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‘Featured Recipes’ Category

  1. Arugula Salad with Chicken, Apricots and Honeyed Goat Cheese

    June 13, 2013 by betsy

    arugula salad with apricots

    In search of a quick, healthy weeknight meal?  Look no further.  This salad can be thrown together and on the table in 20 minutes.  The key is using fresh, seasonal ingredients.  When cooking with ingredients that are in season, everything is more flavorful because they’re at their peak ripeness.  You can keep your recipes simple, and won’t lose out on flavor.  And since we’re all about showcasing in-season produce here at SP, this is a perfect recipe!

    After 5 days in Mexico I am in serious need of some healthy eating.  We had a great time, but now it’s time to detox.  I will be missing my fruity tropical drink and afternoon nap by the pool today, but my body will thank me for putting something a bit healthier on the dinner table tonight!

    Make sure you check out our apricot link party and add your recipes too!

    Arugula Salad with Chicken, Apricots and Honeyed Goat Cheese, makes 2 servings

    2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

    2 T olive oil

    3 cups arugula

    2 apricots

    2oz honeyed goat cheese (you can use regular goat cheese, but the honeyed is delicious!)

    3 oz Balsamic Vinaigrette (store-bought or homemade)

    salt and pepper

    Heat the grill to medium high.  Coat chicken with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Place chicken on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 4 minutes on each side or until done. Transfer to a plate; cool to room temperature.

    Divide arugula and apricots between two bowls. Cut chicken breast halves crosswise into thin slices; top each serving evenly with chicken. Top with crumbled goat cheese and drizzle with vinaigrette.  Serve immediately.


  2. Ricotta Apricot Cake

    June 10, 2013 by betsy


    We’re featuring apricots this month and I couldn’t be more excited! I love stone fruit season, and the apricots in San Diego right now are looking seriously FABULOUS! Lately I’ve been on a big homemade cheese kick, and I thought my latest batch of ricotta would be a lovely addition to some ripe, juicy apricots.

    This ricotta apricot cake is simple, seasonal, and oh so delicious. Its great for brunch and for dessert (trust me, I’ve eaten it for both) You don’t even have to make your own ricotta (although its SUPER easy and I highly recommend it).

    Ricotta Apricot Cake recipe adapted from Maria Teresa’s Kitchen

    • 2 cups all-purpose flour 
    • 3 teaspoons baking powder 
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup sugar 
    • zest of 2 lemons 
    • 4 large eggs, at room temperature 
    • 1 cup ricotta, drained 
    • About 5 apricots, washed, divided in half and stone removed
    • 1 c confectioners sugar
    • 3 T lemon juice 

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-inch round cake pan with cooking spray.

    In a small bowl whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

    Combine sugar, zest and eggs in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk at a medium-high speed until the mixture is thick, about 3 minutes. Reduce mixer speed to low and add in the ricotta. Slowly add in the dry ingredients until just combined. Pour mixture into the prepared cake pan.

    Slice the apricot halves into thin slices. Layer the slices in a circular pattern until the top of the batter is completely covered. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour and 10 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. 

    Whisk together confectioners sugar and lemon juice until smooth. Pour over warm cake. Allow to cool 15 minutes. Serve. 


    We want to see your best apricot recipes! Head over to our June page and link up

  3. Mango Banana Coconut Muffins

    May 21, 2013 by betsy

    mango banana coconut muffin


    Often muffins you buy at a coffee shop or bakery are full of sugar and preservatives, and taste more like dessert rather than breakfast.  This recipe uses a few easy substitutes like whole wheat flour, mashed banana and coconut oil instead of butter, fresh mango instead of sugary dried fruit, and skim milk rather than full fat.  The addition of oats makes these muffins a bit more dense, and more filling.  The coconut oil gives them a nice tropical sent while baking in the oven – kind of reminded me of vacation!  A perfect breakfast treat to enjoy with your cup of coffee on the porch one morning.  We’ve had some pretty warm days here in the Midwest this past week, so it already feels like summer.  But if you haven’t had that warm weather come your way yet, these muffins will at least put you in a summer state of mind!

    For more mango recipes, or to link up your own, make sure you visit our MANGO page!

    Mango Banana Coconut Muffins, makes 12 muffins

    • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
    • 3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
    • 1 cup diced fresh mango


    Combine flours, oats, sugar,coconut, baking powder, soda, and salt.

