Tag Archives: summer

Peach Blueberry Crisp

peach blueberry crisp

For many of us, August means an abundance of fresh fruit — berries, stone fruits, melons, you name it.  I’ve been lucky enough to enjoy two “waves” of summer fruit season this summer.  Since Florida’s produce season is ahead of New York’s, I was enjoying Florida blueberries and Georgia peaches back in June and July.  Now, while I’m in New York for a few weeks, I’ve been able to enjoy the fresh, local fruit here as well.

With fresh fruit on the brain, I thought I’d sweeten things up a bit here today and share a fruity dessert.  One that comes together in no time and highlights fresh fruit — specifically, peaches and blueberries (note: you could easily substitute other berries or fruit in this recipe!): peach blueberry crisp!

peach_blueberry crisp

Because the fruit I used was so ripe, I needed to do very little in the way of sweetening the crisp.  I opted to use pure maple syrup as my sweetener of choice, but you could also use honey or agave nectar.

The buttery, crispy, crumbly topping is the icing on the cake crisp.  Simple ingredients, just like the filling.  Since only a small amount of flour is required in the topping, I actually used brown rice flour, keeping this recipe gluten free, but you could easily use all-purpose flour instead.

peachblueberry crispYou’ll notice I made the crisp in small glass jars for a nice change of pace (and single servings).  If you don’t have jars, you can just as easily make the crisp in a baking pan — I’d use a 6×8 pan, or if you don’t have that, a 8-inch square pan.

I didn’t happen to have any on hand when I photographed these crisps, but I do believe the perfect way to enjoy this crisp — especially on a hot summer day — would be to top with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream. 🙂  Either way, though, it’ll be delicious!

peach blueberry crisp 2

[print_this]Peach Blueberry Crisp

A fruity dessert with fresh peaches and blueberries, topped with a crumbly, crispy oat topping.  You can substitute frozen peaches or blueberries for fresh (do not that before baking), or other fruits, if desired.

Serves 6

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

  • 2 cups diced fresh peaches
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Topping:

  • 1/2 cup brown rice flour (or all-purpose flour)
  • 1 cup oats (either old-fashioned or quick)
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, chilled

Heat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Spray 6 small jars (or a 6×8 or 8×8 baking pan) with nonstick cooking spray.

In a mixing bowl, stir the peaches, blueberries, maple syrup, and salt until mixed.  Spread into the prepared dish(es).

In a separate mixing bowl, combine the topping ingredients.  Stir until crumbly (use your hands if needed).  Sprinkle the topping over the fruit.

Bake about 20 minutes or until the topping is crisp and fruit is bubbly. Allow the crisp to cool before serving.[/print_this]

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Summer Veggie Burgers

Summer Veggie Burgers Little Bitty Bakes

Veggie burgers.  Are you a fan?  I’m a big veggie burger fan with one major contingency: I like to see vegetables in my veggie burgers.   Sounds strange, but I feel like I’ve eaten so many mystery-veggie burgers in the past.  If it’s a veggie burger, I want real, fresh vegetables in there, you know?

Seeing as how we’re now officially into the summer season, I whipped up a batch of summer veggie burgers late last week.  What makes a veggie burger a summer veggie burger?  By loading them up with all of your favorite summer veggies, of course!

Summer Veggie Burgers

Zucchini, yellow squash, onion, corn, and carrots… gang’s all (in) there!

In addition to the surplus of veggies, I used white beans + corn meal to bring the burgers together.  A lot of veggie burger recipes call for an egg to bind, but between the vegetables, beans, and corn meal, these hold their own without the egg.

The veggies are all good, don’t get me wrong, but the real start ingredient in there?  Mustard!  I mixed Barhyte’s Saucy Mama dill mustard right into the veggie burger mix to give them an extra unique flavor.  I know this sounds silly and obvious but, if you are a fan of mustard and dill, you need to try this mustard.  I think it should be called summer mustard!  If there’s a single herb that reminds me of summer, it’s dill.  Actually, that’s a lie — I live for fresh basil in the summer.  But dill is a close second. 😉

Summer Veggie Burgers with Dill Mustard

Anyway… a couple weeks ago I shared a recipe for bacon wrapped dates as part of a mustard recipe contest with Barhyte Foods and, well, I made it to the next round!  I definitely feel like I’m on the food blog version of chopped. 😉

