Seafood Cobb Salad

A perfect meal for late summer evenings …SaladSeafoodCobb

Seafood Cobb Salad

2 large servings

Layer together on two dinner plates, and then serve immediately:

6 c. torn lettuce, washed and dried

3/4 lb. cooked shrimp, crab and/or lobster, cleaned and shells removed

2 lg. ripe tomatoes, chopped

1  avocado, diced

2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and diced

4 slices cooked bacon, crumbled

wedges of lemon or lime, for garnish

dressing, served on the side

Dressing

Vigorously shake together:

1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil,

2 T. red wine vinegar

1 t. lemon or lime juice

1 t. Dijon mustard

1/2 clove of garlic, minced – optional

pinch of sugar, or to taste

salt and pepper, to taste

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Enjoy! Have a great Labor Day Weekend!

Morning Clouds/Flint Hills Discovery Center

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Often when I walk in the morning, I wish that I had my camera with me to take pictures of the sunrise. This morning, I actually remembered to bring my camera with me, so I went to the uppermost patio at the Flint Hills Discovery Center to take some photos. The Discover Center is just a few blocks away from The Morning Star and is a fun destination even when it is closed.  It has a walking path that winds up around the Northeastern side of the building, passing through a native plants area.

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It was pitch black when I arrived at the Discovery Center, but I was hopeful for vivid skies.

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The sunrise this morning was obscured by clouds, but the clouds had their own beauty.

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… And, of course, shortly afterward, it started to rain – just a little.

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I was happy to catch some interesting cloud photos this morning. Then I had to rush home to make yummy breakfast!

Have a great day!

Fresh Pineapple Cake

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Fresh Pineapple Cake

This is a very light, moist cake with a coarse crumb that is not overly sweet. Serve for breakfast with fresh fruit and yogurt or for afternoon tea.

1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour or white rice flour (for gluten-free)

1 t. baking powder

1/4 t. salt

1 stick unsalted butter, softened

3/4 c. granulated white sugar

2 lg. eggs

1 c. buttermilk or whole milk

3/4 c. fresh pineapple cubes (between the size of raspberries and blueberries)*

confectioner’s sugar for garnish

edible flowers**, herbs, fresh pineapple for garnish, optional

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Prepare an 8″ round cake pan or decorative cake pan with baking spray or with butter and flour. (For gluten-free, use rice flour.)

2. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

3. In a medium bowl, beat butter until it is light and fluffy. Add granulated sugar and continue to beat for about 5 minutes or until the mixture is light and fluffy. Scrape sides of bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape sides of bowl.

4. Lightly beat in 1/3 of flour mixture, then 1/2 c. of buttermilk or milk. Scrape sides of bowl. Repeat, and then beat in the remaining flour mixture.

5. Fold pineapple into batter. Spoon batter into the prepared cake pan, using the back of the spoon to smooth and level top of batter.

6. Bake for about 40 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center tests clean.

7. Cool cake in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Invert cake onto cake plate to serve right away or onto wire rack to continue cooling. Dust the cake with confectioner’s sugar before serving. Garnish as desired.

* Canned pineapple tidbits can be substituted in the recipe for fresh pineapple, if well-drained first.

** Daisies and lemon balm leaves are shown here. Daisies are edible and taste similar to parsley. So they are not very dessert-like in flavor, but they are a pretty garnish.

Enjoy!

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Banana Chocolate Crumb Cheesecake

Happy National Cheesecake Day on July 30th! I decided to mark the occasion by making one of my favorite cheesecakes – Banana Chocolate Crumb Cheesecake!

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 Banana Cheesecake

This is a soft, not-too-sweet, delicately flavored banana cheesecake with a dark chocolate cookie crumb “crust”. The custard recipe comes from Rose Levy Beranbaum’s banana variation of her Cordon Rose Cheesecake in The Cake Bible – a truly excellent cookbook.

Make 1 day ahead

Ingredients (at room temperature)

1 lb. (2 8-oz. pkgs.) cream cheese

1 c. granulated white sugar

1 1/2 t. vanilla extract

1/4 t. salt

2 c. sour cream

2 large, very ripe bananas, enough to make 1 c. mashed

3 T. fresh lemon juice, strained

1 1/4 – 1 1/2 c crushed dark chocolate wafer cookies  (use gluten-free cookies for a gluten-free cheesecake)

Prepare Pan

1. Butter the inside of an 8″ springform pan.  Cut a circle of parchment paper to fit the inside of the pan – just smaller than 8″ in diameter. Butter the paper and then place it in pan.

2. Wrap the outside of the pan with a double layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil to prevent seepage from the water bath.

3. Have ready a larger baking pan – I use a 9″-square brownie pan – to use as a water bath for baking the cheesecake.

Directions for Making Cheesecake Custard

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Using a mixer or large food processor, beat together cream cheese and sugar until perfectly smooth. Scrape bowl. Beat in vanilla and salt, then sour cream. Scrape bowl.  Mash bananas together with lemon juice. Beat bananas into custard. Scrape bowl.

3. Pour custard into prepared springform pan. Place pan in larger baking pan. Pour in 1″ of very hot water. Bake cheesecake for 45 minutes. Turn oven off, without opening the door, and leave cheesecake in oven for one hour.  Remove cheesecake from oven and from water bath.  Remove foil from pan.  Plan pan on a cooling rack and let cheesecake continue cooling at room temperature for one more hour. Cover  pan with plastic wrap. Chill cheesecake in refrigerator overnight.

Serving

1. The next day, wipe outside of cheesecake pan with a hot, damp towel. Run a thin spatula around the inside of the pan. Release the clasp on the springform pan and remove the outside of pan.  If there is condensation on the cheesecake, lightly pat it dry with a paper towel. Invert cheesecake onto a flat plate or a small cutting board covered with plastic wrap.  Remove parchment paper.

2. Pat cookie crumbs onto bottom and sides of cheesecake. Re-invert onto serving plate. Cover with plastic wrap and chill until serving. Garnish and serve.

Suggested Garnishes

• Whipped cream, chocolate shavings and banana and/or strawberry slices.

• Whipped cream and hot fudge.

• Whipped cream and dark cherries.

• For Banana Split Cheesecake, serve with whipped cream, banana slices, strawberry slices, pineapple chunks, chopped walnuts, chocolate sauce, and melted strawberry jam.

Enjoy! Happy National Cheesecake Day!

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