Fruit Skewers

Fruit skewers are a fun and festive appetizer or snack! This healthy treat is easy to make and pleases everyone.…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

Fruit skewers are a fun and festive appetizer or snack! This healthy treat is easy to make and pleases everyone.

Fruit Skewers

Looking for a fun appetizer idea or healthy snack? Try Fruit Skewers! Everything tastes better on a stick, right? This is a simple concept that’s more like an idea than a recipe: but it makes everyone go crazy for pure, fresh fruit. Use whatever fruits you like and if desired, serve with our favorite 3 ingredient fruit dip! The skewers are perfect for a summer appetizer, snack ideas or even a healthy dessert. We recently served these after a summer meal al fresco and it was the perfect after-dinner treat!

Ingredients for fruit skewers

Fruit skewers work with just about any fruit: so you can get as creative as you like! There are a myriad of artistic ways to combine fruits and thread them onto skewers. For our version, we picked fruits our family loves: because to be honest, we’ve got a few picky fruit people (sorry cantaloupe, you’re not a fave!). Here’s what we chose and a few other ideas:

  • Strawberries
  • Watermelon
  • Pineapple
  • Grapes
  • Blueberries
  • 12-inch wooden skewers
  • Other fruits that work well: Cantaloupe, oranges, kiwi, honeydew melon, purple grapes, blackberries, and raspberries
Fruit Skewers

Tips for threading fruit skewers

It’s easy to make fruit skewers and you can go in many different directions! Choose a rainbow of fruit, or go more monochrome with just 2 or 3 colors of fruit. The way you cut the fruit changes the look as well! Here are a few tips and ideas for threading the skewers:

  • A 12-inch skewer or smaller is a nice size. Avoid skewers that are very long as they are awkward to eat off of (especially for children).
  • Pre-cut fruit makes for quick prep. We got pre-cut pineapple and watermelon here, which is easy to find in the produce section of your grocery store. Or you can cut from the larger fruits: here’s how to cut pineapple and how to cut watermelon.
  • If desired, cut strawberries into a heart shape. Cut a notch into the top when you remove the stems, and you’ve got an instant heart shape! It looks nice on a skewer.
  • Determine a theme. Are you going rainbow? Red white and blue? Anything goes in skewer-land: just get creative.
  • Use cookie cutters. Want to get over-the-top cute? Use cookie cutters to cut shapes into watermelon or cantaloupe (like stars or hearts).
Fruit Skewers

Serve with fruit dip if desired

It’s optional, but we love serving fruit skewers with our famous 3 ingredient fruit dip. It’s so simple whip up and tastes incredible: tangy, lightly sweet and perfect for fruits of all kinds. All you’ll need is Greek yogurt, maple syrup or honey, and vanilla extract. Head to the recipe below: and we promise it will become a favorite in your house! We’ve got it memorized over here.

Fruit Skewers

More easy appetizer recipes

These fruit skewers are perfect as a summer appetizer: but they work in any season and for any occasion! They’re also perfect for healthy snacks and even a refreshing treat after a meal. Here are a few more fun appetizers you’ll love:

This fruit skewers recipe is…

Vegetarian, gluten-free, vegan, plant-based and dairy-free (without the dip).

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Fruit Skewers

Fruit Skewers


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 16 skewers

Description

Fruit skewers are a fun and festive appetizer or snack! This healthy treat is easy to make and pleases everyone.


Ingredients

For the fruit skewers

  • 16 strawberries
  • 16 watermelon chunks (fresh or pre-cut)
  • 16 pineapple chunks (fresh or pre-cut)
  • 16 green grapes
  • ¾ cup blueberries

For the fruit dip (optional)

  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup or honey
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Cut a notch into the strawberries to remove the stems and create a heart shape (see photos). If necessary, cut the pineapple and cut the watermelon into bite-sized chunks (buying pre-cut fruit makes for speedy prep).
  2. Thread the fruit onto 12-inch wooden skewers.
  3. If desired, make the dip: stir together the Greek yogurt, maple syrup or honey, and vanilla extract. Serve immediately or refrigerate up to 1 day before serving.
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: No Cook
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Fruit skewers

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

Raspberry Iced Tea

This fresh raspberry iced tea is bursting with tangy flavor! It’s easy to make with real berries, ideal for casual…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

This fresh raspberry iced tea is bursting with tangy flavor! It’s easy to make with real berries, ideal for casual sipping or entertaining.

Raspberry Iced Tea

Here’s a bright beverage that’s perfect for warm weather: Raspberry Iced Tea! This recipe uses real berries to infuse a tangy pop into this summertime drink. It’s balanced with just the right sweetness to make the berries sing. What’s more fun than adding fresh fruit to tea? This one is great for outdoor entertaining and festive occasions, or for casual sipping on your patio (we like both). The flavor is beyond refreshing, and making it homemade is loads tastier than store-bought. Here’s how it’s done!

