Today’s delicious side dish comes from my friend Kristin from The Food Geek Diary. Not only can she cook, but she’s an awesome mom, too! Please take a minute to check out her blog and her Facebook Page also
We had a heat wave here in Northeast PA last week. I absolutely love hot weather and swimming with my daughter. It does mean that I don’t do much cooking, though, until I decided to prepare a turkey breast almost like I would for Thanksgiving, but cooking it in my slow cooker instead. I admit I usually prefer dark meat turkey, but cooking the turkey breast in the slow cooker makes it moist and delicious!
Slow Cooker Turkey Breast
4-6 pound whole turkey breast
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
1 large stalk celery, chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1 small onion, cut in 4
2 cups chicken or turkey stock
Salt and pepper
4 Tablespoons cornstarch
Thaw turkey breast for 2-3 days in refrigerator, if using frozen.
Rinse the breast inside and out under cold water, and pat dry. Place in the slow cooker, sprinkle inside and out with salt and pepper.
Place some of the carrot, celery, onion, and garlic inside the turkey. Scatter remaining vegetables (whatever doesn’t fit inside the turkey) around the breast.
Pour 2 cups chicken or turkey stock in the slow cooker, then brush the turkey breast with olive oil well.
Cover and cook on HIGH 4-6 hours, until turkey breast reaches 180*F.
Once the turkey reaches 180*F, you have two choices, You can remove it from the slow cooker ( do so carefully, it may fall apart), allow it to rest for 10-15 minutes, remove the skin, then slice and serve. If you are like me and want a crispy skin, then you will want to turn your oven on to BROIL, remove the turkey from the slow cooker to a roasting pan, and broil for 6-8 minutes. Broiling the turkey does make it a little drier, though, so if you want a moist turkey you might want to stick with removing the skin.
While the turkey is resting, drain the broth left in the slow cooker to a gravy separator/strainer (if you don’t own one, I highly suggest you get one!). Let it cool slightly so the fat rises to the top, I usually just put mine in the freezer for 10 minutes! Then pour the broth carefully into a saucepan, allowing the fat and solids to remain in the strainer. Taste and adjust seasonings (salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, etc).
Mix 4 tablespoons cornstarch with enough cold or room temperature chicken or turkey stock to be able to pour. Bring the broth to a boil, then pour in the cornstarch mixture, and stir constantly for 1 minutes to prevent lumps. Serve the gravy on the side.
See in the right-hand corner of the picture, the bacon wrapped goodness? Those are the Bacon Wrapped Cauliflower with Dark Chocolate I made the other day, and they are delicious!
I am really enjoying the recipes my guest posters have shared with us this summer! So many different things than what I usually make and share with you all I can’t believe summer is half over though
Today’s recipe for Cherry Clafoutis comes from my friend Abby from Manila Spoon. Please check out her blog, she has amazing recipes from having grown up in the Philippines to traveling around the world. The recipe she is sharing today is a French dessert that she had while on a recent trip to Europe. You can also check out and follow her and all her yummy recipes by following Manila Spoon on Facebook.
When my friend Bernadette asked me to guest-post for her lovely blog, I was very excited although at that time I didn’t quite know what to share yet. I thought I ought to share something that I really love and something extra special, too. Thankfully, this year we went to France as part of our European holiday. My husband and I took a few days off, left the kids with Mark’s parents in England, and went to France to celebrate our 10th Wedding anniversary. Being a blogger, I couldn’t wait to try all the lovely cakes, pastries and other French baked goods while we were there. Needless to say apart from the usual touristy sights we visited, we also went from one patisserie to another all the while adoring all the yummy treats we saw on each glass case and shop windows! For a foodie, it was pure heaven!
One of my favorite French desserts is a Clafoutis (also spelled without the s). It is a baked French dessert which traditionally uses dark cherries which are arranged in a dish and then covered with a thick flan or custard-like batter. Not only is it so easy to make, it is flavorful as well and so delicious when paired with freshly whipped cream or ice cream.
I have previously made a Strawberry and Almond Clafoutis which I totally love because it is so yummy. However, I didn’t even want to attempt to make the traditional Cherry Clafouti because I do not have the patience or the endurance to pit a pound of cherries!!! Hence, I thought to myself, I’ll stick to easier fruits that don’t need much work.