These veggie burgers are my entry to the second round of the mustard recipe competition.  This time around, we had to make a dinner recipe that also incorporated beans as a secret ingredient.  I figured there’s no better way to enjoy dinner in the summer than with a minimal prep burger of some sort… here’s to hoping my recipe is enticing enough to the judges! 😉

Summer Veggie Burgers w Dill Mustard

I kept my veggie burger toppings simple the first time around (as pictured in this post) with just spinach, tomatoes, and a little extra dill mustard on a whole wheat bun.  But, as with most burgers, the the topping options are endless!

[print_this]Summer Veggie Burgers with Dill Mustard

Veggie burgers loaded with zucchini, yellow squash, onion, corn, and carrots.  Dill mustard gives the burgers a uniquely “summer” flavor.

Makes 4 burgers

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 40 minutes

  • 1 (15-ounced) can white beans or black eyed peas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup shredded summer squash (I used a combination of zucchini and yellow squash)
  • 1/4 cup shredded carrots
  • Corn kernels from 1 small ear of corn (cooked)
  • 2 tablespoons diced onion
  • 3 tablespoons corn meal
  • 2 tablespoons Saucy Mama dill mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/ teaspoon ground black pepper

Place the beans in the bowl of a food processor and pulse just until the beans are broken up (do not puree them completely).

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl.  Use a fork (or clean hands) to mix until combined.  Chill the veggie burger mix in the refrigerator 30 minutes (this allows the mix to firm up a bit, so it is easier to shape them into patties).

Heat the oven to 325 degrees F.  Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.  Form the chilled mixture into 4 patties, each about 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick.  Place the burgers on the prepared baking sheet.

Bake 35 to 40 minutes, flipping the burgers half way through baking.  If grilling the burgers, first bake them for 30 minutes (flipping half way), then finish them on the grill.*

*The bake/grill option can be done partly ahead of time.  Simply bake the veggie burgers 30 minutes, allow them to cool completely, then wrap each burger individually and freeze.  Remove the frozen veggie burgers as you need them, grilling them to reheat.

This is an original recipe from http://www.littlebittybakes.com. [/print_this]

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream Pie

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream Pie LBBakes

Now that it’s unofficially summer, I have the best dessert recipe to share with you.  I know it’s the best because it involves ice cream and cookie dough.  And no oven.

First, I’m going to let you in on a little secret: this pie isn’t nearly as bad for you as it looks (speaking relatively here, folks).  Don’t you love when that happens?  This secret obviously means you need to make this pie.  Immediately. 😉

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream Pie by Little Bitty Bakes

I dreamed this recipe from the bottom up, literally.  Most ice cream pies involve graham cracker crusts of some sort (which I love), but for whatever reason, I wanted to attempt a crust made of cookie dough.  Not baked cookies, but unbaked, gooey, cookie dough.  And what better to top a pie crust made of cookie dough than with cookie dough ice cream?

Chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream pie… with a chocolate chip cookie dough crust.  This stuff might be the answer to world peace, my friends.

Since the cookie dough crust is frozen to set, I knew I needed to keep eggs out of the picture.  I scoured the web for no-egg cookie dough recipes and landed on this gem.  I made some adaptations, subbing butter for the oil (the original recipe is vegan, but I’m not), and used a combination of oats + almond meal to thicken things up.  For those of you with special diets (e.g., vegan, gluten free), this recipe is totally doable.  🙂

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream Pie

Once I pressed the cookie dough into a springform pan, I let it set in the freezer for about 2 hours.  As the crust sets, you will be able to press the cookie dough a bit easier, so don’t worry if you have trouble when first spreading it to the edges of the pan.

Meanwhile, I got the ice cream portion of things going.  I mixed two cups of (softened) light cookie dough ice cream with a cup and a half of lite cool whip.  I love making frozen/chilled pies with cool whip because it gives the pie lots of volume.  If you’re not a cool whip fan, we can’t be friends, you could substitute real whipped cream (homemade, not from a can).

