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6 Spook-tacular Halloween Recipes

Halloween Recipes: 6 Spooky Fun Desserts


By Patti Plummer


Halloween is all about treats—and we have six tricks to help you scare up a bagful of goodies that are sure to make you grin from ear to ear. (But, beware: you may be tempted to try one too many!)

Whether you’re having a Halloween party or just want to try some festive treats, here are 6 spooky fun dessert recipes:


Chocolate Batty Cupcakes


Bat halloween cupcakes recipe Land O LakesServes: 24 Cupcakes


1 (15.25- to 16.5-ounce) package devil’s food chocolate cake mix
1 1/4 cups buttermilk*
1/2 cup Land O Lakes® Butter, softened
3 Land O Lakes® All-Natural Eggs

Frosting
1/2 cup Land O Lakes® Butter
3 cups powdered sugar
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 to 5 tablespoons milk

Decorations
24 chocolate kiss-shaped candies, unwrapped
Black decorator gel
Red cinnamon candies
Sliced almonds
1 (9-ounce) package fancy chocolate wafers
Nonpareils

Heat oven to 350°F. Place paper baking cups into 24 muffin pan cups; set aside.

Combine all cupcake ingredients in bowl; beat at medium speed until well mixed.

Spoon batter evenly into prepared muffin pan cups 2/3 full. Bake 20-22 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes in pans; remove to cooling rack. Cool completely.

Melt 1/2 cup butter in 3-quart saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat; stir in powdered sugar, cocoa, corn syrup, vanilla and enough milk for desired spreading consistency. Frost cooled cupcakes.

Place 1 candy kiss at an angle on cupcake for bat head. Attach 2 red cinnamon candies for eyes using decorator gel. Add 2 sliced almonds for ears.

Cut chocolate wafers in half with sharp knife. Pipe straight edges with decorator gel; dip in nonpareils. At serving time, place wafer halves into cupcakes for wings.

*Substitute 4 teaspoons vinegar or lemon juice and enough milk to equal 1 1/4 cups; let stand 5 minutes.


Recipe and image courtesy of Land O’Lakes, Inc.



Ghostly Cereal Pops

Ghost halloween cereal pops recipe Land O LakesServes 12


3 cups miniature marshmallows
1/4 cup Land O Lakes® Butter
3 1/2 cups crisp rice cereal
1/2 cup sunflower kernels
14 ounces vanilla-flavored candy coating (almond bark)
12 (6-inch) wooden craft sticks
9 oval black licorice candy pieces, cut into 36 thin slices

Directions

Line 9-inch square pan with aluminum foil, extending foil over edges. Spray foil with no-stick cooking spray; set aside. Place large sheet of aluminum foil onto flat surface. Spray with no-stick cooking spray; set aside.

Combine marshmallows and butter in 2-quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until marshmallows are melted and mixture is smooth. Place cereal and sunflower kernels into bowl. Pour marshmallow mixture over cereal mixture; mix until cereal mixture is coated. Spoon into prepared pan; press down with buttered hands. Let stand 2 hours until set.

Remove mixture from pan using foil ends; place onto work surface. Peel off foil. Using 2- to 2 1/2-inch ghost cookie cutter, cut ghost-shaped cereal bars. Press trimmings together to form another ghost, if desired.

Place candy coating in 9-inch glass pie pan. Microwave 1 minute; stir. Continue microwaving, stirring every 15 seconds, until melted and smooth. Dip 1 end of each craft stick into candy coating; insert coated end into ghost. Dip back of ghost into coating; scrape off excess. Place, coating-side up, onto prepared aluminum foil surface. Let stand until coating is set.

Reheat coating in pie pan. Microwave 30-40 seconds until melted. Stir coating until smooth; dip front and sides of ghosts into coating, spreading as necessary to cover all sides. Place licorice pieces on ghost for eyes and mouth. Place ghosts onto foil; let stand until set.


Recipe and image courtesy of Land O’Lakes, Inc.



Carriage Cookies


iced sugar carriage cookies halloween recipe Land O LakesServes 42 Cookies


3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups Land O Lakes® Butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 Land O Lakes® All-Natural Egg
1 tablespoon milk
2 teaspoons vanilla

Frosting
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup Land O Lakes® Butter, softened
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 to 3 tablespoons Land O Lakes® Heavy Whipping Cream

Decorations
Green food color
Orange food color
Black decorator gel
Halloween candy decorations
84 miniature (3/4- to 1-inch diameter) round peanut butter cracker sandwiches

Directions

Combine flour, baking powder and salt in bowl; set aside.

Combine 1 1/4 cups butter and sugar in bowl. Beat at medium speed until creamy. Add egg, milk and vanilla; beat until well mixed. Add flour mixture gradually, beating at low speed after each addition until well mixed.

Divide dough in half. Shape each half into ball; flatten slightly. Wrap each in plastic food wrap; refrigerate at least 1 hour until firm.

Heat oven to 400°F.

Roll out dough on lightly floured surface, one-half at a time (keeping remaining dough refrigerated), to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut with 3-inch pumpkin cookie cutter. Place 1 inch apart onto large ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 5-7 minutes or until edges just begin to brown and center is set. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to cooling rack.

Combine powdered sugar, 1/3 cup butter and vanilla in bowl; beat at low speed, adding enough whipping cream for desired frosting consistency. Remove 1/3 cup frosting to bowl; add green food color, mix well. Add orange food color to remaining frosting, mix well. Frost cookies with orange frosting. Place green frosting into re-sealable plastic food bag. Cut small hole in 1 corner of bag. Pipe stem and vines on top of each cookie.

Place cracker sandwiches for wheels on carriage. Frost; decorate with black decorator gel to create spokes. Outline window on carriage using black decorator gel. Place Halloween candy decorations inside window.


Recipe and image courtesy of Land O’Lakes, Inc.



Chocolate Cutout Cookies


chocolate haunted house cookies halloween recipe King Arthur FlourServes 18 (3 1/2" by 2 1/2") cookies, or more smaller cookies


3/4 cup sugar
1 cup (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter*
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon espresso powder, optional
3/4 teaspoon salt*
1 large egg
1/4 cup black cocoa**
1/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa**
2 1/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

*Reduce the salt to ½ teaspoon if using salted butter.
**Or use all Dutch-process cocoa.

Beat together the sugar, butter, baking powder, vanilla, espresso powder, and salt until fluffy. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl. Beat in the egg. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl again. Whisk together the cocoas and flour, then beat into the egg and butter mixture until well blended. Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes, or up to overnight.

Preheat your oven to 375°F. Lightly grease 2 baking sheets, or line with parchment. Divide the dough in half. Sprinkle both sides of each piece with extra cocoa, to keep the dough from sticking. Working with one piece of dough at a time, roll 1/8" thick. Cut into desired shapes with a cookie cutter. Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheets. Bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes, until their edges are firm and you start to smell chocolate. Remove them from the oven, and allow to cool completely before decorating.


Recipe and photo courtesy of King Arthur Flour




Meringue Ghosts


Meringue halloween ghosts recipe King Arthur FlourYield: 20 to 24 ghosts


4 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup extra-fine Baker's Special Sugar*
chocolate mini chips, for eyes
*Extra-fine or superfine sugar will yield the best results; substitute regular granulated if necessary.

Preheat the oven to 200°F, with a rack in the center. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Prepare a pastry bag with a 1/2" plain tip.

Place the room-temperature egg whites into the bowl of a mixer. Add the cream of tartar. Beat on slow speed until the cream of tartar is dissolved and the egg whites are foamy.

Slowly increase the speed of the mixer. When the volume of the eggs has doubled and they begin to look opaque, sprinkle in about half the sugar. Continue to beat until the whites are glossy and getting stiff. Add the remaining sugar and mix until it's evenly distributed and the whites hold a stiff peak.

Transfer the meringue to the pastry bag and, holding the bag perpendicular to the baking sheet, pipe, with even pressure, about 2"-high mounds of meringue. Carefully press two chocolate mini chips into each meringue ghost, to make eyes. Bake the meringues for approximately 60 to 90 minutes, or until they're dry and crisp to the touch.

Turn off the oven, open the door a couple of inches, and leave the meringues in the oven to finish drying several hours, or even overnight. Remove the ghosts from the completely cold oven, and store them loosely covered. They should keep for several days at cool/dry room temperature.


Recipe and photo courtesy of King Arthur Flour



Halloween Witch Cupcakes

ice cream cone witch cupcakes halloween recipe Land O LakesServes 12 Cupcakes


Cupcakes 3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons Land O Lakes® Butter, softened
1 Land O Lakes® All-Natural Egg
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup Land O Lakes® Half & Half or Fat Free Half & Half
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

Frosting
3/4 cup Land O Lakes® Butter, softened
7 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/8 teaspoon green gel food color

Decorations
1 (12-ounce) package real semi-sweet chocolate chips
12 sugar ice cream cones
12 chocolate wafer cookies
Decorator candy eyes
Assorted candies
Red and black gel icing


Directions

Heat oven to 350°F. Place paper baking cups into 12 muffin pan cups; set aside.

Combine all cupcake ingredients in bowl; beat at medium speed well mixed.

Spoon batter evenly into muffin cups. Bake 16-18 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from muffin pans; cool completely.

Beat 3/4 cup butter in bowl at medium speed until creamy. Gradually add powdered sugar and 1/8 teaspoon salt alternately with milk and 1 teaspoon vanilla, beating at low speed and scraping bowl often, until well mixed. Stir in corn syrup and food color. Set aside.

Place chocolate chips in bowl; microwave 1 minute or until melted. Brush chocolate onto sugar cones, coating completely. Brush remaining melted chocolate over 1 side of each chocolate wafer cookie; place coated cones on top of cookie, pressing down slightly. Let stand until set.

Frost cupcakes with green frosting, creating mound of frosting in center. Press candy eyes into frosting; press candy into frosting for nose. Use red gel icing to create lips; use black gel icing for hair. Set witch hat on top of frosting, pressing down slightly to secure.

Recipe and image courtesy of Land O’Lakes, Inc.




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11 Favorite Fall Recipes: Stews, Pies, Salads & More

favorite Fall Recipes: 11 Seasonal Dishes

By Patti Plummer

Now that the fall season has arrived, there is a plethora of hearty soups, stews, and yummy baked goodies you can prepare using the season’s ripest ingredients: including apples, cranberries, pears, and of course, pumpkins.