Ingredients for raspberry iced tea

Making raspberry iced tea is simple: no need to simmer a raspberry syrup on the stovetop! You’ll simply blend the berries with water and sugar, then add them to tea and chill. Here are the ingredients you’ll need:

  • Frozen raspberries: Frozen berries are much more economical than fresh, and the flavor is great. Feel free to use fresh if you have them!
  • Lemon: fresh citrus accentuates the sweet tart berries
  • Sugar: sugar is necessary to balance the flavor here, otherwise it’s overly tart
  • Black tea bags: Black tea has the best flavor here. Keep in mind it has caffeine, but only about half the caffeine level that’s in a cup of coffee.
Raspberry Iced Tea

Tips for straining the raspberries

The main part of this raspberry iced tea that requires effort is straining the raspberries. Because raspberry seeds make unpleasant floaties in a drink, you’ll want to remove them as part of the process. Throw the berries in a blender with water, lemon juice and sugar, then blend until a puree forms. Here’s what to expect when you’re straining:

  • Use a fine mesh strainer. You want to remove all the seeds here, so a fine mesh strainer is key for getting a smooth syrup-like texture.
  • Use a spatula to gradually force the syrup through. It will take longer than you think! But keep forcing it through with a spatula until all the seeds are removed.
Raspberry Iced Tea

Garnishing the drink

If you’re using this raspberry iced tea for entertaining or parties, the garnish is where it’s at! Add some additional raspberries or lemon slices to the pitcher or each glass. Colorful straws also add a fun element: we like these striped paper straws.

Tip: If you don’t want to buy more raspberries, save out a handful for the garnish from the 2 cups you’re using for the pitcher. (Saving out a few doesn’t hurt!)

More types of iced tea

Iced tea is ideal for entertaining: we love it in the summer for cookouts and barbecues! Here are a few other iced tea ideas in addition to this raspberry iced tea:

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Raspberry Iced Tea

Raspberry Iced Tea


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 8 to 9 cups

Description

This fresh raspberry iced tea is bursting with tangy flavor! It’s easy to make with real berries, ideal for casual sipping or entertaining.


Ingredients

  • 8 cups water, divided
  • 6 black tea bags
  • 2 cups frozen* or fresh raspberries (8 ounces), plus more for garnish
  • ¼ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
  • ¾ cup sugar

Instructions

  1. In a saucepan, heat 4 cups water to a simmer. Turn off the heat and add the tea bags. Allow to steep for 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, place the raspberries*, lemon juice, sugar and 4 cups water in a blender and blend until smooth. Strain the liquid through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl, using a spatula to push the liquid through (discard the seeds; this takes a few minutes to complete). 
  3. When the tea is steeped, remove the bags and pour it into the bowl with the raspberry water. Allow to cool until room temperature, about 10 minutes.
  4. Transfer the mixture to a pitcher and refrigerate at least 2 hours before drinking. Stores for up to 4 days.

Notes

*We prefer frozen berries because it’s much more economical and the flavor is great. Feel free to use fresh if you have them! If you’d like, save out a handful of the berries for garnishing the pitcher before blending.

  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Tea
  • Cuisine: Tea
  • Diet: Vegan

Keywords: Raspberry iced tea

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

Amazing Avocado Dip

This creamy avocado dip recipe is a tasty alternative to guacamole! It’s quick to whip up and magically stays green…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

This creamy avocado dip recipe is a tasty alternative to guacamole! It’s quick to whip up and magically stays green for days.

Avocado Dip

We know, guacamole reigns supreme as the chip dip du jour. But here’s an alternative that we (gasp) think is even more fun: this creamy Avocado Dip! Dip a chip into this luxuriously creamy, intensely savory magic sauce and pow! The meld of avocado, lime, cilantro and cumin is like a heightened version of your favorite guac. Even better: unlike guacamole, it magically stays green in the refrigerator for days! We were immediately hooked and it’s our new go-to dip for friends and parties.

Ingredients in this avocado dip recipe

The most important thing you’ll need for this avocado dip recipe? Ripe avocados. Just as a banana muffins cannot be made without ripe bananas, avocado dip requires beautifully ripe avocados. Other than that, the cast of characters is simple. The difference with guacamole? You’ll add a little yogurt or sour cream and blend it up! Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Ripe avocados
  • Greek yogurt (or sour cream; substitute cashew cream for vegan)
  • Lime juice
  • Cilantro
  • Garlic powder
  • Cumin
  • Salt
Avocado Dip

How to make avocado dip: processor, blender, or fork

This avocado dip works best in a food processor, where it whips up to a smooth green sauce in seconds. You can also use a blender if you like: but you’ll likely want to use a small blender due to the quantity of ingredients. It’s possible you could use a standard blender, but it depends on the exact size and strength of your blender.

Don’t have either of these tools? You can make a chunky avocado dip by hand! Simply mash the avocados with a fork and stir in the remaining ingredients. Easy peasy! It just doesn’t look quite as lovely and creamy, but it works.

Storage info & how it stays green

This avocado dip is not only tasty and versatile: it stays green for days. That’s right: no crazy tricks like putting water or plastic wrap on it like you’ll hear to do with guacamole.

  • How does it stay green? The acidity in the lime juice naturally makes this avocado dip stay green.
  • Avocado dip lasts refrigerated for up to 5 days. You may need to stir to re-incorporate liquid that separates over time.
Avocado Dip

Ways to serve avocado dip

There are lots of ways to serve this avocado dip: outside of just dipping chips! Of course, that’s the best and easiest way, in our opinion! Here are a few ways to serve:

How else would you eat it? Let us know in the comments below.

More avocado recipes

Got a few ripe avocados on hand? Here are a few great recipes for using this tasty vegetable (er, fruit):

This avocado dip recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free and gluten-free

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Avocado Dip

Amazing Avocado Dip


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 ½ cups (6 to 8 servings)

Description

This creamy avocado dip recipe is a tasty alternative to guacamole! It’s quick to whip up and magically stays green for days.


