Monday, July 30, 2012

Confetti Corn Salad

We made this Corn Salad a.k.a. Confetti Corn Salad for a thank you cookout for my Relay for Life Team, Life's a Beach.  We have done this every year to thank all of our team mates for all of their hard work. We raised $3,470!!! The cookout was a success, but I didn't get a picture of our group. I was too busy being hostess, and this morning I am very mad at myself.  We had 15 people, including Baby Emma, just 5 mos. old, and of course lots of food.

I got this recipe  from my BFF Barb, who got it from her Daughter's MIL, Karolyn B. This salad is so good with all the fresh flavors of summer:  fresh corn, green and red bell peppers, celery, grated Parmesan cheese, cherry tomatoes, green onions, cilantro and parsley, and a spicy olive oil lime dressing.  Of course Scott and I added a few things to the recipe. We used fresh corn and added cherry tomatoes from our neighborhood farm stand. We also added cilantro and oregano from our herb garden  Next time we make this, we might try charring the corn, either on the grill or in a skillet. The dressing is an olive oil, garlic, and lime juice combo. You can adjust the heat in this salad by adding more or less of the hot sauce, and cayenne  pepper. This is a great recipe for a group, easy to make, and keeps well, if you are lucky enough to have leftovers:)  This recipe is definitely a keeper.  This was the first of three parties we will be having in the next two weeks. I will definitely be cooking and baking a lot. When it rains, it pours, but it will be fun. 

Corn Salad a.k.a. Confetti Corn SaladAdapted from Barb D. and Karolyn B.

 6 med ears of fresh corn, shucked and steamed or grilled,
 or 20 oz frozen corn thawed
2 c diced green pepper
2 c diced red pepper
2 c diced celery
1 cup chopped tomatoes, or cherry tomatoes cut in half
1/2 cup minced parsley
1 T minced cilantro
1 T minced fresh oregano
1 c chopped green onion
1/2 c shredded parmesan
2 t ground cumin
1/2 t salt
3/4 t pepper
1/2 t hot pepper sauce
1/8 t cayenne pepper

3 T olive oil
2 garlic cloves minced
6 T lime juice


If using fresh steamed or grilled corn, cut corn from cob.  We got about 3 cups
Then combine all of the salad ingredients in a large bowl.

Microwave oil and garlic on high for one minute - cool
Whisk in lime juice

Pour over ingredients - toss, cover, refrigerate.  Enjoy!

linked up my recipe to Brandie@The Country Cook's Weekend Potluck #29
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Friday, July 27, 2012

Pattypan Squash Sauteed with Basil and Mint

I had never made Pattypan Squash, until this year.  I saw them on the Farm Stand in my neighborhood last year, but never bought them. A couple of weeks ago, I saw them and quickly grabbed them with some garden  tomatoes.  I really wasn't sure how to prepare them, but Google and Wikipedia  came to the rescue.  I found out that these cute, little scalloped squash, are summer squash, that sort of look like UFO's.  The name Pattypan comes from  pâtisson, a  Provençal  word for a cake made in a scalloped mold.

Pattypan squash come in yellow, green and white varieties.  They have a creamy flesh with a smooth outer skin that you don't have to peel and can eat.  You can slice them in half crosswise or scoop out centers to  use as decorative containers for  other foods. I decided to saute these cute little babies in smart Balance and a little garlic.  Before serving,  Sprinkle with a basil and mint chiffonade.  Enjoy! You can also add some Parmesan cheese. Next time I might stuff them:) This is a quick and easy dish, especially if it's too hot to grill outside, and Ioved the basil mint combo, which added great flavor to the squash.

Sauteed Pattypan Squash with Fresh Basil Mint Adapted from Epicurious
Serves four

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter or Smart Balance
  • 2 cups (about 3/4 pound) small patty pan squash, cut in half crosswise
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp of granulated garlic
  •  1/2cup (about 8 leaves) fresh basil, torn and loosely packed
  • 1/3 cup (about 12leaves) fresh mint, loosely packed
  • 1 small red bell pepper, sliced crosswise

 In 10-inch skillet over medium heat, melt butter or Smart Balance. Add patty pans and red bell pepper.  Sauté, stirring occasionally, until tender, 7 to 8 minutes. Transfer to large serving dish, sprinkle with salt and pepper, add basil and mint, and toss to combine. Garnish with the red bell pepper.

