we had brian’s parents over last weekend for dinner, mostly as a thank you for all they’ve done to help us move in. my parents had their turn the weekend before, so don’t feel badly for them! we have a grill now, which has already proven itself to be worth it’s weight in gold. we got a simple weber charcoal grill. we love the flavor of charcoal, and i can’t wait to get a smoking box for it. brian’s mom gifted us with a few toys for the grill: a vegetable basket and some nice long-handled grilling tools. so of course we had to grill their “thank you dinner”.
~a side note~ i wanted to give one last big thank you to brian’s and my parents for the ridiculously huge amount of help they’ve given us with moving into our new home. we couldn’t do it without you guys!
i made bacon-wrapped scallops, which brian and his dad grilled to perfection. the bacon was crispy, and the outer crust of the scallops were lightly charred while the inside was still soft and buttery. we had roasted fingerling potatoes with lemon zest and a salad of green beans and yellow zucchini with caesar dressing and pecorino. last week i discovered my hidden talent of whipping up a caesar dressing with no recipe, though i can roughly estimate the ingredient amounts:
1 egg yolk
1/8 cup olive oil
1/8 cup lemon juice
3 anchovy fillets
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
s & p to taste
method: with immersion blender, puree all ingredients until completely liquid. pour over everything.
for desert, i made a clean version of hostess “zingers”. i’m not sure if you’ve ever had one of these (i haven’t had one in probably 20 years, or ever…) but they are a vanilla cake base filled with strawberry, and topped with marshmallow fluff and coconut. they are packed with horrible things that don’t even qualify as food, and the ingredient list scares the hell out of me. compared to the hostess brand, my zingers were spotless..
this version was obviously grain free. i used a recipe for jelly donut cupcakes from elana’s pantry, and the rest i winged. i filled them with strawberry jam instead of raspberry, topped them with strawberry jam and a thick dollop of whipped cream, and sprinkled them with coconut.
did they taste like zingers? i don’t know. like i said, it’s been a while. but they were amazing. so fluffy and light. they certainly rekindled my love affair with novelty desserts like this. these may look involved, but were fairly simple to make.
HINT: these would make a great father’s day treat.
ingredients for the cupcake batter:
1/2 cup applesauce (no sugar or crap added)
1/2 cup oil (i used olive)
1/2 cup honey
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup coconut flour (sift it, please)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
strawberry filling ingredients:
1/2 cup seedless strawberry jam
1 tbsp arrowroot powder
method: combine jam and arrowroot powder until completely dissolved. be sure there are no lumps or dusties lingering. set aside.
preheat oven to 350f and place racks in center of oven. prep muffin tin with paper liners- i use unbleached, non-stick papers. i’m sure whatever you use will be fine.
combine all dry ingredients in a bowl. i do this by sifting together. in a food processor, combine all wet ingredients until combined. be sure to scrape the bottom just in case any honey is sticking around down there on it’s own.
pour dry ingredients into processor with the wet and pulse until just combined. let it sit for 5 minutes or so.
spoon 2 tbsp batter into each cupcake paper, then 1 heaping tsp strawberry filling on top of the batter.
spoon one heaping tbsp batter on top of filling, being sure jam is completely covered. you don’t want any seepage.
bake for 30 minutes or so, until tops are golden brown. now, since you can’t test them with the toothpick test due to the filling, you’re going to think to yourself, “are these completely done?”. there is no easy answer to that question. just know that these suckers burn easily, and that they will set up a little after coming out of the oven.
once done, pull ’em out of the tins (GENTLY) and cool on a wire rack completely before topping, maybe 2 hours to be safe.
i topped them with another dollop of jam, then a huge thud of whipped cream, which i made, then sprinkling of coconut.
top these just before serving. they will not keep well frosted with whipped cream.
honey whipped cream
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
3 tbsp or so honey
1 tsp vanilla
method: whip with blender or by hand until fluffy. don’t overdo it or you’ll make butter. (delicious butter….) eat out of the bowl or use as frosting. this kept for 4 days in the fridge before i ate it all.