Strawberry Shortcake Brie (aka Straw-Brie Shortcake!)

 Article originally appeared on www.alwaysorderdessert.com/

 

This babe of a party appetizer recipe has been sitting in my queue for months. Um…a lot of months.

(At least six, I think.)

I call it Strawberry Shortcake Brie (Straw-Brie Shortcake, for fun!), and it’s a play on a classic strawberry shortcake dessert, swapping in brie cheese for the cake.

Sweet macerated fresh strawberries layered between slices of triple cream brie. It’s a fun, colorful, and gorgeous appetizer to share at a party.

You start out by prepping the fresh strawberry filling.

Just diced strawberries and toss with a bit of sugar and fresh lemon zest. Let it sit for a few minutes to get the juices out.

Assemble it just before you’re ready to serve (you don’t want this sitting out for ages as it can get soggy). I used a wedge of brie, but a small round wheel works, too.

Just slice in half lengthwise, layer with the strawberry mixture, garnish with fresh mint, and serve! Crackers or some good crusty bread would be perfect along with this.

I love the combination of fresh, sweet berries with the creamy brie.
Strawberry Shortcake Brie
Serves 6 as an appetizer

Ingredients
1 pound fresh strawberries, rinsed and hulled
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest
1 wedge or small wheel brie cheese

Directions
Dice strawberries and combine in a bowl with sugar and lemon zest. Toss to coat, then let sit 20 minutes to draw out the natural juices.

Just before serving, slice brie in half lengthwise and layer with strawberry filling inside and on top of brie. Garnish with fresh mint and serve immediately along with crackers or bread.

Easy 30 Minute Homemade White Chicken Chili

Who can say no to a bowl of warm, thick chili that’s loaded with tender chicken and hearty cannellini beans. It’s some of the best chili I’ve ever had and is robustly flavored from sweet Vidalia onions, jalapeno peppers, and green chilis. The chili has mild to medium kick, but you can make it spicier by using the jalapeno seeds or by adding more red chili flakes or cayenne pepper. It’s so easy and ready in 30 minutes. To save time, use a storebought rotisserie chicken or leftover chicken that you have on hand. Salt your chili to taste. I use low-sodium chicken broth, low-sodium beans, and add a bit of salt to the chili so I can control the overall salt level. It makes enough to stash half in the freezer for the future.

YIELD: about 8 to 10 cups

PREP TIME: 10 minutes

COOK TIME: 20 minutes

TOTAL TIME: 30 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cups sweet Vidalia or yellow onion, peeled and diced small (about 2 medium/large onions)
  • 1 large jalapeno pepper (about 4 to 5 inches long), diced very small (the seeds are where the heat is concentrated; included or discard them based on preference)
  • 7 to 8 ounces canned green chilis, don’t drain (I used mild heat)
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced
  • 32 ounces (4 cups) low-sodium chicken broth
  • 4 cups shredded cooked chicken (use about 1 whole storebought rotisserie chicken to save time; or roast or cook your own chicken in a skillet)
  • two 15-ounce cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (see step 4 below about blending 1 cup of the beans with a splash of chicken broth or water)
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoons salt, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional and to taste
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves, finely minced
  • tortilla strips, chips, crackers, diced avocado, shredded cheese, and/or sour cream; all are optional for garnishing

DIRECTIONS:

  1. To a large Dutch oven or stockpot, add the olive oil and heat over medium-high heat to warm.
  2. Add the onion, jalapeno, green chilis, and sauté for about 7 minutes, or until vegetables begin to soften. Stir intermittently.
  3. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes. Stir intermittently.
  4. Add the chicken broth, chicken, cannellini beans including whole beans and blended bean mixture (take 1 cup of the beans, add to a food processor or blender, add a splash of chicken broth or water and blend until smooth; mixture should be thick. Add the blended bean mixture along with the whole beans to pot), lime juice, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper, red chili flakes, optional cayenne pepper, and bring to a boil. Allow mixture to boil gently for about 7 to 10 minutes. It’s unlikely, but if at any point the overall liquid level looks low or you prefer your chili to be thinner, add 1 cup of water or as desired; you’ll adjust the salt and seasoning levels at the end. For thicker chili, allow mixture to boil longer and reduce until desired thickness is reached.
  5. Add the cilantro and boil 1 minute.
  6. Taste chili and add salt to taste. This will vary based on how salty the chicken broth, beans, and rotisserie chicken are, and personal preference. Make any necessary seasoning adjustments (i.e. more salt, pepper, cumin, cayenne, lime juice, etc.).
  7. Ladle chili into bowls, and optionally garnish with tortilla strips, chips, crackers, avocado, cheese and/or sour cream; serve immediately. Chili will keep airtight in the fridge for 5 to 7 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Article originally appeared on: averiecooks.com

