Showing posts with label Berries. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Berries. Show all posts

August 4, 2014

Frozen Blueberry Cream Pie {& Sneak-Peek at My New 'Kitchen Playground'}

Love fresh blueberries, frozen treats, and the ease of make-ahead desserts?  Then look no further than this Frozen Blueberry Cream Pie ~ it just may be your perfect dessert.

It feels like it has taken forever, but we finally closed on our new house the end of last week.  Yay!!  And along with sharing this delicious Frozen Blueberry Cream Pie today, I'm going to give you a little sneak-peek into my new kitchen ... or, my new 'Kitchen Playground' as I like to say around here!

Now keep in mind it hasn't been Tracey-ized yet, okay?

Are you ready?

July 3, 2014

Triple Berry Fruit Salad with Vanilla Simple Syrup {Happy 4th of July!}

A beautiful mix of fresh strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries are drizzled with easy-to-make vanilla syrup to create this stunning and delicious Triple Berry Fruit Salad with Vanilla Simple Syrup.  It's perfect for your 4th of July, breakfast, brunch, or any special occasion table.


Happy 4th of July!  Well, ... actually ... happy day before  the 4th of July!  Yes, we still have a few hours to put the finishing touches on our Independence Day celebrations.  Whether that's decking out your front porch in red, white, and blue, making sure you've got just the right kind of fireworks on hand, deciding which fireworks display you're going to watch, making a run to the store for that last bit of watermelon or cold drinks, or finishing up your 4th of July celebration menu.

Well, if you're still finishing up your celebration menu, I've got the perfect easy red, white, and blue beauty for you.

July 22, 2013

Double Blueberry Muffins with Citrus-Sugar {& $500 Amazon Gift Card Give-Away!}


Summer is a time when we get to indulge ourselves a little bit. Like ... with ice cream, or trips to the beach, extra time hanging out with friends, lazy days at the pool, or big shopping trips. Some may say that during summer, we get to splurge. The other day, my Mom and I splurged with these Double Blueberry Muffins with Citrus-Sugar. Yes, double blueberry. Two kinds of blueberry make these blueberry muffins extra delicious. And a sprinkling of citrus-sugar on top adds just that much more deliciousness.  The perfect summer berry splurge.

Rather splurge with cash?  Hmmmmm, we might be able to make that happen.  Read on ...

June 27, 2013

A Trio of Dips with Strawberries {Easy Entertaining}


When I entertain I like to have really delicious and really pretty foods for my guests.  And sometimes really delicious, really pretty foods take a lot of time and effort to prepare.  Which I don't mind.  For a few things.  But not for everything I'm serving.  That's just too much work!  

So I balance out those few time-&-effort consuming items with a lot of easy make-ahead really delicious and really pretty foods.  Like this trio of fruit dips, served with fresh strawberries.

June 19, 2013

Triple Berry Punch Bowl Cake {Beautiful Red, White, & Blue!}


Ever since making a Southern Strawberry-Coconut Punch Bowl Cake a month or so ago, I have been enamored with this easy, scrumptiously delicious no-bake dessert.  I just had to create another punch bowl cake.  So today I bring you Triple Berry Punch Bowl Cake!  And.  Oh.  My.  Good. Gravy. ... Is this stuff ever good!

June 2, 2013

Fresh Strawberry Sangria


Thanks to the nice folks at Staples, the other day was like Christmas in May for me ... and the wine to make this fabulous Fresh Strawberry Sangria was at just the perfect temperature!  What??  You're probably thinking, "What does Staples the office supply store have to do with the temperature of your wine?" ... right?

May 27, 2013

Scrumptious Strawberry Cobbler

I treated myself this weekend.  Yes, I treated myself to one of my absolute, absolute favorite treats ... fresh-picked strawberries.  Not strawberries from the grocery store ~ strawberries fresh from the local fields!  When it comes to berries, there's just nothing better.

And then I came home and treated myself some more ... with scrumptious strawberry cobbler.  Made with those sweet, juicy, fresh-from-the-field strawberries.  Sooooo good ... and soooooooo easy.

