Archive for June, 2015
Fresh Idea for July 4th: Mini Tortilla Fruit Pizzas

Mini Tortilla Fruit Pizzas

If you are having a Fourth of July get together, these mini Red, White and Blue Fruit Pizzas are the perfect refreshing dessert to serve.  Friends will not be able to get enough of these light and sweet treats, and you will love how easy they are to make! 

When it comes to holiday parties or get-togethers, I am always on the lookout for the easiest dishes and treats to make.  I don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen making dishes that are going to disappear faster than it took to make them.  I want something that guests can enjoy, and that I can enjoy making.  These fruit pizzas are just that.  They are so simple, take almost no time at all, and it doesn’t even require your oven being on for a super long time.  Who wants to heat up their house with the oven in the middle of summer?!

These little pizzas are the perfect treat for summer, with how easy they are to make, and then on top of that, the light and creamy filling and berry-mint topping are the perfect combination to get a sweet refreshing treat on a hot summer day.

How to make Mini Fruit Pizzas for your next outdoor get together!To Make: Start by cutting a tortilla into several rounds with a 2” biscuit cutter. If you don’t have one, a wide-mouth mason jar lid also cuts out perfect-sized circles. Drench in butter, cinnamon, and sugar, then press it all into the bottom of a Good Cook muffin pan.  You’re aiming to make teeny, tiny pie-shaped pizza rounds, so press those tortillas and allow them to naturally curve up around the edges of the muffin cup. 

How to cut a vanilla bean to get caviar for a Mini Fruit Pizza

 

Cream Cheese filling for Mini Fruit Pizzas. Perfect for your summer BBQ's

 

To make these even more decadent, I used a vanilla bean rather than vanilla extract to add a pop of texture into the cream cheese filling.  I just love what adding a vanilla bean does to a white filling.  It almost seems rebellious to tarnish the beautifully white filling, but isn’t that the beauty of it as well?  The Good Cook Santoku knife may be the most versatile knife in my kitchen. Perfect for cutting and chopping, it’s also ideal for slicing vanilla beans with it’s razor-sharp edge and the rounded top makes it simple to scrape out the caviar.

 

These Mini Fruit Pizzas are fast, simple and so refreshing for your Fourth of July BBQ

I am in love with these little Fourth of July treats, and I hope you fall in love with them too.  I promise, you will not regret bringing these to any summer holiday party!

Mini Fruit Pizzas

Preparation 15 Cook Time 10 Serves 6     adjust servings

Quick and simple Mini Fruit Pizzas to take along to your Fourth of July BBQ! Refreshing for those hot summer days!

Ingredients

  • 4 flour tortillas
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 (8 oz) container frozen whipped cream, thawed
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 2 cups chopped strawberries
  • 2 cups blueberries
  • Fresh mint, chopped, for garnish

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400*F. While oven is preheating, melt butter in a small microwave safe bowl. Heat for 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between, until butter is melted. In another small bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon, stirring until mixed. Using a 2" round cookie cutter, or a wide mouth Mason jar lid, cut 12 rounds in the tortillas to make the base of the mini pizzas. Using a pastry brush, brush the melted butter on both sides of the tortilla rounds. Next, take the cinnamon/sugar mixture and sprinkle over both sides of the rounds. Place the rounds in either two 6 muffin cup tins, or one 12 muffin tin, pressing down until a bowl is formed. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, or until the tortillas are golden. While the tortillas are baking, make the cream cheese mixture by placing whipped cream and cream cheese into a stand mixer and beat on high speed until light and fluffy. Split a vanilla bean using a sharp knife, and using the blunt of the knife, scrape out the caviar and place into the stand mixer with the cream cheese mixture. Beat on medium speed until well incorporated. Mix together the cut up strawberries and blueberries in a bowl and get ready to assemble mini pizzas. Once the tortillas are done baking, remove from oven and muffin tins, place on a serving dish, spoon in roughly 1 Tbsp of the cream cheese mixture, top with berries and garnish with chopped mint. Serve immediately, or store in refrigerator up to a couple hours before serving.

Find more recipes from Carla at Carla’s Confections

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How to Make Egg-Free Cookie Dough (and Milkshakes!)

How to Make Egg-Free Cookie Dough

Summer is in full swing, and it is time to find ways to cool off.  Sometimes that means going to the beach or pool and getting in the water.  Other times that means heading to the local ice cream shop for a treat.  But the best way, is getting to make your own milkshakes at home! And they are so easy!  I am a sucker for cookie dough anything.  I sometimes just make cookies as an excuse to eat the dough.  Please tell me I am not alone!  So making a cookie dough milkshake, at home, seems like the best way to cool off to me.  

Making egg-free cookie dough, that you can just snack on, is super easy.  Just a few of the staple ingredients from regular cookie dough (minus the eggs), and you have something that tastes the same.  I used cookie dough ice cream as a base for the milkshakes, because I can’t get cookie dough.  But you could use chocolate or vanilla if that is more your style.  Seriously, no matter what you do, if you are a cookie dough fan, you will love these cookie dough milkshakes.

