Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Hi everyone! It’s Brandy from Nutmeg Nanny!

This weekend I had extra special guests over to my house for lunch.  I wanted to make something special and this cake totally fit the bill!  It’s perfect for Fall and would easily fit onto your Thanksgiving table.  I sadly do not have a picture of the inside of the cake because we devoured it….eek!  What kind of food blogger am I!  The good thing is that it was really delicious and hopefully you will trust me on that 🙂   The cake was perfectly spiced and the addition of crystallized ginger really brought the lovely warm ginger flavor front and center.  The biggest thing to remember about this cake is to make sure you do not over bake…it is not forgiving!  When perfectly cooked it remains dense but moist and packed with flavor.  Enjoy!!!

The original recipe called for maple coated pecans which I left off (not a huge fan of nuts) but I will include the recipe because I know I tend to be the odd ball out when it comes to not liking nuts….

Maple-Gingerbread Layer Cake with Salted Maple Caramel Sauce:

Maple-Coated Pecans:
3/4 cup pecan halves, toasted
1/4 cup pure maple syrup (preferably Grade B)
Coarse kosher salt

Cake:
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons Chinese five-spice powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1/3 cup chopped crystallized ginger (1 1/2 to 2 ounces)
1 cup maple sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter –  room temperature
2 large eggs
3/4 cup hot water
2/3 cup mild-flavored (light) molasses

Frosting:
1 1/3 cups chilled crème fraîche
1 1/3 cups chilled heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup maple sugar
6 tablespoons powdered sugar
* I added a couple dashes of chinese five spice to add some flavor…I recommend this!

Salted maple caramel sauce (recipe below)

Maple-Coated Pecans:

Place large piece of foil on work surface. Combine nuts and maple syrup in heavy medium skillet (do not use nonstick) over medium-high heat and bring to boil, tossing to coat. Cook until syrup is dark amber and almost cooked away and thickly coats nuts, tossing often, 3 to 3 1/2 minutes. Scrape nuts onto foil. Working quickly with 2 forks, separate nuts. Sprinkle with coarse salt. Cool until coating is crisp and hard, about 1 hour.
DO AHEAD Pecans can be made 1 day ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.

Cake:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour two 9-inch-diameter cake pans with 1 1/2-inch-high sides. Combine first 4 ingredients in processor; add ginger. Blend until ginger is finely ground, about 1 minute. Using mixer, beat maple sugar and butter in large bowl until fluffy. Beat in eggs 1 at a time (batter may look curdled). Stir 3/4 cup hot water and molasses in small bowl. Beat dry ingredients into butter mixture in 4 additions alternately with molasses mixture in 3 additions. Divide batter between prepared pans (about 2 1/2 cups each). Bake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, 30 to 32 minutes. Cool cakes in pans on racks.

Frosting:

Combine crème fraîche, cream, and both sugars in large bowl. Using electric mixer, beat until very thick and stiff.
Cut around pan sides to loosen cake layers; turn out onto racks. Place 1 cake layer on platter. Spread with 1 1/3 cups frosting. Drizzle with 3 tablespoons caramel sauce. Top with second cake layer. Spread remaining frosting smoothly over top and sides of cake. Drizzle top of cake with 3 tablespoons sauce. Cover with cake dome; chill at least 1 hour.
DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead; keep chilled. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before continuing.
Cut pecans into pieces or leave whole. Press pecans into frosting on sides of cake. Cut cake into wedges. Spoon sauce over.

Salted-Maple Caramel Sauce:

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup maple sugar
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/8 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
5 to 6 drops imitation maple extract 

Melt butter in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Add sugar. Whisk until sugar melts and mixture is thick and boiling, 2 to 3 minutes. Gradually whisk in cream. Bring sauce to boil, whisking often. Boil until sauce thickens enough to coat spoon and is reduced to 1 cup, whisking often, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Whisk in coarse salt and extract. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 week ahead. Cool, cover, and chill.