Lo and behold, during one of our daily rounds in the Parisian patisseries, guess what I found – a Cherry Clafoutis - fully baked and looking so delicious complete with stems and pit. This is actually how they make a Cherry Clafouti. I read somewhere that baking with the pits inside actually give the Cherries and the dish itself a better and stronger flavor. Apart from that, am just happy, it means less work for me. Now that I learned that’s how a traditional Clafouti is done (complete with pits and all) I was suddenly so ready to make my first French Cherry Clafoutis.
So here is my recipe for Cherry Clafoutis, complete with stems and pits! At first, I thought it would be difficult and weird to eat – no, not at all. You can either pull out the cherries (that’s what the stems are for…) when you eat it or just pop it in your mouth as usual – each bite releases the yummy juices of the cherry which after baking has plumped up thereby making it so much easier to get the pits out. So, there’s hardly any inconvenience at all. Much better than I expected. You can also use the fork to remove the pits but for the whole experience, I suggest just eat it all and throw the pit out as usual. It sure made a very flavorful and juicy Clafoutis!
Clafoutis may be served either warm or in room temp. I suggest serving it while warm so the custard is still quite soft. Either dust it with powdered sugar or to experience full yumminess, do serve it with fresh cream, whipped or not, or even better vanilla ice cream!
Thank you so much Bernadette for allowing me the chance to be a guest blogger on your wonderful blog. It is indeed an honor to do so and I hope that your readers will find this recipe helpful.
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1 cup milk plus 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (you can just use all milk, too)
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
1 lb Cherries, cleaned (no need to remove stems or pit)
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, sugar and salt) until smooth. Beat the three eggs in a separate bowl and then set aside. Add the vanilla to the milk and orange juice. Pour the milk mixture into the dry ingredients at once and quickly whisk to avoid lumps. Beat the eggs into the batter until smooth. Make sure there are no lumps remaining.
Place the cherries in the bottom of a 10-inch round glass or ceramic pie plate. Pour the egg mixture over the cherries. If you think it may bubble over when baking, you can use a cookie sheet.
Bake for about 40-45 minutes or until the edges are set but the center is still slightly jiggly. Cool to room temperature or serve warm with a dollop of whipped cream or even some vanilla ice cream! Enjoy!
This month I signed up for a new fun project, the Crazy Ingredient Challenge started by Hungry Little Girl. Each month she will pick two ingredients that don’t normally go together and us bloggers will come up with a recipe using those ingredients. Hopefully it’s good every time!
This month the challenge was Cauliflower and Chocolate. I’ve seen cauliflower used in cakes before, and I found recipes for roasted cauliflower dusted with cocoa powder, but I wanted to do something different. That’s when it occurred to me…..DUH! Cauliflower, chocolate, and bacon!!
I tried it two different ways, wrapping the cauliflower in bacon and baking it, then drizzling them with dark chocolate, and also dipping raw cauliflower in melted dark chocolate and sprinkling with crumbled bacon then put in the fridge to harden (I was thinking dessert cauliflower here). Well, the second one was quite horrible. Did you know that white chocolate doesn’t melt the same way dark and milk chocolate do? I didn’t, and that’s what I intended to use for the dipped cauliflower, but my white chocolate turned into a hard, crumbly ball! I found out white chocolate burns at a lower temperature than the others because it has a higher sugar content. So, I went with the dark chocolate because I thought it would contrast nicely with the white cauliflower. I should have cooked the cauliflower first, because although I like raw cauliflower, it DID NOT go well with hardened dark chocolate!! Luckily, the first way was much better!
Bacon Wrapped Cauliflower with Dark Chocolate
Note: I used half of a head of cauliflower for this recipe, and the other half for the other recipe. If making for a crowd, use a whole head of cauliflower and 1 pound of bacon.
13 florets uncooked cauliflower, wash and patted dry
Half of a 3/4 pound package of bacon, sliced in half
melted good quality dark chocolate ( 86% cacao)
Preheat oven to 375*F. Cut the cauliflower into large florets. Wrap each floret with half a slice of bacon and secure with a toothpick or skewer. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until the bacon is crisp.
A few minutes before the cauliflower is done baking, melt the dark chocolate ( I didn’t measure how much, because I was using it for both recipes) either in a double boiler or in the microwave. If melting in the microwave, stop it and stir every 30 seconds until fully melted.
Remove bacon wrapped cauliflower from the oven, and drizzle the melted chocolate carefully over each piece. Serve immediately.
