What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Eat More: Angel Food Cake Kabobs! Feeling Patriotic? This colorful dessert is perfect for an Independence Day picnic or gathering. Strawberries for Red, angel food cake for White, and blueberries for…..well, you know…Blue! Get the kids involved by letting them assemble the delectable desserts in advance. Better throw in extra ingredients for nibbling. Transport the kabobs in pint-size canning jars. Drizzle with chocolate before serving or make up individual portions of hot fudge sauce in small jars for dunking. It’s all fun and celebration for a light, refreshing dessert-on-a-stick. Then sit back and enjoy the fireworks!
ANGEL FOOD CAKE KABOBS
Angel Food Cake
12-15 bamboo skewers
1 quart strawberries
1 pint blueberries
I jar chocolate fudge sauce
Cut the angel food cake into large square, bite-sized pieces. Wash strawberries; pat dry. Repeat with blueberries. To assemble kabobs skewer one strawberry, one piece of cake, then two blueberries. Repeat to fill each skewer. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
“Poetry and music are very good friends.
Like mommies and daddies and
strawberries and cream…
they go together.”
~ Nikki Giovanni
What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? All the Buzz: Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake! You know you love chocolate. Who doesn’t? If you find yourself avoiding baked goods due to its wheat content, worry no more. This cake is completely flourless. The results are rich, chocolaty, and extremely satisfying for any sweet tooth craving. Dust it with powdered sugar and garnish each slice with fresh strawberries for a gourmet finish. Hurray for Chocolate!
GLUTEN-FREE CHOCOLATE CAKE
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
15-ounce can organic garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon almond extract
1 tablespoon powdered sugar, for dusting
1/4 cup almond slices (optional)
Fresh strawberries, garnish
Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 9″ round cake pan. Melt the chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl for 2 minutes on high. Stir after 1 minute. Repeat until chocolate is melted and smooth. In a food processor, combine garbanzo beans and eggs. Blend until smooth, about 4 minutes. Add sugar and baking powder. Pulse to mix. Pour in melted chocolate and almond extract. Blend until smooth, scraping sides as needed. Transfer batter to the cake pan. Bake 40 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Invert onto a serving plate. Dust with powdered sugar. Sprinkle with almond slices. Garnish with whipped cream and strawberries.
What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Food Junkie Favorites: Amaretto Strawberry Romanoff! Have you ever tasted vanilla extract? Well, amaretto tastes nothing like that. It has a smooth sweet hint of almonds with just a smidgen of apricot undertones. When you fold it into Greek yogurt, it transforms a dish of fresh strawberries into a light and elegant dessert you could easily find in a gourmet restaurant.
AMARETTO STRAWBERRY ROMANOFF
1 quart fresh strawberries
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1-2 tablespoons amaretto liqueur
Fresh mint sprig
Wash strawberries; pat dry. In a small bowl gently stir yogurt and brown sugar until no lumps remain. Fold in amaretto liqueur. Transfer to a decorative dish, garnish with fresh mint, and place on a serving platter. Arrange strawberries around sauce. Serve with frilled toothpicks.
What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Appetizers to Desserts: Ina Garten’s Fruit Crunch Sundae! The Barefoot Contessa is a familiar face on the Food Network these days. Not only does she offer great ideas for any meal, but she makes them seem incredibly simple. Today’s recipe comes from a recent episode where Ina wanted to serve up a special breakfast for her husband. I like the idea of taking everyday food and turning it into something extraordinary. By baking a batch of crunchy granola and storing it in an airtight container, single servings can be assembled in a flash. Use whatever fruit is on hand to make it unique.
INA GARTEN’S FRUIT CRUNCH SUNDAE
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup sliced almonds
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons pure honey
1/4 cup blueberries
1/4 cup pineapple tidbits
1 cup Greek yogurt
Preheat oven to 350°. Toss the oats, coconut, almonds, oil, and honey together in a large bowl until completely combined. Pour into a baking sheet and bake until mixture turns golden brown. Stir occasionally. Remove the granola from the oven and allow to cool. Stir once. Combine the strawberries, blueberries, and pineapple in a bowl. Using stemmed glasses or parfait glasses, layer granola, yogurt, and fruit until full. You may alternate ingredients to repeat layers. Serve immediately.
