My daughter and I made these mini cakes as a birthday surprise for her friend. ❤ Sprinkles=Birthday over here. Using red, white, and blue sprinkles would make these cakes a fun and patriotic Fourth of July treat.
The recipe was adapted from thebittersideofsweet.com. They can be served for breakfast or dessert! 🙂
Yield: 4 mini cakes
For the Mini Bundt Cakes:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1 large egg
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt (I used whole milk Greek yogurt)
1 tablespoon milk (I used whole milk)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup rainbow sprinkles
For the Glaze:
1/2 cup Confectioners’ sugar
1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons milk (I used 1 1/2 T whole milk)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
gel food coloring, optional
Preheat the oven to 325° F, preferably on convection. (My pan has a dark, non-stick interior finish. Set the oven to 350° F if using a pan with a light interior finish.)
Spray 4 wells of a mini bundt cake pan with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
In large bowl, whisk together flour, baking power, baking soda, salt, and sugar. Set aside.
In medium bowl, whisk together milk, yogurt, and eggs. Stir in melted butter and vanilla and whisk until combined.
Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Slowly stir until just combined.
Fold in sprinkles. Avoid over stirring.
Using a cookie scoop, distribute the batter into the 4 prepared wells of a mini bundt pan.
Bake for 17 minutes in a convection oven, or for 20-25 minutes in a standard oven, or until edges are golden. A toothpick inserted in the center of the cake should come out clean or with a few moist crumbs.
Remove from oven, leave cakes to cool in pan for 5 minutes.
Remove cakes from pan and allow to completely cool on wire rack.
Once cool, make the glaze. In a medium bowl add milk, Confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla. Whisk until smooth. Tint with food coloring, if desired.
These Greek-inspired chicken burgers were juicy and flavor-packed. They were relatively healthy too! We ate them on Memorial Day with corn and potato salad on the side. Delicious.
This recipe was loosely adapted from Bon Appétit, contributed by Sue Li. I used freshly ground chicken thighs, added feta, and modified the proportions and method. The original recipe notes that in order to keep the burgers moist, it is important that the meat isn’t packed too tightly. I think that the exorbitant amount of spinach also kept the burgers moist.
This is another incredible and full-flavored grilled meat dish. I used the marinade on boneless, skinless chicken thighs but it would also be wonderful with shrimp or flank or skirt steak according to the original recipe. I love that the residual marinade is cooked down into a sauce for serving.
This recipe was adapted from Bon Appétit, contributed by Molly Baz. I marinated ten chicken thighs but would add up to five more next time. I also used a mixture of harissa and sambal oelek for heat. Fabulous.
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
1 3-inch piece fresh ginger
5 large garlic cloves
3/4 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup hot chili paste (such as sambal oelek and/or harissa)
Finely grate ginger and garlic into a medium bowl.
Add coconut milk, chili paste, lime juice, brown sugar, salt, and 2 tablespoons oil and whisk to combine.
Add chicken and toss to coat. Let sit at least 15 minutes or up to 4 hours.
Remove chicken from marinade, letting excess drip back into bowl, and transfer to a rimmed baking sheet.
Pour marinade into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly reduced and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, 2–3 minutes.
Clean and generously oil grate of grill (if there are a few flare-ups while you do so, not to worry, they will burn off).
Grill chicken, turning once and basting occasionally with marinade, until you see some good grill marks and chicken is cooked through, 8–10 minutes.
Transfer chicken to a platter. Brush with remaining marinade. Top with cilantro and serve with lime wedges alongside.
My friend served delicious pimento cheese sandwiches recently- reminding me how much I enjoy them. 🙂 Eating them also reminded me that I wanted to try this version from Charleston, South Carolina.
The recipe is from The New York Times, contributed by the Lee Brothers. I used Cabot 3-year sharp cheddar cheese. I served it on the Fourth of July as a dip with crackers and pita chips. Alternatively, it could be used to fill about 4 sandwiches. Easy and fabulous.
Yield: about 1 1/2 cups
8ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, grated with a food processor or hand grater (not pre-grated)
1/4cup softened cream cheese (2 ounces), pulled into several pieces
scant 1/2 cup jarred pimento or other roasted red peppers (from a 7-ounce jar), finely diced
3tablespoons Duke’s, Hellmann’s or other high-quality store-bought mayonnaise (I used Trader Joe’s)
1/2teaspoon dried red chile flakes
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
In a large mixing bowl, place the cheddar cheese in an even layer.