 

Gingerbread Bars with Eggnog Cream Cheese Frosting

Christmas is about two weeks away! Are you ready? I’m not. These Gingerbread Bars weren’t on the traditional list of what needed to be made, but I am sure glad that I took the time to make them. These gingerbread cookie bars are perfectly soft and chewy.

Since gingerbread bars aren’t complete without frosting, I settled on an eggnog cream cheese frosting for these bars. The spices of the eggnog give the frosting a subtle flavor that ties the flavor of the frosting with the flavor of the gingerbread.

This recipe can easily be doubled and takes very little prep work before you can pop them in the oven. Perfect recipe to have on hand for last minute holiday gatherings, because making life less stressful is the theme of this holiday season!

Serves: 16
INGREDIENTS
For the Bars
  • ½ C butter, softened
  • ½ C sugar
  • ⅓ C brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp molasses
  • 2 C all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ginger
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp allspice
  • ½ tsp salt
For the Frosting
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tbsp butter, softened
  • 1¼ C powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp eggnog
  • sprinkles, optional
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Lightly spray a 9×9 inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In the bowl of stand mixer or with an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugars. Add in egg, vanilla, and molasses and beat until creamy.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, spices, and salt. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and beat until combined.
  4. Spread batter into prepared baking dish. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until edges start to turn golden brown.
  5. Remove to a wire rack to cool.
  6. While bars are cooling, prepare frosting. Cream together cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add in powder sugar and eggnog. Beat until smooth.
  7. Spread frosting over cooled bars. Top with sprinkles.

Gingerbread Bars with Eggnog Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe from www.a-kitchen-addiction.com

Article originally appeared on a-kitchen-addiction.com

Mother’s Day Recipe: Spinach and Gruyere Quiches Recipe

mothers day quiche brunchAn outstanding quiche relies on a few simple elements: a creamy egg custard, buttery homemade crust, and flavorful cheese and vegetables like spinach. This savory spinach and Gruyere quiche doesn’t disappoint. Check your fridge before shopping, since you probably already have most of the ingredients for a spinach quiche at home.

prep: 20 mins

total time: 1 hour 30 mins
serves: 10

ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 shallots, minced
  • 3 bunches flat-leaf spinach, thick stems removed and leaves roughly chopped
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 8 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated (about 2 cups)
  • 1 recipe Basic Pie Dough, fitted into two 9-inch pie plates, or store-bought is fine
  • 8 large eggs
  • 3 cups half-and-half
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

directions

  1. Step 1

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with racks set in upper and lower thirds. In a large skillet, heat butter over medium. Add shallots, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 1 to 2 minutes. Add as much spinach to skillet as will fit; season with salt and pepper, and toss, adding more spinach as room becomes available, until wilted, 2 to 3 minutes.

  2. Step 2

    Transfer spinach mixture to a colander. Press firmly with the back of a spoon to squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Divide spinach mixture and cheese between prepared crusts. Place each crust on a separate rimmed baking sheet.

  3. Step 3

    In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, half-and-half, nutmeg, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Dividing evenly, pour egg mixture into crusts.

  4. Step 4

    Arrange baking sheets on racks, and bake until center of each quiche is just set, 55 to 60 minutes, rotating sheets from top to bottom halfway through. Let quiches stand 15 minutes before serving.

Recipe: Zucchini Bread (It’s zucchini season!)

