Thursday, December 29, 2011

Banana Tart with Warm Caramel Sauce

















This dessert is much more decadent than most we feature, which makes it ideal for special occasions this holiday season! While there are several different components, they are all quite easy to prepare. We hope you and yours enjoy it as much as our friends did! We also wish you a New Year as sweet and rich as this tart!

Note: Alfred went absolutely ga-ga over the caramel sauce – if you have any left over it is great drizzled over just about any loaf or bundt cake in place of a glaze, and it is also perfect for spreading on apple slices.

Banana Tart
1 Sheet of Puff Pastry, thawed
2 Tablespoons Butter
4-5 Ripe Bananas, halved lengthwise
1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, unfold the thawed puff pastry. Use a sharp knife to score a 1-inch border along the perimeter of the puff pastry – do not cut all the way through the dough (the 1-inch border with be the crusty edge of the tart – the bananas will go inside the 1-inch perimeter). Use a fork to prick the dough inside the 1 inch perimeter.Place the dough on the baking sheet in the freezer.

Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the butter and place each of the banana halves, cut-side down, in the hot skillet. Cook until lightly browned.

Remove the prepared puff pastry from the freezer, and arrange the banana slices cut-side up in the middle of the tart. Sprinkle the bananas evenly with the cinnamon and brown sugar. Bake until the crust is golden brown, 20-25 minutes.

Caramel Sauce
2/3 Cup Granulated Sugar
1/2 Cup Heavy/Whipping Cream, warm (if you add in in cold the caramelized sugar may solidify)
1 Tablespoon Butter
Pinch Salt (omit if using salted butter)

Place the sugar in a dry, heavy-bottomed skillet over low heat. Once the sugar starts to melt, stir it with fork until it is completed melted and golden brown. Slowly pour in the warm cream. Once the cream is fully incorporated add the butter and salt, and stir until the butter is incorporated. Remove from heat, serve sauce warm. *If necessary reheat over a double boiler or in the microwave for a few seconds.

Vanilla Whipped Cream
1 Cup Very Cold Heavy/Whipping Cream
2 Tablespoons Confectioner Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Using a hand mixer, whip the cream, sugar and vanilla until stiff peaks form – 2-3 minutes. *Do this as close to when you will serve the dessert as possible, and refrigerate until ready to use.

To serve:
Slice the tart as desired. Drizzle with warm caramel sauce, and top with a generous dollop of whipped cream.

As usual, I've included this post as part of several weekly recipe sharing events: Midnight Maniac Meatless Mondays , Making Monday Marvelous, Just Something I Whipped Up, My Meatless Mondays, Just Another Meatless Monday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Tempt my Tummy Tuesday, Tasty Tuesdays , Tuesdays at the Table, Real Food Wednesdays, Whatcha Makin' Wednesdays, Full Plate Thursday, Friday Foodie, Friday Favorites, Foodie Friday, Funky Fresh Friday, Nifty Thrifty Sunday, and Inspiration Board.Check out all the great recipes other bloggers have contributed!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Maple Pecan Tart

















We hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. It was just the two of us this year, so we we kept our dinner pretty simple. Roasted butternut squash, brussel sprouts with caramelized onions and for dessert this simple pecan tart. It is basically a healthier version of pecan pie. Sweetened only with pure maple syrup, it is not tooth-achingly sweet like the traditional dessert, and the maple syrup adds a nice fall flavor. You undoubtedly have your Thanksgiving Day desserts prepared, but this tart is a delicious and easy treat to take along to any holiday parties. You can also mix things up by substituting other nuts, such as chopped hazelnuts or walnuts for the pecans, and honey for the maple syrup. Enjoy and Happy Holidays!

Maple Pecan Tart (Note: this makes 1, 6-inch tart, double the filling recipe for a deep dish 9-inch pie)
¾ Cup Pure Maple Syrup
1 Egg, plus 1 Egg yolk
½ teaspoon Cinnamon
¼ teaspoon Salt
1 Cup Pecans, chopped
1 Pie Crust (I used this recipe, but substituted coconut oil for the canola oil)

Directions:
1)Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2)Line your tart or pie pan with pie crust.
3)Thoroughly combine the maple syrup, egg, egg yolk, cinnamon, and salt. Stir in the nuts, and pour the filling into the crust lined pan.
4)Bake 40-45 minutes until the crust is lightly golden brown and the filling is set.
5)Cool completely before serving.