Ingredients

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt (or sour cream; substitute cashew cream for vegan)
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice (about 2 limes)
  • ½ cup cilantro, tightly packed leaves and tender stems
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Tortilla chips, for serving

Instructions

  1. Cut the avocados in half, pit them, and scoop both halves into a food processor or small blender. (Alternatively, for a chunkier dip you can mash the avocados with a fork and stir in the remaining ingredients.)
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Store in a covered container for up to 5 days refrigerated: it stays green without special storage instructions (unlike guacamole).
  • Category: Dip
  • Method: Blended
  • Cuisine: Appetizer
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Avocado dip, avocado dip recipe

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

Cucumber Lemonade

This cucumber lemonade is zingy and refreshing: perfect for summer! This green veggie adds the cooling vibe of spa water.…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

This cucumber lemonade is zingy and refreshing: perfect for summer! This green veggie adds the cooling vibe of spa water.

Cucumber Lemonade

Cucumber is great in salads and sauces…but an even better use for this green veggie, in our opinion? In drinks! Here’s one that’s absolutely perfect for summer: Cucumber Lemonade! The vegetable adds a cooling, vegetal finish to any drink that’s reminiscent of spa water. Combine that with the zing of the lemon, and it’s the ideal drink for sipping on the patio for a summer barbecue. It’s easy to make: here’s how it’s done!

Ingredients for cucumber lemonade

Cucumber lemonade is simple to whip up using a blender for bringing out the flavor of this green vegetable. Blend the cucumber with sugar, then mix it with lemon juice to form lemonade. You can use any type of cucumber you have: a standard cucumber or English cucumber. English cucumber is typically our preference for salads because of its thin skin and lack of seeds. But you can use a standard cucumber here if you peel and remove the seeds: so either works! You’ll need:

  • Cucumber
  • Lemons
  • Sugar
Cucumber Lemonade

How to make cucumber lemonade (basic steps)

Making homemade lemonade is easier than you think! the only time consuming part is juicing the lemons. Here are a few notes on the process, or jump to the recipe below for quantities:

  • Juice the lemons. Using a press juicer is the quickest way to juice lemons: it gets out the most juice and saves your fingers from tiring out from squeezing. The next best choice? A handheld citrus juicer.
  • Blend the cucumber, sugar and water. Give it a whiz in the blender.
  • Strain it with a fine mesh strainer! This removes any sediment that might float on the top of the surface of the lemonade.
  • Mix the pitcher. Mix the cucumber syrup with lemon juice and water in a pitcher. That’s it!

For the garnish

Serving this cucumber lemonade for a party or entertaining guests? It’s nice to add a few garnishes to the glass to make it look festive. Here’s what we like to do:

  • Cucumber slices: Add a few cucumber slices to the glass or pitcher; you’ll need to buy an extra cucumber for this.
  • Lemon wedges: Lemon wedges or wheels also look lovely in a glass or pitcher!
  • Colored straws: It’s all about the presentation! We like adding these striped paper straws to glasses.
Cucumber Lemonade

Variations on cucumber lemonade

Want to add a spin on this cucumber lemonade? Here are a few ways to step it up:

More lemonade flavors? Try Ginger Lemonade, Mint Lemonade, Strawberry Lemonade, Raspberry Lemonade or Watermelon Lemonade.

More cucumber drinks

There are many of ways to add this green vegetable to drinks, from cocktails to water! Here are a few ideas you’ll love:

This cucumber lemonade recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free and gluten-free.

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Cucumber Lemonade

Cucumber Lemonade


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings

Description

This cucumber lemonade is zingy and refreshing: perfect for summer! This green veggie adds the cooling vibe of spa water.


Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups fresh squeezed lemon juice (7 to 8 large lemons, plus more for garnish)*
  • 1 cup peeled and seeded cucumber (1 large cucumber, plus more for garnish)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar (or coconut sugar)
  • 6 cups water, divided
  • Ice

Instructions

  1. Juice the lemons. Peel the cucumber and remove the seeds with a spoon (if using an English cucumber, you can skip this step).
  2. Add the cucumber, sugar and 2 cups warm water to a blender and blend until smooth. Strain the liquid through fine mesh sieve into a pitcher, using a spatula to push the liquid through (discard the pulp; this takes a few minutes to complete).
  3. To the pitcher with the cucumber mixture, add 4 cups cold water and the fresh squeezed lemon juice. Add a few handfuls ice and serve. If desired, garnish with extra cucumber slices and lemon wedges. 
  • Category: Drink
  • Method: No Cook
  • Cuisine: Lemonade
  • Diet: Vegan

Keywords: Cucumber lemonade

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

Easy Strawberry Sorbet

This strawberry sorbet recipe has the best fruity flavor and frosty texture! It’s easy and impresses everyone. Here’s a simple…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

This strawberry sorbet recipe has the best fruity flavor and frosty texture! It’s easy and impresses everyone.

Strawberry Sorbet

Here’s a simple summer dessert that’s easy but impressive: Strawberry Sorbet! The flavor is like taking a bite of 100 strawberries at once: sweet, pure, and tangy. The frosty texture is like an Italian strawberry gelato: cold and creamy, with just the right robust vibrancy to each bite. We dare you to serve this to someone who doesn’t exclaim, “Wow!” Even better: it takes just a few minutes of hands on time.

