Cooking is all about taking risks, big or small. I took a little bit of a risk with this (let’s be honest, there’s nothing too groundbreaking about the ingredients/process), but nonetheless, I’m pretty proud of this concoction. It was the best way to break in my new mason jars, plus the ingredients are really easy to keep on hand: any kind of fruit, Greek yogurt, granola, and graham crackers. Greek yogurt is key so things don’t get too soggy. I’m calling it breakfast pie because it’s sort of the breakfast version of a “normal” pie…the yogurt = whipped cream, crushed graham crackers = crust minus the butter.
Like many of my recipes, there are a lot of approximations here. It’s honestly pretty hard to screw up, and I love how you can use whatever fruit you have at the time. I made another version with donut peaches (so, so good!) and think strawberries would also be amaze. One tip though: eat it soon after you make it, because the moisture from the yogurt starts to make the graham crackers a little soggy. No big deal, but it’s optimal when they’re crunchy! This is the perfect thing to throw together before work if you eat breakfast at your desk, and it makes for a great afternoon snack (just take the graham cracks + granola in plastic bag and add it to the top when you’re ready to eat!) Hope you enjoy!
Fruit + Yogurt Breakfast Pie
Makes 1 serving
– approximately 1/2 cup graham crackers (approximately three
– approximately 1 cup of fruit (I slices up cherries)
– approximately 3/4 cup Greek yogurt (I used Greek Gods Honey-flavored)
– 1 teaspoon granola
– 1 16oz mason jar
Add graham crackers to mason jar and crush into small pieces with spoon or fork. Add fruit. Top with yogurt and sprinkle with granola. Told ya — easy peasy!
Photos by Monica Dutia for Cake & Lilies
A lack of patience on the parts of me and of one of my close friends resulted in her giving me my birthday present an entire week early. As much as I love being surprised, I was in need for a pick-me-up and didn’t argue when she casually mentioned that she could just give me my gift now (as in Saturday, an entire week before the big day). Glad I didn’t protest, because it was an awesome cookbook and beautiful tray – which was used that night to consume cheese while watching Somm. The book is called Southern Living: The Half-Hour Hostess and is filled with scrumptious but easy recipes that can be put together in 30 minutes or less. You know anything Southern Living does is going to be great! We quickly agreed that I would make the Brown Sugar Fruit Dip to go along with our German beer + sausages for the World Cup.
I’m not going to pretend that this dip is healthy, but you can make it a little “less bad” by using a light whipped topping, light sour cream, and light cream cheese. Also, it goes with fruit so there’s that. There’s something so nice about using an actual cookbook– literally everything seems to be online these days, so sometimes it’s refreshing to give your eyes a break and go about things the old fashioned way!
Brown Sugar Fruit Dip
via Southern Living: The Half-Hour Hostess
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup whipped topping (I used light Cool Whip)
8 oz (generally 1 pack) cream cheese (I used light)
1 cup sour cream (I used light)
1 tsp vanilla extract
Mix brown sugar and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Add sour cream and vanilla, blending until smooth. Fold in whipped topping. Cover and chill until serving with fruit, crackers, bread, pretzels… the list goes on!
Photo by Monica Dutia
Considering I have an insatiable sweet tooth and a thing for fried foods, I try to incorporate fresh and healthy options into my diet to try and balance things out a bit. This means adding things like spinach or kale into my smoothies or having fresh fruit on the side with my dessert. Since I know that craving sweets after each meal will be inevitable for me, breakfast and snacks are where it’s easier to forgo the unhealthy cravings (note: this only really applies when I eat breakfast at home, otherwise fast food, croissants, etc. are a likely story). After a good friend’s family introduced me to kefir a couple of years ago, I realized how well it goes with so many things that I already love. It has sort of a liquidy yogurt texture, think those weird (awesome?) Go-Gurt packs but a little thicker. You can drink it straight, put it in smoothies, mix it with cereal, eat it with fruit + granola, the list goes on.
In need of an energy-boosting snack, I recently mixed up some strawberry kefir with a sliced up peach, a handful of blueberries, and a few spoons of granola. Coupled with bunch of water, this gave me a little boost to tackle the good ‘ol afternoon slump. I’ve had practically this same variation for breakfast too, and it’s great. You can even sub your favorite cereal for the granola! Although kefir is a dairy product and too much dairy isn’t great (esp. for your skin), it’s good in moderation and is a probiotic, which is really beneficial. And bonus: this recipe is 100% customizable. Definitely give it a try next time you’re at the store…I get mine from Trader Joe’s and they have pomegranate, strawberry, plain, and more!
Kefir & Berries
Makes one serving
– 1/2 cup kefir (I used strawberry)
– handful of blueberries (or any other fruit)
– 1 peach (or any other fruit)
– 2 tablespoons granola
Cut up peach (or similar fruit) into bite sized pieces. Add, along with berries, to bowl of kefir. Top with granola and serve immediately to prevent the granola from going soggy.
Photos by Monica Dutia for Cake & Lilies
One of the dishes I most look forward to in the summer months is pasta salad. While I haven’t made it much myself, it’s one of those dishes that’s filling, easy to transport (hello, work lunch), and the perfect dish to bring along to a BBQ. This sun-dried tomato & goat cheese with balsamic pasta salad recipe is really easy and light, plus would also be delish when mixed into some arugula… sort of a pasta salad salad. I frequently overcook my pasta so it turned a tad bit rubbery- just don’t make that mistake and this should be a crowd-pleaser.
Sun-dried Tomato & Goat Cheese Pasta Salad
Makes 5-6 servings
– 2.5 oz goat cheese (I used herbed)
– 8oz penne, cooked according to package instructions
– 1.5 oz sun-dried tomatoes
– 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
– 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
– black pepper as desired
After letting pasta cool completely, if possible, and transfer into a large bowl. Toss with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Stir in sun-dried tomatoes, goat cheese, and black pepper. Refrigerate until serving.
Images by Monica Dutia for Cake & Lilies.
Despite seriously disliking blue cheese in my youth, I’ve grown to like it over the past couple of years. It’s definitely an acquired taste, but if you’re a fan, you know just how versatile it is and how well it works in dips, salads, dressings, and so much more. This is a good pizza to eat if you’re aiming for portion control (something which I definitely need to exercise more of when it comes to pizza, making this a positive experiment), because it’s heavier and stronger-tasting than the average pie. It would be the perfect party appetizer or works for dinner when paired with a large salad or something light.
– homemade or fresh pizza dough
– 1/3 large onion, thinly sliced
– 2/3 cup sauce
– 1/2 cup blue cheese
– 1/2 cup mushrooms, finely chopped
Preheat oven to 425°F (or whatever the dough instructs). Roll out dough into thin pizza shape on a lightly floured baking sheet. Add a thin layer of sauce and top with mushrooms, onions, and cheese. Bake at 425°F for 10-12 minutes.
Photos by Monica Dutia for Cake & Lilies.