Fruit Pizza

fruit pizzaYou may have noticed that I’ve been a little MIA from my blog for the last few months.  I didn’t mean to be gone for so long and I don’t have a really good excuse.  This year my oldest started high school and along with that, he started attending a church seminary class every morning before school at 6:00!  Between that, high school football and all of my other boys activities, I just felt like I needed to get things under control and focus on my family.

Last week I laid in bed, composing two different posts and I knew it was time to come back. 🙂  I decided to start with this amazing fruit pizza that I put together last week.  I was asked to bring one to an event at church so I experiment with it early in the week and found that I could not resist it!  I normally can stay away from a treat if I put it out of sight, but not this one!  I swear I was getting it out and cutting a slice every 5 minutes. (in semi related news, I’m pretty sure I’m going to lose my DietBet next week)  It seems like a dessert as irresistible as this is appropriate for my comeback. 🙂  Here’s the details I think you should know.

AnneOpinion

This recipe is made for a half sheet pan.  I have two reasons for this.  One is that everyone will want it and you need to have enough to go around and two, I find it impossible to find a pizza pan these days.

The limeade glaze is what really separates this from other Fruit Pizzas you may have eaten in the past.  It not only adds the delightful zip that only citrus can bring but it also enhances the flavor of all the other fruits.  The glaze is brushed onto the cream cheese frosting.  I like to do more dabbing than brushing so that they don’t start to mix together.  You then place the fruit on and then I like to dab the fruit with the limeade glaze.  Not required, but delicious!

I would put fruit that is in season on your pizza.  Blackberries were on sale here last week, so I used them instead of blueberries.  Canned mandarin oranges and fresh strawberries are always a must for me!  To try and minimize the fruit from staining the cream cheese frosting all around I always gently press the sliced fruit between two paper towels to get as much moisture out as possible.  This helps, but is not full proof, so put your fruit on as close to serving as possible, or put on enough fruit that you can’t see the cream cheese frosting.

I’m excited to be back!  Thanks for stopping by!!

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Fruit Pizza
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Fruit Pizza
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Ingredients
Crust
Glaze
Servings:
Recipe Notes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, cream together the butter and 1 1/2 Cups sugar until smooth. Mix in eggs.  Add the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt; stir into the creamed mixture until just blended. Press dough into an ungreased half sheet pan.  Bake in preheated oven for 13-16 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool.

In a bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the granulated and powdered sugar, vanilla, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Spread on the cooled pizza crust leaving an edge around the outside.

For the glaze: Combine the limeade, cornstarch, lime juice, and sugar in a small saucepan, whisk and cook over medium heat until clear and thick, about 2 minutes. Let cool. With a pasty brush, glaze the entire pizza. You will not use all of the glaze. Cut fruit and dry off excess juice on paper towels.  Arrange fruit on top of the pizza. You can add glaze to the top of the fruit, if desired.  Cover lightly with plastic wrap and chill until serving.

Recipe adapted from http://allrecipes.com/recipe/12604/fruit-pizza-i/ and http://www.melskitchencafe.com/fruit-pizza/ and http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/fresh-fruit-tart-recipe.html

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Avocado Salad

avocado-saladThis is one of my family’s favorite dishes.  My sister made it for me once and I think that it took me all of a day to make it for myself after I got home from visiting her.  It’s wonderfully fresh and everything in to is good for you!  How do you beat that?

 

AnneOpinion

The ingredients are very simple, which is what, I think, helps make this salad so good.  There’s nothing getting in the way of all of the great flavors.  I like to use either fresh corn (from corn on the cob cooked this way) or a high quality frozen corn that I let defrost on the counter.

Here’s a tip for cutting the tomato.  Cut the tomato in half and gently squeeze it over a bowl or sink.  This will get rid of most of the seeds and mess that can come with tomatoes.

The lime juice helps to brighten the flavors and keeps the avocado from going brown.  The garlic and the hot sauce are added to taste so mix it up, try it out and add from there to get the flavor you want.