Ingredients for this strawberry sorbet recipe

No need to grab a store-bought pint of strawberry sorbet. This recipe is quick and simple with just a few ingredients! You’ll also need a blender and an ice cream maker (more on that below). The only ingredients you’ll need are:

  • Fresh strawberries
  • Lime juice
  • Sugar

All you need to do? Blend the strawberries, lime and sugar with a little ice, then freeze the mixture in an ice cream maker for about 20 minutes. It comes together so quickly, it’s perfect as an easy breezy summer dessert.

Strawberry Sorbet

Necessary equipment: an ice cream maker

An ice cream maker is the best tool for the job with sorbet! It’s a great investment, and you can use it to make sorbets and ice creams all year round (like Mango Sorbet or Watermelon Sorbet).

Here’s the 2 quart ice cream maker we use. It’s a great gift idea, too! Use it as a housewarming present or a fun surprise for ice cream lovers. We’ve had ours for years and it holds up well.

Make ahead & storage tips for strawberry sorbet

Here’s the thing: homemade sorbet is best the day it is made. The texture is ultra creamy and frosty right out of the ice cream maker. You can freeze it a few hours, but if you leave it overnight it becomes very solid. Here are a few tricks to working with leftovers:

  • Line the storage container with parchment paper. This helps so the sorbet doesn’t freeze to the edges of the container and makes it easier to defrost.
  • Make the strawberry sorbet up to 2 hours in advance of serving. It will start to freeze at the edges, so you may need to stir a bit before serving. The texture will be nicely solid at this point and easy to scoop into balls.
  • Leftovers save 1 week, but defrost at room temp for about 30 minutes. Make time to leave it out the container on the counter until it defrosts. (Of course, you could microwave it for a few seconds: but it’s risky!) Don’t expect it to be like store-bought sorbet, which stays softer in the freezer.
Strawberry Sorbet

More strawberry desserts

Whipping up desserts with strawberries is our favorite: these berries always deliver on flavor! Here are some of our top strawberry desserts:

This strawberry sorbet recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free and gluten-free.

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Strawberry Sorbet

Easy Strawberry Sorbet


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 1 quart (4 cups or 8 servings)

Description

This strawberry sorbet recipe has the best fruity flavor and frosty texture! It’s easy and impresses everyone.


Ingredients

  • 2 pounds strawberries, hulled
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • ½ cup ice

Instructions

  1. Place the strawberries in a food processor or high-powered blender and puree. Add the sugar, lime juice, salt and ice and puree until smooth. (To make ahead, you can refrigerate at this point until you want to churn, up to 2 days.)
  2. Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and freeze for 20 to 25 minutes. The texture will be very frosty and creamy at this point. Serve immediately, or place into a parchment lined container. You can freeze up to 2 hours day of (stir before serving). Freezing overnight makes a solid icy texture so for leftovers, allow them to sit at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes (or more, depending on how long its been frozen) to defrost.
  • Category: Sorbet
  • Method: Frozen
  • Cuisine: Dessert
  • Diet: Vegan

Keywords: Strawberry sorbet

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

Sauteed Broccolini

Sauteed broccolini It is one of the fastest, tastiest side dishes there is! Cook it up in 5 minutes with…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

Sauteed broccolini It is one of the fastest, tastiest side dishes there is! Cook it up in 5 minutes with garlic and lemon.

Sauteed broccolini

When it comes to quick and impressive side dishes, this one might be tops: Sauteed Broccolini! The elegantly long stems of this green veggie make it look fancy, but here’s a secret. You can cook it up in just 5 minutes in a hot skillet. Add a bit of garlic and lemon, and you won’t be able to stop eating these irresistibly large spears. Here’s how to make it in a flash: and a bit more about this unique vegetable.

What is broccolini?

Broccolini might look like baby broccoli: and in fact, it’s sometimes labeled that way in the produce aisle! But technically, it’s not an immature version of the real thing. Broccolini is a cross between standard broccoli and Chinese broccoli. It has the long stems of Chinese broccoli and the florets of broccoli. Why we like it? Broccolini has a milder, sweeter flavor than standard broccoli. The long stems also give it a lovely elegant look on the plate.

Interestingly, broccolini was invented in 1993: so there’s a reason that it’s new to the scene! It’s becoming easier to find at standard grocery stores: usually right next to the standard broccoli. Look for small bunches of broccoli with long stems.

Sauteed broccolini

How to make sauteed broccolini: some tips

Sauteed broccolini is quick and simple: the cooking goes fast! Once you’ve tried it once, you won’t need to follow a recipe. But for the first time, here are some tips for cooking and seasoning it to perfection:

  • Chop off the tough lower portions of the stems. Slice any very large florets in half lengthwise, which makes them easier to eat.
  • Sauté the broccolini 3 to 4 minutes in olive oil. Stir occasionally and cook until just starting to brown at the edges. At this point, the pan will be starting to get dry.
  • Add a bit of water, salt and garlic powder and cook 2 to 3 minutes. This last part of cooking gently steams the broccolini (it’s a technique we use for broccoli as well). It cooks it the rest of the way so that it’s bright green and tender.
  • Add any remaining seasonings. We like to add lemon juice at the end for a little brightness, but it’s not required!
Sauteed broccolini

Ways to serve sauteed broccolini

Sautéed broccolini is the ideal quick side dish for fast meals! We love to pair it with easy main dishes to make for a quick weeknight meals. But of course it’s also great for entertaining because it comes together so easily. It’s especially nice to pair with main dishes you make in the oven, since the stovetop is free. Here’s how we’d pair it:

More broccolini recipes

Love broccolini? This unique vegetable is ideal for cooking in many different ways!

