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Transcript of Readers’ Favorites - Grab A Plate - Make each meal memorable · Growing up surrounded by my...

  • Readers’ Favorites

  • Growing up surrounded by my Italian family it was always, “grab a plate” whenever anyone came to visit. Food was always a celebration, even everyday meals, and I like it that way. I try to make each meal memorable with my recipes for mainly meatless, mostly healthy, and easy-to-make dishes (with sweet treats in between). I hope you enjoy these recipes, and the many others on!

    Warmly, Patricia Conte

  • Table of Contents

    Appetizers/Sides ————

    Parmesan & Herb Roasted Cauliflower Bites

    Ham & Havarti Hand Pies with Rosemary-Mustard Aioli

    Napa Cabbage Summer Rolls with Chicken & Spicy Peanut Sauce

    Spanish-style Meatballs

    Sweet Potato, Black Bean and Quinoa Cakes






    Main Dishes ————

    Winter Squash, White Bean, and Spinach Saute

    Pan-Fried Udon Noodles with Garlic and Rapini

    Grilled Corn, Peppers & Black Bean Tacos with Creamy Poblano Sauce

    Individual Cheesy Shrimp & Grits

    Oktoberfest Sheet Pan Brats with Roasted Vegetables






    Desserts/Drinks ————

    Banana Donuts with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

    Paloma Cocktail

    Fresh Peach Pie “Pop Tarts”

    No-Bake Monster Cereal Bites

    Strawberry-Rhubarb Crumble for Two







    1 head cauliflower, washed, cored, and cut into bite-sized florets

    1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil

    ⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra

    1-1/2 teaspoons minced dried garlic

    1 teaspoons onion powder

    1 teaspoon dried oregano

    1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

    1 teaspoon ground black pepper

    ½ teaspoon garlic salt

    Nonstick cooking spray


    1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line two baking pans with aluminum foil and light spray them with the nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.

    2. Add the Parmesan, garlic, onion powder, oregano, red pepper, black pepper, and garlic salt to a medium bowl and mix to combine.

    3. In a separate bowl, add the florets and drizzle the oil over them. Toss with your hands to coat them.

    4. Sprinkle the Parmesan mixture over the cauliflower to coat them. Lightly press the mixture onto the florets. Place the florets on the baking pans in a single layer.

    5. Roast in the oven for about 15 minutes, toss, then continue to cook for another 15 minutes or so, or until tender and the cauliflower begins to caramelize and turn golden.

    Grab A Plate 4

    6. Remove, and while hot, sprinkle a bit more Parmesan over the tops.

    7. Serve with a side of your favorite marinara sauce for dipping.

    Parmesan & Herb Roasted Cauliflower Bites————

    You’ll love the flavor of these Parmesan & Herb Roasted Cauliflower Bites, as well as the fact that they’re easy to make AND healthy!


    4 Servings


    10 Minutes


    30 Minutes


    40 Minutes


    For the aioli 6 tablespoons mayonnaise

    1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

    1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard

    2 tablespoons olive oil

    1 teaspoon lemon juice

    1 garlic clove

    1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

    1 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves, chopped small

    Grab A Plate 5

    Ham & Havarti Hand Pies with Rosemary-Mustard Aioli————

    You’ll love these goodies that are perfect to grab and go, or to sit down to for lunch. The flavor is amazing and the flaky pie crust packages them up perfectly!


    11 Pies


    30 Minutes


    15 Minutes


    45 Minutes

    For the hand pies

    1 package (2, 9-inch rounds) prepared pie dough, thawed (or use my recipe above)

    Flour to dust the work surface

    A bit less than 1/3 pound thick-sliced deli ham, cut into 1/2-inch squares

    A bit less than 1/3 pound Murray’s Havarti cheese, sliced thin (shred about 1 tablespoon for topping)

    1 egg, beaten

    Fresh rosemary leaves for garnish

    DIRECTIONS For the aioli

    1. Mince the garlic, sprinkle with the coarse salt, then use the back of a knife to press and smash the mixture into a paste.

