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
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!
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!
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
i didn’t do sunday cake last week because i did a lot of baking for the 4th of july… so, we’ll just pretend that thursday cake was sunday cake. my grandma’s birthday is the 4th of july, she’s an amazing woman, the matriarch of our family. this cake is my toast to her.
i know i was happy with this cake because i had it for breakfast the next day. and maybe lunch too. don’t judge. you’ve seen dulce de leche a few times on the blog already… i think it’s totally worth the money. i’m not brave enough to make it on my own, something about boiling a can of condensed milk in a pot makes me cringe. i’m worried that the one time i try to do that, the can will explode everywhere… so i’m perfectly happy buying it from the store. this batch was courtesy of a friend who brought it back from argentina. winning.
i only made a few changes… i skipped the tunnel, added more dulce de leche to the batter, and used mexican vanilla extract.
a sweet dusting of powdered sugar. my absolute favorite.
Here are another couple of dishes that are super super simple. Really Really. I promise.
The hardest part about cooking mussels is the cleaning portion. You have to pull out the “beards” and make sure that they’re still alive. Discard the cracked ones and ones that don’t stay closed. Other than that, you take the mussels and throw them in a pan with about two tablespoons of butter together. Once the butter has melted, toss in some sliced shallots and about a half a cup of white wine and then cover. They’ll let you know when they’re done once they open up. Toss some basil on top, crack pepper and salt, and BOOM! Done.
Same with this one! Cook the pasta (fettuccine, spaghetti, whatever noodle you desire) according to the directions on the pack. Once done, simply toss in olive oil and butter in equal portions, enough to coat the noodles and then some. Crack some pepper, toss some salt, mix, and then top with a nice, nutty cheese like asiago or parmesan. Another one in the bag.
i think i jinxed myself last week. all that talk about sunday cake being relaxing translated to a big, fatty, sunday cake fail! i’m lucky i started baking pretty early in the morning, because i was able to redeem myself with the beautiful blackberry buttermilk cake that you see here. that cake was spectacular. super moist, a little tangy (obvs from the buttermilk), just enough sweetness from the blackberries, and a little hint of citrus from some orange zest.
the big cake fail? well. it started off as a good idea and then ended up being a soupy mess. it was supposed to be a honey mango upside down cake. i’ll say a few things. 1. lots of folks seem to be up in arms about the idea of actually baking mango, which i understand, it’s so good when it’s fresh. 2. i totally don’t know how to bake with honey yet, i feel like a little bit goes a long way and sometimes i have great success (ie: honey rosemary shortbread) and other times it’s a big thumbs down. in this case, even though i cut down the amount, it totallllly overpowered the mango. 3. upside down cakes are finicky, this cake? the top was still undercooked and the bottom was almost burned. i have no ideas.
at some point, i’m going to try and make it again, but with a few tweaks because i think the base is there and i’m sure it has the potential to be fabulous… but i didn’t attempt to make it again on sunday, i just moved onto something else that i had saved in my, bake-one-day-when-i-have-time-file.
i’m glad that the blackberry buttermilk cake worked out, because two cake fails in one day would have been too much for me. i would have had a wine pity party, for one.
not sure what i’m making yet this week… but hopefully it’s not a hot mess.
ps. our blog turned 2 this week! happy birthday to us!
one of the best things about living in seattle is the food. amazing food is everywhere. restaurants, cafes, bakeries, coffee shops, farmers markets. literally, everywhere. we’re pretty adventurous when it comes to trying new places, but i think that 9/10 if we are given the opportunity to go out or make dinner at home, we pick making dinner at home (by making dinner at home, i mean, i drink wine and paolo cooks). we love our kitchen and there is something very gratifying about making food that is delicious, sustainable, and satisfying.
but, we made a deal to get out a little more and really embrace the city we live in… here are 10 places (in no particular order) on our summer bites list. if you have any other recommendations, we’d love to hear them… or if you want to come along for the ride, we’d love the company! we’ll cross them off the list as we go, hopefully we’ll be able to get a little review up as well…
the only other thing i’ll say is that even though a few of these places are on the extra pricey side, seattle doesn’t skimp out on the cheap bites either. a $6 bowl of pho will always be one of my favorite things in the whole wide world.
