I’ve loved delicious treats (especially breakfast ones!) for as far back as I can remember. Sunday mornings, we would always have waffles, sometimes even bacon waffles, where the bacon was cooked inside the waffle. Then they were topped with delicious maple syrup. Um, yum! On the other hand, I just love fresh fruit. When summer comes, I do as much fruit harvesting as I can. We grow strawberries here, raspberries, and grapes. If we don’t grow it, we go pick it at local U-Pick farms, which always makes for a fun family day out. Usually by the time summer is over, I’ve got jars of jams and jellies, and plenty of fresh fruit tucked away into the freezer to use all winter long. While it doesn’t taste quite as good as fresh off the vine, it still tastes better than store bought, out of season fruit. The photo below is my husband and son enjoying an afternoon picking strawberries at a local farm. A bonus in this, is supporting local farmers! We picked 7 1/2 lbs of strawberries for about $10!
Today, I want to share with you my favorite recipe for delicious fruit crepes. They come together quickly and easily. I’ve combined a few different recipes to create the perfect crepe. You start with a basic crepe, filled with a delicious ricotta/cream cheese blintz filling, topped with fresh fruit mixed with a tiny bit of sugar and a bit of maple syrup. If you’re daring, you can add a bit of homemade whipped cream on the top too. Hey, I didn’t say it’s the healthiest thing on the planet, but it sure is a nice treat now and again.
I typically use a strawberry topping for my crepes, but you could also do a mixed berry topping, or realistically any topping that you’d like! Last summer, I tried making a Blueberry Lemon Honey syrup that turned out delicious, and I’m sure if you used that on top of a fluffy pile of crepes, you wouldn’t regret it! Throw in some fresh blueberries and it’d be delish! Here’s the link to the Blueberry Lemon Honey Syrup!
And now, let’s get on with it! I suggest making your filling and topping first, so that your crepes are hot and ready to be filled, topped, and served. We will start with the filling. It’s quite simple, and I do recommend a hand mixer or even a stand mixer to help make it smooth.
Blintz Filling Ingredients
- 1 cup lowfat ricotta cheese (or nonfat if you are watching fat intake)
- 1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese (or Neufchatel cheese)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Pinch of salt
Blend all of the above ingredients together until smooth. Some people like it a bit lumpy, and I’ll leave that up to you. Blend to your desired consistency. I personally prefer it smooth. Set aside for now.
- 2 cups fresh strawberries
- 1 tablespoon sugar (or you could use agave nectar, or even a sugar substitute)
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
Place your strawberries into a medium sized bowl, and then add your sugar and maple syrup. Next, use a potato masher, or a large spoon to squish them and mix until desired consistency. If you want a syrup with no chunks of fruit, you can process this in a blender. I usually like to have fruit chunks in my topping. Set aside.
Now, it’s time to make the crepes! If you have a crepe griddle, that makes a huge difference, but any non stick pan works fine. You’ll want a reasonably sized one so you have room to flip the crepes. Make sure your spatula is handy! This recipe can easily be halved to make less crepes if you don’t want as many. In fact, you can halve the topping and filling recipes as well if you only need a small amount.
Basic Crepe Recipe
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- In a large mixing bowl, combine all the wet ingredients (eggs, milk, water, butter and vanilla) and blend well. Sift the salt and flour in another bowl, and then slowly add to the wet ingredients, blending to combine. You want your batter to be very smooth, with no lumps.
- Heat your crepe griddle or pan to medium high heat. Lightly oil it (not a lot or the edges of the crepes don’t quite set, and as long as your pan is a true non stick pan, you only need to oil it once at the beginning), and then pour or scoop about 1/4 cup of the batter onto the griddle or pan. I use a ladle to do this, and then I use the bottom of the ladle to swirl the batter around to cover the pan. You can also tilt the pan with a circular motion to coat the pan as well.
- You’ll want to cook the crepe for about 2 minutes or so until the bottom is a light golden brown. Loosen it with your spatula or shake your pan very gently to loosen it, and then turn and cook the other side of the crepe. I set my finished crepes on a plate nearby and cover with foil to keep them hot.
