Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Fourth Of July Treat: Patriotic Ice Cream



It is red, white and blue time!

The time when you could feed your kids a lot of artificial dyes to make everything red, white and blue (hey...we all do it!), or give them a big bowl of strawberries and blueberries in a white bowl and call it a day.

Or...you could make this delicious, fresh frozen yogurt ice cream, try to be oblivious that is is slightly more purple, yellow and red, and delight in a fourth of July treat that you can feel good about feeding the kids!

Better yet? It is SUPER easy and only calls for a few simple ingredients!

Check out Little Lake County today for this festive recipe! Enjoy and have a safe and Happy 4th of July!

All Spoons Welcome!


Sunday, June 15, 2014

White Chicken Chili with Kale



Chili in the summer? Are you thinking I am crazy? Well read on...I promise you, I am not. Well...at least as far as this chili goes.

I love chili in the fall, but I have to say, I sort of crave it in the summer too. I was on a hunt for a lighter, more summer-like chili awhile back, and I came up with a variation of a recipe I saw in a magazine. It was hearty like a chili, but light and fresh as well.  Better yet, my kids really liked it, which I thought was sort of funny.

Funny because they usually will not eat kale, spinach or anything that seems green and leafy besides lettuce. Now, my kids are really not picky at all, but leafy greens do not make the "I will eat it" list for them. Funny enough, they gobbled down this chili as if they did not even notice any kale in there at all. I served this with a crusty bread and a fruit salad and the dinner was complete. Best yet? This recipe makes a lot, so there were some leftovers for lunch!

This is sure to be a summer, fall, winter and spring staple in your house too.

White Chicken Chili with Kale

2 tblsp olive oil
3/4 cup red onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 lbs ground chicken
(If you cannot find it in the store, ground your own using chicken breast and a food processor)
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tblsp ground cumin
1 tblsp fennel seeds
1 tblsp dried oregano
2 tsp chili powder
3 tblsp flour
1 15 oz can of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1lb kale, stems removed, leaves chopped in small pieces
2 cups frozen corn, thawed
4 cups chicken stock
salt and pepper to taste
cheddar cheese (optional)

Heat the oil in a dutch oven. Add ground chicken, onion and garlic and cook until chicken is cooked through and onion and garlic are translucent and fragrant. Add salt, cumin, fennel seeds, oregano, and chili powder. Stir until coated. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Add beans, kale, corn and chicken broth. Bring to a simmer, stirring well and scraping the bottom. Cook on low for 50 minutes until liquid has reduced and chili has thickened. Use salt and pepper if needed. Serve hot sprinkled with cheddar cheese.


What is your "winter in the summer" food?



Monday, June 9, 2014

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble Cake





Um, yum?

This cake is simply fantastic. It has everything I love in a cake. Warm fruit. Moist, tender cake. Crumbly, buttery topping. Just perfect.

I think you have probably realized with my most recent postings that I cannot get enough of strawberries and rhubarb. I promise you, this is my last, but by far, it is the best!

This cake is perfect for a party. It has so many dimensions to it, that you sonly need a small little piece. Even though this is made in an 8x8 pan, I still was able to get plenty of small slices out of it. It is also an easy cake to freeze. You can either freeze it whole, take it out to thaw and cut for your occasion, or cut into small bars and freeze to use a little at at time.

However you choose to eat it or store it, most importantly, enjoy it.

A perfect summer dessert-enjoy!

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble Cake


CRUMBLE TOPPING:

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cup unbleached, all purpose flour

BARS:

1 1/2 cups rhubarb, sliced into 1/2 inch slices
1 1/2 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 tblsp brown sugar
1 1/3 cups unbleached, all purpose flour
1 tsp  baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract

Butter an 8x8 baking pan and line with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two sides for easy removal of bars. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl, combine brown sugar, salt and flour. Pour in melted butter and work into a crumbly mixture using your hands. Store bowl in the fridge until ready to use.

In another medium bowl, combine rhubarb, strawberries and brown sugar. Mix until coated and juices start to flow. Sprinkle in 1/3 cup of flour and gently mix until coated. Set aside.

In a small bowl, gently toss together the remaining flour, baking powder and salt.

In a third medium bowl, beat butter and powdered sugar on medium with a hand mixer. Add eggs one at a time and beat well. Add vanilla. Mix just until smooth. Sprinkle in dry ingredients and mix for 30 seconds with hand mixer. Spread cake batter evenly onto the parchment paper. Layer with the fruit mixture. Take the crumble mix out of the refrigerator and sprinkle generously all over the top of the cake. Place on middle rack in preheated oven and bake for 50-55 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Remove from oven and cool for 20 minutes in the pan. Using the parchment overhang, gently lift bars out of the pan and cool outside of the pan for an hour. Slice and serve with fresh whipped cream. Leftovers can be stored in a sealed container for 1 day, the refrigerator for 1 week and the freezer for up to 3 months if well stored. Enjoy!





Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Strawberry Rhubarb Baked Oatmeal



This...

This is so good.

Breakfast. Fresh, hearty and perfect to start your busy summer day. Not to mention, every bite is full of summer flavor.