    In a large bowl, beat the egg lightly. Stir in the milk, oil, and vanilla. Add the mashed banana, and combine thoroughly. Stir the flour mixture into the banana mixture until just combined. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper bake cups, and divide the batter among them.
    Bake at 400 degrees F (205 degrees C) for about 18 minutes.

  4. Pineapple Mango Mojito

    May 8, 2013 by betsy


    With spring in the air I felt it was time to make some seasonal cocktails and this pineapple mango mojito was first on my list. When we cooked up the idea of Seasonal Potluck we thought that every Friday should be cocktail recipe day. I know today is only Wednesday, but I’m on vacation so I figured why the heck not?

    Its so easy to incorporate seasonal fruits into cocktail making….just puree them! I have a stick blender that I use religiously, but you could use a food processor or regular blender to liquify those bad boys. Once you have a fruit puree, just add booze! Champagne would be excellent with fresh fruit puree as would vodka, but for our purposes today I went for rum.

    I have a mint plant growing in my backyard that is HUGE, so I snipped some mint, muddled it with a little sugar, topped it fruit, rum and soda water, and had myself a delicious seasonal cocktail!

    Pineapple Mango Mojito

    1/2 t sugar

    5-6 mint leaves

    1 t pineapple puree

    1 t mango puree

    3 oz rum

    soda water

    Muddle the sugar and mint together in a shaker. Add in pineapple puree, mango puree and rum. Shake until well combined. Pour into a glass then top with soda water and enjoy! 

    Do you have a great mango recipe you want to share? LINK UP on our May recipe page!


  5. Arugula Salad with Roasted Beets, Goat Cheese and Balsamic Reduction

    April 9, 2013 by betsy

    arugula salad with roasted beets

    I was very excited to be featuring arugula this month, as it’s one of my favorite greens.  It’s a salad green we have at our house most of the time, and I usually grow it in the garden every year too.  It’s peppery taste lends well to both savory and sweet pairings.  It’s great on sandwiches, with salads that have some sweet accents and tossed with pasta or sprinkled on pizza.  You’ll find recipes using it in all of these ways on our arugula page!  Below is an easy salad that only takes a few steps.  The sweetness of the beets and goat cheese pair really well with the bite of the arugula.

    In keeping with the seasonal theme, I also bought some local arugula from right here in Chicago!  It’s actually grown indoors, so it’s available all year round.  You can find out more about it here.

    farmed here local baby arugula

    Farmed Here local baby arugula. Grown in Chicago!

    I found that this arugula kept A LOT longer than other brands I have purchased (which makes sense, because it didn’t travel as far to get to my plate!).  It tasted great too.  I will definitely be buying this product again!

    farmed here arugula


    Arugula Salad with Roasted Beets, Goat Cheese and Balsamic  Reduction, serves 2

    • 1 small bunch beets
    • 3 cups arugula
    • 2 oz goat cheese, crumbled
    • 3 Tbsp olive oil
    • Kosher salt
    • Pepper
    • balsamic reduction*

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line a sheet pan with foil.  Wash and trim beets, then toss with 2 T of olive oil.  Put on sheet pan, cover with foil and cook in the oven for 25-50 minutes.  The cooking time will vary, depending on the size of your beets.  Beets are done with easily pierced with a fork.  Let cool.

    When beets are cool enough to handle, peel off skin and cut into pieces.  Toss with the remaining 1 T of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

    Divide arugula between two plates.  Top with beets, crumbled goat cheese and drizzle with balsamic reduction*.

    *Note:  you can use a store-bought balsamic reduction or make your own by bringing one cup of balsamic vinegar to a boil, then reduce heat so vinegar is simmering.  Let simmer until the vinegar is reduced by at least half and thickened (like the consistency of syrup).  It is great drizzled on everything from salads to meats, even fresh strawberries!

  6. Arugula Salad with Roasted Chickpeas

    April 8, 2013 by betsy


    Arugula salad is a staple in my house. In fact, arugula by itself is a staple in my house. Dare I say its my favorite leafy green? I love its peppery flavor and feel like it gives any dish a little added oomph! I love it on sandwiches, eggs, or even pizza. Not only is it seriously delicious, its also one of the 50 most nutrient dense foods on the plant. Its full of antioxidants, vitamin K and other cancer busting good stuff.


