Saturday, May 28, 2011

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream... for ICE CREAM!

homemade chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream recipe

Here is a revelation.  You can make ice cream.  At home.  Without a fancy schmancy machine. AND it's pretty easy.

This little experiment started out as a failure.  I made the New York Times Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies.  After cooking one batch, and ending up with one giant cookie, I decided that I needed to find an alternative use for the cookie dough.  Don't get me wrong, the dough is delicious.  The problem is that the recipe contains approximately one cup of flour and ten cups of butter*.  Fortunately, the cookie dough does not contain eggs, so it is perfect for eating raw.  The large amount of cookie dough in my fridge inspired me to make some ice cream.

David Lebovitz is arguably an ice cream genius.  Last summer, I read a David Lebovitz article on making ice cream without an ice cream machine.  He says the key is to use a custard base, because the creamier the base is the creamier the ice cream will be.  The other key is to continually break up the ice crystals as they form, because the best ice cream has very tiny ice crystals - which is why you will stir the ice cream every 30 minutes as it freezes.

The recipes below are simple and definitely open to your own interpretation.  You can make heath bar ice cream, or caramel ice cream, or any other flavour you can imagine just substitute the cookie dough.  The possibilities are endless. If you want to do cookie dough, make the dough first as it also needs to chill for about an hour before it will be hard enough to break into pieces.

*Slight exaggeration (see recipe below, cook if you dare).

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream

Cookie Dough
From the New York Times

1 * cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon kosher salt (I would use way less, maybe a teaspoon)
14 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons milk
1 1/2 cups chopped bittersweet chocolate (peasize pieces and shavings)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line two baking sheets with foil. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt.

In a mixer fitted with a paddle, cream the butter, sugars and corn syrup until fluffy, 3 minutes. Stir in the vanilla, then the milk. Add the flour mixture all at once and blend just until a dough forms. Fold in the chocolate and walnuts. Chill the dough.

Break the dough into small bite sized pieces and chunks.

Vanilla Ice Cream
Adapted from David Lebovitz

1 cup (250ml) whole milk
A pinch of salt
3/4 cup (150g) sugar
2 cups (500ml) heavy cream
5 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Heat the milk, salt, and sugar in a saucepan. Cover and remove from heat.

To make the ice cream, set up an ice bath by placing a 2-quart (2l) bowl in a larger bowl partially filled with ice and water. Set a strainer over the top of the smaller bowl and pour the cream into the bowl.

In a separate bowl, stir together the egg yolks. Rewarm the milk then gradually pour some of the milk into the yolks, whisking constantly as you pour. Scrape the warmed yolks and milk back into the saucepan.

Cook over low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom with a heat-resistant spatula, until the custard thickens enough to coat the spatula.

Strain the custard into the heavy cream. Stir over the ice until cool, add the vanilla extract, then refrigerate to chill thoroughly.

Put a deep baking dish, or bowl made of plastic, stainless steel or something durable in the freezer, and pour your custard mixture into it.

After forty-five minutes, open the door and check it.

As it starts to freeze near the edges, remove it from the freezer and stir it vigorously with a spatula or whisk. Really beat it up and break up any frozen sections. Return to freezer.

Continue to check the mixture every 30 minutes, stirring vigorously as it’s freezing. If you have one, you can use a hand-held mixer for best results, or use a stick-blender or hand-held mixer.

At the third time you stir the ice cream, add the chocolate chip cookie chunks.

But since we’re going low-tech here, you can also use just a spatula or a sturdy whisk along with some modest physical effort.

Keep checking periodically and stirring while it freezes (by hand or with the electric mixer) until the ice cream is frozen. It will likely take 2-3 hours to be ready.

Transfer the ice cream to a covered storage container until ready to serve.

