5 Pomegranate Recipes to Try

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It’s pomegranate season, y’all!  Now through the end of February, this nutrient dense, antioxidant rich fruit is full of great benefits and flavor!  It’s packed with zinc, calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium, just to name a few.   Around the holidays, pomegranates are great to toss into soups, salads, dinner meals, sweets, or even in a beverage. Check out these five delicious-looking recipes I’m going to try.

5-Ingredient Pear Pomegranate Salsa -- made with five fresh and tasty ingredients! gimmesomeoven.com

pear pomegranate salad

No-Bake Chocolate Pomegranate Tart | giverecipe.com | #tart #chocolate #pomegranate #fall

no-bake chocolate pomegranate tart

Honey, Pomegranate, Pecan Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps... light, fresh, and mayo-free. Perfect for a refreshing lunch or dinner! #glutenfree | iowagirleats.com:

honey, pomegranate, pecan lettuce wraps

Pomegranate Moscow Mule. The perfect Winter Cocktail! Be holiday ready with this delicious drink!

pomegranate Moscow mules

Moroccan Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Soup w/Coconut Ginger Cream + Pistachios | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

butternut squash + goat cheese soup topped with pomegranates

I’ve scoured the internet trying to find the best way to deseed a pomegranate, and this 7-step tutorial is definitely the best.

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 What are your favorite ways to eat a pomegranate? 

xxx

Pumpkin Spice Loaf with Whipped Buttercream Frosting

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Shew… that’s some title, but this pumpkin bread lives up to it. It’s pumpkin season, y’all!! This weekend we had a glimpse of fall with a cool breeze. I even pulled out a scarf to wear to church. I’m hoping it sticks around for a little while before turning into full-blown winter.

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While at the grocery store I was bombarded by all the pumpkin flavored stuff. It got me right in the mood to whip something up, literally. This bread is straight out of a Krusteaz quick mix box, but I added this homemade whipped buttercream frosting to make it even yummier (and sweeter!). I’m not sure whether to categorize this loaf in breakfasts or sweets. You be the judge.

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First of all, I’d like to give Krusteaz a little praise real quick, because they are amazing. Have you had their Belgium waffles? Or their lemon squares? Around the fall they have this pumpkin spice quick bread mix and it is fabulous. My boyfriend says I talk things up too much without giving people the opportunity to make their own opinions, but I have to with this stuff. I’m not lying. It’s the perfect mixture of sweet and spicy without being too overwhelming. If you love PSLs, you’ll love this bread.

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The frosting though, is the real treat. I started with this whipped buttercream frosting recipe and added some other spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. It was super tricky, but you have to stay patient and wait the allotted time for each step. It’s totally worth it in the end.

Ingredients:
one box Krusteaz Pumpkin Spice Quick Bread Mix + box ingredients
7 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 ¼ cup milk
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tbsp nutmeg (optional)
pinch of salt

Directions:
For bread:

  • Mix and bake bread as the box describes. (I only cooked mine for 45 minutes and it was perfect. Watch your bread closely.)
  • Take bread out and while it’s still warm, puncture 15 small holes in the top with a wooden dowel or similar. You’re going to pour the icing in it later.

For frosting:

  • While bread is baking, in a small saucepan, whisk flour into milk and heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens. It will be the consistency of a thick pancake batter. This takes time.
  • Remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature.
  • Stir in vanilla.
  • While the mixture is cooling, cream the butter, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt together until light and fluffy on medium high, about 3 minutes or more.
  • Then add the completely cooled milk and flour mixture.
  • Beat it for about 5 minutes (or more) on medium-high to high until it looks like whipped cream. If you can still taste the sugar granules, keep beating it until you can’t. This is where your patience comes in. Just keep beating until it’s not creamy anymore.
  • Cover with cling-wrap and store in fridge for about 10 to 15 minutes to allow frosting to harden a little.
  • While bread is still cooling, spread icing all over it. Icing will fall into holes, giving it the perfect flavor when you bite into it. You will have plenty if icing leftover for cupcakes or anther loaf of bread. Store in fridge, covered, for up to a week and a half, but don’t waste it!

Enjoy!