Source: Bon Appetit

Hello, it’s Faith from An Edible MosaicBrandy and I are thrilled that the holiday season is upon us once again.  It’s all about warmth, comfort, and family and friends this time of year, and the foods of the season have a way of reflecting that.  Squash, corn, and cranberries are a few things that come to mind when we think of Thanksgiving, and we can’t wait to see what foods fit this time of year for you.  Here is our posting schedule:

Nov. 2:    Faith Announces Thanksgiving Event & Posts Recipe
Nov. 7:    Brandy Posts Recipe
Nov. 14:  Brandy Posts Recipe
Nov. 20:  Faith Posts Recipe and Announces MckLinky Opening & Recipe Submissions
Nov. 23:  MckLinky Closes & Recipes Due by 9PM EST
Nov. 24:  Faith Posts Round-Up & Announces Winner

Brandy and I will be posting more seasonal recipes on our own blogs to give you more inspiration.  As always, you don’t need to have a blog to participate.  Remember, your recipe can be for anything that says Thanksgiving to you, and you can submit as many recipes as you want.  (For more information on how to participate, see our Rules.) 

And of course there’s a prize for the winner…

The winner gets a one year subscription to Bon Appétit Magazine!

My first Thanksgiving-y recipe isn’t for Thanksgiving dinner or even dessert…it’s for my favorite meal of the day, breakfast!  It’s full of cozy fall flavors, like cinnamon, apple, and pumpkin, it’s easy enough to make any day, and it’s pretty enough to serve as a special occasion breakfast or part of brunch.Apple-Pumpkin Breakfast Polenta

(Yield:  1 serving)

1 medium-small sweet apple, washed, cored, and diced (not peeled)

1/2 c pumpkin puree (canned or homemade)

1/2 c low-fat or fat-free milk

1 c water

3 TB yellow corn meal

1/4 tsp cinnamon

Pinch freshly grated nutmeg

Pinch salt

1 TB walnuts, chopped

1 tsp pure maple syrup (more or less to taste)

In a small-medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stir together the apple, pumpkin, milk, water, cornmeal, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.  Bring up to a gentle boil, then turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer while stirring constantly, until it reaches your desired consistency (about 6-8 minutes for me); remember that the polenta will thicken more as it cools.  Transfer the polenta to a serving bowl, then top with walnuts and maple syrup.

Faith and I would like to send out a HUGE thank you for participating in our little Halloween event. Everything looked amazing. I guess Halloween really makes everyone creative 🙂

Graveyard Cupcakes by The Heritage Cook

Monster Munch by Munchkin Munchies

Butterbeer by Recipe Rhapsody

Pumpkin Cheese Ball by Recipe Rhapsody

Monster Brownies by Amanda’s Cookin’

Homemade Candy Corn by Hoosier Homemade

Candy Pumpkins by Hoosier Homemade

Pumpkin Cupcakes filled with Pumpkin Mousse by Hoosier Homemade

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bars by So I’m in Texas Now

Swirly Pumpkin Brownies by Chaya’s Comfy Cook Blog

Salted Caramels by An Edible Mosaic

Crumble Topped Pumpkin Bread by Nutmeg Nanny

Evil Brownies by From Donuts to Delirium

White Chocolate Cardamom Truffles by From Donuts to Delirium

Pretzel M&M Cookie Bars by Food For Thought

Pumpkin and Mummy Cookies by The Garden of Yum

Chocolate Spider Web Cupcakes by The Garden of Yum

Halloween Gingerbread Witches House by Not Quite Nigella

Homemade Snickers Candy Bars by Beantown Baker

Oreo Pumpkin Pops by Megan’s Cookin’

And finally our winner Megan! These little cookies just screamed Halloween!  I love the use of red gel to make the fingers look extra spooky.

Witch Finger Cookies by Megan’s Cookin’

Congratulations Megan! Please email Faith and I your address and your vanilla beans will be sent out ASAP 🙂

Also be on the lookout for our next holiday event….Thanksgiving!

