No long weekend with my family would be complete without at least one cooking disaster.  We set out to make this Oreo Cake, which I had seen on Pinterest.  It includes two layers of chocolate cake with Oreos baked right in, a filling made with whipped cream and Oreo crumbs, and a rich chocolate frosting.

Unfortunately, most of the cake batter ended up on the bottom of the oven, and we gave the smoke detectors a workout.  To be fair, we did use egg replacer and also baked the cake in 8″ round pans instead of 9″.  It’s hard to imagine that those 2 changes would cause such a mess, but I can’t figure out what else might have gone wrong.

We revised the plan, and ended up making 2 layers of chocolate cake from a boxed mix.  We still made the filling and frosting from the original recipe, and finally put it all together.  My nephews ‘decorated’ the cake with Oreos, and here is the final product.

 

oreo cake

 

While it wasn’t the best cake we ever made, it was pretty good.  But next time it’s this hot, we’re going to leave the oven off and eat ice cream.

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Today’s recipe is brought to you by the letter “P”.  We have pork chops, peaches, and sugar snap peas.  And it was all inspired by this recipe from Cooking Light.

It’s fun to use fruit in an otherwise savory dish, especially seasonal summer fruit.  The peaches did get quite soft in this recipe, so I adjusted the cooking times below to keep them a bit firmer.  Pork chops can be a bit boring, but the peaches, onion, and wine come together to create a flavorful sauce.

I hope you all had a wonderful Fourth of July!  I’ll be back next week with some new recipes from the long weekend.

 

pork chops peaches2

 

Pork Chops and Peaches

3-4 boneless pork chops
2 t canola oil
1 large Vidalia onion, sliced thinly
1/2 t dried thyme
2 peaches, sliced thinly
1/2 c. white wine
1/4 water
1/2 t Penzey’s Mural of Flavor

Sprinkle pork chops with salt and pepper.  In a large frying pan coated with cooking spray, cook pork chops for 3-4 minutes on each side.  Remove, and set aside.

Add oil to pan.  Add onion and thyme, and saute for 10 minutes.  Add peaches, wine, water, and seasoning.  Simmer for 5 minutes, scraping bottom of pan to remove any browned bits.  Add pork chops back to pan, cover, and simmer until pork is cooked through.

-Adapted from Cooking Light

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Strawberry season is in full swing, and I was excited to try this Roasted Strawberry Banana Bread from Skinnytaste.  So excited that I think I ate half a container of strawberries while my Mom was cutting them up.  But that’s OK, there were still plenty to roast.

To make the recipe egg-free, we used Ener-G Egg Replacer.  As you can see, the bread didn’t rise very well, but I am not sure if this was due to the egg replacer or another factor.  Despite being a bit dense, the bread was still delicious.  If I can keep a carton of strawberries around long enough, I might give it another try.

 

roasted strawberry banana bread

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It was a fabulous weekend at the beach, with plenty of fun in the sun.  Everyone in my family loves Caprese salad with fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, and home-grown basil.  With a little inspiration, we turned the salad into delicious grilled sandwiches.

I didn’t include amounts in the recipe below, but use your intuition and you won’t go wrong.  You do want to be sure to keep the grill on fairly low heat; the bottom of the bread burned in a few places which made for some crispy sandwiches.  Just enjoy them on the deck, and no one will have to clean up the crumbs!

These fancy grilled cheese sandwiches are perfect for either lunch or happy hour.  They were a great way to celebrate the true arrival of summer.

 

capreseonthegrill

 

Caprese Sandwiches on the Grill

Olive oil
Minced garlic
Italian bread, sliced
Tomatoes, sliced
Fresh mozzarella, sliced
Basil Leaves
Balsamic Vinegar

Mix olive oil and minced garlic.  Brush one side of bread slices, and place facedown on grill.  Cook for 1-2 minutes, until just lightly browned.  Turn bread over, and place tomatoes and mozzarella on bread. Close grill cover, and cook for 3-4 minutes.  Place basil leaves on mozzarella.  Remove sandwiches from grill, and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.

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Have you taken a good look at the frozen vegetables at your grocery store lately?  Of course, there is nothing like fresh, preferably local, produce.  But frozen is just as nutritious, and sometimes a lot more convenient.

My latest find is frozen grilled zucchini from Price Chopper.  The zucchini is sliced, with grill marks and all, but there are no other ingredients listed on the label.  How do they do that?  I have no idea (but I am working to find out!)

I used the zucchini and tomatoes to make this simple flatbread.  I added hardboiled eggs for just a bit more protein, and enough cheese to add flavor without overwhelming the vegetables.  It was just about perfect!

Moral of the story?  Next time there’s a hot day and the farmer’s market is closed, spend a little time in the freezer aisle.

 

tomatozucchiniflatbread

 

 

Tomato Zucchini Flatbread

1 pint cherry tomatoes
2 c. frozen grilled zucchini
1 T olive oil
1 lb. whole wheat dough, such as from Trader Joe’s
2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
1/4 c. freshly grated Parmesan
4 oz. Cabot 50% reduced fat cheddar cheese, shredded

Place tomatoes and zucchini in a glass dish, and drizzle olive oil.  Roast at 375F for 30-40 minutes, until tomato skins are cracked.

Spread dough into a rectangle on a cookie sheet, extending as far to the edges as possible.  Spoon vegetable mixture onto dough.  Top with chopped eggs, and sprinkle cheeses.  Bake at 375F for 15-18 minutes.

 

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