July 30, 2012
I've got a deliciously refreshing drink to share with you today. Yep, another beverage recipe.
My oven and I are taking a break right now.
Along with my new house came a gas oven, and while I was super excited to finally have a gas range, I think the honeymoon phase is beginning to wear off...at least for now.
The scorching temps may have something to do with it.
I'm still getting used to the extra heat a gas oven puts off, and I decided I didn't really want to spend my Monday morning dripping in sweat. My taste buds are thanking me, as I sit here sipping this chilly Iced Strawberry Green Tea, made with home brewed green tea and fresh strawberry syrup.
I have to admit, I almost drank the syrup straight up, but I was a good girl. (Shh, the 4-5 spoonfuls I slurped up don't count, right?)
Iced Strawberry Green Tea
Serves: 6 Printable Recipe
1 pint strawberries, hulled
1 cup sugar
5-6 cups water
5-6 green tea bags
Place hulled strawberries in a blender and pulse until smooth. Pour strawberry puree into a medium sized pan, along with sugar, and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and set aside. In another pan, bring the water and tea bags to a low simmer. Remove from heat and allow to brew for about 5 minutes.
Combine the strawberry puree and brewed tea in a pitcher and mix well. Place in refrigerator and allow to chill. Serve cold over ice.
Recipe Note: You can adjust the sugar and water amount to suit your own taste if necessary.
July 26, 2012
Today seemed like a peanut butter day to me. Actually, everyday is a peanut butter day at our house. It's not uncommon for certain persons (I'm absolutely not talking about myself of course), to wander into the kitchen...and eat a spoonful of plain peanut butter every now and then.
And if you happen across an embarassing pile of peanut butter coated spoons, hiding out in the bottom of my sink, please don't judge. I'm and addict.
So is my son.
He has really mastered the art of screeching a dining room table chair across the kitchen floor, to use it in his sneaky attempt to raid the pantry. Of course, I try to teach him what is healthy, what is not, and what should be a "sometimes treat". But he's always finding new ways to con me into eating more of the latter.
While I was baking these today, my son asks me, "Mommy, is peanut butter healthy?" To which I replied, "Yes, in moderation." (Of course, that rule doesn't apply to me.)
So, with head cocked and a triumphant gleam in his eye, his 5-year old logic spits out, "So then, if the cookies have peanut butter in them, they're a liiiiiiittle bit healthy, right?"
Five year old trickery has worked a number on dear ol' mommy, and looks like this round goes to him. Well played my son.
These treats are a variation of my Malted Milk Ball Chewies. I just swapped out the whopper candy with peanut butter chips. Yum!
Peanut Butter Chip ChewiesYield: 32 Printable Recipe
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup quick-cooking oats
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 cups butter, softened
3/4 cups brown sugar, firmly packed
3/4 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups peanut butter chips
Preheat oven to 350F.
In a medium bowl combine the flour, oats, baking soda, and salt. In a mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugars together at medium speed until creamy. Add the eggs and vanilla, mixing until blended.
Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, mixing well.
Stir in the peanut butter chips. Drop by tablespoons onto an ungreased baking sheet. Bake 8-12 minutes, depending on how crisp you like your cookies. Let cool for 1 minute, then transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
July 23, 2012
I don't know about you, but it's been crazy hot here lately. We're talking 100+ temperatures for reeeeeally long days on end.
The kind of weather that makes your body sweat...in places you didn't even know could sweat. The kind of weather of weather that makes putting makeup on totally pointless, because you know it will melt away within seconds of stepping outside, so you kinda, sorta resemble a clown.
Not the funny, kid-loving type either. The freaky, fun-house type that will have those kids running away as fast as they can.
Enter the quintessential summer drink....
There's something about an ice-cold cup of fresh squeezed lemonade that makes you forget, just for a second, the rivers streaming from your under-boob.
Yes, under-boob is a term. At least it should be.
Anyway, I digress. Lemonade is the stuff that summer days are made of. Along with running through the sprinkler, frosty popsicles, and toasty marshmallows over a campfire. I thought it about time I share by moms lemonade recipe with you. It's my favorite. I've tried other recipes, but nothing else seems quite the same to me. Which was why I even made a special Skype call, all the way over to Wales, to get my moms lemonade recipe for you.
Do you feel special?
The flavor is similar to a limoncello, but totally kid-friendly. :) So if you like your lemonade tart and full of lemon flavor, this one is for you.