 

Hi everyone! It’s Brandy from Nutmeg Nanny 🙂 The time has come to submit your Halloween recipes! This recipe can be anything that says Halloween to you.  Also please feel free to submit as many recipes as you want. All we ask in return is that you link any post you submit back to All Through the Year Cheer.  You can submit your recipe by linking via the MckLinky (located at the bottom of the post) or by emailing us if that is easier. Faith and I have decided to extent the deadline this go around so you have until Wednesday October 27th, 2010 at 9pm EST to submit your recipes. The recipe roundup and winner will be announced on October 28th.  The prize for our Halloween winner will be fresh vanilla beans! Think of all the awesome things you can make with those 🙂

Ok now onto this delicious recipe 🙂 When I think of pumpkin I automatically think of Halloween. All those cute little carved pumpkins sitting on porches and stairs. That is why this year I was bound and determined to finally use my pumpkin and bake a perfect (and festive!) pumpkin bread. I admit. Bread is not my thing. Whether it be simple or complex…it usually does not turn out for me. I don’t know why. Perhaps I’m just cursed? Well not this year ladies and gentleman!  I have finally found a recipe that not only worked for me but tastes good too! Oh and another great thing about this this recipe….it has a crumble topping. I love crumble topping. No I swear. I do. Whether it be savory or sweet, if it’s crumbly I’m down 🙂

Ok so why should you make this bread? Here is a list of reasons:

1. It’s awesome

2. It has a crumble top

3. It’s moist and perfectly spiced

4. It’s awesome

Need I say anymore?

Enjoy!!!

Crumble Topped Pumpkin Bread:

1/2 cup butter – softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 tablespoon vanilla
3 eggs
1 can(15 oz) Libby’s 100% Pure Pumpkin(not pumpkin pie filling)
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup buttermilk
1/2 to 1 cup toasted walnuts – chopped
Preheat the oven to 350.
Lightly grease TWO 8 x 3 3/4 x 2 pans (those disposable foil ones at the store)
Cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy.
Add the vanilla
Add the eggs, one at a time.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour,salt,baking powder,pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet, alternating with the buttermilk, starting and ending with the flour.
Fold in the pumpkin and toasted walnuts.
Equally pour into the pans and top with crumb mixture (recipe below).
Bake for 50-60 minutes, until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Crumb Topping:
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup cold butter, cubed
1/2 cup oatmeal (1 package of instant oatmeal)
1/2 cup walnuts

In a medium bowl, combine 1st five ingredients with a pastry blender or 2 forks, so it resembles, well “crumbles”.
Mix in oatmeal and walnuts

Source: The Hungry Housewife

Enter Halloween Recipes Here!!!

Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

Hello, it’s Faith from An Edible Mosaic!  One of the reasons I love Halloween and fall is because it’s apple season.  Here in Upstate New York, apples are bountiful and I’m always looking for new ways to use them.  I like to make applesauce because it’s a great way to use a large amount of apples, but then I’m left looking for new ways to use applesauce, lol!  Applesauce cake is nothing new but this recipe for apple-oat cupcakes has a special new twist. 

I’ve made baked goods with oats before, but in this recipe I did something different by cooking the oats first (if you make a big pot of oatmeal for a family breakfast this is the perfect use for a leftover serving, or you can do what I did and cook up a quick serving of oatmeal).  The oatmeal in the batter keeps the cupcakes moist and chewy.  I call these cupcakes (instead of muffins) because they’re frosted, but if you leave the frosting off they’re really more like muffins.  I made these for Mike to take to work so I couldn’t resist making them a little more special with the addition of honey and cinnamon-flavored Swiss meringue buttercream.

Don’t forget, your Halloween submissions are due at 9PM EST on October 27.  Brandy and I are excited to see what you all come up with!