linked up my recipe to Brandie@The Country Cook's Weekend Potluck #28
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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Chunky Gazpacho with Grilled Shrimp for #Slave Free Tomatoes

I saw Christiane's post yesterday @Taking on the Magazines to raise awareness for the injustices in the tomato fields of the United States.  Yesterday was Food Bloggers for 7.24.12 Slave Free Tomatoes. I know that I am a day late, but I would also like to post a tomato dish for the cause.  We are doing this through The Giving Table, who is working in conjunction with the International Justice Mission's Recipe for Change to raise awareness about injustices in U.S. tomato fields.

The tomatoes that you see in the Supermarkets are being cared for and harvested by slave labor. This is happening in the United States, and Florida in particular.  Like others, I had no idea that this was happening.  If the supermarkets join the Fair Food Program, they can help eliminate the slave labor and other abuses in the tomato fields. What we need to do as consumers and Food Bloggers is put pressure on the CEO's of large Supermarkets to join the Fair Food Program.  Please send a message asking major U.S. Supermarket chains to join the Fair Food Program by clicking here. You can also buy your slave-free tomatoes from local farm stands Farmer's markets, CSA Boxes, Trader Joe's or Whole Foods.

I haven't made Gazpacho in years, but our weather lately, steamy and hot, is perfect for it. Also, I had bought these gorgeous tomatoes and  cucumbers from the farm stand across the road from my subdivision.  I know that I am lucky to have such fresh produce about one mile from my home.  Gazpacho is a cold tomato soup from Spain with green bell peppers, cucumbers, and a little onion.  The gazpacho is a great way to showcase the great tomatoes of the season, and all the other veggies. As you can imagine, there are many recipes and variations of the classic summer dish. I like to make my Gazpacho on the chunky side, but you can puree the veggies if you like a smooth soup. I do puree about 2 cups of the vegetable mixture, which thickens the soup a bit, and adds lots of flavor. This soup is so refreshing with the chunky vegetables, and cold tomatoes and soup.

Gazpacho is a very versatile recipe, which can be made a day ahead of time to get all the flavors of the soup to "marry." Besides the veggies, there is olive oil, balsamic vinegar, fresh basil, a touch of hot sauce, if you want a little heat. Besides serving Gazpacho s a soup, it can also be an appetizer or main course.  You can serve the Gazpacho as an appetizer in a glass. or as a main course, by adding grilled shrimp, one dish three ways.

or as a soup
Or as a Main Dish

Chunky Gazpacho Adapted from Cooking Light
  • 6 cups coarsely chopped tomato (about 3 pounds)
  • 1 (32-ounce) bottle low-sodium tomato juice, more or less
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped peeled cucumber (about 2 medium)
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped green bell pepper
  • 4 green onions chopped
  • 1 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce, more or less.
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 5 large Basil leaves, chiffonade
  • 1 lb. of grilled  or sauteed shrimp
Combine tomatoes, cucumber, green bell pepper, green onions, and celery in a large bowl.

 Remove 2 cups of vegetable mixture, puree in blender or food processor. and return to large bowl, with the rest of the vegetables.

.Add remaining six ingredients to large bowl with vegetables. Combine well.  Cover and refrigerate until serving time, preferably overnight. Serve with shrimp, if desired.

linked up my recipe to Brandie@The Country Cook's Weekend Potluck #28
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Monday, July 23, 2012

Drunken Fruit Salad

 With the temps hovering around 100 again here in Chicago Land, this is the perfect dessert.  It's light and so refreshing, with peaches, plums, a mango, blueberries, strawberries, and a good dose of lime zest and lime juice, topped with  sparkling wine and whipped cream with mint. If you couldn't tell by now, I love fruit of any kind.  I never met a fruit that I didn't like, during thee summer, especially:)  I could live on fresh fruit and veggies. You could add any combination of fruit that you wanted, and this dessert would be wonderful. The presentation is gorgeous, as well as the salad. You could also use a Sparkling Water in place of the Sparkling Wine for those that don't drink alcohol, or kids.

