Ally's Sweet & Savory Eats: June 2019

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Blueberry Cream Oatmeal Crumb Bars

Who doesn't love a juicy blueberry sandwiched between layers of greatness?
Everyone I'm assuming.  
These bars are are creamy, crunchy and the perfect treat.

blueberry cream oatmeal crumb bars

The month of June is breezing by and I feel I have not done my food blogger duty to present you with fun, Summer fruit dessert recipes.

That's changing today!

In fact yesterday after morning Vacation Bible School {which I'm in charge of craft}and sending all three kids off in different directions after lunch {girls to swim with friends, oldest boy to ride bikes with buddies} I got to work on this dessert.

I wanted to feature a juicy Summer berry!

blueberry cream oatmeal crumb bars

Did you catch that part about June being almost over?  How did this happen?  Fourth of July is literally right around the corner and I feel like our Summer just started.

I've yet to get to a Saturday morning Farmer's Market {which pains me....}, I've yet to make my annual strawberry freezer jam and I still have not visited a pool.

Who am I?

I did sit my butt on the back deck last night after dinner and literally just SAT THERE.  It was so nice.  The weather was gorgeous, I did not have any gnats or mosquitos bothering me, my flowers looked beautiful and I had decided the laundry could wait.

blueberry cream oatmeal crumb bars

Sometimes the best parts of Summer are just sitting back and doing nothing, you know?  It was nice.  Plus, I knew one of these bars were waiting for me in the fridge after dinner!

I had a TON of good blueberries in the freezer.  I usually buy a few bags of the organic berries at ALDI each grocery trip mainly for smoothies, yet as you can see sometimes they also get thrown into desserts.

Fresh or frozen, it doesn't matter in this treat, use either!  Frozen are just as good as fresh as most are frozen flash style right after picking.  They are just as good.

blueberry cream oatemal crumb bars

I love a good crumbly bar, so I sandwiched these blueberries {plus, an incredible cheese, more on that in a bit} in between two soft crumbly layers of flour, oats, brown sugar, vanilla and butter.

As butter makes everything better.

Half of the mixture gets pressed on the bottom and the other half gets crumbled over the top making a pretty darn good sandwich to me!  A fruit sandwich that is.

But let's get to the really good part, that middle blueberry layer.  It is simply a can of sweetened condensed milk, fresh or frozen blueberries and 6.5 oz tub of Alouette Blueberry Vanilla spreadable cheese.

Yes, cheese!

This post is not sponsored by Alouette, I just finally got to try this cheese that everyone is talking about.  I found it at ALDI for just $2.99 a tub {so naturally I picked up four of them}.  I also got their Toasted Everything, Spinach and Artichoke and their Garlic and Herb.  It sells at most national retailers, including Walmart, but if you still can't find it, simply replace it with your favorite sweet {preferably blueberry} flavored cream cheese.

blueberry cream oatmeal crumb bars

My kids {and the husband} loved these bars!  It really is the perfect Summer treat.  Also great to bring to a family gathering or next week for the 4th of July.

If you give these a try be sure to tell me!  Snap a photo and share with your friends.  If you tag me {@sweetsavoryeats} I'll be sure to write you back and share the love.  My food blog is a labor of love and my readers sharing my recipes is my greatest source of marketing.

I hope you are enjoying your Summer.

Give these delicious sweet bars a try!

Blueberry Cream Oatmeal Crumb Bars


Yield: 24
Author: Ally
prep time: 10 Mcook time: 45 Mtotal time: 55 M
Sweet and juicy blueberries are layered in between a creamy sweet filling and a salty, crumbly oatmeal crust. A dessert bar that you will make all Summer long!

ingredients:

Crumb/Crust Layer
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 2 sticks butter, softened
Filling
  • 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 6.5 oz Alouette Blueberry Vanilla spreadable cheese (or any blueberry flavored cream cheese)
  • 2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen, patted dry

instructions:

How to cook Blueberry Cream Oatmeal Crumb Bars

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Layer a 9x13 baking pan with foil, extending the edges to fold over the sides of the pan.  This will serve as easy handles to remove from the pan later.
  2. In a large bowl combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder and vanilla.  Using a pastry blender or fork cut in the butter until the mixture is crumbly.  Set aside 2 1/2 cups of this mixture for the top layer.  Place the remaining into the bottom of the 9x13 pan, pressing flat.  Bake this for 10 minutes.
  3. While the crust is baking in another bowl mix together the filling.  Using a whisk combine the sweetened condensed milk and blueberry vanilla cheese until smooth.
  4. Remove the crust from the oven.  Layer on the blueberries, then pour the filling mixure over the blueberries. Finally top with the remaining crumb topping.
  5. Bake for another 35 minutes.
  6. Allow to cool for 1 hour, then place in the fridge for 2-4 hours.
  7. Cut the bars into 24 squares and keep stored in the fridge.  The bars will cut much better when chilled.
  8. The bars will stay fresh in the fridge for up to one week.

NOTES:

I used Alouette Blueberry Vanilla spreadable cheese, which is found in all major grocery stores, including ALDI, where I found mine. If you cannot find this type of cheese simply replace it with your favorite flavored brand cream cheese.
Calories
181.61
Fat (grams)
8.72
Sat. Fat (grams)
5.23
Carbs (grams)
23.92
Fiber (grams)
1.45
Net carbs
22.48
Sugar (grams)
10.44
Protein (grams)
2.41
Sodium (milligrams)
139.48
Cholesterol (grams)
21.85
Created using The Recipes Generator

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Mexican Street Corn Salad

Ever eat Mexican Street Corn at the State Fair?
Try your own homemade version in this fun salad!

Mexican Street Corn Salad

I cannot for the life of me understand how it is already mid-June.  So much closer to July than I want it to be!  Summer is already breezing by.  Probably didn't help that school got out much later than usual, but golly in two months I'll be back to school shopping.

Yuck.

Until then it's all Summer around here.  We have two weeks of ball games left, including a big 3-day state tournament jaunt this weekend in Des Moines for our oldest.  If you need me I'll be here packing our entire house for a sun-filled weekend and multiple coolers filled with snacks.

The kids are excited and frankly so are we as parents.....there is no place I'd rather be then watching them play ball.

Once July hits our Summer slows down a bit.  The kids have a few camps {sports and nature camps} and come the first week of August we are off on our annual vacation to Lake Okoboji.  That's about it!

Mexican Street Corn Salad

Today in between watching our neighbor kids, a visit to the library where a local zoo was showcasing some animals and two ball practices I made this incredible Mexican Street Corn Salad.

I was putting together a Mexican inspired meal for my friend who had her third baby on the first of June {only 19 days late!}.  I cooked up my crock pot shredded chicken taco meat the day prior, made a batch of my copycat blender salsa and took the easy route and pulled cookie dough out of the freezer for a sweet treat.

Then I gathered all the fixings; shredded cheese, lettuce, sour cream, avocado, tortilla chips....and well, what do you know it became a yummy meal!

In case you are wondering here is a popular post about how I take meals to my friends who are in need.  SEE HERE.

Mexican Street Corn Salad

Have you ever had Mexican Street Corn at a fair?

It's deeeeeeeeeeeeelicious.

The combination of sweet grilled corn spread with mayo, cilantro and seasonings and then rolled in cojita cheese {a hard, crumbly, salty Spanish cheese} is just down right sinful.

It sounds a bit odd for us Midwestern fans who only ever eat sweet corn in July and August when it's fresh and slathered with butter, but trust me when I say this is a new way to try out corn!

Mexican Street Corn Salad

We ate this as a side with our chicken tacos last night, but it's also super great on grilled chicken, steak or fish.  Eaten cold or served warm, as a dip with tortilla chips or just straight out the bowl with a spoon....THIS STUFF IS ADDICTING.

You might be bringing this to every warm Summer gathering until Labor Day, it's that good.  If you make it let me know! Tag me on social media {@sweetsavoryeats} and I'll share the love.  