Serves: 4-6 Printable Recipe
2 whole lemons, quartered
1 1/4 cups sugar
4-5 cups water, divided
1. Quarter your lemons and leave the skin on, remove the seeds.
2. Combine 2 cups of water and the sugar in a small saucepan. Heat over medium-high heat until sugar has dissolved.
3. Combine the sugar water and lemon quarters in a blender. Pulse on high for 30 seconds.
4. Pour the lemon mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a large container.
5. Pour another 2 cups of water through the strainer into the container, so all the lemony sugar goodness is washed through. You can add more water to taste if needed.
6. Allow lemonade to chill and settle in the fridge, then serve over ice and enjoy!
Recipe Note: Do not blend the lemons for too long. If you blend too long the lemonade will turn bitter. This lemonade tastes best after chilled in the fridge for a while.
July 20, 2012
Mainly because I don't have any canning jars. So that means a trip to the store.
That would mean I have to actually get myself "fixed", chase my child through the house while clutching a pair of almost-too-small spiderman underwear, yelling, "Yes, you have to wear underpants!" Then body slam him to the ground, while I wrestle a shirt over his head.
What? Your kid dresses himself?
Mine looks like he's about to run away and join the circus whenever he does it himself. Of course, some days the process of getting him dressed makes me feel like I'VE joined the circus.
So you see why I haven't made jam yet? I decided to go with a grilled sandwich instead. These sandwiches are so easy and sooo tasty. Nice toasty bread, slathered with cream cheese and strawberry preserves, topped with fresh sliced peaches and crispy bacon.
Mmmm. Definitely a nice change from the usual.
Grilled Strawberry Peach & Bacon Sandwiches
Yield: 1 Printable Recipe
1 tbsp butter
2 slices of good quality bread
1-2 tbsp cream cheese
1 tbsp strawberry preserves
1/2 cup fresh slices peaches, skins removed
2 strips of cooked bacon
1. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook your bacon until crispy. Place on paper towel to drain and set aside.
2. Toast buttered bread on a hot griddle until brown.
3. Remove bread to a plate, and spread each piece with cream cheese, then a small amount of strawberry preserves.
3. Top with sliced peaches, cooked bacon, and other side of bread.
4. Drool, eat, and drool some more.
July 16, 2012
I've got another grrrreat (yes, I occasionally see myself as Tony the Tiger) cookie recipe for you here from Tasty Kichen. It's also gluten free, so all my GF peeps (yes, I'm a nerd for throwing around words like "peeps", can enjoy!
Trust me, you WILL enjoy these.
These chocolaty cookies were so good, my son declared that we had to make them as our cookies for Santa this year. High praise indeed.
So if you're on the hunt for a good Santa cookie, head on over to the Tasty Kitchen Blog where you can grab the recipe and read my full guest post.
July 11, 2012
We went peach and berry picking not too long ago. That was a fun and...interesting experience...with a five year old. The tractor ride to the peach orchard definitely was high on his list, and getting to pluck the fruit off the tree was a fun novelty for him.
That quickly wore off after he decided his basket was getting to heavy, so of course I ended up carrying two baskets of peaches, several empty berry containers...and my fifty pound camera.
Note the sarcasm.
Sometimes I wish I didn't feel the need to bring my camera...everywhere. But then I'd miss out on photos like these.
Next up was the blackberry patch. The little guy loved this, especially when he spotted a few other kids to pick with. I was just glad he was picking something other than his nose for once. Am I the only parent with a kid who has an obsession with his boogers?
Now that I've really stimulated your appetite, on to the recipe!
I decided to do something different with my peaches, and experimented with a peach cookie. I really like how these turned out. Soft, dense, and full of sweet peach chunks. After I diced my peaches, I drained them on a paper towel to help remove some of the excess moisture. This helped keep the cookie from being soggy. I drizzled them with a little cream sugar glaze, but they were just as good on their own.
Fresh Peaches & Cream Cookies
Yield: 24 Printable recipe
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 egg 1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup fresh, diced peaches (skin removed)
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1-2 tbsp cream (or enough to make a drizzle consistency)
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Stir together and set aside.
Using a sharp knife, remove the skin from peaches and cut into small chunks. Place the diced peaches on a paper towel and set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg and vanilla, beat until combined. Add flour mixture and beat on low speed until well incorporated. Gently fold in the diced peaches.
Use a cookie scoop or tablespoon, drop in rounded spoonfuls on cookie sheets, leaving plenty of room between cookies to allow for some spreading. Bake for about 10-12 minutes until light golden brown. Cool about 1 minute on cookie sheets and then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
July 4, 2012
I love simple desserts. When it's a holiday, and I have to prepare a meal for more people than I'm used to...simple desserts are my best friend.