Cookie Dough Milkshakes - vanilla cookie dough ice cream turned into a milkshake with LOTS of egg free cookie dough to top it off!

Milkshake Must-Have!

The Good Cook Deluxe Trigger Ice Cream Scoop works great to get big scoops out of the container of ice cream. The durable stainless steel trigger features a plastic tip to keep hands from sliding and its sturdy plastic handle offers a firm and comfortable grip that resists the cold while the scoop is in use. Bigger than most scoops, this is a great way to grab perfect-sized portions for 1 mighty shake, or scoop out the whole container and blend a big batch! 

Cookie Dough Milkshakes

Preparation 10 Serves 6     adjust servings

Cookie Dough Milkshakes - vanilla cookie dough ice cream turned into a milkshake with LOTS of egg free cookie dough to top it off!

Ingredients

  • 1.5 quarts cookie dough ice cream
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • Whipped Cream

Instructions

In a bowl mix together softened butter with brown sugar until well combined. Add vanilla, flour, and milk. Stir until combined, and the consistency of cookie dough. Adjust the flour or milk if necessary. Fold in chocolate chips. Drip small balls of cookie dough on a baking sheet, roll into balls if desired. Place in freezer for 30 minutes, or until frozen. In a blender combine ice cream with milk. Blend until smooth. Add more milk if necessary to thin it out. Pour into tall glasses. Top with whipped cream and frozen balls of cookie dough.

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How To Make a Neopolitan Cake in One Pan

How to Make a Neopolitan Cake 

We’ve all had Neopolitan ice cream, and it’s a thrill to taste chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry all in one bite. Now you can have Neopolitan cake too! This cake is more than beautiful, it’s brilliant! And, surprisingly easy, too. With our quick trick for layering several colors of batter in the same pan, you’ll have a chocolate-strawberry-and-vanilla, home-baked cake coming out of the oven in no time at all!

NEOPOLITAN CAKE Step1

Step #1

Measure and cut your cardboard. Since you’re using an 8” X 8” baking pan, start with a piece of cardboard that measures 8” X 4”. Cut the cardboard down the center lengthwise, so you’ll end up with 2 pieces of cardboard that measure 8” long by 2” tall.

NEOPOLITAN CAKE Step2

Step #2

Wrap each piece of cardboard completely in foil.

NEOPOLITAN CAKE Step3

Step #3

Spray each foil-wrapped cardboard with nonstick baking spray.

NEOPOLITAN CAKE Step4

Step #4

Set the cardboard pieces in the 8” X 8” baking pan, so the pan is separated into 3 equal parts.  

NEOPOLITAN CAKE Step5

Step #5

Holding the cardboard firmly against the bottom of the pan (to keep the batter from slipping underneath), spoon the chocolate batter in the right section, the strawberry batter into the center section, and vanilla batter into the left section.

NEOPOLITAN CAKE Step6

Step #6

When all of the batters have been spooned into each section, remove the cardboard by lifting each piece straight into the air. This will keep the batter in place and create nice, straight lines as the batter cooks.

Neapolitan Cake1

Step #6

Bake cake in preheated oven for 19-24 minutes, or just until the center springs back when touched lightly. Remove and cool completely before frosting with your favorite frosting flavors.

Neopolitan Cake in One Pan

With this yummy Neopolitan cake, you’ll have a chocolate-strawberry-and-vanilla, home-baked cake coming out of the oven in no time at all!

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a Good Cook 8x8” baking pan with nonstick baking spray. In a large bowl or stand mixer, combine all ingredients together until a thick batter forms. For the Strawberry Layer: Transfer ½ cup + 2 tablespoons of the batter to one medium bowl. Add 2 tablespoons strawberry jell-o powder, 2 tablespoons flour and ¼ cup whole milk to this bowl. Whisk until smooth. For the Chocolate Layer: Transfer ½ cup batter to a second medium bowl. Add ¼ cup + 3 tablespoons milk, 3 tablespoons dark chocolate instant pudding powder, and 1 tablespoon cocoa powder to the bowl. Whisk until smooth. For the Vanilla Layer: To the batter remaining in the original bowl, add 3 tablespoons vanilla pudding mix, and ¼ cup +1 tablespoon of whole milk. Whisk until smooth. Refer to the How-To for portioning cake better into separate sections. Bake cake in preheated oven for 19-24 minutes, or just until the center springs back when touched lightly. Remove and cool completely before frosting with your favorite frosting flavors.

Is Your Bakeware Ready to Be Replaced?

When used and stored properly, bakeware can last in a kitchen for years. But even the best bakeware ages with use. So, how do you know if it’s time to toss the old baking pans? Inspect your bakeware for any of these signs, if your pans fit the bill, it’s best to buy new.