More tips from David Lebovitz on making ice cream without a machine!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Cookbook Test: Park City Cashew Chicken

I've had Rachel Ray's "365: No Repeats" for several years, but I've gotten so used to looking for recipes online that I often forget about my cookbooks.  The great thing about Rachel's recipes is that they truly live up to their "30-minute" moniker - they are easy, fast, and usually tasty.  After flying home from vacation in the afternoon last weekend, I definitely didn't want to slave away in the kitchen for hours (though let's be honest, I love cooking so much that it never feels like hours).  I flipped through a few cookbooks and settled on Rachel Ray's Park City Cashew Chicken (#108 of 365).  The dish was fantastic - spicy and sweet.  We also highly recommend the method of cooking rice with chicken stock and onions and will likely continue to cook our rice this way.  Be sure to adjust the chipotle based on your spiciness preference, because a little bit of chipotle goes a long way.

Park City Cashew Chicken
From "365: No Repeats" by Rachel Ray
Makes 4 servings

3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 large onion, 1/4 finely chopped, 3/4 thinly sliced
1-1/2 cups brown rice
3 cups chicken stock or broth
1-1/2 pounds chicken tenders or boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 2" pieces
2 tablespoons grill seasoning (McCormick's Montreal Steak Seasoning)
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 red or yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced (we used 1-1/2 peppers)
3 tablespoons chipotle in adobo (or 1-1/2 tbsp. ground chipotle powder)
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup real maple syrup
2 to 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro (we skipped this)
1 cup raw cashews

In a medium pot over medium heat, combine 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil and the butter.  When the butter melts into the oil, add the chopped onions and cook for two more minutes, then add the rice and cook for 3 minutes more.  Add the stock and cover the pot.  Raise the heat to bring the stock to a rapid boil.  Once the stock boils, reduce the heat to low, stirring occasionally, until the rice is tender, 17-18 minutes.

While the rice cooks, make the chicken.  Heat a large skillet over high heat.  Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, then the chicken.  Season the chicken with the grill seasoning.   Lightly brown the chicken on both sides, then move to one side of the pan.  Add the remaining onions, the garlic, and bell peppers.  Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, then mix the vegetables and meat together and add the chipotles and cumin.  Toss to coat.  Glaze the mixture with honey and maple syrup and turn off the heat.  Add the chopped cilantro and the nuts.

Top the rice with the cashew chicken and serve.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Asian Fusion Tacos

asian tacos with tomatillo salsa recipe

For my birthday, my dear friend and I went to a fabulous restaurant in Ottawa - the Sidedoor Restaurant.  We had these amazing tacos that were like nothing I had ever eaten.  Why? The tacos had both Asian and Mexican inspired flavours, and the combination worked really well together.  Of course, I had to recreate these delicious tacos at home.  Unfortunately, I'm not a very good meal planner, so a month passed before I was organized enough to be able to attempt the recreation.  I needed plenty of time since I wanted to make slow cooked chicken, infused with flavours typical of a stirfry.  But, slow cooked chicken required me to actually think about making the tacos the night beforehand.  While I'm definitely someone who thinks about what to make for dinner while I'm eating lunch, it is much harder for me to think about tomorrow night's dinner tonight.  Anyways, the slow cooker, as always, turned out moist and flavourful chicken.

Even though I had been raving about these tacos, N remained skeptical until he actually had a bite.  The tacos were just as tasty as at the restaurant and surprisingly easy to recreate.

Asian Fusion Tacos
Makes 2-4 servings (depending on if you have a hungry boy in your house!)
Cook time: 5-6 hours

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/3 cup chicken broth
1/3 cup soy sauce
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 inches fresh ginger, minced (about 1-1/2 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 tablespoon fresh lime juice

Turn the slow cooker onto the low setting.   Place the chicken breasts in the slow cooker.

Whisk the marinade ingredients together and pour the marinade over the chicken breasts.  Allow the chicken to cook for 5-6 hours.  If you are at home, flip the chicken over at least once, but if you can't do this, don't despair.

Once the chicken is cooked, shred it with two forks and let it rest in the liquid while you finish prepping the rest of the taco ingredients.

