This is a great month to take advantage of some of the early spring crops that are coming to market. Broccoli, Cauliflower, all types of greens, beets and strawberries are some of the best choices. And, if you are lucky to have a friend who likes to garden, like me, you can reap some of the harvest. See the photo below for what I was treated to from his garden.
This recipe goes well with sautéed cabbage. See recipe below.
6 bell peppers, assorted colors
1 lb lean ground beef
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
1/2 cup jarred, mild salsa
1 cup frozen cauliflower rice, defrosted, or regular cooked rice
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
Salt and pepper
Cut the tops off the peppers. Reserve the top and remove the stem. Dice the tops and set aside.
Remove the seeds and membrane from the peppers. Wash and set on a paper towel, upside down, to drain.
Heat a skillet and add the oil. Brown the ground beef until you no longer see any pink color.
Push the beef to the side of the pan and add the onion, bell pepper tops and garlic. Saute until tender.
Add the Italian seasoning, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper, stir, and remove the pan from the heat. Let cool.
Stir in defrosted cauliflower rice, salsa and ½ cup cheese. Fill the peppers to the top and place them in a baking dish just large enough to hold the peppers upright.
I used some foil to support them and keep them from falling out.
Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 30 -40 minutes or until the peppers are tender.
Remove the baking dish from the oven and top each pepper with some of the remaining cheese. Return to the oven for five minutes to melt the cheese topping.
Sautéed Cabbage In Brown Butter
One head of savoy cabbage
1/2 onion, sliced thin
3 tablespoons butter
1 small garlic clove, minced
Salt and pepper
Remove the large leaves from the cabbage for stuffing, Cut the rest of the cabbage head in half. Set aside one half for coleslaw or another recipe.
Thinly slice the remaining half of the cabbage.
Heat the butter in a medium skillet and cook until the butter turns a light brown, Add the onion and garlic and cook 3-4 minutes to tenderize the onions.
Add the sliced cabbage and cook until very soft and tender, about ten minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with the stuffed peppers.
Oven BBQ Pork Roast and Vegetables
1 top loin pork roast, bone-in, about 3 pounds
8 oz mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced on a diagonal
8 oz carrots, thinly sliced
Half a sweet onion, cubed
1 ½ cups bottled or homemade BBQ sauce, see recipe below
Half a head of cauliflower cut into large florets
Heat the oven to 325 F.
Oil a roasting pan with foil and place the mushrooms, carrots, celery and onion on the bottom of the pan.
Place the roast on top of the vegetables and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the cauliflower florets on two sides of the roast.
Pour the BBQ sauce over the pork.
Roast the pork for 30 minutes per pound, or until it registers at least 140 degrees F on an instant read thermometer.
Baste the pork roast with the barbecue sauce several times during the roasting time.
Let the roast rest for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing.
Homemade BBQ Sauce
2 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup water
Two 6 oz cans tomato paste
1/2 cup cider vinegar
4 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon dried minced onion or powder
3/4 teaspoon dried leaf oregano
3/4 teaspoon ground paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt or 1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
Combine all of the ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat and let simmer on low, uncovered, for about an hour.
Make sure to stir frequently, about once every 10 to 15 minutes, while the BBQ sauce is cooking.
This will help better incorporate the flavors and ensure that the sauce is evenly cooked throughout.
Let the sauce cool before transferring to a storage container.
Oven Roasted Salmon and Broccoli
1/4 lb broccoli florets (about 2 floret tops)
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
Two 6-ounce skinless salmon fillets
1 jalapeño, thinly sliced into rings, seeds removed if desired
1 small garlic clove, grated
1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped green onion (scallions)
1 mini red bell pepper, minced
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Mix broccoli florets with 1 tablespoon oil in a baking dish; season with salt and pepper.
Roast broccoli, tossing occasionally, until crisp-tender, 10 minutes.
Combine the jalapeño slices, vinegar, scallions, bell pepper, 1 tablespoon olive oil and a pinch of salt in small bowl.
