hey team! so, the last time i was here it was the end of summer, we were getting ready to go to hawaii, soak up the sun, and get married… now, it’s fall, we’re in the middle of pumpkin season, and we’ve been married for two months. go us!
the wedding was everything. amazing, beautiful, wonderful, so much food, so much sun, so much hawaii. seriously, we couldn’t have asked for a better day! we don’t have all of our pictures yet, but we did get a little sneak peek and they’re the most magical pictures, ever.
married life is pretty much the same as before married life, except now i have a husband and i’m paolo’s wife and that’s kind a big deal and still a little weird, but we’re back to our regular schedule of work and school and we’re getting ready to move again, which is giving me a little/lot of anxiety.
back to regular life is nice because i actually missed baking. coffee cake is one of my favorites and this pumpkin coffee cake with a pecan streusel did not disappoint.
i made a few changes:
- in the batter - i used 1/2 cup of granulated sugar and 1/2 cup of light brown sugar
- in the streusel - i added 1/4 cup of pecans and used 6 tablespoons of butter
- after cooling - i topped the cake with a cinnamon glaze
recipe source: honestly yum
it’s nice to be back on the blog… hopefully, we won’t stay away too long this time!
before these loaves, i had never made zucchini bread. banana bread happens on a regular basis but zucchini bread was one of those things that was on my list to try but i never actually got around to making… thankfully the farmers market had some really gorgeous zucchini a few weeks ago. side note: when did i become the person who thinks that produce is beautiful? i’m not sure, but i’m definitely okay with it!
this recipe is from simply recipes, which is where i found my banana bread recipe as well. i figure if the banana bread is so stinkin’ spot on, this one would be too. good thinkin’ on my part because it was delish. it was moist, had a nice zucchini flavor, and was a little nutty from the toasted walnuts. i skipped the raisins/cranberries option, but maybe next time…. in the fall?
when we get back from the wedding (which is in 12 daysssss!) i’m going to make my baking list for the fall. obviously, it will be a pumpkin extravaganza but i’m having a hard time getting in the mood for fall (for the first time ever in my life) because i have hawaii on my mind so much right now!
recipe source: simply recipes
Whatchu know about a good ol’ salad nicoise! Keepin’ it classic! And tasty of course. This salad was inspired by our good friends, the Draper-Davis clan. Julie’s mom was in town and they had a bit of a pickling party, which is awesome because we get to partake in the goods. Julie’s mom, I’ll call her Auntie Kim because they’re like family, cans and pickles and sews and crochets and makes flower arrangements and this and that and the next all while telling stories. It’s great!
Anyway, they gave us a jar of tuna and a jar of pickled green beans. Immediately went to salad nicoise because I wanted to display and complement the natural flavors of the pickle process. Sooo good!
I just mixed a touch of lemon juice and salt with the tuna and gave it a stir. Simple.
Soft boiled. Bring water to a boil and drop your eggs in for 6:35 and immediately put in ice bath and let rest in the bath for 10 minutes. I peeled ‘em, cut ‘em, and sprinkled paprika
Reds. Roasted at 425 for about 30 minutes with salt, pink peppercorns, scallions, and olive oil.
Cut in half
Placed in the bowl
Placed on top of spinach
I made an anchovy vinaigrette! I blended some garlic, shallots, anchovy filets, lemon juice, white balsamic, and olive oil together and seasoned it with salt and pepper. Blend that bad boy in the blender.
Super tasty. Not fishy at all. It really complemented the dish well and wasn’t over powering. I poured it over the potatoes mostly.
'Til the next dish!
ps. if you were wondering, i didn’t have any nicoise olives to make it “nicoise” so relax.
on sunday, paolo’s BFO (best friend omar) was over for dinner so that we could all work on our wedding ceremony (eeeep!). obviously sunday cake was there, but i also made a fun little appetizer with grilled peaches, ricotta cheese, honey, and basil. i don’t usually foray into the apps & tray-trays territory, but the crostini was just a little sweet and definitely full of summer love. seriously, we can’t get enough of those peaches over here.
i’m really not sure where we found the inspiration for the crostini, we’ve had them a few times, and i think various versions of it are floating around on the interwebs. this was just a baguette that was brushed with olive oil, salt and pepper, toasted for a few minutes, topped with ricotta cheese, grilled peaches, a drizzle of honey, and a few basil leaves. really, do what makes you happy.
the real star of the show was sunday cake. this cake (aka big ol’ cookies) made my whole heart extremely happy. i only had a little piece, curse you weight watchers, but everyone really liked it, so that made me smile. the best part about making this cake was being able to flambé the bananas. bananas, bourbon, fire. so rad.
just a few notes:
- like most recipes, i cut down the sugar and only used 1 cup for the batter
- i used 3 medium bananas that were extra ripe
- i added 2 tablespoons of bourbon to the batter
- i added 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract to the whipped cream
- i used all the bourbon for the banana topping and thought it was so good
- some of the reviews said that they weren’t sure about the sour cream in the whipped cream, i really liked the tanginess and how creamy it was after the sour cream addition. definitely something i’ll be doing again with other cakes
not sure what’s happening for sunday cake this week, but i’m sure the farmer’s market will have something great for inspiration!
recipe source: martha stewart living | august & september 1993
ps. one of thee best things on tv, ever. ever ever.
fresh peaches. toasted almonds. powdered sugar.
breakfast. lunch. dinner. dessert. i made this cake in an 8 inch cake pan, mostly because i wasn’t really paying attention, and i was really excited to eat cake. i was super nervous because it looked like it was going to overflow, but praise beysus, it did not.
totally one of our favorites.
just a few notes:
- i used 2 large eggs (instead of extra large eggs)
- i added an extra 1/2 cup of sour cream to the batter
- i cut down the sugar and only used 1 cup of sugar for the batter
- i topped the cake with sprinkling demerara sugar, about 2 tablespoons
- i substituted the pecans for toasted, slivered almonds and arranged them around the edge of the pan
- after the cake cooled, i added some powdered sugar (ultimate fav)
recipe source: fresh peach cake | ina garten
So I made a bunch of stuff for lunch today that was super tasty and really easy to make. I promise.
