Summer Hiatus…

SO I just wanted to drop a long overdue post on my current summer hiatus.

I have been avoiding my blog since my lame old acer laptop [that lasted 2 1/2 years] recently died on me, and because the weather has been waaaaaay to nice to sit inside on a computer! I’ve also been to Quebec a few times for work, spent some time this last week camping and house sitting, and will be heading to beautiful Halifax tomorrow after going to the CNE. I’ve eaten marshmallows over campfire, roasted on the beach, picked raspberries and strawberries, made jam and bought corn from the side of the road…now all I need is to see a few fireflies and I will be good again until next summer ❤

Oh yah.. I NOW have the most beautiful laptop, a 17″ Macbook Pro, and a plethora of delicious summer recipes to share with you.

Check back soon for more ❤

Fruit and Veggie Salad

We love Salad around here but sometimes get sick of the same ol’ thing.

After the lovely strawberry spinach salad we had a few weeks ago I was totally inspired to try another salad that involved fruits.

I looked round for a bit online to gather some ideas and then turned to my fridge to see what I had…I don’t typically like to go out and buy specific ingredients for recipes that I want to try, and I was very happy to find that I had everything that I needed already!

Be creative and use the fruits and veggies that you like best! This is no rhyme or reason to what I chose other than having those ingredients on hand!

I also whipped up a really yummy vinaigrette for this salad that was super easy and versatile! Try it out 🙂

Fruit and Veggie Salad

Fruit and Veggie Salad

Fruit and Veggie Salad

Romaine, Arugula, Spinach or whatever leafy greens you have on hand [I used Romaine]

Apples sliced into thin discs [I picked Granny Smith and Red Delicious, but pick whatever you like]

Grapes sliced in half [Red or green, I picked Red]

Blueberries

Cucumber cut into thin discs

Broccoli

Red Onion cut into thin discs, Separated

  1. Wash and dry leafy greens in a salad spinner and put into salad bowl.
  2. Wash and cut other ingredients and arrange on top of salad.

Strawberry Vinaigrette

1/4 Cup Olive oil

3 Tbsp. Red Wine Vinegar

1 Tsp. Brown Sugar

Salt and Pepper to Tatse

And the secret ingredient: A big scoop of strawberry jam! Or Raspberry, or Marmalade. Try something new 🙂 IT WORKED LIKE A CHARM!!

  1. Throw all ingredients into a jar with a tight seal and SHAKE SHAKE SHAKE ❤
  2. Pour over salad and ENJOY!

Strawberry Danish Crescent Rolls

These rolls were absolutely delicious and very easy to make.

For the LIFE of me I couldn’t figure out how they explained to roll up the Grands Crescents, so I made it up as I went along and everything turned out WONDERFULLY!

As long as you seal the edges so your cream cheese doesn’t leak out, YOU’RE GOLDEN…Much like the Rolls when they are done 😉

Mum’s old hand mixer <3Ingredients together for easy Prep.

Strawberry Danish Crescent Rolls

Not exactly how I imagined them turning...but REEEAAALLLLY close

Not exactly how I imagined them turning...but REEEAAALLLLY close

Danish

4 oz. or 1/2 Cup Softened Cream Cheese

1/4 Cup Sugar

1/2 Tablespoon Lemon Juice

1 Can Grands Crescent Rolls [4 per package]

Jam – To Taste, I used my homemade Strawberry ❤

Glaze

1/4 Cup Powdered Sugar

1/4 – 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla

1 – 2 Teaspoons Milk [Add milk until desired consistency is reached]

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix together Cream Cheese, Sugar and Lemon Juice on Low speed until fully incorporated, wiping down sides of bowl as needed.
  3. Separate dough into 4 sections and spread 1/4 of cream cheese mixture on middle of dough.
  4. Roll up crescents starting with the long side, reaching towards the point. This is where you need to be a little creative. On ungreased cookie sheet stretch out the dough in your hands so it spans about 10 inches and slowly coil, tucking end underneath and sealing up any openings.
  5. Wash hands and poke deep hole down the center of the Danish and scoop in desired amount of Jam.
  6. Insert into oven and cook for 20-25 minutes depending on your oven time. Danishes will be a deep golden brown and hold shape when finished.
  7. While Danishes are cooking mix together in a small bowl Powdered Sugar, Vanilla and Milk until your desired consistency is reached.
  8. Let cool slightly and drizzle finished danishes with Glaze.  ENJOY ❤

I adapted the recipe slightly but here is where the inspiration came from. Original Danish Crescent Recipe

Chef’s Tip: Since it’s just Chris and I here I like to use only two crescents at a time and I wrap the other two up in tinfoil for later use…although I wouldn’t recommend leaving them more than a day in the fridge with the broken seal as they tend to lose some of their ability to rise after 24 hours.