Rub salmon with 1 tablespoon oil; season with salt and pepper. Push broccoli to the edges of the baking dish and place salmon in the center.
Evenly distribute the jalapeno mixture over the salmon and broccoli.
Roast until salmon is cooked throughout and the broccoli is tender, 15 minutes. Serve with Cucumber Salad
Cucumbers In Tzatziki Sauce
1 large or 2 medium cucumbers
Half of a large cucumber
3/4 cups plain Greek yogurt (not low-fat)
2 scallions (green onion), minced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh dill
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Peel and seed the half cucumber. Grate the half cucumber on a box grater onto a paper towel, roll up and squeeze the towel to remove some of the liquid.
Peel the large cucumber, cut in half lengthwise and cut into thin half-moon slices.
Place the yogurt in a medium bowl.Add grated cucumber to the yogurt along with the remaining ingredients, except the sliced cucumber and stir well.
Fold in the cucumber slices.
Cover and chill in the refrigerator before serving.
Homemade Burger Buns
Makes 6 large burger buns.
2 3/4 cups bread flour
1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon minced dried onion
1 tablespoon honey
2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
4 tablespoons softened butter
1 large egg
2/3 cup lukewarm water
Olive Oil cooking spray
Combine all of the ingredients in an electric mixer bowl and mix the ingredients with the paddle attachment until the dough comes together around the paddle.
Switch to the dough hook and knead the dough until smooth.
Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover it, and let it rise for 60 to 90 minutes, until puffy and doubled.
To form the buns:
Gently deflate the dough on a lightly floured surface and divide it into 6 pieces; each 4 ounces.
If you don’t have a bun pan, space them on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet.
Gently flatten the buns with your hand to fill the bottom of the pan’s wells, or until they’re about 3 1/2″ to 4″ wide.
Cover the buns and let them rise for 60 to 90 minutes or until they reach the top of the pan.
Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.
Spray the tops of the buns with olive oil cooking spray.
Bake the buns for 18 to 20 minutes or until they are a light, golden brown and their interior temperature is at least 190°F, measured with an instant-read thermometer.
Remove the buns from the oven and transfer them to a rack. Allow the buns to cool completely, then store airtight at room temperature.
Adapted from a King Arthur recipe.
Grass-fed Steak Burgers with Barbecue Sauce
Makes 4 burgers
4 thick (1/2 inch) sweet onion slices for grilling
4 slices American or Swiss Cheese
Burger Buns, recipe above for homemade or use store-bought
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce (about 3 chiles), plus 1 tablespoon of the sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire
2 tablespoons molasses
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 1/4 pounds grass-fed ground beef (sirloin)
1 1/2 teaspoons each kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
BBQ sauce, recipe above
1 tablespoon vegetable oil, divided
Make the BBQ sauce:
Purée all sauce ingredients in a food processor until very smooth.
Make the burgers:
In a bowl, combine beef, salt and pepper.
Form into 4 equal sized patties about 5 oz each and 3/4 inches thick. Put on a plate, cover, and chill until ready to grill.
Preheat an outdoor grill for medium heat). Oil the grill grates.
Brush both sides of the onions with BBQ sauce. Grill, covered, until softened, turning once, 8 minutes total.
Brush both sides of the burgers with BBQ sauce and grill, covered, turning once, about 8 minutes total.
Lay the bun halves, cut side down, on grill to toast slightly during the last-minute of grilling for the burgers and onions.
Transfer buns to a platter, place slices of cheese on the bun bottoms and top with burgers and onions.
Serve with extra barbecue sauce or ketchup.
Chopped Vegetable Salad with Green Goddess Dressing
4 mini bell peppers, different colors or 1 large bell pepper
1 cucumber, peeled and seeded
Half of a large red onion
2 celery stalks
Half a pint of grape tomatoes
Green Goddess Dressing, Recipe Link
Dice all the vegetables into ½ inch pieces.
Combine the vegetables in a mixing bowl and mix thoroughly;
Divide the mixture among individual salad bowls.