May 23, 2013

Southern Strawberry-Coconut Punch Bowl Cake



So you've heard of a trifle, right?  Well, what about a punch bowl cake?  Your familiarity with this term probably depends upon where you live!

In the South, we call these beautifully layered, absolutely creamily delicious desserts punch bowl cakes ... layers of cake pieces, fresh fruit, and something-yummily-creamy all piled together in a gorgeous glass bowl ... yum.  The glass bowl, of course, just so happens to quite frequently double as a punch bowl ... and you guessed it, that's how these cakes got their name.

May 5, 2013

Lemon-Poppy Seed Dip with Fresh Strawberries


It's almost strawberry season in my neck of the woods!  And I.  Can't.  Wait.  I absolutely love fresh-from-the-field strawberries, eating most of them 'straight-up.'  Just a quick little rinse ... and then a big ol' bite into the sweet, juicy goodness.  Yes, my favorite way to enjoy strawberries.

But sometimes I do want to jazz my strawberries up just a bit.  Like, with a really simple, flavorful dip.  Oh, like with, say ... Lemon-Poppy Seed Dip?  Yeh, that sounds good!

December 12, 2012

Blueberry Gingerbread Streusel Muffins



Mmmmmmmm ... gingerbread.  It's one of my absolute favorite Christmas traditions.  I make gingerbread cookies every year.  And though we don't do it every year, our family has lots of fun with gingerbread houses, too.

So when I had the opportunity to participate in the 'Twist Up Tradition with Blueberries!' recipe challenge, sponsored by the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council, I knew exactly what tradition I wanted to 'twist up' ...

November 12, 2012

Cranberry Apple Casserole {or crisp ... or crunch}



As I'm sitting here thinking about writing about this dish, I can't help but have a vision of a TV infomercial playing in my head, 'cause this dish is so versatile.  {insert boisterous announcer voice here} ... It's a creative cranberry fall'ish, Thanksgiving'ish side dish ... BUT WAIT!  THERE'S MORE! ... It's perfect as a breakfast/brunch dish ... BUT WAIT!  THERE'S MORE! ...

July 15, 2012

Kiwi Sangria Popsicles {Eating the Alphabet Letters K or L}


The title of the Southern Living  magazine article from which I adapted these popsicles was "Serve a Cocktail on a Stick" ... ummmmmm, okay!  You really don't need to twist my arm on that one.

And since these have kiwi in them, I decided they were just perfect to give a whirl for this month's installment of the Eating the Alphabet challenge - letters K or L.  The original recipe was for white peach sangria pops, with a little splash of kiwi and raspberry ... I decided to change it up to be just kiwi with a touch of raspberry.  I think you could put in just about any fruit you'd like!

Remember these cute little Dixie paper cups?  That's what you'll need to whip up these popsicles.

First mix up some white wine, white grape juice, sugar, and fresh lemon juice ... and pour it into the cute little cups.


Then drop in a raspberry and some kiwi.


(Optional)
Next, get inquisitive about the wine-and-fruit combination ... give it a little taste ... decide it tastes really good ... and serve up an un-frozen popsicle for the chef.   You know, 'cause this cookin' stuff's rough and the chef deserves it.

Then cover each cup with a small piece of aluminum foil and make a small slit in the center of the foil with a knife ...

 ... and insert a popsicle stick through the slit.

You're ready for the freezer! 


Now one big tip I can give is to make sure you've cleared a spot in your freezer to put these before you're standing there with the freezer door wide open, one hand precariously holding a plate of liquid popsicles, and one-handedly trying to rearrange the entire freezer contents.

I might have learned that the hard way.

When you're ready to enjoy your popsicles, just peel off the paper cup and enjoy away!

Mmmmm.  Popsicles are all grown up.

