Posts by Beth Nervig
Hi I’m Juli Hale, and I’ve been a Test Kitchen Chef for Better Homes and Gardens for many years. I am passionate about food and love coming up with fun, new recipes ideas for every issue of the magazine. To start, I must confess that I have the strong opinion that bacon goes with everything. So when the BHG food editors asked me to develop a BLT dessert for the August issue of Better Homes and Gardens, I knew I was going to come up with something fun.
The bread is always the “B” that gets left out of a BLT sandwich acronym, but it can make or break the entire composition. My first thought for bread were shortbread cookies because with they fit in with that yummy salty/sweet flavor profile I was aiming for. Our honey shortbread cookies were the perfect choice and I love that they only take 15 minutes to bake and only use a few ingredients. I won’t tell if you sneak a few before creating your BLT.
Sweet and salty combinations in desserts are scrumptious, don’t you think? So I thought candied bacon would be a perfect place to start. I experimented with maple and brown sugar toppings, and landed on finely chopped pecans mixed with brown sugar and covered my bacon with it before baking it to sweet, savory candied bacon perfection.
Lettuce for dessert was definitely the hardest part of this recipe task. I couldn’t just add it in at the end; it had to make sense with the recipe composition. My first thought was that mint is a popular dessert ingredient. So what could I use instead of mint? Microgreens! In fact, microgreens were the perfect almost-sweet addition to my BLT dessert. I even got fancy and threw a few on my shortbread cookies for a fun decoration.
Tomatoes were the easiest ingredient to add to my dessert. Because tomatoes are fruit, and fruit is for dessert! I’ve had some great tomato jams before, so I thought that would be just the thing. Our easy tomato jam comes together in 25 minutes, and if you have extra you can save it in the fridge for a few days.
So there you have it! Just assemble all the parts of our unique (and totally delicious!) BLT Dessert Bites and enjoy a salty sweet treat that’s a great conversation piece and sure to impress both your foodie friends and the BLT lovers in your life.
All this week, we’ve been featuring a sneak peek at the recipes featured in Fresh the newest cookbook from Better Homes and Gardens. If you like shopping for seasonal produce and the taste of ripe, in-season ingredients, then you’ll love the colorful, fruit and veggie-packed recipes from Fresh.
Today is your lucky day, because we’re giving away 5 Fresh cookbooks!
Note: This Sweepstakes Has Ended.
To enter, leave a comment on this post telling us which fresh fruit or vegetable you like cooking with the most! For another opportunity to win, connect with us on Twitter and re-tweet the giveaway announcement tweet marked with the hashtag #BHGFresh. We’ll conduct a random drawing from the entries received to select a winner. See the official contest rules here.
Whenever I’m feeling nostalgic for my time studying abroad I reach for a Pisco Sour (pronounced pee-sco, not pis-sco), which is the national drink of Peru. I spent a summer living and volunteering in the mountains of Cusco, Peru, and my host family frequently served pisco sours. They are light, limey, and strong. If you’re looking for a new summer party drink, I suggest you give these tasty South American sippers a try.
You may notice that my image varies greatly from the first image from BHG.com, and that’s because I made the strictly traditional version that uses egg whites (which form the frothy top section). Normally, I would also use Angostura bitters on top as well, but since I didn’t have that on hand I added a touch of cinnamon just like my host mom used to do. If you’re squeamish about adding egg whites to your cocktail, go with the BHG.com Pisco Sour that substitutes guava nectar for a tropical twist.
My favorite thing about Pisco Sours is that they make a great party drink. I prepare mine in a blender, but I tried it in a cocktail shaker and that works great, too. One thing to note about pisco sours is that they are deceptively strong. When I make them for a party, I serve them in tumblers, but I’ve also served them in juice glasses which seems to be the favorite size of party guests who want to have a couple drinks.
Pisco is actually the name of the liquor which is like a grape brandy with the strength of high-proof vodka. You can find pisco at most larger liquor stores in the specialty section. My bottle on the bottom left is a leftover from a recent trip back to Peru, but most brands that you find in the US are similar and retail for about $15. If you do go the traditional route and choose to use egg whites, you’ll want to also use a simple syrup. I happened to have a bottle of simple syrup, but it is sooo easy to make your own. It’s simply 1 part sugar to 1 part water. Bring to a boil on the stove and stir just until the sugar is dissolved; then cool.
So what are you waiting for?! Go find some pisco at your local liquor store, and say hello to your new favorite summer drink.
Get the guava nectar version of the Pisco Sour.
Traditional Peruvian Pisco Sour
- 1 cup pisco
- 2 egg whites
- 2 ounces simple syrup
- 2 ounces lime juice
- Angostura bitters
In a blender or cocktail shaker, combine pisco, egg whites, simple syrup and lime juice. Blend on high or shake vigorously. Pour into cocktail shaker over ice, and strain into tumbler or juice glasses. Mixture will be frothy but will separate after a few minutes. Top the foam with a few drops of Angostura bitters (or cinnamon). Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.
As a kid in Minnesota, I was fortunate to have an endless supply of rhubarb growing in my backyard from April through July. My mom loved to bake and used to make us rhubarb pie, rhubarb cake, and rhubarb bars (in Minnesota almost every dessert gets shoved into a 13 X 9 pan and labeled as “bars”). Fast forward to adulthood, and I live in an apartment in the city. I don’t even have a balcony, much less a free supply of tasty rhubarb. So after visiting family this past weekend, I was more than a little excited when my mom sent me home with a giant bag of fresh rhubarb (Mom, if you’re reading this, THANKS!). The minute I got home, I turned on the oven so I could make some bars, or more specifically, Oaty Rhubarb Streusel Bars.