Serve the dressing on the side, so each diner can add the amount of dressing they like.
8 oz elbow macaroni
2 celery stalks, finely diced
1/2 onion finely diced
1/2 bell pepper finely diced
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved, seeded and finely diced
1/4 cup spicy cherry peppers, diced or pickle relish
1/4 cup minced parsley
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Pinch black pepper
Make the dressing by combining the ingredients and set aside while you cook the macaroni.
Cook the pasta al dente in boiling salted water, drain and add the dressing while the pasta is warm.
Add the chopped vegetables and mix well. Add salt to taste, but I find this type of salad doesn’t need extra salt.
The mayonnaise, pasta cooked in salted water and seasonings add enough.
Chill the salad for several hours before serving.
Refrigerator Dill Pickles
Makes 2 quarts. I use old mayonnaise jars with screw top lids.
2 cups water
2 cups white distilled vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon crushed black pepper
1 teaspoon dill seed
6 thinly sliced garlic cloves
6-8 pickling cucumbers (Kirby)
A few sprigs of dill
2 clean quart size jars
Combine water, vinegar, sugar, kosher salt, pepper, dill seed and garlic in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil; stir.
Quarter pickling cucumbers lengthwise and divide evenly in the jars; add fresh dill.
Top with the hot vinegar mixture. Cover and refrigerate for several days before eating.
The pickles keep for a few months in the refrigerator.
This is the time of year for parties and getting together with friends and relatives to celebrate the New Year. It is also a time for festive foods. If you are asked to bring a dish to the party, you may be thinking about what you can bring. Below you will find the recipes for some of my favorite take along dishes.
2 (one pound) pizza dough balls, at room temperature
1/4 pound thinly sliced Genoa salami
1/4 pound thinly sliced capicola
12 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
½ cup marinara sauce
1 egg lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon water
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. and line two baking sheets with parchment.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out one of the dough balls to a 15 x 10 inch rectangle.
Spread half the marinara sauce over the dough.
Sprinkle with half the shredded cheese.
Layer half the meat over the cheese on the dough, leaving a 1/2 inch border.
Roll the dough up into a log and brush the seam edges with beaten egg.
Leaving the seam at the bottom and pinching the ends closed, place the roll on one of the baking sheets. Cut five small slits in the top of the log.
Complete the other roll in the same manner.
Brush the rolls with the beaten egg mixture and bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.
Cool 10 minutes before slicing.
I usually prepare 4-1 pound eggplants at once and freeze them, individually, for future use.
For each one pound of eggplant, you will need:
1 pound eggplant, peeled
1/2 to 3/4 cup refrigerated egg substitute (such as Egg Beaters)
1 cup Italian style bread crumbs
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Coat two large baking sheets with nonstick olive oil cooking spray.
Cut peeled eggplants crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices (no thicker). You want them to be thin.
Place the egg substitute in one shallow dish and the bread crumbs in another.
Dip the eggplant slices into the egg substitute mixture, then coat with the breadcrumb mixture. Arrange the eggplant slices in a single layer on the prepared baking sheets.
Bake for 15 minutes, turn the eggplant slices over, and bake until crisp and golden, about 10-15 minutes longer.
If you are not going to assemble the eggplant dish at this time, wrap each batch of eggplant in aluminum foil with foil sheets between the layers and place it in a ziplock freezer bag.
Store in the freezer until you need it. Defrost a package overnight in the refrigerator, when you want to make the casserole.
To assemble the casserole, you will need:
Spray an 8 inch or 9 inch or 8-by-11 1/2-inch baking dish with olive oil cooking spray.
Preheat the oven to 375 °F.
2 ½ cups Marinara sauce (see recipe below)
1-8 ounce package shredded mozzarella cheese
1 package of breaded and baked eggplant
Spread 1/2 cup of the sauce in the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Arrange half of the eggplant slices over the sauce, overlapping slightly.
Spoon 1 cup of the remaining sauce over the eggplant and sprinkle with half of the package of cheese.