sunday cake day has been a big success in our little apartment. it’s been great for me, because it gives me time to focus on myself and do something that i love with no stress. it’s been great for paolo because gets to eat more cake, obvs.
the new job has been interesting… it’s definitely been a big culture shock, it’s super quiet in the office, everyone is sort of in their own little world, and a lot of the acronyms are still going over my head, but, i’m pushing through… and i’m hopeful that in a few weeks, everything will feel a little more settled.
with so much change, it feels nice to be in the kitchen with butter, flour, sugar, and delicious, local fruit, creating something that is comforting. doing something that i know. doing something that i know i’m good at. it’s important to feel value in what you’re doing, and for me, right now… that’s in our kitchen. with sunday cake.
plums soaked in brandy helps too.
a few notes:
i made this in an 8” cake pan with no issues
i used 1 tbs of rosemary, that was enough to be fragrant, but not overpowering, for me
2 tbs of buttermilk didn’t seem like enough when i was mixing the batter, but it totally worked
i was feeling nervous about pouring the remaining brandy over the cake, so i only brushed a little over the top. thumbs down. don’t be like me. use all of that goodness!
Bruschetta is easily one of my most favorite apps. It’s grilled or toasted bread topped with anything you want!
This one was simple as usual.
Start with a good bread, obviously. I like to grill it to give a nice crunch on the outside while still keeping it soft toward the middle. Once grilled, I quickly rubbed butter to give it a nice sheen and flavor.
Sautéed squid (body and tentacles(my favorite part)) with salt, pepper, and olive oil.
Grilled lemons. I thinly slice the lemons and grilled them on both sides to give it a good char. A nice ripe lemon works well so that they don’t dry out completely. Then chop them, almost a mince. Mix the lemons with chopped parsley and salt and pepper.
Oh yea. I also made some aioli. Egg yolks. A touch of mustard. Garlic cloves. Blitz them in a blender and then slowly trickle olive oil in until you reach a thick consistency. It’s rad!
sunday cake. this recipe is from smoke & pickles by chef edward lee. the book is wonderful, fabulous pictures, lots of great stories, and the recipes are pretty fantastic. a blend of southern food with asian influences. basically, my dream come true.
there is a strong german influence in the part of kentucky where chef lee lives. so, you can thank deutschland for this little beauty right here. my mom is from a little town in germany and she learned to speak english by watching days of our lives when she moved to the states. that’s how they picked my name… jennifer. super 80s. i spoke german fluently until i was about 3 years old. in high school i took german for a year, my name was elsa (which is also my maternal grandmother’s name), and while the language sort came back quickly, it still felt very foreign.
i’m not connected to my german roots, i don’t have a relationship my mom and my grandmother passed away last year, but i couldn’t help but think about them a little bit when i made this cake. it was an interesting feeling… one that i’m sure i want to have again anytime soon, but in the end, at least there was tasty cake.
just a few notes:
i used super ripe peaches & rhubarb for this recipe
don’t skip the pistachios… they were the best part
i used granulated vanilla bean sugar for the topping, next time i’ll use demerera sugar instead
i made this in a spring form pan, instead of the 9x13 baking dish that is suggested in the book
buttermilk whipped cream = new best thing ever
6 tbs unsalted butter at room temp (plus more for the baking pan)
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3 ounces cream cheese at room temp
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 large peaches, pitted , and cut into wedges
4 ounces rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 1/2 inch pieces (about 3/4 cup)
1/2 cup crushed pistachios
2 tbs demerera sugar
2 tbs unsalted butter, cut into pieces
preheat the oven 375F and butter a 9 inch springform pan
with a fork, combine the flour, baking powder and salt, in a small bowl
in the standing bowl mixer, with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla on medium-high speed for 3-5 minutes, or until light and fluffy
add the eggs, one at a time, and buttermilk, and mix until thoroughly combined, about 2-3 minutes
with the mixer on low, slowly add the flour mixture, until the batter is smooth, scrape the sides of the bowl as necessary
pour the batter into the springform pan, place the fruit over the batter, and press down slightly. top with pistachios, sugar, and butter pieces
bake for 50-60 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean and the cake is golden brown
remove from the oven, cool on a wire rack, serve with fresh buttermilk whipped cream
buttermilk whipped cream
1 cup heavy cream
6 tbs buttermilk
3 tbs powdered sugar
combine heavy cream, buttermilk, and powdered sugar, in a standing bowl mixer, that has been sitting in the fridge for 30 minutes
beat with the whisk attachment until low peaks form, about 3-5 minutes
You already know I love pizza! Here’s another pizza that I created for an at-home date night. Lately I’ve been using ricotta cheese as the base instead of a tomato sauce and we really like it. It’s a nice change up with a richer texture. You should try it.