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Kiwi Sangria Popsicles
Source:  Adapted from Southern Living  magazine's White Peach Sangria Pops, July 2012

Ingredients
2 1/4 c. dry or semi-sweet white wine*
3/4 c. white grape juice
1/3 c. sugar
1 T. fresh lemon juice
12 raspberries
2 kiwi fruit, peeled and sliced
12 (3 oz.) paper cups
12 wooden popsicle sticks or ice cream spoons


Directions
1.  Combine wine, grape juice, sugar, and lemon juice in large measuring cup.  Stir until sugar dissolves.  Pour mixture into paper cups.  

2.  Quarter each kiwi slice.  Drop a raspberry and four kiwi quarters into each cup.

3.  Cover each cup with aluminum foil.  Make a small slit in the center of each cup's foil and insert a popsicle stick.  Freeze 8 hours or until firm.

*NOTE:  For this batch I used a semi-sweet sparkling Moscato.

Enjoy!

Join the Eating the Alphabet challenge!

June 7, 2012

Strawberry-Balsamic Milkshake {Crazy Cooking Challenge}


It's Crazy Cooking Challenge time!  What's this month's challenge, you ask?  FRUIT SMOOTHIES and MILKSHAKES!  Just in time for summer, it's a whole party full of delicious fruity-and-frothy treats.  You're welcome.

My entry is pretty easy to pull together, with only four little ingredients ... but they're four little ingredients that pack a huge flavor punch - it's a Strawberry-Balsamic Milkshake.  Yes, you read that right.  Balsamic Milkshake.

Balsamic vinegar is absolutely, fabulously delicious with strawberries.  So, when I found this Strawberry-Balsamic Milkshake out in blogland, I knew I just had to give it a try for the Challenge.  And I wasn't at all disappointed.  Just like Balsamic vinegar drizzled over fresh sliced strawberries wonderfully compliments and enhances the berries' flavor, it does the same thing in this milkshake.  Yummy, yummy, yummy.

You just need a touch of Balsamic, though.  I tried the milkshake with varying amounts of Balsamic, and I found that one could go 'to far' with it.  I liked it when the Balsamic complimented the strawberries, not overpowered them.  Experiment with the amount to find just the right balance for your taste buds.

{Now, the original Sunny Vegan's version is ... as you would expect ... vegan.  I un-veganized it by using regular ice cream (instead of vegan 'ice cream') and honey (instead of agave nectar).  If you'd like to make the vegan version, pop on over to Sunny Vegan's blog for her original recipe.}

To whip up this milkshake, simply place fresh sliced strawberries, honey, vanilla ice cream, and a drizzle of Balsamic vinegar in a food processor or blender ...


... and let 'er rip!  When everything is well combined ...

... pour the strawberry-Balsamic deliciousness into a glass and enjoy.  But please do be careful not to slurp it up too quickly and get a brain freeze!


I invite you to follow The Kitchen is My Playground with Pinterest, Facebook, Google Friend Connect, Linky Followers, bloglovin', or Feedburner. Buttons are in the right sidebar. I'd love to have you back soon!



Strawberry-Balsamic Milkshake
Source:  Adapted from Sunny Vegan
Ingredients
For 2 milkshakes:
1 c. vanilla ice cream
1 c. chopped fresh strawberries
1 T. honey
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar (or more, to taste)


Directions
1.  Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor.  Process until well combined.

2.  Pour into glasses and serve immediately.

Enjoy!


This post is linked with Share Your Creations hosted by Kristen's Creations, Foodie Friday hosted by Rattlebridge Farm, Inspiration Friday hosted by At the Picket Fence, Weekend Bloggy Reading hosted by Serenity Now, Foodie Friday hosted by Simple Living with Diane Balch, Sweets for a Saturday hosted by Sweet as Sugar Cookies, Strut Your Stuff Saturday hosted by Six Sisters' Stuff, Think Pink Sundays hosted by Flamingo Toes, Sundae Scoop hosted by I {heart} Nap Time, On the Menu Monday hosted by StoneGable, Sunday Showcase hosted by Under the Table and Dreaming, Mangia Mondays hosted by Shine Your Light, Tuesday Talent Show hosted by Chef in Training, Totally Tasty Tuesdays hosted by Mandy's Recipe Box, Crazy Sweet Tuesday hosted by Crazy for Crust, Cast Party Wednesday hosted by Lady Behind the Curtain, Saturday Dishes, Gooseberry Patch Recipe Round-Up.