Rustic Strawberry Peach Tart

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Peach season is just around the corner, the best batch comes around July fourth. An important tip for peach picking is to ask for the clear seed. They truly have the best flavor. However, you can pretty much start getting every other kind anywhere. I picked this batch up a few Saturdays ago along with a batch of strawberries. I ran to Pinterest for the perfect recipe to use them for. That’s when I found this rustic tart on Sally’s Baking Addiction.

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I found a great tutorial for peeling peaches. It was so easy and I was so thrilled to not have to cut them on my own. All you have to do is bring a pot of water to boil and fix another bowl with ice cold water. Put one or two peaches in the boiling water for 30 seconds and then immediately place them into the cold water for 10-15 seconds more. Then, you can pinch the skin of the peach and it will peel right off like magic.

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I cut the peaches and the strawberries up and tossed them in a bowl with a couple of teaspoons of sugar along with a fourth of a teaspoon of vanilla extract. I set that aside while I prepared the pie crust. I’m not brave enough to make my own like in Sally’s recipe, especially when the Pillsbury ones are soooo good.

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I spread the crust around a round Pyrex dish and spooned the fruit towards the center of the crust. As you can see, I think I put too many strawberries because the juice leaked out. I would suggest not filling it all the way up. However, it was still delicious. I folded the crust around the fruit as you can see in the pictures and then brushed a beaten egg wash on top. Lastly, I sprinkled a little extra sugar on the edges and baked it on 350 degree for 15-20 minutes, or until I saw it getting slightly brown.

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You can’t really see in the pictures, by I drizzled a homemade vanilla glaze on top which consisted of confectioner’s sugar, milk and vanilla extract. Sally mentions this recipe towards the end of the tutorial. It was heavenly. I ate around three “slices” and didn’t feel bad about it at all. After all, it’s mostly fruit so it’s a win-win. For complete instructions on this rustic strawberry peach tart, visit Sally’s Baking Addiction where I adapted mine from. It’s devilish!   If you haven’t entered the Zoës Kitchen $40 Value Giveaway, head over there now!

Among Friends: Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

*This is not a sponsored post! I paid for this mix on my own and my opinions are honestly mine.

I took a day from my Charleston review because a) I needed time to edit the pictures and write the posts and b) this cookie recipe couldn’t wait.

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My boyfriend has a vary slight gluten issue in that he eats too much of it and it makes him sick. I’m not sure if he’s allergic or what, but needless to say when I cook I try to use as few “white” ingredients as possible. Just to be on the safe side.

He’s also a sweet junkie, as am I. We love to end a delicious meal on a sweet treat. It’s nature; we’re human. I think Jimmy’s favorite sweet treat is a delicious chocolate chip cookie. He loved the batch I made a while back using the cook book I received for testing, Cookie Love. However, they had a bunch of unhealthy ingredients including, you named it, gluten. I’ve been trying to get into a habit of removing those items in my meals, although it’s sometimes is innevitble.

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 That’s why when I came across this bag of cookie mix, I threw out a sigh of relief. Suzie and Lizann, the dynamic duo behind Among Friends Baking Mixes (and devout chocolate lovers!) found that everyone deserved a sweet treat from time to time, so why not create treats that are “full of the good stuff” and “free from the bad stuff.”

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CJ’s Double Chocolate cookie mix has all organic ingredients including certified gluten-free oat powder, cane sugar, chocolate chips, cocoa powder, ground flax seed, and coffee powder. (They also contain baking soda, sea salt, and SOY.) These are virtually the healthiest cookies on the shelf, and the teaspoon of vanilla gives them a rich flavor.

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I threw a batch together and was so surprised that they didn’t taste like dirt! They honestly tasted delicious, if not better, than typical pre-mixed cookie mix. I feel good about having one or two (or three!) and I know that they aren’t going to make my lovie sick! I haven’t convinced him they are the world’s best cookies yet, but even he thinks they aren’t far off.

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I definitely stand behind this company and give them two thumbs up! They have quite a few other mixes listed on their website (I haven’t see all of them in stores) including fruit crisp and more cookie mixes.

CJ’s Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

2 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon butter
1 tsp vanilla

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 350°
  2. Empty mix in large bowl.
  3. Add 2 eggs and 4 T. butter.
  4. Beat on low speed or mix with fork until well combined. Dough may appear dry, but don’t worry, be happy.
  5. Roll dough in 1-inch balls and then sprinkle with granulated sugar.
  6. Place on cookie sheet lined with parchment.
  7. Bake 7 – 9 minutes until crinkly on top, but still soft in the center. Makes 34 cookies.