Here are a few recipes that incorporate autumn’s best—feel free to serve your meal outdoors, picnic style. Cooler months may be coming, but the days are still warm enough for outdoor dining.

Planning for Halloween? Check out these 8 Spooky Halloween Desserts!

Grape and Pear Pie


grape pear pie fall recipeServes about 12


1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
4 cups California seedless grapes
3 cups fresh pears (about 3 medium pears), cored, pared and sliced
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 package ready-to-use refrigerated pastry for 2-crust, 9-inch pie (see note below)
1 tablespoon butter

Combine sugar, flour, cinnamon, orange peel and cloves; mix well. Toss grapes and pears with sugar mixture and orange juice. Line 9-inch microwave-safe pie plate with pastry.

Add fruit mixture and dot with butter. Roll out remaining pastry and cut into 3/4 inch strips. Arrange strips in lattice pattern over fruit filling. Fold ends of lattice strips under edge of bottom crust; seal and flute edges.

Preheat oven to 425 F.

To bake in microwave (recipe developed for 700 to 800 watt microwave ovens): Set oven at HIGH (100 percent power), bake 10 to 12 minutes or until filling begins to bubble. Transfer pie to conventional oven and bake at 425 F 10 minutes or until pastry is golden brown.

To bake by conventional method: Bake pie in 425 F oven 10 minutes. Lower heat to 375 F and bake 35 to 40 minutes or until pastry is golden and filling begins to bubble.

Note: Tester used refrigerated, rolled-out dough.

Recipe and image courtesy of California Table Grape Commission, Grapesfromcalifornia.com



Acorn Squash Stuffed with Wild Rice, Pears, Cranberries, and Walnuts

Acorn squash stuffed with wild rice pears cranberries walnutsServes 6


3 acorns or dumpling squash
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Freshly ground nutmeg
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, divided
3/4 cup wild rice
1 1/2 cups canned low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1/4 teaspoon salt, plus extra to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 large rib celery, finely chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and finely chopped
2 firm Bosc or Anjou USA Pears, peeled, halved lengthwise, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 teaspoons minced fresh sage
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves
1/3 cup minced fresh parsley
1/3 cup chopped walnuts, toasted (see Cook’s Note below)
1/3 cup sweetened dried cranberries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut each squash in half crosswise. Scoop out and discard the seeds and strings. If necessary, trim the top and bottom so that the squash will sit level, and place on a rimmed baking sheet, cut side up. Sprinkle each half with a little salt, pepper, and nutmeg, to taste. Using 3 tablespoons of the butter, dot each half with some butter. Cover the pan tightly with foil and bake the squash just until moist and tender, about 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the rice, chicken broth, ¼ teaspoon salt, and 2 cups of water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to a low simmer, partially cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the rice is tender, about 40 minutes. When the rice is done most of the water should be evaporated.

In a 10-inch sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Swirl to coat the pan and sauté the onion, garlic, celery, and carrot until slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Add the pears and sauté 2 minutes longer. Cover the pan, adjust the heat to medium-low, and cook the vegetables until crisp-tender, 3 minutes longer. Add the sage, thyme, and parsley and sauté 1 more minute. Remove from the heat.

In a large bowl, combine the cooked rice, sautéed vegetables, pears, walnuts, and dried cranberries. Taste and add salt and pepper, if desired. Mound the rice mixture into the squash halves, dividing it evenly. Cut the remaining tablespoon of butter into small pieces. Dot each stuffed squash with butter. Cover with foil. Bake until heated through, about 20 minutes.

Cook's Note: Toasting nuts brings out their full, rich flavor. Place the nuts in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven until lightly browned, about 5 to 8 minutes.

Recipe and photo courtesy of USA Pears www.usapears.org



Maple Chicken Sauté


Maple chicken breast saute fall recipeServes 4


1 package (about 1 1/4 pounds) Perdue ® Fit ‘N Easy ® Fresh Skinless and Boneless Chicken Breasts
Salt and coarsely ground pepper to taste
2 tablespoons butter or vegetable oil
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/4 cup maple syrup
4 teaspoons stone ground mustard
1 red apple (Jonathan, Cortland or Gala) unpeeled, cored and thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoons minced fresh sage (or 1/2 teaspoon dried sage) plus whole fresh sage leaves for garnish

Pat chicken dry and season with salt and pepper. In a large nonstick or well-seasoned skillet, over medium heat, melt butter. When foam begins to subside and butter turns clear, add chicken. Sauté 3 to 4 minutes per side, until golden and cooked through. Remove chicken to platter and keep warm.

Add vinegar and 1/2 cup water to pan and stir to incorporate pan juices. Stir in maple syrup and cook, for about 2 minutes. Add sage and apple slices and continue to cook for 2 to 3 minutes until sauce is reduced to a syrupy consistency and apples are tender but still firm. Return chicken and any juices to skillet. Serve with steamed Brussel sprouts and hot biscuits or cornbread.



Recipe and photo courtesy of National Chicken Council



Chicken Waldorf Salad


Chicken waldorf salad fall recipeServes 6


1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
1 crisp red apple (such as Harrelson or Braeburn)
1 crisp green apple (such as Granny Smith)
3/4 cup chopped celery
2 6 oz. cartons fat-free orange or vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup fat-free mayonnaise
1/4 cup walnuts
4 cups shredded lettuce
Lightly salt and pepper chicken, if desired.

In large skillet, combine chicken and 3/4 cup water. Bring to a boil. Cover; reduce heat to medium. Cook 8 to 12 minutes or until internal juices run clear. Drain; set aside to cool slightly. Meanwhile, core apples and cut into bite-sized pieces. Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces. In large bowl, combine chicken and remaining ingredients; mix well. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve chicken mixture on shredded lettuce. Serve with poppy seed or raspberry muffins, if desired.

Recipe and photo courtesy of National Chicken Council



Two Grain Cranberry and Walnut Bread


Two grain oat cranberry wheat breadMakes 2 loaves, 16 slices each

 

1/4 cup coconut oil or vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup pure cane syrup, maple syrup, or molasses
1 1/2 cups sweetened dried cranberries
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats, uncooked
1 3/4 cups boiling water
2 (1/4 ounce) packages Fleischmann’s® Active Dry Yeast
1/4 cup lukewarm water (100° to 110°F)
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
3 cups King Arthur 100% Whole Wheat Flour
2 – 2 1/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, divided
3 tablespoons vital wheat gluten
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/4 cups English walnuts, coarsely chopped

Topping
1 large egg white, beaten
1 tablespoon old-fashioned oats, divided
1 teaspoon natural cane turbinado sugar, divided

In large mixer bowl, with paddle attachment, combine coconut oil, vanilla extract, syrup, cranberries, oats and boiling water. Let cool to lukewarm.

In medium bowl, dissolve yeast in lukewarm water with sugar; let stand 10 minutes.

When bowl mixture has cooled, stir in yeast. Gradually beat in whole wheat flour, 2 cups all-purpose flour, gluten, salt and walnuts on low speed until combined. Beat 3 minutes on medium speed. If dough is too wet, use additional 1/4 cup all-purpose flour to make a soft dough. Knead with dough hook 8 to 10 minutes or by hand until smooth and elastic.

Place in large greased bowl, turning once to coat dough. Cover; let rise in warm place until double, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Punch down dough; divide into half. Cover; let rest 15 minutes. Roll each half in 13 x 9-inch rectangle; roll up tightly like jellyroll (start at narrow side), sealing at each turn with fingertips. Press down on ends of loaf; fold strips under loaf. Place seam-side down in 2 greased 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch metal bread pans. Cover; let rise until nearly double, about 60 minutes.

Beat egg white; brush on loaves. Sprinkle half the oats and sugar on top of each loaf.

Bake loaves in preheated 350°F oven 35 to 40 minutes, tenting loaves with foil after 20 minutes. The bread is done when golden brown and its internal temperature registers 196°F or above on an instant-read thermometer. Remove pans from the oven, and after 5 minutes, use a table knife to loosen the edges, and then turn loaves out onto wire rack.

Rita Lutz, Horeshoe Bay, TX National Festival of Breads Finalist 2013
Recipe and photo courtesy of US Cranberries-Cranberry Marketing Committee; Photograph by Kansas Wheat and Chauncey Photography, Inc.



Autumn Apple, Ham and Goat Cheese Salad

Autumn apple ham and goat cheese salad recipeServes 8 – 10


6 ounces ham, cut into match-stick size strips
3 5-oz bags spring mix salad greens
3 Gala apples, cored and thinly sliced
1 cup pomegranate seeds, OR dried cranberries
1 7-oz package glazed walnuts, OR 1 1/2 cups toasted walnut pieces
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced, halved and separated into pieces
2/3 - 3/4 cup champagne, OR balsamic vinaigrette
1/3 cup goat cheese, crumbled

Combine salad greens, apples, pomegranate seeds, walnuts and onion in very large salad bowl.

Pour vinaigrette over mixture; gently toss until lightly coated.

Spoon salad mixture onto individual salad plates.

Top with ham; sprinkle with goat cheese. Serve immediately.

Recipe and photo courtesy of National Pork Board. For more information about pork, visit PorkBeInspired.com



Corn Bread, Sausage and Apple Stuffing


Cornbread sausage apple stuffing fall recipeServes 8

8 ounces pork sausage, bulk
2 cups apple, unpeeled and chopped
3/4 cup onion, chopped
1/3 cup butter
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/8 teaspoon pepper
6 cups cornbread, coarsely crumbled
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 - 1/2 cup chicken broth, reduced-sodium

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large skillet, cook sausage until brown. Remove sausage; drain and set aside. Drain fat from skillet. In the same skillet, cook apple and onion in hot butter until tender. Remove from heat. Stir in poultry seasoning and black pepper.

In a large bowl, combine sausage, apple mixture, corn bread and parsley. Drizzle with enough chicken broth to moisten, tossing gently. Transfer to a greased 2-quart casserole. Cover and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until heated through.

Recipe and photo courtesy of National Pork Board. For more information about pork, visit PorkBeInspired.com



Piedmont Pork Stew

Piedmont pork stew fall recipeServes 6

1 pound boneless pork loin, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1 teaspoon oil
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
2 carrots, sliced
8 ounces mushrooms, coarsely chopped
1 8-oz can tomato sauce
1 cup dry red wine
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup raisins
In large heavy skillet brown pork in oil over medium-high heat until browned, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in onion, carrots, mushrooms, tomato sauce, wine, thyme, oregano, cinnamon, salt and raisins; bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until pork and vegetables are tender.