The process for making these bars is all about the streusel-y oat topping. Streusel-y is totally a word, right? It accounts for both the crust and the topping so you know it’s good. I put all my dry ingredients right in the pan and used my hands to work the butter in until the mixture was even . The crust cooked perfectly in the allotted time, and even better, I just topped the still-hot crust with the rhubarb and the remaining streusel and popped it right back in the oven.
After it cooled a bit, I drizzled it with a quick homemade icing. Three-ingredient icings that you can mix with a fork are kind of my favorite thing. They add a pretty touch, and are ridiculously easy to whip together. The recipe says to use nectar, orange juice, or milk, and I opted for the OJ since it was all the only thing I had on-hand. Feel free to add a little more or less powdered sugar to get the consistency and color you’re looking for. My icing was a little orange so I added more powdered sugar.
So how did they taste you ask? Amazing! Ground ginger adds a touch of zing to both the streusel mixture and the quick icing. Plus, you can’t go wrong with fresh rhubarb balanced by sugary oats. Oh and did I mention these can be a healthy dessert option, too?! Oh yeah. If you cut them into 16 servings, they come in at just 221 calories per serving. Sadly, I cut mine into 12 servings, but it’s the thought that counts.
If you’re lucky enough to have rhubarb growing in your backyard, I suggest you try it in these tasty bars. You can also find rhubarb right now in your local supermarket or farmer’s market. Oh and if you’ve got enough for more than one dessert, check out our other delicious rhubarb dessert recipes.
Hi it’s Beth again, assistant food editor for bhg.com. Our newest issue of Better Homes and Gardens is packed with amazing kitchen gadgets and some seriously fun food trends. I couldn’t resist sharing my favorite recipes and trends with our Delish Dish readers.
1. Spice It Up!
Experimenting with new spices is totally on-trend right now. Dukkah, an aromatic mix of Egyptian spices and hazelnuts, is one of our favorite new spice blends. Make your own dukkah using spices you’ve already got in your pantry and try it on our Spicy and Honey Roasted Carrots.
2. Homemade Yogurt
Love yogurt? Me too! Yogurt has been one of the hottest food trends for the past few years, but more and more we’re seeing people make their own yogurt right at home with the help of an electric yogurt maker. Whether you’re making your own or buying it from the store, you’ve got to try our Chocolate and Mango Yogurt. It’s inspired by flavors from chic SoHo yogurt bars in New York City. And those guys know their yogurt.
3. Stack Your Cake
Sure layered cakes have been around for awhile, but the hottest new cake gets serious about its layers. The coolest thing about our new Apricot Stack Cake? You can make the layers right in your griddle, and just flip them like pancakes until golden. Couldn’t be easier! Or more scrumptious when you layer with our tangy apricot sauce and billowy whipped cream.
4. Bringin’ Back Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts are the new “it” veggie. And if you’re turning up your nose right now, think again. You’ve probably had them boiled, maybe even roasted, but Brussels sprouts steal the show when shaved, like in our Tangy Grape and Apple Slaw. A little sauerkraut paired with sweet grapes and apples on a bed of shaved Brussels sprouts and watch out! New favorite side dish alert!
5. Easy as Pie
Everyone likes pie. But making a pie crust can be intimidating, not to mention time consuming. So when Jamie Oliver showed us his newest way to make a pie crust, we knew he was onto something! All you do is prepare your pie dough and then shape it into a log. Then you just freeze it and when you’re ready to make your pie, slice your dough into medallions to cover the bottom and top of your filling. It’s pretty, modern, and doesn’t require a rolling pin. Try this fun pie making trend with our Best-Ever Strawberry Rhubarb Pie.
Pick up our May issue of Better Homes and Gardens for more recipes featuring the latest food trends; plus find awesome new kitchen gadgets that we’re loving right now.
Can you believe it’s almost Cinco de Mayo? I know. It’s spring. Which means it’s almost summer. Which is crazy. But anyway, Cinco de Mayo. The perfect Americanized holiday to celebrate with delicious Mexican food and icy cold Margaritas. If you haven’t thought about what you’re making for Cinco de Mayo yet, these delicious blogger recipes from around the web might pique your interest.
1. While The Boys Club normally focuses on cocktails, I’m excited about what’s going on with this Tequila and Lime Marinated Steak. Sure, it’s not authentic Mexican, but it’s flavor combination of jalapenos, cilantro, and a Tequila marinade? Gotta try it.
3. I can’t get enough kale. I love black beans. Which means these Veggie Enchiladas with Corn, Black Beans and Kale from Jelly Toast have gotta be a killer combination. Plus, I feel like anything with kale and black beans has gotta be kinda healthy right? Right.
6. Yes, I’m a food editor, and yes, my favorite food happens to be nachos. I love them every which way, and these Party Nachos from What’s Gaby Cooking look right up my alley. She swapped out the chips for oven fries to create one hearty set of nachos.
8. No Cinco de Mayo party is complete without margaritas. So I dug back in the archives a bit to find this Citrus Margrita Spritzer from Skinnytaste. It’s got orange and a splash of club soda, and best of all, I might not feel quite so guilty about indulging in more than one.
9. If your flan recipe comes from a blog called Flanboyant Eats, then I would go ahead and guess you’re in for a treat. I’m not sure which part of this Nutella with Graham Cracker Caramel Flan sounds more delicious, but I can’t think of a tastier way to enjoy a classic Mexican dessert.
10. I know for a fact that this recipe for Faux Fried Ice Cream from Taste and Tell is awesome. I tried a similar recipe last summer, and had one of those “OMG this is as good as restaurant fried ice cream!” moments.