Tag Archives: dessert

What’s in the Box? Recipe Roundup #14

What's in the Box?

After over 2 months of vacation, Harper and I are finally back to reality.  It feels nice to unpack our bags, hang up our clothes and put our toiletries back in the medicine cabinet.  But lots has happened since we first left for Ireland back in June.  While we were gone, Freddie got another new job.  Which means yet another move for us (which, if you’re still keeping track is 12 moves in 8 years…with 3 of those moves happening in the last 8 months).  As much as we had hoped they would, things just didn’t work out for us in San Louis Obispo.  But as they say, when one door closes, another one opens, and Freddie’s new opportunity is even better than his last.  So while Harper and I were visiting friends and family all over the globe, Freddie was busy packing up our new home up north and moving us south to good ol’ Orange County.

Luckily, I am no stranger to this area.  I have aunts, uncles and cousins who live in Orange County and so I guess you can say I have grown up coming to visit here.  It’s just so much bigger than what we have become accustomed to after living in Santa Barbara for the past 3 years.  But there is nothing better than being close to family, so we are very grateful for that.

And of course, I couldn’t approve of the move until I found a CSA.  And my new one sounds awesome!  I just didn’t submit my subscription in time to get a box this week, so next Tuesday I will be picking up a box and can’t wait to share it with you all.

But in the meantime, let’s check out the links from last week.  I am loving the rooty, tooty, fresh and fruity flavors that are coming our way…Pizza with Raspberries, Pasta with Peaches, and Quinoa with Cranberries (and pineapple mint!).  Get’s me more excited than it should.  But, as we all know, I have a weakness for fruit.  Which is why I have decided to share my favorite summer fruit recipes this week.

Enjoy!

Raspberry Chicken

Raspberry Chicken with Homemade Rice Pilaf - In Her Chucks

Fresh Strawberry Yogurt Cake

Fresh Strawberry Yogurt Cake - In Her Chucks

Lime Pistachio Squares

Lime Squares with Pistacio Graham-Cracker Crust - In Her Chucks

Lemon Iced Tea

Lemon Iced Tea - In Her Chucks

Your turn: What are some of your favorite ways to incorporate your CSA fruits into simple and delicious meals?  Looking forward to drooling over your ideas.  

Linking up for the first time?  Click here for more info…and Welcome!

PS:  Don’t forget to tell your readers about the party by linking back to this post and grabbing the official “What’s in the Box?” button at the bottom of my blog.  Thanks!

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What’s in the Box? Recipe Roundup #14

What's in the Box?

This summer has been all about traveling.  Whether we were moving, or jet-setting across the Atlantic, it seems like we are always on the go.  And we still have a few more weeks to go until we are home.  But Harper and I are having a blast and enjoying each and every minute of it (minus missing Daddy…that part really sucks).

After coming home from Branson last week, we decided to hop up to Santa Barbara to visit some of our close friends.  Santa Barbara is a special place for us.  It is where we lived for the last 3 years before Freddie took his new job up north.  It is where we found out we were pregnant and where Harper was born.  And most importantly, it is where we have created lifelong friendships with some very special folks.  We are so grateful for the memories that we have in this beautiful town, and it feels good to be “home”, even for just a little while.

Here is a glimpse at what we have been up to in our favorite coastal city…

Greek Festival

For such a small town, Santa Barbara is famous for their summer festivals. This past weekend, we enjoyed the food, the fun and the music of the Greek Festival.

Cute Little Firefighters

The streets are officially safe with these two adorable firefighters on duty

Beach Fun

You can’t be staying a few blocks from the beach without taking a dip. Although Harper was clearly way more excited about the cold water than I was…

We are blessed to be able to visit such wonderful people in such a beautiful place.

But this post isn’t a paid advertisement for Santa Barbara (although it should be…), it’s about the goodness of veggies.  And although I still don’t have a box (but I got one coming next week), there’s more than enough produce at the party to go around.

Last week we had a total of 11 link ups.  And not only were there Fried Green Tomatoes and Buffalo Chicken Pizza, but there was homemade pie, and a collection of blueberry treats!  Man, are we spoiled :)  Thanks for sharing and linking up!  You continue to amaze me with your delicious and nutritious dishes.