Chunky Tomatillo Salsa
Makes roughly 1-1/2 cups of salsa

5 tomatillos, husked and cut into small chunks
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon sugar
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 jalapeño, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt

Mix the ingredients together in a medium sized bowl.

To assemble the tacos, have these other ingredients on hand:
Corn tortillas (I cut mine into smaller rounds)
Pickled jalapeños (1-2 slices per taco)
1 avocado

Monday, May 23, 2011

Test: Warm Tortellini and Cherry Tomato Salad

After a few lovely days relaxing on the beach in Miami with my amazing friends, I am back to blogging.  There is a bit of a backlog in recipes, so expect a few yummy posts within the next few days.  After that, we'll get back to a more normal pace of updates.

N and I made this amazing tortellini salad last week for dinner.  It was a filling, delicious meal and made an excellent lunch as well.  Warm or cold, it still tasted amazing.  The best part about the salad is that it is chock full of lovely vegetables - artichokes, asparagus, tomatoes, and arugula.  It's also a good meatless option.  We'd suggest adding slightly more vinegar, because the warm tortellini soaks up the dressing rather quickly.

P.S. the Recipe Index has been updated!

Warm Tortellini and Cherry Tomato Salad
From Cooking Light

2 (9-ounce) packages fresh cheese tortellini
1 1/2 cups (1 1/2-inch-long) slices fresh asparagus (about 1 pound)
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon extravirgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 cups trimmed arugula
1 1/2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
3/4 cup (3 ounces) pregrated fresh Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/3 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Add asparagus to pasta during last 2 minutes of cook time. Drain.

While pasta cooks, combine vinegars, oil, and pepper in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add pasta mixture, arugula, and remaining ingredients; toss to coat.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Raspberry Cinnamon Muffins

This recipe is merely an adaptation of a previous recipe.  Simply add a cup and a half (1-1/2 cups) of fresh raspberries to this recipe for Cinnamon Sugar Muffins after you mix together the batter.  The result is an almost doughnut-like muffin studded with gooey, delicious raspberries.  A definite treat to eat with your morning tea or coffee!

Raspberry Cinnamon Muffins Recipe

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Chicken Souvlaki Pita Sandwiches with Tzatziki Sauce

Great minds think alike - or at least when it comes to craving Greek food!  Last week, I really wanted pita sandwiches for dinner.  Little did I know, N had already eaten a pita sandwich for lunch! We decided to make them anyways and we were very happy with the results.  This tzatziki recipe made a lot of really tasty sauce. You could even make it by itself and serve it as an appetizer with pita chips.

Chicken Souvlaki Pita Sandwiches with Tzatziki Sauce
Adapted from Sandra Lee

Souvlaki Marinade
2 tablespoons freshly chopped dill leaves
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds boneless chicken breast, sliced into 1-inch pieces

In large bowl whisk together all the souvlaki ingredients, except the chicken. Reserve 1 1/2 tablespoons for Round 2 Recipe Greek Flat Bread. Add the chicken and toss to coat. Cover and let marinate for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight in the refrigerator.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Remove the chicken from the marinade and add to the pan. Cook until the chicken is cooked through, about 10 to 12 minutes.


2 cloves garlic, minced finely
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1 cup greek yogurt, strained
1 cup sour cream
2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded and grated
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons hot sauce

Combine garlic, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Mix until well combined. Using a whisk, blend the yogurt with the sour cream. Add the herb mixture to the yogurt mixture and mix well.  Add the lemon juice and the hot sauce (to taste!). Finally, add the cucumber and chopped fresh dill.  Chill before serving.

