Watermelon Feta Salad with Lemon Basil Dressing

19 Apr

Summer recipes are popping up everywhere and I couldn’t wait to try this watermelon and feta salad. With mouth-watering watermelon, bold feta and tangy lemon basil dressing it’s the perfect side dish for a summer BBQ. I used to think fruit in salad was super weird but as my taste buds have matured I can’t  think of anything more refreshing or tasty. It’s such a simple salad and you will really impress your friends when you say you made the dressing! So no more preservative packed, bottled dressings, with only three ingredients there are no excuses why you can’t whip up your own majestic homemade dressing. Cheers to that!!!

Whisk 1 part fresh lemon juice with 3 parts olive oil, chopped basil (you can substitute mint for the basil but I much prefer basil) and salt and pepper. Toss with baby arugula, micro greens or any type of lettuce you prefer, watermelon cubes and feta cubes.

Rosemary and Apricot Shortbread Cookies

18 Apr

Sweet and savory cookies…many will wonder, few will try. I was all for the idea of adding fresh herbs to sweet shortbread cookies. The combination of apricot and rosemary is heavenly. This type of cookie may not be for everyone, especially if you’re in the mood for something rich and overly sweet. These are very light and refreshing, I imagine them pairing well with an assortment of decadent cheeses. The cookie it’s self is crispy but with the addition of the apricot jam it melts in your mouth and is definitely a palate pleaser!

Rosemary and Apricot Shortbread Cookies

Makes 20

1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/3 cup sugar

1/4 cup yellow cornmeal

1/2 cup butter

2 Tbsp. snipped fresh rosemary or 2 tsp. dried rosemary

3 Tbsp. milk

Apricot jam

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a bowl stir together flour, sugar, and cornmeal. Using pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Stir in rosemary. Add milk. Stir with fork to combine; form into ball. Knead until smooth; Roll the dough into 1 ¼ inch balls (if you have a scale they should each weigh 1 ounce) Place the balls on an ungreased cookie sheet and press a light indentation into the top of each with your finger. Bake about 10 minutes or until edges are firm and bottoms are very lightly browned. Transfer cookies to wire rack. Cool. When ready to serve drop ¼ teaspoon jam into each indentation.

Strawberry Tiramisu Pancakes

17 Apr

I know a good recipe when I see one!!! Fluffy tiramisu pancakes smothered in mascarpone and strawberry puree…yum! A moment of guilt rushed upon me as I took my first bite into what was supposed to be breakfast but tasted to good to be true, followed by a moment of bliss. This has to be dessert! How could this be filed under a breakfast item…but who am I to argue. I will take it breakfast lunch or dinner. I’m sorry I have to share this sinful recipe, I’m sorry because I know once you try it you will be making it for breakfast every weekend this month and I’m sorry because I know that can’t be good for anyones pre-summer diet but it’s just too good not to share, so enjoy! :)

Strawberry Tiramisu Pancakes

pancakes adapted from The Ivory Hut
Makes enough for 4 (3-pancake) mini-stacks or 2 (2-pancake) large stacks.

Before you start, I would brew 1 cup of espresso and place in the fridge for 30 minutes. It’s easier than waiting for it to chill while you’re in the middle of getting everything together. 

FOR THE STRAWBERRY PUREE:

1 cup Strawberries

2 Tablespoons Confectioner’s Sugar

FOR THE MASCARPONE CREAM:

1 cup Mascarpone

¼ cups Heavy Cream

¼ cups Confectioner’s Sugar

1 Tablespoon Brewed Espresso, Chilled

1 Tablespoon Maple Syrup (optional)

FOR THE PANCAKES:

Dry:

2 cups All-purpose Flour

2 Tablespoons Granulated Sugar

2 Tablespoons Cocoa Powder, Sifter

2 teaspoons Baking Powder

½ teaspoons Baking Soda

Generous Pinch Salt

Wet:

½ cups Sour Cream

1-½ cup Milk

2 Tablespoons Instant Coffee Granules

3  Large Eggs

2 teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract

4 Tablespoons Butter, Melted

Vegetable Oil, For Griddle Or Pan

FOR SERVING:

1 cup Strawberries, Sliced Lengthwise

For the strawberry puree:
In a bullet, food processor or blender, puree the strawberries and confectioner’s sugar until smooth. Set aside.

For the mascarpone cream:
In a small bowl, add the mascarpone, heavy cream, confectioner’s sugar, brewed espresso and maple syrup. Using an electric mixer (or stand mixer with whisk attachment), beat the ingredients until thick and creamy, 1-2 minutes. Set aside until ready to serve.

For the pancakes:
In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder and soda, and salt together until combined.

In another bowl, add the sour cream and a little bit of the milk. Whisk until it starts to loosen up. Add a bit more milk, continue to whisk. Add the rest of the milk. This helps ensure no clumps of sour cream remain. Add the instant coffee and mix well until it’s all dissolved. Whisk in eggs, vanilla and melted butter and mix until smooth.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir gently until just combined with no flour pockets remaining. It should be slightly lumpy, you don’t want to overmix.

Place a large skillet (or set up your griddle if you have one) over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of oil. Heat until rippled and add 1/4 cup of pancake batter (or 2 tablespoonfuls for tiny pancakes). Let it sizzle away until bubbles come up and the edges look cooked. Carefully flip and cook for another minute.

To serve (this is for 3-pancake mini-stacks), place one pancake on a serving plate and spread 1-2 tablespoons of the mascarpone mixture on top, a few sliced berries, and a tablespoon of the strawberry puree. Repeat again. Place the last pancake on top, dollop with cream, drizzle with puree and top with a whole berry.

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