Parfaits are one of the easiest things you can throw together to please a large crowd. They taste great and look so cute, especially when served in mini mason jars like these Patriotic Parfaits I made for our 4th get-together.
Just whip up some homemade pudding (yes, you can use the boxed kind...but it's just doesn't taste the same to me), then customize it any way you like with different fruits, candy, whipped topping, etc. You can get really creative with parfaits, or keep it simple with a layer of strawberries, pudding, and blueberries. I topped these with a Honey Ginger Cream Cheese Fluff that I had leftover from a post coming soon. Yum! These are definitely slurp-worthy.
I hope you all have a great holiday. Happy 4th of July!
Serves: 4 Printable Recipe
1 cup vanilla pudding (preferably homemade)
1 cup sliced strawberries
1 cup blueberries
3 tbsp sugar
colored sugar for decorating glasses/jars
Honey Ginger Cream Cheese Fluff:
4 oz cream cheese - softened
1 1/2 tbsp honey
4 oz whipped topping (thawed) or whipped cream
1/4 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1. Make up your pudding, refrigerate until chilled.
2. Whip the cream cheese, honey, ginger and nutmeg together until smooth and creamy.
3. Gently fold in the whipped topping. Refrigerate until needed.
4. Thinly slice your strawberries and toss with about 3 tbsp sugar, depending on how sweet you like your strawberries.
5. Once pudding is chilled, start assembling your parfaits:
- Spread a thin layer of honey around the rim of your glasses or jars (you can use lime juice too).
- Turn jar upside down and dip in the sugar until evenly coated.
- In each jar, add a layer of strawberries, a layer of pudding and a layer of blueberries.
- Top with a dollop of the ginger cream cheese fluff. Sprinkle with additional decorative sugar if desired. Refrigerate if not serving immediately.
July 2, 2012
I can't believe that it's already the 2nd blogiversary of Sprinkled With Flour! I started this blog purely as a hobby for myself. I wanted a place where I could play around with recipes, experiment on my family, and maybe make a friend or two.
Well, I've definitely made more than a friend or two!
I love all of my awesome readers. You guys really make my day and I love reading your comments. As for the experimenting on my family? I'm pretty sure my guys have felt like lab rats on occasion! One of those experiments was this recipe for Peach Glazed Pork Chops that I sprung on them last year. It was so well received that I thought it would be perfect for our Blogiversary dinner tonight. :) This is still probably my favorite grilled recipe to date.
Try it people....just trust me.
Before I give you the goods, I thought I might post a few FAQ in honor of my blog journey so far.
1. What camera do you use?
I started with a very modest point and shoot, and upgraded to a Canon Rebel XS in 2010. This was a great starter DSLR, and I would recommend it to anyone wanting to learn to shoot with a DSLR. I currently shoot with a Canon 5D Mark II. I use my 50 1.8 on 99% of my food photos.
2. How can I improve my food photography?
Practice. Practice....and oh yeah, practice some more! You don't have to have a fancy camera, because it's not really about the camera. It's how you use it that counts. I plan to write a post soon for Food Photography Tips, so keep an eye out for that if you need help in that area.
3. Where did you have your blog designed? Do I need a custom designed blog?
My designer is no longer in business, but it was definitely money well spent. If you're serious about growing your blog, you really need to invest a little bit of money to make it pleasing to look at. A well laid out blog that's easy to navigate and looks nice, makes your readers want to sit back and stay awhile. It's just human nature - people like to look at pretty things. :) You don't have to have a custom designed blog. There are plenty of pre-made templates that look great, and will work for almost any budget.
4. Where do you find your cute dishes?
I love TJ Maxx, Marshalls, and I'm finally near a Home Goods now! These are great places to pick up fun dishes. If you're lucky you can catch some great finds in the clearance section too. Target is always good, and don't pass up the thrift store.
I have a lot of fun new things planned for Sprinkled With Flour, so get ready! :)
Perfect Peachy Pork Chops
serves: 4 printable recipe
5 fresh peaches (sliced & skin removed)
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup honey
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 clove garlic
1 tsp toasted sesame seeds
4 bone-in pork chops
Place sliced peaches, garlic...
honey, soy sauce, and brown sugar....
and the toasted sesame seeds.
Blend until smooth. (Yes, it looks a bit gross right now, but go with it.)
Season both sides of pork chops with salt and fresh ground pepper.
Grill pork chops over indirect heat for 10 minutes each side. Then baste both sides with the peach glaze and cook each side for another 10 minutes, or until juices run clear and pork chops are done.