Dragonfly Home Recipes

Recipes, Photography, Musings

Month: June 2016 (page 1 of 2)

Cherry Berry Breakfast Jars

Tart, juicy cherries and sweet blueberries are layered with Greek yogurt, granola, and chia seeds to make a healthy, beautiful breakfast bursting with flavor.  Mason jars make this not only pretty (I love how they show the colorful layers), but they are also practical–just screw on the lid, put the jar(s) in the cooler, and you have a portable breakfast or snack.

cherry berry breakfast jars on porchSummer fruit really is a special treat. There is just nothing like being able to walk out the door and pick fruit right in your own yard, or pick it up from a nearby farm stand.  You can taste the bright sunshine in every bite, and something with that much fresh flavor and naturally bright color has to be loaded with beneficial nutrients!

I wanted to do a post in honor of our cherry trees this week, because they have given us such great fruit this season!  We planted them a few years ago as tiny little trees, and over time we have nursed them, protected them from hungry deer, and watched them grow.  This is the first summer we have been able to harvest more than a handful of cherries from them, and I am so excited about it! Tart cherries have been a favorite of mine since I was a child.  Lots of good childhood memories are mixed in with the pursuit of good cherries and cherry pies. To have them now growing in my own yard feels like a huge luxury, and I know how my dad would love it.

cherries in white bowl 3Our two cherry trees, though still not large, are just loaded with bright red tart cherries! So far, we have been eating them too quickly to make a pie filling, but these easy breakfast jars are perfect.  The sweetness of the blueberries helps balance the tart flavor of the cherries, and really, you could substitute any seasonal fruit if you don’t have cherries or blueberries.

cherries and berries 2This recipe is so simple, yet it is so delicious and so pretty that it is worth remembering and sharing.  My kids, who were definitely in a breakfast rut, have been loving these jars the past couple of mornings.  I think it has to do with the freshness of the fruit and the novelty of the layers instead of everything just mixed up in a bowl.  You can use your favorite yogurt and favorite granola, and sweeten it all with honey if you are using unsweetened yogurt.

cherry berry breakfast jar overview 2I hope you are all enjoying some summer air and summer fruit! We went camping last weekend, and it was just what we needed.  To be away from routines and to be surrounded by nature, getting back to the basics.  It felt like time kind of stood still for us for a couple of days, and we had some good family exploring new territory and sitting around the campfire, roasting marshmallows and listening to the fire crackle and pop.  The trees, the lakes, the fresh air and stars at night all soothed my soul.  And the juicy, tart cherries give vitality and hope.  I hope you are all having a good week! I am going to share this tasty recipe at Angie’s Fiesta Friday, where lots of great food bloggers gather to trade recipes and inspiration.cherry berry breakfast jars in hands 3cherry berry breakfast jars with stripescherry tree

Cherry Berry Breakfast Jars

  • Servings: 4 half-pint sized jars
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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of fresh tart cherries, washed and pitted
  • 1 cup of fresh blueberries, washed
  • 2 cups of Greek yogurt
  • 2 cups of your favorite granola
  • 1 teaspoon of chia seeds (optional)
  • 1/4 cup of honey (use if your yogurt is unsweetened)
  • 4 half-pint sized mason jars

Directions:

Wash the fruit and remove the pits from the cherries.  Set out the yogurt, granola, chia seeds, and mason jars.  In each mason jar, spoon in a layer of yogurt, fruit, granola, and a 1/4 teaspoon of chia seeds. Repeat the layers.  Serve immediately or cover with the mason jar lids and refrigerate or take with you in a cooler.  Enjoy!

Lemon Tarragon Chicken

In this recipe, each chicken breast half is baked in its own foil packet with a lemon-tarragon sauce and sliced mushrooms: so flavorful and so moist! Serve this lemon tarragon chicken with potatoes, rice, or any type of grain, plus a vegetable or a salad, and you have a quick, delicious meal!

DSC_0976I have been making this recipe for many years.  In fact, I made it so often awhile back that I had to take a break from it for a time, and just tonight I made it again.  No wonder I used to make it so often! It is so tasty and so easy! It’s easy, but it tastes like something special.  I think it’s the baking of the chicken in the foil packet.  The foil keeps in all that moisture, and the lemon juice, olive oil, and tarragon blend together so nicely.  This recipe is very loosely adapted from a cookbook called 365 Ways to Cook Chicken by Cheryl Sedaker. Over the years I have tweaked it here and there to fit our tastes.

Do you ever feel like the forces of chaos have been unleashed into your life?  That’s how I have been feeling this week, and in times like that, it’s good to fall back on a meal that is reliable, comforting, and nourishing.  I can’t even quite explain what has been going on–I think it’s just a lot of little things happening all at once.  In any case, food is a constant, food is a comfort.  We all have to eat, no matter what is going on, or how crazy our days can become. If we can make eating enjoyable and restorative, then we are doing one important thing toward fostering a feeling of goodwill, toward building up rather than breaking down.  And if we can pick some flowers and put them in a vase, so much the better!

lemon chicken tarragon with linen 1One thing I love about this recipe is that there is minimal prep work, and then it bakes in the oven for twenty minutes.  During that twenty minutes this evening, I also put some asparagus, mixed with garlic and Parmesan cheese, in the oven to roast along with the chicken, and then threw together some mashed potatoes. It all came together pretty quickly, yet it tasted like a real meal that took lots of time to prepare.  Super-satisfying, yet easy on the one doing the cooking.