    2. Add the garlic mixture, mayonnaise, mustards, olive oil, lemon juice, and rosemary to a bowl and mix to combine. Taste and adjust as needed. For the hand pies

    3. Lightly dust a flat work surface with a bit of flour. Unroll one of the dough rounds and use a rolling pin to stretch out the dough, just a bit. Use a 3-1/2-4-inch round cookie cutter (or a similarly-sized round object like the mouth of a glass) to cut out as many circles as possible (you’ll need two circles for each hand pie).

    4. Gather up the scraps of dough, and roll them to about 1/8-inch thick. Cut out more circles, and continue until all the dough scraps are used up.

    5. Place half the circles on the baking sheet. Spread about 1/2 teaspoon of the aioli onto the center of the circle. Add 1 slice of cheese to the center, then top with a few pieces of the ham, mounding the ingredients.

    6. Wet your fingers to moisten the outer edge of the circle. Use another circle as the cover. Wet the outer edges of that one, too, and place the wet side down over the top of each circle on the pan. Press the edges together tightly to seal the pies.

    7. Lightly brush each hand pie with the egg. Use a sharp knife to cut a small “X” into the center. Sprinkle just a few pieces of the shredded Havarti over the top.

    8. Continue with the remaining pie dough and ingredients.

    9. Bake for 13-15 minutes, or until golden, rotating once.

    10. Cool on a wire rack. Serve garnished with rosemary leaves.


    1 head Napa cabbage

    1/2 pound pre-cooked chicken, shredded

    1-1/2 cups carrot, cut into matchsticks

    1 cup cucumber, cut into matchsticks

    1/3 cup crispy rice noodles

    1/3 cup warm water

    6 tablespoons peanut butter

    1/4 cup soy sauce

    2 tablespoons rice vinegar

    2 tablespoons sesame oil

    2 tablespoons honey

    2 teaspoons chili-garlic sauce (or to taste)

    Cilantro for garnish

    Grab A Plate 6

    Napa Cabbage Summer Rolls with Chicken & Spicy Peanut Sauce————

    This is a great meal for the summer season! It’s easy to make -- with just a few minutes on the stove -- and you can use your favorite veggies!


    20 Rolls


    20 Minutes




    20 Minutes


    1. Fill a large bowl with ice cubes and cold water and set aside.

    2. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the whole head of Napa cabbage to the boiling water for just 2 minutes or so. Drain the water and transfer the cabbage to the bowl of ice water. After a few minutes, remove the cabbage and let the excess water drain away.

    3. Carefully remove the large leaves from the cabbage and place in a colander. After the cabbage has drained for a bit, place a few paper towels on a baking sheet. Add several leaves in a single layer on top of the paper towels. Add another layer of paper towels, then another single layer of cabbage. Continue (on another baking sheet if necessary) until the larger leaves are used. Save the remaining inner, smaller leaves for another recipe.

    4. Allow the leaves to dry.

    5. As the leaves dry, make the dipping sauce. Combine the water, peanut butter, soy sauce, vinegar, oil, honey, and chili-garlic sauce in a bowl. Use a whisk to combine until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Stir before serving.

    6. When the leaves are dry (they can be slightly damp), cut a triangle-shaped notch out of the bottom of the stem of each leaf. Set aside.

    7. One at a time, lay a cabbage leaf on a flat surface. Using a small portion of each, layer the shredded chicken, carrots, cucumber, and crispy rice noodles at the bottom of the leaf (where the notch was cut out). Carefully, and as tightly as you can, roll the leaf from the bottom end to the top. Place on a serving dish, seam side down.

