It’s been a hard week here are LJB, Mesa, AZ. It has been the hottest August we have had on record and I have been sick! Here are my new best friends. We have appointments together every morning, every afternoon and every evening. This is how I am surviving. I have never finished a bottle of this in a week, let alone two!
So little Lucy Jane is not sick per se, but has had problems going #2 for most of her life.We met with a specialist this week and so she also has several appointments with meds each day. (poor girl) The doc says that I need to give her more fruits and vegetables and to get creative! Enter Pineapple popsicle. This seemed to be a no brainer to get my kids to eat more fruit. Plus, my kids go through popsicles so fast that I cannot keep my freezer stocked. Rather than feed them high fructose corn syrup and other ingredients I have never heard of, I decided to give popsicle making a try. Mind you, it is still 115 degrees here in Mesa. It may not be this toasty where you are now, but lucky for you, you can add ice to this recipe and make a delicious smoothie for you and your kids. In one bite you get sweet, fresh and herbal flavors, plus a hint of sour and salt. Yum!
Pineapple Ice Pops
- 1 ripe pineapple cut into small chunks (cheat like me and buy the Costco “spears” of pineapple)
- handful of fresh cilantro leaves (I used about 25 actual leaves, no stems!)
- 1/3 c. sugar
- juice of 1/2 lime
- pinch of salt
Put pineapple, cilantro, sugar, lime juice and salt in a blender. Puree until smooth. Pour into popsicle molds, or ice cube trays. (I used ice cube trays and put plastic wrap over ice cube tray and then inserted toothpicks) Freeze for at least 4 hours. Dip molds in warm water to help remove pops.
And my boy Quinn could not wait from them to set….hence, the terrible picture!
This one of my favorite things to eat in the morning. It’s quick and easy to make. It’s tasty and it’s filling, and best of all, it’s portable for those mornings when you may need to take out the door with you! This recipe may seem like such a simple thing, and in all honesty, it is. But at LJB, we have come up with a few little extra touches that make these the “BEST”. Using half & half instead of milk adds a depth and flavor. Adding a little grated cheese at the end adds texture and flavor. And cooking up your own fresh tortilla (we always have these on hand) just makes it delicious! See if you don’t think so too!
Scrambled Egg Burrito
- 1 uncooked tortilla
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons half & half
- salt & pepper, taste
- 1/8 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- pat of butter
In small bowl, crack eggs then add half & half and salt and pepper, and scramble until completely combined. Set aside.
In medium non-stick skillet over medium heat, cook raw tortilla about 1-2 minutes on each side or until light brown “cooked” spots appear. Remove from pan and set on breakfast plate.
In same skillet, add the pat of butter and let melt. Add egg mixture and scrap along bottom every couple of minutes until eggs start to set. When almost cooked, add the cheese. Allow cheese to melt while still tossing and scraping eggs. Once eggs are set, remove from pan and place on tortilla. Roll up and enjoy!
We like these just as they are… plain and delicious, with no doctoring, but if you prefer you can top this dish with salsa, sour cream, tomatoes and/or avocado.
Obviously, this recipe can be doubled, tripled, etc for how ever many people you need to feed. If you do this, upgrade the skillet size to large; cook all the tortillas first, and cook all the eggs together afterwards.
I love a good salad for lunch. The trick for me is that it has to be filling, and I mean filling, which for me means there has to be protein of some sort on it. Lunch is my “meal” of the day. I eat a small breakfast, and a small dinner, but always a good, healthy and filling lunch. This salad fits the bill, especially when paired with a crusty piece of buttered artisan bread (look for our recipe for peasants bread in a future post.) This will hit the spot and have your taste buds singing! Here’s a hint, if you want to eat this salad all by your lonesome for a couple days straight, as I like to, leave the dressing off, and add it only to individual portions, that way the salad stays fresh!
Tossed Cobb Salad
- 4 cups mixed spring greens
- 1 cup thick cut bacon, cooked and sliced cross-wise
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, sliced in half
- 1 cup blue cheese
- 1 avocado, sliced
- 1 cup cooked chicken breast, shredded (I will sometimes use leftover rotisserie chicken for this)
- 3 eggs, hard-boiled & sliced
In a large bowl, combine the ingredients above. Then add dressing below, to taste.
Creamy tarragon dressing
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped green onion
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
Whisk together first 6 ingredients in a small bowl until combined. Gradually whisk in oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly until smooth. Whisk in green onion and tarragon. Use immediately, or store in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 2 days.
I tried roasting asparagus for the first time a couple of years ago and it turned out so delicious. I was getting tired of the same old butter and salt for flavor. This is a yummy way to give some more flavor to the veggies you serve. And the best part is that it is quick and easy. Well the best part may be that you won’t have to bribe your kids to eat their veggies! My kids absolutely love this! You can do it with cauliflower, peppers, broccoli, and of course, asparagus.
- 30 or so spears of fresh asparagus
- ½ tsp. Kosher salt
- 2 T. olive oil
- ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- ½ c. grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Wash and trim asparagus. Lay them in a single layer on a 11×17 rimmed cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 12 minutes, until tender. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and return to the oven for one more minute. Serve hot!
My mother-in-law served this at breakfast for Easter this year and I have been daydreaming about it ever since! It is buttery and moist and oh so good! I made it for breakfst this morning and by the time I got on my computer to post this, it was already half gone. One thing that is great about this recipe is that you don’t necessarily have to use raspberries. You can use blueberries, peaches, strawberries….the sky is the limit!
