Category Archives: Food

Cooking Light Blueberry-Peach Cobbler Recipe

Celebrate National Peach Month with Cooking Light’s Blueberry-Peach Cobbler

Cooking Light's Blueberry-Peach Cobbler RecipeAugust is National Peach Month, so to celebrate, we’re recommending Cooking Light’s Blueberry-Peach Cobbler that combines two of summer’s freshest fruits in a delicious way!

If you’ve been reading this season’s food and cooking magazines or taking notice of the produce aisles at the supermarket, then it’s no surprise the plethora of peach recipes and market specials on the stone fruit are heralding the start of National Peach Month in August.

Three years ago about this time, I made a Blueberry-Peach Cobbler from Cooking Light magazine. But in the midst of another cooking/baking-related project, I cut the recipe in half, then in half again so as not to have an embarrassment of sweet riches to either consume myself or add to the growing queue to share with others.

The end result was good, but I couldn’t help but wonder if I hadn’t compromised the recipe too much. For a year after the first attempt, I’d been meaning to revisit this Blueberry-Peach Cobbler, but it took nearly 12 months to get around to it.

Then again, it wouldn’t be the same without fresh peaches and blueberries, so I’d like to think I was at least partially handcuffed by the seasons.

Personally, I think a good peach cobbler can stand alone on its own merits, but the addition of vanilla ice cream can mask a less-than-stellar one. Where a “typical” peach cobbler recipe gets a little kick from the addition of cinnamon, Cooking Light‘s gets its something extra from lemon juice and brown sugar.

Once the peaches are sliced, they are drizzled with freshly squeezed lemon juice; this adds an unusual citrusy vibrance to both fruits that enhances their sweetness as well. The pastry crust, which tends to get overpowered by the fruit if the recipe is cut too drastically, gets sweetened with a sprinkling of light brown sugar (an acceptable substitute for the turbinado sugar the recipe calls for).

Overall, making the full recipe is a wise move. The taste of the fruits doesn’t get lost if the recipe is cut, but the amount of the pastry topping seems to be reduced too much in comparison, which is after all an important piece of the pie, er, cobbler.

And this recipe is an excellent choice for enjoying two delicious options from the season’s bounty.

National Hot Dog Day

7 Daring Ways to Put on the Dog for National Hot Dog Day

National Hot Dog DayIt’s National Hot Dog Month and Saturday is National Hot Dog Day. Food Network Magazine is sharing 30 delicious and daring ways to put on the dog and celebrate.

Though easily dismissed as a food of convenience rather than one of taste, the hot dog is getting a gourmet makeover, thanks to Food Network Magazinejust in time for National Hot Dog Month (July) and National Hot Dog Day, July 20.

Hundreds of millions of hot dogs are consumed each year, typically synonymous with holiday cookouts and sporting events, according to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council. So it’s no wonder the group reveres this American icon with its own month and day.

But the dog’s status doesn’t end there. The Nathan’s International Hot Dog Eating Contest held annually on July 4 at Coney Islandthe site which helped propel the hand-held edible to popularityis covered live by the likes of the ESPN cable sports network.

Though Food Network Magazine stopped short of acknowledging the hot dog holidaythere’s no mention of the national month or dayits 30 creative variations of what to put on the dog more than made up for its own slight.

To its credit, Food Network Magazine had fun with the frankfurter, getting creative with toppings that range from the daily to the daring. So if chili cheese and sauerkraut have become too blasé, here are seven sophisticated tastes to tantalize your taste buds in honor of National Hot Dog Month and National Hot Dog Day:

  1. Low-Country Dogs: A regional favorite, the Low-Country Boil, goes to the dogs on mini potato buns filled with hot dogs, Old Bay seasoned potatoes and corn.
  2. Taco Dogs: Ditch the bun for a south-of-the-border taste of grilled hot dogs, shredded cheddar, lettuce, salsa and sour cream stuffed in a flour tortilla.
  3. BLT Dogs: The popular sandwich gets reconfigured with hot dogs cooked in bacon grease, then served on toasted buns with mayo, bacon, lettuce and tomato.
  4. California Dogs: This vegetarian-friendly fare calls for tofu dogs on whole wheat buns topped with avocado, cucumber, sprouts and carrots, and drizzled with salad dressing.
  5. Po’boy Dogs: Bayou flavors like rémoulade sauce and Creole seasoning dress up these grilled dogs garnished with romaine lettuce and pickled okra.
  6. Jerk Chicken Dogs: Grilled jerk-seasoned chicken dogs served with lettuce, jalapenos, mango chutney, mayo and jerk sauce give the hot dog a Caribbean makeover.
  7. Curry Dogs: A puree of lime juice, brown sugar, dates, cumin and chili powder add Asian flair to these chicken dogs topped with cilantro, onion and curry snack mix.