This Drunken Fruit Salad is so easy to make, and wonderful to eat. This Drunken Fruit Salad is a good way to take your fruit and wine to an out door concert or picnic. Put your fruit salad in a large container, add the Sparkling wine, and put it in your cooler.  Then you can serve it in little plastic cups at your destination. You can also top this Fruit Salad with a dollop of Greek yogurt. if you don't have Whipped Cream.  Enjoy!

 Drunken Fruit Salad Adapted from Daphne Oz/The Chew

3 Freestone Peaches, sliced and pitted
3 Red Plums, sliced and pitted
1 mango, peeled, pitted and sliced in chunks
1 cup of Blueberries
1 cup sliced strawberries
Juice and zest of two limes
2 sprigs of thyme, leaves, only
Drizzle of honey
Whipped cream
 1 Tbsp Mint leaves, chopped
Sparkling wine, Champagne or Sparkling Water

1. Place all of the fruit in a large bowl.  Squeeze lime juice over fruit.  Add lime zest, honey and Thyme to fruit. Mix well.  Refrigerate until serving time.

2. Fold mint into Whipped cream

3. To serve, place Fruit Salad  in a wine glass.  Top each glass with Sparkling Wine or Water, and top with Whipped Cream.  Garnish with a sprig of mint.  Enjoy!

linked up my recipe to Brandie@The Country Cook's Weekend Potluck #28
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Friday, July 20, 2012

No Bake Nutella Cookies

With all of the high temps and humidity we have been having, I found the perfect No Bake Cookie to make for a light dessert. You read that right, no bake means no oven, and it has Nutella, cocoa, oatmeal. and coconut.  What could be better?  Oatmeal means that they are healthy, right/?   I am going to serve these over the weekend with Drunken Fruit Salad (to be posted soon.)  

I saw this recipe here, on foodie  These beauties are so easy to make. I didn't have any hazelnuts and I used almond milk.  The butter, milk cocoa, sugar, and vanilla are cooked on the stove, and then mixed into the coconut oatmeal mixture. You then form 1 1/2" balls, and refrigerate. I flattened the little balls.  I couldn't stop eating these little cookies, so good,  chewy and chocolaty with coconut. My husband was stealing them off of the cookie sheet, too. This recipe will not disappoint.  Enjoy these cookies, and keep your kitchen cool.

Nutella No-Bake Cookies Adapted from
makes 24-30 cookies


1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk(  I used almond milk)
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
3/4 cup Nutella
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt or 2 good pinches (I didn't add)
3 cups old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup hazelnuts, chopped plus 2 tablespoons reserved (optional)
1/4 cup flaked coconut

1. In a medium saucepan, bring butter, sugar, cocoa and milk to a boil and cook for one minute.

2. Add Nutella, vanilla and salt and stir to combine. Remove from heat.

3. Combine oatmeal, hazelnuts, (if used), and coconut into a medium-sized bowl. Add chocolate Nutella mixture and mix to combine.

4. Spoon 1 1/2 -inch balls onto Silpat or parchment paper and top with sprinkle with reserved hazelnuts. Cool for 20 minutes. or keep in the fridge.

linked up my recipe to Brandie@The Country Cook's Weekend Potluck#27 Oven Free Addition
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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Layered Zucchini with Garden Tomatoes and Ground Turkey

Ar you ready for another zucchini recipe from the zucchini that my neighbor, Pauli, gave me from her garden?   I  just love the versatility of zucchini. I had made this dish many, many years ago, but had forgotten how good it was. The garden zucchini is layered with ground turkey, fresh chunky tomato sauce, fresh herbs and cheese. This dish tastes like Zucchini pizza with out the cheese.  You can leave out the ground meat for a vegetarian dish or a side dish. My husband was home when I was making this dish, so he added more cheese than I like.  You can adjust the cheese according to your taste.

All of the fresh flavors of the zucchini, tomatoes, and herbs shine through in this dish. It even tastes  better the next day.  I still have some shredded zucchini in the freezer, so who knows what I'll make next?  Any suggestions?

Layered Zucchini with Ground Turkey and Fresh Tomatoes
Inspired by Cooking


1 large zucchini, sliced in 1/4” rounds
1 pound ground turkey or beef
2 cloves of garlic, minced
3 medium tomatoes, peeled and quartered
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 Tbsp chopped fresh basil, or 1 tsp ground basil
1 Tbsp fresh Oregano or 1 tsp ground oregano
1 small onion, diced
 1 Tbsp fresh flat leaf parsley
 2 cups shredded Mozzarella Cheese- We used half Parmesan, half mozzarella

Directions: Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.

