Stuffed & Fried Squash Blossoms.

I told you there was more to come from my farmers market visit this weekend. I have always wanted to make fried squash blossoms. I don’t know why. It’s so intriguing to me. Why did someone decide it was a good idea to pick a vegetable flower, stuff it and fry it? I have no idea. I needed to find out. And I am here to tell you that the crazy person who thought of this idea is a genius.

This was so simple to make. I stuffed the blossoms with cheese. Once you have washed the outside of the blossoms, carefully open the blossoms and stuff the cheese inside. Make sure they aren’t too full because you will need to twist the ends so the cheese stays inside. In preparation to frying the blossoms, you will need to dip each blossom in egg, then flour and finally in bread crumbs. After, fry on both sides and devour! It’s easiest to hold the flower by the stem and eat the blossom.

This is definitely out of the box, but I am positive you will enjoy it with no questions asked. I mean, it’s fried, obviously it will be good!

 

 

 

 

To the Farmers Market We Go.

It’s official. I need to live in a warm climate so I can go to the Farmers Market year round. Today I went to the Cherry Creek Farmers Market and was bombarded by vibrant vegetables, pastries, berries, food truck vendors, hatch chiles and so much more. Downside, it was very crowded. I went around 10 a.m., so word to the wise, go as early as you can!

When I was leaving the market, I realized almost everything I was leaving with could be fried. I guess that’s the southern girl in me. Here is a peak of what I walked away with and what’s to come…..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dessert Pizza…is there any other kind?

Seriously, two words: dessert pizza. Oh so delicious. Fruit and nutella. What a combo. It’s the perfect way to get your chocolate fix while using summer foods. Strawberries, blackberries, blueberries and mint are at their prime. So why not take advantage of them and indulge in a non-traditional dessert.

This is how you do it:

I bought fresh pizza dough and rolled it out into small circles. Then I put nutella on top. In another bowl I had cut up strawberries, blackberries, blueberries and mint. The berries has been marinating in sugar and lime juice. I preheated the oven to 350° and put the pizzas in for about 15-20 minutes.

This is a fun, personalized and delicious dessert. I would recommend it for a night in or a dinner party. Everyone loves pizza, fruit and chocolate. What more could you ask for?

 

A Cool Way to Beat the Heat.

Popsicles. Ahhh, I dream of popsicles in the summer. They remind me of my childhood and how they would cool you down on a hot summer day. Whether it was the sound coming down the street and the ice cream man was here, otter pops or just a plain old orange (my favorite flavor) popsicle from the fridge, the frozen treat never ceases to do its job.

In college I fell in love with paletas, which are Mexican-inspired frozen pops. There was a restaurant called Mary’s Paleteria.It served Mexican-inspired cold treats.It was definitely an underrated place. While I was the arts editor for our university newspaper, I wrote a review on Mary’s, thus my obsession with the place began.

With flavors such as rice pudding, hibiscus mint, passion fruit, etc. Definitely something different for the palate. I have a love for coconut, so the coconut paleta was my favorite. And so, drum roll, I give you the recipe for Creamy Coconut Paletas. It’s so simple and delicious. It’s bursting with rich coconut and will cool you off after a day at the pool.

Creamy Coconut Paletas
Makes six to eight pops

Ingredients
1 13½-oz. can coconut milk
1 14-oz. can organic sweetened condensed milk
2/3 c. half-and-half
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pure vanilla extract
¾ c. unsweetened shredded coconut*

*For a toasted coconut flavor, spread a thin layer of shreds on a baking sheet and toast in the oven at 325° for 10-15 minutes.

1. Put the coconut milk, sweetened condensed milk, half-and-half, salt, and vanilla in a blender; blend until smooth.

2. Stir in the shredded coconut.

3. If using conventional popsicle molds, divide the mixture among the molds, snap on the lid, and freeze until solid, about 6 hours. If using glasses (try shot glasses for mini paletas) or other unconventional molds, freeze until pops begin to set (about 2 hours), then insert sticks and freeze until solid.

Pink Lemonade Pops.

Another splendid perk of summer.

LEMONADE BASE RECIPE
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup room temperature water
  • 3 cups cold water
  • 1 cup lemon juice
FOR PINK LEMONADE
  • 3 teaspoons grenadine
FOR PASSION TEA LEMONADE
  • 4 Tazo Passion tea bags
  • 3 to 4 cups boiling water
Create simple syrup: Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and place the saucepan over medium heat. Stir the mixture occasionally to help it dissolve, if necessary, then remove the saucepan from the heat when the sugar has completely dissolved. Set aside to cool.
Pour the lemon juice (either fresh squeezed or store bought is fine) into a pitcher. Dilute the lemonade with the cold water, then add the simple syrup and stir thoroughly to combine.
Create additional batches of the basic lemonade for the other flavors. To create pink lemonade, add the grenadine and stir thoroughly to combine. To create the Passion tea lemonade, steep the tea bags in the boiling water. If you’d prefer a stronger Passion flavor, use a lower amount of water, as the lemonade will dilute it (I generally use, and recommend, only three cups for a more concentrated flavor). Set the tea aside to cool, then combine with the base lemonade recipe.
To assemble the popsicles, arrange a line of small paper cups in a line and pour in the desired amount of lemonade. To create even, equal sections as shown, I used a ¼ cup measuring spoon to measure out the liquid. When all the cups are filled with their first flavor layer, carefully transfer them to the freezer and let them set for about 30 minutes or until almost solid through – soft enough to insert the stick, but firm enough to support it. Insert the popsicle stick part way through the first layer (but not clean through to the bottom of the cup). Transfer the cups back to the freezer to allow the first layer to set completely.
Continue to add additional layers of the various flavors as desired, ensuring each layer is allowed to be frozen through before continuing. If the layer isn’t completely set, you may get a little bleeding between the layers rather than a crisp line (which you may prefer!). Stop creating layers once the cup is about ¾ of the way full to avoid any accidental overflow. After the last layer is frozen, serve when ready by ripping open the paper cup.

