Tag Archives: Spring

coffee cake

The Dish: Mother’s Day Coffee Cake

Skip the crowded breakfast spots this Mother’s Day and show mom how much you love her by preparing one of her favorites! Share with us in the comments some of your mom’s favorite recipes. Who knows, maybe it’ll be featured on The Dish someday!

To start things off I’ll share one of my mom’s favorites.

My mom is a New Yorker through and through. She loves her back-east baked goods and always brings a suitcase full of bagels and bialys home with her each time she visits.

Another favorite that’s a bit more difficult to fit in her carry-on is coffee cake. The combination of soft, moist cake and crumbly topping go great with your morning coffee. It was ages before I found a recipe that did justice to a true New York style coffee cake. Trust me, make this recipe for mom and she’ll never want the stuff from Starbucks again!

As always, you can find this recipe and many more Mother’s Day inspriation at Scottsdale Living: The Dish on Pinterest!

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Serves 12 or more

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick butter, softened
1 1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely cut
1/2 cup chopped pecans
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 1 1/2-quart Bundt or tube pan.

Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a bowl. Cream the butter in a separate bowl. Add 1 cup of sugar to the butter and gradually beat until the mixture is blended, 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the eggs to the creamed butter mixture one at a time, beating well in between additions. Beat in the dry ingredients and sour cream alternately, beginning and ending in flour. Add the vanilla.

In a separate bowl, combine the chocolate, pecans, the remaining 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon.

Sprinkle a third of the chocolate and nut mixture into the bottom of the greased pan. Spoon in half of the cake batter. Sprinkle more of the chocolate and nut mixture over the batter, reserving some for the top. Pour the remaining batter into the pan. Smooth it out evenly and top with the remainder of the chocolate and nut mixture.

Bake for 45 minutes or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool. Remove from the pan to a rack.

Goes great with just a nice hot cup of coffee or sliced and served as part of a brunch buffet.

Share with us your Mother’s Day favorites and be sure to give her a big kiss this year!


The Dish: Peas and Prosciutto

One of the tastiest things to come out of the garden in spring are English peas. Now, sadly in Arizona peas are hard to come by fresh from the farm. Thankfully frozen peas are picked at the peak of ripeness and available year round even here in ever warm Arizona.

Prosciutto adds a wonderful saltiness to balance the sweetness of the peas.

Fresh peas can occasionally be found in Trader Joe’s or AJ’s and need to be cooked before using in this dish.

As always, you can find the link for this recipe and many more seasonal delights on my Pinterest page, Scottsdale Living: The Dish.

Peas and Prosciutto

2 tablespoons olive oil
3 shallots, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 (1-pound) bag frozen peas, thawed
4 ounces (1/8-inch-thick slices) prosciutto, diced
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves

Heat the oil in a heavy large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the shallots, garlic, salt, and pepper, and saute until tender, about 1 minute. Add the peas and saute until heated through, about 5 minutes. Stir in the prosciutto and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the parsley and remove from the heat. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper, and serve.

Courtesy of: Adventures in Cooking

The Dish: Strawberry Rhubarb Tarragon Tart Tatin

I have a small obsession with rhubarb. Whether it’s in a pie, tart or crumble I love it but that wasn’t always the case. For years I was leery of rhubarb for its similarities to celery, which I hate. I feared it would be stringy and flavorless; the bane of salads and soups alike. How wrong I was.

Rhubarb is intensely sour and when cooked breaks down in to the most luscious, soft texture. I love its tangy flavor that make you pucker. It livens up a dessert and cuts through cloying sweetness. Strawberries are the perfect companion to rhubarb for their mild sweetness without adding a ton of extra sugar.

Dessert isn’t the only place you can find rhubarb. I’ve seen recipes that use it as a substitute for lemons in savory dishes, even salsas and relishes. I’ve even seen it used in lemonade to add a pretty pink hue to the refreshing drink.

