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  1. June is Apricot Month!

    June 3, 2013 by betsy

    apricotJune is apricot month!  Summer is finally here, but it still doesn’t feel like it here in the Midwest.  It was a cold, rainy weekend and this week probably isn’t going to see over 70 degrees.  Good thing we’re headed to sunny Mexico for a friend’s wedding this weekend!

    Despite the cooler weather, we should start seeing local apricots popping up at farmers markets this month or next.  In warmer climates around the country, you’re probably seeing them already!  Apricots are a pretty versatile stone fruit in both sweet and savory applications, as well as fresh or dried.  In fact when searching for recipes using apricots, most of them called for dried or canned apricots.  So if you are the type to preserve your summer bounty, there are plenty of uses for those apricots this winter too!

    Fresh apricots are full of vitamins C and A, and fiber.  They can be tossed into salads, pureed and added to sauces or dessert toppings, grilled alongside your meat or baked into a pastry or cobbler.  The possibilities are endless!  Head on over to our apricot link party to find recipes or add some of your own!


  2. 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.

  3. Pineapple Mango Mojito

    May 8, 2013 by betsy

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    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!

     


  4. May is Mango Month!

    May 2, 2013 by betsy

    Mango-2

    May mango month. May mango month. Try saying that 10 times fast! Mango is another ingredient that is growing on me, but I’m feeling very inspired. This is truly a versatile fruit that can be used in all kinds of dishes from salads, to drinks, to condiments. I’m really looking forward to seeing what amazing and creative recipes everyone links up this month.

    I personally love to use mango in savory ways. Perhaps I’ll grill some, or cook it with chiles and other spicy flavors. I guess we’ll wait and see what the month brings!

    I know that winter just won’t leave in certain parts of the country, and for that I am truly, TRULY sorry. I sincerely hope that the snow will leave soon and you can all start enjoying local, seasonal foods. In the meantime, go buy a mango, cook something tropical, link up your recipe, and dream of sunnier days.

    The MANGO LINK PARTY is now open!

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  5. Grapefruit Meringue Pies

    February 5, 2013 by betsy

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    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.

    Meringue
    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.

     


  6. Grapefruit Angel Food Cake

    February 4, 2013 by betsy

    Grapefruit-angel-food-cake-whole-text

    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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  7. February is Grapefruit Month!

    February 3, 2013 by betsy

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    Winter is for citrus!  Last February we featured oranges and this year is grapefruit.  This is a great time of year to get your hands on some red grapefruit from Texas, known for it’s bright red color and sweetness.  It’s also a great time of year to pump up your vitamin C intake (which grapefruit is full of) with the flu season still in full force!

    I grew up eating grapefruits cut in half and scooping the segments out with one of those little serrated spoons.  I always ate them plain (because I like tart things), but some people enjoy it with a little sugar sprinkled on top.  I loved eating grapefruit when I was a kid, but I find I don’t eat it very much now.  What a perfect time to reintroduce this fruit into my diet.  That is what Seasonal Potluck is all about!

    Please join us in sharing your grapefruit recipes this month!  We also have a ton of great orange recipes on our link party from last February, but we’d love if you shared some more this year!


  8. Scallops with Brussels Sprouts and Mustard Sauce

    January 15, 2013 by betsy

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    According to a recent Public Policy Poll, Brussels sprouts beat out Congress in popularity 69 to 23.  Well, I may not have enjoyed them as a kid, but they certainly are tasty now!  Although my husband might actually rank Brussels sprouts lower than Congress, he did like this dish! This is a quick, easy dinner that is fast enough for a weeknight, but nice enough for the weekend too.

    When cooking the scallops, make sure you don’t crowd the pan.  If the scallops are touching, they won’t caramelize nicely.  The mustard sauce had a great flavor. It really complimented the bitterness of the sprouts.  This is a keeper!

    Sea Scallops with Brussels Sprouts and Mustard Sauce, adapted from Fine Cooking

    • 1 lb sea scallops
    • 10 oz brussels sprouts
    • 3 T olive oil
    • all-purpose flour (for dusting)
    • Kosher salt
    • Black pepper

    for mustard sauce:

    • 2 T unsalted butter
    • 1 T lemon juice
    • 2 T water
    • 1 tsp coarse grain Dijon mustard

    Remove scallops from packaging and pat dry.

