Posts Tagged ‘apricots’

Easy Italian Rainbow Cookie Cake

Love Italian rainbow cookies but don’t want the hassle of making them? Try this easy Italian rainbow cake that looks a tastes just like Italian rainbow cookies. 

Easy Italian Rainbow Cookie Cake 1

Bob’s mom makes the best Italian rainbow cookies I’ve ever had. What really sells me is that she makes half of them with white chocolate. Even though people argue that it is not real chocolate, white chocolate it is my favorite kind of chocolate. Unfortunately she does not share the recipe. But instead of attempting to come up with my own recipe for these cookies I cheated and made a layer cake version using boxed cake mix. When you can’t have the best, make it easy right? Fake it ’til you make it! I added almond extract, food coloring, and homemade white chocolate frosting to seal the deal. I could have used store bought frosting to make this cake even easier but I wanted white chocolate frosting, not regular chocolate. Feel free to go the store bought route if you’re not into white chocolate or substitute the white for regular chocolate in the recipe if you want to make it yourself.

Easy Italian Rainbow Cookie Cake 2

One year ago: White Hot Chocolate Pods

Three years ago: Cheddar Chili Cornbread Pasta Bake
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Apricot Honey Scones

Homemade scones are far superior to any I have ever purchased. These apricot honey scones are soft and ready to be gobbled up plain or spread with your favorite jam. 

Apricot Honey Scones 1

This month for the Secret Recipe Club I cooked from The Wimpy Vegetarian. On her blog, Susan shares her struggles of cooking for both her vegetarian diet and her husband’s omnivorous one (therefore cooking two separate meals) and how she overcome this dilemma by using her culinary school training to create just one meal with minor adjustments for the meat-loving audience at her table. In other words, on Susan’s blog you’ll find recipes everyone can enjoy regardless of which side of the table you sit.

For example, her recipe for a BBQ (Chicken) Pizza with Poblano Peppers can be made with or without chicken and she states what to change in the directions if you chose to do so. Or there are ways to trick your-meat lovers into eating a vegetarian dish with things such as Spaghetti with Chickpeas and Spicy Roasted Tomato Sauce.

Another recipe that I was interested in making was the Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp with Cardamom but alas I had not gone strawberry picking yet. I did however spy a couple of delicious looking scones and since I recently discovered that I enjoy homemade scones, decided it was a great time to try one. I chose an apricot one because apricots, especially dried apricots which are used in these scones, always remind me of my elementary school lunches. Other kids were grossed out by my dried apricots. It didn’t bother me though, they didn’t know what they were missing! At least I knew I didn’t have to worry about anyone stealing my food back then, but I might have to be more protective of these scones.

Apricot Honey Scones 2

Two years ago: Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken

Three years ago: Fried Mac and Cheese
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Apricot White Chocolate Granola Bites

Sunday late at night I received a phone call from Katie, a friend taking care of my cat Brady during my travels. The first thing I heard was Brady sounding miserable in the background. He has had two spells of constipation in the past few months, and it appeared it was time for round three. Since the last two times both passed within 24 hours I decided to give him some time and tuna with a little oil to help out. As much as I hate seeing (or hearing this time) him in pain, it didn’t make sense to rush him off to the pet-ER late at night if he was just going to end up pooping in a few hours.

Monday evening he was still wailing, had not eaten a thing in two days and still had clean litter box. So Katie dashed off with him to the vet while I called to give them permission for her to admit my cat since I was boarding my plane home (thank goodness for Katie!). She got there just after 6pm, but still let her in and took their time checking him out even though they would normally be closing for the night. Good thing too, because had he been forced to wait to be seen until morning, he would have been in serious condition. His bladder was so full, it was the size of a softball and hard as a rock. Poor thing couldn’t pee! And his toxicity levels were off the charts. Thankfully they were able to relieve him with a catheter and stayed overnight. I was told her was a very sweet cat despite his miserable state.

Tuesday morning the doctor called to tell me his levels were much lower but still not yet at normal levels. The catheter was taken out later that afternoon to see if he would be able to urinate himself (sorry if this story just became unappetizing). He thinks the blockage may have been caused by crystals and will need to go on a special diet, but first they needed a urine sample to examine. He stayed overnight again yesterday to recover further and I am waiting to hear from the doctor today in hopes that I will be bringing my little cuddle-buddy home sometime today. My apartment seems so empty without him there.

Thanks for sticking it out through that story. I hope you still want to look at food after that little tale of bowl movements. Maybe you can see some sort of transition between that and some granola bites? Yea? Ok just go with it…

Dried fruit, nuts, chocolate and oats. Typically these are the ingredients which one can play around with in order to produce a favorite granola bar. But there are times when preheating the oven is already too much effort, and passes too much time (but I want it NOW).

These granola bites are perfect for such a time. I tried them out first with the original recipe ingredients, but immediately knew the possibilities were endless. But first I need to restock on my dried fruits and nuts! What do you think would be your favorite combination?

One year ago: Chicken and Veggie Nuggets
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Sweet ‘n’ Spicy Hawaiian Pizza

Can you believe it’s 2012?? Because I definitely cannot. And to start off this fresh start, I completely failed on posting for the first time of the new year yesterday. But for good reason, I came down with a pretty nasty head cold. I’m not fulling recovered yet, but to make up for yesterday I want to share something extra delicious with you.

Hawaiian pizza is one of my favorite types of pizza, yet I order/make it rarely for some strange reason. This version uses a combination of sweet apricot preserves and spicy chili Sriracha as the sauce instead of the standard tomato base – it’s fantastic and may have just ruined any chance of ordering Hawaiian pizza out ever again because I have never seen this anywhere else!

