Shaved Ice Fruit Syrups

Shaved Ice Fruit Syrups

Our shaved ice treat is made with all-natural fresh fruit syrups and is perfect for cooling off during the hot Labor Day weekend. We used seasonal favorites – strawberry and blue-raspberry, giving this treat a patriotic vibe. Don’t have an ice shaver? Try our blender version below.

Blue Raspberry
½ cup blueberries
½ cup raspberries
1 cup water
1 cup sugar

Place the berries, water and sugar into a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer for 3 minutes. Turn off the heat and blend with an immersion blender or place in a blender and blend until smooth. Strain with a fine mesh strainer into a squeeze bottle. Chill until very cold.

1 cup strawberries
1 cup water
1 cup sugar

Place the strawberries, water and sugar into a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer for 3 minutes. Turn off the heat and blend with an immersion blender or place in a blender and blend until smooth. Strain with a fine mesh strainer into a squeeze bottle. Chill until very cold.

Blender Ice
Blend 2 cups crushed ice in a blender for 30 seconds.

White Chocolate Blondies with Dark Chocolate, Banana & Caramel

White Chocolate Blondies with Dark Chocolate, Banana & Caramel

For the chocolate lovers, these white chocolate Banana Blondies have a flavor kick with both white and dark chocolate. Layered in is a mix of caramel, dark chocolate chips then topped with a smooth layer of dark chocolate ganache. Try them served in a pool of caramel!

12 tablespoons (175g) unsalted butter
¾ cup (125g) white chocolate, chopped
4 ripe medium bananas, (about 400g peeled weight)
3 large eggs, beaten
1½ tsp vanilla extract
1 cup (175g) light brown sugar
1-1/2 cups (175g) flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
½ cup (85g) large chocolate chunks or chips
¼ cup homemade or quality store-purchased caramel sauce, plus more for serving
Chocolate ganache icing – recipe follows

Preheat the oven to 350°F, and line the base and sides of a 8” square pan with parchment paper.
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan then let it bubble for a minute or two. Put the white chocolate in a large heatproof mixing bowl and pour in the hot butter over the chocolate to cover it. Rest for about 5 minutes, stir until the chocolate has completely melted then set aside to cool for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, mash the bananas to a soft pulp in another bowl. Add in the eggs, vanilla and sugar, mixing until combined.

When the chocolate mixture has cool slightly, slowly add in the banana mixture in three batches. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Fold together into the banana chocolate mixture until just mixed. Stir in the chocolate chips. Pour into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Add the salted caramel in random dollops then gently marble the caramel into the mixture.

Bake for 35-45 minutes until set on top, and a toothpick comes out with a few baked bits stuck to it.
Remove from the oven and cool completely in the pan. When cooled, make the ganache icing and spread evenly over the top. Cool completely, then refrigerate until ready to serve. Cut into squares and serve on a plate with a drizzle of more caramel.

Chocolate Ganache icing
1 cup (255 g) Semisweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces
1 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons (29 g) unsalted butter

Place the chocolate in a larger bowl. Add the cream and butter to a small sauce pan and place over medium heat. Whisk until the butter is melted and the mixture is combined and heated through. Pour over the chocolate in the bowl covering it. Rest 5 minutes, then whisk to combine. Let the ganache cool slightly then pour over cooled brownies, smoothing the top. Refrigerate before cutting.

Grilled Baby Eggplant Halves With Fresh Mozzarella, Grilled Cherry Tomatoes,  and Oregano

Grilled Baby Eggplant Halves With Fresh Mozzarella, Grilled Cherry Tomatoes, and Oregano

It can never be too hot for gooey cheese, grilled eggplant, and tomatoes. This easy recipe uses a handful of ingredients, takes minutes to make, and delivers big on flavor. Grilled baby eggplant halves are topped with fresh mozzarella, grilled cherry tomatoes, and fresh oregano. Serve as a side dish or make it a meatless meal.

3 baby eggplants, cut in half, lengthwise through the stem and bottom
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided plus more for the grill
Kosher Salt
½ teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
½ teaspoon powdered garlic
4 ounces of cherry tomatoes
½ pound of fresh mozzarella, torn in half
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped fine, or 1 teaspoon dried
Balsamic vinegar, if desired
6 skewers, metal, or wooden soaked

Heat a grill or grill pan to hot. Brush the eggplant on both sides with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle the cut sides with 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon of pepper, and ½ teaspoon of powdered garlic. Set aside.

Toss the cherry tomatoes in 2 teaspoons of olive oil and a big pinch of salt. Divide the tomatoes evenly on 6 skewers.

Lightly oil the grates of the grill or grill pan with a paper towel soaked in olive oil. Place the eggplant, cut side down, and cherry tomatoes on the grill in a hot spot. Grill the cherry tomatoes, frequently turning, until they are marked and just starting to wilt about 2-4 minutes.

Remove and set aside. Turn the eggplant over after the cut side is browned and lightly charred.

Move the eggplant to a cooler area on the grill, sprinkle with salt, and cover the eggplant with the grill cover or foil, and continue cooking until a small knife can easily pass through the eggplant, about 5-8 minutes more.

