Monday, May 30, 2011

* Memorial Day Dessert *

  Happy Memorial Day to everyone! Hope your weekend was safe & relaxing...We just got back last night from a beach vacation; so we're feeling pretty well rested. Now to just get back into the swing of things :/
  We got invited to a cookout for this evening & everyone was supposed to bring a dish to go with the meat that was provided. Since my in-laws have a big strawberry patch I decided to make something with strawberries. Also wanted it to be something on the lighter side since it was very warm & humid today.
  I have eaten this dessert before, but have never made it so I went looking for the recipe, found it in my collection & went to work....

Strawberry Cheesecake Trifle

2 (8oz) pkgs cream cheese, softened
2 cups confectioner's sugar
1 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp almond extract
1/2 pint whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbls sugar
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese & confectioner's sugar; add sour cream, vanilla & almond extract. Set aside. Whip the cream, vanilla & sugar. Fold into the cream cheese mixture.
1 angel food cake, torn into bite- sized pieces
2 qts fresh strawberries, thinly sliced
3 tbls sugar
3 tbls almond extract
Add the angel food cake pieces to the cream cheese mixture. Combine the strawberries, sugar & almond extract. Layer in a large glass bowl starting with strawberries & then cake mixture. Continue layering, finishing with strawberries. Cover & chill well.

 Wanting to make it a little more festive I added blueberries & chopped fresh mint as well. I put the mint on top of the strawberries & the blueberries on top of the cake layers. I didn't finish with a layer of strawberries like the recipe says, just saved a few to dress up the top. 

  It did look festive & tasted yummy too. ( well I thought so anyway; Daren had to miss the cookout because he was on shift today, so I didn't get his opinion. :) )
Happy Monday!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Grilled Chicken with Rhubarb Relish

 Since we have a very plentiful supply of rhubarb & wanting to use it as often as possible I went on a search for new & interesting recipes to use it in. Found this one & was excited to try it, so Daren & I had a date night at home Friday & cooked dinner together.
  Our menu for the evening was Grilled Chicken with Rhubarb Relish, Grilled Asparagus, Sweet Potato Fries & fresh garden salad.
  Daren mastered the grill while I made the fries, salad & the relish for the chicken.

Grilled Chicken with Rhubarb Relish

6 boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
olive oil
salt & pepper to taste

Sprinkle chicken with salt & pepper. Brush with lemon juice & oil. Grill until done approx. 6 minutes per side.

3 cups rhubarb, chopped
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
1 cup orange juice
1-2 jalapenos, seeded & chopped
2 shallots, minced

Bring all of the relish ingredients to a boil; reduce heat & simmer, stirring occasionally. Cook about 10 minutes until it is thick. Cool. Serve over top of the grilled chicken

 The final verdict; Daren was not really that impressed, but I thought is was quite I don't know how often I'll be making it but it was fun to try using rhubarb in something other than dessert recipes. And we had a great evening at home together! =)
 Blessings on your day!

Friday, May 13, 2011

~ Garden Goodness ~

 Fresh spinach from the garden....hubby away until late fishing.....I think I'll have a salad for dinner :)
  I was at my Mom's yesterday & she has beautiful spinach in the garden & wondered if I would like to help them out & take some. She didn't have to ask me twice! So I came home with a bag full of goodness, the perfect thing for dinner for one.

Spinach & Strawberry Salad with Balsamic Dressing

Tear up the spinach into a bowl, add sliced strawberries, broken up english walnuts, & crumbled feta cheese. 
  For the dressing I started with some strawberry rhubarb jam that I had made last year.....added Balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, just a little water & a little distilled vinegar. Mix together well & drizzle over the salad.
  This salad is very tasty & sooo summery & refreshing... Since Daren had to miss out on it last evening I made him one for lunch today. He liked it alot. Makes me wish I had spinach in the garden :( 

Monday, May 02, 2011

{ Almond Rhubarb Coffee Cake }

  Yay!! My rhubarb is finally ready to use again.... I love rhubarb & I always wait anxiously every spring until it is ready.

  I almost always use the same recipe just because we like it so much, but decided to branch out this time & try something glad that I did! This turned out really yummy! =) 

Almond Rhubarb Coffee Cake

1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
2/3 cup canola oil
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cups finely chopped rhubarb
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tbls butter, melted
1/4 cup sliced almonds

In a large bowl beat brown sugar, oil, egg & vanilla until smooth. Combine flour, salt & baking soda; add to sugar mixture alternately with milk. Beat until smooth. Stir in rhubarb & almonds. Pour into two greased 9" round baking pans. For the topping combine brown sugar, butter & almonds. Sprinkle over batter. Bake @ 350 * for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

  I just made half of the recipe & baked it in a square dish; also made a almond flavored glaze & drizzled it over top after it had cooled awhile. Will definitely be making this again!