Make sure you look for Among Friends in your grocery store and give it a shot. You’ll be surprised, like I was, that even though they don’t have all the bad stuff that make typical cookies good, they are still wonderful to eat! And you don’t have to feel guilty about eating the whole batch in one sitting! PS: I did NOT do that! Okay, maybe I had help. Maybe I didn’t.

No-Bake Energy Bites

I’m one of those people who get bored easily and when I get bored, I head for the kitchen to find something to snack on. It never fails, I gravitate towards snacks like Gold Fish or Teddy Grahams and eat about 20 at a time. It’s embarrassing, really. I wanted to find something I could make that would fill me up faster and would be a little better for me. These no-bake bites are packed full of protein and fiber with the added rolled oats and flaxseed. Plus, the mini-chocolate morsels give a burst of energy I need throughout the day. These are great for a grab ‘n go breakfast or for an after lunch dessert.

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No-Bake Energy Bites
via Gimme Some Oven

Ingredients:
1 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
1/2 cup mini-chocolate chips
1/3 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:
Stir all ingredients together in a medium bowl until thoroughly mixed. Cover and let chill in the refrigerator for half an hour. Once chilled, damp hands in warm water and roll batter into small balls. Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.

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Pineapple Flowers

My mother has been taking cake decorating classes with Wilton and she comes home with these tiny masterpieces that are just stunning. Fondant flowers, ribbons, icing that looks like grass: it’s ridiculously awesome. I’ve been trying to come up with something to compete with her, but I haven’t outdone her yet. But when I saw LC’s post on these adorable (and edible) fruit flowers this week, I knew I had to try them out. I made not have outdone her carnations or lilies, but I’m pretty proud of myself.

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Aren’t they great? It was a fairly easy process (not) that made this pretty plain cupcake look ten times better. I love the burnt edges and the way it curled up. It really looks like a flower, but the best part is it’s edible! I am all about details, details, details. It’s the little things that people remember about a party, or anything for that matter.

So without further adieu, here’s how to make these precious things.

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So you’re going to need a pineapple, a melon baller, a cutting board and a big, huge knife. A chopping knife would have been better, but I didn’t have one. Other things that might come in handy are parchment paper, mini cupcake liners, patience, and a little John Mayer.

Oh, go ahead and preset your oven to 350 degrees. Don’t wait until the last minute like I always do.

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First, you cut the head and tail off.

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Then you strip it! Take all of the rind off of it.

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Then, you use your melon baller to scrap the “eyes” off. Those are the hard brown spots. SIDENOTE: Even there are not brown spots on some parts, scoop little craters anyway. The goal is to make your pineapple look like a bee hive.

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This is when a chopping knife would have been better to use. Cut THIN, almost translucent slices off. If you have some straight lines, use your melon baller to fix it. Line a cookie sheet with parchment (I only had foil) and lay out your slices. Obviously, your pineapple will cut a lot more than six. I only had four cupcakes, so I didn’t make many. If you’re decorating a cake, you’ll probably need a lot more.

Place your slices in the oven and bake for 30-45 minutes, flipping them about half way through. SIDENOTE: parchment paper is better to use because the flowers tend to burn and stick and it’s difficult to get them off.

So while my flowers baked, Mila and I hung out. She’s such a good helper.

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When the flower’s petals start to curl and turn brown, they’re probably done. The thinner your slices the quicker they will bake. Take them off the cookie sheet, carefully, and place them in a cupcake tin. Place in the freezer for about 10 minutes or until they harden. You might need to form them into the shape you want. I used mini cupcake liners to help with this.

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When they are hardened, you get to play with them. On the left is one flower and on the right is two. I like the fullness of two better.

Here’s some up close and personal shots. I may be a little biased, but again, AREN’T THEY BEAUTIFUL!?

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I think the cake decorating genes are in me. There’s not doubt about it.

If you try these pineapple flowers out yourself (and I hope you will!), send me pictures! I would love to know your process stories and tips that might make this time-consuming process a little easier. I’m always up for learning short cuts!

Happy Friday, everyone!

PS: I am leaving tomorrow to go on a 7-day trip with my family to Massanutten, Virginia. We’re driving, so keep good thoughts in your heads that we have a safe trip. Oh, and get ready to see my Instagram explode!

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