 

Apple-Oat Cupcakes with Honey-Cinnamon Buttercream

(Yield:  16 cupcakes)

Cupcakes:

1/3 c rolled oats

1 c water, divided

1 c brown sugar

1/3 c canola oil

3 large eggs

3/4 c unsweetened applesauce

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 1/2 c all-purpose flour

1/2 c whole wheat flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

Buttercream:

2 large egg whites

1/3 c sugar

1/4 c honey

Pinch salt

1/4 tsp cinnamon

2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces

Muffin tray

Paper liners

For the cupcakes:  Preheat the oven to 350F and line a muffin tray with paper liners.  In a small saucepan, combine oats with 2/3 c water and cook for 5 minutes over medium-low to low heat, stirring occasionally; set aside to cool.  In a large bowl, combine 1/3 c water, brown sugar, canola oil, eggs, applesauce, and vanilla; stir in the oatmeal.  In a separate bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Stir the dry ingredients into the wet, adding a little at a time until fully incorporated, being careful not to overmix.  Fill the muffin tray so that each well is 3/4 full; bake 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with just a couple crumbs.  Cool completely before frosting.

For the buttercream:  In a double boiler, whisk together the egg whites, sugar, and honey.  Heat until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is warm (about 140F), whisking frequently (about 3-5 minutes).  Transfer the egg white mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Add the salt and cinnamon and beat on high speed until the mixture is thick and glossy (about 5-7 minutes).  Gradually add the butter piece by piece while beating; stop beating when the buttercream is thick and smooth.

Once the cupcakes are cooled, pipe the buttercream on top.

Gingered Truffles

Hello, it’s Faith from An Edible Mosaic! Brandy and I are thrilled that fall is here because with it comes Halloween! Halloween to me means crisp days and cool nights, falling leaves, costumes, scary movies, and lots of candy. Brandy and I are excited to see what dishes say Halloween to all of you…and don’t forget there will be a great prize for the winner!

Over the years my love for chocolate hasn’t waned but my preferences have changed. I am pretty exclusive in my love for dark chocolate and to me, ginger is a natural pair. If you’ve ever had dark chocolate with cayenne pepper, adding ginger may not be strange to you since it creates a similar result; you can’t really pull out the flavor of ginger, but it makes the chocolate’s flavor come alive and creates a slight tingly afterburn. These truffles are a nice balance of flavors with the bitter chocolate, spicy ginger, and sweet turbinado sugar coating.

Gingered Truffles

(Yield: 12 truffles)

1/4 c plus 1 TB heavy cream
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut in half
8 oz good quality bittersweet or semisweet chocolate (or a mix of both if you prefer), chopped into small pieces*
1/2 TB salted butter, at room temperature
3 TB turbinado sugar (or regular white sugar)
1 large piece crystalized ginger, minced (about 1 TB minced)

Place the chocolate in a medium-sized non-reactive bowl (such as glass or stainless steel). In a small saucepan, heat the cream and the ginger over low heat until it just barely starts to boil (giving the pan an occasional swirl). Turn the heat off, cover the saucepan, and let the cream steep with the ginger for 5 minutes. Uncover the saucepan, bring the cream back up to a gentle boil over low heat, then turn off the heat.

Strain the cream/ginger mixture through a fine mesh sieve and pour it over the chocolate. Let the chocolate sit for about 3 minutes, then stir (the chocolate should be totally melted but if not you can gently heat it in the microwave or a double boiler). Whisk in the butter, then refrigerate until the chocolate is chilled enough to hold its shape when you roll it.

In a food processor or blender, process the sugar and candied ginger a couple times until it’s as fine as you like it (I like to leave the ginger pieces a bit larger); transfer the gingered sugar topping to a large, shallow bowl. Use a tablespoon to scoop out the truffles, then roll each truffle in the gingered sugar. Keep refrigerated.

Crystallized Ginger

*Over on my blog, I’m running a Halloween Candy-Making Event where every week in October I post a new candy recipe. This recipe is also my second entry for that event. For this recipe, I used the complimentary Guittard chocolate I received; thanks again to Guittard for sponsoring my event!

Hi everyone! Brandy here from Nutmeg Nanny. Faith and I are so excited  that Fall is finally upon us! We are also excited to announce the start of another ATTYC event – Halloween. This is such a fun and delicious time of the year. We cannot wait to see what culinary wonders all of you cook up 🙂 Here is the posting schedule:

Sunday (Oct. 3):  Brandy announces event and posts recipe
Sunday (Oct. 10):  Faith posts recipe
Sunday (Oct. 17): Faith posts recipe
Sunday (Oct. 24):  Brandy posts recipe and announces MckLinky opening and recipe submissions
Wednesday (Oct. 27):  MckLinky closes at 9PM EST
Thursday (Oct.28):  Brandy posts round-up and winner

As always, Faith and I will try to post other Halloween inspired dishes on our personal blogs. Also remember that you can submit as many recipes as you want that feel inspired by Halloween. See here for complete rules on participating. Don’t forget there will be a great prize for the winner 🙂 Scroll down to see what it is!

