Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Picnic Fare for Foodie Friday

Today is Foodie Friday!
Today is Foodie Friday! It is hosted by Designs by Gollum. Be sure to go by and see all of the participants of this most Tasty day of the week!
Thank you for stopping by. Yesterday, over at my blog, Tales from Bloggeritaville, my tablescape was a picnic. The weather has got me thinking baout going on a picnic. I posted some inspiration photos from Country Living Magazine. Here are the recipes for the picnic fare.

Apple-Cardamom Cakes with Apple Cider Icing
From Country Living

Applesauce keeps these miniature apple cakes moist and flavorful without adding fat. Drizzled with apple glaze, they are picnic-perfect.

2 1/4 cup(s) flour
1 teaspoon(s) baking soda
1/2 teaspoon(s) salt
1 teaspoon(s) ground cardamom
2 eggs
1 1/2 cup(s) sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract
1 cup(s) applesauce
1/2 cup(s) butter, melted
2 tablespoon(s) butter, melted
1/2 cup(s) sour cream
1 1/2 teaspoon(s) lemon zest
1 1/2 cup(s) peeled and chopped Granny Smith apple
1 1/4 cup(s) confectioners' sugar
3 tablespoon(s) apple cider

Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Butter and flour 24 3 1/2-ounce cake molds or 2 12-cup cupcake tins and set aside.
Sift the flour, baking soda, salt, and cardamom together and set aside.
Beat the eggs and sugar together, using a mixer set on medium-high speed, until the mixture forms a thick ribbon when the beaters are lifted from the bowl. Reduce speed to low and mix in the vanilla and applesauce. Add 1/2 cup of the melted butter, sour cream, and zest and beat until combined. Gradually add the flour mixture and mix until smooth.
Fold in the apples and divide the batter among the prepared molds (about 1/4 cup per mold). Bake until a skewer inserted in the center of the cake tests clean -- 20 to 25 minutes.
Cool for 5 minutes in the pan on a wire rack. Unmold the cakes and cool completely on the rack.
Stir the remaining melted butter, confectioners' sugar, and apple cider together in a medium bowl until smooth and drizzle over the cooled cakes and let the icing set before serving.
TIPS & TECHNIQUESTip: Cardamom is a fragrant spice that pairs well with apples, but this cake batter will also work well with cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, or a combination of all four spices. Experiment and customize this cake to suit your own tastes.

Spicy Orange and Sesame Chicken Sandwiches

From Country Living

It's easy to make a distinctive (and highly portable) sandwich using pita breads. To reduce the fat content in this tasty lunch dish start with skinless, boneless chicken breasts.

1 1/2 pound(s) boneless chicken breasts, with skin
3/4 teaspoon(s) salt
1/2 teaspoon(s) black pepper
2 tablespoon(s) butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup(s) orange marmalade
2 1/2 tablespoon(s) sesame oil
2 1/2 tablespoon(s) soy sauce
3/4 teaspoon(s) hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon(s) cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon(s) sesame seeds
2 medium oranges
1 small head of butter lettuce, leaves separated
3 large pocket-style pitas, halved

Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
Season the chicken on all sides with the salt and pepper and place in a baking dish. Dot the top of the skin with the butter and place in the oven on the center rack. Roast for 10 minutes.
Mix the marmalade, sesame oil, soy sauce, hot sauce, and cayenne pepper together in a small bowl and use it to baste the chicken frequently until the meat reaches 167 degrees F -- about 20 more minutes.
Adjust oven to broil, sprinkle the sesame seeds over the chicken and broil until seeds are toasted and skin is crispy -- about 1 minute.
Remove the breasts from the oven and let rest for 15 minutes.
Bring the basting sauce to a boil and cook for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and let cool.
Cut the skin and pith from the oranges and slice into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Remove any seeds.
Slice the chicken and place equal amounts of it, the oranges, and lettuce leaves inside the pitas. Drizzle each sandwich with the boiled sauce.
TIPS & TECHNIQUESTimesaver: Start with sliced roast chicken from the deli counter and strain the marmalade before mixing; serve the sauce on the side.

Lentil and Couscous Salad with Mint
From Country Living

Enjoyed best at room temperature, this light spring salad is ideal for an outdoor party.

6 tablespoon(s) cider vinegar
4 tablespoon(s) Dijon mustard
1/4 cup(s) olive oil
1/4 teaspoon(s) coarse black pepper
1 1/3 cup(s) French lentils, cooked, drained, and cooled
1 cup(s) pearl couscous, cooked, drained, and cooled
3/4 cup(s) chopped mint
4 scallions, white part only, sliced
3 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped


Whisk the vinegar, mustard, olive oil, salt, and black pepper together in a small bowl.
Place the lentils, couscous, mint, scallions, and tomatoes in a large bowl.
Add the dressing, toss, and serve.
TIPS & TECHNIQUESTry another type of bean in place of the lentils. Navy beans, black-eyed peas, and cranberry beans are all good choices


Kelly Bergsing said...

That looks delicious!! I want to start using pita bread. I think my kids will like it. All of those recipes will be fun to try out on them. I am sure they will love them!! Country Living is one of my favorite magazines and they always have wonderful food. Thank you!! :)

Shelia said...

Evening, Leigh! Oh, I've had dinner and my tiny mouth is just a waterin'! These dishes look so scrumptious!
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Barb @ GritsandGlamour said...

Hi Leigh! I love the couscous recipe. I have copied and pasted that one. A picnic sounds wonderful. I am hoping our weather will stabilize over the next few days. Thanks for sharing...Happy Easter! Barb

Chandy said...

Man, Leigh! I'd go anywhere on a picnic with you using that menu. Delish! You just gave me an idea...

Ok, you just earned yourself a great big hug for that "lightbulb turning on" moment! ;-) My post is coming up soon!

Enjoy your Friday my dear friend!

Martha said...

The little apple cakes look delicious! I'll have to make them this fall! Everything looks good -- but those cakes especially caught my eye!

Pat@Back Porch Musings said...

It all looks absolutely wonderful!!

Happy Easter to you and your family, Leigh!

imjacobsmom said...

Mmmm! Those Pita Sandwiches have me going this morning....I can't wait for picnic weather 'round here. ~ Robyn

Gollum said...

This is great! Picnic foods are my faves...even indoors! I always forget about pita bread and never think outside of the bread bag. A wonderful, fun post. Havve a wonderful holiday!

Gollum said...

I forgot to add...those individual apple cakes look out of this world good.

Cathy said...

Yum, you've given us some terrific recipes. I'm starting with the pita bread sandwiches and then will move on to your little cakes.

Happy Easter.

Kristen said...

All these recipes look fantastic! I'm especially excited to try the couscous recipe!

Sara's Sweet Surprise said...

As the sunshine slowly approaches it puts me in the mood for dishes like your Spicy Orange and Sesame Chicken Sandwiches...alfressco.
This is definitely one recipe I'd like to try.

Sweet wishes,

Kathleen said...

They all look good, but the first..wonderful!

Lori (All That Splatters) said...

What a great picnic menu! I'm copying down all these recipes and bookmarking this post. I love it!

Beth at Aunties said...

I amj so glad I had time to come visit today. These all look so yummy!
My husband loves anything apple+cake. Ths sandwiches are just mouth watering and the salad sounds good too.

Thanks for sharing!!!
Happy Easter:)