  • 1) Scratched or dented pans
  • 2) Pans showing signs of rust
  • 3) Burned portions that do not come clean
  • 4) Severely stained or discolored

Once you’ve rid your kitchen of outdated bakeware, browse our online selection of kitchen essentials. You’ll find all the bakeware you need at a budget-friendly price.

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Mini BBQ Chicken Stuffed Bella Mushroom Pizzas

BBQ Chicken Stuffed Baby Bella Pizzas

These Stuffed Bella Pizzas are the perfect way to have your favorite pizza without having the guilt of the crust.  Plus they are much quicker and simpler to make than making and rolling out dough.  Win and win!  I also love how versatile these are.  They are super simple to make gluten free, dairy free, and even vegetarian if you don’t want the chicken or bacon!

Things have been a little bit crazy around my house these days.  I have twins that we just brought home from the NICU – meaning nothing gets done except feeding the babies and maybe closing our eyes for 5 minutes here and there.  Because of that, I am always on the lookout for quick and easy meals.  While I was pregnant, I boiled and shredded a bunch of chicken and froze it in batches so to make easy meals once the babies were here. 

I also like to have things like bacon cooked up at the beginning of the week so it is easy to just throw in the microwave and warm up as needed.  That is exactly what made this recipe such an easy one to make.  I use my already cooked and ready to go meats, and I go the lazy route with veggies and cheese and buy them shredded and already chopped when I can.

BBQ Chicken Stuffed Baby Bella PizzaS

My favorite recipes are the ones that are easy and also versatile.  We made these dairy free by using vegan cheese, and you can very easily make it gluten free by using BBQ sauce that is gluten free, vegetarian by removing the meats and adding more veggies or however you would like to adapt it.

Quick, simple, versatile and delicious!  This is a winner of a recipe in my book!

Quick and Easy baked BBQ Chicken Pizza Stuffed Bella Mushrooms

 

Bella Mushroom Stuffed BBQ Chicken Pizzas

Preparation 10 Cook Time 15 Serves 2     adjust servings

BBQ Chicken Pizza stuffed into a Portabella Mushroom that is quick and easy to make and is easy on the waste line!

Ingredients

  • 2 Portabella Mushrooms (large)
  • Olive oil
  • 2 slices cooked bacon
  • Cooked shredded chicken (flavored as desired)
  • ½ cup BBQ sauce
  • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • Desired chopped veggies (we used bell peppers and green onion)

Instructions

To make this recipe quick and easy, I have my bacon and chicken already cooked and ready to go. You can buy already cooked and shredded chicken, or boil and shred chicken ahead of time to have ready to go. Same with the bacon. Preheat oven to 400°F, get a damp paper towel and gently wipe down the outside of the mushrooms to remove excess dirt. Remove inner stem and using a spoon, remove the gills as best as you can. Place mushrooms on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush lightly with olive oil and place in oven for 10 minutes to release some juices. While the mushrooms are in the oven, get your veggies and bacon chopped and ready to go. Shred cheese if necessary. Remove mushrooms from oven and using a paper towel, remove excess liquid. Change the oven over to broil at 450°F. Dress up the mushrooms with your toppings, starting with BBQ sauce, cheese and ending with chicken, bacon and veggies. Place back in oven and watch closely and cook until cheese is melting and starting to bubble. Remove and serve warm.

Find more delicious recipes from Carla at Carlas Confections

Our Favorite Pizza Cutter

Good Cook Stuffed Bellas PIzza CutterThe Good Cook Jumbo Classic Pizza Cutter slices homemade pizza into perfect clean wedges easily and efficiently without hassle or mess. The extra-large sharp stainless steel cutting wheel cuts completely through cheese and dough with little effort, leaving no residue on the cutting utensil and its durable finger guard protects hands while cutting for added safety. This cutter also features a classic sturdy plastic handle, providing a comfortable and reliable grip with increased control and stability and is rust and tarnish resistant; built to withstand breaking, bending, or warping with regular use. An essential kitchen tool, you’ll wonder how you ever lived with those “little” pizza cutters! Purchase one for your kitchen here.

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Mini Barbecue Hasselback Potatoes

Can we talk about hot dogs for a minute?

I realize that I’m here to share a recipe with you for the most poppable little potatoes you’ll ever eat, but first I have a hot dog story to share. I promise to tie it all together, k?

When I was little my mom worked in the mornings and my dad worked in the evenings. My dad was in charge of lunch, which was kind of awesome during summer vacation.

He was always grilling hamburgers and hot dogs and I was a kid so I was totally down with that menu. He also made a pan of cornbread every. single. day. Every day. Always. Cornbread. Lots of it.

Anyway, one of the ways he would make lunch special without adding much extra work to his life, was to cut the hot dogs like these little hasselback potatoes and then cook them on a hot griddle.
BBQ Hasselback Potatoes

You guys. Those hot dogs were the most amazing things of my life. I’m not sure why I haven’t eaten on since I was a kid, because man, they were good. They would spread apart and the edges would get all crispy and amazing. I liked to dip mine in a bit of mustard. I think I’ll make some for my kids today!

