Better Summer Grilling

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We just can’t imagine summer without grilling. The two words practically go hand-in-hand. Not only does firing up the grill beat the heat of cooking indoors, but it provides some flavors that you just can’t get inside. This week we will provide tips and recipes to set you up for a summer of better grilling.

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Coconut Mint Ice Cream

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If this presentation isn’t beyond fun – we don’t know what is! Little touches (like coconut ice cream bowls!) are the key to a memorable shower. Sprinkle in a few of these spectacular details and you’re sure to leave everyone in awe. Not to mention, the light, refreshing treat that is this coconut milk ice cream!

Coconut Mint Ice Cream

Makes: 8 small servings
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes + ice cream machine

Ingredients
3 cups full fat coconut milk (2 cans)
2/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 handfuls 20 or so sprigs of mint + extra for garnish
¼ teaspoon salt
4 small coconuts, halved (optional)
chocolate sauce8
ounces high quality dark chocolate, chopped
2 teaspoons coconut oil
2 teaspoons agave
pinch of salt

Directions
In a small bowl, whisk ½ cup of coconut milk with 3 tablespoons of cornstarch until fully
dissolved.

In a small saucepan, heat the remainder of the coconut milk over low heat with the sugar. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Whisk in the cornstarch mixture, salt and sprigs of mint. Bring to a low simmer and stir.

Remove from heat after 5 minutes or so. Cover the pan and let it steep for 30 minutes. Then, place in the refrigerator until chilled, another 30 minutes or so.

Strain out the mint and follow directions according to your ice cream maker.

For the chocolate sauce- simmer water in a small saucepan, then place a glass bowl on top to create a double boiler. Add the chocolate, coconut oil and agave to the bowl. Using a rubber spatula, stir until fully melted. Remove from heat and set aside until ready to use.

To serve, place several scoops in a halved coconut, top with chocolate sauce and a sprig of mint.

homemade baked donuts

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Raise your hand if you’re drooling! *both hands up here* We absolutely love these homemade baked donuts and think they should be at every celebration. Baking instead of frying definitely takes a bit of complication out of the recipe (and makes them a little healthier!) and the glaze provides a great way to add pops of customized color!

Homemade Baked Donuts with Vanilla Glaze

Makes: 8 Donuts
Total Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
¼ cup milk
¼ cup yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
vanilla glaze½
cup powdered sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1-2 tablespoons milk
optional: food coloring and sprinkles

Directions
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a donut pan with a nonstick spray and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the sugar, egg, milk, yogurt, melted butter and vanilla.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until no clumps of flour remain and everything is well combined. Be careful not to overmix.

Spoon the batter into the donut pan or use a large Ziploc bag to pipe into each cavity, filling ¾ of the way full.

Place the pan in the oven and bake 8-10 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool 5-10 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the glaze, whisk together the powdered sugar, vanilla and salt. Add 1 tablespoon of milk, and whisk to combine. If it’s too thick, add additional milk, about ½ teaspoon at a time until the desired consistency is reached. Add food coloring as desired.

Once the donuts are completely cool, dip them into the glaze. Return to the wire rack and add sprinkles. Allow the glaze to set for 30 minutes before serving.

grilled stone fruit

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Warm weather calls for fruity desserts – and that’s just what we have here! These fabulous little treats can certainly be made on a grill, but we love using a cast iron grill pan too! Not to mention, it’s a great back up plan for rain! Our favorite part of this recipe? The EASY mascarpone ice cream! Don’t have the time? Whipped cream or whipped mascarpone will do!

Grilled Stone Fruit with Mascarpone Ice Cream

Makes: 4 servings
Total Time: 20 minutes + freezing time for ice cream

Ingredients
mascarpone ice cream
4 ounces mascarpone cheese
1 cup sweetened condensed milk
2 cups heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla
pinch of flaky sea salt

4 peaches (or other stone fruit), halved and pit removed
4 tablespoons butter, melted
½ teaspoon cinnamon
honey
almonds, toasted
sprigs of mint

Directions
To make the ice cream, add the mascarpone and sweetened condensed milk to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip until smooth and combined. Add the heavy cream, vanilla and salt. Whip until stiff peaks form. Spoon the ice cream into a freezer safe container and freeze 4-6 hours or overnight.