One year ago: Spinach Tomato Tortellini


Serves 3-4


1 whole wheat pizza dough

1/3 cup apricot preserves

2 Tbsp Sriracha chili sauce

3/4 cup mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup chopped ham

1/2 cup chopped fresh pineapple

1/4 cup chopped jalapenos


  1. Preheat oven to 450 and move rack to just above the center with pizza stone. Allow stone to preheat for at least 10 minutes.
  2. Roll out pizza dough and transfer to a pizza peel sprinkled with cornmeal.
  3. Warm the apricot preserves in the microwave for about 30 seconds, then stir well and spread evenly all of the pizza crust.  Spread the Sriracha on top of that and then cover the entire thing with mozzarella.  Evenly distribute the ham, pineapple, and jalapenos on top of the cheese.
  4. Place directly on the pizza stone and bake at 450 for 15-20 minutes until the crust is crispy and brown and the cheese is bubbly.  Carefully remove from oven, let cool slightly, and then slice and serve.

Source: Heather’s Dish


Coconut Chicken Salad with Apricot Honey Mustard Vinaigrette

Before I get to the delicious salad I am sharing with you today, I decided to follow Lindsey’s (Gingerbread Bagel) lead and fill out the ABCs of me. You may not care, which is totally fine, but today it provided me with some entertainment.

A. Age: 25 (26 on May 4th – hint hint).

B. Bed size: Queen. But my sectional couch’s chaise suffices at times.

C. Chore you hate: Cleaning out hair from the shower drain. Compromised with Brent saying I’d clean the rest of the bathroom if he did that.

D. Dogs: I think Jack Russel’s are my favorite kind I’ve ever met. But I’m more of a cat person.

E. Essential start to your day: Breakfast. Doesn’t matter what it is, but I need something in my belly to get me going. No coffee though.

F. Favorite color: Purple. So much so that it was in my hair for several years. I used to be a little punky.

G. Gold or silver: Silver. But platinum is okay too ;-).

H. Height: 5’5″ which is why I own so many heels. Yet I wear my low-top Converse more than anything.

I. Instruments you play: I played the Flute starting in Elementary school all the way through highschool. Tried to teach myself the bass guitar in college but haven’t touched it in years :-(.

J. Job title: Graduate student (PhD Candidate to be technical) – AKA cheap labor.

K. Kids: I have no idea if I want kids or not. Besides, apparently I am one myself because I get carded for Rated R movies still. Hopefully I can retain my youthful look for when it will feel more like a compliment.

L. Live: Memphis, TN for the past four years, and two more to come until I graduate. I can only tolerate the heat & humidity 6 months out of the year for so much longer.

M. Mom’s name: Anna.

N. Nicknames: Air-In, Rin, Rinny, Nire.

O. Overnight hospital stays: None ::knocks on wood::

P. Pet peeve: Flaky people.

Q. Quote from a movie: ‘The goat?” – “The REMOTE!” – Muppets from Space.

R. Right or left handed: Right.

S. Siblings: Older brother (w/ sister-in-law), and older step-sister.

T. Time you wake up: Weekdays I try to be up by 6:30am to get to lab before 8am, but sometimes I fail due to gross traffic or being lazy. The weekends I’m usually up between 7:30-9am. I’ve completely lost my ability to sleep in.

U. Underwear: Yes, I am pro underwear. I have the black VIP Victoria’s Secret card to prove it.

V. Vegetables you dislike: Mushrooms, mushrooms, and more mushrooms. And cucumber. I’m actually impressed with myself right now for only listing two. I used to be such a picky eater growing up, the only vegetables I ate were potatoes, carrots and corn. Thankfully my taste buds finally woke up.

W. What makes you run late: Traffic in the morning. Gym at night.

X. X-Rays you’ve had: Teeth for routine dentist things, left shin from a bad flag football incident (but not broken thankfully just bruised from the knee down), right wrist broken from snowboarding.

Y. Yummy food you make: Is it okay that I think almost everything I make is yummy? I cannot pick and choose which are my favorites.

Z. Zoo – favorite animal: Elephants, especially when there are babies. I wish they could make mini ones as household pets.

And now for the main event! Coconut chicken had been lingering in the back of my mind for a couple months and I’m glad it finally come out with this! The coconut is perfectly crispy on the chicken and is complimented by the vinaigrette. The leftovers will make for a great lunch too. This may be the first time I finish a bag of salad greens before they spoil.



1 Tbsp apricot preserves

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 Tbsp honey

1 Tbsp Balsamic vinegar

2 tsp Dijon mustard


  1. Whisk all vinaigrette ingredients; set aside.



1 egg

1 cup sweetened coconut flakes

1/2 cup flour

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

10 chicken tenderloins

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

6 cups mixed baby greens

3/4 cup shredded carrots

1 large tomato, sliced


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Lightly beat the egg in a medium bowl; set aside.  Mix the coconut, flour, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a shallow bowl.
  3. Working with one chicken breast at a time, dip the chicken in the bowl with the beaten egg and then coat with the coconut mixture.  Place on the baking sheet.  Once all chicken breasts are coated and on the baking sheet, evenly drizzle with the melted butter.  Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, flipping once halfway.
  4. Place baby greens on each plate. Divide carrots and tomato evenly between each plate. When chicken is ready slice on the diagonal and place on top of greens. Top with Vinagrette.

Source: Vinagrette adapted slightly from Skinny Taste, Chicken from Pennies on a Platter

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