Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Grilling Fridays

I'm excited to be partipating in My Grill Friday, a weekly event created by Rachel over at Coconut & Lime. Be sure to stop by every Friday for some great grilling recipes.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Moonblush Tomatoes

Moonblush - isn't that a romantic word? I made these slow-roasted tomatoes to add to a pasta salad I prepared today. I put the tomatoes in the oven before I went to bed last night & took them out around 8am this morning. So simple. They are absolutely delicious right from the oven or mixed in a salad.

Moonblush Tomatoes
recipe courtesy Nigella Lawson

1 lb on-the-vine cherry tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar

Preheat oven to 450. Cut the tomatoes in half and sit them cut side up in an ovenproof dish. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt & sugar. Put in oven and immediately turn it off. Leave the tomatoes in the oven overnight or for a day without opening.

S'mores Cupcakes

I know I've talked about food nostalgia before, but I love it when something as simple as a cupcake starts a family conversation that begins with "Remember when..." And who doesn't have a campfire memory that involves S'mores?

I was so happy to find a recipe for S'mores cupcakes over at Sew Darn Cute. I loved making s'mores as a kid (and still do) & had been searching for a recipe that put a new twist on the campfire dessert. These cupcakes are absolutely delicious & make the perfect ending to a summer meal. Ally's face actually lit up when I carried them in to our family cookout yesterday. Give this recipe a try!

S'mores Cupcakes
24 Chocolate Cupcakes (your favorite recipe)
Marshmallow Fluff Icing (recipe below)
Graham Cracker Crumbs
2 Hershey Bars

Marshmallow Fluff Icing
1/2-3/4 lb. (2 or 3 sticks) butter, room temperature
1 lb. (2 cups) confectioner's sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
16 oz. tub of marshmallow cream

Cream the butter on high until it's light and fluffy. Add the confectioner's sugar, 1/4 cup at a time, and beat until fluffy each time. Add vanilla - mix until incorporated. Add Marshmallow Cream & mix until creamy. Transfer to pastry bag and pipe onto cupcakes! (You can also cut the corner off a Ziploc bag and use that instead.) Dust top with graham cracker crumbs & top with a square of Hershey's chocolate.

Champagne Honeydew Slush

Nothing beats a slushy drink on a hot day. So when my boss told me about a honeydew drink she makes using champagne, I had to try it out. Saturday was the perfect day as it was so hot outside. This drink has a light, refreshing taste & makes you feel cool all over. And it's a beautiful color. It would be perfect garnished with skewered melon ball picks. I think I might try it out with watermelon next weekend.

Champagne Honeydew Slush
3 cups cubed ripe honeydew melon
1/3 cup sugar
10 ice cubes
1 bottle of champagne

Place honeydew, ice & sugar in blender. Process into slushy. Place about 2 Tablespoons full into glass. Top with champagne.

TIP: For a nonalcoholic version, substitute lemon-lime carbonated beverage for the champagne.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Carrot Cake Cookies

I love carrot cake & I've been thinking about carrot cake cookies for a while. I was thinking of a carrot cake twist on an oatmeal cookie, which I still plan on trying. Then a friend told me about a cookie recipe using a roll of refrigerated sugar cookie dough, so I decided to give it a try. I made a few changes to the initial recipe & the cookies turned out really well; moist & cakey. They would be even more special with a light cream cheese frosting.

Carrot Cake Cookies
1 roll refrigerated sugar cookie dough
1 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
2 cups peeled, shredded carrots
2 cups shredded coconut
1 teaspoon black walnut extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350. Spray cookie sheets with non-stick cooking spray. Break up cookie dough in mixing bowl. Let stand 10-15 minutes. Add cream cheese. Mix well with an electric mixer on medium speed until well combined. Add carrots, coconut, extract, cinnamon & walnuts. Drop teaspoon full onto prepared cookie sheets, two inches apart. Bake 10-13 minutes until just set or golden at edges. Cookies will be pale.