Monday, November 21, 2016

Fall fell into my frappe & salad.

I've got to say....I love me some pumpkin!
Whether it be savory or sweet or in a Frappe or shake.
I never tire of this seasonal taste treat.
The "Pumpkin Spice Frappucino" is the fall season opener.  For most it is greatly anticipated with bated breath.

(Goggle Image)

As much as I adore any of the pumpkin  drinks offered, they come with a hefty calorie count.
Until now! 
Here's the low calorie recipe I created for my morning pumpkin smoothie/Frappe.
For a single serve I combine into my blender glass the following ~ingredients~
1/2 cup crushed ice with any
 milk of choice, just enough to top the ice.  
I prefer a low fat milk and or unsweetened almond milk.  
This is where you add the amount of organic canned pumpkin pie mix or puree you so desire.  If you use the pumpkin puree alone,you'll need to add the spices.  For me it's 1 cube of each...pumpkin pie mix and organic pumpkin (puree).
The pumpkin pie filling provides sweetness and spice.
Where he plain pumpkin gives the flavor but cuts the sugar content.

  Add a flavorful vanilla protein powder.
Freezing the pumpkin into cubes has up my game!

  Blend thoroughly. 
Top with a small dollop of .....
 So Delicious CoCo Whip
or...
Truwhip natural real cream topping.


 Top with a sprinkle of cinnamon.


It's the combination of pumpkin pie mix with the puree that makes this a go-to for my breakfast routine.

Savory Pumpkin Salad

Along with pumpkins there's an abundance of Fall squashes available.
When grilled it makes a delightful companion with leafy greens for a fresh salad.
For this particular dish I grilled up a variety of  squashes & veggies.    
Pumpkin, butternut squash, (yellow) sweet potato, mushrooms, onions, bell peppers.  Served over a generous mixture of leafy greens.  Topped with a splash of vinaigrette dressing or homemade avocado dressing. 
Blend an avocado with lime juice and a splash of water to create a dressing consistency.  I added season salts, Mexi spices and a little  fresh garlic.  
On occasion I'll add grilled seasoned chicken breast tenderloins.



Monday, September 12, 2016

Summer Crops

Where has the time gone!
For the most part summer is short and sweet in our part of the Pacific Northwest.
August is usually the summers highlight month so, we take advantage of every minute!


You may recognize this dessert, it's one of our summer favorites...raspberries, strawberries, on brownies with a mound of chocolate mousse.


We've had 4 crops in rotation......cherries, raspberries,  blueberries and rounding out the season...tomatoes.
They yield just enough for us along with a little extra to share.
And with the pickin's comes an array of dishes.



Cream cheese pie with shortbread cookie crust is our frequent flyer...with every fresh fruit that comes into season!


This pie is truly a summer  staple.


We have quite an unusual cherry tree! 
I know that you're thinking, what could possibly make a cherry tree different from all others, 
well....
 our  cherry tree actually has six varieties of cherries growing on one dwarf tree.
The only way to distinguish some of the darker cherries is by taste.
And then it can still be a surprise to our taste buds.
There's no real prep for cherries because we just nibble on them fresh and cold.
Sometimes we'll indulge and have a few over sweet cream  Gelato.



Honorable mention goes to our (sad) huckleberries who continue to  sprout 
pin-head size berries each year.
It takes H-O-U-R-S to pick those micro berries!  Short of using tweezers to pick a bowl full, 
they still yield a delightful flavor.
A very rare and appreciated treat is harvesting enough huckleberries for a tart. 



The real challenge....is fnding enough recipes for the abundance of tomatoes!
Of all the tomato dishes I've presented...the puff pastry pizza is the most requested.
Which honestly is a joy to make because the presentation looks time consuming. But,
 (my little secret) is that this can be accomplished with a few ingredients
 and minimal baking time.


I used a full sheet of (defrosted) puff pastry.
Dock the crust thoroughly with a fork before baking, this will prevent  the crust from inflating like a balloon.
Bake puff pastry just until lightly brown.
Add the toppings and continue to bake until the cheese has melted.


The skies the limit for toppings.
We've made several Margarita pizzas in utilizing our abundant supply of 
tomatoes!
I use a smear of olive oil mixed with an array of Italian spices as a base before adding the topping selection.



What really takes this pizza to a whole new taste level is the...
drum roll please.


Trader Joes
Balsamic Glaze.

Drizzle the balsamic glaze across your pizza and it will enhance the flavors.
This glaze marries well with several veggies.  Try it over... cucumbers, purple onions, tomatoes and fresh mozzarella.



Puff pastry pizza is a any time meal. 
It's also great reheated as a snack.








Thursday, March 3, 2016

If you'd like to visit me at my other blog....
I post my favorites every day.


Thursday, February 11, 2016

Chocolate cookies that capture the heart.

For those times when I need a quick treat and want to use whats on hand, I grab one of my frozen staples...puff pastry, filo dough or pie crust.


Valentines calls for hearts and a girls best friend...chocolate!



If you've been looking for a foolproof, quick recipe,  here it is.  You can use any of the prepared dough's I mentioned .  Frozen bread dough will work as well.   The technique is the same for all.  The best part you are only limited by your imagination for the fillings.  




At room temperature roll out the dough into a thin square.  Spread (soften) butter over the entire surface.  Sprinkle mini semi chocolate morsels, chopped nuts and granulated sugar.





Start rolling the dough at one end until you reach the center. 


Follow up by rolling the  opposite side until they meet up together.




Slice and gently shape the bottom into a point to form the  heart.
Refrigerate for 20 mins until chilled firm.




Bake at 325 for 12-14 mins until golden brown around the edges.

Cool and dust lightly with powder sugar.  
I used an assortment of containers to pack up my chocolate hearts.  I adore these Red and white polka dot  oversize mugs!   Trimmed with a vintage hearts and Cupid  Valentine tag and dot ribbon to match.





 Another favorite....tin mailboxes.
I took an inexpensive tin mailbox and covered it with a textured foiled paper.
For an added touch I  created a pedestal by gluing a glass candlestick to the bottom of the mailbox.  




The chocolate hearts fit perfectly in my mailbox.



The flag is up...for a special Valentine delivery!


(Google Image)

Sara's Sweet Surprise wishes you a
HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!