Monday, August 31, 2015

Raspberry Coconut Bread

Raspberries. I cannot get enough of them. They were on sale this week at my grocery and I bought three packages. And then, true confessions, I tried to hide them in the fridge so that no one else in the family would eat them. It's sad but true. I'm a raspberry hoarder. But I didn't take all of them for myself. I used some in this delicious bread. This bread could easily pass as cake, but I did serve it at a brunch. And there's no better way to eat cake than to call it bread and eat it for breakfast, am I right? Whenever you eat this, you will love it - a tender, moist crumb studded with raspberries and coconut - it's so wonderful it doesn't even need a glaze. (The original recipe called for one but I left it out.)

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Raspberry Coconut Bread

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. almond extract
1/2 cup sweetened flake coconut
1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries

In a large batter bowl, combine the milk, oil, eggs, vanilla, and almond extract.

Add the flour, salt, baking powder and sugar; stir until combined. Gently stir in the coconut and raspberries. Pour batter into a greased loaf pan.

Bake at 350 for 60-70 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Place the loaf on a cooling rack and cool for 15 minutes. Loosen the sides of the bread with a knife. Carefully remove loaf from pan. Let cool completely on wire rack.

Recipe Source: Significantly adapted from Two Peas

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Peanut Butter, Caramel and Chocolate Chip Bars

PB, Caramel and Choc Chip Bars from Cook with Sara

Could you even dare to think of a better combination for blondies than this? Peanut butter AND caramel??? AND Chocolate chips??? Just thinking about these entices me to make them again - and I should, because I didn't get to eat enough of the first batch. I took them to a party and they disappeared quickly. And it's no wonder. They are amazing. But don't take my word for it - make them yourself! Today!

PB, Caramel and Choc Chip Bars from Cook with Sara

Find more great recipes at What's Cooking, Create, Link, Inspire, Clever Chicks, Tasty Tuesday, Flashback Friday, Foodie Friday, Friday Flash.

Peanut Butter, Caramel and Chocolate Chip Bars

12 Tbsp. butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
2 3/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. baking soda
2 cups chocolate chips

Peanut Butter Caramel:
10 ounces caramels, unwrapped
1/3 cup milk
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Line a 9x13 pan with foil, and spray the foil with nonstick spray.

In a large bowl, whisk the melted butter, brown sugar and sugar together until combined. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well. Add the flour, salt and baking soda and mix until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Press a little more than half of the batter in the bottom of the pan lined and bake for 8-9 minutes.

Meanwhile, place the caramels and milk in a medium glass bowl and microwave for 1-minute increments at 50% power, stirring in between, until the caramel is melted and smooth. Stir in the peanut butter and vanilla extract.

Drizzle the caramel mixture over the top of the baked cookie dough and spread evenly. Drop the remaining cookie dough in teaspoonsfuls over the top of the caramel.

Bake for 18-20 minutes until the bars are puffed and the edges are slightly golden. Let the bars cool completely before cutting into squares.

Recipe Source: Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Monday, August 17, 2015

Sweet-Tart Rhubarb and Ginger Sorbet

I haven't made any ice cream yet this summer, shame on me! I have a pinterest board committed to ice cream, and have not made a one. So when I saw this recipe for Rhubarb and Ginger Sorbet on Mary Anne and Mariel's blog, I knew it would be a perfect choice for Secret Recipe Club.

This recipe doesn't even require the use of an ice cream maker, so if you don't have one, don't worry! Just start with a simple syrup, spiked with ginger, add rhubarb, puree and freeze. It is EASY. And, I discovered, it's also multi-purpose -- I sneaked a taste of the "sauce" after pureeing, and it was so delicious warm! It would be a wonderful topping for cake. But if you put the mixture in the freezer, it turns into sorbet! What a great recipe.

Be sure to check out Feast on the Cheap for tons of great recipes...and make the most of summer with this fantastic dessert.

Sweet-Tart Rhubarb and Ginger Sorbet

1 lb rhubarb (about 8 big stalks), washed, trimmed of any rough ends and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
2 tsp. of grated fresh ginger

In a large saucepan, bring the sugar, water and ginger to a gentle boil over medium-high heat, stirring ocassionally until the sugar dissolves. Add the rhubarb, reduce heat to medium-low and cook for about 5-7 minutes until the rhubarb becomes very tender.

Transfer the mixture to a food processor or blender and puree until smooth.

Transfer the pureed rhubarb to an airtight, freezer-safe container and chill for about 3 hours, stirring occasionally. Alternatively, you can process it in your ice cream maker.

Let the sorbet sit on the counter for 5-10 minutes to soften up a bit before serving. Makes 1 quart.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Chicken Sausage Gyros

We love to get gyros at fairs and Lebanese restaurants, and I've long had this recipe in my "binder of things to try." When I recently picked up a package of chicken sausages, I knew I would use them to finally try these. (I'm a little late to the chicken sausage party, I know, but I'm about to catch up - I loved them so much I bought a HUGE package at Costco today!) These have the great flavor of traditional gyros without the need to have a huge piece of meat on a turning skewer in your kitchen. (Ha! could you imagine?)

We enjoyed these on Naan (Indian flatbread, great options at both Aldi and Costco) but pitas would be great too. I added a few ingredients to the sauce from the original recipe, and also threw in some spring mix to increase the veggie content. We ate these twice in three days, and they will now become a regular in our rotation. They're a fun change of pace and I hope you'll try them, too!

Find more great recipes at Inspiration Monday, Inspire Me, Mix it Up, Foodie Friday, What's Cooking, Showcase Your Talent, Full Plate, Foodie Friday, Friday Flash.

Chicken Sausage Gyros

1 package (12 ounces) fully cooked chicken sausage links (Mild Italian or flavor or your choice)
1 cup sour cream (I use low fat)
1/2 cup finely chopped cucumber
1-1/2 tsp. red wine vinegar
1-1/2 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. dill
4 pita breads or Naan
1 plum tomato, sliced
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
2 cups spring mix or baby lettuce

In a large skillet, cook sausage over medium heat until heated through.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the sour cream, cucumber, vinegar, oil, garlic powder and dill. Serve chicken sausage on pita breads with lettuce, tomato, onion and cucumber sauce. Yield: 4 servings.

Recipe Source: Adapted from Taste of Home

Monday, August 3, 2015

Grilled Brown Sugar Chili Pork Tenderloin

In my opinion, there can never be too many options for preparing pork tenderloin. It's one of my favorite cuts of meat, because it's tender, flavorful, and does well on the grill, in the oven, or in the crockpot.

This version employs a simple rub, with ingredients already in your spice cabinet, to liven up the meat before placing it on the grill. The result is a delicious, melt in your mouth entree! Any leftovers would be divine on a sandwich the next day, too! (We didn't have leftovers, unfortunately.) Pair this with some potatoes and a salad (or cauli and brussels!), and you have a wonderful meal that's quick and easy.

Find more great ideas at Inspire Me, Tasty Tuesday, Create Link Inspire, What's Cooking.

Grilled Brown Sugar Chili Pork Tenderloin

1 Tbsp. chili powder
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
1 pork tenderloin

In a small bowl, combine the chili powder, brown sugar, smoked paprika, and ground cinnamon. Mix well.

Rinse and dry off the pork tenderloin. Rub half of seasoning mixture onto the top, then flip the pork tenderloin over and rub the rest onto the bottom of the pork. Place tenderloin on a grill heated to medium heat. Cook for 20 minutes, turning once after 10 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes before slicing. (The internal temperature of pork should reach 155 degrees.) Slice and serve immediately. Serves 3.
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