What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? The Joy of Eating: Mouth-Watering Strawberry Mint Salad! Before the frost sets in, I wanted to take advantage of the lingering crop of fresh mint in the herb garden. What better way than to give it center stage in this appetizing side salad? It’s refreshing, light, aromatic, and appealing to the eye. Experience your first bite through the sense of sight, then follow your heart to the nearest market and pick up 3 simple ingredients to create your own masterpiece.
MOUTH-WATERING STRAWBERRY MINT SALAD
1 quart of fresh strawberries
1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
3 sprigs of fresh mint leaves
Rinse strawberries and pat dry. Remove tops and discard. Slice strawberries into quarters. Place portions into chilled salad bowls. Spoon feta crumbles over strawberries. Tuck mint leaves throughout. Serve.
What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? The Joy of Eating: Daily Diet of Papaya! OMG, the first time I had this in Kauai, I knew I had tasted the fruit of Paradise. It was like eating sunshine. Did you know Christopher Columbus called it “the fruit of angels”? If I had to describe the taste, I guess I would say papaya has a natural sweetness that feels like butter in your mouth. With a squeeze of lime, it is refreshingly nectarous. I could go on and on about its nutritional value, but I’d rather you taste it first. I can tell you this-just one single papaya provides 224% of your daily needs. Eat it for breakfast and you’re good to go!
DAILY DIET OF PAPAYA
1 medium sized ripe papaya
1 avocado, peeled and sliced
2 lime wedges
Cut papaya in half. Remove seeds. Squeeze lime juice over each half. Fill center with fresh strawberries. Serve with avocado slices.
What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Equal Measures: Nutella Strawberry Dip! Here’s a match made in Heaven for chocolate-lovers and strawberries. Try it at home and then think about something new for the next social gathering where you’re asked to bring something yummy to share. It’s so Strawberrylicious, my first word of advice is…double the recipe. You’ll have the ingredients on hand, so go for it. It’s easy to make, kid-friendly, healthy, and sweet. Next stop: Book Club, Girls Night Out, Birthday Celebration, Family Picnic, Block Party. The list goes on and on and on.
NUTELLA STRAWBERRY DIP
3/4 cup Nutella Hazelnut Spread
1/3 cup powdered sugar
8 ounces Neufchâtel cheese, softened
1 cup Cool Whip, regular or light
1 cup mini chocolate chips, for garnish
Fresh Strawberries, sliced in half
Combine Nutella, powdered sugar, and Neufchâtel cheese in a bowl. Using a hand mixer, mix on Low until smooth. Fold in Cool Whip topping. Blend well. Pour into covered bowl. Kept refrigerated until ready to serve. Arrange sliced strawberries on a platter. Pour dip into a serving bowl. Garnish with mini chocolate chips.
What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Equal Measures: Grilled Romaine with Strawberries! I call this a lazy cook’s meal. After all, it’s pretty simple. More than likely, most ingredients are probably there in the fruit and vegetable crispers of the refrigerator. You know, those drawers down at the bottom that regulate humidity. (Quick tutorial: most fruits like LOW humidity, most vegetables like HIGH humidity. If set correctly, everything stays fresher and crisper longer.) Heat up the grill, sear the romaine, layer on ripe strawberries, red onion slices, and shaved parmesan cheese. Drizzle olive oil over all. You’re done. The hubs will think you planned the meal with attention to detail. Just nod your head and smile.
GRILLED ROMAINE WITH STRAWBERRIES
1 romaine heart, cut lengthwise
Nonstick olive oil spray
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 pint strawberries, sliced in half, stems removed
1/4 red onion, sliced
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, shaved
1/4 cup olive oil
Preheat grill to 400°. Spray both sides of romaine halves with nonstick oil. Sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper. Place cut side down on the hot grill. Sear 3 minutes, until charred. Carefully flip over and sear 3 minutes longer until slightly wilted. Transfer to a platter. Layer with fresh strawberries and red onion slices. Drizzle with olive oil. Garnish with shaved parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.