Add a layer of the remaining eggplant slices and top with the remaining sauce and cheese. Cover the dish with foil and bake until the sauce bubbles, about 25 to 30 minutes.
Here is the recipe for Marinara Sauce.
3 garlic gloves, minced
1/2 large onion, chopped fine
1 carrot, chopped fine
1 celery stalk, chopped fine
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a Dutch oven and saute vegetables
Add 1-6 oz. can tomato paste
Fill the empty can with water and add it to the pot
Add 4-26 to 28 oz. containers of chopped Italian tomatoes
Simmer for 1 hour.
Add 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon each black pepper and dried oregano, dried basil, crushed red pepper and dried thyme.
Simmer for another hour or until the sauce has thickened.
Taste the sauce to see if it is very acidic. If it is, add a teaspoon of honey or agave syrup.
Measure out 2 ½ cups of sauce for the recipe above and freeze the remaining sauce.
Oven Barbecued Brisket
Time: About 4 hours
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 whole beef brisket, about 5 pounds
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 or 2 large onions, finely chopped
2 cups ketchup
1/2 cup dry red wine or beef broth
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire
1 tablespoon chili powder, or to taste
2 cloves garlic, minced
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Heat a large pot or Dutch oven that can later be covered over medium-high heat for 2 or 3 minutes.
When it is hot, add the oil, swirl it around, then add the beef.
Sear the meat for about 5 minutes on each side, seasoning with salt and pepper; when nicely browned, remove from pot to a plate.
Add the onion to the pot and cook, stirring, over medium-low heat until softened, about 5 minutes (if the meat is very lean you might need to add a little oil).
Add all remaining ingredients, stir and cook for about a minute. Return the meat to pot, nestling it in sauce.
Cover the pan, put it in oven, and cook until the meat is tender, at least 3 hours and probably closer to 4. Turn the meat over several times during the baking process.
When the brisket is done, you can refrigerate it in its liquid for 1 to 2 days and reheat before serving.
Yield: 10 or more servings.
Labor Day was created as an annual celebration of workers and their achievements. In the past, Labor Day was seen as a kind of “workingmen’s holiday,” and the first Monday in September was designated for its celebration. Today, Labor Day is seen as the last long weekend of summer and friends and families gather at picnic grounds or in their backyards to bid farewell to the season.
Here are some recipes to help you celebrate.
Rub Mixture Ingredients
- 1/4 cup sweet paprika
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons dried onion
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 St. Louis-cut or spare rib racks, about 2 lbs
- Peach BBQ sauce, heated, see recipe link
Mix all the rub ingredients together and coat the ribs all over with the mixture. Place the ribs in a baking dish, cover the dish with foil and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat the oven to 250°F. Place the foil covered baking dish with the ribs in the oven and roast for about 2 1/2 hours, or until the meat is tender but not falling off the bone.
Finish the ribs on a charcoal or gas grill.
Ten minutes before the ribs are done baking, heat the grill to medium-high. Grill the ribs, basting with the BBQ sauce and turning occasionally, until they begin to char, 5 to 6 minutes.
Cut into pieces and serve with additional sauce for dipping.
Old Fashioned Baked Beans
See the link here for the recipe that was on my blog a few weeks ago.
I prefer to shred cabbage for this recipe rather than use a package of coleslaw mix. Those packages never taste very fresh to me. Pick out a deep green cabbage without blemishes at your market and use it for this recipe. Shredding half a cabbage doesn’t take more than 5 minutes with a good sharp knife.
Coleslaw is one of those recipes that I am never really satisfied with and I keep tinkering with the recipe to try to get it to taste the way I think it should taste. Needs more salt? Needs more sweetness? I may have found the right balance for us with the ingredients in my recipe below. See what you think.
For best flavor this coleslaw should be made one day ahead.
