Tuesday, July 17, 2012

10 Summer Treats to Try

I'm always looking for new recipes, and found these recently on Pinterest. The website where the photos and recipes were pinned from are noted under each picture. Hopefully the versions I make look as appetizing as the ones pictured below.

Banana Split Bites (adapted from Bakers Royale)
(makes 12 bites)


4 large, firm bananas
4 oz. semi sweet chocolate, rough chopped
1 cup vanilla ice cream (or your ice cream of choice)
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon sugar
multi-color sprinkles
cherry garnish


Cut bananas into 2 1/2” tall segments (roughly 3 per banana), trim the narrow ends, and leave the skin on. Quickly hollow out a 1/2” circle in the center of the banana. Add a tiny scoop of ice cream into each hole and put the bananas in the freezer to set for 30 minutes. Note that it’s best to leave the skins on until just before dipping in chocolate. I removed them before adding the ice cream and the bananas browned slightly.

Either in your microwave, or in a double boiler, heat the chocolate until it is melted and smooth. Whip the cream to soft peaks, add the sugar, and then whip to stiff peaks. Set out your sprinkles.

Remove the banana peel, dip the bottom of the banana in the melted chocolate and quickly coat with sprinkles. Set bananas back in the freezer for 5 minutes until the chocolate sets.

Top with whipped cream (I piped mine on using a plastic bag with a small hole in the corner) and a cherry. Serve immediately.

Flavored Water

Try a few of these tips for flavoring your water:

1. Add a drop or two of 100% pure essential oil to your glass. Essential oils are a great calorie-free and sugar-free flavor option.

Good water flavors are: orange, grapefruit, lemon, lime, or peppermint. Also can combine mint and lemon or mint and grapefruit.

Look for essential oils that are 100% certified pure therapeutic grade, they will not contain additives, chemicals, or filler products.

2. When drinking juice, water it down by 25% to reduce calorie and sugar intake and increase water consumption.

3. Add various produce to your water. Ideas include: muddled herbs and berries, cucumber, and citrus slices.

Fruit Popsicles

Pour Capris Sun into popsicle molds, add sliced fruit, and then freeze. The result is beautiful!

Grab-and-Go Snack Stashes

For a Refrigerator Snack Station, place in a container:

- Jar of peanut butter (preferably the natural kind, for dipping)
- String cheese
- Yogurt
- Grapes
- Assorted crudités—baby-cut carrots, celery sticks, pepper slices—in plastic bags
- Orange segments
- Lunch-meat roll-ups (like turkey-and-Swiss or ham-and-Cheddar)
- Tub of hummus (for dipping)

Green Monster Smoothie

The beauty in these smoothies is that you can use any fruit you like- bananas, strawberries, peaches, plums…whatever you prefer. They make a great breakfast or quick power lunch and keep you full and satisfied.


1 banana, roughly chopped
4 or 5 strawberries
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1 small peach, peeled and roughly chopped
1 heaping cup (or more) fresh spinach leaves, thoroughly rinsed
splash vanilla soy milk
1 tablespoon Greek yogurt
2 teaspoons honey
1/2 cup crushed ice


Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Serve immediately. (Note: This recipe makes a very large smoothie- two could easily share.)

Old Fashioned Pull Apart Buns
(Adapted from King Arthur Flour)


3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tsp. active dry yeast
3 Tbsp. nonfat dry milk
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup lukewarm water
1/2 cup lukewarm milk
melted butter, for brushing on top


In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients (except the melted butter) and stir until you have a soft dough. Knead — using your hands, a stand mixer, or a bread machine set on the dough cycle — until you have a soft, smooth dough.

Set the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with a tea towel and let it rise for an hour or so, until it’s doubled in bulk. Gently deflate the dough by knocking it down with your hands, and transfer it to a lightly floured work surface.

Divide the dough into 16 equal pieces, by dividing in half, then in halves again, etc. Round each piece into a smooth ball.

