April 26, 2015
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March 9, 2015
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Do you have one of those family recipes that is a given menu item at every gathering? My husband’s family always makes a special chocolate cake with chocolate sauce, our neighbors growing up always served rice krispy treats at every birthday party, and at our house that dessert item is Chocolate Chip Cake. This cake is the one that gets requested by everyone for their birthdays, and it’s such a crowd-pleaser. I think the sour cream batter is what makes it so addictive. It’s one of the recipes that’s been around forever — so long in fact that I wasn’t even sure where it came from. I had to call my mom, who in turn had to call my grandmother to find out. It turns out it was from a neighbor of my grandparents who made the cake for parties, no frosting meant it was less messy for the kids! And now it’s my turn to pass it along, full recipe below! (PS: see that lovely cake stand pictured? I’m partnering with the fine folks at AHeirloom to give one away on my instagram account this week — be sure to head over to enter to win!)Ingredients:
- 1 stick of butter at room temperature
- 1 cup of sugar, plus 1/4 cup for topping
- 1 cup of sour cream
- 2 tsp of vanilla extract
- 2 cups of flour
- 1.5 tsp of baking powder
- 1 tsp of baking soda
- 1 package of chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Cream together 1 stick of butter, 1 cup of sugar, and 2 eggs with an electric mixer.
- Add in 1 cup of sour cream and 2 tsp of vanilla extract, continue to mix together.
- Sift 2 cups of flour, 1.5 tsp of baking powder, and 1 tsp of baking soda; stir dry mixture into wet ingredients.
- Pour half of the batter into a 9×13 baking dish and then layer half of the chocolate chips on top.
- Add second half of batter and top with the rest of the chocolate chips. Sprinkle the top with 1/4 of sugar.
- Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees, let the cake cool before cutting.
January 26, 2015
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As I’m sitting at home on this icy-cold snow day, I could not think of a better time to be sharing this recipe — a rich and hearty soup, chock-full of vegetables and a warm, flavorful broth. I’m still kind of baby when it comes to eating a lot of vegetables — it’s not that I don’t like them, it’s just that pasta and chocolate and cheese are SO much tastier. So I’ve been attempting to sneak them into dishes (and let’s be honest — covering them with cheese does help — this recipe has both!). Sausage and white beans make the soup filling enough to have it as a dinner, the roasted garlic gives it tons of flavor, and the secret ingredient gives the broth a little extra oomph: a parmesan rind that breaks down partially as it simmers. Full recipe below:
- 2 Bulbs of Garlic
- Olive Oil
- 1 Yellow Onion
- 1 Large Shallot
- 1 lb Sweet Italian Sausage (casing removed)
- 5 oz Bag of Fresh Spinach
- 2 cans of White Beans
- 2 cups of Carrots (diced)
- 4 cups of Chicken Stock
- Parmesan Cheese Rind
- Slice the top of each bulb of garlic off and drizzle with olive oil. Wrap the bulbs in foil and place in the oven at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until the garlic cloves become soft and caramelized. Remove cloves from bulb once cooled.
- Dice onion and shallot and add to a large dutch oven or stock pot with a drizzle of olive oil. As they begin to soften, add sausage and begin to brown, breaking up into smaller pieces as it cooks.
- Once sausage is browned, add spinach to the mixture and mix in to wilt.
- Add white beans, carrots, roasted garlic, chicken stock and parmesan rind to the pot and bring to a slow-boil for 10 minutes.
- Reduce soup and simmer for an hour; remove what remains of the parmesan rind.
- Serve hot with fresh grated parmesan cheese and a side of crusty bread — enjoy!
January 25, 2015
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My pre-work routine often looks a little something like a tornado rolling in on my apartment — I am really not a morning person. Breakfast is usually the last thing on my mind as I’m pulling on my shoe with one hand and putting on mascara with the other, so most days I’ve gotten into the habit of picking up a quick bite at the coffee shop near my office. It’s quick and easy, but it’s also expensive and not that healthy — why are bad habits the easiest ones to adopt? So in an effort to make a breakfast that’s easy for me to grab at home as I’m running out the door I experimented with making my own homemade granola. It’s silly I haven’t done it earlier — it’s just about the simplest thing to make! Full recipe below:
- 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1 tbsp Real Maple Syrup
- 1/4 cup of Honey
- 1/4 cup of Brown Sugar
- 4 tbsp of Melted Butter
- 3 tbsp of Vegetable Oil
- 4 cup of Oats
- 3/4 cup of Chopped Almonts
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine vanilla extract, syrup, honey, brown sugar, better and oil in a bowl.
- Pour the mixture over oats and combine until fully coated. Fold in almonds.
- Spread the granola evenly across a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, tossing the granola mid-way through.
January 20, 2015
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Come football play-off season the pressure is really on for me. I’m not talking about being nervous or worked up about the actual games, I’m talking about intensely brainstorming game-day snack ideas. While everyone else is preparing their picks for the big game, I’m busy concocting up ideas for what I plan to stuff my face with. And good news: I have a buttery, carb-y, pepperoni-stuffed plan, my friends! When I hit a mental block thinking about what to bring to a football viewing party last weekend my husband offered me some sage advice. He said: ‘you usually do well by taking something big and tasty and turning it into a bite sized snack’ – of course! So I shrunk down my favorite flavors in pizzas and garlic breads into a super easy Pepperoni-Stuffed Garlic Knot bite. The full recipe is below for all of your Superbowl Party planning needs!