To Assemble Your Crepes:
Now it’s time to put them together! Take a warm crepe and put a tablespoon full of filling on it, and spread it around to cover the crepe. Roll it up, and then do the same with the remainder. Fill each plate with desired number of crepes, and then place desired amount of topping over the crepes. Lastly, add a dollop of whipped cream if you so desire! Tada! Your crepes are complete! Here is an image of mine when they are filled and topped. YUM! Enjoy!
Many people love to grow their own vegetables in the summer. If that’s you, you might want to tune in to this post, since it uses fresh tomatoes and basil…and nothing is better than picking it straight out of your own garden right before you begin cooking. That’s one of the biggest thrills of gardening for me, the produce yields. Whether it be fruit or vegetables, it’s still exciting every time you get to pick something that just ripened to perfection, with plans to use it in tonight’s dinner. Tomatoes and basil are both a very simple backyard gardening effort, as long as you have a decent amount of sunshine and ample water. Basil can even grow year round if you have it in a pot that you can bring indoors during the colder months. Tomatoes typically grow from mid-May until September or October, depending on the summer. Picking a fresh tomato (regardless of variety) and cooking with it that day makes for some excellent flavor in your dinner, I promise!
In our household, we have a picky 2 year old who doesn’t eat much besides cheese, yogurt, cereal, mac n cheese and hot dogs, much to my dismay. I love to cook and it’s very difficult to find meals that he will eat. Shockingly, he actually ate a good portion of the noodles in this dish, although he did pick around the tomatoes a bit, and steered very clear of the basil. He does appreciate some garlic on occasion, and I always tend to go a bit overboard with it because I am just a huge garlic lover. This is a very light and delicious dinner, and served next to a loaf of homemade bread, it’s downright delicious. I would recommend this to anyone, and I sure do hope you’ll try it. It’s well worth it.
I have varied the types of tomatoes I’ve added to this dish, you can use varieties such as early girl, roma, and even cherry tomatoes like sun golds or sun sugars. Each tomato has it’s own unique flavor and I think if I had to choose, a mix of fresh roma and cherry sun sugars is my favorite. It just emanates summer. If you make this recipe in winter and buy the tomatoes from the store, I’d highly recommend just using roma tomatoes or a mix of roma and grape tomatoes. We make it in winter because it’s just too good to wait all the way until next summer to eat it again, and it brings nice fluffy feelings…and reminds us that summer isn’t too far off again.
Another fun twist, if you’re tired of chicken or just have a hankering for seafood, you can easily substitute shrimp into this recipe instead. If you decide to go that route, skip cooking the chicken at the beginning and just start by sauteing the tomatoes. As the last step, you’ll add the shrimp (peeled and deveined) and cook for 4-5 minutes or until pink and cooked through. Pre-season them with salt and pepper, and if you’d like, a seafood seasoning. Both ways are delicious!
Lastly, the type of noodles can easily be varied as well. Linguine, fettuccine, spaghtetti, etc. It’s even more fun if you make your own homemade noodles. 🙂
And without further ado, here is the recipe!
Tomato & Basil Chicken with Pasta
Ingredients: (4 servings)
- 2 chicken breasts, sliced into strips (or 1/2 pound shrimp, if substituting)
- salt and black pepper
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cups roughly chopped fresh tomatoes
- 2 tsp minced fresh garlic
- 4 Tbsp cold butter
- 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
- freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish
- 1/2 lb dry pasta of your choice
Season chicken breast slices with salt and black pepper. Add olive oil to your skillet, and heat oil on medium high. While waiting for the oil to heat, start your pasta according to package directions, or if using homemade pasta, follow recipe directions. You don’t want to have to wait for your pasta to finish at the end. Make sure your oil is hot before adding chicken, you can splash a small amount of water on the oil and if it sputters, it’s hot enough. Add the chicken when hot, and cook until chicken is no longer pink.