This sauteed broccolini recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free and gluten-free.

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Sauteed broccolini

Sauteed Broccolini


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 3 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 8 minutes
  • Yield: 4

Description

Sauteed broccolini It is one of the fastest, tastiest side dishes there is! Cook it up in 5 minutes with garlic and lemon.


Ingredients

  • 2 bunches (14 ounces) broccolini
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (optional)
  • Fresh ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Cut off tough lower portions of the stems, leaving about 3 to 4 inches attached. Slice large pieces in half lengthwise through the entire stem.  
  2. In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the broccolini and cook, stirring occasionally until bright green and starting to brown at the edges, 3 to 4 minutes. Sprinkle with the kosher salt and garlic powder and add ¼ cup water to the pan. Continue cooking until the stems are bright green and just tender, 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Stir in the lemon juice and black pepper. Add salt if desired and serve hot. 
  • Category: Side dish
  • Method: Sauteed
  • Cuisine: Vegetables
  • Diet: Vegan

Keywords: Sauteed broccolini

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

Classic Rhubarb Crisp

This rhubarb crisp recipe has a golden, crunchy crumble topping and a gooey, sweet tart filling. It’s just the best!…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

This rhubarb crisp recipe has a golden, crunchy crumble topping and a gooey, sweet tart filling. It’s just the best!

Rhubarb crisp

Here’s spring and summer’s best treat, if you can find a bunch of those magical pinkish-green stalks: Rhubarb Crisp! This homey dessert is absolute summer nostalgia: each bite is a burst of gooey, sweet tart candy topped with a golden oat crumble. Top it with melty vanilla ice cream, and there’s nothing better than scooping up heaping mouthfuls on a summer’s evening. Here’s our favorite rhubarb crisp recipe that will wow everyone.

Ingredients in this rhubarb crisp recipe

This rhubarb crisp recipe is just sweet enough, with a hearty oat crumble and a gooey rhubarb filling. A couple secrets? A heavy dose of oats keeps the crumble textured and crunchy, and hint of orange zest makes the filling pop. It’s not required, but it adds just the right subtle sophistication. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Rhubarb
  • Granulated sugar
  • Cornstarch (or arrowroot starch)
  • Orange zest (optional)
  • Vanilla extract
  • Old Fashioned rolled oats
  • All purpose flour
  • Brown sugar
  • Cinnamon
  • Butter
  • Salt
Rhubarb crisp

Keys to the flavor and texture

This apple crisp recipe with oats is pristine: it’s just what you’d expect in a classic, but a little bit elevated. Here are a few notes on what makes it so divine:

  • Orange zest accentuates the sweetness. Acidity in desserts is like salt in savory food: it makes the flavors shine! Here the citrus zest strikes just the right balance with the sugar. Don’t have it? You can use lemon zest or simply remove.
  • The right ratio of butter to oats makes the crumble topping. A good rhubarb crisp recipe should have a topping that’s crumbly and crisp: not crunchy, soft, or soggy. This one has just the right ratio of butter and oats for that signature texture. (It’s crunchier than the one I grew up with, which didn’t have oats!)
  • Cornstarch helps the filling have a thick texture. We’ve found cornstarch works best to create a gooey texture (versus flour). The rhubarb releases a lot of liquid while baking. Don’t want to use cornstarch? Use arrowroot powder, which works in the same way.

Variations: vegan and gluten-free rhubarb crisp

Want to make a vegan or gluten-free rhubarb crisp? Here are a few easy substitutions that make this recipe work for almost any diet:

  • Substitute almond flour for gluten-free. Crisp recipes are easy to make gluten-free using almond flour! It works well in a crumble topping, especially because it becomes slightly crispy when baked.
  • Substitute vegan butter or coconut oil for gluten-free. Vegan butter is the best option. You can also use room temperature coconut oil, though the topping comes out softer and not quite as crisp. We recommend refined coconut oil, which has a subtler coconut flavor.
Rhubarb crisp

Make it a strawberry rhubarb crisp

Want to use that classic combination of sweet red berries and rhubarb? You can do that too! Simply substitute 1 pound of the rhubarb with 1 pound strawberries, or about 3 cups sliced. If you’d like, you can lower the sugar in the filling slightly (we’d try a scant 2/3 cup).

Leftover storage info

Want to save rhubarb crisp leftovers? Here’s what to do:

  • It can stand for 1 day at room temperature (covered). The topping stays crisp with this method.
  • Refrigerate for up to 3 days. It holds up pretty well in the fridge, and tastes even better when reheated.
  • Freeze up to 3 months. You can freeze this rhubarb crisp for up to 3 months in a sealed container. Reheat it in a 350 degree oven until bubbly and the topping is crisp.
Rhubarb crisp

More rhubarb recipes

You’ve got to capitalize on the season when you can find rhubarb! Here are a few recipes we love:

This rhubarb crisp recipe is…

Vegetarian. For gluten-free and vegan, see the substitutes in the recipe below.

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Rhubarb crisp

Classic Rhubarb Crisp


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 8

Description

This rhubarb crisp recipe has a golden, crunchy crumble topping and a gooey, sweet tart filling. It’s just the best!