Have fun visiting other Crazy Cooking Challenge participants through the linky party below.  Looks like there are some fantastic fruit smoothies and shakes!

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May 22, 2012

Strawberries with Toffee Sauce


I am into seasonal strawberries right now!  They are so delicious when they're fresh out of the fields, brilliant red all the way through, and practically dripping with sweet juice when you bite into them.

But want to know what makes them even better?  This quick-to-whip-up toffee sauce!  Oh, yes indeed, it does. 

For a really easy, yet impressive and delicious dessert, just slice up some fresh strawberries and drizzle them with a little bit of this rich toffee sauce ... which just so happens to be chock full of tasty little toffee bits.  Top with a dollop of whipped cream or creme freche, and there you have it.  Isn't it pretty?

Don't feel like drizzling?  Oh, then go for the straight dunk!  Mmmm, hmmmm ... dunking whole strawberries was tasty, too.

Either way you dive on into this sauce, trust me ... your tummy will thank you.


I invite you to follow The Kitchen is My Playground with Pinterest, Facebook, Google Friend Connect, Linky Followers, bloglovin', or Feedburner. Buttons are in the right sidebar. I'd love to have you back soon!





Toffee Sauce
Source:  Adapted from my friend Beth


Ingredients
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. whipping cream
1/4 c. light Karo syrup
2 T. butter
1/2 c. crushed Heath Bars or Heath Milk Chocolate Toffee Bits*


Directions
1.  Combine sugar, whipping cream, Karo syrup, and butter in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil, and immediately remove from the heat once it reaches a boil.  Let cool for about 10 minutes.  

2.  Stir in crushed Heath Bars or toffee bits.  

3.  Serve over sliced strawberries, and top with whipped cream or creme freche if desired.

*Note:  Heath Milk Chocolate Toffee Bits can be found in the baking aisle of the grocery store, in the same area as chocolate chips.  Be sure to get the Milk Chocolate Toffee Bits, not the plain toffee bits.  You need the milk chocolate on the bits to melt into the sauce.

Enjoy!



This post is linked with Crazy Sweet Tuesday  hosted by Crazy for Crust, Tuesday Talent Show hosted by Chef in Training, Totally Tasty Tuesdays hosted by Mandy's Recipe Box, Red, White, & Blue Link Party hosted by Mrs. Fox's Sweets, Trick or Treat Tuesday hosted by BruCrew Life. Cast Party Wednesday hosted by Lady Behind the Curtain, Whatever Goes Wednesday hosted by Someday Crafts, Show & Share hosted by Southern Lovely, Foodie Friday hosted by Rattlebridge Farm, It's a Keeper Thursday hosted by It's a Keeper, Share Your Creations hosted by Kristen's Creations, Kitchen Fun & Crafty Friday hosted by Kitchen Fun With My Three Sons, Inspiration Friday hosted by At the Picket Fence, Foodie Friday hosted by Simple Living with Diane Balch, Sweets for a Saturday hosted by Sweet as Sugar Cookies, Strut Your Stuff Saturday hosted by Six Sisters' Stuff, Scrumptious Sunday hosted by Addicted to Recipes, Think Pink Sundays hosted by Flamingo Toes, Sundae Scoop hosted by I {heart} Naptime, Sunday Showcase hosted by Under the Table and Dreaming, The Cure for the Common Monday hosted by Lines Across, Mangia Mondays hosted by Shine Your Light, Open Call Tuesdays hosted by Salt Tree, Saturday Dishes.

May 5, 2012

Strawberry Chicken Salad & Homemade Poppy Seed Dressing


As I mentioned in my last post (No-Bake Strawberry Ice Box Cake), it's strawberry season where I live.  It's one of my absolute favorite food-times of the year!  I just adore fresh strawberries picked from the field that very day.  They're so sweet, juicy, and delicious.  I could pop them in my mouth just as they are ... oh, and I do ... with more than my fair share.

But I like to whip up tasty concoctions with them, too.