Next, add your tomatoes. Stir and cook for about a minute, and then add your fresh basil (reserve a small amount for garnish). Your kitchen will be smelling wonderful about now, so enjoy it! Then add the cold butter, and allow to melt, making a very delicious, thin sauce. Lastly, add in your garlic. At this point, you can sneak a quick taste and if you like, season your sauce with additional salt and pepper. Stir the sauce and chicken together well.
Your pasta should be ready by now. Top the pasta with the chicken and sauce, and garnish with Parmesan cheese and remaining basil, and serve!
I hope you all enjoy this recipe as much as we have! Feel free to share and leave a comment below telling me what you think!
Well, ok, not really. More like, would you like to eat a pepper too? I ran across a fabulous, can’t go wrong stuffed pepper recipe today, and of course wanted to share it with my fantastic followers! Not only does it look delicious, it’s low calorie for those of us that are trying to eat clean and keep up with a good exercise plan. This recipe also is relatively simple.
STUFFED PEPPERS 150 CALORIES PER HALF
Olive Oil ( I used Tahitian lime olive oil)
1/2 lb lean ground turkey breast
1 cup chopped onions
1 heaping tbsp of homemade taco seasoning (or you can use the packaged type if you like)
2 cups of cooked rice (any type you like – I like brown)
3-4 organic bell peppers, halved and seeds removed
1 can of black beans, drained & rinsed
½ cup of organic frozen corn
1 (15 -16 ounce) jar of salsa (my favorite is mango peach)
Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Pre heat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly coat the peppers with olive oil and roast in a baking dish about 20-25 minutes just until cooked thru. Remove the peppers from the oven and allow to cool until you can handle them.
*****Note – make sure you cook your turkey ahead of time that way you do not have to worry about it later. Also, I sauted the onions until cooked thru, I then added in my cooked rice, black beans and corn.
In a bowl add the taco seasoning, cooked ground turkey, chopped onions, black beans, corn and rice. Add in the jar of salsa and mix well.
Carefully spoon the turkey mixture into each half of the bell peppers and place back into the baking dish. Cook the peppers for another 15-20 minutes or until the peppers are cooked all the way thru. Before removing from the oven sprinkle the tops of each pepper with shredded cheddar cheese. Place back into the oven just until the cheese has melted.
Remove from the oven and top with fresh cilantro, avocado slices and/or sour cream just before serving.
This is definitely a fun little twist on your classic S’mores dessert. Super easy and super fun to make, especially for the kiddos! It’s definitely not the healthiest choice out there for a dessert, but hey, sometimes you just have to splurge a little. Got a campfire? Make a campfire cone! The alternative is to make these on a barbeque grill as well, both charcoal and propane grills work too.
- Waffle Cones
- Peanut Butter
- Banana slices
- Mini Marshmallows
- Chocolate Chips (I prefer semi-sweet, but the kids usually like milk chocolate chips)
- Aluminum Foil
- Spread peanut butter inside of waffle cone, fill with banana slices, mini marshmallows and chocolate chips.
- Wrap in Aluminum Foil and pop over hot coals (or on BBQ grill) for 5-10 minutes, turning occasionally.
- Unwrap foil, make sure everything is gooey and melted, and ENJOY. 🙂
Well, what did I say? Super simple and fun, huh? Something you can throw together as a surprise for your little ones one of these nights in the upcoming Summer! Sure to please them!
(recipe idea courtesy of http://www.cometogetherkids.com)
One of my favorite things about summer are the many varieties of salads and slaws there are. From fruit salads, to macaroni salad, potato salad…all sorts! But my favorite…it just has to be coleslaw. I don’t know why but I just love the flavor and how well it pairs with the many entrees of summer like fried chicken or even steak. This coleslaw recipe that I want to share is actually one straight from Kraft. It’s wonderful! Something to be said about making your own versus just buying the pre-made kits or a tub from the Deli. This slaw is wonderful because it features fresh fruit, crunchy apples and tart cranberries.