When cooked through, top the eggplant halves evenly with the cheese, then cover the grill or grill pan to melt the cheese. Remove to a platter and top with the grilled cherry tomatoes, fresh oregano and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar if desired. Makes 6 servings

Mango and Passion Fruit Ice Creams with Coconut Clusters in Banana Meringue Shells

Mango and Passion Fruit Ice Creams with Coconut Clusters in Banana Meringue Shells

Chill out with this tropical combination of Mango Ice cream, Passion Fruit Ice Cream, and toasted coconut clusters. We combined these delicious flavors and served them up in a banana meringue shell for the perfect tropical delight.

The day before make the banana meringue shells, candied coconut, fruit pulps, and two plain ice cream bases.

Banana Meringue Shells
4 egg whites
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
1 tablespoon banana extract
1-1/2 cup fine* white sugar

Preheat oven to 200˚F. Add one sheet of parchment paper to a baking sheet.
Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites, salt, cream of tartar, and banana extract until firm.
Slowly add sugar in a stream while beating into the egg white mixture.
Add the batter to a piping bag, Pipe 4” shells onto the parchment lined sheet tray to make 6-8 shells. Bake for 2 hours. Turn the oven off and leave the shells in the oven to cool, 2 hours or up to overnight, to dry. Makes 6-8 shells.
*process the sugar in a food processor for 1-2 minutes until ground fine.

Candied Coconut
1 cup flaked sweetened coconut
¼ cup simple syrup

Preheat oven to 325°F. Spread coconut flakes on a parchment lined baking sheet in a thin layer and bake in preheated oven. The flakes will toast very quickly so watch carefully. Stir the coconut to help ensure even color. When the flakes just start to brown, remove and add to a bowl. Add ¼ cup simple syrup and toss to evenly coat. Pour back on the parchment lined baking sheet and place back in the oven until the coconut is a browned and slightly sticking together in clusters. Cool completely, then freeze in one layer on a sheet tray.

Mango Pulp
2 Ripe Mangoes

Cut off all the fruit flesh around the core and discard the peel, cut the mango into chunks.
Place the mango flesh in a high-speed blender and process to smooth paste. Pour into a bowl, cover and refrigerate.

Passion Fruit Pulp
About 6 passion fruit to make 1/2 cup of pulp
½ cup sugar

Cut the passion fruit in halves, scape out the pulp and discard the seeds. Measure to ½ cup and place in small sauce pan and add the sugar. Cook over medium heat until the sugar melts and a smooth paste forms. Pour into a bowl, and cool completely. Cover and refrigerate.

Make the Ice Cream Bases:
Make two of your favorite plain ice cream bases and chill each base separately overnight.

Finish the Ice Cream:
The next day:
Whisk each pulp separately into the two bases to make two single flavored ice creams. Process the ice cream following the instructions on your ice cream machine. Place the first finished fruit ice cream in a bowl in the freezer while you process the second fruit ice cream.
After the second fruit ice cream is finished processing, remove the first fruit ice cream from freezer and layer the two ice creams together with the candied coconut in a large container, making about ¾ gallon. Place in the freezer and freeze for 4-6 hours.

To Assemble
Toasted Coconut Chips

Scoop the ice cream into big scoops and place in the banana meringue shells and serve topped with the toasted coconut chips.. Make 6-8 servings with ice cream leftover.

Team USA Hand Pies

Team USA Hand Pies

Perfect for a Team USA Olympic watch party! No fork needed, these little hand pies are filled with either blueberries or cherries and topped with white icing for a festive red, white, and blue theme.

3 cups fresh or frozen cherries or blueberries, stemmed and pitted, fresh cherries cut in half
½ cup sugar
1 tablespoons cornstarch
Pie dough – recipe follows
Flour, for rolling the dough
1 egg white
2 tablespoons turbinado or raw sugar
1 ½ cups confectioner’s sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

The day prior, combine the fresh fruit with the sugar and 1 tablespoon of water. Cook over medium heat, occasionally stirring, until the juices are released, and the fruit collapses, about 20 minutes. Whisk the cornstarch and 1 tablespoon cold water in a small bowl to blend thoroughly. Add cornstarch mixture, continuing to simmer for 2-3 minutes, stirring often.
Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate overnight.
Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Working with one disk at a time, roll out the pie dough on a lightly floured surface. Using a sharp knife, dough cutter, or pizza cutter, cut and reroll the scraps of dough for both disks until you have eight 10×3″ rectangles. Whisk the egg white and 1 teaspoon water in another small bowl to make an egg wash.
Working with one 10×3” shape at a time, place on a work surface and brush edges with egg wash. Cut a star shape out of one side. Scoop 2-3 tablespoons fruit mixture on the other side then fold the star side of the dough over filling to form a 5×3″ packet. Crimp all edges with a fork to seal. Place on prepared baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough and filling.
Brush tops with egg wash, then sprinkle with the turbinado sugar. Place back in the refrigerator and chill for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375°. Bake the hand pies until tops and bottoms are golden browns, about 40 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes on baking sheet then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
Whisk the confectioner’s sugar with vanilla and 1 tablespoon water. Add more water or sugar to reach the desired consistency for icing. Drizzle over the hand pies and let the icing set for 15-20 minutes before serving. Make 8 hand pies.

Pie dough
3 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
8-10 tablespoons cold water

Add the flour, salt, and sugar in the work bowl of a food processor. Pulse to mix thoroughly.
Add the butter and pulse until the butter is the size of peas. With the food processor running, add the water then pulse until the dough comes together.
Dump out onto a floured surface and using your hands gather together to form a large disk. Cut in half and place each half in two floured plastic bags. Form and flatten into a disk in the bag.
Refrigerate over-night.