- Half of a head of green cabbage that weighs about 2 – 2 1/2 pounds
- 2-3 carrots
- 1 teaspoon table salt
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup finely minced sweet onions
- 1/4 cup diced sweet bread and butter pickles
- 1 tablespoon agave syrup or honey
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Shred the cabbage and the carrots and place them in a mixing bowl. You should yield about 8 cups of shredded cabbage and one cup of shredded carrots from the amounts listed above.
Add the salt, sugar and vinegar; toss them together and set aside for an hour.
In a serving bowl, mix together the dressing ingredients.
After an hour squeeze the cabbage to get as much liquid as possible out of the mix and place in the bowl with the dressing. Mix them well to blend and refrigerate, covered, overnight.
Almond Flour Shortcake
This is a wonderful dessert to have on hand. Simple enough for a snack or dress it up for company with fruit, whipped cream or a frosting. I usually make an extra one to keep in the freezer.
8 to 12 servings
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 1/2 cups almond flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Vegetable oil for the pan
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 8″ round cake pan with oil. Swirl the oil in the pan and make sure it goes up the sides.
Sprinkle the 2 tablespoons of the sugar listed in the ingredients onto the bottom of the pan.
Separate the egg yolks from the whites.
Using an electric mixer or stand mixer, whip the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Slowly beat in 1/4 cup sugar. Scrape the beaten egg whites into another bowl and set aside.
In the mixing bowl, beat together the egg yolks, the remaining 1/4 cup sugar and the almond extract until smooth.
In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients — flour, baking powder and salt — and add to the egg yolk mixture. Stir together to form a thick dough.
Fold in the egg whites, 1/2 cup at a time, incorporating them fully between each addition. The final addition should result in a smooth, fluffy batter.
Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan. Bake the cake on the center rack for 30 to 35 minutes, until it’s golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the sides, then turn the cake out onto a serving plate.
Allow the cake to cool fully before topping with sliced fresh fruit and whipped cream or powdered sugar.
Easy Homemade Jam
This is a basic jam recipe and it works with any fruit (other than citrus). You can make jam with whatever fruit grows well where you live. In each season, use the best fruit you can find.
Work in small batches. Three pounds of fruit will yield close to 2 ½ pints of jam. If you want more jars, make two small batches rather than one double batch. The quality of the jam will be much better.
You don’t need to process the jars in a boiling water bath for this recipe. Just store the jam in the refrigerator, where it will last for weeks.
You can also store the jam in the freezer. The Ball Company now makes great containers to store jam in for the freezer.
Unprocessed homemade jam will not make you ill, because most jams are made from high acid fruits which are not susceptible to botulism.
I made Blackberry Jam using this recipe. It is definitely worth making because the jam has such a fresh and distinct blackberry taste. Not at all like processed jam.
For 2 1/2 pints
- 3 pounds ripe fruit, such as strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, cherries, peaches, plums, etc.
- 2 to 2 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 lemon
Clean and cut the fruit as you would for making fruit salad or fruit pie. For example: remove the caps from strawberries and cut into quarters; or peel, pit and slice peaches into pieces; or trim rhubarb and chop it into chunks.
Using a potato masher, crush the fruit until soupy. Measure this puree and note the quantity. Put the puree in a wide, heavy-bottomed, non-reactive pot.
The puree should be no more than 1 inch deep in the bottom of the pot. I placed half of the blackberry puree in a strainer to remove the seeds before proceeding with the recipe.
For every two cups of fruit puree, add to the pot one scant cup of sugar and 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice.
Stir to combine and taste. Very tart fruit (such as sour cherries, some plums or blackberries) might need a little more sugar. Very sweet fruit (such as white peaches) might need a little more lemon juice. Adjust to taste.
Bring the fruit-sugar mixture to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently. After it boils, continue to cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, for 12 to 14 minutes, or until thickened.
Check the consistency by turning off the heat and putting a spoonful of hot jam on a chilled saucer in the freezer for one minute.
When ready, the cold jam will form a light skin that wrinkles when you push your finger through it and it will cling to the saucer when you tilt the saucer upright.
If the cold jam is too runny, bring the pot back to a boil for another minute or two, stirring constantly, then check the set again.