Give this herbaceous recipe a try instead of the usual strawberry rhubarb pie this spring. You won’t regret it.

If you’re not a fan or can’t find tarragon, try a bit of rosemary or mint instead. The herbs add an elegant aroma to this twist on the French classic.

As always, you can find the original to this recipe and more on my Scottsdale Living Pinterest page.

Strawberry Rhubarb Tarragon Tart Tatin


2 and 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoons sugar
1 cup butter, cold and hard
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
5-8 tablespoons water, cold

Strawberry Rhubarb & Tarragon Filling

3 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon water
12 large strawberries, halved with caps removed
1 and 1/3 generous cups rhubarb cut into 1-inch pieces (frozen works as well)
2 tablespoons sugar
pinch cinnamon
1 teaspoon fresh tarragon, finely chopped

Begin by preparing the crust. In a large bowl combine all of the dry ingredients. Grate the butter on the largest hole setting of your grater over the bowl, mixing to coat the butter shards in the flour mixture every 10 seconds or so. Add the cider vinegar and 5 tablespoons of water and mix the dough. If it stays in a clump when you squeeze it in your hand, it has enough water, if it falls apart, add more water until it stays together. Shape the dough into a ball and roll it out into a 1/2 inch thick disc. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. To make the filling, heat the sugar, butter, and water in a roughly 8-inch skillet over medium heat for 8 minutes, or until the sugar has caramelized and the mixture is bubbling. Add the strawberries and rhubarb and sprinkle the remaining sugar over the top. Simmer for 20-30 minutes over medium-low heat. Remove from the stovetop and stir in 1 teaspoon of the tarragon, then sprinkle with the cinnamon. Place the crust over the skillet, quickly tucking it down into the pan around the edges of the filling. Cut three 1-inch slits in the top to allow heat to escape before placing it in the oven.

Bake for 20-25 minutes of until the top of the crust is golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes before attempting to flip the pan over onto the serving plate. Once flipped, gently remove the pan to display the filling inside. Sprinkle with the remaining tarragon and allow the tart tartin to continue to cool for 30 minutes before serving.

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The Dish: Raspberry Vinaigrette

Jazz up your spring salads with this homemade raspberry vinaigrette recipe. It’s light and fresh, and super simple! Store bought dressings are full of hidden calories; making your own is much healthier and very easy.

If raspberries aren’t your thing try this recipe with strawberries or blackberries. Back in January I gave you my personal recipe for vinaigrette that is a guaranteed crowd pleaser too.

Raspberry Vinaigrette

serves 6

1 10 oz bag Frozen Organic Raspberries (about 2 cups), thawed
4 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Raw Honey
4 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
½ tsp Sea Salt
¼ tsp Ground Pepper
4 Tbsp Water
2 tsp Chia Seeds (optional)
1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard

Put all the ingredients into a blender and blend on high until smooth and all ingredients are combined.
Store in a air tight container for 1 week.

asparagus (1)

The Dish: Asparagus Pizza

This time of year more than any other I like to utilize what’s in season. Spring fruits and vegetables are so delicious and only around for a short time in Arizona. It’s true, you can purchase them year round but they’ll never taste as good as when they’re perfectly in season.

Case in point: asparagus. When it’s right, it’s delicious. When it’s wrong, it’s really wrong. Asparagus hardly needs anything to make it good when it’s perfectly in season. A quick steam, a roast in the oven or a trip to the grill is all these tasty little spears need.

Try this recipe for asparagus pizza as an hors d’oeuvres at your next party or as a delicious lunch on the patio.

You are certainly welcome to make your own pizza dough but I like to keep this recipe quick and simple just like spring. Purchase a ball of dough from the grocery store or your favorite pizza parlor. Stop by and ask if you can buy some of their uncooked dough. Most places will be happy to oblige.

