Thursday, June 30, 2011

Friday Favorites, 7.1.11

Happy 4th of July weekend!

I'm about to head to the airport to fly out of town for a wedding in Ohio this weekend, so this post is going to be short and sweet (literally). I'm going to share some sweet recipes with you that I'd like to be making this weekend but won't be due to our travels!

But maybe if you're still looking for some dessert recipes to make for this patriotic holiday, perhaps you can get some ideas from these delicious looking red, white, and blue goodies....

What's the 4th of July without apple pie? (notice that rhyme? :))

This appetizing photo is from Annie's Eats...

Or maybe a flag cake? This is a classic dessert idea for this holiday. I've always wanted to make a flag cake but still haven't! And this one pictured below is actually made of cupcakes! Neat.

Pizza! The dessert kind, of course. :)

Jello always allows for creativity. Check out these stained glass jello stars from Brown Eyed Baker.

Speaking of jello, here's a fun patriotic dessert I made for the 4th last year. It was a hit!

And don't forget breakfast with these strawberry blueberry yogurt muffins from yours truly. :)

I have several recipes in the line-up, waiting to be shared with you... Hopefully I'll have more time next week to blog!

Have a wonderful holiday, all!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Bananoramaberry Smoothie

Greetings, friends! It definitely feels like summer here in Boston, and you know what summer makes me think of? Fun, cool drinks like smoothies! I made this delicious, healthy smoothie last week, and I'm not going to lie....I drank it so quickly you'd barely know I ever made it! Oops. It was just so good that I couldn't help it. :)

This made about 12 ounces or so for me, so it could easily be shared between two people too. I was selfish though and kept it for myself!


-1/2 cup frozen banana (equals approx. one medium banana)
-1/2 cup frozen blueberries
-one 6 oz. container cherry flavored yogurt
-1 cup almond milk

Place all ingredients in your blender and blend away! You can certainly use any kind of yogurt you'd like. I happened to choose cherry, and it lent some great flavor to the smoothie. It also lent some of the pretty "purply" color, I think, although that's probably also due to the blueberries. You could also use regular or soy milk too, depending on your preference.

The smoothie coordinates well with my petunias!

Like my Dogfish Head beer glass? :)

Yum yum yum! Love it. I make different flavored smoothies all the time. Hopefully I will share more of them with you in the future! What are some of your favorite smoothie combinations or flavors? Do share!! :)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Friday Favorites, 6.24.11

Friday Friday! It's here! Woohoo. It's been a very busy week, and due to the busy nature of this week, my Friday Favorites is going to be rather simple. I'm going to share with you a few recipes that I bookmarked this week and hope to make at some point...maybe in the near future but maybe not. We shall see. Either way, they're now on my to-do list!

1) Toasted Coconut Cookies from Sugarcrafter

What a unique cookie! Mmmmm. :) I am very excited to make these!

2) Whole Wheat Beer Bread from Simply Life

You all know that I love baking with beer, drinking it, AND brewing it. This simple beer bread looks so yummy! And it only has five ingredients! Yet another recipe that I can't wait to try...

(this photo was taken after my second half marathon in February 2011 in California...I will run for beer...guaranteed ;-))

3) Ice Pops with Real Fruit from EveryDay with Rachael Ray Magazine

I saw these in my latest issue of my Rachael Ray Magazine, and right away, I knew I had to try making them sometime soon this summer!! There are several flavor ideas...double berry, green apple, peach iced tea... I mean, YUM!

Guess that means I should invest in some ice pop molds now, huh? :)

4) Strawberry Rhubarb Pie from Brown Eyed Baker

Strawberry rhubarb pie is my ALL-TIME FAVORITE flavor of pie. I'm not sure if the Brown Eyed Baker's version would ever quite live up to my grandmother's (which is the best ever!), but it sure does look amazingly good! If you love the strawberry and rhubarb combo like I do, also be sure to check out my strawberry rhubarb crumb bars if you haven't already. 

I'm heading home to upstate NY this weekend for some fun events...including being the commencement speaker at my hometown's high school graduation! It's quite the honor and I'm really looking forward to it. :)

Have a fabulous, fun-filled weekend, Barbershop friends!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Strawberry Blueberry Yogurt Muffins

Here I am with another post for you. :) I'm home this evening, RESTING my ankle yet again. But lucky for you, that means another tasty recipe!

During some of my moments of restlessness this past weekend, I chose not to rest (oops) and baked instead. These muffins were a result of one of those times!

The original recipe that inspired these muffins was from the Cookin' Canuck, a blog I recently discovered. Her recipe is for strawberry yogurt muffins; yet, as evidenced by the title of this post, I made them into strawberry blueberry yogurt muffins. Ironically, I bookmarked this Cookin' Canuck recipe last week when our very own Boston Bruins beat the Vancouver Canucks to win the Stanley Cup. Too funny!

The strawberries I had were fresh, but the blueberries were frozen (I had frozen some fresh ones I bought a couple weeks ago). Oh, and I coated the berries with a little bit of flour before adding them to the batter. That helps prevent them all from sinking to the bottom.