    Spring is here and I thought arugula would be the perfect base for this fresh spring salad. Topped with with some protein packed roasted chickpeas, and salty feta, this salad makes a great lunch.

    Arugula Salad with Roasted Chickpeas recipe adapted from Bon Appetit 

    Whisk olive oil, 1 Tbsp. lemon juice, and vinegar in a small bowl. Season vinaigrette with salt, pepper, and more lemon juice, if desired.
    Combine chickpeas, arugula, fresh mint, and onion in a large bowl. Drizzle vinaigrette over and season with salt and pepper; gently toss to coat. Divide salad among plates or bowls. Garnish with feta.


    Here’s a little tip for you. I eat salads A LOT. If your salad routine starts to get a little boring, add some fresh mint. It seems like it might be strange, but it can really give a boring salad some major personality.


    Be sure to head over to our Arugula link party under the APRIL tab to share your favorite arugula recipes! If you’ve never tried arugula before, check out what others are making and gather some inspiration. We’d love to have you!

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  7. Roasted Broccoli with Lemon and Pine Nuts

    March 18, 2013 by betsy


    While perusing the recipes on my own site, I was shocked that I didn’t really have any that featured broccoli as the main ingredient!  So I’ve found several that I am going to make and link up here before the month’s end.  I’m getting a late start though, as we’re already more than halfway through March – where did this month go?!

    This is an easy, delicious way to eat your broccoli.  The oven roasting gives it a light crunch, and the lemon adds a little touch of spring flavor to this dish.  It’s a subtle lemon flavor, but if you wanted to kick it up a notch, I think it would taste great with some diced up preserved lemon rinds.  It pairs well with any main course, and can be made in under a half an hour.  Gotta love those recipes for weeknight cooking!

    Roasted Broccoli with Lemon and Pine Nuts,  adapted from Food & Wine

    1 large head of broccoli (1 1/2 pounds), cut into 1 1/2-inch florets, stems peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick

    1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

    Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

    1 1/2 tablespoons pine nuts

    2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

    Preheat the oven to 400°. On a large baking sheet, toss the broccoli florets and stems with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast the broccoli in the oven for about 20 minutes, tossing halfway through, until browned and tender.

    Meanwhile, in a small skillet, toast the pine nuts over moderate heat until light golden all over, about 4 minutes.

    In a small bowl, whisk the lemon juice with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil; season the dressing with salt and pepper. Scrape the broccoli into a serving bowl. Add the dressing and toasted pine nuts, toss well and serve.


  8. Simple Broccoli and White Bean Salad

    March 5, 2013 by betsy


    Life has been action packed here in San Diego lately, but that’s no excuse to resort to fast food or frozen pizza. I hear people all the time talk about how they just don’t have time to prepare meals at home. Well if that’s you, let me introduce you to this delicious and SIMPLE broccoli salad. Its chock full of protein packed white beans, which, in my mind, makes it a complete meal. Great for lunch or for a quick dinner for one.

    Broccoli and White Bean Salad recipe adapted from Sunset Magazine 

    • 2 heads broccoli (about 1 1/4 lbs. total), broken into medium florets 
    • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
    • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 
    • 2 teaspoons orange zest 
    • 1 tablespoon orange juice 
    • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
    • 1/4 cup roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
    • 1 can (15.5 oz.) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

    1. Put broccoli florets in a steamer basket and set in a large pot filled with 1/2 in. water. Steam over medium-high heat until tender-crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a colander and rinse with cold water.
    2. Whisk vinegar, oil, orange zest and juice, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients and stir to coat.

    See how easy that was?!? Not only is this majorly simple to put together, its also cost effective. Especially right now while broccoli is in season. Oh wait, its crazy healthy for you too. Broccoli is full of dietary fiber and vitamin C. All wonderful things to help keep your insides squeaky clean as cold and flu season winds down. I hope you’ll be adding this to your dinner table soon!
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  9. Grapefruit Meringue Pies

    February 5, 2013 by betsy


    This recipe is a twist on the classic lemon meringue pie.  It’s not as tart as a lemon meringue, but the grapefruit flavor does come through.  You could really use and citrus with this recipe: lemon, lime, orange, blood orange, tangerine, etc.  I love making pies in small mason jars.  It’s the perfect way to control your portions, and it’s great if you’re only cooking for two!  You can always save those extras for later.  :)