Once the cookie dough has chilled, spread the ice cream + cool whip mixture over the crust, and then let it freeze at least 6 hours, or overnight.  I chilled mine overnight.  And then I promptly devoured a slice for lunch the next day. 🙂

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream Pie top

 

… and I’ll now proceed to dream up 3497932 variations of this pie. 😉

[print_this]Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream Pie

Chocolate chip cookie dough (sans egg) serves as the crust for this frozen cookie dough ice cream pie.

Serves 8

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: n/a

Cookie dough crust (adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie):

  • 1 cup canned white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons quick oats
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons almond meal (or all-purpose flour)

Spray a 7 or 8-inch springform pan lightly with nonstick cooking spray.  Mash the beans in a food processor until smooth.  Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl; stir until mixed well.  Press the cookie dough into the pan.  Chill until set, about 2 hours.

Ice cream layer:

  • 2 1/2 cups light cookie dough ice cream (I recommend Edy’s)
  • 1 1/2 cups light cool whip (or homemade whipped cream)

Allow the ice cream to soften on the counter.  Once softened, fold the cool whip into the ice cream until blended.  Spread the mixture over the chilled cookie dough crust.  Freeze the pie at least 6 hours before serving, or overnight.

This is an original recipe from http://www.littlebittybakes.com. [/print_this]

Lemon Feta Potato Salad

Lemon Feta Potato Salad LBBakes

Who is excited for Memorial Day weekend?!  I’ve always loved Memorial Day weekend since it marks the unofficial start of summer, and even more so because Memorial Day usually falls fairly close to my birthday (May 29th).  I’m sure my blogger-birthday buddy Sally agrees. 😉

Anyway, to get you in 3-day weekend, summer grilling mode, I thought I’d interrupt my regularly scheduled sweet recipe posts and instead share something a little savory today.

I don’t know about you, but for me, one of the most fun parts of summer BBQ’s are the side dishes.  Bring on the salads — fruit, veggie, pasta, potato — you name it, I’m probably a fan.

Lemon Feta Potato Salad Little Bitty Bakes

Do me a favor — the next time you grab a bunch of potatoes to make a potato salad, try this lemon feta potato salad.  Rather than mayonnaise, this salad is dressed with extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice.  It’s so much lighter than traditional potato salads.  Lighter potato salad = more room for other food. 😉

Feta cheese and lemon zest are the stars of this salad, adding tangy and tart flavors to the otherwise simple salad.  I added rosemary to the salad as well, which I loved, but you could also add other herbs.  I think dill would be a great option!

Rather than served cold like a traditional potato salad, this salad is served warm or at room temperature.  Since there is cheese involved, you won’t want to let it sit out in the sun all day, but it generally can last quite awhile on the table.

Lemon Feta Potato Salad

 

Have a happy Memorial Day weekend!

[print_this]Lemon Feta Potato Salad

Warm potato salad dressed with extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice.  Feta cheese, lemon zest, and rosemary add bold flavors to the salad. 

Serves 8

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

  • 2 pounds potatoes (any kind), sliced*
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons herbs (I recommend rosemary or dill)
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Place the potatoes in a large pot of water.  Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and continue cooking 10 to 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are just barely tender.

Drain the potatoes in a colander, then pour into a large bowl.  Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl; toss to mix.  Serve the salad warm or at room temperature.  Store any leftover salad in the refrigerator.

*I recommend slicing regular potoates into quarters to cook quicker.[/print_this]

Peach Banana Yogurt Bars

Good news!  I have things!  My household belongings finally arrived here in Florida this week, which means I don’t have to sleep on an air mattress anymore, don’t have to dress myself out of a suitcase, and I can mix cookies in my KitchenAid!  I think I forgot what it was like to have a kitchen full of dishes, pans, and small appliances.  It’s the little things in life, I tell ya!

To celebrate my reunion with all of my prized possessions, I’ve been taking advantage of my final few days before becoming a full-time doctoral student by baking up lots of good things.  Lots of cookies!  That’s probably no surprise.

In addition to the cookie frenzy, I also whipped up these yummy peach banana yogurt bars.

