Sangria Popsicles

Wine Sangria Popsicles

It’s supposed to be 90 degrees in Alabama tomorrow so now is the time to make these Sangria Popsicles. When the weather gets warm, I get even more creative in the kitchen. For this recipe, I used VOGA Italia white wine and organic peach juice. If you can’t find peach juice or fresh peaches yet (to juice your own), substitute orange or white grape peach juice.

These popsicles are so simple to prepare. With only six ingredients and 15 minutes of preparation time, you can prepare them several days ahead and enjoy over the weekend. I love making these for Memorial Day weekend to kick off summer!

Other ideas for serving:

•Father’s Day

•Weekends at the lake

•Beach trips

•Poolside

•Wedding couples shower

•Engagement parties

•Patio or in your front yard

Since we can’t currently have any summer cocktail parties, I will just share with my neighbors for now.

Fresh Peach Pecan Crisp

If you’re looking for a super easy summer dessert, try this Peach Pecan Crisp recipe. In 45 minutes, you’ll have an a scrumptious dessert for friends and family to enjoy. This is fantastic dessert for Memorial Day weekend!

I love using two of my favorite ingredients—peaches and pecans. I typically purchase mine from Pearson Farms in Georgia. They’ve been in business since 1885 and are a wonderful, friendly family-owned business. I also have been buying Stone Mountain Pecans from my favorite local market Murphrees’s Market in Birmingham. I  purchased these peaches below yesterday.

We go through peaches and pecans so quickly at my house, so I try to always have them on hand while peaches are in their peak season. If you want to prepare this recipe when peaches are not in season, feel free to use frozen peaches (be sure to thaw them slightly before serving).

Peaches are so healthy for you. One fresh peach (about 21/2 inches) is only 68 calories and has zero fat. Peaches contain 10 different vitamins. A large peach provides Vitamin A, which is important to healthy vision, Vitamin C, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B-6, niacin, folate and more.

I’ve been using my cast-iron skillet often for desserts lately, but if you don’t have one, you can substitute a 10-inch or 2 quart baking dish. Be sure to slightly grease it before adding the peaches and brown sugar. If you don not have a 10-inch, you can also use an 8-inch as well as a 61/2-inch if you have these smaller sizes. Have a great week ahead1!

Californian Sandwich Recipe

Californian Sandwich

We have been eating healthier than ever since this quarantine started. Does anyone else feel that way? I know that my kids do. They are not scrambling for food at college, Instead they are enjoying our fresh, homemade meals every single day (the bright side of being stuck at home). We have all been doing a ton of outdoors exercise and at-home workouts. Because we are all focused on staying healthy, we take time every Sunday to discuss and curate our weekly menu. This California Sandwich Recipe has been a go-to recipe. I have been making it often and occasionally altering it to create different variations.

After I wrote my cookbook, 400 Best Sandwiches Recipes, I was often asked in television and radio interviews which sandwich recipe was my favorite? It is extremely difficult to choose between 400 different sandwich recipes. This California Sandwich is in my top 5 favorites. I love the simplicity of the goat cheese spread combined with zucchini, squash, tomatoes, avocados and sprouts on this multigrain bread. If you can’t find alfalfa sprouts, I love using kale or broccoli sprouts, which are typically available in grocery stories. I also like to recommend adding fresh basil if you have some at home.

This sandwich is perfect for a spring or summertime lunch or dinner served with a tossed salad, corn salad and/or fresh fruit. I promise it is as good as it looks! If you’re interested in ordering a copy of my cookbook, click here.

Simple Homemade Fresh Pesto

Homemade Pesto

I am thrilled about our fresh herbs growing right now. We planted them in hanging baskets a few weeks ago, so they’re plentiful at the perfect time. During this quarantine they have been a lifesaver (one less thing to purchase at the store). This Simple Homemade Fresh Pesto recipe is so easy to make and takes only 5 minutes. Toss fresh basil, garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan, olive oil, salt and a touch of a fresh lemon juice in a blender or food processor. It is that simple.

I have been making this Homemade Pesto recipe lately on a weekly basis. Friends often ask me. What do you use basil for besides on pasta or on a tomato, basil, mozzarella salad? Here are a few suggestions:

•To add to pasta with grilled chicken or shrimp

•To serve on top of grilled or roasted flounder, snapper or salmon

•To add on top of avocado toast

•To puree in soups

•To use as a base for homemade pizza

•To spice up a fresh salad

Basil is packed with nutrients. It is a good source of vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin K, manganese, iron, calcium and antioxidants. Basil is also an anti-inflammatory food so it can also help individuals with inflammatory health problems such as  arthritis. Some studies also say that eating basil can help with acne and help protect the skin from some effects of aging.

Frosé A Rosé Recipe

Frose 43

Last week was National Rosé Day and I tried out a new varietal by Josh CellarsIdeal for the warmer months, the Josh Cellars Rosé is a blend of Barbera, Moscato and Syrah with aromas of strawberries, white flowers and stone fruit. It’s perfect to serve for outdoor dining, parties on the beach, celebrations with family and friends.