    8. Serve with the Spicy Peanut Sauce.


    For the meatballs

    1/2 pound ground beef

    1/2 pound ground chorizo

    4 garlic cloves, minced, divided

    4 green onions, ends trimmed, cut into small pieces

    1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped

    1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

    1/2 teaspoon paprika

    1/4 teaspoon salt

    1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

    1 egg

    2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese

    1/4 cup breadcrumbs

    1/2 tablespoon olive oil


    1. Line a baking sheet with waxed paper and set it aside.

    2. Add the chorizo and beef to a large bowl. Use a wooden spoon to break up the meat to help mix it together.

    3. Add the garlic, onions, and parsley to the mixture along with the cumin, paprika, salt, and black pepper. Use the spoon to mix all the ingredients together as best as possible. If you prefer, use your hands to mix the ingredients together.

    4. Add the egg and Parmesan cheese to the mixture and stir to combine.

    5. Add the breadcrumbs and stir to incorporate. This will help to absorb some of the liquid in the mixture.

    6. Pinch off 2-inch pieces from the mixture and roll each into individual meatballs.

    7. Place the meatballs on the lined baking sheet, then refrigerate for about 30 minutes.

    8. Add the olive oil to a Dutch oven Grab A Plate 7

    over medium heat. When hot, add the meatballs (you may need to work in batches) to brown them, stirring to get all sides, for about 4 minutes.

    9. Use a slotted spoon to remove the meatballs from the Dutch oven, then wipe it clean.

    10. Add oil to the pan over medium heat. When hot, add the garlic and onion. Cook for a minute or so.

    11. Add the wine, beef broth, and tomato sauce. Stir and cook for a minute or so, then add the salt, cumin, paprika, and ground black pepper to the mixture. Sir and cook for a few minutes.

    12. Add about 1/4 cup of the liquid to a small bowl. Whisk the flour into the bowl until it is smooth.

    13. Transfer the flour mixture to the sauce, whisking to incorporate it. Add the red pepper flakes, cherry preserves, and bay leaf.

    14. Lower the heat to simmer. Add the meatballs and cook for about 20 minutes.

    15. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Add the sauce and the meatballs to a serving bowl and serve warm.

    Spanish-style Meatballs————

    Spanish-style Meatballs are easy to make and they’re perfect for a party. You can easily double this recipe to feed a bigger crowd.


    6 Servings


    30 Minutes


    20 Minutes


    50 Minutes

    For the sauce

    1 tablespoon olive oil

    2 garlic cloves, minced

    2 green onions, ends trimmed, cut into small pieces

    1 cup red wine

    1 cup beef broth

    1, 15-ounce can tomato sauce

    1/2 teaspoon salt

    1/4 teaspoon cumin

    1/2 teaspoon paprika

    1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

    1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

    1-1/2 tablespoons cherry preserves

    2 tablespoons flour

    1 bay leaf


    2 large sweet potatoes, scrubbed clean

    6 ounces canned black beans, drained and rinsed

    1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed

    1/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs (you may need a little extra)

    1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

    2 garlic cloves, diced

    1/4 cup chopped walnuts

    1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary

    1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

    Grab A Plate 8

    Sweet Potato, Black Bean and Quinoa Cakes————

    The cumin and rosemary pair well with the sweet potatoes, and the walnuts do, too. They also add a bit of crunch to the soft cakes.


    16 Cakes


    20 Minutes


    30 Minutes


    50 Minutes

    1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

    1/4 teaspoon salt

    2 tablespoons butter

    1/4 cup milk

    1/3 cup sour cream

    1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

    Nonstick cooking spray


    1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly spray 2 baking sheets with the nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

    2. Prick the sweet potatoes in several spots, and microwave them for about 5 minutes. Carefully check to see if the potatoes are soft. You may need to cook them for several more minutes.

    3. Once the sweet potatoes are soft, allow them to cool slightly, then peel, and cut them into chunks. Add them to a bowl with the butter, milk, cumin, salt, and pepper, and mash them or mix with a hand mixer until smooth (I kept a few small chunks in mine). Set aside.

