Tag Archives: spring

Lemon Blueberry Tart

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Lemon and spring are the perfect pairing.

I adore lemon- the tart, bright flavor. And lemon desserts make me swoon. This lemon tart is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO EASY! If you’re not a baker, this is your dessert because it is simple.

You simply bake a store bought crust, fill it with a luscious mixture of lemon curd, lemon zest, mascarpone and powdered sugar. Then top it with blueberries. Chill and serve. Yes, it’s that easy.

I hope you enjoy this recipe. It’s a nice addition to the Easter table.

Lemon Blueberry Tart

1 (9-inch) tart pan

1 store bought pie crust or favorite pie recipe

1 (8-ounce) container mascarpone cheese

3 tablespoons powdered sugar

1 (10-ounce) jar lemon curd

½ teaspoon lemon zest

1 pint  fresh blueberries

TIP: If you want a no bake dessert, use a premade graham cracker or shortbread crust. Shortbread crusts are not as easy to find, but I prefer it over the graham cracker.

Directions:

Fill tart pan with store bought pie crust, be sure to overlap the crust around the pan because if you don’t, it will sink down while you bake it.

If you don’t have a tart pan, you could use a shallow pie pan (must be shallow).

Bake pie crust according to package directions, and be sure to pierce it repeatedly with a fork before baking.

Cool completely on the counter before filling.

For the filling, stir together mascarpone and powdered sugar, then stir in lemon curd and zest. Spread into the tart pan. Top with blueberries. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour or until time to serve.

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The Easiest Ultimate Coconut Cake

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Easter would not be Easter without coconut cake.

What am I saying? Any day is a good day for coconut cake. The problem is most recipes are time consuming or call for multiple layers, which means there’s a higher probability that something can go wrong.

I have the solution. A simple white coconut cake that is delectable! It starts with a boxed white cake and then I make it similar to a tres leches cake but I use coconut based milks instead of cow’s milk.

Tres leches translates into “three milks” and it’s a dessert usually made with sweetened condensed milk, regular milk or cream,  and evaporated milk.  The mixture is poured over a cake and the cake soaks it up. For my coconut version, I use cream of coconut (it comes in a can and is used to create pina coladas);  coconut milk (the refrigerated variety not a can), and then top the cake with homemade whipped cream.

This cake is delectable. It is best made a day in advance which is perfect because you’re not fussing with it on Easter day. It’s a sheet cake so it’s not as pretty as a layered cake, but the flavor makes up for the presentation.

The coconut milks soak into the cake overnight transforming it into a light, fluffy bite of coconut heaven.

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Coconut Tres Leches Cake

1 box vanilla cake

3 eggs

½ cup shredded sweetened coconut

1 cup water

½ cup canola

1 (15-ounce) can Coco Lopez cream of coconut

2/3 cup refrigerated coconut milk

2 cups heavy whipping cream

½ cup sugar, plus 1 tablespoon

2 teaspoons vanilla extract or coconut extract

2 cups shredded sweetened coconut

It is very important you use cream of coconut, not a can of coconut milk. Cream of coconut is thick, very sweet with a strong coconut flavor, whereas coconut milk is thinner and not sweet. Cream of coconut is the goodness that goes into a Pina Colada so sometimes you will find it next to the alcohol mixers or in a liquor store.

The recipe calls for refrigerated coconut milk, not canned. If you cannot find refrigerated variety, you can substitute whole milk or use equal parts milk and coconut coffee creamer.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Beat together cake, eggs,  ½ cup shredded coconut, water and oil. Pour into a greased in a 13 x 9 inch pan. Bake according to package directions.

When it has cooled, poke repeatedly with a fork and poke it all the way to the bottom.

Whisk together cream of coconut with coconut milk or plain milk. Pour over the cake.

Use an electric mixer to beat the heavy whipping cream on high speed. Add the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, and vanilla extract. Whip until mixture thickens. Then spread over the cake. Top with 2 cups shredded coconut.  Refrigerate at least 2 hours, but overnight is best.

 

Asian Chicken Salad (three ways)

I love, love, love chicken salad and am constantly creating different versions.

My top three recipes are this one, my rosemary chicken salad and my curried chicken salad.

My Asian version always wows people and I think it’s because it’s so unique. I love it because it’s easy, delicious and I can serve it three ways.

. I have served this on Ritz crackers at parties and it’s a huge hit;

I have piled it in the middle of a salad and devoured it for lunch (pictured here).\;

And I have served it on French bread as a sandwich and that’s pretty fantastic, too. I recommend topping the sandwich with thinly sliced cucumbers.

Every version is fantastic. In my recipe, I recommend using celery OR water chestnuts. I prefer celery but have made it both ways.

They key to this salad is you must have Soy Vay Veri Veri Teriyaki sauce. If you’ve never used that sauce, you should. It’s one of my favorite kitchen condiments.

It’s AMAZING on stir fried vegetables, soba noodles, on chicken. The great thing is, it’s a complete sauce so you don’t need to add other sauces.  I have used it for dipping sauce, as a marinade, etc, etc. It’s so versatile. Once you try it, you will ask that bottle: “Where have you been all my life?”

If you can’t find it on your local store, you can order it online: https://www.soyvay.com

You can search stores in your area on the website to see if they carry it.

This salad is perfect for entertaining or enjoying at home. Take it on a picnic or out on the boat. It’s lovely. Enjoy.