Those hot dogs were just plain fun, exactly the same way these potatoes are fun! The way they fan out adds a little interest and gets kids excited to try them. But the real kicker? The barbecue seasoning. If you’re a barbecue potato chip lover, you will go nuts for these potatoes! The flavor is spot on and the edges get crispy while the insides stay nice and fluffy. I’m pretty obsessed with these and could eat them all summer long.

These roast up pretty quickly, in just about 25 minutes. I like to use fresh from the farmers’ market new potatoes for this recipe. Those little potatoes are so perfect this time of year and they’re pretty easy to find. Of course, larger potatoes work just as well. You’ll need to adjust your roasting time accordingly.

BBQ Hasselback Potatoes

Mini Barbecue Hasselback Potatoes

Preparation 10 Cook Time 25 Serves 4     adjust servings

These roasted potatoes are bursting with barbecue flavor!

Ingredients

  • 1 pound new potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash and dry the potatoes. Cut slits into each potato stopping short of cutting all the way through. Space the slits about ⅛ inch apart. Add the potatoes to a large bowl and coat with olive oil. In a small bowl, stir together the chili powder, brown sugar, seasoned salt, and garlic powder. Sprinkle over the potatoes and toss gently to coat. Bake the potatoes with the slits facing up for 25 minutes or until the potatoes are tender and soft. Serve hot.


Find more delicious recipes from Karly at Buns In My Oven.

Perfect Paring Knife

The Perfect Nonstick Paring Knife! Check Out all 6 Beautiful Colors!Hasselback your potatoes, slice delicate garnishes, devein shrimp, or trim fruits and baby veggies with this quality nonstick paring knife. Durable contoured and riveted soft-grip plastic handle is ergonomically designed to fit comfortably in the hand, and features a blade that is the same length and weight as the handle for best control and to take pressure off your wrist joints. This is one simple power tool for the kitchen. Click Here to Order Online.

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Coconut Mojitos

These Coconut Mojitos Taste Just Like Summer!

This drink came about completely by accident. I was at my best friend’s house and we were making these for a big family brunch. Accidentally, she poured a bottle of coconut rum in the pitcher instead of light rum. It was a very happy accident, because now I only make these instead of the regular version. (You can make a traditional mojito by using light rum and leaving out the cream of coconut.)

Being a girl that loves anything coconut, this is my cocktail choice for summer. It is light, refreshing, and has a tropical flare.

Coconut Mojitos

I like to make this drink by the pitcher, it is so much easier to make consistently and for a crowd. There is nothing worse than having friends over and making cocktails one by one. Make pitchers and let guests serve themselves.

Tip – Make sure to clean your mint very well. You don’t want any dirt in your beverage.

coconut mojitos

Using a wooden spoon, muddle the mint leaves and sugar. The leaves will release some of their oils into the sugar.

coconut mojitos

Juice 4 lemon and 4 limes. I love this juicer because it catches all of the seeds and pulp. 

Coconut Mojitos

Pour juices into the pitcher. Add cream of coconut.

Coconut Mojitos

 Stir to combine. 

Coconut Mojitos

Pour in coconut rum and club soda. 

Mix to combine. Serve in tall glasses with a sprig of mint for garnish.

Coconut Mojitos

 

Coconut Mojitos

Preparation 20 Serves 6     adjust servings

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch fresh mint
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Juice of 4 lemons
  • Juice of 4 limes
  • 3 Tablespoons cream of coconut
  • 1 (750 ml) bottle coconut rum
  • 1 liter club soda

Instructions

Using a wooden spoon, muddle the mint leaves and sugar. The leaves will release some of their oils into the sugar. Pour into pitcher over ice, lemon juice, lime juice, coconut rum, club soda, and cream of coconut. Mix to combine. Serve in tall glasses with a sprig of mint for garnish.

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How to Make Perfect Cake Pops Everytime

How to Make Perfect Cake Pops...Everytime!

Cake pops are a brilliantly portable, non-messy version of a slice of cake. These cute and delicious mini cakes on a stick make any party table look festive. One of the biggest challenges of making cake pops by hand is forming evenly sized pops. The Sweet Creations Cake Pop Press takes all the frustration out of making perfectly formed pops by hand- it does all the work to make uniform, spherical balls that are perfect every time. The cake pop mold also creates several pops at once, so it’s not just easy to make cake pops…it’s easy to make a lot of cake pops all at once!

The Sweet Creations presses are made from a sturdy plastic that will allow you to make great-looking cake pops over and over. They are dishwasher safe for easy clean up. Here are the steps you’ll need to make your own delicious Cookie Dough Cake Pops, and it’s easier than ever!