Ingredients

  • 2 pounds rhubarb (6 cups chopped)*
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ¼ teaspoon orange zest (optional; or ½ teaspoon lemon zest)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup Old Fashioned rolled oats
  • ¾ cup all purpose flour (or almond flour for gluten-free)
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 8 tablespoons cold salted butter (or coconut oil or vegan butter for vegan)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Make the filling: Chop the rhubarb into ½ inch pieces. Mix it with the granulated sugar, cornstarch, orange zest and vanilla extract in a bowl, then pour the filling into a round 9-inch pie pan, 9 x 9 inch baking dish or 7 x 11 baking dish.
  3. Make the topping: In a medium bowl, mix together the oats, flour, sugar, cinnamon, and kosher salt. Cut the butter into small pieces and then use your hands to mix it into the oats until fully distributed and a crumbly dough forms. It may take a while so be patient; you can also use a fork or pastry cutter if you prefer. (If using coconut oil, it can be room temperature; use the same method to add it.) Pour the crumble on top and smooth it into an even layer with your fingers.
  4. Bake: Bake for 45 to 50 minutes until the top is evenly golden brown and the filling is bubbly. Cool for 30 minutes to 1 hour, then serve warm. You can leave out your crisp on the counter for up to 1 day (covered, at night) so the crisp topping can stay crisp. After 1 day, refrigerate any leftovers. This crumble also freezes well for several months in a sealed container; reheat it in a 350 degree oven until bubbly and the topping is crisp.

Notes

*For a strawberry rhubarb crisp, simply use 1 pound (3 cups sliced) strawberries with 1 pound (3 cups chopped) rhubarb.

  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Dessert
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Rhubarb crisp, rhubarb crisp recipe, rhubarb crumble

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

Asparagus Pasta with Lemon

Celebrate the season with asparagus pasta! Lemony roasted asparagus pairs with fresh basil and Parmesan for an irresistible dinner recipe.…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

Celebrate the season with asparagus pasta! Lemony roasted asparagus pairs with fresh basil and Parmesan for an irresistible dinner recipe.

Asparagus Pasta

Once the first few warm days of spring hit, we start craving all the green vegetables. Here’s a great way to use those popular bright green spears: Asparagus Pasta with Lemon & Parmesan! This one pairs chewy tagliatelle noodles with lemony roasted asparagus, garlic, and Parmesan. Topped seasoned breadcrumbs and peppery basil leaves, the combination of flavors is unbelievably fresh and savory. This one disappeared very quickly over here: and we hope you love it just as much!

Ingredients in this asparagus pasta recipe

This asparagus pasta uses bold flavors to achieve a restaurant-style quality pasta recipe! There are a few secret ingredients that take the flavor up a few notches. The basic idea? Roast asparagus and lemon wedges, then toss with pasta and a garlic olive oil mixture. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Tagliatelle or fettucine pasta: any wide, flat noodle works well here. Tagliatelle is very wide and has a pleasant, chewy texture. You can also make it with bucatini (hollow spaghetti) or spaghetti if you prefer.
  • Asparagus
  • Olive oil
  • Lemon
  • Garlic
  • Dried oregano
  • Calabrian chilis or red pepper flakes: these add a hint of complexity without making for a spicy dish
  • Parmesan shavings
  • Italian panko: this is seasoned chunky breadcrumbs: see the notes below!
  • Basil leaves: basil adds a lovely fresh, peppery flavor to the dish
  • Salt and pepper
Asparagus Pasta

Tips for roasting asparagus and lemon

The star of this pasta is the lemon asparagus, roasted until tender in a hot oven! We like roasting asparagus because it gets incredibly tender and the flavor mellows quite a bit, versus sauteed asparagus can still be a bit crisp tender. Here are our tips for roasting asparagus:

  • Find thin asparagus if you can. Thinner asparagus is more tender and milder in flavor! Of course, it’s not always possible to find thin spears, so you can work with what’s at the store.
  • Chop off the very thick parts. Any part that’s closer to white than green: chop right off! We like to cut off anything that’s very thick because it can have a tough texture.
  • Roast the asparagus with lemon wedges right on the pan. It’s the best way to infuse that lemon flavor through the entire veggie! You’ll also add lemon zest and mix throughout.
Pasta with asparagus

Add Italian panko for a crunch

Panko is a Japanese-style breadcrumb mixture that is airier and lighter than traditional breadcrumbs. Here it adds just the right crunch in texture to this asparagus pasta. We love using Italian panko because it has extra seasonings added: they add that extra oomph! You can also use them instead of croutons on a salad (like in this Romaine Salad or Butter Lettuce Salad).

  • “Italian” means herbs and salt are added. You should be able to find Italian panko or panko easily at your local grocery store.
  • Only have plain panko? Use that and just add a bit more salt. If you’d like, you can mix with a bit of dried oregano or basil.
  • What about for gluten-free? If you’re making this with gluten-free pasta, you can also find gluten-free panko at stores or online.

Ways to serve asparagus pasta

The most important thing about serving this asparagus pasta? Pair it with a protein! It’s not loaded with protein, so you’ll want to add in a vegetarian, fish or meat protein of choice when serving. Here are a few ideas:

Lemon asparagus pasta recipe

More asparagus recipes

‘Tis the season! Load up on recipes starring the green spears while it abounds in grocery stores. Here are a few more asparagus recipes to try:

This lemon asparagus pasta recipe is…

Vegetarian. For gluten-free, use gluten-free pasta and panko.