Caramel-Walnut, Strawberry and Blueberry Cheesecake MINIS!

I have been wanting to try this recipe for quite some time since we’ve had a giant tub of cream cheese lingering in the back of the fridge, nearing expiration, but have always been a little stand offish when it comes to cheesecake recipes from past ‘not so great’ experiences.

I went ahead and tried a cream cheese related recipe – CRESCENT CREAM CHEESE DANISH ROLLS. They rolls were AMAZING
and it gave me the confidence needed to whip up these cheesecake minis!

I used the Strawberry Jam that Momma and I made the other day, Caramel Ice Cream topping and Walnuts, and a Blueberry glaze that I whipped up from some fresh berries 🙂

After Chris stopped making giddy lil’ kiddie noises, he gave me a big smile and thumbs up on all the flavours. [Although I made him pick his favourites for future reference…he said Blueberry and Strawberry, while I really liked the Caramel Walnut!]

The recipe DOES NOT call for a “minis” springform pan, just a paper and tin baking cup!

Caramel Walnut, Strawberry and Blueberry Cheesecake MINIS!

It is really important for this recipe that you take the cream cheese and egg out of the fridge a few hours prior to the commencement of baking. Cheesecake works best when cream cheese and egg are at room temperature. Another thing to remember is not to overbeat your batter. Batter is done when a smooth and creamy texture is reached [on LOW SPEED]. If a few lumps still remain, let batter sit at room temperature for 10-15 more minutes and then beat again.

For a full list of cheesecake tips and techniques I found this great website! Check it out before you begin! Cheesecake 101

Caramel, Blueberry and Strawberry Cheesecake Minis!

Caramel, Blueberry and Strawberry Cheesecake Minis!

For Approximately 24 Cheesecake Minis:

Crust:

1 Cup Graham Cracker Crumbs

1/4 Cup Butter, Room Temperature

1/4 Sugar

  1. Mix all ingredients until all crumbs are incorporated. Should look darker and damp.

Crust in the making

Filling:

1 1/4 Cup Cream Cheese

1/2 Cup Sugar

1 Egg

1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla

I also added a big spoonful of sour cream for some extra kick!

1. In a mixing bowl, beat room temperature Cream Cheese and Sugar on low until smooth.

2. Add egg and Vanilla and beat again on low until smooth.

3. Scrape down edges of bowl periodically so that all batter hits blades.

Smooth Creamy Batter
Smooth Creamy Batter
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line tin cups with paper cups.

  2. Place a bit of Graham Cracker into each cup and press firmly into bottom. [Probably around a Tbsp. or so. If Crumbs are not pressed firmly, crust will fall apart]. Make sure to save a bit of Graham Cracker crumbs to sprinkle on top of finished minis.

  3. Once all crumbs are pressed down spoon batter into cups almost to the top.

  4. Bake for 15-20 minutes depending on your oven time and keep a close eye on cheesecake in the last 10 minutes of baking. [While baking cheesecake will look shiny, when it’s finished it will look dull].

Enjoy!!! 😉

Cool for a few hours or even overnight and top with preferred topping.

Another way to tell if cheesecake is done: if you tap cups and batter jiggles they are not done, or if the center of cheesecake falls when cooled. Cheesecake is DONE BEFORE IT CRACKS! It also continues to cook for a few minutes [much like meat] when you first take them out of the oven because of the residual heat…if cheesecake looks “done” in pan, it will overdone on your plate.

I decided to whip up a BLUEBERRY GLAZE for some of my minis and here is THAT recipe! [You can use this for Strawberries as well].

1 Cup Berries

1/2-3/4 Cup Sugar

1 Cup Water

3 Tbsp. Cornstarch

Blueberry Glaze thick and bubbly
Blueberry Glaze thick and bubbly
  1. Crush berries and cook [med-high heat] in water for two minutes.