Supplies:

  • Chocolate for coating and decorating
  • Lollipop sticks
  • 1 yellow or chocolate cake mix, baked according to package directions and cooled
  • ½ cup buttercream frosting
  • 3 Tablespoons powdered sugar (if needed to firm up the mixture)
  • ¼ cup chocolate chips, finely chopped
  • Sweet Creations Cake Pop Press
  • Cake pop stand or Styrofoam block for drying

How to Make Perfect Cake Pops Everytime!

Step #1: Mix it right.

Crumble cooled cake (a food processor works best for this job). Add buttercream frosting one tablespoonful at a time, because it can go from perfect to overly wet with a single extra tablespoon. You’re aiming for a mixture that molds like firm playdough, and feels dry to the touch. A proper cake pop mixture will be surprisingly dry.  Add powdered sugar (if needed), and chocolate chips.

cakepop3

Step #2: Prep your press.

Though the Sweet Creations press is made of smooth plastic, I highly recommend spraying it with nonstick baking spray (the sort with flour added) before placing your cake pop mixtures into the press.

cakepop5

Step #3: Press Firmly

A good, firm press on your Sweet Creations Cake Pop Press will create smooth lines and well-molded features. Open press to remove batter overflow. 

cakepop4

Step #4: Insert sticks.

While the Sweet Creations press is open, dip each lollipop stick into melted chocolate and insert halfway into cake pop.

cakepop5a

Step #5: Hold ‘Em Up

The easiest way to get your pressed cake pops out of your Sweet Creations press is to gently hold the top and bottom of each pop and lift straight up. If you’ve pressed your pops with sucker sticks already in them, gently hold the lollipop stick and the top of the cake pop to remove it carefully.

cakepop6

Step #6: Dip away!

Hold the lollipop stick and gently dip each cake pop in melted chocolate.  

How to Make Perfect Cake Pops Everytime!

Step #7: Don’t Overdo the Decoration!

It’s easy to get overwhelmed with cake pops. They can be so involved with their dipping and decorating. The joy of the Sweet Creations Cake Pop Press is that it keeps cake pops easy.   Add sprinkles over the melted chocolate to keep your life cute and easy!  Store decorated cake pops in a styrofoam block or cake pop stand, lollipop stick down.

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Baked Chipotle Copycat Chicken Burritos


Chipotle Chicken Copycat Baked Burritos--Smothered in a Creamy Chipotle Sauce!
 
I can’t decide which I like more, these Baked Chipotle Chicken Burritos or the Chipotle Sauce I smothered them in. It’s a toss up. In fact, I think I could eat the sauce by the spoonful all by itself, but when I pour it over a hot, cheesy, stuffed burrito, it would have to be a tie. These are, hands down, the best homemade burritos I’ve ever had!

The best thing about these Chipotle Chicken Burritos is that they are just as quick and easy as you’d expect a burrito to be, but when you bake it in the oven for that extra ten minutes, it’s so much better than an ordinary burrito. My kids think these baked burritos are better than any restaurant and I’m inclined to agree. I love when I can make things that taste this good in my very own kitchen!

Baked Chipotle Chicken Burritos

 
To give these that extra special spicy flavor, I rubbed down the chicken with ancho chili spice before searing it in olive oil. Just to make sure you don’t miss the flavor, I smothered every burrito in a delicious, creamy Chipotle Sauce. It’s good stuff. 

And because I’m a mom and I have to think about things like health and wellness, I made sure to stuff these burrito babies with black beans and sweet potatoes – you know, the healthy good stuff. They are smothered in cheese and the tasty sauce, so the kids don’t mind a bit. Baked Chipotle Chicken Burritos

 If you haven’t already added these to your dinner menu this week, let me tell you one more reason why these are my favorite burritos. Though they look extra special (it’s that bubbly cheese and creamy sauce, I know it is), these are so easy and so fast. If I can get these on the table in under an hour with four small kids running around the kitchen, so can you! The hardest part is cooking the chicken, which takes less than 15 minutes. So, no excuses! You can totally be staring at a plate of this homemade goodness tonight. This is one meal you don’t want to miss! 

Baked Chipotle Chicken Burritos

[yumprint-recipe id=’40’]  Find more delicious recipes from Allison at Some the Wiser

Perfectly Baked Burritos

The Good Cook AirPerfect Half Sheet Cake PanBake enough food for a crowd on our Air Perfect half-sheet baking pan. Ideal for evenly baking everything from dinnertime burritos to cookies and cakes, our nonstick Air Perfect half-sheet pan is an essential kitchen tool that every cook needs. Browse our online AirPerfect cookware collection now.