As usual, I've included this post as part of several weekly recipe sharing events: Midnight Maniac Meatless Mondays , Making Monday Marvelous, Just Something I Whipped Up, My Meatless Mondays, Just Another Meatless Monday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Tempt my Tummy Tuesday, Tasty Tuesdays , Tuesdays at the Table, Real Food Wednesdays, Whatcha Makin' Wednesdays, Full Plate Thursday, Friday Foodie, Friday Favorites, Foodie Friday, Funky Fresh Friday, Nifty Thrifty Sunday, and Inspiration Board.Check out all the great recipes other bloggers have contributed!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Slightly Spicy Roasted Butternut Squash

















Apologies for the lengthy lapse in postings, life has been crazy busy. We hope everyone’s autumn is off to a great start. For the last few weeks, we have been enjoying the bounty of fall produce – apples, pears, kale, brussel sprouts, turnips, and parsnips. One of our absolute favorites is butternut squash. We love it in everything from soups to baked goods. But nothing beats simply roasting this flavorful vegetable. In the recipe below, a blend of Latin American spices and a long roasting in the oven really bring out the natural sweetness of the squash. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Slightly Spicy Roasted Butternut Squash
1 Large Butternut Squash (3-4 pounds), peeled, seeded, and cut into large pieces
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon ground Cumin
1 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground Nutmeg (freshly grated if possible)
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper (or more to taste)
1 teaspoon of Sea Salt + more to taste

1)Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2)Coat the squash pieces with the oil, garlic, and spices.
3)Spread the squash in an even layer on a cookie sheet – use two cookie sheets if necessary to ensure you have a single layer.
4)Roast the squash for 45 minutes – 1 hour, until the squash is tender and beginning to caramelize.
5) Enjoy nice and hot.
*Refrigerate leftovers - they are a great addition to salads.


As usual, I've included this post as part of several weekly recipe sharing events: Midnight Maniac Meatless Mondays , Making Monday Marvelous, Just Something I Whipped Up, My Meatless Mondays, Just Another Meatless Monday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Tempt my Tummy Tuesday, Tasty Tuesdays , Tuesdays at the Table, Real Food Wednesdays, Whatcha Makin' Wednesdays, Full Plate Thursday, Friday Foodie, Friday Favorites, Foodie Friday, Funky Fresh Friday, Nifty Thrifty Sunday, and Inspiration Board.Check out all the great recipes other bloggers have contributed!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Roasted Banana Crumb Muffins

















One item always in-stock at our house is bananas. Ashlie eats one just about every day with almond butter as an afternoon snack. Alfred loves to use them to make smoothies. And when we end up with too many ripe bananas they make their way into baked goods. These muffins are a yummy twist on the traditional banana nut bread/muffin. The “secret” is to roast the bananas before adding them to the batter, which concentrates their sweet fruity flavor. This step also means you can get away with using less sugar, yielding a healthier treat!

Roasted Banana Crumb Muffins
2 Very Ripe, Medium-Large Bananas
2 Cups Flour (I use 1 Cup All-Purpose, 1 Cup Whole Wheat, a Gluten-free All-Purpose Blend works well too)
2 teaspoons Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt
1/2 Cup Sugar (I used coconut palm sugar because it is low glycemic)
2 Eggs
1/4 Cup Oil (I use melted coconut oil)
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Crumb Topping:
1/4 Cup Flour
1/4 Cup Sugar
1/4 Cup chopped Walnuts
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
1 Tablespoon Oil

1)Heat your oven to 400 degrees. Place the bananas (whole and unpeeled) on a baking sheet. Let the bananas cook until the skin is completely blackened and the fruit is very soft.
2)Meanwhile, combine the flour, baking soda, and sea salt. In a separate bowl, combine the sugar, eggs, oil, and vanilla. In another bowl, combine all of the crumb topping ingredients and set aside.
3)When the bananas are done roasting, peel them and mash them thoroughly, then add them to the egg mixture. Gently stir in the flour mixture.
4)Evenly distribute the batter between the muffin cups. Top each muffin with a tablespoon of the crumb topping.
5)Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees, and bake the muffins for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle of one comes out clean.
6)Pour yourself a cup of tea, coffee, or milk and enjoy one (or two) while they're still warm!

As usual, I've included this post as part of several weekly recipe sharing events: Midnight Maniac Meatless Mondays , Making Monday Marvelous, Just Something I Whipped Up, My Meatless Mondays, Just Another Meatless Monday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Tempt my Tummy Tuesday, Tasty Tuesdays , Tuesdays at the Table, Real Food Wednesdays, Whatcha Makin' Wednesdays, Full Plate Thursday, Friday Foodie, Friday Favorites, Foodie Friday, Funky Fresh Friday, Nifty Thrifty Sunday, and Inspiration Board.Check out all the great recipes other bloggers have contributed!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Honey Mustard Glazed Salmon

















Salmon is one of our absolute favorites. We eat it a couple of times a week, often seasoned with just a little olive oil, salt, and pepper. We make this dish when we want to jazz it up a bit. The honey mustard glaze adds an element of heat and sweet, but it doesn't overpower the natural flavor of the fish. One of the best aspects of this recipe is it requires minimal preparation, and it cooks in only 10 minutes!