Now, onto the cake 🙂 Have you ever had something that you loved so much but can barely find the words to fully describe it’s awesomeness? That is how I feel about this cake. It has a delicious pumpkin cake bottom and is then covered with massive amounts of crumbly sweet topping. I originally found this recipe on the blog Not So Humble Pie and took her advice when she told me to triple the amount of topping. It was surly wise advice. That topping was amazing. I only wish I had some of this cake to eat right now…sadly it is all gone 😦 However the good news is that I’m stocked up on pumpkin and can make it again! You should try it too 🙂

Pumpkin Coffee Cake:

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
15 oz can pumpkin
3 large eggs
2 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt

Streusel Topping: (I tripled this)
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/3 cup walnuts, chopped

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray the inside of a tube or bundt pan with nonstick spray; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until well blended. Add the pumpkin and eggs and mix thoroughly. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and salt. Add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture. Mix on medium speed until combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Prepare the streusel topping: In a small bowl combine the flour, sugars, cinnamon, melted butter and walnuts. Sprinkle the streusel over the cake batter. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for about 15 minutes. Slide a knife around the pan so the cake doesn’t stick when removing it. Invert the cake onto a plate. Then invert the cake onto another plate, so that the streusel is on the top. Cool completely. Cover and store at room temperature.

(For two round cakes: coat two 8-inch rounds with non-stick spray and place a circle of parchment in the bottom. Divide the batter between the two pans, top with the streusel (x3) and bake for approximately 35 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.)

Not So Humble Brown Butter Icing:
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar
whole milk

In a small saucepan, heat the butter over medium low heat until fragrant and the butter solids are golden brown. Pour the butter into the sugar and combine with a whisk. Continue to mix, adding one tablespoon of milk at a time until you have a pourable icing.

Drizzle over the cooled cake, then abandon all dignity and begin stuffing chunks of it into your mouth.

Source: Not So Humble Pie

Now onto the prize! The winner of this months event will win Premium Bourbon Madagascar Vanilla Beans! Who wouldn’t want a few extra beans for their kitchen? They add awesome flavor to just about any baked good…yum!

Faith and I want to give a huge thank you to all of you who participated in our Fourth of July event! Everything looked AMAZING!  Here is the delicious and festive round-up 🙂

Red, White and Blue Berries from Scrambled Hen Fruit

Tiny Patriotic Pies from Scrambled Hen Fruit

Apple Pie Cupcakes from Kitchen Koala

Berry Raspberry Icebox Cookies from The Cooking Photographer

Mini Red & Blue Velvet Cheesecake-filled Cupcakes from Petite Mignonette Sweet Coquette

Roasted Green Bean and Fennel Pasta Salad from Eats Well With Others

Apple Streusel Bars from Food for Thought

Blue Cheese and Red Potato Salad from Nutmeg Nanny

Red, White and Blue Sorbet Sundaes from An Edible Mosaic

Finally our winner…

Unlce Sam Cupcakes from Hoosier Homemade!!!

Congratulations Liz of Hoosier Homemade. While Faith and I LOVED everything everyone submitted we especially loved these little cupcakes.  How much more patriotic can you get than an Uncle Sam cupcake!? Plus we found it really smart (and cute!) to use the ice cream cone as a hat. Liz will be winning a year subscription to either Bon Appetit, Saveur or Food & Wine magazine…her choice! Liz, please email your address and which magazine you would like 🙂 Have a happy, healthy and safe 4th of July everyone!!!

