Bytes of Love

Working mommy. Startup daddy. Rascal toddlers.

Category: Tips & Tricks (Page 2 of 2)

Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Wilted Spinach

If you’re looking for something new to do with sweet potatoes, I highly recommend trying this recipe because it’s simple, healthy, and makes an excellent side dish, anytime of the year. You can find the recipe here, but take a look at how I changed things up:

  • I used about half the amount of onion and added 2 cloves of finely chopped garlic.
  • I sautéed the spinach with the chopped garlic for just about 2 minutes before adding the sweet potatoes to it. This is because the first time that I made this recipe, the spinach didn’t wilt very easily.
  • I used orange blossom honey since I think the orange undertones in the honey work really well with both veggies.
  • I added a pinch of grated nutmeg. Nutmeg and spinach are just made for each other.

Give this a try, I am sure you’ll love it!

Fruit Tart

This is a very easy recipe that’s great for entertaining! I copied Ina Garten’s recipe, which can be found here: Fruit tart recipe. Rather than copying that recipe on the blog, I will just give you a few tips and will tell you what I did differently:

  • Instead of using plums, I used quartered nectarines and blue berries to make this tart more colorful.
  • I used an 11 inch tart pan instead of a 9 inch one. If you do this, you will need to multiply the amounts by 1.5.
  • Don’t worry if your crust mixture is more of a paste instead of crumbs. Just tightly press the mixture into the pan and separate out out small lumps of the mixture to top the fruit.
  • Ripe fruits work best here. You can certainly substitute other fruits, but blueberries give almost all other types of fruits a nice touch and sweet, mellow flavor. They melt nicely as well.
  • You can leave out the egg yolk if you’re cooking for vegetarians who don’t eat eggs. If you’re using an 11 inch tart pan, I would still only use 1 egg yolk, since it’s hard to separate out 1.5 egg yolks.
  • Serve this for breakfast with some coffee and croissants. Alternatively, you can serve this, slight warm, for dessert with some caramel drizzled on top and a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.
  • Fruit Tart

Cool as a Cucumber Sauce

This cucumber sauce can be used on grilled meats, inside pita sandwiches, or on top of meat or veggie kabobs. The mint in this sauce adds a nice, refreshing touch.

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Ingredients

1.5 cups of plain yogurt
1/2 medium cucumber, chopped into bite-size pieces
2 tablespoons of sour cream
1 tablespoon of powdered mint leaves
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1 teaspoon of salt
A few sprigs of cilantro, finely chopped

Directions

Chop the cucumber and cilantro and add all ingredients together. Mix well.

We usually make our own yogurt, which comes out thicker and
richer than store-bought yogurt. I’ll be sure to post the recipe for this sometime soon!

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A Fun Cook-Out Spread

Summer is almost here and spring is definitely in full swing! If you’re thinking about hosting a cook-out, try some of these tips to make sure you’re entertaining in style:

  • White platters help bring out the color in foods. Elongated serving dishes also allow you to play around with the placement of dips and sauces.
  • Pile on buns in a basket covered by a clean kitchen towel. This not only looks good, but also makes it easier for guests to grab a bun.
  • Instead of buying colorful plates and utensils to make things look festive, try buying different colors of chips, such as veggie chips, or blue corn chips to brighten things up.
  • Keep lemonade or other beverages cool by buying a pitcher with a freezable core. Simply fill the center piece with water and pop in the freezer a few hours before your cook-out. Beverages will stay cool for hours, without being watered down.

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No time for baking?

I made this dessert for our Superbowl party this year because I was short on time, but still wanted to serve dessert. I grew up eating Nutella, but if you’ve never tried it, it’s worth the calories! A sweet treat doesn’t get any easier than this!

Ingredients (for about 12 people)

1 lb loaf of frozen or fresh pound cake
1 jar of Nutella
1 basket of strawberries, sliced

Directions

Thaw the pound cake (if frozen) and cut into slices (about 16). Spread Nutella over each slice and top with the slices strawberries. Yum!

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No Recipe Required!

Warmer weather is just around the corner! The next time you put some meat and / or veggies on the grill, core a pineapple or use whole slices out of a can, sprinkle liberally with cinnamon and toss on the grill for a wonderful sweet treat. You can also try putting crystallized ginger on top of the pineapple for a fresh twist.

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Two-minute Sweet Chutney

You’ll never have to buy store-bought sweet chutney again! This is so easy and great with any kind of snack in need of some sweetness. Recipe courtesy of Varsha J Chawla.

Ingredients

1 teaspoon of dried mango (amchur) powder
7 teaspoons of sugar (yes, you read that right)
2-3 teaspoons of water
a sprinkle of red pepper flakes
a pinch of salt

Directions

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Microwave in 30 second intervals, until mixture becomes syrupy. Enjoy!

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Super Versatile Cream Cheese Frosting

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If you don’t like your frosting to be too sweet, this is the perfect frosting recipe for you! The great thing about it is that you can easily change up the recipe with just a few ingredients.

Ingredients

1 8-ounce packet of Neufatel or regular cream cheese
1 cup of sugar
1/2 stick of unsalted butter
2 tablespoons of sour cream
2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract

Directions

Add the Neufatel cheese and butter to a bowl and start mixing at medium speed. (For best results, do use an electric mixer). Once the cheese and butter are light and fluffy, add the sugar and make sure all ingredients are mixed together well. Finally, add the sour cream and vanilla extract and mix together. Make sure your cake is completely cooled before you add the frosting to it.

Variations
Mix in the zest of a lemon or orange to make a refreshing citrus frosting. Add a few extra tablespoons of sugar to balance the flavors. Add 1 cup of Ovaltine to make a delicious chocolate frosting or add 2 teaspoons of almond extract to give this a subtle almond flavor.

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