The first is Bo Luc Lac, which is a Vietnamese beef salad and it’s incredibly delicious!
It consists of a mix of green and red leaf lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, and beef. The only things to create are the beef and the dressing.
Marinate 1lb of beef in salt, pepper, sesame oil and rice vinegar and then grill.
- Lime juice
- Rice Vinegar
- Canola Oil
- Salt and Pepper
I also made Fresh Rolls!!
There’s so much freedom to this dish, it’s crazy! Take whatever vegetables and protein you want and cut it up. The noodles are Maifun noodles and I used Thai basil, carrots, cucumbers, bean sprouts, green leaf lettuce and grilled chicken and shrimp. The folding takes some practice and can get a little frustrating but push through and it’ll be totally worth it.
Peanut Sauce: Crucial
- Peanut butter
- Coconut milk
- Half a jalapeno
- Sesame oil
- Rice Vinegar
'Til the next dish!
the farmers market is our happy place.
obviously, i still have a special place in my heart for target, but i have become quite content trading in the money i used to spend on nonsense (lipstick, dry shampoo, random sunglasses and knick knacks) to pick up gorgeous produce and flowers from our local farmers market every week.
on thursday we came home with a bag filed with goodies…. fresh sage, swiss chard, radishes, a trio of tiny tomatoes, and the most amazing blackberries and peaches. seriously. i could smell the peaches from a few stands away, they were so fragrant and had just the right amount of sweetness. i really wanted to use them for a pie, but let’s get real ya’ll. pie is hard work. and making pie crust still makes me sweat. so i decided to make a crisp instead.
CRISPS?! where have they been all my life? so easy! so quick! so tasty! we finished the whole thing yesterday, with heaping scoops of vanilla bean ice cream from molly moon’s. i think it’s safe to say that this one was definitely a winner.
i made a few adjustments to the recipe based on some of the reviews and personal preference:
- 4 peaches, peeled and pitted, cut into 1/2 inch thick wedges
- 2 pints of blackberries
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup of granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup of flour
- 1/2 cup of packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup of rolled oats
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp ginger powder
- 6 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
- 3/4 cup of chopped, toasted walnuts
mix and bake as directed. serve warm with your choice of ice cream.
recipe source: epicurious | gourmet july 1991
sunday cake was saturday cake last week. we were on a roll for a little while there, weren’t we? hopefully we’ll be back on track this week… as it stands, i have no plans on sunday, and paolo will be working brunch, which means i will probably finish the west wing and baking a cake. if you watch/ed the west wing. lawd. i’m in love. not just because charlie is gus and gus is my favorite on psych but also because of josiah barlet, i mean, the man needs no words. he’s amazing. so is CJ. that woman is a tall drink of water (literally). clearly, cake and the west wing go hand in hand. cake. the west wing. coffee. that’s my plan for this sunday.
last saturday we had friends over for dinner and i wanted to do something different for dessert. you can thank trader joes for saturday cake because they have fresh figs in stock. right away i knew i wanted to do something with figs and raspberries… i found a recipe online that looked interesting and decided to run with it. it didn’t have any baking soda/powder in it, so i was worried that it was going to be too dense, but it actually ended up being amazing.
i’m not sure that i’m going to be able to do this cake justice with my words… there is lime zest incorporated in the batter, please don’t skip it. it brings this wonderful, fragrant aroma to the cake. it’s not overwhelming or even subtle, it’s definitely just the right amount. the cake seems dense… when inverted it on my cake stand i was worried that the inside wasn’t going to moist, because it felt heavy… but the inside was perfect. the outside is thick but it’s this beautiful crust that protects the fluffiness that’s hidden beneath that layer. the best way to describe this cake is substantial, but fresh.
the recipe calls for a powdered sugar dusting which, obviously i love, but i decided to do a mascarpone whipped cream with lime zest instead… best decision, ever.
recipe source: food & wine
ps. if you have any netflix suggestions, i’m all ears… when the west wing is over (*sigh*) i’ll need something new to watch!
Oh my goodness dudes and dudettes, this is one of my new favorite creations and it’s sooo tasty. Really though. I’ve been making a lot of Middle Eastern and Indian foods lately because we really love the flavors and the spices and when done right, it’s just so damn delectable. I basically made masala lamb, roti, and a sort-of tzatziki sauce.
- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- baking powder
Mix until it forms a ball. Portion out into golf ball portions and then roll out thin, quarter inch. Once rolled, fry in a pan and boom. Done.
- 1.5 lbs of cubed lamb or chicken (1/2”)
- 1 Cup of Yogurt
- 1/2 t of: Curry powder, chili powder, ginger powder, turmeric, garam masala, salt, pepper.
Mix and marinate for a minimum of 4 hours. Overnight preferably.
Bake at 350 for 35 minutes until tender.
- Salt and Pepper
Once everything is ready you can build it like a taco! We added pickled shallots, jalapenos, arugula, and tomatoes. Quite tasty.
'Til the next dish!