Fig Balsamic Lamb Chops

Don loves lamb and this is a tasty way to prepare and serve it. This will serve 4 people and you can add fresh sliced peaches or papaya with spring mix greens as a base for the lamb.

 

  • 1/4 cup fig balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 8 bone-in lamb chops, frenched, about 1 inch thick
  • coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tbsp. toasted sunflower seeds

Whisk together the oil, vinegar together. Reserve 1/4 cup and pour the balance into a large sealable plastic bag.  Season the lamb with the salt and pepper and place in the plastic bag, refrigerating up to 3 hours.

Let the chops warm to room temperature and place a large skillet on a medium heat. Cook the lamb in batches, using an instant read thermometer check to see that the internal temperature is 125 (about 8 minutes). Do not let it touch the bone. Transfer to a plate to allow it to rest for 10 minutes.

Whisk the remaining marinade to combine. Put a handful of greens in the center of the plate, add some of the fresh fruit, along  with a sprinkle of sunflower seeds and drizzle with the marinade. Top with the lamb and serves.

 

 

 

Easy Summer Tarts

With the warmer weather coming (in our case – HOT), I look for light and easy to prepare desserts. Okay….sometimes I do. This is too easy and your children could whip this one up.

 

  • 1 box of puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • Sanding sugar for sprinkling
  • 3 cups of fruit – here you can use a mixture OR use three different types so you can try one of each. i.e. raspberries, strawberries, mango, peaches etc. Cut berries in half and the stone fruits in thin slices.
  • 3 tbsp. honey
  • 3 tsp. fig balsamic vinegar
  • 3 cups whipped cream, sweetened

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Unfold puff pastry onto parchment lined baking sheets and cut each sheet into 4 squares. With a paring knife, CAREFULLY and lightly score a border 1/2 inch from edges.  Brush the border with the egg wash and sprinkle the sanding sugar on the edges. Freeze for 10 minutes. Bake for 15 minutes until puffed up and golden in colour.

Let these cool and gently push down the centers to flatten. Combine the fruits separately and add the sugar and vinegar, scant pinch of salt. Let stand for 15 minutes. Fill the centers of the pastry with the cream and then add the fruit on top. Beautiful to look at, wonderful to taste.

Oh yeah….take a bow.

 

New Take On Ambrosia

This is a new take on ambrosia fruit salad and is very refreshing. On a hot summer morning, on the deck, at the beach…..it would be terrific.

 

  • 2 cups plain greek yogurt
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 2  1/2 tbsp. honey
  • 1 tsp. lime zest
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped FRESH pineapple
  • sliced fresh fruit like papaya, blackberries, raspberries, and peaches for serving
  • shaved coconut or unsweetened shredded coconut, toasted
  • 1/2  cup mini marshmallows
  • freshly grated nutmeg when serving

Whisk together the yogurt, cream. honey and zest in a bowl until it thickens and holds soft peaks.

Divide the pineapple evenly among 8 dishes (bowls). Top with the yogurt mixture and then, evenly, divide the fruit and top with the toasted coconut. A very light sprinkling of nutmeg will finish it off.

*Note: If you find this is not sweet enough, drizzle some honey over the top.

Fruit Salad With Fresh Ginger Dressing

It is nice outside and you have company staying for the holidays…..what to serve? With all the fruit you can buy at the grocery store, it is an easy decision. This makes a delightful, light dessert after all the turkey and trimmings or, if it is a nice summer day, a beautiful breakfast item to be served on the deck, light breeze….mmmmmm, sounds heavenly.

Prepare this part after the syrup is done.

  • 4 cups of any fresh fruit, melons, berries, nectarines, pears and/or bananas…..
  • 3 tbsp. of chopped mint leaves
  • Put in a large bowl and GENTLY mix together.

 

Ginger Dressing

  • 3 cups water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups thinly sliced fresh ginger, left unpeeled

Bring water, sugar and ginger to a boil and stir until the sugar has completely dissolved. Simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 20 minutes.  Drain through a sieve and chill at least 2  1/2 – 3 hours.

Toss fruit with 1/4 cup of the dressing. I bet you will want to add more of the syrup.

This syrup will keep, covered and chilled up to 2 weeks.

Baked Cheese Blintz

When we operated our Bed and Breakfast we had soooooooo many recipes to use. After all, we spent a year trying, adjusting, tasting and tweeking some more, the recipes we wanted to prepare and serve. (sometimes just saying that makes me laugh and sound like a mad scientist).

 

Filling

  • 1 pkg. Philadelphia cream cheese
  • 15 oz. ricotta cheese
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla

 

Blintz

  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1  1/2 cups plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup mango juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a small bowl beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the ricotta cheese, egg yolks, sugar and vanilla and thoroughly combined. Set aside.

To make the blitz cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.  Add the egg yolks and beat well.