I generally make this to go with a Mexican themed dinner and serve it with tortilla chips.  My family eats a ton of it this way.  Everyone loves it!  I personally love to have a bowl of this salad with some grilled chicken for dinner.  So good!

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Avocado Salad
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Avocado Salad
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Cute the avocado and the tomato into bite sized pieces. Slice the onions and drain the black beans. Mix all of the ingredients together, season with garlic and hot sauce to taste. Let it sit for 1 hour before serving. Serve as a side dish or as a dip for tortilla chips.
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Strawberry Lime Pie with Coconut Cream

strawberry-lime1This pie is something that came to me in a blaze of glorious inspiration and I fantasized about and dreamed that it would be as good as I hoped.  I love strawberry and lime together.  In fact I frequently pay extra to get a Strawberry-Lime slushie at Sonic instead of a Lemon-Berry.  Why it costs more to get lime instead of lemon, I don’t understand, but for me it’s worth it.  I have a serious obsession with lime.  Even if you don’t, there’s a good chance that you’ll love this pie too.

AnneOpinion

This pie is a graham cracker crust with a lime custard-like layer on the bottom, a strawberry gelation layer on the top and is served with a coconut whipped cream that is so over the top good I can hardly stand it.  (I’m not kidding, it took all the willpower I had to not get a spoon and just eat all of the coconut whipped cream that was left.)

I have tried the pie with both key lime and lime juice.  I liked them both; my husband thought the key lime was a little bit too sharp.  If you don’t have a lime obsession like me, you should probably stick with regular lime juice.  My favorite brand of lemon and lime juice is Italia Garden. (I’ve included a picture; completely my opinion, not sponsored!)   It has the freshest taste of any that I’ve tried.  I also have tried adding a drop of green food coloring to the lime so it was green and not yellow.  I personally decided I like the natural look better; I thought it looked like a Christmas pie with the green and red.

Make sure and use a nine inch pie plate.  As it is, you will have extra of the strawberry mixture.  I couldn’t figure out how to reduce it so just have a bowl or glass handy to put the extra in and you can serve it with whipped cream, keep it hidden for yourself to eat later. 🙂

The first time I made this pie I gave my kids the option of coconut or regular whipped cream.  All of my kids chose regular.  The next time I covered the whole pie with the coconut whipped cream and they all loved it.  Boy 1 commented that it was way better with the coconut.  Go figure, Mom knows what she’s talking about.  If you’ve never used an emulsion, they are used in place of extracts by professional bakers and contain no alcohol.  This enables the flavor stay more intense and true when exposed to high heat.  I used to have to go to a cake decorating store to find them but they are becoming more popular and most Wal Marts and Hobby Lobbys are now carrying a selection of them.

strawberry-lime2The lime, strawberry and coconut come together to make this pie a tropical dream.  So if you can’t be in paradise, just eat this pie, close your eyes and you’re almost there.

 

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Strawberry Lime Pie with Coconut Cream
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Strawberry Lime Pie with Coconut Cream
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Put the graham crackers in a blender or food processer and grind down to crumbs the texture of sand. Pour into 9 inch pie plate and add 1/4 cup sugar. Mix together; add melted butter and combine until evenly incorporated. Press the mixture onto the sides and bottom of the pie plate. Set aside. In a mixing bowl place the egg yolks, sweetened condensed milk and lime juice. Whisk together and pour into pie plate. Cook in oven for 12-14 minutes. Take out and allow to cool. After lime layer has cooled, combine water, corn starch and sugar in a pot. Turn on heat to medium high and stir until boiling and the mixture is clear. Add jello and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Turn off oven and allow mixture to cool for 20-30 minutes. Cut strawberries and place them on top of the lime layer. Pour cooled strawberry mixture over the pie until pie is full (there will be extra). Pour extra strawberry mixture into a small bowl and put in the refrigerator; this is extra that you can use however you would like. Put pie in the refrigerator for 4-6 hours. Just before serving pour whipped cream into a mixing bowl. Whip until soft peaks form. Add the sugar, coconut, and vanilla and whip until hard peaks form. Whipped cream can be served on individual pieces, spread over the top of the entire pie, or scooped into a piping bag with a large star tip and piped onto the top of the pie. Enjoy your taste of the tropics!!
Recipe Notes