Mexican Street Corn Salad


Yield: 6-8
Author: Ally
prep time: 10 Mcook time: 10 Mtotal time: 20 M
An easier way to eat your favorite Mexican Sweet Corn! Juicy corn, onions, jalapenos, red peppers, and array of spices, lime juice and cotija cheese. The flavors are incredible.

ingredients:

  • 4 cups corn, frozen, fresh or canned, drained
  • 1/2 onion, diced small
  • 2 jalapenos, de-seeded, diced small
  • 1 small sweet red pepper, diced small
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 2 T. mayo
  • 2 T. sour cream
  • 1/2 t. cumin
  • 1/2 t. smoked paprika
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1/4 t. pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cotija cheese, crumbled

instructions:

How to cook Mexican Street Corn Salad

  1. In a skillet heat to medium high heat.  Place the corn in the skillet and saute until all water is absorbed and corn begins to char just a bit, about 5-10 minutes.  Remove from the heat and allow to slightly cool.
  2. In a bowl stir to combine all other ingredients: onion, jalapeno, pepper, lime juice, mayo, sour cream, dried spices, cilantro and half of the crumbled cotija cheese.
  3. Toss in the corn and combine.  Top with the remaining cotija cheese.  
  4. Serve slightly warm or chill in the fridge to eat cold.
  5. Eat plain, with tortilla chips or topped on grilled meats.
Calories
189.60
Fat (grams)
8.89
Sat. Fat (grams)
2.91
Carbs (grams)
26.45
Fiber (grams)
3.61
Net carbs
22.84
Sugar (grams)
6.47
Protein (grams)
6.09
Sodium (milligrams)
367.19
Cholesterol (grams)
14.29
Created using The Recipes Generator

Monday, June 10, 2019

Sweet Glazed Ham Ball Sliders

I've turned my famous Iowa Ham Balls into a fun slider!
These sweet bites of heaven sit on top grilled pineapple and a soft Hawaiian bun.

This post is sponsored by Iowa Pork. All opinions are my own.

sweet glazed ham ball sliders

Summer is HERE.

Finally! We've waited awhile around the Midwest and I'm happy to say it is now full on shorts and bug weather.  Yes, the two come hand in hand and I'm not complaining.

The kids JUST finished school {again, horrible winter} and are super happy I am no longer dragging them out of bed at 7 a.m. and shoving them out the door 40 minutes later.  Our mornings are a bit more relaxed, but our days are still just as busy.  

We may or may not have had 11 ball games last week.  Yes, you read that right, ELEVEN.  But, you know what?  I wouldn't have it any other way.  The kids love it, the husband coaches them all and I want to be no other place then on the sideline watching them play.  

So many memories being made.

sweet glazed ham ball sliders

Our meals have been hit and miss to start this busy Summer season and I've learned to just let that go.  Many nights we are rummaging the fridge at 8 p.m. just getting home and well, we all survive until the next day so I'm trying to not get hung up on it too much.

BUT....a few times a week, even if we are busy I like to put a hot, put-together meal in front of them, so they don't feel Mom only serves them cold meat sandwiches during the months of June through August.

These Sweet Glazed Ham Ball Sliders made their official appearance last week.  To RAVE reviews and shouts of glory.  Well, maybe not "shouts of glory" but everyone gobbled and stuffed their faces and went to bed with full bellies.

sweet glazed ham ball sliders

My long time friends at Iowa Pork have partnered together on this fun recipe post, along with my new friends at Fareway Stores.  Together we've really made a delicious one!

In case you've been living under a rock, the state of Iowa raises 1/3 of all pork eaten in the United States.  That's a lot!  We have a lot of pigs and we are pretty proud of it.  This means wherever you live in the states you are helping to support Iowa farmers.

Thank you.