Whole milk ricotta cheese
Caramelized red onions
Haloumi (the coolest cheese ever. you can literally grill or pan fry it and it doesn’t melt everywhere. awesome)
1 C White balsamic
1/3 C brown sugar
Mix in sauce pot and bring to boil. Let it boil for about 5 minutes and simmer for about 10 and then let it cool.
remember that one time we decided to move to seattle, paolo started culinary school, he started working at met market, then he quit met market, he started working at revel, he basically has no days off, i was taking the bus to and from work everyday, job searching, finally got a new job, oh, and we were planning a wedding? yeah. that time. let’s not ever do that again.
that is all.
back to the cookies… i made these to refill our cookie jar. a little more sophisticated than the chocolate chips cookies that are usually in there, but oh my, definitely a winner. the honey flavor is subtle but so right and the rosemary is fragrant but not overpowering. they got a little sprinkling of granulated vanilla sugar before baking which brought everything together. these may find themselves at home the cookie jar on a regular basis!
enjoy with a cup of tea or coffee or a heaping scoop of vanilla ice cream for dessert.
paolo started working brunch at revel. so he’s gone every saturday and sunday from about 7:00-4:30 or 5:00. i’ve been catching up on the west wing, reading lots of books, exploring queen anne, and trying to bake regularly. sunday mornings have been for baking. a new week. a new cake. so far so good.
does ina ever do you wrong? i didn’t think so. this cake is moist, flavorful, and the textures are wonderful. so, i know those blueberries sank to the bottom, but i tossed them in flour, and it still happened. i honestly think it works, bc it’s sort of layered. blueberry bottom, fluffy cake, and the crunchy crumble.
a few notes…
i added 1 teaspoon of lemon extract
i used about 1 1/2 cups of blueberries
the crumble is super easy to make and very tasty, but there is A LOT of it, next time i’ll cut the portion down to 1/2 or 3/4 of the amount
this is essentially the same thing that i posted last week… i would say sorry, but really, sorry i’m not sorry. not a ton of originality happening over here. but that’s okay in my book, because what is happening over here is delicious cake.
this beauty took about 15 mins to whip up and another 25 minutes in the oven. we finished it off with a little bit of creme fraiche and some lemon zest.
This was dinner a couple weeks ago! Omar came over and as usual we made a good ol’ home made meal.
I used a mix of romaine and arugula but feel free to use whatever greens you’d like. I also layered some shallots, heirloom tomato, and radish. I also topped it with some smashed mozzarella.
Blood Orange Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper
Risotto is one of those dishes that is always going to take a long time. It’s a sensitive and delicate dish. Not that it’s hard to make, you just can’t rush it. I cooked it in all the normal ingredients like white wine, garlic, added shiitake for texture and flavor. What I was really trying to perfect was the the soft boiled egg. I didn’t quite cook it properly on the first go-around but that’s no big. It was still awesome though!
this recipe is a regular in our home. honestly, i use the same banana bread recipe, every single time. sometimes, i think i want to get fancy and add stuff (nuts, booze, dried fruit, chocolate chips) but the reality is, less is more. this banana bread doesn’t need anything fancy to make it amazing. it’s already amazing.
instead of a standard loaf, i made a few mini loaves. obviously, they’re even better in tiny loaf bread pans.
It was Cinco de Mayo yesterday and we really had no intentions of “celebrating” because we have no ties to it. Most people don’t even know the significance of it (I do, btw). It’s just a good excuse for people to drink cervezas and eat tacos. Anywho, we were going to eat sushi but Jenn convinced me to do otherwise because I’m rarely home anymore to make her a delicious home made meal. So I did!