{Somewhere Splendid}

Grilled Tilapia with Mango-Avocado Salsa.

With summer upon us, it’s time to start taking food outside and throwing it on the grill. Being in Denver, it’s difficult for me to want to trek out into the snow in order to throw something on the grill. For the winter being, the oven or stove will make do.

Nice grill lines on the fish and the avocado and mango make for a perfect summer dish. It’s flavorful and healthy. With bursts of mango, lime and avocado, you might think you have been transplanted to a beach (I wish!). Beach or no beach, i’ll take what I can get. And I will take this dish for dinner any night of the week!

Ingredients

  • 1 medium ripe avocado, peeled and cut into 1/2″ dice
  • 1 medium ripe mango, peeled and cut into 1/2″ dice
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 4 large fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for brushing
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice, divided
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 6-ounce halibut or mahi-mahi fillets
  • 4 lime wedges

Preparation

  • Prepare a grill to medium-high heat. Gently combine the avocado, mango, tomatoes, basil, 1 tablespoon oil, and 1 tablespoon lime juice in a large mixing bowl. Season salsa to taste with salt and pepper and set aside at room temperature, gently tossing occasionally.
  • Place fish fillets in a 13x9x2″ glass baking dish. Drizzle remaining 2 tablespoon oil and 2 tablespoon lime juice over. Season fish with salt and pepper. Let marinate at room temperature for 10 minutes, turning fish occasionally.
  • Brush grill rack with oil. Grill fish until just opaque in center, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer to plates. Spoon mango-avocado salsa over fish. Squeeze a lime wedge over each and serve.

 


Fennel & Orange Salad.

Happy Memorial Day. With that said, summer has crept upon us. Hot weather, sun, grilling and fresh food.

One of my favorite foods is fennel. I love the crisp, black licorice taste of it. It’s a great addition to any dish. Salads are always a good side to any grilled meal. The black licorice taste of fennel and citrusy orange compliment each other perfectly. This is a recipe that would accompany grilled fish or chicken perfectly.

Ingredients

  • Fennel
  • Orange
  • Lime
  • Dijon Mustard
  • Almonds (Optional)
Directions
  • Cut the fennel into two pieces. Place on the grill for a short time until grill marks appear. Zest one orange and then cut the orange into segments. Zest one lime and squeeze the juice into a bowl. Add the dijon mustard to the orange and lime zest and lime juice. While whisking together add olive oil to make a dressing. Combine the fennel, orange segments and almonds together. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss together. Add salt and pepper.
Enjoy!

Springing Spring.

Yes, it’s about time. The time to plant. I love yards that are overgrown by flowers, but why not make a little room this year for some vegetables. They’re colorful too. Not only that, but you’ll save money on vegetables. They’ll look good and taste good. The Little Veggie Patch Company specializes in the design, installation and maintenance of vegetable gardens. So why not live a greener lifestyle and have delicious veggies at your disposal this summer. Plus, isn’t their vintage package design fantastic?!

Summer Salad.

Cabbage & Lime Salad with Roasted Peanuts

Recipe adapted from The Lee Bros.: Simple Fresh Southern

Salads are definitely a must during the summer. So, instead of getting bored with a plain old spinach or iceburg salad, why not switch up the menu and make something new and fresh. The Lee Brothers put together a light and refreshing salad to keep summer meals cool and creative.

Cabbage & Lime Salad w/ Roasted Peanuts:

1/2 small red cabbage, trimmed, cored, and shredded (about 6 cups)
1/2 small green cabbage, trimmed, cored, and shredded (about 6 cups)
1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
1 bunch fresh baby spinach, stemmed and cut into 1/2-inch wide ribbons (about 4 cups loosely packed)
1/4 cup fresh lime juice (from about 2 small limes)
1 tablespoon Dijon or other salty prepared mustard
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 cup peanut oil
1/2 cup roasted unsalted peanuts, coarsely chopped
Freshly ground black pepper

In a large bowl, toss the shredded red and green cabbage with the salt. Transfer the cabbage to a colander and let it drain for two hours.

Put the salted, drained cabbage back into your (rinsed and dried) large bowl and add the spinach. In a medium bowl, whisk the lime juice, mustard and cumin together. Add the peanut oil in a thin stream, whisking constantly until the ingredients are thoroughly emulsified. Toss the salad with the dressing and add the roasted peanuts. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve and Enjoy!