As for me, I have been eating my weight in homegrown tomatoes, which is ironic considering I used to not be the biggest fan.  But after almost 3 years of CSA membership, and tons of great recipes linked to the party, I have collected enough scrumptious ideas to change my mind (although I still won’t snack on them for fun…have to draw the line somewhere…).

So in honor of my graduation to an “almost tomato lover”, here are my favorite recipes that utilize the abundance of CSA tomatoes this season…

Chicken with Tomato Herb Pan Sauce

Chicken with Tomato Herb Pan Sauce - In Her Chucks

Cherry Tomato Pesto

Cherry Tomato Pesto - In Her Chucks

Homemade Tomato Sauce

Homemade Tomato Sauce - In Her Chucks

Your turn: What are some of your favorite ways to incorporate your CSA tomatoes into simple and delicious meals?  Looking forward to drooling over your ideas.  

Linking up for the first time?  Click here for more info…and Welcome!

PS:  Don’t forget to tell your readers about the party by linking back to this post and grabbing the official “What’s in the Box?” button at the bottom of my blog.  Thanks!

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What’s in the Box? Recipe Roundup #13

What's in the Box?

Our last week in Branson was a blast!  We made sure to hit up all the local attractions before we headed out west.  Branson is known for their live shows and we were lucky enough to check out a few of them including The Price is Right LIVE.

The Price is Right LIVE

Harper could care less about winning a new car, she was all about the pretty model’s sparkly dresses :)

Branson also has a fun theme park called Silver Dollar City.  They have everything from rides, to live entertainment to crafty souvenirs.  It’s a great place to run around and enjoy yourself for the day (even when it’s 102 degrees!).

SDC

Finally, no trip to Branson would be complete without a ride on the ducks.  And I’m not talking about the ones that go “quack”.  I’m talking about the amphibious vehicles that were made famous during WWII.  This is Harper’s second time this summer riding a duck.  First as a viking during our trip to Ireland…Viking Duck

and now as a duckling herself…Ride the Ducks

Being a tourist is fun!

And of course we spent lots and lots of time with family.  Including, Harper’s new BFF, her Great Uncle John…

Holding hands with Uncle John

Harper and I are sure going to miss Branson, but are looking forward to another visit real soon :)

But enough about me, let’s talk veggies.

Last week we had a total of 13 link ups.  And to be frank, it’s summer produce at it’s best.  One of my favorite summer veggies is sweet corn.  And when you throw fresh kernels into a fresh batch of batter and deep fry it, the result is pure bliss.  (Speaking of deep frying, did you check out these crispy fried shallots?  The Angels are definitely singing for this one…).  Or you could toss it with some zucchini, leeks and a handful cheese and you got yourself an awesome summer pizza.  Oh, the possibilities :)  A big thanks to everyone who participated.  I just can’t get enough or your CSA goodness.

And because I am feeling extra sweet today (and in need of a sugar fix), here are some of my favorite CSA inspired desserts (in alphabetical order…).  Enjoy!

Apple Crisp

Apple Crisp - In Her Chucks

Beet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Beet Cake - In Her Chucks

Carrot Cookies

Carrot Cookies - In Her Chucks

Lemon Bars

Lemon Bars - In Her Chucks

Sweet Zucchini Cupcakes

Sweet Zucchini Cupcakes - In Her Chucks

Your turn: What are some of your favorite ways to incorporate your CSA fruits and veggies into simple and sinful desserts?  Looking forward to drooling over your ideas.  

Linking up for the first time?  Click here for more info…and Welcome!

PS:  Don’t forget to tell your readers about the party by linking back to this post and grabbing the official “What’s in the Box?” button at the bottom of my blog.  Thanks!

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What’s in the Box? Recipe Roundup #9

What's in the Box?

It has been a week since Harper and I stepped foot on Irish soil and life here is truly “grand” (as they say).  I could go on and on about everything we have seen and experienced, but for now, I will let Instagram do all the talking…

First stop?  A proper pub on the mountaintop complete with Irish dancing and finished off with an Irish coffee :)

Pub Antics

How do you recover from a crazy night out the with locals?  Well, an Irish Breakfast of course…

Irish Breakfast

After filling my tummy with goodness it was time to brush up on my Irish history and explore some ancient ruins…

Irish History

Harper was so inspired by digging down deep into her Irish roots, she decided to pick up the tin whistle…

Harper and her whistle

We have also visited the local zoo, done some cooking and of course lots of relaxing.  Life in the motherland (as my mom calls it) is gorgeous :)

