It’s known that I love my coffee. I’ll take it almost any way you want to serve it up, in a martini, a coffee smoothie, heck I’ve considered an IV (kidding, not kidding). When the weather warms up I turn to iced coffee recipes to keep me going throughout the day. So when I learned about International Delight’s new Iced Coffees I got excited. Good iced coffee that is simple to serve? I’m in!
While participating in a cooking challenge at the Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Innovation Center, we were inspired by Brazilian appetizers and came up with this play on the traditional monte cristo recipe. It’s made with guava paste which pairs so perfectly with the saltiness of the ham inside. Puff Pastry sheets replaced bread and this buttery, flaky flavor means all of your guests will love these — kids and adults!
I had never worked with guava paste before. It is a really interesting ingredient and added just the right amount of sweetness to this sandwich.
Over the past six months, I’ve been collaborating with Pepperidge Farm and sharing my original recipes using Puff Pastry. Along the way, my readers were asked to submit ideas for recipes they would like to create using puff pastry and just a few weeks ago one reader (Sharon from Cupcakes and Cutlery!) got the news she would be heading with me to the Pepperidge Farms Innovation Center to compete in our own version of a Top Chef inspired cooking challenge.
We arrived with several other bloggers and guests for a day of inspiration, taste testing and recipe development! Above is Sharon and I in the Pepperidge Farm test kitchen. It was SO cool!
With aprons tied, we worked together to create two dishes that would be presented to the judges. Our mission was to create two recipes each inspired by a new food trend –Brazilian influence and using Greek yogurt in a savory dish. Above were our two dishes.
My youngest daughter is seven now, but ever since she could stand up she’s been helping me in the kitchen. Prepping, cooking, baking, eating — she absolutely loves it all. I love how she gets excited about the entire experience; from gathering ingredients, to putting in the hard work in the kitchen, to sitting down and savoring the meal.
The kitchen seems to be a place where she problem solves often. Whether it’s substituting an ingredient or brainstorming ways to use items grown in our backyard garden, she’s always thinking. So when I learned about Unilever Project Sunlight’s latest film, The Way Kids SeeIt I knew this would be something her and we’d both enjoy. The video shines a light on the unique ideas and the magic that children all over the world apply to tackle all sorts of environmental and social issues. It’s pretty inspiring! Check it out:
As the weather starts to warm up, you’ll want this refreshing drink in your arsenal. Made with real fruit juice, this beverage is healthy and delicious – a winner in my book! I recently served this recipe at a family dinner party and it was a hit with both the adults and children. Make one at a time, or in a pitcher for easy refills. You can also squeeze all the juice ahead of time which will make serving these a breeze.
Entertaining guests? A crudite platter is always a great choice when preparing light appetizers, especially this time of year! Our own garden is beginning to really take off and one of our favorite things to do is serve up what we’ve grown. Until then, we enjoy heading to the local farmers’ market and picking up veggies. Select your favorite veggies and feel free to be creative! One idea is to make a serving bowl from an artichoke–it makes for great dip presentation.
To make the artichoke bowl, you simply use a knife to cut the center out of the artichoke. You’ll want to use a very sharp pairing knife. Once you’ve removed most of the leaves, use a metal spoon to hallow out the center before filling with your favorite dip or hummus.