Peach banana, you may ask?  Yes… things I’ve learned about fruit in the past week: bananas ripen at rapid speed in August, even in an AC’ed apartment… and living right near Georgia means you get to enjoy some of the biggest, best peaches around. 🙂

I took my sweet peaches and super ripe bananas, grabbed a container of CHO, and got to work on a bar I’ve been snacking on all week long.  The bars taste very similar to banana bread, but I call them “yogurt bars” because the yogurt makes them incredibly moist, almost cheesecake-like.  Store ’em in the fridge and you’ve got the perfect snack for the tail end of summer. 🙂

[print_this]Peach Banana Yogurt Bars

Makes 12 bars

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 40 minutes

  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • 6 ounces lowfat plain (or peach!) Greek yogurt (I use Chobani)
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 large peach, skin removed and diced
Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray an 8- or 9-inch loaf pans with nonstick cooking spray.
In a large mixing bowl, stir the banana, yogurt, and egg until mixed well.  In a separate small mixing bowl, stir the sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and flour.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, stirring until just mixed.  Stir in the diced peaches.
Spread the batter into the prepared pan.  Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.  Allow to cool at least 10 minutes before slicing (I cut lengthwise down the middle, then 6 bars across). [/print_this]

Michelob ULTRA Light Cider & Summer Strawberry Cider

Let’s just get straight to it: I’m not a beer drinker.  Despite years of trying, I’ve just never been able to acquire a taste for beer.  Dark or light, traditional or fruity… just can’t do it.  When I drink an alcoholic beverage — or, I guess any beverage — I want it to taste good, and I want it to be fairly sweet.  I’d much rather drink a mojito or glass of wine than a bottle of beer.

So, you might be wondering why, if I don’t like beer, I’m writing a post with the word “Michelob” in it?  It’s a fair question, but I’ve got a good answer. 🙂

About a month ago, I was contacted by my advertising network, BlogHer, about an opprtunity to try and review Michelob ULTRA’s new Light Cider.  As described by Michelob:

Michelob ULTRA Light Cider is a new light, naturally sweetened and gluten-free cider made from crisp apples.  Light and refreshing, Michelob ULTRA Light Cider is an ideal alternative to white wine, champagne and traditional ciders.  ULTRA Light Cider has 120 calories per serving – that’s one-third fewer calories than an average of the leading regular hard ciders.

Made from apples?  An alternative to white wine or champagne?  Lower in calories so I can enjoy it with a cookie? 😉  I was intrigued!

Call me naive, but as a girl whose alcohol consumption is more or less limited to wine and very occasional hard liquor, I honestly didn’t know the difference between beer and cider.  With a little Beer/Cider 101 reading, I learned the main difference between the two is the ingredients used: cider uses apples, while barley and hops are generally the main ingredients for beer.  Ha, I guess I should have known that?

I was able to locate the new cider in the malt liquor/hard cider section of my grocery store, and after a quick chill in the fridge, I was ready to crack a bottle open.  I invited my sister to try one with me, since she also usually steers clear of beer.  I figured, if both of us can enjoy it, anyone can. 😉

Promises of a light and refreshing drink definitely delivered.  It’s been pretty hot here in NY lately, and the ULTRA Light Cider was very refreshing that afternoon.  Now, as a non-beer drinker, I have to say I thought the cider had a beer-like flavor.  Yet at the same time, I would gladly grab this over any other beer/cider.  I don’t really like to drink my calories (unless it’s a smoothie), and the ULTRA light cider was very light, with a faintly sweet flavor from the apples.

Now, here’s where things get really tasty!

Always wanting to whip something up…

I decided to use the ULTRA Light Cider to make a pretty little cider cocktail… A summer strawberry cider. 🙂

[print_this]Summer Strawberry Cider

Makes 1 drink

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons crushed strawberries
  • 1 bottle Michelob ULTRA Light Cider, chilled

Spoon the crushed strawberries at the bottom of a glass.  Pour the cider over the top.  Enjoy! [/print_this]

Oh yes, this is the way to enjoy cider!  If you like sweet drinks minus the whole added sugar thing, you will love sipping on this all summer long!

Since I’ve always got food on the mind… what summer meal do you think would go best with Michelob ULTRA Cider?  I think a big salad with grilled chicken would be great with my Summer Strawberry Cider!

Want to know more about this cider?  You can learn more by visiting the Michelob ULTRA Light Cider page on BlogHer.com or visit the sponsor site.