Now, the recipe for you! It differs slightly from the original... In addition to using two kinds of berries, I also made a change of using some white whole wheat flour in place of the all-purpose. I also did not use greek yogurt, but instead I used two different Dannon light n' fit flavors. This recipe was incredibly simple! And the final product was delicious. ;-)


-2 cups white whole wheat flour (I used King Arthur Flour)
-1 cup all-purpose flour
-1 and 1/2 tsp. baking powder
-1 and 1/2 tsp. baking soda
-1 and 1/2 tsp. salt
-1 tsp. cinnamon
-3/4 cup unsalted butter 
-1 and 1/3 cups granulated sugar
-3 eggs
-1 tsp. vanilla extract
-12 oz. light yogurt (I used half Dannon vanilla & half Dannon strawberry banana flavors)
-1 cup sliced strawberries
-1 cup blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.

With an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract.

Turn the mixer on low speed, and alternate adding the dry ingredients with the yogurt, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Do not overmix. Fold in the berries.

Coat a muffin pan with cooking spray or line it with paper liners. Fill each cup 2/3 full with the batter. Bake about 15 - 18 minutes, until the muffins are slightly golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pan for a few minutes before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Is there anything better than a delicious, homemade muffin bursting with sweet, juicy berries?!

This recipe made 12 muffins and eight mini loaves for me. That's a lot! I would estimate that each mini loaf is about two muffins worth.

How berry good do these look? ;-)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Lemony-Dill Cucumber Radish Salad

Back so soon? Yes! I usually only blog two or three times a week, and the posts rarely come one right after another on the same day. But this weekend was different... You see, I sprained my ankle last Thursday during our ultimate frisbee game, so I've been ordered to rest. Sigh. :( I do not rest well. It's really not my thing. After about 10 minutes of sitting on the couch, I feel the need to get up and do something. This weekend, however, I did try to force myself to sit as much as possible so that my ankle can heal. I've been propping it up on pillows, icing it with frozen broccoli, and taking tons of ibuprofen. Not being allowed to run for two weeks is pretty much going to be torture. It puts a kink in my marathon training, but I will do my darndest to make the most of it and get back on track once my ankle is ready. In the meantime, I have more time to bake, cook, and blog (hence, the two posts in a day). And I also have more time to do ab workouts, which historically have not been my favorite at all! But since I am heading to Hawaii in about a month and a half, perhaps this is a blessing in disguise. I'm going to be all set for the beach after these next two weeks. ;-)

Boy, did I get off track there. Sorry! In case you couldn't tell, the ankle injury is really all I can think about these days. That and baking, of course. Despite the great deal of time I spent on the couch this weekend, I did spend some time in the kitchen too. I baked muffins and cookies (they will be upcoming posts!), and I made this delicious, refreshing lemony-dill cucumber radish salad. It's the perfect, light, flavorful summertime salad.

The recipe I "followed" was in my most recent issue of Cooking Light magazine. I have recently challenged myself to make at least one recipe from each new magazine I receive (I get several!). I love reading my magazines, but I rarely actually make recipes from them so I'm going to try to improve on that front. This recipe is my first success! Resting on the couch allowed me to read my Cooking Light as soon as it arrived yesterday, and this delightful salad caught my eye right away. The other inspiration for this recipe came from this past week's CSA goodies in which we received lots of fresh dill and parsley! I don't think I've mentioned it on the blog yet, but my boyfriend and I are sharing a CSA share with our good friends Jenn and Jason. The dill and parsley were with week 2's veggies that we received on Friday. So the herbs were nice and fresh, and I am glad I found this recipe so that I could use them!

The actual recipe that's in the Cooking Light magazine can be found at this link. However, I changed it oh so slightly, so my version is written below for you.

-2 heaping cups of thinly sliced cucumber (this was one 8 or 9-inch cucumber for me)
-1 heaping cup thinly sliced radishes (I used almost an entire 6 oz. bag)
-the curls of 2 large carrots (should equal approx. 1/2 cup)
-1 Tbsp. chopped, fresh parsley
-2 Tbsp. chopped, fresh dill
-1 and 1/2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
-2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
-1 tsp. white wine vinegar
-pinch of salt
-pinch of pepper

Mix together the first five ingredients in a large bowl. Next, in a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, vinegar, s & p. Pour this over the cucumber mixture, and toss to coat.

That's all, folks! It couldn't be easier. Well, actually, it could I suppose. A mandoline would be helpful to thinly slice the cucumbers and radishes, but since I don't have one, I sliced them by hand. No big deal really, but if you have a mandoline, I suggest you use it! All in all, this recipe is quite simple. It is also quite delicious! The fresh lemon pairs so nicely with the fresh dill and parsley. And I love that the radishes add a nice crunchy texture too. And the colors are beautiful!

This is the perfect veggie summertime salad; I'm convinced. ;-)

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Bars

Greetings, friends! In my last Friday Favorites, I shared a preview of coming attractions...which was these amazing strawberry rhubarb crumb bars. Oh my goodness. They're my new love.