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7 Summertime Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
GC- Grilled Cheese PIN

7 Summertime Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, FRUIT + CHEESE = AMAZING!!

Grilled cheese sandwiches are downright amazing. Gooey, melty cheese sandwiched between crispy bread- yum! Want to make them even better? Add fresh, ripe fruit, and your grilled cheese sandwich takes on the sweet taste of summer. Creamy, salty cheese and sweet fruit make an incredible combination you’ll want to try. We’ve found 7 amazing grilled cheese sandwiches that are bursting with summer fruit flavor!

cheese1

1. Blackberry Basil Sandwiches

Take one bite and fall in love with these beautiful grilled fontina blackberry basil sandwiches. Splurge for good bread and you’ll have a special grilled cheese sandwich worth making all summer long! Find out how to make out-of-this-world grilled cheese on HOW SWEET EATS.

cheese2

2. Raspberry Chipotle Bacon Grilled Cheese

If you want a sandwich with sweet, smoky flavor, ooey-gooey cheese, and thick, toasty bread, this raspberry chipotle bacon grilled cheese is a must try. Sweet raspberries pair with salty bacon for a combo that hits the spot. Learn how to make this incredibly tasty sandwich from WELL PLATED.

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3. Marinated Strawberry Grilled Cheese

Turn lunch into a treat with a marinated strawberry grilled cheese sandwich. Fragrant basil, creamy brie, and sweet strawberries make your grilled cheese sandwich tastier than ever. Find out how to make this twist on grilled cheese at FOODIE CRUSH.

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4. Dark Chocolate ,Cherry, and Brie Grilled Cheese

Chocolate in a sandwich? Why yes, dark chocolate is exactly what makes this fruity grilled cheese sandwich awesome. Cherries, brie, and dark chocolate are an incredibly delicious combo that you’ve gotta try. Find this melt-in-your-mouth recipe at CLOSET COOKING.

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5. Honey Glazed Peach and Bleu Cheese Grilled Sandwich

Honey glazed peaches, roasted pork tenderloin and melty puddles of blue cheese make this grilled cheese sandwich extraordinary. You may never want plain ol’ grilled cheese again! Learn how to make this sandwich at MELANIE MAKES.

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6. Avocado Strawberry Grilled Cheese

Make your grilled cheese sandwich extra creamy with a layer of avocado. Roast your strawberries to bring out their sweetness, layer on the avocado and cheese, and you’ve got an incredible sandwich! Find the recipe at AMBITIOUS KITCHEN.

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7. Balsalmic-Soaked Blueberry Grilled Cheese

Soaking blueberries in balsamic vinegar gives them a tart edge, keeping this grilled cheese sandwich from being overly sweet. You’ll get a dboulbe antioxidant boost from the blueberries and spinach in this sandwich! Head over to AMANDA BY THE BAY for this delicious sandwich recipe.

Grilled Cheese Made Easy

Good Cook Pre-Seasoned Iron GrillMaking these sandwiches (and all your grilled favorites!) just got more convenient that ever with our Good Cook 11″ pre-seasoned cast iron grill. Features durable oversized handle for a comfortable and sturdy grip for lifting and pouring excess liquids or transferring food; and its high quality construction distributes heat evenly for consistent cooking without scorching. This skillet also boasts superior heat retention, allowing cooked food to stay warm longer while sitting and is virtually indestructible as it’s built with rugged cast iron to resist breaking, scratching, cracking, or rusting with regular use. Get one for your kitchen here.

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The Must-Try Favorite: Frosted Cinnamon Banana Bread

Frosted Cinnamon Banana Bread
Banana bread is a classic. And while we’re certain you’ve already got a go-to recipe, we’re also quite sure that this recipe here is about to become your favorite. It’s an absolutely must-try!

We’ve stirred together a banana bread batter, then added a double dose of cinnamon. Stir in cinnamon spice PLUS a bag of cinnamon chips and you’ll be enjoying slices of this moist and decadent treat in just about an hour. Your home is about to smell just like Grandma’s house. Beware! The neighbors may get a sniff of the wafting cinnamon goodness and come begging for a bite of whatever you have in the oven. Luckily enough, there’s plenty to share. This recipe makes one giant loaf, but can also be made into four mini loafs which are perfect for sharing with our 4-Cup Nonstick Mini Loaf Pan.

Our Best Banana Bread
If you’ve never purchased cinnamon chips, you’re in for a treat. Like little chocolate chips, these sweet, buttery morsels are loaded with cinnamon flavor. In the summer, they can sometimes be hard to find. These little chips melt quickly, making them extra sensitive to shipping process in high temperatures.

If you’re unable to find Cinnamon Chips in stores or online, feel free to omit the chips, or stir in chopped walnuts, a handful of white chocolate chips, or even a handful of dark chocolate. All of these swaps will still yield a golden, delicious loaf of cinnamon-scented banana bread. Topped with homemade vanilla frosting, bright green pistachios, and chopped cranberries, this recipe is our all-time favorite. We think it might become yours, too. Enjoy!
SC-Banana Bread V

Cinnamon Banana Bread

Preparation 22 m Cook Time 55 m

Ingredients

For the Bread

  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 medium ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk or sour cream
  • 3/4 cup cinnamon chips (optional)
  • For the Icing:
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 12 tablespoons milk
  • 3 tablespoons chopped pistachios
  • 3 tablespoons dried cranberries, chopped

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray a 9”x5” Good Cook Air Perfect Bakeware loaf pan with nonstick baking spray. Set aside.

