Mascarpone Parfaits with Roasted Strawberries and Almonds

Mascarpone Parfait with Roasted Strawberries and Almonds I feel like I can tell when the first strawberry hits the farmers market.  Like it telepathically says, “hey I am here”.  It does, just so we are clear.  As soon as the sun shines, we get juicy strawberries, and I will eat them daily for months, until they are no longer in season.  That’s how I roll.  Naturally I have been conspiring for new ways to take advantage of the new arriving beauties, and well did I ever.

Fresh Strawberries

I have made mascarpone cheese from scratch a dozen times.  I have also roasted strawberries a dozen times.  I, however, have never put the two in the same bowl with other goodies.  Well this time I did.  And you are going to like it, trust me!  I ask you to trust me every single time I write a recipe or post, this is no different.  I have also said things are life changing.  This is, again.  Some people have never had macarpone, so let’s discuss.  It’s creamy, slightly tangy, and very thick.  Think thicker than Greek yogurt, but less than cream cheese.  And does not taste like either of those, so no worries.  It’s not cheese in the typical sense.  It is a “cheese” commonly used in desserts, but also savory dishes like pasta.  You just have to try it and trust me.

So lets make mascarpone and sour cream mixture a couple of days before your Easter celebrations, Mother’s Day, or the weekend.  It only takes 10 minutes.  Then stash it in the fridge.  On the day of an occasion roast some strawberries.  Then make magic by putting them in a pretty cup together.  You will not regret this decision my friends.  Not. One. Bit.

I like playing with textures in my food.  I like playing with food in general.  But it is important for me to have creamy with a crunch.  Otherwise it can be a monotonousness dessert.  So I added toasted almonds, they go well with strawberries.  But you could also do pistachios, which are meaty and amazing!

I will be sharing this recipe on my monthly TV segment over at KATU AM Northwest on Wednesday April 16th at 9:40am.  So tune in locals, or wait, and I’ll upload the video shortly after.  You won’t want to miss it, I’m showing you how to make cheese for dessert, and that is magic!  Here is the segment!

This is really nice for a weekend brunch and easy enough to make the mascarpone ahead of time.  You could also assemble these early the day you need them.  Make ahead desserts are always so nice.  Especially in a jar, top with a lid and serve it, so cute!

Roasted Strawberries

Makes 4 parfaits

Ingredients:

2 pints strawberries, about 4 cups, hulled and sliced in half

1 cup mascarpone, store bought or homemade

1 cup sour cream

2 teaspoons sugar

1 lime, zested, and reserve 2 teaspoons juice, 1 teaspoon zest, optional: reserve 1/2 teaspoon zest to garnish

1 teaspoon honey, I use Bee Local

1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

1 cup toasted almonds, pistachios would be nice too

Preheat oven 400 degrees

Method Roasted Strawberries and Parfait:

1.  Place the strawberries on a parchment lined baking sheet, and place in oven for 20 minutes.

2.  While the strawberries are roasting place the mascarpone, sour cream, sugar, lime juice and zest, honey, and salt in a medium bowl, whisk to combine.  Once the strawberries are finished roasting, scoop them into a bowl.  Get as much as the juice as possible off the sheet pan.

3.  In a glass jar, or pretty glass, add a spoonful of mascarpone to the bottom, making sure to cover the entire bottom.  Add the spoonful of the roasted strawberries, and a sprinkle of toasted almonds.  Repeat.  Sprinkle some lime zest on the top to garnish.

Note:  You can make the mascarpone and sour cream mixture, and toast the sliced almonds a couple of days before.  Roast the strawberries the day of.  You can assemble the jars or glasses in the morning the day you want to serve this.

Have you ever had roasted strawberries?  I love them so much, I think they are magic!

ENJOY!

Macarpone Parfait with Roasted Strawberries and Almonds

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Posted in Brunch, Dessert, Gluten Free | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Grilled Yam Taco with Roasted Poblano Yogurt Sauce & Tillamook Package Giveaway!