    Grapefruit Meringue Pies, makes 6 mini pies

    Crust, adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie

    • 3/4 cups crumbs of graham cracker crumbs, or 5 graham cracker sheets
    • 2 tbsp milk or margarine/butter

    In a food processor, process crackers into fine crumbles. Add milk and process again to combine. Pour now-sticky crumbs into mini pie pans or 1/2 pint Mason jars, and smush down very firmly with your hands or a sheet of wax paper. (Be sure to smush down VERY hard, as the lack of fat will make this crust crumbly if you don’t.)

    Grapefruit Curd, adapted from Baking Bites

    1 cup sugar
    3 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
    3 tbsp ap flour
    1/4 tsp salt
    1 1/3 cups water
    1/2 cup fresh grapefruit juice
    1 tbsp grapefruit zest
    3 large egg yolks (reserve whites for meringue)
    2 tbsp butter, room temperature

    In a medium saucepan, whisk together sugar, cornstarch, flour, salt and water. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring with a whisk, for 3 minutes, until quite thick. In a small bowl, combine egg yolks with grapefruit juice and zest.
    Gradually temper eggs with about 1/2 cup of sugar mixture, drizzling in the hot mixture very slowly. Return saucepan to the heat and, whisking continuously, stream in lemon mixture. Add in butter and cook over medium-high heat for another 3 minutes.
    Allow to cool to room temperature.  Divide evenly between Mason jars or mini pie pans.

    1/2 cup sugar
    2 tbsp water
    4 large egg whites, room temperature
    1/2 tsp cream of tartar

    One filling is cooled, preheat oven to 350F. (Note: browning the meringue can be done with a kitchen torch, instead of putting the pies in the oven)
    In a small saucepan, combine sugar and water. Bring to a boil and turn heat to low.
    In a large bowl, beat egg whites until frothy. Beat in cream of tartar and beat at high speed until egg whites reach soft peaks. Carefully and very slowly, with the mixer turned to medium, stream in sugar syrup and beat egg whites to stiff peaks.
    Spoon meringue onto pie filling and make sure to completely seal the edges or the meringue with the crust, leaving no filling exposed.
    Bake for 8-10 minutes, until meringue is lightly browned.


  10. Grapefruit Angel Food Cake

    February 4, 2013 by betsy


    February. Winter, valentines, love, flowers, dessert, cake, cupid, angel, angel food cake……Ok, enough with the word association, although that’s pretty much how I arrived at this angel food cake. Grapefruit is yet another non-friend of mine, but I’ve had so much success with learning to like new things through Seasonal Potluck, I was not discouraged when grapefruit was named February’s ingredient of  the month.

    Everything is better as a bundt in my humble opinion, so why not try to make grapefruit my friend by baking it into a delicious, light, angel food cake. I must say, this turned out damn good. It may be the perfect dessert for me to bring to a baby shower this weekend.

    Grapefruit Angel Food Cake 

    • 1 1/3 cup flour
    • 1 ¾ cup sugar, divided
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • 1 ½ cups egg whites room temperature 
    • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
    • 1 ½ teaspoons cream of tartar
    • zest of one grapefruit 
    1. Preheat oven to 350. 
    2. Sift together one cup of sugar, flour, and salt. Set aside. 
    3. In a large bowl whisk together egg whites, grapefruit juice, and cream of tartar. Using a mixer with a whisk attachment, whisk on medium low until frothy. Slowly add in ¾ cup of sugar. Turn mixer on high until stiff peaks form, about five minutes.
    4. Sprinkle small amount of the flour mixture on top of the egg whites and gently begin to fold in to incorporate. Continue adding little by little,until all flour is used. Fold in zest. Continue folding until all ingredients are incorporated. 
    5. Spoon batter into a greased tube or Bundt pan. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire wrack for 60 minutes. Scrape sides of the pan with a butter knife and give the pan a gentle shake to loosen the cake. Turn out onto a platter. 
    What is your favorite way to eat grapefruit? Leave a comment and help expand my citrus horizons! You can check out (or link up!) more awesome grapefruit recipes HERE  Don’t forget to check out last year’s February ingredient, Oranges, and its accompanying recipe round up as well.
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