprese Chicken

One of my favorite salads is Caprese salad.  It's simple, easy to throw together and it's so incredibly versatile.  Eat it alone, serve as appetizers, or even pop those ingredients on top of some chicken and wow, simply amazing.

It's safe to say that during the summer months, when I can walk to the garden, snag a tomato and some basil we have this salad multiple times a week.  Healthy and refreshing, oh, and let's not forget that it's topped with sticky, tangy and sweet balsamic.  Yum!
I've been having cravings for this simple salad that screams summer, and I've had everything on hand that is needed to make it...except the tomatoes.  Those tomatoes are kind of a key part of the salad. So, I adapted and used what I had on hand.  Strawberries.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

DB: Lamingtons

For the May challenge Marcellina from Marcellina in Cucina dared us to make Lamingtons.  An Australian delicacy that is as tasty as it is elegant.

At first glance, the Lamington reminds me of what we in the states call petit fours.  That square caked, coated in frosting and sometimes decorated to fit whatever occasion is being celebrated.  However, the Lamington differs slightly.  It's a moist sponge cake that is dipped in chocolate then coated in coconut.  The coconut coating was originally put on the chocolate coating to help avoid messy, melty chocolate fingers.

Here's a little snippet of the backstory via Wikipedia-
"Most accounts of the creation of the lamington agree that it was named after Lord Lamington, who served as Governor of Queensland from 1896 to 1901, although it might have been named for his wife, Lady Lamington.  
Lamington's chef at Queensland's Government House, French-born Armand Galland, was called upon at short notice to provide something to feed unexpected guests during the busy period leading up to Federation in 1901. According to the Melbourne newspaper The Age, Galland cut up some left-over French vanilla sponge cakebaked the day before, dipped the slices in chocolate and set them in coconut. Coconut was not widely used in European cooking at that time, but was known to Galland whose wife was from Tahiti where coconut was a common ingredient. Lady Lamington's guests then asked for the recipe."
Source: Wikipedia

Sunday, May 24, 2015

SRC: Blended Root Beer Float

Ice cream.  It's one of those treats I enjoy year round.  It can be 200 degrees or 20, I love the stuff no matter what the temperature.  But, I have to say, when those temps start getting closer and closer to the 90's my craving for the cold, creamy stuff gets a little stronger.

Give me a shake, cone, a scoop in a cup, banana split, sundae, or perhaps even a float.  I'm not picky, as long as it's sweet and cold I'm sold.

While I enjoy all things involving ice cream, lets focus on the float.  A float.  It's simple, requires only 2 ingredients and comes together in mere seconds.  And once that cream starts melting in the fizzy stuff, well it's so incredibly satisfying.

I can't even begin to tell you just how many floats I've enjoyed over my lifetime.  But I can tell you, I've definitely had my fair share.  One icy, creamy concoction that I've never tried is a blended float.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Strawberry Bruschetta

The days are getting warmer and my garden is really starting to come along.  The tomatoes are starting to bloom and I even have a few small, green tomatoes coming on.  I honestly cannot wait until the tomatoes are bright red and ready for picking.  Oh, the amounts of sliced tomatoes, salsa, bruschetta, and caprese I will consume.  

But, it's not quite tomato time.  Yet.  So, in the meantime my strawberries are thriving.  I mean, honestly more that we can eat.  I've picked and picked and picked.  And picked some more.  We are literally in strawberries up to our eyeballs.  And they are still coming!

I'm not complaining.  They are absolutely amazing.  Like nature's candy.  They are perfect.  Red, juicy, sweet.  And they are right in my back yard just waiting to be consumed.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Strawberry Southern Sweet Tea

Sitting on the porch, the summer sun shining brightly, a big glass of ice cold sweet tea isn't just desired, it's essential.  There's no better way to beat the summer heat than with a tall glass of tea in hand.

It's no mystery that I love tea.  I've shared several recipes that revolve around tea; southern sweet tea and bourbon cocktailsmy MaMaw's tea and lemonadesouthern style sweet tea, and my sweet tea granita, just to name a few.  So, there's no guessing that tea has been around my entire life.  It's a staple.
Flavored teas are becoming increasingly popular.  It's funny, my dad and I were just talking about this particular topic just the other day.  Tea has always been served with a wedge or two of lemon, but over the past few years the addition of peach, mint, and orange have become an increasingly popular addition to tea.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Strawberry Cheesecake Cookies

We are in one of my favorite times of the year.  Yes, it's the end of spring and summer is just around the corner.  While I've been enjoying this truly spring weather lately. that's not what I'm referring to.  It's strawberry season.  And did you know that May is national strawberry month?