As a family we buy most of our pork locally directly from the farmer, which means I often have it all on hand in my deep freeze {bacon, ground sausage, roasts, brats, chops, etc.}.  Saying this I do purchase my beloved HAM LOAF from Fareway Stores {a favorite Iowa grocery chain}.  They are the only ones I've found that have it ready and made at their meat counter.

Ham loaf is simply a combination of half ground pork and half ground ham.  If you aren't in the Midwest close to a Fareway, you can ask your butcher to grind up this combination for you.  This ham loaf mixture is most commonly used for a popular Iowa dish called ham balls.  

They are a winter comfort food around these parts and we love them!

sweet glazed ham ball sliders

But here's the thing.  It's not winter! It's most definitely now summer and I wanted to lighten up this classic dish a bit and what better way to do that then to turn it into a slider.

I kept the meat mixture relatively the same, along with the glaze, but jazzed it up my basting that tender burger with the glaze as it cooked and adding some sweet grilled pineapple as a topper.

MY KIDS LOVED THESE.

I brought in the plate of sliders for lunch last week and you would have thought I brought home a new puppy.

sweet glazed ham ball sliders

Sliders continue to be fun and popular and these would be a great party food!  This recipe makes 18 sliders so it can easily feed a hungry crowd.  Serve up a a few fun summer side dishes {perhaps my Chicken Bacon and Ranch Pasta Salad or my Zesty Spaghetti Salad} along with a bowl of fresh fruit and your meal is complete.

Who wouldn't want to come to THAT party?

These sliders also reheat great {tested and approved, we ate them the next day as well} so no worries if you aren't hosting a party and are only feeding your family of five.

They won't last long.

sweet glazed ham ball sliders

I served these sliders on the delicious and famous King's Hawaiian Original Sweet Rolls.  They are soft and sweet and just the right slider size, but feel free to use whatever smaller sandwich bun you can find.

And heck, if you want a "bigger burger" just make into 9 regular sized versions and I'll never know.  You don't need to report it to me....just do what you want!  You'll just need to adjust the cooking times a bit.

Lastly, can we chat about grilled pineapple?  Have you done this?  If you haven't you should.  Just get it slightly charred and watch that pineapple caramelize in front of you....making it super sweet, melting in your mouth.

So, so good.

sweet glazed ham ball sliders

A big summer high-five to Iowa Pork for sponsoring this post and to Fareway for supplying the meat used in this recipe.  I will continue to work with companies in my home state that I love and respect.

Let me know the minute these sweet sliders grace your table!  

Share with me on social media {tag @sweetsavoryeats} and I'll be sure to share the love with my readers and yours.  Let's make these a staple food for all your summer barbecues!

Sweet Glazed Ham Ball Sliders


Yield: 18 sliders
Author: Ally
prep time: 20 Mcook time: 20 Mtotal time: 40 M
This classic Midwestern comfort food has been turned into a slider! A delicious grilled pork burger is slathered in a sweet glaze and sits on top grilled pineapple sandwiched between a sweet Hawaiian bun.

ingredients:

For the sliders:
  • 2 lbs ham loaf (1/2 ground pork, 1/2 ground ham)
  • 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 t pepper
  • 20 oz can pineapple slices, drained
  • King's Hawaiian Original Sweet Rolls
For the glaze:
  • 1 10.5 oz can tomato soup
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white distilled vinegar
  • 1 t. yellow mustard

instructions:

How to cook Sweet Glazed Ham Ball Sliders

  1. Preheat your outdoor grill to medium-high heat.
  2. In a large bowl combine the slider ingredients mixing together with your hands gently.  Form into 18 balls, just slightly pressing down with your fingers to make a small burger.  Lay on a sheet pan and set aside.
  3. In another bowl combine the glaze ingredients and whisk together.  Set aside.
  4. When the grill is hot, start grilling the pineapple slices, about 3-4 minutes a side or until just slightly charred.  Remove from the grill and set aside.
  5. Lay the sliders on the grill basting the tops with the glaze.  Grill 8 minutes a side, continuing to baste in the glaze when flipping sides. When done remove from the grill and add additional glaze if needed.
  6. To assemble the sliders lay the bottom half of the Hawaiian slider bun on a plate, then layer on the grilled pineapple, glazed slider and top bun.  Serve warm.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Honey Mustard Chicken and Bacon Skewers

Grilling season has finally arrived! 
These Honey Mustard Chicken and Bacon Skewers will be at the top of your
 menu this Summer.

honey mustard chicken and bacon skewers

Disclosure: The original recipe creation for these Honey Mustard Chicken and Bacon Skewers was sponsored by McCormick® at Walmart. All opinions are my own. 

