Patriotic Yogurt Parfait Classic Shortbread Homemade Tomato Basil Soup

June 28, 2015

Patriotic Yogurt Parfait

June 27, 2015

Classic Shortbread

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Patriotic Yogurt Parfait

Patriotic Yogurt Parfait

Patriotic yogurt parfaits offer a cool and refreshing alternative or addition to, the often overly sweet holiday desserts. I love the fact that they only contain a mixture of yogurt and variety of fresh fruit. How could you go wrong, by choosing this healthy alternative?

 

Patriotic Yogurt Parfait
 
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Patriotic yogurt parfaits offer a refreshing and healthy dessert alternative for a 4th of July get together.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 32 ounces Vanilla Yogurt
  • 2 pints Blueberries
  • 12 ounces Raspberries
  • Sprigs of fresh mint or additional fruit, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Layer yogurt, raspberries, yogurt and finish with blueberries.
  2. Top with 1 more spoonful of yogurt then a sprig of mint or the garnish of your choice.
Notes
The exact ingredient amounts will vary depending on the size of the glasses you are using. Also, I prefer using whole milk yogurt for this recipe, to give it the richness of a dessert.

 

Classic Shortbread

Classic Shortbread

My husband and I love to have afternoon tea and this classic shortbread is my favorite tea time recipe. It’s the perfect accent to your favorite cup of tea, or even glass of iced tea during those hot summer days. While I’ve been known to enjoy a wide variety of teas, my current favorite tea is ToLife White Tea from Teavana.

I hope you enjoy this classic shortbread recipe that is rich, buttery and melts in your mouth.

Decoration alternatives: I like Wilton Sparkling Sugar, since it has a larger granule than regular granulated table sugar. Regular granulated sugar can also be used, but has a finer texture than shown in the photo. I also have used colored sugar for a holiday decorating alternative.

 

Classic Shortbread
 
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Classic shortbread recipe that is rich, buttery and melts in your mouth
Author:
Recipe type: Cookies
Cuisine: British
Serves: 25
Ingredients
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar (I prefer Wilton Sparkling Sugar)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Beat butter and powered sugar until well combined and fluffy, with electric mixer.
  3. Add flour, baking powder and salt to butter and sugar mixture; beat until combined.
  4. Press dough into an 8 x 8 inch ungreased baking dish.
  5. Prick the top of the dough with a fork and sprinkle with the granulated sugar.
  6. Bake in 350 degree preheated over for 25 minutes, or until lightly browned.
  7. Cut in 25 even pieces (this will be a 5 by 5 grid) and enjoy with your favorite tea.

 

Homemade Tomato Basil Soup

Homemade Tomato Basil Soup

There is nothing more comforting that homemade tomato basil soup served with a grilled cheese sandwich. If you are interested in creating this homemade tomato basil soup with a more sophisticated twist, simply garish with basil leaves, your choice of chopped herbs, grated Parmesan cheese; or top with a swirl of sour cream or creme fraiche.

With this recipe you’ll not only enjoy the rich and satisfying flavor, but also the comfort of knowing it was made with the highest quality of ingredients.

 

5.0 from 3 reviews
Homemade Tomato Basil Soup
 
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This traditional homemade tomato basil soup recipe can be served home style by pairing with a grilled cheese sandwich or with a sophisticated twist by changing up your garnishes.
Author:
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: American
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth for a vegetarian alternative)
  • 1 can (28 ounce) of whole tomatoes (I prefer organic, plum tomatoes)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt
  • Pepper, freshly ground
  • 20 basil leaves, chopped
Instructions
  1. In a stock pot melt butter with olive oil over low heat.
  2. Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft and translucent, but not browned. This will take about 10 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle flour over onion and garlic and stir to coat vegetables.
  4. Add broth, tomatoes (crushing slightly with your hand or a spoon), sugar, ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper.
  5. Bring mixture to a simmer over medium high heat while stirring occasionally.
  6. Reduce heat to low, stir in chopped basil and simmer for 40 minutes.
  7. Take off heat and blend with stick blender. You can also blend in batches in a traditional blender or food processor.
  8. Taste soup and adjust salt and pepper, if needed.
  9. Ladle into bowl and garnish with your preference of basil leaves, your choice of chopped herbs, grated Parmesan cheese; or a swirl of sour cream or creme fraiche.

 

$280 Williams-Sonoma Gift Card Giveaway

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I’m sure you love to shop at Williams-Sonoma as much as I do. Whether shopping in the store, online or flipping through their amazing catalog; it’s the Foodie’s place where dreams are made.

What would you purchase with $280 at Williams-Sonoma? A great new kitchen gadget, specialty appliance, cookware, or another dreamy kitchen goodie? Be sure to check out their website for some great recipes and ideas.

To thank our readers, I’ve gone together with a great group of Food Bloggers to offer this $280 Williams-Sonoma gift card. Please visit each of these great Food Blogs and register for $280 Williams-Sonoma Gift Card Giveaway below.