Salt and Pepper
I roasted the poblano to give it a nice charred flavor and to take the skin off. I put the hominy, beans, and chorizo in a pan and cooked them together and then stuff the poblano. Quite simple really. Then I put it in the oven at 425 and baked it for about 15 minutes.
I also made home made tortillas!
4:3 ratio of masa to water. Mix until it’s all incorporated and pretty much the consistency of play-doh. Form into balls and them press it between two flat surfaces. Then heat on both sides in a pan and voila!
Cauliflower soup is super easy to make. Just boil or steam a couple of heads of cauliflower and a few cloves of garlic until extremely tender and then mash in the pot. Add about 2 quarts of chicken stock and purée with an emulsion blender or even in a regular blender until you get a nice, smooth, soupy consistency. Add a bit of heavy cream and give a good stir and voila! Season with salt and pepper. I topped mine off with fried garlic, purple cauliflower and romanesco broccoli.
So Met Market had a coupon for a buy one get one free dry aged steak so of course we got some!
This is what I made with a leftover one. I used it for the appetizer. It’s more of a carpaccio than anything. I quickly seared the steak on each side for about 45 seconds just to get a good flavor and still leaving the middle raw. Then I sliced it up suuuuuper thin and put in on a good sourdough baguette.
Oh and I made a quick relish from apples, shallots, and sage, tossed some olive oil, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, and a touch of brown sugar. I mixed it all up and then let it sit for about 30 minutes in the fridge. Plate it as such and voila!
longest name, ever. no big, these cookies are totally worth it. i’ve been making these cookies consistently for the last few months. i think the first time i made them was for thanksgiving and i probably make a new batch once a week. they’re paolo’s favorite cookie, that’s saying something, because we eat a lot of cookies. they have been christmas presents, dessert for dinner parties, just-because-it’s-wednesday cookies, breakfast, and everything in between.
i’m not sure who decided browning butter was a good idea, but that person deserves a big mouth kiss. it’s my favorite smell… so nutty and fragrant. i’ve said it before, but make sure you really keep an eye on the butter. it goes from amazing to nooooo good in zero point five seconds. and noooo good is really noooo good. burned butter=not anything close to as amazing as browned butter. you want those pretty little flecks of brown butter, after the foam clears, and you start to see it clear up with flecks at the bottom of the pan. that’s when it’s prime.
this recipe is from joy the baker’s cookbook. i use a large cookie scoop, omit the walnuts, add an extra 1/2 cup of chocolate chip cookies, and add a little bit of sea salt to the top of each cookie before baking. mmmmmm.
it’s no big secret around these parts that i don’t do a lot of cooking. baking? obviously. cooking? uhnotsomuch. it’s not really my thing. there too many options. too many things you can change. so much ambiguity. i like baking because there is a process. a system. it makes sense for my type A brain.
but, paolo works until almost 11 most nights… and well, if you know me. that’s waaaaay too late for dinner (and past my bedtime if we’re being honest). i was getting a little tired of cereal and pre-packaged trader joes meals so, i started making breakfast sandwiches for dinner. brinner, people! it’s thee shiiiet.
listen. my over easy egg game is HOT FIIIYYYAAAA. do you see that egg? it’s magnificent! the white is all the way cooked through. the egg yolk is still runny and buttery. topped with a little sea salt, fresh cracked pepper, and red pepper flakes. i told paolo to watch out. i’m steppin’ up my game.
the key to making an egg like this is low heat, it takes about 5 minutes after the pan has warmed up. toss in a little bit of butter, crack the egg, and then let it do the work.
dinner=english muffin with a slice of munster cheese, a slice of prosciutto, over easy egg, and half an avocado.
hi friends! so, i know it’s been a while, but we have a good reason. we’re engaged! we’re looking at a september wedding, so we only have a few months for planning, which means that we’re already in the swing of things.
ceremony. reception. wedding dress shopping. talking to caterers. flowers. flights. hotels. so. much. to. do.
we’re hoping to have most of the big things finalized in the next couple of weeks, please keep your fingers crossed for us!
back to cake-last weekend my auntie meling was in town from saipan and we celebrated her birthday. she doesn’t love super sweet things so i thought this vanilla bean bundt cake was perfect. i finished off the cake with pile of the prettiest raspberries and a sprig of mint (but didn’t get a pic-sorry).
side note: i actually ended up baking two of these cakes. so, maybe drinking red wine and baking cake doesn’t totallllly go together. because the first cake was missing a stick of butter. whoops.
this is definitely one of my favorite recipes. it will be a staple in our home for brunch and long weekends!