1. Microwave zucchini rounds for about 3 min., drain off excess water.
2. Brown ground turkey with garlic .in frying pan over medium heat. Drain.
3. While turkey is browning, pulse tomatoes just till rough chopped
 in food processor. Stir in tomato paste to thicken, if needed.
4. Add chopped tomatoes, chopped onion, and herbs to browned turkey, and stir, until combined.
5. Arrange zucchini rounds in a sprayed 2 qt. casserole dish or pan.  Spoon ground turkey-  tomato mixture over the zucchini.  Sprinkle with half of the cheese. Repeat layer of zucchini rounds and turkey tomato mixture and 1/4 of the remaining cheese.  Bake at 375 degrees for 30-40 min, until bubbly.
6. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 c. cheese over top, and bake about 5 min, until cheese is brown.
7. Remove from oven and let rest about 10 min before serving.

I linked this recipe to #tomatolove Blog Hop Stop by and see Jessica@ Oh Cake! and say Hi!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Blueberry Zucchini Bread to Share the Harvest

My BFF Pauli has a garden plot, and I got two large zucchini from her first harvest. I am the designated neighborhood baker, so I decided to make Blueberry Zucchini Bread with the zucchini, because I had a pint of Michigan blueberries, just begging me to be used. Unless I drove to Wisconsin or Michigan to pick the berries, I wouldn't get them any fresher than buying these Michigan blueberries at the store. I digress. Fresh zucchini and almost fresh blueberries call for Blueberry Zucchini Bread.

As for the recipe, I knew that I needed enough for five mini loaves for my four neighbors and us. As I perused Google, for Blueberry Zucchini bread, I saw Christiane @Taking On Magazines recipe for Blueberry Zucchini Bread.  It was similar to the recipe that I made years ago.  It would yield 2 8x4 loaves, but I got  five mini loaves out of the batter. I subbed 1/2 cup of unsweetened applesauce for half of the vegetable oil, and didn't add the walnuts. i also used al AP flour. This bread is so moist, and bursting with fresh blueberries, and relatively low fat. You can get Christiane's recipe here.  By the way, Christiane was named by as one of the Top 100 Mom Food Bloggers of 2012. Check it out and leave a comment on her page.

Well, our unbearable 100's temps are returning and I have another allergy attack, at least the tenth one this summer. Yesterday was at my local farm stand buying more of those wonderful local tomatoes, and saw that the they had honey produced from their own bees. Have any of you with seasonal allergies had any relief from eating honey produced from bees in your area?  Let me know, if you have, because I am going to try my local honey.  I figure that it can't hurt, and it might help. In the meantime, I'm going to have a piece of my wonderful Blueberry Zucchini Bread and a very strong cup of coffee!

Friday, July 13, 2012

A BBT, Basil, Tomato, and Bacon, a First!

The first "real" tomatoes of the season, there is nothing like it.  By "real" tomatoes I mean. tomatoes are locally grown.  They are the only tomatoes that have that wonderful, tomato flavor, that we all crave here in the Midwest.  Tomatoes, any other time of the year, are pale red, mushy, no flavor, and expensive. Therefore I only buy them for guacamole. Sad I know, but that the way it is in the Midwest.  Therefore, when the "real" tomatoes are ready, it's like a celebration in your kitchen, a summer rite of passage, if you will.  How many tomatoes can you eat before they are gone?  How many tomato dishes can you make to savor the flavor of those bright red orbs?, Bruschetta, sliced tomatoes,gazpacho, salads galore, tomatoes and cucumber salad, grilled tomatoes, stuffed tomatoes and on and on...

So, when I bought the first "real" tomatoes, from the farm stand across the road, I knew I wanted to make a BLT.  It has been forever, since we made them. First, I toasted the bread to perfection, cooked the turkey bacon in the microwave, sliced those glorious tomatoes, and spread on the Miracle Whip, sorry I don't like mayo.  Then, I decided to get big giant leaves from my basil plant, which is a giant by now. Oh. my, the basil goes so well with the tomatoes and the turkey bacon. It was like a party in my mouth, and another layer of flavor.  Let's face it lettuce doesn't have a lot of flavor, but the basil does, just enough flavor that it doesn't overpower that wonderful tomato taste, that I long for all winter. Bye Bye Lettuce!  Now, go make yourself one of these iconic Summer sandwiches and savor the flavors of the season, pure and simple. Enjoy!