In the summer, some of us have a little more time in the morning without the rush of school prep and the possibility of missing the school bus. This takes a little time to prep, but is so worth it. If you still are rushing around in the morning, you can mix up the wet and dry ingredients separately, store in the fridge, mix and bake in the morning. Or, as a last ditch effort, you may just make this for dessert!

Head on over to Little Lake County for the recipe, since Girl and Her Kitchen is featured on there today.

Don't miss it!


Saturday, May 31, 2014

Strawberry Rhubarb Oatmeal Muffins



I am that friend that doesn't have a garden, but absolutely loves sharing your yield! Anytime-seriously, I am a grateful taker and will probably make you something with my bounty. You know, that bounty that you provide? I feel very blessed that I have many friends who garden, because I do not.

Last weekend, my kids and I went to the garden center to pick up some flowers and they were so interested in the vegetables. They were begging me for a garden which I knew was just not a possibility with the lay out of the yard (and my husband's resentful behavior if you try to block one bit of his yard for mowing purposes).  You know how it goes right?

But they were so insistent. When you have three, very cute and well behaved in that moment children begging you for something healthy and beneficial, let me tell you, it is hard to say no. Did I mention we were at the garden center on Memorial Day weekend on an absolutely beautiful day when probably everyone else in my town was there too? Yeah, that gives you a little sense of urgency as well. So, I am sure you can finish this story.

We perused the vegetable aisle and came home with lavender, cucumbers, strawberries, a bag of potting soil and a large box to grow them in.

Stop laughing right now.

Ok, go ahead, because it is actually pretty funny.

So, that was pretty random, but we went with it and we came home with our...er...bounty. I think the funniest moments came when my gardening friends saw what I was trying to do.

"Um...cucumbers?" One friend asked, trying her best to be nice. "In that box?"

I nodded and pretended to have some idea of what I was doing.

She saw right through me and I caved. I admitted to have no idea.

Another friend a few days later said in her nicest tone, "You need something for the cucumbers to grow up on. Were you going to put that in soon?"

Um...OF COURSE! I mean, what did you think? That I DIDN'T know that cucumbers need something to climb. I mean, everyone knows that...right?

Except me. Because honestly I had no idea. I am not sure what I really thought actually. Well, I guess I did. I thought I would come out one morning and several plump cucumbers would just be laying in the box.

I mean, if it happened that way, I would garden all the time.

So, back to the moral of the story, thank goodness for friends who garden and share with other friends. (that should be on a tshirt!)

Recently I have had a few friends offer me some rhubarb which just happens to be one of my favorite things to eat. I love the tart flavor and the texture of rhubarb and have had fun trying it in a bunch of different things.  A friend and I were recently laughing about rhubarb (seriously that is where I am in my life I suppose. Laughing and telling stories about rhubarb.)  She was saying how everyone says that they LOOOOVE rhubarb, but really, what do we love about it? That it is drowning in sugar and mixed with strawberries right? I mean, does anyone really love rhubarb just on its own? Is anyone out there crunching away on delicious rhubarb? Anyone?

Just today I visited a friend's garden and her husband told me that he eats it raw, dipped in sugar. He let me try it and it was actually good. Not sure that I would prefer that over a buttery, crumbly rhubarb cobbler, but it was fun to try!

So naturally I will make all sorts of tasty desserts with the rhubarb, but to start I thought I would try out a healthy, yet delicious muffin recipe that we can all enjoy without drowning our rhubarb in pounds of sugar.

These muffins are tender and moist and filled with healthy ingredients. My kids love these for breakfast or a snack. Feel free to swipe them with a bit of creamy butter, or just eat them on their own. The sweet strawberries and tart rhubarb just remind you that summer is just about here.




Strawberry Rhubarb Oatmeal Muffins

Makes 18 muffins

*I tried to create a rhubarb recipe with no refined sugar. That being said, the rhubarb still remains a little tart in the muffins unless you sprinkle with a little sugar and let it sit. I like them without the brown sugar or with it, but if you have picky kids that will notice the tartness, you may want to add the brown sugar step. It is still only 1 tblsp in a whole batch of muffins, so we are still doing pretty well!*

1 cup rhubarb, sliced in in 1/2 inch slices and then cut in half
1 cup fresh strawberries, sliced
1 tblsp brown sugar (optional-see note above*)
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk
2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tblsp honey
1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1/4 cup oil (I used coconut oil, but you can use canola or a light olive. Or, use 1/4 cup melted butter)
2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup rolled oats
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Combine the strawberries and rhubarb in a small bowl and sprinkle brown sugar over it if you are using the sugar. Let it sit to the side. In a medium bowl, mix the flour, oats, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

In a large bowl, whisk the egg until yellow and creamy. Add the milk, lemon juice, maple syrup, honey, applesauce, and oil. With a hand mixer on low, mix until well combined. Slowly add the dry ingredients mixing just until mixture is wet and combined. Do not over mix. Fold in fruit mixture. Let batter rest for 10-15 minutes. This "resting" period allows the batter to absorb the liquid in the fruit making for a better muffin. Do not skip this step! When you are letting the batter rest, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Line a muffin tin with paper cupcake liners. I use an ice cream scoop to fill the liners, but fill them about 3/4 of the way full. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes. Let cool in the pan for about 15 minutes and then serve. Muffins can be stored in a sealed container for two days, or you can freeze them for about a month.