And you know what else is gorgeous?  Last week’s links…all 12 of them.  What I love most about each week’s link ups is how much I learn from you guys.  And this week is no different.  Agrigirl taught us that corn silk has many health benefits…who knew?  And The Novice Gardener introduced me to Lemon Balm in addition to giving me loads of ways to use it.  Now I want to grow it all over my garden.  And finally, Have Dessert First is back at the party with a killer recipe for Grilled Shrimp and Polenta.  Thanks to everyone who linked up and shared their delicious dishes.  I appreciate your support and loyalty :)

As for me, there is no box this week.  So I thought I would share some of my favorite CSA BBQ recipes with you all.  With the 4th of July right around the corner, I couldn’t help but ensure that we all have at least one inspired CSA dish at our cookouts.

So without further ado, CSA produce does BBQ…

While you wait for the grill to heat up and prepare to cook your meat, why not grab for a healthy and delicious dip that utilizes only the freshest of ingredients…Seven Layer Bean Dip with Fresh Tortilla Chips

Seven-Layer Bean Dip with Fresh Tortillas Chips - In Her Chucks

As much as I am a meat girl, no BBQ is complete without a bunch of side dishes.  This is the best way to load up on CSA fruits and veggies.  Some of my favorites are Roasted Beets with Gorgonzola and Walnuts

Roasted Beets with Gorgonzola and Walnuts

and Summer Pasta Salad

Summer Pasta Salad - In Her Chucks

For the mains, why not try something different this year and throw some lamb on the grill…Cumin, Honey, and Mint-Marinated Lamb Chops

Cumin, Honey, and Mint-Marinated Lamb Chops

And finally, we all know that no meal is complete without dessert…Pluot Crumble

Pluot Crumble - In Her Chucks

Your turn: What are your favorite ways to incorporate your CSA fruits and veggies into your BBQ and cookouts?  Looking forward to drooling over your dishes.  

Linking up for the first time?  Click here for more info…and Welcome!

PS:  Don’t forget to tell your readers about the party by linking back to this post and grabbing the official “What’s in the Box?” button at the bottom of my blog.  Thanks!

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Grapefruit Ricotta Cookies

Grapefruit Ricotta Cookies - In Her Chucks

 

When it comes to celebrating Mother’s Day, there are a million things you can do for your domestic goddess to make her feel special.  Whether it’s a handwritten card, a bouquet of flowers, or a sentimental piece of jewelry, this Sunday is all about appreciating the wonderful mamas for everything they are to us.

Growing up, it was our tradition to bring my mom breakfast in bed.  In our younger years, my dad would help my brother and I prepare a fancy morning feast, but as we got older, my brother and I were determined to do it all on our own.  Unfortunately for my mom this meant watered down coffee and frozen waffles (which were still frozen).  But it’s the thought that counts ;)

So to redeem myself, I have prepared a fresh batch of Grapefruit Ricotta Cookies for the woman who has helped to shape the person that I am today.  She is my very best friend and forever hero…my mom :)

Ingredients

Cookies

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 (15-ounce) container whole milk ricotta cheese
3 tablespoons grapefruit juice
Zest from 1/2 grapefruit

Glaze

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons grapefruit juice
Zest from 1/2 grapefruit

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Cookies:

In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Set aside.

In the large bowl combine the butter and the sugar. Using an electric mixer beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating until incorporated. Add the ricotta cheese, grapefruit juice, and grapefruit zest. Beat to combine. Stir in the dry ingredients.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.  Spoon the dough (about 2 tablespoons for each cookie) onto the baking sheets. Bake for 15 minutes, until slightly golden at the edges. Remove from the oven and let the cookies rest on the baking sheet for 20 minutes.

Glaze:

Combine the powdered sugar, grapefruit juice, and grapefruit zest in a small bowl and stir until smooth.  Spoon about 1/2-teaspoon onto each cookie and use the back of the spoon to gently spread. Let the glaze harden for about 2 hours.

 

Recipe slightly adapted from Giada De Laurentiis via foodnetwork.com

What I love most about these cookies is how light and fluffy they are.  Pretty much makes you feel like you are biting into a cloud.  A grapefruit cloud that boasts just enough citrus essence to give it an awesomely tangy kick.  Sounds like a metaphor for motherhood.  A mother who is soft and sweet but zesty enough that her kids know better than to mess with her.  It’s the perfect balance.

