Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Creamy Cheddar Pasta Salad

Summer is starting to come to a close...can you believe it? I can't believe we are in the last half of August already! I do however love September, it's such a beautiful month, but it leads into the dreaded winter months which seem to go on forever! The BBQ season has about 6 good weeks left so let's make the most of it!

This Creamy Cheddar Pasta Salad is delicious! I have made a few pasta salad and I love them all but right now this one if my favourite! It might have to do with the little chunks of cheese in it...maybe!

I love how pasta salad makes such a huge amount and it's great to feed a lot of people. I love how you can throw basically any veggie in there and it will taste good!



I got this particular recipe from http://centercutcook.com/creamy-cheddar-pasta-salad/

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pound rotini (or pasta of choice)
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 3 ribs celery, finely chopped
  • 8 ounces cheddar cheese, cut into small chunks
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 cup mayo
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • *Optional – add in chopped fresh broccoli

DIRECTIONS

Cook rotini according to package directions, then drain and rinse under cold water until the pasta has cooled. Drain well.

In a large bowl combine mayo, sugar, apple cider vinegar, black pepper and dried parsley.

Combine the rotini with the dressing, then stir in chopped red bell pepper, celery, finely chopped onion, and chunks of cheese.

Chill for one hour before serving. Enjoy!

Monday, 18 August 2014

Coconut Sugar Cookie Bars

There is something about coconut being one of the ultimate summer flavours! I don't know what it is but I love it during the warm summer months!

I am a huge fan of coconut and these cookie bars did not disappoint. I did find them a bit sweet but I enjoyed them. I started by making a very simply sugar cookie crust. I patted it in to the baking pan and baked. Once those were cooled I whipped up the frosting and frosted the cookie bars adding a bit of extra coconut before placing them in the fridge to chill!



I was super impressed with these cookie bars, not only do they taste great, but they were easy to make, a few simply steps!

I definitely recommend giving these a try for a BBQ this summer! I mean labour day is coming up in two weeks!

I got this recipe from http://www.crazyforcrust.com/2014/07/coconut-sugar-cookie-bars/

Ingredients
    For the Cookies:
  • 2/3 cup coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups flour
    For the Frosting:
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 2 tablespoons coconut milk (or almond milk or soy, or nonfat/regular milk)
  • 1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut, plus more for garnish.
 
Instructions
 
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9x13” pan with foil and spray with cooking spray.
 
Cream coconut oil and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat in egg and both extracts. Mix in baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt. Slowly mix in flour.
 
Press the dough into prepared pan.
 
 
 
Bake for 16-19 minutes. The sides will just be getting golden and the center will look a little under done.
 
Make the frosting: Beat coconut oil and powdered sugar until mixture is crumbly. Add vanilla and coconut extracts and 2 tablespoons milk. Mix until the frosting comes together and becomes smooth.
 
Stir in 1/2 cup shredded coconut.
 
 
 
Frost cookie bars and top with more coconut for garnish. Store at room temperature loosely covered.
 
Frosting will semi-dry and cookies are stackable but some frosting may transfer.

Friday, 15 August 2014

Coconut Chai Lemonade

It's going to be a scorcher today, so you need to keep hydrated! The weekend is also suppose to be super nice so that is exciting news now that we are in the middle of August and finally getting some beautiful bug free weather!

Here is a recipe I tried last weekend on a really hot day that will work well for you this weekend to keep yourself feeling cool! This Coconut Chai Lemonade is pretty easy to make and is super delicious!



This recipe only makes enough for one glass, so if you want to make a big batch or a pitcher adjust accordingly! I would definitely recommend serving this for a BBQ this weekend for something different! It's delicious and refreshing on those hot days!