Asparagus Pizza

1/3 lb fingerling potatoes
1 ball pizza dough (homemade or purchased)
cornmeal for sprinkling
2 Tbs. olive oil, divided
1 clove garlic, pressed
4 green onions, thinly sliced and divided
1 1/3 cups shredded whole milk mozzarella cheese
1/4 lb (4oz) goat cheese, crumbled
1 lb (8oz) asparagus, trimmed and each spear cut in half lengthwise, then crosswise into 2-3 inch pieces
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Place potatoes in small saucepan. Add enough water to cover by 1 inch. Sprinkle with salt. Bring to boil and cook until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Drain. Cool. Cut potatoes into thin slices.

Preheat oven to 450°F. Sprinkle rimless baking sheet with cornmeal. Roll and stretch pizza dough to 16×11-inch oval. Transfer to baking sheet. Mix 1 tablespoon olive oil and garlic in small bowl. Brush garlic oil over dough. Sprinkle 3/4 of green onions over, then mozzarella, leaving 1/2-inch plain border. Top with potato slices and goat cheese. Toss asparagus and 1 tablespoon oil in medium bowl. Scatter asparagus over pizza. Sprinkle with Parmesan, then lightly with salt and generously with pepper.

Bake pizza until crust is browned and asparagus is tender, about 18 minutes. Transfer to cutting board. Sprinkle with remaining green onions. Cut into pieces.

Photo courtesy of jaxlabrynth.com

Pea Puree_outlined

The Dish: Spring Pea Puree

One of my favorite things to make each spring is pea puree. It’s so fresh and light; perfect for a spring day. In truth, you can make it any time of year, but I like to make it in the spring and summer when you need a great no-cook recipe. Don’t let preconceptions about the name turn you away. This recipe resembles hummus more than baby food!

You can use a variety of herbs, but I prefer flat leaf parsley and basil. A sprig of mint or tarragon also adds wonderful fresh flavor. I highly recommend using parsley as the majority herb, though. It is light in flavor and won’t over power the rest of the ingredients. Too much basil and you’re treading in pesto territory. Too much tarragon and it’ll taste like licorice.

This would be a great use for the lemon and herb oil you made over the holidays. Replace a tablespoon of the extra virgin olive oil with a flavored one for added depth.

Spring Pea Puree

1 bag defrosted frozen peas
1 handful flat leaf parsley (use curly if you can’t find flat)
2 sprigs of basil
1-2 sprigs mint or tarragon
juice and zest of 1 lemon
1 clove garlic (optional)
3-5 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Pour peas into a strainer and let sit until fully defrosted. Add peas, herbs, lemon juice and zest to a food processor. Pulse until chunky. Using a spatula, scrape down sides of processor. Replace the lid, remove cover from the top and slowly drizzle in olive oil while pulsing. Process until puree is smooth. Taste and add salt and pepper to your liking. Pulse again quickly to incorporate seasoning.

Scrape mixture in to a container and press plastic wrap on top. Puree tastes best when it has had a few hours to let the flavors meld together.

Serve on crusty toasted bread, spread on a sandwich, dip veggies in it or toss in warm pasta for a light and fresh sauce.

Pea Puree_outlined

SL - Digital Magazine

Scottsdale Living Magazine – SPRING 2013

Spring 2013

Health & Beauty
Time for a tune-up

Growing up in upstate New York, I can still remember those early April track meets where I was forced to wait until the last minute in the freezing cold to strip off my warm-up suit just so I could have the tortuous pleasure of sprinting 400 meters in the snow and slush.That, my friends, is why I have called Arizona home for longer than I called upstate New York home.Spring is why we stay in Arizona. The weather is perfect. The orange blossoms are blooming. We can hike. We can bike. We can run. We can enjoy the patios at our favorite restaurants. And we can break out our swimsuits months earlier than they can almost anywhere else in the nation.Oh, that. Yes, it’s swimsuit season.