- Store-bought pizza dough
- Shredded mozzarella cheese
- 4 Tbsp of butter
- 1/4 cup of parsley leaves
- 8-10 cloves of garlic
- Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
- Pull or cut 1″ round pieces of pizza dough and use your fingers to roll into a 1 to 2″ disc. Top the disc with a piece of pepperoni and a sprinkle of mozzarella cheese.
- Roll the sides of the dough over the pepperoni and cheese filling and pinch the dough closed to seal it inside. Roll dough around in between your hands to round the shape and ensure the dough is fully sealed. Repeat until all of the dough is used up and arrange the dough balls into a pie dish.
- In a food processor, combine butter, parsley and garlic. Spread the garlic herb butter over the dough, making sure that the mixture is evenly dispersed.
- Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the garlic knots just begin to turn gold brown. Serve with a side of marinara sauce for dipping.
December 16, 2014
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Do you have one of those recipes in your back pocket that works for just about any occasion? Mine is so simple it’s almost embarrassing: Rice Krispy Treats! It’s the one thing that I always get asked to make for friends’ parties. For a recent holiday party I decided to add a fresh twist to my classic recipe and make a Neapolitan version with classic flavor layers of chocolate, strawberry and vanilla ice cream. It takes just a simple modification of the traditional Rice Krispy Treat recipe, full instructions below:
Following the traditional instructions to make Rice Krispy Treats, prepare the ingredients and press a layer of the classic flavor into a lightly greased baking pan. Work quickly to add the next layer so they don’t cool too much — the strawberry layer is exactly the same recipe as the classic Rice Kripy Treat, but when you’re melting the butter and marshmallows together you want to add in 4 drops of pink food coloring and 1 tsp of strawberry extract (you can usually find these near the vanilla extract in the baking aisle!). Press the strawberry mixture directly on top of the classic layer. Next, make the chocolate layer with the same classic recipe, but mix in Cocoa Krispies in lieu of Rice Krispies. Then, pour the Cocoa mixture on top of the Strawberry layer and cover with a large piece of parchment paper. Use a rolling-pin to roll over the parchment paper and press the layers down. Set them aside and let cool completely to solidify. When you’re ready to serve them, flip the baking dish upside down with the parchment paper on the table, slowly lift the dish up and reveal the compressed layers. All that’s left to do is to cut them up into squares with a serrated knife, and try not to eat them all in one sitting!
December 15, 2014
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This weekend I was in major need of some comfort after a long string of holiday parties and maybe a few too many glasses of champagne (shh!). My usual go-to comfort food is a bowl of pasta, but I decided to mix it up this time and try a savory chicken dish with a creamy sun-dried tomato sauce, lots of sautéed mushrooms and shallots, and a little crispy bacon and goat cheese just to amp up the richness. Full recipe below if you’re in need of comfort food too!
- 3-4 large chicken breasts
- 2 large Portobello mushroom caps
- 2 small shallots
- 2-3 slices of thick cut bacon
- 6 sun-dried tomatoes in oil (reserve oil)
- 3 garlic cloves
- 3/4 cup of light cream
- 1 tbsp of goat cheese
- 1/4 cup of freshly grated parmesan, plus extra for garnishing
- 2 sprigs of fresh tarragon
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Heat a large cast iron skillet on high and drizzle with olive oil.
- Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper and brown in the hot pan on both sides.
- While the chicken is browning, roughly chop mushrooms, shallots, bacon and sun-dried tomatoes; mince garlic.
- Remove chicken from pan when cooked through, add 1/2 tbsp of the sun-dried tomato oils and 1 tbsp of butter to the pan, then toss mushrooms, shallots, bacon, garlic and sun-dried tomatoes and sauté mixture. (Scrape the pan to loosen any browned bits from the pan).
- Lower heat to medium and stir in 3/4 cup of light cream, 1 tbsp of goat cheese, and 1/4 cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese; stir continously to break down the cheese and incorporate the tomatoes flavors with the cream.
- Add the chicken back to the pan while the sauce cooks and thickens.
- Remove from heat, garnish with fresh parmesan cheese and torn tarragon leaves.
- Try serving over pasta or a bed of spinach.
November 5, 2014
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This weekend I was busy testing some recipes for Thanksgiving ideas (and blog posts!) and the best thing ever that can happen when you’re cooking occurred: I had leftover stuffing. My family has a special little trick for leftover stuffing, we use it to make a little breakfast hash. It’s barely a recipe, which is just how breakfast should be made: add a tiny pat of butter to a hot pan and throw in the stuffing and, if you have it, some chopped onions, sausage, bacon — you can’t mess it up! After the mixture cooks together for a few minutes push it the sides to make an opening in the center of the pan. Crack in egg in the center of the stuffing and let it fry up, then slide that whole thing on a plate and dig in! I garnished mine with some fresh chopped green onions, and let me tell you, it was tasty.
October 13, 2014
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