Thursday, July 22, 2010

CEiMB: Chicken with Warm Tomato, Corn, and Black Bean Salad

It's Thursday! That means it is time for another Craving Ellie in My Belly recipe. This week's recipe was chosen by Danica of Danica's Daily.  She chose for us to make Chicken with Warm Tomato and Corn Salad from So Easy: Luscious, Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Week by Ellie Krieger.  A link to the recipe online can be found online at Ellie's website here.  This was a perfect recipe for summer.  It is full of wonderful summer vegetables like corn and tomatoes.  I used cherry tomatoes and cilantro that I picked from my garden and fresh corn that I picked up from a farmer's market earlier this week.

I changed this recipe up a bit, instead of salt and pepper, I used my favorite southwest/Mexican spice, Goya Adobo with cumin to season the chicken and the corn and tomato salad.  I also added a jalapeƱo to the salad, and, instead of avocado, which I only like in guacamole form, I added a can of black beans.  Black beans and corn is one of my favorite combinations, and I thought that it would add some substance to the dish and make it more of a complete meal.

I love the flavors of this dish, it is fresh and light, a great summer meal.  Thanks to Danica for a great pick, and be sure to check out the Craving Ellie in My Belly blogroll to see what the other bloggers did with their dishes.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Blueberry Streusel Bars with Lemon-Cream Filling

Fine cooking is one of my favorite food magazines.  They constantly have great recipes, tips, and techniques.  One of my favorite issues has a feature on blueberry desserts, and I must have looked at this recipe for Blueberry Streusel Bars with Lemon-Cream Filling a hundred times, saying to myself "You've got to try this recipe."  Well, I finally got around to making them for a co-worker's birthday, and I wish I would have made them sooner.  They were delicious.  The blueberry flavor is quite prominent and goes so well with lemon filling.  And I love the combination of blueberries and lemon.  Another great thing about this recipe is that it is really easy to make, I didn't even have to use my mixer.  So, even though I couldn't seem to get a great picture of these bars, I just had to post this recipe because I loved these bars so much.

Blueberry Streusel Bars with Lemon-Cream Filling
 adapted from Fine Cooking Magazine
  • 8 oz. (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened; more for the pan
  • 13-1/2 oz. (3 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick oats)
  • 1-1/3 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. table salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 large egg, separated
  • 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. grated lemon zest
  • 2-1/2 cups room-temperature blueberries (about 13 oz.), washed and drained on paper towels
Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9x13-inch metal baking pan with foil, leaving a 1-inch overhang on the ends. Lightly butter the bottom and sides of the foil.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, oats, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Using your fingers, blend the butter completely into the flour mixture. Transfer 2 cups of crumb mixture to another bowl and reserve for the topping. Blend the egg white into the remaining crumbs and then press the mixture into the bottom of the pan to form a level crust. You can tamp it with the bottom of a measuring cup to even it out. Bake the crust until it starts to form a dry top about 12 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk the condensed milk, lemon juice, lemon zest, and egg yolk. Let this mixture stand for 5 minutes; it will begin to thicken.

Sprinkle the blueberries evenly over the hot crust and then drop spoonfuls of the lemon mixture over the blueberries. Spread gently with a spatula to distribute a little more evenly, but take care not to crush the berries; it’s fine if the lemon mixture isn’t perfectly even. Bake until the lemon mixture just begins to form a shiny skin, 7 to 8 minutes.

Sprinkle the reserved topping over the lemon-blueberry layer, pressing the streusel between your fingers into small lumps as you sprinkle. Bake until the filling is bubbling at the edges and the topping is brown, 25 to 30 minutes.

Let the bars cool in the pan on a rack until just warm, about an hour. Carefully lift them out of the pan using the foil overhang and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Remove the foil and cut into 24 bars when cool. The bars may be stored at room temperature for a few hours but otherwise should be kept in the refrigerator.

Note: I refrigerated my bars still in the foil, and I had some difficulty removing the bars from the foil once the bars were cold.  It may be better to try and remove the foil once the bars have cooled and before you store them in the refrigerator. 

Look how attentive my dog Riley can be when he wants a treat!  


Monday, July 5, 2010

Ginger Limeade

It's really hot and humid here this time of year. I had been looking for a refreshing summer drink, and I found one in my copy of Fresh and Fabulous from Cuisine at Home. Cuisine at Home is one of my favorite magazines. They always have delicious and unique dishes, but the recipes never seem overcomplicated or labor intensive. This drink recipe is no exception, it takes about 5 minutes to mix together.

I loved this drink. It is tart, sweet, and incredibly refreshing. The lime and mint brighten the flavor of the ginger ale. This is a drink I will make again and again throughout the summer. This drink would also be a great base for a cocktail. I think it would work well with vodka or gin. This drink serves 2-3, but can easily be scaled up for large groups.

Ginger Limeade
adapted from Fresh and Fabulous from Cuisine at Home
serves 2

  • 1/2 cup superfine sugar
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
  • 8 fresh mint leaves
  • 2 cups ginger ale
  • lime slices, for serving

  • Whisk together sugar, lime juice, and mint leaves in a pitcher until sugar is dissolved. Strain out the mint if desired.
  • To serve, add ginger ale to lime mixture in the pitcher and mix gently to combine. Pour limeade over ice in glasses; garnish with lime slices

Thursday, July 1, 2010

CEiMB: Penne with Roasted Tomatoes, Garlic and White Beans

It's Thursday! That means it is time for another Craving Ellie in My Belly recipe. This week's recipe was chosen by Bri of Yoshimi Vs. Motherhood. She chose for us to make the Penne with Roasted Tomatoes, Garlic, and White Beans from The Food You Crave: Luscious Recipes for a Healthy Life by Ellie Krieger. It is a simple dish that takes minimal preparation.

The thing that I love about being part of this group is that there are many recipes that I normally wouldn't think about trying, and this group suggests wonderful recipes that I may have passed right by while flipping through Ellie's cookbooks. This pasta dish is one such recipe, and I am glad I participated this week, because I really liked it. The creamy white beans contrasted nicely with the chewy pasta. I added some crushed red pepper to bring a little bit of heat to the dish, and I used feta cheese instead of Parmesan cheese to give the meal a bit more "bite".

I think this dish makes a great vegetarian meal because the beans are a nice substitute for meat or poultry. The only thing I would change would be to increase the amount of tomatoes in the dish. My tomatoes shrunk a lot while they were roasting, and they seemed rather scarce when added to the pasta and beans. Thanks to Bri for suggesting another great Ellie recipe, and make sure to check out the blogroll to see what other Craving Ellie in My Belly bloggers did with their recipes.