A few weeks ago when I was home in upstate NY, I was fortunate enough to take home some fresh rhubarb from a neighbor. Yummmm. When I subsequently returned to Boston, I sadly didn't have time to bake or cook with it at the time, so I sliced and froze it to use later. Then this past week strawberries were on sale at the store, so I knew it was time to "marry" the rhubarb and fresh strawberries to make these strawberry rhubarb crumb bars! 

The recipe is from an amazing blog, White on Rice Couple. Check out the photography on that blog. Wow!

Here's your recipe. ;-)


-1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted 
-3/4 cup packed brown sugar
-1/4 tsp. salt
-1 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

-1/2 lb. rhubarb, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (this was about 1 and 1/2 cups)
-1/2 lb. strawberries, hulled and sliced 1/4 inch thick (this was also about 1 and 1/2 cups)
-1 and 1/2 Tbsp. brown sugar
-1 and 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
-3/4 tsp. baking powder
-1/2 tsp. salt
-3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
-1 and 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
-2 large eggs, beaten
-3/4 tsp. vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on two sides of the dish. It may help to butter the sides of the pan before putting the parchment paper in so the paper will stick. Butter the inside of the parchment and flour it as well.

Make the streusel by first whisking together the butter, brown sugar, and salt. Add the flour and mix together with a fork or your fingers to make large crumbs. Refrigerate until ready to use.

To make the bars, combine the rhubarb, strawberries, brown sugar, and 1/3 cup of flour. Sift or whisk together the remaining flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a mixer, beat the butter and confectioners' sugar until light and fluffy. Slowly add the eggs and vanilla extract. Next, slowly mix in the combined dry ingredients until just incorporated.

Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan, then top with the strawberry rhubarb filling. Finally, crumble the streusel topping on top.

Bake for 50 - 55 minutes or until lightly golden brown and toothpick comes out clean.

Let cool in pan, and then lift it from the pan using the overhanging parchment paper on the sides. Cool completely before cutting into bars of desired size. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream if you'd like...or enjoy as is! :)


The crumb topping was deeelicious, and the strawberry rhubarb layer was obviously phenomenal. ;-) The bottom layer was rather cake-like...very light and fluffy. And the three layers together? Perfect!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Friday Favorites, 6.17.11 - Revisiting a Few Favorites!

For this week's edition of Friday Favorites, I thought I'd revisit a few Barbershop favorites and provide you with some updated photos! You all know that I'm not a professional photographer, I've had no photography training, and I don't have a fancy camera. However, I try hard to make my photos look as best as they can given my minimal photography knowledge and basic equipment. I am obsessed with several blogs that have amaaazing photos...and I'll admit, I'm a bit jealous of their awesome pictures! But hey, I'll make the most of what I've got. And if my blog posts and photos inspire you to try a few of my recipes (or at least drool a little bit ;-)), then I'm happy!

I've made these a couple more times since I originally posted the recipe, so I had the opportunity to snap a few more shots. These new pictures look more appetizing than the old ones, I think!

It's possible that this is one of my all-time favorite cookie recipes...

Another classic Barbershop recipe for me. This may just be my favorite variation on traditional banana bread! I've lost count of the number of times I've made it...

Mini loaves!

And finally, a preview of coming attractions...

Strawberry rhubarb crumb bars!

Happy Friday! Have a fabulous weekend, friends. :)

Monday, June 13, 2011

Chocolate Chip Sandwich Cookies with Marshmallow Creme Filling

Sometimes you just need a classic, homemade, delicious chocolate chip cookie. But sometimes you need more. Like a chocolate chip sandwich cookie with marshmallow creme filling. ;-)

This recipe is an old favorite for as old as when I was first beginning to love to bake. My sister and I grew up baking in the kitchen with my mom very often, and eventually we started baking on our own (I don't remember what ages we were though!). But I do remember that this chocolate chip cookie with marshmallow creme filling recipe was one that we made growing up. So needless to say, it brings back great memories. :) The recipe is from the cookbook pictured below. I "stole" the book from my mom...shhhh, don't tell!

For the chocolate chip cookies in this recipe, you can use whatever recipe you'd prefer - your family's favorite, the traditional Toll House recipe, or whatever! This particular time around I used my boyfriend's mother's recipe, which you can read about here if you'd like. 

Marshmallow Creme Filling Ingredients:

-1 cup marshmallow creme (not fluff!)
-1/2 cup butter, softened
-1 and 2/3 cup powdered sugar
-1 tsp. vanilla extract

Mix the marshmallow creme and butter with an electric mixer in a medium bowl. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla, beating until smooth. 

To prepare the sandwich cookies, for each sandwich, choose two cookies that are roughly the same size.

 Spread some filling on the bottom cookie (I would estimate that I spread almost a tablespoon's worth of filling for each sandwich).

Put your second cookie on top of the filling, and voila, you have yourself an amazingly tasty chocolate chip sandwich cookie! It's best to put the sandwich cookies in the fridge so that the filling will set. I also stored my sandwich cookies in the fridge until serving them. They actually taste better cold, I think! Deeelicious.

 So simple and so good. I really don't have much more to say about these cookies. Bottom line = you gotta try 'em. :)