Recipe and photo courtesy of National Pork Board. For more information about pork, visit PorkBeInspired.co


See 6 more delicious pork recipes >>



Milk Raisin Bread Pudding with Spiced Apples


Milk raisin bread pudding with spiced apples fall recipeServes 6



2 large eggs
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups nonfat or lowfat Real California Milk
8 slices cinnamon-raisin bread, toasted and cut into 1-inch cubes (about 4 cups)
1 tablespoon apricot jam
1 tablespoon water
Spiced Apples (recipe below)
Real California whipped cream (optional)
Heat oven to 350 F. In a mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, brown sugar, vanilla and salt. Gradually whisk in milk. Scatter bread in a shallow 1-1/2-quart casserole or 8-inch baking pan. Pour milk mixture over bread, pushing bread down to thoroughly saturate. Bake about 40 minutes or until puffed and browned, and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Mix apricot jam and water and brush on top of hot pudding. Serve bread pudding warm or at room temperature with Spiced Apples and a dollop of whipped cream, if desired.

Note: Bread pudding may be assembled the day before and refrigerated covered. Allow an extra 10 to 15 minutes baking time.

Spiced Apples

1/4 cup Real California butter
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or substitute 1/4 teaspoon each of ground cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg, and 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves)
3 small or 2 large red-skin apples, cored, quartered and sliced
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Melt butter in a medium saucepan; stir in water, sugar and pumpkin pie spice. Stir over medium heat until sugar melts and sauce is smooth. Add apples; cook, basting with sauce, until apples are barely tender. Stir in lemon juice. Serve hot with bread pudding.

Recipe and photo courtesy of California Milk Advisory Board


See 4 more sweet & savory apple recipes >>


Orchard Hand Pies


Orchard hand pies cheddar apple pies fall recipeMakes 8 pies

 

1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 large Bosc pear, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1/4 cup sugar, divided
1/4 cup chopped pecans
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon Real California blue cheese
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup crumbled Real California blue cheese
1/2 cup grated Real California Cheddar cheese
All-Butter Pie Dough (recipe below) or 2 (15-ounce) packages ready-made pie crusts Cooking spray

Heat oven to 375°F. Combine apples, pears, 3 tablespoons sugar, pecans, cornstarch, butter, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, lemon zest and vanilla in a medium bowl; toss well. In a separate bowl, mix blue cheese and Cheddar cheese.

On a lightly floured work surface, roll out dough 1/8-inch thick. Cut out eight 4 1/2-inch circles and eight 4-inch circles using round cutters or a plate, glass or lid of the right diameter. Lightly spray 8 wells of a muffin tin with cooking spray and line with 4 1/2-inch dough circles, leaving a 1/4-inch overhang.

Brush edges of dough with water. Sprinkle cheese mixture over bottom of dough, dividing it evenly. Mound fruit mixture on top of cheese, dividing it evenly. Place 4-inch dough circles on top, pressing edges with the tines of a fork to seal. Mix together 1 tablespoon sugar and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon. Brush tops of pies with water and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. With the tines of a fork, poke a few holes in each pie to vent steam. Bake 35-40 minutes or until pies are golden brown and a knife inserted into the filling feels no resistance. Cool pies in tin about 10 minutes; remove from tin and cool on a rack. Serve warm or room temperature.

All-Butter Pie Dough

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt 1 cup (8 ounces)
Real California unsalted butter, frozen
3/4 cup ice water


In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar and salt. With a large-holed grater, grate butter into flour mixture; toss lightly with your fingers to coat butter with flour. Drizzle 1/2 cup water over flour and butter mixture; toss lightly with your hands or a spatula. If necessary, gradually add more water until clumps of dough adhere to each other when lightly squeezed. Transfer dough to work surface and form into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour. Dough may be store in refrigerator up to 24 hours or frozen. Bring to room temperature before using.

Recipe and photo courtesy of California Milk Advisory Board



Pumpkin Nut and Chip Cookies


Pumpkin nut milk chocolate chip cookes fall recipeMakes 2.5 to 3 Dozen Cookies

1/2 cup Real California butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk chocolate chips
3/4 cup walnuts, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In large bowl, mix butter and sugar until creamy; add pumpkin, egg, and vanilla, beating well after each addition. Sift dry ingredients into separate bowl; gradually add to pumpkin mixture until well-blended. Stir in chocolate chips and walnuts. Drop batter by heaping teaspoons onto lightly buttered cookie sheets.

Bake for 15 to 17 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Cool on wire racks and store in airtight container.

Recipe and photo courtesy of California Milk Advisory Board



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Sweet & Savory Apple Recipes >>
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6 Delicious Fall Pork Recipes >>
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4 Easy Recipes for Fall >>

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Outdoor Halloween Party - Ideas for Decor, Food, and Games

Wicked-Cool Ideas for an Outdoor Halloween Party



Outdoor Halloween Party

Don’t be afraid to host a Halloween party outside. A dark and chilly fall night provides the perfect eerie ambiance for a bewitching Halloween bash. Holding your party outdoors also gives you an array of options for festive decorations and games that would be difficult or impractical indoors. Create a hair-raising Halloween party with these ideas for décor, food, and games.

Halloween Party Décor
Outdoor Halloween Party Decor
Turn your outdoor living space from homey to haunted with these frightfully festive Halloween decorating ideas.

Send a chill down guests’ spines as they enter your backyard by playing scary background music and using a fog machine to create a creepy, graveyard-like atmosphere. Switch out your porch and landscape lights with black light bulbs to enhance the eeriness.

Make spooky silhouettes by drawing the outlines of ghosts and other sinister figures on pieces of plywood, then cutting out the shapes and painting them black. Prop the shadowy figures up against a tree, the fence, or the back of the house.

Photo courtesy of Party City

Drape fake cob webs or torn cheesecloth from tree branches, along the fence or deck, and from the beams of a pergola or gazebo to give the yard an abandoned and mysterious look.

Make party guests feel like they’re being watched by a scary beast lurking in the bushes with this idea for glaring monster eyes:
- Get a toilet paper or paper towel roll (if using a paper towel roll, cut it in half).
- Draw or trace a pair of devilish eyes on the roll (use the pattern below as a guide) and cut out the shape.
- Color the toilet paper roll black with marker or craft paint and use electrical tape to close one end of the roll.
- Grab a green, yellow or red glow stick, bend it to activate the light, and place it in the toilet paper roll through the open end; close the end with another piece of electrical tape.
- Stuff the glaring beast eyes in a bush or place them in the bark ridge of a tree.

Glaring Monster Eyes Pattern

Glaring Monster Eyes Pattern for Halloween Craft


Halloween Party Food


Halloween Party Food and RecipesScare up an appetite with a scream-worthy spread of gruesome grub and tricked-out treats. From “finger” foods to spooky sweets, here are some ghoulishly good Halloween recipes to serve.


Deviled Eyes – Prepare deviled eggs with avocado to give them a ghoulishly green hue. Top each egg “eyeball” with a sliced green or black olive to create a pupil. Add veins by arranging a few thinly sliced roasted red pepper strips around the olive.

Photo courtesy of Amy’s Party Ideas

Halloween Chex Mix RecipeHalloween Chex Mix – Set out this wicked-good mix of candy corn, pretzels, raisins, and white chocolate...and watch it disappear! Get this recipe & other festive Halloween desserts >>

Mummy Dogs – Preheat oven to 400° F. Open and unroll a can of refrigerated breadstick dough; separate at perforations. Cut each breadstick in half using a knife or pizza cutter to make two thinner strips of dough. Take two thin dough strips, one at a time, and wrap lengthwise around a hot dog. Leave a small space open around the top of the hot dog for the Mummy’s Face. Continue wrapping all the hot dogs and place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Spray the Mummy dogs with cooking spray and place in the oven. Bake 10 to 15 minutes or until dough is light golden brown. Let cool for five minutes. Pipe eyes on the mummies using mustard or ketchup.

Apple Monster Mouths for Halloween PartyMonster Mouths - Core an apple and slice it into quarters. Cut a wedge from the skin side of each apple quarter to form a mouth. Place slivered almonds into the top and bottom of the apple for teeth. 

Fried Fingers – Use a bit of marinara sauce to attach sliced blanched almonds to tops of mozzarella sticks to make them look like severed fingers.

Photo courtesy of Amy’s Party Ideas


Trick or Treat Halloween Candy Buffet Trick-or-Treat Candy Buffet – You can't have a Halloween party without candy! Fill plastic cauldrons with different types of Halloween candy for guests to take home in goodie bags.

RIP Graveyard Cake – Layer chocolate pudding and crushed chocolate cookie crumbs in a large cake pan. Write “RIP” on oval or square sandwich cookies to make them look like tombstones and stick them in the cake. Top the cake with gummy worms to up the gross factor.


Bewitching Brew – Transform punch into a boiling witch’s brew or poisonous potion with dry ice. Place a few blocks of dry ice inside a large punch bowl. In a smaller punch bowl, prepare your favorite punch recipe. Carefully place the punch-filled bowl inside the larger bowl with dry ice. The fog from the dry ice will escape from the bottom bowl, creating a spooky vapor. IMPORTANT: Always handle dry ice with tongs or heavy rubber gloves to avoid freezer burn or frostbite on your skin. Keep the dry ice in a well-ventilated area and be sure not to breathe in too much of the gas.


Photo courtesy of Party City



Halloween Party Games and Activities

Here are a variety of ghostly games to make your outdoor Halloween party more terrifyingly fun and exciting.

Pin the Face on the Jack-O-Lantern – Give this childhood favorite a Halloween twist. Have each player cut out eyes, a nose, and mouth from black construction paper and stick a piece of double-sided tape on the back of each cutout. Get a large pumpkin and place it on a table. One at a time, each player stands with their cutouts about four feet away from the table with a blindfold on. After spinning around in a circle four times, the player walks toward the pumpkin and tries to pin the face on the pumpkin. Take a picture after each turn to see who pinned the best face.

Skeleton Scavenger Hunt for HalloweenSkeleton Scavenger Hunt – Purchase a plastic skeleton with detachable bones, separate it, and scatter the bones around the yard. Have guests search the yard to gather the bones and try to put the skeleton back together.

