Monthly Archives: January 2016

Unfastening the Stars

quote about stars

Come back every Tuesday for “The Bees Knees”, where I post the best quotes from my favorite movies, TV shows, songs, and books.

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Lime Mousse Tart with Blackberries

Sometimes in the dead of winter, there’s just nothing better than a little taste of summer.  If you’re craving the sweetness of the summer months or are looking for an easy summer dessert to bring to your next family gathering, this Lime Mousse Tart with Blackberries is a refreshing twist on the popular ice box pie.

This pie is so easy to make and most of the time is just spent waiting for everything to set.  It’s great to make in advance and keeps for up to a week in the fridge (then the crust starts to get a wee bit soggy).  You could also serve this with a tart Blackberry Sauce, but I think the limes give this pie enough tartness for my taste.

If you don’t like blackberries, you could also garnish with strawberries, as strawberries and lime are a winning combination.

Word to the wise, make sure your pretzels are ground super fine…almost to the point of looking like flour.  Otherwise you’ll have a chunky crust that is difficult to work with and it will take up a good portion of the tart pan.

Lime Mousse Tart with Blackberries Recipe

lime-mousse-tart-with-blackberries-recipe

Ingredients:

Filling

  • 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tablespoon finely shredded lime peel (zest of 1 lime)
  • 2/3 cup lime juice (need 2-3 limes, depending on size)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2-4 drops green food coloring (optional)

Crust

  • 2 cups pretzels, finely crushed
  • 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled

Topping

  • 1 1/2 cups whipping cream
  • Fresh blackberries

 

Instructions:

  1. In a medium bowl, combine sweetened condensed milk, lime peel, lime juice, and granulated sugar.  If desired, stir in food coloring until light green.  Cover and chill about 30 minutes or until slightly thickened.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  In a medium bowl, combine crushed pretzels and brown sugar.  Add butter; toss to combine.
  3. Press pretzel mixture evenly into the bottom and up the sides of a 9″ fluted tart pan with a removable bottom.
  4. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until firm.  Cool completely on a wire rack.
  5. In a clean bowl, beat whipping cream with an electric mixer on medium until soft peaks form.  Fold whipped cream into lime mixture.
  6. Carefully spoon mixture into prepared cooled crust.  Chill for at least 6 hours or up to 24 hours or until firm.
  7. Serve with whipped cream and fresh blackberries.

 

What’s your favorite ice box pie?
Do certain fruits work better than others?

Every Monday is a “Reci-bee” post, where I share my favorite recipes, recipe collections, and cooking and baking hints and tips. 

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Growing Pains

quote about growing up

Come back every Tuesday for “The Bees Knees”, where I post the best quotes from my favorite movies, TV shows, songs, and books.

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Cheese Ravioli with Peas and Arugula

I don’t know about you, but I love anything with arugula in it.  Spicy and refreshing, this green adds a great bite to everything from a plain salad to a pasta dish.  In this Cheese Ravioli with Peas and Arugula recipe, it brings a bright, springy flavor to this comforting winter stable.

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I meant to make this meal with smaller mini raviolis, which are better for cooking and browning in the pan, but all I could find were these larger rounds.  They did work really well and gave this dish a nice look, but the raviolis did tend to fall apart once I tried browning them.  Something to look out for if you decide to tackle this recipe.

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Like all my favorite recipes, this one can easily be altered to suit your needs.  If you want more/less peas, bacon, arugula, or want to try adding something totally wonky, go for it!  Despite the fact that this recipe uses heavy cream, it’s actually quite light.  It’s wonderful in the winter, but would also be a great dish for the spring.

And, like most other pasta dishes, this one is quite tasty cold, as well!

 

Cheese Ravioli with Peas and Arugula Recipe

cheese-ravioli-with-peas-and-arugula-recipe

Ingredients:

  • 4 slices bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 20-ounce package frozen cheese ravioli
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3 cups loosely packed baby arugula
  • Salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions:

  1. Cook frozen ravioli according to package directions.  Drain ravioli and set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the butter.  Add the ravioli and cook until golden brown, about 3-5 minutes.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium and add the frozen peas, heavy cream, and garlic powder into the saucepan.  Mix carefully so ravioli doesn’t rip apart.
  4. Bring the sauce to a simmer, stirring occasionally.  If the sauce is too thick, add water 1 tablespoon at a time until sauce is proper consistency.
  5. Add arugula and toss until arugula begins to wilt, about 1 minute.

