Monday, August 18, 2014

one-step no-churn coffee ice cream

I was flipping through this cookbook the other day, trying to figure out something to make for dinner, when this recipe caught my eye. I mean, how could it not? One step? No churn? How had I not seen this before?! That was it -- dinner immediately got put on the back burner and it was time to make ice cream (also a viable dinner option).

This is, without a doubt, the easiest ice cream you will ever make. It was made for Monday. It takes little to no effort, and in the end, you've got a big bowl of ice cream.

One-Step No-Churn Coffee Ice Cream (from Nigellisima)

you'll need:
2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
2 tablespoons espresso liqueur
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1x1 pint container (I have these)

Stir together the condensed milk, espresso powder, and liqueur in a bowl. In a separate bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk the cream until it reaches soft peaks. Fold the whipped cream into the espresso-milk mixture. Transfer to an airtight container and freeze at least 6 hours and up to overnight.

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Monday, August 11, 2014

bacon & pea pizza

Hey there hey there friends! How was your weekend? We had a fun one -- took quick trip to Fort Worth, had a little girls brunch, and saw Phantom of the Opera on Friday night! ...which means we have been walking around singing "Masquerade" for three days now...

I'm excited to share this pizza recipe with y'all! I've probably made this 3 or 4 times this summer already and we are crazy about it every time. While I was previously a preheated pizza stone loyalist, I'm really loving this method from Tracy of baking the pizza on an oiled baking sheet. It yields a super crispy crust and there's no danger of getting a gigantic burn on your arm from taking the pizza stone out after preheating. Not that I would know anything about that.

The salty bacon is perfect with the peas and mix of creamy mozzarella and sharp cheddar. But the extra special part happens after the pizza bakes, when it is topped with fresh mint, a squeeze of lemon, and grated parm! 

It's seriously silly good.

Bacon & Pea Pizza (from Shutterbean)
yields one 13x18-inch pizza

you'll need:
1 fresh pizza dough
olive oil
3 strips of bacon, cooked and roughly chopped
1/2 cup shelled peas
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 green onions, thinly slices
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
3/4 cup sharp white cheddar
pinch of red pepper flakes
kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1/2 cup chopped mint
fresh lemon juice
grated Parmesan, for topping

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.

Lightly brush a 13x18-inch baking sheet with olive oil. Place the pizza dough directly onto the pan and press it out. I like a thin crust, so I press it super thin all the way to the edges. If you like slightly thicker crust, just don't press it out quite as much.

Top the pizza with the bacon, garlic, green onions, and cheeses. Add the red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper on top.

Bake the pizza for 18-20 minutes, or until cheese is browned and bubbly.

Top with fresh mint, a squeeze of lemon, and grated Parmesan. Enjoy!!!

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Friday, August 8, 2014

last weekend of summer?!

And just like that, it's my last weekend of summer. WHAT.

The photo above depicts what I did pretty much every day during this last full week of summer. I was soaking up the leisure time as much as possible, people. I admit that I'm ready to get back to a routine and definitely ready to see my kiddos soon, but these lazy days will be so dearly missed!

I hope that you have a great weekend, loves! Here are some links to kick it off...

Already counting down the days to the return of Mindy!

These taco friendship bracelets are just about the best thing ever.

Jen made these brownies with a pretzel crust and my jaw hit the floor. SO GOOD.

I like the 90's vibe of this dress.

Elizabeth always makes exactly what I want to eat.

Obsessed with these nail wraps.

Determined to make time for delightfully chill weekends throughout this school year.

Just finished this book of short stories. She's just so great.

Smitten with this pillow.

Plus, some recipes I can't wait to try:
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Thursday, August 7, 2014

pasta with chopping-board pistachio pesto

You guys! I am so excited about this post, not only because of this amazing pasta, but I also have probably my favorite giveaway ever on this blog for ya. Yes!

My sweet food blogging friend, Colleen from Souffle Bombay (who gave you these last summer!), was thinking about just what it was that made her fall in love with cooking. I agreed with her that cookbooks were a huge influence on me, especially when I was first learning to cook. I still absolutely love cookbooks and just get giddy every time I open a new one. Even though there are so many new, gorgeous cookbooks coming out all the time (I'm especially excited for this and this coming out this fall!) there is also something so special about going back to the first cookbooks that really impacted your cooking.

For me, one of those is The Splendid Table's How to Eat Supper. My dad gave me this when I was in college. I LOVE this cookbook. It's just full of food you want to eat! It has rustic, comforting recipes with a bit of a twist, which is exactly how I like to cook. 