This recipe Frosé 43 is a perfect summer treat for every adult. It’s also beautiful and simple to prepare. Try it this summer and let me know what you think!

Frosé 43 (serves 2 -3 people)

Ingredients:

1 Bottle Josh Cellars Rosé

4 oz Licor 43

2 oz Lemon Juice

½ cup Fresh Strawberries Hulled and Chopped

Directions:

  1. Pour Josh Cellars Rosé into an ice cube tray and freeze for at least 3-4 hours, overnight if possible.
  2. Place Josh Cellars Rosé Ice Cubes, Licor 43, Lemon Juice and Strawberries into a blender and blend on medium speed till smooth
  3. Pour into glass and garnish with a fresh strawberry.
  • Tip: If Rosé is not well frozen, add ice cubes as needed to blender to get desired consistency.

JCELL_BottleShots_Rose

 

DIY Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette

Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette

I am really into making homemade fresh salad dressings this summer. When I was out of town last month in Cabo, I came home and my husband had planted various hanging fresh herb baskets in our backyard. Needless to say I was beyond excited, and this DIY Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette recipe will be the first of many recipes including fresh herbs in the coming months. This vinaigrette can be drizzled over salads, fish tacos, seafood, pork and chicken. We served it last night over a big mixed salad with grilled shrimp, and it was divine! If you want to grow your own cilantro this summer, it’s super easy. It just needs good sunlight and water almost every day.

fresh cilantro

Fresh cilantro is very low in calories, and its green leaves contain  antioxidants, vitamins, and dietary fiber, which may help reduce the “bad” cholesterol levels in the blood. It’s also high in potassium, calcium, folate, Vitamin A and Vitamin C. It’s also said to be a detoxifying food.

 

Layered Berry Smoothie

layered berry smoothie

Layered smoothies take extra time, but they are so worth it! My family has been working out a ton this weekend (tennis tournament, hiking, swimming, running and golf) so we decided to make these Layered Berry Smoothie just in time for the Memorial Day holiday. The best way to make these, so the flavors don’t run into each other is to prepare each flavor at a time, and put each flavor in the freezer until ready to layer.

layered berry smoothie 2

These layered smoothies are so healthy with fresh strawberries, blueberries and bananas. They are also easy to prepare, taste fresh, are filling and are good for you. Feel free to use your favorite milk, and if you can’t have dairy, feel free to substitute coconut water.

Decadent Carrot Cake

Decadent Carrot Cake CreamCheeseFrostingSheetPan

I have been searching for a new carrot cake recipe for a while, and I finally found one. I am in love with this new cookbook 200 Best Sheet Pan Recipes and this recipe for Decadent Carrot Cake by one of my favorite cookbook authors, Camilla Saulsbury and Published by Robert Rose (my publisher). Getting dinner together can be challenging, especially for those who work full time and/or have kids. Sheet pan meals are the new one-pot meals since they allow you to cook several components of your meal at one such as her recipes for California Fish Tacos with Cucumber and Pineapple, Sheet Pan Clam Bake and even Weeknight Chicken and Stuffing. Her book begins with an “extra-simple pantry meal” chapter, followed by breakfast and brunch recipes, meatless meals, recipes for seafood, chicken, turkey, beef, pork etc. Of course, I love all of the recipes I have tried so far!

Children, including those who claim an aversion to vegetables, are drawn to carrot cake. Perhaps it’s because the carrots create a moistness that plays up the sweet spices of the cake, and accent the component everyone loves most: the tangy cream cheese icing. Whether you have kids or not, this carrot cake is the perfect mix of sweetness and softness. It’s perfect for Mother’s Day, spring parties and summer gatherings. It’s also so simple to prepare. Enjoy and be sure to check out this cookbook!

Courtesy of 200 Best Sheet Pan Recipes by Camilla Saulsbury © 2016 www.robertrose.ca Reprinted with publisher permission. Available where books are sold.

200 Sheet Pan Meals Coobkook

Homemade Plum Jam

Homemade Plum Jam

 

I have never made jelly or jam before, but I had some leftover plums and attempted my first ever Homemade Plum Jam. This recipe came out fabulous, and if you like Port, it’s wonderful with that unexpected addition. While I know this recipe has sugar, it also contains cardamom which is super healthy for you including gastrointestinal protection, cholesterol control, control of cancer, relief from cardiovascular issues, and the improvement of blood circulation in the body. Plums are also a great source of Vitamin C, K and filled with fiber. Serve on biscuits, toast and even crackers or bruschetta with a touch of goat cheese for a sweet savory appetizer.

Tuna Zucchini Kabobs

swordfish kabobs

Zucchini recipes are so hot right now on the internet, so why not try something a little out of the box and combine them with fresh tuna, bell peppers and a citrus marinade such as in these Tuna Zucchini Kabobs. The Moroccan flavors of the marinade pair well with the grilled fish and vegetables. Easy to prepare and a party showstopper, these are low in calories, fat and carbohydrates. They are also a paleo-friendly and gluten free, so sit back, relax, and enjoy!