I don't know about you, but strawberries are pretty much at the top of my list when it comes to berries and fruits.  I love them year around, but like all fruits and veggies, in season is definitely the best.  And, I'm beyond excited about this particular strawberry season.


Well, the past few years I've been trying to grow strawberries.  I've tried them in regular pots, a few different types of strawberry pots and even in the garden.  And well, nothing has worked.  We've had pretty green plants, but that's where it started and stopped.  No blooms, no flowers and definitely no red berries.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Homemade Strawberry Fruit Roll-Ups

I am a child born and raised in the 80's and 90's.  Crimped hair, Aquanet, bows as big as my head, and neon everything was the anthem of my childhood.

Aside from the undeniable fashion that was definitely 80's and 90's, there were the food trends.  One that sticks out were the gummy fruit snacks.  My lunch wasn't complete without a fruit roll-up, fruit by the foot or Gushers. Ah, Gushers.

Remember those gummies that were fill with that sour, puckering juice?  I loved those things.

I was a walking, talking gummy snack during my childhood.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Winger's {Very} Sticky Fingers

Chicken.  It's one of my go to proteins.  My whole family loves it and it's so versatile.  We love chicken all sorts of ways, but there's nothing that infatuates me more than chicken coated and dripping with sticky sauce.

Before a few weeks ago I had never heard of Wingers.  Apparently it's a restaurant that's extremely popular on the west coast.  While Wingers has an large menu with options that would suit anyone's cravings, they are best known for their wings and sticky fingers.

I've never tried their infamous wings or fingers, but if copying is one of the best forms of flattery then there must be something to say about their sticky fingers.  I was perusing chicken recipes on Pinterest when I saw a picture of breaded chicken fingers oozing is sticky, spicy sauce.

I wanted to dive face first in that picture and devour those chicken fingers.  An added bonus, as if there really needed to be any bonus, they were drizzled in ranch.  Two of my favorite things together in this one picture.  I quickly clicked on one of the many pictures of these chicken fingers to figure out what this chicken was all about.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Old-Fashioned Sour Cream Doughnuts

Every time I'm in the grocery store I follow my nose to the bakery section to gawk, drool and dream about all the amazing looking pastries.  Most of the time I can practice self control.  Most of the time.  The times I spot those old-fashioned cake (sour cream) doughnuts are the times that my control is tested.

When I spot those in the case or see a box of those amazingly delicious doughnut holes, all bets are off.  It's not a matter of if I'll purchase some, but a question of just how many I will purchase.  Then how many I will consume on the car ride home.  Shhhh, don't tell!
So, you can imagine my sheer joy when I saw these old-fashioned sour cream doughnuts on Handle the Heat.  Coming across these was both good and bad news.  Great news because now I could finally make my all time favorite doughnuts at home.  Bad news because I could make my all time favorite doughnuts any time I got the craving.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Blueberry Custard Pie with Streusel

Can you believe it's already May?  It's truly hard to believe we're almost halfway through 2015.  The end of school is a few weeks away and soon summer will be upon us!  Time truly does fly, doesn't it?

In just a few short weeks we'll be celebrating Memorial day, along the 4th and summer cookouts.  No summer gathering is complete without at least a few desserts and pies are a must.

And do I have a pie for you.  A buttery, flaky crust filled with the most amazing and creamy custard.  And said custard has fresh, sweet, juicy blueberries folded into the mix right before being poured into the crust.  I mean, that sounds amazing, right?

Thursday, May 7, 2015

BLT Puff Pastry Pizza

We all have those days-weeks-months that are complete and total whirlwinds.  During those times meals that are quick and easy are the name of the game.  Elaborate, time consuming meals are out of the question, and well, sometimes even trips to the grocery store aren't possibly.

Which is exactly what has happened in our lives the past few weeks.  The past month, specifically the past two weeks have been a whirlwind.  I was given the opportunity to cater an event.  My first event actually!

I was shocked, beyond flattered and a little nervous and oh, so very excited!

That event took place this past Tuesday.  So the past few weeks have been spent finalizing the menu, several trips to the store, chopping more tomatoes than I want to think about, and planning the time line.  And everything else (even the blog) has taken a back seat.

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