First, forgive me for my horrible photo skills. I am unlike like lady who is really awesome with phone photography so hopefully it still looks appealing. (just joking. hello, new photo.)
As you may or may not know, I’m in culinary school at Seattle Central Community College and it’s my first quarter so we’re learning basic things and one of those basics is knife skills.
I created this dish because I wanted to work on my Brunoise cut which is 1/8x1/8x1/8 inch. It’s a pretty tedious cut but it’s one I need to know. I did that to a pear and a red onion and made a
Pear and Red Onion Relish:
1/2 cup brunoise pear
1/2 cup brunoise red onion
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
pinch of dried parsley
drizzle of olive oil
salt and pepper
I made a really small cut because I knew that I was only going to make a quick pickle so a smaller cut means less time to sit and soak up the liquid.
From there I made
Potato and Crab cake:
1 russet potato
1 container of crab claw meat
1/4 cup green onion
Boil and mash potato with skin on. Mix everything together. Form and dip into an egg wash and then panko and fry that baby up!
Underneath is a
1 head of cauliflower
1 tbsp butter
1/4 cup cream
Cut and Boil the Cauliflower until extremely tender. Stick a fork into the stalk and it shouldn’t even stick to it. Drain and let drain for a minute or two to get rid of all the water. Once drained, place back into pan and mash. Mix in butter, cream, salt and pepper. Give a quick mix and then pureè with hand blender.
I drizzled some Harissa Infused Olive Oil around the edge for some kick. Harissa is a Tunisian pepper.
And that’s it! That easy! All because I needed to practice my knife skills (which I need to work on)
it looks like p forgot about the rest of our italian brunch from a few weeks back. i’m sure he’ll post everything else soon enough. it’s been a little crazy lately. p just started a new job (yay! for met market) and he got into culinary school (double yay!) which means that we’re moving (not so yay) and trying to find a new place in the middle of the holiday season (again not so yay) so don’t mind the awkward silence that’s happening around here. once we get back in our groove, i promise it’ll be worth it.
anyways… technically, according to anne burrell-who rocks my socks-these have a fancy name, tarallucci. best i can tell is that tarallucci can really mean any sort of italian cookie and they can be either sweet or savory. these aren’t very sweet, but they are nice and buttery. yummm. they are also supposed to be piped into the most beautiful little circles with a star tip but, i’ve made this recipe twice with no luck in the piping department. the dough is always too thick, so i decided to improvise, rolled out the dough and used a ravioli cutter to get a fun shape. they still turned out amazing and they are really simple to make (minus the piping catastrophe).
if you make these and you are able to pipe the dough, please tell me all your secrets!
MMMMMM!!!!! Omar came over the other day for brunch. Jenn suggested that it have an Italian theme…and that’s exactly what we did! These are super delish AND super light!
I’m going to post everything I made in 3 parts as there were 3 dishes.
We’ll start with dessert.
Zeppoles are basically the Italian version of a beignet and they’re super easy to make.
1/2 cup water
stick of butter
1/4 cup sugar
Rosemary leaves chopped
Put all those ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, take out the Rosemary sprig and add 1 cup of flour. Remove from heat. It should form and ball. Once it does, add 4 eggs one at a time and beat with an electric mixer. It will become a loose type mixture. That’s it!
Fill a pot with some vegie oil about 2 inches and heat to medium heat and fry those bad boys up about a tablespoon at a time. Dust with Powdered sugar and voila!!