Hello, it’s Brandy from Nutmeg Nanny! The time has come to submit your recipes! Your recipes can be anything that says Fourth of the July to you and you can submit as many recipes as you want. To submit a recipe enter it in the MckLinky below or email us if you prefer. The deadline to submit is tomorrow (July 1st at 9PM EST), which is when the MckLinky will close. The roundup and winner will be announced on July 2nd, and the winner will receive a prize. Faith and I are both excited to see the amazing recipes you all come up with! (MckLinky is located at the bottom of the page.  Please scroll down 🙂 )

Now onto this delicious recipe! I wanted to make something besides a red, white and blue dessert for the final roundup. When I saw this beauty I knew I had to make it. Potatoes, bacon and blue cheese…sounds like a winner to me! Although I do have one confession. I do not like blue cheese so I was a bit skeptical. I knew everyone else would love it, but would I?  I bought a very a mild blue cheese and I found the taste to be very pleasant. If you are a die hard blue cheese fan I would say go for something stronger.  The salad can definitely handle it.  The best part about this recipe is all the contrast of flavors. You get the slightly tart flavor from the vinegar dressing, the soft potatoes, the crunchy salty bacon and the crumbly tangy flavor of the blue cheese. It also has no mayonnaise so it’s perfect for the summer time BBQ and picnic 🙂  Enjoy!

Blue Cheese and Red Potato Salad:

2/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup minced shallots
1 tablespoon fresh parsley – chopped
1 tablespoon plus 1/4 cup fresh chives – chopped
1 tablespoon coarse-grained Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons lemon peel – grated

3 pounds small red-skinned potatoes – quartered

8 bacon slices
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese (about 2 1/2 ounces)
1 hard-boiled egg – grated (I left the egg out because I forgot…haha)

Whisk oil, vinegar, shallots, parsley, 1 tablespoon chives, mustard, honey and lemon peel in large bowl until well blended. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.

Cook potatoes in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, about 8 minutes. Drain. Add warm potatoes to dressing; toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Cook bacon in large skillet over medium heat until crisp. Drain on paper towels. Crumble into small pieces. Mound potato salad on a platter. Sprinkle with bacon, blue cheese, egg and remaining 1/4 cup chives.

Source:Epicurious

Powered by Linky Tools

Click here to enter your link and view the entire list of entered links…

Hello, it’s Faith from An Edible Mosaic!  When I think of Fourth of July recipes, for some reason desserts usually come to mind.  I guess that’s because (at least in my family) the main dishes eaten on this holiday are standard casual picnic fare, and it’s the desserts that are usually all dressed up in red, white, and blue.  This recipe shows that red, white, and blue isn’t just for dessert. 

This meal is casual and couldn’t be easier to make, but still looks pretty and festive.  I used grilled chicken but if you want to switch it up I think this recipe would also be fantastic with grilled fish (I would use some kind of white-fleshed fish, such as haddock, tilapia, halibut, or cod). 

Don’t forget, your recipe submissions are due July 1 at 9PM EST.  Brandy and I can’t wait to see what you all make!

Grilled Chicken with Red & Blue(berry) Salsa  (Adapted from Julie Foster’s recipe for Blueberry Salsa featured in the July 2005 issue of Southern Living)

(Yield:  4 servings)

Red & Blue(berry) Salsa (recipe below)

4 (6 oz) chicken breasts, pounded to even thickness

Olive oil (for grilling the chicken)

Salt and pepper

Prepared couscous (optional, for serving)

Red & Blue(berry) Salsa:

1/2 c fresh blueberries, chopped

1/2 c fresh whole blueberries

1/2 red bell pepper, seed and diced

1/4 red onion, diced

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced (optional)

3 TB fresh minced parsley

2 TB fresh minced mint (optional)

1 TB lemon juice

Pinch salt

In a bowl, stir together all ingredients for the salsa and refrigerate until ready to use (you can make this up to 1 day in advance but if you do so, I recommend waiting until right before you serve it to add the fresh minced herbs).

Lightly brush olive oil on both sides of the chicken breast, then season both sides with salt and pepper.  Grill the chicken until fully cooked (there should not be any pink).

Serve the grilled chicken topped with salsa along with couscous.