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Asparagus Pasta

Asparagus Pasta with Lemon


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 3 to 4

Description

Celebrate the season with asparagus pasta! Lemony roasted asparagus pairs with fresh basil and Parmesan for an irresistible dinner recipe.


Ingredients

For the asparagus

  • 1 pound thin asparagus spears, cut into 2” pieces
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 lemon (zest from half, plus slices from the other half)

For the pasta

  • 8 ounces tagliatelle or fettuccine
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ⅛ teaspoon chopped Calabrian chilis or ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup Parmesan shavings
  • 2 tablespoons Italian seasoned panko
  • ¼ cup fresh basil leaves, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Roast the asparagus: Cut off the tough bottom ends of the asparagus and cut it into 2” pieces. Add the stalks to a foil-lined baking sheet. Drizzle the asparagus with the olive oil, and add the kosher salt and a few grinds of black pepper.
  3. Slice the lemon in half crosswise. Thinly slice 4 wheels from one half of the lemon, then add them to the baking sheet. Zest the other half of the lemon, sprinkle it onto the asparagus and mix with your hands to coat. Bake 10 to 15 minutes, until tender when pierced by a fork at the thickest part. The timing will depend on the thickness of the asparagus spears.
  4. Cook the pasta: Meanwhile, bring a salted pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta to al dente (taste testing a minute or two before the package instructions indicate). Do not drain. 
  5. In the serving bowl, stir together the olive oil, oregano, grated garlic and chilis. When the pasta is done, use tongs to transfer the pasta from the boiling water into the bowl with the oil mixture without draining. Toss with the olive oil mixture until coated. Add the roasted asparagus and toss. (If desired, transfer to a serving platter or individual plates.)
  6. Top with the Parmesan shavings and panko. Add basil leaves and serve immediately.
  • Category: Main dish
  • Method: Roasted
  • Cuisine: Vegetables
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Asparagus pasta, pasta with asparagus, asparagus pasta recipe

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

El Diablo Cocktail

The El Diablo cocktail is a must-make tequila drink! It’s sweet tart and spicy, starring black currant liqueur, lime and…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

The El Diablo cocktail is a must-make tequila drink! It’s sweet tart and spicy, starring black currant liqueur, lime and ginger beer.

El diablo cocktail

Here’s a highball that immediately shot to the top our favorite tequila drinks: the El Diablo cocktail! This one flies under the radar, but take one sip and you’ll become a new convert. Bold berries, zingy lime, and spicy ginger complement the bite of the tequila in a way that’s indescribable. You’ve just got to taste! Since it’s a highball drink, it’s as easy as pouring the ingredients into an ice-filled glass.

What’s in the El Diablo cocktail?

The El Diablo cocktail is a highball drink made with tequila, crème de cassis (black currant liqueur), lime juice, and ginger beer. The drink was invented by Trader Vic in the 1940’s, a restaurant owner considered the grandfather of Tiki drinks (he invented the Mai Tai and others). The first reference to El Diablo was in his 1946 book called “Trader Vic’s Book of Food and Drink” where he claims it as his original recipe.

The first recipe for this drink was a highball built right in the glass, but modern versions indicate to shake and strain. Our version goes back to the original (because, why dirty a cocktail shaker?). Here’s what you’ll need for the El Diablo:

  • Tequila reposado
  • Crème de cassis
  • Lime juice
  • Ginger beer

The use of ginger beer may remind you of another famous highball cocktail: the Moscow Mule! The El Diablo is similar to a Mexican mule, but adds creme de cassis.

Creme de cassis
De Kuyper is an inexpensive brand of crème de cassis that’s widely available

What is Crème de Cassis?

Is it worth grabbing a bottle of crème de cassis for this recipe? We give an emphatic yes. Though of course, this is the ideal cocktail to make after you’ve purchased a bottle for a Kir Royale. Here’s more about this liqueur:

  • Crème de cassis is a dark, sweet liqueur made black currants. It’s made in Burgundy, France and first became available in 1841.
  • How much does crème de cassis cost? It’s an inexpensive liquor: you can find a 750 ml bottle for as low as $10. We like the brand Drillaud.
  • What cocktails use creme de cassis? It’s most popularly used in the Kir Royale where it’s paired with champagne. Also try it as a Cassis Spritz (substitute it for Aperol in an Aperol Spritz), or substitute it for Chambord in a French Martini.

Want a substitute for crème de cassis? You can use Chambord (black raspberry liqueur) or crème de mure (blackberry liqueur).

El diablo cocktail

Tips for the El Diablo cocktail

The El Diablo cocktail is fast and easy: and you can build it right in the serving glass! Here are a few tips for making this quick drink:

  • Build it right in the glass. Many modern recipes recipes indicate to shake and strain this drink. But why spend the extra effort? Make it as a traditional highball cocktail, right in the glass (that’s the way Trader Vic’s original 1946 recipe indicates).
  • Use tequila reposado. The vanilla and oak notes from aged tequila reposado add just the right sophistication to the flavor. Use an inexpensive to mid-range reposado here (save the premium stuff for sipping). If all you have is tequila blanco, it works too!

More tequila cocktails

Of course, we all love a great Classic Margarita. But there are so many more great tequila cocktails to try! Here are a few more tequila drinks to put on your radar:

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El diablo cocktail

El Diablo


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 3 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink

Description

The El Diablo cocktail is a must-make tequila drink! It’s sweet tart and spicy, starring black currant liqueur, lime and ginger beer.