In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat together the butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Mix in mashed bananas, flour, baking soda, salt and buttermilk (or sour cream) until smooth. Stir in cinnamon chips (if desired).

Transfer batter to prepared loaf pan. Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until the center of the loaf spring back when touched lightly. Remove and cool completely before icing.

To prepare icing: Whisk together powdered sugar, butter, corn syrup, and milk until smooth and spreadable. Spread on top of cooled banana bread. Sprinkle with pistachios and chopped cranberries. Allow icing to stand for 10-15 minutes before slicing and serving.

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How to Wash Strawberries & Keep Them Fresher Longer

How to Wash Strawberries & Keep Them Fresher Longer

So you came home from the grocery store with a batch of strawberries. Now what? How can you keep those tender berries fresh until you’re ready to enjoy them? And when it’s time to wash them, what’s the best way to clean them without bruising or smashing those bright, delicious berries? We’ve asked the experts and found everything you need to know about caring for berries and keeping them fresh.

Tip #1: Buy Good Berries

Fresh berries begin when you buy them. It’s always best to buy fresh strawberries in season to capture their sweet, juicy goodness. Start looking for them in the produce aisle in late spring and through early summer. Choose plump, tender, brightly colored berries and avoid containers with moldy, smushed, or soggy berries. For pick-your-own farms, make sure the berries separate easily from their stems, since berries don’t ripen after picking.

How to Wash Strawberries & Keep Them Fresher Longer

Tip #2: Store in the Fridge

If you don’t plan on eating strawberries right away, refrigerate them unwashed. Otherwise, the damp berries get mushy and encourage mold growth. It’s important to keep the stems on until washed, since the water can affect the flavor and texture of the berries.

Tip #3: Wash With Care

When ready to enjoy, wash berries with a bit of TLC. The tender, ripe fruits can be easily bruised, so experts recommend a gentle bath in cold water. The Good Cook Bowlander Soak and Strain Colander is designed to gently and easily wash and strain strawberries without having any if them falling into the sink. Here’s how it works:

  1. Place strawberries in the bowl of the Good Cook Bowlander Soak and Strain Colander
  2. Tip the bowl so the strawberries fall into the colander.
  3. Rinse the strawberries in the colander under cold running water for 60-90 seconds.
  4. Allow the water to drain from the strawberries. 
  5. Tip the berries back into the bowl and gently pat the rinsed berries dry with a paper towel.

 How to Keep Berries Fresher Longer

Tip #4: Prep with a Paring Knife

To hull the berries, insert a paring knife into the strawberry at a 45 degree angle where the core and flesh meet. Rotate the knife and berry in opposite directions, and the core will release, leaving an intact strawberry. For a quick hulling method that leaves a hole in the strawberry, place an unbent straw in the bottom of the strawberry, push the straw straight through the berry, and the straw will pop the cap off.

How to Wash Strawberries and Keep Them Fresher Longer

Tip #5: Freeze Fresh Berries

The great thing about berries is that they freeze beautifully. If you buy a flat or visit a pick-your-own farm, freezing the extra berries is a great option. You’ll need to wash the strawberries in the Good Cook Bowlander Soak and Strain Colander, gently pat them dry, hull, and place them in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet until completely frozen (about 6 hours). This way the berries won’t freeze in a clump. Transfer the frozen berries to a freezer-safe plastic bag using a measuring cup, and label the amount and date on the bag. Strawberries can be stored in the freezer for up to a year.

What Kitchen Tip Do You Want?

The Good Cook “How To” series offers expert answers to all your kitchen questions. What have you been wondering about? Leave us a message below and let us know what you’d like to see covered in our next “How To” article!

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Grilled Peanut Butter & Nutella Sandwiches-- Perfect for Summer!

Do you guys hear what I hear? 

Birds chirping. Bees buzzing. Sprinklers sprinkling. Balls bouncing. And, of course, children screaming.

Yep, it’s that time of year of again and I couldn’t be more excited. 

I absolutely love getting outside this time of year. It’s not too hot, it’s not too cold, and there is always a wonderful breeze. Things just feel fresh and new and it makes me happy. I’m in the mid-west. Hopefully you’re experiencing similar weather wherever you’re located!

My favorite part of this time of year is the big switch from baked goodies to no-bake goodies! It’s always fun to change things up, right?

As summer break approaches, I’m preparing myself and the kids by making travel plans, coming up with creative summer craft ideas for the kids, and stocking up on foods that I know my kids will like to help cook.Grilled Peanut Butter and Nutella Sandwiches

These little grilled sandwiches are one thing that my kids beg to make again and again. I love how easy they are. I don’t even need to supervise at this point, but my kids are older and have plenty of practice using a stove. You might need to be a little more hands on than I am.Grill1

All you’ll need is a frozen pound cake, peanut butter, Nutella, and butter. How easy is that? 