Guess the Body Part – For this classic Halloween game, gather an assortment of boxes with lids and cut a hole in each lid so that guests can fit their hand through it. Prepare food items for “body parts” and place them inside the boxes for guests to guess what they are. For example, Witch’s Eyeballs (peeled grapes); Dracula’s Teeth or Warewolf Fangs (candy corn); Frankenstein’s Ears (dried apricots); Dead Man’s Heart (large peeled tomato); Human Brain (cooked head of cauliflower).



Photo courtesy of Party City

Ghost Stories – This is a must for any Halloween party! Gather everybody around the graveyard and take turns telling spooky tales of the undead.

Trick or Treat Card Game – Create a deck of cards from orange card stock. On each card, write “Trick” or “Treat” on one side of the card. For each “Trick” card include an act to perform, such as Tell a Scary Story, Act Out a Scene from Your Favorite Halloween Movie, and Perform Your Best Evil Laugh. To play, have guests sit around a table and place a bowl of candy in the middle. Shuffle the deck of cards and fan them out around the candy bowl. One at time, go around the table and have each player draw a card. If they pull a “Treat” card, they get to select a piece of candy from the bowl. If they pull a “Trick” card, they must do what’s on the card in order to get a piece of candy.





Fun Ideas for a Fall Barbecue - Fall Party Themes and Ideas

Fall Outdoor Party Themes and Ideas


Summer may have ended, but the fall season offers just as many opportunities to entertain outdoors. With cooler temperatures, gorgeous foliage, delicious crops, and fun festivities, autumn is the perfect time to invite friends and family over for a backyard barbecue or bash. Here are three fall party ideas to keep guests entertained all season long.

Fall Harvest Party

Celebrate all of the wonderful things the fall season has to offer by throwing an outdoor harvest party. Invite friends and family to bring their best autumn-inspired dishes or consider having a harvest swap! Prepare for the crisp weather and shorter days by adding a fire pit and outdoor lighting to your patio or deck.

Harvest Party Décor

Decorate Your Yard for a Fall PartyWith all the natural colors and bounty of the season, it’s easy to decorate your yard for fall. Create a rustic harvest setting with these easy décor ideas:

Welcome guests and set the stage for your party with a festive display that illustrates all of autumn's natural splendor. Dress up a pergola or arbor with fall leaf garland, mums, and a couple scarecrows.

For a harvest-themed tablescape, purchase a piece of velvet or burlap from your local craft store and use as a table cover or table runner. Arrange a mix of gourds and potted mums down the middle of the table for a simple and festive centerpiece. You can also paint letters on the pumpkins or flower pots to spell out “HAPPY FALL” or “HARVEST.”



Photo courtesy of Frog Prince Paperie

Decorate your yard for a fall party with seasonal touches like pumpkins and mums
Decorate the rest of the outdoor space with seasonal touches. Pile pumpkins and mums around trees; place bales of hay around the patio (cover the hay bales with a blanket or fabric so guests can use them as seats); bundle dried cornstalks together and tie them to the posts of a pergola or gazebo.

For evening gatherings, add charming candleholders to the tablescape by cutting the tops off of small gourds or apples, then carving out circular pockets and placing tea lights inside. Drape throw blankets or afgans in fall hues or motifs (think plaid, leaves, owls, pumpkins, etc.) over chairs; guests can use them to keep warm at night. 


Photo courtesy of Worthing Court,
www.worthingcourtblog.com

To add more festive flair, make a garland of Indian corn to hang along the fence or deck: Plot dried ears of corn* (with the husks attached and pulled back) about 6 to 8 inches apart on a piece of twine or raffia. Once in place, use pieces of twine or floral wire to attach the ears of corn to the twine, tying it around each piece where the husk meets the cob. (*Dried ears of corn can be found at your local farmer’s market or grocery store. You can also dry fresh ears of corn by placing them in a mesh bag and hanging them outside or in an area with low moisture and humidity. Corn will dry in approximately three weeks.)



Harvest Party Food


From apples to pumpkins, the fall harvest offers a bountiful buffet of sweet and savory flavors. Create a party menu that embodies the season with these autumn-inspired foods and recipes.


Food for a Fall Harvest PartyCrudités - Visit your local farmer’s market and buy an array of seasonal fruits and vegetables. They not only make for an easy appetizer but add tons of fall color to your buffet table.

Editor's Tip: Dress up your buffet with mini pumpkins, leaves, acorns and pinecones. Include decorative food labels so guests can easily identify dishes (check out Frog Prince Paperie for printable party supplies).

Photo courtesy of Frog Prince Paperie

Harvest Chicken Salad – Give regular chicken salad an autumn makeover my adding chopped apples, pecans, celery, and pomegranate seeds (arils) to the mix. Serve with whole grain baguette slices or crackers.

Apricot-Dijon Pork SaladApricot-Dijon Pork Salad – This is a perfect transitional dish between summer and fall. Summer apricots and tart cherries add beautiful fall color and natural sweetness to the salad, while the Dijon mustard and ginger dressing lend a warm and spicy flavor. Get the recipe >>

Fall Ratatouille – No harvest party would be complete without this quintessential fall vegetable dish. This recipe features a medley of late-summer/early fall vegetables, cheese, and sun-dried tomato vinaigrette. Get the full recipe >>

Caramel Apples – Combine food and fun by setting up a caramel apple-dipping station: Display skewered apples on a bale of hay for easy picking. Use a disposable chafing dish to keep the caramel warm and ready for dipping. Set up a line of plastic bowls (with spoons) at the end of the table and fill with yummy toppings like chopped nuts, chocolate chips, candy bar pieces, graham cracker crumbs, sprinkles, and crushed cookies.

Recipe and photo courtesy of National Pork Board

Apple Cider – Serve this delectable fall drink in a pumpkin punch bowl: Hollow out a large pumpkin, removing all the seeds and scraping out the pulp from the sides. Pour in apple cider and garnish with apple slices and cinnamon sticks. Use mason jars for drinking glasses to add a rustic touch!




Harvest Party Games and Activities

Complete your harvest party with a host of festive fall games that feature the bounty of the season.

Harvest Party Games and ActvitiesCorn shucking contest – Divide ears of corn evenly among guests and see who can finish shucking their pile the fastest. Award the winner with a homemade treat, such as apple cranberry granola bars or a loaf of pumpkin cornbread. After the game, throw all the shucked ears of corn on the grill for a tasty treat.

Bobbing for Apples – You can also go for a twist on this classic game. Hang apples from tree branches by tying a string around the stems. Guests then have to try and bite the apple without using their hands. The first one to eat their apple wins.

Pumpkin bowling – Use a pumpkin as a bowling ball (pick one that’s not too heavy or too big) and use soda bottles as pins (fill them with some sand to weigh them down).

Pumpkin Bocce – Use a medium-sized pumpkin as the pallino and small gourds for the bocce balls. Very the type or color of the gourds among the different teams to keep accurate score. 

Photo courtesy of Frog Prince Paperie






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Backyard Tailgate Party - Fun Ideas for a Fall Barbecue


Fall Outdoor Party Themes: Backyard Tailgate Party



Backyard Tailgate Party

Fall and football go hand in hand—and with it comes tailgating! Instead of heading to the game or stadium parking lot, give yourself the home-field advantage with a backyard tailgating party. Put on your best game day gear, fire up the grill, and invite fellow fans (and non-fans) over to enjoy a pleasant fall day of fun, football, and food.

Tailgate Party Décor

Whether you root for your alma mater or local NFL team, here are some ideas for creating a fun football atmosphere everyone will cheer for.

Ideas for a Fall Backyard Tailgate PartyCreate an authentic tailgating ambiance by decorating your truck or car with your team’s insignia and parking it on the back lawn. Add a pop-up canopy and portable chairs to complete the tailgating vibe.

Show your team spirit by hanging pennants, banners, and streamers that display your team’s colors and/or logo.


Photo courtesy of Amy’s Party Ideas


Football Paper Lanterns for Tailgate PartyFootball paper lanterns (pictured at left) and tissue paper pom-poms are another fun decoration: hang them at varying lengths from tree branches or pergola beams.

Put a football twist on seasonal items to liven up your décor:
- Use mums to display your team’s colors
- Carve pumpkins to look like football helmets and paint your team’s logo on them
- Transform a tall oval pumpkin into a football by painting the entire pumpkin pigskin brown and adding white laces down the center
- Make a scarecrow that resembles your favorite player, your team’s coach or mascot

Photo courtesy of Party City



AstroTurf Buffet Table for a Tailgate PartyFor a festive food display, turn your buffet table into a football field with this fun AstroTurf table runner idea from Uncommon Designs. Artificial turf can be purchased at your local home store, or you can use dark green felt as an alternative. To complete the look, use white athletic tape to add yard lines.

Include yourself (and your guests) in the décor by sporting festive football apparel, jewelry, and accessories like party beads, wigs, and foam fingers.

Photo courtesy of Uncommon Designs

Since the game is the main attraction, tune in to the pregame show while you pregame with an outdoor TV. Make sure the TV is positioned where everyone can view it. You can also rent or buy an inflatable outdoor screen if you’ll be entertaining a large crowd—or just want to really impress your guests!



Tailgate Party Food


A simple, self-serve menu of finger foods, hearty sandwiches, and quick-cooking fare will keep fellow football fans fueled from kickoff to the final touchdown—and prevent you from getting sidelined to the grill or outdoor kitchen. Tackle any appetite with these tasty tailgating food ideas and recipes.


Roasted Red Pepper, Ham and Parsley Torte – This delicious appetizer is perfect for a crowd, easy to make, and can be prepared a day ahead.

Football Themed Deviled EggsDeviled Eggs – Turn this classic finger food into football-shaped food by topping with pieces of chives in the pattern of football laces.

Grilled Sweet Potato Salad – This recipe is a delicious fall alternative to traditional potato salad and will pair well with any type of game day grub. Get the recipe >>

Sub or Sandwich Tray – Subs are filling, tasty, and easy to make. Wrap individual subs or sandwiches in napkins so guests can grab both and get back to watching the game.

Photo courtesy of Party City

Burger Bar for a Tailgate Football PartyBurger Bar – Burgers are a tailgating staple and easy crowd pleaser. Set up a build your own burger bar with an assortment of condiments and toppings to satisfy everyone’s taste buds. Take a tip from The Frog Prince Paperie’ s Touchdown Slider Bar and include labels so guests know exactly what they are trying—and don’t confuse the pickled peppers with the hot peppers!

