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Ridiculously Easy Roasted Corn

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I love fresh veggies in the summer. We are so fortunate to live in an area surrounded by local farms that offer fresh veggies at a very low-cost, and I really wanted to enjoy these treasures year-round, so I bought a vacuum sealing system for $20 on an online yard-sale and realized that it was the best money that I ever spent!

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My freezer is full of green beans, berries. tomatoes, and corn. At the end of the season, I went to the farm across the street and bought three dozen ears of corn, then blanched them, and cut the corn off the cob. I then vacuum sealed them in family sized portions. It has been so nice to open a bit of summer during the doldrums of winter.

Last night, I was making a nice dinner for my husband, and I pulled out a pack of corn. I debated just steaming it, or sautéing it with some zucchini, but then I decided to roast it since the oven was hot, and I really didn’t feel like tending to the stove. Well, this was a stroke of brilliance. I will make corn this way from this point forward!

It’s so easy, with one step clean-up, and fool-proof instructions.

Here is the recipe!

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Ingredients:

  • Corn (frozen, or fresh off the cob)
  • Olive oil spray
  • Salt & pepper
  • Fresh thyme
  • Parchment paper

Procedure:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Spray paper with olive oil spray (Really,you can use any variety of spray.)
  4. Spread corn in a single layer.
  5. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and fresh thyme.
  6. Roast in the oven, about 15 minutes, until the edges start to brown.

That’s it! The nice thing about this recipe is that you can make the whole dish while any meat you are preparing gets a chance to rest. You capitalize on an already hot oven, and it requires no attention. Once it is done, transfer the corn to your plates, or a serving bowl, then sweep the parchment paper into the trash, and clean-up is complete! It doesn’t get any easier than that.

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Strawberry Shortcake Spectacular

Strawberry shortcake is a traditional favorite for a reason. It’s fresh, easy, and beautiful. But with tradition comes boredom. Strawberry shortcake can seem blah after years of the same old, same old, so here is an updated version of this old stand-by.

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I call it my Strawberry Shortcake Spectacular. It’s not drastically different, but it sure looks that way! First, wash a pint of fresh strawberries and slice them in half.

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Next, cut  an angel food cake into 1-inch cubes. Place one strawberry and one cube of cake on a toothpick, then spiral them on a cake plate, leaving room in the middle for a bowl of whipped cream.

 

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To make the whipped cream, place an empty mixing bowl in the freezer for a few minutes to really chill it.  Then, remove it, place it back on the mixer and add one pint of heavy whipping cream. Whip the cream on high until it is light and fluffy. (It should not be runny, nor too stiff like butter) At the very end, add 2 tablespoons of confectioner’s sugar and mix well. Spoon the whipped cream into a small bowl and place it in the center of the cake plate.

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Finally, sprinkle some blueberries around on the cake plate. Then melt ½ cup of chocolate chips, and using a teaspoon, drizzle the chocolate over the entire dessert. Serve immediately, or refrigerate for up to 1 hour.

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Watch out! This dessert will disappear quickly at any summer picnic. You can also use it to add variety to a summer birthday party, or dress up an evening dinner party. Enjoy! I would love to see your pictures of this delightful dessert so be sure to pop on over to my Facebook page and upload a photo of your creation!

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***Variation- If you would like single servings, place a dollop of whipped cream in the bottom of a small dish, then top with a cube of cake, a strawberry, and a few blueberries. Then drizzle with chocolate.

 

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Strawberry Spinach Salad with Toasted Hazelnuts in a Balsamic Honey Ginger Vinaigrette

4-photo 4‘Tis the season for salad. As the reality sets in that bathing suit, tank top, and shorts weather has arrived, we are all feeling the need to eat a little healthier and we are a bit more body conscious. But one needs to be cautious when eating salads not to fall into” lettuce limbo”, or “dressing death-traps”. This salad is a simple recipe for a well rounded meal, that won’t trick you into five extra pounds.

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of fresh baby spinach
  • ½- ¾ cup of fresh sliced strawberries
  • 20 toasted hazelnuts
  • 1Tbsp. of olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. of honey
  • A few shavings of fresh ginger (2-3 swipes across a micro-plane)

 

Preparation:

  1. Toast hazelnuts on the stove top by placing them in a small skillet over medium heat and swirling them in the pan until they start to brown. Keep them moving, otherwise they will burn. Allow them to cool. 5-photo 3
  2. Slice the strawberries.3-photo 5
  3. Mix with the spinach in a bowl.2-spinach
  4. While hazelnuts are cooling, combine the oil, vinegar, honey, & ginger. Whisk until well combined.6-photo 2
  5. Once hazelnuts are cool, toss into the salad with the dressing and enjoy immediately.

Prep time: 8 minutes Serves: 1 Calories: Approx 383

 

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Raspberry Margarita

I know it’s February, in Pennsylvania, but I am a summer girl. I go through withdraw from all things warm and sunny, so sometimes I buck the season and remind myself that the best part of the year is not too far away. Take for example last night, some of the girls in my neighborhood got together for a mommy/kid mixer. I was planning to bring a bottle of white wine to nicely complement my shrimp dish, but then I decided it was too cold to pack up the kids and head to the liquor store. What to do? While scouring the freezer for the bag of shrimp, I stumbled across a forgotten can of limeade, sitting next to a baggie of frozen raspberries, and the wheels of my mind started to turn. I was going to recapture the brief feeling of summer. Dump. Mix. Taste. Smile.

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It was the right call. The pitcher looked beautiful, and the tart taste of lime and raspberry hit the spot! Now I’m just waiting for that random spring day to prematurely break out my flip flops…

Raspberry Margaritas

(Makes 1 large pitcher)

Ingredients:

  • 2 (12 ounce) can frozen limeade concentrate
  • 16 ounces of tequila (or more if you are so inclined)
  • 12 ounces of triple sec
  • 12 ounces of club soda
  • 1 1/2 cups of frozen raspberries (or mixed berries)
  • crushed ice
  • 1 lime sliced into wedges for each glass or sliced into circles to float in a pitcher
  • margarita salt (to rim glasses if desired)

Directions:

  1. Combine limeade,tequila,triple sec, club soda, and berries in a pitcher, mixing well.
  2. Pour into a margarita or large goblet with crushed ice. Rim with lime and salt if desired.
  3. Serve with lime slice as a garnish.

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