Thursday, August 27, 2015

Peaches 'n Cream Bars

Let's say you're walking through your local grocery store and eye the peach display. And if you live in Utah like me, you know you should buy some. We've all been there when the peaches look so good you buy a little too many and the next thing you know you have some very ripe peaches that need to be used right away.
Enter these peaches and cream bars...They are a decadent and rich way to turn your peaches into an incredible dessert. 
They are really so easy to make and so good that my husband seriously wouldn't let me share them with the neighbors...True story.
If you are looking for a dessert that will wow your family or friends, this is the one. The bar ingredients all easily fit into an 8x8-inch pan, but don't worry there will be plenty to share.

Peaches ’n Cream Bars
1 cup flour
1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
10 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cold and cubed
Peach Filling
1 large egg
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 Tbsp. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
2 medium peaches, peeled and chopped (about 1.5 cups)
Vanilla Glaze
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1-2 Tbsp. cream or milk 
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 8x8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil with enough overhang on the sides for easy removal. Spray foil with nonstick spray.
2. Make the crust/topping: In a large bowl, whisk the flour, oats, brown sugar, and cinnamon together until combined. Cut in the cold butter using a pastry blender or your hands until it reaches coarse, pea-sized crumbs. Reserve 3/4 cup of the mixture that will be used for the topping.
3. Evenly press the remaining oat mixture into the bottom of the prepared baking pan. Bake for 15 minutes as you prepare the filling.
4. Make the filling: Whisk the egg and sugar together until smooth and creamy. Add the flour and salt. Whisk until combined. Fold in the peaches. Remove crust from the oven after 15 minutes and pour the filling over hot crust. Sprinkle with reserved oat mixture. 
5. Bake for 30-32 minutes or until golden brown on top. Allow to cool in the pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Transfer to the refrigerator and allow to chill for 2 hours before cutting into squares.
6. Make the vanilla glaze: Using a fork or spoon, whisk/stir the powdered sugar, cream and vanilla extract together until smooth. Drizzle over each square. Store bars tightly covered in the refrigerator. Bars stay fresh for up to 4 days.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Cilantro, Lime and Avocado Chicken Salad

I'm not even sure where to start about this chicken salad...other than that it's amazing and you'll never make regular old chicken salad ever again. Avocados, lime and cilantro?? Need I say more? This chicken salad has so much flavor and is perfect tucked inside of a folded pita.

This salad comes together in a flash and you will keep coming back for more. And so will the rest of your family. I promise.

Cilantro, Lime & Avocado Chicken Salad
Adapted from Family Fresh Meals
2 cups shredded chicken
1 avocado, peeled, pitted and cubed
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
2 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup sour cream

1. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 20-30 minutes to let the flavors blend together. 

2. Serve on bread, crackers or a pita.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Chocolate Strawberries and Cream Pie

This pie is a definite winner. I guess you could say I'm picky about pies in a way. I'd rather have a graham cracker or chocolate cookie crust any day over traditional pie crust, save that for something savory! And of course I'll take a pudding or cream pie over a cooked fruit one no matter what. So the fact that this pie combines a few of my favorite things about pie is just too good to be true.
This recipe actually called for a traditional pie crust, but I didn't even consider it. And instead of using a graham cracker crust, I thought a chocolate one seemed fitting. And boy was I right!
The cream filling is out of this world and provides the perfect, light sweetness to pair with the strawberries and chocolate ganache.
This is definitely a crowd pleaser and you won't be able to only have one slice. Trust me.
My advice to you is just to make sure you share. But if not, you'll probably really, really enjoy yourself.

Chocolate Strawberries and Cream Pie
Adapted from Let’s Dish
1 (6 oz.) chocolate pie crust
1-1/2 cups heavy cream
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. lemon juice
16-20 strawberries, quartered or halved (depending on size)
For the Chocolate Ganache:
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1. In a large bowl, beat 1-1/2 cups heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
2. In another large bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, vanilla extract and lemon juice until light and fluffy.
3. Beat whipped cream into cream cheese mixture.
4. Spoon mixture into prepared crust and smooth top. Arrange strawberries over the top of the filling as desired.
5. Place the chocolate chips in a small bowl. Heat the cream in a small saucepan until it just begins to boil. Remove from heat and pour over chocolate chips. Let stand for 2-3 minutes.

6. Whisk chocolate and cream until smooth and shiny. Drizzle over strawberries. Refrigerate pie for at least 2 hours before serving.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Grilled Coconut-Lime Shrimp and Veggie Foil Packets

I'm sure most of you can tell that I'm not a big fish person, hence the complete lack of any recipes having to do with seafood. But the one "fishy" food I can handle is shrimp. I guess maybe because it doesn't have that fishy taste. Anyway, I really do love shrimp and love this fresh dinner idea that is perfect for summer.
The coconut-lime marinade is perfect for shrimp and once you combine it with some yummy cooked summer veggies, you've got yourself a winner! We ate ours over rice to make sure we were completely filled and it did not disappoint. And did I mention how easy these are to throw together?? Just make sure you leave time to marinate them. That is the key. Enjoy!!

Grilled Coconut-Lime Shrimp and Veggie Foil Packets
Adapted from Diethood
Serves 6-8
1 small onion, chopped
2 tsp. garlic
3/4 cup shredded sweetened coconut
zest and juice of 1 lime
1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1/2 - 1 lb. raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
8 to 10 aluminum foil sheets large enough to wrap around the food
1 zucchini, sliced into ¼-inch rounds
1 to 2 cups fresh corn kernels
1-2 cups cooked white rice, optional

1. In a blender, combine onion, garlic, coconut, lime zest, lime juice, cilantro, olive oil and soy sauce; blend until smooth.
2. Place marinade and shrimp in a resealable bag and toss to coat. Place in the fridge for 2 to 4 hours.
3. Preheat an outdoor grill to medium-high heat.
4. For each foil pack, prepare two sheets of aluminum foil; place the sheets one on top of the other for durability and lightly spray with cooking spray.
5. Divide up the veggies and shrimp evenly and place into the center of each foil packet. Fold the sides of the foil over the shrimp, covering completely; seal the packets closed.
6. Transfer the foil packets to the grill, cover grill and cook for 10-12 minutes, or until shrimp are opaque.

7. Carefully open the foil packets and stir the contents. Serve over white rice if desired.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Cowboy Caviar

I know Cowboy Caviar (or whatever you like to call it) is a long-standing recipe that has been passed down in many of your families for years and years...but not in mine.

About a month ago, my husband's aunt brought this to snack on while we were up in Bear Lake (Utah) and I was addicted. It had only been about the second time I've tried it and I was officially hooked.
This is a perfectly light and tasty dip/salsa that is awesome to serve to large crowds at your next family or neighborhood barbecue. You could easily add more heat, more veggies or whatever you like to make this your own. It's a new favorite over here!

Cowboy Caviar
Adapted from AllRecipes
1 (15.5 oz.) can black beans, drained
1 (15.5 oz) can black-eyed peas, drained
1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes, drained
2 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped pickled jalapeƱo peppers, optional for heat
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1 cup Italian salad dressing
3/4 cup chopped cilantro

1. Mix beans, peas, tomatoes, corn, onion and peppers in a large bowl. Season with garlic salt. Stir in dressing and cilantro; toss to coat. Refrigerate for 20 minutes or until ready to serve. Serve with tortilla chips.