Beer-Grilled Chops – You’ll score major points with these juicy and tender pork chops. Get the recipe >>

Photo courtesy of Frog Prince Paperie


  Find more crowd-pleasing football party recipes >>




Tailgate Party Games and Activities

Keep guests entertained before kickoff with a variety of tailgating games and football activities.

Quarterback Toss – Hang a 30”, a 36,” and a 40” hula hoop from a tree and write a point value on each one (the smaller the hoop, the higher the point value). Let each player have three turns at tossing a football through the hoops. The player with the highest amount of points wins.

Football Face Painting for Tailgate PartyFootball Fan Face Painting – Fans young and old will have fun putting on their game face. Make sure you have paint colors to represent each guest’s favorite team. Along with face paint, provide an assortment of football themed stickers, temporary tattoos, and colored hair spray–and see who gets the most creative!

Touchdown Bean Bag Toss – Form a small football field on the patio or lawn with masking tape. Divide players into two teams and have them take turns tossing bean bags onto the other team’s side of the field. Keep score for each team by tallying the yardage points where the bags land (touchdowns count as 0 points). The team with the lowest yardage points wins.

Photo courtesy of Party City

Football Bingo – Create Bingo cards with football terms and phrases (such as “touchdown,” “false start,” “field goal,” and “interception”) and have guests try to fill out their cards as they watch the game.




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Labor Day Recipes: 5 Festive Appetizers

5 Festive Appetizers for Your Labor Day Barbecue

By Patti Plummer

Labor Day may be the unofficial end of summer—but that doesn’t mean the party has to end! There are still plenty of warm days ahead, which means there’s still time for a barbecue or two by the pool. Here are five great appetizer recipes that are sure to be a hit at your Labor Day barbecue or any end-of-summer party.

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Deviled Eggs with California Avocado

Recipe Provided by the California Avocado Commission


Deviled Eggs with California Avocado RecipeServes 12

12 eggs
½ cup mayonnaise
4 tsp. prepared mustard
½ tsp. salt ¼ tsp. pepper
½ medium onion, finely diced
1 stalk celery, finely diced
1 ripe, Fresh California Avocado

*Large avocados are recommended for this recipe. A large avocado averages about 8 ounces. If using smaller or larger size avocados adjust the quantity accordingly.



Hard boil and cool eggs. Remove shells, slice in half and remove yolk. Set aside white to be filled.

Sauté onions and celery until tender. Place sautéed onions and celery into food processor (or blender) and puree. Add yolks, mayo, mustard, salt, pepper and avocado and blend well.

Fill egg whites and sprinkle with paprika (if desired).

Recipe and photo courtesy of © California Avocado Commission



Grilled Spicy Watermelon

Grilled Spicy Watermelon RecipeServes 8 – 10

1 tablespoon lime zest
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup honey
2 teaspoons garlic chili sauce
Pinch salt
1 watermelon, medium sized
1 tablespoon fresh chopped cilantro


Preheat grill to high. In bowl, whisk together lime zest, juice, 3 tbsp. (45 ml) of the honey, garlic chili sauce and salt.

Cut watermelon into 1-inch (2.5 cm) thick wedges. Lightly drizzle each side with remaining honey and place on grill. Grill until just browned, about 2 minutes per side.

Place watermelon slices on a plate and drizzle with lime dressing. Garnish with cilantro.

For something sweet, try one of these delicious grilled desserts >>

Recipe and photo courtesy of National Watermelon Promotion Board



Classic Guacamole

Recipe Provided by the California Avocado Commission


Classic Guacamole RecipeServes 8

4 ripe, Fresh California Avocados, seeded and peeled
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tomato, finely chopped
¼ cup finely chopped onion
⅛ tsp. ground cumin
3 drops hot pepper sauce
Tortilla chips

*Large avocados are recommended for this recipe. A large avocado averages about 8 ounces. If using smaller or larger size avocados adjust the quantity accordingly.


Using a fork, coarsely mash avocado with lemon juice and garlic. Stir in remaining ingredients to blend.

Recipe and photo courtesy of © California Avocado Commission



Roasted Red Pepper, Ham and Parsley Torte

Roasted Red Pepper, Ham and Parsley TorteServes 32

4 ounces smoked ham, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 cups butter, divided
3 3-oz packages cream cheese
3 tablespoons Madeira, or Port, divided
White pepper, ground, to taste
2 cups parsley, firmly packed, stems removed
1/2 cup green onion, chopped
1/2 cup roasted red peppers, drained and coarsely chopped
1/3 cup ham, cubed


Place 1/2 cup butter, 3 ounces cream cheese, the 4 ounces chopped ham, 1 tablespoon wine and white pepper to taste; process until smooth. Remove to small bowl, cover and chill.

In processor, process another 1/2 cup butter, 3 ounces cream cheese, the parsley, green onion, 1 tablespoon of wine and white pepper to taste. Remove to small bowl, cover and chill.

Process remaining butter, cream cheese, the red peppers, remaining wine and pepper to taste until smooth; remove to small bowl, cover and chill. Line a glass 2-quart bowl or glass 9-inch pie plate with plastic wrap; sprinkle in cubed ham; spread the ham mixture, spread the red pepper mixture, and top with a layer of the parsley mixture. Cover and chill overnight. Unmold onto serving plate; let sit at room temperature for an hour before serving.

Recipe and photo courtesy of National Pork Board



Festive Stuffed Figs and Celery

Created by: Almond Board of California


Festive Stuffed Figs and Celery with Almonds RecipeServes 55 (1 fig each)

2 packages (3 oz. ea.) Neufchatel cheese
3/4 cup creamy almond butter
1/2 tsp. brandy or orange juice
1/4 tsp. grated orange peel
1/4 cup diced green chilies
1/4 cup chopped, toasted almonds
Fresh celery stalks
25-30 dried figs
25-30 whole natural or blanched almonds, toasted


Beat together Neufchatel cheese and almond butter. Divide mixture in half. Stir brandy or orange juice and orange peel into one mixture; chill. Stir chilies and chopped almonds into remaining almond butter mixture.

Stuff celery stalks with chili-cheese mixture; cut into serving pieces about 3-inches long. Chill until ready to serve.

Slit figs partly down center. Pipe or spoon 1/2 to 1 teaspoon chilled orange-almond butter mixture into opening. Press one whole natural or blanched almond into center. Repeat with remaining figs. Chill until ready to serve.

Recipe and photo courtesy of Almond Board of California


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5 Refreshing Summer Salad Recipes

5 SUMMER SALAD RECIPES FOR THE 4TH OF JULY







By Patti Plummer

Avocado Salad Recipe Red White Blue and Green Salad summerReady or not, summer is here! Pools are open and full of happy swimmers while grills are sizzling with all kinds of fabulous grilled treats.

And for the ultimate summer holiday, we have five delicious 4th of July recipes! To celebrate Independence Day, try one of these five tantalizing summer salad recipes guaranteed to be a big hit at pool parties, barbecues, and family picnics.




Red, White, Blue, AND Green Salad

Copyright © 2012, Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger, www.bordergrill.com


(pictured above)


Serves:
4

Ingredients
1 lb. blue or purple potatoes, about 12 small potatoes, washed, with skins on
1 pita bread, torn into 1/2-inch pieces
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 ripe Fresh California Avocados, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch dice
4 Persian cucumbers, halved and cut into 1/2-inch slices
3 Roma tomatoes, cored and cut into 1/2-inch dice
4 scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
4 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
4 cups arugula

Vinaigrette
2 lemons
1 tsp. freshly grated lemon zest
2 tbsp. white vinegar
Salt, to taste
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until just soft, about 10 minutes. Drain and, when cool enough to handle, peel off potato skins using your fingers or a paring knife. Cut potatoes into 1/2-inch dice and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Toss pita bread pieces with olive oil, salt and pepper and spread out in a single layer on a baking sheet. Place in oven and bake for 8 minutes, or until crisp and golden. Remove from oven and set aside to cool to room temperature.

Combine potatoes, pita chips, avocados, cucumbers, tomatoes, scallions and feta cheese in a large mixing bowl.
To assemble the salad, place equal amounts of arugula on each plate and top with the potato mixture.
Add vinaigrette to taste, toss thoroughly, and serve.

Vinaigrette Instructions

Slice ends off lemons and stand upright on a cutting board. In a downward motion, cut away lemon peel and outer membrane, exposing fruit.

Working over a bowl to catch the juices, separate the lemon sections by slicing with a knife between membranes. Remove and discard seeds.

Transfer lemon segments and juices to a blender with lemon zest, vinegar, salt and pepper and combine thoroughly. With motor still running, slowly drizzle in olive oil. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary. Refrigerate until ready to use.

*Large avocados are recommended for this recipe. A large avocado averages about 8 ounces. If using smaller or larger size avocados adjust the quantity accordingly.

Recipe provided by the California Avocado Commission and created by chefs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger for the California Avocado Commission. Photo © Courtesy California Avocado Commission



Mediterranean Watermelon Salad


Bacon stuffed shell salad recipe summerServings: 6

Ingredients
6 cups torn mixed salad greens
3 cups cubed seeded watermelon
1/2 cup sliced onion
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 dash cracked black pepper

Directions

In large bowl, mix all ingredients except oil and pepper. Just before serving, toss salad mixture with oil. Garnish with pepper.


Recipe and photo courtesy of National Watermelon Promotion Board



Greek Spinach Salad

Developed by: Almond Board of California

Greek Spinach Salad recipe summerServes: 8


Ingredients
1 bunch spinach, washed, trimmed and crisped
1/2 English cucumber, thinly sliced
2 tomatoes, cut into wedges
1 green bell pepper, cut into strips
1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
24 Greek olives, or as desired
3/4 cup whole natural almonds, toasted
1 cup (1/4 lb.) crumbled feta cheese
Three Herb Dressing (recipe below)

Directions

Toss all ingredients except feta cheese with Three Herb Dressing. Arrange on serving platter. Top with crumbled cheese to serve.

Three Herb Dressing
3 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. Dijon-style mustard
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. marjoram
1/4 tsp. thyme
3/4 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

Three Herb Dressing Directions
Combine all ingredients in small bowl. Whisk until thoroughly mixed.