Lightly grease two 8″ or 9″ round cake pans and arrange 8 buns in each pan. Cover the pans and allow the buns to rise another hour, until they’re crowded against one another and quite puffy. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Uncover the buns and bake for 22 to 24 minutes, until golden brown on top and the edges of the center bun spring back lightly when you touch it. Remove the buns from the oven and brush with the melted butter. Serve warm.

Makes about 16 buns.

Rice Ball Panda

This photo didn't have a recipe. It looks like the the ingredients are sushi rice and nori. I'm not sure how the little feet were done.

Strawberry Fruit Cups
(via: Bakers Royale)


- Use the largest strawberries you can find.
- Your filling, your preference. The fruit cups have chopped cherries, nectarines and a mango.
- Hull your strawberries, then use a grapefruit knife and carve a hole in the center, then fill it with your preferred fruit.
- Cut the bottoms flat to stand your strawberry fruit cups upright.
- Finally, we can decorate them with fresh mint leaves.

Watermelon Ice Pops
(Recipe adapted from America's Test Kitchen)


5 cups seedless watermelon pulp
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
1 pint lime sherbet, softened


Puree watermelon and sugar in batches in your blender or food processor until smooth and strain into a medium bowl. Cover and freeze until puree is slightly slushy, but not quite solid, about 2 to 3 hours. Remove from freezer, stir well and add in chocolate chips.

Place twelve 5-ounce disposable cups in a shallow baking pan and spoon watermelon puree into cups, leaving about a 1/2 inch left from the rim. Place pan in freezer for 2 hours, or until puree is solid, but not rock hard.

Allow lime sherbet to soften a bit, then spread over top of each portion of watermelon puree so that it comes up to the edge of the cup. Smooth sherbet with the back of a spoon and cover each cup with plastic wrap. Cut a small slit in the center of each cup and insert a popsicle stick into each pop so that it almost reaches the bottom of the cups. Freeze overnight (or until solid) and can be frozen for up to two days.

Allow pops to sit at room temperature for about a minute, then gently pull out from the cups. Serve and enjoy!

White Cheddar Chicken Pasta

Ingredients for the chicken:

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 tsp dry mustard
1 T fresh thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 T olive oil

Directions for the chicken:

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Mix together mustard, thyme, salt and pepper and sprinkle over chicken pieces. When pan is hot, add chicken and brown about 3 minutes per side until cooked through. Remove to a plate and cover with foil.

Ingredients for the pasta:

1 pound rotini or other short cut pasta
2 T butter
2 T flour
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, finely diced
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 T Dijon mustard
8 oz sharp white cheddar cheese, grated
2 cups milk (I used skim milk but mixed in about 2 T heavy cream)
1 T fresh thyme
1 T fresh oregano
Crushed red pepper flakes to taste
Parmesan cheese to taste

Directions for the pasta:

Heat water to boil in a large stock pot for pasta, add salt and pasta and cook to al dente and drain according to directions. Meanwhile, melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add flour and whisk to combine. Add wine, garlic, onions, and mustard. Cook about 5 minutes, until onions are translucent. Reduce heat to low and slowly add milk, stirring to combine. Cook about 5-7 minutes more until mixture begins to thicken. Add cheese and stir to melt. Add chicken and pasta and toss to incorporate sauce. Add thyme and oregano and serve topped with crushed red pepper flakes and Parmesan cheese.

On Pinterest, where I found these recipes, a pinner had included a recipe for Crockpot Italian Chicken:


4 chicken breasts
1 packet Zesty Italian dressing seasoning
1 8 oz. cream cheese (softened)
2 cans cream of chicken soup


Cook on low for 4 hours. If sauce is too thick, add a little milk. Serve over pasta.

Top Ten Tuesday at Many Little Blessings

1 comment:

Garden Tenders said...

Those look very good! I may have to try some of them. Thank you for sharing!

Here from MLB.