Scatter the cream cheese, pimentos, mayonnaise and chile flakes over the cheddar cheese.
Using a spatula, mix the pimento cheese until it is smooth and spreadable, about 1 1/2 minutes.
Transfer the pimento cheese to a plastic container or bowl, cover tightly, and store in the refrigerator.
Serve as a sandwich spread or as a dip.
Note: Pimento cheese keeps in the refrigerator for 1 week.
I first made this crowd-pleasing dessert for our last summer beach day and sunset before the start of school. I’ve already made them again! Insanely delicious.
The bars are not overly sweet and they have an amazing texture. I weighed the dry ingredients to ensure perfection. This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Erin Jeanne McDowell. I modified the method. Fabulous!!
Yield: 24 blondies
nonstick cooking oil spray
9whole graham crackers (about 135 grams), or store-bought graham cracker crumbs (about 1 cup)
1 ¼cups/160 grams all-purpose flour
1 ¼teaspoons baking powder
1teaspoon fine sea salt
1cup/225 grams unsalted butter (2 sticks), at room temperature
1packed cup/220 grams dark brown sugar
½cup/100 grams granulated sugar
2large eggs, at room temperature
1tablespoon vanilla extract
8ounces/225 grams bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped into chunks (I used 78% cacao Lindt)
2 ½cups/150 grams mini marshmallows
Heat oven to 350 degrees, preferably on convection, and arrange oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven.
Coat the inside of a 9-by-13-inch pan with nonstick spray and line it with parchment paper, leaving 2 inches of excess parchment on the long sides of the pan. (The excess will help you pull the blondies out later.)
If using whole graham crackers, add them to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until they form a fine powder. Alternately, you could put the crackers in a large resealable plastic bag and crush them using a rolling pin, then add them to the bowl. If using store-bought crumbs, add them directly to the food processor.
Add the flour, baking powder and salt to the crumbs, and pulse a few times to combine.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes.
Add the eggs one at a time and mix on medium speed until well incorporated, scraping the sides of the bowl after each addition.
Add the vanilla and mix to combine.
Turn the mixer to low and add the graham crumb mixture and mix just to combine.
Add about ¾ of the chocolate to the mixer and mix to incorporate.
Transfer the dough to the prepared pan. Use damp hands or a small offset spatula to press the dough into an even layer.
Bake on the lower rack until the bars are golden at the edges and the surface has a crackly appearance, 25 minutes on convection or about 30 minutes in a standard oven.
Remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle the marshmallows evenly over the surface. Sprinkle the reserved chocolate on top of the marshmallows and return the pan to the top rack of the oven.
Bake until the marshmallows have softened and are lightly toasted and the chocolate is melted and gooey, 10 to 14 minutes.
Remove the pan from the oven. If any of the marshmallows have puffed up, use a toothpick or skewer to puncture them; they will deflate easily.
Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool, 45 minutes.
Using a thin knife, slide the blade between the blondies and the pan on the short sides of the pan, then use the parchment sling to carefully remove the blondies.
Let cool another 10 minutes, then slice into 24 even pieces and serve.
I have already made this fabulous, full-flavored grilled chicken twice this summer. We loved it!
The recipe was adapted from The Barbecue Bible by Steven Raichlen. I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead of a whole chicken and coarse grain mustard instead of regular Dijon. On the first occasion, I served it with tzatziki and arugula-basil salad with peaches. Recently, I served it again with roasted potatoes, a raw zucchini salad, and sautéed fresh corn with shallots. All delicious. The original recipe suggests serving it with rice and beans. Next time!
Yield: Serves 4 to 6
12 to 16 oz beer (I used a Brooklyn lager)
1/2 cup vegetable oil (I used canola)
1/2 cup whole grain Dijon mustard or Dijon mustard
1 T sweet paprika
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
12 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 bay leaves
9 to 10 boneless, skinless chicken thighs or 1 (3 1/2 to 4 pound) whole chicken, quartered
parsley, for garnish, optional
Combine the beer, oil, mustard, paprika, and pepper in a bowl with a spout. Whisk throughly to blend.
Stir in the onion, garlic, and bay leaves.
