Berry Good Desserts

Here’s a few desserts that I enjoy making once the weather starts warming up. Nothing complicated here just simple and easy, quick to put together so you can enjoy the great weather.
This is equally as good with sliced strawberries so use whatever berries you like, just remember once it’s assembled it should be eaten right away.

Easy to put together with just a few store bought ingredients. I wanted to lighten mine up a bit so instead of using heavy whipped cream ( which would be amazing) I used Greek yogurt. Even the no fat version is so thick and creamy, I just love the stuff!
Take a store bought pie crust, roll it out, and with a 3 inch cookie cutter make as many rounds as you can. Place them on a baking sheet, prick them with a fork, and bake about 8-10 minutes at 400 degrees, times may vary, you just need them to be golden brown. This step could be done ahead of time and kept in the freezer until ready to use.
Next take your yogurt (or whipped cream) and fold in a dollop of good quality lemon curd, that’s really all there is to it, now just layer your stacks with the berries and lemon “cream”. Garnish with lemon zest and nuts if you like. How easy is that?

Light and refreshing, this little treat is made in minutes by warming up some orange marmalade, tossing in your berries, placing them in a pretty glass topped off with a dollup of yogurt and some toasted slivered almonds. You’ll love the combination of flavors!

BLUEBERRY TART, I’ve made this several times. I got this recipe 2 years ago from my friend Pat’s blog who got it right out of Women’s Day magazine. Pat also made this substituting the blueberries with strawberries, which I’ve yet to try, but soon will.
Don’t you think this would be a perfect ending to your Memorial Day barbecue?

1 cup plus 2 Tbl. flour
2/3 cup plus 2 Tbl. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, cut up
1 Tbl. white vinegar
5 cups blueberries
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp almond extract
Powdered sugar

1. Heat oven to 375°F. Spray a 9-in. square or round tart pan with a removable bottom with nonstick spray.
2. Pulse 1 cup flour, 2 Tbl. sugar and the salt in food processor until blended. Add butter; pulse until coarse crumbs form. Sprinkle with vinegar; pulse until blended. Turn out dough and bring together with fingers.
3. Press dough into bottom of tart pan. Top with 3 cups berries. Mix remaining 2 Tbl. flour, 2/3 cup sugar and cinnamon in medium bowl. Evenly sprinkle over berries; drizzle with almond extract.
4. Bake tart 50 to 60 minutes until bubbly. Remove from oven and top with remaining 2 cups blueberries. Let cool in pan on wire rack. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar. Serve warm or at room temperature.
From Woman’s Day July 8, 2008

Note: I’m not plugging store bought pie crusts, but if you’re in a hurry or you don’t feel like making your own, it’s a great substitution and a nice convenience every now and then, and guess what, it still tastes every bit of delicious!

Buon Appetito!

Fireworks, and Fire Up! (your grill that is!)

Barbecue season will be in full swing this weekend as the 4Th of July is quickly approaching. Many are planning a relaxing summer day with family and friends and there will be cook outs everywhere. The smell of ribs, steaks, burgers and hot dogs will permeate the air!

I thought I’d share with you a few things we like to grill ,and a couple of sides.

Pork tenderloin is great on the grill, it doesn’t take long. the meat is always tender, and if you just slice it open like a book, it can be marinated and stuffed with just about anything. In this case I made an olive tapenade, mixed it with a little Dijon mustard, spread it all over, and then rolled and tied it. Mighty Good!!

Beer Can chicken, if you’ve never tried it, please do! It may not look the most attractive, but the taste is phenomenal, crispy on the outside and super moist on the inside. Just remember to plug the top so all the moisture of the beer stays inside. As far as your choice of spice, the sky’s the limit!! Here I used, paprika, thyme, cayenne, granulated garlic, dry mustard, salt and pepper, cumin, sometimes a little brown sugar too. Mix it all up together and after coating your chicken with olive oil, slather it on.

Pasta salad is always a favorite with my family, you can make it a million different ways, this is an old stand by recipe, I just changed it up with some Cavatappi pasta. Olives, broccoli, shredded carrots, red onions, fresh basil and parsley, granulated garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper, and tons of Romano cheese. This is always a request by my daughter!

Who doesn’t like corn on the cob? Keep the heat out of your house and cook it on the grill. I like to cut the cobs smaller, it’s easier to fit on your plate.
Sometimes I like to spice it up a bit, for a change of pace.

Just melt some butter, have your spices ready, in this case I just mixed some paprika, cumin, granulated garlic, salt and pepper. Dip your corn in the butter, sprinkle with the spice, and grill!
Mmmm, it’s so good!

Cannellini Bean Salad, this is a great side that can be made ahead of time, in fact, it tastes even better as it sits. Canned beans, rinsed and drained, diced tomatoes, red and green peppers diced, a little jalapeno for some heat, crushed garlic, chopped parsley, basil, tossed in a fresh lemon and olive oil dressing.

And last but not least, I can’t take credit for this Blueberry Tart, I actually found it by way of Mile Fiori Favoriti, a blog I visit often. What appealed to me was how she made it sound and the ease of making it, go over and check her out, she has the link to the recipe. I made it last Sunday and it was a real hit!!! I WILL be making this again. Thanks Pat!!

Blueberries, almond flavor, and in my case, ( shhhh, don’t tell anyone) I used a store bought pie pastry dough, you know, the kind that’s already rolled out. Again I’m plugging Trader Joe’s, check it out in their freezer case, it taste’s outstanding.

I hope I’ve given you some inspiration for some good eats ,and good grilling, I would love to know some of your favorites for the summer and the grill.

Wishing you all lot’s of fun and food for the 4TH!!!