These would make a great appetizer for a party, or even a side dish for a special dinner.
If you have a food blog and would like to sign up for the Crazy Ingredient Challenge, click the button below.
Plus, check out all of the great recipes everyone made on
Hungry Little Girl
Today’s guest post comes from someone I have followed for a while, Sandi from A New York Foodie. It sounds great! First, I have something I want to show you.
The following has nothing to do with food. Unless you are a dog. More specifically my dog.
Our beagle turned 1 year old last Saturday. In the 9 months we have had her, she has chewed up my husband’s credit card, ripped holes in many of my daughters pants, attacked her legs trying to pull off her socks, attacked my coat while I was wearing it. I could go on forever. Then, a few days ago, she got into my purse and ripped apart some money. My husband thought he could take the pieces of the money to the credit union and they would replace it. I had no idea if that was true or not, but he tried it and they said no. And then my husband turned the dog into the Feds!! This is the actual letter he wrote. I doubt we will get the money back, but my dog is going to be famous in that office
HA!!! I knew he has a sense of humor, but not like this! With that, I will leave you in Sandi’s more than capable hands. I’ll be back on Saturday with a new recipe with a unique combo!
Hi I’m Sandi Poznanski and I am the owner of a food blog called A New York Foodie as well as a Facebook page of the same name, A New York Foodie Facebook page
I am a native New Yorker and yes I have the accent, a very strong accent, I might add but I wouldn’t be A New York foodie without it! I love to cook, love to eat, I collect cookbooks (I have over 75), and I love anything to do with food.
I am married for 29 years and have 2 sons ages 24 and 20. I have always had an interest in food but have absolutely NO formal training. I learned to cook by watching my mom and my grandmother who were both fabulous cooks but had a very limited menu. I love watching the Food Network and learned a lot from them. I am not afraid to try anything when it comes to cooking.
Besides cooking I am very much interested in history. My favorite time period is the 15th and 16th centuries set in Scotland and England. I am also an amateur genealogist and have traced one branch of my family back to my great-great-great grandfather.
The recipe for you today is my Mediterranean Chicken Thighs. They are quick and easy can be made as a quick meal during the week. I use skinless, boneless chicken thighs which are lower in fat. My marinade is a very light healthy marinade using fresh lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, garlic and flavors of the Mediterranean! If you want to see how I made them, keep reading! Enjoy! ~Sandi~
Mediterranean Chicken Thighs
5-6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Juice and zest of 1 lemon, plus more lemon for garnish
6-8 cloves of garlic, chopped
½ tsp. dried thyme (you can use fresh thyme as well)
½ tsp. dried oregano (fresh may also be used)
1 tsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
2 tbsp. capers, rinsed and chopped
1 (6 oz jar) marinated artichoke hearts, drained, rinsed and roughly chopped (canned may be substituted)
Salt and pepper, to taste
In a large glass measuring cup add all the ingredients except the chicken and mix well.
Place chicken in a large Ziploc bag and pour marinade over. Massage the bag and make sure to get the marinade all over the chicken evenly. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Take out chicken 15 minutes prior to cooking.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lay chicken and all the marinade in an oven/broiler proof baking dish and cook for about 45 minutes basting and turning the chicken half way through. Remove from oven and turn up heat to broil and place chicken in the broiler for 5 minutes until nicely browned but not burnt. You will have to carefully watch it. Spoon marinade over the chicken and serve. Garnish with lemon, if desired.
I’ve mentioned before that I used to work in the deli department of my local Wal-Mart. One of my favorite salad’s that they carry is Broccoli Cheddar Pasta Salad. It didn’t occur to me to try to make it at home until recently! I’m not sure why, I started making a version of a Mozzarella, Tomato, and Artichoke Salad they used to carry years ago! I guess time passing made me forget about it, I left there 4 years ago when I had my daughter. I finally decided to come up with my own version to serve at her birthday party last Saturday. What I came up with tastes EXACTLY like the store-bought!
Broccoli Cheddar Pasta Salad
1 box tri-colored (veggie) rotini pasta
1 medium head broccoli, chopped into small florets
1 medium red onion, diced fine
2 cups mild cheddar cheese, shredded
2 cups mayonnaise
1/2 cup sugar
Cook pasta according to package directions, with a few drops of olive oil and dashes of salt in the water to keep the pasta from sticking. Drain and rinse under cold water until cool and set aside in a large bowl.