    4. In a medium saucepan, bring 1 cup of water to boil. Once boiling, add the quinoa, cover and reduce the heat to a low simmer. Cook for about 15 minutes, or until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is soft and has “popped” open. Stir occasionally.

    5. Fluff the quinoa with a fork and allow it to cool.

    6. Add the mashed sweet potatoes to a large bowl and mix in the black beans. Next add the cooled quinoa, breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, garlic, walnuts, and rosemary. Mix well.

    7. Shape the mixture into 2-1/2-inch balls and flatten them slightly. Place on the baking sheets and bake for 15 minutes. Flip and bake for 15 minutes more until both sides are golden.

    8. While the cakes are cooking, mix together the sour cream and Dijon mustard. Refrigerate until you’re ready to serve the cakes.

    9. Dollop the sour cream mixture onto the cakes.


    2 cups cubed winter squash, skin cut away removed

    2 tablespoons olive oil

    1/4 cup diced white onion

    2 garlic cloves, minced

    1/3 cup diced tomatoes with juice

    1-1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth

    1/2 teaspoon salt

    1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

    1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes


    1. Add the oil to a skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the onion and cook for about 4 minutes, or until they soften. Add the garlic and cook for about a minute, taking care not to burn it.

    2. Add the squash, tomato and juice, and vegetable broth. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the squash softens and most of the liquid is absorbed, about 12-15 minutes.

    3. Add the beans, salt, black pepper, red pepper, and 1 teaspoon of the thyme to the mixture. Mix to combine and cook for several minutes, until the beans are heated through. Add the spinach to the skillet and mix to combine as it warms and wilts.

    4. Remove from the heat and stir in the Parmesan.

    5. Serve warm garnished with extra Parmesan.

    Grab A Plate 9

    Winter Squash, White Bean, and Spinach Sauté————

    A simple fall dish with loads of versatility. You can serve it as an entree or as a side dish. This is a warm and hearty dish that is colorful, full of flavor, and best of all, it’s easy to make.


    4 Servings


    10 Minutes


    20 Minutes


    30 Minutes

    1 (15-ounce) can white beans, drained and rinsed

    1-1/2 cups, packed, fresh spinach

    1-1/4 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped

    1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for garnish


    6 tablespoons water

    3 tablespoons oyster sauce (use a vegetarian oyster sauce to keep the recipe vegetarian)

    1 tablespoon brown sugar

    2 tablespoons sesame oil

    1 large bunch rapini (about a pound), ends trimmed, stems cut into small pieces

    3 garlic cloves, minced

    1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

    1 (15-ounce) package Udon noodles (prepared according to package directions)

    Toasted sesame seeds as garnish

    Grab A Plate 10

    Pan-Fried Udon Noodles with Garlic and Rapini————

    This is a flavorful and filling dish with inspiration from Italian, Japanese, and Chinese cooking. It’s so easy to make, and you’ll also love how quickly it comes together.


    4 Servings


    20 Minutes


    5 Minutes


    25 Minutes


    1. In a small bowl, whisk together the water, oyster sauce, and brown sugar. Set aside.

    2. Add the sesame oil to a large wok or nonstick skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the rapini stems and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the remaining rapini and cook for a few additional minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.

    3. Add about half the liquid to the skillet, season with the black pepper, and toss to combine.

    4. Add the noodles to the skillet and increase the heat to high. Cook, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes. Add the remaining liquid to the skillet and cook for a few more minutes, or until the liquid cooks down and the noodles become sticky and coated in the sauce.

    5. Toss and serve immediately garnished with sesame seeds.

  • Grab A Plate 11

    Grilled Corn, Peppers & Black Bean Tacos with Creamy Poblano Sauce————

    Give these Grilled Corn, Peppers & Black Bean Tacos with Creamy Poblano Sauce a try. The peppers add great flavor both inside and as a topping for these tacos!