Sponsors:

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Food Fashion and Fun
Lexi Bites
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Joy in Every Season
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Platings and Pairings
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Haute and Healthy Living
Gluten Free Vegan Pantry
LeelaLicious
OMG Food

 

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Easy Cream of Broccoli Soup

Cream of Broccoli Soup

This cream of broccoli soup recipe is not only easy to make, but also combines healthy and comfort foods. You can feel good about adding more vegetables to your family’s diet, while enjoying the rich, creaminess of this soup. By using canned milk, you can get the richness of cream without the added calories. Also by garnishing with extra sharp cheddar cheese, you can enjoy the rich flavor without using a large quantity.

 

Easy Cream of Broccoli Soup
 
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This cream of broccoli soup recipe is not only easy to make, but also combines healthy and comfort foods. You can feel good about adding more vegetables to your family’s diet, while enjoying the rich, creaminess of this soup. By using canned milk, you can get the richness of cream without the added calories. Also by garnishing with extra sharp cheddar cheese, you can enjoy the rich flavor without using a large quantity.
Author:
Recipe type: Soups
Cuisine: American
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 pounds broccoli
  • 5 cups, chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk (I prefer organic)
  • ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
  • Extra sharp cheddar cheese, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Add garlic and onion to stock pot with broth. Simmer until the onion is soft, about 10 minutes.
  2. While garlic and onion are cooking, chop broccoli (florets and stems) into about 1 inch pieces.
  3. Add broccoli to the pot and continue to simmer uncovered until broccoli is soft, but still bright green. This will take about 10 minutes.
  4. Remove the pot from the stove and puree in the pot with an immersion blender. You can also puree in a blender, in batches.
  5. Stir in the canned milk, salt and pepper.
  6. Garnish with extra sharp cheddar cheese.

 

Fresh Garlic and Herb Dipping Oil

garlic and herb dipping oil

This is by far my favorite herb dipping oil. My husband and I are regulars at a family owned Italian restaurant that serves the best garlic and herb dipping oil for their homemade bread. I’ve asked for the recipe to no avail, so it was time to come home and experiment a bit. I just had to include this recipe, as a main stay aside Italian dishes, at home.

As with all recipes, make sure you use the highest quality and freshest ingredients you can find. The cost of fresh herbs can be greatly minimized by growing your own. When you need to add a new herb to your collection, consider buying a small potted plant, rather than the cut fresh herbs. And best of all, when you only have to go outside your back door or your kitchen window sill, the chance is high that you will reach for those fresh herbs more often.

 

5.0 from 1 reviews
Fresh Garlic and Herb Dipping Oil
 
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Fresh Garlic and Herb Bread Dipping Oil
Author:
Recipe type: Dips & Sauces
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh oregano, finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • Salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Olive Oil
Instructions
  1. Chop garlic and herbs, add salt and freshly ground pepper.
  2. Add about 2 tablespoons of olive oil to herb mixture and combine. This will give you an herb paste consistency. Cover and let flavors mingle for at least 2 hours.
  3. Place herb mixture in shallow dish and pour more olive oil over the mixture.
  4. Serve with warm bread.

 

Healthy Vegetable Soup

Healthy Vegetable Soup

 

I’ve always loved soup and this healthy vegetable soup recipe makes it guilt free. Not only are you adding a variety of brightly colored vegetables to your diet, it’s also a low-calorie alternative, thanks to the broth base. You’ll feel good about both eating this healthy vegetable soup and serving it to your family.

This recipe makes a large batch of soup, which reheats well. I love making this soup when I have a busy week ahead. It’s nice to know I have a healthy meal to heat up quickly for a week of lunches.

 

Healthy Vegetable Soup
 
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Healthy Vegetable Soup recipe you'll be proud to serve to your family.
Author:
Recipe type: Soups
Cuisine: American
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 1 cup uncooked carrots, sliced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 cups fat free chicken broth (or broth of your choice)
  • 1 head napa cabbage, chopped
  • 6 ounces fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1 can whole tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 2 zucchini, diced
Instructions
  1. Spray a large saucepan with olive oil cooking spray, and warm over medium heat.
  2. Saute onion, garlic and carrots until they are soft, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add broth, cabbage, spinach, tomatoes, basil, oregano and salt to the onion mixture and bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered for about 15 minutes.
  5. Add zucchini and cook an additional 5 minutes.
  6. Serve warm.

 

Homemade 100% Whole Wheat Flour Tortillas

Whole Wheat Flour Tortillas

 

When my local grocery store stopped selling our favorite whole grain flour tortillas, I knew it was time to go homemade! These whole wheat flour tortillas are not only easy to make (even easier with the help of my Kitchen Aid mixer with a dough hook), but also soft and delicious. These are so much better than the store bought ones, and as my husband says, cooking them makes the whole house smell so good.

