Cocoa Brownies with Salted Peanut Butter Frosting

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This is another shout out to Not Without Salt – my new favorite site
to persue and grow hungry while doing so. Look at her pictures and
tell me that you aren’t dying to make (or rather, eat) one of her
delicious creations!

My favorite part of our homeschooling adventure has been the service
part of our lessons. This week, we are focusing on the letter B. And
so, of course, we Baked Brownies. And we brought them to a friend who
starts with the letter B.

So I was happy to marry the two – Not Without Salt’s peanut butter
brownies, and our learning of the letter B.

I’m still thinking of what to make for the letter Z. But thankfully
we have some time before we get there. 🙂

You can see the full recipe here

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Fiesta Salad

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You want to eat this salad. The dressing is addictive. Do you see
how much dressing is here on this small salad? That poor little
spinach leaf is drowning … that’s because the salad is only a
vehicle to eat said dressing. If you’ve been to dinner at our house
in the last few weeks, you’ve eaten this salad. And then I have
happily eaten the leftovers for lunch, snack, dinner again …

If you are like me, the first few years I started cooking, I had no
idea what vegetable to serve with Mexican food. Mexican resturants
aren’t the best at offering good mexican veggie side dishes – no one
ever really likes that pathetic helping of iceberg lettuce with a
dollap of sour cream. So I was VERY happy to be introduced to this
yummy creation from my Not Without Salt cooking class last June. If you are in the Seattle area, I 
highly recommend taking one of Ashley’s classes – they are the best!  Check out her site here: Not Without Salt

Fiesta Salad


Dressing:

3 tbsp orange juice
2 tbsp lime juice
1/2 cup mayo
1/4 mexican cotija cheese grated
1 scant tsp salt
1 green onion, minced

Combine all ingredients. Taste and season highly with salt if needed.

Salad:

Romaine or leaf lettuce, chopped
1/2 jicama bulb
3 oranges, segmented into supremes
1/2 pepitas

(and anything else you have around – i’ve added carrots, cucumbers, feta …)

Strawberry Extravaganza!

On Saturday, we took the long way home out to Davenport on Highway
One, and stopped to pick some delicious organic strawberries! It was
windy as all get out, hence why Tim is wearing a moose fleece on his
head and a snow parka on his legs. (thankfully i had a box in the back
of the car that was meant to go to storage for out of season clothes,
but they came in handy for windy Davenport). But we were determined
to get enough berries to try making our own jam – a project Andrew and
I took on with gusto late last night. Are there other husbands who
stay up until midnight laddling hot jam into jars to help their wife?
🙂 I’ve never made strawberry jam before, so this was quite a fun
experiment for me. And, at $2.50 a lb at Swanton’s farm, it was a
“cheap” way to get some great jam for the year, plus lots of extra
berries for snacking on!

Fourth of July Pie

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Omit the blueberries, and this could be just a summer pie! I’m not a
big fan of already made pie crusts, but I do have to say that it
helped to make this pie simple, quick, and yummy.

You can see the original recipe
here:http://www.ourbestbites.com/2011/04/chocolate-drizzled-strawberries-and-cream-pie/

Chocolate-Drizzled Strawberries and Cream Pie

1 quart FRESH strawberries
1 8-oz. package cream cheese at room temperature (light is fine)
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 c. packed light brown sugar
1 c. heavy whipping cream
1/4 c. powdered sugar
1 9″ graham cracker crust (store-bought or homemade)
1-2 ounces chocolate

In a medium bowl, beat the softened cream cheese, brown sugar, and
vanilla until light and fluffy. In a separate large bowl, beat the
whipping cream and powdered sugar until medium peaks form. Add about
1 c. of the whipping cream mixture to the cream cheese mixture. Beat
until smooth and well-combined. Add the remaining whipping cream
mixture and mix until just combined. Spread in the graham cracker
crust and refrigerate for a few minutes while you prepare the
strawberries.

Wash the strawberries and cut off the stems. Blot dry with a paper
towel and then gently press, cut side down, into the whipped cream
mixture. Set aside.

If using a chocolate bar, break it into equal pieces and place in a
small Ziploc bag. Microwave for 1-1 1/2 minutes, stopping the
microwave every 20 seconds to mash the bag. You want the chocolate to
be melted but not hot at all. When the chocolate is melted, snip a
corner off the bag and drizzle it over the strawberries. Refrigerate
for at least three hours before serving. Serves 8.