    4 Servings


    20 Minutes


    10 Minutes


    30 Minutes


    For the tacos

    4 poblano peppers

    1 ear of corn

    1 tablespoon melted butter

    1 tablespoons olive oil

    Pinch of chile powder, salt and ground black pepper

    1, 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed

    2/3 cup shredded cabbage

    Juice from 1 lime

    2 tablespoons fresh cilantro

    8, 4-inch tortillas (use corn tortillas to keep this recipe gluten free)

    For the Creamy Poblano Sauce

    2 garlic cloves

    2 tablespoons olive oil

    1/4 cup chopped onion

    2/3 cup sour cream

    2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro

    1/2 teaspoon dried cumin

    1/4 teaspoon salt

    1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

    2 small limes, quartered to serve with the tacos

  • Grab A Plate 12

    DIRECTIONS For the tacos

    1. Clean away the husk and silk of an ear of corn and brush it lightly with 1 tablespoon of melted butter. Season the corn with a pinch of chile powder, salt and ground black pepper. Set aside.

    2. Lightly brush the poblano peppers with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.

    3. Add the corn and peppers to a grill over medium-high heat. Turn the corn every few minutes until it begins to darken, then remove it from the grill.

    4. Cook the peppers, turning them every few minutes, until they blister and darken (about 8-10 minutes).

    5. Remove the peppers from the grill, add them to bowl and cover it with foil.

    6. With the grill off but still hot, add the tortillas to the grill and cook for about 1 minute on each side. Remove and keep them warm.

    7. Slice the corn away from the cob and add it to a bowl along with the black beans.

    8. When the peppers are cool to the touch, peel away their outer skin, slice off the tops, clear away the seeds and membrane, and slice them into 1/4-inch strips.

    For the Creamy Poblano Sauce

    1. Add the garlic (with the skin on) to a small baking dish and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Broil them in the oven for 3-4 minutes. Remove, and when cool to the touch, squeeze the garlic out of its skin and set it aside.

    2. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a saut⅓ pan over medium heat. Cook the onion until it becomes translucent, about 4-6 minutes.

    3. Add the sour cream, two of the poblano peppers, garlic, onion, juice from 1 lime, 2 tablespoons of the cilantro, cumin, salt, and ground black pepper to a food processor.

    4. Blend until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. Remove and add the cream sauce to a squeeze bottle.

    5. Assemble the tacos: for each, add several strips of the pepper to the center of a tortilla followed by a few heaping tablespoons of the corn-black bean mixture. Add a big pinch of the cabbage to the top, drizzle with the Creamy Poblano Sauce, and sprinkle on some of the cilantro. Serve with a lime wedge to squeeze over the tacos.


    1 cup uncooked grits (I used white grits)

    1/2 teaspoon salt, divided

    1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided

    3 cups vegetable broth

    1 cup water

    2 tablespoons butter

    3 ounces shredded white cheddar cheese

    3 ounces shredded Parmesan cheese

    1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley, plus extra as garnish

    Grab A Plate 13

    Individual Cheesy Shrimp & Grits————

    This is my twist on a Southern classic! I fell in love with shrimp & grits and thought I’d come up with a way to enjoy them at home. I used white grits for this recipe, but you don’t have to.


    4 Servings


    20 Minutes


    50 Minutes


    70 Minutes

    1 (12-ounce) package SeaPak Shrimp Scampi

    4 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled (reserve 1 tablespoon of the bacon grease)

    2 cups diced cherry or grape tomatoes

    2 garlic cloves, minced

    1/4 cup dry white wine

    1 tablespoon lemon juice

    1-1/2 teaspoons hot sauce

    Nonstick cooking spray

    Parchment paper


    1. Add a layer of parchment paper to a baking sheet and lightly spray it with the nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.

    2. Cook the grits according to the package directions. For the grits I used, I combined the grits, broth, water, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and butter to a pan over medium-high heat.

