Cantaloupe Ice Pops

Cantaloupe Ice Pops

1 small cantaloupe
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon finely slivered fresh mint leaves
1/4-1/3 cup lemon juice, depending on the sweetness of the melon

 

Cut cantaloupe in half; remove and discard the seeds. Scoop out the flesh and transfer to a food processor. Puree until smooth; measure 1 1/3 cups puree and transfer to a small bowl. (Reserve any remaining puree for another use, such as a smoothie.)

Pour water into a small saucepan, add sugar and bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in mint and immediately remove from the heat. Let stand for 1 minute.

Stir the mint syrup and lemon juice into the cantaloupe puree. Pour the mixture into 8 individual popsicle molds or small (2-ounce) paper cups.

Freeze until beginning to set, about 1 hour. Insert frozen-treat sticks and freeze until completely firm. Dip the molds briefly in hot water before unmolding.

 

Cardamom-Crumb Coffee Cake

Cardamom Crumb Coffee Cake

OATMEAL CRUMB

6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats, divided
1/4 cup white whole-wheat flour, or whole-wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom, or cinnamon
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
CAKE
2 cups white whole-wheat flour, or whole-wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cardamom, or cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup nonfat buttermilk,
1/4 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

To prepare oatmeal crumb: Combine butter, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup oats, 1/4 cup flour and 1/2 teaspoon cardamom (or cinnamon) in a food processor. Process until the mixture is crumbly. Turn out into a bowl and add the remaining 1/2 cup oats and walnuts. Combine with fingertips or a fork until blended.
To prepare cake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat an 8-inch-square pan with cooking spray.
Sift 2 cups flour, baking powder, 1 teaspoon cardamom (or cinnamon), baking soda and salt together in a large bowl. Whisk eggs and 1/2 cup brown sugar in a medium bowl until well blended, gradually whisk in buttermilk, oil and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients in 2 additions, stirring each time to thoroughly blend the ingredients together.
Spread half the batter in the prepared pan. Sprinkle half the oatmeal crumb evenly on top. Spoon the remaining batter over the crumbs and gently spread in an even layer. Top with the remaining oatmeal crumb.
Bake the coffee cake until browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes. Serve warm.

 

 

 

 

 

Caramelized Pear Bread Pudding

Caramelized Pear Bread Pudding

2 1/2 cups low-fat milk
4 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
4 cups cubed, day-old country-style bread, crusts trimmed (4-6 slices), preferably whole-wheat
2 tablespoons raisins, or currants
1 teaspoon butter, softened, plus 2 tablespoons, divided
2 ripe pears, peeled, halved and cored
1 tablespoon lemon juice

 

Heat milk in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring, until steaming, 4 to 6 minutes. Whisk eggs in a large bowl until blended; gradually whisk in 1/4 cup sugar. Slowly whisk in the hot milk until blended. Whisk in vanilla, lemon zest and nutmeg.
Add bread and raisins (or currants) to the milk mixture; gently fold together. Press down lightly with the back of a large spoon. Cover and set aside at room temperature.
Butter the bottom and sides of a round 2-quart baking dish with 1 teaspoon butter. Preheat oven to 350°F. Put a kettle of water on to boil.
Cut each pear half lengthwise into 4 slices. Place in a medium bowl and toss with lemon juice.
Heat a medium skillet over low heat until hot. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and swirl until just melted and the foam subsides. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup sugar over the melted butter. Arrange the pear slices on their sides in the pan in an even layer. Increase the heat to medium-low and, without stirring, let the pears begin to brown and the sauce slowly caramelize, adjusting the heat as needed to prevent burning, about 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and carefully turn each pear slice with a fork. Return to the heat and cook until the sauce is uniformly golden, 2 to 4 minutes more.
Carefully transfer the pears one at a time to the prepared baking dish, arranging them decoratively in a circle and slightly overlapping them if necessary. Use a heatproof silicone spatula to scrape any remaining syrup over the pears.
Set the baking dish in a shallow baking pan. Spoon the bread and custard mixture into the baking dish. Press down on the bread until it is submerged in the custard. Place the pan in the oven and carefully add the hot water to the shallow baking pan until it is halfway up the sides of the baking dish.
Bake until the pudding is browned on top and set in the center, 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Carefully remove the pan from the oven. Transfer the baking dish to a wire rack and let cool for at least 45 minutes. To serve, run a knife around the edge of the pudding. Place a serving platter over it and invert the pudding onto the platter.

