Tuesday, April 22, 2014

pesto cornbread with garlic scallion butter

I am so excited to share this bread with y'all, not only because it is absolutely delicious, but also because it comes from my friend Stephanie's brand new eCookbook, Quick Bread Love!

If you don't already know Stephanie and the wonders she does with all things carb-y, it's time you did. I love her amazing recipes (from pizza to biscuits to stuffed pretzels, WHAT), but I also admire her warmth and personality that shine through her writing. Her eCookbook was released on Monday, and let me tell y'all, it's a GEM. Recipes like Key Lime Coconut Bread, No-Yeast Cinnamon Rolls, Pepperoni Pizza Muffins, Salted Dark Chocolate Pear Scones... are you drooling yet?!

As you can imagine, I had a hard time choosing which recipe to try first. But since I had everything on hand for this cornbread, and it's spring so I'm eating pesto like it's my job, this won me over. And it was heavenly! The garlic scallion butter (a recipe from the bonus mini eCookbook) sends it over the top.

Congrats on a wonderful book, Stephanie!

Pesto Cornbread with Garlic Scallion Butter (from Quick Bread Love)
yields one 8x4-inch loaf + 1/2 cup butter

you'll need:
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup milk
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons pesto
1 egg
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
3 tablespoons scallions, chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8x4 inch loaf pan and set aside.

Whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. In another bowl, whisk the milk, oil, pesto and egg. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until just combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool the bread in the pan for 10 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack.

To make the butter, mix together softened butter, scallions, and garlic.

Spread the garlic butter on a piece of warm cornbread. Heavenly!

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Monday, April 21, 2014

chai banana cake

Friends! How was your Easter?? We had the best time yesterday celebrating with our families at our house, though I have to admit that I am tiiiiirrrreeeed today.

Okay, you guys, this cake. I'm a sucker for all things chai, and all those yummy spices work so well with the banana. Plus, this cake is ridiculously moist, and truly gets better day by day. That is, if you can resist it long enough...

This can be served with vanilla ice cream for dessert or on its own with a cup of coffee for breakfast. Cake for breakfast!

Chai Banana Cake (from Spoon Fork Bacon)
yields one 8x8 cake

you'll need:
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon chai
3 medium over-ripe bananas
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and nutmeg together in a mixing bowl.

Pour milk and chai into a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and steep for 20 minutes. Discard the used chai, then transfer to a bowl. Add the mashed bananas and mix together.

Add the butter and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time. Add vanilla and banana mixture and stir until just combined. Stop the mixer, add the flour mixture all at once, and stir until just combined.

Grease an 8x8 baking dish and pour in cake batter.

Bake for 80-90 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream!

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Saturday, April 19, 2014

ham & brussels sprouts naan pizza

Hey there! Thought I'd throw in a little weekend recipe for those of you who are already thinking about what you're going to do with leftover Easter ham.

Wait, do you have an Easter ham? We don't... I don't know if we ever have? We've always been non-traditional when it comes to holiday food. This year we're having this salad alongside this pasta. Of course there will be garlic bread. I'm making these for snacking, and we're having my mom's incredible coconut pie for dessert. YUM.

But back to ham! Since most of you will have some leftover, please please please try this pizza. It is INSANE how good it is! I had a similar pizza in Austin last month and couldn't wait to recreate it at home. The sweet balsamic and the roasty brussels sprouts are perfection.

This is just as a leftover meal should be: quick, easy, delicious. Done!

Ham & Brussels Sprouts Naan Pizza
makes 4 pizzas

you'll need:
4 naan breads
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1/4 lb. ham, diced
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar, plus more for drizzling
1 cup shredded brussels sprouts
grated parmesan, for serving

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Place breads on the baking sheet. Divide the mozzarella between each one, then top with ham. In a small bowl, toss the brussels sprouts with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Divide brussels sprouts evenly over each pizza.

Bake pizzas for 15 minutes, until cheese is bubbly. To serve, drizzle with balsamic vinegar and sprinkle parmesan on top.

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Friday, April 18, 2014

happy weekend!

Happy Friday, friends! What are your plans for Easter weekend? My parents are coming in town, so my mom and I will be cooking up a storm before we celebrate with everyone on Sunday. I'm excited! I hope y'all have a great weekend, filled with family, food, and fun. Here are some links to kick it off!

I can't get enough of this album.


Pretty cake plates.

I'm kind of obsessed with this real estate trend.

Everything in this gorgeous ceramic shop.

Need this for my kitchen!

Tricks for getting rid of under-eye circles.

8 prints for Francophiles.

Rachel Comey always makes the best sandals.

The perfect Easter picnic.

I got rid of my bike when I moved from Austin, but our new neighborhood is ideal for biking. I've got my eye on this cutie.

This burger. Game over.

The color in this apartment!

These would be so pretty for a spring girls brunch.

Once at SXSW I got Matthew McConaughey on video doing some weird martial arts dancing whilst wearing a leather beret. This trumps that times one billion.

Plus, some recipes I can't wait to try:

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

pimento cheese biscuits

The amount of biscuits on this blog might be getting a little excessive. Is that a thing when it comes to biscuits though?

Biscuits are where I end up when I just want to relax in the kitchen. Making them is just soothing to me. It's cheaper than therapy!

These are the perfect biscuits for your Easter table, or to take along for a spring or summer picnic. So dang good. Pimento cheese and buttermilk biscuits were always meant to be friends. I'm so glad I finally introduced them!

Pimento Cheese Biscuits
makes 12-14 biscuits

you'll need:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for topping
8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
1 (4 oz.) jar of sliced pimentos, drained and chopped
1 cup cold buttermilk
1 egg, beaten, for brushing

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

Whisk flour, baking powder, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Add the butter and use a pastry cutter or your fingers to incorporate it until the mixture is coarse and crumbly. Stir in the cheese, chives, and pimentos. Add the buttermilk and stir until just combined.

Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface and knead a few times until it holds together. Shape the dough to about 1/2 inch thickness. Use a floured biscuit cutter to cut out the dough and transfer to the baking sheets. (Gather up the scraps to make more biscuits as needed.)

Brush the top of each biscuit with the beaten egg and top with a bit more black pepper. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until the tops are golden brown. Cool slightly on a wire rack before serving warm!

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Monday, April 14, 2014

pistachio pesto pasta with lamb

Springtime food might be my favorite. I love all the fresh, bright flavors and the gorgeous, vibrant colors. It just makes me happy!

This dish combines all of those things into one crazy good pasta dish. The pesto is lemony and minty and good enough to eat by the spoonful. Don't worry, you'll have some extra leftover to do just that.

Lamb turns this into a hearty spring dinner, but the pasta would also be a lovely vegetarian dish on its own. Either way, y'all are going to love this one!

Pistachio Pesto Pasta with Lamb (adapted from Running to the Kitchen)
serves 4

you'll need:
1 lb. fettuccine
1 lb. ground lamb
2 cups baby spinach
1/4 cup mint leaves
1/3 cup alfalfa sprouts
2 garlic cloves
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup shelled pistachios
1/2 cup grated pecorino
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt generously, then add the pasta and cook to al dente according to the package directions. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water before draining.

Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the lamb and cook until completely done, breaking up the meat as it cooks. Add salt and pepper to taste. Transfer the cooked lamb to a paper towel-lined plate to drain excess fat.

While the pasta and lamb are cooking, make the pesto: in a food processor or blender, blend spinach, mint, sprouts, garlic, lemon juice, pistachios, pecorino, salt, and olive oil until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.

Combine the cooked pasta, lamb, and as much pesto as you like (I used about half). You may want to add a bit of the reserved pasta water to thin it out. Garnish each bowl with more sprouts, pistachios, and pecorino. So good, y'all!

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Friday, April 11, 2014

have a relaxing weekend!

Happy Friday, friends! After being out of town for the past couple weekends, I'm happily staying put for this one. I've got some projects to cross off my list, a giganto pile of grading to tackle, and I need to do the laundry like woah. Still, I'm looking forward to spending some time at home and (hopefully!) enjoying some spring weather. Here are some links to kick off your weekend - I hope you have a great one!

Where we're moving to and from.

Mint is always one of my favorite spring colors to wear.

I LOVE this idea for a  shower!

This DIY sprouts kit would be such a cute spring gift.

I started this book earlier this week. So good.

How to get nail polish out of just about anything. I'm asking for a friend.

This homemade body wash sounds divine.

I look forward to seeing Mindy mixing prints every week. (And, always, dying over her apartment.)

This is guaranteed to be incredibly lovely.

The best Easter eggs, hands down.

I love Mexican street corn so much that we even served it at our wedding! Here's a healthier (and oh so stunning!) version.


Such pretty plates!

My heart can barely handle it.

Plus, some recipes I can't wait to try:
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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

spinach provolone beer bread

This bread, y'all. It is such good stuff! I know I've talked about how much I love the quick, easy process of making beer bread... but I mean, the fact that I can be eating a warm slice of incredible bread within an hour is just too great.

Boozy, cheesy bread + spinach = health food. MATH.

Spinach Provolone Beer Bread
yields 1 loaf

you'll need:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 (12 oz.) can of beer
1 cup shredded provolone cheese
1 1/2 cups chopped baby spinach
4 tablespoons melted butter
freshly ground black pepper

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 9x5-inch bread pan and set aside.

Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl. Stir in the provolone and spinach. Add the beer and stir until just combined.

Pour batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Pour the melted butter over the top. Bake for 45 minutes.

Allow the bread to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before inverting it onto a wire rack to cool.

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Monday, April 7, 2014

slow cooker balsamic cherry pork over parmesan polenta

Before you tuck away your slow cooker for the warmer months ahead, let's get at least one more good, cozy meal out of it. This lovely meal takes mayyybe two minutes to prep and turns into such a satisfying dinner. I prepped ours the night before so that the next day all I had to do was plug it in and go on with my day. Weeknight win!

The balsamic and cherry flavors are magical together, and over that creamy, dreamy polenta... well, you know.

Balsamic Cherry Pork over Parmesan Polenta (adapted from Ladies' Home Journal)
serves 4-6

you'll need:
1 (10-12 oz.) jar of cherry preserves
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 onion, diced
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried basil
2 lb. boneless pork shoulder, trimmed of excess fat
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup polenta
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
chopped fresh basil, for serving

Combine the cherry preserves, balsamic, onion, garlic powder, and basil in the slow cooker. Rub pork with salt and add to slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours, or on low for 8-10 hours.

When pork is finished cooking, remove from the slow cooker and slice or shred with two forks. Prepare the polenta according to the package instructions. Stir in the Parmesan and pepper.

To serve, spoon polenta into bowls and top with pork. Garnish with fresh basil.

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Friday, April 4, 2014

have a happy weekend!

Happy Friday, y'all! What are you up to this weekend? I'm heading to Austin for a bachelorette party, and I'm so excited! I hope you have a happy one, and here are some links to kick it off...

Love, love, love the gorgeous prints in this shop.

The perfect thing to drink this spring.


Which Olsen twin are you?

On my kitchen wish list.

Which celebrity designer gets you?

In LOVE with this necklace.

Counting down that days until this stunning cookbook arrives at my doorstep!

An Easter basket for your girlfriends.

Homemade grapefruit face toner.

Plus, some recipes I can't wait to try:

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