Pinterest July 4 collage_featured

4 of the Easiest July 4th Recipes from Pinterest

Easy July 4 Recipes on PinterestLooking for a fun—yet easy—July 4 recipe? These are some of the easiest, sure-to-please dessert and snack ideas from Pinterest that are as patriotic as they are delicious!

If you’ve browsed a grocery store bakery, your favorite food magazine or even Pinterest about this time of year, you’ve probably noticed a burst of red, white and blue for desserts or dessert ideas.

And that layer cake with alternating red and white layers topped with blueberries (and possibly even more red and white stripes) always seems like a good idea ahead of time.

But somehow your inner Martha Stewart gets shoved to the side with work, kids and household responsibilities—and maybe even travel plans.

But you can still pull off one of those super Pinterest mom (or maybe even dad) desserts with one of these four easy options. They’ll just take a little slicing, skewering, light baking and patience.

1. Fabulous Fruit Skewers: By far the easiest of the four, these flag fruit kebobs only require slicing and skewering. Perhaps the kids can even help with this one, provided you slice the fruit and give some tips on skewering safety.

2. Patriotic Party Jell-O Snacks: The presentation of these may look a little intimidating (read: time-consuming), but you can skip painting the jar lids, the twine and the American flags if you must. This recipe is easy—all you’re doing is making Jell-O, adding fruit and letting it set in individual jars—but it will require some patience because it takes a couple of steps.

3. Wave Your Flag Cake: Several pre-packaged or store-bought shortcuts make this cake easier to prepare than it looks. Sliced pound cake on the bottom is covered with softened gelatin, sliced strawberries and blueberries. Once set, a layer of whipped topping and festively arranged strawberries and blueberries equals a pretty patriotic cake.

4. Flag Fruit Pizza: This one requires a little baking, but the rave reviews it’s gotten may just make it worth it. The crust is pre-packaged sugar cookie dough, and the sauce is a blend of cream cheese, powdered sugar and whipped topping. The most difficult step (other than maybe arranging the fruit) is the glaze, which will require using a saucepan to bring the ingredients—sugar, OJ, water and lemon juice—to a boil.

Best wishes for a safe and happy 4th!

 

Corn Salad_featured

Make Your July 4 Celebration Pop with Colorful and Healthy Corn Salad

This blend of corn, onions, tomatoes, herbs and spices can be dressed up or down for any summer get-together. Best of all, it serves cold or at room temp—and it travels well!

This Fourth of July, try a new twist on a traditional summertime favorite. Instead of the usual corn on the cob, incorporate this easy, healthy, delicious corn salad into your menu to take advantage of some of the best flavors summer has to offer. The delicious blend of fresh, sweet corn, vine-ripened tomatoes, and fresh basil is light, summery, and sure to please!

For the best flavor, make this easy marinated salad a day ahead to allow the flavors to meld, but it can be made shortly before serving and works well as a dish for an impromptu backyard gathering. This yummy side travels easily and tastes great served cold or room temperature without worry.

As versatile as it is delicious, this dish can be slightly altered to suit whatever style celebration you have planned to mark Independence Day. Serve as a sophisticated salad over a stack of sliced tomatoes for a sit-down dinner, a side dish with grilled chicken or burgers for a neighborhood party, or with tortilla chips as an appetizer by the pool.

Search your local farmer’s market for the season’s best produce—it will be much more flavorful and nutritious than produce that has logged hundreds of miles on the back of a truck!

This dish incorporates The Delicious Dietitian Spice Blends and Wine Vinegars, which were created by dietitians as an alternative to commercially produced spice blends and vinegars. These spice blends and vinegars are hand crafted and contain no artificial ingredients or preservatives, they are salt-free, sugar-free, gluten-free, and are full of flavor!

The Blueberry Wine Vinegar is an unexpected hint of one more summertime favorite, and the Southern All Purpose Blend adds a punch of flavor without adding salt.

Corn Salad Ingredients:

5 ears of white sweet corn, shucked
1/2 cup small-diced red onion (1 small onion)
4 ripe Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
3 tablespoons The Delicious Dietitian Blueberry Wine Vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 Tbsp The Delicious Dietitian Southern All Purpose Spice Blend
1/2 cup julienned fresh basil leaves

Instructions:

In a large pot of boiling water, cook the corn for 3 minutes. Drain and immerse it in ice water to stop the cooking and to set the color. When the corn is cool, cut the kernels off the cob, cutting close to the cob.

