Tuesday, June 30, 2009

strawberry lemonade bars...

when you get creative in the kitchen good things don't always happen:)  lucky for all of us this time the outcome was delicious!  it is no secret that i am in love with anything lemon!  but the strawberry in this really balances out the flavors.  i know the recipe is long, & it seems like a lot of steps, but they aren't hard at all.  they are perfect for summer or any other time!


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{strawberry lemonade bars}

~crust~
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups flour

in a large bowl, cream together butter, sugar & salt until light & fluffy.  add flour & mix until just combined.
line a 9x13 pan with parchment paper that hangs over the long sides.  spray parchment paper & sides with non-stick cooking spray.
press crust into the bottom of pan.  bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until just starting to turn golden.

~lemon curd layer~
8 egg yolks
2 cans sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 cups fresh lemon juice

in a medium bowl whisk together all ingredients & pour over hot crust.  return to oven & cook for an additional 25-30 minutes.  chill in the fridge while making the next layer.

~lemon cream layer~
2- 8 oz. packages cream cheese, softened
1 can sweetened condensed milk
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
grated zest from 1 lemon

1 pint strawberries, hulled & sliced

in a medium bowl, whip together all ingredients until thick & fluffy.  spread over cooled lemon curd layer.  arrange the sliced strawberries over the top of the cream layer.  place in the fridge to chill while making strawberry glaze.

~strawberry glaze~
1 pint strawberries, pureed in blender or food processor
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
3 TBSP corn starch

in a medium pot, over medium heat, combine strawberries & water.  in a small bowl, combine sugar & corn starch.  whisk sugar into strawberry mixture.  bring just to a boil, whisking constantly.  spread over sliced strawberries.  return to fridge to chill completely.
Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

brit's coconut shrimp...

i made these for Father's Day & served them with the aloha salad instead of chicken!  they are so yummy & really not to tough!  they were the perfect pair for our Father's Day Surf & Turf!  hopefully they find there way into your kitchen too!

coconut shrimp recipe copy

Friday, June 19, 2009

brit's aloha chicken salad...

i love a salad similar to this one at Zupas so much, i have tweeked a few things to make it the way i wanted it but that what makes cooking so great!   so, my girlfriend debbie lew & i rolled up our sleeves & started blending up ingredients to create just the right dressing.  after a couple of tries & a sink full of bad batches, we finally agreed... perfect!  let me know what you think!

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{aloha chicken salad with pina colada dressing}

3 romaine lettuce hearts, chopped
2 large cans mandarin oranges, drained
1 large can pineapple tidbits, drained
1 red onion, diced
1 1/2 cups tortilla strips
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
3-4 chicken breasts, cooked, cooled & cubed
toasted coconut, optional

Toss all of the ingredients together in a large bowl or layer on a platter.  Serve with Pina Colada Vinaigrette dressing.

PINA COLADA VINAIGRETTE

1/2 cup plus 2 TBSP sugar
1/3 cup mr. & mrs. T's pina colada drink mix
1/3 cup rice or apple cider vinegar- rice will make it more mild or 
apple cider will make it stronger tasting
1/2 tsp. ginger powder
1 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/4 cup vegetable oil

In a blender combine all ingredients except the oil.  Blend well until light & frothy.  With the blender still on, slowly add oil in a steady stream.  Keep blending until the dressing is emulsified & thickened.  

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Lime and Cilantro Chicken Salad

Honestly, this will become a summer favorite in your house just as it has in mine. This dressing also is a yummy chicken marinade for lime cilantro chicken. Then just put it in corn torillas with fresh tomatoes, guacamole (a must!), sour cream, and sprinkle lime juice and you are good to go with one amazing meal.

Chipotle-Lime Vinaigrette

1/3 cup seasoned rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon pureed chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup canola oil
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro stems and leaves

Salad

3 ears corn, shucked and grilled or boiled
(I totally prefer grilled :))
1 1/4 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts,
seasoned with salt and pepper, cooked, and julenned
1 1/2 cups diced plum tomatoes or cherry tomatoes
1 pound mixed baby greens
2 cups grated Jack cheese
1/2 cup chopped roasted red bell pepper
Kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup toasted salted pine nuts
fresh cilantro sprigs for garnish
lime wedges for serving

*Recipe originally came from the Nordstrom Cookbook, but I altered a few ingredients after making it so many times. Kinda liked my version better. :)

For the vinaigrette, blend all ingredients in blender, but add the canola oil last in a slow steady stream.

Toss all other salad ingredients in a chilled bowl and serve with limes and cilantro. Ta Da! Beautiful!!!

Monday, June 8, 2009

brit's creamy lime pies...

these are such a great compliment to any summer dinner.  they are cool, creamy, refreshing & super delicious!  i actually used pre-made mini pie crusts.  they cut quite a bit of time out of the process & made them the perfect size.  whip some of these up for a super yummy & easy treat!

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{brit's creamy lime pies}

8-10 mini graham cracker crusts
3/4 cup fresh lime juice
2- 8 oz. packages cream cheese, softened
1 can sweetened condensed milk
finely grated zest of one lime
green food coloring

1 cup cream fraiche or crema
1/4 cup whipping cream
1/4-1/3 cup powdered sugar

In a large mixing bowl, whip together lime juice, cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk & lime zest.  Add 1-2 drops green food coloring.  Spoon into pie crusts & place in the fridge.

In a seperate bowl, whip together cream fraiche, whipping cream & powdered sugar.  Whip until light & full.  Spoon onto lime filling & put back into the fridge.  Chill at least 4 hours or overnight.
Garnish with sliced lime.


Thursday, June 4, 2009

kacy's layered peanut butter cup bars...

i love these bars so much!  i had them for the first time when i was pregnant... & i was hooked!   and who doesn't love a peanut butter cup!?!


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{kacy's peanut butter cup bars}

3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter or margarine
3/4 
cup peanut butter
2 eggs
3/4 tsp soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 cup oats
 
Cream together sugars & butters. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix well. Add remaining ingredients and mix well.
Spread into a jelly-roll pan and bake @ 350 10-12 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes. Whip 1 
1/2 cup peanut butter and spread over warm bars. When completely cool, spread with chocolate frosting. (homemade or canned)