BLACKBERRY LEMON CURD CREAM CHEESE PIE

BLACKBERRY LEMON CURD CREAM CHEESE PIE
8 ounces cream cheese, softened at room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1 LARGE egg
Juice of 1 lemon (1 1/2 tablespoon)
1 can COMSTOCK blackberry pie filling
1 cup lemon curd (jarred or FRESH made)
Prepared pie crust
whipped cream, for topping (optional)

  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Beat cream cheese until fluffy.
  • Add sugar, salt, lemon juice and egg, mixing until smooth and creamy.
  • Pour into prepared pie crust.
  • Bake 20 minutes.
  • Spread blackberry filling evenly over cheese mixture.
  • Bake another 20 minutes.
  • Spread with lemon curd.
  • Bake 5 minutes more.
  • Cool COMPLETELY and/or chill before serving.
  • Add a dollop of whipped cream and serve.

CHICKEN & APPLES ~ PURE COMFORT FOOD

This recipe is adapted from Eliza Winograd Marley Spoon and provides a hearty and complete comfort meal with rustic mashed potatoes, flavorful chicken with its sweet and tart apple with a creamy sauce and crisp tart salad as a companion. The recipe as written didn’t have enough OOOMPH for us (it was actually quite bland), so I OOOMPED it up a bit 😀

CHICKEN & APPLES over Mashed Potatoes with Spinach Salad

SALAD & DRESSING
2  cups torn baby spinach
1 1/2 tablespoons avocado oil
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
1 tablespoon FINELY diced shallot
1 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and diced into 1/4 inch cubes
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans, toasted if desired

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons oil, 2 tablespoons vinegar and 1 tablespoon of the chopped shallots.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Set aside.
  • Just before serving, toss spinach leaves and chopped apple, nuts and dressing.

POTATOES
1/4-1/3 cup sour cream
2 Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and large diced
2 tablespoons butter
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper

  • Place potatoes in a small saucepan with 1 teaspoon salt along with enough water to cover by 1-inch.
  • Bring to a boil, then simmer until tender, about 15 minutes.
  • Drain, return to pot, add 2 tablespoons butter and keep covered. 


CHICKEN
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard (see note)
2 teaspoons BETTER THAN chicken concentrate
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 teaspoon salt + FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
3/4 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts or tenders
1 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and diced into 1/4 inch cubes
1 shallot, FINELY chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1 + 1 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon WONDRA flour
1 cup water

  • Pat chicken dry and generously season all over with a mixture of the onion powder and FRESH ground sea salt and pepper.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a medium skillet over medium-high.
  • Add chicken until well browned on both sides but not cooked completely through, 2–3 minutes per side.  Transfer chicken to a plate and keep warm.
  • Melt 1 tablespoon butter in reserved skillet over medium-high.
  • Add apples, garlic and the remaining shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until well browned and slightly softened, 3–5 minutes.
  • Sprinkle flour over skillet and cook 30 seconds.
  • Whisk together water, chicken concentrate and Dijon mustard. Add to skillet, gently stirring and scraping up any browned bits from the bottom.
  • Return chicken to pan, simmering 5-7 minutes until chicken is cooked through, apples are tender and sauce has thickened.

  • Return saucepan with potatoes to medium-high and add sour cream and 2 tablespoons butter. Coarsely mash using a fork or potato masher.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Serve chicken with apples and sauce spooned over top with mashed potatoes and salad alongside.

NOTE: I substitute a creamy horseradish for the Dijon due to an allergy that works well for me, but the flavor base is up to you 😀

CHARRED APRICOT RASPBERRY WHISKEY WINGS

CHARRED APRICOT RASPBERRY WHISKEY WINGS
3/4 cup QUALITY (Bonne Mamam) raspberry apricot preserves
3 tablespoons Seagrams 7
Juice of 2 FRESH limes
2 tablespoons BRAGG’s liquid aminos
1 tablespoon GO CHU CHANG
1 small 6 ounce can pineapple juice
2 1/2-3 pounds chicken wings and/or drumettes

  • Whisk together everything except the chicken in a LARGE bowl. Set aside 3/4 cup for later.
  • Add chicken pieces and toss to coat.
  • Cover and refrigerate 3-4 hours.

