Sing along with me:  “Feeling hot, hot, hot…”

Summer break may be over and the unofficial end to summer, Labor Day, is tomorrow but no one has passed that information on to Mother Nature.  It is hot, super-hot in fact.   So let’s have some ice cream!

Raspberry Cheesecake Ice Cream


I was dubious about this recipe because it seemed too simple.   No custard to make?  No eggs to separate?  How could this work?

Turns out it works just fine!  :)  The result was a sweet and tart, creamy ice cream with a gorgeous color!  It was a little too tart for the Misses, but I really liked that aspect of it.  Oh well, more for me…

Enjoy your last bits of summer!

Raspberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

3 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature

1 cup sugar

1 1/2 cups pureéd, strained raspberries

1 cup whipping cream

1 cup whole milk

1.  In a large bowl, whisk softened cream cheese until smooth; add sugar and continue whisking until well combined.

2.  Whisk in the raspberries, followed by cream and milk until fully incorporated.

3.  Pour mixture into ice-cream maker and process according to manufacturer instructions.

Source:  Houston Chronicle, July 18, 2012

Oh, these tacos!  They are soooo good!  I’ve made them a few times now and love the flavor, the fact that they are vegan (if you omit the super delicious goat cheese, which I do not, sorry…), and quick.  These tacos are a perfect for a weeknight because they are ready in about 30 minutes and are a great, complete meal…


Spinach, Corn and Goat Cheese Taco1

These tacos would be a great way to introduce someone to tofu, because it is kind of “hidden” in there with yummy veggies and goat cheese.  I would also suspect that you could substitute a can of black beans for the tofu without any problem, if tofu is not your thing.


I, however, wouldn’t change a thing about them!  Delicious!

Spinach, Corn, and Goat Cheese Tacos

Yield:  4 servings

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 14 oz. package extra-firm tofu, drained, patted dry, and crumbled

1 1/2 tsp. chili powder

1/2 tsp. kosher salt and  1/4 tsp. black pepper, plus additional

1 10 oz. package frozen corn (2 cups), thawed

1 5 oz. package baby spinach (about 6 loosely packed cups)

8 small flour tortillas, warmed

3/4 cup crumbled fresh goat cheese (3 ounces)

3/4 cup store-bought refrigerated salsa

Sliced avocado for garnish, optional

1.  Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.

2.  Add the tofu, chili powder, salt and pepper.  Cook, tossing occasionally, until golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes.

3.  Add the corn and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes.

4.  Add the spinach and an additional 1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper.

5.  Toss mixture until the spinach is wilted.

6.  Fill the tortillas with the tofu mixture.  Top evenly with goat cheese and salsa, and serve.

Source:  Real Simple, March 2010

As a sad coincidence, our pineapple crop for this year was ready for harvest while we were grieving for our Magoo.  We ended up giving many of the pineapples away, eating them plain, or freezing chunks for smoothies because I just didn’t want to cook and there were SO MANY all ripe at the same time.  The ones we did eat were delicious – sweet and juicy perfection.

With the last few, I did grill one to serve with frozen yogurt and rum sauce and I did make this mojito.  Twice.

It’s really good.

Pineapple Mojito

Not a conventional mojito down in these parts due to the ginger ale (lots of recipes do use Sprite though), but definitely really good!  Sweet, fizzy, minty, and summery.   Definitely worth the use of a homemade pineapple!

Today marks the end of the first week of our school year, so “Cheers!” to that!  :) Hope you all have a great re-entry into the school year too!

Pineapple Mojito

Yield:  One Cocktail

12 mint leaves

2 oz. (about 1/4 cup) diced fresh pineapple

1 oz. freshly squeezed lime juice

1/2 oz. simple syrup

2 oz. coconut rum

1/2 oz. Grand Marnier

3 oz. ginger ale

1.  Place the mint leaves and pineapple in a tall glass, and muddle together.  Fill with ice.

2.  In an ice-filled cocktail shaker, add the lime juice, simple syrup, rum, and Grand Marnier.   Shake about 30 seconds until well combined.

3.  Strain into the prepared glass and top with ginger ale.

Source:  Adapted from Annie’s Eats, who cites Saveur magazine

Tropical Black Beans

Hi y’all – I alluded to this recipe in my May goals recap, but haven’t posted it yet.  I have lived in South Florida for about 20 years (far too long if you ask me, but that’s a whole other story…) but don’t know how to make real, authentic Cuban black beans.  I suspect most of it has to do with my lack of willingness to use a ham hock or similar item… Yuck.