Asian Chicken Salad

3 1/2 cups chopped rotisserie chicken, skin removed

3/4 cup mayonnaise

1/3 cup Soy Vay Veri Veri Teriyaki

2 stalks of celery OR 5 ounces water chestnuts, minced

3 green onions, sliced

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Pepper to taste (you don’t need salt)

2 tablespoons shredded carrot (optional) I add carrots when serving as a salad

Ritz crackers to serve, or bread, or a bed of lettuce

Dark meat is great in this dish, so if you’re not crazy about legs and thighs, try adding the meat to this. It makes a wonderful appetizer. A buttery Ritz is a wonderful complement, or serve it on a slice of cucumber when it’s hot outside for a refreshing appetizer.

While I am not an iceberg lettuce fan, if you are serving this on lettuce, iceberg is the way to go. It’s so crisp and light and is a beautiful compliment to the salad.

Directions:

In a large bow, mix mayonnaise and Soy Vay sauce together. Then add chicken, celery or water chestnuts, onion and cilantro. Stir until thoroughly combined. Add pepper to taste.

If serving as a salad, serve it over lettuce with cucumbers and topped with carrots.

In serving for a party, you an sit it out surrounded by crackers or plate each individual cracker. Cucumber slices are a nice addition if it’s self serve. You an also use cucumber slices to serve the salad if you are avoiding extra carbs. You can garnish with extra cilantro, if desired. I did it more for aesthetics for the photo.

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Or serve on bread.

Jumbo Shells Stuffed with Feta, Roasted Red Pepper Sauce and Chicken- SO EASY!

This dish comes together so quickly that the longest part is typically boiling water. It’s an excellent dish and is good warm, at room temperature and even cold, so you can pack any leftover for lunch.

In the winter, I add dried rosemary, but in the summer, sprinkle the dish with fresh basil.

In this dish, you use 2 ounces of feta cheese crumbles and to give you perspective, the containers in the store are usually four ounces, so you want half that much feta.

This pasta just explodes with the flavor of feta, roasted red pepper and has lean protein. It’s easy and do delicious.

Jumbo Shells Stuffed with Feta, Roasted Red Pepper Sauce and Chicken

Serves 2

12 Jumbo Shells

2 ounces feta cheese crumbles

¼ cup artichoke hearts

¾ cup jarred roasted red bell peppers (half of a 14 ounce jar)

¾ cup finely chopped rotisserie chicken

Pinch of dried Rosemary or fresh basil

Cook jumbo shells according to package directions (usually about 12 minutes). Drain.

While the shells cook, place feta cheese, artichoke hearts and roasted red peppers in a food processor and pulse until mixture is fairly smooth. You will see plenty of specks of feta and that is fine, but you want the red pepper and artichoke to be smooth.

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Finely chop your chicken and stir it into the roasted red pepper sauce. Add a pinch of dried rosemary or fresh basil. If I have fresh basil, I garnish the tops of the dish with it.

When shells are cool enough to handle, spoon filling into shells and serve. It’s that easy! Enjoy.

In terms of vegetables, this goes great with sautéed spinach or roasted asparagus.

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Baby Kale, Strawberry, Chicken Salad with Candied Walnuts and Raspberry Vinaigrette 

This salad is incredible and comes together so quickly. It’s perfect for lunch or dinner on a hot summer night. It’s a restaurant quality salad on the table in less than 10 minutes.

And it’s healthy.

Kale is packed with vitamins K, A and C, (a serving has more than 800 percent of your daily vitamin K needs);  walnuts have Omega 3 fatty acids, and the nuts and chicken give it protein to keep you full longer.

However, sunflower seeds do add a lot of calories and fat, so if you’re watching your waistline, you may want to omit those and double up on strawberries.

A sprinkle of goat cheese crumbles is great on this salad, too.

If you can’t find baby kale, you can substitute spinach or arugula. I bought baby kale in a plastic tub next to other salad greens.

It’s important to use honey roasted sunflower seeds as it adds sweetness. I used applewood smoked chicken, but that is not available at all stores, so regular is fine. I would stick with traditional and not use a lemon-pepper chicken.

Dress this salad with your favorite raspberry vinaigrette. I used Walmart’s generic brand, Great Value, and it was awesome. Enjoy this healthy, EASY meal.

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Baby Kale, Strawberry, Chicken Salad with Candied Walnuts and Raspberry Vinaigrette

3 cups baby kale greens

2 tablespoons honey roasted sunflower seeds

2 tablespoons candied or glazed walnuts

4 strawberries, hulled and sliced

1/2 cup to 2/3 cup chopped rotisserie chicken

1 tablespoon dried cranberries (optional)

Your favorite raspberry vinaigrette

Spread kale on a large plate. Top with all the other ingredients. Toss with vinaigrette and serve.

I like this with a crisp white wine.

Goat Cheese, Strawberry, Chicken, Spinach Salad with Sweet Balsamic Vinaigrette

 I don’t know what the weather is like where you are, but it’s sunny and gorgeous here. It feels like spring! And that means, I am thinking about spring and getting fit for the season. So a salad is on the agenda today.

This easy, healthy salad is on the table in about 7 minutes. It’s great for lunch or dinner.

This serves 1.

Directions

½ cup sliced rotisserie chicken

2 cups loosely packed spinach (don’t actually pack it, just scoop up 2 cups)

1 ounce crumbled goat cheese

¼ cup slivered almonds

5 strawberries, hulled and sliced

Dressing

2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

1 1/2 teaspoons sugar

1 teaspoon ketchup

This salad is lightly dressed, if you like a good drenching, then double the dressing recipe.

Place salad ingredients in a large bowl or plate and then make the dressing.

Place salad dressing ingredients in a jar, seal and shake until well combined (you can also just whisk the dressing together if you don’t have an empty jar. But it’s a good idea to save empty jars for this sort of thing).

Pour over salad, toss, and let rest 5 minutes. Then serve.