Grilled Yam Tacos with Roasted Poblano Yogurt Sauce

It’s no secret via all of my social media accounts that I have been eating the new Farmstyle Greek Yogurt from Tillamook for the past few weeks.  Thanks to Tillamook, they sent me this new yogurt line to check out all of the buzz.  It is sold out in many stores and being devoured by many bloggers across the country.

I decided to make a luscious, creamy, thick roasted Poblano yogurt sauce for these tacos.  Using the Greek yogurt makes this cream sauce a healthier choice and adds a nice tang to the spiciness of the pepper.  Grilled yam tacos has really never occurred to me until I was pursuing the internet and saw some other squash tacos.  Thus the grilled yam taco recipe was born.

Grilled Yam Tacos with Roasted Poblano Yogurt Sauce

Tillamook wants my readers to get a chance to taste their new line of yogurt, so I am giving away a package, sent to you directly from Tillamook.  It will be packed full of several flavors of Farmstyle Greek Yogurt!  Flavors include Strained thick Plain, Washington Raspberry, Oregon Strawberry, Coffee, and Vanilla Bean.

Disclosure:  I was sent a package of yogurt from Tillamook.  They are also providing the package of yogurt for the giveaway, sent directly to the winner from Tillamook.  The sad part is, they can only send it to certain states.  I am very sorry for this, but this is how it is.

Please only enter the giveaway if you live in one these states…

Elligible states for giveaway:  OR, WA, ID, CA, NV, AZ, UT, MT, WY, CO, NM

I will choose a winner at random on April 16, 2014, 12am PST.  I will email the winner of the giveaway on April 17.  The winner will then have 24 hours to respond.  If I do not receive a response, I will choose another winner.  If you enter the giveaway and do not live in the states mentioned above, I will choose another winner.  Thank you for understanding!

Grilled Yam Tacos with Roasted Poblano Yogurt Sauce

To enter the giveaway:

1.  ”Like” Not Just Baked Facebook page AND leave a comment below letting me know you did so!  If you already like my Facebook page, leave a comment below letting me know you do!  Good luck!

For an extra entry:  Leave a comment letting me know, have you ever had squash tacos?

Makes 8-10 tacos

Ingredients:

2 large red garnet yams, cut into long wedges 1/2 inch thick

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/2 cup Greek yogurt

1 lime, zested, 1/2 teaspoon lime juice, the other 1/2 cut into wedges for serving

2 Poblano peppers

8-10 corn tortillas, store or freshly made

1 small, about 1 lb red cabbage, sliced thinly

1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped

Note:  I found the easiest way to organize this recipe is as follows:  I started our gas grill then worked on the yams, cut and “marinating”.  Then put the yogurt sauce components together in a bowl, other than the Poblano pepper.  Then get all of the garnish ready; lime, cabbage, and parsley.  This way it is all ready when you come inside to lastly peel the pepper to add to the yogurt sauce that is all ready to go.

Method:

1.  Place the yams, olive oil, salt and pepper in a large bowl, toss to combine, set side.  Place the yogurt, lime zest, 1/2 teaspoon lime juice, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper in small bowl, whisk to combine, set aside.

2.  On the grill:  first place the peppers over medium high heat to char.  Rotate until charred evenly.  Once charred evenly, place in a bowl, cover with a towel and steam for a few minutes.

3.  Place the yams on the grill over medium heat, grill for 15 minutes.  The last 5 minutes of yam grilling, place the tortillas on the grill to warm.  Place in a tortilla warmer or clean kitchen towel to serve.  When the yams are done, place them in a bowl, and keep covered while you peel the pepper.

How to peel the pepper:  Remove the charred skin, stem, and seeds.

4.  Chop the pepper finely and add to the yogurt sauce, stir to combine.  Taste for seasoning, add salt and pepper if needed.

I served this as a “make a taco” as you go scenario.  On the table:  Grilled yams, roasted Poblano yogurt sauce, lime wedges, a bowl of sliced cabbage, and chopped parsley.