 

I typically make these each week and we don’t have any problem finishing a batch of them for our favorite Mexican meals of quesadillas and burritos. If you have any left overs they refrigerate and freeze well in a zip top bag.

 

Although it isn’t required, I would recommend a tortilla press. They are inexpensive and it does make the process easier and the tortillas a more consistent size and shape.

 

Homemade 100% Whole Wheat Flour Tortillas
 
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These whole wheat flour tortillas are not only easy to make (even easier with the help of my Kitchen Aid mixer with a dough hook), but also soft and delicious.
Author:
Recipe type: Bread
Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: 11
Ingredients
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1½ cups hot water (add slowly, you may not need all of this water)
Instructions
  1. In a Kitchen Aid Mixer with a dough hook (or a food processor), combine dry ingredients, mix to combine.
  2. Add olive oil and mix again.
  3. Add water slowly, while mixer running slowly (level 2), until you have a thick pie dough consistency.
  4. Cut into 11 even pieces and roll into balls.
  5. Heat a heavy skillet on medium heat. (I use a Le Creuset cast iron skillet)
  6. Let balls of dough sit on counter a few minutes, covered, while pan heats.
  7. Use a tortilla press to press each ball into an 8" tortilla (or roll out with a rolling pin).
  8. Cook in skillet until lightly brown, about 3 minutes on each side.
  9. Cover to keep warm until ready to serve.
  10. Can be reheated in the microwave for 1 minute, between barely damp paper towels.
  11. When cooled store leftovers in a zip top back and refrigerate or freeze.

 

Mashed Potato Pancakes

Mashed Potato Pancakes

 

My grandmother would always make mashed potato pancakes with our left over mashed potatoes, when I was young. This versatile recipe can be prepared for breakfast the next morning (as a replacement for hash browns), as an appetizer, side dish or a snack. Around grandma’s house they were usually made for an after dinner for an evening snack and never lasted very long.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I have over the years!

 

5.0 from 6 reviews
Mashed Potato Pancakes
 
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Mashed potato pancakes, made with left over mashed potatoes, just like grandma used to make. This versatile recipe can be prepared for breakfast the next morning (as a replacement for hash browns), as an appetizer, side dish or a snack.
Author:
Recipe type: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 2 cups mashed potatoes
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup flour
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Heat about ¼ inch olive oil in a frying pan to medium heat.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl. This will be the consistency of thick pancake batter.
  3. Drop batter into hot oil and fry until golden brown. I prefer smaller pancakes and use about ¼ cup batter per pancake.
  4. Remove from oil and place on paper towels to remove excess oil.
  5. Serve warm with sour cream and/or apple sauce.

 

2013 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival: Taste Around the World

Epcot Food & Wine Festival

 

 

The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival is an annual tradition for my family. We usually attend at least one during the festival. This year we were able to attend opening day, September 27, 2013, and hope to visit again before the festival ends on November 11, 2013. We’ve found there is just too much to taste and classes/presentations to attend to try to accomplish it all in one day.

 

If you are in the Orlando area during this festival, I’m sure you would enjoy the experience. For a complete menu at each country with the prices, check out Festival Menu.

 

 

Food & Wine Festival Sign

 

 

Although the festival is known for tastings of food and beverages that represent each country’s cuisine and culture, there are also demonstrations at the festival center that are both educational and entertaining. Many famous chefs and TV personalities speak and have book signings. For a full listing of this year’s offerings, check out Demonstrations and Seminars. As many of these demonstrations sell out early, purchasing tickets early is not only recommended, but often necessary.

 

 

Salmon from Scotland

Seared Scottish Salmon with Cauliflower Puree, Watercress & Malt Vinaigrette – Scotland Tasting

 

 

Tart from Scotland

Scottish Banoffee Tart with Bananas, Scotch Whisky Toffee, Walkers Shortbread Crumbles & Sweet Cream – Scotland Tasting

 

 

Poke from Hawaii

Tuna Poke with Seaweed Salad & Lotus Root Chips – Hawaii Tasting

 

 

Gyro from Greece

Chicken Gyro with Tzatziki Sauce – Greece Tasting

 

 

Spanakopita from Greece

Spanakopita – Greece Tasting

 

 

Food from Canada

Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup, “Le Cellier” Wild Mushroom Beef Filet Mignon with Truffle Butter Sauce – Canada Tasting

 

 

Food & Champagne in France

Moet Champagne, Escargots Persillade en Brioche (Garlic & Parsley Snails in Brioche), Creme Brulle au Chocolat au Lait (Chocolate Milk Creme Brulee topped with Caramelized Sugar) – France tasting

 

 

Eat to the Beat - Starship with Mickey Thomas

 

 

When you are done with your food tasting, or just need a little break, check out the Eat to the Beat Concert Series. At the America Gardens Theatre, a different band typically plays each Friday through Sunday throughout the festival. We were able to listen to Starship with Mickey Thomas, while we were there. For a full listing of the bands, check out Concert Schedule.