Tag Archives: garden party

Balsamic Strawberries

I discovered strawberries with balsamic recently – wow – yum! Strawberry goodness with a pop from the vinegar and pepper. Try it!

balsamic strawberries blog

Ingredients

  • 2 cups strawberries, rinsed and sliced
  • 1/4 cup Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Sugar (optional, omit for paleo version)
  • Pepper to taste
  • Mint for garnish

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients and let marinade for at least an hour or up to four
  • Enjoy!

dit-elle-Esther

Watermelon Bites with Fresh Basil and Halloumi Cheese

These are ridiculously easy to make and a delightful combination!

Watermelon, grilled or fried Halloumi (Greek cheese) and fresh basil on a skewer makes for a lovely appetizer.

watermelon halloumi basil skewers blog (2)

watermelon halloumi basil skewers blog (3)

watermelon halloumi basil skewers blog (1)

Ingredients

  • Watermelon
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Halloumi (Greek cheese)

Directions

  • Fry or grill the Halloumi for a minute or two, then slice it into small <1″ cubes
  • Slice watermelon in cubes
  • Layer watermelon, Halloumi and basil on skewers
  • Serve and enjoy!

dit-elle-Esther

Blackberry Jalapeno Margaritas

Blackberry season is upon us and so is Margarita season! Stir up some Blackberry Jalapeno Margaritas for a spicy and delicious summer drink! 🙂

blackberry jalapeno margarita blog (3) blackberry jalapeno margarita blog (2) blackberry jalapeno margarita blog (1)

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • Âľ cup tequila
  • ½ cup triple sec or grand marnier
  • ½ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 cup blackberry Jalapeno Syrup (see below)
  • Ice cubes
  • Fresh blackberries and lime wedges for garnish
  • Blackberry Jalapeno Syrup (recipe here)
  • Blackberries, lime wedges and jalapeno slices for garnish
  • Sugar for the rim

Instructions

  1. Rim 4 glasses with a lime wedge and then dip them into a dish filled with sugar. Upright the glasses and fill them with ice.
  2. Fill a cocktail shaker with the tequila, triple sec, lime juice and 1 cup of the Blackberry Jalapeno syrup, plus a handful of ice. Shake vigorously and strain the margaritas into the prepared glasses.
  3. Garnish with fresh blackberries and lime wedges and serve.

Inspired by Heather Cristo’s Blackberry Jalapeno Margaritas.

dit-elle-Esther

Blackberry Jalapeno Refresher

Last week I posted a Blackberry Jalapeno Syrup. It’s a great recipe to make in advance, store in fridge and use when ready. Try this non-alcoholic bubbly beverage for a sweet and spicy, but refreshing drink! Too spicy for kids, but you could certainly make the syrup without the jalapeno for a non spicy version! 🙂

blackberry jalapeno refresher blog (3) blackberry jalapeno refresher blog (2) blackberry jalapeno refresher blog (1)

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup Blackberry Jalapeno Syrup
  • Carbonated water (plain or lime flavored)
  • Fresh blackberries and a lime wedge or wheel for garnish
  • Ice

Directions

  • Pour syrup into tall glass filled with ice
  • Fill rest of glass with bubbly water and garnish with fresh blackberries and lime

Inspired by Heather Cristo’s Blackberry Jalapeno Margaritas.

dit-elle-Esther

4th of July Almond Zucchini Cupcakes with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

Happy 4th of July, happy Independence Day! Hope you have a wonderful and safe holiday!

Need a festive dessert for the holiday? Make these cupcakes and decorate with berries – a beautiful and great cooking project for kids to help with (especially the decorating part)! 🙂

And.. the secret ingredient? Zucchini! This makes them moist and delicious, and who can say no to some extra healthiness? 🙂

zucchini cupcakes with lemon cream cheese frosting blog (2) zucchini cupcakes with lemon cream cheese frosting blog (1)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour (spooned and leveled)
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons potato starch (or corn starch is fine)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder
  • dash sea salt
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar (or other sugar, white/brown)
  • 2 tsps pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup finely grated zucchini (from 1 medium zucchini), squeezed of excess liquid

Frosting

  • 16 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • Berries for garnish (I used raspberries and blueberries)
  • Shredded coconut for garnish

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare cupcake tin with paper forms.
  2. Whisk together almond flour, potato starch, baking powder, and salt.
  3. Set a large heatproof bowl over (not in) a pot with 1 inch barely simmering water. Add eggs and whisk until foamy, about 1 minute. Whisk in sugar and continue to whisk until mixture is fluffy and sugar is dissolved, 3 minutes. Remove bowl from pot and, using a mixer, whisk on high until mixture is thick and pale, 7 to 10 minutes (I did this in my food processor with the standard chopper blade).
  4. With a rubber spatula, gently fold in melted butter, flour mixture, vanilla, and zucchini. Pour into tin and bake until cupcakes are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs attached, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cupcakes cool.
  5. For frosting, with mixer (or again I used the food processor here) beat together room-temperature butter, cream cheese, lemon juice and zest until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add confectioners’ sugar and beat until combined. Spread on top of cupcakes and decorate with berries and shredded coconut.

