June 29, 2011

Peach Margarita

I'm not sure if I mentioned this or not; but recently my friend and I went with our kids to do some peach and blueberry picking.

We picked these...

And I brought home all this.

So needless to say, it was time to find some recipes and ways to use all this fruit.  Since my birthday is in June I decided it might be fun to have a  little get together and serve up some peach margarita's.  I was right, it was a good idea.

I decided to make the pureed mixture ahead of time, and when guests arrive I could just throw some ice in the blender and add some puree and do the frozen drinks as needed.

First, add a whole peach (that's been washed) into the blender.  I cut mine up a little first. 

Add the Tequila; Peach Schnapps

Next, add the sugar.

Lime juice and Triple Sec (optional)

The picture above is just the pureed mixture.  I blended it with some ice when people were ready for a drink and it came out nice and frothy.  Sugar the rims if you want to get fancy.  If you want to get really fancy you can add lime zest into the sugar first and then sugar the rims.  I didn't do that.  WAY to fancy for me.

 Here's what you'll need (this recipe is only for one drink), I must have made this 6 or 7 times just to fill the pitcher I had for the party.

4 ounces, Silver Tequila
2 ounces, Peach Schnapps
1 whole lime, juiced
2 Tbsp white sugar
1 whole medium sized peach
1/2 C ice, crushed
1 tsp. Triple Sec (optional)

What to do:

Add all the ingredients into the mixer and blend well.  Add water if needed to reach the desired consistency.  If you want to make it ahead of time, just puree all the ingredients (except the ice) and keep refrigerated until ready, then add the ice and blend right before serving.

To sugar the rims of the glasses, you can just use plain sugar or even add lime zest to it.  Get the rims of your glasses wet with a little water and then dip them into the sugar mixture.  Keeping the glasses frozen until you're ready for them is also a nice presentation. Sugar the rims right before you fill the glasses.

This recipe was found here

June 27, 2011

Pizza Dough

Homemade pizza dough, that rises in the refrigerator? Count me in! Too easy if you ask me.  My hubs is a self proclaimed pizza connoisseur.  Well, other than the fact that he's never made his own pizza. Being from the Boston area he has had some of the best; so I believe him when he told me that this was way better than anything he's gotten from a grocery store or pizza parlor.  Win win!

Put the flour and salt in the bowl of your stand mixer.

With the paddle attachment, drizzle the olive oil in while mixing on low speed. Next, pour in the yeast/water mixture.

Coat a mixing bowl with olive oil and then form the dough into a ball and roll it over in the bowl a couple of times so it's coated in the olive oil. Cover it with plastic wrap.

Now refrigerate it. 2 days is recommended - 3 or 4 days is even better.

This is after 2 days.  I couldn't wait any longer. I had to try it. This makes two pizza's so cut this dough in half.

Drizzle olive oil over a cookie sheet and then rub it around so it's coated.  This caused me to  have trouble getting a very thin crust.  I'm going to try a pizza stone next time.

I made cheese pizza for my daughter, and for my hubby and I we had black olive and artichoke hearts.  It was delicious.  I'll repeat this many times over before declaring my "favorite" toppings.

1 tsp Active Dry or Instant Yeast
4 C. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/3 C. extra virgin olive oil

Sprinkle the yeast over 1 1/2 Cups of warm water.  The water needs to be warm, but not hot.  Combine the flour and the salt.  Use the paddle attachment for your mixer and mix the flour and salt on low speed while slowly drizzling in the olive oil.  Now add the yeast and water mixture until just combined.
Grease a mixing bowl with olive oil and form the dough into a ball, now turn it several times in the bowl until it's coated in the oil.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2-4 days.

When ready to make.  Pre-heat the oven to 500 degrees.  Roll the dough out on a cookie sheet as thin as you can get it.  The thinner the better. Top with your favorite toppings. Bake for 10 - 12 minutes but watch carefully so the cheese doesn't get too dark.  Mine didn't cook for the full 10 minutes and the cheese was plenty dark.  I'm also not sure if a pizza stone cook time or temperature will vary since I haven't tried it yet.

Let me know what your favorite pizza toppings are! Enjoy!

The recipe came from here.

June 22, 2011

Chocolate Malted Cookies

This was a request by my friend Amanda.  We both love the Taste of Home collectors magazines you can buy and this was one of the recipes from there. 

When making this recipe it occurred to me that I have no idea what malted milk powder really is.  So a quick search on Wikipedia turned this up:

Malted milk is a powdered food product made from a mixture of malted barley, wheat flour, and whole milk, which is evaporated until it forms a powder.

Malt powder comes in two forms: diastatic and nondiastatic. Diastatic malt contains enzymes that break down starch into sugar; this is the form bakers add to bread dough to help the dough rise and create a good crust. Nondiastatic malt has no active enzymes and is used primarily for flavor, mostly in beverages. It sometimes contains sugar, coloring agents, and other additives.

So, there you have it. All I know is it was super yummy in these cookies.

The recipe was very basic and easy to make. You can definitely taste the malted milk powder in these, that is not to say that it's over powering; just different then your usual chocolate chip cookie.  Very tasty!

I found the recipe here

June 20, 2011

Dinner Club Mediterranean Greek Salad and Mediterranean Couscous

Hey there, welcome back.  I'm finally going to post some of those recipes from Dinner Club last week!  I'm still waiting on some people to send me theirs but here's what I've got so far.

This salad was served at our most recent Dinner Club and was made my my neighbor Anjanette. 