I got this recipe from http://honestlyyum.com/10002/coconut-chai-lemonade/

Ingredients:

  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 oz coconut chai syrup (see below)
  • 4 oz water
  • lemon wheel and freshly grated cinnamon for garnish

Coconut Chai Syrup:

  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 chai tea bags

Directions:

  • Add coconut milk and sugar to a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir to combine.
  • Once the syrup starts to steam, add the chai tea bags and stir.
  • Let steep for about 5 minutes, then remove from heat and remove the tea bags. Let cool to room temperature.
  • Add the lemon juice, coconut chai syrup, and water to a shaker filled with cracked ice.
  • Shake briefly to combine (3 seconds).
  • Empty the entire contents of the shaker into a lowball glass.
  • Garnish with a lemon wheel and top with freshly grated cinnamon.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Teriyaki Pina Colada Burgers

Has anyone tried the kona burger at Original Joe's? It is seriously the best burger in my opinion and if I am really craving a great burger I will always want that one. I wanted to try and re-create that burger at home and this one came close but still wasn't quite as good!

This Teriyaki Pina Colada Burger is super delicious, juicy and messy like a great burger should be! I made the patties myself which was very easy, just lean ground beef, some panko bread crumbs, Teriyaki sauce, garlic powder and salt and pepper. I froze them so they wouldn't fall apart on me and only thawed them for about 30 minutes before BBQing them.

 


I also made a pina colada sauce for the burgers which is 2/3 cup cream of coconut, 1/3 cup of sour cream and one small can of crushed pineapple. I let this chill in the fridge until I was ready to assemble the burgers.

I used the rest of the teriyaki sauce to baste the burgers as they were cooking. The I assembled the buns. On the bottom is mayo, pina colada sauce (about a tablespoon), then goes the patty with mozza cheese and then some bacon, a grilled pineapple ring, lettuce and tomatoes. Voila a delicious, juicy and messy burger!

I would definitely make this again but I found the pina colada sauce really runny and might omit it altogether next time but otherwise these burgers were huge, super filling and delicious!

I got my recipe idea from http://www.ohsweetbasil.com/2014/06/teriyaki-pina-colada-burger-recipe.html

Ingredients
  • 4 Brioche Buns
  • 2 pounds the perfect burger mix
  • 1/4 cup teriyaki sauce
  • salt and pepper  
  • 4 slices of pineapple
  • 1/3 cup teriyaki sauce
  • 1/3 cup Pina Colada Sauce
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 4 slices colby jack cheese
  • 4-8 slices of cooked bacon
Instructions
Heat the grill to high heat.
 
Mix the meat gently with the 1/4 cup teriyaki sauce, some garlic powder, panko bread crumbs and salt and pepper. Form into 4 burgers .
 
Place on the grill and grill 4-7 minutes . Using a spoon drizzle the teriyaki over the burgers. Flip the burger and using a brush or a new spoon, spread teriyaki over the burger. Allow to cook for another 4-7 minutes or until done. (A well done burger will not be as flavorful so we usually do medium)
 
Place cheese over each burger right before it is done and close the lid to melt the cheese.
 
 
 
Meanwhile, grill the pineapple until marks appear, about 2 minutes, flip and grill again. 
 
Grill each bun, inside down until grill marks appear.
 
 
 
Spread the pina colada mayo on each side of the bun. Place the burger, pineapple and bacon on the bottom and top with the lid. Enjoy!

Monday, 11 August 2014

Double Chocolate Mint Chip Cookies

What a beautiful weekend we just had. I can't believe we only have three weeks left in August! Summer is going by so fast! I am wishing summer away a bit as my husband and I bought a new house and get possession on Aug 29, so please go by fast these next three weeks! LOL

A few weekends ago I went on a baking rampage and one of the recipes I tried was these Double Chocolate Mint Chip Cookies. These are super easy to make and the mint chips add a nice mint flavour to the chocolate cookies.



I like these because they are a bit different then your average chocolate chip cookies and they are
super yummy!



I got this recipe from http://tastesbetterfromscratch.com/2013/04/mint-chocolate-chip-cookies.html

Ingredients:
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups flour
2/3 cup cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 pckg mint chocolate chips


Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl combine butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy. Stir together flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt;  add to butter mixture.  Stir in chocolate chips.



 Drop by rounded teaspoons onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes or just until set.