When the jam is set, ladle it into clean half-pint jars or other air-tight containers. Allow to cool, then store in the refrigerator for up to a month.
Fresh Strawberry Syrup
Delicious over pancakes, cheesecake, ice cream or crepes.
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 pint strawberries, stems and leaves removed
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
Place sugar and water in a small saucepan over high heat; stir, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until sugar is completely dissolved.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and allow the syrup to cool completely. Place half the berries in the jar of a blender; add the syrup. Puree until smooth and pass through a fine sieve or colander.
Chop remaining berries; stir into the strawberry puree. Store in an airtight container, refrigerated, for up to 3 days or freeze in small containers.
Makes 12 – 15 muffins depending on the size of your muffin pan.
- 2 1/4 cups (9 5/8 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup (2 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces) granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup (4 ounces) sour cream
- 1 1/2 cups (7 1/2 ounces) fresh blueberries
- 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons butter
Pre-heat the oven to 400°F and either lightly grease 12 -15 muffin cups or use paper liners and spray the insides of the papers.
In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together with a hand-held or stand mixer, until light and fluffy and almost white in color.
Scrape down the bowl to make sure all the butter is incorporated, then add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla and sour cream and mix until incorporated.
Add the dry ingredients and mix on low-speed just until the batter is smooth. Fold in the berries by hand.
Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin cups, using 1/4-cup for each muffin.
To make the topping:
In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar, flour and cinnamon. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Sprinkle topping over the muffins.
Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove them from the oven, cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove the muffins from the pan to finish cooling on a wire rack.
Summer Fruit Salad
Use summer fruits that are in season. I used about 6 cups of cut fruit in this recipe.
Fruit, sliced or cut into cubes
Mint-Lime Simple Syrup
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
For the syrup:
Stir together the sugar and mint and 1 cup water in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, and boil 1 minute or until the sugar dissolves.
Remove from the heat. Stir in the lime juice, and cool 30 minutes.Pour mixture through a fine wire-mesh strainer into an airtight container. Cover and chill syrup 4 hours.
For the salad:
Gently toss together the fruit in a large bowl. Add 1/2 cup Mint-Lime Simple Syrup, and gently stir to coat. Taste to see if the fruit needs more syrup.
Serve immediately, or cover and chill until serving time.
Peach Barbecue Sauce
This recipe makes one of the best tasting BBQ sauces I have made. It is especially good for grilled chicken.
Yields 4 cups.
- 2 cups peeled and chopped very ripe peaches, about 4 medium peaches
- 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1 tablespoons onion salt
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground mace
- 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 cups tomato ketchup
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- ¼ cup honey
- 2 tablespoons butter, cubed and well chilled
Process peaches in a blender 1 minute or until smooth and pour into a medium saucepan. Add all the additional ingredients except the butter. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to low.
Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thick. With a whisk, blend in the butter cubes, a few cubes at a time, until incorporated. Refrigerate covered until needed.
You really don’t have to eat boring chicken. Try new ways of preparing chicken and serve it with new and different garnishing ingredients.
Dry chicken isn’t appealing. To avoid this:
- Don’t overcook chicken – 155 to 160 degrees F on an instant read meat thermometer is perfectly safe.
- Cooking chicken for most of its grilling time over indirect heat keeps it tender and juicy and it does not burn.
When I grill chicken, I always make extra because it is so delicious and there are so many other dishes you can make with the leftovers.
I also add vegetables to the grill, if I am grilling the main dish. Saves lots of time and clean up.
- 2-4 bone-in chicken breasts or 2-4 boneless breasts or/and 2-4 bone-in thighs
- Olive oil
Turn all burners to high and heat the grill with the lid down until very hot, about 15 minutes. Scrape the grate clean with a grill brush.
Dip a wad of paper towels in oil; holding the wad with tongs, wipe the cooking grate. Leave the primary burner on high and turn off the other burner(s).