Nothing makes me more excited than a great summer meal on the grill. Most of us, at least us in the upper half of the country, have been cooped in and we can now finally walk outside and enjoy the weather! 

Give me a warm, freshly grilled dinner on my back patio, and a drink in hand, and I'm set. I really need nothing else to finish off my day. It's relaxing. It's fun! In the summer, our kids ask to eat dinner outside almost every night. We don't always give in to them {hello, mosquitoes and flies}, but when the setting is right we do say yes. 

The days are longer in the summer for a reason....TO ENJOY THEM.

honey mustard chicken and bacon skewers

If you follow me on my blog's Facebook page {you should!} then you recently saw these Honey Mustard Chicken and Bacon Skewers that I showcased in partnership with French’s® Yellow Mustard and Lawry’s® Seasoned Salt purchased at Walmart. 

It was so fun to develop a recipe that screamed Summer and on skewers nonetheless! My kids will eat anything when it's presented in a fun way. Plus, the flavors of honey mustard is always a safe bet for most anymore. 

And if you know me well, you know that my recipes are easy and the ingredient list is simple and fairly short. I don't do complicated things. So this recipe only has seven ingredients, two of them being the chicken and bacon. 

It can't get much simpler than that. 

Even better these skewers can be served hot straight off the grill {slathered with more of that honey mustard of course} or they can be served at room temperature on a buffet. They are easy and fun to eat, especially for the kids. 

Just throw away those used skewers so sword fights don't ensue! 

When you get a chance to make these let me know! If you share them on social media be sure to tag me {@sweetsavoryeats} and I'll make a point to share with my followers as well. I like to share the love!

honey mustard chicken and bacon skewers



Honey Mustard Chicken & Bacon Skewers


Yield: Makes 12, serves 4
Author:
prep time: 10 Mcook time: 14 Mtotal time: 24 M
This simple Summer chicken dish is a family favorite! The homemade honey mustard dressing makes this chicken juicy and flavorful.

ingredients:

  • 12 boneless, skinless chicken tenders 
  • 12 strips of bacon 
  • 1 cup French’s® Yellow Mustard 
  • ½ cup honey 
  • 2 tbsp. pure maple syrup 
  • 1 tsp. fresh minced garlic 
  • 2 tsp. Lawry’s® Seasoned Salt 
  • 12 wooden skewers

instructions:

How to cook Honey Mustard Chicken & Bacon Skewers

  1. In a shallow pan, soak the wooden skewers in water while prepping the chicken. This will help to have the skewers not burn during the grilling process. 
  2. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Lightly spray the grill with cooking spray. In a bowl combine the mustard, honey, maple syrup and garlic, whisk together and set aside. Remove about ¼ cup of this mixture and save in a separate bowl (this will be used to baste after grilling right before serving). 
  3. To assemble the skewers: lay a piece of bacon right next to the chicken tender on a cutting board, so they are laying vertically next to each other. Take the skewer and weave through the bacon and chicken until all the meat is pierced and held together. Lay on a platter and continue assembling until all 12 pieces are done.  Sprinkle the skewers with the Lawry’s® Seasoned Salt. 
  4. Right before grilling liberally baste the chicken and bacon on both sides with the honey mustard. Grill the skewers about 5-7 minutes a side, or when both sides are slightly charred and cooked through. 
  5. Remove from the grill and right before serving baste the skewers again with the reserved ¼ cup of the honey mustard. Serve warm.
Created using The Recipes Generator