Enjoy!

Friday, 8 August 2014

Honey Mustard Chicken Tenders

Well it's raining today... I'm not too sad about it though because we have had a really nice long stretch of beautiful days and no rain. The grass and gardens all need the rain.

So in case it continues to rain all day and maybe into tomorrow I have decided to post a delicious indoor recipe, Honey Mustard Chicken Tenders. I made this for myself last weekend and am always amazed at how easy it is to make your own chicken tenders. I also absolutely love panko bread crumbs and will always use those when breading my own chicken tenders.

To start this recipe I buy the chicken fillets from the store. I wash them and pat them dry and then dip them in a bowl with a whipped egg, then a bowl of flour and then lastly the bowl of panko bread crumbs. Then  I place them on a lightly greased baking sheet. This time I actually greased a wire rack and placed them on a wire rack on the baking sheet which helps both sides crisp up better.



I baked them at 400 F for about 12 minutes a side. Once I was on the second side, I made the sauce to toss them in. You make the sauce by adding the honey, yellow mustard and Dijon mustard to the pan. You mix the cornstarch and water and add it to the sauce and just bring to a boil. Let it simmer and thicken for a few minutes and then toss the cooked chicken tenders in the sauce!

This dish was really easy to make and really delicious! I recommend giving it a try sometime when you want to enjoy an indoor meal.

I got this recipe from  http://kirbiecravings.com/2014/03/honey-mustard-chicken-tenders.html

Ingredients:

1.5 lb chicken tenderloins
1 large egg, whisked
1 cup all purpose flour
2 cups panko bread crumbs
for the glaze:
1/2 cup honey
2 tbsp yellow mustard sauce
2-4 tbsp dijon mustard
2 tbsp water + 1/2 tbsp cornstarch

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place whisked egg in one bowl. Place flour in a separate bowl. Place bread crumbs in a third bowl.

Dip your chicken first in the egg, then flour, then coat in bread crumbs.

Place onto baking sheet.

Repeat with remaining chicken tenders.



Bake for about 10 minutes until breadcrumbs turn golden.

Flip chickens over and bake another 10-12 minutes until the breading turns golden and chicken is finished cooking.

While chicken is cooking, make the glaze. In a small sauce pan, add the honey, yellow mustard, and 2 tbsp of the dijon mustard.
In a small bowl, mix water and cornstarch until cornstarch is fully dissolved. Add to saucepan.

Turn stove top to low heat and bring the sauce to a low boil, stirring constantly until all ingredients are mixed and sauce thickens.



Coat finished chickens completely in sauce. If any sauce remains, drizzle on top.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Glazed Lemon Zucchini Bread

 
What is it about zucchini that makes bread so delicious and moist? I don't know the answer but I do know that every cake that I make that has zucchini in it inevitably turns out amazing! It was no different when I made this amazing Glazed Lemon Zucchini bread last weekend! Needless to say that one loaf did not last long!

I love how lemony this bread tastes and with the zucchini it's really just a top notch tasting bread! The bread is also quick and easy to make and best of all it doesn't call for butter! It calls for oil instead which I know some people will appreciate and I honestly couldn't taste a difference!



This has summer written all over it flavour wise and I highly recommend giving it a try this summer before you want to move into the apples, cinnamon and pumpkin flavours of fall!

I got this recipe from http://lilluna.com/glazed-lemon-zucchini-bread/

Ingredients
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 2 TB lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup grated zucchini
  • Glaze ingredients:
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 TB lemon juice
  • 1 TB milk
Instructions
 
Mix flour, salt and baking powder in a medium bowl and set aside.
 
In a large bowl, beat eggs. Then add oil and sugar until well blended. Add lemon juice, buttermilk, lemon zest to this mixture and blend all together.
 
Fold in zucchini until it is mixed well.
 
Add dry mixture to the wet mixture and blend all together until well combined.
 
 
 
Pour batter into greased 9x5 loaf pan.
 
Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes.
 
While still warm, make glaze and spoon over the bread. Let the glaze set up before cutting and serving.