 

  • Heat grill to medium low.
  • Toss chicken once again before laying on grill in a single layer.
  • Grill 10 minutes.
  • Flip and grill 10-15 minutes more until cooked through.
  • Toss with reserved sauce before serving.

I LOVE to serve these with CARAMELIZED PINEAPPLE!

 

BLUEBERRY CRUMBLE CAKE

BLUEBERRY CRUMBLE CAKE
This wonderfully moist coffee cake is loaded with FRESH blueberries, topped with a delectable brown sugar crumble and  drizzled with a creamy vanilla glaze that hardens as it cools. You’ll end up with a super moist and chewy cake with a crunchy crisp sweet topping.  The glaze is optional and no even really needed! 😀

CRUMB TOPPING
1/2 cup PACKED light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons butter, room temperature

  • In medium bowl stir all the dry ingredients together.
  • Cut butter into smaller chunks and mix with mixer until combined or using fingers or pastry cutter mix until butter is combined and you can squeeze together to form clumps.
  • Chill mixture until ready to use.

CAKE
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup salted butter, room temperature
3/4 WHOLE cup milk
1 egg, rood temperature
2 cups FRESH** blueberries, washed and dried
1/4 cup WONDRA flour, for blueberry dusting

  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Spray 9″ springform pan with nonstick spray and if desired, cut out a piece of parchment paper for easier transfer to serving dish.
  • In large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt stirring to combine.
  • Add milk, egg and softened butter, in chunks mixing until mostly smooth and combined. The batter will be thick, but if too thick, add additional 1/4 cup milk.
  • Dust blueberries with WONDRA flour.
  • Gently fold in blueberries into the batter.
  • Pour into prepared 9″ springform pan. If you use a smaller pan for a deeper cake add 10 minutes baking time and if you use a larger pan for a larger shallower cake, decrease baking time by 10 minutes.
  • Remove crumble from refrigerator and crumble on top of coffee cake batter in marble sized chunks.
  • Bake 50-65 minutes until top is golden and center is firm, toothpick may or may not come out clean.
  • Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes on a wire rack.
  • Glaze.

GLAZE (optional)
1 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 – 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2-3 tablespoons milk or cream

  • While cake is cooling, mix together the powdered sugar, vanilla and milk/cream until smooth and pourable consistency.
  • Pour over top of warm cake for glaze that hardens and melts into cake, or if preferred, wait until cake is cooled completely then pour glaze over.

TO SERVE:

  • To serve, using a butter knife, gently run around the edge of the spring form pan.
  • Transfer to serving platter and enjoy.

NOTES:

  • **Frozen blueberries may be used, if possible thaw and drain, toss gently in a couple tablespoons of flour to coat, that will help the blueberries to not bleed as much.
  • You can substitute any other sliced or diced berries; strawberries, blackberries, raspberries… to make you happy.
  • *Glaze is GREAT, but can definitely be left off the cake and still be flavorful and moist.

 

HOISIN GLAZED GRILLED PORK CHOPS & PINEAPPLE SALSA

HOISIN GLAZED GRILLED PORK CHOPS & PINEAPPLE SALSA
CHOPS
4-6 bone in THICK pork chops
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1/2 cup Hoisin sauce
3 tablespoons champagne vinegar
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper

  • Whisk together the Hoisin sauce and vinegar in a small bowl.
  • Transfer 3 tablespoons to a small bowl and set aside.
  • Pat chops dry and generously season with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Brush pork chops with the sauce mixture.
  • Grill pork over hot grill 3-4 minutes per side until seared and cooked through.
  • Transfer pork to platter and brush with reserved Hoisin sauce mixture.
  • Tent with foil and let rest 5 minutes.