I recently received The Addictive Blog Award from Stephanie@It's not just about the recipe....  Thank you Stephanie, I appreciate this award so much and your support!

The rules for the Addictive Blog Award are:
  • Thank the person who nominated you and link them back.
  • Share a little bit about why you started blogging.
  • Copy and paste the award onto your blog.
  • Nominate up to 10 other bloggers you think are addictive enough to deserve the award.
I started blogging after seeing Julie and Julia, which I loved. After seeing this movie, I thought , Well,  if Julie can blog, so can I. (Obviously Julie, wasn't on Foodbuzz:)  You see my husband loves to cook and I cook, but baking is my passion.  This idea rattled around in my head for several months. I can't tell you how many times I would go to the blogger site, and almost press the "start new blog" button.  Then one day just like Nike slogan "Just Do It", I finally pushed the button.  Little did I know that there was a whole world on the other side of the screen of such a wonderful, supportive community.  I have "met". so many amazing people, and continue to do so. Everyday, I meet new people, and learn something new, worldwide. Thank you Julia Child!

Here are my amazing nominees:

Inside a British Mum's Kitchen

The Weekend Gourmet

Sun Flower Supper Club

Pam's Midwest Kitchen

The Country Cook

Liv Life

Go Bake Yourself

Congratulations to all of my nominees.  You are all deserving of this award, and I am so glad for all of you.  Again, Thank you Stephanie@It's not just about the recipe.. again for this award.

linked up my recipe to Brandie@The Country Cook's Weekend Potluck#26
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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Refreshing Watermelon Mojitos!

Summer and hot weather means one thing to me, Watermelon.   I love the cool, refreshing slices and chunks of the sweet goodness.  There is nothing better than watermelon  slices on hot, hot, day, until I discovered the Watermelon Mojito. Oh my! this drink is is like heaven in a glass.  You have the sweet watermelon puree, lime juice, a little sugar, and mint with rum. This drink is so tasty and  refreshing, and If you have your own mint plant on your patio, it's even easier.

If you have  never made a mojito or watermelon mojito, you will possibly learn a new word, muddle. Muddle is to to mash or crush ingredients with a spoon or a muddler (a rod with a flattened end). Now, I don't have a muddler per se, I use the round end of my wooden juicer, and it works fine, I just have to use a short glass to "muddle" the mint leaves, sugar, and lime juice. If you have a muddler, you can make this drnk in a shaker.

Here's the way I make the Watermelon Mojito:
  First, "muddle" 10 mint leaves, 1 Tbsp. superfine sugar, more or less, and the juice of 1 lime in glass or shaker, until you can smell the mint. Fill the glass with ice.  Add  1 1/2 oz white rum.  Add in 6 oz watermelon puree.
Top with club soda or sparkling water, stir and Enjoy! I like to leave my mint leaves in the glass.  This cool, sweet, limey, minty watermelon libation will tingle your toes.  You can also make the drink without the rum for the kiddos. 
Our hot, hot weather is returning, so I know what I'll be drinking...

I was nominated for the Addictive Blog Award by Stephanie from It's not just about the recipe.....  Thank you Stephanie, so much.  I am very honored to be among such wonderful bloggers.  I will be paying this amazing award  forward soon. If you don't know Stephanie, stop over and check out her lovely blog with awesome recipes and writing.

linked up my recipe to Brandie@The Country Cook's Weekend Potluck#26
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Monday, July 9, 2012

Home Made Vanilla Ice Cream without an Ice Cream Maker

I made this Home Made Vanilla ice Cream, when I went to my Granddaughter's a week ago and it was 105 degrees.  Before I left I knew that it had been hot, so making ice cream would be a perfect inside activity,  I packed my Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer, my stick blender, and the ice cream maker attachment for the Kitchen Aid mixer, or so I thought. Once, I got down to her house, about a 4 1/2 drive from my house, and started to unpack, I discovered that I had in fact, left the ice cream maker attachment at home. Thank goodness for Google.  Because Aria and her boyfriend wanted Vanilla Ice Cream, I found a wonderful recipe for Vanilla ice cream, without the ice cream maker. Yay!  The ice cream was so creamy not icy, and full of vanilla flavor. Google helped to turn a bad situation into a good one.