Toss the kernels in a large bowl with the red onions, tomato, vinegar, olive oil, and spice blend. Just before serving, toss in the fresh basil. Taste for seasonings and serve cold or at room temperature.

More healthy eating advice and delicious recipes can be found on The Delicious Dietitian blog.

 

How to Make a Memorial Day Cole Slaw to Appease Any Diet

Make a Memorial Day Side Dish to Appease Any Diet

How to Make a Memorial Day Cole Slaw to Appease Any Diet

Lesley Lassiter details the recipe for this delicious vegan four vinegar cole slaw.

What can you serve this Memorial Day that’s appropriate for every diet? Here, vegetarian blogger Lesley Lassiter offers up a never-fail recipe that’s sure to please.

Have you got a big gathering coming up this holiday weekend with a group of people with varying dietary requirements? It’s really not all that difficult to come up with some side dishes that anyone can eat, whether they’re omnivores, vegetarians or vegans.

I usually prefer to prepare vegan food for these types of events, not just because almost anyone can eat vegan, but because vegan food can stand up better to hours sitting out in the heat or on a buffet table without getting dodgy. This cole slaw recipe is perfect because it can be eaten as a side dish or as a sandwich topping (particularly if you’re having barbecue).

It’s also gluten-free and Paleo-friendly (substitute light olive oil and omit the sugar). Regardless of the diet of your friends, this should be a winner. The four different vinegars give it a taste that’s different from your average cole slaw as well. Even better, it’s very easy to make!

Four Vinegar Cole Slaw Ingredients:

-1 16-ounce package of  finely chopped cabbage-based cole slaw mix
-1/3 cup canola oil
-2 tablespoons white vinegar
-1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
-1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
-1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
-1 tablespoon (vegan) sugar or agave nectar
-A few shakes of celery seed
-A few drops of lemon juice
-Salt and pepper to taste (at least a pinch of each)

Instructions: 

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and set aside to marinate. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Other side dishes to think about include tomato-couscous salad (make it with quinoa to be gluten-free), tangy tomato salad or a sesame-ginger tofu noodle salad. Any of these dishes will stay good for at least an hour or two at room temperature (or warmer). And they’ll perfectly complement just about anything omnivores are planning to eat!

Whether it’s barbecued tofu or something else you’re having for your Memorial Day feast, have a great holiday weekend and be sure remember those who gave their lives for us to enjoy it!

 

Barbecue Ribs

A Guide to Barbecue Sauces in the South

Barbecue SaucesBarbecue is its own special language in the South, with multiple sauces and bases. How many can you name? In honor of National Barbecue Month, blogger Kara Gause breaks them down.

The South is synonymous with slow-cooked, soulful food. As a Yankee transplanted to Tennessee by marriage, I was excited to learn more about all the dishes that constitute “home cooking” for my husband. And to him, nothing says “home” quite like barbecue.

The first time I went to meet his family in South Carolina, my future father-in-law was slaving away at slow-cooked, Low-Country barbecue–or an old-fashioned pig pickin,’ as they say. Being from Pennsylvania, I expected a tomato-based sauce to accompany my meal. Oh, how wrong I was!

It seems there are no fewer than five methods of saucing the smoky meat in the South–six, if you count the devotees of dry rubs and non-saucing. Those five are: Memphis-style heavy tomato (what I had imagined for the pig pickin’); a white, mayonnaise-based sauce from northern Alabama (the hubs is not a fan); light tomato (think ketchup) in North Carolina and Georgia; mustard-based in South Carolina (tangy and sweet); and the vinegar-based staple for eastern South Carolina and Kentucky.

My husband has implored me to note (out of respect–seriously) that both Texas and Kansas City have variations of the heavy tomato sauce. It should also be said that my father-in-law has developed a well-guarded vinegar-based sauce over several decades. Only my brother-in-law Tim has inherited the recipe. Yes, really.

Had I been introduced to the nuances of barbecue often covered in magazines, such as Garden & Gun, 10 years ago, I could have saved myself from some serious teasing at the hands of my in-laws. Besides breaking down “the sauce question,” there’s also a guide to the best barbecue sandwiches in the South. While tradition is soundly respected here, there are also breakout stars. Take the spicy Korean pork sandwich from the Heirloom Market in Atlanta, described as a “gutsy alliance of Southern pit-smoking techniques and Korean flavors.” Yum.

Even I have begun to develop my own version of barbecue; using pulled chicken makes me feel infinitely less guilty about serving it up more regularly. I’d spill all my recipe secrets, but I’ll probably will them to my daughters. After all, here in the South, barbecue is like currency.