So, when I found this Strawberry Chicken Salad in the latest edition of Cooking Light magazine, it didn't take me long to give it a whirl.  And. It. Is. Tasty. - winning the approval of both me and my hubby.

The original recipe calls for using bottled poppy seed dressing.  I wanted to see if I could pull together a homemade dressing, instead of using the bottled.  Not that there's anything wrong with bottled dressings ... I just wanted to also have a homemade alternative.  I loved, loved, loved the homemade dressing!!  I'll definitely be making it again, even when I'm not making this Strawberry Chicken Salad.

For the dressing, combine some cider vinegar, canola oil, a bit of sugar, poppy seeds, and a bunch of chopped onion.  Give it a whirl in a food processor or blender ... and you have homemade Poppy Seed Dressing.  Pretty easy, huh?



Mix this dressing into a combination of chicken, fresh basil, minced green onions, fresh diced strawberries, and chopped pecans ... and you've got one tasty and refreshing chicken salad.  It's great just on its own, but I could also see this in phyllo cups as a wonderful hors d'ouvre ... or, on croissants for a beautiful sandwich ... or, in a tea sandwich, or ... or ... or

I'll just have to give these other ideas a try, won't I?!?


I invite you to follow The Kitchen is My Playground with Pinterest, Facebook, Google Friend Connect, Linky Followers, bloglovin', or Feedburner. Buttons are in the right sidebar. I'd love to have you back soon!


Strawberry Chicken Salad
Source:  Chicken salad adapted from Cooking Light magazine; Homemade poppy seed dressing adapted from Happier than a Pig in Mud

Ingredients
Chicken Salad:
3/4 c. bottled or homemade poppy seed dressing (see below)
1/4 c. minced green onions
3 T. chopped fresh basil
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
4 c. chopped cooked chicken
2 c. diced fresh strawberries
1 c. chopped pecans
Salt, to taste

Homemade Poppy Seed Dressing:
1/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. canola oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. apple cider vinegar
1/4 c. white, yellow, or Vidalia onion, finely chopped
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. poppy seeds


Directions
Prepare the Homemade Poppy Seed Dressing (if using):
1.  Combine all dressing ingredients in a food processor or blender.  Process until well combined.

Prepare the Chicken Salad:
2.  Stir together the poppy seed dressing, green onions, basil, and black pepper in a large bowl.  Fold in the chicken, strawberries, and pecans.  Add salt to taste.

3.  Cover and chill for about 2 hours.

Note:  This salad is best eaten the day it is made.  Though it was still tasty the next day, be aware that on the second day the strawberries will have gotten a bit limp and some of their color will have 'bled' onto the chicken.


Enjoy!

This post is linked with Scrumptious Sunday hosted by Addicted to Recipes, Sundae Scoop hosted by I {heart} Nap Time, Think Pink Sundays hosted by Flamingo Toes, Sunday Showcase hosted by Under the Table and Dreaming, Mingle Monday hosted by Add a Pinch, Mangia Mondays hosted by Shine Your Light, Recipe Sharing Monday hosted by Jam Hands, This Week's Cravings hosted by Mom's Crazy Cooking, Totally Tasty Tuesdays hosted by Mandy's Recipe Box, Tuesday Talent Show hosted by Chef in Training, Trick or Treat Tuesday hosted by Inside BruCrew Life, Cast Party Wednesday hosted by Lady Behind the Curtain, Showcase Your Talent Thursday hosted by What's Cooking, Love?, Share Your Creations hosted by Kristen's Creations, It's a Keeper Thursday hosted by It's a Keeper, Inspiration Friday hosted by At the Picket Fence, Weekend Bloggy Reading hosted by Serenity Now, Foodie Friday hosted by Rattlebridge FarmFoodie Friday hosted by Simple Living with Diane Balch, Strut Your Stuff Saturday hosted by Six Sisters' Stuff, Makin' You Crave Monday hosted by Mrs. Happy Homemaker, This Week's Cravings hosted by Mom's Crazy Cooking, Spring Projects Linky PartySaturday Dishes.

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