Wednesday, May 23, 2012

fruit salsa

Yummy note: Oh, it is almost is almost the start of summer, I can feel it, each day goes by and it gets warmer and warmer. I could handle about 70-80 degrees all the time, I'll pass on the 90+ weather. So perhaps this will be a nice, mild summer in the Midwest. Or perhaps not, I guess we will have to wait and see. With the summer hot weather approaching, this is a perfect little side "salsa" fruit dish we just love here. You can eat it like a fruit salad with a fork, or do it with our favorite, utensil-free dipper - the cinnamon sugared pita chip! They are just delicious with this dish, so I highly advise to eat them together!  I love this dish, it's super simple, easy to toss together, and you have a wonderful side dish to take to that potluck or gathering! Or hide it out in your refrigerator and enjoy it all by yourself to cool off with this summer :-) 

Fruit Salsa

I think I originally saw a version of this recipe on the Today Show similar to this..  

2 kiwis 
1 pear 
2 apples 
1 lb of strawberries
3-4 tbsp of orange marmalade
8 oz of raspberries - optional  
2-3 tbsp sugar - optional - Depending on the tartness of the fruit, you may need to add in a few additional tablespoons of white sugar to the salsa. Just add this to your taste, though. Sometimes, the fruit is sweet enough on its own without the extra sugar. At most, I think I have added about 3 tablespoons to the entire batch.  

Make sure you have a nice knife handy, as that is about all this recipe needs! It really makes your prep job much nicer, if you can easily chop and dice your fruit with ease. So first, prepare the fruit by peeling and dicing the kiwis. Next, peel, core, and dice up the pear and apples. If you'd like, you could probably leave the skin on the apples here, but the kids seem to like the apples better without the skin, so I removed it for this salsa. Next, dice the strawberries. Toss all of the fruit in a large bowl and stir. In a small bowl, heat up about 3-4 tablespoons of the orange marmalade and add sugar if desired, and heat in a microwave just for a few seconds to warm up the marmalade so it can be pourable and liquid-like. Pour the warm marmalade over the chopped up fruit and stir until well combined. Chill salsa before serving. 

After a day of sitting in the refrigerator, the fruit begins to macerate more and becomes saucier.The salsa still tastes fantastic, however, it will have a bit more juice in it. Serve chilled and it is best with cinnamon sugary pita chips or tortilla chips. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

M&M Cookies

Yummy note: The two most exciting things about our Secret Recipe Club is the day we get our assigned new blogger and of course, the day our blog and recipe is revealed by our mystery blogger. The next best day is the day you make your new sought out recipe and get to enjoy the benefits! :) What a treat it always is to try out a new recipe that a blogger friend enjoys as well. This month another great site, Secrets from the Cookie Princess, came my way. I told my daughter about that blog name and of course she L-o-v-e-d it because nowdays she is all about princesses and helping mommy make cookies in the kitchen! Colleen is the creative mind behind this site, Secrets from the Cookie Princess; I might actually compare my blog style a bit like hers, as she does such a great job doing step-by-step photos in her blog posts which is super helpful! Colleen has so many different recipes to pick from, but I knew I had to select something from this category though...cookies! With the likes of all these great cookie choices, like cake batter sandwich cookies, peanut butter chocolate chip cookie bars, hotel cookies, and M&M cookies, it was going to be a tough decision, so I brought in my expert.  I had my daughter, Alicia help me pick out this month's choice, because I was having such a hard time deciding! So what did she pick.... She wanted to make the M&M cookies! 

M&M Cookies 

2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 sticks butter, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
10 ounces M&M candies

The ingredients, plus my trusty ipad which is always a key ingredient!
Let's mix up some cookies!

Mix the first three dry ingredients listed in a small bowl and set aside. In another bowl, beat softened butter for a few minutes, until light and fluffy like, and then mix in the white and brown sugar until creamy and combined well. Add in eggs, one at a time, and pour in the vanilla. Then stir in the dry ingredients until all of the flour is incorporated well. Weigh out about 10 ounces of the M&M candies and stir into the cookie batter until chocolate candy is evenly distributed throughout. 

"Mom- we need 10 ounces of chocolate m&Ms... see this is what 10 looks like- 10 fingers!" 

Spoon out cookie dough onto your baking sheets, and bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for about 8 minutes or so until cookies are a getting golden in color. 

I think we ended up with about 4-5 dozen cookies, using a decent sized cookie scooper and probably a bit too much taste tasting going on :)

To see what the Secret Recipe Club is all about, check out our homepage and remember to stop by and see what all of the other bloggers made this month!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Caramel pull-a-part biscuits (aka mini monkey breads)

Yummy note: This Sentimental Sunday post is a recipe that my sister and I used to make a lot with my mom growing up. Some call it monkey bread, others call it caramel pull-a-part biscuits; at my house my daughter calls it quick caramel biscuit rolls. Either way, it's gooey, sweet, caramely goodness. This is a good recipe for extra little hands to help with (like they call pull apart the biscuits, shake up the bag later, or even count out the biscuits as they evenly distribute them into the tins). Either way, just make sure you get your kids involved in the kitchen! Such great memories and lessons can be learned while working together. So this was a fitting recipe for this Sunday to celebrate Mother's Day with all of you out there. 

<3    Happy Mother's Day !   <3

Caramel Pull-A-Part Biscuits (aka Mini Monkey Breads)
Recipe probably adapted from this as I think this is similar to my mom's recipe. 

1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2-3 tbsp granulated sugar
1-2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 can refrigerated biscuit

Grease about 6 muffin cups. Melt butter and stir in brown sugar. Pour butter/sugary mix equally into the greased muffin tin. Roughly, a tablespoon goes into each muffin cup. In a gallon-sized plastic bag, shake the sugar and cinnamon together; then add the cut up pieces of biscuits and shake again until all of the pieces are coated. Distribute the sugary coated pieces into the muffin tins, and bake at 350°F for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 1 minute; then turn upside down on plate. These are best served warm. If you are like my daughter and want a little extra jazz on top, you may add a quick powdered sugar and milk glaze to drizzle on top of the warm caramel biscuit treat. Enjoy.

*Yummy note: This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled to make a larger batch. Growing up, we used to make a large batch, and throw all the pieces into a bundt pan and bake it roughly 30-40 minutes until it was bubbly brown and caramely.