*I added some fig jam in the batter as well and it gave it a nice sweetness to it.
i’m a big halloween fan. usually, i get all dressed up. so does the dog. and we pass out candy. this year, we didn’t have any trick or treaters and i just was feeling kinda meh about the whole thing. so, i baked cookies. and then i ate a bunch. and then. like always, i felt better. emotional eating? possibly. but IJDGAF.
pumpkin chocolate chip cookies
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon milk
1 cup mini chocolate chips
preheat the oven to 350F
in medium sized bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, sugar, vegetable oil, egg, and vanilla extract
in a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt
in a small bowl, combine the baking soda and milk. add the baking soda and milk to the pumpkin mixture
add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and combine
fold in the mini chocolate chips
drop mini cookie scoops on a lined cookie sheet and bake for about 10 minutes or until golden brown
if you’re tired of pumpkin already. then i don’t think we can be friends anymore… so you can stop reading. i’m not even *close* to being over pumpkin.
i almost had a meltdown at fred meyer the other day bc coffee-mate decided that they done with pumpkin creamer and they’ve moved on to peppermint mocha. UMMMM HELLLLER coffee-mate?! it’s still OCTOBER!!! bring back my pumpkin. creamer rant, over.
these minis are a direct result of swooning over a pic from my sweet & saucy last year. their cupcakes are so cute and tall and luscious looking. and, they’re genius. adding a little bit of cinnamon to the cream cheese frosting is fabulousness. a whole different level of deliciousness. i used my fav pumpkin cupcake recipe, dressed up the cream cheese frosting a bit with cinnamon, and drizzled them with a little bit of the left over caramel from the caramel apple minis.
i still have pumpkin pie, pumpkin cheesecake, and pumpkin muffins on the agenda for this season.
This is like the equivalent of when you put peanut butter and chocolate together. Yup. It’s that awesome. If you think about it, this is just your basic burger…but better.
1. Turkey. It’s healthier for you.
2. Same ingredients (sorta), except stepped up a couple notches.
3. Great buns.
1lb of turkey
Small bunch of oregano leaves
Mix together and then form them to the size of the bun. No need to worry about them shrinking too much. Low fat. How to fix the “low fat”…pan fry! Thats right. In some good ol’ butter.
*Tip* If you put olive oil in the pan first and then butter it’ll help prevent the butter from burning.
Medium high heat. Fry on one side until there’s a nice crispy crust and then flip. One flip. Immediately following the flip, top with a slice of fresh mozz and let it melt as the other side is crisping. Juices should run clear when done.
Grape or Cherry tomatoes cut in half and then in half again
Garlic. Fresh. Minced.
Mix previous ingredients in bowl and lightly coat with olive oil.
Sprinkle with S&P
Toast and butter bun. Place patty on bottom half. Top with bruschetta. Place top half of bun on. Take a photo. Then eat.
I’ve been making a lot of gastriques as of late because they’re tasty and simple…sort of. It’s good for teaching patience and timing. This is a dish I made that reminded me of a dish I used to eat at a tasty little restaurant in Virginia Beach called Napoleon’s. Except it was duck…and I couldn’t find duck. So I went with chicken.
Chicken quarter (but any part will do)
Salt & Pepper
Bake at 425 degrees for about 25 minutes
equal parts sugar and apple cider vinegar
flesh of a ripe orange
Melt sugar at medium heat (be careful not to burn it). Once melted pour in the vinegar. It will do weird things but don’t be alarmed. It will melt again after about 10-15 minutes. Once melted you can toss in the orange, swirl it around and let it hang out for about 5 minutes and voila!
Brussel Sprouts halved
Mix all together in a roasting pan and coat with olive oil and salt and pepper and bake at 425 degrees until tender about 25 minutes.
mmmmm caramel apple minis! this is the first time that we tried to make our own caramel. it’s stressful. all the bubbling and stirring and uncertainty. at the end of our homemade caramel endeavor, we had a half a pot full of glorious, creamy, caramel goodness. the bottom of the pot? rock soooolid. no big. i still jarred the good stuff we’ll try and try again.
thank goodness for the boy. he keeps me in check when we’re making new “stuff” in the kitchen. i was stressssssing out. he kept the situation calm.
caramel apple cupcakes
1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
1/4 cup of natural (no sugar added) applesauce
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon apple pie spice
1/2 cup milk
1 cup apples cut into small cubes (2 granny smith, 1 gala)
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 vanilla bean (seeds)
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon corn starch (add more if needed)
preheat oven to 350F
in a medium saucepan over medium heat melt the butter
add the apples, brown sugar and vanilla bean
stir until the mixture begins to bubble, about 5 mins
add the milk, stir and add corn starch to thicken the mixture
remove from heat and allow to cool before adding to cupcake batter
in a standing bowl mixer, with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, 3-5 mins
add apple sauce the mixture, cream until combined
add eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition
add the vanilla and mix until combined
in a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and apple spice mix
with the mixer on low, add the flour and milk to the mixer, in 3 additions, beginning and ending with the flour. do not over mix!