But don’t despair. This issue of Scottsdale Living has all the information you’ll need to buff up your beach body so you’ll sizzle in your swimsuit. From smoothing out your skin to boosting your bustline to creating the perfect smile to top off your look, this issue will help you look your best so you’ll have a spring in your step.

Embrace the season.

Gossie Signature

Michael Gossie,
Editor in Chief

Home & Garden
Creating a home retreat

Kimberly Gunning Kimberly Gunning

Kimberly Gunning,
Assistant Editor

Part of my childhood was spent in upstate New York where my mom, a terrific gardener and a designer at heart, took pride in caring for the most beautifully landscaped yard on the block. Many of the memories I have from the first seven years of my life are from scenes set in that yard – parties and family activities, gardening and playing on the greatest Dream Rainbow Swing Set I thought to exist. Our yard was a staple part of my childhood, and that of many of my neighbors’ childhoods.Our outdoor spaces are unique to who we are and offer limitless possibilities for customization. In this issue, top design trends and products for the outdoor living space are explored with the guidance of local professional designers. There’s no better time of year in Arizona to relax next to a fire pit, take a dip in the pool or entertain a group of friends around an outdoor bar. Enjoy desert living this spring in your beautifully designed outdoor living space.Design away!


Take it with you! On your mobile, go to m.issuu.com to get started.


Springtime Finds: Decor, Items To Brighten Up Your Home

Spring is here, and moods are instantly lifted. So why not add a little life to your home as well? Celebrate spring with the right home decor. Here are five ideas that will bring spring to you, brightening your home while simultaneously lifting your mood:

Add pops of color in your decor

Nothing says spring more than bright colors, and adding it to your home is an easy way to transition from winter to spring. However, that doesn’t mean repainting your walls meadow green or lavender (unless you want to, of course); instead, simply add a pop of color. It’s an easy solution without sacrificing results and will give your home a fresh, spring look without transforming it into a giant Easter egg. Try adding some bright throw pillows to your living room couch or hang an elaborate picture frame. Here are some examples from HouseBeautiful.

Plants and flowers

SpringWho says spring has to be left outside once you close your front door?  Take a literal approach to spring decor by bringing the outside in. Adding flower arrangements throughout your home will allow you to savor every minute of spring that fades all too quickly. For an extra touch of luxury, add spring flowers to your bedroom and leave your windows open overnight (just a crack does the trick) for fresh air. You’ll think you woke up in your garden the next day. Plus, flowers are another fun way to add your pop of color. Check out proflowers.com for examples.

Prep your porch

Just because you’re outside doesn’t mean you can’t accent its natural beauty by getting into the spring spirit. Redecorate your porch, and put up a giant umbrella in a bright, uplifting color. Not only does it provide shade, which is needed in Arizona, but it also creates a fashionable focal point that can be seen inside the house as well. Then, add smaller, festive items like lawn ornaments and outdoor-friendly kitchen wear. Pier 1 has some great ideas.

Select some trinkets

Some of you may be cringing or rolling your eyes at this, and the idea does usually need to be supervised. Just a few seasonal trinkets can be cute, but because they are so cute, it can be easy to get carried away, and that can get tacky pretty fast. A lot of it depends on personal style as well. If you’re the type that loves an Easter chick on a bright welcome flag hanging on your front door, go for it; but for those of you who think that’s the only way, think again. Try an antique, standing rabbit statue that is festive but subtle, or Pier 1’s hummingbird ornaments that are beautiful and elegant. Want some more ideas? Head back to Pier 1’s website.

Spring in the kitchen

SpringBring spring to your kitchen by placing spring-inspired desserts on display. For example, take symbolic favorites like Peeps or chocolate bunnies and creatively arrange them in a covered glass container or cake stand. Also, try displaying some fancier desserts like spring-colored cupcakes, iced lemon pound cake, petite fours and strawberry shortcake. This will brighten up your kitchen as well as provide your family and friends with yummy treats. For recipe ideas, check out marthastewart.com.