Grilled Yam Tacos with Roasted Poblano Yogurt Sauce

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Posted in 21 Day Food Lover Cleanse, Affordable Meals, Entrees, Light fare, Simple Weeknights, Sponsored, Vegetarian | Tagged , , , | 11 Comments

Chorizo Black Bean Soup

Chorizo Black Bean Soup with Chipotle Crema

These last few weeks have been crazy nuts! In a good way, but nonetheless, crazy. To be honest, I am sitting here recalling what happened and I am having a hard time remembering it all. I do remember making this Chorizo Black Bean Soup, only because I wrote it down while developing the recipe. This is the prefect dish for a crazy week, lazy week, or you just want a good soup kinda week. I recall so many meetings over coffee, so not so bad. Lunch with my blogging cohorts, media dinners, dentists appointments, family moving, again. We are in the middle of re-branding the site, designing, planning to take over the world, and do you know how much time that takes? A lot!

The weather has also been crazy. Cold, warm, sun, 70 degrees, cold again, now rain, but tomorrow sunny and warm again! So making this soup was a no brainer. Especially because I love chorizo and black beans, so it makes perfect sense to put them together in a soup.

Serves 6

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1/2 cup Mexican chorizo, remove casing

1-14.5 oz can whole peeled tomatoes, chopped and reserve juice

2-15 oz cans black beans, strained

1 cup chicken or vegetable stock

1 cup frozen corn kernels

1 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3 green onions, white part removed, chopped for serving

1 lime, cut into wedges for serving

1/2 cup sour cream for serving

Spiced lime crema: (optional) add 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice, and 1/8 teaspoon chipotle powder to the 1/2 cup sour cream, mix to combine.

6 quart pot

large wooden spoon

Method:

1.  Place the pot over medium heat, add the olive oil, heat until shimmering then add the onions.  Cook for 5 minutes until translucent.  Add the chorizo, break up into large chunks with a large spoon.  Cook for 10 minutes, stir occasionally.

2. Add the chopped tomatoes, and tomato juice. Using a wooden spoon scrape the bottom of the pan to remove the brown bits. Add the black beans, stock, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine. Lower the heat to medium low, leave uncovered, and simmer for 30 minutes.  In the last 5 minutes of cooking, add the corn, and stir to combine.

Serve with a dollop of sour cream, and green onions.  I also served seeded quinoa tortilla chips.  You could serve this with crackers, chips, or this amazing honey cornbread recipe.

ENJOY!

Chorizo Black Bean Soup with Chipotle Crema

 

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Posted in Affordable Meals, Entrees, Mexican, One pot, Simple Weeknights, Soup | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Almond, Date, Cacao Nib Granola

Almond Date Cacao Granola  There are so many wonderful granola recipes all over the internet, cookbooks, and magazines these days.  I found one a few years ago that I have adapted time and time again, it’s that good.  I feel like it has become my own, in that I have memorized it, I make it a lot, I add and subtract ingredients, or make it with what I have on hand.

In the last few months, really since the holidays, I have not made granola *gasp*.  It’s ok, everyone suffered this calamity, especially Brian’s co-workers.  There are a couple of things that make their way to his office from time to time, granola is one of those things.  So when Brian told me one of his co-workers would no longer work at his office, I knew what I had to do.  So I got to making a huge batch of this granola to send him off to his new job full of happy granola.  And I wrote, ” Happy Trails” on the bag, I crack myself up.

Almond Date Cacao Granola

Makes: 12 cups

Ingredients:

4 1/2 cups rolled oats

1 teaspoon cardamom

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/2 cup honey, I use Bee Local

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups sliced almonds, toasted

1/2 cup Medjool dates, pitted and chopped

1/2 cup golden raisins

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes. toasted

2 tablespoons cacao nibs

Place the oven rack in the middle, then  PREHEAT OVEN TO 350 DEGREES.

Toasted Almonds:  Place almonds on a baking sheet, place in oven at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes or golden brown.  Remove and allow to cool.

Toasted Coconut:  Place coconut flakes on baking sheet, place in oven at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes or golden brown.  Remove and allow to cool.

Method:

1.  In a large bowl add the oats, cardamom, cinnamon, and salt.  Stir to combine well.  In a medium bowl add the honey, olive oil, and vanilla.  Stir to combine.  Add the liquid to the oats mixture.  Using a spatula or your hands, mix well.