Assemble your sandwiches in whole wheat pitas with lettuce, tomato, tzatziki, and chicken.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Burgers with Tomato-Bacon Relish

It is officially BBQ season, but we live in an apartment building that frowns upon BBQs.  We couldn't let rules get in the way of our burger craving this evening, so we made do with cooking them in a skillet on the stove.  Make sure to use extra lean ground beef, since the fat won't have anywhere to drip.  The upside of the fat not having anywhere to drip is that the burgers stay really moist and full of flavour.  The Tomato-Bacon Relish adds a complexity to the burgers.  I liked the relish so much that I brought the bowl of it over to the dining table so that I could scoop more onto my burger as I ate.  It is the perfect condiment, with all the best burger toppings in one yummy sauce.

tomato bacon recipe

Tomato-Bacon Relish 

4 strips good quality bacon
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1/2 small yellow onion, sliced thinly and then diced
1 teaspoon curry
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
4 Roma tomatoes, diced
2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon grainy dijon mustard

Heat a medium skillet on medium heat.  Cut the bacon strips in half and add to the hot skillet.  Cook the bacon until crisp, flipping halfway through the cooking.  Place the cooked bacon on a paper towel lined plate.  When the bacon is cool, break it into small pieces.  Reserve two teaspoons of bacon grease for the burgers.

Add one tablespoon of olive oil to the same skillet used to cook the bacon (keep the heat on medium).  Add the garlic and onions and cook until slightly browned.  Add the sugar and curry and cook for about 3 minutes.  Pour the two tablespoons of balsamic vinegar into the pan and scrape up the browned bits of onion and garlic.

Add the tomatoes, oregano, basil, salt, and pepper and stir well.  Simmer the tomatoes for 15-20 minutes or until the liquid cooks down.  Remove the tomatoes from the heat and stir in the bacon bits and mustard.   Allow the relish to cool before serving.

Makes 1 cup of relish.

burger with tomato and bacon

Indoor Burgers
Makes 4 burgers

1 ½ lbs. extra lean ground beef
1 egg
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon BBQ sauce (Diana's!)
2 teaspoons bacon grease (from relish recipe)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 slices cheddar cheese
4 whole wheat burger rolls, cut in half

Whisk egg, Worcestershire sauce, BBQ sauce, salt, and pepper together.  Place the ground beef in a large bowl and add the egg mixture.  Mix well with your hands. 

Form the beef into four patties.  

Brush a little bit of olive oil on a large skillet.  Heat the skillet on medium-high.  Cook the burgers for about 3 to 5 minutes per side, depending on how thick the burgers are.  As the burgers finish cooking, place a piece of cheese on top of each burger and continue to cook until the cheese melts. 

Toast the buns under the broiler until browned.  Place a burger on each bun and smother with Tomato-Bacon Relish!

Panzanella Salad with Chicken

I love bread, but really, who doesn't love bread?  This salad allows me to incorporate my love of bread and feel a little bit less guilty about it.  This Panzanella salad seriously is one of my favourite salads (close second is this simple Caesar Salad).  We added some chicken to make it a complete meal and adjusted the dressing.  The salad kept well and was delicious for lunch the next day.

Panzanella Salad with Chicken
Adapted from Ina Garten

Good olive oil
2 chicken breasts
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 3 large pieces
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into 3 large pieces
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 English cucumber, unpeeled and sliced 1/2-inch thick
2 Roma tomatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
10 large basil leaves
3 tablespoons capers, drained
1/2 small loaf bread, cut into 1 inch thick slices (pieces should be about 2x2 inches in size)

Preheat the oven to 400°F.
In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic, mustard, vinegar, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Set aside.

Place the cucumber, tomato, basil and capers in a large bowl, sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss together. Set aside.
Cut the peppers into three large pieces and place them in a small bowl.  Sprinkle the peppers with 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil and some black pepper.  Put the peppers on a baking sheet and roast the peppers in the oven for 15 minutes.  Flip the peppers halfway through.  When the peppers are finished, let them cool slightly and then chop the peppers into 1 inch thick pieces.

Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a medium-sized non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.  Pound the chicken out in a  plastic bag with a mallet.  Season chicken breast with salt and pepper.  Add the chicken to the skillet.  Cook chicken on each side for about 5 minutes.  When the chicken is done, remove from the pan and after it cools slightly, cut the chicken into cubes.

Brush the pieces of bread with olive oil on both sides.  Place the bread on the baking sheet that you used for the peppers.  Switch the oven to broil and toast both sides of the bread.

