June 30, 2014

Strawberry Apple Popsicles



I bought these zip top bags at World Market a few months ago just to make my own popsicles. I LOVE popsicles, but sometimes it can get pricey if not on sale or they filled up with extra fillers that's just not good for you. I figure, how hard can it be to make your own?

Had some strawberries that needed to be used up, so I quickly pureed some fresh strawberries with some water and pushed through a sieve. Added in some Dasani apple flavor sparkling water. It was very icey and the flavor wasn't as strong as I would of liked. This was just my first time, so I have still lots of time to improve and play around with flavors.



Strawberry Apple Popsicles

1-2 cups strawberries, hulled
1 TBsp sugar
1 cup of water
1/2 can of Dasani apple flavored sparkling water

Puree strawberries with about a cup of water and sugar. Push through a sieve.
Add 1/2 a can of Dasani apple flavored sparkling water. Let it fizz out a bit before putting it in the zip top bags.

June 26, 2014

Coconut Toffee with White Chocolate Chip Cookies



On the first day of summer, all I wanted to do was BAKE BAKE BAKE! Surprisingly, the sun was out and about, but I didn't have anywhere to go. I actually started off trying to make french macarons, but it was an epic fail. I've never baked something where it didn't turn out, so I was pretty disappointed. The batter came out too runny, it never got its "feet" and when I baked it, it got mutant feet and spread into each other.

I whipped up some of these cookies just to try and I am now planning to bring them to Bunco night on post. They turned out pretty sweet. I added way more coconut than the recipe intended, but I think I would like to toast them next time and add less toffee chips (I kind of added the whole bag).



Coconut Toffee with White Chocolate Chip Cookies
original recipe from lick the bowl good

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 pkg toffee bits
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cream butter and both sugars together, then add egg and vanilla, stir.

Mix in flour, baking soda, and salt just til combined. Stir in toffee bits, white chocolate and coconut.

Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly golden. Allow to cool for a couple minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely.

June 23, 2014

Watermelon Agua Fresca



Watermelon Agua Fresca

1/2 large watermelon, cup into chunks
4 cups cold water, divided
2 fresh lime juice
1-2 tablespoon raw honey
Ice cubes

Cut the watermelon flesh from the rind.
In a blender, process half the watermelon pieces with 1 cup of water until smooth.
Pour through a strainer into a pitcher.
Repeat the process with the remaining melon and water.
Stir in the lime juice and honey.
Pour into ice-filled glasses



June 19, 2014

Vegetable Salad with Hummus and Lemon Herb Chicken



I admit to be being a lazy cook and I usually forget to eat vegetables. Or even fruit. I don't juice or make green smoothies as much as I use to. Mainly because I am too lazy to have to clean out the juicer on the daily. You guys, I don't like doing dishes and I swear they just keep piling up and seems to never stop!

For awhile there, I was actually losing weight! I think ever since I did the sugar detox, my constant need for munchies subsided and my body was feeling good. Really good. That was a few weeks ago. I'm sure I've gained some back and now I'm trying harder to eat better, consume more vegetables and this was the perfect meal to start with.

Lazy cooks are all about simple and quick meals. Pre-packaged salad, cut up some veggies of your choice, hard boil some eggs (optional), store bought hummus and a quick marinated chicken. Easy peasy and it was very filling!



Vegetable Salad with Hummus and Lemon Herb Chicken

Salad:

1pkg salad mix of your choice
1/2 cucumber, peeled (unless it's organic) and sliced
2 roma tomatoes, deseeded and diced
1/2 yellow bell pepper, sliced
2 hard boiled eggs
4 baby carrots, sliced
4 TBsp hummus

Plate and set aside.

Chicken:

1 chicken breast, sliced in half
salt & pepper
2 TBsp evoo
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried thyme
Zest of 1 lemon

Marinade chicken in a ziplock bag for about 1-2 hours. Cook on stove top til done.

Plate chicken onto salad and squeeze lemon juice all over.



June 9, 2014

Granny Smith Apple Crumble



Awhile back, my friend Ana asked my friend Noel and I to go on a 10 day sugar detox. In the end, Ana backed out since she just had a baby, is breastfeeding and was hesitant on it. With that said, Noel and I went forward with the detox and let me just say, it was not fun. At all. We had salami and cheese parties, drank lots of water and cried about not being to eat fruit. The only fruit allowed was granny smith apples, green tipped bananas and grapefruit, but only one serving per day. I am a huge snacker, so not allowing to snack was a tough one. I had an apple left and looked through the 21 day sugar detox book for a dessert recipe. The recipe itself was extremely easy, but I wasn't a huge fan of it, but since I was on a detox, it helped curbed my sweet tooth for a bit. If you like tart, this apple crumble is for you!