Screen Shot 2013-09-11 at 10.45.12 AMIt’s September, and, if you or a neighbor has been growing a garden this summer, you likely now have an abundance of zucchini.  So it’s the perfect time to bake up several loaves of zucchini bread.  Everyone loves it, and it’s an excellent way to use up that extra squash! (Tip: Make different variations – some with nuts, some with dried fruit – even chocolate chips!)

Zucchini Bread

2 5×9″ loaves

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 cups grated fresh zucchini
  • 2/3 cup melted unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • Pinch salt
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
  • 1 cup dried cranberries or raisins (optional)
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (optional)

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Butter two 5 by 9 inch loaf pans.

2 In a large bowl, mix together the sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Stir in the grated zucchini and then the melted butter.

3 Sprinkle baking soda and salt over the mixture and stir it in. Add the flour, a third at a time, stirring after each incorporation. Sprinkle in the cinnamon and nutmeg over the batter and mix. Fold in the nuts and dried cranberries or raisins if using.

4 Divide the batter equally between the loaf pans. Bake for 55 minutes (check for doneness at 50 minutes) or until a wooden pick inserted in to the center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes. Turn out onto wire racks to cool thoroughly.

Back to School Lunch Ideas!

back-to-school-lunch-picIt’s a new school year, and perhaps time to jazz up those brown bag lunches. After all, your kids deserve to eat well, too!  See some of our ideas below to keep it fresh, healthy, safe, and yummy.

  • Sit down with your kids and make a list of their favorite lunch foods. Use the list as a guide so you have lunch menus that will be kid-approved.
  • Involve the kids with grocery shopping so they are involved in the process. Offer them a choice between healthful options like applesauce or grapes and corn chips or popcorn.
  • Review the school menu and talk about how to build a healthy meal out of the choices: whole grains, protein, veggies and fruit. Have kids circle the choices on the school menu they like. That way everyone is clear what days to buy and what days the kids will pack lunch.
  • Pack snack-sized sandwich baggies with cut-up vegetables. Offer kids a choice by placing several vegetables such as bell peppers, carrots, celery and even raisins out on the kitchen counter. Tell them how many items to place in the bag.
  • Thread pieces of fruit such as oranges, grapes, strawberries and blueberries onto coffee stirrers.
  • Take a whole grain waffle, toast and spread it with peanut or almond butter. Cut it in half and make a sandwich. Place the warm waffle in a baggie. By lunch, the texture will be perfect- soft in the middle and crunchy on the outside.
  • Roll sandwich bread flat, add a piece of deli meat and a piece of cheese and roll. Cut into bite-sized pieces.
  • Dipping is always a hit with kids. Instead of a high fat salad dressing, use a packet of dip mix and mix it with 2 cups non-fat plain Greek yogurt.
  • Count out whole grain pretzels or corn chips into individual baggies. It’s cheaper to purchase big bags of snacks opposed to individual snack sizes.
  • Keep lunch boxes cool. You’ll need a frozen gel pack to keep foods, especially protein items such as cheese, deli meats and tuna, cool. Freeze juice boxes or pouches to keep lunches cool.
  • Keep lunch boxes clean. Be sure to wipe out lunch bags and boxes. Wash as you would a plate because food items touch it and things can get sticky.
  • Include hand-sanitizer or wipes in your child’s lunch. Statistics show 6 out of 10 children don’t wash hands before eating.
  • Be sure to include whole grains: Go beyond regular white bread by selecting pitas, wraps, whole grain crackers or brown rice cakes.
  • Ensure your child is getting enough protein. It can be as simple as adding black beans to salsa. Melt cheese on tortilla chips and place in a baggie. Kids can dip the chips into the salsa.
  • When it comes to treats, keep it small. Try mini muffins or graham cracker bears.
  • Be sure to include a note of praise in your child’s lunch box. It could say anything from “We’ll take a bike ride after dinner” to “I love you.”
  • Click here for 21 lunch ideas/recipes from Real Simple.