gently fold the apple mixture into the batter with a spatula
bake for 12-15 mins or until a toothpick comes out clean
frost with your favorite cream cheese buttercream
drizzle with slightly cooled homemade caramel sauce
it’s a rainy, regular, fall day here in the PNW. we’re going to have some brunch. drink coffee all day and watch some movies. hope your day is just as awesome.
so. basically… these are red velvet minis, minus the red food coloring. i love red velvet cake, i’ve posted red velvet minis before, but. red food coloring seems so unnecessary and i figured the cupcakes would taste delicious even without the red. i was right… they taste like they should. a tangy, moist, cocoa buttermilk cake. i loved them. and paired with vanilla bean cream cheese frosting? the beesknees.
i’m sure there is some red velvet purist out there who is going to tell me that these are no good and/or a crime. but, i’m not going to budge. cocoa velvet is here to stay.
i hope you’re not expecting to see anything except pumpkin around here for a few weeks (at least). otherwise, you’re going to be really disappointed. pumpkin has officially taken oven my life. pumpkin cookies, pumpkin creamer, pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin pie lattes, pumpkin, pumpkin, pumpkin. that ish is my jam. fall is my fav season… can you tell?
schmanyways. these are technically pumpkin snickerdoodles. you can sorta tell, with the rolled cinnamon sugar mix (with a lil hint of nutmeg). but in my humble opinion, they’re more like a pumpkin cake cookie… the boy described them as muffin tops. you know, a little dense, chewy, soft, and scrumptious.
pumpkin cake cookies aka pumpkin snickerdoodles
1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
3/4 cup pure unsweetened pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
in a standing bowl mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter until it is light & fluffy, 3-5 mins
add the sugars and pumpkin puree and blend until combined, scraping down the side of the bowl as needed
mix in the egg and vanilla extract
in a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon until combined
add flour mixture to the standing bowl mixer, beat on low until combined
cover and refrigerate the dough for at least an hour
preheat the oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
in a small bowl, whisk together the sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg
remove dough from the refrigerator, using a medium sized cookie scoop, scoop dough and roll into uniform cookie balls
roll cookies into sugar mixture and place on a baking sheet about 2-3 inches apart
to flatten the cookies, dip a flat glass into the rolling sugar and press down gently on each cookie
bake for 12-14 mins, until slightly firm, remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack
ps. the recipe calls for ground ginger & all spice in the rolling sugar mixture, but i didn’t have any on hand, hence the nutmeg. still delish in my book. also, if you add cream of tarter to your batch (bc it’s typically included in snickerdoodle recipes) let me know you think.
sometimes… the best cakes aren’t always the prettiest. i had high hopes for this cake to be rustic & beautiful. it sort of turned out to be a hot mess, because one of the layers buckled and the whole thing was on the verge of falling apart. never no mind all of that, because it’s probably one of my favorite cakes, ever. the nutmeg and cinnamon made me think of fall and the pineapple & toasted coconut combo made me think of hawaii. fall & hawaii?! ummm 2 favorite things in the whole wide world in one delicious cake?! done. and. done.
a couple of things to note from my baking experience:
the batter looked like it was curdled after mixing together all of the ingredients, but it baked totally fine
it may seem like a lot of carrots, but they’re not overpowering and carrot cake is the bomb.com, so don’t fret
i use 2, 8” pans and baked each cake for about 40 mins
i let the cakes rest in my cake carrier overnight at room temperature
when i cut the cakes, both of the top layers totally started to fall apart
the middle layer was about to completely fall off the cake, but then we ate it, so it didn’t matter anymore
TOAST your coconut
don’t be like and over beat the cream cheese frosting, then it becomes thin and you want to cry bc the layers have already started falling apart
hopefully, you don’t have a hot mess in your kitchen, but even if you do. i promise you won’t care, because you’ll be stuffing your face with an amazing hawaiian carrot cake. totes worth it.