Wash the broccoli well and chop into small florets. Chop the onion fine, and mix the broccoli and onions with the pasta. Add the cheddar cheese to the pasta mixture, mix well.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sugar, and apple cider vinegar well. Pour the mixture over the top of the pasta, broccoli and onions, and stir to combine. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Oh, my goodness, what a busy week! Between 4th of July and then my daughter’s 4th birthday and party on Saturday, swimming almost every day, and cleaning up from the party, I even had to take a break from my Facebook page. Things are starting to get back on track now. Good thing I have another great guest today, Katherin from Ginger, Lemon and Spice. She’s sharing a great summer dessert with you all today. I hope you enjoy it, and that your summer is going as well as mine Now, let me introduce Katherin.
Hey there readers of Rants From My Crazy Kitchen!
I am Kathrin, a 26 year old german girl that loves cooking, baking and taking pictures of all of it On my blog Ginger, Lemon & Spice (http://gingerlemonandspice.com) I write about things I liked that came out of my kitchen from all over the world! I like experimenting and travelling to different countries a lot. As I am very passionate it is not rare that I lose my heart to those places and people and indulge in memories at home and try to recreate the dishes I have eaten. Also it is important to me to get more and more people back ‘to the roots’ and to encourage them to cook and bake by their own and show that this is not as difficult to manage as they (maybe) thought!
Most of the time it makes almost no difference on how long it takes to prepare a processed meal in comparison to one self cooked. But the feeling of having done it on ones own and the great taste will be fulfilling And that’s a great feeling!!
The recipe I have for you today is one for an Easy Low Fat Apricot Cake. This cake is very easy and quick to make, it looks beautiful and rustic and the taste is light and fluffy! Give it a go yourselves and you’ll see
Easy Low Fat Apricot cake
850g (1.8 lb) of fruit (canned or fresh apricots or peaches, I used homemade canned peaches)
pinch of salt
6 tablespoons lukewarm water
100g (1/2 cup) sugar
1 teaspoon lemon zest
150g (1 1/4 cups) flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
1. Prepare the fruit: Drain with sieve if it’s canned, or wash, peel and cut in big chunks if fresh. Preheat oven to 180° C (350° F). Prepare a springform (26cm in diameter) pan with baking paper. Just place the pan on a sheet of baking paper, circle around the bottom and cut it out. Butter the pan and place the circle of baking paper on the bottom.
2. Separate the eggs into two different bowls. The bowl with the egg whites has to be completely clean and fat free otherwise the whites won’t get stiff! Beat the egg whites with the salt and an electric mixer until they form stiff peaks.
3. Then beat the yolks with the sugar until creamy. You don’t have to clean up your beaters if you do it in that order! Add the water and whisk on very slow speed.
4. Add lemon zest, flour and baking powder and mix well. Then add the egg whites and whisk carefully per hand. Don’t overmix!! It should just be incorporated!!
5. Pour the batter into the pan and distribute the fruit on top. Bake for 25 minutes.
6. Let the cake cool for 10 minutes then remove the pan and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Let cool completely and enjoy!!
Note: I used my mom’s springform pan and hers is 28cm in diameter. Because that’s a little bigger I had 4 eggs and adjusted the rest of the ingredients accordingly!
Happy 4th of July!! Ok, two days early, but I won’t be around much for the next 5 days. My beautiful little girl turns 4 on Saturday, we are going to have a cookout party here at the house for her, which means I have today, tomorrow, and Friday to clean, grocery shop, prepare appetizers (what to make, what to make??). On the 4th we will likely go to a local park during the day, and then do some small fireworks here at night.
Today’s guest post comes from my great friend Becca from It’s Yummilicious. Becca and I “met” soon after I started blogging, and I’ve grown to love both her and her recipes! I even made her Bacon Burger Stuffed Peppers, and they were great Today she is sharing a great dessert for 4th of July, so let’s get to it, shall we?
When I heard that my sweet friend “Crazy” was looking for a few bloggers to help her out with guest posts during her crazy busy summer, I jumped all over the opportunity. She’s got a huge heart and is always helping out others, so I wanted to be first in line to toss some love right back her way! Bernadette is a busy mom, and I’m guessing that many of you may be as well. My kids are all grown up, but that’ll never stop me from making quick and easy recipes to help keep my kitchen time manageable. This cheesecake parfait recipe is as quick and easy as a make-it-yourself dessert gets.