 

Do you like arugula?  Share your favorite arugula recipe below!

Every Monday is a “Reci-bee” post, where I share my favorite recipes, recipe collections, and cooking and baking hints and tips. 

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How to Use Your Favorite Herbs

If you’re a beginner gardener like me or you’re looking for easy window plants to liven up your home this spring, herbs are a great solution.  They can grow in medium to full sunlight and plants like basil, parsley, sage, and cilantro are great to have on hand for your cooking needs.

Use this helpful printable chart to keep track of how to use your favorite spices!

common-uses-for-common-herbs

While they may all look similar, herbs vary in taste, texture, and usability.  Some, like the bay leaf, offer wonderful flavor to soups and stews but should not be eaten.  Others, like cilantro or basil, can be chopped up and added to just about anything…even desserts!

To Grow In or Out?

Herbs are not only food for humans, but hungry bunnies, chipmunks, bugs, deer, and other wildlife that might come visit your garden…so grower beware–if you grow your herbs outside, make sure you fence them in or protect them so you can enjoy them, too!  Herbs are also great for indoor gardening and grow easily on a windowsill in medium to full sunlight.  Last year we planted basil, sage, lavender, and cilantro in our little Chicago windowsill and had delicious fresh herbs all season long.

Dry Spell

Dried herbs are more concentrated versions of their fresh counterparts; however, not all herbs are good when dried.  Do some research before drying your herbs and store dried herbs in a cool, dry environment.

These herbs are great when dried:  bay leaves, oregano, sage, and thyme.  They will keep 1-2 months when dried and dried herbs make great gift ideas for hostesses or friends who love to cook.

 

What’s your favorite herb to cook with? 

Every Monday is a “Reci-bee” post, where I share my favorite recipes, recipe collections, and cooking and baking hints and tips. 

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Let Your Beauty Out

freevectir

Come back every Tuesday for “The Bees Knees”, where I post the best quotes from my favorite movies, TV shows, songs, and books.

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Cowboy Tater Tot Casserole Recipe

There’s nothing like a quick, budget-friendly, and delicious dinner to sooth the soul this winter.  Full on flavor (and some New Year’s guilt–but well worth it!), this delicious tater tot casserole is sure to please kids and adults alike.

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This cheesy, hearty, yummy dinner is made even better with good-quality chili.  You can use homemade chili if you have some on hand, but canned works as well…just make sure you use the best-tasting and best-quality chili you can find, as chili is the main flavor in this dish.

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This Cowboy Tater Tot Casserole is so great for big family dinners and parties.  It can serve up to 8-10 people easily, or even more if you serve this as a side dish.  It can work as a meat-friendly or meatless dish, depending on what chili recipe you use, and if you can’t find Ore-Ida crispy crowns at your local grocery store, any sized hash brown will work.

 

Cowboy Tater Tot Casserole Recipe

Cowboy Tater Tot Casserole

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans chili (I used Amy’s Organic Chili Medium)
  • 4 tablespoons sour cream (plus more for serving, if desired)
  • 1 can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 can diced tomatoes and chilies, drained
  • 2 bags shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • 1 30-ounce bag Ore-Ida Crispy Crowns

 

Instructions:

  1. Let the tater tots defrost for about 1-2 hours at room temperature.  Once fully defrosted, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Spray a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with nonstick spray. Layer half of the tater tots on the bottom of the baking dish in one even layer.  Set aside.cowboy-tater-tot-casserole-recipe1

    cowboy-tater-tot-casserole-recipe2

  3. In a large bowl, combine the 2 cans of chili with the sour cream. Mix in drained corn and drained tomatoes and chilies. Gently fold in one cup cheese.
  4. Pour chili mixture on top of the tater tots.cowboy-tater-tot-casserole-recipe3
  5. Layer the other half of the tater tots on top of the chili.cowboy-tater-tot-casserole-recipe5

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  6. Sprinkle with the remaining one cup of cheese and cover with foil.
  7. Bake, covered, for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 10 to 15 minutes or until heated through.

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What other tater tot recipes do you love?  Share your tater tot staples below!

Every Monday is a “Reci-bee” post, where I share my favorite recipes, recipe collections, and cooking and baking hints and tips. 

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