    3. I brought the mixture to a boil, then reduced the heat to low, added a lid, and cooked, stirring often, for about 25 minutes. While warm, add the cheese to the grits and stir to combine.

    4. Transfer the mixture to the baking sheet. Spread it out evenly in the shape of a rectangle, about 11-inches long, by 7-inches wide and 1/2-inch thick.

    5. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours. Remove and use a sharp knife to cut the grits into squares. Place on the baking sheet.

    6. Preheat the oven to about 225 degrees F. Add the grits to the oven to warm them through as you prepare the shrimp and sauce.

    7. Add the shrimp to a large skillet in a single layer over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring a few times, until done, about 8 minutes. Remove and keep warm.

    8. In a clean skillet over medium heat, add the tomatoes and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds. Add the remaining salt and pepper.

    9. Add the wine to the skillet and toss to combine. Cook for a few minutes. Add the lemon juice and hot sauce and stir to combine.

    10. Arrange the grits squares on individual plates. Spoon a bit of the tomato mixture over the top and arrange 3-4 shrimp over each. Garnish with the bacon crumbles and serve immediately.


    4 Bratwurst sausages

    1 (12-ounch) bottle dark lager beer

    2 garlic cloves, crushed

    1 white onion

    2-1/2 cups Brussels sprouts, cut in half (outer leaves removed, as needed, and stem trimmed)

    1/2 pound small white potatoes (Dutch Yellow), washed and quartered

    1-1/2 cups carrots, cut into rounds (if using baby carrots, cut them in half, horizontally)

    1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

    Grab A Plate 14

    Octoberfest Sheet Pan Brats and Roasted Vegetables————

    Who’s interested in a low-fuss, fall-inspired meal? I know I am, and my Oktoberfest Sheet Pan Brats with Roasted Vegetables recipe offers great fall flavors, easy prep, and super-easy clean up.


    4 Servings




    50 Minutes


    1 hour

    3 tablespoons mustard

    2 tablespoons brown sugar

    1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds

    Salt and black pepper to season


    1. Pierce the sausages with a sharp knife. Add the beer to a saucepan over medium-high heat and add the sausages and garlic. You may need to add some water to the pan (just enough to cover the sausages).

    2. Bring to a boil, and reduce the heat to medium-low for about 5 minutes. Drain and set aside. Line a baking sheet with foil and set aside.

    3. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

    4. In a small bowl, combine the apple cider vinegar, mustard, and brown sugar. Mix to combine and stir until the brown sugar dissolves.

    5. Add the vegetables to a large bowl. Pour the mustard mixture over the vegetables and toss to coat.

    6. Transfer the vegetables to the baking sheet. Top with the brats. Season with the caraway seeds and salt and black pepper.

    7. Cook for 45-50 minutes, tossing once halfway through the cooking time (and flipping the brats), or until the vegetables are browned and tender.

    8. Remove and serve warm.


    For the donuts

    2 cups flour

    2 teaspoons baking powder

    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

    1/8 teaspoon salt

    1 cup milk

    1 egg, beaten

    2 tablespoons butter

    1-1/4 cups sugar

    1 large banana, mashed

    Nonstick cooking spray

    Banana chips, rough chopped, for garnish

    Grab A Plate 15

    Banana Donuts with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting————

    These golden donuts are easy to make (and they’re baked) and are quite a treat.


    13 Donuts


    10 Minutes


    10 Minutes


    20 Minutes

    For the frosting

    6 ounces cream cheese, softened

    2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt

    1-1/2-2 cups confectioners’ sugar

    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, more or less to taste

    DIRECTIONS For the donuts

    1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray two donut pans with the nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.

    2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Whisk to combine.

    3. In a separate medium bowl, add the milk, beaten egg, butter, sugar, and mashed banana. Whisk to combine until incorporated. Try to make sure you’ve smoothed out as much of the mashed banana as possible.