I used a sugar-free pudding mix, fresh fruit, and non-fat whipping cream when I put this together, but that’s only because I’m trying to lose some excess weight. This dessert can truly be switched up with any of your favorite combinations. Chocolate pudding and bananas, or maybe vanilla with cherries? Even substituting Jello instead of the pudding would be awesome! It’s a great dessert to get your kids involved with, too. In case you didn’t know, little fingers fit much more easily down into parfait glasses!
I hope you have a safe and happy 4th of July celebration!
Chef, baker, and happiness maker at It’s Yummilicious!
PATRIOTIC CHEESECAKE PARFAITS
Makes 4 parfaits
What you’ll need:
1 small box (0.9 oz.) Cheesecake Flavored Instant Pudding & Pie Filling
2 cups (16 oz.) cold milk (NOT soy milk)
1 container Cool Whip (or similar whipped topping), divided in half
6 graham cracker sheets, crushed very finely
1 cup strawberries, hulled and sliced
1 cup blueberries
Directions for assembly
In a large bowl, whisk pudding mix and milk together for 2 minutes; Set aside for 5 minutes and allow pudding to set.
Meanwhile, place graham cracker sheets into a zipper-top plastic bag. Close bag and use a rolling pin or your hands to crush the crumbs finely. Place 2 tablespoons of crumbs into the bottom of each parfait glass.
When pudding has set, use a whisk or wooden spoon to gently fold half of the whipped topping into the pudding.
Layer 3-4 strawberry slices on top of the crumbs. Add 2-3 tablespoons of whipped topping on top of strawberries and use back of spoon to spread topping evenly. Add enough blueberries to cover whipped topping. Layer 3-4 tablespoons of pudding mixture over blueberries. Repeat with additional layers of crumbs, strawberries, whipped topping, blueberries, and pudding mixture until the parfait glasses are full. Garnish with additional whipped topping and fruit if desired.
We bought and installed a pool this week! Our daughter is turning 4 on July 6th, so it’s part of her birthday present, but you can bet that I will be in there, too It’s only a 30 inch pool (the highest my city will allow without a permit and fencing) but I’m 5 Ft tall, so half my height works for me! It really is a lot bigger than it sounds.
Now with the addition of the pool, my summer’s are going to be more busy than they already are. In the summer, I need quick and easy recipes or those that I can fairly easily throw together in my crock pot. I had a beef roast sitting in my freezer waiting to be cooked, but I knew it would probably be Fall before I could get around to roasting it in the oven. So I had an idea of making it in the crock pot with some homemade French onion soup that I had frozen a while ago. I was excited about this NEW idea, until my husband told me his grandmother used to make it all the time. Oh, well, it’s all been done before! I had made it already by the time he told me his grandmother used to make it, so I’m going to share it with you in case, like me, you never heard of it before
Crock Pot French Onion Roast Beef
3 pound beef round rump roast
2 cups peeled and sliced carrots
20 ounces French onion soup (homemade or diluted canned)*
Fresh ground black pepper and salt to taste*
3 tablespoons cornstarch or flour
*I used 20 ounces because that’s what I had in one container frozen. One can, diluted with a full can of water, equals about 21 ounces. You may want to omit any additional salt if using canned.
Place the beef in the bottom of the slow cooker with the sliced carrots. Pour the French onion soup over the beef and carrots and sprinkle with salt and fresh ground pepper. Cook on HIGH for 5 to 6 hours or on LOW for about 10 hours, depending on how well done you want your roast. If a more rare roast is desired, check the beef at about 3 hours on HIGH or 7 hours on LOW. About 10 minutes before serving remove the roast to a cutting board, and the carrots and onions to a bowl, leaving the broth in the slow cooker. Wisk the cornstarch or flour with a little bit of water ( enough to make a thin paste) and pour into the broth, stir well for about 1 minute, and leave to thicken while you slice the beef. You can also remove the broth to a small pot and prepare the gravy on the stove, by bringing the broth to a boil, adding the cornstarch mixture and wisking for 1 minute. The stove top method will result in a slightly thicker gravy. Top sliced beef with the gravy, and serve with whatever sides you like! I made cheddar cheese mashed potatoes, but my Ranch Red Skinned Mashed Potatoes would be great with it.