2.  Place the oat mixture on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Spread evenly, and press down lightly to compact the mixture.  This creates larger chunks after baking.  Place in oven and bake for 30-40 minutes, until golden brown.

3.  While the granola is baking add the toasted almonds, dates, raisins, toasted coconut, and cacao nibs to a large bowl, mix to combine.

4.  Remove baked granola from the oven, allow to cool for 20 minutes.  Once cooled, place the granola in a large bowl and add the nut fruit mixture.  Break apart the granola into medium chunks, easy for snacking.

Serve with yogurt and fresh fruit, or milk for a hearty, healthy breakfast.  Or pack up in a small bag and take with you on your next hike for a filling snack!

Store in an airtight container for up to a week, if longer place container in fridge for up to one month.

Almond Date Cacao Granola

ENJOY!

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Posted in 21 Day Food Lover Cleanse, Breakfast, Grains, Snack | Tagged | 2 Comments

Curried Tofu Dip

Curried Tofu Dip

A little over a month ago I had the opportunity to attend two writing workshops held by Diane Morgan, a local phenomenal writer, and cookbook author.  She has kindly been helping me hone my writing skills and I had the pleasure of working with her on her writing workshops, I cooked for everyone!  It was a lot of fun cooking for two groups of women in the food world from chefs, bloggers, cookbook authors, food business owners, ghost writers, and recipe developers.  We had a wonderful time, and learned an incredible amount of wonderful, helpful, and valuable information to push me forward in my career, hopes, and dreams.  I joke not.  It gave me the information I did not have to pursue some of my goals in this crazy food writing world I have created for myself.

This blog and my food world career has given me a lot of perspective recently.  This is not a hobby for me.  This is what I do, my work, and I love it immensely.  I develop recipes, adapt recipes, create content, write about food, cook food and share my stories right here with you.  I realized this is exactly what I want to be doing right now, and for the long haul in my life.  Sometimes when you realize things like this it can be happy, but also overwhelming.  I just made it real.  I just learned many of the things I needed to further this career and launch it into the future of awesomeness.  But I have to do it.  I DO.  I have to buckle down, focus, and go.  This freaks me out and excites me, equally.

After these awesome classes, I had some recommendations of people to reach out to about my goals.  I did just that, keep moving forward.  It was one of the best afternoons of inspiring, and clarifying information I have had in sometime.  I am grateful for that, it put me on track, gave me focus.  I am lucky to keep building positive relationships with people who are happy to lend an ear, and give great advice in this ever evolving food world.

With all of that, while at the writing workshop Diane made this awesome curried tofu dip and a demo to recipe writing.  I made it recently, and just love it!  I ate it with crackers, and large salad for dinner.  It was the perfect light, yet filling meal.  You can also serve this with an assortment of vegetables, pita chips, bagel chips, or tortilla chips for any gathering.  No one will ever know it’s tofu, which is funny.

Thank you to all of you who read my rants, give me inspiration, advice, and support me on this crazy journey, it is a delight!

Recipe from one of Diane Morgan’s cookbooks, Delicious Dips.

Makes 2 1/2 cup

Ingredients:

1 lb. firm tofu

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

3 green onions finely diced

1 celery stalk finely diced

1 tablespoon curry powder

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/3 cup fresh parsley chopped

2 teaspoons honey

1 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Method:

1.  Drain the tofu and place on a large plate lined with several paper towels.  Allow to dry while you work on the vegetables.

2.  In a small small pan, add the olive oil over medium low heat, when shimmering, add the onions.  Cook until soft, about 1 minute.  Add the curry, turmeric, and cayenne, stirring constantly, cook the spices until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Remove from heat and set aside.

3.  In a medium bowl, add the tofu and mash into small pieces using a fork.  Add the curry mixture and stir to combine.  Add the mayonnaise, parsley, honey, salt, and pepper.  Stir to combine.

Serve with a vegetable platter, naan, crackers, or a variety of chips such as bagel, pita, or tortilla.

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Posted in 21 Day Food Lover Cleanse, Affordable Meals, Brunch, Food Bloggers Against Hunger, Light fare, Simple Weeknights, Vegetarian | Tagged , , | 2 Comments