Tuesday, July 22, 2014

BLUE BERRY PEACH CRISP


Lawdy, Lawdy, it’s been awhile!  I have been a busy little bee and just haven’t been able to get to this little blog.
We’ve got an older home, which needs plenty of work done to it so I’ve been working on a few, not so small projects.  Billy is off for the summer, andI like to spend time with my man.  And because it’s summer, there are lots of fun things to be done, and I’m doing ‘em!



But I’m here now and have one of my favorite desserts to share with y’all.  Blue Berry Peach Crisp.
I love a crisp because I can use any fruit that I have around, and even though I may be fussy at times, a fruit crisp isn’t.
  
This recipe uses less refined sugar than a typical crisp might.  I’ve also sneaked in a little nutrition in the topping by way of nuts and flax seed meal; you don’t even know they’re in there.



I like to top a big ol’ bowl of Blue Berry Peach Crisp with a dollop of plain Greek yogurt and just a touch of maple syrup over that.   A scoop of vanilla ice cream is always good as well, and because Blue Berry Peach Crisp is loaded with fruit and oats and is pretty much a healthy snack, you might even get crazy and have two scoops of ice cream!



BLUE BERRY PEACH CRISP
Makes 4 generous servings

For the filling
2              cups       Fresh peaches, peeled and sliced
2              cups       Fresh blue berries
1                              Lemon, zest only
1              Tbsp.     All-purpose flour
3              Tbsp.     Maple syrup, you may need up 6 tablespoons depending on the sweetness of the fruit
                Pinch     Salt

For the topping
1/3         cup         Old fashioned oats (oat meal)
¼             cup         All-purpose flour
¼             cup         Chopped pecan or almonds
¼             cup         Brown sugar, lightly packed
1 ½         Tbsp.     Flax seed meal
¼             tsp          Ground cinnamon
1/8         tsp.        Ground ginger
                Pinch     Salt
3              Tbsp.     Cold butter, cut into small cubes
1              Tbsp.     Maple syrup

1.  Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.
2.  To make the filling; combine all of the ingredients for the filling in a medium bowl, and stir well, but stir gently as not to break up the fruit.  Pour the filling into an 8 x 8 x 2 inch baking dish, or your favorite dish for making crisps.
3.  To make the topping; in a medium bowl combine all of the topping ingredients except for the butter and the maple syrup, stir well.  Add the cold butter and cut it into the dry ingredients using a pastry blender or two knives, until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Stir in the maple syrup.  Distribute the topping over the fruit filling in an even layer (hands work best).  Bake 25 to 30 minutes, until the fruit filling is bubbling and the topping is deep golden brown.
4.  Serve hot with whipped cream, ice cream, or plain Greek yogurt drizzled with a touch more maple syrup.

*Note, you may omit the nuts or the flax seed meal, just replace it with the same amount of oats.


You may also like:

Fresh Blue Raspberry Croustade
Peaches & Cream Oatmeal










Banana Cream Pie, Reduced Fat
Plum Streusel Coffee Cake



 

Thursday, June 26, 2014

WATERMELON & HALOUMI CHEESE SALAD





I can’t take a good Selfie, to save my life.  Actually that’s not entirely true; I’ve taken one good selfie it was of Billy and me in Key West, and I posted that sucker on Instagram, and Facebook, and Twitter…it had to be seen!

I have friends on Instagram and Facebook that know how to work that little lens on their phone.  They know how to angle their cameras, how to turn their heads, which way to flip their hair, every photo is post worthy…and they post them…a-lot!  Just sayin’.

I take a picture and I have chins where there shouldn’t be chins; my hair is fluffy (not cute like a bunny, fluffy) and my face…well I just know my face ain’t that big.  My photos are not post worthy…and I delete them…every single one them!  Except for that one!

Any hoo…It’s been hot here in FLA, and they say it’s not the heat it’s the humidity, I’m saying it’s the heat and the humidity!  

To beat the heat I made a Watermelon and Haloumi Cheese Salad.  This salad is a salad of opposites.  It’s sweet and it’s salty, it’s tender and it’s crisp, it’s hot and it’s cold; and if opposites attract, this salad is looking really attractive!

In the case that you don’t know what the heck a Haloumi is; Haloumi is a Greek cheese that can be grilled or fried and hold it’s shape, it’s a bit salty, and similar to Queso Frito.