One of my favorite recipes from this book is this pasta. The pesto/sauce is all chopped together on a cutting board, blending the flavors in a unique way. You can have this dish on your table in 20 minutes, no problem, and it is SO good.

Pasta with Chopping-Board Pistachio Pesto (from The Splendid Table's How to Eat Supper)
serves 4-6

you'll need:
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves
1 cup chopped fresh chives
4 packed tablespoons of fresh basil
4 tablespoons chopped red onion, divided
1/3 cup shelled salted pistachios
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 lb. thin spaghetti
1 cup grated asiago cheese

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

To make the pesto, pile the salt and pepper on a chopping board. Crush the garlic cloves into it with the side of your knife, then chop. Add the chives, 2 tablespoons onion, and basil and chop until fine. Add the pistachios and chop. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil directly on top and mix together. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as necessary.

Once you have drained the pasta, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the empty pasta pot over medium-low heat. Saute the remaining 2 tablespoons of onion for just a minute. Stir in the pesto to warm it for a few seconds, then add about 1/3 cup pasta water to stretch the sauce. Remove from heat.

Add the drained pasta and cheese to the pot and toss so that the pesto is incorporated. Add additional pasta water as necessary. Taste for seasoning, then serve!

Check out the other wonderful bloggers celebrating their favorite cookbooks!

Tomato Jam – Healthy. Delicious.
Lemon Basil Chicken Thighs - Mind Over Batter
Homemade Spinach and Cheese Ravioli - Food Lust People Love
Spaghetti Parmesan - Food Ramblings
Cookie Dough Fudge Brownies – Sugar Dish Me
Plum and Pluot Galette - Fork Vs Spoon
Peanut Butter Squares - Kelly Bakes
Simple Apple Crisp – Real: The Kitchen and Beyond
Raspberry Swirl Pound Cake – The Redhead Baker
Beirut Tahini Swirls – Pastry Chef Online
Oat-chata – Healthy Slow Cooking


Now about that giveaway...

I am super excited for this giveaway for y'all because both prizes are chock full of my two favorite things - cookware and cookbooks! And, there are two wonderful prizes! Check them out, then simply enter by using the Rafflecopter below. Good luck! :)

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Also! Now through September 1st, Calphalon is celebrating couples!  From the first meal they create together in their new home to the meal they share on their 25th anniversary, couple cook up memories! The cookware they choose serves as the foundation for which these “Couples Cooking” memories are made.

Calphalon wants to recognize these #CouplesCooking moments by asking couples to share pictures of the meals they cook together for a chance to win $1,000 in Calphalon cookware!

Calphalon is inviting couples to post photos of the meals they prepare with their significant other on Calphalon’s Facebook page. To enter, couples will be asked to share why the dish is unique or special to them and use the hashtag #CouplesCooking.

Follow the #CookbooksandCalphalon fun on social media for great recipes, tips and more and good luck in BOTH giveaways!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

manchego popovers with truffle salt

There's something so fun about popovers, isn't there? I love the popovers with strawberry butter from Neiman Marcus' Zodiac Room, and the gruyere and black pepper ones from Foreign and Domestic in Austin are out of this world. But making popovers at home is also super easy!

The batter takes all of about 3 minutes to put together, they go in the oven, and in 40 minutes you have giant, gorgeous carb-y goodness. I made these with yummy Manchego cheese, smoked paprika, and a little bit of truffle salt from The Spice House on top. Ridiculous, decadent, delicious. Just what you need for Wednesday!

Manchego Popovers with Truffle Salt
yields 6 popovers

you'll need:
2 cups whole milk
4 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 cups AP flour
Manchego cheese, cut into 6 1/2" cubes, plus more shredded for topping
truffle salt, for topping

Preheat the oven to 375 F and place a popover pan on top of a baking sheet in to pre-heat. Meanwhile, pour the milk into a microwave-safe bowl and heat in the microwave until very hot, but not boiling, about 2 minutes. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, salt, and paprika. Slowly whisk in the milk. Add the flour and whisk until the batter is fully combined (little lumps are okay).

Remove the pan and baking sheet from the oven and coat with cooking spray. Pour the batter to the top of each of the popover cups (pouring it high will ensure a big beautiful popover). Place a cube of cheese on top of the batter in each cup and sprinkle with truffle salt.

Bake for 40 minutes. Do not open the oven to peek!

Carefully remove the pans and sprinkle each popover with the extra grated cheese. Allow to cool for just a minute or two, then enjoy!