  2. Add Sugar and Cornstarch and stir until thick and bubbly [increase heat as needed

For strawberries add a few drops red food colouring.

More Cups before they hit the oven and my reserved crumbs for sprinkling.
More Cups before they hit the oven and my reserved crumbs for sprinkling.
Cooking cups look SHINY
Cooking cups look SHINY
Finished cups look DULL
Finished cups look DULL
Pretty Carmel-Walnut, Strawberry and Blueberry Glaze Mini Cheesecakes
Pretty Carmel-Walnut, Strawberry and Blueberry Glaze Mini Cheesecakes

This recipe is a definite keeper <3
This recipe is a definite keeper ❤

BE CREATIVE and pick whichever flavours you like best! Crush up some Oreoes, or Nilla Wafers to use for Crust instead of Graham Crackers. And be sure to let me know how it works out for you 🙂

Healthy Homemade Pesto Pizza

Asiago, Chicken and Broccoli Pesto Pizza

Pesto, Asiago, Chicken PIZZA [a mini]

  • One whole Wheat Pizza Dough

  • Fresh Pesto for Sauce

  • Asiago and Mozzarella Cheese – Shredded to taste

  • Cooked, Seasoned, Chicken – In strips, to taste

  • Broccoli, Chopped – To taste

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees and Flour Ball of Dough. Let it rise about 20 minutes before rolling and baking—doing so makes a big difference in the texture.

  2. Stretch out Pizza Dough to desired size on Cookie Sheet or Pizza Pan. Fresh dough sticks to EVERYTHING and flour alone is not enough to keep it from sticking [lesson learned]. A sprinkle of cornmeal on the pan seems to work.

  3. Spread Pesto on first like a sauce and then sprinkle with the Mozzarella Cheese. Then top with with Chicken and Broccoli [we also used Green Onions] and sprinkle with the remaining Asiago Cheese. This holds all the ingredients to the dough better!

  4. Insert Pizza into preheated oven and cook on bottom rack for 8-10 minutes for a crispier crust, or on middle rack for 9-11 minutes for a softer crust.

Remove pizza from oven and let stand 1 minute before cutting.

ENJOY

Last week Chris made up a delicious batch of Fresh Pesto!

We eat PASTA quite often, so this time we decided to try it on something a little different…PIZZA!

And what a great idea! We made a Whole Wheat, Asiago, Chicken and Broccoli Pesto Pizza and it was just DELICIOUS!!!We bought a fresh, Whole Wheat, Pizza dough from the Local Supermarket and split the larger piece into 3 smaller portions so that we could try 3 different, smaller pizzas [I find that we don’t eat A LOT at any one time so it’s best not to make tons of food that sometimes sits in the fridge for a week, uck].

We did notice that it was a tiny bit sharp for our tastes, so next time I would use Mozzarella cheese for the base and then sprinkle Asiago on top to give it that extra flavour. All in all a great pizza that I would definitely try again ❤

I only usually like to eat out when I know that I can’t make comparable food at home [my ‘eat out’ of choice is fish&chips *melts*] but this Pizza was ten times better than any Asiago, Chicken Pizza I have ever tried and I think that is because we made it very unique by adding the pesto layer! Definitely a great recipe and super easy to “spin up” on a Friday night ❤

Chris is a professional Pizza maker, watch him SPIN THAT SOUGH <3

Chris is a professional Pizza maker, watch him SPIN THAT DOUGH ❤

Pizza Before it hit the oven, I love the colour!

Pizza Before it hit the oven, I love the colour!

http://www.condron.us/

http://www.condron.us/

This Site allows you to flip through blogs much like you flip through channels on your TV! You can search by category, or have a new blog automatically refreshed on your screen every few seconds. If you’re not sure what kind of food you’re interested in learning about, chose the food channel and let vast selection of blogs flash before your eyes! There is definitely something for everyone!

My Secret Recipe…

“My secret recipe? Cooking without a recipe.

This will set you free.

Choose ingredients that fire your imagination.

Let your instincts be your guide.

Find other flavours that match.

Find the best way to prepare.

Simple is best.”

Michael Smith

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