Ingredients


Instructions

  1. Add the tequila, crème de cassis and lime juice to an ice filled highball glass.
  2. Top with the ginger beer and stir gently. Serve immediately.

Notes

*To convert to tablespoons, 1 ounce = 2 tablespoons

  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Stirred
  • Cuisine: Cocktails
  • Diet: Vegan

Keywords: El diablo cocktail

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

Totchos (Tater Tot Nachos!)

Impress everyone with this totchos recipe! Tater tot nachos are endless fun, crispy and loaded with all the best toppings.…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

Impress everyone with this totchos recipe! Tater tot nachos are endless fun, crispy and loaded with all the best toppings.

Totchos

Looking for fun party food, or a tasty appetizer dinner? One word for you: Totchos! Just as you’d imagine, crispy-on-the-outside, soft-on-the-inside tots are just the thing for loading with nachos toppings. This Totchos recipe is our favorite way to make them: topped with black beans, corn, pico, guacamole, sour cream and lots of cheese. Here are the tricks to making your own pan of tater tot nachos!

What are totchos?

Tater tot nachos, aka totchos, are nachos where tater tots stand in for the tortilla chips. Mix up the toppings while the tots bake and you’ve got a hearty appetizer or even dinner. It’s unclear who invented tachos, but they’ve captured popular imagination and you can now find them on restaurant and bar menus.

We first tasted Totchos years ago at a restaurant in Montana, of all places! Around a table with my family and mugs of microbrew, we experienced the magic of totchos: crispy fried potatoes topped with black beans, avocado mash, and a white queso sauce. Between the “Mmmm’s”, Alex and I caught each others’ eyes. We’ve got to try this at home.

Totchos

Ingredients in tater tot nachos

This Totchos recipe is an idea template: like with standard nachos, you can load them up with just about anything you like. This list of toppings is the combination of ingredients that we love. One thing to remember: you’ll want a good contrast of dry and gooey ingredients. In our opinion, the guacamole steals the show and is absolutely required here. Here’s what you’ll need for tater tot nachos:

  • Frozen tater tots: look for a high quality brand with natural ingredients if possible! Our favorite is Alexia (or try homemade tater tots if you’re feeling adventurous)
  • Black beans
  • Spices: Garlic powder, chili powder, cumin
  • Cilantro
  • Red onion and green onion
  • Jalapeño pepper
  • Mexican-style blend shredded cheese
  • Pico de gallo
  • Corn
  • Guacamole
  • Sour cream (or Vegan Nacho Cheese or Cashew Cream)
Totchos recipe

Tips for serving this totchos recipe

Totchos is a very simple concept, but there are a few things to note about this recipe.

  • Use either 1 pound or 1 ½ pounds. The topping amount should work for up to 1 ½ pounds tots, so use more if you’re expecting hearty appetites.
  • Prep the toppings while the tots bake. You’ll want to serve the tots right away when they’re hot, so use this time to chop and assemble everything.
  • When getting creative with toppings, make sure to balance gooey with dry textures. The tots and melted cheese are dry on their own, so be generous with the dollops of guacamole and sour cream to carry the dish. Or, use a queso sauce! See below.

More topping ideas

This totchos recipe is a template for you to get creative! There are lots of other ways to top your tater tot nachos. Here are some additional ideas to get your wheels turning:

Totchos recipe

Notes on vegan tater tot nachos

Tater tots are naturally vegan, so it’s easy to make this recipe into a dairy-free or vegan recipe! Here’s what to do:

  • Omit the cheese
  • Use Cashew Cream or Vegan Nacho Cheese in place of the sour cream. We highly recommend the nacho cheese, as it helps to add back the savory, cheesy flavor. If you don’t have to time to make homemade, Siete Foods also sells a great vegan queso.

More nacho recipes

Are you a nachos fan like we are? Try these spins on the classic:

This totchos recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free. For vegan, plant-based and dairy-free, see the notes above.

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Totchos

Totchos


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 to 6

Description

Impress everyone with this Tochos recipe! Tater tot nachos are endless fun, crispy and loaded with all the best toppings.


Ingredients

  • 1 to 1 1/2 pounds frozen tater tots
  • ¾ cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • ½ teaspoon olive oil
  • ⅛ teaspoon each garlic powder and chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon each cumin and kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
  • ¼ cup finely diced red onion
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, thinly sliced (optional)
  • 1 cup Mexican-style blend shredded cheese (omit for vegan)
  • ½ cup pico de gallo, drained (or finely diced tomato and red onion)
  • ¼ cup canned corn, drained
  • ½ cup guacamole
  • Sour cream (or Vegan Nacho Cheese or Cashew Cream)

Instructions

  1. Bake the tater tots according to the bag instructions (place on a parchment-paper lined sheet pan and bake at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for about 25 minutes until crispy). 
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mix the black beans with olive oil, garlic powder, chili powder, cumin and kosher salt. Chop the cilantro, red onion, green onions, and jalapeño pepper (if using). 
  3. When the tater tots are baked, sprinkle them with the cheese and place them back in the oven until it is melted, about 2 minutes. 
  4. Remove the tray from the oven. Top with the beans, cilantro, red and green onion, drained pico de gallo and corn, sliced jalapeno peppers (if using), and dollops of sour cream and guacamole. 
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Totchos, totchos recipe, tater tot nachos

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.