Grilling bone-in breasts:
Cook the chicken on all sides over the hot part of the grill until lightly browned and the meat has faint grill marks, 4 to 6 minutes. Move the chicken to the cooler side of the grill, with the thicker side of the breast facing the hot side of the grill.
Cover with a large piece of aluminum foil, close the grill and continue to cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of the breast registers 145 degrees, about 20 minutes longer.
Move the chicken, bone-side down, to the hot side of the grill and cook until browned, 4 to 6 minutes. Turn the chicken over and continue to cook until browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast registers 155 – 160 degrees F, 2 to 3 minutes longer. Transfer chicken to a plate and tent with foil, for 5 minutes.
Grilling bone-in chicken thighs:
Cook the chicken on all sides over the hot part of grill until lightly browned and the meat has faint grill marks, 3 to 4 minutes. Move the chicken to the cooler side of the grill. Cover with a large piece of aluminum foil, close the grill and continue to cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 145 degrees, about 20 minutes longer.
Move the chicken, bone-side down, to the hot side of the grill and cook until browned, 4 to 6 minutes. Turn chicken over and continue to cook until browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 155 – 160 degrees F, 2 to 3 minutes longer. Transfer chicken to a plate and tent with foil, for 5 minutes.
Grilling boneless breasts:
Place chicken on the cooler side of the grill, smooth-side down, with the thicker side of the breasts facing the direct heat. Cover with a large piece of aluminum foil, close the grill and cook until the bottom of the chicken just begins to develop light grill marks about 6 to 8 minutes. Using tongs, turn the chicken and rotate it so that the thinner side faces the hot side of the grill. Cover with the foil and continue to cook until the chicken is opaque and firm to touch and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken registers 140 degrees, 6 to 8 minutes longer.
Move the chicken to the hot side of the grill and cook, without the foil, until dark grill marks appear, 1 to 2 minutes. Using tongs, turn the chicken over and cook until dark grill marks appear and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken registers 155 – 160 degrees F, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Transfer chicken to cutting board, let rest, tented with foil, 5 minutes.
With just a change of a sauce, you can create a totally different taste every time. Serve the grilled chicken topped with one of the sauces below.
I made this sauce last week and it was on my blog for Earth Day. (see recipe here)
Creamy Herb Vinaigrette
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs that are in season
- 1/2 small shallot, minced
Add the mayonnaise, vinegar, mustard, tarragon and shallots to a small bowl and whisk until smooth and emulsified.
Easy Homemade BBQ Sauce
- 1 2/3 cups ketchup
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 1 tablespoon yellow mustard powder
- 2 teaspoons all natural hickory liquid smoke
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/8 teaspoon celery seed
In a large saucepan combine all the ingredients and simmer over low heat for 25 minutes stirring occasionally. Let it cool and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Seasonal Fruit Sauce
I used raspberries because that is what is in season and I had them in my refrigerator. Come summer, peaches would be very good in this sauce. Don’t be afraid to try this sauce, it was delicious on the chicken.
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 small garlic clove, grated
- 1 small hot pepper, finely chopped
- 2 cups fresh raspberries, or any fruit in season (peaches, berries, kiwi, pineapple, etc.)
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
Combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cook until the fruit is soft. Serve warm over grilled chicken or pork chops.
Stuffed Grilled Zucchini
- 2 medium zucchini
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped celery
- 1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped bell pepper
- 1/4 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Cut zucchini in half lengthwise; scoop out the pulp, leaving 1/4 inch shells. Brush with 2 teaspoons oil; set aside. Chop pulp.
In a small skillet, heat the remaining teaspoon of oil and saute the zucchini pulp, celery, bell pepper, garlic and onion until the vegetables are soft.
Add bread crumbs; cook and stir.Remove the skillet from the heat. Stir in the mozzarella cheese, seasoning and salt.
Spoon the filling into the zucchini shells. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Place the zucchini on the cool side of the grill while the chicken is cooking on the hot side.
Grill, covered, over medium heat for 8-10 minutes or until the zucchini are tender and the tops are crispy.