Grilled Pear Salad with Raspberry Basil Vinaigrette

I absolutely adore salads, especially during the summertime, and nothing screams “summer” to me more than adding fruit to a salad.  I typically like my chicken salad with fruit on the side, but I have been known to get a little crazy and stir in grapes or pineapple this time of year.  I also have a Strawberry & Blueberry Salad with Almonds that I like taking to summer cookouts.  Now, I have another salad to add to my list of summer favorites.  The grilled pears add a unique taste to the salad, but if you are really running short on time, or just don’t want to heat up the grill, this would be delicious with fresh, ungrilled pear wedges.

 

Grilled Pear Salad with Raspberry Basil Vinaigrette
 
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Ingredients
  • 3 firm ripe Bartlett pears, cut into ½-inch thick wedges
  • ¼ c. red wine vinegar
  • ½ (10-oz) jar seedless raspberry preserves
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh basil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • ⅓ c. canola oil
  • 1 (5-oz.) pkg. baby lettuces
  • ½ small Vidalia onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 c. fresh raspberries
  • 4 oz. crumbled goat cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat grill to 350 degrees. Grill pear wedges, covered with grill lid, 1 - 2 minutes on each side or until golden.
  2. Whisk together red wine vinegar, raspberry preserves, basil, garlic, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Add canola oil in a slow steady stream, whisking constantly until smooth.
  3. Combine salad greens, sliced onions, raspberries, and grilled pears in a large bowl. Drizzle with desired amount of vinaigrette and toss to combine. Arrange on plates and top with crumbled goat cheese. Serve immediately.
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Summer Squash and Ricotta Pie

We plant 2 yellow squash and 2 zucchini plants every year in our garden.  This typically gives us all of the squash we would ever want plus some to share.  This isn’t the case this year because of the rain.  In fact, our plants are yellow and they look like they may die.  Therefore, I’m treasuring the few squash that I am able to harvest this year.

Here’s a recipe that uses zucchini and yellow squash.  It’s fresh, delicious, and the presentation is beautiful!  Serve with a green salad and you have a meatless meal.

I used a Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust for easy preparation.  Also, I buy the big wedges of aged Parmesan cheese at the store.  I then pulse in the food processor several times until I have small pea size pieces or smaller.  I store this in an airtight container in the refrigerator to have on hand for various recipes.

 

Summer Squash and Ricotta Pie
 
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Ingredients
  • 1 Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust
  • 1 medium zucchini, cut crosswise into ¼-inch thick slices
  • 1 large yellow squash, cut crosswise into ¼-inch thick slices
  • 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¾ c. ricotta cheese
  • ½ c. Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • ½ tsp. grated lemon zest
  • 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • 1 lg. egg, lightly beaten
  • ¼ tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. water
  • 1 lg. egg white
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Combine olive oil, zucchini squash and garlic in a large bowl, set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl combine ricotta, Parmesan, thyme, lemon zest, lemon juice, black pepper, and egg, stirring to combine.
  4. Unwrap dough and place on a lightly floured surface. Roll into a 14-inch circle. Place dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Spread ricotta mixture over dough, leaving a 2-inch border. Arrange zucchini and squash slices alternately, slightly overlapping, in a circular pattern over ricotta mixture. Sprinkle squash with kosher salt. Fold edges of dough toward center, pressing gently to seal.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together 1 tsp. water and egg white. Brush dough edges with egg white mixture.
  6. Bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 15 - 20 minutes before serving.
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Chewy Key Lime Bars

Wes is the only person is our household right now that has no desire to eat a low-carb diet.  Truth be told, I’m showing signs on weakness myself.  He was complaining the other day and when I heard, for the thousandth time, “We have nothing to eat in this house”, I decided to do something about it.  I made him creamed potatoes last night for dinner, I bought him chips & Little Debbies, & I made him these Chewy Key Lime Bars.

Wesley loves Key Lime Pies.  In fact, it’s what he wants for his birthday every year.  When I searched for a Key Lime Bar recipe all I could find was a bar that had a graham cracker crust and a filling like a pie…that’s not what I wanted.  I ended up taking my Cranberry Bliss Bar recipe and making a few changes.  The end result is a delicious, chewy bar with great key lime flavor.

 

Chewy Key Lime Bars
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • Bars:
  • 1 c. unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 c. light brown sugar, packed
  • ⅓ c. granulated sugar
  • 2 lg. eggs, room temperature
  • ¼ c. key lime juice
  • 1 tbsp. lime zest
  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • ¾ tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ¾ c. white chocolate chips
  • ¾ c. coarsely chopped macadamia nuts
  • Frosting:
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tbsp. key lime juice
  • 1 tsp. lime zest
  • 3 c. powdered sugar
  • .
Instructions
  1. Line a 10 x 15-inch pan with parchment paper, set aside.
  2. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl and set aside.
  3. Beat butter and sugars with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time and mix just until blended. Add lime juice and lime zest, stirring to combine. Add flour mixture and mix just until blended. (Do not over beat) Stir in chips and macadamia nuts.
  4. Spoon into prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes or until light brown, just around edges. Watch closely and do no overbake. Cool completely.
  5. To make frosting beat cream cheese and butter until blended. Add powdered sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add key lime juice and zest, mix well.
  6. Frost bars and sprinkle top with a chopped macadamia nuts, if desired. Store in airtight container.
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Blackberry Crisp for Four (or TWO)

I guess you’ve noticed that I have a new favorite spot for taking pictures.  It’s my new Bistro table on the front porch.  The lighting is usually perfect and there’s no moving my clutter around in the house to get a good shot!  Not that I have clutter in my house…just don’t drop by unexpected!

This Blackberry Crisp was made from our blackberries!  One of the thornless blackberry bushes that we planted two years ago has gone wild this year.  I guess it’s loving all of this rain we’ve been getting.  I picked almost 3 cups early this week and I think there are more to pick now.  I snacked on a few but saved out enough for this small fruit crisp.  I made mine with Splenda and served it with low-carb ice cream but of course you can go for the real stuff.  It is a great summertime treat!

 

Blackberry Crisp for Four (or TWO)
 
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Ingredients
  • 2 c. fresh or frozen blackberries
  • ¼ c. sugar (or Splenda)
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch
  • 1½ tsp. water
  • ½ tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • ½ c. old fashioned oats
  • ¼ c. all-purpose flour
  • ¼ c. packed brown sugar (or Splenda Brown Sugar)
  • ¼ c. cold butter, cubed
  • Vanilla Ice Cream
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl combine the ¼ c. sugar and cornstarch. Toss in the blackberries. Add the water and lemon juice and gently toss. Pour into a 1½ quart baking dish.
  3. In another small bowl combine oats, flour, and brown sugar. Cut in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle evenly over the berries.
  4. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 - 25 minutes or until bubble and light brown on top. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.
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