SALSA
1 pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2 inch rings
1 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 bunch green onions, sliced thin
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced OR 1/4 cup minced mini red peppers
1/4 cup FRESH chopped cilantro
2 teaspoons FRESH grated ginger

  • Brush pineapple all over with oil.
  • Grill over hot grill 3 minutes on each side until charred.
  • Transfer to cutting board.
  • When cool enough to handle, chop into 1/2 inch pieces.
  • Toss pineapple, green onions, cilantro and ginger with sesame oil.
  • Season to taste with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.

TERIYAKI CHICKEN with PINEAPPLE SALSA and RED PEPPER JELLY GREEN BEANS

TERIYAKI CHICKEN
1/3 cup Bragg’s liquid aminos
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons mirin
1 tablespoon FRESH grated ginger
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts or tenders

  • Whisk together the liquid aminos, sugar, mirin, ginger and cornstarch together in a small saucepan.
  • Bring to a SLOW boil over medium heat until thickened, about 2 minutes.
  • Marinate chicken pieces for 1 hour.
  • Grill chicken 2-3 minutes per side on a medium hot grill.
  • Brush chicken with remaining sauce as grilling.

JALAPENO PINEAPPLE SALSA
1 pineapple, diced
4 cups watermelon cubes
2 jalapenos, seeded and diced
1 cup cherries, diced
1 small red onion, diced
1/3 cup chopped cilantro

  • Toss all together.
  • Chill at least 2 hours before serving.

RED PEPPER JELLY GREEN BEANS
1 1/2 pounds FRESH green beans, trimmed
1 LARGE shallot or SMALL red onion, diced
4 cloves or chicken in garlic, minced
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1/4 cup FRESH orange juice
1/2 cup red pepper jelly
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons butter

  • Heat butter until melted over medium heat.
  • Add shallots or red onions and saute 2-3 minutes until softened.
  • Add garlic and stir 30 seconds until fragrant.
  • Add green beans and orange juice, stirring to coat.
  • Add jelly to top of beans, cover and cook over medium heat 10-15 minutes until beans are tender.
  • Stir in cilantro to blend flavor and serve immediately.

APRICOT VINAIGRETTE

APRICOT VINAIGRETTE

16 ounce can apricot halves, drained WELL
2 tablespoons QUALITY balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon white wine
1 tablespoon water
1 large garlic clove, FINELY mined
1 teaspoon FRESH minced thyme
2 tablespoons avocado oil

  • In blender, everything except the avocado oil; blending until smooth.
  • With blender running, slowly add oil, blending until smooth.

NOTE:  Canned peaches or pears work really well also for a bit of a different flavor profile.

BALSAMIC GLAZE for FRUIT

One of my favorite summer treats is juicy red ripe watermelon and sweet navel oranges drizzled with a thick and sweet balsamic glaze with a bit of Cotija cheese (Mexican Parmesan) sprinkled on top.  You can use ANY balsamic vinegar, but I like to use flavor infused (pear or coconut pineapple are my favorites) for a bit of extra flavor.

BALSAMIC GLAZE for fruit
1 3/4 cups QUALITY balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup sugar

  • In a small saucepan bring balsamic vinegar and apple cider vinegar to a boil.
  • Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, whisking often,  until reduced by half.
  • Whisk in sugar and bring back to a boil.
  • Reduce heat and simmer 10-15 minutes, whisking often, until glaze coats the back of a spoon.
  • Cool before pouring into squeeze bottle or cruet. Will keep in refrigerator 2 months or so.

SALTED WATERMELON SALSA SALAD

SALTED WATERMELON SALSA SALAD
4 cups diced watermelon
3 Roma tomatoes, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 SMALL jalapeno, seeded and minced
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1/2 cup small diced red onion
1+ teaspoon sea salt, to taste

  • Combine everything but the watermelon and toss to mix well.
  • Gently fold in watermelon.
  • Chill and enjoy!

LEMON POPPY SEED BLUEBERRY ROLLS

LEMON POPPY SEED BLUEBERRY SWEET ROLLS

FILLING
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
the zest of one lemon
1 cup FRESH small wild blueberries or defrosted frozen berries

  • Combine  sugar, and salt in bowl.
  • Stir in melted butter, lemon zest, and vanilla extract.
  • Fold in blueberries.
  • Set aside while you prepare the dough.