I hope you all have a great weekend! This is the perfect time to eat outdoors as much as possible, and don’t forget to marvel at all the beautiful flowers! I am adding this recipe to Angie’s Fiesta Friday, co-hosted this week by Quinn @ dadwhats4dinner and Elaine @ Foodbod.lemon tarragon chicken in foilsweet peas in the window

Lemon Tarragon Chicken

  • Servings: 4
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Ingredients:

  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, pounded to 1/4 inch thickness
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups of fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried tarragon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 4 teaspoons of lemon juice

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, chopped onion, tarragon, salt, and lemon juice. Stir well.

Tear off four sheets of heavy-duty aluminum foil, about 12 by 18 inches.  Line them up on your counter. Place a chicken breast on the lower half of each piece of foil. Season the chicken with salt and pepper.  Evenly top each piece with the mushroom slices.  Spoon the olive oil-lemon juice mixture evenly over each piece of chicken and mushrooms.

Fold the upper half of the foil down and seal it with the lower half. Make a series of locked folds all the way around the foil to seal each foil packet. Fold the edges for a tighter seal, while still allowing room for the heat to circulate and expand. Place the foil packets on a baking sheet and bake in your 450-degree oven for 20 minutes, or until the chicken is done and no longer pink. Cut an X in the top of each foil packet, fold the foil back, and transfer the chicken and mushrooms to a plate.  Pour the remaining juices over the chicken, if desired. Serve with potatoes, rice, or a grain of your choice, plus a vegetable and/or salad. Enjoy!

 

 

Asparagus Potato Naan

Tender asparagus, thinly sliced baby potatoes, minced garlic, and Parmesan cheese on top of naan flatbread creates a quick, light meal or tasty appetizers.  Naan bread is endlessly versatile and can be the base for so many different types of flatbread pizzas.  This asparagus potato naan recipe features delicious, tender vegetables, and can be on your table in about 20 minutes.

asparagus potato naan on benchPotatoes and asparagus are not only in season right now, but they are also a great combination.  If you have never tried potatoes on flatbread, you should give it a try. The creaminess of cooked potatoes with melted cheese, all on top of a warm flatbread–it is delicious, especially when the tender-fresh crunch of asparagus is added.  While at first the thought of pairing of potatoes and flatbread may sound like a carb overload, it really isn’t in this case, since the naan flatbread is thin and the layer of potatoes is also thin.

DSC_0857This is a great summer meal when you are in a hurry and need to make something nourishing, or if you have guests over and want to serve them some fun, seasonal appetizers, out on the porch or deck, with a cold beverage and great conversation.  Can you tell I am wanting to invite some people over for dinner soon?  I am.  It has been a hectic spring, and we haven’t had much time to relax over our food and drinks.  Now the kids are out of school (as of today!) and their sports schedules are in somewhat of a lull for a month or so.  Our evenings and weekends are opening up.  It’s time to slow down and linger outside, letting conversations develop and quiet moments blossom.

It’s time to enjoy nature, including asparagus and potatoes, and soon the cherries and wild black raspberries growing right in our yard.  I just made the first strawberry shortcake of the season last night, and the strawberries were so fresh! Savoring the fruits and vegetables that are in season helps me feel like I am in the moment and experiencing life as it is unfolding.  Every last day of school since my kids have started school, I have felt emotional and bittersweet.  One era is ending as another is beginning.  Sometimes it can be hard to let things go, and sometimes we can’t wait to move on.  As I cannot believe how fast they are growing and sometimes want to slow time down, my kids are excited to move on to the next phase. Time passes regardless of how quickly or slowly we want it to go.  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!  This week’s Fiesta Friday is co-hosted by Lindy @ Love in the Kitchen and Liz @ spades, spatulas & spoons.   potatoes and asparagusasparagus potato naan on baking sheetasparagus potato naan white and green 2

Asparagus Potato Naan

  • Servings: 2-4
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Ingredients:

  • 4-6 small potatoes (red or gold), thinly sliced
  • 1/2 pound of fresh asparagus, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 naan flatbreads (about 250 g or 8.8 oz in a package of 2)
  • about 1 cup of Parmesan cheese (other cheese can be used, if desired)

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and place the naan pieces on top of the parchment paper.

Wash the potatoes and asparagus.  Slice the potatoes very thinly.  Snap the tough ends off of the asparagus stalks and then chop the stalks into small pieces.  In a large skillet, heat one tablespoon of the olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add the sliced potatoes and toss gently for a couple of minutes, until the potatoes are just golden.  Remove from heat.

Pour the remaining olive oil into a shallow bowl.  Mince the garlic mix it in with the olive oil.  Brush the naan pieces with olive oil/garlic (with the bubbly side of the naan facing up).  Spread the potatoes in over the flatbread pieces in an even layer, then top with the chopped asparagus.  Sprinkle the cheese on top of the vegetables.  Place the baking sheet into your oven and bake at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes, or until the asparagus is tender and the cheese is melted.

Allow to cool slightly and slice into pieces. Enjoy!

asparagus and potato naan with dog

 

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