    4. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Working in two batches, add the liquid mixture and stir with a wooden spoon, until incorporated.

    5. Transfer the batter to a pastry bag, or a zippered plastic bag. Seal the plastic bag, and cut off the very tip of one of the bottom corners. Pipe the batter into the donut pans, about 3/4 of the way to the top.

    6. Bake 10-12 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a donut comes out clean.

    7. Remove from the oven. Let the donuts sit in the pan for a few minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely before adding the frosting.

    8. Garnish with the banana chip pieces. For the frosting

    9. Add the cream cheese and Greek yogurt to a bowl. Use a mixer to blend to combine the ingredients. Add the confectioners’ sugar, a little at a time, and blend until smooth.

    10. Add the cinnamon and mix to combine.

    11. If you like frosting to be a bit thicker, add more confectioners’ sugar. If you like it a bit runnier, add a little more Greek yogurt, about 1/2 tablespoon at a time.

    12. Spread the frosting over the completely cooled donuts and top with the banana chip pieces.


    2 ounces blanco or silver tequila

    1/2 ounce lime juice

    Grapefruit soda (I used Jarritos brand)


    Lime or grapefruit wedges or twists for garnish

    1/8 cup salt or sugar to rim your glass

    Grab A Plate 16

    Paloma Cocktail————

    This drink is vibrant and refreshing, and doubles up on citrus flavors.


    1 Cocktail


    5 Minutes




    5 Minutes


    1. Place the salt or sugar in a shallow bowl.

    2. Dip the rim of your glass in water, then dip it into the sugar or salt, turning it so the salt or sugar coats the rim.

    3. Fill your glass with ice.

    4. Add the tequila and lime juice to the glass, and top it off with the grapefruit soda.

    5. Garnish and serve.


    For the dough

    3 cups all-purpose flour

    1/2 teaspoon salt

    1/2 tablespoon sugar

    2/3 cup vegetable shortening

    3/4 cup cold water

    1 egg (as an egg wash)

    Grab A Plate 17

    Fresh Peach Pie “Pop Tarts”————

    These Fresh Peach Pie “Pop Tarts” turned out great and make a fun treat! I’d say they’re more dessert than early morning grab-and-go snacks.


    8 Servings


    20 Minutes


    35 Minutes


    55 Minutes

    For the filling

    3 large peaches, skins peeled, diced into small pieces

    1-1/2 tablespoons apricot preserves

    1 tablespoon butter

    1-2 tablespoons almond pieces, finely chopped

    Dash of cinnamon, optional

    1 teaspoon lemon juice

    For the glaze

    1 cup confectioners’ sugar

    2 tablespoons milk

    1-2 drops of almond extract, optional

  • Grab A Plate 18

    DIRECTIONS For the dough

    1. Add the flour to a large bowl along with the salt and sugar and sift together.

    2. Add the shortening to the dry ingredients in small pieces. With your fingers or a pastry blender, mix the ingredients together. Add the water to the dough, a little at a time, and continue to mix until it looks like a course meal and there are several pea-sized clumps that form.

    3. Continue to mix the dough until it’s soft enough to form a dough ball.

    4. Split the dough into two equal portions and form them into 1-inch-thick disks. Wrap the disks in plastic wrap and refrigerate them for about an hour.

    For the filling

    1. To easily peel the skins off the peaches, first cut a slit in the base of each peach. Place peaches in boiling water (enough to cover the peaches) for about 30 seconds. Remove the peaches using a slotted spoon, and place them in ice water.

    2. Allow them to sit for a few minutes.

    3. Remove the peaches from the water and begin to peel away the skin from where you slit them. The skin should peel right off.

    For the “Pop Tart”

    1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F., and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

    2. Leave one disk of dough in the refrigerator, working with them individually.

    3. Lightly flour your work surface and the top of the dough, too.

    4. Roll out the dough to form a rectangle shaped about 12x9 inches, and 1/8-inch thick.

    5. Use the back of a butter knife to score away the edges of the dough to form straight edges (keep the scraps for later and form them into another “pop tart”), then again to divide the dough into even-numbered squares or rectangles. You’ll use two squares/rectangles to form one “pop tart.”