Honey Mustard Glazed Salmon
2 6oz. Salmon Filets
1 Tablespoon Honey
2 Tablespoons Coarse Ground Spicy Mustard
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt

1.Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2.Mix together the honey, mustard, and spices.
3.Spread the mixture evenly over the salmon.
4.Bake for 10 minutes.
5.Enjoy!

As usual, I've included this post as part of several weekly recipe sharing events: Midnight Maniac Meatless Mondays , Making Monday Marvelous, Just Something I Whipped Up, My Meatless Mondays, Just Another Meatless Monday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Tempt my Tummy Tuesday, Tasty Tuesdays , Tuesdays at the Table, Real Food Wednesdays, Whatcha Makin' Wednesdays, Full Plate Thursday, Friday Foodie, Friday Favorites, Foodie Friday, Funky Fresh Friday, Nifty Thrifty Sunday, and Inspiration Board.Check out all the great recipes other bloggers have contributed!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Mediterranean Tuna Salad















Sandwiches are one of Alfred’s favorite foods. He loves all varieties from hot and toasty paninis to cold and creamy egg salad. This tuna is one of his latest favorites. Unlike traditional tuna salad, this one is free of mayo and relish. Instead, it is made moist by olive oil and flavored with olives, capers and basil. In addition to being great on sandwiches, this Mediterranean- inspired tuna salad makes a great topping for salads or a filling for veggies such as celery sticks, and hollowed out zucchini, tomatoes, or cucumbers. With back to school time just around the corner, it is a easy, healthy, and portable lunch option to add to your repertoire.

Mediterranean Tuna Salad
1 Can Tuna packed in Olive Oil
1 Garlic clove, finely minced or pressed
1/4 Cup Red Onion, finely chopped
1/4 Cup Olives, finely chopped
2 Tablespoons Capers, finely chopped
2 Tablespoons Basil, finely minced
Sea Salt and Black Pepper to taste

Simply combine all the ingredients and enjoy!



As usual, I've included this post as part of several weekly recipe sharing events: Midnight Maniac Meatless Mondays , Making Monday Marvelous, Just Something I Whipped Up, My Meatless Mondays, Just Another Meatless Monday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Tempt my Tummy Tuesday, Tasty Tuesdays , Tuesdays at the Table, Real Food Wednesdays, Whatcha Makin' Wednesdays, Full Plate Thursday, Friday Foodie, Friday Favorites, Foodie Friday, Funky Fresh Friday, Nifty Thrifty Sunday, and Inspiration Board.Check out all the great recipes other bloggers have contributed!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Zucchini Muffins



It is certainly the season for zucchini, and we have been eating more than our fair share! We love it in savory applications raw, roasted, sautéed, in soups and stews... but zucchini is also great as a moister booster in baked goods. The neutral flavor also creates a wonderful palate for any flavors you enjoy most in your baked goods to shine through. These muffins are subtly sweet and spicy, perfectly moist on the inside with a nice crunchy topping. All in all, they yet another wonderful way to enjoy the bounty of summer!

Zucchini Muffins
1 1/2 C. Flour (I used half whole wheat, half all-purpose, a gluten free blend would work well too)
2 T. Ground Flax Seed (optional)
1 t. Cinnamon
1/2 t. Nutmeg
1/4 t. Salt
1 1/2 t. baking soda
1 egg, beaten
2/3 C. Sugar (I used coconut palm sugar)
2 T. Molasses
1 t. Vanilla Extract
1 t. Orange Zest
1/3 C. Oil
1 1/2 C. Zucchini, Shredded
1/2 C. Dates, pitted and chopped (optional – you can also substitute other dried fruits)
1/4 C. Chopped Pecans (optional)

1)Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper liners or lightly oil the pan.
2)Combine the flour, flax seed, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and baking soda.
3)In a separate bowl, combine the egg, sugar, molasses, vanilla, zest, and oil. Stir in the zucchini. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients; stir until the wet and dry ingredients are just combined. Stir in the dates.
4)Spoon the batter into the muffin tin. Sprinkle the top of each muffin with some pecans.
5)Bake the muffins for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.

We hope you enjoy these muffins and the rest of your summer!

As usual, I've included this post as part of several weekly recipe sharing events: Midnight Maniac Meatless Mondays , Making Monday Marvelous, Just Something I Whipped Up, My Meatless Mondays, Just Another Meatless Monday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Tempt my Tummy Tuesday, Tasty Tuesdays , Tuesdays at the Table, Real Food Wednesdays, Whatcha Makin' Wednesdays, Full Plate Thursday, Friday Foodie, Friday Favorites, Foodie Friday, Funky Fresh Friday, Nifty Thrifty Sunday, and Inspiration Board.Check out all the great recipes other bloggers have contributed!