 

 

Caramelized Bananas

Caramelized Bananas

2 medium-small firm bananas, peeled
1/2 tablespoon butter
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/4 cup dark rum, or orange juice
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup low-fat vanilla ice cream, or frozen yogurt

 

Cut bananas in half lengthwise. Melt butter in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add brown sugar and lay the banana slices on top, cut side up. Cook undisturbed for 20 seconds, then add rum (or orange juice) and cinnamon. Cook for 10 seconds, then turn bananas carefully and cook for 45 to 60 seconds more, basting with the pan sauce. Divide the bananas between 2 dessert plates, drizzling the sauce on top. Serve immediately, with a scoop of ice cream (or frozen yogurt).

 

Candied Orange Peel

Candied Orange Peel

2-3 oranges
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water

 

Using a vegetable peeler, remove zest from oranges in 1 1/2- to 2-inch-long pieces. Cut the pieces into very thin strips, about 1/8 inch wide. Cook in a small saucepan of boiling water for 5 minutes. Drain. Bring more water to a boil and cook the orange peel for another 5 minutes. Drain.
Bring sugar and 1/4 cup water to a simmer in a small saucepan, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Add the orange peel, cover and simmer for 3 minutes. Transfer the syrup and peel to a bowl. Cover and chill overnight.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the orange peel to paper towels to drain before using.

 

 

Berry Frozen Yogurt

Berry Frozen Yogurt

3 cups fresh or frozen and partially thawed blackberries, or raspberries or a mixture of blackberries, raspberries and blueberries
6 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3/4 cup low-fat plain yogurt

 

Combine berries, sugar and lemon juice in a food processor; process until smooth. Add yogurt and pulse until mixed in. If using fresh berries, transfer the mixture to a medium bowl, cover and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour.
Transfer the berry mixture to an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s directions. (Alternatively, freeze the mixture in a shallow metal pan until solid, about 6 hours. Break into chunks and process in a food processor until smooth and creamy.) Serve immediately or transfer to a storage container and let harden in the freezer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Serve in chilled dishes.

 

 

Peach & Blueberry Cobbler

Peach & Blueberry Cobbler

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup reduced-fat milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 ripe but firm peaches, (about 1 pound), pitted and sliced into eighths, or 3 1/2 cups frozen
2 cups (1 pint) fresh or frozen blueberries

 

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Place butter and oil in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet or a 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Heat in the oven until melted and fragrant, 5 to 7 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Add milk, sugar and vanilla; stir to combine.
Add the melted butter mixture to the batter and stir to combine. Pour the batter into the hot pan. Spoon peaches and blueberries evenly over the batter.
Return the pan to the oven and bake until the top of the cobbler is browned and the batter around the fruit is completely set, 50 minutes to 1 hour. Remove to a wire rack to cool for at least 15 minutes. Serve warm.

 

Roasted Corn with Basil-Shallot Vinaigrette

Roasted Corn with Basil Shallot Vinaigrette

3 cups fresh corn kernels
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste

 

Preheat oven to 450°F. Toss corn and oil to coat and spread out on a large baking sheet. Bake, stirring once, until some kernels begin to brown, about 20 minutes. Combine basil, shallot, vinegar, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Add the corn; toss to coat. Serve warm or cold.

World's_Best_Lasagna

World’s Best Lasagna

1 pound sweet Italian sausage
3/4 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup minced onion
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
2 (6.5 ounce) cans canned tomato sauce
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
12 lasagna noodles
16 ounces ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 pound mozzarella cheese, sliced
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

In a Dutch oven, cook sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until well browned. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water. Season with sugar, basil, fennel seeds, Italian seasoning, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons parsley. Simmer, covered, for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain noodles, and rinse with cold water. In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese with egg, remaining parsley, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
To assemble, spread 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish. Arrange 6 noodles lengthwise over meat sauce. Spread with one half of the ricotta cheese mixture. Top with a third of mozzarella cheese slices. Spoon 1 1/2 cups meat sauce over mozzarella, and sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers, and top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil: to prevent sticking, either spray foil with cooking spray, or make sure the foil does not touch the cheese.
Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil, and bake an additional 25 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes before serving.
Grilled_Salmon_Soft_Tacos

Grilled Salmon Soft Tacos

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon ancho or New Mexico chile powder
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
4 4-ounce wild salmon fillets, about 1-inch thick, skin on
8 6-inch corn or flour tortillas, warmed
Cabbage Slaw, Citrus Salsa, Cilantro Crema.

 

Preheat grill pan to medium-high.
Combine oil, chile powder, lime juice, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Rub the spice mixture liberally over salmon. Grill the salmon, skin-side down, until it is just cooked through, about 8 minutes. Cut each fillet lengthwise into 2 pieces and remove the skin.
To serve, place 2 tortillas on each plate. Evenly divide the fish, Cabbage Slaw, Citrus Salsa and Cilantro Crema among the tortillas.