Place a ziplock bag in a pyrex dish. (I used a 1 gallon bag.) Place the chicken pieces in the ziplock bag.
Pour the marinade over the chicken in the bag. Seal the top and squeeze out excess air.
Turn to coat all of the meat. Lay bag horizontally in the pyrex dish. Let marinate in the refrigerator for 6 hours or up to 2 days, turning occasionally.
Preheat the grill.
When ready to cook, remove the chicken pieces from the marinade and blot dry with paper towels. Season generously with salt.
Oil the grill and cook the chicken, marinating occasionally, until lightly browned and cooked though.
Garnish with parsley, if desired, and serve immediately.
My husband and I went strawberry picking without the kids this year. I’m so happy that he loves freshly picked strawberries enough to harvest them. 🙂 We brought home nine quarts!
My list of “must make” strawberry recipes seems to keep expanding, so I was lucky enough to have plenty of berries to fulfill the list (links below) and make one new dessert- this delicious galette. I loved the graham cracker crust.
This recipe is from Bon Appétit, contributed by Claire Saffitz. We ate it with vanilla ice cream instead of the lime-flavored whipped cream. Wonderful!
Yield: 8 servings
7 graham crackers (about 3.7 ounces)
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
⅔ cup all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
5 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
2 large eggs
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, cooled, & divided (I melted 6 T and 2 T separately)
1 pound strawberries, hulled & sliced
1 lime, zested & juiced, divided
½ cup very cold heavy cream, optional
vanilla ice cream, for serving, optional
Place a rack in bottom third of oven; preheat to 350°, preferably on convection.
Place graham crackers in a large resealable plastic bag and zip it up, pressing out most of the air. Using a rolling pin, firmly roll over crackers several times, crushing them into fine crumbs (some larger crumbs are okay).
Measure out 1 cup crumbs (which should be almost all of them) and transfer to a medium bowl. Add salt, ⅔ cup flour, and 2 T sugar. Mix with a fork to combine.
Add 1 egg and 6 T melted butter.
Mix with fork until dough forms, then knead with your hands inside of bowl until no floury spots remain and dough is smooth. It’ll be a little soft and slightly oily.
Lightly flour a piece of parchment paper and place dough on top. Lightly flour top of dough, then cover with another piece of parchment or plastic wrap.
Using a rolling pin, roll dough into a round (it doesn’t have to be perfect!) about 12″ in diameter and ⅛” thick. (I used this amazing rolling pin that creates an 1/8″ thick crust.)
Slide entire sheet of parchment paper onto a rimmed baking sheet. Remove the top layer or plastic wrap or parchment paper.
Sprinkle 1 T sugar over surface of dough, leaving about a 2″ border.
Pile strawberries into center of dough and arrange in an even layer, leaving the same 2″ border.
Sprinkle strawberries with 1 T sugar and drizzle with remaining 2 T butter.
Using a microplane or fine grater, grate zest of about one-half of lime over strawberries.
Cut off half of lime with no zest and squeeze juice over strawberries. Save the other half for later, if making the whipped cream topping.
Beat remaining egg in a small bowl with fork until no streaks remain. Brush egg wash around border of pastry (you won’t use it all). Using edges of parchment to help lift, fold empty border of dough up and over strawberries, working your way around in roughly 2″ sections, overlapping folds as needed. Press all the way around to secure folds and keep dough in place. It might crack or tear in places, just pinch it back together.
Brush top of border with remaining egg wash and sprinkle with remaining 1 T sugar.
Bake galette until crust is browned around the edges and juices from strawberries are syrupy and actively bubbling, 40–45 minutes. If some juices escape and end up on the parchment paper, the parchment will prevent the tart from sticking.
Let cool at least 20 minutes.
For the Optional Whipped Cream Topping: Beat cream with a large whisk in a medium bowl until voluminous, thick, and starts to hold tracks of whisk. Hold whisk upright and look for the “peak” of cream that forms on the end. It should droop and slump over- making “soft peaks.”
Grate zest from remaining half of lime over cream and serve with tart.
Do Ahead: Tart can be made several hours ahead. Let sit at room temperature. Once fully cooled, droop a piece of plastic over top. (I kept the leftover slices in the refrigerator.)
Essential Freshly Picked Strawberry Recipes (in my house):