DOUGH
1 1/4 cup whole milk, divided
4 teaspoons instant or rapid-rise yeast
2 tablespoons granulated sugar; divided
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon poppyseeds
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

  • Butter a cast iron baker or basking dish.
  • In a small heat proof bowl heat ¼ cup of the milk in the microwave until 110 degrees (about 15 to 20 seconds).
  • Stir in yeast and 1 teaspoon of sugar and let sit until bubbly.
  • Mix together flour, baking powder, salt, poppy seeds and remaining 5 teaspoons of sugar together in large bowl.
  • Stir in 2 tablespoons butter, yeast mixture, and remaining 1 cup of milk until dough forms.
  • Transfer dough to a floured counter and knead until smooth ball forms, about 2 minutes.
  • Roll dough into a 12 by 9 inch rectangle, with long side parallel to counter edge.
  • Brush dough all over with 2 tablespoons melted butter, leaving ½-inch border on far edge.
  • Sprinkle dough evenly with filling, then press filling firmly into dough.
  • Loosen dough from counter and roll away from you into a tight log and pinch seam to seal.
  • Roll log seam side down and cut into 8 equal pieces.
  • Stand buns on end and gently re-form ends that were pinched during cutting.
  • Place 1 bun in center of prepared pan and others around perimeter of pan, seam sides facing in.
  • Brush the tops of the buns with remaining 2 tablespoons butter.
  • Cover buns loosely with plastic wrap and let rise for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°.
  • After rising, bake buns until edges are well browned, 23 to 25 minutes.

Loosen buns from sides of pan with paring knife and let cool for 5 minutes.

LEMON CREAM CHEESE ICING GLAZE
2 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons butter, softened
Juice of one lemon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup powdered sugar
pinch of salt
*More lemon zest for topping

  • Mix together softened cream cheese and butter until smooth.
  • Add lemon juice, confectioners sugar, vanilla, and salt and mix until combine.
  • Pour glaze evenly over tops of buns, spreading with spatula to cover.

BAKED PINEAPPLE CASSEROLE

This is an oldie, but goodie right out of the grandma archive of recipes. I bet most of you have the ingredients right in your pantry.  The pineapple cooks up through the cracker crumbs and bonds with the cheese creating a ‘stuffing’ like texture.

BAKED PINEAPPLE CASSEROLE
2 large cans crushed pineapple DO NOT DRAIN
1 cup sugar
2 1/2 cups Ritz cracker crumbs* (see note)
6 tablespoons butter, melted
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, optional

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • In a small saucepan combine pineapple, juice and sugar, whisking until sugar is dissolved and pineapple is heated through. Remove from heat. Set aside.
  • In a small mixing bowl use a fork to combine cracker crumbs and melted butter until well combined. Set aside.
  • In baking dish or individual ramekins evenly layer the pineapple mixture.
  • Top that with an even layer of the cracker crumb mixture.
  • Evenly top with shredded cheese.
  • Top with nuts, if using.
  • Bake uncovered 20 minutes until bubbly and golden brown.

*NOTE: Keebler club crackers can be substituted, but it does alter the flavor a bit. You do need a cracker with a bit of a buttery flavor to them.

CARROT RAISIN SALAD or APPLE RAISIN SALAD

CARROT RAISIN SALAD or APPLE RAISIN SALAD Yields 6-8 servings
8-10 whole carrots or 5 large Granny Smith apples*(see note)
3/4 cup golden raisins
1 large can crushed pineapple, drained WELL
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons pineapple juice

  • Shred carrots into large mixing bowl. If using apples, peel, core and small chop.
  • Whisk together the mayonnaise, sugar and pineapple juice.
  • Fold in mayonnaise mixture, pineapple and raisins until well coated.
  • Chill several hours until ready to serve.

NOTE:

  • If using apples alone, be sure and toss them with lemon juice to prevent browning.
  • This also makes a good combination to use both carrots AND apples.