I found a recipe on Tracy's Culinary Adventures  for Vanilla Bean Ice Cream.  Because I didn't have any Vanilla beans, or paste,  I used the Pure Vanilla extract from Costco. which gave the ice cream a lot of vanilla flavor. The process you use to make the ice cream without an ice cream maker is to first make the the custard, and strain it, per the recipe chilling in the refrigerator, and then transfer the custard to a freezer proof container,  Now, the secret to making  the ice cream without the ice cream maker, is to transfer the custard to your refrigerator freezer, and stir vigorously about every 45 minutes or so to break up the ice crystals, as the ice cream freezes.  The ice cream almost doubles in size.  We did this for about 4 hours, and then left it in the freezer overnight, and ate it the next day. this process works best with rich ice creams.  This Vanilla Ice Cream recipe is very rich, and good. Aria had made these Sugar Cookies with Peanut Butter Chips from a mix, before I got there.

Vanilla Ice Cream without an Ice Cream Maker
adapted from Tracy's Culinary Adventures

2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup milk (I used 2%)
2 1/2 cups heavy cream
pinch of salt
6 large egg yolks 
3/4 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract

 Add the sugar, milk, heavy cream and salt to the pan.  Heat the mixture over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the milk and cream are warm (but not boiling) and the sugar has dissolved.

In a medium heatproof bowl, whisk the egg yolks together.  Slowly pour the milk/cream mixture into the yolks, whisking constantly, until completely incorporated. You are tempering the egg yolks, so they don’t turn into scrambled eggs. Transfer the mixture back to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon (it will register between 170 and 175 F on an instant read thermometer).

Pour the custard through a fine mesh strainer into a heatproof bowl.  Chill until very cold, at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight.  Stir the vanilla extract into the custard then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.***  Store the ice cream in an airtight container in your freezer.

*** If you don’t have an ice cream maker, transfer the custard to your refrigerator freezer, and stir vigorously about every 45 minutes or so to break up the ice crystals, as the ice cream freezes.  The ice cream almost doubles in size.  We did this for about 4 hours, and then left it in the freezer overnight, and ate it the next day.  This process works best with rich ice creams.  This Vanilla Ice Cream recipe is very rich, and good.

linked up my recipe to Brandie@The Country Cook's Weekend Potluck#26
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Thursday, July 5, 2012

Ooey Gooey S'mores Bars

I hope that everyone had a safe and happy 4th of July! We had a quiet one here, too hot to do anything outside, 102 degrees. Ugh! I have this great recipe though.

Have you ever seen a recipe on TV, that you couldn't wait to make? That's what happened to me as I was watching Good Morning America, while eating my oatmeal yesterday.  Because it was the Fourth of July, they were showing Fourth of July desserts, and making these Ooey Gooey S' mores Bars from Taste of Home. OMG, these bars looked outrageously good, and I had all of the ingredients in the pantry.  Because we have a fire pit, I always have the ingredients for S' Mores on hand.  Also, because the temp yesterday was 102, I knew there would be no fire in the fire pit last night. These bars would be perfect. I made them right after breakfast.

The bars have a cookie type crust with flour, as well as graham cracker crumbs.  I left some of my crumbs chunky for added texture. On top of the cookie crust, you place the whole chocolate bars.  I also used some mini Peanut Butter cups, cut in half, to replace one of the chocolate bars. Then on top of the chocolate you spread marshmallow creme, or sprinkle miniature marshmallows. Bake until golden brown. Sprinkles can be used now for decoration.  The hardest part is that you have to wait about 30 minutes for the bars to cool, before cutting into them. Of course, I had to test them to be sure that they were all right:)  They taste just like a S'more with graham cracker cookie crust, the melted chocolate, and the ooey gooey golden brown marshmallows. I couldn't stop eating them. You don't have to go out in the 100 degree temps, and make a fire, or use your grill. You can make them in your oven in your air conditioned kitchen, and they only bake for about 25 minutes.