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Friday, July 25, 2014

happy friday! + links i love

Happy Friday, y'all! What are your plans for the weekend? We're going to see Boyhood tonight, and I am so excited!! (We saw Begin Again last weekend, and I absolutely loved, loved, loved it.)

Hope you have a fun one! Here are some links to kick it off...

When Mary Kate and Ashley design your wedding dress and Stevie Nicks gives a toast and a cappella performance of "Landslide" at the reception, YOU WIN AT WEDDINGS.

Yeah, I need this.

What do the Tour De France cyclists eat?

Etsy finds for fellow grammar nerds.

This tree produces 40 different fruits, and it's gorgeous!

So, the Internet is really mad about it. What do you think of Blake Lively's new lifestyle site?

This easy french fry method blew my mind.

Beautiful free botanical prints.

Crostini party for all!

I realize I'm insane for wanting a blazer in the middle of a Texas summer, but I mean....

Slice cherry tomatoes faster.

A new Top Chef spinoff.

Don't forget to enter The Spice House giveaway!

Plus, some recipes I can't wait to try:
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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

dark chocolate, sunflower seed & grey sea salt cookies

The best cookies ever + a great giveaway! This is a good Wednesday.

Loving food is a weird thing. I get giddy over things like really great cinnamon or an incredible salt. So when I had the opportunity to share with you guys about The Spice House, it was a no-brainer. Perusing their website is like letting a kid loose in a candy store.

The Spice House opened its doors back in 1957, and today has both a robust online business as well as 5 locations throughout Chicago & Milwaukee. They carry over 600 products from at least 50 different countries, including pure spices and herbs, spice blends, salts, and extracts and have caught the admiration of many home cooks across the country as well as some heavy hitters in the food world, including Alton Brown (who actually has special blends made for him) & Julia Child, who proclaimed The Spice House a "national treasure."

Patty from The Spice House remembers Julia’s visit to their Milwaukee shop:
We had cinnamon that came from Vietnam, a long log, real thick, and as hard as a baseball bat! The trade doors had just opened from Vietnam when she visited, and we couldn't wait to show her this bark, and then give her a taste in powder form. Julia took the bark right out of my hand and took a giant bite right out of it! My whole family was there and we all collectively sucked in our breath, and asked, "Do you want to spit that out?" But she kept right on chewing and chewing and chewing, and 10 minutes later she had chewed it enough to swallow it. Julia was just so gracious, and she said something like, "Oh my dear, you're absolutely right, this is a delightful cinnamon, thank you for sharing this with me!" She signed the rest of that bark and today that bark is one of Patty’s prized possessions.

Tom & Patty Erd took over Patty’s parents business back in 1993 and have built The Spice House into a resource for incredible spices and seasonings, as fresh as you can get them at an affordable price. They scour the world for the best ingredients and spices, and they grind and blend their spices and seasonings in small batches right in their stores in order to offer the freshest possible product.

Many of their spices come in pretty glass jars, however you can also order many varieties in bags (as well as in salt-free versions). I'm personally impressed with their pricing, but also their crazy fast shipping. Their gift boxes are both gorgeous and well thought out. Take a few minutes and peruse their offerings!

These cookies are inspired by the most incredible chocolate I had when we were in Vancouver. With the nutty flavor from brown butter and sunflower seeds and the salty topping from The Spice House's fabulous grey sea salt, these are just about as good as it gets. Miles declared these the best cookies I have ever made... win!

Dark Chocolate, Sunflower Seed & Grey Sea Salt Cookies (adapted from The Joy The Baker Cookbook)
yields about 3 dozen cookies

you'll need:
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon molasses
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
2 1/4 cups AP flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup good dark chocolate, chopped into chunks
1/2 cup roasted & salted sunflower seeds
grey sea salt, for sprinkling

Melt 8 tablespoons of butter in a medium skillet over medium heat, swirling it in the pan. It will become foamy as it cooks and make a crackling noise. Continue to swirl as the butter starts to smell nutty and brown bits form at the bottom of the pan. Once the bits are amber, remove the butter from the burner and pour into a small bowl (including the brown bits... the best part!) to cool for about 20 minutes.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the remaining 1/2 cup butter with the brown sugar for 3-5 minutes, until smooth and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla extract and molasses.
Pour the cooled brown butter into the bowl, along with the granulated sugar. Beat for 2 minutes, until smooth; the mixture will be light and fluffy.
Add the egg and egg yolk, and beat for 1 more minute.
Add the flour, salt, and baking soda, beating on low speed just until everything is incorporated.
Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and use a spatula to fold in the dark chocolate and sunflower seeds. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight.
About 15 minutes before you’re ready to begin baking, preheat your oven to 350°F.
Scoop the dough in 2 tablespoon-sized balls onto the prepared baking sheets. Leave about 2 inches between the cookies. Sprinkle the cookies with grey sea salt.
Bake the cookies for 13-15 minutes, until they’re golden brown. Remove them from the oven, and allow them to rest on the baking sheet for at least 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool.
To help you make some cookies (and because they're awesome), The Spice House is offering two seriously great giveaways!

