Sunday, September 14, 2014

blueberry cornmeal butter cake

I KNOW. Pumpkin spice everything is already dominating the food world. But I'm still loving the late summer produce that we're getting from our CSA! Let's hang on to summer for one more recipe, yes?

This quick, easy little cake is perfect for breakfast, a snack, or alongside some vanilla ice cream for an indulgent dessert. It's the perfect sweet-but-not-too-sweet treat. Make this before summer officially ends! Which, despite what Starbucks is telling you, isn't for another week. :)

Blueberry Cornmeal Butter Cake (from the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook)
makes one 8x8-inch cake

for the cake, you'll need:
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
zest of 1 lemon
1/3 cup sour cream
2 cups blueberries

for the streusel, you'll need:
1/2 cup sugar
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornmeal
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottom and an 8x8 pan with parchment, then coat with butter and flour the bottom and sides.

Whisk the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.

Beat the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then add the vanilla and lemon zest.

Add a third of the flour mixture and stir until just incorporated. Stir in the sour cream. Stir in another third of the flour mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Mix the rest of the flour with the blueberries. Gently fold in the blueberry-flour mixture into the batter.

Spread the batter into your prepared pan. In a small bowl, combine the streusel ingredients with a fork, then scatter the mixture over the top of the cake.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and a tester comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack before turning out to cool completely. Enjoy!

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P.S. Remember these darling tea towels from Sunday Drive Designs? Well, now they're venturing into aprons... and the designs are just too. cute. Check out the Kickstarter campaign to check them out, lend your support, and get the first crack at these adorable aprons!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

crunchy quinoa salad with peanut vinaigrette

It's the beginning of the school year, so to say things are busy right now is a bit of an understatement. Meals like this one - which can be enjoyed hot, room temp, or cold, and can be eaten all week long - are just perfect right now. 

This quinoa is a new favorite, with its crunchy texture, gorgeous colors, and un.real. dressing. I hope you'll give it a go!

Crunchy Quinoa Salad with Peanut Vinaigrette (just barely adapted from In the Loop)
serves 4-6

for the vinaigrette, you'll need:
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon raw honey
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon olive oil

for the salad, you'll need:
3 cups cooked quinoa
juice of 2 limes
3 cups shredded cabbage
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup diced green onions
1/2 cup roasted, salted peanuts
2 cups cooked, shelled edamame
for serving: lime wedges, avocado, sriracha

Whisk together all of the vinaigrette ingredients until well combined. (You may have to microwave it a bit to thin the peanut butter and honey.)

In a large bowl, stir all of the salad ingredients together. Fold in desired amount of dressing. Taste for seasoning and add salt, pepper, and/or more dressing as necessary.

Serve in bowls with slices of avocado on top and drizzled with as much sriracha as you like.

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Monday, September 1, 2014

glorious cheddar & jalapeno muffins

Happy Labor Day, y'all! Just popping in here briefly today to share this muffins, which would be a perfect last-minute addition to your weekend cookout. They're spicy, super cheesy, come together in no time at all... and seriously delicious!

Hope everyone is enjoying a great holiday!

Glorious Cheddar & Jalapeno Muffins (slightly adapted from Joy the Baker)
yields 12 muffins

you'll need:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup skim milk
1 large egg
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled slightly
3 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
12 pickled jalapeno round for topping
sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper for topping

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray and set aside.

Whisk flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. In another small bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, and melted butter. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir. Just before the mixture is totally combined, add the cheese. Stir until everything is evenly moistened and distributed.

Divide the batter between the prepared muffin tins. Top each with a jalapeno round and sprinkle with sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

Bake for 20 minutes. Allow to cool for just a few minutes; these are best served fresh and warm!

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Sunday, August 24, 2014

spicy meatball sandwich with pesto

One of our favorite meals from our vacation this summer was at Meat and Bread in Vancouver. We split their signature porchetta and meatball sandwiches, both of which were ridiculously delicious! I'm planning on attempting a recreation of that porchetta sometime in the future, but since Miles hasn't stopped talking about the meatball sandwich for the past month, I decided to start there first.

I made a few changes -- basil pesto rather than gremolata, a simply spicy tomato sauce rather than sambal -- but I have to say, this tasted pretty close to the original! Needless to say, this is definitely going in our regular dinner rotation.

Spicy Meatball Sandwich with Pesto
makes 4 sandwiches

you'll need:
1/2 lb. ground beef
1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 egg
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup red wine
2 1/2 cups tomato puree (like Pomi)
for serving: ciabatta bread, shaved grana padano (or parmesan), basil pesto

Mix beef, breadcrumbs, basil, egg, mustard, salt, and pepper in a large bowl with a fork or your hands. Use your hands to form the mixture into small meatballs (you should end up with about 12).

Heat a bit of olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Working in batches, brown the meatballs on all sides. Set aside on a paper towel-lined plate.

Wipe out the pot, then add a bit more olive oil. Add the garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes and cook for about 30 seconds, or until the garlic is fragrant and beginning to brown. Stir in the wine and tomatoes.

Add the meatballs to the sauce and cook uncovered for 30-45 minutes over low heat, until the sauce is thick and the meatballs are cooked through.

Serve the meatballs on sliced ciabatta bread with a spread of basil pesto and shaved grana padano or parmesan on top. Enjoy!

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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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