 I would recommend that you make sure that the whole inside of the pan is sprayed, all the way to the top, otherwise the melted marshmallows will stick to the inside of the pan.
Also, Because they are ooey gooey, it is tricky cutting them in nice pieces, but they taste so good. Enjoy!  Close your eyes and pretend that you are eating your S'More around a campfire!

Ooey Gooey S’ Mores Bars from Taste of Home


1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
5 milk chocolate candy bars (1.55 ounces each)or peanut butter cups, cut in pieces
1 cup marshmallow creme or 1 cup miniature marshmallows


In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine the flour, cracker crumbs,
baking powder and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture. Set
aside 1/2 cup for topping.

Press remaining mixture into a greased or sprayed   8x8 or 9-in. square baking pan.
Place candy bars over crust; spread with marshmallow creme., or miniature marshmallows.
Sprinkle remaining graham cracker mixture over top.

Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a
wire rack. Cut into bars. Store in an airtight container., if there are any left.
Yield: 1 dozen

linked up my recipe to Brandie@The Country Cook's Weekend Potluck#25
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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Peach Blueberry Crisp

Do you make a crisp, or do you call it crumble?  Supposedly a crumble is the British version of a crisp, which is basically, flour, sugar, butter, and perhaps oats, mixed together and sprinkled on top of your favorite fruit. Summer fruits, peaches, strawberries, pears, blueberries, plums, cherries, etc. just call out to crisp to me. I made Peach Blueberry Crisp and in this  particular, one I added a little shredded coconut to the topping , as well.  You could also add nuts, if you want.  Crisp is a homey dessert, and only takes the a few minutes to prepare the topping and slice or chop the fruit.  Because I made these in small ramekins, they only had to bake about 15 min, so your kitchen wouldn't get too hot. then it's off to that baseball game or the pool;)

I went to see my Granddaughter over the weekend in Southern Illinois.  Out and about, we stopped at a fruit stand, and bought Southern Illinois peaches from Calhoun County, which is famous for their peaches. These peaches are tree ripened, juicy, and  have so much flavor, the best! Sorry California peaches.  Here in IL, California peaches are sent  unripened, and hard as rocks.  You have to ripen them in a brown paper bag. I knew that I was going to make a peach crisp, and in honor of our country's birthday, I  added fresh blueberries, and put them in mini red ramekins, and put them on a white plate. Red, white, and  blueberry crisp for the 4th, sort of. the juicy peaches combined with blueberries made for a wonderful crisp, especially with addition of the coconut to the topping.

You can also cut out watermelon stars with your star shaped cookie cutter, to be more festive. who doesn't love watermelon.  It's even better, in all of this hot, over 100 temps, that we are having lately.  I could live on fruit and salad in this hot weather, and you'll be seeing a lot of recipes with fruit in the coming weeks, just sayin'.

 You can even add festive sprinkles to my Black Forest Cupcakes.  What would a baker do without sprinkles?

Peach Blueberry Crisp- enough for a shallow 10" pie plate or 9X9 square pan, or 8 4 oz ramekins - 375 degree oven, Adapted from Betty Crocker’s, Cooking for Two

You can use a  food processor, or I use a pastry blender to make the topping.  If you don't have a pastry blender, you can cut in the butter with two knives.

3/4 c. brown sugar
1 c. flour
1/2 c. old fashioned rolled oats
1/3 cup flaked coconut
1 tsp. cinnamon
6 Tbsp butter
6 medium  peaches, pitted peeled and sliced**
1 cup of fresh blueberries washed
More cinnamon to taste.

1. Combine first 6 ingredients and cut in butter until crumbly, like small peas, and refrigerate until the peaches are, peeled, pitted, and sliced.
2. In a pan of boiling water, dip peaches for about 30 seconds to loosen the skin.  Immediately plunge peaches in an ice bath.  Remove peaches, and peel off the skin, pit and slice.

3. Combine sliced peaches and blueberries. Sprinkle with the cinnamon.  I added no additional sugar to the fruit.

3. Spray 10" pie plate, or ramekins, and fill with fruit.. Take topping out of fridge, and spread the topping over the fruit. Bake in 375 degree oven 20-25 min until topping is golden. Then, turn oven up to 400 degrees for five min. to "crisp" topping. Cool on rack. Serve Warm-

linked up my recipe to Brandie@The Country Cook's Weekend Potluck#25
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