Preheat a grill pan to medium-high heat and brush the grates with oil.

In a large bowl, toss the fruit with melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon. Place fruit, cut side down in the pan. Grill for 2-3 minutes, or until light char marks appear, flip and grill another 2-3 minutes. Remove from pan.

Serve the fruit warm, with a large scoop of mascarpone ice cream, toasted almonds, a few sprigs of mint and a drizzle of honey!

Cast Iron Cooking 101

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In our minds, cast iron can do just about anything — it produces some serious heat, it’s naturally nonstick, it can go straight from the stove top to the oven, and it’s the true master of one-pot meals. Occasionally you’ll hear that cast iron can be a little  finicky, or tricky to clean. But we have to disagree! If you show your pan a little love, give it a good cleaning and seasoning, you’ll have a pan to last you a lifetime. This weekend we’ll call out some of our best cast iron tips and summer recipes! Here’s a sneak peek…

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blueberry coffee cake with Espresso Glaze

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It’s a bold statement, but we may love coffee cake just as much as we love a good cup of coffee! Coffee cake can come in many different forms, but this one is full of berries and drizzled with a delectable coffee glaze. Note to our tea lovers out there: we didn’t forget about you! This little cake is just as tasty with a hot cup of tea! You could even swap the espresso glaze for an earl grey glaze. YUM!

Blueberry Coffee Cake with Espresso Glaze

Makes: 12 servings
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Ingredients
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ cup whole milk
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen

crumb topping
¾ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup sugar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
pinch salt
¼ cup butter, melted

espresso glaze
1½ teaspoons instant espresso powder
2-3 tablespoons strong brewed coffee
¾ cup confectioners” sugar, sifted

Directions
Heat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9-inch springform pan with non-stick spray and dust with flour.

To make the crumb topping, combine the flour, sugars and salt. Pour the butter over the top and mix until crumbly. Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in eggs, vanilla and milk and whisk until combined. Mix in lemon zest. Slowly add in flour mixture and stir until just combined, being careful not to overmix. Carefully fold in the blueberries.

Spread batter evenly into prepared pan. Sprinkle with crumb topping. Bake at 350°F for 45-50 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Cool for 15 minutes on a wire rack, then run a knife around the edge of the pan and remove the ring.

To make the drizzle, stir together espresso powder and 2 tablespoons coffee until powder has dissolved. Add confectioners’ sugar and stir until well combined. If the glaze is too thick, thin with additional tablespoon coffee or a splash of milk.

Drizzle glaze over cooled cake and serve.

buckwheat and beetroot salad

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We think this little salad is perfect for those in between spring nights that require something a little heartier than a berry salad, but not a heavy winter stew. Luckily, the grains and roasted root veggies in this salad really do the trick! And of course it’s adaptable all season long! We encourage you to try a different grain, or a new root vegetable – same recipe, so many different options!

 

Buckwheat Beetroot Salad with Hazelnuts
Makes: 4 servings
Total Time: 1 hour

Ingredients
2 cups roasted buckwheat
3 cups vegetable broth
3 large beetroots, peeled and diced
2 ounces baby spinach
2-3 large portobello mushrooms
½ leek, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons hazelnuts, chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
sea salt and black pepper
fresh parsley

Directions
Heat oven to 400°F. Place beets in a bowl and coat with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1
tablespoon of vinegar. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 40 minutes, until tender.

Put buckwheat into a small pot with 3 cups vegetable broth and cover with a lid and bring to a boil. Once the broth begins to boil, turn the heat to low until all liquid has been absorbed, about 10 minutes. Leave the lid on, remove from heat and let rest for another 10 minutes.

Heat the remaining two tablespoons olive oil in a pan. Add the leeks and fry, over low heat until soft. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant. Add mushrooms and season with salt, pepper, and 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar. Cook until vinegar disappears. Add spinach and allow it to wilt.

Remove veggies from heat and combine with buckwheat in a large bowl. Top with roasted beets, hazelnuts and fresh parsley.