Recipe and photo courtesy of Almond Board of California




Bacon-Stuffed Shell Salad


Bacon stuffed shell salad recipe summerServings: 8

Ingredients
12 ounces Canadian style bacon, sliced
1 cup zucchini, shredded
1/2 cup red bell pepper, finely chopped
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teas salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
16 conchiglioni (jumbo shells)
Romaine leaves

Directions

Cut Canadian bacon into thin strips. In a large bowl combine bacon, zucchini, red pepper and Parmesan cheese; set aside.

For dressing, combine oil, vinegar, garlic, Italian seasoning, sugar, salt and pepper. Pour dressing over bacon mixture; toss gently to mix. Cover and chill 30 minutes.

Cook conchiglioni according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water. Spoon about 1/4 cup of the bacon mixture into each conchiglioni. Place the shells, filled side up, in a baking dish. Cover and chill 2-4 hours. To serve, arrange romaine among salad plates. Place 2 shells atop each.

Recipe and photo courtesy of National Pork Board





Sirloin Steak and Tomato Salad



Serves: 4
Sirloin Steak Tomato Salad recipe summer


Ingredients
1 boneless beef top sirloin steak, cut 3/4 inch thick (about 1 pound)
2 medium onions, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon reduced-fat or regular balsamic vinaigrette, divided
1/2 to 1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
12 cups mixed salad greens
4 medium tomatoes, cut into wedges
Salt and pepper

Directions

Brush onion slices with 1 tablespoon vinaigrette; set aside. Press chile powder onto beef steak. Place steak in center of grid over medium, ash-covered coals; arrange onions around steak. Grill steak, covered, 11 to 15 minutes (over medium heat on preheated gas grill, 13 to 16 minutes) for medium rare (145°F) to medium (160°F) doneness, turning occasionally. Grill onions 13 to 15 minutes or until tender, turning occasionally.

Separate onion slices into rings. Carve steak into slices. Season beef and onions with salt and pepper, as desired.

Toss salad greens with remaining 1/3 cup vinaigrette and divide among 4 salad plates. Top with tomatoes, onions and beef.


Recipe and photo courtesy of www.BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com



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Summer Grilling Recipes: 5 Delicious Desserts on the Grill

5 Delicious Grilled Dessert Recipes for Memorial Day







By Patti Plummer

Memorial Day: the unofficial start of summer—which means it is also the unofficial start of the backyard grilling season and pool parties. We all know that grills are perfect for creating all types of entrées, from tender ribs to juicy steaks. But, have you have ever considered using your grill to make dessert?

From grilled fruit kabobs to a grilled banana split, here are a few grilled dessert recipes to tempt your taste buds…one bite, and you will wonder what took you so long!


Grilled Banana Splits with Hot Fudge and Rum Caramel Sauce


Grilled banana split recipe summer dessertServings: 6

Ingredients
6 firm-ripe unpeeled bananas, halved lengthwise
6 tablespoons honey
12 tablespoons (3/4 cup) packed light brown sugar
Vanilla ice cream, for serving
Hot Fudge Sauce, for serving
Rum Caramel Sauce, for serving
2 cups lightly sweetened whipped cream, for serving
Finely chopped roasted lightly salted peanuts, for serving
6 maraschino cherries, for serving

Directions

Preheat a grill to high, and lightly oil the grill grate.

Place the banana halves, cut side up, on a baking sheet and drizzle the honey evenly over them. Sprinkle with the brown sugar. Place the bananas, cut side up, directly on the grill, arranging them so they are perpendicular to the grill grate. Close the grill cover and cook until the bananas are caramelized around the edges and the fruit is beginning to pull away from the peel, 3 to 5 minutes.

Carefully transfer the grilled banana halves (still in their skins) to a small baking sheet. Using two small forks or a long, thin spatula, carefully remove the banana halves from their skins and place 2 pieces of banana on each dessert plate. (This is a little tricky because the bananas are now very soft.) Top each banana with 1 or 2 scoops of vanilla ice cream. Drizzle with the Hot Fudge Sauce and Rum Caramel Sauce. Top with dollops of whipped cream and sprinkle with chopped peanuts. Garnish each banana split with a maraschino cherry, and serve immediately.

Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, from Emeril at the Grill, HarperCollins Publishers, New York, 2009, copyright MSLO, Inc., all rights reserved; www.emerils.com. Photo courtesy of Steven Freeman



Grilled Fruit Kabobs with Tropical Yogurt Sauce


Grilled fruit kabob recipe strawberry pineapple dessertServings: 6

Ingredients
6 bamboo skewers, 8 to 10 inches long
6 ounces key lime pie yogurt
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 teaspoons sugar
1/8 teaspoons imitation coconut extract (optional)
1 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoons butter, melted
1 small pineapple, peeled and cored
1 pound large, firm, fresh strawberries
2 large firm nectarines or peaches, fresh, pitted and cut into wedges

Directions

Preheat gas or charcoal grill to medium heat.
Soak skewers in warm water for several minutes; drain and set aside.
In a food processor or blender, process yogurt, Cream cheese, sugar and coconut extract. Cover and chill.

In a small bowl, combine lime juice and melted butter. Set aside. Cut pineapple into 1-inch wide slices; quarter slices. Remove hulls (leaves) from strawberries. Alternately, thread strawberries, pineapple and nectarine or peach wedges on skewers. Brush with butter mixture.

Grill kabobs, uncovered, for 6 to 8 minutes or until heated through, turning once or twice. Do not allow strawberries to overcook.

Remove grilled fruit from skewers; serve with yogurt dipping sauce.

Recipe and photo courtesy of © 2013 Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, Inc.



Grilled Chocolate


Grilled chocolate recipe with grilled pound cake summer dessertServings: 4 dozen pieces, about 16 servings


Cake
Prepared batter for Golden Vanilla Pound Cake (found on www.kingarthurflour.com), or your favorite pound cake recipe using about 2 cups of flour.

Filling
Softened butter
Three 6.8-ounce chocolate bars, the kind that break into small rectangles; we prefer Hershey's Special Dark chocolate

Directions


Preheat your oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 8" square cake pan; line it with parchment and grease the parchment, if you don't trust your pan to release the cake nicely.

Pour the prepared pound cake batter into the pan. Bake the cake for about 40 minutes, till a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center comes out without any clinging crumbs. Allow the cake to cool for about 10 minutes, then turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool completely.

When you're ready to make grilled chocolate sandwiches, slice the cake in long strips, about 3/8" thick. Butter one side of each strip. Space three chocolate rectangles along the unbuttered side of half the strips. Top with the remaining cake strips, buttered-side up. Cut each strip in thirds crosswise, cutting between the pieces of chocolate.

Cook the cake sandwiches on a griddle preheated to about 325°F to 350°F; or in a frying pan set over medium heat. Cook till the cake is golden and the chocolate melted, about 2 minutes per side. Hint: Cook one sandwich first, to test the temperature/timing. Serve as is, or with a scoop of ice cream.

Recipe and photo courtesy of King Arthur Flour, www.kingarthurflour.com





Fire-Roasted Strawberries


Fire roasted strawberries recipe summer dessertServes: 6 to 8

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Way to grill: direct high heat (450° to 550°F) for gas grills only
Grilling time: 8 to 12 minutes
Special equipment: 8x8-inch baking pan suitable for the grill

Ingredients
2 pints (20 to 24) fresh, large strawberries, washed and blotted dry
4 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons orange-flavored liqueur, or 2 tablespoons water and 1 tablespoon lemon  juice
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
Vanilla ice cream

Directions

Hull and trim the stem end of the strawberries so that they are flat. In a medium bowl combine the berries, sugar, vanilla, and liqueur, and toss to coat.

Use the soft butter to generously coat the bottom and sides of an 8x8-inch ovenproof pan or disposable aluminum pan. The pan should be just large enough to hold the berries in a single layer with their sides almost touching (this allows the berries to gently support one another as they begin to soften). Prepare the grill for direct cooking over high heat.

Remove the berries from the bowl and line them up so that they fit snuggly, pointing up, in the prepared pan. Pour the contents from the bowl over the berries and cook over direct high heat, with the lid closed, until they’re bubbling and beginning to slump, 8 to 12 minutes. Cooking times will vary depending on the variety, size, and ripeness of the strawberries. Watch closely to catch them before they collapse.

Spoon the pan juices over the berries to moisten them, let cool for 5 minutes, and then carefully cut them into quarters or leave whole. Ladle berries over ice cream.

©2008 Weber-Stephen Products LLC Recipe from Weber’s Way to Grill™ by Jamie Purviance. Used with permission.



Grilled Pineapple with Raspberries and Rum Sabayon



Grilled Pineapple with Raspberries and Rum Sabayon recipe summer dessertServes: 4

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Grilling Time: 5 to 7 minutes

Special equipment: 10- to 12-cup stainless steel bowl or double boiler, instant-read thermometer


Sabayon
6 large egg yolks
1/2 cup pineapple juice, preferably refrigerated instead of canned
5 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 cup amber rum
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

6 slices fresh pineapple, each about 1/2 inch thick, peeled and cored
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3/4 cup fresh raspberries

Directions

In a medium saucepan bring 1-1/2 inches of water to a simmer over medium heat. In a 10- to 12-cup stainless steel bowl whisk the sabayon ingredients. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Place the bowl on the saucepan over, not in, the simmering water (this can also be done in a double boiler). Whisk the sabayon constantly until it thickens, foams up to double or triple in volume, and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers 160° to 170°F, 6 to 7 minutes, adjusting the heat to keep the water at a bare simmer. Be careful not to let the eggs begin to set. Remove the sabayon from over the water and whisk gently for 30 to 40 seconds to begin cooling. Set aside to serve warm, or cool completely and chill up to one day. (The cold sauce will be somewhat deflated, but thicker and creamier. Whisk to blend before serving.) If a few curds accidentally form, pour the sabayon through a fine mesh strainer.

Sprinkle the pineapple slices evenly on both sides with the brown sugar and cinnamon.

Brush the cooking grates clean. Grill the pineapple slices over direct medium heat, with the lid closed as much as possible, until well marked, 5 to 7 minutes, turning once. Remove from the grill and cut into 1/2-inch wedges. Divide the pineapple and raspberries evenly among six dessert glasses. Spoon warm or cold sabayon over the top and serve immediately.