Mediterranean Greek Salad

3 Cucumbers seeded and sliced - or substitute 2 hothouse cucumbers.
1 1/2 C. crumbled feta cheese
1 C. black olives, pitted and sliced
3 C. diced Roma tomatoes
1/3 C. diced oil packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained, oil reserved
1/2 C. red onion

In a large salad bowl toss together all the ingredients with 2 Tbsp. of the reserved oil from the sun dried tomatoes. Chill until ready to serve.

Mediterranean Couscous

Found this recipe here.


1 3/4 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
3/4 cup whole wheat couscous
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup chopped seeded peeled cucumber
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
1/4 teaspoon grated lemon rind
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 teaspoons extravirgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Bring broth to a boil in a medium saucepan; gradually stir in couscous. Remove from heat; cover and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Combine couscous, tomatoes, and remaining ingredients in a large bowl

June 17, 2011

Dinner Club - Mediterranean Theme

The girls on the block were at it again, this time it was Mediterranean night at Teresa's house!

Look how beautiful the table was set.  That's Teresa in the picture.  Hi Teresa!

I loved these plates, so pretty.


The picture above is borrowed from Ward Street Bistro because I had a "moment" and totally forgot to take pictures of the main course, which was called Tajine.  The official meal of Morocco.  It was wonderful! Thank you Teresa for hosting, and for making such a beautiful dish for us.

Hi Shannon!  She made this yummy Corn with Feta Cheese and Mint, she also made this wonderful dip that had cream cheese, tomatoes, calamata olives, basil - maybe some other things.  I'll get the recipe for you.

Hi Lisa!  She's with Teresa in this picture.  She made this delicious appetizer of baguette, cheese, tomato and topped with Basil.  YUM!

Introducing, Anjanette! She made this wonderful Cucumber Salad!  It was super yummy, thanks Anjanette!

Heeeeere's Melissa!  She made these Greek style pinwheels and a Greek Salad.  So good! Thank you Melissa!

I made two dishes, Mediterranean Couscous and Lemon Cookies.  I'll be posting those recipes separately.

I will try to gather the recipes for the pictures that were shown here and get them added to the blog; just in case you want to do your own Mediterranean themed dinner.

Thanks to Teresa, Shannon, Lisa, Anjanette and Melissa for hanging out with us for the night and sharing your amazing recipes!

June 15, 2011

Banana Bread - Two Ways

So, here's the dilemma I always face when making banana bread.  Walnuts, or no walnuts.  I'm not a huge walnut fan; my husband loves them.  It's not that I don't like them at all, I like them plain but I'm not a huge fan of them in baked goods or candy.  Strange, I know.  So, when making banana bread at the hubbies request this last time I decided to double the recipe, put walnuts in his loaf and peanut butter chips in mine. It worked, we were both happy.

I used a recipe that I found here and substituted 1/2 cup walnuts in one, and 1/2 cup peanut butter chips in the other.

To make them more easily identifiable I put whole walnuts on the top of my hubbies.

Nothing on top of mine. Although, about half way through the loaf I decided to step up the peanut butter factor by adding some of this. It's good.  Really really good.

What you'll need for 1 loaf:

1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup chopped walnuts OR peanut butter chips
2 medium bananas, sliced

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan.

2.In a large bowl, stir together the melted butter and sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla, mix well. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt, stir into the butter mixture until smooth. Finally, fold in the sour cream, walnuts and bananas. Spread evenly into the prepared pan.

3.Bake at 350 degrees for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool loaf in the pan for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

June 10, 2011

Salmon with Creamy Dill Sauce

Finally, a healthy recipe!  I knew I had it in me, somewhere...anyhoo, I love salmon and I just happened to have some at home that I needed to use so it was perfect timing finding this recipe.

What's great about this is that there isn't very much that you would need to run out and buy.  Maybe the lemons - but the rest I'll bet you have right within reach.

I loved this recipe.  It was easy, healthy, tasty, and believe me when I say I could use the Creamy Dill Sauce for sandwiches for the rest of my life!  I love this stuff!

Get a couple good sized pieces of salmon and lay it down on a lightly sprayed piece of tin foil. 

Sprinkle the salmon with Lemon Pepper and Onion Salt.

Place the onion circles and lemons on top...

Top with some pieces of butter.

Fold the tin foil around the salmon to make a tight little packet.  Put the packet on a rimmed sheet like a jelly roll pan.

While the salmon cooks; mix up the Dill Sauce.  Sour Cream, Mayo, Dill, Minced Onion, Horseradish, Lemon Juice, Garlic Salt and Pepper to taste.

Once the Salmon has cooked for 20 minutes inside the packet, open it up and put it under the broiler for another 8 - 10 minutes until the fish flakes.

Serve the fish with the dill sauce and enjoy. 

Did I mention how much I love the dill sauce?

I found the recipe here. The information below was taken directly from the Taste of Home website.

1 salmon fillet (about 2 pounds)
1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons lemon-pepper seasoning
1 teaspoon onion salt
1 small onion, sliced and separated into rings
6 lemon slices
1/4 cup butter

1/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
3/4 teaspoon dill weed
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
Pepper to taste


Line a 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan with heavy-duty foil; grease lightly. Place salmon skin side down on foil. Sprinkle with lemon-pepper and onion salt. Top with onion and lemon. Dot with butter. Fold foil around salmon; seal tightly,

Bake at 350° for 20 minutes. Open foil. Broil 4-6 in. from the heat for 8-12 minutes or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.

Combine the sauce ingredients until smooth. Serve with salmon.