You need two small bowls…one to mix together the flour and baking powder and the other to mix together the yogurt and mango juice. Add these two bowls alternately into the egg mixture and blend thoroughly.

Pour half the batter into a 9 x 13 inch glass baking dish. Cover the batter with the filling (carefully) making sure to spread to the edges.

Bake for about 50 minutes, until golden brown.

Remove and serve with fresh fruit. This will make 8 people very happy.

Kid Treats You Make

Forgive me, but in past years, I would see a recipe in a magazine while waiting in the Dr.’s office but, unlike many of you (you know who you are), I would ask the receptionist if I paid for the paper would she be able to copy it for me. Then into a box it would go for “later”.

This was eons before I even thought of doing this and  today I was looking through the box and here it is.

This saves  you tons of money and whining when shopping. This is better than candy and 100% more natural for them.

  • 4 cups of their favourite berry, pureed, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, etc.

OR

  • 4 cups of chopped peaches, cherries, apricots (whatever they like)
  • 1/2 cup berry sugar
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

 

Cook in a saucepan over medium heat for about one half hour, until nice and thick.

Strain through a fine sieve onto a parchment lined cookie sheet, tilting so there are no puddles and  thicker in some spots.

In an oven of 170 degrees bake until completely hydrated (2 1/2-3 hrs).

Cool for 10 minutes and then cut into 4  x 5 inch rectangles. Roll them up in parchment paper and store at room temperature for up to a month. If they last more than 5 minutes actually, I will be surprised.

They are soooooo good and what could be better. Homemade, no preservatives, and not processed in a plant somewhere.

Now, who said this was only for children……gotta run!

Angel Food Bowl With Fruit Salad

Sometimes simple is the way to go.  If you get unexpected company this is a quick and easy dessert.  The great thing is, it is delicious.

 Serves 8

  • 1 Angel Food Cake Mix
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3 tbsp. berry sugar (extra fine white sugar)
  •  1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 1 tbsp fresh grated orange rind
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla
  • 1/2 cup sweetened whipped cream
  • 4 cups of mixed fruit (fresh, not frozen)
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows
  • Berry sugar for fruit

Make the angel food cake according to the directions and cool completely.

Whisk eggs with sugar and cornstarch in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the warm milk and simmer lightly for about five minutes until thickened. Now stir in the rind and vanilla.  Remove from heat, cover with waxed paper making sure it touches the surface and cool completely. Fold in the whipped cream.

Remove cake from pan and turn right side up on a plate. Make eight slices to within one inch of the base (do not cut through. Spread open the section so that it looks like a flower.

Cut up fruit in small bite size pieces and put in a bowl. Use strawberries, blueberries, peaches, raspberries, blackberries, kiwi, nectarines.  Just make sure they are fresh and not canned. Sprinkle a little berry sugar over and mix together. Add the mini marshmallows and as the juices start to form spoon the fruit in the center of the cake with a slotted spoon and pile it high. This is a perfect hot summer day delight.

 

Puffy Cheese Strata

Another treat for breakfast. Make this for special occasions – Anniversaries, Birthdays, Saturdays, Sundays….you get the picture.

Using a 13″ x 9″ pan, use enough crustless bread slices to make a double layer.

You will need:

  • 1/2 lb. Balderson’s white cheddar cheese
  • 3/4 lb. Monteray Jack Cheese (extra for later)
  • 8 large eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • Fresh parsley

Place one layer of bread in the baking pan.

Grate both cheeses and sprinkle 1/3 mixture over the top of the bread.  Add second layer of bread.

Blend the milk, eggs and cream until completely mixed and pour over the bread.  Top with remaining cheese.

Cover and refrigerate over night.  Take the pan out of the fridge and preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Bake, covered for 30 minutes.  Take cover off and bake another 30 – 45 minutes.  When done, it should be really puffy and just starting to turn a golden brown. Cut into 8 pieces and garnish with fresh parsley. Serve immediately.

To make this even more special, add some beautiful fresh fruit on the side. i.e peaches, nectarines, pears, and/or figs for example.

National Celebration Puffs

I know it is a little early, but keep this aside for Canada Day, July 4th in the United States or whatever day is your country’s day of celebration.

This will make 6 pieces so adjust if making more.

  • 1 package puff pastry shells
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1/3 cup icing sugar
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups of sliced strawberries, raspberries and blueberries (here you can adjust the fruit to the colours of your flag) i.e. kiwis (green or yelllow) etc.

 

Bake the shells according to the package instructions

Beat the cream and sugar together until stiff peaks form. Gently fold in the sour cream.

To assemble, spoon 2 tbsps. of cream mixture into shells, top each with 1 tbsp. of fruit and repeat the layer. Top with a tbsp. of cream mixture and berries. Sprinkle with icing sugar if you wish.