So in honor of the upcoming holiday, why not whip up a batch of these cookies for your mommy dearest, put on the kettle for a nice cup of tea and enjoy your Mother’s Day Weekend :)

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Fresh Strawberry Yogurt Cake

Fresh Strawberry Yogurt Cake - In Her Chucks

Happy Easter everyone!  Today is a joyous and wonderful celebration of our Savior’s resurrection.  It is an opportunity for a fresh start, a rebirth and a great time to reflect on the incredible blessings we all have in our lives.

We have been preparing for this holiday for the last week.  Harper helped me by dying Easter eggs, my friends and I have been busy planning the perfect Easter feast and today Harper enjoyed herself on her first Easter egg hunt.  And she sure didn’t waste time digging into her egg hunt loot…

Easter Egg Hunt

As much as I love Easter candy (peeps, Cadbury eggs, life-size chocolate bunnies), I love homemade baked goods even more.  During this time of year I usually like to prepare my festive treats with carrots.  The Easter Bunny really puts on the pressure to come up with new and inventive ideas to use his favorite veggie (seen here and here).  But this Easter I decided to take a new path and utilize my favorite fruit instead.  Luckily, this cake is so good, I don’t think the Easter Bunny will mind.

Ingredients 

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

2 cups sugar

3 eggs

3 tablespoons lemon juice, divided

Zest of 1 lemon

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

8 oz plain Greek yogurt

1 lb fresh strawberries, diced

1 cup powdered sugar

Preparation

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Grease and flour a 10 inch Bundt pan (10-15 cup pan).  Sift together the 2 1/4 cups of flour, baking soda and salt.  Mix in the lemon zest and set aside.

2.  Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in 1 tablespoon lemon juice.  Alternate beating in the flour mixture and the yogurt, mixing just until incorporated.

3.  Toss the strawberries with the remaining 1/4 cup of flour.  Gently fold them into the batter.

4.  Pour the batter into the Bundt pan.  Place in the oven and reduce the temperature to 325 degrees F.  Bake for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

5.  Allow to cool at least 20 minutes in the pan, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.  Once cooled whisk together the remaining 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and the powdered sugar.  Drizzle over the top of the cake.

Recipe slightly adapted from A Spicy Perspective

What I love most about this cake is how incredibly moist it is.  Whether the credit belongs to the yogurt or the berries, I don’t care…it’s like buttah baby!  But one thing that really does deserve more credit in this sweet treat is the role of the lemons.  From the title alone, you wouldn’t know that not only is the cake topped with a lovely, light and tangy lemon glaze, but the batter has hidden lemon zest and a hint of lemon juice as well.  Which pretty much makes this dessert more of a refreshing sip of strawberry lemonade in a cake form.

So whether you’re hunting for Easter eggs, waiting for the Easter bunny to bring your goodies or enjoying a Sonrise service this Sunday, make sure you end your day with a slice of this delicious spring time dessert :)

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What’s in the Box? #67

What's in the Box? We are busy getting ready for Easter around here, which includes dying batches of hardboiled eggs.  This year, I thought it would be fun to include Harper and her buddy Robin in this process.  However, our egg dying quickly turned into a color mixing experiment.

Dying Easter Eggs

Thank God I had the wisdom to set everything up outside.  I can’t imagine what my kitchen table would look like!  But that’s what hanging with toddlers is all about.  Lots of laughing, lots of learning and lots of messes.

In addition to hardboiled eggs, a proper spread will be in order for Sunday’s brunch as well.  So let’s take a look at last week’s party for some inspiration, shall we?

Last week we had 10 link ups.  And let’s hope none of you are currently on the Paleo diet because last week it was all about the carbs.  There was a nice variety of fresh pizza ideas including Asparagus with Prosciutto, Broccoli and Cheddar, and Mushroom with Caramelized Onions and Gorgonzola.  Yum!  But the fun didn’t stop there.  Lettuce Never Squash Our Love linked up a Pasta with Spinach and Butternut Squash.  Divine!  Yeah, it was a good week :)  Thank you to everyone who participated.  Your delicious and nutritious dishes never cease to amaze me.