Add the peppers, chicken, and bread to the bowl with the cucumbers and tomatoes.  Pour the prepared dressing over the salad and toss to coat.  Serve immediately

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Test: Derby Pie Bars

I'm not very good about posting "holiday" recipes before the actual holiday.  I'm sorry.  Life gets in the way of being a food blogger sometimes.  The good news is that these Derby Pie Bars are delicious any day of the year - big hats and horses are not required.  I accidentally made them with pecans instead of walnuts, because at the grocery store I had convinced myself that pecans were more "Southern."  Either type of nut would work, as long as you don't forget the real stars of the show - the chocolate chips and the bourbon!

Derby Pie Bars
From The Kitchn

For the shortbread crust
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cubed

For the filling
12 tablespoons (1 + 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons bourbon or whiskey (or more to taste)
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
Vanilla ice cream, for serving

Preheat oven to 350°.

To make the crust, combine the powdered sugar, flour, and salt In the bowl of a food processor. Add cubes of butter and pulse until it resembles coarse cornmeal. (You can also use your fingers or a pastry cutter to incorporate the butter. Whatever is easiest for you.) Firmly pat the mixture into the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Bake the crust for about 20 to 23 minutes until just lightly golden.

To make the filling, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, flour, salt, and bourbon and continue to mix until well combined. Fold in the chocolate chips and walnuts. Pour batter over partially baked crust. Bake until filling is set and the top is light golden brown, approximately 25 minutes. Allow bars to cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting into 2-inch squares (or desired size). Serve with vanilla ice cream.

Bars will keep in an airtight container for at least a week.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Test: Tempura Green Beans

I was watching Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives the other night and one of the diners had a tempura battered hamburger, which reminded me that I still hadn't shared the tempura green beans recipe I made for Make Your Own Sushi Night!  This is a really easy recipe and makes an awesome tempura that perfectly coated the beans.  These green beans are addictive!

Tempura Green Beans
From Serious Eats

1 1/2 quarts peanut oil
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup rice flour (or cornstarch)
1 egg
1 1/2 cups ice cold seltzer water
1/2 pound green beens, trimmed

Heat peanut oil over high heat in a large, heavy dutch oven or wok to 390°F as read on an instant read or deep-frying thermometer, about 12 minutes. Lower heat to maintain temperature.

Whisk flour and rice flour together in a large bowl. Add eggs and soda water and, shaking bowl with one hand, rapidly whisk with other hand with a pair of chopsticks until the mixture just comes together. There should still be dry clumps of flour remaining. Line a second bowl with a triple layer of paper towels.

Working in four batches, submerge the vegetables in the batter and turn to coat. Pick up with you hands, allow the excess batter to drip off, and drop the pieces into the hot oil one at a time, bringing your hand right down to the oil (do not drop from a height or the hot oil will splash). Increase heat to high to maintain temperature. Fry, agitating constantly with chopsticks or a wire mesh spider until the tempura is a pale golden brown and very crisp, about 3 minutes. Transfer the fried vegetables to the paper-towel lined bowl, season with salt, and toss to drain excess oil. Transfer to a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet in a 200°F oven to keep warm. Allow oil to reheat to 390°F and repeat with remaining batches. Serve immediately with ponzu mayonnaise (see the link above for the recipe) or soy sauce.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

Today we celebrate our Moms! The women who nourished us mind, body, and soul! Thank you for your love and thank you for teaching us how to cook!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Test: Pistachio Marmalade Breakfast Cake

I had intended to make this Pistachio Marmalade Breakfast Cake as a supplement to my Orange Scones for the Royal Wedding, but wasn't able to due to the power outage at my house (no power for 30 hours!).  The recipe comes from Big Girls Small Kitchen, a fantastic resource - lots of great recipes and tips to make the most of tiny spaces or limited budgets!  N liked this particular recipe a little bit more than I did, but I think that may be because I'm not a huge fan of orange marmalade.  The bread made my house smell amazing.  The original recipe suggested to use a square pan instead of a loaf pan, and I would second that recommendation since the middle of my bread didn't cook all the way.