1st Prize - $250.00 in spices, which includes Grill & BBQ Deluxe Gift Box Set, Bakers Spices Gift Box Set, Vanilla Bean Sugar, Chicago Old Town Premium Sugar, Vulcan's Fire Salt, Chai Spices with Vanilla, Pumpkin Pie Spice, Dutched Cocoa Powder, Aleppo Pepper, AND a $100.00 gift card to The Spice House to find your favorites not on this list or try some new ones!

2nd Prize - The Signature Selection Gift Box Set, Chicago Old Town Premium Sugar, Fancy Onion Salt, Fancy Garlic Salt, Vanilla Bean Sugar, Tellicherry Black Peppercorns and a $50.00 gift card to The Spice House to find your favorites not on this list or try some new ones!

Enter by simply using the Rafflecopter below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check out the other fabulous recipes inspired by The Spice House from some of my food blogging friends!

Lime Water Ice by Souffle Bombay
Low-Carb Chicken Gyros with Tangy Tzatziki Sauce by Opera Singer in the Kitchen  
Chocolate Cherry Hand Pies by Real: The Kitchen and Beyond
Jamaican Jerk Chicken Pizza by We’re Parents!?

Disclosure: I was given a gift card to order spices as compensation for this post, however as always all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

roasted shrimp and orzo

Happy Monday, y'all! Best news ever -- our AC is fixed! We were blessed with incredible weather -- 70 degrees in Dallas in JULY -- this weekend, but as the temp is supposed to climb back up to 100 this week, I couldn't be more thankful for some COOL AIR!

The return of hot weather calls for easy cooking and fresh, colorful meals. This roasted shrimp and orzo salad from (who else?) Ina fits the bill perfectly. It's got great salty flavor from the chunks of feta and perfect crunch from cucumbers and red onion. Lots of fresh herbs in the mix because... well, you know.

This is the perfect dish for entertaining because the longer it sits, the better it is! Let's have some friends over, serve this up in big bowls, and celebrate summer!

Roasted Shrimp and Orzo (from Ina Garten)
serves 6

you'll need:
kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
olive oil
3/4 lb. orzo 
juice of 3 lemons
2 lbs. peeled and deveined shrimp
1 cup minced scallions
1 cup chopped fresh dill
1 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 English cucumber, seeded and diced
1/2 red onion, diced
3/4 lb. feta cheese, diced

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt well, then add the orzo and cook according to package directions. Drain and pour into a large bowl. Pour over the lemon juice, 1/2 cup olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Stir well and set aside.

While the pasta is cooking, place the shrimp on a sheet pan. Toss with a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast the shrimp in a single layer for 5-6 minutes, until the shrimp are just cooked through and pink.

Add the shrimp to the orzo along with the scallions, dill, parsley, cucumber, and onion. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as desired. Carefully fold in the feta. Keep at room temperature for 1 hour before serving to allow the flavors to blend, or refrigerate up to overnight. (If refrigerating, bring back to room temperature before serving.)

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Friday, July 18, 2014

happy friday!

Happy Friday, y'all! How's your week been? We are currently still without AC, but Texas has gone crazy on us and it is currently 66 degrees here in Dallas this morning(!!!). So we've got all the windows open and feeling right.

I took the photo up there on our ferry from Seattle to Bainbridge Island while talking to a girl who was just coming home from work. Can you imagine if that was your commute to and from work?! I feel like we'd all be a little bit more peaceful.

What are y'all up to this weekend? I have a friend from college coming into town, and I couldn't be more excited! I hope you have a great one, and here are a few links to kick it off...

I'm in a movie-seeing mood right now. This and this are at the top of my list.

Gaby is killing it with summertime party ideas. Who wouldn't want to come to a s'mores party?

I've actually managed to keep some plants alive this summer! Might reward myself with one of these planters.

I'm dreaming up a project inspired by Wes Anderson's colors.

This ice cream sounds SO GOOD.


I want a huge bowl of this (stunning!) homemade pasta.

Cannot. stop. listening. to this album.

My dream kitchen is full of these gorgeous pieces.

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

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