Creamy Apple Cranberry Coleslaw
1 cup Kraft MIRACLE WHIP Dressing
1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1-1/2 tablespoon sugar
1 pkg. (16 oz.) coleslaw blend (cabbage slaw mix)
1 medium crisp apple (such as Granny Smith, Braeburn or Fuji), chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries (I used Craisins)
Whisk salad dressing, milk, vinegar and sugar together in a small bowl until well blended. In a large bowl, add coleslaw blend, chopped apple and cranberries. Pour prepared dressing over top and mix together until well combined. Refrigerate until serving, approximately one hour.
(The direct link for this recipe on the Kraft page is here: http://www.kraftrecipes.com/recipes/creamy-apple-cranberry-coleslaw-148466.aspx?cm_mmc=social-_-facebook-_-timeline-_-recipe . They have a lot of other amazing recipes so I figured I would include it for anyone interested.)
And there you go! A tasty coleslaw that’s sure to please even the little ones! Happy grilling!
As much as I try to keep my daily food intake directed to healthy foods only, occasionally I just have to give in to my number one favorite dessert; eclairs. I was watching The Chew today and was reminded about these little guys. So, I did some digging and found their recipe for chocolate and hazelnut eclairs. They are relatively low calorie, IF you can get away with only eating one. I recommend eclairs after an Italian cuisine entree, or a generally light entree, as eclairs are light and fluffy and keep with the trend. They can be served with fat free NSA (no sugar added) frozen yogurt or gelato, or they fly solo wonderfully as well. Give this recipe a shot if you have some extra time. It’s rated easy to make, doesn’t cost much, and is SO good. The only thing I suggest you keep in mind with this delicious dessert recipe is that it is time consuming, and takes about 4 hours to complete the entire recipe. Set aside an afternoon or evening to make these and enjoy! One final note is that they do freeze well stored in a ziploc storage container. Thaw at room temperature for an hour before serving or thaw in refrigerator for 24 hours before serving.
Calories per Serving: 248
Cost per Serving: $0.42
Total Cost: $10.08
-1 cup Unsalted Butter
-2 cups Water
-2 cups Unbleached Flour
For the Hazelnut Creme:
– 2 cups Whole Milk
-5 Large Egg Yolks
– 1/2 cup Sugar
-1/4 cup Cornstarch
-2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract or Hazelnut Liqueur
To Dip in Chocolate:
-1/2 cup Unsalted Butter (room temperature) cut into tablespoon sized pieces
-8 oz Semisweet Chocolate Chips
1. Preheat oven to 400F, and line sheet pans with parchment. Lightly coat with cooking spray.
2. In a medium pot, bring water, butter, and salt and a boil. Add all flour at once, turning heat down to medium-low and begin to beat until mixture pulls away from sides and forms a ball.
3. Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat at medium speed until cooled slightly. Turn speed up to high and add the eggs, one at a time, until fully incorporated. Do not add the next egg until current egg is fully incorporated.
4. When dough comes together, around 10 minutes, transfer to piping bag. Pipe onto the parchment lined sheet pan, leaving space between each.
5. Bake for about 30 minutes, until outside is golden brown and the inside of the eclairs sound hollow. Cool completely before filling.
6. In a medium saucepan, whisk together milk, egg yolks, sugar and cornstarch. Place over a low heat whisking gently just until the mixture bubbles, about 15 minutes. Immediately remove from the heat. Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a large bowl. Stir in vanilla extract or flavored liqueur. Press plastic wrap directly on the top of the cream and place in fridge to cool completely, approximately 2 hours.
7. To fill the eclairs, transfer the pastry creme to a piping bag, with a medium tip. Use the tip to break a small hole in the eclair, and fill.
8. To dip in chocolate, heat chocolate in a double boiler. Add the room temperature butter, a piece at a time, melting into the butter. Dip eclairs with mixture and allow to dry on a parchment lined sheet pan.
This recipe contributed by Carla Hall from The Chew
For a fun and beautiful presentation, if you are talented with icing or just want to give it a try, you can pipe little flowers on one end of the eclairs in colored frosting. These make a great birthday treat or for holidays like Valentines Day.
Give it a try and review here or on The Chew @ Carla Hall’s Chocolate & Hazelnut Eclairs