Tropical Black Beans

I turned to the latest Moosewood cookbook when I made these beans  – a shortcut version using canned black beans – that I renamed “Tropical Black Beans” because they are not authentic Cuban-style, but are heavily citrusy and fresh and still delicious. I made the annatto rice that is suggested as an accompaniment, but my rice did not get as yellow in color as the photo, but was still flavorful.  You can use brown rice as a substitution.

Tropical Black Beans

Yield:  7 cups / 6-8 Servings

3 Tbsp. olive oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion

1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes

1 tsp. salt

2 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. ground coriander

1 cup diced carrots

1 cup seeded and diced bell peppers (any color)

1 15-0z. can diced tomatoes, undrained

3 15-0z. cans black beans, rinsed and drained

1 Tbsp. freshly grated orange zest

1/2 freshly squeezed orange juice

1.  Heat the oil in the large skillet or large saucepan set over medium heat.

2.  Add the onion, garlic, red pepper, and salt.  Cook, covered, for six minutes, stirring occasionally.

3.  Add the cumin, coriander, and carrots.  Cook, covered, for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4.  Add the bell peppers.  Cook, covered, for 3 minutes.

5.  Add the tomatoes, stir to combine, and bring to a simmer.

6.  Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until all the vegetables are tender, about 8 – 10 minutes.

7.  Stir in the black beans, orange zest, and orange juice.  Replace cover on pot and simmer until mixture is hot, about 5  minutes.

Adapted from:  Moosewood Restaurant Favorites

So, the Misses’ Summer Vacation ends today.  School starts tomorrow and we are labeling supplies and packing up backpacks to begin third and fifth grades.  (Sigh. I can’t believe my baby is entering the third grade…)

Watermelon Krispie Treats

To send off Summer Vacation 2014, I give you the cutest Rice Krispie treats ever! Aren’t they so cute and summery??

The Misses helped me make these treats and we had so much fun.  They had more fun eating them though!  I think these would be so cute on popsicle sticks and packaged in little bags for a bake sale, don’t you?

Watermelon Krispie Treats

I had a really hard time finding brown chocolate-covered sunflower seeds, but finally found a multi-colored package at Trader Joe’s (Of course!  Love that place!). Miss E was kind enough to separate the brown ones out for me.  :)

Hope you all had a great Summer Vacation too!

Watermelon Krispie Treats

Yield:  2 8″ round pans  (12 – 16 wedges)

For the green watermelon rind (outer circle/edge):
4 cups Rice Krispies cereal

4 cups mini marshmallows

3 Tbsp. unsalted butter

Green food coloring

For the red watermelon (inner circle):
5 cups Rice Krispies cereal

5 cups mini marshmallows

3 Tbsp. unsalted butter

Red food coloring

Chocolate-covered sunflower seeds (or mini chocolate chips) for the “watermelon seeds”

To make the green watermelon rind (outer circle/edge):
1.  Prepare two 8″ round pans by coating with non-stick cooking spray or greasing with butter.  (I sprayed…)

2.  Place 4 cups of Rice Krispies cereal in a large bowl, set aside.

3.  Melt 4 cups marshmallows and 3 Tbsp. butter in a large bowl in the microwave for 2 minutes, or until very puffy.  Remove from the microwave and stir adding in the green food coloring until desired color is achieved.  (You can do this on the stovetop too, if desired.)

4.  Pour green marshmallow mixture into the bowl of Rice Krispies.  Stirring quickly with a butter-coated spatula,  mix until thoroughly combined.

5.  Divide the mixture between the two prepared cake pans, and press along the sides of the pans.  (Work quickly so the cereal mixture doesn’t cool and harden.)  Make a ring around the edges about 1 1/2″  tall and 1-1 1/2″  wide.  Note:  If you spray your hands with cooking spray or use a little butter on your hands, the sticky cereal won’t stick to your fingers as you press it into the pans.

To make the red watermelon (inner circle):
1.  Repeat the same Steps 1 through 4 as with the green watermelon, but using the ingredients/quantities listed above.

2.  Divide the red mixture evenly into the center of the two cake pans.  Press down until evenly spread to the outer green ring and smooth the top surface with a buttered spatula.

3.  Lightly press the chocolate sunflower seeds onto the surface of the red watermelon.

4.  Allow to cool completely before cutting.

Source:  Glorious Treats (So many other cute things on her blog too!)


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