Granny Smith Apple Crumble
recipe from 21 day sugar detox

Filling:

4 green apples, peeled and thinly sliced
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Topping:

1 1/4 cups almond meal
1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch of sea salt
1 TBsp unsalted butter, melted, for the pan

Preheat oven to 350F

Make the filling: In a mixing bowl, toss apples with lemon juice and cinnamon.

Make the topping: Mix together the almond meal, butter, cinnamon and salt until completely incorporated.

Brush bottom and sides of a 9x9 dish with the melted butter.

Place the apples in the baking dish and cover evenly with the topping.

Bake for 20 minutes covered with foil, then an additional 25-30 minutes uncovered.

June 5, 2014

Skagit Tulip Festival + Blogger Meet Up



My friends and I went up to the Skagit tulip festival a couple months ago and I got to finally meet Jane in person! The tulip fields was a good 3 hour drive including crazy traffic just getting there. We spent some time chatting, walking around the fields, taking billion photos of the field and soaking up some of that sun!



The fields were absolutely breathtaking. Leaving the fields was not. We sat in bumper to bumper traffic for over a hour. In a one lane road. Just trying to get to the freeway. We were all cranky, tired and famished. And I have learned that sitting in the third row of a SUV makes me incredibly sick and the drive home was just painful. Right Noel?





June 2, 2014

White Chocolate Fruit Tarts



The first time I had these fruit tarts was at my friend Jeannie's engagement party and I'm not going to lie, I ate a good handful of them (she made mini fruit tarts). She came up to the PNW the end up April and we made these before she left. The recipe is extremely easy and you can make these in smaller tart pans, a large tart pan (bake crust longer) or bake crusts in cupcake tins or even mini cupcake tins for bite size tarts. Use whatever fruit you desire, but I highly recommend putting the fruits on the day you plan to serve.



White Chocolate Fruit Tart

Crust:
1 1/2 stick butter, room temp
1/2 cup powder sugar
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

Filling:
10oz bag of white chocolate chips, melted
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
8oz package of cream cheese

Topping:
Strawberries, Blueberries, Raspberries

Preheat oven to 300F.

Cream butter with powder sugar until fluffy, then add in the flour. Mix until fully incorporated. Flatten dough into either a large tart pan or 6 medium sized tart pan. Bake 25-30 minutes until edges are golden brown. Do not over bake. Cool on rack before filling.

While the tart crusts are baking, melt your white chocolate chips using the double broiler method. Mix cream cheese and whipping cream together. Add in melted white chocolate chips and mix until incorporated.

Spread filling onto tart crust and top with your favorite berries.



April 21, 2014

Lemon Raspberry Cheesecake Bars



Happy Easter everyone! We usually do not celebrate Easter and the dogs wouldn't be keen in looking for Easter eggs. Since my husband is currently deployed, I decided to crash my friend Ana's Easter instead. We're not doing the usual Easter dinner with ham and the works. Instead, my friend Noel jokingly requested for a nacho bar buffet. Noel is making deviled eggs and I've settled for dessert as usual. Cookies didn't seem fitting, but after talking to Noel, we've decided cheesecake would be fitting.

I've only made cheesecake twice in my life, but thankfully this was an easy recipe and it turned out delicious! I'm not a fan of graham cracker crust, so I switched it to buttery shortbread and it's even better!



Lemon Raspberry Cheesecake Bars
recipe from the bake chick

For the Crust:

1 1/2 cups shortbread cookies
4T butter

For the Cheesecake:

16 ounces cream cheese- room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Zest of a lemon
4 tablespoons milk
2 eggs- room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Raspberry Swirl:

4 oz. of fresh raspberries (about 1/2 cup)
2 tablespoons sugar

Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside.

For the crust:

In a medium sized bowl mix together the crumbs and butter with a spoon until moist. Press into the prepared pan and bake for about 10 minutes or until crust is set around the edges.

Make the filling:

Beat together the white sugar, and cream cheese until smooth.
Add the egg, milk, lemon juice, and vanilla and beat until smooth and creamy. Spread filling mixture over baked crust.

For the Raspberry Purée:

In a food processor or blender, purée the raspberries until smooth. Press through a fine mesh sieve, getting as much liquid out as possible. Discard the solids. Stir in the sugar.

Dot the raspberry mixture over the filling and use a toothpick or skewer to swirl together.

Bake for 30 minutes or until set around the edges and slightly jiggly in the center. Cool completely on a wire rack and then chill until cold before serving.