Moving on to my farm fresh goodies for this week…

What's in the Box? #67

As I mentioned yesterday, in my sleepy slurred speech, I got my box on Tuesday this week.  They had to do a bit of rearranging with the routes which bumped my delivery up a day.  Yeah me!  Only time will tell if I will be able to change my blogging routine up a day earlier.  Stay tuned for that.

Upon opening my box, I immediately began to devour each and every item with my eyes.  For starters, the fennel, garlic, onion and orange were thrown into some Braised Pork with Orange and Fennel for dinner yesterday.  I had pretty much everything I needed except for the meat which made my trip to the grocery store quick and easy (and cheap too!).

After the success of the strawberry cake I bragged about last week (recipe coming soon…promise), I might have to go for round two.  We have plans to go to a few Easter gatherings this weekend and it is sure to be a real crowd pleaser.

I never got around to making any of my carrot sweets (these or these) last week because I was too busy stuffing my face with How I Ate My Box’s Chicken, Carrot and Leek Stew.  When I tell you this is the most amazing dish I have had in a long time…I am in no way exaggerating.  My whole family gobbled it up.  And then went back for seconds.  So you can be sure I will be making this again this week.  The hubby (who continued to ask me why I had never made this for him before) will be VERY pleased :)  And it will be even better served with a green salad on the side jazzed up with some of those lovely apples.

For the sage I am thinking about making my dad’s famous chicken.  I am pretty sure I owe you a recipe on this one I just never seem to be able to snap a pic before everyone digs in.  It’s just soooooo good :)  I will do my best to get it done this time around.

And finally for the arugula, I am thinking about some Grilled Steak Soft Tacos.  It has been a while since I have made this and after reminding myself of how good it looks simply from the picture, I can’t wait until dinner tomorrow night :)

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Lime Squares with Pistachio Graham-Cracker Crust

Lime Squares with Pistacio Graham-Cracker Crust - In Her ChucksBecause it’s Saturday, and I am sitting home relaxing, by myself, while Harper and Freddie enjoy some daddy daughter time, I thought I would sneak in one of my new favorite recipes.

As you know, I have been doing my best to stay on the straight and narrow.  But yesterday we had company over for dinner and I couldn’t help but be a little naughty.  For the main dish I whipped up a delicious Sweet Potato Turkey Shepherd’s Pie using the 2 pound garnet yam I got in my box.  On the side I served a fresh green salad topped with persian cucumbers, heirloom tomatoes, shredded carrots and candied pecans.  It was a yummy and healthy meal that left our tummies satisfied.

But I couldn’t let our guests leave without a small sweet indulgence.  And this simple and easy dessert hit the spot!  The flavors are clean and refreshing and the pistachios give the crust an extra crust that complements the silkiness of the filling.

Ingredients

For The Crust:  

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for pan

2/3 cup shelled pistachios

1 cup (4 ounces) graham-cracker crumbs

1/4 cup sugar

1 tablespoon grated lime zest (about 3 limes)

For The Filling:

2 large egg yolks

1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk

1/2 cup fresh lime juice (about 3 limes)

Preparation

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Brush an 8-inch square baking dish with melted butter.  Line bottom with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on two sides.

2.  In a food processor, finely grind pistachips with graham-cracker crumbs, sugar, and zest.  Blend in butter.  Press mixture into bottom and 1 inch up sides of prepared pan.  Bake until lightly browned, 8 to 12 minutes.  Cool crust, 30 minutes.

3.  To make the filling:  In a large bowl, whisk together egg yolks and condensed milk.  Add lime juice; whisk until smooth.  Pour filling into cooled crust; carefully spread to edges.

4.  Bake until set, about 15 minutes.  Cool in pan on rack; then chill at least 1 hour before serving.  Using parchment paper overhang, lift out of pan, and transfer to cutting board.  With a serrated knife, cut into 16 squares, wiping knife with a damp kitchen towel between each cut.

Recipe from Martha Stewart

Even though this recipe is easy to make, it does take some time to complete (mostly because the crust has to cool and the bars need to chill).  So allow yourself a few hours to prepare these.  But once made, these will last a few days stored in an airtight container in the fridge.  That is, if everyone doesn’t eat them all at once :)

PS: Don’t forget to enter the giveaway!  You only have until March 11th to get your entries in.  Remember to leave a comment on the original post letting me know that you have completed the tasks.  Your comments act as your entry into the giveaway.  Good luck!

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