©2012 Weber-Stephen Products LLC. Recipe by Jamie Purviance. Used with permission.



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10 Chocolate Dessert Recipes for Valentine’s Day

Delicious Desserts for Valentine's Day







Treat your sweetheart (and yourself) to one of the delicious Valentine’s Day dessert recipes below. From cupcakes to cookies to brownies, each of these desserts features the classic combination of rich, bittersweet chocolate and sweet, juicy cherries—a perfect match for your taste buds!


Cherry Chocolate Cupcakes

Cherry Chocolate Cupcakes
Servings: 1 dozen

Ingredients
8 ounces butter at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 cup milk
1 1/3 cups pitted cherries, halved

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cream together the butter and sugar using a wooden spoon or an electric mixer 4 to 5 minutes, until fluffy and light. Slowly beat in the eggs.

In a bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and cocoa. Add this to the egg mixture along with the milk and mix just long enough to blend the ingredients, no more than 20 seconds.

Fold in the halved cherries, no more than another 10 seconds. Let rest 10 minutes, then fill greased muffin cups to the brim with the batter.

Bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove and let cool 10 minutes before unmolding.




Recipe and photo courtesy of California Cherry Board



Croissant French Toast with Fresh Bing Cherry Sauce

Croissant French Toast with Cherry Sauce
Servings: 4

Ingredients
1/2 cup orange marmalade
2 cups pitted fresh cherries
Four croissants, ok if day-old
3 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 Tablespoon canola oil
2 cups fresh whipped cream
1/2 cup chocolate sauce

Directions

Heat orange marmalade in small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add cherries and cook for five minutes stirring frequently. Remove from flame.

Slice croissants in half lengthwise, as if to make a sandwich. Whisk eggs, milk, cream in flat-bottomed baking dish. Lay croissant pieces in egg mixture, flipping several times as liquid is absorbed.

Add canola oil to griddle and heat on medium flame. Cook croissant slices until golden brown on each side.

Place bottom croissant slices on serving plates. Top with ½ cup cherry mixture. Top with croissant tops, add a dollop of whipped cream and finish with a pour of chocolate sauce.

Recipe and photo courtesy of California Cherry Board



Chocolate-Dipped Cherry Treats



Chocolate Dipped Cherry TreatsIngredients
1 to 2 pounds fresh California Bing cherries
6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions

1. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

2. Heat chocolate over medium heat, stirring often with a wooden spoon until melted, about five minutes. (Note: Use a double boiler. Or fill a saucepan half full with water and place chocolate in a small, deep heatproof bowl that fits snugly on the saucepan, but does not touch the water. )

3. Wash cherries with stems on and let dry. Optional pitting instructions: Using a cherry pitting device, carefully remove the pit going through the cherry cross-ways rather than from top to bottom. This will allow the stem to remain intact. The hole in the middle of the cherry will be covered with chocolate when dipped.

4. Carefully pick cherries up by the stem and dip just over half-way into the melted chocolate. Let excess chocolate drip back into the pan or bowl.

5. Place on aluminum-lined cookie sheet and set in the refrigerator until the chocolate has set, about 15 minutes.

6. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Recipe and photo courtesy of California Cherry Board




Cherry-Misu


Cherry-Misu RecipeServings: 9

Ingredients
2 jars (10 oz. each) maraschino cherries
2 cartons (8 oz. each) Mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. Amaretto or brandy
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup water
42 crisp ladyfinger cookies
2 milk chocolate candy bars (1.55 oz. each), grated Chocolate curls

Directions

Drain cherries, reserving juice and 9 cherries; set aside. Chop remaining cherries.

In a large bowl, combine the cheese, sugar, Amaretto, vanilla and 1 Tbsp. cherry juice. In another bowl, beat whipping cream until stiff peaks form; gently fold into cheese mixture.

Combine water and remaining cherry juice. Arrange 14 ladyfingers in an ungreased 9-in. square pan. Brush with 3/4 cup cherry juice mixture. Spread 1-1/3 cups cheese mixture over ladyfingers. Sprinkle with half of the chopped cherries and grated chocolate. Repeat layers.

Top with remaining ladyfingers and cheese mixture. Garnish with chocolate curls and reserved cherries. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.

Editor’s Note: This recipe was prepared with Alessi brand crisp ladyfinger cookies.

Recipe and photo courtesy of National Cherry Growers & Industries Foundation



Chocolate Cherry Bombs


Chocolate Cherry Bombs
Servings: Makes 16 (1 1/2-inch) cherry bombs

Ingredients
1 (10-ounce) jar maraschino cherries with stems
2 cups vanilla ice cream, softened
1 (7.25-ounce) bottle chocolate shell topping

Directions

Drain cherries. Remove stems and save them to complete the recipe.

Place cherries and 1 cup ice cream in electric blender. Pulse to combine. Combine cherry mixture with remaining 1 cup ice cream in a medium bowl; mix with a spoon. Divide between 2 small (8-ounce) bowls. Cover and freeze overnight or until firm.

Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Shake chocolate shell topping 30 seconds; divide between 2 custard cups or small bowls. Remove 1 container of ice cream from freezer. Using a small ice cream scoop, scoop 1 (1-inch) ball; place on fork. Spoon chocolate shell topping over ball while holding over custard cup. Place on baking sheet; quickly insert 1 reserved cherry stem in top. (To remove ball from fork, push off gently at base with knife).

Repeat with remaining ice cream. Work quickly so ice cream does not get too soft. Place cherry bombs in freezer. Repeat procedure with remaining bowl of ice cream. Freeze until ready to serve.

Tip: If blender is unavailable, finely chop cherries and stir into ice cream.

Recipe and photo courtesy of National Cherry Growers & Industries Foundation



Chocolate Covered Cherry Brownie Jumble

Chocolate Covered Cherry Brownie Jumble
Servings: Makes 16 brownies

Ingredients
1 box (21 oz) fudge brownie mix
2 eggs
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil or melted butter
16 chocolate cookie wafers, broken into large halves
1 (10-12 oz) jar maraschino cherries, drained and halved
1/2 cup chocolate chips
3/4 cup chopped walnutes (optional)
3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix brownie mix, eggs, water and oil in a large bowl until well blended. Spread batter in a 13"x19" greased pan.

Scatter top of batter with cookies, cherries, chocolate chips and walnuts. Drizzle with condensed milk.

Bake for about 35 minutes or until topping is golden. Let cool and then cut 4x4 into 16 pieces.

Cook's Note: If using a glass baking pan, increase cooking time to 40 minutes.

Recipe and photo by Kathy Casey Food Studios® for the National Cherry Foundation



Black Forest Cupcakes-Gluten Free

Black Forest Cupcakes-Gluten Free
Servings: Makes 24 gluten-free cupcakes

Ingredients
CUPCAKES:
½ cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1½ cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 2/3 cups gluten-free flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
1½ cups milk
1 (14.5) ounce can red tart cherries, drained
1 (10 ounce) jar maraschino cherries, drained and liquid reserved, use divided.

TOPPING:
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Grated dark chocolate for garnish

Directions

CUPCAKES: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Insert paper liners into the cups of 2 standard muffin pans.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Turn mixer to low and add the eggs, one at a time until each egg is fully mixed in, scrapping down the sides of the bowl with each addition. Add the vanilla extract and mix well. In a separate large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.

With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture and milk to the creamed butter, starting with 1/3 of the flour mixture, then half the milk, half the remaining flour mixture, the rest of the milk and the rest of the flour mixture. Mix until just combined. Remove bowl from mixer and scrap the sides and bottom of the bowl well with a large spatula.

Spoon 2 tablespoons of batter into each prepared muffin cup, add 3 of the red tart cherries to each cup then top with 2 more tablespoons of batter. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until springy on the top. Allow to cool in pan for about 5 minutes.

With a toothpick, poke 6 or 8 holes in each cupcake. Spoon about 1 teaspoon of reserved maraschino cherry liquid onto each cupcake and let it soak in. Remove cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.

TOPPING: Whip cream in a large bowl until soft peaks form. Add the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and 1 tablespoon of reserved maraschino cherry juice. Beat until stiff.

Frost cupcakes and garnish with a maraschino cherry and some grated chocolate.

Recipe and photo courtesy of National Cherry Growers & Industries Foundation. Recipe developed by Carol Kicinski



Maraschino Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies


Maraschino Chocolate Thumbprint CookiesIngredients
2 jars (10 ounces each) maraschino cherries without stems
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons 2% milk
Baker's Joy No-Stick Baking Spray

Directions

Drain maraschino cherries, reserving 1 teaspoon juice. Combine flour, cocoa, salt, and baking powder in a large mixing bowl; mix well.

Put butter and sugar in medium bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed 3 to 4 minutes, or until well blended. Add egg and vanilla; mix well. Add flour mixture; mix well.

Put chocolate chips and milk in a small saucepan. Stir constantly over low heat until chocolate melts. Stir in reserved maraschino cherry juice. Let cool slightly.

Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place on baking pan prepared with Baker's Joy. Push in centers with thumb; spoon 1 teaspoon chocolate mixture into each thumbprint and top with a cherry.

Bake in 350 degree oven 10 to 12 minutes, or until cookies are firm. Remove to wire racks. Let cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

Recipe and photo courtesy of National Cherry Growers & Industries Foundation



Chocolate Cherry Cookies


Chocolate Cherry CookiesServings: Makes about 4 1/2 dozen cookies

Ingredients
COOKIES:
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 egg
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate melted and cooled
1/3 cup buttermilk, milk or water
1 tsp. vanilla
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour or whole wheat flour*
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. Salt
2 cups cut up maraschino cherries (4 10 oz. jars stem-less)

CHOCOLATE FROSTING:
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate
2 tablespoons margarine or butter
3 tablespoons water
1+ cup powdered sugar
Note: If using self-rising flour, omit baking soda and salt.

Directions

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

COOKIES: Mix sugar, margarine/butter, egg, chocolate, buttermilk and vanilla. Stir in flour, baking soda, salt and cherries.

Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes or until almost no indentation remains when touched; cool.

Frost with Chocolate Frosting or Dust with Powdered Sugar.

CHOCOLATE FROSTING: Heat chocolate and margarine over low heat until melted; remove from heat. Stir in water. Gradually add powdered sugar until smooth.