 

I originally made this recipe as a cake inspired by the queen herself (Martha Stewart’s Zucchini Almond Cake).

Enjoy!

dit-elle-Esther

White Sangria with Summer Fruit

This is a perfect summer drink! Pick fruits that are in season.. I used peaches, cherries, raspberries and blackberries.. but you could add some citrus fruit, other stone fruit or other berries! Serve chilled.. lovely on a hot summer day!

white sangria with summer fruit and berries blog (3)white sangria with summer fruit and berries blog (2)white sangria with summer fruit and berries blog (1)

Ingredients

  • 1 bottle white wine
  • 1/2 cup triple sec (or brandy, or rum)
  • 1-2 cups chopped summer fruit or berries
  • 1/2 cup peach juice

Directions

  • Mix all ingredients and refrigerate until ready to serve
  • Serve with ice

dit-elle-Esther

PIMM’s Summer Drink

PIMM’s is a light and tasty British liqueur, popularly served in summer in a tall glass with ice, some lemon/lime soda, maybe some strawberries and cucumber and a slice of lemon. You can read more about Mr. Pimm’s and the history of the drink on Wikipedia, or just stir up a pitcher and enjoy! 🙂

pimms cucumber strawberry drink blog (2)pimms cucumber strawberry drink blog (1)

Ingredients

  • PIMM’s liqueur
  • Ice
  • Strawberries
  • Cucumber
  • Ginger ale, lemon/lime soda or unsweetened carbonated waters
  • Lemon slices

Directions

  • Fill a tall glass halfway with ice
  • Add 1.5oz of PIMM’s
  • top with soda
  • Garnish with a lemon slice
  • Optionally stir in some slices of cucumber and strawberries

Enjoy! 🙂

dit-elle-Esther

Strawberries Romanoff

Marinate berries in liqueur and sugar for a special summer dessert! Leave the liqueur off for the kids and just serve freshly sliced strawberries with whipped cream, Greek yogurt or coconut milk!

strawberries romanoff blog

Ingredients

  • 4 cups sliced strawberries (1 1/2 lbs)
  • 1 Tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1/4 Cointreau
  • Whipped cream
  • Mint for garnish (optional)

Directions

  • Combine first 3 ingredients in a bowl, cover and chill for about 3 hours
  • When ready to serve, spoon strawberry mixture into bowls or cocktail glasses, top with whipped cream and garnish with mint
  • Enjoy! 🙂

dit-elle-Esther

Dill Ranch Dressing

My favorite dressing at PCC is this fresh “dill ranch” dressing. They only sell it in small one serving sizes with salads to go, so I looked up the recipe, made it, and it turned out just as excellent as the in store version!

Here you go! 🙂

dill ranch dressing and veggies blog

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder (I omitted because I didn’t have this ingredient, still tasted great!)
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley (optional)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons milk (to make thinner if desired)

Directions

  • Add all ingredients to a bowl and stir together with a whisk until the herbs and spices are mixed evenly.
  • For a thinner dressing add milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached.
  • Refrigerate until ready to serve!
  • Serve with fresh cut vegetables or salad.

 

Thanks PCC Natural Markets for this recipe!

dit-elle-Esther

Asparagus Pistachio Pesto

It’s asparagus season and we are seeing a lot of beautiful crisp fresh green stalks in stores locally. If you love asparagus, lemon, garlic, olive oil and pistachios, you will LOVE this! It is totally, amazingly, delicious. This recipe directs you to blanch the asparagus quickly and then process into pesto. Perfect spring or summer appetizer or side! Enjoy! 🙂

asparagus pistachio pesto (2)asparagus pistachio pesto (1)

Ingredients

  • 1 lb asparagus, tough ends removed
  • 2-3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup pistachios
  • 1 lemon, juiced (2 to 3 Tbsps, I used Champagne Vinegar)
  • Salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 3/4 cup olive oil

Directions

  • Blanch or steam asparagus until al dente and still a bold green
  • Refresh in cool water
  • Cut asparagus into 1-inch pieces
  • In food processor, pulse garlic, pistachios, lemon juice, salt and pepper a few times, then add asparagus
  • Pulse the processor to make sure mixture is not over mixed, while gradually adding olive oil
  • Process until desired consistency

Thanks PCC Natural Markets!

dit-elle-Esther