Watermelon and Haloumi Cheese Salad is terrific for a light lunch or dinner, or to serve along-side with pretty much anything that you want to grill up!

This salad can’t take a selfie, but it sure does take a pretty picture!


Here’s what you do.


Chunks of watermelon are nice so cut the watermelon into 1 inch cubes.  

Also slice some red onion really thin, I don't like too much onion, so I only used 1/4 cup, but if you love it go ahead and add as much as your heart (or taste buds) desire!

Part of the appeal of this salad is the contrast of cold crisp salad with the hot cheese, so prep the ingredients and put them into the refrigerator before cooking the cheese, you may even like to put a your serving dish into the refrigerator.


I sampled this cheese at Whole Foods, and got totally sucked in to buying it!  

Those sample giver outers; they know what they're doing!  

This cheese is good, has a similar texture and saltiness of Haloumi and it's easy to heat (follow the package directions); but all in all, I do prefer to grill my own Haloumi cheese, old habits.  



Allow the cooked cheese to rest for about 2 minutes before cutting it into ¾ inch cubes.



Capers add a little brininess to the salad; I like to fry them in a little hot oil.  

If you haven't had fried capers, you really should!
 
Be sure to blot the capers on a paper towel to remove excess moisture before adding them to hot oil, this keeps the splattering to a minimum.


Cook the capers until they are a deep golden brown, like just before burnt, and allow them to drain on a piece of paper towel.

Brine packed capers will open like little flowers, but these were salt packed capers, so they really didn't open.


I also used fig flavored balsamic vinegar and lemon infused olive oil.  

If you don't have flavored oil and vinegar just use a good balsamic and extra virgin olive oil.

Dress some arugula with 3 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of balsamic, also season with a pinch of salt and lots of pepper, keeping in mind that the capers and the cheese are both salty.


Oops, almost forgot the onions! 
 
Toss them in as well.


Make a bed of the arugula on a platter or shallow bowl.

Place the watermelon and the cheese over the arugula, and then sprinkle some more balsamic vinegar and the fried capers over everything.


Enjoy this refreshing salad immediately as a light lunch or dinner, or as an appetizer or a side dish to whatever you're grilling!




WATERMELON & HALOUMI CHEESE SALAD

Serves 4

6                       oz.          Haloumi cheese (or Heat &Serve Baked Cheese)
1 ½                    tsp.        Capers, drained and rinsed
2                        tsp.        Grape seed oil
1-5                     oz.bag     Arugula
¼                      cup         Red onion, finely sliced
                     Tbsp.      Extra virgin olive oil (I used lemon flavored)
2                        Tbsp.      Balsamic vinegar, divided use (I used fig flavored)
                                      Salt & pepper to taste
20-1 inch              cubes     Water melon

1.  Heat a medium sized skillet or grill pan to heat that is between medium and medium-high.  Add the Haloumi to the hot skillet or grill pan and cook until golden brown on each side (or cook Heat & Serve Baked Cheese according to the package directions).  Allow the cheese to sit for just about 2minutes before cutting it into ¾ inch cubes.
2.  Lay the capers out on a clean piece of paper towel to remove any excess moisture.  Heat the grape seed oil in a small skillet (or you may use the skillet the cheese was cooked in) over medium-high heat.  When the oil is hot, add the capers and stir frequently.  Cook the capers until they are golden brown and the crisp.   Do not do this step in advance, or the capers will become soggy.
3.  In a large bowl, toss together the arugula, red onion, olive oil, 1 Tbsp. of the balsamic vinegar, and salt & pepper to taste. 
4.  Lay the dressed arugula and onions on a platter or a large shallow bowl.  Arrange the watermelon and cheese cubes over the greens in an attractive manner.  Drizzle the remaining balsamic vinegar over the top, and sprinkle the fried capers over everything.

*One of the keys to this salad is that the watermelon and arugula are crisp and cold, and the cheese is hot and melty.


You may also like:
Strawberry Spinach Salad with Pesto Dressing
Watermelon Tarragon Agua Fresca












Nectarine (or peach) and Feta Salad
Grapefruit and Snow Pea Salad













I shared this recipe at:

The Weekend Potluck , 
Freedom Fridays