Berry Passion Fruit Pavlova

pavlova 1Each new year, it is tradition to make resolutions and look for opportunities to set new goals, be inspired, try new things and travel to new places. While most people try to cut food out, I challenge you to invite new flavors in for the new year. Bringing one of my favorite recipes to your table will be a perfect way to start. Pavlova is loved in so many countries, but the debate continues whether it originates from New Zealand or Australia. This light and crisp meringue is garnished with fresh whipped cream, seasonal fruits and flavors and will be loved by all. Happy new year and happy baking!
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Berry Passion Fruit Pavlova
Serves 6
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Meringue
  1. 4 Egg Whites
  2. 1 Cup Sugar
  3. 1 Tbsp Corn Starch
  4. 1 tsp Vinegar
  5. 1/2 Cup Strawberries
  6. 1/2 Cup Blueberries
  7. 1/2 Cup Raspberries
  8. 1 Passion Fruit
Sweet Whipped Cream
  1. 1 Cup Heavy Cream
  2. 2 Tbsp Granulated Sugar
  3. 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees F
  2. Place a sheet of parchment paper on a sheet pan
  3. Place the eggs whites in a bowl of an electric mixer with whisk attachment
  4. Beat egg whites on high speed until stiff peaks have formed
  5. Slowly add in sugar and whisk until egg whites are shiny, about 2 minutes
  6. Remove the bowl from the mixer and gently fold in sifted cornstarch and vinegar until combined
  7. Pile the meringue onto the parchment paper and smooth it to form a circle, approx. 8”-9” round
  8. Bake meringue for 1 1/2 hours and then turn off oven and allow the meringue to cool completely in the oven
  9. Place the meringue on a serving dish and spread whipped cream in the center
  10. Arrange fruit covering the top of the whipped cream (add more or less if needed)
  11. Cut the passion fruit in half and drizzle the juice and seeds on top of the berries
  12. Serve Immediately
  13. Sweet Whipped Cream
  14. In a large bowl of an electric mixer with whisk attachment beat the whipped cream until it starts to thicken
  15. Slowly add the sugar and vanilla extract and continue beating until firm
INK foods : In Nanny's Kitchen http://inkfoods.com/
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Dried Fruit and Nut Granola Bars + Back to School Pantry Must-Have

granola 4It is hard to believe that summer break is coming to an end. With so many obligations to worry about as we approach the start of a new school year, it’s important to focus on our home and pantry. Stocking up on simple pantry staples will keep your meals healthy, balanced and quick.

Oats
Homemade granola bars are one of the many recipes for which oats will come in handy. Mixed with assorted dried fruit, coconut and chocolate chips you will have a quick on-the-go breakfast or snack.

Whole grain pasta
One of the most versatile dry ingredients is great for busy day dinners and left over lunches. Garnish with fresh pesto, cheese, homemade tomato sauce or fresh veggies.

Nut butters and spreads
Easy to spread on pancakes, tortillas, or apple and banana slices for a satisfying snack or the perfect addition to any smoothie.

Honey
A great substitute for sugar and sweeteners, honey is also the perfect ingredient to start your morning routine. Squeeze half a lemon and 1 tbsp honey into hot water, for a caffeine-free boost. It might even kick your coffee cravings.

Dried fruit and nut granola bars are one of my favorites and can be made with a variety of ingredients that you have in your pantry!  granola6granola 3

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Dried Fruit and Nut Granola Bars
Yields 12
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Ingredients
  1. 2-1/2 cups old fashion rolled oats
  2. 1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
  3. 1/3 cup honey
  4. 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  5. 1/4 cup brown sugar
  6. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  7. 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  8. 1/4 cup dried pineapple, chopped
  9. 1/4 cup dried apricots, chopped
Instructions
  1. Combine oats and slivered almonds on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees or until lightly toasted.
  2. Combine butter, honey, brown sugar and vanilla extract in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook until butter and sugar are melted.
  3. Pour butter mixture over the toasted almonds and oats; add all the dried fruit.
  4. Spread mixture onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and spread evenly.
  5. Refrigerate until firm and ready to be cut.
  6. Cut granola into 12 bars and store in airtight container or wrap individually.
INK foods : In Nanny's Kitchen http://inkfoods.com/

 Recipe featured in Advocate Magazine
Photography by Megan Weaver 

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Chocolate Cherry Granola Balls

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I might be mildly obsessed with these little bitty bite size treats.  I actually cannot stop eating them and I made them as a snack for my girls…well maybe a little for me (I do LOVE peanut butter)!  I have been focusing on healthy snacks in our house, to close out the summer and start the new school year fresh and these are on the top of my list.  

Summer is kind of a party for our family, no schedule, no routine and a lot of special treats (it helps us get through the day).  With only a  few more weeks left before school goes back, I want to prepare myself with the perfect afternoon snacks that are healthy, easy to make and the whole family loves. These peanut butter granola balls are the perfect refuel treat after a long day at work or school.  The hardest time of day, 4pm-5pm, when the whole family is hungry and I can’t make dinner fast enough, this is when we need these healthy snacks ready to go.  

I created thes bite size granola balls because I wanted something quick and easy that I can whip up any time with no oven needed.  I actually think these healthy treats taste more like dessert to me…and I am ok with that!   Enjoy these for breakfast, snack or as an after dinner treat and you won’t feel guilty about it!  

Feel free to change out some of the ingredients for your favorites!

Other Options:
Almond Butter —>Peanut Butter (makes them have a drier texture, but still good)
Raisins or Dried Cranberries—>Dried Cherries
Sliced Almonds—>Shredded Coconut

Chocolate Cherry Granola Balls
Yields 20
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup oatmeal
  2. 1/2 cup peanut butter, creamy
  3. 1/2 cup dried cherries
  4. 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  5. 1/4 cup coconut flakes, unsweetened
  6. 2 Tbsp honey
  7. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  8. pinch of salt
  9. pinch of cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl
  2. Mix until totally combined
  3. scoop a heaping 1 Tbsp of the oatmeal mixture and roll into balls
  4. Refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to eat!
INK foods : In Nanny's Kitchen http://inkfoods.com/
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