AnneOpinion

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Cuban Sliders

cuban-slidersI love everything in miniature. Slinkys, cupcakes, and babies to name a few.  Sliders have always had a place in my heart for that reason.  The little round buns, the cute little hamburger patties.  What’s not to love?

There’s only been one time that I remember not being impressed by sliders. For a number of years date night, for my husband and myself, consisted of one of us putting kids to bed and the other going and picking up take out and a movie.  On one such night I had ordered the sliders from Chili’s, which always looked adorable in their commercials.  When I got home I was dismayed to find that I had gotten a full size hamburger, cut into quarters, with a toothpick in each quarter.  Oh, and I got to pay a couple of dollars more than a regular hamburger for the privilege of having them do that.  Just for the record Chili’s, I was not impressed.

Alright, rant over.  So, I found these Cuban sliders from House of Yumm and they looked so good (and cute) I knew I had to try them.  They reminded me of the fabulous Ham and Cheese Sliders on The Girl Who Ate Everything with a little bit of a twist, and I’m always up for a good twist on a recipe.

AnneOpinion

The original recipe looked delicious but I couldn’t figure out what made it a Cuban. It seemed like it was just a ham and cheese sandwich with pickles and Dijon mustard. Really good, but nothing special.  Since I’d never had one, I did some research and found that a traditional Cuban has ham, salami, pork (prepared with a special blend of spices), Swiss cheese, pickles and Dijon.

I immediately knew I could add the salami.  The pork presented the harder part.  The point of making this is that it’s something easy to assemble and takes little prep work.  I didn’t feel like making a pork that had to cook for 24 hrs qualified. 😉  I decided that the simplest thing to do would be to forgo the pork and add the spices to the melted butter and mustard mixture that you pour over the top of the sliders.  I found a recipe on The Fork ran away with the Spoon that was for “sazon complete,” a Cuban seasoning mix.  I referred to this as a guideline for what to use and what ratio to keep things in.  The results were pretty darn good, if I do say so myself.

I used baby Swiss cheese because I don’t like the strong flavor of Swiss.  I also decided to make my Hawaiian rolls because I had some pineapple juice on hand and needed to use it.  The rolls were perfect with it, but you can buy them just as easy.  The store bought ones are about half the size so adjust the recipe accordingly if you use them.

Everyone in my family loved them!  They were also great the next day in lunches and as after school snacks.  They can be eaten cold or reheated in the microwave for about 30 seconds. They also would make a great party or buffet food.

So, make some of these, crank up the Will Smith, and “Let’s go to Miami!” (did I just really date myself)

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Cuban Sliders
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These cute little sliders are bursting the flavors of Miami. Perfect for a crowd, but can easily be scaled down.
Cuban Sliders
Print Recipe
These cute little sliders are bursting the flavors of Miami. Perfect for a crowd, but can easily be scaled down.
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to Cut rolls in half, horizontally, and place in 2 9x13 pans. Cut ham slices in half. Fold each slice in half and place one on each roll. Cut slices of cheese in half and place one half on each roll. Place one slice of salami and one pickle in the center of each roll. Replace top on each roll. Whisk together remaining ingredients. Slowly pour over sliders, making sure to cover each with the mixture. Cover with foil and cook in the oven for 15 minutes. Uncover the pans and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
Recipe Notes

This recipe was made using homemade King's Hawaiian Rolls.  If using store bought, they will all fit in one 9x13 pan and some adjusting of ingredients may be needed.

Recipe from AnneOpinion adapted from House of Yumm

 

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