Recipe and photo courtesy of National Cherry Growers & Industries Foundation



Easy Chocolate Covered Cherries


Easy Chocolate Covered CherriesServings: Makes about 5 dozen

Ingredients
2 jars (10 ounces each) maraschino cherries with stems
1 package (12 ounce) semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

Drain cherries; discard juice. Put cherries on paper towels to drain completely.

Put chocolate chips in a medium saucepan with a heavy bottom. Heat over low heat, stirring constantly, until chocolate is melted. Do not let chocolate get too hot. Remove from heat.

Dip cherries into chocolate; swirl to coat completely. Place on baking sheet lined with waxed paper. Refrigerate until set.


Recipe and photo courtesy of National Cherry Growers & Industries Foundation

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6 Delicious Fall Pork Recipes

Recipes for Pork Chops, Ham, Bacon, and More








Celebrate National Pork Month with these 6 sweet and savory pork recipes.



Ham and Almond Pastry Ring

Recipe from PorkBeInspired.com

Ham and Almond Pastry RingTimes:

Prep Time: 20 minutes prep, Cook Time: 30 minutes cook


Ingredients:

1 cup cooked ham, diced
1/2 cup chive and onion cream cheese spread
2 tablespoons Caesar dressing
1 large apple, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup grapes, red or green, quartered
1/2 cup red onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup green bell pepper, diced
2 8-oz cans refrigerated crescent rolls
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup almonds, finely chopped
Nonstick cooking spray

Cooking Directions:

In large bowl, blend cream cheese spread and dressing. Add ham, apple, grapes, onion and green pepper; gently stir until coated. Set aside.

Line a large baking sheet with heavy foil. Lightly coat with nonstick cooking spray. Unroll both cans of crescent rolls and separate. On prepared baking sheet arrange triangles overlapping with shortest side of each roll toward center leaving 5-inch circle open in center. Points of crescent dough may hang over edge of baking sheet. Press overlapping dough to flatten and close center circle to 4-inches.

Spoon mixture evenly over widest part of dough. Pull points of dough over filling and tuck dough under dough in center to form ring. (Some filling will be visible.) Brush dough evenly with beaten egg and sprinkle with almonds. Bake in preheated oven at 375 degrees F. for 25-30 minutes or until golden and pastry in inner circle is baked. (If necessary, loosely cover outer edge of pastry with foil during the last 10 minutes of baking to prevent over-browning.) Remove from oven and cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes. Using large spatula, carefully slide onto large serving platter.*

Makes 8 to 10 servings.

*If desired, use foil to lift and transfer pastry ring to serving platter. Cut foil in center of ring and underneath pastry ring; pull foil pieces to remove.



Apple and Cornbread-Stuffed Pork Loin with Roasted Apple Gravy

Recipe from PorkBeInspired.com

Apple and Cornbread-Stuffed Pork LoinTimes:

Prep Time: 30 minutes prep, Cook Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes cook


Ingredients:

1 boneless pork loin, (4 pounds)
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried sage
3 medium apples, peeled, halved, cored and cut into 1/2-inch slices
1/4 cup Calvados, OR apple brandy
1 1/4 cup homemade chicken stock, OR canned low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup apple juice, OR cider
1/4 cup heavy cream

Cornbread and Apple Stuffing:
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup smoked ham, finely chopped, OR diced smoked sausage
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup celery, finely chopped
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup apples, peeled and diced 1/4-inch
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
1 1/2 cups homemade cornbread, crumbled and dried OR dried cornbread stuffing mix
1/4 cup apple juice


Cooking Directions:

For stuffing, heat butter in a heavy medium skillet over medium-low heat; add ham or sausage and cook 3 minutes. Add onion, celery and a pinch each of salt and pepper; cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are quite soft, about 10 minutes. Stir in diced apple and cook 1 minute. Transfer apple mixture to a large bowl. Sprinkle with sage and stir in cornbread crumbs, apple juice and egg. The mixture should be moist but not wet. Add more apple juice if the mixture seems dry. Taste for seasoning and set aside.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. To double butterfly the pork loin, lay the meat, fat-side down, on a work surface and make a horizontal lengthwise cut two-thirds of the way into the depth of the loin and about 1 inch from the long edge nearest you, taking care not to cut all the way through. Flip the loin over so that the cut you just made is opposite you. Make another lengthwise cut, again 1 inch from the edge. Open up the two cuts so you have a large rectangle of meat whose diameter is roughly 3 times the thickness of the meat. Place fat-side down and cover with a sheet of plastic wrap. Using the flat side of a cleaver or a meat pounder, gently flatten the meat to an even thickness.

Remove plastic wrap and spread apple stuffing evenly over the meat, leaving a generous 3/4–inch border. Roll up meat jelly-roll style so that stuffing is in a spiral pattern. Tie rolled roast at 2-inch intervals with butcher’s twine.

Combine 2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, and remaining sage and sprinkle over roast. Lay the sliced apples on the bottom of a roasting pan just a bit larger than the roast and set the roast, fat-side up, on the apples. Put roast in the oven and cook for 15 minutes, turn the oven down to 325 degrees and roast for 45 minutes. Check the internal temperature of the roast with an instant-read thermometer: The roast is done when it reaches 145 degrees. If it is not ready, continue to roast, checking the temperature every 10 minutes. When the roast is done, transfer it to a cutting board, tent loosely with foil, and let rest for at least 10 minutes while you make the sauce.

With a slotted spoon, transfer the apples in the roasting pan to a bowl and keep warm. Pour off any fat from the roasting pan, leaving the meat juices on the bottom. Put pan over medium-high heat, add Calvados and deglaze pan allowing the alcohol to burn off, about 15 seconds. Transfer to a small saucepan and add stock, apple juice and cream. Increase heat to high and bring liquid to a boil. Simmer, stirring, until reduced by half. Taste for salt and pepper. Keep the sauce warm while you carve the pork roast.

Remove twine from the roast and cut it into 1/2-inch thick slices. (If you cut the slices too thin, they will fall apart.) Arrange the pork on a serving platter. Spoon the sliced apples around the meat and pour the sauce over all.

Serves 8.

*Adapted from “Bruce Aidells’s Complete Book of Pork,” courtesy of Harper Collins Publishers



Beer-Grilled Chops

Recipe from PorkBeInspired.com

Beer-Grilled Pork ChopsTimes:

Prep Time: 10 minutes prep, Cook Time: 10 minutes cook


Ingredients:

4 bone-in pork chops, about 3/4-inch thick
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons ginger root, grated
1 cup beer


Cooking Directions:

Place chops in a self-sealing plastic bag; add remaining ingredients and seal bag. Gently massage bag to evenly distribute marinade ingredients. Refrigerate 4-24 hours.

Prepare medium-hot coals in kettle-style grill. Remove chops from marinade and discard marinade; place on grill directly over coals, cover grill and grill for 8-9 minutes, turning once, or until thermometer inserted reads 145 degrees Fahrenheit, followed by a 3-minute rest time.

Serves 4.




Bacon-Wrapped Figs With Maple Snakebite Glaze and Goat Cheese and Thyme Dip

Recipe from PorkBeInspired.com

Bacon-Wrapped Figs with Maple GlazeTimes:

Prep Time: 15 minutes prep, Cook Time: 15 minutes cook


Ingredients:

6 strips bacon, halved crosswise
12 figs, stemmed*
12 pecan pieces, toasted
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne
1/4 cup soft goat cheese, (2 ounces)
1/4 cup cream cheese, (2 ounces)
3 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped OR 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves


Cooking Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Place 4 layers of paper towels on microwave-safe plate. Top with bacon slices. Cover with two more layers of paper towels. Microwave on high 1 to 2 minutes to render fat from bacon but not crisp. While bacon cools, slice each fig twice, starting at stem end, and cutting three-quarters of way to bottom. Stuff each fig with a pecan piece. Wrap a half strip of bacon around each fig and secure with toothpick. Place on foil-lined baking sheet. Bake 10 minutes. Turn. Return to oven for 5 minutes or until bacon is sizzling and begins to crisp. In small bowl, combine syrup and cayenne pepper. Brush mixture over appetizers.

For dip, combine all dip ingredients in small bowl. Cover and chill until serving time.Makes: about 1/2 cup Serve appetizers warm with dip.

Serves 12

*Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California work well.



Apricot-Dijon Pork Salad

Recipe from PorkBeInspired.com

Apricot-Dijon Pork SaladTimes:

Prep Time: 10 minutes prep, Cook Time: 15 minutes cook


Ingredients:

1 whole pork tenderloin, about 1 pound
1 cup apricot preserves
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 10-oz package mixed salad greens
1 15-oz can apricot halves, drained, sliced
1/2 cup dried tart cherries
4 - 5 ounces Provolone cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
8 green onions, sliced
1/4 cup pecan pieces, toasted


Cooking Directions:

In small bowl stir together preserves, vinegar, mustard and ginger. Reserve 3/4 cup for salad dressing.

Butterfly pork tenderloin (cut almost in half, but not quite through, horizontally; open and lay flat. Prepare medium-hot fire in kettle-style grill. Grill tenderloin over heat 5-6 minutes per side; brushing with remaining apricot mixture during last 2 minutes on each side until internal temperature on a thermometer reads 145 degrees F. Remove tenderloin to cutting board and let rest for 3 minutes.

Meanwhile in large bowl toss together greens, apricots, cherries, cheese, pecans and onions. Divide mixture evenly among 4 plates. Slice pork into 1/2-inch pieces. Arrange portions of pork on top of greens on each plate; drizzle with reserved apricot mixture.

Serves 4.

*To toast pecans, place pecan halves in shallow baking pan in a 350 degrees F. oven for about 10 minutes. Let cool, chop coarsely.




Grilled Pork Panini

Recipe from PorkBeInspired.com

Grilled Pork PaniniTimes:

Prep Time: 10 minutes prep, Cook Time: 10 minutes cook


Ingredients:

3 cooked pork chops, thinly sliced *
8 slices Italian bread
1/2 cup pesto
4 1-oz slices Provolone cheese
olive oil


Cooking Directions:

Spread 1 tablespoon pesto on each slice of bread. Top four slices of bread with sliced pork chops and cheese; top each sandwich with remaining bread. Lightly brush outer surface of sandwiches with olive oil; grill in a medium-hot skillet until toasted on each side.

Serves 4.

*Use the leftovers from Balsamic Pork Chops.




Recipes and photos courtesy of National Pork Board. For more information about pork, visit PorkBeInspired.com.




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