Pistachio Marmalade Breakfast Cake
From Big Girls Small Kitchen on The Kitchn
Makes one 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" loaf

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup safflower oil (or other neutral oil)
2 eggs
1/4 cup orange marmalade
4 tablespoons shelled pistachios, chopped

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment and grease it lightly.
In a small mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda, cardamom and salt.

In a larger mixing bowl, whisk together the oil, eggs, marmalade, and sugar until combined and thickened. Gently whisk in the orange juice.

Sprinkle the dry ingredients over the wet ingredients, and fold to combine–it’s fine to leave a few lumps. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle chopped pistachios on top.

Bake for about 35 minutes, until the cake is dark gold and risen, and springs back when you put slight pressure on the top. Test with a toothpick in the center of the muffin; if it comes out dry, it’s done.
Serve warm if possible, or within a few hours of baking.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Breakfast Quinoa

Be prepared for breakfast to be kicked into a delicious overdrive!  Quinoa, fresh fruit, Greek yogurt, and nuts combine to make one of the tastiest breakfasts that I've had in a long time.  This amazing breakfast is inspired by Joy the Baker.  Definitely think of the recipe below as a suggestion (or take a look to see what Joy did with hers).  You can use any combination of fruit and add whatever extras tickle your fancy (nuts, toasted coconut, ground flax, etc.) The possibilities are endless, but bound to be delicious! Below you'll see 2 options: 1) strawberries and mango with toasted coconut and walnuts and 2) strawberries and blueberries with pistachios.  This is a great way to use up left over quinoa.

quinoa with strawberry and nuts for breakfast

Breakfast Quinoa

1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
1 cup vanilla Greek yogurt (fat-free or low-fat)
1/2 cup strawberries (sliced or diced)
1/2 cup fresh mango (diced)
2 tablespoons toasted coconut
4 tablespoons chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon ground flax seeds

Boil 2 cups of water.  Add the cup of quinoa, cover the pot and turn the heat to low.  Cook until the quinoa fluffs up and the water boils off. Cool the quinoa slightly.

Layer 1/4-1/2 cup Greek yogurt with 1/2 cup quinoa, a few tablespoons of strawberries and mango, some nuts and coconut.

Test: Lemon-Orange Scones

Like hundreds of millions of people, I watched the royal wedding of Prince William and the new Duchess of Cambridge, Kate!  I woke up at 4:45 a.m. to watch the entire wedding with some friends.  Of course, I volunteered to bring scones to the viewing party.  These orange scones come from a recipe by Jewel Bakes via Tasty Kitchen (she made hers with cranberries and an orange glaze, but I decided not to).   The scones were delicious and the perfect consistency!

Lemon-Orange Scones
From Jewel Bakes via Tasty Kitchen

4 cups all-purpose flour (plus 4 extra tablespoons only if needed)
½ cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons orange zest
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1-½ cup unsalted butter, cold and cubed
4 whole large eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup heavy cream, cold
1 whole egg beaten
1 tablespoon milk

Preheat oven to 400°F.

In a large bowl mix the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, salt, and orange zest. With a pastry cutter, cut in the cold butter until the butter is a little larger than a pea. Add the eggs and heavy cream. Mix until combined. Add in dried cranberries, mix until combined. At this time depending on your climate you can add up to an additional 4 Tablespoons of flour (if you need it, in order for the dough to come together). Dump dough onto a heavy floured surface.

If you would like your scones in the shape of wedges: Divide the dough into 3 portions. Roll out each portion into a circle. Cut each circle into 8 wedges.

If you like a circle shape: Roll out the entire dough and use a 3” round or fluted cutter to cut dough circles.
Place dough pieces onto a parchment covered baking sheet. Combine the one egg and milk. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush on the egg wash onto all of the scones.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, until lightly browned and firm to the touch. Let cool for 15-20 minutes.

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