    In a food processor fitted with the slicing blade attachment, shred the trimmed brussels sprouts.  (I found a package of pre-sliced brussels sprouts at Trader Joe’s – it’s a great time saver for this already quick meal!)

    Heat 2 T olive oil in a 12 inch skillet over medium high heat.  Add the brussels sprouts, season with the kosher salt and black pepper to taste.  Toss and coat with olive oil.  Cover and cook until starting to soften, about 1 1/2 minutes.  Transfer to a platter and keep warm.

    Season the scallops with salt and pepper.  Dust both flat sides with all-purpose flour.  Heat 1 T olive oil in the skillet over medium high heat.  Add the scallops and cook, flipping once until browned and just cooked through, about 5 minutes.

    Put the scallops on top of the Brussels sprouts and return the skillet to medium-low heat.

    Add 2 T unsalted cold butter, cut into pieces, 1 T lemon juice, 2 T water, and 1 Tsp coarse-grained Dijon mustard and cook.  Stir and scrape up any browned bits, until the butter is incorporated and the sauce has thickened, about 1 minute.  Season to taste with salt and pepper, spoon over the scallops and serve.


  9. Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Apple Salad

    January 2, 2013 by betsy

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    I’ll admit that when winter rolled for the first time in Seasonal Potluck history last year, it was a real eye opener. Until then, I had never really given a ton of thought to eating seasonally other than knowing that strawberries and watermelon were summer foods. When winter rolled around, all I could think was, “Yuck. Beets.” Fortunately, I learned that citrus was seasonal in the winter time, and we featured lemons last January. What a relief! However, when winter started to creep up on us this year, I once again found myself dreading those nasty beets. But I’ve come a long way since last year. I’m all about eating seasonally now, and know that there are a ton of delicious foods that grow in the winter, and its not all just beets and turnips. Also, beets aren’t so bad.

    So lets give a warm welcome to brussels sprouts! I’m probably the only kid in America who has loved brussels sprouts my whole life, although these days I cook them fresh instead of microwaving a frozen bag the way my mom used to. If you’ve never tried them before, definitely give this salad a whirl. Its sweet, and salty and smoky all at the same time. I think you’ll really change the way you feel about brussels sprouts after having it.

    Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Apple Salad recipe adapted from Bon Appetit

    •  2 cups brussels sprouts, trimmed, and quartered 
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more for drizzling
    • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 apple, cored, thinly sliced
    • 1 tablespoon (or more) fresh lemon juice
    • 2 ounces feta, crumbled
    • 2 tablespoons torn fresh mint leaves
    Preheat oven to 425°. Place brussels sprouts on a baking sheet. Drizzle 1 Tbsp. oil over. Season well with salt and pepper. Toss with your hands so sprouts are evenly coated then spread sprouts in a thin layer.  Roast, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and crispy, 15–20 minutes. Let cool.
    Meanwhile, combine thinly sliced apple and lemon juice in a large bowl. When brussels sprouts are cool, add to apple mixture. Add remaining ingredients and toss to coat.  Season with additional salt and pepper.
    Head over to our brussels sprout page and link up your recipes now!


  10. January is Brussels Sprout Month!

    January 2, 2013 by betsy

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    Happy New Year to all! If you’re like me, you’re probably looking to get some healthy food circulating through your body to combat all your holiday indulgences. Why not broaden your horizons at the same time and try cooking with brussels sprouts? Brussels sprouts are a great source of vitamin K, vitamin C, and fiber, which are all necessary when you’re trying to revive yourself. I’ve loved brussels sprouts since I was young, but I think they have a bad reputation overall. I encourage you, if you have never tried brussels sprouts, or if you think that you don’t like them, give them another shot this month. They’re a wonderfully versatile way to get your leafy greens!

    If you have a brussels sprout recipe you’d like to share, head over to our BRUSSELS SPROUT link party and link up! Last year we featured lemons in January so be sure to check out the LEMON link party as well.

    Wishing you all a healthy, joyous, and perfectly seasonal year ahead!