    6. Add the egg to a small bowl and beat it with a fork. Brush half of the squares/rectangles with the egg, and make sure to get the edges.

    7. Spoon one heaping tablespoon of the peach mixture into the center of each brushed square/rectangle. Spread it out slightly, but only to about half an inch from the edges.

    8. Place a corresponding square/rectangle over the one with the filling. Line up the edges and lightly press it down.

    9. Use a fork to crimp the edges all the way around each square/rectangle to seal the dough together, then prick the tops of each a few times. Brush the edges with the egg.

    10. Place the “pop tarts” on the lined baking sheets and place in the freezer as you work with the next batch of dough.

    11. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until the “pop tarts” begin to turn golden.

    12. When finished baking, transfer them to a cooling rack. When they’re completely cool, drizzle with the glaze (mix the confectioners’ sugar with the milk and almond extract, if using, and blend until smooth).

    Dice the peaches and put them in a medium bowl.

    Add 1 tablespoon butter and the apricot preserves to a microwave-safe container and heat for about 20 seconds, or until the preserves have melted. Mix to combine.

    Add the preserve mixture, along with the almonds and dash of cinnamon (if using), to the peaches. Mix well to coat. Sprinkle lemon juice over the mixture and set it aside.

    4. 5.



    1 cup granola

    1 cup Cheerios cereal, lightly rolled and broken (I put mine in a zippered plastic bag and used the peanut butter jar to lightly pound on them)

    1/2 cup smooth peanut butter

    1/3 cup honey

    1/3 cup raisins

    5 ounces mini M&M’s candies

    2 tablespoons sesame seeds, divided

    Grab A Plate 19

    No-Bake Monster Cereal Bites————

    These No-Bake Monster Cereal Bites are fun to have on hand when you need a treat that won’t do you in. You’ll be wowed with a blast of peanut butter, a bit of chocolate, and a nice crunch, too.


    24 Bites


    20 Minutes




    20 Minutes


    1. Add all the ingredients (reserve 1 tablespoon of the sesame seeds as garnish) to a bowl and stir to combine.

    2. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes. Remove from the refrigerator and roll into 2-inch balls. Sprinkle the balls with the sesame seeds and serve.

    3. Store remaining Bites in an airtight container in the refrigerator.


    1-1/2 cups diced strawberries

    1-1/2 cup diced rhubarb (about 2 large stalks) cut into 1-inch pieces

    1/4 cup sugar

    2 tablespoons water

    1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

    1/2 cup all-purpose flour

    1/4 cup rolled oats

    2 tablespoons brown sugar

    1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

    1/4 cup cold butter, cut into pieces

    Optional: top with scoops of vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt

    Grab A Plate 20

    Strawberry-Rhubarb Crumble for Two————

    Who doesn’t love a seasonal, fruity dessert that’s ready in under an hour? This Strawberry-Rhubarb Crumble for Two is divine, especially topped with a scoop or two of vanilla ice cream or yogurt.


    2 Servings




    20-25 mins


    30 mins


    1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

    2. Add the strawberries, rhubarb, sugar, water, and lemon juice to a saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook until the rhubarb softens. Remove from the heat.

    3. Combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, and ginger in a bowl. Whisk to combine.

    4. Add the butter and use your fingers to combine the mixture. Squeeze the butter lightly and toss it with the dry ingredients until crumbly.

    5. Divide the fruit mixture between 2, 6-inch mini cast iron skillets. Divide the topping and sprinkle it over the fruit.

    6. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the topping is golden and the fruit mixture is bubbly.

    7. Remove, cool slightly, and serve topped with 1-2 scoops of your favorite vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt.

  • Patricia Conte - Grab a Plate

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