Father’s Day Recipe: Sky-High Aussie Burgers

med105744_0710_ausie_burger_vertIngredients

  • 1 small yellow onion
  • coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef chuck (80% lean)
  • 4 split plain or sesame-seed buns
  • 4 large eggs, cooked over easy
  • Ketchup or barbecue sauce
  • Sliced canned beets
  • Lettuce leaves

Directions

Heat a grill to medium-high. Clean and lightly oil hot grill. Cut onion into thin rings and season with salt and pepper. Grill until lightly charred and crisp-tender, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate. Form ground beef into 4 patties and season with salt and pepper. Grill 4 minutes per side for medium. Transfer to bottom halves of buns. Top each burger with an egg, grilled onions, your choice of sauce, sliced beets, and lettuce.<

Mother’s Day Breakast: Berry-Topped Puff Pancake

exps52838_SD1999448B02_183bIngredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup 2% milk
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Topping:
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons orange liqueur
  • 1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries
  • Confectioners’ sugar, optional

Directions

  • Place butter in a 9-in. pie plate. Place in a 425° oven for 4-5 minutes or until melted. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk eggs and milk. In another bowl, combine the flour, sugar and salt. Whisk into egg mixture until blended. Pour into prepared pie plate. Bake for 14-16 minutes or until sides are crisp and golden brown.
  • Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch. Gradually stir in orange juice and liqueur. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Cook and stir 1-2 minutes longer or until thickened. Remove from the heat.
  • Spoon berries over pancake and drizzle with sauce. Dust with confectioners’ sugar if desired. Yield: 4 servings. (Recipe: Taste of Home)

Bring on the Sun: Orange Juice Cake

Ingredients

539255_471917056215291_1930387222_n1 box Betty Crocker® SuperMoist® yellow cake mix
1 box (4-serving size) lemon instant pudding and pie filling mix 3/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup water
4 eggs
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted
3/4 cup orange juice
Directions
STEP 1 Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour 12-cup fluted tube cake pan.
STEP 2 In large bowl, beat cake mix, dry pudding mix, oil, water and eggs with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds, then on medium speed 2 minutes. Pour into pan.
STEP 3 Bake 38 to 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
STEP 4 Meanwhile, in medium bowl, mix powdered sugar, melted butter and orange juice until powdered sugar dissolves.
STEP 5 Poke holes in hot cake with skewer or fork. Pour orange juice mixture over hot cake. Cool in pan 15 to 20 minutes, then turn cake and pan upside down onto serving platter; remove pan. (Recipe: Betty Crocker)

Easter Dessert: Strawberry Cream Cake

med103901_0708_strawbry_ck_vertLooking the perfectly refreshing spring or Easter dessert?  This Strawberry Cream Cake is perfect, combining cake, cream, and berries, this treat is twice as delectable as the sum of its parts. The buttery cake soaks up the strawberry juices, while the whipped cream adds an airy richness.

Serves 12/ Prep Time 25 mins / Total Time 1 hour plus chilling

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pan
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs plus 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 pound strawberries, hulled and thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin (from a 1/4-ounce envelope)
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter bottom of an 8-inch round cake pan, and line with parchment paper. Butter and flour paper and sides. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
  2. Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat butter and 1/2 cup sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs and yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. With mixer on low, alternately add flour mixture in 3 parts and milk in 2, beginning and ending with flour mixture; mix just until combined. Spread batter in prepared pan.
  3. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes; invert onto a wire rack to cool completely. Using a serrated knife, split cake in half horizontally; place bottom half, cut side up, on a serving plate.
  4. Make topping: In a large bowl, combine strawberries and 1/4 cup sugar; set aside. Place 2 tablespoons cold water in a small saucepan, and sprinkle with gelatin; let soften 5 minutes. Place saucepan over very low heat, and stir until gelatin is dissolved. Remove from heat; let cool.
  5. Using an electric mixer, beat cream and remaining 1/4 cup sugar in a large bowl until very soft peaks form. Continue to beat, and gradually add gelatin mixture; beat until soft peaks form.
  6. Arrange half of strawberries over bottom cake layer; top with half of whipped cream, leaving a 1-inch border. Cover with top half of cake, cut side down. Top cake with remaining whipped cream, leaving a 1-inch border. Refrigerate cake and remaining strawberries separately, at least 1 hour (or up to 1 day). Just before serving, spoon strawberries over cake.

Cook’s note:  This cake can wait in the refrigerator for up to a day.

(Recipe courtesy of Martha Stewart)