I used a Good Cook Grill to make these sandwiches and you can easily cook 4 at a time, making this a dessert that’s ready in minutes. 

I slice my pound cake very thin since I’ll be sandwiching two pieces together. You’ll just spread some softened butter on one side of each slice of cake. On the non-buttered side you’ll spread on some peanut butter and Nutella. Place another slice on top with the butter side out and grill these babies up. 

You really only need to cook them for a couple of minutes on each side. The goal is to get them lightly browned on the outside while the inside is nice and melty. 

Be sure to use salted butter for these. The little salty bite of the butter against the sweet pound cake is divine. 

Peanut Butter and Nutella Grilled Sandwiches

Preparation 5 Cook Time 5

These sweet and salty grilled sandwiches are the perfect summer treat

Ingredients

  • 1 loaf frozen pound cake, thawed
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup Nutella

Instructions

Slice the pound cake into 16 thin slices. Spread one side of each slice of cake with a thin smear of butter. Flip the slices of cake butter side down and spread half of them with a layer of peanut butter and half of them with a layer of Nutella. Sandwich them together. Heat a griddle over medium heat. Place the sandwiches on the griddle and cook for 2 minutes or until golden. Flip and cook for 2 more minutes. Serve immediately.

Easy Grillin’

Good Cook Pre-Seasoned Iron GrillMaking these sandwiches (and all your grilled favorites!) just got more convenient that ever with our Good Cook 11″ pre-seasoned cast iron grill. Features durable oversized handle for a comfortable and sturdy grip for lifting and pouring excess liquids or transferring food; and its high quality construction distributes heat evenly for consistent cooking without scorching. This skillet also boasts superior heat retention, allowing cooked food to stay warm longer while sitting and is virtually indestructible as it’s built with rugged cast iron to resist breaking, scratching, cracking, or rusting with regular use. Get one for your kitchen here.

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Mango Avocado Salsa by Baked Bree 
One of the easiest ways to elevate boring grilled chicken, fish, tacos, or even a plain old chip to something amazing is to make a fresh salsa to serve with it. Healthy and light, they add so much flavor and color to a dish. Not to mention easy! If you have 10 minutes and a knife, you are in business.

Mango Avocado Salsa from Good Cook

This version is my favorite kind – sweet from mango, spicy from jalapeno, savory from red onion, and crunchy from red pepper. The colors are magnificent and make anything you eat it with look gorgeous and bright.Mango Avocado Salsa

Mango Avocado Salsa

Preparation 10

Sweet from mango, spicy from jalapeno, savory from red onion, and crunchy from red pepper. The colors are magnificent and make anything you eat it with look gorgeous and bright.

Ingredients

  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup corn kernels (fresh or thawed from frozen)
  • ½ red pepper, diced
  • 1 ripe mango, diced
  • ¼ cup cilantro, finely chopped

Instructions

In a medium bowl, toss avocados with lime juice, salt, and jalapenos. Add black beans, corn, red pepper, mango, and cilantro. Stir gently to combine. Check for seasoning and add more salt if needed. Serve with chips or on grilled chicken or fish.

Find more recipes from Bree at Baked Bree.

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VIDEO: How to Make No-Bake Chocolate Cookies

GC BLOG No Bake Oatmeal SM
 

Making cookies has never been easier (or more delicious) than with this fantastic no-baking-required recipe for Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies! Mix together the ingredients then chill and serve up a batch to friends and family in no-time! The melt-in-your-mouth results are worthy of applause! Watch this short video and learn how you can make them! 

Chocolate Oatmeal No-Bake Cookies

Ingredients:
2 cups of sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 cup milk
3 cups of quick-cooking oats
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
3 tablespoons of butter

In a saucepan, heat and bring to a boil the sugar, milk, cocoa and butter. Cook until the butter is completely melted and the sugar and cocoa are dissolved. Next, add your oats and vanilla extract. Mix well until the batter is completely combined. 

Using a small scoop or a spoon, spoon the mixture not a wax paper-lined cookie sheet and chill in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes. You can chill for less time (no less than 10 minutes) if you like chewier cookies. 

Once chilled serve and enjoy! 

Find more video tutorials from Caroline at Salsa Pie Productions.

Make Perfect Cookies Everytime!

The Perfect Cookie Scoop!Loving that tray of perfect chocolate cookies? Here’s the trick.

Our polished stainless steel mini scoop makes it easy to serve up bite-size ice cream scoops, carve out perfect melon or butter balls, and portion dough into beautiful, uniform cookies. The spring-loaded metal scraper inside the scooper activates with an easy squeeze of the sturdy handle to release food without hassle or mess. Made with 100% professional grade stainless steel, this durable and rust-resistant trigger ice cream scooper is dishwasher safe. Buy online now!

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