Raspberry Coffee Cake
- 10 oz. package of frozen raspberries, thawed and undrained
- 1 T. cornstarch
- 2 ¼ c. flour
- ¾ c. sugar
- ¾ c. butter (stick and a half)
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- ½ tsp. baking powder
- ¾ c. buttermilk
- 1 egg
Preheat oven to 350.
For Filling: In a small saucepan, combine raspberries (undrained) with cornstarch. Mix well. Cook and stir until thick and bubbly. Cook one minute longer, then remove from heat and set aside. (entire cook time will be about 4 minutes, keeping the mixture on high.)
Cake: Combine flour and sugar in large mixing bowl. Cut in butter with pastry cutter or fork. Make sure the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Remove ½ c. and set aside. (to use as topping at the end.) To the remainder of the flour mixture, add baking soda and baking powder. Combine buttermilk and egg in a small bowl and then add to mixture. Combine until moistened. Spread 2/3 of the mixture over the bottom of a 9-inch greased cake pan. (you can also use 8×8 square pan, 9×9 pan, and I even made mine in a pie dish!) Spread the raspberry filling on top. Spoon the remiaing batter in small mounds on top of the raspberries. Sprinkle the reserved crumbs on top and bake for 35-45 minutes, or until done. Cool 15 minutes.
I’m sorry I don’t have a picture of this for you all. i made this last night, intending to take a picture of it, but I made a mistake… I turned my back on it for ONE MINUTE, and when I turned around again, my kids had eaten it all!!! I’m not kidding. The good news is, we all know what alfredo sauce looks like, right? Mine looks no different from any other you’ve seen…. but wait till you taste it. Yum city!
My family would eat this every meal, if I would let them. It is SO good, but let’s face it, it’s fattening. Why does it have to be fattening? It’s so delicious. Make some for yourself, and you’ll “see” what I mean!
- 1 pint heavy cream
- ½ cup butter (chopped for easier melting)
- ½ cup cream cheese
- ½ cup parmesan cheese, shredded
- 1 Tablespoon garlic salt
In sauce pan, over medium-low heat, combine the cream, butter chunks, and cream cheese. Heat until butter and cream cheese are melted, stirring occasionally. Stir in the parmesan cheese and stir with a whisk until when whisk is lifted from mixture the cheese no longer sticks to it. (Which essentially means it has melted and is incorporated). Add garlic salt and increase heat to medium high. Bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally and serve hot over your favorite pasta.
I once brought this Cucumber Punch to a party, and I kid you not, I was getting phone calls for the next month asking for the recipe. It is a little embarassing when you tell people it is merely 3 ingredients. “But how could something so delicious be so simple?!?” I KNOW! I was getting tired of that complicated sherbet, 3 day prep, slushy stuff. Who’s with me?? So I called my mom and asked her for her best party punch recipe she had. So really this is her recipe, but I use it all the time and do not mind taking credit for it!
- 6 oz. frozen limeade
- 1 Liter 7Up or Sprite
- 1 sliced cucumber
Combine limeade and 7Up in punch bowl over ice. Stir in sliced cucumber. (I always double and triple this recipes for parties.)
Tip: I like to mix the 3 ingredients and let the flavors blend before I add the ice. Give the cucumbers some time to mesh with the liquids. Then add ice right before you plan on serving it.
That’s it folks! Tell me how many phone calls you get!
You may notice that this recipe calls for a “bag” of pre-washed spinach and a bottled salad dressing. Some may say that this is cheating. I say, work smarter, not harder. Why hand wash your own spinach when you can buy it done for you? And could I recreate the salad dressing on my own? Of course I could, but why? It’s delicious just as it is, and saves me an extra hour of prep time, not to mention the cost of the ingredients, that would, in the end, cost more than the bottle of dressing does.
So, as we go along, you’ll notice that some of my recipes are semi-homemade, meaning I use a store-bought item. When I find an ingredient or component of a recipe that is just as good as something I could create on my own, and cuts down on time for me, I use it! Yes I do! Why fight it? Good food is good food. And I promise not to steer you wrong!
Apple Spinach Salad with Candied Spicy Walnuts
- 1 bag pre washed baby spinach
- 1/2 honey crisp apple, washed and thinly sliced
- 1 cup currants
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta
- 1 cup candied spiced honey walnuts (see recipe below)
- Briana’s bottled salad dressing (the one with the strwaberry on the front), to taste
Candied Spicy Walnuts
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 3/4 teaspoons cayenne pepper
- 2 cups walnut halves
- Vegetable oil (for frying)
- 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
Combine 2 cups water, sugar, and cayenne in heavy medium saucepan. Bring to boil over high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves and occasionally brushing down sides of pan with pastry brush dipped into water. Add walnuts to pan; reduce heat to medium and cook until syrup boils and bubbles thickly and vigorously and nuts are very sticky, about 35 minutes.
Meanwhile, pour enough vegetable oil into heavy large saucepan to reach depth of 4 inches; heat vegetable oil to 350°F. Drain walnuts, discarding syrup. Working in batches and using slotted spoon, transfer walnuts to hot oil and cook until well browned, stirring constantly, about 2 minutes per batch. Using slotted spoon, transfer walnuts to rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with coarse salt; cool completely. (Can be made 3 days ahead. Store in airtight container at room temperature.)